That’s what I “felt” my roommate Mack say more than heard it.
He had half crab-walked, ran crouching…ducking in and out of my peripheral vision, hissing his invective.
I didn’t countermand the request. Our experience as teammates, and years of training had taught me to move first, then think…
I hit the floor, slightly upsetting a small table I was using as a staging area for my survival equipment. I stayed supine only an instant, matching Mack’s haste and stealth.
He had found purchase against the wall…trying to imitate paint…He was just below a picture window at the front of the room with his back against the wall, propped up on an elbow and trying to …yeah…he’s trying to look through the top of his head…trying to get a read on what was happening.
That’s when I noticed the shadows under the front door
They were moving slowly…over-lapping and separating again…then stopping.
I heard muted voices…not discernible…but I could tell…2 voices
For a moment, I was silent…still. I looked across the room at Mack. He was staring at me with wild, intense eyes. His hand came up, and made a slow dribbling motion…it said “Stay down”.
When I gave a nod, the hand moved again. It was 2 fingers displayed together…then they parted into a “peace” sign.
We had to separate and keep apart in this small room to avoid being detected together. Keep our strength a guess.
We could not get caught in pairs.
I moved my head slowly… scanning my possible route. I knew that the blood thundering in my ears could be heard and fixed on. I took some long deep breaths…as good as I could due to the fact I was trying to imitate flooring.
I calmed myself and prepared to move.
Mack’s fingers counted down from 3….
3-2-1…we both moved…fast and quiet.
I rolled behind and old couch, crashing into a ball of agony, clipping my knee against something…I don’t know what it was still to this day…
I had to focus.
Mack had waited just long enough for me to start my burst of action, when he bolted
He must have timed his action the second he had seen the shadows fade from under the door.
He flashed across my line of vision, rolling toward the basement door…misjudging his momentum…
He slammed into the door causing it and the doorknob to crash into the wall, busting the sheetrock and dislodging the handrail!
In my adrenaline charged brain, I knew he was gonna hit long on his roll, I was already turning my head toward the front door. When I heard the crash behind me…I sucked in my breath…stillness
The Shadows stopped.
Disembodied voices getting a little louder…stillness
KNOCK! KNOCK! KNOCK!
I almost shit my pants. What the hell was going on?!
I looked towards Mack’s position, flattening my nose against the carpet in the process.
Keeping low…keeping silent.
Like Death…Quiet death
Mack was half hidden behind the basement door.
He was breathing hard, rubbing the shoulder that had taken most of the impact.
He looked scared and winded.
He glanced at the door…then me.
“WTF?!” I mouthed…
He looked at the door again… KNOCK! KNOCK! KNOCK!
I pushed my face deeper into the plush out of instinct at the abrupt noise…
Not knowing what the danger is…but, knowing it’s there.
I rolled my face again…feeling the heat and smoke of the carpet burn starting to intensify…Is that…pizza?
I mouthed again “WTF?”…he was staring at me…
I shit my pants….