Rattle, Rattle


What’s that noise?  He wondered.  It sounded like the sliding glass door rattling.  Was it the wind perhaps?  He got up and looked through the curtain.  Nothing on the back porch.  Nothing in the back yard.  He sighed in relief.  Nothing there, it must have been the wind. 

He sat back down.  His favorite TV show was on.  He was going to finish it and go to bed.  It was getting late.  The rattle again.  Again, he gets up and looks.  Still clear, nothing in the backyard, nothing on the porch.  It doesn’t sound windy outside, but maybe it is.

Patches, his Basenji, came bounding down the stairs.  The dog looked at the door, sniffed and went into the living room.  Mystery solved.  Whatever’s causing the door to rattle isn’t a threat. 

Patches found a spot on the couch and began grooming himself like a cat.  He went back to watching TV.  The door rattled again.  He gave up.  It wasn’t going to work.  The rattling door was going to annoy him all through the show. 

At a commercial break, he turned off the TV and headed upstairs.  In his bedroom, he wouldn’t hear the annoying door rattle.  Patches followed, found a spot on the bed and resumed grooming himself. 

The TV was still on when he woke up.  His show was off, replaced by something about girls in a nightclub fighting one another.  He turned it off.  The door downstairs rattled much harder.  He could hear it upstairs now.  The wind must have really picked up.  His mind instantly turned to the new table he’d just bought.  Meant to impress guests at his barbecues, for which he was famous, the top was a large sheet of glass.  Sure it was tempered, but would it hold up in a windstorm?  Was the umbrella up?

He tried to go back to sleep, but the thought nagged at him.  He’d paid good money for that table.  The door rattled again.  He’d have to go out and check his table and the umbrella.  The wind might not knock over the table, but if the umbrella was out.  He was half way down the stairs when he heard the glass shatter.  The umbrella must have been up, he thought.  Shit.  He added. 

Patches bounded down the stairs, past him.  He didn’t really bark, he made a strange noise, like a Swiss yodeler warming up his vocal cords.  Patches jumped at the door.  Of course he wanted to go out on the patio which was covered in glass. 

Outside, the table lay on its side.  The top was shattered, glass pieces littering the ground.  He held back Patches and opened the door.  The umbrella was out in the yard.  Damn, damn, damn, he thought.  He reached for the bag.  Something small and green caught his attention.  It darted across the lawn, moving so fast it was a blur.  He shook his head.  Obviously, it had been a long night. 

He got on his knees and began picking up the glass.  Patches made his strange yodeling sound. 

Behind him, something giggled.  Fear gripped him, he wanted to turn around and couldn’t.  Patches went back upstairs, found his spot on the bed, and resumed licking himself.  His master never returned, giving him the entire bed to himself.

This is a work of fiction; any similarities to persons living or dead is coincidence.  If you liked it, feel free to share!  But give me credit…

©Hadena James 2014

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