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Staring Contest

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It's been there every night since I can remember. Just sitting in the corner of my room on its haunches, staring. I'm seventeen now, and think I've found a way to get rid of it.

As stupid as it sounds, I think I’m just going to stare back until it goes away. I honestly think that will work. You see, at one point, I thought it was normal. I thought everyone had one. Now I realize it's just me. The first night I remember seeing it was the first night I pissed the bed. I couldn't of been more than 4 years old.

The wet sheets woke me up, they were still warm. I wanted to scream for my mom but she always praises me for being such a good sleeper and NEVER waking up at night. Laying still for a moment, soaked with my own piss, I resolve to swallow my childish pride and yell for her. I roll off of the wet spot on my sheets and start to take off my piss soaked underwear, then I felt it.

A presence with me in the room. My heart started to thump in the silence, beating like war drums in my chest. Looking towards my closed door I started to yell for my mom, and I saw it. Instantly my body froze, paralyzed, from head to toe. The entirety of my skin went cold and i could feel perspiration budding from all of my pores. It was staring. It was staring directly at me. It was staring right into my eyes.

Moonlight shone through the window opposite my bed illuminating its interesting, yet, hideous figure. God! The eyes. The unblinking eyes! The whites like dinner plates with a black hole for an iris. I remember looking directly into its eyes and feeling like I was tugged towards them. I shut my eyes tight wishing the bad dream to end, but, all I could hear was the sound of the fan. All i could feel was the ice cold sweat on my balmy skin. Still unable to move my body. I opened my eyes slowly, not daring to look into its, and gazed just over its head.

Dark and shadowy tendrils wisped through the faint light around its face. It was there, but yet. I could see through it. The face that housed the terrifying eyes was a porcelain smooth grey. A wide open smile of short, yet perfect, teeth traversed the face from one side to the other.

The smile reminded me of the Cheshire cat from that Alice in Wonderland cartoon). It didn't have legs. It had haunches. It sat in the corner, on its haunches, staring at me the entire night. I was paralyzed the whole night, unable to call for help, and laying in my own piss. Trying not to look at it.

With the morning sunset, it slowly disappeared with the shadows.

I told my mom about it the next morning, crying in her arms, asking her if I could sleep with her, and begging her to let me stay up and watch TV. She just took me back in my room and told me, "All kids have nightmares sweetie. And that's all it is a nightmare. It's gone now, see? And if it comes back just close your eyes and tell yourself its all a dream and you'll wake up!"

Every night of my childhood was spent, "Trying to wake up". Every night of my childhood it has been in the corner across from my bed, no matter where I put my bed. I'm failing high school because I can't sleep. I have no friends because I can't sleep. My mind is breaking because I can't sleep. The doctors drugs aren't working because I am not an insomniac. I have a nightmare. But tonight everything changes.

I wake up in the darkness. It will be there when I roll over and look. It's always there. Tonight I have a plan. Tonight I will be brave and stare back at this thing, this nightmare. Rolling over I see the wispy shadows of its body, the porcelain grey of its face, its maddening smile, and.... the eyes.

My body is frozen. I shut my eyes tight. I gather my soul with resolve and open them, staring into the abyss at the center of its eyes. I feel the pull. Its eyes are sucking me in. My heart is steady, and calm. There is no fear in my soul. I feel myself elongating, pulled like a rubber band toward it. The abyss of its eyes are now like sheets thrown into the air, falling down on me draping me. I feel calm. My now...I can...sleep.

My eyes open suddenly. I can not move and I am not alone. It's dark. I try to blink my eyes, yet they will not blink. I try to move my eyes and they will not move. I am staring at a child, no older than four years old, laying on the edge of his bed and he is trying not to look at me.

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