Under the Table
As I came through the door, I was expecting to find Jenny waiting for me with a cold drink. She wasn’t home yet, though, so I stretched and yawned before making my way into the hallway and up the stairs. The house was quiet, although I could swear that I heard men talking. That wasn’t possible, though – Jenny and I lived alone together, and as far as I knew she was not expecting any male visitors today.
When I went into the bedroom, however, there was a surprise waiting for me. The drawers had all been opened, and the contents scattered around the floor along with my bedding. As for my bed itself, it was turned over, and I began to worry about what had happened. I quickly walked into Jenny’s room, and was greeted with much the same sight.
Slowly, quietly, I crept down the staircase and made my way towards the room at the front of the house. The door was slightly ajar – not much, but enough for me to slip in and creep across the floor and make myself invisible behind a large armchair. There were two men in the room, not very old, in scruffy clothes, and they were looking through Jenny’s bookcase. When I say looking through, I mean taking the books out and throwing them on the floor, almost as if they were searching for something.
I was about to say something when the front door opened, and I heard Jenny calling my name. I could see the two men look at each other, before they quickly went and stood beside the door to the room. One of them took out a large knife and held it in his hand, so I decided to hide under the table with the long lace cover on it. Although it concealed me from view, I was still able to see most of what happened next.
The door opened, and Jenny walked in. She is not a tall woman, about the same height as the bookcase they had been searching, with braided black hair and dark skin, so she stood no chance when the man with the knife grabbed her and put one hand over her mouth, the other waving the knife in front of her. Her blue eyes widened in fear as the second man stood in front of her, and in words of great venom told her exactly what would happen to her if she did not do exactly what they told her to do. I cannot repeat the words here – suffice to say they were not very nice.
She stood there, shaking, as the man went closer and stared in her face, and I could see a tear start to roll down her small cheek. He demanded to know if she understood, and I could hear her whimper under the other man’s hand as she nodded. She was then pushed forward, and told to kneel down and put her head down on one of the chairs. She wasn’t even allowed to take her jacket off, and it was very nice one – silver grey leather with a small collar, which she was wearing over a red sweatshirt.
The chair she was pushed into was partly hidden by a couch that was between it and the table, but I could see her legs kicking up and down as the man with the knife held stood to one side of her and leaned over. The whimpering had turned into muffled speech, which sounded to me like “dnt hrt...”, but that was followed by a sound I had never heard before. It was as if my friend Robert had decided to walk over rough sandpaper, the way it scratched and tore. I looked at the other man and saw he had something shiny in his hand that seemed to be growing in length before he too leaned over.
Jenny screams, and then goes silent again as the ripping continues. After a few minutes, I see the man kneel down and take her ankles. She’s still wearing those red leather boots she likes – the ones with a tassel down the back and that go higher up the front of the bottom of her legs. I like playing with that tassel sometimes, but right now I can hear the ripping again as the man passes the shiny thing around her ankles, the length of it growing and shrinking as the ripping continues.
Eventually he stands up, and tells the other man to “carry on – she won’t trouble us, will you?” I can hear Jenny whisper “no” as he stands up. From where I am, I can hear that someone is opening and going through drawers, while Jenny stays where she is. I want to go over and help, but something tells me it would be better for me to stay where I am.
Ah – the first man has picked up her handbag and started to look for something. Maybe it is something to help dry her tears – I can hear her sobbing still. He looks at some things, including the small phone which he turns off. The thing that makes it work must have stopped – I never liked that noise anyway. He also looks through her purse, and takes the notes out – I hope he buys her something with them to make up for causing her to cry.
Now, that’s interesting – he’s put the bag on the ground and has helped Jenny to get up onto her knees. I still can’t see her, but I can hear her saying “please” before that ripping sound starts again and the sobbing carries on. He leans over and whispers something in her ear, the ripping happens three times, and like magic Jenny has stopped crying. At least loudly – there’s still a soft whimper like when Brian snuggles up to me, but she seems happier.
The second man has come back over, and together they help Jenny to sit down so that she has her back against the chair. One of them pushes her legs up, and I watch as the strange length of silver appears and disappears as the ripping goes on. When it has finished there is a silver band around Jenny’s legs, holding those lovely red flaps against the front of then as the tip peeks above the band. It looks lovely – almost serene as the silver crosses the red and dark grey of the leggings Jenny is wearing.
I hear one more burst of ripping, and then the man saying “Don’t move” as they walk out of the room. I watch their feet as they go past – heavy shoes, ripped legs of jeans – and I’m sore tempted to reach out and touch them, but then I remember Jenny. As the front door closes, I wait for a few minutes in the silence, the only real sound the soft whimper that Jenny seems to want to continue to make.
Eventually, I think enough time has passed, and I come out from under the covered table. The floor is covered in books and papers, but I can now see Jenny or at least her legs where she is sitting. There appear to be three silver bands around her legs. The first one is around her ankles, looking like some sort of cover over her red boots. The second I had already seen, while the third is around the tops of her legs, the shiny silver contrasting with the darker material underneath.
Slowly, carefully, I make my way round, and as I pass the side of the couch I can now see Jenny. Her eyes are closed and her head slumped down, but I cannot see her hands anywhere – her arms seem to disappear behind her as they bend in the middle. There are more silver bands around her top, this time more difficult to see as they are a very similar light to the coat she is wearing, but it looks like she is nice and snug, almost as if she is wrapped up in her duvet with me at night.
The strangest thing, to me anyway, is her face. I can see the dark streaks down her cheeks where the tears have been rolling, but where her mouth is I cannot see her lips. Instead, there is more of that silver stuff that holds her so snugly together covering her face. Her eyes are closed, but she is still unhappy – I can tell now, as that whimper is very loud and also very comforting.
I touch her leg, and she opens her eyes to see me looking up at her. At first, they widen as she realises I have been there the whole time, but then she motions with her head for me to come closer. I climb up, walking up her legs as they change from warm to cold as I pass over the silver, and settle down in her lap, purring as I do so. That seems to sooth her as she looks down at me, nestling and closing my eyes as I try to get some sleep. The last thing I see before my nap is Jenny moving her head to one side and rubbing against the chair cushion with her cheek. I hope that helps her settle down – she seems to have been very upset by our visitors, after all.