Tom (tom_marzipan) wrote in group_thrills,
Tom
tom_marzipan
group_thrills

Role-play

Balthazar looked at the note for a full ten seconds before returning it to its original position. He turned first to the north-east corner of the room, then again to each of the others without at any time moving his feet from the square-foot of carpet they occupied, almost as if he were performing the death rites of an obscure Eastern sect. But Balthazar was not a religious man. He took a sheet of paper from his desk and wrote quickly and decisively in neat block capitals. Picking it up, he paused for a moment before turning suddenly to face an unobtrusive section of the wall. The observers read:

IF YOU WANT TO LEAVE ANOTHER MESSAGE, I’M IN THE BOOK AND MY SECRETARY WILL TAKE YOUR CALL. FAX THROUGH A PHOTOGRAPH OF THE NEXT ONE INSTEAD, OR I WON’T PLAY THIS OUT. I KNOW YOU NEED ME TO DO THAT.

Balthazar sighed, and resignedly packed every identifying document and file into a leather case, with the manner of a man who has done so once too often but knows this will not be the last time. He picked up his hat, left the office carrying the case and put in an anonymous call to the police from the box a couple of streets away. He wanted the insurance of knowing the call could be traced back to him without making his involvement too obvious – preserving the anonymity of his address was essential, but he had used that box to make that call a half-dozen times before.

He needed time to think – or rather to think again, as he had been confident that the Gemini killings were over. Like any private detective worth his retainer, Balthazar knew that the best place to think was at the bottom of a cup of murky coffee laced with bourbon. There was only one joint in the city that knowledge could take him to.
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