• mariokiefer

Talking in your sleep, #3

He stepped out and onto the patio, looked right, then left, then cocked his head ever so slightly as his ears strained to hear a sound; anything that might clue him into the whereabouts of the trespasser.

He took a tentative step forward, then another, and turned left at the start of the garden trail, just beyond the bush that clearly was too overgrown for its position at the head of the path.

It was early in the morning and the lights that illuminated the path had lost much of their solar charge. Some gave no light while the illumination of those that continued to cast their beacons was so soft as to hardly be called light at all.

He realized that he wore no shoes. In his haste to chase down the interloper he had not donned any. If he went further onto the walkway, he would have to do so in bare feet, and he knew that the river rocks that made the trail would prick their tender under reaches.

Should he go on? Should he make his way back to the patio doors and wait?

“There’s no turning back now,” he thought and stepped onto the trail.

With each step, he stopped and listened, then repeated the dance several more times as the trail wound behind the pomegranate trees and past the pergola. He stifled his cries at the sting of the rocks on his arches and continued down the path.

To his left he heard a rustling in the bushes and spun toward the sound arms raised in front of him pointing his weapon. He saw nothing.

From behind him, the light on the patio extinguished and he was shrouded in darkness. He turned just in time to see and hear the patio doors that led into the bedroom slam closed.

Ignoring the pain in his feet, he sprinted from the path toward the door just as he saw the red and blue strobing lights appear from the side of the house.

From behind those doors, he heard his wife scream.

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