Friday, June 11, 2010

The Beginning - 7



When I got home, I realized I was not alone.

The house had been tossed; someone had wrecked the place, probably looking for money. As soon as I stepped in, I heard them somewhere in the kitchen, shuffling around.

I should have called the police. I should have ran to the neighbors. An entire childhood full of PSAs about what to do in a dangerous situation played back in my mind, force-feeding me advice. All of it screaming a single, blazing message: Find an adult.

But then I heard a smooth, gentle voice cut through it all--the voice of my mother.

She had given me a PSA of her own.

In a potentially dangerous situation, there are three rules to remember. First: Assess.

I heard the clatter of metal against a table and the dull shuffle of feet. It sounded like one person, but it could have been more. By the sound, I guessed they were making themselves a quick lunch.

Whoever it was, they weren't too smart. You didn't stick around a crime scene after the fact. They were either high or stupid. Possibly both.

Next: Create a plan of action. Prepare several contingencies to fall back on if this plan meets with failure. And remember: All plans meet with failure.

I retrieved the poker from the fireplace. If they had a gun, or there was more than one, I could fall back, run, scream for help. If they didn't...

I had muscles now, didn't I?

Finally: Execute.

I stepped into the kitchen.

A man turned and stared at me. He was a scruffy middle-aged guy who looked like the sort you avoided eye-contact with at the mall; he had a mouth full of meth-teeth and his clothes were second and third-hand at best. He was holding a sandwich in one hand, a kitchen knife in the other.

He looked at the kitchen knife, then at me--a semi-cute sixteen year old school girl. And then, with a mouth full of food, he grinned.

The poker flew out of my hand like a harpoon. It slammed right on target--into his shoulder. He shrieked with surprise as metal lodged into bone, spinning and crashing down against the table behind him.

The knife clattered to the floor. I sprang forward to him, then slammed my knees down on either side of his waist.

My hands wrapped around his throat. Fingers fit snugly--like puzzle pieces finally finding their place.

I squeezed.

His eyes bulged; a mouthful of lettuce and ham spurted out of his mouth as he gurgled. His arms flailed, smacking against me--he struggled and writhed, but it was like holding down a flopping fish.

Was I going to kill him?

God, I wanted to.

His eyes were glazed with confusion; if I had to wager a guess, I'd say he was on something right now. Probably was wondering if this was some sort of bad trip.

I loosened my grip, letting him breath. "Tell me who you work for and where I can find them," I said.

"Th'hell," he groaned, shuddering with pain.

"Hey. Hey," I repeated. "Focus here, okay? Who do you work for and where can I find them?"

"Mr. Donovan," he groaned, and then: "Trailer parks down at Sullivan. Oh, God, what the hell is goin' on..."

"Thanks," I said, and then I reached forward to seize hold of the poker. With a hard yank, I pulled it free--prompting my prisoner to scream.

I climbed off the table and picked him up. He was taller, but I was surprised just how easy it was to lift him--like I was picking up a puppy. He wriggled and twisted, but it was useless.

I kicked the door open and threw him out into the backyard.

I went to the phone and dialed 9-1-1. Then, trying to compose myself, I put on my best damsel-in-distress voice.

"Oh my god," I said, pretending to hyperventilate. "There's some guy here! Some crazy man in my kitchen--I just got home, and--"

The dispatcher did what she could to keep me calm and talk me through it. I put up the requisite amount of panic before I fed her the information I wanted her to have. Then I hung up and proceeded to puke.

It wasn't the elixir, not this time. This time it was all me.

I just speared some guy on a fireplace poker and interrogated him like he was a piece of meat. And to be honest? I'm pretty sure I was holding back.

By the time the police arrived, he was already gone. It hardly mattered. I wasn't worried about him blabbing--who'd believe him? A meth-head claiming that a sixteen year old girl threw a poker in his shoulder and beat him up for information wasn't going to be high on anyone's priority list of things to 'check out'. I guessed he'd show up in the ER and they'd assume he had gotten stabbed by a mugger or something.

I answered the officers' questions, told them I'd be staying at a friend's that night, then saw them out.

Then I grabbed a quick shower and went downstairs.

Into the bunker.




  1. And so we begin....Into the bunker.

  2. People listening to the poor guy would really think he was tripping something bad. As little girls normally don't go and stab people and then throw them around.

  3. I should have ran to the neighbors.

    I should have *run* to the neighbors.

    And, OK, it wasn't big evil that beat up the aunt, it was small evil.