A quick glance at the clock, and Val saw there was less than two hours before his alarm would be going off. “Yeah. Good thing the bad guys didn’t break in, ’cause I would barely be able to get off the couch.” Val heaved a sigh and stood up, rubbing his knees as he did so.
He went to the kitchen and got something to drink, then moved the blinds aside, looking out the window as he did so. Leaning forward, he squinted into the dark. “Shit,” Val exhaled. He let the blind fall back into place. “You’re letting your imagination get to you.”
He turned around and glanced through to the living room and his three dogs, still asleep in their respective spots. “You guys are no help,” Val said. He relaxed, however. The dogs were actually quite a bit of help and normally barked when anything got near the house.
The gate to the small pasture was standing wide open. Val hadn’t seen anyone or anything, yet he knew for a fact that gate had been closed when he entered the house. Every day for all the years he lived in this house, he’d checked to make sure that gate was closed and latched. He’d replaced the latch twice, so he knew it was always functional.
Now that same gate stood open and swaying gently in the breeze. Val didn’t see anything else. It was too dark. It struck him then that the light mounted over the barn door, the motion sensor light, wasn’t shining. Every time that gate opened at night, the light went on. He tried to remember when the last time was he changed the bulb.
Val moved from window to window, standing to the side of each and carefully looking outside. He didn’t see anyone. Nothing looked out of place around the barn, at least not that he could see from the house. The door looked as if it was still closed. Grabbing the baseball bat he kept handy, Val whistled once. “Come on,” he said to the dogs and opened the door. “Hope whoever this is hasn’t switched to guns,” he muttered and stepped out of the house.
After locking and double-checking the door, with the bat firmly in hand, Val jogged to the barn. He confirmed that the door was indeed shut, and opened it slowly. Inside the barn all was as it should be, other than Sig’s disgruntled expression, no doubt from being woken up. The horse was fine, the barn was fine, and Val’s dogs sniffed around casually, giving no clue there was anything around that shouldn’t be. Val went back outside and looked up where the light should be attached. It was no longer attached to the building, but had been yanked off and was lying on the ground. He started back to his house, stopping dead in his tracks after a few steps.
“How the hell did I miss this?” Val whispered.
Run for the Roses is available in eBook, paperback and in Kobo Plus. Get an exta 25% off at Smashwords.
Welcome to My World