Stranded Hope A Real Family Man
By Blake Caliguiri
There was a huge clump of dirt in my eye; I had fallen flat on my face getting out of the truck.
“This has to be either good luck, or a terrible omen,” I thought to myself as I rubbed my blind eye with my dirty hand.
I stood there for a moment, washing my eye out, washing my hands; lather, rinse, repeat. I used up most of my gallon of water cleaning myself up. I should have turned around right then and there, made the smart decision. Instead, I now live with memories I can’t forget.
So away from the truck I stepped. I began trekking through the thick brush, pushing aside branches as more were whipping me in the face. I stepped down hard once I was beyond all of those whipping pine needle-covered branches. I walked through the mud with my gun in hand. I heard branches crackling in the distance. So I crept closer to it. My gun was cocked and ready to kill the next living thing that jumped in front of me.
Suddenly some … thing jumped out in front of me. It was on the right side of me; out of the corner of my eye I saw a dark figure. I had no idea what it was. So I pulled the trigger (instinct took over and I didn’t know what I was doing). I looked down and it was a woman. My shotgun blasted a hole in her chest so big you could put a bowling ball through it. Her arms were covered in sores (green sores with black bruises surrounding them).
I was convinced I just killed this woman and that is how the court will see it. I picked her up and carried her to the truck. I grabbed a big tarp and wrapped her up in it. I was covered in this woman’s blood. I threw her in the back of the truck and started the long drive home.
I remember rubbing my stained hands on the front of my flannel shirt. I remember the stink. It stunk like old blood and I could taste it in my mouth. I had to pull the car over once or twice on that ride home. I couldn’t seem to get myself home. I was so scared. My kids would know their father was a murderer. I was so concerned with what was waiting at home that I didn’t think about the rotting mess in the back of the truck.
I pulled into the garage and I slowly walked into the house. It was dark by now and it was late. I went into the bathroom and took off all my clothes and fell into the shower. I scrubbed mercifully for what felt like half an hour. I got out and went into the bedroom.
The red light of the alarm clock illuminated my wife’s face. There was a streak of sunshine sneaking into the room from the crack of the shade. She stirred slightly as I climbed into bed. That streak of sun soon illuminated the entire room.
I woke up alone. I walked out into the living room. The garage door was left open. I walked out expecting to find my wife standing near the dryer, folding laundry. I expected to see her standing there, period. Instead she laid on the floor, clutching my two children. The tarp that was wrapped around the body was laying half out of the truck. The woman with the bowling ball through her chest rose from behind the truck. I made the move for the cab of the truck. She made the move for me. I leapt into the front of the truck to grab my gun. I almost blew my foot off but I shot her in the face; nearly took her head clean off. I climbed out of the truck still clutching my gun. I sat in the frame of the door to the house looking at my pile of a family. I prayed, I closed my eyes, I prayed, I begged them to stay dead, to stay there.
My wife’s hand began to twitch first. I rolled her onto her back and her eyes slowly began to open. With tears in my eyes I cocked my gun. I stared into her lifeless eyes and raised the barrel. Then the children began to move. That was the day that it all changed.
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Published November 12, 2009
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