Family Lies Chapter 14: Insecurity

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

Family Lies Chapter 14: Insecurity chapter of work in progress by Iris Carden

In the end, it was the staff who made the decision. They were willing to work as normal, despite whatever risk there was.  Jenny said she was going to work weekends as well until it was resolved, so Emily’s daughters would not be at risk.

Family Sunday lunches were cancelled until U. N. Known was caught.

A private security company began patrols.

For the first time, Emily started to feel isolated, having the house and grounds as most of her world.

At different times of day or night, people in the HomeSecure uniforms would appear at the gate, and Emily or a member of her staff would remotely open the gate for them to enter.

“Is this what it’s like to be in prison or in a war zone?” Emily said.

“I’ve never been in either, so I couldn’t say,” Jenny answered.  “But it’s definitely uncomfortable. I hope the police catch this guy soon.”

At the back door, Carole was talking to a security guard.

The guard asked: “I just need the toilet, can’t you let me in?” 

Carole said, “There’s full bathrooms in the pool house, you can use them.  That’s the instructions in your contract.  There’s a kitchenette there as well that you can use in your break.”

“The pool house is all the way at the other end of the yard!  Just let me in for a minute.”

“No. You’re not to enter the house unless you’re specifically requested to do so.”

“Just let me in, you bitch!” He tried to force the door open, but Jenny joined Carole in pushing back. They  managed to get the door closed and locked it.  The man started pounding on the door yelling.

Emily rang the head of HomeSecure, Reg Jackson, and told him what was happening.

“I don’t have anyone there at the moment. Can you switch to FaceTime and show me what he looks like?” Reg asked.

Emily switched the call to FaceTime, switched from the selfie camera to the main one, and went to a window where she could see the man.

“That bloke doesn’t work for me,” Reg said.  “I’ve never seen him before.  I’m on my way and I’m calling the police. I’ll send some people I’ve got nearby, they’ll get there first.”

While the man continued to pound on the door and yell, Emily switched from FaceTime to recording, because this would probably be evidence.

Eventually, the man saw he was being recorded, left the door and came to the window.  He started hitting the window while yelling that she had to let him in. The window was a sliding one, with a security screen behind it.  Emily double-checked the security screen was locked and continued recording.

Multiple things happened at once.  The man’s fist went through the glass window, breaking it into shards, and slashing his arm. An alert at the gate showed the arrival of two security people, and Carole remotely let them in. Jenny ran to get the first aid kit. The security people, following the sound of yelling, ran to the back of the house, and tackled the man.

Once the security people had hold of the offender, Jenny went out with the first aid kit, and bandaged his arm.  

Next to arrive were uniform police, followed by Detective Carstairs, and then Reg Jackson.

Jenny advised Detective Carstairs the man would need stitches.

He refused to speak to the police, refused to give them his name.

Emily came outside and asked him who he was.

“You know who I am,” he answered, as police led him away.

Detective Carstairs advised the man would be taken to hospital for treatment, before going back to the police station.

She took statements, and had Emily email her the footage, along with the front gate footage of the man’s arrival.  Reg confirmed the man was definitely not one of his employees, and pointed out on the footage where the logo on his uniform was wrong.

When the police had finally left, Reg told Emily he wanted to do a full assessment of her home security, because she needed more than security patrols.

“Is this going to mean my home feels even more like a prison?” she asked.

“A lot is going to be unnoticeable,” Reg answered.  “For one, you need cameras on all entrances, not just the front gate and front door.  It wouldn’t hurt to have a few motion activated cameras and lights in the grounds as well.

“Well, that will get lots of footage of foraging possums,” Emily said.

“And we should have alarms that come back to base at HomeSecure as well, including panic alarms for you and your staff.”

“You want us to walk around with alarm buttons in our pockets?”

“They can be installed on the walls or under benches. One under your office desk would be good. You also want cameras and alarms on the pool house. It would provide good shelter to someone hiding. How often do you actually use it?”

“Mum and I both have hydrotherapy every day. Family use it when they visit, and Jenny uses it sometimes.”

“And you go there alone?”


“You definitely need cameras and alarms on the entrances.”

“This all seems overkill.  What’s the minimum you recommend?  I mean, if this guy is the one who’s been threatening me, and he’s in police custody now, do I really need all that?”

Eventually, they settled on cameras covering all entrances to the house, the pool house and Jenny’s flat, as well as a couple discretely placed panic alarms.

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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