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It seems like forever since I have spoken. I don’t mean that I haven’t seen anyone or that I simply haven’t spoken to another person, but I literally haven’t spoken whatsoever. I used to blame the presence for problems like this, but now I have learned to trust it over everything else. I guess I’m getting ahead of myself. This is the story of how I came to know the presence and how it became the only constant thing in my life.
People don’t often hold memories of birth for very long at all, but I have. I remember being in the hospital the night I was born. My mom used to tell me that I was born on a sunny morning, but I specifically recall the darkness surrounding everyone there. The turn out was typical of a child’s birth. My mother was there of course, but then there were the nurses, my uncle, and his wife soon to divorce him. There was only one other there. You see, my mother didn’t have any living relatives aside her older brother Luke, so I grew up with no grandparents or cousins or any of that. My father wasn’t in the room because he was, as usual, getting milk. That was his excuse for everything up until the time I was two and he left my mother. There was just one more figure in my memory standing by the window. It didn’t necessarily have a specific shape, rather it was gas that took whatever form it pleased. I’ve come to know this aura as the presence. I remember it specifically being in the room because it was cold. It made the room dark and seemed to feed on the very happiness of the moment. Bleak as it was, it wore a deep black cloak, and didn’t seem to have a body of any kind. There were no limits to its stature, for one minute it would seem to hover over my mother, and the next would flash back to the window, creating a constant air current about the room.
My mom described that night a little differently however. She, like everyone else, could not see the shadow looming directly over her, and could not see its affects. I always thought it created death wherever it floated. There was no smile, nor a frown on its grim, emaciated face. Its hood overshadowed its facial features, but I could only assume it had one. As a child, it seemed to appear only when hatred arose in my life. I didn’t like it for that reason. I was afraid of it, like a child of the monster in his closet. It was more than a monster. It was the very essence of fear itself. I could only wine and complain every time I saw it though, and people would pass it off as my imaginary friend. I insisted foolishly that it was not my friend, but no one ever seemed to hear that part. These circumstances only made me hate it worse. I could not sleep, for if I did it would come back in my nightmares. It always seemed to have complete power over me in my dreams, where as in reality it could only affect the mood of the situation. I thought if I stayed awake and pretended not to be afraid, and then it would lose power and go away. I have never been more wrong in my life.
I don’t remember many things from my early past or my childhood, but the things I do recall are so vivid that the only thing I feared was those memories. I’ve learned since then, but the thought still crosses my mind that it is better to feel scared then to become your fear. I remember one other such night that was hard for me to look back on. It was the summer before my second birthday. I walked out of the living room after ‘Buffy the Vampire Slayer’ was over. I loved that show as a boy. I think it was the whole idea of being able to kill the creepy things. I wanted some more ginger bread men to battle the ever reigning champion of the night’s battles. The T.V. tray was my coliseum for the greatest gladiators came from faraway lands and fought to the death. Whatever could take my mind off the constant feeling I had of being watched. My parents were arguing as usual, as I walked past into the kitchen where I grabbed a chair. The black element of my worst fears had taught me how to pull the chair to the counter and stand on it to get cookies out of the jar. As I returned to the family room I caught a glimpse of it out of the corner of my eye. Right there, in between my quarreling parents, stood the presence. It seemed to be sucking the very life out of the two of them, and the longer it stayed, the worse their fight got. That was the night my dad left to get some milk and never came back. It was then I began to associate all the bad things that happened to me with the evil spirit.
I was upset with the constant presence of fear and the random appearances of the nightmare come to life. I grew up an unhappy child. I had so many mixed emotions consisting mostly of hate and fear. I developed the habit of continuously looking over my shoulders because I felt the demon enveloping me in its grasp. I awoke every night with a scream as I recalled the dreams I used to have where the monster would scream and the closer it got, the bigger it grew. Its mouth would open up with a large roar and would eventually consume me in darkness. I don’t have that dream anymore though, so the details grow faint. I became ill often due to lack of sleep, which prevented me from making many friends. I grew sad and lonely since my mother now had to work two jobs to give me two meals a day. I began to think that this was the way every child grew up. That was when I met Jordan. Jordan Litrell went to the same school I did as a youth and was one grade higher than me. He was rather tall for his age and one of the most obnoxious kids in the building as I recall. I began to despise him and his peers as they mocked me every chance they got. Every opportunity he got, Jordan would push me down and call me names. I don’t remember much about what he did to me, I just remember I had the deep urge to hurt him. One day Jordan and his group of trouble makers waited for me outside of school when the bell rang. They surrounded me and began to punch me to the ground. I was kicked in the face and remember more blows to my stomach. I was small, weak, and defenseless against their attack. These ambushes became routine for the following years, and every time they mobbed me, the presence was there starring down on us. It didn’t seem happy or sad that I was in pain. I do remember the overwhelming feeling of absolute hatred. The feeling seemed to base itself on the very appearance of the dark object.
The constant beatings gave me a reason to run. I became very quick to block my face and run as fast as I could. As awful as they were, Jordan and his friends were making me stronger each day. They would gang up on me and I eventually learned to break past the line and eventually I could make it all the way home without a bruise. This was not the best way to live, but I was used to hiding from what scared me. I was just glad I finally had a real thing to blame my introverted attitude on. One day Jordan gathered as many of his friends as he could, and his older brother gathered an army of high schoolers to show me who was boss. I couldn’t run forever, and if I broke one of their lines I would just fall back into the arms of another boy. Nobody there to save me, I suddenly cried out. I begged the presence for help. I needed anything I could get to keep myself alive. I looked directly at the creature that had stalked me all those years and fell to my knees before it. It did not respond. I came home that night with more bruises than there are stars in the sky. My mother didn’t see me until the next morning when she rushed me to the hospital. I kept blacking out, and soon I realized the presence had its hands around my neck. It was trying to choke me. I tried to fight it, but my mother kept holing my hands, probably to keep me calm. It did the opposite. I tried to call to her as she drove into the parking lot but this thing had a killer grip on my esophagus. All that she remembers coming out of my mouth that morning was moans and squeaks. The doctors said the boys had given me a concussion, and that was why I was fainting. They could not explain when I tried to ask them about the presence. Infact, over the years, my constant murmurings about it got me sent to a therapist. He was convinced it was just my imagination, and that no one could understand this feeling I had in my heart. The doctor was convinced that I was a skitsefrenic, so he gave me multiple pills to try to suppress my impulses. I decided at that time that I should not speak of this fear if I wanted to be normal. That’s all I ever wanted, and I see how foolish I was now, but the past cannot be changed. Only my future can be altered now.
To my mother’s disbelief, my friend disappeared for a few years, and it seemed it truly did show up less. Of course, it was all accredited to the counselor’s medicine. I still saw it appear almost everywhere, I just didn’t talk about it. Those were the years I began learning. This aura seemed to me to be very knowledgeable and it forcibly taught me all kinds of random information. Unlike the teachers, it only had to tell me once for me to remember it. I didn’t realize it back then but, the reoccurring theme of constant woe seemed to be its specialty. It helped me argue with my mother, and told me she often neglected me. It helped me realize that other kids had more than I did and she had a way to get those things for me but refused. I became aggressive. More aggressive than normal, and I liked the feeling of power it gave me. Nothing could knock me down anymore. I had made a friend for the first time in my life. My friend never said this, but it was implied that he was a male. We became so close that, in a few months, we even had our own language. I became happy, learned to laugh. This creature taught me how to feel happiness, which seemed weird at first, but I learned that he was just like me. He had grown up in a land that was always dark and gloomy, and he never had any family members to love. He didn’t like the idea of the concept of love. He taught me that hatred was much more powerful than love would ever be. He raised himself and taught me how to think for myself. I was a completely changed kid.
A few months after I had stopped seeing my counselor, my mother caught my friend and I speaking our secret language. She sent me back to the therapist’s office where they determined I was speaking Latin. I tried to tell them I learned it from my new friend but they wouldn’t listen. Everybody seemed absolutely baffled that I had taught myself Latin. It was a curious phenomenon as far as society was concerned. My mother told me to stop speaking it, but I kept using the language since it was a symbol of my friendship. A few months later, Jordan and his crew began bullying me yet again. They had paused for a while since my mother had the teacher keep them all from recess for a week. Now they were ready to pound me again. They didn’t seem to pick on anyone else, just me. That day after school, I met a familiar crowd by the door. I used my new confidence to successfully outwit them in a verbal battle. I only made one mistake. In my arrogance, I used the Latin word for jerk in said altercation. I was mad, like a fury I had never felt before, and I lost control of myself like the presence had shown me to. I was the one to make the first move that afternoon. At the end of the fight, I had ensured that every boy in the pack had a bloody nose. The other bruises were a bonus according to the presence. My mother found out and asked me where I learned to fight like that. She seemed upset with me and I didn’t understand why. I grew infuriated with her and for the next week all I did was yell at her. This was when the presence began teaching me about murder.
It was fascinating how he would speak to me. I never saw his mouth, and sometimes I didn’t even see him, but it was like I could feel his words inside me. They were often Latin, and I felt a compelling forcefulness whenever these words appeared in my mind. I didn’t hear them, I simply felt it and knew what he wanted to say by pure instinct. The counselor switched my medication every other month, talking about how I shouldn’t be this impulsive. I was now insisting that I heard the presence. I even told the therapist that that’s what he preferred to be called. They began to ask lots of questions about how I felt, but I could only answer that I was indifferent and I only did things for the presence. I saw so many doctors that year. It was my junior year in high school. The presence had taught me all about high school before I even got there. I had become an excellent poet, depicting scenes of mass murders through rhyme scheme. My writing teacher said I could have given Poe nightmares with my writing style, but I didn’t know what the word nightmare meant. I didn’t remember having the bad dreams as a child, but my mother insisted I did. She was the one who convinced me that I woke up screaming every night when I was four. I still felt a deep hatred for the woman but figured I had to live with her so I might as well have hidden those feelings. The presence thought that was the best idea. I asked the presence if he remembered me having night terrors because he had been around as long as I could remember. He of course did, and recalled how he took care of me, holding me on those nights. I had never felt safer then when I was being watched by him. This seemed a drastic change and the doctors finally took me off of the medicine completely. I still saw him and was glad. I grew proud of the skills he taught me over the years.
Another night I vividly remember as I sit here at her grave was the night my mother died. I had just won an argument with her the night before and was very angry with her. The last thing I ended up saying was I wish she would die. It might not be the most pleasant thing to say to your mother, but I didn’t have the most pleasant mother. I never saw the presence that day. I looked for him in school and peered over my shoulders occasionally, but to no satisfaction. He was gone for the day I guessed. I came home from school that day and found him sitting on the couch. He seemed serious. It seems odd that he wasn’t always, but never was he this serious until now. This day was the day I made him proudest. He had insisted that I didn’t need him anymore, but I begged that he stay because I wanted him around. That night I never spoke a word to or even saw my mother other then when she came through the front door. In the past year she had grown upset that the medical treatments seemed to have no affect on my mind. I was happy about this because if they did, I would lose the presence. This was just another reason for the two of us to argue. Tonight however, she let me eat in the living room of our apartment so I could watch T.V. I had convinced her I finished my homework but she was used to that lie. The presence showed me that homework just made me sad and tired, so I tried to avoid it when I could. The presence seemed to grow skinnier over the past year, as if there were no more joy in my life for him to feed off of. That night, I fell asleep watching a sitcom, and awoke to the sound of my mother screaming. I ran into her bedroom and saw the presence speaking loudly to her. She didn’t seem to notice his Latin voice but she seemed to grow weaker and weaker as he spoke. She began crying and fell to her knees. I couldn’t help but watch my worst enemy beg for my help. She then grabbed a rope, and the presence guided her through the process of tying a neuce, a skill he had already taught me. What she did next will be etched in my mind for all of eternity.
The social worker informed me that the doctors at the hospital could not save my mother. She had strangled herself on the ceiling fan with the neuce around her neck. It was odd, but the presence seemed to help her get the rope over the fan blade. I wasn’t allowed to see the corpse because they thought I wouldn’t be mentally stable after seeing it. The next year of my life would show me just what evils lurked out there. I was transferred from foster home to foster home until my uncle finally convinced the police to give him custody. My uncle had become a drunk in the past 17 years of my life, maybe on account of the divorce which took place when I was 3. He got drunk every night I lived with him, which was only a few months. He became mean, and often tried to hurt me, but years of being hurt had prepared me for this terror. I often hospitalized him simply because he swung first. He would come home the next day, apologize, and then start drinking. He did not have a steady job, and forced us to live on well fare checks. I learned how to steal and cheat my way into more money. The presence taught me of course. The presence wanted to kill my uncle but I told him not too since he killed my mother. In the past few months I had become in control of him, rather than the other way around. He had learned to sit back and let me handle things on my own and it seemed to work out too.
My uncle would constantly offer me his beer, but after the first few times I learned not to take it. I always woke up feeling sick to my stomach and had a head ache. The presence seemed to have more power if I drank, and I wanted all the power to myself. I grew sick of my uncle’s constant mood swings and hatred towards me, so I decided I would leave. He had a set of train tracks in his back yard, and I watched the 10:20 train go by every night. One night I snuck out the back door and jumped on the tracks. I waited for the train to pass me, and the presence showed me how to jump on it without getting hurt. It still kind of hurt, but I had felt worse. I sat on the train as I watched the houses and streets fly past. I never looked over my shoulders again.