What is Lurking in the Shadows?
Back when I was a police officer, I found myself in a large courtyard one night checking for suspicious activity. I did not have my flashlight but there was enough ambient light that I could see to maneuver behind the large apartment building. I was by myself and moving quietly as I tried to discover what the problem was.
Suddenly, I sensed movement to my right. I looked and saw two glowing eyes moving slowly towards me out of the shadows. The eyes belonged to a black panther that was bigger than the biggest police dog I had ever seen. The large cat's tail was long and I could see it twitching and flicking as the animal moved towards me.
I started backing up while maintaining eye contact with the panther. It continued to move towards me, slowly stalking me. As I continued to back up, I tripped over a section of uneven payment and landed on my back. I tried to scoot along on my back as I managed to draw my pistol. There was no way I was going to get away. The panther was too close and I was flat on my back.
The animal continued towards me, taking his time, as he prepared to attack me. At a distance of about ten feet, I squeezed the trigger of my pistol and heard the worst sound known to man, a loud "click." I knew I had loaded the gun before my shift but it had not fired. I quickly worked the slide, ejecting the bad round of ammo and loading another one.
Now the panther was close enough to strike. It swung a paw towards my leg. Miraculously, the claws missed flesh but I felt the leg of my polyester uniform pants ripping. I pointed my pistol at the panther and again squeezed the trigger. Another "click." What was wrong with my gun? I was meticulous about keeping it clean and making sure it was going to work when I needed it.
I cycled the slide again and put the front sight of the pistol between the panther's eyes. I saw the big cat coil to spring. I pulled the trigger just as he jumped. This time the gun fired and the bullet struck him right between the eyes. It fell over on its left side without a sound.
My heart was pounding. My breath was coming in gasps. I knew how close I had just come to being ripped apart. I managed to get unsteadily to my feet. I heard the sound of running steps coming up behind me. Another officer had heard the shot and had come running to my aid. He was holding a flashlight and I wanted to get a closer look at this huge panther that had come so close to killing me.
When we walked over and shone his flashlight, though, it was not a huge panther after all. It was just a large house cat. That was when I woke up.
Being a police officer for almost thirty years gave me more than one bad dream. This is the last scary dream I remember having before I retired. This was one of those dreams, though, that I believe actually carried a message. We will take a look at that message in the next post.
To be continued...
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