The Night Before Darkness

A suspense-packed super-short story for your coffee break. It is fiction, but for how long?

A suburb in a blue state somewhere in the US. Jane glanced across the bed to her husband’s nightstand. The dim alarm hesitantly moved to 2:22 a.m. A familiar sound had woken her senses. The floor board in the hallway was creaking. There was just one piece of wood in the house that made that noise. Downstairs, the third from the entrance door. “Alan, Alan! She shook her husband quietly, whispering: “Someone is in the house, Alan. I am afraid.” Alan grabbed her hand. Jane was the love of his life. They had two children. A son and a daughter, 2 and 3, sleeping next door. “Call 911, Sweets”, he whispered. With bated breath, he quietly opened the quick-release gun safe in his nightstand to secure his Sig P365. Alan’s heart was pounding. Suddenly, he remembered the horrible events that occurred just a few hours before.

SJM, the newly formed Social Justice Militia, came for a children wellness check yesterday at 6:30 pm, just as the family sat down for dinner. They had pounded on the door, then kicking it in with. They stormed into the house with their M4 carbines trained on them, waving an SJ-Judge-signed 4th Amendment waiver into Alan’s face. “The SJ gun reform bill authorizes us to search these premises for firearms and ammunition. We have been informed that you have weapons in your house where also minors reside?” The couple didn’t understand. What waiver? What law? They looked at each other, puzzled. The young children sat at the dinner table, but were cowering under the table. They were frightened, and both, Claire and Alan Jr. started to cry. Jane moved in protectively in from of her scared babies. Alan opened his mouth to protest as one of the militia delivered a right hook that knocked him to the ground. He foamed: “Shut your white, capitalist trap! Where are the guns? Tell me now, or you and your brood go to jail!” The little man who had hit Alan ordered his two female guards to hand-cuff him. They did so gleefully, kicking him in his side, leaving him stunned. “In the bedroom…. we only have one gun.” The words came out hardly audible. “I have a license for it. It’s a legal gun. I am…” “Shut it, white boy. Show me where!” Alan got up, moaning in pain. He led them up the stairs to the bedroom and nodded toward the nightstand. “Combination? Pronto!” The safe clicked open. Roberto ransacked the contents, took out the shiny gun and approvingly weighed it in his hand, ignoring all gun safety measures. Then, he pocketed it with a grin in his front belt, proudly pointing to his red SJM insignia with its yellow Soviet star in the center. “Sister comrade, take the ammo and the mags”, he laughed at his companion. “And then, cut this white dirtbag here loose.”

After the SJM goons had left, it was eerily quiet in the house. The entire assault lasted just 12 minutes. Jane and the kids were ash-gray. Alan was still shaking. Anger raged within him. He took a deep breath, surveying the door the terrorists had kicked in without warning. They could still lock the door somewhat. Safe it was not. “Sweets?” Alan said, “We need to move. We need to get out of here. Montana, maybe. We can’t stay here.” Jane had just lost her job as a teacher, because she supported Trump in 2016. Good old times, she thought. Alan was brought back to the presence.

Jane was on the phone. “911, what is your emergency?”
“Um, yes, hello, I am Jane Carpenter. Someone is breaking into our house. 71 Windsor Drive.”
“Ok Ma’am. Who else is with you? Did you just say ‘your husband?’ Your spouse, you mean! You should know better! Ok. Is he armed? Your partner, of course! No? Good!”
Alan had moved to the door and quietly opened it. He saw three flashlights surveying downstairs. His index finger over his mouth, he signaled Jane to keep it low…
“Ma’am, Are you you still there?”
“Yes, Operator. I am here. I am afraid. My kids! Please send someone, hurry!” Alan had left the room to get to the children.
“Ma’am. Before we proceed, a couple of questions: What is your ethnicity?” “My what?”
“Are you deaf? What skin color are you, Mrs. Carpenter?”
“Um, white. But I don’t know what this would have to do wi…”
“Mrs. Carpenter! Do you want us to help you, or not?” Jane was perplexed and did not understand what was happening. Why all these strange questions? We are in the US. This must be a mistake, or a bad dream. What a nightmare! “Yeah, of course we need help. Someone has broken into our house. The kids… They are…”
“Keep calm, Mrs. Carpenter. What is your party affiliation and religion?”
“What? My party? I don’t understand; um, independent. Christian”. There was a moment of silence on the other end. “Operator?”
“Oh, yes, Mrs. Carpenter. We’re just checking. Now, based on our initial assessment, you are not eligible to use 911 services at this time. When you call public services, you must prove that you have made a your monthly SJM donation. Alternatively, you can pay now. Shall we say, $150.00? Debit or credit?” Jane pressed the reset button and the phone disconnected with a lonesome click, followed by the steady dual-frequency dial tone. Jane was startled, unsure what to do next. Footsteps were moving up the stairs, racing through the hallway. She heard a commotion next door as her eyes filled with tears. Nine shots rang out in quick successions of three, just before her door was thrown open. She smelled the unmistakable odor of gun powder. The blinding flash from the muzzle of an M4 was the last thing Jane saw on this earth. The lifeless bodies of little Claire, Alan Jr, and their dad laid drenched in blood in the kids’ room next door.

A man of very short height and two corpulent females, all three dressed in black, entered the room, grinning: “Let’s see what they’ve got that belongs to us. Our justice, our law, no whites that live here anymore.” they chanted before ransacking Jane’s house. A month later, an SJM officer moved into the house as part of the New Social Justice Equalization Benefits Program.

The Fourth Amendment of the U.S. Constitution

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