Saw Grandma

(This is a piece of fiction I wrote for fun. When I was a little boy we would occasionally go to camp meetings at Camp Sychar in Mt. Vernon, Ohio, not in Iowa as the story states but who's keeping track? There was a woman who played the saw. I remembered this and thought I might take the story further...)
   Edna McGrath put her saw back into its case and gave her bow a quick coat of rosin before storing it as well. She had spent the last hour practicing, preparing for the two weeks of revival services that were beginning this evening at the Camp Sychar Pentecostal Campground. This promised to be really good because Wally and Ginger were the scheduled song evangelists and they seemed to really enjoy Edna playing her saw along with all of the music while she sat in her usual spot on the front, right bench. Edna loved working with Wally and Ginger and especially enjoyed their rendition of “Jesus is Coming Soon” and had composed a challenging counter-melody that fit perfectly into the chorus. It would be a pleasant surprise for Wally and Ginger without a doubt.
     The year was 1992 and Edna knew that the saw was becoming a rare instrument  and that soon her art form would be a thing of the past. That was acceptable to her. She knew nothing lasted forever, but she would play as long as she was able. Her father had taught her the art in between his stints overseas as a spy for the United States, and his work as a CIA operative. He was very active during his later years in many secret Cold War operations that would be known by none for decades. He had learned to play the saw from his mother, and no one knew how far back the tradition went in her family.
     Edna snapped the case shut and walked out into her little back yard. It was now 2:00pm, right on time. She was already in her work-out clothes so she commenced to stretching. At seventy-four she knew that this was essential and took it very seriously. Twenty minutes later she stood up, put on her light boxing gloves and walked over to the speed bag hanging beside her garage to work on her hand speed. Fifteen minutes later she ran into the house, grabbed her bag and saw case, and headed out to the driveway. She hopped into her 1957 Dodge Torqueflite, pushed the “Drive” button, and roared out onto the street toward the Muay Thai dojo about three miles from her home. Edna was already a 5th degree black belt in Kenjutsu, a form of Japanese sword fighting, was a licensed Ninja, and was working toward her first degree black belt in Muay Thai.
     It was a pleasant June day in Windsor Heights, Iowa, the small suburb of Des Moines, partly cloudy, ten percent chance of rain. As she neared the stop sign on 60th and University, her watch beeped. She looked down and saw the emergency icon flashing and the words, “6611 University Ave, Windsor Heights, 211 in progress.”
     6611 University? “That’s Mustard’s Restaurant!” she said aloud. She yanked the Dodge off to the side of the road, skidding to a halt. She then slid quickly over to the passenger side of the car giving her more room, pulled off her sweat pants and sweat shirt in seconds revealing her tight, midnight blue body suit with a big SG on the front. 
     Saw Grandma.
     She reached behind into the back seat, opened her saw case, and pulled out a matching blue mask. After putting it on she stretched the skin tight but supple hood up over her head that kept her gray hair from getting in her way. She then grabbed her saw, bow, and utility belt from the saw case, snapped it shut, slid back over to the driver’s seat and took off down 60th, tires squealing. She blew right past the stop sign and rounded the corner to the right onto University, gunning down the road toward Mustard’s just four blocks away.

     Zeke “Slim” Collins stood across the counter inside Mustard’s wearing a black ski mask and calmly pointing a sawed-off 12 gauge pump action shotgun six inches from the nose of Buck, the frightened assistant manager. Slim’s partner, Judd “T-Bone” Skinner, also wearing a mask, had two Colt 45 semi-automatic hand guns pointed at the restaurant diners that they had gathered over into one corner and who were laying face-down on the floor.
     “Here’s what’s gonna happen,” Slim snarled to the shaking Buck, “Yer gonna empty out the cash register into this here bag or you’ll get yerself a load of buckshot in yer noggin! That clear enough for ya?!?!”
     Buck nodded and slowly moved his shaking hand over to the register, not taking his eyes off of the menacing barrel of the shotgun, punched one of the buttons and the drawer opened. He obeyed Slim and started putting the money into the black, canvas bag that was resting open on the counter.
     T-Bone started his own project at the other part of the restaurant.
     “Alright, listen up!” he yelled, “Take yer wallets and purses out and slide ‘em across the floor to me...SLOWLY!!! You, there!” He pointed to a little girl who was laying beside her mother. “You come over her and put all the purses and wallets into this here bag.” He tossed a bag that was identical to Slim’s onto the floor.
The little girl slowly stood. When her mom started to rise in protest, T-Bone screamed at her, “Back onto the floor! If everybody does what we say, we’re outta here and no one gets hurt!”
Purses and wallets slid over to the feet of the little girl and she obediently began her assignment. The only sounds in the room were the rustling of the bags being filled and an occasional whimper from a frightened hostage. Then...what was that? From the kitchen a faint, three-note melody slowly started to repeat in a shrill, annoying tone. Slim and T-Bone looked at each other with uncertainty.
     “What is that?” Slim asked.
     “Sounds like an animal is in some sort of pain.” T-Bone responded. He yelled toward the kitchen, “Whoever you are, you better...”
     The music stopped suddenly and there was a hissing sound as something flew through the air so fast it was almost invisible. T-Bone felt an intense, sharp pain in his right hand, causing him to drop his Colt .45 onto the floor. He looked and saw a gleaming throwing star wedged into his wrist, the initials “SG” on both sides.
     “ARRGGHHH!” He dropped the other gun and his left hand reached over to try and remove the source of his sudden agony. Slim was distracted and barely saw the midnight blue flash that shot out of the kitchen and leapt over the counter. He knew immediately. “Look out!” he shouted, “It’s Saw Grandma!” But his warning came too late.
     A split second after Saw Grandma hurdled over the counter with the dexterity of an olympian, she leaped up and caught the left side of T-Bone’s head with her right foot, executing a perfect roundhouse kick. Slim leveled around his shot gun and fired once, but missed as Saw Grandma dove behind a booth, buckshot hitting the wall just above her. T-Bone was out cold. Slim ran across the room toward the booth, jumped up on top of it and fired his shotgun down onto the floor behind it, but he hit nothing because Saw Grandma was not there.
“Huh???” He whirled around just in time to see a saw spinning in Saw Grandma’s hand. He raised his gun again to fire, but Saw Grandma wielded the saw like a Japanese sword and spun the 12 gauge out of Slim’s hand into the air. She caught it with her left hand and tossed it into an empty booth twenty feet away. He lunged and took a swing at her, but she moved off to the side and used his momentum to push his face into a nearby table, then slammed the flat side of her saw into the back of his head. He joined is accomplice in unconsciousness. She reached to the back of her utility belt and took out two sets of handcuffs. She grabbed Slim’s wrist, dragged him over to the “resting” T-Bone, cuffed them together, then cuffed them to the floor rail that ran along the base of the counter.
     “Ladies and gentlemen,” she said, turning and addressing the stunned crowd, “please rise and walk safely out the front door. The authorities will be here momentarily and will make sure you each have your belongings back in short order. Thank you.”
     The people slowly stood. They’d all heard the tales, but to see Saw Grandma in action was a once in a lifetime experience and they never would forget it.
     “Thank you, Saw Grandma,” they said, “Thank  you.”
Saw Grandma darted through the kitchen and out of sight.
     After some time Edna was back behind the wheel of her Torqueflite. “I still have time for a quick session at the dojo, then to Camp Sychar,” she thought.
     Later that evening she settled into her place in the tabernacle, front bench, right side. People filed in as the pianist played. At 7:00pm sharp Wally and Ginger took the platform, welcomed everybody, and started the congregational singing.
     “Victory in Jesus,” thought Edna as Ginger played the intro to the first hymn, “and in the key of A flat. Typical key for camp meeting. Should be in G. Oh well.”

One thought on “Saw Grandma”

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s