This is the 64th installment of a 100-day challenge to write a new vignette every morning.
We have young kids who often walk into our room at night for various reasons, including clowns in the closet. Sometimes we humor them by going to check together as a family. Other times, we just tell them it’s fine and let them sleep in our bed.
It’s rare for both Charlie and Robbie to burst into our room at the same time—but not totally unprecedented. They have, in the past, riled each other up so much that they both run crying to our room. I assumed this was one of those times.
Without opening my eyes, I rolled over to make room for them. “You guys can sleep in here tonight.”
They wouldn’t budge, so I turned to look at them. I’d seen them scared before—of course I had—but I’d never seen this. They were shaking, both of them, and Robbie had wet his pajama bottoms. He hadn’t done that in years. I sat up.
I left my husband sleeping on the other side of the bed—the man could always sleep through anything—and let Charlie and Robbie lead me to their bedroom.
Their window overlooked the backyard, which the moon illuminated pretty clearly this time of the month. There, alongside the swing set, stood a figure.
I tried to convince myself it was a tree I’d forgotten, and I almost succeeded—until it turned and ran, disappearing over the neighbor’s fence.