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The Faces In The Windows


On Saturday October 3rd, 2009, at around seven pm, I was eating dinner with my family. I was eighteen at the time and my parents wanted to discus my living arrangements while attending community college the following semester. It was a boring conversation, riddled with my younger siblings' interjections and bothersome chattering. After about an hour of cyclic chatting, I decided to talk with them later and adjourned to my bedroom.

The upstairs room itself was small and packed with furniture. The outside world was growing dark and the trees across the street were swaying in the wind of the coming storm. Typical Arizona; monsoon season comes later than the newscasters and meteorologists claim. I pulled the chain hanging from the creaking fan spinning above my head. I suppose I pulled to hard because the chain suddenly snapped and the half dangling from my fan shot up into the twisting blades, clanging with a loud metallic bang. Out of pure instinct, I ducked and lifted my hands above my head. After a moment, I was sure that the fan wasn't going to come down on me and I straightened up, reaching for fragment of the pull cord still attached to the fan (the lights had not turned on). Once I clicked the lights on, I turned to my window to close my blinds, thus shutting out any peeping Toms or whatever. That was when I saw it.

My reflection in the window was clear: a horror stricken teenager (me) on a pane of glass, standing in front of, and just to the right of a tall... Absence. I could use no other word to describe the figure, the silhouette of a man, other than pure absence of everything. It was as though, for the first time, I saw something that the forces of nature weren't connected to. Perhaps it was its own force. The rest of the details are sketchy and hard to remember. I remember feeling all the warmth being ripped, actually ripped out of my body. The sheer power of the sudden chill petrified me. It felt as though I had become a heavy mass of lead in a sack of skin. I crumpled to the ground in a heap, feeling heavy, as though I was being attacked by pressure on all sides. I looked up at my fan, whose creaking had now gone silent. I couldn't tell if the lights were flickering or if I was blinking. All I know is that I was sprawled out on my back; cold, alone, miserable. I screamed, but no sound came forth. My mouth didn't even open. I felt tears of fear sting my eyes. I thought that I was going to die without getting the chance to say goodbye. I felt so hopeless. Then, suddenly, the fear, the pain, the pressure, the weight, all went away. It was so sudden that when I gulped in air, it felt like a fist had sailed down my throat. I felt very light and loose and instantly tired. I rolled onto my side, exhausting the last bit of strength I had before blacking out.

I woke the next morning, reluctant to tell my parents about what had happened. I've been living with this for a year and now I am finally getting it off my chest. Ever since that day, my window has been covered, night and day. I never want to see the Absence again.

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The following comments are submitted by users of this site and are not official positions by Please read our guidelines and the previous posts before posting. The author, TerryThatcher, has the following expectation about your feedback: I will read the comments and participate in the discussion.

BrandonCR (5 stories) (64 posts)
12 years ago (2010-08-16)
Well TT, Very good story, I feel as though I were there. Shadow men have been reported since ancient times, and it is believed by many that they are evil. I do not know if this is true, seeing as I have never seen a shadow man. But its not uncommon for something terrible to happen after sighting a shadow man, and many people feel the same helplessness you did. In fact the symptoms you described are suprisingly common. There is another poster here whos story I read that described a similar experience. Her name is ChaoticPeace, I would read her story if I were you, maybe talk to her a bit.
JamesRobiscoe (419 posts)
12 years ago (2010-08-16)
TerryThatcher--A chilling story vividly rendered. You may have felt the ghost man's pain, and once that was done, he used yours and other available energy to depart. We hope to the light and earthbound no more. I also hope you feel a fraction of release yourself now that you've told it. ~ James

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