Gather ’round, children, and I will tell you the teeeeerrifying thing that happened to me last night. I know it’s a few seasons too early for supernatural tomfoolery, but tell that to whatever happened to me and Tyler.
It was a windy night, and rain was falling softly outside, but not enough for the hoot owls to not sit outside my damn window and hoot at me every few hours. At one point, the wind slammed my door shut, and I checked to see that Scamp was inside on my chair, which he was, and he usually slept through the night, as part of his daily 20 hours of sleep. I made a mental note to keep my go-go-Gadget ears awake to listen for him scratching at the door if he needed to use the restroom, which was unlikely. This was probably 4:00 AM.
At 5:00 AM, I was settling in to an only-slightly upsetting dream about various people from high school working at my current job, when I suddenly awoke to seven or eight persistent knocks on my bedroom door. It’s not out of the realm of possibility, as both my roommates stay up pretty late, and sometimes things come up. I wasn’t too concerned except for the fact that it was really loud and 5:00 AM and only bad things happen loudly at 5:00 AM.
Half the knock happened in dream, and I continued to hear the other half as I was waking up. I nudged Tyler, as he was closest to the door. I called him my brother’s name, which isn’t as creepily Freudian as it may seem. My brain ran a search query for a close male protector in my life and came up with two results. “Ryan? Uh, um. Tyler?” And I motioned towards the door. “Someone’s knocking.” He was still pretty half asleep, too, and the knock was so urgent sounding, that I just said, “Yes?” expecting a roommate to burst in and tell me that Law and Order WASN’T canceled or that they just made cookies and could I help eat some so they don’t eat them all. Nothing. Not even a shuffling away.
Sleepy Tyler looked around for Scamp, who may have been the source of the sound, and found him in my chair, as I had. “The door’s closed,” I said, with probably more of an undertone of: “So why don’t you go open it and see what knocked?!”
He wearily got up and opened the door to what I’d feared — nothing. At this point, though, I resigned to myself that it had been a stupid dream. I swore I’d heard something, but my dreams are always weird and hyper realistic. But, then again, I’m a light sleeper, so my Buffy and Wolverine and flying dreams are too often interrupted by my cat licking himself or something.
“Let’s go back to sleep,” Tyler said. “I’ll bet that knocking was just Bryn trying to get into Melli’s room.”
“Wait, so you *did* hear it?” I asked, heart suddenly racing.
“What did it sound like?” I asked, getting into skeptical Ghost Hunter mode, hoping and anticipating for a soft, irregular shave-and-a-haircut-type knock. Not so lucky. He knocked the bed sheets seven or eight times really loud — exactly what I’d heard.
We both stared up at the door, me fully anticipating Slenderman or someone was going to burst through any minute.
“Let’s go to bed,” Tyler suggested.
“Are you crazy? We both heard the same creepy knock and it was nothing!”
“What do you want me to do?”
He knew what I wanted him to do. I wanted him to put on my pink robe and go out and see that Melli and Bryn were awake and knocked on the shared wall accidentally or that some lunatic was outside past the deadbolt, knocking on people’s doors, unable to get to us, but solving the mystery. And bless Tyler’s heart, he did.
I got scared while he was away, really, sincerely hoping that Slenderman didn’t get him, but deciding it had been a pretty good run if he had, and he came back with the better news of being alive, but not much past that.
“Melli and Bryn are sound asleep and all the doors are locked. No one’s here. Let’s go to sleep. I’ll protect you.”
“Not from ghosts and Slenderman, you won’t,” I muttered, but I don’t think he heard me.
I, of course, lay awake for about an hour after that, trying to blame it on anything else, but everything had the wrong frequency and rhythm. The metallic door stop that Scamp liked to play with would start out strong and fast and then fade away. The dreamcatcher hanging on my window would be blown by wind and then ricochet, but that would start out slow and get faster and quieter as it calmed down. I couldn’t figure it out, and I still can’t.
Whooooo knows what will happen when I go to sleep tonight?! I think I know. Tyler will play Red Dead Redemption until 12:30, by which time I will get so sick of playing Peggle next to him, I’ll just fall asleep. Until Slenderman pounds on my door again for a drink of water.