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by Kell Inkston

Again, awoken by a sound in the night, but this time, Jane pushes herself up from her pillow alert and with stealthed caution. This is not the usual bump device, or whirr of the air conditioner, or rush of the pipes; this was a glass window breaking, downstairs.

Her breath bates as she creeps along her room on slanted toes, reaching for the all-american made, 100% titanium alloy Brooklyn smasher she had for just such an occasion as this. Guns are a pain to get one’s hands on, after all, and she was certain this would never happen- it’s a shame, then, that it has.

Jane arches the bat behind her shoulder, her swing eternally ready as she floats down the steps with a rigid, icy frame. She passes the kid’s room undisturbed, turns to the living room, then the dining room, and finally to the kitchen. The grand circular pane, flushing a warm light into the house at day, has been shattered and entirely cleared of glass, now a portal for the void-like winter bitterness to gust in freely. Her mind spins in wild, violent musings of what sort of sadistic maniac from hell’s just slithered into her house. She holds her breath and scans the room, she spots a brick in the moonlight. In cold, horrified sweat she creeps up to the brick, and notices a note tied around the back with a rubber band.

“Have you drank your oval-tine today?”

Damn kids.