A Single Shot
Ned fired the forbidden rifle just once, at a flickering shadow in the autumn moonlight. But someone -- a face, fleetingly seen staring at him from an attic window -- was watching.
And when a one-eyed cat turns up at an elderly neighbor's woodshed, Ned is caught in a web of guilt, fear, and shame that he cannot escape -- until another moonlit night, come spring, brings redemption and surprising revelations.
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For his 11th birthday Ned's uncle gives him a Daisy air-rifle. Ned's father, a preacher, doesn't approve of the gun and puts it away in the attic until Ned turns 14. Ned has always been respectful to his preacher father and his arthritic mother. He has never really been disobedient, until now. He sneaks up into the attic and brings the rifle down. He just wants to fire it once and then he will gladly put it away. He sees a shadow near the barn and shoots. As he turns to go in the house he sees a face at the window. Was it his father, who would know that Ned had disobeyed? Was it snoopy, sour Mrs Scallop? Could it have possibly have been his mother? Ned slips back into the house and replaces the rifle. A few days later when he is at his neighbor's house helping out he sees a cat with only one eye. Ned is sure that he is responsible for the injury. As life happens around Ned the guilt builds up in him. Who does he tell and how will that help now?