Groceries have been procured, the younger children have been fed, washed, brushed and tucked in, as have I. As I start this the husband is in the other room playing a game with the teen, my old dog has had her belly placated with toe scritches and my young dog has jumped up and flung herself on my legs. 70 pounds of love, that one is. I feel about as warm and safe as it gets while still allowing room to type. I didn’t intend to do this so soon, but it’s been burning a hole in my gut all day and I want to get it out.
Things that take paragraphs to write happened in seconds, all on top of each other, and I’m not a good enough writer to really convey that without it being a series of while this was going on and at the same times. I’ve tried to make the story as linear as possible but while I may have said and done something when ‘this’ was happening, the thoughts and reactions were initiated while ‘that’ was going on, so my mind says it makes more sense to put it there. I apologize if it creates confusion. It’s taken four hours to write this, even though much of it was copy pasted from the original email and some of the time was spent staring at the screen watching it happen over and over again. The entire altercation, as best as I can figure, took about 20 minutes.
I’m not proud of what I did and said to Abby as this all happened. Adrenalin certainly played a part in my reactions, but everything was happening simultaneously and I didn’t know what to do, I wasn’t prepared and I had too much to deal with all at once. Every where I turned something bad, scary, and threatening was coming at me. Throughout the following events, except when she was mid freak out and trying to climb something, Abby allowed herself to be flung about by the motion of the truck, landing on us and laying there, moaning and crying, greatly hindering any attempt at trying to focus and take action. Excuses aside, I have spent the last two decades berating myself for abusing her and I am ashamed.
I put my foot to the floor and that bored out 360 gave me every ounce of horsepower it had. The evil bastards were dragged and flung off the truck as it leapt forward heading straight for the motherfucker. I don’t know why I picked him, perhaps I saw the bat and figured he was the only one with a weapon, perhaps I noticed that he gestured and shouted something to the other fuckers and they seemed to move at his direction, perhaps it was just because he was in front of me and the only one not hanging on my truck. The packed gravel near the light pole held when I hit the gas, but it quickly gave way to the newly spread gravel and the truck floundered and flung rocks everywhere. He dove behind the picnic table and I stopped. There wasn't room to get around it and I couldn't go through it without risking disabling the truck. Abby, sitting next to me, was screaming incoherently, grabbing my arm and pulling on me, yanking at me, screaming, clawing at me and trying to climb on top of me like she was drowning and I was the dock. I yelled at her to let go but she couldn't hear me, I tried to push her off me but she just kept grabbing faster than I could get her hands off. I finally yelled at Jenny “Help me get her off me I can't fucking drive like this!” and between Jenny and I we got her off me. It only took a minute for me to get the truck moving again, but the old bastard had climbed up into the bed of my truck, climbed over the shitpile of trash I had back there and was beating on the rear window with his baseball bat. I remember being grateful I had a solid rear window instead of a slider. Abby started screaming and scrabbling for me again, scratching my face and knocking my glasses loose, one hand locked in my hair, her other grabbed the gear shift. Using my knee to try and get a foot hold, she jammed my foot onto the accelerator in her blind rush to get away to safer ground. The truck bucked wildly as the engine roared and she yanked it through it’s gears.
I am ashamed of what I did next. I thought I only shoved her away, I think that’s all I meant to do, to get her off of me so I could see and drive, but she was hurting me and in the way and I shoved her so hard she flew across the truck and slammed into the door, cracking her head hard on the frame. I didn't mean to hurt her, I wanted to grab her and hold her tight and tell her I was sorry, so sorry, but I had to get the ugly asshole out of the bed of my truck before he got through the window. Stunned, Abby laid on Jenny, holding her head and crying. Jenny shoved her off of her lap and against the door, shaking her and yelling something about being a baby. Some part of me hated her for folding, for not fighting back, for making it so hard to save her. Is that why I pushed her so hard? Was I trying to hurt her? While I slammed the truck into reverse I yelled at her that if she didn't stop grabbing me I wouldn't be able to drive and they would get in and I WOULD LEAVE HER THERE because I didn't ask for this, I was trying to help her and keep our asses safe but if she didn't stop I wouldn't be able to do that. That fucking bastard was still bashing the rear window, but he was unable to get a good hit because bent posts and broken electric fencing was sliding under his feet. Thank God I hadn’t gone to the dump yet. I told Jenny to do what she had to do to keep Abby off of me because now she was screaming and trying to climb on top of the dashboard. Later I found drops of blood all over the dash and seat, I think she cut her toes on the tape deck. I knew where the blood on the window and the door came from.
I hit the gas as hard as I could and heard the 4 barrel open up as the truck started skipping sideways, spraying gravel wildly. Unfortunately while the head bastard in the bed of the truck had to hold on he wasn't knocked loose. I eased up on the gas and the tires caught, hurling us backward and hitting two of the assholes behind us that had been trying to climb over the tailgate. The old fuck in the back slipped and bounced off the rear window, cracking it (after surviving the beating he gave it with the baseball bat NOW it decides to crack? wtf….?) then flew back and slammed into the tailgate when I threw it in drive and cranked it around, shoving Abby off of me again and swearing at Jenny. I beat him around like that for a while, aiming the truck at whoever happened to be in whatever direction I was going, yelling at the girls to watch the others and let me know what they were doing. The truck was giving me everything it had, but the gravel slowed it down and I couldn’t get a good run at them, not enough of one to do real damage. They were too close anyway, anyone too slow to dive out of the way was pushed and knocked around rather than slammed into and run over like I wanted.
One of the guys behind me, was it one I hit? got the tailgate down and the old asshole rolled out just when Jenny grabbed my shoulder and said “Look out Look out!” pointing ahead of us. The guy in the green t-shirt had the metal mesh trash can and was throwing it at my windshield. I hit the gas and he stumbled back so it bounced off the roof, then he vanished back into the corn field and I drove right after him. The field mired the front wheels and I started yelling at myself I know better than to do that, I know better. It’s only two wheel drive stupid stupid STUPID! I jammed it into reverse, transmission banging, flinging rocks, but I couldn’t get the purchase to pull out of it. We had a stand off, they circled around and I gunned it and peppered gravel at them when they got too close, the ass end of the truck slewing as it strained for purchase, hopping over last years ruts as it dug them out. We just had to hang on long enough for the cops to get there. I discovered that night that gravel makes a pretty effective projectile. Like shot. They all stopped and circled the truck, looking smug and smiling. They caught their breath and talked to each other. I stomped on the floor switch and they covered their eyes in the harsh glare of the high beams and they winced, a couple of them picked up rocks and started throwing them at the truck, trying to break the headlights or the windshield I guess. I tried rocking the truck a bit, maybe I could get enough momentum to get it up over the edge, but it wouldn’t go. At least they were being sprayed with rocks. Then one grabbed his crotch and shook it at us and they all laughed. How dare they. HOW DARE THEY!!!! I. Was. Not. Done. Not by a long fucking shot.
I pulled myself up with the steering wheel and I stood on the accelerator with both feet and held it there, once again hearing the carburetor open up wide. I can still hear the whoooooohhhhhhhhhhhmmmmmm of the engine. You could smell it too, hot metal and burning. The tires spun and spun, spraying them with gravel, so they moved back further into the corn field, where I could see a few more of them waiting, watching.The high beams and the latest batch of gravel must have really pissed them off because one of them grabbed the trash can and pounded on the truck with it until it broke apart, green shirt asshole started trying to yank the handle off the passenger side door, then managed to pop the triangle window open and started reaching around grabbing for the lock. Abby started screaming again and scrambling away, trying to climb on top of the seat. Jenny shook her again. I still had the accelerator buried and the truck was roaring and hopping and spraying them with rocks, I could see blood running down the face of the one with the trash can. I yelled “kick him! Kick the fuck out of him!” so Jenny started kicking green shirts arm. I heard the glove box crunching. Abby was reduced to a little pile of terror again, leaning on Jenny until she shoved her off into the middle of the floor. I said to her “you’re scared and useless right now. It’s okay to be scared and useless, but stop getting in the fucking WAY while you do it!” She sat up and started bracing herself a little. I think maybe not being able to see them helped her.
The truck tires finally dug their way through the gravel to hard dirt and it lurched back, breaking the side mirror off on his head. He screamed and dragged his arm out, holding it. I remember yelling good you goddamned motherfucker I hope it's broken, but it must not have been because he and his friends picked up the picnic table and tried to throw it at us. It was chained to the light pole though so just the end bounced off the hood.
The old plaid bastard came running out of the field and pointed at us, and two deputy sheriffs pulled into the wayside with their lights on just as I gunned the engine again to run his ass down. Deep gravel, boggy field, it didn’t make a difference, I was going to smear him all over my grill. He shoved whatever he had (For years I thought it was part of his baseball bat) in his pants and they all ran into the cornfield. The deputies yelled stay here and ran after them. I backed the truck up to their cars and put it in park, head whipping around looking for the assholes to appear again. Some rocks came flying out of the field but no one showed themselves.
I’m sorry, I have to stop now. When it was happening I was scared but mostly I was pissed as hell and fighting like a wildcat because they hurt the girls and they were breaking my truck. I was too busy trying to focus on what I should do to think about what was happening. Later, all I focused on was how I continued their brutalization of Abby. Seeing what I said and did to her brings that all back, but it’s a familiar pain. I never really realized just how much danger I was in. I never really stopped to consider what would happen if they got into the truck, and seeing it all laid out like this, remembering the expressions on their faces, has made it very real again. I don’t know what they intended to do but I don’t think we’d have survived it.
The house is dark, my husband is snoring next to me, I’m going to wrap him around me and watch the horror show in my head a few more times.