An Uninvited Guest
Copyright 2017 Lynn Ness
Published by Lynn Ness at Shakespir
My eyes blink open when I think I heard a noise in real life. The problem is, I can’t tell whether it was in my dream or in reality. This always happens when I wake up by a noise. It either comes from my dream or from reality.
Okay, that was definitely coming from real life. I am no longer dreaming, so I can definitely conclude that there is something going on downstairs.
I sit up from my bed and scramble out of the blankets. I quietly open my door and peer in front of me. It takes a while for my eyes to get used to the darkness because I had just woken up. My parents’ room is in front of mine, so maybe I can ask whether they have heard the strange noise as well. But to my surprise, the door to their room is left open.
Finding this strange, I tiptoe to their bedroom and peek inside. Nobody.
The feeling of panic rises within me when the first thought that comes to me is that they’ve been kidnapped.
Noticing that the sound is coming from downstairs, I quietly, but speedily, run down the stairs, carefully watching where I’m going since it is dark.
When I reach the bottom of the stairs, I glance around the living room.
My head jerks to the direction of where the sound came from. It’s coming from the dining room!
I race to the dining room and finally see both my parents standing absolutely still next to the wooden table. My mother huddles behind my father, who tightly holds a golf club in his hands. I slightly frown when I notice his hands trembling.
Wanting to investigate this further, I carefully move around them. And then I see it – their pale and fearful expressions. Their eyes are as wide as if they have seen a corpse rising from its grave. Their lips are dried and lack moisture, like a dried lake. A mob of goose bumps contaminates their skin as they continue to stare at one area of the room.
At first I thought they were sleepwalking, due to their enlarged eyes, but then I come to realize that they are scared of something.
Clonk! Clonk! Clonk!
I turn to the direction of the sound, squinting at the sliding glass door when I see a long, dark figure with scaly skin standing on four legs. I gasp and scramble backwards when I recognize the creature to be a large alligator.
I stand extremely still when the alligator continues to taunt us by knocking on the glass door.
People have always told me that if we were to encounter any dangerous animal, we would have to remain absolutely still and not to move a muscle. For some animals, playing dead usually does the trick, but for this animal – an alligator – I doubt that remaining still would do the trick.
Florida is a place with alligators living in freshwater regions, swampy areas, rivers, streams, lakes and ponds. They would sometimes migrate to other bodies of water, and this one certainly did not. This alligator found its way to my home, and is now mocking us by bumping its snout on our door.
What should I do? My parents are out cold. Should we run? Should we hide? Should we stay still and hope that the alligator would get bored and leave us alone?
After hearing that loud knock, I instantly have the urge to run. I feel like a coward for wanting to run away. This always happens when I feel threatened by someone or something. Every time something happens, I would always leave behind everything while the offender watches me run away like a coward. Can you really blame me though? I am not a person who likes to take risks while I can still survive for another day.
My hands tremble. My palms are sweaty and my feet get cold. I think I am about to be trapped in my own psychosis. This is not a dream. This is reality. If I die, I will not wake up anymore.
I slowly turn my head to my parents to find that they are probably thinking the same thing. I look down to my father’s golf club. What is he going to do with that? Aren’t alligators much stronger than that? Why didn’t he take the knives from the kitchen?
Slowly, I back away from the scene and retreat to the kitchen behind the dining room. I open the drawer, trying to find a long knife that I can use to defend myself.
I gasp and race out of the kitchen empty-handed when I hear sounds of shattering glass. It seems my worst fear has come true. The alligator has made its way into the house, hungry for human flesh.
I look around to find my parents, to find that they are no longer there anymore. Feeling anxiety rise from my chest, I desperately glance around the dining room to look for them, but there is no sign of them anywhere.
I bite my lip when I have the urge to scream. My parents have vanished, an alligator broke into the house, and I am left standing in the dining room and too stubborn to scream for help. But what’s the point? There’s no one around to help. Even if there were, I doubt anyone would dare to come close to an alligator.
I breathe heavily and back away from the alligator. Why didn’t I take out a knife with me? Why couldn’t I have brought it with me before checking on my parents and the alligator?
My back hits against the wall. This is the end. I am at my limit. I’m about to be gobbled up by a giant alligator without having the chance to say my last words. No, I am too frightened to do so. What should I do? Fight or run?
My shaky legs give way and I slide down to my knees, letting the alligator inch closer to me. I observe its fearsome eyes, yellow and distinct. It is the perfect trait a predator could have.
As the alligator approaches me closely, I shut my eyes, feeling like a trapped animal. Is this how preys would feel when they are about to be hunted down? It’s such a horrible feeling. Does that mean of all the insects I’ve killed, of all the meat I have eaten, they have felt the same way as I am now before they were brought to their own demise?
I wait for my death, accepting my punishment for being inconsiderate for the animals I have eaten and the insects I have killed. This is reality. We are all preys. No matter how strong and powerful we are there are always things that overpower us.
I flinch when I feel the alligator’s breath gently blowing against my face. I squeeze my hands into fists, hoping that I would be able to alleviate some of the pain when I get eaten alive. But to my surprise, I feel something else, something difference.
A cold, wet, slithery yet rough object brushes against my cheek. I continue to keep my eyes shut, but it happens again. Confused and curious as to what the object is, I open my eyes to see it coming for me again. I jerk my head to the side to avoid the tongue, but notice something else that is strange. There is light shining through the curtains – curtains that belong to my bedroom.
Where am I?
I jolt up from the soft mattress I lay on, holding my head when I feel a sudden dizziness from sitting up too quickly.
The lick comes again.
I look down and see my puppy. “Sugar? What are you doing here? You know you’re not allowed to come upstairs!” I turn my gaze to the door, which is slightly open.
I instantly stand up and run out of my room, to see my parents’ bedroom door is closed.
I run down the stairs, nearly tripping over when Sugar follows me closely. With my heart still beating like crazy, I rush to the dining room, and to my surprise, everything is placed out normally as it was after dinner last night.
I stare at the undamaged sliding door in which the alligator was supposed to have broken.
Wait a second, where is the alligator? What happened? Was it all a dream?
I later see my dog properly sitting next to me, her large puppy eyes begging for my attention.
I kneel down to her and massage her head. “Was it you knocking against my door, Sugar-Cakes?”
Living close to the Everglades, I am used to seeing alligators all the time, but never did one visit my home. This is the story about me, waking up at night, having the most horrific experience in my life. Have you ever had dreams where you thought it was reality? This is a short story about a girl who finds an 'unexpected' guest knocking at the sliding door of her house. However, is it a guest or is it someone she knew all along? Did this all really happen?