I had gone to bed around midnight and went out like a light for once. I woke up suddenly in the middle of the night and grappled for the bedside clock beside me. It was 3 o’clock in the morning. Wasn’t that a Crystal Gayle song? Well, in any case it did look like it was going to be another sleepless night when I heard the unmistakeable sound of an intruder downstairs. I quickly pulled on the clothes I had shed and left on the floor by the bed and crept out of the bedroom. Facing danger is bad enough, facing it naked is just not on.
I walked slowly downstairs and into the living room, putting on the light as I went.
She was sitting in the same chair that Jack had earlier on, French windows ajar and curtains billowing in the arctic chill. Where he had been a study in relaxation, she was poised with her head down and her hands on her knees which were crossed at the ankle. She was wearing a black tightly belted coat and her long red hair completely covered her face and trailed luxuriantly across her thighs. A growl, low and feral trickled from her throat raising the hackles on the back of my neck and igniting the fight of flight impulse. Not being suicidal I didn’t even try. Feeling a freezing draught, I noticed that the French windows were open, although I could have sworn I had locked them when I went to bed.
“Jean-” I began but she had already leapt for my throat and we both went crashing down into the hideous glass coffee table which splintered on impact and the shards of which I could feel embedded in my back. I was more concerned with what was on top of me at that moment however. The arc her body had made as she flew from her chair to land on me had taken the blink of an eye and I hadn’t stood a chance, not even if I’d had a weapon. I knew though that a weapon wouldn’t have helped apart from to make me feel better. My hands were pinned by hers above my shoulders and I could feel the press of her knees on my chest. The growling had progressed to a full throated roaring that was so loud it made my teeth ache and bladder weak. This was it. The end had suddenly become imminently nigh.