Sounds in the Night
By Brady S., Grimes, IA
Sounds in the NightSounds in the Night
Tom Jones awoke in his bed. His dark brown hair stuck to his forehead from the heated night. He stood up and looked down at his tall figure and flat stomach. He then glanced around the perfectly square room. The walls were painted light green with several pictures of Tom and his wife, Maggie, hanging around the room. A TV was placed at the front of the bedroom hanging on the wall.
Tom slicked his hair back off of his forehead and looked at his square alarm clock. It was a little after three in the morning. His mouth was really dry and his throat was screaming for water. Tom looked at his wife who was still asleep on the other side of the bed. She also had her light blond hair matted down to her tan skin. Her beautiful features were still perfect as she slept. But no matter how perfect she looked Tom was still reminded of her hatred (mostly toward Tom) and her over dramatic problems. They had been married for one year, eleven months, and sixteen days.
Tom pulled on a pair of jeans then slipped on a white cut off shirt with many ragged holes down the back. He had worn the same outfit the day before but he would shower later. He wouldn’t be able to fall asleep again. He never could.
When he again looked at Maggie, she had changed positions. She now had her hand pressed against her cheek and was sleeping silently on her side of the bed with the grey covers pulled up to her chin.
There was a creak from below on the main floor. Tom walked forward and opened the master bedroom door as the hinges played a little song for him. But, honestly, he didn’t care. Tom looked back at Maggie who was still silently asleep (Thank God).
Tom slipped out the door and shut it quietly behind him. He slowly started descending the stairs wiping the sleep from his bloodshot eyes. There was another creak from the main floor. Tom let the noise go assuming it was just the house settling. When he reached the bottom of the long staircase, there was a loud noise-rattling crash from inside the kitchen. Glass slammed against the tile and sounded like it spread out around the kitchen floor.
Tom stopped dead in his tracks. The lights glimmered from underneath the door. Also, the collision of the glass had made Tom nearly jump out of his skin. Tom held his breath. He and Maggie had no kids and nobody was staying at their house with them. Who was in the kitchen? Tom’s heart began to race like a horse out of the starting gate. He took in a quick breath and strained his ears to hear any person’s voice or anything at all. But there was nothing. Tom slowly took a step forward trying to be as careful as possible in case there was actually anyone in the house, when…
“What do you think you’re doing?” came a deep, raspy voice from within the kitchen. It sounded almost like a man who was trying to sound scary. Tom again stopped where he was. There was someone in the house. Tom’s heart leapt to his throat. He couldn’t swallow and his mouth was sand. He wanted to go find a weapon or go wake up Maggie so they could leave quickly and quietly. But Tom was rooted to his spot still straining his ears listening to the people in his house. He was scared.
“I’m sorry it slipped,” came another voice.
“You need to get yourself together. You probably woke the husband up, you idiot.” the deep voice scolded. Tom frowned. How did these people know there was a husband?
“It wasn’t that loud,” whined the other with a higher voice than the deep voiced man.
“You better hope not. Make sure your gun is loaded also. Don’t want you messing anything else up!”
“Can we hurry up and get this job done? I’m really starting to get paranoid. I feel like someone’s watching us or something.”
“I would be quicker if you hadn’t been hosting your little circus and throwing plates up in the air!”
“I already said I was sorry. Can you hurry up though? I thought the lady said we were getting paid to kill not rob,” the man who dropped the plate complained. Tom began sweating. Who would want to kill either of them? Maggie was a very nice person to everyone, except for Tom. But he had no enemies either. No one hated him, he was friendly to everyone he met, and he was married, somewhat happily.
“We were. But I want to see how much I can get out of it. They were gonna pay us twelve-hundred. That’s not what I work for. So we’re gonna rob ‘em and not actually fulfill our job. Get it?”
Tom listened to the two men intensively. Nobody was going to rob or kill anyone that he knew about. Nobody. Tom didn’t have a plan of attack. All he knew was he had to get in there.
But, these hit-men had guns. They could kill him easily in a blink of an eye. So Tom snuck quietly towards the kitchen door. With every step, he winced trying to keep quiet, although every step to Tom sounded like thunder echoing through the house followed by a crash of lighting when his heel hit. His breath was starting to quicken. The hairs on the back of his neck were standing up. His heart was racing like an Olympic gold sprinter. He was trembling everywhere. He arrived to the kitchen and softly pressed his ear against the white oak door.
“Ok, I got the stuff. Are you ready to get out of here?” grumbled the man with the deep voice. He seemed to be the leader of the two and the one who seemed to be doing all of the robbing.
“Give me a minute,” whispered the other one. Tom was still pressed up against the door listening fiercely. He drew in a deep, shuddering breath and slowly turned the brass door knob. He waited a few moments then decided now was his only chance to attack. So, Tom lowered his shoulder and heaved the white oak door into the man with the deep voice. There was a loud clatter of the heavy gun falling and bouncing across the grey tile floor. Tom regained his balance and saw a tall man with bulging arms sitting on the tile, holding his temple where the door had clipped him and caused the skin to break. His large, heaving chest was bouncing up and down from his deep breathing. Tom looked to the other man who was tall and skinny with no muscle to his bones at all. This man was pointing the gun straight at Tom’s chest. Tom slowly raised his hands to the pointed gun, looking the tall man deep in the eyes.
“We can sort this all out if you just put down the gun.” Tom said as calmly as he possibly could.
“No. Shut up. I’ll kill you if you say another word.” Tom figured he was bluffing and decided to ignore his threat.
“Please, everything can work out for both of us.” Tom tried to persuade the tall skinny man who then glanced down at the buff man.
“This wasn’t how it was supposed to go. Nobody was supposed to get hurt.” The skinny man whined to the large man who was now regaining his footing. He stood tall.
“Shut up! I’m trying to concentrate,” Both robbers were looking at each other. Tom saw his only chance and leaped forward wrapping his arm around the buff man’s throat. Tom then squatted down and grabbed the fallen handgun.
Tom pointed the pistol at the tall man over the buff man’s large, broad shoulder. They stayed this way for several moments, glaring at each other from across the room with squinted eyes.
Then the gun fired.
The bullet tore through the buff man’s leg and into Tom’s. There were two screams. Tom felt the waves of pain shoot up and down his left leg. The handgun slipped from Tom’s sweaty palm and again crashed against the tile. His balance tore itself away from Tom as well. He tumbled to the hard floor striking his head hard on the tile. But the big man did not fall. He placed his hand on his wound and limped over to Tom. He bent down and struck him in the face.
Tom’s nose felt broken. Blood was creeping down his cheeks and forming a small little puddle on the floor. Tom was having trouble keeping his eyes open.
“That’s for hitting me with the door.” the buff man said and spit on Tom’s face. The warm blood was now creeping itself into Tom’s mouth and onto his tongue so he could taste it. The buff man collected another large amount of spit and hacked it at Tom. He then pulled back his boot and flung it forward into Tom’s ribcage.
“And that’s for ruining our plans.” The buff man spat.
“C’mon, Tony, let’s get out of here. I think we woke his wife up.’ The tall man complained. He stuffed the gun back in his pocket and was glaring at Tom. The buff man’s eyes were telling the tall man to attack, but he resisted. There were light footsteps pounding down the staircase.
“All right. Let’s go.” They both hurried out the back door quickly and quietly as possible. They escaped from the shattered sliding glass door from where they had broken in from, Tom assumed as they hurried away. Maggie then darted into the kitchen and squatted down next to Tom.
“What happened?” she asked calmer than Tom had expected her to.
“We…got robbed.” Tom muttered looking down at his leg. The bullet had hit something and he was bleeding out fast.
“What? How much did they take?” Maggie asked sounding much more concerned now.
“Why…does that…matter?” Tom said coughing in between words. Blood was starting to pool around his lower body. Tom thought his aorta had been severed. His life would probably seep away in the next five minutes.
“Because you let this happen! However much they took is how much you’re going to owe me!”
“Maggie, I got shot in the leg! They beat me up! I didn’t let it happen. I need to get to a hospital!”
“You didn’t stop them, though. It is completely your fault. God, why does everything bad happen to me?” Maggie complained. She brushed her brown hair, which was in total disarray, out of her face. Tom noticed Maggie wasn’t wearing her glasses, which meant Maggie had hurried down the stairs to see what the commotion was, or she had gotten up and put in her contacts. She seemed to be looking around perfectly fine.
“Maggie,” Tom continued. “I was shot. I still have a bullet in my leg. Did you expect me to run down the street after them?”
“I expected you to try. Just like I did with our marriage and our baby!” Tom glared at her from the ground where he was laying in excruciating pain.
Maggie had had a miscarriage eight months ago. When she had heard the miserable news, she immediately began to blame Tom. She claimed he had given up hope and faith for their baby. Although the doctor had told Tom that the baby would have been lucky to make it to the second trimester.
Tom began to remember. Maggie had gotten pregnant a few months after they had gotten married. That was a happier time for him. He and Maggie were in love and his career as a writer had begun to take off. He had had an agent call him three weeks before that and tell him his ‘dreams were about to come true’. His first book sold at $50,000 dollars.
When the two of them went to the first sonogram Tom had talked to the doctor after the sonogram. The bad news was given to them the next day. Elizabeth, what the babies name would’ve been, had a left ventricle that was almost half the size it should have been. Maggies miscarriage was finalized the next week. Neither of them had really been the same since then.
Since then, Tom has been taking the blame for the baby’s death
“Tom, you need to tell me now!” Maggie growled.
“Tell you what!?” Tom groaned.
“Tell me how much they take!”
“How’d you know there was two guys?” Tom asked. Maggie stood above him in her short-shorts and T-shirt. Her mouth was ajar and her eyes were wide with shock as if she had let her deepest darkest secret go.
“What?” Maggie asked looking at him with that same gaping look. Sweat had begun to show on her forehead.
“Did you hire someone to kill me?” Tom coughed. He looked down at his leg and knew he didn’t have long. It was a bad injury. Consciousness was already starting to be a pain to keep. The blood loss wasn’t helping.
“Did you?” Tom questioned.
“Yes! Revenge was needed on you. You need to die for what you did!” Maggie screamed-her hair returning to its comfortable place, in front of her eyes.
“What did I do? What are you getting revenge on me for?”
“Murder! You killed our marriage! And you killed our baby!” Maggie shouted and kicked Tom in the stomach with all her might. Tom clenched his stomach and groaned. Maggie stepped over him and locked the back door, although it was already shattered.
“I’m going to bed,” Maggie said calmly.
“You’re gonna leave me here to die?” Tom asked with horror stricken across his face. Tom knew the answer to the question, but he was still so shocked she would say ‘yes’! Tom felt tears start to form in his eyes. They quickly slid down his cheeks.
“But Maggie, please don’t leave me. I’m sorry for giving up. Please don’t let me die here. I’m sorry. Forgive me. I love you!” Tom screamed hoping to change her mind. He was crying hard now. But he wasn’t sure if it was because of the pain or because his life was coming to a close right before his eyes.
“I’m don’t want an apology right now, Tom. I just want to go to sleep. I’m tired. We can talk about this in the morning alright.”
“We won’t be able to Mag. I’m gonna die here. You need to help me. Are you crazy? Do you think no one will find out?”
“I am not crazy. I am tired and I’m going to bed. So, Nighty night. Don’t let the bed bugs bite,” Maggie raised her pale arched foot and stomped on Tom’s temple, causing him to fully lose consciousness. She then walked upstairs and turned out the lights.