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I'm too terrified to sleep without a night light (by Sparky)

 Sparky (0)  (25 / M-F / Massachusetts)
27-Mar-20 7:20 pm
I'm too terrified to sleep without a night light

I used to sleep with one leg off the side of my bed.
I stopped doing it a few years ago, after I felt a calloused hand wrap around my ankle in that twilight between being asleep and awake.
I?d tried to pull my leg away, but the claw persisted, talon like nails ripping into my flesh. I reached up and flicked on the lamp next to my bedside, and the grip around my leg loosened.
I had screamed for my parents, and they came in to calm me. There was nothing under my bed ? just the overactive imagination of a restless teen, they had said.
I wanted to believe them so badly that I ignored the wounds on my feet, telling myself I must?ve had them before.
Must?ve just opened up the scabs with my thrashing about during some sort of waking nightmare.
From then on, I always slept with a nightlight. It was embarrassing, I even brought it to sleepovers with extra batteries, too terrified to spend any time at all in the darkness.
It came with me when I eventually moved out, too. I didn?t unpack it though- I was just starting my journey into adulthood and didn?t want to indulge my own childish fears- but knowing it was nearby was comforting.
The first few nights I slept peacefully next to my bedroom window, the room bathed in gentle light reflected off the waning moon. I felt so comfortable in my own space, I even begun sleeping with my leg off the bed again. Each day I woke with my skin intact helped solidify that it had all, in fact, just been a vivid dream.
Then came the birth of the new moon. That night, under the dark, empty sky, I felt a rough touch graze my ankle. I awoke fully with a start, adrenaline coursing through me- but before I could retract my foot completely, the creature had firmly grasped my calf.
I scrambled for the lamp next to my bed, but right as I reached the switch I felt the cord pull tight, and saw a large, bloody claw grasping it.
The lamp crashed to the floor, the bulb inside shattering. I shrieked, fear tensing my vocal cords, the sound coming out high pitched and far softer than I intended.
****.
As its hands crawled up my leg- vigorous, piercing - I started to truly panic. I couldn?t reach my phone or the light switch. The creature hurls me flat onto the ground, and I flail, trying desperately to gain purchase on the wooden floor, friction peeling a layer of skin off my knees.
Shock was slowly settling over me ? this couldn?t be happening; it must be a dream? I fought hard against it to stay awake, stay combative.
With a massive heave, it pulled me further under the bed, now only my chest and arms still free. I grabbed a nearby box, knocking it over and scattering its contents on the floor. Make up falls out, compacts shattered and caked powers disintegrated into dusty heaps.
Wrong box.
I couldn?t reach the others, so kicked my captor in its bony jaw, hard. I felt its grip relax a little in surprise, and its claws retract slightly- just enough so that I could lunge forward a few inches. His sharp, talon like nails shredded my skin easily, like it was merely pulling down fleshy zippers.
I screamed again, the sound echoing off the walls of my small bedroom, surely loud enough this time to rouse my flatmates if they were home?
My hands were sweating, and I was starting to lose grip on the polished veneer of my bed frame. I dug my nails in, splinters catching painfully underneath.
I heard the brief thudding of heavy footsteps down the corridor before my door slammed open with enough force to dent the walls.
?What the hell? I lost power in my room, then I heard you- I think a fuse must?ve blown-? stuttered a semi-frantic voice in the dark.
?THE LIGHTS! HIT THE LIGHTS!? I screeched. I heard him click them on ? nothing happens.
?It?s the fuse!? he replied, his eyes finally adjusting to the darkness and running over to me. He grabbed my arms, tight enough to leave bruises wrapped around my wrists- but holy **** was I grateful for his vice grip- a lifeline!
The creature begun growling, tugging on my legs in violent spasms. The ground below the bed opened up, and I slowly started to be pulled by the creature into a thick, icy tar. Momentum sunk me under, deeper still.
?The boxes!? I screamed, ?tip them over! Empty them!?
He had one foot on either side of the wooden edging of my bed, bracing himself but slowly losing grip. I could barely see out from under edge of the bedframe at this point. He nodded quickly and used one hand to bring down a tower of boxes, spilling their contents in a hail of stationary, clothes, and instant noodles.
?What the **** is going on?!? he yelled.
I didn?t have time to explain, and honestly wasn?t even sure if I could. The bed frame started cracking, half my body engulfed by the monsters den. It was continually grabbing onto unscathed flesh to get a better grip on me. I was losing a lot of blood.
I spotted the nightlight across the room amidst the chaos of my scattered belongings, far out of reach.
He saw my eyes lock onto it. I was growing so weary? ?What is it!?? he asked, ?What can you see??
?I need that nightlight- it?s the white unicorn, towards the door!? Noises were starting to grow fuzzy, my vision blurry.
He spotted it, grimacing at how far it was. ?There?s no way- urgh,? he pulled harder, matching the creature?s efforts.
More cracks as the bed frame splintered. We locked eyes, knowing it wouldn?t hold much longer. He had both hands wrapped around one wrist now, my head under the bed, my chest submerged into a viscous liquid I no longer had the strength to fight against.
?You?re going to have to throw it to me,? I said solemnly. ?Pull hard, really ****ing hard, then run for it.?
He counted down from 3, pressing his fingertips into my skin, trying hard to keep a grip despite my sweat, then ? ?Go!? He heaved me out from under the bed, my chest and head now free, buying us precious seconds.
He sprinted across the room, pivoting on one foot as he picked up the nightlight.
The creature shrieked, a gut-wrenching noise, and clawed fresh punctures into my ribs and shoulder. It hauled me backwards, moving rapidly with no resistance- I was quickly submerged up to my neck.
He threw the light just above the ground, skimming the top of the bed as it skidded towards me. The creature?s claws grabbed at my hair, painfully tangling within the strands as it pulled my head under. I felt the light hit my palm, and I grab on tightly as I?m plunged into the unknown depths.
I was violently shivering, my fingers and toes numb, my eyes forced shut.
I felt jagged teeth tearing at my flesh, mangling my foot as it consumed chunks of my muscle and tendrils of loose tendons.
With the last of my consciousness, I fumbled with the light, desperate to find the switch. I wasn?t even sure if the batteries inside would still work ? let alone in this environment ? but I had to try something.
I finally caught the switch on my nail and flicked it.
Nothing.
The seconds ticked away, and I felt my grip loosen ? then suddenly, a gentle flicker.
My eyes were closed, but I could still see a sudden brightness explode, stark red through my lids, far stronger than a battery powered night-light could ever be. Warmth started in my hands and flooded its way through my body. I felt claws retract from my skin, and the creature cried out in agony.
My body was expelled violently from the den, thrusting me out so hard the force knocked my bed on its side. My head throbbed.
I laid in the darkness, holding my aching skull. Soon after, the fuse was reset, and light flooded the room.
There was nothing on the ground underneath me but a pool of my own blood, with desperate smears and handprints on the floor, evidence of my struggle to survive.
Gaping wounds were scattered all over my body, and half my foot was missing.
My wrist was also dislocated, but that is an injury I was thankful for. I can?t help but think that if I had of been home alone, I wouldn?t be here to type out this story. I make sure my sheets are tucked tightly in before bed each night, no way a stray limb could potentially fall to danger.
And of course, I never sleep without a night light.


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