By: Daniel Gleason
“Wake up Jaaassson.” Something brushed the side of my cheek.
I sat straight up in bed, looking around my room. It was a small room wood paneling on the walls, a white ceiling with a fan in the middle, the fan was missing a blade. It was dark enough that I couldn’t see the shaggy maroon carpeting on the floor, but then I saw movement from the light of my xbox that had started flickering on and off about a month ago, it looked like an eye winking at me. The movement had come from over by my closet, one second it was there the next it was gone, I shook my head I was ten years old, way too old to be jumping at shadows, but I could have sworn I heard somebody call my name. I had just started to pull my covers back up when…
“Jaaassson?” The same slow sing-songy voice said my name again.
I threw off my covers, “Huh-huh-hello?” There was no reply. I took a deep breath and crawled out of bed. I tried to swallow and licked my lips; finally I managed to croak out, “Is somebody there?”
“Come here Jaaassson.”
I ran for my light and flicked it on, light flooded the room, everything seemed to be the way I left it, my legos were scattered over in the corner, my comic books up on my dresser, and my spider-man alarm clock on the stand by my bed, the only difference I could notice was my closet door was open just a crack. I walked over and shut it, listening intently but the only sound I heard was a slight hum coming from my tv, I apparently had not shut it off and now it was in power saver mode. I took a deep breath turned off my light and crawled back into bed.
I had just started to doze off when, “Jaaassson?”
I sat bolt upright I could feel sweat pouring off my forehead, “Who’s there?” I tried my best not to let my voice quiver failing miserably.
“You remember me don’t you Jaaassson?”
I jumped out of bed throwing back my covers and turned on the light, everything seemed fine except my closet door was open just a crack. I opened my bedroom door and ran out to my parent’s bedroom just down the hall, knocking as loud as I could, “Mom! Dad! Wake up! You have to get up!”
I heard a deep laughing coming from behind me, and turned toward my room, my bedroom door was open just a crack now, and through that crack I could see somebody looking out at me.
I turned and pounded on my parents door as hard as I could, screaming, “Mommy!” I heard my bedroom door creak behind me as if someone had opened it, it’s only the wind, I must have left my window open. Who am I kidding? “Mommy!”
“Jason” the hairs on the back of my neck stood on end, and I couldn’t swallow. I could hear somebody coming down the hall their boots making a loud banging sound in the otherwise silent house. My teeth started chattering, it had to be right behind me now, “Jaaassson” I felt something touch my shoulder, I could smell something putrid, like rotting flesh and out of the corner of my eye I could see long blood red claws on my shoulder.
“Jason! Wake up!” I felt a sharp sting on my face and then a burning sensation as my wife slapped me.
“I’m awake, I’m awake.” I rubbed my face surprised to find it wet whether it was from tears or sweat I didn’t know.
“Are you sure? Cause I have no problem slapping you again.”
“Very funny sweetheart. What time is it?”
Sasha looked over at my Spider-man clock, on our nightstand “It says twelve thirty-two so it’s really, “her face scrunched up as she did the calculations, “One forty-six I don’t know why you don’t just get rid of that thing.”
“It has sentimental value. I’ve had it since I was ten. “ I crawled out of our king sized bed, throwing back the white comforter, with purple flowers, not my choice mind you, and started toward the door.
Sasha sat up throwing her long blond hair out of her face, “That was twenty years ago, no wonder it doesn’t keep time right anymore. Where do you think you’re going.”
“To the bathroom, and I thought I would check on the baby.”
Sasha sighed, “She’s fine, if you keep checking on her you’re going to wake her up, and then you are going to be the one who has to deal with her all night.”
“Fine. I don’t know if I could sleep anymore tonight anyways.” I opened the door and stepped out into the hall, I didn’t really have to go to the bathroom, but my hands were still shaking, I needed a moment to calm down. I made it as far as the baby’s door when I felt my knees buckle, and I fell to the floor weeping. I tried to compose myself before Sasha came out looking for me; with a deep breath I got to my feet trying desperately to keep steady and opened the baby’s door. My composure didn’t last for long, the crib was empty and the closet door was cracked open. That’s when everything went black.
My dad came running out of his bedroom to find me sitting on the floor by his door with my hands covering my eyes, screaming. “What the hell is wrong with you?” I felt a sting on my face and then a rush of heat as he slapped me. “Jesus Christ Jason! You would think that you were dying out here.”
“Leave him alone! He probably had a nightmare.” My mom came out of the room glowering at my dad. She leaned down, her pink bathrobe just barely skirting the floor, and stroked my hair, “Hey buddy, do you want to come and sleep with us?”
“Hell no!” My father’s blue eyes were blazing, “He is ten years old, that’s at least six years too old to come crawling into bed with us.”
“Well of course, I meant he could sleep on the floor.”
“No!” He looked at me, “Man up, get your but off that floor,” my sobs interrupted him, “and for God’s sake stop crying, now get too bed.”
I stood slowly leaning against the wall to keep my balance; he slapped me upside the back of the head, “Get moving!” I looked at my room and my stomach filled with dread, I turned to my mom, giving a pleading look, but she had already turned and was walking back into her room. My dad quickly followed her, when I got close to my room my knees started to buckle, I ran in grabbed my blanket and ran for the living room, to sleep on the couch. The living room didn’t have a closet.
I felt someone shaking me, “Jason! Wake up. Where the hell is Adrianna? When you didn’t come back I came out looking for you.” Tears were forming in Sasha’s eyes, “Where is our daughter?” I tried to speak but a croak just came out, my throat had gone dry. I looked at the closet door trying to will her to realize, to know, our daughter was gone and it was my fault.
Sasha saw my look and immediately walked over toward the closet wrenching it open, I tried to choke out a no, she didn’t understand how dangerous that could be, but the closet was filled with blankets and my daughter’s clothes. She threw all the blankets out calling out Adrianna’s name, after the last blanket was thrown across the room, she stopped and just stood there staring into the closet, letting it sink in that our daughter was gone, she slumped to her knees, looking like her heart was breaking into a million pieces.
“I’m so sorry!” I sobbed, somehow I had started crying without realizing it, and now all I could do was sob uncontrollably.
Sasha stood up with a look of pure disgust on her face, walked over to where I was sitting, leaning against the wall in the hallway. “What the Hell is your problem?” She screamed at me punctuating it with a kick to my ribs. “Somebody has come in and taken our daughter!” another kick, “And all you can do is sit here, “ kick “Crying!” kick, “And say your sorry!” kick. “This is your fault! Call the police!”
My insides burned from sobbing and my stomach felt like it was going to explode I was now laying on the ground gasping for breath. I didn’t see him until it was too late, he was dressed all in black, his clothes were covered in dust and dirt, there were spots where something had burned through them, and his putrid flesh could be seen underneath, the skin on his face seemed to loose and hung down, he had a large hooked nose, and blood red eyes. On top of his head he wore a black wide brimmed hat; he put a finger over his lips as if telling me to be quiet the fingernails on his hand were six inches long and blood red but had strings of something that looked like skin in it. He smiled showing me a mouthful of razor sharp teeth, then he put an arm around my wife and with a flick of his wrist, he used his fingernail to slit my wife’s throat.
I woke up hearing my name being called, “Jaaassson” I shook my head and rubbed my eyes trying to figure out where I was, then it all came back to me, I was sleeping in the living room, because someone was in my bedroom, Again I heard the voice, “Jaaaassson” and it was the same sing-song voice as before. “Look outside Jaaassson.”
Above the couch in my living room was a big bay view window, I peeled back the curtains that covered it, all the while my hands were shaking, outside I could see two red eyes glowing about twenty feet above the ground. I tried to tell myself that it must be some kind of animal, maybe a cat or an owl, but then a car passed by on the road, and I could see him, from his razor sharp teeth to the blood red claws. I took a step back whipping the curtains closed, I ran into the kitchen to make sure the door was locked. All the while I could hear him laughing. My mind went into overdrive, it must be a dream, there’s no way I could hear him from out there unless it was a dream, I slowly pulled back the curtains again the eyes were still there, staring at me.
“Jaaasson, I’ve got a surprise for you Jaaassson.” As it said this a car went by, causing me to see his grotesque face again, his lips weren’t even moving.
I slapped myself across the face, telling myself, no pleading with myself to wake up, but nothing happened.
“Jaaasson, don’t you want your surprise? Look out the window.”
I couldn’t do it, my hands weren’t responding.
The voice inside my head yelled with a deep hate filled voice, “I said, ‘Look out the window!”
I reached out and pulled back the curtains so fast that I pulled them completely down, and jumped back, he was standing right in front of the window, he had his right hand wrapped around the neck of a young girl with long blond hair. Holly my next door neighbor, she’d been my best friend since I was two, and I’d loved her since I was three, she was the most beautiful girl I had ever seen, but now she looked terrified. There were two steady streams of tears falling down her dirt covered face; she kept mouthing the same words, “Please help me!”
The creature, for now I could tell that it wasn’t really a man, smiled showing me his teeth coming to points with red stains on them, and bits of what looked like skin in between, “Surprise!”
I took off running straight to my bedroom, shutting the door staring at my closet door, I wasn’t in there two minutes and the closet door started creaking. I grabbed my blanket and pillow and headed down the hall toward my parents room, I tried the handle and let out a sigh of relief to find it unlocked, I could hear my door creak. It was standing in my doorway growling at me, and then it seemed to smile. I opened my parent’s door, and walked in, locking it behind me. I heard a growl from behind the door, I went to the side of my parents’ bed and curled up with my blanket on the floor, shivering and crying.
The creature had taken a seat in the rocking chair in my daughter’s room, he had my wife’s limp body across his, cradling her like a baby, her head was tilted at an odd angle, and her soulless eyes were staring at me accusatorily. He grinned at me, took his claw and ran it down my wife’s arm slicing into the meat just above her elbow, then he took it and slurped it into his mouth as if he was eating a piece of spaghetti. I turned to my left and threw up; I could hear him laughing inside my head. I looked toward the door just two feet away on my right; I jumped up and made a break for it. I stopped running when I made it out of the house; it was still dark there wasn’t a noise in the streets. I wanted to scream, but I knew how that would go, I couldn’t get the image of his claw cutting into my wife, then I thought of Adrianna, my God what had he done to my little girl. My stomach caught, and I bent down heaving again, when I got myself back under control I looked toward my house again, he was standing looking out the kitchen window grinning that sick smile at me, then a voice in side my head said, “Run!”
I took off down the street, looking for somebody to help me, but who would believe me. I was constantly looking over my shoulder, he couldn’t be chasing me, but I didn’t want to take a chance, three blocks from my house I saw the bank clock sign it read one fifty-eight, it felt like forever since my wife woke me up, I couldn’t believe it had only been twelve minutes. I looked across the street, Brian’s Pub still had its lights on, of course Jessie, my sister in law worked there, I ran across the street and walked in.
Brian’s Pub was an old fashioned bar and grill, with round wood tables placed around a large square bar, most of the tables had chairs stacked on them, a waitress was wiping down the bar, and when the buzzer went off she said, “I’m sorry we’re closing in like two minutes.”
When I didn’t leave she turned around, , “Look… Jason? What’s wrong?” She ran over to me and pulled one of the chairs off a table, and I collapsed onto it looking into her soft blue eyes I knew there was no way that I could tell her, how could I tell anyone “Oh my God is that blood?”
I looked down and blood covered my right arm, it must have been Sasha’s, I started to cry again. She threw back a few loose strands of brown hair, the rest was put up in a ponytail. “Whose is it Jason?” She must have read it in my face, “Oh my God, Jason where’s Sasha, and the baby.” She looked nervous, when I didn’t answer she took a deep breath and said, “You look like crap Jason. I’m going to get the first aid kit out of the closet, then we’ll talk, for now just sit here.”
“NO! Don’t go near the closet!”
“I’ll just be a second. “ I saw her pull out her cell phone and could hear, “I need an ambulance and police at Brian’s Pub now!”
I looked over and the closet door was open just a crack, as Jessie reached for it she took a look back at me, and that’s when he threw it open. He looked at me and smiled as he reached out toward Jessie, who was frozen in fear, he grabbed her chest as if he were about to turn a door knob his claws going right into her, and then he turned his hand cutting almost a perfect hole in her chest cutting through bone and muscle like it was nothing. He threw it all to the side as if it meant less than nothing to him, then he reached into the hole he had made, and yanked out her heart. Jessie stayed standing and by her face I could tell that she was still aware of what was going on, she had this look of fear and disbelief, as the creature lifted her heart up to his mouth and bit into it, blood sprayed all over, splattering on Jessie’s face as well as the creature’s, some dribbled down his chin and he licked it off his lips. That’s when Jessie collapsed, a look of fear and disgust still frozen on her face. The creature turned toward me still eating her heart like an apple, and by the look on his face you could tell that he was savoring every bite. I tried to stand, and run away but my legs wouldn’t work, I felt light headed as if I was slipping away, it was hard to concentrate, he started walking toward me, I tried to pull myself back, to get away from him, but now my whole body was paralyzed. He was standing over me with the last little sliver of my sister in law’s heart, he shoved it into my mouth and that’s when I passed out.
It was two days since I had saw that thing take Holly, the cops were looking for her frantically, I had told my parents everything. All they took out of it was that I had seen a man with Holly in the middle of the night; the rest was attributed to an overactive imagination. My father wanted to tell the cops possibly be local heroes if the description could lead to whoever took the little girl, I don’t think he honestly cared if they found her or not, but my mother put her foot down, she was not going to have me be part of an investigation, especially if, God forbid it, but it turned into a murder investigation. So we let everybody go about there business looking for a girl that they probably would never find.
After finding me in their bedroom the following morning my father had started locking their door, so that would never happen again. I slept in the living room as much as possible but this night my father had found me and carried me back to my bed, I woke up at about two A.M. with it kneeling over me. Smiling its sick smile at me, it licked the side of my face, “You’re ready!”
Again his lips hadn’t moved, but I could hear the words, my voice shook as I spoke, “Ready for what? What do you want with me?”
“Same thing that I want with all my children, you taste so much sweeter when you’re scared.” he smiled flashing those sickening teeth.
He grabbed my wrist and yanked me out of bed; I felt my pajama bottoms get warm then cold as I wet myself. This seemed to make the creature laugh, I grabbed the glass lamp that sat by my bed and smashed it on the floor hoping to wake my parents, but the house was still silent, as I tried to pull myself away, I stepped on a piece of the broken lamp driving it up my foot, blood began gushing from the wound. I felt all my resistance drain from me as the creature led me through the closet door, and closed it behind us.
It was unbelievable one minute I was walking into my closet all of my clothes right in front of me, then I was standing in a long dark hallway, the only light some kind of red glow, it almost looked like the walls were bleeding. I limped alongside my captor now, I had given up on fighting him, this was the end. “Who are you?”
He just smiled, an almost sweet smile if it wasn’t for all those teeth.
“Are you the boogeyman?” he almost laughed at that, “What do you want with me?”
We arrived in a large opening, with thousands of holes like caves in the walls around it, in the middle stood two black trees, that’s where he took me and he tied my hands around one. Then I watched as he walked down one of the caves and disappeared. I stood there the pain in my foot had become excruciating, but I just felt numb, I could hear crying and screaming coming from all around me. Then in all that noise I was able to hear one thing, “Somebody please help me?”
“Holly is that you?”
“I know somebody‘s there?”
“Answer me please!”
I didn’t know why but Holly couldn’t hear me, I suddenly felt like myself again, I had to figure a way out of this, I tried so hard to think but I couldn’t concentrate because of the pain in my foot. Then it hit me the pain in my foot, I lifted my leg until I could see the bottom of my foot, the bleeding had pretty much stopped but my whole foot was covered, I could just see the glass embedded in my foot. I put my foot down for a second to catch my balance and then lifted it behind me to where my hands were tied. The first time I couldn’t get a hold of the piece of glass before I lost my balance, but after a few tries I was able to pull the piece of glass out of my foot. I screamed, the bleeding had started again and I could see the blood pooling around my feet when I put my foot back down. From the feel of it the piece of glass was about two inches long, now if there is a God, that thing won’t be back before I can get these ropes off. I started sawing at them while watching the cave that he disappeared into, but for all I knew he could reappear out of any of these caves. Finally I felt the rope snap and got my hands free, I walked over to the other tree where I figured Holly must be tied, and I collapsed to my knees when I saw her.
Her eyes had been gouged out of their sockets, her ears were completely removed I mean dug out like her eyes, he didn’t want her hearing anything and worst of all her whole body had been skinned all that was visible was blood, veins and muscle, all over her body. It was a miracle that she was still alive, let alone that she knew I was here, no it wasn’t a miracle it was torture.
I reached up and touched what used to be the most beautiful face that I had ever seen; she jumped and started kicking, “Leave me alone!” Screaming at the top of her lungs, she even made an impression in the din of noise that was already around us.
I looked at the piece of glass in my hand, and at the ropes tying her hands behind the tree, I reached for them, but then I could hear noises coming from the dark cave that the creature had disappeared into. It almost sounded like he was singing, I stood up, held the piece of glass firmly in my right hand and used it to slice open Holly’s neck.
After a minute I noticed that the whole world around me had gone silent, except for the cave he had gone down, he was getting close! I had to get out of here, but which way do I go, I had gotten so turned around that I wasn’t even sure which direction I should head in. Then I saw it faint in the red glow but on the floor of one of the caves to the left, there was a trail of bloody footprints. I ran down it, I wasn’t running for long before I heard a scream of frustration in my mind.
The run back seemed much longer, than the time coming in; I could imagine him grabbing me around every twist and turn, his claws cutting into me. After about what seemed like hours but was probably fifteen minutes, I saw a rock edge to the cave, I kept running praying that this would work. I ran right through the wall through my closet door and ran straight into my bed, I stopped for a second, then I ran downstairs, not caring how much noise I made, let my parents wake up, maybe they would believe me now, I got my Dad’s axe and destroyed my closet door, my Dad came in screaming at me, and took away the axe, but I didn’t care I felt safe. After that my Mother cleaned me up, cleaned the broken lamp up, and layed me down in my bed. I just started at my closet until the sun came up, jumping every time I heard a noise.
The police showed up and arrested me, my neighbor had heard yelling at my house, and called them. So they were already looking for me when Jessie called. Now here I am sitting in this interrogation room, and that’s my story.
The psychologist folded his arms, “All we want to know Jason…May I call you Jason?” I nodded my head to him, “All we want to know is where the baby is?”
“He took her!” I pointed toward the Boogeyman, who was standing across the room from me, his grin got wider. “I don’t understand why you’re bothering me he’s right there. Somebody has to do something.”
The psychologist looked to where I was pointing and shook his head.
I dropped my head crying into my hand, “Why can’t you see him?”
The psychologist stood up and walked to the door.
I screamed, “No you can’t leave! He’ll kill me! He’ll kill me!”
The psychologist left.
Two plainclothes policeman walked over to Dr. Barnes, “So doc what do you think?”
“It’s hard to say, paranoid delusion, possibly even schizophrenia.”
The younger of the two said, “So he’s definitely bonkers.”
“Not the term I would use but I think he should come back to the hospital with me for a complete psychiatric work up, then I could tell you more definitely.”
The older officer knitted his brow, like he was trying to think really hard, “So what makes a man turn out like that.”
“From what he told me, his father was abusive toward him when he was younger, and then he jumped into an abusive relationship with his wife. Though I’m not sure how much of his story we can believe, and how much was in his own mind. Hell he could have watched too many horror movies as a kid, at the end he was convinced that the Boogeyman had killed his family, in fact he insisted that the Boogeyman was in the room with us but when I looked to where he was pointing he was scared of his own reflection. Is it possible for me to see the murder weapons?”
The younger officer shook his head, “They’re down at the lab, getting checked for blood and DNA.”
The older officer reached behind him, “We do have this picture though taken at the crime scene.”
He handed a picture to Dr. Barnes, it was of two leather gloves, covered with blood, the tips had been removed and five knives were fixed onto the ends. The knives had been painted blood red.