What Lurks in the Predawn Hours?

I sat in the dark, curtains open. I’d been sitting at my desk for an hour or so, with only the glow from the computer screen providing some light. The world outside the window matched the room, mostly dark, with only a dim light rising above the rooftops across the street. Dawn was coming, but it hadn’t yet fully arrived.

Today was Wednesday, and most weekdays began this way. I woke around 5 am and after a few minutes of a typical morning wake-up ritual, I was ready to sit down at my desk. I work from home, so my office is only a few steps away from any point in the house.

Some mornings, I was prepared for breakfast, with all the breakfast food I love waiting for me in the kitchen. Other mornings, the kitchen glared at me in empty silence, in obvious disapproval of my lack of foresight while grocery shopping.

On those mornings, rather than feeling the guilt that the kitchen so obviously desired, I cheerfully grabbed my phone, wallet, and keys, turned my back on the kitchen’s gaze, exited the house, and got into my car. I had a mission.

Mission: Get breakfast at McDonald’s.

I love breakfast, and I especially love McDonald’s breakfast. Their sausage and cheese McMuffins are my biggest food failings. They beckon me with the memories of all that I’d consumed in the past.

As all breakfast missions have begun in the predawn hours of a workday, I started my car and put it into reverse.

The backup camera engaged.

And there she stood, an ephemeral vision in white, looking through my back window, shimmering in that barely visible glow of an almost breaking day.

I don’t believe in ghosts, but in that moment, as my heart fluttered and my mind raced, I believed. Oh, I assure you, I BELIEVED.

And then, the ghost smiled and waved.

My brain’s neurons connected in some way to turn the ghostly mirage into a more solid, sharper image of an actual living, breathing human being.

It was our friend and neighbor, Jenny, standing there in the dark, dressed in white or light-colored clothing. Just standing there. In the dark. In my driveway. Before dawn.

This was absolutely NOT typical of my many breakfast missions. No one had ever stood in my driveway in the early hours, behind my car, as I attempted to back out of my driveway.

As with most things “Jenny,” this was a first for me. She’s an adventure all wrapped up in a human’s skin, so I really shouldn’t be surprised when my routine is upended by her. I had a good laugh, and that was the start of a good workday.

Wondering why Jenny was standing there? Confused about what shenanigans she might be up to? We’ll leave that little mystery to simmer in your imagination and perhaps allow the rest of the story to unveil itself at a later time.

Your turn. What ghosts have haunted your mornings? What adventures have landed in your backyard? Whose friendly shenanigans have brightened your day?

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