It was a rare night when I retired early. I kissed my wife and kids and went to bed. No sooner had I drifted off, my wife woke me up. 

“Joel! Joel get up!” she said in a forceful whisper, shaking me with both hands.  

It took at a few seconds for things to register, “What. What is –“ 

“Shhh,” she said interrupting me and gripping my arm. “Did you hear that?” In the moonlight I could see that she was looking into the hallway. I didn’t hear anything except the soft growling of the dogs from another room. 

I sat up and glanced at the clock. It was out. In fact, there wasn’t a flicker of light anywhere. “What time is it? Why is the power off?” 

She gripped harder, “Shhh!” 

A faint knock came from the front of the house. I jumped to my feet. “What the fuck is going on, Amy?” 

She shot me a terrified look, and shook her head.

From our window I noticed a streetlight. Next to that, a porch light. I went to the bathroom and threw the switch. Dead. 

Another knock. This time from the kitchen window. 

“Get the kids,” I managed to say while pulling on pants. I ran to the attic string and yanked, then grabbed a child and followed my wife up. 

Another knock. From our bedroom window. The dogs continued to growl. Disoriented.

“Joel!” I hurried up the stairs, gave her a waking child and was going back to get the dogs when their growling was snuffed out by two sharp cries.

I pulled the stairs and they shut with a bang. It was completely black. The children began screaming and were quickly muffled by my wife. I then pulled up the dangling string, and we waited. 



Jim Mitchem/@smashadv

Posted via email from 300 Words

It's the Dad Life

Jim Mitchem

Writer. Father to daughters. Husband. Ad man. Raised by wolves. @jmitchem on twitter. First novel, Minor King, out now.