don’t stare too long
“Thanks so much for this, Rachael,” her Aunt Carol said, slipping in her left earring as they stood in the hallway of her Upper East Side apartment.
“No problem,” Rachael answered. “Really. I had the night off work anyhow.”
“Still–” Carol looked at her niece. “It’s a help. You’ve no idea how long since I’ve been on a date. Single parenting. Not overly recommended.”
“It’ll be fun, Aunt Carol.”
Carol eyed her again, grabbing her coat from the hook and pulling it on.
“Well,” she said, “he’s not got much energy tonight; that’s one bonus. I think he might be coming down with something, but he shouldn’t be much of a handful.”
“Don’t even worry about it,” Rachael assured her. “Just you concentrate on your date.”
“I’ll try. Thanks again. You’re a lifesaver. See you later.”
The two women hugged and Carol opened up the apartment door, leaving quickly, and then closing it behind her.
The apartment was deadly still after Carol was gone, and the kid, Rachael’s cousin, was making no sound at all in the other room. Weird, she remembered thinking. Aren’t five-year-olds supposed to make noise?
Rachael walked into the open plan living room and found the child.
He was sitting cross-legged on the large curved sofa staring at the blank TV screen, as though intent on his own reflection in the dark glass. Carol hadn’t been kidding when she said the kid was sick. His skin looked pale and his eyes were slightly sunken. Must’ve been a bad dose of childhood flu.
“Hey, sport,” she said. “You okay?”
The child didn’t answer. He just stared ahead into blank space.
“You know, you should say hey when people are talking to you. Makes them like you better.”
Rachael sat down. The kid didn’t move. The room temperature had plummeted.
“Hey, kid.” She reached out and put a hand on his shoulder.
The kid lunged at her, causing her heart to skip a beat as he desperately threw his arms around her waist, holding her tight and pressing his cold, little face into her chest.
“What’s the matter?”
The child was shaking and whimpering.
“I don’t want it to be like this anymore.” His voice was a throaty croak.
“Like what?” Rachael put her hand protectively on the boy’s back. “You mean being sick?”
The child stopped making noise; his body went rigid, and then he pulled back, slow and deliberate. His eyes fixed themselves on Rachael’s. Deep, black, unhealthy eyes.
“Are you scared?” he said.
Rachael didn’t like the way the kid was looking at her, and the question was more than terrifying in the empty apartment.
“No,” she lied, though the kink in her voice said differently.
“You will be.” The little boy’s voice was sad and hopeless. “Everyone is when they find out.”
Rachael was weak with fright by the time Carol arrived back home. So much so that she could barely ask how the date went, let alone wait to hear that it had sucked big time.
All the route back on the subway Rachael couldn’t help but think about the child: his stark, haunting eyes; his spidery fingers tight on her skin.
When she reached the door of her own apartment the phone inside was ringing violently.
She quickly opened up and came inside, flicking on the light to banish the boy-shaped shadows that hunkered down in every corner.
She answered the call.
It was Aunt Carol.
“Hi,” she said, disconcerted as ever. “Everything okay?”
“Listen, Rachael,” Carol said. “Tonight really scared Sammy and I’m a little worried…”
“I know,” Rachael said. “He was really frightened all night. I tried to talk to him, but…”
“No, Rachael, you don’t understand.” Carol sounded adamant. “Sammy was in his bedroom. He said when you came into the apartment you sat down on the sofa and…he said he heard you talking to another kid…a kid that wasn’t even in the room.”
(submitted by lovetpom)
A “hulder” is a spirit that appears in female form, but has a characteristic tail. She would try to lure horny male scandis deep into the forest to be killed.
Gave Shadow Demon Eyes
by ~ PreciousNothin
I Like To Watch
This will be my last journal entry. I just want someone to know the history of me until this point, and know what has happened until now, because I am no longer sure what will happen to me.
My old home was built in the early 1950s, in a small suburb outside of a major city that was easily within driving distance. I was not the first resident of this house, and for a long time, that was all I knew of it. As I grew up in the house, I noticed strange noises that didn’t seem plausible. As a child, I reported my findings to my parents, who dismissed my suspicions as either an active imagination or hearing creaks in an old house. The house was never in prime condition, as it had seen some obvious wear and likely the previous owner didn’t much care to properly maintain it.
Growing older became more difficult. More noises and strange occurrences surrounded me, and it seemed as though I was the only one encountering anything odd. My younger brother never said anything about noises to me, and my parents continued to claim I was overreacting to naturally occurring noises in the house. I continued dismissing the disturbances, myself, for a long time… until things got worse. Distant creaks began to sound more like footsteps, and they always inched closer to my room down the hall. One night, the noises became so loud I could not sleep. I laid in bed all night, and then I heard them. Soft, light foot steps that crept to my door. It was dark, but I could have sworn I saw an even darker shadow underneath my door, just waiting for me to try to open it. A piercing gaze entered my room at that moment, staring through the door as though it was not there, and a paralyzing fear overwhelmed me. Nothing had ever come that close before, I thought. The footsteps had always waned away, nothing had watched me, and I was alone. Not anymore. It watched through the walls, and I could not escape. I moved to the floor and away from the shadow, but I saw it move closer and closer, pressing against the whole door. The handle rattled, shaking violently, and I blacked out.
Upon awaking, I was startled to find myself back in my bed, appearing as though I had dreamed everything. Yawning, I pushed myself out of bed and walked through my doorway into the bathroom next to my room before I noticed something strange: my door was open. I never slept with an open door, since it made me paranoid and unable to sleep. Seeing my door open cracked me, and I sobbed. My parents didn’t believe my story, and began taking me to therapy. My therapist claimed I was depressed, and beginning to show psychotic features. My parents’ failing marriage was taking an emotional toll on me, she said, and she recommended they separate immediately before my condition worsened. It would be hard for me at first, she said, but I would acclimate easier over time if I stopped seeing them in such a terrible state.
Over the next few months, nothing changed. The same “nightmares” continued, my parents still refused to believe me. Father had moved out to a nearby apartment, but I hadn’t stayed with him yet as his apartment was still nearly empty and devoid of furniture and basic accomodations. Mother became desperate, since I would not stop talking of the stalking shadow. One night with my father almost cost him his apartment, and it became clear I could no longer stay there. The shadow found me there, too.
I was sent to a psychiatrist who immediately prescribed strong doses of anti-depressants for me to take, as well as lower doses of anti-psychotics. Slowly but surely, the episodes faded and the shadow seemed far away after a few years. By this time, I was 13 or 14 before I recovered. My psychiatrist had long taken me off the anti-psychotics, and my doses of anti-depressants were mild.
Months passed, and my mother had fallen into a depression of her own, often staying at her new partner’s house and leaving me by myself at home. Soon after, the Shadow returned, but not just at night. No, things escalated quickly. The Shadow hunted me day and night, often causing me to black out when I saw it in a mirror looking back at me or when I looked off in my peripheral vision. Doctors disagnosed me with juvenile myoclonic epilepsy, claiming my fits were a result of the neurological disorder, but I knew what was happening- the Shadow was taunting me, torturing my physical body and breaking me down.
I struggled for years, but eventually the occurrences faded. I stopped looking around, and my new medicine numbed me from seeing the Shadow. I saw nothing anymore in the mirror, I saw nothing more in my peripheral vision. I’m now a 27 year old man, living alone in an apartment. My mother and father both passed away years ago, due to different illnesses. My brother moved far away, and I don’t know where he is. But now, no one can help me.
Last week, I was journaling in my normal composition notebook. I was thinking about the old days, when the Shadow hunted me, and began to wonder who it was, and what it was that it wanted. I wrote in my journal, What is it the Shadow wanted from me for all these years? I went off to shower after that. When I came back, my pen was gone, and that’s when I noticed the response: “I like to watch.”
I was horrified. I closed my journal and pushed it away. It fell on the floor, where it opened again as it fell. When I turned it over, it now read
“I’m done watching.”
(submitted by gurotaku)
My four year old daughter was supposedly asleep when I heard noised coming from her upstairs bedroom. I tried to listen but could not make out what was being said. I approached the room, and she stopped talking. Thinking I alarmed her I went into the room.
At the time she was sharing it with her three year old sister. I walked in and saw the four year old sitting up in bed. I smiled and said is everything ok? She said fine, but her sister said they were keeping her up. When I asked her who it was she was talking to, my three year old sat up and said “The girl in the window, she said you were coming.”
After I shit a brick, I asked who the girl was and they both said a girl comes and stands in front of the window at night and talks to them. Not knowing what to say, I said ok, tucked them in and hung around outside their door. The next day I asked about the girl. They said, “She came back but was mad!” I waited a few days and asked again.
My four year old said the girl in the window was still mad. I forgot about it for about a week, until my wife asked, “Who are the girls talking to upstairs?” Freaked out I ran upstairs and both girls were sitting under the window looking up. They turned and looked at me and asked if I wanted to meet the girl. When they turned around, disappointed, they said the girl left. It has been five years since and I have not heard about the girl in the window since.