The Warehouse (Ginger Man 9B)

Charlie wrote, A minute later, two police officers enter the room, and sit at the table with the Sleeping Jaywalker and the attorney. “Why were you at the Tower Warehouse at 3 AM yesterday?” they ask.

“I don’t know,” replies the Sleeping Jaywalker. The attorney coughed. The policemen ask for an explanation, and the Sleeping Jaywalker says, “I was asleep when you picked me up.”

“How is that possible?” the policmen ask him.

“It’s a side effect of a medication that I’m taking,” says the Sleeping Jaywalker, who then recites from memory a description he had read in the book of household medications he had accidentally stolen during one of his sleepwalks (he left out the part about shoplifting, since the store manager had decided not to prosecute after he agreed to purchase the book).

One of the police officer’s left the room. The other officer asked the Sleeping Jaywalker, “The body of one of our officers was recently found near the Tower Warehouse. He was investigating the suicide of a nurse, whose body was found in the river near that same warehouse.” The officer leaned across the table.

Charlie paused, flexed the fingers of his right hand, resumed writing. “Do you know anything about these deaths?”

The Sleeping Jaywalker opened his mouth to say no, but then stopped himself. “Which warehouse?” he asks.

“Tower Warehouse,” the police officer said. The other officer came back into the room, said the Sleeping Jaywalker’s story about the medication’s side effect checked out.

“Which warehouse?” the Sleeping Jaywalker asked. When it was still in existence, Tower Manufacturing had several warehouses in the city.

“The one on 16th Street,” replied the two officers simultaneously. The Sleeping Jaywalker then remembered the tarot card he had received from the dead fortune teller’s sister — at the top of the picture of the crumbling Tower, the number 16 had been written in roman numerals.

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