It was a quiet Friday evening and eight year-old Sarah had just returned from school. Elated by the lack of homework for that weekend, she wasted no time in pulling out her half-finished art project, a small wooden cottage made up of ice-cream sticks, from under her bed. There was a lot of cutting to be done though, and despite having being told not to use the pen-knife without parental supervision, she quickly took it from her father's work-desk and proceeded to trim the edges of the ice-cream sticks. Due to the lack of experience in using a pen-knife, it quickly slipped from her grip and left a huge, bloody gash on her left arm.
"Daddy! Daddy!" Sarah's voice rang out from her second floor bedroom. "I hurt my arm- it's bleeding really badly!"
Sarah's cries of pain were the first thing Carl heard as he entered through the front door. As he drew in a breath to yell out a call of reassurance, a figure outside the window caught his eye.
It was a man, holding a large rake, and he was heading right towards the back door of the house.
Ignoring the panic welling up in his body, Carl quickly closed the front door quietly and hurried towards the kitchen, which was where the back door was located. Taking great care not to make any noise, he pulled out a knife from its holder and positioned himself right next to the doorway.
Don't worry, baby. Don't worry, I'll protect you.
Carl felt his heart-rate quicken and his palms sweat as the footsteps outside drew closer.
Don't worry, baby. Daddy'll protect you.
The door finally swung open and Carl sprang into action. Clamping his free hand over the intruder's mouth, he slammed his foot at the backs of the intruder's legs. As the intruder toppled over to his knees, Carl quickly seized the chance and swung the knife down onto the intruder's neck, slicing the neck wide open from ear the ear.
Panting heavily from adrenaline and exhaustion, Carl pushed away the lifeless, blood-soaked body in disgust. The once pristine walls were now splattered with blood that pooled all around his feet.
"DADDY! What's all that noise? What's going on?" Sarah's yells had increased in panic levels at the noise made during the fight. Sighing softly, Carl stepped away from the blood puddles and hurried towards the stairs.
Hold on, baby, I'm coming.
"DADDY! DADDY!" Sarah's voice had evolved into a loud shrill of panic and fear.
Hold on, baby, Daddy's coming.
As Carl emerged onto the landing, he pushed open the half-opened door to Sarah's room.
"How many times have I told you not to call me that?" Sarah groaned as she swung her wheelchair towards the door. "What took you so-"
She froze in mid-sentence as she finally turned towards Carl. Her irritation quickly dissipated and in its place was pure fear.
"Who- who are you?" she whispered in horror.
A small grin crept over Carl's face as he stepped into the bedroom, brandishing the bloody knife by his side.