Day 48 – Monday

Well, its morning and it is a bleak rainy morning…in more ways than one. I am going to have to kill Ray. Today might as well be the day. Yeah, that means last night didn’t go too well.

I caught him outside just before dark. I knew what I wanted to say, how I wanted to say it, what he might do, and how I wanted to handle it. I was going to give him one chance to change his ways…but only one.

I surprised him, startled him really, he was throwing away a bunch of beer bottles. Just chucking them over the wall into the arroyo that runs behind our houses. That just made me madder, he could have at least buried them.

I hopped over our shared wall and walked right up to him, less than two feet away from him…in his bubble. I wanted him to know I was not afraid of him and I was the Alpha male to him even though I am may be 10 years older than his 50 or so age.

First thing out of my mouth was, “I know what you are doing and why. I think you are a scumbag and you leave my family and friends alone or you won’t like the outcome.” And then I just stared at him.

I will give him credit, he collected himself pretty quickly. He stepped back, “You a tough guy or something? You ain’t nothing but an old man and I will do anything I want, to anyone I want, whenever I want.”

I stuck my finger from my left hand in his chest as hard as I could, “I said stay clear of my family or you won’t live to regret it.” I was wearing my Blackhawk dropleg rig with my Sig 226. I had my right hand dangling right at the holster and the holster’s “hood” was already released and I was ready to draw. Dang, sounds like some high-noon western drama or something. I must be a tough guy…or a really inflated vision of myself. Probably the later…Competency Bias.

As I took one step to walk away I heard something, a slight sound of clothing moving, “I will kill you and your family if you threaten me again. I am in-charge here in this neighborhood. You’ll listen and obey me. You will do whatever I tell you to and that includes the Hansen’s and their pretty little daughter, his wife, or your wife.”

I was already turning and drawing at the same time. He has been fumbling with some big framed revolver but his alcohol retarded physical abilities made him slow and clumsy. I had my Sig in his face, the hammer pulled back, and my finger on the trigger. “Wrong answer Ray! Others in this neighborhood might back down from you, but I will kill you like the rodent you are.” Then I pushed the barrel of my pistol against his teeth…none too lightly. I actually heard the click when the barrel hit his teeth.

He said a terribly vulgar set of cuss words. Well, he almost said all of them. I hit him across the face with that heavy hunk of Sig steel. I split his cheek wide open, bloodied his eye…and all of that before he hit the ground. He started cussing me again and I put by size 13 boot as hard as I could into his crotch. He threw up as he was laying there moaning.

“Ray, you just got your butt whipped by an old man. Next time I will kill you if you talk about anyone’s family, wives, or daughter again. Do you hear me scumbag? I will kill you. You are a bully and a coward. I don’t like either.” I walked away while he alternated between cussing me and moaning, all the time holding his crotch.

I will have to kill him. A rodent like that will seek revenge and it won’t be me he goes for. He will try to hurt me even more by going for someone really vulnerable that I am trying to protect.

He’s gotta die…and he will.

What surprised me…as I was jumping the wall back into my own yard I saw Jared briefly in the shadows. He nodded to me and then just slipped away. It started to creep me out but then this feeling of calm came over me. There is a lot to this Jared kid. Where did this clam feeling come from…it was like a really gentle, light puff of breeze.

On a more positive note last night at dinner it was unanimous…the Hurston family is in. They are going to move in today. They are going to live in our garage. We have a three car garage which is plenty of room. We will push Lisa’s Explorer out to the driveway and they will set up housekeeping from there.

Ken is a tall guy, maybe 6’ 5”. His wife is as tall as me. Those boys are boy over 6’ maybe 6’ 2”. The girls are probably 5’ 7” and freaking knockout good looking. Ken has a pile of trouble on his hands with them for sure. It will only add to the trouble with Ray once he sees them. But, I am going to take care of him before it becomes a problem.

Jared is the one that really took me by surprise. He was voted in as well. Jim had some reservations but his daughter Morgan really pleaded Jared’s case. She is obviously sweet on him. And here is the good thing about Jared…he was super polite and respectful of everyone. But here are the Hurston girls, better looking that Morgan, and Jared pays them no attention at all. Anyone could see that he had eyes for Morgan. Jim wasn’t crazy about it but still voted him in anyways.

I talked to Jared later and got a couple surprises. He is almost 22. He joined the Army the day he turned 17. He went through Ranger school and spent a total of 18 months in Afghanistan. His MOS is 94E I think he said, something to do with radios. This kid has ZERO body fat, but hides it well under loose clothing. I watched him and he moves like a predator…a lion or tiger.

After dinner I saw him slip out the back door…right after Morgan did. I was maybe 20 seconds behind him. I figured I would catch them kissing. Nope! He was holding her hand and they were talking. I walked right up and suggested Morgan go help with the dishes while Jared and I talked.

“You know if Jim doesn’t kill you, I will.” acme out before I could stop myself.

“Yes sir, I understand. That is why nothing is happening and nothing will happen. I promise.”

“Jared, it’s not me you have to convince of that. And just how old are you?”

“I am 21, I will be 22 in August.”

“Jared, Morgan is 12…12 years old. How does that work out for you?

“I have no idea sir. I just can’t explain it. She is the person I am supposed to spend the rest of my life with. If I have to wait 5 or 6 more years I will do it. Sir, I just can’t help it…it is what is supposed to happen. It’s an eternal thing.”

Man, the kid has it bad. “Look I get it. The times we live in, the hormones, she’s a good looking kid, and you have a ‘feeling’ but right is still right, and wrong could get you killed by her father…or his best friend.”

“Sir, I told you that nothing will happen. I don’t lie and my word means something. And that is the second time you’ve threatened me. People never get a second chance. You are the only exception. There won’t be a third time.”

At that point I was humbled…in more ways than one. For one, I believe this kid, he is honorable. Two, I felt like a cat who just burned one of his nine lives. “OK, just remember who you are and who she is…a kid. Treat her like the most precious procession you will ever have.”

“No sir! Not ‘like’ the most precious possession…she IS the most precious person in the world to me. Sir, can you answer me a question?” he didn’t wait for an answer, “Are you going to kill the scumbag next door or do I have to?”

“I will, I have more justification to.”

“Copy that sir. I will have your six,” as he hopped the back wall and was gone.

Here’s an interesting bit of fact. The back wall that lines our yard with the arroyo has a 6 – 8 feet wide swath of serious cactus running alongside it. I looked and he had landed perfect in between some cactus and walked through the rest as he left without getting touched. The guy is a freaking ghost.

And one more thing…I am not telling Jim what Jared told me. Jim would freak out, I know I would. But, the kid is 100% golden in my book. I like him and he is going to be a great asset to have around.



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