I stayed up for hour after hour. I looked at my watch. It was almost four AM. There had been nothing. I may as well go to sleep, I presumed. I opened the closet door, finally hearing some noise. It sounded like someone had broken through the passage. What I found inside the closet almost gave me a heart attack.
There was a feeble and malnourished man, holding a video camera with one hand, and in the other hand a knife. He looked at me in the eyes and shrieked. He dropped the camera and held the knife up towards my face. I managed to disarm the knife as I stabbed him in the chest with it unconsciously.
You never know what is watching...
My son has always been scared of the dark. He’s only five, so it’s natural, but every night he would complain about shuffling in the closet. He would tell me he heard voices and noises coming from there.
Occasionally he would run into my room, crying that he saw something. I would let him sleep with my wife and me, though she was always begrudged by this.
She would tell me by giving him a reprieve from the dark I was only intensifying the problem. By giving him some type of sanctuary I was only making all the struggles worse.
Somehow deep down I knew she was right, but I didn’t want to let my child suffer. After all, is it not the job of the parent to protect their child?
The same issues persisted for around a year. I remember the night of his sixth birthday he just suddenly stopped. He would never complain. I asked him about this one day and he claimed that the noises just didn’t matter anymore. He said he had grown used to them. They were part of his daily life. I shrugged this off, but I had been wondering for some time if he was telling the truth about the noises.
After much deliberation decided to sleep in my son’s room. It seemed normal, though I kept imagining that I was hearing things. But I knew they weren’t real. I was looking for things. I eventually fell asleep, and woke up the next morning. Again, there was nothing. I sighed with relief. I know it was naïve for me to actually believe my son. Monsters don’t actually exist.
I told my son this and he shrugged it off. He still claimed he heard the noises, but they didn’t bother him anymore. He didn’t mind them in the least bit. I asked him if he wouldn’t mind sleeping with my wife again, as I was curious to see if I would ever hear what he had once paralyzed him with fear. He obliged, and I slept there again the following night.
Nothing strange. Just like the night before. This was until I heard a thumping noise come from the closet. I jumped out of the bed, awoken with fear. I opened the closet to find nothing, only a shadow.
It was just the reflection of the moon I presumed. I sighed, and headed back to bed. I realized there was something strange about the closet as I was walking back. There was a small passage underneath it. It looked like someone could climb through there.
I returned to the closet, and went through the small passage, just barely able to fit. It led to outside, to the oak tree in the backyard. This was strange. Did my son build this in his free time? It seemed unlikely. Why would he build something that a full sized man could fit through? I decided that the next day I would ask him.
He said that he had never noticed a passage. I thought he was joking, and as I showed it to him he was stunned. I was amazed that he had never seen it before. I realized then maybe he never went into the closet. He was always so afraid of it, why increase that fear?
I decided to patch it up that morning, and asked if I could sleep in my son’s room again. He again obliged and that night I did the same. In the middle of the night I heard a strange noise from the closet. I opened the closet door to find the passage was open yet again. This failed to make any sense. I went through the passage, curious of how this could even be feasible. I arrived in the yard again, and saw a shadow next to the oak tree.
“Hello?” I called out, nervously.
I heard the shuffling of leafs on the ground as the shadow became more and more distant. It had to be my imagination, or just the wind. But it still did not make any sense. How did the passage open up again? I returned to bed and slept without any disruptions.
I patched up the passage again, and decided to stay in my son’s room again the next night. He seemed confused, seeing as this had almost become a habit for me. I told him that I was hearing weird noises from the closet as well, and desired to investigate them. I decided I would stay up the entire night and listen for any noise.
And that’s where my story ends. I managed to escape through the passage, wounded. The father did not chase after me to my surprise. It was over. He knew that I had been spying on the boy for a year. But not only the boy, the father as well.
I had watched the father’s movements, and wrote down everything he had done. I had imagined myself the man, and feeling such compassion, such love from the boy. Love that I could never obtain, only watch, and imagine myself subject to.
I was, I am that monster in the dark. Only, you don’t know it yet. I know your movements. Your routines. I know your life. And I imagine myself in your position.