The very real, very scary reason I haven’t been writing articles

Tori Smith – Opinion Columnist

Oh, wow. I’ve been told it’s been almost a month since I’ve written an article for The Weekly. That’s strange, I don’t remember missing my deadlines.
And it’s almost Halloween? I could have sworn the Nobel Conference was coming up. How could that be?
I’m not sure what happened. My memories are foggy. I don’t remember this much time passing.
Let me go back to the last day I do remember. It was a Monday, October 4 to be exact, and everything was normal. I went to class and worked. I picked up some groceries on my way home, and cooked a mediocre pasta dinner for myself.
All of my roommates went back home that afternoon because of the Nobel Conference, so it was just me. I watched some Love Island on T.V., finished up a few assignments, and headed to bed.
Now that I’m writing it all down, however, I do remember something weird that happened. While I was working on my article for The Weekly, I heard some whimpering from the street outside my window. It sounded like a puppy crying for its mother.
Worried about a lost pup outside my apartment, I decided to go outside to look for him to bring him inside. It was a chilly night and I didn’t want a little puppy to be outside all alone.
I ventured outside and looked around the yard for the little guy, but his whimpering had stopped. As I was searching, movement in the road caught my attention.
It was a big yellow lab walking down the dimly lit street. I recognized him as being the neighbor’s dog, Dozier, from next-door. Maybe he was the one whimpering, I thought.
I’d never seen him outside his fenced yard before. Maybe someone accidentally left the gate open.
There was something off about him, though. He looked skinnier than usual, like he’d suddenly lost 20 lbs., and his legs looked funny. It was almost as if his hind legs were taller than the front which made him walk crooked and slow.
He noticed me watching, and he stopped. He stared right back at me, which made me nervous.
I see this dog almost every day on my way to classes, and whenever he sees anyone pass, he gets so excited to say hi I wonder if his tail is going to wag right off.
But that night, he just stared frozen in place in the middle of the street. His eyes glowed yellow, and I got the sense he wasn’t feeling as friendly as usual.
Thinking something was seriously wrong, I slowly moved to approach him, hoping to bring him back to his house where his owners could look over him.
As I moved to approach, he opened up his mouth and started howling. His howl was different though. It sounded fake and unnatural, almost like a human trying to imitate the sound of a dog.
It’s then that my memory gets a bit fuzzy. I don’t know for certain what happened next. I think I went back inside, called the neighbors to let them know Dozier got out, and went to bed. Maybe I took a shower… but maybe I didn’t. Maybe I locked the front door, but maybe I didn’t.
The next thing I know, it’s the week of Halloween and I don’t have any memory of the last month. I went back to look at the article I was writing that strange Monday night, but it’s not on my computer. It doesn’t exist.
I asked my friends if they’d noticed anything strange about me the past three weeks but they say I’ve been acting normal. I’ve been going to class, work, finishing assignments, but for some reason I haven’t been writing any new articles.
Alma Jorgenson, the Opinion Editor for The Weekly, doesn’t believe me. She thinks this is some sort of Halloween-themed excuse for me not wanting to write, but trust me, this story is absolutely true.

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