The Watcher. It’s a 6.

The key turned reluctantly in the weathered Schlage single cylinder, deadbolt screeching in protest, only to submit and retract once more; entrance to the home was achieved.

Arriving shortly after dusk, ink dot sky already setting up, I brought in the homeowners’ mail, turned on a few lights and began the tedious task of retrieving a week’s worth of groceries and a couple of overnight bags from the car.

Five years and running, the family’s summer vacation at the beach had finally taken a seat at the tradition table so, for the 6th successive year, 2 adults + 2.5 children loaded up the 4 wheel to head out to the highway and beckoning coastline.

My stay as overlord of hearth and home was a given, serving as a sort of vacation as well, typically uneventful but for at least one summer storm and a poltergeist experience or two however, this year included an added component, one of flesh and blood – she was 9 years old, had been living in (and out) of foster homes at least 7 of those years having lost her parents at age 2; since then, she’d been institutionalized and with each successive foster family, the hope of permanent adoption dimmed like an aging star until that is, the 2+2.5 family paid a visit 3 weeks before summer vacation.

Provided her brief history, assured of her gentle nature, cautioned about her tendency towards self-isolation, I did as instructed at dinnertime and tapped the metal bowl with a spoon exactly 3 times, soon hearing an unmistakable thud on the hardwoods from the bedroom on the upper level of the house… black and orange body, fur glinting under a strip of moonlight streaming through the French doors, appeared stealthily from the shadows of the living room. She was hungry.

I knew in an instant. It’s a 6.

With all the poetry flying about this week’s Six Sentence Stories, I couldn’t resist 😀

Her first name began with Z, last with G, first home unknown, second, humane society.
Until the day we found each other, now uncertainty would be a distant anxiety.

Instant family, she’d fit right in, “dinner with rolls?, I’ll take one please!”
Shy at first, all proper and prim, adjustment was made with absolute ease.

Get her riled up, crazy and zany, like a child’s spinning toy top she would spin.
No, there was never, ever a doubt, Z wouldn’t fit in!