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The Gray Hooded Man

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I saw him again. This time in a crowded street, just... staring. He never moves, just a static figure in the distance. But he is always looking at me, and it doesn’t seem to matter how fast I go because when I turn back to him, he is just staring back at me the same distance away. I don’t even know if he can see me, for he wears his hooded sweatshirt on backwards, bloodstains where his eyes should be. There is also blood covering his hands and up his arms. Why doesn’t anybody else see him? They just walk by him as if he is not even there. How can they not hear it? The screaming… the intense, horrible screaming.

It penetrates me down into my core. It’s getting louder, the traffic fading away, overpowered by the shrieks of pain and misery. I cover my ears to try and block it out, the piercing noise. It’s in my head! My head, the screaming! I can’t take it, get it out! Out! Out! I fall to my knees covering my ears trying to keep the screaming out but to no avail. I look up to see him standing in front of me; he bends down to be level with my face. The screaming stops. He leans in, inches from my face. I can’t move, paralyzed by some unseen force. Blood begins to seep into his hood, forming an eerie grin on his face. He grabs me and begins to scream.

I jolted out of bed, heart pounding and in a cold sweat. It takes me a second to realize that I am in my bedroom. Oh thank goodness, just a dream. The sunlight pours into my room and looking at the clock it is time to start the day. As I dress for the day I can’t help but feel like I am being watched. I dismiss it as just being paranoid from having a nightmare, as this has happened before. But this time feels different, it feels… real. Throughout the day I kept finding myself looking over my shoulder half expecting to see him standing there. Finally as the night approaches I decide to go to bed early seeing as I had to walk to my friend’s house in the morning. As I go to bed I close my eyes and try not to think about last night’s events. Eventually I drift into a restless sleep. I dreamed that I was in the woods behind my house. I was being chased, it sounded like it was some sort of animal. It was howling, that noise… it was blood-curdling, and it sounded like it was getting closer with every step.

The next morning I awoke exhausted from what little sleep I had gotten during the night. I was tempted to just call my friend and tell him I wasn’t feeling too well today. Partially because I actually wasn’t and because I was feeling even more paranoid than I was yesterday. I finally decided I wasn’t going to let a few nightmares stop me and left the house. Walking down the street I prepared myself for the five mile journey ahead of me. About an hour or so later with about two miles left to go I had to take a break before I collapsed.

I spotted a nearby bench and sat down. I couldn’t help but notice it seemed to be getting darker, which was strange seeing as it was about noon in July. Also there was something about sitting in a bench alone on a path in the middle of the woods that didn’t sit well with me. I was starting to feel my paranoia again. I decided enough was enough and started walking again. Then I heard it, that same blood-curdling howl from last night. That was the last straw, I immediately broke out into a full on sprint and didn’t stop until I saw people. Being in a crowded street calmed me down to some extent. I kept on walking and still noticed how much darker it seemed to be, almost like it was dusk. A car horn made me turn around. Just some city traffic, and somebody almost crashed.

As I started to turn back I saw him. No no no no no this can’t be! He was just a nightmare, just a figment of my twisted mind! “You’re not real!” I shouted at him. He started to take a step toward me. I turned and ran, dodging through the crowd praying that I would lose him. I looked back and saw him even closer to me now, but he was just walking! How could this be? I was running nonstop for five full minutes and he kept up by just walking?! That bloodied grin on his face mocking me. I turned down a different street heading into the suburbs and continued running. As I looked back he was no longer there so I stopped running. I was feeling better now seeing as I was about 10 minutes from my friend’s house.

A car horn beeping a little tune caught my attention. It was my friend and his family driving by, waving. I thought it was odd, seeing as they didn’t stop to pick me up, but it didn’t matter because I was almost there! I noticed how it was getting so dark that the street lights should have been on. And now it was cold too, unusually cold, especially for July. It felt like it was freezing, I could even see my breath. I continued onward and walked across the bridge toward my friend’s house I noticed somebody on the other side walking toward me. He was wearing jeans and some boots, I could not see anymore because of how dark it was.

The man started to run toward me, I was a little alarmed seeing as it was out of the blue. The closer he got I began to see more, I could tell now that he was wearing a grey sweatshirt. But it was odd… it was on backwards! The man’s face began to distort horrifically, and he put up the hood. That bloodied face looking out at me, I couldn’t move. When he reached me he just stood there staring at me again. It took all of my strength but I managed to scream at him “WHAT DO YOU WANT FROM ME?!” He just stepped closer to me and screamed into my face. I blacked out.

When I woke up I was chained to a wall in some rundown basement. The smell was horrific, like a mixture of decay, blood, and feces. It hurt to move, and looking down I saw I had gashes along my chest. I screamed, and I kept screaming until he walked out of the darkness. He was holding a bone saw, blood stained and rusted. He took off his hood and showed his face.

It was so horrible, so disfigured and scarred. I vomited at the sight of it, causing my chest to begin to throb in pain. He spoke in garbled tones, it sounded like he was speaking in a demonic tone. He the crouched down and raked the saw along my leg. My screams echoed throughout the halls. He began to saw off my leg. I kept screaming, louder and louder until I no longer sounded human. My consciousness began to fade and yet I kept screaming. The pain was so horrible, I couldn’t help but keep screaming. Eventually my voice gave out, and any noise I created was just a raspy whisper. He seemed to take delight in my pain, I could hear him laughing. And as my world faded to black all I heard was my horrible screaming and his laughter, for all eternity.

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