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The Face Eater

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When I was a child, there was a man who hid in the tree outside of my bedroom window. Well, it might not have been a man so much as a beast. Nonetheless, as a child I thought of him as a man. I used to watch him climb out of the tree at night and play with things in the yard. His body was thin and long. His skin was the color of tar. He often looked into the window, he had to have been looking right at me, with blood red eyes. Not one hundred percent blood red, no, but what would have been the whites of his eyes were a jaundice yellow.

For the most part, he didn't cause me any problems, he would just hang out in the tree, waiting for his time to walk around the yard and I would watch him. I always wondered what he was. I thought that maybe he was an alien of some sort. I just couldn't understand why an alien would hang out in our tree. I also would wonder where he went during the day, because frankly I didn't see him in the tree when the sun was out. Maybe he hid in the hills across the road. Maybe that's what led him out into the road that one night.

See he mostly just messed with things in the yard, flipping stuff over, opening the gas hatches on the cars and chasing cats. One night he stayed out in the road, it was hard to see him because he was out of the range of the flood light's motion sensor. The only thing that gave away his position was the light from the moon reflecting off of his body. Now, for whatever reason, he was jumping over cars as they drove by, and when I say he was jumping over them, he cleared large trucks in a single leap. I watched him do this with five cars before the sixth one; who must have seen him, turned over into our yard, down the embankment and right into a tree at the yard's far end. The car was smashed up badly and I could hear my parents rushing to put on clothes to head outside to investigate. The tree man got to him first and I watched as he used his long slender fingers to pry the driver's side door open. The light inside the cabin came on and the man inside was covered in blood, but he was still alive. At least he was until the man from the tree blocked my view and I guess took a bite out of his face. After that, the tree man took for the hills and the man in the car was dead. The front of his face gone and just a bloody mess. My parents had a hard time sleeping after finding that body. I heard rumors at school saying that some of the cops did too.

Soon after that things went back to normal for some time. In fact, sleep was starting to catch up with me, from all those nights staying up and watching him. I was asleep when the next car crashed. I knew it was the man from the tree that killed him too from what my mom and dad described to people over the phone what the victims looked like. Once again, no faces, just gaping meaty holes. I tried to tell them what I'd seen, but they just took it as me not understanding the real world. So, I wanted to show them.

One night I waited for him to climb out of the tree. For some reason this night I wondered how he got up there in the first place, but I just shook the thought from my mind and started for the front door. I opened the door and there he was, face-to-face with me. He was much taller than I thought, as his knees bent at the same level as my shoulders. He had let his arms drop to the porch making him almost look like a thin hairless black monkey. A pot belly hid the fact if I was right about his sex. He then brought his head down next to mine. No nose, no real ears—both just little slits in his head. There wasn't a single patch of hair on his body that I could see, but I wasn't really looking. My eyes locked in on his. Deep pools of blood red, twitching back and forth as he studied me. His mouth slowly opened, it opened like a crude frown, teeth yellow and his breath smelled of dirt and decay. I nearly pissed myself as he pulled his head back like a bird readying himself to attack. My only guess was he was going to eat my face as well, but he stopped to sniff the air. Suddenly, he leaped onto the roof of the trailer above me without a sound. A hand grasped my shoulder and pulled me inside. It was my dad, who had a shotgun in his hands. He was upset with me, told me I made him think there was someone breaking into our home.

That was one of the last times I saw the man from the tree. I didn't trust him anymore and something told me that by him walking around our yard at night he was hunting me. Sure, more people wrecked their cars there, cops shrugged it off as to the fact it was a long straight stretch of road and people love to speed through places like that. The only weird kill he ever got was during the day, it was after a few months of no accidents and then suddenly a guy flipped his car out front. My guess he was out during the day this time, desperate to feed. At first no one could find the driver's body, as he was tossed from the car — but when he came to ranting about the tall black man, that we found him in the ditch. He was hurt bad, blood pouring out of a wound on his arm. The cops found drugs in his car and deemed the accident as drug related. Yet the man from the tree still got his kill, see this guy was hurt so bad they had to take him to the hospital, during the night some time he suddenly lost his face.

Shortly after this my family moved out of that trailer, deeming it unsafe for their children. After that I grew up, got married and had children of my own after moving out of state. It's been over fifteen years since I last seen the face eater — but I think that is all about to change, my son just walked into my bedroom telling me about a tall, thin black man with blood red eyes standing outside his window. I'm getting my gun ready, one way or another one of us isn't going to see the other one ever again. I just hope that by one of us, I mean myself.

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