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I rubbed at the grey circles under my eyes, listening to my dog snoring at the foot of my bed. I could feel her breath against my feet, the heat making my toes twitch with each intake.
I slowly sat up, rousing the canine from her peaceful sleep. She gave me a why-are-you-up-so-early look and hopped down from my bed, off in search of a new resting spot. The mattress groaned beneath me as I swung my legs to the ground.
6:00 A.M. felt so early to me, and the fact that it was still dark outside did not help at all. I pushed myself to my feet and walked slowly to my computer. The monitor was pitch black, finger marks etched into the accumulative dust. Click. I pushed the power button on the computer, allowing the tower to whir and whiz into life.
I hadn’t had much time to get on the computer lately, my homework and siblings had made sure of that. Just yesterday I barely had enough time left to eat dinner, and after that, I was so tired I fell asleep as soon as my face touched my pillow. The day before that my sister had “homework” to do, and she said that she could only do it on the computer. Every time I walked into that room I would see her clicking in and out of YouTube, texting, or sometimes she wouldn’t even be near the monitor at all. Making food or dancing randomly around the house, she managed to get little or no work done. She never was really great on concentrating on the task at hand. Especially when it was related to school.
If my sister wasn’t on the computer, then my brother would be. It felt like they intended on letting me get on as little as possible. It would make sense that I would have seniority over my little brother, but since he’s youngest it just doesn’t seem to work that way. The only way I would be able to do something that he couldn’t, would be if pigs could fly, or if I had an extremely strong argument. Like that would ever happen.
My dog’s bark to go outside shook me from my memories like a jolt of electricity. I stepped lightly to the door and flung it open just wide enough to let her outside. Scrappy was a fairly small dog, only coming up to my knees if she stood on her hind legs. Her fur curled into small locks giving her a ruffled look, hence her name: Scrappy. She shook herself as she sauntered outside.
A blanket of darkness shrouded my yard, making common objects harder to decipher. Scrappy stayed close to our house as if it would protect her from the dark shapes hidden in the shadows. I tapped my foot on the ground to calm my nerves. Being outside in the dark scared me, heck, even being inside in the dark scared me. Letting my dog out at night (or in this case: early morning) made me very edgy.
I moved to the next window to get a better look at where she was. Yup, doing her business. Just hurry up and come back inside, I thought anxiously.
Grey flashed out of the corner of my eye. My gaze darted in its direction, only fast enough to see the bushes quiver with movement. Thoughts ran though my head at top speed, processing what I had just seen. Only one answer popped into my head that made sense. Coyote. Whatever was left in my stomach from the night before churned like a stormy sea, making me grab at my midsection. Anxious wasn’t the word for it. Neither was worried. What I was feeling felt far beyond that.
Rushing to the door I pulled it open to call to Scrappy. There was no need. Scrappy came running after she heard the door open and rushed inside, seemingly unaware of what was going on. I slammed the door hastily shut, returning to the window I had been just a few seconds before. I pointedly stared at the bush in question willing it to have just been my imagination.
Glimmering green eyes sent a shiver down my spine, my unsettled stomach progressing from churning to an unbearable sick-to-my-stomach feeling. I moved to my left and right a little seeing if really was me that it was looking at. The eerie emerald eyes tracked my every movement, blinking every few seconds as if only interested at me and my dog’s appearance. After a few more moments of eye contact, I turned away from the window and walked back to the computer, taking a seat. A series of scenarios flashed before me; one including the coyote breaking through our glass sliding door and eating me. Totally unrealistic. Absolutely no way that could happen. Impossible… right?