It is nearly a quarter past three
when the phone’s ring awakens me.
Only silence on the other end
in rapid succession, I fire off the names of friends.
The only response is a breath and a click.
I count my heartbeats; I count the clock’s ticks.
The dogs howl outside, but not at the moon.
I dive under the covers in my tiny bedroom.
A light rap ricochets on the glass
as I imagine my fate has already been cast.
I hear the familiar squeak of the door.
I crawl under the bed, my face flat on the floor.
My heart thump, thumps, thumps under my skin.
Footsteps are creeping from the kitchen to the den.
Then down the hallway and past the bath.
I try to come up with a plan – an escape path.
I can do nothing, but hide under the bed.
My heartbeat pounding, my mind filled with dread.
The covers are lifted and light floods in.
Two beady eyes and a wide toothy grin.
And I remember, today is the day my cousin was flying in!
L.B. Sedlacek is an award winning poet and author with poetry and fiction appearing in many different journals and zines. Her latest poetry books are “The Adventures of Stick People on Cars” (Alien Buddha Press), “The Architect of French Fries” (Presa Press) and “Words and Bones” (Finishing Line Press.) She is a former Poetry Editor for “ESC! Magazine” and also co-hosted the podcast for the small press, “Coffee House to Go,” for several years. She teaches poetry at local elementary and middle schools and publishes a free resource for poets, “The Poetry Market Ezine.” In her free time, LB enjoys swimming, reading, and taking guitar lessons.