Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Panic

I awoke to another gray morning. The fog hovered at the mid-line of the trees as the mist gathered in droplets on the window pane. It wasn't quite raining yet, however I knew it would be several hours before we saw the sun, if at all. I found it ironic that yesterday I found peace and solitude in the brume, while today it portended evil.
The dogs wriggled with excitement at the mention of a walk through the golf course. There was usually a sighting or two of deer, foxes, or other wildlife unlucky enough to have Juneau pick up it's scent. This morning was no different. A herd of deer were grazing along the edge of the woods that surround the golf course. Juneau took off like a shot, but of course he was no match for the graceful leaps and bounds of the deer, and they were well out of sight within seconds. Not one to be despondent about losing the chase, Juneau returned to the task of ferreting out squirrels and other small animals while still on the look-out for the big prize such as a fox or raccoon. Jenny, true to form, labored along beside me, her extra weight slowing her down.
Our morning stroll came to an end a short time later. I gathered the dogs in, wiped paws and put on collars, and told each of them what well behaved dogs they were. Once inside, I sat down at the kitchen table for my morning ritual of coffee and the New York Times crossword before changing from my walking-the-dog gear to my work-out gear. After a quick energy bar for breakfast, I gave the dogs a treat and told them to watch the house while I went to the gym. I turned on the radio for them and walked out the door.
At the gym I had a pretty good work-out. I ran a couple quick miles, pleased at having beat my previous record time. Then Shaun, my trainer, set about to completely annihilate any thoughts of ever raising my arms above my head again by giving me a strenuous upper-body work-out. Although it felt like torture at the time, I was thankful for the opportunity to train with her.
I was still feeling the after effects in my biceps as I pulled back into the drive-way. I raised the garage door and pulled into my usual spot. As I headed around the rear of the car, I was careful not to step in the wet tire tracks, as I didn't want to have to take my shoes off upon entering the house. I looked down to step over the second track and noticed a wet footprint.
'Well that's odd...' I thought to myself. My inner alarm bells were starting to clang. I knew I purposely stepped over the wet tracks. I went for a closer look at the footprint, and hesitantly placed my sneaker-clad foot into the print. I was much longer and much wider than my shoes, and obviously belonging to a man. I suddenly regretted that I had signed up for a photography class at the YMCA instead of the self-defense class.
I tried to quell my rising panic by thinking rationally. It wasn't Bob, I knew that for a fact as I had just gotten off the phone with him while in the car. It definitely wasn't any of the girls; not only were they at school, but their feet were not that big. I tried to recall anyone else that might have access to our garage door codes. Dave the Orkin man, but he only comes April through October, it couldn't be him. Besides, his truck was not in the driveway. Frank, the dry cleaner delivery man, knows the code, but he only comes on Monday and Thursday. Today is Wednesday, so it couldn't be him...
As I went down my mental list of potential workers who could know the door codes, I suddenly had another realization: The dogs weren't barking. Every time I come home I am greeted by my two barking, wagging, yipping dogs. I can usually hear them as soon as I exit the car. Today, however, there was nothing.
The hair on the back of my neck started to rise and my panic was palpable. Who the heck had been here? Where did he come from and why? Where were the dogs? And then the thought that gave me the chills - was he still in the house?
Flashbacks from '80s slasher movies were zipping past my line of sight. Half bodies stuffed in cabinets, blood dripping from the ceiling, body parts laying forgotten in the wake of mayhem. I could almost see Micheal's mask, Freddy's knives, and Leatherface's chainsaw. I quickly thought of my neighbors who would possibly be home in case I started shouting bloody murder... I couldn't think of any...
I got control of my panic and quietly crept into the kitchen, senses tingling and adrenalin pulsing through my veins.
I saw the dogs on the back porch and relief spread over me like a warm blanket. Someone had put them outside, but they were okay. I let them in, but they gave no hint of who had put them out there. They didn't appear any worse for the wear, and there was no indication that the person was still in the house.
I racked my brain for an explanation. Who would put my dogs outside but not harm them? Then it occurred to me that as I was driving into the subdivision someone honked their horn. I didn't recognize the vehicle so I dismissed the thought all together. Suddenly I put the pieces in place.
The slasher that came into my house

was

none other

than...






NORM!!!

He had to come over this morning to fix youngest daughter's closet shelf. I had forgotten that he just got a new car, that's why I didn't recognize it. I had also forgotten that I asked him to come over.

So, needless to say, I am not dead. Nor am I in pieces. I will tho, in the future, try to remember that when I am drinking wine and making plans for people to stop by, I NEED TO WRITE MYSELF A NOTE SO THAT I DON'T SCARE MYSELF TO DEATH!!!

29 comments:

Boomka said...

Lol you had yourself your very own Machinist moment. And if you haven't seen the Machinist then you need to because you obviously have not been nearly creeped out enough for your own life. So creepy yourself out. Christian Bale is amazing in it. I'm also glad you didn't get slashed. Nothing ruins a day faster than a strange man slasher. Hey that could be a bumper sticker!

SaraReno said...

Heehee! Quite a day you had!

Bamboo said...

Phew! That would have been enough to scare the daylights out of me. I wouldn't have even gone in the house before I was calling the police!

tale of many cities said...

LOL.. thanks for the laugh! glad you're in tact!

Brian Miller said...

dang, why you get my heart pumping like that...

julochka said...

excellent build-up of suspense. but quite relieved it was just norm...in his little....nurse hat?

McGillicutty said...

OK i commented and and it errored and now I can't think of anything better to say 'cept it was fantastic!!!!

Joshua said...

Whew! So glad you're not dead, flayed, slaughtered, slashed, dismembered, or otherwise.

blueviolet said...

I'm glad you weren't attacked by a mystery vandal!

Matty said...

My my my. Good thing is was Norm. But what if it wasn't? Next time call 911 and let the boys in blue check it out. Better safe than sorry.

Goose said...

I'm glad the evil villain was just the Normanator! Seriously though...if I wasn't expecting him and I found Norm in my house...I think it would still scare the hell out of me!

Tyler said...

Oh come on goose I'm not that scary! jeez.

otin said...

You had me worried there for a moment! Then I realized that if you were telling the story, then you had to be okay. And then I noticed something funny in the story.

I noticed that you must be a popular woman if Dave the Orkin man,comes for 7 months and Frank comes every monday and thursday! hahaha!

Loredana said...

That was great! I kept reading and reading and then got to the end and literally laughed out loud! Great stuff! lollllll

willow said...

Heehee...Norma looks pretty friendly.

Lisa Michelle said...

I am a puss when it comes to shit like that. I run and hide in a corner sucking my thumb while the neighbors are left like fresh meat to the intruders!!! BAHAHAH!!! I never go in first if I think something is wrong. If hubs is out of town the neighbors will come in before I do! LOL

Betsy said...

Ack! You had me going there for a second!

tale of many cities said...

we were looking in both the areas of Tucker, and Snellville in Ga. :) so beautiful!

fancypants said...

Scary! I would totally flipped out and been on the cell phone with either my hubby or the Police. Glad it all came out well!

Little Ms Blogger said...

I was thinking didn't she watch enough slasher movies to know she shouldn't go in the house???!

I'm so happy you knew who entered your home.

Lori said...

The whole time I'm reading this I'm saying "Don't go in the house alone." Just like in the movies. :) And then just like the movies, you go in the house. Alone. :) You had me worried for a second and then I thought well, she is posting this story...:)

Eidothia said...

If I were you, I wouldnt have dreamt stepping into the house! :)

Cyndy said...

Just like Lori just said. Just like in the movies. And you went in alone!?! I may have gone in alone, too, at least for the dogs. But I would have been shouting at the top of my lungs that I was home and that I had just called the cops. Then the joke would have been on me and the dogs would have got a good laugh ~ as always...

Doc said...

That scared feeling is no fun at all...

Gaston Studio said...

What a scare! I probably would have called the police and not gone into the house... but I would have been worried about my dogs!

Amanda said...

OMGoodness. You scared yourself silly!

mean_owen said...

This is why everybody should pack heat. Seriously though, this is one of those occasions where you go find a neighbor, especially one you don't like, and ask him to go in the house first. Guys can't help but do that sort of thing; the gene for that trait is on the Y chromosome, in between the genes for bathroom humor and spitting.

tori said...

this was a great post! I love the description and details! I want more of these :)
ps. I'm glad youre not cut up into little pieces.

CatLadyLarew said...

Let's give a big round of applause for Norm, the Mad Slasher!