Shadows on the Edge of Sleep
This is a rather short story that happened over a decade ago, when I was in middle school. Although the encounter was brief, and left unrepeated, it still crosses my mind every so often, making me consider the possibility that It was more than just a bad dream.
The first real house my parents bought when we moved here was a modest single story house in a small subdivision, surrounded by fields and woods. My brother (Blake) and I shared one of the rooms, he was four years younger than me, still in elementary school. We had a basic bunk bed, and we both loved it. He had the top bunk while I preferred the bottom. If we weren't at school, or on the ancient desktop computer playing Runescape or flash games, we were hanging out in our room playing with legos or our gameboys.
Late one night, after my brother went to sleep, I had stayed up playing Turok evolution on my gameboy. It was a rather long game that I never completely beat, because I never took advantage of the level passwords and preferred to start over each time. I would usually rush through the game until I either got stuck, or bored. Well, this time, I kept getting stuck on the second boss stage, in which you have to fight a huge t-rex with a machine gun on its back. I set down the gameboy, deciding it was well past time to sleep. I laid there as time stretched out, but sleep would not come.
Eventually, I figured I would get tired if I just stared out into the darkness of the room. My eyes would start drooping, I'd force them open, repeating this until I was tired enough to finally pass out. But for whatever reason, my eyes never got heavy, and I didn't even yawn. So I kept laying there silently, unmoving, staring into the shadows.
Now, if you've ever been in a dark room, and have just stared at one point for long enough, you've likely seen the shadows shift, or swirl, at least on the edge of your vision. This is normal, its just your imagination painting over the blank tapestry of the darkness. Of course, this was happening while I was laying there, but I was no stranger to the phenomenon, and so, wasn't scared by it.
But suddenly, something more significant than a swirling shadow caught my attention. My eyes tracked a small creature, less than a foot tall, as it emerged from under my bed, ran across the room, and disappeared through the cracked door into the hallway beyond. It had looked like a tiny version of Chucky, albeit lacking any major details in the absence of light. Apparently, I wasn't too close to sleep, as I didn't have to do any waking up to grab the covers and bring them over my head. I stayed wrapped in their safety for hours, and must have finally fallen asleep, as the next thing I remembered was the sun brightening the room.
I didn't have any other strange occurrences while we lived in that house, and I haven't seen any other tiny humanoids to this day. But there have been recent sightings (some videotaped), of gnomes, or fae, spotted around the world. I try to tell myself it was just a dream.