The first time I saw him, I thought it was a trick of my eyes. Sleepiness wedging into my mind, a dream forming as I walked to my bed. Now he’s become my normal. He’s the face in my window at night. I don’t know who he is or why he’s here.
That first night I saw him, I blinked and he was gone. Like I said, a trick of my eyes, a dream half begun. I had been walking to my bed and the window was in front of me. His face had been barely visible so it was easy to dismiss.
The next night I saw him in my bathroom window. I was taking my contacts out and saw him in the reflection of the mirror. I looked to the window and he was gone. I looked back at the mirror and again dismissed what I had seen. He just wasn’t there.
Maybe I should explain that I have vivid dreams. When my parents were still alive, I would sit down with them and go over a childhood memories that didn’t quite add up. They would confirm that it was or wasn’t my waking life. Now I have a better handle on what my dreams are and what they are not. Yet some mornings I still have to remind myself that I had only dreamt something.
The third time I saw the man in my window, he stayed longer. I, again, was walking to my bed and saw his face. I blinked and rubbed my eyes. When I opened them, he was still there. I froze. Although he is now familiar to me I couldn’t quite tell you how he looks.
He’s tall, I know this because my windows are high off the ground. He has dark hair, brown or black, I’m not sure. His eyes are deep behind the shadow of his brow so I have never had a good look at their color. What I see of them is the light reflecting off the whites. His skin seems to shift as well, never staying the same shade. Some nights he looks like a Nigerian prince, other nights I think he’s never seen the sun.
On a particularly bold night, I had rushed the window. I pushed it open and, although I couldn’t see him anymore, yelled to the wind.
“Who are you? What do you want?” After a week of seeing him every night, I called the cops. They walked around my house and yard with flashlights. They peered into my shed and into the corners of my garage. They found nothing out of the ordinary. I could see in their eyes they were irritated with me for bringing them out on a goose chase, but that’s not what it was to me.
I let it go and, although I continued to see him, I decided to look at him as a friend or guardian angel. He stuck around even longer after I made that shift in mindset. I would wave to him and wish him a good night. He would watch me brush my teeth or get into bed. Living alone has its perks, but having a witness to the weird things happening around you is not one of them.
I didn’t get freaked out by Daemon (that’s what I named him) until he showed up inside my room. I hadn’t seen him in the window that night. I laid down in bed, turned my table lamp off, and was about to pull my sleep mask down when I saw the moon light reflecting in his eyes as he stood in the closet at the foot of my bed.
“What are you doing inside Daemon?” I asked. I was shaking and more nervous than I had felt since first realizing he wasn’t a dream. He didn’t move and he didn’t speak. I moved as fast as I could to turn the lamp back on. I looked at the closet and he was gone. I slept with the light on that night.
I had named him Daemon because I had heard it on a movie. The name means “guardian spirit”. I thought it more appropriate than the usual “Fred” that everyone names an unknown entity. I had begun to view him as my guardian to curb my fear of him so why not name him something as meaningful?
The night after the closet episode, he was back outside the window. I thanked him for respecting my boundaries and went to sleep. The night after that he was in my closet again. I turned the light on and I swear I saw the clothes move. Nothing material had ever seemed affected by his presence, but then again, I’d only ever seen him in the window.
I continued to sleep with the light on at night. Daemon must not have liked that because I started seeing him other places. I went out with a couple friends. We hit up the night clubs and were having a blast drinking ourselves into Oblivion. I saw him across the dance floor, in the shadowed corner next to the stage. His eyes were locked on me. I sobered up faster than I had the night a cop pulled me over for a busted headlight. She, thankfully, had not noticed how intoxicated I was. I convinced my friends to go to a different club.
Another night I was working late and saw him in my boss’s darkened office as I walked out of mine. I ignored him and kept walking. When I got home, he was outside my bedroom window.
“Why are you doing this?” I asked. No response. “Why are you here? What do you want?” I sighed and crawled into bed wishing for an answer.
I didn’t have a single dream that night, an extreme oddity for me. I woke the next morning feeling uneasy. When I got to work, I stared at my computer screen as it booted and wondered what all this could mean. I did some research to see if others had experienced what I was experiencing. Not a word, not even on the paranormal websites.
I went home that night defeated. It had been a rough day of work and finding no evidence that I wasn’t alone depressed me deeply. I watched my normal shows as I nibbled on a sandwich. I jumped when I heard a loud thump in my room. As I passed through the kitchen, I grabbed a knife. When I peeked through my door, I didn’t see anything out of place. I searched through the room anyway. I looked under the bed, in the closet, in drawers, everything was as it should be.
With a chill running down my spine, I decided to go to bed early; while the sun was still up. As I suspected, I did not see Daemon before falling asleep. I woke in the middle of the night with my sleep mask off and the table lamp turned off. I recounted my steps. I had definitely left the light on and I had definitely put my mask on because the sun had been too bright.
I reached to turn on the table lamp. I twisted the switch and it clicked but nothing happened. The hairs on the back of my neck stood in alarm. Goose bumps covered my arms and legs. I tried again to switch the lamp on; nothing. I grabbed my phone from the night stand and found it dead and unplugged. My heart raced and so did my mind. I laid back down and closed my eyes tight.
“If I don’t see him, he’s not real. If I don’t see him he’s not real.” I chanted this over and over in my head. He was a figment of my imagination, a dream. He couldn’t hurt me. I was dreaming. What do they say about dying in your dreams?
I heard him for the first time. Slow, steady, angry breaths. Each breath sounded like a subtle growl. I clenched my eyes tighter and felt my body stiffen. He was close. I could feel his breath on my face.
My guardian angel was turning into something much more terrifying. I didn’t dare open my eyes. My arms were tight against my sides and my feet lay board straight. After a few moments, I summoned my courage.
“What do you want?” I whispered to him with my eyes still closed. There was no response. I asked the question again, with more confidence. There had to be a reason, right? He grew quiet and I could no longer hear his breathing. I opened my eyes and tried to scream but no sound came out.
His face was inches from mine. He was on top of me. I hadn’t even felt his weight, hadn’t heard my bed creak. His features were shifting over and over.
“Help.” My voice cracked and the sound that came out was more grunt than word. He brushed a finger across my lip and when I tried to speak again, no sound came forth. He touched each of my ears and everything grew too quiet. I was screaming, but I felt no vibration in my throat, heard no noise as I wiggled and struggled to get out from under him.
His hand was reaching for my eyes. I shook my head back and forth. He could take my voice, take my hearing, but not my eyes. Please God not my eyes! I felt a cool finger against my temple and my world went black.