Link to the second instalment of “Fanta Claus”:
And a wee story post about what I’m currently busy with: Solar Wind 6, or “Nix Romipen” (title under revision and consideration).
Mrs Flanagan surfaced from her sleep. A spinster of many years, she had a habit of sleeping soundly. But nobody could stay asleep with that dreadful hammering on the front door!
It sure wasn’t going to be Saint Nicholas, she thought ironically as she slipped into her warm dressing gown and slippers. They sometimes called her awake like that when there was a birth, or a death, or a child lying seriously ill. She paused before turning the key. She suddenly had a horrible sense of foreboding.
The O’Hara baby was due to be born. She couldn’t let an irrational fear hold her back now. She opened the door and gazed out into the dark and wet night.
“Mrs Flanagan,” said the well-combed young officer, holding up a letter, “unfortunately I have the unenviable task of making you aware that your rent is overdue by four months now.”
“My rent.” Mrs Flanagan nodded slowly, forcing herself to breathe steadily despite the fear that screamed through her. So this was it. In the middle of the night! Had she ever thought it would be different? They had been moving people out of Molly Street for almost a year now, ever since that day Annie died. The excuse was always the same: The rent. She didn’t doubt for a second that each family that had been evicted, had fully paid their rent and had had no clue what hit them.
They usually stuck to the daylight hours, but why had she thought they would come for her by day? They must know that she was crafty! They wanted to give her no opportunity.
“My rent is up to date, for your information,” she mentioned, more out of indignation than belief that it would make any difference.
“Mrs Flanagan, please don’t resist,” said the officer sweetly. “You’d be putting me in a very difficult situation.”
She peered at him. Nice polished smile; young, straight man, beautiful posture, eyes slightly other. They’d sent him straight from Headquarters, she knew. Like the stuff that had come looking for the children the day Annie had passed away.
The study! If they found that, who knew what havoc they could wreak?
“One second,” said Mrs Flanagan. She left the perfectly good young man standing on her doorstep and moved the two steps towards her study door. She found the button on the door frame and activated it, for the first and last time.
There was a massive short. The entrance to the study lit up in a blinding flash. Mrs Flanagan was flung backwards. When her head stopped fizzing and she could look up, the door was gone and there was only wall.
“What was that?” asked the young policeman from the door.
“Electric short,” said Mrs Flanagan, still a bit dizzy. “I tried to switch my mains off to save electricity. Something must have been damp in there.”
“Don’t worry about the mains,” said the man. “Just come. Head office will take care of the rest.”
“Do I get a moment to get dressed? I’m in my nightgown!”
“Mrs Flanagan, it would cause me a lot of trouble to explain these delays at Head Office.”
Mrs Flanagan sighed and accepted the young man’s nonchalant arm. Cavalier to the death, she thought. There was no way to avoid it, no point in stalling. She followed the man into the truck.
(© Lyz Russo, 2009)