Picture creator: Unknown
Children see the world differently than adults. We can all accept that. They let their imaginations take control, occasionally being in space, or in the forest, making cardboard or blankets into exotic scenes in which their adventures take place. I know this as an adult. I look around, and I see the world much the same as I did then. Only now, I am more seasoned, and have learned the hard truth. Not everything we see as a child is just our imagination.
My name is Jon Evenwood, and most people think I’m crazy. This is only a small part of my story.
I grew up much the same as other children. I played with toys, drew pictures, and let my imagination show me the world through a different lens. My earliest memories are of driving through the back roads of Maine, watching the shadow (that’s what I called him) run beside the car. His legs moved impossibly fast and I would watch him run most of the time, but sometimes he would jump, tree to tree, clinging to them.
My friends saw him too, once I started school. They would see just his shadow, keeping pace as best it could, moving beside the school bus. Over time the others stopped seeing him. He never went away for me. Instead, his shadow became clearer and more defined. His eyes were the first thing I noticed. They were empty, black sockets. Unseeing, yet piercing at the same time. Next became his body. His legs were like coarse black licorice that had been melted together, and his arms were long and strung out with long fingers that pierced the things it gripped in is terrifying hands.
Even the things I saw in graveyards would hide when he approached, running alongside the vehicles I traveled in. It was as though he was searching for someone that could really see him, and when he figured out that I could, things became frightening on a whole new level. He began to follow me even when I wasn’t traveling in vehicles. He would stand just outside the window of my classes, waiting for me to leave. He followed me through life for years. Always waiting and always watching.
One night, when I was in high school, it came into my house. The first time I had ever seen it indoors. I woke in the middle of the night to find it peering down at me, clinging to the ceiling. I screamed when I saw it, but it moved quick, as it always did and covered my mouth the second my lips parted. Its skin was cold, to the point that it burned my skin to come in contact with it.