A Night Terror

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Estimated reading time — 9 minutes

I felt something was in the room with me. Not someone, something. Something menacing and purely evil. As I’m in the bed I could feel the room growing hotter and hotter, a drop of sweat ran down my forehead and pooled at the crease of my lips. I could taste the salty taste of my own fear. My eyes were open, darting across the room, scanning for the presence. I saw nothing, but damn it I knew, I knew something was there. I see the clock next to me on my nightstand and it read 3:23 in the morning. I tried to move out of the bed…but I couldn’t…it was as if something was holding me down. My body felt like dead weight, my legs wouldn’t move no matter how hard I tried. The bed felt like a prison. I eventually gave up the charade and accepted that I’m not going anywhere. My wife was next to me in the bed. I tried waking her up but it’s no use…I couldn’t open my mouth to do so. Why? I don’t know. All I know is that I was scared to death and my mind was doing the talking for me, screaming “WHAT’S HAPPENING TO ME!?”

After the screams subsided and I calmed myself a little bit, I heard a creaking in the room…the closet door was slowly opening. Jesus, the sound seemed to echo in the room, why hasn’t Sue woken up? I know she’s a heavy sleeper, but she wakes right up when the baby sniffles in the other room, this is coming from inside our room and there’s not even a twitch from her.


My eyes land where the closet and the wall meet…It’s hard to tell in the dark but I see, or my mind sees, a figure snaking along the wall. I can tell something’s there because even in the darkness of the night this figure is darker, the purest of black. What the hell is this thing? Why is it here? Again I try to move but my arms are still plastered to the bed. I can now feel the stickiness of my sweat at my arms, it’s created some sort of adhesive that adds to my captivity. I can’t move a damn inch even if I wanted too. Awful, invisible hands are holding me down, their fingers weighing like stones that add more weight to my body, making me more useless.

Just then the shadow…or whatever it is…seems to…disperse? Is that the word? Who cares what the correct word is? This would be one of those life and death situations where logical and reasonable thought go straight out the window, and whatever’s left is fight or flight…but my current situation allows for neither…so I have no other choice but to grasp onto useless thoughts such as how to describe whatever the hell’s going on tonight.

Disperse it is. The thing disperses and separates amongst the walls, a shadow here, a shadow there, branching out and enveloping the entirety of the room.

I start to hear what sounds like whispers, did Sue wake up? Is she seeing what I’m seeing and trying to wake me up? Making sure she’s just having a bad dream? While that would be ideal it’s not the case. It’s not her voice I’m hearing. Instead, it sounds like a mixture of voices that all seem to converge into one. The voices are a mixture between high pitched screams and nails on a chalkboard that all together make this ungodly sound, I still can’t believe Sue hasn’t woke up. Please…Please just WAKE UP.

The voices converge for a moment in the center of the wall where we placed the dresser two weeks ago. That thing was a pain to move but I would take the pain I felt that day over what I’m going through tonight. They disperse again and do the same thing back at the dresser like some sort of messed up heartbeat. I finally focus my eyes towards the sounds but as soon as I do they move again. Please, not again. This is driving me insane. For my own sanity I’d like to focus on something. Fine. If I can’t focus, then I’ll just close my eyes.

I close my eyes tight like I was five again, the time where I believed that monsters were under my bed and in my closet. All I had to do was close my eyes and they’d go away, just like my parents would tell me. As if not seeing those monsters, paying them no attention, would drive them away. Before this night I‘d say that was all crap, just some trick for parents to tell their kids to get to bed. Little did I know that I’d be here wanting to staple my eyes shut. I guess my parents were on to something. I open my eyes and the voices grow louder and louder almost to the point of breaking our bedroom mirror. I see my reflection in the mirror and at once it starts to crack, slowly cracking into bits and pieces. God, I can’t take this anymore…just take me now please…

Suddenly the room goes quiet. Nothing. My wife’s breathing is nonexistent, everything just stops. I look around the room and everything seems to be in order. The mirror’s till cracked, but only in one corner. Is the nightmare over? I think so, I can feel my heartbeat start to slowdown and my muscles relax, I still can’t move but I can tell that whatever was holding me down has loosened its grip just slightly. Maybe it was all in my head? I do remember something like this happening when I was little, like that time when I was seven and I woke up to see a figure next to my bed that was in the shape of a man, but not quite. Whatever it was it was, it was just a black nothingness that enveloped a section of my room. I saw it standing there and in about five seconds it was standing over me and reaching for my throat, then my dad walked in the room and POP!, he/it was suddenly gone. Scared out of my mind, I told my dad what I saw but he told me it was just a silly dream and that I should just go back to sleep. Reluctantly I did and that was the last time that happened to me, well, until tonight I guess.

Assuming the worse had passed I started to close my eyes again. Maybe I can just sleep this off and everything will be alright in the morning. I closed my eyes once more and start to drift back to sleep. I then heard this sound, this ungodly sound, coming from just above my face. It sounded like static from the tv when you bumped the rabbit ears out of place while the volume was all the way to eleven mixed with the insistent hissing of a mean old cat. Like before, the sound got louder and louder. What changed was the closeness of the sound. Earlier I could hear it from our bed across the room no problem, but I didn’t feel like it was close, just contained in one spot. But then it changed spots, hovering over my face with its piercing static.

I didn’t want to open my eyes, but curiosity prevailed and up went my eyelids. What I saw…what I saw…dammit I can’t say. I saw what I guess was a head, or at least what looked like a head, with static in between the black outline of where the “head” stopped and the ceiling wall began. It felt as if it was directly over our head rest. I looked up to find that there were no eyes, just black, empty holes that started and ended nowhere. I wanted to look away but I couldn’t, my attention was sucked into the abyss that were that thing’s eyes. There wasn’t a mouth but I could clearly hear what sounded like voices emanating from its head, as if each and every static dot was a collection of people’s voices and they were all trying to get out and warn me, to tell me to “run and get out the hell out of there!” Bad news voices, I can’t. I would if I could but whatever the hell this thing is it’s got me settled in pretty well. I ain’t going anywhere.

I feel as though I’m lying in a pool of my sweat and I’m pretty sure I’ve wet the bed twice. If the sounds that this thing I’m looking at is making doesn’t wake my wife up, then it should be the ocean of dirty piss-sweat that’s moving to her side of the bed. Sue…please wake up! I need you…

At that moment the voices stop. Everything stops. My sweat has receded, and the room is cool again. The only thing that hasn’t stopped is the staring contest between the thing and me. “Hello David” it says. How the hell does it know my name? I try to scream, but I still can’t. My vocal cords won’t work here. It started to speak again, “I’ve waited a long time for this moment, the right time. I know it’s been a while, but I came back buddy.” Then something protruded from the blob that was its head and just barely lands at the top of my adams apple. It’s sharp and cold like a blade and threatens to slice me open if I (or it) moves even an inch. It does the moving for me. I can start to feel the grip on my body loosen up, but it’s too late. I try to once more release a scream, but the thing cuts my throat open and blood starts to cascade out of me. I put my hands to my neck to stop and try to stop the bleeding, but the cut is too deep and all I feel is the hot, thick mixture that’s my blood seeping through my fingers. As the life drains out of me all I can hear is that thing laughing, LAUGHING at me. I finally worked up enough energy to do what I’ve wanted to do the entire night, to scream. To release all of the pent up fear inside of me. The scream seemed to pierce the air and stopped time dead its tracks. Then, suddenly, everything went dark…

I woke up to an empty bed. I turned towards the clock on the nightstand to look at the time. 7:23 am. Sue always left for work early so she could get a head start on the traffic, so it was just me and the baby. I look out the bedroom mirror on the other side of the room and saw that the sun had already come up and it seemed that it was going to turn out to be a beautiful day. I smiled at the thought because a bright day would get me on the right track. The baby’s crying broke my attention so I swung my legs out of the bed and walked down the hall to the baby’s room, the sunlight’s rays hitting my body as I walked past the windows. I enter the room and walked over to the crib and picked up the little bundle of joy that was my son. I love the little guy with all of my heart, but this morning I wanted to hold him a little tighter so I could shield and protect him from the monsters of the world. Even though I don’t believe that there are such things as real monsters, the parental instinct in me tugs at my beliefs and makes me consider the possibility anyway. I have to be prepared for anything.

I hold my little man close and notice that his shirt had a little red stain on it. My first thought was blood. In a panic, I examine him and find no source for where the blood was coming from. Everything seemed to check out so I just chalked it up to a random nose bleed on my part. I brought him to the dresser where we keep his t-shirts and grab him a blue one with the little dino’s on it that I love so much. As I closed the drawer my glanced landed momentarily on my reflection in the mirror we keep on top of the baby’s dresser. What I saw stopped me dead in my tracks. I saw a small trickle of blood coming out of what looked like a newly formed scar on my throat. I put my hands to my neck and everything that happened the night before came back to me. The heat, the fear, that thing with the black eyes that said that it was coming back for me, it all came back to me. I thought it was just dream, just a nightmare, but it actually happened. I didn’t imagine any of it. The blood continued to seep through the scar and panic filled the entirety of my body once more. I open my mouth to scream…but nothing comes out…my voice is gone. That thing took my voice…that’s what it came back for…

I’m back in bed now. Turns out Sue had decided to stay home for the day to get some things done around the house and she found me on the floor of the baby’s room crying and got me settled down to the bedroom. She knows I’m having a hard time talking but she imagines it’s just me overreacting to the bloodstain on the baby’s shirt, the new parent syndrome she calls it and I’ve got the worse of it. “But it’s my blood!” I try to tell her, but she closes the door before I can even dumbly attempt speech. Just then the room goes dark again.

The clock says it only 8:15 but it feels just as pitch black as last night was. I look around the room and then see the figure once more, this time I could see his face. It was pale white as snow but the eyes were still that definite black from the night before. He stands there smiling at me, holding my baby’s dino shirt. I yell, I scream, I curse the bastard but it’s all in vain. He laughs and says to me “Now’s my chance to finish what I started. Your father saved you last time, but he’s not here now is he? Neither is your wife. Just you, me, and the little one.” He walks, no he floats towards me and gets in my face, our two faces meeting once more, and then he whispers “and there’s nothing you can do.” He disappears and I start to hear my baby crying, crying for his dad to protect him from the bad man…but I can’t…I just can’t.

Credit: Dalton

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