This incident is real. At first, I was not going to talk about it, fearing that people would consider me insane. But the periodic hospital stays due to the disability of my heart did not affect the state of my soul and allowed me to talk with the doctors. I spoke about what happened to me to my doctor, and she, not at all surprised, explained that this happens between relatives and between people who are psychologically connected. So read and tremble!

That day passed as usual. Early in the morning, I hurried off to the company bus. The firm where I worked was far beyond the city, and employees were transported by service bus. To be late for the vehicle meant to be late for work even more, so I preferred to come to the place of boarding in advance, so that I was not cursing afterwards chasing after it. At eight zero-zero, I was already at my workplace. I worked as a programmer in an organization that supplied electricity to the south of the Voronezh region. As you know, the work of programmers is mental, so at the end of the working day, I did not feel physical fatigue and therefore could spend a couple of evening hours on hard, everyday work. Shortly before that, my wife and I decided to build a garage.

The construction went neither shakily nor easily. My father-in-law was a wonderful mason; he laid the masonry without any adaptations, by eye, but as if on a chunk, without flaw. The right angles rose sharply vertically, bricks lay evenly and horizontally.

But the man suffered from alcoholism, and in his 50’s, he looked like an powerless old man whom I had never seen sober. He didn’t get drunk until the blackout, but he was tipsy every day from morning to evening.

I came after him after work. On the way, I bought him a pack of Primas”: his passion for smoking was the same as his passion for drinking. We came and got to work. My father-in-law performed only brickwork. I did all the ancillary work, kneading and feeding the solution, bringing bricks up, and so on, making up for the physically inactive work of a programmer. My father-in-law smoked at this time. We put a few masonry, no more than five, but even with that minimum, we barely had time to complete what was planned before dark.

So it was that day. It began to get dark. I washed the tool, put it in the pantry, and we sat down to dinner. The wife put out a plate of borscht, poured a glass of wine for her father; we bought him a bottle of inexpensive fortified wine, otherwise he refused to help us. He drank, had a snack, and I took him home. He took the bottle with the remaining wine with him.

He lived not far from us, but the road along a dark, rural street did not allow one to develop speed; I had to drag along in second gear. A night round trip took a little more than an hour.

My wife and children went to bed early, and when I returned home, they already lay in their beds. I took a shower and went to bed in the back room. We had a four-room apartment with a long corridor, and in that room, I could read books, newspapers, and magazines before going to bed, without disturbing my household.

My eyes began to stick together. I turned off the light and fell asleep.

I woke up with the feeling that someone was looking at me.

I opened my eyes and saw a vague figure standing next to my bed. Pale and almost transparent at the edges, the figure thickened toward the middle and changed color, becoming bright red in the center. In shape, it resembled a man, and, although it shone, the light was somehow strange; it did not radiate, the room was dark. To top it all, the upper part of the figure had a roundness resembling a human head, in the lower part of which an almost square chin with a dimple was clearly visible.

Both this chin and this dimple seemed very familiar to me; it hurt me terribly because I couldn’t remember who they belonged to. There was terrible fear in me, and therefore I couldn’t remember where I saw them. Fear was some kind of animal; it did not look like fear, say, before an important exam, and did not even look like fear of death.

Before this incident, people had tried to kill me three times, namely and concretely me. I remember all three of these cases as if they were yesterday. Thereafter, my brain worked clearly, and my strength surged, which partly helped me to avoid death, but partly then, I was just lucky; I believe I have a strong guardian angel, although I am not distinguished by piety.

The fear that gripped me when I saw the figure was somehow special; an animal, it came from the subconscious, bound my whole body, and deprived of my energy. I could barely get up and sit on the bed. My consciousness suddenly turned out to be clouded; I could not remember where the light switch is in the room.

I tried to raise my hand and fumble along the wall, but I could not organize a search for the switch; my hands hung as lashes, suddenly refusing to serve, and there was no strength to raise either of them.

I tried to call my spouse, but my chest spasmed, as if I had received a blow to the solar plexus. Spasmodically sobbing, I began to draw in air and, finally, I managed to get a full lungful. I again tried to call my wife, but instead of an articulate shout from my chest, I made some kind of half-scream, half-roar.

Despite the fact that it was very loud, my wife did not wake up. I again began to draw in air into my lungs. The ghost, apparently not wanting me to call for help from the household, moved closer to me; I realized that I could reach him and tried to hit him, but a weak hand passed limply through the figure without causing any harm to it.

However, my perseverance and movement allowed me to draw in air and reduced the influence of the ghost on me. The second time, I called my wife quite clearly. She woke up and asked from her room what had happened. “Come here!” I shouted out with the last of my strength and, unable to hold in my sitting position, fell down on the bed.

A light flashed in my wife’s room; she turned on the chandelier. The ghost began to slowly go out and move toward the door. Our corridor was rectangular. When the wife turned on the light in him near her room, the ghost began to move at the door into the corridor near my room and disappeared into the darkness of the night.

My wife came in and turned on the light. “Why are you yelling? You’ll wake up the neighbors!” Her stunned look said that my scream was really out of the ordinary and loud. I had neither the strength nor the desire to explain to her what happened. I promised to tell her everything during the day, got up, and said that I would sleep with her and my son in the hall.

My son was four years old and my wife, when I was in the back room, often put him near to her, although he had his own room.

In the hall, we had a huge double bed, on which we all accommodated perfectly. But her location in the room had one drawback; someone had to lie down near the wall, and if he had to get up, he had to get over the rest.

I went to the hall. Along the way, my eyes fell on the alarm clock; it was standing on the refrigerator, located in the corner of the corridor. The clock showed the beginning of the second hour of the night—three or four minutes—a little before reaching the five-minute mark. Near the alarm clock was a telephone.

I lay down near the wall, and a dream embraced me.

The device rang with long beeps. I realized that the intercity was breaking through; only MTS, whether telephonists or automation, send long calls mixed up with short pauses of silence. I opened my eyes; it was still dark, but in the east, it was already beginning to lighten. Of course, if I slept in the back room, I would go to the phone myself and quickly. But I was sleeping with my wife and son in the hall, I had to get over them, and I, having come to the conclusion that I still had to wake my wife, asked her to go to the phone.

Reluctantly, she got up and, grumbling with displeasure, trudged into the corridor. I waited patiently. The wife picked up the phone, answered, and suddenly, her voice became alarming:

“Serge, come soon! Pavlik is calling, inviting you!”

Pavlik was my brother, lived in Donetsk, and we occasionally called each other. My eyes fell on the alarm clock; it showed the beginning of the fifth morning. What the hell was happening this early? Moreover, the night was already restless. I picked up the phone and answered:

“Yes, bro!”

“Seryoga!” shouted Pavlik. “Seryoga, Sasha has died!”

Sasha was our cousin, the son of our mother’s sister. All our childhood passed together at the grandmother’s compound. And if during school days, our parents kept us in apartments, then during the summer holidays, we met again in the birthplace.

Sasha is dead! Suddenly, it made sense! That’s who came to me at one in the morning! Sasha came to say goodbye! As I did not immediately remember; he had such a chin with such a dimple, similar to that of Kirk Douglas. He inherited it from his father.

Sasha’s father had a similar chin with a dimple, but slightly rounded. Sasha’s chin was almost rectangular, like the famous Hollywood movie actor.

“When did he die?” I asked Pavlik.

“Tonight…” he answered.

“In what time?” I asked the second question, although I already knew the answer to it.

“At one hour in the nighttime.” My brother confirmed my hunch.

“Okay,” I answered. “I’ll call you from work this afternoon.”

“I’m waiting!” answered Pavlik.

“Bye!” I told him and hung up.

I did not call my brother into the day. And I did not go to Sashka’s funeral. What for? I already said goodbye to him…