Larson woke up startled in the middle of the night. He clutched his chest with his tiny hand trying to dull the sharp pain in his heart. As he gasped for air, he desperately tried to remember what his nightmare had been about. He looked over at his alarm clock and discover it was 4:58 AM. He began sobbing and thought about calling out for his mom to come calm him down, but he couldn’t bring himself to make a sound. That’s when he realized that he was not the source of the sniffling and heavy breathing. Larson slowly turned his head and saw the silhouette of a grown man sitting in a small puddle of his own blood. The weeping man was not even three feet from the side of his bed.
“H-h-hello s-sir. M-m-my name is Larson. A-are you okay?” the little boy stammered, almost completely hoarse with fear. The man shook his head slowly and began to cry even harder. “Well what’s the matter?” Larson asked, feeling concerned not only for his own safety, but that of the man as well. Without turning to face the boy, the man slowly lifted his right arm for Larson to see. In the dim light coming from his Spider-Man nightlight, Larson could see that not only was the man’s arm bent at an unnatural angle, but the bone had punctured through the skin.
“Oh my gosh! You need to get to the hospital!” Larson exclaimed. “Let me go get my mom and dad to drive you.”
“That won’t be necessary,” an androgynous voice replied. For a second, Larson was confused as to whether this figure was a man or a woman with short hair, so he decided to continue thinking of the figure as a man.
“No please let me get them,” Larson said as he began to get out of bed. “You’ll feel much bett-” Suddenly the man’s arm snapped back into place with a nauseating crunch. As the man’s arm was miraculously healed, Larson was flung back onto the bed. He laid flat on his back and struggled to get up, but he couldn’t move a single muscle. The man slowly stood up and turned towards the poor, frightened child as he struggled with all of his might to move even a finger. He was still covered in shadow, but Larson could see and hear the blood dripping off the man into the puddle he stood in.
“What’s happening?!” Larson cried, fearing for his life. “Please let me go! I want my mommy!”
“Oh so you want to leave?” asked a deep, gruff, growling voice. “Well why didn’t you just say so?” The man began raising his left hand in the air, and as he did so, Larson began to rise as well. With a quick motion, the man flung his right hand and Larson went flying towards the door. He hit with a sickening thud. Before he even had time to recover, the man quickly raised his left hand and then dropped it to his side; causing Larson to fly into the ceiling and then fall quickly to the floor. The man then used his right hand to send Larson flying into the wall by his bed.
It all happened so fast that Larson barely had time to even cry out in pain. He laid on his bed twitching and gasping for air. He cried silently as blood trickled from his forehead into his eyes and mouth. The pain was excruciating, almost to the point where Larson couldn’t feel it. Almost.
“W-why are y-you doing th-th-this to me?” Larson practically whispered. The man’s laugh was so loud that Larson was sure he’d be deaf by the end of it. The man then took a few, slow steps towards Larson’s bed. In doing so, he entered the light emitting from the Spider-Man nightlight. As Larson stared at the man’s face, he noticed something off about it. Slowly he realized what the problem was. The man’s face was not his own, it was someone else’s. The man’s hair and ears were his own, but his actual face was held onto his head with string that went across the back of his head.
Larson wanted to vomit at the sight of the bleeding slab of skin; at the dark, empty eyeholes, sunken nose, and chapped lips. The man’s shoulders bounced as he chuckled silently to himself. Without a word, the man reached behind his back and his hand returned with a long, glistening, razor sharp knife. Larson began sulking because in that moment he knew he was going to die; that there was no other outcome other than his death. No one was coming to save him, and he definitely wasn’t going to save himself.
The man started to shake, subtly at first and then almost as if he was having a seizure. There was an unbearable cracking sound and suddenly his head was facing the opposite direction. His arms and legs then extended outwards an extra two feet as he did a sort of backbend to support himself on his hands and feet. Larson screamed at the top of his lungs, absolutely terrified.
“Shut your fucking mouth,” the man bellowed and Larson immediately went mute. The man then turned with an amazing amount of speed and made his way towards Larson’s bed; his arms and legs bending at awkward and horrific angles. The man’s “face” was now only inches from Larson’s snot and tear smeared face.
“Want to see something amazing?” the androgynous voice asked. The man then quickly cut the string wrapped around his head with his knife causing the face to fall directly onto Larson’s. Larson tried to scream, but he was still mute and paralyzed. The man then slowly removed the face from off of Larson, but he kept his eyes closed out of fear.
“Open your eyes, kid,” the man commanded. Larson opened his eyes against his will and was so shocked he probably couldn’t have screamed even if he wanted to. Underneath the man’s makeshift mask was just skin and nothing else. The man had absolutely no eyes, nose, or mouth. He was completely faceless. The man laughed at how speechless Larson was.
“You asked me earlier why I was doing this to you,” Larson heard the androgynous voice say. The man raised his knife, but instead of using it on Larson he stuck it into his own head. The man then proceeded to cut a slit where his mouth would be. Blood poured out of the gash and all over Larson’s face. It filled his eyes and nostrils and he was sure he would drown. Right when his lungs began to burn with the need for oxygen, the man wiped most of the blood off of him. The man then slowly leaned forward until Larson could feel his cold breath against his skin. “It’s because the hearts of pure children are my favorite,” the man whispered with his new mouth. Larson then felt the blade enter his chest. His body felt ice cold as his blood began to stain his bed sheets. His vision began to blur and he lost all feeling in his entire body. Right before he died, he heard a woman say, “See you soon Larson.”
Larson woke up startled in the middle of the night. He clutched his chest with his tiny hand trying to dull the sharp pain in his heart. As he gasped for air, he desperately tried to remember what his nightmare had been about. He looked over at his alarm clock and discovered it was 4:58 AM. He began sobbing and thought about calling out for his mom to come calm him down, but he couldn’t bring himself to make a sound. That’s when he realized that he was not the source of the sniffling and heavy breathing. Larson slowly turned his head and saw the silhouette of a grown man sitting in a small puddle of his own blood. The weeping man was not even three feet from the side of his bed….