Nothing in the dark can hurt me. Nothing in the dark can hurt me... Makenna!
I open my eyes and see my room - cast in varying hues of black and blue. I'm sweating. I'm sitting straight up in my bed and sweating like crazy. And I was chanting to myself.... Why? I haven't been afraid of the dark since I was five. I haven't even had a nightmare since I was eight. Seventeen-year-olds don't just wake up chanting about things in the dark...
My window shades are open and the uneven streaks of light coming from in between them are hurting my eyes. I get out of bed to close them and I can feel that my clothes are soaked and heavy. I sweat right through my clothes! I strip out of the soffees and the over sized T-shirt and throw on a camisole that's laying by my feet.
After I close the blinds I can barely see the rest of my room. I feel around, searching for the far wall: bedpost; comforter; pillow; table (I knock over a glass of water and curse to myself as I feel it trickle onto my feet); wall. I move my hands up it and find the light switch. I flick them on and am temporarily blinded. I cover my eyes for a moment and look down.
Yep - there's the glass lying next to a dark, damp spot on the carpet. I pick it up and, thankfully, it isn't broken. I open my door, which was cracked, walk a few steps into the hall and turn into the bathroom. I set the glass down and grab the nearest towel. Turning, I stop to look in the mirror and see that my hair's a mess and that my face looks terrible. I raise my hand to my forehead, but the back of it is still clammy, so it doesn't help. I fumble through a drawer or two and find a thermometer. The metallic taste of it something I have always hated. It reads 98.6 degrees. Figures.
Going back to my room, I throw the towel on the spill, step on it and them turn off the light as I skip downstairs to the kitchen. The whole house is painted with the same blacks and dark blues, it's a bit unsettling. I feel the need for my one guilty pleasure: a Capri-Sun. I sneak into the refrigerator and grab one. It's childish, I know, but it brings back good memories of hot summers and jumping through the sprinklers.
Sitting down at the kitchen table, I look out the large bay window while sipping wild-berry flavored memories of being twelve years old. With each sip I get less hot and a little more calm. I don't even remember what woke me up to begin with. The full moon shines through the kitchen window. It seems unusually large tonight. (Or perhaps my perception is just off right now.) Either way, it's beautiful. I just stare at it continually, unable to look away. The whole thing glows a bright, icy blue, and it's crater a soft grey. I can make out the face of the "man in the moon." Ever since I was a kid, I always wondered why he looked so sad.
I jump, pushing the chair a foot and a half away from the table. The howl came as an intrusion to my thoughts and shocked me out of them. I didn't even know there were wolves around here. I hadn't heard any before now.
The howling continues. It sounds... sad. I wonder if there is a wolf somewhere with a broken leg, or maybe one of it's wolfy-friends died. (There I go, sounding like a twelve-year-old...)
I steal a look at the clock and it dimly reads 2:22. I glance at the moon one last time as a cloud passes over it. As I stand up, the howling abruptly stops. I walk to the pantry to throw away my trash.
A low, harsh growl creeps up from outside. The hairs on the back of my neck stand up. I back away slowly and turn around. Out the window, the moon is gone - completely covered by very dark clouds. The sound suddenly grows fiercer, like it was jumping at me. I dart out of the kitchen toward the staircase. I slip on the hardwood floor, but grab onto the banister post. Darn these socks! The growling is getting louder still - unrealistically loud. I run up the stairs as fast as possible. When I am nearly to the top, I try to take the last two steps at one time, but I trip and hit my chin on the floor. My jaw and lower lip throb. Something glimmers out of the corner of my eye. To the right, I see something emerald is shining through the crack under the closet door.
The growl jumps at me again and I pull myself up and dash into my bedroom, slamming the door behind me. It keeps getting louder and louder. By now, it sounds as if the sound is coming from inside my own room. I crawl back into my bed and pull the still wet covers over my head. Louder and meaner it still grows. The growl reaches a climax and I tense up, expecting something unseen to attack me from a dark corner of my room...
My ears are now filled only with my heavy breathing and quickened heartbeat. I still don't move, thinking any second that the bloodthirsty noise will start up again, or for the calm to be broken by the attack that seems inevitable. But nothing comes. For a few more minutes I just sit and calm myself down. It takes a conscious effort to move the cover off of me.
My room looks completely normal. It's still eerily dark and oddly quiet. I slowly get up, taking each step carefully, trying not to make any kind of sound and cause the growling to return. I reach my window and open the blinds to let in some light. The full moon greets me again. I stand there staring at it, feeling like there's something it's trying to tell me. It glows so warmly, it's almost as if the moon is trying to touch me with it's mist.
I look down to the trees and listen to the animal howl once more before I quickly close the shades and crawl back into bed. I don't really feel like sleeping with an audience tonight.
There's nothing to be afraid of in the moonlight...