Usually. Because when Mark's gone for the weekend and I'm home alone...you know where my imagination goes. My hearing, always very acute, ratchets into overdrive. I hear every scratch or thump, inside and outside - especially when that thump occurs in the middle of the night.
There are a lot of animals, both wild and domesticated, on the loose in the area, and they don't particularly care that humans are trying to sleep. Coyotes howl at the moon in eerie harmony. Racoons ruckus and rumble as they cross the road. The deer play Chicken with cars on the county highway, rabbits hop the fence to nibble in the garden, and roaming barn cats yowl and mate. The next door neighbor's horses occasionally kick their stall walls well before the sun comes up, thinking it's time for breakfast, and her goat's neck bell clanks at all hours. Our own indoor cats have decided that 4:00 a.m. is "Fight Club" time, with Round One usually being fought on my legs.
We are fortunate that we can primarily read the local Police Report for entertainment. That said...have you ever thought about what you'd do if someone broke into your house and you were home alone? How long it would take for the cops to show up, even if you could get to a phone and make a call? I have. Let's just say that I feel better having our next door neighbor, Pistol Packin' Patty, on speed dial.
So of course all this was going through my head when I heard a loud thump in the lower level of the house last month, when I was home alone. I knew I'd checked the doors and windows, and all were closed and locked. None of the outside motion lights had flipped on. I sat up tensely, turned on the bedroom light, put the phone in my lap, and then...I read. Yup, you read that right: I picked up our own Grace Burrowes' THE SOLDIER off my so-tall-it-tips TBR, and read. (Being small and weaponless, I wasn't about to go downstairs and actually, you know, check it out!)
|...and the reality. Still scary.|
When I opened the door leading to the attached garage, my jaw dropped. The garage door was yawning wide open, and had been all night long.
So much for those locked doors and windows.
If you're home alone and hear a bump in the night, are you more likely to wait it out, or check it out? Why?
Tamara Hogan’s debut urban fantasy romance, TASTE ME, was released earlier this year by Sourcebooks Casablanca. Underbelly Chronicles Book Two, CHASE ME, will be published in June, 2012.