Friday, January 2, 2009

My own mini-"Friday the 13th"

One of the things I like about going back home to West Bend to visit is that I know my family's land and the surrounding area well enough to walk it on a dark night without a flashlight. There is a plot of about 12 acres of woods I can traverse - on or off-trail - on a moonless night, and another several hundred acres surrounding it in which I know all the trails by heart. It's something I'm quite proud of - and it's something I'm working on at my home in Duluth.

Even with all that knowledge, though, there still is a sight that puts a tinge of fear into my mind:

It's a motion-sensor light atop a shed maybe an eighth of a mile from the house, at the far end of the yard, on the edge of the woods. Its purpose is to light the way if you need to get something out of the shed at night, but every so often when I'm home alone - and it happened again while I was visiting earlier this week - the light flicks on when I'm in the house.

"It's just a deer," I always tell myself. And there is a 99.9 percent chance it is just a deer that tripped the light. But there's always that one-tenth of one percent chance that it is a homicidal maniac skulking around the woods on a dark night, or a lone mountain lion waiting to pounce should I go out to investigate.

I was never a big fan of the Friday the 13th movies, and I've only seen bits and pieces of a few, but looking out the kitchen window and seeing those bare light bulbs flick on in the distance, when I'm home alone, on a pitch-black night.... it always makes me think of those films.

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