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I watched as my breath turned into a stream of white puffs in the air. Night had fallen and stars popped out in the sky. I rubbed my hands together, hoping to bring some warmth to my shivering body. It started snowing again as I walked home, which doesn’t help with the cold at all. This is why I hate winter, I thought bitterly. What a crappy day. First, I got fired, then my boyfriend dumped me, and now it’s snowing. Great! I kicked a bunch of snow on the ground and watched as it dispersed, just to fall back to the ground again. I looked up and watched as the clouds started to gather. The wind blew harder, blowing hair in my face. Great, now there’s a storm? I sneezed three times. I better get home. Last thing I need is a cold.
I took the shortcut along the park. I didn’t see anyone else out but the darkness scared me. I laughed to myself a little, remembering the stories my mother used to tell me before I went to sleep, about the Boogeyman and how he would take away kids that stayed out late at night and eat them. I recalled how my dad was never here when my mom told me this story. “He’s eating,” she would say, even though we already had eaten dinner together. Every time my mother told me this story I would hide under the blankets in fear. Thinking back on it now I couldn’t believe how gullible I was. The Boogeyman? That’s so stupid. But the more I thought about it, the more it seemed like a possibility. I quickened my pace as I walked along the park, jumping from every bush that rustles from the strong gushes of wind.
Shadows danced along the pavement and even the crunching of snow beneath my feet made me jump. It’s just your imagination! But what if it isn’t? What if…
I froze. That scream I heard was NOT a part of my imagination. Though it was very faint, I heard someone shrieking in pain. I licked my lips nervously. Don’t be foolish! There’s no such thing as the Boogeyman! I quickly ran over to where I heard the scream. I looked into the alley and found a man with pitch black eyes. He didn’t notice me, distracted by what was below him.
The floor was covered in blood, pouring out of a woman that looked like she had been dissected like a pig, all of her insides exposed. My shivering turned into trembling. The man with black eyes smiled and stuck his hands into the woman’s intestines. He pulled them out and feasted on them, ripping pieces off with his teeth. Strips hung off the end and even more blood flowed out. My stomach felt queasy and my legs almost gave in under me. I want to throw up. The stench was foul and though I wanted to look away, I couldn’t.
The man with pitch black eyes ripped her heart out and ate it slowly. It was still throbbing in his hands as his teeth sunk into it. I could see the blood flowing out from the arteries. He licked his fingers to savor the taste.
Then he stopped and looked up at me.
The moon reflected his sharp teeth and the blood oozing out of his mouth. Immediately I took off in sprint. He’s going to kill me! He’s going to kill me! I opened my mouth to scream but my head was in such a jumble I couldn’t even form words. I kept imagining that he was behind me. I could feel his warm breath and the blood from his mouth dripping on my shoulder.
My lungs strained to keep up with my body as I ran full speed out of the park, into my neighborhood. Fingers trembling, I fumbled with the keys. Come on! Finally I inserted the key and I quickly closed the door behind me. I turned all the lights and found myself all alone. Except for the thunder rumbling outside, there was an eerie silence that filled the house. I stormed upstairs to my room and locked the door and window. I took out my cell phone and called my mom. I waited for the phone to ring but nothing happened and when I looked at my phone it said: No signal. D*mmit! I threw the phone to the floor and broke down into sobs and wailed. Please! Anyone! Mom! Dad! I’m so scared. I don’t want to be alone. I just sat on my bed in a fetal position, crying. Without realizing, I fell asleep.
I was running as the man with the pitch black eyes chased after me. He bared his teeth and snapped them at me. I thought I was going to pee in my pants. I tripped over a rock and fell over, scraping my knee. He jumped on top of me and grabbed my knee. He looked at my knee hungrily and started gnawing at it. I jolted awake.
Ding dong! Are mom and dad home? I got up from my bed and quickly ran downstairs. Just thinking that made me want to break down again. I wished they were here to pat my head and ask me what was wrong. I wished they would tell me that everything was okay. I almost tripped and fell down the stairs before reaching the door. I opened the door and instantly regretted not looking through the peephole first.
It was him.
My knees immediately wanted to fold over as I trembled. He chuckled and said, “May I come in?” His voice was deep and scratchy. A mix of man and a cat as its nails go down a chalkboard. No way. How did he know where I lived? I know that he wasn’t behind me. And why does he sound so familiar? Before I could overcome my confusion and fear to close the door, he walked in and grabbed me by my hair. He dragged me as I screamed and threw me on the couch holding me down.
“Let me go,” I pleaded, tears streaming down my face. I don’t want to die!
“No,” he said licking his lips. “You have seen me; besides, why give up a good meal?”
He raised his long sharp finger nails, ready to plunge them in my stomach.
BOOM! A clap of thunder sounded and the lights went out. Using the distraction to my advantage, I wriggled out of his clutches and ran out with all I had through the back door. I didn’t even know where I was going, just running aimlessly down the streets. Is he behind me? I don’t hear his footsteps. But I didn’t dare to look back. I felt the blood pulsing in my veins and my muscles straining from all the running.
I turned the corner and saw a familiar yellow car; a taxi. I jumped in, screaming, “GO! NOW! I’ll think of where later. Just GO!”
The taxi driver nodded and drove away quickly. Ignoring the blanket of sweat and hair on my face, I tried to calm down and concentrate. My breath was ragged and I had to lean over and grab the passenger seat to hold myself up. It’s okay, I repeated to myself, you’re safe now. He’s gone. But the last time I ran away, he came after me. How do I get rid of him? I tried to think of some way to trap him and lock him up forever, but no matter how many things I plotted, I still couldn’t think of anything.
The taxi began to slow down, pulling me back from my thoughts. I looked around. There was no one in sight, just broken down brick buildings and snow covered pavement. Alarmed, I turned and yelled at the driver.
“What the h*ll are y—” My voice was cut off from shock and fear as he turned back and looked at me. His eyes were pitch black. It was him. My body went stiff. No way. How is this possible?! I reached for the door and stepped out, but he was fast and caught me before I could escape. He grabbed me by the neck, silencing my screams, and pinned me on the floor. I try to move his fingers off but he was too strong. I knew if he tried, he could have snapped my neck off right then and there. But he wouldn’t —he liked the kill.
I knew that I was going to have a painful death even before he plunged his hand into my stomach. I felt his nails penetrate my skin. I screamed. Pain shot through me and took away all my strength. Sweat drenched me to the bone and I watched helplessly as he took out my intestines, feeding on them. I really screamed then, but it turned out to be just a gurgle with the blood in my mouth. I could feel his sharp teeth ripping them apart. Tears dripped off my face.
I’m dying. I’m dying. My voice died on my lips as I threw up blood. Everything began to blur. The pain faded into numbness and I died. My spirit came out of my body and I watched as the white snow was stained blood red. He smiled viciously. He bent down to smell my hair. Even as a ghost I could smell his coppery breath on me as he sighed.
"Lovely," he said.
Then he continued on with my organs. He snapped my ribs one by one, laughing as he watched my body jerk from the remaining nerves. Stop. Please stop. I wanted to look away my but eyes refused to leave my body. I wouldn’t be able to pass on if I knew that my body was still being tortured.
Then he reached for my heart.
As I watched I observed the man’s face. There was a feeling that I just couldn’t shake off; a feeling of familiarity. And then, memories formed and things connected. I know this man with pitch black eyes. That crooked smile, the shaggy, dark brown hair.
Then just like when he tucked me in at night when I was a child, he said, "Goodnight honey," and ripped my heart out, swallowing it whole.