“I do believe discovering how the thieves entered the premises is your job, Officer. Not mine.”
Janine clamped down on her back teeth to keep the retort in. She’d already frozen her eyeballs into place so she wouldn’t roll them.
“The vase was right there on the hallway table. Now it is not. I expect you to retrieve it and arrest those responsible for this invasion.”
There was no evidence that a vase had ever stood on the table but Janine doubted a dust mite would dare to rest on a surface owned by Mrs. Eleanor Carrington.
“Do you have a picture of the vase?”
One eyebrow tried to shoot up, but Janine figured the Botox treatments had done their job too well. Mrs. Carrington managed imperiousness without it.
“It is an art piece. It is to be enjoyed, not photographed.”
Okay. “Please describe it for me.”
“It is handcrafted. Baccarat.” She paused, but when Janine didn’t respond she shook her head slightly and continued. “Approximately ten inches high. Etched crystal. With a matching lid. A unique piece.”
“And the value?”
“Approximately thirty-five thousand.”
Janine’s pen slipped out of her hand and she hurriedly retrieved it from the tile floor. At least it hadn’t made a mark or a dent. Who knew what the flooring would cost to fix?
A man wearing a severe black suit and brilliant white shirt entered the hallway.
“Excuse me for interrupting, Mrs. Carrington, but the school is calling.”
The man handed her a phone, executed a small bow and left.
“I must take this. My grandson is staying with me while his parents are travelling. Excuse me.”
Janine glanced around the hallway as the older woman walked away and spoke quietly into the phone. Janine couldn’t even imagine how a child would survive in this home. She was terrified of brushing up against the walls in case she caused damage. Not exactly a vacation for a kid.
“Thank you. I will be there shortly.”
Mrs. Carrington lowered the phone to the spot where the vase had rested. When she looked up, there was a rosy tint to her cheeks.
She pressed her lips together tightly, then spoke. “I owe you an apology, Officer.” She pressed her lips together again. Apparently apologizing wasn’t something she was used to doing.
When Janine started to respond, Mrs. Carrington held up a perfectly manicured hand loaded with rings that cost more than Janine made in a decade.
“It appears,” another lip press. “It appears that I was mistaken.” This time her lips twitched.
“My grandson had Show and Tell today.”
“He was upset that he’d left his bug bungalow at home.” Mrs. Carrington shuddered and then her lips quirked again. “He decided that the pretty glass cup with the lid would be a perfect replacement.”
This time the woman let out a laugh.
“My vase wasn’t stolen. It is in Noah’s school bag filled with the spiders he collected at recess. Spiders!”
Janine goggled as the woman laughed until tears filled her eyes and she put a hand to her pearls.
“I’m sorry to have wasted your time but now I need find a suitable container for Noah and retrieve my vase.”
Janine grinned as she left Mrs. Eleanor Carrington to find her new bug bungalow.
The above story is part of the WEP Challenge. The link will take you a slew of stories based on the prompt Antique Vase. These stories are always worth taking the time to read!!
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