Miss Scarlett in the Bedroom with the Candlestick

Playing “Clue”? No!  If I’d had a gun instead of a brass candlestick, he’d be dead! Wait!  Let’s back up 40+ years to a cozy hunting cabin half way up a mountain, at least what Easterners call a mountain. With our home secluded in the Pennsylvania woods, we never locked our cars or our door.  No one ever drove up our gravel road at night. The Rizzo family including Dusty, our cat, and Penny, our border collie, were asleep when I awakened with a start at the squeaking of our kitchen door being opened.  I listened until I heard it squeak shut.  Figuring I must have imagined it, I strained to listen for any additional unaccounted noises.  Could one of our girls be walking in her sleep, I wondered.  Hearing the thud of heavy footsteps crossing the kitchen floor quickly dispelled that possibility.

The girls’  bedrooms were at one end of our little cabin while Richard and my bedroom was at the opposite end, past the kitchen, dining and living room.  Hearing the floor boards in the dining room creak, I poked my hubby.  “Richard!  There’s someone in the house,” I hissed.  His reply was a monosyllabic grunt. I shook his shoulder.   “Richard!  Wake up! Someone’s in the house!”  More grunting followed as he rolled over to face the other wall.  I knew for certain our intruder, whoever he was, was between me and my sleeping babies! The Mama bear in me surged with adrenalin.  I had to do something!

What do I do?  I spied moonlight glinting off a heavy brass candle holder atop my dresser.  After one more failed attempt to waken my spouse, I leaped out of bed, removed the candle from it’s holder and grasped the heavy brass object like a baseball bat, and then, slipped across the room to the space behind our bedroom door.  My heart raced faster at the sight of a flashlight beam sweeping across the wall outside our bedroom.  The footsteps crossing the linoleum in front of our main door thundered in the silence of the night.  “Oh dear God,” I whispered, “Help me to  aim right!”

I lifted the candle stick above my head as the form of a very tall man filled the bedroom doorway.  I held my breath for an instant as he stepped across the door jamb.  And then I let loose a sustained high C, making an operatic soprano proud and swung the candle stick at the man’s head.  He grabbed my wrist.  For an instant we struggled in mortal combat.

My scream startled my hubby  to his feet.  He banged his shin on the bed frame which started him yelping. Sleeping outside the back door, Penny, our collie, heard the commotion and began barking and lunging at the the door. Awakened by my scream, our daughters wailed in terror.

I struggled to break his grasp from my wrist.  “Kay!  Kay! It’s me!  Jerry!” Jerry, a former student of ours, was stationed nearby in the Army.  We’d invited him to visit us any time he could get away from base.  But  at 2:00 am?

Relieved, I collapsed in his startled arms.  I’d been ready to kill him, no questions asked.  If I’d had a gun I would have aimed for his stomach, no doubt.  After a few nervous laughs and  hot cups of chocolate, we each returned to our beds while Jerry stretched  out on our sofa for the rest of the night.  Psalm 91:11 KJV “He shall give His angels charge over thee to keep thee in all thy ways.” That night Jerry’s and my contingency of angels prevented a tragedy from occurring.

Times have changed.  The condition of the world has changed.   Our house and our vehicles are soundly locked before bed each night.  But when I think of Jerry, his wife, children and grandchildren, I wonder, what if I’d had a gun in my hand that night instead of a candlestick?  What if?  What if?

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