Ever had that odd experience as a kid? You know, when something obscure happens directly to you, or around you. It frequently only affects you and no one else, and it tends to only happen when no one’s around. You’re just so young, you don’t know how to react to it. You usually end up making an excuse to try to justify it, but alternative thoughts always lurk in the back of your mind regardless. I’m sure you have one way or another. Maybe it was just your incomprehensibly vast amount of imagination that was the cause. In my case, this was far from the truth.
I’d like to say it all started when I was around the age of ten, but to be honest, I’m not quite sure. What I do know is that I was at that young age where finding a penny on the ground was like striking oil, or where receiving a present caused an indescribable amount of bliss. You know, the good old days. Well, at least they seemed good back then, but now that I have almost uncovered the truth, they seem to be the most haunting days of them all. It all started one day, just after school had let out. The day began like all others. Nothing out of the ordinary, just a typical school day. Everything was fine, until I returned home. I had just gotten off the bus, and I was striding to the front door out of sheer happiness that I was finally home.
I reached for my key, opened the door, and stepped in. Something didn’t feel right. This was clear to me as soon as I set foot into the house. Of course, I just put this feeling aside and continued on to the living room. Upon entering, I was hit with the same feeling again, but this time I knew why. Normally, at this time every day, my mother would be home awaiting my arrival. Always sitting on her chair in the living room, after a tedious day of work. But as you can imagine, she was not there today. I checked every square inch of the house for her. I even screamed her name, even though I inevitably knew I’d receive no response. Maybe she got called back to work, I thought to myself. And with that, I carried on with the rest of my day.
I went to the kitchen and opened the cupboard to grab a snack. When I reached for the treats I noticed a small piece of paper attached to a box by rubber band. I instinctively removed the paper from the box and looked for any writing. To my surprise, it did contain script. Here is the note as follows (I still have it to this day).
Dear Xavier, I have been called back into work for important business matters. I left you some food in the refrigerator, you will need to re-heat it in the microwave once you’re ready to eat. I will be back fairly soon to see you. You will be on your own for a little while, but I need you to stay strong.
Reading this note made me feel much more relaxed. Now I knew for sure my mother was okay and would be returning home soon enough. Now I could get the worried feelings out of my head and move on with my day. Boy was I wrong.
It had been an hour since I read the note. I had expected my mother to be home by now. I was beginning to feel very lonesome, so I decided to put an end to that. I went upstairs to my room and pretended I was playing with an imaginary friend. I imagined what he looked like and gave him a name. I referred to him as Simon. He was my idea of the perfect friend. He had all the qualities of a friend I was looking for except one thing. Simon couldn’t talk to me, he only communicated with me using his hands to imply things. Simon and I played for a little while and then out of the blue, he insinuated that he had to go. This wasn’t good news to me at first, but then I realized I created him so I could control him. Somehow, I was wrong. No matter how much I tried I couldn’t get him to stay and play with me, or talk for that matter. He resisted, almost as if he had taken on a personality of his own. He seemed to have apologized to and sort of plastered himself onto the wall and slowly deteriorated into a shadow. The shadow of his outline walked to the door and disappeared into the hallway. Just in time for the front door to open and my mom to walk in to greet me. So I went downstairs to see her.
My mother and I talked like normal. Your average mother to son conversation, and then I decided to tell her about the new friend I made. She was happy to hear I had fun while she was gone and that I didn’t feel too lonely. And with that, we continued on with our day, which eventually ended with me going to bed.
I woke up that night somewhere around 3:00 and 3:30 A.M. This was an uncommon occurrence for me. I felt fine, so I switched positions on my bed and tried to fall back asleep. But something caught the attention of my eyes. I was facing the nightlight on the wall now, and in the light cast the silhouette of Simon. His shadow standing there perfectly erect. Almost alien like in form.
“Simon is that you?” I asked in a soft voice.
I received no reply. He seemed a bit bigger than I’d last remembered him, but I just shrugged it off. I stayed up and stared at him for a little longer in hopes for a response of some sort, but I came up empty. With that, I closed my eyes and went back to sleep.
The next morning I was awaken by the smell of the pancakes my mother was making me. I got out of bed and turned off my TV. Although, I never remembered turning it on in the first place. It was on a static channel and muted. I just dismissed this and went on to get my breakfast.
The remainder of the day resumed as normal. I hadn’t had school, so I could stay home and play all day. Which is in fact just what I did. That is, until night hit and it was time to go to bed.
I ran up to my bedroom and laid in my bed. My mother came to tuck me in and say goodnight. Then she went back downstairs most likely to watch TV or something. I was beat so I dozed off very quickly.
I woke up that night again, at around 3:00 and 3:30. The same as the night before. This time, the TV was on the static channel, just like this morning. It was muted once more. I sat up in my bed and stared at the TV. I didn’t really know what to do. I ended up going to turn it off, but right before I could press the button, something on the TV caught my attention. A silhouette, a static engulfed silhouette, of Simon. It seemed as though he was looking to the right, pointing. I tried to talk to him, but as you know he was mute. He continued to point to the right, towards my bedroom door. So as hinted by Simon I went to my bedroom door and opened it. The TV abruptly shut off. I turned on the hallway light, and there it was. Simon’s shadow standing parallel to me on the wall. He was very large now, much taller than before. He still had that odd alien-like form to him, which even back then sort of freaked me out. Now, he was at the top of the stairs, pointing down. So, as before, I followed his instructions and slowly crept down the stairs, being sure I didn’t wake my mother.
Simon then led me to the kitchen. He was now manifested darker on the wall. So dark in fact that he almost seemed life like. He then directed me further in the kitchen, until we reached the basement door. He just stood there on the wall next to the door, very nonchalant. Then he gradually raised his abnormally long finger and pointed at the basement door. A smile almost seemed to have emerge on his face. This was evident, even by just gazing upon his silhouette. He was frozen in that position, pointing with that estranged smirk on his face. After much debate to myself I finally decided to follow through, and go into the unfinished basement. It was pitch black, but I resumed down the stairs. Once I was at the bottom, I lost sight of Simon. It was truthfully too dark to see anything, because I was not yet used to the darkness. That changed with the passing of a minute or two. Now I could see him. Standing at the very back wall of the basement. He seemed more like an entity now. He wasn’t a shadow on a wall, but something much more now. He was a three dimensional silhouette. He was probably standing two to three feet away from the wall. Still he had that grueling alien-like form that I could never seize to understand.
Slowly, I walked to him. With every step closer, he still remained in the same position. Closer and closer I got, until finally I reached him. We both stood still for a good deal of time. Then he made a move. He reached his hand out and forcefully pushed it against me. It felt as though he contained an electric current that viciously surged through my body once I was struck. I had a violent fall to the ground, and that was all I could remember. I retained consciousness later that night. Still lying on the ground of the pitch black basement. All was the same as before I was knocked out, even Simon was still there except farther from me now. I noticed something about him.
He was no longer large and alien-like, but he seemed much more human now. In fact, his silhouette cast an exact replica of my outline. I was petrified at this point, but couldn’t run. I was in extreme shock, standing there in the basement. Then, a small light was switched on near me. It was just enough light to cast my shadow onto the wall. Upon gazing at my shadow I saw him. Two identical shadows of myself were plastered on the wall. Mine was to the right, and Simon’s to the left. Then his shadow moved toward mine. It then morphed into mine on the wall and in a sense he disappeared. I felt light headed once more and was out cold. The next morning was one I would never forget. I woke up in my bed, tucked in like usual, the TV was off. I tossed off my covers and hurried to go downstairs to find my mom. To my relief, she was sitting in her chair.
“Good morning honey,” she said to me.
Happy to see she was okay, I tried to reply to her, but I couldn’t. No matter how hard I tried nothing would come out. She noticed the troubled look on my face.
“Xavier is something wrong?” she asked.
Still I had no way to respond; I was a mute. I got out a pen and paper and wrote it out for her that I couldn’t speak, and at first she thought nothing of it. Later that day, she made an appointment with my doctor and took me to his office. He brought me in and examined me thoroughly. He stated that he had never seen anything like this. Finally he concluding that my vocal cords were fried. He told us the effect would be permanent and there was really nothing more he could do. Nothing more we could do for that matter.
Ever since then, my life has been completely different. My mother died a few years after the incident, due to illness. I was put into an orphanage and stayed there until I was ready to live on my own. Which brings me to where I’m at now. Telling you my story in the form of typing, because I cannot speak it.
I would like to say that my life has become better since the incident, but it would be an all-out lie. It’s not necessarily being mute that has been the worse part though. Oh no, definitely not that. Or never being able to fit in with everyone else and being an outsider, no. It is the fact that I still see him to this day. Yes, Simon. He still follows me everywhere I go and does everything I do. Whenever I look at my shadow I know he is in their somewhere, smiling his menacing grin. The thought of him stalking at my side has nearly drove me to schizophrenia. My peace of mind is slowly deteriorating with every passing day, and soon I fear I will lose it all. I fear he will take hold of me completely and I will lose all control. I fear one day I will forget who I am, or my name… Simon. Oh no.