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It was a cool, dark night. Lily was peeking through the window. She and her brother were alone at home as her parents had gone to a party. Lily was crouching underneath the window, with a furry blanket covering her. Her brother had fallen asleep long ago and she was sitting abandoned and alone.

She had grudgingly told her little brother to stay awake with her, but had failed to convince him. Alone and wide awake, she had decided to sit near the window sill in her room and keep a sharp lookout for her parents.

For a moment, she thought she heard footsteps on the dry autumn leaves and concluded that it would be her parents. She concentrated on looking outside. She heard the creaky noise of the old backyard gate. She would be sitting with her parents in a moment or so, she grinned at the thought.

Then suddenly she saw a man in a cloak, or she thought it to be a man. It wasn’t her parents at all! It was some kind of burglar or thief.

Her heart was beating rapidly. The figure was walking towards the front door. She was paralysed by fear and her body felt numb. She couldn’t budge, she was shaken to the soul.

Suddenly, all went dark. Lily was seized by terror. It had been several minutes since she saw the man. This frightened the wits out of her.

Lily threw the blanket off her. The lights were back on and everything was visible again. Her head was throbbing with pain.

She sat up, pressed her nose to the window and saw no one. The gate was closed and no footsteps were to be heard. It was sometime before it came to her mind that she had fallen asleep while looking for her parents.

She breathed a sigh of relief and stood up straight. Lily decided it would be better to go to sleep rather than keeping an eye out for her parents and be frightened by every sound.

She lay down on her bed, thought about what she had just dreamt and dozed off into her sleep again.

Published in Dawn, Young World, December 15th, 2018