This is the eighteenth part of a fiction serial, in 838 words.
When I had been out on response cars before moving to Fraud, I had seen a locksmith force entry on many occasions. They used to use a small metal device, like a stunted pistol with a trigger. Putting a thin lever into part of the lock, they then inserted the pointed end of the lock-gun, and squeezed. On almost all door locks, except the expensive maximum security type, it just opened the door like a regular key. It saved us bashing the door down using spreader bars and a metal ram.
I looked on Ebay just out of curiosity, and there they were. Door-gun lock opening kits for just under fifteen quid. I ordered one for five-day delivery, and then checked out You Tube. By the time the device arrived in the post, I had watched half a dozen instructional videos about how to use it.
My notes now gave me a detailed listing of when everyone was most likely to be at home, or out at work. Asylum Seeker Man was almost certainly going to be home, so I ruled out his flat for now. My first port of call was Teacher Lady and Biker Man’s flat, directly below me. I already knew that nobody had personal home alarms, as the front door security meant they weren’t needed. With Frizzy Haired Sexy Girl in the flat opposite presumed to be sleeping after a long night shift, I slipped into Teacher Lady’s flat using my new toy, and wearing almost invisible plastic gloves.
I had expected it to be neat and tidy, everything just so. Imagine my surpise when it was just the opposite. The kitchen was filthy, with dishes and pots stacked in the sink and on the worktops. And the living room was sparsely furnished, with two cheap-looking armchairs, and a worn-out coffee table. A small-screen TV was sat on an old dining chair in the corner of the room, next to a fibre-board bookcase overflowing with paperwork and crinkled magazines about cars. Not at all what I had expected.
The first bedroom was very tidy though. A single bed, well-made and neat, with a bedside cabinet and slim wardrobe. I opened that to find just four things hanging up, all of which I recognised seeing the woman in. On the base were stacked two piles, one of panties and bras, the other of tights and socks. There was only one item of footwear to be seen, some winter boots stood behind the door. She had hardly any stuff. And there was no dressing table; no piles of make up, sprays, and female bits. I found some of those items in the bathroom, but still wondered how she managed to appear so well-dresed and smart whenever I saw her. She must have just recycled the same outfits Monday to Friday.
The bigger bedroom was a different kettle of fish. A king-sized bed with metal rails top and bottom, and a purple bedspread that matched the curtains. Two big wardrobes dominated one side, and there were a dozen pairs of shoes and boots lined up under the bed, which had a chest of drawers next to it on the other side. I slid one open, and started to smile. Handcuffs, a strap-on dildo, nipple clamps, and a gimp mask. And that was only one drawer. In the first wardrobe I found conventional male clothing, but the second one contained enough fetish gear to stock out a shop in Soho. Rubber suits, latex dresses, spiked collars and leads, thigh-high boots, and three wigs in assorted colors.
I was grinning and shaking my head. So that was Biker Man’s other life, behind closed doors.
In the bottom drawer, I discovered a photo album, containing polaroids. They were unmistakably taken at sex parties, with Biker Man being led around by his straight-looking wife, and many more explicit ones of him having things done to him by grinning men dressed up as women. There they were, pretending to be so straight and upstanding, complaining about Babs’ Burger Ambulance, and arguing about parking spaces. Then they went off to depraved sex parties and did unspeakable things. I took one of the photos from its plastic pocket on the first page, and kept it.
I wanted them to notice it had gone, and wonder who had it.
Wandering around in someone else’s flat was strangely exciting. I had no idea what I would have said or done if they had come back unexpectedly and caught me, but that was very much part of the thrill. Having the cameras meant I could make an educated guess when anyone would be out, so I always had a time window to work to. I went back up to my flat and made notes about what I had seen. Then I got my plan of the block, and put a big green tick in Flat Ten, using a felt pen.
While I was waiting for my dinner to cook, I worked out which one to enter next.