It’s time for another Micro-Fiction Monday. Because today’s story is a little longer than normal, I’ll be dividing it in two. You can find Part Two here tomorrow. Now don’t be afraid… This is only fiction…
“THE MOMENT OF TRUTH”
By: Rachel A. Carrera
Kevin chuckled at Larry’s joke and shook his head. “Dang, dude, that was lame. Where do you hear these things?”
Larry smirked. “You’d better learn to appreciate them, or at least act like you do. Mr. Edmund tells a lot of these stupid tales, and if you don’t laugh and act like you like them, he pouts and threatens to take his account over to Sterling.”
Kevin rolled his eyes, then looked at his vibrating cellphone. “Oh. Hold on, man. It’s my wife. Hey, Baby.”
“Mr. Young, this is Officer Victor with the Brighton Police Department. I’m at your house with your neighbor, Mrs. Stanley. Sir, I regret to inform you that an intruder broke into your home. Your daughter was killed, and your wife was attacked. She’s in serious condition. She was taken to Brighton General. I’m very sorry.”
The color drained from Kevin’s face, and he felt a bit of vomit rise to his throat. “Wh – what? Shit! How’d it happen? Are you fucking serious?”
Larry pulled the car to the side of the road, and his smile ebbed. “What happened?”
The cop cleared his throat. “I’m sorry, sir. Mrs. Stanley woke to the sound of screams coming from your house, and she called us. By the time we got here, the door was open, and the intruder was gone.”
“Did – did this happen just now?”
“No, sir. It was several hours ago when we got the call. We’ve been here at your house looking for evidence. The forensics team just finished up. The lock on your front door is busted, so I stayed behind to try to contact you. Mrs. Stanley just found your number. She said you’re out of town on business. Do you know when you can be home, sir?”
“Yeah, I was on my way to the airport right now. Damn. I’ll be there as soon as I can. I have to get to the hospital to see Jen.” Tears welled in his eyes, and his hands shook as he disconnected the call.
Larry turned in his seat, and his tone grew serious. “What happened, man?”
Kevin swiped his hands over his face and sniffled. “Someone broke into my house and attacked my family – Alisha’s dead!” He slammed his fists onto the dashboard of the rental car and let out a seconds long, bone chilling, guttural scream. Then, drained of all energy, he buried his face in his hands, and his chest and back heaved as he sobbed.
Larry gasped. “What? Shit! I – I, um, let’s get you to the airport. Do they know who did it? Did Jen get a good look at him?”
“I don’t know. She’s in the hospital. Our neighbor was who called the cops.”
Larry pulled back onto the road and sped toward the airport. As they waited to board their plane, he called Brighton General, then replaced his cellphone in his pocket. “Sorry, man. They said Jen’s still sleeping. Maybe the sedative will have worn off by the time we get home.”
Kevin nodded and wiped his red rimmed eyes with the back of his arm as he paced back and forth in front of their gate. “Thanks.”
* * *
The following day…
Kevin stood outside Jen’s hospital room with Detective Barkley. His knees felt weak, and his stomach was in knots. “Do you have any leads on who did this, Detective? I can’t even believe this is happening. My daughter was only thirteen years old.” He sniffled and swallowed the lump in his throat.
Detective Barkley adjusted his glasses. “I’m very sorry, Mr. Young. Is your wife any better? I’d like to talk to her.”
Kevin shook his head and rubbed his bloodshot eyes. “No. She’s awake, but she hasn’t said a word since I got here last night. The doc says she’s in shock.”
Barkley nodded. “She was catatonic when I tried to speak to her yesterday. I really need her to snap out of it so she can give us a description of the perp. The longer we wait, the less likely we’ll be able to find the bastard who did this.”
“One of the other officers told me there weren’t any fingerprints at my house. Was there any DNA or anything?”
“So far, we don’t have any leads. We’re still testing, but without a physical description, it doesn’t look good.”
Kevin sighed, and his knees felt as if they would buckle. He leaned against the wall. “I can’t believe no one saw anything. Did you talk to my neighbors?”
Barkley took a notebook out of his pocket and flipped it open. “Your neighbors to the right are out of town. The gentleman across the street wears hearing aids and takes them out at night, so he didn’t hear anything. Mrs. Stanley heard the commotion and called the station. She said a muffled scream was what woke her. After she called us, she said she looked out her window, and a few moments later, she saw him leave. But since it was still so dark out, she didn’t get a good look at his face. He had on a blue jacket and a black hat. So far, that’s all we’ve got to go on. That’s why we really need to talk to your wife…”
* * *
Until tomorrow, folks…
Time to talk: Have you ever had to fake liking a joke in order to preserve a job? Have you ever had to call the police because of sounds you heard coming from a neighbor’s home?