Tuesday, October 26, 2004
While baby-sitting the new neighbors' children for the first time, Katie answered the phone. "Hello, Katie? This is John from across the street. I saw you going into the Walkers' house. There's something coming down the street. It looks sort of like a bear or something. I think."
She hung up the phone. Stupid prank call, she thought to herself. She sat down on the recliner in the living room, keeping a close eye on little Josh Walker who was playing with a set of Legos on the floor. His little sister, Jenny, was upstairs sleeping. Josh wasn't interested in the phone call, so Katie didn't bring it up. She didn't want to get him all riled up with a prank call.
At least, she hoped it was a prank call. She wanted to just forget about it, but she had seen something last night that was holding her back.
Someone or something was walking across the street. It was large, with a big, furry body. It had enormous arms and incredibly powerful legs. One of the creature's eyes was covered by a pale flap of sagged skin. He had large nostrils below his eyes, and his mouth carried a large set of jagged teeth. It made a strange sound that seemed to be a mix of a growl and a moan, sort of like the howl of a ghost.
She tried to convince herself it was just a dream, but lately she had read in a newspaper about a creature called a Grawn. As vampires disappear on a photograph, a Grawn's image disappears on a photograph. The picture in the paper showed a large wooden plank floating in midair.
Probably just some trick photography.
She was yanked out of her train of thought by Josh's voice, "Um, can I go to the bathroom?" She nodded at him and he dashed down the hall.
As Josh closed the door, Katie heard a moan. It sounded like the howl of a ghost. Her eyes widened, and she peered through the window.
Peering back at her, was the Grawn. She tried to scream, but no noise came out. The Grawn moaned again and moved away.
Across the living room, it crawled through an open window, nearly taking the wall with it. Katie tried to scream again, but she could hardly breathe. The Grawn swung his arms around like a gorilla and staggered across the living room.
As it made its way through the living room, making that awful moaning noise, Katie searched frantically for a weapon. The Grawn picked up a vase and raised it over his head. Call it a stab in the dark, but I think the Grawn wanted to hit her with it.
Katie bumped against a table and a Polaroid camera dropped to the floor. She snatched up the camera and set off the flash. The brilliant flash from the camera sent the Grawn staggering around the room, covering his eyes and making strange grunting noises.
Katie grabbed Josh's baseball bat off the floor. With a mighty swing, she struck the creature across the head. A mournful cry erupted from the Grawn's throat and echoed through the entire neighborhood.
As Katie moved forward, swinging the bat like an Indian waving a spear, The Grawn moved back, trying to get away from the large wooden weapon. With a final cry, the creature took off through the window and disappeared into the night.
Katie fell into the recliner, exhausted. "What was all the noise?" Josh asked sleepily from down the hall. "Just the TV." Katie replied. Josh nodded and plopped down on the couch. Katie sunk down into the recliner and waited for 10 o'clock to come.
Katie woke up with a start. She was sitting on the recliner at the Walkers' house. It was five minutes before 10. What a dream, she thought with a yawn.
She noticed there was a picture sticking out of the camera on the table. She snatched it up and looked at it as the Walkers' car pulled into the driveway. Her grin turned into a look of disbelief.
There in the picture, a vase was floating in midair.
Ben Markley is a sixth-grader at Deerfield School.