My head flew up from the pillow.
Fireworks? My mind still lingered in sleep as my body stumbled to the window. Adjusting the slats of the blinds, I peered out to locate the source of the sound.
A man raced around the side of a car, flashlight darting through the windows. He stopped and straightened at it’s side, then backhanded the window with a hammer.
He’s breaking into cars! Not my car though.
“What’s going on? What’s that noise?” my wife whispered from the bed.
Bending down, I plucked my phone from its charger, dialed 911 and tossed it towards her. “Tell them someone is breaking into cars outside.” I had already rammed my feet into shoes and headed towards the bedroom door. “I’m going out there.”
I heard our address being spoken frantically as I opened the front door and sprinted towards the burglary.
“STOP! What are you doing!?” I reached the front of the car, heart thumping. The clean shaven head of the man whirled in surpise. What am I doing?!
He yanked his hand from the shattered window and bolted. “Stop! The police are on their way!” I pushed myself past the hood of the vehicle and dashed between the two parked cars. I’m fast. If he wants to run, I’ll catch him. What will I do when I catch him?
A sedan sat idling not 10 feet ahead. The getaway car. Get the license plate! No, just get him!
The man hurriedly pulled on the handle. With one foot in the car, I collided with the open door, pinning and crushing him against the side. A grunt followed the sound crumpling metal. His hammer clattered to the ground.
Reeling backwards from the collision, I rushed forward and pulled him from the wedge of car and door. He lurched towards the drivers seat again. Leaning and torquing, I pulled him off balance and to the ground.
I landed on his back and wrapped myself around him, digging my forearm into his wet, prickly neck. Writhing and rolling, he swung awkwardly at my head. This actually isn’t that hard. Blue and red lights danced in the distance. My grip tightened as he roared in desperation.
My vision exploded with light, the head of a hammer bouncing off the top of my skull. My limbs jerked to limpness with the blow. Ripping himself away from my grasp, the man scrambled to his feet, then sprinted towards darkness.
My daze retreated just in time to see a police car plow into the man, slamming him against the hood, flinging him to the side. The policeman was already out of his car and on top of the burglar as I slowly sat up, world still spinning slightly.
I just stopped a burglar.
I’ve noticed in my life that whenever a call to action arises, your decisions can be boiled down to two paths, one of brashness and one of inaction.
The tale above is losely based on the events of that night. Fiction.
Fortunately or unfortunately, depending on your inclination towards each path, I chose the safe path that night. No mad dashes or wrestling neccessary. The police came and we discovered the inept burglar’s drivers license amidst the vandalized cars. Case closed.
My path of action was absolutely superior to the scenario of battling the car thief. No risk and no hammers to my head. The stupid man basically caught himself.
But the glory of sound logic and reasoning in handling the situation wasn’t what kept me up the rest of the night, replaying itself over and over in my mind.
It was visions of the chase, adreniline coursing; battling with evil only to arise battered-and-bruised in sweet victory.
Damn super hero movies….