I heard a loud metal clang from downstairs. It sounded like pots and pans had fallen to the kitchen floor. I crawled out of bed silently and put my slippers on.
“Hello?” I asked. “Babe, you home?”
Home invasions weren’t uncommon around here. I grabbed a baseball bat that was sitting next to my bed and went to the top of my stairs. I stopped in my tracks as I heard another loud crash.
I stepped onto the first stair; it squeaked under my weight and I flinched. I worried that whoever was downstairs heard me, but nothing changed. It sounded like someone was rummaging through my refrigerator.
The next steps didn’t make any noise as I descended to the first floor. I inched around the banister, peaking into my kitchen. A young boy, no more than six or seven, was looking in my pantries and eating everything he found.
“Hey, buddy,” I said, lowering the bat. “Can I help you with anything? Are you lost?” The boy didn’t acknowledge me. He continued pawing through my cabinets. “Come on kid, you can’t just take all of my food. I can give you some for the road if you need it.”
He still didn’t stop. His chewing sounds echoed through the lower floor. I stepped closer to him. Without looking up from the whole tomato that he was eating, he moved away from me. I sat at the kitchen table and watched him continue to eat.
“Tell me where you’re from,” I said. I was starting to get angry. I didn’t know what to do. There was just this boy in my kitchen. “If you don’t tell me why you’re here then I’m going to kick you out.”
The boy didn’t stop. I was furious. I walked over to him and went to pick him up, but he slipped out of my grip. I grabbed his hand and dragged him to the door. I pushed him outside but before I could blink, he had entered through the back door.
“I’m not playing around anymore,” I said. “It’s time for you to go.”
I walked back over to him, wound my fist back and swung. He didn’t move away. This time he looked at me and smiled. My fist was frozen in mid-air before it could make contact.
“Not only do you do it to your wife,” the boy said in a low, menacing voice, “you would do it to a random boy? The world doesn’t need your kind.”
The boy morphed into a large beast, covered in horns and fire. He laughed in a dark, demonic tone and grabbed my wrist. A fiery hole in the floor opened up.
“What are you?” I screamed.
“That doesn’t matter where you’re going,” the monster laughed.
I was pulled down into the hole. The last thing that I saw before it closed was my wife standing above me, staring down at me with her black eye.