Panic and true terror are so difficult to describe. I don’t believe any amount of words can express my gut-wrenching fear at this point. Someone had been in the same room as my only child, close enough to steal a baby monitor ten inches from her blonde curls. The presumably-the-same culprit left a mutilated and decaying dog — which we would later discover to belong to our neighbor — lying in the floor of my kitchen. Now, someone had kicked in my kitchen door to leave the entire south-facing wall vibrating. My instinct? Unload four of my six bullets into the doorway. I felt the hammer click with each press, the kickback tearing at my arm muscles as I attempted to steady my shots. A window shattered, wood splintered, my ears deafened.
After hitting four, I stopped and listened. My daughter and wife screamed from upstairs, trying to solicit a response from me.
“Ben! What the fuck is going on?!” belted Amy.
Her foul language brought me back from my adrenaline-induced panic. I snatched the phone from the microwave and dialed emergency services for the second time that month. I practically shouted my home address into the phone the moment I connected with an operator. Her response only barely soothed my fear, and she assured help was on the way. But, I wasn’t going to risk it. I raised my gun again and stepped toward the door, ready to expend my last two bullets on the intruder if he was still moving. I walked around the counter and found only the other half of the two-part baby monitor — the part missing from my daughter’s bedside — sitting on the doorstep.
While I was busy putting smoking holes into the walls and door of my kitchen, my daughter apparently entered another seizure. The police and fire department arrived in minutes, and we were able to stabilize Jessie. While still an intense seizure, we were positive she had not suffered a stroke and that this was just an isolated seizure. The doctors assured us they would happen again, and gave clear instructions on handling them without rushing to the ER at every occurrence. State police investigated every corner of my home, including my basement and attic, for signs of an intruder. After taking my statement and collecting the dog’s body, we were left to clean up the mess. Two officers were stationed in our area, and one was left at our home’s curb for the remainder of the night. That night, my wife and I slept in our room with Jessie, door bolted and dresser against the door.
The next day, word spread through our tiny town of our home invasion and daughter’s medical relapse. After all, in a town of less than 5000, secrets are impossible to keep. Neighbors all speculated on who could do such a thing.
“It must be an out-of-towner. Some thug.”
“I bet it was that Miller boy.”
“That family must be cursed.”