I am really messed up.
I figure I always have been, to an extent, ever since I found out I had Dyslexia when I was 10 years old. My A’s were upside down, my words were jumbled, my B’s were backwards and I couldn't read a sentence to save my life.
And then I found out that I had Scoliosis not long after, which as I grew taller, made my torso lean awkwardly to the right. I also had to, and still have to, wear a rather embarrassing back-brace every night that would surely scare anybody willing to be my friend off. Good thing that I didn’t have to worry about that.
But that’s not why I’m so messed up.
I’m mostly messed up, because one night, at around two-thirty a.m., I woke with a start and a strange feeling. The only light that illuminated my room was the grainy moonlight that seeped through the slits of my blinds.
A man was standing across my room, his back facing me and his features too dark to decipher.
Only the mysterious man was not only standing there- he was slamming his head into my wall. His neck was arching, bending, and snapping forward at full-force in the most horrifying motion. His forehead repeatedly bashed against the dark blue drywall.
The sound was even worse. I could hear the wall cracking beneath the power of the man’s thrusting head so clearly, so loud that it echoed and practically shook the small house. A low, monotonous groan emitted from him as well. It seemed as if he didn’t even stop to take a breath- his voice was a flat and dull, continuous line.
My eyes were as wide as saucers as I took in the sight in front of me. My thoughts were swarming and my face was drenched with cold sweat, as all I could do was blink.
I tried so desperately to scream or make any type of noise, but my voice was trapped in my throat. When I tried to jolt up, my body seemed to be forced down with imaginary weights piled on top of my chest. The invisible weights also seemed to restrict my breathing, making my lungs tight and compact.
I could only watch.
The strange man stopped and stared at the wall for a few seconds, his back still facing me. The man had stopped groaning, and the room fell completely silent. It was almost deafening.
My chest was moving up and down rapidly. I could hear my own frantic breath but I couldn’t seem to form a coherent sound no matter how hard I tried.
I could only stare at the back of the mysterious man’s head; all that I could see was the short length of the man’s hair and the large jacket he was wearing. The silhouette behind him stretched and faded across the empty wall where he stood before me.
The only sound that filled the room at that moment was my breathing, and my whispered, heaving attempts to speak or cry.
When the mn finally turned to me, I would have screamed so loud if I could have.
The strange man’s forehead was completely mangled. The flesh was falling off, skin hanging from his face and beneath it, inky blood seeped down the dip of his nose, lips, and neck at a slow pace. His eyes were wide, his pupils were small and locked on me.
he reached up and peeled the skin of his mouth off, revealing the bloody insides beneath it as well. All I could see was the strange man’s two rows of rotted teeth.
I would have thrown up if I was capable of doing anything but staring.
When he stepped closer to me, a rush of overwhelming terror melted through and shook my body so vigorously I could practically hear my bones rattling beneath the sensation. I wanted to run; I wanted to pick up my old, metal baseball bat from the ground and slam it in the man’s head to make sure his face wasn’t the only part of him gushing blood.
“Sweet boy,” the nearly faceless man said suddenly, his teeth parting and his jaw gliding to the side and up as he spoke the dangerously menacing words. His vein threated fingers stroked his neck, which was coated with dark liquid. “Goodnight.”
My breath quivered when the man began to move. But I was thankful to find that he was only moving into the darkest corner of the room, blending into it and becoming nothing but a shadow spread along the wall.
You can imagine how relieved I was when I finally woke up to my mother standing in the doorway.
The blaring sunlight brightened my bedroom. Birds chirped outside my window, the numbers on my alarm clock blared with the time six-twenty a.m., no man was standing there, and I could move.
“What’s wrong, Ethan?” My mother asked. Her light blue eyes were wide with concern, eyeing me as she held a laundry basket tighter to the front of her stomach. “You look pale. Do you feel alright?”
I was still breathless and shaken up, the pit of my stomach pulsing with nausea. My head pounded and ached across the top, an agonizing pressure thumping beneath my eyelids.
“I’m fine,” my voice came out too hoarse to be understood. I swallowed, shaking my head quickly. “I mean, I’m fine.”
“Okay, come out for-” her words stopped as she stared at the wall.
“What?” I asked, my heart jumping with fear at the look embedded in her stare.
“What’s that? Ethan?” she asked, and I glanced over to find that a small area of my wall was entirely demolished. Dried crimson littered the edges of the cracked drywall as well as dripped down the length of the maroon-permeated fissure, all the way to the floor.
My throat went dry and my body was drawn with horror. “I, I don’t...”
“Ethan,” she stressed, her voice holding a mixture of anger and worry. She dropped the laundry basket on the ground and worriedly rushed towards the wall. “That’s blood! Oh, God... did you punch this?”
I looked around slowly, moving o my bed.
“Ethan, did you punch the wall?” she repeated, her bony finger reaching up to trace along the bloodied crevices before she decided against touching it.
My mind was too foggy to answer her question. My heart was racing a mile a minute in my chest - it was all I could hear at that moment. I looked desperately around the room - there was no way it was real. Right? Was the guy there?
“Ethan, answer me right now!” she practically screamed, and I ran my hands over my face. I wondered for a quick second if I was still dreaming, but I knew I wasn’t. This was real.
“Jesus, Mom! Yeah, I did,” I lied, still looking around to see if that guy was anywhere to be found. My eyes landed on his closet and my stomach twisted instantly. If that man was in there...
“Why?” she cried out. “Are you okay? Is your hand alright? Ethan?”
I pushed past her towards my closet, grabbing my baseball bat in the process.
“Ethan, would you just answer me? What the hell are you-”
I held the metal baseball bat beside my leg, walking slowly up to the closet door. My heart was racing, slamming so hard against my rib cage that my chest began to ache along with everything else.
“Stay back, Mom,” I begged her quietly, my fingers wrapping around the cold doorknob. I slowly lied the silver weapon beside my head.
I swung the door open, the weapon instinctively striking down on nothing but a clothing rack that collapsed beneath the bulky part of the bat.
“Ethan!” My mother rushed over to me and ripped the baseball bat from my grip, slamming the closet door shut. “What the hell is wrong with you?”
My head hurts so much, I almost threw up right there. “I don’t know,” I spoke quietly.
She stared at me with suspicion laced in her gaze for several minutes before dropping the bat onto the carpet next to my nightstand. Her lips pulled into a line before her cold hand reached up and touched the side of my cheek. I flinched away from her.
“I’m fine,” I assured her.
Her eyes wouldn’t leave mine. “Just... get ready for school.”
I took a deep breath, exhaling heavily as she left my room. I was still paranoid though, I even knelt down and checked under my bed, my fingers feeling for the bat only a few inches away just in case. But there was nothing there.
Breathlessly, I stepped over to a mirror and looked at myself, taking in my tall and crooked figure.
The pain that radiated through my forehead was growing increasingly unbearable by the second. Instinctively, I rubbed the painful area.
I recoiled instantly and sucked air through my teeth when a shock of pain spread across the front of my skull.
When I pulled my fingers away and held them out, blood coated them.
“What...” I furrowed my eyebrows, sweat collecting on my skin as anxiety heated my body.
I leaned closer to the mirror, lifting the dark hair that covered my forehead up to reveal a long, open wound, which tore across my flesh in the most gruesome way.