Estimated reading time — 5 minutes
The clock stared at me with its red eyes, shouting to me that he would arrive soon. He always comes at the witching hour. Of course I didn’t know that the witching hour was three in the morning till I told my friend about my night time wanderer. The witching hour is the time of night when God is at his weakest and all the imps and minions come out. This man was obviously not a three horned demon, nor was he an evil servant of the devil. He looked old, and lonely. I felt bad for him. He was probably homeless with no family or friends to speak of.
Every night he’s there, just sitting in our backyard. Every night I want to go outside and talk to him, but I can’t seem to work up the courage. He just sits on the tire swing, muttering to himself. He looks so lonely. Luckily I have no trees near my window, or anything that could block my view of him. My friend says it’s a trap to lure me outside. He says that a little kid like me isn’t thinking straight this late at night, so obviously; this prince of darkness wants an easy meal. He just wants me to come outside and, wham, I’m a nighttime snack.
Maybe he has a point though. Not about the evil part, but about the unsafe part. The old man might be crazy. I’m sure being homeless takes its toll on your body. I can’t see him that well from window either. I’ll sleep on it, maybe tomorrow night I’ll go and see if he’s harmless or not.
The bed looked so comfortable I couldn’t help but to flop down onto it. I lay there, waiting for the sand man to put his special dust in my eyes to carry me off to dream land. The wind was blowing really hard outside. I could here a tree branch tapping on my window. I bet the man was cold. I wonder if he is smart enough to find shelter. My eyes began to become extremely heavy, but the tree branch’s tapping kept drawing me out of my inner peace. I stared blankly into the cold darkness, when a sudden chill traced its way down my spine. I don’t have a tree anywhere near my window.
I continued to lie in my bed, and stare at window at the far end of room. I didn’t know what it could be. A werewolf? Dracula? Demon? All my childhood fears ran through my mind. There was a full moon out tonight. What did my friend say about the witching hour? When all the evils of the night came out? AND it was full moon? This is doubly bad.
The shadows of the room started to gather around my bed, ready to carry me to whatever terrible cave they called home. A thought occurred to me…Shadows. I looked to the window where the moon was shining its light from, my vision followed to where the light met the ground, and my heart sank. There on the ground was the dark outline of a man’s upper body. A new fear ran through me. One that wasn’t as ridiculous as creatures of the dark. The crazy man outside. Maybe he was the Prince of Darkness like my friend said. No, now I was acting like an eight year old, instead of the teenager that I was. My senses came back to me. He probably just wanted to get away from the wind, and saw me up in my window. So he climbed up the side of the house to the third story to tap on my window to get my attention.
My heart was beating out of control .Its rhythmic pace was thrown into chaos. Fear held me paralyzed, but I needed to know what was on the other side of that curtain. A battle between survival and curiosity was raging inside of me. Survival won. I merely took a step back from the window, and slowly made my way back, never taking my eyes off the window. When I finally reached my bed, I threw my covers over my head, and prayed. Prayed with all my might that I was just dreaming. I asked for a sign that I was going to live through the night. God let me know he was listening by making a knocking sound on the door to my room. A slow rhythm, a constant tempo. It never slowed, nor quickened. I sat and listened for a few minutes. It seemed the more I waited, the louder the knocking became. It almost reminded me of the tapping on the window. Then a terrifying thought donned on me.
I threw the covers back over my head, and shut my eyes as tight as I could, and kept trying to make them tighter. I covered my ears with my pillow trying to block out the knocking. I sat there in my cocoon for what seemed a life time. My body finally started to relax, and my mind began to wander off into dream land, but something wouldn’t let me go to sleep. It wasn’t the knocking. It was the silence. The knocking had stopped. Maybe it went away. I hoped it went away. I sat in silence, wrapped in my cocoon, trying to fade off to sleep.
A new noise started, it was not rhythmic like the last two sounds. It was the sound of someone walking, someone who was quickening their pace with every step, someone in my room. The footsteps stopped at the edge of my bed, and I felt eyes boring holes into the back of my head. I could hear the rain drops dripping onto the floor. I could smell the dirt on his shoes. Taste the mustiness of his clothes. Feel his breathing on the back of my neck. I knew then, that I would not survive the night.
Then I heard a deep voice, maybe multiple voices speaking together: “Come with me.”
I was staring at the man the whole time, and his lips did not move, but I knew the words came from him. They rang loudly inside my head. I didn’t want to move. I just wanted to hide under my covers until he went away. Then he, or they, said the words that would forever change my life, “We are not the ones you should hide from, but if you wait here, they might find you”. The use of the plural coming from this man with many voices frightened and confused me. I had so many questions, but first I had to confront my current fear and follow this thing.
I rose from my bed and looked at the man. He stared back into my eyes, no, through my eyes. Again the voices spoke, “Do not fear us, we shall make you see, follow us.” With that, the man turned, and jumped out the window. I felt compelled to follow. I closed my eyes and leaped after Him.
Down and down I fell. Three stories is a long way for a person of my size. As the ground neared, I expected the fall to slow, till I landed perfectly on my feet. I waited for the man to reach out his arms and catch me. I waited for something magical to happen. The cracking noise of my bones hitting the ground was not what I expected. I laid there on my back, I could feel the blood running through my head, and dripping out my ear. My vision started to blur, and the cold started to set in.
I saw a figure standing over me. The voices said their final words to me, “This was the least painful way we could help you, please forgive us. The only true place you can hide and never be found is death.”