Before unlocking the front door, I bent at the waist to pick up Lear’s leash we had left on the door stop. I froze half-way through the motion. The door, which I had so diligently ensured was locked, was cracked open approximately three-fourths of an inch.
I quietly caught Agent Hurlock’s attention and pointed towards the open door with my head. I looked expectantly at Lear, who had previously proven so helpful in detecting any trouble in the area, but he was looking around nonchalantly with his tail waving back and forth.
Bob silently suggested that I should draw my weapon and I agreed with the sentiment for the first time in my career. He signaled for me to stay put and watch the front door while he swept the house.
A few tense minutes later, Agent Hurlock came back outside with a reservedly relieved look on his face. "Well MacKenna, there’s no one here anymore," he said. Despite this apparently heartening statement, there was still fear and apprehension swimming on the surface of Bob’s emotions.
"Anymore?" Aidan and I spoke at the same time.
"What do you mean?" I asked.
Bob’s face was apologetic. "Somebody has definitely been here, but they are gone now."
"How do you know?" Aidan asked.
"Take a look. Watch your step," Bob said. "Excuse me, I have to call Agent Truett and report this."
Aidan and I hesitated, but Lear walked right through the door as if nothing at all had happened. I followed him through the door and gasped. It looked like a tornado had spent the morning in my normally spotless house. There were shards of differently colored glass – from plates, vases, mirrors, picture frames, and who knows what else – covering the entire floor as far as I could see.
As I walked from room to room I gaped at the destruction that I wouldn’t have thought could have occurred in the short time we were out for a jog, if I hadn’t seen it with my own eyes. The remnants of what looked like they might have been couch pillows at some point in ancient history were strewn about in every single room of the three bedroom house. I was relatively confident that I no longer owned a complete piece of clothing other than the ones I was wearing at the time. Our furniture may have been useful for firewood, but even that was a stretch. A person who had never been in the house would have had a zero chance at speculating what color the walls had been only two hours ago.
I reluctantly walked towards my room resting my left hand on Lear’s back, attempting to draw some strength from him. I am pretty sure my heart stopped completely as soon as my room was in full view. The devastation of my room made the rest of the house looked like an undisturbed haven. I wasn’t even able to identify even the material of the majority of the items layered on the floor. A municipal trash heap is more organized than my room was after the attack. However, all of these transgressions were less than nothing compared to the mural that now gruesomely decorated an entire wall of my room. A seven foot tall ebony crow was portrayed with a depiction of Brigid’s cross broken in its left claw and a snuffed out flame underneath its right claw. In the crow’s mouth was an anguished young woman whose face just happened to emulate my own. My breath came awkwardly and my heart began to race.
I heard a sharp intake of breath behind me as Aidan walked in the room and took in the scene. I was made aware of Lear standing next to me by a grumbling rumble low in his throat. I felt the foreign sensation of my own anger escalating until I believed my head might explode with the unqualified intensity of my unpracticed temper. One of the larger piles of debris on the floor spontaneously burst into flames. I vaguely registered Agent Hurlock sprinting into the room with a fire extinguisher he used to douse the flame. The next thing I was aware of was Aidan’s hands on my shoulders, ineffectively attempting to guide me out of the room.
Contest #100 looms
2 hours ago