The Lie that saved my life

The Lie that saved my life

On a winter evening, I walked round 
the neighbors to collect the money from the
newspaper subscribers. I was helping for
my 12-year-old son came down with a cold.

When I knocked on the door to a trailer
an old man with a grumpy face stood at the door.
Collecting for the newspaper, I said.
Come on in, he said.
Common sense nudged me not to go inside.
I'll wait here, I told him.
It's awfully cold out there, he insisted. Come inside.
His word hypnotic, I went inside.

Sit down there. The old man pointed to the couch.
We'll make it quick. You'll feel not a bit.
In the kitchen, a middle-aged woman was
searching for something in the drawer.
A knife, or a hammer? she asked the old man.
A hammer will do.
Sensing something amiss in their conversation, 
I said, I am on an undercover duty as well. 
Undercover? the old man looked startled.
Where is the hammer, Ed? the woman hollered.
Don't bother, woman, he said. Let's just have a talk.

The woman took a chair across us.
Only then did I notice her swollen feet
like a baby nursing mom's breast.
Wife needs new kidney, he said. I knew then
the whole story; the failed murder scheme and all.
I got up. I will think about that, calmly I said.
Now, can you pay for your subscription? 

Sure, the old man handed me the bill.
I hurried outside. The woman watched me,
with the glistening jade eyes of an animal that
just lost its prey that was so close to be its meal.

Now, decades later, I realize how careless I was
to go inside the house. I was glad I did the collection
on behalf of my son that evening. told him to stop
the paper delivering; just telling him to not go inside
the stranger's house wasn't enough.  Even I did!

Every October, I think of my stupidity that happened long ago,
one after another on the same night. Thanks to that, I wrote two
poems, which one of them published in the Terror House Magazine.
Halloween is around the corner, and we need to remind the children
not to go inside the stranger's house.  No matter how kind the 
stranger might be no matter how cold outside is; do not go inside!

This is a real story. Believe me. Assuming this is a fiction, miss out
the genuine feelings of true empathy for the true experiences. 

Byung A. Fallgren

9 thoughts on “The Lie that saved my life

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