I pricked up my ears. The soothing songs of the birds in my dream had just been interrupted by a clang from downstairs.

Sure enough, a quiet murmur made its way up to my room. I lived alone and didn’t have any pets. Something was here. Cold shivers ran down my back.

A primal fear began creeping into me, and my mind was racing. My house was isolated, a small speck of humanity in the otherwise dense swampland.

Years ago, I might have been able to jump out of the window, but not anymore. My thoughts drifted to the old rifle in the basement.

I had to go and fetch it; meeting any unwanted visitors while unarmed was unthinkable. I made my way over to the stairwell.