Monday

9 December 1981

[ Citation: Lindqvist, John Ajvide; Ebba Segerberg (2008-10-28). Let the Right One In: A Novel (p. 1-4). St. Martin's Griffin. Kindle Edition. ]

[ All spoken lines, as shown in a italics, are directly from the novel. ]

I was about to close up the garage for the day when a knock came at the door. Hesitantly I opened it, hoping this would not be anything urgent. There were a couple of things on the schedule for this evening and I wanted to get home soon for dinner.

It was an officer or rather an official investigator. He introduced himself and came in. I forgot the name, as I typically do, in record time. Said he wanted to see my log book for the period back in mid-October. I obliged him this, still hoping to move things along so that I could be on my way home.

I chewed my nails while I waited. The officer scanned the entries one by one, asking me bits here and there for details. It bugs me when I can't remember something that I know I was directly involved in. But as he was working his way down the list, asking me for information on who so-and-so was and what the job might have been, I found myself anxious that I could recall so little. These were jobs I did barely two months back. Maybe I should attempt some of those memory exercise gimmicks I see in the TV commercials, late night.

Finally he came to an entry that made him stop. His finger rested on my log book and he seemed to stop his breathing. "Blackeberg, here" he said at last. I didn't respond. Had I done a Blackeberg move in mid-October? I looked blankly at him, my hopes of a warm dinner at home were starting to fade.

"18 October, here" he said to me. "Says you moved a man to Blackeberg from Norrköping. Right?"

Yes, that one came back to me, the late-night move.

"Yes."

"Tell me the details. Where to? The address."

"That was the night move. I moved a man and his daughter from Norrköping. Two hour drive, starting after dark. The man was quiet the whole way."

"Address?" he repeated, a bit sternly.

"Umm, Ibsengaten. I don't remember the number anymore."

"75? 75 Ibsengaten?"

"Yes, that's right." It worried me that he knew the exact street number. I could see that I had not put the street number in the log book, yet he knew it.

"And the daughter?"

"Pretty little thing. Truly. But never said a word."

"Can you describe the man."

"Stout. Balding. Somewhere in his forties. Maybe fifties?"

"And the girl?"

"Really I don't remember much. Just a child. She slipped in and out of the cab like a shadow. Never got a good look at her. She never said a word."

He looked across the interior of the garage at my moving truck. It was the same one I had driven that October night. I nodded in agreement to the officer when he waved a finger at it.

The cab of the truck contained a single seat bench, straight across from one door to the other.

"You drove them in the cab of your truck, from Norrköping to Blackeberg, a two hour drive, and yet you can't tell me anything about her?"

"Truly I cannot. She sat over next to the door. The man, I forget his name, sat between me and her the entire way."

"A grown man sat in the middle spot of your cab the entire way?"

"Uh, no. Well, I mean Yes, but No. He sat over towards the passenger side. What I mean is that she was so slight, so small, that she sat, well, somehow over there next to the door... Like I said, she was a shadow."

"Did you get a name?"

"No. I don't recall. Or rather, sir, he never called her by name nor told me her name."

"Hmmmm," the offer said. He had been writing notes.

"Oh, and another thing. They had almost no furniture. A couch, an armchair, maybe a bed. An easy job, really. And that . . . yeah, they wanted it done at night. I said it would be more expensive, you know, with the overtime surcharge and that. But it was no problem. It just had to be done at night. That seemed real important. Has anything happened?"

Why was he asking so much about the girl? Has something happened? God, I hoped she was okay. Please let him say No. That frail, pretty little ghost of a girl... please let him say No.

He looked at me in silence for a period that stretched beyond comfort. He sized me up, then and there, deciding - I hoped - that I had been honest with him.

What I wanted was to wrap this up so that I could finish closing up the garage and get home. I was trying my best to recall the face of that little girl.

Then he leveled me. "You moved the Ritual Killer."

I took a step back. No, I couldn't have! No.

I looked down at my log book. My log book with my careful handwriting. He had put a mark next to the entry. A mark. It was like a puncture wound. This man. This child. I had moved the Ritual Killer?

"I'll be damned. . . ."

I swallowed hard. Thoughts of dinner were gone. His finger was on the entry. "18 October. Norrköping-Blackeberg (Stockholm)," it read in my handwriting.

I sat down. Thinking about it now, I'm glad there was a seat behind me. The officer continued to look into my face.

There wasn't going to be any dinner tonight. I'd completely lost my stomach for it. I would make an excuse for that when I got home.

But nothing more. I wasn't going to tell anyone of this.

Ever.