Something had been bothering Anna for several nights now. She couldn’t describe it because she had never seen it, but its presence haunted her dreams. The night it actually touched her she screamed so loud it had to have woken the neighborhood.
I don’t know what in the world would want to terrorize my 9-year old daughter, but I could see it in her face that whatever it was, it was extremely real to her. My husband, the ever-grounded man of our family, thought it was something in her head. In my heart, I disagreed, but knew better than to argue with him when he suggested taking her to a child psychologist.
It was my idea to have the psychologist spend the night with us. I was amazed when he agreed. He said it would allow him to observe her during the key moments of occurrence. The plans were made and he arrived at our house two nights later.
By this time I had taken to keeping Anna’s bedroom door wide open with the hall light on at night. I kept the bathroom, which had doors to both her room and the spare room, open as well. This way I could creep into the spare room and peek through the bathroom into Anna’s bedroom to check on her without disturbing her, or whatever thing might be there. It was my intent to catch this thing in the act with my very own eyes.
The psychologist set up camp in the spare room and advised that he would stay there until Anna fell asleep. Then he would sit in her room to better observe her.
Anna fell asleep quickly, as she usually does. I heard the footsteps of the psychologist as he tiptoed into her room. Things stayed quiet for a few hours. I kept myself awake, busying myself with mundane house cleaning tasks.
I was actually in the spare room, heading toward the bathroom under the pretense of cleaning the sink but secretly wanting to look in on Anna, when I got a sickening lurch in my stomach followed by a bolt of fear through my heart.
Leaping forward, I landed in the bathroom and stopped dead in my tracks…