Jim believed in high security for his home, so he installed an alarm system. Then he read that the best home security is actually a dog because dogs make so much noise and because most thieves wouldn’t want to battle a dog. So Jim bought two. He named the pit bull Sheena and the rottweiler Brutus. He felt safe with them around and the two dogs got along well too. He trained them to obey his every word and also to make sure they wouldn’t attack people inadvertently. The last thing he wanted was for one of them to maul a kid or a passer by.
After reading in the news about a house being robbed where the intruder killed the owner and the dogs first, Jim decided to go a step further and make his bedroom into a safe room. He installed steel walls, a heavy locking door and of course supplies. He would close and lock the door at night and keep one dog outside the door as an “early warning” in case someone entered the house. He had it all figured out.
The dogs were not just his protection loved them. He felt safe with them. He would take them for long walks daily and feed them the best food. One summer’s evening he went to the grocery store after work to buy himself and the dogs a few steaks. He saw an attractive woman a few times in the store and she smiled when she saw him looking at her. They ended up in the checkout line together and started talking. She was in line first and walked off after paying. When he was done, he walked out to the parking lot and found her standing in the doorway watching the rain. He said hello. She smiled and said she was waiting for the rain the stop as she forgot her umbrella. Jim said it was supposed to be a big storm so she would be best to go to her car now as it was not yet raining hard. They walked into the parking lot together talking and when they got to her car, which was a van parked just next to Jim’s, she said, “Allow me to introduce you to my friends.” He turned and two guys were next to him, one with a gun in his hand, one bigger guy with a gun in his belt. The bigger guy grabbed Jim shoved him up against their van. He said, you have something we want. Jim said, “Sure, take my wallet.” The guy said, “No, it’s at your house. Let’s go, you’re driving. Unlock this door.” Jim unlocked his passenger door and the guy got in. The one with the gun waived the gun at Jim motioning for him to get in the driver’s side and said, “We’ll be following you. They all drove off and Jim realized that this was something that he didn’t prepare for. He didn’t mention the dogs and wondered if they would be able to protect him.
When they got to his place, the rain was falling hard and there was also thunder and lightning. Jim pulled into the garage and the van pulled up close behind in the driveway. The guy with Jim told him to wait and not go in the house yet. When the two from the van were in the garage, he told him to close the garage door but not open the door to the house yet. The woman whispered and told Jim to cough. Jim looked confused but then coughed. They heard the dogs scratching the door and panting in excitement that Jim was home. Jim realized that these people had been casing the neighborhood if not Jim himself.
He told them, “Listen, I’ll give you whatever you want, just don’t hurt the dogs.” The woman said, “Can you get them to go elsewhere and not greet you at the door?” Jim thought about it and said, “No, but if we come in together, they wont attack you.” The three all looked at each other as if they were thinking together. One guy said, “Here’s what we will do. We are going to stand on the other side of the garage and you two will go in first.” He gave the woman his gun. She was nervous, not about the gun, but about the dogs and the situation thinking that if the dogs attack her friends and they shoot the dogs, she could get hit in any crossfire. She was prepared to jump out of the way if anything happened.
She took Jim’s hand so the dogs would feel safe with her and also so Jim wouldn’t be able to push her out of the way and lock himself in the house. Jim opened the door and the dogs happily greeted him jumping on him and licking his face. They seemed to like her too. But then the guys in the garage made a noise as they moved to walk in the entrance to the house and the dogs turned to see them and started growling and barking. The woman knew this was bad and she backed off to the far left corner of the room. One of the guys thought he didn’t want the neighbors to hear and he raised his gun, fired two shots and killed the dogs. Jim fell on his knees and started weeping. The other guy moved to Jim and told him to shut up. Jim backed off but was still crying and the guy told him that they would shoot him too if he didn’t stop.
Jim composed himself down to sniffling and said, “What do you want?” The woman said, “The safe.” Still sniffling Jim said, “I don’t have a safe.” The smaller guy hit Jim across his cheek with the gun. Jim said, “I’m telling you the truth!” The guy said, “One of our sources told us you have a safe, now where is it?” Jim said, “I have a safe room, not a safe.” The guy hit him again and knocked him to the floor. “Go take a look around.” Jim said. “The safe room is over there (he pointed).” The three people looked at each other again, in a scared fashion dictating they might have made a huge mistake.
The two guys went in the safe room and looked around. The woman compassionately said. “Listen, we just want your money and we will leave. I don’t want you to get hurt.” Jim looked at her, “Oh, your compassion is touching. I’m telling you the truth.” She kneeled down next to him. “Listen, my friend who installed your safe told us it was huge. Where is it so we can get out of here. These guys are dangerous.” Jim laughed, “You mean Neil from Security Plus?” She smiled. “Call him again you idiot. It’s not a safe, it’s a safe room.”
She looked concerned. She got up and walked over to one of the guys and Jim could hear whispering. “Fuck!” the guy yelled out. The house was a single level house and they looked around quickly but thoroughly. They approached Jim and he said, “Listen, I don’t want to deal with this. If I had a safe, I would tell you. Your friend lied to you or you misunderstood him.” The bigger guy looked at the woman and said, “What happened the other night?” She said, “Just like I told you. I met Neil at the bar he goes to. You watched his patterns and you saw me meet him. We had a few drinks. I went home with him. You followed and waited. I talked to him while we were screwing; it was the only way to get him to let down his guard and talk. He told me while I was riding him that this guy had a safe.”
“Yeah, we watched you. You had five drinks. You know, I have heard you mix up information before but we were just shooting shit then. I let it go because your looks disarmed me too but I didn’t think you would get something important messed up.”
She replied, “I know what I heard. I didn’t get it wrong.” “Well then where is the safe?” He yelled. She looked around. The bigger guy raised his arm and fired the gun at her head. She fell on the floor. A pool of blood poured out of her. Jim couldn’t believe it. The guy pointed the gun at Jim and yelled, “Where is the safe?”
Jim cried out, “There is 350 thousand dollars in my bank account. I can take you to there in the morning and give you what I have.” The smaller guy looked at the other and said, “Listen, the thunderstorm masked the gunshots. We’ll never pull off the bank thing and this is a fucking mess. Let’s just get the hell out of here.” His cohort nodded yes. Jim heard a shot, felt dizzy, hit the ground and heard people running away as everything faded black.