Note: This story was produced by the Night Fears Horror Fiction podcast on December 30th 2015. You can find it at


I can still hear my son crying, even though he is still asleep in my lap. The memory of it is so vivid that no matter how hard I try, I can’t block it out. Neither alcohol nor medication can take those memories from me. He now sleeps in our room because it’s the only way he can feel safe. Dr. Spock may disagree, but I need to keep my son close, keep him from getting hurt again. Right now, Our house is still, save for the creaks and groans of the settling foundation. How long that would remain is yet to be seen? Some nights there is no activity. Other nights I can hear it moving, breathing, searching. I think it’s toying with us, enjoying the fear it is cultivating. The lights are on, the shades removed so that each and every bulb shine like a miniature sun. I'm actually glad the old filament light bulbs went extinct. CFLs are far more reliable and last much, much longer. However, in spite of these, the shadows that do exist still seem so dark—impossibly dark. I was never one to be afraid of it but now I can't stand it. We’ve taken to removing the doors from every closet so that we can see every article of clothing, every box and bag. I’ve even installed lights in them, ensuring they remain lit.

Now, I don't want you to think that we are merely afraid of the dark. It's not as simple as that. It’s not the darkness that terrifies us, it's the thing that lives in it. I didn’t want to believe it but after everything that happened, there was no way of convincing myself that it didn’t exist. It was real, and my five year old was the first to fall victim to that creature. At first I thought it was just his imagination. After all, every child thinks there is a boogieman under his or her bed or a monster lurking in the closet. I know I did, but eventually I outgrew it. It’s all a matter of understanding reality. If you could find the source of your fear, you could banish it. Things are so different now. These are no longer childhood fears. They are a dark and grim reality.

Things started several months ago when life was normal. This is not one of those stories where a family moves into a new home and all hell breaks loose; quite the contrary in fact. This was a house that we lived in for years, at least two years prior to our son being born. It was fixer upper that we had renovated down to the studs so I was familiar with every inch of the foundation. I guess that was the problem. My familiarity inhibited any belief that something was happening. Well, to be fair, that wasn't the only reason. I never believed in what I couldn't see. I was certain that there was no higher being, no afterlife. Forget ghosts or aliens. I was a man of facts, and until it was proven otherwise, I wouldn’t accept it. This was a stern lesson in being careful with what you wish for…

It started out like any other night. My wife and I had gone to bed, having tucked in our son over an hour ago, and were finally getting some time to relax. It wasn't late by any means, but anyone with a child knew that it was important to rest whenever you can. Our son was in bed by nine so we were in bed by 9:15. It was storming that night and the wind was picking up violently. In the distance I could hear the quiet roll of thunder but found it very soothing. I always thought of storms as nature's version of white noise.

I was just drifting off to sleep, my wife already way ahead of me when I heard my son, Cody, shriek. He has cried before, many times, but this was unlike any I've heard from him. I could hear the visceral fear in it and I was on my feet before I even realized it. Cody has always been a sound sleeper. Even when he was an infant, he rarely ever woke up. So when he did, it was a call to arms. I moved as fast as I could, almost slipping on our hardwood as I burst into his room, heart racing.

Flicking on the light, I found my son sitting up in bed, blankets pulled up to his chin. Even from the doorway I could see the tears glistening against his cheeks. Red eyed and pale faced, he looked like a weeping ghost. I quickly scanned the room, my mind instantly assuming that some pervert had broken into my home. It wasn’t later that I remembered we were on the second floor and he or she would have needed a ladder to even get up there.

"Cody, are you okay?" I asked as I kneeled next to him as my wife stepped into the room after me.

"Something's in the closet." He whimpered, voice trembling. I looked at him and frowned. Annoyance tried to creep into my mind but instead I felt an enormous rush of relief as I realized it was only a nightmare. I shot my wife a look and she sighed. I sat on the bed next to him and instantly, he wrapped his tiny arms around me, squeezing as hard as he could.

“Buddy, it was just a dream.” I told him.

"Something's in the closet, daddy." He repeated, his cries growing more frantic. For an instant, I thought he could be having a night terror. Cody never had any in the past, but before he was born I looked into the topic. With night terrors the body was awake but the mind was not fully conscious and so the ‘sleeper’ was completely inconsolable. They may thrash and fight as an automatic response but the key feature is that the child will appear confused and not respond to outside stimuli. This was not the case. Not only did Cody react to me, he called me 'daddy' which meant he knew who I was.

"Buddy, there's nothing in the closet." I said but Cody shook his head furiously.

"Yes there is!" He shouted. This was unusual. He was usually even tempered child. He never raised his voice out of anger; let alone be so defiant.

I didn’t want to argue because I knew that monsters weren’t real, but I also knew he wasn’t getting back to sleep unless I convinced him of that. I tried standing but Cody clung to me with every ounce of strength he had. I was surprised at how strong such a small boy could be. It took several tries to peel him off, Cody fighting each attempt, crying as he did so. Eventually I pulled free and walked over to his closet, but the moment I reached it Cody shrieked. My wife tried to calm him but nothing she said or did could make him stop. Part of me wanted to run back to him, but I had to show him there was nothing to be afraid of. Ignoring his pleas, I swung the door open and flicked on the light.

"See, nothing there." I announced turning back to him. Cody stopped crying and just stared at the closet. Even from where I stood I saw him relax. He crawled to the edge of his bed to get a better look as I moved clothes and toys around to prove that there was nothing inside.

"There was a monster in there." He whimpered but the fear was subsiding.

"It was just a bad dream." I told him, flicking off the light and closing the door, hearing a soft click.

"But I heard a monster." Cody said. He was getting worked up again, but my wife simply stroked his hair.

"I'm sure you thought you did, but it was just your imagination." She said, "You probably had a bad dream and when the storm woke you up, you got confused."

"Can I sleep in your room?" Cody asked. I looked to my wife who shared my same sentiment. We didn't want to reinforce his belief in silly fears, however as we silently considered his request an enormous clap of thunder broke overheard. Minutes later, the three of us were in our room fast asleep.

The following morning as I was getting ready for work and as my wife made breakfast for Cody, I noticed something that didn't stick out in my mind until later. I knew for a fact that my wife and Cody had gone straight downstairs from our bedroom, so unless he had gotten up in the middle of the night, we were together the entire time. I was walking past his room when I noticed that his closet door was open, no more than an inch. Now I remembered closing the door and feeling it latch, but there it was. I didn't think anything of at the time, so I just filed it away and went about my day.

Nothing out of the ordinary occurred that following night or even the night after that. Each time we took our son to bed, he kissed us goodnight and we didn't hear a peep until sunrise. I knew it was all just a dream and now so did he. Fears, if left unchecked, could take control of your life, steal who you were and who you could become. I didn’t want that to happen to Cody. It was important to face your fears and to conquer them. And that was what he had done—or so I thought. While things were quiet for the rest of that week, the following week things quickly escalated.

We had put Cody to bed and everything was quiet. I was just starting to drift off to sleep, when I heard Cody scream. My wife and I were on our feet and in his room in seconds. Flicking the light on, I saw my son once again sitting up, blankets pulled up to his chin, crying and trembling.

"Cody, are you okay?" I asked, kneeling next to his bed.

"There's a monster in the closet." He sobbed. I sighed, my fear gone. Once again he had woken up from a nightmare and was getting reality and fantasy mixed up. I would have been more concerned but the previous night he told us he dreamt of a flying unicorn and for the rest of the day he stared out the window, searching for it. To say my son had an active imagination was an understatement.

"Cody, there is nothing in your closet." I told him. Once again, I walked over to the door, but before grabbing the handle I quickly noted that it was already partially open. Again this didn’t stand out in my mind, but just something I filed away for later.

"Daddy, no!" Cody screamed, but it was too late. I pulled the door open and flicked on the light. I turned back to my son only to find his hands covering his eyes as he screamed, "No no no no!"

"Cody, there is nothing in there." I said, but Cody refused to look. "Lower your hands." I ordered, perhaps less sympathetically than I could have, but this was getting ridiculous. It was late, I was tired and this was the second time in two weeks that we were having the same discussion.

"I can't, I'm scared." He cried.

“Cody, it’s alright.” My wife said, “There is nothing in there, I promise. Sweetie, open your eyes." She said in that calming, tone that only she a mother possessed.

Cody lowered his hands, slowly and very deliberately. Those frightened doe eyes met with his mother's before shifting over to me. The monster he thought existed was gone once more. This time he hopped off his bed and ran to the closet to get a better inspection; toys, clothes, games, but no monster.

"See, buddy, nothing."

I ushered Cody out the closet, turned off the light and closed the door, feeling the latch click into place. With a hearty pull I ensured that it was closed and would not open again unless someone turned the knob. He asked about spending the night with us, but his mother and I were in agreement that he had to stay in bed this time. When he started to cry again, I made a concession to leave the lamp on in his bedroom, just for one night to help him sleep. We didn’t have a night light because, really, Cody never needed one. The darkness never bothered him until recently. With the lamp on, we kissed him goodnight and went to bed hoping that this was the last of his nightmares. It wasn’t. It was only getting started.

The following night the same thing happened. There was a scream, we went to his room and found Cody crying. It’s sad to say but my patience was wearing thin. I didn't even let him get out of bed this time. I just showed him the closet before telling him to go back to sleep. We left the light on that night and the night after that and the night after that. However, things grew worse as the week wore on.

Every night it was the same thing and there was nothing we could do to stop it. By the end of the week, The normally energetic and happy child was exhausted and moody, barely eating his lunch or dinner. He began fighting us at almost every turn, whether it was getting ready for school or getting him ready for bed. We tried to talk to him about but he just shut us out. At five years old, he was already giving us the cold shoulder.

Every night was the same, but so was every morning. When I went to get Cody out of bed, I found the closet door open. I checked the lock but there wasn’t anything wrong with it. I closed it, pulled it, banged on it, shook it so hard that I thought it was going to break, but it wouldn’t budge. I checked the door frame for any signs of warping or bending, but the door remained firmly latched. The door would not open unless the handle was turned. In the end I figured it was Cody opening it but when I confronted him, he simply denied it. I wound up grounding him from TV for a week for lying which led to a screaming match between me and my five year old. In the end I grounded from the TV and Tablet for a month.

My wife supported my decisions but she told me that she suspected something wasn’t right. She couldn’t place her finger on it, but something strange was going on in that house. Motherly intuition, I suppose. I guess if I hadn’t been so dead set on proving to everyone that there wasn’t anything to be afraid of, my own instincts may have prevented what happened the following night.

My wife and I were in bed, asleep. The day was relatively quiet and Cody had passed out on the couch earlier that night. I carried him to bed, my son not waking once. We tucked him in and shut off the light so that he could finally get some much needed rest. It was several hours later that we woke up from a dead sleep to Cody’s screams.

At first I was almost out of bed, an automatic reaction, but stopped when I realized it was no doubt just one more nightmare. I simply turned to my wife and told her to go back to sleep. He had to grow out of this eventually and now was as good a time as any to start. The cries didn’t stop, Cody calling for me and his mother, but we just lay in bed waiting for him to finally give up and go back to sleep. He screamed for almost two full minutes. If you have never actual counted one hundred twenty seconds, then you don’t realize how long that truly is. There was no pause in his cries or moment of relief when we thought he was finally going back to sleep. He just screamed. That wasn’t what finally pulled me from my bed. It was when I heard him shriek. That wasn’t the sound of terror. It was the sound of pain.

I threw the covers off and ran to his bedroom, my wife following after me. Flicking on the light I saw my son, but rather than seeing him sitting up with the blankets pulled up to his eyes as he always did, he was cradling his arm as he rocked back and forth. In the light of his lamp I saw dark crimson running down his arm.

"Oh my god, Cody!" I screamed as I ran to him, a cold fear stabbing at my heart.

"Daddy!" He shrieked.

"Oh my god, what happened?" My wife asked.

All Cody could say was, “Monster.”

I scooped him up and carried him into the bathroom where I could get a better look. He was still crying, his tears soaking my shirt but they seemed less now that he was cradled in my arms. Carefully, I set him on the toilet seat and knelt down to better inspect the injury. Carefully wiping the blood away, I looked at him stunned. There were three long scrapes running down the length of his arm. The cuts weren't that deep, thankfully, but they were bad enough that we took him to the emergency room.

When we arrived, the doctor was able to treat my son. Unfortunately this led to questions as to what happened. I say unfortunately because as they asked us about them I knew that my wife and I became their prime suspects. The marks were too deep for Cody to have done himself. They weren’t just scratches. He was cut by something sharp and jagged. The doctors questioned us as did the police. To our credit we were as cooperative and forthcoming as possible, but I don’t think anyone believed us. In the end nothing came from the inquiry, but the department of child welfare was to be contacted and we would have to meet with a social worker to determine if Cody was in a safe environment. My wife and I agreed but only because we had no choice in the matter. If we didn’t they could have taken him away right then.

When we left the hospital, we had a red mark on our name and my son bearing over fifty stitches in his arm. When we arrived home, it was well after sun up and both my wife and I were exhausted. Cody was fast asleep, passing out the moment we hopped in the car. I called into work that day and told my son’s school that he would not be making it in. Together my wife and I brought him into our room where three of us slept until early afternoon.

That day and night we spent together as a family, something that we haven't done in over a week. Cody's moodiness had subsided, almost miraculously, and the boy I knew had returned. There was no fighting, no yelling, just smiles—albeit tired ones. We ordered pizza and watched movies, tending to our son as best we could. The doctor prescribed Cody some pain meds that worked well, but left him mostly drowsy. He drifted in and out throughout the day, but we just let him sleep. God knows the poor boy needed it. There was one point in the evening when my wife had fallen asleep and Cody rested in my lap. The movie had been over for at least an hour, the menu replaying itself, but I didn't care. I simply stroked his hair as I watched him sleep. You may think that's boring but it’s something you can’t understand unless you have a child yourself. I could watch him sleep for hours. During that brief time I thought things were finally going back to normal…then we went to bed.

Cody slept in our room that night. Nestled between his mother and me, he didn’t wake once. The house was quiet, save for the odd creak and groan from the settling foundation. It was well after midnight and I was just drifting off when I heard something that sounded like footsteps; light and quiet. It's like when you are trying to sneak across a squeaky floor. The sound doesn't come from the step itself but more from the sudden pressure when you shift your weight. It's not a footstep, but the sound of groaning wood.

I sat up slowly, trying not to wake my family. If this turned out to be nothing then I didn’t want to startle them. Carefully, I listened to what sounded like someone moving in and out of a nearby room. I was fairly exhausted and so it took my brain several moments to realize that the only other room on the second floor that wasn't the bathroom was Cody's bedroom. Quietly, I slipped out of bed and slowly opened the drawer to my nightstand. Inside was a finger gesture lockbox and after a few taps, I was sliding a loaded magazine into my 9mm handgun. Now, 9mms aren't the most powerful caliber and can often be seen as inferior, but there is one thing that many tend to forget. Most home invaders don't have body armor and the slug is still traveling at over 1000 feet per second. A bullet, no matter the caliber, can still kill you.

I crept to the door, pausing as I listened the sound of someone was moving back and forth, in and out of Cody's room. With my free hand I inched the door open. The hallway was dark, the only light coming from the windows on the first floor landing. Though barely visible I could see the hall but nothing else. Whoever was in the house had moved into Cody's room. I looked back at my family, Cody and my wife slumbering as if the world didn’t exist. That was more than enough incentive to steel my nerves. I had to do whatever it took to keep them safe. So with a deep breath, I stepped into the hall.

The intruder was still in Cody's room, pacing back and forth.  I moved slowly, careful not to make a sound. I was only a few steps away from the doorway when the footsteps finally stopped. I can’t quite remember what went through my mind when I waited outside of the door, but what I do remember is that I raised my gun, took a deep breath and burst into the room to find… nothing.

I flipped on the light switch and saw a bed without sheets, a small writing table and toys scattered on the floor, but nothing else. I checked under the bed, but it was far too small for a grown adult to crawl under. There was nowhere else to hide except… I paused to turned towards the closet and noticed it was open—just a crack. My heart raced as I realized that whoever was in the room must have gone into the closet. Raising my gun, I approached the door. I wasn't sure what to expect when I ripped it open but I didn't care. If I had to unload my entire magazine I would. No one would hurt my family, not while I was still breathing. I took the handle with an unsteady hand and on a silent three count, threw it open. And… nothing. I clicked on the closet light but found no intruder.

I sighed, not disappointed, but instead confused. I knew there was a logical reason for the noises but in that moment couldn't think of what it was. I was about to click off the light when my foot accidentally kicked one of my son’s toys. Not wanting to break it, Cody was so protective of his toys, I looked down to make sure it was still in one piece but paused as I noticed something. The floor was stained with something dark. I knelt down to touch it and found it was dry. Scraping my nail against it, I removed several small flakes and brought it close to my eye. It was red; dark but red. I thought it might have been paint but after a quick sniff, I wasn’t so sure. I didn’t smell like paint. I didn’t smell like anything at all. Curious, I licked my other finger and moisten the flakes. Almost instantly they rehydrated and as I stared at the red liquid, I paused. It wasn’t paint. It was blood. There was blood in my son’s closet.

I told my wife about it the follow morning as Cody continued to sleep in our bedroom. Though I couldn’t explain it, I thought that he would be safer in our room than his own. Even with the sun shining and the curtains pulled open, I still didn't want to leave him alone in there. Something strange was happening and I just felt better knowing he wasn’t in that room.

“What should we do?" My wife asked.

“I don't know." I replied, "But I swear I heard someone walking around last night.”

“Are you sure you looked everywhere?”

“Yeah,” I told her, “There is literally nowhere to hide in his room.”

“So what should we do? Just let him keep sleeping in our room?” She asked me. We both knew that was not a permanent solution. We had to figure something out. We had to know what was happening.

“I don’t know.” I sighed.

“How about this?” She said, "Maybe tonight one of us can stay with him tonight."

"Honey ..." I started but my wife cut me off.

"Hear me out," She said, "He has been having problems for weeks and now he's getting hurt. Let's just do this for a week, taking turns, and see if he's sleepwalking or something like that. Okay?"

I agreed, hoping to finally get some answers to my growing number of questions. If after a week and nothing happens, then we would go back to our regular routine and consider all of this a freak occurrence. When Cody woke, we told him the plan and though he was not keen on the idea of going back to his room, he agreed because at least one of us would be with him.

Night came quickly and before long we were putting Cody to bed. He didn’t fight much knowing that I would be with him. Even so I could see the fear in his eyes and heard the slightest tremble as he spoke. He was not just scared; he absolutely terrified. I prayed that by staying in his room that we could final figure out what was finally happening. His mother kissed him goodnight, turning off the light, and going to bed while I lay on the floor, trying to get comfortable on the inflatable mattress that we used for camping. It was old and was more patch than bed but it was better than sleeping on the hardwood.

In spite of his fear, Cody was asleep in minutes. Though scared of the dark and beaten down by those fears, he was still able to pass right out. For me, sleep did not come easily. I just couldn't get comfortable. My mind was too overworked with everything that was happening. I kept trying to solve a problem even though I didn’t have all of the variables. It was like trying to assemble a puzzle when you didn’t have all of the pieces and the picture was missing on those you did. I know that I eventually fell asleep though it was far from restful. I would wake up roll over and then go back to sleep; repeating the process over and over throughout the night.

I had just rolled over and was almost out when a sound caught my attention. It was light, barely audible, but I was certain that it was a light click. I didn't move, thinking it was just my imagination. It could have been a static discharge that had been building up or just the heater coming on. I started to drift back to sleep when I heard another sound that was far more distinct than a simple pop: squeaking hinges.

Cody's breathing halted for a moment before picking up again, this time more rapidly.  I realized that Cody was awake and scared. My instincts were to throw the blankets off and immediately run to him but I fought against them. I didn't want to move because if someone were hiding in the closet, then I could take them by surprise. I didn’t have my gun this time, but I did have a baseball bat lying right next to me.

The squeaking stopped and that was when I heard the footsteps. Just like the other night, it was not the sound of steps but rather the shifting of one’s weight against the wood. Cody whimpered for me, but his words barely reached my ears. I just laid in wait, ready for the right moment to strike. My hand moved slowly, sliding off the bed and against the handle of the bat. I felt the floor bow with each step and with it came a deep, heavy breathing that was more akin to that of a large animal than a man. I tightened my grip around the handle and waited until I knew I was in striking distance.

Just as the floor bowed next to me, I threw the blankets off and jumped to my feet. I raised the bat, prepared to unleash a feral scream when I faced… nothing. The room was empty save for me and my son. Aside from the now open closet door, the room was exactly as I had left it before turning off the lights. I looked down at Cody who, in spite of us being alone, was crying, clutching his arm as if afraid something was going to happen to it.

"Cody?" I asked but as I spoke I felt an intense pain rip through my chest. At the same time I was struck by a force that sent me sailing back into my son's nightstand, toppling it as I fell to the floor.

"Daddy!" Cody screamed. I climbed to my feet but as I did another pain ripped across my face. I barely had time to register the heat and wetness from my cheek when I was slammed against the wall, the plaster cracking underneath my weight. I wanted to scream, to tell my wife to call the cops but my voice was lost. My chest burned from not only the pain but from my lungs as they pleaded for air. I felt a force, a hand, around my throat. It was tightening slowly, very deliberately. Though the only problem was that there wasn’t anyone else in the room. I was alone with my son but some unseen force was attacking me. Instinctively I touched my throat and that was when I felt something. The force, the thing’s flesh was cold and stiff but far from smooth. Touching it was like grabbing shattered glass, sharp and uneven.

"Daddy!" I heard my son cry but his voice sounded distant as the edges around my vision grew hazy and darkness closed around me. Seconds passed like minutes and the pain that I felt in my face and in my chest became only an idea, a notion that could be accepted or ignored. The world was drifting away from me and with it went my pain, my fear. I could have easily let the darkness take me away from that room. There was something so inviting about it that was impossible to ignore. All I had to do was just let it wash over me and it would have been over. There would be no pain, no fear, just darkness.

It was as the world was slipping through my grasp that I heard it. The sound was light, barely audible in the growing darkness, in the distance, but I heard it. Cody was calling for me. My son needed me. He was begging for me to help him and so was my wife. Her voice had broken through that space between us. She had come for me. I heard them. I heard them both and they needed me. And I needed them.

With every last ounce of awareness, with every last bit of strength, I felt for my body. I know it sounds strange to say it like that but I had drifted so far away from the world that I was essentially removed from it. No, I was removed from it, but I had to return, to fight for my loved ones. Though disconnected I still had some awareness of my body and realized that I was still holding the bat. I knew that it would take every last bit of effort I had left in me. If I failed then there was no coming back, but I had one last chance. I would do this for my wife. For Cody.

Moving my body was difficult. The disconnect between my body and mind was like shouting messages across a canyon. The orders were barely audible, but they still reached. Raising the bat that had grown heavier by a hundred pounds, I harnessed everything I had left in me and brought it down before my mind went blank.

I don’t know what happened after that. I must have blacked out because when I awoke I was in the hospital. Never before had I seen my wife so happy. She practically climbed in bed with me, holding onto me as if I was about to leave her. I fell asleep shortly after that and didn’t wake up until late the following morning.

Under the cold, clinical light of the hospital, my injuries were obvious and terrible. The morphine they had given me had dulled the pain but now that it had been removed, I quickly realized the extent of my injuries. My chest and face were slashed. The cuts were not deep, but not shallow either. Like Cody, stitches were required for both. I had a mild concussion and my throat was badly bruised. The icing on the cake were burst blood vessels in my eyes that turned them a terrifying red.

When I came to, the police asked me about that night. My wife had already spoken to them, but without any time to get our stories straight, I had to tell them my version. I did my best, leaving out the invisible monster. I supposed that my wife and I had told a similar story about someone breaking into our house and attacking me. I guess they believed us because neither of us were arrested and that was it.

It wasn’t until after the police had left that she told me more about what happened. After I had passed out, she shot the thing with my gun. She wasn’t sure where to aim, firing randomly at where she thought it may be. She knew that she hit it because some of the bullets never hit the wall and blood welled up from the air itself. She told me she would have shot it sooner but was afraid of hitting me. When I fell to the floor she just pulled he trigger.  That was when I realized I must have knocked its hand away and and dropped drop. After the shots, she heard heavy running, the floor shaking as it moved and then the closet door slamming shut. That was when she called the police.

I was discharged later that day, my son asleep in my wife’s arms. My wife drove while I sat in the back with Cody. Half asleep I told my wife to take us anywhere but home. She took us to a hotel where we spent the day and following night. We had only the clothes on our backs but we didn't care. To be away from our house brought a sense of much needed relief. I didn't know if that thing would follow us but I felt that in that moment my family was safe. Even so, we slept with the lights on and the shades open.

I called into work telling them that I had been in a bad accident and that I would be out for a couple of days. They didn’t pry too much and told me to take as much time as I needed. Afterwards, I began searching the internet for anything that may be associated with what was happening in my house. As I said I was a man of facts and the fact was that I was attacked by some invisible entity, and though it was far from logical, it happened. This led me to wonder if others had run into similar creatures. Unfortunately I wasn’t having any luck finding information. It didn’t help that I just had my phone and not an actual computer.

I did find a great deal of information online regarding mythical creatures, but there wasn’t anything like the monster that was living in my son’s closet. I think that notion terrified me even more than knowing there were so many different things that went bump in the night. There was lore, information about those things. This creature I had faced was a being that no one else had seen, or those that had never lived to tell the tale. Without any other information I didn’t know what to do to stop it. Bullets seemed to hurt it, but I don’t think they could kill it.

After my son went to sleep, my wife and I discussed everything that had happened, everything that we both experienced. While there wasn’t much, there was one certain fact: it never appeared during the day and never attacked when the lights were on. It attacked Cody during the one night I left his light off. The night it attacked me, the light was off as well. Cody woke up screaming the other nights but nothing ever happened, except that the door was open. Perhaps it was testing to see if the light was on. Whether it was afraid of the light or it was hurt by it we didn’t know. What we did know was that we couldn’t stay in that house. If we wanted to keep Cody safe, we had to leave. This wasn’t an easy decision though. That was our home, and this thing had taken it from us, but it wasn’t worth keeping if it meant putting our son at risk. If moving was our only option, then so be it. If it wanted the house, it could have it.

We spent several more days in the hotel, returning home only once to grab some things before we went to my parents. While I didn’t tell them everything I did say that we no longer felt safe in our home. They had only look at me and Cody to agree to let us stay with them until we could get back on our feet.

That first day I returned to our house to start packing, I was stunned by the state of it. To say our house had been destroyed was an understatement. Our furniture was smashed and shredded. The electronics crushed into pieces. In fact it looked like someone had taken our TV and snapped it in half. Clothes torn apart, dishes smashed, doors ripped from hinges, there was not a single thing that went untouched; not a single thing except for the closet door. When I saw it, I noticed it was open— just a crack. I didn’t dare to check inside. Instead, I salvaged what I could and left our home once and for all.

We sold the house for well below what it was worth but we had to get rid of it. I was reluctant to even sell it but when the buyers said they were going to do a complete remodel I was more than willing to take their offer. A massive remodel meant tearing it apart, leaving the monster nowhere to hide. With the money from the sale and the insurance settlement that we received since it was clear that someone had destroyed our home, we moved across town to a brand new house. It was a huge relief to finally be away from the thing that lived inside. We could start over and put all of this behind us.

And things went well for almost an entire year. My injuries healed, though my face was permanently scarred, but the marks weren’t too bad. My wife says I looked distinguished. My son's arm healed and the moment we moved away, he became that same loving boy my wife and I knew. We were happy again. Our fears were drifting into memory and would one day be forgotten altogether. My son was able to sleep through the night with only the occasional nightmare. Slowly, one by one the lights we kept on for safety, were shut off until we were able to find peace in the darkness. Things were finally back to normal. Until last month.

We started hearing noises coming from above us. Heavy groaning sounds like someone walking back and forth on the ceiling and the sound of something long and sharp being dragged overhead. It ever only starts after nightfall and always stops during the day. When I go to my son’s room, I find plaster dust on the floor and I can see holes forming in the ceiling; holes big enough for someone took look through. You see unlike my last house, this one has storage space in the attic. Enough space for something to live in.