They don’t speak. They don’t make any sound at all. They just stare.
I know what you’re thinking. How can a shadow stare? I can’t see their eyes, not in the dark where the shadows linger. But I can feel them. Staring, piercing right through to my soul.
Listen to me. Talking about souls. A month ago, I didn’t believe in them. Silly, superstitious nonsense. I don’t believe in god, or ghosts or the devil. But I’m starting to believe in Hell.
No, the shadows aren’t ghosts. They’re not human now and I can’t believe they ever were. The things they think; the feelings when they stare at me. No human could ever think or feel like that could they?
The first time there was only the one shadow. Small. About the size of a boy. It stood at the end of my bed the silence louder than any noise. And it stared right at me. Just stared, pinning me to the bed. I couldn’t move, couldn’t look away. Then he was gone.
I drew a ragged breath and wiped my sweaty palms on the sheet. It was several minutes before I was brave enough to get out of bed to turn the light on. By then of course there was no sign of the shadow. Shrugging I dismissed it as some sort of waking nightmare and went back to bed.
It was several days before the shadow returned, but it did and this time it brought a friend. Both silent, both staring and then both gone. By the third time I couldn’t ignore or dismiss it. There were five of them that time, all different shapes and sizes. And all staring at me. They stayed longer. It felt endless though my clock showed only a few minutes lost.
I was waiting for them now. Every night as I turned out the light I waited for them to show themselves. Nothing for a whole week. Each night I waited, nervously anticipating those stares. But they didn’t come. Until finally I was convinced that they were gone forever. That night there ten shadows. Male, female, young, old. Each shadow distinct yet without detail. Each shadow staring at me.
Finally I had to tell someone. Anyone who would listen. I told them about the shadows. About how they gathered round my bed at night. About their stares. About what they made me feel. The things they made me see. Cruel, evil things that no person would ever think or do. I even told them about how I was starting to look forward to those feelings.
They didn’t believe me. Silent shadows that no one else saw. Of course they didn’t believe me. They smiled and said all the right reassuring things about how I just needed some rest. But they didn’t believe me and they didn’t help me.
I tried leaving the light on, but they didn’t like that. I argued. That’s when they moved me into this room. When they put me in this vest. I begged them not to turn out the lights, but they do it every night.
And the shadows came back. Dozens.... hundreds... more than I could count. They stared at me. They all stared at me. And I felt those nasty, dirty, evil things. Things I would never ever do.
They must have heard me screaming. They opened the door and turned on the light. I tried to tell them. But the shadows were gone.
I tried to explain. My mouth was full of blood. They said I must have bitten my own tongue.
Please... don’t let them turn out the lights.
The shadows come for me at night.