The air was hot and dry that day in early summer of 97 when the authorities silently approached Clay Massey's old farm house, guns drawn, bullet proof vests, and black masks drawn down over their faces.
Old dead Clay's neighbors will never forget Wilda's screams and the sound of gun fire as the County SWAT made their way down the bedroom hallway to Clay's room. Widow Wilda is still trying to sue the county, but many hereabouts say she ain't got it comin'.
"Ain't patriotic," said Lucy Barnes; "it'll just take money from the county if she wins, and it just ain't right; Clay tried to kill those policemen."
"She's certainly got a lot of nerve, Clay being a criminal and all," said Marla Hintz, librarian. "Anyway, what business did that Clay have with so many guns anyway, I ask you?"
"Now ladies," Stuart Clemmens interupted; "do you really think Clay deserved to die like that, protectin' his family and all? Why, wouldn't your own husbands defend you if'n someone suddenly broke in the front door in the middle of the night? That Clay, as far as I'm concerned, he's a hero!"
Turning back to the cubby holes in front of him, Stu continued sorting the mail, waiting to hear their reply from across the counter.
"Why, I don't know, Stu. Seems to me that it don't take five shotguns, an assault rifle, and six handguns to protect a home now, does it? It don't take one of those there AK47s to go huntin', now does it? Personally, I think he was one of those militia people. I'll bet he was saving up all those guns so he could do whatever those militia do." Marla shifted her weight from one leg to the other, adding; "The way I got it figured, it was just a matter of time until they got em anyway."
"But he didn't rightly do anything wrong, did he?" said Stu. "No one ever said what old Clay did that brought all those policemen out there to his farm in the middle of the night, now did they?"
"No, but it's a fact, Stu, no respectable man would have had that many guns in his home if he was civilized and respectable," said Lucy. "Why, this is 1997, not the middle ages you know. This here is a civilized society!" She smiled.
Stu wanted to say more, but he just nodded and went back to sortin' the mail--
keeping his secret gun collection to himself.
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|The Beginning or End|
By Alicia Colombo