“Erie and 23rd.
It was late at night when things began to appear out of the corner of my eye, I couldn’t tell what it was exactly but I knew someone or something was watching me. At the time I spent most of my nights at my grandparent’s house since my mother and father worked the night shift. I slept in the same bed with my cousin and my aunt which was in the living room, we literally had a bed in the living room and no sofa. Both my cousin and my aunt were long asleep when I was still awake, I couldn’t shake the feeling that something was waiting for me to fall asleep as well. What felt like hours had
passed before my eyelids began to get heavy and I succumbed to sleep.
It felt like only seconds when I awoke to the sound of the screen door being pried open forcefully, we slept with the door open since we didn’t have A/C, and the only thing that “protected” us from the outside world was a screen door. My eyes were wide open when I tried scanning the living room and the door to see what or who was trying to force its way in. I tried to shake my cousin awake to no avail, he slept in the middle followed by my aunt. As much as I tried he wouldn’t wake up, then I tried my aunt and got the same result. The sound of the door being forced open came once again and I turned to just see it shake slightly before it finally stopped, the door had not opened since it was locked by a thin hook. Then came the sound of a chair squeaking coming from the outside, my grandfather liked to sit on that chair out on sunny days and just rock back and forth till evening. No one else sat on that chair but him, but it was rocking none the less. I looked out to see a dark figure rocking back and forth, though it was dark I could tell the figure was tall and wore what seemed like a straw hat. And I could distinctly remember it having something on his mouth, it could’ve been a cigarette or a piece of straw even. I tried calling out to it but my voice was silent, nothing could come out out of fear. “Get off of my grandpa’s chair.” I managed to let out in Spanish(I only spoke Spanish at the time), though it came out as a small whisper. Once those words came out the chair came to a brief stop and I could see the tall figure began to slowly sit up off of it and turned to stand in front of the screen door. It was looking inside, I could feel it. I couldn’t make out his eyes, ears, or mouth, but I knew his would be eyes were piercing at mine.
Once it stood just outside the screen door my heart sank and I swear I let out a soft cry of fear. I turned to shake my cousin awake more violently along with my aunt to once again no avail. I turned to see if the figure was still there but he was gone. My heart was beating incredibly fast and I could feel a cold sweat running down my forehead. I stayed looking at the screen door in case it tried to come back. It wasn’t until I heard a loud thump coming from a corner of the room that I saw him again, my eyes widened and I pulled the covers up to my nose as it just stood there, staring at me. I shut my eyes hoping that when I opened them he would just disappear like it did before. When I opened my eyes though it only got closer, I could still make out the straw hat and what it was chewing on still on its mouth but I couldn’t make out its features though, he was just complete darkness. I shut my eyes once again and prayed, prayed that everything that was happening would just disappear and hoping this was all a nightmare. Once again I opened my eyes and it was standing before me, it was towering and leaning over to stare at me. I couldn’t move, I couldn’t even breath, I was completely frozen and helpless to whatever it had planned for me. Its face was only a few inches away from mine, I could feel its empty eye sockets staring into my soul. It felt like hours had passed before I passed out, either from not being able to breathe or from just being scared that much.
When I woke up it was early in the morning, I could hear my grandmother making breakfast and I could smell the coffee coming from the kitchen. I looked to see if my aunt and cousin were still there but they were long gone. Then I felt a sting which turned to a burn coming from my left forearm, I pulled the long sleeve I was wearing up to see a deep red handprint formed against my skin. I steadily slid off of the bed and hurried over to my grandma to show her the mark and to tell her what I had seen. When I was done explaining she dropped everything that she was doing and slid on sandals so she could walk me over to the nearby church to have me blessed. Apparently shes seen this shadow before along with my aunt and my grandfather, she felt it was only a matter of time before something happened to me or my cousin. After that day I didn’t see the shadow man anymore, the mark it had left me eventually faded a few days later. My parents thought one of my relatives had hit me and I explained what had happened but they didn’t believe me. Although I no longer saw the shadow man, I could still hear the chair creak back and forth every now and again late at night. And after a decade of not going back to the old house my grandparents used to live in, he just seemed like a distant memory.” -Adrian