Witness EmmaB

MacDoozle scanned the group of witnesses, looking for any that looked particularly responsible or reliable.  Oldetower was looking intimidatingly at the toddlers, and MacDoozle didn't much fancy trying to talk to children.  A sudden flash of red hair, a shade he couldn't quite put his finger on caught his attention, and he focused on the face framed by it.

She was a woman, a little older than him with green eyes and a wry smile on her face.  His academy training kicked in, and he considered the way she was standing -- favouring one leg --, her clothes, which looked expensive but cared for, and the fact that she had noticed his attention and was looking right back at him.  When she caught his gaze, she methodically looked him up and down, making him feel uncomfortably like he'd just been evaluated the way he'd evaluated her. He made his mind up quickly.

"Ma'am, if you'd like to come this way, please?"  He gestured towards some leather seats against a wall where the elderly and the indolent could lounge while they waited to be seen.  She inclined her head in what might have been a nod of agreement and pushed her way through the crowd.  She didn't seem to be aggressive or rough, but somehow when she'd reached the front there were a lot of people rubbing arms and looking pained.  He led her to the seats and they sat down.

"Could I take your name please?" said MacDoozle, taking out a small notepad and a Bic biro.

"EmmaB" she replied coolly.

"And what does the B stand for?"

"None of your business."

"Ma'am, I am a police officer and this is a criminal investigation--"

"Fine then.  I have no other surname, it's just B.  It's an old-family name.  My ancestors are Sumatran and since there were only twenty-three families living on their island, they each picked a letter of the alphabet to identify themselves."

"I suppose that made things easy," said MacDoozle wondering if anyone would believe it if he wrote it down.

"Not really, no-one could agree on which alphabet to use."

MacDoozle swallowed and decided to just write down her name.  If she proved useful someone else could interview her later.

"What were you doing in the bank at lunchtime?"

"The Macarena."

"...ma'am, could you take this investigation seriously, please?  I do have powers to arrest you for being obstructive."

"I am being serious.  At the time the bank was robbed I was doing the Macarena.  My friends and I contribute occasional articles to a small-press magazine called the Rebel Voice.  You've heard of flash mobs, no doubt.  We do something similar -- we turn up somewhere, do something interesting, and it gets a write-up in the magazine."

MacDoozle rubbed his temples.  There was a tightness there that suggested a headache was starting.

"So did you see what happened while you were doing the Macarena?"

"I didn't see the start of it.  I only really started paying attention when the man in the fake glasses started waving a gun around and shouting."

"How did you know the glasses were fake?"

"They had googly eyes attached to them.  And a plastic nose.  The moustache looked real though, east european I should think."

"And what did you do then?"

"The third chorus of the Macarena."

MacDoozle stared at her, his jaw dropping open.  "The man was waving a gun and shouting and you carried on dancing?"

"It didn't look like a real gun to me."

"And was it a real gun?"

"Sort of.  It turned out to be a dart gun, and the darts appeared to be drugged or poisoned."

"He fired the gun then?"

"Yes, he shot two of the tellers."

"Where are they now?"

"Probably still on the floor behind the counter.  They were the only ones back there, so no-one's been able to open the security door to let anyone back in."

"Did you stop dancing after he shot the tellers?"

"No."

"No?"  Jason rubbed his head again, a headache was definitely starting.

"I've been in worse situations than this."

"Can you describe this man?"

"Short, fake glasses, plastic nose, east european moustache, yelled a lot, had a tranq. gun.  Stop me if you've heard this one."

MacDoozle sighed, and folded his notebook up.

"Thank-you ma'am, you've been... very..."

"I have, haven't I?"  EmmaB smiled impishly.  "Am I free to go now?  I have a date at an art gallery this evening and I need to get changed."

"Leave your address and details with the officer at the door, but yes."

EmmaB stood up and sashayed out, and MacDoozle turned back to the crowd, hoping that his next interviewee would be a little more helpful.

The End

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