A little backstory; I live in a small ranch-style house with my room in the very front, connected to an enclosed porch via a thin wall. This will be important later, I assure you. Anyway, I live with my parents so I always keep my door shut for the sake of whatever I’m doing, whether it be playing keyboard, guitar, or other “instruments”. This is the story of my experience with The Messenger. Reader/listener beware, and heed this warning…
A few months ago, I was in my room as usual playing a relaxing video game and listening to my favorite band, AW. It was about 2 in the morning, so my parents were both asleep. I started feeling thirsty and had to pee, so I opened my door to leave. I almost forgot my mug which I was using for tea, so I turned back to grab it. As I turned back toward my door, I was horrified and froze out of fear. There, standing just outside my doorway, was the figure of a man. It wore a fancy beige suit with a fedora to match. I couldn’t make out any facial or skin features for some reason, other than white eyes that pierced through all, even the light that shown on them. It half-extended a hand toward me, as if to greet me. It was more than just odd. It was downright morbid. It seemed to speak to me, though not a single word was uttered. Instead, I heard echoes in my head. The voice(s) said the following: “Fear not, for it is not I that thee should fear. It is thine neglect of thy world around thee. Thou hast seen not the monster that lies within these walls. Mine own, of a branch. Haviish, the dark one. I, the humble messenger, to state his distain for thee. Tread lightly, mortal. Thy days ahead be filled with trials and woe.” That was all that was said before he vanished. I proceeded to get my tea and head to the bathroom. If I didn’t need to take a piss before, I certainly did now.
A couple nights later, I was in the midst of the usual routine, when I heard a knock at my door. I knew it couldn’t be my mother, as I could still hear her snoring. And it couldn’t be my father, because he was at a jazz concert, that weirdo. I thought maybe it was the polite burglar or patient murderer, so I opened the door. To my surprise, no one was there. I closed the door and went back to my game. Not five seconds later, I saw him. In my TV was this character. Fancy beige suit and fedora to match. I mumbled under my breath.
I got an answer. “I warned thee,” he replied. “Thou hath committed atrocities akin to that of the highest of criminals.”
“And what the hell do you mean by that?” I rebutted. “What have I done that is sooooo wrong? I’ve been doing the same damn thing most of my life. I wake up, go to work, come home, play games, and go to sleep. What have I done that I will be punished for?!”
In a mystical tone that almost entranced me, he said, “Thou hath neglected the people who love thee. Thou hath forgotten those that hath helped thee. And thou hast slandered those who called thee friend. Thou art worse than a monster. Thou art a tarnished blight to mankind.”
At this, I felt a bit ashamed, as I recounted everyone I’ve let down. “And if I feel remorse and shame? What do you hope to accomplish?” I remarked.
“Unless thee hath a strong will, thou shall be purged. Thou shall be tormented in thy dreams and in light, thus making reality and peace a nightmare to thee. No discerning one from another. Until thine mind rots to mush, to then be collected by me and mine own. Thy opinion, thy guilt, and thy shame beith irrelevant now.” And with that, my TV went black.
Later that day, I found myself home alone. Mom and dad were at work. I had the day off due to a major water pump failure, so I stayed home and tried writing some music. As I played a note progression, I heard a growl. I stopped and heard nothing else but the soft twittering of my bird, who was in her cage just behind me. She loved hearing me play, as she’d always twitter and chirp along. She even picked up on some of the songs I’d frequently play and learned to sing in tune.
So I was used to hearing noises from her. But this was a growl. Something she was not capable of, as far as I knew. I resumed playing. Nothing happened until I played the series of notes again. Another, louder growl. I turned around to face my bird, just to clarify I wasn’t crazy, one way or another. She was still twittering so I knew it wasn’t her. I played the progression one last time and listened closely for the source of the growling. This time it was more of a dull roar, somewhat like a lion. But it was not coming from around me. No, it was coming from behind the piano. I could think of no place for anything to hide back there. Except the vent.
I moved the piano and peered into the vent. I could not see nor hear anything. I decided to be brave and get my phone and use its flashlight to look into the vent. I immediately regretted that decision. As I pointed the light into the vent, I saw claw marks, as if something had been scratching at the vent and cover. There was no way this was a mouse or similar small creature. This was something big. I got a screwdriver and made sure all the screws were as tight as possible before moving the piano back and deciding I was done for the day. I’d tell mom later about this so she could call the exterminator. I couldn’t help but wonder though of a few things. One, that strange guy ghost thing with his “warning”, and two, what the hell was in the vents and how did it get in there?
Later that night, around 11 pm, I got a strange visit. An old friend of mine who’d moved to Florida a few years ago showed up at my window. I opened it and he asked if he could come in. Now mind you, its 11 o’clock and everyone else is asleep. And on another note, this dude was here from Florida, without a call or text, and we hadn’t talked in years due to a falling out. So naturally, I let him in. We talked for a while about what was going on in our lives and what we’d missed. Then something strange came up.
“D’ya hear about all those people goin’ missin’ around here?” he asked.
“Nah, but sounds like fun right now, due to a certain situation I’m in,” I replied.
“Yea, some weird stuff, man. Supernatural or somm. Can’t really explain it.”
“Ah. Well man, hope that gets sorted out for ya. But hey, I gotta go. Got a lot of runnin’ to do before daybreak.”
“Daybreak? What’s so important abo-” But before I could finish my sentence, he vanished. But he was there. In the flesh. The same person I knew from my childhood. Could it be my imagination or a dream? I confirmed it wasn’t. I bashed my head into a metal chair in my room that I use for my keyboard because I guess I’m a masochist or something. My head started pounding so I knew I was awake. It was all too serial.
Just then, without warning, I heard beeping. It was my alarm on my phone. I looked at it. 6 a.m. Impossible! We’d only been talking for at maximum an hour! Then I woke up. I looked at my phone. 6:02. I shut off the alarm and lay back down. I realized my head was pulsating and hurt like hell. I assumed I must have hit my head on the headboard and brushed it off as just that. I took some aspirin and went on with my day.
So mom ended up calling the exterminator and he came during the day. I didn’t bother to check the clock as I was just glad he was there. He checked all the vents and for any possible sign that we had an unwanted guest. He found nothing and left. I assured him and my mother that I swore I heard growling and saw marks in the vent. But when we moved the piano, of course nothing was there. So there was nothing more pest control could do. I wasn’t really surprised to be honest. If that dream wasn’t real, why would the marks and growling be real? But then again, I wasn’t entirely sure what was real anymore. It was all so confusing. That night, he came again.
“Thine attempts to ward others into thy misfortune shall not succeed. They art but puppets in a game of cards. They hath no place here. Thou shall find more sorrows and trials to come. One more visit shall suffice. Then, I shall leave.” And with that, he vanished. This was getting old. I wanted to talk to him and tell him how stupid all this was. I wanted to show him who he was messing with. But he knew all too well.
I didn’t get another visit from The Messenger. Not until another week went by. I had heard more growling, seen more scratches, and had some new events occur. One of them was a strange ticking sound that would never stop. I eventually got used to it, but at times it would get louder, as if to remind me it was still there. It almost seemed like a timer. Like it was counting down to something. I couldn’t be bothered to guess as to what it was counting down to. I didn’t care.
Another new thing was visible breath. You know how in cold weather you can see your breath? Yea, imagine that everywhere you go, except only you can see it, and it’s not even cold. This was only mildly amusing and not much of an inconvenience, but it was just one thing to add on to many others. I pointed it out to some people and they called me crazy. Again, I wasn’t surprised. If I was being hexed or something, it’d only make sense that I’d be the only one to suffer through it.
Oh, and I now have telekinesis. That one is permanent. Of course, again, it’s only in my mind. But I can actually see things moving whenever I will it. It’s probably just a side effect of all the mental stress but it’s still kind of fun. I sometimes throw cars off the highway if they’re annoying me. Too bad it isn’t real.
The next time I got a visit from The Messenger was a month after the “incident”. I had seen what appeared to be a lion but without a mane. Its eyes were wide to the point of bulging. Its legs were skinny and oddly bent. Its body was short but very wide, like it was put together sideways or something. It admittedly startled me and I fell down the stairs. I hit my head on a cabinet at the bottom, rendering me unconscious.
I awoke in a hospital bed. My mother was sitting in a chair over by the window. She had tears in her eyes. My dad had gone and gotten snacks for the both of them. My first thought was ‘How long have I been in here?’ My mother saw me moving and rushed over to hug me. It seemed as if she’d never been happier.
“How long was I out?”
“Oh honey, several weeks. We were beginning to think you’d never wake up. You had a major concussion from your fall.” I didn’t remember falling. This was only to add to my confusion. I now remember it of course, but at the time I was in a haze.
“F-fall?” I asked.
“Yes. You fell down the stairs. No idea how long you were down there but it was several hours before we found you. I just assumed you were in your room. But I kept calling for you and texting but you never came. I thought maybe you were sleeping. Luckily your dad was about to do laundry and he saw you at the bottom of the steps.” In all honesty, I just wanted her to shut up. My head hurt and her constant talking was making it worse.
“Oh.” I said. “Sounds like I had a great time.” They both laughed. The doctor came in and said I’d be cleared to leave in a few days if I maintained consciousness. I was glad to hear that. But just as the doctor left, he showed up. In the corner of the room. Mr. Beige coat and fedora to match.
“Hey kid,” he prompted. I kept my mouth shut. I didn’t want to sound crazy just coming out of a coma. “What? Art thou not pleased to see me?” I saw what I assumed was a grin, but it was hard to tell when he had no color in him. It seemed as if he was always in shadows. It angered me slightly. “Doth thou know it beith impolite to ignore thy company. This beith what got thou into this complication in the first place.” I couldn’t resist.
“Complication? It seems pretty damn clear to me. You trying to mess with my head!” Of course my parents were now concerned. I didn’t tell them what was going on. Instead I told them I talk to myself and was prone to outbursts of random thoughts. They accepted this lie and didn’t think much of it.
“Now thou hath shown another flaw. Fibbing. Thou know no bounds nor barriers. Thou art a runaway stone.” I flipped him off discreetly. He grinned again. “This is going to be fun,” he cackled. Things only got worse from there.
I was still laid up in the hospital bed when things got weird. One night, around 8ish, everything got real dark, save the lights in my room. All sound was cancelled out from outside my room. A mist seemed to fill the air. I was in no shape to get up from the bed, so I couldn’t get a snack while whatever this was unfolded. I saw a naked lady in the corner of the room. She was skinny and had close to no features other that her face. She was bare bones. I looked to the other corner and saw an alligator. It just sat there chillin’. I looked at the ceiling and saw another lady, this time clothed. But she was all mangled, like she’d been hit by a semi. She’d have been beautiful if it hadn’t been for all the blood on her and the mess of hair and bones. Then, I saw the creature again. That lion thing. It spoke to me, but in a language incomprehensible to my ears.
“Huag taag usinang.” I squinted. No reason for it. I just felt like it. “Huag taag usinang,” it said again. I mad a questioning sort of sound. It spoke again. “Huang taag usinang. Meelos falvaa Haviish. Nar Haviish. Calco gulaat mordov.” I was sure of it. The doctors gave me every drug they could find. This was just my imagin- Wait. Havissh. That name lingered. ‘Haviish, the dark one, I the humble…’ yea whatever the rest of that thought was. I wondered if this was what The Messenger was talking about. The creature seemed to acknowledge this thought and agree with a, (forgive me if I butcher this) “jualagtusicomagitarte”. Yea, what he said. This was what The Messenger was talking about.
“The Dark One, huh? Well what do you want?” More lion creature speak I couldn’t begin to know how to type. “Yea ok. Whatever you say, man. If you really want to see me squirm, just give me a stuffed snake. I hate those things.” To my surprise, it gave me a stuffed snake. It wasn’t very smart. Or so I though until it turned into a real viper. It bit at me and sank its teeth into my neck. It didn’t hurt. I was going to cry out in pain but I didn’t feel anything.
“Ha, it’s a dream!” I yelled. But it wasn’t. I realized I really couldn’t wake up. Either I was still in a coma, or I was really awake. My doubts were cast aside when I realized I could feel my heartbeat and the blood rushing to my head. I couldn’t explain the viper though. Just before a nurse walked in, everything vanished. But with a final puff, Haviish spoke;
“See you soon kid.” It was right then and there that I decided that I hate my life.
Nothing eventful happened after that night at the hospital other than my “symptoms” coming back. It wasn’t until I got home that things went back to hell. I started hearing growling, seeing claw marks, and now seeing shadows. They followed me and seemed to talk to me, though I could never understand what they were saying.
One night, I was laying in bed listening to AW, doing nothing else, when I heard a scream. It sounded like it came from across the street. I looked out my window and saw blood all over it. There’s no way someone could have had a ketchup party had the leftovers reach my window, so I knew I was being messed with again. Weird how Haviish took it in sequence, right? Anyway, I prepared myself for what would happen next. But nothing could have prepared me, even if I knew beforehand.
I was lifted into the air and slammed to the ground. Mind you, I was still recovering so I really felt it. Then I was thrown on my stomach on the floor. It felt as if someone had their foot pressing into my back. I looked behind me and saw nothing. I was then bent backward to the point where I felt my back breaking. I couldn’t move. All I could do was flail my arms and legs, until my circulation was cut off. I could only lay still and be obedient to whatever force wanted to hurt me. I felt my head being squashed until I passed out.
I awoke to a pain in my back and head. I couldn’t move my arms or legs. Everything was so bright in my room. I wasn’t sure if I was dreaming now or if I’d actually woken up from a nightmare. A part of me didn’t care. I was just glad I wasn’t dealing with it at that moment. My joy quickly turned to dread when I saw the TV turn on. It tuned to a weird show with carnival music and clowns.
I sat up. There was a large tent, the kind you’d see for large acrobatic shows. But when the camera moved inside the tent, there was nothing but bodies. Bodies on top of bodies stacked miles high. It didn’t seem possible. It felt as if I was in the TV. I couldn’t see the edges of the screen, but then again, I couldn’t really look away or focus on anything else but the corpse pile (Great metal band name by the way). I didn’t understand reality anymore. If this was reality, then I was a puppet. If this wasn’t reality, then I just had my back broken and was possibly dying. But of course, the sweet release of death was too good for me. No, whatever this thing was wanted to enjoy it. Enjoy my pain. Enjoy my suffering. No. It wanted to enjoy my prolonged torture and torment. It was a sadist. And there was nothing I could do but stay within the hands of its mercy, of which it had none.
The carnival of horrors ended abruptly with the break of dawn. The TV shut off without warning and I saw my reflection. I was on the ground. I was on my stomach, and felt a sharp pain in my back. I couldn’t move. I focused harder on the reflection from the TV. My head seemed to be caved in. Part of my brain was exposed and I had blood all over my face. ‘This isn’t fair,’ I thought to myself. ‘Why can’t I have at least some sort of control?’ I drifted out of consciousness again.
I awoke again in a godforsaken hospital bed. I swore I’d get out of this. I didn’t listen to the doctor’s diagnosis. I was too fed up with these events. I needed to find an end to this. Now these drifts of consciousness were getting frequent. Fancy dude wasn’t kidding when he said I wouldn’t be able to tell reality from dreams. Or peace as he called it. If I couldn’t figure out which was which, I’d eventually lose my mind and kill myself. I was now a ticking time bomb. Now I knew why I heard perpetual ticking.
I devised a way to tell the two worlds apart. I would use my consciousness as an anchor. Any time I couldn’t recollect something, I would assume I was in reality. This way, I had a 50/50 chance of being right and be able to notify someone. And if that didn’t work, at least I’d know where I was. Anytime I could remember something, I’d log it. I’d take the ridiculous aspects of each and rule them out of the equation, leaving only the normal parts in. From that, I’d make a mental not of my surroundings. I knew my home well, so I’d use that to my advantage. If something was immediately off, I’d be able to rule out reality. From that, I’d be able to tell that the next time my consciousness drifted, I’d be in reality. The multiple in-mind drifts outside of reality wouldn’t matter. If ever there was anything off, I’d be able to rule it out, even if I ended up in reality somewhere completely different from my home. This is how I would beat this. This is how I’d make The Dark One fail.
“Thou art clever. But thou hast forgotten who hath control here. Thou may find inconsistencies within thy world, but how can thou tell if thou cannot see anything?” This was the first message I got from The Messenger when I drifted next. He had a point. If I was blinded in some way, I wouldn’t be able to distinguish anything. ‘Damn him,’ I thought. I didn’t think of everything. I came to a sudden realization. If I just assumed I was always in a coma until nothing happened, what real consequence was there? I didn’t have to feel afraid. I didn’t even need to try to escape. Although, the pain was all too real. At times it was unbearable, just like when my back was broken. If I could just hold out, I’d be fine. Wouldn’t I?
The real challenge was going to be keeping my mind intact until this came to an end. As I lay in my bed, I noticed something. The wall that my bed was up against had a big hole near the middle of where my bed was. I could see right into the porch. I decided it might be in my best interest if I could try to crawl through it. I’m not the skinniest guy around, but the hole was just big enough that I could crawl through it. The only problem was, I couldn’t move. I tried moving my arms and legs, but all my muscles failed me. I had no choice. Whatever was on the other side of that wall could help me in some way. I gathered every bit of strength I could muster and hauled myself through the hole. I didn’t know what to expect. But what I found was a bit strange. There, in the middle of the porch, was a kitten. It was black with white strewn about it in various places. It was grooming itself. It saw me and started hissing, then leaped at me, claws and all. I tried to back away but to no avail. I had used all my strength. As the kitten attacked me, I saw blood running down my face. I blacked out.