Things that go bump in the night… by Casey Carlisle

Have you ever been woken in the shroud of night, instantly alert, but couldn’t recall what had stirred you from the depths of slumber? 

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This happened to me a few nights in a row, until one evening when I was just about to doze off there was an eerie scratching coming from somewhere in my bedroom. Instant scenarios of wicked little troll-demons hiding in shadows and under the bed worried at my grey matter until I realised I was, in fact, and adult, and such things did not exist.

Upon careful and tentative investigation I discovered the clawing came from inside the roof.

The next night I managed to catch a glimpse of the culprit clambering across the power line to the other side of the street at dusk… a possum – more than likely out for its nocturnal scavenge for food. Good, I thought, problem solved!

Not likely…

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Later, in the early hours of that morning I was again roused from tap dancing, scratching, and wild shrieking. Standing on the bed I pummeled the roof in a declaration of war – now it’s on!

Recruiting my best mate to chase the little critter out, find and patch it’s entry point, I was assured that a good night’s sleep was imminent… and then two weeks went by. Every night accompanied with the frolicking and hissing of possum–play above my head. The problem was we had to wait until the possum went out before we could climb up and fix the roof.

I was at my wits end, about to check into a hotel just to get some peace when I spied my fury nemesis, now with baby clinging to its back, scuttling along the power line once more.

Immediately phoning my ‘go-to’ guy to race over, humming delightfully to myself with satisfaction. I couldn’t wait to get a full nights undisturbed rest.

After the work was completed and a congratulatory dinner, I retired for the night. Before an hour had passed, just as slumber was about to take me, the faint drag and scrape of marsupial claws alluded to the fact that we had sealed the delinquent rodent in, instead of locking it out! The hissing, chittering and banging against the roof was even louder as my housemate attempted miserably to breakout.

The next day we removed a few roof tiles to let it escape, and I took up surveillance at the window as soon as I got home from work. The day had turned dark, cold and churning clouds rumbling with thunder threatened to not only flood rain water into the open hole, but deter the mangy critter from sneaking outside for another nights foraging. Just as I was busting for a toilet break, I spotted my rambunctious neighbor scuttling across the power line once more. Now in the full blackness of night, rain sheeting down heavily, I couldn’t see to know if, or when the possum would return. Anxious that I wouldn’t get another shot at boarding out the stubborn squatter, I prayed that my ‘fix-it’ man would arrive soon and be able to help in my battle.

Minutes later a familiar blue car pulled into the driveway, and geared up with ropes, harnesses and wet weather gear, my knight in shining armor was clambering along a slippery roof. I should have felt guilty for sending my friend up to the second story rooftop, risking life and limb on slimy roof tiles, braving gale force wind and rain, lightning crackling across the sky filling the air with ozone… but I didn’t. I wanted – no, needed – that possum gone at all costs. My sanity was at stake!

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Half an hour later, completely saturated and task complete, no crispy fried humans welded to the roof tiles from a stray lightning bolt, we tentatively celebrated again. No possum, no rain damage, and no broken bones!

You think that I’d get the good night’s sleep I so desperately craved for now, right? Not quite – every morning for the following week I was startled awake by desperate attempts between 5 and 7am as the possum endeavored to breach the roof. I actually heard it crack a tanty – hissing and jumping and stomping along the roof in a frustrated rage. Thankfully now, though, I’m sleeping soundly, my noisy little friend evicted and probably dancing away on someone else’s roof. And the only noise going bump in the night  is the sound of my rummaging through the refrigerator for a midnight snack.

© Casey Carlisle 2013. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Casey Carlisle with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

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