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  • Writer's pictureLizzy Shannon

Alone in the dead of night

Along the theme of true crime again … I recently remembered something that happened a few years ago. At the time I didn’t realize how dangerous this was, but we live and learn!

I’d never seen a blood moon lunar eclipse before, and one was supposed to be clearly visible on the night in question. As usual in Oregon, any time there’s an astronomical event, the sky is cloudy.  Annoyed, I went to bed, vowing that the next blood moon, I’d make darn sure to go somewhere in the world where the skies would be clear.

I woke up somewhere around 2:00AM, and looking out the window, the clouds had evaporated. Unfortunately, my house is surrounded by tall trees (well, not unfortunately in general, but unfortunate if you want to see anything in the sky!) Determined to see this special moon for myself, I put on a pair of slides and a coat over my nightdress, grabbed a pair of binoculars, and drove my car just outside the city limits to a hill where the moon was clearly visible. I parked and walked several yards to the edge of a field to marvel at what looked like a Christmas ornament suspended in the sky above. It truly was amazing, particularly as I was seeing it for the first time.

I was probably only there for about five minutes when I heard a car coming up the hill. I glanced over my shoulder. I couldn’t see inside the car, but whoever drove it passed me, then braked and began to reverse so their car would be directly in front of mine.

My first assumption was that some kind person saw me out at 2:30AM and was stopping to see if I needed any help. But instinct took over. I found myself dashing to my car. I didn’t hesitate. I yanked open my car door, got in, started the engine and backed away from the interloper. I did a U-turn and took off down the hill like the proverbial bat out of hell.

I felt so guilty at running away from this kind, concerned person, but I was alone in the middle of the night, no one knew where I was, and something had ignited my fight or flight instinct.

Recently, listening to true crime podcasts, I’m now certain that rather than a good Samaritan, this person (or persons) had evil intentions. It was obvious I was gazing through binoculars at the larger-than-life red moon, so there was no reason for anyone to suspect my car had broken down.

I dread to think what might have happened if I’d adhered to my Northern Irish politeness and had hung around to talk to whoever the driver was. Their rear bumper was almost touching my bonnet/hood when I hauled my door open. I didn’t even put my seatbelt on!

And that, most certainly, was the last time I ventured out in the dead of night, half-clothed, and without informing anyone where I’d gone.

So, the moral of the story is: if that fight or flight instinct kicks in … LISTEN TO IT! It could be the difference between life or death.


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