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January 10th - Winter
Imagine yourself lying in a twin bed at two-thirty in the morning. Sleep’s long fingers have almost claimed you. You are on the verge of falling into a terrible dream when you feel a presence in the room.
Your eyes pop open and you wake up, or at least you think you do; your room is so dark that you can’t be certain. You reach over for your cell phone, to light the place up and make sure this isn’t a dream, but you find out that it’s dead. You’re still tired and your eyes are in a battle right now, trying to adjust to the darkness, but they are losing.
Thirty seconds go by and you remember what woke you up and this thought makes your heart rate increase. It is completely silent which you find odd, you would have bet your sad little life that you turned your fan on before you went to bed; you always turn your fan on before you go to bed. This thought makes your heart bump against your chest even faster, and now you can hear it, thump-thump-thump-thump-thump-thump, constant and steady. Another minute goes by and your eyes still haven’t adjusted. But you know something is there. To locate it, your brain automatically starts to process what you know.
You’re in a twin bed in a small, dark room. There are four walls around you. Beside your bed is your nightstand that your dead cellphone is resting on. Next to that is a bookshelf that fits neatly into the corner on your left. Past that on the adjacent wall is a dresser, and then on the opposite side of the room is the door and the place where the light switch is. Behind you is a window. To the right of you is a wall. Along that wall in the right corner of your room and past your feet is where you feel the presence.
Your brain has placed the presence.
This scares you.
It scares you that your brain is placing this presence because that means you are acknowledging that something is in fact here with you, in the dark. Your heart is now screaming.
Your feet feel vulnerable because they are the closest to whatever it is. You start to sweat. You know that all you have to do is get up out of bed and run to the light switch and flip it upwards, but you feel paralyzed. You would have to get closer to this thing and you want to avoid that.
You remember that you have a lighter on your nightstand and as you reach to grab that you start to hear a low moaning. It’s so low that it is almost inaudible. At the same time, you feel as if whatever is in this room has a deep, unfathomable hatred for you. It wants you to suffer. It wants you and your whole family and anyone you have ever known to be burned alive. Your heart is screaming bloody fucking murder, and you wrap your hands around the lighter. You quickly light it and see nothing in the room. But then your panicked heart starts to sink and you remember that you don’t have any object in the right corner of your room that is as tall as the ceiling. The low moaning and hatred starts to get louder, and along with it your eyes start to get heavy and they bleed out tears. Hope is fucking dead. You still have the lighter in your hand and you flick it and realize it’s out of fluid, all you get is sparks that briefly light up the room.
You spark it again.
The figure is on the ceiling. Spark.
No, it’s just so tall that it is bent under the ceiling.
It’s in a black robe.
It takes its head off the ceiling so it can move.
It’s hunched over and moving towards you.
It’s at the foot of your bed.
You feel the pressure at the bottom of your bed as it climbs on. You try to spark your lighter again and nothing happens. You feel the pressure moving up your bed and something dragging on your ceiling and the low moaning and the hatred are louder than ever and every single terrible thought that one can imagine seems to berate you and you know you are going to die and the moaning turns into screaming and you are about to scream with it until finally it all stops.
You lay in your bed for a few minutes. You remember the lighter in your hand. You bring it up to your face and you spark it. The figure is right next to you, looking into your soul. You see that it is somehow hanging from the ceiling and hunched downwards so it’s face, or whatever the fuck it is, is right in front of yours. In the darkness you can make out light gray material covering the place where eyes and a nose, and all the other things your brain recognizes as human facial features, should be. Instead it has nothing. You can no longer move and you feel blackness penetrating your chest cavity and making its way into your heart. Nothing moves, but in your head you hear the words, “has everything changed?” You remember that ten years have passed since you have seen this presence, and the fear and anxiety and blackness start to leave you. They start to leave you because you remember now; you remember what you have to do.