The full moon shone bright over the Detroit River like a one eyed monster, casting a reflection, a huge orb played upon ripples in the water as shallow waves made lapping noise at the shore. As if coming to the end of a symphony, all noise ceased and the night itself seemed afraid to breathe when an eerie ear-piercing howl erupted the silence emanating from atop the historic majestic Detroit Fountain of Mirth on Belle Island.
The sound reverberated across the chilled Detroit River to Canadian Windsor as the creature atop the Detroit Fountain of Mirth was fear incarnate showcasing ferocious bulbous red eyes with black veins and pupils the color of silver expressed its intensity for the hunt, released a snort from lips that quivered with a low growl. The rancid smell of canine coming from his massive body was carried on the breeze of autumn when human scent captured its nostrils.
A dark cloud passed over the face of the moon casting wicked shadows that stretched, making caricatures of trees that looked like spidery manifestations.
John B was very happy indeed behind the garbage heaped from the activities of the hydroplane races on the Detroit River for there were abundant returnable soda pop containers to be collected and returned for refund. Matter of fact, he worked hard during the night and collected seven large garbage bags that amounted in the hundreds, more appropriate to say thousands. Overwhelmed with cheer and not tired behind his efforts, his eyes could see dollar signs for he had about $150 worth of refundable containers. This would be good for him for he could buy a decent meal and get off the streets for a while, enjoying a real bed and bath. He could feel himself lingering in a tub soaking his weather beaten and worn body from sleeping on concrete and rubble. He would be at the return center first thing in the morning.
The clanging sound of soda pop cans were the only sound audible except for a wave that was strong enough to reach shore.
A great howl pierced the air. John B stopped in his tracks wondering if he heard what he thought he heard. It sounded like a dog but what dog would be out here this time of night. Had someone left his or her pet and it was calling for its master? He shook his head and went back to packing his merchandise looking at his watch that stared back at him revealing 4:15a.m. Time was of the essence for he had to be leaving soon to make it first in line before traffic increased forbidding his use of the refund machines at the center, for he had too many and would be censured for having over the limit. He would hide some while cashing others and come back later with the rest before closing time.
What was that? He thought he heard something in the brush. Just night creatures scuttling about for some nookie, he’d heard them in there for many years.
Playfully he hollered, “Keep the noise down, a man got to work for a living.” Laughing at his own joke, he loaded the last garbage bag full of pop cans into the shopping cart securing them with soiled bed linen and headed off the Island toward the Belle Isle Bridge.
He opened a bottle of Jim Beam Whiskey, took a nip, looking behind to make sure no one saw him with the bottle because he sure was not going to share it with anyone. He was being silly, who would be out here this early in the morning?
There was that rustling sound again, only louder and heavier this time. Something was different this time because it seemed to move only when he moved. Trying to adjust his eyes to focus into the darkness, he could not see anything but felt a presence.
He thought he should move away from the bushes and get closer to the shoreline so there would be better vision should something come out, at least he would have a chance to react. Moving closer to the shoreline the trees lent a form of security as his pace increased towards the exit with the sight of the Belle Isle Bridge coming into view. To get out of here would not be soon enough for somehow there was a bad feeling about this night.
He heard snorting and heavy thumping in the bushes; branches snapping as other small creatures took to flight followed by others screaming. John B’s hair stood up on his head as a shudder of fear ran through his body. He stopped pushing the shopping cart to focus on the noise coming toward him. He didn’t know what to do, run or hide? Where could he hide when there was no shelter? Where could he run to; the Detroit River was south of him and the bridge to Jefferson Avenue was north about a mile away. Could he outrun the thing whatever it was, bringing another question, could he run for a mile?
The night became normal again with the sound of a barge blowing its horn on the river. Shivering and sweating, John B thought about his cart and finally hearing noise he could identify felt a sense of relief. While he had a chance, he reasoned, maybe he should high tail it out of here before whatever it is changed its mind.
He took a swig out of the bottle, a long deep one to warm him up. He was not cold because of the early morning breeze, but out of fear.
Looking once again at the thick brush and trees, he had to be having a nightmare for shone were luminous red eyes the size of a silver dollar with pupils of silver. Blinking, rubbing his eyes while taking a heavier swig of the Jim Beam Whiskey to calm his nerves to see if he was having an illusion, but upon a second look in that direction the same eyes were looking at him.