Nathan and Mike were sitting in their room, playing a video game in front of TV. Their Dad was somewhere in the house. Their Mom was sleeping on Nathan’s bed (they had a two-story bed – Nathan slept on the first floor; and Mike – well Mike was nine and he never slept in his bed. Instead he slept in Mom and Dad’s bed).
They never stayed up late, but this night – because Mom was asleep – they did. The electronic watch on Nathan’s study desk read 02:30.
While they played the video game (the sound of the game was muted because of Mom), Nathan thought why they Dad hadn’t come and told them to go to sleep.
Just then, as if he heard him, the door to their room opened and they Dad came in.
“Guys, time to go to sleep. Go have a piss, brush your teeth, and go to bed. And don’t make me repeat my words.”
Mike asked: “Dad, is Nathan gonna sleep with us?”
Dad looked over at Mom and said: “Well, I guess so… Now hurry up.” Then he left.
So while Nathan turned off the video game and TV, Mike went to the bathroom and did what they Dad told to do. When he came out, Nathan went in and did what Mike did (also, before Nathan left their room and closed the door behind him, he turned off the light).
When Nathan came out of the bathroom, Mike was already in their parents’ bed. Nathan lay down next to him.
Mike said, “Let’s have fun before Dad comes,” and sat up.
“Well… I don’t think I’m in the mood. Let’s just sleep.”
Mike lay down again and said nothing. For a moment, they lay there in a silence. Nathan was already drifting to sleep…
Then, a movement caught a corner of Mike’s eye. He quickly sat up and pointed to the balcony. “Nathan, look! I think I saw someone in the balcony!”
Nathan opened his eyes in incomprehension (confusion, you could say). He sat up himself. “What? What happened?”
“I think I saw someone in the balcony,” Mike repeated.
After he heard what Mike just said, Nathan didn’t even bother to look at the balcony. He said: “Ugh, little bro… There’s no one there. We live on the 27th floor, remember?”
Mike just stared at him.
“All right, look,” Nathan said, “I assure you there’s nobody out there. There can’t be. Trust me… Now, I’m very tired. Please close your eyes and try to sleep.”
“But I saw a movement!”
It was Nathan’s turn to stare at Mike.
“Okay,” Mike said in a low voice. “Good night.”
“Good night.” Nathan was glad that he’d finally be able to sleep.
They lay down once again and, shortly after, went to sleep.
About an hour later a sound, which sounded like a door-hinge squeak, woke Nathan up. He opened his eyes – once again in misunderstanding – and looked to his left. Mike was there, sleeping. But he couldn’t see Dad. He thought maybe he hadn’t even come to sleep with them; maybe he slept next to Mom in Nathan’s bed.
When he turned to his right what he saw surprised him: the balcony door was ajar and through the crack a dim light shone on the bedroom floor. There was a shadow in that weak light; and the shadow was flickering.
Suddenly the door sprang to its full width and hit the wall on its left side (what was strange was that there was no sound at the moment of collision – only that strange squeak).
A dark figure stepped in from the balcony. Nathan couldn’t make anything out.
But when the figure came closer Nathan saw that it wore a long dark hooded-dress. The hood was on.
There were more squeaks as the figure came closer. In no time at all it stood at the bed’s side.
Now Nathan could see what it looked like: it had no face, only small red eyes that seemed to glow. It had long bony fingers that stuck out of the dress. The rest of its body was hid under the dress.
More squeaks… Now, when the figure was right beside him, Nathan realized that the squeaky sounds came from that weird thing itself.
Suddenly its arms rose above its head (Nathan figured all of its movements were very smooth and fast). In its scrawny hands it held a long, thin knife.
Nathan didn’t have time to think
(those red eyes…)
He should have listened to Mike.
There was one last squeak before the knife came down on him.