Saturday, August 18, 2012

Bump in the Night

The night embraced me like a dark cloak. An inky cloth that called to me each evening just as the rooster called to announce the morning. Not a night went by that I was not afraid. Afraid of the night.

Night time in the country is dark and quiet. Damp summer nights called for open windows begging a breeze to come visit. Along with the sought after breeze came the suffocating dark. I laid awake listening to the sounds of evening. Afraid of what I might hear. Afraid of what I couldn't hear.

The nocturnal evening brought out the hunter and the hunted. A squeal from the field meant a critter met its end. Once in awhile something went bump in the night or passed through the corn rows. A bump in the darkness of something unknown that frightened a young girl in the corner bedroom.

Sometimes Dad picked up his gun to see what was disturbing the chickens or something he heard in the field or creek bottom. I held my breath until he came back into the house. Came back with a gun not yet fired. Strangers dumped puppies and kittens in the night. Some sought gas from the farm gas tank. I knew of the things that happened in the night. We did not have the crime. We did not have the city noises, but we had the silence and the blanket of darkness. A darkness that even light found hard to penetrate.

What was it that frightened me so? Why do I still find the night time silence daunting? What happened to make a little girl so afraid? Perhaps I will never know. Perhaps I shouldn't.

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