by J. Call
(Cody, WY)

Portland, Maine is a place where you can always here the gulls screeching, a place where fog seems to linger for days, and it is a place where people can sit outside and smell the ocean, feel the ocean, and taste the ocean.

Tommy called this place his home. He had always loved this place, and it seemed as if he could never get enough of Portland. One night, he decided to stay home by himself with no babysitter while his mom and dad went to the movies. It would give him a chance to be independent for awhile and not worry about doing things his parents wanted him to do. So he kissed them goodbye, and they went on down the street, turned a corner, and were out of sight.

Like any other kid, Tommy went right to the TV and then pulled out a pack of gummy worms. He watched all the channels his parents didn't want him to watch and was puzzled because of all the jokes that he didn't get. So he decided to just flip through the channels looking for something substantial to watch.

He stopped at the news channel to see if it would downpour tonight, but something on the bottom of the screen caught his eye. Apparently, a dangerous serial killer just escaped the local asylum. Well, at least he had his dog to protect him while his parents were gone. 9:00 read the time, and Tommy decided to hit the hay.

As his nightly routine, Tommy would put his hand below his bed and feel the wet, clammy tongue of his dog so he wouldn't get scared of anything during the night. After three minutes of lying in bed, thinking about his day, Tommy drifted into his dreamworld.

Tommy woke up slowly to a very light sound coming from his hallway. Drip, drip, drip, drip. He thought he accidentally left the sink on after washed up for dinner. So he decided to just go back to sleep, but before he drifted back to dreamland, he felt his dog lick his knuckles, a dry, long lick.

Again Tommy woke with the dripping sound getting louder. Drip, Drip, Drip, Drip. Tomorrow morning he would call the plumber to fix that sink, because boy it was getting annoying. He put his pillow over his ears, put his hand under the bed, felt his dog lick his hand, and fell back asleep.

This time, Tommy woke up with a start. The dripping had gotten so loud that he didn't know if he could fall back asleep listening to it. DRIP, DRIP, DRIP, DRIP.

Tommy slid out of his bed, and opened his bedroom door. The dripping seemed to be coming from the bathroom door. He slowly and cautiously opened the bathroom door and looked at the sink. There was no water coming out of it, the dripping was actually coming from the shower. Tommy opened the shower and immediately threw up all over the floor. In the tub was his dog, covered with blood. But on the wall, written in blood was a message to Tommy. It read "Psycho Killers Can Lick Hands Too."

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