October 21, 2016
Kim and Kate's beach house is on a peninsula formed by the Murderkill River and the Delaware Bay. There are about 40 residences, most of which are seasonal, and some are abandoned. There are no commercial establishments. Only the full-time residents are here during the week this time of year.
I was raised in the country by city kids who did not allow me to stay home alone overnight until I was 19 (a junior in college). Our home in Addison is on a hilltop, and every door and window could have been breached easily. Once, when I was 16, my father called me to say that two men had escaped from the Steuben County Jail, and they were reported to be in our area. He told me to lock the doors and stay away from the windows. I sat in my parents’ bedroom between the telephone and the closet where my father kept the guns he had inherited from his uncle who had been a priest. Previously, my father had told me that if I ever encountered an intruder in the house, I was to shoot him dead, and then put a round in the ceiling so I could claim that I had warned the potential assailant to leave. (Apparently the State of New York frowns upon the shooting death of mere trespassers.) I could see the driveway, garage, and front door from there, and I stayed put for over an hour until my father came home from his law office in the village two miles down the hill.
I do not like being alone overnight in the country. The doors to the beach house have electronic locks, but the locks on the deck doors and windows represent more of a time delay than a real barrier to entry for anyone who wants to get in the house. I always lock my bedroom door when I'm here alone just to make the bad guy work harder to get me. At some point during the blackest hours this morning, I became aware of an alarm sounding. I DO NOT get up in the dark to investigate anything other than why the smoke or carbon monoxide detectors are sounding off (because I'm not going to die unnecessarily). If a security alarm goes off, I'm staying put! According to the movies, whoever gets out of bed to investigate why the security alarm is sounding off gets wacked. Like I said, the bad guy has to work hard to get me: I'm not coming out of hiding.
When I was a kid my father tried to convince me that there is nothing in the dark that isn't there in daylight. Being a city kid, he was probably unaware of the activities of nocturnal animals. Regardless, I didn't buy it having played hide-and-go-seek in the dark. At 06h40, it was light enough for me to emerge from hiding (i.e. playing Sudoku in bed), so I sent a text to Kim and Kate to inquire about the beep-beep-beep sound. It seemed to be coming from the shack next door which they also own. Thirty minutes later I removed the failing battery from the smoke detector in the shack. When the batteries in the smoke detectors in my condo failed the sound was so shrill that I flew out of bed and climbed on a step stool to stop them. This detector really sounded like a temperature alarm on a wine refrigerator. If the smoke detectors in the beach house are the same, I'm going to have to choose between burning to death or getting wacked by the bad guy.
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Siobhan M. Knox
In May 2016, I bought a five ton, 25’ long Class C motorhome because I like to drive, I like to travel, and it’s more fun and less expensive than living in a hotel. No prior RV experience was required, and I had none: perfect. I’m writing a book about my adventures which will come to an end when I get a job. The dogs will be sad.