Middle school. Most likely 6th grade. 1972.
I was making egg salad for lunch the next day. The time was about 7pm. I was very tired. I had put 2 eggs on to boil. My father was finishing up the dinner dishes at the sink. Mom was in their bedroom getting ready for work the next day.
All I know is that I am tired. So…so tired that I tell myself I will just go lie down on my bed and rest my eyes for just a minute. My father leaves the kitchen. I leave the kitchen table and collapse on my canopy bed just to rest my eyes. I will get up in just a few minutes and make my egg salad. Just a minute…
My eyes open to pitch blackness with a hand covering my mouth tighly so that I could not scream. It is my mother.
She is whispering. What I do not know. I just woke up and do not know what is going on. She whispers some more and will not remove her hand until I understand the whispers.
The whispers are orders… over and over again orders–to get up, to not speak, to tiptoe and come with her. I get up and follow her out my room into the hallway. There is my father with the shotgun aimed ahead of him. There is my brother as well. My mother places us in the correct order. She gets behind my father, I am behind her and my younger brother is behind me. We all tiptoe down the hall toward the kitchen.
I hear sounds now and we are all terrified. Sounds like someone is moving in the kitchen and looking for something. It was a burgler. Why else would my father have the shot gun and why else would the four of us be tip toeing in the pitch blackness toward the kitchen. Why did’nt my parents simply call the police? That was the only thing I could think. We were going to die or get shot with that gun or would have to fight for our lives.
We continued to tip. The sounds got louder. Popping sounds like a gun going off in the kitchen. We got to the entrance of the kitchen and my father fired that shotgun blindly into the night. I think my father fired all the bullets. I heard a click and no more firing from his gun.
We only heard silence from the kitchen. We all stood frozen in the hallway for what seemed like an eternity. We still only heard silence. My mother whispered for my father to turn on the light. He did. I was expecting to see dead bodies. There were no dead people in the kitchen.
The only thing of any great notice in the kitchen was just my pot sitting on the stove, black from heat. It was devoid of all water and had been for quite some time. It was also devoid of eggs. The burglar sounds we thought we heard was the sound of eggs exploding right out of their shells. They had burst wide open and yoke and egg white was strewn all over the cabinets and the floor.
My parents turned to look at me. My legs turned to jelly. My father had shot up the kitchen for the love of egg salad! I did not make egg salad again for a long time.