((Though it hasn’t yet been very relevant, this story takes place in faux-England (faux because I’ll undoubtedly make some mistakes as to the differences between British and American culture), but I am from America. Thus, the narration will use American terms and spellings, whereas the characters will use British terms and spellings. So, solicitor is lawyer, phone box is phone booth, etc. etc.))
As the phone on the other end rang, Lora wondered how she might describe the sound; obviously it didn’t sound like a ring, but rather… a broo? That almost sounded right. Broo. Hmm, maybe–
The voice was crackly, likely due to the poor reception of Dean’s cell phone, but definitely male–Lora could only hope it was the real thief.
“Hello,” Lora said before stopping for a moment to think. She hadn’t really figured out what she’d say….
“Um, so–” Lora heard some sort of scuffling, a brief yelp, then:
“Sorry, sorry, some bloke picked up!” This voice was different; deeper.
“Oh. Uh.” Lora decided she might as well go all out. “Did you rob a bank today?”
The voice laughed for a moment, sounding vaguely nervous. “I don’t remember meeting a woman. But yeah, yeah, that was me! Bank robber.”
The man didn’t seem particularly intelligent, but Lora ignored her uneasiness and continued on.”Oh, I’m calling on behalf of Dean and Roger, the two you gave the diamonds to?”
“You’re not a solicitor, are you?”
“No–no, I’m just a friend of theirs.”
“Oh. Well.” The line was silent for a few moments. “Will I be getting my diamonds back?”
Lora paused, peeking out from the hallway she was in at Dean and Roger, who were still in the living room. “Uh, where are you?”
“You’re not going to call the police on me, right?”
“We’re on the run, too–hard not to be when you dropped some diamonds in Dean and Roger’s laps.”
“Right. Wilkin’s street and Wilkin”s avenue intersection, at the phone box.”
“We’re on our way.”
The car was running low on gas. The thingy wasn’t wobbling right on the edge of the E, luckily, but it was getting close, slowly but surely running out. They’d have to refill eventually, but if Dean and Roger were to be seen… would there even be a notice out on them?
Lora really wished she had watched more crime shows when she had had the chance.
But no matter: here was the intersection and there was the phone booth, a man standing inside. Lora promptly parked the car at the nearest spot and hurried out, Dean and Roger trailing behind her.
“Ah, hello!” the man said, leaving the phone booth. “You must be the lovely lady from the phone!”
“Right.” Lora tried to pour as much loathing and disdain into the one word as humanly possible; she had a feeling she failed to do so, as the man just smiled widely.
“Do you have my diamonds?”
Lora fidgeted and began to speak, but was interrupted by Roger.
“We have your diamonds, but don’t expect to just take them. We want a cut after all the trouble we’ve gone through.”
“I’ve probably lost my job!” Lora added, feeling rather feeble.
The man’s smile turned into a frown. “There aren’t a lot of diamonds to go around.”
Lora produced the bag from her pocket and opened it, peering in. “Yeah, there are!”
The man now looked extremely uncomfortable. “I stole them, you know.”
“And we took the blame!” Dean said.
“Um. One moment?” The man ducked back into the phone box, dialed a number, and returned outside. “I’ve dialed 999. Want to give me the diamonds now?”
Lora gaped at the man, hardly able to comprehend the inanity of the situation. “Dean, Roger, back in the car.” She abruptly turned around and began to return to her vehicle.
Panic swept over the man’s face, though Lora couldn’t see that. “No, wait!”
Lora turned around slowly, Dean stopping mid-step and Roger continuing to walk to the car. “Yes?”
“I–I don’t have a car with me, the police are coming, please let me ride with you?”
Lora glanced at Dean and Roger before replying. They were in a tight spot right now– and if this man had stolen the diamonds in the first place, he could be of use…. “Will you help us get out of this mess?”
The man nodded, now looking pathetic–Lora had to marvel at the range of his expressions.
“Front seat,” she said, hurrying back to the car and entering. “Move it!”
Dean, Roger, and the thief rushed to the car, quickly entering and strapping on their seat belts at Lora’s command. She could hear sirens now….
“So you just… put a phone number in a bag?” Lora said once they were safely away.
“Well, I had to have a way to get my diamonds back!” the man said.
“And if Dean and Roger had been caught…?”
“What about it?”
“The police could’ve just traced the number, couldn’t they?”
“Can they do that?” Dean said, leaning forward in his seat.
“I don’t think so,” the man said.
“Surely they know where their phone boxes are?” Lora looked at the man–he had a worried expression on his face. “They don’t just plop them down willy-nilly.”
“Never mind, though, it all worked out, right?” the man said, the worried expression turning into a cheerful one. “Say, I don’t believe we’ve introduced ourselves! I’m Donald Harolds–you are?”