I don’t remember having a dog named Muggles

Adan Men
22 min readJun 30, 2024

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When I was 23 I suffered from the worst nightmares, I would wake up in the middle of the night drenched in a cold sweat, the room spinning while faint pale light seeped into my bedroom. The grip of uneasiness grasping tightly as I gradually caught myself from the sensation of free falling and after a few minutes my breathing would slow; my heart retreating back into my chest. The whole ordeal only lasted mere minutes but in the moment the experience felt like an adventure of epic proportions, an immersion into the depths of hell. I tended to let out a slight chuckle once my soul returned back to me but that’s when I would feel it, the slimy substance of something liquid running down my hand. At first I assumed it was sweat but after turning on the lights would I see it; the drool. It was sticky, long strands of the slime stretching out as I pulled my fingers apart, droplets falling onto my bed leaving a deep gray stain and my nose stung from the horrid stench one that was similar to a rotting piece of meat.

That first night I tried brushing the bizarre occurrence to the side, rationalizing the event to nothing more than my mind playing tricks on me; just simply remembering the night wrong but when it happened the next night my stomach sank leaving me feeling as if I had swallowed my own tongue. Though, I did my best to explain it away telling myself that it was a part of my nightmare perhaps sleep paralysis, the thin thread of reality being blurred by the dream world. All that had shattered after about a week of the same thing happening and I had soon realized it was occurring at the same hour; 3:33 A.M.

It eventually got to the point that I didn’t want to sleep, afraid of waking up to that disgusting wet substance. Even worse were the bits and pieces I could remember from the reoccurring nightmare and glimpses of 2 large darken eyes staring at me; eyes that seemed to menacingly call out my name; the mental sound muffled. I began to change my sleep schedule, staying awake as long as possible; making sure to pass that abysmal hour of 3:33 to then collapse into bed around 4. This surprisingly enough worked, well, well not completely; I was left tired in the mornings. My boss threaten my job due to my lack of performance, sending me home to get some rest. I know it was suppose to be a punishment but I gleefully took the reprimand and headed home enthralled with the premise of sleep. For the first time in weeks I was able to get more than 10 hours of rest making sure to set my alarm for 2:30 am. Even though nothing ever happened to me while I was awake, I would still feel the odd sensation of being watched and for that hour I kept my bedroom door shut while remaining in bed with the lights on like some scared child.

My family could see how tired I was; fatigue melting off my face, my skin more sickly than usual. The dark puffy bags that weighed under my eyes concerned my mother. It had been some time since I moved out of my parents house, living alone in the inner city for the last 2 years and not a week would go by without my mom calling to check up on me. Once she noticed that I was no longer taking her calls she made the 2 hour drive to visit and that’s when she saw the crumbling form of her once vibrant boy. I explained to her of why I didn’t want to sleep, telling her about the nightmares; the drool and those eyes. To my astonishment she laughed, brushing aside all of my worries telling me that this has happened before. That I had the same problem when I was a boy, no more than 3 years old — that I complained about a night visitor. She told me it was because of our family dog Muggles, that he would sleep in my room panting all night as I slept, occasionally licking my hand.

She told me that it was quite traumatizing to me for whatever reason because I complained about those same dreams for the next few years. I asked her why couldn’t I remember any of it or better why couldn’t I remember Muggles? She didn’t have a good answer only telling me eventually I grew out of it, that the only other time I had a similar issue was when I was 13. She remembered on one of those nights I was so terrified that I slept in their room next to their bed for a week. I was left confounded of how none this rang a bell, my mind clouted with a haze of uncertainty but, a bit of relief surged through me understanding that apparently this had happen before, meaning it will come to an end. My mother could see that gleam of reassurance sparkle in my eye and she smiled caressing my cheek with her hand, sending a wave of warmth down my body. She left shortly after that, telling me to remember it wasn’t real, that Muggles never would of hurt me. I felt comforted but didn’t take any chances and I stayed awake until 4am, promptly falling into a deep sleep.

For the next few days I spent time writing down any memories I could remember from my childhood, trying to recall any moments that would of been traumatizing. I read online that sometimes our minds block out negative experiences, something about denial or coping; it was psychological mumbo jumbo but I guess there was some merit to it. I called my older sister and asked her about Muggles, asked what type of dog was he or was it a she? My sister didn’t tell me much, she was already in her late teens when I was 3 so she didn’t pay much attention to my existence, I was a what you would call a surprise to my parents and I could just picture the expressions on both of their faces when finding out I was expected; them being in their late 40’s.

My father didn’t hide his disappointment when it came to me, he didn’t mistreat me or anything like that, it was more of his lack of enthusiasm when it came to anything I did. Winning the spelling bee in 3rd grade wasn’t much of a big deal since both my sister and older brother had done the same, so I guess by the time it got to me he was a bit jaded. Sometimes I would catch him just looking at me with a stare of indifference; almost of intrigue, as if something was going to pop out of me at any moment. I tried talking to him but all he ever gave me was the typical,

“Sure I’m proud of you son” kind of responses.

Like I said he wasn’t mean or abusive just distant, a floundering spirit that watched me grow from afar while my mother did the nurturing.

After a few weeks I grew tired, dark rings festered under my eyes, the gravity of merely keeping my eyes open felt as if each lid was holding up the Earth itself. It was obvious I needed more sleep my sanity dangling on a thread, so I decided to give into my fear and indulge. I figured perhaps I could remember more about that nightmare, maybe it had clues of that dam dog; Muggles. In the back of my mind I created some fictional creature that morphed in and out of reality taking the shape of a dog; a dog that apparently once belonged to me. I thought this entity was haunting me, licking my hand only when I slept; maybe I needed to be asleep when ‘it’ came, something similar to how ghost hunters only saw apparitions when it was dark. I decided to keep a small notebook next to my bed with a pen, ready to jot down any memories.

As you can guess I awoke in the middle of the night, it was that dreadful time — 3:33am. Before turning on the lights I could already feel the squishy fluid swimming around my hand, globs of drool slopping down unto my bed; my heart beat accelerated and I could feel tears form on the edges of my eyes. I anticipated this, but in my inner thoughts I was hopeful that just maybe it was over, that this curse had passed and I would awake to the sun slipping into my room. Reality hit hard and I knew there was no escape, no easy way out other than trying to solve what was happening to me and that’s when I remembered the notebook but more prolific I remembered the dream. It was still fresh on my mind and I quickly reached over to my night stand writing down every detail I could still remember.

“Large dark eyes, reflective black skin, it climbs”.

It’s funny how the memory of a dream can fade so quickly, it’s like mist that dissipates when trying to grab a piece of it’s softness. There was one last thing I wrote down before forgetting, something I felt was important and that was the sound ‘it’ made, it would hum.

I quit my job shortly after that night, I needed to get away but to where was the real question; this curse was following me, I figured no location would be safe. There was only one place that I could think of when it came to shelter and that was home. I knew my parents wouldn’t have liked it, well, at least my dad— my mom on the other hand would be through the roof with glee — but I decided to move back home for the time being until figuring out what was wrong with me; or at least until this episode of madness passed. To my bewilderment both my parents welcomed me with open arms and to be honest I was put off by my fathers demeanor; he was acting too nice, like someone that says all the right things during small talk.

I took my old room, Nirvana posters still hung on the wall while the cheap glow in the dark sticker stars that I stuck on my ceiling years ago remained in orbit; it was all how I remembered. I explained to my mother that I just needed rest, that the night terrors where overwhelming, she hushed me before I could completely finish what I was saying; hugging me. I felt so loved that first day and I questioned why I had ever left home in the first place. I suppose we all leave, that’s what baby birds do; fly away and start the cycle of life all over.

That first night I was hesitant to fall asleep, I stayed awake till practically the hour but then gradually slipped into sleep without realizing it. I awoke to the smell of bacon sizzling, I had slept without any interruptions, no slime or headaches but more delightful I felt rested. I headed downstairs where my mother was preparing breakfast and I was elated to tell her about my night, that I had finally gotten some sleep. Of course she was happy for me, telling me that all I needed was home to remedy any illness and for whatever reason those words got me thinking; if home really was the answer then why did my nightmares originate here? After breakfast I asked my mother if there were any pictures of Muggles? Maybe seeing it would trigger more memories, she told me that there were none, that sadly any pictures we had of it was destroyed a long time ago. I questioned why they would of been destroyed, but she told me that my father accidently spilled paint thinner on the boxes that housed any pictures of Muggles. In the moment I felt like telling my mother how convenient that was, but stopped myself, instead I asked another question on something I picked up on my mother saying, she had called the dog ‘it’; did she not remember if it was a male or female? This question actually caused her to pause for a moment, digesting it thoroughly as I could see her eyes draw upwards with deep thought. She then laughed and said that she couldn’t remember, that obviously it was one or the other.

The second night was much like the first, though this time I was more confident at getting sleep so I went to bed early, I didn’t remember dreaming just waking up once again to sizzling bacon. This went on for about week, nothing eventful happened my father still pretended to be happy with my visit. Then a strange epiphany hit me like a bag of bricks, the nightmare of that entity seemed to be gradually vanishing, I had to keep reading my notes of what I saw,

“Large dark eyes, reflective black skin, it climbs”.

This was the only way for me not to forget, it was as if someone was pulling the dreams right out of my head and even though I felt rested I still felt disturbed but in a different way. With my life now returned to normal I decided to head back into the city, telling my folks I was leaving but right before doing so I went to talk to my father; alone. He was still masquerading around as this jovial parent, the facade made my stomach turn, I ignored his smiles and asked him about the dog. He stumbled over his words, almost surprised that I would bring that up with him, he told me that I loved that dog that it had a habit of licking my hand while I slept. I nodded along, listening intently and that’s when I noticed something about my father, there was something in his mouth and I only saw it for a split second but it looked like a finger; a black one. I closed my eyes tightly trying to wash away the delusion, but something was not right I could feel it in the pit of my gut. The way he kept talking without saying anything, just gibber jabber, mindless dribble. I kept staring at his mouth, there was something in there, I was sure of it but after awhile I think my father noticed my intense stare and he began looking away while talking. Maybe I was going in insane, perhaps I had permanent brain damage from this on going sleep dilemma. Right before leaving our conversation I asked him if he remembered what type of dog Muggles was, his eyes widen and he remained quiet for several seconds, a type of guilt ran off of his face and for a moment I saw his lip quiver from unease. I then knew there something going on and whatever it was I couldn’t trust my father. He told me he couldn’t remember and I left it at that.

Before leaving I took a box of some old drawings that I kept hidden behind my bed, it was my secret stash of artwork, things only for my eyes and I figured I would review them when getting home. My mother was sad to see me leave while my father well, he no longer looked so joyful, his eyes interrogated me with suspicion offering out a hand shake to bid me farewell. Entering the city I felt the subtle stench of nausea form in my nose, the contrast of flourishing trees being taken over by monumental skyscrapers was daunting, almost as if the grim reality of insomnia awaited my return and the endless windows from each building acted as eyes all watching me return as I drove past.

My apartment stood the same, it felt cold and suffocating, almost immediately did I miss my parents home. I swallowed my trepidation and prepared some dinner, scouring through the fridge for anything edible. I decided to go through the box of artwork shortly after and I sat on my bed in hopes of finding some insight to that dog. Nostalgia washed over me with each drawing, some were of me and my family standing in front of our home with a cartoonish sun blazing above. As I put aside each drawing I saw the bright vibrant colors slowly shift into darker tones, the sun no longer yellow but a dark red, the trees withering and I sat confounded not remembering any of these morbid drawings. Finally after forcing myself to continue looking through the box did I find what I was looking for, I found Muggles.

It was a drawing of me asleep in bed while this blob of darkness lingered at my hand, it look nothing like a dog or even an animal for that matter. I turned to the next drawing it being similar, a vague doodle of black lines sitting next to my bed as I slept. Sometimes that black thing would be on the wall or even above my bed, there must of been several drawings depicting this creature and I knew this entity was never my dog. The last one was the most vivid, the sight running chills down my spine, it was a closeup of it’s face; the face that I have been dreaming of. I don’t know how long I stared at the drawing but the sun was out when I first began rifling through the box and before I knew it darkness had wrapped itself around my walls. I kept having flashes while looking at the drawings, memories some how flooding back in, me awakening to that thing licking my hand and my father screaming. It was like an endless loop, three memories flickering over and over,

‘licking, screaming and eyes, licking, screaming and eyes, licking, screaming and eyes, licking screaming and eyes, licking screaming and eyes’.

What the hell was happening to me, I threw the drawing to the floor and I got up from bed running to the bathroom to vomit.

The drawing was of a face, but it wasn’t of my father or a dog, but some “creature” and I use the word “creature” half heartedly because this thing was something else. In my childish hand I drew the figure with 2 large glistening eyes, an oval shaped head but the thing that haunted my attention the most were it’s teeth; they weren’t actually teeth but mandibles protruding from it’s face; mandibles that looked similar to that finger I saw in my fathers mouth. I lost myself in deep thought pondering as to why I couldn’t remember any of it, why in my lost memory was my father screaming? I went over to my couch and sat for a few hours while drinking a beer trying to make sense of the whole thing, glimpses of those abysmal eyes staring at me from every dark corner. I needed to get rid of the drawing, I wanted to burn it but I decided tossing it out the window was the better option. I turned on all the lights to my apartment, making sure any shadow that danced in my periphery faded only leaving a space of certitude. I kept drinking, I ran through a 12 pack without a blink; pounding one right after the other. Eventually I fell asleep on the couch, my head leaned to the side spilling all of the built up saliva unto my shirt, I’m pretty sure I was quite a sight and while my body lay limp in the real world I dreamt of my father in the realm of slumber.

I didn’t know if it was a dream or maybe a memory, it was of me in bed half way asleep as my father stepped into my room, the light from the hallway over cast his face, blurring out any facial features. He stood at the doorway just watching me sleep, making a weird humming noise while his head violently trembled. I couldn’t move but a sense of dread erupted in me and I could practically feel my chest cave into my stomach. I wanted to call out to him, ask him what he was doing but I remained terrified; frozen — unable to even mutter a word. That’s when I a heard a whimper; a whimper of what sounded like a dog. Soon I felt something aggressively grabbing my hand, redirecting my gaze to the side of the bed and that’s when I realized in the dream I wasn’t a child but my adult self. I then heard the sound of little feet scuttering on the wall as if something was climbing and then I woke up.

It was still dark out, I was trying to catch my balance as the alcohol still coursed through my body and as my vision adjusted to reality I noticed all the lights to my apartment were off; I was thrown into pitch darkness. Then that sound of scuttering little feet echoed throughout my living room, it causing me to jump to my feet. I looked around but saw nothing, my eyes trying to make sense of the sound. I reached over and turned on the small lamp that sat on a corner table; the shadows that menacingly paraded around in my periphery faded. Then those small tapping sounds bellowed out once again but only this time I could hear it was coming from around the couch.

I slowly crept closer out stretching my neck to get a peek of what the noise was, my head still swirling from the booze. I gulped heavy holding my breathe thinking some nightmarish beast would be staring up at me but I saw nothing; just an empty floor. By this point I felt as if I was loosing my marbles, the nightmares and the bizarre wet hand was too much too handle and that’s when I noticed the slip of paper protruding from underneath the couch. There indeed was something there after all and I crouched down to retrieve it. To my horror it was the drawing of that creature, the one I had thrown out the window only hours ago; something brought it back.

After that I was back to my old miserable self, not sleeping a wink; making sure to stay awake as much as possible. I guess you could say my life was in shambles, crumbling to the lowest of low’s and I only wished that whatever this episode of misery was would soon be over. It seemed like my sleep issues happened every 10 years so that meant there was an end in sight and I wouldn’t have to worry about this until I was 33, though the thought made me shiver since the time that I would always awake to was 3:33; making me think turning 33 was the ultimate goal for whatever haunted me.

Thoughts of my father acting so strangely infested my mind for the incoming days, remembering how his words sounded somehow rehearsed and that finger wiggling in the back of his throat, was I really going crazy or was there something more to what was happening? I decided to keep the drawing of that entity, not wanting to throw it out again thinking that some how whatever created those tiny steps before would only bring it back to me, like some grotesque game of fetch. I stashed the drawing in the bottom of clutter I kept in the closet, hoping to get it out of my sight but somehow I felt those devilish eyes watching me through the pile of mess; it’s stare lingering on my every move. I knew that I couldn’t wait any longer, that if I was going to get through whatever torment I was suffering from it was going to be through my own will. So I devised a plan, one that probably didn’t make much sense but in my sleep deprived state it sounded genius.

When I was a kid my father put me in little league, I wasn’t the best catcher or even a fast runner but one thing I did seem to posses was tremendous strength when it came to batting. I was the only kid that could hit a homerun in any given game and back then my father was full of life, celebrating my small victories. This was probably the only time I can remember feeling close to him and after hitting a walk off game winner he gifted me with a Lousiville Slugger that was passed down to him from his father. It was beautiful, the wood feeling natural in my hand and I remember fantasizing of how many homers I would hit in the incoming years but as time passed my relationship with my father changed, his interest in me dwindling. My excitement for the game gradually shifted and I threw my grandfathers slugger in the closet; where it remained for years until bringing it to my apartment out of the sheer thought of memories. Now that same wooden bat had a new purpose; one that was going to save my life and sanity.

I sat in bed the next night, watching the time on my phone slowly change; waiting for the usual hour to approach. I began writing down all of the events I had experienced not knowing if what I had planned was going to work. I made sure that I was fully awake, I must of drank about 3 red bulls after midnight preparing myself for what was to come and as 3am approached I put away my notebook, turned off the lights and lay in bed. As the darkness fluttered around me I pondered of what my father was doing and I held my blankets tightly as it swaddled me into the perfect cocoon. Next to me in bed was my grandfathers Louisville slugger it caressing the side of my body, it’s stiffness making me shift around. I was going to pretend to sleep, hoping whatever Muggles was would come to me as it always had and when it did I was going to kill it.

Even though my clock was digital I could still hear the second hand of an analog clock thundering in my head, my anxiety spiking higher than Mount Everest. Time seemingly to slow while I watched it expire, I needed this nightmare to finally end; for this monster to go away. When the time hit 3:30 I contemplated if I was doing the right thing, what if demon was too strong, what if I only angered it or what if it never came and perhaps I really was just imagining everything. As I kept thinking of such things I heard those same scuttering taps from a few days earlier, it was coming from outside my bedroom and that’s when I closed my eyes pretending to be asleep. I breathed heavy mimicking the natural circadian rhythm I would have and I just waited. I made it easy, I outstretched my hand on the outside of the bed, it hovering over the floor for easy access. With my other hand I cradled the Lousiville Slugger.

I slightly opened one of my eyes and could see a silhouette standing at my door, similar to my dreams. The figure had the shape of my father that was for sure and like my dream it began to shake it’s head violently; swaying around like some broken marionette; though I remained still. I then saw the dark figure tilt it’s head backwards as it’s stomach began to pulsate, I could hear the sound of bones cracking; guts shifting as if the person was about to vomit. Then I noticed those ghastly fingers protruding from what I can assume was the mouth of my father. It was climbing out of him like some slug and to my horror I got to see the size of the creature. By this point I knew it was my father and I almost blew my cover by calling out to him but I held my tongue as the monster continued slithering it’s way out and soon it was free dropping my dads body to the floor like some discarded banana peel.

Then quickly that thing scurried away from sight, only leaving the sound of those little tapping feet as clues to know where it was. I kept my eyes shut only allowing my ears to follow it and I could tell it was climbing the walls. If I didn’t know better the thing was precisely over me on the ceiling most likely staring at me sleep, I gripped the slugger even tighter but held my breathe. I wanted to tremble, I wanted to scream but I knew all this had to end and soon I felt the creature licking my hand.

During games when it was my turn to bat I would get extremely nervous; to the point of me leaving the park but my father would stop me, doing his best to calm my nerves. He told me to ignore the noise, to isolate it out and the best way to do so was to slowly count to 3 but to do it in my head. My fathers words rang through as the beast kept licking my hand, I slightly cracked opened my eyes and peered through the darkness. There it was, Muggles in all it’s glory; there was the black glistening eyes with an oval shaped head but even more terrifying was it’s oversized mandibles. It was clear the thing was gnawing at my hand and I mentally prepared myself for what was to come, then counted to three. The next few minutes zipped by like a blur, I couldn’t tell you exactly what happened, all I remember is swinging and hearing the sound of glass shattering

‘crack’

then whimpering, the whimpers of what sounded like a dog.

I don’t remember how much time had passed but the next memory I have is of standing over the dead body of whatever the hell this creature was and now with the lights on I could clearly make out all it’s features. To make it plain it simple it was a giant bug, a monstrous insect that only lived in the depths of hell and some how it made it’s way to earth; to me. Now the bastard was dead, white fluid flowing out of it’s cracked skull. I didn’t know what to make of it and during this time I had forgotten about my fathers body, that was until he started coughing; him coming back to life. He was disheveled, mesmerized to the whole situation not knowing exactly what had happened but aware of coming to my apartment. Apparently Muggles had the ability to take possession of my fathers body only leaving him as a passenger in his own skin. He was relieved that the beast had been slayed and we hugged for minutes both jovial to it being dead.

My father filled in all the missing gaps to my memory, telling me when I was 3 years old he would hear me crying in the middle of the night; complaining about our family dog licking my hand. Since we didn’t have a family dog my father knew it was something else, so he waited in the middle of the night to see what was happening and that’s when he saw Muggles, it left my father in shock seeing such a thing and he screamed out in pure devastation only for the monster to attack him. It seemed as if the insect somehow burrowed it’s way into my father; taking control of his body. He said that he could feel the beast inside of him but somehow it hibernated only revealing itself every 10 years. Apparently the creature had the ability to control the thoughts of people, making my mother and siblings think we actually had a family dog. Throughout the years my dad grew a connection with Muggles and knew just how much it desired me. It wanted me not my father but used him as a vessel. He said that there was something about me it detected long ago and it was going to wait as long as it took.

Well now the monster is dead so I guess you could say I won. At least I thought I won, all this happened when I was 23 but now I just recently celebrated my 33rd birthday. The nightmares haven’t come back, but I feel that something is off, as if I can hear a voice; maybe voices? I always remember my fathers words of ignoring the noise and I count to 3 but even then the words only get louder. I don’t know exactly what is happening to me but, the other day I felt a tickling sensation in the back of my throat and I ran to the bathroom to stare at myself in the mirror. I saw something, something that looked wickedly familiar; I saw fingers in the back of my mouth. I don’t know what that creature that went by Muggles wanted with me but whatever it was it has affected me, maybe I am turning in to it or perhaps somehow it lives inside of me; maybe that’s what it was doing when licking my hand. Whatever the case I am documenting everything, if I live or die I guess doesn’t matter just know if someone tells you about having a dog you don’t remember, understand it might of been Muggles.

Thank you for reading :)

Copyright Adan Mendez (all rights reserved)

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Adan Men

If horror is your jam then my stories will have you on the edge of your seat, get ready to be enthralled into the world of the unexpected and unusual.