“I keep waking up in the middle of the night," said Thomas Smith.
His psychiatrist had been trying to help, but there wasn’t much more she could do.
“Go on," she said.
“It just keeps happening. I will wake up around 3 a.m. every morning and be scared about something in the house.”
“We’ve talked about this before. These fears are probably about something else that’s on your mind, a worry or trouble that is unresolved.”
“I think something is trying to get me."
“Okay, let’s try something different today. Make sure you don’t drink any caffeine. Get some exercise to tire yourself out. And then tell yourself that everything is fine before you go to bed.”
“Okay, I will do all of these things." He stood up to leave.
“You can do this," said Dr. Artesia as she smiled at him with encouragement.
Thomas Smith left her office and she made some notes. She believed he was nervous and anxious, but she didn’t want to give him medication just yet.
That day Thomas Smith avoided anything with caffeine. He did extra long walks throughout the day. And for good measure, he decided to take a long hot shower.
“This doesn’t look right," he said as he turned on the hot water. He noticed that his shampoo and conditioner bottles appeared to have been moved.
He tried to focus on his shower. The steam filled the small bathroom and he scrubbed his body and lathered the soap all over.
“Let me touch you," said a woman’s voice.
He turned and found a woman in the shower with him. She was nude like him and she moved in close and wrapped her arms around him.
“My name is Sara," she said. “You forgot to lock the front door of the house."
Thomas Smith awoke suddenly. He was sweating all over and he tried to calm himself and breathe.
He grabbed the baseball bat that he kept under his bed. He started down the stairs and almost slipped because he didn’t hold the handrail.
“Hurry, get to the door," he told himself.
Sure enough, the door was unlocked so he quickly bolted it shut. How could that have happened?
He sat in the kitchen and heard the distant rumble of the train tracks.
The wind howled.
He tried to relax but just couldn’t. Something was bothering him.
“It’s all in my head," he said. “I just need to calm down."
He heard a noise upstairs. He lived alone so it wasn’t another person.
“I’ve got to conquer this," he said as he made his way back upstairs.
He tried to walk quietly but even the carpet made a sound.
He got close to where the noise had come from. The window was half open.
All of a sudden, the window curtain moved backward and a big cat jumped into his house. He stood still add watched it.
The thin orange feline headed to a corner and made himself at home. It stretched and then let out a few meows before falling asleep.
Well, at least now Thomas Smith knew what was waking him up at night. He went back to bed.
After he put away the bat, he slipped under the covers. Something was bothering him.
“How come the cat has three tails?”