Author: peter799 PM
Adrian is called in to help on a serial murder case, starting with the disappearance of a woman from a moving train. Can he solve these seemingly bizarre cases with not much to go on? Rated K plus.Rated: Fiction K+ - English - Mystery/Crime - Chapters: 10 - Words: 13,644 - Reviews: 9 - Follows: 3 - Updated: 02-01-13 - Published: 12-01-12 - id: 3079110
|A+ A- Full 3/4 1/2 Expand Tighten|
The Bathroom Incident
I was driving the car when my phone rang. Peter's car, not mine. Despite being four years old, it was in an excellent condition. My car was in a junkyard. Apparently, after having your car roll down a slope and fall down a cliff into rocks seventy meters below, it was cheaper to dump it than fix it.
"Can you get that," I said.
Peter leaned across the seat, fished in my jacket's pocket and took out my cell.
"Hello? … No, it's me Peter. He's driving right now … Yes, I know. It's my car he's driving right now … Wait, I'll put the phone on loudspeaker." Peter turned to me. "Press that blue button below the ignition key," he said. I did as he said. A sudden short burst of static erupted from the car speakers followed by a voice.
"Hello?" It was Alessa.
"Hey," I replied.
"You haven't forgotten our tonight's arrangement have you?"
"Of course not." Shit. I'd totally forgotten about my date tonight with Alessa. I threw a look at Peter who just grinned. "I have booked a restaurant for us," I lied.
"Really? Which one?" She sounded skeptical.
I turned to Peter for help. He was already on his phone, furiously searching for a good restaurant. He then stretched his arm to show what he had found on his phone.
"The Red Mansion restaurant," I said.
"The Red Mansion? Really?" She sounded very excited. "I heard it's super hard to get a reservation there. How did you get one?"
I turned to Peter again. He was on his phone again, mouthing 'shit, shit, shit, shit'. He then showed me what he had just typed.
"I have connections," I said.
"This is so exciting. I can't believe you're taking me to the Red Mansion. I mean, it is the restaurant of the town!"
"Yeah. See you at eight tonight."
"Eight it is," she chirped and hung up the phone. An awkward silence followed for a while in the car.
"Peter," I said.
"The Red Mansion?"
"I searched for the best one." He looked at me sheepishly.
"How the hell am I going to get a table for two there by eight tonight? You have to book five days in advance to get in there! Even then, to actually get booked is a one in ten chance."
"Relax. I'll talk with Cuth. I'm sure he can fix something for you."
"Couldn't you have picked a cheaper restaurant?"
"You want to take your girlfriend to a cheap restaurant?"
"You know what I meant!"
"I was just kidding. Look, I'll have Adrian talk to Cuth. He's a policeman; he should be able to arrange a mere table for two at that restaurant."
"I sure hope he does."
"Come on. It's not like she'll break up with you over a matter like this."
"Well I did lie."
"That you did." Peter peered ahead. "They're slowing down. I think we're here."
The police car ahead of us changed lanes and turned left into a narrow street. I followed them as they slowed down and stopped in front of a house. A big house. Damn, all these victims seemed to be filthy rich. Adrian and the inspector emerged from the police car.
"… need you to send some officers to check the inside of the tunnel where the third victim disappeared," Adrian was saying.
"Just send them. If they find what I think they'll find, then I believe the case is solved."
Adrian broke the yellow police tape blocking the front door of the house and entered inside. Peter and I followed.
Adrian headed straight to the bathroom. That was apparently where the dead body had been discovered by the police after the housemaid had called them. The victim had been hit on the head by something heavy and head bled to death in the shower.
"You're the maid? Jane?" Adrian was talking to a stout woman.
"You found the body?"
"N-no. I called the police. They found the body."
"But you were here when they discovered it?"
"Can you describe the room as you found it?" Adrian asked.
"Oh yes. I remember every detail. It was horrible. I don't think I'll ever be able to forget that." She started sobbing.
"Jane, I need you to stop crying and focus. Tell me how the room was when the police broke in here."
"W-well, there was some blood splattered on the inside of the shower glass. And-and, Brittany ma'am's body was inside. Her head was all red – oh!"
"Anything about the bathroom?"
"Well, the heat and the fan were on. And, the shower was running. I-I could hear the sound and I t-thought she must be showering. But, when I returned an hour later, I could still hear the sound. I thought n-nothing of it then. But then it was still the same four hours later. S-so, I got worried and called the police."
Adrian swept the room with his gaze. "Was there any blood – any at all – outside the shower glass?"
"I don't think so," she answered.
"You may go now," Adrian said. Jane left hurriedly while Adrian turned to Cuthbert. "So, no blood except for that inside the shower glass?"
"None at all. That's been confounding all of us. If the killer smashed Brittany's skull from inside the shower glass, some of it should have made it outside. But, the blood patterns strongly suggest her skull was smashed with the shower glass closed. Also, we found no blood traces anywhere else in the bathroom."
"The only logical explanation here would be that the killer dropped whatever it was that killed Brittany from over the shower glass."
"But then where is the murder weapon? And how did the killer lock this room from the inside? This door uses a sliding bolt lock as that apartment one. But there is no window in this room for the killer to have pulled any string glued to the lock from the outside. And we found no markings that would have been made by a string to indicate that the killer closed the door and pulled it from outside."
I looked at Adrian; he did not appear to be listening. Instead, he was staring up at the ceiling.
"What are you looking at?" I asked.
"Jane said that the heat and the fan were on."
"The heat is obvious. But why the fan?"
"I can't get that either," Peter said.
"What are you three talking about?" Cuthbert asked. Suddenly, he phone rang and he hurriedly picked it up.
"How tall are you?" Adrian asked. "I'm talking to you Antei."
"Eh, what? Me? Why?"
Adrian said nothing, just glanced at me and looked up again. He was staring at the fan on the ceiling.
"No. You are taller than me," I said. "Whatever it is you're planning, do it yourself."
"Don't you want to book a table for two at the Red Mansion restaurant?"
"Alessa sent me a message. She was pretty excited – and slightly skeptical – about the fact that you had booked a table for two at that restaurant. I confirmed that you had. But we all know you haven't, have you?" There was a gleam in his eye.
"One of these days – I will …" I sighed. "Fine. What do you want me to do?"
"Just stand on that stool over there and remove the cover of the fan on the ceiling."
"You will get me table at the restaurant?" I asked while dragging the stool below the fan.
"Trust me, I will. Yes, what is it Cuth?"
As the two talked, I stood up on the stool and grasped the cover of the fan. It was not screwed or nailed – all I had to do was turn the cover clockwise and it came off easily. "Well," I said, "There's nothing here but the fan. As expected. There is a lot of filth here."
"Look carefully. Anything else?" Adrian said. He sounded excited. Was it something Cuthbert had said to him?
"Hmm. Nothing much. Just a bunch of cobwebs and – well there are strings tied around the fan." I reached my hand and tugged at it. "Pretty strong strings," I commented.
"Strings?" Adrian asked.
"Yeah. Funny how ninety percent of your cases involve strings," I said.
But Adrian was not listening. "Get down from that stool Antei. You just helped solve me this serial murder case!"
"I just solved the case!"