A few minutes after midnight I stepped out into the cool night. As I approached the end of our driveway, the pale crescent moon suddenly disappeared in red haze. It was pitch black. Then, slowly, a sparkling full moon appeared. I thought that was strange. But knew it would aid me on my visit to the salt marsh.
The gate into the park was closed, of course. But unlike any other night, a mean looking bird was guarding it. His long bill was sharp and his left foot was raised as in a warning.
No admission. But stubborn as I am, I decided to climb over the low stone wall a little further down.
Right away I could see some hunching shapes on one of the small islands in the distance. A gathering of the ghosts perhaps? Halloween party? It was impossible to tell.
Bang! The ground shook and lightning struck from the clear sky. It illuminated the osprey nest. From afar, it looked deserted and seemed to glow faintly in the moonlight.
I was frightened, but there was no turning back. So I walked closer. Suddenly I heard heavy wing beats right above my head. A large bat? I saw a huge creature land on the nest. He looked right at me and I thought his eyes were somewhat familiar. He didn’t say anything, just stared at me flexing his enormous wings.
Just under the nest, I could discern a glowing figure on the ground. Someone else was observing me too. It was spooky. And eerily quiet.
The silence was broken by a bone-chilling scream. An apparition with a huge bill drifted right next to me. I started running.
Further out, I saw more dark shapes starting to gather at the far end of the marsh. Curiosity won over fear and I decided to investigate. Walking along the water line, I spotted large glowing fish in the deep pond. Monsters over three feet long.
I sensed many pairs of eyes were following my every step from the deep shadows. It was unnerving. But I kept going.
As I came to the far end, I noticed action on the water. Someone was running for his life!
The poor fellow was chased by a much bigger creature, who was flapping his wings as he ran on the water. I could feel chills go down my spine.
Suddenly I came to a halt. A creepy feathered being was blocking the trail. He was huge! And he was scrutinizing me from top to toe from the corner of his eye.
I started shaking, but finally he let me pass. I took cover under some short palm trees next to the water. That’s when I saw her. Her pink skirt was flowing in the cool breeze as she performed her dance at the edge of the pond.
All action stopped. No running, no chasing, no fooling around. Complete silence as if all the creatures were holding their breath. Then wings started flapping. Loud applause reverberated in the night. I tried to clap too, but couldn’t. Something heavy was weighing down my left arm. It didn’t move.
I woke up. And Dylan turned to look at me. I must have been screaming because the hair on his head stood up. I had dozed off and been dreaming about my friends at the salt marsh. All transmogrified just in time for Halloween. I turned off the TV and the light, petted Dylan and went back to sleep. Who knows what the night might bring. Happy Halloween folks!