Just an Illusion

The world is full of illusions. There's no denying that, right? Illusions are visual trickery that can fool your mind, but they can be in other forms as well. Also, they're everywhere. They can be in your computer screen, they can be in your dreams, they can be in the books that you're reading, and they can even be behind you right now. You're never sure.

To add up to that, illusions are not just inanimate objects. They're not just pictures that you can make the most of. They're not just those silly impossible triangles and Mackay illusions that can entertain you if you're in the right mood.

They can move—but you're not gonna believe me, right?

Legend says that whenever you dream, your body is temporarily paralyzed so you won't be able to act your movements in your dream. Although, there are some people who still sleep-walk, but those occasions are rare. What happens when you suddenly become conscious during this state of paralysis? You experience sleep paralysis, and trust me, it's a horrible experience.

In sleep paralysis, your brain starts to hallucinate. You may see dark figures or phantoms around your room, or even an evil monster standing in front of your chest, giving you the sensation that there's something heavy on your torso. You can just close your eyes—but in this state, you're too afraid to do so. You hear screams of agony and bellowing of ignorance right in your ears, and your eyes are fuzzy and blurred. This is probably one of the scariest experiences that you'll ever get in your life; well, in case you get this experience to start with.

But now you're probably saying, "Scariest? Oh, please. Those stupid phantoms are just illusions! Give me a break."

How sure are you?

I'm pretty sure that whenever you sleep alone in a dark room, the air conditioner making silent noises as it sprays cold air around the room, you can't help but feel that there's something or someone watching you. Open your eyes and look back—but you realize that you can't see anything in the dark. You sigh and go back to sleep, seriously hoping that it was just the sound of small cockroaches traveling around the insides of the wall.

But you get bugged, and as you turn, you finally see a faint figure, standing there. Your heart beats massively. You can see its head—but there's no face. You can see its long arms—but they don't have fingers nor even a hand. You think the legendary Slenderman has finally approached you—but it wasn't him. It was different. It was a ghost, or an evil spirit, or a ghoul, or something else scary.

But soon enough, faith flows through your head. You bravely stood up, turned the lights on, and saw that the "ghost" was actually just the hat stand. The faceless head was just one of the hats, and the long arms were just the poles that hang around it. Sighing in relief, you turned the lights off once more and you jumped back to bed, covering your entire body with your blanket.

But you were sure that what you saw was true. You knew that whatever was inside your room except you, it was playing around with you. It wanted your attention—or maybe it wanted something from you. Was it a soul from Purgatory? Was it one of the monsters that you read about in an urban legend?

Breathing in weird intervals, you mutter to yourself, "It's just an illusion."

Your own words echoed in your head, It's just an illusion.

It's just an illusion.

It wasn't.

No, your blanket won't protect you. Prayers won't work if you don't have faith, either. You won't be able to escape. The door is locked—the key is missing, so where is it? Perhaps the "thing" stole it? Either way, there's no escape.

And as you open your eyes, you see the faceless head staring down at you, its long arms extended down to your shoulders.

Not an illusion. Never an illusion.

Don't forget to pray tonight.