The full moon cast a blue glow that shone through my blinds and left a horizontal pattern imprinted on my carpet. Little flecks of dust stirred up by the air conditioning glinted as they passed by the cracks of light. The display was peaceful and memorizing in their simple way. It was hard to think of the dust being a dirty particulate when they danced in the light like that.
I was caught up with the display in my half sleepy state; thinking, ‘how nice’. Then the air cut off abruptly and the fine bits of dirty began to descend exponentially in eerie silence. The stagnant air and the loud silence dispelled my dream scape. I became as inanimate as the furniture in my room. The only proof of my existence was my heart pounding out of my chest and the occasional gulps of air my lungs requested from me.
I knew what was coming. I had seen it many times in my dreams. I had felt this feeling vicariously through numerous other children. I had never experienced it firsthand, though.
I waited for the creepy shadow to appear at my window. I watched with numb anticipation. I knew I should not move a muscle. I knew could not make a sound. I willed my heart to stay calm. I willed away the little itches that plagued me. I held my greedy lungs in check. If only I could warn my parents.
I loved them dearly, but they had never believed me when I told them about the terrors in my dreams. They had dismissed it as the workings of a child's overactive imagination. When I had begun staying up all night and falling asleep in class, they had worried for my mental well-being and sent me to therapy. It was chalked up to childish destress brought on by the news, but I could tell you before I saw the news that another family was dead. Just then it was our turn to be on news.
A snore assaulted the air and pierced me with guilt ridden dread. The horizontal pattern distorted as the crooked man’s shadow appeared. I was on the second floor with no awnings nor trees to climb on, but there was the standing form of his shadow. Ice filled my veins and turmoil coated my conscience.
I shut my eyes trying to pretend this was all just a dream. It was a dream like the others were just dreams. Isn't that what my therapist had said? It was dreams it was dreams it was dreams! I mentally screamed at myself trying to drown out the fear and worry, but true reason and my gut instincts rang out above it all.
Guns could not kill this creature! It found it victims by sound and dispatched them with glee. I had witnessed every one of their deaths. All 22 of them had been their own unique horror and none of them could be thwarted. They had all ended the same, though. He would save the children for last, and he would always ask them before he gave his final blow, “Is she watching?”
Anger with myself flared up as I chastised myself for not preparing for this moment. I knew he had been looking for me. Why had I not armed myself? Why could I have not learned what he was? I had been afraid. I had hoped my parents and the help they had solicited were right. I had wanted it all to be a figment of my imagination and I had lied to myself over and over again.
Another snore filtered down the hall. Tears trickled down my face in silent rivulets as I grappled with rushing to my parents' room to warn them and staying still. I was a coward. I knew deep down in my heart I would not move from my bed. It would attract the monster and I could not bear to face him. The tears were to morn their impending loss.
It wasn’t long before he found them. There were screams. There were sounds of bone snapping and cloth tearing. There were vicious cackles of glee. Then there was silence.
My heart was in my stomach, and it beat like a drum. Fear, remorse, and guilt made it impossible for me to control my hearts mad pounding. All I could do was inwardly pray that the crooked man could not hear it for I knew he would not leave till he found me.
The blue lined patterns cast by the mood and my blinds quietly crept along the floor shifting and changing as time passed. The air never came back on, and the dust did not return to dance in the moonlight. As time weaned on, I was bombarded by gnawing need to itch, I was plagued by a parched throat, my aching muscles, and a need to check on my parents prodded me to move. At times in my fatigue, I almost convinced myself that it had all been my imagination, but the quiet stagnant air reaffirmed that it was not, so I stayed in my petrified state.
When the blue from my blinds turned to a crisp warm yellow glow the air kicked back on. The dusted came back in plumes that winked like gold fairy flecks in the growing light. Still, I waited, like a statue, till my room was flooded with white light and I could hear everything humming to life.
Slowly, very slowly, I pulled back the covers. I waited. Nothing came for me. I cautiously swung my legs over the side and sat at the edge of my bed. Again, I waited. Nothing. Nothing but the cheerful chirps of birds and life going on.
I padded warily out of my room and down the hall to my parents' room. I took a fortifying breath and let it out with a prayer. “Please,” I thought to myself on the exhale before opening the door. I had seen this scene many times over the span of the last 10 years. A new element of horror was added to it knowing that this time I would not wake up. I tried not to look at their mangled bodies across the bed as I read the message painted in blood above their headboard.
“I hope you are watching I am looking for you”