First Night

The last boxes are unloaded, the rental truck is returned, and the last of the pizza and beer are in the fridge.
Now that my buddies have left, the place is quiet. I revel in it, soak it up like a sponge. This is my house now, and this will be my first night in it.

The one thing we managed to is get the bed together. A quick shower and then to bed. Bone weary, I wonder briefly if I should dig out the sheets, decide against it and collapse on the bed, falling asleep in minutes.

Waking up, I’m disoriented for a moment until I remember where I am. Grabbing my cell phone, I see it’s 3 A.M.
The moonlight plays in the shadows of the room. Then I see it, a figure in the room. Shit, did I forget to lock the door?
“Why are you here?” I ask. Silence.
I roll to my feet, glad now I didn’t dig out the sheets.
When I turn to face the figure, ready to defend myself, he is standing right in front of me.
Dark red splotches cover his face, his corvine nose inches from my own, his eyes milky.
Then in a fetid breath whispers, “We all have it. We are all infected. Soon, so will you.”

I jump as the alarm goes off, a dream, it had been a bad dream.
Every news channel had a story of the spreading pandemic in Asia. It didn’t seem to be a worry.
A few days passed, and I had almost put the dream out of my mind when the realtor gave me a follow-up call.

“Hi Jack, just wanted to see how you’re settling into your new house. If you need any help getting anything turned on or if you have questions?”
“Thanks, Judy utilities are on, the cable is scheduled, settling in just fine. Say, I do have one question come to think of it. What happened to the previous owner?”
“Oh…that he and his family all died of an exotic disease after a trip to Asia.”

Thank you for reading,

Ernest