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.