I was yanked awake from the sound of glass breaking downstairs. It took a moment to register, but there was definitely something moving around in my kitchen. Instinctively, my mind told my body to freeze and maybe the intruder would leave. Of course, I knew the chances of that happening were slim. The unpleasant darkness only fuelled my overactive imagination. It was starting to work against me, depicting possible murder scenarios. I swallowed, my eyes suddenly wide as I listened and thought back to the hundreds of horrors I’d seen in my lifetime.
Were those footsteps?? Why did I have to live alone?? It became unusually quiet and after a couple of minutes I felt my muscles relax slightly. Maybe I was just imagining the noise.
Smash. My breath caught. Nope, that was all the proof I needed. My arm reached over the side of my bed, groping around until I found my jeans and I wiggled my cell from my pocket. I was blinded momentarily by the brightness of the screen. No signal? You’re joking…
Creak. Creak. Creak. Only my stairs creaked that loud. My blood ran cold; the intruder was coming upstairs… I felt my survival instincts kick in. I jumped from my bed, using what little agility I had to land quietly on my carpeted floor.
As a horror movie fanatic, I knew most murder victims mistakes were stupid little things that could’ve been prevented. I straightened my bed sheets and pillows, ducking down when my door slowly began to open. Fear gripped me as I watched a pair of feet tip-toe into my room. I rolled under the bed as quietly as I could, keeping my breathing steady. My eyes followed the intruders shoes as they circled my bed. Why did robbers, even in modern day movies, insist on walking so slowly? It was like they were intentionally creating the element of suspense, just to frighten anyone that may be hiding in the room they were searching.
Everything, even my breathing, seemed dangerously loud. I squeezed my eyes shut in fear. He was going to find me...
“She was here,” A deep, menacing voice broke the tension filled silence. Movement by my bathroom door caught my eye; the door creaked open, and another pair of shoes emerged. My jaw dropped as I began to play racket ball with my eyes, looking from one pair of feet to the other. I noticed they were the same; exactly the same. Even the trousers the two men had on were exactly alike. My breathing began to speed up; someone I didn’t know had been hiding in my bathroom?!
“The bed is made.” The other replied, moving around my bed further. His feet were right beside my face.
“Well observed. I’m sure it’s safe to say she’s hiding. We’ll start downstairs, do a thorough search and block the escape routes.” The man who had stepped out of my bathroom walked first to the door; his feet changed positions as though he was turning around. “You coming?”
“Yeah,” The feet by my face backed two steps away and steadily followed the first man. The door closed, and they were gone.
Only then did I realise I’d been holding my breath. I exhaled carefully, before drawing in a shaky breath in a lame attempt to calm my nerves. I was trembling; I’d been so sure they were going to find me. I checked my cell again, my eyebrows furrowing in disappointment and annoyance when the battery light flashed and my screen died. Great.
I glanced at the door and listened carefully to try and determine the intruders’ whereabouts in my home. I heard something that sounded uncannily like keys being dropped on tiles. It had been extremely feint. I pressed my ear to the floor, hearing the same sound only much clearer. Below this room was the kitchen. One or both of them were in my kitchen. Should I chance it?
My house phone was perched on its charger, just down the hall outside my door. I swallowed, calculating the risk level. I didn’t like it, but I knew I had to try.
Slowly, I belly crawled out from under my bed and silently, I sprang to my feet. I’d lived in this house for most of my adult life and therefore, I was able to avoid each and every creaking floorboard from years of practice.
I peeked my head into the hallway. It was clear. I breathed a soft sigh of relief when I saw my house phone was still in the same place I’d left it. Three steps and I could reach it; just three steps.
One. Two. Th—I nearly screamed when I saw him standing there. He had the most unnerving emotionless glare in his eyes. My heart raced; he was the same distance from the phone as I was, and I could just about reach it. My fingers wrapped around the phones body and I saw the man move, his elbow knocking over a lamp. It smashed against the oak wood floors. Before I had even instructed myself to do so, I had broken into a sprint, heading back to my bedroom.
I nearly slammed into him; I screamed and looked up to meet the same emotionless stare I’d seen just seconds ago. How did he get from the hall, to my room?? I stumbled backwards in shock and horror as he advanced. I was already dialling 911 when I spun on my heel and pretty much flew downstairs.
“Nine-one-one emergency, what is the nature of your problem?” A feminine voice with a thickAlabamaaccent answered immediately.
“There are men in my house!” My eyes chanced a look over my shoulder; I wasn’t being followed. The stairway was empty. Sweat plastered my face; where did he go?? I ducked down behind my couch in the main room, my hand shaking as I held the phone to my ear.
“Ma’am, where are you now? How many are there?”
“Harper House onAbbey Road! About three, four, I don’t know! Just – Send someone!” I plead softly. I noticed then that everything had gone quiet; I swallowed, feeling terrified tears spill from my eyes. I didn’t trust that silence…
“Ma’am a police unit is on its way. Ma’am?”
I carefully turned my head to my right, glancing around the edge of the couch. “Ma’am?” Her voice rang again. That’s when I saw him.
I screamed. He was literally arms length away from the couch, staring straight at me. Hesitation was not an option; I jumped and ran like I’d never ran before, heading for the front door. I shook the door furiously, trying to get out.
“HELP ME!” I screeched, terrified. The door wouldn’t open! “HELP ME!” I spun, only to be deafened by the sound of my own scream. The man was there, in his hands an axe, and slowly he was creeping towards me. My body seemed paralyzed; it was as though my kneecaps had locked and I was frozen. I shook my head, feeling tears stream down my face. Oh yeah, like shaking my head was going to help me.
He raised the axe above his head and swung it at me, missing purely because I’d managed to duck on time. Then I was running. He tailed me, and to my horror, he was catching up. I knocked down chairs as I ran, pushing over my grandfather clock as I tried to slow him down. It worked, but only for a second.
I hid in the coat closet, hiding behind all the scarves and jackets. My back was pressed against the far wall.
Whack. The axe head broke off a section of the door. I screamed again as his eyes locked with mine. My arms covered over my head as the axe smacked into the door, chipping of generous amounts of wood. I squeezed my eyes shut tight. Please, please, please; please let this nightmare end.
Silence. I didn’t dare open my eyes. My heart lurched as the doorbell rang throughout the house. My eyes shot open and I sat upright with a jolt. What the hell?! I was in my bed again and my eyes shot to the bathroom door. Like hell I was waiting around for that guy to pop out again. I jumped out of bed and sprinted downstairs, swinging open the front door.
“Ma’am, we got a call about a break in. Is everything okay here?” His eyes scanned the house behind me, then focused on me. “May we come in?”
“There were men in here! I don’t know where they went, but they broke my grandfather clo—“ I stopped mid-sentence, realising with a shock that the clock was standing upright in its usual place; completely in tact. My eyes widened and my mouth formed an ‘O’ shape.
“But—“ I murmured, glancing around. Everything was fine. Nothing was broken, not even the closet door had a scratch on it that wasn’t there before. I began to hyperventilate.
“They were here! I swear it!” I turned to face the cop. The men that had followed him inside were searching the perimeter. One appeared form the kitchen, shaking his head at his higher officer.
“Ma’am, prank calling nine-one-one is a serious offence—“
“But they were here!” I yelled. Why wouldn’t they believe me?? I ran upstairs again, straight to my bathroom door. I swung it open, feeling my heart sink when I saw it was empty. My phone was sitting on the floor, halfway in my jeans’ pocket. I grabbed it; the battery was still fine. I felt like I had been punched in the stomach; but… but it had seemed so real…
Slowly I made my way downstairs, trying to process what had just happened. The lamp was fixed too, but I did notice my house phone charger was empty. Nothing unusual there, I rarely returned it to its place after using it.
Maybe I had imagined everything. Maybe it had been a dream. A vivid one at that.
“I—I don’t know what happened,” I told the cop softly, still feeling very afraid. He looked annoyed by the false alarm. I scrunched up my eyebrows as the thought struck me. I glanced at the couch I’d ducked in behind in my dream, noticing on the floor behind it, lay my house phone. My eyes widened. If I had been dreaming, and I’d imagined the whole thing, then who had called the police?