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The Vortex

The second time I saw the white “laser lines” was on a sunny Saturday morning. My cat was staring intensely and curiously at them too. Okay, so now she’s seeing them too, I thought. Hmmm. I had my arms wrapped around her to keep her in place, and every time a white line would flash down from the ceiling she would try and jump towards it, her eyes wide and locked on it.

When I finally got up after a little bit I walked over to that area to see if I could stand in the middle of it. It seemed that once I was standing in the middle of it I couldn’t see them anymore, let alone feel anything. Ha, see, figures. Trick of the eye, I thought.

Only thing is, the white lines never went away. In fact….they only got progressively stronger as time went on. And it didn’t matter whether it was daylight either, the sun didn’t affect being able to see them. There they were…bright white, almost laser looking white lines, shooting silently and rapidly down from my ceiling, and moving off to the left. By the end, before we moved out, they would be filling my room all hours of the day or night, this constant presence. And it got to the point where I could stand in the middle of it and actually still see them, unlike the first time I tried that. But I couldn’t come into contact with them, they seemed to pass right through me. It was three dimensional, definitely. They would be in front of me, going through me in my lap, on the side of me, behind me.

Most of the time though I just tuned them out. I learned to not to notice them because the whole thing creeped me out. I mean, what the hell ARE they? I’d think. What does it MEAN?! And since there was never an answer, I therefore didn’t want to be giving it any more thought than I had to.

Shortly after I had an experience one night where I was in bed, the room lit by candlelight, and something just felt so horribly wrong that I was scared shitless. I mean, full of complete terror. I lay there by the candlelight, looking around, seeing if I could see something, listening for any unusual sounds.

Nothing. Absolutely nothing. Dead silence. Nothing bumping around. Nothing rustling about. No sparklies. No white lines. Absolutely nothing going on…….AT all, for once. Which was actually a clue in itself, and a bit alarming. Almost a little like the way everything gets before a tornado strikes. And the birds fall silent. And the air is completely still and heavy and quiet.

The feeling wouldn’t go away. It was just complete terror. I didn’t want to be in my room, but out of curiosity, I was frozen in place. Waiting. To see what was going to happen. Was it that “It” thing? I figured it must be.

The cat was trying to sleep on the floor at the foot of the bed, under the overhang of the bed. And I say “trying” because I heard her yelp, like something did something to her. She leapt up and raced out of my room frightened, into the living room. Which was a first. Never heard her yelp and dash out of the room like that before.

I looked around the room, trying to see what scared her, or what came into contact with her.

Nothing. That I could see anyway. But it was probably in plain view to the cat.

After about five minutes the cat came back, tentatively, and tried to resume her spot at the foot of the bed. I tried to drift off into sleep, but the feeling of terror was too strong.

I heard her yelp again, louder, and she raced out of the room again. This time, going for my brother’s room. Except his door was closed, so there was nowhere she could go other than the living room. So she started slamming her body against his door, over and over, in absolute panic, trying to get him to open it.

!!!! I lay there, listening to her do this, another first. And I’ve never seen her do it since. I’ve also never experienced such an absolute feeling of terror before when I was awake. Only in a nightmare. But that’s what my life was at that point – A waking nightmare, in all aspects, in every way. I looked all around my room for the source of this panic, and my feelings of terror. But I still couldn’t hear, OR see anything. Nothing. It was bizarre.

Eventually I fell into a light sleep, keeping myself on guard. I would’ve liked to fall into a normal deep sleep, but my brain wouldn’t let me. Nothing ended up happening, I was very shocked. With my cat yelping and me feeling all that terror I thought we were going to get a repeat of “That Night” again. But no. And so another tired day the next morning, going to work without a good night’s rest.

Then came the night me and Joe were discussing things, and the subject of “HOW” these things were coming into my room came up. He decided to tell me finally, what he knew that morning of my attack.

“Basically, it’s like this: You have an entrance. And you have an exit. The entrance is over there, above your door. And the exit is over there. In the corner by your radio.”

Once again, I couldn’t believe it. I had never told him about my experience when I was doing my “Out Beasties Out” meditation, when I’d heard rustling, like someone getting up, and moving across the room and leaving through the corner of my room where my radio was. It had thrown me off, making me think, what was THAT all about? What, it can just get up and leave wherever it wants to? Can just walk through a wall and bail?

No, they can’t just do that. They can only leave where there’s a “door,” an exit. And I had one. Where the radio was. Joe just told ME that. Once again, confirming something before I had even told him.

“How do you know? Can you see the entrance and exit?”

“Yes.”

“What do they look like?”

He tried to think of the best way to describe it. “It sort of looks like static, like what you’d see on t.v. But there’s a ring around it.”

“You can see that?”

“Yeah.”

“Can you see it right now?”

He looked over to the corner of my room by my radio. There was silence for a few seconds.

“Yeaaah…but it’s not constant. It comes and goes. It’s there one moment, then it’s not, then it’s there again, then it’s not. It fades in and out. There’s one in the corner of the livingroom too. That’s why shit blows through my room and exits through the living room.”

I looked over at the corner too, tried to see what he saw. I never was able to see it, with the ring and that whole thing. The most I could see was maybe, possibly, some faint static-y looking stuff, like t.v. static, same as what he said. But that’s it.

“What about above my door?” I asked.

He looked up at it, at the vaulted ceiling area above the doorway, his face growing apprehensive.

“Ohhhh yeaaah.”

“What does it look like? Does it look different?”

“No, not really. It looks like static, with a ring around it.”

He told me about how he’d seen it that morning of the attack, and he’d known then exactly how that It thing had gotten into my room.

“The thing is though, you ripped the exit first, before the entrance.”

I didn’t understand how it could be done backwards like that, but he insisted it could. He insisted I’d ripped the exit first, from sitting there stewing in one spot, day after day, after day…

“But that doesn’t make any sense. How can you have an exit first??? You need an entrance for something to come in, before it can leave…”

“No you don’t,” he looked at me like, Duh. “You ripped an exit first. And when you ripped an exit, that means that these things can now blow through and leave, they have a way out…so then the entrance opens up.”

My sleeping habits were getting extremely whacked out by this time, now that my room was in full swing. For starters, my energy level was drastically drained, which was a whole other issue in itself, aside from my sleep schedule. I would be fine during the day at work, pumped up and full of energy, continuing through the bus ride home. I’d have this mental list of things I wanted to do, feeling like I could take on the world. Then literally, the second I walked through the front door into our apartment it was like ssssssssssssss….all the air being let out of me. It felt like you were walking around underwater in that place. I’d make it into my room, and whatever ideas I’d had in my head earlier about things I wanted to do were tossed out the window. I’d just become a lump. No energy, no drive, no anything. If I didn’t flat out just crawl into bed and crash out when getting home then I was going to be at 10 pm at the latest. On average though it was 8:30, 9, 9:30. That’s really bad. There were even a few times that I was so drained and wiped out after being in the apartment for a bit that I’d crash out on my FLOOR, and never even make it to the bed, just passed out right there in front of the radio. I had books I wanted to read that weren’t getting read, writing I wanted to do that wasn’t getting done, art that wasn’t getting created. It took everything out of me existing in that place.

I tried to fight it though, I began doing workouts, inspired by Joe, and I didn’t realize until after I moved out that it was like having lead weights on me when I’d do my workout. Like someone was standing on my back when I’d be trying to do my pushups, or pushing me back down when I’d be trying to do my sit ups. Like trying to do it underwater.

I was also becoming a bit of a lush too on top of it. My whole life sucked in every way that was possible. No money, no car, working at the worst place I’ve ever worked in my life, trapped indefinitely in this hell hole called Rancho, stuck in an apartment with whacked out shit happening, scaring the crap out of me. No end in sight AT all to any of this mess. Just on and on and on, forever and forever. So red wine was my new best friend! There were piles of empty wine bottles slowly building up under the kitchen sink. Life had become a surreal nightmare for me. None of it felt real. It was like a slow motion movie, dragging endlessly onwards. So I was hitting the bottle all the time, and passing out by 8:30 or 9, try to drown it out and let my life pass me by until I could get out of this situation. And even if I wasn’t drinking, I was still passing out, by 8:30 or 9. With the laser light show of white lines silently zipping downwards from the ceiling and moving off to the side.

Another thing was that for the life of me I couldn’t get a feeling for what the near future was going to bring. And previously I could ALWAYS put the mental feelers out and know how things were going to go, good or bad, know which way things were going to turn. It was like the future didn’t exist. It was the most bizarre feeling for me. My mental feelers are something I use every day, just as much as I use my vision, hearing, my sense of touch and smell. It’s constantly going, reading people, knowing the outcomes of situations so I can already plan around it – or one-up people with my knowledge if they plan to try to pull the rug out from under me.

Not anymore though. Now I had zero sense of the future. The only thing I had any feel for was that _____ was going to fire me after the New Year. I just knew that to be a fact, and even wrote it in my journal, nonchalantly. Yeah, I know they’re just waiting til after the New Year to give me the boot….Even despite the fact that my boss had put out a superficial offer for me to come spend Christmas with her and her family, I knew it. At the time she made that offer I just looked at her thinking, What?? You’re going to FIRE me after the first of the year. Whatever. [NOTE: And they did try to fire me actually, as soon as the new year was over, exactly as I foresaw. But since I already knew I was prepared and had another job lined up and a resignation note typed up. But more on that later.]

So yeah, that was the only “future” thing I could get a grip on with my mental feelers. Anything beyond getting the boot from the job was beyond me. I was clueless. And it was kind of like being naked and vulnerable.

And like I said, my sleeping pattern was also being disrupted by the random acts of paranormal popping up here and there. Like the time I woke up suddenly in the middle of the night, feeling like something was there in the room with me. I was laying on my left side, face mashed into the pillow, my right eye popping open. I watched as this black circle thing, rimmed in white, drifted down from the “entrance” above my door. The cat was sitting next to me, paws tucked under her, and I glanced at her and found that she was tensely watching this thing too. So I wasn’t imagining it. I slowly put my arm around her, to keep her from jumping away, to keep her close to me, and I found myself saying over and over, No kitty, don’t look at it, no, no, PLEASE no, please don’t look at it, please, no, look over here, look over here, no, no, look over here, please, no, no…trying to pull her into to me, physically turning her body away from it. I felt like if I told her not to look at it and turned her away from it, it would mean it wasn’t really there. But the more I tried to turn her away from it, the more it made her crane her neck to keep her eyes locked on this thing, her body tense. She was NOT liking this thing, whatever it was. The look on her face wasn’t of curiosity and intrigue, just a tense wide-eyed, locked stare. Almost as if she was frozen, not sure what to do.

And whatever it was, this black circle thing rimmed in white, was in the air now, next to my bed…dancing, almost….back and forth, left to right, in a an upside down “V” shape. over and up, and down…back over and up, and down…herky jerky movement. This black circle rimmed in white…Dancing, back and fourth…watching me, and the cat.

I squinted my eyes shut, gripping my cat. I don’t remember anything after that.

And another incident…jolted awake again, feeling like something was in the room with me, again…I was on my side, my head to the right, facing my closet, as usual. Left eye mashed into the pillow, right eye flying open in panic, yanking me out of my sleep, in mid-dream. I’d fallen asleep with my purple Christmas lights on this time, so the room had a less sinister lighting effect going on. And this time, instead of some black circle rimmed in white, dancing from side to side, it was a shapeless bluish green glittering staticky looking thing. Hovering in the air, in front of my closet. It didn’t dance back and forth like the other one, it just remained there, relatively motionless, save for the subtle changes in shape, being that it was a staticky sort of thing, and static has motion. Just imagine the static on your television, and imagine it with color…sparkly blueish green color. It was absolutely beautiful, whatever it was. I lay there on my side, with my cat, once again, watching this. Riveted. It didn’t scare me as much as the other one did. But I didn’t exactly get up to go check it out, either. I lay there, frozen in place, watching this thing for a bit, repeatedly wondering, Am I really seeing this? Is this real? Is this really happening?? Until I pulled the covers over my head, only allowing my nose to stick out a little. And I went back to sleep.

And waking up yet again, feeling like somebody was right there, looking at me…I was on my back this time, having a really aggro dream where I was kicking somebody’s butt. Full of rage and frustration, getting it out in my dreams, since I wasn’t during my waking hours. And at the point in my dream where I was done going aggro and was walking home, my eyes flew open, startled, once again yanking me out mid-dream because the feeling of “somebody” being in the room with me was so strong. When my eyes flew open, I saw a big black circle shaped thing, with zig zaggy edges, right up close to me, almost like a huge eye leaning in. Like it had been fascinated and curious, watching me, attracted by my aggro dream and my resulting intense energy. That was the vibe I got from it – curiosity. Nothing malicious or bad, at all. The diameter of it when it was right up on me was about a foot around. But as soon as I opened my eyes, it jumped back, like it was startled. It shrunk up in size, getting smaller and smaller, as it retreated back and away from me, until it shrunk and disappeared altogether.

That’s it!!! I thought. I’m staying UNDER THE COVERS FROM HERE ON IN. I refused to sleep any other way. And until the day I moved out, I slept with the covers pulled over my head, covering my eyes and face, so I would never have another incident of waking up suddenly in the middle of the night and seeing some crazy something or other, in the room, watching me, staring at me, hovering, jerking back and forth, and back and forth, or doing whatever. I couldn’t deal with it anymore, it was too much. Too stressful.

Sometime after I saw the black circle thing, rimmed in white, I thought to mention it to my brother. See what he thought of the whole thing.

As soon as I started describing it, “…it was like those black circles you see when you’re at the theater, watching a movie…black, rimmed in white…” that’s when his eyes started bugging out.

“What?! It was a black circle….rimmed in white…” he stated back, loudly and slowly, sounding panicked. I wasn’t used to getting a reaction from him when I talked about anything that happened to me. He was usually so blase.

“Uh, yeah…Why?”

“Did it sort of move back and forth like this…” he imitated the herky jerky upside down V-shaped movement with his hands.

I hadn’t told him about that. In fact, if he hadn’t mentioned it, I would’ve forgotten that detail.

“Yeah! It DID!! How did you KNOW?!”

“Because, I’ve seen that thing in my room too. Do you know what that is?? It’s that thing. The one that attacked us. Basically, it was checking up on you, that’s what it was doing.”

“NO….” I said, panicked, and incredulous.

“YES. Trust me. I’ve seen it in my room too. It comes by from time to time, to check up on things. That is not good if you saw that in your room Carissa, it’s not good…” He looked panicked and worried. That was unusual for him. Now I was getting panicked.

“Oh my god…Shit…What if it comes back?!?”

“Then kill it.” Deadpan.

That was always his response whenever I’d say that. So kill it.

“Whatever! I can’t kill it!! I’m not strong enough. I don’t have the capability…”

“Yeah you do.” Deadpan, again.

“No I don’t!”

“Yeah you do.”

“NOOO.”

“YEAAAH…”

“Whatever.”

Just the idea of that THING, lurking around. Watching. Checking up on us….waiting, maybe? ugh.

Then there was the night I came home from work, and passed out on my bed. I slept until 11 p.m. or so, when I finally woke up enough to try and contemplate if I should get up…even though it was so late…or just keep on sleeping, straight through the night…hmmm. And I laid there under the glow of purple Christmas lights, pondering this for a bit. Get up, or sleep, get up, or sleep…nah…I think I’m going to go back to sleep, I finally decided, smiling to myself, sinking further into the bed, stomach down, to get comfy and pass back out again…

…which is when I felt the distinctive feeling of human fingers scritch scratching in the middle of my back. Scritch scritch scritch. It scared the living shit out of me, because of the suddenness of it, and the intensity of it. Very distinct. When I felt those fingers scritch scratching me, I let out a little scream and flew up in the bed, involuntarily swiping like mad at my back and going AH! AH! AH! AH! Jumping all about in my bed, panicked. I had no control over this response, couldn’t override it even if I wanted to, it was like finding out you have a spider crawling up you or something…you start swatting and yelling and jumping about like a jumping bean.

I was up now, thank you very much. I got out of bed, glaring around my room, like Grrrrrrrrrrrr!!!!!! That was not cool. I could just imagine it giggling to herself, thinking that was funny. Oh, can’t make up your mind about whether to get up or not? Well here you go, lazy butt, what do you think about this?? heeheehee! Yeah, you’re amused I thought, but I’m not. I couldn’t shake the memory of how that felt, the distinctive touch of FINGERS, actually digging in, with light pressure. Like there was a real person there, only, they were invisible.

I was up for almost the rest of the night, refusing to go back to bed until after 3:30 am. I figured it wouldn’t do anything else to me, because again, it wasn’t malicious. But then again, how do I really know? What if it was tired of not being noticed, and this was going to be its new thing now…Touching and poking and scritch scratching, and just doing all sorts of stuff to get noticed? That scared me. I grabbed my Sony Discman, and a book, and hid out in the laundry room all night, and did some writing, to kill time. There was nowhere I could go. I had no car. I was completely trapped. As usual. Another night, without a decent sleep. As usual.

I just remember going to work during one of these nights where I only had like two hours of sleep or something, and hearing my co-worker C_____ talking about how he’d only had two hours of sleep, saying he didn’t go to bed until 4 am. Having no idea of course, that I was in the same boat. But I couldn’t say anything, couldn’t say, Oh yeah, me too…I didn’t go to bed until like 3:30, or 4…because invariably, that would lead to the next question……Really? Why? What were you doing?

And what was I supposed to say to that?

And another night where I was reading in my bed. Until about ten pm., when I suddenly just decided it would be a good idea to get up and go into the kitchen. Get a bite to eat. I always had the uncanny instinct to know when to leave my room, moments before “something” happened. And sure enough, as I’m puttering around the kitchen, I hear a loud crash in my doorway. The cat had followed me out into the kitchen, my little shadow as usual, but she heard it too, and her head jerked towards the noise. She trotted back to my room, to investigate.

I myself just assumed it was Joe, coming out of his room or something. I almost even said, “Hey, Joe??” as I walked back to my room.

When I got there, I was a little confused to find absolutely nothing. No Joe.

I looked around my empty room. At the cat investigating things, and poking about.

I opened Joe’s door a little and peaked in to his room. He was sound asleep, under the covers.

okey dokey.

I closed his door. The noise had come from my doorway, and as we knew by now, I had an “entrance” over my doorway.

I got my shoes, my book to read, my Disc man, and my writing journal. Back to the laundry room. All night. Again. Went to work on like two hours of sleep. Again. Didn’t say a word to anybody because I couldn’t. Again.

And life droned on. And on. And on. The weeks passed by. Mind numbing week after week. The first of the year came, and for the first time in who knows HOW long, I made a list of resolutions. My life was such a complete and utter mess at that point that I needed some focal points, some goals, try to get myself back on track. And I don’t normally need to do that, but I did now. I was too unfocused and lost and disillusioned. One of my goals was to get rid of my office day job at _____, and do whatever I could do to get another job. And I didn’t care how far away it was. I lived out in the middle of NOWHERE, which had been my major impediment in getting a better job all this time. But if I had to take 2 busses and walk for 3 miles, I didn’t care, I’d do it. I needed to get out of that toxic environment. So I started job hunting through the classifieds during New Year’s weekend. Circled the ones that were within the local area, and were what I’d be looking for…I was looking for data entry. Something simple, mindless and EASY. Where there would be absolutely NO pressure on me, and I was not responsible for anything, a job where I would be left alone, and wouldn’t have to deal with people anymore.

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