As I was leaving the house for my Sunday run (yes, smug, aren’t I), I noticed two large, wet footprints in the porch of Randall Towers. I stopped and considered them for a moment. Somebody had recently visited our door, but hadn’t left anything. It was Sunday, so no postal deliveries. So why had they been standing at the main entrance to our house?
Earlier, I had awoken from a dream, where I had been walking along a city street, when, out of a side road, hundreds of people emerged, running up the hill I had apparently been walking down. I stopped and watched them hurriedly making their way up the incline. Why were they in such a hurry? More to the point, were they running towards or away from something? I decided that it may be best to retrace my steps, turning and jogging leisurely after the crowd. That’s when I noticed the rather well built unshaven man with wild eyes along side me. He was dressed in a check shirt and moleskin trousers, pulled almost to his chest and fastened by a wide, black belt. But the thing I noticed most was the large meat cleaver in his right hand, glinting in the streetlights, dripping with blood.
He stared into my eyes, keeping pace with me, as he raised the cleaver above his head and aimed it in my direction…
That was when I’d woken up. So, was this dream a portent? Was somebody watching the house, waiting for the right time to pounce? Worse still, had somebody retreated from the front entrance and found another way into the house?
Perhaps they were waiting for me in another room, hidden in the shades, check shirt rolled to the elbow to reveal hairy arms, thick, strong fingers wrapped around the handle of a large meat cleaver.
My reverie was interrupted by Miss Katherine, standing in the hallway behind me.
“What’s the matter?” she asked.
I tried my best not to be too dramatic.
“Somebody has been to our front door early this morning, but not to drop anything off,” I explained.
“Why do you think that?”
I pointed out the two size nine footprints on the flagstones outside the door. She stared at them for a moment. Perhaps I’d spooked her, too.
“That would be the footprints you made when clearing up the cat sick this morning,” she explained, before making her way to the coffee machine.