This page is rated M for Frequent Horror Themes.
It started as he was drifting off into sleep, when he saw a shadowy phantom at the edge of his vision approaching him.
Opening his eyes, he realized that the phantom wasn't there; only a figment of his imagination, created by his dreaming mind.
When he shut his eyes, though, the phantom was closer, and this time, he could see that it bore a hatchet.
He opened his eyes again. This was starting to become too real. Not one for superstition, he still couldn't bear to have this disturbing apparition approaching him, even if it was purely imaginary.
He wanted to call out for help, but didn't want to wake the sleeping occupants of the house over some trifling nightmare. If it were real, nobody would believe him, and if it weren't, it would hardly be worthwhile waking them for.
Then he realized what he could do. Whether or not it was real, he had a way to test its reality…and a means of keeping himself safe if the phantom was, indeed, more real than a dream. Telling himself that it was only a dream wasn't going to keep him from feeling too scared to sleep, so he tried this instead.
He closed his eyes, then saw the phantom again, still with the hatchet. He watched with his mind's eye as the phantom came closer, according to plan. As it drew within arm's reach of his bed, it raised the hatchet.
This was when he executed his plan. Willing himself to move the arms of the dream him, he reached out with both hands and grabbed the two sides of the hatchet as it came down, pulling himself into awakeness as he did so.
He stared at his hands. Expecting it to be no more than a dream, he couldn't deny the hatchet held between his two hands.
As strange as this was, though, he knew one thing for sure: the phantom was now unarmed.
Closing his eyes, he watched as the phantom ran off into the darkness, then fell into his usual sleep before he could decide what to do with the hatchet. That could wait for the next morning.