Por Juan José Salinas.

The last guest had gone. It was very late and I had to get up early the next day, so I didn´t bother to clean the living-room or wash the ashtrays. I turned the lights off. An unexpected flash of lightning made me stop, just in front of a chair that was at the bottom of the stairs. “Someone must have left it there accidentally”, I said to myself.

The storm began. As I climbed up the stairs, the creaking noises I’d grown accustomed to echoed in the mysterious emptiness of my big house. I was living alone there and some rooms were completely empty for I hadn’t enough furniture to fill them with. It was an old Victorian mansion I’d acquired not long before. The spaces were cold, large, silent.

Suddenly, I heard a noise that made me stop in the middle of the stairs. I could hear nothing but the rain hitting the windows. Through their huge panes, the trees, swaying from side to side, could hardly be seen and, miles away, the lights of an ocassional car shone almost impercetibly in the night.

It was  a dark night. The front page of the newspaper suddenly came to my mind: a murder near Lonetown; a massacre, in fact. A man, his wife and four children had been stabbed to death.  The work of a lunatic, undoubtedly. I walked on towards the bathroom and was about to enter when I heard the front door slammed.

Someone had entered. I couldn’t move and my breath quickly sped up. The rain kept pouring down outside and drops were slowly trickling down my cheeks, my chin and my back. I headed swiftly and silently towards my room. The creaking noises of the stairs revealed the abominable truth: he was on the second floor.

I recalled another image: the newspaper’s photograph of a long, thin, shiny knife, with a jagged edge. Was he after me? Panic took over me, controlling my movements and feelings; I was trembling in the dark and my breath could easily be heard. He could easily hear it. I looked for something in my room, something to defend myself with.

His  steps now sounded rythmically in the dark. I stood behind the door to have a chance if he opened it; the chance I needed. He was so close now that I could hear the keys jingling in his pocket. It was this that confirmed my theory. It was him.

“Massacre at Lonetown” the big, black, dark letters had said. It was him. By the time he stopped in front of my bedroom door, I had already caught his smell. The usual smell of the police officer who is determined to catch the murderer, the lunatic. I stayed inside, clinged to my long, thin, shiny knife I had succeeded in finding, waiting for the door to be opened. And it was.

Juan José Salinas
39 años