We don’t know what they are but they follow us everywhere we go. They become active at night and hide in the shadows so that we can’t see them. Or maybe they come from the shadows and lurk there to stand guard. We don’t know, but we can sense them when they arrive. The air grows dense and heavy. They make your skin crawl. Some of them even have a smell: like sweet flowers dying in the sun.
They make little noises to let us know that they are there. Like little rats rustling in paper bags, though neither are present. They touch us with their cold little fingers and whisper in our ears to remind us of their presence. We can’t understand their words, only that they speak them. We don’t know what they want from us. Maybe we are doorways for them: doorways that allow them to move back and forth between worlds: doorways to this world from that one. But what world is that one? Hades? The grave? Somewhere out beyond the stars and the galaxy that we know?
We don’t know, but they won’t go away. They won’t leave us alone. They come back night after night. The days are hardly relief. Maybe it is our attention that feeds them, gives them the energy that they need to survive. Maybe if we stop noticing them they will go away. But how can we not notice? How can we ignore the shadow that runs down the hallway or the overwhelming presence that stands over us while we lie in our beds?
Are we the only ones who notice them or are there others caught up in this haunted nightmare? Demons and angels. Ghosts and ghouls. What are they? We don’t know. Maybe they exist everywhere and we are just more sensitive to their presence than others are.
We don’t know what they want with us, but now they are hurting us and we are scared. We wake up with scratches on our backs. There are claw marks on the walls. We don’t know how to fight them or if we should even try. Can we touch them back? Can we scratch them too? Can we pierce their hearts with wooden stakes or wrestle with them like the mighty Jacob at Peniel? We don’t know.
We don’t know how much longer we can take it. We might not make it through another night. We don’t…