It’s been six weeks now. I try to leave the lights on whenever possible, and that usually ends up being all night since there isn’t anybody left to ask me to turn them off. They all said that I was crazy; they couldn’t live with me and my deranged rituals coupled with my constantly panicked demeanor.
It started across the street. If I was sitting outside, I could see it standing there, staring at me. That’s all that it would do. It was hard to make out the specific details and features that its warped, gray face comprised of. At first, I thought that it was just some neighborhood punk in an old Halloween mask trying to scare me; its cartoonishly large teeth and crooked smile paired with tiny, pupil-less eyes seemed far too cliché for it to be anything other than some bored teenager’s prank.
It stayed out there all day and all night, but nobody else ever seemed to notice. Kids would run right in front of it without hesitating for so much as a second, and people that drove by never stopped or slowed down. I was the only person that could see it staring in through my windows day and night from the other side of the narrow road that separated the houses on the opposite sides of the street.
I started to lose sleep. I spent my nights crouched on the carpet, watching it. It never did anything; it never moved or twitched or so much as blinked from what I could see from the safety of my bedroom. Despite the fact that I- not once in my countless days and nights of observing it- witnessed any sign that this thing was even capable of doing anything, it seemed to get progressively closer every day. I didn’t notice until it had somehow made its way into the middle of the street. Still, not once did anyone stop. Drivers seemed to instead go around it, whether they realized it or not, and continue on their merry way, never looking back.
For a while, it stood outside my bedroom window. I still don’t have a clue as to how it managed to climb up onto my balcony without me noticing, but it was there when I went to put away my freshly dried laundry. That was the first time I really got a good look at it, and I still can’t get the image out of my mind. Every day of my life, I regret approaching that window.
Not only was this thing’s skin gray, but it was dry and cracked, and dark, nearly black blood seeped from fresh wounds surrounding its mouth and scaring its hands. The hot fluid seeped down the creature’s mutilated face and ran into its gaping, smiling maw, staining its already yellowed teeth. Each one was approximately the size of my index finger and came to a point like the end of a needle. These daggers were crammed and twisted into a mouth far too large for its head that appeared to constantly be open. Its jaw was crooked and looked as though it had been broken in several places, but it didn’t seem to notice as it exhaled its hot, sticky breath onto my window.
I could forget all of that. I’ve seen monsters again and again in horror movies and read about them in scary stories, but I can’t forget its eyes. There was no iris or pupil that I could see; each of its eyes was entirely white, and yet within them I saw the most evil, wicked things, things that I could never begin to describe. I thought it was blind at first, but how could it be when I could feel it staring into my soul as I stared back into its own. I’m convinced that, as I stood there, face to face with this monster for the first time, its smile grew wider as I looked into this thing’s mind and, for the first time, I realized how truly lonely and pathetic my existence is.
It stood there for days, unblinking, unmoving, only breathing onto the glass in front of its face. I think the window began to erode, but I was never sure. I stopped going into my own bedroom for fear of what could happen. It became impossible for me to sleep in my bed knowing what was lurking outside just a few feet away, so I was forced to spend my nights on the couch. It wasn’t too bad after a while, and I even grew used to the change. I thought that everything was going to be fine just as long as I stayed out of my room and it stayed outside. When I sneaked back upstairs to quickly retrieve an old sweater, I realized how wrong I was.
I don’t know how long that window had been empty. I avoided looking at the window for the short time I needed to be in my room; I couldn’t bare the sight of that demon’s face. Something had felt different, wrong almost, so despite my better judgement, I looked anyway, and I saw green grass and clear skies. It wasn’t there. Relief washed over me as I fell to my knees. I was free, it had left. But my celebration was short lived. As I glanced again at the window, I noticed one thing that was not how I’d left it days ago. The window was open. That thing hadn’t left; it was inside my house.
Wherever it had hidden, it had hidden well. Not only did I not realize that it had gotten in and was lurking somewhere right under my nose, but I had no idea just how long it had been since the bastard slithered in and made itself at home. How long had I been in danger?
I don’t go into the basement anymore. Unless the door is shut and locked, I won’t even pass by. I’ve replaced the doorknob with one that locks and I installed two deadbolts and a chain lock. These precautions aren’t in place to keep it in- one door with a few locks isn’t going to stop that thing- they’re to keep everyone else out. I don’t have any idea what would happen if someone were to go down there and come face to face with the monster living down there, and I don’t think that I ever want to find out.
It doesn’t stay down there. I check on the basement door every morning, and each time everything is unlocked and the door is wide open. Several times I’ve woken up in the middle of the night paralyzed with fear as I catch the sound of it breathing just behind me.
I don’t know how much time it’s going to spend quietly waiting behind the basement door, but I don’t think it’s going to be patient for a great deal longer.