I used to sleep with the window open.
The washed out yellow street light
Standing sentinel at the corner next to my driveway
Throws wild shadows on my shelves and walls
That are occasionally stretched into thin waving lines
As the bright pale blue light of the patrolling cop’s
Fluorescent headlights roll past my yard.
The silent murmur of the woods holds sway
Broken by a passing car on a distant highway,
The echoing sirens of a police car needed somewhere quick,
Or the mournful blare of a train lost somewhere in the hills.
Martin “The Nose” Samson could feel something was wrong. He trusted that feeling with his life, because it hadn’t been wrong yet.
He was at home, alone, eating breakfast. A normal Sunday. Afterwards, he was going to do the dishes and read because he had nothing going on until that evening, when he would join his friends for their usual movie night.
After finishing his cereal, he walked around his apartment, looking for anything that would explain his foreboding. Gas wasn’t leaking, doors weren’t mysteriously open, nothing was out of place, and there was no around his house.
Mystified, he returned to his routine. He cleaned up, read, and was making lunch before he heard something that startled him. Something was scratching at his front door. Martin didn’t have any pets. He liked to be alone at home, which included avoiding animals. He preferred plants
Martin walked over to his front window and peered out at his porch. There was a woman standing in front of his door, picking at something. He watched her for a moment, but she kept scratching, occasionally stopping to flick bits of something into his front garden.
Unable to squash his curiosity, Martin went to the door and opened it. “What are you doing?”
After a moment of surprise, she shrugged apologetically. “Sorry, I sneezed when I came to your door and I’m trying to clean off the mess I made.” She held out a hand. “Anyway, I am here to let you know that I’m your new neighbor across the street.”
Martin shook her hand. “Nice to meet you.” As he let go of her hand, he realized it was the one she’d been using to pick at the door and the trepidatious feeling vanished.