Yeah, my reaction may have been a little extreme, but it all started when I heard noises. I went outside to investigate, carrying firepower just in case, when someone said, “Don’t move, or the animals get it.” I froze, trying to determine where the voice was coming from, but it was too dark and windy. I didn’t want to use a flashlight, since that would tell him where I was, and I didn’t know if he really was dangerous. Something told me he was, though, since he was snooping around on private property in the middle of the night.
Suddenly, the cows and horses had cried out, sounding like they were in pain, and I caught a glimpse of legs running away towards the woods. I didn’t think--I just fired. A man screamed in agony, falling to the ground, and then he didn’t move. “Crap,” I’d thought. “I didn’t mean to KILL him--just wanted to scare him a little.”
The cops had arrived just minutes later. Apparently a neighbor had heard the gunshot and the intruder’s cries, and she called 911. The cops demanded to know what happened, but when they saw the gun in my hand, they slapped cuffs on my wrists and led me to the squad car. Then they took me to this cinderblock jail cell, where I’ve been for the past three days, telling me to think about what I’d done and that I wasn’t going anywhere soon.
Do I regret what happened? Of course. No one wants to be the guy who killed another man. But when you hear your prized animals yelling in pain, and see a stranger dashing away in the darkness, you don’t stop to think about whether or not you’re going to get revenge--you just do it. I wish things hadn’t come to this, but I’d never let my animals be hurt under any circumstance I can control.
Life in jail sucks. No getting around that. The endless sea of gray gets so old, not to mention the lousy food (when we can actually eat), the other fugitive cell- and hall-mates, and the feeling of hopelessness since I probably won’t be leaving anytime soon. Life isn’t fair that way sometimes, since I was just trying to defend what was mine, but it’s how the system works.
Like I said, though, no one gets my animals without going through me first. Hell will freeze over before I let anyone hurt them. Ironic, given why I’m here in jail, but life’s a two-sided coin that way. You make sacrifices to protect what’s important to you.