2:37 in the morning, according to the liquid red numbers floating in a sea of black.
In a distant part of the house Lindsay has erupted into a loud and vicious barking. Linda stirs awake beside me and sits up.
I push back the covers and jump out of bed.
The barking intensifies.
I put on the hall light and rush into the livingroom, but she is not there. The barking is coming from the french doors at the back of the house. So I swing around and there she is, enraged at something outside in the backyard.
Putting a hand on her back, calms her somewhat and I look out through the glass at the darkened world outside. This is the City so it is never totally dark, although our many trees and bushes provide ink-like shadows.
I see nothing and Lindsay's rage begins to lessen. I open the door and together we step outside into a much cooler and more humid world. Lindsay races out around the perimeter of the yard, running around and around the periphery.
Linda appears behind me, laying a hand on my shoulder.
"What was it?" she asks.
"Squirrel, maybe. Or the neighbour's cat."
"Or those raccoons," Linda suggests.
"Could be," I agree, looking for the back dog rushing through the night.
"Say, that was some mighty fine leaping out of bed there, mister. How is your back?"
I do a physical inventory of the seven cancerous hot spots in my back. "Not in any particular pain," I tell her with some surprise. "Maybe a little stiff."
"Adrenaline is an amazing thing, isn't it?" Linda smiles.
I put my hand on hers, "Need to bottle and sell that stuff."
"Do you feel like a cup of tea while we're up," Linda asks. "Its kind of nice out. Refreshing."
And so we sit and have tea and talk a little and the pains don't return to my back even as the adrenaline ebbs away.
Lindsay returns to the deck, curls up at my feet and goes comfortably to sleep.
And this morning, while my back feels tight and somewhat achy, the pain is still gone. Curious the effect a little black waggy tailed dog can have in the night.
green Flower Bupleurum
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