2 a.m. Sapphire streaks pierce through the kitchen blinds.
I head for my converted garage and lock the door from the inside.
Here, there is a fridge, bottled water, and cans of food. A cardboard box contains a month’s supply of my medication. Under an antique gold mirror, a wooden cabinet holds trays of rare coins. A monitor displays four camera images.
The burglar alarm indicator flickers and dies.
Did I leave my phone on the sofa?
Too late. I see a fuzzy shape move down the hall.
My gut turns to spaghetti.
Under the hall camera, he holds up a carving knife, tests the blade with his finger, then sweeps it from left to right, inches from his throat.
A cold glaze coats my lower back.
Three blows from his battering ram smash the door to pieces.
I back away, step by step, until I’m against the wall.
In he comes, torch in one hand, knife in the other. Breathing hard, he edges forward.
I want to speak, but saliva clogs my throat like syrup.
I stretch, pull a gun from its wall holster and fire.
Electrodes stick to his clothing. He falls, clutching his chest.
Grabbing the knife, I watch his lips turn blue.
Now I recognise him – the sub-contractor who installed my cameras.
He’s not moving.
I’d better call the police. They can’t deny it was self-defence, can they?
Tim Dadswell is a retired civil servant, living in Norfolk, who loves writing short fiction. Find him on Twitter: @TimD_writer
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