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Sleepless

By DeadEndMikie All Rights Reserved ©

Horror

Chapter 1

...I have not slept in 8 days. Not a wink or a cat nap. My last attempt at sleep ended with me waking, screaming like a terrified child. And why not? That's how I feel. My wife Tabitha, bless her soul... I don't think she really believes me, but she is trying to help me work through this. She is the one that suggested that I write this down. She thinks that maybe relating my tale to people will make me feel better about it, but I don't think it will.

I suppose I should stop blabbering and just get into it. It was a little over a week ago. About 1 o'clock in the morning, I awoke with a start. I'm not sure what had caused it. Maybe a dream. Maybe just a cold chill from the late autumn breeze blowing in our window. Regardless of the reason, when I woke, I sat bolt upright and was wide awake in an instant. I looked around the bedroom to see if anyone else was awake, but my wife lay next to me as peaceful as ever I had seen her.

My next thought was to check on our 11 month old son, who has a tendancy to wake up around this time. I got up out of bed and headed for his bedroom, which was next to ours. I stuck my head in, and when I saw that he wasn't standing in his crib, I decided to enter the room in full. He is my pride and joy, and I've been known on occasion to watch him as he sleeps. Doing such often calms my nerves and improves my mood. So, I leaned on the edge of his crib and couldn't help but smile as he lay there snoring softly, every now and the smacking his lips as though sucking on a bottle not there.

After just a few minutes of this, I became drowsy again. I bent over the crib's railing and kissed his forehead, then left his room. Before I returned to bed, I walked into the kitchen and filled myself a bottle of water from the tap, took a long gulp, then topped the bottle off once more and capped it. I walked back to the bedroom, where my wife had rolled over to face my side of the bed. She was still out cold. I leaned over close, whispered an 'i love you' in her ear, the gave her a peck on the cheek. This is the last thing of normalcey to happen that night.

As I stood to head over to my side of the bed, I happened to look out the window. I first took the thing I saw across the street as a man. It stood more then 6 feet tall, and appeared to have two arms and two legs. I watched for a moment, realizing something was odd. Looking at him felt like a dream. I moved closer to the window to get a better view, but that didn't seem to work. He faded and fluctuated in my vision, the way that a book does in your dreams when you try to read something a second time to make sense of it. The more I tried to focus on looking at the thing, the more difficult it became to see it clearly.

Presently, a noise made me jump. I turned to see my wife yawning in her sleep and rolling over again. As I turned back, taking a deep breath, I caught the thing out the corner of my eye and saw it almost clearly. I turned to face it full, and it flickered again. Now I could see its vague form moving towards the old colonial style house across the way. On a whim, I turned my head slightly, and looked just to the right of the thing, and gasped as I saw it for what it was.

The thing was a sickly gray- green in color, and its skin seemed to be stretched tightly across muscle in some areas such as its arms and legs, but from its torso and chin, the flesh sagged as if no meat at all was holding it to the body. Its face was something from my own worst nightmares... parting the center of its head was a mouth, running from where would be human ear to human ear, was a smiling set of jagged, uneven teeth. The smile was completely without comfort... it was one of sick pleasure and malice. As for eyes, it had none to speak of. Although, it did look back and forth as though checking to make sure no one was watching. Its arms were horribly thin, like that of a starved man, and they ended in hands with 4 clawed digits. It didn't appear to have any thumbs. Its legs and feet, however, seemed almost human, if grossly emaciated.

I shuddered, and drew in a sharp breath. I turned to face it again, and I lost sight of it almost altogether. I could make out a vague shadow walking along the walkway to the neighbors house. Then it leaped to the wall and crawled to the window that I knew was the McKeson's bedroom. Then the most terrifying thing of all happened.

The creature, in all its unearthly joy, turned and looked at me. Though it had no eyes, it looked directly into mine, and if it is possible, its smile grew wider. My initial instinct was to hide behind the wall, to look away and hope that it hadn't seen me. But I couldn't move. I was paralyzed by fear. I have never been so scared in my life. Presently, it turned away from me and crawled THROUGH the glass window. It didn't break the glass, but seemed to slip through it like ghosts are said to do in many stories. I turned my head slightly to see what I could, to tell what it was doing in there. I wished immediately that I hadn't.

It stood over what could only be the bed of my neighbor, and I saw it reach its monstrous hand out with one clawed finger extended. I can only assume that he had touched Mrs. McKeson, for the sound of a terribly, agony- wracked scream met my ears. The bedroom light turned on, and the creature vanished from my view. I snapped my head forward and saw Mr. McKesson standing over what I presume was his wife, obviously in tears, apparently shaking her.

Something touched my shoulder, and my paralysis broke. I turned and screamed like a child only to find my wife standing there, now pale as a ghost and taking a step back from me. I caught my breath and grabbed my chest. My heart was beating so hard that I felt it would explode where I stood. My shriek woke the baby. My son began to wail in fear and surprise. My wife, both terrified at me, an apparently also angered that I had woken our son, stormed out of the room and into his. I turned to the scene outside of my window and saw Mr. McKeson on the phone. I squinted to see if the creature was in his room still, but to no avail.

I noticed that my vision was getting slightly foggy... I had been so intent on looking across the way that I had drifted to the window, and my breath was now steaming it up. I wiped the moisture away, and happened to glance across the street. Mr. McKeson was staring at me. The sight startled me for some reason. The phone was still in his hand, and to his head, but his jaw was dropped open. I could clearly see the tears standing out on his cheeks, but his depression was momentarily forgotten as he stared into my eyes. I stepped back an inch, and screamed again.

The thing was outside my window, grinning its God awful grin. Though it had no eyes, I know it was staring at me. It raised one of its hands, pointed at me, then its smile widened again, showing me its full set of jagged, yellowing teeth. I cringed, but could not look away. Then, of all the curious things, it waved at me, then jumped from my wall and vanished. I looked across the way to see if Mr. McKeson was still looking at me... or, rather, at the thing that had been in front of me. He rubbed his eyes with one hand, shook his head a bit, then began once again to cry as he turned away.

My wife then re-entered the room with a now silent babe in her arms. She stood just inside the doorway, across the room from me and the window. Even in my terror, I could tell that she was furious. I couldn't help it. I smiled. And then I chuckled a bit. I couldn't stop. I started to laugh. I fell against the wall and slid down to the floor, and I lost it. I began to sob, in between fits of outrageous laughter. Of course, this again woke up my boy, but mercifully, he didn't start to cry. I don't know how long I sat there for, though it must have only been for a few minutes.

When I finally gathered myself, my wife and child were nowhere to be found in the house. I had scared her off. Although my sobs had stopped, the tears still came. And I found that my crotch was cold and damp. Apparently, at some point, either during the fear or laughter, I had lost control of my bladder and drenched myself.

I could not sleep for the rest of the night... when the realization that I had terrified my beloved wife to the point that she left the house in her night dress with our son and nothing else, I fell into despair. I once again began to sob. Between bouts of being terrified that the creature was still watching me and hysterics over my wife, I glanced up to see the ambulance pull up to my neighbors house. Shortly after, I caught sight of the EMT's wheeling a gurny out with a white cloth over it, with little roses of blood showing from a few spots where the head was. Mr. McKeson was following the body at a slight distance, arms crossed, tears still rolling down his face. He never glanced in my direction.

After a while, probably about 2 or 3 hours, I became exhausted. I decided to lay down and try to sleep through some of this awful night. Already my brain was making up stories about the thing I saw. My over active imagination, a waking nightmare... things you think you see in the middle of the night. Eventually, I did nod off. Before I dropped into sleep, the clock read 4:14.

I remember the dream so well, so clearly... it was more realistic then seeing the creature on the street. I saw myself lying in bed. Not from above like the out of body experience stories you hear about, but I was standing at the foot of the bed. I smiled. I looked so peaceful. I bent over my body to get a better look, and smiled even wider, as I realized my wife was beside me. Maybe things weren't so bad after all. I saw a little bulge in the bed, and knew it had to be my son, snuggled up against me. I reached for the cover, intending to pull it back and see my handsome little man, but froze midway. In my dream, I was wracked with terror as I looked at my hand with 4 clawed fingers on it, the gray- green of the creatures.

I turned to look at the window, in expectation to see an image of the horrible thing looking back at me. But there was none. The vision returned to me as myself. I raised my clawed hand, waved it in front of the window, and my reflection waved back with my own human hand, thumb and all. Confused, I looked at my clawed hand, then back at the bed where I was grinning... horribly. I took a step back away from the bed, but it was no good. I jumped out of the bed directly at the creature whose body I was watching from. I saw my mouth open wide, revealing the awful fangs, and I felt them close around my head.

I woke up screaming again, my heart again racing, tears streaming down my face, and a wet spot on the bed where I had once again soiled myself. This time I could not control myself until the sun was far above the horizon. When I finally calmed a bit, I heard the phone ringing. I realize now, thinking back, that the phone had been ringing for a while. I collected myself enough to go and answer the phone, and it was my wife. Her voice hit me like a punch in the gut. She had asked me what had happened last night to cause me to act as I had. I hastily explained EVERYTHING, from me waking up, to seeing the creature, to having a mental breakdown when I realized she had left me to my madness. She didn't believe me.

At first, I insisted that it was the truth. I didn't see her that day, and after our first phone call, she wouldn't talk to me. I tried to sleep that night, but the vision of the creature and the events of the previous night haunted me. I couldn't close my eyes for longer then a blink without seeing the thing. The next day, when my wife once again called me (thank whatever gods that be that she loved me enough to call again), I tried to remain calm, telling her that I think I may have gone a little crazy, and I was sorry, and that I loved her more then anything on earth save for our son.

That afternoon, she took me to the doctors, and he prescribed some drugs to help me sleep, and hopefully to calm my mind. They didn't work.

So, here I sit... eight days and nights after that incident, still not a bit of sleep, still horrified out of my wits at this thing that I think I saw, and can't stop seeing in my mind. If you are wondering, Mrs. McKeson was pronounced dead at the scene, apparently of some massive brain hemorrhage. But, I've never heard of anyone dying that way that screamed the way that she did.

As I sit here writing this, it is getting late. Almost two in the morning. These are the hours that are the worst, because I can't fall asleep to get away from my fears, for trying to sleep only makes them worse. My computer is right near the window in the bedroom, where I can look out and see the McKeson household. Mr. McKeson is awake right now, in his bedroom, sitting on the bed. I can see his brown hair and his little bald spot. He is still sobbing over the loss of his wife. I can see his shoulders heaving with each sharp breath he takes. My wife, while she does support me in this, refuses to stay in the house with me at night... she says that I still scare her too much to sleep next to me. My son, dreadfully, cries every time I've tried to hold him in my arms. I can only hope this will pass soon. I don't think I can bare to live without them long.

And, I think you may find it funny to know that I just spooked myself... I raised my hand just a little, and the computers light on my arm, reflected in the window just made me almost jump from my skin. I've totally lost it, haven't I? Wait... God... the arm in the window is still raised... oh, God, please help...

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