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Rear Window

Hanne Berg's picture
Submission type:


Hanne climbed the last stair and crossed the second floor landing. She paused a moment as her hand rested on the door handle. 

The familiar brass plate in front of her smelled of Brass Cleaner and shone brightly even in the darkened stairwell. The dark letters embossed into the metal spelled out " The Ranyhyn Company" clearly.

Hanne pressed the handle and stepped inside. All was familiar, well ordered, efficient. Piles of files, all neatly bound together sat in neat rows on shelves. A line of dark green filing cabinets stood to attention against the right hand wall. Next to these, a hatstand supported a tidy black Homburg hat and a well pressed, well tailored, if slightly faded grey jacket.

Dwight Frye stood up from behind his desk and with a pleasant welcoming smile strode accross the floor to greet Hanne.

"Miss Berg ! Welcome... Welcome back indeed. "  Frye took her hand and bowed slightly as he shook the well manicured fingers. "Everything is ready as you asked. Would you like some tea?"

Hanne nodded. "Thank you, yes, Dwight. I trust you have been keeping the Company affairs in order in my absence. I will take the tea in my office." 

Hanne walked towards her office door as Dwight sidestepped her and inserted the brass key into the lock, turned it and opened the door for Hanne, stepping quickly aside to allow his employer to enter first.

" I will make your tea. " Dwight reversed out of the office and closed the door quietly behind him.

Inside, Hanne crossed the floor to her desk. The room smelled fresh, well aired, with a background aroma of recent wood polish. She ran her fingertip accross the surface of the desk, pausing to peek at her fingertip which as expected had picked up no dust. The table lamp shone with brassy effeciency, and an electric fan whirred almost silently, wafting a pleasant circulation of cool air around the room. 

Hanne placed her handbag on the desk and dressed the back of the brown leather upholstered chair with her fur jacket.

She made her way  behind the desk and stayed a while. She looked out of the office window for some time. The window gave her a good view of the plaza in New Flagstaff, which is precisely why she aquired this office that many years ago. It afforded a view of all the key areas.

Hanne took in the tableau. "Plus ça change....  "  she murmered to herself. The Bankers, the rear of the Union Offices. Rodney standing at his auction post adjacent to Joe Spivey's 'office'... and of course Joe himself. She shook her head, smiling wryly at how, even as rich as Creosus that he was he still looked like someone who's home was a box under a bridge. Hanne smirked slightly at the word 'bridge' as memories of the method by which several of her investigations had concluded in the past by combination of gravity, duct tape, and a bridge.

Hanne's eyes wandered across the scene but were held abruptly. Hanne leaned forward, placing both hands on the window sill. Her eyes widened and her breath held, even though her mouth had opened in surprise.

Even at a distance of more than a hundred meters and three years, and the fact the girl had her back to her, siblings have an uncanny way of recognising the other. Hanne recognised the blonde dreadlocks first of all. She stepped away from the window to her desk where she opened the top left drawer and took out a pair of binoculars.

Returning to the window, Hanne focussed on Silja, and more. There was Silja kneeling beside the pond, a meter or so away was a rather expensive looking stroller. Hanne peered closer, in front of Silja squatting between her kees, Hanne made out the form of a small child. The child was giggling, it seemed, as she threw lumps of what looked like bread , and pointing at the ducks which came closer and faught over the morsels in the water. The child then turned, grinned, then threw her arms around Silja, hugging her tightly.

Disbelief filled Hanne's thoughts as she uncharactaristically drew the wrong conclusion. She stared with incredulity at the scene. Hanne Berg, Director of The Ranyhyn Company, she who knew every lowlife flea, who they bit, and who upon their backs did bite, had not known that her very own sister had had a child ! Hanne's attention was fully on the pair by the pond. Hanne found herself muttering under her breath somewhat..

Hanne's partly internal monolog was interrupted by a polite cough. Dwight had entered the room carrying a round tray upon which stood a chromed teapot with matching sugar and milk bowls,and a fine bone china teacup sitting on a matching  saucer.

" Your Tea, Miss Berg.. 

Hanne gathered her decorum quickly before turning to face Mr. Frye. 

"Thank you, Dwight. Please set in on the desk...  And.. will you take a look through my binoculars at something."  Hanne gave the binoculars to Dwight and motioned him to the window. " The mother and child by the pond.. can you tell me anything about them ?"

Dwight set down the tray, and stood at the window, taking up the the observation as bid. As he watched, Hanne faught down her personal feelings which were in grave danger of showing through her otherwise implacable visage. Dwight hopefully was still unaware of the relationship between herself and the girl by the pond.

" Ah yes.. "  Dwight lowered the binoculars and placed them on the table, whereupon he rounded the desk and started pouring Hanne's tea "It is still, one teaspoon of sugar and a small amount of milk ?"

Hanne nodded in conformation that her taste in tea was unaltered, she motioned Dwight to sit in the chair opposite.

"You know of them then?" She asked as she stirred the spoon twice around the bone china cup.

"Yes, but they are not mother and child..."

Hanne struggled and succeeded in hiding the huge relief at the revelation Dwight had just gave her. She swallowed and paused before speaking " Go on.."

The 'mother'.. " Dwight's thin lips showed the briefest smile at his Director. "..  is Silja Henningsdottir. She is employed as a Nanny to the child, Anneka Kjaer-Spivey."

Hanne's right eyebrow raised in surprise at the mention of Spivey. Dwight continued his report.

" Yes, Anneka Kjaer Spivey, Daughter of one Joseph Spivey, Who of course is well known to The Company." 

Hanne nodded.

"Silja Henningsdottir, a former courier, was employed by Kirsten Kjaer two and one haf years ago to be Nanny to the child. prior to this our files have little record of Miss Henningsdottir but we have classified her as 'very low risk' therefore no threat to the Kjaer-Spivey family"

Hanne coughed a moment then nodded for Dwight to continue.

"I have taken the liberty in your absence to make the child Anneka the subject of a  'Class C' surveillance due to the 'kidnap or other harm' risk. Mr Spivey has not approached us with any request for our services but, considering his notoriety in the province, I judged we should carry out some form of watch on the child. She is of course a one- li...  umm ... she is of natural birth."

"You are as efficient as ever Mr. Frye. I agree with your precautions. Thank you."

Hanne stood and indicated the door for Frye, who was beaming from the praise of his loyalty from his Director. he left the room, closing the door gently behind him. 

Inside Hanne digested the report. She sat back in her leather chair, sipped tea, thought deeply...


Joe Spivey's picture

((Oh this sounds like fun :D Please say there is going to be more.)) "Bleedin' 'ell, she's two and a half already? I'll start looking fer a job for her." ((Shut up Joe. Wonderful read hun.))

Stick with me kid and you'll be farting through silk.

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