There used to be an awning over the back door of the house I live in, which served as a rickety porch for the second floor. One day, there was some banging, and then there was no more awning. This was a bit of a surprise, as I usually don’t expect banging noises to actually affect me in any way. Sounds of construction and destruction are one of those things that you learn to tune out; a sort of background music for city dwellers. But apparently, this sound had been no ordinary urban muzak; a large chunk of my house had been stolen. Mysterious.

A while later, I heard a more banging coming from behind the house. Having learned from my previous lack of vigilance, I peeked out the back window. Sure enough, was a sketchy looking dude with a backhoe out there making an awful racket. I thought about going out there and confronting him, but he looked to be quite a bit bigger than me, and besides, he was wielding heavy machinery. So I waited until he was gone to look outside. Sure enough, most of the backyard between the door and the driveway was now missing, leaving only a lot of dirt and a sad little remainder of concrete by the door for me to use as a step. The message was clear: the bastard was taunting me.

Some time after that, there was a little more noise, and I jumped out of my seat and dashed down the stairs, ready to nab the larcenous digger red-handed. But I was too late; he was gone when I opened the door. Leaping out into the yard, I nearly fell and broke my neck: that last shelf of concrete was gone, too. There was now nothing but dirt between the door and the driveway, which shouldn’t have really been a problem, except that the dirt lay about three feet below the level of the door, meaning that I now had to suffer the indignity of climbing into and out of my own home.

It occurred to me that I should talk to my landlord about all these mysterious goings on. After all, he both owns the house and lives in it; he ought to have some concern about the fact that it seems to be being eaten alive. But then a terrible thought came to my mind; what if he knows the person responsible? What if he is the person responsible? It could all be part of some bigger plan on his part; perhaps an insurance scam, like faking your own death. Or maybe he was just planning on doing some renovations. Either way, there was clearly a vast, right-wing conspiracy afoot, and I couldn’t trust anyone.

But a few days later, some kind soul took pity on my predicament and put some wooden steps up between the door and the ground. My (admittedly brief) period of ledge-jumping to get out of the house was finally over. I wasn’t sure who had done this or why. Was the thief feeling penitent? Was this a bribe from the conspirators to keep me quiet? If so, it wasn’t going to work. It would take more than a couple of steps to keep me from the truth. I had to admit, however, that it was kind of nice to be able to walk out of the house instead of jumping.

Naturally, though, it was too good to last. I looked outside yesterday, and the step was gone. Not only that, someone had dug deep, perfectly round holes in the dirt, making the path to the door nearly impassable. The holes suggest that the yard-pirates are digging for buried treasure, of some sort. Either that, or they’re some sort of signal for an alien invasion force. Could be trouble.