I was startled, but assumed it was the cat. I decided to go downstairs to make sure nothing was damaged too badly. As I thought, there was a pan on the ground. I picked it up and cleaned the mess, then headed upstairs to go to bed.
I can't put my finger on why, but I felt really uneasy. I felt like someone was watching me. I locked all the doors and windows just to be safe. I headed back upstairs. I was stopped in my tracks when I felt a light breeze. I went looking for the source and found the window of the ground-floor bathroom opened a crack. I closed it and headed back upstairs. I finally got into bed and began to drift to sleep. I started thinking about the events up to that point. Then it struck me: This family doesn't own a cat.
I jumped out of bed and dashed to the kids' room. I found Travis and Daniel sitting in the far corner of the bedroom, sandwiched between the wall and a desk. The desk lamp was the only source of light in the room. I hurried over to them to find out if anyone was hurt and what was wrong. One of the children told me, terrified, "There is a man in the house."
That's when I heard the footsteps pounding their way towards us. As I turned, I saw the silhouette of a man as he ran past the door. I ran out into the hallway to see if I could catch a glimpse of the figure. It was the worst mistake of my life.
He met me face-to-face outside the room. His face was a ghostly white. His eyes were small with black around the scleras. In that moment, I would have sworn on my life that the word "psychotic" had been coined for the soul purpose of describing his smile.
I opened my mouth to scream. He threw himself against me, pinning me to the wall. He lifted a single finger and pressed it to my lips, "Don't scream. Just. Go. To. Sleep." He backed away to let me free. Our eyes were locked for what felt like an eternity before he dropped his hand from my face.
I screamed as loudly as I could and tore off into the children's bedroom. I slammed and locked the door behind me. I frantically shoved the dresser in front of the door. I dove for the corner as the intruder began pounding on the door.
His voice was filled with animalistic rage, "You open this fucking door! Open it now! What did I tell you? I told you not to scream! You fucking screamed, you fucking bitch! I'm gonna gut you like a fucking pig!"
The kids and I were terrified. I began pleading for him to leave us and take what he wanted.
The pounding stopped. I slowly made my way to the door to see if he was really gone. I heard a door slam downstairs. I stood for a few minutes basking in the silence.
"I want Momma!" Daniel wailed.
"Call the cops!" the older boy piped up
"Shut up! Beth, call the cops!"
"Both of you be quiet. I just... I just need a minute. What am I going to tell the cops? Some kind of man-monster attacked us? Yeah, that's believable."
We were interrupted by a soft drumming, as if someone were tapping their fingers one by one along the surface of a table in boredom. I turned to face the source of the noise.
There he was. He sat, perched on a tree limb, drumming his finger tips across the glass of the window. He stared tentatively into the dimly-lit room. His eyes met mine and the smile returned to his lips. His movements were almost too fast for my eyes. His hand jerked back from the glass. Something silvery slipped from his sleeve. In one swift movement, he flipped the knife in the air and caught his by the hilt. He began tapping the blade against the glass with growing speed and force.
Hairline fractures spiderwebbed from the impact points. Finally, in a thunder of crystalline chiming, the glass gave way. He plunged through, remnants of glass slashing his skin and getting caught in his black hair. He fell on the boys and started hacking, slashing, and jabbing at their defenseless bodies.
I panicked. The rush of adrenaline caught me and I nearly threw the dresser from the door. I flew down the stairs and out the front door, hoping someone other than that maniac would hear my screams.
The police were on the scene in ten minutes. Travis had been dragged half-way down the stairs and abandoned. Daniel's tiny body had been left in the doorway. I followed the officers through the house, terrified to leave their side. The door of the boy's room had been closed. The officer turned the knob and slowly pushed the door open, gun at the ready.
Blood soaked the carpet where they boys had died. The far wall was covered in an erratic text of wavering size. The words dripped and ran together.
"Jeff Jeff Jeff Jeff"