A Fateful Encounter

I was awoken from my slumber by an almighty cacophony originating from back of the house. More interested than scared, I shuffled through the house. My curiosity was piqued as I saw the frame of a young man trying to scale the fence in the rear of the yard.

“Can I help you at all?” I hollered through the kitchen window.

He turned, fear stretched his face in response. Large timid blue eyes stared back at me as he paused for a second before returning to his activity of scrambling to escape my garden.

I picked up my walking stick next to the sliding door.

“Hey boy! Boy! Are you in trouble?” I said, approaching him.

I saw the outline of a gun tucked under his shirt, signifying he was not as innocent as he looked.

“Come inside and have a sit down, I’m sure whatever’s happened can be worked out. What do you say, son?”

The young man stopped as he thought about my offer before letting go and walking past me into the house.

I sat the cup of coffee down in front of him.

“So boy, do you have a name?”

“That’s okay, you don’t need to talk. I guess a handsome lad, like yourself, doesn’t have any trouble with the ladies,” I offered, chuckling.

He put his head in his hands and sighed.

“I saw your gun, would you mind giving it to me, sonny? I’m a frail old man, I cannot hurt you.”

Without a second thought, he reached behind him and withdrew the weapon, clicking a button so the clip slid out into his free hand. He placed the parts on the table.

“Thank you, boy. You’ve made this old-timer proud. It takes guts to give up your arms and surrender.”

He heard it first, then I recognized it too. The worry returned to his face, his gaze accused me.

“Now wait, wait. I never called no cops. I’m not a rat.”

The sounds of sirens approached, getting louder and louder until I heard a rap on the door.

“Quickly sonny, get down into the basement, they won’t find you there,” I said, pointing to the metal door that led to the dark cellar below.

He rushed from his seat, opened the door and descended the stairs.

I muddled over to the source of the noise and greeted the awaiting officer, “Hello, how may I help you?”

“Good evening, Henry. We are looking for a male, in his early teens, a runaway. You wouldn’t have happened to see him at all, would you?”

“Why, no. I’ve not seen such a thing.”

“Now, Henry, do I have to remind you that you are required to report any interaction you have with minors?”

I smiled back at him, “And that I would do, officer. But I have not seen such a fellow.”

“Thank you for your time, but if you do see him, give us a call.”

“I sure will, officer, good day.”

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