When a Gun For Protection Becomes a Liability! (True Story)
Our Neighbor and her Daughter
Reminded of the Past
Christmas day, when my brother came to visit and we were reminiscing about when we were kids. I had not thought about the chaos of that day in years, that made my “Bad Hair Day,” seem like a walk in the park, until my brother Darrell mentioned the scar on his forehead, which surprised me because he was so small, I did not think he would remember any of that day.
Although what happened to Mom was no secret, I don’t know if my brother was ever told what happened that day.
Moving to a Safer Place
After my mom shot a prowler that had been sneaking around our house, when my dad was a soldier over seas in the Army of WWII. To begin with Mom had never felt safe in that house. Mom had moved into the house in Mount Hope because it was on a cotton farm and she had agreed to pick cotton for the owner, and now that the cotton picking season was coming to an end, she decided to move to a nearby town. I don’t remember the name of the town; we were only there for a few days.
The house was located on a dirt road, on the edge of town. As I remember it was a new house that the builder could not afford to complete so he decided to rent it to Mom.
The four rooms that were completed and livable were very nice and Mom was happy to be moving into a new house.
Polly stayed to play
The Blood Curddling Scream
The weeds were high all around the house and Mom wanted to cut them before tackling the unpacking, I don’t know where the weed sling (a double edged blade on a handle connected on each end of the blade) came from, but it was there and Mom started to cut the weeds.
I was holding my baby brother and watching Mom at work on the Weeds.
The weed sling was a new tool to Mom, but she soon got the hang or maybe I should say the sling of it and was too busy to see my brother, a toddler, had crawled down the steps and was toddling up behind her.
As Mom swung the weed sling back my brother let out a blood curdling scream, Mom dropped the weed sling and cradled my brother in her arms and yelled for me to run to the nearest house and ask them for help, as we did not have a phone or a car.
I have no memory of how my brother got stitched or patched up, but he had a cut on his forehead that left him with a scar he still has today. I surmise that our new neighbors took Mom and my brother to a doctor they knew and their daughter Polly babysat me and my baby brother.
After my brother Darrell was taken care of and my six month old baby brother Tony were put to bed for a nap, my new friend, Polly our neighbor's daughter, stayed to play for a while.
I was about five or six years old at the time and Polly was about six years older.
When my aunt and three cousins arrived, to help Mom unpack and get us settled into our new home. My new friend, Polly went home.
My aunt had divorced her husband (W.C.) a few years previously and had been stalked by him from that time. Being a coward he never stalked her when she was at my grandparents’ house, but, somehow he knew she was at our house and he followed her there and just opened the door and walked in.
He wanted my Aunt to leave with him. When she refused, he started hitting my cousin, his son with his fist. He told my Aunt she could stop the beating if she would leave with him.
Pampa and Mammaw
The stalker did not think Mom would pull the trigger
Mom’s shotgun was leaning against the window sill. Mom picked up the shotgun and aimed it at the stalker, (my aunt’s ex-husband) and she told him “you are not going to beat that boy anymore.” Arrogantly he pulls his shirt open and said “go ahead if you got the guts.” William C. didn’t think Mom could or would pull the trigger.
What happened next was like being in a very bad dream. It was over in an instant. Mom held the 12 gage, double barrel shotgun to her shoulder and squeezed both triggers at the same time, and all that could be heard was a click.
With two strides he was across the room and grabbed the barrel and he swung the gun like a baseball bat hitting Mom across the face. Blood was gushing from her nose and my aunt’s screams awakened my brothers and they began to scream.
I only knew I had to get help for my Mom, so I picked-up my baby brother and took the toddler by the hand and again went to the neighbor’s house. When they saw the blood splattered on me, they called the police then went to help Mom. I thought that she was dead.
An ambulance came and took Mom to the hospital. Then somehow the neighbors had gotten in touch with my grandparents and they came and got us. When we got to the hospital, I wanted to see Mom and was not allowed because I was a child. I thought Mom was going to die.
We then went back to the house and my grandparents put our unpacked clothing into the car and we headed for their house.
Pampa was not the best driver and I don’t know if he was sleepy or what but he ran off the road and scraped the side of the car against a tree. I vaguely remember hitting my nose against the back of the seat and it was bleeding. My baby brother who was asleep in my lap, but did not even wake up. Mamma was holding the toddler brother in the front seat and, he was also asleep.
Pampa got the car back on the road and we made it to their house, and there on the porch were my three cousins. They said their mom left them there and went with their father so he would not harm them any more.
W.C. knew that my grandfather would be at the hospital for my mom and, he could go to the farm without fear, and leave my cousins.
A few days after the incident, my grandparents received a letter from my aunt telling them that W.C. was attacked by some men and beaten so badly he was in the hospital and she was leaving him, it was her chance to get away from him, she was going to Chicago, she would let them know when she found a job and a place to live and would come for her children when she felt it was safe to do so.
Mom’s nose was broken; she was in the hospital for several weeks, and when she was released she moved to South Bend, Indiana, leaving me and my brothers with our grandparents. She said she would come for us when she found a job and a place to live.
My grandparents, now had six grandchildren to care for, but at least they had some help in running the farm.
What happened to the Shotgun?
It would have been a totally different outcome had the shotgun not been leaning against the window sill of the open window when it was raining earlier in the day and the shells got wet, causing it to misfire.
I don’t think Mom ever found out what happened to the shotgun. Did W.C. take it? Did the Police take it? Was it left in the house?
What happened to W.C.? When he got out of the hospital, we heard from some of his relatives that he was driving drunk and went off a bridge that did not have sides, he did not survive the crash.
© 2013 Shyron E Shenko