Fatigue sets in as you climb into your bed. You adjust your pillows and climb underneath the covers, welcoming the warm, comforting retreat from the frigid chill of your room. As soon as your head hits the pillow, you begin to drift between worlds. Shapes and images of multiple colours dance on the back of your eyelids as sleep welcomes you into its tranquil embrace. Your body goes limp as the stress from the toils of your day evaporates into nothingness and you resist no longer.
You are consumed by a sudden surreality as you feel something heavy pressing against your stomach. Slowly and reluctantly, you open your heavy eyelids to examine the situation. Through the darkness, you can make out a small shape. You cannot remember having any items on your bed which you may have forgotten to move before climbing in it but you can say with certainty that there must be something there. That's when the sudden rush of fear sets in. You have just realised that the shape is humanoid, like a small child. This cannot be real, you tell yourself. It's probably just the duvet piled up in an eerie shape and you're getting all worked up over nothing. But you definitely felt its touch so it must be. That's when your fear turns into outright terror. The shape extends a single arm and grabs hold of your shoulder and begins to pull itself up your body. Your heart begins to race as you try frantically to sit upright to confront whatever was making its way towards your face. However, you find that the most bizarre thing has happened to your body. You cannot move anything apart from your eyes. You watch in complete horror as the childlike creature contorts its body and brings its face just inches away from your own. The darkness obscures any specific features of the creature's face but you can make out a look of pure agony as it groans.
In a last ditch effort to spare yourself at least any further psychological damage, you avert your eyes toward the edge of your bed. That's where you make out another figure. This figure, unlike the one currently sprawled on your chest, is fairly tall and stood directly over you, observing the spectacle. The feeling of helplessness washes over you as he gazes down at you. It looks you directly in your wide, panicked eyes and your breathing becomes shallow. This figure has your face ... Only, the eyes are blacker than the surrounding darkness of your room and burning with red, bloodshot capillaries. Its gaze fills you with despair and you are ready to give up the fight as you remember something of incredible importance.
All of this seems a little too familiar. You've read about this before. A phenomenon so bizarre you doubted it could ever be as terrifying as people had claimed, yet to your dismay, here you are experiencing it first hand. Its name? Sleep paralysis. You squeeze your eyes shut as tight as you can. This is not real, you repeat to yourself over and over. This cannot be real. You regain a little bit of feeling in your hand and begin to wiggle your fingers, anything to wake your body up and regain control of the situation. Suddenly, you bolt upright and survey your room, its icy chill combined with your cold sweat making you shiver. It's over. You appear to be entirely alone, surrounded by only a blanket of darkness.
Alone with only your fear to keep you company.
Goodnight, and sweet dreams ...