Monday, November 8, 2010

Like a Nightmare

You're suddenly awake. Your room is as quiet as it is black. For a moment you're not even sure of why you're awake as the only sounds you hear are those of your breath in the darkness and the silent rustling of your sheets. You blink a few times and turn to your nightstand to look at the clock. Three thirty four in the morning. You roll back into your pillow and close your eyes.


"What the hell was that!?" In an instant, every hair on your body stands on end and your senses become saturated with vivid life. You slide stealthily out of bed, your ears almost aching as they strain to hear something - anything that justifies what you just heard. As you stand there in the cold, by your bed, you become aware of a soft tapping, scraping, and wrenching below. Something or someone is working furiously at your sliding glass door downstairs - hammering into your home.

Without missing a beat, you open the drawer to your nightstand and pull out what you never thought you'd have to use. The cold, heavy steel sits menacingly in your hand and a soft click resounds and you turn off the safety. You grasp the gun like a knight wields his sword, ready to defend what is precious to him. In your case, it's your wife, who now holds a phone with trembling hands, and your children who you pray are still peacefully asleep.

You make your way downstairs, the shaking voice of your sweetheart fading into the background as she quietly pleads for help from the authorities. Every tiny fragment of sensation - the creaking of the floor, your shallow, frantic breath, the pounding of your heart - is processed a thousand times a second in your mind. Your thoughts weave and dart like bullet trains, astoundingly sharp, clear and quick. And yet, you can hardly think.

As you approach the sliding glass door you see a large, humanoid figure - the image of which sends a nauseating chill through your body. It suddenly stops moving. Time comes to a standstill, as your thoughts accelerate to a blur. You're unsure of whether or not you've been seen. The figure, with something in hand, raises it's arm. Acting in reflexive defense, you raise your weapon and fire a single shot. The figure falls backward, stumbling momentarily and then disappears into the night.


Did you do the right thing? Explain your thoughts.



  1. I shoot you ONE time, and you never let me forget about it. Get over it! Geez!!!!!

  2. Wow, what a way to start the morning. I've want so badly to say "Yes," but it just doesn't quite sit right with me. There are too many what ifs. What if it was just some stupid teenager. What if it was someone who needed help. What if they were just going to take my stuff and weren't a real danger to my family? Putting myself in the position of the wife, I want the humanoid shot for sure, but in the position of the shooter, I just couldn't live with not knowing who I'd shot.

  3. Was this post inspired by the incident in Utah where a homeowner shot and killed a 19-year-old who was breaking into his house?

    My opinion is that you are justified in defending your life, your family, and your property with deadly force if necesary, but I think shooting or killing anyone should be a last resort. I think you could scare off any would-be robber by just waving a gun in their face. This may have been a "shoot first, ask questions later" kind of scenario, but I don't think I could live with myself if I had shot someone and I wasn't sure if my life was truly in danger. I've also never been in that kind of situation before, and fear can do crazy things to's all kind of a Catch 22.

  4. Yes, you did the right thing. First of all, you've already gone through the scenarios possible by taking the first step, the purchase of the weapon. Secondly, you have a wife and children upstairs. The 'what ifs' are two sided, and any number of insanely awful scenes come to mind when I think what an intruder's motives may be. And thirdly, in this particular scenario you say the intruder 'stumbles momentarily, and then disappears into the night'. Your shot was likely not mortally wounding, but they know you meant business.

    All that said, though, and I also agree with the idea that you may have successfully been able to scare them off with only the idea of being shot. But again, who knows. Again, the 'what ifs'.

    In the end, personally, as a someday-in-the-future (I hope) wife and mother, I'd want to know without any doubt that my family could be protected if needed.

  5. With the recent news story mentioned by Laura H. I've also wondered about this...
    I'd shout a warning and if that didn't work, try to shoot to wound. But in the panic of the moment, who knows?? What if you shouted and the intruder shot? What if they had a gun? I don't know...All I know is now I'm going to be even more nervous abt. the new door and me with no gun.

  6. absolutely- the man was on his property- he heard him breaking in and thought he had a gun...what if the man broke in and killed the home owner, or worse, what if he raped and killed the home owners wife and daughters, which is what happened to William Petit. You can read about the story below...

  7. Oh yeah... that was a horrible situation. And you're right, Sis, you never know what the intruder is going to do.