Early early Monday morning, even before Freya had started her nightly yowls, there was a huge crash from outside. A booming crash that rung out for a while. A loud crash that had my heart pounding and my limbs stiff. It sounded like it was in my house, but since I missed the first part of it, I wasn't sure. And there was nothing more after the echo died down. So I breathed some deep breaths and went back to sleep.
In the morning, I poked around the house a bit, but didn't find anything.
It was garbage night, I said to myself. It was windy. Probably someone's garbage can blew into someone's house.
My neighbour must have been waiting for me last night. Because as soon as I'd flipped open my mailbox, after trudging home through the late afternoon gloom and spitty sky, I heard a throat-clearing harrumph.
"Oh!" I jumped. "Hi! Sorry, didn't see you there."
"Hello. Sorry to scare you. I was wondering if you noticed this." And he pointed between our houses.
There's a narrow gap between our houses. The edges of our roofs almost touch. It's on the other side of my front porch, and it's just pavement and no light, so I never look down there.
I looked. Looked down where he was pointing. At the twisted metal of god knows-
"My brother," he said, "Heard a huge crash around 3 am on Monday"
"3:14," I mumbled. It's what Shelley's clock had said when we compared notes.
"And when I came out in the morning, I saw this. It's the eavestrough, the soffit and the fascia. All the way nearly to the back."
"Oh! The fascia." I nodded and pursed my lips like I knew what he was talking about. The furrow in my brow was genuine, however, because whatever those twisted bits were down there, they were long and they were varied.
"I wondered if you hadn't seen it."
"No. I forget about this side of the house sometimes."
My poor neighbour. He must think we are completely hapless. Our garden was a disaster. Our driveway is a disaster. I haven't once mowed the lawn: my neighbour always breaks early, about when I'm thinking it might be time in a week or two. The house falls apart and we don't notice.