Original – The Intruder

I never meant to be found standing over a dead body with the snub-nosed murder weapon in one hand and a squashed avocado in the other, but that was exactly where I was when my husband came in one night.

It had been an ordinary day, up until I’d heard the story on the news that morning about the burglar who had been seen creeping around houses in my neighborhood that week. I’m not usually prone to panic, but when I heard that there could be a crazed maniac on the loose, breaking into houses and looking through windows, I made Tom show me where he kept his gun.

If it hadn’t been for that burglar, I wouldn’t have had the gun.

I wouldn’t have gone to get groceries either, if our son hadn’t demanded that I make tacos to celebrate his graduation from third grade. So you see, the gun was Tom’s fault, and the avocado was Christopher’s.

But I have no one to blame but myself for the dead body.

I had just gotten home that evening, and was in the middle of putting away groceries when I heard what sounded like someone creeping through the bushes outside. Instantly, I remembered both the news report, and the gun in my purse. I retrieved the weapon and crept to the back door. Throwing it open, I shouted, “Whoever you are, I have a gun! Get away from my house!”

Nothing happened except that a slight breeze brushed past my legs.

When there were no further noises from outside in the next few minutes, I allowed myself to relax and shut the door. Moving to the counter, I picked up an avocado, then realized that the gun was still in my other hand and turned to put it back. That’s when I saw it!

The intruder was in my kitchen, creeping toward me with a depraved look in his terrifying greenish eyes. I screamed and fired the gun three times without thinking, and the intruder dropped dead on the first shot. I, however, had completely squashed that poor avocado in my terror, and now had the gun in one hand, and guacamole in the other. It was then that Tom came running in from outside.

“Rachel! What the hell was that?”, he shouted. “Why were you shooting?!”

Wordlessly, I pointed at the corpse at my feet. Tom blinked down at it for a moment, then sighed at me.

“Good lord, Rachel,” he said finally. “Next time, why don’t you just use a trap?”

Well? What would YOU have done if you saw a rat the size of a football in your kitchen!?