Don’t See the Shadowman
Does this mean that the shadow man never existed? For most of you that is exactly what it means. For an unfortunate few, the Shadowman did not go away when the light was cast.
I was one of those few.
You must never let the Shadowman know that you have seen him. Above all else- never, ever let the Shadowman touch you.
This is my story.
I don’t remember falling asleep, but I do remember waking up the third time. I was annoyed, tired and growing more uneasy.
“What is wrong with me!” This time I did say the words out loud. I remember because my voice seemed unusually loud. It took me a few moments to realize that this was because all sound had been stripped from the world. No light wind or the noise of a passing car obstructed the silence. Not even the old pipes in my building creaked and groaned as they normally would.
Not quite wise enough to be scared at that moment, I rose to use the toilet and fetch a glass of water from the adjoining bathroom. Returning to my room, I couldn’t shake the feeling that something else was wrong or out of place. The bathroom’s light stretched a little way into my bedroom. Enough for me to make out the sleeping shape of my girlfriend. I smiled and, sold by the promise of warmth and comfort, turned out the light and stumbled blindly back to bed.
Pulling the duvet over me, I wrapped an arm over my partner and whispered softly that I loved her.
She didn’t reply.
For a brief moment I closed my eyes, tried to force sleep to come. But my thoughts kept drifting to the strangeness of the night. So I rolled over, tried to process everything that had happened.
A second later my eyes flared open.
Two nights ago, my girlfriend had gone to visit her aunt. She hadn’t returned. Scrambling, I tore black the duvet— there was nothing there. The bed was empty besides a few untidy cushions. I sat up, searched desperately for my phone and froze. The shadows in my room had mostly lost their shapes now, swallowing up the whole wall until it simply looked as if the room itself were painted black. The shadows had mostly gone.
The shadow man remained. Somehow darker than everything else. For a long moment, all I could do was stare. It stared back. I was too terrified to look away. A voice told me not to, that if I looked away it would come for me. My chest vibrated with every breath I took. Sound still refused to enter the room, as if it too were afraid of the thing. My hands flexed and unflexed against the bedsheets. My nose twitched.
I shouldn’t have.
When I opened my eyes an instant later it was gone. The faint outline of a small chair where once had been the Shadowman. Something impossibly black danced over the walls. Small and round, it crawled like an unnatural creature, forcing me to follow it with my eyes. Around and around. Darting from corner to corner. It jumped behind me. I tried to turn but my limbs became heavy. I could feel the black thing inside of me, warring with me for control of my body.
All I could move were my eyes. All I could do was watch as the Shadowman came for me. An arm like the crooked branch of a tree, splayed like a shadow but somehow moving free, reached for me. My foot burned where it touched. I wanted to jerk it away but I was powerless. A man without a face pushed its head into mine. I struggled. Trapped inside my own body it was as if my skin were an impossible barrier I couldn’t break. A caged spirit hammering against a prison of my own flesh.
The Shadowman disappeared. I couldn’t see him; couldn’t turn my head. Something hard and very real scraped against my bedsheets behind me. A weight pushed into the mattress. I fought harder, desperate to break free. Movement in my toe; slight and small. A last surge of energy rippled through me and I turned my head- saw something that may have been teeth and a mouth of never-ending dark. I screamed.
The figure disappeared.
Tearing at my sheets, my unsteady legs hit the floor, a trembling hand reached out for the room’s light. The bright yellow hurt my eyes as it blazed, but its blast evaporated the shadow. I collapsed against the side of my bed. In my chest my heart beat, rapid and strong it echoed in my ears. Tears built in my eyes, but outside the faint sound of bird song promised the safety of impending daylight.
It took me some time to overcome my fear enough to stand again. With the last of my strength and will, I dug out my laptop and began an internet search for a man made of shadow. What I discovered there I will not say.
It has been days since I last slept. I stay in my house now. Every light is always on. My room is filled with lamps, nightlights, LED torches. I’ve told my girlfriend not to come home. She must never come home. All I can do is sit and wait. Sometimes I laugh. It is not a sound I recognise, long and full of mania. But it has to be my laugh. Nobody else stays in this house.
Sometimes, when my mind cracks I’ll find myself rocking back and forth, back and forth, back and forth, uttering words I don’t remember. Over and over. Over and over. Over and over. Last night I recorded myself. I needed to hear the words.
Don’t see the Shadowman.
Don’t greet the Shadowman.
Don’t let him touch you.
Don’t let him know
It is the sleep deprivation, even as my mind is breaking, I know that it’s the sleep. But maybe it’s not. Maybe it’s the shadows. There are shadows in our dreams. You may not have considered it. Why would you? They are there though. And so is he.
Listen to my warning and listen well. When you awake and see the faint outline of a man in your room- you must ignore it. You must. Do not make my mistake. It could just be a chair, but it could be the Shadowman. If the Shadowman thinks you know of it, he will come for you.
If you choose to ignore this warning, then whatever you do make sure you follow the second: do not let the Shadowman touch you. On nights when your room feels still and the shadows take shape, keep all of your body hidden beneath your blanket. A stray toe, or a dangling hand is all the Shadowman needs.
You will know my warning as true when I stop posting. I cannot keep this up for much longer, even now my body fights against me; tries to pull me into the black depths of sleep.
Don’t see the Shadowman.