SHORT STORY: The Man That Comes At Night

10:47 P.M. Its that time of the night again. Taking two steps at a time up the stairs, every step feeling heavier than the last, I feel the dark wooden railing against my palm. As I approach the top of the stairs, I hear a soft noise. Clinging onto a circular wooden piece at the edge of the railing, I turn my head to look to the right and peered into the darkness at the end of the hallway. Walking into the open room I pat around the side of the wall looking for the light switch. Once I feel the boxy shape of the light switch I press down fast and shut my eyes once the bright fluorescent lights come pouring into the room. My eyes shut tight and I see a variation of colors under my closed eyelids. A swift feeling of blindness comes over me. I see black dots and grey shadows forming freely and moving in shapes that sweep into the black, turning into light blue, orange, and green hues that flash before my eyes in a quick second. 

11:09 P.M. My exhaustion from the long day was slowly but surely kicking in. I feel the soft breeze of the wind against my forearm and close the windows in a hurry. After finishing what I came to do in the room, I turn the lights off and look back to the dark corner of the room and see the form a silhouette of a very tall and slender man holding a cane, floating just inches off the floor. The soft sounds of the ticking of our big wall clock bounce off the walls. Turning back around, I push the feeling of horror and walk to the bathroom. With the lights already open, I feel a sense of relief from seeing the man fading into the light of the no longer dark corner of the room. As I brush my teeth and feel my paranoia building up. I felt tense. There was someone behind the curtain. Someone was going to stab me and I was going to die. There was no sign of movement but the air tickling the side of my neck makes me instinctively pick up one of my brother’s things and hit the shower curtains with it to make sure no one was trying to kill me. There was no one there. Thank God. Looking down at our tiled bathroom floor, my brother’s vaseline was touching the plunger. Nope. Not touching that. With the toothbrush still in my mouth, I let out a small giggle, thinking about my brother screaming at me for putting one of his things near the plunger again.

11:15 P.M. Making sure to turn everything off and close every lock in the house, I headed to my bedroom to finally get some sleep. My eyes feel heavy and as I walk towards my bed, I feel a sharp pain in my right foot bringing all my attention to my carpeted floor. Bending down to check my foot, I notice a small blur concealed by my carpet, I find a very small plastic tag with its sharp side up. Standing back up, my neck almost getting whiplash, I get a glimpse of the silhouette of the same man in my peripheral vision. I look to my side to take a peek, a closer look, and he was gone. 

2 A.M. In my bed, hours later, I lay wide awake. My lights are dimmed, my phone was put away and I had no distractions but I still couldn’t manage to close my eyes long enough to sleep. Blink. A distorted face appears. Blink. A woman doing a cartwheel gets a nail stuck into her palm. Blink. The image of the nail impaling the palm gets closer. Blink. Another distorted face appears. I’m up all night again, disturbed by the faces and images I saw whenever I blinked or tried closing my eyes. Keeping me up, never letting me sleep. Having had enough of the scary faces and images, I decided to turn the lights off, and closing my eyes, I tried distracting myself by thinking about something else but it ends up in vain when the image of the man’s tall silhouette appears and starts floating towards me, inching towards the foot of my bed. He starts to twirl his cane on his finger making the atmosphere eerie. I pull my feet up to my chest in an attempt to avoid making contact with him, keeping my eyes shut. And although I never touched him, the feeling of his presence felt like he was right next to me. It felt hot. I felt as if I was on fire. I opened my eyes to be welcomed with the darkness of the room. As my eyes shift slightly to the right, I see him. He was right there. Lub-DUP. My heart was beating faster. Lub-DUP. In my head I was screaming at myself, telling myself that he was not real. Lub-DUP.  He cannot hurt you. But my imagination was running wild. I turn my head and try looking somewhere else, anywhere else that his presence didn’t follow. Exhausted and feeling defeated, I stopped and just stared and stared. I thought that maybe if I kept on staring he would just go away. Maybe he would get tired and just leave me alone. My wall started to look like it was moving into a never-ending spiral, which starts to look more like a tiny black hole instead of the man with the cane. The feeling of being sucked into the hole embraced me with open arms, as I take comfort in that, the terror I felt slowly subsides into a feeling of nothingness. The darkness of the room and the warmth of my bed radiated heat and I saw that as an escape that would swallow me whole. Closing my eyes I drift asleep. 

9 A.M. My alarm wakes me. I abruptly sit up and the sun coming out of my window hits my eye. I remember the man I saw last night and look back to the corner of the room where I last saw him, and find no one. I let out a sigh of relief and get off the bed, my feet touching the carpet, free of sharp plastic tags. Walking out of the room I get ready to start my day. 

By Elyzah Christel Alcaraz, Contributor
@chriiysler on Instagram

Alacraz writes, “In most situations, I can be very reserved and closed off due to my shyness. I am not very fond of reading books, but always had a secret passion for writing short stories, which I am not able to do very often. I had a very weird imagination as a child (also as a teenager) and watch a lot of weird things so they can sometimes be reflected in my writing.”

Featured photo by Rene Böhmer on Unsplash

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