I wished the bedroom was darker. There was always just enough light from the street that would illuminate the room to give it an eerie glow. Shadows were casted onto the walls from figures I couldn’t see. Tall, hulking shadows. Small, crouching shadows. Thin and gangly shadows. All the sizes and shapes of figures that make an active imagination go wild.
I generally sleep in my underwear because if someone was lurking in my room, trying desperately to kill me in my sleep and take my valuables, I wouldn’t want them to see me in the nude. I would much rather die with dignity and clothes over naked and afraid. That’s what I was convinced would happen to me in my one bedroom apartment. Every night I would lie down and turn off the lights and wait. Wait for the killer or one of the shadows to come to life, just to take my own life from me.
My apartment was always noisy as well. There was a general hum that emitted from the various electronics running in the living room. On top of that, I could also hear the street clearly from my bed. Whether it was a constant thdunk thdunk thdunk of a car with a super bass built inside or the growling vrrn vrrrn vrrrrn of someone flying down the road in a jacked up truck, I heard it all. Maybe that’s another reason I searched in paranoia of an intruder. Mix the sounds of detestable humans blaring their vehicles at two in the morning with the ever moving and pouncing shadows of the room, something was bound to attack.
All of this was culminating again, paving the way for another night of lying paranoid on my side. I stared helplessly at the wall. Shadows lurched and lunged in various directions. I shut my eyes to ignore them. Bullying sounds from the vehicles outside my window accosted my ears. A feeling of panic crept in at the thought of one of them stopping to break in snapped my eyes open again. The heat kicked on throughout the building, sending a shuttering moan through my apartment as it fought to heat the place. I slipped deeper into the covers.
Then, a new noise. Chhhhttttccchhh. The sound scratched and crinkled over my shoulder. My eyes grew wide. This was new. Was it real? Ccccchhhhhttttcccchhhhh. Louder now. It sounded like the crackling of an insect. I didn’t want to turn. I needed to turn. I had to know. I rolled my body while closing my eyes. I didn’t want to see it. I was now facing the noise. It stopped. I opened my eyes and let my mouth fall open in pursuit.
It was all black and distorted. As if a shadow had found a way to leave the wall. It had piercing eyes, both white and pupil-less. I could feel it grinning, despite the lack of mouth. The white eyes were the only part of it’s head that was visible. It’s body was large, built like a heavyweight UFC fighter but there was no definition. It lifted an arm and pointed at me. It made the noise again. Cccchhhhttttccchhhh. I was frozen.
The thing began shambling closer to me. Not walking. Nor sliding. Instead, just a shamble. In the same way a zombie would move. My body froze. Each part of me became lead. My head wouldn’t raise and my eyes wouldn’t shut. My vocal chords seized into a whisper at each attempted shout. My arms laid useless, one on the bed, one on my side, as my legs did the same. The monster continued its shamble until it stood directly over me. I couldn’t look up at it but I could feel it moving closer. Slowly bending. Closer. It’s face nearing mine. Closer. I could feel heat coming off it now. Closer. It’s arms reached out as its face was about to touch mine. Closer. I wanted to shriek, to fight, but my body was still useless. Closer. It was touching me now. Closer.