Monday, January 19, 2015


Sometimes I feel like I was raised in the Twilight Zone and graduated to the Night Gallery. It’s a writer’s curse, living with an excess of imagination.

All trouble is big trouble, or what’s the point?

Like last Wednesday or was it Monday or . . .

You remember. It was a dark and stormy night.

Because I am not quite eighty years old and my insides are starting to quite possibly, liquefy, I get up in the dark of the night to visit parts of the house that are not my bedroom to dispense liquids. Okay, I had to wee.

On the dark and stormy night in question, I had just toddled back to bed, tucked myself away, and started to drift off when I heard something—something other than the moan of raccoons as they arm-wrestle each other over leftover gristle in the trashcans. Instead, it sounded like raccoons using a walkie-talkie, and it was weird.

Under the covers I tensed. Had I heard a raccoon walkie-talkie? Or was hearing walkie-talkie noises a symptom of my liquefying brain? I bolted upright in bed and cocked my head to the side like a curious poodle. I listened harder. 

Dark wind whipped. Stormy rain slashed. I heard another new sound. It was eerie, mechanical, and tinny. Honestly, it made me think of the Star Ship Enterprise transporter or a trash compactor. I scrabbled through my sheets for my cell phone.

Flinging myself from the bed, I jammed into the corner next to the open window. Branches scraped against glass. Greasy raccoon fingerprints glinted on the window in a flash of lightning. Wind banged the hedge that needed trimming. 

Clutching my cell phone, I crouched—smaller, tighter, more.

Outside, a radio voice crackled in the night: thieves or space aliens or creeper bandits mumbled. It was impossible to make out their evil plot.

Whispering, I said to no one, “Man oh man, the thieves are getting sophisticated if they’re using walkie-talkies.”

The weirdo space noise came again. I wedged harder into the corner. My finger hovered over the nine on my phone. I muttered, “This is it, killed by walkie-talkie toting super alien creeper villains or raccoons.”

Suddenly, softly, another possibility came to me. Chagrined, I stood up, turned off the phone, shut the window, and crawled back into bed.

In the morning, I wandered outside to where my two-year old grandson’s “Mighty Midget Spider Man’s Ride and Push” was parked and turned it off.

Spider Man’s tinny voice chirped and faded.


It could have been walkie-talkie toting super alien creeper villains—any writer with half an imagination knows that. 

Linda (Big Ears) Zern 

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