You don’t get round to opening it until Monday night. Held by the concierge, who gives you a look as she airlifts it on planate fingers, you’re sure it’s a mistake. Away cardboard stamped by every customs agency under the sun, three layers of plastic bags, mouldy string, and you’re sure it’s a joke. You’d think Michaelson, but Michaelson would’ve cut out the middle-surly-gatekeeper and just broken in. That’s why no-one likes Michaelson.
Then again there’s the absence of a note. Forrester in NSY likes to type up precise, suggestive commissioning notes, as if he’d rather solve superannuated cold cases than murders. The anonymous officer from the Lothian & Borders force tops their Is with circles and calls you ‘Holmes’. You prefer Dupin, but you appreciate the business.
The file smells of procedure and plastic, something disremembered. A new, shiny catalogue label that doesn’t look remotely official. New paperclips. A joke. Michaelson. Some teenager who found your website. But then, but then the inside takes you by surprise.