Birthday Swords

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It was Saturday afternoon, and the four of us had a report on illegal immigration due on Monday. So we decided to meet up over the weekend to work on it together. Little did we know that we would have an unforgettable time.

Ashly, Rebekah, Nicole and I met at Ashly's house on Saturday, January 26, 2008. I was the first one to show up at her house, greeted by her dog, Sadie. Her parents were out; we had the house to ourselves. When the other girls arrived, Ashly showed us the rather unusual birthday gift that she had received the previous October, a set of three swords. One was about two feet long one was about seven or eight inches shorter, and the other was shorter yet. After that, she picked them up and we went down to her basement, where her computer was, to work on our report.

After about an hour and a half of work, we finished the report. The four of us chatted as the paper printed, and Ashly happened to mention that someone had broken into her house once, and she'd had to go to her friend's house. We found it interesting, but we disregarded it as something that had happened in the past that didn't matter anymore. After the paper was printed, we went back to the basement to watch a movie. Ashly cooked some hot dogs in the microwave for a snack. But that's when the fun ended and fear began.

Ashly was in the middle of her second hot dog when I heard her dog Sadie bark upstairs. I didn't think much of this until I saw Ashly's face. She looked nervous.

"Sadie never barks." she said. "Not unless she sees someone she doesn't know."
Ashly and Nicole went to search the top floor. When they returned, they still looked worried.

"We didn't see anything up there." Ashly reported. "Sadie just seemed really freaked out."
We sat in uneasy silence.

"Maybe there was a salesman at the door or something, and that's who Sadie saw." I said, trying to convince myself as well as the others.
But then I heard the faint sound of a door closing upstairs. Nicole whipped her head around.

"I heard a door close." she said.
Ashly stood and went to the chair where she had discarded her swords.

"Keep these by you, just in case." she said grimly.
She handed the medium one to me, gave the longest one to Nicole, and kept the shortest one, which she had told us she preferred. Bekah received the small but sharp kitchen knife Ashly had used to open the package of hot dogs.

By this time, I just wanted to go home. I asked Ashly if I could call my parents to pick me up. She agreed, and said she, Nicole, and Bekah would wait for me on the main floor. Being the most frightened and suspicious ones, Ashly and I made sure to pick up our swords on the way out. Bekah and Nicole left their weapons discarded on their chairs. I called my parents from the phone on the floor between the basement and the main floor.

I kept my call short. I controlled my voice to sound calm as I asked my mom to pick me up. I didn't tell her about what we suspected, and I was relieved to hear that my mom would be at Ashly's house in five minutes to pick me up. Turning to the stairs, I walked towards them like a prisoner headed for the gallows. Ashly's voice rang in my head with each step.

"Once, someone broke into my house...I had to go to a friend's house...they didn't find anything..."
At the top of the stairs, I turned the corner, ready (or not) to face whatever was there.

To my relief, the only people there were Bekah, Nicole, and Ashly. I went and got my boots and coat, and then, had nothing to do but wait. I frequently stole glances at the window, hoping to see my mother's car pull into the driveway. Ashly apologized, knowing I was scared.

"I'm probably just overreacting." she said.
She didn't need to worry. I had already forgiven her, knowing I probably would have done the same thing.
But I noticed she never put down her sword or loosened her grip on it.

I was relieved when, after what seemed like an eternity, my mom pulled into the driveway. I climbed into the car, silently wishing Ashly, Nicole, and Bekah the best, and praying that they'd be ok.





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