All I wanted was to have a normal birthday party.  With balloons, and cake.  Maybe some wine.  And no one crashing through the window shooting at me.

“Duck!” I shouted, smearing Mom to the ground.  I landed hard on her boney hip, the one that was replaced and is now quite literally hard as steel.  A small “oof” escaped in the silence between shots, the gunman either reloading or listening to see if the first round reached its target.  I put a finger in front of my lips, hoping Mom took the hint.  She gave a small nod, and I slowly reached behind to pull out my gun.

The shots had come from the front of my tiny abode, blasting out my front window.  Unfortunately for me, the tall shrub I had growing out there covered any trace of the shooter.  Crouching down,  I slide over to the wall where there was a bit of cover from my side table, the one that would have held the cake if the cake was still in one piece instead of dropped as the shots were fired.

Thirty is going to be a great year.

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