In the rural area I live, gunfire is common. Many a summer evening I can hear automatic weapons fire coming from three distinct directions, and all it means is people are having more fun than I am. Come this Fourth of July weekend, and we add in a host of fireworks; Enough to frighten the horses and drive the dogs insane. As we relaxed in our living room, listening to the neighbors cute little firecrackers, and the AK and AR fire from over the hills..... resolve set in. Herself and I shared a look, and the same thought passed wordlessly. I took myself to the car for hearing protection, and she put something over the nightgown. The safe opened, Liberty was retrieved and readied. Liberty, my M1 Garand rifle, a gift from a good man. Two clips... enough. Out back, to the round bale I had dropped there to absorb bullets. In the dark, Liberty loaded by muscle memory and feel. Aim taken at the center of the huge white bale... Blam! Blam! Blam! Blam! Blam! Blam! Blam! Blam! PING!
Reload by feel in the dark, thoughts on our nations warriors and soldiers who made those same motions in battle, fighting for their lives, their buddies, and in the end our freedom.
BLAM BLAM BLAM BLAM BLAM BLAM BLAM BLAM... PING! As fast as I could. Fire belching from the barrel, shell casings raining down, the 30 caliber rifle roaring in the darkness.
In the distance, silence. All other firing and fireworks had ceased.
As the last clip fell to the concrete, it rang with the clarity and long song of a bell in the clear air of the night. Herself asked "What is that ringing?"