Every time they see me, whether they just met me or they've known me for years, they always look at the scar. Ask questions, wonder how it got there... there have been too many rumors to count... but I can never tell them. I'll never tell anyone.

It's all because of that night. That horrible night. After all these years, it still plays in my head, like a movie, over and over again. My entire life, after that night, I've tried to convince myself it was a dream, even though I know inside it wasn't... And every night, every freaking night, it replays. And I can't help it.

Tonight is no different.

"Come on, come on, it's just a dream, it's not going to happen tonight, tonight is different..." I say to myself quietly. I don't care if my mom hears me. Anything to get my mind off of that night.

It doesn't work.

Suddenly, the room grows larger... well, actually, I grow smaller. I look down at my hands. They're suddenly tiny, like the hands of a six-year-old. My breathing becomes shallow.

I know what happens next.

The room, filled with a night-light, a lamp, and a closet light, all go out. I scream, even though I try not to. Trust me, I've tried to change the course of this, but it's a memory, and I'm just reliving it.

"DADDY! DADDY! THE LIGHTS! THEY'RE GONE!" I scream, hyperventilating. Suddenly, there's a breeze, even though the window isn't open. A shiver runs down my spine. I'm sobbing, weeping, yelling and screaming, wishing the lights would come back on-

"There there. No need to cry." A voice whispers. I stop crying immediatey. The voice... it's comforting. "Mommy?" I squeak. A noise, much like a "Mmmhmm," comes from across the room, in the darkness. "Why can't you come over here, Mommy?" I ask. "Because I'll trip and hurt myself, dear." She remarks. I shiver. "Mommy... I'm cold." I whisper, and suddenly, she laughs. Not her kindhearted laugh, either. Cruel, mechanical laughter, and suddenly, my blood runs cold. Out of the darkness comes a man. A long, slender man with white skin and no face, except for his eyes. His eyes reminded me of something like he Chesire Cat's eyes, but they're deep, bloody red. And I could see the fire and hate burning in them, the malicious glint in his eyes as he lifts up his claws. No hands, just long, ragged claws that look like bloody, overgrown toenails. He reaches out, and I try to scream, to jump up and run, to burrow under my covers, anything... but I can't. Pure terror keeps me glued to the bedsheets, as the monster grows nearer and nearer...

His face, or lack of one, is nearly touching mine. Though he has no mouth, the stench of blood and sewage stenches my nostrils. "Well, then, little one... are you afraid of the dark?" He... well, I guess he says it, but it somehow comes out without a mouth. I violently shake my head, hoping if I deny this- this thing, think it is a nightmare, a terrible dream, something, it wil leave...

He laughs a long, horrifying laugh and rakes his nails aganst his cheeks. "Well... you should be."

The screams that erupt around me are shrieking, horrifying, twisted, sympathetic... the screams are suffering, and after a few moments my scream joins them, the scratches the moster made burning and stinging and dripping blood-

My eyes snap open, still a six year old girl. I sigh with relief. It was just a dream...

Suddenly, I feel a burning. I put my hand up to my cheek... it's dripping with blood.

I come out of my trance for real, gasping and sweating. As usual, I feel my cheek. Just like last night, and the night before, and the night before, there are three fresh scratches, forming my ever-lasting scar.

All because of that one night.