It had been about three hours since Momma tucked me in, kissed my head and turned off the light. The green glow of my digital clock read 12:07 AM. My heart started beating quicker, making it almost difficult for me to breathe. I rearranged my stuffed animals around my bed like sentries standing guard and tried to push myself deeper into the warm blankets that surrounded me, but it did little to comfort me. It was only a matter of time before it would appear tonight as it had done countless times before. I hated that loathsome thing, but there wasn’t a thing that I could even imagine doing about it.

I don’t remember the first time it came. It almost seems like it just was always there. Visiting us almost every night. Making me fear and dread the hours after my Momma bid me sweet dreams and asked the angels to watch over me. Maybe the angels just looked away occasionally, and that’s why it came…

I watched the open door to my room, afraid to blink. Light flooded into the hallway from the nightlight in my sister’s room across the hall. I knew that when it came skulking down the hall, I would not see it, just its silhouette and the ungodly shadows it’s limbs would cast.

I turned again to my clock. I had been watching the hall for about twenty minutes, if it didn’t appear soon, then I knew it wouldn’t appear at all tonight. Just ten more minutes and I might just be able to sleep tonight. As the minutes ticked away, I began to feel just a little more safe…

In the deafening silence of the house, I heard the soft sound of weight on the carpet. My stomach dropped, my heart jumped to my throat, and tears welled up in my eyes. It was here to torment us tonight. At least I knew it wouldn’t come to me first.

The muffled steps on the carpet had the cadence of something on all fours… and the volume of its steps grew with each passing second. I tried to swallow, but my mouth was dry. I heard raspy, labored breathing and knew it was right outside the door. I felt warm tears make their way down my cheeks, and I was locked staring at its horror.

It’s silhouette was dark, almost black against the light from my sister’s night light. I couldn’t decided if I wished it was pitch so that I wouldn’t have to see it, or glad that I was aware of it. It resembled a human, but it didn’t move like one. It was the size of an adolescent human, but its proportions were that of an adult. It crawled on its belly, it’s limbs bent and sticking out to the sides much like a lizard. It moved quickly but deliberately, like it knew where it wanted to go, but did not want to be detected.

I held my breath as it made its way to the end of the hall to my brother’s room, its body slipping into the dark of the doorway. I began to slowly breathe again, each breath coming out in silent sobs. I didn’t know what it was doing to my little brother, but I knew that I wanted it to leave him alone. I began to pray for him, pray for the angels to bring their gaze back to my brother.

Seconds later, a piercing screech cut through the silence. I sat straight up, knocking my stuffed guards to the floor. What was it doing to my brother? I struggled trying to make my body get up and out of bed to protect my brother. I could hear the fear in his wavering sobs.

My gazed fixed back on my doorway, I saw it crawl out of my brother’s room, leaving him to his tears. It began to make its way over to my room. Ready to violate the sanctity of my sanity. As it entered my room, I realized that my first line of defense had fallen off my bed, and I was sitting up, unprotected by my cocoon of blankets.

I have always noticed it, but I don’t think it knew that I had been observing it… until now. It shot up from its belly to a crouched position, its head and neck rising up from its shoulders in a way that shouldn’t be possible. I could make out two round holes in its face, that I suppose were it’s eyes. They were black, and so very hard to look away from.

Tears were drenching the front of my pajamas, and I could not catch my breath… I heard it’s joints pop and crack as it moved closer to me, cocking its head to one side. I could smell something foul, something rotten and so very wrong. Burning bile rose in my throat as that stench became so very strong.

It was at the edge of my bed now, and I could do nothing to stop it. It lifted it hand up, reaching out to me. A squeal escaped my throat, causing it to jerk its hand away. A sound rose from the thing, sounding almost like gurgling laughter. It began to slowly rise from it’s crouched position. Its body was so thin, like its skin was stretched over its bones. It walked over to me and stared down at me, almost mockingly. It leaned over and I felt the weight of one of its limbs rest on the bed. Its face neared mine, and I just couldn’t take it. I wanted to so hard move, to throw my blankets over me, anything! But I couldn’t move.

I began to pray again, this time for me. Please, watch over me, someone, please! Just make it go away. Maybe someone had heard me, maybe my brother just decided he was too scared to continue sleeping, but I heard him scream again, but this time for Momma.

The thing stood up straight and whipped its head toward the hallway. There was movement in the other side of the house, and I knew Momma would come save me, save us. It lowered itself back to its belly and scuttled up the wall and in the dark corner of the ceiling behind my door.

With my eyes locked on its position and with new found strength thanks to my brother’s voice, I too yelled for Momma again. She flipped on the light on in the hallway, then the light to my brother’s room, and then to mine. She went into his room and I heard her calm him down. Even with the light on in my room, the corner it hid in was so ominously dark.

After my brother had calmed down, Momma came into my room and threw her arms around me.

“What’s wrong, baby?”

I told her what I saw, and of course Momma said it was a nightmare. I wanted to believe her, but the smell of it lingered in my nostrils, and it’s gaze still bored a hole into my mind.

After Momma had kissed me, told me she loved me, and asked the angels once more to watch over me, she went around “just in case” to find the “ugly” in my room. Of course she found nothing. She signed the cross over my forehead, turned off the light, and left to check on my sister across the hall.

As soon as Momma walked back down the hall, I noticed a shadow slowly slide down the wall like a sludge. The thing seemed to reform into it’s horrid shape, and watched me from the corner of the room. It didn’t approach me this time, it just watched… then slowly faded back into the shadow.

I didn’t sleep after that. How could I?

After that night, it didn’t come back creeping down the hall… but it does still watch me from any hidden place it could find. Sometimes I can hear the popping of it’s bones. When I can’t hear it, I can smell it.

At least I know it’s not after my sister or my brother… but now it has an interest in Momma.

This story is based on a true experience I had as a child. I would constantly see a frightening silhouette crawling down the hall of the home I used to live in. This apparition would reveal itself several times a week for a couple of years. We eventually moved for unrelated reasons.

At first I kept this story to myself up until after high school when I mentioned it to my sister who had seen this being. Recently my mother called and told me that she saw a similar looking creature in the bushes of my backyard. That’s when I finally told her about the experience that my sister and I had witnessed.