It started when my son first began sleepwalking.

One night, my wife and I awoke to the sound of our son shrieking from the basement. We flew out of bed as our son's room is located upstairs. We met him a little ways from the top of our stairwell and he jumped into my wife's arms, crying about a man following him up the stairs. I took a peek around the corner, nothing. I wrote it off as a nightmare. It took a while to convince our son that he had just had a bad dream and to convince him that he was just sleepwalking and that nobody had stolen him from his bed. He slept with us that night and seemed fine in the morning.

The next day went on as usual until it was my son's bedtime. He began to cry and insisted on sleeping with my wife and me. I grudgingly relented, and we slept without incident. The next night he was willing to sleep in his own bed and I went to bed happily with my wife. However, we once again awoke to the sound of him screaming in the basement. I got out of bed, more leisurely this time, and walked to meet him. He once again told me of the man following him up the stairs. I held him and asked him to explain carefully to me what had happened. He told me a tale of waking up in the middle of the basement and seeing a terribly scary man run towards him from the far end of the basement. That would be when he began to shriek and run away, to where I had just met him. I acted as though I believed every word of it and told him that I would go take care of the man. I left my son with my wife and leisurely walked down the stairs.

I walked around the whole basement, and then ensued making false noises as if fighting with someone. As I approached the stairwell, I glanced back to the far bedroom in the basement and, just for a second, I thought I saw a horribly disfigured face watching me from behind the door. I blinked and it was gone, I chuckled at the fact that my son's nightmares were getting to me. I headed back to my son and assured him that the man would no longer be a problem. However, he still slept with us the rest of the night.

The next night, he was perfectly happy to sleep in his own bed, but once again I awoke to the sound of him screaming. I decided to run and meet him while he was still on the stairs as what I had thought I saw the day before was still on my mind. I got to the top of the stairs half a second before my son. I nearly jumped back. Behind my son, I was positive that I saw the same face shrink back into the shadows around the corner of the stairwell. My son clung to my leg crying but I was paralyzed. I couldn't get that face out of my mind. I finally snapped out of it and rushed my son into my bedroom. My wife rocked our son but wouldn't take her eyes off of me. I think she saw the fear in my eyes, and I think my son did too.

I called, but all of my immediate family were either on vacation or just could not accommodate my family at the moment, I simply did not have the money for a hotel room. I stayed up the entire night, shaking. My son had fallen into an uneasy sleep next to my wife, but frequently woke crying. I tried to comprehend what I had seen. It couldn't be real. It just couldn't. And his face. I could taste the bile in my mouth. It was hideous, I felt as though it would flash into the bedroom at any moment. It made me wonder if my son had ever actually sleepwalked or if that... that thing... I couldn't bring myself to think of the possibilities. I contemplated calling the police, but I knew that they wouldn't find anything. I would be a laughingstock for calling the cops to investigate my son's nightmares. So I simply stayed up and waited until morning.

The next day was a Saturday. I was weary from lack of sleep and my son wouldn't go a single foot out of sight of either me or my wife. I didn't even have a chance to explain to my wife what had happened. My son was always nearby, and if he saw his dad afraid, he would be a wreck. The day wore on, and I refused to go near the basement. I couldn't think of anything to do. If I called anyone, I would be laughed at, but I couldn't imagine staying there another night. But eventually, night had fallen, and I had no other choice.

My wife and I tucked my son tightly between us, and I prepared for another sleepless night. After a few hours, though, my tired body won out and I drifted off into sleep.

I awoke in a cold sweat to the creak of floorboards. I sat up and reached down for my son. But he wasn't there. He wasn't there. My eyes adjusted to the dark and I jumped out of bed. I ran to the stairwell. At the bottom, a horribly disfigured creature turned to look up at me. In his reverse-jointed arms, I saw my son. I looked up at his sewn-closed eyes. His crooked mouth wore a happy grin to which he raised a single finger.