"What is it?" I heard Grandma's whisper.
"Something in the garden..." I whispered back.
Suddenly Nugget calmed down. He stood for a while and stared into the garden. His bushy tail slowly returned to normal. Then he jumped down from the sofa and ran to the kitchen. Obviously the shadowy animal was gone. I saw the wall behind the rosebush again.
"Did you see what it was?" Grandma asked.
She appeared surprisingly elegant considering she had just woken up. Her hair should have been a mess, but no. She looked like she'd just returned from a hairdresser's appointment. Did she sleep standing up? Or use a neck-rest like the ancient Egyptians so that her head never touched the bed?
"No. Some shadowy figure."
Much to my surprise Grandma froze. I could see her figure against the light of the summer night showing through the kitchen window across the hall, and her slight movement stopped as abruptly as though she'd walked into a wall.
"Shadow?" Her voice revealed no emotion, which was in odd contrast to her stiff posture.
"Yes. It was funny, really. I had a dream about Kitty and she warned me about shadows. Or a shadow, to be exact. I could not sleep after that and came to get some water from the kitchen," I lied, "and then I saw Nugget hissing at something."
Grandma remained quiet for a while.
"Oh well, it was probably a stray dog or something like that. Better go back to bed now that it has gone," she shrugged eventually and turned to walk back to her bedroom.
I was absolutely certain she was lying. You know when someone you know well is playing a role. Grandma was too careful to appear as though she was no longer interested in the subject. She knew something about that shadow. She knew about Kitty as well – it was she who had said Kitty would try to contact me, without knowing about Kitty's letter. The strange book warned about... horrible creatures. Kitty had then warned me about a shadow, and suddenly a shadow was lurking under my window. Too many events were falling into place as parts of the same puzzle.
But I couldn't ask Grandma now. Our conversation would wake up my parents.
I walked back to my bedroom and closed the door. I would ask her when we were alone.
I could not sleep anymore, so after tossing and turning a while, I put the bedside lamp on, picked up the small book and continued reading.
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