I woke up sitting in the floor of my kitchen, my back against the refrigerator, with the taste of spoiled milk in my mouth. There were Lucky Charms marshmallows semi-melted in my hands and in my hair.
I have never bought a box of Lucky Fucking Charms in my life.
Sitting on the couch with my dog when I was fifteen, she started growling at something in the left corner of the room. It creeped me out because she only ever growls if somebody is there, and I had never seen her growl at just nothing. The TV at the time was centered on this wall. So the dog’s growling, and all of a sudden her head snaps to the right (like she’s tracking something fast moving across the room) and as her line of sight passes the TV, a clock tumbles off of it like it was knocked off. It was broad daylight and all of the curtains were open.
Last fall I truck-camped at my archery hunting spot one night after work so I could be out hunting at daylight. I had camped in this spot a few times before and it always felt just a little weird but I didn’t think much about it. It’s in the sagebrush-juniper high desert in the middle of nowhere, an hour from a paved road and five miles up a rock two-track that is virtually untraveled by anyone but me during archery season. There’s a natural spring, a good wide flat spot, and some old loose rock foundations up against a hillside nearby from early Chinese mining labor settlements.
Instead of messing with a tent I just set myself up a nest in the backseat of my truck (full size four-door), grab a beer, plug in my laptop and start a movie to wind down (Super Troopers, not Texas Chainsaw Massacre or anything). About a half hour later…
THUMP… Someone jumped in the back of my truck.
It wasn’t that I heard something and started wondering about it, or thought I saw something moving and got myself freaked out about it. I felt the truck move with the weight and heard the noise of someone climbing in. I didn’t even question for a millisecond what had happened. I grab my .45, throw the door open and shoot out from under the sleeping bag/blanket pile I had moments before been quietly chilling under.
Nothing. The open door turns on a cargo light which shines right into the bed of the truck, and there clearly isn’t anything in it that isn’t supposed to be. The moon is out, and in this country that means you can see remarkably well for quite a distance. Nothing but sagebrush. As I come to grips with the fact that there is no one else around, my brain starts throwing facts at me– the only road in here is clearly visible from where I am, and there is absolutely no way someone could get here without me knowing it unless they walked a couple miles in the dark just to scare the shit out of me.