Someone knocked on the door. He turned on the porch light, peeked through the curtain, and saw four young strangers—two men and two women—dressed in hoodies and long heavy coats. He decided to ignore them in hopes they’d go away, but one of the men knocked again, longer and louder this time. What could they want after midnight? He figured they’d tell him they’d broken down or run out of gas somewhere up the road. That was a standard ploy. He was born at night but not last night, he thought.
Against his better judgment he opened the door and felt the cold blast hit him. Then the guy who’d knocked shoved his boot in the door and pushed on it hard. It hit the old man, who stumbled backward as the guy shouldered his way in. The old timer caught his balance but all four of them stood in the room as one of the women closed the door behind them. The first guy looked down at him.
“We see you got Chevy S-10 out there.”
“Yes.” The old man must have looked confused.
“What year is it?”
“It’s a '93, but so what?”
“Good thing. That’s exactly what we’re looking for. How about giving us the keys so we can get out of here?”
“You’re crazy if you think I’m going to let you take my truck.”
“You’d be crazy not to, pops.”
The guy moved closer to him and gave him a shove. As the old man shoved back, the second guy slipped behind him and pinned his arms down. Then the first guy punched him in the gut. The old man was tough, but he doubled over from this. The second guy let him go while he caught his breath.
When the first guy asked again for the keys, the old man reached into his pocket and handed them over. He knew when he was licked.