Monday, 12 March 2007

Chapter 24: Screams

The sequence of events seemed like a blur at the time but now I know things went like this.

Officer Myers went up the stairs and I crept into the kitchen, pointing my gun at anything and everything.

‘I’ve found him!’

I heard the shout from upstairs followed by the sound of a door opening. This was quickly followed by another shout from Officer Myers, only this time it was a blood-curdling scream of agony.

Then there was a smash of glass and I spun round to see a canister fly through the small window in the front door. It hit the ground in front of me and thick white smoke started to pour into the room.

What the hell is going on?

Without thinking, I turned around again and ran into the kitchen, looking for some cover. I ducked behind the kitchen worktop and kept my head down.

I heard the front door burst open and at least two mask-muffled voices that I suspected were well trained in military operations.

‘The noise came from upstairs.’

‘You two head upstairs, we’ll cover the ground floor.’

Two sets of footsteps charged up the stairs and two more started to get louder as they moved towards me.

‘We have him. We also have a man down, looks like a cop.’

‘Holy shit!’

There was a deafening blast of machine gun fire followed by an unholy scream.

‘Confirmed kill. All other rooms are clear. Looks like there’s only one of them here.’

‘Better not take any risks on the victim. Finish him off.’

I heard another short blast of machine gun fire.

‘Pick him up and let’s get out of here.’

The footsteps bundled down the stairs again.

‘Good work, men. Let’s go.’

I waited for a second then slowly peered over the top of the worktop. I couldn’t see if they had left or not because smoke had filled the entrance hall and was starting to creep into the kitchen. I knew I had to take a chance.

I got to my feet and ran over to the sink, picked up a cloth and ran it under the tap. Covering my mouth with the damp cloth, I made a run for the stairs, hoping I wouldn’t bump into one or more of the armed intruders or succumb to the effects of the smoke. Luckily for me, there was no one on the other side of the thick white cloud.

When I got to the top of the stairs, I saw massive smouldering burns on the walls and a pile of ash on the carpet. Officer Myers’ body was lying in a pool of blood. His neck was wounded, with dark red blood pouring from his neck and soaking into the carpet. His back was peppered with bullet holes.

Covering my mouth from the fumes that were creeping upstairs, I made my way back down to the hallway and out of the front door to see two black vans screeching away from the house. Agent Simpson got out of the car and I met her in the middle of the road.

‘What happened? Who were they?’ she asked.

‘I’ve no idea but whoever they are, I think they’ve got the doctor.’

‘I think you’re right. I saw them bundle someone into the van. What happened to the cop?’

‘Dead. They shot him but something else was going on before they arrived. I don’t know what happened in there. Call for backup. I’m going after them.’

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