When things go bump in the night
Just a few days ago I woke unexpectedly in the middle of night when I heard commotion and fuss nearby. Barely coherent I was able to determine two things: that Jenifer was at our bedroom window yelling at something and that the time read 1:30am.
My initial reaction was that Jenifer was having a bad dream, had woken up and continued to live the bad dream or that there were intruders outside.
Stumbling out of bed and in a bit of panic because I wasn’t understanding what was happening Jenifer finally screamed, “They’re stealing our Mountain Bikes!”
Not wearing anything I started searching for clothes while Jenifer rushed out of the room and to the side patio door, still yelling. It was about this time, still half asleep, that I remember letting out a guttural roar of sorts; probably hoping to scare off the intruders.
Jenifer raced outside to find three young men, approximately between the ages of 17 to 23, in the process of making off with two of our mountain bikes. Two were already over the fence with one of the bikes while the other was still in our yard passing the other over the fence. If you look at the photo above you can see the fence they came across and where our bikes were. We sometimes chain them up, not always, this was an occasion where they sat free. They’re now locked up always when not in use.
As Jenifer raced down a small set of stairs the cowards showed their true colours. In a scenario of 3 vs. 1 (I was putting on boxer shorts and a shirt inside) they panicked, dropping Jenifer’s mountain bike on the other side of the fence and bolting. Two fled down a set of stairs near our house while the other was standing perilously close to a steep embankment. It’s hard to tell in the photo but beyond the fence roughly 5m is the embankment that is covered with thorn brush. As his two mates were bolting one way, and Jenifer was coming at him yelling and screaming, he took a step back and fell a good distance down into the thorns.
As you can imagine this all happened in about 5-10 seconds. By now I was outside as Jenifer was yelling something to the tune of, “Get a life” as I went to see if I could get my hands on one of them, or at least get a look at him for description. Standing at the edge of the embankment I could hear him struggling in the bushes and snickers coming from his mates somewhere below. He eventually broke free, I never laid eyes on them, and they fled north up the road. He must have sustained a healthy number of cuts and scrapes from the thorn brush, you wouldn’t go in there carefully let alone fall in when it’s dark out.
Helping Jenifer back in the yard we brought the bikes inside for the night. Suddenly realizing that intruders had been so close to her window, her home, her babies; she broke down into a panic attack. Calming her down we rang the police who showed up about 15 minutes later for our report. They did a fantastic job of reassuring Jenifer by letting her know that they’d be patrolling our area until 6am and would keep an extra eye on our place. They further assured her that it was a circumstantial attempt and that no one was going to be coming inside our home. Just a couple of good-for-nothing’s who saw an opportunity to take some bikes.
It was very much a restless night after that. Any noise; a distant barking dog, tree leaves rustling in the wind, the switch box door (which doesn’t shut flush) banging in the wind jolted us to full alert. Every so often we’ll hear what’s typically a normal night noise and wake. Jenifer has had one night where she dreamed someone was taking our bikes, I remember her muttering something in her sleep and as I gently prodded her and asked if she was okay she got out of bed and went to the window.
We live in a very nice area but it’s interesting how an event can play on your mind like that.