Well, the first question is why wouldn’t he fit? Was he too big or the lock too small? I mean every self-respecting boy would fit easily in an average lock. I think we will have to take the lock back to the shop and ask for another one, but perhaps it would be easier to return the boy to his parents as not fit for purpose. Yes I think that is what we should do. Get your shoes on. We will go right away. Should we go by caterpillar or snail? The caterpillar is more comfortable.
The key wouldn’t fit in the lock! What the hell was wrong with it. It was working yesterday so what is wrong now? I am so sick of living in this squalor of a block of flats. There is incessant noise, fights in the hallway at all hours, and the neighbours could hardly look you in the face let alone speak.
What had happened to me? I used to be a star you know. People tuned in every week to see my escapades in Essex, and life was just brilliant. I was always going to theatrical parties, premieres, etc., and I had so many wonderful friends. I lived in a palatial block of flats in Maida Vale, very near to Liz Hurley I was told, although I never saw her. It was just a whirl of social events and TV recordings.
Then the show was dropped! Could never understand why as I was so good in it and had become such a big star.
I would call my agent regularly but never got a reply, and my friends always seemed to be out when I rang.
Then the cheques stopped coming, and my post was just bills. Finally, I was turfed out of that lovely flat with nothing to my name. The council have put me in this dump, and now I can’t even get in.
What happened to my fame?
It was one of those annoying little suitcase padlocks – totally useless probably, but enough to stop your underwear being strewn around the carousel after a long flight.
But now I was faced with the Customs Officer bearing down on me while I fiddled with the wretched lock. He obviously thought I had something to hide – and the longer I took the more he was metaphorically rubbing his hands together for a successful haul.
Patrick had sailed through of course – we’d always had the agreement that if one got stopped the other should carry on; better that one saved face than have two being hassled by the officers.
But now, as I was getting redder in the face, it occurred to me … had he been just a bit too quick to shoot off? After all, he had been the one to lock the cases and hand over the key to me.
As they escorted me to one of their ‘private’ rooms, I wondered – No, I knew – that Patrick had definitely given me the wrong key. He’d always been a big fan of creating a distraction – to allow the real crime to go unnoticed.
“Well, OK, I will be straight over… just sit in the garden, OK? Give me twenty minutes, PLEASE!”
He wasn’t listening. Swearing about the key. I turned off my phone.
Grabbing a towel round my wet hair and cursing, I jumped in the car. I had the spare keys to hand, of course. He was always locking himself out. I wasn’t going to give them to him. What a time to happen.
When I got there – no sign of him. My key wouldn’t fit in the lock either. It had, that morning…
The door opened, and he was glaring at me, from inside.
“How did you get in?”
“I had to break the window. Cut my hand. Give me the key.”
The bathroom floor was absolutely covered in shards of glass.
“NO! My key doesn’t work either,” I shouted. I wanted to add – “What have you done, now!” but he was already angry.
He made a grab for my keys and I backed away.
” Look out!” I shouted.
Too late. We were both locked out now.
Horrible realisation dawned, that I was going to have to find a locksmith – in Lock-Down.