Old Southern Ma Brinkworth

Senior woman in curlers and bathrobe with shotgun


Peggy Sue wiped hands on her apron in irritation and headed from the kitchen to the front door. Why were they so impatient, that was the second time in just seconds they’d hit that button and every time someone did that chimes in the hallway played a monotonous song she found to be annoying. She’d asked her husband Dennis Brinkworth to change the tune many times but somehow he’d not gotten around to it. As she rounded the corner she strained to see who was at the door. At this time of the day the sun playing on flyscreen made it difficult to see from the hallway. But as she drew closer she could make out someone in a grey uniform recognizable as the local parcel delivery service. What were they doing at her door? She hadn’t ordered anything online for a while as they were trying to save money since Dennis’ aged mother Ma Brinkworth came to live with them. Much of her shopping had been done online before, so she knew most of their delivery personnel and felt safe opening the door. Just as she reached the door they pressed the button again and her irritation found expression.

“I’m here, I’m here! Don’t be so impatient!”

“Sorry Mam, we’ve got deliveries to make and time’s running out before we can finish for the day. Sorry to have annoyed you.”

It was not the voice of any of the delivery personnel she was familiar with, but the voice was cultured and respectful. Peggy Sue began to feel sorry for her impatience and apologized as she peeped through the screen.

“I’ve got wet hands from working in the kitchen, just leave it at the door and I’ll pick it up when I’ve cleaned up. Thank you.”

“Sorry Mam, can’t do that this parcel has to be signed for and I can’t afford to lose my job going back to the office without it!” The delivery man laughed pleasantly totally disarming any reticence Peggy Sue may have had opening her door to a stranger.

Peggy Sue again wiped hands on her apron and opened the door.

In a lightning movement the man placed his foot to jam the door open, dropped the supposed parcel and pushed his way inside taking a gun from his jacket and pointing at her.

“OK lady, sorry to have to do this but the sooner we get this over with the sooner you can get back on with your life.”

Peggy Sue tried to remain composed but felt her body shaking. She was aware their baby daughter was asleep in one of the bedrooms and the old lady was probably asleep in her bedroom too. She hoped her daughter didn’t wake up or the old lady make one of her loud appearances.

“What do you want?” Despite her attempt at seeming in control her voice betrayed the fact she was frightened.

“Actually, it’s your husband we’re waiting for. But you don’t have to be frightened for yourself, the baby or the old lady. And we don’t mean to harm your husband when he’s due here shortly if he follows his usual habits.

“Why do you think there’s others in the house and how do you know my husband is coming home soon?” Peggy Sue was beginning to control her shock.

The man laughed. “Our organization is very efficient. It’s surprising how much about people you can find out on the internet and this house has been under observation for a week now. We know what we want and how to go about getting what we want.” He laughed pleasantly and motioned for her to be seated.

“Don’t be worried about the baby and the old lady. They’re sleeping soundly and we’re not going to wake them up are we?”

“I’ve got to get supper ready.” Peggy Sue was becoming more confident now the man had indicated he was not intent on robbery or harm provided they all cooperated. But why the interest in her husband? He was on the police force but there was little crime in this area so what did they want from him as he’d not been involved in any arrests that would prompt retaliation to her knowledge. How did he know about the baby and the old lady?

The man pressed a button on the walkie talky by his side and spoke. Move the delivery van down the lane at the end of the street and leave those guys tied up inside. They’ll be discovered in due course and released. Then come and join me here while we wait for Officer Dennis.” He glanced at Peggy Sue and laughed.

There was static in the reply message. “OK, be there in a couple of minutes!”

Within minutes, the door was flung open and a low life appeared beside the seemingly cultured man.

“You got here very quickly bone head, remember not to use my real name when you speak to me or the company may have to deal with you harshly as they did once before.” Both men laughed. The cultured man turned to Peggy Sue.

“Peggy Sue this is the deal. When your husband appears, we’ll be out of sight but will act quickly to disarm him. We hope we won’t have to harm him in the process. You’ll sit right where you are and not make a sound to warn him as he comes through the door or you’ll be responsible for what happens to your husband. We want his uniform and badge and of course the police car. We’ll be tying up your husband and leaving him naked with the guys in the parcel delivery van in the laneway. You can go and untie them when you find the keys of the van in grass over by the fence as we’ll have finished what we intend to do quick enough to abandon the car and uniform and make our escape. Do you understand!”

Peggy Sue nodded. This could get out of hand and she feared for her husband despite assurances given.

The cultured voice continued. “Now I’m going to check and see grandma is still sleeping so there are no complications in the plan. Bone Head is not a man to mess with as he’s a little quick with a knife so just sit there and there’ll be no trouble.”

“Bone Head, if you trouble the lady while I’m gone briefly the company will have your neck, understand?” Bone Head laughed unpleasantly and produced his knife as the cultured man went into the corridor to check out grandma’s room. Minutes ticked by and he didn’t reappear.

Bone Head looked at his watch. It would soon be time for Officer Dennis to make an appearance for supper and his boss was taking too much time. They’d cased the joint for a week and knew Dennis always kept to his time. He turned to Peggy Sue and snarled.

“I’m checking why the boss is taking too much time. Hope he’s not being too friendly with grandma. If you’ve moved by the time I get back you’ll pay for it!” He rounded the corner with knife exposed and ready for action.

There was a loud explosion in the hallway and Bone Head screamed in pain. He retreated holding onto his righthand leaking blood and rushed toward the door. There was another loud explosion as he fell to the floor by the door crying.

Peggy Sue sat terrified as she saw him fall, then turned in the direction of the explosion to see Ma Brinkworth calmly reloading the double barrel shotgun then pointing it at the fallen Bone Head.

“I’ve got him covered, tie him up girl! Saw that rat peepin through mar window and pretended to be asleep watching what he was up to. Hid behind the door and knocked the other one senseless when he peeped into mar room. E’s tied up and restin in mar room now.” Peggy Sue rushed to tie up Bone Head then rushed for bandages to stem blood flowing from his hand and leg.

Ten minutes later Officer Dennis opened the door and quickly pulled his gun as he saw two unhappy men lying tied up near the door. He spun in a semi-circle gun at the ready while he collected his thoughts. In the process he caught sight of his wife and old Ma sitting speechless while grandma held the loaded shotgun at the ready.

“Ma, what have you been up to now?”

Peggy Sue unloaded the story in a torrent of words while Ma sat impassively listening.

Officer Dennis called for backup and within a half hour the two unhappy prisoners were loaded into a police car for patch up at the hospital and interrogation at headquarters. The naked parcel delivery men were rescued and were the brunt of jokes at work from then on.

Old Ma Brinkworth became the talk of town. Officers would salute whenever she’d visit her son at the police station and shopkeepers would offer her freebies whenever she made her infrequent visits to town.

As a result of Ma Brinkworth’s capture of the two criminals, investigations eventually put a crime syndicate out of business and she was recognized with a bravery award which she cherished until her death two years later.

© Copyright 2019 Ian Grice, “ianscyberspace.” All rights reserved

© The above image is property of istockphoto.com






6 thoughts on “Old Southern Ma Brinkworth

  1. You categorized the story as fiction, Ian, but there were glimpses of reality in there. Never piss off the small guy or grandma. And that “cultured” crook sure can’t keep his mouth shut 🙂

    The story gave me a chuckle.


    Liked by 1 person

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