Tiny beads of sweat appeared on Angela’s upper lip as she crouched behind the couch she had been on a minute ago and casually flipped through the channels of the television.
She sucked in tiny puffs, fought back the panic that numbed her mind and wrapped itself around her as she counted six figures stealthily passing the large bay window that was the focal point of her living room.
Angela had been alarmed by that first sharp screeches from their main gate. It was impossible just to touch the old, stately metal gate without it emitting an ingratiating squeak, and although it had been a curse lately, she was glad of it tonight. She had only been confused for seconds before instinct made her jump off the couch and turn off the lights and television, minutes before she heard footsteps crunch on the gravel and saw figures creep past her window.
< It was her turn in a week to testify about a national scandal and had asked for protective custody, but was informed that the authorities would return to her. Even now in her panic the anger rose painfully in her throat, why did she put her neck on the leash? What would it do? She crouched behind the couch and the last traces of fear fell away when she realized that she was all she had in the present moment and that she had two options of doing or not doing something; it was that easy. Her mind quickened.
It was dark outside. Objects and shadows seemed to merge so darkly that the landscape was a picture of different shades of black; with only silhouettes to distinguish what was what. The six men moved precisely, trained and ready as they were. They had chosen tonight because it was one of those dark, moonless nights with heavy clouds that even extinguished the starlight. It was an easy mission, the goal was to be alone, out here where all the big houses were spread out apart. Both of your guards had been bribed to leave for the night and a panic button to call private security had been disabled the day before.
Nothing stood in the way of this administration more than they wanted you to be away. Well … conscience wasn’t a word in her vocabulary. The six men knew nothing of who they had been sent to except their face and address. Not that they cared much about it anyway. They crept up in the dark, ghostly shadows that barely made a sound.
In the kitchen, also in complete darkness, Angela angrily pressed a button on a small device. After a few seconds she tossed it aside in disgust. Why didn’t it light up to show that their 911 call had come in? Where was all of her safety? When it dawned on her that no one was coming, she began to wonder where they were attacking from. She didn’t have to worry about the front door with its wrought iron grille or one of the large windows with its ornate metal grilles unless these people brought a wrench. But she had to worry about the kitchen door, and when the thought crossed her mind, a shadow fell in one of the kitchen windows and her heart fell to the bottom of her stomach. Angela ducked and quickly searched the room. Her eyes fell on a box of metal nails on a nearby counter where she usually pinned her to-do list.
It was right next to the stove and she had a sudden moment of inspiration. She was far behind her panic now, fear had triggered a flood of adrenaline that rushed through her, energizing her. She pounced, played with the clock faces on the stove, picked up the box with the thumbtacks, scattered the pins on the floor, and ran out of the kitchen, not bothering to hide her shadow, as she rushed up the stairs / p>
“I saw something!” One of the men near the window, a squat, evil-eyed man, whispered hard and far too loud, paused and screamed when he heard Angela’s footsteps knocking up the stairs before the team leader could signal, “She knows we are there are here! Break! “The team leader hesitated, but only for a second before he was pushed from behind by five burly men who all got up to leave.
They stormed in through the wooden kitchen door and stormed with them The team leader and the man immediately behind stepped on most of the pins, and although their heavy boots protected them from the sharp pegs, the flat, shiny surface of the pins turned their rubber boots into runners. The two men went down, The team leader hit his head so hard on the tile floor that he saw stars despite his helmet. The second man was worse, he was lying in a pile on the floor, unconscious. “Who is this woman ?!” It was the squat man with the evil eyes that screamed in confusion, “I thought she was a secretary!” “Shut up and move!” The team leader stood up dazed as he yelled back and a searing pain behind his eyeballs shot.
The men stormed into the living room and then suddenly stopped. It was too dark, too quiet. “She’s up!” The stocky man snorted, his whisper a scream in the silence. “We’ll clear the ground floor first.” The team leader had recovered a little and was anxious to assert his authority, a balm for his wounded pride.
The five men began to spread, but didn’t get far. A quick shadow was followed by a loud plop just outside the large bay window as Angela jumped from her bedroom balcony. She rolled on the floor for a minute and felt the jolt go through her body, but it was unharmed. Her fall was interrupted by thick bushes of flowers that she had tended herself. Then she was running.
The men didn’t hesitate and she had hoped they wouldn’t. They opened fire, squat man first, and never smelled the gas that had been leaking from the stove all the time. The house went up with a spectacular bang and Angela sank into the grass behind a tree on the edge of the property.
“Fuck the system,” she muttered bitterly when she saw her house burn down and the lights lit up Darkness with a dark orange, red sheen: “Defamation of the screws, procedures, state secrets and everything … I go to the press.”