For the Family

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Status: In Progress  |  Genre: Other  |  House: Land of stories


For the love of Family we lie.

Submitted: February 16, 2018

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Submitted: February 16, 2018

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Mario was a handsome, intelligent, charming liar.  Tracy smiled at him as he raised his glass.  “May this be the first of many dinners.”  She raised her glass and drank to the toast.

“If I had known you could cook so well I would have accepted your invitation weeks ago.”

“Ah there are many secrets you’ve yet to discover.”

She was about to give a saucy response when her phone buzzed twice.  She glared at her purse.  “I take it duty calls?” he said.

“May be its an overreaction.  Excuse me.”  She took her phone and stepped to the edge of the balcony.  “There better be a bomb in the metro.”  She said.

“Your parents have been involved in a terrorist incident.” Her handler said.

“Casualties?” she asked calmly even though her heart held its breath.

“Only terrorist.” her handler assured.

Relief was followed by annoyance.  “So why am I being called?”

“They want to arrest your parents for interference with an investigation.”

“Good it’s about time someone teaches them consequences.”  Tracy hung up and looked at the beautiful city view.  Why did selling illegal weapons allow you to afford the best.  She turned and smiled at Mario apologetically.  “I’m sorry but apparently some terrorist are causing a stir and the Ambassador wants a report on why we didn’t know about it A-SAP.”

“Duty calls.”  Mario took her hand and kissed it.  “Until next time Natalie.”

“Until next time.”

 

Tracy got out of the cab at the US Embassy.  Inside she passed the Ambassador’s office that was buzzing like a kicked hornet’s nest and went out the back door and out the side gate.  Half-way down the block she got in a cab.

“About time.  Had to wave off three fares.” Howard her driver complained.

“Mario wanted promises for a raincheck.”

“And how was dinner with tall, dark and evil?”

“Man knows how to cook.  It would have gone better if my parents hadn’t decided to play wild west.”  Tracy said getting out of her Embassy worker on a date outfit and changed into her Interpol Cryptographer outfit.

“Are they spies too?” Howard asked causualy.  He was entry level employee still enamored with secrets.

“No, they are just old and don’t care.” Tracy dismissed.

“I hear they saved a lot of lives.”

“Then why do the police want to charge them?”

“Because two old Americans did what they couldn’t.”

“Don’t defend them.”

“Yes, mam.”

She got out of the cab and went into the police station.  She flashed her Interpol credentials and was waived through.  She went to the coffee machine and listened to the tone of the office.  Everyone seemed relaxed despite the excitement.  Two investigators came out of an interrogation room and came to the coffee machine.  They were the only ones that seemed agitated.  “I swear if I have to hear about those damn pastries one more time I’m charging her.”

She turned around and smiled.  “Maybe I can help.”

“Who are you?”

She showed him her credentials as she said, “Tracy Lambert, Interpol and the detainees’ daughter.”

“You want to help interrogate your parents?”

“I want to know how my parents got into a confrontation with terrorist and you want to fill your report out before your shift ends.  It seems to me we’re on the same side.”

The one inspector looked at the other.  The other just shrugged, “Your call boss.”

“Alright who do you want first Mom or Dad?”

“Mom.”  They both sighed and lead her to the interrogation room they had just left.

It was a small plain room with a desk in a corner with a computer.  A chair at the desk, a chair in the far corner and a chair in front of where her mother was sitting.  A microphone was hung from the center of the ceiling.  Her mother sat in an evening gown hand cuffed to a chain anchored to the floor.She looked like she was sitting in a waiting room at a doctor’s office.

Her eyes lit up when she saw Tracy.  “Darling, how are you?  I’d give you a hug but . . .”  She lifted the handcuffs.

Tracy thought about leaving her in the handcuffs but knew her mother would remain intractable as long as they were on.  “Can we lose the restraints?”

The inspector unlocked the handcuffs.  “Thank you dear.  Your father is going to be so disappointed.  We wanted to surprise you.”

“Well I’m certainly surprised.”  Tracy said sitting in the chair in front of her mother.

“Now I’ve got friends in the Travel department and they would have told me if your passport showed up in Italy.” Tracy said.

“Oh, well we got a ride with Mr. Trudeaux.  He’s one of those one percenters.”  Her mother said pleasantly.  The inspector choked on his coffee.  Tracy understood the inspector’s reaction.  Mr. Trudeaux was a multi-trillionaire that had at least ten decoy planes flying around the world.  The last verified picture was back when he made his first million.

“You are certain it was Mr. Trudeaux?” the inspector asked.

“Well that was what he said his name was.” Her mother said.

“Mr. Trudeaux who owns a good part of the world gave you a lift to Italy?” The inspector persisted.

“Well he certainly is rich but I wouldn’t know about how much of the world he owns.  You know your father, he can make friends with anyone.”

“Alright moving on.” Tracy gave the inspector a warning look.  “You get to Italy and how did you get an invite to the gala?”

“Mr. Trudeaux gave us his invitation.  He said he wasn’t staying long enough to go and asked us if we wanted to go.  And you know your father, never misses an opportunity to go to a good party.  We told them at the door we were just filling in but I don’t think they believed us.  They served us regally with drinks and food.  They had these flaky pastry puffs filled with the most divine filling.  There was mushroom but I don’t know what kind and they must have used an infused oil.”

“Mom.” Tracy interrupted the culinary breakdown of the pastry puff.  “You were getting stuffed with flaky pastry and alcohol.  When did the terrorist arrive?”

“I suppose they were there the whole time.  They were wearing serving uniforms.  Really a trite modus operandi but apparently still effective.”

“When did you know they were terrorists?”

“I didn’t not until the gun waving and screaming.  Your father knew sooner.  He had gone off to mingle and then he was coming back.  I thought he was going to ask me to dance.  The band was quite good.  It would have been so nice to dance to our wedding song again.”

“So Dad comes to the table and tells you what?” Tracy asked trying to hold onto her patience.

“Sit tight things are about to get hairy.  And about five or ten minutes later it did.  They started waving guns and screaming Ala Ackbar.  Which I didn’t think they still used.  One was running around zip tying all the doors.  It must have been those big thick industrial zip ties.  Anything less would just be ridiculous.”

“Mom!”  Tracy grabbed hold of herself and continued.  “What did they want?”

“The leader went to the stage and punched the singer.  I do hope he is alright, he really is a talent.  Any ways, the leader took the mic and demanded Mr. Trudeaux.  As I told you no one believed us when we said we were nobodies.  So naturally they all looked at your father.”

“Naturally.”

“Your father patted me on the knee so I wouldn’t worry.  Like I’m some sort of wilting flower.”

“What did Dad do?”

“He did his old man trick.  You know the one that he used on your dates.”

“The one he did right before he pulls out the shot gun and warns that he tends to hit low what with his weak arm and all?”

“That’s the one.  Apparently it works on terrorist too.”

“What exactly did he do?”

“He played hard of hearing.  The lead terrorist came over and got in real close yelling the whole time about how Mr. Trudeaux was the epitome of western decadence and by publicly killing him it would save the world.  Then your father teetered getting a hand on his gun shoulder and shoved his knife into the man’s jugular.  Made a real mess of your father’s tux.  I swear the man does it on purpose.  He hates the penguin suits as he is fond of calling them.”

“What about the other terrorists?”

“Oh, well when the leader died he dropped his gun.  Really poor safety practice not to use the strap.”

“Moomm.”

“Right, well I picked it up while your father kept hold of the dead terrorists and I shot the others.  The thing had a horrible kick, aggravated my arthritis, and it kept going left.  Really a terrible weapon of choice.”

"Your husband stabs a man to death and you hit every terrorist in the room in the head.  With an inferior weapon?" The investigator doubted.

“Dad was in the army and then did self defense classes.  Mom was a sales rep for Remington. The best way to sell a gun is to show how easy it is for a girl to hit a target." Tracy explained.  "And you are alright?”  Tracy asked her first worried daughter question.

Her mother leaned forward and patted her hand.  “Right as rain.”

Tracy looked at the inspectors, “Anything else?”

“We’re good.”

Tracy turned back to her mom.  “I’m going to see how Dad is doing and find out how he knew there would be trouble.  And unless the inspectors have any issues I’ll get you processed out and take you to your hotel.”

“That’s fine dear.  You take all the time you need.  But I do need to go powder my nose.”  They all got up and left the little room.  The inspector got a junior woman officer to escort her mother to the bathroom. 

The inspectors lead Tracy to another interrogation room.  It was an almost exact copy of the other one only there were a couple of stains on the floor.  Her father sat wearing a police gym shirt and sweat pants.  He too was handcuffed looking annoyed but unconcerned.

Tracy looked at the Inspector who unlocked the handcuffs.  He got up and gave Tracy a bear hug.  “Dad what are you doing taking on terrorist?”

“Its not like they gave me much of a choice.”

“Are you alright?”

“I’m old not an invalid.”

“Of course.  So how did you know there was going to be trouble?”

“Talked to your mother first?”

“She doesn’t turn it into me getting interrogated.”

“If you called more than once a month we wouldn’t need to interrogate you."

“I thought it was moms who were supposed to guilt trip children.”

“That’s a very sexist thing to say.”

The inspector cleared his throat.  “To business, how did you know?”

“I was making small talk with some of the guest and decided to get an hordorve before your mother ate them all.  It tried talking to the server with the tray.  He seemed nervous but wouldn’t answer any questions.  I tried some Italian out of the translation book and he finally responded not in Italian.  I felt pretty sure this crowd would demand service in their language and that is when I noticed the dirty fingernails.  I left and returned to your mother.  I knew if I wasn’t there she would do something foolish.”

Tracy shook her head.  She would be lucky to find someone to love as much as her parents loved each other.  “Alright, I’m satisfied.  Inspector is there anything else?”

“That is good for now.  You’ll need to stay for a few days in case anything else comes up.” The inspector warned.

“We’ve come to visit our daughter for the month.” Her father informed.

“Month?” Tracy choked.

“You missed Christmas without a satisfactory explanation.”  Her father pointed out.

“I told you there was a work emergency.” Tracy defended.

“And there aren’t a dozen other cryptographers that could have cracked the code?” Her father accused.

Tracy turned to the inspector.  “All yours.” She left the room before her father could start again.  It took two hours to fill out the paper work.  But she was finally in the limo taxi, driven by Howard, headed to the condo they had apparently rented for the month.  “Mom can I see your phone?”

“Sure, why?” she asked handing it over.

Tracy plugged it into the photo printer next to the mini bar.  She scanned through the photos and selected all the pictures involving the private plane.  “Because your ride to Italy is a very elusive powerful man and you are a picture taking fiend.  You might have a picture of this guy.  Of course it could be one of his decoys but we need to check.”  Tracy answered.

“Why not copy the data to your phone?” Her father asked.

“I will but digital has a way of disappearing around this guy.” She answered.

“My clever girl.” her mother said.

Tracy smiled dispite herself.  The limo came to a stop.  Tracy handed the phone back to her mother.  “I’m coming by in the morning.  I know a place that makes the best crepes.”

“We look forward to it dear.”  Her parents got out and went into the condo.

Tracy waited until she saw the light come on in the condo before taking the pictures to the office.  In a month she would be able to shred the pictures.  Why did they have to make her life so complicated.

“She’s gone.” He said.

“I hate lying like that to her.” She said.

“I know but she wouldn’t have the freedom she has now if we didn’t.” He said and turned on th mp3 player to their wedding song.  “May I have this dance?”

“Why of course Mr. Trudeaux.”  She said with a smile and felt twenty-seven again in his arms.


© Copyright 2018 K. LaRue. All rights reserved.

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