I always hated hallways, but now I never want to enter any of them ever again. What happened tonight scared me beyond anything, and twisted and disturbed some of my nicest childhood memories.
When I was little I lived in an old farmhouse with the rest of my family. My grandparents had been farmers their whole lives, but had already retired when I was little.
The farmhouse was huge, almost a hundred feet in total. I used to sleep in the same room as my mom, but once I was a little older I got my own room. I loved it. It was huge, had a couch, a bed and all my toys were there.
There was one problem with the room: It was located in the middle of the building. To go anywhere I had to follow a long hallway which stretched out through the whole building. This was fine during the daytime, since big windows at both ends would allow the light to enter.
At night, though, this hallway was my own personal hell. It was creepy, and both sides simply ended in darkness. The worst part was that the only light switches were located on either end of the hallway, where stairways connected it to the ground floor. Whenever I had to go to the toilet at night, I had to walk down the hallway for about ten meters before I reached it. What made it even worse was that the farmhouse was more than a century old, so you'd constantly hear noises. The creaking of the old beams or the floor made me shake in fear. It was terrible, and walking those ten meters at night was the worst part of my childhood.
Whenever I had to go I'd open the door to my room all the way to illuminate the hallway. The only result was that the low light filled it with weird shadows and transformed cupboards and other furniture into lurking monsters waiting for me to come closer.
I had a savior, though. My grandma. My grandparents had their bedroom a few doors up the hallway from my room. After one of my nightly visits I told them all about the hallway, how scary it was at night and how I hated to go to the toilet. All they said was the typical: "There is nothing to be afraid of, it is all in your imagination."
The next night I had to go again though, I saw a dark silhouette at the end of the hallway looking into my direction. I was shocked and would have screamed if not for my grandmother's voice. She told me all would be fine. I should close the door, because the light was not good for her old eyes. Then she walked towards me. She said it would be our little secret, and no one had to know that she was here. If I was quiet about it everyone would think I had overcome my fear all by myself. Naturally, I followed her advice. When she held out her hand for me in the dark I grabbed it. She'd walk me to the toilet, wait for me till I was done and then walk me back to my room. Before she went back in the direction of her and my grandfather's room, she'd always ask me if I wanted to come and sleep with her in her bed.
By then I thought of myself as big boy. I could handle the night all by myself, and went back to my room. At times I would look after her, though, as she vanished into the dark. It was often that I heard her repeated the invitation to come to her bed.
While I was tempted at times, I never went.
The first few months, I absolutely dreaded going to the toilet. Once grandma was there, though, things got better. I used to hate the hallway, as well as my room, but not anymore.
The one thing I was a little perplexed about was that my grandma was always there when I had to go to the toilet. Maybe she heard all the ruckus I made when I got up and walked to the door. What was important for me, though, was that she was always there. The whole thing continued 'til I was ten, when my mother and I moved to the city, because she had gotten a better job. The last year, holding hands with my grandma felt a little weird. I was already ten and all that. I might have even told her that she didn't have to do it anymore. Deep down, though, I was happy that she was still looking out for me, and knew that I'd be scared to death without her.
I am now twenty four years old. I had never been here much since back then. My mother and I lived in the city and had only visited my grandparents during the holidays. We could never stay over due to my mom being busy with work all the time.
My grandma had died when I was sixteen years old and my grandfather had died three years ago. After that my mother had moved back into the old house. She was mostly self-employed so nothing much changed for her and by then I was already in college.
By now I was taking a little bit of a break and decided it would be a good time to visit my mother and spend some time in the house I grew up in. It was the first time I was back here at my old home for more than just an afternoon.
When we had moved we had left most of the old furniture behind and I was surprised to find my old childhood room in the same state I had left it behind. I pretty much decided to sleep in my old room for nostalgia's sake. It would be nice to think back to the times of my childhood.
After my mother had gone to bed today, I went back to my room and decided to browse the web for some time. At one point I had to go to the toilet. “Great, time to relive some more memories," I thought. I knew no one had bothered to put up new light switches or a new lamp for that matter.
Well, I wasn't a kid anymore. I got up and opened the door and carefully peered outside like I used to when I was little.
At the end of the hallway I saw a familiar dark figure, only now that I was an adult I saw how tall, almost towering the shape really was. It filled out the entire hallway and at the same time seemed to be hunched over, almost leaning forward into my direction. I saw long dangly arms that reached from the top of the figure almost down to the floor. As a little kid, it must have seemed normal that my grandma was larger than me, that her arms were longer than mine. The sheer size seemingly normal in the dark. One of the impossibly long arms reached out to me, ending in a hand so large, it would easy enclose mine. Then I heard a somewhat distorted, almost giggling version of my grandmother's voice:
"Everything is going to be fine, my dear little boy."