Neither Jan nor Jen, my workmates, believed me. “Look you guys, I overheard Ahmed on the phone, talking about dimethyl mercury and something about roses.”
Jan raised her painted eyebrows. “What’s that then?”
“I looked it up, it’s a deadly poison.”
“You must have misheard!” Jen laughed as the phone rang. “Hello, Indigo Flowers. Yes, we do sunflowers.”
Curious, I went back after midnight. The moon was full, but the shop was in shadow and the street was deserted. Nervously, I unlocked the door by torchlight, surprised to find the alarm disabled.
I looked in Ahmed’s desk drawer. Bingo! The keys to all stockrooms.
I unlocked the rarely used third stockroom. Bright moonlight through the skylight illuminated shelves containing boxes of red Adrenalin roses. But poisoned? Looking more closely I noticed labels for suites at the Grosvenor hotel. Hang on a minute! I’d read there was a Conservative party ‘think tank’ conference there this coming weekend.
The light flicked on. “What on Earth are you doing here?” It was Jen.
“I could ask you the same,” I said, startled.
She pulled out something black and metallic. Ahmed appeared in the doorway. “Here, use this.” My heart pounded. It was a silencer.
Featured in the book, To Cut a Short Story Short: 111 Little Stories
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