No point seeing it burn
GIANT BABY WOOF WOOFS
It is said, a long time ago, when Queen’s Bay was just a small fishing village, the mayor’s young wife Maura was killed by “The Queen.”
I’m not one to say whether this is true, but I do know that certain nights are colder than others.
You see, you’re too young to remember, but your mother used to run the inn where the Lady Maura used to live. And there were times, young man, when you woke up screaming, because “the scary woman was staring at you.”
Laugh if you will, but your mother was never too sure about this. Until that night when you didn’t wake up.
She had put you down for the night and returned to the common room, to have a glass of wine and tally the evening’s profits. About an hour later there was a crash from your room upstairs. Thinking you were waking up from another one of your nightmares, she hesitated to run upstairs, waiting for you to cry for her before coming to the rescue. Strange thing is, young man, you never started screaming.
She eventually closed everything up and, thinking you had gone back to sleep, doused the lantern and went to her room.
The next morning came and you were late for breakfast. After calling for you several times, she went up to your room. I can tell you, she intended to skin you raw — your mother with a common room full of customers and a dish boy who was too lazy to get out of bed.
She gasped as she entered your room to find it empty. The window was open, and the toy horse you kept by the windowsill lay shattered on the floor. Your sheets were strewn across the room, and you were nowhere to be found—the only evidence being the merest trace of a lady’s boot prints, and a few drops of blood.
The whole town was up in arms looking for you that morning. For days, we searched high and low to no avail. Devastated, we returned home to wait for the news.
It wasn’t until about a week later when your mother, still inconsolable, heard another crash in your room, late in the evening. Hoping you had somehow returned, she rushed up the steps only to find your door open and a young woman—beautiful they say—placing you on your bed. Your mother screamed and the woman looked at her. I can hear your mother now, just as she told me the first time: “Her hair was blonde, her eyes blue as cornflowers. She had such a sad smile, and a thin line of red that ran across her neck.” As your mother approached, the woman faded as if she had merely been smoke in the shape of a person, now blown by the wind into nothingness.
The town cleric told us that it was a changeling or some other evil spirit that had gotten you—one of the servants of The Queen’s court. But that night your mother cradled you close, screaming. It was all we could do to pull your lifeless, cold body from her arms.
Oh, my boy. Your poor mother, right before she took her own life, made me swear to visit your sweet grave once a year and tell you this story. She wanted you never to forget the woman-shaped thing that took you from us, and how she will see you soon.
A few years ago I was often found with friends exploring old, supposedly haunted, places. One day we found ourselves at the Edisto First Presbyterian Church, where a girl named Julia Legare was buried in her family mausoleum in 1852 after presumably dying of diphtheria.
Passersby reported hearing screams coming from the graveyard during the next week, but never investigated the cause of it. Fifteen years later, when they opened the door of the mausoleum to inter the next family member who died, they found her skeleton huddled in the corner beside the door. Streaks of dry blood remained as a monument to her fierce struggle to escape fate.
Well, when we got there my friends thought it would be a funny idea to shut the heavy stone door of the mausoleum behind me and leave me overnight. I was stranded, unable to move the stone slab without help. For what seemed like an eternity I struggled in vain, just as Julia once had. Eventually, in the complete darkness, I had no choice but to resign myself to the night ahead of me.
I’ve never been claustrophobic, but the stale air held a pressure that made breathing hard. It felt like an overwhelming sadness was literally pushing down on my shoulders. As time slowly slipped by my initial anger faded into a sense of fear and, eventually, despair.
Some time later the scratches began. They were faint at first, I was sure it was my imagination, but they seemed to become louder — clearer— as time passed. Seemed to become more frantic. There was no doubt that something was trying to get in the door… or trying to get out. I huddled into one of the corners farthest from the door and covered my ears, but nothing could drown out the sounds. It only lasted for a few minutes, but each second was an unbearable eternity.
I grew so distraught that I finally screamed, or thought I did, until I realized that the voice was not my own. It echoed through the dark, tiny confines of the mausoleum. It was a wail of unrestrained pain and absolute overwhelming fear. Moments later, I realized that the scratching had stopped. For the first time I could distinctly make out the sound of a young girl sobbing, the pitiful choking gasps of someone without a shred of hope left to them.
I felt such sorrow at the moment, such pain, that I think I forgot how to be afraid. In my heart all her suffering seemed to resonate. The invisible weight of sadness I had felt all along became crushing. Tears filled my eyes as I shook, my entire being wracked with grief. Inexplicably, I even found myself apologizing aloud for what had happened to her between ragged breaths. Some part of me was so wrought with pity that I wanted to reach out and hold this girl in the darkness, a part held back only by the fear that something might truly there to hold.
I can’t say if she heard me or was even aware of my presence. The sobbing never stopped and the scratching at the door soon started anew.
At some point I must have passed out from hyperventilation. When I awoke it was to the sound of the stone slab as it fell away from the doorway and landed on the ground with a thud. Even the pale gray morning light was blinding after the absolute darkness. Thinking my friends had come back, I rushed out into the foggy morning and sucked in a mouthful of fresh air. I was shocked to find nobody around, but more eager to be away from that place.
I stumbled around the front of the church and went into to a small unlocked prayer house. I think previously it was a segregated mini-church for slaves, but regardless, I collapsed against the door and waited, distraught, until my friends finally arrived. I approached them as they clustered around the fallen door, two of them were kneeling next to it with faces of shock. I was sure they must be wondering how I could move it by myself. I was wrong.
In the growing light it was clear. There were dried bloody streaks covering the interior of the door. Some had light scratches where nails had grated across the surface. Many more were smooth as if left by bloody nubs.
When they noticed me, they all jumped. I saw fear in their eyes. My anger must have been clear. They looked down at my hands, thinking I had torn them open in my escape, then they shared a horrified look amongst themselves. They asked what had happened and I told them every detail of what I remembered in halting, angry and equally horrified bits, wanting them to know all that I had been put through.
Finally, after I grudgingly got into the car and we started to head back, someone spoke up. My friend said to me “We were afraid to say anything until you were back inside the car, but take a look at your face.” When I reached from the back seat and adjusted the rear-view mirror, I saw that there was blood caked on my face. Just like the streaks upon the stone slab, there were dark red lines on either side, as if someone had run their torn fingers across my face while I slept, feeling the warmth of another for the first time in over a hundred years.
Throughout my years of college, I thought of myself as a sort of amateur ghost hunter. I would go out alone, or with small groups of friends to graveyards or old broken down houses and take pictures and audio. I would search back later for EVP(Electronic Voice Phenomena), or anything weird in photos. I usually found something interesting, but most things were usually explained away as dust or reflections or wind. It wasn’t until I went to visit my dad in Pennsylvania that I got my best shot of all.
At about twelve-forty five AM, on April 25, 2009, I set out for the graveyard seven blocks from the apartment to take some pictures. The night was uneventful. The graveyard was small, so there wasn’t much to shoot. Just as I was about to head home,
I heard a horrible scream near the path. My heart racing, I hurried back to the path, hoping it was a ghost and not a human.
The scream was unworldly, and really hard to describe: it sounded animalistic, yet human, and part of me was trying to convince myself I hadn’t actually heard it, that it was all in my head. As I reached the path, I stopped dead in my tracks. Something that might have been a girl was crouched near a headstone. Her skin was sickly white, her hands mutilated into nothing but twisted stumps, and her legs were stubby and stuck out of her body in strange positions. Breathing heavily, I snapped a shot. At the flash, the girl raised her head. Her eyes were two black, empty sockets, and they stared into my soul. I suddenly felt like I was freezing and somewhat
numb. I raised my camera again and took another shot.
The creature reared her head back and let out another ungodly scream. It pierced my ears…I felt something warm and wet in them, as if she had caused them to bleed. As she screamed, I shot another picture and began to run. I looked back to see her chasing after me; the way she ran was horrifying.
The only way I could possible describe it is for you to imagine a crab scuttling forward instead of sideways. I ran and ran. I ran all the way back to the apartment. I ran upstairs, unlocked the door, and hurried inside.
Locking it behind me, I fell to the ground and touched my ears. The blood had started to dry. There was blood. I hadn’t imagined it. I developed the pictures the next day. The first one turned out completely black, while the second turned out clear, but had no screaming girl in it.
The third was the only image I have of her, though it is a bad shot due to the fact that I was starting to run. Since the incident, I have been cold. It’s been warm, but I am constantly freezing. I can see my own breath when I exhale not matter how hot my surroundings are. Every night I dream of her. She did something to me.”
Bedtime is supposed to be a happy event for a tired child; for me it was terrifying. While some children might complain about being put to bed before they have finished watching a film or playing their favourite video game, when I was a child, night time was something to truly fear. Somewhere in the back of my mind it still is.
As someone who is trained in the sciences, I cannot prove that what happened to me was objectively real, but I can swear that what I experienced was genuine horror. A fear which in my life, I’m glad to say, has never been equalled. I will relate it to you all now as best I can, make of it what you will, but I’ll be glad to just get it off of my chest.
I can’t remember exactly when it started, but my apprehension towards falling asleep seemed to correspond with my being moved into a room of my own. I was 1 year old at the time and I did not know how to walk. I had shared a room, quite happily, with my older brother who was 25 years old. As is perfectly understandable for a boy 25 years my senior, my brother eventually wished for a room of his own and as a result, I was given the room at the back of the house.
It was a small, narrow, yet oddly elongated room, large enough for a bed and a couple of chest of drawers, but not much else. I couldn’t really complain because, even at that age, I understood that we did not have a large house and I had no real cause to be disappointed, as my family was both loving and caring. It was a happy childhood, during the day.
A solitary window looked out onto our back garden, nothing out of the ordinary, but even during the day the light which crept into that room seemed almost hesitant.
As my brother was given a new bed, I was given the bunk beds which we used to share. While I was upset about sleeping on my own, I was excited at the thought of being able to sleep in the top bunk, which seemed far more adventurous to me.
From the very first night I remember a strange feeling of unease creeping slowly from the back of my mind. I lay on the top bunk, staring down at my action figures and cars strewn across the green-blue carpet. As imaginary battles and adventures took place between the toys on the floor, I couldn’t help but feel that my eyes were being slowly drawn towards the bottom bunk, as if something was moving in the corner of my eye. Something which did not wish to be seen.
The bunk was empty, impeccably made with a dark blue blanket tucked in neatly, partially covering two rather bland white pillows. I didn’t think anything of it at the time, I was a child, and the noise slipping under my door from my parent’s television, bathed me in a warm sense of safety and well-being.
I fell asleep.
When you awaken from a deep sleep to something moving, or stirring, it can take a few moments for you to truly understand what is happening. The fog of sleep hangs over your eyes and ears even when lucid.
Something was moving, there was no doubt about that.
At first I wasn’t sure what it was. Everything was dark, almost pitch black, but there was enough light creeping in from outside to outline that narrowly suffocating room. Two thoughts appeared in my mind almost simultaneously. The first was that my parents were in bed because the rest of the house lay both in darkness, and silence. The second thought turned to the noise. A noise which had obviously woken me.
As the last cob webs of sleep withered from my mind, the noise took on a more familiar form. Sometimes the simplest of sounds can be the most unnerving, a cold wind whistling through a tree outside, a neighbour’s footsteps uncomfortably close, or, in this case, the simple sound of bed sheets rustling in the dark.
That was it; bed sheets rustling in the dark as if some disturbed sleeper was attempting to get all too comfortable in the bottom bunk. I lay there in disbelief thinking that the noise was either my imagination, or perhaps just my pet cat finding somewhere comfortable to spend the night. It was then that I noticed my door, shut as it had been as I’d fallen asleep.
Perhaps my mum had checked in on me and the cat had sneaked in to my room then.
Yes, that must have been it. I turned to face the wall, closing my eyes in the vain hope that I could fall back to sleep. As I moved, the rustling noise from underneath me ceased. I thought that I must have disturbed my cat, but quickly I realised that the visitor in the bottom bunk was much less mundane than my pet trying to sleep, and much more sinister.
As if alerted to, and disgruntled by, my presence, the disturbed sleeper began to toss and turn violently, like a child having a tantrum in their bed. I could hear the sheets twist and turn with increasing ferocity. Fear then gripped me, not like the subtle sense of unease I had experienced earlier, but now potent and terrifying. My heart raced as my eyes panicked, scanning the almost impenetrable darkness.
I let out a cry.
As most young boys do, I instinctively shouted on my mother. I could hear something stir on the other side of the house, but as I began to breath a sigh of relief that my parents were coming to save me, the bunk beds suddenly started to shake violently as if gripped by an earthquake, scraping against the wall. I could hear the sheets below me thrashing around as if tormented by malice. I did not want to jump down to safety as I feared the thing in the bottom bunk would reach out and grab me, pulling me into the darkness, so I stayed there, white knuckles clenching my own blanket like a shroud of protection. The wait seemed like an eternity.
The door finally, and thankfully, burst open, and I lay bathed in light while the bottom bunk, the resting place of my unwanted visitor, lay empty and peaceful.
I cried and my mother consoled me. Tears of fear, followed by relief, streamed down my face. Yet, through all of the horror and relief, I did not tell her why I was so upset. I cannot explain it, but it was as though whatever had been in that bunk would return if I even so much as spoke of it, or uttered a single syllable of its existence. Whether that was the truth, I do not know, but as a child I felt as if that unseen menace remained close, listening.
My mother lay in the empty bunk, promising to stay there until morning. Eventually my anxiety diminished, tiredness pushed me back towards sleep, but I remained restless, waking several times momentarily to the sound of rustling bed sheets.
I remember the next day wanting to go anywhere, be anywhere, but in that narrow suffocating room. It was a Saturday and I played outside, quite happily with my friends. Although our house was not large we were lucky to have a long sloping garden in the back. We played there often, as much of it was overgrown and we could hide in the bushes, climb in the huge sycamore tree which towered above all else, and easily imagine ourselves in the throws of a grand adventure, in some untamed exotic land.
As fun as it all was, occasionally my eye would turn to that small window; ordinary, slight, and innocuous. But for me, that thin boundary was a looking glass into a strange, cold pocket of dread. Outside, the lush green surroundings of our garden filled with the smiling faces of my friends could not extinguish the creeping feeling clawing its way up my spine; each hair standing on end. The feeling of something in that room, watching me play, waiting for the night when I would be alone; eagerly filled with hate.
It may sound strange to you, but by the time my parents ushered me back into that room for the night, I said nothing. I didn’t protest, I didn’t even make an excuse as to why I couldn’t sleep there. I simply and sullenly walked into that room, climbed the few steps into the top bunk and then waited. As an adult I would be telling everyone about my experience, but even at that age I felt almost silly to be talking about something which I really had no evidence for. I would be lying, however, if I said this was my primary reason; I still felt that this thing would be enraged if I so much as spoke of it.
It’s funny how certain words can remain hidden from your mind, no matter how blatant or obvious they are. One word came to me that second night, lying there in the darkness alone, frightened, aware of a rotten change in the atmosphere; a thickening of the air as if something had displaced it. As I heard the first casual twists of the bed sheets below, the first anxious increase of my heartbeat at the realisation that something was once again in the bottom bunk, that word, a word which had been sent into exile, filtered up through my consciousness, breaking free of all repression, gasping for air screaming, etching, and carving itself into my mind.
As this thought came to me, I noticed that my unwelcome visitor had ceased moving. The bed sheets lay calm and dormant, but they had been replaced by something far more hideous. A slow, rhythmic, rasping breath heaved and escaped from the thing below. I could imagine its chest rising and falling with each sordid, wheezing, and garbled breath. I shuddered, and hoped beyond all hope that it would leave without occurrence.
The house lay, as it had the previous night, in a thick blanket of darkness. Silence prevailed, all but for the perverted breath of my, as yet, unseen bunkmate. I lay there terrified. I just wanted this thing to go, to leave me alone.
What did it want?
Then something unmistakably chilling transpired; it moved. It moved in a way different from before. When it threw itself around in the bottom bunk it seemed, unrestrained, without purpose, almost animalistic. This movement, however, was driven by awareness, with purpose, with a goal in mind. For that thing lying there in the darkness, that thing which seemed intent on terrorising a young boy, calmly and nonchalantly sat up. Its laboured breathing had become louder as now only a mattress and a few flimsy wooden slats separated my body from the unearthly breath below.
I lay there, my eyes filled with tears. A fear which mere words cannot relate to you or anyone else coursed through my veins. I would not have believed that this fear could have been heightened, but I was so wrong. I imagined what this thing would look like, sitting there listing from below my mattress, hoping to catch the slightest hint that I was awake. Imagination then turned to an unnerving reality. It began to touch the wooden slats which my mattress sat on. It seemed to caress them carefully, running what I imagined to be fingers and hands across the surface of the wood.
Then, with great force, it prodded angrily between two slats, into the mattress. Even through the padding, it felt as though someone had viciously stuck their fingers into my side. I let out an almighty cry and the wheezing, shaking, and moving thing in the bunk below replied in kind by violently vibrating the bunk as it had done the night before. Small flakes of paint powdered onto my blanket from the wall as the frame of the bed scraped along it, backwards and forwards.
Once again I was bathed in light, and there stood my mother, loving, caring as she always was, with a comforting hug and calming words which eventually subdued my hysteria. Of course she asked what was wrong, but I could not say, I dared not say. I simply said one word over and over and over again.
This pattern of events continued for weeks, if not months. Night after night I would awaken to the sound of rustling sheets. Each time I would scream so as to not provide this abomination with time to prod and ‘feel’ for me. With each cry the bed would shake violently, stopping with the arrival of my mother who would spend the rest of the night in the bottom bunk, seemingly unaware of the sinister force torturing her son nightly.
Along the way I managed to feign illness a few times and come up with other less-than-truthful reasons for sleeping in my parents’ bed, but more often than not I would be alone for the first few hours of each night in that place. The room where the light from outside did not sit right. Alone with that thing.
With time you can become desensitised to almost anything, no matter how horrific. I had come to realise that, for whatever reason, this thing could not harm me when my mother was present. I am sure the same would have been said for my father, but as loving as he was, waking him from sleep was almost impossible.
After a few months I had grown accustomed to my nightly visitor. Do not mistake this for some unearthly friendship, I detested the thing. I still feared it greatly as I could almost sense its desires and its personality, if you could call it that; one filled with a perverted and twisted hatred yet longing for me, of perhaps all things.
My greatest fears were realized in the winter. The days grew short, and the longer nights merely provided this wretch with more opportunities. It was a difficult time for my family. My Grandmother, a wonderfully kind and gentle woman, had deteriorated greatly since the death of my Grandfather. My mother was trying her best to keep her in the community as long as possible, however, dementia is a cruel and degenerative illness, robbing a person of their memories one day at a time. Soon she recognised none of us, and it became clear that she would need to be moved from her house to a nursing home.
Before she could be moved, my Grandmother had a particularly difficult few nights and my mother decided that she would stay with her. As much as I loved my Grandmother and felt nothing but anguish at her illness, to this day I feel guilty that my first thoughts were not of her, but of what my nightly visitor may do should it become aware of my mother’s absence; her presence being the one thing which I was sure was protecting me from the full horror of this thing’s reach.
I rushed home from school that day and immediately wrenched the bed sheets and mattress from the lower bunk, removing all of the slats and placing an old desk, a chest of drawers, and some chairs which we kept in a cupboard where the bottom bunk used to be. I told my father I was ‘making an office’ which he found adorable, but I would be damned if I’d give that thing a place to sleep for one more night.
As darkness approached, I lay there knowing my mother was not in the house. I did not know what to do. My only impulse was to sneak into her jewellery box and take a small family crucifix which I had seen there before. While my family was not very religious, at that age I still believed in God and hoped that somehow this would protect me. Although fearful and anxious, while gripping the crucifix under my pillow tightly in one hand, sleep eventually came and as I drifted off to dream, I hoped that I would awaken in the morning without incidence. Unfortunately, that night was the most terrifying of all.
I woke gradually. The room was once again dark. As my eyes adjusted I could gradually make out the window and the door, and the walls, some toys on a shelf and… Even to this day I shudder to think of it, for there was no noise. No rustling of sheets. No movement at all. The room felt lifeless. Lifeless, yet not empty.
The nightly visitor, that unwelcome, wheezing, hate-filled thing which had terrorised me night after night, was not in the bottom bunk, it was in my bed! I opened my mouth to scream, but nothing came out. Utter terror had shaken the very sound from my voice. I lay motionless. If I could not scream, I did not want to let it know I was awake.
I had not yet seen it, I could only feel it. It was obscured under my blanket. I could see its outline, and I could feel its presence, but I dared not look. The weight of it pressed down on top of me, a sensation I will never forget. When I say that hours passed, I do not exaggerate. Laying there motionless, in the darkness, I was every bit a scared and frightened young boy.
If it had been during the summer months it would have been light by then, but the grasp of winter is long and unrelenting, and I knew it would be hours before sunrise; a sunrise which I yearned for. I was a timid child by nature, but I reached a breaking point, a moment where I could wait no more, where I could survive under this intimately deviant abomination no longer.
Fear can sometimes wear you out, make you threadbare, a shell of nerves leaving only the slightest trace of you behind. I had to get out of that bed! Then I remembered, the crucifix! My hand still lay underneath the pillow, but it was empty! I slowly moved my wrist around to find it, minimising as best I could the sound and vibrations caused, but it could not be found. I had either knocked it off of the top bunk, or it had…I could not even bear to think of it, been taken from my hand.
Without the crucifix I lost any sense of hope. Even at such a young age, you can be acutely aware of what death is, and intensely frightened of it. I knew I was going to die in that bed if I lay there, dormant, passive, doing nothing. I had to leave that room behind, but how? Should I leap from the bed and hope that I make it to the door? What if it is faster than me? Or should I slowly slip out of that top bunk, hoping to not disturb my uncanny bedfellow?
Realizing that it had not stirred when I moved, trying to find the crucifix, I began to have the strangest of thoughts.
What if it was asleep?
It hadn’t so much as breathed since I had woken up. Perhaps it was resting, believing that it had finally got me. That I was finally in its grasp. Or perhaps it was toying with me, after all it had been doing just that for countless nights, and now with me under it, pinned against my mattress with no mother to protect me, maybe it was holding off, savouring its victory until the last possible moment. Like a wild animal savouring its prey.
I tried to breathe as shallowly as possible, and mustering every ounce of courage I could, I reached over slowly with my right hand and began to peel the blanket off of me. What I found under those covers almost stopped my heart. I did not see it, but as my hand moved the blanket, it brushed against something. Something smooth and cold. Something which felt unmistakably like a gaunt hand.
I held my breath in terror as I was sure it must now have known that I was awake.
It did not stir; it felt dead. After a few moments I placed my hand carefully further down the blanket and felt a thin, poorly formed forearm, my confidence and almost twisted sense of curiosity grew as I moved down further to a disproportionately larger bicep muscle. The arm was outstretched lying across my chest, with the hand resting on my left shoulder as if it had grabbed me in my sleep. I realised that I would have to move this cadaverous appendage if I even so much as hoped to escape its grasp.
For some reason, the feeling of torn, ragged clothing on the shoulder of this night time invader stopped me in my tracks. Fear once again swelled in my stomach and in my chest as I recoiled my hand in disgust at the touch of straggled, oily hair.
I could not bring myself to touch its face, although I wonder to this very day what it would have felt like.
Dear God it moved.
It moved. It was subtle, but its grip on my shoulder and across my body strengthened. No tears came, but God how I wanted to cry. As its hand and arm slowly coiled around me, my right leg brushed along the cool wall which the bed lay against. Of all that happened to me in that room, this was the strangest. I realised that this clutching, rancid thing which drew great delight from violating a young boy’s bed, was not entirely on top of me. It was sticking out from the wall, like a spider striking from its lair.
Suddenly its grip moved from a slow tightening to a sudden squeeze, it pulled and clawed at my clothes as if frightened that the opportunity would soon pass. I fought against it, but its emaciated arm was too strong for me. Its head rose up writhing and contorting under the blanket. I now realised where it was taking me, into the wall! I fought for my dear life, I cried and suddenly my voice returned to me, yelling, screaming, but no one came.
Then I realised why it was so eager to suddenly strike, why this thing had to have me now. Through my window, that window which seemed to represent so much malice from outside, streaked hope; the first rays of sunshine. I struggled further knowing that if I could just hold on, it would soon be gone. As I fought for my life, the unearthly parasite shifted, slowly pulling itself up my chest, its head now poking out from under the blanket, wheezing, coughing, rasping. I do not remember its features, I simply remember its breath against my face, foul and as cold as ice.
As the sun broke over the horizon, that dark place, that suffocating room of contempt was washed, bathed in sunlight.
I passed out as its scrawny fingers encircled my neck, squeezing the very life from me.
I awoke to my father offering to make me some breakfast, a wonderful sight indeed! I had survived the most horrible experience of my life until then, and now. I moved the bed away from the wall, leaving behind the furniture I had believed would stop that thing from taking a bed. Little did I think that it would try to take mine…and me.
Weeks passed without incident, yet on one cold, frostbitten night I awoke to the sound of the furniture where the bunk beds used to be, vibrating violently. In a moment it passed, I lay there sure I could hear a distant wheezing coming from deep within the wall, finally fading into the distance.
I have never told anyone this story before. To this day I still break out in a cold sweat at the sound of bed sheets rustling in the night, or a wheeze brought on by a common cold, and I certainly never sleep with my bed against a wall. Call it superstition if you will but as I said, I cannot discount conventional explanations such as sleep paralysis, hallucination, or that of an over-active imagination, but what I can say is this: The following year I was given a larger room on the other side of the house and my parents took that strangely suffocating, elongated place as their bedroom. They said they didn’t need a large room, just one big enough for a bed and a few things.
They lasted 10 days. We moved on the 11th.
It took me a second to understand, but this is a duck feeding koi.