The Misunderstanding (Part 2)

The line went dead.

Ray held the phone a moment, trying to fight back panic and figure out what to do. “Jan, take Grace to a neighbor’s and stay there.”

“Why? What’s wrong?”

“Some nutcase is coming here. I accidentally grabbed his bag at the airport. He made threats. It’s probably nothing, but just in case, I want the two of you out of the house when he comes.”

“Call the cops!”

“I will. As soon as you’re safe. Hurry.”

“Come with us!”

“No! If I go, it’ll just make him madder. I want this resolved tonight. Don’t worry, the cops will probably get here before he does.”

Jan scooped up Grace and kissed her husband. “Be careful!”

“I will.”

Ray watched until they were safely inside the neighbors’ house, then called the cops. He told them the situation and was told units were on their way. He went to his safe but his hands were shaking so much it took three tries to unlock it. Ray pulled out and loaded a 12-gauge shotgun and .357 Magnum revolver. He didn’t want trouble, but this whacko scared him. He wanted to be prepared and able to defend himself. Ray knew he wasn’t a great shot, but with a shotgun at close range he wouldn’t miss no matter how scared he was.

Ray brought Burdett’s bag to the front door and noted the man’s name and address in case he left before the cops arrived. He placed the guns so they’d be out of sight but within Ray’s reach. “Come on, cops! GET HERE!”

He jumped when pounding on the door sounded like a battering ram was being used.


A couple of police cruisers screeched to a halt, and two cops rushed to the front door. Ray watched through the peephole and could hear through the door. Although Burdett weighed at least forty pounds more than the two cops combined, his tone and demeanor immediately changed as soon as they arrived. “Good evening officers. It’s all a misunderstanding. This person and I accidentally grabbed each other’s bags at the airport. When I tried to get mine, this Johnson fella threatened me.” Burdett knocked again, this time rather gently. Ray opened the door and the suitcases were quickly exchanged.

“He was the one who threatened…!” Ray spluttered.

“STOP!” The taller cop, a sergeant named Murphy, cut him off. “It’s one man’s word against the other, so I’m warning both of you: This better be the end of it. You both have your own bags back. No more threats from either of you. Do you both understand?”

Burdett nodded.

Ray was so furious he could barely speak, “Okay.”

Burdett asked, “Can I go now?”


“Sorry for this little misunderstanding.” Burdett smiled and left.

“May we come in, Mr. Johnson?”

“Please.” He pointed to a couch. “Have a seat.”

“I’m Sergeant Murphy and this is Officer Trowden. On the way over here, we checked the record of the man you said threatened you. William “Billy” Burdett has a long rap sheet. Mostly violent crimes. To our knowledge, he hasn’t done anything lately and isn’t wanted for anything. We could have brought him downtown, but since it was your word against his he’d have been released before we walked back to our squad cars, and would have been angrier than ever. Burdett is a violent and vengeful man. Holds grudges a long time. We hope our warning scared him off, but just in case, we’ll request extra patrols on your street for a while.”

“Thank you, sergeant.”

“Be careful with this guy. He’s dangerous, and doesn’t make idle threats. Please call us right away if he contacts you again.”

“Will do.”

(To be continued…)

About russtowne

My wife and I have been married since 1979. We have 3 adult children and 4 young grandsons. I manage a wealth management firm I founded in 2003. My Beloved is a Special Education teacher for Kindergartners and First Graders. I'm a published author of 23 books in a variety of genres for grownups and children. In addition to my family, friends, investing, and writing, my passions include reading, watching classic movies, experiencing waves crashing on rocky shores, hiking in ancient redwood forests, and enjoying our small redwood grove and fern garden.

3 comments on “The Misunderstanding (Part 2)

  1. Oh, oh! He’s coming back, isn’t he?? I’m on the edge of my seat, Russ.

  2. Now why would such a kind and gentle man do that? ;-D! Thank you for taking the time to comment!

  3. Nice writing! I enjoyed it a lot.
    check out:

Penny for your thoughts (we won't resell them)

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s


Journalism so good... it's scary.


Decades of her words.

J and I Publishing

Creative Color Book Publications

Tony Flye


Everything Indie

Supporting Indie Authors with Tips, Reviews, and Services


Community manager for ReviewCreep.com - Exposure Platform for Wordpress Review Bloggers

Barbarian Writer

A Story For The Æons


Five true stories, every five weeks.

You Knew What I Meant

Errors and Intentions


Alexander Chee

Bending Genre

Essays on Creative Nonfiction

harm·less drudg·ery

defining the words that define us

Antariksh Yatra

Journeys in Space, Time and the Imagination

The Task at Hand

A Writer's On-Going Search for Just the Right Words

Mashed Radish

everyday etymology


Is this gentleman bothering you?

%d bloggers like this: