Lewis tossed the covers off himself frustratedly. He’s been having more sleepless nights than he could count as of late. On the bright side, he didn’t have to work in the morning so it didn’t really matter when his brain decided to give him some rest. His pit bull, Harley, perked her head up and let out a small whimper as he lifted himself to the side of the bed.

“Come here girl,” he whispered as he held out his hand to her. She jumped up from her doggy bed and met his hand with her neck. Lewis scratched behind her ears as she placed her head in his lap. “You wanna go outside for a bit?” Harley let out a happy grumble in agreement. Lewis stood up from the bed and threw on his slippers. Harley ran to the back door excitedly as Lewis followed behind. She let out a few excited barks as he approached.

“I’m coming, I’m coming,” he replied to her. He clicked open the latch, unlocking sliding glass door and slid it open. She ran out into the dark and Lewis followed her onto the patio. As Harley ran to do her business in the night, Lewis pulled his pack of Camels out and popped a cigarette into his mouth. He lit it and pulled in a drag of the warm smoke. The night sky was riddled with stars. Ever since he moved from the city, the light pollution made the stars so much prettier, which was something he got to see every night now like when he was a kid. Harley was running around the edge of the woods behind his house. As Lewis pulled in another drag from his cigarette, Harley stopped and started growling at the edge of the woods.

Lewis shouted to her, “come on girl! Come on back.” Harley ignored him and continued to growl at the edge of the woods. “What the hell is she growling at?” he mumbled to himself. He pulled in another drag as he stepped off the patio and started to approach his pup at the edge of the woods. “Harley, come on!”

A voice echoed back at him from the woods. A deep voice, an eerily recognizable voice. “Come on girl! Come on back.” Lewis stopped in confusion. He turned over his shoulder and looked back at his house. No, that voice definitely was coming from the woods. Harley let out a whimper and backed up a bit as she started barking into the woods. Lewis pulled the cigarette from his mouth and ran to Harley. He stopped next to her and grabbed her collar.

“What is it girl, what do you see?” Lewis looked into the woods trying to peer beyond the pitch black edge of the woods. The deep voice emerged from the woods again. This time the voice was much lower and raspy, as if this person had strep throat that was infected with globs of phlegm.

“What is it girl, what do you see?” the voice replied.

“Who’s there?” Lewis shouted still peering into the woods.

Behind a large tree about ten yards away something slunk out from behind it. It was on all fours and moved like a wounded insect. The thing emerged from the shadows and stood up on its hind legs. This thing was naked, it had the body of a human except its arms and legs were longer than usual. Its fingers looked as if they could fully wrap around a basketball, and the creature’s hind legs contorted into a cross between a horse and a human. It held its face low and slowly raised it up. The face that the monster wore was the exact same face that Lewis had. It was as if Lewis was looking at himself in the mirror but with the body of a monster.

“Who’s there?” the monster asked. Lewis was frozen in fear. The cigarette fell from his mouth and into the grass as Harley was whining and rearing back ready to run away at any moment. All Harley was waiting for was her master to give the command to run. Just as Lewis felt he mustered up the strength to run back to his house the monster started to move. It stepped backward, slinking back behind the tree. It dropped down to its front arms, growled with what looked like a mimic of Harley’s and crept back into the edge of the woods.

Lewis slammed the sliding door shut and latched the lock. His heart was pounding in his chest like a blacksmith beating an anvil with a hammer. He ran to his room and grabbed the 12 gauge from his closet. He loaded his rounds into it and sat at the back door staring back into the woods. Looks like he wasn’t getting any sleep tonight after all. On the plus side, the creature was never seen by him again.

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