By Stephanie W. United States.
Memories are tricky little buggers. My memories of first grade and earlier are in bits and pieces; scattered and reordered in primary colored fragments of time. So it comes as no surprise that I convinced myself as I grew up that the sinister things I remember were all in my head.
Recurring nightmares are only just that, right? Nightmares. I have my share and always have, as far back as I can remember. It wasn’t until I had pushed them so far out of my mind that they would come back to me blazing with such startling truth I could no longer dismiss; no longer ignore the vivid color in which the paranormal has touched my life.
They came to me in little shadow figures, none any larger than six inches in height. They were two dimensional and featureless creatures who resembled little men in pointed hats with pointed shoes. When they finally spoke, I was never able to make out what they said. Their voices were high-pitched and tiny.
At first, they were only in my window at night and were silent. Gradually they progressed, getting closer to my bed as I lie awake at night. I was never touched by them, but I would watch them swing on my solar system mobile as I lay frozen in fear. I am not sure how old I was at the time, but I only lived in that house until second grade. I had learned from previous experience not to run to my mother’s room as she would only yell at me for over imagining things. The little shadow men were not menacing, but not understanding what they were or what they wanted unnerved me and I began pulling the covers over my head, willing them to disappear.
They would not visit me every night and as time went on and I grew up enough to convince myself they weren’t real, I stopped seeing them at all.
Approximately twenty years later, I was a single mother of two young children. My youngest child, my daughter, was in preschool at the time. She was born with heart problems, so I’ve always checked on her several times throughout the night. During a midnight check in, I expected to find her sleeping. Instead, I found her sitting up in bed, giggling and staring out the window.
“Whatcha doin’ Princess?” I asked.
“I’m watching the little men, mommy,” she said sleepily. “They’re so funny in their little hats dancing on my window sill.”
She then described them for me and my blood ran cold. I had never told anyone about the little shadow people. I had even revisited all of my old books, scouring them for any type of inspiration for what I had convinced myself were nightmares and found none. Yet my little girl was seeing exactly what I had seen so many years before.
I told her the same thing my mother told me so many years before, but without the outright dismissal that I knew would only push her away from me. “It’s only a dream, love,” I told her softly, “but when you see these funny little things, come get me ok?”
She continues to tell me about everything. She shares everything about all of her little “imaginary friends.” Some are just that. Some I believe to be more than that. Others I have met before. Meanwhile, I took to the internet… Paranormal message boards and the like. Someone somewhere must know what is happening to my family, I foolishly thought. For months, I was obsessed. All I found for all my trouble were ominous warnings that shadows are almost always malevolent. I say that my search was foolish because most of those who seemed to want to “help” only gave grim ideas about demons following me and my children.
And they gradually moved in closer…
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