Don’t Let It In

📅 Published on March 30, 2021

“Don’t Let It In”

Written by Brandon Faircloth
Edited by Craig Groshek
Thumbnail Art by Craig Groshek
Narrated by N/A

Copyright Statement: Unless explicitly stated, all stories published on CreepypastaStories.com are the property of (and under copyright to) their respective authors, and may not be narrated or performed, adapted to film, television or audio mediums, republished in a print or electronic book, reposted on any other website, blog, or online platform, or otherwise monetized without the express written consent of its author(s).

🎧 Available Audio Adaptations: None Available

ESTIMATED READING TIME — 11 minutes

Rating: 8.80/10. From 5 votes.
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“Please let me in.  I’m so cold.”

Growing up, my best friend was Matthew Ramsey.  He was a year older than me but still in my grade—not because he was stupid, but his father had died when he was in the fourth grade, and for a few months Matt was having a lot of problems at home and at school.  When he got held back and put in my class, we became fast friends, and it wasn’t long before I was spending more time at his house than my own.

Matt’s mom was always nice, but she was also working most of the time, so that meant we wound up hanging out with Matt’s uncle Gene more than anyone else.  He left us to our own devices most of the time, but if we were having a sleepover and Matt’s mom had a late shift, Gene would come over and keep an eye on us until she got home.

Those nights are some of my favorite memories of childhood.  Hanging out with my best friend while his cool uncle cooked us hamburgers and told us stories he’d lived or heard during twenty years of traveling the world in the army.  He was retired on disability when I knew him, and just looking at the pot-bellied, grey-haired man swigging a beer while absently poking at the grill, I had a hard time believing he’d ever been a soldier, much less the globe-trotting adventurer he told about in his stories.

But when he settled down and started talking, everything seemed to magically change.  Unlike a lot of adults, he seemed to understand and appreciate what we wanted to hear and were interested in.  Tales of battle and exotic lands, guns and tanks, interesting people and dangerous creatures.  As we spent time with him, I felt sure that he’d run out of stories, but he never did.  In fact, in the last years I knew him, he started telling us about some of the stranger things he’d ever seen or heard of.

If it was someone else, I’d have immediately written these stories off as fantasy—increasingly elaborate and sensational stories to entertain his maturing and potentially jaded audience of two.  But Gene wasn’t really that kind of guy.  He was a good storyteller, but he was honest, and I never got the sense that he was embellishing anything beyond putting a slight polish on a potentially dull tale.  And while I can’t say for sure that much of what he told us wasn’t B.S., what seems clear to me now is that one of his stories probably saved my life.

This was when I was about twelve, and Matt had just turned thirteen.  We were going to camp out in the woods right behind Matt’s house, and Gene had come over to hang out until we went to bed.  He’d made a small fire in the pit in the back yard, and after dinner we all sat around it, staring into the fire while he told us about the time he’d spent stationed up in Alaska.

He said for the most part it was just cold and boring—the towns up there were small, and the people, while pleasant enough, tended to keep to themselves.  And the land was beautiful, but in an alien, almost hostile way that made him pine for the warm, dry hills of Arizona where he’d been stationed for years before this latest assignment.

His job there wasn’t even interesting.  Just handling requisitions and hanging out with his boss, who spent most of his time drunk or asleep.  Still, he told us, when his boss was awake and not too far gone, he was a pretty cool guy.  He’d tell Gene stories about the people up there—local histories, myths and legends.  And it was from him that Gene had heard about the woman that would sometimes come to your door, asking to be let inside because it was so very cold.

“The way my boss told it, he was working at a weather outpost north of Anchorage when a big snowstorm came in.  He had supplies for a few days, but by the third night he was starting to get nervous.  He’d lived up north for a few months by that point, but this was the first time he’d felt really trapped by the weather.  Between the increasing snow and the isolation, he admitted to letting out a scream when he heard a knock at the door.

“My boss wasn’t no rocket scientist, but he wasn’t a fool, neither.  He knew no one was around for twenty miles or more, and the odds of someone being out in that kind of weather at night…it just made no sense.  His first thought was that it was someone come to relieve him for some reason, but as he approached the door, he heard what sounded like a young woman’s voice on the other side.

“‘Please let me in.  I’m so cold.’

“This threw him off.  There were no young female enlisted locally that he knew of, and the more he thought, he realized he would have gotten a message beforehand if someone was coming up tonight.  So who could this be? Heart pounding, he answered.

“‘Ma’am, who are you?’

“‘I’m cold and lost.  I got lost in the storm.  Please let me in.’

“It was so strange, but she sounded scared, and if he left her out there for much longer, she was apt to freeze to death.  Still, two feet of snow had fallen since he’d cleared the front door earlier in the day.  If he was going to get her in, he needed to go out there with a light and shovel and clear the way.

“‘Okay.  Give me just a minute, and I’ll be out there.’

“He put on his outerwear and headed up the ladder to the roof hatch that was mainly used for accessing the equipment up top and when the snow got too high to use the main door.  He told me it really was bitterly cold, the coldest he could ever remember it being, though some of that was because he was so scared.

“He told me that part of that was him being scared for the girl, but only part.  He said another part of him could sense something wasn’t right.  That there was something strange and dangerous beyond just the oddity of a stranger out in the midnight cold.  Said that was why he shined the light over the edge of the roof before he went down to clear the door.”

Gene gave Matt and me a nervous smile at this point, taking another sip of his beer before setting it aside.  “He said most of it was buried in the snow outside the door, but looking down he could still make out the top of something’s body.  Said it was huge, probably five hundred pounds or more, with a segmented ivory shell like a lobster and furry white spider legs that sat tensed and ready, the highest arches like small drifts just breaking the snow’s surface.  The worst part, though, was its head.  Because it wasn’t a head at all, really.  Over five feet tall and upright, the head had a slim and delicate shape covered in what looked like a dark poncho or cloak.”  Gene glanced between us as he rubbed the side of his face.  “He said he could see a face in that cloak.  A woman’s face.  The most beautiful woman he’d ever seen.”

Shifting in his chair, he went on.  “But it saw him, too.  This look he got, it was all in a couple of seconds, and by then the thing had noticed the light shining down and turned that head that looked like a woman up toward him.  He told me he’d been terrified by that point, frozen to the spot, and some part of his brain that was still working thought she would say something else to him.  Try to get him to come down.”

Gene puffed out a breath.  “But instead, it started to scream—he said the noise didn’t come from the woman’s mouth, but instead he saw puffs of snow along its body like steam escaping a pot, and the air was filled with this terrible screech.  He knew it was angry, and it was coming to get him.”

“He got going then.  Made it to the hatch, locked it behind him, and got his gun ready in case the thing made it inside.  Said he heard movement on the roof, but nothing ever tried to get through the door or the hatch. He stayed awake until sunrise and then he radioed for help, using the excuse that he’d gotten bad sick.”

Matt and I watched him wide-eyed and terrified as he gave a small laugh and shrug.  “And that was it, at least, for the most part.  They came and got him.  There was no sign of anything wrong outside, and he never told anyone above him about it.”  Gene leaned forward toward the fire. “Until one night he was in town drinking, and he buddied up to one of the locals.  They were shooting the breeze for a while, and eventually he got comfortable enough that he told the guy about what had happened up at the weather station.  Told me his drinking buddy got real sober real quick.  Told him he was real lucky to be sitting there able to talk about it at all.”

I waved my hand at Gene like I was in class.  “So this dude knew what it was?”

Gene gave an uncertain nod.  “Maybe, at least a little.  Guy told him there wasn’t some fancy name for it, but it was just something strange and deadly that lived up there.  Maybe other places, too.  He’d heard a few stories over the years, and he had some grandpa or whatever that claimed to have seen one.  Some people said it was an evil spirit.  Others some kind of animal we don’t know about or understand.  But whatever it was, it was smart.  Smart as a person and able to talk to you.  To trick you.  My boss just called it The Liar, and he said he’d gotten that from his buddy.”

“I figured it was because it had that lure, that part of itself that it could make look and sound like a person.  But he said no.  It was because, according to what he’d been told, the thing had certain rules it followed.  It only preyed on things that invited it, that had been fooled by it to one extent or another.  And whatever it said, it was always a lie.  Always.”

He pointed his finger at me and then at Matt.  “Now that might sound obvious, but it’s actually a pretty useful thing to remember.  Because the way I understand it, it can’t tell the truth.  And it’s compelled to talk, to lure, to try and trick you into letting it in so it can get you.  So if you ask it questions the right way—things it can’t not answer and things that give away its lie, you can figure out what it is without ever opening your door.”

Gene sat back and gave a grin.  “I just hope nothing comes scratching at y’all’s tent tonight.”

I hadn’t thought about Gene in some time until three nights ago.  Matt was diagnosed with leukemia at fourteen and was gone two years later, and in the twenty years since I haven’t seen or spoken to his family over a couple of times on the internet.  And yet three nights ago, as I sat cold and panicked on the side of a dark road, Matt’s uncle and that story came flooding back to me.

I’d been driving in the worst snow I’d ever seen, much less tried traveling through, when I felt my car starting to slip on the road for what felt like the hundredth time.  The snowstorm was unusual for where I live, and I didn’t have snow tires or chains, but I was driving as slow and cautious as I thought the situation allowed.  My wife was having contractions three hours away, and while I knew she’d already been checked-in at the hospital, I wanted to be there as soon as I could get there safely.

But I was an idiot.  When the car hit a patch of ice, I overcorrected and slid off into a ditch.  I was on a highway, but it was the middle of the night in a snowstorm, and I hadn’t seen another car for at least half an hour.  I tried to get the car back out on my own, but all that got me was wet and cold.  Cursing, I called for a wrecker, finally getting one the third number I tried.  They were coming, but it would be about four hours based on the weather, my location, and the calls ahead of me.  Looking at the gas gauge, I decided to run the car for just ten more minutes to build up some warm air and then sit in the dark for a while to conserve fuel.

Shivering, I tried to call the hospital to check on my wife and get her a message as to what had happened, but I couldn’t get the call to go through.  I had plenty of charge left, but where I’d had three bars just a few moments before, now I was down to one bar that flickered like a dying candle flame.  As I watched, it went out one last time and then didn’t return.  Maybe if I turned it off and turned it back…

“Please let me in.  I’m so cold.”

I let out a scream and looked over at the driver’s side window.  Staring in was a small boy, his dark eyes wide with pleading terror as they met mine.  “Please, mister.  Please let me in.”  I could see what looked like snot frozen on his upper lip, and his pale blue lips were trembling as he begged me for help.  My God, how had he gotten out here?  I needed to get him inside, turn on the car again, and then…

I suddenly had a distant memory spark in the recesses of my mind.  The orange glow of a fire pit lighting Gene’s face as he told us about something that hunted out in the cold and the dark.  The Liar.

I looked back at the kid.  This was ridiculous.  That story wasn’t possible, and this child was going to freeze to death if I didn’t hurry up and do something.  Yeah, he looked like he had a hooded jacket of some kind, but it was well below freezing out there, and if…

Swallowing, I smiled at the pale little boy staring in.

“How did you get out there?”

The boy stared at me for a moment.  “My mom.  She’s got bad sugar and fell asleep.  I couldn’t wake her up.  I went to get help, but I got…” He was crying now, pressing a small hand against the glass.  What was I waiting for?  I unlocked the car, but I still hesitated to open the door.  I thought back to the story Gene had told.  The thing was called The Liar because it had to lie.  It just wanted to trick you, but if you asked the right question, you could see through it.

Taking a deep breath, I looked away from the boy. “What’s your name?”

“M-Matthew.  People call me Matt.  Please let me in.”

I felt like I’d been punched in the stomach, but when I looked up, the kid just looked worried and scared, not like he’d just said the name of my dead childhood friend.  It was a coincidence, and I had to stop this and help him.  My hand was on the latch, but I still hesitated.  If Gene’s story was real, what kind of question would work?

“Are you a little boy…er, a little human boy?”

The boy’s eyebrows went up slightly.  “Yeah. Of course.”

Wait, that was dumb.  If he was lying, he’d say yes.  If he was telling the truth, he’d say yes.  So that didn’t help.

“Um, okay.”  I was running out of time to waste on this.  I could ask him if he wasn’t a little boy, but it was the same problem, wasn’t it?  If he was a little boy telling the truth, he’d say no.  If he was a monster that had to lie, he’d also say no.  It was clear I just needed to grow a spine and open the door.

“Please.  I’m getting sleepy, and it scares me.  I’m so cold.”

Shuddering, I found the latch again, determined to finally open the door and let the boy in.  Yet in spite of that, I heard myself asking another question.

“You’re not lying to me just to get me to open the door, are you?”  I hesitated at the latch, waiting for him to be confused by the oddly worded question or tell me no. Instead, there was a moment of silence, and when I looked up, I could see the boy’s lips were pressed into a thin line.

“Yes.”

I frowned, taking my hand away again.  “Yes, you’re not lying to me, or yes, you are?”

His lips began to tremble again.  “Please let me in.  I’m so cold.”

I needed to think.  Him saying yes could mean anything.  It was more how he’d reacted, almost like he was angry at a sign of being caught.  Still, that wasn’t proof of anything.  I needed to just…

“Are you outside my car right now?”

When I met his eyes this time, I thought they seemed darker.  Colder.  “What?  Please let me in.”

I felt a thrill of fear skitter up my back.  “Answer my question, please.  Are you outside my car right now?”

The boy’s sniffling stopped as a hard, cruel smile curled up the corners of his mouth.  “No.”

Then suddenly, he was gone.  I saw a blur of motion in the dark, and heard the rustling of some distant brush as something large pushed its way into the woods, but there was no other sign of the child or any other intruder as I sat alone in the freezing dark.

After a couple of minutes, I got a cell signal back and checked on Peggy.  She was doing fine so far, and they’d pass along my message that I’d be there soon.  An hour later, the wrecker arrived, and if the man thought it was odd that I refused to get out of my car as he pulled me free from the ditch, he didn’t seem to mind.

As I write this, I’ve just gotten back from holding our new baby.  He’s a healthy little boy, and after just two days I already love him so much.  My wife asked if I wanted to name him Matthew, after my best friend growing up, but I shook my head quickly.  After she’s home and rested, I’ll try to explain why.

Besides, it doesn’t matter what we call him.  He’ll grow up good and strong, and we’ll be there to prepare him for a world that can be warm and wonderful, but also very strange and cold.  A world where not everything is as it seems, and he has to be very careful.

Especially when inviting in a stranger from the dark.

Rating: 8.80/10. From 5 votes.
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🎧 Available Audio Adaptations: None Available


Written by Brandon Faircloth
Edited by Craig Groshek
Thumbnail Art by Craig Groshek
Narrated by N/A

🔔 More stories from author: Brandon Faircloth


Publisher's Notes: N/A

Author's Notes: N/A

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Copyright Statement: Unless explicitly stated, all stories published on CreepypastaStories.com are the property of (and under copyright to) their respective authors, and may not be narrated or performed, adapted to film, television or audio mediums, republished in a print or electronic book, reposted on any other website, blog, or online platform, or otherwise monetized without the express written consent of its author(s).

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