Officer Dart (Short Story)
Updated: Nov 12, 2019
Credit: Complete the Story by Piccadilly
Out of the silent night came a crash the hook the whole house. "everyone okay?" Dad yelled. Voices answered from the bedrooms upstairs and down, groggy but present and accounted for - all except one. Where was the young woman who rented a room from us? And where was the dog? He wasn't barking. You would think he would be, after a noise like that.
Dad came downstairs to check everything out and send grandma, me, and my sister upstairs with mom and my older brothers. I was confused, just like everyone else. As we walked to the stairs, I noticed that the front of the living room was just an open hole. The wall was gone, but there wasn't a fire and there was nothing there. No car, no tree, not a single thing. I stood there and looked at at the hole, amazed, until dad pushed me towards the stairs once again.
That night, there were shots from downstairs, there were police, and that night we lost Dad. Mom was pretty messed up for a while after that. She lived, yes, but only until all of us made it out of the house and were set in our lives and careers. I think she was just doing what Dad would have wanted her to do, which was making sure we were provided for until we could do it for ourselves. She met some of my siblings kids, and saw most of us get married. Grandma died of a stroke less than a month after my Dad was murdered.
Me? I never got married or had kids. I went to the police academy and ended up in the FBI rather quickly. I was like a dog with a bone everything I was asked to looked into something. First, I became a detective, young, and then federal agents came to me and offered me position with the promise that all the evidence on my father's cold case would be given to me. I took the position three years ago, the day my mother died of an unexpected heart attack, with no breaks.
I'm aware of the circumstances of my mother's death. I know the timing seems suspicious, even though she passed after hearing of my 'promotion'. I'm aware that either the news of my new job killed her, or she was murdered, too. I'm also aware that, for years, before I was even born, my father had been under investigation by the FBI themselves. But, the paperwork was redacted before it got to me.
And, the paperwork about the night my father died? Also redacted. So, I'm aware that his death had something to do with what he had been doing before. I'm aware that I've been tricked and there is no way I'm ever going to know what got him killed. Or who did it, though I think it was the woman who lived with us.
I've searched her name and every spelling I could ever possibly come up with. I've run facial recognition on her. I've even run her finger prints. But, now, I have DNA. No one even knew I found it and I don't plan on telling them. Even my siblings don't know. Even my best friend doesn't know. I didn't tell anyone just in case there was someone talking to another agent. In case one of them was the original rat who got my father taken away from us when I was so young. Who knows who did it. Hell, it could have even been my own mother. I don't know.
But, as I sit here waiting for th DNA to run it's course, I think about the only thing that I can't ever stop thinking about. Dad. I jut want answers. I want to know what he did to warant his death and why I, as a child, was never questioned. Or, why no one asked me as an adult. I also wonder if I made it to the FBI because of my abilities or if it had something to do with what my father did.
Maybe, this was a trick.
As my computer sent out a ding, showing me the face of my own boss, my office door opened. Speak of the Devil and She shall appear. The woman who stayed with us when I was just five years old, the woman who created a blast and opened my home to the world, the woman who shot my father. I thought I would be arrested on the spot. Or killed, too.
"Congratulations, Agent Dart. You've finally done it. I don't know how, but you have. Now, I assume you'd like an explanation," she said.
"I... I would, yes," I replied.
"I'll give you one, but first I want to know how you got my DNA," she answered.
"I found one of your old lipsticks in the basement. One that belonged to my sister. I'm assuming she snagged it from you at some point and used it the nights she liked to sneak out. It had her DNA and yours, both of your finger prints," I told her. "I just had to sort things out a bit, run it through CODIS, and there you were."
"Smart girl. Always knew you were," my boss told me. "Don't sit here thinking I'm holding this against you. I was cleared of charges, it was a good shot. And it was a shot that saved everyone else in your family. There was some competition coming after your father. After all of you, actually. The cartel. They're ruthless, always have been. They would have killed you all if they hadn't believed I was with them and spying. I was, in fact, the one who shot your father. I killed him, but I saved all of you. I don't want a thank you. I expect more of something akin to anger," she just kept talking.
"Wait, wait, wait. Just tell me what he was doing to deserve this. Why did he have to die? Why was the damn cartel after him?" I asked.
"He was trafficking, both drugs and young women. That's not why they wanted him, though. They wanted him because he was stepping on their territory. But, he was also taking their money. He was outdoing them as just one man. He died to save you all, and he knew it."
"And how do you know that? How do you know that he was okay with leaving us like that, dead on the front lawn?" I was yelling at this point.
"Because, he spoke to me before he died," she said.
"Oh... what... what did he say?" I was speaking softer again.
"He told me he knew, and he knew I was there to look out for you guys more than to get him. He told me to make sure you were all protected from his transgressions. He just wanted you guys to never know what happened or why. I told him I would do those things," she told me as she sat an old voice recorder on my desk. "Then, you became an officer. I knew what you were going after. You showed much potential. I waited as long as I could and gave you everything I could, short of just telling you. You needed to do this on your own. And you did, proving you are worthy of the space you take up here in this office. No one will know what you've found out, and that's an order. It's your job to protect your family now, as I've broken my promise to your father. So, here I am, passing the torch. Does that camera on your desk work?"
"Yes," I affirmed, question bouncing around in my head.
"Good," she said. "Turn it on."
I did as I was told and faced it towards her, assuming that's what she wanted.
She spoke into the camera:
"I am Federal Agent Angela Grande. I shot and killed Rafael Dart a long, long time ago. I am here with his daughter, Maria Dart. She is also a federal agent. I am not giving her a promtion, this isn't about that. It is about me breaking a promise to her father that I would protect her from what he had done. I couldn't stop her. She knows now. Now, Maria, never show this to anyone but your siblings. Tell them when they need to know and not a minute before. Tell them on their death bed if you have to. You're their protector now," she said to the camera before pulling her gun, scarring me half to death, and pointed it at her own head.
"I am nothing but a woman of her word, and my word was that if I ever let any of you kids find out, I would kill your father's murderer. Goodbye, Little Maria," were her last words before she pulled the trigger and splattered her brains against my office wall.
I never got past that.