The Sound of Someone Dying   Leave a comment

Yesterday evening, I was sitting at the computer when a sudden staccato rattling sound startled me.  For a moment, I thought it was a runaway horse, galloping down the hard-packed road.  By the time I got up to look out the window, it was over; and there was nothing unusual in sight.  I concluded it was illegal fireworks somewhere in Oildale, which is not uncommon at any time of year, and sat back down.

It wasn’t until the news at eleven that we found out that it was the sound of a life ending.  Police responding to a domestic disturbance call nearby were fired upon, and returned fire.  That was the sound I heard.  The shooter managed to retreat into the house, and a stand-off that lasted several hours ended when they broke in and found him dead.

It’s a violent world out there, and it seems that not a day goes by without incident.  Some are mass killings, like Boston, and others involve only one or two, like this one.  None is minor to the people involved.

We probably witness a lot more of it right here than most people who live in quiet suburbs.  The river isn’t a hotbed of crime, exactly, but in the last forty years there have been murders, suicides, wrecks, rapes — some within a few yards. It’s not something you get used to, but it doesn’t ruin our lives, either.  Billy’s constant vigilance has kept us safe here, though there’ve been some close calls.  So many times he’s heard a strange car go through, and gone out to follow it around and be sure it’s not a problem.  (Usually, it’s a young couple looking for a quiet place to do what young couples do.)  He can’t stop everything, though he tries.  We still have tack-room break-ins and petty theft, and always will.

This still is a family place, where kids can play as safely as they did fifty years ago.  We’re going to keep it that way.  I just wish someone could do the same for the rest of the world.

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Posted April 19, 2013 by stablewoman in Uncategorized

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