It’s dark and cold but that’s how I like it. It makes me feel safe to be able to snuggle up in blankets. I want to stay like that and never come out. I like the feel of cold air on my face, not so cold it makes my lungs hurt but cold enough to make my nose cold to the touch. I had always wanted to live underground. It means light doesn’t wake me up in the morning. I don’t have to wait for the sun to go down to go to bed. I can have my own schedule. Well it should depend on work too but I work from home so it doesn’t matter.
I stretch and reluctantly crawl out of bed. It’s tempting to stay there all day but I need to get up and put the shade cloths up over my garden. It’s going to be hot and I can’t let the sun fry everything. I pull on shorts and a t-shirt and step into thongs. Outside it’s already starting to heat up even though the suns barely up. I turn on the pump at the tap and connect the sprinklers. I let it run while I tie up the shade cloths. I check the tomatoes and beans and pick the handful of ripe ones. There is a snail on my cauliflower. I pick it up, drop it and stand on it. It makes a satisfying squelchy crunch. I turn off the water and go back inside.
The possum sits staring at me with wide frightened eyes. It’s the size of a big rat, it’s definitely a ringtail. I should have known better than to leave the door open even for that short time. I walk towards it slowly. I get within a meter of it before it bolts. It dashes around my house knocking books, glasses, paper, pictures and stationary onto the floor as it crosses the bench. I quickly shut the door that leads to the hallway connecting to the rest of my house. Now it is at least contained in one room. I open the door that leads outside. I try to chase it towards the door but it has other ideas. It’s on my bookshelf now knocking more books and pictures onto the floor. I make another grab for it but again it evades me.
I stop chasing it. It crams itself into the space above the books on the top shelf and sits staring down at me. I get the stool and place it in front of the shelves. Then I get a cardboard box and a wooden spoon and hop up on the stool. I manage to get it into the box with only a little prodding from the spoon. Then I quickly shut the box, hop down from the stool and carry it outside. I shut the door behind me before opening the box. The possum jumps out and runs up the nearest tree vanishing from sight.
I go back inside letting out a sigh of relief. The temporary chaos and excitement that invaded my house was gone. I could relax again.