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Being alone in the dark scares most people. As a child, I’d pull my covers over my face and head to protect myself from any monsters that may be lurking under my bed. As time lingered, and as I grew older, my fondness of the dark grew, at a healthy amount. It was easier to go to sleep when it was dark, and the sun isn’t blaring into your eyes when you sleep.

Now, at a ripe age of fourteen, I’m not sure what to think of the dark; or even of nature. It all started one summer night. It was a week after school began, a week after our summer vacation dreams had vanished. As a freshman in high school, after the first day, your back was aching from the weight of the books and homework that you received. It kept me up later than usual, though I almost fell asleep halfway through a Geometry worksheet.

When I finally had crawled into my bed, and turned out the lights, I found sleep faster due to my exhaustion. In my dream, I found darkness, which is said to mean that you’re not thinking. It was a different kind of darkness though, almost as though you were in a forest. I saw it before I heard it, glowing purple-red eyes, and a sinister smile that reminds you of the clown from ‘IT’. I then heard it whisper my name, ‘Chloe, Chloe’. When the sun blared into my eyes again, I figured it was the last time I’d be having that nightmare.

On my walk to school, a funny feeling washed over me. I felt as though I was being watched. I thought nothing of it, and reminded myself to breathe. The feeling, however, never diminished. Each night, I would have the same nightmare over and over again. Each time, the glowing eyes would get closer, and closer, and the volume of the calling of my name would intensify more and more, and the sinister smile would get more sinister.

My walks to school weren’t much better. The feeling of being watched increased, and the anxiety of it made me take four anxiety pills each day instead of two, the prescribed amount. I worried each day that it would get worse and worse, and I would end up an addict.

The last night of these chilling events, I didn’t see the purple-red eyes, or the sinister smile in my dreams, I didn’t sleep a wink that night. The closet is what fears people the most, and it’s what fears me to this day. I saw the smile, the eyes, I heard the chilling voice from inside the doors that kept my shoes and shirts.

I don’t know what else happened that night, but I do know that I still see them from time to time. Every time, though, I black out and I remember nothing besides what I first saw. The issue is, I remember that the reason they come around is because of my shakiness and my anxiety. They sense and smell your fear, and they prey on it.

Do me a favor, if there’s ever a day where anxiety pills are needed, or you’re in fear of something, don’t check your closet, and don’t sleep in fear. They always know.