Yesterday morning, I was awakened to the sound of repeated gunshots.
Wait. Let that one settle in.
Right. So I live in a tiny town in East Tennessee. The last time I heard gunshots was 5 years ago, when “they” did a drive-by near the school where I was teaching in a very rough part of an even rougher big city, where I lived at the time. You know the type of place: lock your doors at night, set your alarm on your car, etc.
I recently moved away from the big city to avoid just this type of scenario. Thought the Diva could play outside safely, without fear of being gunned down by a misguided gansta out here.
Becoming increasingly concerned, I step out onto my back deck, which overlooks the beautiful Smoky Mountains and a neighborhood just below mine. I look toward where the sound is coming from and notice that I also smell gunpowder. They’re close. And still shooting. Alot. Should I duck?
I look to my right and see my neighbor doing the same thing I’m doing. He’s about 60 and is looking toward the assassins with his arms folded over his ample belly.
The following exchange takes place:
Me: That’s gunshots, right?
Neighbor (still looking ahead): Yep.
Me: And I smell gunpowder too. They are close.
Neighbor (still looking ahead): Yep. They’re shooting at somebody, I guess.
Me: Isn’t that dangerous? There’s a neighborhood down there!
Neighbor (lazily looks over at me): Honey, it’s Dayton.
Well, clearly that explains it! I think.
I go inside.
I call the police dispatcher.
Here’s how that goes:
Dispatcher: Rhea County Dispatch
Me: I’m over here (stated located), and I hear gunshots.
Dispatcher: Yep. We keep gettin’ complaints. (Shouts to someone in back about gunshots, then returns to phone.) Sheriff says today’s the opening day of goose season. Probably just huntin’ or doin’ some target practice. We’ll send somebody over there to tell them to stop huntin’ in the neighborhood.
Me: Thank you.
I feel so much better because Deputy Fife’s on the case.
Then, the Diva comes downstairs. I tell her all that has transpired. She says, “Did you see any geese flying in the air?”
Feeling stupid because I didn’t look, I don’t respond.
But I didn’t. See any geese.
If I end up dead, you’ll know what happened.