Monday, October 22, 2012
Now Playing: The Silent Child
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Episode Ten concluded with:
He slipped out of bed and into the pants which were lying on a nearby chair. As Enoch picked up the Henry that was propped in the corner behind the chair, he turned and saw his wife sitting up. Her eyes were questioning and alert.
He placed a finger to his lips, then pointed toward the store area. Kate nodded her head, quietly left the bed and rushed over to the pile of blankets where Pixie was sleeping. She gently awoke the child and then pulled back part of the rug, revealing a trap door. She lifted the door, wrapped Pixie in a blanket and carried her into the basement.
Enoch knew his wife wouldn’t be down there long. She would make sure Pixie was comfortable and then come back up. He needed to act fast. Enoch entered the store area where an intruder awaited him.
Most of the kerosene lamps along Main Street were now out. There was only a small cut of moon in the sky, leaving the store in almost total darkness.
Enoch spotted a bulge in the darkness. The figure was several yards away from him and seemed to be looking under the counter, but for what?
The store owner lifted his Henry as he spoke. “Stand still and put your hands up or I’ll kill you.”
Enoch’s words seemed to shock the intruder. He froze for a moment, then put his hands up.
Enoch slowly stepped toward the dark figure. He didn’t want to trip over anything. “Okay friend, you and I are going to take a walk to the sheriff’s office. You’re going to have to answer a few questions.”
“You’re the one that should be answerin’ questions!” The figure stepped around the counter. “You’re the one that kept company with Judy Thompson!”
The store owner was shocked by the accusation but more worried that the intruder now had his arms down. “Get your hands back up and freeze. I mean it, I’ll shoot!”
A frantic voice shouted back, “I ain’t takin’ orders from you!”
The figure’s right hand seemed to move toward his hip. Thoughts of his wife and the child flashed through Enoch’s mind. He fired the rifle.
There was a loud cry of pain. The figure jerked backwards and fell.
“Enoch!” The door to the living quarters flung open. Pixie’s screams sounded from far away like cries from perdition.
“I’m okay, Kate. I shot the thief.”
“Is he dead?”
Encoh’s voice was almost a sob. “Don’t know. Please, look after the kid.”
Kate returned to the child. Enoch made his way to the edge of the counter where there was a kerosene lamp and a box of matchsticks. He struck one of the matches against the counter, then lifted the chimney and placed the flame against the lamp’s wick. He blew out the match and returned the chimney.
Enoch told himself that he had not lied to his wife. He didn’t know for certain if the man he had shot was alive or dead. Still, he thought there was little chance the intruder had any life left in him. The body lay still on the floor. There were no painful moans.
Pixie’s screams sounded closer. Lamp in one hand and the rifle cradled in his arm, Enoch approached the body on the floor.
“What?!” One glance convinced Enoch that he had been right. The man was dead. Still, the store owner placed the lamp down and picked up the wrist of the corpse, feeling for a pulse that wasn’t there.
The store owner looked back at his wife, who stood a few feet behind him holding the child. Pixie’s face was pressed into her chest. “Dear God, Kate, I just killed a deputy sheriff.”
Tomorrow: Episode Twelve of The Silent Child