Tuesday, 2 September 2014

The Evolving Robber (part 3)

I and Robin raced immediately out of the flat and to floor four, where we found the door ever so slightly open and the occupant on the floor inside. I took a couple of pictures of the door on my phone and then raced inside, across the room to the occupant. She was new to the building, but an artist from what I'd heard, and her hair was the same fiery red as Robin's. I checked her pulse and was pleased to discover she was still alive, just unconscious. "She's going to have a large bruise." I said.
"I'll get some witch-hazel." Robin replied, going back to the door. "They closed the door on their way out. But why not fully close it? It would have given them extra time from being discovered. And why isn't the lock broken?"
I looked up at her. "They're evolving robbers, Robin. Look at this room. It's been searched not ransacked like all the others. They've been learning to be more discreet all the way along."
"Then why don't the doors look like they've been picked? They kicked the door open, obviously, but the locks are stronger than that."
"Because they haven't been. The doors were left open, cause she's an artist and her spirit is free and so is her flat." She went to ask a question but I silenced her. "And I'm ashamed you didn't notice there wasn't a notch in the wall behind, because they didn't kick it in. They pulled it open and then made it look like they'd kicked it in."
"Firstly: why? And secondly: how did they actually get in, then?"
I looked up at her. "There are in surplus of five psychopathic evolving robbers searching through a building for something too big to steal, who have terrified a daily and beaten up a young woman. Do you really think they have a logic?"
"Good point. My second question?"
I smiled and led her to the window. "Elementary, my dear Greenhouse. As you should more than easily be able to see, those flowers down there look healthy, yes?"
"Yes." Robin replied, looking at the flowers on the outside windowsill. "They look lovely. Weirdly spaced, but you know, I'll go along with it."
"They aren't weirdly spaced." I said. "All though, I can see why you think they are." The flowers were planted at either end of the windowsill box. "They're positioned so you can see the city through the gap in between. I guess you could call it, 'Nature Reclaims the City.'"
"Where did you get all that from?"
I jerked my thumb towards the large canvas on a easel to my side. It showed the city through the gap in between the two flowers, with the flowers over hanging it. At the bottom were the words 'Nature Reclaims the City.'
"There was me thinking you were being arty."
"Conform to that delusion, Robin. It makes me more impressive."
"That's too impressive for me to handle."
I wasn't entirely sure what she was saying, so I continued being a detective. "Look at the painting though. The soil is light, flowing even! But look at it in real life, it's tightly pack, holding a tiny imprint of something. I'm no florist, that was my dad's job, but even I know that isn't good for a plant. And look at this lady, she loves plants. She must do, she paints loads of them. So, the question is: why is that they're like that?"
Robin didn't have an answer. But I did.
"Because they've been stepped on when the burglars entered. Which means they entered via the fire exit, which means they couldn't come in from the outside. Which means?"
"The doors are locked?"
"No, Rachel's friends got in."
"They would have been recognised."
She grinned and helped the artist up to the chair, and told her what had happened. Then we raced out of the room and down the steps all the way to the reception. It was large wooden room, with a circular desk behind which waited the night shift staff. Doors waited on either side of it. One led to the flat kitchens and the other to the garages. I ran to the desk. "There's been a series of break in's upstairs."
"I heard." The night shift guy said.
"That there'd been a break in or the break in taking place?" Robin asked.
"That's not important." I replied. "Did six men come in today?"
"Yeah, about three or four hours ago."
I nodded. "Have you got CCTV footage?"
"No, sir. Of course not!" He seemed generally insulted. "It's against our privacy policy."
"Then what's that glinting metal thing on the ridge up there?" I asked, pointing to a small metal thing, obscured by a plant upon the ridges beneath the house badge.
"Sir, please don't tell anyone! The terms and conditions state that the people of this building have complete and utter privacy. But we'd be massacred by the insurance if something like this happened, so we had to install it anyway."
"I won't tell anyone," I stared at his name badge, "Mr McLain, but I need to see the footage."
He manoeuvred the monitor so we could see it over the great desk, and he played back footage from three or four hours ago. Six men, all wearing black and all very tall, approached the desk and consulted McLain. They told him they had been invited to a party and that he had to let them in. He nodded. And then, as he fiddled for the buzzer for the door to the stairs, they looked directly into the camera. "Gotcha." I muttered.
McLain froze it and I stared at the picture. "I know him." I said.
Robin turned to me. "What?"
"I know him. He's- oh my god! Quickly, I know where they're going."
We raced back towards the door that led to the stairs and I opened it with my electronic fob. Then we thundered up the uneven staircase, round and round in odd step circles. We raced up, all the way to the fifth floor where there were two doors. One had been opened ever so slightly, and when we peered in, we saw the occupant catatonic but conscious. The other one led to my flat. And it, too, had been ripped open. We thundered up the spiral staircase and we came out to see everyone cowering behind my desk from the six armed and dangerous- and very tall- men who stood before them. The men seemed to be kicking and beating something, so I jumped up and cried, "Stop!"
They didn't stop, so I tried my other best idea. "Stop right now! I know who you are, Lochlan McFarlan."
Nobody gasped or looked shocked, and it was another minute till the EastEnders omnibus ended, so I gave it a couple of seconds and then added, "Lochlan McFarlan. Otherwise known as Madeline Lodsbury's brother."
Looks of shock.
Dun dun dun- dun dun dun. (That was the drumroll of the EastEnders theme tune, in case you were wondering.)

No comments:

Post a Comment