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I can clearly see the kids from the front window. They’re playing some game, but something doesn’t seem right. White Izod’s with red bandanas over their noses and mouths. They can’t be more than fourteen or fifteen. One throws himself against a pine tree not ten feet from me, trying to hide his frame behind a tree too small for such an endeavor. I tap on the window. I don’t know why, but I do. He looks at me and adjusts his bandana as he stares at me.

This isn’t a game. Why are these kids here? Maybe I should grab my gun to have it nearby, but then where is my gun? Upstairs where I always keep it. I don’t want to accidentally shoot a kid playing. Maybe this is something they do. Still, I saw the look in the boys eyes before I stepped away from the window. This is not a game.

I start to dial 911 but then I remember that I’m not home. That this isn’t my house. My gun isn’t where I can get to it. Why am I in this house? Am I house sitting? I’m definitely alone. I don’t bother calling out to anyone. I am alone in this house. If I call 911 , I wouldn’t even be able to tell them where I was. I get further away from the window. The boys are moving closer to the house. They mean to kill me, I know that for certain. But, is it me they mean to kill or the owner of the house that I’m in? Where the hell am I? I head upstairs to find safety, but then I hear something at the end of the hall. I move toward it. Just a figure moving across the light under a door, but I see the glow of red light bouncing off a bandana and I know they are in the house.

I try to yell to hopefully startle them and give myself time to do something.


I try to yell, but all that comes out is a guttural keening. A keen for my own soon departed self. I scream again, but nothing.

I wake up screaming.

I am home, I look around.

Three times this week. The same each time.

The feeling tied to it is  getting worse. I don’t know why. But it is.

I’m going to sleep now and wait for the boys with the bandanas to show up on the front lawn again.

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