I remember the night clearly, as though it just happened yesterday or last week. But I know better. It happened twenty-four years ago.
I was only sixteen years old at the time, barely old enough to get my driver’s license. Outside it was pouring the hardest that I had ever remembered, as though the sky’s just opened up into an ocean somewhere. Lightning filled the air constantly as thunder made our windows and our chests rattle from their proximity to our home. It was only myself, my younger brother Kyle, and our mother. My father was in the hospital following a procedure for his knee which had been causing him problems.
We had just gotten home from visiting him and were lounging in the living room watching television when it happened. There was a sudden loud knock on our backdoor, just one, as though someone had just hit it with a brick. Like the light was sucked from the entirety of our world, every light in our home was shut off and we couldn’t see anything. Being the only one who could see the back door I watched it as apprehension filled my stomach, waiting for another knock or anything to happen. Lightning struck again outside and as thunder filled my mind I saw a shape near the fence line. Getting up I went to the door and peered through seeing nothing and all I could hear was the barking of the dogs in the neighborhood. The lights in the house suddenly turned back on giving me a clear view of outside but I saw nothing and no one, just an empty backyard.
The rest of the night passed quickly and soon we were able to get to sleep. We woke the next day and it was still pouring outside as the storm raged on and we found out school was cancelled. That night we were in the living room again as we watched television again. Once again the lights shut off as there was an even louder single knock on the door. Standing quickly and rushing to the backdoor I tried to see something, anything that might quell my fears and anxiety. However they just deepened as lightning struck again and filled the backyard with light, giving me my first sight of a young boy with messy hair standing in clothes that were soaking wet and seemed too large for his small frame. Yanking open the door I called out to him and for the first time in my life feel a chill spread through my chest in fear as I saw that he was holding something.
Something that seemed shiny and sharp.
Something that had a dark substance, far too dark to be water, running off it.
I was distracted by my mother calling to me asking me what was wrong and between the time that took to look at her and look back the boy was gone and all I could see was the backyard as darkness rolled in and took over the night once more.
The next day the storm carried on raging as though God himself was angry at the world. It never seemed to get closer to stopping at all and I feel unease and nervous about the upcoming night as I thought back to the previous encounter with the boy. Soon after I saw the boy for the first time the lights came on and we called the police who showed up soon after. Though when they looked they were never able to find anything to hint at the identity of the boy. Indeed they could not find anything to show that the boy had been there at all.
Soon night had come and once again we were all in the living room this time with the television off as we waited anxiously to see if the boy would appear again. Suddenly there was a loud bang against the back door as though a man twice my size hit it as hard as he could with his fist. I jumped up and ran to the backdoor peering through it, looking for any sign of the boy as I crouched down trying to get a better view. However tonight I couldn’t see anything in the backyard at all as it was pitch black. That question was soon answered when the lightning lit up the world and showed me the face that had been inches from my face the entire time.
The boy had pale skin as though he had been dunked in a pool of ice water over and over again. His hair was almost as dark as the night and was dripping wet as it hung loosely in his face. But his face was the most terrifying thing about him his lips were peeled back in a truly horrifying feral grin as though he saw something extremely funny, or something extremely bloody like the pictures I had seen of spectators watching gladiators fight lions. His eyes were hidden under the fringe of his hair but I could see blood seeping from under his hairline. In his hand he held a rusty carving blade. It was dripping blood constantly as though it had just been used to stab something.
I stumble back and hear a cry from behind me I start to turn but remind myself to keep an eye on the child. As I stood I looked back to the child but he was gone as I peered through the door I saw nothing and heard nothing but dogs barking when I felt a sharp pain suddenly in my upper back where my heart was. My legs gave out and failed me as I tumbled to the side looking up I saw Kyle, my eight year old younger brother, standing over me with a blank expression holding onto a dripping carving knife that looked very familiar. It was the same one that was held by the boy in the backyard. As I watched his expression morphed to match that of the boy outside as I saw the lips curl back as though he were constantly laughing at something cruelly and his eyes gained an insane glint to them as blood welled up in the corners and starting making their way down his face. The pain became too much and I blacked out.
When I next woke I found myself in the hospital my dad next to me as tears streaked down his face. I found out later that my mother was gone. Stabbed multiple times by the same knife that was used to stab me. I still don’t know how I survived, but later I found out that Kyle had gone missing and no one knew where he was.
That was twenty-four years ago that it happened. My father passed away soon after from complications with a surgery and what I assume was guilt at the loss of our family. Tonight is a night that reminds me of it because there is a storm just like that one from those nights. I struggle for words as my pen glides over the paper-
I freeze. My entire world seems to rush in on my squeezing me as I look over to the backdoor that was near me. I reach over and grasp the flashlight that I always keep near me and fumble with it turning it on as the lights shut off inside my home. I point it at the door and see nothing outside. I start to relax and feel my pulse slow down as the adrenaline leaves my body. Suddenly lightning fills the area in front of my house, light shining through the windows and illuminating my home and I freeze again.
Behind me is Kyle, looking as though he had never changed over the years. with the same twisted grin and the same rusty carving knife.