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  • mariokiefer

Talking in Your Sleep, #2

At the sound of the unknown voice, he sprang to his feet and turned to his wife’s side of the bed just in time to see the shadow go through the patio door that led to the pool.

He reached into the nightstand drawer and withdrew his Glock 9mm. Fumbling through the contents of the drawer he found the magazine and quickly locked it into place. He reached over and turned on the lamp that bathed the room in its soft yellow light.

“Mary,” he furiously whispered, “wake up. There is someone in the house.” He turned toward the door.

“What’s going on?” Mary asked drowsily.

He reached over and pulled her behind him, “Come on, get up. Go to the bathroom and lock the door. Take your phone.”

“I don’t. . . . “ Mary started.

He interrupted his wife, “Shhh. Go to the bathroom and dial 9-1-1.”

At the patio door, he stopped and listened intently. If he could hear something — anything — he might discern where the figure had gone, but no sound carried to his ears.

From behind him, he sensed Mary move toward the bathroom, phone in hand, while dialing.

He looked at her and mouthed the words, “Lock the door,” then turned back toward the patio. From the bathroom, he heard Mary's frantic whispers to the person on the other end of the line.

When he reached over to the right of the door and pushed the switch to its upright position, the light on the patio momentarily blinded him as his eyes adjusted. At the threshold he peered into his back yard. Across the patio he saw the darkened pool and, not for the first time, wished he had installed a switch to those pool lights right here in the bedroom.

Beyond the pool toward the further reaches of his property, a trail ran through a garden. He knew the intruder could be hiding anywhere within that flora — behind a tree or a bush, or, even in the pergola. He also knew that the intruder could have just as easily hopped the spiked wrought iron fence and made off through his neighbor’s property. Was the interloper still around?

“Do I give chase?” he wondered. “Or do I stay here, lock the doors and wait for the police to arrive?”

He heard a rustling from the garden and turned to the sound. Was it the intruder? Or, was it one of the many nocturnal critters that visited his garden each night? He could not be sure.

He knew the smart thing to do would be to wait on the cavalry. The intruder could be armed, just as surely as he was. What then? It was just as likely that he would be hurt as it was for the intruder.

“But,” he thought, “Dammit! This is my home! This is my castle!”

He felt a righteous outrage well within and directed toward the interloper; toward the one who had dared to invade his peace.

“I am not going to hide like some frightened child in the dark! If I can’t protect my own family from these threats, what good am I?”

He stepped out and onto the patio.

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