Posted by Genie Gabriel
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When he passed the red brick building that housed Cisco’s restaurant, Mitch knew he was within a half mile of the Victorian house. Sirens echoed in the distance, setting Mitch’s nerves on edge. From the domestic violence calls Charlene answered to the rabid fans who pursued Geoff on the road, the scream of sirens meant trouble. Mitch forced himself not to press his foot down on the accelerator, reassuring himself there was no need to be edgy. It was Halloween. The police were probably just responding to a minor accident or a kid who called in as a prank.
Another siren joined the first, then another, racing closer. Mitch glanced in the rearview mirror. Blue and red lights flashed against the darkened sky. The hairs on the back of his neck raised as he pulled over. One, two, three squad cars sped past, rocking the Ferrari with their urgency. Mitch pulled back onto the road, following closely behind them.
In the distance, the weathervane on the Victorian’s turret reached toward the clouds; its angel reflecting blue and red lights as the squad cars screamed by.
Adrenaline sputtered in Mitch’s veins. They didn’t stop. The police weren’t going to the Victorian after all. Yet he still heard a siren. Coming not from the police cars, but from the house. Mitch cut the engine and jumped out. A shout from the house and the sound of running feet kicked his instincts into overdrive again. Where was Julia? Were the twins safe?
Mitch reached for his gun–a gun that was locked in a safe in Idaho. With a curse, he wrenched the tire iron out of the car and scrambled up the steps toward the front door. Shannon would not be happy with a ruined door, but he could apologize later. Thank God she hadn’t let him replace the hundred-year-old wooden door with a steel one. The heel of his boot splintered the wood by the latch, then his shoulder slammed the door into the mahogany wood paneling lining the entryway.
He ducked, rolled and came up in a crouch with the tire iron poised ready in the air. Mitch knew he put himself into a corner. He also knew the shadows behind the suit of armor standing sentinel in the hallway would give him the advantage over someone who didn’t know the house.
“Get this frigging mutt off me. Arghhh!”
Mitch rose slowly and batted the strings of cobwebs out of his face. Gabe stood on the chest of a man garbed as a spider, a shredded mask hanging from the dog’s bared teeth. The pumpkin in Julia’s hands wobbled over the man’s head. Lauren held a tea kettle poised to pour over the man’s feet. Shannon poked at his side with her broom. The security monitor squawked in the background.
“What the hell is going on?”
(Copyright Genene Valleau, writing as Genie Gabriel)
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