People often ask me if I am ever afraid at Joe’s Addiction and how I deal with fear. Honestly, I almost never feel afraid or in danger, but Friday morning we experienced a doozy of a scare.

My kids, Jewel and James, were with me. Sometimes, people are waiting on the front sidewalk for us when we arrive in the early morning, but today no one was around. I unlocked the door, went in, and we started the opening procedures. I flipped on the lights, turned on the wi-fi, and got the cash drawer out of the safe, while Jewel started brewing the coffee, tying back the curtains and filling the drinking water cooler. 

I thought I heard a strange sound, but then it was gone. We continued busying ourselves with setting out toast and peanut butter and turning on the ice machine. Again, I thought I heard a sound. I told Jewel and James to hush for a second. And we listened. 

From outside the back door, we heard what sounded like a monster. Deep growling and grunting with intermittent spaces of silence. Jewel looked at me with wide, terrified eyes. What in the world? We stood and listened for a couple more minutes. “Grahww, grahww, grahww… rahrrrr…RAHRRR.” Could it be a dog? More like a wolf. But it sounded creepily human, rhythmic and too evenly spaced to be a creature. Images of the Demoniac of the Gadarenes came to my mind.

I started for the back door. Jewel whispered, “Don’t open the door, mom!”

“I have to, Jewel. We have to find out what it is?”

She hid around a corner, while I carefully unlocked the deadbolt and turned the knob. I cracked the door, slowly and peaked outside.

There, standing on the back deck, was Brandon. Brandon is a young man in our community at Joe’s. He looked as scared as we felt. I had startled him. I opened the door wider and asked, “Brandon, what are you doing out here? Everything okay.” 

He said, “Yeah. Everything’s fine. I was just practicing for karaoke tonight. Warming up my voice.” 

“You were singing back here?” 

“Yeah,” he said, and then he belted out in his best screamo growl, “Let the bodies hit the floor. Let the bodies hit the floor.”