I sat up quickly, awaking from a deep sleep. My heart was beating out of my chest and I felt wide awake. I looked over at the clock. It was 11:05. The only light in the room was the faint moonlight peeping through the blinds, so I could hardly see anything. I sat there in the darkness of my bed wondering what could have woken me up. It felt so random. I heard the crackling of the baby monitor that sat on my bedside table followed by a hushed voice talking through it. My eyes widened but I quickly realized that it was just my husband trying to soothe the baby back to sleep. God, why am I so paranoid, I thought, I need to go back to sleep. I laid down and turned on my side. I froze when I saw my husband sleeping beside me. How was he in bed when I had just heard him on the baby monitor? I realized that I needed to go check on the baby, but I couldn’t get myself to get up. Something didn’t feel right. I am such an awful mother, I thought. Go check on your kid!
I got up out of bed slowly and shivered as my feet touched the ground. I tiptoed over to the door, careful not to wake my husband. I opened the door, and, at that moment, the creaking seemed very loud and haunted. I winced as I opened it up the rest of the way. I didn’t shut it back because I didn’t want to hear that noise again. I walked out into the hallway and down to the baby’s room. I was about to open the door when I heard my bedroom door slam shut with a loud bang followed by the sound of my husband’s scream. I couldn’t help it. I ran to him. I banged on the door. “Are you okay?” I yelled. “What happened?”
I was relieved to hear the sound of his voice, but not what he had to say. “You have got to get in here or it’s going to kill me!” he yelled. I tried to open the door but it wouldn’t budge. “Don’t leave me!” he said. I needed to go check on the baby and I was reminded of that when I heard crying.
I ran to the baby’s room and went in. The crib was empty. I was horrified at what I saw next. On the wall, written in what appeared to be blood, were the words YOU’RE TOO LATE. My body felt cold and numb. I just stood there staring at those words. I realized something odd. Everything had gone silent. I didn’t understand how it had gotten quiet so fast when there had just been so much commotion. I was pondering on this thought when a huge dark force threw me across the room. Everything looked fuzzy for a moment and when I could see clearly again there was nothing. What on Earth was that? What was happening? There was a sudden loud knock on the front door. Not exactly an appropriate time, I thought. I ignored the knock. Next I heard a loud boom. It came from my bedroom. I got up to run to the door but fell right back down because I was extremely dizzy. When I awoke from that little spell, I had forgotten what happened. When it came back to memory I glanced sharply at the wall. The bloody words were no longer there. Had I gone crazy? I thought. I got up fast and ran to the crib. I let out what was between a sob and a scream when I saw what was there in the place of my baby. It was what looked like an old broken doll. I reached out to touch it and it turned to ashes. I jumped back and ran out of the room. I ran to my bedroom door. I went to open the door and felt the door handle turn. It was unlocked. I found myself terrified of what was going to be behind that door. I didn’t want to think about it too much so I just swung the door open. Nothing. There was nobody in there.
I sat down on the bed. I had never felt so alone or scared as I did in that moment. I heard a noise come from the closet as if something was hiding in there. I realized I wasn’t alone. I walked to the closet and put my ear up to it. I couldn’t hear anything else. I reached up to the handle but pulled it back down again. I must have done that a hundred times. I finally opened the door and jumped back. I fell to the floor and sobbed into my hands. I dared to look once more. There was my husband hanging from the top of the closet. He was swinging from a belt and he looked completely beaten up. My heart broke as I thought about how painful it must have been for him. Then, I remembered my baby. I broke down into even heavier tears and cried until I couldn’t cry anymore. Until I felt like nothing more could possibly come out.
I ran to the back door and out to the storage building, the place where my husband kept his guns. I figured there was no more of a reason to live because I had just lost my only two reasons. What was the point in this anymore? I might as well be dead because I already felt dead inside. I realized I didn’t have the key, but when I went to open the door, it was already unlocked. I picked up a random gun and put it to my head. All of this will be over soon, I told my shaking hands. I pulled the trigger.
I woke up and sat up quickly, breathing heavily. I looked at the clock as it turned to 11:05. I heard the crackling of the baby monitor on my bedside table.