I am no longer alone.
I woke up this morning to the sounds of something scratching at the door. I have rigged up some flood lights around the house on a remote. I hit the button and grabbed my .357 before I opened the bedroom window. I was ready to blast whatever the fuck it was back to Hell, but I did not see anything. The back door and patio were invisible from this angle, so in order to check there I would have to go downstairs and look through the big glass door in the dining room. I ran down the stairs, taking them two at a time. The lights came on in the dining room at my entrance, but that did not help visibility. Looking through a glass window at night with the lights on inside, all you get is a reflection of the room you are in. I hit the lights and looked through the window.
At first I did not see anything. It was a warm June night. Hot and humid, the air had been dead all day. No breeze to cool you off. But it had cooled off considerably as night had fallen. A breeze had even picked up. Were I not so damn terrified of the night recently I would have sat out of the patio and enjoyed the weather. Me and Lisa used to do that all the time when we first got married. A lightning bug flashed back by the pool and then another. Then I saw something dark moving out by the big gas grill. I reacted instinctively and fired. The center of the big glass window exploded outward and the rest collapsed in a shower of glass pebbles. If you have never fired a really big gun before you would not believe how loud they can be, especially in an enclosed space. The sheer force of the sound would have been enough to blow the window out. I was not fully prepared for the kick of the gun. My shot went wild and the big ornamental thermometer hanging from one of the awning posts shattered violently. The thing started screaming and I pointed the gun at it again, better braced this time. I was not going to miss.
I took a step forward to get a better angle and that was when I saw the hand. It was a child's hand sticking out from under the blanket. I stepped out through the broken glass and snatched the blanket away.
The girl cannot be more than four. She is thin and filthy and scratched all up. She tried to bolt but I already had firm hold of her wrist. She screamed and kicked some more. I managed to get her in a bear hug but almost dropped her when she kicked me in the groin. I stood there unable to breath for a few moments but eventually the pain subsided. By that time her kicking had stopped and her screams had turned to sobs. I held her for a while and before I knew it she was asleep. I managed to get her onto the couch without waking her and wrapped her in a blanket.
Not sure what the Hell I am going to do now. I have never raised a kid. The thought of raising one by myself is intimidating enough, but in this situation it is downright terrifying. Judging by her condition she has no one else though. I just hope I can earn her trust enough to keep her from running off.
© 2009 R. Keith McBride