As a heavy black velvet curtain of night fell over the city a strikingly cold wind howled like a pack of coyotes prowling the deserted streets. The pale yellow light from the streetlamps seemed to swirl over and around the homes and trees as the lightpoles swayed under the force of the aggressive chinook. Shadows danced on the sidewalks and streets like marionettes on strings being mishandled by half-drunk barflys.
Very few homes in the neighborhood directly east of the reservoir evidenced any sign of activity, as the hour was late and the majority of the small communities residents were soundly sleeping in their warm beds.
In one small home on an otherwise completely darkened street the light from an upstairs bedroom broke up the monotonous pitch of late evening. In that bedroom a small old man lay in a large bed, his body covered in heavy blankets up to his neck, his head resting lightly on a soft, down-filled pillow. In a chair in one corner of the room a nurse sat dozing, her exhaustion from the days activities keeping even the loud groans and creaks of the old house from disturbing her slumber.
Suddenly she sat bolt upright in the chair, her eyes wide and her ears alert. She had heard the old man speak, something that had not occurred in two full weeks. She stared in the direction of the bed, her eyes straining to make out the frail figure laying underneath the blankets.
The weak voice of the nearly one hundred year-old man broke the eerie silence again. "He is coming for me, I can can feel him approaching. He is coming for me tonight." The words came out in strained gasps, and after each word the old man paused as if reading from poorly written note cards.
The hair on the arms of the nurse stood on end and a chill shook her entire body. She stood up from the chair and looked into the darkness and asked, "What was that Mr. Hartson? Is there something you need?"
"No," came the quick reply from the direction of the large bed. "I have no use for anything, anymore. He is coming for me tonight."
Before she could ask her charge just who he was referring to, a loud knocking came from the front door downstairs. The nurse turned in the direction of the bedroom door and stood quietly, wondering if her mind was playing tricks on her. The faint light of a small lamp in the hall was visible from under the door, and she forced herself to move toward it.