I belong to a writing group called “Out of Africa” and twice a month we are given the first line of some piece of writing and are asked to make up our own story, using that line. I thought you may like to read my contribution for this month.
THE PERFECT FOIL
Lynn grabbed the closest thing she could find as she kept her eyes fixed on the front door. She could see the lock and door handle moving around as the little noises came from outside. She knew without a doubt that somebody was trying to break in.
Here she was alone, with nobody to help her. The telephone was as dead as dead could be, It had been since last Friday and they were now fast approaching midnight of Monday. She had not even had an acknowledgment of her complaint because the telephone company did not work over weekends. The lock movement grew louder as she watched and she became a little more rattled with each movement.
There had been instances of robbery and armed robbery in the neighbourhood lately. It seemed that their area was being targeted by criminals. What was she going to do? Should she scream out and let everyone know that she was being attacked, or should she stay quiet and pretend the house was empty and that he would give up and go away? Not that screaming would help much, the properties were quite a distance form one another. That had bought here because of the sense of being out in the country.
She was convinced it was a man because to her knowledge women weren’t normally housebreakers and burglars.
She felt fairly sure that the lock was a pretty substantial one that would not submit without a fight. The salesman who had sold it to her had assured her that it could withstand everything including a bomb-blast. Silly her for believing everything the salesman had told her. She was far to gullible.
She waited, clinging on to her weapon, standing directly behind the door jamb so that once the thief opened the door she would, for a moment, be hidden by it. This she hoped would give her a few moments of grace, to lift her weapon and hit him fairly but squarely on the head. Maybe it wasn’t going to be ‘fairly’ but ‘unfairly’ but then it would serve him right for breaking into her house.
A thin beam of light shone through the keyhole. Huh, she thought, he had even brought a torch with him, the cheeky swine. She felt her heart beating a hundred beats a second in her chest. To her it sounded so loud she wondered if he could hear it out there. Then the small ray of light disappeared and the banging and jiggling continued.
She was beginning to think that running away would be the better option. Maybe she should escape through the back of the house and alert her neighbours. But on the left, Maisie and Bill were away. Had the burglar already been there, she wondered?
If he knew that they too were gone he was certainly not going to go away in a hurry. He would then know that he would not be disturbed. On the right were the Lamonts, but there house was set so far back and had such high walls around it they would never hear a thing.
She slid down the wall to her haunches, still hugging her weapon of choice. Yes, the children had been right. They had told her to move into a secure housing estate with security controlled entrances and exits. But, she was always too stubborn to give in without a fight. She didn’t want to move. That was the thing. Having lived here with Dick for all these years, bringing up the children here, knowing the neighbours, knowing the area, she didn’t want to move to somewhere safe where the neighbours would be so close they could hear her pass wind in the loo. No, she didn’t want that sort of closeness. Although at this very moment she wished she had opted for that lifestyle. She would then have been able to press a button and have a horde of security guards after the nefarious thief who was intent on taking her precious belongings from her.
It seemed the thief was now making some progress, she could hear him hammering at the lock. He had stopped being cautious. He knew he wasn’t likely to be interrupted.
Lynn suddenly, clearly and with sudden inspiration realised she did not have to be the victim in this senseless assault on her personal property and probably on her body too.
She tiptoed away from the door, towards the kitchen. There she put her weapon down on the table and looked at it. How stupid of her! She hadn’t even realised what she was clutching in her fear. She almost burst out laughing. Instead she went to the radio which she always had on in the kitchen. It was playing so softly that she could almost not hear it, but when she listened closely, she smiled.
This was the perfect anti-dote to her burglar. She went back to the door, stealthily, taking little soft steps. Once there, she turned the radio on to full volume.
“Well, sergeant, we will soon put a stop to this,” boomed a voice from the radio. They were broadcasting a play about a detective. There was a clatter outside, and she flung open the door, armed with the courage that had fled from her earlier, to see a young teenager disappearing down the driveway as fast as his scrawny legs could carry him.
She sat on the step outside and laughed. She could imagine the headlines in the local paper, as she dropped her weapon of choice. “Burglary foiled by a cucumber.”