A/N - The story begins at the end.. almost.


Bolt upright. A frighteningly familiar feeling. Glancing at the clock it blinked 2:13. My birth date. Six minutes. My mind wouldn't let go. Six minutes until, something happened, or possibly, hopefully, seven minutes, and I would have peace in my life again.

2:14. The clock clicked another minute by. Six years, six months, six days, six hours and now only five minutes left. Surrounded by the darkness I waited, curling up in a fetal position, hoping, praying, time would pass quickly, begging it to go slowly, hoping 2:20 would arrive safely.

The children safe at their father's house for the weekend. At least I knew they would be okay. This was my nightmare, not theirs.

I stared blankly into the dark. Wrapping myself in the night, hoping I could be absorbed into the nothingness and disappear, but that wretched clock, with it's blinking numbers, stared back at me, mocking, tormenting, telling me to beware. 2:15. My stomach ached.

Shivering, laying in sweat drenched sheets I tried to calm myself. Heart racing, head aching, stomach churning, terror engulfed me. Attempting a prayer I couldn't form one. What would I ask for? Stop time? Then I would be trapped forever in this moment. Would that be better or worse?

How did I get here? Was I truly crazy? 2:16. In three minutes I would have my answer. Information I dreaded. I'd rather be crazy than face this nightmare, but it was not up to me. The sheets moved startling me. Tears trickled across my cheeks further soaking the sweat soaked pillowcase. The nausea begged me to go to the bathroom, but numbness and fear kept me frozen in place. Shaking, shivering, heart pounding, my body wanting to explode caused more slight rustling of my sheets, but there was nothing I could do. Frozen in place, in spite of my desire to escape, to run, to hide. But it was all pointless. He would find me anywhere. He promised that long ago, exactly six years, six months, six days, six hours and three minutes ago.

Green numbers blinked. 2:17. Two minutes. I wondered if I could survive another two minutes. The promise, the threat, the moment, was a dream, I told myself over and over. A nightmare, a horrible stupid nightmare. But it had impacted my life in ways no one could comprehend. You're being stupid and paranoid, I chided myself, the same as I had for so many years, but I couldn't let go. In two minutes I would know. Do nightmares come true? Is there more to life than what I see? Is this of my own making? Or is it real? And which would I rather it be?

One minute until the time. One minute. He guaranteed he would be here in exactly one minute. 2:18 blinked relentlessly. I closed my eyes against the clock, willing it to be gone. Willing the minute to go away, willing the minute to last forever. Suffocating terror gripped me. One minute more, and I would know. I would have the answers to all my nightmarish questions, and I would know. Crazy? Sane? Living? Dead? In two minutes it would be over, or, it would finally, just begin.