My friend Trixie lives in a house in Montecito Heights. Half of the house sits atop stilts: a structural feature that frightens most non-Californians who like to make a big deal out of earthquakes. To reach the house, one must drive up a long, winding street where parking is scarce, but the views are spectacular.
On Monday, I was on my way to Trixie's house, and she sent me a text to let me know I could park in the driveway; her roommate was out of town for the week. We were enjoying some Thai food and watching the tube when someone came in the front door.
( CRRRRRREEEEEAKKKKKKCollapse )
At least, they tried to come in. The door was locked so we heard the knob and the push. We both stopped talking and stared at one another for a moment.
"Who is that?" I asked.
"I don't know!" she replied.
Her eyes told me she was scared.
In a scene straight out of a horror movie, we decided to investigate the strange noise. As the denizen male, I went first. Armed with a broomstick, I cautiously stepped outside and looked around.
All was quiet.
I crept around my car in the driveway, making sure it wasn't vandalized. I looked to see if anyone was hiding around it. When i got to the end of the driveway, I looked both ways, but nobody was around. I turned back to Trixie, who stared at me with saucer-eyes from the doorway.
I shrugged and smiled. Just then, a rustling came from the bushes on the side of the neighbor's house. I rushed to the side of the driveway and peered down at the bushes. The shrubs led down the hill toward the side of the house on stilts. It was too dark to see anything, but the rustling continued.
"I can't see," I whispered.
"Should we call the cops?" Trixie asked me.
I didn't have time to answer before she yelled out, "WE'RE CALLING THE COPS!"
I laughed and ran into the house. Trixie screamed and then closed the door behind me.
She didn't call the police, but she did call her boyfriend. He could be over in 20 minutes, and I wasn't allowed to leave until then.
The whole experience was a little bit scary, a little bit weird, but also… a little bit fun. I hadn't been feeling very festive, but it was certainly starting to feel like Halloween.