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DossierWolf read through Declán's e-mail, ran a PNC check on the names and was not at all surprised to see that they'd come to the attention of the Metropolitan Police in the past.

Neighbours had called the police about Lindiwe Mzizana when they were concerned about her children. Their concern was well founded, as it appeared that her two young daughters weren't actually her children. The woman's story had changed several times — she was an aunt, a family friend — but a DNA test had proven she wasn't a blood relative. The girls hadn't been able to provide enough information about their parents to help police track them down and were currently in foster care.

Wolf absently twisted her labret as she scrolled through the data. The officer in control of the case thought that the girls may have come from West Africa and had issued bulletins to all relevant embassies to see if the children's parents could be found. There had been no word so far.

A check on Nkosinathi Ngema, the friend Mrs Mzizana was staying with, turned up a similar colourful history. He had counts for petty theft, GBH and domestic violence. One incident of domestic violence included a brief note that, while they hadn't be hurt, the woman's child had been visibly afraid of the man.

Aside from the usual round of charges, it appeared that Mr Ngema had brought himself to the attention of Customs and Excise for dodgy imports. As none of the items confiscated meant much to Wolf, she printed off a copy for reference.

Picking up the phone, Wolf made a call to the officer in charge of the case. It turned out that the good Mr Ngema was trafficking in muti, items used by traditional healers in South Africa, some of which were on the prohibited list for importation.

Following the officer's suggestion, she called Professor Winston Barnes, who often consulted on cases involving muti and arranged for a meeting.

Looking over the notes she'd made, Wolf still couldn't pinpoint why she was concerned. She picked up the phone and called her brother. "You keeping an eye on the lad?"

"Yeah. I'm back in the park." Declán watched Samuel as the boy ran by with the football, a horde of small boys chasing after him.

Wolf shuffled her paperwork into a neat pile and slid it into a folder. "Cool. Info is still a bit sketchy so far, there's nothing concrete to warrant calling in Social Services, but I don't want Samuel going home. Can you keep the lad company for a while longer?"

"Sure. What's going on?"

"I'm not sure, but something isn't right." Wolf told him about the history of the boy's mother and her friend. "Luckily, it's garbage night, so I've sent someone around to swipe their bin bags. They'll be here in half an hour. Once I've gone through it, I'm going to have a personal chat with this Professor Barnes."

Wolf hung up and stared at the screen, willing the information to start making sense. When it declined to co-operate, she sighed to herself, grabbed a box of gloves by the door and headed down to the garage. With any luck a rifle through Mrs Mzizana's garbage would give her some idea of what was going on.


15minuteficletsword #96: vitriol
moonbeamsfanfic — challenge: declán and a child
Part of the Sangoma!verse and the Wolf&Declán!verse


( 16 howls — talk to the wolf )
5th Mar, 2005 16:03 (UTC)
ooh faster faster ::stops stirring plot and brings out flame thrower::
6th Mar, 2005 03:14 (UTC)
I'm just going to plod along with this and see if it goes in (vaguely) planned directions or heads off somewhere new and interesting. ::dons asbestos underwear::
6th Mar, 2005 22:25 (UTC)
::dons asbestos underwear::

ach, curses!
5th Mar, 2005 16:37 (UTC)
Eiouw! Real world horror is a bit too much for me.

6th Mar, 2005 03:15 (UTC)
Think I'll take that as a complement.
6th Mar, 2005 16:32 (UTC)
Think I'll take that as a complement.

Please do. Beautifully written as ever. :)

It was just that it brought this news story to mind

6th Mar, 2005 21:54 (UTC)
Considering you're from the UK, I'm not surprised you've run across that. The Mirror managed to screw up most of the story, but the basic elements are correct.

And it is the story that kicked this off, so provided no one runs back and reads the comments, everyone else will be happily in the dark.
5th Mar, 2005 19:00 (UTC)
Okay, if there's no blood relation and abuse and criminal activities are suspected, why haven't they taken the kids away from them yet? Isn't that enough to go on?
6th Mar, 2005 03:21 (UTC)
So far it's nothing but suspicion. The abuse and criminal activities were in other cases, not this one, if it's actually a relationship at all. Samuel may actually be her child. And the only actual crime seems to be a bit of dodgy importation.

While you may be pretty damn sure something isn't right, the law really can't step in until after the fact.

According to FictionPress, this is now over the 2,000 word mark and still has a way to go. Looks like you're getting your money's worth with this Decá fic.
6th Mar, 2005 04:51 (UTC)
Gotcha. ;)

I am very pleased with how this little project has turned out. I was originally only hoping for a short little story, though yes over 2000 words. But with you writing it as a series of ficlets, it's turning out even better. The tone is more suspenseful, and it's building slow enough that it looks like you've got quite a few more parts to come before it'll be finished. It gives me something wonderful to look forward to each night. Really, Wolf, I'm loving it.

If I haven't said it yet, thank you!
(Deleted comment)
14th Mar, 2005 06:26 (UTC)
The vast bulk of Social Services people do their best for people. Unfortunately, it tends to be a department mired in bureaucracy and run by pissant little psychopaths, who spend their time making the staff jump through rings and actively interfering in casework to the detriment of all.

The bitch in charge of the department in my state has interfered in cases where her actions have resulted in deaths. She doesn't give a toss. Thanks to the state premier dismantling all independent watchdog organisations, there's nobody stopping her from doing it again.
5th Mar, 2005 22:56 (UTC)
Oh dear... *nibbles fingernails*
6th Mar, 2005 03:22 (UTC)
Know, if I can just live up to the suspense with the rest of the story.
6th Mar, 2005 23:42 (UTC)
I am determinedly not following the link to the news story, so you certainly have a good chance of keeping me in the dark and on tenterhooks! :-)
7th Mar, 2005 04:43 (UTC)
Nice plot framework. (It had me biting my nails, as well.) It'd be interesting to see which direction this one eventually decides to take. What's up with the box of gloves?
7th Mar, 2005 04:59 (UTC)
Wolf is about to rummage through a bin bag that she had picked up from Mrs Mzizana's house. There may be something work salvaging as evidence.
( 16 howls — talk to the wolf )