I was in my yard playing with the snow on a cold December day whenever a man I'd never seen before approached me.
"Hey. I have something to tell you." The man said.
"...What?" I responded, suspiciously.
"That Christmas tree you have up... it's going to burn tonight." he replied. I was hit by confusion.
"What do you mean? Who are you?!" I asked.
"Just make sure to lock that door." He pointed towards my house. I turned my head. He was aiming at the back door.
Whenever I turned my head back around, he was gone. I scanned my surroundings.
No sign of him.
I froze in my position for a little bit, letting his words sink into my head. I then took off inside and told my dad about my encounter.
"What the hell? He just walked into our yard and told you that?" My dad asked.
"Yes." I responded. He shook his head and then started to the closet.
He came back with two shot guns.
"He'll be pretty damn lucky if he even makes it to our porch." He said, loading the two guns. "Chris, you guard the front door. I'll guard the back door," He commanded to my brother, Chris. "You make sure all the windows are locked." He told me. I did exactly as directed.
That night, I heard the smoke alarm.
I ran into my living room, and what I saw made my heart pound in my ears.
The Christmas tree was on fire.
"WHAT THE HELL!" My dad yelled. A few seconds later, my brother jogged into the room with the fire extinguisher and started showering the flames until the tree was clear. "Chris, did anyone get passed you?" My dad asked.
"No! I know I didn't doze off, and I never left my chair. No one came through!" Chris replied. I could see the shock splattered on his face.
"Then how the hell did this happen..." My dad questioned, obviously upset.
I stood there, startled. I couldn't take my eyes off of the burnt tree.
But what really startled me was when I realized the man was right. He said the tree would burn tonight, and it did.
All of a sudden, the tears came falling. I ran to my room and locked the door behind me. I wiped the tears away and looked up.
My eyes met a note sitting on my bed. I picked it up.
'I warned you.' The note read.
My body went numb.
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