A Whispered Warning

The wind thrashed about wildly, in a manner comparable to that of a rabid horse. It beat itself against the windowpane, as if determined to break through. The icy rain cavorted about with reckless abandon.

Most everyone was sensible enough to remain inside during these terrible conditions. "But, hark!" the battering tree boughs seemed to quietly roar. "Is that a shadow, on the street corner?" She would have done well to ignore their whispered alert, but instead, the girl cowered on the sofa, bolstered by the protection of its cushions.

The dog paid no heed to the rush of rain, wind, and branch. Curled up beside the child, she snored comfortably. The girl was comforted somewhat by the mere presence of the dog, but shivered nonetheless.

The outside roar blotted out the undertones of the television, and the child strained to hear the comforting sounds and songs of Grease. But though she endeavored valiantly, her efforts were for naught. The blinds flapped wildly, and the curtains shuddered fearfully.

Feebly, the dog made move to exit, but the girl tugged her down. The dog briefly struggled, and meekly subsided, lying back down on the couch, picking her head up occasionally to offer her opinions and criticisms against the arguments provided by the squall.

The wind whispered along the alleyway, stirring the trees into panic. In hushed tones, they debated, and came to a decision. Branches rapped against the glass, but the girl uneasily and obstinately covered her ears against their warning. Ah, she was alerted to the danger, but she did not pay heed to the forewarning.

Shadows gathered, pooling together at the end of the street. Menacingly, they slithered down the alleyway, lying low for just a moment, before beginning their smooth, slow ascent up the side of the brick house.

The dog barked once and fell silent. Shivering, the girl pressed closer to her canine companion. She chose to ignore the sudden dimming of all outside light, and attempted to focus solely on the television. Her disobedient eyes flicked occasionally to the window, and she gasped in terror.

Was it a face? A hooded visage, masked in darkness? Or was it merely an interesting configuration of leaves?

But the girl knew which it was, because it had… smiled at her. Nay, it had sneered.

And above the outside din, she heard a sound. It was the sound of floorboards creaking beneath a shod foot, and at the same time, it was a blowing air horn, shrieking across long distances. It was a voice.

"Come with me," said the voice simply. The girl cried out in alarm, and disappeared. Whining, the distressed dog rested her head dejectedly on her paws, snuffling sadly. A look of worry manifested itself in her amber eyes.