He keeps calling my name

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This is a story that initially never seemed that scary to me — mostly because I only connected the dots a few years ago. We were at a friend’s house for the night and wound up talking about the paranormal and our own experiences with it, and while I was recounting what I’d always dismissed as a creepy waking dream I realized it wasn’t so banal after all.

When I was little I never slept during the day — actually, even today I have a hard time taking a power nap. And of course during the naptimes in my daycare I never could fall asleep, but I was required to lay in that darkened room on my colorful mattress anyway and stare at the ceiling while everyone else dozed off. We were mostly on the floor; there were a few bunk beds along the wall but they were not nearly enough for all of us. So the bed spots rotated and the mattresses covered for the rest of us. Or, well, I was always on a mattress: I didn’t sleep, I didn’t get a bed. It was better that someone who actually needed to get comfortable for napping got one.

One day I was lying there as usual. The room had two doors facing each other on the opposite walls and I was right by the other one. The teacher was sitting there between them but I had unobstructed view of the other door, the one that lead to the entrance. There was a little bit of light streaming in through the heavy curtains on the windows and under the doors.

I guess I must have fallen asleep, as much as I have heard that I never did sleep. Because I saw that the door opposite of me was suddenly open and light was streaming in. But I could not see into the entryway because there was a very, very large man, or the shadow of one anyway, in the doorway. He was wearing a hat and a long, wide coat, and his head reached almost to the top of the door frame. I never saw the man walk there or open the door: he was just suddenly there and the door was open. The teacher did not react so I did not either, thinking I’d be punished for getting up.

The man did not move. But as I watched him, a feeling filled my mind. He was there to take me somewhere. He wanted me to go with him. And I wanted to go with him, too. He felt safe, like a parent, and it must have been important if he was getting me in the middle of naptime.

But I still was not allowed to move. And the teacher didn’t seem to even see the man. Something told me that she would not understand if I tried to tell her. So I did not go to the man. Eventually he disappeared, and the door was shut again.

That in itself might’ve just been a dream. In fact, I thought it was — until, like I said, I was telling the story to a friend at a sleepover. See, this disclaimer is precisely the point in my narration when I realized something. Because ever since that day, or somewhere around it, I heard my name being chanted in my ears every time it got quiet. It made me quite the chatterbox, actually: I didn’t want to hear the voice. It felt like it was accusing me of something. The man had wanted me to go with him and I did not, and for that I was a bad child. Eventually, when I was around fifteen, I realized that I did not hear the voice anymore.

I never actually thought I was being called. It wasn’t an auditory hallucination. Rather, it was the hum that just sometimes appears in your ears gaining a rhythm and then forming into words, or rather a word. Just “Maai-va, Maai-va”, over and over and over and over again, ever until some other noise drowned it out.

Then, two years or so ago I started hearing my mother call me from downstairs when she was sleeping, or not in the house, or just not calling my name. And this time it sounded so real that I often called back, asking what she wants. A few times I even went downstairs just to find the whole house empty. Now that, too, has gone away. It did often happen when I was already listening to music and sometimes upon playing it back I would find that it was some sound that I just mistook for my mom’s voice. But not every time.

I’m not sure what to do — or whether I should even do anything. Honestly, I am still not adequately scared, I think. I keep thinking of the figure and how often I have regretted not going along with it. I don’t know what it is, and I don’t know what it is going to do next. The one thought or idea I have about it is simply this: it is a Grim Reaper. And for some reason it wants to get me early.

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