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That bastard, Manny, woke me up again in the middle of the night. I absolutely hate it when he does this. This time, I guess he had a good reason to wake me up like that. I just wish he wasn’t an asshole about it.

Manny and I, we have a strange relationship, I’d say. Even our meeting was weird. He just appeared at my place one day. He was there, sitting on my couch – reading my copy of Dan Brown’s Angels and Demons.

I’ll admit this much, his appearance at my place wasn’t random at all. I can swear I’ve seen him looking at me as if admiring me from a distance for weeks before our meeting. It’s hard to miss the guy. He really sticks out in a crowd, given his odd-looking head. Manny’s appearance is mostly unremarkable, other than what appears to be a pale white smiling mask permanently fused to the skin of his head. It looks like he has a purposefully deformed mannequin head stuck on his body. Hence the name, Manny.

Somehow no one else has ever noticed him. Usually, people write me off as mental whenever I mention him, which is why I avoid talking about him to others.

When I saw him sitting on my couch like he owned the damned thing, my instinctive reaction was to get mad. I yelled something obscene and pounced on the couch with the intent to maul him with my hands.

What came next scared the living hell out of me, I hit the couch and flipped it over – but the bastard was gone.

He disappeared on me before reappearing behind me, and letting out this distinctive high pitched chuckle of his. He said that he was going to play with me like a marionette and then vanished again.

I just sat there, flat on my ass, scared out of my wits. I had no clue what the hell had just happened to me. I’m still not entirely sure. It’s been years now, and Manny comes and goes. Whenever he shows up, I know it’ll be one heck of a ride. He pops up and does his best to make my life hell; not letting me sleep by being an incredibly loud unwanted roommate or by driving me nuts with his mostly moronic rants just before I go to sleep. Other times he shows up and just makes me feel like shit by giving me vivid accounts of horrible… Horrible… Things about me and the world. His recollections feel as if he’s feeding the imagery directly into my brain, I can quite see the horrors he’s speaking of.

Needless to say, that makes me feel terrible.

I think he can even influence my dreams at this point, I swear, whenever I have a nightmare, I wake up to him standing at the edge of my bed, staring straight into my soul. Usually, these nightmares I think he gives me are events from my past, amplified and perverted into haunting scenes straight out of some horror flick. Other times these nightmares are just distressingly weird things you’d not expect to see in your sleep, like that one time when he made me dream of me viewing black and white footage of what appears the main street of some city devoid of people with this dramatic music playing in the background. The atmosphere of this whole thing felt incredibly off, but then came the truly terrifying part. Singing, quite a cheerful singing came to flood my ears, forcing me to look around for the source of the sound. My dream-self looked up, and above it… Me… hung women dressed in twenties outfits, swinging from the street lights… Lifeless… Swaying softly in the wind… And yet singing cheerfully…

I woke up in a cold sweat to be greeted by the pallid mug of that bastard.

Over the years, he’d pull some nasty trick where he’d stand there in the distance, making sure I see him before pulling out a long black rod and… and… Stabbing himself… Somehow… as in with some voodoo magic, I’d feel it wherever he stabbed himself. Usually the leg… It hurts so bad whenever he does this. He seems to have this gleeful expression on his face, like he’s enjoying the pain while I want to scream as a result of the sensation of a boiling hot metal rod slicing through my nerves. The first time was as shocking as hell, I’ve bitten so hard into my lip due to the pain, I now have a scar there as a reminder of that day. Unfortunately, I’ve come to accept it as part of my experience with Manny.

That’s not even the worst of it.

The worst part about Manny, however, isn’t this sort of stuff, nah, the worst part is when he pops out of nowhere and lets out a thunderous roar straight into my ear before vanishing again. Whenever he does this, I tense up like crazy. It’s akin to having a cannon shot going off right next to you. Sometimes I stay tensed up for hours, others, it goes away within minutes.

After each encounter with Manny, regardless of what he does, I end up being stressed, vigilant, and aggressive and above all else, exhausted – sometimes to the point of wanting to just throw myself off somewhere high.

That’s definitely affected me in more ways than one, hence why I mostly isolate myself from others.

He’s trying to ruin my life. I’m sure. I don’t know why me… I didn’t do anything wrong… I’ve always loved helping people. I didn’t put on the uniform for the pay, I only ever wanted to do some good, y’know, the closest I could be to being a superhero, I guess.

Well, I was sure he was trying to mess up with me, up until tonight. This time it was different - he woke me up by shaking my body awake. Seeing his ugly mug before even fully waking up gave me that adrenal kick. I punched him square in the head; although my fist never connected, it just went straight through his head.

"Heeeeey, hold up, doll!” he yelled as I pulled my hand backward, cursing under my breath. “I’m ‘ere to help ya…" he continued. I didn’t believe him. He was just trying to mess with me again, I reasoned.

So, I tried ignoring him and going back to sleep. I shrugged him off and pulled the blanket tightly over my head.

He shook me again, “Oy, dolly, get up! ‘Tis time I’m ‘ere to help. Pinky promise!”

“Fuck off!” I barked, trying to drown his presence out of my head with some pleasant memories.

"Shhh… they’ll ‘ear ya” he shushed me.

Something was wrong with that statement. Usually, there are no others involved in his cruel jokes.

I pulled the blanket from my head and looked him dead into his empty eye marks, “What are you talking about?”

He mouthed, “quiet down your tone”

“Huh?” I questioned, confused and genuinely pissed off at this point.

“There’re tree mannequins in yer house. They don’ mean no good, dolly.” He whispered.

“Bullshit!” I barked back with a whisper; I didn’t even know why I was whispering, really.

“Lissen for yaself, dolly,” Manny hissed, pointing at where his ears should’ve been.

I did as he said. It was dead silent. I was going to throw another fit at the creature that’s been haunting me for the last few years but then my thought process was cut short by the sound of footsteps.

Two,

four,

six…

My heartbeat sped up, I slowly got out of my bed, walked towards the bedroom door. I always keep it locked, even though I live alone, it’s like an OCD thing. I stood by the door and listened.

Someone was definitely walking around in my house. Three people, in fact. They were saying things I couldn’t understand. They were too quiet.

My breathing was becoming shallow, and my body was getting hot. I could feel my own temperature slightly rising.

Manny whispered, “Toldcha.”

I just stared at him, and he took a step back. That had never happened before.

Some switch inside flipped, and the bastard smiled at me, I just kept listening to what was happening outside the room. The pallid bastard opened up a closet and pulled out my two baseball bats before telling me to pick one.

He knew what was going through my head; he knew exactly what I was going to do.

I took one of the bats, the black one.

It felt nice in my hand.

Manny vanished, I cranked my neck and the door handle twisted.

The door to my room swung open.

Before me stood a literal mannequin.

I could almost hear something snap inside.

It didn’t expect me to be awake.

I moved swiftly, expertly, nearly took its head off with the bat.

The sound of cracking thick plastic boomed in my ears.

The mannequin collapsed to the floor.

I went out to the hall, another mannequin stood with its back to me, this one white, I think there was something attached to its plastic hand.

I took a swing to its back, and it bent in half before collapsing on all fours.

A second hit to the back of the head.

It wasn’t moving anymore.

The third one saw me; a brown one, it ran towards the front door.

I followed.

It wasn’t going to get out just like that.

I caught up to it.

It started making pleading movements with its arms.

Ugly piece of shit.

I slammed the bat on top of it.

I swung once, twice, thrice.

I swung over and over again.

Even after it was crumpled on the floor, with many parts collapsed on themselves.

Once I was done with the third mannequin, Manny popped up again; he spat his poison in my ear again, “tie em’ up and dump em in the garage fo’ now.”

I did just that.

I wasn’t even thinking on my own.

I was on an autopilot.

Good thing the front door was unlocked.

The adrenaline wore off quickly, and I was exhausted once more a completely worn-out man. I headed up back to my bed, almost as if nothing had happened. I was pretty docile and relatively calm after that. I passed out on the spot pretty much.

Manny was nowhere in sight, thank God.

I slept like a baby.

Waking up this morning, I remembered what had happened the night before and my mind raced again, forcing me to feel like the world would collapse on top of me if I didn’t check the garage.

The moment I got out of my bed; cortisol filled my system up once more - I noticed a massive bloodstain on the floor.

Since when do mannequins bleed?



Written by BloodySpghetti
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