Red Means Danger


“Red means danger. Red means danger”, she whispered to herself as she pulled the rifle from her closet. She heard him open and slam one of the cupboard doors in the kitchen, and cringed. Funny thing was, she wasn’t sure if she was cringing because she was scared, or because she didn’t want her apartment damaged. She unzipped the gun case with shaky hands, and listened to him.

He paced back and forth across the apartment, screaming at her; threatening. It was almost like he had lost his mind, she could hardly understand his screaming except for, “You better unlock that fuckin door! Who the FUCK do you think you are?! I fuckin’ kill bitches like you!” He kept coming to the locked bedroom door and slamming his fist against it, each time she faltered with the rifle, clumsy in her panic.

With the rifle in her lap, she sat on the bed and pushed the clip into the chamber and stared down at the safety switch: the green was showing, safe. Meanwhile, he continued his rampage in the rest of the small apartment. Doors slamming, incoherent screaming and cursing, and again at the bedroom door. This time he began punching the door repeatedly, SLAM! SLAM! SLAM! The cheap hollow door began to buckle under the abuse, she could see the wood around latch cracking. He screamed again at her “Open this fucking door! If I have to beat this shit down I’m gonna kill you!”

Her gaze jerked up from the trigger of the gun, startled. For a brief second she sat, paralyzed in her fear. Her mind racing, in that particular moment, screamed at her louder than his own voice. “Just Fuckin’ open the door. You have the gun. Remember, red means danger. Red means danger. Flip the switch, cock the gun, and just press the trigger. He’s going to kill you if you don’t!”

She hesitated, arguing with herself. “But I don’t want to go to jail. What if I go to jail?”

One last slam from him woke her from the racing worries of her mind. A grim mask of anger took over her face and she pushed herself up from the bed with one hand and cradled the rifle in her arm. Taking a deep breath, she reached out towards the door, just as it shook again from another crazed blow on the other side. All this time, he had still been screaming at her, but she didn’t hear it anymore.

With a clumsy turn, she unlocked the door and it came flying open.

She barely had time to jump back and heave the barrel of the rifle in his direction. Click. She flipped the safety, and stood firm in her stance, eyes cold and far away.

He stopped in his tracks, shocked to see the weapon in her hands “Oh you think you bad now huh? You think you got balls and gonna shoot me? That’s always been your problem, thinking you tougher than me, standing up to me like a dumb bitch. Cant nobody fuck with me”

She didn’t reply, she only stood silent and shaking, finger on the trigger. Her lack of response angered him further and he snapped again. He came towards her, violence blazing in his eyes.

She clambered back from him and pressed herself against the wall, cocking the gun with a grimace “Please don’t make me do this… ” She begged him almost silently, her frozen stare melting into tears.

 – Awkward Babble October 2007


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