I began with my wife, in our home. This place was a townhome which reminded me of our RL HMB townhome where we lived 1999-2005, but with some odd differences.
I was in the living room because I was certain I’d heard a noise. I was investigating to see if someone had broken in. As I walked around, checking to see if anything was stolen, I realized the door to the garage was open. It wasn’t before.
I walked that way. My wife stormed out of the bedroom where she’d been sleeping. “Someone broke in,” she said. She went to the garage door and rushed down the steps.
I followed, overtaking her as we left the building. We were at its rear, all grasslands, with a few trees, bordering a river. My wife said that she didn’t see anyone and went into the house. I kept looking, picking up a large stick as a weapon, because I might need to protect myself.
I spotted two couples on the riverbank. Teenagers. I called to them. They ignored me. I headed their way. They moved off, careful to never look at me. This kept on for sometime before I gave up.
Darkness overtook the land. I was more than a mile from home. Rain was falling. I decided it would be easier to get to the street and follow it home.
I reached the street. A small brown dog was trying to cross it but was afraid of the traffic. It wasn’t much but I understood the dog’s fear. “Come on, I’ll help you,” I told it.
It came to my side. As we looked, it started across the lane. I saw a car’s yellow headlights coming toward us from the left. “No, not yet,” I said to the dog. “Come back.”
The dog did. We watched that car pass. There was a median strip. I told the dog, “Come on.”
The dog and I crossed to the strip. It stayed with me as we waited for traffic to pass and then went on.
I trotted along in the rain, the dog beside me. I saw no collar on him or tags, and talked to him, asking questions. As we crossed one street, he suddenly turned left and took off in a run. Going home, I guessed.
I turned right and crossed the street. I was home now. It was daylight. The rain had stopped, and I was dry.
I went into the house and armed myself with some hard plastic tubing. My wife was making dinner. I heard a noise from the garage and went to investigate.
A Filipino man was there. Seeing my plastic tubing, he became withdrawn and acted like he was leaving. I asked him, “Who are you? Why are you here?”
He said he had something to give me and held out a hand. I recognized a manuscript. “No, thank you,” I said. “You need to go.”
He took my hand and pressed the manuscript into it. I sighed. “You want this published?”
He nodded with eager smiles.
I repeated, “You need to leave. I’ll go with you and show you how to get this published.”
We went to his house. His family were waiting for his returned. They crowded back when I came in. Getting on his computer, I explained how to self-publish and the query process and how to submit to publishers and agents. He nodded, indicating that he understood.
I returned home. My wife asked where I’d been. Dinner was getting cold. Putting the tubing aside, I explained what had happened as I sat down to eat.