The Witching Hour

He woke up laying on his side. When he opened his eyes, he was momentarily blinded by the glow of the numbers on his alarm clock that read 3:33am. When he tried to roll over to get back to sleep, he found himself unable to move.

He darted his eyes around, as they were the only things he had control of. The rest of the room was still and silent, draped in deep shadows, broken only by the moonlight coming in through the window directly in front of his line of vision. It was at that moment that he became scared.

He had a routine that he went through every night before he went to bed, otherwise he couldn’t fall asleep. One of these things was closing the blinds of his bedroom window so the morning light wouldn’t wake him up. He hadn’t not done this in years.

He looked out the window into the darkness beyond. He lives in a house in a small town where there is a lot of open land, and his bedroom window faces the backyard which leads to a set of woods. There was something about the darkness; it was much bolder than before. The moonlight still shone between the trees, but the darks were much more pronounced. It was presumably the darkness outside that instilled such fear in him.

It felt like hours that he laid there, just staring out the window into the woods, unable to fall back asleep or move, despite his efforts. With every muscle in his body he struggled to move in even the slightest way, but to no avail. He felt like a statue. Besides being terrifying, it was unbelievably frustrating. And every time he looked at the clock to see how much time had passed, all he saw was 3:33.

He felt like he had been there until what should have been well into the morning when all of the sudden his whole body jolted, and he found himself laying on his back, staring up at the ceiling. He quickly sat up, now with a newfound appreciation for the ability to move freely. He turned to his clock, which, of course, read 3:33. He then directed his attention to the window, the blinds on which were drawn, like they had been every night for years.

He backed up against his headboard and found himself in a cold sweat. He’d never had a nightmare like that before. He went and got something to drink and watched TV for a bit before eventually falling back asleep. He woke up, and the next day went by like any other. Then he went back to sleep.

His eyes opened once again to the glow of his alarm clock, and the normally unfamiliar luminescence of moonlight pouring in through the once again open window. He could feel a fight taking place in his mind, between the fact that he knew he was dreaming and the utter realness of it all. Once again, it was 3:33am. And just like the night prior, the window was open, and woods that lined his backyards were were draped in bold shadow and moonlight.

He again laid there, unable to move, staring out into the woods. Half of his mind knew not to be afraid, and to just wait it out, but the other half was horrified beyond all belief. His eyes were fixated on the darkness between the trees, and stayed that way for what felt like forever. Then, something happened that happened so quick he didn’t even have time to process it. There were suddenly two lights in the woods. They were dim, maybe not even lights, but perhaps something the moon was reflecting off of. It wasn’t long before he had the feeling he was being watched, and realized that the “lights” in the woods were a pair of eyes looking back at him. He couldn’t make out a color, but he just somehow knew. The moonlight shining off of them gave it away, much in the same way a cat’s eyes seem to glow in the dark.

He laid there, staring at those eyes, completely unable to move despite his most sincere efforts, only averting his gaze to see if the clock had changed. Still 3:33. Once again, he jolted up, and this time immediately scooted his back up against the headboard, and looked at the clock. It was 3:33. He kept his eyes on it until it changed. He also noted the closed window. He did the same thing as the night before; watched TV and fell back asleep.

The following night he intentionally slept on his other side, to see if perhaps that would make any difference. It did not. At 3:33, his eyes opened to the window, no different from the previous nights. Only this time, the eyes moved. They began swaying very subtly from left to right. It was after a few minutes of this that he realized they were slowly getting closer.

He felt himself begin to sweat. He couldn’t make anything out yet, but he knew whatever it was didn’t want anything positive to do with him. His body, which was set in place like a precious stone in a ring, began to tense up. Fear rushed through his veins, clouding his thinking. He no longer had the part of his mind working that distinguished everything as simply a nightmare. He felt like whatever was out there was coming for him. He couldn’t make out anything other than the glistening eyes, nor did he want to.

It got about halfway up his backyard, staying in line with the window the whole time, before he woke up again. 3:33am. His blinds were closed, and the clock turned to 3:34. He knew he was actually awake now. His pillowcase was drenched in sweat. He couldn’t figure out why he was having these nightmares out of the blue, but he decided the best way to combat it would be to not sleep.

That night, he sat up in his bed with all his lights on, and did his best to not fall asleep. At some point, he must have fallen asleep, because he again woke up in the ever familiar position; on his side, looking out the unblinded window, at precisely 3:33am. The eyes were at the same point in his backyard as they were the night before. As they slowly got closer while he was unable to move, he began to make out the silhouette of the being the eyes belonged to.

The outline showed a thin figure; petite, like a woman. He began to make out long, tangled up hair draping down long past her shoulders. Whoever she was, it was his guess that she was wearing a long black cloak type piece of clothing over herself to her ankles, as he couldn’t really make out any discerning body parts moving.

She slowly got closer, and as she did, she came more into view, until she was standing no more than a few feet away from his window. That’s when the motion lights outside turned on and he got a full glimpse of her. She had a horribly disfigured face, with pale, leathery skin. Her eyes were a cloudy white, with no pupils or irises to note. Her nose was large and crooked, and she was drooling from a mouth filled with rotten, jagged teeth. She continued slowly walking towards the window despite the motion light.

He was as frightened as he’d ever been. He was pouring cold sweat, and straining every muscle and his tendon in his body to move, with no success. He tried averting his eyes, but found himself unable to not look at her for any real amount of time; he had to know what she was doing. He had to know that she couldn’t get in through his window.

That’s when his eyes opened again. This time, he was on his other side, his back towards the window. He felt extremely tired, unlike the other nights where he woke up wide awake. He forced himself to turn over and make sure the blinds were closed. He rolled over, noted the clock that read “3:33”, and felt his heart sink down to his stomach when he saw the blinds open. He looked out, but didn’t see anything outside the window or in the distance.

As he prepared to sit up and close the blinds, something made him turn his head towards the end of the bed. There the woman was standing, inside his home, in his bedroom, motionless, just breathing heavily. He scattered up in bed and as he turned away to grab the baseball bat he kept next to his bed, his eyes locked onto his alarm clock.

3:33” glowing green in the darkness is the last thing he ever laid his eyes on.

One thought on “The Witching Hour

  1. Holy shit, I’ve spent half my day at work reading through your stories (haven’t been very productive) and they are so good. For this story, I only wanted to mention that in a few instances you wrote “my” or “I” instead of “his” or “he”. You seem to take great care in your writing so I thought you’d like to know. This scared me shitless. Now I’m going to continue reading and ignoring my work load. Have an awesome day!

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