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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 music. Silence was what I needed most of all. I was happy when I pulled down my dark street, finally, just blocks from my sanctuary. In moments I’d lock the door, and everything on the outside would just disappear…until tomorrow.
As I approached the house, I noticed there were lights in my windows. I routinely had three on timers so that I never came into a dark house. The dining room chandelier, the kitchen track lighting, and the bathrooms were not among them. There was someone or more than one in my house; I saw shadows moving quickly. I turned off my lights and brought my car to a stop at the curb.
I froze. People were in my sanctuary. They are touching my things. Running through my sacred space and not treating my treasures with respect. If my dog were still alive, he never would have let them in. They would steal things from me and I would find things missing gradually. Things I could never replace.
The adrenaline was coursing through my body. I put my hand next to the seat; first on my gun, next on my cell phone. I dialed. The phone rang four times. I didn’t expect them to actually answer. The answering machine picked up. In the most upbeat and calm voice I could muster, I cheerfully said, “Erin! Jeremy! Mark and I just got a new car! We know you’ll be home any minute and we’re like seconds from your house so we’re driving over! Meet you on the porch!” Click. I hung up. I waited.
It must have worked. The shadows behind the curtains ran together and seemed to be consulting. “Don’t be stupid, I thought.” I took my own advice then and dialed 911.
“There are strangers in my house, I’m outside but I can see people inside my house. Yes, that’s correct : 1313 West Sunset.”
“”Yes, I can see at least two in the house. I think they are in the middle of a burglary. And no, I have no idea who they are.”
“I live alone, there is no reason for anyone to be in my house and no one has a key. (pause) I am in the car in front of my house on the street; there is activity and lots of lights inside and no, they do not know I am here.”
“No, I do not know if they have another vehicle or spotter. There is a black Dodge Caravan in my driveway that doesn’t belong to me, out of state plates but I can’t see what they are without getting closer.”
“I am armed; I have a permit to carry a concealed weapon. I just want you to know that. But I am not leaving my vehicle unless they vacate the premises.”
“Wait. They are leaving in a black Dodge Caravan, backing out of my driveway, Kansas plates W13 something probably stolen anyway …heading north on Sunset Blvd.”
“No, surely I’m not pursuing, that’s your job. But please send armed officers to my house as soon possible. I’m going in.”
“Of course I’m not going to touch anything! I just want to see what they’ve done to my house. “
“I’m in the driveway.”
“Heading into the front door now…they left it ajar so I’m just pushing it open farther with the elbow of my coat.”
Erin looked in to see her house ransacked. Her laptop was gone…along with all of the stories she’d written and forgotten to back up on the external drive since last month. She prayed they didn’t find where she’d hidden the external drive. The TV, theatre system, electronics - all gone….but she’d expected that. She didn’t expect her pictures to be thrown on the floor and shattered; nor spray paint all along the walls with graffiti. Things are things, why smash mirrors and tear up walls? The piano was upended and her music defiled.
She looked up to the second floor landing and there was just a mess hanging through the railing. The sirens were finally reaching the house. Was that a mattress in the hall? Doors off hinges? Her eyes moved to the stairs where a small tree lay uprooted from its pot. A scuffle in the driveway; her private scan would be shattered in a second. Black dirt on the stairs, more red paint and one shoe. Why only one shoe on the stairs? Then at the top she saw the bottom of a foot.
“Ma’am, they told us on the radio that you are armed. We know your house was broken into and that you haven’t gone inside. Can you please come to us slowly and surrender your weapon so that we can talk?”
They didn’t have time to reach her before she passed out right there on the porch.
Other links in the HOME INVASION series
- 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, Shes coming around. Ms. LeFey. Are you okay? Where...
- 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...