The Pale Face

God, I need to get this down. I need this knowledge out of my head.

I’m being, what’s the word to use? Haunted? By a being. A horrid aberration. I can only call it pale face.

I remember the first time I saw it. I was twelve, taking a leak at the urinal of the hotel I was staying at with family. I noticed a flash of movement in the corner of my eye, though I dismissed it as nothing as it had been happening a lot lately. I went to wash my hands, and as I was about to turn on the tap, I saw it. Stood not more than a foot behind me, reflected in the mirror.

A humanoid creature, roughly five and a half feet tall, completely naked, covered in oily skin. Its fingers were elongated, impossibly bony. The whole thing looked as if it had never eaten; its chest was a harsh relief of ribs, made to look all the sicklier by the fluorescent light. It wasn’t breathing, either.

That is not what scared me though. Its face. A perfectly smooth oval shape, seemingly much too large and heavy for its scrawny neck, with two impossibly deep holes of blackness where one would expect to find eyes. It stared at me. It didn’t move; no single muscle twitched. It simply stood there, those jet pits boring into me for what felt like hours.

After what felt like an eternity, I realised my legs had unlocked and I bolted for the door too terrified to scream. I ignored my room, running in a child-like panic to my parent’s room a few doors down. I brought my fist down again and again on the door, desperate to raise my family. As I finally heard the door unlock I risked a single glance down the corridor from which I came. It was there. It stood completely still, eyes fixed on me, oily feet staining a brown smudge onto the carpet. I barged past my father as he swung the door inwards, diving onto the sofa and throwing myself face down onto the cushion. My father turned from the door, asking me what I was doing as he let the door close behind him. I could only respond with wide-eyed terror as I saw it in the doorway, both of those pit-like eyes on me until the door obstructed it from my vision.

Rest did not find me that night. After an hour or two of restless tossing and turning, I awoke to see it stood at the foot of the sofa. I stared back at it, too afraid to look away; its gaze was almost mesmerising, it made me feel empty, completely devoid of humanity, nothing but a consciousness stripped bare. I know not how long I kept this, as at some point my body had given up and lapsed back into sleep, and I was greeted by the warm sunlight of morning streaming through the room’s blinds.

I was not sad to be leaving the hotel that morning.

However, the pale face had not finished with me. I began to see it everywhere I went, each time preceded by catching a glimpse of some formless shape at the very edge of my vision. I would see it curled at the end of my bed upon waking, stood in a doorway as I walked to school, stood in my locker, stood in a group of children, Stood behind me as I brushed my teeth. Never once throughout these sightings did it’s bottomless pits leave me, emptying me, leaving me feeling less like myself with each passing day. My mental health deteriorated soon after. I would shout at it, attack it, beg and plead and cry to left alone. My girlfriend left me. She told me she couldn’t feel the boy she loved in me anymore. My friends abandoned me. They didn’t want to be seen with the freak, with his permanent wide eyes, was losing weight and pale from insomnia.

My parents tried to help me. I was sent to numerous psychologists, psychiatrists, mediums, spirit guides and any other quack who said they could cure the disease in my head. The pale face was always there, though; stood just behind the doctor’s chair, eyes never leaving me. I would lash out at it, scream at it. They each concluded I was mad. I overheard my parents one night, they were in tears. They planned to send me away to a psychiatric hospital.

I ran away from home that night.

I was filled with hate, anger, sadness. I stared hard at the loathsome creature that shared my refuge of shop doorways and pungent alleyways. I felt no fear of it anymore, only a seething, all-consuming anger; I hated it for what it had done to me, took away who I was, leaving me a hollow shell of a soul in a deteriorating body. It still stared back at me, those pits of madness in its loathsome head lapping away at the last remaining dregs of my humanity.

Last night however, I had a dream. The first I’d had in weeks. I didn’t see the pale face, I saw hundreds. An impossibly fast kaleidoscopic slideshow of different people, different places and different times; all mingled together in a blur with only one common factor – each person had their own pale face. I then had my vision pulled away and thrust into the most terrifying thing I have ever seen; I glimpsed hell itself. I saw a trail of damned souls being lead to impossibly shaped obsidian gates, each being lead by its own pale face.

It was only then, as I started awake, that I finally understood the nature of my tormentor. A pale face is a guide for the damned. It is with you always. Yours is in the room with you right now. Each time you feel yourself being watched when you are alone, that vague sense of unease in a perfectly normal environment. That is when you are feeling the pale face’s eyes on you, each time you see a blink of movement at the edges of your vision; that is your pale face.

There is one last thing, however. Should you very often see a flicker of movement in the corner of your eye, or always feel watched and scrutinised while you are alone, as I have, make peace with your family, your friends, anything and anyone you hold dear for it can mean only one thing.

You have been chosen, as I have, to become a pale face.

Credited to Obnoxious Brit.

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