If Harry's father hadn't been a large enough handful to contend with, it must have been his afternoon for problematical people. After Harry's father had left, he actually escorted him to the door to make sure he left; Harry had sat back down and put his feet on the desk.
Angela was next, and Harry suspected she had waited outside until his father had left.
She sensibly knocked on the door and let herself in. Harry had considered getting up but the knock on the door told him it was someone he knew. If it was not, they would be crashing through the door at full tilt, and in his condition, there was probably nothing he could do about it.
She put her head in the door and leaned against the door jamb. Maybe his assessment of her had fallen short of the mark, that she might not be complicit...
Except, she was in his office, talking to him, after undoubtedly realising she had made a mistake when they had spoken that morning.
“How’s the case coming along?”
And there it was. Not directly asked this morning, but now it was out there.
“Sadly I’m greatly behind on the paperwork.” He held up the thin file that Corinne had put together. “Pages missing, details omitted, work to be done.”
She came in and shut the door behind her. “Do you think it’s a good idea getting back to work so soon? I mean, last night you looked pretty beat up.”
She had injected just enough concern in her tone to catch Harry’s attention.
“The villains don't take time off to be sick, and I’ve been missing for so long, I’m not sure where I’m at. To what do I owe the honour of his visit?”
“I was hoping you could give me an update. I’ve seen both your sister, and some other woman in here and they had a few interesting ideas.”
“You know I’m not in a position to yet, so what's the real reason you’re here.”
A frown, as if she had been found out. “I wanted to see if you were alright. It seemed a bit silly to ask you over the phone so I called in. I was on this side of town.”
“Were you on this side of town? It’s hardly your stomping ground, is it?”
She gave him a peculiar look, this one bordering on annoyance. “Did you go bonkers when you were in that coma?”
“No, it just heightened my curiosity factor. You don’t have to tell me, I don’t really want to know, but it amuses me that you are so touchy on the subject.”
She took a deep breath. “I am not being touchy about anything. I came here to see you. It looks like I was wasting my time, you’re fine enough to be throwing accusations around like confetti.”
She is upset, he thought. He’d touched a nerve. And a point just remembered then from a previous experience with her, she could handle random questions being tossed at her unannounced. “Come into the office and sit.”
She did. “Are you going to interrogate me?”
“That would require instruments of torture. No, I’m just going to ask a few simple questions.”
She relaxed in the chair, leaning back, arms folded. “Fire away.”
“Can dead bodies get up and walk away?”
“Not that I’m aware of.”
“Yet, Al and I were in that room, you were in that room, we both saw a body, and then minutes later, after you left, I went back to the room and it was gone. No body, no blood, nothing."
A momentary change in her expression, confirming what he already had surmised about her, that she was not telling the truth. Her eyes were avoiding his,
“There must have been someone else in the building,” she offered by way of explanation.
“Possibly. But they had to drag the body past me to get it outside. There was no one dragging a body, nor were there any signs of a body being dragged, as eerie as that might sound.” Which it was, making him shiver. “And you didn't see anyone when you were leaving?”
“Which means the dead body got up and walked out of its own accord, or you’re lying to me.”
Hooded eyes and a flash of anger. If she could blink and make herself disappear, Harry believed right then she would.
Crossed arms, uncrossed arms, crossed arms, the signs of nervousness brought on by a guilty conscience.
Now for the whammy.
“Is Al still alive?”
© Charles Heath 2016-2019
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