I suddenly woke up with a jolt, hot sweat ran down my face as I sat upright. “It’s just a nightmare… It’s just a nightmare,” I said with my hands over my face. For a second I heard Theodore’s voice from outside my room in the hallway only to realise it was a hallucination. Just like my dream. Just then the sound of lightning erupted from the sky illuminating my bedroom. I lived in a rural area in Vermont. It was quiet, just the way I liked it. It was a struggle seeing how I lived far away from the nearest town and I only had an old Toyota Corolla from 1983 that barely started.

I got up from my bed and walked to the door. My heart stopped dead when I opened the door. There wasn’t anything out there, but my shadow. I turned my head to the left, nothing there, to the right nothing there. I closed my door and went to the window looking at the lightning as it shattered the ground with rainfall slashing the ground alongside it. That’s when I saw it. The figure looked like a child, just standing there. It was too dark to see its face and I wondered if I was seeing things. It lifted its arm up and waved to me indicating for me to go outside. My mind tried to comprehend what was happening but my hand was already reaching for my bedroom door. I turned around to look at the window and I went pale. The figure was now at my window. I could see its features now, its mouth was spread in a devious grin that stretched across to either ear and its white teeth glistened in the lightning, its body was black and seemed like and endless void of darkness. I was paralysed and my mouth would open and close but no words would form.

I felt nauseous and light-headed when I came in contact with this being. Just then it opened its eyes. I screamed in fear at the sight of them. They were pure white with no pupils at all. My hand was fumbling with the doorknob and I finally managed to thrust open the door and dashed into the kitchen, were I grabbed the biggest knife I had. I waited… nothing… waited a bit longer… nothing, no glass shattering as I expected with it coming in the house. The nausea stopped and I could see clearly now. I thought it would be safe to go back to my room not before locking all the doors and windows first. I couldn’t sleep that night, still wondering if it was a hallucination. I decided I needed to sleep in a hotel because I was paranoid that the figure would come for me in the night. I started up my old car and drove out through the misty, ominous trees on a dirt road to the nearest hotel. Just as I thought the memory of that thing was buried in the corridors of my mind my car broke down. My heart raced as I tried to think of a way to get help as my phone had died. I looked in the rear-view mirror and my heart dropped. There in the distance, illuminating in the shadows was a man, about 7-8 foot tall wearing a dark tail coat that covered his body from shoulders to ankles, a wide-brimmed fedora, eyes that were pure white, teeth as white as snow and a hook for his right hand as it glistened in the falling rain.

There was a child there beside him. He looked to be five to six-years old. They moved closer and I could make out that the child looked familiar. It was Theodore. Tears welled inside my eyes at the sight of him. He still wore the same clothes as he did when he was murdered, a ragged dinosaur shirt with torn blue trousers and dirty white and red sneakers, he had a smile across his face with sinister eyes, the guilt and nausea overcame me again. The man indicated for me to leave the car and follow him. My hand was already reaching for the handle when a car drove by, its headlights should have illuminated the figure and Theodore but they both vanished. I got out of my car still shocked at what I saw and through up on the side of the road and passed out. I woke up beside a man who saw me on the road and was bringing me to the hospital. I asked him what his name was and he said, “Gabriel. Gabriel Noir.” I asked him if he saw what I saw and he said, “No I didn’t see what you saw back there.” I was relieved to hear that and I was almost relaxed when something caught my eye as I was looking at his reflection in the rear-view mirror. I muffled my voice so he couldn’t hear my screams of terror. His reflection looked exactly like the man I saw on the road alongside Theodore. I asked him again only this time in a stutter, “Wh-Who a-a-are y-you?” He turned around revealing his grotesque skeletal face with his white eyes gazing into mine and answered in a quiet but demonic voice, “I am your nightmares, the very thing that keeps you up at night, plagues your mind with horrific and horrendous thoughts.”

I woke up immediately after that in my bed in a mental hospital. The nurse came in and asked me what was wrong. “Just a nightmare,” I said, “Just a nightmare.” She left the room leaving me in the dark. I looked out my window to see Gabriel again. Nausea came over me and my head was spinning. He wasn’t doing anything except waiting. Just waiting.