The Dark Visitor
Dis a true story, no lie - OmoWale
Warning: The following story may be too intense for some readers, particularly those who have, now or in the past, suffered from Sleep Paralysis or Night Terrors. Please proceed with caution.
I wake up, eyes closed, heart racing. Every hair on the back of my neck is standing at attention. A chill slithers down my spine, like when ya brother drops ice down ya back. I tremble. My body starts to shake, then a scream splits my head.
Get out the room! Go. Leave now, while ya still can.
I want to bolt, but its already here, blocking the way to my parents’ room. I can feel its presence. Even with my eyes closed, its hate washes over me. I can hear the heaving of its breath and feel the motion of its head moving as it searches my room.
I open my eyes and can see the ladder reaching up out of the darkness, resting at the end of my bunk. The room is dark except for faint silver moonlight that is seeping in from behind pale window curtains, its light bouncing off the ceiling. Beneath me, my brother stirs in his sleep.
Kin Vie, wake up! Please wake up!
I am too scared to speak out loud and he cannot hear my silent pleading.
I lift my head off my pillow, just a little, to look over the lip of the bed frame down into the room below. Terror grips me. I see it, a mass of darkness sliding against the darkness.
My head drops back to my pillow. I squeeze my eyes shut.
Please god, don’t let it see me.
Too late, it knows I awake. The prayer was only in my head, but it heard it as if I had screamed it to God.
Its eyes snap towards my bed. The heat of its attention on me; as if it could sense a righteous prayer and must rush to extinguish it. Then it pauses, trying to decide which child is calling to the light.
Why is it coming for me? What have I done? Have I seen something that I shouldn’t have? Thoughts race around my mind uncontrollably.
I reach up to the holy books laying beside my pillow. Frantic, I start praying in my mind - reciting the sacred words my father had forced me to memorize over and over again to ward off the evil that we knew was coming, eventually. Now, it’s my only weapon against the malevolent mass of terror that is coming for me.
My heart is thundering in my chest.
Please stop, please stop! You are beating too loudly; I cry to myself. I am afraid that the evil will hear it, and it does.
The malevolence, the malice, begins to move in the room below me - now with purpose. It moves past my brother, deciding that he is no threat. Quickly, it reaches the bottom of the ladder that leads to my bed.
It climbs. Slowly, deliberately, it rises, inching closer and closer.
My eyes fix on the top of the ladder. Moonlight struggles to illuminate the room, glowing through the drapes of the window.
Suddenly, a buzzing sound fills the air, followed quickly by a low cackle, full of contempt and a sickening glee. Dread fills me.
It comes, one step at a time.
Shrieking in anticipation. Its victim is near.
Its ascension up the ladder stretches agonizing moments into an eternity.
A cold grip tightens itself around me.
I want to move. My body shakes but my muscles will not hear me. Breathing is becoming difficult.
A scream pierces my mind again.
Jump! Ya father and mother are just down da hall. Ya can make it if ya just jump!
I am tormented. Part of me weeping in agony. In the back of my mind, panic thrashes like a caged beast. Still, I am paralyzed with fear. I cannot move.
Your parents’ room is so close. Dey can protect you. Jump!
Tears are falling now, unbidden down the side of my face.
Why can’t they hear me?
I lay there motionless, each heartbeat a lifetime. My mind races in abject terror. Fear bombards me from every direction. The shrieking and cackling are so loud, so terrible, that my strength is melting away.
You’ll hurt yourself in the fall and be unable to run...
The darkness will catch you...
You can’t get away….
It’s coming. Slowly, relentlessly it climbs; taking its time, savoring its power over me. Feasting on my fear and my pain. Gorging itself, it grows and expands.
Then, a cloud of darkness rises up over the top of the ladder. Inside it, I feel the spirit of evil. A face, eyes, arms and legs. I cannot see them clearly, but they stretch against the inky black cloud that swallows the moonlight, plunging my room into a depthless void.
A new wave of panic and terror washes over me. It’s moving again.
Skeletal hands pull its formless mass up over my feet. The weight of it pushing me down into the bed. It feels like a giant oily snake sliding over me, propelled by boney appendages I can only feel as they pull and grasp at my pajamas. As it comes, its body burns my skin with both ice and fire. Every place it touches me feels ill, triggering a wave of nausea.
My head is beginning to throb, and a ringing starts in my ears as the shrieking and laughing grows louder.
My head spins. I feel dizzy.
The pressure on my chest grows heavy. Reaching down out of the darkness above me, twisted fingers and toes press into my flesh as it rears to sit on my chest, triumphant.
I can’t breathe, can’t breathe, I scream voiceless in the darkness.
I gasp for air, but none comes. My chest heaves, trying to throw up and gulp down air at the same time.
The laughing grows louder while the fire in my chest pulses in time with the unbearable throbbing in my head.
Then, my hands move!
My heart leaps. My hands fly to my head, covering my ears. A ray of light enters the room and I catch a flash of a gaunt face twisted with hatred. Its eyes burn like hot coals as if they are trying to burn my soul right out of me. I shut my eyes tightly, trying to keep it out of my head.
I press hard against my ears to shut out the terrible noise, but the laughing and shrieking only grow louder and louder, reaching a fevered pitch.
My mind is reeling. The room spinning. Vertigo and nausea crash over me in waves as the demon, yes it is a demon, uses them to wear me down so it can carry me off into the void.
My lungs are on fire. The weight of the beast on my chest continues to push me further and further down into the bed.
I’m suffocating. Death is near. I cannot fight this. I am only a boy. What hope can a child have against this devil?
My eyes fly open. From somewhere deep inside the will to live rises inside of me.
Stop! Do something or you will drown in the darkness. You must fight. You can fight!
Under the weight of the beast, buffeted by a sea of vertigo, nausea, terror and the deafening roar of its shrieking, I find a tiny bit of space.
For moments that seem to last eons I strain and fight. Then, I manage to twist a little to the left. Then a little to the right. The fury of the demon’s assault increases, but slowly I can rock side to side. At first, ever so slightly, but with each moment I can move a bit more.
Then it happens. The bonds of my captivity shatter.
In an instant, I spring from the bed, leaping over the wooden box that cradles my mattress. My hair brushes the ceiling as I vault, then feet hit the floor with a thud, and I break into a panicked dash.
My left foot fly’s out, landing before the threshold of the doorway, thunder erupting in my chest as air rushes in. My hands reach out and grab the door frame, coming to the aid of my legs, they catapult me through the door faster than I could ever run.
I leap and I leap again. Now, an open-door looms before me across the hall. My right hand grasps the door frame and swings me through.
I cross the threshold and both feet come together, planting themselves, and with a single bound I leap from the doorway and fly. I sail across the room and over the bed. It seems like I’m moving in slow motion. Part of me exults in my escape, I’m so close to my father and mother - any moment now I will be with them. But another part of me can feel the beast close behind. It will not give up so easily.
Suddenly, my mother sits straight up in the bed and catches me out of the air at the same time she opens her eyes.
Looking at me, she holds my shivering body tight. Her eyes are wide in alarm. I convulse and tremble, my heart pounding, my mouth gulping air like a landed fish. My teeth are clanging together violently. My hair is wet with sweat.
“What’s wrong!? Omowale… What’s wrong? What is going on?” she asks me over and over in a panicked voice. I cannot answer her, it will be many years before I can find the words to describe the violent brutality of this attack. She continues to ask and each time her voice rises with increasing hysteria.
Gasp…. Gasp…. Wheeze ….
It is all I can muster. I am safe now, but…. I feel the panic rising again in the back of my throat. The hairs on the back of my neck begin to stand up from their short rest. I twist and move as close into and behind my mother as I can, hiding myself from what I know is following close behind me.
I feel a flash of the evil presence, but I cannot see it.
It is in the room.
“Omowale! Omowale! What is…”
My mother stops talking and turns her head towards the door. The room plunges into a deathly silence. My heart begins to race again as I feel the terror rising within me. Panic grips me as a mass of darkness slides towards us.
Eternal seconds pass. My head throbs and panicked screams rend my mind.
Go! Run! I scream in silence. The need to flee rises inside of me like bile, but there is nowhere else to go.
My hands snap up to cover my ears. I squeeze my eyes shut, trying to block out the nightmare, leaving my mother to confront this creature.
Then, in an instant, it is gone. I open my eyes and shakily drop my hands from my ears. The cold of the darkness recedes, replaced with warmth as moonlight bounces softly from wall to wall.
My mother is quietly whispering prayers.
I look to my right and I notice my father making a sacred sign. I have seen him do this before. As a holy man, he has battled evil spirits many times. He has secret knowledge of the spirit world, passed down to him from the old country to fight wicked Obeahmen. His arm falling back to his side, he glances at me before laying his head back down on his pillow and rolling over.
“Go sleep. It’s nothing.” he mumbles and soon all I hear is muffled snoring.
“Are you ok?” My mother asks me again.
“Evil spirit,” I squeak, looking up into a face lined with concern. She nods knowingly and holds me close. For hours I lay there between them, her rhythmic breathing and my father’s light snoring gradually lulling me back into the darkness.