Suddenly my teeth were killing me. I have sensitive teeth, but this was far worse than that. I ran my tongue along the back of my front bottom teeth, checking the status of the one that broke the first time nearly a decade ago but has broken two more times since. Just as I thought, the bonding had come off. The pain seared from my lower jaw straight to my spine. I shivered. I was freezing, particularly my feet. Then I heard someone singing in Spanish.
I jolted up. I was still on the couch. I checked my tooth, it was still intact. With a dentist appointment 3 days away, the nightmares of broken teeth were starting already. I really was cold though. I looked at my phone and it was nearly midnight. My husband was asleep on the other couch, the dog was asleep on the floor. I headed up to bed.
I stopped in Nathan's room to check on him. It was cold so I turned the AC down a bit and smiled at him wrapped up like a little burrito. Seaweed the Fish was floating upside down in his tank so I gave it a little tap and he righted himself. Good, the fish is still with us.
I went to my room and looked for socks. I couldn't find a matching pair so I just put on what I grabbed. I turned off my AC completely and climbed under the covers. I hoped I'd fall back to sleep quickly. I grabbed my phone and checked my Twitter. Only one more Direct Message about videos of me doing something crazy. A few emails of blogs to read in the morning. I started making a list in my head of what needed to be done at work and then realized none of this was going to help me sleep. I put the phone down and closed my eyes.
Thud, thud-thud, thud-thud, thud, thud-thud.
What the hell is that? I waited, afraid to move. Where did that come from? The attic maybe? Or the closet? I waited a little longer, but I didn't hear the noise again. I looked around my room and in the closet, but there was nothing. I checked the clock - 4:30. I opened the door to the hall, nothing. I checked Nathan's room. Nothing but an upside-down fish. I checked the office, nothing. I looked at the attic door, nestled in the back of that room and decided whatever was up there was staying there until morning.
I went back to bed. Now I was wide awake and sweating because I had turned off the air. I got out of bed, turned on the air and listened carefully for more sounds. I wonder what it was. Squirrels aren't nocturnal, are they? It could have been a raccoon, but I always thought raccoons sound scratchy in attics and this was a thud. What thuds? A lame cat? A lame cat couldn't have gotten in the attic. Multiple roof rats jumping around? What if something got in and then knocked stuff over and that's what I heard? Wait, is that better or worse? It sounded like an otter. Or a platypus. Probably a platypus. I reset the alarm from 5:30 to 6:00 since it was already past 5:00 and I was still up.
Eventually Mariamba played on my iPhone and it was 6. I ventured out of my room and there was still no platypus. Nathan got up, we gathered his Angry Birds and went to wake up my husband. The dog was waiting for us, totally unaware that today is his 14th birthday.
My husband said to me, "Dexter woke me up to go out a little while ago."
"I don't know, 4-something?"
"What is it 4:30?"
"Probably. He was banging his tail on the wall."
"I thought I heard a platypus in the attic, but maybe it was just Dexter."
I'm hanging out on the Hangout Grid this week for Yeah Write since I'm guest judging the Challenge Grid. I don't promote the hang out enough - lots of great writers, no competition. Come check out both grids. You can still vote on the Challenge Grid on Thursday, if you're so inclined.
Thanks for reading!
You can follow my blog by entering your email on the sidebar.