Marcus startled awake. A cold sweat held his clothes close to the skin. His body was drenched like the world outside his bedroom window in the onslaught of the beating rain. He rocked with the pounding of his chest. The house, the aromas, even the ghost of his father were too vivid; it all seemed so real.
The clock on his nightstand displayed 3:34 a.m. in an ominous red glow. Familiar shapes began to form in his vision as his eyes adjusted to the dark. His humble apartment paled in comparison to the house in his nightmare, but the simple three bedroom abode was home.
The packed suitcase illuminated by a sliver of moonlight cutting through the rain and pouring in through the window contained the heavy weight of an emotional baggage collected over the years. He knew going home was the right thing, but he did not feel right about it, and the nightmare only seemed to speak to his fears. At best he would receive a cold reception, at worst, things would turn violent.
He settled back down eyelids straining against the weight of slumber. Soon his thoughts and consciousness gave way to visions of a bloody homecoming.