LIFE AND DEATHFluentella Tales: Episode 4
Being the youngest has always made me slightly uncomfortable. It has often left me feeling uneasy… feelings of wanting to kick the bucket always seemed easier to slip into. I know that these thoughts aren’t healthy and as my psychologist would say, “Oh, do pick yourself up, brighter days are coming”. I have never quite understood her optimism but I have nevertheless had to get over certain situations with suppression. I have always been seen as the baby of the family so my point of view has never mattered much. I have never been quite old enough to voice my opinions or be taken seriously. One could say that I had a fairly average childhood. A girl from a small town who spent most of her time playing football instead of playing with dolls. This was supposedly one of the many reasons why I could never let my hair down and why the kids from way back nicknamed me Betty Boy. Betty, from Elizabeth, means dedication. I have lots of dedication. But the anxiety of always trying to prove myself has kept me on the edge for the majority of my life.
And so here I was between life and death.. What an eventful night, I had to keep reminding myself that it was indeed still Christmas eve. Instead of deciding which dessert to dig into first, tonight I’m conflicted with trying to save my family from a group of armed men. Our night was full of life… but that all died away before we could even slice the turkey. This is my chance to prove my loyalty and strength to my family, I reassure myself. Hopefully, they can learn to bury the hatchet and see how important we are to each other.
It feels like hours ago that I headed to the basement to check on the furnace. The unknown men upstairs had no idea I was down here. As I hide in the basement calmly trying to load the gun I got out of grandpa’s safe, I realize that the noise has died down upstairs when all of a sudden I hear a gunshot. I’m not sure where everyone is, but at some point, I heard my brother in law scream my sisters’ name. At least they have each other to live for or to worry about. I have no one. Unlike them, I have nothing to lose. I quickly unlatch the safety and slip up the staircase. None of them will be expecting me. Flight or fight… I would obviously fall in the latter. I am a dangerous woman passing through, not just through these familiar walls and floors filled with so many memories but through life. I am not scared of the other side nor do I fear the journey that will one day get me there. Tonight, I will pull through and be the hero.
In the darkness, as I glide down the hall, I see a mild light flashing under what seems to be an object unidentified to me. The house has been turned upside down and the stench of foreign cologne fills up my lungs. Deep, silent breaths are the only way I will be able to do what I need to do. I bite the bullet and head towards it, it’s my mother’s mobile phone. She must have dropped it during the confusion just moments before. Using it will only bring attention to me and that’s the last thing I need right now. I do hope I haven’t brought a knife to a gunfight. While deep in thought, someone passes me and I fire my first shot. Straight to the chest. The target lands on the ground lifeless.
I hear a few shuffles as the men try to figure out what just happened. This gives me a chance to suss out the enemy and with fearlessness in my eyes, I soldier on, ready to do the dirty work, one intruder at a time. Tonight I have fully immersed myself in the complexities of my nature. Russian roulette is a game for fools because someone has to bite the dust. This is an intrusion and it makes me see red…
RIP to the bad guys. One down… I wonder how many more to go?
To be continued.
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Life and death idioms / expressions
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