It is still so hard to talk about. It happened less than a year ago and I still struggle to fall asleep. I wish I had known what it was I had done. Obviously I didn’t and by doing so I turned all eyes on me.
That day I had come home from school and opened my bedroom door to let my friends dog i was watching out of my room. The dog was cowering under my bed, whimpering. I believed he was just stuck or scared because the place was unfamiliar. I reached under my bed and went to pull him out. Before I could touch him he bolted out from under the bed and out of my room. I turned to walk out as well when I noticed scratch marks all across my bedroom door. They were centred on the door handle. The white paint was gone from all around it and leading down from it.
‘The dog. The dog did it. It was the dog.’ I told myself over and over. I could tell myself a million times it had to have been the dog but the dog was very small, maybe weighing 5 pounds. There was no way it could get up that high to scratch away the paint to that degree. I took a few deep breaths and checked the salt line. It was still solid, I had to be safe. ‘Maybe,’ I thought, ‘the inside of my door was just on the line so something could scratch away at my door, but not actually get in.’
Later on, after my dad had gone to bed, I had a shower. I tried to relax but I still felt nervous. Focusing on my breathing I reminded myself the house had seemed a little lighter, a little safer, and had been rather quiet for a while. Things were getting better. Maybe this thing was getting bored. Maybe it wasn’t getting the reactions it wanted and therefore was going into a sort of hibernation. I let the warm waters splash over me for what felt like hours. Soon the house started to groan, as normal, as it settled. This was a sign for me to go curl up in my safe, warm bed. Away from anything that could hurt me. The one thing I hated about the groaning was you never knew if it was the house or the footsteps. During the day it was obvious. The temperature wouldn’t have changed that much to cause groaning so you always knew it was footsteps. During the night however it was 50/50. The groaning that night was intense, making the house feel like it may collapse. Time to take the one step into the wall to my room. I opened the bathroom door and braced myself for the expected gust of cold air. I shivered from head to toe. Not because of the temperature. I question mark had been inked into the middle of my bedroom door with what looked to have been a sharpie. I started at it for a long time. It made no sense! Why was my bedroom door suddenly a place of interest? I ran into my room locking my door behind me and jumping into bed.
I lay awake all night. Too scared to blink. Too scared to move. I laid awake shivering under my blankets. I didn’t shiver because I was cold, in fact I was actually quiet warm and had my window wide open. I shivered out of fear. Again on many occasions I tried to calm myself by taking deep breaths and reminding myself I was safe inside my bedroom.
I checked my phone for the time for the hundredth time: 3:17am. Thats when it started. The night had been eerily quiet. The type of quiet that sucks you into the darkness and makes you on edge as you await something terrible to happen. Then I heard the typical groan of the house. No, not typical this seemed closer. It wasn’t like the walls and stairs were expanding and contracting, this sounded like it was right beside me. Louder and louder it got, I was surprised my entire neighbourhood didn’t awake from it. Then I heard what sounded like splintering. I don’t know why it took me so long to notice it, I was staring right at my bedroom door the entire time. It was if something were pushing it out. It bulged in weird places going both out towards the hall and inwards into my room. The door was splinting near the handle, slowly traveling downwards. I went to sit up to turn my light on but found I couldn’t move. This was worse than the dreams. At least then I knew I’d wake up and that it was just a dream. I was wide awake now and I wouldn’t be released as normal by my brains sudden alertness bolting me out of bed. I was pinned in place. I openedmy mouth to scream and thats when the black cloud moved in. It was appeared to flicker and buzz, giving off random strands as it moved to be right on top of me. It wasn’t a cloud. It wasn’t even a ghost. Moths covered my entire body and any time I opened my mouth they flew in making me choke and gag. They landed on my eyes making everything fuzzy and black. I refused to close my eyes though. I felt defeated inside. I just kept thinking to myself, ‘this is it. This is how you die.’ I kept fighting though. Wiggling my toes and fingers and here and there twitching a limb, trying to get the thousands of mouths off me that had flown in the window. Thats when it hit me. The salt line. I hadn’t protected myself I had trapped something in my room and it wanted out. And I was going to pay for my mistake. Hot tears stung my eyes as they puddled and occasionally overflowed letting a stray tear roll down my cheek. I took a few deep breaths through my nose and closed my eyes to concentrate. I parted my lips and managed to whisper through clenched teeth, “please stop. I can help you.” My strength slowly returned and I managed to sit up making the moths start swarming on my back. It was clear they weren’t going anywhere yet. I swung my legs off my bed and walked to my door. It was still bulging and cracking. I unlocked my door and tried to open it, but couldn’t. It had been so badly misshapen that it wouldn’t budge an inch. I looked around frantically. Shining in the moonlight I noticed my pocket knife on my nightstand. I grabbed it, shaking off a few moths that had now left my face but still covered my body, and dropped to my knees at my door. I plunged the knife into the wood at the bottom of the door and started breaking off pieces. A minute later I had a small hole that allowed me to reach the salt under the door. I dropped the knife and managed to get a few fingers in the hole to start shifting the salt around. I was moving so fast and was so anxious to make a break in the line that I never noticed my raw fingers start to bleed. It seemed to take forever but eventually I fell backwards relieved I had moved the salt enough to break it the line. The moths all flew off me at once. The bulges in the door retracted and everything again fell silent.
I curled up in a ball right there on the floor and cried myself to sleep.