I awoke one night, lying face down in my bed, unable to move.

This had happened to me before many times. I was told by a doctor that it was sleep paralysis, and that it could be triggered by changes in sleeping pattern, stress, falling asleep in a certain position, eating certain things before going to bed, alcohol consumption, etc. Sometimes, I saw things. They varied from innocent kittens at my door to terrifying demons clawing at my flesh. These were called hypnagogic hallucinations, and were normal, I was told. Just a disturbance in the REM cycle, nothing to be afraid of...

This particular night, and the events that followed, were different. The window beside me was open, a cold breeze blew the curtains above me. I hadn't gone to bed with my window open. I felt as if I was being watched. Through my peripheral vision, I saw a little girl standing in my window. She had soft looking black hair, fair skin, and wore a white dress. Smiling widely, she pressed her finger to her lips.


She giggled, and then the window slammed shut. I suddenly felt a huge weight on my back, I couldn't breathe. Long black strands of hair, dripping in grease, draped over my face on both sides. Two cold, wet hands pinned down mine, bony fingers interlocking with mine. It pushed my body against the bed, my face forced in a pillow.

I heard a faint whispering. It grew louder and faster, until it was so loud it hurt my ears. The words were sharp and quick, like a sword being drawn from its casing. It is hard to describe the voice, or voices I heard. There was what sounded like Latin chanting, backwards English, warped, distorted music; screeching violins and the frantic banging of a piano, and a constant hissing of the words "suicide" and "silence". This all happened at once, and continued on for what seemed like hours. I lied there, paralyzed. I could still feel its cold, wet body against mine. I didn't want to think about the creature, I could only imagine how terrifying it looked. Its voice alone was enough to drive me mad. I grew weak, as if I were going to fall into some kind of deep sleep. My breaths grew slower and more sparse. Cold lips grazed the back of my neck, and an even colder hand caressed my cheek. The creature then emitted a horrific, blood curdling scream before finally releasing me.

The weight was lifted from my back. There was no more whispering. It was finally over. I rolled across the bed and jumped to the floor, sprinting towards the light switch. It was taking longer than usual. Something still wasn't right. I turned on the light and looked around my room. Everything was in its place. I opened the door and looked down the hallway. Two blue eyed Siamese kittens sat at the end of the hall. I could hear them purring in unison. Something was very wrong, I didn't own any Siamese kittens... I walked slowly towards them. They seemed innocent enough, after all, they were a refreshing change from that beast that had pinned me to my own bed. I bent down and looked at them. They looked back at me, mewing and tilting their heads to the side. I extended my hand. Both of the kittens began licking my fingertips. Hallucinations or not, they were adorable. I tried to pick them up, but one hissed and with a swift motion of its paw, sliced my face. I dropped both of the kittens, and they skittered away with their fur bristled.

I was back in my bed. It was as if nothing had happened. I rolled across the bed and stood up slowly before turning my light on. This time, everything was normal. No strange kittens. I was actually awake this time. I walked down the hallway and into the bathroom. I turned on the light and looked into the mirror. To my horror, my pajamas were stained with black grease, and I had three claw marks across my cheek, freshly bleeding. I panicked. Was I still trapped in my nightmarish state? Or had it all been real? Both thoughts terrified me. I collapsed on the cold bathroom floor.

I woke up in a hospital bed, the bright lights stunning my eyes and aggravating my already pounding head. Apparently, my little brother had found me unconscious on the bathroom floor. He alerted my parents and they rushed me to the hospital.

"What happened?" I asked.

"Well, you fell in the bathroom somehow, and hit your head pretty hard..." My mother explained. She didn't mention the strange black grease staining my clothes, or the three claw marks on my face, but she eyed them carefully.

"She's so clumsy, she probably slipped in the shower and knocked herself out cold!" My little brother Timothy interjected.

My dad chuckled, and my mom elbowed him, giving him a stern look.

The doctor explained that I had fallen and hit my head, resulting in a minor concussion. Unfortunately, I didn't hit my head hard enough. Amnesia would have been a blessing. I still remembered everything that had happened. I shuddered under my standard issue white blanket.

On the way home, I sat in the back seat of the car with Timothy. I wanted to tell someone what had happened leading up to my collapse in the bathroom, but I knew no one take me seriously. They knew about the issues I had with sleep paralysis in the past, but they took them with a grain of salt. They were nothing more than silly nightmares to them.

I remained silent on the way home and for the rest of the day. I grew weary as each minute passed. Each minute that passed was another minute closer to nightfall, which was when I would be going to bed. I decided not to sleep that night. Or the next night. Or the one after that...

After being awake for ten days straight, my parents took me back to see the doctor. He prescribed me some sleeping pills. At first, I was afraid to take them. I didn't want to go to sleep and experience that horror again. But both my body and mind were exhausted, so I gave in that night and took one of the pills. I slept through the night and woke up with ease. Relief rushed over me. Each night, I took the pills and fell asleep. Each morning, I woke up without incident. This peace continued for months. The sleep paralysis seemed like a distant memory.

One day, I came home more tired than usual. It was still early, three in the afternoon, but I decided to take a nap. It seemed harmless enough. I lied down on my bed and fell asleep. I woke up about an hour later. I yawned and rolled to the side of the bed. I stood up beside the bed and stretched for a few seconds. Suddenly, I heard my little brother screaming.

"Liz! Liz! There's something in my room! Help me! Help me!"

I charged down the hallway and into Timothy's room. What I saw filled me with horror and disgust. A female creature, drenched in some kind of inky black grease, crawled through the window and onto the floor. Its body bent into inhuman positions, bones cracking as it moved across the floor. Black liquid flowed from its mouth and eye sockets as it whispered and gurgled, dragging itself across the floor towards my little brother. I screamed and grabbed him by the hand. We ran out of the room, slamming the door behind us. I screamed for my mom and dad, but no one answered. I took Timothy into my room and locked the door. I could hear the creature's bones cracking as it moved down the hallway towards my room. It stopped at the door. The door began shaking violently. I screamed and cried, holding my little brother close.

"Make it stop!" Timothy cried over and over.

I didn't know what to do. The cries of my little brother tore me apart, but the creature outside the door terrified me to my very core. Deep down, I hoped this was just another bad dream, but it felt much more intense and realistic than the previous episodes.

"Please, please, make it stop!" Timothy cried.

I couldn't handle it anymore. I stomped over and ripped the door open, letting it slam against the wall. The creature twisted its head upwards and looked at me. It smiled with broken, black teeth. As I stared at the creature, it screamed an ungodly scream. Black liquid gurgled from its mouth like a fountain, drenching me. Timothy began sobbing uncontrollably, tucking his head in between his knees.

I kicked it once, twice, three times, four times. With each kick, its scream became more horrifying, until it faded to no more than a dying rasp. It curled up like a smashed spider and withered into a pile of black slime. It was over. It was finally over. I threw my arms around my little brother and laughed.

I woke up in my bed. Timothy slept beside me in a fetal position, sucking his thumb. I rolled carefully across the bed and walked across my room. I turned on the light. Two blue eyed Siamese kittens laid beside my brother, purring. My heart sank. I looked down at my clothes, they were drenched in black. I felt a sting on my cheek as a familiar demonic voice whispered through the air. I fell to the ground, paralyzed.