Molding Stone @missethompson
Never Ready For The Unexpected

I closed up just like every other night. Happy had gotten a call around one thirty and had run out, so I closed up on my own, locking the door, shutting off the signs, turning off the jukebox and then putting up the chairs before counting out the money from the register and putting it away in the safe in the office before heading upstairs to bed.

I'd changed out of my clothes and into a pair of yoga pants and a tank top before slipping into bed and drifting off to sleep. I knew I hadn't been asleep long before I sprang up in bed wide awake. I didn't know what woke me till Ace sprung off the bed and went running out of the room with a bark. I got up to follow him, I'd only made it just outside of my bedroom door when I heard a man scream and the bang of a gunshot. I heard a whine and saw Ace laying on the floor across the room with a man standing over him. The man turned quickly as the floorboard creaked under my weight, seeing me he raised the gun and fired off another round. I felt a searing pain in my left leg and I screamed as my legs gave out from under me.

I grasped my leg with both hands, tears already falling from my eyes from the pain. I could hear the man starting to panicked, he paced my living room a couple times and I could see him pulling at his hair. He seemed to be giving himself a pep talk.

"It's okay. It's just her leg. She'll be fine, she'll be fine. Just do what you came to do." The man wheezed through most of it before he seemed to calm himself enough to walk through the living room and then around me into my bedroom. As he walked by I could see him in the light coming through the bedroom window. He had long light-colored hair, was thin as a rail and had clothes that looked three sizes too big. He had a tattoo on his arm that was half covered by his shirt sleeve, but looked like a heart with an arrow through it.

I could hear him moving around in my room and started looking around. The phone in the kitchen was knocked off the hook and the coffee table was knocked over from what I assumed was Ace attacking the man. Poor Ace was still whining across the room. I stretched my neck looking for the hand-held phone that had been on the coffee table. I spotted it under the couch and looked back toward my room, I couldn't see him, so I took a chance and started dragging myself across the floor. The movement sent new spikes of pain through my leg. It was so intense I almost screamed. I'd had to move my hands away from my wound to move and I could feel the blood soaking down my pant leg. I knew if I looked down I'd see blood spreading on the floor, but I couldn't bear to look at the damage. I'd only moved a couple feet when I heard him moving toward me.

He didn't spare me a glance as he ran past me and down the stairs. I heard the doors slam as he ran through the bar and out into the night. I listened for the sound of the car, but never heard one. Ace whined again and I renewed my efforts to get to the phone. I don't know how long it took me, but I eventually got to it and dialed 911. The simple task was much harder than I expected, my fingers were growing cold and my hand was shaking.

"911, what is your emergency?" A woman's voice answered.

"I've been shot." I cried.

"Ma'am what's your address?"

"591 Henry Lane. I'm in the apartment above the bar." It was getting hard to hold up my head, I pressed the speaker button and laid the phone next to me. I curled into myself to reapply pressure to my leg. I grit my teeth to prevent screaming into the phone as the pressure sent more pain up my leg.

"An ambulance has been dispatched to your location. What's your name?"

"Jade. Jade Banks."

"Alright, Jade, I'm Natalie. Does anyone live with you? Is anyone else hurt?"

"No. No one, just my dog, he's been shot, too."

"Jade, where were you shot?"

"My left leg."

"Where on your leg."

"Just above the knee." I said through my teeth as another surge on pain coursed through my leg.

"Do you know who shot you, Jade?" She asked and I could faintly hear the sound of typing from her end of the line though her voice was getting quieter.

"No. I've never seen him before."

"Alright Jade. The ambulance is close. I just need you to hold on a little bit longer."

"Why's it so cold?" I asked softly.

"You're probably in shock. I need you to keep talking Jade. What's your dog's name?"

"Ace, he's a good boy. I think he bit the guy who broke in." I said and started crying. Ace was still whining across the room, but his whines were getting softer and softer.

"Jade, what type of dog is Ace?" I could hear the sirens now.

"A blood hound… I can hear the sirens."

"Good, good. Just a little bit longer, Jade." I saw the flashing lights pull up and then heard the banging as the people ran through the bar and up the stairs. The door to my apartment burst open and two cops burst in, quickly scanning the room, guns at the ready.

"Over here!" I called out. One officer yelled down the stairs while the other walked around the edge of the room and disappeared from sight.

"Clear!" He yelled and then two medics came up the stairs and toward me.

"Jade you're going to be okay." Natalie said and then the line disconnected. My eyes were getting heavy and I know the medic asked me a question but I was too tired to answer. They seemed to move faster and then I felt myself being lifted just before everything went dark.

My senses came back slowly. First my sense of smell, where ever I was smelled like rubbing alcohol and piss. Then my hearing as I became aware of the annoying beeping off to my right. Then touch as I felt someone squeeze my hand. I groaned as the dull ache in my leg intensified, the annoying beeping picked up and I tried to open my eyes, they were still so heavy. I tried again and managed to open them a crack. It was bright, making me groan again as I let my eyes slam shut against the intrusive light.

"Jade?" Someone asked and I felt them shake my hand.

"Mmm." I turned my head to them and pried my eyes open.

"Iris?" I croaked out.

"Yeah, it's me sis. Do you remember what happened?" She asked and I nodded.

"I was shot." I spat hoarsely and glanced down at my leg, I couldn't see anything different, but I could feel where there was a tight bandage wrapped around my thigh. Then the brightness registered in my mind and the fact that it looked like it was disappearing, not rising. It had been dark when I was shot and Iris had obviously been informed and had driven here from Seattle. I took a sip of the water Iris was holding out to me before speaking again.

"How long was I out?" I asked looking around for a clock.

"They told me you called 911 a little before four this morning, I don't know when you passed out, but I'm guessing about twelve hours. It's almost four o'clock." I nodded, it could have been worse.

"Where are Ben and Jack?" I ask noticing that neither of my nephews where in the room.

"Still with Tony in Seattle. Tony will bring them down tomorrow after school." I nodded again.

"I should go get a nurse. I'm sure they'll want to know you're awake and the police have stopped in twice already. I'm sure it won't be long before they're back." I hummed and Iris left the room. When she came back an older woman in happy face scrubs walked in behind her. The woman smiled and grabbed up my chart from the foot of the bed.

"How you feeling, hun?" She asked and studied the monitor of the iv pole.

"My leg's throbbing." I said and she nodded, adjusting my bed into a more upright position.

"I'll get you something for the pain. You're going to be sore for a while. They had to do surgery to remove the bullet and to repair your femur. The doctor will be in later if you have any questions about the operation." I nodded and she left the room, she was only gone a few minutes before coming back with a syringe.

"This should take the edge off the pain for a while. I'd give you something stronger, but I know the police want to speak with you and anything stronger would make you drowsy or put you to sleep." I nodded to let her know that I understood.

"That's all right. Thank you." She smiled and wrote something down in my chart.

"You're welcome, dear." She left and Iris seemed quiet.

"Iris? What's wrong?" Iris was never the type of person to stay quiet for long unless something was bothering her.

"You got shot, Jade! I knew that neighborhood wasn't the greatest, but I never thought you'd get shot!" I could see the tears in her eyes. I held out my hand and she took it tightly.

"I'll be fine, Iris. My leg will heal."

"That's not the point! You got shot! And not even out on the street or in town, but in your own home!" Iris was freaking out and I squeezed her hand.

"There's nothing we can do about that now. What about Ace?" I asked, suddenly remembering my sweet boy. Iris sniffed and wiped at her tears.

"He's going to be fine. He was shot in his back leg. One of the officers that reported when you called for help took him to a vet. They had to amputate the leg, but he's going to recover." I released a shaky breath and squeezed Iris' hand.

"My poor boy." I said and Iris laughed.

"Only you would be more broken up about the dog getting shot then that you got shot."

"He's my baby, Iris! What would you do if it was you and Jack in my position?" Iris took a deep breath and nodded.

"I can see your point." She finally admitted. The nurse must have gone out and called the cops to let them know that I was awake because it was only twenty minutes later when two detectives came strolling in. They were both wearing dark suits and seemed to carry a no non-sense attitude. One was older with short, gray hair cut into a military style while his partner was probably middle aged and had curly red hair.

"Miss. Banks?" The older detective asked and I nodded.

"That's me." He nodded and pointed to his partner.

"This is Detective Walsh, I'm Detective Olsen. We'd like to ask you a few questions." I nodded.

"Ask away." Iris stood from her seat.

"Here detective, you can have my seat. I'm gonna go get a cup of coffee." The detectives moved so Iris could get through. When the door shut behind her Detective Olsen took her seat and took out a notepad and pen.

"You told 911 that you live alone, is that correct?" I nodded.

"For the last three years, yeah."

"Who were you living with three years ago?" Detective Walsh asked.

"My uncle. He took me in when my dad died and we lived together in the apartment till he passed three years ago." Olsen nodded and made a note.

"What was your uncle's name?" Olsen asked.

"Allen Banks." He nodded again and wrote it down.

"How about you run us through your night up until calling 911." Walsh suggested.

"Sure. I opened the bar at four, it was a normal night, no fights, no violent drunks, didn't have to throw anyone out. A rather calm night, Thursdays are usually like that."

"Can anyone corroborate that. Anyone else that would have been there all night and might have seen anything while the bar was open?" Olsen asked.

"My cook, Eddy. Full name's... Edwin Carson. Oh Eddy… I should probably call him. He's gonna freak when he gets to the bar." I started to sit up, but Walsh stops me.

"That'll have to wait." I nod and sit back. It was probably too late anyway. I'd call him later and let him know I was alright.

"Do you know who was the last person to leave, someone that might have seen something before they left?" Olsen asked and I had to think.

"Uh… Marty… Marty, last name starts wit can't remember it right now. He's one of my regulars, he lost his job last month and likes to drink his problems away." Olsen nodded.

"You know where Marty got fired from?" Walsh asked and I shook my head.

"All I know is that he was an accountant, his office isn't far from the bar and neither is his house, he always walks." Olsen and Walsh nodded.

"What time did Marty leave?" Walsh pulled up the other chair from the corner and took a seat.

"Around two thirty, long enough to finish his beer after last call."

"What happened after Marty left?" Olsen prompted.

"When the last customer leaves I always lock the doors behind them. I lock the front door then the back door and then shut off the signs and the jukebox. I put the chairs on the tables then count the money out of the register and put it in the safe. After that I shut off the lights and take Ace upstairs with me."

"Ace? I thought you lived alone?" Walsh asks and I nod.

"Ace is my dog." I answer and Walsh nods in understanding.

"So, no chances that someone hid while the bar was open and you locked them in with you?" Olsen asked and I shook my head.

"No. Ace is always milling around while I close up, if someone was left inside he would have let me know." The detectives nod.

"What happened next?" Olsen asked.

"I went upstairs and went to bed. Next thing I know something woke me up. I didn't know what it was till Ace went shooting off the bed. Ace must have taken a bite out of him because the guy yelled, I was still in my room when I heard the gun shot. I was in the doorway when the guy turned around and saw me, he just raised the gun and fired. Obviously, the guy's a terrible shot." I said gesturing down to my leg.

"Guess you got lucky that way." Walsh said and I nodded.

"Did you get a good look at the guy?" Olsen asked and I nodded again.

"Can you describe him for me?"

"He was white, but he looked dirty, like he hadn't had a shower in a while. He had light colored hair about to his shoulder. Maybe late 20s, early 30s. He was thin as a rail, I'd be surprised if he weighed a buck twenty soaking wet. He didn't look tall, he looked about my height, maybe 5'6" or 5'7", you might get a more accurate measurement from the security camera downstairs in the bar, I know he ran out through the bar when he left. He was wearing a dark colored tee shirt that was easily two or three sizes too big and light-colored jeans, ratty white Nike sneakers and he had a tattoo on his arm." I used my hand to point out the spot on my own arm above my elbow about half way up my upper arm.

"Here on his left arm. I think it was a heart with an arrow through it but his shirt was covering half of it. I couldn't see if anything was written on it." Walsh nodded while Olsen was busy scribbling it all down in his notepad.

"When he left, did you hear a car or see any headlights?" I shook my head.

"No, I didn't hear a car."

"Do you have any idea what he may have been looking for." Walsh asked and I shook my head again.

"No, anything of value would have been downstairs whether behind the bar or in the safe."

"Were you able to see what he may have taken?" Olsen asked.

"I never saw anything in his hands, but I'd guess maybe the money out of my purse and probably some jewelry, I know he went through the things in my bedroom. I'd have to do inventory once I get home to know for sure." Both nodded again.

"How long have you lived in the apartment?"

"Eleven years, before that my uncle lived there going on 40 years, he built the place." Olsen nodded and continued to write.

"Anyone else have keys to the place?" Walsh asked.

"Just Iris, my sister."

"You mentioned a security camera. How many cameras do you have?"

"Just the one. It covers the door and the register."

"Have you hired someone in recently? Repairmen, contractors, salesmen, any new customers, any new friends or affiliations you may have made?" I shook my head, it had been months or years since any of those things had happened.

"I'm sorry I can't be more helpful." I said and Walsh smiled.

"Don't worry about it, you've given us much more than we were expecting. Wish every witness could give us this much." That made me feel better and I smiled at him. Walsh dug into his suit jacket pocket and pulled out a card.

"If you think of anything else just give me a call." I took the card with a nod.

"I will. Thank you." They both gave a nod and left the room. I was happy to see them leave, my eyes were getting heavy again. I was barely aware of Iris coming back into the room a couple minutes later, but that was it before everything went dark again.

Anonymous reviews have been disabled. Login to review. 1. Chapter 1 2153 0 0 2. Repeat Customers 1923 0 0 3. Concession 2012 0 0 4. A Happy Perspective 3986 0 0 5. Never Ready For The Unexpected 3090 0 0 6. A Glimpse Behind the Curtain 2084 0 0 7. A Gentlemen 2187 0 0 8. Don't Ask And They Can't Say No 2968 0 0 9. First Steps 2376 0 0 10. Errands and Unwanted Situations 2926 0 0 11. Make It or Break It 3430 0 0 12. Defining Loyal 2089 0 0 13. A Bump in the Road 2567 0 0 14. Bail 1731 0 0 15. In It For Better or Worse 3039 0 0 16. After Party 2315 0 0 17. In or Out 2266 0 0 18. Unspoken Words 2696 0 0