It was a dark and stormy night...there I was, sleeping peacefully, no one else home, when suddenly...
Ok...not really. But do you ever hear strange sounds at night and your imagination just goes wild? Usually it's nothing, but unfortunately, sometimes, they turn out to be worse than you may have ever thought.
One night when my girls were sleeping at friends' houses and I was all alone in the house, my dog started barking uncontrollably. My dog never barks, so when she does, it's not a good sign. Of course, if there actually was someone in my house, she would immediately go prancing up to them and start jumping up and licking them, welcoming them into our home. Great watch dog. So the only help she is, is as a "noise alert" dog. Anyway...she woke me up barking and my heart jumped out of my throat. I didn't hear anything at first, so I grabbed the billy club under my bed, that I inherited from my ex, and stealthily crept out the bedroom door, crouching down so no one could see me. Really? Does crouching down 3 inches really make you less obvious to someone breaking in? I was just shorter, that's all. Maybe crawling on the floor would make me less visible, but that wasn't happening. I couldn't hold the baton and navigate the floor at the same time, nor did I want to pick up any dust bunnies that may be lurking and dirty my pj's. (Not that my house isn't spotless.)
I slowly made my way down the hallway listening for any signs and looking for any shadows, while holding the club in a batting position. As I entered each room, I started swinging uncontrollably, just in case the perpetrator was going to jump out at me in the dark. The problem is, even if I did happen upon someone, what could I do? Not sure if this 110 lb. body could hold up to some 200+ lb. monster. I guess if I didn't panic, which I can't imagine not doing, the billy club COULD come in handy, smacking him where it hurts and running for my life. But I really never want that opportunity to find out.
So...no one upstairs. I then made my way downstairs, still in batting position, looking in every room down there, swinging like a crazy person. Nothing. Whew! Went to the family room and looked out the back door, turning on the outside light. Nada. Again...Whew!
I felt a little better and went back to bed. I laid there for the next hour or so in panic mode. Every noise I heard was someone trying to get in. I did the whole house check again, and again, nothing. But I suddenly did hear some scratching. I thought maybe now it was my imagination, and it was nothing, so I tried to go to sleep. But there it was again. By now, Brutie had stopped barking, realizing whatever that noise was caused no imminent danger, so she was sleeping soundly. Bitch. But I figured if she wasn't alarmed, why should I be.
I finally fell asleep, and slept the rest of the night, no sounds to be heard. I woke up safely in my own bed, no scars from the night before. I went downstairs to get a cup of coffee, then out back to clean the pool. As I'm walking to get the net to skim the leaves off the water, something catches my eye. I did a double take and there it was! At the bottom of the pool...........A dead rat! I almost puked! I ran running into the house, gagging back my vomit...and called my ex to immediately come over and remove the varmint from the bottom of the pool. So there WAS an intruder. I wasn't nuts. And it was larger than life. And I am so happy I had no idea what it was the night before. I'm not sure what I would've done had I known there was a rat scratching but I do know I wouldn't have taken on THAT by myself. That's almost worse than a burgler. Ewwwwww. I had never been more grossed out in my life.
The moral of the story is....well...there is no frickin' moral. It's just a disgusting ending to a scary beginning that has left a number of questions in my head. For instance...why did she choose MY house? My very clean, spotless, immaculate house. And more importantly...did she leave any family behind? Needless to say, the next week or so I spooned the baton at night, getting very little sleep. I also had an exterminator crawl through the vents to be sure no little babies were building a planned community in my ventilation system. I will never again dismiss any noise as nothing. I will just move out.