In 1999 my life was a mess. My ex-husband and I had recently separated, I had no savings and he wanted our house. It wasn't much but it was paid for. I was too exhausted to fight him.
My father had just died and I had traveled to Fort Bliss just in time to say goodbye to him. My parents had visited from California to spend Christmas and my Dad got pnuemonia on the way home. That was crushing and when I walked back into the house from the flight home I saw drug paraphernalia along with evidence that another woman had been in my house, my bed, my everything. When a good friend of mine offered to put my son and I up in turn for my help (he was a paraplegic) I accepted his offer thankfully.
John was a very sweet man and he'd had nothing but problems trying to find caregivers who could devote just a few hours an evening. He wanted a little help with dinner and personal care. I really didn't mind. He was funny and sweet and he'd usually tell me hilarious stories about the women he dated. They averaged being gold diggers or women who were separated who eventually went back to their husbands. I knew he was lonely and so was I. It was a very simpatico arrangement.
I loved his huge airy house. It was two stories. I'll try to describe this correctly so that it's not too confusing.
From the front, it appeared to be a single level home. It was set into a hillside though, so that there was another basement level that was built out with a set of steep stairs leading down to his living area. The level had an entire apartment and the side that faced that back of the house had French doors leading to a little patio and fire pit.
We lived there for about a year while I worked and put money in the bank as a down payment for another house. My son was 4 at the time and very smart, very verbal kid. He seemed to have a fascination for the basement steps and I had to keep a constant eye on him to make sure that he never got too close. After a few months, I started to notice that he would play next to the top of the stairs as much as possible and he kept a running conversation with his toys.
One night I went to get him to put him in the bath and looked up at me and asked why the 'other' man in the basement kept asking him to come downstairs. Instant concern from Mom, here. I tried to be calm and asked him if he meant John. No... He thought it over seriously and said no the man who came into the top house at night. "A shadow?" I asked. No, this man sat on the stairs and called to him and asked him to come down and play. He was tall and thin. "What else does he look like?" I asked this while I felt the hairs raise on the back of my neck. My son looked at me and said "Mom, he walks and there are red spots, like ketchup". Anything else? He smiled helpfully. "He has really sharp teeth. They're all broken." Well, putting him to bed that night was a blur. I was walking the line between okay I'm scared and he's a little kid, they make things up. Just the same, the next morning I ran to the store and bought baby gates and put them up in the hallway leading to the stairs. My son was told never to play near the stairs again.
Funny thing, but after I did that, every single time I went down into the basement apartment to help John I feel something glaring at me. I would feel my neck hairs go up. If John wasn't there I would literally run to get what I needed and escape up the stairs as soon as possible. It was like I felt a pure hate directed me.
I asked John about what my son was saying after about month of feeling this hate and told him what my son was describing. John told me to sit down and he told me a story. Ten years before, John was not yet a paraplegic. He'd worked for a computer company and this involved travelling to a few locations for IT support. One night, he was driving in Illinois very late and he'd stopped at a rest stop for the restroom and a coffee from the machines there. As he walked into the men's facilities he noticed that they were empty and he quickly used the toilets and went to wash his hands. He glanced up and there was a tall thin man watching him. A man all in black. John freaked out because he'd appeared out of nowhere. Then he glanced up again and the man was right next to him. In a matter of a couple of seconds, this man had moved probably 20 feet and was so close that John could feel his breath on his face. No human being could have moved that fast. John swore to me that he'd seen a vampire. I didn't believe that, but I kept a poker face.
John poured a very large bourbon and he was shaking when he told me the next part. The man smiled, but it wasn't a smile... It was a baring of huge broken sharp teeth. John said he ran for his car. Like he knew his life depended on it. As he drove away from the rest stop this thing was following him on the road. Running after the car. Shortly after that John was in a terrible accident and was paralyzed.
I couldn't stay. I just couldn't. I told John we were leaving in two weeks. That would give him time to find another caregiver.
I quickly found us an apartment and kept an eagle eye on my son until the day we left. As I was putting my son into the car he suddenly said "Mom! Mom!". He's mad!. He wanted me to stay forever. I faked a smile and asked "Who, baby?". With a great dignity my son said "Biter. He hates you, you. He wants me to live with him but you would be boo-booed like Mr. John". I felt a cold sweat go down my back. "He lives with Mr. John but he said you would go with Pop-Pop." My recently deceased Dad was Pop-Pop.
The last day, I cried in relief as I pulled out of the driveway. We had been so close to pure evil. My son waved and called "Bye Mr.John. Bye Biter". I watched the rear view mirror until I hit the highway in case anything was running after the car.