Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Part Three: Pursuit. Chapter Thirty-Two

Alex had a full gun in one hand and a knife on his hip. It was early yet, but he could tell this would be a good day. It took all his focus to keep his mind from wandering away to that cabin in Vancouver where he would soon be building exciting new memories.

He practically danced up the walk, knowing they were expecting him, knowing they could recognize him, and somehow even more exhilarated by the knowledge.

He stood before the stoop for a moment, thinking, then smiled. He wondered what they were doing inside. Were they waiting for him? Were they panicking? Were they ready?

He stepped into the well-maintained garden to the left of the front door and rang the bell. Then he tromped through the garden to the second window. The first was a small affair, frosted, and clearly leading to a bathroom. The second window was larger and clearly led to a larger room.

There were two shots from inside the house and he jumped. From the sound of it they had fired at the door. He grinned.

Then, he banged the base of the gun's handle into the glass twice, shattering it with the second blow. He snatched the curtain aside and looked in. It was a dusty study, books piled about, a shelf of trophies, and there was a desk just beneath the window. It would be easy for him to climb in, but he was not ready for that yet. Instead he waited, conscious of the fact that soon he would have to get inside. If the shots had not caused anyone to call the police yet—but of course, the police themselves would have called the police, as soon as they had heard gunshots, and police officers would recognize gunfire, wouldn't they?

He would waste no more time then. He would take the fight to these two, kill one and take the other. He would have minutes, now, at the most, but he could take the blond man's car if necessary, it was standing just outside the house. There was nothing about his car that would attract suspicion. That was a good plan, he thought, as he watched the door to the study, his mind racing with possibilities. He would take her, run to the car, and then—

The doorknob began to turn, ever so slowly. He aimed above the knob, where he envisioned a hand must be, and opened fire.

Then, dropping the curtain back into place, he began to run around the house. Time, time, he had very little of it left. Still, as sweat dripped from his hairline, he was grinning like a madman. He was having so much damn fun!

Around the back of the house, he saw two more sets of large windows. He fired a round through each, weakening the glass, then bashing them with the gun to get them to shatter. As he approached the next corner of the house, he could see a large glass sliding door that entered off a small concrete patio. He didn't want to enter there, he wanted to be more clever, to create more of a trap, but he did not have time. His destruction of the other two windows would keep their attention, at least keep them distracted. There was a propane tank by the glass door, standing next to a gas grill.

He picked the cannister up in his left hand, hefting it. With his right hand he fired a round through the glass door, then he hurled the tank after. There sound was much louder, somehow, than the other windows he had broken, and the tank swept the drapes up as it tumbled into the house.

There was no gunfire in return and Alex could not wait any longer. Time was slipping away. Still grinning, a vein throbbing obscenely in his forehead, sweat burning his eyes, he ducked through the curtain himself.

He immediately smelled the tang of cordite in the air, from the rounds they had fired through the door. Perhaps they had fired more rounds and he had missed them in his excitement.

He entered on the dining side of a kitchen pass-through, and he immediately dropped to his knees, staying out of sight. He tried to slow his breathing, it was difficult for him to hear, but he was too excited.

He heard a yell, a man's voice, high and scared, from deep in the house. “I think he's inside!” Oh, yes, he was inside alright.

He began to edge his way to the corner of the dining room, which opened into the living room. To his left, he knew, would be the entry hall, where they had shot at him, and the rest of the house. He hadn't heard them, so they must still be down there. They must be waiting for him.

He pictured them, the two of them, in one of the rooms he had shot into, holed up like frightened rodents, waiting for him, hoping he would leave them alone. His grin widened, envisioning their terrified faces.

He knew he must leave. He did not have the time for a protracted hunt, not today. He wanted the woman badly, and he knew on some level she must realize this as well, as he fired round after round into her house, she had to have known he was coming for her. Could he bring himself to leave? Did he have that much patience?

His smile began to subside. He did not want to leave. He had built this up in his mind, this final triumph of his, this visible, incredible assault, his coming out, his announcement to the world that he would do what he wanted when he wanted. But there must be some logic. His desires must wait upon sensibility sometime. And right now was that time.

As much as he wanted, no, needed, this, he knew that he was not ready to stop. More than that, he was not ready to be stopped.

He backed up to the end of the dining room wall. He could just lean out now and look into the glass door of the range in the kitchen. There was no one in the kitchen watching him.

He would take two steps and be outside. He would jump the fence at the back of the yard, walk back to his car, and he would be gone. Like a wraith. No, he told himself, like a myth. Like a boogeyman that would haunt people, whose memory would live on far longer than he would. That sounded right. Alex began to smile again as he stood to walk to leave.

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