Jack met the man’s seething eyes. “You seem to have lost your wallet, Billy.” The man’s hand moved in his jacket pocket. The gleam of gunmetal. Time slowed, stopped. Jack leaped up and over, a POP, toward the parked cars, a sharp thwack into sheet metal.
Legs exploding with visceral, animal power, he bounded, terrified, long strides, cutting left behind a van, cutting right onto the sidewalk, alone, tunnel vision, panicked, pursued, a fleeing animal...
He drove up to his house around the back, pulled into the driveway, shut off his car, and got out, locking the doors. He opened the screen door with his back door key ready and pressed the key into the deadbolt.
The door creaked open an inch before he turned the key.
He froze, his eyes wide. He pushed on the door again and it opened wider. The door jamb was deeply cracked along half its length and there were splinters of wood on the floor. An icy panic gripped him. He pushed the door open. The light was on. His washing machine was turned on its front in the middle of the floor. Its hoses were hanging by the valves, cut in half... He stepped into his house, his heart pounding.