This Is How it's Like Having Sleep Paralysis
You wake up and there is a shadow looking at you from over the bed. A tall and slender shadow standing still over your face and looking at you, with hissings in your ears and shrieks in your brain.
Your know you’re awake because your fear is real and you know your fear is real because there is a weight on your chest, pressing against you, and you can’t breathe and you can’t move, you can’t move, you can’t move.
You can’t move but you can feel it creeping by your side,
the shadow-man. You can hear it speaking in a tongue you don’t know, you can almost see it in the corner of your eye, and you don’t want to see it, and you want it gone, and you scream but there is no sound coming out of your mouth, and his head is right in your head now, laughing, and you think you pee yourself but you’re not sure because you’re so scared now and you’re so cold and so alone and you want the end to come, gasping for air, eyes wide open as a hole widens in your mattress.
You’re falling and you’re going to die and it feels good, and you start embracing the darkness until you realize there is nothing for you there, and whatever is waiting for you at the end of the void is not good, not good at all, whatever is there is pure evil, and you fight to stop the fall but you can’t move, you can’t move, you can’t move.
You can move.
You sit up in bed, out of breath.
Your heart is racing in your chest. Your ears are buzzing.
Sleep paralysis again.
You should be used to it but you’re not.
You need water.
But you can’t move and
is still here right behind you and his hands are touching you — tall and slender, up to the ceiling with the voices and the smiles and the — crawling up the bed, bad and sad and sharp and lonely — and his weight on you, the weight of a thousand years pushing you down the night, and you can’t move, you can’t move, you can’t move.
You yell and you kick because you’re angry now, but you don’t yell and you don’t kick because you can’t move, because you’re helpless when the beasts are there and because death is the least of your concerns.
“Don’t you want to see?” they ask playfully, like it’s a game, like you’re their toy, like you’re already dead.
“Come with us,” they growl.
And you can’t move, and you can’t speak, and you can’t breathe.
They roll you over and you see yourself sleeping peacefully and you feel hatred for the world and they’re all over you now, moving from side to side in a flicker, waiting at the door, ripping space and time, oh, so many of them, so few of you, with their voices in your head and their eyes in your soul.
“You’re not ready yet,” your hear before you jolt out of bed, waking for real and shaking of fear, fists white from clenching.
“Good try,” you say to no one in particular when you’re finally calmed and the lights are on and you feel safe again. “Good try.”
Then the lights go off.
Your eyes open, and
smiles at you.