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Crib Companion

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Perhaps this is an uninteresting topic on this particular wiki, but I'm going to write about the earliest memory I have. I'm not sure how old I was, and it comes in fragments and flashes—if it weren't so persistent through the years, I would have simply thought it an old dream, but given what my mother and grandmother told in their stories of our childhood, I am slightly squeamish. This isn't about those stories.

The reference to the stories, I shall tell you right now. When my older brother and I were very small, we lived in a somewhat cramped house for almost a year and a half. We were on the second story, and sometimes, mom and nanny would talk with somewhat nervous smiles about how my brother would simply sit in the hallway, staring into the wall at the end of the hall, and how the air was always chilly—despite the general consensus that the cooler air is typically closer to the ground. And about how I would stare into the corner of my room, giggling and clapping and pointing. My mother and grandmother are not the types to believe in "ghosts", but nanny's dog would growl and snarl at the end of the hall, and it never entered my room. Of course, these are simply what me and my brother heard on the few occasions they would take any "supernatural bullshit" seriously.

I, of course, don't remember anything.

Only a small percentage of people retain memories from three and under, and I only have one example of such a thing—not enough to be part of that group.

I've been getting sidetracked. My earliest memory was at a different house, one we lived in until I was four, almost five.

In my memory, hazy as it sometimes gets, fickle as it is, there is a... something. I'm not sure what—under a blanket. I remember vividly the blanket and the patchwork, the childish images. Little angels and cute polka-dots and clouds. I'm sure I wasn't able to talk yet, and the clearest I remember seeing this thing was when there was some sort of little party my mother was hosting with her friends, as she often did back then. I remember that for an undisclosed time I was alone in that dark room, in my crib against the wall with the strange blanket-covered thing looming over my crib. Watching me.

When I see this memory, when I recall it, the emotions I get are calm and curious considering there was a strange thing with me. As though I was familiar with it. And maybe I was. I'm never sure if I can trust what I think I must've thought at the time, considering I'm sure I was maybe a toddler at oldest.

Eventually my grandmother came in, the light from the living room spilling in enough for her to see me, as the door was on the same wall my crib was against. I remember the thing at her shoulder; how she didn't seem to notice it, and how when it was brought out, nobody else so much as looked at it. I think I might've heard some garbled questions at what I was looking at. After all, loud music and a room of strangers weren't exactly a comforting situation, whether in the arms of a trusted family member or not. And my grandmother must've answered something, but I was too busy watching the blanket thing.

It was still hovering over her shoulder, and I don't know why I'm so sure it was looking at me, but it was. Sometimes, when going over this particular memory, I think that surely I must've been imagining things. I probably saw a blanket like that at some point, and it couldn't be a person because a blanket would crease a little at the shoulders—the round top would've been the size of someone's head, but it wasn't. But the memory, the blanket, and the looming are always the same through all the years I've recalled them.

The memory always cuts off though, with my nanny holding me while talking to someone, and the looming thing looking slightly closer than the distance it kept through the memory. I'm always left feeling shaky and confused, a little jumpy, a little flinchy. There isn't any other memory I have where I was still in a crib. Though sometimes, I swear I see the movement of a blanket moving in some of my earlier memories, in the peripheral. It makes me uneasy that I'm apparently completely at ease with the presence in both, that first and only clear memory of the blanket thing, and the snippets of it afterwards.

My unrest comes not only from its mere presence and persistence, and not only because no one else seemed to notice it—though, my brother would sometimes appear uneasy to come near me when we were especially young. Quite a few times, I've tried to find stories of a blanket thing, when I realized the internet could offer answers. I made the searches a little bit more vague than simply "floating blanket following me around", after the many mockeries and jokes about sheet ghosts and college kids harassing their dorm mates.

While I couldn't find much anything about strange blanket-covered things that followed babies and small children around (and a number of sites interested in telling me about hallucinations and hallucination related illnesses and drugs.), I did find stories about people with strange memories about something following them when they were extremely young.

At the same time, I've read about reports from psychologists and psychiatric specialists on the validity of stories like that, and as much as I would like to believe those rather than the thought that I had some strange thing following me around, that might or might not have somehow affected my childhood in strange ways. That one memory of seeing it over my crib and having a staring contest, unable to look away, urges me to believe in it.

If I were more inclined to spirituality, I could simply cry that it was some guardian angel, some benevolent presence. And maybe it was, but it just as easily could have been anything else. Something that wasn't meant to be seen or something that altered me, something that changed my life, or the fabric of my reality.

My blanket thing is the clearest memory that I have, the only one that hasn't changed over time, hasn't taken on a different meaning or faded in the slightest. The tension I feel just before it comes to mind, is disconcerting and I wonder if the reason the memory is so stark, is because my blanket thing is watching or wants to remind me.

My crib companion. I wonder if it's still with me.

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