When I let go of what I am, I become what I might be.
- Lao Tzu
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Now I know. That night I wasn’t alone. I blamed the tapping of the window on the gnarled and twisted branches of the old oak tree. I assumed that the banging gate was due to the blustery wind. Naturally I didn’t dare check to see if I was wrong. In fact, I did quite the opposite. Spooked, I ran around the house furiously closing the curtains and slamming windows shut. After that, I returned to my room and sat down at my desk.
“My mind is just playing evil tricks on me” I told myself but I couldn’t have been more wrong.
After what seemed like an eternity of unexplained noises, I couldn’t take anymore. I got up and plodded through to the bathroom. I turned the tap on and fumbled about trying to find my toothbrush, the whole time my eyes were fixed to the mirror. I didn’t dare to turn around, in fear that something was lurking about, waiting for me. Just like lighting, an eye flashed in the corner of the mirror and was gone just as soon. I shrieked and ran back to my desk, my heart in my mouth, chest pounding and pounding and pounding like it would never stop. I returned to find the window wide and curtain flailing. I gasped as I watched the gate creak closed. I caught a glimpse of a long, draping cloak, turning to cover, but even with the streetlights on, there was no shadow to follow it. I drew the curtain, just praying my nightmare would end. It was only then I realized that the blank paper in front of me was no longer pristine. It had one word written on it in a horrible inky scrawl.