The day had gone by quickly, it was now dark outside when MC came in to tell me about the noise upstairs. I got everyone together. “Annelie, you, Aurela and Storm take the back stairs,” I said, “Lajla, Muffin, MC and I will take the front stairs and we will have this intruder between us. Remember, it is likely Stinger, so do not take chances.” “I wonder why the others have not come back yet?”, asked Annelie, “they should have been here by now. Hey, my phone is not working.”
It was the same for all of us, something was interfering with our phones. “Hmm, that is odd,” I said, “it is just like when we were on the desert. So I guess we are on our own for now. That means if you see someone, shoot, no waiting.” We got out our flashlights, just in case we needed them and then…the lights went off and we were in total darkness. “Good thing we got these out when we did,” said Aurela. “It probably will not help, but activate your alarms cats,” I said, “you too Annelie, I have done mine.”
“I did too when the lights went out,” said Annelie. Meow,meow.=Ours done too now. “Perhaps we should all stay together,” I suggested. “That will make it harder to find Stinger, and easier for him to pick us off one at a time,” said Annelie. “I agree with Annelie,” said Lajla, “splitting up is safest for now.” “Okay, then off we go,” I said, “but perhaps we should not use our flashlights as we walk around, just makes us easier targets, and we will get used to the darkness quickly.”
So that is what we did and we all went slowly up to the second floor, then to the third floor. There was a large walk in closet to the right of the stairs and at the end of the hallway. I opened the door quickly and the cats ran inside to check it out. No one was in there fortunately. Then we slowly started checking each room until we met in the middle at the small library. The cats again ran in ahead of us, but no one was in there.
Then we heard laughing from downstairs. “That is the Stinger,” whispered Aurela, “I remember that laugh of his.” “He must have made his way down to the second floor while we made our plans to come up here, now he is on the main floor,” I said quietly, “this is not going to be easy, we need to try and push him into a corner somehow so he has nowhere to go.” “Like into the basement,” suggested Annelie.
“Yes, that would work,” I said, “we go back down in our groups, but this time we will take the back stairs.” So we quickly made our way down the hall and then we all started down the stairs. I am wondering why the others are not back though, they are 2 hours late now. It is also strange that Baldwin has not come back yet with his bodyguards. It is not like him to miss a meal. But I did not want to say anything earlier to worry the others.
We made it to the main floor and checked all the rooms along the hall and were about to go into the library when we heard him laughing on the second floor. “We will never catch him this way,” said Annelie, “we will need to split up more and do both floors at the same time.” I did not like the idea, but she was right, it is the only way to do it. So Storm went with Annelie, MC with Lajla, Muffin with Aurela and I would be alone.
I went up to the second floor with Lajla. She said to take MC with me, it would be better. She was right I guess so that is how we did it. Aurela and I made it to the third floor with Muffin and MC and began checking rooms while the others checked the second floor. I felt that Stinger would be on the third floor by now so we were being extra careful. Then I heard shooting, he was after Aurela!
“Hey, where is everyone,” called Kat, “how come there is no food?” No answer, so everyone stopped. The lights were on now. Rock hollered loud for Annelie, but again, no answer. Everyone pulled out their guns. “Look, blood,” said Kristina. A trail of blood went from the stairs to the library, or from the library. Rock ran in. “Annelie!”, he exclaimed. Everyone ran into the library. Annelie was lying on the floor, in a pool of blood…
To Be Continued.
©2022 Steve McLeod.