He is real. Although, calling it a 'he' is completely wrong. It's more of a hybrid; a cross between a bird, and a moth.
It's a sign of Death. Once your eyes meet his, you're done for. Although, they're not really eyes. They're more like bulbs, protruding from the thing's triangular head, which is covered in black feathers and scales. It's eyes have thousands of photo-receptors, giving it almost perfect 360 degree vision.
What is this, a biology class? I should be telling you about how I managed to survive. It's just that, the sight of it... it stays with you forever. It's like nothing you've ever seen, even worse than your worst nightmare.
Thinking about it, I can't really say I managed to escape. I can hear a faint buzzing sound from time to time, coming back to haunt me. It's strange... I feel... sort of comforted when I hear it. It's sort of how a fly is attracted to the Venus Fly Trap; it sucks you in. It drives you closer and closer, until at last, you're in Death's grasp.
Anyway, I'm getting of topic. I saw it last year, at my old home in San Fransisco. I've moved since then, but no matter how far away I move, the memory stays as clear as if it was yesterday. Here is how I met Mothman.
I awoke, in my dark, lonely bedroom. I felt unusually cold, which was strange, as I had left the heater on before I went to bed. I lifted up my head, still groggy from my slumber. Across the room, on top of a shelf with many other collectables, my digital clock read 2:26 A.M. Around the same time I had been waking up for the past two weeks.
The window to my left was dark; the view blocked by a huge oak tree that had been there since I was little. I remember seeing hand-like shadows against my wall, with long, bony fingers that seemed to scratch my sanity away, little by little. Not knowing what it was that was causing the shadows, I would always turn away from the window and watch my white bedroom door. The dim, orange light that entered my room from the crack under the door was an excellent sign if someone was outside or not.
I pulled up my blanket, letting the thoughts of my childhood run free. I closed my eyes, ready for sleep to take me away in it's warm grasp. I was almost at dreamland when a light, faint rustling woke me. It had come from my window. No, it had come from the tree. It's branches swayed from side to side, too much for the small breeze blowing through. Leaves fluttered to the ground, seemingly like rain, and the crickets had stopped chirping.
I dismissed it, thinking it might have been an owl, or an animal of that sort. Plenty of raccoons lived in my area, especially since the woods were right behind my two-floor house, which I lived alone in. My parents had moved out two years ago, to stay at an old people's home. They actually seemed happy about it. Why, I still don't understand.
I watched the tree. The swaying slowly subsided, but the uneasy feeling in my gut only grew. I kept my eyes on it, the clock reading 2:28. Had only two minutes passed? It felt as if I had woken up twenty minutes ago, yet the clock had only moved up two minutes.
I kicked the covers off my bed and sat on the edge, focusing on the tree. It was completely still; not a leaf moved. I got up and made my way over to the window, debating whether or not to open it.
I finally decided I was being childish, letting a silly childhood fear scare me. I threw open the window, letting a cold, refreshing breeze into the room. I looked down the block, past my neighbor's house, watching a few cars drive by. Their motors made a small buzzing noise that rang in my ears, giving my goosebumps.
I took a deep breath. I decided a late night walk to put my mind at ease was exactly what I needed. I stepped back into my bedroom, picking up a pair of jeans and a black sweater as I made my way to the stairs.
The dark house was easy to navigate through, as I had gotten used to it's wide hallways. Making my way to the front door, past the big kitchen and the living room with a 42-inch flat screen, I zipped up by sweater.
Opening the front door, the faint buzzing noise returned. I stepped out into the sidewalk, and looked down the block, to my left. No cars were driving by. The houses across the street were strangely dark. Even though it was 2:30 in the morning, it wasn't unusual to see a window lit up from inside. I pulled my hood up, covering my ears, hoping I could find the source of the buzzing noise.
I walked past empty cars and unlit houses, the full moon giving everything a faint white glow. I decided to take one walk around my block, hoping that would be enough to calm my restlessness.
I kicked small pebbles around, trying to empty my thoughts. I eventually made it the corner of the block. There were no cars driving by. I didn't think much of it, as I was getting a bit drowsy, my head becoming clouded. I made a left and continued walking, my head getting lower and lower. I felt weak, as if all the drowsiness I had not been feeling a few moments ago had finally hit me.
I continued walking, crossing the street. Actually, I was no longer walking, I was simply putting one foot in front of the other, almost unconsciously. My whole world become foggy. I was entirely focused on my feet; on keeping them moving. I didn't look up to see if any cars were coming, I didn't look for any signs of other people. I just walked, and walked, and walked.
For what seemed an hour, I kept walking. Not once stopping or taking in my surroundings. When I finally did, I was lost. I had ended up in a part of the neighborhood I had never seen before. The streets were deserted, as if I was in a ghost town. None of the houses had a single light on, which made me feel... alone.
I was standing at the corner of an intersection. The street read Millhouse Avenue. The sidewalks in this part of the neighborhood had big oak trees, each roughly about ten feet from each other. This made for a sort of 'canopy', the thick leaves and long branches blocking out the moonlight above my head.
I chose to turn left, pulling back my hood after a low hanging branch I didn't see pulled it back. All the houses looked the same: white, with a window on the right of a brown door. All were one stories tall, with traditional, triangular roofs. On the street, different cars were parked here and there, but all had the same look to them. Empty. Not overnight empty... almost an "I haven't been used in months" empty. A red car I noticed across the street was rusted brown, not to be driven ever again.
I looked at my watch. It read 3:06 A.M. I couldn't make my way back home, as I had no idea where I was. I continued making my way through the neighborhood, hoping to see some sign of life, maybe even someone who could tell me where I was
I have no memory of how long I continued to walk. I passed the endless white houses, the unused cars, crossing street after street. I finally realized something was off when a low hanging branch I didn't manage to see in time pulled my hood back. I knew it couldn't be the same branch as before... I had been walking for almost twenty minutes. I looked at my watch; it read 3:11 A.M.
I panicked. I looked around, at nothing. The houses were the same, the cars were all empty, the never ending streets. But then, I noticed a red car across the street. It was rusted brown, never to be driven again.
I was in a loop, an endless walk into insanity. I couldn't take it anymore. Was I going crazy? Surely I had been walking for over twenty minutes, yet my watch read as if only five had passed.
I yelled. I yelled for anyone, anything, to hear me. I practically begged for someone to appear, wishing I wasn't alone. I was... scared. Fear had begun to make its way into my mind. I managed to control myself, taking deep breaths to try and get calm. I was worried, that was for sure. I looked up at the full moon.
That was when I saw him; a dark silhouette against the glowing white light. He slowly glided to the ground, it's bat-like wings extended, catching the cold breeze. I couldn't move. I continued staring intently, wanted to see where he would land.
He fell into a tree across the street, merging into the leaves. Dust slowly floated to the ground, below the branches. Then, he fell. It made no sound as it's hind legs hit the ground. It had gray, wrinkly skin, with sharp talons at it's feet. It was skinny, almost as if it was starving. His ribs were clearly visible, and his arms formed into almost see-through wings, with the outlines of red viens criss-crossing. Feathers as black as the night sky covered it's body, slowly gliding in the breeze. It lifted it's head slowly, as if it was regaining it's bearings. It looked me straight in the eyes.
My heart stopped. Intense fear gripped me, spreading through my veins like poison. My extremities went ice-cold. I was frozen, vulnerable. It could kill me.
It's red, bulb eyes faintly glowed. It's face was flat, with two holes under it's eyes for a nose. It had no mouth, but I somehow felt it... smile at me. Taking a step forward, it flapped its wings. The buzzing noise I had heard earlier instantly returned, filling my head with unbearable white noise. It was under a street lamp, giving it an ominous look. Everything was pitch black, expect for us two.
It suddenly blasted up into the air, flying upward towards me. I found my feet again. I ran, running in any direction, trying to get away from it.
Past the white houses, the unused cars, the trees; past everything. I was terrified, completely and utterly fearful of what was behind me. I could sense it's evil presence, following me where ever I turned.
Once again, I found myself lost in a world I had never seen before.The streets were slowly getting more overgrown, tall weeds protruding out of cracks in the concrete. The cars in the street were completely rusted, and none of the streetlights worked. Everything was dark, and as I continued running, I noticed the moon had disappeared, swallowed by the darkness.
As I turned left at an intersection, I found myself in a dead end. The street ended abruptly at the biggest house I had seen so far. It was still the same white, creamy color as the rest, but it was covered in brown spots and holes. Two stories tall, the wooden frame of the house was rotting, giving it an unstable look. I felt that it would crumble to dust if I stepped foot in it.
I stopped, debating whether or not to enter the house. I looked back, but the thing wasn't following me. I knew it couldn't be too far behind. I decided that the house would give me the only hiding spot in this god-forsaken place. I ran up to the front door, which was in a lawn that had tall weeds and a broken wooden fence. The brown door was open, hanging from it's rusted hinges. I pushed the door closed behind me, and it groaned in response.
The room I was in looked like a living room, with a fur rug under my feet. It was covered in crusted brown spots. To my left was a filthy kitchen and a staircase that led up to the second floor. The kitchen was a mess, with cupboards and drawers swung open and pieces of the floor broken. Glass littered the ground.
Straight ahead was a hallway, with doors on either side, all of which were closed. My right held a dining room, which was surprisingly in good shape. The mahogany table gleamed, still set up with plates and eating utensils. All of the chairs had fallen over. Behind the table was a glass case that held fine china, and behind that was a dirty bathroom.
I was suddenly struck with a cold breeze, and the smell of damp, rotten wood hit me. I took a step forward; the floor creaked loudly. The thought of the house crumbling down ran through my mind again. I headed to the stairs.
The buzzing noise. I felt it return. It filled my head with a thousand flies, and my mind clouded. I looked behind me, to the cracked window by the door.
There it was. It slowly glided down, landing in the center of the abandoned street. It closed it's wings around it's frail body, and took a few steps towards the house.
Through the window, it looked straight at me.
I sprinted up the stairs. Past the painting of happy families and the country side. I ran to the end of the hallway and threw open a door, making sure to close it behind me. I noticed that none of the lights in the house worked.
I was in a bedroom. The bed was still made, but the rest of the room was a mess. Broken picture frames and clothes riddled the floor. Open medicine bottles and cracked jars were laying on a counter top, which held a television.
I noticed a closet on the far side of the room, by the bed. I ran to it, and open the doors. Inside were tools: hammers, screwdrivers, nails, drills, knives, and flashlights. I pushed them over to one side of the closet and squeezed my way inside. I shut the closet doors. I was in complete darkness. I felt safe.
I grabbed a knife and held it in my hand. Then I listened. I closed my eyes and focused entirely on hearing something, anything, that would tell me where that thing was.
Then I heard the same creak from the floor when I first took a step forward downstairs. My eyes flew open, and I held my breath. Sure enough, a few seconds later, the groan from the first step of the stairs reached my ears. Then the second. Third. Fourth. All the way up to the top. Things went quiet again.
I slowly let out my breath. Counted my heartbeats. It was difficult, since my heart was racing.
I held my breath again.
It was getting closer.
I grabbed a flashlight from the floor, gripping it tightly.
I don't know why, but I put the knife between my teeth and grabbed another flashlight.
It was right outside the bedroom door.
It squeaked open. Through the slits of the wooden closet doors, I saw it. It slowly creeped in, tilting it's head from side to side. I stepped on a broken bottle, and it cracked under it's wrinkly foot. It shook it off, then spun around. It was leaving.
Then a rat ran under my legs. It squeaked and went under the closet doors, and under the bed. The thing turned around, and landed it's eyes on the closet.
My adrenaline peaked. As it made it's way to the closet, my body tensed. I was terrified.
It threw open the doors. It saw me, hunched down, but I switched on both of the flashlights and aimed the bright beam of light at it's eyes. It hissed loudly, my head instantly filled with the thousands of flies. The thing opened it's wings, flapping them furiously. I threw one of the flashlights down and grabbed my knife from my mouth.
I ran towards it and stabbed it. I punctured it's chest, and immediately black fluid dripped onto my hand. It seared my skin. I didn't care. I screamed at the top of my lungs and stabbed it over and over again, getting more of the fluid on me. The burning sensation covered my entire body, but I couldn't stop. I was overcome with rage, with fear.
I stabbed it until the knife broke. It left the blade stuck in it's chest, leaving only the handle in my hands. I threw it down, and thrust the only other weapon I had into it's exposed, black heart. The flashlight.
Everything stopped. The buzzing slowly faded away. The black fluid spilling from the thing's wounds slowed to a drip. It looked at me, it's eyes inches from mine.
And it exploded. It exploded into a hundred moths; all different shades of black, gray and white that filled the room with fluttering wings. I dropped to my knees, exhausted. I let the flashlight fall. I let the burning sensation consume me. I fainted.
I awoke. I was in a hospital, surrounded by concerned faces and restless souls. My memory is still a bit foggy. I only recall having some serious burns. My family all visited me while I recovered, which made the time I spent at the hospital go by quickly.
After a few weeks, I had made a full recovery, with the exception of a small, heart-shaped scar on my wrist. It was lighter at the top and a darker shade at the bottom, reminding me of a moth.
I've never had another incident like that since then. My friends tell me an old couple found me laying on a street, alerting the police immediately. After my recovery they asked me questions, which I could never answer how they wanted me to. Eventually they gave up, saying I had probably been under the influence.
But I know better. I know what happened that night was no nightmare. It was real. It is real. Just as real as the monster that hides under your bed. Just as real as the Boogeyman who hides in your closet. Just as real as the stories your grandparents tell you late at night.
Just as real as the buzzing noise I hear every night.