Things That Go Screech in the Night

My wife and I live in a little house tucked back in the woods. It’s a pretty nice spot. Our driveway curves around from the county road to the house, and, when the leaves are out, trees completely block the view from the pavement to our place. Blessed privacy!

Not to mention all the shade, which, in summertime Georgia, is always welcome (except when planting a vegetable garden, which is another story).

Thing in the woods

Things that go SCREECH in the night.

We were smart enough to build an 8′ wide porch onto the front of the house, complete with rocking chairs. It’s another shady spot to wile away the steamy, dreamy afternoons. Most times there’s enough of a breeze to keep us comfortable.

All in all, as one friend called it, a nice wooded retreat. Peaceful. Relaxing. Safe.

After sundown in spring and fall, we open the window over the head of our bed and enjoy the cool breeze that wafts through the house. Makes for some easy sleeping.

But at night, those woods outside our safe haven can get really dark. And creepy.

Especially when the Screecher Creature is on the prowl.

Screecher Creature Feature

It usually happens in the early morning hours, around 2:00 or 3:00 a.m. But sometimes we get a visit not long after snuggling down for the night. Or maybe just before the alarm goes off, in the waning hours before dawn.

Here’s a typical scenario. I suddenly wake in the night. Confused, disoriented. I blink away sleep, stare owlishly at the digital clock beside the bed.

3:13 a.m.

What woke me? I listen a minute. All is quiet and still.

Then I hear it, in the distance. Echoing deep within the black woods.

SCRRRRRREEEEEEEEEEECCCCCCHHHHH!

A shiver runs down my spine. What the hell?

SCRRRRRRRREEEEEEEEECCCCCCCCHHHHHHHH!

Bigfoot Sighting

Is Bigfoot the Screecher Creature?

Coming closer.

SCRRRRRRREEEEEEEECCCCCCCCCCCCCHHHHHHHHHHH!

Closer still. A sound that gets the adrenalin going. A sound to kick off the old fight or flight reflex. A sound like someone being murdered.

I draw the covers up to my chin. My eyes are wide in the dark. I anticipate that next screech like a middle-schooler waiting for the teacher’s chalk to scrape across a blackboard.

Then…

SCRRRRRRRRREEEEEEEEEEEEECCCCCCCCCCCCHHHHHHHHHH!

Seemingly right outside our freaking window!

My imagination runs riot. Those woods out there. They’re deep, dark, menacing. Come almost right up to our bedroom window. Almost anything could be out there. Hunting.

Bobcat

Yeah, blame the bobcat.

Night air pours through our flimsy screen, like the cold breath of an animated corpse. That thin screen is all that stands between us and…

SCCRRRRRRRRRRRRREEEEEEEEEEEEEECCCCCCCCCCCCHHHHHHHHHHH!!!!

It’s there, crap, right THERE, outside the window!

I desperately want to reach up, pull down that sash, lock that opening into our sanctuary. But I keep my appendages tucked safely under those covers. I consider pulling them over my head, cause everybody knows the monster can’t get you if you’re under the covers.

It’s Gonna Get Us!

My wife is sleeping soundly right next to me. Or faking it really well. Don’t worry, honey. If it gets in, you can keep it occupied while I run for help.

Then…

SCRRRRRRRRRREEEEEEEEEEECCCCCCCCCCCCCHHHHHHHH!

The gawdawful sound is fading. The thing is heading away.

SCRRRRRRRREEEEEEEEECCCCCCCCHHHHHHHH!

Past the window. Away from the house. Back into those haunted woods.

I listen, but the Screecher Creature is silent. Gone for the night.

But it WILL be back.

Fox

Do I look like I could make that noise? I’m too cute!

Okay. Maybe I’m not THAT scared. Whatever is out there has never tried to force its way through our window. The roaming creature screeches, and, having screeched, roams on.

It just goes to show how the power of the imagination can take hold of you and leave you a shivering, quivering mess.

Martha and I have pondered on what kind of beast the Screecher Creature is. I’ve heard bobcats can scream like a woman, and my nephew, who lives up the road, swears he’s seen one or two. Martha votes for a fox. Maybe a rabid fox. I don’t believe it’s a screech owl, though those little guys have a pretty loud voice for such a small package.

Screech Owl

Whoooo? Little ol’ me?

My brother-in-law, who also lives up the road, has lots of cats. The day after the Screecher Creature comes through, he seems to have less cats.

Maybe it’s Bigfoot, on the prowl for feline companionship.

Whatever makes that screech, I don’t think I’ll be heading out in the night, flashlight in hand, to tromp through the woods trying to find the source.

Because, as you know from reading horror stories and watching fright flicks, I might just find it. Or it, me.

SCRRRRREEEEEEEECCCCCCCCCHHHHHHHHHHHHH!

Uh oh. Excuse me while I pull these covers back over my head.



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