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Tap Tap Tap

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Way back when I was very small, only seven or so years old, my dad planted a flowering tree directly outside my bedroom window as a way of sprucing up our front yard. I was absolutely delighted, of course. The tree was gorgeous, all green leaves and yellow flowers. Well, I thought it was beautiful until that windy night a few weeks later. The weather had been positively dreadful the last couple of days, there had even been a bit of hail. And one night it had been terribly windy, just awful. I went to bed that night with the irrational fear that our house would be blown away, like in the Wizard of Oz. So I lay awake for a long time, listening to the wind get stronger and stronger, whipping through the night and howling in peoples ears. It was maybe around ten o'clock when the tapping started.

They were just little taps, nothing scary or abnormal. I figured that the sounds were my parents making, that they were cutting something up in the kitchen or clicking a pen against the dining room table. But the taps quickly grew louder, so loud I knew that they were in no way being made by my mom or dad. I pin-pointed the sound to be coming from the big window next to my bed, and my mind quickly formed the image of a great hulking monster outside my room, tapping on the window with one long yellowed fingernail and a devilish grin on its face. I was about to get up to go tell my mom when the thought occurred to me that that was what the monster wanted me to do. The tapping was merely bait, and once I got up from my bed the monster would see me and come inside. Because the monster didn't really know I was there, it was just testing to see if anything dumb enough would show itself. If the monster was tapping on a grown-ups window, the grown-up wouldn't care to get up and check, they would just dismiss the sound. But a little kid, especially a dumb little kid, would most definitely be foolish enough to show itself if it was in the room. And so I stayed put, my eyes shut tight against the darkness and fingers buried in the folds of my blanket. After a while I fell asleep, being that frightened is very tiring business. That's how every single windy night went, with me hoping the monster would tire of his game and leave me be. It wasn't until I was about twelve that I figured out the tapping had just been the tree being bopped up against my window.

Now, you'd think that since I figured out the monster wasn't real I wouldn't be scared of it anymore. Wrong! Even now, on windy nights, I sit as still as possible while the 'monster' attacks my window, hoping it would hurry up and leave already. I'll be like that for a long time, under the blankets and shivering, my imagination churning up awful pictures of a gruesome monster that isn't really there. Sometimes I'll be up the entire night, worrying if it saw my big toe move just the slightest bit, or if it could hear me breathing. I usually can't go to sleep until the wind calms down and the rapping on my window stops, but there are the rare times when I get so tired of being terrified that I fall asleep. And every morning after one of those frightening nights, I get up and glare at that tree. I give it my best scowl and dare it to make that tapping noise now, now that I'm back to being rational. But it never does, not until the next stormy night, when the winds is strong and my monster is standing outside the window, the awful grin plastered on its face and its fingernail a tap-tap-tapping on the glass.



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courteycat said...
Jul. 3, 2010 at 11:55 am
That was cute and funny. I loved it. Continue writing:)
 
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