21 December 2007

Nighttime Terrors

If you've never heard the howls of a pack of coyotes, consider yourself lucky. I don't even live in the country, but my mom's house is close enough to the edge of town that there are dense trees along a nearby creek which serve as a home to these animals. And I'm not going to lie; they scare me. We've lost three cats to coyotes. My dad's dog got bit and needed stitches. In the summertime, I hesitate to leave my windows open when I go to bed for fear of waking to their blood-curdling howls. When I do, I bury my head beneath my pillows, praying hard for God to make them stop. I can't describe the noise in any other way than "devilish." It sounds as though they are possessed, and when one begins shrieking, they all start in, their voices carrying through the still night air, amplified against the dark houses. I quickly throw open the back door and call, "Inky! Here, kitty!" He's outlived two other cats, but I still worry about him. Tonight I left my dad's house after dinner around 6:30pm. The sun had already set and the moonlight drifted toward the concrete street. I was walking to my mom's house when I heard them howl. It was as though they were right behind me, but with yards of street between me and my dad's house, it was obvious they were no closer than my dad's backyard. I would have taken off running had I not been carrying a big book and my wallet, perhaps had I not been wearing blue jeans. My mom's front door was locked (I knew it would be; I left it that way, and she came home from work and entered through the back) so I knocked hastily, pushing the speed dial on my phone to ask my dad if his dogs were inside. My mom unbolted the lock and I rushed inside. Safe.


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