One of the small doors which led from my bedroom into the storage space beyond the curtain wall had been left hanging open about three inches. Again, a foreboding presence pressed fear into me, imprinting it on my brain like a brand on a calf’s skin. I could never decide whether to stare at that blank line of darkness or to look away, pretending it wasn’t there, so I alternated techniques. Staring at the space invited more fear. Looking away simply moved the fear into my imagination.
The fear and dread never abated over the years I slept in the attic. They grew worse with time until they seeped into my dreams, leaving me with nightmares I couldn’t distinguish after a while from the reality of living in that dark room.
Possessed things–animals and humans both–entered my dreams and stalked me relentlessly with their slack jaws and empty eyes. There were times I got so tired of fighting that I longed to just lie down and let them take me. Dreams of haunted buildings became fixtures of my sleep.
Many times I woke up only to see clumps of clothes on my floor and illuminated by moonlight or starlight transformed into dead animals slowing being reanimated. Sometimes I dreamed I woke up and, relieved, would begin to get out of bed only to find my nightmares being reiterated in what otherwise looked like “normal” life. I fought to wake up. I failed.
Meanwhile, Sunny developed night terrors. At unpredictable intervals she would sit bolt upright in bed and emit prolonged, blood-curdling screams.
Without understanding how, I knew the terror emanated from behind one of the curtained-off walls–the western one. I even knew in what portion of that dark area the evil dwelled. I dreamed of it–saw foul power oozing from that area and attacking me and my family.