4.7 seconds

You know that crippling fear you get in your dream state when you think you have an intruder in the house, but you can’t seem to wake or move. You are just paralyzed by fear and sleep.

This was the fear I experienced last night. But instead of a dream it was a reality. My worst nightmare, an intruder waking me in my own home.

It was raining last night so the cool air felt good. I managed to keep the door open through sunset to allow the fresh smelling cool air to flow throughout the apartment. After closing up the house, I went to bed early. The sound of rainfall in the evening has such a tranquility. I was drowsy. Cozy. Peaceful.

At 1:38am I woke. A hard wake that nearly hurts with urgency. My eyes bursting open to full capacity eager for light. I woke to the sound of a door opening. The apartment door. Someone was in my apartment!!

My flight or fight reaction took over and my body took over. I sat up and ran out of bed. FRAMMUUFFFF. Unfortunately, my feet were still caught up in the sheets so my legs never had a chance to get under me. I did manage to break my fall, however, with my jaw. I landed jaw first on the tile floor so much for a speedy, quiet, ninja-like appearance. I tore out of the covers and shot up. Ignoring the throb in my head and jaw.

At the bedroom door I decided to rush out rather than sneak. I needed the upper hand on the lurking monster. I stepped out. My heart now beating so hard with adrenaline and blood, that I felt like a superhero. I was ready to fight or flee. My eyes doing all they could to gain understanding of my surroundings. I found the light and flipped it on. My breath caught in my chest. There he was.

This was actually happening to me. There he was in the open doorway. We stood there, looking across the apartment at each other. His masked eyes beady in his tiny head. The moment seemed like ages as we glared at one another both completely motionless, like a movie in freeze frame. Both calculating one another. Looking for weakness. It was time. In an instant I decided to rush at him. I let out a growl and started running straight for him!

My bare feet felt something cold and wet. I was already in mid flight, before I could brace myself. My body hit the slippery substance and for the second time tonight, my feet were taken out from under me. I fell hard on my bum. The distraction was just long enough to give my intruder time to escape. I just saw his fluffy striped tail flick out the door. He was gone.

I was left alone on the floor. Sitting in a pile of old spaghetti noodles. Wait. Spaghetti? Fluffy tail? My brain was now piecing together the past 4.7 seconds of my life. What just happened? Why was I sitting in a pile of week old spaghetti and orange peels? Did that just seriously happen to me?

Tomorrow is trash day. So my weekly build up of smelly garbage was a bit to temping. My intruder was everyone’s favorite nocturnal scavenger. And I was lucky to have had a team of two. The cuddly raccoon. When shutting my back door the night before, I neglected to completely latch it. This team of bandits managed to push open my door the proceed to push over the garbage. Inside my apartment. They were just starting to snack when the crazy human woke with a crash and came chasing after them.

I spent the next hour cleaning noodles, peels, and even old gravy from the kitchen and my pajamas. I smelled like the inside of a restaurant dumpster on a hot day. It was all I could do, at 2:00 am, not to wretch at the stench.

After mopping and showering I managed to go back to bed. I snuggled in. Exhausted. Kicked my foot out for temperature control and fell asleep.

But, alas, the story does not end there. For, fifteen short minutes later. I woke to a number of painful mozzie bites on the bottom of my foot. In all my busy cleaning. I forgot to shut the door. The door! Letting in who knows what else. Annoyed with myself, I got up to shut the door. Checked for intruders. Then went back to bed for the night.

No worries. I only stubbed my toe once on the bed as I fell into slumber.

Oh dear.


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