The Summer of Dead Toys

The Summer of Dead Toys by Antonio Hill Read Free Book Online

Book: The Summer of Dead Toys by Antonio Hill Read Free Book Online
Authors: Antonio Hill
Tags: Fiction, General, Mystery & Detective, Crime
uptown area, in every sense of the word, of Barcelona, taking advantage of the fact that the owners—Señor Enric Castells, his second wife and their adopted daughter—had gone to spend the long San Juan bank holiday in the chalet they had in Collbató, celebrating with friends. Around half two in the morning, the boy, Marc’s neighbor, had decided to go home; the girl, one Gina Martí, had “stayed over.” According to the file, she declared, practically on the verge of hysteria, that she had lain down in Marc’s bed “a little while after Aleix left.” The girl didn’t remember very much, and it wasn’t surprising: she’d been, by her own admission, the one who’d drunk the most. It seemed that she and Marc had had an argument when Aleix left, and, offended, she went to his bed, hoping he would follow her. She didn’t remember anything else: she must have fallen asleep shortly afterward and was woken by the cries of the cleaning lady, who found Marc’s body first thing on the floor of the courtyard around 8 a.m. the following day. It was supposed that, as he did most nights, the youth had opened the window and sat on the sill to smoke a cigarette. Some habit. As stated, he fell or jumped from there between three and four in the morning, while his girlfriend slept it off in the room below without hearing anything at all. Rather pathetic, but not very suspicious. Like Savall had said, no thread to unravel. Only one detail seemed to stand out from the scene: one of the panes in the back door was broken, and that—which on any other night might have been seen as an indication of something— had, in the absence of any other evidence, been regarded as just a typical occurrence on a night like San Juan, when kids throw fireworks and convert the city into something resembling a battlefield.
    The esplanade was becoming emptier as Héctor moved away from the most popular beaches. His body was already beginning to show signs of fatigue, so he turned around and began the route back. It was after half past eight. He sped up in a long, painful sprint. He was out of breath when he arrived at his house, soaked in sweat. Someone seemed to be sticking an awl into his left calf, and he limped the last few metres separating him from the door of that old building on Pujades, the façade of which was crying out for urgent redecoration. Panting, he leaned against the door and took his keys from his tracksuit pocket.
    He heard someone calling him and then he saw her. Serious, with the car keys in her hand and walking toward him. Héctor smiled despite himself, but the pain in his leg made the smile a grimace.
    “I guessed you’d gone out running.”
He looked at her, uncomprehending.
“You gave my number to Lost Luggage. Your suitcase has
arrived. They were trying to get hold of you but you didn’t answer your mobile, so they called mine.”
    “Oh, I’m sorry.” He continued panting. “They asked me for a second number . . . my mobile is dead.”
“I thought so. Go and shower and change. I’ll take you.”
He nodded and Ruth smiled for the first time.
“I’ll wait here,” she said before he could invite her up. He came down shortly afterward with a plastic bag containing a box of caramel cakes and a graphic design book Ruth had requested before he left. She thanked him with a smile and a “Damn you, bringing me these calorie bombs in the middle of summer when you know I can’t resist them.” Surprisingly, there wasn’t much traffic and they arrived at the airport in half an hour. They spoke little during the journey, and Guillermo took up most of the conversation. He was always safe territory, a subject they had to tackle out of necessity and which arose between them naturally. The separation had happened almost a year before and if there was something of which they could be proud it was the way they’d handled the thorny issue of their son, a boy of thirteen who’d had to adjust to a different reality and seemed

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