Last night, at a little after 1 a.m., I was finally drifting off to sleep. We had the windows open and we were enjoying the gentle breeze and the soothing sounds of insects, the wind through the trees, and the fighter planes.

Something rather large went crashing through the brush in the yard. I wasn’t worried about it. I figured it was a cat, since it sounded too large to be a squirrel.

Then the screaming started. It was bloodcurdling. What was strangest about it was that it was right outside the window.

Our bedroom is on the third floor.

It’s impossible to describe the sound. It was like a chimp ripping apart a cat, while someone runs their nails down a chalkboard.

It was the return of The Creature. And this time, The Creature brought a friend.

By the time I put on a robe and got outside, half the neighborhood was assembled in front of our house. This is a sound that carries.

They were up in the very top of a pine tree. At first I thought they were mating, but then one of The Creatures raced down the tree and then went back up, and whatever was going on up there kept going on while s/he was gone. I suspect they were invading a squirrel’s nest. It was the most horrific thing I’ve ever heard. The disgruntled housewife can back me up on this, as she once noted that “…possums have the scariest scream ever–they should use it in alien horror movies…”

Husband, who was actually asleep when this all started, was particularly disoriented. The Creatures finally quieted down (once they’d dragged half the neighborhood out of bed) and waddled back into the woods. Just as I was on the verge of sleep again, Husband woke me up.

“Squirrels don’t lay eggs.”
“You woke me up to tell me that?”
“They don’t lay eggs.”
“That’s right, but they have to have a place to protect their young.”
“Oh. Okay.”

This morning there were pine tree limbs and pine cones scattered all over the yard.

[All of the links to soundfiles are dead so I’ve removed them. Just find the shrillest scariest sound you can, multiply by two, and play it on a loop for about 15 minutes in the middle of the night, and you’ll at least start to get an idea of what we heard.]

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