Cornered by

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


Photo – Waiting for ? four by Mac(3)


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