The Paperboy

Brenda is sound asleep when the dog starts barking. She rolls over and looks at the clock. It isn’t even four in the morning. Then she sees the car making its way up their long mountain drive. The headlights shine into their room and then with the dog barking, of course, she is completely awake—not Chet, though. He can sleep through anything. She squints from their upstairs bedroom as the car keeps coming. Then she hears the swishing sound and the thud as something hits their front porch. Now the dog goes crazy and even as the car turns on the lawn, no less, and heads back across the small wooden bridge, and back up the narrow drive where it came from, the dog won’t settle down.

She thinks of waking Chet, though it seems to her that the danger, if there was any danger, has passed. But why would a car come up their mountain drive, and what had he tossed onto their porch? She thinks Chet should know. Gently, she shakes him, but he doesn’t move. She shakes him again. “Chet,” she whispers, “someone was here,” but he rolls away. Early in their relationship, when they were dating, even his mother would joke how he could sleep through anything. Once he’d even slept through a house fire. Brenda had shaken her head. “Oh, great.” When they got married, she immediately installed a fire alarm, burglar alarm, and a carbon dioxide detector because she knew she couldn’t count on her husband to save her.

Want to read the rest?
Please login.
New to Narrative? sign up.
It's easy and free.