His eyes burrow into my soul.
We stand there facing each other, neither daring to move a muscle. I admit he has me at a disadvantage, I had no idea he would be there.
But none of that matters right now. What matters is the razor sharp beak standing between me and a frozen steak.
Do I talk him down? Do I inch my hand forward? Do I strike hard and fast, and hope that I am faster?
My stomach gurgles in response.
With a nod I gird my loins.
My right hand is a slingshot. The icy enclosure saps my strength. The glint in his black eyes shakes my resolve. A war cry pierces the air as my left hand knocks my tuxedo clad opponent to the ground. I slam the door closed.
The steak is cold in my shaking hand. A grim smile spreads over my stony countenance.
We are safe, and fed…for now.
I let the steak sizzle to fetch my reading glasses. They are upstairs on my nightstand, a short jaunt up the stairs…take cover!
I dive to the left, rolling to a stop a few feet into the living room.
Is it what I thought it was? But how? The stairs were clear just a few minutes ago.
I chance a look in the mirror at the base of the stairs.
I stare into the vacant eyes of heavy artillery. It seems unmanned, but is it? Has the trigger-man camouflaged himself in the deep carpet of the hallway? Does he bide his time simply waiting for a better shot?
I can’t be sure, but I need those glasses.
I’ll have to chance it.
For the second time in five minutes I find myself breathing hard, muscles tense, heart slamming in my chest.
A tennis ball waits at my feet. Inspiration!
I slide down the wall, my eyes never leaving the mirror. I feel a familiar fuzzy texture brush against my fingertips.
In one fluid motion I grab the ball, swing around the banister and heave with all my might. It bounces off the wall as I take the steps two by two.
I squeeze my eyes and grit my teeth waiting for the hot lead to tear through my soft flesh.
The shots never come.
All is safe.
Wildlife is in the freezer. Weapons are in the hallway.
At what point did I lose control here?
Who can be behind these traps?
I may never find the answer.
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