Tuesday, August 6, 2013

Back again

I successfully performed the black door kabuki one more time and got back inside the police records department. Luckily I didn’t have to stand in line in the records delivery room, only take a number. Mine was 63. The overhead ticker showed they were processing number 60. The room was empty.

The problem was the counter clerk didn’t see it that way.

“Number 61? 61?”

The clerk scanned the wide open space of the waiting room. I scanned it too, to confirm that it was indeed devoid of life forms.


“Number 61?”

More silence. No tables or chairs jumped up to claim to be #61. The clerk scanned the room again just to make sure,

“Number 62? 62?”

Maybe one of those empty chairs or tables was actually holding ticket #62. One couldn’t be too sure.

Silence. No furniture budged.

“Number 62?”

After a cautionary silence, finally the clerk spoke the words I longed for, “Number 63? 63?”

I duly handed him my ticket, and after carefully examining it for traces of forging or doctoring, he disappeared through a squeaky door to a back room.

After a few minutes the door squeak heralded his return with a rather thin 8 ½ by 11 envelope. I signed for it and headed for one of those empty chairs to have a quick look before returning to the office.

I’m glad I was sitting down. I pulled a file folder out of the envelope and opened it to the first page. The photo staring back at me with a glare that made you feel sorry you were breathing air on this fine planet was Ray-gun Girl. 

That’s a face I’d never forget. 

Ray-gun Girl was just my sunny pet name for that ruthless killer who turned a fine constable into a lifeless, blackened slab of bio-matter with a beam of light. Her real name turned out to be a completely respectable and ordinary Mary Smith. If Mary Smith was Donna Martin, and Donna Martin was Mary Smith, it was no wonder the cops couldn’t find her because she was doing life in jail. Jeez, the guys that run this records office need to be less concerned with lines and stamping and punctuality and more with cross referencing their files. 

This was no time for whining about the nature of the levels in Dante’s bureaucracy. I had to get back to Adams.

The next instalment can be found here.

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