Standoff In The Neighborhood


Standoff In The Neighborhood

You’re driving back from the mall. There is a police car parked in the intersection of your street and the cross street you take to the mall. Lights are flashing all over. You stop well back and park. It takes only a few moments to find out there is a hostage situation three houses down from yours. The husband went postal when he found out his wife wanted a divorce.

You look at your watch. Your high schooler is already out of school and on the bus. You ask the police officer where the bus will be stopped. Here, you find out. So Junior will know what is going on. Little Alice is at dance class just down from the school. A quick call on the cell phone and you leave a message at Hubby’s work to institute plan Alpha. It takes a few minutes to get to the dance academy. Alice is getting much better. You tell the car pool mom that you’re picking her up. It’ll be a few more minutes. Time to run down to the Quick-Stop and get a couple of things.

Alice thinks it is kind of fun to be doing Alpha when you tell her why you’re picking her up. They’d only just walked through the plan before, with her at school. It’s tempting to divert to pick up Junior, but he knows the route to Jessica’s house just fine. You’d have to go through the bad part of the city from here to pick him up. Better to just go to Jessica’s and get Alice set.

Another quick call. This one to Jessica. Nuts. The cell never works here. Doesn’t matter. Jessica and you have discussed this a few times and have a plan. It’s a little surprising, but Jessica is home. You won’t have to get the hidden key for the travel trailer and stay there until she gets home at her regular time.

By the time you explain what is going on, Junior shows up and knocks on the door. Another explanation. Junior brings in the items you picked up at the market. A little extra for supper, just in case. It would have been fine. Jessica and family were having hamburgers. There is plenty of extra for everyone.

Everyone is sitting down to eat when Hubby shows up, running late from work, as usual. Since there hadn’t been an Alpha Blue code, just Alpha, he’d not been in a hurry.

The standoff was still going on, according to the six o’clock news. It was over by ten that evening, but the sleeping bags were spread out in Jessica’s living room. No point in hurrying back. Probably run into the media wanting sound bites. Not worth the hassle. There would be no problem getting up an hour early the next morning and going home to get ready for work and school. The plan had worked just like the drills.

Copyright 2005

Jerry D Young