“Halloween Hype” Movie. Roll tape.
This feature film stars the irreplaceable and always-obsessing thinking Em with her two adorable co-stars, Pieter and Lexi.
Em comes home from boot camp to the usual routine. Take dogs out, feed dogs, feed self, work online, watch Law & Order followed by Dateline NBC which happened to be about a murdering husband/son.
Chase Lexi around the downstairs of the house trying to “be the pack leader”. Throw the tennis ball through the house while playing with dogs. Take dogs out for yet another potty break. Continue watching Dateline.
Just as Dateline is speaking about the danger involved with the FBI’s investigation of a man who allegedly killed his wife & son, and was conspiring to have his parents murdered, Em’s brow furrows as she finally takes notice of Lexi, and realizes she has been doing something unsettling all night.
HISTORY: Em and the City Boy use a baby gate to block Lexi’s access to the stairs. Usually, Lexi protests the fact that she is limited to the downstairs by sniffing around the gate, and occasionally trying to claw at it. Typically, this behavior can be corrected after a few “Tssk’s” and “No, Lexi”‘s. But, tonight was different. She had been barking intensely, looking intently up the stairs as if she has a target in mind. She is jumping, making attempts to literally leap OVER the baby gate. Initially, once her changed behavior toward the gate was noticed, Em thought “Stupid Dog.”
Return to Scene 3:
Em suddenly realizes the remote possibility there may be someone IN the house. Hiding UPSTAIRS.
She thinks to herself: Perhaps Lexi witnessed this person enter the house before I arrived at the house. Perhaps Lexi KNOWS there is someone upstairs, hiding, lurking, waiting to surprise me the moment I ascend the stairs. It must be the ex! He found out that I told his sister-in-law about his little “secret disease” mentioned here and has finally flipped his lid! He must’ve looked up my address via the public records online, drove to my city (about 3 hours from his locale) and is now sitting upstairs while I’ve been mindlessly watching crime TV and chasing pups around like a sitting duck!! My “protection” is upstairs too, which means HE is more likely to find it and use it against me.
Return to Scene:
Quickly, Em grabs her cell phone and takes the dogs outside through the back sliding glass door. She calls the City Boy – voicemail! She calls her mother – voicemail! She calls her ONE Orlando friend – voicemail!
She thinks: “Damn people for having lives on a Friday night!”
She calls her sister (who she knew was with her parents) and she answers.
Em: “I think there’s someone in my house, but I also think I may be paranoid at the same time.”
Sister: “Hold on (with intensity) I will let you talk to Dad.”
Dad: “What’s going on?”
Em: (beginning to get choked up) “Dad … I think I’m just being paranoid, but there may be someone in my house! Lexi is going crazy trying to get upstairs and I can only assume that there’s someone UP there!”
Dad: “Is the City Boy there?”
Em: “No. He’s working.”
Dad: “Go to your neighbors and call the police. Let them come and check it out.”
(some slight bantering back & forth while Em protests making mention that she doesn’t want to waste anyone’s time if it turns out to be nothing at all. Father argues “that’s what they’re paid for!”)
Em: “Okay” (fighting tears) “I’ll call you guys back.”
After a 5 minute conversation with a very pleasant 911 dispatcher and 6,000 mosquito bites to the flesh, four police cruisers and one undercover car roll onto the street and park 4 houses down. Questions are asked and answered. The pups instinctively understand Em’s mental state and sat alert immediately next to her waiting for an indication of what is happening. Six police officers entered the home, guns on the ready and flashlights in hand. From the street Em can see their flashlights as they enter the upstairs and check empty bedrooms which don’t yet have light fixtures installed. Several minutes pass and the police return to give the “go ahead” for re-entry into the home. Embarrassed “thank you’s” are said, sympathetic responses follow.
Back inside Em makes sure all windows are locked, sliding glass door is locked and tries to relax.
She thinks: “No more watching multiple shows about murder and mayhem when home alone.”
She calls the City Boy to explain, calls her father back to say “Thank you. All is clear. As you were. At ease, Sir.”
Dad: “Well, you know … if you lived up here in Burlington you wouldn’t have to call the police. You could just call me or your brother to come keep you safe.”
Em: “You people and your sales tactics!!”
The truth is … you don’t realize how alone you are somewhere until things get a little scary. With the City Boy working late nights and no friends or family in the area it’s a very isolated feeling I have at times. Usually, I have no problem running at night in my neighborhood or taking the dogs out at all hours of the night. I don’t get nervous pumping gas when the sun goes down, and just yesterday I walked about 2 miles in the early dusk hours trying to locate my Halloween costume in a slightly sketchy part of town. But … sometimes … my imagination kicks in and I end up monopolizing 6 police officers evenings. Such a wimp.
Guess the spirit of Halloween has seeped in this year.