Intruder

By Ronald Cypress

 

The first call Minnie Sinclair made to police came shortly after five in the evening. Minnie informed the operator that she was certain that someone was inside her home. She was calling from the master bedroom, breathing heavily into the phone as she whispered about the threat that was in her home.

“I can hear them moving around out there,” she said. “I think they’re trying to come kill me.”

She had been advised to stay in her room until the police arrived, but by the time two police officers showed up at her home Minnie was standing on her front yard, shaking and frantically looking around for assistance. The first officer to speak with her assured Minnie that everything was going to be fine, and she escorted the shaken woman away from the house and towards her vehicle.

“They’re in there,” Minnie said as she started to cry. “They’re planning on killing me, and they were in there waiting for me.”

“Everything is going to be fine,” the officer said.

With Minnie away from the house, the other police officer cautiously entered the house. Minnie watched him as he stood at the front door with his gun drawn and called out to whoever was in the house. Her whole body began to tighten up as the officer entered the home.

“I don’t know why they want to kill me,” Minnie said. “I haven’t done anything to anyone.”

“It’s going to be all right, ma’am. I just need you to stay here until everything is checked out.”

Minnie was more than happy to follow the officer’s directions. She didn’t want to go anywhere near her own home, not until they took care of whoever was in there. The officer who had escorted Minnie away from her home began to walk towards the house, leaving Minnie alone. Looking around the neighborhood, Minnie could see that some of her neighbors were starting to observe what was happening.

“I haven’t done anything to anyone,” Minnie said to herself. “I keep to myself. Don’t bother anyone. It’s wrong to want to kill me. It’s not right.”

She started to shiver.

Time went by slowly, but Minnie started to feel it passing. She wondered about the officers who were inside, and she figured that it was just a matter of time before there were gunshots.

“People have gone mad,” Minnie said.

The officers were taking too long inside her home, and Minnie considered the possibility that she might have to visit a neighbor’s house to call the police again and inform them that two of their own had been murdered.

The officers finally emerged from the house. The two walked towards her.

“Ma’am. ” the officer who had escorted Minnie to the car spoke first. “We looked all over the house and didn’t find anyone inside.”

“You didn’t?”

“No, ma’am. Are you sure you heard someone inside the home?”

“I was absolutely certain.” There was a little doubt in Minnie’s voice. “I know someone was in there.”

“Well, we didn’t see anyone. And we didn’t see any signs of someone breaking in.”

“So…”

“I would say it’s safe to go back into your home, Mrs. Sinclair. It’s completely empty.”

“Do you live by yourself?” the other officer asked.

“I do.”

“Okay.”

“One of us could hang around outside here if it will make you feel any better.”

Minnie thought about it. She shook her head and started to slowly head back to her house.

“It’s not right,” she said.

“Ma’am?” One of the officer’s called out to her.

Minnie continued walking until she was back inside her home. She closed the door behind her and locked it.

They must have missed something.

Minnie began walking around her home. She started in the living room, the first room one entered after going through the front door. Nothing looked as if it had been moved. Minnie looked behind the TV stand, inside the fireplace, and under the couch. She didn’t see anyone. The bathroom also appeared to be normal. Minnie looked in the shower and under the sink. Then there were the bedrooms. One was completely empty, and Minnie didn’t find anyone there. The other bedroom had a queen-size bed, a wooden dresser, and large cardboard box in the corner of the room. Minnie checked all around, including the almost bare closet. She didn’t find anyone. The investigation moved to the master bedroom, and once again Minnie looked all over.

No one.

She left her room and headed towards the kitchen. Minnie checked the stove and the refrigerator. She looked in all the drawers and under the sink. The search came to an end, and Minnie made her way back into the living room.

“I guess that settles it.”

 

It was shortly after nine at night when Minnie called the police. There was someone in her house, and she believed it was the same person who had been there earlier with plans to murder her. The police had to get there right away.

“I’m in the kitchen right now,” she said on the phone. “I can hear them moving around in the my bedroom. They’re going to come kill me.”

The operator advised Minnie to get out of the house if she could. Minnie followed the advice.

The two officers, neither the ones from before, arrived to find Minnie standing in the street, a few feet away from her property, her entire body trembling.

“There’s someone in there,” Minnie told the first officer who approached her. “They’re trying to kill me, and I don’t really understand. I haven’t done anything to anyone.”

Minnie was once again escorted towards a patrol car and told to wait until the house was checked out.

Both of the officers went inside. They moved faster than the two who had been there earlier, and it didn’t take long for them to come out and announce that they hadn’t found anyone inside the home.

“I heard them moving around in there,” Minnie said with defiance. “They were in my home, and I know they’re trying to kill me.”

“Why would anyone want to kill you, ma’am?”

“That’s a very good question, and I would like to know the answer just as much as you.”

“How old are you, ma’am?”

Minnie was shocked by the question. Her face contorted to show the aghast.

“I don’t see what that has to do with this horrible situation. Why would you ask me such a question?”

“We’re just trying to get a feel for what’s going on here, ma’am?”

“What does my age have to do with it? Maybe you think I’m so old that I should just let whoever’s coming into my home go ahead and kill me. Maybe I don’t deserve to be alive.”

“Ma’am, we’re definitely not saying that.”

Minnie shook her head. She opened her mouth, but the indignation was just too vigorous for her to speak.

“Are you taking any medications, ma’am?”

It was only getting worse. Minnie figured they were just a few questions away from asking about her sex life.

“I think I should just…”

“Are you okay, ma’am?”

“I should just go back inside, and you two should just go.”

Minnie began to walk back towards her home. She would do another search.

“We’re here,” she heard one of the officers say. “We didn’t find anything, and the woman that called is behaving kind erratically.”

Minnie was almost at the front door. She would have already been inside if her legs weren’t shaking so bad, preventing her from moving faster.”

“It’s an elderly woman. I would say about seventy. She wouldn’t tell us her age.”

She reached the front door and pushed it open.

The house quietly waited for her. Minnie decided that she would be more thorough when she looked around the house. She wouldn’t just look under the beds, but she would also check underneath the mattresses. She would look behind the refrigerator and stove. In the two bathrooms, she would go behind the toilets. Someone had been in her home, and they had wanted her dead.

But no one was found.

After her search was over, Minnie drank a small cup chamomile tea and prepared for bed. She was still trembling some, but whoever had been there before was no longer around.

“A good night’s rest is what I need.”

It was close to two in the morning when the police arrived at Minnie’s house. She had told the operator that someone was moving all over her house.

“They were in the kitchen,” she told the operator. “But now they’re in the bedroom across from mine. Wait. I hear them in the fireplace. They’re coming down the hall.”

Minnie had somehow managed to make it out of her bedroom and out of the house.

The one officer who showed up took Minnie over to his car before going inside to look around.

“I suggest you really give it a good look, and don’t just skim over the place like I suspect your comrades did.”

The officer assured her that he would look all over the house.

He moved even faster than the last officers had, and Minnie began to cry when she saw him leaving the house and walking towards her.

“Ma’am,” the officer said.

“Don’t!” Minnie screamed. “Just don’t. I know you didn’t really look around. You don’t care that there’s someone in there trying to kill me.”

Minnie moved away from the patrol car and back towards her front yard.

“I don’t understand why this is happening to me,” she said. “I’ve done nothing to deserve this.”

A few neighbors started to come out of their homes, including the woman who lived next door.

“I’ve worked hard all my life,” Minnie said. “And I deserve to be left alone in peace.”

Minnie wiped away her tears and took a deep breath. She couldn’t stop shaking. She knew that she would have to go back into the house. The person who had been there was probably gone again, but they would be back. They would keep coming back until they finally got what they wanted.

“She’s been changing for about a year now,” a voice said behind Minnie. “She’s really kept to herself and hasn’t spoken to us as much as she used to.”

“Do you know if she has any relatives nearby?”

“Her grandson was living with her, but he took off. Shortly after that some teens followed her home after an incident on the road and threatened to kill her. I heard them calling her all kinds of horrible names, and they said they were going to burn her house down with her in it. It was terrible. I wanted her to call the police, but she didn’t.”

Minnie couldn’t believe all the talking that was going on behind her. All that chattering wasn’t going to fix her problem.

Her neighbor kept babbling.

“I think that incident and being alone have really shaken her.”

Minnie heard a noise coming from inside her home. Someone was still in there. She knew that the officer hadn’t searched with sincerity. He didn’t care if she were killed. What difference would it make to him or the rest of the world?

“Ma’am, are you okay? Are you sure you want to go back in the house?”

Minnie’s shaking legs had to go step by step.

“Minnie, is there someone we could call?”

Minnie thought about turning around and telling her prattling neighbor to shut up.

“Minnie?”

She would go back in the house and lock the door. There wasn’t going to be another search. Instead Minnie would just settle down somewhere, likely in the living room, and wait for the person who was breaking into her home to reveal themselves. They might be in for a surprise. Minnie knew she still had some fight in her. They weren’t going to get rid of her with ease.

Minnie locked the front door once she was inside. No one was going to leave until the thing was settled. She brewed more chamomile tea and prepared for the confrontation. A few noises from just outside the home started up as she sat down on her couch. They were trying to find the best way to get back into her home. The noises gradually picked up volume, and Minnie eventually realized that they were there with her. She took a long sip of her tea.

It was time for the showdown.