The Dot/Com Murders Barbara's Story = Chapter Fifty-Four (Part Two)
The November wind had picked up considerably. It came in with a rush through the doorway that my parents admitted the visitors through.
I looked over the railing. The Fire Chief from the Elizabeth Fire Station. The Watch Commander from the Elizabeth Police Station. two detectives - new ones.
"Mr. and Mrs. Carlson?" asked one of these last.
"Yes - " Mom answered for both of them.
"We're sorry to come here at this time of night - but, since your daughter and you, too, sir - " a nod in Daddy's direction, " - were involved in the situation this afternoon, we thought you'd appreciate a little bit of good news."
He waited; Daddy didn't speak. He looked like he had swallowed something bad-tasting. His voice took on an edge I found familiar. "Would you get your daughter down here, sir?"
Daddy looked up and - too late - saw me hanging over the rail. He looked annoyed at my disobedience, but al he said was, "Honey? Can you put your shoes on and come talk to these gentlemen?"
I turned and ran into my bedroom - just as another errant gust of wind breezed down the hallway and slammed three open doors in succession. I eased my door shut to avoid the same fate and slipped back into my shoes, which I had removed while I waited upstairs. I controlled the impulse to run down the stairs and walked down them. I walked over to my parents and stood, waiting for - what?
The other detective cleared his throat. "After you left. Mr. Carlson - you and your daughter - we threw a second bomb into the kitchen. Apparently, he was already cooking something on the stove - " the coffee, I thought - " - and it was a direct hit. The place went up like a July Fourth celebration. He never came out, and we broke the door down to find him. He was already dead."
"Dead?" Daddy repeated.
"As a doornail," concluded the first. "He hung himself in the bathroom."
I put my hands to my mouth and gasped behind them. No one noticed.