Family Lies Chapter 13: Fake

Drawing of a partly-built brick wall with a sign saying: "Under construction." Caption reads: "Work in progress."

Family Lies Chapter 13: Fake

Emily had suggested the family all go home.  They’d stayed. 

The adults were now sitting in the lounge room, while the children were at the kitchen table, drawing. 

While the bomb squad had left, forensics were still in the back yard, and police were still around the neighbourhood.

Detective Carstairs told the family: “So the bomb was a fake, or at least incapable of detonating.  Bomb squad told me it was either a model or the most amateurish attempt they’d ever seen.  It was probably meant to scare you.”

“Then it worked,” Emily said. “I was scared.  My whole family was in danger, or I thought they were.”

“You normally have a family barbecue on Sunday?” 

“Yes.  Well in good weather. Otherwise we have a family lunch inside.”

“So anyone watching the house would expect your children and grandchildren to be here today?”

“I suppose so. I honestly every thought about it.”

Kym said, “We shouldn’t have to change our behaviour for this horrible person.”

The detective sighed.  “No, you shouldn’t have to, but I suggest you do until we catch him. I suggest you do not do anything predictable.”

“How long would that be?” Kym asked.  “How long would Mum have to put her life on hold?”

“I can’t answer that. I wish I could.”

Emily asked, “So what can you tell us?”

“I can tell how he accessed your yard.  As you know, your cameras are faced towards the front of the property, because that’s where you expect people to come from.  You don’t have any facing the fences between your and your neighbours’ yards.  We’ve checked all of your adjoining neighbours’ security footage.  Last night, someone climbed the fence of the yard backing on to yours, and moved toward the back of their yard, towards yours.  Later that night a person, who appears to be the same person, climbed out over a side neighbour’s front fence. This person didn’t not try to access any of the houses, so did not set off anyone’s alarms. The person was wearing a hoodie pulled down over their face, making visual identification impossible, so even if we find a suspect, we will have trouble proving he or she was the person who planted the device.”

“What happens now?” Emily asked.

“We will continue to look for both your father and your half-brother.  We will also speak with your ex-husband again to find out if he has a alibi for the time the person was accessing the yards. Forensics will continue their investigation in your yard, and in your neighbours’ yards.”

“Well, that will make me popular with the neighbours and with Jack.  Oh, I should tell you Jack’s talking about taking me to court for a property settlement from the marriage, even though I had nothing at the time. Someone’s told him he could get half of my current assets, not assets from the time we were divorced.  He refuses to accept that’s wrong.”

“He really does seem to want money from you.  Do you believe he could be U.N. Known.?”

“I don’t think so. I think it’s more likely to be my father or this half-brother I’ve only just learned existed, but I can’t be sure, can I?”

“No, you can’t, neither can we, so we will have to speak with him again.  Have you thought of anyone else who could possibly want to extort money from you?”

“No, but as Jessica Flowers said, sometimes rich people attract attention from people who are envious or jealous or whatever.”

“We haven’t ruled that out.”

“What can I do to be safer?”

“You could consider hiring a private security company to patrol the grounds, particularly during the night, but preferably on an unpredictable, random schedule.”

“Thanks. I will do that.”

Steve said, “Alannah, Jody, Kym and I have been talking.  We don’t like you being here, with the way the threats are escalating.  We’d like you to come and stay with Alannah and me.  Kym’s got room for Elsie and Jenny.”

Detective Carstairs said, “That could be a good idea.”

Emily said: “And if he’s watching? If he knows where I live, he probably also know where everyone else lives.  Me going to Alannah and Steve’s house could put them, as well as Kitty and Jess in danger.  I can’t do that.  I’m staying here. I will ask Jenny if she would like to go to Kym’s house with Mum, or if she’d like to stay in a hotel, or whatever else.  I’ll tell Josh and Carole they can take time off if they want, and I’ll still pay them.”

“Perhaps you, your mother and your nurse could all stay at a hotel?” Detective Carstairs said. 

“And then I might endanger hotel staff and guests, I can’t do that,” Emily said.

“Fair enough.  Then I do recommend you get private security, and I will make sure there’s an increased police presence in the area.”

Chapters of Family Lies

Note, this is the first draft. What eventually is published as a book (if it is published as a book), will be edited, rewritten, and re-edited, and may not have much in common with this first draft.

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By Iris Carden

Iris Carden is an Australian indie author, mother, grandmother, and chronic illness patient. On good days, she writes. Because of the unpredictability of her health, she writes on an indie basis, not trying to meet deadlines. She lives on a disability support pension now, but her ultimate dream is to earn her own living from her writing.

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