Things That Go Bump

And Can Fly

By Susan Hatch

I wake the way you do when you’ve gone to sleep in a place you’ve never been before. I look out the second-story window from the pitch blackness of our mountain cabin at silhouettes of trees against the starry nighttime sky and think how lucky we are to have found this diamond in the rough. Cascade Reservoir lies two hundred feet away. The moon shines down on her, casting a silvery light on the placid water.

I’m tempted to tiptoe downstairs, go out onto the deck, and immerse myself in the magic of the nocturnal forest, but my eyes are heavy and the thought of disturbing friends who are asleep downstairs causes me to settle under the blankets and enjoy the view from here. My pillow is soft, the blankets warm, and I begin to feel the gentle pulling away of consciousness as my eyes close and my view of diamonds in the sky above me gives way to slumber.

Weight on the pillow behind my head heightens my senses. Something moves. It touches my hair and scurries or flutters away, I’m unsure sure which.

My husband springs from the bed in a panic, fumbles for a flashlight, and makes his way across the room to the light switch. We spend the next twenty minutes crawling around, looking for the mouse. Although I’m not surprised, my heart pounds in my chest like a jackhammer. I’m fully awake now. I knew mice would be part of mountain living but having one on my pillow unnerves me. I’m desperate to get it out of my room.

We can’t find it. We listen for movement, but it’s gone. He goes downstairs to the bathroom, I look at the clock; 3:20 a.m. Should I try to go back to sleep or should I brew a cup of coffee, go out to the deck, and enjoy that rendezvous with nature? No doubt our friends are awake now.

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Susan Hatch

About Susan Hatch

Susan Hatch is an award-winning writer of short stories and upmarket fiction. She recently completed her first novel and is currently making plans for her next. She makes her home in Twin Falls along the Snake River Canyon which, to her, is the perfect venue for a developing artist.

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