It was a cold, lonely Friday night in a small town in Indiana (Friday the thirteenth, to be exact). The wind howled with a cry like an anguished wolf, and made the bare limbs of the trees tremble like feverish invalids. It was the kind of night that foreshadowed a chilling fate.
Alissa Sawyer was lying in her snug, cozy bed, safe from the elements that raged outside. She was having an unusual bout of insomnia, and all her attempts to remedy it had failed. She normally liked to read when she couldn’t sleep, but she’d already gone through every book on her shelf at least twice. She also liked to surf the Internet sometimes, but she had already checked all of her social networking accounts at least twice, and she was certain that there was nothing of interest happening on Facebook, Twitter, Tumblr, or Instagram.
With a restless sigh, she got up and wandered across her room to the adjoining bathroom, turning lights on and off as she went. Without thinking, she left her cell phone on the bathroom counter- too far away to be readily reached in the case of an emergency.
She lay in the bed for several minutes, mentally planning the next day, until she was startled by a sudden eclipse.
The moon was full that night, and hung at such an angle that it bathed her bedroom in a relaxing glow. All of a sudden, something was blocking her window—something of a distinctly humanoid shape.
She almost screamed, but her instinctual sense of self-preservation kicked in. If I scream, she thought, he’ll hear me. He’ll know I’m here. I have to play dead. Maybe, just maybe, if he doesn’t hear me, he’ll leave…
The window was on the same wall as her bed, and the tall wooden headboard served as a temporary barrier between the intruder and herself. As quickly and silently as she could manage, she rolled over onto her back and pulled the covers over her head. This is as close to invisible as I can get.
There was a dull, slow, scraping sound. With some difficulty, he was opening the window. One of his feet hit the floor with a low thud, and the other followed soon after. He grunted, light enough not to wake a sleeping victim, but loud enough to alert Alissa of his presence.
Then, she heard that same scraping sound again. She realized with fright- and some confusion- that he was closing the window behind him. What the heck? she wondered. What is he doing blocking off his quickest escape route?
However, she was only suspicious for a moment. He began to walk closer to her. With the covers over her head, she couldn’t see his movements, but she could hear odious footsteps, inching closer, accompanied by his lusty, panting breaths. All criticism of his methods faded, and she was now terrified for her life.
She couldn’t help but think that the whole situation was just like a movie she had watched just a few days ago with her brother. It was about a serial killer, who broke into the bedrooms of unwitting teenage girls by crawling in through their windows. Then, he’d take brutal advantage of them, and… the rest was too much for poor Alissa to bear. She bit her lip, to keep from audibly reacting to the violent and horrifying images in her mind.
The footsteps stopped, and she realized with dread that he was standing over her. He grabbed her bed sheets, and she stiffened, attempting to shrink away from his touch without perceptibly moving.
In an instant, he ripped the sheets off of her, and Alissa found herself in the most vulnerable position of her life; she was looking up at a complete stranger, clad in a black ski mask and holding up a large kitchen knife.
She screamed. The knife fell to the floor, and her brother burst into hysterical laughter.