Recovering After a Break-In

As a writer, I’ve always wished for that great story to tell.  Now that I have one, though, I wish I were telling someone else’s story.

We arrived at our shore house last weekend to discover that we had had a break-in.  Thankfully for us, we believe this was a one-time thing and the man who did it is behind bars now.  But I still find myself in moments of disbelief that all of this really happened in our home away from home.

Last Saturday, we unloaded everything from our cars onto the front porch and got ready for our first real getaway since buying this house.  We were looking forward to five full days down the shore instead of an overnight or weekend stay.  My husband opened the door and I walked in with the cooler full of food over my shoulder.

Upon entering the living room, I noticed a Blue Moon beer bottle and flatware knife lying on the floor.  ”What on earth is this doing here?” I said aloud to no one in particular and picked up to bring it into the kitchen.

“Oh my God, Ron, come in here!  I think we had a flood!” I called to my husband who was directing the kids where to put stuff on the front porch.

I stood there, frozen in place, taking it all in.  We had brown filth washed all over our kitchen floor.  Some had splashed up the bottoms of the cabinets, oven, and refrigerator, too.  It covered more than two-thirds of our usually white, linoleum kitchen floor.  My eyes traveled up the cabinets and confusion registered in my brain a what looked like finger streaks on our silverware drawers.  I panned my gaze around the room and stopped on the inside of our kitchen door.  There was something written in crude letters, in the same color filth all over our back door.

By this time, my husband was standing next to me.

“I don’t think this was a flood, hon,” I said to him.  ”I think someone broke in,” I croaked.

“Oh my God.  Yeah,” he agreed, taking it in for the first time.

“Should I call the police?” I asked.

“Yes.  Keep the kids outside.  Don’t let them see this,” he ordered.

My brain didn’t register yet the horror I was just standing in.  Rattled from the mere notion of our new house suffering a break-in, I looked up the local police department phone number on my smartphone.  In hindsight, I now know I should have dialed 911, but as horrible as a break-in is, I didn’t consider it an emergency.  I waited while I was transferred to the right department.

I gave the operator my information and explained that we thought our house was broken into and vandalized.  That we found mud all over the kitchen floors and someone had written something in it on our kitchen door.  She instructed us to stay out of the house and not touch anything until the police arrived.

In the short time we waited outside with the kids, we explained in the briefest of terms what had happened and why we were waiting for the police.  After listening to my phone call and description to our kids, I caught my husband’s gaze over the tops of our children’s heads.  With a shake of his head, he mouthed, “I don’t think that’s mud,” to me.

Overstimulated wheels turning in my brain, I wrinkled my nose and furrowed my brow as I tried to decipher what he meant.  I thought I had it then and was really grossed out.  Trying to come up with a code my kids wouldn’t understand, I asked, “Ewwww, you mean, feces??!!”

“No,” he replied with his eyes locked on mine, waiting for my brain to catch up.

Then it hit me.  The rusty brownish color.  The dark, individual drops splattered on our newly finished hardwood floors.  The knife I had picked up off the living room floor.

I audibly gasped as a chill went through me and clutched my daughter closer to my chest to keep myself from physically shattering with the revelation.  My eyes went wide and my gaze bored into my husband’s eyes sitting across from me.

“Yup,” he nodded.  He knew I had worked it out that it was blood.


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From Grind to Whine 

Being Mommy from first slurp to last sip.




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