Criminal Fringes

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Young was not your garden variety criminal. He was, in more minds than
just his, a truly exceptional thief. He didn't understand where his
talent came from but, under the right circumstances, he could walk
into a room and take what he wanted right from under everyone's
noses. The way he did it left police running in circles as victims and
witnesses spun tales of a man who was, in varying degrees, both there and,
not there. It all seemed to depend on where you were looking.

He approached his latest target as he had so many before: walking
through the front door and seeing the inner doors to the gallery;
his soon-to-be prize within. He faced the two doors that opened into
the museum. It always had to be two doors. Whatever the source of his
ability, it didn't work with just one. He often wondered what would
happen if one of the doors closed while he was inside. "Save the
natural philosophy for later. It's time to work." he told himself.

Young walked forward and stopped thinking about the door(s)(?). He never
really felt the moment of his entry. It was more like the scenery
suddenly changed as the space he was moving into became the space he
was in and he became a part of that space, filling it.

Which door did he pass through? Did he even pass through a
door? Did it matter?

In the end it didn't matter as he moved to the pedestal holding the
amulet, picked it up, and moved back toward the door(s)(?). A few
people looked at him briefly as he passed, appearing as if they were
about to say something about the theft only to shake their heads, not
sure of what they had seen. That's the way it always was with
witnesses to Young's crimes. It was part of the fun.

<<<< * >>>>

"There but, not there. What are these people on about?" shouted Chief
Inspector Planke to the team assembled in his office. "How does he get
into these rooms? And, this time, in front of several of our officers."

The newest member of Planke's team, Detective Finemann, spoke up, "I suspect he enters through the doors."

"As much as I like classical humor Detective, I hope you have more than that. I think we can all agree that he has to enter through a door."

Finemann stood and walked toward the front of the room. He reached the chalkboard and started drawing a vertical series of narrow boxes aligned like ocean barges or jetties with two noticeable gaps. "I didn't say door. Has it escaped everyone else's attention that our crime scenes always have doors, plural?"

"Are you trying to suggest that he doesn't go through a door but, rather, goes through all the doors? Think carefully about your answer as there are only two possibilities: yes or no. One of them gets you removed from this detail."

"Chief Inspector, with all due respect, if you think there are only two choices, I don't think you fully understand the question. We need a wider vision to see unexpected things; to see the things that are far from what we would guess or could have imagined."

"I don't see what we can widen in our vision of the crimes or the criminal to make sense of your suggestion. If I understand you at all, it seems you are saying that he splits himself between multiple entry points to commit his crimes? I don't grasp at all how that can be done
much less how that could help him commit his crimes but, last I checked, reality was quite firm in its failure to provide people with decimal points; people come in lumps."

"Quite true Chief Inspector but being a lump does not always mean one must act as a lump."

<<<< * >>>>

Young chuckled quietly to himself as he approached the front entrance to the Schön Dinge Gallery. "Nice Things indeed. I plan to relieve you of one of those things shortly."

The gallery opening was in full swing with people milling about as he walked into the building. At the end of a large foyer were the two doors that led into the main gallery.

He took another look toward the doors and into the gallery and saw the large jade feline in a crystalline box that was the object of his attention: the famous Schön Dinge Cat.

Young nodded to a guest who was heading into the gallery and began to walk toward the doors himself. He let his mind go. His thoughts of the door(s)(?) faded from his mind and he was in the gallery in the way he always was. He moved unnoticed to the center of the room until he was close enough to touch his prize. He reached out to pick up the cat
thinking to himself, "what fun we could have if you were alive."


Young sensed the click of a door shutting more than he heard it but he knew that it must be one of the doors he was entering through as he solidified into the room. Where moments ago he was everywhere, he suddenly found himself merely somewhere as the police advanced on him, weapons drawn. There was nowhere to run. His path was chosen.

Detective Finemann walked toward him, dangling a pair of handcuffs from his fingers, "J'observe!"

About the Author: 
Physicist/Photographer/Programmer, Steven is certain of only one thing: we are limited only by uncertainty. And very large brick walls without doors. Definitely those, too.