This seems to be an annual event now, or maybe even bi-annual, as I found myself house sitting once more. Nicky, our eldest daughter, had accompanied her long-time friend to a seaside resort on our sub-tropical East Coast. Both were celebrating their birthdays, both are Sagittarians.
The first four days were uneventful. I saw my granddaughter, Shenay, off to school in the mornings and was there to welcome her when she got home. I was having a uninteresting, tranquil time. No butterflies or bizarre light episodes this time. (If you read a previous submission of mine, "House Sitting", you will get the whole picture.)
The morning of Thursday, 23 November - Nicky's 50th birthday - dawned dazzling and sun-drenched; another pleasant Summer's day here in the Southern Hemisphere. I tried to phone Nicky to wish her, but her phone went to voice-mail; I would try again later. I switched on the radio in the lounge as I passed, taking my coffee and book to my usual spot at the patio table. I sat for a moment, enjoying the breeze as it whispered through the hibiscus trees at my back. I heard twittering and turned to watch as a yellow, male weaver bird fluttered from flower to flower to drink the nectar from the scarlet blooms.
At something past nine, I registered that the radio was no longer playing in the background. My first thought was that the station had gone off the air for a minute or two. This sometimes happens at home, so I wasn't perturbed. I was so deeply immersed in my Stephen King novel that it was more than an hour later before I realised that the radio had not come on again. I got up to investigate. The radio was switched off, the remote control still in its usual place on the coffee table.
That night at about 8:30, I went outside to the patio table to have my last smoke before retiring. Shenay was in bed already, the fur kids were both cuddled in their respective beds in the lounge, all was deathly hushed after the thunderstorm we had earlier. Abruptly, the motion-sensor light in front of the garage flashed on. This happens often if a car passes on the complex road in front, or someone walks down the short, paved strip towards the townhouse. The dogs always rush out, barking their heads off if this happens. (It can get really annoying.) This time, there was no car passing, absolutely no footsteps, and the dogs never moved from their beds. Incidentally, insects are too small to set off the motion sensor.
The next morning, at exactly 10:25, the radio switched off again. (I took note of the time on this occasion.) Was 'someone' trying to let me know they were there? It certainly seemed like it, though I didn't detect any change in atmosphere, or chills of any kind. In all the weeks I had house-sat previously, this had never happened before.
On Saturday we awoke to a grey, wet and rather chilly morning. Shenay had finished writing her year-end exams, (no more studying) so opted to spend the day cuddled in a fluffy blanket in front of the TV. I was still making habitual trips to the patio to smoke.
The rain had tapered off to a light drizzle, and the dogs had quietly wandered off to the patio. I stepped out of the sliding glass front door about a minute or so behind them. They were standing like statues, ears cocked, side by side, staring at the open front gate. OPEN? OMG, how did that happen? The front gate is always kept shut by a sliding bolt, usually locked. I knew I had unlocked the gate earlier, but the lock had still been through the 'eye'. The dogs hadn't barked, as they would have if someone had been at the gate. This was the height of eerie for me. I rushed to shut, and lock the gate, before the dogs decided to wander off. Shenay poked her head around the glass door to ask what the flurry was about.
So ended my not-so-boring week of house sitting. Not scary, but interesting to say the least.