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I wasn’t a bad person. I never did bad things. Not intentionally, anyway. I’ve never wronged anyone, and I was always considerate and polite of others. So why did these things always seem to happen to me? Despite all of these problems, there was one particular night I knew I wouldn’t forget too soon. Was it a dream? A nightmare? A hallucination?
I don’t even know. But whatever had happened that night, it wasn’t anything I could classify in any textbook I’ve read about dreams, and I don’t think any expert in any field could truly understand what I had experienced that night.
This all had happened about a year ago, when I was in the tenth grade…
I had woken up in the morning, early for school. Yes, I was a good student. I did all of my homework assignments, and my parents had never heard a complaint from my teachers. Academically, I’ve never had an issue.
It was the social aspects of life that I didn’t excel in. I was always excessively shy and I rarely ever made many friends. Actually, I don’t think I’ve ever had a close friend in my life. It’s not that I was a freak, and I wasn’t misanthropic. It’s just that, for some reason, no one seems to notice me.
For that reason, I’ve always felt lonely for most of my life. Even my parents didn’t seem to understand me. Whenever I’d approached them with a concern I had, they’d either dismiss me or they would simply state it was just a phase I was going through.
But no, I’m more than that. I have thoughts, feelings, and emotions. Whenever I’m concerned or worried, it’s for a reason, not just a “phase”.
Anyways, as I saying earlier, I had woken up, took a shower, and stuffed my binders, notebooks, and textbooks into my backpack for school. My mom had prepared breakfast for me. I ate it quietly and slowly, as I usually do. Although I hardly looked up to see her, I knew my mother’s eyes were on me. She probably thought I had something on my mind. I generally did, but whenever I would try to get into it, she would just supply me with an apathetic response.
After I finished breakfast, my mother and I hopped into the car. She always drove me to school, and as usual, I silently stared at the dashboard in front of me, just alone with my thoughts.
“Something on your mind, honey?” I heard my mother’s voice inquire. Without looking at her, I said, “I’m just a little nervous about the math test I have today.”
My mother leaned over and caressed my cheek with her middle and index fingers. “Don’t worry, sweetie,” she replied. “You always do well in school. I’m sure you’ll get a good grade.”
Yes, her typical response. But that’s not what was concerning me. In fact, I didn’t even have a math test today. I just said that to satisfy her desire to know what was on my mind. If only I could really tell her what was going on in my mind…
Finally, my school had come into view. My mom parked right in front of the building, and I prepared to open the door and let myself out.
“Wait a minute,” my mother said. I turned around as a response, and she planted a kiss on my cheek. “Good luck with your test, honey.”
I exited the vehicle and stood in front of the school for a moment as I heard my mother’s car drive away. I just stood there for a moment, quietly observing the other students as they jovially marched up the steps into the main building, laughing with friends and having a grand old time.
As for me, I quietly strode my way towards the school, with my head hung low slightly.
Just one friend, I thought. Just one friend…that’s all I want.
I walked down the hallway, noticing other students either conversing with friends or pulling out materials from their lockers that they needed for their morning classes. I walked up to my own locker and began twisting the lock towards my combination.
Right when the tumblers activated, I felt a hand shove my locker door shut. I whirled around to see who did it. It was this group of popular (yet obnoxious) girls whose sole purpose in life, it seems, was to make mine horrible.
They would do everything and anything to make my life miserable; they would close my locker door shut, knock my stuff down, squirt condiments on me they’d obtain from the cafeteria, spread ugly and false rumors about me, and various other things.
The group of girls laughed heartily as they saw me staring at them forlornly. I hated them so much. All I do is my homework and mind my own business. What did I ever do to them? God, did I detest them.
In the background, I had heard a group of jocks laugh at me when they witnessed what had happened. I ignored them (or tried to) and I re-opened my locker. I began snatching my things out of there and I angrily slammed the locker door shut.
I never understood what I did to get picked on. Really, I didn’t.
A few hours later, during lunch…
I slowly dug my fork into my macaroni, not feeling very hungry. I just played around with it, poking and mixing it around with my hand resting on my cheek and my elbow on the table. I sighed heavily and I looked up for a moment…
And that’s when the madness started…
In the window of the door from where we enter and exit the cafeteria, I thought I saw…something.
I can’t quite put my finger on what it was. It appeared tall and lanky, and in a black suit. I didn’t quite see their face, but I know I saw someone.
The reason why this figure caught my attention was because, in a way that’s difficult to put into words, they seemed to “stand out” from everyone else.
I blinked twice, and now that figure wasn’t there anymore. How very strange it is to see someone and then have them suddenly vanish almost suddenly before your eyes.
I then shook my head a little, and then I focused my attention back to my macaroni.
After lunch, I had forgotten about that mysterious tall, shadowy figure. Other than those snobby, popular girls who had slammed my locker shut earlier, the day went on smoothly.
My mother doesn’t pick me up from school, so I just walk home by myself. And as usual, when I’m by myself, I just get lost in my thoughts. I sighed and began kicking a lone pebble on the sidewalk, my only source of entertainment.
A car driving past me honked its horn, but I don’t think it was directed at me. My eyes casually shifted upwards, and then my eyes landed on something again…
This time, I saw a tall, shadowy figure suddenly hide behind the trunk of a tree that was nearby. I gasped quietly and my eyes remained anchored on the location where I had seen them. Was it…was it that same figure I had seen at school?
I didn’t move. My eyes remained stationary.
There was nothing; no movement, no sound. Just like that, the shadowy figure seemed to leave me standing there with my mouth slightly agape. I finally shook it off and I, hesitantly, continued walking home, discarding those notions.
Later that evening…
I had gone home, completed my homework, ate supper, took another shower, and finally prepared for bed. I felt unusually tired tonight, so I felt like going to sleep immediately.
I rested my head on my pillow, and I closed my eyes. Like I’ve read most people do, I began thinking about various things that had occurred throughout the day. I slowly began recalling bits and pieces of the day.
That’s when my thoughts shifted to that tall, lanky figure again. Who was that? Could I have just imagined him? Perhaps, but…I’m not sure.
Then slowly…I felt myself drifting off to sleep.
But then…I heard…music.
The sleepiness slowly faded away and my eyes opened up. Without lifting up my head, my eyes slowly scanned the room, trying to find the source of the music. But to my recollection, I couldn’t see anything. There was no stereo or computer in my room, so where was it coming from?
I listened to the tune for a few more seconds, and as it progressed, it sounded more and more familiar. And yes…I recognized it.
It was The Dance of the Sugar Plum Fairy, composed by Tchaikovsky. I recognized that tune anywhere. I used to enjoy watching The Nutcracker on television when I was a little girl.
But where…? Where was it coming from? It sounded so clear and crisp. It wasn’t coming from outside, and my parents don’t play any music at this late hour.
I then gazed in the direction of my window, and that’s when I saw it…
I saw a shadowy blur come flying in through my open window. I couldn’t see it very well because not only was it dark, but it was fast.
The only vivid detail I could see was what appeared to be a glowing, white pair of eyes and a sinister, toothy grin at the front of the blur.
I had seen it go through my door as if it were transparent, a sort of apparition or a phantom.
I immediately sat up in bed, with my eyes wide and in curiosity as to whatever I had witnessed come in here. I threw the covers off and hopped out of my bed, slightly nervous but at the same time, curious as to what it was.
I quietly approached my door, and ever so quietly, I turned the knob. I opened the door just a bit, and I peered into the hallway.
That’s when I saw that shadowy figure. He was standing in front of my mom and dad’s bedroom, with that haunting little melody still playing somewhere…perhaps in my mind.
The tall, lanky man had a long, thin body. He wore a very formal-looking black and white tuxedo complete with a bowtie, and a blood-red rose pinned on it. His shoes were made of leather and polished diligently. If anything, this man was dressed as if he were going to attend a very elaborate wedding.
But then my eyes slowly shifted up to his face. A man dressed this nicely must have his face and hair well-groomed….
What I saw, however, was one of the most disturbing things I had ever seen…
Instead of a head, all I saw was a large, crescent moon attached to his neck. I could see its silhouette even in the darkness.
His eyes were glowing a milky-white glow, and his nose was long and pointed. His smile was large and disturbing, and his teeth shined like pearls.
He had a crescent moon for a head…a…a Moon Face. That’s what I’ll call him.
I gasped quietly, and my eyes widened as I inspected this mysterious figure from head to toe.
Then, I slowly saw his head creak towards my direction.
I gulped nervously and contemplated on shutting the door, hoping he wouldn’t see me.
But it was too late.
Our eyes met. His burning white eyes staring at mine with that morbid grin spread across his moon-shaped face. I just stared at him, unsure of what to do or say. For about thirty seconds, Moon Face just stood there, staring at me in the dark hallway.
I couldn’t turn my eyes away from him. He just stood there, smiling and with his eyes locked on mine. Strangely, as his iris-less white eyes gazed deeply into mine, I felt like I couldn’t take my eyes off of them, almost as if they were drawing me closer…
But then, I saw Moon Face slowly begin to levitate into the air (with his head still turned slightly towards my direction). He hovered above the ground for a moment or two. How he did that, I’ll never know.
Suddenly, a large, swirling portal opened up in front of my parents’ bedroom. My eyes widened and my mouth hung open in shock. The moon-faced man reared back slightly and flew inside…and then it sealed itself.
Without thinking twice, I opened my door all the way and went dashing down the hall. I quietly got down on my knees and peered into the keyhole of my parents’ door.
And then I saw him again…
Moon Face was staring down at my father, who was soundly asleep in his bed. He still had that creepy smile and those glowing eyes plastered on his face.
My dad began stirring a little, and he shook his head. I witnessed him open his eyes a little, and then my dad glanced up and his eyes fell on Moon Face’s.
Before my dad could do anything, Moon Face intercepted him. Almost as quick as a bolt of lightning, the moon-headed entity wrapped his long, clawed fingers around my father’s throat. I heard my father try to cry out, but his screaming was muffled by Moon Face’s grip on his windpipe.
All that came out was a choked cough. My muscles tightened as I observed my dad vainly grab Moon Face’s wrist, almost as if trying to fight him off.
Then, I noticed something…
Moon Face’s eyes seemed to glow even brighter than before. He gazed into my father’s eyes deeply, as if focusing in on something.
Slowly, as Moon Face continuously looked into my father’s eyes, he seemed to stop struggling. And then, Moon Face let go of his neck, and my father collapsed back on his bed lifelessly.
I couldn’t believe my eyes. I had to hold my tongue from making a sound. Should I call out to my mother? She wasn’t in bed with my father, so clearly she was safe from this…this thing.
But then, my dad began stirring again. Moon Face took a step a back and smiled even wider. My father sat up, and stood up perfectly straight.
The moon-faced apparition raised his hand and beckoned my father to approach him. And to my surprise and horror, my father obeyed.
He walked towards him in an almost robotic fashion. Then, my father stopped right in front of him. And in unison, both Moon Face and my father turned towards my direction.
How did they know I was quietly observing them?
My father had those same burning white eyes and revolting grin as Moon Face. Their glowing eyes staring deeply into mine. It made chills slither down my spine.
Without thinking twice, I sprinted down the hall as fast as I could. There was no way I was going to stay there. Whatever had happened to my father, I knew I was next.
But where was my mother?
At this point, I knew I couldn’t stop and search for her. I dashed down the stairs, hoping I could find her or perhaps alert the authorities about what I had just witnessed.
I was in the living room, and was just about to make my way towards the front door, when my eyes landed on my mother.
I screeched to a halt, and I turned to her. She had her right hand against the wall of the kitchen’s entrance. Her hair was a tangled mess, and her head was hung low. She was in her night-gown, but I noticed blood splattered in a few random places on it.
And in her left hand, she was gripping a large kitchen knife with some blood splashed on it. I squinted my eyes through the darkness, and I could see that her left wrist was bleeding.
My skin began to crawl, and I felt my heart beginning to race. My mother slowly began lifting her head, and she opened her eyes.
Once again, those cold, glowing iris-less eyes stared back at me. A morbid yet familiar grin slowly formed upon her lips.
I slowly began backing away. I was ready to cry.
She started advancing towards me with that blood-stained knife in her possession. I then heard slow, heavy footsteps travelling down the stairs.
I nervously glanced up, and I witnessed my father coming down the stairs, with those same eyes and demonic grin.
I whirled around and ran towards the exit as fast as I possibly could. Just then, another portal appeared in front of the front door, and out walked Moon Face, with his fiendish grin and haunting eyes. The portal sealed behind him as soon as he stepped out.
I stopped in my tracks and stood there, paralyzed with fear. Mustering up any strength that I had, I opened my mouth and cried, “What…what do you want with me!?”
“…Don’t be afraaaaaaid…” he hissed, slowly beginning to walk towards me. “…You will never… be lonely agaaaaain…”
His voice sounded like a snake’s hiss and hot metal having cold water poured on it. It made my skin crawl.
“Join us….join us…” he began chanting in a sinister tone. Then, I heard behind me, my parents’ voices echoing the same phrase.
“Join us…Join us…join us…”
I whirled around to see them coming closer to me. Both Moon Face and my parents (if I could call them that anymore) were trying to box me in. There was no way I could escape.
I suddenly yelled, “N-No! I don’t want to join you!”
Just as I was about to run away, I felt my parents restrain my arms, preventing me from leaving. I heard Moon Face snicker silently as my parents locked my arms into theirs. I tried to wrestle my arms out of them, but they were too strong for me.
Then, I felt Moon Face clamp his long, pointed claws on my face. His sharp nails dug into my cheeks and I felt blood slithering down my face.
I stared at his deformed, hideous face and tried to shake my head loose. But it was no use. He had a surprisingly powerful grip.
So then I did the alternative; I shut my eyes tightly. Surely he couldn’t do what he did with my eyes closed.
But then, I felt something I never did before. My felt my eyelids trying to open themselves up involuntarily.
How could that be? What sort of powers did this entity possess?
Finally, I couldn’t resist the urge any longer. My eyes shot open, and Moon Face began looking deeply into my eyes. His eyes began shining brightly, and his smile grew even wider. I heard him quietly chuckle, and I heard the sinister chanting once again…
“Join us…join us…join us…”
Then, I heard my parents begin saying it once again. It started out in their ordinary voices. But then, as the chanting progressed, it sounded more aggressive and violent.
The tune of the Sugar Plum Fairy then became distorted and corrupt, as if it was suddenly changing. Instead of hearing music, it transitioned to the sound of screams. They were composed of pure horror, agony, and anguish.
Moon Face’s facial features began to change. His eyes changed colors from a ghostly-white to a bloody crimson red. His straight teeth morphed into pointed, sharp teeth. His smile once a disturbingly-jovial grin now a menacing, malicious one.
The chanting grew louder and more malignant. It sounded hateful, aggressive, and urgent. I then suddenly heard more voices around me, as if more chanters had come in. Finally, it sounded like deliberate enraged screaming.
“JOIN US! JOIN US! JOIN US! JOIN US!”
Just then, Moon Face opened his revolting mouth and let out a loud, demonic cackle. I saw saliva dripping off of the tips of his fangs.
Then, there was a flash of intense, white light…
And then…for a brief moment…I saw myself. Yes, myself. I saw an image myself just standing there…in total darkness…with the hostile chanting and the demonic laughter of Moon Face still there.
I had those horrifying, glowing white eyes…and that twisted, frozen grin hanging on my lips. I just stood there, smiling endlessly at nothingness. And then, I saw Moon Face seemingly fly in from out of the darkness in that disturbing fashion he does.
Standing right beside “me”, he said, “Now…….you are one of us…and you will never…be lonely….”
And right there is when I woke up screaming.
Sweat had stained my pillow, and my entire body shook with fear. My eyes frantically flicked from left to right, taking in my surroundings.
I was back in my room. It was all a nightmare…
Suddenly, my room’s door swung open and my parents burst into the room. They had asked me what had happened.
“I…I had this horrible nightmare where…where you both are mind-controlled…hypnotized by this thing with a moon head, and…and…he tried to…”
“Oh honey,” replied my mother, taking me into her arms. “It was just a bad dream. It’s all over now…”
I just sat up in my bed, panting, and I threw my arms around my mother in an embrace. I was so relieved that it was just a nightmare.
My father caressed my hair gently and he said, “Don’t worry, sweetie. If you need us, we’ll be in the next room.”
“You see?” said my mom to my dad, as she still had me in her arms. “I told you something was bothering her.”
My father took me in his arms and asked, “Sweetie, is there anything you want to talk about?”
For what might be the very first time in my life, my parents were curious to know what was bothering me. I sat there for half the night, explaining everything. They listened and took it all into consideration.
And from that point on, I never felt as lonely as I did previously. My life gradually improved. I had begun to develop friends, and my parents and I became much closer. It was good to be together.
But sometimes…in the late hours of the night…when I’m half-asleep…I think I see a shadowy-figure with a crescent-moon shaped head smiling at me, his eyes and teeth piercing the darkness. And to accompany this thought, I hear The Dance of The Sugar Plum Fairy playing faintly somewhere…
And when I open my eyes, he seems to simply vanish into thin air. Whether it was a dream, a hallucination, or an experience…I will never know.