Midnight struck on Hallows Eve. A change in the air left an uneasy feeling no one could escape. Lights lit the streets for those wandering in the night. Fog crept in ever corner, masking the real from the paranormal. As the veil to the other side thinned, spirits roamed into the physical realm searching, haunting. One little quite town would soon be awaken by the screams of sirens rushing to aid some incident caused by an unknown force.
Children were tucked into bed. Outside lights were kept on to ward off any unwanted guest. Everyone was prepared for tomorrow’s yearly celebration. The night fell silent as they slept. The crescent moon glowed strange and majestic as ever. “Don’t forget to turn on the nightlight.” One innocent child requested as his mother kissed him goodnight. “Mom, you know I can’t sleep without the nightlight.” His mother hesitated before giving in. She sat beside him, one last time.
“You’re too old for that.” His mother replied. “You know there’s no such thing as monsters hiding under your bed. Those sounds you hear at night is just the house creaking from the wind. This is your room,” she added. “Why would all of a sudden there’d be creatures hiding once the lights go off? You’re too bright to believe in ghost.” His mother reasoned with him but his imagination was stubborn. His mother flicked the switch. The room became a circus of swirling stars lighting the darkness to his consciousness.
She stood, exited the room, then turned to him one last time before closing his door. He laid there, in his bed waiting for his thoughts to quiet down. The house creaked from the wind, just as his mother said. His closet door rattled, or so he thought. As the nightlight kept the monsters away, he pondered. He questioned in every dark corner what kind of creature could be hiding in his room. Slowly, his eyes felt heavy. Steadily, his imagination lead him to dream when a tap on the window woke him up.
He was quick to call for his mother but he noticed a branch from a nearby tree tap on his window. Relieved, he laid back in his bed and trailed back to his dream. He closed his eyes and silenced his mind. Unknowingly, his nightlight began to flicker. They flickered until the small light bulb turned off. Another tap in the darkness echoed in his room. He dismissed the tapping until they became louder. He opened his eyes to find himself laying in the dark. As he sat up the light bulb flickered back on.
He was not alone or at least he wouldn’t be. He called for his mother but a tapping on the window caught his attention. Without hesitation, he bolted for the door. He twisted it open but the door was sealed. More tapping echoed in his room. His things began to rattle, from his desk to his toys. Panic raced in his mind as he crawled back to his bed. He took his blanket and covered himself from whatever harm came his way. Unknown to his awareness, the door to his room opened to some mysterious guest creeping towards the light beside him.
Heavy breathing lingered near. A foul stench filled his room. He trembled from fear. A print at the end of his bed forced him to see who was in his room. As he removed the blanket, a grim half dead half alive skeleton sat at the corner of his bed reaching towards him. It’s haggard appearance would make anyone shriek from fright, at first sight. He screamed for his mother, for his father; for anyone alive. His yell seeped into the neighborhood awakening everyone near by. When his mother entered the room, a pale child crouched in the corner stared back at her with sunken frightful eyes.
The following day, he did not attend school though he was on everyone’s conversation. His close friends were just as shocked to hear of last night blunder of terror. Rumors spread like wildfire as everyone pieced the puzzle together. No one had a clue or stuck to the official story. They all just assumed the worse but they were all intrigued. They all wanted to know what actually happened while believing their own fallacies. Most of all, they wanted the same experience.
“I heard he saw the tape.”
“That’s just a movie.” Rebecca replied. “Loser.”
“Yeah but every horror story is based on some actual incident.” Nathan added.
“What do you think made him turn pale?” Axle asked. “He must have seen something so frightening, we’re talking out of this world scary stuff, blow your mind paranormal entity that’ll make your hair turn white thing.” He turned to his friends. “You guys, let’s not kid ourselves. Dorian must have seen something that made his parents send him to the hospital late in the hours of the night.” His friends remained silent.
“My mom told me it happened during the witching hour.” Aba spoke. “That is said to be the time when the veil to the other side lifts. Dorian may have been visited by some malicious spirit or spirits, it being Hallows Eve and all.” She paused, “Dorian’s mother couldn’t even recognize him when she found him crouched in the corner. My mother said there was something wrong with his eyes.” They remained silent.
The bell rang abruptly, instructing them to head back to class. They laughed for a moment as they noticed fear in each others face. They dispersed to their separate classrooms while Aba and Nathan walked to the library. They spoke of Dorian’s attack like they were detectives solving a case only they could solve. Each had their own points as if they were evidence. What they wanted, secretly, was to invite the same entity into their space; if not something more sinister.
“We can speculate all we want.” Nathan finished. “We might never know what actually happened to Dorian. He could have just had an episode for all we know. He is a very impressionable kid. We all are, we’re only preteens.” He noticed Aba had something to add but she remained silent, attentive. “Then again, you were right what you said back there. It happened during the witching hour, on Hallows Eve at that. Strange things seem to happen more often when those two combine.”
“I read somewhere.” Aba mentioned. “That the reason spirits come to our world is because they are lost in theirs. They are simply searching for that heavenly light so they can be at peace.” She turned to Nathan, “Dorian sleeps with his nightlight. Don’t tell anyone!” She stared back to the trail they were following. “Maybe that’s what happened. A spirit, ghost, entity, whatever came across Dorian’s nightlight and was reaching towards the light because it mistook it for heaven.”
“Maybe spirits aren’t malicious at all.” She ended. “Maybe they become that way because they’ve been lost for so long searching for heavens gate. Who wouldn’t?” Nathan left Aba at her classroom. “Maybe spirits aren’t that different from us humans after all.” Nathan questioned more possibilities in regards to Dorian’s late night trip to the hospital. All day, that’s all anyone talked about. Speculations became rumors and rumors became the truth.
Once night fell on Halloween, monsters of all ages, real or fake, stepped out into the world. Trick or treating lasted until midnight sprung about. Like before, everyone prepared to fall asleep. Doors were closed and locked. Outside lights were kept on to ward off unwanted guest. Lights from the streets lit the way for anyone wandering in the late hours of the night. “All set?” a loving mother asked as she tucked her small child in. “Brushed your teeth and everything?” She kissed her daughter goodnight and left her room. “Aren’t you too old to have your nightlight on?”
“I want it on.”
Her mother laughed before closing the door. She bothered not to make it a thing, she figured her daughter would grow out of it eventually. As another night settled and silence swept the town one remained awake, aware. She laid in her bed and waited. She kept thinking about the stories she heard in school and wondered if they were true. So, she waited. She waited for strange sounds to come creeping out of her closet or rattles shaking her bed. She waited until she dozed off into sleep.
No unwanted or unseen visitor came that night. She wasn’t abruptly woken by some tapping or sudden shadow standing by her bed post. No heavy breathing made her feel unease. She felt no presence but that of her comfortable bed. Someone, off in another neighborhood was visited by the abnormal and they weren’t alone. More visitors came, they came because they were guided by the lights left on. They are the cause of the things that go bump in the night.