So it would appear
We retraced out route, turning into her residential area. Then into her driveway. By now, she was excited. Sexually. I was ready. Rested, mostly anyway.
Katy let herself out of the car, and ran to the door, taking the blouse off as she ran. Holding the blouse in front of her breasts, she turned, then waved at me. That come hither wave. Then she dropped it some, showing me her left breast. I was a bit slower getting out. Mostly because of my height. Once free of the confines of her small car, I began to walk toward her. Smiling.
Coming up to the porch, she dropped the blouse completely. When I got to the steps she leaned toward me and kissed me, lightly. “Let’s go out and fuck in the back yard. Under the stars.”
Nothing could be more exquisitely sexy than that. "Neighbors?" I asked.
"They can't see where we'll be."
"Then let's go."
"C'mon, we can go through the house."
As she turned to go toward the door, that's when I felt it. Murder. Hatred. Overwhelmingly intense. I reached up with my long arm and grasped the back of her jeans, stopping her in her tracks. Turning her head to look back at me, she smiled, "Not out front." and then noticing my intensity, she was startled. "What's wrong?"
"Something's not right." I didn't want to alarm her. The murderous emotional outpouring was a distance away, but something still wasn't right. Then I looked, and saw it. The porch light helped illuminate the door in the dimming light of early evening. Just enough light that showed the door was just slightly, perhaps a half inch from being seated against the jamb. The door was poised to open if anyone just touched it. "Didn't you lock the front door when we left earlier?"
"Yes, of course. I always lock it." She stiffened, her outstretched hand had been just inches away from unlocking the door. That action would have pushed it, perhaps just slightly. I pulled her backwards, down the steps to the walkway next to me. Once again she held the pale yellow blouse up to cover her breasts with it.
"Let's just step back a ways." And I held onto the top of her jeans, pulling her back with me to the middle of the yard. We stood there, her clinging to me with one arm, The other, trembling as she covered her magnificent breasts. If only the kitchen boy from the restaurant could see her now. Paradise, barely covered.
"What do you think is going on Denny?"
"I don't know for sure. Brett. Probably."
"I thought, I, I thought you took care of him." Said as she squeezed me tightly.
"Katy, I don't know everything. I certainly don't know how this aspect of the gift works. I've only done it a few times. There is no guarantee. I just don't know. But I feel him around us."
Now she nearly broke a rib squeezing me. "Oh God Denny. I'm scared."
Getting that death grip on me broken, I turned her to look at me. "Katy, baby. He's not in the house. And I'm not certain what's going on. It's just a weird feeling. Let's try something. The door, it could be nothing. Just slightly ajar. Here." I bent over, untied my left shoe and removed it from my foot. "Stand back a bit Katy." She then backed up another five feet or so. Then with an underhand toss, I lobbed the shoe at the door. With a dull thunk it hit the door and bounced backwards toward us as the door slowly opened another inch or so.
Then the house blew up.
I don't believe that any movie, any TV show, any sort of representation of a house blowing up could ever adequately express what the reality is like. The flash, the instant brightness of the orange and reddish flames as they expand, filling the windows, the door, and even coming out the line along the house where the roof sits on the walls. Then the mushrooming flames blast the glass out of the windows. The glass shards pierce the brightness from the sudden flash of surreal colors of a glorious sunset. Those wondrous colors of a beauty universally accepted as magical, that would normally entrance, and enhance our existence. Now, the colors sparkled off the flying sharpened edges of slashing pieces of window as they hit me, Katy, everything in their path.
A movie theater can never adequately reproduce the sound, that boom. That low decibel nearly viscous pressure wave of sound that impacts our bodies and tosses us backwards as if we were leaves in the wind. Hitting the picket fence, Katy just slumps down onto the grass. Me, not so lucky. I'm taller. Thrown backwards to the fence, I flip over backwards and land on the sidewalk. Unable to breathe, the force of the explosion has knocked the wind right out of me. Rolling onto my side I struggle, a flurry of breath begins to return as I hear the motor of a car racing and look up to see a car barreling toward me. With no headlights, I can barely make it out in the last of the gloaming from the faded sunset. Move NOW! I rolled away from where I knew Katy to be against the fence, hoping to draw his attention toward me. The driver reacted, turned toward where I lay, barely moving.
Still without air, shocked from the explosion, I managed to move to a crouch. As the car screamed toward me, I jumped straight upwards and the car went under me, striking my legs and tumbling me head over heels so that I landed on the sidewalk again. Crashing through the fence, the car and driver crashed head on into a planter and tree on the left side of the cottage door. Anger, hate, murder. And with incredible vehemence now mixed with concern, awe. Neighbors were rushing up to where I was, moving again into a crouch. Breathing finally returning. Five new souls with varied emotions approached and were near. Concern mixed with that murderous intent of Brett as he opened the car door and fell out of the car. Screaming at me, at Katy, he was nearly incoherent with his threats, his accusations of ‘Bitch’ ‘Cunt’ and then at me, ‘Freak’. He was able to stand finally and came toward me, with something in his hands.
A tire iron? I didn’t know. I just didn’t want it to connect with me. With amazing grace and speed, ignoring Katy, he leaped over the picket fence that still stood and came at me with the thing held up over his head. Looking about me for something defensive, I could only see parts of the fence. Grabbing one of the pickets, I prepared myself. Just as he was a few feet from me, one of the neighbors flew into a football tackle and knocked him to the ground. More screams, more invective obscenities as he picked himself up and grabbed the tire iron again and came at me, ready to strike me down. That’s when the neighbor, still lying on the ground, swung a leg around and kicked the right leg out from under the madman. As he went flying down, I held the picket pointing upwards. It connected with his right eye, and the man fell onto the picket, and hit the ground. Rolling over onto his left side, the picket protruded from his eye socket.
Then the man just lay there twitching. As a youth I had an uncle that caught me picking my nose once. His admonishment to me was that I shouldn’t do that because if I went in too far with a finger and touched my brain, I would just lie there twitching. This is how I imagined it would be. Now, all these years later.
There was no threat from the man now. Nothing came from him at all as he continued to twitch. I began to walk over to where Katy was, and saw that she was now standing. Bloodied, her beautiful breasts had several lacerations as did her face. But she stood, was confused, was shocked. And grateful. Seeing me, she began to cry. A woman neighbor now came up and hopped over the fence to grab her, begin to move her toward the hole in the fence. Away from the burning house. As they came closer to me, she broke free and came and latched onto me with a death defying hug. I could already barely breathe, but couldn’t find it in myself to stop her.
As we moved out into the street, sirens could be heard in the distance. Cops, firemen. Either, they were needed. This was a civil action now. Stopping in our little journey, I bent over and picked up my shoe that was lying in the street. A few flames licked at the material. I beat them out. I needed that shoe, blackened, smoldering, I was pretty sure I wasn’t going to get any new ones anytime soon.
As a cop car pulled up, the neighbors walked over to the two uniformed men as they rushed over to view the carnage. I thought it best to let them describe the events, and what happened to Brett who still was twitching as he lay on the sidewalk next to the hole in the fence. The neighbor woman then looked at me, then gently grabbed Katy’s face and directed it toward her. “Katy dear, I’m going to run home real quick and get you something to wear.”
Katy nodded, numb. Then she just sat down in the street. I picked her up and took her to the sidewalk in front of the house across from hers. I knew the firemen would want a clear access. And we were just in the way. More sirens, one of the cops had run back to his patrol car and was on the radio. Probably calling for ambulances. Blood was dripping down my forehead and over my left eye. And I was unsure of my legs, pure adrenaline had gotten me to move, to carry Katy. I plopped down next to her.
We waited. The woman returned with a heavy sweater. Even though it was warm, sticky out now, the sweater was a good idea for someone in shock. “Katy, I called that emergency number you gave us, and talked to someone named Mac. He said he and your grandfather were coming. And he would call your mother as well. I hope that’s okay.”
Reaching up to shake her hand, I told her. “Yes, that’s the right thing to have done. I’m Dennis, sorry to be meeting you in such odd circumstances.”
She grasped my hand and shook it. “Hi, I’m Kathy Dickerson. That’s my husband Ron over there with the police. He’s the one that tackled that man as he came at you. I saw the whole thing. My God, this has been such a bizarre night.”
Just then the blast of air brakes, the whump whump whump of the downshifting firetruck alerted us to the newest vehicle to arrive. More sirens still in the distance. Many more to come. I watched as the firemen dragged out a hose to connect to the hydrant a house away. Then two of them came up to the police who directed one to Brett, and the other towards Katy and I.
It always amazes me that firemen are able to function in that heavy gear in the heat of summer. The firetruck rolled forward with a loud rumble of its engines. Stopping directly in front of the house, the other four men began to affix the main line from the hydrant to the pumper. Then pull out two other hoses that were quickly attached to the back of the truck. The one man in front of us began to examine Katy. As the roar of the engine increased, water came squirting out of the hoses held by firefighters near the house.
It was all pretty fascinating to watch. Again, I was distant. Aware of the reality of the world about me. Trying not to be a part of it, not to feel the emotions of all those nearby. And now the street was filled with neighbors that came out of their private realities to view the commotion that was taking place right in their neighborhood.
Responding to the fireman, Katy opened her sweater and showed him the lacerations on her chest. The man was a professional, not one thought of lust entered his mind as he checked the cuts for glass fragments.
Two more cop cars pulled up, four newcomers to the scene. A hurried conference with the first two and one began to string up the ubiquitous crime scene tape across the street to the north of the scene. Once done, he moved off towards the other end. Waiting. Two ambulances then pulled up and moved next to the firetruck still roaring as the water was spewing onto the flames. White smoke emerging from her once beautiful little home.
Ambulance EMT men were running around the firetruck to where Brett was, now out of my line of sight. One came over to me, set his kit down and began to look at the gash on my forehead. “She’s in shock, and needs you more than I do.” Pointing to Katy.
"She’s in good hands.” Then he smiled at the fireman cleaning blood off her face. He smiled back, then a nod. It’s a small world for those who helped others in a crisis. Continuing to mop off the blood, he applied a couple bandages to hold the cut closed.
“I’m not sure about my legs. I jumped up to avoid the car, but he slammed into me and they hurt like crazy.”
“Okay, let’s get your pants off and check. Can you stand. No, never mind, just lie back on the sidewalk, I can get them.” Then as I unbuckled the belt and unfastened the button, he gently pulled them down. Taking off the one remaining shoe, he took the pants off completely. As he expertly moved his hands over my legs, there was pressure in places as he manipulated the muscles. And pain. Man it hurt now. I just gritted my teeth and said nothing.
He continued, “I don’t think anything is broken, but you’re going to be black and blue tomorrow. You’re already turning colors now. We’ll still want to take you in for x-rays just to insure nothing is broken or cracked.” Removing a penlight from his pocket, he came over to my face and did that irritating shining of the pencil beam into my eyes. “Can you tell me your name?”
Stopping, he looked at me oddly. “Okay, what’s your name?”
“Dennis. That’s Katy next to me. That was her house.”
“Okay Dennis, do you know what day it is.”
“Yes, the weirdest ending to the most perfect day that ever has happened in my life.”
Katy now broke away from the same exam coming from the fireman. She lay back next to me, grasped my hand in hers, and uttered those immortal words, Words I never once cared about in my checkered past, but now found myself desperate to hear from her. “Denny, I love you.”
“Okay, both of you need to let us continue our exams, I think we can be assured that you will live another day. But let’s just make sure.” My EMT smiled at us both. Both of them helped us up to a sitting position. They then continued their ministrations and questions.
Looking over toward the end of the street where the crime scene tape lay on the ground, a black town car pulled up and Mac, Happy, Donny and Pete got out and began to run toward us. One of the cops stopped them. Mac pulled out a badge, showing it to him, they were all waved in. As they approached us, Mac’s brow was furrowed in a way I had never seen before. Deeply. Happy ran up to Katy and kneeled on the ground between her and the fireman. Then hugged her. “Are you okay honey?”
Nodding to him, she began crying again. “Oh Granpa, my house. My house. That horrible man blew it up. He tried to kill us. Oh Granpa. I was so scared.”
Hugging her tight, he began reassuring murmurs of assurance. It was only a house. She was unhurt. Katy relaxed in his arms. Content.
Then her hand reached over and grasped mine. “Denny saved my life.”
All four, and the two EMT, looked over at me now. Mac then interjected a comment. “Beginning to be a habit with you Dennis.”
“God I hope not.”
Chuckles all around. Mac continued. “Brett?”
“Brett.” I answered.
“So, not permanent?”
“So it would appear.” Unsure of what else I could add.