Sometime in the wee small hours of the morning, just around the time a kitten decides that he needs to either get under the blankets with me or start biting my toes, I heard a noise. The cat heard it too and jumped off the bed. I sat up and the first words out of my mouth were,"Holy shit."
Mike was sound asleep beside me. I really did not want to be alone with this noise so I shook him awake. "Mike. Mike," I said softly. "Do you hear that?"
He woke up with a gasp."Wha...? Huh?"
"Shhh. Listen, " I said. The noise started again.
He was standing up and moving before he was even conscious, heading out of the bedroom and down the stairs. The cats were all scrambling for places to hide.
The noise continued. It was outside, I could tell that much now, but that was little comfort. This was the spookiest noise I had ever heard in my life. Unnatural. It was bloodcurdling, like a cross between a crazed, rabid animal and a babbling two year old human child. (people tell me there is a difference)
I went to the second floor porch that overlooks the backyard - not an easy feat for a half asleep, half naked person who forgot to put on both her leg and her glasses. I peered out into the darkness and saw movement. A small creature was slinking away. We have a phuka in the backyard, I thought. All those fairy stories my father told were true! (As if the banshee storm the night he died wasn't proof enough.)
"Mike!" I said, scaring him half to death in the dark hallway as he came up the stairs. "What was that thing? Did you see it?"
"It was just a cat, Breda. Come back to bed." He seemed unfazed, already slipping back into sleep.
Laying there awake, still not convinced, I heard the first birdsong of the morning.