The front door to my house opened. This wouldn’t be unusual if it weren’t for the fact that it was ten o’clock in the morning and all the doors were locked. No one else had the keys but me. I hadn’t had an intruder in a lot of years and the last time, it happened at night when I was my most aware.
This time I was barely able to rouse myself from sleep. The groggy sensation of exhaustion, as if I’d been awake for three days straight, kept my limbs sluggish and my thoughts unfocused. My mind was screaming an alarm concerning my visitor but my body was desperately trying to deny the survival instincts that drew me out of bed.
I heard footsteps in the kitchen—someone milling about. The refrigerator opened and closed, then the cabinets. Are they searching for something or making a latte? I rubbed my eyes and tensed my body, forcing the blood to circulate a little faster. Or is it something more sinister? Poison?
I didn’t keep anything in the kitchen for myself. My nourishment was better kept in the wine cellar out of casual view of anyone who might come over. This didn’t help my present situation one little bit—a quick gulp of blood would have offered at least some relief from the heavy sense of fatigue.
The knife I kept on the wall felt heavy in my hand—heavier than it should have. I flipped it around so the dull top was resting on the inside of my forearm. Whatever I was about to step into, I figured I should be ready for a real fight. Considering that the full extent of my powers would not be entirely available for another couple hours, I needed the advantage of the weapon.
Fortunately, my door doesn’t squeak. I pressed it open without a sound and paced barefoot into the hallway. Hardwood floors absorbed the impact of my movement and I crept along, preparing myself for a fight.
The kitchen was another thirty feet away… I continued at a slow pace, creeping along as if I were a passing shadow wrought by the sun’s passage throughout the day. The more time I was able to take the more awake I would feel. I had been forced to operate on few hours of sleep many times before but couldn’t get used to it. I simply wasn’t wired for early morning activity.
“Good morning, Ms Pearce.” I paused. The man’s voice held an English accent, his timbre strong. “I didn’t expect you to be awake so soon. We have… so much to discuss.”
Now you see why I curse fate. When people show up in my life and know who I am, it tends to be a really bad day. In this case, I really had to know who this guy was. Still holding the knife, I proceeded forward and into the room. At least the answer might prove to be entertaining. Taking heart in that, I straightened up and walked in.
Why not? Couldn’t be worse than the dream I was having… walking naked on a runway on national TV… no more French before bed. I swear.