I have never been particularly superstitious or anything, unless you count my subtle fear of horror movies into it. The fact that the HDB flat I live in has a supposedly omen-based block number – 444 – had never really bothered me before either (In Chinese, 444 could be loosely translated into Death, death, death). There was one time when I watched this video about a “ghost” appearing out of nowhere behind a man in an elevator, which prompted me to send numerous looks behind my back as I rode my apartment block’s elevator back to my housing flat; but that’s pretty much it. I haven’t seen a ghost in the flesh before, and I didn’t think that I would ever see one either.
This one night, I had been out for a run and was on the elevator back to my apartment. Everything was pretty normal, but perhaps just a tad bit suffocating because I was still panting breathlessly. It was then that I thought something dark flashed past the mirror (there were four mirrors in the elevator, each of them situated in a corner).
I reacted through pure instinct – I jumped and backed off, all flustered, to the doors of the elevator. My immediate thought was, “What the hell was that?” Luckily for me, the elevator stopped at my floor and I swear I exited it so fast I nearly tripped over my own feet.
After a quick, cold shower, I tried to convince myself that that dark thing was just a trick of the light, and running had made me so exhausted that I’m seeing things everywhere. No luck; I ended up leaving the light on as I got to sleep. Even then it was tough getting to sleep; I kept imagining weird things coming at me from my blind spots. It was only when I slept with my back to the bed (uncomfortable for a side sleeper like me) and I could see effectively everything that I finally dozed off.
It felt instantaneous – one moment I was asleep in the light, another moment I was distinctly awake in the darkness.
“Mum must have offed the light again,” I remember muttering. The moment I tried to get up to on the light, I stiffened – something was pressing down on my left shoulder… hard. And I couldn’t move.
I wanted to scream, and my mouth did open, but nothing came out. I was screaming so loud in my mind, wanting to get the hell out of there, but I couldn’t move, nor could I yell aloud.
The pressuring force never relented, and the worse has yet to even come. Slowly but surely, I felt someone breathing into my left ear – a soft yet harsh breath that weighed on my ear. As I lay there stiffened and frightened, the breath started to whisper to me – a whole bunch of ghastly sounding noises that terrified the hell out of me. It was only after like a few hours (as it seemed to me) that the force finally relinquished its hold on me and the breath ceased whispering into my ear. I was insomniac the rest of the night, and even when morning finally came I still couldn’t get myself to stop shaking.
Since then, I have never really experienced anything of that sort, but believe me when I say that I have never seen my HDB flat the same way ever again.
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