I have a tough time falling asleep in places that are not my bedroom. When I go on vacations, it takes me a few days to get used to the new places. Sleeping on buses or airplanes? Forget about it.
This time, I had spent the night in an uncomfortable hotel by the center of town when I went to visit my girlfriend’s family out of state. They’re all very nice people, and I feel bad whenever I have to be around a group after not getting much sleep because all I can think of doing is going to my bed and calling it quits.
I wanted to grab a coffee, but my girlfriend was being weird about me drinking too much of it, so skipped out on the iced coffee from McDonald’s. It was around 3pm anyway, so I probably made the right call. Otherwise I’d end up twisting and turning all night again.
We got to her grandparent’s house, and I was greeted with a plate of bread and, yes, coffee. I gladly said yes to the coffee, but after taking a sip, I realized it was sweetened. I take my coffee black because those sugar crashes are the worst.
To not be rude, I took a piece of bread also, and my girlfriend’s grandma was there to make sure that I ate it so that she could offer another one. I was able to keep the conversation for almost 15 minutes before my eyes began to shut and someone, I don’t remember who, asked me if I was tired. I said yes, and that I hadn’t gotten much sleep. They’re older people, so they’re used to taking naps, I guess.
They asked me to go up to the bed in the unit that they have in the backyard, to which I said yes, I literally had no more strength in me to get picky about where I slept. The guesthouse has two stories, and the room was on the second one. Every single step I took tired me out even more, but I finally made it and fell flat on the bed without even taking off my shoes.
I was woken up by high-pitched laughter. Like an excited little kid running around. I turned my head toward the door and looked at the light from the window across from me. It was almost sunset. But then I saw somebody. The silhouette was not of some little kid, but rather, a short older man, covered in mud.
He didn’t move. He didn’t say anything.
This was not normal. It couldn’t be real. What was more confusing, however, was that I didn’t feel fear, I wasn’t freaking out, though I did feel sick to my stomach. Almost like wanting to throw up.
The man disappeared sometime during the confusion when I scrambled for my cell phone. I’m not sure why I wanted it. I kept looking out for the man, starting to freak out finally.
While staring across from the bed, I fell asleep again. I had a weird dream that I was being chased through a patch of trees, and then something grabbed my arm. That’s when I woke up again.
My girlfriend had opened the door and was standing by the door frame, telling me that they were going to have dinner, and for me to come downstairs. I said okay, grabbed my cell phone, and rubbed my eyes. It was 7pm.
My face was a bit pale when I stepped into the dining room, and my girlfriend asked me off to the side what was wrong. I briefly told her I had seen something weird in the room upstairs. A man staring at me.
It soon became a topic of conversation around the table, the family telling me of their own weird experiences in that room, and how some of them refuse to use it.
What they didn’t know was that I went downstairs and to the bathroom first, to wash my hands and face. Apparently my hands were so dirty that I dirtied up the bar of soap. I was about to rinse it, when I noticed a dark patch on my left arm. I could almost peel it off, it was a crusty, weird looking blob stuck to my arm. It came right off, and then fell apart in the sink.
It had dried up. It was mud.