Don't Close Your Eyes

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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Horror  |  House: Booksie Classic
I know this was a true experience.

Submitted: February 27, 2017

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Submitted: February 27, 2017

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Hello reader. I don’t know you but, chances are, you know me. This particular short story isn’t exactly what you may be expecting from me. If you’ve been reading my other shorts either on your phone in bed with a nice hot coffee, sitting outside Starbucks on your tablet or reading in the living room while your kids are running rampant, you are probably thinking that this particular story will be another exaggeration or even a completely fictional story. Well, I’m here to tell you right now that this is not the case.

 

While you lie back and read this short story I would like you to think of it, not as a story, but more of a letter. As I said before, some of my stories are exaggerations. The likes of White Winter Nightmare and The Monastery series are examples of such stories. Others like She Won’t Stop Screaming or Penance are complete fiction. Then again, a writer can choose what he draws on to write a story, poem, novel or book, he does not choose to say whether or not it is true or false. That decision lies with you, the reader.

 

Some readers may think, as they follow the writer’s words, that writing stories is a fairly easy thing to do, and in some cases this is true. However, to write a horror story is another. To write a horror story, the writer needs to place themselves in their darkest place. To write fear you must feel fear. To write pain you must experience pain. To write anger you must become anger. How can a writer scare others if they have not been scared themselves? This point brings me back to my previous statement on fact versus fiction, from the reader’s perspective. All of my stories draw on personal experience, and my own feelings. So as you can probably tell, I’m a bit of a fucked up person inside. Sometimes.

 

So you may be thinking right now, “What’s this got to do with anything?” or “Why am I reading this?” or even “This is fucking boring, Xbox time”, and if you do feel that way then by all means, discontinue. Maybe go on your Xbox and try that annoying level on Dark Souls 3 that nobody seems to reach, or perhaps wrap it up for the day and get some sleep. Sweet dreams.

 

But, if you have decided to carry on, I think it’s about time you and I had some one to one bonding time. Just you and me. So lock your house door, find a closed off place in the coffee shop or barricade your bedroom. Nobody else should want to disturb you for this quick little story. For this, I wanted to share with you, a precious memory of mine which is also the most disturbing. As I said at least twice before, it is up to you if you want to believe this or not. All I can say is that this event kickstarted me to get to where I am now. This story will have no exaggerations, no plot twists or hidden meanings or anything. Nothing but a genuine experience.

It was late at night somewhere in 2012. I was at my house in Barrow-In-Furness and my brother was asleep. Outside, the rain was hammering down on the windows and I could hear nothing except for the tapping of a thousand raindrops making horror style melodies on the window. I was sat in my room playing GTA 4 when I heard noises coming from the kitchen. I don’t know about you but I didn’t think I was the only one who hears weird noises downstairs when the house is quiet. Those times when you hear pots and pans clanging quietly or creaking of the wooden floorboards and dismiss it for nothing. I did that a lot when I heard these noises but tonight I’d had enough and decided to go downstairs and find out what the hell was going on.

 

As I proceeded down the stairs, I heard another sound. It sounded a bit like tapping on a floor coming from upstairs. I stared at the top of the stairs, waiting for whatever it was to make its appearance. As I waited I saw a black shadow sweep past the upper landing outside my room. I readied myself and as it approached the top of the steps and stood in the street light shining through the window my heart leapt. It was my dog Bess. She must have heard me moving around and decided to check on me. There was no harm in letting her come down with me so I patted my thigh, indicating to her that she was okay to be with me for tonight. We went into the living room and all was still. No sounds, no voices and no movements, save for Bess panting and jumping on to the couch to get my attention. She clearly needed to pee. I was rather pleased that I got up tonight or else she might have pissed all over the floor.

 

I grabbed my favourite black jacket and took her outside. The rain was still beating down and I could feel it wetting my hair as long black locks draped over my face. I stayed outside for a few minutes and laughed while watching Bess make an idiot of herself as she did a few cross country laps around the garden. She came back to me, sat down and looked at me expectantly. We had a mutual understanding of each other, when I’m in my room, go away. When I’m not you can approach me. I gathered from her rather determined look that she wanted recognition for getting me to take her outside, so I turned to go back through the garden, toward the front door. As I turned I saw, out of the corner of my eye, a tall shadow dart to the side from the spot where I thought I saw it through the kitchen window. I stopped and looked again to make sure I wasn’t seeing things but it was hard to tell and my jacket was soaked at this point, so I shrugged my shoulders and followed my dog back inside.

 

I closed the door behind me and placed my jacket on the bottom stairs, deciding to take it up with me later. I wanted to investigate what I might have saw in the kitchen. I made my way into the doorway, through the living room and toward the kitchen. When I turned the light on and looked around I didn’t see anything, only what was normally supposed to be in the kitchen. I looked in the corner and saw a small spider casually nested in the corner of the room. I left it alone, since I wanted a nice and peaceful night I thought it unfair to ruin a spider’s night as well. Before I turned to leave I saw Bess staring at the oven with a very puzzled and slightly concerned face.

I asked her what was wrong and for a few seconds she didn’t answer, as if in a trance, and then she began to whine a little before turning her attention back to me. She stood up and looked at me with the little dog smile she always had, as if nothing had happened. I looked toward the oven where she was staring and noticed the cups hanging on the stand were moving slightly, as if a wind was shaking them. I felt a small wind rush down my spine causing my back to tingle and my hairs stood on end. I never really believed in ghosts but wanted to be sure that nobody was sneaking into the kitchen at night or that we didn’t have rats so I set up a camera in the corner of the room with night vision on and headed up to bed, ushering Bess back to her bed under my brother’s elevated bed.

 

The next day I got up from my bed, in the usual mess that I was in and turned off my Xbox. I always had a tendency to forget to put the auto shutdown back on. I showered and got myself some breakfast and noticed the camera still recording in the corner of the room. Before I could get to it I heard a crunch sound under my slippers and looked down to see broken glass on the floor. I didn’t know what to make of it until I checked the recording later on. I finished my wheaties and took the camera to my room to check the recording. When I opened up the file and watched at least seven hours of footage I didn’t see much except for an explanation for the glass. In the recording I noticed the camera becoming out of focus whenever something began making noise but at one part, which was approximately 2am, I saw one of the half pint glasses fall off the side next to the kitchen.

 

I kept replaying it to make sure it wasn’t fake or it was balanced precariously on the edge of the counter but it was placed fully on the counter, not even slightly over the edge of it. This was one of the scariest things I had ever seen in my life. So far.

 

I didn’t know what to do with this, only that I could keep watching it over and over again. I kept the recording to myself and didn’t say anything but from that day onwards I couldn’t go into the kitchen safely anymore. Especially at night.

 

I wasn’t surprised that something otherworldly was probably in my house. When I lived there my dad would always say that he wanted to move because of something strange about the house which he couldn’t explain. The house was very dusty which sucked because of our allergies to dust. It also wasn’t ideal because of the fact that it was nearly falling apart but whenever he’d bring it up he would say he couldn’t explain why he wanted to be out of there so badly.

 

I spent a few weeks going over what I found out until another night when my dad decided to go out for work at night. I had almost forgotten about the video I took and decided to play World of Warcraft on my dad's computer. At around five minutes to midnight I heard creaking on the stairs which was very odd to me since our stairs never creaked. Everyone in the family was heavy, to say the least, and none of us had ever made the stairs creak as much as they were now.

I put my can of monster down and looked toward the stairs but didn’t see anything. I turned around to check my surroundings and was only greeted by everyone’s shoes lined up neatly on the floor and the front door.

 

As I turned back I froze on the spot and went into a sort of trance. Sitting at the top of the stairs was a young teenage girl wearing a white t shirt and, what looked like shorts. Her head was bowed and her short black hair was covering her white and blue face and her arms were wrapped around her torso, hugging herself tightly. I could only faintly see her legs which seemed to be crossed and clutched tightly to the stair she was sat on. I was stood for at least three minutes but the longer I looked, the longer the time was. Eventually, she raised her head and I saw two lights glowing dimly in place of her eyeballs. I don’t know if it was instinct or my own intention but the very second those lights shone right into my eyes I ran back into the front room and cowered on the sofa, replaying what just happened over and over in my head.

 

I went back to the bottom of the stairs and slowly looked toward the top. She was gone. That night was the most terrifying of my entire life. I had very little sleep and any sleep I did get was only nightmares where I saw that same girl. Even to this very day, whenever I have nightmares I can still see that girl at some point. No matter what my nightmare is about I will see her, whether she is sitting in the corner of a room or right in my face and using those small white lights to see into my soul. She’s always going to be there.


So there you have it, this is the event that taught me to write down what I fear the most. What am I afraid of? Fear. The emotion itself is the only thing I have to fear because of the many forms it can take and the many effects it can have. Fear can drive the most sane people to madness, it can cause the most rational thinker to be very drastic and it can cause even the bravest of hearts to become scared of their own shadow. So I write about fear, I experience fear and I embrace fear. By engulfing yourself in the darkness, you will eventually become it. That is why I write horror. Our fears become at their most powerful in the darkness because within the darkness lies that which we have no knowledge of. So if you are of weak heart and vulnerable mind, stay away from the darkness. Don’t close your eyes.


© Copyright 2018 J.J. Matthews. All rights reserved.

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