White Light

Image 06 Tristram’s Bay is a small town situated on the Cornish coast between two rocky peaks. It has an ancient history of Arthurian mythology, smuggling and tribal warfare but now it's become more known for its surfing scene. There is a harbour that houses a dwindling fishing industry and a burgeoning yacht club. It’s a place where they still make things – the major producers being two competing workshops who hand-build luxury wooden boats. As cities thrive and small communities dry up, Tristram’s Bay carries on – alive as it has been since medieval times. The world was happy to let it go on unnoticed and remote but then Sarah Jones was murdered…

“Sergeant Carter, how do you respond to the reports that your police force is ill-equipped to deal with a crime of this magnitude?”

“Do you mean your reports?”

“Isn’t it true that you only have three full-time police officers on your staff?”

“This is the largest police force area in England – our major crimes branch has sent us their major incident support team and we’re expecting an extra Detective to help with our investigations this morning.”

“But it’s true that you still have no suspects over forty-eight hours after-”

“We have many leads that we’re pursuing. I can’t comment on whether we have any suspects at this time.”

“So you do have at least one suspect?”

“I can’t comment on that, as I’ve said.”

“Is it true that she was tortured?”

“Excuse me, please.”

“Sergeant Carter.”

“Sergeant Carter.”

“Excuse me, please. Thank you.”

Carter, Tristram Bay’s highest ranking police officer, was a woman who, until two days ago, was pining after her missed opportunities. Tired of dealing with drunken surfers in the summer and corrupt boatmen in the winter, this is her one real case and she knows it. She walks into the station with purpose in her eyes.

“Morning Chief.”

“Morning Duncan.”

Duncan is surrounded by a mess of papers and his phone is ringing. The dim spark of life in his mammalian brain is wrinkled and frustrated.

“There’s lots of messages. I can’t seem to get anything in order. Ha ha!”

“The messages can wait.”

“What should I do with them? I don’t know where to start?”

“Not now, Duncan. I’m expecting the detective. Here.”

Carter gives Duncan a sweet pastry from her bag. His face eases into a grin. He immediately unwraps the treat and shoves it into his mouth.

“Thanks, Chief, but the detective’s been and gone,” he says, with a mouthful.

“Been and gone?”

“Strange one if you ask me.”

“Where did he go?”

“Said something about… let me remember this right… the… ecstatic… disappearance… of… the horizon.”

“Ecstatic what?”

“Said he’d meet you on the beach after the reporters had cleared out for the day.”

“The beach?”


“Where abouts on the beach?”

“Just said the beach.”

“Okay. Thanks, Duncan.”



“The messages?”

“You just focus on finishing that pastry, Duncan.”

Carter and her number two, Michael Chan, walk out onto the beach. In his head, Michael Chan is more of a surfer than a policeman but he turns up for work every day (after a couple of hours in the water).

“Looks funny somehow,” says Michael Chan.

“Must be him. Nobody else out here.”

“No surf at this time, Chief.”

“No. So you tell me.”

The tide is far out and the figure they see is a hundred metres ahead. The sun is blaring, hazing their vision.

“Something not right about him.”

“He’s the wrong way up.”


“Upside down.”

“I don’t follow.”

“He’s standing on his head.”

“Are you sure?”

“Either that or his ears have got toes on the end of them.”

Michael Chan laughs.

“You’re a dude, chief.”

“So you say.”

As they near the black silhouette the skyward legs open at the knees, creating a diamond of golden sunlight between them. A voice calls out.

“Glorious! Just glorious!”

“Detective Sunil Iyengar?” asks Carter.

Michael Chan squints and puts his hand above his eyes, reducing the sun’s glare. The silhouette’s legs slowly and expertly guide their feet back to the sandy ground.

“What a perfect bay,” says the detective, patting down the sides of his jacket, taking a breath and looking out to sea.

“You were on your head,” says Michael Chan.

“Indeed I was. A meditative practice. It's also a much more beautiful view, down on sea level. But you know all about that, being a surfer.”

“Dude! How did you know?”

“Just a simple matter of muscle distribution. You must be Sergeant Carter.”

The detective steps towards them both and holds out his hand to Carter.

“Just Carter.”

“Well met! Please, call me Sunny. Detective is far too formal.”

They shake hands.


"Michael Chan."

Sunny shakes Michael Chan’s hand.

“Fantastic! Now, before we get to work, I want you to know, I don’t believe in authority. Not one bit. I have no authority over you, nor you over me.”

“I love this dude!”

“A strange perspective for a man of the law.”

“The only authority I believe in is the authority of the inner light… I don’t want you to think of me as the detective from MCB who came here to take over your case. I’m more of a helping hand. A new set of eyes and ears. Somebody to work with, to get the best results. Do you think we can work on that presumption?”

“Sounds fair. But I’ll believe it when I see it.”

“I like you, Carter. You're smart. Now. The girl. A lovely lady with a Dalmatian told me that they found up there, on the Northern peak?”

"You didn't read the file?" asks Carter.

"I find that files have a way of making me focus on the wrong things. Up there?"


“Found by?”

“Found by everyone,” says Michael Chan.

“Discoveries are usually made in isolation, by one person, no?”

“A whole group of teenagers saw her, in town.”

“Teenagers? Her own age?”


"Known to her?"

"There's only one school. But she left three year ago. So maybe."

“And it was night time, yes?”


“But they could see her, all the way up there?”

“There was a white light on her.”

“A white light?”

“She was shining, bright as the moon,” says Michael Chan.

“Really? And it wasn’t the moon, shining on her?”

“No moon that night.”

“So, where was the light coming from?”

“That’s the weird thing. It didn’t seem to be coming from anywhere.”

“A white light coming from nowhere?”

“That’s right.”

“Fascinating. Shining on her skin?”

“Bright as the moon.”

“Let’s presume, for the time being, that the light did indeed have a source, but that nobody could see that source.”

“Makes sense.”

Sunny looks around.

“And the source definitely wasn’t the lighthouse, over on the Southern peak?”

“No. The lighthouse was working just the same as every night.”

“Perhaps a boat? On the water?”

“Didn’t seem to be.”

“There, you see. Your first expression of doubt. Michael Chan, I want you to get me a list of the names and addresses of everybody who owns a boat on the harbour. Carter, let’s go for a walk.”

“Where are we walking?”

“First of all, along this lovely beach, and then to see Sarah Jones’ parents.”

[Clue number one: the rules are new so we’ll keep it simple. The clue is in the comments stream of the video link below. There is also a clue within this clue that leads to another clue. Maybe that clue leads to another clue. You’ll never find them all. Life in the quantum universe just doesn’t work that way. Please dislike/thumbs down all clues you find to make them harder to find. You know more if others know less.]

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