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The Man Lurking in the Shadows
16 Sept. 2012
The Man Lurking in the Shadows.
No answer. That was odd. Most of the time I liked staying home alone but today I was scared. I have my teacher to thank for that. Today in class we learned about paranormal activity, everything from bloody Mary to zombies and vampires. I don’t know why she needs to teach us this stuff; she said we should know about the myths, and how they started. The one that especially creeped me out was this one story called ‘The Babysitter’. It was about a man that was hiding upstairs and kept on calling the phone downstairs while the babysitter, Doreen, was taking care of the kids. He kept on saying I’ll be there soon and started counting down every thirty minutes and every time he called he would laugh. Finally the babysitter called the operator and told Doreen that the call was coming from upstairs. The kids and Doreen got out of the house and the man was arrested.
Rhythmic chills went crawling down my back. Just thinking about it made me nervous, like it could be real. I needed to get my mind off of this. So I pulled out my iphone and dialed Paul’s number.
“Hey Paul, do you want to come over?”
“Yeah, sure I just need to let my dad know.”
Paul’s my best friend and he had always lived 10 houses down, so us hanging out was extremely easy.
The door bell rang.
I opened the door and no one was there. Darn those kids down the street always ding dong ditching. Usually I heard laughter. I heard no laughter. Usually I heard frantic little feet running faster than roadrunner ran from the coyote in the cartoons. I didn’t hear a sound.
The door bell rang again. I opened the door. It was Paul dressed in his usual ‘There is no I in soccer’ sweatshirt, old jeans, and new Nikey’s. He had short wavy hair, and huge feet. He always wore his sweatshirt before a big game; he claimed it was his good luck charm. Which I thought was a bunch of crap because he lost and won with it on. But I never said anything.
“Hey, are you as creeped out as I am about the paranormal activity unit?”
“Nah, I mean I’ve already tried the bloody Mary thing and it didn’t work. It’s all fake.” Paul replied.
“I don’t know…”
Suddenly I heard a thud downstairs, “What was that?”
“Probably the wind…”
“No seriously, there shouldn’t be anybody home; I mean I’ve been here the whole time…”
“Well let’s go check it out.” Paul said grinning.
We walked down the stairs silently, I kept on heard noises behind me, but I just assumed that it was Paul. Every time I stopped the sound stopped. I got goose bumps. It was almost like it was following me. I could tell Paul heard it too because he looked as nervous as I did. I finally got to the closet near my basement door and Paul and I got my baseball bats. We got to we bottom stair and we both jumped out and looked around. There was nothing. It was nothing.
Just then the door opened and my sister Sammy walked in with her earphones on, eating an apple. She looked as us, “What are you guys doing with the bats?”
We looked at each other and Paul said, “Um I don’t know.” He laughed awkwardly.
She just sighed, walking away.
That night I was so tired that the moment I put my head on the pillow I fell fast asleep. Something was there… “Hello?”
I heard breathing. But no one replied. I frantically looked around for a light source and found my phone, and hoped that I could make out a shape. It was round. It had features, well obviously. Then I saw it… a face. A face… smiling? I blinked and it was gone. I thought about my sister’s faces… it didn’t look like them. Then my brother Jeremy’s, there was no resemblance. Then my mom’s and dad’s, it couldn’t be them. I got up from my bed and walked over to my parent’s room.
“Mom, I think I just saw something?”
There was no answer. I felt something move behind me. I walked closer to the bed.
“Mom?” I asked, I shook her and she rolled out of bed. “Mom!”
I ran towards the light, and the whole room lit up, and I saw my mom, lifeless on the carpet she always wanted to keep so clean, stained red. I noticed a small opening near her chest. That’s where I could see the flesh and oozing blood slowly leaving her body. She was stabbed. I fell to the floor beside her and tried to stop the bleeding but it was too late, her blood wasn’t warm against the palm of my hand it felt cold. I felt like throwing up. I forgot that my dad was lying down beside her until I heard him cough. I looked over and he was also bloody.
“Son, there’s someone in the house.” Those were his last words before his soul left his fragile body.
I ran to Jeremy’s room. “Jeremy, I saw something and then went to mom and dad’s room and they’re both dead.”
Silence. I turned on the light. He was stabbed. Dead. I ran to my sisters. Dead. Then out of nowhere came a man, he looked surreal. He was everything I was scared of, except that smile. It made you feel a sense of comfort, even if you were in complete chaos.
The man didn’t say anything. He just smiled, holding the bloody knife that killed my family.
Did you do this? What’s your name? How did you get in here? Why are you doing this? A million thoughts raced through my mind. I couldn’t say anything I was in absolute shock. Suddenly I remembered something my dad would always tell me think before you act. So I looked around, and I ran.
I ran, got the phone and shut my room door. I dialed 911. But the land line was cut off. I didn’t have time to cry. All I heard was static, then chuckling outside my door. The man started beating my door, and broke it down with my bat.
“If only, you didn’t know… and tried to beat me with a bat. None of this would be happening. That’s too bad. Sorry. I mean you’re a bright boy you’ve gotten some A’s right? At least that’s what I heard from the basement. For the last 5 years,” he paused… still smiling he said, “you know what they say ‘Too much of anything can make you sick. Even the good can be a curse. Makes it hard to know which road to go down. Knowing too much can get you hurt.’”
He swung his knife onto my chest. I woke up dripping in sweat. Automatically I climbed out of bed and ran to my parent’s room to see if they were okay. I shook my mom and she woke up.
“Sweetie what’s wrong?”
“Mom I just had the worst dream. You died and Dad and Jeremy and Savannah and Sammy and Jane. And then he tried to kill me and when he was killing me. I just can’t talk about it. It’s too horrible.”
Then a whisper, so quiet I thought lived inside my head said, “Sometimes our worst fears are the ones made up in our heads, we have to control them… before they control us.”
As I went back in my bed, I tried not to think back to my dream. It wasn’t very easy but I started to drift back to sleep. As I closed my eyes, I felt a light poke near my ribs. I opened my eyes just enough to see the man, but now there were two. I wasn’t sure if I was dreaming or not until one of them whispered in my ear, “In your case you can’t.”
The other leaned in and whispered, “Don’t you wish this was a dream?” I could sense pure joy in his tone. They both took a couple steps towards the door in unison; just as they reached the door the tall one looked back at me with a piercing look in his eyes and laughed.
And that was the end. I didn’t dream or see the two men… I only remember that night as a horrible dream. The first month after my dream, I thought I was going crazy because it felt like they were always there. Then as a ‘joke’ Paul and I went on a ghost hunt which he thought was a lame game, but it wasn’t a game. We found nothing.
I decided to just shut my imagination off, and do exactly as the whisper told me to do, control my fear before it controlled me. And it worked fine for a year and a half. But you can’t do that. Shut your mind. I couldn’t take it anymore. I didn’t want to live in fear.
I tried to talk to the counselor about my world going black. But I still couldn’t tell anyone about the two men I saw. People would think I was crazy. She said that it was a sign of early depression.
If I heard the slightest of sounds at night I would think they were coming back and then they did. I tried to ignore it for a while because as they say, curiosity killed the cat. But food was being eaten, things were getting stolen, furniture was being moved around my entire house, and I couldn’t stop pretending. My foundation was shattering beneath my feet. They had caused this. I wasn’t happy anymore I was constantly distressed. It wasn’t until August 24th that they came back, and watched my world burn. I was the only one who could see them. I finally tried to show my mom, but she didn’t see anything. That night I overheard her telling my dad that I needed to go see a psychologist. I did. For 6 weeks I didn’t even tell him anything. And the day I did he told me and my parents that I was a schizophrenic. I knew I wasn’t, they had done this to me. They had taken everything away from me.
I then had to live in a hospital. I had no idea why, I wasn’t sick. My parents visited me from time to time. My psychologist visited twice a day. But the men followed me wherever I went. They wouldn’t go away. They never went away.