Tuesday, 13 September 2011

12) Night Noise

    Billy Johnson, fourteen years old, but still a kid at heart, was staying at his grandparent’s house in Boulder Colorado for Spring break while his parents went on a cruise. He’d fallen asleep while reading his book on the ancient Egyptian pyramids. He dreamt he was pulling up a single stone block with a hundred other workers in the scorching Egyptian sun when all of a sudden he was jolted awake by the sound of breaking glass. The dream vanished and he sat bolt upright, muscles tense. For a second he thought maybe one of the overseers had followed him out of his dream and wanted to get him back to work.
    He tried to calm himself down. He thought it was probably just a stray cat or raccoon. Then there was another crash. He rolled out of bed, scooped up the flashlight from under the bed and flicked it on. His dark room, his father’s old bedroom, was illuminated by his circle of yellowish light. The cowboys and horses and Indians were frozen forever in their drama on a field of beige tepees and tumbleweeds.
    Billy crept quietly to his door and opened it, it squeaked slightly in protest. He swung the light slowly down the hallway in both directions, nothing. He tiptoes quietly to his grandparent’s room down the hallway. He tried to peer through the key hole in the door, but it was all black on the other side. He put his ear against the door, nothing. As he was about to pull away he heard something scrape and fall, then a small smashing sound from the other side.
    He tried to open the door, but it was locked. He ran down the hallway, the flashlight bobbed up and down ahead of him. He jumped down the stairs two at a time, ran through the kitchen and slid open the glass door to the backyard.
    He turned his flashlight up to his grandparent’s bedroom window and both panes were smashed open. That must have been the crashing from earlier. Thoroughly frightened, he ran his tiny spotlight down the house and found the remains of the window.
    He’d seen a few detective shows and knew the glass meant that the window had been broken from the inside. Strangely there were his grandfather’s cane and his grandma’s walker there too a little further out from the spray of glass shards. No, he thought, that makes sense they would have used those to break open the windows.
    “What were they escaping? Where are their bodies?” He said out loud to the empty night. He carefully walked closer to the debris and swept his light back and forth over the grass and glass and dirt looking for foot prints, trails, or anything. But he didn’t see any distinguishing marks.
    He heard a something like a crow and looked up and there they were, flying slowly away with several hundred other elderly people in the starry sky.

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