Home Invasion 2
copyright pending 2011
by Erin Le Fey
I awoke to two police officers hovering over me and a faint distant sound coming clearer; voices, “She’s coming around.”
“Ms. LeFey. Are you okay? Where is your weapon?” asked the female officer
I moved to sit up.
“Ma’am, just lay there. We’ve called help. Tell me where your weapon is, please, so we can secure it.” She explained.
“In my bag, there,” I pointed, “.38, the safety is on. I am okay to get up though.” I sat up.
I looked into the house. Two of the policemen were already inside taking pictures of the graffiti. “There is a foot at the top of the stairs, have they seen it? I think there may be a body attached.” I was standing at this point.
Officer Reyes, (I read his badge as he helped me up), looked at me as if he had just seen a ghost. “That was why I passed out. I don’t like seeing parts of people in my house.”
He yelled in to the other officer, “Detective Mendez! Check the house, there may be someone in trouble on the landing!” he pointed, and steadied me. I nodded and let him go to run off and join his team.
While Officer Easton secured my weapon, I wandered into the house. I knew I’d be in the way upstairs but my curiosity got the best of me and I wanted to see what else was missing. I also knew that as soon as they discovered me in the crime scene, I would be escorted out, so I would be careful not to touch anything.
I could hear them upstairs, “She’s still breathing. Ambulance already on the way, Call dispatch and get more crime scene investigators down here, this is more than a simple burglary. ”
Yep, laptop gone. That was a cool piece I was working on this week too, steamiest one I’ve ever tried writing. From what I can hear upstairs there is a badly beaten woman upstairs on the landing of the stairs of my home and I am down here mourning the loss of a few erotic chapters that I can probably easily recreate even better in less than a week. There is something seriously wrong with me. And it has nothing to do with passing out.
I wonder who they were. Why did they pick my house? This place is a mess. How long were they here? From the way this whole house looks; the mess in the kitchen, the spray painted graffiti everywhere and the overall trashing of nearly everything – you would think it would have taken a whole group of people all day. I can imagine a group of about five people getting completely wasted in here – in the morning – taking their time with a moving truck to get out all they wanted, and just trashing the rest of the house while they had a pool party and grilled out back all day. The kind of act was one of anger and fury or drug-induced. But I’m not seeing evidence of that. Is it possible to leave all of this mess yet clean up after your drug use? I would hate to see what that girl upstairs looks like.
I wonder if they used the pool? It was hot today. The four policemen and two detectives are conferring with each other. One of them is watching me. I have the feeling he’s going to talk to me soon so I have to slip out now. The medics are here working on the female. (I slide the French doors open and let myself into the back yard.)
My serene hideaway from the world was contaminated today. I don’t know what kinds of things are floating or sinking into the pool, but it looks like a little tornado came by the surrounding area. Lawn furniture is upended, trash is strewn about everywhere. The grill was used, and abused. Empty liquor bottles and beer cans are all over. This place is also decorated with graffiti, not my taste. I don’t think I can ever look at this place the same way again. (I hear footsteps and I’m guessing it’s that detective that was looking at me.)
“Erin. Please.” I turned to look at him. He’s about my age, mid-forties or slightly younger but not by much and married to his job or doesn’t wear a wedding ring. (I don’t know why I always look – I think it’s just a habit.) Dark hair, Dark eyes, Hispanic – he is picture perfect for a TV detective.
“Erin, would you like to go outside the house to talk about what happened today when you got home from work?” His voice is gentle and non-threatening, but he said “outside the house” and “what happened” not “give a statement” – there is something wrong here. And who is this man?
“Oh, and I’m sorry” he genuinely looked embarrassed, “I have so much in my head right now that I forgot to introduce myself! I am Detective Morales, Erik. You look like you could use a little break from here, would you like to get some coffee?”
“Erik. Thanks, I don’t drink coffee, but I’ll take hot chocolate and sure, we can go to the café’ down the street. Is that woman okay?”
“The paramedics are working on her. I think they said that she is stable though, she was beaten pretty badly. She’ll be taken to the hospital soon. Let’s get out of here so everyone else can do their jobs.” I like him, he is direct and honest. I let him lead me through the house where I retrieved my bag.
“My weapon. When will it be returned to me?” I asked Officer Easton.
“Ma’am, we need to run a ballistics check on it…”
“Because you found me here at the scene of a crime with a weapon, … I understand. Please keep me informed. Do you have a number where I can reach you directly?” She gave me her card and I was off with Detective Morales.
As soon as we had our drinks at the café’ Detective Morales started asking questions about what happened when I pulled up to the house and noticed the lights were on. A flash of fear ran through me, I hadn’t called 911 first. I had called the house first. My first reaction had been to get these people out of my house so that I could go home. I had mistakenly assumed that there were two people there…in my head I had already dreamed a scenario when I saw the house. I had a flash for some reason that I was driving up on two burglars who had recently broken into my house and hadn’t had time to do much. I just wanted them out of my house so the police could go chase them. I didn’t want a scene. I didn’t care who they were. I didn’t care about my things. Home invasions happened all the time. I wanted my sanctuary restored. I just wanted to go in, change the locks, and order one of those fancy alarm systems to make myself feel better. Maybe install security cameras. I relayed all this to Detective Morales.
It wasn’t until I drove up to my house and looked into the door, I realized how long they had actually been there, all they had done and that someone had been hurt inside. The shock was just a little too much for me.
Detective Morales looked at me with empathy then explained, “By not calling us first, it looks like you warned the criminals first to leave the scene of the crime before you called us. There is evidence of that on your answering machine of course. I don’t believe that’s true, I believe you reacted out of stress and fear. But this crime was carefully planned and executed. The criminals spent a long time in your house so they knew your pattern or where you would be today so I have to know your schedule and who would know that. This graffiti is the mark of a gang we know in the LA area, but it is very large. We will have to identify the woman left behind. It is not like them to leave a live witness. I’m very glad you did not try to use your weapon.”
For the first time, I realized the scope and nature of violence on the street and how I am not immune to it just because I hide myself behind the walls of my home and fear everything. I learned how to use a gun, defend myself, and keep to myself. Now somehow I find myself in the middle of it all.
Other links in the HOME INVASION Series
- Short Story: Home Invasion
copyright pending 2011 by Erin Le Fey I worked a little later than usual today. So it was dark as I was driving home in traffic listening to nothing. Too much going on in my head to be distracted by...
- HOME INVASION 3
Copyright 2011 Erin LeFey I rode with Erik down to the Los Angeles Police Department - Chinatown Substation to give my statement and fingerprints so they could distinguish mine from those at the scene....
- HOME INVASION 4
Almost midnight and Im just reaching the hotel. Im so glad I still have the old habit of leaving a fully packed overnight bag in my car for emergencies. They taught us when I was working shift; in case...