Monday, 30 December 2013

Find The Lady

Before I begin, this isn't really allowed. I mean, I'm allowed to blog about things that happen at work, but this case isn't really something the commissioner likes to boast about. But I'm going to blog about it anyway, as I think you'll find it interesting. I was driving down an avenue in the early hours morning on a Monday when my airwave handset crackled, telling me to go to a house on the other side of town. So that's where I drove, putting on the sirens to make sure any drunks, staggering home after a night on the town, weren't knocked down by me and my Vauxhall Astra mark 5, which I've been driving since we got them in 2007. I called the car 'Herbie' as I'd always wanted a beetle and my first call out in this car was to a drugs bust. But anyway that's why I loved driving IRVs in the early morning. The roads were empty and you usually only got called to reports of drunks and thefts. But this was neither and both at the same time.
Emma Polonskous, respected therapist, ex-taxi driver and budding recorder player, was seen being dragged from her home and put into a white van, by a drunk staggering home. He wasn't going to call the police, as he didn't really want to be a 'grass', but was almost hit by the van, so he reported it himself. I sat him down, in the back of my car, and took his name, his address and a statement. According to his statement, he was walking down the road, when he saw the door being kicked open, by a man with a hat pulled too far over his face for a positive description. Miss Polonskus, who was identified by her iconic ginger hair, was seen being dragged across the floor by the man then thrown into the back of the van. The van reversed onto the road, gently bumping the lamppost and then drove forward, lights blaring. It pulled to the right, trying to get into the right direction to drive, but ending up going slightly to far and nearly running the drunk over. He fell over the small bush and knocked half a mole hill into the pond. The van pulled forward, knocking into the bush and then pulled out, driving off.
Miss Polonskous' sister- who lived in the same house- didn't give us much information, apart from thinking she heard some noises downstairs and not finding her sister there the next morning. She also said that half way through the night, there had been a tiny bit of light shining through the curtains.
The stories seemed to make sense, the lights that the other Miss Polonskous reported were presumably made by the van. The pond the drunk reported to have kicked the mole hill into did actually have bits of dirt in, but there was no sign of an original hill. The bush did have a space where a van could have hit it and another space where the drunk could have jumped over. So I wrote all this up and, after being finally relieved about five hours later, went to bed.
When I woke up, I got a call from John on the desk at the station. Apparently they had a lead they wanted me to follow. Some patient of Miss Polonskous' had been causing a fuss for her, giving him a motive that went along perfectly with his means and opportunity. And he happened to be a magician.

So I took the tube to the station, signed in, changed into my uniform, collected the address from John on the desk and then drove there in Herbie. The Astra pulled to a stop outside a theatre alongside a white van, quite possibly the one the drunk had mentioned, and climbed out. A mouldy poster hung on the brick wall behind a box showing that the theatre was currently showing 'Miles Fletcher: Illusion.'
I opened the doors and walked in. A women came out from behind the check in desk and looked inquisitively at me.  "Hello? May I help you?"
"Yes." I flashed my warrant card. "Detective Sergeant Powell. I'm here to see one, Miles Fletcher."
"Through those doors, down the road then he'll be up on the stage about now."
I thanked her then followed her directions. I brushed besides a man holding an inflatable pig who had a picture of Mr Fletcher on his shirt and a name badge. I continued walking util I came into the main auditorium. A large sea of red chairs were sitting in front of the stage, with stage managers and technical experts watching, as Mr Fletcher showed an impromptu trick. He finished and then started rehearsing again. By the time I finally got to the stage, Mr Fletcher, a young man in a blue suit with ginger hair, was rehearsing a trick where he predicted a random word in the dictionary. He kicked the floor. "No, no, no, no, no!" He shouted. "The cut needs to be quicker, more realistic, more, more, honest!"
A man walked onto the stage and went over to him. "The footage isn't that good. It's harder to cut than you'd think, Miles."
The magician leant over to the mans name badge and peered at it. "Right, James. That's fine. If you could get the camera working, we'll re film it and then reset the entirety of the illusion!" He cried.
"I'm sorry, Miles, but-"
"When I first started out, I had half a coin and a few bits of string. You know what that's made me learn?"
"No, Miles."
"We have to work with what we've got." He calmed down quickly. "That's all. Ok. Now, go sort it. Who's that on your t shirt?"
"It's you, Miles." James replied, walking away.
"Oh, of course. Now, can you tell me who you are and why on Earth you don't have a name badge?" Mr Fletcher asked, turning to me.
I ran up the steps to join him on stage. I pulled out my warrant badge and flashed it at him. "DS Powell. I'm very sorry to say, Mr Fletcher, but you're under arrest."
"Whatever for?"
"Suspicion of the kidnap of this woman. Can you tell me who she is?" I showed him a picture of Miss Polonskous.
He looked at me and smiled. "I've never seen her before in my life, officer."
"You meet with her three times each month!" I cried.
"It doesn't mean I haven't seen her. Who is she?"
"Your therapist."
"Really? She's been kidnapped?"
"Yes. And we believe you're guilty." He came without a fuss, down to the station and, after some questioning, sent me off to look at his therapy notes.
When I came back, he was teaching the officer I'd assigned him a basic card trick. "And then you remove the ace from your left shoe. Hey presto and your friends are amazed."
"Excuse me." I interrupted.
"Hello, who are you?" He asked me.
"Mr Fletcher, it's me, DS Powell."
"Oh of course, terribly sorry."
"You're free to go, on the condition that you stick around here. We may need future interviews with you."
"Ok. Thank you very much, DS Powell. See you around."
He walked out and bumped into my boss on the way out. My boss asked."That's Fletcher, is it not?"
"Yes sir."
"Why's he leaving?"
"Because he couldn't possibly have kidnapped Miss Polonskous."
"Because he couldn't possibly have differentiated her from her sister."
"Why not?"
"Do you know why he was consulting the therapist in the first place, sir?"
"No. Why was he consulting her?"
"Because he suffers from face blindness."

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