Lock down.
Subject: Lock picking (Personal narratives)
Author: Long, Laird
Pub Date: 12/22/2011
Publication: Name: The Forensic Examiner Publisher: American College of Forensic Examiners Audience: Professional Format: Magazine/Journal Subject: Health; Law; Science and technology Copyright: COPYRIGHT 2011 American College of Forensic Examiners ISSN: 1084-5569
Issue: Date: Winter, 2011 Source Volume: 20 Source Issue: 3
Geographic: Geographic Scope: United States Geographic Code: 1USA United States
Accession Number: 275636315
Full Text: Twin sisters Connie and Ronnie are art unwholesome combination, locked in a lifelong feud ...

Connie glared at her twin sister, Ronnie, working out oil an exercise ball. "That no-good so and so," she gritted, failing to keep her eyes on the barbell I was struggling to keep from crashing down on my chest. "Little ... help ... here!" I gasped.

Connie refocused, grabbing the wobbling barbell at both ends and helping me propel it back up onto tire weight bench rack. "Sorry, Denise," she said, glancing back over at her sister.

I sat up, toweling off my face and chest. "Just what is going on between you and Ronnie now, Connie?" I hesitated to ask. The two sisters shared the special loathing For one another apparently only reserved for twins. And I was always careful not to get caught in the middle of it, if I could help it.

"Look at what she's wearing," Connie growled. She pointed at her sister blithely performing stomach-crunches on the giant blue ball. "That's my black leotard. She stole it out of my locked!"

I took a swig of water from my bottle, the better to hide my rolling eyes from my friend. "You don't know that for sure, Connie. Maybe she bought."

"My brand-new black leotard goes missing from my gym locker one day, and then Ronnie shows up wearing a black leotard the next day--that's not suspicious!? And, of course, it fits her, because we're the exact same size."

"What kind of lock do you have on your locker?"

"A normal padlock, what else?" Connie muttered, glaring daggers at her leotard-clad sister.

"Those are pretty easy to pick," I suggested.

Connie grimly nodded. "She's crafty, all right. She used to pick the lock on my diary at home."

"Why not try a combination lock, then? Unless Ronnie's got a pair of boltcutters, or is a skilled safecracker, there's no way she should be able to open that."

Connie looked at me. "A combination lock? Well, um, I've never actually used one of those before. I always use padlocks, that way I don't have to remember any numbers,"

I smiled. "Just think of it as another phone number. And unless you guys can read each other's minds, there's no way Ronnie will ever know what it is."

Connie grinned, evilly.

I provided her with a combination lock that I happened to have at home that evening. It was locked, but I gave her the combination: 21-37-15; the next day the lock appeared on her locker at the gym. And the day, after that, I had to physically separate the two sisters in the gym, as Connie loudly accused Ronnie of stealing her new pink kettlebell out of her locker.

I escorted my fuming friend back into the locker room, as Ronnie resumed swinging a pink kettlebell between her legs, an evil smile on her face.

"How'd she do it!?" Connie wailed, banging her head against her locker. Then she turned on me. "You didn't tell Ronnie the combination to that lock you gave me, did you?"

Ignoring her tantrum, I moved Connie to the side and examined the combination lock. There weren't any scratches on it that I could see, that would indicate it'd been jimmied.

"I already checked the number," Connie bemoaned. "It isn't changed from what I left it on when I locked it--15. I told you she was crafty!"

"Not that crafty," I stated blandly. "You know, Connie, there's actually a simple explanation as to how your sister got into your locker and took your kettlebell."


Solution: Connie was unfamiliar with combination locks, having always used padlocks. So, when Denise gave her the combination lock, she dialed it open using the combination provided, and then latched it onto her locker and clicked it closed like you would a padlock--failing to spin the dial to securely lock it. That's why the dial was still on 15, the last number of the combination that Connie had left it on. Ronnie simply had to pull down, unlocking the locker.

LAIRD LONG Long pounds out fiction in all genres. Big guy, sense of humor. Writing credits include: Blue MurderMagazine, Futures Mysterious Anthology Magazine, Plots With Guns, Hardboiled, Thriller UK, Bullet, Robot, Eternal Night, Another Realm, Albedo One, Baen's Universe, Sniplits, Women's World, 5 Minute Mystery, The Forensic Examiner, and stories in the anthologies The Mammoth Book of New Comic Fantasy, The Mammoth Book of Jacobean Whodunits, and The Mammoth Book of Perfect Crimes and Impossible Mysteries.
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