~Friday Flash Fiction~
Written for a Scary Story comp
'Morning.' Two police officers’ shadows filtered through Tammy’s doorway. 'We have a warrant.'
'To search your apartment.'
'But, I was about to go out.' She looked at Indy, strapped in the stroller.
‘We'll be done in a few minutes and you can be on your way.'
Her hand shook as she pulled the door open.
'Sorry if we’ve surprised you.' They entered her apartment, then opened and closed doors and drawers.
She waited rocking the stroller back and forth. The men soon returned with an envelope.
'Jerome Hale—friend of yours?'
'Jerome from next door?' She didn’t know his surname. One night. Stupid, stupid, stupid.
‘He's done a runner.'
'What’s that?' Tammy eyed the envelope.
'Legal documents. He planted them in your wardrobe. Did he mention his daughter?'
'Only briefly. I haven’t met her, though.'
'He’s kidnapped her. Would you know anything about that?'
Tammy shook her head.
‘He’s dangerous. Call us if he returns.'
She pulled her daughter from the stroller. 'What was I thinking, Indy?'
She didn’t want to take any chances. They hibernated in a stifling, locked up apartment.
That night, wind gusts clattered the windows. The sky turned into an electrical light show and the walls vibrated with each crack of thunder.
Lightning blacked out the power and the rolling rumbles woke Indy. Fearful of Jerome returning, Tammy settled her daughter back to sleep.
After the storm had passed, a raucous knock rattled the front door. Her hands trembled at Jerome’s outline in the opaque window. She crawled to Indy’s bedroom.
She salivated at the thought of a drink.
'I just want to see Indy before I head off.'
Tammy reached for the bedroom door and swung it closed. Indy stirred.
'Shh baby. It's ok.' Tammy hummed.
Indy relaxed, drifting back to sleep.
'Tammy! I know you're home.'
She bit down hard on the inside of her mouth, sprouting blood onto her tongue.
'I’ll come in the back.' Jerome’s voice now quiet, barely audible through the paper-thin walls.
She breathed deeply. My phone. She crawled to the kitchen and reached up to the bench where she always left it.
Jerome banged on the backdoor. Tammy rushed back to Indy's room and punched in '000'. At the same time, Jerome began tapping on the window. She snapped in a short breath.
A voice boomed, 'Name and location please.'
Tammy felt for Indy’s play mat on the floor and lifted it over her head. She whispered the details. 'Jerome… police … told me he's dangerous… outside now… think he’s tapping a stone on the window.’
A loud crash of glass made her jump.
'Please stay on the line,' the voice said.
It wasn't Indy's window. Which window was it? She froze with fear. A siren blared then a small tribe of scuffling shoes passed Indy's window. Voices yelled. Tammy heard a muffled thwack. More scuffling. More voices.
She sat still until a knock on the door startled her.
I won first prize for this story over at Writing Classes for Kids (and adults)