Drip, drip, drip

You’re the first person to go to bed.  You took a bath and brushed your teeth.  You gave the dog a treat and got a drink of water.  Your mother kissed your head and your father found your dinosaur toy for you to sleep with.  You’re all tucked in, but you can’t sleep.  You listen to your mother and father and brother say goodnight.  You watch the light coming in under your bedroom door go out.  You listen to their bedroom doors close.  The house is quiet except for the ticking of a clock in the living room and the few cars that go by your window now and again.  You watch their headlights when they pass cast tall shadows of the toys on your windowsill that glide across the room like hands on a speeding clock.  Your dad starts to snore.


 Drip, drip, drip.


 You were almost asleep.  What’s that dripping?  Did you leave the kitchen sink on?  You get up to check since you’re still awake and sure enough, the handle is loose.  You make sure it’s off all the way and go back to your room.  Your dad is still snoring, so you know you’re not alone, but the house is still creepy with the lights all off and everyone else asleep.  You pull the blankets up close to your chin and shut your eyes tight.  It won’t be creepy if you’re asleep, too.  Just as you’re drifting off…


Drip, drip, drip.


Maybe the bathroom sink didn’t turn off all the way after you brushed your teeth.  That sink hadn’t been leaking earlier, but you get up to check.  It’s leaking just a little, so you twist the knob hard so the water stops seeping from the faucet.  You twist the other knob, too, just in case that one also got loose.  The sink is no longer dripping and you go back to bed.  Your dad is still snoring and the clock is still ticking in the living room.  You hear the dog whimper in your brother’s room and a car goes by slowly outside.  The shadows crawl across your bedroom walls this time.  You watch them because you still can’t sleep.  There’s that sound again…


Drip, drip, drip.


Does no one else hear the dripping?  The dog whimpers again.  Maybe it’s the bathtub.  Could water still be trickling out of the shower head?  You go to check the shower and the dripping sounds really loud once you’re in the bathroom.  The curtain is closed.  Was it closed before?


Drip, Drip, Drip.


The dripping gets louder and you take a step closer.  You think maybe you should tell your parents if the shower is broken.  It has to be to drip so loudly.  The dog whimpers again and you can hear him scratching at your brother’s bedroom door to be let out.  Your dad isn’t snoring anymore.


Drip, Drip, Drip.


You shouldn’t wake him right now just because the shower is broken.  The dog is still scratching at your brother’s door, but he can wait until you stop the dripping.  It will take only a minute once you open the curtain, but the dripping is so loud and the rest of the house is so quiet except for the dog who sounds scared.  You wish he wouldn’t whimper and whine so much.  It’s making you nervous. 




The dripping seems to echo through the whole house now.  Why should you be nervous?  It’s just the shower head leaking or the faucet seeping or the pipes have busted and are dropping water in the walls.  The dog starts to howl.  How is no one else waking up?  You’re awake.  You have to fix it.  There’s no use just standing there staring at a curtain being afraid of a noise.  You grab the curtain and yank it back.


The shower isn’t broken.  The water isn’t dripping out of the faucet or the shower head.  Water isn’t dripping from anywhere.  Big silver-blue eyes as big as cereal bowls stare back at you.  A mouth gaping full of tiny, sharp teeth and bigger than your head repeats the




booming in your face and you scream.  The dog is howling and the bathroom floods with light and you’re blinded, but you can’t move.  There are claws in your shoulders lifting you off the ground and all you can hear is the awful dripping noise and the dog barking and then finally…


…you wake up.  Your room is full of daylight and your family is talking and clinking plates and sizzling breakfast in the kitchen.  You’re so relieved to be in your bed and not in the clutches of some creature you run out to go say good morning without even getting dressed first.  It’s better than Christmas.

 Your mother smiles and puts a plate on the table for you and your father asks if you want bacon.  Your brother says he’ll take yours if you don’t want it before you get a chance to answer.  Everyone’s here.  Nothing is dripping.  Everything’s fine. 

 “Has anyone fed the dog?” you ask.  Everyone stops to look at you and you look at all of them.

“What’s a dog?” your brother asks.  He has big silver-blue eyes.  Your parents smile at you with big grins full of tiny, sharp teeth.  The dripping starts again.


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