November’s Full Moon Story: The Hello Man

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.

The Hello Man

“Hello.”

He spoke clearly, in a conversational tone. In an instant I awoke completely. A muscle in my back tensed and I shivered.

“Hello.”

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.

“Hello.”

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.

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4 thoughts on “November’s Full Moon Story: The Hello Man”

  1. There’s a technical term for that, hearing voices in twilight sleep. It’s happened to me quite a few times, usually accompanied by the sound of a closing door, which seems like it should mean something, but so far…

    1. I never can remember the technical term, though, is what I meant to say eventually.

      I feel like there’s a last line missing, but it may be just my genre expectations and general intolerance for ambiguous endings. Either “She never did.” or “We’ve been surprisingly happy since then.” or something like that.

      1. Yeah. That may be it. The ending stood out to me to when I re-read it, but no solutions came immediately to mind. Dropping in a concluding passage might help. Thanks for the feedback!

    2. Thanks. That prompted me to look it up.

      I’ve known the word hypnogogia for years (that twilight state as you’re falling asleep), but I learned there’s a different term for when you’re waking up: hypnopompic – That accompanies the process of awakening from sleep.

      F. W. H. Myers Human Personality (1903) I. p. xvii To similar illusions accompanying the departure of sleep, as when a dream-figure persists for a few moments into waking life, I have given the name hypnopompic.

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