Daily Prompt~ Fight or Flight

Today’s DP ChallengeWrite about your strongest memory of heart-pounding, belly-twisting nervousness: what caused the adrenaline? Was it justified? How did you respond?

Many moons ago, when my kids were still home and rather smallish, I was taking a walk around the block with my two youngest boys.

As we reached the alley, we stopped for a car coming through.  As I saw the car pass by very slowly, I saw that a young girl was driving.  A young man was in the back seat, right behind her, with a gun to her head.

I was paralyzed with fear for a second or two, knowing that the man in the car had seen me, and my children.  I panicked for the girl driving, and also for the safety of my two small children with me.

I live in a decent older neighborhood, that’s sprinkled with quite a bit of rental property, since we are close to a college.  I had never before or since seen something like this in my life.  Let alone in my own back yard.

I tried to look cool, act like I hadn’t seen a thing.

I waited until we were out of view of the car, so the man in back wouldn’t see which yard I ducked into with my frightened children.

As soon as they were away, I ran with the kids as fast as I could down the alley and ducked into our yard from the back yard gate.

My heart was pounding.

I tried to remain calm enough to call the police, and not alarm my children anymore than they already were.  I told them that everything was fine, and to go up to their playroom.

I’m sure I sounded like a blithering idiot on the phone with the police, trying to give information, all the while praying this man wouldn’t come looking for us.

A few hours passed, and the fear subsided, but I was still on my guard, afraid to leave the house, or let the kids out of my sight for even a fraction of a second.

I got a call from the police, they had found the car.  It turns out it was a toy gun, and the whole thing was a prank.  I was relieved of course, but I was pissed.  Really pissed.

I had never really felt that I was in danger before, or that my children were at risk either.

I still live in that same house, and the neighborhood is much the same, but improving all the time.  Many young families, some older couples, and still a sprinkling of college kids.

I walk my dog past that alley now, as my kids are all grown up and have moved away.

But I still think about that young man with a gun to that girl’s head every time I walk past the same spot.  Hoping to never see anything like that again in my usually peaceful corner of the world.

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29 thoughts on “Daily Prompt~ Fight or Flight

  1. That’s awful for a mother to experience such a terrible scene. I agree with Love and Lunchmeat, I would’ve probably collapsed from a small heart attack. Seems like a very difficult memory to get past.

  2. Who was the prank being played on? The girl? “Then, just as he threatened to kill me, I recognized the snickering. It was totally Derek! He is so funny. It wasn’t as funny as the time he prank murdered those kids, but it was still classic Derek.”

    • Yeah, I don’t know. I can still remember what they looked like. I would bet both were somewhere between 18 and 20 years old. Funny Ha Ha. Who does that shit? Especially in a neighborhood full of small children?

  3. Kudos to you for reacting and actually doing something, even if it just turned out to be a prank. Too many people these days are happy pretending not to see things and not getting involved.

  4. That sounds pretty scary and pretty stupid on the part of the pranksters. So do you think you responded with fight, or flight?
    I think you responded with fight. Even though you ran you fought for the safety of your kids and yourself and also for the person in the car.
    Great story!

    • Thanks! Love and Lunchmeat asked me earlier if maybe the police had lied to me, and that it was real. Like they didn’t want me to be hysterical or something. I don’t know. I never even gave that a thought until she suggested it.

  5. A gun to the girls head was some jerk’s idea of a joke?

    In some strange way, your story reminds me of a bumper sticker I saw on a muscle car. A scrawny kid was driving it. It said, “My other ride is your daughter.” How would you like that guy picking you up for a date? Some men are power hungry beasts.

    • That’s funny you should say that. I dated a guy in high school very briefly, who drove a really old Rambler I think. Cute little car. It had a bumper sticker that said something like “Don’t laugh, your daughter’s in here”. Nice guy, really. Probably did that to make his cute little car look more bad ass. I don’t know.

  6. There are several states where such a prank could end in justifiable homicide. In Florida, for example, if you reasonably believe you are witnessing a forcible felony, and you happen to have a firearm, you can shoot to defend another person–and in Florida you stand a good chance of never even being arrested for it, at least if you’re white.

    • Wow! Really? I guess I never thought of that. That whole event could have turned out a number of ways. I don’t know if my kids even remember it. They were pretty small when it happened. Maybe 3 and 5 years old? I’m not really sure.

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