Someone was knocking at the door. Carrie turned to glance at her bedside clock. It was 3:00 in the morning. Who would be visiting her at that hour?
The knocking became more persistent during the time it took her to pull on her jeans. “I’m coming,” she yelled as she scurried down the stairs. After checking herself in the hallway mirror, she peered through the peephole to see who was at the door. There was no one there.
Moving to the side window of her wrap around porch, Carrie found she had a good view of the doorway. No one was there. She then moved to the living room window where she could see the driveway. No car was parked at her house.
She told herself that whoever it was must have given up, which was a smart move on their part. Carrie was more than ready to give them a tongue lashing for their early morning visit.
She glided into the kitchen to get a glass of water before heading back upstairs. Shaking her head slowly, from side to side, she wondered if she had dreamed the whole thing.
Once back in her room, Carrie looked out of her bedroom window one final time to make sure that she hadn’t missed something. Her front yard was bathed in the light of her security system so she could see everything perfectly. There simply wasn’t anyone there.
No sooner had she fallen back to sleep when, once again, she heard the sound of knocking. Was it the front door? Or could it have been the back one? She hadn’t even bothered to check on that. After all, she had been convinced that the sound had come from the front of the house.
This time Carrie tiptoed out onto the second floor landing and waited. “Thump, thump, thump!” the knocking began again. This time Carrie was certain that it had not come from the front. So she moved quickly down the stairs and headed to the kitchen where the back door was located.
She decided to leave the lights off as she went to peek out the back door curtain. Once again, nothing was there. Opening the curtain more, she could see the entire back yard. Yet, there wasn’t a sign that anyone had been there.
Carrie stared at the ground just below the porch stairs. If anyone had come up that way, they would have left a footprint. It had rained for the last two days and the ground was still soaked with water. There was no evidence of any kind of print.
Puzzled, she decided to sit in the kitchen for a few minutes to see if the knocking would begin again. After 20 minutes of waiting, she convinced herself that, whoever was there, had gone home. Once again, she worked her way back upstairs and to her bed.
It was now after 5:00 a.m. The sun would be rising soon enough.
Once again, she settled back into her bed. She drifted off quickly prepared for a pleasant dream to erase all of the confusion.
However, Carrie didn’t dream, because she allowed herself only a light sleep state. Something in her seemed to know that her visitor wasn’t yet finished with her.
“Thump, thump, thump,” the knocking began again waking Carrie instantly. But she was no longer intrigued or amused. This time, a new feeling entered her mind – – fear.
The clock recorded 5:45 a.m.; just about 30 minutes until the sun was scheduled to make its arrival. Her husband was usually home before that. Carrie decided she would just wait this one out from the comfort of her bed.
“Thump, thump, thump.” It seemed that each knock got louder until Carrie was certain it was coming from just outside her bedroom door. Her eyes were riveted on the doorknob.
If it moved, what would she do? Had she locked the door? She couldn’t remember and there wasn’t enough light in the dark room to see if the lock was in the right position.
“Thump, thump, thump.” This time Carrie was knew with certainty that the knocking was coming from her bedroom door. But how? Who? Why? Dozens of questions rushed into her mind, which was now gripped in abject terror.
“It is time to go!” a voice rasped loud enough that it seemed to be only inches from her bed. Carrie looked at the clock once more. It was nearly 6:00 a.m. Her husband would come home any minute and the sun would rise, chasing her nightmare away.
Then Carrie heard the door squeak as it opened. She hadn’t locked it after all. Paralyzed with fear, she couldn’t even force her body to make a run for it into the bathroom. All she could do was stare into space.
Slowly the door opened, squeaking obnoxiously with every move. Although the darkness allowed her no evidence of who was coming through it. Nonetheless, she felt a presence.
“What do you want?” Carrie cried out, her voice trembling. “If want money, all my jewelry and valuables are on the chest next to the door. Please just take them and go.”
No voice spoke. All she heard was deafening silence. Straining her eyes, Carrie tried to see who had entered her room, but she couldn’t. Why hadn’t she left the heavy drapes open enough for the security lighting to shine through?
“It is time to go!” a voice whispered close enough to her ear that she automatically reached up to swat it away. Finally, released from fear’s grip temporarily, she reached to turn on the bedside lamp. If she was going to die, Carrie decided that she wanted to face her attacker.”
The lamp lit up the entire bedroom. The door was ajar, just as she had anticipated. However, she saw no one in the room.
“It is time to go!” she heard the voice floating above her head. As she turned to look in its direction, all of her fear washed away.
Floating just above her bed, an angel was lit with a magical aurora borealis light of yellow, pink, blue, and green. Showly, it floated down to touch her cheek with a soft caress. As it did so, the light seemed to enter her body giving her perfect peace.
“It is time to go home, Carrie,” it sang to her very gently. “It is time to go home where you belong. Your life here is done.”
Instinctively she wondered why her time was up and what had happened. However, the truth was Carrie no longer cared. She simply longed to be wrapped in the loving wings of the one who had come to take her home.
As the thought took form in her mind, it played out exactly as she imagined. Within seconds, the angel had enfolded Carrie in its arms and disappeared in a perfect ball of light.
“Carrie, I’m home,” a booming voice broke the silence of the house. “That means it is time for you to get up,” John Wallace joked as he bounded up the stairs two at a time. “Wake up sleepy head.”
Rushing into the bedroom he shared with his wife of 20 years, John stopped dead in his tracks the moment he opened the door. There on the bed they shared together lay his wife, limp as a rag doll.
Running to her, he called her name. Gently, brushing her long blond curls away from her face, he pulled her cold body into his arms.
“Carrie, baby, wake up; please wake up,” he sobbed. It was at that moment he first noticed the bruises around her neck. He put his head to her chest to hear her heartbeat, but there was nothing.
Instantly, he jumped into action trying to revive his beloved with mouth to mouth resuscitation. But somewhere deep inside of him, he already knew it was too late.
After the autopsy, the police informed John has his wife had died only a couple of hours before his arrival home. Someone had broken in through a basement window and made his way upstairs to her room.
Unfortunately, Carrie had awakened as the robber was emptying her jewelry box. Rather than leaving her as a witness to his crimes, the robber had strangled her. The estimated time of death was 3:00 a.m.