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The Woman Who Murdered Me

by Isabella Flores 10 months ago in Young Adult
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Part 1

We had been trudging through this godforsaken river for the last twenty eight hours. Well, our team has anyway. I had spent fifteen hours wading through the different rapids yesterday before Captain Harding had sent me home. I had came back as soon as the eight hours in which he "didn't want to see my face" had ended. I had spent five hours since trying not to slip on one of the many loose rocks at the bottom and fall on my ass. My partner, Montag, bless his heart, has been with me every step of the way, despite his newborn baby at home. This case has been a rough one, but he understands. It's all been worth it in the end, though. We have found at least three different sets of human remains, and more turn up every other hour or so now. I know that's something incredibly morbid to be excited about, but it just means that I was right. I haven't done a good job about hiding my smugness about it either. Montag hasn't failed to mock me about it every time it sets into my face. I'm normally not a talker. I tend to listen, nod, and keep my comments to myself. Montag has been my partner for almost ten years now though, ever since we were beat cops. He knows what each of my faces mean, not that the ridiculous smirk that's been plastered on my face since the first body was found wasn't obvious enough.

Montag and I had been working on this case for months. Any evidence we had was circumstantial at best, but I had been so oddly insistent on finding something that Montag and Captain had entertained me. I had never pushed so hard to not let a case go cold before. Captain had been skeptical about letting us continue to pursue the case in the first place. Our, or really my, prime suspect was one of the most powerful CEO's in the city...and my dad's new wife. Captain had been worried about that potential personal interest, but I had assured him that I don't speak to my father. Or at least, not unless you count the one phone call that he tries to make about twice a year. How my father, who has barely managed to make rent on his trailer for the past year, pulled Alaina Sunland, I will never know.

Both the DA and Captain had insisted that I had to have solid indisputable evidence before an arrest could be made. When months and months had passed, and we had turned up, well, nothing really, everyone had urged me to drop it. But I couldn't. I knew. I knew that she was responsible for at least one murder, and probably so much more. We had a few tips that she was running a child labor and smuggling ring, but nothing had really panned out from that. It wouldn't be hard to do. Not with her connections. I just had to prove it.

It wasn't until two days ago, when the biggest storm that our city had seen in ten years passed through. We had gotten a call that human remains had been found by a group of white water rafters. The storm had upset enough of the bank of the river and many of the rocks that the remains had surfaced. The best part was that the remains were found not hundred feet from Alaina's cabin. That search warrant was as good as mine, and we've been out here ever since.

I made the arrest this morning after Captain called and said that a second set of remains had been found. I had been so smug, in fact, that I had left Alaina cuffed in the patrol car for the last five hours. I wanted her to see her dumpsite being torn apart. It was really only a matter of time before more bodies were found. I knew they would be.

It was worth wearing the heavy oversized rubber waders. I had on my windbreaker that protected me against some of the nasty storm wind that still whipped through the air. I wore my badge on a chain around my neck. Montag did too. He had been relentless about it since that's what "all the cool detectives" did on TV. Montag and I had not worn anything especially nice either to go river wading, just jeans and a T-shirt.

He had been going on and on this morning all about his newborn daughter. He was so excited to be a new dad. His wife wasn't all that thrilled that he had spent all weekend working, but she understood. She has been a cop wife for almost four years now. I had been the best man, (woman?), at their wedding. I had also watched him make an utter fool of himself for almost three years before he finally proposed. That saint of a woman has endless patience.

I hadn't done more than nod, or give the occasional small response, but that's usually how it went anyway. Montag would talk and talk and talk, and I would just listen. I rather enjoyed it actually. Montag was fun and friendly to most everyone, a little childish, sure, but that was part of his charm. This morning he had been practically bouncing across the rocks telling stories about his daughter.

"Oh! And this morning she smiled at me. I always knew she would like me better over her mother." he boasted.

"You know that was probably gas, right?" I teased.

"Don't ruin this for me with your facts. She smiled at me because I'm her dad and she likes me best." he shook a finger at me.

I just shook my head. We had somehow fallen behind most of the group. A couple of uniforms were proding at the dirt at the bank, but Montag and I were in the middle of the river. It wasn't deeper than my knees, but between the slippery rocks underneath and the small force of the current, it was difficult to walk quickly.

"Nunez! Montag!" Captain's voice bellowed from a longways down the river bank where Alaina's cabin was. I looked up. Captain Harding was waving us over. Montag and I started wading toward him. Alaina was led by two uniforms out from between the pear trees that lined her property. Her blonde hair and striking red dress stood out in heavy contrast against the dark green of the trees and brown of the river. I couldn't help but smirk. Or at least until I caught the look on Alaina's face.

She was looking past us. I turned following her stare. We were so much closer to the opposite bank than everyone else. Montag followed my stare. Some roly poly truck driver looking man had stumbled out from the trees. And he had a gun pointed right at us.

The whole world moved in slow motion. I reached for my gun, but too late. As I drew and aimed at the man, Montag fell with a brutal splash at my feet. I fired. I hit center mass. But the man only stumbled backward, and the uniforms that had been by us grappled him to the ground. I knew that the bullet hadn't penetrated. I immediately turned my attention down, kneeling in the river. The water ran red. No, no, no, no, NO! Montag was floating in front of me. I pulled him into my lap. His eyes were closed. I pressed my hand over the gushing wound in his chest, and shook him, not wanting to believe what I was seeing. Open your eyes, I begged him silently. Cough. Blink. Do something...

His head lolled against stomach. I screamed for a medic. I couldn't hear myself. I couldn't hear the rush of the river. I couldn't hear the scramble of the rest of my team.

I snapped my head in Alaina's direction. The uniformed officers were leading her away from the bank. She made eye contact with me, a subtle look of utter triumph etched in every line on her face.

The anger surged through me. Montag was dead. She had killed him. She just as well had pulled the trigger herself.

I knew then. I knew that she knew that as soon as the dumpsite had been found she was done for. I knew that she had no plans to try and get off or fight the charges. I knew that she had been ready for me that morning. I knew something had been off when she had practically walked up to me and stuck out her wrists before I opened my mouth. I knew that she called that hit on us. I knew that she was excited to watch.

Even as hands pried me away from Montag's body, I knew that something was very very wrong. She may be in cuffs right now, but this was not even close to over.

Young Adult

About the author

Isabella Flores

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