The ash collector

Published on 10 November 2019 at 22:23

MY imaginary friend

When I was a kid, I had an imaginary friend. At least... I hope it was an imaginary friend. Now I'm not so sure anymore...


Once in a while I saw a man walking through my house, the garden and just anywhere around my house. It was clear that he was a man, even though he was always in the shadows or dark corners. He was completely black, except for his eyes. This may sound strange, but he looked like he was charred, like the remains of a campfire or something. Because he was so dark, I could barely see his face. Only his eyes were visible because of their intense yellow colour. The eyes were terrible to look at. Even now that I think about it, the chills are running down my spine.


There was never a certain time I saw him, he always appeared at random moments, without warning. I walked around and suddenly he would stand in a dark corner in the same room where I was. Sometimes I was playing with my favorite toys in my room and he suddenly came along. Then I saw him appear from the corner of my eye. I sometimes asked him a question, but he never talked back, he didn't even make a sound or bother to communicate with me in any way.


All he did was stare. Just staring... looking at me, as if he was observing my behavior and actions...



His eyes..

Just as unexpectedly as he appeared, he could suddenly be gone. If I turned around and look back a second later, it could be that he was no longer there. I saw the man quite often, so I became quite used to his presence and sudden appearances . It was even the case that when he appeared I sometimes didn't even had look up to know he was there.


All I felt at such a moment were his eyes, which seemed to be burning through me, Like my whole body was on fire. It wasn't a pleasant feeling, but I got used to the stinging and burning sensation. 



The ash collector 

My family knew about the man's existence, but didn't believe me. "It's a child's overactive fantasy," they said to each other. They never saw the man themselves. My family even thought it was a bit cute that I made up an imaginary buddy... until I told them what he looked like. My friends at the time just thought I was a weird kid.


My sister, who is 2 years older than me, was the only one who believed me. She never saw him herself, but did feel his presence. She was very frightened about the dark feeling entity  around the house.


I remember playing with my boat toy in the sink in the kitchen. I was standing on a stool to be able to reach the washbasin. Suddenly I saw him appear... He came up the stairs and of course I immediately called my parents!  They came running towards me, but just before they could see the man, he walked back down the stairs and out of sight again. By this time my parents got a little annoyed by my stories of the man.


When my parents had walked back to the living room, the man appeared again. At one point I gave up wanting to show him to to my friends and family, because he kept running away when I called them. He only wanted to be seen when he was alone with me...


A few days later, I had a nightmare about him. He tried to make me light a match and hold it against my clothes. He also told me his name; the Ash collector.



I was so happy and released when I heard that we were going to move, but I was also afraid he might follow me to the new house. I remember the man staring at me with his big yellow eyes while standing behind the window when we drove down the driveway for the last time... his eyes felt stronger then ever before. I literally felt my eyes burning so I quickly looked away from him.


Now that I think back, many years later, I was convinced he was something I had made up in my childhood. Meanwhile it was ten years later and I hadn't seen him for years...



He's back?

...Until last night. I am now 17 years old. Yesterday he walked from the bathroom to my bedroom. At first I saw a shadow on the wall in the hallway, which I found strange because I was alone at home. I anxiously grabbed my baseball bat to protect myself against possible intruders.


I got closer and closer to the bathroom, step by step. My knees and hands were shaking because of the adrenaline that shot through my body. I felt my heartbeat pounding in my throat.


But I didn't had to enter the bathroom. A big shock shivered over my whole body when I saw those terrible piercing yellow eyes in the dark bathroom. He just stood there looking, staring, without saying anything, like he hadn't been gone all those years. 


When I took a few steps back, he walked up to my bedroom. He was standing with his back to me, which was strange as he always kept staring at me. It seemed as if he was waiting for me..


When he finally turned around, for the first time in my life, I saw a huge smile appear on his face. No, not the friendly smile. This was the smile of someone who was planning something very dark. His smile revealed his sharp teeth.


And then he screamed.. at least, he tried so. It looked like he was screaming for his life, but there was only a gargle sound coming out. The worst was his breath, which gave off the smell of burnt or rotting flesh, something I've never smelled before.


I decided not to wait and see what he was up to and ran outside. I spent the whole night with my flashlight outside in the driveway. When the sun finally rose again and my parents came back from their weekend getaway, I dared to go back inside.


There was no evidence that he had been in the house, even though my parents searched the whole house for intruders. All I could find was a match on my pillow.


I haven't seen him today, but I'm afraid of what he's up to tonight and I don't know what to do...




Rating: 5 stars
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Pieter van Veldhoven
2 years ago

I am amazed by this uniquely written story my question is is this story real or am i just trippin??? :O

2 years ago

Hi, Pieter,
Thank you for your comment and compliment! I really appreciate it because I worked hard on it. I try to write my stories as real as possible for my readers, whether it really happened I leave to your imagination! Greetings, Gwenhwyfer