The next day, after kids went to school, and Greg to work, I decided to go for my usual morning run. Well, usual – weather permitting. But it was spring (or at least was supposed to be, it was the end of April after all!), and it turned out that +3C, little or no wind, was my fave running weather. So I strapped my Garmin on my wrist and off I went. Aiming for about 7km.
As I was passing around the yellow tape, still present around Mrs. Winterly’s house, I noticed someone slowly walking by, on the other side of the street… Did not think much about that at the time, I nodded and said hi, the guy mumbled something in the response, turned the head other way and sped up. Weird… Who could that be? I tried to memorize his clothes just in case: jean pants, jean jacket, white running shoes, heavy looking backpack… Blue I think. (What with all that blue?) As I passed the tape, and went close to the suspicious neighbours’ (with supposedly ferocious dogs) house, I did the old shoelace thing, pretended I need to tie it up, knelt down all the time watching the guy. Weird. He turned around, ducked under the tape and walked into Mrs. W’s yard!!! Now I had to check what was he doing there, I mean – it wasn`t like the yellow tape had some power over people but come on.
This time I turned around and faking some leg injury I limped back. As I was passing the yellow tape I glanced towards the house. And there he was – the Blue Guy, trying to reach something in the mailbox! He turned quickly and I was pretty sure he saw me looking. Damn. I decided to keep limping towards our house (forget the 7km, there is a crime to solve! – ghrrr. Guess after whom Melody gets her acting…) With the corner of my eye I could see that the guy jumped away from the mailbox as if it was burning hot, and put something in his backpack. I gave up the limp thing and sprinted home, locking the door behind me. I could hear some thumping coming from Thumper and Bella’s room – bunnz do not like sudden noises. I stood there, by the door, with my eye glued to the peep-hole. The guy looked towards me (well, towards the house, he could not see me unless he had some xray vision… which I hoped was not the case…?), stood there for a minute and went across the street. As I was watching – opened the front door with the key (!), looked around and went inside.
I realized I kept holding breath since I came home, so I let it all out. I sat down on the floor. What did just happen? Who’s this guy? What did he take from the mailbox? I fought the urge to go and check, I called Officer Skinny… err… Round instead.
After I hang up, first thought I had was coffee. I clicked the switch on the coffeemaker.
Holding hot cup in my hands I started thinking. “Suppose some bad guys were using Mrs. Winterly’s property as a drop-off place… I mean – she was mostly home-bound, Boris was doing her groceries and she never left her property… Well, for last 5 years as we were her neighbours… So Boris has to use the bathroom, hands her groceries, goes, but she does not go home , but stays outside. Why does she stay outside? Was she somehow involved? I mean you think you know a person, but do you really?” that was getting sooo weird… But I couldn’t help but keep going: “Suppose she was in on it… Whatever the ‘it’ was…well, drugs obviously, Thumper rubbed on something white while passing by…”
It all did not make sense. I just couldn’t see sweet Mrs Winterly as a drug contact!!
I had 3 cups of coffee before I heard a siren. Then there was a rapid knock on the door. I went to check – it was one of the officers working on the case, which I remembered from the day before. I opened the door. “Stay home and lock the door!” He yelled, turned around and ran towards the street. I looked there – o my sweet broccoli!!! There were 5 police cruisers with flashing lights right in front my house!!! What in the world…??
There was no force that would pry me away from the window. (I was hiding a bit though, just in case) And I could not believe what I saw!!! Whole bunch of cops, wearing bullet proof vests surrounded the house across the street! The one that the Blue Guy went in. Was he still there? There was some yelling going on, and few minutes later I saw them dragging the Blue Guy out of the house!
Now I think I needed something stronger than that coffee… What does it actually mean that they are arresting him??? For what? and who is he anyways?
There was another knock at the door. This time it was Officer Round. “I came to let you know it is ok to go out if you have to… ” He did not seem too assuring.
“What did just happen there? I mean – who is that guy? Why did you arrest him?” I couldn’t hold back asking these questions.
“I shouldn’t be telling you that, but as you guys are involved anyways… This guy was your neighbour for 3 years…” he started. “WHAT?!” I couldn’t help but yell that one. But I mean – really??? “How come I haven’t seen him until today?”
“Ah, because he was leading a true night life so to speak. Like a bat or something. Came out at night time mostly, stayed home during the day… until yesterday that is. We believe he killed Mrs. Winterly.”
To knock me down with a feather would be an overkill. “Mrs. W? Drugs? Are you serious?” Was my weird thinking from before turning out to be true? But… It can’t be??
“Oh, no, she wasn’t involved herself. Or she was… involuntarily though. They organized themselves pretty clever I must say. We were watching the location closely for last few months.” location? What location? that wasn’t making much sense? But he continued “The drugs were distributed through the grocery store where Mrs. Winterly was ordering her food. Someone there must have messed up and put the drugs into her box by mistake. Boris took it home for her, Grocer realized the mix-up, checked the address, went to retrieve it. In the meantime Mrs. W opened the box, wanted some grapes, found an extra baggie instead, took it out of the box right there on the front lawn… That’s when the not-so-friendly neighbours of hers (#533) were passing by and as they must have heard about the Grocer, they tried to persuade Mrs. W. to give it to them. That’s what Boris saw from the windows. But they got spooked by the Grocer, who was sitting in the car on the other side of the street. The Grocer is pretty known guy in the circles if you know what I mean”
How was I supposed to know what he means???? Those are not MY circles! ”
“Anyways – along with Grocer in his car was Gomez, your acros-the-street neigbour, who jumped out of the car, meaning just to take the box and leave, the older lady did not want to give up her groceries, he stabs her with…”
“A bulb-planting-pick!” I yelled
Round looks at me strange “How did you…?”
“It just came to me, I saw the round large hole in her neck and it kept bugging my head. But Mrs W was planting bulbs in the front lawn when Boris came with groceries!” – I answered
“That’s right. So he stabs her, dropps the … bulb thingy into the mailbox – must have not thought that through – and they drove away… ”
“I heard the car speeding away as I was walking Thumper…” I realized… What’s with my memory anyways?
“Ok so he was trying to retrieve the tool from the mailbox…” I said more than asked. “But what about Boris?”
Officer Round scratched his head: “That seems to be another puzzle… that we do not have all the pieces to… yet”