By Toneye Eyenot
In his acutely paralysed state, Ben Morgan tried to scream, but the sound never made it past the back of his throat. He never recalled these instances during his normal waking consciousness. However, each time the visitation occurred, the horrid memories would flood and overwhelm. Each time, a new memory was forged to join the last, in a seamless and seemingly never-ending episode. This was Ben Morgan’s ‘other’ life. A life as real and infinitely more terrifying than the everyday life he shared with his loved ones, friends and work colleagues, which dropped immediately from his mind the moment these visits would re-commence.
They would come for him when he was at his most prone. Upon the cusp of sleep, they would arrive at his side; looming over him like dark, elongated shadows, with a petrifying touch and an invisible gaze that seemed to engulf every fibre of his being. Over the course of twenty seven years, since they first appeared on his fourth birthday, these apparitions most foul had visited Ben several times. Eleven, to be precise. When he was four, they appeared by his bed as he drifted from his special day into a heavy sleep, induced by an overindulgence of sweets all that afternoon.
What occurred that fateful first night, lay entrenched in young Ben’s subconscious from then until the next time…the next, and each time thereafter. This manifested over the years as an unexplainable and irrational fear of the dark, coupled with massive bouts of vertigo which would leave him curled in a foetal position, feeling that the stars themselves would come crashing down upon and around him. A most inconvenient experience, which adversely affected his quality of life and mental health.