[This is a true story. From as far back as I can remember. It was my first and only real night terror, and I wouldn’t wish the experience on my worst enemy. Even though it was clearly an attack perpetrated BY my worst enemy.]
Shivering and waiting in the darkness. Waiting for the breathing to stop. Either mine or its. Or at least grow accustomed to it, so I can’t even perceive it anymore. Then I’ll be able to finally sleep. It’s no use, but I was so small; such that I wasn’t allowed to get up from bed, lest I get into serious trouble with mom and dad. They didn’t understand how Satan works. Oh, they said they did, but that was a lie. Only children understand how the Devil operates. They understand because they are his favorite. Get em while they’re young; isn’t that what they say?
I knew he was in there. I just … knew it. The old sneak thought he could get by on me, but he should know by now. The room is small and dark, almost pitch black. The bed is high. A queen sized bed, that some past family members slept on previously. Not really sure whose it was, as I was only five years old and still hadn’t met the entire family. My brother and I slept together on this huge bed, and there was more than enough room to feel as if I were completely alone in the dark, and terrified. Scared shitless, while my four year old brother slept soundlessly only inches to my right.
One single sash window was the only entry for the little bit of starlight I would receive on this new moon night. Just enough light to give the trees a touch of a dancing shadow thrown against the inside of the closet wall. The closet with no door to keep the devil from poking his head out to see if I was asleep yet. And this he did. All God damned night!
My heart raced until I thought it might explode, or until I mercifully passed out from sheer terror. But no, there would be no mercy for this little boy. The mercy was enjoyed by my brother and there wasn’t enough to go around. At that moment I would have gladly offered my brother to the Devil if he would just leave me be, but I couldn’t bring myself to do it. I loved him, even if he did drive me crazy! Not to mention the fact that if Satan knew I was willing to cut a deal, it wouldn’t be for my brother, but my very soul. And I did not know how to play a fiddle, so that was out!
I snapped awake, suddenly. Oh, you sly son of a… You almost had me that time. But that’s when I realized he had moved. The old trickster was underneath me now. Under my bed. Under my very head, even. A monster under the bed is not cliche to a five year old. Especially if that monster is none other than Jesus’ nemesis, Satan Devil Lucifer the First! He had an agenda, and was fit to be tied. I started sweating, but it was cold in the room. The sweat was out of fear rather than being too warm, and it made me even more cold under the blankets. Icy cold even. And that’s when I knew, that he was trying to trick me.
Satan burned people and poked at him with his big fork. That was FACT! I knew he was down there; he probably had his fork ready to jab at me through the bed. It was magic and could go right through it, and pierce my belly. Then he would turn up the heat and roast me like a hotdog over a fire on the fourth of July.
Finally, I couldn’t take it anymore. The old devil kept creeping up the side of the bed and staring at me. Once, I looked him dead in the eye, and that was it. I screamed!
Satan ducked, but he would not leave. He wasn’t a big fraidy cat like me. So I just kept on screaming. My brother woke up, and he started crying. I think he figured out that there was something there. Something real and serious; if he didn’t start screaming two, we would both be fucked! So that is exactly what he did!
My mom and dad burst in the room and threw on the light. Mom jumped in bed with us and Dad was waving a broom stick. I don’t think they ever heard us scream like that. Nor would they ever hear it again. They had been convinced that we were in real serious danger, and we were. Yet when I told them. My dad just let out a breath and said, “For Christ’s fucking sake!” and took off back to his room. If I had known the phrase then, I would’ve said, “YES! MY SENTIMENTS EXACTLY!”
I told them Satan was staring at me from beside the bed! I saw him. I looked into his evil eyes and saw his whole plan for me! After my father made his exasperated exit my mom laid in bed with us until we were both fast asleep. Satan would not return with my Godly armed mother keeping watch, but before we drifted off to sleep, she gave me the tools to combat the devil and I still use them to this day.
“Whenever he comes back you just tell him this, ‘Devil, you can’t have me. I have been claimed as the property of our Lord, yours and mine, Jesus Christ. And unless you want some real trouble, I suggest you take a hike or I’m going to call Him!'”
You know what? It worked. And it still works today.