I awoke with a start and rolled over so violently that I screamed out as pain blossomed in my leg. I sat up and massaged my cramped leg and looked around to see what had yanked me out of a deep sleep. I swung around and tenderly put pressure on my leg, and that’s when I felt it.
The carpeted floor was warm under my bare foot and it was never this warm in the middle of the night. I could see flickering light under the door and knew that I was encountering my worst fear. I felt that if I touched the doorknob, my fingers would be scalded. Sure enough, a finger of flame stretched above the lower hinge, hungrily reaching for me. The room seemed to close in on me as I realized I had nowhere to escape. The fire sucked all of the air from my bedroom and my breathing became labored. It was like an evil presence, biding its time on the other side of the door. Soon it would enter and take me unwillingly into its smoldering embrace.