The Face

red_eyes

Barking. Incessant barking. My wife’s chihuahua is so close to being physically thrown out the back door.

“FITZY, SHUUUTT UUUPPP!!!”

This room is black. The darkness in here is so complete. I raise my hand in front of my face only to find no indication of something breaking the space immediately in front of me. It’s only black in here. I must have enabled the sleep timer on the television before I got too tired to set it. Usually when I fall asleep in front of the television, I forget to set the timer and my wife lets me know about it.

I try to move out of the chair. My right foot, as I attempt to step out of the chair onto it, shoots pins and needles up my leg. Mumbling under my breath, I wiggle it around and attempt again to stand on it.

There we go. The pins and needles seem to be subsiding. The can of beer next to my chair is beyond warm, but it’s unfinished. I grab it and step away from the chair.

Up and on my way into the other room, I shoot a glance at the clock on the counter and the digital display blinks back at me; 2:54.

Wow, I really drifted off there. I don’t usually end up staying in the recliner this long.

My wife works the night shift, every Saturday, as an emergency room nurse. She’ll be home around eight in the morning. Every Saturday night usually ends up like this. I usually rent a couple of movies and camp out with a few beers and a pizza in my recliner.

Fitzy is my wife’s dog. Short for “Fitzgerald”, my wife is a huge collector of Marilyn Monroe and JFK memorabilia. Fitzy has been around for as long as my wife and I have been dating and is, to me, an incredibly obnoxious animal. Urinating on every rug in our house. Finding a way into the dirty clothes hamper and chewing through each and every pair of my socks. Whining whenever my wife leaves the house for any reason at all.

Even though it may sound like it, I’m really not a dog hater. I’m just more of a labrador guy. I actually had one, “Bubba”, when we started dating. A loose latch on the front yard fence, a smaller dog running past our house, and a newly licensed teenager in their father’s car created an ugly situation. I loved Bubba dearly and moments like this, when Fitzy is going crazy, I miss Bubba’s calm demeanor.

Bubba rarely barked. Fitzy barks without ceasing.

“FIIITTTZZZYYY!! Seriously, give it a rest mutt!”

I have to stumble my way through the kitchen and the den before making it to where Fitzy stands rigidly facing a window. The barking has turned to fits of growling now.

My foot is still slightly tingling as I enter the room and turn towards Fitzy and the window.

I can see quite clearly what Fitzy is growling at now.

There is someone standing outside the window and looking in.

The eyes are a bright red and immediately shift focus from the dog to me. The hair on the back of my neck stands up and any drowsiness I may have had is gone. The can of beer drops from my hand to the floor, forming a puddle of foam that in any other situation Fitzy would be lapping up, regardless of what it may be.

The face tilts, slowly at first, then abruptly settles into roughly a forty-five degree angle. The eyes never leave me. The mouth begins to open and close slowly as if there may be words coming out of it.

Fitzy has broken his trance and comes to hide behind my leg, whimpering and whining. I’ve never heard this high of a pitch from Fitzy before.

I attempt to reassure the animal that there is nothing to fear but I’m not so sure myself.

******************************************************************************************************************

Initially meant to be 500 words or less, this is the result of a writing prompt over at Writer’s Digest

“You’re awoken from your midnight sleep in your favorite chair to your dog barking wildly in the living room. Pulling her aside, you look out the window, only to see a face staring right back at you. Whose is it? Why are they there?”

Obviously I went over the word limit by a couple hundred words. It’s so odd because I could probably add MORE detail to this story but when the seed germinated in my head, there was more than five hundred words worth of story there.

Hope you liked it; I’m off to bed. I’m pretty sure I won’t wake up at 2:54 to a face outside my window.

You might though.

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