Big Donnie woke up in his bed and his tired eyes slowly focused in the dark. Something wasn’t right. His eyes opened fully and his heart began to beat hard: someone was in his bedroom. In an instant, Donnie had rolled over and was reaching for the gun on his bedside table. As his fingers fumbled for the revolver, he stared at the intruder; then he groaned and his head fell onto his pillow. Hanging from his door, his Italian suit dripped water onto the floor.
Donnie shook his head and took a deep breath. ‘What’s wrong with me?’ he asked.
Not a lot frightened Donnie. Over the years, he had made a lot of enemies: local politicians, policeman, businessmen, and even friends. But only one person really troubled him: Annie Baker. Recently, the image of her dead body below the wheels of his Mercedes had bounced around his head like a table tennis ball in a goldfish bowl.
He looked at the clock – nearly 4.30am. He had been asleep for just 40 minutes. He pulled the silk bed sheets up to his chin and closed his eyes. In his mind’s eye, he saw again the old Ford that had almost crashed into him earlier, its red tail-lights shining in the darkness like demon eyes. He turned over in his bed, restless…
Donnie sat upright.
‘BEEEEEEEEEP, BEEP, BEEP,BEEEEEEEEP!’
‘WHAT NOW?’ he shouted angrily. The noise of the car horn was loud and close. Was it coming from his driveway? But that was impossible: there was a wall around his house and the big metal gates at the entrance were locked. He knew they were locked. He did it every night before he went to bed. Donnie swung his legs out of bed, crossed the room and looked out of the window: nothing there, just the tall dark spruce trees that grew around his house. He walked out into his hallway.
There it was again. He walked to the window at the far end of the hallway and, taking hold of the large heavy curtain that hung from the ceiling to the floor, pulled them apart. To his extreme left, two big circles of light shone on his garage door – but he couldn’t see a car.
‘DAMN YOU!’ shouted Donnie. He walked back to his bedside table and picked up the big silver pistol out of the drawer. The heavy weight of the gun felt good in his hand. In the ivory handle, eight diamonds sparkled in the shape of a large `D`.
Donnie checked the gun. It was fully loaded. He grabbed a robe and, still in his bare feet, went down his spiral staircase to his front door.
Donnie threw open his front door and ran outside into his driveway. The security lighting flashed on and the area around him was flooded with light. He looked around: the garage to his right and the wall around his property in front of him. No car and no one.
He ran towards the edge of the building and stood with his back to the cold bricks, ready to spin around the corner. Hugging the gun to his chest, he took a deep breath and leapt out ready to fire.
The driveway lay empty before him. Beyond the pool of light that he stood in, there was only the blackness of the night. He let out his breath slowly; and, with the wind tugging at his robe and the wet stones chilling his feet, he lowered his gun. ‘What a night!’
He turned around and took a step back towards the house. Something wet and cold squeezed up between his toes. He looked down: he had stepped on thick, muddy, tyre tracks covered in slime.
In the darkness on the other side of the gates, two red tail-lights suddenly came on.
‘VROOOOOOOM!’ the car’s engine roared.
Donnie stepped back and raised the big silver pistol.
‘VROOOOOOOOOOOOOM!’ The engine revved again.
‘BLAM!’ Donnie fired a bullet into the air.‘Get out of here! This is my property…`BLAM!’ he fired again.
The two red lights didn’t move.
‘VROOOMMMMM!’ The car reversed out of the darkness and into the edge of the artificial light that spilled down the driveway.
Donnie’s arms fell to his sides and he stood motionless.
‘BEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEP!’ The cars horn blasted loudly and then the two red lights drove off into the black night, the tyres spraying up dust and stones.
Donnie watched the old red Ford go.