Estimated reading time — 3 minutes
I was 19 years old and still living at home. My dog Cooper, a pit bull, always slept with me. He would never wake up at night, let alone bark or whine. This is one of the reasons I was so unnerved when I was awoken around 3 am one dark night. When I was awake enough to know what was happening, I noticed that Cooper was standing over me. All the fur on his back was standing on end and he was making a noise that I had never heard him make before. It sounded like a mix between a growl and a cry. I was more worried about him than about what had frightened him at that point. That is, until I noticed what he was looking at.
Cooper was staring straight at the window right next to my bed. He had such anger and fear in his eyes. I didn’t even know such emotion could be displayed by a dog’s eyes. As soon as I looked at the window, Cooper turned around and sprinted out of my room. I sat completely still for a minute before I gained the courage to look at the window again. I slowly turned my head towards the window. The dread began to gather but I knew I had to. I finally turned my head the last couple inches and forced my eyes to look, but I didn’t see anything. But I definitely heard something.
I sat completely still in my bed, suppressing the childish urge to cover my face with blankets and hope whatever was out there went away. But my curiosity held me in my place. I had to know. Suddenly I heard heavy and slow footsteps outside my window. The rocks outside made them sound too loud and too close. The footsteps were too heavy to belong to any animal that might be innocently scurrying past my window. They were most definitely human, or humanlike.
Completely still, I sat and waited. The footsteps stopped for a few seconds and then they seemed to go back the way they came from. That just happened to be towards the back door of my house. A sound from outside my room in the hall drew my attention away from the window. It sounded like Cooper running down the hall. Before I could react, the back door opened and closed. Someone had let Cooper out.
My legs seemed to know what to do before I did. I was in the hall and at the back door in seconds. I just stood there with my hand hovering above the doorknob for what seemed like minutes. Paralyzing fear was preventing me from actually turning the knob, but I knew Cooper was out there and I needed to save him from whatever was there. With that thought, I turned the knob and threw the door open.
I don’t know what I was expecting, but complete and utter silence was not it. The countryside is usually much more lively at night with crickets and all. As for lighting, there wasn’t any. I took one hesitant step out of the doorway. That was when I heard it. It was the same noise I had heard Cooper make earlier. I felt a hand on my shoulder and whipped around. It was my father wondering what on earth I was doing and telling me to get inside. I frantically tried to explain that Cooper was out there with something that walked past my window a few minutes before. My father looked at me like I was insane. Apparently Cooper was sleeping on his bed. He had been there all night.