The Visitor

Carvell Wallace
5 min readFeb 1

A week after the ghost incident, someone broke into my house while I was there and stole my keys and all my credit cards. I was laying in my bed when it happened. I wasn’t entirely sure that the noises I heard from the kitchen were about anything, although I’m sure somewhere in my body I knew they were. I ignored them once, and then again, as I scroll -scroll-scrolled the morning away. I’m sure a box of cereal fell. I’m sure a broom was dislodged by gravity from its place in the corner.

Only this and nothing more.

When I finally dragged myself out of bed to go make coffee, I came into a kitchen with the door to the outside wide open. I’m sure I forgot to lock it and the wind blew it open. We have been in the midst of record-setting storms, biblical flooding. Sink holes swallowing cars, century old trees toppling, crushing homes, and downing power lines. Everything here has felt like crumbling, like the rains washing the entire earth away. It made sense. All collapsing makes sense today.

I then heard a sound outside that made me realize what was happening. My keys and wallet were gone from the usual place I keep them. There had been someone in my house. They were trying to steal my car. I grabbed a knife that was sitting on the cutting board next to me and ran outside.

I don’t know why I did this. I did not think. I just acted. I had some belief that if there was a person out there, the sight of me charging toward them with a knife might scare them off. There was also a vague belief that if they were armed, I could be hurt or killed. But I’ve spent enough time around guns and people with them to know that the possibility of me being hurt, while real, was more remote than the possibility of them running off. Sometimes life is just a numbers game. I was one of a million sperm, I was once just one of a million cells. I have escaped death more times than I will ever know. The fact that there’s life on this planet at all is truly a mathematical miracle.

Sometimes life is just a numbers game.

I got outside just in time to see someone running off. They must have heard my footsteps, or at least I made my footsteps heavy enough that I hoped they’d hear them. I barely caught sight of a shoe.

They disappeared, my car was still locked (they hadn’t figured out which of the worn off buttons on the key fob opened it) They took the keyring and all of the cards from the wallet, including my lucky $5 bill that I’ve had since like 2010…

Carvell Wallace

This is where I experiment. This is where I learn to write.