Wednesday, 25 January 2012


Last night, wasn’t a good night.  At around 10.30pm I went to bed and as per my usual nightly routine, lay and read a few pages of the latest book I was reading.  I must have started nodding off, like I usually do, and at 11pm I turned out the light and went to sleep.  I have recently had a bad cold, and this time, just like every other time that I have a cold, I am always left with a cough that seems to kick into its worst gear the minute the lights go out.  So, there I lay, coughing and getting more irritated by the minute.  At 1.30am I got up and ventured downstairs to have some cough mixture.  On my way downstairs I noticed Chloe’s light was on.  Chloe is my niece and has been living with us since August.  She had been out for the evening and at the time I had gone to bed, had not got home yet.  I noted to myself that she was home so all was well in the world.
As per our latest electricity lecture by my husband, there were no lights on downstairs, so I made my way in the darkness to the lounge and then grabbed my handbag and dug out my cough syrup and took a good swig of it.  However, the tickle in my throat didn’t immediately go away and I thought it was probably best I just spent another night on the couch.  I know how I would feel if I had to put up with listening to someone cough all night long when I wanted to get some sleep so I thought it best to stay downstairs.
I grabbed some blankets and made myself a little bed on the sofa.  Just before I lay down to sleep, I stared for a few seconds out the window and all seemed peaceful and quiet outside. I was aware of how late it was so decided that the best course of action for me now was to get some sleep and so I lay down and closed my eyes.

Then, I heard voices.

I couldn’t hear what was being said, but I could clearly hear people talking and it was right outside the window! 
I sat up and looked out and there, no more than a metre away from me, with only a pane of glass separating us stood two men. They had come into my garden and were now standing right outside the lounge window and they were talking.  Even though I could hear their voices, it wasn’t clear enough for me to hear what they were saying.
You can imagine my shock!
I quickly ducked my head down and started to creep out the lounge desperately hoping they wouldn’t look inside and see me.
I made it to the lounge door, quickly opened it and headed for the stairs. 
I don’t know why I didn’t think to go for the phone to call the police?  Nor why I didn’t make a dash for the kitchen to get some sort of weapon to defend myself.  Instead, I was adamant to get upstairs and to wake Pete up. 
As I made it across the passage and stepped on the first step, I looked toward the front door and saw that it stood open!  It was'nt standing wide open, only a few inches but the first thing I thought was: ‘Chloe!  She had come in and not locked the door behind her’!
I don’t mind telling you that a panic was starting to descend on me.
I made a mad dash for upstairs, but had only gone up about 6 stairs when I heard a noise and turned around.  The front door was swinging open. They were coming inside!
I watched, horror struck as three, not two guys started making their way into my house and it was only when one of them looked up and saw me that I let out the loudest scream I could possibly make, whilst at the same time turning around and trying to make it up the rest of way to the first floor.  One of the men, the one with shoulder length brown, thinning hair chased after me, but by some amazing stroke of luck, Pete had heard my scream and seemed to know exactly what needed to be done and as the guy with the long hair came chasing me up the stairs, Pete came flying down them.
It was at the stage when Pete wrestled the second bad guy, who had a bald head, to the ground in the dining room that I started to wonder if this was really happening.
By this time, the first guy who had chased after me had caught up with me and instead of dragging me down the stairs, merely clamped my arms to the side of my body and held me with a vice-like grip so that I couldn't move. As the two of us stood there, I became pretty convinced that something was not quite right when he appeared to more interested in watching the wrestling that was going on on the floor in the dining room which we both could see from our vantage point.
The third guy, one with short cropped black hair, was still stood by the front door and appeared to be making no attempt to run away, or save his buddy who was clearly losing his fight against Pete.
I took all of this in.  And then, my fear suddenly drained away. I was dreaming all this wasn’t I?

Indeed I was.
How crazy was it that my dream picked up from exactly the same moment that I fell asleep, almost as if I never had.  What made it so real was the fact that from wake state to dream state, the scene around me didn’t change at all.
Being attacked by three strange men in my own home rapidly ceased to frighten me, and I don’t really remember much of what happened after that.  All I do remember was feeling this huge sense of relief the moment I realised this was all a dream and that the thieves no longer posed me any threat.



Mum2EJ said...

OMG - That just about left me breathless!! So glad it was all a dream! Blimey!

Maggie Stocks said...

Hells bells Toots, that completely freaked me out!!! Lock your door in future!

Jane Isaac said...

Incredibly put, Bernadette. I couldn't stop reading. Thank goodness it was just a dream - still very scary all the same. You should put this in your novel. The hairs on my arms stood on end.

Rod Tyson said...

Couldn't stop reading -wow - Bernadette you are an awesome writer - :)

Nan Bovington said...

Hey, did you check out the ingredients list on that cough mixture? I believe that uncontrolled swigging of Dr Collis Browne actually caused The Sixties.
Great example of writing with tension btw!