Astoria, OR

February 19th, 2019

She couldn’t suppress a groan as she turned off the water and heard the sound of her youngest crying upstairs, rolling her eyes as she did. She’d told the boys not to wake their brother, especially since Aiden hadn’t been sleeping all that well lately. He was only eight months old but his brothers had been sleeping through the night when they were only three and four months old, which had made her wonder if something might be amiss with Aiden.

Thus far he’d done well on his checkups and the pediatrician had no overt concerns. Most of the time Aiden slept pretty soundly, when he slept. He just kept odd hours no matter when she and her husband tried to put him down, crying at night and sleeping like a rock during the day. But every now and then having two rambunctious older siblings didn’t help matters.

“So help me you two,” she muttered, wiping her hands clean as she cocked her head in response to the sound of the sliding glass door being opened.

“Caden?” she called out, “Is Alan upstairs?”

There was no answer, but she did hear the sliding glass door close with an audible thunk as it was secured in its jamb. Rolling her eyes she went to check the door only to find it locked. Looking outside she couldn’t see anyone on the side patio, and locking the door from the outside was impossible. She couldn’t help but frown as she backed away from the door slowly, feeling an odd sense of trepidation as she looked into the glass surface. What she saw in that split second froze her for a split second as she noted a dark, ominous form about her size and build standing just a little ways off to her right.

Spinning in place was the prelude to a lot of horror movie deaths as she knew, so she did the next best thing she could think of and spun as she backed away a step. It wasn’t much in the way of strategy but it was something different at least.

But there was nothing there.

She felt instantly foolish, but that sense of wrongness that had gripped her just a moment before wouldn’t go away.


(to be continued)

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