Thursday, 23 January 2014

Find the Lady (part 7)

I drove there straight away in Herbie, once I'd arrived at the station. I couldn't believe how and why. I'd told my boss, but he didn't believe me. I was going in alone. I was going to have to make the arrest myself. I was looking forward to it.
I drove to the familiar address and pulled to a stop outside the door. Fletcher stepped out of a phone box and walked over to me. "Hello DS Powell. Nice to see you without the fear of arrest."
I accepted my notebook from him. "Mr Fletcher. Nice to see you without the fear of you preparing to pickpocket me."
Fletcher smiled. "An honour. I was just using the skills I use to mingle in the interval."
I grinned. "You do realise I could arrest you for that?"
"Yes, but you won't."
"Give me one reason why I shouldn't?"
"Because I already stole your handcuffs." He grinned and held out his hand with the handcuffs sat in it.
I snatched them back and put them on my belt. "No more kidding around Fletcher. Now, you're going to help me."
We turned to the house. It wasn't that big, but also wasn't that small. Not an overly wealthy person but not an underly wealthy person either. Or, as Fletcher was explaining, perhaps two people. One very rich. One just above poor. "Two people abducted her. That's obvious."
"Because the tramp is a different person to the one who got her out of the door."
I stopped him. "The tramp is one of them?"
"Yes. He's one of them. He owns the white van as well."
"I got that bit. Now, if the tramp owns the white van, tell me how the tramps report is true, as you say it is."
"I didn't say it's true. I said he's made it true. Piece of information one, the scattering of the bushes. Pieces of the bush had been pulled forward, to create the illusion of the van driving into it, and pieces had been pulled into the garden to create the illusion of the tramp jumping over. A hole had been dug in the bushes to conceal something, the dirt being put into the pond to create the illusion of knocking over the mole hill. The hole was concealing a hammer, that I saw glinting in the light, and that was used to knock a shape into the lamppost the van purportedly reversed into."
I grinned. This guy was a genius. Dabs was going to be fired. I'd found someone else to replace her. "Tell me though," I said, a doubt creeping into my mind, "What were the lights the other Polonskous saw through the window?"
Fletcher smiled. "The security lights of the garden he was in went off. Lit up the windows."
This guy was more than a genius. He was a god. But don't tell him I said that.
Fletcher knocked on the door twice. We heard a shuffling. The door creaked open slightly and James the van driver looked out. I smiled at him. "You're under arrest."
The door slammed shut and he ran for it. Fletcher turned to me. "After them, partner?"
"Don't call me that again."
I pressed my foot against the side of the lock, as is officially recommended and slammed my foot forward.  The door swung open and we raced through the hallway, quickly looking into each room, peering around for the two kidnappers. I caught a glimpse of a hair brush, with locks of ginger hair strewn across it. I hit the kitchen, sliding towards the counter, but I continued towards the door.
I was in a good shape, had to be, I'm a policeman, but Fletcher was better. He was following the floor towards the fence, tracing out the route of the kidnappers. We climbed over the fence, covered in ivy, and looked at the two people racing down the street. "Stop!" I cried. "Police. And a magician!"
We raced after them, me grabbing my radio and pressing the button. The desk sergeant answered me.
"How can I help you Tango Whiskey 8?"
"Requesting back up. On foot following two IC1 adults. One female, one male. Connected to the," I shut up for a second, I was running up a hill, "Polonskous kidnap."
The desk sergeant paused. "Consider that sorted Tango Whiskey 8. Please, can you give me an address and I'll send in the local IRVs."
I gave him the address.
"Thank you, TW8." There was silence. I and Fletcher continued after the two white adults. We rounded the corner into a housing district. My radio buzzed. "This is TW6, requesting more information from TW8."
I pressed the button down. "This is TW8 to TW6. What information do you want?" Far off, I could hear the sirens.
"More information on the location and identification of the IC1 adults."
I continued running, losing sight momentarily. "One male, one female. Male is tall. Possibly 5;6. Hair brown, large chin. Wearing an apron. Female, average height. Couldn't say anything about her attire. Can be easily identified by distinctive red hair."
"Do you have a positive identification?"
"Yes. He's called James, been reported for," I turned to Fletcher.
"Unpaid speeding fines."
"Been reported for unpaid speeding fines. She's called Emma Polonskous. Therapist. Recently added to the missing peoples list."
TW6 went quiet. There was a possibility of two things that he could be thinking. A: I'd gone mad. B: he'd gone mad. So he gave me the question to confirm it. "Please repeat."
"The IC1 female is called Emma Polonskous. She used to be a therapist. She's recently been added to the missing peoples list."
"Emma Polonskous? Isn't she the one you've reported to have been kidnapped?"
"Correct. I'll explain it once they've been caught."
We continued. About three minutes later, the road Emma Polonskous and James the van driver had been running down was blocked, by TW6, driven by DS Banner.
"James Tappen, you're under arrest for wasting police time and intention to black mail." I turned to Emma. "Emma Polonskous, you're under arrest for also wasting police time and conspiracy to black mail." I had DS Banner drive them down to my nick. We walked back to Herbie and drove to the station. We went in and my boss demanded what was going on.
"Well you see sir, Mr Fletcher here worked it all out." I explained.
Fletcher took my lead and started explaining it to my boss. "Emma Polonskous and James were a couple, and they wanted to disappear. Emma's therapists was falling apart, so she arranged for them to leave. She got James to pretend he was a drunk, calling DS Powell here and telling him a story about what happened."
"Why report it at all?"
"This is my favourite bit. You see, for some unknown reason, James didn't like me. And because of how bad he was being paid, he wanted to rip me off. The details of his story, incriminated me, the white van thing in particular, and also he went into the therapists complaining about me, hence the conversation with the new receptionist."
My boss had him explain it a few more times and then smiled, accepting the answer. He wasn't happy about it. Of course he wasn't, he hadn't solved it, but I was happy. This affair was over, and I could move onto a new case. After celebrating with Fletcher in the pub, that is.

"So how did you become face blind?" I asked, placing down my beer and my teetotal friends orange juice.
"On holiday in Spain as a child, I started getting these headaches. Became dizzy, fell unconscious. When I woke up, I couldn't recognise a single face. And so over the years, lots of therapists have done their best and completely failed. But anyway! Now to more pressing matters."
He reached into his pocket and drew a deck of cards. "Would you like to see a magic trick?"

Monday, 20 January 2014

Find the Lady (part 6)

I consulted the notebook. looking at the different pieces of information DS Powell had found. There were a few interesting things but nothing was conclusive. I made a list of things I need to work out.
First on my list was the crime scene.
I walked to Munster Avenue, having changed into a fiendish disguise at the theatre. To complete strangers, it would have seemed as if a police man was walking up and down the street. But to me, it would as if I was walking up and down the street, mainly because I was.
According to the drunk, who I was going to check out later, my therapist Emma had been dragged from her home and put into a white van. My first move was to check out the door step. There was no doubt that everything I was doing had already been done by the forensics team, but I thought I may as well do it again. There wasn't a car on the drive, so the balance of probability suggested that the other Polonskous wasn't there. I ran up to the door step and had a look around. She'd been identified by the colour of her hair, but when I had a look at the large prickly bush, made up of sticky weed- the type you play with on the field during the summer at school- and there was absolutely no hair whatsoever! I gave the drunk the benefit of the doubt, so my next move was to check out everything else. I ran over to the bushes on the side of the road. Powells scrawly handwriting had dictated that the van had nearly hit the drunk, giving him a motive to report it to the police. Apparently, the van had hit the lamppost. I took a survey of all the lampposts. The only one with a mark that could have been made by a white transit van, as specified in the notebook, was in the wrong place all together. If they were going to place the lady in the back of the van,  then the reversing van would have to hit into a completely different lamppost. Which meant that that detail was wrong. Two details wrong so far. But again, I gave the drunk the benefit of the doubt. The next detail was that it reversed to far, nearly running the drunk over. In fact, it made him fall over one of the small bushes and knock over a mole hill into a pond. I had a look. Firstly, I had a look at the leaves pulled into the garden by the falling drunk. This was the first bit of evidence that stood up. It was entirely possible that the leaves in the garden were pulled there by the drunks feet. Next I looked at the pond. As the notebook said, there was mud in the pond but no sign of where the mud could have come from. I looked up and saw a bunch of security lights. But I continued back to the bush, where in the gutter I could see some bits of the bush, blown there by the wind from the pavement where they'd been deposited by the van pulling forward. I checked the bushes, rooting for where the mud could have come from. And I saw something, shining. That was my first new clue. And I was pleased with it indeed. 

My next move took me to my therapists. Last time I was there, I witnessed the girl on the desk be fired, so I knew the person on the desk now wouldn't know me. Also, he was a man.
"Hello." I said, smiling at him. "I was wondering whether you could book me an appointment with Miss Polonskous."
"I'm sorry sir," he said in that patronising tone that receptionists and PE teachers master so well, "but she's been kidnapped."
I acted shocked. "Oh no! That's terrible! I'll alert the station straight away!" I messed around with my fake radio. "Alright, thank you. The police are on there way to interview you. Is there another part to Miss Polonskous I could talk to?"
"She lives with her sister, is that ok?"
I shook my head. "A boyfriend perhaps?"
"Oh yes. A lovely man. I've got his address somewhere around here." He searched around for the address. "Ah yes. Here we are." He handed me a piece of paper. "You may want to also check out one of her clients. Miles Fletcher. A man was in here the other day complaining about him, telling me all about the problems he'd been causing her."
I walked out. That was a lie. A blatant lie. And I was going to prove it so.

Over the next two weeks, I investigated further. And once I'd finally worked it out, I called Powell.
I was outside the place I expected Polonskous to be at eleven o clock, as I dialled Powells number from the business card in the back of the notebook I'd stolen. He picked up on the fifth ring and I greeted him saying, "Is this DS Powell?" 
"Yes who is this?" He replied, curious. 
"Miles Fletcher, Detective. Who else?" 
"How did you get my phone number?" 
"It on the card in the back of your notebook. Which I'd like to return to you, if that would be ok. Also, I believe I may have some information for you."
"What information?" 
"I can take you to Emma Polonskous, and I can tell you who kidnapped her."
"Tell me who kidnapped her and I'll come."
I said two names, two names I knew well.
"Well I wasn't expecting that." I heard him say.
I gave him an address and he agreed to come. I'd always thought the bits in the detective stories where the detective pulled everyone together to reveal the murderer was a bit far fetched. And now, I was going to be the detective.

Find the Lady (part 5)

I watched the girl in the window pick up her phone from where I hid on Blackpool Road. Powell was moving quicker than I thought. That wasn't good.
I ran quickly down Blackpool Road, panting as I heard the acceleration of a car far away. I was running past the therapists when I realised a flaw in my plan. I grabbed my phone and called James, the one who drives the van. He said he was busy, on a date or something with his new girlfriend, but I  insisted he came. So that's exactly what he did.
I saw James white van pull to a stop on Miss Polonskous' road and so I ran towards the van, signalling for James to get out. I knew Powell was still watching me from the corner of the street, so I   took another sip from the hip flash I started using when the girl in the window had started watching me. James walked over to me, looking unhappy, not that I could be sure.
"Thanks for this James. Are you ready for a magic trick?"
He looked at me grimacing. "Are you serious?"
"Ok." I returned. "You can be my glamorous assistant. When I knock this fake knife against you, I want you to fall to the floor and pretend to be dead. Ok?"
He nodded his head.
I checked over my shoulder, making sure Powell was still watching, scratched my head and thrust my fake knife into James' chest. He fell to the floor, a bit overly dramatically, and I sat down on the wall.
It had got me the reaction I craved.  
DS Powell ran towards me screaming, quite unoriginally, "Police! Stop!"
I climbed up from the wall. "Hello," I paused, as if to give the illusion I was looking at the name tag on his belt. I didn't need to though, as I recognised the registration plate on Powells car, "DS Powell."
The whole situation had made me confused as to who the man I'd invited was- not only do I have face blindness, but my memory's awful as well- so I used the first name that came into my head. "You can get up now, George."
The dead body climbed up, obviously finding it funny now that he knew what this was all about. "Its James, Miles."
"Oh, sorry. Wait in the van, I'll talk to Powell here."
James said something I didn't quite hear and then went back to the van. The policeman stopped in front of me. "I knew you weren't face blind!" He cried.
"In correct once again, Detective!" I replied.
"I'm sorry?"
"Your name is on the pass on the belt." I lied.
He shook his head. "What rubbish!"
"The need not to look straight at your face allows me to observe minor details. Such as the fact your notebook is in your left pocket. I know that because the pocket has a slight bump in."
He shook his head. "That's my wallet Fletcher, my notebook is in this top pocket." He tapped the pocket on his breast.
"Can't always be right! Anyway, nice to see you here, DS Powell. How can I help you?" I took another swig.
"I want to know why you're here?"
"Because I wanted to give my condolences to the other Miss Polonskous."
"Well, at the station, we'd rather it if you'd leave Miss Polonskous and any other elements of this case alone. Now, get along on your way."
I gave the signal to James in the van. He drove off. I turned back around. "Not likely."
"Are you refusing?"
I walked forwards a bit and took a swig from my hip flask. "Yes I am!"
"You've five seconds to change your mind."
I took another swig and started walking towards him, tripping slightly. I fell on him, pretending to be drunk. My hands flapped all over his chest, as I'd intended for them to, and I managed to pinch his notebook, as I'd intended to. "Right then," he said. "Let's get you back to the theatre."
He helped me across the road to the car and stuck me in the back, taking my fake knife, coming so close to finding the notebook.
He drove me back to the theatre and, pulling the car to a stop, helped me towards the box office. He got the girl on reception to look after him and he walked out.
I continued my drunk act for slightly longer, until I was sure he was gone. I jumped up, surprising the girl and shouted, sarcastically and in honour of Holmes, "The Game is Afoot!" Swinging DS Powells notebook in the air.

Monday, 13 January 2014

Find the Lady (part 4)

As with everyday, I woke up at eight o clock in the morning. I couldn't tell you why I did that, it was just what I'd always done. I climbed out of bed, cleaned my teeth and face and dressed in a blue suit. I checked my voice mails and listened impatiently as the receptionist from the therapists explained as to how they were going to have to ask for more money, for each of my sessions. The next message was from the theatre, saying how there'd been several complaints from one of the James about the way I paid him. I had lots of people called James working for me, it meant that there was a high probability that if I said James to everyone, I'd one day get it right. I'm face blind you see, but I'll get to that later.
I grabbed my blue suit jacket and ran out of my apartment towards the theatre. I arrived at the theatre, a bit out of breath, and after regaining my composure, walked toward the door. I entered, nodding to the man on the desk and then continued down the corridor- nicknamed the road- and towards the main auditorium. I mean this in the nicest way possible, but I don't really like the hubbub of a busy theatre. Because of my face blindness, I have to remember who people are by listening to their voices, and other things like that, but in a busy theatre, it's so loud you can't hear them properly.
I continued to the stage and threw off my jacket, walking up the steps to the side and onto the wings, where the technical James, as specified by his name badge, was setting up the trapeze, which I used for the Russian twins transformation.
We spent most of the morning rehearsing, finishing off with the pigs will fly illusion. The pig was lowered from the ceiling, going into the cabinet which I then adjusted the dial on. The cabinet hummed and opened slightly at the bottom. A tray of bacon slid out, arranged perfectly into the shape of the three of hearts. I went onto the wings and took a barmcake and a bottle of brown sauce. One of the men came onto the stage and took the pig, taking it away to the props room, whilst I ate my bacon sandwich.
I finished it off, a lovely meal indeed, then decided to amuse the technical staff with an impromptu illusion. I finished off the trick then went back to rehearsal. We were perfecting the dictionary illusion, one of my personal favourites, when I realised how lousy the cut was for the prediction.
"No, no, no, no, no!" I shouted. "The cut needs to be quicker, more realistic, more, more, honest!"
Someone from the side of the stage walked on. "The footage isn't that good. It's harder to cut than you'd think, Miles."
I leant over to the mans badge and stared. It was technical James. "Right, James. That's fine. If you could get the camera working again, we'll re film it and then reset the entirety of the illusion!"
James bowed his head in shame. "I'm sorry Miles, but-"
I interrupted. "When I first started out, I had half a coin and a few bits of string. You know what that's made me learn?"
He shook his head. "No, Miles."
"We have to work with what we've got." I calmed down exceptionally quickly. "That's all. Ok. Now, go sort it." I stared at the face on his shirt, wondering who it was. "Who's that on your t shirt?"
"It's you, Miles." James walked off.
"Oh, of course. Now, can you tell me who you are and why on Earth you don't have a name badge?" I turned to the man standing at the bottom of the stage. He was wearing a policeman's uniform, but it was still possible he wasn't a policeman.
He ran up the steps to join me and pulled a warrant badge to me, flashing in my face. "DS Powell. I'm very sorry to say, Mr Fletcher, but you're under arrest." I guess that meant he was a policeman.
"Whatever for?" How could I be under arrest?
DS Powell replied, holding up a picture of someone I didn't recognise. I never recognise anyone. "Suspicion of the kidnap of this woman. Can you tell me who she is?" 
I smiled at him patronisingly and, with my well known charm and theatrically, declared, "I've never seen her before in my life, officer."
"You meet with her three times each month!" The officer 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."
I came without a fuss, down to the station and after some questioning, I said, "Do you know why I see a therapist?"
His reply, of course, was no. So I sent him off to find my therapy notes.
He assigned me an officer and went off. The officer, who had heard I was a magician, asked me to teach him a magic trick. I taught him one of the first magic tricks I'd ever known. I taught him the gypsy shuffle then explained how to incorporate it with another trick where a spectators card was found in someones shoe. The door opened, but I didn't notice. "And then you remove the ace from your left shoe. Hey presto and your friends are amazed."
"Excuse me." The person at the door interrupted.
"Hello, who are you?" I asked.
"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." I bumped into someone and apologised, walking out of the police station and onto the street. A girl watched me from above the sweet shop and I took a sip of something for part of a long game. I felt the knife in my pocket and smiled. My plan was going to work.

Thursday, 9 January 2014

Find the Lady (part 3)

I drove away from the theatre and started heading back to the station, calling Dabs to ask if she wanted to go down the pub with me. She said she couldn't, as she was out to buy a cat for future excuses, so I decided to go and check on the progress of the case.
I received a very simple answer. There wasn't any.
Fletcher was our only lead, and despite the search for others, nothing had come up. I did explain to them that it was purely a message on Miss Polonskous' answer machine that had lead us to suspect them, but they didn't listen. A few believed the face blind evidence, but not enough for it to be factored into the investigation. So we continued.

Two weeks passed, no new leads coming up. The investigation continued at the same, slow, dreary pace and, decided that nothing was coming of it, a lot of the officers assigned to this case being reassigned. So there I was, eleven o clock in the morning and fast asleep, having come straight from my IRV shift, when I suddenly heard a phone buzzing. It was my own, of course as I lived alone, so I answered it.
"Is this DS Powell?" The voice, familiar asked.
"Yes. Who is this?" I retorted, curious.
"Miles Fletcher, Detective. Who else?"
"How did you get my phone number?"
"It was on the card in the back of your notebook. Which I'd like to return to you, if that would be ok. Also, I believe I may have some information for you."
"What information?" I asked.
"I can take you to Emma Polonskous, and I can tell you who kidnapped her."
"Tell me who kidnapped her and I'll come."
He said the two names, two names I knew well.
"Well I wasn't expecting that." I replied.
He gave me an address and I said I'd meet him soon. How we'd never worked it out, I'd never know. But soon, I'd know how he had.

Hello! This isn't currently DS Powell writing, it's Luke, the lad who writes these blogs. If you follow my twitter account- and if not, why not?- you'll have read my recent tweet declaring this story a seven parter, how exciting! Anyway, as it may seem a little far fetched that I could stretch this out for another four instalments, I thought it may be important to explain that the next three parts are going to be from Mile Fletchers point of view, explaining how the case is actually solved. Then, after that, part seven will be written from DS Powells point of view, telling us the explanation. I don't know about you, but the first seventh parters on this very blog is going to be very exciting!

Tuesday, 7 January 2014

Find the Lady (part 2)

My boss took me by the arm and dragged me into his office. He sat me down in his chair and looked at me. His eyes were coloured with shame and he looked at me, shaking his head. "In all my time as a policeman, I have never heard such a rubbish reason for releasing the key suspect!"
"In my defence, sir, it all checks out."
"Face blindness, Powell! Face blindness! Its complete and utter rubbish!"
"I was thinking the exact same, sir, so I googled it and it all checks out! Prosopagnosia, otherwise known as face blindness, is a disorder of face perception where the ability to recognise faces is impaired whilst other aspects of visual processing-"
"I don't care what wikipedia says, Powell! You are a detective sergeant! Get after him and prove him guilty! Get out!"
I climbed off my chair and went to walk out of the door when he stopped me. "And never believe such a stupid suggestion ever again!"

I walked out of the nick and climbed into Herbie, pulling my airwave out of the glovebox. I called my friend Dabs- who we call so because she lives above a sweet shop, dealing especially with sherbet, on the road that leads out of the nick- and asked her whether she'd seen any gingers in blue suits walking out.
The answer was yes, and that he was heading down Blackpool road, on the phone and drinking something. 
I thanked her sincerely and then accelerated down Blackpool road. I knew where he was heading, and it wasn't good. Blackpool road led down, past the GPs/therapists and, after the crossing of three roads and about a two minute walk, onto Munster avenue. Where Emma Polonskous had lived.

I didn't put on the sirens, as I didn't want to draw anymore attention to myself. I negotiated the roads and continued, pulling on to Munster to see a white van pulling onto the road. A ginger man, Fletcher presumably, was waving to the van. It pulled to a stop and man climbed out, running over to Fletcher. I parked my car on the end of the road, in a position that Fletcher couldn't see it and climbed over into the passengers seat, allowing myself a better view. Fletchers first move was to scratch his head and then pull out a knife stabbing the van driver. The van driver fell to the floor. Fletcher placed the knife back in his pocket and sat down on the wall.
I, however, was too busy climbing out of the car. I tripped out and ran forwards, shouting, a little too high, the best words any policeman could think of in a time of crisis. "Police! Stop!"
Fletcher gave me a wave and stood up, stretching. "Hello," he paused, "DS Powell. You can get up now George."
The dead body climbed up and grinned. "It's James, Miles."
"Oh, sorry. Wait in the van, I'll talk to Powell here."
The van driver muttered some words and walked off. I pulled to a stop in front of Fletcher. "I knew you weren't face blind!" I cried.
"Incorrect once again, Detective!" The magician replied.
"I'm sorry."
"Your name is on your pass on the belt."
I looked down and shook my head. "What rubbish!"
"The need not to look straight at your face allows me to observe minor details. Such as the fact your notebook is in your left pocket. I know that because the pocket has a slight bump in."
I shook my head. "That's my wallet Fletcher, my notebook is in this top pocket," I said, tapping a pocket on my breast.
"Can't always be right! Anyway, nice to see you here, DS Powell. How can I help you?"
"I want to know why you're here?"
"Because I wanted to give my condolences to the other Miss Polonskous."
"Well, at the station, we'd rather like it if you'd leave Miss Polonskous and any other elements of this case alone. Now, get along on your way."
The magician turned around and gave the van driver a signal, to get him to drive off. Miles turned back around. "Not likely."
"Are you refusing?"
He walked towards me and took a swig of something. "Yes I am!"
"You've five seconds to change your mind."
He took another swig and started walking towards me, tripping. He fell on me, obviously drunk. I picked him up and handcuffed him. "Right then," I said. "Let's get you back to the theatre." I helped him across the road to Herbie and stuck him into the back, taking his fake knife off him.
I drove him back to the theatre and pulled the car to a stop, helping him towards the box office. I got the girl on reception to look after him and I walked out, back to Herbie. I wondered what that was all about on my way to apologise to Miss Polonskous about Fletcher. Little did I know, as cliched as it may sound, that I would be meeting the face blind magician once again, and it would be an interesting encounter indeed!