(taken a few All Hallows Eve's ago)
It was a dark and stormy night. The day started out beautiful with a blue sky with vibrant Autumn leaves dancing across the trees, but as Sunset approached so did the dark and dreary rain clouds. Kai and Brianna jumped as thunder clapped out loud, but off they scurried to get ready for bed regardless of the chill in the air. Their mother had not yet returned home from her errands and so it was up to them to remember how to do their nighttime routine with only help from Dad.
Before their Mom left she had reminded them of their chores. It was the usual nightly routine and so they just shook their head in acknowledgement as she headed out the door. They remembered hearing the words, "don't forget!" but were so busy playing their game that they shrugged off her voice. Once bedtime arrived they thought about their checklist and mentally crossed off their tasks knowing that they had it all under control.
Get into pajamas. Check. Brush teeth. Check. Read a story. Check. But as the thunder clapped loudly again the to-do list became a distraction and a story of the past.
The children jumped into bed as the wind howled against the window pain. Kai stumbled over his transformers and Brianna's crayons on the floor and landed with a thud onto his pillow. Cradling his stuffed monkey in his arms, Brianna sang the song that their Mother usually does. "Hush little baby, don't say a word...Mama's gonna buy you a mocking bird." After the words calmed their troubled hearts, Brianna's mind suddenly came to a stupor... "Hey Kai, did we forget to do something?" Kai couldn't think of anything so "no" was his answer. Brianna thought again..."Are you sure? I keep getting the feeling that we forgot to do something that Mom told us to do." But the thought passed quickly as Dad came in to say goodnight and turn off the lights, assuring them that their Mom would peek in when she returned home from her errands.
It was extra dark in their room. The nightlight batteries were low so the usual soft glow was just a flicker of light. The wind continued to howl and the rain pattered against the rooftop, but they were snug in their beds so any fear faded as a deep slumber came over each child. Their dreams were in sync with the soft rhythm of the rain and they succumbed to their tired eyes.
Hours later they suddenly heard a large clap which jolted them both awake. Was it a door opening? Was it a tree that had fallen in the yard? They couldn't tell, but whatever it was their sleep had been interrupted. The dark room no longer remained a safe abode, but rather a room that echoed every scary sound.
Thump. Thump. Thump.
The heavy rain pounding outside masked the obvious footprints in the hall. No lights were turned on and surely their parents wouldn't be wandering around in the dark. And it was so late that their Mother must have already returned and come in to kiss them goodnight while they were sleeping.
Kai called out to his sister in a whisper..."Brianna? Are you awake? What is that noise?"
Brianna quickly calmed her brother as she jumped down from the top bunk and snuggled under his covers with him. Her older sister instinct immediately kicked in at the sound of his nervous voice.
They didn't know who it could be and snuggled tighter.
The noise was getting closer. Soft at first and and then louder as it approached. Without warning the hallway light turned on and they could see the gleam underneath the door. But there was no sound. Hoping that whoever was causing the noise had left to another area of the house their breath became still. But suddenly they heard the doorknob wiggle.
Whoever it was or WHATever it was began to appear as a shadow silhouette against the bright hallway light.
Then they saw the eyes.
The disappointed eyes and the shake of a head as it glanced at the floor in their room.
Fear struck with a vengeance and their nightmare rang loud and clear as Brianna remembered what thought had been troubling her. What they had forgotten. The one request that their Mother had asked them to do before she left that evening. The worst possible scenario that could be bestowed upon them this fearful night.
...they forgot to clean their room.