The other night, Megan and Rob were fast asleep. It was, after all, 1 am, a perfectly reasonable hour to be doing so. In fact, most of us expect most of us to be doing just that.
They were yanked out of sleep by Star barking her head off. Now, neither of their dogs are barkers. Megan has put a lot of effort into making sure of this. I used to laugh at how she’d sneak out of sight when she left them in the car and then come back to admonish them if they barked, but now that I’m in town a lot more, I really appreciate this. Not a day goes by without senselessly barking dogs.
It turns out that Star had every reason to bark. Rob opened the little purple door to reveal a strange man standing on the porch. And I do mean strange. He told Rob some tale about his father and a gun and a few other things, then asked for a cigarette.
Rob cheerfully lied that there were no smokes on the premises, and then suggested that the guy call the cops. He mumbled something and shuffled off into the darkness, with both Rob and Megan wondering a) What the hell just happened here? and 2) Hope he doesn’t head to Suzy’s place.
He didn’t; or at least he chose not to come in any of the five unlocked doors at his disposal. Of course, cats don’t bark, so I can’t be sure, but I don’t think we had any midnight visitors.
The whole thing is really odd, though. We live more than five miles down a narrow, rough, barely paved road from a town where the latest thing open is the store, which closes at 6 in the winter. There are no bars or nightclubs within dozens of miles (or more). There are no streetlights. He would have had to go all that way down the road, and then choose our driveway, which is nothing but a dirt/mud track with giant rocks filling the potholes (Mark’s latest repair effort).
He had to pass the front house, which is usually unoccupied, though huge, and nearly always has a light on, and then pick the little offshoot that leads to Megan and Rob’s place. Theirs is the only house which isn’t on the main driveway, which makes the whole thing even odder. Mine is the most obvious after the front house, and I always have a light on at night. Megan and Rob don’t.
They say this has never happened to them in the many years they have lived here, and our brother says the same. I don’t think it will happen again, and in any case, nothing really did happen. I’m not going to fit locks to my doors (or, more likely, have Rob do it). But it’s certainly a mystery, country-style.