Evening interlude. It’s a 6.

Eyes languidly opening, as if pried by miniature, cushion tipped crowbars, I attributed the difficulty waking to the late spring evening air that flowed freely from my open bedroom window; I questioned if perhaps I’d been dreaming, vivid dreaming? But there it was again – a repetitive, peculiar sound, no, more a repetitive grating noise, like a human fingernail raked slowly over the slate of a 3rd grade classroom chalkboard, fingertip all white alabaster dusted. Scooching up against the pillows, willing myself to a state of semi-consciousness I fumbled for the metal chain of the banker’s lamp, then remembered I’d forgotten to replace the bulb.

Chi-chi-chitttttt – holy mother of…. head turning all Linda Blair like, I gazed in horrific amazement at 2 eyes in the far corner of the room peering out of a ratlike, but not, body, black fur blending into the nighttime as if it stepped out of the darkness itself; neither of us moving, until it screamed an indescribable bark. Like a missile launched prematurely, my body shot out of bed in a single levitation and I stood, frozen.

Feeling a cool breeze push at my shoulders, I turned towards the open window, the window whose torn screen I’d forgotten to replace, the window through which my nocturnal visitor gained entrance and who was now screaming to be let out….