Wednesday, September 27, 2017

The Scream

The Scream
By Michael Cannata  

The scream pierced the quiet night. He heard it clearly through his open window. He jumped up startled as it carried down the street. He ran out onto his front lawn to see what commotion it caused. He looked up and down the street, but saw nothing. A few lights came on in his neighbors houses. The firefighter that lived two doors down came out to check out the scream as well.

Together, they walked around the immediate area looking for the source of the anguished cry. It had sounded like a young woman or girl. They weren't sure just what kind of scream it was. It could have been one of fear, or just some kids screwing around.  A couple of dogs had started to bark but they soon settled down. He stood with his neighbor waiting to hear if the scream came again.

They talked for a while about things in general. He really didn't know his neighbors all that well. He'd only lived in the neighborhood a few months. The firefighter told him he had a teenage daughter that was supposed to be home an hour ago. He was starting to worry and feared the scream may have been hers
The firefighter seemed like a nice guy. They walked around the block just to check out the neighborhood while he tried to reassure the worried father that he was certain his daughter would turn up. Still, he was a firefighter. Guys like him were hard-wired to respond to such cries. His instincts told him his daughter was in trouble.

The firefighter was about to start checking people's back yards when his daughter arrived in a friend's car. He watched amused as the angry father gave the kid hell, all the while hugging her tightly. The scream was forgotten after she came home safely.

The firefighter thanked his neighbor and went back into his home. The lights that had come on started to go out. Curtains that had parted closed as the people went back about their business.

No sound could be heard along the quiet suburban street. He was grateful for the silence. He headed out back to his garage. He was getting old and careless. These kind of things never happened to him when he was younger. He was slipping.

He felt lucky that the girl locked in the box in his garage only had the strength to let out one scream before she passed out. He would make sure she didn't scream again.

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