I’m writing this with the last pencil I’ll ever hold. My name is Megan Reed, and I’m 17. I live in Hillsboro, Wisconsin. My family recently moved here because of the cheap property, and it happened to be where my father was raised. Drawing has always come naturally to me, so I constantly have a sketchbook and a few pencils in my bag. I have an interesting ability; I can take a snapshot of an image I’m looking at by blinking. I can recreate the image on the paper, as if I was staring at the image the whole time.
Hillsboro has many old and interesting houses, so that has been the subject of many of my recent drawings. The town isn’t very large, so I like to take strolls down streets. I pick houses that peak my interest, and draw them.
My life changed on one of those strolls. I walked down the central street of the town, Mill St, and decided to turn left and go down Field Ave. I came across a house on my left with grass that came up to my waist in the front yard. It was a Victorian style house. The windows were broken in a few places, and the paint was peeling though I could tell it used to be violet.
I decided this house was the lucky winner for the day. I blinked my eyes while looking at the house, locking the image in my mind. I sat down with my back against the short picket fence, and pulled out my sketchbook and pencil. I let my fingers do the work, while my mind wandered. I thought about what I was going to have for dinner tonight. Mom told me that shepherd’s pie was for dinner. It’s a favorite of mine. I just remembered; I have History homework due tomorrow! The homework thought broke my concentration. I looked down, the drawing was near completion. I captured the circular portion of the left hand side of the house ending at the tip of a cone. The right hand side looked good as well. A downward “V” shape with 2 windows below it that looked into the second floor. The second floor extended slightly farther than the first floor to allow an overhang for the porch. Each column looked to be in place. The man standing next to the door, smiling. Wait a second, the man standing next to the door? I didn’t remember seeing any man.
I stood up, and looked across the grass to the front porch. No man was in sight. I took another look at the man in my drawing. I didn’t draw his body in very good detail, just some light shading. The face was more detailed. I drew both his eyes and his mouth. The eye sockets were pointed towards me, they didn’t have an iris. The mouth was smiling, a very toothy smile. The mouth looked disproportionate. It seemed to extend from ear to ear instead of spanning the length of the eyes.
I decided that was enough house drawing for today. I really shouldn’t let my mind wander while I’m drawing. I packed up my things, and headed home. When I arrived back at Mill St, I saw a very interesting old car. It looked like a Volkswagen beetle, but I could tell it’s been around a few decades. I decided to take a snapshot image for a drawing later. I arrived home a little after 6pm. Mom had already prepared the dinner table. The shepherd’s pie had steam rising off it. Dad was in his study, on the phone. Mom told me he would be a little late to the dinner table, his meeting was running over. The shepherd’s pie was delicious as always. Sometimes I dream about it even now.
I excused myself from the table, to go relax in my bedroom. I light a few candles on my desk, and sat down in the seat. My favorite place in the house, my drawing desk. Many memories and drawings have been made at this desk.
I always need to draw the snapshot memories before I go to sleep. They always seem to leave my brain after a restful sleep. I brought my pencil to the paper in preparation to draw the old Volkswagen Beetle on Mill St. Long smooth strokes to draw the hood connecting to the curved roof. Short forceful pencil strokes to draw the black tires. Light shading for the door to show the sunlight touching it. Short light strokes for the each tooth in the smile.
The smile? I looked down to see that I was halfway through drawing a face in the driver’s seat. That’s not right; there wasn’t anybody in the driver’s seat. Maybe I was mistaken. I brought my pencil to the paper to finish the face. The face was pointing to the left directly where I was standing. The mouth was too long, it shouldn’t be that long.
My breath started coming in short bursts. I brought out the drawing from the house earlier that day. I placed it next to the car drawing. The smile was the same, but the eyes and ears were detailed in the car drawing. The eyes had more of a pointed glare then the empty sockets from the first drawing. The ears were slightly tipped at the top. The rest of the body was still only grey shaded. I put the pencil to the car drawing, hoping to fill out the details of the rest of the torso. I could not.
I felt like I shouldn’t, but I needed to know. I looked to the right, where the door to my room was located. I blinked my eyes. I pushed the other drawings out of the way, and placed a new sheet down.
I began drawing. The door, dark brown wood with light flickering from the candles on it. The bronze handle. The blue jacket hanging from the hook on the back of the door. The hand reaching towards me. I jumped out of my chair, looking towards the door. There was nothing there.
I looked at the drawing on the desk. Long nails on 4 fingers were reaching out open handed towards the center of the page. I reached out with my hand towards the doors. Something brushed my hand. I screamed and threw open the door. I ran into the preacher table in the hallway. Knocking over one of my mother’s favorite vases, and I fell to the floor. I tried to prop myself up, but the floor was wet. There was never any water in the vase. I looked down to find blood running onto the floor from 3 gashes in my forearm. My mother and father appeared in front of me. My mother turned a ghastly white at the sight of the blood. My father picked me up, and ran me out to the car.
I don’t remember much of the ride to the hospital. I’m lying in the same bed that I’m writing this letter from. It’s been a week since I was brought here. They have me on suicide watch; the doctor told my parents the slashes on my forearm couldn’t have been caused by the vase. I’ve only tried drawing once since I’ve been here. The man is still here, if you can still call him a man. The last drawing looked more like a beast than a man. Crouching at the foot of my bed.
I’m too scared to draw anymore. Once this letter is finished, I’ll never hold a pencil again. I’m not sure what this thing wants with me. I can always feel a presence around me, shadows dancing out of the corner of my eyes. I just wanted to warn you, so it doesn’t happen to you. If you sense something following you, don’t acknowledge it and it won’t acknowledge you.