It was dark. That’s how it got out here in the countryside. No cities for miles, and not many houses out here, either. I and most of the people out here had gotten used to the dark, but tonight was different. It seemed darker than usual.

I was driving home from a friend’s house one night and I saw something that caught my eye. Lining the roads were trees, but there was one tree that looked… different. I didn’t get a good look at it because I was driving, but I got the chills all the way back home.

It was very early, yet still dark outside, when I heard a noise. It sounded like a loud thump, followed by slow, quieter thumps, almost like footsteps. I grabbed a flashlight and went downstairs to investigate. The door was closed and everything seemed normal, except for one thing: the door was unlocked. I distinctly remember locking it, but I was too tired to investigate, so I locked it and went back to sleep.

The next day was normal, nothing out of the ordinary. The next night, though, I heard it again: a loud thump, followed by the footsteps. This time, I thought that either someone was robbing me, or one of my friends was just fucking with me. Either way, I grabbed my gun. Once again, nothing was amiss except my door was unlocked. This time, though, I searched my house througohly. I found nothing, which was what I truly expected, then went to sleep.

The next night I heard it again, but I didn’t even bother to go downstairs. The night after that, however, I heard the noises, but then I heard more footsteps that sounded like they were coming up the stairs. I quickly grabbed my gun and stared at the door, waiting. I don’t know how long I waited, but nothing ever came. The night after that I heard the footsteps coming up the stairs, I thought it was just my mind playing tricks on me, so I went back to sleep. I was half asleep when the door opened. I was 75% asleep, but when I saw it, I woke right up.

The figure was so tall, it had to duck to get through the door. It was well dressed and looked like it may have been a man. The worst part, though, was the face: It didn’t have one. It crept closer, making no noise as it slowly walked toward my bed. I was too frightened to grab my gun, so I just sat there, almost shaking with fear.

It just stood at the foot of my bed, staring at me. Or, at least I think it was. It was hard to tell because it was lacking a face. It stood there for what seemed like an eternity, just staring at me with the horrible, emotionless face. After a while (I don’t recall how long) it began to extend its arms. They grew and separated, like branches of a tree. I'll admit, I was afraid. For a split-second, I saw an opening as it began to move closer. I moved toward the wall for a moment, then bolted through the door, down the stairs, and then outside.

I got in my car and drove. I don’t remember how long I drove, but I am sure I was a few counties away from where I began. I booked a lot of motels during my time away. I must have been gone for about five months. When I began to think the coast was clear, I moved back. Things were normal for a few months, but at the back of my mind I knew it hadn’t forgotten me. Even as I type this, I know it’s coming. I hear the noises now, the loud thump of the door opening, the footsteps coming up the stairs... My door is locked, but even still, it turns the knob. I can hear it, slowly coming toward me, finally finishing what it started almost a year ago…

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