A short-short story by Jed Waverly
It was a dark and stormy night.
Rick and Sarah were comfortably asleep in their second floor master bedroom. It had been a long day, and sleep came easily to them.
They had arrived home just before midnight, having driven through the storm, avoiding tree limbs falling, flooded streets, and live wires every place. The TV meteorologist had been warning about the intensity of this storm for days now, and here it was, just as he had predicted. Rick felt sheepish admitting that he had ignored the warnings.
Close one after close one made him embarrassed that he had not listened to Sarah’s concerns before heading out to the dinner party in a Boston suburb. But Rick was not one to admit his doubts about weather and other “acts of God” that might stand in the way of an enjoyable evening.
Nevertheless, they were home, in good shape, and having enjoyed a wonderful lobster dinner with fresh lobster from the Boston seafood market. What more could one ask for? When he voiced that to Sarah on the way home, her answer was muted by the thunder. “Maybe getting home without being killed.”
It was well after midnight when the phone rang.
“Damn,” muttered Sarah as she reached for the land phone on her bedside table. “Who has the guts to call at this hour?” She prepared herself for the handing out of a firm warning to whomever it was on the other end of the line.
“Hello,” she said.
“You will regret being home right now,” the mysterious voice said. “I hate it when there are people home.”
There was a click, and the phone disconnected.
“Who was it?” Rick asked, hearing the phone get slammed into its cradle.
“Nobody. Just a prank call.” But the sound of that mysterious voice bounced around in her head, and it was only a few seconds before she sat straight up and spoke.
“Rick. The voice said he didn’t like it when people are at home. I’m a little scared. I’m not sure I can go back to sleep.”
Rick sat up, turned on the light and looked around.
“Did you recognize his voice?”
“No, it was creepy, though. And he didn’t sound at all tired. I’m concerned that it was somebody casing the house. Do you think I’m being overly reactive?”
“Maybe I should call 911,” Rick said. Just then a crash sounded from downstairs…the sound of a window breaking.
“Make that call,” Rick ordered her. “I think he’s in the house.”
Sarah picked up her cell phone and started to punch in the numerals. But they soon realized it was too late…they could hear footsteps on the stairs.
The situation had moved from a “spooky one” to a downright frightening one in a matter of seconds. The fact that someone might be considering robbing them to one of an actual break-in…complete with a burglar heading up the stairs…changed the circumstances completely. Thinking about getting a safety system for the house ‘in case” they were ever challenged moved to knowing that there was a burglar in the house and they needed to do something immediately. The possibility became real time!
Isn’t that similar to what the Republicans are facing right now (and all of us potentially?) There is someone trying to “steal” the Republican nomination. For quite a while it was a threat, and everyone was comfortable thinking about it, but delaying going to The Home Depot to purchase a security system would have been a safer bet.
Now, however, the situation is real, and the method of overcoming the threat is imminent. The burglar has entered the house, shut down the security system, and is filling his bags with the spoils of a burglary. And he’s on the steps coming up the stairs. There’s no time for advanced planning. That should have been done months ago. The threat turns to immediate action now. Defense to Offense. (Or is it the other way around?)What to do?