“Eventually, she withdrew into herself so far that it was clear even to me she would never find her way out.” ~ Britney King, Water Under The Bridge
I was all of six when I had my first encounter with a monster. It was a Tuesday, laundry day, and I was home from school sick. That afternoon, I was awoken by my mother’s screams, and shortly after I came face to face with evil. Wiping the sleep from my eyes, suddenly, I was alert as I’d ever been. I don’t think you register right away the difference in the way a scream can sound, maybe that comes in hindsight because I still remember thinking that it was probably another scorpion. My mother hated scorpions. And Dad refused to let pest control in the house—or anyone else for that matter. But I do know that something seemed different, and I thought maybe, this time, she’d gotten stung.
Hoping this wasn’t the case, I rounded the corner and headed for the first aid kit my father kept under the bathroom sink. Only when I peered down the hall, I could see it was worse—much worse. I could see my mother scuffling with a man I did not know.
I took a deep breath and crossed the hall into my parent’s bedroom, without hesitation, feeling boyhood draining from me with each step. By the time I grabbed my dad’s .45, any trace of youth I’d had left was gone completely. I put eight rounds into that man. He lived.
Named One of….