I was back at my desk five minutes when there was an explosion next door. Doctor Small and his examination table came flying though the paper-thin wall separating our offices, the table landing on his head.

I ran out to check on Gloria, who was running up the hall from the elevators. She was just about to go out to get some lunch when it happened.

The fire department came, cops came, soon there was even the FBI. Detective Mike Johnson, hard-nosed cop and and some-time friend, came in to give the doctor a once over. ‘What happened over there, Mike?’

‘Looks like someone placed some C4 in the lab box. The receptionist says that there was only one thing in there: a stool specimen.’

‘C4, huh? That some powerful shit’ I said.

Mike smiled. ‘The dame tells me you brought in the goods to the doc’s.’ (Mike got his detective training from 1940s movies).

‘Yeah, that’s right. It was left with me by mistake. Woman came in, thought I was the doctor, I guess.’

‘Know who it was?’

‘No, Mike. Never seen her before. Good looking dame if you like tall, tattooed brunettes with multiple piercings – some visible, some more probably hidden under a tight t-shirt and jeans.’

‘I see,’ he said jotting something down.

‘I do, by the way.’

‘Do what?’

‘Like tall, tattooed brunettes with multiple piercings. I asked Gloria if she could tell me anything about her, but she went ethical on me.’

‘Gloria. That’s the dish next door?’

‘Yeah, Mike. You hungry?’

‘I’ll say,’ said Mike.

‘Careful, that’s one meal you don’t want to burn.’

‘I’ll keep that in mind. Anyway, the lab box and its contents were completely destroyed. The label on the specimen was burned. FBI are here trying to get a bead on where the C4 may have come from – they say that they might be able to tell from the chemical signature or something. The receptionist says she doesn’t remember the name. Did you look at the label before handing it over?’

‘No, Mike. Wish I had thought of it.’

Mike said ‘ok’ and turned to leave. ‘See you at the Social Club?’ I asked.

‘Mebbe.’ Mike likes saying ‘mebbe.’ Picked it up from some Raymond Chandler novel, he tell me.

After he left, I took my phone out of my pocket and opened the photos app. The picture I took of the label was clear. Name, date of birth and patient ID. Sorry, Mike; this case is too interesting to pass over to professional idiots.

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