The standing man is at my window again.
He always appears at twilight; a dark silhouette set against the dying orange embers of the evening sky. He comes, I think, from the wood behind the house. A crooked, twisted man, sculpted from the damp, rotting forest, standing motionless on the brown grass outside my window.
And the standing man is old. His grey skin is pulled tight against his face, taunt across the skull. In the failing light, you can see his clouded yellow eyes set deep within his face. I look up from my book and I can see him; his torn cloak floats in the evening as he stares through the patio doors and into my home. He pulls a toothless grin, a dark smile which never ends, and the living room becomes cold.
I do not dare go out to challenge him. At first, I tried to threaten, shouting obscenities through the clear glass, masking my fear with rage and anger. And over the months, I have turned to reason, debate and pleas. But, the standing man is unmoved by my words, so now I just watch him. As he watches me.
And when I retire for the night, I can hear him in the darkness; scrabbling outside in the garden, his throaty cackle creeping through my window as he knocks over plant pots or scrapes his nails across the brickwork.
Yesterday, I realised that the standing man is getting closer. Each night, he is another shallow step nearer to the door. Soon, his crooked nose will be pressed flat against the window, his breath of rotting leaves crawling up the glass. Soon, his wiry hand will reach for the door and all the locks in the world won’t be able to stop him. He will creep into my house, leaving a trail of wet leaves and greasy mud behind him. And soon, I don’t know what will happen.
The standing man scares me.