Estimated reading time — 13 minutes
It was a warm summer night. There was a refreshing breeze entering through my bedroom window, blowing away the still humidity and warmth that stuck to my body like a wet blanket. Despite the cooling breeze, it was far too hot to sleep properly.
It was 2:13 AM, I stared at the ceiling as my heat driven insomnia got worse. It’s times like these where the incessant voices and chatters of my “characters” became restless. I had developed my various “characters” years ago. I’d like to think of them as my council. Each of them are different and ultimately come from a single source, Me. Despite the intimate connections we all share, they are independent from me yet they are ultimately dependent on me. They’re a little hard to describe.
I was kind of a crazy introverted little kid. And so I discovered at a young age that I can willfully dissociate my thoughts and ideas from myself. And soon, I began to dissociate entire personalities, entire characters. Feeding them and watching them develop within my consciousness. I became them and they became me, influencing my every decision as I influenced them.
I never told anyone about them. They probably think I had schizophrenia, and for a while I thought I did. It was something a bit different, it never detracted from my life; it just made it more interesting. I could never imagine living my life without them, I was a part of them as much as they were a part of me.
The girl was on my mind today. Despite, the party going on in my head, I somehow steered my consciousness towards her. It’s not the first time we thought of her.
The girl sat in front of me in a few of my classes back in high school. She was slim, tall and pale. She had long dark hair and had these large abyss-like eyes. She wasn't the hottest girl in school or anything like that, but I thought she was really attractive. I can remember sitting behind her just starring at the back of her head, lost in my creepy guy fantasies. Everything about her just intrigued and made me fall for her.
Growing tired of starring at the back of her head; I mustered the courage to ask her on a date. I approached her and the first thing I noticed were her eyes. Two black holes that sucked all light near it, hell it sucked me in too. So, I stared into her eyes and what I saw startled me. A reflection of every one of my characters stared back at me through the abyss. I continued starring, feeling uneasy by what I saw. A sudden twinge of fear gripped me.
And she said “hi” in a sweet and soft spoken voice, and the fear evaporated as quickly as it came. I quickly broke out of my trance-like state and mumbled something along the lines of “go, you, movie, me”. She enthusiastically said yes and I was like score!
Going to my next class, I couldn’t help but think how I felt when I was looking into her eyes. There’s something wrong with her I thought to myself. Some of them told me that I was overreacting and others agreed with me. Seriously, we all saw that didn’t we. Didn’t you see her eyes, wasn’t that totally creepy. Your mind was playing tricks on you and you barely stared at her eyes. What on earth do you mean, you are my mind. You saw it; you saw all of us in those eyes. I don’t know man; this is what you wanted right. Think about it, it doesn’t really make sense that she can see us all. Logically speaking, how can her eyes reflect all of us? You don’t even know how we look. We’re just you after all. I’m telling, I saw all of you. It was some kind of abstract reflection of all of us, of me. Anyway, it doesn’t matter; we can’t skimp out on the date now.
We watched some random movie. Then we headed out for some pizza. I got to know her a little better. She was extremely nice and such an amazing girl. She made me feel awesome and always laughed at my jokes even if some of them were corny. Despite her bubbly personality, she had a bit of a dark and mysterious side to her. It was totally weird but it just made her so much hotter.
We went out more often together and one thing led to another and next thing I knew, I was knee deep in a relationship. I didn’t mind it at all. I absolutely loved this girl. All my strange and fearful doubts about her were completely forgotten.
Everything seemed so well and one day it just went awry. I was driving her home on our way back from the bowling alley. She suggested that we take the back road. At first, I disagreed and said it was already late and I needed to get you home. In the end, she convinced me. It was a much longer route but I wanted to spend more time with her.
Now, the “back road” cut through some random forest. It wasn’t an actual forest; it was more like a large circular radius of trees in the middle of a busy city. Nonetheless, it was really quiet and just a bit scary at night. Plus the road that cut through it wasn’t well lit.
We were driving through and suddenly the girl asked me to stop randomly on the side of the road so she could go pee. I felt slightly apprehensive at first but I caved in. She went out to do her business. And I was in the car starring at her. She ran towards to edge of the “forest”, turned around and saw me looking and gestured me to turn around as I saw her vaguely mouth the word “pervert”.
I turned away for like 30 seconds, but I turned back, not because I was pervert but it was more or less a dimly lit area and I just wanted to keep an eye on her. She was gone. I got a bit worried but I was quickly comforted when we agreed that she probably went just deep enough into the forest so that random passersby on the road wouldn’t see her. Normal sentiment I suppose.
I sat in the car for 10 minutes and I began to get worried. Girls need some time in the bathroom we said, but still we were restless. Another 10 minutes had passed and we all decided that action should be taken. I came out of the car and began moving in the direction she had gone in 20 minutes ago.
The forest floor was wet so I could see the footsteps her flats made as she waded through the mud. I followed them. And followed them. And followed them. Jesus, she went pretty deep in the forest just to take a piss.
I continued walking in the dark forest. It was so weird; there wasn’t even a single sign of life. It was just silence. Silence as far as the ears can hear. I could see the far and feeble light source emitted from my car as I walked through the forest. It continued to get dimmer as I walked away from it.
I walked deeper into the forest, following these footsteps. Why did she walk so deep inside of the forest, one of them told me?
All of a sudden, her footsteps became much deeper in the front than they were in the back. Was she running away? She couldn’t have been chased? Looks like she just broke into a run but running from what?
A chill ran down my spine as I realized how daunting this situation was. This quiet lifeless forest began to evoke a deep fear. The darkness ahead reminded of me of the girl’s eyes during our first encounter. And when you gaze long into an abyss the abyss also gazes into you.
As much as I really didn’t want too, I followed the footsteps and finally arrived into a clearing in the middle of the forest. At the very centre of the clearing, there was a single eerie looking cabin.
We can’t act like an idiot at a time like this I told them. Think of all those scary movies, we need to be tactful. We can’t just rush in. So, I slowly and quietly walked into the clearing. Instead of following the girl’s footsteps towards the door of the cabin, I decided to sneak around the cabin, in hopes that there might be a window that I can spy through. Who knows what dangers lurk within?
I was in luck; the window was on the wall adjacent to the side with the door. I crouch walked towards it. I cautiously stared into it, fearing for my life as I slowly lifted my head up until my eyes were right at the base of the window.
It was dark inside, I squinted my eyes as I struggled to see what was going on. There were candles lit on the floor. They illuminated the pentagram on the wall. And in the very corner of the room, I saw her. It was the girl. Her back was towards me as she stood facing the corner of the room. Her long dark hair stood still as it seemed to suck in the very light coming from the candles. Her pale skin which had always somehow attracted me now seemed deathly in the dim candle lit room.
That girl, it couldn’t be the same person I was with a while ago.
What’s going on in there? It was those eyes one of them said in my head. Don’t you remember those eyes; there was something wrong with them, something wrong with her.
As I watched in fear, I heard chanting from the same corner of the room. An unearthly sound came out of her mouth. A deep growling noise from some ungodly beast spoke in an ancient tongue, chanting and reciting.
I continued to stare inside the cabin, specifically at the pentagram, as the candles around the pentagram began to glow ever brighter. And then the chanting stopped. The candles instantaneously went out.
The silence that followed was so deafening, so fearful. A sudden chill permeated my body, one which emanated from the corner of the cabin. My heart stopped as I slowly moved my eyes from the pentagram towards the corner of the room. There she was. In the corner of the wall, her back no longer facing me. Her face had become deathly pale in the darkness of the room and her dark hair hung limp at the side of her face and her body. The fear prevented my body from moving. She slowly moved her eyes towards the window and looked at me.
I woke up, my vision slightly blurry. That was one hell of a dream.
I closed my eyes and reached for the light switch on the wall. My hand simply fell through an area of space where I expected a wall and light switch. And hit the cold grassy ground. Grassy?
YOU’RE STILL IN THE FOREST! I looked up and saw the girl. She was a few arm lengths away. She stood still and simply stared at me as I was paralyzed with fear. Her pale expressionless face gazing into my very being.
RUN, GET OUT OF HERE! Every single one of them screamed in my head. The girl slowly rose one of her arms up.
The fear was so powerful, that I no longer had any control over my own muscles. I found myself running away from her. Perhaps it was the characters, maybe it was me. What difference did it make; I needed to run as far away as possible.
We need to go. Hurry let’s get out. Keep going. What do you think I’m doing? What was that? I don’t want to think of that right now. We need to get as far as possible from her. Just keep going. The trees cleared away as the road came into view.
I quickly jumped into my car, turned the ignition and hit the accelerator as hard as I could. I was so fucking scared. I was probably going 50 km over the speed limit, but I didn’t care, I just needed to escape as far away as possible.
I arrived at my house and crept into my bedroom quietly. The fear clung to me like the sweat against my shirt. What was going on? This is insane. I agree. Maybe if we just close our eyes and sleep we’ll forget all about it.
I couldn’t forget.
I got up, took a deep breath. I walked towards the bathroom. The fear threatened to consume me as I took another step forward in my dark house. Why is the light switch for the corridor on the other side of the room!? I reached the end of the corridor and turned on the light. The bathroom door at the end of the corridor was open and the sudden flood of light illuminated its interior.
I saw her, in the bathroom mirror. The hideous thing followed me. I turned around and did not see her and looked back and saw that she was approaching my reflection closer and closer. Those eyes continued to stare at me.
In sheer panic, I closed the bathroom door and looked behind me. There was no one there.
What’s wrong with you? Why would you look into the mirror? Hasn’t it ever occurred to you how creepy mirrors are? I’m sorry, I didn’t know.
I lay against the bathroom door, breathing heavily as I gasped in air. Then in the corner of my eye, I saw movement.
Something was scrapping the floor. I stared in fear as the scrapes began to take on the shape of letters. It was writing something.
The abyss has no reflection, it is within.
I blinked, and slowly felt part of me die. The writing was gone.
One by one the voices became dormant as my vision went black.
I woke up. There were people around me; people with faces I could not recognize nor remember. Get up they told me. We need to get you out of here. We were inside a room. The door was tightly locked with furniture piled high against it. There was heavy pounding on the door. It shook the very foundation of the room. I starred at the shaking door, frightened at whatever was on the other side.
She’s trying to get in. We lost many of them but it’s not too late. They can come back. You need to think of something. In the meantime hide down here. The deeper you go, the harder it is to find you. If you’re caught, it’s all over. Do something; we’ll buy you time.
They opened up some kind of trap door in the centre of the room. Without even realizing it I was pushed down and fell, deeper and deeper until I hit the ground with a loud thud.
I woke up in my bed. I had a jarring headache; it was as if someone was pounding on the inside of my head.
The voices were gone, I realized in a panic.
Then, the memories came rushing back like flood. The forest, the mirror, the writing, the room and the girl.
I needed to do something quickly. She’s trying to claw her way towards me. I needed to hear the voices again. They were vital to me. How could I live without them?
I began freaking out and then the idea came to me.
I don’t need to do anything at all; I can just have myself do all the hard work. Dissociate thoughts, ideas and entire personalities.
It’s not too late. I booted up my desktop and decided to research whatever it was that I was experiencing. I googled “how to exorcise demons and malevolent spirits” and I immediately got over 200 million hits. I began to pick the most relevant links. To be quite honest, I wasn’t too sure as too what kinds of people have authority on such phenomena, however, the first hit that wasn’t a youtube video was bound to be something useful.
After hours of doing research, the pounding in my head seemed to get louder and somehow closer. The headache became much worse until the point where each pulse of pain temporarily blacked out my vision.
In the end, I think I figured out what was going on. The insight of paranormal investigators, priests, psychics, mediums and random people who seemed quite knowledgeable about the subject suggested that I was possessed. However, my case of possession was special. It appeared my split yet stable consciousness was preventing the possession from happening quickly. That was my theory anyway.
I sat there, closed my eyes and I thought about everything I just read. I continued thinking until it was no longer my own thought.
A deep voice broke the silence, a voice from within, one much closer than the continuous knocking and pain.
“You have called for me in your time of need. What is it that you require?”
“I need your help to get rid of whatever is inside me.”
“Come join me in the inner sanctum of your mind, your soul”
My vision began blurring as a sudden weakness gripped my body. I began falling towards the desk. Goddamnit, haven’t I passed out enough!
I woke up in a dimly lit room. There was a table with two chairs at the very centre of the room and locked door in a corner. A man sat in one of the chairs. He wore clothes identical to mine and he had a face that constantly changed every time I blinked. It was like walking through a crowd of people without really looking at their faces. Each image slowly disappeared to an irretrievable part of my mind as a new one replaced where his previous face was.
It spoke, with an unforgettably deep voice, a sharp contrast to his fluid image.
“It appears that your soul is being plagued by an evil spirit. For reasons unknown to me, your soul appears to be fragmented in many smaller pieces which is proving difficult for her to fully control and corrupt your being. You are probably aware, but, I am one of those fragments. There are many others, however, they have been suppressed by the spirit in an attempt to reach you, the core.”
“What do I do to get rid of it?”
“We must send the entity back to where it came from. We will be opening a gate right here, one which connects this world to hell. You will lure her towards the gate and I’ll force her into it.”
“Okay, what do I do then?”
“Prepare the gate, draw these following symbols on the floor” he said as he handed an old piece of paper with small drawings on them.
A sinister soft knock came from the back corner of the room. I turned to see a door, the handle was turning slowly. It did not open. The door remained locked.
“Hurry, prepare the gate, I’ll hold her off.”
I materialized the image of the paper on the wall in front of me, after all this is my consciousness. The ominous symbol appeared to gaze at me. It was a ringed planet and at its centre there was an eye.
“The symbols are up, what do I do now?”
“The gate should be opening soon. Don’t look inside the gate, turn your back on it, and remember whatever you do, don’t look inside the gate”
His words were entrenched in fear. Don’t look inside…
I quickly turned away from the symbols and I saw that the man was gone. The door opened slowly. Her face was now in state of decay and her skin has become the colour of curdled milk. Her eyes starred straight into me. She slowly walked towards me and the feeling of fright had robbed me of the ability to move.
Where did the man go, I was completely alone.
I begin hearing voices from behind me, dark whispers which called out to me in ancient language. I was unsure which one was scarier. Death was in front of me and a fate worse the death was behind me.
I stood there, knowing that this was the end. She slowly walked towards me, reached out with her pale arms and wrapped her hands around my neck and she opened her mouth. Her cold hands on my neck made me shiver in my skin and the stench of decay poured out of her mouth. Her eyes continued to stare into me and…
The man burst through a random door from the ground (was that there) and lunged at the entity. He ripped her off of me and dove into the gate behind me.
Everything was in slow motion; I starred at the man as he grabbed her by the back of her neck and pulled her into the gate in one swift diving motion. I turned around as I followed his path into the gate and he looked me in the eye. His face no longer unrecognizable, I was staring at myself.
“I told you not to look inside,” he said with a sinister smile and a wink. A blinding flash of light shone from the single light source in the room, probably an unconscious safety mechanism preventing me from seeing what was inside the gate.
Nevertheless, I had caught the shortest of shortest glimpses. An image which would remain seared in my memory for the rest of my life.
A few days later, some police officers showed up at my place. The girl had been missing for a few days. I was one of the prime suspects; however, I was cleared because of the lack of evidence against me. They never found her body. That’s because she materialized in our minds, they told me.
As the voices calmed down in my head, I realized that I was lucky to have gotten away alive. However, there was one loose end. A part of my consciousness, my soul was trapped in the other world, in hell.