You know what they say. Children have
overactive imaginations. Well, some of them say that children are just ‘more
attuned to the paranormal’, but that’s bullshit.
What I’m about to tell you isn’t
bullshit. It really happened.
My name is Jake. When I was a
youngling, I was always ill at ease. I was always looking over my shoulder. I
would always check under my bed and inside my closet before I went to sleep. I
believed then (and I still do) that the only thing that we know for certain is what’s
right in front of our eyes. And even our eyes can sometimes play tricks on us.
My mother would always tell me the same
thing. There’s nothing under your bed, sweetheart. Go to sleep. But I knew she
was wrong. I could feel it. A presence. A gentle breeze or a shadow moving in
the periphery of my vision. I could feel it watching me, in my bed, while I did
my homework, as I watched TV. Lurking in the dark corners of my room. Hiding,
ever present, always just out of sight. Watching.
I wasn’t crazy. I was just observant.
Kids are always scared about having
monsters under their bed, but for my parents, my absolute conviction was too
much. I begged them, I pleaded with them to believe me. But it was no good.
They took me to a psychiatrist. Take these twice a day, she said. Take them
with some water, she said. I complied, knowing it wouldn’t make the monster go
away. This thing didn’t care how many pills I swallowed.
I was never able to get a good look at
it. But here’s what I assumed at the time: it must have been very tall, as it
often watched me for long periods through my second-floor bedroom window, with
relative ease. It must have been thin, spindly and flexible, because it was
able to compress itself into very small spaces. And it must have been very fast,
because it was always able to escape my eyes. It was always able to hide
itself, just as I turned my head.
Both of my parents worked during the
day, and I would get home from school to an ‘empty’ house. It would stalk me
especially hard then. The hairs on the back of my neck would prickle. I would
feel it behind me. I’d spin around, but it would dart out of sight, just at
One evening, I snapped.