A Snap Decision

Here is my response to the Hint Fiction challenge for the month.  I also used it as a chance to answer the “Guy Fawkes Day” challenge (for National Novel Writing Month) of blowing up parliament on November 5th.  It was fun and I’m glad that I could kill two birds with one stone.  This is, technically, the final chapter of my NaNovel for November.  It nicely sets things up for the next story in the series.

**

“I don’t know what you expected, Maria,” Alexei said, shaking his head.  His brows furrowed.  “I’ve told you before and I repeat it now: I have a wife whom I love.  I have young children.  I am… not interested in any kind of… extramarital entertainment.”

As Alexei turned away from her, her anger boiled over.  She grabbed the nearest thing – a heavy marble statue – and struck him on the back of the head.  Alexei crumpled to the ground.  Blood seeped from the wound.  For a moment, Maria was stunned.  She rolled him over and touched his neck.  There was no pulse.  Alexei was dead.

How long had they gone back and forth?  She would profess her love and he would deny his feelings for her.  As much as she wanted him, she had wanted him dead.  The dance had gone on for so long that it was hard to believe the day had finally come to pass.  It had been so easy to end his life.  All it had taken was one blow on the head.  The only problem was: what could she do with the body?

When she arrived at work, with the body in her trunk, she realized the solution.  The construction site next door was pouring cement for the new walkway outside the parliament building.  She waited until everyone had gone home, including the construction workers.  Then, she picked the lock to the gate that surrounded the construction site.  It was easier than she’d feared.  Then, it was a simple matter of stealing a wheelbarrow from the site to retrieve the body from her car.  She had the body in the still-soft cement before she began to second-guess her plans.  He was sinking too slowly.  Perhaps the cement had already begun to harden.  If he wasn’t completely submerged, he’d be discovered.  If they could identify him, they would know who had killed him.  No one else hated him the way she did.

Her finger tapped against her teeth.  “I don’t think it’s going to work,” she said, shaking her head.  He sank slowly underneath the surface, but he didn’t sink deeply enough.  She could still see his eyelashes.  No, that would never do.  What did that leave?  There was no way that she could get him back out of the cement now.

Her gaze drifted around the construction site until she saw the box marked with warning stickers about explosives.  She smiled and then hurried over to the container.  It was just as easy to break into the container as it had been to get into the site.  She found the equipment that she would need and then headed back out of the container.

She’d been trained in the use of explosives, so she knew what to do.  Soon, she had everything ready.  She would blow up the construction site and they would assume that it was some kind of terrorist attack.  They’d never dream of looking into what was going on at the business next door to the parliament building.  It was perfect.

Even if they found the body, they’d assume it was someone connected with either the construction company or parliament or even the imaginary terrorists.  Yes, this plan was perfect in every way possible.  She set the trigger device on the walk just outside the construction site.  Then, she took a steadying breath before she pressed the button down with her foot.

Nothing happened.  She frowned and stepped around the gate.  She knew that she had done everything correctly, so why hadn’t there been an explosion?  She took another step towards the place where she had left the detonator.

Then, just as she took the step, the site was shattered by the explosion.  The construction equipment and the sidewalk were shattered by the force of it.  The parliament building trembled in response to the force of it.  Shrapnel from the explosion sprayed into the air.  She was thrown off her feet and covered with the debris.  One long piece of metal separated from one of the machines to impale her through the chest, pinning her to the ground.

The fire department responded to the explosion and found her body where it had fallen.  The evidence was clear: it was some sort of terrorist attack.  Clearly, it was the work of traditionalist forces within Veligrad.  Who else would blow up the parliament building, after all?

As he stared down at the body that was still pinned to the ground, Sergei ruffled a hand through his hair.  His people were not equipped to handle this sort of incident.  However, he knew of a group that was trained for just such things.  It was true that they were newly formed.  However, he’d heard about their work in Frankonia.  If they could handle that mess, this would be a simple matter for them.

“What are you going to do, sir?” one of his subordinates asked.

He drew out his portable telephone.  “You’re going to get her to the morgue,” he said, pointing to the body.  It was wrong to leave her there that way.  “I’m calling the Special Behavioral Analysis Division of Two-A.  Let them handle this matter, while we focus on the normal crimes.”

The young man nodded and then beckoned to others.  It wouldn’t be easy to get the body free from the spike that was pinning it to the ground.  However, the director was right.  They couldn’t leave her there.  No one deserved that.

Sergei smiled faintly as a soft feminine voice answered his call.  “This is Sergei Ivanov, Director of Veligradian Intelligence,” he told her.  “I have a case – I believe it to be terrorism – which I would like assistance on from the Special Behavioral Analysis Division.”

“If you’ll send me the pertinent details,” the young woman replied, “I’ll forward it to the Division leader and he’ll get back to you regarding the case, Director Ivanov.”

“Thank you,” Sergei said, nodding.  He nodded at his subordinates.  He would leave this work to them.  He had a report to write and send out.  He smiled faintly as he remembered the newspaper article he had seen about the team’s previous case.  Two of the members were Veligradian trained.  Yes, it would nice to see how the team functioned.

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