The dim white lights in the kitchen flickered and I felt frozen even though I was cuddled into the warmness of my blanket. I shivered as the frosted air hit the back of my neck, no doubt due to the open window behind me. My mother had left in her grey Scion an hour or so ago, leaving me to take care of my younger brother by four years. He had dirty blond hair, glittering dark brown eyes, and an almost golden glow to his slightly tanned skin. He was short and lither, although he had a bit of chubbiness to his cheeks. Boys hated him and the girls utterly adored him. It helped that he was sensitive and gentle hearted. I was determined that when he grew older he'd be a supermodel. To be truthful, I had a tinge of jealously in my heart when it came to his good looks.
"Why are you staring at me," he demanded, his eyes still trained on the black tv.
I scoffed, "As if I'd be staring at you, brat."
He grinned as he turned his head to look at me. "You know I'm beautiful, jerk."
"Watch who you're talking to you little sh…" my teasing was cut off by a loud bang from outside.
My golden furred dog, with highlights of brown, jumped to her feet with the hairs on her back standing up and her lips pulled back, showing her teeth in a growl. She barked viciously at the front door to my right.
"What's wrong Mo," I cooed softly, using the special nickname for the dog.
Another loud bang and I was on feet, dragging my brother to the only room without windows.
"Stay here," I whispered forcefully.
His eyes were huge and he trembled lightly, clinging to the sleeve of my red cotton shirt. He detached his hand and he nodded his head as I gave his hand a small reassuring squeeze. I jogged to the front door, locking it and then locked the windows. One by one, I closed all the doors and locked every window in the house. I dragged the growling beast, as we liked to call her, to the room my brother was currently occupying. By the time I got back to him salty liquid was flooding down his face like the Nile River in Egypt. I felt a pang of pain shoot straight to my heart as I looked at him. I ignored the unnecessary feeling.
Once more a bang came from beyond the house and somehow it sounded closer than before. Now my dog was whimpering as she stared at the bland white door in our living room. I grabbed a huge butcher knife from the wood drawer right next to me. Slowly I helped my brother into the food closet. I shoved my phone into his trembling hands and leveled myself so I was face to face with him.
"What's happening," he whispered eyes still extremely wide.
I faked a smile, one of my many talents, and responded, "This is just a precaution in case someone really is outside but I highly doubt it. Momo is just being her silly big self. It's probably a squirrel or something out there that has her all riled up."
He frowned, his features becoming slightly twisted but he still looked attractive. I don't know how he did it.
This time I frowned. Who uses that kind of language anymore, I thought. I was of course being hypocritical. I talked like that all the time, it sounded fancy to me. I shook my head quickly.
"I'm not. Trust me," I said and quickly added after I saw the look on his face, "Please? If someone really is outside and you hear gunshots…"
"Call 911," he interrupted me, "tell them what happened, call Aunt Tabby while running like fu…"
"…Mind your word usage…" I grumbled.
"Freaking h-e-double hockey sticks."
I mentally rolled my eyes. I never was able to understand how he could use the most vulgar of words but could never say that silly word.
"I'll be right back," I promised him.
I closed the door gently, looking at his face, his eyes ablaze in the flickering lights. Perhaps for the last time, I thought while my stomach twisted in a knot. I felt something slimy, acid like, and metallic tasting come up my throat like a mini fire. I swallowed it back, choking a bit on its revolting taste. It was time for me to be strong. I took a deep breath, almost being able to taste the apple cinnamon candles and my dog's fur. I crept to the corner, looking around it towards the front door which now symbolized the underworld door. Quietly and quickly, I sprinted to the door, knife held high and ready to strike. Time seemed to slow down while my heart beat seemed to speed up, pounding against my chest and almost pounding right out of my chest. I had no idea how much time had passed when I opened the door. At the same time I was opening the door, someone else was also opening the same door. Red hair came into view and the sweet fragrance of flowers washed over me. My mother's green eyes flashed at how dangerously close the knife was to her face. I was so caught up in my own world that I hadn't noticed that her rumbling car had pulled up the driveway.
"Should I even ask," she asked, snapping me out of my thoughts.
"Should I ask why you have a butcher knife, which belongs in the kitchen, and why you were about to stab me with it?"
"Oh," I chuckled weakly, "I thought someone was outside."
My brother ran up to my mom, hugging her tightly and making loud hiccupping sounds into her arms. Instantly the dogs stopped her whimpering and barking, becoming very friendly again. I let my arm fall to my side while smiling softly at the pathetic scene in front of me.
I tried brushing my bushy dark brown hair out of my dark eyes but I failed and it fell back in place. I continued to try to maintain my hair as I explained to my mom what had happened while she had been gone.
She sighed and closed her eyes, rubbing her temples. "You know Momo barks at everything and the banging was most likely the shutters hitting the windows."
My brother and I nodded our heads but we weren't convinced that it had been nothing. I closed the door but not before I saw something in the green bushes. Amber eyes seemed to gleam in the moonlight and a mouth was moving, promising an unspoken threat. I shook my head of the demented thoughts and locked the door with heavy hands.
I convinced myself that the dog had been barking at a by passing car or bunny. The banging had just been the shutters hitting against the window or the lamp being blown into the wall. There had been no man in the bushed and no one had threatened me. I made myself believe I was in no danger as I slept in my bed that night. That could not happen to me or my family. It had been a hallucination, a figment of imagination, or the young thoughts of my newly forming schizophrenia. It was anything but real. After all, ignorance is bliss and this is my bliss.