She thought she heard a knock at the back door.
A dream, perhaps? It was a cold night, but warm under the blankets. She opened one eye.
2:05am. No one ever knocked at the back door. Sleep was so inviting…
Another knock. The wind picked up. Maybe something banged against the door? Two eyes this time.
2:14am. That was it, the wind. I’m going to the park tomorrow, I’ve got to pack a lunch…
Two more knocks. Eyes wide.
2:22am. Ok, what the hell?
She reluctantly removed the bed covers, one layer at a time. Her slippers were cold. She put on a robe and walked to the back door. No one was by the door’s window.
She looked out the kitchen window over the sink. Her face shone in the light of the quarter moon. The outside yard looked so peaceful.
Oh well. A quick cup of tea to warm the bones. Back to bed…
The bedside phone’s ringing woke her from a dreamless state.
Her sister was on the other side. “You up?”
“I am now. What’s going on?”
“The Masterson’s boy went missing last night. The Sheriff is searching the neighborhood, and is asking for volunteers. You up for it?”
“Wait a minute.”
She went to the back door, opened it, and saw a 5-year-old boy sleeping on the ground next to the door.
“I think he is here, by my back door. Call the Sheriff for me, will you?”