Hello my Freaky Darlings,
When I was eleven there was a serial killer/paedophile, Gert van Rooyen, on the loose who targeted blond girls of my age in and around the area we lived in. Needless to say this had all parents of young girls on the edgy side. Both my parents worked, so did my sister and my brother was in high school and only got home a lot later than I did. My mother tried sticking me in after school care, but being the contrary and rebellious brat that I’ve always been, I decided that I’d have far more fun on my own at home. I was, after all, pretty tough and could handle myself in any situation, even if my parents didn’t think I could. I knew differently.
My brother was rather handy with a saw and chisel and could make pretty much anything out of a block of wood. He must have been bored one day, since he made a baseball bat. Baseball is not exactly a sport that is played in South Africa. I’d have understood him making a cricket bat, but a baseball bat? This little anomaly didn’t prevent me from asking him if I could have it. Strangely enough, he gave it to me. He probably realised that if he didn’t, it would find its way into my possession anyway. The bat found its way to a little hiding place behind my door, within easy reach should I need it. I was rebellious not completely stupid. Oom Gert, as he was called, would have a tough time getting me.
One afternoon, while doing homework, I heard a noise. No one else was due home for several hours, so I grabbed the bat from it’s hiding place and went on what I’d come to call baseball patrol. My heart beat in my throat. The bat rested gently on my shoulder, ready to swing at anybody who wasn’t supposed to be there. I went through every room in the house, swinging the bat as I entered the doorway. My brother would probably have had a few comments on my technique. I can still imagine him laughing at the site of me prowling through the house. I got to my parents room and heard another noise. It sounded like someone opening and closing a cupboard door and then draws being opened and closed. I decided to ambush whoever was in the room without my permission. I waited, the bat ready for action. A shadow approached. I swung. My father yelled my name. I stopped the bat mid swing, millimetres from his nose.
He never came home early, without calling me first, ever again. The bat, however, disappeared rather quickly. Which wasn’t really a problem for me. I simply went and found a thick metal pipe. Which was a lot easier to wield than the heavy bat. My father was not impressed. Although I think he was a little proud. The rest of the family still get a good giggle out of the story.
I recently found the bat at my sister’s house. My father had asked her to get rid of it, but instead she’d kept it all these years. She gave it back to me because she was packing up and getting rid of things to move to New Zealand. My trusty bat is now stashed close to my bed and within easy reach, once again. If my father were still alive this would probably make him a little nervous.