Streams of orange filtered through the small window beside my chair. I was trying to read a dissertation on evolution—laughing all the way—when I heard a sharp noise toward the front of my townhouse. The next sound was unmistakable—the turning of a door-knob.
My heart skipped a single beat. I bent the corner of my page and tossed the magazine on the floor. “Another break-in,” I called into the phone. The number was on speed-dial.
I rose to my feet, taking time to stretch. Shoulder rolls, lunges, neck circles—what am I forgetting? Oh, yeah, my wrist stretches. Lithe and ready, I drew my Swiss Army knife and crept beside the opening into the hall.
The thief crossed into the room toting what looked like a Santa sack. I laughed audibly. He blinked hard.
Metal blurred as I struck him in the thigh and twisted in a quarter-turn. His cry of pain was cut short by my fist slamming into his jawbone. The low-life tried to get a quick jab in below my belt, but I stopped it with my free hand and tugged him to my blood-red carpet.
Another, less whimsical, man entered at a run. I stuck out my leg and sent him flying. The sharpness in his eyes was evident. Although, maybe it was just the perfect combat roll talking.
The second intruder made two critical mistakes. His first came a split-second after he regained his footing. I dodged the soaring knife with ease. The second was more dramatic. “Lord Jesus,” he spat. It took me a moment to talk myself out of whacking his head off. Instead I drove the bottom of my palm into his right temple.
A sudden pain shot through my back. My lips pursed. A cold stream began to flow almost at once. Before it could, however, I had the original thief on his back in front of me clutching the back of his skull where it had hit the floor. “We didn’t take anythin’ yet, missir’,” he moaned. “Don’t kill us. Please.”
“You’ve already chosen death for yourself,” I said. “‘Thou shalt not steal.’” Sirens rang out distantly. “I’ll let the cops sort you out for now. I have my own commandment to keep. Lucky you.”