#112 A Scream in the Night

by Sheridan Gold

Did you hear that?” I whispered, suddenly awakened by a scream. My wife didn’t answer, no surprise. Her work as a baggage handler usually knocked her out. Maybe I had been dreaming, or maybe I was on edge because this was our first night out in the country in our new house. I made myself relax, took deeper breaths, and felt myself drifting off.

Then another scream, more like a shriek this time. I shook my wife. “Hear that? We’ve got to do something!” Fully awake now, she grabbed my arm. “Call 911!” It was light now, and I wasn’t so afraid. “You call,” I said. “I want to look outside. See if I see anything.”

I ran to the window just as the scream was repeated. This time it was followed by the sound of a gun going off and a gruff shout. “I’ve told you a hundred times to shut that creature up. Now, I’ve done it for you!”

I didn’t see the man, only feathers floating about, carpeting his weedy yard. My wife, holding the cell, was looking through the window, too, and now we stared at each other. We knew we had more to worry about than just a bird. We weren’t out and loud as peacocks were, but we were out.

My wife handed me the phone. “Hello?” I said. “Hello, ma’am,” the 911 operator responded. “Never mind,” I said, arming myself for what lay ahead.

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