Previous Challenge Entry (Level 3 - Advanced)
Topic: GRATE (11/19/15)
- TITLE: A Midnight Intruder
By Pat Small
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Being the only adult in the house at the moment, I eased out of bed and sneaked on bare feet to check out the backyard. In those days, we had inside shutters on the windows, with strong iron grates on the exterior. No glass. It would be impossible for anyone to come in that way. We did have rather flimsy doors though, especially in the back, so that would be the logical spot for an invasion. I padded to the tiny window overlooking the backyard and porch, shivering with dread in my flimsy pajamas. Fearfully I took a peek. No one was in view, but a shadow kept piercing my vision. It was impossible to determine the source.
I crept furtively up to the front of the house. Straining my eyes and peering into the ebony night revealed nothing. Still that frightening plodding continued intermittently. It sounded as though he might be moving down the driveway, in the direction of the rear of the house.
Prayers were winging their way to heaven, as my nocturnal pacing and peeking continued.
On my way back to the rear barred peephole , I was sure I caught a vision of a shadow passing by the side of the house. I didn’t dare open a shutter to investigate. That would expose me to whomever or whatever had disturbed my peaceful dreams, even though the slats would keep the visitor out.
I decided to rouse my twelve year old son. Why? I don’t know. He was so scared that when he tried to speak nothing came out. His teeth chattered out a Hail Mary, and we aren’t even catholics. He grabbed me, holding on as though I could actually protect him. All I had accomplished by waking him was having two frightened people instead of one. I sent him back to bed, and bravely assured him that I could handle it. There was no reason to fear. It was probably just our imagination. Inwardly, I was quaking as much as he was.
As much as I hated to admit it, I knew that something was causing the elusive shadow. Once more I sneaked to the front window. Imagine my horror as a form began to emerge from behind the shrubbery. Then consider my chagrin when I saw what it was. A stray jackass had pushed the gate open with his nose, and decided to explore the newcomers’ territory.
To this day, I have to wonder; who was the jackass in this tale?
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