The only reason I’m adding this story here is because it can easily be dismissed as a work of fiction.
This is the only way for me to speak about it.
My name is irrelevant, but for the sake of my account I will go as Mason.
I am currently living alone in the middle of the woods in a trailer home. I am 15 miles from anyone. The only reason I mention this is because I know there is a chance I have gone insane due to the isolation and sleep deprivation.
It all started with a spontaneous hike at midnight. I convinced myself there is absolutely nothing in these hills that could possibly hurt me.
I brought with me a 7 inch pocket knife, a small (but sturdy) wooden Dodgers baseball bat, a super bright LED flashlight, my canteen, my phone, and my bluetooth speaker.
I decided to make this trip at around 11 at night. I wanted to confront my fears of darkness and isolation. I knew without a doubt, that fear is only as strong as you fed it.
So I left for my hike.
I was playing some Slayer at full volume, because I was nervous, and pumping myself up. There was no one for miles to complaint, and it felt good to not give a s**t about public opinion.
After about 3 miles in, and the occasional coyote yipping, I started getting cocky.
I told myself, “If the only thing to fear is fear itself, why not entertain these fears, why not fuel them, why not imagine the scariest thing possible, and overcome it?”
So I turned off my music and dug into the darkest parts of my mind.
At first, the scariest things I could think of were not anything you would run into at night, but things like, a death in the family or a girlfriend cheating.
This made me chuckle.
I had concluded I was fearless and should create my own terrifying scenario.
As a kid, I was scared of aliens, demons, the dark, bullies, and wild dogs.
I started asking myself, why would I fear those things, and if I could identify those root fears and create a truly terrifying story by myself.
You know what I was really scared of?
Being alone. Being watched. Being followed.
What if someone or something was following me? Just outside the reach of my flashlight?
I started getting a bit spooked, imagining something watching me.
I was ready to play my music again, but realized what a b***h move that would be.
So I matched my fear by turning off my flashlight and walking back, promising to myself that I would make my story as scary as I possibly could, before reaching the comfort of my trailer.
I started thinking of what would be scarier, aliens, a witch, or a creature following me.
I thought, wouldn’t it be scary if I was being followed by Myself?
A sick, evil version of me, waiting to be born of my fears, on this very night.
I was genuinely scared at this point.
It seemed so very quiet, and like something would jump out at any moment.
So I gave this Evil version of myself a purpose, I mean, why would it want to harm me?
I started thinking of all my shortcomings and personal failures. What if I hated myself for being pathetic and leading a pointless selfish life?
I stopped thinking.
This game was stupid.
I got home and was actually pretty upset with myself.
I was pissed off, I was actually pretty selfish, and up until then, I hadn’t really seen it that way. I’m such a f*****g loser.
Just then, I heard something that made my heart drop to my stomach. I froze.
I heard snickering. Coming from outside. Faint, but undeniable.
I grabbed my bat and put on my boots.
I heard talking now.
The kind of talking aimed at someone. Like someone talking in another room, low but meant for you.
I wasn’t scared, I was pissed off, it better not be the landlord touching my s**t.
Wait, at 2am?
Then I heard the voice say, loud and clear. “It’s not your landlord, f****t.”
My entire body froze.
“If you won’t come outside, I’m going in.”
I didn’t know what to do. I was petrified.
My trailer door was nudging. Someone was forcing the knob.
I yelled, “I will f*****g shoot you b***h, just come inside so I have a reason!”
It was quiet for what seemed like an eternity.
I looked outside my window, angrily and abruptly.
I yelled out, “Go home, there’s nothing here worth dying for.”
I moved my cabinet in front of the door.
I heard something walking over dead leaves. Walking around the back, towards my wall.
I wondered if the person outside knew where I was standing based off of my yelling.
Then I heard a knock on my wall, and a voice said, “Hey man, haha, sorry about that bro, I just need to take a piss, it’s f*****g cold out here, mind if I crash for the night? I got some weed.”
I was f*****g scared, but was so relieved at the sound of this guy’s voice. He sounded mellow, and stoned to the bone.
He then said something that made my stomach hurt.
“Dude, tell my why I wanted to kill you, but now I’m just trying to sleep? It’s like, my only purpose is to skin you alive, but now I feel shame for wanting to hurt anyone, and like, I think I’d rather be a cat.”
I accepted I was insane and just replied as such.
“Fine, you’re a cat, a regular cat. Please don’t hurt me.”
He replied, “Just tell yourself it was the weed and staying up late. Thanks, and f**k you for making me. You better hope I don’t hate you.”
It’s been a whole year. I never told anyone. For fear of it making it true.
My cat is called Toby.
It is the best cat ever. It doesn’t even matter that I have to have him locked up, or that he can’t die.
It loves me as long as I don’t remember. God knows I’m trying to forget. For both our sakes.
I promise to let him out once I believe without a doubt I’m insane and he’s a stray.