“Mommy, there’s something outside my bedroom window.”
It’s an early memory of mine, coming out into the living room one night after my mother had sent me to bed, dragging my beat-up stuffed rabbit after me. Bleary-eyed with sleep, not sure what my young mind had just seen, I was caught somewhere between terror and crankiness.
“Honey, it’s nothing, I’m sure. Go back to bed.” My mother answered me, turning on one of the safe lights in the living room so that I could see her better.
I scuffed my toe on the rug, swinging my arms a little. I wanted to believe her, wanted with all the love and hope my little heart held for my mother to trust her word, but…
“Mommy, it has really big teeth.”
At that moment, a howl cut through the night like a knife, making my mother jump up from her chair and raising the hairs on every inch of my tiny body. The sound was primal and I knew immediately it was from the creature that had been outside my bedroom window.
The scream that pealed from my lungs was pitched high enough to break glass.
My mother snatched me up in her arms, backed into a corner, and pushed me behind her. She used her frail body to shield me from an unknown threat. We cowered there for what seemed like hours, until the phone rang, breaking the paralysis that had seized us.
In the light of the following day, she told my father that wolves must have come down because of snow high in the mountains; it had been an early winter, after all.
To this day, I don’t think she believed what she told my father. Something Other had been outside my window that night, and it wasn’t of the natural world. We both knew it.