After dinner, Brielle and Marcelle helped Grandma Bennett clean the kitchen and load the dishes in the dishwasher. Once they were done cleaning the kitchen, Grandma looked at Brielle and noticed something was wrong.
“Brielle, come sit at the table with Grandma,” she gently suggested.
Brielle did as she was told, and Marcelle joined them while the rest of the family gathered in the living room to watch TV.
“Now, what’s bothering you, honey?” Grandma Bennett asked.
“I don’t know about this, Grandma. I just don’t feel right sending my girls to Thomasville schools. I have a real bad feeling about it,” Brielle replied, “The teachers really weren’t very welcoming to us today. And all I heard was gossip and anger about the video coming from some of them and the other parents. But I don’t have any other options. The girls need their education and if there were any private schools or home schools nearby, I’d gladly enroll them there instead.”
“Wait a minute. There is a home school here. They opened it while you were in California. It’s called Pathway Christian School and they’ve been headquartered here in Thomasville for about a year now. The kids go to school one day a week, which is every Friday for testing. After they test, they get their assignments for the following week to do at home. Also, they allow the kids to go at their own pace and there have been kids who sailed through and graduated a few years earlier than they would have if they’d stayed at Thomasville and Glover County Public Schools,” Marcelle mentioned.
“That’s right,” Grandma Bennett confirmed, “I didn’t think of that. Otherwise, I’d have told you. However, I need to warn you that the parents who have taken their kids out of public school here and enrolled them in Pathway have gotten a lot of heat from the local establishment and so has the home school itself.”
“Why am I not surprised?” Brielle replied.
“That’s true, Brielle,” Marcelle, her mother warned.
“Believe me, if I take the girls to Pathways, I’ll do it no matter the pushback I get. And if I find out that my girls are bullied there, that’s exactly what I’ll do, I don’t care who likes it or doesn’t!” Brielle said firmly, “However, since they’re already registered, I’ll see how it goes before I transfer them. Maybe Jane and Olivia will be accepted there.”
Later that night, after a good family visit, Brielle and the girls returned home.
“It’s after ten o’clock, girls. It’s time to get ready for bed.” Brielle told them as she carried the sleeping baby on her shoulder and headed for the baby’s room to put her down for the night. Jane and Olivia both sleepily trudged to their bedrooms to change into their pajamas.
After Brielle placed the sleeping baby in her crib and turned on the nightlight, she then visited each of the older girls’ rooms to kiss them goodnight before retiring to her own bed for the night.
It seemed as if Brielle had just gotten to sleep when suddenly, in the dead of night, a loud noise sounded, startling her awake. Bandit, who’s been curled up asleep at the foot of Brielle’s bed, began barking frantically. He jumped off the bed and ran down the hallway as he continued to sound off a cluster of loud barks.
B & E
Brielle, now wide awake, noticed her bedside clock which sat on her nightstand. It was three thirty a.m. Hearing the baby screaming in terror down the hall, Brielle quickly and quietly pulled open one of the drawers of her nightstand and pulled a gun out.
Sensing a presence in the house and hearing faint, clinging and clattering noises, along with dog barks, Brielle sprang from her bed and crept out of the master bedroom to check on her kids and see what was going on. As soon as she got into the hallway, her eyes adjusted to the darkness, and she could see into living room. What looked like a dark silhouette of a man, ran across the living room with Bandit yapping at his heels.
With a ferocious bite, Bandit lunged and grabbed the back of the ankle part of the criminal’s pant leg. The dog growled viciously as his teeth clamped down on the pant leg and began pulling at it. This slowed the burglar down and caused him to stumble. But he managed to keep from falling. Kicking his leg violently, trying to shake the dog off, he kicked Bandit hard. The dog yelped loudly from the pain of the blow.
Modern Day Annie Oakley
Brielle took aim and fired the gun three times. A high-pitched screaming, “Oh my God!” echoed from Jane’s bedroom. Olivia’s blood-curdling screams could also be heard along with the baby’s screams of terror and barking of the dog. The dark figure managed to pull himself free and take off.
“Stay in your rooms and don’t come out!” Brielle shouted.
The sound of the door swinging and slamming against the wall, followed back the sound of fast-paced footsteps across the front yard prompted Brielle to run to the door, gun in hand, but aimed toward the ceiling. She ran out on the porch to see the dark figure run across the yard, then across the road, and disappear into the huge cornfield across the road.
Brielle turned and ran back into the house. She ran back into her bedroom and grabbed her smartphone, being sure to take it off the charger, and shoved it in the front pocket of her pajama pants. She then tucked the gun, nose down into the waist, burst into the baby’s room and lifted little Kennedy out of the crib.
Protecting Her Nearest and Dearest
“You can come out now!” She shakily called.
Jane and Olivia came running out of their bedrooms and into the baby’s room where their mother was. They both ran to her, frantically wrapping their arms tight around her and crying.
“It’s alright now, girls! It’s alright! Everything is alright!” Brielle assured them, trying to remain calm and her voice still a bit shaky. Holding the baby in one arm and wrapping the other arm around both frightened girls, she held them tighter than she thought she’d ever held them their entire lives.
Brielle then let go of the girls, set the baby back in the crib, took her smartphone, and dialed.
“9-1-1, what’s your emergency?” The Dispatcher answered on the other end, after only two rings.
“I’ve had a break-in and just shot at an intruder in my home.” Brielle told her, “I’m at 2301 Hobbs Rd, just west of Thomasville.
“Someone broke into your house, ma’am?”
“And you say you shot at him, was he still in the house when you fired the shots?”
“Yes. I fired three times and he got away.”
“Was the intruder hit by any of the bullets?”
“I don’t know.”
“Okay. Hang tight. I’m sending a deputy.”