December 8

I was sitting in my rocker by the wood stove reading, when I heard the vehicle pull in the driveway.  I’ve never been good at remembering who drives what, partly because everyone seems to buy new cars every year or so, except me, mine is 12 years old now; but when I saw Rob Hapson get out of the extended cab 4WD truck, I just knew this was not good.  I reached down and made sure the steel bar was in place in the track of the sliding door.  The door would now only open 3”.  I waited until he knocked, and let him wait a bit more.  I slid the door open enough to talk.

“What do you want, Rob?” I know I sound tired, and I was.

“Hey, Deb, I know you’ve got food, I remember from one of your solstice parties, you’ve got lots of supplies,” I really hate being called Deb.   Was he actually trying to sound friendly? We weren’t friends anymore.  “We’re getting really hungry, how about sharing.”  A couple of years ago I held parties on the Solstice, partly to show my friends how comfortable we could be without power, if we were prepared for it: wood heat, lamp light.  At that time Rob & his wife were part of our card playing group.  They dropped out shortly after.

“That was years ago, Rob.  I don’t have any of that stuff left,” I lied, sort of, I’ve rotated all of what I had back then and replaced it, “I’ve nothing to give you,” not a lie, but would he buy it? “Please, just go away and leave me alone.” I started to close the door, but he reached for the edge and tried to shove it open.  It stopped on the steel bar and he pulled his hand back.  As soon as he did, I closed the door and locked it.  He glared at me thru the triple paned window and turned away.  When he got to his truck, he opened the back door, not the driver’s door.  Whoa!  I knew what was going down.  I grabbed the shotgun that was leaning against the wall, and headed to the deck-door.  I only had a minute or two; as a former LEO I knew Rob would never carry a loaded gun in his car, and now he needed to load it. From the deck, I quickly slipped behind the house and up the snow ladder to the roof.  Jason had built that permanent ladder years ago so I would have easy access to shovel the roof if I needed to; I’ve been thinking it would make a good lookout post.   I was glad I at least had shoes on even though I didn’t have time to grab a jacket; my hands were already getting cold.  I crouched down and hurried across the roof, the snow muffling the sound my movement.  I peered down at Rob as he aimed his shotgun at my glass door.  I unloaded two rounds from overhead before he had a chance to pull the trigger.  He never knew what hit him.  He’d told me several years ago that if things got as bad as I thought, he’d just shoot me and take my stuff…. Did he really think I’d forget that?  I did thank him for the warning – apparently he forgot that

This is NOT good.

I ran over to Tom’s and told him I needed some help.  He’d heard the shots and had already gotten his boots & coat on to investigate.  On our way back I told him what had happened.  We loaded Hapson in the back of the truck; Tom drove it, following me in my car.  What’s that saying? Friends help you move, good friends help you move the body.  Tom is a good friend.

Once I got to Paul and Donna’s house, I asked Tom to wait in my car while I talked to the couple.  I told them what had happened, emphasizing that Rob had threatened me, pulled a gun on me and was trying to rob me.  Then I asked them what they wanted to do.  My voice and my hands were shaking, I was honestly shook up.

Donna was the first to speak.  “Looks like a clear case of self-defense, to me.  What do you think, Paul?” she turned to her husband.

“Well, I’ve never liked Rob, he was a loose cannon, and it doesn’t surprise me that he got killed committing an armed robbery,” he looked at me concerned and continued, “we’ll take it from here, Deborah, you go back home.  You need a lift?”  I told him Tom was with me; he just nodded.

I’ve had a hard time shooting raccoons; shooting a person, well, I can’t even describe what’s going thru me right now.

 

I had no appetite for dinner but I did kill a bottle of wine.

Comments

  1. Julie says:

    It was inevitable, wasn’t it? but oh, so scary.

  2. Kris says:

    if killing someone — even in self-defense — didn’t shake you to the core, it’d prove your Soup Kitchen ideas & concern for people were just a show. But it isn’t a show; you do care about people. That’s a good thing. Inconvenient when having to take extreme measures like this, but a good thing. Take the time you need, to work thru it. Pet Tufts & try to eat even if you don’t have much appetite, okay? :-)

  3. Deborah says:

    thank you for those kind words, Kris. It was quite the harrowing experience, and not one I care to repeat. Carolann and Cloud both, say to practice, practice, practice; but sometimes that practice can only be done in the head. Even that will also allow us to act …without thinking ourselves into inaction.

  4. Marie says:

    Your character was pushed to the ultimate limit and was able to overcome an evil which would have killed and taken in a heartbeat, without remorse.
    Lessons we need to learn. Guess I saw this one coming but am in anticipation of what may come now…Great stuff Deborah, cliff hanging here!

  5. anna says:

    I’ve loved your series up until now… when it lost its realistic touch and went Hollywood. It’s the confrontation thing. He wouldn’t bother. He’d know you’d a) lie and b) evade him. He wouldn’t bother, and he wouldn’t go back for a gun – he’d've brought it with him to the door. He’d know that if you were a prepper, you’d have at least one gun. He’d show up, and if you didn’t have that gun in hand and be psyched to pull the trigger the moment you saw him slam that truck door, you’d be dead.

  6. Deborah says:

    well, of course you’re entitled to your opinion on this Anna, but I’m basing my characters from real people I know, and that is exactly the way this character would act. He’s a bully, and bully’s, well, bully first. If they don’t get their way, then they act.

  7. Anna,
    I don’t think it lost its realistic touch at all.

    At my last farm, we had a bit of a strange neighbor who made poor choices during our protracted outages and cut off from civilization during Hurrican Isabelle and its aftermath. Our neighbor wished to confront. He wished to risk, and he wanted to feel the power he thought he would by standing in mastery over another. Don’t expect people who are irrational normally to become rational in an unusual situation.
    The situations you encounter may surprise you.

  8. Nick says:

    I too do not think it has lost its realistic touch. Actually, I was waiting for more on this post. e.g. Why did the main character contact here neighbors/friends? What did the friends do? What happened to body? Who got the truck, lol? And in later posts, how did the town find out about the attack and subsequent killing? If the Journal becomes a book these questions should probably be resolved.

    Please remember, in Deborah’s story this has transpired roughly a month after the initial quakes. Many of us who prep have a tendency to forget that the US can deteriorate into anarchy in three days[once food deliveries stop]. I am surprised that something of this nature was not addressed sooner.

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