At night, in the main house, you can hear it. Starting as a little faint ticking noise by the back door, there is a sound almost like someone prowling around in the darkness. A mysterious stranger lurking, looming, watching and waiting to slowly open the door. Striking only when the time is right.

At first, that’s exactly what I feared it was, that the UPPs had run the badies out of Rio and directly into our quiet haven of junior jungle serenity. Being alone when “the noise” initially arrived, I, like the character in a horror movie who you yell at the screen to stop, went towards, not away from the creepy sound. I had to investigate.

As I got closer to the door, I heard it. Claws feeling for and losing their grip. There was a scraping then a sort of thump followed by a slow slide, a pulling across the tiles. A pause and then there was the tick,tick, tick again. The thump hinted at the thing’s size and it seemed to sound much larger than a rat or skunk. I had visions of a beast on the roof, a mutated hybrid vampire/wereskunk, who was out for my blood, my tasty, tasty imported blood. I stood near the door debating what to do.

I decided to be brave, open the back door and go out (at this point in the theater you might shake your head and say, “well that character is going die”). I tried to peer into the darkness while armed while an electric bug zapper that looks likes tennis racket. I could see nothing. I waited. I heard nothing. I gripped my neon green racket tighter in anticipation of a ninja sneak attack. There was no sound. There was no tick, tick, tick. There was nothing. I waited more trying to let my eyes adjust, squinting and craning my neck to see. I saw nothing.

Finally, giving up, I went back inside to resume my viewing of a rerun of House. I arranged the pillows perfectly for some comfy TV watching. I eased back with remote in hand. Then I heard it again, “tick, tick, tick, thump, sliiiiide.” Jumping to my feet, I grabbed my trusty plastic racket and sprinted for the back door. Flinging it open, I rushed out from under the overhang and turned to look back up to the top of the house. I saw…nothing.

All of the nights since I first heard the noise, I have yet to see the noise maker. I have my suspicions as to what it is. There is an animal larger than a fat house cat who can sometimes be seen crossing slowly over the wires above the street at night. It has long straight brown hair, like Shaggy from Scooby Doo but in giant rodent form. It also could be one of the giant opposum like creatures I see every now and then running through the bushes at night. I once saw one lose it’s footing and fall from a tree with a thud. He then got right back up and scurried into the bushes. The clumsiness is similar, but my mysterious noise maker never seems to scurry. His moves seem slow, deliberate and menacing…or he could just be overweight or older.

This is all an unsolved mystery that has has my overactive imagination overheating. “It” is now my white whale, my Loch Ness or Yeti in Brazil. I will see it! I will wait patiently for the night when this beast is revealed. Until then, I will sit on the comfy couch safely inside with my racket, waiting and listening for the tick tick,tick, tick. thump, sliiiiide.

To be continued….
If I do ever see “it” …

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