August 29th 2011
Mumbling came from the hall; I could hear it from inside the bedroom. This always happens – every night was same thing. The kid would cry and tell his parents every excuse in the book to stay in their room, because he was too scared to sleep in his.
“There’s something in the closet!” He would say, tears streaming down his face, eyes pleading to his parents who would ‘tsk’ and tell him he’s imagining things. Every night Julie, or Mark would come into the room, rolling their eyes, making a show of opening the closet door and peaking around, yelling at the invisible monsters to go away. And every night they would kiss Kit on the forehead, tuck him in, and whisper to each other in the kitchen, at their wits end with their son’s imagination.
However what Julie or Mark didn’t know was that every night their hound dog Sam whined to get inside Kit’s room; growl and scratch at the door because it knew. The dog knew.
That damn dog.
Every time Julie walked by the doorway, she would see Sam whining, and she would click her tongue at him. “Git! Sam, down- bad Sam,” and would gently separate the dog and the door with her leg and eventually Sam would shuffle to the end of the hallway and lay down – eyes fixated on the door.
Sometimes the dog would make too much noise, and would have Julie or Mark come by all night.
Those nights were the worst.
Kit begged his parents to let Sam sleep in his room, to leave the door open. His parents would always tell him no, that the dog would keep him up all night barking. They didn’t know Kit was up all night with me anyway. And the only reason the dog barked was because of me - because he knew I was there.
It got to a point where I couldn’t even come out because the dog would bark every time I moved. And of course it would be a hound dog. It couldn’t be a poodle or something, had to be a hound.
It’s been like this for a few years. Sam would go crazy, so I laid low for a while – didn’t leave the confines of the closet. I was getting weak.
It’s been so long since I’ve fed. Can’t risk it.
Can never risk it.
Then one day it happened. Apparently the vet said it was a heart attack. They asked if Sam was under constant stress. Julie would say no, Mark would say “Of course not! It’s a dog!”
I heard them tell Kit when he got home. He had a breakdown, screamed and threw a tantrum. Mark didn’t know it was a panic attack. Julie sent him to his room.
Kit sat on his bed with his face towards the closet. With wide eyes and heart pounding like a drum line - never tearing his eyes from the closet.
I just waited. I was so hungry.
Kit saw me. He knew I was there. A still calm came over him because he knew what was going to happen.
The sun started to set.