Trafika Europe 2 - Polish Nocturne
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141

The missing items were all small in size. They would have

been easy to conceal in clothes or under a bag’s false bot-

tom. But how had the alarms been deactivated and the

locked cases opened? These were the questions that had

turned the security chief’s suspicions toward the staff.

I started with routine work, running the data on any new

hires in the past several months and checking the security

camera tapes. I had worked earlier as a store detective at a

shopping center in Vantaa. The kleptomaniacs and candy

snatchers didn’t interest me, but since I was a foot soldier

in the security field, I had done everything they paid me for.

One of the compulsive thieves I’d caught, an R&D director

for a big corporation, had tried to bribe me not to report his

crime, swearing it was a sickness. I’d refused; he didn’t offer

me enough.

After the foundation, it was time to pull on Santa’s boots.

My grandfather had made them; he had been the village

shoemaker. My late Uncle Jari had added roughness to the

soles.

The leather boots with their upturned tips gave a Finnish

stamp to the corny Coca-Cola Santa’s red garb, and they

made it easy for Bruun to distinguish me from the store’s

other Santas, of which there were five, working in two

shifts. I didn’t envy them: to listen to spoiled brats’