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A few months ago one of my closest friends at work and I realized our feelings were growing into something more than just a friendship. In our company it’s frowned upon to date coworkers. Technically not against the rules, but frowned upon. When we decided to take our relationship to the next level we decided it was best for both of us to keep it private, at least for a while.
He lived out in the country. Over 40 minutes away from work and where I lived. It was perfect. He was so far out and in the middle of nowhere we could stay out there and go into the little town nearby without worry of being caught by chatty coworkers. The only real problem was that we both work night shifts. I almost always work at midnight and he usually works at 4am. That led us to a lot of commuting in the pitch black that can only be seen on country roads. I always enjoyed the drive. I am a lover of the dark. A true night owl to my core. I loved the drives both when we were together and when I drove in on my own. Somedays I’d work a half shift and then drive out to his house on his days off and crawl into bed with him. Those were always my favorite drives.
He lived with some of his family in a large home on an enormous parcel of land. It sprawled for acres up a large hill with a pasture and further up thickly wooded forest. I always felt safe there. There were guns strategically placed around the house and enough space between any other house that you could do just about whatever you wanted without anyone calling the cops or knocking on your front door to tell you to keep it down. I always loved that. The privacy of it all. I joked on several occasions that the only downfall would be if you needed medical or any other emergency services that it would take them forever to get out there and once they did they might not even be able to find the place.
The first time we made love was a few weeks after we started seeing each other. It was on a dark cool night when there was a meteor shower. We carried a giant pile of blankets out to top of the pasture, just before the woods and laid down. We made a little bed there and curled up under the blankets to watch the show. After an hour or so of talking and holding hands things escalated. Just as things were staring to get heated I had the oddest feeling of being watched. It felt like something in the distance just out of view was watching. My entire body shuddered. I tried to shake the feeling , convince myself it was nothing more than the cold making me shudder and perhaps an animal in the barn, or maybe even just an owl having a look to see where the noise was coming from. I let myself believe that so it wouldn’t ruin my night.
That night, and many nights to follow I was plagued with horrible nightmares. Ones I couldn’t explain or understand. It felt like being watched. Being watched in a way I couldn’t explain. I almost felt like if I could just stay asleep for just one more minute I could see what it was that was so interested in me. I often woke up in a pool of sweat, tears steaming down my face. The relationship was still new and I didn’t want him to think I was crazy, so I kept it to myself. At some point i realized it only ever happened out there. I slept dreamlessly in my own bed. I began to sleep over less and less over the next couple of months as the dreams only became more vivid. That is until I realized I was afraid to sleep alone. The dreams began to haunt my waking life as well.
One night I fell asleep before him. He was watching tv and having a couple beers when he said he heard me. I had been whimpering in my sleep and when he walked over to check on me he could see the tears rolling down my cheeks. He shook me and shook me, saying my name louder after each effort. When I awoke it was all of a sudden and with a scream. I’m not sure who it scared more. He told me the moment I opened my eyes they locked onto his and I look possessed, or haunted. That I looked like my soul was not in my body. He was visibly shaken by the experience. At this point I felt obligated to explain to him how it had been going on for months, that I couldn’t sleep, that the feeling was everywhere.
The dreams weren’t all of it though. As I was driving, especially to his house I began to feel watched. Like something just out of the scope of my headlights was waiting for me…Lurking just beyond the vale. One night when the moon was full I could have sworn I saw something out there amongst the trees.
My life has been turned upside down. The lack of sleep has been affecting me in ways I didn’t even realize it could. I have no appetite, and I’ve stopped caring about my appearance. I sometimes go days without changing from my boyfriends oversized hoodie. My work has begun to slip. I’m afraid something bad is going to happen any day. I am a ghost of the person I once was all because of a feeling. No, more than a feeling. Something is there.
My loving boyfriend has been incredible through all this. He might think I’m losing my mind but he’s known me long enough to know I wouldn’t just make something like this up. He’s been doing everything he can to help. His initial suggestion was to get blackout drunk. One that with all the stress in my life I was happy to try. Still, the dreams. Only it was worse that night. I had even more trouble pulling myself out of the dream that night. It felt like whatever was watching me was able to get even closer, so close in fact I could smell it. The thick musty smell of decay and death loomed heavy as I awoke. I was barely able to lean over the bed before puking violently all over the hardwood floor and my slippers.
I have also tried sleeping pills, meditation, herbal supplements, and exercise. Nothing has worked. I’m afraid to sleep alone because if I can’t wake myself up someone has to be there to make sure it doesn’t get me. He tried to convince me to go see a psychiatrist but I refused. That’s when he made the suggestion of trying to find a forum online for other people who couldn’t sleep. Seek help from the same place any good millennial would, the Internet. I looked and looked, browsing forum after forum. Begging for advice from anyone who had the slightest idea about what I was experiencing. Most everyone I talked with seemed to think it was one of two things: sleep paralysis, or a mental breakdown they attributed to early onset of a mental disorder. That is until very late one night as I sat in my truck waiting for it to heat up. I scrolled through yet another forum and saw a picture. The worst picture I have ever seen in my entire life. The face was almost like a deer’s skull but sharper, angrier looking. It had a humanoid shape except everything about it was longer. It must have been about seven or eight feet tall but it’s limbs were all much to long. The arms stretching down long past the midpoint of the body and the long horrible hands stretching out beyond that. It was cloaked in black so the torso and legs were only a shroud of black making it impossible to tell what horrors were beneath the darkness. The worst part was the eyes, truly soulless eyes. There was no pigment, no iris, no pupil, only blank white orbs staring out from the skull. But somehow even still they were watching me and I knew that was the thing that had been there all those months. The longer I looked the thicker the smell became. It was so strong I could taste it. It filled my nose and mouth, choking me. My head was spinning as I began to gasp for air against the putrid smell of rotting corpse. Just before I passed out I saw the caption under the photo, “they’re watching you. They’re waiting for you.”
About twenty minutes later I was awoken by a loud thumping on my window. I had passed out and a coworker saw me “sleeping” in my truck and was going to scare me. It turns out they were the one who ended up being scared. There was puke down the front of my shirt and dried blood under my nose. Evidently I looked dead. I explained that it was just a migraine and swiftly drove off.
On the way to my boyfriends my phone died making the dark drive seem even lonelier and more frightening. Silence gives your brain to much space to think. There’s no radio signal out that far so I drove in silence. I was horrified at what I had seen but under that was a layer of relief. I wasn’t crazy. As I drove on I also felt that I wasn’t alone.
When I made it out to his place I ran upstairs to his room and plugged my phone in. Then, violently shook him awake exclaiming that I might have somewhere to start digging. He got one look at me and immediately sent me to shower and brought his favorite pajama pants and a big soft t-shirt down to the bathroom for me. He leaned against the sink opposite the shower while I got cleaned up and talked soothingly to me. Almost like you would talk to a fussy child you were trying to lull back to sleep. For the first time in months I felt safe. I was going to find out what was going on. I had an idea now. Somewhere to begin.
I went to show the image I had found to my boyfriend but I couldn’t find it again. It was nowhere. The forum i had been in didn’t even seem to exist. I was hysterical. I KNEW what I had seen. I have searched endless hours trying to find it again but it was gone forever, lost in the web. I can’t even find a mention of something similar. I tried to explain what I had seen but there isn’t a way to describe the way it made me feel, or that awful smell drowning me. To a logical person none of this makes any sense. My boyfriend was no exception but his love for me let him break away from that to at least explore the possibility that I was being watched by this demon, this monster, this… Thing.
Last night there was a full moon. Not just any full moon, a full moon on the summer solstice. It was rare and beautiful, the giant moon lighting up the sky above me. The air was crisp and cool as I started my truck. I began to drive for my boyfriend’s house just after 4am with the moon high above me. The extra light was nice on the winding back country roads. Then I began to feel it again the dark terrifying feeling I’ve been getting or months. It gets worse and worse every time. I can only imagine it’s because it’s getting closer to me, to whatever it is that it wants. I felt the dark horror flood over me and I began to slow my truck down to a crawl. Just beyond any corner, hiding just behind the trees it could be there. I thought I saw something move just around a slight turn in the road and slammed on my breaks. I came to a screeching stop in the middle of the road. I could feel my heart slamming against my rib cage trying to break free. There was a loud noise and lights behind me, and then in front of me as a huge white semi truck swerved around me going at least 70 miles an hour. I looked back into the woods where I had seen the monster that follows but it was just blackness and trees illuminated by my high beams. I flicked on my hazard lights and sat catching my breathe for just a moment. It seemed as though I had narrowly avoided death twice in the span of a few minutes.
That’s when I heard it. The most horrible noise I have ever heard. It was all metal scraping, smashed glass, and what I can only describe as crunching. Hearing it hurt my head. It was as if there was so much going on my brain couldn’t process it all at once. Gathering what I had left of my courage I decided to see if I could figure out what had happened. I drove slowly up around a corner and saw nothing, then another, and another. That’s when I saw it. Less than a mile from where I had stopped my truck, in the road was the semi. It had rolled completely blocking the road. It looked like it had rolled several times before eventually landing upside down across the road. There was glass and blood everywhere. Far too much blood to lose and still be alive. I parked my truck and slowly approached the mangled cab of the semi. I could smell it again, that awful smell of rotting corpse, of decomposing organic matter, of that monster. But then I began to see them, deer. There were at least three that I could see… Or at least pieces of what must have been at least three deer. I was the first on scene to the most brutal one car accident I had ever seen.
I did what I could to help, called 9-1-1, checked on the driver but there was nothing I could do but to make sure that the semi wasn’t going to burst into flames. As I stood there waiting for emergency services to show up I saw it again. The monster, the demon, whatever you want to call it. It was there, watching me just like always. I could smell it getting closer and closer to me. I stared out at it making contact with its deep soulless eyes. In that moment I felt almost comfortable with it, almost pulled towards it. It began to slowly move towards me, not walk, not run, just… move. It was drawing me towards it and I obliged. I was so tired and so done with being scared that I just did what it wanted. I walked slowly towards it, the terror in my chest subsiding. I turned away for just a second as I heard the ambulance approaching and it was gone. The monster had left me just like that.
I haven’t slept. The dreams are worse than ever. It’s face haunts me day in and day out. Tormenting me. Beckoning me into the woods. I know what it wants now. It wants me. I just… I don’t know why or for what purpose. Does it want to kill me? Or did it save my life? I need answers. So, in my last attempt at finding help I reach out to you… Do you know what this thing is? What does it want with me? Can I get rid of it? Please help. Please God help me… I don’t want to go into the woods but I don’t know if I can resist it much longer. I don’t want to go into the woods. I don’t want to go into the woods. I don’t want to go…