01 Aug The Nightcrawler
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"The Nightcrawler"Written by
Estimated reading time — 8 minutes
I remember it being a very typical day. So typical and dull that the details of what happened previous to the “incident” completely slip my mind.
It was at around 2:30am – 3:00am and I was walking home. The sun wasn’t up yet and the stars were blocked out by the heavy grey clouds swirling above me in the sky.
I recall walking down the street, the damp asphalt beneath my feet. The air was wet, humid and had a metallic taste to it. I could smell a storm coming on. Then, sure enough it started to rain. The lampost lights were dim. I couldn’t see very well in the dark so I decided I would take the subway to get home and to avoid getting completely soaked down to the bone.
As I walked that early morning I saw no one. The occasional car passed by every 5 minutes or so, but other than that it was lifeless. Who would be out in such weather at such a time anyway? No one but me, the foolish young woman that so happened to pick a night job, of course.
As I went down the stairway to the underground metro station that was the nearest, I noticed it was deserted. I felt out of place and slightly disturbed in a way.
The long white tiled hall that led to the main underground area was empty. Nothing but echoes and a certain humming to accompany my footsteps could be heard. I paid for a ticket at the booth and went through the machine to go sit on an empty bench near the tracks. I waited patiently in silence.
There were no trains there. Worst of all, there were absolutely no other people there besides myself. Never had I felt so alone in my entire life.
The neon lights on the walls flickered in the big empty space. I could see small insects flying and bumping into them multiple times ignorantly. I crossed my ankles and bit my lip staring up at the many pipes sticking out of the ceiling above. I waited for one of the trains to come by. Any of them. Any at all. But none ever did. It had been so long that I’d lost count of the minutes.
After a while, something caught my eye. A small blinking red light at the other end of the station. I got up and walked over to it narrowing my glare, attempting to find out what it indicated.
After getting a bit closer I noticed it stated that this station was closed due to repairs. I thought “Why not lock the entrances then? Would’ve saved me a lot of wasted time” But that’s when I remembered that there were no doors to lock. The area was open to the public at all times. Also, the machines worked so it didn’t seem to be closed. Anyone could’ve just come in and make the same mistake I’d made. But, I didn’t see anyone else so I felt a bit embarrassed.
I sighed and told myself that walking in the rain would have to do, turning on my heels and heading for the exit once again.
As I was leaving, I heard a sudden booming sound before seeing nothing but darkness. The shock of the moment got to me and I jumped up a bit clutching at my chest with one hand. I was startled and confused as to what was going on. I widened my eyes and noticed the lights had been turned off.
Could there have been an automatic switch that flipped off at a certain pre-set time? In any case, this wasn’t very practical. Not one bit. I took a deep breath, knowing I would have to find a way out somehow.
It’s just one of those challenges life faces you with to see if you can manage. You just have to get out of it. It’s like a test in a way.
I called out “Hello?” once or twice, but was left without an answer. So, I finally decided to get a move on and head out of there. But, there were tracks nearby and I didn’t want to fall in by mistake wandering around blindly in the dark.
I thought about this for a little while before deciding to get on all fours and feel where I was with my hands so I wouldn’t fall or bump into anything. I started crawling around the dusty ground. I searched for a wall, desperate to try and reach a light switch of some sort.
In that one moment that felt like an eternity, I litterally felt like I was nowhere. Like I wasn’t even part of the world I knew anymore. It was all so surreal. The feeling wasn’t quite “right”.
I couldn’t see of course, so I focused on listening to what was around me to get an idea on where I was. There was a constant dripping, myself breathing quite loudly in panic, metal pipes creaking and the blinking red light in the distance. Those were the things I noticed the most.
I wanted to be back in my warmly lit apartment, telling myself that I had made it and everything was “okay”. But sadly, you have to get through the problematic situation before that. Imagining being out of there made things even worse in a sense. Because, I really didn’t even really feel like I would ever get out of there. I felt trapped and lost in an unknown place.
My hands intensively scanned the floor, practically sweeping it clean. My fingers then felt a hard wall in front of me. I couldn’t help but exhale quietly in relief. I spread my arms widely on the rough surface to find a switch. Sadly, there was nothing of the sort. They must’ve kept the switches in a control room or something.
I hit the wall with my fist in anger and major disapointment. That’s when the strangest thing happened. A few seconds after my punch was heard, another one sounded through the station, a bit louder than mine had been. I stood dead in my tracks and took a gulp before hesitantly turning around. I couldn’t see anything but the little red blinking light. It was the only thing still on, proving to me that I’d not lost my vision. I figured it must’ve been an echo from my punch or something and ignored it shaking my head.
I walked along the wall quickly to try and find a door to some place other than where I was. There was sure to be a switch in a storage closet. So, I followed the wall, tapping it every second to make sure I was still walking straight.
That’s when my knees hit something hard, probably a bench. I decided to sit down for a bit and calm down. There was nothing else to do and I didn’t know what to think anymore. Must have been about 3:45am by now. I tried to comfort myself thinking that the sun only came up in a little while. But then I realized I was underground so I wouldn’t even be able to see its light from where I was.
That thought was a total let down.
I sat there for a bit wondering what I would do, which would be the best course of action to take. I thought about it for a few seconds before a certain feeling tugged at my throat. It was as though I was being watched. Quite closely too. I was too afraid to move or even breathe. I hadn’t thought about it but, what if something really was down here with me in the dark?
I held my breath and looked around, still unable to see anything but the little blinking light. I couldn’t hear anything but the regular eeriness of the place. Other than that, everything seemed pretty quiet. But the feeling wouldn’t leave me alone. If anything, it was growing stronger by the second. I looked to my left, at the edge of my seat, leaning forward. The bench on my side was all shaky from my trembling. Then I realized it was strange that the other side of the bench wasn’t. So, I slowly looked to my right…
That’s when I saw it.
There is no other way for me to describe it than “Horrific”. And that isn’t even close to pin-pointing it well enough.It’s one of those things to take your breath away (and not in a good way) or make your heart stop beating right the second you lock eyes with it.
It was a pitch black silhouette. Darker than dark. As if it’d never seen the light. Even though we were already in the darkness, I could tell. That’s how I’d identify it. And that wasn’t the worst part. What made me paralyzed with fear… Those utterly mortifying eyes. They were a bright shade of yellow and wide open. Brighter than any car headlights, but small and perfectly round. They would hauntingly glow as it stared at me without making a peep or any movement what-so-ever. It wouldn’t even blink.
It couldn’t have been human. No doubt, it was something else entirely.
I tried to tell myself it wasn’t real. I tried to convince myself it was a reflection of some sort. But, what reflection? We were in the dark already. There was no source of light to reflect. A million questions swam across my mind in a single second. What did it want? Had it been watching me the whole time? Was it an animal? Why wasn’t it moving? etc.
I looked away in disbelief then as soon as I looked back, more afraid than ever, I found it had silently moved and was now about a heads length away from my own, still staring at me in complete silence. I jumped back and ran. I ran for my life ignoring everything around me. The sounds, the posts, the tracks, all of it. Nothing was important anymore. Nothing mattered but getting out of there alive.
As I ran I heard banging on the walls. As if something was trying to get my attention. But I wouldn’t dare look back. I located where I was by positioning myself in my mind, seeing where the red light was and making a mental path for the exit, which I could’ve done in the first place, just that it had only now occured to me.
I ran down the empty hall as the banging got louder and louder behind me, then slower and slower before suddenly ceasing. I was terrified. No other feeling. As I got closer to the exit, stumbling on the stairs, I heard a deathly shriek. So high-pitched and loud that I had to cover my ears to keep going. It got in my head and I can only say I’ll never forget it. That was proof to me that it was definitely “NOT human”. It sounded like a cross between a dying rabbit and a hawks screech. But it was much longer and somehow different.
I finally reached the surface after a few minutes as the sun began to rise. I cried with relief and fell to the ground exhausted. I was so happy to be out of there. I was safe. I didn’t feel like it would follow but I kept running anyway.
I never used subways again. And I never found out what that “thing” was. Nor do I ever want to.
I still think about it every now and then. It never left my mind. It was too real to be dismissed by my memory. It wasn’t a dream. And it was not a nightmare. It was a terror far worse and beyond that.
Even though it has been many years since then, I can still picture it. Its lifeless stare. I see its eyes when I close my own. And I feel its presence when I’m all alone. The feeling of emptiness and quiet. I can’t take it. I do many things today to try and forget that experience. But, I don’t think I ever really will.
Was it responsible for the lights switching off? What exactly were its intentions? How did it make that noise? …
I fear I may never get the answers to my questions. But at least, I can give you this advice. This warning. “Beware the Nightcrawler”.
That’s what I decided to call it after a while. I thought it deserved to be recognized and have a proper name (Not that it’s really all that proper). In any case that is what I picked.
It carries the stench of death. It stares blankly as would a lifless corpse. It stalks its prey, hiding in the shadows. The only source of light in its world of darkness, eyes of ghostly yellow. It never blinks. It always watches. It may even still watch me to this day.
And that thought, will truly haunt me forever.
Credit To – S.W.
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