Author: Praskovia Vlasova (Girhasha)
Material: LaDoll, obsidian stone.
Dimentions: ~15 x 15 cm (5.9 in.)
Status: Personal author's talisman.
"Nightmares, bad dreams and disturbing premonitions started chasing me right after moving in the new house. In spite of the tiny size of my apartment, I fancied somebody's strange shadows and low voices everywhere. I felt ill at ease and could not believe that this is my new home. I had a weird feeling that previous ghostly tenants, who did not want to move, were trying to drive me out. They had spiteful conversations in the empty kitchen, they whispered near the head of the bed, shuffled in the narrow corridor. Even in the ragged rhythm of the falling drops from the leaky faucet had something from beyond and evil. The worst part of it happened during the night when the shadows of the curtains were filled with ink and enveloped the entire apartment. Anyone could hide in them and run across the black corridor to the most distant corners of the room. In the dark among the unpacked boxes which reminded me of some bizarre buildings, I saw someone's attentive eyes and under the bed, I heard someone's muffled breathing. Thus, I was too afraid to look into the darkness and find there a lurking monster like if i was a little child again.
My first impulse was to completely change the interior, to get rid of the old furniture and the memories about the previous tenants from the flat. But it did not help at all. To the contrary, new ghosts began to appear from the mirrors that I hung in the corridor, the hallway and the room. They did not look like melancholy tenants of the old house, who could not get used to the new neighbour. These guests obviously came from the far and gloomy places. Every time when I looked in the mirror, I noticed a shadow behind my shoulder, shrouded in gloom so tight that it was impossible to discern even the silhouette of it. In general they stayed at the distance, watching me through the mirror.
They scared me a lot, but I tried to fight with them. I tried to remove them from their shelters and drown them in the light. Every time when I returned home after work, I immediately turned on all the lighting so even the most remote corners of the apartment were released from the darkness. TV became my unchangeable companion, its monotonous noise choked whispers which were slightly heard all the time.
At some moment I even believed that this strategy was successful and the victory remained with me. I relaxed and forgot all my fears until one night. I was woken up by a distinct noise coming from the kitchen. Leaping out of the bed, I rushed in there, flipped the switch, but the light did not work so I remained standing in the darkness- probably the bulb was burned out. I was standing in the middle of winter starless darkness, peering into the subtle contours of objects. I had a bad feeling that the darkness also carefully looked at me. I could swear that I heard approaching footsteps and a hiss. Frantically retreating, I groped my cell phone on the floor beside the bed. I used it as a flashlight and returned to the kitchen, but found no one there.
Since then I slept particularly bad. At night I always left the lamp turned on, which outlined around me a magic circle of light. I suffered from the insomnia, and every time when i finally got asleep, it invariably turned into the same nightmare, where I wandered in the darkness of the labyrinth, pursued by invisible shadows. I was exhausted and almost fell down from fatigue, but did not dare to stop moving: fear of what was lurking in the darkness, pushed me forward. Often I woke up in the middle of the night and impatiently waited for the dawn, listening how someone barely audible pacing back and forth in the apartment. Sometimes I got up, walked to the door which leaded to the kitchen, but I never dared to open it.
The worst period was in the winter when I had to get up before the dawn and fight with the inhabitants of the dark using LED lights. Its bright beam slid along the walls and furniture as a whitish spot, but I was afraid that if I would linger and do not flip the switch, someone would grab my hand and tow me along into the darkness, beyond of the mirror surface.
Eventually my worst nightmare burst into reality. Something went wrong on the local substation, so I was left in the dark. "Battle" lantern stood on the charging so did not worked for long. Soon darkness completely flooded the apartment. I was in complete terror, I fumbled in the drawer a few candles that I have prepared for such a case. I headed into the hallway to get dressed and escape into some midnight cafe with a lighted candle in a shaky hand. My path led through a narrow corridor only a couple of meters long. But it evoked in me a real panic, because of a large, full-length mirror hung on the wall. I believed and I knew that its inhabitants had already crept to its shaky surface to grab me. I trembled and involuntarily shrank back into the corner.
After a few minutes of horrible paralysis I looked at myself from the new angle. I did not deny my fears, but I felt that the more I cultivated my fears, the more the shadows became stronger. With an incredible power of will, I forced myself to get up and go to the mirror, carrying a candle in front of me as a weapon and a shield.
I was going to face my demons. Like accepting the challenge, shapeless shadows crept from all corners and crevices, gathered together as a dark mass beyond the mirror barrier. They grinned and angrily hissed, more and more suffused with the cold and darkness with each instant. I closed my eyes for a moment, and took a step toward them, expecting to feel their suffocating grip constricted around me. However moment by moment dragged on and nothing happened. When I dared to open my eyes, an amorphous lump of darkness disappeared from the mirror. I saw there a small flame instead. He flew into the air silently and then fell sharply in the midst of darkness, dispelled it and chased it away, made the darkness retreated. Within a few minutes living darkness turned into the usual dusk, in the midst of which floated a calming light.
I was completely spellbound by it. I reached out my hand and when I touched the surface of the mirror, light shuddered and leaned to me. It transformed and grew from the depths of the mirror, each tongue of flame took on a material form while going through the silver border of the mirror. At first claws appeared, after them sweeping leather wings, and then a grinning muzzle of eared bat showed up. The light faded, but Imu, which was born from it, sat on my arm, his clawed paws were tightly embraced around my finger. Fiery spirit said his name so quietly that I could not be sure whether he said it or not.
After sitting a while on my finger, he started flying around the apartment like he was inspecting his new possession and then sat down on the lamp in the kitchen. From there he could see the whole corridor and the room.
With Imu's arrival my flat finally gained its integrity and completeness. From a simple shelter it turned into a hospitable home. The Little Monster, who came from the other world, was the missing piece that lacked in this mosaic.
During the day Imu usually dozes, hiding from the sun in the shadows of curtains, or he phlegmatically watches from a height of cabinets and fixtures for the apartment dwellers. But at night he shakes off his lethargy and vigilantly watching everything that's going on in the dark of night. As a true night hunter, he watches in ambush for nightmares and demons that strive to seep into the world through the unsteady surfaces of liquids, mirrors and oblique angles joints.
No one spoil my dreams any more, just sometimes in the silence of the night i can hear a dull sound of flapping leather wings. It is Imu chases another monster that dare cross the threshold of my house."