birds in a barrel's mission is to release creative nonfiction into the wild.

40 Days & 40 Writes is its first project.

An Unwanted Guest

Thump! thump! thump! Every night for a week a little after midnight I heard the sound right above me. The first night I heard the noise I rose with a start; my heart was racing I broke into a sweat. It sounded like two very large men were walking on the roof. Holding my breath straining to hear voices. Wondering why they might me attempting to break into the house from the roof. No voices could be heard, the sound began to fade and all went quiet.

About mid-week my husband began hearing the sound. Towards the end of the week we both woke with a start hearing these scrapping sounds on the side of the house. I ran to get the flashlight while he hustled to grab a pole, we pulled off the window screens, one in the front, one on the side. There was nothing there. Our senses being on heightened alert the next night when we heard the scraping we both jumped up and quickly grabbed our tool heading for a window. I pointed the flashlight at the corner and two beady eyes were staring directly at my husband. I wanted to scream and run, but he quietly said to keep the light on the critter. He took the pole, poked the critter, there was a loud screech and then THUMP! My stomach went to my throat! The tears welled in my eyes. The critter fell 2.5 stories to the ground. I shined the light on it. I could see it lying on its back. I asked my husband if he was going to go scoop it up and get rid of it before the girls woke. He murmured no it’s dead. He assured me he would get up early and dispose of it. As the morning dawned I felt him leaving our warm comfy bed to take care of the critter. With shovel in hand, he rounded the corner and much to his surprise there was nothing there. The critter was gone. Was it a racoon or a possum we’ll never know, but we never heard that sound again.


Two Humps or Three?