Håkon Berg had called Anders Sand just after midnight. This far north Sand was in the Arctic Circle. The moon, even in April, was almost a permanent fixture in the sky, the sun only breaking the horizon for a few hours each day. Only by the clock face on his ‘phone could Sand tell the time of day or night.
‘Sorry to wake you,’ Berg started.
Sand had been lying awake trying to forget the images of the charred remains of Dahlia Solberg in the igloo hotel. He was instantly alert. ‘I wasn’t sleeping. What is it?’
‘Could be nothing. I’m at Gabi Henriksen’s apartment. We agreed to meet here a couple of hours ago. She hasn’t turned up yet.’
‘Have you called her?’
‘No answer. Mobile is switched off. Not picking up at the office, but no one has seen her leave.’
‘Shit,’ Sand said. Too much of a coincidence. ‘I’m stuck here until my flight first thing in the morning. Get round to the station. I’ll get Captain Pedersen up.’
Sand hung up and called his boss straight away. Pedersen took a moment to come round. Sand could hear his wife grumbling in the background.
‘This better be good, Sand.’
‘Gabi’s gone missing. I think Dag Moen might have her.’
‘What makes you think that?’
‘Because she’s my partner and he’s trying to get to me. She hasn’t answered her ‘phone for a couple of hours.’
Pedersen looked out his bedroom window at the full moon in the black sky. ‘She might just be asleep, like most normal people.’
‘Not Gabi, you know her better than that.’
Pedersen sighed. He knew Sand was right and had learned it was usually best to follow Sand’s instincts.
‘Okay, I’ll get everyone in,’ Pedersen said. ‘When do you get back?’
‘Due in at midday. I’m going to the airport now. See if you can convince them to get me back sooner.’
‘I’ll see what strings I can pull. Keep your ‘phone on.’
Sand hung up and got out of the bed. He started throwing his things into his travel bag. In five minutes he was at the reception of the hotel and checked out with the bewildered night porter. A taxi driver was sitting outside. The hotel always paid to keep one driver on standby overnight.
‘The airport,’ Sand instructed him, throwing his bags into the backseat. The driver mumbled something that Sand couldn’t hear over the car radio and the constant drone of the heater. As they slid and crawled along the icy road to the airport he looked at the black night sky outside. The full moon shone brightly, it’s light reflected off the snow that covered everything on the ground. His only hope was that Moen was only using Gabi as bait to get to him. His worst fear was that she was already dead.
This is part thirteen of my A to Z Challenge 2017. More information on the challenge, and other stories and blogs taking part in it, can be found HERE.
Throughout April I hope to publish a section a day, relating to a letter of the alphabet, which in the end will make up a continuous story, all based round the objects found in this children’s jigsaw:
Other entries in the challenge, and a version of the final complete, joined up story can be found here: A TO Z CHALLENGE 2017.