Both my parents worked full-time, which left me and our two dogs, Mickey and Fritz, to fend for ourselves. It was my last summer vacation before I would begin high school, and I had marching band rehearsal every Monday and Wednesday from 5:00 p.m. to 9:00 p.m. My best friend and her mom would pick me up at around 4:30 to take us to the practice field. My mom bought me Healthy Choice TV Dinners to make before I left.
One day, in late August, just three months or so after the death or my Uncle Al, I had just sat down with my TV dinner (turkey and stuffing was always my favorite).
Someone was in the basement.
As soon as I had started to pick at my Turkey I heard scuffling noises. I heard someone walk across the basement floor. I heard someone begin to ascend the stairs.
My only thoughts revolved around intruders in black face masks with guns. I wasn't sure what to do. I had locked the doors. Nothing unusual happened that day. I didn't notice anyone break in. We had windows in our basement but I couldn't even fit through those- and I only weighed 98 pounds.
However, the footsteps continued. Mickey and Fritz didn't bark, however, but simply stared at the landing. Suddenly, the footsteps stopped as if someone had just come to a halt beside the kitchen counter, and I heard a soft thump as if someone was leaning against it watching me. The room was suddenly filled with the aroma of pipe tobacco.
My Uncle Al always smoked a pipe.
This happened every afternoon until I started school.