"Police," Angelica said at the prompt, and had to repeat it. 

    "You're through," another voice said, male and abrupt. "What is the nature of the emergency?"

    "I..." Angelica said. "I...I mean, there's an intruder in my house!"

    "Are you calling from your house now?"


    "And the intruder is still there? Are they aware you're calling us? Can they see you? Please keep talking. Is this person dangerous, in your opinion?"

    "It's a woman," Angelica said, hardly believing what she was saying. "And she's in my house reading a book and eating my biscuits!" Her voice rose into a hysterical squeak and she realized, as the officer on the other end of the line sighed heavily, that she'd said the wrong thing.

    "Ma'am," he said, suddenly frosty. "You are aware that this number is reserved for emergencies only?"

    "It is an emergency!" Angelica snapped, struggling to keep her temper. She could feel the beginnings of tears. She always cried more when she was angry than at any other time. "I don't even know her! She's a total stranger and she may be insane! I came home and she was here. I don't even know how she got in my house for God's sake! She's acting like she lives here and won't talk to me. I tried, honestly I did! But she just acted as if I wasn't there at all, even when I poked her."

    "Ma'am, if you've had a falling out with one of your neighbors..."

    "She's not a neighbor, she's a stranger, I told you!"

    "Please calm down Ma'am," he said, in the voice of one humoring the terminally deranged. "Did this person break in? You said you found her in your house when you returned?"

    "Yes! Yes I did! But, oh, she didn't break in. At least I don't think so..."

    "So how did she get in? I'm assuming you locked your door. If you gave her a key then there's really nothing we can do..."

    "I didn't give her my goddamned key! I keep saying, I've never set eyes on her in my life before!"

    "Ma'am, if you swear at me one more time I will hang up," the officer said coldly and Angelica had a strong urge to smash the phone down on the kitchen counter. She controlled herself. Calm down Ange. Count to ten. Breathe!

    "Please," she said pathetically. "I don't know what to do. I spoke to her and asked her to go and she just won't go. This is my house! Can't she be trespassing or something? And I didn't give her a key, I never would! Why should I? I even poked her..."

    "You poked her? Are you aware that that could be construed as a physical assault? Was this attack unprovoked?"

    "Yes...no...she was just sitting there, eating my biscuits!"

    "Could I advise you Ma'am," he said with heavy emphasis in a tone Angelica found most offensive. "That you consider seeing your doctor very soon. I will send an officer around to your address as soon as someone is available. In the meantime, please refrain from assaulting this alleged intruder further. I'd advise you to stay in another room if possible until the officer arrives. What is your address please? I need to confirm it matches what's on my screen. I also remind you that wasting the valuable time of the police is considered an offense in and of itself, and carries a fine."

    Defeated, Angelica gave it, repeating it back to him in barely controlled fury, whereupon he immediately hung-up.







The End

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