I was in the middle of a fitful night of sleep, tossing and turning in between a seemingly endless stream of nightmares. First, I was a young boy (uh, what?) and I was running away from "something" while big, scary men tried to chase me. At one point, I recognized one of the men as Mola Ram from Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom. I also remember tip toeing through a field covered in stacks of dynamite, worried that at any moment it would all explode. It was very stressful, didn't you all see LOST? That stuff is unstable! Poor Dr. Arzt.
Next, I dreamed that our home was being ripped apart by tornadoes. That wasn't really anything new, as many of my nightmares are about tornadoes. Not sure why that is, but there you go. In last night's version, I decided to let the dogs out of their beds and send them outside to chase the tornadoes away. Hey, in my dream, that seemed like a perfectly logical course of action. So after I put my master plan into place, I was watching poor Dexter being swept away by a billowing black twister, when my body jerked suddenly and I found myself staring up at the ceiling of our bedroom.
Phew, just a dream. I glanced at the opposite corners of the room to ensure that both Dexter and Dewey were safe, sleeping soundly, and not whirling their way off to Oz, when something troubled me.
I had woken up for a reason. I had heard something.
I looked across Matt's sleeping form and read the numbers on his bedside alarm clock. They were fuzzy due to my lack of glasses, but I was able to make out the time, 4:30 A.M. I lay
still and strained my ears, but I remained calm. Our two cats are often active at night, especially when they decide that 4 A.M. is an awesome time to play American Gladiators in the living room.
I heard it again. Definitely not the cats. I was hearing voices, unmistakable human voices.
Okay, now I was a little freaked out. I immediately started shaking Matt with both of my hands. He roused slowly and blinked at me. "What is going on?"
"I heard something," I said.
"It's probably the cats," he said, already rolling over to go back to sleep.
"No, it wasn't the cats. I heard talking, and I'm pretty sure Punkin and Ham aren't that articulate."
"Go back to sleep," he said, his eyes already closed.
"I am not going back to sleep until we check this out!" I climbed out of bed and crept over to our window, peeking through the blinds. The exterior fluorescent lights were casting an eerie glow onto the driveway and Matt's car, but nothing seemed out of place. The garage door was down, and the car was undisturbed. Although I couldn't see the front door from the window, I was sure I had locked it before going to bed.
Then I heard it again. This time there were some crashing noises, followed by some kind of music.
"What are you doing?" Matt's sleepy voice sounded from behind me, making me jump a little.
"I hear it again. It sounds like music, talking, and some other stuff. I swear I'm not making this up." I heard the sheets rustle, and when I turned around, blinking my eyes to adjust to the darkness after peering into the lights outside, I saw Matt finally crawling out of bed.
Then I heard the noise again.
"It's probably some neighbor having a party." He said, while standing in front of me and rubbing his eyes. Dexter and Dewey had woken up by that point, but they were calm and quiet, undisturbed by the noise.
"It is not a neighbor! The sound is not coming from outside! It is coming from inside the house!!"
*pause for dramatic effect*
Matt groaned slightly, clearly annoyed at being woken up.
"Look, will you please go with me to check this out? I won't be able to go back to sleep, and I am still hearing the noise."
Matt approached the closed door to our bedroom, and I dove for the nearest weapon, my cell phone. I held it out in front of me with both hands, ready for battle. Don't mess with me, I'll blind you with the Flashlight app!
He slowly turned the doorknob and quietly eased the door open. He peeked through the door and then jumped back suddenly.
"OH GOD WHAT IS IT??" I shrieked, holding my cell phone higher, my hands shaking.
"Will you relax? The cats just startled me. They're right here, and they're not even freaked out." He opened the door the rest of the way, and I took a few tentative steps into the living room. Ham and Punkin made laps around my ankles, trilling softly, obviously elated at the prospect of an early breakfast.
The sound was louder outside of the bedroom, and most definitely coming from the direction of the kitchen.
"It's in the kitchen, what the hell is in the kitchen that could be making that noise?" I said. Before advancing farther into the room, I swiveled my head first to the left, and then to the right. Both the front door and the back deck door were in my eye line, and they were both closed and locked. A small comfort. I started moving forward.
"Where are you going??" Matt squawked from behind me. Oh sure, now he believed me.
"It's coming from the kitchen. Both doors are locked, and the only other way into the house is through the garage, and it was closed when I looked out the window earlier... so what is that noise?" Now more curious than scared, I marched through the dining room, throwing every wall switch within reach, washing the house with light. I made it to the kitchen, and my eyes landed on the source of the noise. My laptop. It was sitting on the bar, its usual spot, with the lid closed.
An important thing to note here is that I have the power settings on my laptop set to immediately put the system to sleep when the lid is closed. But when I walked over and opened the laptop, the screen blinked to life and I saw a browser tab open to Netflix streaming. The movie 6 Souls was in progress, the sound blaring out of the speakers.
"What the..." I said, and closed the lid to the laptop. Immediately, it went to sleep, and the sound was snuffed out.
I felt Matt behind me. "That's what it was? The computer? I'm going back to bed." He started toward the bedroom.
"No, wait! How the heck was it on and playing sound? It goes to sleep when the lid is closed, but suddenly in the middle of the night, it wakes up and starts playing a movie??" My heart was pounding, and I backed away from the laptop, eyeing it warily, as if it was going to jump off of the counter and start snapping at me like the Monster Book of Monsters from Harry Potter.
"Good night." Matt said, and returned to the bedroom. I scuttled behind him, not wanting to be alone with the laptop. When we got to the bedroom, I closed the door and locked it behind me. Eventually, I fell asleep.
Yeah. I'm a little freaked out.
Here's a photo I snapped earlier with my iPhone. That's exactly how I found the laptop. I've tried opening and closing it several times since then, but I can't get the applications to stay active once the lid is shut.
... no idea, man.