I open my eyes to an inexplicable impulse. The dark wraps itself around me like a cocoon and I feel the atmosphere stop. Just stop.
It ceases to breathe around me and I feel its silent constriction take hold of my uncertain mind. It’s alive, you know. The dark lives. It moves and breathes and shape shifts all the time, but it usually leaves me alone. Not tonight. My ears start hissing. At first it’s very subtle, then it grows louder here in my mind, hissing like a thousand snakes in the house of the sun beetles. Hissssssss….
Where is the night? My eyes widen under the peer pressure of my sanity. I make them see reason, but they refuse me and show me the truth. The dark blankets my vision, like a solid entity. Now, I’m aware of it. It will not be denied. I stop trying to make sense of it and I just admit to myself – the Night Things are here.
The silence is deafening now. All sound seems to be locked away from my room. The hissing progresses into a horrible feeling of helplessness in the back of my mind and I become aware of the tiny hairs on the back of my neck raising. More. More, it becomes more taught with every moment I spend in this nocturnal purgatory. Eventually it feels like an invisible hand pulls my skin so tight that I fear it will rip from my flesh. Tight, my skin pulls my hairs and I hear them, sucking the life from the darkness. The reverse reverb of the dying atmosphere glides in my ears and I know they will make themselves known to me soon.
My body feels incredibly heavy, like dead weight, impossible to lift. All my muscles strike in rebellious weakness and I can not move. I can not move! Eyes wide, vision naught.
The dark stands still in inanimate shock. The air is void of movement, too. I struggle to breathe as the entity lays it’s weight on top of me. Heavy. Heavier. Pressing harder by the second, it crawls over my entire body like an inevitable shadow, growing at dusk. Finally my whole body succumbs to it’s strength. Any resistance is futile, wasted. Like a black wall of death, it covers me, bringing with it, all the emotions in the rainbow of Hell.
Tears won’t come. Vocals absent. I can not call for help, nor cry out my desperate panic. Still I see nothing there!
My ribs feel like snapping under the pressure of the invisible intruder and I can swear I hear laughter…a cackling of whispery delight, emanating from a myriad of imps, obviously surrounding my bed. The demonic choir play audience and feed on my fear. I make them strong. I hope for the aid of Angels, but they stand afar, allowing me this well deserved torment. My heart stops. My lungs implode and my skeleton breaks in defeat. I’m so alone, lonely. I’m frightened beyond comprehension and I stand alone, my soul for the taking. An open invitation. A fortress breached. I become possessed by every horrible emotion the Devil deals. Hope eludes me as they snicker all around me. They have become the night. Darkness possessed, infested by the devil’s minions.
I feel sickly flattered. Flattered for their attention. They came all the way from the depths for me. For me.
Innocently – unaware of it all - my room remains silent. Ignorance personified. The digital time, suspended in the dark, calls out in crimson that my hell has not progressed beyond its initial commencement! It is another illusion. Time and space is frozen to the Nightmare and his devil friends. Fiends. I can feel every single soulless imp, dancing in victory as I suffocate here under the Incubus.
I wait. I allow. I submit. I yield. Let him have his way. Let him do whatever he is here to do. And he does.
Then he lifts, very gradually. Lighter now, but far from gone, my body lifts with lungs filling, but still void of movement. Finally, I scream. I scream with all the screams of a lifetime, my throat raw with friction and I sit up at once, wondering what the slumberers in this house will think. But they don’t hear me. The final part of my scream dies in the new darkness. Audible once more.
Still I am too terrified to move. I look around the room and it all looks the same, but something is different now. It is as if all the furniture saw and they know….
My paintings look at me with an ugly lifelikeness that makes me shiver and I’m sure they know too. I feel an overwhelming desire to switch on the television in a desperate attempt for company. Movement. Life.
What will happen if I get up? Will I be challenged by the Night Things as soon as I start for that tiny button? It becomes my sole objective now. I need to get to the power button, no matter what. Or they will get me. This night they will take me. Pretending to be unafraid I stand up, my heart pounding, fed by adrenaline and my entire being pitched sharp for anything that should move, but my face remains expressionless. They must not know. My fear is my secret and so it must stay.
The dark dances around me as I start my seemingly impossible feat. I accelerate towards the TV and I quietly beg my legs to hold me. They buckle and shiver with frailty, but I force them to work. As I move, I can feel that deformed dwarf pursue me and I make for the other side of the room. A tingle shoots up and down my back and through my legs, but I must not be kept from my target. I progress very slowly, for the fear runs thick in my blood, my ice cold blood. It feels as if something holds me back. Like walking uphill on a treadmill moving in the other direction. I seem to stay in one place, advancing in slow motion, but I push with all my effort and, as I hit that blessed button, I can almost feel their icy talons take hold of my hand, albeit too late for capture.
The wonderful light of the tube paints the whole room blue and my relief is immeasurable. I feel the life return to my body and I wait happily for the screen to bring me visions of, well, anything really. I sit back down to relax and my eyes fall on the only channel available. To my dismay I realize it is EVIL DEAD, my all too recent experience mirrored on the screen by demonic zombies and animated corpses, attacking humans to the music of hellish sound effects and distorted voices from Hell itself.
Quickly, my mind plays a game of pro’s and cons with itself and within a split second, I get up and switch it off.
Back in the stuffy blackness of the night, I return to bed and await once more, the Night Things.