Based on the recent turn of events, my circadian rhythm has had the opportunity to reset itself to its normal state, which strangely enough is not in line with standard business hours. The dogs, however, have not been supportive of this, so I’m essentially not getting as much sleep as I should. Perhaps that explains the oversensitive imagination that has started to become more active.
Late last night I was sitting outside having a smoke break. It’s typically pretty relaxing for me at that time because it’s very late, and since it was a new moon, it was naturally dark, giving a very peaceful scene, offset by the light breeze.
My eyes were just barely adjusted to the light when a car drove by. The area that I live in is very suburban. To clarify: I am basically a city girl,so saying something is very suburban means it’s quiet, not active.
It’s not usual for cars to be in our neighborhood other than those who live here or visit, but it’s not completely unusual for some cars to come in late, even on a Sunday night. I wasn’t alarmed when the car turned down our cul-de-sac and sped to the end. I was a little attentive as the car turned around and came back towards the intersection.
When the car reached our driveway (there are a total of 3 houses on my side of the block) and instantly shut off the lights I was startled. When the engine cut a few moments after as the car rolled to a stop, I was perplexed.
I had no lights on. It was unlikely the driver was aware I was even there, sitting quietly on my front porch at such a late hour on what for others, is a “school night”.
The car door opened and I noticed no interior lights came on. I was able to make out a tall male figure as he stepped out of the compact car and towered over it. I still sat and watched.
When the dark shadowy figure turned the corner (we are a corner house) and I could see the looming figure pass the other side of our enormous holly bush at the far corner of our yard I was alarmed. I jumped up and immediately went inside and locked the door.
Everyone in my house was asleep at the time. I was happy all the doors and windows were locked and the curtains already drawn. I quickly became distracted by a repeat of one of my favorite train-wreck reality shows, which was good, because I did not want to “risk” passing the windows on the sides of the front door and seeing the lurking shadowy figure pressing up against it. (See what I said about the imagination?)
After the appropriate amount of time, as determined by all horror and crime-based shows, plus 15 minutes for good measure, passed, I went upstairs to bed. I peered out the upstairs window, which for some cosmically wrong reason had the shade still up, to see if I could see the car. I couldn’t. The car had parked perfectly out of view of the windows in our house, shielded by the one large tree in our front yard and the holly tree at the end corner.
Of course the car had parked there. That would be the obvious place to “hide” in plain sight from a house and it’s occupants who you had been stalking to ensure your approach would not be noticed from the inside.
I crawled into bed and got under the covers, where I was safe, and then, and only then, did I wake my husband to tell him what I had seen. He was concerned and immediately went to the window to look. He couldn’t see anything. He asked if I wanted him to go downstairs and I said hell no, of course not, so he came back to bed and said to wake him if I heard anything.
Oh, I heard things.
I heard every single branch blowing and touching the house. I heard the bird downstairs snore. I heard the fan in my son’s room as it rotated.
I saw things, too. I saw glimmers of light reflecting in the pitch black hallway which at the time resembled quick gleams from low-glow flashlights and of course the night-vision goggle reflections on glossy painted trim on the doorways.
When the toilet burped I nearly had a heart attack.
I laid there with my glasses on and my phone clutched tightly under the covers. For hours. Watching the light on the cable box so I could see when the power to the house was cut. I tried to avoid seeing the shadows lurking in the bedroom, just out of sight of the corner of my eyes.
The distinct sound of a stifled sneeze made me wake my husband. He got up to check it out and went downstairs. I followed. There was nothing, of course. We returned without household weapons for protection.
He told me to go back to sleep and wake him if I heard anything.
I most certainly did.
I heard every window and door being checked to see if it was locked. It was ok, I was one step ahead of the shadow in my mind, double checking that every lock and risk was covered during my nightly lock down. I remembered the basement window, shielded from direct view of the street by the side bushes that would allow for entrance. I heard each of the previously broken pane pieces being removed, delicately one by one, for optimal silence.
I heard the flap on the dog door. Even I dismissed that one. One face to face meeting of either of my dogs would fix that. I heard the bird gasp. I held my breath.
I heard a thud in the attic.
My husband was not amused but asked me if I wanted him to check it. I said of course not, in a disgusted “you should know that” huff, continuing by pointing out the obvious that if you open it the mini-militia of assassins will jump down on us. That’s what they want, for US to make the noise for them. He was tired, which must have explained the look he gave me.
He told me to go to sleep.
I fell asleep about an hour before dawn, when I would have been able to see if the car was still there, and the lurking figure last seen by the holly tree would no longer have the cover of darkness to hide from his evil intentions.
My husband left to take our son to camp, but not before saying goodbye. I was alert enough to remind him to lock the door on his way out, to keep the assassin from sauntering in.
He was not amused.