The Scream that saved

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I’ve been wanting to tell this story for a while now. I go to college in Oklahoma City and learned an aquaintece of mine needed a place to stay. Apparently the shabby place he was living in had been condemned and I knew his parents had died in a car crash a few months prior. He was a really nice guy and I cleared it with my parents, who I still lived with. He really appreciated the offer but initially declined. We were both 22 at the time, but he said he had a little sister who lived with him who was 10 years younger. I again cleared it with my parents and then the guy was happy to move in.

I want to make it clear that I don’t mean this in any sort of incestuous way, but the guy was completely devoted to his sister. He even joked about it, saying that whatever she wanted she got, but she was far from spoiled and never really asked for anything. She always offered to help out around the house and if she asked for something it was stuff like for one of us to drive her and her friends to the mall or to watch cartoons on my friends laptop.

One night we had a family dinner, which ended in a game of cards, which the little sister didn’t know how to play, so she asked to watch cartoons in the living room and fell asleep on the couch. As soon as my friend noticed he popped up and covered her with a blanket. We all chuckled at his attendance to her. Now, at this point he and I had had quite a few beers and were a bit tipsy. He laughed and nodded as he sat back down and then said something that startled us.

“She deserves it. She saved my life.” He said.

I was intrigued, when he said something very strange,

“I don’t know how many lives she saved.”

Now I had to know, but thankfully I didn’t have to ask.

My friend and his sister are Native American, and he said this happened when they lived on the Osage reservation, somewhere between Ponca and Pawhuska. It’s remote out there but nice, he said. He said one night about two years ago, his parents (then still alive) had left him and his sister alone that night. She was asleep upstairs in her room and he was watching a movie on the couch when suddenly she screamed. I still remember the look in his eyes when he told me that this wasn’t a normal scream. He said he didn’t even think a human could make this sound and he booked it up the stairs to find her on her bed, turned away from him, eyes terrifyingly wide, panting. It was a few moments before she was even willing to look at him and even then she seemed scared of him at first before whimpering and beginning to pace around the house. He finally was able to coax her into the living room and get her to sit down. She told him about the nightmare she had.

She was in the house and someone was in there with her, but they were always in the corner of her eye and no matter how quickly she turned, she couldn’t see them. Eventually the rising panic made her scream. He was assuring her it wasn’t real and said she could stay up with him. He mentioned that her scream had freaked him out so much he knew he wouldn’t be able to sleep.

About ten minutes later he saw flashing lights outside the house and two police officers banged on the door. When he opened it he noticed the house was surrounded. He assumed his one and only neighbor had heard his sister and he went to explain that it was just a nightmare when one police officer ushered them out of the house. They were told to stand by the squad car with the officer. My friend went from completely dumbfounded to horrified as two cops dragged a ragged looking red haired man out of their house.

Apparently the neighbors had called the cops not when his sister screamed, but when they caught what they thought was a burglar who quickly ran off in the direction of my friends house. Moments later they heard that scream and feared the worst.

What actually happened was that the intruder entered through a basement window which had shelves underneath it. His sister screamed as soon as his foot hit the shelves and they toppled over but my friend says that in his panic to get his sister he didn’t hear it. In any case, the guy was incapacitated and that’s how the cops found him. Turns out he was already wanted for two murders. Their basement door was directly behind the couch my friend had been on. He says that if his sister hadn’t screamed, he has no doubt he’d be dead and so would she. He says that after they were dead, who knows how many people that guy would have killed.

They’ve since moved away. It’s been years but we still talk every once in a while. From what I can tell his sister is a normal high school student and isn’t too traumatized. He still goes to the same college as me but is in a different program. All I can say is that I’ve made sure his sister has my number and knows she can call me with any request. But to this day something bothers me. If she screamed right when the man broke in, she must have started having that nightmare before the man was even on their property.

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