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The Scratch

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I don’t have much of a social life. I live in a heavily-forested mountain, on the outskirts of my rural town. The few friends that I have live many miles away. Every day, after an incredibly boring day of school, I drag myself up to my room and sit on my computer for the majority of the evening. It seems as if I’m stuck in a time loop, and I can’t ever escape. The same mundane routine, day after day.

Not that I wish that would change, of course. This is the happiest I’ve lived my life for as long as I can remember. I’m finally free after four grueling years of depression. My bullying issues have subsided, and nothing is wrong with my school grades. That all changed one night this past summer.

My nightmare began in my bedroom.

My paranoia was acting up. I had just finished reading a horror story and writing a book report about it for language arts class. I could’ve sworn that I could hear the demon's clawing at my window, eager to possess my body. For those of you who think that a paranoiac like myself could just convince themselves that whatever was freaking them out wasn’t real, it’s much more complicated than you think. You can’t simply control your emotions when you have paranoia. It doesn’t matter to what degree you tell yourself that monsters don’t exist, or that your water bottle isn’t actually poisoned. You know deep down in your mind that everything is okay and that you’re just worked up. But your conscious mind tells you that you’re about to die by some non-existent force. And no matter how hard you try, you can’t take your mind off of that idea.

I was curled up in the fetal position in my bed, the blankets wrapped tightly around my head. That awful sound outside my window. I needed it to stop. The only way that I could do that was to show myself, and just see that there was nothing there. This wasn’t anything new, something like this usually happened every night. i slowly sat up, letting the covers drop in a clumped up manner. I turned to my window, the shades down. I saw the shadow of a demonic hand with long, pointy fingernails, scraping on my window. I could’ve sworn that my father had cut down that tree for firewood. There’s no such thing as monsters, I repeated to myself in my mind. I hesitantly jerked the string attached to the blinds downwards, allowing them to shoot up into the ceiling.

The darkness of the night filled my field of vision. I glanced into the upper right corner of the window. Sure enough, there was no demon hand. But strangely, there was no branch either. I disregarded the thought, doing anything I could to calm myself down. I let the blinds roll shut and went back to sleep.

The next morning, I was awoken by the crude buzzing of my alarm clock. I blindly extended my right hand out, feeling for it. My hand fell upon a cold lump of plastic. I pushed down and the buzzing instantly ceased. I reluctantly opened my eyes and glanced to the right.

“Shit!” I said under my breath.

I had accidentally set my alarm clock for 7:30, not 6:30. I kicked off the covers and threw together an outfit with the clothes that were at the top of my drawers. I ran downstairs and carelessly combed my hair. As I sprinted for the mudroom, I snatched my backpack off of the dining room table. I burst out of the door, hoping that I could catch the bus on time. A few minutes later, I saw it rolling up my driveway, coming to an abrupt stop. I was relieved that I didn’t have to bike to school.

The rest of my day went just as usual. When I got home, I threw off my jacket and backpack and turned on my old computer. I tried to make time go as slowly as possible, trying to put as much time as possible between then and bedtime.

When the time came, I reluctantly came to tear myself away from my computer screen, brush my teeth, and go to sleep. Later that night, I heard the scratching again; this time a bit louder. I was a little annoyed, considering that the I don’t usually fabricate the same sound or sight two nights in a row. I irritably sat up and opened my blinds. Again, there was nothing there. I closed them and put my head under my pillow, hoping to get some sleep.

The sounds didn’t stop this time. They got persistently louder throughout the night. At one point, I couldn’t bear it anymore. I burst out of bed and opened my window, sticking my head outside. “Who’s out there!” I screamed angrily. No response. Just the sound of owls hooting and crickets chirping. I closed my window, hoping that the terrible noise would stop. I grabbed my iPod off of the windowsill, and plugged in earbuds. I listened to soothing music until I fell asleep.

The next day, I decided to stay home from school. I needed the sleep. I slept in until close to noon. I rubbed my eyes as I feebly walked down the stairs into the kitchen. I poured myself Cocoa Puffs with milk, and ate by myself at the dining room table.

After breakfast/lunch, I went back up to my room. I opened my blinds and looked out of the window. Why was this happening to me? I blankly stared into my yard, contemplating whether or not to consult my doctor about getting medication.

Just when I was about to look away and get dressed, something caught my eye. Right on the line that separated the forest from my yard stood a figure that looked about my height. I could barely make out any of its features, considering it was probably over 100 feet away. I squinted my eyes. It had pale white skin. It wasn’t wearing any clothing, and didn’t appear to have genitals of any kind. Its arms where bright white from where its shoulders were to about halfway down its biceps. From what I could tell, it appeared like it began to have fewer and fewer layers of flesh as it went down. By the time you got to its wrists and hands, it was just bone. Its skeleton fingers were so long and skinny, they almost seemed unnatural. It cradled a piece of glass in its left arm. As it stared up at me, it reached its right hand over to the glass. It began scratching it with all of its fingers. That awful sound… I blinked for a long second and then looked back into the yard. Nothing unusual, just my yard.

I closed the blinds and ran over to my mirror. What was wrong with me? My plague, my paranoia… It was eating away at me. I couldn’t live with it any longer. I knew that I had to see a doctor.

I scheduled an appointment with my local mental health center. I went in later that day and explained my condition to the doctor. He prescribed some medication for me, and told me that I could come back in two weeks to get a refill. He said that in a month, I shouldn’t be experiencing hallucinations or anything like that anymore.

I got home later that night. I was actually kind of excited to go to bed for the first time on my new medication. I was a little tired from biking 5 miles each way, so I was eager to get inside and rest. I parked my bike next to my porch, kicking up the kick stand. I went inside and put the bottle of pills on the table. I reached for a glass from a high cupboard, and filled it with tap water. After attempting to figure out the child-proof lid for a few minutes, I emptied one pill from the bottle into my hand. I put it on the palm of my hand. I tipped my head back and raised my palm to my mouth. I held the pill on my tongue, washing it down with water.

I looked at the clock. It was 9:30 P.M. I had school tomorrow, so I decided to get to bed. I quickly brushed my teeth, and hopped into bed, pulling the covers over me. I let out a sigh of relief and closed my eyes.

I woke up later that night for no apparent reason. I opened my eyes and looked around. After a few seconds, it came to my attention that there was the same hand scratching on the window, and it was making the same sound. I looked at it speechlessly for a second, and then burst out laughing. I forgot that I was supposed to take two pills at a time, not one.

I got up from my bed and walked to my door. When I opened it, I was met by a pair of two piercing black eyes. I screamed and stumbled backwards in shock. I looked at the thing again. It had a narrow, oval shaped head, with bright white skin. Under its eyes was a line of stitches curved upward, as if it was stuck in a permanent smile. Its incredibly skeletal body resembled the same shade of pale white that its face had. I looked it silently in the eyes for a few short seconds, my entire body trembling. I ran to the door and slammed it shut, cowering on my bed.

That was the thing I had seen in the yard. This wasn’t a hallucination. I wasn’t crazy. It wanted something from me. It wouldn’t stop until I snapped. For the rest of the night, it stood there, scratching at my door. I was wide awake, frozen in fear the whole time. It seemed like eternity, waiting there for it to finally stop. At one point in the early morning, I think that I may have dozed off for somewhere around 45 minutes, just to be crudely awoken by the buzzing of my alarm clock.

For three weeks, I put up with that thing. Every night, taunting me. I barely ever slept, and I sat at home, thinking about it all day long. One day, I couldn’t take it anymore. I decided it was time to stop.

I sat there for a few minutes, remembering funny stories and good times that I’d had in past years. I knew that this was good for me. I stood up and got on the chair. I made sure that the rope was tied tightly to the support beam across my ceiling in my living room. I put the noose around my neck, and I tightened it as far as it could go. As I got my foot ready to kick the chair out from under my feet, I wondered if this was really a good idea. Although I hadn’t thought about it for very long, I was sure that this was the best decision that I’d ever made in my life.



Written by SlenderFTW1995 
Content is available under CC BY-SA

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