I force myself to open my eyes – to be relieved of this nightmare. The moon has cast shadows into this old room and I manage to cast my bloodshot pupils around and make out the dresser, the wardrobe and curtain drapes. An oak chair is lit up with the ghostly glare of the moonlight. I see the door, it is half ajar. If I move quickly, I can make it to the door; find the exit, run, escape.
And as I think, this thing of feet stops, as if reading my mind. My breathing is hard, heavy, my heart beat is deafening and beats in my chest; it might explode and leave that place. I start to shift from the bed, and then those wretched feet start up again; hitting me on my back, my thighs and my shoulders with such venom and hatred. I begin to sob, violent sobs that reach my core. In that moment, I decide that it has won; my removal. I must go, now! On one final large kick I am on the floor. I gather myself, stumble, and fall, and gather myself once more. I am a lumbering colossus. I make for the door, I do not look back, and I do not turn. I flee down the dim long corridor and as I run – I hear it. Footsteps, following. Dear God! They are in pursuit; they are light footsteps, strong and quick. How can I outrun these? They wanted me not just out of that bed, but out of what? The house? My life…My heart is still beating hard and fast. I must control it – need to breathe – need to run.
As I make for the heavy oak staircase, I slip on the second step and I fall badly. I twist my back sideways and my leg gives way; I tumble down like an old rag doll discarded by a belligerent child. Falling down and down, and as I do, I hear the familiar slap of my assailants’ feet on bare wood as I tumble. I land in a clumsy pile at the bottom, pain sears through my arm – it is at a perverted angle. The sound of feet stops, abruptly. It is time to look up and meet my nemesis. I am quivering, my breathing is betraying me and I open my shut eyes and prepare myself for horror.
There is nothing. There is no-one. There is nothing.