Echo pulled out his phone and glanced at the time. It was almost three in the morning. He had told no one of his intent to drop by his old home.
The doorbell rang again followed by a rapid tempo beating against the door strong enough shake the few picture frames hanging along the wall. The weight of the baseball bat felt comforting in his hands though he rather make a quick escape than have to explain inflicted injuries to the police.
The door rattled to the dull thumping of a key being jammed into the lock.
Pastor Lucas? No fucking way.
There was no time to escape. The intruder had a key and quick access. Echo ducked into the kitchen staying close to the shadows as the front door swung open. A beam of light cut across the living room.
“Police! Come out where I can see you!”
Echo remained silent, crouching in the shadows, back pressed flat against the sink cupboards. Police, as far as he knew, didn’t have keys to enter random homes.
“Echo! I know that’s your vehicle outside. I ran the plates. Come out! You’re trespassing!”
He rummaged through the sound banks of his mind trying to match the familiar voice to its owner. Faces flashed in his head until,
“Wednesday? Officer John Wednesday? You’re a bit outside your jurisdiction. Lemoore PD, right?” The beam of Officer Wednesday’s light cut over the counter top passing over the kitchen cabinets and dining room table.
“You’re trespassing. I need you to come with me.”
“Following me? You have to be following me. Why else would you be here? Unless you’re here looking for something?”
“Son, you don’t know what you’re getting yourself into. Your best bet is to come on out, leave anything you’ve taken where it is, and get in your car and go.”
“Hey, do you remember what you told me when I was like fourteen or fifteen and I was wearing that studded bracelet? You told me it was illegal and if you had seen me in Lemoore wearing it, you would’ve charged me for weapon possession. Y’know, you sound just as stupid now as you did then. Get out of my house!”
“This is your last warning…”
“So where’d you get the key?” Echo interrupted. “Huh? Josh give it to you, or did he have copies made for each member in his special little circle jerk? Oh wait. Is that…Is that what all the fuss is about? You all need a clubhouse for your circle jerks?”
“You’re going to wish you never came back, you little shit!”
Officer Wednesday’s threat was punctuated by the sound of metal locking against metal as he drew his baton from its holster and extended it in one fluid motion. Echo crept along the edge of the counter into the hallway as silently as possible.
“Fuck you!” Officer Wednesday howled and leapt over the counter separating the living room from the kitchen. With incredible practiced speed he brought down the baton shattering the cabinet door where Echo had been only moments before.
Before he could recover Echo rounded the corner back into the kitchen bringing the Louisville Slugger up in a golf-swing motion into the officer’s face. His heart slammed against his chest as he pirouetted and brought the bat crashing down on the back of Officer Wednesday’s skull.
The officer lay motionless on the kitchen floor blood pouring from the collapsed indent the bat had left in his skull. Color drained from Echo’s face. His hands went cold and trembled uncontrollably. He felt his legs threaten to buckle under him. His lungs refused to draw in enough oxygen. The edges of his vision grew dark.
“Fuck me! Fuck me! Fuck me! Fuck! What did I do? Shit!”
The oxygen in the house seemed to thin and the world around him spun. Visions of flashing police lights, prison bars, and orange jump suits flooded his mind. He knew he had ruined his entire life in that one moment.
Schemes and plans of escape raced violently through his mind keeping pace with the butterflies swarming his stomach. His breath failed him as all went black.