He Turned to Me and Spoke

This was originally on Reddit’s nosleep board, but the mods took it down because it was “non-horror”. I think it pretty clearly is horror, but it seems they’re strict on stuff with comedy elements. Oh well. Enjoy it here!

A weird thing happened to me recently, and I’ve struggled with how to talk about it. Basically, there’s no way to do it without sounding bugfuck insane, so here it is: ALF spoke to me through my television.

I was watching TV, one of those late night syndicated blocks (because I’m the last human on Earth under the age of 40 who still has cable), and ALF was on. I don’t really give a shit about ALF, but I do give a shit about insomnia and needing background noise to (hopefully) pass out on my couch for a few half-assed hours of sleep before work in the morning.

It was a clip show episode, so there was no actual plot to follow, which should have been great for my brain. ALF was hosting The Tonight Show. I think he was supposed to be Johnny Carson. Ed McMahon, thankfully, was still Ed McMahon.

I was just about to drift off when I saw something kind of weird. It wasn’t uncommon for 80s shows to directly address the audience, and it especially makes sense on an episode of a show parodying a late night talk show.

But there was something different. ALF wasn’t looking at the camera. He was looking past it. Through it. It was just wrong enough that I cracked my eyes open a little more.

He spoke. “Asher.” That’s my name, and it’s not a common one. I sat up straighter. I opened my eyes more.

“Asher,” ALF said, “They’re lying to you. They’re all lying to you.”

Now, it’s here that I should disclose that I’ve suffered from paranoia for several years. At its worst point, in my early 20s, I accused my ex of having a secret car that she would drive so I wouldn’t know she was gone if I happened to drive by. Like, really ridiculous and embarrassing levels of paranoia. She’s an ex for a good reason, that’s fucking crazy.

But no one, especially not a weird puppet from an 80s sitcom, has ever addressed me through my TV. That’s a whole ‘nother level that I am not on. Or wasn’t on. I am now, I guess.

So now I’m wide awake and wondering why ALF is talking to me and exactly who is lying to me. My mom? My landlord? I… don’t really have a lot of people in my life, it’s a pretty short jump from mom to landlord.

I shook my head. This is dumb, I told myself. You were half-asleep watching this and you dreamed something incredibly stupid. Just lay back down.

So I did. I let my eyes glaze over once more, I tried to relax and let my brain go into neutral. It worked, finally. I don’t know how long I was asleep before I woke up again.

It was another episode of ALF. One where he was trying to be a member of the neighborhood watch or something. I’m not clear on the specifics. ALF is not my forté. Don’t invite me to ALF trivia night.

I was still kind of creeped out from… whatever it was that had happened earlier, so I fumbled for the remote to switch it to something that doesn’t involve furry, sarcastic aliens. I felt around in the darkness, but couldn’t find it. Then ALF said my name again.

“Asher, Heaven is empty and Hell is full. Would you choose isolation, or pain?”

Not gonna lie, I may have shrieked a little. Okay, a lot. I scared my cat. I finally found the remote tangled in the covers by my feet and just turned the TV off completely. I closed my eyes and, amazingly, fell right to sleep.

The next night, I was in the same routine. Can’t sleep, watching TV on my sofa. This time I avoided the classic sitcom channel and went for a CSI marathon. The old episodes, with William Petersen. Blood and intrigue before bed, I can handle, but not puppets, not that night.

I started to doze again, having those weird pre-sleep thoughts (I wonder if Choco Tacos are popular in Mexico?) when my eyes snapped open. I couldn’t tell what it was at first that caused me such panic, but then I saw him, in the Medical Examiner’s office, sitting on a table.

It was ALF. My brain protested. This isn’t even your show!

“Asher,” he said, “Would you like to hear my plan? I do have a plan. For all of this.” He waved his arm in front of him, signifying everything.

I unplugged the TV from the wall. It instantly went dark, which was great for my sanity, but not for my night vision, as I promptly kicked my coffee table and let out a bizarre noise (almost like a hurk) that was a combination of fear and pain.

I crawled back to the couch and wrapped myself in the cover like a child, hoping no alien monsters from my childhood were coming to get me. I stared at the ceiling most of the night, but I did eventually fall asleep.

And I dreamed. In that dream, ALF came to me, and he told me his plan.

And you know, it’s starting to make a lot of sense to me.