Sharing the Fun

January 21, 2024
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Writing in the New Year! I’m so excited by the prospect of sharing new “stuff” with you: My new website, our Watchmen on The Wall podcasts, and now, my upcoming new book! It’s in the completion stages and, rather than tell you what it’s about (that would be boring, right?), I thought I’d share an excerpt with you.

If I get reactions (positive or positively critical; I care not!) then maybe I’ll send out more. This exercise will help me hone my craft and hopefully will invite you (and others you share it with) into the conversation. Enjoy and please let me know your thoughts. Looking forward, Mark C.

Excerpt from Whose Reality Is It Anyway – Reality Root Two: Six Clicks (A True Story):

I had recently become a new father. The excitement and adventure of parenthood were fresh and forefront on my heart. But on this day I was to learn a perception-changing lesson that would affect me and my expanding family for a lifetime to come.

A brother-in-law had called to let us know he and his wife would be out of town for the weekend. He asked if I would keep an eye on their house during their absence and I was willing to do so. We had a key to the place, so it was just a matter of driving the five-mile distance and doing a quick walk-through. My wife and I had planned some tasks in that direction anyway. So, we plopped our three-month-old son in the car and began the journey.

I can’t recall much of what was on my mind that morning. It was like most others, filled with an intended agenda of tasks and to-dos, some idle conversation and possibly a visit to a restaurant. The drive-by to check out our kin’s house was just another thing on the list. Parking on the street in front of the house, I told my wife, I’d go in and make sure everything was in order, and that was my mindset – everything would be in order and so this would be a quick favor.

Coming up to the front door, I inserted the key in the lock, twisted the cylinder, and felt the bolt slide back―normal and predictable deadbolt-lock behavior. But then came the first wrench in the gears to the predictability of the day – I twisted the door handle, pushed on the door, and…nothing. The door refused to swing open. Had I somehow not turned the lock properly? Was there some other secret mechanism I had not been made aware of that impeded my entry? A special code word perhaps? Strange thoughts rambled through my mind as I made several more attempts to gain access. A door lock is a door lock. What am I missing?

There was a tiny view hole in the door, the kind that allows those inside to peer outward through magnified glass to evaluate any visitor to the premises. I tried peeking in, but of course, the magnification only works from the inside gazing out, so the attempt was futile. Besides, what would I have seen? Possibly a refrigerator pushed up against the door to prevent egress? Ridiculous. Then I heard a strange noise emanating from inside the house. “Click, click, click…”

The sound seemed metallic, like shop tools or kitchen utensils being struck together. My next move was to bend down to examine the lock more closely. As I did so, the clicking persisted “Click, click…”

I was just about to straighten my bent knees to rise and put my ear close to the door to try to better decipher the nature of the mystery; that’s when a new noise caught my attention. It also came from the other side of the door and sounded much like the explosion of a gunshot. Simultaneously, I looked upward and saw (in what seemed then and now, slow motion) to see splinters flying outward from a baseball-sized hole in the door where the peephole…and my eyeball had once been.

In my confused and shocked state, it took me a moment to realize that it had not just sounded much like a gunshot. I had enough experience with firearms to finally work out in my fuzzy brain that it had been a gunshot. And the conclusion from that thought was something equally alarming. For a gun to be fired, there had to be a firer of said gun on the other side of the door and they were unfriendly!

More thoughts started swirling, my family! They may be in the line of fire! With no more confused hesitation, I ran the distance to our car, fearful my assailant might fire again before we could escape. I jumped into the vehicle and we drove off, abandoning all other plans for the day. I steered the car back home while trying in my dazed state to explain to my wife what had just happened.

We entered our own house (safely) and heard the telephone ringing. This was before the advent of cell phones so I had planned anyway to now call 911. My intent was to quickly dismiss the incoming call, but a familiar voice on the other end of the line froze me in place.

“Mark,” came the beckoning of the caller, whom I recognized as my sister-in-law. “I am so sorry. I didn’t know it was you!”

…Didn’t know it was…and the shock of the statement finally cleared the fog in my head. The blinding light of this new reality struck one more blow to my rattled brain. It had been the woman who was now on the line with me, my sister-in-law, who had fired the gun with the intention to kill me.


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