Just the Beginning
Weird shit has always seemed to happen around me, even when I was little, but I never really thought much of it until recently.
I’ve always been a believer in the paranormal, even when I was a little kid. I grew up along with my cousin Noah. He was born a month after me, on Halloween, and as per common superstitions and whatnot, I fully believe he can speak and talk to the dead.
However, I never really believed that bit (or in psychics as a whole) until we were 12 and were at the funeral home after our grandpa died. There he was in the corner, having a full conversation with the empty chair next to him as if there were an actual person. I walked over and asked him who he was talking to, at that moment believing wholeheartedly that my cousin had finally lost his mind.
Then he looked at me and said “Grandpa says to stop being sad, Dink.”
My jaw dropped.
Dink was my nickname that only me and my grandpa knew about. My grandpa gave it to me when I was born, (I was a premature baby) and nobody but the two of us knew the nicknames.
That was when I finally believed all the times my stupid cousin told me that he saw a man following me, only a few months before when I thought he was just messing with me.
Now, I didn’t think much about the man following me at the time, it was always just something at the back of my mind that would come up sometimes, like “Oh yeah, theres a ghost or some shit following me” and that was that.
But about 3 years ago, shit started happening and it got violent pretty quickly. My little sister Cassie had awful night terrors, every night the same as the last, always waking up at 3 am screaming that there was a man coming to get her. After a while, I began having the same nightmares as well, and at one point woke up to my room completely trashed, my shit thrown everywhere, at 3 am, every morning.
I dealt with the weirdness for 2 years until I was 14 when it escalated again. I started waking up with scratches in sets of 3 all across my body, and at that point I decided enough was enough. I believed fully at that point that it was the man my cousin told me was following me, so I did all I could at that point to be rid of it.
I put salt in all the doors and windows, burned a sage stick and smudged the house, put holy water in the four corners of each room, and smeared holy water on the doorways. It seemed to work for about a year.
Then, two weeks before my sophomore year started and two months before my 15th birthday, my sister got sick.
I mean, really, really sick.
And the doctors had no idea why. Her blood wasn't oxygenating properly, instead of her heart pumping clean blood through her body it was toxic and deoxygenated, slowly poisoning her to death and there was absolutely no way to fix it. It was a medical mystery, and it took 2 weeks for my 4 year old sister to succumb to the toxic blood.
Then two more of my beloved family members died, all within a month of each other.
My aunt died of a brain tumor, and in her final days she called me screaming that there was a man in her room pushing her around trying to get her to come with him. I was told it was her tumor causing paranoia. I was too numb to question it.
Then my uncle died. It was so spontaneous it was actually investigated by police at the time but ruled as an accidental drug overdose, despite there being only a small amount of vicodin in his system. But just like the others, he called my dad one day before talking about how he was having nightmares about a man taking him away.
I told no-one about any of the deaths. Not even Cassie’s. The only ones who knew were the ones who I told way later, which would be Rose, Will, and Rebecca.
I was at my low at that point, I was withdrawn, living in a daze, I really didn’t notice or pay attention to anything but the pain that ran my life from that point forward. My grades were in the toilet, my household was torn apart, I felt like I had nothing to live for anymore. My faith in god dwindled to nothing, I couldn’t fathom why I should worship a deity that allowed my only sibling to be ripped from my family, or would take away two of the greatest people I have ever known. I didn’t notice my room getting torn apart at 3 am. I didn’t notice the knocks of 3. The nightmares were always the same, a man taking my sister, my aunt, my uncle. There was only one time when the nightmare was different, and it actually wasn’t a nightmare. I was told it was a hallucination. I woke up at 3 am, turned over, and saw a woman standing by my bed. Strawberry blonde hair, light blue eyes, pale skin, and she was wearing normal street clothes. She was actually very pretty, save for her whole left half of her face was just rotted flesh. I was frozen in sheer terror, when she spoke. “It’s out there it’s out there it’soutthereit’soutthereit’soutthere-” before I lost my shit and just screamed as if I were a tiny child again.
I was told in therapy that it was just stress, that I was just traumatized because I had seen the death in my sisters eyes that morning when I held her body, still warm from the toxic blood. That it was just because I had lost three family members in such a short time. And I believed them. I still lived in that haze, still not noticing those knocks, the tornado that seemed to ravage my usually militarian order that I kept my room in, the scratches that began to appear on my body again.
One day I finally snapped out of it, but I still didn’t pay attention to the odd activity. I just didn’t care.
A year passed, to about four months ago.
I was attending a costume party for my friend, and all I can remember is I blacked out while I was dancing.
When I came to, I was sitting in my friend’s kitchen holding an uneaten slice of cake, my hood to my cape pulled over my head, I had a whanging headache, my eyes itched and burned like I hadn’t blinked in hours, and a bunch of people standing around me like I was a freakshow. My friend Rose was the first one to ask if I was okay.
I rubbed my eyes, put the hood down and all I could say was “What the fuck happened” That was when Rose showed me the pictures and told me that I just stopped dancing at random, and sat down and just stared. I wasn’t blinking, my face was blank and devoid of any emotion, I had my mask on and my hood up and just sat there not moving a muscle.
Rose tried splashing water on my face, Will tried slapping me, Rebecca was the one who gave me cake (yeah, thanks).
I think the pictures were the most bizarre.
Rose apologizes for the shitty quality. It was dark, there was a smoke machine, and her phone camera fucking sucks.
My hood was drawn over my face so I was cast in shadow, and I was wrapped up in it and overall looked like a fucking cult leader or something. The whole thing was fucking bizarre, but we all shrugged it off and nothing happened for another two months.
Two months ago, I was hanging out at Rebecca’s after school with Will and Rose. It was a friday, it was nice out so we decided to walk to the park.
I blacked out again.
I came to, sitting on the swingset, again with a massive headache and my eyes burned like that of a thousand suns.
Rebecca was crying, Rose was timing the episode (about 30 minutes, apparently) and Will was standing there, staring at me, or rather, behind me.
At this point I was just DONE with this shit.
“What the fuck happened now?”
“You suddenly stopped walking, then you hunched over and started walking again but it was really smooth. You looked like you were gliding, man. You didn’t say anything and your face looked like it did at that party that one time.” Rose explained. Rebecca was still crying, and Will was still staring.
“The fuck is with you?” I asked, looking at Will.
“You guys don’t see it? He’s right there, behind you.” We all looked behind me, seeing nothing.
Chills ran down my spine right then, remembering what my cousin told me those years ago. “What does he look like?”
Shoulder length black hair, 6’4”, one blue and one green eye, wearing a tattered dress shirt and suit jacket, and jeans. Looks extremely handsome.
The chills hit me again. It’s the very same man my cousin described to me all those years ago, the same one that haunted both mine and my sister’s dreams. She drew a picture of him for me once, I’ll try to post a picture of it if I can find it.
Up until that point I had no idea that Will could see that shit too. I just took it in stride, there was no way he could have known about the man in the first place unless he had actually seen him himself, which is seemingly what was going on.
“Okay… what does he want?”
That was when Will’s face turned completely pale. He looked at me.
“He said he wants you.”
“Well tell him to fuck himself.”
Then Will just fucking collapsed to the ground, near crying, covering his ears, his face turning red.
“He’s laughing, oh god, he’s laughing, he won’t stop…” I didn’t hear the laughing, but I noticed that the birds that had been chirping just seconds ago fell completely silent. There was no noise whatsoever.
It took a few minutes to coax Will out of his mental breakdown. I was skeptical at that point, honestly wondering if Will was schizophrenic or some shit and this was all one huge coincidence.
We walked to Starbucks and I bought us all coffees. We all sat in the back and discussed what happened.
I told them about the weird shit that happened ever since I was 12, the nightmares, the scratches, everything.
Then everything started hitting me like a ton of bricks. The shit I completely disregarded when I was in the haze.
The woman I wrote off as a hallucination.
I only got to explaining that she had the half decomposed face when Will smacked the table. “Dude, I’ve seen her too!”
“Really?” His moment of truth to prove he’s not just seeing things. “What’d she look like?”
He didn’t miss a beat. “Strawberry blonde hair, blue eyes, pale skin, street clothes.”
I nodded. It was sufficient evidence in my mind. “Yeah, that’s her. I saw her a month after my sister died-”
Will cut me off again. “Wait… was your sister’s name Cassie?”
I swallowed the lump in my throat. “Yeah, how’d you know-”
Will blanched again. “The man mentioned her…”
I gripped my coffee in my hand. “Yeah? What’d he say?”
“That he took her, and two other people named Janice and Henry-”
I cut him off by slamming my cup on the table. My hands were shaking. “That. Sonofabitch.” I hissed through clenched teeth. “I’m gonna kill it.”
I stormed out of there, leaving Will, Rose, and Rebecca to scramble out after me.