01 Feb My Father Stood Outside My Bedroom Window, He’s been Dead For 5 years
When I was young, my grandmother used to tell me a stories about the island we lived on. She used to tell me about the fairies in the tree tops, the spirits under the sea, the ghosts on the cliffs.
But the story that stuck with me throughout my childhood were the stories about the demon in the woods, the Nightmaker.
She used to huff and puff whenever I asked her to tell me the story. I was too young, she’d say. I’d have nightmares, and keep her awake. She’d relent eventually though. She always did.
The stories went, that there was a demon that lived in these woods. A thing who saw nothing in love or family. It would watch us, from the dark, with hateful eyes for all that was beautiful.
The people who lived near the forest had to be careful. The Nightmaker had a black soul and he would drive all to despair if you let him near. He had so many tricks, so many ways to torture the people of the village, no trick was played twice.
Even survival was not enough. Meeting him even once would scar you forever and you will end up taking your own life.
The one thing that always struck me about the Night maker, was how purposeless he seemed. He had no reason to do what he did. All he wanted to do was show the townspeople how horrible the world really was.
At the end, cowardly little me would be shivering, and my grandma would tuck me into bed. She’d kiss me on my forehead and tell me the world was cruel, but she would be there for me.
The old woman cared for me, she really did.
On my tenth birthday, she got me an old timey radio. She knew how interested I was in tinkering and machines. If I could fix it, she’d give me a prize.
I think that was what attracted him
Three days after my birthday after Grandma kissed me, I was tucked into my bed when I heard a noise.
A tapping on the window. On my bedroom floor was a shadow of a man I looked up at my window.
My father was smiling at me.
It had been so long. So long since I saw my father’s face. I forgot what he even looked like. I thought he was dead. But at that moment I recognised his smile.
“Come on kiddo. We gotta go to Church”
I didn’t know what he was talking about. I didn’t care what he was talking about. I got out of bed and opened my bedroom window. As I did so, he held out his hand, beckoning me to come outside with him.
Maybe he was taking me to Heaven?
He held my hand tightly and I climbed out. Making sure I was okay, he led up to a path in the forest boundering on our house.
We walked slow but I didn’t mind. I enjoyed the extra time holding his hands.
As we headed into the trees, I heard a melody echo around us.A singing was coming from deep within the forest, in the direction we were walking.
“It’s a nice song, isn’t it?”
I must’ve nodded, because his smile grew wider. It was getting colder as we walked, and the song was getting closer. Children were singing it. Many, together
The trees, they were growing more twisted as we walked, their branches becoming more handlike. Like old men reaching out for me.
His grip was so tight
His smile kept getting wider, stretching his skin as he stared into the dark. I gave slight resistance to his constant.
“Come on John. We have to get to the Church”
“Dad…my name isn’t John. “
His expression didn’t change. If anything, his smile got wider. He raised one long stretched finger and pointed in front of us
“Look at the church.”
A cave in the distance.. A cave in the middle of the woods. It lead down into the earrh.
His cold grip pulled me as he lead me, as I lagged behind. This allowed me to realize a disturbing fact.
His legs were on backwards. Whatever was holding my hand, it wasn’t human.
I jerked my hand away from him, stumbling back, ready to run.
“Let’s go inside the church, John”
He turned to face me and I screamed.
The smile had grown and twisted the features of his face around it. His lips were ended around his eyes. So many teeth, in a jaw that curved at me.
The horrible grinning thing reached for me.
I turned and bolted down the path I glanced back to see the thing behind me.Following me. Walking at that same awkward pace. Walking with those twisted legs.
” I can see you. “
The tree branches snagged at my clothes, clawing at my skin as I pushed through them, leaving red marks as they cut into face. The cold air turned into a rotted wind of stale air that pushed me back.
It felt like hours, my time in that forest. Hours seeing that thing behind me, hours hearing that tune, hours struggling against the branches. All I could do was run.
Away from the singing.
Away from the thing coming near me.
When the light of my house came into view, I was about to collapse. My bedroom window. My grandma’s house. My safe haven
I climbed in and locked the window after me. Crawling in to my bed, I pulled my bedsheets up and waited, hoping to go to sleep. Or wake up from a nightmare.
Slowly, after a few minutes had passed, I peeked out my covers to see a new shadow on my bedroom floor.
It was there. Standing outside the window
He was so horribly deformed now. A living, rotted tree smiling at me through the window. Full black eyes, and two red pinpricks in the center.
It tapped on the window, with those long fingers.
” Let me in “
I kept dead still,
The finger pointed to the radio. It Cackled to life
” Jack. Jack. John? Jerry. Come out Jerry. Come out. Youll be safe with us, Jack. Come out. “
His voice. It was so wrong. It made me sick
” Come to the church. Open the window open the window open the window “
The radio burst into mad chant.
It stopped. For a moment,
” One day, you’re going to leave the window open. And I’ll crawl in and I’ll remember what you did.I’ll make you remember too. Open the window, and I won’t hurt you .”
It stood, dead silent. Waiting. A melody came from the radio. The same song I’d heard in that forest, from that cave.
” Let’s sing along, Jack “
A horrible series of animal noises and shrieks echoed from the set. A woman in torture. A man laughing. All while the singing ayed It was all such a horrible noise, my ears,they were being mutilated.
Somewhere from upstairs, through that black cacophony, I heard a voice calling down.
“Jack? Jack is that you? What’s going on?”
The noises stopped. A fustrated voise came from the radio, demonic howl, no pretence of friendship left.
” You’re going to be nothing. Nothing. “
” You know where I see you in 10 years? I see you fat and dirty, hanging by a noose in your own room because you were so much of a failure.“
I was just sobbing at this point
“Just… just go away! Please….go away. “
” Let me tell you the truth Jack. The world is horrifying. It is empty and dark. In the end, it won’t even matter if you came with me or not . “
The voices started to fade as did the shadow on my bedroom floor.
” You’ll see that Jack. You’ll see that “
My bedroom door flew open as my grandmother came in . She hugged me, but didn’t say a word. She stayed by my side till I stopped sobbing and went to sleep.
That night I had a horrible dream. Something was holding my hand, and dragging me through the woods. To that cave deep within the forest. We went inside, and I saw the source of the singing.
There were dozens of children all naked and chained, lying on the cave floor. Their mouths moved up and down
All their chains led to a hole in the cave floor. As I stared into the hole, my twisted father emerged from the depths and reached for me.
I jolted awake, trying to get away from that cold grip. It turned warm, and I saw my grandmother’s face in the morning light.My grandmother had fallen asleep in her chair beside my bed. She was still holding my hand.
Every night after that for a week, she would stay with me. She wouldn’t ask me what happened, it was like she just understood.
I would never hear from my father again. Every so often, I’d be looking out at the trees bordering on our house, and I’d see his face, among the dead trees, smiling at me.
One day, you’re going to leave the window open.
After the first time I jammed the window lock, so it couldn’t be opened. After that life continued. Life went and hit me unprepared, like a turtle belly side up.
Living was hard. I was alone a lot. After school ended, I went through the lowest point of my life.
And I’m not about to go through my entire life story here, so I’ll keep the details, but it was badd. Sometimes I could almost hear him
“You know where I see you in 10 years? I see you fat and dirty, hanging by a noose in your own room because you were so much of a failure.”
This is the first time I’m admitting this to anyone, but there was a moment I believed the words I heard that night. That I was going to end up in a noose.
Through it all, even when I left the house, my grandma would call me. She’d ask how I was doing.
And I’d tell her I was alright
I’d be lying if I said I didn’t feel like a loser, having my grandma as my only friend in the world. But it got me through the week.
I got through a lot of weeks on those phone calls
It was around 15 years later, or 780 weeks, when I got the call. It was her doctor. She was sick.
She’d been taken to the town hospital and was on life support. I got there within the night. It was there, on the white hospital bed, my grandmother let me know the truth.
I was a child of rape.
Her daughter, my mother had been 15 when she met my father. He was a man, a trusted man of the town. She trusted her like an uncle. So it was easy to lure her into the trees, where he would defile her
For five weeks after, my mother didn’t say anything. It was only when it became too obvious, when she began to show, did she break down and talk to my grandmother. My grandmother wanted to call the police but my mother begged her not to.
My father was a horrifying man.
She swore he would find her, even in prison, even in death. There was a fear so bad in her, she couldn’t speak properly. She said he had promised her he would take care of her son. That he had a place in the woods for them to live in. Against the tears of her daughter, my grandma relented.
They got married. The wedding took place in an E empty church in the woods.
For the next four years, my grandmother didn’t see her daughter. When she did, it was sudden
She was bringing groceries when she saw a body lying near the edge of the forest. My mother was still alive but just barely.
She had lost so much in that time. So much hair, 60 pounds, three fingers. She still had me though. She held me tightly like a little lifevest. Grandma had to pry her fingers open to get me some food. Over the next few hours, my Grandma tried to get out as much as she could from her poor daughter.
For half a decade, my mother had been dying in a nightmare. She wouldn’t talk about where she’d been. Only mutter about “a church”. She was broken in all of her spirit. Only the tiniest spark had still resided in her body by the end of it, the spark she had used to escape with me.
She left him when he called me by the wrong name.
My grandma finally called the police. She locked all the doors, closed all the windows and let her family sleep in peace for the first time in ywars.
It was only later she’d learn the true extent of the monstrosity her daughter had escaped. The cops had found a cave in the woods. My father’s church.
So many bodies. So many children, all naked, all chained, all dead. They were emeciated but not all had died of starvation. Their chains led to a dark pool where they found my father floating, naked and smiling at them.
They electrocuted him.
My mother would never stop having nightmares. My grandma would wake to find her muttering in her sleep. Talking of how scared she was of him. The nightmares she had of his corpse standing outside her bedroom window. Asking to be let in.
Near my fifth birthday, my grandmother thought she might have been getting better. She had grown quieter and more cheerful.There was feeling about her, that her suffering was about ended
On my mother’s birthday, my grandmother bought home a small cake to celebrate. She found her daughter hanging from the ceiling fan.
She told me of how helpless she felt that day.
All her help had come so late .
She had made up stories to deal with what happened. She knew she shouldn’t have told me that story, the story of the Nightmaker. My father’s story. It had been her way of coping. She didn’t know it would have affected me that way, how it would scar me.
She said she was sorry for it all.
I looked at the woman who saw her daughter’s rapist everytime she saw me.
I looked at the women who had no reason to raise me, to not abandon me in the world.
I kissed her on her forehead and thanked her for having loved me.
There was so much I didn’t say. How many times she saved my life. But I hoped it was enough.
I held her hand, and stayed with her till the day she died, three weeks later.
I don’t want to say anything good about this place we’re born into. It’s such a horrible cruel place to live in. The world was cruel, but my grandmother made it so much brighter for me. Her eyes were like two pinpricks of light in immeasurable darkness.
The world is horrifying. That is the truth.
Don’t lose hope in each other. Sometimes, it’s the only thing keeping each other alive.
Don’t lose your goodwill
Don’t lose your soul