The woods outside Carol's window gave her the creeps -- particularly when it was a dark and stormy night.
She jerked awake to thunder and a huge crack of lightning one late fall night around 11.
In stumbling across the floor to the bathroom, she caught movement outside her bedroom window.
Forgetting totally about having to relieve herself, Carol slowly crept to the north wall and peeked through the curtain.
A girl stood near the edge of the woods, wearing a 1950's style dress. She slowly began to walk along the tree line. She turned and walked back to her original spot and began mouthing words Carol couldn't hear. Then she turned and stared at the house.
Carol stood transfixed, eyes wide.
The girl didn't seem to see Carol, but she was clear as day in the torrential rain.
"I'm hallucinating," Carol whispered. "This is just a dream."
She nearly ran to the bathroom, peed with the light off and leaped back in bed, all with leopard stealthiness.
The storm raged through into the early morning hours and Carol could not sleep.
She laid in bed, staring at the ceiling, blankets at her chin.
As the lightning cracked again around 4 a.m., she decided to get up.
Carol reached for the light switch, still halfway under the covers, but stopped as goosebumps formed from her neck down.
Singing emanated from the hallway.
Carol lived alone.
A little girl's voice quietly, slowly sang, "It's raining, it's pouring, the woman is not snoring. She'll bump her head if she gets out of bed and won't wake up in the morning."
Feeling like a child, Carol slowly laid back down and put blankets over her head.
She hardly dared to breathe.
The door creaked and Carol could hear faint foot steps approach her bed.
"You don't have to be afraid," said the girl. "My mommy will take care of you. We sing lots of songs."
Carol peeked out from under the covers and saw a sweet face staring down at her. Little ringlets of hair hung down the girl's shoulders, a small bow tied behind each ear. She seemed to have freckles scattered across her face. But her jumper-style dress told another story.
Quickly, Carol backed away from her when she realized the girl's dress was soaked with blood, that dripped from a wound on the back of her head.
"Mommy always told me, 'Mind your own business, or you'll bump your head,'" the girl said quietly with her head bowed. "You should have minded your own business tonight."