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Estimated reading time — 4 minutes

Here we are again. The cold wooden floor is my seat of choice. My lower back and knees start to ache only about thirty minutes in. The cold sweat keeps making my feet slide away from me on the slick floor and I keep jerking them back to my body. Already a crick begins to settle in my neck from the tension of stretching it up to see over my bed that is between the window and I. There is a red irritation on the inside of each bicep from wrapping my arms around my knees and pulling them into my chest. Worst of all, my eyes. My eyes are dry and feel like they are on fire. They look like a red lighting storm is raging in my pupils. As I count down I get so excited when I get to 1 so that I can blink and get that millisecond of relief. After a while, blinking makes my eyes burn even worse. 3…2…1…

There he is, same spot as last night. His head cocked so much to his left that his face is almost upside down. Jet black, medium length hair that dangles from the contortion of his head and blows slightly in the wind and rain. He boasts the same outfit, a black sports jacket and a white v-neck underneath. The jacket has a few rips and tears while the white shirt has turned almost to a rust color with black and red smudges on it. His eyes were solid black. So much so that I wasn’t sure if they were always open and always watching or always closed. Not sure if they were empty voids in the place of big beautiful eyes or if they just seemed that way from the dark distance. Finally, his big unwavering smile. Not quite the ever famously referred to “Chelsea Smile”. His top and bottom rows of teeth didn’t touch, allowing me to see the black pit in his mouth. I always expected to see something crawl out of there but I never did. He never moved an inch as long as you watched him. 3…2…1…


He’s still there of course. Still stiff as a board but his hands are now flat up against my window. His aberrant long, pointy fingers seem to span the width of the window. He’s waiting. Waiting for me to close my eyes or look away for just a second. This had become some what of a routine for me at this point. I have played this game with him many nights. I had a system. When the countdown ended and I could blink. I would click on the flashlight shining right at him simultaneous to my eyes blinking. When I opened my eyes I would quickly turn it back off. I’m not sure why but this kept him from moving. Maybe he thought the light meant someone was still watching him. It worked so I didn’t really care why it did. 3…2…1…


When I open my eyes and and click off my flashlight I see he is still there. Still in the exact same position but with a slight difference. The tips of his fingers were bowed in so that his needle like finger tips are making a scratching motion against the window. Not bad, he doesn’t seem as aggressive as other nights. But, then I notice 10 hairline fracture lines in the glass. He moved more than I thought. He is making his move to get in. My eyes are starting to fade in what was already a dark room. They are getting heavy. I don’t know how much longer I can stay awake. My lids are fluttering so much. It’s like watching an old film. Watching him fade slowly in and out of frame. My voice is starting to tremble as I countdown and my hands begin rattle the flashlight. This no time for panic! This game has rules! I have a system! As long as I play by the rules and remain vigilant I can live to play another day! I WILL NOT LOSE TONIGHT! 3……….2…………..1

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Black!? I’ve closed my eyes! I realize after what seemed like a mere two seconds, but I couldn’t be sure. My flashlight was laying on the wood floor next to me. I’m staring at an empty window. He’s gone! Dammit, where did he go!? I could see where he huffed his warm breath against the thin, transparent panel. The cracks in the glass were still there but the window was intact so at least I know he isn’t in the room with me. Even if I’d drifted off to sleep for a second, I’m awake now. My body feels like it’s both been set aflame and buried with ice. I feel so numb that I can’t move. My wide eyes begin to tear up setting my tortured and dried eye ablaze. My teeth grit, the strain is proving too much for my head. It’s throbbing, I want to cry out, but I can’t. I keep my eyes open, fixed on the window. Being able to see him there had been some source of comfort, but now he’s gone. Where is he? I bring up my shaking hands to bury my eyes into them, rubbing them dry. For a second, I can’t see.



My flashlight moves across the floor and towards the door leading to the hallway. It’s cracked open just slightly, not enough to even see through the crack. I keep fixated on the door waiting for it to open more but, nothing happens. I quickly shoot my eyes back to the window. Maybe he was trying to distract me! I shoot my light back to the door and…

Ah, but there. The familiar needle tipped fingers had slithered in from the other side of the slightly opened bedroom door. I watch his almost glowing pale fingers start to fade as my eyes begin to shut. I’ve lost. Tonight is the last game. I inhale deeply, turn off my flashlight and set in on the floor next to me. I let the tension in my neck go and let my head fall back against the wall. I knew it was over but I had system to stick by. So for last time,

Credit : Blake Rogers

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