I didn't recognize those eyes, but I instinctively knew that the ominous force behind their glare would not hesitate to lash out in violence against me. My fingertips stretched towards the screwdriver lying beside my hand and furtively grasped the handle into my grip. I gasped outloud as tiny, jagged rocks in the dirt floor penetrated the side of my face...she had my hair in her fist and was using her arm to slam my head down against the ground. I felt my own hot tears mix with my blood and cried outloud as her knee pounded down onto my arm to dislodge the screwdriver from my hand. My flesh was on fire from the blow and blood pulsated to my arm. Was it broken? The throbbing in my limb opened up a deluge of emotions as I found myself pinned in position.
"Everything you own is mine," she hissed into my ear. Her hot breath on my face sent shards of icy chills slicing like razors under the surface of my skin. She tightened her grip on my hair and yanked my head backwards slidding her face alongside mine. "Get up," she growled. She backed her knee off of my arm and maintained her grip on my hair as I willed my legs to pull me into a stance in front of her. Shaking and scared I looked at her, searching her face for signs of mercy and weakness.
"What did I do to you to deserve this?" I wondered, but did not ask. As if she could read my mind she spoke again..."You really don't understand what's happening, do you?" Her eyes scoured my bloodied face for an expression that belied my thoughts and found none. I jerked my head quickly from side to side in answer to her question. "Let's head back inside the house then, shall we?" She jerked me by the hair towards the basement door. "Oh...and, Antonina........" she waived a gun in front of my face......" don't **** this up." She shoved me through the door as yet another jet raged overhead. I wanted to scream at the top of my lungs for someone, anyone to help me, but knew it would be usless.
The fifteen or so uphill feet from the basement to the bottom of the stairs seemed to take an eternity to walk. I prayed to God to let someone drive by and see me, but my pleadings went unanswered. I wearily climbed the steps to the porch and reached for the squeaky screen door. "Open it", she ordered. I hesitated for a moment and reluctantly grasped the handle. I mustered all of my strength in that moment, turned and shoved her down the stairs. Her hand lost it's grip on my hair as she reached for something to grab onto on her way down and I watched in disbelief as she hit the ground. I turned back and bolted into the house slamming the door shut and locking it with my good hand.
I lunged through the kitchen and living room to the front door to make sure it was secure....it was. I was safe! There was no other way into the house. I slumped my back against the wall and slid down it into a small heap in the corner.....another corner. I pulled my cell phone from my pocket and flipped it open to dial 911. "You have reached the emergency police line...." the recording droned on......I was startled by banging at the back door. "You've got to be kidding!" I thought. "This is the operator, please state your emergency." "Please send the police! She's got a gun and I'm hurt!" I pleaded into the phone. "What is your name and address, miss" the operator asked. "Antonina. I'm at 404 West Ivy...." the dead battery tone was beeping and I became frantic. "Please! Can you hear me?!" "Miss, the police are on the way...." The line went dead and I dropped the phone to the ground beside me, sobbing so hard I could barely breathe. The banging on the door had stopped and I shuddered with relief and closed my eyes.
I awoke, terrorfied by the banging on the door next to my head. "This is the police. Is anyone home?" I reached for the door handle and pulled myself up. "Thank God!" I thought. "Hold on..." I called out. I unlocked the door and looked up, immediately aware that I had neither heard sirens nor seen flashing lights. There she stood, gun pointed at my head, the same evil grin on her face that I had seen only a few minutes before. "Goodnight, Gracie," she said, and with the deafening roar of a jet, my world went black.