#259: Locked room mystery

I had a plan for today’s blog – a good one.

Today I had an interview for a job minding two small children one day a week. Since I’m planning to eventually have two small children of my own, this was enormously appealing – and it was also very good in terms of location and hours. That’s a rare combination.

I have an advantage in the tutoring/babysitting field, because it’s such badly-paid work that I’m much, much more experienced than the average applicant. (Yay?) I’ve always been good at getting people to trust and respect me almost instantly (I made hundreds of dollars selling fundraising chocolate as a kid, which I believe is ideal preparation for any writer who wants to someday promote their own books).

So today was going to be #259: Do something I’m good at.

Now the interview itself went fairly well. I really, REALLY liked the family, so I hope that means we have things in common and they liked me too. Who knows?

There was just one teensy problem.

Crime.

The family lives in a secure apartment block, and I had some difficulty finding a park. To be honest, I had trouble finding the apartment block. At last I found what was almost certainly the right driveway, and drove down it.

It had a roller door. A locked roller door. As I stared at it stupidly, someone pulled in behind me. From that instant I was trapped; I was lost; I was going to be late – and I still really wanted this job.

I wound down my window and made a gesture of, “Look, I’m an idiot and I don’t know where I am and please don’t ram me but just back up and let me out of this semi-hysterical nightmare.”

Nothing happened. Perhaps I should have made a different kind of gesture.

The driveway was steep, and in my efforts to evade the 4WD behind me I’d driven right smack-bang up to the locked door. I wasn’t sure if I’d be able to reverse upward again without smashing something.

Then a miracle happened. The door rolled slowly open.

I told myself it was on a sensor, and it was just slow-moving. I told myself all was well.

I drove into the secure carpark, and casually stole the spot of someone who could arrive at any moment (and then call the fuzz to drag me and/or my car away).

Carefully turning off my phone (I’d hate to be impolite), I walked through a door I’d never seen before, up some stairs, and into a large shared courtyard featuring a swimming pool.

Careful not to think about what I’d done, I found the right apartment number and knocked on the door – hoping I hadn’t just broken into the wrong apartment block.

“Louise?” said the nice lady.

“Yes!”

“Was the front door open?”

“I. . . uh. . . followed someone in.”

And so our interview began.

It ended outside, with the charming three-year old showing me the pool. The mum saw me walk off towards the stairs that had let me in, and corrected me so I walked out the pedestrian front door (which was large, clearly labelled, and virtually unmissable by anyone who isn’t me).

I found myself on the street.  It was at this point that I realised the entire length of the street is designated parking. It would have been so handy to notice that earlier.  

I wandered along the footpath and found myself at the next number along. Oops. I walked back the other way, desperately hoping the nice lady wasn’t looking out her window.

I re-discovered the steep driveway entrance to the carpark, and walked down it. There was no handy person-sized side door. Uh-oh.

I walked back to the front door to the courtyard, and discovered it was locked. Of course it was – that would be the “locked front door” the lady had mentioned. And the last person to automatically lock it was me.

Brilliant.

It was at roughly this point I realised that I’d locked my car inside a secure facility, and myself outside. And, in other news, I had a ten-year old student coming to my house in less than an hour.

Hmm.

I could call the nice lady, explain myself, and make her let me out – probably waking her baby in the process, and making things awkward with the 3-year old (who isn’t good at goodbyes).

I could call my existing employer, and explain that I would be rather late for the lesson in my home due to the fact that, when under pressure, my first instincts always turn to crime.

Or I could break back in – on purpose this time.

I cased the joint more thoroughly, looking for a weakness – and I found one.

I smiled sweetly at a man taking out his rubbish, and slid past him through a side gate (as all fantasy writers know, there’s ALWAYS a side gate). I walked the long way around the flats, looking innocent as I passed through a whole lot of backyards. Having successfully found the original staircase, I tried the door to get back into the carpark.

It was locked.

Arg!!

So now my car and I were both locked in, but in distinct sections -different cells of the dungeon, if you like.

Luckily, a nice lady passed by and I confessed everything. She let me into the carpark, and then out into the sweet expanse of blessed escape.

And then I drove home.

I hope, dear reader, that you do not live in a secure apartment. And I leave you now with a question for further reflection:

Would YOU trust this face?

I’ll let you know (probably in a week or two) if I got the job.

Published by Felicity Banks

I write books (mainly adventure fantasy for kids and young adults), real-time twittertales, and a blog of Daily Awesomeness. @Louise_Curtis_ and http://twittertales.wordpress.com. My fantasy ebook is on sale at https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/278981.

8 thoughts on “#259: Locked room mystery

    1. Jolyon: That picture was actually taken while I was hiding a tin-foil hat underneath. Does that make things better. . . or worse?

    1. W: Excellent point. I also didn’t lose the job (or at least, not because of the crimeness – I find out if I actually got the job this Monday, hopefully).

  1. Yes, yes I would.

    … And then get stabbed… in a fantasy book… to save the world from the magical Daleks…

  2. Georgia: Well being trusting can make life more interesting, that’s for sure. Especially in fiction.

    Louise Curtis

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