The following story is a true story, or at least a true memory. Maybe it happened, maybe it didn't but either way it is vividly burned into my memory so I wrote it down.
It was another fun evening of the kit and caboodle, the name someone had given the group of siblings and cousins, hanging out and playing. He may have known where his parents went, but more than likely not. All that mattered was another evening with his sister and cousins. The kit and caboodle consisted of his sister, 2 years older; Edee 1 year older; Karl a month and a half older; and Lisa 1 year younger. To be honest, the vague part of the memory is that she may or may not have been there. Perhaps not, but if not her parents would not have been able to go out.
The den they were hanging out in to play had once been a porch, so one wall was exterior brick and the door to the rest of the house was a glass sliding door. One by one, the others disappeared. Again the memory fuzzes as to who disappeared first, though Karl was next to last until he was the only one left in the den. He had a pair of cap guns and holsters for the guns.
Cowboys were tough, so he put on the belt and drew one of the guns. He didn’t have any caps, but that was another story. Slowly he slid open the door and entered the dining room. The cold tile floor connected seamlessly with the kitchen. Hesitating, he listened and then slowly entered the hallway. The only light in either room came from the range hood light, a low watt job that barely illuminated the stove unless it was the only light on. As he quietly went down the narrow hallway the light disappeared and the hall got darker. Simultaneously his speed disappeared too. Slower was quieter. Moving even slower, he approached the door. Noises from within told him the others, and the “older” cousins who were babysitting, were inside.
Pressed against the hallway as he had seen in so many episodes of Adam 12, he cautiously knocked on the door with the tip of the cap gun. No reply, but it felt cool to a kid who’s age numbered in the single digits. The cap guns were empowering. He tried it again. Still no reply. Without holstering the gun, he tried the knob.
He placed his hand on the knob slowly and turned it, as quietly as he had walked down the hall. Silence and subterfuge had all but disappeared with the knocks, but still, caution ruled the day. Suddenly the door was ripped open and he felt himself being grabbed and hurled through the air, all the way across the room to the bottom of a bunk bed where all of his missing cousins were struggling to get away, unsuccessfully from the tickling game that was being perpetrated on them.
Did it happen? How did it end? What was going on? He still does not know. This is all that remains, a distinct, vivid memory. A crystal-clear reminiscence of the false security garnered from cap guns and flying through the air before the memory fades and disappears.