I used to write short stories when I was younger. I don’t know why I ever stopped. Lately, I’ve been seeing these flash fiction challenges. It sounds fun, so I’m gonna try. I’m nervous, because I’ve never let people read my work. Here it goes. Feel free to tell me what you think.

I turned the key in the lock and opened the front door. To my horror, I see everything is different.

“What the hell,” I whispered. Slowly, I close the door with a soft click.

The living room, my living room, is changed. I mean, it’s still there, but totally rearranged. Where’s my furniture? Where are my decorations. Where. Are. My. Pictures? Whose stuff is this?

Quickly, I run to the dining room. That’s not my table. These are not my chairs. Maybe this is a dream. It has to be. I pinch myself hard on my left arm. Ow! Yea. I’m awake, but what is going on? I rush into the kitchen. All the appliances are updated. There’s a back splash that’s black, grey, and white.

Who did this? My  kitchen needed an upgrade but still. At least get my permission first. Maybe this is one of those home make over shows, but where are all of the people? I did come into the right house, right? Yea. I used my key to get in. My keys are still in my hand as a matter of fact. I look down at them for a long moment before slipping them into my pocket.

I turn and open the fancy new fridge. It’s full of fruits, vegetables, spring water, and almond milk. Where the fuck is my left over pizza? Where’s the carton of spoiled whole milk I keep forgetting to throw out? The expired egg carton? I slam the fridge door. What’s going on?

Briskly, I walk back through the dining, the living room, and down the hall to my bedroom. The door is closed.

Shit! What if someone is here? Then again, if someone was here, he or she would said something by now, right? My hand is frozen just above the door knob. I put my ear to the door. Silence. Oh Sarah, just open it. I take a deep breath and swing the door open.

This has to be the Twilight Zone. Where are my things?!? My canopy bed has been replaced by a queen sized sleigh bed sitting right in the middle of the room. There’s a huge flat screen TV on the wall and a big, brown leather chair in the corner of the room. Hmm. That chair would look better by the window. What!? Focus Sarah.

I walk to the foot of the bed and slowly turn around looking at all the new furniture. Someone has obviously moved into my house. What should I do? Who should I call?

“The police!”

I look around my bedroom for my cordless phone, but there’s not one. I remember seeing a phone on the kitchen counter. Ah ha! I had just walked through the bedroom doorway when I hear the front door open.

Shit! Immediately, I run back into the bedroom and hide on the far side of the bed. What do I do now? What if this person is dangerous? I need a weapon or something I can use to defend myself. I raise up just enough to quickly scan the room. Nope. Nothing I can use for a weapon. I may have to fight my way out of this. I balled up my fists. Oh hell. Who am I kidding? I can’t fight!

“Buster! Where are you going? Don’t you jump on my bed. You know better!” A man yells.

Suddenly I hear clicking sounds coming down the halfway. Crap! I duck back down. Maybe Buster is a little Chihuahua. I could make it out alive if I faced off with a Chihuahua… Maybe.

Slowly, I peek over the bed and see a  beautiful golden retriever prance into the room. Aww. I’ve always wanted one of those dogs. If my life wasn’t in danger, I’d love to pet him. Speaking of my life, how am I going to get out of here? I sigh. That’s when Buster snaps his head in my direction. No, no, no! I duck back down. Please, Buster go find your house stealing master. Nope. Buster slowly walks into view. His head is slightly lowered and his ears are back. He’s starting right at me.

“Hi there,” I whisper in a cheerful, please-don’t-eat-me voice.

Buster begins to growl. It’s a low, deep growl. He doesn’t move closer though.

“Buster! Are you in the window again growling at the squirrels?” The stranger yells down the hall.

Buster quit growling when he heard his name and looked towards the door.

“Yea, Buster, go to your daddy,” I whisper.

He jerks his head back around and stares at me again. Well at least he’s not growling.

Footsteps are coming down the halfway now.

“Buster, if you’re on my bed, you know what’s gonna happen,” the stranger says sternly.

Buster begins whining and looking towards the door.

What am I gonna do? What am I gonna do?

“There you are! Good boy!”

Buster wags his tail and holds his head up high.

Should I just jump up and confront him? He may not be dangerous. I mean, the worst thing he’s done so far is place health food in the fridge. I consider all the other stuff a much needed upgrade.

“Buster, what are you staring at? It better not be a rat. We left those back in New York.” He laughs at his little joke.

So he’s from New York. OK. That’s good info to tell the cops. Keep talking buddy boy and not because your voice is kinda sexy. Ugh! Focus, Sarah!

Suddenly, a man is standing beside Buster. A fine, tall man with delicious muscles and black wavy hair. He was turned side ways, so I couldn’t see his eyes. He was wearing sweaty work out clothes and holding a bottle of water in his hand. His big, strong manly hands. Better to choke you with. I shivered. Buster began to growl again, staring right into my face.

The hot stranger turned and followed Buster’s gaze. “Hmm,” he says drawing his eyebrows together while looking at me.

He walks towards me. I immediately jump to my feet, arms stretched out in front of me protectively. He bends down going right through me. Wait. Right through me??

He straightens up holding a dirty sock in his hand. He turns and holds the sock out to Buster. “This is what you’re afraid of? A sock?”

He doesn’t see me! He doesn’t see me! Oh my god! My arms fall to my sides.

Shit. I’m dead.

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