I’m going to tell you a story of a space of time that occurred when I was four-years-old and suffered from what the doctor described as ‘Night Terrors’. But I know better. There was something in the apartment we lived in; a dark presence that tormented me every night.
I slept in a small bedroom with my infant brother’s crib in the same room and our parents room right next door. When you walked in through my front door, you were in the living room, then the dining room where our bedrooms were and then the kitchen which held the bathroom. For a four-year-old, the distance from the bedroom to the bathroom might have been miles apart. Especially when hands were waiting. Bladder to near bursting, I would wake up and immediately my small body would shake with pure terror. If I put even one foot on the cold floor, they would come. Not able to hold it in any longer, I knew I had to try. I would run. I was NOT dreaming or hallucinating, I was wide awake with a full bladder. Placing my feet gently on the floor, I made a run for the night light by my bedroom door and didn’t make it past the first few steps before hands came up from the floorboards grabbing my feet so I’d fall. There were two hands that shot up and stopped at the elbow, grabbing my feet and tickling them. Not funny tickle, a tickle with bad intentions. One that made you gasp for breath and beg for mercy as the laughter turns to tears. I couldn’t scream for my mother, I could only wish to breathe, kicking and kicking to get away from the torture. Breaking free, I’d run in a wide-eyed panic to the kitchen to make it to the toilet on time.
In the light of the bathroom I gasped for breath, wondering if I should wake up mommy and daddy. They would get mad and yell, but I was too scared to go back into the room. Stalling for time, I washed my hands again, using lots of soap to make it real bubbly. Drying my hands on the towel for a time, I knew I had to go back to my bed. Stepping through the doorway into the darkness of the kitchen, I walked softly, placing one foot in front of the other. I could feel its presence in the dining room and knew I had to run. As I walked by the dining window, looking backwards as I turned the corner into my bedroom, I witnessed the impossible. The maroon drapes lifted themselves from the curtain rod and floated into my room just as my hands touched my bed. Wrapping themselves tightly around my small body, they held me captive as the hands tickled my rib-cage roughly, until, once again, I was gasping for air. I used every ounce of energy to scream for mommy, but all I managed was a whisper. Darkness fell and I fell with it.
I woke to the strange feeling of something moving around on my bed and opened my eyes. In the dim, shadowy glow of the nightlight, I saw my Gumby and Pokey figurines playing near my feet. No one was touching them and just as I came fully awake, they stopped, falling over on their sides. Breathing in short, fast gasps, I braced myself. I knew what was coming. The hands burst from my pillow encircling my neck and pulling me into it as I kicked and struggled in vain.
“Ma-ma-ma-ma,” I tried to say ‘mommy’ but it wouldn’t let me. Just when I thought I was going to pass out again, I looked up at my doorway hoping to see mommy, but instead, three shadow figures darted past into the living room and the hands fell away. Rubbing my sore neck, my chest heaving from the effort to breathe, I jumped out of bed and ran to the doorway, peeking around into the living room. There they were. A tall man with a hat and cane, a woman, also with a hat and wearing a high collared dress. I could see a parasol in her hand, too. Next to her, a tall, thin dog sat regally, its breed a greyhound or Saluki. I couldn’t see any features, just shadowy, filled in and outlined. They didn’t look at me but I heard them as I crept over to my mother’s closed door. I heard snatches of conversation such as, “it’s gone”, and “watchers” and “do not be afraid.”
Strangely, I didn’t fear them, instead, was comforted by their presence. Amazingly, I was never again terrorized by the hands after the watcher’s visit. That’s what I called them, ‘The Watchers’. But I never saw them again. I think they came to warn the hands to leave me alone. My theory is that they were angels in disguise sent by God to get rid of the dark presence that surrounded me night after night. According to doctor Weyl, everything I saw and felt were just the hallucinations of Night Terrors and I’d finally outgrown them. I barely paid attention to his nonsense because I knew better. Something in that house wanted to hurt me and something else protected me, simple as that.
© 2016, RissRyker518. All rights reserved.
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