I never thought I'd be able to bring myself to this, allowing the memories of my troubled past to resurface in my mind. I had to, though, in order to write this. In order to warn someone. It's hard, but I'm still writing. What you're about to read about will become a part of your life, just as it did to mine.

It all began when a light appeared in my room.

Light shining2

I used to live in Southern Arizona, a few miles outside of Sonoita. In those parts, the skies are usually lit up at night by the stars. The orientation of my room makes it so my bed is next to a large window. The light from the starry sky normally illuminates my room.

One night, the stars weren't shining. I don't recall how young I was, but I remember that I was terrified of the dark. I lay facing that window with my back facing my room the whole night. I stared into space, silently begging the stars to reappear, because I kept thinking I felt a hand reach over me. I was too scared to turn over and look. I scrunched my eyes shut, and the night passed sleepless. I thought it was over then.

A few nights later, the stars were gone again. I rolled over to survey my room. Although it was pitch black, if there was movement, I would have detected it. Reassured, I rolled over and fell asleep facing the window.

I was woken by a single footstep. I opened my eyes slowly, but did not turn around. There was nothing but silence, not even my own breathing or the breathing of whatever was in my room — if there was anything in my room. The footstep had sounded close to my bed. VERY close. Though my heart pounded in my chest, the room was quiet. I calmed down just a bit and started breathing again.

A hand dragged across my back.

I froze in terror. The hand rolled around blindly, as if it didn't have a sense of touch. A gnarled, misshapen body pushed against me, stumbling, its hands groping for something it didn't know was there: me. I felt no fear anymore; just cold, just an absence of feeling. The thing's skin was dry, but its veins pumped blood; human blood. It left a few hours later, when the first rays of sunlight rose from the empty night. The whole time it had been tripping, grasping the air, and I never opened my eyes, fearing what would happen if I did.

It didn't return for at least a month after that. A few days before the next incident, I went camping with my family. The two days we spent out in the woods saw no sign of the human-creature. Upon returning to my house from our trip late at night, I perceived that the stars weren't out. A hint of dread fell on me as I took off my coat and heard a thump behind me.

I slowly turned around, but saw nothing. My fear had not subsided at all, but I turned off the lights anyway. Not the best of choices, I know, but I wasn't thinking straight right then. The first thing I noticed was odd — it hadn't gone completely dark. A thin ray of light slightly illuminated my room, not enough too see clearly by, but enough to equal the light of the stars. The human-creature didn't show up that night at all, as if the light repelled it. I got little sleep, though, because I knew it was still waiting, waiting for darkness to come back.

When morning finally arrived, I looked in the corner from which the light had been shining and found a flashlight from my camping trip. I had forgotten to turn it off before putting it in my coat pocket, resulting in the faint light in my room. I understood then that I needed light for protection. God knows what would have happened if I had fallen asleep on those starless nights.

From that point on, I had to keep my light on in my room to ward off the darkness. It followed me, waiting, until recently I stopped sensing its presence. The human-creature left me, looking for easier prey. Where it went, I have no idea, but I still keep my light on today, for it can always return when the stars disappear.