We're All Damaged

Tuesday, January 12, 2016

Things That Scream in the Woods

When the screaming started, my wife and I were lying in bed. We looked up from our books in unison. We held our breath and waited.

It’s amazing the things you hear in the nighttime. It never ends up being what you think it is. The murderer jimmying the deadbolt is just the house settling. The pipe bursting, gushing, and flooding is just the dog slurping from his water bowl. The vanload of prison escapees pulling into the driveway is the furnace turning on. 

But this. This was definitely screaming. We heard it again. I thought of the kids. A nightmare. Something worse. An injury. Bleeding.

By the third scream, we had our wits about us. It was coming from the woods behind our house. I kicked the comforter off. Why would the kids be in the woods behind our house? The fourth scream, fortunately, was the scream that put us both at ease. It wasn’t the kids. In fact, it wasn’t even human.

There was a time in our lives when we never would have known who or what was screaming. It would have remained a mystery, haunting us. But, because it’s 2016, we get to know everything, and we get to know it immediately. I reached for my iPhone on the nightstand.

“Siri, search for things that scream in the woods.”

There was a fifth scream. A sixth. I scrolled through some links. I tapped the first one that seemed legit. It took me to a list of the top ten most common fox calls, complete with audio files. What we’d heard, loud and ominous in the night, were mating calls. We heard a seventh scream. A fox was looking for a girlfriend.

Good luck, buddy.


  1. Been there. Woke to the sounds of what could only be primates in the woods outside our home. Ended up being Barred Owls. Enjoying the heck out of We're All Damaged btw.

  2. I live in boonies and yeah, there was always some kind of scream here, every single night,