The Smiling Man
“I saw him .”
“I know I did.”
“No one believes me, not my parents nor any of my friends, but I’m not crazy. I know what I saw!”
The therapist peered inquisitively at the young teenager sitting across from her. His parents had brought him to her a week ago, claiming that their son was having nightmares and delusions. They said that he had stopped eating or sleeping, and kept ranting about a creature he saw in the corner of his room.
“So Billy, Will you tell me more about this..” She gave a quick glance at her notebook, “Smiling man?”
The boy tensed up instantly as he heard the last two words, his whole body started shaking, like a frightened animal. He started scratching both of his arms with his fingers, like a junkie who hasn’t had their fix in awhile.
Seeing this ,Linda got alarmed and got up from her chair and walked over to the boy and put a comforting hand on his shoulder, “It’s Alright, Billy. I should have given you more warning before speaking, I apologize.” Slowly but surely his body stopped shaking and he put his hands on his lap.
“I-I’m sorry Dr.Mckinley, whenever I think about..it, my body just reacts, I can’t help it.” Tears filled the young boy’s eyes as he put his head down and stared at his hands, trying to prevent the tears from falling out of his eyes. Pity filled Linda’s heart as she was suddenly and painfully aware of how young, and frail, this young boy was. She reluctantly took her hand off his shoulder and made her way back to her chair.
“It’s ok, Billy. It’s only natural to react that way after what you saw, everyone reacts to fear in their own way. You can take all the time in the world to talk, if you want. I am not here to force you to do anything. I also want you to feel comfortable with me, so call me Linda, that’s the name my mother gave me.” Linda shot a warm smile at Billy, and was pleasantly surprised when he returned it with a small grin.
“Thank you...Linda, I can describe it, I just need a few minutes to calm down and think.
Billy slowly lifted his head and sat up straight, closed his eyes and took a handful of small breaths before opening his mouth to speak.
“I first saw it 3 weeks and 4 days ago. I had gone to bed but suddenly woke up in the middle of the night, around 1 am. I don’t know why but it felt as if the temperature in my room had dropped 30 degrees. I figured my window was open so I sat up in bed and that’s when I saw it.” Billy stared at Linda with blank eyes, his mind was obviously somewhere else, it was transfixing. Linda leaned forward in her chair, waiting to hear more. Neither of them noticed that both of their bodies had started to tremble slightly, or that you could see their breath, as if they were standing outside in the cold, and not in a warm office.
“ It was standing in an empty corner of my room, except it was far too tall to stand properly, its shoulder and head were pressed against the top of my ceiling and its face was just staring straight down. As my eyes started adjusting to the darkness, I was able to make out more and more of it. Its arms were absurdly long, they went all the way to its ankles. It’s hands were in a similar position as his shoulders and head, except on the floor. It’s hands were flat on the floor, palm up and it had long nails, at least two inches long, I think. What stood out the most was the color of its razor sharp nails, they were blood red, and it seemed like they almost glowed in the dark.” Billy blinked a couple times and slowly breathed in and out before continuing.
“Its body seemed to be twisted and contorted in a lot of ways, spindly almost. Its joints seemed reversed, and it had multiple of them, it looked like it had at least three elbow joints in each arm and two knees in each leg. Its skin was pure black, like it was a living form of darkness. I couldn’t stop staring at it and It must have known I was staring because it suddenly lifted its head and looked straight at me.” Billy stopped speaking suddenly, once more he started to scratch his arms viciously and whimpers escaped his mouth as he remembered the face of the thing that tormented him.
Impatience filled Linda to the brim, she knew it was unprofessional but she couldn’t help it, something was gnawing at her, it was like she needed to know what this monster looked like, she craved it. Linda let out a sigh of frustration and glanced down and saw that she was itching both of her arms, in a similar fashion to Billy. A frown set on her face as she stopped itching her now irritated arms.
“Please describe what its face looked like Billy, this is the first step to getting over what you witnessed.”
Billy’s eyes focused back on her, and he slowly nodded, however he continued to scratch his arms and his body still trembled ferociously.
“I-i-it’s face was the some color as the rest of its body, b-but it had two milky white eyes that bulged out of its head, its eyes also had what looked like thick veins running across them. Then there was its mouth, it stretched from one side of its face to the other in a very twisted smile. All of his teeth were razor sharp, it looked like that cat from Alice In Wonderland. Its teeth were the same shade of red as its nails. That’s when I screamed, I couldn’t stop staring at its sharp row of crimson teeth, and right before my dad burst in and it disappeared, it whispered one word. I can still hear it whenever I close my eyes, its voice sounded like someone had thrown a handful of nails in a blender, and then turned it on.” I see it whenever I close my eyes, I see it anytime I look in my dark room. I’M NOT CRAZY! I am no-” Billy’s rant was interrupted by a ringing from his phone. Quick breaths escaped in and out of his mouth and tears were streaming from his eyes.
Billy slowly reached into his pocket with his shaking hand and took out his phone and checked the screen before getting up out of his chair.
“That was my parents, they are waiting for me in the car. Thanks for this session Dr.Mckinley, i think you’re right, letting everything out is the first step to getting over it.” Billy wiped his eyes and made his way to the door. Linda couldn’t help but ask one more question as he was opening the door to leave.
“What did the thing say to you, Billy?”
Billy turned and looked at her with his haunted, sunken eyes.
“You don’t wanna know Dr.Mckinley.” He said in a flat tone and then left, letting the door shut behind him.
That was the last time she saw Billy. Three days after their session, Billy was found dead in his bed. The newspaper said the cause of death was a heart attack. However there were also some abnormalities with his corpse. His body seemed to be almost frozen, despite it being the middle of spring and his window being closed. He also had a giant smile on his face, they said it stretched from ear to ear, and it would not go down no matter what they tried to do at the funeral home. He had a closed casket at his funeral.
Three weeks had passed since then and Linda was finishing up her final notes for the night, her last client had left an hour ago. It was very late but Linda liked to stay ahead of the game and have everything ready for the next day. She finished up her notes and got up, she was ready to close up now. As she got to the door, Linda flicked the lights off and opened the door, as she stepped out and turned around to lock the door, she caught a glimpse of red before the door shut.
Curious as to what had caught her eyes, Linda opened the door and that’s when she saw it in the corner of her office. A monster that fit Billy’s description of it, to a tee. A whimper left Linda’s mouth as she dropped her bag on the floor and let the door of her office shut in her face.
“I must be imagining things” She whispered to herself as her shivers racked through her body.
She couldn’t explain why she did it, maybe it was curiosity, or pride telling her to prove herself right, but she slowly opened the door to her office, flicked the light on and stepped in, letting the door close behind her.
Nothing was in the room with her, satisfaction flooded her along with a bit of relief, though she wouldn’t admit the latter part. Happy with the result, she turned around and flicked the lights off once more. That’s when the temperature suddenly dropped by at least 20 degrees. Small breaths escaped Linda’s mouth as she froze in place from the sudden change in temperature. Once again something urged her to turn around and look around the room, though this time she wasn’t sure if it was her mind doing it, or something else. Her body listened to the urge however and she slowly turned and faced the room once more.
Her eyes met two, milky white ones in the corner. Horror was all she felt now and she felt urine slowly make its way down her legs as she stared at the creature’s twisted smile in the corner of her office. She wanted to scream but something prevented her, and that’s when the creature spoke. It’s voice was the sound of a knife scratching the metal of a pan, over and over again.
It uttered one simple word.