It was late on a Saturday night; maybe two or three in the morning when I awoke to the sound of toes tipping across my carpet. I was twelve and scared to death. Still, I listened to the shuffling going on around me; my eyes hadn’t adjusted to the absence of light.

Then, it occurred to me…we were being burglarized! We lived in a tough barrio. Several suspects popped into my head. My eyes adjusted and I could see the perpetrator’s outline slicing the darkness. I watched him collect my things into a bag of some sort. Details were hard to make out, but I could tell he was in the area of my room where I kept my video games.

It was starting to make sense; over the last few days, I had been showing my new Commodore 64 to a bunch of kids from the barrio and they were all quite impressed. Now, it seemed, one of my older bros was impressed enough to sneak into my room on a dark (and stormy) Saturday night to make my Commodore 64 his own. It had to be Pancho. He was the only dude I knew who could cast that big a shadow across my bedroom floor. He came to take my games and my prized system.

He wasn’t going to succeed on my watch.

I crawled out of bed and lowered myself onto the floor. I kept my eyes fixated on the thieving shadow while I pulled myself across my bedroom. Grabbing the carpet for leverage, I made my way to the burglar. I hadn’t thought about what I’d do when I got to him, but I yanked my twelve-year-old self closer and closer the shadow.

My arms began to stiffen, but after what seemed to be an eternity, I was behind the bag. I was close enough that I could see that it was a red backpack that he was filling with my games. I stretched my neck in an attempt to get a better look inside that red backpack, but too late, the shadow saw me.

I went from snail to centipede and darted out of his stomping foot’s path. I dodged stomping foot after stomping foot. He wasn’t a burglar anymore; he was a cold blooded killer. My life was now at stake; I had forgotten all about my precious Commodore 64 on which I spent afternoons and evening playing games. It was only about survival.

I scanned the room for any available weapon. My eyes fell upon my prized gaming system. It was my only chance. I lurched to the Commodore 64 and yanked its cords from the wall and from the television screen. The shadow grabbed my foot and was about to throw me into the wall. I grabbed the Commodore 64 with both hands. If my life were to go on, now was my chance.   I hurled the gaming system and the intruder and scored a direct hit upon his temple. He collapsed onto the floor, looking like a black potato sack. My Commodore 64 was in a bunch of pieces all over my room, but I was safe. My life would continue thanks to the Commodore 64.