Nearly Morning by Kirill Savateev

Every night he waits until they turn off the lights. He waits until the last sound dies. And as soon as I shut my eyes, he immediately begins slowly, very, very slowly and quietly, to open the door to my room. When the crack approaches the size of a small coin, his finger appears. It is followed by the rest of his long and thin fingers, clutching the door. His hand slips down more slowly than the hand of the clock. He proceeds to open the door quietly.

Only within half an hour after I have shut my eyes, his shoulders and head appear in the doorway. His hair touches the lintel. He cautiously peeps into my room. After making sure that there is nobody but me inside, he walks in. He does not instill any fear in me. But even if I wanted to call for help, I would not be able to do so. With the first step he makes, my voice disappears; with his second step comes my inability to move, as if all strength has been drained out of me. I feel his enormous presence, but he moves with surprising lightness. Everything is happening in total silence which does not in the least prevent me from sensing all of his action. He is here, quite close. Now he is walking away to pick up a chair. Next he comes back to me and puts the chair at my bed-head. He is right beside me; he is bending down over me in the dark. He is so close that my ear senses his breathing. I have not heard his voice, not even once, but night after night, it seems that he asks me if I want to go with him. Having asked the question for the umpteenth time, he sits down on the chair and begins to wait for my answer. But I cannot utter a sound, nor move any part of my body. No matter how loudly I shout in my mind, I know he does not hear me.

As the rest of the night passes, he sits and waits, and I lie unable to do anything. Neither of us moves. Sometimes, towards morning, when the room gradually lights up by the sun, I manage to open my mouth slightly. At such a moment, I am not quite sure that he continues sitting in the same place, beside my bed. When I fully regain my capacity to speak and move, I realize that it is too late. He is gone. I open my eyes, and, it may sound senseless, but every morning I say, ‘Yes.’

…But they constantly complain about my nightly screams.