The pretty thing you see laying in my bed is not me. My parents can’t tell the difference, though. She looks identical to me: all blonde hair and blue eyes. She even speaks the same way as I do! It’s been like this for a week now. I’ve tried everything from moving objects around in the house to screaming at the top of my lungs. I try to tell them what happened, but they can’t hear me. I want them to know it’s not me in my body, but someone else. Something else. Will you tell them for me?
It happened just like this: I was walking home from school one day. We live in a very nice neighborhood where everybody knows everybody. Like most people in the neighborhood, my parents wouldn’t be home for at least another thirty minutes to an hour due to their jobs. I keep my house key in my back pocket for easy access to unlock the door, thankful that my parents trusted me enough to walk home alone. Well, I’m not really alone. My friends who live in the same neighborhood walk with me. The only time I’m actually alone is for the last five or six minutes of my walk.
On this particular day, it was just me and one of my friends walking home. We had just watched our friend wave to us goodbye and walk into his house when a white work-like van pulled up beside us. It looked like the kind of van cable companies used, except it was unmarked. No name of the company, no sticker asking how they were driving. Nothing. I found it kind of odd, but didn’t think too much of it. The window closest to us rolled down to reveal a middle aged white male. He was wearing something akin to a work uniform, but again, there was no company name or image I can identify.
“Hey, girls.” He said, seemingly friendly.
“Hello.” I said. My friend, Ashley, said nothing. He leaned forward before he spoke again. I could see that he had dark brown hair and hauntingly gray eyes as he looked as us both. He seemed like a pretty normal guy.
“Do you know where I can find this address?” He rattled off a street name and number.
“Yeah. It’s right up that way on your right,” I answered, pointing in the direction that he just came from.
“Alright. Thank you, girls.” He said, giving me one last glance that covered me from head to toe. He drove off in the opposite direction.
“Where is he going?” Ashley asked.
“Maybe he’s going to turn around.”
“Didn’t you think that was creepy? The way he looked at you?”
“No.” In truth, I did think it was a little creepy. I was use to the way guys looked at me. Despite being fifteen, I could pass for being older. I have been told that I look and act much more mature than my age. Ashley just sighed and we continued walking down the street. Ater another ten or so minutes, I had finally made it home. I had found it odd that I had not seen the van again, making me doubt that he turned around at the end of the street. I entered my home and locked the door behind me, per my parents request. I sat down in the kitchen and started my homework at the table.
The way that my my house is set up is that right when you walk into the door, you are greeted with the stairs. To the right of the stairs, there’s a coat rack and to the left of the stairs is the living room, which has very tall windows. Just past the living room is the kitchen, which has sliding glass doors that lead to the back yard. The first floor is very open, spacey even. You are able to see straight to the back yard from the front porch and vise versa. The rest of the day went by normally.
My parents came home, we ate dinner, and watched a movie before we all decided to go to bed. As I lay in my bed, I heard a light knock on the door. I got up and opened my door. It was about eleven thirty at night and my parents bedroom door was closed, so I assumed that they hadn’t heard it. My room was at the top of the stairs and I was able to see the shadow of someone on the porch through the windows. I heard the light knock on the door again. I went downstairs and tried to peer through the living room window to try and see who it was without them seeing me. It struck me odd tha someone was at our house this late.
When I peered out, I saw the man from earlier and this time a woman was with him. He was still wearing the uniform-like outfit from earlier and the woman looked to be homeless. The skirt and top she wore were dirty and tattered at the end. Her messy, light brown hair was pulled back into a ponytail to show her wrinkled face. I had a strange feeling come over me. I had seen the woman before but I couldn’t place it. At that moment, she saw me and smiled. I opened the door despite my gut telling me not to. It was stupid, I know, but I felt as though it would be rude if I didn’t open the door since she saw me.
“Hello, honey.” She crooned. She sounded far older than she looked and since she already looked old, that seemed impossible. The guy just gave me a half-smile.
“Can I help you all with something?” I asked quietly. I didn’t want to wake my parents up.
“Yes, you can.” The guy said as he reached for my arm. I yelped as his firm grip pulled me closer to him and he covered my mouth to keep me silenced. I struggled as he pulled towards his van that I hadn’t noticed parked on the street a house down from mine. The old woman closed the door quietly behind me as if to not disturb my parents. I tried screaming several times, but the man’s hand held my mouth closed to the point that it hurt. She then proceeded to open the van door once we got to it. The guy climbed into the back of the van with me as she got closed the door and got into the front. The back of the ban was dark as he pulled a bag over my head and tied my wrists behind my back. I could feel the tears streaming down my face as I prayed that they wouldn’t hurt me. I felt a pinprick in the back of my arm and I after a minute or two, my eyelids started to feel heavy. I tried to fight it, but failed.
I woke up tied to a table of sorts in the middle of a warehouse. The sun was starting to peek through the windows at the top of the warehouse. How long had I been out? Surely, my parents had noticed that I was gone, right? Groggily, I lifted my head up and looked around. The rope from earlier was replaced with leather restraints. I noticed that there were several other people standing around me and that an old woman was strapped to a table similar to the one I was on. She looked like she could be a hundred years old. She looked at me blankly, her eyes were dead and cold. She seemed unnervingly calm. I struggled to get out of the restraints.
“Shh, shh, shh, dear.” I turned to look at the woman beside my head. She smoothed my hair down and I let out a whimper. “We don’t want to mess up your pretty hair now do we?” One of the people stepped up and started strapping my head to the table so I couldn’t move it. Tears streamed down my cheeks.
“You must understand why we do this,” She said, her eyes growing darker. “We need to live.”
“What do you mean you need to live?” I asked, my mouth still ached from the man holding closed. “Who are you people?”
“We are what you fear most. The monsters living under your beds, in your closets. We are people just like you. We live much like you. The only thing we don’t have is bodies. Which is both a blessing and a curse.” I turned to look over at the old woman on the table as the woman continued to talk.
“They only thing different between you and me is that we’re immortal. You’ve seen us out of the corner of your eyes: dark shadows that resemble people or maybe flickers of light that seem out of place.” The people stepped back as the old woman on the table started convulsing. A pillar of white smoke slowly rose out of her mouth and nose and made its way over to me. I struggled even harder against the restraints. The old woman’s body went limp, her dead eyes glazed over. It’s an image I will never forget.
“We need your body. We want your body.” This is the last thing that I hear the woman say. The pillar of smoke entered my body as I screamed. I got the sensation of drowning in chlorine tainted water and everything went black.
The next time I opened my eyes, I was back in my room, but something was different. I was laying in my bed and I hoped that this was all just a bad dream. I rolled over to find my body staring back at me with not blue eyes, but a very light green. I - or should I say my body - smiled at me with a perfect set of teeth. I jumped out of the bed and looked at my hands. They looked normal. I ran out of my room and to the kitchen to find my mother standing there and making breakfast. She called my name.
“I’m right here, mom.” She called my name again after a few seconds.
“I’m right here!” I yelled. She gave no indication that she heard me.
If you’re reading this, let my parents know that I am now one of the things that live under your bed. And I want them to know the truth.