Sunday, July 09, 2006

At 11:10, we heard some gunshots nearby. Not good. Certainly my densely packed neighborhood might be the target for some insurgents. The 'Sickle of Islam' was rumored by the news to be everywhere, a sleeper organization that had been finally called to serve Allah.

The girls and I were still alive by 11:20, in a circle on the other side of my bed, where we surrounded the radio and some candles. I used an old sheet to cover my window, so that the light wouldn't pour out. We kept quiet, fearing that we would be found.

They're such awesome creatures, these females. I love being around them. In the wake of terror, we told jokes and stories. I can't believe that I was lucky enough to get barricaded in a place with three very good-looking women my age. And they weren't stupid either, these were college girls. A lot of good conversations. Tayva seemed a little off-beat. She had killed a man that day, and I couldn't forget that.

When we heard the gunshots, this changed. We all became tense.

"Okay, new rule." I said, "We need a person on the stairs, watching the front door, with a gun. If someone breaks through the back, its only a few steps around the corner, in we can fire on them." I had fortified the backyard face of the house with enough wood scraps to make it look like a log cabin. Someone could jump the fence, yes, and break the window, yes, but it would take them a while to get passed the rest. I was really only worried about the garage and the front door.

"I really don't want to say this, ladies, but we might have to shoot at someone." The vivid reality came to their faces, then, "There are people running around out there that will kill just for being white, let alone non-Muslim. We know they are killing people out there for just that reason, and we can't let them do that to us."

I wasn't racist. In my college days I had been an advocate of helping relations with the Muslims on the campus. I had several friends of the Islamic faith. I had lobbied along with a few other representatives for the Mosque to be built, when so many others had been pushing for the opposite reason. It was horrible that my efforts had led to nothing in this world-wide disaster.

"We're all tired," I lied, "We should each take shifts for sleeping. One person awake in this room, with a pistol, just in case, one person on watch, the other two can sleep. Whadya think?"

"Mike," Angelina began... such lovely blue eyes, "I actually propose that we leave."

Leave? This place was a fortress!

"It sounds like those 'Sickle of Islam' creeps want to blow the dam up. We could very well face a wall of water any second now." Angelina said. The others were mortified.

"Angeline, this house is not in the flood plain, we'll be fine." Actually, it was very close to the flood area, I had escaped it by only about one hundred feet.

"Nevertheless, Mike, there are guys in turbans running around shooting people. We have got to get out of the suburbs, up into the hills."

"This house is completely barricaded. We've got a lot of food, water, tools... we can survive here. We can't go out in the cars and risk getting shot at now!"

"They might search the neighborhood, house by house! What do we do when we are faced with an army, Mike?" Karol asked. Was she still mad at me for not accepting her? Probably. Karol was a friend though, she'd cool off in a... couple of weeks, sure.

"If we face an army, Karol," I said, "We'll get in the cars, bust through the garage and race as fast as we can stay alive. Look, those guys probably aren't on foot. They've got motors somewhere in this ragtag legion of theirs. They could chase us. If we lay low for a while, let the military work this out, we'll have a much better chance."

The girls looked doubtful.

"Come on you guys! This is my house! Trust me. Please." I took their silence as an 'okay'.

"Alright, I'll take the first watch. I advise everyone stays in the same room. I've got sleeping bags, and a spare mattress."

While they got set up, I opened the door to the garage and kept it open with a bungie cord. If we needed to move fast, we could, and without noise. I put several boxes of food in, just in case we needed to split.

So we began taking shifts. The women talked for a long time in my room, and I couldn't figure out what. I eventually decided I would just stay up and take the entire watch. I don't need to sleep! People don't know how much I appreciate this advantage. I love what I'm able to do, and every day I'm grateful for having abilities others don't.

At 12:00, I told Angelina she could go to sleep if she needed to, she was nodding off.

"You sure, tough guy?" She smiled.

"I'm stimmed up from meds, m'gal, don't worry." I whispered back.

Everything was fine. I was on my laptop, trying to find information on what was happening. So many tales to be told and songs to be sung of the wars everywhere. Through a window about fifteen feet from the floor, I kept watch. I saw a few cars, and people running or walking. Scary times.

I went down and got some medicant... the girls had been questioning me about this. None of them will try it. It was 2:30 AM, in the morning. The three ladies were on the top of the stairs when I came back.

"You know, we should really be getting some rest, you know." I whispered up to them as I came up the stairs.

"Hey, Han Solo, we just decided we want to help you out." Tayva laughed, a little loud than I would have agreed with, "You're not going to ground us, are you, Dad?" They all laughed.

"Well, if you guys insist." I smiled and sauntered back into my seat on the stairs. Tayva started rubbing my shoulders and we began talking about college and stuff. I got back on my laptop, a little nervous with three attractive women on the steps above me, and began typing. They made fun of my obsessive recording, but hey, laughs are good. Helps out our mental health during a crisis. They learned about my lucid dreaming, and Tereal, and they thought it was a big joke. Mmmm... If only I could show them...

And then, after Angelina began a story about a blind date she had been on, we saw people coming through the front entrance. I closed my laptop.

"Get in the room, now." I whispered. They slowly moved back upstairs. Tayva remained, at the corner, a pistol readied. I motioned for her to remain silent.

This would be the second time I would be shot at. I moved down close to the door, and realized they were trying to pick the lock. Nervous, I moved against the wall. They wouldn't be able to get through my locks, or the bookshelf against the door. With my back against the wall, I moved into the garage.

My garage is right by the front walkway. There is a window that faces directly toward the front door. I suddenly realized that I had left this spot unbarricaded. But it seemed the two men were set on getting through the door. I got a good look at the guys: shorts, black sweaters, turbans. They were dressed all in black, and except for the lamplights, I wouldn't have a clue. I could see a pistol on one guy.

Then, I caught the light off of a blowtorch. They were going to get through my lock.

I'm getting anxious right now, there's a pressure in my head, I don't want to tell what happened but I have to. I have to tell. It happened.

I realized I had no choice. They were coming to loot the place and maybe kill them. I pointed my Browning Hi-Powered, made sure I was aiming right, and I pulled the trigger. The glass shattered, and the noise made me jump out of my skin. I pulled the trigger again, and again, and again, and again, and again. Five shots. The two men were probably down in three.

I went back into the main room, by the front door, and the girls ran down.

"Mike!" Karol yelled.

"Help me!" I said, gritting my teeth. They didn't venture down the stairs, but I didn't need them. Adrenaline was pumping like mad. I had killed two people. I had the bookshelf away from the door in a second. I ripped the door open, and pulled the guys inside. The girls were shocked stiff. I couldn't be squeamish. I pulled the two into a guest bedroom nearby, and found out that one of them was still alive. He mumbled something in another language. I took their guns, two more pistols, in a heartbeat, as well as the blowtorch.

Why did I have to do this? WHY!?

I took a pillow from the couch. I was going to kill this man, after putting two bullets in him. God forgive me. God forgive me, please! Blood was getting everywhere. I couldn't shoot him again.

Tears down my eyes, I pulled the pillow over his face, and hoped he would suffocate. "I'm sorry. I'm sorry."

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