Last night I was home alone with the boys. It was about 10:30 when I heard the first one. Over the next 15-20 minutes I heard another three or four shots, which seemed to be coming from the woods to the south of my house.
Sure, it might have been some poacher out there in the woods hunting raccoons. But maybe not. Is raccoon even in season right now? Is it ever? And I didn't hear any dogs baying as if they were hot on the trail of some ring-tailed bandit.
After peeking out my windows and seeing nothing but darkness, I grabbed the phone. If my neighbors' lights would have been on and I didn't suddenly feel very alone and vulnerable, I probably wouldn't have called 911 to report what I was sure were gunshots.
The dispatcher's first question was "Are you sure it's not fireworks?"
Oh no. Not again.
With those few simple words I had a flashback to when my husband and I were dating. That night I had called him, insisting I could hear gunshots, when he reminded me it was the 4th of July.
But this is May. Who would think of fireworks in May? Not me!
"Uh. I don't think so," I answered, feeling suddenly very foolish because I hadn't even considered fireworks until he asked. "It could have been, but they sure sounded like gunshots to me."
At this point, though, I'm beginning to wonder. Maybe I should have stood on the front porch and scanned the skies for some fleeting glitter sparkling over the treetops. But what if I was right? Standing on the front porch then would be beyond stupid. Hello? How many 3rd-rate horror films have you seen where there's some idiot woman just asking for the ax or chainsaw to find her? Not me, folks! I'll hide inside my house and insist its a 50/50 chance of being gunshots or fireworks.
Eventually the dispatcher, who was a very kind and patient man, assures me they'll send a patrol car through the area. I don't know if they actually did or not, but I didn't hear another shot in the night. Not a single one.