I froze, staring through the windows at the stranger. Fear knifed through me, leaving an edge of raw panic.
The back door, I thought in near hysteria, I could run now out the door and maybe get to the trees in time. Shoes…did I have time to slip them on or should I take my chances? Mounting panic was beginning to choke me with indecision.
Ohmygodohmygod…run, run, run…insidious terror drained me of any coherent thought or action.
I stopped myself. What in hell was going on? What in the name of heaven was wrong with me? Humming swords, voices cursing at me; now I had such frantic dread that I turned into a quivering mass at the appearance of a strange man?
Fear pulsed through me again, clutching at me with cold, icy fingers. I felt an intense desire to run, to hide to find a place where I could curl into a ball, whimper with eyes closed tight, hoping that I would not be found or noticed.
I closed my eyes
for a moment, pulled in a broken gulp of air, and willed myself into a calm state. I opened my eyes just as the second knock sounded, and stretched out my hand to open the door. I hesitated when I saw that my hand trembled.
Suddenly I was angry, fire-hot mad. With my lips pursed, my teeth clenched, I fisted my hand, digging my nails into my palm. Then, I lifted my shoulders, smoothed my twisted face, and reached again for the doorknob.
Besides, God hates a coward.
I opened the door and opened my life to meet the blazing new sun.
Now, what do you guys think?
Oh, and I will add that I felt my own heart start to beat faster at the ohmygod. I wanted to look around and see what it was! Excellent job instilling fear and tension :)