I pushed open the old, creaky door and wondered if I really wanted to look inside the shed. I knew the noises had been coming from the shed, but wasn’t sure if I was ready to know what exactly was making the noises. I had hidden under my blankets all night, hoping and praying that whatever was making the noise would stay out of the house. I was pretty sure it wasn’t a human, but I knew that sometimes raccoons and opossums snuck into the house through Chet’s dog door.
I still hadn’t had the courage to block Chet’s dog door after his sudden death last week. I would feel much braver had he been here with me, but life. James was out of town so it was up to me to find out what was happening. I had spent all night imagining different scenarios and tried to calm myself before I looked.
As it turned out, I didn’t really need to worry after all. Nothing in the shed was touched. Nothing was moved and there was no dirt anywhere. I sighed a deep sigh of relief, but I tensed again almost immediately. What had been making the noises? And where had it/she/he been? I slammed the shed door shut and ran back into the house. I knew I was making a huge deal out of something that would turn out to be nothing, but after Chet’s death, anything was possible. Chet had gotten a clean bill of health the week before he died and the vet was stumped when I had told him what had happened. As the shadow passed by my kitchen window, I instantly knew what had happened.
Stan was back. Stan had killed my dog. Stan had finally returned from the dead just as he had promised when he lay dying in my backyard when I was nineteen. I hadn’t meant what I had done and I didn’t think he meant what he said. I had never been so wrong.