It began with the men entering our forest.
You could barely see them, but I could see them.
There were three men in hoodies and cargo shorts unloading gear from a white van and a hatchback.
Then they started carting things up our long, dirt road driveway in the forest, which didn’t make any sense. Who were these guys? How did they even find our house? I can’t even give clear directions to our house in the woods to people we know. They weren’t salesmen. They weren’t missionaries.
They had tents and were setting up camp, though.
I flung myself out of bed with uncontrollable shaking and angrily whispered to Ben, “They are in our front yard! They are in the forest! We have to do something!”
Yet, Ben slept on. Through the invasion of middle-aged white men invading our solitary home hidden in the cedars.
The middle-aged white men started walking towards our house, as if they just noticed it was there.
My shaking hands clutched my phone. I unlocked the screen and prayed that this wasn’t like one of those dreams when you punch someone and nothing happens. Very steadily I called 911. A middle-aged, female and rather country voice picked up on the other end asking “What’s the situation, honey?”
“There…there are people outside. There are people outside my house and they aren’t supposed to be here. My address is…” please don’t let this be like one of those dreams when you can’t remember your address. Because there are hundreds of invading people outside trying to get in, circling my house like Goths and Vandals. Trying every door and agitating every window, looking for a weakness.
“Okay honey, we’ll get a car over there to check things out.”
“No, you don’t understand! They are here! They are climbing up my walls and opening the windows! They will get inside, and I have 5 children in here. You need to send them now!”
“They’re on their way, so just hold tight, k?”
I looked around my bedroom floor that had piles of clean laundry and found a pair of my husband’s jeans to slip into.
The window next to me had two men hanging off and looking inside, although not at me. They had a gaze that stared straight into the heart of my home, and they never blinked. Their dusty blond hair stood at a floppy attention on their cratered pockmarked faces. I watched their glassy eyes look through the windows with a lust for the riches inside. Their moves were methodical and calculated. A smooth slip of the fingers underneath the window’s edge, and very slowly, up it went.
“No.” I barely whispered.
I had no strength in my arms to hit him in the face, so I took my fingers and slowly gouged his eyes out.
The soulless man never said a word, and simply blinked away and I closed the window, firmly setting the lock.
“Ben!” I hissed, “Ben they are coming in we have to do something!” I hit him, I pushed him, I yelled; and he still slumbered through this all.
I couldn’t breathe.
They were coming in. They had discovered the house we were going to raise our children in, and they were invading.
I could hear sirens closer, and the slow crunch of gravel, which means the firetruck was trying to make it up our steep , hazelnut lined driveway. Reinforcements were here, but they never made it up the hill.
Suddenly, there was a sound in the house.
I flung open my bedroom door, praying they hadn’t made it inside. Why did we not lock the front door before we went to bed?? Normally, why should we? We lived in a safe house in the middle of nowhere. No one would ever find us…
Middle-aged white men in cargo shorts started flooding into the downstairs entryway.
They found the way in, and it was right through the front door.
My face was frozen in panic. There was nothing I can do to fight them all. They were all bigger than I was, so I said very firmly, “Get out of my house.”
Three men started the plodding ascent upstairs, where my children safely slept.
I gasped in horror at my worst fears walking towards me, on the stairs I envisioned my daughter walking down in her wedding dress. The bottom stairs on which my sons would set up their Lego projects. The curve of the railing that led directly to their bedrooms.
My head turned to look at their closed doors, and my eyes widened.
The middle-aged white men in hoodies and cargo pants were already there, standing in front of the doors, their hands reaching out to the doorknobs…and the doors began to open.
Everything in me would stop them from reaching my children.
It began with my mouth which opened as wide as it could, and I screamed in bed.