Sunday, September 26, 2010

Angela's Legacy Part 3

Angela had collapsed against the wall almost immediately after slamming the door closed. Her breathing was out of control and tears ran freely down her cheeks. The only sound now was her sobs echoing through the broken down house. She sat there for what seemed like hours, trembling still from the sounds. A loud knock at the front door made her scream again, and the next thing she heard was the front door creaking open. Frantically she searched the room for any sort of object to defend herself with, but found nothing. She picked up her cell phone from the nightstand, having forgotten about it entirely after re-entering the room. She decided that calling the cops was the best bet, so she quickly dialed and waited for the ring to chime in her ear. She only had a bar left of battery, so she hoped that she would be able to get through. The dispatcher answered quickly and Angela explained her situation.

"My name is Angela and I'm at my deceased uncle's house at the top of Suncrest Hill. I have good cause to believe there is an intruder in the house with me. Please send someone, please."

"Ma'am, try to stay calm," Angela hadn't realized she sounded so hysterical until then, so tried to take a few calming breaths. "I have an officer on the way. Do you have any idea who the intruder might be?"

"Jesus, no. I don't live around here, I'm only here to clean up the house so it can be sold, and that's if it can be sold with its condition."

"Alright Angela, I'm going to ask you to try to leave the house if you can. Is there a detached garage or other shelter you can reach quickly?"

"I don't think you understand. I'm trapped in the guest room armed only with my cell phone. I swear nothing in here has a rough edge or sharp corner on it. The only exit is through the front door. The only window is maybe thirteen inches across. There is no way I'm getting through that."

As she said this, she did think it was strange that there was such a small window in the guest room. She hadn't noticed its size last night when she had come in the house. It was unnerving all the same to find that it wasn't big enough to climb through. It was placed high on the wall, so even if it was human-sized, there was almost no going through it.

A loud creak from the hallway brought Angela back to the present. She automatically dashed to the far side of the queen bed, putting it between her and the door. The dispatcher heard the quick movement and inquired about it.

"I think the intruder is in the hall now, outside my room. Oh," Angela whispered as quietly as she could, but she still wanted the lady on the other end of the phone to hear what was going on. Her breath started to catch in her chest again and she could feel the fear swelling in her belly, pushing on her lungs and pressuring her heart to move faster.

"Ma'am, I need you to stay calm. There should be an officer on the premises soon. Try to keep yourself hidden."

"That's what I'm doing." Angela spat. Just as she said that there was a very soft tap tap tap on the door to her bedroom. She got all the way down on the floor on the far side of the bed, and peeked underneath the bed towards the door. There were several boxes and an old pair of men's loafers obstructing her view.

"I'm going to crawl under the bed, with some other boxes that are already there." Angela told her dispatcher. "I'm going to have to put the phone down for a moment to do this."

"That's just fine Angela. Let me know when you're back on the line."

Angela wiggled her way under the bed among the half empty boxes. There were cobwebs everywhere, and the layer of dust on the floor was enough to make her gag. She prayed that she didn't see any of the eight-legged creatures that created the cobwebs or she might scream. She couldn't stand the thought of awkwardly bent legs each moving delicately but at their own time and pace; the bristles on their legs wiry and stiff, caressing her skin as it moved along, and as if the eight legs weren't enough, there were eight disgustingly reflective eyes that were always watching your every move. Angela realized she was holding her breath and clenching her fists. She wasn't sure if she had hung up on the dispatcher or not.

"Are you still there? I'm under the bed now. I'm so scared." Her voice quivered, threatening to become squeaky if she continued speaking.

"I'm still here Angela. The officer said he has just pulled up to the house, so it should be very soon that you'll be seeing him. His name is Officer Dwayne Jackson."

"Okay." Angela's hands were shaking. The tap tap tap had been steadily increasing in frequency and sounded anxious. The doorknob had rattled once or twice, but Angela couldn't remember having locked the door behind her. She wasn't even sure that it could lock. Or if it had a lock, there was nothing to say that it still worked anymore since the rest of the house was in such bad condition.

Angela was finding it hard to breathe with all the dust and cobwebs, and the cop who was supposedly in her driveway but not yet rescuing her from this torment, this tiny rotting prison that was her bedroom. Her hands stung from the splinters but she wasn't steady enough to try to dig them out, and the dust wasn't helping anything either. She started crying out of desperation and exhaustion; she didn't know what else to do.

Just then she heard some consistent footsteps in the hall, paired with a voice like red wine, deep and husky but still on the defensive.

"Angela?" It shouted. "This is Officer Jackson, if you're in the house let me know. I've not found anyone else here."

Angela whimpered underneath the bed. She heard the door open but wasn't sure if she should reveal her hiding spot just yet. But any intruder wouldn't know that the officer's name should be Jackson, so it had to be a real cop.

With a deep breath she stuck her hands out from under the bed and cried "I'm right here."

Footsteps soon attached themselves to a pair of heavy boots with a good coating of mud, and dark blue pants covering the tops. Between splotches of mud she could see that they were very shiny boots indeed. The officer kneeled down on the floor and peered under the bed at her.

"Angela? Are you okay?" He flashed his badge at her as he said this, and she let out a sigh of relief.

"I think I'm okay. My hands hurt."

"Well let's get you out of there and cleaned up." He moved to the side of the bed and Angela began wiggling her way out from under the bed. She hadn't made much progress before Officer Jackson had moved the bed out of the way for her. Angela started to push herself up with her hands but gave a yelp when the pressure reminded her of her injuries.

"Your hands look pretty bad. How did you get those looking so bad?" He helped her up and had her sit on the bed. He turned over each of her hands slowly in his own. Her pale skin was rough from scrapes and splinters, and there was blood dried on in places. What wasn't covered in blood was covered in dust from her adventure on the bedroom floor. She felt embarrassed to have her hands being examined while they were in such a poor state. His hands were strong but soft to the touch. His dark skin thrilled her in an unexpected kind of way. She avoided looking him in the eye. He asked her some question that went unregistered on her ears. She chewed her lip nervously. She never looked less than perfect in the presence of another person.

How could I let myself look like this? She thought to herself. I should have been better prepared for this interaction. Angela brought her left hand to her forehead in the realization that she was being unreasonable. She had just been scared out of her wits by who knows what and she was worried about her appearance.

"Angela?" Officer Jackson gave her a little shake. "Are you alright? You have been ignoring me."

"I'm sorry. I'm fine," she said, trying to remember what it was that he had asked her before.

"Can you tell me your full name?" He had his little notebook out now, taking down notes for his report later.

"Angela Emmaline Murray," She could feel her lip quivering.

"Birthdate?" He said this so officially, she wondered if he had forgotten all concern for her well being.

"March seventeenth, nineteen eighty-three."

"And today's date?"

Angela stalled for a moment. She had almost forgotten the date. Being so overwhelmed in the last twenty-four hours put her off her game.

"It's April. The twenty-first." Angela looked up at the officer's face, watching closely for any indication of concern. The corner of his mouth twitched in a funny way.

"Close enough," he said. "Let's get you into town to get cleaned up. I doubt there are any medical tweezers here."

Officer Jackson helped her up and handed her the cell phone that she had left on the floor. Angela closed the phone, having forgotten about the dispatcher on the other line. Chances were the dispatcher had heard the officer's voice and had disconnected the call first anyway. She carried her shoes and her keys wrapped in her sweater that she'd abandoned earlier that morning. The officer walked into the hall, leaving the door open for Angela to follow. She peeked carefully around the corner, cautious about entering the hallway. Officer Jackson stopped by the front door and looked for Angela.

"Do you need help?" He knew this question was unnecessary but asked it anyway. He walked back down the hall to where she stood and offered his arm to her.

"I would take your hand but that probably wouldn't feel very nice for you, so you can hold onto my arm and we'll walk together. How does that sound?" Angela looked him in the eyes and really saw him for the first time. His russet skin tone was just as magical as his hands had been, gently inspecting her own. His eyes were dark but had a spark to them that was entrancing. Angela had attached herself firmly to his strong arm without noticing, and when she finally broke their eye contact, he made a sound that was reminiscent of a soft chuckle.

He walked her outside, but not without some hesitation at the corner of the hall and the living room, and again at the front door. The stairs to the porch were bad enough that they would need totally replaced.

"How did you get in the house with the stairs like this?"

"I have no idea. But I did it, and it was windy too."

He shook his head in disbelief. "Windy is an understatement for last night's weather." Angela smiled at his comment, and nearly screamed when Officer Jackson picked her clear up and negotiated the stairs on his own. Once they were on solid ground again he put her down gently, and continued to let her use his arm. Angela was barefoot but they went slowly, and he even opened the door of the patrol car for her. He made her sit in the backseat, even though he wished he could get away with not following procedure this time.

She's so delicate, he thought to himself. She looks like she could use some protecting.

5 comments:

  1. Why is this man not my husband?!?!? Seriously! Also, his name made me giggle - I can only picture The Rock Dwayne Johnson. I'm really liking where this is going :)

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  2. OMG... i really need to research my names first. :p i suppose its workable, but i don't want to be sued either. :/

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  3. I suppose that if The Rock & Samuel L. could have a love child, this man would look like that.

    I suppose.

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