When you get about 3 hours of sleep a night, you start to wonder if you are hearing things, or if you are losing your mind, when you hear knocking at 6:40 am. The sun was barely out as it was, and clouds were keeping its rays at bay, when I startled awake.
Dogs are barking, walls are shaking.
WHAT THE FUCK IS HAPPENING?!
I roll over, and poke Alex, just as he’s mouthing the words, “Is someone knocking on our door?”
He gets even less sleep than I do.
I nod, and he gets up, throws on pants slowly, and heads to the front door. On his tiptoes, he peaks through the glass arch of windows, and see a person, moving away from his line of sight.
Meanwhile, I am quietly peering around the barely cracked bedroom door, trying to see what he is doing. He motions for me to keep quiet, finger pressed gently to his lips, and waving me forward. I keep low, and find my way to the kitchen, where the blinds are cracked open just enough to see the front yard.
I notice two things at once.
There are several black trash bags propped up next to our trash can, waiting to be picked up. This strikes me as strange, because we only use white, GLAD with scent bags, and we NEVER leave them outside of the bin, even for a few moments, on pickup day.
The second thing I notice, while it’s not visible right away, is a small, rust colored car, seeminly parked in the middle of an island of trees. Okay, maybe parked is the wrong word. Parked would imply that the person stopped their vehicle there intentionally. This, however, looked more… unintentional.
I glance towards him just as he reaches for the knob of the front door, and notice that before his hand even touches it, it’s begun to move. He stops short, and I hold my breath. It shakes violently and the door pushes inward, but won’t give. It’s locked in 3 places.
That’s when we realize that the “parking job” might be intentional. Without making a sound, we back away into the bedroom, and I grab my pellet gun. Sure, it’s not much of a defense when you really get down to it, but will they know it’s just filled with pellets first glance?
For the next 30 or so minutes we spend our time quietly pacing around, peaking out windows, and trying to locate the person of interest. Finally, we see them. A man walking around the perimeter of the property, seemingly looking for entry. A woman, walking back and forth on the non-existent shoulder of our winding back road.
He seems more interested in finding something.
She seems to be a look out.
Several minutes pass, and I have my phone in hand about to dial 911 when the firetruck and police vehicles begin to arrive. A tow truck shortly there after.
Several hours pass before I can safely remove my vehicle from the driveway, an the peeping toms are loaded into the cruiser and taken away.
I know this sounds paranoid, but it wouldn't be the first time we’ve had someone on our property snooping around, pretending to be injured, or looking for someone. It wouldn’t be the first time in history someone was lured out of their home at the crack of dawn and hurt, or worse.
Since we’ve moved to a more isolated location, these are experiences we have often. Strangers that happen onto our property. Someone’s flashlight seen in the woods at night. Someone digging through, or in this case, leaving, trash at the end of our driveway.
This is the stuff you deal with when you live in a rural area.
I know it sounds like someone could have been hurt and we did nothing to help. Please understand, that if you were in our shoes, the moment someone tried to force your front door open, you would be skeptical too. We were going to call for help, but it seems that someone already had.
Fast forward to a few days later.
There is a church, with a daycare across the street. This “event” happened on a Monday. The one day a week that a friend takes her girls to that same daycare. We happened to talk about it a few evenings later. She said she recognized the car. That when she was dropping her girls off about 30 minutes before we both woke up to the first knock, they were actually parked closer to our front door. They were not in trouble, she knew that much, because she couldn’t see them in the trees. She could see them wandering around in our front yard.
I guess what I am saying is sometimes you have to feel a little guilty about trusting your gut. About making choices that might hurt someone else to protect yourself. You have to do everything in this dark world, to make sure that you and your family are SAFE. Even if that means you turn your back on someone. Even if that means you don’t answer the door when it looks like someone could be injured.
After all, that’s how most horror stories begin, right?