Another loud ‘boom’ echoed through the downstairs of Dixie’s house, making the windows rattle. Louie jumped off her lap, scratching her with his hind claws as he abruptly left.
“Ouch! Louie!” she yelled, though she doubted he heard her. He made a beeline for her closet. She couldn’t blame him.
Another loud ‘boom’ made her heart leap in her chest. She wanted to make her way to the sunroom at the side of the house, but at the same time, she was afraid of what she might find if she went into it. Though she knew she should have stayed in her bedroom, curiosity got the best of her. She crossed the hallway to the sunroom door and hesitated.
Before she could open the door to the sunroom, the sound of breaking glass stopped her. Dixie was terrified, and she was afraid whatever was outside was now inside. She turned and ran back to her bedroom, quickly locking the door. She used her cell phone to dial 911.
“911, what’s your emergency?” the dispatcher asked.
“Someone is trying to break into my house,” Dixie said in a whisper.
“I’m sorry ma’am, what did you say?” the dispatcher asked.
“Someone is trying to break into my house. They might already be in here; I don’t know…” Dixie said loudly,
“Are you where you are safe?” the dispatcher asked.
“Depends, I’ve locked myself in my bedroom,” Dixie said, not entirely sure if the lock would hold against a determined intruder.
“I’m sending a cruiser to your house,” the dispatcher said. “Oh, they’ve been there before…”
“It has become a regular thing,” Dixie said apologetically.
“I’ll stay on the phone with you until they arrive. Where did the intruder enter from?” the dispatcher asked.
“The rear of the house, my sunroom. I heard the window break, but I didn’t stick around to see if they made it in,” Dixie replied.
Dixie listened as the dispatcher spoke to someone using codes she didn’t understand. She hoped the code numbers didn’t stand for ‘crazy white female who thinks she is under attack.’
The sound of a car in her driveway gave her hope, and she peeked through the curtain to see who it was. It was a police cruiser, and she breathed a sigh of relief.
“The cop car is here,” Dixie said to the dispatcher.
“Alright, stay with me. We’ll let the officer check out the house and point of entry first,” the dispatcher said.
Dixie sat on her bed and felt embarrassed. She was also tired. After what seemed like an eternity, the dispatcher spoke to her.
“The officer has checked the perimeter of the house, and he is now inside your house. He went in through the broken window. Let me know when he knocks on your door,” the dispatcher said.
A few moments later, she heard someone rapping on her door, and a loud male voice informed her that he was Officer Thompson.
“Okay,” Dixie told the dispatcher. “I’m going to open the door,” she said, a little afraid that the person on the other side of the door was an impersonator.
To her relief, it was Officer Thompson, as expected.
“I’m good; Officer Thompson is here,” Dixie informed the dispatcher before she hung up.
“I found this in your back room,” Officer Thompson said, and he showed her a piece of paper that he had put in an evidence bag, along with another bag holding a fist-sized rock. “Do you recognize the handwriting?”
Dixie quickly read the piece of paper, but she didn’t recognize the handwriting. She shook her head ‘no.’
“I’m going to let Granger know,” Thompson said before he contacted the dispatcher. By the time he had finished talking, a second cruiser had shown up.
Dixie went into the living room to open the front door to allow the parade of law enforcement access to her home.
“Busy afternoon?” an officer Dixie didn’t recognize asked as he entered her home.
Dixie nodded and frowned.
Officer Thompson showed the other man, Officer Fazio, the crime scene. Fazio retrieved a camera from his car and took photos of the damage, while Thompson asked Dixie to sit on the couch.
“We can board your window up for you before we leave. Do you have somewhere to stay instead of here until the window is replaced, or do you havesomeone who can stay with you?”
“I can stay with her,” Detective Granger said, entering the house. He nodded at Dixie.
“Granger,” Thompson said in greeting. “I’ll show you where it happened.”
“There is some plywood, a hammer and nails in my garage,” Dixie told Officer Fazio when he returned to the living room.
The two men went to the back of the house, while Officer Fazio went to the garage to find what he needed to board up the window.
“What do you think?” Granger asked Thompson.
“I think the perp is getting too close to her,” he said. “She’s vulnerable, and they are willing to take a chance to get to her.”
“I agree, which is why I want to keep someone in the house with her. If the suspect tries to get to her, at least she’ll have a chance if an armed guard is here too,” Granger said.
When they returned to the living room, they explained their plan to Dixie. She felt she had no choice but to go along with it. If she stayed at someone else’s house, like Angie’s, they might be put in danger too. There were no hotel’s in town either, which left her no other options.
“So, who is sleeping on my couch tonight?” she asked, looking at the men expectantly.
Thompson and Fazio looked at Granger, who grinned.
“We’re off then. See you on our next drive by,” Thompson said, and then the two men left.
“What do we do now?” Dixie asked.
“We wait,” Granger replied.
“For what?” she asked.
“For the suspect’s next move,” he said, frowning.
Dixie thought he looked tired around the eyes. She hoped that Harlan was up to the task.