I am not alone.
I awake in a cold sweat…nervous, anxious.
I can sense him lurking in the shadows. His presence hangs suspended like the morning fog.
I remain motionless, refusing to give into my body’s scream to run. My eyes dart from corner to corner of my small room.
Wait! Before I manage to blink…I see motion! His silent dash across my room did not go unnoticed. You have gave away your position, my friend. A very deadly mistake, indeed.
I slow my breathing to mimic being asleep. My hand slowly and cautiously reaches under my bed. I feel the cold steel of my AR-15. My heartbeat quickens. My eyes scan for any movement at all, my ears are strained for the slightest noise. I can smell him near me now…my senses are in overdrive. An unknown car passes by on the street, there is the impatient blow from a distant horn. My lips taste the sweat running down my face. My hand touches the sling and slowly wraps around the carrying handle.
Motion! Hes closer now. Less than yard…maybe not even as much. I am taking deep, slow breaths. Training does not prepare you for this moment. The moment that you realize you are going to have to kill or be killed. It boils down to that simple choice. No, training does nothing. Instinct kicks in. I had already decided that it wasn’t my day to die and pulled the rifle to my chest.
My enemy slowly comes out form under the chair and approaches my bed. My sweaty grip tightens around the hand guards. I remain motionless, letting him come closer. He is confident, but I am a professional. The game is on.
Hes in the wide open now. Less than 2 feet away. My hand caresses the receiver, my finger brushes against the trigger guard. My invader continues to come closer, no longer a living object. Just a target. Only a threat.
I realize that I only have one magazine within reach. The other two full magazines are on my shelf 8 feet away. Might as well be mile, I thought grimly. I say a silent prayer that I will get out of this without needing anything additional. With that in mind, my finger presses the magazine release. The noise startles my target, he freezes. Another deadly mistake-and his last. In one fluid motion, I yank the magazine out and slam it on to the ground. I hear a sickening crunch followed by the pounding of my heart. A kill! I swallow and slowly remove lift the magazine. What’s left of my target remains in a messy pile. I let out a deep sigh.
I reattach the magazine to my rifle, double check the safety and make sure she is cleared before stowing her under my bed again. I pull a tissue from near my bed, wrap his remains and place it in the trash can, his final resting place.
My enemy, now just a mangled corpse, was a worthy foe. One day it will be my time to go. But that time isn’t now.
I am alone.