Lynn drove aimlessly for awhile, trying to calm the kids and reassure them that she would get their jackets and while, no, they would not be having Thanksgiving with their Dad, they could still have an enjoyable Thanksgiving. She had no idea how, she didn’t even have an idea of how to get into her own apartment let alone get back her purse and the KEYS – those were never to be out of her sight and she had been foolish to carry them. She hadn’t wanted to leave them in the apartment while she went to her sisters so she just hooked her set of keys to them and never gave it a second thought. For a fleeting moment she thought of going to the police for help but dismissed that as useless after her earlier encounter with the Lieutenant. She could lose her job if she admitted to her boss that the keys were in Bill’s possession and besides he and his family were out of town for the Holiday.

This was not the first time she had been at a complete loss of what to do but her defenses had not been as necessary these past months and she had relaxed her guard and her ability to always come up with a plan – no matter how insane it might look to an outsider – she and the kids had survived. Without her purse or money they couldn’t get a motel room. All she had was a full tank of gas and a car keeping them warm from the weather that had turned quite ugly. What had been mist, was now freezing on the windshield, pushing the thought of trying to make it to her sister’s completely out of the question. As it was, she had great difficulty seeing at night and the hour and a half drive was more than she could manage.

They were near the apartment complex that held her main office. Out of habit, more than thought, she pulled into the parking lot stopping the car and then reversed their direction as an idea grew in her head. There was someone. It would be a stretch to catch him at home but he could get their belongings back from Bill, if he would. He had said he owed her one when she kept him from being evicted from his apartment over a year before. While his affiliations were well known and feared, his presence at her complex had proved to be far less dangerous than the wanna-be hoodlums that had cropped up in the neighborhood. This was his house and none of them came near it. While Bill rarely backed down from anyone, even he knew this man would go to whatever lengths necessary to get whatever he was after.

Half an hour later, Lynn unlocked the door to their apartment and hurried the kids inside. She made cocoa for all of them and spent time trying to reassure them both that things would be all right. Exhausted from their night and after having the scratch on his face fussed over and bandaged, Tim fell asleep in her arms. Traci, older and more aware, asked her if they were safe in the apartment. Carrying Tim, and biding Traci to follow she tucked each into their beds. “Yes”, she told her daughter, “We will be safe. You can close your eyes now and sleep and tomorrow we’ll find a nice place to have dinner. Then maybe we can see if the arcade is open and you can try to beat your brother at Donkey Kong.” Traci smiled in anticipation as her eyelids closed and her breath was soon even and slow.

In her bedroom, Lynn was unpacking her bag and those of the kids when she remembered what Chance and told her. “That mother won’t be givin ya no grief tonight and words been said to leave ya be. You tell Chance if it’s any different. And check your pocket. I left ya a little safety there too.” She had gathered their jackets and bags quickly from the trunk and until now hadn’t noticed the heft of hers. She unzipped the inside pocket and cold metal met her hand. She pulled out a small caliber Smith & Wesson, fully loaded, safety on.

She changed into warm pajamas and headed downstairs with a pillow, blanket and the gun. Lynn had only shot a gun twice in her life, an M-16 that had nearly ripped her shoulder off. Her first husband, a Nam Vet, insisted she practice shooting at cans one afternoon when he was having “a few” and he’d laughed his ass off as she was knocked to hers. She lay on the sofa, head facing the front door, the gun under her pillow. Fearing she might blow off her own head, she stuck it down in the cushions but kept her hand near. Could she use it if she had to? Could she shoot Tim’s father? If her son hated her now and thought she was crazy, what if she had to shoot Bill? What if she missed? What if he took the gun away from her and used it on her? Where would she hide this so the kids couldn’t get a hold of it? They had already proven their snooping skills the year before when she found Christmas presents not so convincingly re-wrapped in hiding places she had been sure were fool proof.

Morning had come swiftly leaving Lynn bone tired and on edge from the night before. Despite her efforts to make the most possible of the day, they ended up at a small chain restaurant and Thanksgiving dinner was not on their menu. It was hard to even make small talk and neither of the kids seemed very interested in what she had to say anyway. Hoping for better moods after two and a half mind numbing hours at the arcade and then driving around trying to find something else open where they could kill some time, both proved fruitless. She was relieved when some of the neighbor kids, let lose to play in the courtyard of the apartments, pounded on her door pleading for Tim and Traci to come out. She spent the next half hour trying out various hiding places for the gun that she had stuck in a dirty clothes hamper in her bedroom as a temporary home that morning.

Knowing she couldn’t spend the rest of her life sleeping on the couch, if for no other reason than the look she got from Traci that morning, she decided the gun had to be kept upstairs. She finally decided on a heat register in her bedroom that was no longer functional but had not been removed when central air had been installed. She removed the screws and used Elmer’s glue to hold the cover back in place, praying it would hold well enough to keep the face plate on but be pliable enough for her to retrieve the gun quickly if it became necessary.

Comments 14 comments

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ralwus 6 years ago

I don't see how the gun will do you any good there, but it is safe and out of reach of kids. I hope you never had to use it and will just have to wait and see. PG, this is one hell of a story so far. Thanks for sharing it. Charlie

Poohgranma profile image

Poohgranma 6 years ago from On the edge Author

The thought was, well I can't tell you now, can I? Women with guns ... corrected SOME women with guns probably feel protected just by their presence, but some are forced to use them when there is no other way.

Thanks for reading it, and, as always, your comments mean so much!

SomewayOuttaHere profile image

SomewayOuttaHere 6 years ago from TheGreatGigInTheSky

...wow...Chance really feared for your safety....good writing PG...

Poohgranma profile image

Poohgranma 6 years ago from On the edge Author

SOH - It was the way Chance dealt with things and not that extraordinary to him. Most of the women he knew either had men or friends to protect them or the women took "what they had comin" if it involved one of his group. They didn't mess in each others business. But to him, I was in a position of power over something important to him and I'm pretty sure he didn't give it a second thought but just acted out of instinct.

Scarlett My Dear profile image

Scarlett My Dear 6 years ago from Missouri

I can feel your courage! Even now as you write. ~Love

Poohgranma profile image

Poohgranma 6 years ago from On the edge Author

Scarlett - I don't know how much was courage and how much was just being backed into a corner. When you have to go through, to get out, there isn't much else you can do and I'd had enough of a taste of living different to never want anything as badly as out.

Scarlett My Dear profile image

Scarlett My Dear 6 years ago from Missouri

Absolutely courage! You did not withdraw ~ you stayed the course.

QudsiaP1 profile image

QudsiaP1 6 years ago

Courage in the face of adversity... Courage in the face of fear itself.

stars439 profile image

stars439 5 years ago from Louisiana, The Magnolia and Pelican State.

Wonderful Work. God Bless You.

Poohgranma profile image

Poohgranma 5 years ago from On the edge Author

Thank you stars. Lynn could have used someone like you back then in Law Enforcement to stand guard outside of the door to shoot any trespassers!!!

Minnetonka Twin profile image

Minnetonka Twin 5 years ago from Minnesota

Speaking of law enforcement, I am glad there has been some headway when it comes to domestic abuse and educating law enforcement. There is still a long way to go to keep women safe from their abusers and men from theirs. I am so sorry for all the pain and struggle you have endured but I know it has made you who you are which is "Perfect."

Poohgranma profile image

Poohgranma 5 years ago from On the edge Author

You are so very kind. I am very very far from perfect, but my life with my husband now, of nearly 23 years, has been doubly blessed by knowing what love really is and remembering what it is not!

Healing Touch profile image

Healing Touch 5 years ago from Minnetonka, MN

Your a solid, warrior, I also hope you need not use it, or the that the kids don't find it.

One tip for all women I now teach after my abuse. If the person practicing violence against you wont let you use your cell or phone, it is a felony.


Poohgranma profile image

Poohgranma 5 years ago from On the edge Author

Whoa, you need to write a hub yourself with any tips you are aware of like this! My tips are outdated and I really didn't have many. If you write one, I'd be proud to link it to this series!

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