Recently, I began a new job working at a McDonald’s in downtown Chicago, just twenty minutes away from my apartment. Since money’s been pretty tight, I have to get by somehow.

A few weeks ago, something truly tragic happened: a man murdered his wife in the apartment next to mine. I barely knew the people who lived there, but judging by their constant verbal episodes each night, I couldn’t help but feel that because I didn’t do anything about it, this was all sort of my fault.

That night, when I was lying in my bed, I couldn’t get my mind off of the thought that someone was murdered just a few feet away from where I was lying. When I finally started to drift off to sleep, I suddenly ended up in my neighbors’ apartment, literally witnessing the murder. Something was odd, though: instead of the man murdering his wife, it was a deranged, hunched over creature wearing the same uniform the McDonald’s mascot Ronald McDonald does. He even had smeared clown paint.

I stood there, trying to escape, but I couldn’t move. I was completely paralyzed, as I sat there and watched the creature, hunched over, all demonic-like, with his huge teeth and claws, digging into the elderly woman’s flesh and biting into her, all while letting out a very loud, deranged growl. Suddenly, I woke up, still in my bed, panting and covered in sweat.

A few weeks later, I had gotten my mind off of the nightmare. I had started to experience insomnia, however, with it getting progressively worse each and every night, even with the nightmare no longer on my mind, and each and every day I kept getting more and more tired and almost lifeless.

After work one night, I was walking home and could feel as if someone was walking directly behind me, breathing on my neck, and nearly stepping on the back of my shoes. “I’m just tired,” I thought, and kept walking, until I tried to cross the street, and the next thing I can remember is a loud banging sound, leading into blackness.

I woke up strapped to a bed in a bright hospital room. I instantly began to panic, trying to escape, but it was impossible. Screaming? The sound echoed throughout the room, and still, no one came. What the bleep was this? Suddenly, I could see a darkened figure standing in the corner of the room.

I was drowsy. Was this a doctor? A nurse? It finally began to come into focus from the shadows, starting first with a long-clawed hand. The creature stood before my bed, staring at me, grinning at me with its huge, bloodstained teeth. The smell of rotted meat and blood filled the air in the hospital room. He had long, greasy red hair, and the same smeared clown paint and suit from my nightmare.

He stood over my bed, staring at me, until finally walking over to the other side of the room. He took his large, sharp claw and began to scratch into the wall violently, until blood finally started to pour out of his long finger. He went back into the shadowy corner, and I could faintly read the message on the wall: "M". Two bloody arches.

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