When I got home that night, I noticed the smiling jack-o-lantern in my front yard was crushed. This was of particular concern because I had no interest in Halloween. Until now, I had not had any such ornaments on my lawn. The smashed, broken remnants were clearly a Jack-o-lantern though. Running through possibilities in my head, I came to the most likely - thrown by some juvenile joy riders — and strode past the mess up my walk.
I hosted the suitcase up the sort set of steps onto the porch of my rustic, unfortunately weathered, ranch-style home, and fumbled for my keys. I’d only been gone for a week this time, but all the same, a couple of nights in my own bed sounded delightful. I want about to let some teenage pranksters ruin that for me. I could let it rot out there for all I cared.
Locating the particular key I needed, I groped for the lock in the low light of the moon and opened the door. Turning back to the porch, I again hosted my bag before stepping across the threshhold. As I did so, however, something odd happened. The front door slammed shut, catching the back of my leg as it did and tripping me up, knocking me to the floor.
Fire spread up my leg in an angry manner as I let out a curse. I hadn’t felt the wind that blew the door shut, but… Suddenly, that thought abruptly died. Because standing just where the open door had been a moment ago was the dark shape of a person. My leg became the least of my problems, and I scrambled on all fours back away from the door, farther into my foyer, instinctively.
There was an odd smell in the air of something that resembled burning. The room was only lit by moonlight from outside, but I could see the intruder’s form. I cried out “Get out of here, I’m calling the police" and reached for my phone, but the shadowy form stepped forward with horrifying speed. A booted foot descended onto the phone I’d just freed from a pocket with an audible crunching noise. I flinched away, and saw then the glowing eyes — not reflected moonlight, but glowing, with a red hue - and cold panic flooded my body.