A shrieking yell pierced the night and sent a sharp needle of fear through the middle of my chest cavity. I froze a split second mumbling, “What was that?”
Damon jumped off the bed reaching for the shot gun. “What was that?”
I too sprang to my feet ready to dart through the bedroom door when I stopped for my robe to cover my scanty nightgown. Once covered, I started for the door and stopped again to allow Damon to lead the way. He now had the shotgun firmly stationed in the fold of his arm (in case someone had penetrated our locked doors). We emerged from the bedroom stealthily with pounding hearts. A deadened, sick feeling attacked my chest at the thought of our children’s hurt. I planted a flat palm over my chest and headed for their rooms. Damon inspected every door and window. I looked into our boys’ room who had been awakened by our noise.
“Hey guys, did either one of you yell out?”
“No mom,” They said in unison, drifting back off to sleep.
I proceeded to the girls’ room where the eldest, Michelle, snored loudly. I moved over to the baby’s side, Lisa, and kissed her pillow-like cheek as she breathed heavily and constant – also in deep sleep. Finding the children safe, my pounding heart finally ceased although I still searched for answers.
I met Damon in the hallway. “Was it Joe or Rick?” He asked.
“No,” I said.
“They’re sound asleep.” Damon frowned, eyes scanning the house ready to point the nose of the gun into another nook or cranny. “Hey, it is after two in the morning. Do you think in our fatigue, we may have been startled by the noise on the t.v.?”
Without an answer, Damon walked to the bedroom door and stood in the opening, listening to the comedy show (that we were watching before) and the loud laughter in the audience. “Yep, I heard it again.” He finally answered facing me. “Babe,” He gave me a sheepish smile over his shoulder and I knew exactly what that expression meant.
“Oh no,” I started. “It wasn’t the surround sound…”
We caught each other’s gaze and burst into our own set of giggles. I stomped over to my side of the bed and yanked the tiny speaker from the nightstand.
“I keep forgetting these things are here!”