It was dark. That was all I knew. I didn’t even bother looking at the clock. All it would do is remind me of how much sleep I was losing. Finally, I was fed up. I sat up in my bed, the covers falling from my shoulders to my lap. I head to deal with it somehow. The knock knock knock at my window.
I shifted to my knees, moving closer to the window beside my bed. I pushed the hanging curtain aside, wondering who could possibly be trying to knock on my window at this hour. Outside, I only saw the late night darkness. I craned my neck, trying to get a view of the ground below. Seeing nothing, I simply closed the curtain. I re-positioned myself, and pulled the covers back over myself, closing my eyes. But no sooner had the blanket settled, it began again.
Knock knock knock.
I gave a groan into the darkness. Goddammit. I sat back up, opening the curtain again. I looked back out into the blackness. Only the inky dark looked back at me. I squinted my eyes, trying to make out any discernible shapes in the shadows beyond my window. While I saw nothing, I know the knocks couldn’t come from nowhere. It must have been a bird, scared off by the opening curtain. That must have been it. I closed the curtain for the second time that night, content with that explanation.
But for the third time tonight, the sound of something tapping against the window came. It was steady, rhythmic. Knock knock knock. Knock knock knock. I decided to ignore it at first, but it began to drill itself into my head. It felt like it was never going to end. Finally, I got up again, pulling the curtain open with impatient forcefulness. Once again, I saw nothing. This time, however, I flipped the lock on my window, and leaned a bit out of it. I saw the ground, two stories below. My eyes scanned for anything. I was beginning to get paranoid. Who could have been lurking out there, just waiting for me to close my window? “Hello?” I called, “Is anyone out there?”
No answer met me, but I was not convinced. I decided that I needed a second pair of eyes. I left my room, and crossed the narrow hallway to my brother’s room. I knocked on the door. “Hey,” I said, “I need your help. Now.”
There was a bit of shuffling in his room, before my brother finally answered his door. “Huwhut…?” he answered sleepily, rubbing his eye.
I explained about the knocking, and that maybe someone was outside. I also mentioned that I couldn’t see anyone, and they could still be around. This seemed to wake him up, though he seemed a little doubtful. I led him to my room, and let him get onto my bed, so he could reach the window. He peered out of it, chewing his bottom lip. After a few moments, he closed the window, looking for the lock before clicking it in place. “Nothing out there that I could see,” he said, “you must be imagining things.”
And as if to punctuate his sentence, there was a loud thump outside, as if someone had jumped from above to the ground below. We both looked at each other for a beat, before I quickly joined him by the window. We both looked outside, eyes straining to make out something, anything, in the black night. But we found nothing. But we would never forget what happened that night. We tried to tell our father in the morning, but he simply dismissed it as a dream or a hallucination from being up too late.
I don’t like to revisit this memory. It reminds me of how frightened I was, and how helpless I felt. But I need to revisit it now. Because, I am feeling the same way. Ten miles away from my home, in the guest room of my Aunt’s home, I lay under the covers, my back facing away from the window on the adjacent wall.
From the window is coming a steady...