Rose had been in Broadchurch for a few months. She had left her mother and ex boyfriend behind in London, sad to be leaving her mother but not the prat of an ex boyfriend. He'd been seeing an old friend of hers behind her back and she had found out. She had managed to save a bit of money and got on a train, thinking she would just cool off a bit then go back to London but she liked it where she had ended up. It was only a small seaside town and she'd managed to get a job part-time for the summer in a fancy coffee shop next to the town's Police Station and a room in a B&B since she got one meal at work, not that it was to her taste, it was all a bit posh for her.
Since the hours were stretched out over the day, she didn't have time to look for another daytime job and was looking out for a few hours doing nights, she had nothing else to do. There wasn't a lot of nightlife, not down on the seafront anyway. So a two hour a night cleaning job came up at the Police Station next door that one of the customers who worked there had told her about and she applied for it and since it started at five, she could more or less go straight there and it was well paid. It meant she had extra spending money and since she'd had to be checked out before getting the job, she assumed her record was clean then since she had got it but it had taken three weeks and she thought it had gone to someone else.
She started on a Monday night, she was given the job of cleaning the CID office, emptying bins, vacuuming and clearing cups of half consumed tea and coffee because apparently, Police Officers were too lazy to move and wash their cups before they left. Still, it passed the two hours and then she would drag herself back to the B&B, call at the fish and chip shop on the way back and sneak the food into her room. Well what did they expect her to live on? There was a big difference between the room only and half-board rate.
She had noticed the detective in charge was working late in his office after everyone had left and went to knock on his door before she left for the night. She had been warned to call everyone sir or ma'am if she had to speak to anyone or if they addressed her first.
She heard a grunt telling her to come in.
"Excuse me Sir, can I empty your bin and take any empty cups?" She had purposely left him until last.
He looked up from what he was doing, Rose supposed he wondered why he was being disturbed by the office cleaner.
"What? Yes, yes, do what you have to do and I've no cups, I clean my own. Don't take long about it."
Rose went to the side of his desk and emptied his waste paper basket into the bin liner she had with her and replaced it. She was just about to leave when he spoke again.
"I've not seen you before, where's the man that used to do that job?"
Rose put the bag she was holding down. "I don't know Sir, I just started tonight."
The detective looked at her. Just what he needed, a new cleaner. He had been there a week and everyone had avoided him apart from the cleaner.
"Well don't just stand there, shouldn't you have finished by now?" he asked, glancing at his watch.
Rose looked at the clock behind him. It was 18.55. "Yes Sir, I was just about to." Rose thought she would be out by now if he hadn't stopped her – prat.
She finished up and made her way to the cleaner's room and met two other women that worked there, they worked longer hours than she did she supposed and she said goodnight to them. They didn't offer any words of encouragement, the supervisor had shown her what her job was but she wasn't around.
The following night was the same routine, only she went into the detective's office earlier, he was still working again and Rose wondered if he had anywhere to go or he really liked his job. She didn't know how long he had worked there, he could have just started.
He had. Alec Hardy had been transferred, much to his annoyance to this dreary seaside town against his wishes for another town or city preferably somewhere in Scotland, not the south-west coast of England. He was far from happy and now his chances of a reconciliation with his daughter were totally shattered.
She knocked on his door again and got the same greeting only this time he claimed she was too early and to come back. Was he doing this on purpose? She couldn't take any chances, she needed the extra money for rent and things. She was just doing her other jobs when the supervisor came in.
"Hello Rose, how are you getting on?"
"Ok, thanks Mrs Graham."
"Oh don't call me that, it makes me sound old, Mary will do. How are you getting on with the grinch in there?"
Rose looked at her. "The grump, sitting in his ivory tower."
Rose daren't look around, he'd just told her to go back later and wished she had left him until last again, something she was now going to do.
"Oh him. I went in late last night and he told me I should have already finished then I go in early and he tells me to go back later, I can't win really."
Mary laughed. "The only person to get on with the detective has just left. Don't worry too much about him. If he complains to me about you I'll just humour him. He's new, only been here a week. Wait until DS Miller gets back, that will be fun."
"Why's that then?" Rose asked inquisitively.
"Because apparently, he got the job she was meant to get when she comes back on Friday morning." Mary smiled at her. "Don't take too much notice of him. See you later dear."
Rose just wished she would be around to see the detective come face to face with a woman whose job he had just taken. It would serve him right. She was roused from her thoughts by an office door closing behind her.
"You still here?" a Scottish voice asked.
Rose thought that was fairly obvious. It was only six thirty and she hoped he was leaving so she could clean his office.
"Yes Sir, I was waiting to do your office, can I go in now?"
"I suppose so. What's your name?"
"Rose Tyler, Sir."
He grunted something she couldn't make out and he went to the break area, making a bit of a mess when he put the spoon down and Rose silently wishing he would just go away. He went back into his office and Rose went to clean up. She thought he was a right royal pain in the ass.
Wednesday was pretty much the same. She waited until she had finished her other jobs, knocked on his door again, was greeted in the same gruff manner as previously and Rose thought no wonder everyone thought he was a grump. Why had he asked her to make it her last job? Why couldn't she just do it earlier and get it over with? Was he tormenting her?
Thursday night and by now, Rose was getting tired of his behaviour but not wanting to press her luck and have her supervisor stick up for her, she decided she would just have to stick it out and put up with it. She'd had worse jobs. She had seen the name on his office door, Detective Inspector Alec Hardy and hoped if he had a wife or girlfriend he didn't treat them the same way. She had just about finished when Hardy came out of his office, went to make a drink and she heard a spoon being thrown into the sink she had just cleaned.
She felt like screaming and telling him he was a rat for messing up what he could clearly see was a clean sink. Hardy just looked at her and went back to his office. He was going out of his way to get her annoyed. If he treated the last cleaner like this, no wonder he had left.
Glad to be finally out of his way, she made her way back to the B&B but later that night, she couldn't sleep. She didn't know if it was because that inconsiderate detective was going out of his way to annoy her or what it was so she got dressed and thought a walk along the cliff top would do her good so she made her way around and found herself on the coastal path overlooking the beach. It was brilliant moonlight and in the distance, she could see a small boat coming along the coast, fairly near the shore and was surprised it made its way towards the beach.
She was at the top of the path leading down but she was frozen to the spot as the boat was brought ashore and a dark figure got out, dragging the boat well onto the beach. Since she was fairly high up, she figured whoever it was wouldn't be looking for anyone so since she had her flat shoes on, she carefully made her way down, watching what was going on.
She was rooted to the spot halfway down as the figure went back and lifted something out of the boat. It looked like a child. It wasn't big enough to be an adult although it could have been a small woman but whoever was carrying this person was doing so with ease. She watched from her vantage point as the dark figure put whoever they were carrying down, turning them over so Rose assumed they were face down and laid out straight. Then the figure went back to the boat and brought out what looked like a skateboard and laid it beside the person on the beach.
By this time, Rose had realised she was looking at a body, not a living person or at least someone who was unconscious, not just sleeping but who would be out at this time, leaving a person on a beach and putting a skateboard down? Then she knew it had to be a child or a teenager. She started back down the cliff path again as the dark figure went back to the boat but suddenly, she dislodged a stone and it went hurtling down the path, landing heavily on the beach. Rose froze up again and scurried behind a bend in the path and behind a rock. Whoever was on the beach with the boat had turned around, looking both ways but not above but she was taking no chances.
Then the person on the beach turned away, probably thinking it was just a rock that had worked its way loose and Rose came out of her semi-safe hiding place and she saw the dark figure pull the boat back out to the water and get in it. She resumed the descent and was almost on the beach when the figure in the boat turned around and Rose dived for cover, listening to the sound of the engine fade into the distance.
She waited what seemed like an age before she dare move. There was no sound except for the waves and she figured whoever it was, they were long gone. Coming out from behind the corner of her hiding place, there was no-one in sight and the boat was nowhere to be seen, even in the distance. Whoever had been there must have thought they were being paranoid and just been spooking themselves. She stepped out onto the beach and approached where what she was now fairly certain was the body of a child and even in the moonlight, the way it was laid, she could tell it was the body of a young boy, eleven, maybe twelve years old, the brightly painted skateboard at his side.
She got out her phone and dialled 999 and asked for the police. She told them what she had seen and the operator took her name and where she was and told her to stay out of sight until uniformed Police Officers arrived. Five minutes later, Rose could see flashing blue lights around the corner of the next part of the cliffs where the entry to the beach was and she breathed a sigh of relief and stepped forward.
A woman PC approached her and asked if she was Rose Tyler and started asking her to repeat what she had told the operator but in greater detail. Rose was tired, she just wanted to go to bed. She wouldn't have a problem sleeping now. After giving more details and her contact number, the WPC said she could go but the detective in charge would want to question her in the morning and someone would call her. She was just making her way off the beach when she saw Hardy getting out of an unmarked car. He hardly acknowledge her as he passed by but he turned around, realising who she was and he called after her.
"You're the cleaner from the station."
Rose knew this was far from over, he would find every question he could to throw at her. She also didn't know that the killer had seen someone, what to them looked like a medium height blonde haired woman and there couldn't be that many of them in Broadchurch.
Hardy was thinking it was just his luck the office cleaner had to be the one to witness the dumping of a dead body. He was looking forward to asking her a few questions.