He awakened to an eerie silence that left him gasping for air from holding it in so long. The light over the barbeque spit was on and the dim light was enough to allow him to see a line of gangsters on each side of his path to the closed French double doors leading out to the dining room and the rest of the house. He saw the smoke spread from the gun barrels while they held their fire long enough to stare at him as he walked past. It was a mere twelve steps from his bed in the corner of the bedroom to the doors but it seemed to him an eternity as he crossed while feeling their eyes upon him all during that time. The black tile floor felt cold beneath his bare feet and the hairs on the nape of his neck stood up as he reached the doors and suddenly, he noted that all the figures had disappeared. He breathed a sigh of relief although still shaken by the experience as he began to believe it had all been a part of a bad dream. He went straight to the bathroom and hesitatingly made his way back to his room, not quite awake fully, and thinking he needed to cut back on watching old time “Untouchables” gangster movies. He entered his bedroom and turned to close the doors as quietly as he could not wanting to awaken his mother and siblings in the other rooms. He then turned towards his bed when the figures arose from behind the furniture and reappeared in the thick smoke just as they were the very first time he saw them. This time they did not hold their fire as he passed but opened up on each other with shotguns, machine guns and pistols as he found himself in the middle of the crossfire. He rushed to his bed and slipped quietly under the covers astonished that he was uninjured as the light over the barbeque pit in his room inexplicably turned off and he was back in darkness once again. He pulled the covers over his head as the noise simultaneously stopped. He held his breath again in hopes that they had not paid attention to where he went. He was unaware of where they were or where they went nor what they intended to do next. The smell of gun smoke filled the air and it made it difficult to breathe. He pulled the covers down slightly to see just as a lone figure walked through the dark wood paneled wall towards the front yard. It appeared as if they were all gone as he could not see any one else in the dark room. He was hoping that they were gone for good and was glad that they decided to leave. He was alone and there lingered no shadows, no gun fire, no shotgun flashes and amazingly, no bodies.
He gingerly lifted the heavy curtain of his bedroom picture window facing the front yard to take a peek at where the last figure disappeared to outside. The night air was cold that late November and the space near the window felt frigid and stale.
At first, he could see nothing although the moonlight provided enough light to see the full outlines of the trees and the well-manicured bushes and front lawn. Then he became suddenly aware of the heat radiating from several stares that came from two or three pairs of eyes that emitted a red sinister light just outside staring back at him. He could make out the tall dark menacing figures moving towards his window as several more of these shapeless creatures joined the others intent on him. It was almost as if they all knew, in unison, that he had been watching. He let the curtains fall into place as he stepped backwards and into his bed. He hastily clambered clumsily into bed and could feel their presence just outside his picture window. He was mystified as to why he was unable to peek outside so carefully to remain unseen but he realized it was too late and somehow they sensed him there. He knew that the walls would not bar their entry and they would easily focus in on him in the dark room as he pulled the covers over him tightly. He held his breath and immediately felt the end of the bed sink from the weight of their presence. He tried hard not to cry out in fear and he dared not take a deep breath as he felt their weight at his feet and then felt them make their way slowly up to his chest. Soon something or someone was clasping their hands or claws around his neck as their cold fingers enwrapped his throat clamping down choking him. It began with light pressure and then increased slowly suffocating him. He tried to call out but was unable to produce a sound. He tried several times over and over until he finally emitted a squeak and then a full yell which caused the weight to lift immediately and he could hear his mother rush into the room yelling back “what’s wrong?” He gasped for air as he pulled down the covers and attempted to relate to her what had happened. She tried to convince him that he had only experienced a bad dream and nothing more. He had no evidence there to indicate anyone was or had been there but he was certain that he had not been asleep or dreaming. The air in the room was clear and without a trace of smoke or the awful stench that he swore was associated with the creatures he saw. He looked outside and saw nothing but the silence of his front lawn and the several tall pine trees and evergreens. He looked around and saw that everything in the bedroom was in it’s place and nothing was out of the normal but he could not shake off what had just happened moments earlier nor could he explain exactly what had happened or why.