Know The Ropes

I sprawl across my overstuffed chair, flopping my legs off the arm rest before changing my mind and sit up, pulling my knees to my chest.

“Ellison James is six years old and was last seen wearing a blue button down shirt and black trousers, along with a cowboy hat. He has light brown hair cut short and brown eyes. There are no known suspects.”

I glance at the picture of the little boy grinning into the camera.

“Cute kid,” I mumble flopping down again, attempting to get comfortable. It isn't working.

I’m half asleep when I hear something scabbling at my door. I groan as I get up.

“If it's those pesky raccoons again,” I mumble, “I’ll sue animal control.”

I swing the door open and my sleepiness departs with wonderful abruptness.

On my steps lay the little boy, Ellison James, still wearing the same clothes, except the hat.

I picked him up and lay him on my couch. He looks so tiny. I check his pulse and feel his breathing. He seems fine. I’m trying to decide what to do to get him to wake up, when I glance out my window. A man is running up the sidewalk. He is average height with messy black hair and a carefree look on his face.

Nothing about him screams danger, but the feeling in my gut does. I run softly to the door and lock it. It won’t be much protection, but it will give me a little time. I pick the boy up and move to the dining room. I set him on two chairs between the wall and the table.

He gives a little whimper and opens his large brown eyes. I put a finger on my lips just as the first knock comes on the door. He nods shakily and I run to my room where I keep my guns. I smile to myself. I may have retired from the army two years ago, but I still know the ropes. I pull out my phone and dial 911 as I run back to the dining room. The knocking is persistent now. Excitement creeps up my spine and my body tensed, ready for action.

I jump slightly when the doorbell starts ringing. The police are on the phone with me now.

“Yes this is Damien Bowen. I think a crazy man is at my door. A boy, Ellison, I can’t remember his last name…”

For three minutes the operator gives me a bunch of instructions and asks questions. Don’t shoot unless necessary, don’t provoke him.

The loud crack as the man begins banging in my door.

The sound of sirens in the distance only seems to provoke him more.

The man comes running in, his eyes wild.

He’s holding a gun in his hand. I am standing behind the table and I smile at him.

“Good afternoon, sir. May I do anything to help you?”

He pulls the trigger but the shot goes wild, just as the police come running in.

Ellison sits frozen until the man goes and then he looks at me with a tragic face.

“He said he was going to sell me and make a mountain of money. I climbed on the roof out of the room he put me in and slid down a gutter. I ran up the street and saw him come out of the house. He yelled and,” his face looks chagrined, “I fainted.”

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