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My life ended in mid-December, the 17th to be exact. I survived a little after that, but that was the last day I lived freely.
I was goofing off on the internet that day, kind of flicking through my newsfeed, reading interesting news stories, that sort of thing. Sometime after one thirty, I found an article on lucid dreaming and out of body experiences.
I skimmed through the article. The author mentioned astral projections and plane walking a couple of times, and other similar terms. I’m not a hardcore naturalist who believes that everything has a natural explanation, but telepathically visiting alternate planes seems far-fetched, especially when it comes from someone trying to sell you something. Still, I was interested. It sounded similar to lucid dreaming, which I’d had fun with once or twice. I thought of them as just a biological glitch.
It’s not like it’d be a challenge to find how-to guides for out of body experiences on the internet, so I won’t bother being super-secretive about it. The goal of out of body experiences is to get your body to go to sleep while retaining consciousness. When you go to sleep, your brain shuts off movement signals to the physical body so that you don’t hurt yourself while you dream. Out of body experiences utilize this feature of the brain to make mind think it’s moving while keeping the body stationary.
The concept arrested my mind. I couldn’t let it go, and I found myself looking forward to the night. I waited for the day to pass, and when night came, I set up safety measures; if something did go wrong, I didn’t want to be stuck in dreamland for an eternity. I set my alarm for an hour after I planned to have my out of body experience, so I wouldn’t be stuck for too long. Hopefully the sound would bring me back to my body in case I couldn’t get back.
So at eleven o’clock, I went to bed and slept. I had trouble falling asleep, but eventually I dropped off. I slept for a few hours, then woke up and went through the process of getting an out-of-body experience. Once I was ready, I took a few seconds to collect my thoughts, then tried pulling myself out of my body.
Once I started forcing myself to move, my perspective altered, and I could see myself from the side as though through a different set of eyes. I could still see with my eyes, but I had a second view from an outside perspective, watching myself. I could still feel my body, but it was distant. I forced myself to sit up and to my delight, I felt myself moving but my body remained still. Through my outside view, I could see a ghost detaching itself from my body. I was elated.
My pleased surprise only lasted a few seconds before I felt my body freeze. Just as I realized that my trick had really worked and that I had no control over my body, an amorphous red cloud filled my vision. It hovered over me for a second, then disappeared as I inhaled.
My body reacted instantly and began seizing up. The spasms made all of my muscles clench, relax, and clench again. In my trance I think I counted four convulsions every second, but I’m not sure how long they really lasted. It was terrifying; I knew I’d set my alarm clock for ninety minutes after I’d begun my lucid dream, but I couldn’t last that long. At the rate I was convulsing, it would only be a few minutes before my heart gave out.
The red cloud obscured my vision, both from the outside perspective and through my eyes, and even worse, I was paralyzed. I tried to force myself back into my body to stop my seizure, but I couldn’t get in. Then I heard the voice.
It was like a grating rumble rasping deep in its chest, but it also had an animal quality, burning with anger. Not a shrieking fury, but slow, deliberate menace.
The voice filled me with terror. I wanted to run as far from it as I could get, but I was frozen. Names had power. I didn’t want to hear it, I didn’t want to know it. Just as it spoke its name, I shouted my own name through my convulsions, drowning its voice out. It stopped speaking, as though surprised it had been interrupted. It growled softly as the red smoke began to dissipate, and I fell into my body again. My seizure stopped and I woke up.
I don’t know how long this experience lasted. I’m guessing about twelve or fifteen seconds, and probably no more than a minute. My chest hurt and my muscles trembled, but I was alive. I was rattled, but I managed to convince myself that something went wrong and I created a nightmare. Maybe my fears of what could happen surfaced subconsciously, I reasoned. Whatever the case, I decided not to exploit any more “glitches” in my nervous system and went back to bed.
I slept through the night, though I was uneasy. The next morning, I awoke and convinced myself that my experience had just been a fluke. And I had more pressing matters on my mind. It was exactly one week before Christmas and I had no idea what I was getting for my family, so I showered, dressed, and headed out the door. The events of the previous night quickly fell to the back of my mind as my car entered the rumbling traffic.
At least that part of my day was a success. I bought most of the presents for my family and girlfriend, and I just needed a few for my other friends. As I was browsing the aisles of Wal-Mart for a good pair of headphones, my arms suddenly felt like they’d been encased in ice. I jerked in surprise and the feeling vanished. As it went away, I heard a deep, indistinct whisper. There was no one nearby, unless you counted the seventy-something woman a few feet to my left. I shook my head, thinking I’d felt a draft of icy wind, and continued shopping.
I went to bed that night and found myself unintentionally entering that half-awake state, but I felt vulnerable. I didn’t want to push myself out of my body, but I felt myself slowly rising out of my body. Terror shot through me as I sensed the red smoke hovering over my body. It felt like it was trying to pull me out. As soon as I realized that, my eyes shot open and I came back to my body, shaking from fear.
I didn’t sleep that night. I knew that my oppressor was still there, and I got more tired as time wore on. I would begin to fall asleep, then jerk awake as soon as I felt myself being pulled out of my body. At first I tried to ignore it. I knew it was coming for me, but I started eating real food and drinking caffeinated drinks, which helped. Morning was an immense improvement; I didn’t feel so tired with the sun up already. As soon as it was light out, I went outside to get some winter sunshine, enjoy some Christmas movies, and finish Christmas shopping. I couldn’t hear anything through the day, but I had a feeling that I was being followed. I tried to blot the fear from my mind as I returned to my home.
I felt jittery. I knew I had to go to sleep eventually, but I didn’t want to think about it. six or seven, I began to microwave something when I began hearing the voice in my mind. I dropped the plate in my hand and it shattered.
“My… Name… Is…”
Its voice now held contempt as well as that bitter anger. I yelled my name out loud when it was about to announce its own, hoping that it would drive the demon away like last time. For a moment I thought it had gone away. I relaxed but then heard its laugh, deep and slow. It was unsettling, like hearing loud, harsh music. Its laugh rolled on for several seconds, then it spoke again.
“Your… name… is… worthless…”
“My… name… is…”
I said my name again, this time more forcefully. Its chuckle lasted longer this time, but then faded to nothing. I listened intently. I couldn’t hear anything, but I knew it was still there.
I finally moved from my frozen position. Leaving the broken plate and splattered food, I rushed to my computer. I began searching the internet for the thing, but there were too many possibilities. It could be a demon, an asura, a ghost, or any one of hundreds of other of spirits described by the cultures throughout the world.
As I clicked on another link, I heard its laugh again. A chill invaded my body and I heard its voice.
“Shut up, shut up, shut up!” I screamed.
It laughed again.
“Your… Name… Is… Worthless…
“Your… Commands… Are… Void…”
“My… Name… Is…”
I tried to ignore the terror inside me, but I shouted my name again. I had a sense it was shaking its head as its laughter faded.
What sort of demon places such importance on names? Names were supposed to give you power over the demon, not give the demon power over you. What kind of mythology was this from?
I returned to my computer and began a new search.
* * *
It came to me several times in the following hours and whispered its name. Finally, I stopped trying to drown it out and listened. When the demon spoke its name, it was so soft I couldn’t hear it. It sounded like softly hissing static, a name composed of indiscernible sounds. As soon as I stopped blocking out the demon’s name, it began whispering mine.
Nothing happened as far as I knew, but I grew even more nervous. My searches weren’t helpful, and I couldn’t hear the demon’s name well enough to get a clue what it was.
My body felt weighed down. If my eyes were closed any longer than a blink, sleep washed over me. I couldn’t sleep, though, because every time I began to drift off I felt the terrible presence hovering over me. I’d jerk awake and begin another string of searches. It spoke probably four or five times an hour, and whenever it whispered its name, I strained to hear it. It was still an indistinct hiss.
Sometime in around three in the morning I realized I could hear its voice in the real world. I heard it when the wind blew past my window, when the furnace kicked on, when water ran in the bathroom. And it grew louder as the night wore on. I began blasting my music, but I could hear its rough voice in the static between songs. The demon’s voice grew louder and louder until I could hear its muttering in the background of my favorite songs. I stopped listening to music at five in the morning, but I could still hear the voice in the computer’s fan and in the creaking of the house.
The morning was worse. I rushed to the library as soon as it opened and began researching out of body experiences, religious beliefs on demons, ancient religions, and the like. Nothing helped. The things I found helped me understand the science of the thing, but there was nothing to explain hallucinations after waking up, unless I was taking hallucinogens in my coffee. As I burned through the pages, I could see the dark red smoke in the edges of my vision. When I glanced at it, the smoke would vanish. I would go back to reading, and it would rematerialize. By the afternoon I saw the smoke hang in the air for a few seconds before fading to nothing. Evening came and went without relief, then I decided to go home. I was rattled after my day in the library, and not much better off. As I drove back to my house, I could hear the demon’s voice grumbling in the engine, saying my name, muttering threats, and grumbling its own. When I turned off the car, it didn’t even bother masking its voice anymore. I could almost hear its name now, but it was still distorted. Worse, I could feel its frozen breath tickling my ear and smell its dusty, rotten breath.
I scoured the internet all night, going to several forums for supernatural and paranormal. Few people had heard of demons like this, and they couldn’t advise a defense other than a crucifix, holy water, or salt, but I doubted they’d work. I stayed up all night hoping for someone knowledgeable to show up on the forums. I was disappointed.
About two hours ago, the kitchen lights started flickering. The pencils in the jar have started rattling softly, and I swear I can see the cans of tipped-over energy drink slowly rolling toward me. Not only can I hear its voice, but I can also hear a faint, high-pitched keening, like a distant boiling kettle. And footsteps. Heavy, inexorable footsteps, coming closer, and when I turn to confront my enemy, I only see indents in my wooden floor.
It’s six in the morning now, still dark, and I’ve reached the limit of my endurance. I have to fight it. I’ve chosen my best defenses in an attempt to ward it off, but somehow I doubt they’ll work. I’m alone, I’m exhausted, and I’m done fighting. I’m sorry everyone, but I just can’t…
Credit To – Crow