Neverman, the day I never existed

Part 1

I was twelve the day I disappeared from this world. Today my name is irrelevant, but at the time the events happened my name was Todd Fletcher. I had parents, I had a sister, I had friends but most importantly, I had an existence! Today I exist no more and I need to tell you what happened to me, I need to tell this story because I want to say I had a life once, I existed, I was a real human being and maybe this will help others who might have been caught into oblivion the same way I was. Beware the Neverman, if you ever cross his path, just run and pray he doesn’t catch you.

On November 2nd of 1985, I was walking home after school, the days had started getting shorter and at 5 p.m. the lights of some houses and stores were already on. It wasn’t dark yet but dusk was around the corner. I was walking alone, I had no friends who lived near me so I always walked back home alone. I didn’t mind that much as I was the kind of kid who enjoyed a certain level of solitude, now I wish I would have been more keen on having more friends around me, especially on that day.

There were still some Halloween decorations on the front yards of some houses. Some of these decorations would stay there for a week or more after Halloween. The streets were still full of devilish figures and fancy luminaries. The reddish leaves were starting to cover the ground and the wind would blow refreshing air.

I was a few blocks from home when I noticed a peculiar figure, seated in a large rocking chair on the front porch of a house. At first I barely noticed it, but something caught my attention longer than I wish I had. What I would have described at first looked like a “man” with a very slender body, dressed in an old-fashioned suit with indistinguishable patterns on it. He was sitting with his back very stiff, his legs were closed, and he had a strange shaped suitcase he seemed to grab tightly on his knees. His attitude was like of someone who would nervously wait in a waiting room of some kind of medical care center or for an important job interview. He wasn’t moving at all so I assumed it was another Halloween decoration, an elaborate one. As I was closing distance to this strange character, the most striking thing about him was certainly his head, it was bald and lacked ears. His facial features were hard to read, like if all the normal features a face would have have faded or been somehow deformed. Whoever came up with this decoration was either very bad with basic anatomy or very good at making things look creepy.

I could have crossed the street at that moment and perhaps my fate would have been different, but my parents’ house was on the same side of the street, and in my defense it was 2 days after Halloween and such a figure wasn’t totally out of place. So I ignored my instincts and kept walking on the same sidewalk, with my head down. As I was at the same level as him, my head turned to him again. I would never know what took me, I had the intention to ignore the grotesque figure until it was out of my sight, but I can’t explain why my head was compelled to look one last time. And to this day I curse myself to what made me look in his direction once more.

What I saw froze me to the point I stopped breathing for a few seconds. His fingers had briefly released its grip on the handle of the suitcase and his head promptly angled in my direction, and then I saw his face clearly, that’s when I started to panic. This thing had a sort of horizontal scar for a mouth and a pair of mouths where its eyes should be. The “mouths had no lips, uncovering two rows of teeth messily implanted right upon the skin and the scar happened to stretch out to the shape of a hole, like a fresh wound that would suddenly form itself in the lower part of his face, this thing had the most repulsive face I’ve ever seen in my life, but what frightened me the most was that this thing was alive, and aware of my presence.

Time seemed to have stopped, I stayed there for what seemed to have been years, unable to continue walking. I couldn’t stop staring at this nightmarish character until he slowly stood up, his face staring at mine. I knew I had to do something but this creature seemed to have some kind of hypnotic power over me. I was scared and fascinated at the same time. When it finished getting up, I could clearly see this entity was pretty tall with long slender limbs, the suitcase was hanging from his right hand and something odd about his body movements gave me the confirmation that this creature wasn’t entirely human. There wasn’t anyone hiding inside a costume, this was him, what I would later call the Neverman.

Suddenly the panic kicked in and the adrenaline rushed through my body. I was able to break free from numbness and started to run away. As I recall, I was running faster than I have ever did before, I thought I would lose this spectral figure and quickly hide into the safety of my home, I’ve never been so wrong. First I thought I’ve lost him, I assumed such a tall being wouldn’t be able to move so swiftly, but then I clearly heard his heavy footsteps closing distance behind me. In an attempt to rationalize the situation, my mind switched back to the possibility of a prank perpetrated by some teenagers. The prank would be revealed, and they would laugh at me and all would go back to normal, if only this was true.

So I turned around to see how close he was from me and if anyone would intervene. I recalled crossing paths with people walking by, there should have been someone witnessing the scene and able to help a little boy in case of danger.

The scene I witnessed at that moment was the first hint I wasn’t going to make it. To my biggest despair, not only was the Neverman a few feet behind me, walking at a steady pace but nobody around seemed to notice him, which was extremely odd to miss such a peculiar silhouette in the middle of the street. Nobody was looking in our direction, like if we didn’t even exist; this was straight out of a nightmare. I’ve never been so desperate. I just kept running until I felt his hand grab my shoulder with a powerful grip. I still can remember that moment like if it was in slow motion, his strong grip made me lose balance; as I was falling I lost a shoe. I landed on my back and his horrible face appeared above mine, I tried to set myself free and stand up but there was no point, his hand had me pinned down like a butterfly on a wooden board. He was standing over me, silently while I desperately kept struggling to set myself free. Then his mouths, in the place of where his eyes should be, began to shudder frantically, he moved his entire body over me like a spider about to feast over its prey. I cried so hard that it would have been impossible for anyone to ignore me from miles away, yet nobody ever came. As his face got closer to mine, I heard the Neverman’s voices coming from his two mouths, two distinctive voices speaking at the same time, though with two different tones, both saying:
– “I like your ears”

And with his other hand he started to touch my left ear nervously, like a madman excited before doing something terrible to his victim. He took me with both his hands and he lifted me from the ground with an ease that taught me that I wouldn’t be able to resist his strength no matter what I would try. He lifted me in the air, facing me, at this point I was scared to death and wasn’t even resisting. I heard a noise underneath me, I managed to look down and the nightmare grew even stronger. It was the suitcase; the suitcase was underneath me and it was alive. There were tiny legs on the four edges of the bottom and it placed itself right underneath me while the Neverman had me hanging above it. The suitcase opened and revealed a gaping hole surrounded by sharp teeth, similar to that of a shark. The inside was made of palpitating living flesh but looking inside the hole revealed nothing but pure emptiness. On the top part of the suitcase, there was the same type of disgusting flesh, teeth randomly spawn and in the center was an eyeball and the teeth around it acted like its eyelids, opening and retracting nervously and the eye was staring right at me. His suitcase was a living giant mouth, how could this be real?

The Neverman had a strong hold on me, and as I let my last scream out, he pushed me towards the open mouth of the creature and I was sucked in faster than I could realize.

I stayed conscious for a few seconds more, just to see the opening where I came from scaling down quickly as I was falling into a void. After that, time and life itself just stopped., I just ceased to be.

Part 2

It was by a fresh night in March that I was reborn. One second before there was only the darkness of the void, the second after I was in the middle of a children’s park somewhere in the vicinity of my neighborhood. I stayed there, totally motionless, trying to get a hold of my senses. My whole body was coming back to life after what appeared to be a very long period of total inactivity. At first only my eyes were able to assess my surroundings. My brain was immediately overwhelmed by a thousand sensations. I was suddenly overwhelmed by pure excitement and fascination: I was alive!

Then I started to walk around, fearing this sweet dream could suddenly end and I would be back to the nightmare of the void; I managed to escape for a few seconds. I was back in the streets of my old neighborhood, I was mesmerized by the beauty of the world. After a moment of wandering enjoying my escape, my delight was interrupted as I bumped into a man exiting the front door of his house. He looked at me, and I instantly felt so thrilled, he could see me! I was real and part of this world again! I expressed all my gratitude to the man who definitely didn’t understand my situation, instead he stared at me from top to bottom with disconcert in his eyes. That’s when I realized I was still wearing the same clothes as the day I departed from this reality, and they barely fitted me anymore. I walked away to get a better assessment on the situation.

I don’t know how long I’ve been away, but one thing is sure, I must have disappeared at least a decade or so, my body was definitely older and taller. The fabric of my clothes looked worn out… “Where the hell have I been?” I barely remember anything on the “other side”. Only fragments of memories and it only involves darkness and coldness. I’ve been abducted by the Neverman and somehow I’ve managed to escape his realm or wherever he took me to. I don’t know how I escaped and if the Neverman was aware of my escape. I needed to protect myself if I ever faced him again. Instinctively I imagined that the safest thing to do was to run to where I lived. And that’s when I realized my nightmare wasn’t over., It had just begun.

I got to my parents’ house, all the lights were off, it was too dark to tell if anything had changed during those years and I was too panicked to even notice any of that. I rang on the doorbell and waited.

After a minute I heard sounds from the first floor, then lights inside the house. Finally the lights in the hall turned on and I saw a familiar silhouette through the door’s window coming towards the front door. It was my father. Before opening the door he asked:

– Who’s there?

– It’s me, it’s Todd! I replied

– Who?…

– Dad it’s me, Todd, I’m back, open the door please!

– I don’t know any Todd, you must have the wrong address.

Was it possible that my dad had grown old and had these mental diseases where people can’t remember their own family members anymore?

– Please dad, it’s me, please let me come in!

After a few seconds of hesitation, my dad finally decided to crack open the door., His appearance stroke me, he had aged too at least 10 years older or so.

He was on his guard and stared at me from top to bottom.

– I don’t know you and I don’t have any son. If this is a joke it ain’t funny, please go away or I’ll call the cops.

I was dazed, it was like that old TV show The Twilight Zone, where absurd and unexplainable situations happened to random people. I was so shocked I couldn’t think straight and say anything convincing, I’ve just managed to add:

– Please don’t close that door, I can explain, it was a long time ago maybe but it’s me, Todd.

In the background I noticed my mom had come downstairs so see what was going on, she stayed carefully behind my dad but she was able to look at me.

– Who’s this Karl? She asked my dad.

– Mom! it’s me! Your son! I’m Todd! Please let me in. I shouted over my dad’s shoulders as tears started to fill my eyes.

I nervously assessed my face with my hands. Could it be that have I been injured and deformed somehow? But everything seemed normal.

And I heard my mom say:

– Close the door Karl, I’m calling the police.

And the door of my house closed on me.

Should I have waited for the police to come that night? Would have they been able to help me and clear out the confusion of this situation? I don’t know., I’m not so sure now.

I fled in the darkness of the night and seeked refuge somewhere else.

During the next few days, I was extremely disoriented. I stayed hidden in the backyard of an abandoned house and only came out of my stash at night to steal some leftovers I could find in the trashcans. Later on I managed to find new clothes at the salvation army camp in my area.

My daily routine was to go to any of my friend’s places, at the stores I used to buy stuff to see if anyone could recognize me, the answers were depressingly the same each time, no one seemed to know me. Not only could they not recognize me, but they couldn’t even remember anyone called Todd. Each time I would recite an old memory that I have shared with these people about 10 years ago, I gave details about the time when it happened or I would tell them details about their siblings the best I remembered. But the reactions would always remain the same: these people didn’t know me anymore. Not only did the Neverman take my life but he erased any trace of me in this reality as well, it’s like I’ve never existed.

I was never able to track down the possible crumbs of my existence to the intimacy of these people. Were there any pictures left of me somewhere in their houses, a video of a birthday party, an object that I gave them that would trigger a memory of me, any proof I’ve ever lived in this continuum alongside them at all? It wasn’t easy to investigate about my past life, to stay hidden and alive in the streets without going insane at the same time.

One day I had lost all hope and when I seriously doubted about my own sanity, I dared to enter a police station. Maybe it was better if I was taken into a mental institution after all, they would take care of my condition and my insanity. I wouldn’t have to keep hiding and wandering like an animal; they would take care of me. To my despair, even the police didn’t have a clue who I was, nothing was in their registry and soon they would just conclude that I was a crackhead, they gave me the numbers of associations that helps homeless people, nobody was of any help.

After a while I gave up searching and I focused on my survival in this new world where I seem to have never existed in. I live in constant fear to see the spectral shape of the Neverman to re-appear anywhere behind me or in the shadowy corner of each and every building. I was a survivor of the Neverman and I became obsessed with him, how long would I escape his wrath? How long would I last hidden from him? Would he eventually find me while I’m asleep? And how would I defend myself from him? These were the questions that would fill my mind and terrify me day after day. Soon, another question started to haunt my mind: were there others like me out there? Were there other Neverman survivors? I slowly started to realize my survival depended on the answer to that very question.

Years have passed since I came back from oblivion. I struggled to rebuild myself a new life I could hold on to. I know he’s still out there, perhaps looking for me, but today I have a new identity and I’ve developed unique skills that not only helps me to stay hidden from him but also allow me to track him down in return, henceforth we have this demonic bond. Since then I’ve pledged to help other Neverman victims and I will be after him until I kill him. He stole my life, but I have a new one now: I’m a demon hunter!