Claire sat up in her childhood bed and reached for her Dad’s old hunting rifle. She had set it on the nightstand beside the bed when she felt herself getting drowsy. She got out of bed and crossed the room to the locked door. She glanced at her Timex watch – 5:17 am – the cool blue of the numbers matching the early dawn sky she could see between the curtains and wall.
Please please don’t be inside the house. Please.
Claire pressed her ear against the door and held her breath. She could hear something thumping but wasn’t sure it was outside or in the house.
This door is so flimsy. All the times I slammed it throwing silly teenage fits and I never really noticed. If they get inside and I’m stuck up here…
She turned the worn brass key in the lock.