The Tall Man

There were no monsters that lived under your bed or resided with the skeletons inside your wardrobe; it stood at the door. You called it the tall man.

The tall man came at a specific time to your father’s study room; towards the hours of midnight when the air was still and crickets harmonized in nooks and crannies of the room. It was tall as the door and covered mostly in all white due to the ray of the moon, like Caspar, and it never spoke. It had no face or hands or feet, not that you had ever seen, and it just hovered in the air in front of the door.

You slept there at the study room because your father stayed there to work on his drawing board, and so he allowed you play there, and also to read some of his books. Anytime you did the tall man visited.

He stood at the door and stared at where you lay on the bed; when you saw it you shut your eyes and pretended to be asleep. Sometimes you heard it move around the room, from the door towards the direction of the study table, ruffled noises followed, a brief silence, and then you felt a weight press on the bed and lay next to you. Your skin crawl and your head swell. You had never tried to scream, you imagined it would eat you.

One night you fell asleep in the study room and it came again. It stood at the door and watched you. You covered your head with a pillow and shut your eyes tight. That night it spoke. “Are you awake, by this time of the night?” a sound that trailed off like it was about to lose its voice. You shut your eyes tight in fright until you saw stars. It went silent. And then you heard feet on the ground, every step made a cracking sound like flexing of knuckles. It went round the room as usual, and then, again, you felt weight rest next to you on the bed. Your stomach contracted

Scream.

Big hands gripped and shook you until you opened your eyes. “What is it!?” it asked, it turned on the lights and you saw it was your father.

Your eyes searched the room frantically and then rested on the door. You pointed and told him about the man who stood there every night, about the ghost that hovered in the air at the door every night you slept there.

He laughed and laughed, he shook his head, and then he explained that every night when he came home from work, towards the hours of midnight, he took off his clothes and hung it on the door, and then he lay next to you and slept.