Previous Challenge Entry (Level 1 – Beginner)
Topic: Favoritism (02/28/05)
TITLE: The Old Man's Rifle
By Robert McFaddin
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Daily he talked with his old hound dog while he cleaned and polished his cherished treasure. The other rifles in the cabinet were neglected. They did nothing more than collect dust. His beloved outshone them all. He made sure that the gun cabinet had plenty of light to show off the pride of his rifle collection.
Late one night while the old man was sleeping in an upstairs bedroom a thief found his way into the house through an open window. Once inside he scanned the room for valuables. Then he saw it. On the other side of the room the gun cabinet stood silently against the darkness. The old man’s prized possession sparkled through the glass door.
As he made his way across the room he stumbled over the old hound dog. It yelped loudly startling the old man awake. Next to the bed he kept one of his less cherished rifles. It was there for protection. At one time he had kept his favorite there, but he was soon afraid that it might get scratched. Instinctively he stretched out his hand and grabbed the worn stock of the rifle. It felt inferior in his hand.
Quietly the old man cocked the rifle and crept out of his bedroom. As he stepped into the hallway he could hear someone rattling the gun cabinet’s door. A smile crossed his lips as he remembered locking the cabinet just before going to bed.
When he reached the top of the stairs he heard glass breaking. It had to be the glass from the gun cabinet’s door! His heart raced as he ran down the steps. His prized possession was in danger!
Quickly he threw on the light to see a huge bearded man cocking his beloved rifle. Startled, the thief turned to see the old man standing in a long nightshirt pointing a rifle at him. He could see the old man’s gaze was locked onto the shiny rifle he had just taken from the gun cabinet.
They stared at each other for what seemed like an eternity. Only the ticking from an old grandfather clock could be heard. The thief sneered as he raised the rifle and pointed it at his adversary. Rage filled the old man as he quickly squeezed the trigger!
Nothing happened. The thief closed his eyes at the click from the rifle. Fear gripped the old man as he tried to cock the rifle again. It jammed! Slowly the thief raised the old man’s prized possession and pointed at him. Smiling, he slowly squeezed the trigger.
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