I stood at the kitchen counter, pouring over the bills. Oddly, the room was dimly lit. Usually I'm one to keep many lights on, especially on a dreary, rainy day like this. The TV played in the living room. Frasier was on; my favorite TV show. Frasier and Niles were discussing each other's levels of happiness with their lives. My girls, 12 and 20, had been scurrying back and forth between the back patio and their rooms. My son, 21, was still asleep, his first day off from both work and college classes in weeks. My husband had gone out of town for a conference and wouldn't be back till the weekend.
A knock at the back door had me spinning around in frustration. I'd told the girls to leave me be while I got all of my paperwork done. I was startled to see a young man, 25 or so, standing in the doorway. It suddenly occurred to me I hadn't heard the girls in several minutes. As I approached the door, he opened it. I stopped, stepped back, and then instinctively lunged forward to keep him from coming in any further. His hand was caught in the door. I wanted him to go away, but I kept pressing on the door even as it held him there. In the scuffle I hadn't noticed three young women coming up behind him, and now all of them were pressing against the door. I couldn't hold them all at bay and the door flew open. Never losing composure, the young man began to lecture me about the undoing of my evil ways while the three women staked out positions in the rest of the kitchen. In a creepy, monotone voice and with a relentless stare, he recited biblical scripture after scripture, demanding my repentance. The women repeated his every word with sickening singsong voices.
I yelled to my daughters, hoping they could hear me wherever they were. "Get out of the house! Go through the front door and get in the car!"
I heard my youngest cry out from the living room. She let loose with a blood curdling scream followed by an angry wail from my older daughter, "This is my house! Get out! I'll kill you! I mean it!" I ran to the front door. I pushed the girls aside. My older daughter grabbed her younger sister and held her in a protective embrace. Whilst I was feeling both terrified and angry, she was only enraged. My younger daughter collapsed in tears.