warning: extreme violence
Later that night, Carrie was still feeling overwhelmed. So that is what it’s like to have siblings. She thought. All evening, Naomi had been trying to feed her, Roger’s sisters: Molly and Renee had been talking almost non-stop asking her all kinds of questions for which they never seemed to wait for the answers. Molly the oldest, was 14 and Carrie immediately liked her. Molly insisted that they would forever be dear friends no matter who went where. Carrie couldn’t find any reason to not like her or disagree with her.
Roger and his dad, whose name she found out was Nick; mostly stayed in the living room watching the news and talking about the store. With all the females in the kitchen, the guys felt outnumbered anyways and mostly wanted to stay out of the way.
Now Carrie was in the bottom bunk of Molly’s bunk beds listening to Molly slightly snore. Renee had given up her bed to Carrie and was sound asleep on a pallet on the floor. They simply didn’t listen as Carrie had protested and tried to sleep on the pallet herself.
Carrie prayed and gave thanks for again being protected and privileged to meet another such wonderful family. She asked that someday she would be able to invite them all to her home and asked for wisdom in deciding how to proceed to what she was hoping would be her new home. She also asked for blessings on all the wonderful people (and dogs) she had met, again twins for Sam and Rhonda, and her Gramma alive and well and wanting her. And a special thanks for allowing her to live another year. She hadn’t told anyone but it was this day that she was now 14.
Sleep came quickly and easy after that.
Carrie abruptly woke up. Her heart was pounding hard. Did she hear something? What was it that had woke her up? She could still hear Mollie and Renee breathing. But Carrie just had an awful feeling something was wrong.
There! There it was again!
She slid out of bed and pulled on some pants and shoes. Her bag was packed and ready to go but she left it there. She did strap on her knife and pull the sweat shirt sleeve back over it. She eased her way out of the bedroom and relying on her memory of the house, made her way to the kitchen and den. She didn’t see anything but could hear something. It sounded like it was coming from outside.
Making her way around the island that separated the kitchen and den, she eased to the door that led to backyard. She peeked through the curtains, still not seeing anything; but the night was dark with no moon. She could see stars so either the moon had set or it was a new moon.
I guess I should be keeping track of those kinds of things. She thought.
The sound was between a creaking and grinding. Like someone was opening a door with rusty hinges that rubbed against the doorframe. She couldn’t see any out buildings except part of the garage.
Wait! Was that someone in the yard? She saw a shadow ripple across the back of the yard. A shadow among shadows; but it was movement. She looked up at the trees; they were barely swaying so she could rule out the wind.
She checked the door, it was locked up tight. She was just beginning to unlock the door when a hand touched her shoulder.
Gasping, she whirled around and pulled her knife.
Roger jumped back and just missed being sliced!
“Hey” he whispered loudly “it’s me.”
Carrie sighed in relief and apologized as she put her knife away.
“Someone’s out there, I heard them.” She began “At least I think there is. Some noise woke me up.”
“Me too.” Roger said as he moved to the window and peeked out.
Just then they both heard the noise again.
“Look, it’s not safe for either of us to go out there half cocked. Let me go wake up my dad and then we’ll go check it out.”
Carrie nodded her head and kept watch out the window as Roger silently ran through the house to get his dad.
She felt pretty good that he had said “we’ll” because she figured he was including her in it. She found out she was wrong as soon as Roger and his dad came back into the den. Both had shotguns and with a firm “stay here”, they slid out the door.
“Well! If that don’t beat all” she whispered while she frowned. She then slid out the door herself.
She had watched Roger and his dad split up and each go one way around the house. She briefly wondered if she should wake up Naomi; but decided it would take too much time. She went the same way Roger had gone since that is where the noises were coming from.
Hearing a grunt, she hurried to catch up. As she came around the corner, she saw Roger laying on the ground and a figure standing above about to swing a baseball bat down on him.
With a loud shriek of fury, Carrie again for the second time in 10 minutes whipped out her knife and but this time she plunged into the back of the attacker.
Pulling it out just as fast as she had plunged it, she jumped on the back of the attacker and grabbed his hair with one hand and went for his throat with her knife. All her anger came out and went through that knife. A primal instinct of a woman who was protecting someone she cared about. Carrie didn’t know it but she became a woman that day, not just a 14 year old.
Roger was trying to get up or roll over and not succeeding very well. Carrie jumped to the side as the attacker fell to the ground holding his throat, trying to gasp for breath.
Nick came around the corner to see Carrie bent over trying to help Roger up and the last breathes of the man who had hit him over the head. Roger was bleeding from the head also.
Carrie saw Nick and said “hurry, Roger is hurt bad. That guy hit him at least twice and I can’t hold him up.” Tears began to fall from Carries eyes. Nick grabbed up his son and carried him into the house. Carrie followed.
Nick was hollering as he came into the house for Naomi, who he failed to see was already in the kitchen. Moving quickly, she grabbed a first aid kit out of one of the cabinets and began to minister to her son. Her face was white but her hands were steady.
Nick went back outside with Carrie on his heels and together they finished looking over the place but didn’t find any more intruders. Carrie kicked the corpse as they went by it. They did notice that the intruder had been attempting to pry one of the bedroom windows open. It was one that was in Mollie and Renee’s room. That is what had woke Carrie up.
Nick sent Carrie back into the house to get cleaned up. “I’ll take care of things out here. No one else needs to see this” he said as he gestured to the dead man.
Carrie nodded and looked down at herself and realized that she had blood all over her. When she went back into the house, Roger was more awake and aware and softly talking to his mom.
“Well, all I can say is that I’m glad you have a hard head Roger!” Naomi said “otherwise those blows would have knocked your brains out.” She sighed heavily then gently kissed his cheek. “I swear your sisters will sleep through world war III.” Naomi then looked over at Carrie, “Honey, thank you for saving my son’s life tonight but maybe you should go get a shower and change. Come on with ya, I want to get those clothes in the washer before all that blood sets.” And with those words, Carrie was ushered into the bathroom and as soon as she had her clothes off, Naomi whisked them away with a promise of bringing her a robe just as soon as she got those soaking.
Carrie ran the water as hot as she could stand it and then stayed under the soothing spray until the shaking and the tears stopped. She didn’t even hear Naomi come in and leave a long warm robe on the back of the door.