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.
I'm linking up with Meghan Genge's Sunday Scribblings
where the prompt this week is "instinct"