pdtren01 Thread

I'm a little late to this thread and fully expect this to get buried, but here goes nothing.

My greatest friend, and for a time roommate, from graduate school (for story purposes, "B") comes from a family that, for some inexplicable reason, encounters unexplainable phenomena. We're talking grandparents, aunts, uncles, cousins, etc. Pretty big family, with some of the older members referring to this propensity for seeing things as "the gift," though my friend would certainly dispute that it's much of a gift.

Now, I'm a pretty cynical guy. Everyone lies. There might be a small handful of people in this world that I take completely at their word. B is among them. I've rarely met anyone as forthright, honest . . . just a good dude. Smart, a multitude of academic honors, officer in the military, you name it. After we grew pretty close and he felt like I wouldn't judge him, B told me about a handful of his experiences. This is the one that stuck with me. I hope I can remember all the details.

When B was in his early teens, his grandmother was diagnosed with an aggressive form of cancer. There was no treatment that she, at her advanced age, could undergo and the doctors and family both knew the most humane thing to do would be to give her heavy pain medication and make her comfortable until the disease took its course, which wouldn't take long. However B's grandfather absolutely refused to allow them to give his wife pain medication. He never gave a reason, and though the physicians and family were insistent, he got his way and she died in what was, apparently, unfathomable pain. It was what happened after that takes this story from mere tragedy to something that my mind unavoidably goes to in those quiet times of the night.

Immediately after his grandmother passed, B's grandfather was, by all indications, beset upon by . . . I'm not sure what. Neither was B. The grandfather would thrash in his bed at night, terrified by things that, at first, only he could see or hear. He would cry out at random intervals as well. He spoke of the "things" climbing the walls of his home and looking at him through the windows of his bedroom. Always looking, never speaking or entering. This would be easy to dismiss if not for the fact that B, who had volunteered to remain with his grandfather at night in the early days after the grandmother's death, could also hear them scrabbling up the walls at night, straining the old wooden siding as they climbed. Naturally, this was the point in the story that I put my big brain (sarcasm there, folks) to work. I hypothesized that tree branches and wind or something similar were making those sounds, but apparently the home sat on a barren lot.

After a few weeks of this, and over breakfast one morning, the grandfather told B and some other family of something new that had happened the afternoon prior. He described encountering three men in dark suits who visited him in his room as he sat on his bed. They stood in one specific corner of the room to the left of the foot of the bed and accused him of a great transgression (presumably allowing his wife to die in agony) saying "You know what you have done," and claiming that he too would suffer before he was "allowed" to go.

Not long after that, B's grandfather had a stroke that left him bedridden and unable to speak. He would never recover and died only a few weeks later. Until he did, however, B recalled that his grandfather's eyes never left the left hand corner of his bedroom. In his final days of life, all his grandfather could do was stare at that same corner with an expression of abject horror and mouth wordlessly. There's no way to determine what he was trying to say, but one can assume it was nothing pleasant.

Take all that for what you will, but I know B well enough to know that he would not lie about something like this, especially where the death of a relative was involved. All I know is that late at night sometimes I have to force myself to keep my eyes out of the corner of my bedroom for fear of what I too might see.