I pried the door open and tiptoed into the bedroom to check on my sleeping granddaughter. That’s when I heard them scratching at that weak spot behind the wall above the air conditioner.
“They won’t break through the walls,” my husband had reassured me earlier in the week, chuckling at the absurdity of my question. But it sure sounded like they were about to do just that.
As I reached over to pull the covers over my granddaughter, I glanced up at the spot where I heard them scratching. The room was dark, so I couldn’t be sure…Was that a tiny hole or just a shadow? Should I grab my granddaughter now or believe my husband? They won’t break through the walls, I whispered to myself. I squinted, forcing my eyes to adjust to the dark and focus on the spot. And then I saw something poking through.
They were screeching and scratching fervently now. I scooped my granddaughter up in my arms, and stumbled across the room, tripping over the blanket that was loosely wrapped around her. She felt so heavy, and I feared I would drop her, so I paused for just a moment to recoup my strength, pulling the blanket tighter to get a better grip and distribute her weight.
That’s when I saw a flash of silver-grey – flying through the air – then the burning sting of claws digging into my flesh.
Holding tight to my sleeping granddaughter with my left arm, I tried to swat the squirrel off my leg with my other arm, but that only made him dig his claws deeper into my thigh. There was a stream of warm blood running down my leg now, and I knew I had to act quickly. Wrapping my hand around his middle, I squeezed the air out of him, forcing him to release his grip on my leg.
Squirrels were pouring in through the hole in the ceiling and running down the walls onto the floor. I was paralyzed with fear.
Holding the gnashing squirrel at arm’s length, I cried out, “Help…Help! Help me!” Where was my husband? “T-O-M! Help!” Couldn’t he hear all this commotion? Was he deaf? “H-e-l-p!”
From a distance I heard someone calling back, “What’s wrong?”
“Come in here! Help me!” I screamed.
“I’m right here; what’s wrong?” I recognized my son’s voice. Where was my husband? I still couldn’t see anything in the dark.
“Turn on the light! Take this!” I shouted, holding the squirming squirrel out to him.
“Turn on the light! Look for yourself!!” I shouted, “Turn on the light and see what I have in my hand!’
I heard someone pull the chain on the overhead light, and there was my son standing in his underwear in the middle of the room. My husband was sleeping soundly in the other twin bed across from me.
“The squirrels broke through,” I gasped as my eyes searched frantically around all four corners of the ceiling.
“You were dreaming,” he said.
“I was holding one for you to take from me,” I said, opening my empty fist.
“It was a nightmare,” he reassured me. “But, if they had broken through the walls, dad wouldn’t have heard a thing,” he laughed, glancing over at my snoring husband. “We need to move out of this place – – soon!”
It was a nightmare, but, in reality, I live with this fear every day…
…To Be Continued…