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Lakewood Times

Lakewood Times

    “Good Night” by Daniel Cope

    Good Night 

    Finally home. I’d been working for the past… how long? Nine hours? And seeing as my sleep recently has been patchy at best, I was dead tired. When I got home I immediately tossed my coat on the floor, barely even looking where it landed. I climbed the stairs, and after what felt like hours, reached my door. I flung open the door, not even checking my computer for any messages or anything,  seeing the time read 12:43. Jumping into bed, I didn’t even look where I was going, I simply flung myself down and almost immediately passed out.


    I awoke, looking at my bedside clock, 4. AM, really? I tried moving but found that, no matter how much I tried, I couldn’t move. I tried not to panic; I’d been through this before.


    Looking out of the corner of my eye, not being able to move at all. My 8 year old self did his best to not cry at the terrifying situation, only letting out a small sniffle.


    I tried to relax. Sleep paralysis had haunted me for some time now. It wasn’t often, but it had happened enough for me to be used to it. I would just wait to fall back asleep while being unable to move.


    Shadows flickered around the room, playing with my childhood’s deepest fears. Hearing my parents fighting, hearing the loud yelling, but being unable to move or do anything but listen. Fear was hitting me, why were they fighting? My eight year old mind couldn’t yet understand that sometimes people disagree. At this time, my parents fighting was the most terrifying thing I could ever imagine, I would eventually learn that there were many worse things to be afraid of in the dark.

    I continued to lay there, left completely alone with my thoughts about the past. The only thing interrupting my mind was the very faint ticking of my clock. Even in my adult age, this sleep paralysis terrified me slightly. Just knowing that I wasn’t in control. Every little thing spooks you while you’re vulnerable. The slight movement of shadows in the corner of your eye, the coat over the chair that looks suspiciously humanoid, and the thought that something, someone, could be watching you right now, and you wouldn’t have a clue.


    Wait… the movement of the darkness in the corner of my room was oddly… solid. Like some sort of black figure coalesced in shadows. There was some sort of form to it, but I couldn’t quite say it was there until it clearly, and distinctly, moved. If my body hadn’t been paralyzed, I’d have been frozen in fear. The figure was humanoid, but very clearly not a human. Its arms were much too long, trailing down to almost the floor, same with its hands. The fingers were long, thin, and ending in long points, almost as if the bone just kept going through the skin. It stood there, barely moving, and I dared not breathe as to pretend that I hadn’t noticed this dreadful being yet.


    The things body was incredibly thin, with individual ribs being easily noticeable. The legs on this thing seemed to be shorter, but that was before it stood to its full height and cocked its head. What seemed to be small legs were in fact him crouching, and they extended to be these curved, misshapen legs that did not fit with its body, almost like horse or deer legs.

    The flesh covering it was a dark gray leathery substance, and its eyes. These glowing orbs of pure malice filled the holes in its odd shaped skull, the head was very thin, and I could easily see the skull underneath, but the shape was all wrong. What started in the facial structure of a human ended with a mouth very similar to a bear, or a dog.


    Fear gripped my body, I had no way of knowing why they were fighting, or what would happen.


    Fear gripped me, and as I lay there, I noticed that it had begun to make very soft breathing sounds, and then the smell hit me. The stench of decay, of rotted meat filled my nostrils as this thing breathed in and out, its eyes never leaving my face. And I realized, it knew. With a sudden jolting motion, it lurched over to the side of my bed. Its legs bending, making its body sway. As its head loomed over me, it extended its tongue, the long, thin, ropy muscle glided across its terrifying maw.

    I couldn’t breathe, holding back tears as I stared this thing in the eyes.


    I was holding back from crying, I didn’t want my parents to hear me.


    It was watching me, not doing anything but grinning. I closed my eyes, waiting for it to

    just… stop.

    I clenched my eyes shut, hoping that I would be able to fall asleep.


    After a few seconds of nothing, I opened my eyes. The thing had moved back to the corner, and the only reason I could see it was that shape being burned into my mind. I lay in bed, hardly daring to breathe until morning. As the dawn broke I tentatively looked around. It was gone, but my life was permanently changed. From that day on I always had cameras and light in my room. I don’t ever want to see that toothy mouth again.

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