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This happened to my brother-in-law two years ago. I am telling the story exactly the way he told me it. He appeared very genuine when telling it, and, you know what, after all that's happened to me, I have no reason not believe him. And as for you, well, you be the judge.

I was in the English army, you know? Two tours in Iraq, one in Afghanistan. My mom absolutely hated the life I chose, and I can’t really blame her. But you know what? The fucked up part is that the biggest horror I’ve ever experienced wasn’t in one of those shitty eastern places, no, it was in the very center of European “civilization”, London.

After I finished my third tour, I was awarded by the army. Apparently, surviving fighting Taliban in the mountains is reason enough to be honored. They offered me a spot in Queen’s Guard. I’m not sure how much you know about that, but in England, it’s a pretty big deal. And I hated it. I was permanently stationed at home, and as a reward for my “bravery” I was now standing in front of buildings motionless while annoying Chinese tourists tried to make me laugh. I wanted out, but the honor of the position, combined with my mother’s happiness that the biggest danger I could ever face would be an Asian tourist, I had no choice but to do it. Only if I knew I’d be safer in some cave in Kabul…

So I was stationed to work at the Tower of London few shifts a week. Shifts were usually 2-3 hours long, depending on how many people worked that day. Gotta tell you, that job gets old quickly. Drunk people who try to mess with you along with annoying tourists who think they’re the first ones ever to try to make you laugh, you just want out of your own skin. But it was a job, and it paid, so I shut the fuck up and did it.

Now, this one day, this one day in 2012 started boring as any other day. I had a few French guys trying to mess with me (god they’re the worst, and you can’t do shit unless they threaten you), then I had a group of drunk Russian chicks which wasn’t so bad. The heat was just starting to melt that fucking hat into my skull when a huge group of tourists showed up. Some sort of a guided tour, I assumed. They all did their standard spiel, pictures, “funny” faces, jokes, etc. They all had their cameras out, and they all wore same t-shirts, some Big Ben tour bullshit. All but one. I noticed her standing in the back, just staring at me. She was a good looking woman, probably early forties, really dark long hair and somewhat pale, which made me think she was English. She did seem to be the part of the tour as she stood with all of the others.

After the group finally took enough pictures and realized I wasn’t gonna laugh, they started moving on. Except the pale woman who stayed and kept watching me. Now, I’ve seen my fair share of people doing all kinds of stupid stuff to get a reaction out of me, but this was a new one. Not only that, this lady was committed. Two hours and hundreds of tourists later, she still stood in the very same spot, just staring at me. The day got pretty hot and there was no way she was comfortable, but I shit you not, she was calmer than I was. She wasn’t smiling which was strange because I assumed she was trying to make me react. About thirty minutes later, when the crowd around me slowly died out, she took a slow step towards me. Then another one. “Here we go, joke incoming” I thought as she took her sweet time walking up closer.

She stopped about two feet away from me. She was looking straight into my eyes. Tilted her head to the left, then to the right, which I assumed was her attempt at making me laugh. Then I realized this woman wasn’t here to joke around. Still standing at two feet away, she started leaning towards me. There was something just so fucked up about her mannerisms that made me extremely uneasy. She never lost an eye contact with me. She kept leaning towards me while her feet never moved. Her face stopped just short of touching mine and her position seemed unnatural at that point. Her head started slowly shaking, like when you get out of the pool or a shower and are freezing, you know?

And then, then she scared the fucking shit out of me. I had people screaming in my face, I even had a moron trying to fight me, but what she did was by far the worst. She opened her mouth as if she were about to let the loudest scream at me, but nothing came out. Nothing. She just stood there, leaned at an unnatural angle, inches from my face, letting a fucking silent scream or whatever that was out of her wide open mouth. And the speed of her shaking increased. Now, I’m not gonna lie, even though it was really hot that day, I started feeling cold and goosebumps ran under my uniform. I finally got myself together and started marching away from her – we are allowed to do a 10-step march occasionally.

When I got to the end of one way, I stopped and closed my eyes. I just wanted her to be gone when I turned around. As I made a 180 degree turn, I instantly froze. She was right in front of me; leaned all the way to my face, mouth open even wider, head now shaking uncontrollably. I was so taken aback, I was unable to react. Noise, screaming, and other stuff I can deal with, but this silent creepy fucking behavior was honestly intimidating me.

“Make way for the Queens Guard!” I yelled. We are allowed to say that when someone is in our way. She didn’t react, but she did lean farther to about an inch from my face.

“MAKE WAY FOR THE QUEEN’S GUARD” I yelled even louder, hoping my voice wouldn’t break.
She had absolutely zero regard for my orders. Unwilling to deal with the bullshit any longer, I stepped back and pointed my bayonet at her. That was our last resort for annoying tourists.

She immediately closed her mouth and leaned back into a normal human position. I wasn’t going to wait for her to do whatever she was about to do, so I started marching around her. When I got back to my post, I turned around and stood still. I couldn’t see her in the corner of my eye which gave me a huge relief. “Jesus, this fucking job” I thought to myself “I’m gonna have to look into…”

“10, 9, 8” someone whispered in my right ear. It must be her. She was behind me.

“10, 9, 8” whispers came from my left side. Goosebumps were at an all-time erect now. Hilarious, isn’t it? Combat vet, killed more people than he’d ever want to admit, is now scared to hell of some batshit tourist lady.

“10, 9, 8, 10, 9, 8, 10, 9, 8” she sped up her whispering. Then walked in front of me. “10, 9, 8, 10, 9, 8” she was now whispering incredibly fast. Actually, whispering doesn’t describe it properly. It was like yelling, but in a whisper tone, if that makes any sense. It was surreal. She leaned towards my face again, whispering those fucking numbers franticly.

I was about to break my orders. I couldn’t take it anymore. There was something fucked up about this woman, and I couldn’t deal with it.

“Ma’m,” I spoke in a voice of the biggest scared pussy, “Ma’m will you please step…”

And then, a huge group of loud tourist ran up to us. The crazy woman leaned back, still looking at me. She whispered “10, 9, 8” one more time while never losing an eye contact. Then she walked away, as slowly as she moved around me. It was so strange watching her slowly disappear into the crowd. All that was left was a strange feeling of something unnatural. That, and a group of life-saving Asian tourists. Never thought I’d be so happy to see a Nikon-snapping Chinese guy.

After my shift was done, I went into our base and told the story to a couple of guys. They all had some experience with creepy people, but never on this level. When our shift commander came, guys jokingly told him how I was “abused” on duty. He wanted some laughs, so he asked for the full story. But when I started telling what happened, he quickly lost his smile.

“Stop, stop,” he said. “Did you talk to her?”

“Sir?” I asked intrigued.

“Son, did you or did you not speak to this woman?”

I wasn’t gonna lose my weekly pay over breaking that stupid no-talking rule, so I lied. “Of course not, sir.”

He seemed to calm down. “Good. And if she ever comes back, never talk back, understood? And that goes for all of you.”

Joking atmosphere quickly died out in the break room. I was puzzled, but I was even more tired, so I decided to go home and sleep instead of worrying about crazy fucking tourists.

Next few shifts went by as boring as they were supposed to be. Woman was nowhere to be seen, and since my girlfriend was about to visit me all the way from Netherlands, I forgot about the incident.

Tuesday night around 3am, I was awoken by loud banging at the door. For some strange reason, the first thought that crossed my mind was that fucked up woman from a week ago.

“Babe, would you mind peeping through the hole to see who it is?” I lazily mumbled as I gently pushed my girlfriend. She was dead asleep; I swear nothing could wake her up. Semi-conscious, I stumbled through the hallway and to the door. “Who is it?” I muttered while peeking through the hole, but it was too dark outside. That sobered me up. “Who is it?” I asked again, but the only answer I got was louder banging.

“Fuck it” I thought as I took a deep breath and opened the door.

There are about million things I’d rather see standing in front of me at that moment. And there was only one person I did not expect to be at the door.

My girlfriend.

I was supposed to pick her up tonight.

I nearly lost all control of my legs. Thousand things raced through my mind which was having trouble comprehending what in the fuck was happening.

“Thanks for picking me up at the Heathrow, asshole,” my girlfriend said as she slammed the carryon on my chest. I was still speechless.

“So, I travel all the way from Amsterdam to see you, and you forget? Really?”

I wasn’t hearing it. I knew I was half asleep when I got up, but there WAS someone in my bed. I wasn’t dreaming for fuck’s sake.

“Stay here” I mumbled as I handed her the bag back.

“What’s wrong?”

“Just stay here.”

Not knowing where I got the courage to walk to the bedroom, I slowly made my way.

I know what you’re thinking – in movies and books, guy walks into the room and boom, its empty, right? I fucking wish.

I walked into my room and it was completely dark. But I could hear breathing. Heavy breathing. My pulse was so high I was sure I was gonna pass out, but I flipped the switch.

“7, 6, 5, 7, 6, 5” whispers came from the corner of the room where she stood. That same fucking woman. She stood almost glued to the corner of the room, her back to the wall. She was looking straight at me. And though I was sure I lost the power of speech, I managed to squeeze out a “What the fuck”.

“7, 6, 5” she said as she took the first slow step towards me. Her mouth was always wide open, as if she were letting out that damn soundless scream. Every step she’d make, she’d close her mouth enough to say “7, 6, 5”.

I couldn’t move. Nothing in this world existed besides this woman slowly walking towards me. What a creepy and unsettling feeling. Like, I wasn’t physically afraid of her, right? I could take her down – and was ready to. But this kind of fear was something foreign to me. Seemed like I was afraid for my, shit, I don’t know, soul? You know what I mean? I knew she couldn’t hurt me physically, but I was stills scared. Not to mention I fucking somehow slept in the same bed with this whatever the fuck she is.

She came incredibly close to me. The familiar lean. An inch from my face. My breathing was so irregular and loud, it was the only noise in the room.

“7, 6, 5.”

Suddenly, something about this had a strangely familiar feeling.

“WHAT THE FUCK?!” scream came from behind me.

My girlfriend.

I snapped into reality, turned around and grabbed my girl. “Run!” I yelled as we escaped the room. We ran to the kitchen where I grabbed one of those “As seen on TV” steel-cutting knives. My girlfriend was just silently weeping at my side, unable to even ask questions.

I could hear footsteps. First, I saw her shadow, then I saw her calmly walking through the hallway. Her mouth was now so unnaturally wide open, and she wasn’t looking at me anymore. She was looking at the ceiling as she slowly made her way to the door. Her head was shaking very fast. It was abso-fucking-lutely surreal, I’m telling you. I mean, just imagine, this woman, who creeped you out a week ago, is now walking through your place at 3 in the morning, staring at the ceiling with mouth impossibly wide open. Not to mention you slept next to her for who knows how long.

When she finally walked out, I ran to the door and slammed it. Girlfriend was still unable to speak. When we got ourselves together, I was afraid she’d think I cheated on her with this woman, but she didn’t. She saw that horror walk through out hallway and she knew something was wrong.

I was terrified, but I didn’t let it show. The scariest part of everything was that I had a job that required me to stand still and not react to my surroundings. I told my girlfriend about my experience with this fucked up woman, but I didn’t mention her “10, 9, 8, 7, 6, 5” whispers. I didn’t want to scare her any further.

Because , what could those whispers be if not a countdown?

===
Credits

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