He awoke suddenly when bright white light flooded the interior of the living room.
He croaked a short, shrill cry, toppling out from his chair onto the floor. Brilliant light seared his eyes, blinding him. His heart began pounding like a jackhammer, threatening to rupture like a bloated corpse. He nervously scrambled to his feet, and sprinted across the living room for the door leading out to the front porch. His hands fell upon the flat white wood, and he peered out the small glass window set into the frame.
Outside, sitting out front in his driveway, was a motionless police cruiser, overhead lights dead by the headlights blazing. The shadows of the night obscured the view of the vehicle's interior.
With trembling, sweat-slick fingers Aaren unfastened the door's lock; he turned the brassed knob, then pushed the door forward. He stepped outside, and the evening's chill bit into his exposed skin instantly, freezing his sweat immediately. He stood on the porch, shivering uncontrollably, and brought up a hand to shield his gaze against the intensity of the broadcast light. No soul within the cruiser acknowledged his presence.
"Hello?" he called out. "You're the cop who was called out about the phone caller, right?"
No reply - no answer, no greeting. No door opened, no officer crawled out. All remained still and silent. The lights continued to burn, however, refusing to diminish or die.
His very nerves beginning to shiver along with him, Aaren stepped out toward the car. He climbed down the porch steps onto the barren gravel beyond. He slinked closer to the cruiser, each succeeding step bringing him closer and closer. He stopped before the passenger side window, bent low, and gazed into the vehicle's interior.
There was no one, driver or passenger, in the car at all. There was, however, seating stained with fresh, red, wet blood. Above the blood, atop the driver's seat, a derelict police cap sat perched like a squat raven which had died in its sleep.
Aaren screamed, blind hysteria claiming his soul. He leapt back, tripped over his own feet, toppled over backward and collapsed to the hard-packed ground. He shrieked again, then once more, as he clawed his way back toward the porch and safety - safety from this foreboding vehicle and its morbid contents. He hauled himself to his feet and raced up the steps onto the porch. Seizing the knob in a vice-like grip, he twisted it clockwise, and pulled the door to him.
From the dark threshold of the opening, a tall figure lunged out.
Aaren's throat tightened, sealing shut, allowing nothing but the slightest choked wheeze to escape. Solid muscle collided with him, and he was driven backward. He toppled over the steps, and his skull made violent contact with the hard earth. The figure fell atop him and lay still. Aaren's eyes grew wide, nearly popping out of his head, as a severe stroke arrested him.
Collapsed upon him was the cadaverous cop who had arrived in the now-derelict police cruiser, his eyes glassy, his shredded throat thick with clotting gore.
As he left this mortal coil, Aaren Heptesz absorbed one final scene into the depths of his failing brain. There, beyond the fallen corpse of the slain officer, within the depthless darkness of the open doorway, a tall and menacing figure stepped forward. The man-like shape, clad in a gray trench coat with a rubber gorilla mask pulled down over its visage, was revealed in the headlights of the car. Its right arm came up, unveiling a humanoid hand covered in gray fur with fingers sporting a set of sharp, bloodstained claws. The impossible hand reached up and clawed away the mask; the faux simian face fell to the porch deck, discarded like a shed skin.
"One little monkey jumping on the bed. He fell out and bumped his head. The momma called the doctor and the doctor said: 'Send that monkey straight to bed'".
The snarling, gray-furred-and-yellow-eyed felinoid looked unsettingly like an anthropomorphized version of Aaren's beloved pet tabby cat, Cornelio.