“Now Greg, don’t get too drunk. You’re driving.”
“We’ll take a cab. If I’m going to tell this story again I’m doing it drunk.”
Taking me up on the idea, Allen downed half his pint in three gulps and looked back at me, signaling my turn.
“It happened in my bedroom before I came to university. Just like out of a movie, the voice came from no where and everywhere at once. I heard it plainly and was afraid someone had broken into my room. I knew someone was hiding in the dark. But, the room was so small and the window not seven feet from my desk, it would have been impossible.
“I turned around the check the door, but it was still closed and since the hinges creak when moved, I couldn’t believe someone opened it without me knowing. After a full minute of silence, I had convince myself that it was my imagination and was about to just turn back toward the desk and begin writing again. A thought went through my head and I was sure I had been sleeping. The veil of sleep was lifted, out of the dream I came, and I woke up. It was relief to figure out that I had been asleep.
“I exhaled and pulled my knees under the desk when I heard the rasp of the voice again.A dark movement filled the corner; my eye flickered toward it and I half rose, but that’s when I focused and saw a dark man standing there.”
I downed the rest of my beer and pushed my glass from the edge. Within a minute we both had two new beers. Allen said nothing.
“I couldn’t believe that someone had gotten into the room. But he was there. Just standing, no longer saying anything. I remembered to pinch myself, but I knew I was awake. I looked at my hands to make sure I was awake. I was trying everything to convince myself that this wasn’t real. I should have been more scared, maybe even angry at his being there, but I wasn’t. It was like he broke into his own house because he locked himself out. Sure I was startled, but he belonged and now it was alright.
“Allen, I have never seen him since, but I know he is there.”
“What did he look like?”
“He looked quite wealthy, wore layers of clothing like he was from a cold place. He had a beautiful face, almost looked like a woman. So smooth and white. No…” I stopped to think. I took a deep swig and it came to me. “He looked like one of my sisters dolls. The china kind.”
Allen answered for me. “A porcelain doll?”
“Yeah, and somehow I understood that he wasn’t there to hurt me or rob me or anything bad. He could help me and he wanted to help me. I don’t know how to explain this next part, but he smiled and his teeth were beautiful and I knew that whatever he was he had power. It was his teeth that put me at ease.”
Allen looked up from his beer and smiled. “That was the devil, dude.”
“Fuck you, Allen. I know you think that, but he wasn’t the devil. It was something else. Now, I wish I’d have never told you because you don’t understand and you never can because you weren’t there.
“Well you told me alreadyand it’s good thing you did because you can’t hold something like this inside. So go on and finish it. I like the story.”