Estimated reading time — 4 minutes
I am going to tell you a story from my childhood, but I admit that I am not sure the events of the story ever truly happened at all. Although I acknowledge that there might be nothing beyond present human understanding happening here, I have to write this account down just in case…
I will do my best to keep this story as objective as possible.
The first event I will describe happened one night in what must have been January, as I remember it happening just after winter break had ended. I must have been nine at the time, because I remember telling the events of that night to Mrs. Jay, my fourth grade teacher.
I am not sure if I was asleep or awake. Regardless, I heard a noise, a scratching noise. It was almost imperceptible at first, but it grew louder, and louder. It grew loud enough that I was about to run down the hall to my mother’s room when I saw it. I am not sure I am capable of accurately describing what it was. It did not have form, as much as it was an everchanging surface of slime. The only feature on the opaque slime was what seemed to be suckers on its roiling surface, like on an octopus.
I did not scream. I cannot describe why but I wasn’t even scared, really. Its surface formed and reformed again until a gaping mouth appeared and spoke to me. Its voice wasn’t like a human’s voice, although it did speak to me in English. It weezed its words at me in the same scratching sound that I had heard before. “How old are you?” it asked. I told it my age, and all it said back was, “not yet.” I don’t remember anything else after that. I must have fallen back asleep as my next memory of the event is telling my mother about it the next day. I told several adults of my visitor to which they all reassured me that it was a dream, as any parent, teacher, or grandparent would, and that was that.
That would have been the end of the story, except many years later I had a similar experience. This event I am certain occurred in January. I was awoken again by a scratching sound. I had not thought much about the previous encounter, but as soon as I heard that noise, the events of that night flooded back into my mind. I sat up in bed, and there was the creature. It looked the same as in my memory, but I did not feel the calm of our first encounter. Although it was not fear, I did not feel at ease. Again a mouth formed from nowhere and it inquired, “how old are you?” I told it my age, and it replied, “not yet.” As last time, I have no more memories of the encounter.
I remember telling my mother. She did not recall the last time I told her, but she did seem concerned, so concerned that she had me talk to someone about my “night terrors”. After talking to him for a few sessions, the psychologist told us that my night terror was likely the result of anxiety about going to high school next year. This seemed like a reasonable explanation as I was always a shy, lonesome individual and the prospect of high school was bothersome to me. Based on this, I must have been thirteen at the time of that encounter.
The final encounter is the one that is by far the most disturbing, as I remember it best. I was seventeen and awoke (at least I believe I was awake) to the horrible scratching sound. I had thought about that previous night from time to time, and once again, recognized the sound immediately. This time when I saw the creature, it felt different. I felt dread. A deep dread that I had never felt before and I hope I never feel again. The creature waited a second, and then it asked that question, “how old are you?” I was frozen, breathless. It felt as if several minutes had passed with the creature silent, waiting for my reply. I finally built up the courage to gasp out an answer, and it replied, “next time.” As every time before, I remember nothing besides waking up the next morning.
This time I told know one of the events that transpired that night. However, I have thought of that night incessantly. With paranoia, I have questioned the meaning of his reply. The reason I am choosing to write this now is because I believe I have figured it out, and the implication is frightening and one I must share while I still can.
I hope I am wrong. I’d like to think that the first encounter was a child’s imagination and the second was the result of adolescent anxiety, but what of the third? Maybe these events were just reoccurring dreams, a phenomena that most people experience at some point. Or, maybe these events never really happened at all. Afterall, my academic training has taught me that human memory is extremely susceptible to losing, adding, or changing pieces of information. I hope one of these explanations is true rather than what I am about to propose.
These occurrences have happened every four years since I was nine. Now that I think of it, the creature may have visited me when I was five and even when I was one, and I simply haven’t remembered it. Every encounter it has told me “not yet” until this last one. Well, if I am right, the next encounter will be soon. I am 21 now, and it is January. I wish I could remember the exact day that the visits happen, assuming it does happen on the same day every time. I have been up, paranoid every night so far. I am terrified to know what “next time” means.
Credit To – InTheVault