Suddenly there was a scream.

In the dead of night.

Or in the early morning. . .

It was shrill and quick. It came out of no where. And it woke Kimberly from her sleep. Like many people just awakened, she wasn't sure what the noise was, only that she had heard it. After a few moments of quiet, she realized that it was a scream.

Then there was a second scream, and it seemed to be saying something. . . Or, the owner of the scream seemed to be screaming something. . .

Yes, it was definitely a scream. And to Kimberly it sounded pretty painful. She sat up, more alert, and listened. The night was quiet. . . except for the sound of a car starting. Slowly, Kimberly crawled across her bed to her window. She parted the blinds and peered out, squinting and scanning for . . . She didn't know. Her eyes stopped on a car, a truck, that was beginning to speed away. She locked her eyes on the license plate, not because she figured that she should remember it in case it had anything to do with the scream, but because it was not a normal license plate and stuck out to her. Kimberly's eyes were normally attracted to things that "stuck out" without her consent. She would just be walking through a store and would suddenly notice a display of cans that was missing one can in the middle, setting the whole pyramid out of whack.

Her eyes did the just now, noticing that plate was missing two letters. . . That couldn't be legal. . . And it wasn't like it was just a short plate number, like AZ3-69. It was missing characters in the middle of the code. . . 96_-j_3. . . Odd. . .

But by this time the truck was long gone down the quiet road. So, thinking nothing of it and almost completely forgetting about the scream, Kimberly returned to the warmth of her covers.