My pulse was strong and fast. I could feel it in my neck, the buzzing in my ears, and the top of my chest, pounding and so loud I was certain he could hear me. The sharp crack had brought me out of a sound sleep and my instinct was to run into the closet. The clothes in the closet felt soothing and helped me calm down - slightly, the smells of my body and my girlfriend’s gave an instantaneous and incongruous surge of safety and warmth.I pushed that out of the way immediately, damned if I was going to be lulled out of my alertness. I had to breathe carefully and quietly. How he got into the house was beyond me. I had new locks and dead bolts installed as soon as this nightmare started, but he easily broke in, and was searching the lower floor. It wouldn’t be long until he started up the stairs, he was after me and wouldn’t stop until he found me and “executed” me. I had a gun in my right hand, my 9mm semiautomatic; there was a round in the chamber. So when he opened the door, I could fire quickly and keep firing until the clip was empty. No, I wouldn’t reload – end up like Danny Palm, never reload, but make sure you have a full clip when you start. Could he be on “speed?” I had heard what that does to people, gives them superhuman strength and endurance, maybe the 9mm wouldn’t be enough, but it was too late to get the .357, besides it was a revolver and only held 6 shots I wanted to put more into his body. Can’t be concerned about that now. The recent visits to the range would have to count. I think I heard the stairs creak. How the hell did this happen?