Something happened last night.
I don't really want to talk about it, but for the sake of your entertainment, I'll try.
I got up in the middle of the night and went to the kitchen for a glass of water. I got out a glass, put it under the faucet, turned the knob for cold water...and that's when I saw it.
It was like a small, dark shadow and it moved at lightning speed across my kitchen counter.
I don't know what it was, but I do know that it was enough to make me nearly drop my glass. I jumped, turned the faucet off, and deliberated on whether or not I wanted to investigate.
As it was about 2:30am, I decided that all I really wanted was some water in my throat, so I turned the faucet back on so I could get it over with and get back to bed. I was probably hallucinating anyway.
If only I had been.
I know now that I was not just seeing things, because the moment the water started running again, it happened a second time, and this time the whatever-it-was cleared the length of the other half of the counter in about half a second.
At that point, I was done. Dry throat be damned; I was not spending another moment in that kitchen with what I was sure was some sort of compact-but-deadly monster.
I got back in bed with as much unnecessary jostling and noise as I could muster, because although I was safely out of the kitchen, I was still the only one awake in the house, and that was just not okay with me.
Gary happened to wake up at exactly that moment (go figure!) and I informed him that I was pretty sure I saw something in the kitchen. I told him it was probably a mouse, because I figured the chances of his being willing to investigate would be better if he was expecting a mouse than if I told him I was pretty sure our kitchen had been invaded by a tiny, flesh-eating superbeast.
He got up and checked like the wonderful husband that he is, but returned empty handed. The terror had not been extinguished.
Gary went back to sleep immediately, but not only was I wide awake; suddenly my throat was on fire. It was clear I needed water, but I was frozen by a crippling fear of the horrifyingly speedy soul-snatcher I knew was lurking in my kitchen. I did what any sensible young woman would do: I woke my husband up a second time and begged him to get me a glass of water.
He obliged, presumably because he deduced that this was the quickest way for him to get back to sleep without being subjected to excessive whining.
I sipped my water until the burning in my throat had dissipated, and then somehow, miraculously drifted off into a restless sleep during which I dreamt that the monster had been captured.
This is a professional artist's rendition of the creature in my dream (definitely not something I sloppily threw together in Paint):
I awoke with a feeling of peace that the struggle was over.
Then I remembered it had all been a deceptively glorious dream.
I considered barricading Brutus into the kitchen before I left for work today so that he and the monster could duke it out, cage-match style...but I really love my dog, and I can't bear the thought of sacrificing such a sweet and affectionate member of my family just to protect my own skin.
I've asked three people for advice, and their suggestions included d-CON, mousetraps, and glue traps, but each of them assured me that the other two options were terribly inhumane, so I've decided to go with the only other option I have.