Mama and the Prowler
Mama sat in the dark house, in front of the open window, in a straight back wooden chair, the 12 gage, double barrel shotgun across her knees.
Mama, I and my two baby brothers lived at the foot of a Mountain, where a spot had been cleared for the house. The house sat on a plateau about six feet higher than the gravel road with steps leading up to the plateau.
We lived across the road from the cotton fields.
The land across the road was flat as far as one could see, in that direction, and all planted in cotton fields, where we (me and 3 of my cousins and Mama) would hoe cotton in the spring, and early summer, and pick cotton in the late summer, and early fall, to earn the money to pay our rent, on the three room, log house, with a tin roof.
Mama said the reason for the rocks, and noise was to find out if she had a gun.
For over a week, someone had been throwing rocks at the tin roof, which would slide down and land on the ground with a thud, and the rocks made an awful racket.
I remember following Mama from window to window in the darkness, peering out to see if she could see who was out there in the night, so she would not be surprised by someone, climbing through one of the windows, but it was unlikely that the prowler would go to the rear of the house, for fear of stepping on a snake.
Dad was in service, and stationed in Egypt, and whoever was out there must have known that, and knew that Mama was alone, with three little kids, but he did not know about the shotgun.
Mama said the reason for the rocks, and noise was to find out if she had a gun in the house, but Mama had no intensions of letting the prowler know about the shotgun, until the time was right.
We lived miles from the nearest one horse town/store, on the gravel road, and to see a car was very unusual. Our, nearest neighbor, and landlord, Mr. Alexander, lived about a quarter mile away.
Tonight is the night honey, Mama whispered to me.
On one, particular night, there was no racket, no rocks thrown at the tin roof, and Mama sat in the dark house, in front of the open window, in a straight back wooden chair, the 12 gage, double barrel shotgun loaded with buck shot across her knees.
Tonight is the night, honey. Mama whispered to me, as I sat quietly on the wooden floor, holding onto the hem of her robe.
Mama sat up straighter in the wooden chair, and raised the shotgun to her shoulder and waited.
A car passed our house, and a little way down the road, it stopped, and the lights went out. Mama sat up straighter in the wooden chair, and raised the shotgun to her shoulder and waited.
The wait was not long.
The moonlight, that night was so bright, you could see the gravel road.
The steps to the plateau led to a narrow path that led to two more steps to get upon the porch, and on each side of the steps to the porch was a potted tree, about as tall as Mama (5 feet 2 inch). The moonlight, that night was so bright, you could see the gravel road, and the narrow path that led to the front porch, and the outline of the potted trees.
Mama pulled both triggers
Mama could see the figure of a man crawling up the steps to the path. We could see the man at the top of the steps was on all fours and with each move forward, he stood a little more. Mama sat still like a statue, and the figure crept closer, and closer, he took the first step to the porch, then second step, and just as the prowler lifted his foot to step onto the porch, "POW" because she pulled both triggers at once there was only one POW.
I only heard one shot, but because of the two holes in the window screen, and because all the leaves were gone from both the potted trees, that told me that, Mama had pulled both triggers.
The figure jumped as high as the two twigs that were once lush potted trees (the potted trees, must have saved the prowler from some of the buck-shot), and he landed on the path, on his backside, and the shotgun kicked Mama over backwards, chair and all, but before the man could get up off the ground, Mama was on her knees with the shotgun re-loaded.
Mama told him "you don't prowl around my house and get away with it.
Who are you? Mama yelled at him, and he told her his name, and he was someone that my Dad knew, and that was how he knew that Mama was alone. What are you doing around my house? Mama asked him. Just prowling around the prowler said. Mama told him "you don't prowl around my house and get away with it, and if I were you, I would get out of here as fast as I could, because my landlord lives just down the road and I am sure he heard my shots."
The prowler leaped down onto the gravel road, and we could hear gun shots, as Mr. Alexander shot at him.
The next day Mama was really angry. We had twigs for the potted trees on each side of the porch, and two big holes in the window screen, which would need repair/replaced. But I was no longer afraid of the dark, as long as my Mama had her shotgun.
Later that day, a friend of Mama's picked us up and took us to the nearest, big town, I think it had about five stores and a court house. We saw the prowler coming out of the one and only doctor's office, when he saw Mama, he ran down the street, in the opposite direction.
I have often wondered, if the prowler, explained to the doctor, how he got buck-shot in his pants, or should I say lead? And how he could run so fast after what he had been through the night before.
© 2012 Shyron E Shenko