On the Prowl

One late October night, Jenny was all tucked into bed with her dog, Billy, by her feet. She was just closing her eyes when she heard some noises coming from outside her window, not able to distinguish what it was. Billy also lifted and tilted his head trying to understand this sound. “It’s probably just leaves rustling in the wind”, Jenny thought, and calmed back down and slowly closed her eyes. Then she heard it again but louder and different, still not distinguishing what it was! Billy looked at her with big eyes, which added to the pounding she felt in her chest.

She laid back down with eyes wide open, waited for the sound. Then she noticed some shadows cast on her wall from the full moon, noticed the trees moving with the wind. Staring at the wall, waiting for the sound, she noticed some strange shapes appear in these shadows, with almost human-like movements of creeping slowly and retreating. She swallowed hard and didn’t move. Billy was no comfort as he fell back asleep.

Her senses were heightened, she was on alert. Her eyes didn’t blink and were affixed to the wall of shadows. Her ears were perked. Goosebumps on her skin. She could swear she caught a whiff of soap, but not one that was familiar to her. It left a metallic taste in her mouth thinking about the thought of somebody being on the other side of that door. She convinced herself this was happening. Then the noise returned in small bursts, almost like footsteps, yes, footsteps. There’s somebody out there!

Frozen, she laid stiff as a board, praying that Billy wouldn’t bark and all hell breaks loose. She needed to remain calm and think clearly, logically. It’s times like this she wished she’d have a cell phone, but she doesn’t succumb to pressures of society to always be available and plugged in; although, it could be convenient at times like this, in an emergency. Her land line phone was in the kitchen and no way was she going to move, plus, they most likely would have already cut the line in preparation to break down the door – she’s no dummy, she’d seen the movies.

As she laid there, not blinking, stiff as a board, staring at the shadowy wall, hearing faint noises on the other side of the door, Jen decided to slink slowly out of bed and grab the bat she kept next to her nightstand. Stealthfully she moved to the door, she had a burst of adrenaline rush through her, feeling like WonderWoman. No intruder, rapist, or thief would enter her home unscathed.

Jen’s plan was to unlock the deadbolt with one hand turn the knob while opening the door with the other, simultaneously and quickly grabbing the bat to hammer down on the bad guy. Quietly she took deep breaths to maintain her composure and bravery, she counted to 3 in silence. “1, 2, 3” she whispered, and….

It was a black cat and her kittens frolicking about, one walked carefully to maintain its balance on top of the fence, others napped against the warm house. Jen breathed a sigh of relief and looked over Billy, still sound asleep on the bed.

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