Sunday, December 25, 2022


 I could hear the emergency sirens through my apartment walls. My neighbors started bustling, gathering what they could. They had an elder parent, who thankfully only lived in the next town over. I heard the door slam and their footsteps running down the hall. I wished them luck silently. I turned on the news as the police sped by and read a scrolling marquis asking all citizens to go to their nearest shelter. The reporter was talking about how authorities were urging people stay where they were and to not go outside. Above all, do not answer the door. The lights flickered twice before the power died. I glanced over at my dog who had been silent and motionless, sitting next to me. “I hope you don’t have to piss any time soon.”

I stood and the dog was instantly at my side. We walked to the front door and I switched the dead bolt to secure my space. I made it to the kitchen and was working on getting the dog’s food when I heard the knock. 

It was such a weird thing for authorities to say. Maybe I had misheard. Why would they not want anyone to answer the door? I went to put the food down and noticed the dog was no longer at my side. Curious, I poked my head out the door and found him growling low at the door. The hairs on his back were standing. 

I heard someone thundering down the hall. They tripped on the stairs and screamed. There was a horrible noise and gurgled crying that led to silence. Someone was knocking on the door. Dread was all I felt. Dread at the realization that that fucking door was all that was separating me from whatever was out there. I heard the pop of gunfire outside and more police cars went screaming past. I closed the curtains. The knocking wasn’t stopping. 

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