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My mom always used to tuck me in when I went to bed. She would lay me on the side, with my head facing the wall and then proceed by saying: “Good night, son. And remember—do not peek at the dancer of the night.” She smiled, kissed me on the cheek and turned off the light as she closed the door out to the hallway. “Do not peek at the dancer of the night.” I always found that saying a bit silly, not quite understanding the meaning of it. However, when I became older, I started… seeing things. When I was just about to fall asleep, I could see a shadow cast on the wall. Of a woman. She was, indeed, dancing.
After this event, I would start dreaming of a beautiful woman with red hair, dancing with smooth and graceful movements, while humming with a voice so sweet that my eyes were on the brink of tears. Her elegant white dress fluttered as she swung around, creating a delicate breeze that gently struck my face. It did not take long before I got obsessed by her, thinking of her while I was at school, at home, well… anywhere. Desperately, I sometimes even tried to take a nap during the morning or the afternoon, in hope to catch a glance of her, but it seemed like she would only appear at night, while my head was facing the wall. So I just started waiting for the time to pass by, in order to go to bed so I could get a chance of meeting her again. Every single day, I fantasized about turning around and finally seeing her, face to face, but every time her shadow appeared on the wall, I couldn’t move. My whole body was mesmerized—hypnotized by her dance, forcing me to fall asleep shortly after.
Even though my mother had warned me about peeking at the dancer of the night, I could not resist the thought of seeing her with my very own eyes.
One night while the shadow was portraying her performance on my wall, just as I was about to drift into deep sleep, I unintentionally changed position, away from the wall. When my subconscious finally realized what had happened, I abruptly opened my eyes. My eyes continued to open as far as they could when my gaze met the creature that had been occupying my room all these nights. I think it was female, but that was the only resemblance it had with the red-haired beauty I always imagined her to be. Her hair was black, unswept and wispy, so long that it was covering her grey and pale face. Some of her hair was missing, though, leaving large bald spots heavily noticeable on the top of her head. Her skinny body was all crooked, making her movements all but smooth and elegant. All of her limbs were moving awkwardly, twitching and dangling, similar to a puppet being controlled by strings. However, it did not look like she was dancing at all, it reminded me more of some kind of strange and somber ritual.
Suddenly, she stopped. She slowly turned her head, making some of the hair covering her visage sway away. Our eyes met. Her eyes were black. All black. She turned her whole body towards me, and her jaw started to slowly drop. It looked like she wanted to scream, but there came no sound. Her mouth just kept opening wider and wider. Her head started shaking, almost as if her jaw was going to snap. She did not move, but somehow she was approaching me, making it appear like she was floating or hovering. I was so petrified I could not comprehend that this actually was reality. The now disfigured and twisted woman was almost standing right by my bedside. Out of breath, heaving for air, I quickly threw myself under the covers. Soaked in sweat, the only thing I could hear was the floor creaking beside my bed, and the slow and heavy breathing of the dancer. I did not know what to do, so I just kept hiding under my blanket, waiting for the sun to rise.
This happened a week ago. I still haven’t slept since that night. Every time I go to bed, her shadow reappears on my wall. However, she is no longer dancing. The shadow is just... standing there... watching me.
Written by InScythe