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The silence awakened me. It was bad enough that I had no central air and it was ninety-five degrees outside, now my window unit had gone out too? I blinked, clearing my eyes to see the room. It was pitch black however, and this didn’t help at all. Rolling over, I reached for my phone on the night stand. I pressed the power button but the screen didn’t come on. “Dammit.” I whispered in the dark. My neck muscles suddenly tensed as I heard a soft rustling, like a heavy fabric being dragged on the floor at the foot of my bed. I sat perfectly still as shivers ran up my spine to the top of my head, tingling. I listened for a few seconds and then held down on the power button. I pushed the screen forward as it illuminated the far wall. At first I didn’t see anything, just the wall bathed in the blue light of the phone. As I lowered the phone, movement caught my eye and I tensed again, another shiver winding up my back and neck. Quickly I raised the phone, and as I did, I saw what looked like a very tall owl. Not like a friendly owl, but like a bleach-white snowy owl. It had no limbs that I saw, only deep, black eye sockets. In that instant, my heart pounded so hard in my chest that I could hear it in my ears. In shock I dropped the phone (its screen floor-down) and screamed. A loud buzzing sound exploded from the corner and the darkness became a solid indistinguishable red. In my red-blindness, I fumbled for my phone on the floor. The red began to flash slowly, like a car blinker, as my fingers found the device. In crazy fear, I pushed the button and almost instantly the buzzing and red stopped. Afraid of my phone dying again, I reached to the lamp on the night stand and clicked it. The power must be out. Luckily I have an LED Coleman Lantern here with me, and even as I write my absurd story, I can hear, from the door, a gently heavy fabric dragging on the other side. Dear God, I hope the batteries last in my phone and in this lan…

(Sent in by Dan)

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