As the dead of winter approaches, you may find yourself alone at night, feeling isolated and abandoned in an all-too-empty bed as the night grows ever bleaker. Ghastly shadows, dancing across the wall. The crying wind battering against your window. An ambulance siren in the distance. And there’s no one there to convince you that you didn’t hear those gunshots. There’s no one there. No one there. But do not be afraid. He waits for you. Wait for the moon to hide itself, perhaps behind a gathering of clouds. Midnight is the best time to do this. Just close your eyes and hold your breath as you leave your bed. You may open your eyes once you exit your bedroom. Get dressed if you like, because you’ll be leaving your house soon. Take nothing with you, except for what you can keep in your pockets. Then, drive out of town. Drive as far away from civilization as you possibly can. Eventually, the air will become still. Then a dense fog will form just a short way down the road. You will hear nothing but silence as you approach it. Let it consume you and your vehicle. No harm will come to you from it. I promise. Do not be afraid. He waits for you. The fog will lift. You will see a dimly-lit motel, stranded and alone in the night. Just like you. As you walk inside, notice that there is no one else there. The only sign of human inhabitance will be a small key on the front desk. Take these keys. Wander the corridors until you find the proper room. You will soon know exactly where it is. But you won’t know why. Use your key to enter this room. Walk in, and lie down in the bed. It’s no more comforting than your bed at home. There’s nothing but pure silence for miles. Death hangs in the air all around you. And it’s so cold. You’re still alone. And frightened. But it’s okay. He’s frightened, too. And it’s just so cold. Cold enough to hold the pillow close to your body, burying your face in its softness and embracing it. Pretend that it’s a lover all you want; you won’t feel any safer. But you will feel… warmer? Open your arms, lift up your head! The warmth… is his arms. Two twisted, mutilated arms, tracing down your body. There he is. And he’s frightened, too. You can see it in his blackened, spherical eyes, fixating upon your face and twinkling with the light of another dimension. The light shines in specks from beneath his parched skin, making him glow from the inside. Bruises cover his decaying neck, as well as deep, finger-wide indents. It’s as if someone had tried to strangle him. He sighs, and softly caresses your face. The skin of his hands begins to flake off onto you, and you want to sweep it away. But you’re stunned, completely stunned by this strange creature that’s completely enamored by you. At least you’re not alone anymore. You’ll then gather enough will to take your hands, and gently lift him off you, placing him to your side. You get a better look at him. His legs are disturbingly crooked, having been broken in so many places, and healed in ways that they just weren’t meant to. And he won’t stop staring at you. Small, glistening tears drip from his eyes. He shivers and trembles, trying to form words with his torn mouth. You can’t tell exactly what he’s trying to tell you. It doesn’t matter for now, anyway. He will want to touch you, to hold and to comfort you. Whatever pain you have ever felt from loneliness, whatever sorrow you may have felt in your entire life, he feels it. His tears fall onto you, and he lies back in submission. He will let you do anything you want to him. He knows that no matter what you do, it will never hurt him as much as what the others have done. It will never hurt him as much as the isolation he’s felt in this motel. As you gaze upon his twinkling eyes, you may gain a sudden urge to mutilate him, and punish him for existing the way he does. But please, be kind. He loves you, after all. Spend the night with him. He’ll let you do anything, and he won’t be able to speak. But be sure to leave the room before sunrise. He will do everything in his power to keep you from leaving. He will grab onto you, cry, and scream at you. Tears will keep gushing from his glowing eyes, disintegrating his skin even further. But no matter how much you pity him, leave! Resist him, and leave! If you don’t, you will be forever trapped, and doomed to live the same existence that he does. Do not let him follow you. Just close the door behind you, and lock it. You’re alone again. Next thing you know, you’ll wake up in your bed at home, some time after the sun is risen. The events of last night will feel as if it were nothing but a dream. Everything in your home is where you left it last. Your car, your clothes, everything. Then, if you are lucky, something incredible will happen. Within a few days, you just might meet a new person. This person has everything you want, and it’s as if they were made for you. Within time, the two of you will fall in love. You will almost forget the ghoul in the motel, and forget about those glowing eyes staring at you. All that will matter is that you will be in love with this wonderful new person, and they will love you. But once they move in with you, things will grow progressively stranger. As you lie together in bed, you might hear a faint scratching on the door, and an all-too-familiar cry. But do not worry, your companion will keep you from becoming too worried about it. The next night, the cry might become a shriek. The scratching will become a pounding. And only you can hear it. No matter how hard you try to convince your partner of what you hear, they will only tell you to go back to sleep. And one night, you will notice that the noises have vanished. Nights will be peaceful again, and it will just be you and your partner. But from then on, you will constantly look upon your lover’s eyes. You will notice a new glow in their eyes, twinkling with the light of another dimension… Do not be afraid. He’s waited so long for you.