Someone was outside the house. Her watch vibrated a second time. Make that more than one. It was time to wake up the neighborhood. She pressed a button on her watch and whispered. “Eve, start countdown. You know what to do.”
The house was dark as her bare feet passed through the living room where several computers popped and snapped, their circuits frying.
“Countdown has begun. This house will self-destruct in 2 minutes.” The computer voice belted out loud and comical, right out of an old sci-fi movie. She smiled.
She stepped into the kitchen as an explosion rocked the opposite end of the house. Wood splintered and glass shattered as a piling supporting the master bedroom 30 feet over Buck Lake gave way. It was louder than she expected. Poor Mrs. Birch next door. She really hoped the old lady took her heart medication before bed.
Her watch vibrated in rapid bursts. Someone was in the house. Damn.
Another piling exploded and the kitchen tilted. “This house will self-destruct in 1 minute.”
She planted her feet at the sink. The lake sparkled in the moonlight beyond the window in front of her. It was about to light up like the 4th of July.
Movement reflected in the glass. Someone stood behind her.
She raised her hands and placed them behind her head. “I’m not worth it.” She said.
Another blast. This one closer and she knew it would be the last one before the finale. “Get out of here!” She yelled, knowing the conversation the man was having with himself. The fight-or-flight debate going back and forth in his head. His time was up and so was hers.
With the press of another button on her watch, the floor beneath her feet disappeared. She hit the cool water with only a few seconds to spare before the remaining house exploded up and outward as planned. She kicked hard away from the orange glow above, not surfacing for a breath until in the shadows.
Crawling onshore, her eyes scanned the chaos across the lake, searching through the smoke until finding the shed 100 yards from where the house stood moments ago. Its roof remained unscathed. She sighed with relief. Eve was safe.
A fleeting pang of worry, or guilt, or something else as equally annoying, tried to swell as she wondered if the man made it out okay. She shook the thought from her head and plunged into the overgrown trees. The wet t-shirt and panties provided no protection and vines and low hanging branches tore at her bare skin, but she kept a fast pace. Through the tangled underbrush and darkness, the moon emerged again, bright from behind a clouded veil, and the outline of a tiny, old house appeared. Under its carport she freed the car from its dirty cover and located the keys well-hidden under a rock. In the trunk, she found dry clothes and slipped them on.
Five seconds later, the Prius disappeared.