Day Three Hundred and Five: Crack Part III

It’s a bit late, yes, but here is the third part of ‘Crack’ (I’m completely rubbish at coming up with titles, it seems). You can find part one here and part two here. Enjoy.

I took some time to contemplate the gravity of the situation. Did he have an accident? Maybe he cut himself and decided to walk to the hospital? Nah, if he’d done that he would have asked me to call an ambulance. I had another look around the house. I was getting anxious. Some part of me thought he might just be hiding. Well, I say thought but it was probably more like I hope; some part of me hoped he had decided to play an elaborate game of hide and seek and that he’d jump out at any moment. I looked in cupboards, under the stairs, under the bed, under the sofa, in the loft, in the shed – everywhere but he was nowhere. Had he been kidnapped? There was certainly no sign of footprints in the house. None of the doors were left open…or were they? Maybe the door was opened and I didn’t notice and closed it when I came back in from searching his van? Has he been taken? There was no blood on the floor. No sign of a struggle. Just a tool bag and a ringing mobile phone. Against my better judgement I went over to the spot the plasterer formerly occupied and gazed up at the ceiling. It was as though the crack had never been there. It was perfect. The ceiling was unblemished. Perhaps it was the shock of the situation, perhaps it was the fact I had no attachment to the man whatsoever but I struggled to find a way to care about his absence. A man had went missing and I couldn’t find it in me to care. All that I had was the sinking feeling that perhaps I may get blamed for this. Questions would certainly be asked, there was no doubt about that, and what explanation could I possibly give?
His mobile phone stopped ringing. I sat down next to the bookcase and thought about what I should do next. I felt like how I imagined a murderer might feel as they contemplated getting rid of a body. I reached down and switched off his phone, tossing it into the tool bag and closing it over. Fingerprints. My fingerprints on his things. His fingerprints on my things. I wiped the place down with a dishtowel. Was I now thinking like a murderer? I checked the time, Iris would be home soon. I had to move quickly, think fast. I called the plasterer’s phone number for the third time today and left him a voice mail message asking him when he would arrive. The internal monologue grew louder, commanding me to check if anyone was watching the house. I pulled the blinds and curtains closed. Should I move his van? I probably should. But how am I going to do that? His car keys were nowhere to be seen and were, presumably, still attached to his person. Do I break into his van and hotwire it? How do I even hotwire a car? Could I google it? Where would I park his van? What if someone saw me? I ran upstairs, changed my shirt, put a cap and some gloves on and went to the computer. YouTube proved to be very helpful and within fifteen minutes I was putting a brick through his window and ripping out the guts from underneath the steering wheel with shaking, leather bound hands. I took off from the house with his tool bag in the passenger seat and without any idea of where I was headed.
In retrospect, smashing his window was not the best idea I’d ever had. As I arrived back at the house I noticed that Iris was home.
“Hey there stranger. Where have you been?
“Oh, you know, just went for a walk.”
“How’d that work out for you?”
I stood in the door way and took my hat off. She tilted her head and looked at me in with a frown which meant she thought I was lying. I immediately tensed up.
“Oh it was alright. Just a walk, you know? You’re home early. Your note said three. When did you get in?”
“About five minutes ago. Any idea why there’s glass in the driveway?”
“Glass? Where?”
That was careless but then again, I’ve never exactly been involved in nefarious activities before and clearly I had a lot to learn.
“No idea…”
I let it hang out there like bait on the end of a fishing rod, she didn’t bite. I relaxed.
“Did you call a plasterer?”
“I did. He said he was going to arrive around 1ish but he never showed up. I had a shot at doing it myself though. What do you think?”
She glanced up at the ceiling where the crack used to be and I entered the room following her line of sight. The crack had returned.
“You’ve done a bit of a rubbish job, haven’t you?”
“Yeah, I’m not a plasterer.”
That was interesting. Under what circumstances does a crack appear, disappear, and then reappear again? Iris looked at me suspiciously, I couldn’t hold her gaze.
“I suppose I’ll call another one tomorrow.”
“Ok. I’m going for a shower.”
Iris left the room while I fetched a step ladder from the cellar and decided to take a closer look at the crack. Placing my fingers in it, I pried it open a little to see what was und-

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