This month’s Full Moon story is inspired by a true event. The beginning of “The Hello Man” is a super-creepy experience I had a few years ago.
With crystal clarity I heard someone say “Hello” and it jolted me out of my sleep. I was disoriented and for a moment thought someone was in the room. Then I thought they must be outside the window. I went to the kitchen and peered through the window to see if I could see someone next door.
To this day I’m still not certain if I heard someone on their phone in the carport next door or if it was a dream. I assume it was a dream, but it was eerie and scared the shit out of me. The fear, I think, came from the moment of believing someone was standing next to me as I slept.
The rest of the story is completely made up.
He spoke clearly, in a conversational tone. In an instant I awoke completely. A muscle in my back tensed and I shivered.
I pulled my exposed, cold foot under the blanket, and arched my head to look to the end of the bed. I could barely make out the figure of our dog Abbie sleeping on her dog blanket.
“Hello.” The voice wasn’t loud, but it was clear. And close.
Jessica snored softly next to me, curled on her side, her back to me; her shoulder softly illuminated by the streetlights outside our house.
The man’s voice disoriented me. It sounded as if he were standing right beside me, but as my head cleared away the sleep I determined the voice must be a neighbor in the carport speaking on his cell phone. Our bedroom window is only a few feet from our neighbor’s carport.
The voice was calm. It occurred to me he might be speaking to get my attention. I pushed myself up so my eyes peeked over the bottom of the window. I inched back one of the white curtains and did my best to look outside. The ambient glow of street lights and porch lights was enough to make out shapes. I saw no one.
I slipped back into the bed, pulling the blanket over my shoulder. I was fully awake. Jessica rolled on her back and mumbled something. She was dreaming.
“Hello.” The clarity and closeness convinced me I must be hearing a neighbor in the carport speaking to his phone. He probably stood on the other side of the cinder block wall.
I looked at the clock. 5:33. Still a half-hour before the alarm went off. I turned the alarm off and quietly slid out of bed. I could tell by the silhouetted tilt of her head that Abbie watched me, hoping for an early breakfast. I pulled my robe from the back of a dining room chair we kept in the bedroom and moved to the kitchen to make coffee. I was happy to get a jump on the day’s work.
The kitchen door looks out at the same carport as our bedroom window. Before I turned on the kitchen light I pulled the curtain back and looked boldly outside. I was up. If someone wanted my attention I could give it to them. I saw no one.