Last week, my DH was out of town and in the middle of the first night of his being away, my dogs simply would not settle down. There were a lot of perimeter patrols, snuffling, growling, collar-and-tag clanking, and general issue restlessness of a pair of dogs who are uncertain about everything when the leader of the pack is away. I'm annoyed. I tried to ignore them, but their wandering around the house was driving me crazy. I shut the bedroom door, but they would shuffle around and whine and softly bark. At point I was yelling "GO THE !#@% TO SLEEP! LIE DOWN!" (And feeling rather pleased with myself for being gramatically correct , i.e. "lie" vs "lay" at this time of stress and fatigue) but all to no avail. My dogs do not care about grammar. They just wouldn't settle down.
So I decide to let them out. I live in the middle of !@#% nowhere (which roughly translates to Southern Oregon) so when I open the door to the backyard, there are no city lights, street lights or even car lights to help me out here: all there is... is darkness. I'm about to turn on a porch light when I hear it: an insane keening, growling, hissing, scuffling thing out there. My dogs are going ballistic and vault into the unknown, growling and barking viciously. I absolutely freeze in the doorway, thinking the following thoughts: Raccoons. Big Foot. Aliens. I am not ruling anything out.
Because, you see, I've been in #StudioA with Kevin Kenerly all week. He is narrating First Evidence (by Ken Goddard) which is an X-Files type of book with shadows that... well, you'll see. Or rather hear. Anyway, the story takes place in Southern Oregon... In fact, in the very town that I live in. And from the first passages, with Kevin sliding words into my ears so insidiously, I've been a little tense. Kevin can do that: The distance between the page, his voice and your ears disappears and you experience the story. Which is all great except when you're talking about some seriously scary shit like what First Evidence gives you and you can do more than just imagine the places in the story because you live there... well it's a perfect storm of paranoia and insanity :-/
You may laugh; but that photo above? That's an actual un-retouched shot of my backyard at night. Anything could be in that darkness...
P.S. - My big brave dogs scared it way. And no, I did not go out there in the light of day to investigate. When DH came back from his trip, he went out to "ride the fence." He reports that the blackberry brambles were out of control and has spent the week-end clearing them. I am pretty sure blackberries were not the problem that night; but as they are alien to Oregon, I guess it could've been... Like I said, I'm not ruling anything out!