Crime Horror Fiction

My mom was special. She tolerated so much more than I could. I was about five when I remember her protecting me from a bad guy she brought home from wherever she went and found the bad guys.

We had a process after that. She would unlock and open the door and close it again so she would have to unlock it again. This caused her to stall coming through the door just long enough for me to hide whenever she brought a bad guy home.

“Why bring bad guys home?” I asked one morning. She explained they paid a lot more than the good guys.  Five thousand for a bad one; five hundred for a good guy.

“We need the money,” she told me. “You’re going to need school clothes come August and you need shots and your teeth need taken care of and your eyes need checked. That all costs a lot of money.  It is my responsibility to make money for us to eat, have a nice apartment, and to pay for your schooling. I have a good job.”

It made sense to five-year-old me.

I turned eight just before third grade. Mom went through her traditional unlock-open-close-unlock routine a little quicker than usual that night. I just barely had time to hide in our hidey hole in the back of the pantry. It was really a safe room with a water closet and a bed just my size.

I fell asleep in the hidey-hole and woke up the next morning, Saturday. I cracked the door open to listen and did not hear anything. That was not unusual because our hidey-hole door was made up to look like shelves on the back wall of the pantry and the pantry door was closed. I tiptoed to the pantry door and listened. No sounds.

I quietly came out of the pantry and the kitchen looked like our normal kitchen. Walking down the hall towards the living room, I saw the furniture was askew and the coffee table was broken. Not good. I ran into the living room, no Mom. I hollered for Mom and thought I heard a noise in her bedroom. I ran in there and it was a mess. Bed torn up, her dresser drawers on the floor, her closet open and her clothes on the floor helter-skelter. I walked into her closet, no Mom.

I realized the noise was coming from my bedroom. I ran there and my room was a mess. And, so was Mom.

I called 911 and all hell broke loose. Police came first and did their part to expand the circle of destruction. The EMS guys rushed in with their gurney and rushed Mom right out of there. 

The police were actually very nice to me, but they had lots of questions I could not answer. What happened, who did this, why did they do this to your mother? Where are the drugs, the guns, any notebooks? I was crying and almost threw up when a lady cop said that was enough and everyone left but her. She was very sweet to me and let me go to the bathroom.

When I came out, she was right there and told me she was Detective Baty. She asked if I wanted to go see my mom. Of course, I did. She asked if I had a dad or another relative I could stay with for a couple of days. I told her I could stay with my Uncle Frank; he was Mom’s brother.

We called him from my cell phone and he answered before it could ring. I don’t know how he does that.

He immediately asked if I was alright, then if Mom was alright. I told him Mom was hurt and that a policewoman wanted to talk with him. She told him that Mom was hurt and was enroute (that’s what she said; I had to ask her later what she meant saying my Mom was in a root) to Banner Hospital.

She said, “Thanks,” and, “We will see you there in about twenty minutes.” She hung up and looked at my screen for a long time, handed me my phone, and wrote something in her notebook.

We went to the hospital and met Uncle Frank. He and I went in to see Mom. She was asleep in the emergency room with lots of doctors and other people with her. Uncle Frank and I stayed in the emergency room with her and waited there for her when they took her for tests. I was scared, but Uncle Frank said the doctors told him she was going to be okay. 

After we had lunch in the hospital cafeteria, the doctor told Uncle Frank they were going to keep Mom in the hospital for a few days.

As we were leaving, Detective Baty met us in the waiting area. 

“How’s your mom? How are you doing? Are you hungry?”

I explained that Mom was asleep, I was tired and worried about Mom, and Uncle Frank bought lunch for us. 

After I told her all that, she seemed meaner looking. She was still nice, just looked different.

“Frank, I need to ask you some questions about last night and about you and your mom.”

Uncle Frank jumped in with, “Ma’am, my nephew bas been through hell today. Can we postpone this?”

“No, I want to catch these bad guys who did this to your mom,” she directed to me. She did not even look at Uncle Frank.

“Ma’am, while his mother in incapacitated, I am Frank’s legal guardian. I have a copy of all the appropriate documentation here for your review. I really must insist that we postpone this conversation until tomorrow.”

Detective Baty looked a little meaner as she read Uncle Frank’s papers. After a minute or two, she gave the papers back to Uncle Frank and he folded them up and put them back into an envelope.

“Okay, Mr. Smith, here is my card. Please have Frank at my office by 0900 tomorrow.

“Frank, you take care and try to write down anything you remember about last night and this morning and we’ll talk about it in the morning.”

She was very nice, but she looked really mean right then.

Uncle Frank took me home and unlocked the door with a key he had.

“Your mother gave me a key a long time ago, Frank, in case something happened and you guys needed help. You wait here in the hall a minute while I go in first to make sure the place is alright.”

Then he did something funny. He opened the door, closed it, and unlocked it again before going in.

A process our family does….

July 08, 2023 03:28

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