The Night the Bear Attacked the Cottage
My scariest experience... true story. I was about thirteen years old and visiting my family’s cottage for the Canadian long weekend in May. Our cottage is up in the boons - three hours north of Toronto and thirty minutes from the nearest town. True wilderness - the kind of wilderness where, if you put a fresh pie on your windowsill in the summer, you shouldn’t be surprised to find a black bear’s nose in it before long.
One night while my cousin and I were asleep in the bunk room – the ‘kid room’ – I awoke to a loud, repetitive thumping on the deck, directly outside our open window. As I lay in the pitch dark, listening to this menacing pounding, I decided it could only be one thing. A black bear. There were plenty of stories of black bears breaking into cottages, tearing apart kitchen cupboards and smearing honey all over the place. Okay – maybe only one story, but one was enough. Now, it was happening to us. A black bear was breaking in.
Why hadn’t my dad woken up yet? For that matter, why hadn’t my cousin, who was lying in the bed below me? She couldn’t possibly sleep through this! Terror had taken over at this point and I could not form one word. Not a peep, so terrified that the bear would hear me. Impulsively, I leaned over and grabbed the first thing I found – a cosmetic bag - off the shelf. I tossed it where I knew my cousin’s bed was, thinking I’d wake her up that way.
Little did I know, she was already wide awake, listening to this dreadful thumping outside our window, frightened to make a sound and also wondering if I was awake. So, something landing on her in the pitch black darkness in this situation made matters worse. She screamed, then I screamed because she screamed, and then she screamed because she heard me scream. It didn’t wake my dad up but it quieted the bear for a moment. Just a moment though.
For the next hour, the two of us communicated in panicked whispers while the bear continued pounding on what we assumed was the door. Where else would a bear break in, but a door? My overactive imagination had me visualizing the bear storming into the cottage to eat us alive. My practicality told me that it would likely get my cousin first since she was lower. I didn’t remind her of that though...
Finally, when we were sure the bear would break through the door at any moment, a light flicked on in the family room. My dad’s heavy footsteps shook the cottage as he walked to the kitchen. I heard the flick of the floodlight switch and the click of the door unlocking as he threw it open.
My cousin and I scampered to the window, sliding the curtain aside to peer out in time to see...
two fat raccoons jumping off the bird feeder.
We slept soundly for the rest of the night and my dad never forgot to push the feeder out of their reach again.
Synopsis: Evangeline has spent her teenage years in obscurity. Her foster parents have the emotional aptitude of robots and her classmates barely acknowledge her existence. About to turn eighteen and feeling like a social pariah, she is desperate to connect with someone. Anyone.
When Evangeline meets Sofie after literally stumbling upon her café, she believes she’s found that connection. Willing to do anything to keep it, she accepts a job as Sofie’s assistant and drops everything to fly to Manhattan, where she is thrust into a luxurious world of Prada, diamonds, and limitless cash.
With such generosity and kindness, it’s easy for Evangeline to dismiss certain oddities . . . like Sofie’s erratic and sometimes violent behavior, and the monstrous guard dogs. She’s even willing to dismiss her vivid dreams of mob-style murders, beautiful homeless people living in caves, and white-eyed demons that haunt her each night as figments of her imagination—especially when one of those figments is the gorgeous Caden. When she wakes up with bite marks on her neck, the fairy tale quickly turns into a nightmare. She slowly unravels the mystery surrounding Sofie and friends, and the reality of the bites and the “dreams.” What she discovers is far more mysterious and terrible than anything she could have imagined.
In a world where everyone has motive to lie for personal gain, Evangeline must decide which deception is least likely to get her killed.
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