The night at the end of my first week at the cabin was filled with the now usual routine. I ate my dinner of Spaghetti-O’s down at the dock. I even whipped out the evil TV tray and brought it with me. As dusk crept in I headed back in to beat the skin-chewing insects that came along with the lessening light. I kept all of the windows around the cabin opened partially; it had been warmer than usual in the Lake Asimmia area the past few days. I played some music on my laptop while trying my best to write a sophisticated journal entry. I cracked open a pair of Sam Adams bottles as a sort of celebration of my first week, and also to drown my sorrows that from this point on I was closer to my vacation being over.
Bedtime was 10:00pm as had become routine as well. I felt a small buzz as I brushed my teeth in front of the rustic looking square vanity in the bathroom. Before heading into the bedroom I made a tour of the cabin to make sure that doors were locked and windows were closed; despite my feeling very comfortable with my surroundings I was still wary of bears or other large animals which might come looking for food or trouble. I left the windows in my bedroom open as per usual as I had grown accustomed to the calls of birds and animals, and also the occasional kiss of the Canadian winds to help me sleep.
I had no trouble falling asleep, the beer helped greatly with that. I know I had fallen asleep because I was startled out of it at some point during the night. There was a sound infiltrating the room that I had not heard during my first week at the cabin. It was far away, but had been piercing enough that it pulled me from my sound sleep. A little disoriented and still a little buzzed, I found myself sitting up in bed staring straight ahead at the closed bedroom door. What had I just heard? I turned my head to listen but there was nothing. I began to think that it had been something out of a vivid dream I was having that had sounded so real that it had awakened me. I let out a hard yawn and lay my head back down onto the stack of two down pillows I slept on. My eyes began to close. Then, I heard it again.
This time I sat up sharply in bed. It sounded like the call of some kind of wounded animal. It was a painful yelp, a blood curdling scream in the far off woods. I knew now that this was definitely real and not part of a dream. The wounded animal screamed again, it seemed to carry on the wind right to my ears, echoing across the clear, crisp July night. It sounded so horrific that I began to feel whatever pain this animal was feeling. In my tired mind I began to process the sounds, trying desperately to link the sound to a mental photo of an appropriate animal. I began to think it might be a timber wolf like Sal had said occasionally roamed the area. He had said nothing about coyotes which this animal sounded like also.
The animal screamed again snapping me from my mental Rolodex of animals. This time I threw the quilt off of my body and stepped onto the cold wood floor. Even though the noises were far away from the cabin itself I still found myself creeping quietly toward the opened bedroom window as if this animal might appear before me at any moment. I knelt down beside the window which allowed only my head and tops of my shoulders to be seen. I cupped my hand over my eyes and leaned in until my forehead rested against the mesh screen. The bright moonlight overhead did little to aide my eyes as I stared past the other cabin off toward where I thought the animal’s cries were coming from. I saw nothing. Still I found myself hypnotized, unable to move from my spot. Part of me hoped I would not hear that awful sound again, yet part of me felt this obsession, a need to know what was making those sounds.