“A Proverb Taken Literally”

This is a short story I wrote in Creative Writing. Enjoy.

I knew something was wrong when I heard glass shattering across the hall. It wasn’t the shattering caused by the careless children or their clumsy father; they were asleep. It wasn’t the shattering caused by the cat batting away at a collection of glass-ware; he was off doing whatever adventure a cat can find to do on a Friday evening. No, this was the shattering of a man swinging a baseball bat at the window by our front door. I hurriedly got up from the computer desk and sprinted to the base of the staircase.

“JASON! HE’S BACK!” I desperately yell. I look back to the front door; shards of glass cover the welcome rug. The rain, pouring down hard, made it difficult to see the figure just outside our door. Yet there was no mistaking who this madman was. He had attempted similar acts before and had failed to cause any physical harm to our family. But this time, there was something different. Something about the way the thunder boomed just before every swing he took showed just how different tonight was. I remained at the staircase and waited, frozen in fear, for my husband to come down. “JASON!” I yell again. This time I hear a stir upstairs. He’s coming.

When he finally gets to me he asks “What’s wrong?” I reply, “He’s back”. His head snaps to the door as the window is almost completely broken. I look into my husbands eyes, looking for some sort of plan for dealing with the crazy murderer no more than 20 feet away from us. He finally looks back and grabs hold of my arm.

“Listen Amy, you need to go into the kitchen and call 9-1-1. I’ll try to get him out of here, but if I can’t, you need to get the kids and get the hell out of here. Do you understand?” Glass shatters. “Amy?!” I glance back up to him and hurriedly shake my head. “I love you,” he says and kisses me on the forehead. “Now go!”

I run over to the kitchen as Jason runs to the door. When I grab the phone, it slips out of my clammy, shaking hands. I pick it up and dial the three digits as fast as I can. “…………BEEEEP………….BEEP……..” I look back out into the entrance way to see what was happening. The window was now completely broken. The door, to my surprise and horror, was wide open. “…….BEEP……911 what is your emergency?”

I snap myself back and reply “Hello-this is Amy Martin, I’m at 6443 E. Maple Road-someone is trying to break into our house!”

“Ok ma’am I just need you to stay calm for a moment. Could you repeat the address?”

I hear yelling outside just over the sound of pouring rain. It was my husband. I couldn’t make out the words, but I could tell he was in trouble.

“Ma’am?”

“…uh…I…what?”

“Your address ma’am?”

“Oh…uh…6443 E.-“

I will never forget what I heard next; the sound of a bat cracking a human skull. I dropped the phone in horror and looked out the door. The man was staring at me, standing over my husbands limp body. The adrenaline pumped in and I started running for the staircase. “SARAAAAH! JIMMYYYYYYY!” My kids were still asleep and had no idea a mass murderer was about to enter the house. When I was halfway up the staircase, I tripped on a stray toy and lay on the staircase close to blacking out. The man walked through the doorway, drenched with rainwater and blood, and pulled out a knife.

“You stay the hell away from me!” I shrieked. The man just stood there and started to smile. His yellow teeth gleamed in the low light of the entrance way. The only things I could hear was the dripping of water from his body and the beating of my heart. I stood up, and that’s when he charged after me. Before I could even move, he was three stairs away from me. He lunged for my legs and I leaped over him as he swiped at me. I whipped around and saw him coming back for me. I ran towards the kitchen, hoping to find some sort of weapon to defend myself. My eyes frantically scan the counters. When I see the desired weapon, I reach for it. Just then, the man is back. He stands in the doorway of the kitchen and laughs. I cry, “Please, just get away from us! Every day you come and try to ruin our lives. Just leave us alone!”

“You can never stop me,” he replies. “I’ll keep coming back until you’re all dead.  And if I have things my way, that won’t be long from now.” He waves the knife in front of his face and starts walking towards me. “Please, Dr. Sheppard, stay back!” I yell. It’s no use. I have only one choice. I reach for the weapon on the counter and hurl it at the man’s head. He instantly grabs his cranium and yells in agony. That’s when I made a run for it. I sprinted up the stairs to my children’s rooms. They were anxiously sitting on their beds, crying from listening to the commotion from downstairs. I hold them both in my arms and rock them back and forth. “It’s ok” I manage to let out.

To my horror, Dr. Sheppard appeared at the doorway. I held my kids tight and looked up at the deranged man. He spoke quietly, muttering, “I will be back tomorrow to finish this.” He slammed the door and made his way back down the stairs. All three of us began sobbing as we realized we had just escaped the clutches of death and would live to see another day.

There was one flaw in his plan, however. The fact that he would be back tomorrow was true. Of that I have no doubt. He had been stalking my family for the past few days and I knew he wouldn’t stop until we were dead. However, he would not finish this tomorrow, nor any other day. The police have never offered their protection, but I don’t need their help. As long as I am near fruit, I will be ok. Dr. Sheppard may find me somewhere tomorrow, but he will not take my life. Not as long as I have an apple with me; for it is a well-known fact that an apple a day keeps the doctor away.

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