Wednesday, May 17, 2006

Real PI Work

I'd organised to meet a woman at the David Jones department store in the city. The time was set for 11:30am and the place was the piano near the Elizabeth Street entrance.

As I walked up to Erskineville station, my phone rang. A change of plan: she was early, said she was looking for a ballet DVD and she'd already canvassed HMV with no luck. She was heading to the Strand Arcade with the hope of tracking down an ABC shop. I told her I'd call when I got in.

Pacing up and down the station, I waited for the train. When it finally let me off at St. James, I raced up the stairs, threw my ticket into the electronic turnstile, and pulled out my phone.

Number disconnected. I tried again. Same thing.

Alright, I thought, all I have to do is track her down. I walked over to Pitt Street Mall, trying the number every few steps. Disconnected? It didn't make sense. I reached the mall and stood in the centre, scanning the crowd for her familiar features. Nothing.

If I was right, there was no ABC shop in the Strand Arcade, so she would have realised her mistake, then headed back towards my end of the mall. There were only two places nearby that were likely to sell ballet DVDs, but only one had bad reception for phones.

Feeling a little more than cocky, I walked over to Borders, scanned the crowd on the ground floor. Checked out the crime section, a habit of mine. Movies were downstairs, with two exits: the stairs and the lift. If she took the lift and I went down the stairs, I'd lose her--if she was there at all. The lift was hidden in a back corner, so I took my chances with the stairs.

My sneakers squeaked as I took the stairs two at a time, holding on to the handrail so I wouldn't slip. Before I reached the bottom, I looked up and saw her.

I said, "Hi mum."

"Daniel, how did you find me?"

I smiled. "A little PI work, that's all."


Stephen Blackmoore said...

So if this were a spy story it would have been the radioactive isotope you'd dropped into her tea last week, tracking her through the streets of Sydney through a GPS link in your Aston Martin?

ebbye said...

just saw your pic on Stuart mcBride's site; see that you are in Sydney and a writer, fancy doing a bit of a talk and shameless self promotion and selling in my shop - or alternatively just coming in and sticking books t your face?!