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Rated: ASR · Short Story · Sci-fi · #2075520
It ended with a shocker. You will have to read on to find out what that means.

A Death Can Cause a Lot of Trouble

     “It’s your mother’s pearls that are missing. Is that the only thing that has been taken?” Head of Investigations Torvan kept a chewed-on pencil in his mouth when he wasn’t asking questions. When he asked questions he used it to take notes.

     “I’m not sure, but I think it is. I haven’t had the chance to check out the rest of my residence yet.” Lavona kept staring at the mess in her living area. It looked like a Space Storm hit it. So much damage it’s hard for Torvan and Lavona to move around in it.

     Torvan picked up part of a table. He examined it front then back. “This wasn’t done by a professional, but it was made to look like it was. A professional wouldn’t have made so much damage. Do you know of anyone who could have done this?”

     “The only one I can think of that would have a reason to take them is my sister Punni. She wanted them too after our mother died, but I got them in my mother’s Final Wishes. I already contacted her though, and she didn’t do it. According to her Locator she was where she said she was in the time frame that it must have happened.”

     “I’m going to check out her out anyway. Who else got something from your mother after she died. It has to be one of them.”

     “What makes you think that?” Lavona started crying when she picked up the shattered remains of a family image. “Are you sure it’s one of us? I can’t imagine any of us doing this.”

     “It has to be one of you. Like I said a few minutes ago, a professional couldn’t have done this. Whoever did do it wanted me, or whoever got this problem to solve, to think it was a professional.”
“I don’t think your right about it being one of us, but I’ll get you the names of those who got something from my mother’s death. My contact papers should be around here somewhere.” Lavona almost fell on the floor – and started rummaging through the damage.


     Torvan sat behind a table in a dimly lit room. A small pile of blue index cards laid on that table in front of her. In front of that pile of cards there’s an orange spray paint bottle right in front of Lavona who sat opposite Torvan. Torvan had to look over the top and around that tall bottle. She kept glancing around it as she spoke to Lavona.

     “I have checked out all of everyone who got something from your mother after she died. You were right about them. They all had proof of where they were when it happened. None of them did it. You did it to yourself.”

     Lavona didn’t say anything. So Torvan continued. Torvan spread out the cards in front of her. “Each one of these represents someone who could have done it. Only on one did do it – didn’t they?” Torvan tapped the card in front of her, the bottle and Lavona.

     A head appeared above that card. It slowly circled around the room. “This is Punni isn’t it. She was the one who you said had the best, or was it only, reason to do it.”

     “Yes, she is. I already told you she didn’t do it though. If it’s someone in the family, like you think it is, then it must be someone else.”

     Torvan tapped the card next to Punni’s. A male head appeared above it. “This is your brother Dannom – right? Maybe he’s the one who did it. No, wait, it can’t be him. He was with Punni when it happened.”

     After waiting a few seconds for Lavona to respond Torvan contined. “It’s you who did it. That isn’t the only thing you have done thought – is it?”

     “What are you talking about?” Lavona finally spoke. “Why would I do it? I already had them.”

     “You had them checked out as soon as you got them from your mother, and you found out they were practically worthless. The only way you could get anything out of them is if they were stolen. When I said it couldn’t be a professional that’s when you announced Punni must have did it.”

     “That isn’t true. Well, most of it isn’t. You’re right. I did have them checked out, and they are worthless, but I didn’t take them. Yes, it’s true if they hadn’t of been worthless I would have gotten Protection for them. Only they are. So I couldn’t get any Protection. I didn’t have a reason to take them. That’s why I said Punni might have. Because you said it had to be one of us. She was the most likely one to do it. Until I found out she couldn’t have.”

     “I know you couldn’t protect them, but I also know you didn’t need to do that anyway. Your mother already had them protected. The Protection Bureau just didn’t know they were now worthless. You did though, and the only way you could get the Credits for them is if they got stolen.”

     Torvan didn’t say anything for several minutes. Neither did Lavona. Finally, Torvan spoke. “I have noticed you have been staring at that bottle. You want to know why it’s here. It’s here because you didn’t get rid of it like you thought you did.”

     Lavona didn’t speak. She just continued staring at that bottle of paint. So Torvan did. “After the missing item became missing I also checked out your mother too. Do you want to know what I found out? No, wait. You already know the answer to that. I found out you used that paint to kill your own mother. You made it look like she killed herself.”

     “You didn’t do it because of those worthless fakes – did you?” Lavona never admitted to anything. She died a few months later after her Death Trial.
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