The first thing Arnie noticed was the smell.”
“What the heck?” he said to himself..
As he walked out of the classroom and started down the hallway towards the office he could hear them.
“Whatever it is sure makes a lot of noise,” he mumbled as he looked around for something to use as his weapon.
“I need to remember to always carry my baseball bat with me,” he said.
Okay, sometimes Arnie talked to himself, especially when things got really weird. And this? Yeah, this was getting really weird.
The only thing he could find was a broom the janitor left by the door to the library, so he grabbed it. A broom isn’t as good as a baseball bat, but hey, the baseball bats were in the gym and that’s on the other side of the office, on the other side of the noise. The broom would have to do.
He got to the corner of the hall and peeked around.
“Whoa,” he said. “What is that?”
He could see two of whatever they were standing in the hall outside the office and three more inside by the secretary’s desk. There was another bunch of them in the Principal’s Office, but he couldn’t see how many for sure.
Whatever they were, they stood about six or seven feet tall, were covered in some kind of dark brown fur, had little bitty eyes but great big claws sticking out of their furry hands.
He looked at the broom in his hand.
“Nope,” he said. “This isn’t going to work.”
The smell was getting worse. REALLY worse.
Then he realized why the smell was worse.
He heard the breathing.
Or, he felt the breathing as it hit the back of his neck.
He gripped his little broom and slowly turned around.
The brown and furry whatever it reached out for Arnie’s shoulder.
It started to growl.
“Arnie,” it said.
“Arnie”, it said again.
Arnie closed his eyes, took a deep breath, and waited..
“ARNIE DUFNER! Get out of bed right now and get ready for school. You are going to be late!”
Whatever it was disappeared in a blurry puff of smoke and turned into Arnie’s mom standing beside his bed.
It was a dream!
“You don’t have long claws!” Arnie said.
His mom just looked at him and shook her head.
“Get ready for school, young man,” Mom said. “And quit watching those movies before you go to sleep at night.”