Estimated reading time — 5 minutes
I usually spend every New Year’s celebration at home with a bottle of liquor as my only dependable company. Last year, I was doing just that while binge watching Supernatural. I remember checking my phone to see what time it was – 11:57 PM. By then, my vision was blurring, and I was well on my way to my tradition of getting shitfaced for the New Year.
My family had told me for years that they were concerned. They said I spent too much time alone and that I needed to get out and just do something. Suicide had come to mind numerous times over the years due to the shit that life throws your way; multiple failed relationships, jobs that went nowhere, and the possibility of good things that just blew up in your face. It all takes a toll on your mental health after time.
Last year was no exception. I had found out a few months before that my girlfriend had cheated multiple times and had also told other people about it. Oh, and she also thought it was particularly hilarious, making crude remarks like “he’s so stupid that he can’t even tell what’s going on.”
I drink more.
It was out of the corner of my blurry vision that I saw a black figure standing by my door. I tried to focus but I was too deep in the bottle to do that – I just saw this out of focus, black, human-shaped thing.
“Do it. You know you want to. You know none of this is worth it. You know life is pointless and that none of this matters. Why not do it? Nobody loves you. Nobody cares about you. Not even Carrie. She never loved you, never cared about you, and you’re just going to repeat the same mistakes for the rest of your life. So why bother?”
The voice that said this was deep and gravely, sounding a bit distant, like a radio station on the verge of cutting off. While the voice spoke, I felt the energy drain out of me, and paralysis set in. I can remember mumbling back, “Yeah. You’re right. It doesn’t matter. I should just kill myself and end it.”
“How about a knife? That one on the counter over there. It looks sharp enough and should end your pathetic life in no time.”
“Yes,” I replied. At this point, I felt like I was in a dream and that I had no control over my actions. I shuffled into the kitchen, grabbed the knife, and plunged it into my wrist.
I woke up in the hospital. My friend Colin had come over, and because he had a key, he was able to get in. He found me on the kitchen floor in a puddle of blood. He was a nightshift nurse at a nearby hospital and his quick thinking saved my life. I was later admitted to a psych ward, with my cooperation. I thought I had gone completely mental. They diagnosed me with having schizoaffective disorder with severe depression. I spent the next two months rebuilding myself mentally and came out feeling reinvigorated.
It was around Halloween that I was browsing around Reddit and found a post called ‘What Is the Creepiest Phenomenon with No Explanation?’ I am very much into the supernatural and believe in most spiritual beliefs about the afterlife, demons, and ghosts, but I am not religious.
I saw a reply to the post with a link that said, “how about the mass amount of people that commit suicide on New Year’s and the survivors claim to see a tall, black figure telling them to do it? Here’s a link for proof of the phenomenon:”
Chills covered my body and I felt my muscles twitch. The memory of the events of that night came back.
The black figure.
The commands it gave.
The way it wanted me to kill myself… or sacrifice myself.
I posed this question to the post: “What does it want?”
Someone replied, “well, from what I gather, it’s been talked about for centuries amongst various cultures, in one form or another. An otherworldly spirit that comes back once a year to gather enough souls to fill itself for another year. Like a soul-eating bear back to hibernation.”
This is when I went down the rabbit hole of Google and researched more into this thing. About twenty-five pages back, I found a result that was close to what I was looking for. It was on an independent paranormal research group’s website, which I will keep anonymous, and the article answered many questions that I had. The earliest mention went back to Roman times, and it was imply referred to as Tenebris, written as a name, not a description, and tenebris translated from Latin means “darkness.” Tenebris was said to appear at Winter Solstice and once convinced an entire Legion, which I found out was five-thousands legionnaires, to rush off a high cliff while they were pursuing a Germanic army, and nearly all of them had died. Julius Caesar found out and demanded a massive sacrifice back in Rome, written by him as “to appease the beast Tenebris.”
A few days later, I went back to the Reddit post and saw dozens of people who had commented, saying they had seen Tenebris. I messaged a few of them and we started a group chat on Discord. The number grew to over 250 by December 1st, and we all had a similar experience. One guy was walking on the sidewalk in New York City when he saw a figure in an alleyway and the overwhelming urge to leap in front of a taxi but was able to fight it off. Another man was on a cruise ship and saw a dark figure in the water, demanding that he jump overboard to be with it, which he also did. He said he had one foot over the rails when an attendant grabbed him seconds before he could leap. A woman, who was suffering from heroin addiction, was nearly coaxed into taking a lethal dose by a shadow man. They all sound a little similar, right?
I have no idea what to do about it, but it is real – I’ve seen it – and I’m terrified it will come back this New Year’s. It’s a few days before New Year’s and I’m already starting to feel it. I haven’t moved from this couch in days and there is plenty of alcohol. It usually hits hard this time of the year, as it is just a reminder of how lonely I am. Colin is out of state with his family this year, and the rest of my friends are also preoccupied. So much for that. I guess I will sulk around my apartment. Ya know, to keep the tradition alive.
* * * * * *
It’s been a couple of days since I wrote the rest of this. I’ve seen it a few times, lurking in corners hiding from the light. It’s waiting. It will pounce once the time is right, when it is at full power. I know it will try to take me again, but hopefully, I don’t listen to Tenebris this year.