Quick intro on this one. When my husband got out of the Marines he talked about working for a mercenary company, about how good the pay was. We were also looking to buy a house that was really too far from my family if he were to be gone six months out of the year. As a result this fear arose. I had been studying kung fu for over a year and was pregnant with our second child when this story came to me in the form of a lucid dream while we were viewing the house. I hope it scares you as much as it scared me. 

I woke with a start. My eyes wide, my heart pounding and my breathing labored. Adrenaline pulsed through my veins.

What was it? There had been a sound. I force myself to close my eyes and focus. The sounds of the house greet me. The ice maker, the steady drip of a leaky faucet my husband was supposed to fix before he left for his current mission. The slight pitter patter of rain on the window and a rumble of thunder. I almost breathe a sigh of relief thinking it was thunder when I realize one sound I did not hear. The steady breathing of the dog. She was old and tended to wheeze with every breath.

Silently I pull back the sheet that had been covering my legs and slip out of bed. I enter the hallway through the open door and take a moment to check on each of my children. The first, nearly three years old now, is snoring soundly. I then enter my youngest’s bedroom and take a moment to note the rise and fall of his tiny chest. I count my blessings before leaving the room and closing the door.

My nerves on edge I turn to the right and head slowly down the stairs. I skip the third step from the top knowing it squeaks. Before I descend any farther I see the dark outline of the dog. I almost laugh out loud at myself making note to be sure and tell my sister about it over coffee in the morning.

I take one last look as the dog and smile. A flash of lightning illuminates the room. My smile fades. The dog has a tranquilizer dart sticking out of her shoulder. A shadow moves. I return quickly and silently to my bedroom. I throw my body pillow down on the bed and throw the sheet over it. I was about to go to the closet to retrieve the .45 caliber hand gun we keep loaded for just such occasions when I hear the stair creek. Third form the top. No time. I sink back into the shadows. I am right next to the open door way flush against the wall. The cold seeps into my uncovered skin. The summer night, so hot, I was lucky I was wearing anything at all. Even if it was just a pair or shorts and a tank. The figure entered the room as if he were a shadow. He was large. Nearly two hundred pounds on a five foot ten inch frame. He paused before the bed. He cocked his head. And pointed a gun towards what he thought was my figure. That was until another flash of lightning revealed the truth of what I had done. He ripped the sheet back to be sure. He turned around and I knew I had been found. Now I needed him to come to me. Please god let him get close enough. A tear fell, though in part on purpose to lure him closer, it was also because at that moment I pictured my husband returning from defending his country to find his family massacred. I couldn’t let that happen. It would destroy him.

As the assailant approached, I saw him pointing the gun at my babies in my mind’s eye. I took a deep breath as he placed the silencer between my breasts. That’s right get close.

He leaned in close. “How did you know I was here?” He asked. The curiosity seemed too much for him.

“I heard the dog hit the floor,” I said realizing that was what had woken me and wanting him to be distracted. It worked. I threw my hands up my right hand grabbing the pistol right at the trigger and thrusting up above my head, as my left grabbed the top making it unable to fire. I pulled back down ripping the weapon from his hands. Unfortunately he was a professional and was not stunned long enough for me to get a shot off. He punched me hard in the chin. I heard my jaw crack but was too fired up to feel much pain. I moved to aim the gun at him only to have him grab me by my hair and throw me across the room. When I hit the floor my elbow collided with it and sent the gun flying. I rolled and was nearly on my feet when his foot collided with my ribs lifting me off the floor. I used the momentum to stand and he almost looked impressed. I grabbed the wrought iron table top from the floor and hit him with it. He managed to protect his head from the blow but the glass that had made up the top of the table cut him leaving a trail of blood down his face and neck. I ran to the closet grabbed the .45 and turned on him with a vengeance.

He saw the gun and turned from the entrance of the closet. I followed but apparently not fast enough. He was gone. With out thinking I ran to hallway afraid he entered one of the boys rooms. My stomach sank as I saw the door to Lucian’s room was open. I entered the door way with the gun down. He stood over the crib looking at my baby boy.

“Make no mistake,” I whispered through clenched teeth. My jaw aching. “I will kill you if you touch him.”

“I have no doubt.” He stated turning to face me. “That’s why I wanted to kill you first.”

His words made a new bout of adrenalin surge through me. I lifted the gun. And looked into his eyes. I was about to pull the trigger when he threw a knife into my shoulder. The force of it threw me back into the hall. He ran past me down the stairs. I couldn’t let him get away. I stood and blood poured down my arm. My ribs protested and I drew strength from my pain. I stumbled down the stairs only to find the front door open and no sign of the man. I shut the door and head cautiously to the kitchen. I grab the phone and listen. No dial tone. I need to make it up stairs to my cell phone. He cold still be in the house. He could come back.

When I reach the top step the adrenalin seems to be wearing off. The pain is almost too much and I’ve lost far too much blood. I can barely keep my eyes open as I try to crawl to my bedroom. When I get there I get a bit of a second wind as I reach my cell phone and dial 911. The operator answers, no matter how hard I try to concentrate I cannot understand her. It’s as if she is speaking another language. I give my location and ask for the police and an ambulance. She asks me something but I can’t understand it. I hang up the phone and dial my sister. She sounds groggy as she answers. I tell her to come get the boys and then the darkness creeps in. I can’t fight it anymore. I hear my sister’s voice as if I am under water. I don’t know what she is saying so I respond with. “Just come.” Before my eyes close and the darkness takes me. Please God don’t let him come back.


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