Simon waited as the sounds of the doorbell echoed away inside. He could have sworn he could hear voices and assumed that Chris was home. After a couple of minutes had passed he pressed the bell again. The peals of sound mimicking a grandfather clock echoed away again, but no one came to the door. Simon pulled his communicator out and spoke “Chris”. The device dialled the number and gave an engaged signal. Simon pressed his ear to the glass inserts in the front door but could hear no ringing noise. Damn he thought. The TV is going too loud for Chris to hear the doorbell and he is on the phone. He looked around. The driveway led up from the street to the triple garage doors where it opened out into a turning circle. This had a path leading to the front door. The whole area was flanked by low hedges and these were backed by an 8 foot stucco wall with small embrasures containing potted figs. The wall was topped with a short iron railing with spikes. Simon looked around and then decided to head for the back yard. He jumped onto a pot, grabbed the fig’s trunk and walked his feet up the wall. Pushing back on the fig he was able to reach up with one hand and grab the railing at the top. Pulling himself up onto the top of the fence he was able to step carefully over the railing. Dropping his bag to the ground he swung down the wall and then jumped the remaining 3 feet to the ground.
Inside when the doorbell first sounded Chris was out cold. By the time Simon sounded the bell again he was groggily coming to. He had enough wits to lay still however and keep his eyes shut. Peeking through hooded lids he was able to check that he was not restrained and that he was lying in the middle of the room where he had been attacked. He could see the phone over the other side of the kitchen on the floor. Although the case had come open he could see the talk light was still on. He hoped the emergency services had heard the commotion and his cry for help and were despatching the police. Then the doorbell sounded again. Suddenly heavy footsteps sounded behind his head and then thudded down right in front of his face as the intruder stepped over him. They headed down the corridor toward the front entry way. Chris didn’t dare move in case there was someone behind him still but he was able to get a fairly good look at the person heading down the hallway They were wearing a heavy leather jacket and faded jeans. Scruffy work boots on his feet. A balaclava covered his head so Chris couldn’t see the colour of his hair. By the time he thought to look the intruder was out of sight so he didn’t get a look at the colour of his hands. A thought crossed his mind that it was the gardener. There were no further sounds so Chris risked a look over his shoulder. It appeared clear and he rolled carefully into the middle of the kitchen before rising cautiously to his knees. There was no one in sight in the kitchen or family room. His head throbbed where he had been hit. He thought about getting a kitchen knife but didn’t want to risk making a noise with the cutlery so instead he decided to grab the phone and hide somewhere. As he picked up the phone he heard the footsteps coming back. No time to talk he thought and quickly eased the pantry door open. Slipping inside he cautiously pulled the door behind him. The louvered panels on the door allowed him a view downward to the floor of the kitchen but effectively hid him from the view of anyone standing in the kitchen. He heard a curse as the intruder came into sight of where he had been lying and he could see their boots as they stopped. Hoping they wouldn’t open the pantry door Chris looked around frantically in the darkened room to see if he could locate a weapon. A bottle of cooking sherry on the top shelf looked like the best choice. Grasping it by the neck he carefully turned it up without sloshing the contents. Looking out the door he could no longer see the boots. He hadn’t heard them walk off but he was taking no chances. Crouching down he tried to get a better view through the louvred slats but could only see a few feet of kitchen floor tiles. Suddenly he heard a tinny voice. He remembered he was holding the phone and held it to his ear. A voice was talking.
“Is anybody there? We heard a cry for help. Help has been despatched.” The voice repeated the message again. Chris didn’t dare answer and covered the speaker with his hand.
Simon walked across the manicured lawn and through a shrubbery toward the back of the house. As he came round the side of the house he saw the pile of bloody meat lying with the head on top beside the hedge next to the patio. He stopped dead in his tracks. He immediately knew something was wrong and that Chris needed help. He snuck back into the shrubbery and tapped the talk button on his communicator. “Emergency” he whispered. Within seconds he had been connected and was talking to an emergency operator. After telling them the address he noticed a difference in the way they were talking.
“Has something already happened” he asked.
The operator said there was already a call out on that address. After getting the story from Simon the operator instructed him to either stay hidden in the shrubbery or if he could get back over the wall without being seen then to do that and wait down the street for the enforcers to arrive.
Simon agreed before terminating the call but there was no way he was leaving his mate. Cautiously looking back round the side of the house he could see no movement near the patio.