You don't know him.
He's watching you, though. Perhaps you see him sometimes out of the corner of your eye, a flickering shadow which is gone the moment you seek a clearer definition of his form. When you don't need him, he appears fleetingly to taunt you; yet when you need him he's nowhere to be found. Nevertheless, he is watching you. He has singled you out not because you interest him, but simply because he has nothing better to do.
Surely you have felt the pressure of his heavy gaze upon the hairs of the back of your neck. Surely you have had chills run down your spine without apparent cause. What about those times you've felt an inexplicable presence near you? You turn to find yourself always alone.
Certainly you have heard thumpings on certain nights, perhaps even faint slitherings within your secure abode. He's there, and he's watching you. Sometimes he gives himself away accidentally, more often it is a deliberate attempt to terify you. You don't know him, but he knows you. He knows everything there is to know about you.
He wants you.
And he'll get you, eventually. Time is meaningless to him. He thrives on your neuroses and never goes hungry. Only you can stop him, but only if you know he's there. He bears the burden of no such restrictions, simply the burden of being non-corporeal. But he bears that burden well, always twisting it to his advantage. He wants you and he'll get you. All in due time...
Have you ever come screaming out of a sound sleep, feeling like your body is falling madly into a void? How long do you lay thereafter with the blankets pulled tightly around you, staring wide-eyed at the ceiling in terror? Does every sound in the air seem louder to you then, more threatening? Aren't there quite a few of these sounds, and don't most of them seem ominously out of place? Well, don't be surprised. He's out there, and he tried to get you. Somewhere out on the edge of your dreamland, you fought him away and fell back Into yourself. Your mind blocked out this terrible truth to protect your sanity. You woke up to your own echoing cry, ignorant of your great deed.
He created the universe, and mankind created him. He would destroy the world again, but fortunately, he wants you first. Call him Death, call him God, whatever; he is the Final truth. He's going to get you, unless somehow you stop him.
published in THE NIGHTMARE EXPRESS, May 1987 (circ. 300)