by Kelli A. Wilkins
Emily woke with a scream, still kicking and fighting against her attacker. Her heartbeat pounded in her ears as she sat up and peered into the shadowy corners of the bedroom, searching for a sign of him.
After a moment, she dared to look at the white French doors. She breathed a sigh of relief. The glass wasn’t smashed in. There was nothing to be afraid of.
Every night for the last two weeks, she’d been having the same nightmare about a man breaking into her bedroom and trying to kill her. No matter what she did, he always managed to grab her. Sometimes the details changed a little, or the dream lasted longer, but it always started out the same. Everything in it seemed real as if it were actually happening to her.
The nightmares had started the first night she’d slept in the new house. She had woken up disoriented and terrified, convinced that someone was going to kill her. But why? She had just moved to Vermont, and she had no enemies.
What did the dreams mean? Did the house have a sordid history she wasn’t aware of? Is that why she’d been able to buy it so cheap? The real estate agent never really explained what had happened to the previous owner. All he told her was that the woman who lived here before “suddenly left town.”
Her knee-length T-shirt clung to her sweaty back as she slipped out of bed and walked to the French doors. The pale light of the full moon sparkled off the snowdrifts outside. The snow made everything look serene and peaceful.
As she gazed around the back yard, a chill ran up her spine. There, by the pine tree, the snow was marred by a set of large footprints. Her arms broke out in goosebumps as she followed the tracks around the tree… along the back of the house… right to her bedroom window.
“Oh my God!”
Before she could move, the French doors shattered inward. She fell back and covered her head with her hands as broken glass sprayed her face and arms.
A shadow man slipped into the room and made a grab for her.
She bolted out of the bedroom and ran down the narrow hallway. Like she’d done so many times before, she raced through the living room and headed for the front door.
How could this be happening to her again? What did the man want? Who was he? Why couldn’t she ever see his face?
A second later, a thick arm snaked around her neck. Her throat was caught in the crook of the man’s arm, and she struggled to breathe.
The man dragged her into the dining room. As she fought him, she noticed a pair of scissors lying on the table. She snatched up the scissors and started stabbing the shadow man over and over…
Emily woke with a scream. She sat up and looked around the bedroom. Nothing seemed out of place. Everything was fine.
“It was just another dream,” she muttered as she cradled her head in her hands.
After a minute, she went to the French doors and looked outside. Freshly fallen snow glistened in the moonlight.
Her skin prickled as she spotted a set of footprints leading to her bedroom.
Kelli A. Wilkins
Kelli A. Wilkins writes spooky horror stories and sensual romances. Her short horror fiction has appeared in several anthologies, including Mistresses of the Macabre, Moon Shadows, Wrapped in White, and The Best of the First Line. Dark Things II: Cat Crimes, Frightmares, The Four Horsemen, and What If... She authored three horror ebooks: Kropsy’s Curse, Dead Til Dawn, and Nightmare in the North, plus Extraterrestrial Encounters: A Collection of Sci-fi Stories. Visit her website www.kelliwilkins.com to learn more about her books.
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