Stepped outside to fetch the mail and saw this on the neighbor’s porch. Right then he comes out his front door, sees me and says, “Hey Rod, wondering if I could speak with you a second.”
He steps off his porch and begins coming toward me. Slowly, like predator to prey. I begin to back away, one slow step at a time up my driveway, keeping my eyes trained on him. I shoot a long look at the bloody bags. He pauses briefly and turns to follow my stare. I’m still backing up when he turns back around and continues coming toward me. “Hey Lee,” I finally manage to say, my back up against the garage with nowhere left to retreat, “haven’t seen your wife or three kids the last couple days.”
He’s still coming at me, a twisted smile on his face, and he’s so close I can almost touch him when I see him reach for something in the back pocket of his coveralls. It must be big or awkward or both because he struggles to remove it. I can’t quite make out what it is before he…
And then something grabs my arm and is shaking it. “Honey, you okay… honey, wake up.“
I open my eyes grab her wrist and jerk her toward me — it’s Happy Wife. She says, “You poor thing, what was it?” I push her aside, leap out of bed and run to the window. I look across the cul-de-sac. The bags are gone. But they were there. I saw them there. I’m sure I did.