White Dog's deep growl and alert barking woke the entire household; in an instant the Army dashed from sleep to the living room where they leaped and growled and barked in the darkness. Steve switched on the bedroom light and grabbed clothes as he turned on the hall and living room lights. The Army was going wild. I had the phone in my hands ready to hit "Dial" for the 911 already programmed in.
Steve feared someone doing harm to the car but the faint knock turned us to a different line of thinking. Steve turned on the sun porch and outdoor lights. The WDA flanked him and continued to warn in no uncertain terms that we did not welcome 2 am visitors.
Any sane person at that hour would have seriously reconsidered standing at our door and continuing to knock. But the man standing just outside watched the swaying blinds on the windows but did not budge.
A sensible homeowner probably would have yelled through the door, "Get out of here!" or "What do you want?' or even just turned off the lights and ignored the entire thing.
Steve held Zsofia, teeth bared, by the collar as he opened the door with his body and weight behind it. I drew in a breath and whispered a prayer of protection for my family. White Dog, YoYoMa, and Nilla were rabid at the house door where they could be clearly seen.
It was a guy. A normal guy. Not intoxicated or altered but down on his luck and new to town. He was shaking and asked Steve for a blanket.
Steve told him to wait, and shut the door. The WDA was NOT standing down and reminded the night visitor that he was far outnumbered. Steve came into the bedroom and went to closet; he grabbed an extra blanket stored there for the winter and looked at me. I had not put down the phone but I nodded. He took the blanket out past the WDA and handed it to the guy.
That was it. Except the Army remained on high alert all night. YoYoMa did not return to bed but slept across the front door. Several times during the remainder of the night members of the pack banged out of the dog door to check the perimeter. White Dog slept in my chair in the living room.
Much too late to help, I realized we should have offered him some food or at least bottled water. Steve agreed and mentioned he had taken Trixie when he first awoke to walk around the neighborhood to see if he could spot the guy who strangely had been travelling in a wheelchair but had walked up the driveway to our door.
"No luck?" I rhetorically asked. "No, but I went looking because there are drops of blood all over the front stairs...I think he was hurt."