J, who is known to bolt upright in bed when I wiggle my pinky finger in the night (huh? wha? what are you doing?) remained sound asleep beside me, snoring softly. My heart pounding, I tried to gently coax him awake. When that failed, I nudged him sharply.
"Did you hear that?" I ask. Of course he didn't. We listen together.
Suddenly - Thump. Thud.
"Probably a bird," he says sleepily. But I won't be appeased.
"Can you just check?"
J begrudgingly gets out of bed and stands by the window. He is very still for many minutes. "Did you fall asleep?" I whisper.
"Probably an animal burrowing into our neighbor's roof," he says disdainfully. He scurries up to the third floor to investigate further, and, seeing nothing, he gets dressed to head outside.
With a flashlight. At 3:15 AM. On Mischief Night, no less!
Thoroughly freaked, I head downstairs with him. He stands in the middle of the road with his flashlight for many minutes. When he finally comes back inside, he tells me he can't see anything.
We get back into bed.
"Maybe it was the wind," I suggest.
"No... There is no wind."
DUN DUN DUN!
We lay awake for a moment, when we hear the thudding again. Scratching. Rocks falling onto the second floor landing from the roof.
J jumps out of bed, fumbling in the dark for his jeans once again. "I'm going out there," he says courageously.
"Be careful!" I warn. And then my gallant husband steps out of our bedroom window, into the abyss, armed only with a flashlight. At 3:25 AM. On Mischief Night!
I struggle to keep the heavy window open, as J starts swatting at the roof. A downpour of leaves and rocks fall from above. "Looks like we got ourselves a squirrel's nest," he says, thankful to have solved the mystery. I shut the window so the debris doesn't come into the bedroom.
A moment later, J knocks urgently on the second bedroom window, away from the nest.
"We've got a raccoon," he whispers. "And he's right here!"
"J, get in, you'll get rabies!" I cry. He retreats back into the bedroom.
"Do we call the police?" I ask. Hello, 911, we've got a situation with a raccoon burrowing into our roof. Send back-up.
"No, but we'll need someone to come and fix the siding up there." J is a bit exasperated at this prospect.
"Well, at least now we know," I tell him, and then we booth marvel at that quiet little fucker - henceforth known as Eugene - who apparently has been subletting our roof for quite a while, given his elaborate bachelor nest.
We attempt to sleep, as I comment: "You are very brave, J."
Then, a few moments later, "J, we are those white trash neighbors."
"I was just thinking that," he mumbles.
Sorry, Eugene. You've been evicted.
Bad-ass raccoon killer.