February 6 – part two

Posted on: February 11, 2013

The FRS squawked: Bobby spotted five of the Wheelers pulling into our road!  Jason zipped up his waiting snow cover-all’s, pockets already packed with full magazines, pulled on his hat and gloves, grabbed his rifle and was out the deck door within 45 seconds to take up his position on the roof.

“Tom!  Did you get that?” John spoke into his hand-held.

“I’m on it; out.”

John opened two front windows enough to set a barrel out.  He would man the bedroom window; I would take the dining room, it was closest to Jacob.

“Jacob, I need a really big favor.  You need to keep Tufts from getting scared.  Can you do that for me?”  Tufts had finally come to accept Jacob, and spent most nights sleeping with him.  Jacob nodded.  “It’s going to get noisy, so I want you to wear these, ok?” and I gave him shooter muffs.  He grinned.  “You know what makes Tufts feel really safe? Being under the covers!  So maybe you could keep Tufts under the blankets.  Ok?” Jacob grinned again, put the muffs on, and I covered him and the cat with two layers of blankets.  With the windows open it would chill off fast in here.

The FRS squawked again from Bobby. “One of Wheelers is hanging back.  He’s mine.  You’ve got four.”

John had the AR15, and the 12 gauge, both with extra magazines; I had the M14, extra mags, and the 20 gauge.  I looked in his clear blue eyes; he pulled me close, gave me a deep kiss and turned to take up his position.  I had hoped for some declaration from him that never came.  My window had a low sill, so I tossed a seat cushion on the floor to kneel on, set the barrel of the M14 out the window, and glanced down at the three full magazines on the floor by my side, just as the first Wheeler slowed in front of the house.

My insides turned liquid with fear, and I shivered.  Just then, a shot rang out from across the road.  Tom! The four Wheelers turned as one toward Tom’s house; the furthest to the south raised his rifle.  Everything dropped into slow motion.  He fired.  I saw my brother jerk from the impact and fall backward, the wooden deck rails offering no protection what so ever.  Norene burst out the front door from the relative safety of the house, screaming for Tom.  A third shot; in the center of Norene’s bright yellow Welcome to Florida t-shirt a large red blossom appeared; that was the shirt I’d given her years ago my mind confirmed; she crumpled.

Nooooooo!” the guttural sound escaped from my throat without me neither realizing it nor recognizing it.  Within seconds, another shot, and that shooters head exploded like a ripe watermelon: Jason. The other three now turned toward us, raising their weapons.  There was a barrage of gun fire.  John got the next one, then Jason again, and John took the final one, I think, might have been me, but I’m not sure; I had momentarily frozen, seeing my brother go down.  Somewhere in the back of my mind I heard Jacob crying for us to stop the noise.  There was now silence; and no movement.  Suddenly a distant double tap shot; more silence.  Bobby had taken the fifth Wheeler.  Other than the fire at my brother and his wife, the gang members never got a shot off.


I could hear Jason trampling across the roof; he scrambled down the ladder and was back in the house within moments.  I stood, my knees shaking with fear, with anger.  I’m sure I set my rifle down as it was no longer in my hands.  When I tried opening the door, John grabbed me from behind and held on, stopping me from doing something perhaps very foolish.

“Wait for us!  First: your coat and gloves.  Make sure your safety is off.” John reluctantly let me go. A voice of reason, yes, but I had to get across the road to my brother!

With the windows now closed, it was no longer cold in here.  I could hear Jason talking to Jacob quietly, and he stopped crying.  Everything was fuzzy and surreal.  The three of us went out the door and cautiously moved toward the downed gang members, hand guns drawn.  None of them seemed to be moving, but my anger was now boiling over, and as a vindictive precaution, I put a bullet in the head of the closest one.  We picked up our pace; John and Jason finished making sure this scum wouldn’t move again.  We came to the last one – there was little of his head left.

“Nice shot,” John clapped Jason on the shoulder.

“It wasn’t soon enough though,” Jason choked; he was close to his uncle.


On the porch, I almost lost it.  There was lifeless body of my only brother, laying half across the picnic table; his wife’s body by his side, a pool of blood forming beneath her where it didn’t drip thru the slats of the cedar decking.  I reached out and brushed a lock of gray hair away from Tom’s empty eyes, a gesture he never would have tolerated had he been alive.  I sobbed, sinking to my knees.

“We have to move them inside,” Jason said.  “Mom… Mom!!” I turned to him, but didn’t really see him.  “Mom.  Focus!  Go in the house and get us two blankets or sheets.”  I know I moved, but my world wasn’t functioning.  We put them on a sheet, moving them one at a time, and laid them side by side in the kitchen.  Burial would have to wait.

We were back across the road and nearly to the house, when the FRS squawked again.  “Here comes more!”  We ran.

4 thoughts on “February 6 – part two

  1. Whoa. Really intense journal today. Can’t wait for the next one!

    Um. I wanted to say: nice way to get Jacob to be less scared – focusing him on keeping Tufts from getting scared.

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