Ah, just perfect. The little twerps she was babysitting were finally asleep, and Terri could finally relax and watch TV for the next couple hours until the kids’ parents got home. She flopped onto the couch and turned on the television. After lazily flipping channels for almost fifteen minutes she turned off the TV and sighed to herself, “Nothing good on at night. Might as well study.”

She staggered up and flopped into a chair, opening her math book as she did. She had read for about five minutes when she felt a chill. It was cold for some reason. She became aware of a creaking noise. She went to the back door and saw it wide open. She closed it slowly and turned. A loud gasp escaped her mouth as she saw wet foot prints on the floor. They led to the counter, to the knife rack. The chef knife was gone. She then heard a soft clink. Someone was in the house, and was armed! She opened her cell phone and dialed 9-1-1 as she darted to a closet. She slid into the closet and closed it softly. She heard footsteps in the living room. She slowly raised the phone to her mouth and whispered, “Help me. There’s a killer in my house. My address is ***********. Please hurry.”

She hung up the phone and hunkered behind the trench coat on the far corner of the closet. She heard footsteps approach the closet. She saw a shadow on the door. She could see the man opening up the closet as he plunged the knife into her. Suddenly she heard a childlike voice say, “Terri, can you be quiet?”

The footsteps quickened. She almost screamed. The person was heading for the kids! She heard a scream followed by a slam. Then, all was quiet. She sat in the closet, scared, for the next 15 minutes. She heard police sirens in the distance, quickly growing louder. Soon there was a pounding on the door, followed by, “POLICE! OPEN UP!”

She wanted to run to the door, but she knew the killer could be out there. She cursed and stood, running out the door. As she passed the stairwell, a knife swung from behind the door. She was going too fast to stop, and she ran into it, then through it. A trick of light combined with her fear. She heard footsteps sprinting behind her. She didn’t look back as she skidded to a stop and swung the door open and spun. The hall was empty. Her imagination again. She looked at the cop, a muscular man in his mid-30s. Terri almost hugged him when she realized . . . he had no gun out, like he knew there was no danger. She then noticed one hand behind his back.

The knife swung upwards.