Inhale, exhale, inhale, exhale; his breath pumped hard and fast. The moonlight streamed through the window onto his face beneath the hall table. He swallowed. His chest heaved with the labored breath. He looked up from beneath.
No sound came. Nothing moved. He pulled his legs tighter to his chest. The shadows carved out harsh eye sockets on his face. The curve of his nose exaggerated itself across his round cheek. Shadows buried the rest of him.
He closed his eyes and swallowed again. Though still deep, his breathing slowed. He gulped some air then opened his eyes. With his head held still, he looked to his left and then to his right. He saw nothing.
His eyes looked sporadically from side to side as he went over what happened. No one expected it. He certainly didn?t expect it. Now he expected it any moment.
His left hand came up to rub its index finger along the table leg. The leg curved gently to meet the delicate surface above. The varnish glistened in the moon light. Shadows picked out the rough oak grain.
He leaned toward the edge of the table and looked up from beneath. Light glistened from the sweat in his hair and on his forehead. Cautiously, he slid further past the edge of the table. Nothing happened. He moved a little further. Still nothing happened and he saw nothing.
Scanning the darkness around him and over the table, he let out a sigh. His body fell back to its seated position. He took a few more breaths.
His face scrunched toward his nose as he planned his next move. After a moment, he squeezed his eyes shut and took a few deep, controlled lungfuls. He leaned forward, away from the wall, and put his feet beneath him. With one last search of the darkness, he launched himself from beneath the table.