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Innocence Lost

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Have you ever woken up in the middle of the night and had an overwhelming feeling of fear, to the point where you cannot even move or hardly breathe? Scientists have begun to call this phenomenon “Sleep Paralysis.” It is what happens when people wake upwhile in a state known as “REM sleep,” which prevents you from acting out what is going on in your dreams.

In layman's terms, “REM Sleep” prevents you from running around the room when you think you're being chased by something in your dreams. According to scientists, we do not always come out of this state properly, and our body is still frozen even though we are wide awake. Cultures from the around the world have associated this phenomenon with things like demons or other kinds of evil spirits and even alien abductions in more modern cases. But what most people do not know is that those old stories and legends might actually hold some truth because there is something out there that freezes you with terror in the middle of the night, and you have probably even experienced it.

It starts when you are young, usually as soon as you can talk. You normally don't remember the first few times it sees you, but your parents will tell you about them. They tell you about times when you would wake up crying, or saying a monster was in your closet, but it was just a dream and they put you back to bed. As you get older, you stop leaving your room, knowing your parents will never believe you. You do not always see this creature, but you know he is always in your room, watching you from a dark corner or from your closet. Sometimes it will lie under your bed, poking its limbs or other body parts out just enough so you barely see them out of the corner of your eye, keeping you frozen in fear in your bed night after night.

As you start becoming older, you see the creature less and less. You have no idea what it looks like yet, but you occasionally see glimpses of something looking at you through the darkness, but before you can focus, you’ll blink and dismiss it as a trick of the light or you’ll convince yourself it is just your mind playing tricks on you, but you know what you saw. It is only when you stop believing your eyes that you will see it.

It will be in the middle of the night and you will wake up, most likely from a bad dream or the inability to sleep or get comfortable for long. You will roll over or look down your bed and see it. It is humanoid and completely bald with blood red skin. Some even claim that it is dripping wet, as if the creature secretes a red liquid or that it is actually soaked in blood. You will be paralyzed as you stare at this creature, smiling the widest smile you have ever seen in your life, with two rows of perfectly white, yet very human-like teeth.

The being does not speak or otherwise move, but you cannot do anything. You cannot run. You can hide under your covers. You cannot scream and sometimes you are not even able to breathe. After what seems like an eternity, the creature will climb into bed with you and lie there until you fall asleep. He does not touch you, nor does he make any attempt to, but he continues to stare at you, sometimes even chuckling softly. When you cannot stand to look at its menial and terrifying grin any longer, it will speak just two words to you in a soft, but devilish voice:

“Sleep well.”

Surprisingly, you will finally be able to fall asleep, and you will never see him again.

Now, most people claim that they have never seen this creature. In fact, they would argue that this all some kind of psychological cover or just the product of a young and wild imagination. But like you have just read, as long as you believe the creature exists, it will not come into your bed, and it will keep its distance. It almost seems to prefer that you know it is there and it is real.

No one is quite sure why this creature does what it does. It only appears to delight in the terror of its victims and feels the need to remind them of its existence when they are able to convince themselves it is not real. Perhaps it feels as if it cannot frighten you anymore after its final visit, or that the instance is so terrifying that the memory alone is enough to keep you terrified for the rest of your life. We may never know why “The Redman” (as some people call it) does what he does, but its victims know that it is real and that it is out there, hunting its next victim.

How can you tell if this creature has visited you, or that it may be the thing that is watching you from the corner of your room? Well, it is said children are more in tune to spiritual things because of their innocence. This is displayed by the fact that children are more willing to believe in mythical creatures like fairies and the Boogeyman, even if someone like their parents reassures them they are not. But at some point, all of us grow out of these beliefs.

We stop believing in things like Santa Claus and the Tooth Fairy. But can we ever really pinpoint a date as to when this happens? Can we even remember much from the time in our lives when these things were real to us? Perhaps the Redman takes this away from us. Perhaps it is he that takes away that innocence and replaces it with something sinister or dark, blocking out our childhood beliefs. But why would this be a possible motive for a creature that does nothing but fill its victims with fear? Well, the oldest person who ever reported seeing this creature before losing all memory of it was only thirteen years old.

Sleep well, and know the Redman has already left you.

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