The winter moon shone through the frosted glass of Ryan Greene’s window illuminating his face. His eyes, wide and unblinking focused on the ceiling of his bedroom. It was far too late for a boy of eight to be lying awake in his bed, but for the third night in a row, Ryan’s slumber had been disturbed by the shrieking from outside.
On the first night, he’d instantly been wrenched from a dulcet dream and sat upright upon hearing the sound. Had he imagined that horrible noise? He’d almost convinced himself that he had when the scream pierced the silence of his room again. It had come from outside.
He’d dared to gaze through his window towards the barn that sat behind his family’s farmhouse. The rickety structure held his father’s tractor and a plethora of farm equipment. It was dusty and smelled of grease and Ryan never liked going in there. His bedroom was on the second floor and he had a clear line of sight to the old building, which had appeared to his eyes as shadowy gray. The light from the quarter moon reflected off the snow casting an eerie glow on the large barn doors, which now stood slightly ajar. Ryan’s stomach tightened. He knew his father always kept the doors closed at night. Seeing them open now sent an unfamiliar tingling down Ryan’s spine.
“Eeeeeeeeeeeeeeyaaaaaaaaaaa!” That horrible scream erupted again, a high pitched screech that pierced his mind like a dagger. It was clearly coming from inside the barn. Ryan dove for his pillow, scrambling to cover himself completely with his covers. He drew his body up tightly into a ball and squeezed his eyes closed.
“Go away, go away!” he whispered through clenched teeth. He hugged himself and kept repeating his mantra until finally, he heard a knock on his bedroom door.