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My friend Daniel works with an insurance agency downtown from our neighborhood. We have been neighbors for about twenty or so years. I would consider him a very close friend. He has a wife called Lucinda, two sons called Jacob and Malcolm, and a lovely home across from mine.

It was about nine o clock or so when I invited them over for a midnight dinner. Their boys went over to a friend’s house until Daniel and Lucinda got back. I fixed them a home-cooked spaghetti dinner, which I thought was quite tasty.

Daniel started off about his work as soon as he got settled in. He was very happy about a promotion he had gotten. The smile he had never ceased as he was there. He was now manager of the building he worked in. A very good paying job considering the owner, and the wealth of the company. He also mentioned a man named Timothy who had worked there about sixteen years longer than him.

Timothy was well in his late fifties, and was a good worker. Daniel and Timothy as I come to understand it competed for this job vigorously. In the end, Daniel had done the best according to their boss and was promoted. Timothy, as it turns out, was a sore loser about it. He quit the same day Daniel was promoted. “There are no limits now with this raise!” Daniel yelled.

We had been drinking until about eleven-thirty, so they decided to go walk to where the boys were and take them home. I wished them a goodnight, and shut the door. I cleaned up the house, took a shower and then went to bed. My eyes grew heavy as soon as I hit the sheets. Before I knew it I was asleep.

A loud bump in the darkness awoke me. As soon as my eyes opened my heart began to race. Lucinda was laying beside me. I looked over her at the wall and saw pictures of her and Daniel’s family hanging there. I soon realized this was not my home, but Daniel’s house. I sat up disturbed at the fact I was in their home. Immediately I saw the clock on dresser read one-thirty. My head was then pulled to another loud bump in the dark.

In the living room of Daniel’s house there stood a figure with an unfamiliar presence. This figure with the outline of a man began moving towards me in the dark. He was holding in his massive mits a hammer and a hatchet. They were each ready to strike at anything that moved.

He got closer to me, and closer with each blink I took. But, it seemed he didn’t see me there. Instead of killing me, he walked past me into the boys' room. I followed him in there to stop his motives. My hands glided through him easily.

He stopped in his tracks and stared at the children. He lifted his hand, and began to swing. Malcolm’s head was severed on impact. The blood oozed from his body over the entire space surrounding him within seconds. Jacob heard the noise and screamed.

He screamed a horrifying scream before the first strike. Jacob’s blood hit the wall where his photos were hanging. He tried to run, but in that instance was hit again the chest. His lungs gave away to his last breath. Daniel and Lucinda heard the commotion. They both ran into the room.

Daniel cried as he fought this man, but was cut to pieces. Lucinda stabbed the man, and tried to run. She bled to death before she got to the front door.

This man’s smile blazed in the shadows of the night. He looked up at me as if he could finally see me and whispered, “Should've been my promotion.” He then began to gut himself in my presence. He died almost instantly from blood loss.

A loud bump in the darkness awoke me. This time I was at home in my own bed. I had knocked the alarm clock off my nightstand in all my movement. The time read eleven-fifty. I was so glad. I got up and ran as fast as I could to Daniel’s house. The street was as quiet as could be. But I wasted no time in getting to their house.

I pounded on the door, but no one answered. “Hey, what are you doing?” Daniel called out to me. He was walking his family home from their friend’s house. I ran to them but, as I got closer my spine shivered. A chill I cannot describe went through me. I stopped dead in my tracks.

A figure of a man stood beside Daniel. His smile was blazing in the night.

Lucinda smiled and said, “Look who we met on the way over, it’s Timothy.”