So we stayed up all night, listening to the sounds of the storm for most of it. Usually I love a good thunderstorm to clear the air and refresh the world, but when you know with certainty that people are out to get you and would probably use any excuse to do it, thunderstorms become a little less joyfully chaotic and more OHMYGODWHAT WAS THAT NOISE?!
Needless to say, we didn't sleep much. We set out to sleep in shifts, but it ended up that we gathered in the living room and camped there on the sofas and floor until dawn. We even brought Lucas out of his room and tucked him into one of the sofas. I think he's the only one who got any sleep, though he started awake at some of the louder pyrotechnic displays. Ever notice that when the rain comes after such explosions, it almost sounds like applause?
Between the fire and the candles, we managed to play a few marathon sessions of scrabble, rummy, poker, and war. And for all our worry, absolutely nothing happened.
It's nice to be disappointed every now and then.
Of course, the power was still out when the sun crept back onto the scene, and it being Sunday, most of the mom & pop type electrician shops were either closed entirely or didn't open till eleven or later. I drove around feeling irritable from lack of sleep and stupid for expecting anything to be open so early.
A thought struck me and I drove back towards the mansion. On the way into town, I'd seen a guy up one of the poles, checking the wires. If he was still there, maybe I could pay him off to check out our wiring and keep his mouth shut.
Sure enough, he'd moved down the road and to the other side, but he was still there. It looked like he was taking a break when I pulled up beside his truck. He looked up at me expectantly as he sipped from his thermos. To say it didn't take much to convince him would be an understatement. In this economy, can anyone really say no to a little extra money?
He followed me out to the mansion, looking around skeptically as we parked in the middle of nowhere. The building's not exactly visible until you're practically on top of it, even with the pruning we had to do to work on the walls and install the windows. He paused on the threshold, looking at the trees and the building curiously.
Once I invited him inside though, he got down to business, and boy, was he thorough. I showed him the solar battery and back up generator and the solar panels on the second floor. He found where the rats had chewed through the wires almost immediately, so we had power in time for lunch. Then he insisted on checking out all the wiring through the house to make sure nothing else was in need of replacement. Honestly I was impressed with his work ethic. You don't find people that dedicated to doing a good job these days.
After watching him work for the first thirty or so minutes I kind of got bored, and he knew more about what he was doing than I did. And there was nothing about him that was in the least bit suspicious. I haven't been seeing auras long enough to know much about them, but his was a bright and cheery yellow-orange, which from my reading is an indication of satisfaction and contentment. I doubt he was a proxy. I asked him if he needed anything; then I more or less left him to his own devices.
When he was done, I offered him some food, but he waved it off. He took the agreed upon money and left with a smile, warning me to do something about the rat problem or I'd have to have the wiring replaced again. Nice guy. I hope I haven't put him in any danger by bringing him into the house.