It's 12:41 am. Something seems amiss. The crickets outside aren't chirping. In fact, I hear no noise from outside at all, not even the sound of a breeze. The lack of sound is deafening. My mind starts to overreact. Something must be out there. I wonder what kind of critter is creeping around out in the night, causing even the insects to fall silent?
An analog clock ticks away on the wall inside the cabin. I don’t dare turn on the light. There is a part of me that is curious about this silence. But the truth is that I am getting little spooked.
In the country, complete silence at night is as much a warning as any squirrel’s daytime treetop chatter or shaking rattlesnake’s tail. Lack of voices in the darkness typically means something is up to no good.
Like the rest of the animals I sit in silence in my own corner of the darkness: listening, waiting, staring into the abyss that is the unknown. I think I hear a mouse scuttling along the foundation, just outside. Then, possible momentary shakes of a rattler's tail. It is almost October after all. It is the season of rattlesnakes looking for dens.
Tat, tat, tat. Tat, tat, tat. What was that? Was that a cricket trying to chirp? Was it a rattlesnake trying to burp?
I have worked myself into a frightened frenzy. Then, the refrigerator compressor turns on and I jump. Sounds from the kitchen break the intense silence. Whatever is out there I am in here, I tell myself. There is no cause for concern, at least not for the moment. Perhaps I will go back to bed and let the electrically powered motors of the modern world drown out the worry of this creepy, unnatural, silence.
I look at my phone, it is September 30th; one day before the month that contains the holiday known as Halloween. It has arrived a bit early, I think.
I check the news feeds before going to bed. Great, the internet is down. What could be next? The electricity?