Sunday, April 18, 2010

Like a House on Fire

It was a pity to lose the house but, once all the police, coroner's and ambulance crews had been accounted for we sat around watching the blaze until the firemen appeared. I hope the building insurance was paid even if the gas wasn't but in my brief time in the house I hadn't seen any photographs of children or grandchildren.

By the time the firemen arrived there was little they could do other than prevent the fire spreading to neighbouring houses. Neighbouring houses, I might add, that has suspiciously little activity for being so close to a burning property. I'd have to investigate them all. Sam and Dilbo hadn't got a list of customers from their brief contaminated meat business.

It was easy enough to slip away from the crowd of professionals and change my clothing. Posing as a gas inspector, someone people would expect to see after a gas main fire, I made my way through the small cottage garden of number twelve and let myself in to Sam and Dilbo's student accommodation. It was dark inside and as luck would have it, nothing worked. The electricity had been turned off, probably as a precaution due to the fire. I opened the curtains of the nearest window, revealing a glass jam jar full of fresh-cut blue anemones. If I didn't know better I'd have thought a woman lived here.

I could hear a rustling at the rear of the house. In the kitchen. Where the meat was.