"It was a dark and stormy night…" wrote Snoopy. The pleasant clicking noises of his typewriter keys echoed into the silence of the misty darkness. The small beagle typed on and on towards midnight, crafting a wonderful mystery story.
"Then, all of a sudden, he heard heavy footsteps approaching him from behind!" he wrote. His little heart was beating fast. He had gotten into the story, as all the great beagle writers did. Snoopy looked up, bringing himself back into reality. He wasn't in a dark alley. There was no criminal chasing him. He was safe and sound in Charlie Brown's backyard, on top of his red doghouse. All was right in his world, at least for the moment. His breathing began to steady.
Even though he'd reassured himself that everything was okay, Snoopy's veins were still pumping with adrenaline. He couldn't help feeling edgy, as his character was feeling. Too excited to fall asleep, Snoopy continued his story. "He whipped around and immediately saw the source of the footsteps. It was a horrid sight. The monster was…." Snoopy gasped. He looked over his shoulder cautiously, peered to the right and then stole a quick glance to the left before double-checking the area right in front of him. He had heard a sound, he was sure of it. No matter how hard the beagle looked, however, he couldn't see anything but rustling leaves.
"What was that noise?" He wondered, "Did I really hear it? Oh…I'm just being silly. I'm getting too absorbed into my story. Maybe I should stop for the night. That's it…" He chuckled to himself. Surely, he had only imagined it. Snoopy resolved that the sound certainly hadn't been real. He put away his typewriter and curled up to go to sleep.
Snoopy tried to sleep for many hours, but he couldn't convince himself of what he desperately wanted to be true. He knew that the noise was real. He had heard a familiar voice whisper terrified words, "Help me! Somebody, anybody, help me!" But whose whisper was it? He knew the voice, but he wouldn't let himself recall it. Was it really only in his imagination?
When Snoopy finally got to sleep, his rest was plagued by nightmares. Desperate shadows called out to him all night long. Snoopy tossed and turned. "Help me!" cried Lucy. Her figure soon exited the dream, kidnapped no doubt.
"Snooooooopy!!" Linus screamed as he was dragged away by a menacing figure.
"HELP ME!" shouted the round-headed kid. Poor Charlie Brown was being killed, all because of Snoopy.
"Help me! Someone!" Woodstock yelled and yelled before disappearing.
Snoopy woke up abruptly in a cold sweat. All the people he loved were screaming for his help. Why? He remembered the happenings of the night before. Maybe he only heard that voice in his dream? That was likely. He was just being silly because of that mystery story he was writing, he told himself.
Snoopy rubbed his eyes, stretched and then looked around. It was a foggy morning. Everyone seemed to be inside. He couldn't see Woodstock, or even the cat next door. He looked down to the ground. His breakfast was already there. He jumped off his doghouse's roof and eagerly began eating before realizing how odd the situation was. Charlie Brown always brought him his breakfast. He'd never missed a day before. But today, Snoopy's food was already here, and there was no Charlie in sight!
"Maybe I slept in and when the round-headed kid came to bring me my food he didn't want to wake me." Snoopy tried to reassure himself. No matter what he pretended to tell himself though, he couldn't help the odd feeling that was developing in his stomach. He felt sick, guilty. His instincts were telling him that something was terribly wrong.
No one came to visit him that day. He didn't even see anyone pass by the backyard. There was no trace of Lucy, Linus, Peppermint Patty, Woodstock or Charlie Brown. The neighborhood seemed silent and devastatingly solemn.
Snoopy tried his best to bury himself in his writing, but it only made things worse. Every terrible event he pushed on his character, he imagined happening to his friends. Whenever the leaves rustled or his typewriter clicked oddly, he jumped. He'd look around desperately in terror and think he saw strange shapes in the fog. The fog would clear a bit in time, and he would see that the shapes were merely trees or stones or bushes, but the fear never left him. His heart was pounding.
Dinner just appeared. Snoopy looked away for a minute, searching the tree carefully, and when he looked back his dinner was there. "Why was the round-headed kid sneaking around?" he wondered. But then a more terrible thought crossed his mind, "Maybe Charlie Brown wasn't the one who brought my dinner…" He was too scared to eat.
Once again, night fell. Snoopy tried to sleep but wasn't able to allow himself to shut his eyes. He sat alert, listening. Around midnight he heard the voice again. He couldn't ignore it this time. It was louder, more desperate. "HELP!! HELP!! I'VE BEEN KIDNAPPED!! HELP!!" It was Charlie Brown. He was certain. Snoopy jumped off his doghouse, determined. He was going to make sure that whoever kidnapped the round-headed kid paid! He looked around and saw that both neighbors' upstairs lights were on. It looked like a TV was on in one house and in the other….Charlie Brown! He distinctly saw the round-headed kid waving, terrified in the window. He should have known that those neighbors were criminals! They were the owners of the infamous cat next door. The evil devil cat. Snoopy set off.
He crept out of the backyard, courage suddenly filling his body from the adrenaline. When he got to the front of the neighbor's house, he carefully searched the area. It didn't look like there was a way in from this side. Snoopy checked all the windows and the front door. There was nothing he could open to get in. He was worried and terrified. Every second he couldn't get in was another second his faithful owner spent scared to death.
Snoopy headed around to the fence. The ground was well-kept and the gate was latched shut. He began digging crazily into the soft lawn. Within three minutes he had made the hole big enough. He scrambled under the fence, scraping himself and making his white fur muddy. His back was in pain from the fence's splinters but he couldn't have noticed. He was concentrating everything he had on saving Charlie Brown.
The moon slipped behind a cloud and suddenly it was pitch black. Snoopy would have to rely on his most basic beagle instinct. Smell. The backyard was large and the most prominent scent was a repulsive one. Cat. Thinking fast, Snoopy followed the cat's most recent trail. It lead around trees, to the fence, and finally towards the house. The back of the home was quiet and dark, though Snoopy thought he could still faintly see the light on in the room where Charlie was being held captive. Finally, the scent trail came to and end. Snoopy looked up and smiled slightly. What luck! There was a cat door. It would be quite a squeeze, but Snoopy was certain that he could get through it. Within seconds he had squished himself inside.
The house was worse than he'd imagined. There was cat hair everywhere. The sofas were all clawed up and it looked as though the cat ran the household. Snoopy headed toward the stairs. The tile floor was clicking with each step he took, the sound of his toenails on the hard surface. He moved slower and tried to quiet his steps. Soon, he was at the stairs. He placed his first paw on the stair and to his horror the step let out a humongous creak. He shivered in fear. Snoopy looked all around him, but still couldn't see anyone. He continued up the creaky stairs, cringing at each noise. When he reached the top of the stairs, he let out a small sigh of relief.
He surveyed his surroundings. The moon was once again lending its eerie light to his search. He could see almost everything by the strong moonlight that was coming in the four huge windows of the upper landing. There were three rooms off of the one he was in. Each one had a shut door. Charlie must have been forced to turn off his light, as there was no sign of it. Snoopy tried to think which room he'd seen Charlie in. After some careful thinking, he decided it was definitely the one through the door to his left. He quietly moved to the door and sniffed underneath it. The horrid odor filled his nose more strongly than ever before. There was no doubt about it; the cat was sleeping on the other side of that door.
What was a beagle to do? The evil cat next door had scratched him up more times than Snoopy cared to remember. That evil cat was guarding Charlie now! How would he ever get past it? Snoopy tried to think. Fear was descending on him. He could almost feel the cat's claws digging into him…but then there was Charlie Brown. His loyal owner. The one who fed him everyday. There was no choice. He would fight the cat, for Charlie.
Snoopy mustered all the courage he had and jumped at the door knob. It turned and slid open a hair. Snoopy pushed it farther open and slipped inside before the door hit the sleeping cat. He whipped around to face his foe. To his delight, the cat was still asleep! Snoopy crept up on it and prepared to pounce. Then, "Fwap!" the cat smacked Snoopy's nose, making the beagle's eyes water. That sneaky little cat! It was faking!
Snoopy regained his composure and charged again at the cat. The cat raised its menacing claws toward him and as Snoopy ran at it, he got swiped by the sharp weapons. He flinched but didn't back up, to the cat's surprise. The cat was off-guard, thinking that its attack would have at least made Snoopy back away. While the cat was trying to figure out what had happened, Snoopy grabbed it by the back of its neck. The cat meowed in anger as Snoopy ran to the door. He quickly tossed the cat outside and slammed the door. Now, he had to find Charlie.
He hurried around the room but saw nothing. There was an empty chair, a dusty old desk and another door. Snoopy rushed to the door. He jumped at the door knob, but the door wouldn't open. He looked closer at it. There was a latch about a foot above the door knob. Thinking fast, he pulled the chair over to the door, scrambled onto it and then jumped for the latch. It took three tries, but he got it unlocked. He hopped off the chair and pushed open the door.
Something made a sound of pain. Inside the closet was the round-headed kid! Charlie Brown! He was tied up and had duct tape across his mouth. Snoopy quickly set to chewing through the tight ropes that surrounded Charlie's wrists and ankles. Snoopy's teeth were sore by the time Charlie was free.
Snoopy finally noticed a stabbing pain in his leg and looked down to see that it was bleeding hard. The cat had really scratched him deeply! Charlie Brown noticed the wound and picked up his brave little dog. Charlie ran out of the room and looked around for the cat. He saw a small curled up figure in the corner. Snoopy glared at it, and that evil cat made a noise it had never made before. It whimpered.
Charlie Brown and Snoopy soon returned home, relieved to be done with the terrifying ordeal. Charlie tenderly bandaged Snoopy's wound and thanked him again and again. Charlie then took Snoopy's bowl and served him an extra large, well-deserved dinner. Snoopy happily ate it, glad to have his master home. Once again, the courageous beagle had saved the day.