Stepfather Step – Chapter 5

9 Jun

Erps, finally got chapter 5 done after … how long has it been? I’ve been watching Jdramas exclusively for the past month and out of the lot I adore Keizoku 2: SPEC so much but I have apparently been afflicted by the writer’s block disease and could only muster up reblogs of the drama’s gifs on tumblr. I’m way more active there these days since I get away with pretty photos and shiny gifs but hopefully I’ll be posting more than translations on this space soon!

‘It doesn’t have to be complicated, just make up some reason to get Iguchi Masako to come to your house. Keep her occupied for 10 minutes will be sufficient.’

It usually takes only 2 minutes for a highly skilled thief to break into a house but this time it’s better to be cautious since I’ve not made a full recovery.

‘You’ll be taking action in the day?’

‘No, tomorrow evening. Can you guys be sure what time you can return from school?’
I couldn’t believe I’m working around the kids’ schedule, how embarrassing.

‘4.30 …’

‘5 should be fine.’

‘Let’s make it 5.10pm then. Let me make this clear, do not let her find out I’m at your house.’

The twins racked their brains for a reason to call Masako away from her house. The plan they finally decided on was to first cut off the house’s water supply by turning off the main valve then approach Iguchi to ask ‘The water at our house was suddenly cut off, how about yours?’.

‘Can this delay her for 10 minutes?’

‘Don’t worry!’

At 5.10pm the next day, they put their plan into action. I hid behind the door at the twins’ house and listened as they spoke with Masako over the intercom. The twins were pretty good at acting and sounded suitably distressed as they said, ‘Our parents are only home on weekeds and we have no idea what to do …’

Masako stepped out of her house, probably moved by them sounding so forlorn. She opened her door and walked towards where the twins were. ‘Let me help you take a look and check for the problem.’

Once the three of them entered the twins’ house, I immediately dashed across into Masako’s house. I looked up to check the security cameras and found that their lights were off. Most people are like this, they think it’s not necessary to switch on the security cameras if they are at home during the day or if they are only heading out for a short while and this renders their security system useless, no wonder theives are able to get in. More often than not, we don’t even need to break doors or windows to get in when they are not even locked in the first place so here’s advising home owners to be more careful!

The door was happily left half opened. It was made from solid oak and just this piece of wood would have cost quite a bit, probably around the same as a month’s rent for a cheap apartment. I ouldn’t help by think this was surely a house built by a woman worth millions!

We can’t afford to be slow in our line of work and speed is of the utmost importance. Even if we didn’t manage to clean out the house, we must not linger. Doing so will cost you time squatting behind high walls and counting down days to your parole. But …

Once I stepped into the house, I clean forgot about this golden rule.

It was normal house but the decor must have cost a bomb. It was luxurious like a showroom used in advertisments by developers to lure consumers in. The genkan flooring was made from marble and the nicely waxed corridor led to a wide living room with a beautiful floral print sofa set matched with a wooden coffee table.

However, there was one strange thing that made the rest of the decor pale in comparison.
The house was filled with mirrors. On the walls hung mirrors of various sizes and frames. No, they were not hung on the walls, they were mounted on, unable to be moved or taken down. It was like being in a house of mirrors at the amusement park.

As I walked around the house, my reflection moved about everywhere. One moment it was behind me and the next moment I would be staring back at my own reflection in shock. I steadied myself and realised there was a mirror. There was even a mirror opposite the kitchen sink, perhaps to feel sorry for herself as she washed the dishes?

The side of the stairs were of course also full of mirrors, drawing me up the steps naturally, only to see the corner of the stairs, the corridor upstairs as well as the row of 3 room doors had mirrors. I opened the doors starting from the left and found them to be the bed room, walk-in wadrobe and a small study. They were all filled with mirrors, like a flood of mirrors. Even the back of the door had a mirror on. I could understand having a mirror in the walk-in wadrobe but did one need mirrors while sleeping or reading?

The large book shelf as well as the smaller cupboard in front had mirrors attached. It woudn’t be odd to have this in a book store as a method to prevent shop lifting but this was a private study! What on earth was this strange fetish?

It was said that you can tell a person’s character from the books on their shelves but it was hard to figure out a reason for her obsession with mirrors from her books. There was no ‘Alice in Wonderland’, only self-help books, manga, idol pictorials and the like but she did have a rack full of crime fiction. This lady seemed to be a fan of Ed McBain having bought the entire ’87th Precinct’ series but there was none written under Evan Hunter nor any titles from the author’s other series (1). At the end of the ’87th Precinct’ series were four paperbacks. The first three were the tragedy series by Ellery Queen and the last one was ‘Dury Lane’s Last Case’. Her tastes seemed a little extreme for a fan of crime fiction.

I also realised something else really strange.

From what I had observed so far, there was no telephone in the house. I should think this was something essential for a woman staying by herself …

I went over all the rooms on the 2nd floor again and still I didn’t find any. This house was too peculiar, even the hangers in the wardrobe started looking like question marks to me.

Suddenly a creaking noise came from above me.

I looked up and saw a hatchway around 80cm in width at a corner of the ceiling with a handle attached. If I pull the handle, I should be able to open the hatchway and pull out the ladder inside.

I wondered if it was a secret compartment in the attic. As I was studying the hatchway, the creaking noise above me came again. It sounded like someone walking. It was followed by a few sneezes which sounded like it was being stifled.

Someone was up there.
— —
1) Ed McBain / Evan Hunter = same person.

2 Responses to “Stepfather Step – Chapter 5”

  1. Anonymous June 29, 2012 at 6:54 AM #

    Thank you! I thought you dropped translating this. I’m glad you didn’t. It’s get a more and more interesting 😀

    • J June 29, 2012 at 6:59 AM #

      I will finish translating this particular story, even if not the entire novel. 2 more chapters to go!

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