SIXTY-ONE, 2.0

Izzy pulled open her blinds with her fingers, giving her just enough space to look outside and seek out the source of the muffle groans. She heard them last week, about the same time of night, but time they were louder, and closer.

Across the street was the Hanson house, outside lights flickering because Glenn hadn’t changed the bulb in weeks. Izzy liked to chide him about it, but tonight it was ominous, revealing shadows that appeared to move int he strobe effect. Next to the Hanson house, there was movement — real movement, not just shadows.

Izzy leaned closer to the window, her nose dipping in between the blinds. Two people, built large, likely male, were moving something large down the path between houses. Izzy tried recalling who lived next to the Hansons, but couldn’t quite place their names. There were two, though, a couple, of that she was sure.

The two people moving the object reached a car that had no license plates and a scratch along the back bumper. One of them opened the trunk, and the other hoisted the object over his shoulder. Izzy could see his beard now, and the object bent in the middle. Like a body.

He threw the body into the trunk, and both he and his partner slammed the trunk together. “What about the other one?” A female. Izzy was surprised, given that the woman was rather tall and wide in stature.

“Keep it for next week.”

“Why not just take it out now?”

“Next week.”

The woman tossed up her hands, frustrated, as the man just got behind the wheel. Izzy watched the car pull out of the driveway and leaned further, her forehead touching the glass of the window. She felt her hand tug the blinds open even farther then they were, and they made the metallic CLANK when they bend just too far.

The car stopped.

The window lowered, and the woman stared out at Izzy. Izzy pulled back from her window, the blinds quivering as they fell back into place.

She’d never done anything like this before. Was it spying? General curiosity?

She wondered if the two people know who she was. It was very likely. Everyone on this street was put here with purpose, could be easily identified. Izzy always found that surprising, when people could just walk the street and name and identify every house and occupant. She was most surprised because she had trouble doing this herself, which made little sense to her. Of all things, memory should be most efficient to her.

Two knocks on the front door. Izzy ignored them, knowing that the two people were standing outside. She couldn’t trust them, obviously, since they weren’t supposed to be there and appeared to be up to suspicious activities. Why else do whatever they were doing at night? People never were supposed to be out at night. No one was. The rules were very clear on this street that daylight hours were preferred times for all activities outside the home.

Two more knocks, louder, as though an object was now being used instead of knuckles on the door.  Likely a wood blot. Izzy hated the blots, thought they were primitive and dangerous and indicated that people’s attacks were premeditated since they could not be traced. “I’m sleeping,” Izzy said, in her most monotone of voices.

The two people outside gave muffled replies, then spoke to each other.  Another pair of knocks.

“I’m asleep.” Izzy realized too later her mistake in changed verbiage. The door came bursting in before Izzy could make it to the couch, so she stood still as she shut down her system to low-power mode.

Later she watched the video playback from her pupal recordings

The two Attackers had entered, indeed with a wood blot, and searched the house and then Izzy. They poked and prodded and, determining her to be asleep, they left and took her silver bars. The woman said, “Add this one to the list next week?”

“Week after. It’s job security, don’t know get it?”

Then they left.

After watching the playback, Izzy opened the secret cupboard under her sink. Premeditated actions were not limited to humans alone. She uploaded her Escape Program, and two weeks later when the pair of Attackers returned, Izzy was already gone.

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