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Something Not Quite Right


Alexandra sat on the sofa watching tv, waiting for her husband Stephan to get home.  He'd been working late much of this week, saying that he was trying to finish up a big project ahead of time to earn a bonus.  When he was home, he seemed nervous and uptight.  She knew he hadn't been sleeping well, so she attributed his unusual behavior to exhaustion. 
 
Shortly after eleven p.m. she heard Stephan's truck pull into the driveway. She waited for the sound of him setting the alarm, but didn't hear the familiar double beep.  A few seconds later, her phone lit up with a text...  "Alex come out here, I've got something to show you." 
 
Strange, she thought.  Why hadn't he just called her on the way home to tell her he was bringing a surprise or whatever it was?  "I'll get my robe and be out in a minute," she texted back and headed to the bedroom for her robe.  Something just didn't feel right about this though.  She noticed that her two cats were not at their usual spot waiting by the door for their "daddy" to come in, but rather had gone into alert mode, ears up and pointed, bodies rigid as if they were ready to pounce or make a run for it, eyes staring intently at the wall between the carport and the house. 
 
Alexandra felt the hair stand up on the back of her neck.  She took a quick glance out the kitchen window as she walked down the hallway toward the bedroom.  The carport was dark, and she could make out Stephan's truck parked next to hers, but in the shadows it looked like there were two men in the front seat, both of them larger than her slim built husband. 
 
Hands shaking, Alex punched 911 into her cellphone just as she heard two sets of  heavy footsteps coming across the deck.  Thank God she had locked and bolted the door, as Stephan had always insisted she do when she was home alone.  Before the call had finished connecting, she heard the wail of sirens as a police car came screeching into her driveway, lights flashing.  "Drop  your guns and put your hands up", she heard an officer shout.  Alex cowered down in the corner of her bedroom, too terrified to move or cry out.   She heard a shot fired, an exchange of loud voices, and then nothing for a few seconds - seconds that felt like an eternity. 
 
Then there was a knock on her door, and someone saying "Ma'am open up, this is the police," but she wasn't sure until the lady on the other end of the 911 line told her that there were indeed policemen at her door, and that they had apprehended two suspects on her property. 
 
Shaking from head to toe, Alex moved to the door, cellphone in her hand and still connected, just in  case.  She opened it a crack and the officers showed her their ID; she let them in and crumpled into the arms of the nearest one. 
 
"Ma'am it's going to be ok now, you are safe and everything is alright."  The officers explained that the two assailants had attacked and wounded her husband as he left the office, taking his cellphone and truck keys and leaving him laying in the parking lot.  Thankfully another coworker, had found him just a few minutes later and had alerted the police. 
 
It turned out that Stephan had gotten himself deeply in debt, and the two men who attacked him had come to collect what he owed.  They had intended to kidnap Alexandra and hold her for ransom.  Had she responded to the text to come outside, their plan might have succeeded.  She was grateful to her cats for alerting her that something was amiss, and for trusting her own instinct that Stephan's text didn't seem like him at all. 
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I'm linking up with Meghan Genge's Sunday Scribblings
where the prompt this week is "instinct" 

26 comments:

  1. My first instinct on finishing the story was to feel really annoyed with her husband Stephan for not sharing his problems with Alex. That she was so sensible seems in direct contrast to his foolishness. I am not surprised that the cats took a starring role in this story!

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    1. I agree with you Old Egg, by not telling his wife of the serious trouble he was in, he put her life in danger too! Well of course cats must have a starring role, just as you say on your blog, they could never play villains on mine. :-)

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    1. Cats know when things are wrong and they will let you know if you pay attention.

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  3. Cats are indeed wise.. instinctual..i like that even in a scary situation she maintained some control..thought logically and carefully..that always tends to help the not quite right turn out a little better..

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    1. She really did think it thru despite her fear, Jae, I would like to think I could handle things as well if I found myself in this situation. My husband often reminds me to keep the door locked if he is not home in the evening, sometimes I am lax about it, this story grew from that thought.

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  4. If it wasn't for her feline friends it could well have been cat-astrophic!

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    1. Indeed it could well have been, Keith! I hope her husband feels suitable remorse for having put her in this situation! I personally feel she should put him out, instead of the cats!:-)

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  5. good old cats, you can.always trust animals instincts

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    1. Absolutely, Emma! Alex was also wise in sensing that her husband's text message was out of keeping with his usual behavior. This put her on the alert that something different was going on.

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  6. I stopped by to congratulate you on your Honorable Mention in last week's Limerick-Off. Great job! Limerick of the Week 104

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    1. Thank you very much, Mad Kane! Awesome! :-)

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  7. wow, that's quite the story. I am hopping over from Truthful Tidbits. I do hops sometimes and just like to see what other people are up to. Good writing and keep it up.

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    1. Thanks for stopping by, Becky.. welcome! I've discovered that writing short stories can be fun. They aren't polished efforts by any means, just kind of off-the-cuff, but I enjoy the process.

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  8. This is brilliant. I love this type of story. The suspense kept me glued to your words from start to finish.

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    1. Thanks Bo! Just a bit of suspense fare to illustrate that both animals and humans resort to instinct when in survival mode.

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  9. love the way it turned...I was sure he had a girl friend and had decided to have her killed...good story..great suspense..kept me guessing to the end.

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    1. Thanks GS! That's probably what she was wondering with his strange recent behavior. It's never a good policy to keep secrets in a marriage, this one could have ended up with him losing far more than his pride and his money.

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  10. I agree with the of the previous comments. Well written, with a good outcome in the end.

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  11. Hello, I am brand new to Sunday Scribblings, so I am checking out other participants and seeing what they write. I am looking forward to looking around your blog and have some new places to investigate for more creative prompts and inspiration. Thanks for sharing your talent with us.

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    1. Hi! Welcome to my blog, and thanks for the compliment! :-) If you're looking for fun writing prompts to try, check out the list of Great Places in my side bar! Will be watching to see you joining in!

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  12. Josie, great story about a crappy marriage. WHAT A TOOL! Getting in that deep with loan sharks and never bothering to tell her, especially before he borrowed from them. She's a woman; we always have creative ideas. He must have been gambling. That's an epidemic in the US... and that's how you get kidnapped for HIS misbehavior.

    As far as the prompt goes, this is as good as it gets! Peace, Amy
    http://sharplittlepencil.com/2013/03/11/goosebumps/

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    1. You are right on target Amy! A young relative of mine got caught up in a scenario similar to this one, though her then husband was far more diabolical, and she spent many nights fearing for her own safety and life. It was a harrowing time for all of us, but I'm glad to say she is free of him now, and her life is in a much better place!

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  13. The cats! thanks for their alertness. I think Stephan was just trying to solve the problem first on his own.

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    1. I think you are probably right about Stephan, he didn't want her to find out the mess he'd gotten himself into, but he failed to consider how much danger she might be in!

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Your comments are always appreciated... they make me smile! :-)