It was a light. But not just any light. This light was hovering approximately eight feet off of the ground to account for the fact that the house was set about three porch steps up from the ground. It was traveling at a very slow pace, slower than a person would walk. About the size of a baseball, it was white with a yellowish glowing cast, and seemed to just be floating across the yard. Oddly, the dogs were completely quiet.
“What do you see?”
Billie was staring straight at me, as I had stopped mid-sentence to stare at this anomaly, and try to get my brain to decipher what it was. She said it with an almost breathless excitement, yet she didn’t bother to turn around. Right as she spoke, the light vanished.
“Uh, I, uh, it was, hmmmm…”
I didn’t want to say something and sound like a crazy person. Little did I know there was zero chance of that ever happening around her, as she had already taken the top crazy prize at the awards show that year.
“It’s okay,” she said soothingly, “Stuff happens here all the time.”
“Stuff?” Now I was becoming concerned. Or should I say, more concerned. The incarcerated animal display had already been rather concerning. “What kind of stuff?”
She had a sly smile on her face, as if she perhaps held the secrets to the lost treasures of Atlantis. Come to think of it, perhaps she did.
“This house is haunted. Bizarre things happen here all the time. So – what did you see?”
“It was a light floating across the yard, but it was high up…”
Suddenly we were interrupted by the dogs going completely berserk. Billie leaped up and flung the door open, racing outside to begin shrieking at them. I heard a wild crashing noise, as if someone were tearing through some bushes, a scream, and then mere seconds later, Billie ran back in, shut the kitchen lights off and yelled “HIDE!”
She raced out of the kitchen, leaving me sitting in the dark with the back door wide open. I dove under the kitchen table – really, the refrigerator didn’t seem to be a good option – and huddled close to the wall listening to the utter melee going on outside. I expected some wild beast, man or dog, or possibly even mandog, to come in at any moment and rip me to pieces. I couldn’t believe this was even happening. I just wanted to make fifty bucks off some old jewelry for chrissakes.
Then I could hear voices. Someone – a man – was yelling for someone to get the dogs. Then there was a banging on the door from the front part of the house. Oh God. What the hell was going on? The kitchen light flew back on.
“Wren, are you in here?”
Suddenly feeling like a raging idiot, I crawled out from under the kitchen table. In my terror, I hadn’t even considered the consequences of the grimy animal-christened floor.
Billie looked at me, two uniformed police officers standing next to her.
“What on earth were you doing down there?”
As usual, I had an expert answer. “I, uh, well uh, you said…”
“Oh, never mind. The officers want to get your statement.”
“Statement?” I said, starting to get a little miffed. “About what? I have no idea what even just happened!”
“Calm down Miss,” replied one of the officers. “We just want to know what you saw.”
“Okay. There was a light floating in the backyard. It was about eight feet off the ground, if I were to guess. It was traveling at about this rate of speed…” I gestured helpfully with my hands. Billie stood behind them slowly shaking her head, eyes wide as if to indicate for me to shut up.
The officer who had questioned me turned to Billie. “Is she like the other one – the girl from another planet?”
“No officer,” said Billie, “She’s a business acquaintance, but I don’t think she saw anything, did you?”
I shook my head, giving up on this entire episode.
Finally, they all left. I sat in the kitchen in semi-shock, mulling what had just occurred over in my head and waiting for Billie to return and give me something resembling an explanation for what had just happened.
“That was close,” said Billie, plopping down on a kitchen chair. “I was terrified they were going to say something about the animals.”
“The animals? Are you kidding me? What the hell just happened back there? Why did the police show up?”
Billie looked at me, confused. “Oh! That. Well, there was this naked guy who got into a fight with another guy in the neighbor’s yard. He stabbed the guy he was fighting with, and then jumped over the wall into my yard to get away.”
“I see,” I said, trying to remain calm. “So naked stabby guy could’ve come bursting through the back door here when you left it open – would that be correct?”
“Did I leave the door open? Huh. Well, the police said another unit was close to tracking him down, so it should be fine now.”
“Right. I just remembered that I have to leave.”
I hustled out of there as quickly as I could, Billie back to wanting to haggle over rhinestone baubles, me telling her I’d call her later.
I meant to never call her again. Who needs this kind of drama? Well, maybe I didn’t need the drama, but I sure needed the cash. And in reality, she wasn’t that different from what I was used to. Like I said, I was bred on kooky, on functioning insanity and those who only dealt with reality as a last resort. The next couple years I spent with her lived up to those expectations splendidly. I even have a small one inch scar on my leg as a souvenir of those times.
More on the saga of crazy Billie next week….