Redemption:Slick Rock 18(9)

By: Becca Van

Maybe when she’d finished paying Delta what she owed for her portion in the diner, she would save up for a queen-sized bedroom suite and new mattress, but from the way she was going, it would take at least five or more years.

After turning off the overhead light and turning on the lamp she’d also bought at a yard sale, Enya sank to her knees on the mattress and crawled into bed. Her intention was to read until she was so tired she couldn’t keep her eyes open, and hopefully she wouldn’t have to suffer through her nightmares, but she wasn’t about to hold her breath.

She was in that floaty place between being awake and asleep when she heard a noise outside her bedroom window and she jerked upright. She held her breath and listened intently and her heart slammed against her sternum after skipping a beat. She shivered as a cold sweat sheened over her skin and tried to remember where she’d left her cell phone. When she envisaged it on the kitchen counter, she flung the covers aside and shoved to her feet.

She’d only taken a step and then she was screaming. Something smashed against her window, breaking the glass. The light cotton curtains moved as glass flew in all different directions and there was a loud thud as whatever had been thrown through the closed window landed on the floor.

Enya ran, uncaring that whoever was outside would be able to hear her fast thudding footsteps as she raced toward the kitchen and her old-style cell phone. She flipped her cell open and punched in 9-1-1.

As soon as the dispatcher came on line she started babbling over the top of the poor woman. “Someone just threw a rock or something through my bedroom window. I think they’re still outside.”

“Calm down, ma’am. I’ve contacted the Slick Rock Sheriff’s department. They’ll have someone at your house in minutes. What’s your address, ma’am?”

Enya gave the dispatcher her address.

“Are your doors locked? Can you hear the intruder?”

“Yes, my doors are locked, but that won’t stop them from getting through the window.” Enya sobbed a little hysterically. “All they have to do is reach in, unlock it and push it up.”

“Take a deep breath for me, ma’am. The deputies are almost there.”

Enya didn’t see the point in talking to the dispatcher anymore and hung up. Other than trying to keep her calm, there was nothing the woman could do. She crouched down in the kitchen, wedging herself into the corner of the cupboards and hoped the law officers would be there soon.

She swallowed down the bubble of hysterical laughter that formed in her chest. There was a consolation from being woken up. She hadn’t had that dreadful recurring nightmare.

When she heard a car pull into the gravel driveway alongside the house, she sobbed with fear again. She tried to get her mind to work as she shoved to her feet but she was too scared to think coherently. She stumbled and hit her hip against the counter and when she placed her hand on the cool linoleum surface, she knocked her knuckles against the knife block. It was an automatic response for her to grasp the handle of the large carving knife and remove it from the wooden holder as she turned to face the kitchen entrance.

When someone knocked on the door she startled so badly her feet left the floor and her grasp on the knife loosened. She didn’t even notice when the handle slipped through her hand until she felt it against her inner forearm and without thinking, she tightened her grip. The sharp blade sliced through the palm of her hand like hot metal through butter. It took a few moments for the pain to register in her brain and when it did she knew it was far too late.

She dropped the knife and opened her hand. Blood poured from the long cut across the palm of her hand but she didn’t have time to worry about her injury. There was someone at her door and it sounded as if they were pounding on it with their fist.

“Enya? Open the door!”

Tears of relief welled and rolled down her face at the familiar voice. One of Violet’s deputy fiancés was calling out to her. She grabbed the clean dishtowel from the rack, wrapped it tightly around her hand and hurried toward the door. Reaching out with her left hand and her right hidden behind her back, she unlocked and opened the door.