Is She Or Isn’t She?


A September Dawn

I pulled into the driveway and noticed the screen door to the front porch was at an odd angle. Nothing to worry about as the wind had been blowing hard last night. I tried to straighten it but couldn’t.

Darn, I’d have to call a handyman.

Then I opened the screen door and noticed the front interior door was wide open. That really made me mad that the wind had blown that open also. So I walked in the house and checked it out. Had the wind blown out any windows? Well, I’d better check. I walked into the kitchen and noticed immediately the back door was wide open and the TV from the entertainment center in the living room was sitting on the floor in the middle of the kitchen.

So what did I do? Close the back door and head upstairs to check it out. Went through all the rooms up there and checked out the closets. Nothing seemed unusual up there but all the bed linens on the bed were tangled and thrown into a ball.

I closed the windows that were open up there and turned off a few lights.

Very strange.

I checked the time. I was running late for an appointment and thought I should leave, but I hadn’t checked the last entrance to the house which was—you guessed it—the basement.

So down those dark stairs I went and walked around the whole basement to check it out. That entrance was secure—exactly as I left it. So I walked up the stairs, took a look at the TV in the kitchen and muttered that no way would I be able to put it back where it belonged. Too big and heavy.

I relocked all the doors, left the house and headed for my appointment. I called my repairman about the screen door. He’d meet me at the house in an hour and a half. Perfect.

Even better I was only five minutes late for my appointment. As I was giving my apologies for being late and explaining why, the woman across the desk from me stared.

“Are you crazy?” she asked. “Or just too stupid to live?”

“What are you talking about?”

“You interrupted a robbery, woman…” she sputtered. “I can’t believe you didn’t see that right away. You went in the basement???”

“Yeah…” I almost squirmed as what I had done really hit me.

“How could you do that???”

“I didn’t hear the scary music?”

The rest of the day proved very busy. I never got a chance to report the incident to the police until early the next morning. I was told to go to the residence but not go in until the officer arrived. Okay, I could do that. The wait was about two minutes. He checked out the repaired screen door on the porch, examined the outside of the interior door which I then unlocked, and we entered. I took him right to the kitchen to show him the TV on the floor. TV was gone, back door was wide open. The officer pulled his gun and called for backup who arrived within a minute.

Another Dawn on a Chilly September Morning

“Stay right here,” he told me and now their guns drawn they repeated my pattern from the day before—and came up with the same result. However, while I waited for them in the living room, I checked more carefully and discovered other electronics were gone this time.

The moral of this story is this: the next time you watch a scary movie and notice the lovely young lady doing something really stupid, like I did—remember, the only reason you think it’s scary is because of the music!

And now you know just how stupid I can be…

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16 Comments on “Is She Or Isn’t She?”

  1. All I can say as I sit here in shock is thank GOD you’re okay! *hugs* I could wring your neck myself for heading down into that basment! Thankfully, the thieves were patient enough to wait until you left. How scary it must have been when the cops drew their guns. Though, knowing you, you were probably too busy thinking about all the storyline possibilities to be scared. *grin*

    So thankful you’re safe!

  2. carol gianforte Says:

    as long as it turned out “all right”–you’ve got a great story here written with plenty of suspense!

  3. It didn’t strike you as odd at all that the TV was sitting on the floor??!?!? Sorry, I couldn’t help but ask. 🙂 I am so very glad you’re safe and hope you learned a lesson! (other than it’s only scary because of the music!)

    I came home to a broken in apartment one time when I had my 4yr old with me (hubby was up north deer hunting). I noticed a window open and a vase that’d had water in it tipped over and spilled all over the floor. Walked around, cuz thought it’d been the wind, but then noticed a radio missing. Called hubby who said “Get out of the house and call the cops!” Well, I already knew by then no one was actually there, and the neighbors were home upstairs, so I stayed and called the cops. A radio boombox and hunting rifle were missing. We found out a few years later the other neighbor saw the kids from upstairs steal the stuff, but was afraid for the safety of his elderly mother, so he never told us.

    But for me, it was the same as you with the screen door…I just assumed the weather had done it. These days, when I come home alone, I do a check of my house with someone on the phone with me. Down to the closets and the basement.

  4. caseyclifford Says:


    You’re not the only one who wanted to wring my neck! However, I’ve learned my lesson and won’t go over there alone any more. And yes, I was thinking of storylines but only after the guns got put away again. 🙂

    Hope all is well with you.

  5. caseyclifford Says:


    Yes, things turned out “all right” and a lesson was learned. I realized again the things we take for granted and don’t notice when we are rushed.

  6. caseyclifford Says:


    Sure the TV on the floor made me realize that something was seriously wrong, but then I got hopping made and needed to check everything. Yes, crazy…but I also thought, geez there’s some handprints in the dust on top of the TV. I should take a picture of that–but my phone was in the car so I didn’t have a camera!

    Yeah, stupid and someday something like this will be in a book.

  7. Deb Says:

    Okay, so I’m confused. Weren’t you already at home when you reported to the police? And yes, LISTEN FOR THE MUSIC next time (pray there isn’t one but IF..). Sometimes it plays very soft in the pit of your stomach and says “don’t do it…don’t do it…” in a kind of roiling sound.

    Take care, my friend!

  8. Anne Parent Says:

    You are NOT stupid. You are a very good person who would not think about someone breaking into the house because this is an alien thought to you. You are honest and caring. I was terrified when I thought of what might have happened, but it didn’t. But, on a lighter note, if you notice anything like this again, play the music in your head and run back to your car as fast as you can. You mean too much to too many people. I’m glad you’re okay!

  9. caseyclifford Says:


    The break in happened at my son’s place. But I did report it from my home as I didn’t have my cell with me at the time.

    No feelings of “don’t do it” were happening at all. Just a rush rush, I’ve too much to do and not enough time.

    All is well now.

  10. caseyclifford Says:


    Yeah, now every time I enter the house, I play that music. But so far, all is well. And our police department has been wonderful.

  11. Edie Ramer Says:

    I’m just glad you’re okay. Things can be replaced. You’re irreplaceable.

  12. Leigh Morgan Says:

    Leigh Morgan

    Dear Mary Jo, I read the first paragraph wondering why you’d have your heroine go up stairs and turn off lights; when I got to the end my heart stopped. Thank God you’re okay.

    Anne’s right, you’re such a good person it probably never occurred to you someone might steal from you or try to hurt you. Please be safe and remember the best way to avoid an attack is not to be there. Hindsight is also a beautiful thing so don’t beat yourself up about what can’t be changed, just PLEASE be careful and call 911 immediately and stay out until someone can help you. You’re too valuable to risk.

    So glad you’re safe. Still waiting for my heart to calm down.

  13. Cue in the music… I think though, that you have identified a key difference between fact and fiction. I just finished reading a thriller. A good thriller, but with a few annoying parts. I kept mentally asking the protagonist, “surely you must realize…” Fiction — print or film give readers/viewers a lot of cues. Real life, not so much.

    I’m just happy you’re safe enough to turn this experience into a well-crafted blog 🙂

  14. caseyclifford Says:


    Yeah, I’m fine, just angry with myself for being so stupid. 🙂

  15. caseyclifford Says:


    What makes me so angry beyond at myself is that they came back! I swear, now every time I go in that house, I run through the self-defense moves–and make sure I have my phone in hand an backup.

    Thanks for sharing tips.

  16. caseyclifford Says:


    First of all, thanks for the compliment. And secondly, you are so right about the cues. However, since the day was lovely, I was in a hurry and the surroundings were familiar, I didn’t feel at all unsafe or scared. Just rushed. I’ve thought about this a lot since it happened in relation to setting up scenes and the need to give the reader hints like that to keep the too stupid to live reaction a reader might get.

    Thanks for taking time to stop by.

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