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The Secret

By Kenneth Allan All Rights Reserved ©

Thriller / Mystery

The Secret is out

A secret is like a dinosaurs bones that have sunk to the bottom of a tar pit. They can lie there undisturbed for years and when they surface all hell breaks out.

Shelly Walsh lived a boring life but she loved it. Her husband, Danny, was an accountant and not a particularly good one. He left for work at nine in the morning and always returned by five each evening. She had been married to Danny for ten years and he had two sixteen and fourteen year old sons who never got into trouble and always obeyed their elders. Her eight year old daughter was just an ordinary, eight year old, girl. Shelly herself worked as a waitress in a coffee shop and loved every minute of it. She loved her dull, unimaginative husband and her very ordinary children. In fact she loved her whole dull boring life until one day the bones reached the surface.

It was all blown apart by the innocent act of her husband who tried to give his wife a wonderful exciting fortieth birthday party. He decided to hire a ballroom in a city hotel and the main theme was a 'Days of your life'. He intended gathering all the people that had been a part of Shelly’s life and to achieve this he sent out a request on Facebook and Twitter for anyone that knew her in the past. In this way her secret began to be exposed.

The party was quite impressive. Danny, with the connivance of his children, convinced Shelly that this was just another accountants conference and booked them into their room. Shelly had no idea what was waiting for her when Danny took her down to the “ conference room” and she was astounded to hear a man on the auditorium announce. “Shelly Walsh, this is your life”. She was led up to take a seat on the auditorium. Over the next sixty minutes a dozen people from her past told stories about a young Sally growing up. It was all in great fun with heaps of champagne and food flowing till it was all over. An exhausted and happy Sally eventually sat down at a table with her family.
“However did you find all these people?” she asked Danny.

“Posted your photo on Facebook and Twitter and asked people if they knew you growing up.” replied Danny innocently.

Shelly suddenly felt a familiar sense of doom descend upon her.
“How many people responded?” she asked cautiously.

“Oh about a hundred”

‘Shit’ she thought then asked,” Did anyone seem weird or suspicious to you?”

Danny gave his wife a curious look then said, “Well actually there was one guy that asked if you had ever been to Germany. I told him no, not to my knowledge”

“Did he ask anything else?"

“Well actually, it was rather weird, he asked me if you had a scar on your left hip. You do, don’t you?”

Shelly broke out in a cold sweat then said she needed to go to the ladies room. As soon as she entered the room she suddenly felt sick and hurried to the washbasin and threw up. As she freshened herself up she heard a voice behind her say, “I should just kill you here but my bosses want you alive.” Slowly she turned around to look at a woman pointing a gun at her.

“I’ll be damned, Peta, I thought I killed you?” Shelly said.

“So did everybody else but fortunately the bullet you put in my brain didn’t seem to hit anything important except I now have this annoying twitch in my left eyelid” she replied as she winked at her.

“Now,” she continued, “you will calmly walk out of here to the elevator and if you do anything else it will be my great pleasure to shoot you.”
As if in answer to her request, the toilet door burst open and an excited Kirsty ran in.

“Mum, mum they want you in the ballroom.” At the same time, the door smashed into the Peta's back and Shelly instinctively swung her leg and kicked the gun free. It flew into the air and hit the wall triggering the gun. There was a “Psst” and a little hole appeared in Pita’s head and she fell to the ground. Shelly grabbed the dead Pita and dragged her into a stall. She locked the door and leaped over the top only to confront a shocked and pale Kirsty. Kneeling she held her daughters shoulders.
“Listen to me carefully honey. I need you to stay calm. I need you to go and get your father and brothers and I need you to do that calmly. Can you do that?”

Kirsty nodded. Shelly got up and retrieved the gun, checked it was undamaged and slid it in her waist band behind her then slid out into the corridor to make sure it was clear. Kirsty then walked off to complete her mission.

In about five minutes the four of them appeared round the corner of the corridor.
“What the hell’s going on?” asked Danny, “ Kirsty is going on about you killing someone.”

Just then a man appeared behind them and was aiming a gun at Danny’s back. Yelling out to her family to hit the floor she pulled the gun from behind her back and let off a single shot. The assassin dropped to the ground.

“You could have killed us?” Danny whined.

“Listen Danny, there is not much time. I have never asked you to trust me before have I?"

“Well no, there’s been no need.”

“Well I am asking you now. Follow me, keep together and move quickly.”

The reached the rear doors without incident and was crossing the car park when Kirsty yelled out, “Look out” and they all dropped to the ground just as two gunmen started shooting. Shelly got down on one knee and returned fire.

“Get in the car and go.” she yelled, ” Go, Go” and let loose with several shots.

Danny and the kids clambered into the car and drove off. Simultaneously Shelly ran in the opposite direction heading for the stairs to the lower levels. She jumped down the stairs three at time and burst out the door onto an almost empty level. The two gunmen had managed to swing down the outside of the car-park to the lower level and were waiting for Shelly with guns pointed straight at her. There was nothing she could do but then she became aware of screeching tires and a roaring engine and her car came racing down the ramp and straight for the gunmen. They had no time to react and flew up into the air when the car struck them throwing one man over the edge. It screeched to a halt and Danny yelled, “Get into the damn car”. Shelly complied and Danny roared off giving everyone heart attacks as he raced down the ramps. He didn’t even stop for the barrier, crashing through it and roaring down the street.

As they were driving off Walter yelled out, “Their following us and shooting”.

“Your the one with the shooter.” said Danny,” Can you take them out”

“Excuse me kids,” she said as she clambered over the seats. She took aim through the rear windscreen and fired. The windscreen shattered and flew clear then she placed the next shot straight through the windscreen of the pursuing car. It veered off and hit a wall. They drove for some time then pulled over into a dark quiet car park.
“Right,” retorted Danny,” talk”

Before she could do so Kirsty screamed, ” Mummies been shot”

Sure enough she was bleeding copiously down her left arm.
“Its alright,” Shelly assured them,” its only a flesh wound.”

Using the first aid kit from the car Danny cleaned and bound the wound up.
“We should go to a hospital.”

“No, no hospital or doctor. Just clean it and dress it. It will be OK.”
Danny found a motel and booked them all in for the night then set about attending to Shelly’s wound.

“Alright, time to tell me what this is all about”

She looked at Danny and her children and sighed.
“I was a government agent. Don’t ask me which one because you really don’t want to know. They recruited me right out of university. They made it sound so glamorous and exciting and the pay was good so I joined. Eighteen months later I learned every way to kill a person as well as other things. Then they sent me, undercover, to every trouble spot in the world. I had to do many nasty things but the final straw was when I had to kill a seventeen year old girl.”

She paused and looked at the shocked face of her family.
“They told me she was a suicide bomber and I had to stop her. Sadly, when I shot her there was not an ounce of explosives on her. She was the daughter of a local chieftain that they wanted to be punished for some reason. After I found out, I couldn’t do it any more so I vanished.”
She looked at them and frowned.

“Officially you could resign but everyone knew you they wouldn’t let you. Eventually you leave in a coffin preferably unmarked.”
Then she looked at Danny.

“So I went underground and then I met you. You were the perfect cover. You were so ordinary that you were almost invisible but I fell in love with you. I fell in love with your complete lifestyle and the more I immersed myself in it the more invisible I became.”
She glanced at her family.

“And I have no regrets. I love you all and you mean everything to me.”.
Danny stared at his wife unsure if he really knew who this woman was but it was Nathaniel who broke the silence.
"Does this mean I don’t get to play in the footie final next week?"

An exhausted Shelly managed a tired laugh. Rubbing her eyes she said," I don’t think I have ever been this tired and exhausted before. I'm getting too old for this and stop looking out the windows Danny. Nobody is chasing us."

A nervous Danny retorted,"You killed some of them. I ran them down for gods sake. Why wouldn't they."

"Because they are professionals. They missed their chance. They know they wont get a second one without having to expose themselves and that they wont do. It's not to say they wont try again later but not for a few weeks. Unfortunately the greater threat is going to come from my previous employers and that's where I need your help Danny, if you will give it to me. I will understand if you don’t want to."
Danny sat down on the edge of the bed, groaned and said, "What do you want me to do?"

"Take the children, now, to your sisters and wait for me to call."

"What about the bad guys, won't they catch us."

"No. They won't try anything so soon after this. They will wait awhile. Here take this. " She handed him a gun.  He looked at her incredulously and said. "That's a gun."

"Of course it is, you idiot. Take it."

Cautiously he took the gun and said,"What happens if I kill someone?"

Sighing Shelly replied,"I think all this will disappear pretty quick. Now take the kids and get out of here."

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