THE SILENCE DIDN’T LAST long. It was soon replaced by the sound of sirens in the distance as Eudora’s finest raced to my rescue. I figured it was only a matter of time before Pat and her boys showed up. You can’t make a spectacle in town like the Walrus did without attracting the eyes of the law. I’m sure that in some part of his mind he knew that the police would eventually make their presence known. I had no idea what he had had in mind for the police once that happened. Maybe his rage just wouldn’t allow him to plan for such an eventuality. I don’t know.

I took a seat on the hill next to the Walrus. My spine was still healing, so I lay flat on my back and let my body do its thing.

I couldn’t see the driveway from behind the house, but it wasn’t long before I heard no less than four squad cars roar in. After that I heard the slamming of car doors, and then there was nothing.

I imagined Pat and her boys standing on the porch looking at the space where my front door used to be.

“This is the Eudora Police Department,” Pat’s amplified voice sounded from over the top of the house. She must’ve brought a bullhorn with her. “Come out with your hands in the air!”

I sighed and shook my head. I wanted to shout out to them, but I just couldn’t find it in me. After the morning I’d had, I was exhausted and yearned for sleep. I thought about my bed and sighed again.

Eventually, after hearing no response from within the house, Pat and the boys would have to enter. They would go in, guns drawn, and search room to room. Someone would shout “Clear” each time a room was checked and found empty. They would move methodically through the house, and as my room was in the back, they would reach it last. But, sooner or later, they would get to my room and find what I can only assume would be a hole in the wall where the window used to be, and surmise by the fact that since all the glass and drywall lay scattered about on the grass and not in the room, that we’d taken our fight outside.

I started to drift off there among the leaves, the breeze blowing over me like a cool blanket. Then something landed lightly on my chest. I opened my eyes and raised my head just enough to find a squirrel—yeah, that squirrel—watching me.


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