Staying home alone was popular long before the movie. In the country, when there were only two choices:
a. go fishing with my parents until the wee hours of the morning, or b. stay home alone, I pretty much always
chose to stay home alone. I needed my alone time since much of the fishing trips were about my Mom and Dad
gritching at each other over which eddy to fish or how going to shore was too costly to the numbers of fish to be
caught. Staying home alone meant that i could listen to the Whiper Will without interruption. The frog peep
convention would be mine to take in and mine alone. The uprising of the evenig breeze would be free of my
Fathers cigerette smoke.
This time I again chose to stay home ALONE.
My mother always dropped a dooming statement when she disagreed with my choices. Her remark was
more foreboding than usual;
"I've heard people talking about a strange man walking around in these parts..." she said.
Never did she fail to purce her lips and exit with her proud quiet knowing.
I was nine for heavens sake. I walked in the woods every day without any calamity or injury. How would
staying home in a house be dangerous?
All went well through the daylight hours. Somehow the light slipped away without me first getting to the
doors to lock them. I had just locked both of the doors front and
back when the first noise came. Our dog, Frisco barking and circling the house, a usual occurence, didn't
frighten me. He was often engaged in driving skunks out of the bushes around the house. The barking was
likely to be the response to Friscos' nightly sport. Before I had switched on the first lights of the evening
it came.KNOCK, KNOCK, KNOCK on the front door. The startle was so grand that cold sweat instantly
broke out on my face...then I felt clammy all over. Again, KNOCK, KNOCK, KNOCK. My knees felt weak
and my breathing retreated to a slow, faint, inadudible intake of air. My mind raced with problem solving
ideas...I could move down to the basement, ever so carefully and hide myself in the pile of dirty clothes.
The basement held too many hazards. There were no railings on the stairs and without
turning on lights that would alert the "Prowler." I would likely fall. I could hide in a
Bedroom closet,but my mother had mouse traps in the closets that were set and ready to clip off one of my
bare toes. All closets were stuffed with jars for canning, garden tools that could amputate an
appendage, or seed potatoes and onion sets waiting to be planted the next day. The the only solution
dawned on me. I must get one of my Dads guns, load it and stand to the side of the front door. That was the
bravest and most self-protecting thing I could do. Robin Hood was my favorite TV show, I knew how to
carry the whole thing out. I had memorized the 22 riffle by feel. It is the only one that my Dad let me use for
squirrel hunting. The shells were just as easily recognized by brailing through the amunition. In very little
time I had my weapon manded and my bodypressed hard against the wall next to the front door. I heard a
KNOCK KNOCK KNOCK on the back door...but I couldn't budge. I would have to wait it out unless the
prowler broke in. Then I would flash on the lights and fire. It seemed like hours had gone by. I had sweated
through my T shirt and my shorts. After a good long while I heard Frisco barking outside. There was a
scratch at the front door. I slid down to a crouching position. I trusted Frisco. He wouldn't be doing
that unless the coast was clear. Leaving the lights off, I slowly got the gun and shells placed back in the gun
cabinet. I let Frisco in for a drink and a treat. After some throwing off of the jitters I finally fell asleep on the
living room couch. When my parents returned they were surprised to find me not afraid and asked if
anything had happened that scared me. I successfully denied any occurences and assured them that I was
quite grown up and unafraid.
Several years later i learned that when my parents stopped at my Uncle Irvins' to get some fish bate, they
told him that I was home alone against their best advice. He had taken it upon himself to drive up to our
house, park a walking distance away and snuck up to give me a scare by knocking on both doors. He had
put our dog Frisco in his truck, turned off his truck lights, and carried out his shinanigan....a failed lesson.
Their reasoning was that I would feel so frieghtened that i would elect to go fishing with them every time
I won. I didn't ever go fishing with them again.
Chapter 2 The Fallen Wild Angel;
"Born to be Wild, Born to be Wild. Born to be Wild."
Debbie sang from her bedroom window. She had the album playing, but it was low so that her voice was the lead belting out into the country side. The audience was invisible to everyone but Debbie. The cows made comment, but, they were considered to be in standing room only. Over and over Debbie reset the needle to the second groove on the album. Flawless in her delivery the crowd went wild everytime she started the song again. It helped to enliven the onlookers when she wore her cow girl boots. They were definitely knock offs...maybe from JC Penny, but from a distance, they were high dollar boots that complimented her frayed out cut-offs. Sometimes she faced the mirror with her hairbrush as the microphone. The image pleased her with the gleaming smile and silky hair. with well defined high lights. She could hear how everyone spoke of her specialness. She was pretty, she was unobtainable which made her even more in demand. She was sweet, yet very strong and down right obstinate when needed. She could wrestle any boy to the floor and walk away with a complete feminine swerve of the hips. Debbie liked her style and image. Everyone else was baffled by her. She didn't fit in. Exhalted as special, but no one seemed to want to be very close. They didn't know how to be close to her. She spoke a different language than the rest of the small towns' people. She knew something that no one else knew and it made them uncomfortable. They didn't know why they were uncomfortable, so they made stuff up that wasn't true. It just explained it all away.
Debbie always made it home first after school. Dennis, her brother, staye after for baseball practice or a game. Terrie, her sister, always headed to the refrigerator for a snack and then to the TV for nurturing. Today was a day to behold with excitement. Sitting on the car port in contrast to the yellow cubby hole doors, was the metallic blue Honda motor cycle. It had chrome details, blinker lights, chrome muffler, and a sound that made any rider feel powerful.