Estimated reading time — 7 minutes
I was tossing and turning in my bed, and even after a long day at work, I couldn’t get to sleep. It wasn’t a lack of space; my bed was king size and I slept alone. But there was something that felt strange and uneasy. For example, I always sleep with a window open, to allow the wind to come in and provide some chill in these warm summer nights. But on this particular night, there was no wind. And yet, the trees were swaying, harder than they’d swayed when the wind was there.
I decided that there was no use in staying in bed if I couldn’t sleep, but at the same time, I didn’t want to get up. I wasn’t thirsty or hungry, and I didn’t need the toilet, so I just turned the TV on and hoped that once I had watched enough crappy TV for that night, I would fall asleep, and turn the TV off in the morning.
There was nothing good on the TV. I flicked through a few channels, which made me feel sleepy on it’s own, but I had to settle for some cartoon, which I can’t even remember the name of. I grabbed my phone to check the time. It was 01:04. Luckily, I didn’t have to go to work in the morning as it was my day off, but I still didn’t like getting up late, because I liked the mornings and going out for breakfast. At this rate, I probably wouldn’t get enough sleep to even get a morning coffee at the local coffee shop.
*BANG BANG BANG*.
Three solid knocks. They were the loudest knocks anyone could ever hope to hear. I always made sure that my doors were locked, and the windows were shit. Whoever it was wasn’t getting in without a key or someone opening it from inside. My heart was pounding from the volume and strength of the knocks; it felt like someone was trying to break the door down. Nonetheless, I got up from my bed and crept over to the landing.
From up there, I could see the doorway. With streetlights lighting all up my road, I could see outlines and shadows in the doorway even in the pitch black darkness. Someone who knocked that hard obviously needed something, and yet when I looked down, I couldn’t see anything. Not even a silhouette.
I decided it best not to call out. Perhaps it was one of my drunk neighbours knocking on their door. After all, I lived alone, and the walls were paper thin. I could hear their fridge running through a wall, and a different floor. So, it wasn’t impossible that the knocks were for them.
*BANG BANG BANG*.
Three more knocks, as aggressive as the first came pounding again. This time, it was clear that it was on my door. My palms were sweating. My pyjamas combined with the warm night made me feel sweaty and sticky. I wasn’t scared, at least not until I went back to the landing.
From up there, I looked down. Something was shaking the door handle viciously. And yet there was still no silhouette. What the hell could it be? A child not big enough to appear above the glass? No, what would a kid be doing pounding my door so hard.
A drunk? Even then, I’d be able to see them. The door was clearly locked, as if it wasn’t, anyone shaking the handle would have got in.
I rushed back into my bedroom, and like a little child, tried to hide under the covers as I got my phone. I frantically dialled the police, even though nothing had really happened. My fingers were sweating and I could hear the dial tone loud and clear through the quietness of the night, now that the knocking had gone.
“Hello, emergency servi-”
The door opened.
Whatever was trying to get in had managed to break the handle and get in through the front door. They slammed the front door shut and for a second, I thought maybe it was a drunk neighbour playing around after having ten too many drinks. Something was in my house with me, and I was too scared to face it. I even kept a baseball bat under my bed in case of intruders, but for some reason, I was already frightened out of my wits. I clambered under my covers and waited for whatever it was to do what it was going to do.
The sound of heavy footsteps echoed through my house as the intruder came upstairs. I tried my best to control my breathing; heavy breathing would give any position away, both through sound and in movement. I tried to nudge myself towards the wall as much as I could, as there was a slight gap between the wall and my bed, where if I was lucky, I could lodge myself in. Just as I managed to position myself, with the quilt ruffled so as to not look suspicious, my bedroom door creaked open slowly.
If this was a funny joke, it was no longer funny. It hadn’t been for a while, but the sudden reality had hit me. If it was someone I knew, they wouldn’t have broken in, or at least stated their identity. Like, “Hey son it’s me!” or “Yo Bro, it’s Jack!”. No. The thing was silent, and as I heard my door open, I did my best to lie as still as I could without exposing any part of my body. It was hard to breathe under the covers, but I had to keep my feet, hands and head under or I’d be seen.
The door hit the wall, and my visitor had either entered the room with me, or gone somewhere else to scare me. The TV was still on, the crappy cartoon blaring out at a low volume, but in the silence of my breathing, it seemed as loud as the knocks I had heard earlier. I dared not look. The TV remote was on my bedside table, and I had my phone in my hand, thankfully disconnected from the 999 call. I didn’t want them to think I was wasting their time.
“The results are in! Voting has now closed!”
Hold on. That was some reality TV show. I was watching a cartoon channel. My eyes widened and I almost screamed, but I remembered that any movement or noise would be my end. SOMETHING HAD CHANGED THE CHANNEL. And yet, they were still oblivious that I was in the room with them. I must have been doing a good job keeping still, but who would just BREAK IN to a house to watch a talent show?
I had to see what was in the room with me. My phone showed that it was 01:12. 8 minutes had passed, but it seemed like an eternity. I had to make it discreet. Without making too much noise, I lifted the covers. I could see the door, wide open on the far side of the room.
The light from the TV blared across the room, almost blinding me after being in the darkness. But there was nothing standing in the doorway, nor by the door. Thought, just as I lowered the covers. Something rustled by my bed. I don’t own any pets, so it wasn’t a cat or anything. The TV was still on, and I lifted the covers slowly again. The floor creaked slightly on one of the loose wood panels as my enemy walked across my field of sight and back out the door.
Whatever it was, it was fucking with my mind. They broke in, came into my room and sat by my feet, changed the channel and then just got up to leave. The menacing figure came into view now, with the TV’s light exposing it. This creature was of average height, with pale skin, and it walked with a sort of limp.
I had never seen anything like it. It had long claws that resembled daggers. The legs were thin but somewhat muscly. The head was like that of a humans, but pale like the moon with no hair and a few scratches. It had all but made it out of my doorway, when it stopped in it’s tracks. I lowered the covers slightly, so that I could still see him but he could not see me. Not in such lighting.
Without even rotating it’s body, it turned it’s neck like an owl. I winced, still submerged under the covers out of fear. I was praying for him to leave, ‘just fuck off!’ I was thinking throughout my head. But it wasn’t going to make him leave sooner. Sweat dripped down my body and I was almost shaking. I saw what came in my house and I could do nothing but lie there or watch it. Curiosity killed the cat, but for some reason, I still watched it.
As it’s neck turned, I could start seeing the face. A cold chill filled the room, and it wasn’t the wind. It was fear. And I saw it. The face of my fate. His mouth jagged with teeth of uneven shapes and sizes, but all sharp and threatening. His nose and ears pointy but also uneven.
But it was the eyes that made me almost wet myself at the age of 24. The eyes were a bright orange, like the sun, though looking into them didn’t blind me. We made eye contact. If I dropped the cover, he would see me. But I was almost shaking out of fear of sure death. As I stared intently into the eyes, he almost scowled, then frowned, then turned his head slightly. He took a step towards the bed, his claws dangling from his arms.
“This is it,” I felt to myself, as I almost started crying. The creature was just about to open the covers and find me, but a sound from downstairs stopped it in it’s tracks. The neighbour’s dog started barking, and the menacing creature ran out of my room, my eyes fixed on him as he pegged it outside. I heard my stairs trampled, and the front door slam shut again, with a broken handle.
I was finally alone again. I couldn’t stay in the house though. I had a busted door, I was close to shitting myself and I was almost mince meat for some pale zombie-like creature. I quickly changed clothes, still trembling. Once that was done, I put on some shoes and grabbed my car keys. I peered outside the front door to see if anyone was there, but it was clear. My car was only a few yards away from the garden path. If I could make it in there, I could drive away from anything pursuing me.
I managed to make it, thankfully. I didn’t know where to go, but I drove. Far away from the house. Banging kept going through my mind, as did the sound of the door handle. I was now no longer at all sleepy. I drove maybe a mile away, when I saw a local hotel with it’s neon lights flickering in the distance. I decided that I would stay the night there, and call the police from there.
Fast forward to the payment. I’d bought a room for the night, and I had just managed to get inside. I rang the police, told them what had happened and they said they would check the house, but wondered why I hadn’t rang before I went to the hotel. I didn’t know how to reply, but I thanked them, with a sigh of relief and an uneasy smile. I needed to get some sleep.
And that’s where my story ends. In safety at a hotel, 3 floors up, with the police checking my house. It’s 03:32, and I’ve written this account of my tale, still somewhat shaken up. I also pray that none of you have to experience such a thing. Good night.
*BANG BANG BANG*…