grandfather got the 12 gauge

and we went out into the yard

it was sunday morning

neighbors were sleeping or getting ready for church

he broke the gun open and slid two shiny red shells into their chambers

snapped the barrels closed and handed it to me

the gun was heavy and smelled of oil and powder solvent

“aim at the old shed and lean into it, she kicks some”, he told me

i covered the shed and pulled a trigger


the recoil staggered me back

“hold tight against your shoulder”


i was jarred but not so much

“here”, he said, handing me two more red shells

i had fired off maybe ten or twelve rounds

when the sheriff drove up

a big man weighted down with sheriff gear

we were busted

but the cuffs didn’t come out

instead the sheriff and grandfather set to talking

about where the fish were biting

and the the intricacies of squirrel hunting

i didn’t get to shoot any more

the shotgun was carefully cleaned

and put back in its place in the closet

the shed survived another day

11/22/18 LV
Copyright Michael Douglas Scott