You know that feeling that someone--or something--is sharing a room with you, even when you're sure you're alone?
There was a point where I felt that way...every night.
I don't exactly remember when it started. It was so long ago, it all just kind of blends together now. All I can remember is that, at some point, I began feeling...a presence, in my bedroom. It always seemed to start when I was on the verge of falling asleep.
I'd suddenly jolt awake because I thought I heard something, or felt like something was watching me. But when I'd turn around...there was nothing.
Yeah, I know, it sounds so cliche and yes, there were logical reasons for it...I thought the same, at first.
I was a bit of an insomniac already, so when I'm finally getting ready to sleep at like 2, 3 or even 4 AM, I usually did have weird sensations, my mind playing tricks on me. I was able to brush it off for the most part. My brain was simply not getting the rest it needed, right? There wasn't really anything there...right?
Well, that's what I thought too.
But that was a mistake...
An important thing for you to know and remember, I didn't have the...tidiest room out there. My bedroom often had papers and books on the floor. As such, the first red flag that I may not have been alone in this room was the rustling of papers.
I was asleep in my bed, when I heard a noise. Rustling. The sound of paper moving. It would rustle for about five seconds, then stop. It was a pattern. Rustle for five seconds. Stop. Rustle for five seconds. Stop. Rinse, repeat.
I lay there, my back to the papers. I could hear the noise, but I hadn't rolled over to look at it. I...I wasn't sure I wanted to.
Eventually, I mustered up my nerve and rolled over.
There was nothing.
No sign of life.
Just a lot of papers and books on the floor, as well as my closet and my old computer.
After thinking about it, I sighed, rolled over and fell asleep again.
I assumed that it was nothing.
I assumed that up until the next few nights...
The next few nights, I heard the rustling again.
It'd always start at the same time. I'd be lying my head upon the pillow, my back to the room and closing my eyes.
And then the rustling would start.
This time, I was quicker on the draw. I'd sit up and look at the thing...but it wasn't there. I saw nothing. Just the papers and books on the floor.
The rustling had started getting faster. Each night, the rustling continued to get faster, the pauses getting shorter and shorter. The pauses never stopped, but they were still shorter.
Every night, I kept hearing it...but I could never see it, for some reason...it was too fast...or was it even there?
The next morning, I told my mother. As I expected, she assumed I was just dreaming.
I ended up believing her. I was half asleep every time I heard it, after all. I had all but accepted this as the explanation and I was willing to just ignore the rustling every night since then.
Until the next set of nights.
The next set of nights happened, I think, a month after the initial rustling. This was when I entered the next phase of the...thing's actions...and started to realize that the thing wanted...something...
By that point, the rustling had stopped bothering me. I had gotten used to it. I had assumed it was something normal, like I had simply been groggy and hearing things.
But that changed very soon.
One night, I'd heard the rustling, but then it stopped. It stopped and I got the unmistakable feeling that someone...or something...was watching me.
The thing was watching me.
Just standing there...watching me.
It was there. I knew it was there. I could hear it breathing. I could hear the crinkling of the papers it was standing on as its weight shifted slightly. And I knew that it was doing nothing but staring at me with a pair of unseen eyes.
I didn't dare turn around. I just lay there, pretending to be asleep. I didn't know what it would do if I turned around, but I didn't want to find out.
Eventually, the rustling returned and I heard the creaking of my closet door.
I assumed that the...thing decided to go back into hiding, but I still refused to turn around.
Over time, I started getting more and more paranoid. It seemed everytime I closed my eyes I could hear something moving. Once, I heard a ruffling of papers in the middle of the day and jumped, fearing that whatever it was decided to stalk me in broad daylight now.
Turned out what I was hearing was just a lizard that had somehow managed to get into my room.
I breathed a sigh of relief. I was tempted to count that as an explanation for everything. That what I was hearing the whole time was just that tiny little lizard that had snuck its way into my bedroom, hiding among the papers on my messy floor.
I knew that couldn't have been true, but it was a comfortable delusion I was willing to live in.
But then came the last night...the worst night...
I was slowly waking up in the middle of the night when I felt it. Not just a presence, but a sensation. A physical sensation. A breath. A sound.
I could feel warm breath on the nape of my neck.
I could hear panting, like that of a dog.
I hoped, for a moment, that in my half-conscious state I was still somewhat dreaming.
But the more I woke up, the panting got louder...and louder...and louder...
And I could still feel the breath...I could smell it...
Without thinking I bolted upward and turned around.
I saw nothing but...some of the papers on my floor had been kicked up and the door to my closet swung slightly...whatever it was had dashed away the minute I looked in its direction.
I lay in bed wide awake for the remainder of the night. I was terrified.
This had proved it.
I wasn't crazy.
I wasn't hallucinating.
Something was in my room.
It wasn't the lizard.
And for god only knows what reason, it wanted to go near me while I was asleep.
Every night since then, I refused to sleep without something to use for protection. I kept a blunt, heavy object to instinctively use on the...thing, if it got close to me again.
Fortunately it never did. Though I could still hear it moving, and now it started panting more often, it stopped trying to get close to me. It must've been aware that I knew it was there, and thus knew I'd be on my guard, even while I slept.
I never told my mother or my sisters. I knew they really wouldn't believe me this time around.
It didn't matter anyway. Mom had announced that we were moving to a new house only a week later.
I, for one, couldn't have been happier. I wanted out of the room, out of the house and away from that thing.
I packed my things and made absolutely sure that I didn't bring anything...living with me. I double checked every box to make sure that the thing hadn't managed to stowaway in any of them.
When my room was finally empty, I paused and took a look into my closet, where I'm sure the thing lived in. I looked up and down through it.
I saw nothing.
I had no idea if it was invisible, hiding, had vacated the premises or what. Heck, maybe I really was crazy and it never existed to begin with. At this rate, I didn't care. I packed my things up, left with my family and never looked back.
It's been nearly a year since we moved, and I haven't heard from it since. I couldn't be more relieved.
I heard that another family had bought our old house. For a moment, I was concerned for them. What if one of them had to sleep in my old room? Would they have to deal with the creature too?
But I brushed that out of my mind. That unholy thing was their problem now. I was free.
And I never wanted to look back.