September and Other Stories (Chapter 5, page 1 of 3)

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Chapter 5

There comes that point in every person's life when you have to ask yourself the question, "Is it worth it? Is it really worth it?" And if you can't jump up unequivocally and scream "Hell yeah," then you turn around and walk away.

I looked down at my parents' broken wedding portrait. The scent of their blood was still fresh in the air. There were a dozen other scents, the scents of strangers with bad intentions. They lingered over my mother's empty jewelry box. They clung to the smashed entertainment cabinet that housed the TV and stereo. They drifted through the kitchen where the silverware used to be. Who the hell steals silverware in this day and age? I ran my tongue over my teeth as I heard a voice come from the phone being crushed in my hand.

"911. What is your emergency?"

"No emergency. Just wanted to let someone know that there won't be any more home invasions."

"Um ... and why do you say that miss?"

"Because I'm about to track their pitiful hides down and rip them into ribbons."

The phone splintered into dozens of bits of plastic. I dropped the remnants and walked outside.

I took a deep breath and absorbed the air. It was heavy with exhaust fumes no more than an hour old. Skid marks marred the driveway and the smell of burnt rubber from worn tires filled the air. A pool of green liquid. Radiator leak. They couldn't go far with hostages and a bummed radiator. You would think they'd have the sense to use a get-away vehicle that can actually get away.

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