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Something Is Watching

A groggy mind can play terrible tricks...

Ever get the feeling you’re being watched?

That fear and reality exists even more so today than ever before, and I’m reminded of it every day. Our computers. Our phones. Or just walking down the street. But I feel most exposed when I nap on the couch.

The other evening I felt eyes on me. From the corner of my half-opened glance, an alien appeared to be watching me. A small one, but with the foreboding head shape of the acid-bleeding creatures Sigourney Weaver has battled her entire adult life.

I felt the shiver, like I do when I think something is under the bed and I fight to not look. I tell myself, I internally yell at myself, don’t look! Hopefully, you silly man, it’ll all be over soon.

I wait and wait and nothing happens. So I laugh and just look. Yup. Nothing. Maybe just a sock or dust bunny or two, but nothing that can painfully end my life.

The alien, by the way, was a shadow cast by the moon. Some kids toy on top of some other kids toys, and at the right angle, looked like the profile of that alien’s elongated head.

Sadly, these shadow monsters happen more often than like.

Most recently, I again was napping on the couch. Kids were gone for the weekend. I had the house to myself. So I napped wherever and whenever I wanted.

I woke to the thought that a woman with medium-length, brown-bobbed hair was watching me through the living room window. She wasn’t hiding the fact that she was, but was observing from one side and not directly in front.

The more I got the feeling I was being watched, the more I wanted to wake to see if I was. So, I forced myself to open my eyes.

At first, I looked into my pillow to allow my eyes to adjust to the mid-afternoon sunlight. Once I was ready, I turned my head to look and I didn’t see the woman that I feared, but a damn magpie. It was sitting on the ledge and was looking inside the house. It happened to be looking my way. I was unsure if it actually saw me, or was just resting on the ledge, and this all was an uncomfortable coincidence.

When the magpie saw that I was awake, and that I was looking directly at it, it opened its beak and released a soft but eery squawk. It then closed its beak but remained on the ledge, watching.

Then, out of the corner of my eye, I saw something beside me, almost behind me. I turned my head, ever so slightly, just like I would when debating if I should look under the bed. I started to laugh at myself but immediately stopped when I felt the chill.

Sitting on the arm rests and on the back of the couch were dozens of magpies. While I slept, they had quietly gathered and surrounded me. Their avian smell now struck. Damn birds always smell of death.

I don’t know how they got inside or how long they had been watching me, but I remained still wondering how the heck I was going to chase all those bloody birds out of my home. I was also glad my kids weren’t home. The site of this could scar them, causing a proximal fear of birds.

As I consider my next move, I shivered again and the hair on the back of my neck stood on end. They say that happens just before one gets struck by lightning. However, today was a clear sky, sunny day. The last thing I heard was a loud, multi-cawing squawk from the magpie outside. The murderous parliament responded in unison and then attacked in silence.

 

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