Eleanor struggled to reach the back of the darkened closet quietly. She could hear the footsteps and angry voices as the soldiers ransacked her house. She knew that they were looking for something, but what?
“Have you found it yet?” One voice called.
“Negative, but we will.” Another answered.
Eleanor could hear the rattle of the doorknob and she squeezed her eyes shut, gripping the family heirloom necklace tightly. She felt for the hidden door and pushed it open, propelling herself into the cramped dark room.
She could hear the searching continue and instinctively, she curled up into a tighter ball. “Hail Mary, full of grace, the Lord is with thee.” She mouthed, clinging to the necklace.
“It ain’t here!” The lower voice sneered and Eleanor shuddered.
What were they looking for? Eleanor’s eyes clenched shut as she continued to listen to the pounding of the walls around her. They were looking for hidden rooms, she realized as her heart sank to her stomach. They were looking for her. Or something that she had. The pounding grew louder, and she listened for the distinctive change of pitch that would announce her hiding place.
She continued to mouth her prayer. Panic was building frantically. “Blessed art thou amongst women and blessed is the fruit of thy womb, Jesus.”
Tap, tap, tap, tap... They were drawing nearer. She could hear them cursing as one of them climbed into the closet continuing to tap.
Tap, tap, tap, thud. “We got something boss.”
The man called boss said something, but Eleanor couldn’t understand it. She shuffled into the furthest corner, her breath hitching in her throat. The thudding stopped. But now, the quiet rustling filled the room punctuated by crashes.
Light flooded the room as the dry wall crumbled under a few well-placed swings of a hammer. Eleanor continued to pray, hoping that her assailants would be blind to her presence. “Holy Mary, Mother of God, pray for us sinners, now and at the hour of our death.”
A large hand reached into the smaller room and grabbed her ankle. Eleanor squeaked. With a loud cackle, it’s owner pulled her out roughly. Out of the hidden room, out of the closet, into the hallway where she was faced with three large men.
“Where is it?” The smallest sneered. “Tell us where it is, or you’re going to regret it.”
Eleanor was still confused. She didn’t say a word as she heard a gun cocked.
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