Surviving the Lockdown

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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Thrillers  |  House: Booksie Classic

An elderly couple in self isolation during the Corona Pandemic. Their world spirals out of control when they are held hostage not only by a virus but also by intruders in their home.
Can they survive the Lockdown...

 

Surviving the Lockdown

 

By

Sharief Hendricks

 

“What is that noise.”

“Oh my God Adonis, are you alright?” Asked Almaz with bloodshot eyes.

“I’m ok Almaz, just relax and do what they want,” said Adonis.

Almaz froze for four seconds as she stared at the blood running from her husband’s sixty-six-year old pale wrinkled forehead. Even in her panic state, she noticed that Adonis was not wearing his Oakley bifocals. Then she saw it on the floor next to two pairs of unknown shoes. She saw two uninvited strangers in her home wearing balaclavas. One with a gun, the other had a panga (machete) as they manhandled her instantly-aged lover. In those four seconds, she saw her forty-year married life flash through her shocked brain. Years of love and happiness was followed by tremendous fear, pain, loss, and bitter anger. Jaden was the worst one of all those four individual seconds she had to relive again. That helpless feeling as you watch a loved one taken from you. Only to be seen again in age-defying birthday and graduation photos. Painful photos. Then the frightening present eased her suffering by rescuing her from the painful past.

“Adonis! God no!” Almaz said in utter disbelief.

A gloved hand forcefully shoved the bleeding spouse into his wife’s grateful embrace. The strong hand belonged to the big intruder with the panga (machete), breathing menacingly under the black balaclava exposing white foam on purple lips. Then it dawned on the elderly couple what was happening. They had on many occasions discussed the spike in the number of housebreakings in their beloved Western Cape in recent years. Now they’re part of that statistic.

“Adonis, what are we going to," Almaz said before being cut off by a muffled voice piercing through the mouth hole of the mask.

“Hey, hey shut up old bitch!” That caused her to hold onto her husband’s red & black plaid fleece pyjama top even tighter. Clenching her veined fists so tightly that she hardly felt the arthritis pain attacking her wrists.

“You want to die. So vokken shut up!” Said the intruder with the panga and foamy mouth.

Then a calmer softer voice filled the nervous air. The one with the gun walked towards the frightened pair as they stepped backwards until they felt Almaz’s favourite sofa behind them.

"Please have a seat, it's your home after all," he said politely with an eerily tone.

With trembling bodies clasping to each other the elderly couple didn’t know what to make of his offer, so they remained standing.

“Vokken sit down!” Said foamy mouth as he threatened the couple with a pretend swing of his weapon but was interrupted when he tripped on the upturned lip of the braided rug. Adonis and Almaz fell back onto the comfortable but faded green Gommagomma sofa that’s as old as their nuptials.

“Old man, do you have any rope?” Asked foamy mouth after his near-miss.

“Sorry I meant to fix the carpet, err, yes nylon rope, my garage,” said Adonis hesitantly.

“No need to tie them up.”

"These nice people are not a threat. They won't try anything, right," said the calmer soft-spoken intruder who has emerged as the one in charge. The frightened couple nodded in agreement.

“Go through the house and get what you can. ADT will be here shortly. I know how they operate,” said the small-framed man as he ordered the bigger intimidating man with foamy lips.

"By the looks of it, they don't have anything of value just look at this TV,” said foamy as he pointed to the box with the bunny aerial, “hahaha," laughing as he went on a tour of the house with panga over the shoulder.

The man in charge knelt in front of the sofa.

"We’re not going to hurt you, decent people, alright. We just want your precious valuables then we will leave. It has been a tough few weeks with the whole of South Africa staying at home," he said as he let out a weary sigh dropping his head slightly.

“We don’t have anything, I’m on pension and Almaz never worked,” said Adonis as he pulled her closer.

“I feel you, old-timer, however, this is such a spacious house in such a nice neighbourhood with so many ADT patrol vehicles. There must be something that you value more than anything?”

“Only my babies,” said Almaz speaking for the first time since foamy told her to shut up.

The one in charge widened his cold grey eyes. He leaned forward and placed his pale left palm on Almaz’s shaking knee and straightened the frill of her beige nightie. He rested his gun-hand on Adonis’s thigh aiming the barrel at his torso.

“Babies,” as in diamonds and pearls?”

“No, my babies,” said Almaz as she turned her head towards the wall. At first glance, it looked like a room divider.

She was referring to the Perspex tank with meranti finishing and a long bronze lid. The tank was home to her large colony of red ants. Thousands. Just a few hours ago her biggest fear was that her “babies” had not eaten for three weeks since the Covid-19 lockdown started. Now she is fearing for her and Adonis.

Somewhat intrigued, cold eyes inspected the busy life of the colony. If you looked at one spot for a few seconds it created the illusion of a dark liquid flowing back and forth. On closer examination, it can only be described as a sandy and rocky ant metropolis.

“Interesting,” said cold-eyes while adjusting his balaclava as if he’s stressed.

“Pity, what a waste. You, good people, want to tell me the ant box is the most valuable thing you have?” Then he noticed a black object isolated from the ants in the far-right corner. This piqued his curiosity, so he put his face to the Perspex.

He grinned and said, “that looks like a Black Widow.”

“It’s Tiaan’s. Our grandson. We keep it here because it freaks out his mother,” said Adonis.

Two hours and several spying trips to the front window had passed.

“ADT patrol lights!” Said foamy as he quickly closed the curtain.

“Shit man, they know we in this street. I can feel it,” said foamy.

“Relax, that isn’t helping,” said cold-eyes.

"How can you tell me to relax, when we both know it’s just a matter of time. We in too deep. The cops were at my shack, I can't go back there again," said foamy as he adjusted his mask for the millionth time.

"How can you be so calm when you have the most to lose," said foamy.

“I’m also scared but crying about it isn’t going to change it,” said cold-eyes while scrolling through his phone. Then suddenly the men were startled by a loudspeaker.

Residents, this is the Ext 4 Neighbourhood watch. Please be on the lookout for two suspects responsible for housebreakings at Wide Avenue as well as Cliff Street. They are armed and desperate. They did not go far because SANDF and Metro Police are at all exits as part of the Corona Virus Lockdown. They are still in the area. Please report anyone suspicious," said a voice on a loudspeaker in a silver Amarok lit with orange strobe lights. Each robber took a corner of the window and peeked through the curtain.

“Shit, what the vok are we going to do now, they on to us," said foamy pacing in a perfect circle.

Then cold-eyes said, "things are too hot, we must tell Zach to leave. It's only a matter of time before they find him.”

"What, are you nuts, then how are we getting back," said foamy.

“We don’t have a choice bra. Desperate times call for desperate measures. Either he goes to King with what we do have, or we call King from Sun City and tell him we got caught,” said cold-eyes slumping down to the floor under the window holding his head in his hands.

“Hey, hey, listen to yourself man. You know whether we go back with half-a-score or with niks (nothing) we are dead. Not even prison can prevent that, King has people everywhere. The lockdown fucked everything up for us,” said foamy before smashing Almaz’s favourite vase into pieces narrowly missing the rose-patterned Consol water jug. If she had a choice, she would have swapped the jug for the vase. Just as she would had swapped her plump figure for the one, she had two decades ago. She tragically learned long ago that life always takes what you value most.

"I can't believe a vokken virus forced us to break into houses when the owners are home because nobody is going to work… Aaargh!”

Then cold-eyes interrupted foamy, “don't blame the Lockdown. You know we in this shit because you stole from King,” raising his voice for the first time.

Adonis broke the tense silence when he bravely spoke, “you boys can take my car, just leave and don't hurt us."

“Shut up!” Said foamy.

Adonis persisted, “just take my car and go, you can still make it out of this mess.”

Foamy lost it as a string of white foam dangled back and forth on his lips from his out of control breathing.

“What was that old man, I’m gonna shut you up for good,” said foamy rushing towards the Gommagomma with panga ready to strike.

"Oh, God!" Screamed Almaz.

Adonis shielded her with his body. The next thing they heard was a loud thud and a slight rattle.

“No!” Said cold-eyes.

Adonis and Almaz saw cold-eyes sitting on the floor covered in foamy’s blood.

“You vokken idiot, what did you do!” Said cold-eyes rocking his fallen accomplice’s lifeless body.

In foamy’s blind rage he forgot about the upturned lip of the braided rug and tripped, impaling himself with the panga.

"It was an accident," said Adonis.

“Accident! This was no accident. The walls are closing in on me. King and his gang, Police, Corona, Army and Metro everywhere. This kak (shit) area that's full of ADT patrols and that vokken Amarok with the speaker warning everyone about us. I promised his Ma I will keep his big butt safe and out of trouble,” said cold-eyes.

Adonis saw the gun on the floor. Almaz shook her head slowly as she gestured, “don’t do it.” Adonis reached for the gun just as cold-eyes snapped out of it. He grabbed the old hand and wrestled him to the ground. Adonis’s neck smashed a ceramic pot plant, rendering him motionless and not breathing.

“I didn’t mean to do it, I just wanted the gun,” said bloodied cold-eyes as he looked at the two corpses on the floor. Both his fault. His world finally crumbled.

Witnessing her husband's end brought back Jaden’s painful memory. The new widow took four steps towards cold-eyes and hit him across the balaclava with the rose-patterned Consol water jug.

He fell onto the colony breaking the Perspex. The last thing he saw before he passed out was the widow jump onto his neck. When he opened his eyes Almaz was standing over him.

He tried to get up but was horrified that he couldn't move. His body was numb, paralysed.

“What did you do to me old woman!” He said in anger, “I can’t move," he said frantically moving his lips to keep the mask hole over it.

“You took Jaden. You took Adonis. You took everything,” said Almaz.

Cold-eyes said, “what you talking about, I didn’t mean to kill him. I just wanted your valuables.”

“You want what is most valuable to me,” she said removing the bronze lid.

“Well now,” she said as her babies, finally fed.

“You’re up to your neck in it.”

The black liquid flowed steadily from feet to neck. Cold eyes staring into nothingness.

Then she heard something.

“What is that noise.”

“Thank God, Adonis, you are alright.”

"I'm ok Almaz, just relax and let it do what it wants," said Adonis.

As the eight-legged widow strolled past.

 

 

The End

 


Submitted: June 12, 2020

© Copyright 2021 Sharief Hendricks. All rights reserved.

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Comments

hullabaloo22

Oh, this was excellent. Very convincing and I loved the line: 'You're up to your neck in it'.

Fri, June 12th, 2020 7:48pm

Sharief Hendricks

Thanx so much Hullabaloo22

I'm grateful and honoured to get a nice comment from you...not to mention having U read my story...

Yes be careful what you wish for U might just get it...

Thank you so much....

Fri, June 12th, 2020 8:04pm

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