Tonight they will come back. I have been plagued by shadow men for the past three weeks. They only appear at night, and when they do, I enter a state of paralysis.
I cannot do anything, say anything, or move. I am left lying in my bed, eyes wide open, staring at them while they taunt me with insults and threats.
I do not know whether or not it is a dream. It feels real, but then again, it doesn't. I encountered my first shadow man at the age of six.
I had been lying in bed when suddenly, I awoke. My body was paralyzed and I could not move. Then there was a sudden movement in the corner of my room. My eyes darted to the source of the movement and I realized there was a man in a large cloak in the corner of my room.
Without a moment's notice, the man moved so fast to my bed he could have teleported. He stood at the foot of it. Even being only a few feet from my eyes, I noticed that there were no features in his body or face. He was merely a shroud of blackness. He lacked arms and a face for all I knew, but I felt his power.
Then he spoke. If one were to ask me what I remember the most about my first encounter was his voice. It did not sound like a demonic rumble or a raspy witch, but more like the ramblings of a psychopath. The man leaned in closer over me. He had to have been floating because there was no possible way he was still touching the ground due to how close he was to my face.
"I gotcha!" He whispered.
Then he flew at me and I screamed. I blacked out and fell asleep. That was only the beginning.
For the next three to four years I would constantly have nightmares--night terrors of being dragged by this man down my stairs while I cried and other shadow beings just observed as I was dragged to what I thought was my untimely doom. After a while I just dismissed these as dreams until one night I was convinced I was somehow haunted.
The man came into my room in the middle of the night. He seized me and began to drag me down the hall. I vaguely remember some type of animal sitting in my room.
It growled. I am still not sure to this day if it were growling at me or at the man. I do not even know if it was my dog. My dogs did not tend to sleep in my room and the door was always shut at night.
The man continued to drag me down the hall till we reached the stairs. As usual I clawed and tried to pull myself back to my room using only the fibers of the carpet. But I was weak, either from a lack of sleep or from the man's touch. I made it to the middle of the stairs and I suddenly gained an immense amount of strength in my leg.
"Let me go!" I shouted at the man.
I then kicked him as hard as I could in the face and he fell backwards down the stairs. I gained immediate awareness of my surroundings, and found that I could not have been dreaming. I was on the stairs with my hands outstretched towards my room.
I never saw the man again. I have seen other shadow people since, but they do not make contact with me, they only sulk in the corners and stare off into the darkness, as if they are not there. Perhaps they do not realize where they are or they have lost their way in the darkness.
But a new source of terror came. One stronger than the man and his paralyzing touch. Instead of the shadows coming to visit me, I ended up visiting them. For the last year of these night terrors, I was transported in my sleep to a bizarre, yet frightening universe.
The universe consisted of creatures that I cannot describe with any words in the English language. Their malformed bodies that constantly changed shape and reflected an unknown light from the sky off of their slick, black skin constantly taunted me in this universe.
I recall some type of torture/execution device used to invoke the greatest fear in me. It was just one of the many they possessed. It consisted of some type of machine built out of a pipe organ and a steam train.
There were bodies lodged in each pipe and every time the train rolled in, the organ played. One by one, each person stuffed in a pipe was killed by the blast of sound. I always remember being stuffed into the second to last pipe and waking up right before my time had come.
These nightmares did not stop for an entire year. The last time I remember being in the universe, there was a strange tower with an enormous pulsating heart that rested at the top. It did not look like any regular heart. It was green and it was shaped more like an oval than any type of organ found in an animal with a normal anatomy.
At the end of this terror, I reached my way to the top of the tower, fortunately I had aid from some other being, yet I forget who or what it was. Once I touched the heart, I died and I awoke from my horrid dream. That was the last time I ever had any night terror...until now.
I do not even have to be asleep. When I lie in my bed at night, I try to go to sleep but I feel the presence of others slowly creeping towards me, getting stronger with each step. I do not know how to stop it or who it is, perhaps it is The Man returning to claim me once more.
Last night, as I woke up because of my alarm. My room flashed bright orange for just half a second and I can clearly remember within that brief moment, I saw a figure standing at the edge of my bed. It was a man and he was wearing some type of formal attire. Perhaps it is not The Man, but I know that whatever it is, it is strong and it wishes to inflict harm upon my soul.
I have been praying all day, I have crucifixes hung all around my bed, there are dream catchers at every window in my house. I can only hope that God answers my prayers. With that, night is approaching, and I must finally face my dream demons. Whether or not I will conquer them is all dependent on Fate and her cruel plan for my future.
Written by Zach Zeman