Tonight was date night with the lady friend. After an evening of Olive Garden (I know, high rollers ), movies, and helping her little sister with math homework, she was walking me to my car to leave. This was around 11:30, so it was quite dark. As we neared the car, she gasped a little and said "What was that?" and was looking into the shadowed area on the side of her house. I began reaching for my flashlight and she said "Oh, nevermind. I thought I saw..." and then let out a huge scream and jumped behind me. I looked back at the shadowed area and saw a large dark figure moving toward us. I immediately reached back for my firearm and was met with nothing but waistline. I had left it in the car after dinner. As I reached for my non-existant firearm, I was also pulling the flashlight out of my pocket. (At least I had that, right?) I clicked it on and saw that the large figure was nothing more than a tarp that had been laying in the yard and was being blown about by the wind, about 15 feet away. She immediately started cracking up, laughing at her reaction to such a harmless thing. But I sat there basically in awe of how fast all of that happened and how it could have gone terribly wrong had it been an actual attacker (human or animal). In hindsight, I can't believe I left my firearm in the car. If that were an actual threat, I would have never gotten to it in time. Also, like I said, I can't believe how fast it all happened. I was definitely caught off-guard tonight and I'm going to do my best to make sure that doesn't happen in the future. Just thought I'd share.