or not to leave Granny alone at home while she was away out of town
for two days, was a painful internal soliloquy going on in her adult
had offered to pay all Granny's expenses to accompany her, but Granny
had insisted it was important for Yvonne's personal independence that
she, Yvonne, go alone. Besides, Granny had observed, there was a
snowstorm forecast; somebody should be at home when the storm struck.
the years the crime rate in the City had been increasing. Home
invasions was second to only car-jackings.
Mayor was desperate. He put out an appeal for suggestions from all
citizens. He had already doubled both the City Police annual budget,
and the number of Police officers.
was utterly intolerant of the Mayor's plight. As far as she was
concerned, he was the only culprit to blame for most of the City's
exponential increasing crime rate, for allowing illegal immigrants
unlimited accommodation in the City.
elephant in every room in the City when the crime rate was discussed,
was to what extent were the illegal immigrants the cause? Despite it
being as blatantly obvious as it was, nobody in authority was making
an attempt to provide figures.
was disgusted with the nation-wide deliberate willingness to bleach
the word illegal of its primary and only meaning.
prevalence of crime in the City was not the main source of Yvonne's
pain. Granny, herself, was.
Granny knew just how much Yvonne was agonizing whether she should
suffer the consequences to her professional career by not going to
the appointment out of town, or to endure the pain, and go, her anger
would have been at near-incinerating intensity against her favourite
was well aware of this probability; and it hurt. Yvonne especially
admired and loved Granny for the caliber of personality whom Granny
had become. At the same time, Yvonne was painfully intimidated by
Granny's total imperviousness to the notion that Granny being alone
in their home at any time, could put Granny's safety at risk.
was a retired Captain from the Nation's Armed Forces. She had served
in two wars. She had a box-full of medals for achievements in battle.
In their home, she had twelve kinds of guns, and weapons. She still
attended gun-range practice once a month, achieving perfect scores,
so far. And, equally so far, Granny refuse to speak about, either war
wounds she might have suffered that left scars, or how many of the
enemy she had killed in battle.
was in unconditional support of Yvonne going to the out-of-town job,
interview. It was healthy for their familial relationship that Granny
was totally unaware of Yvonne's painful concern for her safety during
her, Yvonne's, absence.
some other time, Granny might have surrendered to her Granddaughter's
Granny concerns. At that point in time, however, Granny was insistent
that, because of the impending storm and the City's high crime rate,
it was safer for one of them to remain in the home at all times.
Yvonne drove off, she assured Granny she would be in constant phone
and email touch.
the hour, the snowstorm struck with unusual elemental fury. The
soldier in Granny was unaffected by the chaotic disturbance outside
by the spitefully stinging violent wind, and the blinding sheets of
upstairs, Granny's military-honed hearing discerned a particularly
different kind of acoustic energy among the myriad of storm sounds.
She went to the window above the front door.
the night darkness the swirling falling snow refracted sufficient
light to reveal a heavily-clad figure pounding on the door; its loud
unintelligible shouting was distinctly, though ever-so-feintly,
registered by Granny's perfect hearing. She pressed the intercom
button, and called out.
we cannot let you in. If the door is opened, the snow and the wind
will prevent us from closing it, again! Please, leave! I'm sorry."
figure had paused to listen, but resumed pounding with increased
vigor and louder shouting after Granny stopped speaking.
hastily and meticulously dressed for the occasion. She armed herself
with a long-gun shot-gun loaded with blanks, and a handgun, loaded
with live rounds, in a holster under her heavy military-style coat.
She had no uncertainty as to whether she would use the one gun, or
the other. Or both.
hood, which was part of her coat, was the only non-military feature
of her clothing.
went to the rear of the upstairs. She let herself down by rope
through a window, all especially installed long ago for just such a
blinding blowing swirling snow was already inches thick against the
walls of the home. The roar of the winds would make sounds of her
descent undetectable to any would-be ambushers on the ground below,
already hidden in a foot of snow.
landed, guiding herself down noiselessly. Noiselessly was unnecessary
in the storm all around, but Granny's military mode was not optional
under any circumstances.
hid the rope under the snow piling up against the wall. She unslung
the shotgun from her back. She carefully ploughed her way around the
home towards the front door. It was slow and uncomfortably difficult
progress through the unsympathetic spitefully angry weather, in night
darkness. She turned the corner, and was not surprised at what she
saw at the far corner of the wall. She had armed herself because, all
along, she had suspected the probability.
heavily clothed figures, pressing themselves tightly against the wall
in the snow; completely out of range of her upstairs window above the
front door. Although she had not seen them from her window, she had
instantly sensed such a danger attached to the figure banging on the
door, and shouting.
was certain nobody in the neighborhood would hear the shots she
fired, blanks and live.
some time during the night, the falling snow changed to rain. For the
next few hours, the City streets would be sluggish-flowing rivers of
would be no forensic evidence to link Granny to three corpses
floating far away from her home.
she was awakened at mid-morning from a sound sleep by the phone
ringing, there was no doubt in her sleepy mind whether it would be
Yvonne, or the Police.
author's name in
of the message we
won't know where to send it.)