Previous Challenge Entry (Level 2 – Intermediate)
Topic: It’s Christmas Day (in the present or living memory) (11/27/08)
TITLE: Closed Case for Christmas
By Connie Dixon
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Strange voices came from the living roomâ€¦..we werenâ€™t expecting anyone, especially not at 4:00 AM! Weâ€™d stayed out late celebrating Christmas Eve with Edâ€™s parents and today we would relax and enjoy our holiday, just the two of us.
Samson became more agitated, more aggressive and moved towards the hallway. He stopped halfway and glanced back as if to say, â€śCome on, Iâ€™m not going out there by myself!â€ť
I donned my heavy plaid bathrobe and listened at the door, trying to isolate individual voices. Should I go out or should I dial 911? The creaky floor announced my presence and suddenly all conversation stopped. Footsteps made their way down the hallway towards my room. Immediately, I closed the door and clicked the lock. I grabbed my cell phone and punched in the numbers just as I heard the twist of the doorknob. Panic seized my body like the shock I felt when my sister had tricked me into grabbing an electric fence. I whispered a cry, â€śEd, is that you?â€ť Nothing.
A voice erupted from my phoneâ€¦â€¦â€ťHello, hello is anyone there?â€ť
By this time I was frantic. â€śYes, hello â€“ someoneâ€™s in my house.â€ť My voice trembled as I tried not to imagine the worst. â€śI think something may have happened to my husband! Please send the policeâ€¦â€¦1138 South Parkwayâ€¦â€¦hurry!!!!â€ť
My breathing became shallow as Samson paced between the door and my bed. The footsteps moved away and the voices disappeared.
The operator tried to calm me down, she assured me the police were on their way and would arrive in less than two minutes. â€śTWO MINUTES!!!
Trying to distract me, she continued, â€śWhatâ€™s happening now?â€ť
â€śI donâ€™t knowâ€¦..I think they left.â€ť
â€śCan you see anything out your window?â€ť
I pried the wooden blinds apart just in time to see two men drive away â€¦â€¦â€¦IN MY CAR! â€śTwo men just stole my Toyota Corolla!â€ť
â€śOk Maâ€™m, do you hear a sirenâ€¦â€¦anything like that?â€ť
Nothingâ€¦â€¦ then in the distance a faint warning, louderâ€¦louder!
â€śYes, the police are coming, now what?â€ť
â€śTheyâ€™ll get to the doorâ€¦just wait.â€ť
Finally, there was a loud knock followed by silence. I heard footsteps, then the door opening. â€śPOLICE! Put your hands behind your back!â€ť
â€śWhat? What are you doing?â€ť It was Edâ€™s voice, confused, questioning.
I dropped my phone and fumbled with the lock on my door. I could hear a scuffle and Edâ€™s angry voice. He demanded, â€śWhat is going on here?â€ť
I barged in, â€śYouâ€™ve got the wrong guy, thatâ€™s my husband. The burglars must beâ€¦â€¦â€ť
Ed, hands cuffed behind his back, looked at me, â€śWhat burglars, what are you talking about?â€ť
â€śI heard voices â€“ strange men in our kitâ€¦â€ť
â€śâ€¦â€¦Honey, those guys were friends of mine helping me outâ€¦â€¦â€ť
â€śHelping you? What kind of help do you need at 4:00 on Christmas morning?â€ť
The officers shook their heads and loosened their death grip on Ed. He broke free and threw up his hands, â€śMaureen, it was supposed to be a surpriseâ€¦itâ€™s Christmas Day!â€ť
My fright turned to embarrassment as the policemen turned to me for an explanation. â€śIâ€¦I thought that someoneâ€¦â€ť
â€śLook,â€ť one of the officers said, â€śitâ€™s pretty obvious our job is done here. If we can get you to sign these papers, weâ€™ll just leave you two love birds alone to work this out.â€ť
After theyâ€™d gone, Ed sighed out loud, â€śWhat were you thinking, Hon? Why on earth would you call the police?â€ť
I started to cry, â€śThe strange voices, those men that stole my car, I didnâ€™t know where you wereâ€¦â€ť
â€śMaureen, Maureenâ€¦itâ€™s ok.â€ť Ed took me in his arms and calmed my shaking body. â€śI just wanted to surprise you.â€ť
â€śOK, but how is someone stealing my car a surprise?â€ť
Ed took my hand and walked me out onto the front porch. I eyed the brand new, yellow Mustang Convertible â€“ my dream car. I questioned him, â€śWhoâ€™s carâ€¦?â€ť
â€śMerry Christmas, Sweetheart.â€ť
I gasped, â€śYouâ€™re kidding, itâ€™smine, really?â€ť
Nodding, he looked at me and replied, â€śNow I need something from you.â€ť
â€śAnything, anything at all!â€ť
â€śYou gotta stop watching so much Court TV!â€ť
â€śYou got it, Hon, cased closed.â€ť
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