Worst Nightmare

In suffocating darkness,

Weary eyes blink slowly at the wall

Facing away from beams of moonlight

That stream through dusty blinds.

Sheets rustle and the bed frame creaks

Behind you

Something pokes the back of your head

As hot as a brand but cold enough to petrify you.

A gruff voice orders you to keep quiet

But your thoughts are loud with questions

And the looming possibility of death.

Fear chokes your breath.

You can almost smell gunpowder mixing with blood

As the point on your skull moves down

Over the nape of your neck following the curve 

Of your spine to the small of your back.

You wait for something, anything to happen

As your heart pounds in your chest 

And you taste bile at the base of your throat.

The longer you wait, the more courage you gain

Until you finally throw your head over your shoulder 

Only to see

Nothing.

The burning never goes away.