From the Inside Flap
He shook his head, his eyes still closed and voice groggy. "Nope." Outside, something grunted. At least, it seemed like a grunt. Sam leaned up on an elbow. Celeste's urgency now washing over into him. "Shhh."He whispered. He lay still in the bed, listening. The lake clawed at the shore, desperate to pull the rocks under the surface. The wind picked up, rattling across the cabin. March could be brutal.
"I think it's just the wind," he offered.
"No," Celeste whispered to him. "Listen." Again, they fell quiet. The grunting sound returned but with labored breathing. The sound intensified, as if the origin of the sound were much closer now--perhaps just outside the window by which they lay. The motion-sensor security light broke the night, and chalky light seeped under the closed curtains, dripping down the wall. Sam cast his eyes up, aching to see beyond the pulled curtains.
Sam clenched Celeste's arm and mouthed Don't Move.
Celeste held her position.
Slowly, through their disbelief, the sound became distinguishable. The heaves were the heavy breathing of a large animal--but there were no large predators in the area. No cougars. No bears. Certainly no lions. Not even alligators. Sam's mind muddled with thoughts of what it could not be. Maybe it's a stray dog. A fox? At best a coyote.
A shadow moved outside the window. Sam could not discern the shape of the animal; it appeared to stand on two feet. His first thought was of a mutant creature from the nuclear power plant, but decided that ridiculous. Mostly, anyway.
Celeste clamped her hand around Sam's forearm. A mammoth shadow fell across the window. She felt fear growing inside her like a strangling vine, unyielding no matter how hard she tried to cut it back.
The shadow passed.
"Shit," Sam muttered.
Celeste felt the vine wither, releasing her chest, and she breathed. "Fuck."
Sam tossed the covers off and turned to face the window. If the thing was still around, he wanted to get a good look.
"Careful, Sam," Celeste whispered.
Sam inched the curtains apart. The security light illuminated the yard. Beyond that the gray sky shed little ambient light. He could see nothing in the yard. At the edge of the yard, he heard the lake crash against the rocks. Sam turned to face Celeste. "I can't see anything. It's gone."
"Good. Want a beer?"
"Sure. I can't sleep anyway." Sam watched Celeste as she crossed the bedroom to grab her shirt.
"Sam," she said then bit off her sentence. Her jaw slacked and her eyes rounded. Sam sensed the presence of the beast behind him even before he felt the window glass pelt his bare back. He felt the claws shred the flesh and muscle of his shoulders as he was lifted off the bed and pulled through the shattered window into the cold night air.
"Sam!" Celeste screamed, looking through the vortex of broken glass, broken wood, and blood. The curtain was torn from the wall, the rod dangling like a broken limb. The darkness swirled as cold air met the damp warm air from the house and steam formed a momentary, translucent window.
"Jesus Christ," Sam pleaded from outside. Heinous growls followed his shrill screams.