I think we all have an event in our lives that we look back upon and realize, “Gee, if anything had gone wrong, at all, I would have died/been fired/been arrested/killed someone.”
Here’s mine. One day, as a teenager, I was hanging out at my best friend’s house.
My lifestyle growing up was middle class, but my friends’ family was definitely at least upper-middle class. His parents had this huge house on about two acres of land, on the edge of a hoity toity rural subdivision. Despite my friend being a total slacker, his father was an avid hunter and gaming man. The fully finished basement of this house had all sorts of bows, composite bows, crossbows, axes, and guns covering the walls. Now, I know nothing about this stuff, but I knew atleast that the father would measure out his own gunpowder and manufacture his own bullets. So the setting is, uh, set. You get the picture.
Since, at that time, I never had access to this stuff normally, I was always touching and admiring these weapons. And, likewise, my friend was always telling me not to touch anything.
This one day we were down in this basement playing something on his Sega Genesis. He paused the game and said that he had to take a dump, and might be awhile. So he leaves and goes upstairs. I’m downstairs twidling my thumbs.
I get up and start looking at the pretty weapons on the walls, touching them, extremely curious. So, I select a moderate sized bow and pull it off of the wall and twang the string a few times. Beside me is a 50 gallon drum that is completely full of arrows. I select an arrow and poke the pointy tip a few times.
My friend is still upstairs. I take the bow and arrow outside (there was a sliding glass door at the basement level) and walk out into the huge yard by several paces. I’m still twanging the string. I start to throw the arrow into the ground so that it sticks straight up, pulling it out, repeat. I then put the arrow onto the bow to see how it fits.
That’s when I decided to pull a Robin Hood and arch the bow way up into the air and let the arrow fly. I swear that I only pulled the string back an inch, expecting the arrow to fall to the ground a few feet away.
The string twanged, the arrow disappeared into the sky. A long moment of silence. My heart pounding.
A moment later I hear a very soft “thud” from the next yard over, and a dog starts barking its head off. With the bow still in my hand I ran as fast as I could across my friend’s yard, hopped the two fences and ran behind his neighbor’s house, towards the sound of the barking dog. There, sticking in the ground, mere feet from the tied up dog, is my arrow.
That’s when the chilling nauseating feeling rushed over me, followed immediately by a sweaty relief.
I snatched the arrow out of the ground, and ran back across the yards, again hopping the fences. As I approached the sliding glass door, I heard the toilet flush and looked up to see the light in the bathroom turn off. I booked into the basement, threw the arrow in the bin, and the bow back up onto the wall. I jumped over to the TV just in time for my friend to come down the stairs.
How about you?