"Cooper?" Mel hissed in the dark. "Did you hear that?"

She felt Cooper sit up beside her and he flicked his cell open, casting a blue light on their faces. "What?"

"I heard something upstairs," she whispered.

Cooper stared at her. "Are you serious?" he whispered back.

She nodded.

Cooper paused for a moment.

A thump resonated from upstairs. Mel squeaked and Cooper froze.

Neither of them knew what to do. According to Cooper's phone it was four o'clock in the morning. Cooper's mum was out of town, so the two friends had spent the night playing video games in the basement and finally crashed at two o'clock.

"Uh…" Cooper said. He got to his feet and shook the hazy sleep out of his head. After a moment of staring around the dark room he gingerly picked up a steel baseball bat

Mel jumped up beside him.

"Stay here," Cooper told her.

"Like hell I will," she said, tying her thick hair up and grabbing a wooden cane.

They slowly and quietly stalked up the stairs and Cooper peeked around the corner, down the hall. He gave her a thumbs up and they slinked along the halls. They heard another thump in the kitchen and both froze in their tracks, Mel wielding her cane like Cooper's bat, over her shoulder, ready to strike.

Moving shadows danced on the wall opposite the kitchen door. The pair snuck up to the doorway, keeping themselves pressed against the wall.

"We're armed and we've called the cops," Cooper announced. "Leave now, or we'll attack!"

Mel rolled her eyes, then adjusted her grip on the cane.

"One," Cooper yelled. "Two!…Three!" Cooper and Mel jumped into the kitchen with a yell, bat and cane raised over their heads. Two little creatures blinked up at them. Raccoons. One in the sink, and one in the cupboard.

Cooper screamed. Mel screamed. The bat and the cane fell to the floor with a clang. The raccoons scattered, as two more came from the living room. The two friends bolted, slamming the front door shut, and running to the curb.

"There are fucking raccoons in my house!" Cooper yelled at no one in particular.

"Holy fucking shit!" Mel shrieked, shaking jittery hands and staring back at the house.

They hyperventilated for a few minutes, then finally calmed down enough to speak without swearing.

"I'm not going back in there," Cooper said.

"Me either."

They stared at each other.

"Do you have any money?" Mel asked.

He pulled a crumpled twenty from his pocket.

Mel grinned. "Let's go to Kalyvia's."

Cooper stared at her. "There are raccoons in my house."

"And how do you propose we fix that?"

He didn't have an answer; just stood there with his mouth gaping open.

"Let's go get some food. We'll formulate a plan there," Mel said, plucking the twenty from out of his hand. "Maybe Astro will help us."

"But…" Cooper trailed off. Mel wasn't listening; she was already walking down the street. "There are raccoons in my house…"