I have no choice

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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Mystery and Crime  |  House: Booksie Classic
A true life fiction based on a nightmare and true life.

Submitted: May 29, 2012

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Submitted: May 29, 2012

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LIGHTS

 

  It was a feeling, a vague sensation of something not right that was nagging at me.  I felt something pulling me from my sleep slowly, but growing stronger.  What was I dreaming about?  Why am I waking up?  Is it morning already?  No, no it can’t be morning.  I’m not ready to start the day shuffling kids.  Drowsily, I opened my eyes to the darkness of the room, except, it wasn’t all darkness.  Lying on my side on the edge of my king sized bed, I was looking in the direction of one of the windows.  What was that?  I saw a red laser line coming through the blinds and it was pointed directly at my chest.  WTF??!!  Immediately, I slid out of the bed and onto the floor.  My heart was pounding like a jackhammer.  Thankfully I had placed my cell phone on the nightstand next to the bed.  As I grabbed it, I looked at the clock radio beside it and noticed the damn thing was black.  Shit.  The power was out.  What the hell?  I usually slept in the nude, but tonight I was just wearing a sports bra.  I stuffed the phone inside my sports bra. Breathing hard and confused, I started to crawl towards my closed bedroom door.  I could see the laser coming through two different windows on the same side of the house.  Two?  WTF is going on? I quickly crawled to the door carefully so as not to break the laser beams that appeared to be searching my room.  I opened my door and crouched ran to my son’s bedroom.  I knew that both kids were in the same bed despite my nightly admonishment that they stay in their own beds.  My daughter was notorious for climbing into my son’s bed nearly every night.  I knew she had done it again last night because as I walked past his room to mine before bed, I could see that they were tangled up in the sheets clutching their favorite stuffed animals.  My son’s arm was draped over the side of the bed and I grabbed it.  I whispered his name and told him to get out of the bed.  I told them both to wake up in the most urgent but hoarsely voice I had.  Both finally woke up and were full of questions.  I urged them both to be very quiet and to keep their heads down as they too slid out of the bed.  I told them I didn’t know what was going on but they had to come with me quickly to my bedroom.  I was trying to figure out what was going on, what to do next and keep my mind and body from shutting down, frozen with fear.  The only thing I could think of was to crawl into the master bedroom walk in closet.  As we crawled on our hands and knees past my bed, I could see the lasers filing the room with eerie red lines.  I snatched my beloved dog off the bed while she was still snoring.  We all went into the closet and closed the door.  I directed the kids to back themselves into the hanging clothes and press themselves against the wall.  Our beloved dog Old Pug was now alert and had picked up on my fear and was starting to growl.  I handed her off to my son, Brave Boy.  My daughter, Lil’ Bit, was starting to whimper and cry.  I had to get help.  Remembering my cell phone tucked into my bra, I pushed 911.  Calls placed from cell phones to 911 were answered by the state highway patrol.  A young female voice answered my call:

Dispatcher: “911 what is your emergency?”

Me:  “I don’t know.  There are red lasers coming in from the window into my house.  They are coming into my bedroom.  It’s on the second story.  What the hell is going on?  They are coming from the east…”. I urgently said.

Dispatcher: “Ma’am.  What is your address?”

Me:  “It’s 2927 Strident St.  Please send somebody to help.  It’s just me and the kids and we are scared to death.  I don’t know what’s going on or who it is. The power is out and I have an electric gate.  I can’t open it because there is no power!” I said in pleading whispered voice.

Dispatcher: “How many lasers do you see, ma’am?”

Me: “Two.  Please hurry.  Your guys are going to have to jump the fence. Oh my God.  Oh my God.  Oh my God”.

 

 

 

THE PLAN

 

  I was starting to lose it.  If I didn’t get a grip soon, I wasn’t going to do anyone any good.  Right then Lil’ Bit told me I was scaring her and she was really crying now.  I grabbed both kids with my free arm and hugged them very tight.  I told them both that I loved them and they had to be very brave for me.  I put the phone on speaker and put it on the floor.  I heard the dispatcher asking questions but I told her she had to wait a second while I grabbed both kids.  In the firmest voice I could muster I told them they had to do exactly as I told them. 

  After giving the kids their instructions, I grabbed my cell phone and stuffed it into my bra while it was still on speaker with the 911 dispatcher.  I slowly opened the closet door and crouched down low.  I closed the door behind me.  The dispatcher asked me for an update and I noted that the sound was way too loud.  I reached up and punched the down arrow button to reduce her voice.  I told her that I had left the children and the dog in my closet and was crawling to my bedroom door.  I noticed the red lasers were gone and told her so.  My door was open and I felt I needed to close it.  As I reached for the handle, I saw red lasers on the wall coming from the stairway.  Oh my God!  They are in the house!  I quickly and as silently as I could, closed and locked the door.  I told the dispatcher what I saw and was instantly thrown into a state of fear for our lives.  I had no weapons in the house.  I was defenseless.  I was shaking so bad I thought my body was going to come apart. After updating the dispatcher of what was happening, I retreated to my bathroom on the way to my closet.  Frantically, I tried to think of what to do.  Where can I go?  What can I do?  How do I get us out of this alive?  Why was this happening?  Who ARE they? At that moment I knew.  Not the answers to any of my questions, but I knew I had to stop whoever they were however I could.  No one was going to get to my kids without going through my dead body first.  Quickly and concisely, I told the dispatcher what I was going to do.  She urged me to wait for the deputies to arrive and to stay with my children in the closet.  Instantly I knew that would be a mistake.  We would all die in there together if I didn’t act quickly and ignore her urging.  I was going to get us through this if it was the last thing I did.

 

 

THE BEGINNING

 

  In mid 1995 I was on top of the world.  I was a police officer in an average town in the middle of the state.  Life was good.  I was 30 and single.  I was in reasonably good shape and was frequently described as cute.  I was always being hit on by fellow officers and as well as suspects alike.  Although I dated several of the former, thankfully I had not dated any of the latter. I had just bought my first house in a neighboring town because it felt safer to live in a different place than I worked.  I was from an average family with parents who were still together.  My two younger sisters were living their lives doing their own thing.  Once in a while, on a rare treat, I would go to a local watering hole with my middle sister in search of fun.  It was May 11th and I called up my middle sister to see if she was free for Friday night.  She was and we made plans to go to one of our favorite clubs to dance and drink.  The next evening I picked her up in my Saturn coupe and off we went.  We arrived before the cover charge was required for entrance because we were raised to be thrifty.  We secured a small bar table with two chairs near the dance floor and bathrooms.  After hours of dancing and talking we heard my favorite song come from the DJ.  Excitedly we made our way to the nearly empty dance floor (the last couple of songs were duds and the dance floor looked like an empty parking lot).  We began to dance as the music started playing.  I noticed a very good looking guy dancing by himself just a few feet from us.  As the song went on, the dance floor became crowded for this was a very popular song at the time.  The in surging crowd had pushed my sister and me closer to the cute guy.  He now was dancing directly behind me still by himself.  About halfway through the song I winked at my sister and turned my back on her and was face to face with a guy that was eye to eye with me.  He had the most beautiful striking green eyes.  He smiled and we danced the next two hours together.  My sister gave up on me and returned to the table at some point.  I have no idea when.  Sometime while I was dancing with this handsome man, he used his shirt to wipe the sweat on my brow and I was struck on how intimate of a gesture that was with a complete stranger.  Sometime after midnight we finally got off the dance floor and went to the bar.  We decided ice water was best as we were both burning up.  We talked for what seemed like forever and a second all at once.  Each time he looked at me and spoke I thought there was no way he was talking to me.  He was way too cute for me.  I occasionally looked behind me to see who he was talking to only to see no one there and figured out it was me he was directing those beautiful eyes at.  At closing time I returned to the table where my sister was looking at me with a million questions written on her face.  I introduced them and suggested we drive to an all night diner.  My sister had met a guy also, but there didn’t seem to be any chemistry between them.  In any event he said he would join us for a late night meal.  We left the club and I noticed it was pouring rain outside.  I mean really pouring.  My car was really a two seater, but you could put two in the cramped “back” seat if you had to.  My sister, accustomed to sitting next to me in the front seat, opened the door and gestured for Cute Guy to get in the back.  We drove to the diner and my sister’s new “friend” was waiting in the parking lot.  We went inside and I proceeded to have one of the best meals of my life and it had nothing to do with the food.  Sparks were flying between me and Cute Guy and the connection was forming as fast as my heartbeat when I looked at him.  After our meal we parted ways with my sister’s “friend”.  Again, my sister opened the car door and gestured for Cute Guy to sit in the back.  This time though I cleared my throat and shook my head and told her to get in the back.  That single incident would be told and retold over several years with smiles from everyone who was listening.  It was about a half hour drive to Cute Guy’s house and should have taken less than an hour to get there if it weren’t for the down pour of sheets of rain on the freeway we were driving on.  I had to drive a lot slower than I was accustomed to in my coupe just to keep it from hydroplaning and wiping out.  At some point during the drive, Cute Guy put his hand on my hand that was on the gear shift between us.  My heart skipped a beat and I liked it.

 

 

NO FEAR

 

I grabbed my hair spray can from my bathroom cabinet and tip toed to my locked bedroom door.  I had one chance to get it right and was counting on instincts to carry it through.  I didn’t want to think too much about it.  Just do it. I whispered to the dispatcher that I needed her to be quiet for a few minutes please.  I heard the faint sound of my door handle moving very slowly.  Although, the house was dark, I could see pretty good from the light of the full moon outside coming through my blinds.  Plus I knew my house.  They didn’t.  Or so I hoped.  It didn’t take them very long to open the door from the time it was first tried.  Here we go.  With the spray can in my left hand I saw the door opening slowly toward me.  I had my back against the wall behind the door and saw the red laser come into my room followed by the barrel of a rifle.  I was looking half way up the door waiting to see the hand on the trigger. When I did, I shot a stream of hairspray into the masked face of the intruder.  He immediately stopped in his tracks and made a small sound.  This gave me my opportunity.  I dropped the spray can and grabbed the barrel of the rifle and flipped it up thus causing his hands to move into an awkward position that couldn’t hold onto the gun.  As I pushed the gun further in its rotation it went 180 degrees from where I first saw it.  It now was pointing directly into the intruders face.  My left hand was already on the trigger and I pulled it twice so fast that second round went into the first one’s place, right into the middle of the mask.  Down he went.  As he was falling, I looked past him and two more masked intruders were right behind him.  I kept the gun in the same position and fired six more shots.  I was aiming at their heads as I had assumed they had bulletproof vests on.  Down the other two went.  Quickly, I moved past the first one while I righted the rifle to a more conventional position at my shoulder.  I knew he was no longer a threat as his head was half gone.  I checked the second one by checking his pulse on his neck.  It was a weak pulse so I put one bullet to the middle of his forehead and moved to the third.  He wasn’t going anywhere because half of his neck was missing.  I was so focused that I did not notice that their guns were equipped with silencers.  I took third guy’s pistol from his hip holster and exchanged my rifle for his.  Now my right hand was armed and it was time to search for the others.  Methodically I searched every inch of my son’s room.  I was careful not to make a sound as I searched each upstairs room knowing where to look for someone who could be hiding waiting to kill me or worse.  Finally, when all the rooms were cleared, it was time to move downstairs.  I moved to the opposite side of my daughter’s bed away from the door and knelt down.  I gave the dispatcher an update and told her what I was doing next.  I confirmed that the deputies were still several minutes away so I was on my own.  Going downstairs was going to be tricky with just me doing the searching.  The layout of the downstairs was problematic.  The stairway provided the center of a circle if you will.  You could go from the front door foyer through the living room, through the formal dining room, through the kitchen, through the family room and back to the foyer without going through any doors just archways.  So theoretically you could be going around it at one end while someone else is at the other end going in the same direction and you would never see each other.  I pushed that thought from my mind and deftly moved down the stairs.  I stepped where I knew there was no creaking stairs to give away my position.  I tried not to assume how many more intruders there were.  Just eliminate as you go until clear.  I took several deeps breaths to calm myself down and hoped to God that I wasn’t heard.  As I reached the landing with only a dozen steps to go, I looked to my left to the office.  The door was open and I could see movement and low light beams moving about.  I could barely hear hushed voices, but could not hear what was being said.  What the hell are they doing in the office?  There is nothing in there but old files and children’s video games.  It wasn’t so much as an office as it was the kids den.  All things kids were in there.  That’s how I corralled them into one place to play while still being able to watch and referee.  Nimbly I moved to the front door and slid along the wall to just outside the office. 

 

 

 

 

TWO BECOME FOUR

 

  Three years after we met I was injured at work.  It wasn’t the first time and I didn’t know it would be my last.  I had received all types of injuries during the eight years I was at the Police Department.  I did all kinds of assignments.  I had a lot of great war stories that made for lively conversation at parties.  I even had received the city’s Medal of Valor for recognition of my efforts at saving a suicidal teenager bent on jumping from the rooftop of an apartment building.  But my last day in uniform was on our “hump” day.  The day where the two different days off shifts overlapped on one day a week.  It was the beginning of September just after Labor Day.  I was assigned to work with a rookie that I had never seen before.  Great.  Being a rookie meant he had less than two years on.  On top of being new, he was little.  At 5’8” I was tall for a girl, but this guy was shorter than me.  He was young too.  I could only hope he could take care of himself if the shit hit the fan.  I didn’t want to have to look out for him too while busting chops.  We worked third watch.  That meant we worked from 2pm to 12am .  It was still daylight out when we were dispatched to assist the Fire Department with traffic control.  They had a structure fire and needed us to direct traffic away from the street so they could get their rigs in there and set up the water lines without Mr. Lookie Lou driving down the street getting in their way.  I was driving and my partner was reading the call from our computer screen.  As we approached a busy intersection, I was about to light/siren our way through it when I looked over to my left to the neighborhood Stop and Rob.  That was our name for those gas station/mini marts that were so frequently robbed everyday of the week.  In the parking lot I saw two men duking it out.  There were fists flying in both directions.  There were a few customers in the parking lot looking on and they spotted us.  Shit.  The Fire Department was just going to have to do without us.  I called in the fight and maneuvered our unit into the parking lot.  My partner and I jumped out and began to separate the two fighters.  I quickly figured out who was offending and who was defending.  The defender was searched, placed at the curb on his butt while we moved the offender to the side of our unit for a pat down.  Right away I smelled the familiar smell of beer courage.  He wasn’t going to let me just touch him without a fight.  I was behind the guy pressing him against the side of the unit while I quickly searched his waistband before going for my handcuffs.  Now the fight was really on.  It became very apparent to me that my rookie partner had never been in a fight before.  I knew what I was doing and knew what had to been done.  My partner however, was doing all the wrong things in all the wrong places at the wrong times.  I felt like I was fighting two people at once.  It was a tug of war.  My partner was pulling one way and I was pulling the other.  Hello?? What are you doing rookie?  You are making this way harder than it needs to be.  As I wrestled with both of them to gain control of the offender, I pulled out my mace and emptied the can in his face and mouth.  Nada.  No response from the offender.  No effect.  Nice.  Back to wrestling.  I was able to move the wriggling threesome out of the way enough to open the rear door of our unit.  I then shoved the offender in almost taking the rookie with him as the greenhorn forgot to let go when I pushed.  Okay.  Great.  That guy wasn’t fully patted down and I didn’t like that one bit.  I went over to the defender and got his info and statement and released him.  He was gone before I returned to our unit.  My rookie was freaking out.  He was breathing hard and stammering on about what we were going to do now.  I told him we had to get this guy back out, handcuff and search him and get him back in the unit.  This was not going to be fun.  Our offender was really pissed off.  He was not handcuffed and not only was he screaming at the top of his lungs, he was kicking at the windows in the back seat.  This was before the days of the metal reinforcement pieces placed over those windows to prevent yayhoos like this from kicking out the windows.So here came the fun part.  I told the rookie to help me grab this guy’s arms when I opened the door.  Well that didn’t work.  The offender just spun around in the seat and started kicking at us.  Okay.  I shut the door and ran to the other side to try that way.  Again, numb nuts spun around and offered kicking legs again.  Okay.  Now I was getting angry.  I have had enough of this BS.  I told the rookie to open his door with the flying feet and I was on the other side with his head.  I jerked open the door and yanked him out.  I threw him against the side of the trunk and slammed the cuffs on him.  Fucker.  As I was searching his neck and chest area somehow he bent down and bit my finger.  Dammit.  My partner finally decided to show up at my side and we finished the pat down and threw him head first into the unit.  Of course I had to “accidentally” bump his head on the door jamb first.  All this took just a few minutes but felt like a lifetime.  I leaned against the trunk to catch my breath and then noticed my right wrist was swelling up.  I didn’t know how I hurt it or when during the foray.  My hand was not only swelling up before my eyes, but it was increasing in pain by the second.  What the hell.  Dammit.  What happened now?  I called for a Sgt. to respond to report the fight with officers and my injuries.  The rookie was unscathed.  That’s what happens when you watch a fight instead of fight in one.  A Sgt. arrived and he decided I needed to go to the hospital.  Another unit was called to meet the rookie at the Police Department to assist with booking.  Lord knew he was going to need the help.  Later I found out that the offender was the guy behind the fire we had been enroute to.  He had beat up his girlfriend and set her house on fire then fled to the Stop and Rob to get more beer.  He was an illegal alien and had been drinking.  Oh and he was a crazy Mo Fo.  My Sgt. took me to the hospital where I was examined and x-rayed.  It was determined that it was probably a bad sprain and I would be off for the next week or so pending follow-up. I also now was required to do mandatory Aids testing for the next year because the shithead bit me.Great.  This was my Friday.  That meant I was going to spend it nursing a stupid injury.  The bad thing was it was to my gun hand and I just wanted it to get better as fast as possible so I could return to work.  That’s what I wanted.  That’s not what happened.  Over the course of a year and a half, I had every kind of test known to man.  Something was wrong with my wrist and even the wrist specialist couldn’t find out why it wasn’t working right.  I had every kind of therapy and all types of casts.  My doctor, who was a weekend warrior courtesy of the Army Reservist Program, finally did a scan involving radioactive isotopes.  There was the answer.  I had a benign cyst located in the “snuff box” region of my wrist.  Behind this cyst was a break in one of the many bones in that region.  I had surgery and a bone graph to repair all that needed to be done to get me back to work.  The surgery was followed by more therapy and splints.  After months of testing and retesting it was determined that my hand would not return to it’s normal working condition no matter what we tried.  My doctor finally told me what I feared.  I was done.  There was no permanent light duty in the Police Department so therefore I was to be retired.  Put to pasture at the ripe old age of 33.  I couldn’t believe it.  I had always assumed I would have a career in law enforcement and retire after 30 plus years on the job.  Nope.  Cute Guy and I had been living with each other almost since we met.  We made such a great couple.  Although we knew we would someday get married, as long as I was a Police Officer, I would not have children.  I didn’t want to subject my family to the downside of shift work.  But now that my career path was taken from me, what now?  Cute Guy had the answer.  One night shortly after getting the news of my forced retirement, we went to dinner to our favorite restaurant.  We ordered our usual meal and were finishing up with the entrée when Cute Guy said he had an idea.  I was all ears.  He asked me “Why don’t we go legit? Get married and have kids?”  I was shocked.  I hadn’t even thought about it until then.  The look on my face must of given up my thoughts because he began to lay out the perfect plan to spend the rest of our lives together and carry on the traditions of our families with our new family.  I was overcome with emotion I didn’t know I had.  Of course.  Of course! Yes.  Yes! Let’s do it. We were married 6 months later.  Just over a year after that we had our first born, a son.  A year later, a daughter.  We had decided to have three and tried as soon as the green light was given by the doctor.  We wanted three in a row.  Get it all over with and enjoy the young while we were young.  So off we went to make one more beautiful baby.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

MAMA BEAR SYNDROME

 

  One, two three!  I rolled around the door frame and began to shoot center mass and head shots on the two intruders in the office.  They were caught off guard and down they went.  But, before one went all the way down he leveled his rifle and fired two shots as a last effort to stop me from coming.  I vaguely felt hot pain coming from my left side and right shoulder.  I didn’t have time to look down or wonder what was happening to my body.  I ran into the room and checked for pulses.  I couldn’t feel any, but put a bullet in their foreheads just in case.  Just then I heard it.  The sound of the forth step up from the landing.  Even in the moon dim light I could see an intruder going up the stairs.  He was dressed in black just like the others and carrying a rifle with that damn red laser just like them too.  Fuck Fuck Fuck.  I took off after him as I knew it would take him only seconds to find my precious children hiding in their dads hanging slacks.  I told the dispatcher what I saw and what was going on and told her to get her men in here to help me!  She told me she was so sorry.  They were short handed that night and the deputies were coming from far off but should be there anytime.  Again, I reminded her that they were going to have to ram the gate or hop over it.  As I ran past the front door to run up the stairs I instinctively unlocked it so the deputies wouldn’t have to try to knock down an eight foot high solid wood door.  I no longer was scared.  I was running on adrenalin and Mama Bear Syndrome.  I made short work of the stairs and slithered my way into my bedroom.  I could see a faint light coming from the master closet.  Oh God.  I could hear Lil’ Bit’s faint crying and Brave Boy trying to quiet her.  Please. Please don’t hurt them you bastard.

 

 

 

 

IT CAN’T BE

 

  Things don’t always go as planned.  Our family was like many others.  We were happy and healthy.  Cute Guy went to work every day.  I stayed home with our pre-school children and life was skipping along.  One night about a year and a half after we moved into our dream house that we built ourselves with the help of sub contractors, we were awakened to the sound of a car horn.  It was 4 o’clock in the morning.  It was the first night in August that wasn’t sweltering so we had all the windows open.  The horn sound made Cute Guy go to the garage to investigate.  I got up after a few minutes to see what was going on because he hadn’t returned when I thought he should have.  When I was on the landing between our bedroom and our son’s, he came flying into the house from the garage.  He said “The car is on fire and it’s catching the garage on fire!”.  He then dashed out the front door saying over his shoulder something about getting a hose.  Instantly, I freaked out and had a moment where I didn’t know which way to go first.  Run back to our bedroom to get the phone to call 911 or run to each of the kid’s rooms to get them out of bed.  Wait.  First, I must put on a robe because I was NOT going to let those firemen see me naked!  After donning the robe, I grabbed the house phone.  We had cell phones but they were in the cars where people kept them back then.  The dispatcher answered and I told her my name and address.  I told her that our house was on fire and that we needed help.  Then the line went dead.  I thought she hung up on me.  My first thought was “You bitch!”.  I wasn’t done talking and she hung up on me!  I held onto the phone thinking she would call me back and apologize for dropping the call.  I went to our son’s room and grabbed him and then went to our daughter’s room and snatched her from her crib.  With Lil’ Bit in my right arm and Brave Boy holding my left hand we quickly ran down the stairs and out through the front door.  I passed Cute Guy in front of the porch.  He told me he was going back into the garage to save his prized possession.  1963 VW crew cab fully restored.  I told him no, not to do it, but off he went into the house anyway.  A couple of seconds later he came out with our cat and handed her off to me and I put her into my right arm along with Lil’ Bit.  Our dog was being a good little bird and was walking directly behind me like I was the Mama Duck.  Our neighbors came running in response to my screams for help.  Shortly after that, the firemen arrived with their trucks and hoses.  In the end we lost everything.  They were not able to save the house or the cars in the garage that included the beloved VW.  Where once stood our two story dream house with all of our precious belongings and keepsakes was now a smoldering flattened ruin.All we were able to save were just the four of us.  The most precious thing we had.  We decided four was a great number and we stopped our quest to make another baby.We were a tight knit family already and the fire just made us stronger.

  Eleven months later we moved back into our brand new dream home #2.  Same house, same layout and exact same footprint as #1.  We were now back home and in full swing of all things family.  A blissful year passed and we were slowly filling our home with new everything.  Brave Boy had just started Kindergarten and Lil’ Bit was in her second year of pre-school when tragedy struck again.  Not with possessions that could be replaced, but with the rock of our world.  It was mid afternoon on a garden variety Tuesday.  I had already picked up the kids from school and we were hanging out at home waiting for Cute Guy now Cute Daddy to return from work.  He started his days early so he could spend the afternoon and evening with his family.  Except he didn’t come home when he should have that day.  Instead, I got a knock at the front door.  It was a man and woman in polo shirts with the name of Cute Daddy’s company.  They had grim faces on and I was beginning to get that feeling that what they were going to tell me they wished they didn’t have to.  The man told me that Cute Daddy had been in an accident earlier in the day.  I asked if he was okay.  His answer shattered my world.  He had been killed in the accident and they were sorry for my loss.  The kids were curious as to who was at the door and why I had stepped out onto the porch closing the door.  I tried to keep them inside but couldn’t really because the strength had left my body and I felt like I was going to fall to the ground.  The man and woman asked if there was someone they could call for me.  They were helpless.  I could see it.  The kids thought they were there to watch them play so they went running to the jungle gym Cute Daddy and I had just spent a week putting together.  The woman walked over to watch them play signaling to the man to do something.  I told him I had to call everyone and that they could go.  I moved with automation.  All I remember is taking the phone off it’s cradle and calling my parent’s at home.  Later I was told of all the family and friends I called while I was in complete robot mode.  Our lives were never the same.  After the initial shock and details had dissipated, the kids and I were struggling with our new normal.  It was ugly.  It was brutal.  I wasn’t the same mommy anymore.  I now had to be Cute Daddy and mommy and I wasn’t cut out for his role.  Thankfully we were financially taken care of with life insurance bought in the first years of our relationship so the kids and I were able to stay in our dream home.  Only the dream now was gone.  But the kids and I bumped and bungled our way through grief and helped each other through the transition from four to three.  Cute Guy turned Cute Daddy was always a part of our lives.  We always brought him into the conversation and held all the usual parties always with him on our minds.  As the years passed after his death, it was a treat to see which kid had which trait of Cute Daddy.  A great dad was now splintered off into two beautiful independent copies of all his good and bad traits.

 

 

 

 

CAREFUL INSTRUCTIONS

 

  When we were all in the closet just after yanking them from their beds and before the killing started, I told the kids my plans for getting us out of this nightmare.

Me: ”Listen to me very carefully.  I know you are scared.  So am I.  You mustdo exactly as I tell you.  Do you understand?”

Brave Boy: ”Yes mommy.” He cried.

Lil’ Bit: ”Yes mommy.” She barely was able to utter.

Me: ”I don’t know what’s going on but I have the police on the phone and  they are going to make us safe.  I have to go out of this closet and find out how many people are out there.  I am going to do whatever I have to do to keep both of you safe.  I promise.  I will not let anyone hurt you.  You must believe me.  Now, I want you to be as still as you can.  Don’t move a muscle. You must not make a sound.  Please be so very quiet.  I am going to make some noise while I’m out there.  You must not react.  Keep all your muscles still and do not say or scream anything.  No matter what you hear outside this room do not leave here, no matter what. You must keep Old Pug quiet too.  Do whatever you have to do to keep her quiet please. 

Brave Boy: “Okay mommy”.  Lil’ Bit nodded.

Me:” Now.  If someone comes in do not scream for me.  I will come and getyou.  I know this is crazy but if someone comes in here he will probablyhave a gun.

Brave Boy: ”Mommy!!!”

Lil’ Bit: ”No, no no mommy!”.

Me: ”Please.  Please I know.  You have to be so very brave.  You understand?  You need to think about daddy.  Think about his love and use that thought to make you as brave as you possibly can be.  You must. I know you can do it.  Please do it for me.  Do it for each other.  Your dad will protect you.  I promise.  Now if someone comes in and grabs you and puts a gun near you, don’t move.  Please don’t run or say anything.  I will be back before he hurts you I promise you that.  I will talk to that man that’s holding you.  You just keep your eyes on me.  When I nod my head up and down, I want you both to drop to the floor like you weigh a 1000 pounds.  Don’t think about it.  Just do it as fast as you can.  Do you understand me?”

Brave Boy: ”Yes.We understand.  We will be as still and quiet as a mouse and if that stranger comes in here and grabs us we will wait for you to come.  We will not scream.  We will use daddy’s love to protect us mommy. And when you come back we will wait for your secret signal and drop like our legs got broken.  There we will wait for you to grab us and take us away from this nightmare mommy”.

Me: ”Yes Brave Boy that’s right.  And you must remember that I love you so very much and I will do everything to make sure we all leave here just like we should.  Okay I have to go now.  Remember what I said.  You can do it, this I know for sure.  I love you”.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

THREE BECOME FOUR AGAIN

 

I followed the dim light to where I knew he was in there with my children and it wasn’t going to be pretty.  OMG.  The kids must remember what I told them.  I must think that they have and will stick to the plan.  Before I got to within eyesight of the intruder that I just knew was holding my kids at gunpoint, I shoved the pistol into the back of my sports bra just over my right shoulder.  My hair covered the butt of the gun protruding from behind my shoulder.I slowly walked to the closet and stiffened as I saw that fucker with a pistol to my daughter’s head.  He was holding a clump of her hair in his left hand and had the pistol to her right temple.  Brave Boy was standing to her left holding our beloved Old Pug who was unbelievably silent in his arms.  Even she seemed to know what to do and what was expected of her.  My eyes settled on the masked gunman.  What was this all about?  Why did these fuckers come here and what were they after?  I knew I had to take him out before he got agitated or trigger happy.  My thoughts were interrupted by a slow methodical voice ordering me to drop the rifle and to put my hands in the air.  I had forgotten it was even in my hand.I started to do as I was told.  How much of a threat could I be now?  I was just a woman wearing only a sports bra and nothing else.  I glanced at the kids and they were staring right at me.  They were ready.  They knew what to do.Before I put my hands completely in the air, I nodded to the kids.  They dropped out of sight as I reached back and grabbed the pistol from it’s hiding spot. In one motion without thinking I brought the pistol around to the front and stood in the familiar stance I used so many times at the police range all those years ago.  Breathe.  I felt three move to four deep inside me and I squeezed the trigger.  His head jerked back and he froze in that position for just a second before he fell to the closet floor.  Time came back and I snapped back with it.  The kids were running towards me and I told them to wait for me just outside the closet door.  They obeyed.  I walked up to this lowlife who had my angels at gunpoint and quickly dispatched him, voiding any chance he would live to tell about it.  I turned around and walked to my waiting children.  I told them they had to walk with their eyes closed until we got to the stairs.  I told them they must not open their eyes until I told them to do so.  I had to protect their dreams.  I could not let those images into their beautiful innocent minds and ruin them for life.  Carefully, I helped them navigate around the carnage of the first three gunmen.  We reached the stairs and I directed them to look at the wall as we descended.  I had to get us out of here.  I had no idea if there were more men lurking in the shadows waiting to take us out.  Right then I heard the dispatcher come back on the phone.  She told me her deputies were here and were trying to get through the gate.  I asked her if she heard all that had happened and she said she did.  I told her we were going into the garage.Inside there, I was going to get the car keys and make my way to the gate.  The car keychain held the key to the gate locks that could be manually opened once unlocked.  The kids and I moved swiftly through the garage.  We knew where we were.  We knew our house.  Lil’ Bit was directly behind me and Brave Boy directly behind her.  After securing the key we walked single file to the side garage door.  I unlocked it and we walked along the house and made our way to the front of the house.  At the last corner before we would be exposed to the open, I asked the dispatcher to have one of her men at the gate flash his light three times to make sure they were who they should be.  I saw the patrol units, but wasn’t going to take for granted that they too hadn’t been taken out by still more intruders.  One of the deputies flicked his flashlight on and off three times.  I felt instant relief and almost collapsed right there.  I moved our human train into the open and began to walk quickly up the drive way.  Suddenly, I heard someone ordering a weapon to be put down.  I froze.  I thought we were going to be caught in a cross fire with someone still in the house.  Instead, the dispatcher asked me if I had a weapon in my hand.  I didn’t know.  I had to look down and there was the pistol I had used to kill those men with in my hand.  Quickly I dropped it and shot my open hands into the air.  The kids followed my lead and put their hands in the air.  Except for Brave Boy, he awkwardly put one free hand up as Old Pug was still in his arms. We all walked to the gate and I quickly unlocked both locks to both gates and the deputies pushed them opened.  We were quickly escorted to the back of one of their units.  I told them I was not sure if I got all the bad guys and I wanted to get the hell out there right now.  We were driven down the street to where more units were waiting including an ambulance.  As we were getting out of the first unit, a large black oversized van whizzed past us in the direction of our house.  There were deputies in full SWAT gear hanging from every door of the van.  I was placed in the back of the ambulance and the kids and dog were placed in the back of an unmarked unit.  A female deputy was seated right next to them.  She was talking to them with care and concern in her eyes as they closed the ambulance doors and I was driven to the hospital.  There I was sent to surgery for repair on my wounds. 

 

 

 

 

 

 

THE NEW NEW NORMAL

 

  Later I found out that the kids were driven to County Headquarters for questioning.  As I recovered in my hospital room, I too had to relive the entire event.  I knew I had to.  I had taken many many statements from people who had endured unbelievable tragedies.  As I gave my statements to the investigators, I did not feel scared.  I felt so safe.  Like I was surrounded by something that was protecting me from harm.I knew it was him.  Cute Guy was there with me.  Always had been and always would be.

  Days later I was told by investigators that the six men I had killed were part of a large drug gang that had silently moved into our quiet community.  These six had received information that there was a rival gang that was just moving into the area and their leader was keeping drugs and piles of money and guns in the master closet.  Problem was they were off by one street.  Same address numbers.  Wrong street name.  They were in the wrong place at the wrong time.  They didn’t know me and all that I had been through.  They didn’t know that I had no choice but to kill to protect Cute Guy’s legacy.

 

 

 

 

 


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