Airtight Mystery

“Now if we could just go through the facts again,” the voice on the other end of the phone said in an official monotone.

“My children are missing and you keep asking questions.” A hysterical Mrs Potter shrieked down her end of the phone.

“I have despatched an area car to you, which will be with you shortly. Mrs Potter we need to clarify all the information before I send out an all points alert. It’s important we have the correct information. Your two children are missing. How old is your son and what was he wearing?”

It took a little time to get the information from Mrs Potter, but finally the officer on the other end of the phone repeated the information for Mrs Potter to confirm.

“Your son is Harry, he is eleven. He has dark hair and he wears glasses. Harry is wearing dark trousers and a maroon football type shirt.” a frustrated Mrs Potter confirmed the information.

“Your daughter is Hermione, she is ten. She has fair hair and is wearing jeans and a pink t-shirt with a unicorn on it.”

“Yes, Yes. I have told you all this,” shrieked the distraught mother.

“I can hear a siren in the back ground so I think my officers have arrived. If you go and talk to them I will deal with this information immediately.” The operator advised.

Mrs Potter slammed the phone down and rushed to the door to be met by two officers, a man and a woman. After introducing themselves as Sergeant Mary Jones and Constable Lennon, they went through all the information yet again and asked for photos.

The Constable moved a few steps away but still in ear shot. He confirmed the information on his mobile, to whom, Mrs Potter did not know.

“Your not taking me seriously, who are you talking to? Why aren’t you doing something?” she agitatedly told them as Sergeant Jones tried to pacify her.

“Of course we are, er Mrs Potter, is your husband about to support you?” Sergeant Jones asked calmly.

“No he’s away on a trip.” Mrs Potter told Sergeant Jones as she jumped to her feet and paced up and down.

“Is he contactable? It’s just we have to make sure the children aren’t with him.”

“ Of course they aren’t with him. He’s in Peru.”

“In Peru, what’s he doing there?” Sergeant Jones asked.

“He’s a Zoologist looking for rare animals. So they are not with him.” Mrs Potter sank back in to the armchair, “Please look for my children.” She pleaded in despair.

The Sergeant Jones asked, “Is there anyone we could contact to be with you?”

“ No. no. Just find my children,” Mrs Potter was agitated and she leaned over and grabbed the officers arm. “Do something.”

“The children have been missing for two hours. Is this usual?” Was the calm reply.

“ No, of course not, that’s why I rang you.” Mrs Potter, as she began to shred a tissue. She then added, “ One of their friends came and told me that another boy had been chasing them, the boy escaped and came back here. When they didn’t return I phoned you. Wish I had gone to look for them now.”

While the Sergeant Jones calmed Mrs Potter down Constable Lennon went to talk to the children’s friend who lived a couple of doors away. He returned in a few minutes with the news that the boy chasing the children was called Mal and the two missing children had hidden in the back of a parked lorry by the supermarket.

Mrs Potter told the officers Mal’s name and his address, complaining about the officers inaction and the wildness of Mal. The Constable then went into the hall and shut the door but he could be heard talking on the his mobile. Mrs Potter half listened picking up the odd word. It appeared there had been some dispute about money which had not been paid for a chocolate bar. There was already a police car at the supermarket.

The Constable finally finished talking and came back to explain the situation. It was confirmed that there had been a delivery of ice cream but the lorry had now left. They were trying to contact the ice cream company.

“But ice cream lorries are refrigerated. The lorry would be airtight that’s why we are told to take the doors off old refrigerators.” Mrs Potter panicked.

“Now, don’t worry, there will be plenty of air in the truck. Did I hear you say Constable that it was the lorry’s last call so it will soon be back at its base.”

“Yes. Er. It came from Manchester. But we are trying to track it on the motorway. There are plenty of cameras and an ice cream lorry would be easy to spot.”

“Manchester that’s over 100 miles away.” The shocked mother screamed. “If they are not frozen to death, they would die from being in an airtight container.” More tissues ended up in tatters. “It’s all that Mal’s fault. He probably locked them in.”

“Well it seems he stopped chasing them when they got to the supermarket, according to the store video. He went in for chocolate. He forgot to pay. So that’s why the car was there. He has an airtight alibi. Er sorry didn’t mean to say that.” The Constable answered.

“Shall we have a cup of tea,” the Sergeant Jones hastily suggested.

A voice came across the mobile. “The lorry had been stopped and searched. There were no children in the lorry.” They all gave a sigh of relief.

“But where are my children?”

Mrs Potter listened as the officers and the voice at the other end of the mobile planned the next steps in the search.. The conversation ended abruptly as the voices of two children were heard exclaiming about a police car being outside their house. Mrs Potter rushed outside.

The two children were there. Harry was holding a stick and wearing a cloak, which turned out to be an over large black cardigan, with the only the top button done up. Hermione had an over large pink jumper on which came below her knees.

Mrs Potter rushed to hug her startled children. “Where have you been? We thought you were locked in a lorry.”

It took sometime to get the story from the children. Harry had explained that as Mal had stopped chasing them, they had gone to the cafe as they were cold. The nice lady in the cafe had found them clothes that had been left by customers. Hermione had said they had been given hot chocolate with marshmallows.

“But didn’t you hear the sirens and see the police car?” Asked the Sergeant Jones.

“Oh yes. But someone said Mal had been caught shop lifting.” Harry told them, “So we didn’t take any notice.”

The children were taken inside. When the officers returned to the car, Constable Lennon asked “How are we going to write this up? Harry Potter disappeared from an airtight lorry and reappeared wearing a cape and carrying a wand?”

“Don’t think we should mention the cape or the wand or the words ‘disappeared from an airtight container’ John. I do wish parents would give there children sensible names,”

John Lennon said nothing.