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The Demon

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I still have nightmares about it. I still wake up screaming. I still lay in bed awake all night, not because I'm not tired, but because I can't sleep. Because I'm to terrified to even consider shutting my eyes. It's all because of one thing, one thing that happened over 10 years ago. But the fear still bleeds through me at night like a fresh cut. The night when I was 7, and saw a demon.

I sat up straight in bed, being terrified-awake from a nightmare, of a scratching across my wooden floors, something crawling towards my bed. Just as I started to stabilize my breathing and heartbeat, both sped up instantly as I came to a horrifying realization. Sitting there awake, I listened to the same slow scratching that I heard in my dream. Drawing in shallow, quick breaths, I cautiously peered through the cracks of my fingers across my room. As my eyes adjusted painfully slowly to the darkness, I barely made out the shadowy mass dragging along the wood, crawling loudly towards my bed. It limped into the dim beam of moonlight shining through my window, and I almost screamed but couldn't make a sound. It barely resembled a human, it's arms stiffly clawed the ground and dragged it's body along the ground. It's spine seemed overstretched, it's legs trailed the behind. The skin was blackened and charred, hanging off in clumps in some places, completely gone and exposing yellowed bones in others. The face was the worst, having no eyes or sockets, no evidence of having eyes at all. Two slits made for a nose and nostrils, and a jaw dangled by torn flaps of skin, swinging as it hit the arms and bounced between them. Rows of sharp teeth faced me, and as it lurched closer it let out a low, gutteral whisper-like moan, sounding unnatural because of the lack of a tongue. I shrank back towards the wall farthest from it, and within a minute it's burned, bony fingers clutched the edge of the bed. I slowly pulled itself up, then leaned over my face, breathing what seemed like a sigh, as dry and dusty as a desert. I squeaked, the tiniest sound I could muster. The thing seemed to shrink back a little, but that second was all I needed. I took the biggest breath I could and screamed. It erupted, an earsplitting sound that only a young child could make, only in a moment of pure, agonizing horror. I recoiled, and cocked it's head, listening with whatever internal ears it must've had. Pausing to take another breath, I heard the thumping of my parents footsteps, and the demon tilted its head back at me. It leaned in so quickly I inhaled sharply, and its jaw brushed my hair. Although it seemingly couldn't form words, I heard it mutter 3 words loud and clear:
I'll be back.
Then my parents burst into the room, and the demon was gone.





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