July 28, 2020
It was the unfamiliar sound of a single “beep” that woke me. I opened my eyes to find the room bathed in an amber glow. When I turned my head, I saw that the screen of the landline phone on my dresser was lit up, as if someone was using the extension. But Ben was still sleeping soundly and we didn’t have any house guests.
My heart began to pound as I realized that there might be an intruder in the house. It made perfect sense that he would take the phone in the kitchen off the hook so we couldn’t call for help. Silently, I threw the covers back and tiptoed to the dresser. If the message on the phone’s screen read, “Line in use”, my worst fears would be confirmed.
I reached for the phone and, at that exact moment, everything went pitch black: the phone screen, the digital clock radio, and the lamp in the living room we kept on at night. Now I was really terrified. This was just like so many of the scary movies I had seen. Not only had the phone been disabled, but the power was cut too.
Ben still slept soundly. I didn’t want to wake him because I knew he would groan and alert the intruder. I crept softly back to my side of the bed and grabbed my cell phone. Would the intruder not think that we had cell phones?
I moved into the hallway, feeling my way in the total darkness. In the living room, all the windows were intact and the front door was tightly shut. I sidled into the kitchen and, there too, everything looked fine. The safety bar was across the patio doors and nothing had been disturbed. The only other possibility was they had broken in through the basement. I really didn’t want to go down there. I stood, frozen, as I reviewed my options: 1) Take a chance and go down to confront the possible intruder; 2) Take a chance and go down to find nothing; 3) Wake Ben and leave; 4) Call 911.
And then it struck me. Looking out the glass of the patio doors, I saw that the whole neighbourhood was in darkness. No porch lights shone. No flickering TV screens of night owl neighbours. I went weak with relief. There was no intruder in the house – there was a power failure!
I went back to bed feeling a little silly and vowing to cross Panic Room and When A Stranger Calls off the list of movies I want to see again.
This post was written in response to the daily word prompts provided by
Jibber Jabber with Sue for Day 30 (review).