I kept waking up last night, shivering. The shadows on the wall danced but…they weren’t happy. I heard something outside of the window and hesitated to look. I took a deep breath, got over it and looked. Nothing but the juniper tree hitting against it.
I decided to grab a snack, something small not too heavy. It was 3:33 in the morning after all! I wrapped my robe and scarf tight-it was cold out and the air was creeping in.
I ate my snack and exhaled. “Everything’s good,” I convinced myself then headed back to sleep…and then…I heard a knock at the front door. I opened my eyes and stared at the roof. “Are you kidding me?”
“Who’s there?,” I whispered and swallowed hard.
Silence for a minute or two. Then the tree began tapping the window. Good grief.
Then the knock started again. The rapping made my heart jump!
I had to answer so I jumped up without thinking, casting off the fear like my robe just a few minutes earlier.
I darted for the door and asked loudly, “Who is it! It’s 4:00 in the morning!”
Then the rapping continued…and stopped suddenly.
Why, oh why did I pick this cottage deep in the forest as a suitable place to live? I wondered.
I mustered the courage and told myself I was clearly delusional. Obviously from the lack of sleep. I thought of Poe for some reason and smiled. Enough of this, I thought to myself and started for the room-and the knock got louder. My eyes grew several inches in size and I turned, angry now, and opened the door.
“WHAT?” I yelled.
But there was no one there. I breathed in and out and looked to my feet. The October Issue of Underneath The Juniper Tree was resting on the ground. I stepped out and looked through the trees. But no one was out. The cold air brushed my air and I swear I heard an eerie laughter in it. I bent down to grab the issue just it began to rain. “Great,” I grumbled.
I didn’t see the figure with the pumpkin for a head behind me, in my own house…’til it was too late.