They're always there, waiting, in the dark.

Making good on promise to write something every day, here am I, again.

This morning we had the pest inspector to the house to check out strange doings in the crawl space. He came back up with a withering report of domicilary evil, saying, we are infested with rodents, large and small. Mice and rats. That's right, rats. I didn't ask for the likely variety, but I suspect, roof rats. I understand through extensive reading on the subject that they are the dominant species hereabouts. He saw no animals but their sign is everywhere. Damage and poop and urine. They had chewed into stuff and torn down insulation and left empty beer cans all over the floor. You get the idea. He wrote up an itemized estimate of what it would take to take care of things, all the way to removing and replacing the insulation and vapor barrier. I'll talk it over with Sue but I went ahead and made an appointment for them to come back and fix the vent screens and crawl space entry at the end of the month. Once they have sealed the space from entry, they lay traps to kill the mice and rats. They come back a week or two later and remove the dead guys and place new traps and repeat the process until they find no more dead guys in traps. Then they disinfect the space and do the fixing. All tolled, it will be about $5500 to bring the crawl space back to pristine condition. It will be a good thing to do.

So these findings explain the way Smudge has been alerting and whining and shaking and sniffing around. He's a good dog and he was trying to tell us that nefarious creatures lurked beneath our feet. He warned us of the very tricky squirrel-like cleverness working to undo us.

We are running low on food and I think it calls for a run into town to pick up a few supplies. I don't want to go crazy because we are going to have to make a Costco run this weekend and remember that Thanksgiving approacheth anon. I don't know, maybe tomorrow is the day to pick up Costco supplies and today I should spend the day here.

Where did I leave off on my story notes yesterday? Ah yes.

* * *

The dawn sky brightened more quickly as Solomon approached the edge of vast canyon. It was more beautiful than the pictures he'd seen in Life Magazine. The Grand Canyon was grander than he'd imagined and with most of it hidden in shadow now, it was very much like standing on the edge of God's heavens and looking into infinity.

His legs increased in weight rapidly but he fought his way to the edge. He inched to the very edge, until his toes hung over the edge and his entire vision was taken up by vast space stretching in all directions in front of him. The wind began to rise with the coming sun and as he stood there, the sound of space and wind was like nothing he'd ever heard before. He spread his arms out wide and tipped his head back as far as it would go and closed his eyes, and took it all in. It was a dream of perfection. He had run with tireless legs to this place, this place where God could be faced and felt and breathed in. He never wanted to leave.

It was all so new and different and also so very familiar. He'd been here before, in his mind. There was little new and unexpected for him here. He held his wide open pose, trying to absorb all he could about the place.

Suddenly, somewhere to his right there was a sound. A mechanical sound not far away form him, a sound like a heavy piece of iron being dropped onto a concrete floor. How could that be? Out here, way out here where only God lived, what could make that sound?

He could see the increasing light of the dawn on his closed eyelids and he made a silent prayer for this moment, here, to last longer.

"Please God, let me stay a little longer. Don't make me go back yet. Please, I've been good. I've tried so hard to do right and to be good. Please! A little longer. Not yet."

He felt he eyes burn and tears came to put out that fire. This time, he thought, this time I won't go back. God will understand, and he made up his mind not to go back. Once again.

Solomon, tried to bend his knees. He had to do it now. He wasn't sure if his knees were bending, they felt so far away. His legs were full of pain, fire, twisting, ready to crack and splinter. Bones can't take that much force. He wouldn't able to jump so he did his best to lean forward and fall forward off the edge, into the abyss.

It's only a couple hundred feet to the rocks below and it will be over. I won't go back again. God will understand. He smiled as he thought of the rocks and the sweet end of his torture. There were better things than living on your hands and knees. He'd tried but he couldn't do it.

Then he felt himself falling and the fear was gone, he looked forward to what would come. There was another mechanical sound to his right, like some wooden palettes falling over. Maybe he'd hit something on the way down. There was terrible pain in his back but it would end soon. Maybe another second or two. Solomon held his breath.

A terrible blow struck the ground beneath him, shoving him into the wall next to his little bed and Solomon came awake, now aware of where he was.

"Wake the fuck up, freak! You're gonna be lookin for an fuckin alley you piss me off again. I said you could sleep down here if you're out by the time the trucks came, goddammit! Well, there here and you're still fuckin here."

Solomon gasped and looked up at the huge backlit figure standing over him.

"I'm up." Solomon tried to clear his head and get oriented. "Sorry. I didn't mean to..." He moved as fast as he could. He felt around in the dark for his mitts.

"Just shut the fuck up and get out. I don't care what you mean to. Next time, I'll wake you up with a two by, I mean it. I'll put your little light out, motherfucker. Now move it."

* * *

I had to stop and go to Costco with Sue, she got off early. Just got back and no time to run this out so will start again tomorrow.

More later,


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