One pair of heavy footsteps make their way up four steps and walk steadily across the front deck, followed by an intrusive pounding on the front door. I don’t know who it is or what they want, but I do know I’m in grave danger.

Leaping up off my bed, I lunge into the hallway and see a tall shadow of a man staring back at me through the sliding door. I watch as he rattles the door handle and tries to pry it open, but to no avail. Relief washes over me as I feel temporarily safe, only to see him continue walking down the deck to try the second sliding door towards the back of the house. It dawns on me that this door is unlocked, and I sprint into the back room in a desperate attempt to get there before he does. No such luck. With a menacing grin on his face, he slowly pulls back the door and steps inside. For a second he stands still, trying to anticipate my next move, before slowly ascending towards me. I run backwards so quickly that my body slams into the wall behind me, but I manage to make it to the bathroom: the only room in the house with a lock.

Sliding the lock into place, I slowly back away from the door as I hear that same rhythm of pounding on the other side. I don’t have much time; he’s going to break in any second if I don’t find a way out. I haul my body onto the windowsill and jump out, taking a mere second to recover as I hit the grass below.

Pulling myself up, I take one last glance towards the window but I don’t see him yet. I sprint through the neighbouring garden, my heart beating so rapidly I’m sure it’s going to come out of my chest. I make it to the large, brick house only a couple of houses up from my own. The tall canopy of trees loom over the entrance, casting a dark shadow over the entire house. I pound on the French glass doors, praying someone will let me in. A woman comes to the door and does not hesitate once she hears my hurried story. Her and her husband sit with me while we wait for the police to arrive, and I begin to believe that it’s going to be okay; I’m safe now and he can’t hurt me. 

Just as I’m repeating this mantra to myself, a familiar dark shadow approaches the glass doors and catches the corner of my eye. Before anyone can react he hacks through the glass with the tip of his knife and steps inside. My heart is in my throat and I’m paralysed with fear, unable to move from the spot I’m standing in. I feel every hair on my body stand up as I’m standing face to face with the man who will decide my fate.

He takes a step forward and slices through the neck of the kind woman who let me in. He does the same to the husband who wanted to help make sure I felt safe. The intruder stands over their lifeless bodies, bringing the knife down on their bloodied bodies again and again. I watch the bloody and brutal scene unfold before my eyes and all I can do is watch in horror. Then he stops, turns and faces me with a knife still dripping scarlet droplets onto the wood below.

I admit defeat.

Love, Lucy Rebecca x

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