Lying awake in my bed, I could still hear the muffled voices of the others downstairs. I couldn’t tell what they were saying, but from the tone and pitch of their voices, I sometimes knew who was speaking. The reverberation of my father’s voice. The higher-pitched sound of my Mother’s responses and the occasional interjections of my brothers and sister. I watched the headlights of the rare vehicle driving down the road outside my window. The lights illuminated the ceiling with a sweeping light as they drove by. Soon, sleep overtook me, and I fell into a light slumber.
Maybe an hour later, I woke from a dream. I had dreamt about the fearsome black and tan colored large dog that lived nearby. Each time I had walked past the house where the dog apparently lived, it would run at me behind the garden fence, barking ferociously at me. I no longer heard the comforting sound of voices downstairs. I felt the dog in my room, waiting, with a low growl before barking at me. If the dog is here in my room, then who else? What else was there to do me immeasurable harm?
I became frightened. The drapes shifted gently in the soft breeze from the open window. The open window! It let the car headlights in – what else had it let in while I was sleeping? Alone in the darkness, the thought of a roomful of vicious monsters terrified me. I buried myself under the covers to hide from the unknown terrors surrounding me. I cried out for someone to come help me, but the sound of my voice was muffled by the bedding. My cries turned to shouts, and soon my shouts to screams.
At last, the covers were pulled back, revealing my father, kneeling beside me. He spoke softly and comfortingly, gently stroking my head. I soon saw that the black and tan dog and his terrifying accomplices had disappeared. I was alone and safe with only my father in the room. The stroking made me drowsy until I fell asleep and alone in my room, I slept safely until morning.