I don’t consider myself to be a particularly superstitious person. Ok sure, I get a kick out of the horoscope once in a while, my boyfriend and I like to humor the idea that spirits and poltergeists exist and how we’d haunt people when we died and came back as ghosts. In fact, my boyfriend refuses to go anywhere near an Ouija Board. Refuses to even think of it. I blame all the crummy horror movies he watches.
“Why even tempt it?” he’d say. “Why would you want to taunt evil ghosts like that? Ghosts never play fair and if you piss one off you’re screwed!”
I don’t think he was ever serious. Just precautionary.
But maybe he was right.
God, this all happened so long ago, but I’m still shaken. Can barely write about it now without my nerves acting up.
Ok, here it goes. A few weeks ago my mom, sis, and I went to Colorado for an entire week on vacation. We were going to drive all over the state, visit parks and go horseback riding and whitewater rafting and so much more. I was excited. And I sorely needed a break from work, anyway.
We drove 16 hours out there, and spent our first day rafting down the rivers. After an exciting day we drove to a ranch house to go horseback riding. We got there at sunset, so it was too late to ride, but we had all next day to ride the trails and see the sights. The ranch was … dumpy. All run-down with scraps of steel everywhere and the shoddy cabins that we were staying in were in desperate need for repair. I swear the roof over our shack of a cabin was a giant piece of drywall with shingles stapled to the top. My sister and I thoroughly checked the place for spiders and bugs before we even thought of bringing our luggage inside.
It was only for the night, I reassured myself. Just one night in a dumpy shack on a rock-hard bed that probably had bed bugs under the sheets. I shuddered at the thought.
My mom tried to cheer us up. She had brought skewers and a pack of giant beef hot dogs to roast over the communal fire pit. Happy to get out of the shack, my sister and I made a nice cozy fire, and soon a few other people from the other cabins came out to sit around the fire and roast s’mores and share stories. We talked about where we were from, where we were going, and our adventures along the way. Pretty soon the stories turned into tall tales and urban legends and the sort of stuff you’d usually tell around a bonfire.
That’s when I spoke up. I loved stories, especially scary ones. And hey, we’re out west, we’re in Native American territory, why not liven the place up with my favorite Indian myth, the legend of the Skinwalkers.
Now, for those of you who don’t know, Skinwalkers are considered very evil, very dangerous beings. They were humans who gained the ability to take on the form of an animal by wearing its skin, usually through very dark and taboo magic. I knew all this, and told my story. Who doesn’t love a good ghost story?
Everyone seemed to be enjoying it. I admit I took some creative liberties with it, really just retelling an old werewolf story but with a skinwalker instead. I bullshitted a lot of the story, really, and added a few things that weren’t in the mythos at all. I gave our beloved frightening skinwalker wide, crazed eyes with pinpoints for pupils with a matching insane smile. I made the skinwalker horribly misshapen with swollen joints and arms that were too long and legs that were too short and a head that never sat straight on its shoulders. I made it as terrifying as I could imagine.
No one minded. They actually really liked it and a man from Kentucky admitted the visuals alone were enough to creep him out. Victory in my book, if you ask me. And once I was done everyone decided it was getting really late, our firewood was dwindling and it was as good a time as any to turn in for the night. We packed up our skewers and s’mores, doused the fire, and headed to our little shacks.
I tossed and turned a lot trying to fall asleep. Couldn’t get comfortable on that damn bed. A rock was probably cozier than that mattress. So against my better judgment, I got out of bed, and walked about the cabin. I reasoned that if I stayed up late enough, I would be so tired that I would fall asleep no matter what I was laying on. I think I briefly contemplated sleeping on the floor. I wasn’t that desperate yet.
It was pitch-black outside. No lights from any nearby street lamps, no car headlights, hell, not even the cabin lights were on. And I don’t remember seeing a single star. It was a bit creepy, but I shrugged off the shiver creeping up my back as simply the cold tile floor making me shake.
I did, however, find it odd there weren’t any lights on at all on the property. You’d think there’d be a floodlight on the horse stables or on the main office, but no, nothing. This was really weird. I stepped outside in my flimsy foam flip flops to get a better look. I could barely make out the ranch. And for some stupid fucking reason I decided to go walking around.
Eventually my eyes adjusted where I could see well enough to move around. I paced up and down the road where the cabins sat and circled around to the fenced in field where the horses were out grazing. Except there weren’t any horses. Probably in the stables for the night, I reasoned. I shivered again. It was getting awfully cold.
I turned right around to head back to my own cabin. It was stupid of me to be out all alone at an obscene hour, I had realized. I needed to get to bed.
But when I turned, there was something in the middle of the road. Its shape was swallowed up by the surrounding darkness; I could barely make it out. It was tall and thin. I shrugged it off as just a pole or something else and kept walking but then it moved.
I froze. My breath caught in my throat and I could barely breathe. I just imagined that, I said. I just imagined it, I’m freaking myself out, get your fucking head straight!
It moved again. My paralyzed throat managed to squeak out a pathetically weak whimper as my legs began to lose strength. I shivered violently against a cold that was building up inside of me.
My eyes began to focus on the impossibly dark figure standing against a barely visible sleet grey night. Now I could see it. It was … it was a person, but like nothing I had ever seen before.
Its arms were impossibly long. Its legs impossibly short. It had a torso far too long for its rail thin body and a head much too big for its stick neck.
Its right arm was sticking out to its side, swinging up and down. Its blockish head, rolled onto its left shoulder, jerkily twitched up and down, up and down. It didn’t move other than that, just stood there, twitching, arms jerking up and down, head lolling around its shoulder. I still stood there like the dumbfuck I was. My cabin was a few hundred yards behind that … thing. And I wasn’t so stupid as to try to walk past it. My only option was to go around, behind the cabins and the stables and hope it didn’t see me.
I forced myself to lift my foot off the ground to step backwards. My flipflop made a wet smacking sound as it flopped against my feet and I immediately froze in horror. The thing stopped too. It stood there perfectly straight, perfectly still, listening. I stayed as still as I could. My breath was shallow and panicked and I tried to force myself to slow my breathing before I started wheezing. My heart thundered in my chest, my whole body was shaking. But I didn’t move. Neither did it.
I began to slowly, so goddamn slowly, bend over and slipped my feet out of those fucking flip-flops. My feet touched the dirt and the crumbly gravel, but at least now I could move silently. I spared a quick glance to the side to see where I was going. Two cabins were immediately to my right. I could slip between them with ease, as there was no visible debris between them.
I only looked away for a second. When I turned back that fucking thing was gone. It was fucking gone, it fucking knew I was there, it was coming for me, oh fuck! Yet I still couldn’t fucking move! I was paralyzed, I couldn’t move no matter how loud my head screamed run run RUN YOU FUCK, RUN! I heard something behind me. I turned instinctively, even though I knew fucking better I still turned the fuck around!
I was greeted with two bulging eyes, oh fuck, its eyes! Staring at me unblinking with two black pinholes for pupils and an insane smile that was stretched far too wide to be anything remotely human.
My paralysis broke as I stared at that fucking thing. I ran, I fucking ran, crying my eyes out, trying to scream but a horrible lead weight in my throat silenced me. My feet pounded on the dirt, I stomped over anything in my way, I even impaled my foot on a sharp motherfucking rock, I didn’t fucking care I just fucking ran!
I felt the cold creeping up my back, oh god, that cold! It was sinking right into my bones and I couldn’t stop shaking or sobbing and I didn’t stop until I burst through the cabin doors and dead bolted the lock and leaped into my bed. I huddled under the blankets, hiding my head and there I gasped and shook for breath.
And I waited.
I didn’t sleep that entire night. I was too scared, I couldn’t get rid of that chill. All I thought about was that thing … standing there and twitching …
Morning finally broke and I finally allowed breath of relief. Whatever I had seen had not come for me, and now that it was light it couldn’t take me by surprise. Mom noticed my bleeding foot, and the blood I tracked through the cabin. I shrugged it off, said I cut myself the night before when we were making s’mores. I don’t think she believed me but she didn’t push it.
We left not long after that. And as we left I looked at the place where that thing once stood and I shuddered again. But there was nothing. I assured myself, there was nothing.
We said good-bye to the ranchers and to our companions, and I noticed the man from Kentucky who said had thoroughly enjoyed my story. He told me again how much he liked it. Said he was going to tell it to his own kids when he got home. They really liked scary stories, he said.
And as we drove away, his head rolled onto his left shoulder, and he smiled a wide, insane smile as he waved us good-bye …
When I was twelve, I came to the conclusion that everyone in the world, including my own family, was against me. I was never a problemed child, but my parents sure treated me like one.
For example, I used to need to be home by 5:00pm every day. This clearly restricted my amount of “play time” outdoors. I wasn’t allowed to have friends over to play at the house, nor was I allowed to go over anyone else’s. I had to finish homework directly after I came home from school, no matter how long it took. My parents refused to buy me video games and forced me to read books and then write a book report on them to prove I actually read it!
Now, even though those rules listed above were quite frustrating to me as a child, they aren’t what upset me most. What really hurt me was the lack of compassion on behalf of my parents. My mother was a bitter woman who always made me feel guilty of accidents or mistakes I’ve made. My father only knew one emotion: frustration. The only time he spoke to me was when he screamed at me for receiving poor test scores or beat me for misbehaving.
But enough about them, let’s talk about my school’s psychologist. For his own privacy, we will call him Dr. Tanner. Like most junior high schools, a psychologist is always available on campus during school hours to assist any students in need of counseling whether it is emotional, academic, social, behavioral, etc.
To be honest, I have never seen any students talking with Dr. Tanner. Every day, I would walk past his office on my way the cafeteria and peek through his door’s little window. He would always be alone in there, working on some paperwork.
I guessed that most kids were too afraid to speak about their problems to an adult who was practically a stranger. For this reason, it took me three weeks to muster enough courage to go into his office. March 2nd, 1993, was the day I decided to voice my troubles to Dr. Tanner. During lunch break, I stood in front of his office door and knocked.
Through the window, I could see him raise his head, smile, and motion for me to come in. I did.
He greeted me by introducing himself and asking for my name. Dr. Tanner was a very soft spoken man who seemed to radiate kindness. In less than thirty minutes, I rambled to Dr. Tanner about how mean my parents were to me and how they didn’t care about me at all. After a while, my voice began to quaver and I stopped speaking. The psychologist listened patiently to my whole spiel, arms folded and head nodding. I half expected him to begin talking about how everything I had just said was untrue and that my parents loved me dearly and blah blah blah. But he didn’t.
Dr. Tanner leaned towards me with a grin on his face and said “You know… I’m the best school psychologist in the world. I promise we will fix this.”
I rolled my eyes. “Okay, but how?” I asked.
“I have my ways!” he replied. “I’m a man of my word. I promise that within just one month, the relationship between you and your parents will change for the better. Forever.”
After a brief pause, he continued; “Although, I do need you to make me a promise.”
“You have to promise me that you’ll come back to my office after school tomorrow and that you won’t tell anyonethat we had this conversation today. It’ll be our little secret.”
The following day, I returned to Dr. Tanner after school. It was around 4:00pm when I entered his office. After a warm welcome, he asked me to have a seat in front of his desk once again.
Upon sitting down, I watched Dr. Tanner close the blinds of the door’s tiny window. “There,” he smiled, “now we have all the privacy we need!”
We began to talk about my likes and interests, my favorite subjects in school, my least favorite teachers, and things of the like. About an hour into the conversation, Dr. Tanner offered me a soft drink.
I gladly took the offer, considering my parents never allowed me to drink soda. Dr. Tanner reached over to his mini-fridge and fidgeted around before setting down two open cans of soda on the desk.
Afterwards, we continued to talk about what was going on in my life but it wasn’t long before I passed out from whatever drugs Dr. Tanner placed in my drink.
It took me a minute or so to adjust my blurred vision upon waking…
… And when it did, I had no idea what to think.
I was handcuffed to a bed and my mouth was sealed with duct tape. I immediately began to panic- squirming and tugging at the cuffs- but gave up soon after.
My eyes widened in disbelief after looking around the room. There were posters of superheroes pinned up along the walls and photographs of famous athletes on shelves. In the middle of the room was an old television and Super Nintendo, various game cartridges stacked alongside it.
I didn’t know what to think. Here I am in a room filled with items most kids would die to play with. I would have probably cried from joy hadn’t I been handcuffed to a bed frame.
My stomach sank once again as the door opened and Dr. Tanner walked inside. He sat down on the edge of the bed.
“Now listen,” he said, “remember that I’m here to help you and I would never hurt you, okay?” Dr. Tanner gently removed the tape from my mouth and then the cuffs from my hands.
My first instinct was to begin crying but something about Dr. Tanner made me feel safe. He smiled at me. “You’re going to be staying here for a while,” he continued, “and during this time, you’re allowed to play with any toys in this room while I’m here at home.”
“But when I leave the house, I’ll need to cuff one of your hands back to the bed. You can still watch the television, but I want you to only watch the news channels when I’m away.”
I sat in silence, still trying to process the information he had given me.
“So!” Dr. Tanner yipped, slapping me on the knee. “You go ahead and knock yourself out; I’ll be back when it’s time for dinner.”
He got up from the bed, walked across the room and clicked the TV’s power button before locking the door behind him.
Several more minutes passed before I realized that Dr. Tanner wasn’t joking. All that was left for me to do was boot up the Nintendo and play Mario until nightfall.
At about 7:00pm, Dr. Tanner returned to the room carrying two plates of mashed potatoes and chicken strips. I finally gathered up the courage to ask him how long I’d be staying in this room. “Well, about a month,” he replied, “give or take a few weeks. I just have some work I need to do.”
The following morning, I awoke to Dr. Tanner’s hand patting my head. “Hey bud, you don’t have to wake up right now if you don’t want, but I am going to need to put this back on,” he whispered, clamping the cold steel handcuff onto my wrist.
I gazed up at him. He was wearing a collared shirt and slacks, a coat draped over his shoulder and a suitcase at his side. He looked just how he always did when I saw him around school. Before leaving he placed the TV’s remote next to me and told me to turn it on and watch the news.
The first thing I saw upon turning it on was a “breaking news” segment. An important looking police officer stood at a podium surrounded by people with microphones. I happened to begin viewing half way through his speech.
“A statewide Amber Alert has been issued as of this morning. We have several investigators working towards identifying potential abductors, but as of right now there is not much evidence. Faculty members state that the boy had been last seen around four or five in the evening on-“
I began to feel nauseous as a photograph of me appeared on the screen. It was my yearbook picture from last year. Captions for the photograph displayed my name and age, my school, and my town. Above my picture were alternating titles: FBI BEGINS SEARCH FOR CHILD and KIDNAPPING SUSPECT UNKNOWN and POTENTIAL RUNAWAY.
The live footage continued and two figures I soon recognized as my mom and dad stepped up to the podium. Both appeared to have reddened eyes. Tears streamed down my mother’s face as she took hold of a microphone.
I’d never seen so much emotion come from my mother before as she wept on live television, stuttering on sentences such as “please return my baby back to me” and “I’m so sorry” and “please come home to us”.
When my father took the microphone, I nearly expected his attitude to be stone cold, but he too had tears in his eyes. He pleaded to the world to bring his son home safely and lastly begged for my forgiveness! “I know I haven’t been the best father, but goddamn it do I wish I had been now. Please bring my boy back.”
I turned the power off shortly after. My emotions were mixed for I had never once seen my father cry.
I felt miserable that my parents were being put through so much, but at the same time I felt relief. I now know how much mom and dad love me.
Nearly four weeks have passed and Dr. Tanner has been treating me with the utmost respect. He leaves me in the morning cuffed to the bed frame, but returns in the afternoon to eat lunch and dinner with me, talk, and play games. I never would have guessed how good Dr. Tanner was at Monopoly and Scrabble.
But one morning when Dr. Tanner woke me before heading off to work, I noticed a stern look on his face. I also realized that it was three hours earlier than when he usually wakes me.
“You need to watch the news today. No exceptions. I want you to keep the television on all day and pay close attention to it,” he stated grimly.
I, of course, complied and watched him exit the room.
About two hours later, a breaking news segment interrupted the toothpaste commercial I was watching. The title:
HUMAN REMNANTS FOUND
Two staunch looking men in suits stood aside one another and began speaking:
“We are displeased to bring up such unfortunate news this morning regarding our missing child case from earlier this month.”
One of the men bowed his head while the one speaking shuffled through some papers. He continued:
“Remains of a body have been found in a garbage bag beneath a highway overpass. The body appears to be that of a child, although not much of it is left. The body has been decapitated and much has been burnt to ash and bone.”
The screen shifted over to a helicopter view of the freeway, dozens of police cars gathered near the bottom of a tall overpass. The man’s voice could still be heard:
“Within the bag police found a junior high school identification card labeled as such.”
The screen showed the school ID card I always kept in my backpack. The plastic was sort of melted away, but my photograph and name were intact.
After the two men dismissed themselves, the camera panned over to my parents. They were sitting among reporters; my mother’s face held a painful grimace and my father sulked his head down at his knees.
I shut the television off.
Dr. Tanner returned home very late. He hurried into the room, unlocked my cuffs, and placed a bottle of fizzing water into my hand.
He placed his hands onto my shoulders and smiled.
“I made you a promise, didn’t I?”
I nodded, tears squeezing their way out my eyes.
“You need to make me a promise again,” he whispered.
He told me that I needed to drink all the water in the bottle- it would help me sleep- and that from here on, I am never to tell anyone that I ever met him. I promised.
“I told you I’m the best school psychologist in the world, didn’t I?”
And he was right.
I awoke later that night to find myself lying in the middle of a park, stars shining brilliantly across the night sky. I recognized the park; it wasn’t too far from my school.
A mile or so down the road, I saw my house. The lights were off inside, but I could make out my father sitting on the step leading to the front door.
I hesitantly called out to him. He lifted his head slowly, but when he saw it was me, he sprang to his feet, ran towards me arms open, yelling my name. My mother erupted from the house behind him.
Dr. Tanner was right. Things have changed with my family and I. My parents smile more often and treat me lovingly. I could not ask for a more perfect ending.
Every now and then, I see Dr. Tanner on campus- talking to and from his office. Rarely do we ever make eye contact, let alone speak to one another, but sometimes he’ll shoot me a wink and a smile.
I’ll always keep my promise to him and pretend I never met him, but there will always be one question forever floating in my mind: who did Dr. Tanner decapitate and throw off the overpass?
1. A few years ago, I was putting my friend’s daughter to bed for the night.
She was about 3 at the time, and she was fighting going to sleep. She asked me why she had to go to bed, and I said “Because it is late and it’s time for little girls to get a good night’s rest.” She then pointed at nothing across the room and said, “What about that little girl?”
2. Two years ago, I was looking through my elementary school yearbook with my 5 year old cousin…
When we came to a page with a 2nd grade class, she pointed to a boy’s photo and said, “That looks just like Nicolas!” When I asked who Nicolas was she just said “The boy in my closet,” and kept on looking through the pictures. I almost died.
3. Little kids know stuff, man.
My niece is 4 and talks about her “older sister” constantly. She is always talking to her too. She is an only child and has no idea her mother had a previous pregnancy a few years back that was a mid-term loss. Weirds me out something major.
4. I was heading to the bathroom on the second floor of my aunt’s house when I saw my cousin, April, on the stairs.
April was four and very animated. She was busy making funny faces while sitting on the stairs. I asked her what she was doing. She said, “I’m copying the lady with the braid.”
I looked around, there was no one else but us. I asked, “where is the lady, April?” She pointed to a beam running parallel to the stairwell.
I asked April, “what is the lady doing?”
She said, “Makin’ funny faces.”
I started walking up the stairs again when April said something that stopped me in my tracks.
“Her braids is around her neck.”
I turned back and asked April to repeat herself.
April pointed, “the lady is hanging by her braid… She’s making funny faces.” Then April started making a face which I then realize was it someone gasping for air.
5. I was looking after Jack (A five year old) who said a man named Jacob who dressed like a lumber jack was sitting next to me on the couch.
He must have seen the shock in my face, and said “Don’t worry, he doesn’t have any arms.”
6. My little nephew used to talk about a woman who would visit his room at night.
He said she wore a red dress, that her name was Frannie and that she would sing to him….and that she floats.
7. I watched a few kids while their parents were at a movie.
I put the youngest kid (4) to sleep and watched T.V. till the parents came home. The next day the parents called. According to the 4-year-old kid I stood in the doorway and stared at him for a very long time, smiling. I was so confused I didn’t know what to say.
8. My friend and I were babysitting her 4 year old cousin one night and she really believed in all that reincarnation stuff and decided to test out her theories on her little cousin.
She began asking him questions that he didn’t quite understand, but then stated it simply, “What were you before you were (kids name)?” He replied that he was a conductor and waved his hands in the motion that a conductor would. The problem with this was that this little boy was born blind.
9. A few years ago, I was babysitting a friend’s daughter.
They lived in an apartment with a big patio widow. She walked up to the glass door leading out to the patio and stared motionless into the night for several minutes. Shortly after, she runs into my arms saying, “Scary. Too scary.” She wouldn’t let me put her down and demanded that I hold her and rock her for the next half hour. Eventually she started repeating over and over: “The dark coming inside now. The dark coming inside now.”
10. After tucking him in he said: “You know, I never killed anybody. They didn’t have to take my arm. But the ground was all covered in blood.”
My theory: reincarnated WWI soldier?
11. I was cuddling my friend’s 3-year-old son and he said, very seriously, “I promise I won’t ever chew on your bones. I promise.”
12. I lost my boyfriend to a stray bullet a few months back and when I went to visit his little cousin a few days after it happened, he came up to me while I was crying.
He asked me why I was crying and so I told him that I missed my boyfriend. He gets this confused look on his face and then says “Why? He’s sitting on the front porch.”
13. I once babysat a girl called Sarah who used to love when I babysat.
I know this because her mom used to tell me how she always requested me over the others. But Sarah took it a step further one evening and said “When you die I want to put you in a glass jar so I can keep you and see you forever.”
14. Looking after my little cousin in Montana one night, and he started telling me about the ‘Creeper Man’ who lives in his mom and dad’s bedroom.
He brings it up after he visits them. I made the mistake once of asking what he looks like. He said “Oh, he doesn’t have a face.”
15. One night I was babysitting my friend’s children.
The youngest (about five years old) drew a picture of a woman hanging from the ceiling, looked up at me and said, “She told me to draw this. She’s coming for you. Hide.”
16. I was watching my neighbor’s three year old, and she looked up at me and asked: “When’s the baby going to come out of your tummy?”
I didn’t even know that I was pregnant yet.danoah.com
17. A toddler I was watching woke up in the middle of the night screaming about something under his bed.
I checked and told him, “Go back to bed, nothing is under there.” His reply? “He’s behind you now.”
18. I was watching a little girl playing with one of the dolls at the daycare center I work for.
She was dressing it, putting it to bed, etc. At one point she put the baby on the toy stove. I asked her what she was doing, “I’m burning the baby,” she replied.MokaFuzz on Reddit
19. I was blowing my nose in a tissue and a six-year-old asked me to see it.
"I promise I won’t eat it!" she said.
20. I was watching my nephew and I asked him what he was coloring.
"A skeleton making machine," was his response. A quick glance over his shoulder revealed that he was not making a skeleton-maker so much as he was designing a flesh removal machine, complete with rivets for channeling blood. CREEPY.
Seeing the people you’ve killed is a really good way to ruin a good night’s sleep. I just returned from Afghanistan not too long ago. Eight weeks to be exact.
You know what question I’m answering. Two men and a kid. In all honesty, it should have been four. When we were clearing a building I saw a pile of rags on the ground, I kicked it out of the way and with some meaty thuds the object rolled across the floor and began crying. The mother ran over and picked up her baby. The look in her eyes. I’ve seen the eyes of men who genuinely wanted to kill me. But her’s, her’s were ones that didn’t want me to die. They wanted me to suffer.
Contact left, two males.
I hear yelling in two different languages. All I heard in English was “drop the knife.”
All I heard in whatever language they speak were threats.
The knife was still in hand. Inhale. Two in the chest, one in the head. Exhale. Inhale. Two in the chest, one in the head. Exhale. We detain the mother. I walk over to examine the bodies. The man with the knife only had one in the chest. Where is the other round?
I look behind him. I see a kid. No more than twelve. Dead. Hole in his throat. I got the jugular. There was more blood than kid. In the kid’s hand was a sandy .38 caliber revolver. I still haven’t inhaled…
The night before was the last night I slept. Ever since that mission I had been under a lot of stressful investigations. People questioning if I saw the kid, jesus, if I AIMED for the kid.
Long story short, I’m clear. That’s all that matters right? I get to go home and enjoy my fat, American restaurants. I get to see my family. My pregnant wife. I get to look into her eyes. I wish there was a way I could see her eyes without her seeing mine. I don’t want her to see what I did. After eight weeks of no eye contact, there seems to be a strain on our relationship.
I glue my ass to the computer chair and let the room bathe in the blue computer light. My eyes hurt. I spend most of my time on Reddit, Youtube, Pornhub. I deleted my Facebook. Solitude and anonymity is the one thing I seek most now. After 89 hours of no sleep, my wife convinced me to go to the doctor.
A new drug. No-REM-No-Problem. I didn’t know if it was the motto or the drug, but the doctor assured me it’s a drug.
"Trust the name!" was the motto.
I started taking No-REM and this is where things start getting crazy. I pop two pills before dinner and I’m golden. I sleep like it was an olympic event. I constantly have the same dream and occasionally wake up in places I didn’t fall asleep. It became a party joke.
"Sometimes I’ll wake up and my husband will be asleep in the bathtub and sometimes he’ll just be lounging around in the garden next to the tool shed!"
Everyone laughs. But if I told them the dream that preludes it. No one would laugh. No one laughs at the slaughter of a twelve-year-old boy. The only problem with this No-REM is I can’t wake up. I HAVE to watch this dream. When it becomes too much, I wake up outside of my bed.
Eventually two pills stopped working. I had to upgrade to three. Then four. Then I started having the day dreams. I don’t mean I stared off into space or anything like that. I mean I was seeing shit. Sometimes I would hear the baby I kicked in the distance. Sometimes I would see the eyes of the mother when it got real dark. The one place I could never look, though, was the mirror.
I would see a much happier version of myself, grinning ear-to-ear. At first I thought it was actually me. I thought I was actually happy. But then I him… me, pull out a box-cutter and slash at the arms. When I looked down, there would be nothing. Other times I would brand myself. Sometimes I would cut a little bit of skin off and flush it down the toilet. My other self always told me to wear long sleeves. That he didn’t want anyone to see his scars. I listened to him.
For weeks I tried to stay out of a mirrors gaze until I saw my wife crying. She was looking at the mirror and she said he keeps cutting himself. I asked her who, but she didn’t hear me. I screamed it, still, she just kept staring into the mirror. I looked in with her, maybe she saw what I saw.
It was the same dopple-ganger. But, This time he was not smiling. He had a cartoonish frown on his face. One you would have to REALLY try to make. Before I knew it he was cutting her throat open with the same box- cutter. As soon as I saw the blood pour out I woke up in the garden next to the shed again. This medication was getting too out of hand. I got in my car and floored it to the hospital, halfway their I noticed I was in the same clothes I wore yesterday, which was strange because I always woke up in pajamas.
After rushing to the hospital and being extremely rude to people I convinced the doctor to see me right away. I tell him everything and the next words he spoke made my heart so audible in my head I would have thought it was behind my ears.
"John, you’re in the control group. No-REM should have had no effect on you because it’s sugar…"
My mouth was dry, I couldn’t even drizzle out a word. I looked down at my arms and instantly felt pain shooting up and down. I rolled up my sleeves and saw the brands. The cuts. The piece of skin I flushed away. I hear the doctor say something along the lines of “Oh, sweet Christ…”
I scramble for my phone and scroll down to my wife’s name. I try calling it. No answer.
Yes. In the shed.
That’s the answer to the question I know you want to ask.