Caitlyn woke sharply. Her phone was ringing. She turned over but remembered she had left her phone on the coffee table. She glanced at the clock as she walked out of her bedroom: it was half past eleven. She picked up her phone and read, 24 missed calls. It began ringing again.
"Hello" she said.
"Caitlyn. Its about Tim. You need to go to the police station urgently"
She recognised the voice of PC Haresh who had visited a week-or-so ago. He sounded traumatised. Caitlyn didn't bother to have a shower. In her mind: Urgent meant Urgent. She threw on some jeans and a T-Shirt and sprayed herself with deodorant.
Her insurance company had provided her with a courtesy car while they replaced the damadge. Tim had said it was written off but the insurance company said it had been salvageable. The smart car parked in her spot was green and as she drove along crowded roads she began to understand why people bought them.
When she arrived at the station she was greeted by PC Haresh. His face was blotchy, he'd obviously been crying. She was lead into an interview room where she was greeted by Detective Sergeant Saunders and asked what she had been up to between the hours of 8 and 10. She said she was asleep but had nobody who could give her an alibi.
"Why exactly am I here?" she said
"For the benefit of the tape, I am now showing Miss Price evidence photograph 1"
Haresh, who watching the interview from behind the glass turned away. The picture showed Timothy McCoy's mangled, pale body suspended from the stairs on a noose tied to the banister above. His stomach had been cut open and Caitlyn's stomach turned as she comprehended the situation.
"Who did this?" she asked breathlessly
"We are not sure but we will find out. There will be a full investigation."
Questioning continued and when she was finally allowed to leave, even she believed she'd killed him.
As she opened the door to her flat Moggie was sleeping on her sofa. She grabbed the cat with both arms and sobbed. Moggie was alarmed by hugs, water and cuddles but she felt she was needed as a tissue in this situation.
"Who would do that to someone Mogs" she cried.
She couldn't think of any reason anyone would have to kill Tim.
"He could be a dick but he's been doing my washing-up!"
Moggie made a noise of agreement.
Caitlyn finally decided to let the cat go but unlike she suspected, Moggie stayed, sensing Caitlyn's need moral support. She got undressed and layed in bed but she couldn't sleep. The picture of a dismembered ex-boyfriend was imprinted on her brain.
Suddenly the phone rang:
"I warned you. That's the price for meddling in the business of the Smilers"
"Gold stars to the Girl Guide with the detecting badge."
The phone rang off. She went back to bed but everytime she closed her eyes she saw Tim being hung by Phantom. He was dangerous. He could have killed her in the Car Park. Not only would he kill to get what he wants, thought Caitlyn, he'd kill innocent people. How did he know she was friends with Tim? She shuddered. She would get the police to check for listening devices in the morning.
By ten o'clock she was wanderering aimlessly round the streets of London. The police had told her to go elsewhere while they checked the flat but she didn't feel safe walking around the city alone. She found a Costa and ordered a bacon roll and a latte. She sat in the window and watched as it began to rain. Earlier in the morning, Tim's mother had called and asked if Caitlyn would like to attend the funeral. She had accepted but the knowledge of why he had died was weighing heavy on her conscience.
When she was called back to the flat she was told the police had seized two devices. One in her landline and the other in her TV. She didn't feel safe in her own flat anymore. Haresh, who had helped search for bugs, encouraged her to take the spare key off the doorframe and change the locks.
"If someone has been here planting bugs," he said, "they might have had a key cut too".