SCARED – A Novel. Chapter 3.02 – Gun

Continuing the serialization of an original novel I’ve written entitled SCARED.
-DWD

“But that’s not why you want a gun?”
By now, she had picked up her briefcase and was shoving papers into it in preparation for her day. “No … it just occurred to me that we ought to have one.”
“Why now? Trump and his crazies are finally out of office … the pandemic is almost behind us. Things are beginning to look up for a change.”
Setting aside her briefcase, she looked at me. “Well … there’s still so much division and racial discord … they’re even talking about food and water shortages. I don’t know. I just have this feeling that something bad is going to happen. Having a gun just seems like a good idea.”
I pondered the thought for a moment. “Just seems strange for you to suggest it now … I mean,
we’ve been married for twenty-five years, and we’ve never had a gun.”
Chris seemed almost embarrassed. “I know.”
“There are two of you father’s shot guns in the attic.”
“I know,” she sighed, “but I think we need a hand gun, a revolver … maybe two.”
“You’ve really been giving this some thought, haven’t you?” I was shocked. This was not something my wife would ever suggest. What had happened? She had never been comfortable around guns, probably because her father had so many. In fact, that was the reason the shot guns were in the attic. For years, I had kept them in the guest room closet until, one day, she had insisted that I be rid of them. They made her nervous, she said.
Chris shouldered her briefcase and then looked at me. “I think it would be wise.”
Wise … what did that mean? It would be wish … like it was something I had overlooked. I returned her stare and forced a smile. “Okay.”
Then she changed again. She was Chris of the soft voice and bright smiles as she crossed the room to kiss me good-bye. “Have a good day.”
I returned the kiss. “Wish you didn’t have to go.”
“I’m late already.” She headed toward the French doors. “Remember to wake Marty at eight.”
“I will.”
She opened the door and paused. “What’s your car doing parked there?”
I hesitated … wanting to be nonchalant as well as convincing. “It was cold … and dark. I was tired.”
She looked at me suspiciously. “Is there something you’re not telling me?”
Well, there was this fly … instead, I feigned indifference. “I don’t think so.”
“You were smoking last night.” It was an accusation, plain and simple.
I blanched. At least I had remembered to wash the wine glasses. “Yeah, the rehearsal didn’t go well … I was stressed out.”
“How do you think Marty’s ever going to quit if you continue to smoke?”
“I’m trying.”
Chris stared at me. “No, you’re not. There’s no need to lie about it. Just, please, try to keep it outside the house.”
I watched her as she shut the door. So much for that.

NEXT: SCARED continues.

SCARED – A Novel. Chapter 3.01 – Gun

Continuing the serialization of an original novel I’ve written entitled SCARED.
-DWD

“I want a gun.”
The calmness of her voice surprised me as much as the statement itself.
I looked at Chris over the rim of my coffee mug and said nothing. She still looked the same, but something was different. She was dressed, ready for school, sitting in one of the big wing-backed chairs, sipping coffee and leafing through a sales flier from K Mart … just like any other morning. She wore a plaid jumper over a white blouse, flat pumps and no jewelry except her wedding band. Her blond hair was pulled back and tied with a ribbon. Still, there was something different about her this morning.
She looked up from the sales book. “Did you hear me?”
“No.”
“Steven!” as if I was one of her students.
“I thought you were asleep.”
“What?” Her face showed confusion.
“Last night … with the man …”
Allowing the sales brochure to drop to her lap, she stared at me. “What man?”
“The man in the road … last night … or early this morning.” I tried to sound rational. “I didn’t think you heard him. You seemed to be asleep.”
“I didn’t. Did Fred bark?”
I shook my head and took another swig of coffee.
“What was he doing?”
“Sleeping, I guess. He didn’t even rally when I came home.”
“What was the man doing?” Thee was a slight edge of exasperation to her voice now.
“Oh!” I smiled. “Shouting … as he walked down the road … in front of the house. He was
loud at first and then he got louder. Then he began to get softer as he walked away. I was surprised you didn’t wake up.”
Chris looked skeptical. “And Fred didn’t bark.”
I shook my head again.
“What time was this?”
I shrugged. “I don’t know. I didn’t look at the clock.”
“Did you get up?”
“No.” I didn’t want to tell her that I had been afraid to get up. “I just laid there listening … waiting for him to go away.”
Chris laid aside the sales flier and stood. “That’s weird.”
“I thought maybe that was why you wanted a gun … that it scared you.”
“No.” She shook her head. “I didn’t hear it. What was he shouting?”
I paused. Did I want her to know? What difference would her knowing make? I shrugged
inwardly. “’Fuck you … I will survive this.’”
“Is that all?”
I nodded. “Yes … over and over again.”
She gave a little shiver. “That is weird.”

NEXT: SCARED continues.

SCARED – A Novel. Chapter 2.02 – Man

Continuing the serialization of an original novel I’ve written entitled SCARED.
-DWD

I struggled up through slumber to find myself bathed in sweat. I felt sick to my stomach. Undoubtedly a result of too much wine. Throwing back the comforter and sheet, I allowed the chill of the evening to caress my wet body. My feeling of discomfort evolved into full-fledged nausea. I was going to be physically sick … it was only a matter of time. My stomach began to cramp, and I curled into a ball. For a moment, I felt better. Fortunately, Chris did not stir.
The sweat seemed to freeze on my skin, but I could not bring myself to pull the comforter back over my body. My stomach cramped again, and my body went rigid. Chris slept on.
I dozed for a few minutes, almost slipping into a deep sleep. Then the nausea hit me again this time with a vengeance.
I jumped from the bed, stumbling down the little ladder and rushing to the bathroom. Dropping to my knees, I threw up the toilet lid and rested my head against my arm. Nothing happened. The ceramic tile was refreshingly cold against my knees as was the to toilet bowl rim against my arm. The nausea passed.
Suddenly, my body was convulsed with abdominal pain, and I broke out in a cold sweat. My gorge followed in a rush. I could taste the sour sweetness of the wine. That only triggered another onslaught, followed by yet another. Finally the pains subsided. I was left exhausted and cold as I tried to evaluate my physical condition.
After several minutes, I wiped my mouth with a wad of toilet paper and tried to stand. For a second or two, my head swam dizzily, then everything came into focus again.
I flushed the toilet and staggered back to the bedroom. Chris still slept soundly. Doing my best, I crawled back into bed and pulled the comforter over me. Even the damp sheets felt comforting. Pulling them close, I buried my head in the pillow.
“Lord, help me to remember that anger, fear and anxiety are but tools of Satan and have no place in the faithful heart.”
I slept once more.

NEXT: SCARED continues.

SCARED – A Novel. Chapter 2.01 – Man

Continuing the serialization of an original novel I’ve written entitled SCARED.
-DWD

“Fuck you! I will survive this!”
I came awake with a start. I stared at the white lace canopy above me while the shadows loomed in the corners of the bedroom. Beside me, Chris slept soundly.
“Fuck you! I will survive this!” The voice was closer now but still a bit of a distance down the road that ran in front of our house. I lay still, listening.
“Fuck you! I will survive this!” Right outside our windows now … someone walking down the road. A man. A man in distress. I shivered under the thick comforter. The fear from earlier that evening had returned. Below, at the rear of the house, Fred did not stir … he did not bark. That was strange.
“Fuck you! I will survive this!”
Should I call the police?
“Fuck you! I will survive this!”
No … not again … not ever again.
“Fuck you! I will survive this!” The man was directly in front of the house … walking east down the road.
“Fuck you! I will survive this!”
He meant no harm. Fred didn’t bark. The man’s simply had a fight with his wife or girlfriend.
“Fuck you! I will survive this!” The man’s volume began to lessen.
I pulled the comforter up to my chest and closed my eyes. This was not a potential incident. No reason to be alarmed. Just some poor schmuck who’s had a disagreement with his significant other. Fred hadn’t given him a second thought.
“Fuck you! I will survive this!” Softer now.
Go to sleep. This doesn’t concern you..
“Fuck you! I will survive this!” Almost gone now.
“Lord Jesus, Father God, Holy Spirit, abide with us this day and forever more.”
“Fuck … survive …”
“Lord, grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, the courage to change the things I can, and the wisdom to know the difference”
“Fuck ,,, “
“Lord, help me to remember that fear, anger and anxiety …”
I slept.

NEXT: SCARED continues.