Monday, June 13, 2011

Mama Kat's Writer's Workshop: Thief in the Night

I lay in the dark, listening to the digital clock tick away the seconds.  

What's that you say?  Digital clocks don't tick?  I beg to differ.  Pregnancy heightens one's senses, allowing a woman to perform feats of strength that would leave Superman sobbing like a little girl.
Digital clocks tick away the seconds (I dare you to challenge a pregnant woman's logic–you're either extremely sadistic or extremely stupid).

I lay there, listening to the digital seconds tick by when my mommysense detected a noise outside.  I sat bolt upright, every muscle in my body on high alert.   The clock read 4 a.m. and I was alone.

My imagination raced, trying to determine the source of the noise.  Somewhere in the back of my head where rationality hibernated, my practical self was churning through an old research paper I'd studied in college about the brain's processes when determining unknown noises, reminiscing about synapses and data assimilation.  Practical Self tried to soothe Pregnant Self, that it was probably a possum or raccoon, they're common in this rural area of Texas, and nothing more.  Pregnant Self shot Practical Self "The Look" and Practical Self mumbled about something in the oven before hightailing it back to the inner recesses of my brain.  Pregnant Self then determined the source of the noise to be a burglar.

I sprang from bed and turned on every light in the apartment, electric bill be damned.  I checked, rechecked, and re-rechecked every lock and window to make sure they were secure.  My mind racing and unable to fall asleep, my blurry thoughts turned to arming myself.  I waddled back to the bedroom and dug under the mattress for my shillelagh.   I crouched under the covers in the blazing bright lights of my bedroom, shillelagh in hand and waited.

The mind is a terrible thing to waste, you know, and despite the irrationality of my Pregnant Self, it was loathe to waste it's mind.  In those wee morning hours, my pregnant brain slapped together a plan of action should a burglar enter the house.  I just needed to hold out until daylight.   But wait, I thought...when daylight came, I'd leave for work.  And what if the burglar came then!?  Holy crap, what if the burglar was waiting for me to leave so they could steal all my stuff?!  Then what?!

I waddled out of the bedroom and surveyed our tiny apartment and quickly appraised all of our worldy goods.  The Xbox, TV, DVD player, our year old Apple computer, the printer, my straightening iron (those things aren't cheap, you know!), all just sitting there screaming to be taken.  I'd be damned if I was going to let anyone think they could take advantage of a pregnant woman!  I racked my brain and stumbled on an idea--I'd record all of the serial numbers and carve my driver's license number into the back of everything.  That way, if the burglar made off with it, I'd be able to recover it since the cops would be able to trace it at the pawn shops.  And just to be safe, I was going to backup all of our files from the Mac so that if the burglar got mad and broke the computer in a fit of anger from not being able to guess my password, I'd at least have that. 

So there I was at 4 am, clutching my shillelagh and burning CD's like a madwoman, chortling to myself about how clever I was.  I heaved and pushed and pulled all of the heavy electronics equipment and diligently recorded all of the serial numbers, product numbers, and hand carved my driver's license number into the back of it all.  By the time dawn stretched it's rosy fingers across the hills, I was crawling back to bed, shillelagh held tight in my swollen hands, my mind finally at rest.

That burglar must have decided I was just too clever for him, because he never did break in.

He broke into my trash can instead. 

Yeah.  But hey, at least I'd finally backed up all of my files!

This post is part of Mama Kat's Writing Workshop.  When I saw this prompt, I died laughing, because what pregnant woman DIDN'T have a moment like this?  The prompt is: "Barefoot and hormonal...describe an incident that upset you when you were pregnant, but now looking back makes you laugh."  And for the record, yes, I really did wake up at an ungodly hour and proceed to document the serial numbers of all our electronics and back up our computer before heading back to bed.   Bless my husband, when I showed him my handiwork the next day, he just shook his head and told me to call him at work next time I was worried.  And also for the record, I learned that handy little trick about serial numbers and DL's on your stuff from the cops.  Growing up, my house was broken into twice, and after the first time, they told us to do that to all our stuff.  It actually worked, because that was how they caught the thief the second time around!

1 comment:

  1. I don't even have pregnancy to blame. I just have what I call Zen Mind and Western WTF Mind. They battle into the wee hours all the time. And digital clocks totally tick. They tick silently but its a very loud silent tick. It's saying, "You're not sleeping. You have things to do tomorrow at which you will now fail because you're tired. Tic. Toc."

    Lovely piece. I once had a racoon raid my trash can and string used tampons (I have a septic tank) from all the trees up and down my street. I heard the neighbor's little boy ask if he could have a cherry popsickle. I am not making this up.



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