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Forecast: Mostly Clear With A Slight Chance Of Raid (Part 1)

Rap rap rap.

The sharp noise penetrated through sleep into my brain. It sounded like a wedding ring, or a house key, being harshly tapped on glass. Realizing the striking had come at a door that gets almost no use my eyes snapped open. Uh-oh. They’re here.

For the last week I’d been expecting a member of law enforcement to come and arrest me. I’d even called the nearby Sheriff’s office a day ago to find out if there was a warrant for me, figuring, if there was, I wanted to get it taken care of ASAP.

I snatched up my cell phone, flipped it open, and, through blurry eyes, checked the time. Does that say 5:30? Ugh! I’d drifted off at around 1:30AM, and my alarm had woken me at 3:30AM. I’d intentionally set it for then -- I’d had plans to meet up with someone in the early hours -- but I was too fatigued to rise when it’d gone off. As I scrambled out of bed pre-dawn I wished I’d ignored my body’s screams for rest like I usually do.

Considering the criminal charge I knew I’d be facing was non-violent, a surprise seizure by police wasn’t really what I’d envisioned. Obviously, or I would’ve been wearing decent garments rather than just a Pink tank and panties.

Careful not to give away my presence, I quickly edged over to the door to assess the situation. I peered out at various angles through tiny spaces in the blinds over the transparent pane and determined one person was on the other side. Definitely an officer. Male. Large male. In Kevlar. In Kevlar?! Wait; why is he in BDU?

Zapped with a bolt of adrenaline I jerked my face away from the door fast and pressed myself against the wall. Heart frantic, I peeked through the side of the slats to see if he had his weapon drawn. I picked up the voices of more men outside and concluded they belonged to two distinct shadows moving in the background. By the shape of them I could tell each of those fellows too was decked out in a bullet-proof vest and armed. Three guys? Oh my God. So much for what I’d anticipated: one, nice, local cop coming out to handle this.

They sent three guys. Why? Why in the world would they do that? The severity of the matter was sinking in. I’d be entirely at the mercy of the badged. I’m gonna end up getting shot here! Do I open the door? Do I not open the door? Oh-my-God-whadda-I-do?

Studies have shown that a person in traumatic conditions will often get fixated on irrelevant or odd things. The same can happen when someone recalls a harrowing experience. For example, a rape victim may seem to care more about the earring she lost during the assault than the attack itself. A homeowner about to shoot a burglar might start wondering if he accidentally locked his keys in his car. Said person might also do irrelevant or odd things. These unproductive attempts to cope of course make no sense to others but make absolute sense to the distressed individual. I mention this because...

Well they haven’t smashed in the door yet. I should brush my teeth. Get dressed. I don’t want anyone to see me lookin’ like I just fell outta hell. And I need to have a cup of coffee.

Headed for the bathroom, I opened my bedroom door. The house has an unusual floor plan, so, from where I was downstairs, I could see out certain windows without anyone on the opposite side of them seeing in. I tiptoed around and counted three more gun carriers. I guess at that point I was in shock because I was not shocked by my growing count of them, or by the fact that they’d wholly surrounded the residence. Three? Six? Fifteen? Pfft -- what’s the difference?

I grabbed deodorant, ran a comb through my hair. Hmm... what does one wear for a takedown anyway? While debating the answer, I remembered some JADE and JADE-related paraphernalia I had in my possession. Normally Boomslang holds on to such material for safekeeping but the past few days had been hectic and he and I kept missing each other. Most of what I’d newly acquired and wanted him to protect was still in my car, but a few items were stacked neatly on my computer chair. Darn it! There has to be some way to save that stuff. I rushed back to the other room to calculate how. Should I wear pants, or a skirt?

Rap Rap Rap.

Same peculiar knock, at a greater decibel. Accompanied vaguely by distant pounding elsewhere. Why haven’t they busted the door down? There were audible conversations coming from the porch and yard but, even with my dog-like hearing ability, I couldn’t distinguish what, exactly, was being said. Momentary silence. Subsequent aggressive thudding. It’s not like I could hear, for sure, the blows being delivered at each entrance but I gathered they must’ve been hitting all four of them. I can’t believe they sent like a TAC team after me. For a non-violent crime. I don’t even have a history of violence!

I scooped up some of the Task Force junk I hoped to salvage and slid it between the trash bin liner and the garbage can itself, and rapidly tucked case sheets and copies of email exchanges into the jacket of a large book about police equipment. T- or button-down shirt?

What is that -- ringing? It was the telephone upstairs. Are they calling the house now? It wasn’t like anyone else would be trying to touch base with me at sunrise on that line. I’m not answering the door but they think I’m going to answer the phone? Is this, like, hostage negotiations without a hostage? Do they think I have a hostage? That could explain why the door is still intact. Oh no! What if they try my cell next? They’ll hear it ring. I don’t want them to hear it ring. I don’t want them to know where to fire. I leaped towards the table the device was resting on and ripped the object from its charger. With a push of a button I set it to vibrate only. I dropped the thing on a blanket. My hands were shaking. Twice I balled them up tight and released them. I can’t let these people find out I’m frightened. Never let ‘em see you sweat -- good motto.

The pummeling from beyond had paused and resumed. If the increased racket was anything to go by, their fists were not just colliding with doors anymore; they’d taken on windows also. I had no idea how much time had truly passed since they’d arrived, but I was guessing mine was about up. I couldn’t think. Think! They ultimately added shouting on top of everything else, but their words were unclear to me. “Police,” maybe? Yeah, nooooo kidding.

I was still in my hipsters. Seriously you need to put some clothes on. I tugged on skinny jeans and wrangled into a long-sleeve plain white Henley. Being outfitted melted my method of “coping” and my mind returned to anxiety over what to do. If I wasn’t sure about opening the door before, I sure as hell thought it would be a huge mistake to do it right then.

Nothing I’d done justified this level of treatment by law enforcement. Not to mention the fear it instigated in me. The officers present could’ve racked me full of metal, afterwards claimed I’d made a threatening move at them, and they’d have been exonerated by lunch. Think I’m exaggerating? Worried for no reason? I’ve witnessed less members of JADE going after a pair of 9mil-totin’ drug-dealin’ convicts.

At that moment I turned to the only source I had to document the event as it occurred: I HeArTE JADE. Stomps of hardcore footwear overhead signaled the raiding team had finally crossed the threshold. I signed in with mere seconds left, typed out 19 characters and clicked “publish post.”

I sat on the bed, gradually brought my upper lashes to my lower ones, and held my breath waiting for whatever was coming next.

(Continued here)