I heard the dog whine. I could see his shadow pacing back and forth through the crack under the door. I chuckled to myself. If only he had thumbs he could open the door and save my life. But he didn’t have thumbs. He was a dog. I felt a puddle of wetness spreading out all around me. The viscous liquid was hot and sticky. Somewhere in my mind, I knew what it was, but I couldn’t recall the word. I tried desperately to remember how I ended up on the floor here, in this room, my clothes soaked. I didn’t feel any pain apart from a profound frustration that I knew it was beyond my power to leave this place. I resented the dog for having the power to move freely. I tried to shout to the dog, but all that came out was a hoarse croak.
Suddenly there was a commotion all around me. The dog quickly skittered away from the other side of the door. The world flooded with a bright, white light, and then my mind struggled to comprehend what I saw….
An outline of a woman made a shadow in the light. My stomach dropped, though, I don’t know why. The light allowed me to see what surrounded me. Blood. Suddenly, I was acutely aware of a horrid pain in my head. I lift my hand and touch my forehead. Blood covers my fingers.
“My darling… Why must you hide from me? You know I’m only trying to do what’s right,” the lady coos while she stalks closer to me.
“Marianne?” My voice is hoarse. Why is my wife being so strange? My unawareness of this situation may be caused by the wound on my head. If only I had enough vocal strength to ask her questions. I hear a click and light falls from the ceiling. Blood covers my wife. Did she get hurt? She tilts her head at my confused face.
“Do you not remember anything? Is your wound that bad?” she asks, sweetly. I nod my head, not wanting to hurt my throat any more. “You poor little thing. You can’t even talk,” she notes. There’s even blood all the way in her dark brown hair. Her mouth curves into a sharp smile. My eyes travel to something that catches the light. What’s that in her hand? “Well… this makes my job easier,” she says. She lifts her hands, showing a bloody axe. I gulp, and it feels like razors down my throat. Did she hurt me? Why does she want to hurt me?
I stand, shakily. “My sweet baby, God told me that you have to die, okay? So you just make this easy on me and I’ll return you to your home in Hell,” she says. She lifts her axe as she closes in on me. God told her to kill me? My hands shake as I put them up defensively. I close my eyes, not wanting to bear witness to my wife murdering me.
Suddenly, I hear a harsh growl and Marianne screams. My eyes shoot open and I see our dog biting and pulling at her ankle. I watch as our German Shepherd gives a big tug and pulls her to the ground. The axe clatters on the floor, “Augghh!” she groans.
I see an opportunity. My legs scream at me to not push them anymore, but I really would rather not die. I move as fast as my legs can handle to the open door. “No!” I hear her yell.
I pass the doorway and make my way past the kitchen and into the living room. Blood covers the sofa, and trails back to the room I found myself in. The blood tells a story, but right now, I don’t have time to read it. The TV shows static. Its hum fills the room as I grab the knob of the front door. It’s locked. Our two deadbolts wiggle as I fail to open the door. Why must my protection work against me?
I hear a noise behind me and something wet suddenly grazes near my knee. I jolted back in surprise, only to see the friendly German Shepherd looking up at me. Blood covers near his mouth. My wife… I don’t understand this situation at all. A part of me hopes she isn’t that badly hurt, but another part of me desperately wishes to never see her again. This is no time to stop and think. I need to leave and seek help from a neighbor. I realign myself with the front door as my unstable hands meet the first deadbolt. I twist it and I hear a click.
“My love, please don’t make this any harder. I need to do what God needs me to. Maybe God will let you into Heaven if you don’t struggle,” Marianne says. I see a reflection of her in the window in the door. She’s limping towards me, her eyes are daggers that bore into my head. I move my hand to the second deadbolt, but my eyes catch movement in the reflection. She grabs a knife off of a nearby kitchen counter and moves her arm up. I duck down to the dog’s level as the knife that was once in her hand is thrown above my head into the door. I look back at her as she starts to limp faster towards me with the axe in her other hand.
Fear burrows deeper into my heart and I feel overwhelmed with anxiety. Marianne will get to me before I have time to turn around, turn the deadbolt, and open the door. An idea pops into my head. I turn around fully to face her as one of my hands stays behind me.
“Oh my, you’re finally giving in? I’ll make this quick, dear,” Marianne mocks. She puts the axe above her head, ready to strike down on me, but the hand behind me successfully pulls the knife out of the door in time. I whip my hand back around me and bury the knife into her, not aiming for any particular area. A scream cuts through the incessant hum of the TV.
A piercing pain grows from my head and the axe clatters to the floor once again. Did she hit me? My scalp feels hot. Marianne holds her abdomen as she falls to the floor, blocking the door. I look back at where we came from, the blood leading to the room I found myself in. That room had a window in it. I can get out through that! Pain continues to trickle down my spine as I make my way back to that awful room. I pull myself into it and close the door. I walk towards the window. Every step gets harder and harder. I…I can’t feel my legs anymore. It feels like I’ve bathed in blood. My legs give out beneath me. My head… my head… I can’t do this. Everything is in pain. I lean my head against the wall behind me. The wall that I woke up against. I heard the dog whine. I could see his shadow pacing back and forth through the crack under the door. I chuckled to myself. If only he had thumbs he could open the door and save my life. But he didn’t have thumbs. He was a dog. I felt a puddle of wetness spreading out all around me. The viscous liquid was hot and sticky. Somewhere in my mind, I knew what it was, but I couldn’t recall the word. I tried desperately to remember how I ended up on the floor here, in this room, my clothes soaked. I didn’t feel any pain apart from a profound frustration that I knew it was beyond my power to leave this place.