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The People

By Jashworth All Rights Reserved ©


The People

He sat there in his warm bed. The pure white cover had been pulled up to his nose. He peeked over the edge into the darkness. The dream had become so regular that it almost didn’t bother him anymore. Something was different about tonight. This time when she was done she didn’t leave.

Jason watched from just above his covers. His whole body shook in fear. Strained whimpers escaped his lips with every short breath. He always felt drained after she came to him. Normally immediately falling into a deep sleep. It had been years since the first time Jason had seen the woman.

Jason was just fifteen the first time she came. He could remember it clearly because it was almost the exact same every time. He opened his eyes to the darkness of night. Jason had never been scared of the dark before but that night terror crept through his entire body. He laid still looking into the dark room. He looked around the dark room looking for anything that might have woke him.

His room was pretty standard for a teenage boy. There was a small hand me down wooden dresser and desk against one
wall and his bed against another. On the other side of the room was his closet. The door slightly ajar. He started to think to himself “There’s someone in there.” He had never thought that before and he was way too old to believe in the boogeyman but something in his body said that he should be nervous.

His Attention on high alert he listened closely for any movement but there was nothing. Actually now that he was listening he realized there was no sound at all. Normally he could hear his parents TV from down the hall. His father stayed up late every night watching Jimmy Fallon. His gaze shifted to the window next to his bed. The dim light from the moon filtering through the trees spilled across his carpeted floor. The rain ran down his window, dripping from the nearby trees yet there was no sound to be heard.

His heart thudded so hard he could feel it moving his chest. A cold sweat formed on his brow. Trying to reach up and wipe his brow he realized he couldn’t move his arm. He tried to sit up but couldn’t move at all. Straining with every muscle in his body, he couldn’t even lift a finger. He felt the panic setting in. He didn’t know what to do. It seemed like his body had forsaken him.

A light flickered on in the hallway. He tried to yell out to his parents. His mouth opened and stretched wide but no sound came out. Pain shot through his throat and he felt the blood rush to his face. No sound escaped his mouth no matter how hard he screamed. He looked around the room in a state of panic he had never felt. Expecting to see something or someone coming
at him out of the darkness. There was nothing. A shadow broke the light that was pouring in from under his door.

A sense of relief washed over him. His father must have heard him screaming after all. Jason’s body relaxed as the door knob turned and the door opened slowly. Again he tried to raise his body. The light from the hall spread through the room. The
light was muted as though it were straining to be visible through a thick mist.

His eyes adjusted slowly to the new light. He blinked fast and hard trying to get them to adjust. Tears began to form at the corners of his eyes. As the room came back into focus
he saw a dark silhouette standing in the doorway. It was a short, petite figure. Jason couldn’t make out any features just a
darkness that seemed deeper than it should. The figure didn’t move at all. The panic flooded back into his body. He didn’t know who this person was. The figure stood there as still as a statue as Jason did everything he could to get out of the bed and run.

Still he couldn’t move at all. The dark figure stood there for what seemed like hours. Jason’s mind was blinded by panic.
There were a thousand thoughts shooting through his mind, “Who is that at the door, is there something else in here with me, why can’t I move?” His head throbbed like it was being crushed between two boulders. He was unable to break away from staring at the figure in the doorway. It demanded all of his attention.

It began to move forward into the room. It wasn’t walking but gliding about an inch above the carpet. Jason tried to look away but his eyes were locked onto the figure as it got closer. At least if it got close enough he could see who it was that was terrorizing him.

As the figure got closer the hope of recognizing the person faded. The silhouette stayed just that, solid and black like a shadow. It moved up the side of the bed gently brushing its dark fingers over the cover. Another wave of panic flashed over Jason. Again all of the muscles in his body tensed to no avail. He could feel that something was about to happen. In a flash the shadow was on top of him. Pain shot through every inch of his body. It felt
like he was being torn apart from the inside. The figure was jamming its hands into his chest.

He could tell the entire bed was shaking violently back and forth yet there was still no sound. He could concentrate on nothing but the intense pain as it racked his body. He wanted to scream but still couldn’t make a single whimper come out.

Tears flowed down his cheeks as this thing attacked him. The room spun and then a loud piercing shriek filled his head. It was so high pitched he thought his eardrums would burst. A final surge of pain rolled from his toes to his head. The sound
increased to the point that he thought he may lose his mind before it was all over.

The pain released its hold. He caught a glimpse of the shadow as it raised from his body and began to move toward the closet. It seemed to reach back and wave just before everything went dark.

When he woke up in the morning he was tucked neatly into his bed just as he was when he fell asleep. The whole night was a little blurry but he could remember enough to know something happened. Goosebumps raised on his flesh as he remember not being able to move but when he tried to lift his hand it moved without any trouble. He pulled the sheets back and sat up not seeing anything out of place. His body and sheets were soaked
with a cold sweat as though it was a hundred degrees in his room. The sun filled room looked exactly as it did every morning. He assumed his parents had forgotten to turn on the air and the heat made him have the horrible dream.

The rest of that day and the following week went by without any trouble and the whole thing slipped out of his memory. Everything seemed to be going back to normal. Then his eyes shot open in the darkness of his room. Again he was frozen, deaf, and mute. And again the shadow figure was there in his doorway. Once again it moved from the doorway and the entire thing repeated.

After that second visit he found it harder and harder to shake this feeling that something was in the dark of every shadow he saw. Every time he went to bed the last thought before slipping away was “Is it coming back tonight?” The figure came back at complete random, he never knew what day or time it would happen. He always woke up the next day tucked in and feeling like it was all just a bad dream.

He got used to the visits as the years went by and oddly almost missed them on the rare occasion that she wouldn’t show up for a couple weeks. It was still terrifying when it happened, but he was able to shake it in the morning quickly. There was a strange connection between them. Twice he tried to tell his parents about it but they blamed it on an overactive imagination and hormones.

Tonight was different though. Jason went to bed
with an uneasy feeling. There were knots in his stomach and he was sure he was getting sick. Almost as soon as he closed his eyes he heard a creaking sound coming from his closet. He rolled over and looked toward the closet. Just as his eyes landed on the partially opened door he saw a shadow in the shape of a hand pull back into the darkness of the closet. The room was pitch black, but that shadow looked infinitely darker than the room.

His breath caught in his throat and he broke out in a sweat. The door looked like it opened a little more and Jason rolled back over. He thought it might leave him alone if he was asleep. The door creaked again and something in the shape of a person slid out along the wall like an inky black mess. Two more followed closely behind. His body trembled. Everything went still not because he stopped trembling but because his body froze in place. The only difference this time was that he was not alone in the room. There were at least three shadow people standing in the corner watching him.

The light in the hall came on and the door swung open quickly this time. The small figure that he had become accustomed to was standing there. It glided across the floor, the same way it
did every night. It mounted him and the pain, just as bad as ever, shot back through his body.

He silently screamed into the night, wishing he could get the thing off of him but secretly enjoying the closeness at the same time. It felt like his skin was shredding as it reached into him. Something unexpected happened. The shadow came down close to his face, almost touching it. He could almost make out feminine features, the pain subsided and his muscles loosened. There was a feeling of release, and then it was over. No shrieking, no black out, the figure was suddenly standing next to the bed and appeared to be holding his hand.

When he realized he willed his body to pull away from her and it worked. He was shocked that he was able to move. The figure glided effortlessly back across the room to the corner were the other three had been watching. Jason grabbed the covers and pulled them all the way up to his eyes.

He was eighteen now and had been having these experiences for three years. Every night the story was the same, things never changed. This time was completely different, she didn’t leave. He was still sweating and small noises snuck out of his mouth between breaths. Then he heard them.

They had begun talking. At first he couldn’t understand them. It wasn’t that they were to quiet but that it didn’t sound like any language he had ever heard before. It came through as hisses and
pops. The longer it went on the more clear it became. The hisses and pops faded into words. They were talking
about him.

He heard them say “Did it work?” and thought to himself “What the hell are they talking about.” As soon as the thought crossed his mind the figures turned and faced him. It was as though they had heard him. They stood motionless, waiting for something. Jason felt drawn to them. He pulled the covers back and climbed out of bed. He stood up feeling very light headed. It felt like the world was a in a fog, there was a ripple running through everything.

He started to step toward them, but when he did he felt a hand close around his wrist. He froze there for a second and turned his head slowly toward whatever was holding him. Shock spread through him as he realized that it was his own hand wrapped around his wrist.

Where the other him was holding onto him he could see that his skin had started to fade into a deep black. He looked at
himself sitting upright in the bed, drenched in sweat and shaking all over. He looked into his own eyes and saw an amazing pain. He watched as the other him mouthed silently “Don’t go, Im not ready.” He felt incredibly at ease as he pulled his now solid black wrist from the others grasp.

As soon as he was loose of the other him, he heard a loud whooshing sound and the three figures that had been in the corner shot around him and covered the body of the other, more solid him. The deep blackness of their bodies completely blocked out his teenage body lying on the bed.

While he was watching he didn’t notice the feminine figure slide up beside him. He felt her hand clasp around his and he turned his head to look at her. The blackness melted away from her face revealing a beautiful young woman with perfect brunette hair and natural highlights. She was stunningly gorgeous and he instantly forgot about what was happening on the bed. He forgot about
the eighteen year old boy who would never see another day, about the parents of the boy who would suffer this loss.

He was finally where he was supposed to be. They had come for him and found him. The feminine figure leaned in and kissed Jason gently on the lips. She smiled and turned toward the closet. He watched as she began to glide across the floor toward the slightly open door. She turned back around and reached out to him, beckoning him to follow her.

He took a deep breath and smelled nothing but fresh, clean air. A light came on, as bright as the sun, inside of the closet. The light sifted out through the cracks around the door and poured into the dark room. With one final look over his shoulder he could see the black tangle of the creatures writhing on the bed. It had no effect on him at all and he started drifting toward the closet.

He followed her inside and the door swung shut behind them. Jason was gone forever. The next morning when the light broke into the room through the window, no one stirred in Jason’s bed. The birds outside of the window chirped and children played in the yard next door. The world went on as though everything was right.

Jason’s mother had just finished laundry and was headed upstairs with the basket. She stopped at his door and set the basket down. “Jason! Why are you still in bed? Get up sleepy head!” She shoved the door open, picked up the basket and went
into the room. She continued to talk to him as she put away the clothes. She rambled on about Susan from work and how she thinks the kids next door knocked over their mailbox.

After she finished putting away the freshly cleaned laundry she skipped over to the bed and Jason’s neatly tucked in body.
She plopped down on the bed laughing “Wake up silly! I know you can hear me.” She grabbed the covers and yanked them back quickly and then fell to the floor in shock.

Jason’s head rolled off of the bed onto the floor next to her. He had a huge smile on his face. Beneath the covers was a mass of blood and ground up meat. For a split second she thought she saw a darker spot beneath the bed in the shape of a person looking out. She screamed as loud and hard as she could and then passed out.


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