I shoot up out of bed to the sound of steel screeching against steel. I rise in a partially awake state and go out to the kitchen to see what made the sound, figuring that the steel scraping is finally the dryer breaking. It's been making funny noises for a long time now and I turned it on before I went to bed.

As I get closer I hear that the dryer is still running fine, still squeaking like hell so I figure it's nothing and head to the cupboard, then the fridge for a quick midnight glass of water, as I'm pouring the water I hear the sound of a choked off moan. It sounds almost like it's happening underwater, and right then, in that way I always seem to know, I can tell something is very, very wrong.

I set the glass of water down on the freezer and stalk into the living room. Yes I know how to stalk quietly, move silently is always a skill I put points into, even in 'real life'. I hear the stifled gurgling noise again and become frightened and angry, I'm quite certain that someone else is in the house so I silently draw my sword as I walk by the couch, and yes there really is a sword in between my couch cushions. It's a 1917 U.S. Navy Issue replica and it's there mostly so I can have a good conversation with new guests.

Today it's a razor sharp weapon in my hands, prepared to eviscerate whatever should come between me and whats mine.

I move silently as a shadow around the couch and in front of the bedroom door. I fling it open and walk in the room and am immediately aghast with pain, rage, and fear as I see my wife on her back, throat slit, slowly bleeding to death before me.As she looks up at me I see sheer terror come across her face in a wave as she desperately tries to crawl away from me.

She's also trying to scream, see for a moment if you can, in your minds eye, your spouse gurgling their way over the top of your bed, desperately trying to escape, well just you...

I try to comfort her, I try to hold her and tell her that I love her, but all she does is try to squirm away from me as the last of her life ebbs out on the sheets. I start to sob silently as I cradle her in my arms and I feel the wrath rising like a volcano about to erupt. I hear my baby son cry in the next room for half a second, hear it fall silent and know that no matter what I do, I'm already too late.

I kick the door to my sons room off the hinges and into the opposing wall to see a man standing over my sons crib, two of my throwers in his hands, as I see my son struggle helplessly as his life drains out over his tiny little mattress. The volcano erupts and for the first time in my life I have no intention of holding back in a fight. I raise the sword over my head with every intention of severing my enemy's spine until the moment he turns around and I am faced with...

It's just me standing there, staring back at me. Blood dripping off my knives, an ever-so-much-more than sadistic gleam in my eyes as they stare back at me. The blood of my newborn son all over my own hands.

I try so very hard to destroy myself, the sword doesn't work. I slice and slice, but the wounds just heal so fast they don't even have time to bleed. I drop the blade and trust my hands to do their job as he, I, the other one stabs towards my ribcage with a razor sharp throwing knife. I execute the reverse hand disarm perfectly, using three or four times the normal force I was taught to use. It should completely shatter his wrist, to perform the technique thus in real life would render the victim most likely unable to use his hand for anything but a spot to keep a glove for the rest of their life.

Instead of the sounds of bones popping and a screaming victim, which is what the rage wants, the wrist just twists like clay and I catch him smiling at myself as he reaches up at an inhuman angle and slices the left side of my throat with my own knife. I fall to the floor feeling the strength that the rage provided begin to ebb away with the beating of my heart. I see the other me pick up my sword of the floor, stand over me, and begin his motion for his coup de grâce. I see the point of my sword rise and feel the molten hot sensation of it driving its way straight into my heart. I hear the screeching sound it makes as the blade drives against the steel that is now my heart...

I shoot up in bed drenched in sweat with my hands covered in blood. I frantically search for the source and realize I'm just having a nosebleed. I grab a sock off the floor and clean myself up. I look over at my wife who is resting comfortably beside me. I touch her neck just to feel her warmth and her pulse, just to make sure. As soon as I'm sure I get up and make my way to my son's room to check on him. He rolls over when he hears me come in and then immediately drifts off back to sleep. I touch him also, to verify his life, his warmth, and by doing so, my own as well.

I hear the dryer screeching again, the damn things probably about to break, better go and check on it...

Happy Horrorquest...

Let me close this by informing you of what inspired this writeup. I had decided early on this year that I was going to write something for the quest. The more I read previous entries the more I realized that I could never hope to outdo the creativity or skill of the other writer so instead I decided to use a completely different technique to get my writeup noticed.

I decided to use real terror...

Allow me to elaborate.

If you have a wife, husband, child or a family then you already know that your worst fear is something happening to those people and you being able to do absolutely nothing about it.

You see, I really had this dream, more or less. The bit about waking up with the nosebleed is fiction, but the rest is dead on. I had been unemployed for several months at the time, the bills were piling up all over and the stress was putting a tremendous strain on my marriage as well as all my other relationships. I had convinced myself that the entire situation was my fault. I was convincing myself slowly but surely of the idea that the only thing I couldn't protect my family from was myself.

In the end I'm glad I had the dream because it shocked me into remembering that the course of self deprecation held only that, and presented no other genuine solutions. So instead of being very creative, or trying to come up with something that might frighten you, I chose instead to share my very real and completely illegitimate terror that I will prove to be the complete and utter destruction of everyone and everything that I love.

My only hope is that you can understand that the need to express it is anything but self-indulgent, as I no longer feel this way, but instead that you understand that it was the only thing I could think of that has ever genuinely terrified me. Therefore it seemed appropriate.

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