This story is now on the list to be finished so over the new few weeks, expect a new episode every few days.
The reason why new episodes have been sporadic, there are also other stories to write, and I’m not very good at prioritizing.
But, here we are, a few minutes opened up and it didn’t take long to get back into the groove.
Things are about to get complicated…
The Detective Inspector came back twenty minutes later.
“Latest news that I can tell you, is both the bodies belong to older people, we think the owner and one other. They were not in the fire, but some distance from the house.”
“People don’t shoot themselves in the back. They were trying to escape.”
The mother and a friend perhaps. Anna or someone else cleaning up? Was she getting ready to leave or gone already?
“No other body?”
“You think someone else was here?”
“Our agent, male, mid-thirties. He was here the last time I saw him.”
“Not so far, but I’ll tell them to widen the search.”
Had O’Connell escaped, or was he with her, and he was not simply a means to an end? The facts, as I knew them, didn’t seem to fit that scenario.
What worried me was that Dobbin hadn’t shown up yet. Could it be he was finally one step behind? I could only hope so. I didn’t want to run into him if and when I found Anna.
If Anna and O’Connell were about to leave, it would be reasonable to assume they’d go home, pack then leave. O’Connell’s flat at the same block where Josephine lived.
When we arrived at the front entrance to the block I had that sensation of being watched. It was possible Dobbin had the place under surveillance and I cursed myself for not checking to see if there was a back entrance.
I tried to see where the surveillance would be, places I would hide, if not in plain sight, but nothing was readily apparent. Of course, it could be the paranoia setting in.
If this was what the spy’s life was like, I was beginning to like it less and less. There were so many lies told by so many people it was impossible to tell what the truth was any more.
But it beat being a clerk in an office any day of the week.
And I didn’t get to work alongside people like Jennifer either.
“You sure we can get into this place. I’m starting to feel exposed out here.” She was shivering, because of the cold.
The temperature had dropped considerably in the last half hour.
I entered the code and the door opened. “Yes.”
I ushered her in and followed, taking a last look outside. Yes. Just caught a glimpse of a man on the corner almost out of sight. He was on his phone, so that would mean we would have minutes rather than enough time to do anything before someone arrived.
Would it be Dobbin, Jan, Monica or Joanne?
The list of interested parties was getting longer.
We almost jogged up the three flights of stairs, then on the landing, I went first, and Jennifer stayed back, gun in hand, ready for anything.
At least I hoped she was.
We were taught how to pick almost any lock in the shortest [possible time. Of course, in practice, when not under pressure, you could do it in seconds.
Now, because of the cold, my hands were slightly numb, and the pressure was mounting so things didn’t quite work the way they should, it took longer. A minute whereas in practice, seconds.
I drew my gun and opened the door carefully.
Nothing but darkness.
We had prearranged that Jennifer would wait outside until I gave her an all-clear, or if I didn’t come back in two minutes she should come in after me.
I went in but left the door ajar. Closed, fumbling to open it in a panic would get me killed. Little details.
There didn’t appear to be anyone in the flat. Remembering the layout, I headed towards the passage leading to the bedroom, and about half way across the room, I kicked my foot into something.
I went back and switched on the light.
A body indeed.
Dead, a bullet to the head.
© Charles Heath 2020-2023