*Author’s note: Some of the events mentioned in the latter part of my story are true, this really happened to me. Only the location of the story was changed, since I couldn't write in where it really happened---in a bank!

Beware the Night

By: Sasquaw

                Alex listens to the quietness around her, breathing a sigh of relief as she takes it all in. For a moment she reflects back on the past hour and the difficult time she had in getting Angela put down for her nap. Angela is going through the first stages of ‘teething’ and the Orajel is taking a long time to ease the pain. Finally, Angela's eyes give in to the ‘sandman’ and some much needed sleep. Alex leans back in the double recliner, sipping her hot tea.
               The weather outside is turning colder for the month of October; a light rain is falling. Alex leans back in the recliner, closes her eyes and starts thinking about what to cook for supper. A shadow crosses in the kitchen window, just off the laundry room, going up on the back porch, stops and looks in. There is no other movement inside the house, the hairy hand reaches out and turns the doorknob very slowly, then steps inside.
                The shadow walks slowly towards the living room where Alex is sitting. She is too tired to hear the footsteps, ---dragging across the kitchen floor. She feels a 'nip in the air’ as she reaches over for the blanket that drapes over the back of the sofa. Her movement causes the shadow to stop and pull back. When Alex is through tucking the blanket around her, the hand moves out slowly, the claws retracting back and forth. The teeth are 'bared' and a low grunt can barely be heard. It moves closer to its target and then pounces!
                The hairy hand goes around Alex's chest and the teeth clamp down on her shoulder in a ‘chomping’ gesture.
                  Alex screams; jumping up from the recliner and the shadow loses his balance, the recliner overturning and he ends up hitting the coffee table.
                  "WALKER---You just scared me to death!”
                    All she can hear is a muffled laugh as her husband is trying to pull the werewolf mask off, the hairy hands making it almost impossible. She picks up a pillow and starts hitting him with it, causing him to laugh even harder!
                    He reaches out and grabs her foot, then pulls her down onto the floor beside him. She starts hitting him in the chest, "Don't you ever scare me like that again. ---I almost had a heart attack!”
                    "Honey---calm down----I was trying to get you in the spirit of Halloween!”
                     "By scaring me to death?”
                      He silences her with a long kiss, "I'm sorry hon----did I really scare you this time?”
                      "Yes---you did! Geez---I should be used to your little pranks by now------I swear you must be going through your second childhood!”
                        Walker grins and starts unbuttoning her blouse,
"Nope---I'm not out of my first childhood yet and I want to play ‘doctor’.”
                        Alex pushes him back gently, her ears straining to hear any noise that might be coming over the baby monitor, "Cordell Walker----if you have waken our daughter after all the time I had trying to get her down for her nap---I'm gonna----I'm gonna-----"
                       "You're gonna what?”
                        "I was going to say I was going to castrate you---how's that for playing ‘doctor’?”
                         He pays her no mind as he nibbles on her neck; he replies softly, "Ouch----you wouldn't do that, would you?"
                        She laughs, "No----I'd be hurting myself as well----and by the way, what are you doing home in the middle of the day?”
                         He's got her blouse halfway off, "I told you----I want to play doctor and you're due for your physical."
                       Alex pushes him back gently, "Uh huh----you're up to something----okay, out with it!”
                      Walker reaches down for the zipper on his jeans. "Okay---if you insist---if you want to skip all the foreplay and get down to business-----"
                       She slaps him playfully on his chest, "That's not what I mean and you know it----now why are you home----what is it you're not telling me?”
                      "Can't a guy come home and make love to his wife in the middle of the day without her giving him the third degree? It's not the first time---you know!”
                      She relaxes and pulls her blouse the rest of the way off and gently massages his chest, "You're right about that cowboy----I remember a lot of times that we've both sneaked home early, to get some time to ourselves---especially after Angela was born.”
                      "Sooo----why are you questioning me no?” Walker asks as continues to help her out of her clothes.
                        She coos, "Temporary loss of sanity, I guess---okay Dr. Walker---I'm all yours----take me to your examining room.”
                       They both laugh, as they roll back and forth on the floor. The rain outside increases as the mood inside takes the lovers to a higher plateau and soon only their heavy breathing can be heard.
********************************************************************************        They lie in each other's arms and listen to the rain.
                         Walker kisses his wife's cheek. "Weatherman said that it was really going to be cold this weekend, and maybe down in the teens by Halloween night."
                         She cuddles closer to him, "I'm already feeling the chill----would you put another log in the fireplace?”
                          While Walker puts another log in the fireplace, Alex runs upstairs to check on their daughter. She's wearing nothing but Walker's shirt, as she comes flying back down the stairs and runs to get under the blanket with him.
                          "Well, I know one thing, if the weather is too cold, I'm not taking Angela out in it!”
                          He pulls her in close to him, "What about the party at the H.O.P.E. Center? I thought it was going to be held there this year.”
                         Alex groans, "I forgot about that and we're short-handed as it is----those kids need a party to get their minds off what is going on right now.”
                           "Yep, they sure do----all they see on TV is about the terrorists attack---they need a diversion. Trivette and I will be more than glad to handle the ‘Trick or Treaters---will that help?”
                         "Oh, thank you sweetheart---we need all the help we can get."
                         "You're welcome----what is Angela's costume going to look like?”
                          Alex smiles and rolls over, laying her hands on her husband's bare chest, "I've decided to dress her up like a little pumpkin---that way she will be nice and warm----I just hope her teething settles down---she was crying so hard today. I was beginning to think the Orajel was never going to take effect.”
                         "Hmm----a little pumpkin? That's fitting----since your Dad is always calling you ‘pumpkin’----so what is your costume going to be--- a big pumpkin?”
                          Alex grins coyly, "No… I was thinking about being Lady Godiva, and riding in on Amigo. ---How does that sound?”
                          Walker stares back at her, "I don't think so---you can play Lady Godiva once the party is over and we're home all alone----I'll go for that idea.”
                           Alex laughs, "Okay---I'll return the costume."
                           "What costume? There's nothing to her costume, except for the long hair."
                            "Speaking of costumes---what are you going to wear?"
                            Walker reaches over and gets the werewolf mask and puts it on Alex, "I'm going to be the silver bullet that slays you----right through your heart---and that way we'll be together for eternity----how's that?”
                            Alex reaches down and kisses her husband tenderly, "You don't need a silver bullet to ‘slay’ me----you've never needed one in all the years we've known each other---- you can ‘slay’ me by just looking at me and making mad passionate love to me."
                         Walker reaches up and pulls her down to him, "You mean after all of these years of courting, a two year engagement, and a year and half of marriage, you're still not tired of me yet?”
                         Alex arches her brow, "Are you implying that you're tired of me?"
                         He reaches out and touches her cheek with his forefinger, "Never happen------I wake up in the morning and see you laying there beside me and I kick myself for waiting so long to let you in my life.----Sometimes I wonder why you ever put up with me----I know sometimes I had to be a real ‘pain in the butt’!”
                       "I put up with you----because I was in love with you---and nearly ten years later, I'm still madly in love with you----does that answer your question?”
                        "I love you too, Mrs. Walker----and don't ever forget it.”

 Halloween night:
The weather is freezing, just as the weatherman predicted. Wind gusts are up almost 40 miles an hour.  Walker and Trivette stay long enough to give out the candy, Walker has dressed as a werewolf and Trivette is a Vampire. The kids are screaming as the two ‘monsters’ threaten to take their candy away from them. Trivette runs after them, talking in his Count Dracula voice.
                         "I swear I don't know who is having the most fun, the big kids or the little ones," Josie says while rolling her eyes.
                           "Don't I know it. Jimmy has been trying to scare me all week, coming up behind me and biting my neck, saying, ‘I want to drink your blood’.”
                          Alex is laughing as she watches Trivette and Walker trying to duck each other’s heads in the punch bowl.
                          "I know what you mean, Walker has been scaring me all week with that stupid werewolf mask.”
                           The women look around and start cleaning up the mess.
                           Erika rubs her arms and says softly "I hate Halloween----I can't understand why we celebrate it---it’s worshipping Satan!”
                            "Come on Erika---relax----it's just a celebration for the kids to enjoy---and they need something else to think about right now----right Alex?"
                             "Josie is right and I'm so glad that the kids stayed away from all the gory costumes ---the fake blood and all. ----I think it showed real respect this year.”
                            Erika is still not convinced, "Maybe------I'm just glad that the guys are here and not out on one of those gory crimes that always seem to pop up on this night.”
                            Alex starts rubbing her arms, "You know, I think it's getting colder----I'm going to have Walker turn up the heater.”
                             As Alex goes to find her husband, Josie and Erika head to the kitchen.
                             Alex finds Walker talking on the phone and nodding his head.
                           "Don't tell me-----you have to go out on a case?”
                             "I'm afraid so, you're not going to try and drive home tonight, are you?”
                              "Why? How long are you going to be gone?”
                                "It could be awhile----why don't you and Angela spend the night here----the way the weather is changing---I wouldn't be surprised if it didn't start snowing!”
                               Alex stares back at him, "In October?"
                               "Honey---this is Texas---you know how the weather can change at the drop of a hat.”
                              Alex sighs, "You're right---okay---Angela and I will stay here----looks like we're going to be here for awhile anyway, the other parents haven't picked up their kids yet."
                              Walker and Trivette leave, Erika is fit to be tied.
                               "I don't like this-----it's too spooky.”
                              Alex and Josie exchange looks, "Erika, everything will be fine---I'm going to check on Angela and the rest of the kids----why don't you make some hot chocolate?”
                            It's now an hour later, the wind has picked up. The last of the other kids have been picked up, now it's only Alex, Josie, Erika and Angela. Josie has decided to spend the night at the center too and they are all getting their sleeping arrangements made. Alex has let out the couch and she and Angela will sleep there. Erika and Josie have laid out sleeping bags. The last of the hot chocolate has been downed when suddenly Erika jumps up from the floor.
                        "What's that?” she whispers.
                         "What's what? I didn't hear anything," asks Josie.
                          Erika runs over to the far side of the room and points at the front door. "Don't tell me that you didn't hear that?”
                         Josie looks at Alex and Alex shakes her head, "We didn't hear anything Erika, it's probably just the wind.”
                        Josie nods her head in agreement, "Yeah, it's just the wind.”
                         The three women stare at each other and Erika finally agrees to go back to her sleeping bag. Just as she's got herself tucked in, Josie jumps out of her sleeping bag.
                        "I heard it that time----there's a scratching sound coming from the front door."
                         Erika doesn't need to be told twice as she scrambles out of her sleeping bag and runs and jumps up on the couch with Alex and Angela. She's shaking like a leaf, "Didn't you hear it, Alex?”
                         Alex starts to say "no" and then she hears the scratching. She looks at the two women, and then reaches for her purse, taking out a .25 automatic.
                         Alex walks cautiously to the door, and peers out the window. She looks back at the two women and whispers, "I don't see anything.”
                          Josie tiptoes up to the window and looks out, she can see the front door very clearly. "I don't see anything either.”
                          Erika is still shaking as she tries to cover her head with a blanket. “I don't care what you two say---there is something out there!”
                          Alex looks out the window again, "It's probably just the wind.”
                          Josie looks at Alex, "Wind doesn't make that kind of noise----that's a scratching sound and there is nothing out there like a tree branch or anything else that can be brushing up against the door.”
                          Alex walks towards the closet to get her coat, "There's only one way to solve all of this----I'm going out there!"
                          Josie grabs Alex, "Are you crazy? You don't know what is out there----there could be a crazy lunatic out there----just waiting for us to venture out."
                         Erika starts screaming for Alex not to go, Angela wakes up and she too starts screaming.
                        Alex runs back to her daughter and picks her up, "Erika please---stop screaming----you’re scaring Angela."
                        "She's not the only one who’s scared!" Erika yells back.
                          Alex shakes her head and Josie takes Angela. Alex pulls the lever back on the automatic and heads for the door, "Lock the door behind me.”
                          Erika takes a flying leap off the couch and slams the door behind Alex, flipping the locks and pulling chairs up against the locked door. Josie yells at her, "What are you doing? Alex will be coming back in----take those chairs away!!”
                         "NO----no way ---I'm not unlocking the doors----I'm calling the police!”
                           Erika runs to the phone and Josie takes it away from her, while trying to console Angela. "Would you at least give Alex time to see what this is all about?”
                          Alex is pounding on the door, "Open up."
                          Josie hands Angela to Erika and then starts pushing the chairs away and unlocking the doors.
                          "Well?-----Did you see anything?”
                           Alex frowns and walks towards her crying daughter. "I think I know what this all about."
                          Erika and Josie both stare at her, "What?”
                          "It's the guys----they’re trying to scare us---just like they've been doing all week.”
                           Erika sits down on the couch slowly, "Are you sure, Alex?"
                           "Yeah, what else could it be? They've probably rigged up some kind of gadget that will scratch up against the door ----and they’re sitting out there in the bushes---laughing their heads off!!”
                        "Yeah-----that's probably it," agrees Josie. "You know what, I'm getting hungry--anyone want a sandwich?”
                          Alex shakes her head, "No thank you-----I got to get Angela calmed down again.”
                           Erika is doing a slow burn, "I will kill Jimmy-----I will kill him dead----he knows how much I hate Halloween----I'm going to kill him!!”
                          A few minutes pass and the scratching starts in again. The three women look at each other. Alex shrugs, "Just ignore it----the guys will soon get tired of trying to scare us and give up.
Besides, it's getting colder out there, and they are going to be freezing their butts off."
                           Erika runs to the door and pulls it open and yells out, "Stop it----we're on to you----James Trivette----I'm going to kill you!”
                            Erika's screaming has Angela screaming again as Alex is shouting at Erika to close the door.
                           "Erika---it's freezing in here----close the door---ignore them!!”
                            As Erika is walking back to the couch, the scratching gets louder. She huffs and starts back towards the door, "This has gone far enough, Jimmy!”
                            A chill runs up Alex's shoulders as she watches Erika stomping back to the door. "Wait----don't open the door!!! Get away from there Erika----NOW!”
                           Erika turns and stares at Alex, Josie has come back from the kitchen with sandwiches and hot chocolate. They both stare at Alex.
                           "What's wrong, Alex?”
                            Alex gets up from her chair, holding a screaming Angela. She answers very slowly as the scratching gets louder. "This doesn't feel right----Erika get away from the door."
                           Erika's face gets pale; her eyes start to bulge as she backs away from the door. The scratching continues to get louder.
                            Josie lays the tray of sandwiches down and reaches out for Angela. Alex again reaches for her gun and motions for Josie to get behind her.  Erika is now crying and continuing to walk backwards like she's in some kind of trance.
                         Alex whispers, "Josie, call the police----tell the dispatcher to get a hold of Walker and Trivette----tell them to get here---NOW!!”
                         Josie picks up the phone; the line is dead.
                         "Oh my God---the phone is dead----what do we do now?”
                          Erika is now crying uncontrollably, "You said it was the guys trying to scare us-----it is them, isn't it?”
                           "I'm not so sure---not now---Josie, get my cell phone, try to call Walker.”
                            "Alex---why are you saying that you're not so sure now----why don't you think it's Walker and Jimmy trying to scare us?”
                            Alex looks back to Josie, "The line is busy."
                           Erika screams. "Alex!!! Answer me!”
                            "Because Walker would not continue to play this out, especially after hearing you scream out like that----and he knows Angela is not feeling well."
                             Josie keeps dialing Walker's number, "I can't get through, should I call dispatch?”
                              Before Alex can answer Erika screams back, "Hell yes---what are you waiting for?”
                            Alex reaches for her coat again and heads for the door, Josie drops the phone and starts running after her, "Alex----don't go out there again!”
                            "I’ll be all right Josie, just keep trying to get a hold of Walker, I'll only be a moment, then I'll come right back in!”
                             "She's crazy----she's CRAZY!" Erika keeps shouting.
                             "Would you please get a hold of yourself and do something useful----would you please hold Angela and try to console her?”
                              Josie is watching Alex from the window, "Hurry up Alex, and get back in here," she whispers. Alex turns and walks back towards the front door, she stops, and bends down.
                            "What is she doing now? " Josie keeps saying to herself.
                              Erika is holding Angela and she keeps looking at Josie, "What is she doing out there?"
                             They hear a knock and Alex's voice, "Open up girls----I think I found our scratching noise.”
                             Alex walks in slowly, holding something inside her jacket; she reaches in and pulls out a sparrow, half frozen!
                              Josie looks down at the bird and then back to Alex, "A bird? That's what was scratching at the door?"
                             Alex nods her head, "Yep----this little guy was scratching the door with it's wings----trying to get inside where it's warm----look at him---he's almost frozen!"
                           Angela's tears have stopped as Josie and Erika start looking for a warm place for the bird to thaw out.
                            They head for the kitchen and Josie empties the little plastic wastebasket. "Turn on the oven, Erika and let's get some more heat in here for this little guy.”
                             They all breathe a sigh of relief; they start to laugh. "I can't believe this, three grown women letting a little bird scare them to death!”
                           Alex rocks her daughter back and forth, "Well, we got to admit, that scratching sound was pretty scary----anyone in their right mind would have been scared!”
                          An hour has passed, and the women have all calmed down. The little bird is starting to move around in the wastebasket.
                           Erika watches the bird, "Well, I don't know about the rest of you, but I'm getting hungry again.”
                            Alex shakes her head, "Not me----Angela and I are calling it a night, what about you, Josie?”
                             "I'm right behind you, Alex.”
                              Alex has just tucked the blankets in around her and Angela when all of a sudden, a loud BOOM is heard from the kitchen, and a putrid smell starts filling the Center.
                             "What the hell was that?” Yells Josie as she and Alex start running to the kitchen, smoke is filling the air!
                             "Erika, are you okay?"
                               "Yeah----I'm fine.”
                                Alex starts fanning the air and coughing "What happened? What is that smell?"
                                "I was just cooking something in the microwave and it just blew up!!”
                               Josie runs to the microwave, the smoke and the smell are overwhelming. "What were you trying to cook?”
                                Alex starts looking around for the bird, the bird has gotten out of the wastebasket and is circling around the smoke alarms. "Oh my God-----if the smoke doesn't set off the alarms---the bird will----grab some papers and try to keep the smoke away from the alarms!”
                                 The three women grab newspapers and anything they get their hands on to fan the smoke away from the alarms. The smell is getting unbearable as Josie yells at Erika, "What were you trying to cook, Erika?”
                               Erika yells back, "eggs.”
                                Josie stops and looks at her, "the only eggs we had were hard boiled---you didn't put hard boiled eggs in the microwave, did you?”
                              Erika looks back at her, "Yeah----why?”
                              Josie throws her arms up in the air, "You idiot----don't you know that hard boiled eggs will explode?”
                               "I do now,” Erika yells back.
                                 Alex looks at the women, "Girls please! We'll discuss that later, we’ve got to get this smoke out of here!”
                                Josie and Erika are running back and forth in front of the windows, fanning at the air. Alex is trying to ‘shoo’ the bird away.
                                A gray truck pulls up in front of the Center and the two men inside are watching as the women run back and forth, jumping up and down with papers in their hands.
                                Trivette looks at his partner, and says slowly. "What----are they doing?”
                                Walker shrugs, "New game they're playing?”
                                 The two men walk up to the front door and Walker uses his key to get inside. They walk cautiously towards the kitchen. The smoke is getting thicker. They stand there in the doorway watching the women when suddenly an object flies in front of Trivette's face.
                                 "Holy Toledo---was that a bat?”
                                  Alex stops jumping up and down and runs to Walker, babbling something about the smoke alarms and then she points at the bird.
                                  Walker looks to Trivette and they both pull out their guns. Alex screams, "What are you doing?”
                                Walker shrugs. "Only one thing to do---shoot the bird!”
                                Alex grabs his hand, "You can't shoot him----he just got ‘thawed out’ he was almost dead----you can't shoot him!”
                               Walker and Trivette exchange looks, they don't have the least idea what Alex is trying to explain. Erika yells at her fiancι, "Jimmy----do something!”!
                               Trivette takes a deep breath, and starts looking around and then he grabs the broom and starts climbing up on the table, swatting out at the bird.
                             "If I can just stun the little guy enough----watch out---here he comes again!”
                             Walker looks back at his partner, "Watch it Trivette----don't hit the water sprinklers.”
                               "Walker---will you give me a little credit---I know what I'm doing---I just need to swat the little guy gently----I've got it all under control.”
                                 Trivette reaches out with the broom, and strikes. He hits the water sprinkler----the bird is still flying!
                                Walker sighs and reaches for his gun again, Alex yells at him----"Don't you dare shoot that bird!!!”
                                "I wasn't going to shoot the bird, I was going to shoot Trivette!!!”
                                The water sprinklers are all going off, the smoke alarm sounds and Alex runs to get Angela, trying to cover her up. Walker just looks at Trivette.
                                 Trivette is soaking wet, "How do we explain this to the fire department, when they get here?”
                              Walker reaches out and lays his hand on Trivette's shoulder,  "Well, Trivette-----WE are not explaining anything---I'm taking my wife and daughter home---good night!!”
                            Walker and Alex head for the door, Trivette is sputtering---"Hey----don't leave me here alone to explain things----it was that darn bird that started everything----hey don't let the bird out---Walker---close the door---don't let him out----he's my alibi."
                            The Walkers are out the door, the bird flies past them.
                             Trivette shakes his head, "They let my bird out---the fire department will never believe my story now."
                               He looks at Erika and Josie, groans and sits down in a water soaked chair!
                                The Walkers are almost home. Alex looks at her husband.
                                "Maybe we should have stayed and backed up Jimmy's story to the fire department.”
                                 "And be the laughing stock among Dallas' finest----no way---Trivette can make out the report."
                               "Okay, okay---I'll call the department and make out a report---in the morning!”
                                 Alex looks at her husband; he picks up the phone and dials the fire department, "Are you happy now?”
                               The rain has started up again, Walker starts tapping his steering wheel as he recalls the story that Alex relayed to him about the frozen bird and the three women being scared.
                               Walker lowers his voice:

"Beware the night, creepy shadows of fright,
and my bleeding heart cries out.

The wings of prey creep slowly through the night
flap, flap----into their flight
Beware the night/beware the night.

                       Alex looks back at him, "Honey---did you just make that up?”
                       He smiles deviously----"Yes, I did---how’d I do?”
                        She smiles back, "Honey, don't quit your day job----‘cause Edgar Allen Poe---you're not!”

                                May the spooks be with you!

The End
 October 13,2001