The Diamond: Part Eight.

by | Mar 25, 2024 | Uncategorized | 1 comment

…she crouched and held open the flap, pushing a bundle of glossy flyers through which slapped onto the floor inside.

Of course it was gone. Solomon wasn’t as thick as he looked. Nevertheless, he’d been found out by his own methods, the CCTV didn’t lie. Leone returned to reception, her heart thumping in her chest. She thought of the broken man in the hospital bed and that lazy bastard kidnapping his baby. Picking up the phone, Leone dialled her cousin’s number in HR.

“Becky. It’s me, Leone. May I come up and see you? It’s about one of our recent leavers.” She nodded at the response and put the handset down. Turning to Anna, she pulled one of the white plugs from her ear. “I’m going upstairs. Look after the place.” The young woman looked crestfallen.

“What if we have an emergency?” She called to the disappearing Leone. There was no reply so she returned to her music.

“Hello cuz, what’s all this about?” Rebecca VanKirk enquired as Leone entered her office.

“The security guard, Solomon Mbele. He left suddenly. Do we know why? My father is asking.” She cut through the protocol of red tape with a slice of nepotism.

“Ah, yes. That was a strange one. We’ve had no reference requests. He seems to have just disappeared.” The woman replied.

“May I have his details? There may be evidence of espionage, but keep it under your hat,” Leone lied again. She was too deep into this to let it go. Her mind was racing with the potential options.

“Of course, I’ll print his file off for you.” There was no hesitation.

“Great. Thank you.” Leone replied, relieved at the relative ease of her request. With papers in hand, she filled in an emergency leave form and handed it to her cousin. “Company business,” she said, tapping the side of her nose with her index finger.

Leone VanKirk collected her things from reception and reiterated her colleague’s instructions. The young woman looked devastated.

“You can’t just leave me. This is so unfair,” she moaned. Something snapped inside of the young woman and she leaned over Anna, their faces millimetres apart. She could smell the Wrigley’s Juicyfruit on her breath.

“No, Anna. What would be unfair would be for you to follow your boyfriend out of that door without a reference!” With that, she turned abruptly, and left the building.

She hailed a taxi and instructed the driver to take her to a point two blocks from the address on the paper. While walking the rest of the way, she contemplated Solomon’s actions. His choices were limited to the criminal underworld or foreign groups. No one would legitimately touch the little time-bomb wrapped in yellow cloth.

Leone arrived at the seedy apartment block and pushed a random bell.

“Amazon,” she called into the microphone when the speaker crackled to life. There was no response. She repeated the actions twice more and was rewarded by a click and the door opening. Checking the sheet, she took the stairs to the third floor. The smell of stale urine made her eyes water 

Apartments 311 was at the end of a long corridor with no natural light. Most of the bulbs had breathed their last and she was forced to use her phone’s torch. Each door had a letterbox, she pitied the postman. Leone banged on the door with the corner of her phone and waited -nothing.

Following two more attempts, and conscious of being seen by neighbours, she crouched and held open the flap, pushing a bundle of glossy flyers through which slapped onto the floor inside. The smell was the first to hit her, sweet and sickly, overpowering the stench of ammonia that had been her companion since entering the building. Next, the visual horror. On the floor, just visible at the end of the hallway lay a body. At first it didn’t register. Then it hit her. The cadaver was missing its head. In one of the tightly balled fists of the unfortunate man was a piece of yellow cloth.

The young woman let the flap close with a clatter and backed away. She heaved uncontrollably and the contents of her breakfast joined the years of dried piss on the floor of the passage. She wiped her mouth with the back of her hand and rushed out of the building.

1 Comment

  1. Ken Childs

    As you said rather gruesome.

    Reply

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