The nights are growing shorter. I’m losing sleep every night it seems. It’s been two weeks since it’s all started. The night terrors. Waking up screaming, drenched in sweat. Paralysis. That’s the part that scares the shit out of me. When these terrors happen, I can’t move. I looked into it. It’s a thing. Sleep paralysis. It says your brain is awake but your body ain’t. Feels like something pinning you down. Well, it doesn’t just feel like it, there is. And this thing, whatever it is, scares me. A lot.
Like I said, it started about two weeks ago. Just after my grandfather died. My mom and I, we went to his storage unit down off Broadway and first. It was big enough to store a two-bedroom apartment. He had more shit than that. My mom needed my help to go through everything. There were things she wanted to keep, but most of it she wanted to throw away. I didn’t mind. My grandad, he was a pack rat. But kept a lot of cool shit. He traveled a lot and picked up trinkets along the way. One such trinket I found interesting was some sort of medallion. Looked like one anyway. Had a skeleton on the front. I’d never seen it before. And my grandad always showed me what he had brought back from his travels. But not this. I told Mom I wanted it. She agreed.
“Not something I’ve ever seen before.” She said. Neither had I, I told her. So the rest if the day we cleaned his house up. Mom would sell it.
The same night I brought back that thing is when I had the night terrors. It was a dream of some creature, tall and skeleton like. One eye socket was empty, the other eye was in rotting away, its jaw unhinged. Long hair, that of a woman. Most of it has fallen away. A rotting corpse. Staring at me from my rocking chair in my room. I couldn’t move. And it kept staring, motionless. My breathing became heavier. My heart about to beat out of my chest. I was horrified. Then it moved. It stood up and pointed right at me, spoke and then I woke up, sweating, scared out of my mind. I looked at my chair and nothing. Nothing. It was a night terror. But by far one that terrified me beyond any others I’ve had.
It was the month of October. Halloween was a week away. Being a mail man I got to see all the decorations the homes in my route put out. Somewhere so-so, but others were down right fantastic. There was this one house that had put out a replica of a real skeleton that resembled the one in my dream. I hadn’t seen it while walking up to deliver their mail. They pinned it up on the wall next to the door and was motion detected. Walking up had triggered it and it moved and moaned. I almost wet my pants with fright. Dropped the mail and ran away. Sitting in my mail truck, embarrassed, a growing man afraid of a skeleton props for Halloween. But that dream the night before, that night terror had me so afraid I hope that was the one and only I had, otherwise I was in for long nights ahead.
The next night I was weary. I did not want to fall asleep right away for fear of another night terror. So I stayed up watching reruns of the Golden Girls. They always made me laugh, and it took my mind off things. I did however fall asleep and woke to a scratching noise. It started off from a distance. From what it seemed it was coming from my spare room. Timid, I got up and walked to the doors entrance. I always kept my doors shut when not in use. As soon as I approached the door, the scratching stopped. Was I hearing things, I asked myself. Shaking it off I went back into the living room and say back down. No longer had I sat down a loud THUD came from above me. In my attic. Then the scratching started up again, only louder than before. The scratching continued for what seemed like hours. It was enough to drive a man insane! Which it was. I stood up covering my ears and yelled, STOP!
Later on that night as I slept she came back. Still, I could not move. Still, my eyes fixated on her, horrified. What did she want? Her one eye moving about my room. Searching, it seemed, for something. Then, the eye stared straight into my soul. Slowly she stood, her decomposed, rotting hand moved upward as she pointed a finger at me. Her voice sounded like a thousand speaking at once. There was an echo to it. A screeching tone that made my ears bleed.
“Give us back what is ours. What was taken? I give you warning, give us back what is ours or suffer the end of your world.”
She crept her way toward me, finger still pointing. But not at me, now it was out my window. Still unable to move my body I turned my head as far as I could to see what it was she was pointing to. Then I felt her rotting, boney hand touch me and saw a world that was dead. It was still my room, but grey ash floated down as if everything had burned. I saw outside buildings burning, people on fire, their flesh burning while their screams turned to gurgling as they died. Monstrous creatures roamed the streets picking up human delicacies, biting and ripping them apart. There were smaller, devilish creatures racing in and out of houses pulling children out of their beds eating and tearing at their flesh while the parents were helpless. Some parents being picked up by the monsters that loomed above, some burning.
I screamed, “Stop this! Stop this horror my eyes cannot understand what it is you’re showing me! I will never be the same, please I beg of you.” Just as my words had left my tongue my world was back. She still stood, hovering above me. “What is it you want? Whatever I have of yours, take it. Whatever it is, take it!”
“The medallion. Your grandfather took from us years ago. He would not reveal it to us. How do you think he died? Those who touch the medallion, those who steal it are marked for death. No one can escape it. It is only a matter of time.”
“There! Over there.” I pointed with my head. “In the drawer.” I said. She scuffled over finding the medallion. She presses it against her chest. The metal circle absorbed into her being as she let out a sigh of relief. She looked down and says, “You are marked for death. What I have shown you will is waiting for you. No matter if you knew what this was or not. This medallion is a power beyond any human comprehension. I will be seeing you again.”
I woke up breathing heavily. Sweat spilling from my pores. Shaking. Was this all a dream? I looked out my window and life was moving along. The people going about their mundane lives. Shivering, I get out of bed and check my drawer. The medallion is gone. Fear strikes my heart as I hear a thundering boom and a blinding white light from outside. When it subsides, I see the image of the decomposing bones walking behind me.