It’s embarrassing how many nights a week I lay awake, eyes wide, ears perked, hyper-analyzing every little creak and groan.
The chirping of crickets turn into the squeaking of front door hinges. (Though, to be fair, the crickets here do seem adept at mimicking inorganic sounds like car alarms and electric buzzing.) The tree outside scraping against the plaster sounds like the scrabbling of fingernails. A feral cat fight outside my bedroom window turns into…well, a much creepier feral cat fight.
As with everything else in this world, my rational mind acknowledges that these things have a simple explanation. Logic tells me that the odds are overwhelmingly slanted toward the ordinary, that everything is just as average as it seems. But then, as usual, a little voice in my head whispers “what if?”
What if it’s for real? What if this time, logic is wrong? What if there really are monsters out there in the dark? What if right now, someone lurks, watching and waiting for the chance to do evil?
Questions like this might be conducive to good story telling, but they can also be the stuff of waking nightmares.