CRASH!! I sat bolt upright in bed. There was a smashing, clattering noise from my living room. I heard another thump, a scuffling sound, and then silence. Wide awake and hyperventilating, I knew immediate action was necessary before the crazed machete-wielding intruder in the next room could finish the job.
Sliding quickly to the floor, I obtained my bedside pistol from its secure hiding place, grabbed the fanny pack containing spare magazines and a flashlight, then cautiously padded to the bedroom door. I slipped into the short hallway leading to the living room, said an abbreviated prayer, crouched, and flipped on the light switch.