Joe sat perched on a wooden stool next to the window. The blinds were only slightly opened and the room was dark. He had one hand on his cel and one on his walkie-talkie. He was steeled for his shift on the neighborhood watch. Joe was beginning to regret making that chili with extra jalapeños for dinner.
The neighborhood was in a part of town that had too many bars, and jobless hooligans. Joe and a few other hearty eaters decided to form their own group of vigils. This night Joe’s shift was midnight to four, not usually a problem for him, he rarely slept anymore. Being jobless himself, he spent mornings looking for employment and afternoons watching Fox news.
Joe was thinking he might sneak away to use the bathroom when he heard some man yell, “what the hell’s going on in there?” The voice was deep and angry and Joe didn’t recognize it. He pushed the send button on the talkie to raise Frank who lived two doors down.
“Frank, come in, Frank! Something’s going on but I don’t see anyone.”
“Got you, Joe. There’s been a truck just idling between houses in the middle of the street. I’ve been watching it but can’t see in the tinted windows. I can’t see who’s inside, but it’s just sitting there, engine running.”
“Think we should check it out?” Hoping the answer was “negative”, Joe was suddenly blinded by bright headlights. The truck must have spotted him looking through the blinds. Joe lost his balance on the stool and dropped his cel and the walkie-talkie. The room was full of light and he panicked. He felt around for the cel, already on 911 speed dial, but it must have slid under the couch. He could hear the truck engine revving up its engine repeatedly.
From across the room, Frank’s voice was shrill, “Joe, Joe, what’s happening? I saw the truck drive up on your lawn! Are you okay? Should I call 911? Joe?”
Joe’s eyes finally adjusted to the truck lights and he found his cel. He pushed the speed dial and heard a busy signal. The truck seemed to get louder and now he had evidence he should not have eaten that chili.
“Frank! Call 911!”
The busy signal continued because Frank was on their line explaining Joe needed help. Flashing lights finally appeared but Frank and Joe were told to remain in their homes. The man in the truck explained he was just waiting for a friend but was arrested for loitering and reckless endangerment. Later, the police found his “friend” had tried to break in to a house behind Joe’s.
Feeling success in their efforts, the two men rewarded themselves with a small pizza and beer party at the nearest establishment.