I Hope I’m Not Losing You


I never meant to sleep with Keith’s wife. I meant to bang her, mind you, but never planned to actually lay in bed with her until the morning light. Unfortunately, I can’t hold my drink well and I fell asleep in their bed when the agency sent him away for a three-day job in Santa Monica. Such an oversight would have gone unworthy of mention had Keith not come home sooner than anyone expected.

The best I can piece together, he must have come up to the bedroom in the middle of the night and seen us naked and passed out on top of the covers. Many a man would have lost it then and there and gone into a rage. Keith, however, is the best in the business. Being a cold, calculated professional, he went out to his shed and got the bear trap – complete with teeth and extra spring – and placed it at the side of the bed.

When I headed for the bathroom in the darkened room, I only made it two steps before the trap tore into my right ankle and I collapsed in agonizing pain. I stretched for where I remembered tossing my clothes the night before so I could retrieve the nine. Naturally, the clothes and the nine were gone.

I furtively started working at the trap with both hands. The springs were massive and made to hold a beast three times my size. I was certain the bone had snapped and my foot wasn’t moving in sync with my body. Blood was coming out of my leg around the cast-iron teeth and pooling. It was mixing with urine – unmistakable in smell – that I must have released but wasn’t aware of. “Heather,” I whispered as the skin of my fingers started shredding on the trap’s teeth but she did not move. “Heather!” I whisper/yelled, but she only rolled over and responded no further.

“Hello, Ian,” Keith said from a few feet away in the direction of the pitch black bathroom. I heard the sound of a zipper and it dawned on me that it was his urine I was now sitting in: as soon as I was snared, the bastard had stood in the dark and pissed on me. “I see you’ve met my wife,” he teased.

“It’s not what it looks like, Keith. I had too much to drink and …”

“..and it’s exactly what it looks like, Ian. You wanted to play house in my home.”

“That’s not true! Heather, she …” I have no idea what else I was going to add had he not hit me with something hard enough that I blacked out.

I came to in the hospital to discover that I had been out for over a week. I had been found naked and still in the trap by two mushroom hunters off the beaten path in the state park. Doctors took my right leg off just below the knee – a necessity to stop the gangrene that had started to set in. Animals were credited with taking my genitals while I was unconscious, but we both know otherwise.

Neither the doctors, nor the police, had any interest in the Keith and Heather story and I didn’t volunteer it. I was written off as one fortunate nut job, if you’ll pardon the pun. I did volunteer, though, to share my story with you. Keith keeps me around as a “walking” reminder to all of what happens if you cross him and he runs his life like a well-oiled machine. He wanted me to express to you that he’s glad you’ve asked his daughter to the prom, and delighted that you’re doing so well on the high school football team. He’d like you to think about Uncle Ian, though, when it comes to curfew and make sure she’s home before ten.

~ fin ~

Michael Gunn is a rogue park ranger and the inspiration for many an urban legend. He keeps a meat hook on his rearview and drives around on warm summer evenings with his lights off waiting for someone to flash their high beams at him.