He liked his Brooklyn house. It was a piece of consistency he cherished. He had his record collection and most of his books there and most importantly, his woodworking shop. There is something about crafting a vision from a few pieces of wood, with tools, that can be very therapeutic.
1955 had been a year with much less woodworking. The cases had kept him busy, but also, he preferred spending evenings with Luna to hours with his hand planes. Still, every time he walked down the basement stairs he wanted to just lose himself in a project.
Tonight, though, there just wasn’t time. He had to check to see if something waited in the closet. It could be anything. He had received a wonderful router from the future, a thing called a DVD player, and a small set of silver records called CDs by a guy named Billy Joel.
Once or twice he and Luna had stayed up talking about how it might work, but all they ever achieved was emptying a few bottles of wine. It was beyond comprehension.
Bobby’s talk came back to Henry. Throughout the walk Bobby kept saying something about synchronization and gears of time. It made Henry think about the closet, but he had never let Bobby in on the secret. It wasn’t so much the content of Bobby’s talk as the tone.
Bobby was scared, just like when he told Henry about The Enclave. The one difference was, this time Bobby didn’t know why.
He was there, at his workbench, sitting on the wooden stool, trying to remember more of their talk. As a detective he relied on his gut and it had served him well. Right now, at this moment, as he casually picked up a one inch chisel and mallet, Henry Wood was sure he was missing something. His instinct said that he should know why he was there or maybe what he would find behind the closet door.
The emptiness of idea made his stomach churn. Henry tapped the chisel into a piece of scrap wood held in the vice. The soft thud as he dug out a mortise seemed to calm his worry. Still, it seemed as if the answer was just beyond his grasp.
Maybe the answer was, indeed, just beyond his grasp. Henry put down the tools and opened the closet door. He took two steps back.
The floor of Henry’s workshop was concrete with a comfortable level of sawdust. The closet, was the same, aside from the whole connection to the future.
The floor was brick now. Even the walls were different and in the center was a small indentation which glowed bright blue. There was a crackling noise. Henry expected something to appear any second.
Five minutes passed and nothing. Henry looked at his watch and decided to give it ten more. Eight minutes later the blue light faded and the noise stopped.
Henry knelt down and eased his hand across the bricks. They were ice cold but warmed closer to the area that had been blue. The walls were cold, too. His fingers discovered a keyhole, in his strange metal closet wall.
Henry stood. He had a flashlight in his toolbox and dug it out. Five more minutes of scanning the inside of the closet, which he had no intention of stepping inside, didn’t explain anything. There was just a keyhole, a new floor, and no keys in sight. It didn’t even look like the wall was a door. It was a wall with a keyhole.
Henry closed the closet door and started to leave, but went back and opened it one more time…nothing new.
The strangeness of the closet had never bothered Henry before now, but on his drive back into the city he wanted to scream. It had always seems like there was someone out there keeping an eye on his back, but now it was just troubling.
The drive back into town was annoying, too. There was an accident and inbound traffic was crawling. He was going to be late. Henry knew that Gavin wouldn’t leave, but the idea that his old friend would drive all the way up from D.C. to see him, and he would be late, stressed him out more than the closet.
One hundred yards later and traffic was stopped. He was less than a dozen cars from the accident. An ambulance had arrived. It was 7:55.
At 8:20 the ambulance pulled away and the patrolman let cars pass. After that, traffic was a breeze all the way up to the Dublin Rogue. He couldn’t find a spot. It took another twenty minutes before Henry made it to the front door.
Gavin was waiting and seemed glad to see him.
“Hey, buddy, sorry I’m late.”
“You’re a busy man,” Gavin said, standing to shake Henry’s hand. “It was good of you to see me.”
“I ran back to Brooklyn, I should have just come over straight away. What are you drinking?”
Henry wasn’t generally a Bourbon drinker, but he ordered two and returned to the table. It was good to sit down. “So, what brings you back up north?”
Gavin laid it all out. He covered it like a cop, details and facts, but then finished with, “And you see, I sort of knew him a bit. He was an architect and we used to talk about the history of D.C. I’d call him a friend.”
“He was an architect? That’s odd.”
“I know, why would anyone murder an architect?”
“No, I got a new client who’s an architect, just today.”
“That sounds like a sign from the universe.”
“If I get one more sign from the universe, I may move to a new one.”
Gavin liked that and laugh. Let me get the next round. When he returned, he said, “As I said, I can’t sniff around at all. What I wanted to ask, well, I want to hire you to go down to D.C. and see what you can find. Why does the FBI care? Who killed the priest and more importantly who killed my friend? I need answers and I can’t think of a better guy for the job. I’ll pay the going rate.”
Henry sipped his drink and thought about it. He didn’t really have a reason to say no. Bobby’s concerns and the closets strange behavior meant something, but he had no idea what it was, so he said, “Tell you what, I’ll head down day after tomorrow, but I’m not taking your money. Instead, how about you keep an eye on my new guys and help them with my architect.”
“We swap cases? I like it. I had no idea what I was going to do with myself. Can’t we start tomorrow?”
“No, I’ve got tickets to game one.”
“You’ve got World Series tickets?”
“That’s fair. You’re a good man Henry Wood.”
They clinked glasses.