Sleep was something that always evaded me as a child. When I was growing up as a boy my family had been relatively well off. But around the time just before my fifth birthday, my father had gotten laid off from his cozy job as an executive at his company. It would be almost a year and a half later when employment would find him again. But not before we were forced to move. We had lived in a relatively wealthy community and could no longer sustain ourselves there. We were forced to move into a new home out of state, and deep into the heart of the Pennsylvania thickets. Thankfully, our new home was not that much smaller than our old one and to be honest, had very few flaws that I can recall. Except for one. Our air conditioning unit outside would always keep breaking. Eventually my parents had just given up and settled for using fans and opening windows during the summer. This was most unfortunate for me, because I had the smallest room in the house. So during the summer, it would get unbearably hot. So every night since then, I would fall asleep with my window open.

It was from the first warm night of the year my parents decided to stop repairing the air conditioner that I noticed something strange. My window would always be closed, with the shade down when I woke up. I didn't think much of it at first, just residing to the fact my parents were most likely responsible. Until one warm summer night, amidst that thin barrier between the depths of sleep I saw it. A pale figure was standing facing my window. It was a tall figure, tall as any adult and had grisly long dark hair that extended just past the tail of the spine. Its head gently swayed from left to right. It reached up, arms covered in what were appeared to be scratches revealed by the moonlight, as it grasped my window and slowly lowered it shut with the blind soon to follow. I hid beneath my covers as any kid would do, just peering out at the creature between a tiny crack in the folds of my blanket, silently praying for it to go away. I must've stared at the being for some time before passing out. But when I awakened to the glistening humid summer morning, it had vanished.

I didn't mention anything to my parents, because I myself did not believe what I had just seen. The next night I had decided to stay hidden beneath the safety of my covers with my and quietly pray the creature would not return. It was to my displeasure though, it did. It had been well past midnight and was creeping towards the hours of the morning, as I heard the closet door slowly creak open. It stirred me from the half slumber I had fallen into and it was only moments later I heard the sound of my window slowly shutting. Upon the noise I had foolishly decided to take a quick glance, scared to my core I would see something awful. To my relief though, the creature was gone, window and blind shut.

From then on, every warm summer night would proceed the same way, I would fall asleep with my window open, and awaken early in the morning, before the roosters, to the accumulating, dreadful humidity that prevented me from returning to slumber. Eventually, I stopped being afraid. It became more of a nuisance than anything. I do not recall in my days ever seeing the creature's face, nor did I wish to. And as I got older, the sense of dread had lost much of its novelty. It was just something that happened during warm nights, and when finally inquired by my parents about my closed window, I simply told them I liked the warm air. They wrote it off as one of the many strange quirks you're forced to simply disregard as a parent and the matter was never spoken of again. There had been many long and hot summers growing up, and despite how many times I remember opening my window during the course of the night, it would always be shut by morning.

There was no summer hotter than the one when I was 16. And one particular night, at the peak of the heat wave. On the hottest evening of the hottest summer, I made a mistake I have since come to regret. I spotted the creature as it was about to shut my window and in a fever induced anger I yelled at it. "For once can't you just leave me the hell alone?! GO AWAY!" and to my surprise, it halted, leaving the window only halfway shut. Then it vanished without even the slightest noise. I fell against my pillow with a sigh of relief, shut my eyes. Although it may have been minutes, or hours, to me it only felt like moments before I heard a heard strange thumping sound. I had ignored it since, as you can imagine, I had been used to hearing strange noises as I slept. That was until something happened that tore me away from slumber and forced me to face the reality of what I had just done. In that instant I knew why that creature had denied me restful slumber all these years. I knew why it would stand in front of my window at night, and I wish I never asked it to leave. My spine began to shiver with a terror that the creature I knew had never caused me before. The sound of my window opening rang through my ears. With it my heart sank as I knew very well that my room is and always has been, on the second floor. 

Written by NMZeroX
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