On any given night, with no specific time, day, week, month, or year; there is a night, where everything in sight goes silent, and the streets lie empty. I would know, I’ve seen it for myself. Do you ever find yourself wondering if the streets ever really end up totally empty? Where no one is on the road at all during the nighttime? There has to be people out, I mean, maybe not from our home; but people just passing from one town to another. Well, you’d usually be right if you said that it probably isn’t empty; because, they usually aren’t. However, in my case, you’d be wrong.
You see, I’m a midnight jogger. I like to go out late at night and take a jog around town, and admire the scenery. I used to be overweight, and I was really desperate to lose the excess body fat. Of course, that isn’t the case now; but one of my habitual exercises was jogging at night. My past was somewhat troubled, and my work tends to be very stressing; but night jogging was one of the few exercises that stuck even after getting fit again. I don’t mean to brag, but I have the body of a god now. So, I don’t really go jogging for my physical sake, but more for my personal enjoyment, and mental sake.
My city has a few streets that have a good view of lakes and ponds, a few fields, collections of trees that turn out something like a few acres of woods, and a good view of the stars. This is of course within my colony’s limits; within the city’s limit, however, everything is cramped with stores, restaurants, gas stations, and highways; my colony was just one of the few lucky places that kept the best pieces of nature alive. When I jog out at night, there’s always a strong sensation of feeling as light as a feather. Something about jogging late at night just soothes me... clears my head.
Something about the faint mists under the street lights, the full moons, the stars, the calm and cool breeze, the sounds of cars driving by, and the sight of my sleepy town is quite something to see. Of course, if that’s what you’re into. So, I was out taking my regular route at about 5:00 am. It sounds like a ridiculous hour to be up and running, but after doing it for so long and actually liking it, it became a necessity. The night was like any other night, there was a cool breeze, the moon lit the streets and the sky bathed in the moon’s glow, a few stars were out, and I was stretching outside my house. The only thing that was different was that I remembered an odd feeling of not wanting to get up and go outside.
I’ve had a few tough days at work, so I wasn’t going to let some odd feeling keep me from taking a path that usually cleared my head and helped me recover. So I walked out, stretched, and took my regular route. Everything was fine, until I suddenly noticed that the usual sounds of crickets and other insects, along with the usual faint whistle of the breeze had abruptly stopped. I found it odd, since a split second ago, everything was booming with life and the breeze was keeping me cool, but the next, it all just stopped. There was no warning, no fade, no nothing; just there one second, and gone the next.
I felt uneasy, since something so routine and regular, just suddenly changed without warning. I assumed a predator entered the area and they were trying to hide, and that the wind patterns suddenly shifted. I had a scoff at how affected I was by it, and kept on going. I was surprised to see no cars yet, especially once I’ve arrived into the city limits. Usually, on the highway across from the gas station, you’d see at least a few cars going about, but it was unusually empty.
I still had that odd feeling looming over me, but I continued to assume things, like no one had to do anything early tonight, something to try and quell my doubt and sudden unreasonable paranoia. It wasn’t until I’ve reached the gas station, that I took a good look at my environment. As far as my eyes could see, the billboards were lit, the street lights were on, the stop lights were flickering between colors and all the stores were open and had their lights on yet, everything was completely empty.
The signs on the stores said “open”, and the gas station had their lights on, the Subway around the corner as well, but no cashier, pedestrians, or customers to be seen. It was as if, every store or building employee within range left work with all the lights on. There were no cars, or anyone in sight; leaving me with only a faint mist reaching beneath my calves, and those shown under the lamp posts to keep me company. I walked around, and thought about trying my luck at the gasoline station. Sometimes, I’d go in on one of my jogs to buy a lottery ticket; but in truth, right now, I felt a desperate urge to speak to someone.
To my surprise, the gas station was completely empty. You have to understand, that from my point of view at the time, this was very unsettling. The cash register was even left unguarded and all the doors, including the manager’s office were open. In fact, one of the things I noticed most was that within every building I visited, all the doors were open, and everything was neatly organized. I walked outside again feeling frustrated and oddly out of breath, not from the jog, but seemingly from something else. I felt utterly alone, and I felt unusually overwhelming fear, with absolutely no idea of what the cause or source may be.
I walked onto the highway, and looked at both sides, seeing no headlights or taillights in the distance. The highway was officially void of any cars. It was then; that the air became thick and it began to get hard to breathe. I started walking, towards any direction, and I realized that it was so quiet that my soft and light steps on the highway floor were echoing; my breath and heartbeat were also uncomfortably audible as well. The silence was deafening, and I felt like a panic attack was about to strike.
Then, I felt this unannounced odd shift in the atmosphere. As if something changed, and though I did not see it, I was sure that something did suddenly change. I felt a calling, an urge so powerful that it came in the form of an itch, urging me to turn to my left. I gave in, and turned, to be welcomed by what appeared to be a man standing underneath a lamp post on the highway with me. He looked up at the lamp post’s light bulb as it flickered on and off, inspecting it with unquestionable curiosity.
I was relieved to see another person, and I began walking over to him. However, the closer I got, the more my doubt and unexplainable feeling grew in effect. I thought he might be a worker trying to fix the light bulb, but then I noticed he didn’t have a car to lift him up. He wore some dark blue jeans, some black and rather dirty boots, a black hoodie, and a black baseball cap underneath the hood. Once I was close enough to see his face, I realized that a very opaque shadow hovered over his face while his hood was drawn over him. I couldn’t reveal his identity, since the unrealistically dark shadow that the hood cast kept me from seeing any part of his face, even more odd since the light was shining at him.
It was almost as if he had no face. The shadow almost looked as if it was a hole; an unfathomable void of sorts. Almost as if I could stick my hand in there and it’d go through. His presence was strong. My mouth went dry, I had difficulty breathing, and my palms were sweaty. I was nervous, but I put my judgmental thoughts of this strange character aside, and decided to ask him if he knew what was going on, maybe he knew where everyone went?
“Good afternoon,” I greeted him, with a lack for a better way to start the conversation.
“You mean good morning,” he said in reply.
His voice was dry, and almost relating to that of a whisper. It sounded as if he hadn’t drunk a drop of water in forever. Though I could not see his face, I got the impression he was grinning at me, which appeared to be more unsettling than comforting.
“It’s six fifty,” he said, as he took a quick glance at his watch.
“Six fifty?” I thought to myself.
The sun would’ve already been rising by now. It was unusually dark for it to be six fifty. In fact, the sky appeared to be that of what would usually show in the middle of the night; only I noticed, the moon and stars were gone as well. At this point, I was really disturbed, and I felt moments away from having a major panic attack and I didn’t know why. Something was wrong; I could not see any danger, but something was off, and every instinct within my body was screaming at me, telling me to take action; but I have no idea what that action would be.
“Where is everybody?” I asked, trying to get straight to the point.
I didn’t want to be out here anymore, I just wanted to go home now, but not without answers.
“What brings you out here so late?” he replied to my question, with his own.
Wanting to be polite, I answered his first before asking another one of my own.
“I like to jog at midnight. It’s sort of a hobby,” I said.
“Why are the streets so empty? Why are all the stores open?” I asked, not giving him the chance to continue.
He paused for a moment, and then asked, “What’s your name? Do you live here?”
I answered, “Yeah, at the colony west of here. It’s odd that no one else is around though, do you know what’s going on?”
He quickly cut in after I finished my question and responded, “How old are you? What’s your favorite food?”
I was beginning to become frustrated. He was asking me trivial and pointless questions, dodging all of mine and becoming annoying instead of comforting or helpful. I answered his many questions, and I finally built up the tolerance and patience to ask another question. However, before I could do so, he asked a rather odd question that caught me off guard.
“What are you most afraid of?” he asked, seemingly more interested in this question than all the others.
I stopped to think for a minute. I suddenly took notice of how he somehow talked me into sharing important details about myself, like personal matters, personal thoughts, favorite activities, games, movies, and food. I decided that I wouldn’t be so lenient, but something about him gave off the feeling that I should tell him everything. Like a long dormant temptation suddenly awoke, and began telling me to talk to him.
I ignored this feeling, and decided I’d answer randomly from now on.
“I’m afraid of drowning,” I responded.
“What are you most afraid of?” he asked again.
I answered, “I’m afraid of needles.”
He didn’t seem to be convinced, as he responded again in a louder tone: “What are you most afraid of?”
This time, I looked at him, trying to look as if I would say the truth, and lied again, saying, “Alright. I’m afraid of clowns.”
He’d have to believe this one right? I mean, most people are scared of clowns. He didn’t buy it.
“What are you most afraid of?” he asked, not sounding impatient, but louder.
I gave in; it was almost as if he knew I was lying.
I truthfully replied, “I’m afraid of insects I suppose. I just don’t like them, they weird me out.”
As ridiculous as it sounds, I just really don’t like them. They crawl, they crunch, they make weird noises and some are even poisonous. Not to mention they’re just downright disgusting.
He nodded in satisfaction. It struck me as odd, because, how would he know if I was telling the truth this time?
He looked at me, and replied, “Insects… it’s reasonable. They are small, they populate the earth, and they are numerable. Some are faster, some stealthier, some even deadlier than others. It is not an unreasonable fear, but an understandable one.”
He stood in silence, observing me closer.
“You’re an interesting man, Interesting enough…” he said as he let out a very weak and dry sigh.
I finally built up the strength to ask my question. Maybe if it was about him, he’d answer; my guess is that I was only asking selfish questions. but none about him.
“What are you doing out here?” I asked, sounding more indifferent than curious. He looked at me, then around the empty streets.
“I’m finding my home,” he replied as he kept an uncomfortable gaze on me.
I began to take notice to a repulsively acrid odor.
“Where would that be?” I asked nervously.
He didn’t say anything. He merely raised his left hand and pointed at me. Once his hand made it under the light of the lamp post, I noticed… it was decomposing. It was rotten, and had holes, cuts, rotten flesh, and maggots feeding on it. He stepped under the light and his face revealed that of a husk. He looked like a walking dead man.
I backed up, terrified of what I’ve seen. I felt like I was going to lose my lunch as I saw maggots crawl out of his nose and eye sockets. He was missing many teeth, his upper left part of his forehead was missing, as if blown off, and his left eye was missing as well, along with a good portion of his cheek decayed and torn off, showing his jaw and puss filled mouth, swarming with insects. The horror worsened as I noticed that the more I looked at him, the more he shifted and looked more like a mummified version of myself. I couldn’t keep my stare, and at this point, every joint and muscle in my body froze, but begged me to run.
I was bathed in cold sweat, and the pit in my stomach was raging, urging me to vomit, and my lungs squeezed out all the air I had, making me wheeze and gasp for air. The fear I was overwhelmed with was crippling, yet the urge for survival was fighting for control. Fight or Flight instincts took over, and I ran. Faster and farther than I ever could have imagined. I had worked on my cardio for ages, but I don’t think I could’ve ever achieved the speed or time it took me to get home. I ran inside, locked the door, locked the windows, closed the blinds, and locked myself in my room with my bat.
I never looked back, so I never found out if I was followed or not. I spent the rest of the night awake, and the next morning, people were out again. The streets were no longer empty. As if last night never happened. However, from that night, things only got worse.
The strange man I met; if he was even a man at all, gave me only a small amount of time to think it was over. I soon forgot about ever meeting him, or the night that started it all. However, it did not last. It was exactly five days later, that things began to get weird. He would start visiting me. Frequently, during inopportune times, and I’d see him standing in impossible places.
Sometimes, he’d appear at the corner of my eye; sometimes, he’d be watching me from the roof of a building, from the bushes, and sometimes, from the next room at work. However, it looked like no one else would see him. It seems that at first, he’s distant, but don’t let this sink in… because it doesn’t last long. Eventually, he got closer, and you’d see him in the TV, in the mirror, in pictures, and more.
One night, I was asleep, and I was woken up by some noises outside, and I could see that the motion detecting lights outside had flashed on. I got up, and checked on the blinds, seeing him standing in the street, looking directly at my window, as if he knew I’d be there. He did this for at least three nights, before I called the cops. They found no trace, and worst of all, they thought I was crazy after going into deeper detail about how I met this “person”.
Then, he crossed the line. He barged into my home in the middle of the night. I woke up to what sounded like my doors squeaking open and closed. I had recently bought a handgun to help me sleep easier at night, knowing that I had the upper hand. I was wrong. He went a step further, and was bold enough to break into my home. He went and infiltrated the one and only place where I was supposed to feel safe. I was lying down on my bed, completely covered, and I noticed him peek at me from my closet.
I figured he’d been there for a while, since I never saw him walk in. I got up, pointed the handgun at the closet and turned on the lights. I had him cornered, and I told him not to move, that I had called the cops. I opened the closet doors and he wasn’t there. I could’ve sworn I saw him peek at me from the closet. I didn’t know what to do. I felt powerless to stop him. I soon decided to buy cameras, and install them around my home. To see how he could get in and out so quickly. I honestly wish I had left it alone, and left it to my imagination. What I recovered from the footage, would haunt me for the rest of my life.
I placed one at my front door, aiming at my lawn, that way I would see him walk in, and from what direction he would come from. Maybe I’d catch footage of his car, maybe his license plate? I installed the rest of the cameras in every other room from every angle. I was hell-bent on catching the bastard in the act, so I could show those damned cops I wasn’t crazy, and maybe sleep safe at night like I used to. I did the same for my room, and made sure there was no space he would have for him to hide in, without being filmed.
I regretted that decision, after seeing what he did while I was asleep. The first night, I set up all the cameras, made sure they all had their batteries fully charged, night vision, everything was set. I went straight to sleep. That night, I slept like a rock; which disturbed me since I had slept through most of the rather unsettling things that were caught on camera. Once the clock struck 3:30, shit hit the fan. The camera towards the lawn had shown no one arriving all night. No one used the back door, or the windows. Everything was left untouched.
While watching the video, I could hear this deep ambience. Much like you would hear in the paranormal activity movies. I looked at all cameras, and they all showed no evidence that he had broken into my home. However, when I looked at my room camera, things changed. He was standing over me, watching me closely. I moved a bit, and he would continue watching. At some point, he placed his decayed hands on my face, and stroked it. Some of the maggots even fell off his hand and onto my face. When I saw this, I didn’t know how to react. I was overwhelmed with dread.
I reversed the video to see where he came from. The next, left me speechless. He came out from under my bed. He was lying underneath this whole time, and he crawled out to see me sleep. I continued watching, as he caressed my face, periodically dropping some insects on me, and he sat on my bedside. Upon sunlight, he bent down, and crawled back under my bed. The rest of the video, up to the point of me getting up, he never left. I was terrified, and I ran for my gun, and checked under my bed. Logically thinking, this would suggest that the bastard was still in my home.
I was wrong. Upon inspecting, there was nothing there. No bugs, no rotten flesh, nothing. I felt like I was going insane. None of this ever made any sense to me. The worst was taking the damn footage to the police officers, and they would tell me that they saw nothing on the cameras. Was this some sort of sick joke? Some sick game? HOW COULD THEY NOT SEE IT? I was so frustrated, and I turned to everything. I searched him up, I searched up ways to make him go away, and I even went to damn church to pray. Nothing made him go away, and he never came up on one damn Google search.
I really wished I hadn’t continued to record myself at night. The things that occurred only got worse and more disturbing for me to handle. On the second night, he had come out of my closet, and stood over me the whole night. Occasionally touching me, and sitting on top of my stomach. That explains why it felt so hard to breathe at night. On the third night, a pair of fucking hands came out of the wall behind my head, and touched me all night long; some even came off the roof. Then, it would skip a frame, and his face would be right up to the camera, and his decayed ugly face would smile.
Night four, he walked in and dragged me away. He walked out of my closet, and dragged me outside, for the first time ever, using the front door. He dragged me all the way off camera, and he didn’t come back until six in the morning, with my body. This was abduction, this was too much. He had now officially done something illegal, and far too personal. I still have no idea where he took me, and I still don’t remember ever waking up to it.
Night five, he began teasing me. He moved my things around, he began breaking things, and at some point, he walked over to a picture of me and my family. He touched the picture, and appeared to have taken interest in the people in it. The bastard then looked at the camera, as if he was threatening my family. He was going too far. It was one thing to torment me daily, but to involve my family was too much. I would do anything to prevent him from ever doing what he does to me, to anyone in my family.
Night six, was the last night I ever slept. The cameras shut off, and I caught no footage. He left me a surprise, and didn’t want me to catch him in the act. Throughout my sleep, I felt like insects were crawling all over my body, and occasionally entering my nose and mouth. I wanted to wake up and scream, but there was nothing I could do. I couldn’t even move, and I felt every single second pass by that whole night, as if it had been an eternity. I finally woke up, thanking God that the nightmare was over. I stood up and walked into my hallway to get a glass of water. My throat felt dry and dirty, and I felt like I hadn’t gained any rest from last night’s sleep.
That’s when I saw it later in the day. The surprise he had left me, and gone through the trouble of disabling my cameras. At first, I only heard a constant dripping in the restroom. Drip, drip, drip; I would ignore it after eating breakfast. Drip, drip, drip; I thought it would eventually go away, maybe it was the faulty shower head, letting some water out. It’ll tighten up eventually. After half an hour, the dripping continued, and I noticed a foul odor. As if something was rotting. I heard the dripping again, and decided to investigate whatever was on the other side of that door, causing the smell and the sound.
I was welcomed by the neighbor’s cat; mutilated and strangled by its own intestines. The intestines were left hanging out, and also tied onto the shower pole that supported the curtains for me to see as I walked in. Blood was dripping off of his open carcass, along with what appeared to be stomach bile. The poor cat was bathed in maggots. Several of them were digging into its now hollow and mushy insides. Some maggots even fell from the cat’s corpse and into the bath, where the rest of its blood was, and where many other maggots had fallen and drowned. I felt like vomiting again. The bastard went out and killed the neighbor’s cat, and left it in my restroom for me to see but that wasn’t all. I turned at the mirror to see a message, written in what I believed to be the cat’s blood.
“I know what you’re most afraid of” were the words, splattered over the mirror.
I couldn’t hold it in much longer, and I threw up. I fled the restroom and huddled up in a corner. A panic attack finally struck, and I was traumatized. I didn’t move for hours, and I clenched onto myself, holding on so hard that my muscles began to ache. Once I was finally relieved, I decided to get rid of the cat carefully, and wash out the blood and remaining maggots. This was only the beginning. This was only a small taste of what was to come. Eventually, he brought in dogs, more cats, and occasionally rodents off the streets, like raccoons or something.
Even those weren’t enough. At some point, I could see him everywhere. It even became normal to see him inside my house in the middle of the day. He began toying around with me, and sometimes at work, I would go to the restroom; and upon opening and walking through the door, I’d end up home, or someplace completely different. I’d have to walk through several doors many times to get back to work. Sometimes, he’d even follow me through the damn mazes he’d set up.
Nighttime was the worst. I’d fall asleep, but wake up soon after. It would be like my mind and eyes were awake, but my body wasn’t. He’d come in to my room, and lean his face closer to mine. He’d then open his mouth and throw out several piles of insects onto my face. They would spread all over my body, and some would even get inside my nose and mouth like in my dreams. I couldn’t move, or scream. This lasted the whole night, and I haven’t slept for at least three weeks, surviving only on coffee and whatever else I could get my hands on. It’s all too much, and I’d have to sleep eventually, but it’d have to happen when eventually the energy drinks won’t help me anymore.
Soon enough he’d enter my mind, and tell me things. Whisper things, and I’d feel his breath beside my ear as if he was standing right next to me. He’d tell me to hurt people; hurt myself. it was all for his amusement. It wasn’t until I had blacked out and woken up with a knife in my hands, and my arms and hands fatally cut, that I had officially lost all control. I was a puppet to him, and he told me that I was slightly more entertaining than the others. I assumed there were other unlucky bastards like myself.
I quit work, I lost contact with friends, my house went to shit, and I hardly left home. I was always huddled in a corner, as he would torment me for days. I didn’t even eat. I began starving myself, since everything I would eat, would have insects swarming all over it. I would pour a box of cereal into a bowl, and it would have roaches everywhere. There were even cases where I’d throw up maggots and such. Not even my body felt clean; sometimes, I’d feel things crawling in my skin. When I’d see what it was, it’d look like a bulge was moving around on my skin, like they were within my flesh. I had pondered suicide several times, but whenever I’d get the courage to do so, he’d stop me. He wasn’t done with me yet. Being with him every single day made death look like a dream. A favor; something I couldn’t wait to experience… it was the only cure.
With all the time I had to sit and rot in my corner, I had thought of how all this came to be. It all began to click, but it was nothing that would save me. Maybe it could serve of use to you, but it is already too late for this information to help me in any sort of way.
You see, he eventually whispered in my ear, telling me that I didn’t fear anything else anymore. That HE was the thing I feared most now, and he took pride in it. As if he loved being the thing that I hated, and feared the most.
“I know you fear me…” He would whisper in my ear with his dry and faint chuckle “And I love the way your fear tastes, keeping me nice and cozy… nice and healthy…”
He would talk about my fear as if it were some drug. Something he was addicted to and something that made him feel insanely delighted. The strange thing is that the more I saw him, the younger and more lively he would look. He would have fewer bugs on him; he would look less rotten and dead. He’d look more human the more crazy and unstable I got. In fact, he looked a lot like me. Minus the several bug bites, the terrible scabs, the spastic shaking, the bony body, and the bags under my eyes that I now have.
It all began to make sense. The night I met him, he was all alone. No one else in sight, and he constantly looked like he was looking for something. The questions he asked, saying that I was interesting enough. He was testing to see if I was good enough for him. Don’t you get it? He WAS looking for a home. He makes his home inside of YOU, inside your head. He leeches off of you, and he never leaves.
He was alone that night, looking to make someone his new home, someone to torment, someone to feed off of; and I was there. He made me his home.
If you ever go out at night, and see that the streets are completely empty; Go home, watch TV, read a book, chat with friends, go to sleep. Forget you ever stepped foot outside, and just go home. I beg you, don’t set foot outside. If you see this man, go away, don’t talk to him and sure as hell don’t let him know who you are.
Remember what I told you? On any given night, with no specific time, day, week, month, or year; there is a night, where everything in sight goes silent, and the streets lie empty… and they’re empty for a reason…
Written by Havoc98