For all things creepy
full of creepy gifs no diffrence then the others http://www.reddit.com/r/creepy_gif nsfw's need to be tag
All Things Horror: From Movies & TV to Books & Games
R/HORROR, colloquially known as Dreadit by our subscribers is the premier horror entertainment community on Reddit. For more than 8 years /R/HORROR has been reddit.com's gateway to the darker side of entertainment. So if you have a little time to KILL, come on over. We'll get the chainsaw warmed up for you.
Seen anything that jingled your bells this week? Let me know about it.
Recently i rewatched that film and i got one question, that bothered me for quite some time. The scene where Sadako kills Hiroshi Toyama. Why would she do that? I know that she was split in 2 entities, good and evil, and in that scene they merged in 1(evil?) so she rekt those actors who was mean to her, but rekting your fiance was like, "eeh... what?" i guess? If that evil entity wanted to kill him all along, it could do that from the beginning? Why in that last part? What changed so drastically? As i recall it correctly, there was chapter in the book, where he lived till his 50s, and died peacefully.
What if vampire horror was only filmed in black and white? Maybe with a Portishead/Cypress Hill-infused soundtrack as fanged hipsters glide through the streets of NYC? Perhaps they are obsessively debating philosophy most of the time. Could be that Christopher Walken stops by, David Lynch produces, and Peter Fonda blows your mind as Van Helsing.
If this sounds amazing, well then congratulations - you are gonna love this pairing of pretentious vampire ladies!
It's The Addiction vs Nadja!
The Addiction: A New York philosophy grad student turns into a vampire after getting bitten by one, and then tries to come to terms with her new lifestyle and frequent craving for human blood.
Nadja: Ultra-hip, post-modern vampire tale features members of a dysfunctional family of vampires who are trying to come to terms with each other in the wake of their father's death. Meanwhile, they are being hunted by Dr. Van Helsing and his hapless nephew.
Rules of the Bracket
- Original Post: this is a March-Madness-style Horror Battle.
- Print out the Bracket: fill out by hand or download the Excel version
- We are planning on 1 year to complete the mission: roughly November 2018
- Send completed brackets to firstname.lastname@example.org or PM me with a link
Spoiler-free review. Just got back home from the cinema. The movie opened in theatres in Russia yesterday. Summing it up, one of the viewers said after the movie ended "worst wasted in vain 90 minutes of my life". 4 people left the theater in the middle of the movie (I think there were about 20 viewers). I'd say it was a horror comedy. I'm not sure if the comedy part was intentional though. But I couldn't help laughing like the rest of the crowd many times. There were a lot of jump scares, during which people were screaming, one guy sitting next to me was not only screaming, but also swearing, because he was caught by surprise each time. After screaming people immediately started laughing (I guess typical example of protective reaction of human being in stress). The movie is very gory. There's often no logic in character's actions.The actors did what they could with bad dialogues and weak script. I liked the twist in the end, but some people predicted it. Overall I don't recommend watching this unless you're a fan of Robert and Lin like me. I had low expectations after reading that it was a remake from a person who made highly unnecessary remake of "Cabin fever", so I was prepared and don't regret going.
And after recently binging on the Saw series (some of which I loved, others I couldn't stand), it seems they took TONS of concepts from Se7en. The self-righteous killer, the victims having their "sins" used against them. The first victim in Se7en and I believe in Saw are both morbidly obese men, as well. Any thoughts on this? I've never seen this discussed before.
Roll back to August 30th, 2002. Not only my birthday but a day that affected me in incredible ways as it was the first time I ever saw a "real" horror movie in theaters. It was the day I turned 15 and talked my mom into taking me to see the movie as a birthday present. As shitty as this movie is, I've never regretted seeing it. Not only did it introduce me to the amazing band Rammstein via its soundtrack (which I promptly researched when I got home) but it hit a few key notes in my psyche that upon rewatch and analysis now as a 30-year-old, I think holds a great deal of weight. When I was 13, a la third quarter 2000, post y2k, my incredibly strong-willed Mormon grandparents, who I was mostly raised by (that history long in my past, thankfully) won a Windows 98 PC. This thing was "fully loaded" thanks to a raffle in my grandfather's sales job. I didn't have many friends with internet access in their home. It was a mystery of sorts. It barely had a presence in education at the time, and an even lesser presence, to my knowledge at least, in the at-home environment. To my grandparents, the dial-up sounds- beeps and static- where far more ominous than enlightening. I was given a strict curfew with our internet access. Off by 9 pm. Never allowed to go on unless someone was in the room with me.
The internet was a portal to evil. A place of pornography, vile information; a gateway to ungodly things. At least that's how they saw it. When I'd visit my mother on the weekends we'd stay up late with the sci-fi channel, watching re-runs of Child's Play and the Shinning; renting shitty horror movies from Blockbuster based on the cover art alone. Being in the 13/14-year-old range, of course, I'd sneak down to the living room at the evil hour of 11 pm and cover the modem with a pillow as I tried to discreetly muffle the sounds of satanic internet connection. One of my go-to sites at the time was a thriving Paranormal.com, a ghost town of a URL now for a solid 10 years at least. It was a rather huge and thriving community at the time, and through this, I discovered message boards, read stories of "real life paranormal encounters" and discovered the "unknown horrors" of chatrooms (where I undoubtedly made some of the best and memorable friends of my odd teenage years). How does this relate to the shit-of-a-movie that is Feardotcom? Not only is it nostalgiac, but upon rewatching it yesterday I realized it completely encapsulates the thoughts and experiences of nearly everyone I knew during the early experimental era of my internet access.
This is what my family feared. This is what they believed the internet was: a portal to sick, malevolent and twisted people, let into our godly home via modem beeps and boops. Now for the movie itself, it's slightly entertaining upon rewatch. The things that freaked me out most as a kid hardly bother me now, but as an adult with a double major in art and psychology, it resonated with me in a way I just had to share. The characters are tropes, the story a rehash of revenge done since the 1940s at least. It is refreshingly devoid of jump scares, and if taken as still shots during its frantic montage moments, even has some unsettling imagery to share. What's more important about this film now, looking back 15 years later, is that it is actual commentary about the internet at that time. At least in my world.
I'm from backwoods south-central Pennsylvania. With a religious, yet strangely superstitious family. I grew up being told to never trust a stranger, and never give anyone my full name lest I be cursed with witchcraft. Everyone I knew closely as a child held these same beliefs. There were those who gracefully accepted the internet as the wonderful world of knowledge and social freedom that we see it as today, and then there were those in my small-town world that saw it as something of power almost. The power to destroy lives and families and allow evil into the home. These are the themes I found most provocative in this film. As trashy and low-budget 2000-ish as it is, I can't help but feel the writers and directors had to understand that there were more than a minority of people that still felt the internet to be a world of unknown, to fear it, and see it as a portal to evil that they, in some cases, unwillingly connected to straight into their homes.
Bonus analysis: The Ring(2002) I didn't notice it at all at the time, but couldn't help but see it now. The Ring and Feardotcom share nearly identical themes and plots, Feardotcom being released merely 2 months before The Ring. There's the "view something and die within a certain amount of time" theme. 48 hours in Feardotcom, 7 days in The Ring. Both timeframes of death were derived from how long the antagonistic ghost of sorts survived before succumbing to death. There's the detective parallel. Feardotcom had actual detectives, and The Ring had regular people doing more work than the police ever could. One of the most obvious parallels is the phone call. Both films had a phone call happen to ensure the protagonist that they were in a game of sorts that if not solved, would meet their doom. There's also themes of sorrow felt by parents. My favorite thematic parallel though is the "We found the body the horror is over, right?" In The Ring, Naomi Watts finds the body and is sure the horror is over and the mystery solved because the spirit wanted to rest, right? Wrong. She wants to be heard, and if she's not, you're dead. In Feardotcome the detective finds the body, thinks the horror is over, and she's also wrong. The ghost of the murdered girl wants revenge, or you're dead. Does any of this mean anything? Probably not at all, it's just fun to analyze a time when the internet, digital media, and entertainment was new and mysterious and could easily carry themes of horror to a wide, accepting audience. *edited for readability
My 2 girlfriends and I are going to be spending the night in a trailer deep in the woods. I want to watch something to freak us out while we’re out there.
We’ve already seen: Hush Backcountry (there’s tons of Black Bears our there, but I think they’re hibernating) Cabin in the woods Walking dead
Also Blair Witch is out.
Hey guys, this is semi-horror related:
As a kid, I had a 45 record of creepy kids’ stories. I have foggy recollection of it but I remember it creeping me out. (Edit: this would’ve been in the early eighties.)
One story/part in particular I recall was about a scary TV station, and an old lady saying “but there is no channel one”.
Over the years, it’s tickled my nostalgic memories and I’d like to hear it again.
You guys are pretty good about identifying movies from descriptions of a brief part of a scene, so maybe you’ll be able to help track this down.
Anyone have any ideas what it may be? Thanks!
Hello. I am in the mood for a scary movie marathon but I'm really over the whole "aliens, vampires, possessed dolls" type plots and I'm looking for something more of a psychological horror, something along the lines of "Megan is missing", or "Requiem for a Dream" which isn't necessarily horror but still fucks with your head. Any favorites?
A character often talked about is the "Final Girl," who survives until the end of the movie and often takes on the villain in a battle during the finale.
However, what I rarely see discussed is the "Final Guy," the male counterpart to this archetype. Name your favorite, or more than one if you're so inclined
My personal fave is Paul Rudd as Tommy Doyle in Halloween 6: The Curse of Michael Myers. He's so weird and creepy yet likable and vulnerable at the same time.
Does anyone have any suggestions of horror movies involving satanic cults and what not? I find it very creepy and it makes me body all tingly.
It premieres in Australia tomorrow (December 15) but I haven't seen anything on how to watch it in other territories. Season 1 is available on Amazon and Shudder in the US - has anyone heard any details on who will carry Season 2 and when they might have it?
Many years ago as a kid, I remember my family and I watching this really scary film late at night and it’s something I’ve never been able to forget. Except, I don’t remember the title of the movie. In fact, none of us does! I remember the film being so scary we didn’t even want to remove it from the VHS player lol!
Anyways, all I’ve been able to recall are fleeting images and scenes. Such as....this little girl hears a noise late at night. She walks out of her bedroom to investigate. She’s wearing a night gown. She stands at the top of the stairs looking to see if there’s anyone there. Suddenly, she gets pushed from behind and falls down the stairs to her death (I think).
Then my memories cut to a man accusing the little girl of horrid things. They’re in the living room and everything looks old and Victorian. Think Black Christmas, where it was set in the 70’s and the house has an older, Victorian feel to it. The man is yelling at the girl and she backs herself up into the corner of the room and hides behind the drapes. The man takes a hammer and starts smashing the girl with it through the drapes. Blood soaks through everywhere. And after he’s finished, thinking he’s killed the girl, the drapes are pulled back and the girl’s face is all mashed up and she’s still alive and lunges towards the man. Panic ensues!
Finally, my memories jump to the ending of the film. It starts just like the beginning. The little girl wakes up late at night and stands at the top of the stairs after hearing a noise. She’s suddenly pushed down the stairs to her death. Only this time, we pan up the steps and it’s revealed to be her parents who killed her.
Anyone have any idea what movie this could be? We’ve never been able to crack this one!!
I've always known of this movie. The whole concept seemed pretty interesting to me when I first heard of it. Having never read any reviews or seen anything past the trailer I finally decided to pull the trigger and watch it. The two things I really enjoyed were the music and the look of the demons inside and out of the game. The film score I feel is a huge part of making a horror or supsense film really reach the full potential of what they're trying to convey to their audience and I believe they did achieve that here. The demons were creepy enough to find some sort of discomfort when watching. Other than those two things though I think the movie was a pretty big flop. The characters all played into stereotypical roles and really only executed that role. Plus the story was all over the place. Many things felt rushed. Finally, the ending really made no sense. I tried looking up if there were any explanations as to why the curse hadn't stopped yet but there was nothing. I don't know if I'm thinking into it too much or if the movie is just lousy.
Now, before you go to the comments and give me hell, please hear me out... or well, read me out, I guess.
I've been a massive fan of horror films ever since I was a kid (practically grew up with the Friday the 13th series) and I used to judge a horror film, game, or story based on its "scare" factor. However, several pieces of horror had made me feel different about this notion: The Babadook and Silent Hill 2. There are others, but these two were the ones to spark this idea.
Both stories are similar, in that they deal with themes of depression and the death of a spouse, add to it elements of psychological horror and monsters symbolic to the protagonists. However, not once through either of them, did I ever feel "scared". I felt unsettled, depressed and anxious, but fear is not something I would use to describe my experience with Silent Hill 2 or The Babadook. SH2 being the more interesting since, being a game, it should have scared, at least a bit, but it didn't.
And yet, I'm in love with both of them. So, why do I love them if they failed at doing what they're respective genres said they should do? After all, a comedy that fails to make people laugh is a bad comedy, right? Well, it's not that simple.
Well, to start, I think we give genres too much power when in comes to experiencing a film, in the same way a misleading trailer can give you false expectations about a film which could lead to you disliking it. We have ideas of what we expect of a film simply because of what genre its in and limits a story's potential, in my opinion at least. I think comedies can be funny, but don't have to be knee-slapping hilarious to be good. And action films don't need shoot outs or fights to fit in the genre, like Run Lola Run (at least, I consider that an action film) or Speed, which lacks shoot outs or fights through out the majority of the film. However, these films still deliver on the thrills of action and small laugh is still a laugh, so where does that leave the Horror genre? Well, think about how many horrors stories/films scare you, then think about how many of them you still like and/or consider good despite them not scaring you. And finally think about how many times you've heard this phrase about horror films "It wasn't scary, but it was good." Good despite it not doing what most think the genre should do.
I think there's more potential to horror than just being "scary". Horror can be unsettling, disturbing, depressing, tragic, gory, grotesque, suspenseful and controversial.
What do you guys think? I just wanted to have a discussion about it, as fan of horror.
I couldn’t have been older than 7-8, so the movie must have come out in the mid 80s. This part scared me so badly I ran to my room and slept with the lights on.
Every now and then I’ll try and find it, but have never been successful.
The scene: Two men enter what looks like an abandoned mausoleum, crypt or house. One man has a shotgun, the other has a flame thrower.
They split up. I forget what happened to the guy with the shotgun, but the flamethrower guy goes downstairs and finds a woman on an autopsy table covered with a blanket.
The woman says something to him, and he sees that something is shifting underneath the blanket. He rips off the blanket and there’s a wrinkled face embedded in her body that’s alive. He screams and torches the whole thing.
That’s all I remember.
The funny thing is that I bet if I tried to watch it now it’d be laughably bad. Thanks for your help!
Before i explain why i enjoyed it, I believe it's right to explain how I discovered these movies. So I was 17ish during the time I saw these movie while living in southern Canada. I was looking through Rodgers which is a company that's meant for phones, internet, and streaming. During this time I was looking around for a good movie and came across Rob Zombies halloween and it's squeal. As I watched I felt like I was smashed in the gut due to the abuse, how horrible some of the people were and how Michael turned from this kid into one of cinema histories greatest slashers. I had watched the original and during it I found it enjoyable bit it felt to black and white. One person is hero other is villain from birth done. But when I saw rob zombies films I was...emotional about it. Here's why. (Apologies for wrong spelling it's late as I write this and I'm tired and blah)
So during my years in northern Canada I lived on a farm that produced various berries and some vegetables. We also helped breed pure breed show horses. I was diagnosed with Austium spectrum disorder at a young age and it was bad....like really really bad. Like take me away to a home and lock me up until I die bad. My family fought the system with tooth and nail to help me but in doing so gave me depression, paranoia, anxiety, a bleak and dark look on life, years of abuse in EVERY SINGLE CATEGORY POSSIBLE, lots of full on trust issues, and much more. It wasn't fun. I worked with a fair amount of social workers who helped make my issues worse, the farm burnt down killing the horses and most of the barn cats, my mom, brother, and I moved away from my father (who was very mentally and emotionally ill which caused him to do some very bad things even thought he really cared for me), I attempted suicide on multiple accounts, lost hope as a whole for months, got bullied at my high school opening some bad wounds ((I was also bullied in my first school which was a Christian private school. They hated me for my smartness, my knowledge of evolution, and much more)) and just alot of stuff happened and was happening. So when I saw rob zombies movies during the first chunk of it ((when Michael was a kid to when he became and adult with the pumpkin mask)) I was crying and destraut that this kid had to be dealt a bad hand when he was younger living in a similar family as I did and so much wrong. I didn't get any emotional aid or medical care until I was 16 so to watch this movie really hurt me alot.
I know alot of people don't like this movie as it dosnt follow the classic rules of it however I enjoy it as it feels more emotional and more real. People can be horrible, even worse then some monsters we've made in lore and legends. Michael here was a victim of a horrible family that changed him for the worst and he could have been saved and gotten help insted he was a geunie pig for a phycatrist who found him evil and didn't help him. He probably had an mental condition that could have been fixes if given the proper help but instead it rotted and feasterd into something horrible and blood thirsty. The few good people in this movie I really liked as people and characters and I would have loved to see them for real. The Sheriff really cared for Michaels family after what happened and protected his sister from the horrible memories of that halloween night. He stood up to our doctor and hated his guts for making money off what happened. The hospital parking lot guy I also really really liked. He was so nice and cared for angel worried for her, and tried to get help. I was really sad that he died but I'm glad he was part of the movie. He was a super nice guy. Angels friend as well who was the sheriffs daughter I also enjoyed taking her in to her home and family trying her best to help her as her friend got sick and screwed up because of doctor Samuel Loomis and whatever paranormal mental stuff was happening there. There was also that kid during halloween ((the event not the movie)) who asked Michael "are you a giant? Can we be friends?". That kid melted my heart so fast. He lent out a hand wanting to help Michael not caring if he was dangerous or scary. He was just being nice.
During the whole movie I felt horrible for Michael Myers and wanted to help. I know he probably would have killed me but he needed really big help. I don't believe him to be evil in the rob zombies movies but a mental patient who needs love and family to help him. He was on a horrifying path in life and no one helped him or directed him away. It's sad once you really think about it.
I really did enjoy these two movies, the first one being the most emotional for me and sad while the second was the greatest shock effect of the two. Every kill Michael did you can see so much anger and hatred in him. I did find many parts scary especially the sounds that happens when he stabbed or killed people but that's not what this is about. In truth these movies deserve a bit more love to them. Are they as grand as the first and original movies? No. However they do deserve a thumbs up and a place on the movie shelf. So rob you did a good job making me cry. Thumbs up to you. Anyway this is what I liked about halloween and what it meant to me. What's are your thoughts on it all?
Hey all! I’ve been a major fan of the Evil Dead series but I never got around to watching the remake. I just want to know your guys’ opinion about it. Thanks!
Edit: Damn! I wasn’t expecting this many people to respond! Thanks for the help guys!
Continuing Dreadit Movie Guide's voyage through horror with the list of Dreadit's Top 20 Killer Insect Films!
That means you need to submit and vote for horror films you believe fit in this sub-genre.
What's going on here?
Okay, for those who don't know ... we (the /r/horror denizens collectively known as like, Dreadit) are nominating our favorite movies by category for the Dreadit wiki. This will be the Dreadit Movie Guide, a handy compendium for users new and old.
How does this work?
You enter a movie like so:
- FORMAT: Movie name - director name - year, ex: The Fly - David Cronenberg - 1986.
- REPOSTING: Before you submit, please, Ctrl+F! If someone's already listed your favorite, sigh sadly and move on. Any duplicates will be removed. Please report any you see!
- VOTING: What constitutes a killer insect film? Click here to see what Wikipedia considers it. Use your discretion and hope for the best. If someone submits a repost or a movie very clearly not a killer insect (e.g. Halloween), please REPORT it.
You have about a week to submit and vote as explained above. If you submit a title (or titles) early (and I do suggest that you do so!), I suggest checking back before the tally for any movies that may have been missed.
Submitted by u/ThylacineTiger:
Does the science matter when it comes to plausibility?
To expand on that: At what point does a story become ridiculous instead of scary?
NoSleep is a community for original horror stories. Stories may be true or not (but they are usually not). While most of our stories are fiction, we treat all stories like true, real life experiences, because the best scares come when you are immersed in the story. If it helps, don’t think of it as reading a story. Think of it as witnessing an event.
Trash and tents littered the campus of Compendium Ventures Incorporated. I crouched near a building a city-block away; close enough to get photos and describe the scene, but safely away from the rioting crowd of vagrants. Despite the distance I could hear the shouts echoing off the skyscrapers.
This was the fifth day of the protests in front of the tech company. Last week Compendium’s CEO, Charles Ray, had published an op-ed in our editorial page that started this entire episode: “Pandhandlers or Programmers, Choose One.” As you can imagine, the letter only got worse from there. Compendium’s campus sat in the heart of our downtown and had seen a sharp increase in trespassing, loitering, and harassment by the growing homeless population. The issue had been bubbling under the surface for years, but it erupted when Ray’s executive assistant was mugged outside the front door.
Ray had personally called the mayor and each representative on the city’s chamber of commerce with a simple demand. He wanted every homeless person removed from the city. If they weren’t removed, he would pack up the company and move all fifty thousand of his employees to a different city or state. When the phone-calls and threats didn’t work, he published the op-ed. That sparked the protests in the streets by the homeless and disenfranchised. It also produced a string of angry voicemails to the city politicians to mollify Compendium and to do it fast.
In a remarkable flash of speed for a bureaucratic enterprise, the chamber of commerce reached a solution. Economic development director Kevin Dixon led the charge in creating his master plan: The Agricultural Revolution Project.
The idea was simple, if heartless. Dixon’s plan called for homeless people to removed from the city limits and bused out to rural farmlands. The city would give them subsidized housing in exchange for their work as field-hands and share-croppers. The poor would get housing and work opportunities; we would get ‘clean’ streets and make sure Compendium stayed happy. The announcement of the plan went about as well as expected.
My cameraman Paul pointed out some of the better signs to me. “This is Modern Slavery,” and “Yes Master Dixon.” Very subtle. Across the street the riot police were forming up. Tall officers clad in black armored vests and holding heavy shields, checking ammunition and batons. On the other side, disheveled, hungry people in dirty hoodies and jackets. Paul led me closer, capturing the scene. This was front-page material in the making.
Then the melee started. Officers in the back lines launched a volley of tear gas into the crowd. The beggars covered the faces with filthy handkerchiefs, staggering away from the chemicals. The crowd dispersed from Compendium’s front door, hacking up on the street and coughing for air. The riot cops struck like lightning. They moved in lock-step, pushing the protesters down a side street and funneling them towards other waiting police. We pushed ahead through the chaos trying to watch what happened next. It looked like they were being arrested and thrown intro trucks, to be taken away.
After a few more minutes I realized the streets were empty. Eerily quiet. Only empty canisters and leftover debris remained as signs of the struggle. I saw a large officer approaching us, still covered completely in riot gear.
“Reporters?” he barked.
“We’d appreciate if you didn’t write about this…scuffle today. As Mr. Dixon says, bad PR hurts the city’s growth. And that hurts us.”
I stared back at him. “You can’t be serious.”
Three more cops walked up, forming a loose box around us. Paul moved to confront the leader, but I pulled him back.
“Thanks for your concern, officers. I’ll make sure the editors and I highlight the positive angle of this story.”
They loitered longer, uncomfortably close by now, then finally walked away. Paul glared after them. I punched his arm to distract him, to keep him from doing something stupid.
“Let’s go back to the office, c’mon.” He grumbled and went with me.
That was the last day I saw a homeless person in our city.
I didn’t notice it at first. I was caught up with other assignments at work and barely had a chance to breathe. In fact, it was Dixon who helped me figure it out.
Eight months later I was walking to his office for a follow-up interview on the Agricultural Revolution progress and took my usual shortcut through the city park. It was a typical public space with fountains, benches, flowers. Nothing special. But there was normally at least a handful of people begging for money in the square. Today it was completely empty. I filed it in the back of my mind and hurried inside the city hall.
Dixon met me at the door of his office. He was a squirrely little man; old enough to be balding and young enough to still try hiding it. He was wearing his trademark pin-stripe suit. People said he really believed it made him look taller. His office was spacious and warm, and he sat down on the couch across from my chair. There was a wooden coffee table between us and someone had printed out PowerPoint briefing slides for me to look at.
He gestured at them. “As you can see, Ms. Lewis, we have positive progress to report about our charitable Agricultural Revolution project. If you still have questions after that I’ll be happy to field them.” He sat back in the couch and folded his arms, waiting for me to flip through the slides.
His executive assistant entered a minute later with a small salad in her hands. She gave it to me and I accepted it, not sure what was happening. Dixon flashed me a grin.
“Some of the first produce from the Agricultural Revolution project. Help yourself, please.” I picked up the fork and stabbed a cherry tomato. I almost gagged; it tasted awful. I managed to swallow it and set the salad aside, thanking Dixon for the horrible food.
I turned to the slides. It was mostly pictures of the farm complex. Out in the rural edge of Fortuna County, it looked like a set of recently-constructed metal buildings and an array of fields. There were a few painfully-transparent photo-op shots of frail men holding shovels and planting seeds. It was useless fluff. I set the slides down on the table and took out my notepad.
“Mr. Dixon, thank you for the slides. How would you say the program is going?” It was best to start easy and work your way into the more contentious issues.
He smiled. God he looked like a reptile when he did. “I think it is a roaring success, Ms. Lewis. Compendium and our economic base is happy. The program participants have houses and jobs and they are happy. And I’m granting you this interview, so you must be happy.” He faked a laugh. I tried to hide my cringe.
“Yes. Can you tell me more about the work these people are doing?”
He pulled out a sheet and glanced down at it before answering. “Farming tomatoes, spinach, radishes, and corn are the initial priorities. Then perhaps expansion into livestock including cows and chickens, depending upon financial resourcing and donations from our local partners.”
“Great. Now, how many participants do you have that volunteered for the program?”
“Oh, almost two hundred so far? More sign up each day too.”
“And…what was the homeless population of the city before this initiative began?”
He frowned, tapping his fingers on his leg. “Two hundred or so? Hard to say, you know how the transients are.” He let out the booming fake laugh again.
I scribbled in my notebook, feigning awe. “That’s incredible, sir! You must be proud of the program.”
He gave me a delighted nod.
“So almost every homeless person has volunteered to be relocated?”
“Hm?” The smile slid off his face. “Erm, yes. Yes, most have. Only a few haven’t because, well, you know.” He trailed off and pointed at his head. Right. The ‘crazies.’
“Got it, sir. Well this all sounds great, when will the press be able to visit?”
“I…no. These people are in a fragile, formative part of their lives Ms. Lewis. We must appreciate their desire for privacy, as they struggle to rebuild.”
“Not even for an hour? Just to interview anyone who accepts beforehand and wants to share their story?”
His jaw clenched. “I will make inquiries, although I do not think any would be interested in sharing. Anything else, Ms. Lewis? I have much business to attend to.”
“No sir, I think that’s all I needed. But please keep me in mind if you have other updates.”
“I will be sure to do that.” He all but pushed me out of the door.
I replayed the interview in my head on the walk back to my office. Dixon was going to stonewall me every step of the way, but I needed to find some way to get out to Fortuna County. I texted Paul and asked him to make some inquiries, and I would do the same.
Oddly enough, the first person to respond to me was a friend of mine on the police force, Sergeant Michael Bennett. He called me while I was still walking back.
“Kate, I can take you there if you want. But nobody else can know.”
“Thanks Mike, but you don’t have to escort me. It’s not like it’s dangerous or anything. Besides, wouldn’t a police officer stick out on a farm?”
There was an awkward silence on the phone.
“Mike, what is it?”
“The police force is running the op out there. Making sure people are safe and orderly. I haven’t seen it myself but the other guys are talking about it.”
“Wow…okay. Can we go tonight? Can I bring Paul?”
“No. No crowds, no other people. I can help us avoid some questions, but the more people the greater the risk. Come to my apartment later, alone, and we’ll go.”
I counted down the hours, practically shaking with anticipation. Finally, it was time. Bennett met me at the door. He was a muscular, imposing man and he liked to think he was my big brother. Mike was a good guy. We took his pick-up truck instead of the police cruiser, so as not to attract attention.
He answered my questions with one or two words and seemed on edge, so I gave up and rode in silence the rest of the way. The trees and fields roared past us as we drove up the backroads. Abruptly he turned off on a dirt trail, and pulled up to…a check-point of some kind.
Two cops approached Mike’s window. “ID pleas- oh, hey Mike! What’re you doing out here?”
He flashed a grin. “State business, you know how it is. Got an analyst here from the chamber of commerce that needs to run the numbers, I’m supposed to escort her on and off.”
The cop frowned and checked his clipboard, then looked back at Mike. “She’s not on the visitation list, and neither are you.” The other cop hung back by the guard tower, a hand on his radio.
Mike cleared his throat and lowered his voice. “Bill. It’s a special initiative for Dixon? We’re not on the books, and I shouldn’t be talking to you about it even. We can call the Chief if you want.”
Bill relaxed and waved the other cop off. “No no, you’re good. Just taking precautions out here.” Mike nodded and patted his arm.
“Thanks, we’ll be out of your hair pretty shortly.”
We drove forward along the trail. Mike pulled off and parked in a clearing at the edge, before the trail opened up into the farm compound from the pictures. The truck was hidden from sight, or at least we hoped it was.
He gripped my arm tightly. “Fifteen, twenty minutes max, alright?”
“Mike. What’s going on out here? What special initiative were you talking about?”
He snorted. “I made it up. People believe what they want to believe. But I don’t know what’s going on here, which is why we need to be quick, and careful.”
I nodded and he released me. The sun had dropped out of the sky by now and darkness gave us some desperately-needed cover. The building closest to us looked like an outpost for guards. A series of antennas ran along the ceiling and we could see the glow of more electronics from outside the window. We creeped closer and I peered through the window. A guard was sitting in front of a bank of surveillance camera feeds. I snapped a quick picture with my phone and ducked out of sight. Bennett hissed and we moved away to the next building.
It looked like a barn and the backdoor was open, so we snuck inside. There were bags and equipment scatted throughout the interior, like a storehouse or supply annex. Something smelled awful and I wanted to gag. I used the soft blue light of my phone to see and I moved along the wall, closer to the scent. It was coming from a row of barrels and hemp bags lying on the floor. Writing on them said it was fertilizer. I opened one of the bags and nearly vomited. I only caught a glance, but it looked like animal blood and bones.
Then Bennett was behind me, pulling me back into the shadows. I gasped, but his hand was already covering my mouth. My eyes widened in alarm when I saw why he had pulled me away. Two security officers with weapons and flashlights drawn had just entered the barn. We laid down in between the rotting fertilizer bags to hide, hoping the men wouldn’t hear us. Bennett mouthed an apology and put more bags over me, covering me in the vile smell.
The officers swept through the room, methodically searching high and low. I tried to regulate my breathing. I wanted to scream. Long minutes passed as the men’s boots grew closer and closer. At last they were back at the entrance door, and they disappeared back into the night. I let out a sigh, and pushed myself up to a sitting position. My hand hit something hard. I looked down at it and realized it was half of a skull. Bennett saw it when I did and covered my mouth again, before I could reveal our position.
We shared terrified glances. He finally released his hand, and I exhaled hard.
“What the fuck is going on?” I whispered.
He shook his head. “I don’t know, but we have to go. Now!”
“But the homeless. Where are they? We’ve got to look Mike, we’re never going to be able to get back here.”
He groaned and pulled out his pistol. “You follow me, and we leave when I say we leave. Got it?” I nodded, and followed him out of the barn.
The men with the flashlights were off on the other side of the compound now. Mike practically dragged me across the field to a low, long building nearby. He peered through a window then shot me a sharp glance, waving me forward. I stood on my toes to see through. Dozens of the homeless I recognized from the protest lay slumped in a pile in the dirt. It looked like a prison.
“Mike. We have to free them!”
“What the hell do you want me to do? Shoot through half my department on the way out of here? We can’t help them.”
As if on cue, the security officers returned. They entered the prison and scanned the room.
“That’s it. We go, now.” Mike ducked low and ran back towards the truck, and I followed in his footsteps. He peeked through the interior to be safe; it looked like the guards hadn’t discovered it yet. He started up the ignition, an unavoidable noise, and sped back up the trail. He blew through the gate with the pick-up, not stopping to look back at his brothers from the police force behind us.
Somehow Mike was cool and rational. “How much evidence did you collect? What pictures do you have?”
“Kate, what can you prove with what you have?”
“N-not much. There was a skull in the fertilizer bags, that’s all I got. What the fuck is happening there?”
“I…don’t know. But it looked like a slaughterhouse in that barn.”
Mike’s cell phone rang through the Bluetooth speakers of his truck. He hesitated than accepted it.
“Michael, we’ve got a problem.”
“You shouldn’t have gone there. You shouldn’t have poked your nose where it didn’t belong.”
“Wh…what is going on there?”
“You’re a bright guy, you can piece it together from what you’ve seen already. But that’s now why I called. You have to kill the girl.”
The chief sighed. “Michael. It’s Kate, or your wife and two daughters. They’re home alone now, it would be terrible if a break-in turned into a murder tonight.”
“You wouldn’t. You sonofabitch, I’ll kill you!”
“No Michael. Kate, now. You have two minutes.”
Tears leaked out of his eyes, and he wouldn’t look at me. Then he pulled out his gun and fired three times. The passenger window shattered, raining glass in the interior.
“It’s done, Chief. I can keep your secret.”
“Good, good Michael. I’m glad you made the right choice. Dispose of the body and we’ll talk when you get in.”
“Chief, I did what you asked. Now tell me what exactly is happening out there.”
“Dixon’s idea. The most efficient solution was to bring all the vagrants out to the farm, shoot them dead, and use their waste for fertilizer. Poetic, in a sense. Dust to dust, ashes to ashes. The people are returning from whence they came.”
“Jesus. Alright chief, I’ll come in to the station as soon as I dispose of the girl, okay?”
“See you then Michael. Thanks for your cooperation.”
The chief hung up, and Michael finally took his hand away from my mouth. I breathed again. The glass had cut my right arm, but that was the extent of my damage.
Mike turned to me. “Get the fuck out of the state. Don’t tell your friends or family until you’re far away. Give me twenty-four hours to secure my wife and kids, then tell everyone you can about what you saw. Were you recording the phone call?”
I nodded, numbly.
“Good girl. Use it.”
He dropped me in a back alley downtown and I sprinted back to my apartment. I grabbed some essentials and got into my car. I fired it up and drove away. I was halfway out of the city when flashing lights illuminated my car. I pulled over to the shoulder, trying not to cry.
An unfamiliar officer approached my window. “License and registration, ma’am.” My hands shook as I fetched them and passed them over. The officer stepped back when he read my name and headed towards his cruiser. Then he was on the ground, and Mike was standing over his body. He grabbed my documents and threw them into the car.
That was the last time I saw Mike.
When I came home from my doctor’s appointment to find Li in the war room watching videos of an evangelical preacher who wore a huge, toothy smile, stunned didn’t come close to what I felt. “What are you doing?” I asked, confused.
“Come here,” he beckoned, motioning to my chair. “You need to watch some of this.”
“You’re having a go at me, aren’t you?” I questioned, sure that my partner was poking fun. I didn’t want to think that he’d lost his fucking mind. That prospect was more frightening than my partner himself.
“No,” he said, giving me a grim look, “I’m not.”
“God wants us to prosper financially, to have plenty of money, to fulfill the destiny He has laid out for us,” the grinning preacher said, and I felt my stomach turn over.
“Wait a minute,” I murmured, realizing I knew who this was. “This is that dickhead with the big mansion and all the fancy shit, right?”
“Live in the flesh,” Li confirmed. “Joe Stein.”
“Why are we sitting here watching this idiot?” I pushed.
“Simple answer, sweetheart,” Li said. “Would you say that he cares about his devoted flock?”
“Oh, hell no,” I answered immediately. “No, that son of a bitch only gives a damn about himself! I mean, look at what he lives in! Look at all the material wealth he has thanks to those brainless sheep following him! Hell fucking no he doesn’t care!”
“Levi’s partner had a run-in with him,” Li told me then. “That’s why Levi left so quick for Texas – to help her get a place to live. Mr. Stein here had the bank repossess her house because she declined an invitation to his church.”
“What?” I asked, incredulous. “Li, come on. There has to be more to it. Don’t get me wrong, I adore Lila and you know this. But to throw her out of her own fucking house because she wouldn’t go to church?”
Li sighed. “You aren’t going to like this, but fine. He sent some of his goons door-to-door, and when they got to her house, they found her décor unpleasant. They suggested angels might go over better than sea creatures and dragons, and she told them she liked her décor and if they didn’t, they could go elsewhere. She was nice. You know Lila would never lash out like that. But when she refused to acquiesce to their demands and orders to come to church, that’s when dickhead here went to the bank who held the mortgage on her house.”
I thought about frail, willowy, quiet Lila who had never harmed anyone, and that rage just boiled right on over. “I’d say mister preacher man there needs to learn manners,” I stated, my gaze watching Stein’s every move on the screen. “Is this really live?”
Li nodded. “Broadcasting straight from his church, as we speak.”
I began to laugh, softly at first. Watching that pompous ass prance about the stage, spreading the good word of God to his blind followers while he robbed them of every penny they had, the laughter grew until I nearly fell off my chair.
“You alright there?” Li asked, watching me with a faint smirk.
“Oh yes,” I demurred, turning black eyes back to Joe Stein. “I’ve never done long-distance before.”
“You’ve got this,” Li murmured, scooting his chair over next to me and putting one arm around me. “You know the codes. Think about Lila, and use your best judgment.”
I looked at Joe Stein, standing there at his solid gold podium with that shit-eating grin on his face and typed in my first code.
“My friends, I have done a terrible thing,” he began, a confused look on his face. “I have thrown an innocent young woman out of her own home, because I was angry that she refused my invitation to my church.”
A hush fell over that church at once, mouths falling open and eyes widening all around the audience.
Joe shook his head, brow furrowed. “Please excuse me, that’s”—
I typed in another code, interrupting him.
“The sort of asshole I really am!” he cried, and now there was a look of actual panic on his stupid face. “Yes, my friends, I am a greedy little bastard! When I say that God wants you to prosper, I don’t actually mean you – I mean myself!”
“The truth shall set you free,” Li expressed, smiling. “But do continue, sweetheart. This is vastly amusing to me. I’m recording it of course, to send to Lila and Levi.”
I typed another code in, my expression dark. “Let’s see how you fare now, Joe,” I muttered.
That gold podium began to melt, and as it melted, it morphed into something else entirely.
Screams erupted from the audience, and everyone stood up at once to begin shoving their way away from the stage, where Joe stood staring at the lion, who was currently lashing its tail in obvious annoyance.
“Nice try, Satan!” Joe cried, the smile coming back. “Nice try, but I will vanquish you!”
The lion roared, stalking in a slow circle around Joe. As it walked, that tail lashed out and hit Joe on the leg. It was a solid hit.
Joe’s smile vanished at once, as it dawned on him that this was really happening. There really was a golden lion stalking in circles around him, and it really could hurt him if it decided to. “Nice kitty,” he tried, eyes darting around the room for a way out or someone to help him. “Hey, can someone give me a hand here? Please?”
“No, Joe, I don’t think they can,” I murmured. “Your friends are a bit … tied up at the moment.”
One by one, his goons appeared on the stage. They were all wrapped up in the coils of enormous black snakes, and the snakes had brought them forth into Joe’s view. Now that everyone was present, glittering black eyes regarded the preacher as they all tightened up on their captives.
“Joe! Please, man, do something!” one of them begged.
I typed the last series of codes, rage crawling across my face like a living thing.
The lion began to morph and grow again, until it was a huge, glittering serpent with ruby eyes. Its coils looped around Joe, it lowered its massive head down to him to regard him coldly. “Where isss your god now?” it hissed.
The building began to creak and moan, and the walls began to breathe. The pews nearest the stage twisted and convulsed until they took form as faceless humanoid forms that marched slowly up to the stairs to the stage. The stained-glass windows began to bleed, and that blood ran straight down to pool at the stage.
A form began to rise from that bloody pool.
Horror etched itself on Joe’s face as the figure took shape. “D-Daddy?” he squeaked out.
Joe Senior took the stage, leaving bloody footprints behind as he walked. He walked right up to Joe, and put one bloody hand on the golden serpent that stood guard. “God doesn’t love you, Joe,” he said, grabbing his son with his free hand and leaning in close. “God knows what you did here. God knows about all those people you misled, manipulated, and outright lied to.”
“You are not my son,” Joe Senior spat. “I wash my hands of such a sorry excuse for a human being as you’ve turned out to be.” He took a few steps back, and spat at his son’s feet. “You reap what you sow, son, don’t you remember me teaching you that? I’d say it’s far too late now, for you.”
One by one, my obsidian pets sank fangs into their captives. Shrill screams filled the air, making Joe Senior laugh heartily. “This is what you deserve!” he yelled, spreading his arms wide and turning in a slow circle. Black blood began to rain down from the ceiling, and wherever it landed it sizzled and smoked.
“Daddy please!” Joe screamed, frantically wiping away the acidic black substance. “Help me!”
Joe Senior just looked at him, before turning around to walk off the stage and melt back into the blood that pooled against it.
“Oh God, have mercy on me!” Joe pleaded, but it fell on deaf ears.
That enormous serpent opened its mouth and vomited liquid gold onto Joe, dissolving him where he stood.
When there was nothing left … when the view into that church just showed blackened, smoldering spots on the stage … I sat back from my laptop and smiled. “God doesn’t like ugly, Joe,” I murmured. “Guess you missed that little tidbit. Well, that along with specifying which god you were appealing to.”
Li just shook his head and chuckled. “Well done, sweetheart. I think Levi and Lila will be pleased to see this outcome.”
Two couples - James, Sarah, Eileen and Daryl are on a week long trip to Bangkok. They had a fantastic time with the great food, cheap bargains and awesome traditional massages. It was a much needed respite from work for all of them.
On their last night before their transit flight back to Singapore and then to Europe, James, Eileen and Daryl decided to go for a quick supper at the night market nearby. Strangely tired, Sarah chose to stay behind and rest since their flight was at 8 in the morning.
Since she had some time to herself, Sarah decided to soak in a bath. She dozed off halfway through her bath, and startled awake when she heard a loud shattering and some foot steps.
“James?” She called out. No answer. Fearful, Sarah quickly wrapped herself in a towel and stepped out into the room. She stares at the light dusting of glass by the room, following a trail towards the balcony.
James stood, back towards her, and Sarah heaved a sigh of relief.
“Damn. You scared me! What was that noise?” She was about to go towards him when her phone beeped.
There was a message from James.
“Done w the supper. Going to buy snacks from 7-11. Want anything?”
Bewildered, she replied, “What are you talking about? You’re right here.”
She looked up, and sure enough, James was still standing at the balcony. The exact same outfit he had worn earlier.
“??? I’m here with the rest.” He sent a picture of Eileen, Daryl and himself, all wide smiles and thumbs up at the night market.
Sarah froze. Anxiety raced through her body, and she could hear blood roaring in her ears. She was terrified to look up from her phone. She eventually did, and found no one at the balcony.
Heart thumping wildly, she slid the doors to the balcony closed before running towards the bathroom and shutting the door. Shaking, she grabbed James’ razor from the sink, holding it in front of her as she backed into a corner. In hindsight, she should probably have called the hotel reception or 911, but apparently common sense stops working under shock.
“COME BACK QUICK!!!!!!!! Wtf call the police there’s a fucking robber in our room!!” Sarah sent the message out to all three of her friends. She prayed that they were holding on to their phones, and they were coming back right this instance.
Then, she heard footsteps passing the toilet by. She held her breath, cursing herself for being tired, for not wanting to go for supper, for the damn 8am flight. Now she’s going to end up on an unfortunate list of travellers being murdered overseas, she’s going to become part of a statistics. She tasted blood on her lip, and somewhere in the back of her mind she realised that she has bitten hard enough to break skin.
The footsteps stopped outside the toilet door for a few horrifying seconds, and Sarah almost passed out from fear. Then she heard the door clicking open, and the sound of muffled footsteps on the carpeted hallway.
Sarah stayed there, breathing heavily. And finally, finally hears urgent footsteps, and the familiarity of her friends’ voice. She lets out a shaky breath, crying on a loud exhale when her friends burst into the toilet.
“Sarah? Are you okay?” James called worriedly. “Why is the door wide open? Where’s the man you’re talking about?”
Sarah responded by grabbing onto James and sobbing into his shirt. He rubbed her back comfortingly, while her friends spoke hurriedly into their phones.
The hotel manager came by, and the police came as well to take statements over the course of the night. The hotel staff and police watched the security footage, and swept through the hotel grounds but found no evidence of the man. The police told Sarah that they would follow up on the case, but since she was already departing the country in the morning, there would be little that they can do except to put hotel staff and guest on high alert.
Sarah was mostly still in shock, and nobody had a wink of sleep when dawn arrived. They sluggishly gathered their clothing into their luggage and went on their way to the airport.
When they have settled into their seats on the plane, James gave her hand a squeeze. “Don’t worry, you’re okay now. Nothing has happened to you.”
“Yeah, I should probably thank my lucky stars. It’s just weird. He took nothing.” Sarah mumbled, staring blankly at the tv console in front of her. She may have left out the fact that the man looked exactly like James to her friends. They would probably think she’s crazy.
“Rest. You must be tired.” James met her gaze through the console. He smiled, and a dimple appeared on his left cheek.
Strange. James’s dimple was on his right cheek, and a smile that crooked to the same way. This James has a smile that crooked to the left.
Yeah, maybe Sarah was just absolutely knackered.
A bit of backstory about me and the house. I’m a 19 years old university student from Australia. We’ve been renting this house for almost 8 years now. I live in a 2 story house. The second floor has 3 bedrooms, 1 room for my parents, the other for my younger brother and the other is the room I share with my older sister. The first floor is the garage. But there’s a room and bathroom. The room is more like a bar. It was used as a storage space for a few years. The owner of the house left 2 wardrobe (A small tall one and a regular 2 door wardrobe) here. It apparently used to belong to his wife who has passed away.
Anyways, my sister and I decided to move downstairs for a bigger space. We cut the room in half using the 2 wardrobe (that was left behind by the owner) as a divider. My sister had the inner side of the room and I was closer to the door. It was a screen door so I could see outside the room, which was the garage, where most of the stuff we don’t use anymore are stored. There was a pole in the middle of the room, and because of that there is a small gap between the 2 wardrobe so I can see a little bit of my sister’s side of the room and vice versa.
My sister used to work swing shift (8pm-4am) so I’m alone most nights downstairs. At first everything was fine. It started around 2weeks after moving downstairs that I started hearing stuff. Little did I know that, that was only the beginning. I would be listening to music and I would hear someone singing along. I would turn the music off and it would be dead silent. This happened for a few weeks. It got to the point where I got used to it. Some other days I would be sitting in my bed, watching a movie on netflix and I would hear someone call my name. I would pause what I’m watching and ask who was calling me but no one answered back. I thought it was mum calling my name because it was usually around the time she would get home from work.
One night, I was all alone downstairs. It was late at night and usually everyone at home would be asleep by then. I was just sitting at my desk watching a movie when I heard someone open the door. It was the door at the top of the stairs that led to the 2nd floor. I then heard someone call my name. Not my real name though. My nickname. The nickname that only my family called me. The voice sounded to much like my mum’s. I called out and asked why (she was calling me). No answer. Nothing at all. I didn’t even hear her walk down the stairs (the stairs were creaky so you would know if someone was walking down). I stood up and walked out the room to see if my mum was standing by the door at the top of the stairs, fucking around with me. But I was wrong. The door was closed. I was confused and scared so I went back into the room, turned the lights off and went to bed.
A few days after that, something creepy happened. My sister had work that night so I was all alone downstairs again. She had a huge teddy bear that she placed infront of the gap between the 2 wardrobes. It’s been sitting there since we moved to that room and its never been placed or moved anywhere else. I was about to go to sleep so I turned off all the lights and sat on my bed. I felt that something was out of place. I looked over to my left where the gap was and surprise surprise, the bear wasn’t there. It moved. The bear that I swear I saw sitting on the same place every single day including that night has moved. It was now sitting on the other side of the bed.
Around 2 weeks after that I started seeing things around the room. Specially on those nights that my sister had work. I asked my mum about seeing or hearing anything and she said she hasn’t experience anything scary in the house. I feel like this is getting too long so I might update another time about the next few things that happened. Whatever it is seemed to have wanted me to know about its existence in the house. I’m just not sure if anyone would be interested in knowing about what happened. I’ve told my friends about it and only one believed me. She said she always feels strange in our house. Something heavy. And it got me thinking. A few family friends have said similar things. One of our family friend has a 3 years old kid and he would always cry coming in to our house. He hated going into the hallway, which is the way to the toilet. The kid also hated going downstairs, quite a lot of people hate going downstairs actually. We’ve been asked alot why it’s always cold downstairs even during summer. Visitors and even my family hated going downstairs alone. There’s just this weird energy down there that gives you this heavy feeling in your chest. The first few weeks of living downstairs was more of the little things. Stuff gets moved around mysteriously and I would hear voices that sounds very familiar. it got worse as weeks went by even though we only lived downstairs for a few months, we moved back upstair bit i guess it followed me. I don’t know if this is interesting enough to continue... I guess.. just let me know if you want any update on what happened afterwards?
About seven years ago, I had just graduated from college with a job at a great non-profit and the crushing weight of hundreds of thousands of dollars in debt on my shoulders. All I could think about each month as I deposited my paycheck only to shell it all back out to pay for rent, an absurdly high amount for a tiny closet in New York City, was that I had to find some other source of income. If I had to lose sleep and work two jobs just to keep myself afloat, then that's how it'd have to be.
It was a Wednesday evening, and I was about to exit the train station after work and walk to my apartment when a brightly colored sky blue flyer stuck to the wall at the turnstile caught my eye.
"CASH FLOW PROBLEM? NEED MONEY FAST? WE CAN HELP YOU! IT'LL ONLY TAKE 15 MINUTES OF YOUR TIME!!" Underneath the block letters was a telephone number, and even though I scanned the piece of paper top to bottom and even turned it over to check the back, I could find no other information on the flyer. I punched the number into my phone for future reference and headed up the stairs to my tiny apartment to eat instant noodles for dinner. Again.
Fast forward another six months, and my financial situation was sending me into a panic. I had barely made a dent in my loans and I knew that despite my best efforts of money managing, there was absolutely no way I'd be able to pay down my debt with the job I had now. I had to supplement the income somehow. And that's when I remembered the flyer.
I resolved to give it a shot - after all, if it really only required 15 minutes of my time and paid even a little bit, it'd be worth a try. I know what you're thinking; I had completely lost it if I was trying to get money through some sketchy subway ad, and believe me, in hindsight, I know how terrible it sounds. But at that moment, sitting in my poorly furnished box of an apartment shivering in the dead of winter because heat was just too expensive, knowing I had nothing to look forward to but another instant noodles meal that night, I was desperate. So I called.
The phone rang three times and just as I decided to hang up, the tone clicked. "Hello?" a raspy voice whispered into the phone.
"H-hello? I saw your ad on the subway and I was wondering--"
"Yes, yes," the voice hissed. "Come to 215 East Houston Street tomorrow night at 7:30PM. We will explain everything then." Then the person abruptly hung up.
For whatever reason, despite waking up with a bad feeling in my stomach the next morning, I mapped out the trip from my job to the address the person on the phone had given me. I saved the directions in my phone and went about my day, praying that this would work and it wouldn't be some crazy organ harvesting ring or human trafficker who would sell me to Russian crime lords.
At 7:30PM, I was outside 215 East Houston, my teeth chattering as I waited for the glass door to open. It was a huge building that looked mostly like office space and the lights were still on in most of the building. I didn't see any silhouettes when I looked up, which lent a sense of unease to the already uncomfortable situation. After all, it was a Friday night at 7:30PM and not a single person had walked past me in the five minutes I had been standing there, a definite oddity on the Lower East Side. I involuntarily shivered again, and checked my watch. 7:32PM.
I pulled out my phone to dial the number again and was just about to hit Call when the buzzer blared loudly. I pulled open the door handle and jumped into the lobby, relishing the swoosh of warm air. The intercom crackled and the same voice that had answered the phone rasped, "Take the west bank elevators down to B3." Another buzzer rang, and I pulled open the next set of doors, turning left.
An elevator was waiting when I reached the west bank corridor and B3 had already been selected. I waited to feel the plummeting feeling of the elevator descending but instead I felt pulled forward. Not quite the sensation I had been expecting. When it reached the floor, the elevator chimed and opened up into a long sterile white hallway. I stepped out of the elevator and as the doors closed and the elevator took off, and right before the external set of doors closed, I caught a glimpse of what looked like a tunnel. What the heck? I thought to myself.
I proceeded down the hallway, which was empty save for a steel door at the very end. Every step I took sounded like an avalanche, my winter boots clomping onto the tiles and echoing into the nothingness I was surrounded by. I shivered again, but this time not from the cold.
I reached the steel door but there was no keypad or intercom or anything. I held up my hand to knock but the door swung open, revealing another long white hallway. This time, however, there was a woman in a lab coat waiting for me at the end. She was holding a clipboard which she was looking at when I entered the hallway, and when I was about five feet away from her, she looked up and I almost turned back and started running.
Her mouth had been sewn shut. I could see the stitches so clearly even from five feet away, and the dried blood around it that had become part of the macabre spectacle that was this woman's face. She didn't react when I recoiled and instead lunged forward, grabbing my arm and pulling me into the room she was standing in front of. I fought against her even as she dragged me into the room but once I crossed the room's threshold, I felt a sharp pinprick in my neck and then there was nothing.
I woke up strapped to a chair much like one you'd see in a dentist's office, in a room as sterile as the hallways I walked down. A man in a lab coat looked at me with glee, exclaiming jovially as I groggily tried to lift myself up, "Dear girl, don't overexert yourself! We're so sorry we had to sedate you but after you reacted so intensely to Annabelle, we were worried you'd injure yourself in your haste to escape. And we can't have that now, can we?" For whatever reason, his upbeat demeanor freaked me out even more than the woman with the mouth stitches. I curled myself into a ball.
"What do you want from me? What is this?" I asked, barely above a whisper.
He beamed at me. "We don't want anything from you! Unless you give it to us." He let out a short ugly bark that I assumed was a laugh. "We're interested in studying the efficacy of a new drug delivery system. We obviously can't try it with a new drug if we don't even know if the delivery system works, so we needed healthy volunteers to help us out. You will be heavily compensated for your troubles!" When I didn't speak, he continued. "It's a small implant in the base of your spine, loaded with a small placebo that should have absolutely no effect on your physiology. It'll pass through your system in 30 days. And for your gracious contribution to medical science, we'll be giving you $50,000 upfront and another $150,000 after the month is over."
My mouth dropped open, in spite of myself. 200 grand? For them to stick a small implant in me? My mistake in that moment was to not question the science, but what good would it have done? I wasn't a scientist; I had no way of figuring out if what they told me was true. All I could think about was the money - it was nearly quadruple what I'd make in a year, and I'd have it all in a month. My lips formed around the word "yes".
And so, that night, at 10:06PM, I left 215 East Houston Street with a small implant in the base of my spine and $50,000 burning a hole in my pockets. My lower back ached, mostly from the huge needle they used to anesthetize me, but I could feel a small indentation when I pressed on it.
Before I left, I was asked to return to the location every week for a quick physical exam and upon the 4th exam, once the placebo had passed through my system, the implant would be removed and I would receive the last of the money. I could hardly wait.
A week passed without incident, and Dr. G (short for Dr. Giggles, the absurd nickname I had given him) was as jovial as ever when I arrived at 215 East Houston Street. He poked and prodded me with all manners of needles and forceps, and after about 30 minutes, he seemed satisfied. On my way out, I looked down the hallway and saw Annabelle staring back at me, her eyes as dead as the skin around her mouth. I turned away.
Something was different the following week. When I pressed on the indentation, it somehow felt so much bigger than it had the week before. It was almost like I had a hunchback. I felt lethargic every morning, my bones aching like they had been rearranged in the middle of the night and returned to their original positions haphazardly. I was somehow more sensitive to light and noise than I had ever been before, and the morning of my checkup, I woke up with an immense nausea that I could not shake. I called in sick and spent the morning prostrate over a garbage can, willing the discomfort to go away.
That night, the nausea had somewhat abated but the ache had worsened. Somehow I managed to make my way to 215 East Houston Street and as I walked those familiar halls, a sense of deep fear settled in my stomach.
Dr. G was waiting, his smile even more haunting in the wake of my physical issues. "Hello, hello!" he chirped excitedly, patting the chair. "Let's get right to it!"
As he turned me over to look at the implant, I began to explain my symptoms. "I'm worried that this implant is having an effect on my physiology, Doctor."
"Nonsense!" he nearly shouted from behind me. "It's coming along nicely. Any day now."
Any day now? I thought. "What do you mean, any d--"
A sudden and violent pang of pain wracked my entire body. It felt like something was coming alive inside of me, like I was being ripped apart to make way for this entity. It was coming from my back. Ohmygod, it's the implant, I screeched internally.
I tried to turn around but Dr. G held me in place. He was talking a mile a minute now. "Oh, here it is! We've been waiting for so long, we've been so excited for this!" I felt him pulling at my back and the pain was so bad that I was grateful when my eyes closed and I felt myself drift off.
When I opened my eyes, I finally understood why Annabelle's mouth had been sewn shut. If she went through what I went through, saw what I saw that night, she would never have stopped screaming.
I screamed. I screamed, even as I reached for my purse. I kept screaming as I fumbled around for the Taser my dad had given me before I moved to New York City. I continued to scream as I shot Dr. G and the thing he held in his arms, the size of a small baby but with a huge head. It was like a horrific caricature - sallow yellow skin and the tiniest hands and feet, but a normal human-sized head riddled with bruises and covered in blood. He went down but the thing... it didn't. It turned to me even as I tried to find something, anything, sharp enough to stab it with.
It had my face.
Hi there! First time posting so please bear with me. A little foreword - I am the most dense person when it comes to the supernatural. I'm useless. I may sense energies and see shadows sometimes but yeah... My mother and youngest brother on the other hand are so intuned it's infuriating. I wish I could see what they see. But they assure me I don't.
I grew up in England. I spent most my life moving around the country as my dad was a herdsman and we had to go where the jobs where. We finally settled down for a period of 8 years when I was 7 years old. My middle brother was 5 and the youngest brother was 1. We moved into a lovely Tudor farmhouse. It sat directly in the middle of the farm yard, calf sheds across the garden, parlour out the front gate, cow sheds and grain sheds a bit further away. All the buildings were red brick and black timber. Absolutely beautiful place.
Unfourtunently the house had been trashed by the former herdsman and his scumbag children. They had spray painted graffiti on the walls, torn wall paper, smashed the toilets etc... It was a sorry sight but my parents got right into cleaning it up and painting, even though we didn't own it. There were two large living rooms, a down stairs bathroom and a giant kitchen all connected by an open hall way with a dark mahogany staircase in the middle. Beyond the kitchen was a wet room, a laundry and yet another living room. On the second floor there were 5 bedrooms and a large bathroom. On the 3rd floor there were two more bedrooms and a door leading up to the attic. The house was half Tudor, half Stuart. For those who aren't familiar with British history this basically means that the first two living rooms, the kitchen and the first two bedrooms had been built between 1485 to 1603 and the rest had been tacked on during the next 100 years. Old house. Old houses usually mean history. History means ghosts.
On our first night my brothers and I slept in the second room. Basically you went up the stairs and on your right was the first bedroom, mum and dad's room, and on the left was the second room and then a hallway. The second bedroom became a no go zone. That first night I can't remember sleeping. I remember footsteps in the room and stomping down the hall. I remember knocking on the walls and the door. I remember the door latch rattling (original doors and fixtures). I remember staring at the ceiling and wishing the night to be over. We never slept in that room again. It became known as Mrs Woman's room and she got most upset if someone slept in there without her permission. In the 8 years we lived in that house my grandparents were the only ones who could sleep in that room without being disturbed and that was only because my grandmother sat down in the room and asked Mrs Woman if it was ok.
As we started renovations, Mrs Woman got her nose put out of joint several times and wasn't shy of letting us know. My dad painted the downstairs bathroom. Mrs Woman spent the whole week storming up and down the stairs, slamming the bathroom door, rattling the latches and generally being a pain in the arse until mum made dad apologise. I still remember dad standing in the bathroom, sheepishly apologising to thin air whilst my mum stood behind him, arms folded and a scowl on her face. Mrs Woman actually verbalised her grievances to my mum seeing as she could see her. This meant sleepless nights for mum and a general air of annoyance between the two woman who each thought the house belonged to them.
By this time my brothers an I had been moved down to the Stuart part of the second floor. There was a long hallway with the large bathroom off it which then lead into a large room with three bedrooms off it. Mrs Woman never came down there. I almost wished she did. There was nothing evil about her. She was just a grumpy old lady who had been there for centuries and loved her house. She never did any harm or scared us kids...other than the tantrums she would throw if we forgot about her. The things in the Stuart section were nasty. My room was up two stairs. I had a TV facing the door and my bed against the wall the door was in. I could see the reflection of the big room that connected my brothers rooms and mine. Every bloody night something would drape over my steps and lean against the door frame. I'd only ever see it's reflection in the TV. I couldn't make out any details other than it was sort of human shaped and looked to be sobbing. Of course I couldn't actually see it in my doorway or hear anything. My youngest brother could and I remember nights of him screaming at me to get out of the room and me screaming back at him to go back to bed. He had the worst of it. He had a shadow that would glare at him through his window, night and day. He said it had a top hat. He would also play peek a boo with something called Oggie at the top of the stairs.
I moved out of that area and up to the 3rd floor when I was about 12. I made the room above Mrs Woman's room my own. I thought she'd protect me from whatever was down the hallway as the energies never seemed to mix...according to my mother anyway. I had a good couple of years up there with nothing happen. Until I was 14 and had a row with mum. A big one. I stormed up to my room sat on my bed and swore. And then swore some more when my bracelet was thrown from my bedside table to the other side of the room and I legged it back to my old room. At least the sobbing drama queen blob never actually came into my room. Mrs Woman thought the whole Tudor house was her domain.
There were heaps more incidents at this house and it didn't just happen to us. Our guests were all turned into believers. We had people refuse to come back into the house thanks to Mrs Woman's tantrums. We were so used to the house and it's residents we didn't really mind. I'll happily write more tomorrow. It feels good to talk about it and I hope you enjoyed reading it. I'm on my phone so I am sorry for any mistakes!
The rain assaulted the window in big fat drops as lightning streaked across the black sky.
"One Mississippi, two Mississippi, three Mississippi." Thunder rolled.
"The storm brings them, mom. I don't know why? I can feel the humidity and then the temperature drops. I know they're gonna come. It's only a matter of time."
Tim cowered and pulled the cover up to his chin. It had been the same thing as long as he could remember, with every storm they came. Thousands of them.
Lightning lit the sky outside with purple-white streaks that saturated the skyline.
"Brings what dear?" Debbie, Tim's mom shook her head at her Fifteen-year-old son.
"One Mississippi, two Mississippi, they're nearly here."
"God damn it, Tim, you can't still be scared of thunder and lightning, you've got to grow up."
Tim muttered to himself as he bobbed his head under the cover again, the thunder rolled. It was getting louder. Tim's mom huffed and went to the window to pull the curtains closed.
"NO, leave them open, I've got to watch."
She twirled like an angry tornado. Her long brown hair whipped about her face as she glared at the only visible part of her son's head. Lightning flashed again, apocalyptic streaks of blue-white light lit the suburban street outside his bedroom window. The wind howls like a wailing banshee.
"Got to watch what, Tim?"
Tim shut his eyes and swallowed hard, it was never easy to watch them come, but he had to know.
"Oh my God Tim, your incredible, you know that. Ahhh."
Tim's mom strode to the door and slammed it shut.Tim listened hard as her heavy footfall stomped down the stairs. Finally he peeked out from the blanks as thunder rolled again.
"One Mississippi." The lightning flickered and flared in the window as Tim pulled off his covers. He had to see; he had to be sure that they weren't coming for him this time. The storm was directly overhead now. He knew they were out there.
He crept across the plush carpet to his window. The blackness outside only disturbed by a scattering of street lights. He knew he would see them, the spectral army of the dead. The ghostly images of people gone and forgotten, the spirits of the ones who met the end by tragedy or age.
They were all there as he looked out, slowly gliding forward as the storm drifted along the earth. A loud scream sounded in the hallway and Tim shuddered. He opened his eyes to see a ghost of a colonial soldier float down the path away from his door.
He pulled back from the window as relief numbed his limbs. They had a soul this time and he was safe. Tim watched as a ghostly woman flowed into the masses of the dead and joined its swelling ranks. Guilt spread icy fingers across his chest and jabbed at his heart as his mom's dead body cooled on the hallway floor. Maybe he should have warned his mother not to go near the front door.
This morning, when I woke up, I received a really... strange e-mail from a user whom I don't know. Here's the e-mail:
''It was finally my day off after a tiring day. On the way home I started feeling a strange frost. It was winter of course and outside it was -5 degrees. But it was not the winter that made me feel cold. I was sitting in the bus besides a plump lady who was eating a smelly sandwich. In front of me was a girl who, although she wore earphones, she had the music so loud that you could hear it from the last seats. Behind me was a couple of young people who did not stop tickling and making out. And even though all these things were happening at the same time around me, in such a small space, the frost that I felt on the skin literally made everything feel so distant. I felt very strange that it made me caught cold sweat. I suddenly felt alone in the whole world. The beatings of my heart pounded so loudly that I could hear them more intensely than all the other voices that were in the bus. In just a few minutes, the only sound that came to my ears was the sound of the beatings of my heart. And the more I listened to them, the faster my heart pounded.
And the quicker the beatings were, the more I felt the odd frost on my skin. "Maybe that’s how it feels to be dead," I thought, and I turned unconsciously and spoke to the plump lady next to me. And while I was talking to her, she kept eating the sandwich she held in her hands without giving me any notice. As if I was not existing ...
I immediately stood up from my seat. I felt like I wanted some air. I was not feeling my bones or my body. And while I was listening intensely to the beatings of my heart, from the one hand, I was afraid of it, but on the other, that meant that I was still alive.
I pressed the button and went down to the next stop. I went out and saw the bus moving. My house was half an hour on foot. At that moment, a teenager, wearing a woolen cap and a long, thick jacket, passed in front of me. He had his hands in his pockets and his face was reddened by the cold. It was that moment that the fear within me turned into panic: outdoors was freezing cold and I could not feel anything. I looked at the trees on the sidewalk, and I noticed the branches of them shaking right and left from the turbulent air. And yet I did not feel anything: neither the air nor the polar cold. I was only listening to the beatings of my heart as the odd frost on my skin grew bigger.
I ran to the nearest café which was my hangout for years. By the time I came in, I saw Mr. Mike, the owner of the bar and my very own good friend. I tried to gather my senses and approached the bar. There was no one else just the two of us. As I was getting closer to him, his cell phone rang. It was a message alert. I asked him what happened but he did not respond. Within a few seconds, Mike began to cry. I approached the cell phone and read the message: Peter died today from heart attack.
Panic took over my body. I felt a knot on my neck going up. I went outside leaving my good friend behind me. As I stepped out I fell down on my knees trying to breathe.
“Am I dead?” I wondered. “But if I am, where is paradise and hell? Why am I still here?”
At that moment everything escalated really quickly. A house opposite to the cafe was on fire. The fire brigade had arrived immediately and all the neighbors were gathered around. I approached and saw a man screaming and crying holding in his hands a little girl full of burns. Suddenly, I saw through the house and flames a girl coming out exactly like the one the man was holding in his hands. Her body was totally burned. Her hair had melted and stuck in her head while the clothes were stuck on her skin. When she arrived in front of the man, she began screaming so loud that made me horrify completely. The man held the dead girl in his hands and at the same time the same girl stood next to him but no one seemed to see or listen to her except me.
And suddenly, something happened that shook me up to this day. A woman appeared from nowhere behind the screaming girl. She had no eyes, no nose, only a mouth and long, dark hair. She was naked, full of wounds, with her body having no bellybutton or nipples. She was holding a long sickle and started walking towards the girl. As soon as the girl saw her, she started screaming even more.
The obnoxious woman lifted the sickle and cut the girl in the middle. I wanted to throw up. I started hearing the beatings of my heart again. Then the woman turned her head toward me. I began to run terrified as she passed the sickle around her waist with a rope and started running behind me both with hands and legs like an animal but with strange moves.
It's been four months since then. Right now I'm in the basement of my home locked in my old warehouse where I had my little office. I send this message everywhere in the hope of sharing it with anyone you can. There is no other life. There is no paradies, or hell, or anything we've been 'taught'.
There is only She.
I managed to escape somehow because I was lucky. I do not know for how long yet. At the end of the message I write the address of my home. I'm begging you to come and save me before She comes here and kil......."
The floor littered with empty bottles of vodka and trash. The foul stench almost suffocating me. I wish it would, I thought, as I placed the gun towards my temple. I could not stomach this life anymore. I pulled the trigger. The world around me descended in to nothing but darkness.
I awoke disorientated, a few moments later, slumped over my dining room table with an agonising headache. I squinted my eyes to attempt to fight the pain. The entire room spun wildly as I dragged my head off of the table. I forced my eyes open and saw the gun on the table next to me. I felt the area that I had shot, but could not feel a wound. It was impossible that I could have missed.
I attempted to focus my eyes, as the headache intensified. I eventually managed to blearily look around the room. Sitting opposite me was an ageing man smiling at me.
“Ah. At last. I have been patiently waiting here for a while. You could have at least cleaned up if you were expecting company.”
He laughed to himself, while his eyes wandered around the room.
“Are you God?”
I muttered as my headache started to subside slightly. The room had started to spin less. The man sat there for a few moments contemplating the question, before shaking his head.
“Are you the Devil?”
He smirked, brushing his long bony fingers through his matte black hair.
“Hmm. I suppose I am what you would call the Devil. I reside in a world that knows nothing but evil. There is no good that comes before this. There is no saviour, or God. I am no more good or evil than anything else that comes out of my world. If it is easier for you to comprehend, then sure, why not. I am the Devil.”
I take a moment to gather my surroundings. I cover my face with my hands and attempt to shake myself awake.
“Still here” He says, as he stands up from his chair, stretching out his back and loudly exhaling.
“Why do you people always think that killing yourself is the solution? Sometimes, I get it. But with you, I don’t understand.”
He was right. I did not really have a reason. I was stuck in an endless cycle of depression that I had made barely any effort to get out of. I had a good life all things considered. A few small mishaps had somehow bought me to the point of ending it all. It was a rash decision, but one that I thought was right at the time.
“Go on then.” He expectantly said.
“What do you mean?”
“Come on, everyone always wants to ask me something. You must have a question burning in your mind that you are desperate to know the answer to.”
I blurted out the first thing that come to me.
“Is there a heaven or hell?”
“Ah. Getting straight down to it. Well, let me explain what comes before first.”
He picked up one of the only bottles of vodka that was not completely empty and sat back down at the table.
“Any good this stuff? We don’t have anything like this where I come from.”
“Erm... I suppose.” I said, as he took a swig from the bottle.
“Not bad. Well, anyway, back to your question. The world that comes before this you will not remember, but you were once a part of. The people that are born there are born in to a life of slavery. Slaves to an endless bloody war. There is no religion or hope of a better place."
“It is a place filled with darkness. There are endless horrors and atrocities being committed while I speak to you now. I have lived for an eternity and I have maimed, tortured and killed more people than I care to remember. So, I suppose you could call it hell, but I personally call it home."
He paused momentarily to take another swig of the Vodka before continuing.
“This life, is what I suppose you would call Heaven. I mean, it’s not much. There’s still suffering and pain around every corner. Here though, you have freedom of thought and although you still feel pain and fear, you can also experience love and happiness. I mean, over time, you people evolve and change this world. This is not the first cycle and it will not be the last. You people always manage to kill everyone off somehow.”
“I have given you another chance at this life. If you could see a glimpse of what you have been through, you would be grateful.”
He said, while looking almost contempt for a few brief moments. He stood up and stared out of the window at the rising sun, with a look of admiration.
“If this is what you call Heaven, then where do we go after this?” I asked with a desire to find out the secrets of the afterlife.
His demeanour changed immediately. His entire body tensed up as his eyes lingered on the sunrise.
“I have lived for an eternity and I never knew I had the ability to feel fear. I come from a place where war, pain and torture is a constant. A world of unimaginable cruelty and horror. The kind of place where even your nightmares have nightmares. I thought I had seen it all."
He hesitated a little, breaking eye contact momentarily before his gaze once again met mine. His expression had changed from the rather jovial but strong and fearless character that had stood before me. He was different now. He looked worried.
“I once travelled to the place that comes after this one. There is no light at the end of this tunnel. I would not take ending this life lightly."
“Because what comes after this, even I fear."
I had just finished putting dinner on the table when my five year old started giggling to herself.
“What’s so funny, Junebug?”
She giggled, “God doesn’t like you.”
I blinked. My wife and I are Christian but we’ve never mentioned anything religious in front of our daughter, much less taken her to church, “June, how do you know about God?”
“He talked to me last night. I was sleeping but he was talking to me.”
“Oh, well that’s not very nice to say— why doesn’t God like me?”
“He won’t say. I’ll ask next time,” she stabbed her pasta with her fork. “He’s funny!”
I smiled at her. What a weird kid, I have.
The next morning, as I was fixing my tie, I could hear my wife and daughter talking at the breakfast table. I had a huge presentation that afternoon, so I usually skipped breakfast to keep the nerves from upsetting my stomach.
“Mommy, who’s Clara?”
I stopped tying.
“Clara. Who is she?”
“Hey!” I waltzed into the kitchen, kissed my wife and swung June up in the air like she always loved, “How’s my amazing, wonderful, fantastic, family this morning?”
“Dad!” she laughed. “Dad put me down!”
“Who’s gonna seal the deal?” she loved when I asked that.
“Mr. Issac Wilkes!”
“Because Issac Wilkes is the man!”
I kissed her on the cheek and put her back at the table.
“I’ll take June to school today,” my wife looked surprised but smiled and left out the door to work. June usually liked riding in my car, she said it reminded her of a spaceship.
“So what was that about Clara?”
My daughter’s smiled faded, “Nothing.”
She didn’t say a word the whole car ride. What a weird kid I have.
“Do you have a sister?” my wife asked that evening.
“What do you mean?”
“Your daughter mentioned a Clara. I thought maybe she meant an aunt or something. Neither of us have sisters, though, right?”
“Yeah, weird,” I took off my shoes. “The presentation was a knockout. The head honcho gave me a ton of paperwork to fill out before I move on to the higher-ups!”
“Oh, congrats babe!” but her eyes looked tired and her smile had hesitation in it, “I’m just kind of worried about her. She has a big imagination but. . . it’s the way she sounds so certain.”
“I’ll talk to her tonight — don’t worry.”
“And I found this in her room,” my wife gave me a small stack of papers with crayon drawings on them.
The first was a drawing of what looked like our family; they were cute, triangle-bodied people with happy faces. June had arrows labeling each one: ME MOMMY DADDY REAL MOMMY
“I’ll handle it.”
I got up and went to the bathroom. My eyes were bloodshot to shit; what an annoying kid, I have.
June was asleep when I went in to check on her. She looked so cute there in her little pink bed.
“Where’s the way back, Issac?”
I froze, the door half closed.
“You said you knew how to get back but now we’re lost. . .”
“June, wake up.”
“You hit real hard, Issac. . .”
“. . . Clara?”
June shot up in her bed; she started gagging, gasping for air, clawing at her throat with her tiny nails. She drew blood, and it trickled down her little neck. I ran over and held her arms down, pulled them away — her eyes rolled back in her head.
Sweet Jesus she’s having a seizure she’s up and dying HELP SOMEONE HELP
June stopped gagging; her breathing settled, and she turned her head to meet my gaze, slowly. Her eyes were blank white —
She fell back into her bed, mouth gaping, foaming. What a terrifying kid, I have.
We stayed home the next few days — her doctor didn’t find anything physically wrong, and after what seemed like five scans later, they couldn’t point to anything abnormal in her brain, tummy, anywhere. They wrapped her neck and sent us on our way. She slept a lot.
I went in to check on her again; out like a light. I decided to turn in a little early and work in my office but the walls wouldn’t shut up. They kept whispering and taunting and giggling like little boys. What weird walls I have.
I jolted awake; fell asleep at my desk again. The clock chimed 2:00AM. The walls were quiet, now. Thank God. Shut up. I remembered where I was, and checked over the papers my boss gave me. I stared at them.
GOD DOESNT LIKE YOU
In bright red crayon. Across the front.
I flipped to the next page.
GOD DOESNT LIKE YOU
GOD DOESNT LIKE YOU
GOD DOESNT LIKE YOU
GOD DOESNT LIKE YOU
GOD DOESNT LIKE YOU
GOD DOESNT LIKE YOU
I’m going to wring her little fucking neck.
I creeped down that hall, being sure not to wake anyone. She wasn’t in her room. I turned to head back when I saw a little figure standing down the hall.
Her hair looked raggedy and the bandages around her neck were still stained with bright red blood. Her hands were covered in dirt and the fingertips looked red and bloody. She had something under her jumper.
“You shouldn’t be out of bed, Junebug. Go to sleep and I’ll have mom come check on you in a bit - “
“She’s not my real mom. My real mom is dead.”
I looked at her hands.
“What have you been doing, Junebug?”
“The clearing behind the tool shed…”
I clenched my fist.
“God doesn’t like you. I don’t like you either.”
I’d had enough. I ran over and grabbed her.
“DADDY PUT ME DOWN!!”
“HOW’D YOU KNOW!? ALL THIS GODDAMN GOD FUCKERY HOW’D YOU FIND OUT ABOUT HER!?”
As I shook her, I heard a distinct thunk as something struck the ground. I looked down. It was a human head.
She looked me in the eyes — my hands felt icy cold around her.
Violently, she ripped the bandages off — warm blood drenched my hands as it dribbled down her neck. I didn’t try to stop it, I just looked her in the eyes as the life left them; the second time I’ve seen that. She said she’d come back for her daughter. I didn’t believe her until now.
I hadn’t heard my wife walk in; she screamed. I could only imagine what it must have looked like, her seeing me and June like that. The head glared at me from the floor and the walls were talking again, but they had more voices in them, kiddie voices that taunted me.
God doesn’t like you.
God doesn’t like you.
God doesn’t like you.
And I’m back, thanks for supporting my first story so much and thanks for the massive amount of help with grammar and spelling? I now know that it should say I used to drive the Google van instead of I use to drive the Google van. Man, feels like I’m in English III again.
Anyways thanks for all the support on my story, I enjoyed reading all your comments even if they were about homonyms or proper spelling. Anyways should probably get to the point, as most of you probably know I USED (see I did learn) to work for Google by driving the van around and taking pictures that would later end up on Google Maps. You’ve probably actually seen this van once or twice before, especially if you’re a creepy twin with a gun. But if you haven’t read my first story I would like to invite you to do so now. Here it is bud https://redd.it/7jp63y
So, let’s see what’s in the bowl this time.
Ha, ha. This is a good one.
This is a rather short story so I’ll probably to another afterwards but another thing different about this tale is that it’s not scary. In fact, there’s a large amount of stories in that bowl that are nothing like the creepy twin’s story, some are just weird, others ominous and others just… funny.
Okay so we were driving in a city that I’m not going to say the name of when we were stopped by a red light. I was the one doing the driving this time while my partner (let’s call this guy Barry because he reminded me of the Phil’s Berry Doughboy) sat in the passenger seat quiet eating cheese puffs. Another one of my co-workers that I hated.
So we were sitting at this light for a while, waiting for it to turn green when all the sudden we see the most random thing imaginable. Okay so you’ve seen joggers right? They run around, try to stay fit and stuff; imagine that, same clothes and everything, but with one key difference.
Imagine them all walking on their hands.
Yep, we watched as a herd of people walked in front of us on their hands, upside down just smiling like it was a completely normal thing to do. Want to know the first words that left my mouth? Bet you can guess them.
If you guessed “What the hell” then you, my friend, were correct! Congratulations, you won a new car! Not really, don’t expect to get a car from me.
So me and Berry are just sitting there, watching these lunatics casually acrobat their way to the other side of the road, it was so interesting that Berry even put down the cheese puffs.
I still to this day don’t know what it was that I saw, maybe I could google it for the sake of irony but all I know is that when I feel down all I have to do is think of those idiots walking (or should it be handing) down the street and it brings a smile to my face.
That’s the end of that one, please if you have any idea on what I just described to you was tell me in the description. With that out of the way let’s move on to our next story.
Another funny one!
This story includes everyone’s favorite co-worker: Brad. This was actually after the whole ‘twin’ incident so Brad’s leg was in a cast. I was driving this time quietly humming to the radio as we passed through the expansive plains of South Dakoda when something exciting happened.
All the sudden, when we were driving, something that looked like a bird jumped in front of the car, before I could even touch the brakes the thing was roadkill. I eased on the brakes and let out a low moan as we crawled to a halt “Well damn it.”
Brad started slowly clapping as I unbuckled my seat “Nice one Seth, real excellent driving skills.”
“Will you just shut up.”
I got out and walked to the front where I didn’t see and damage to the van but did see what I hit.
The only way I can describe this, being, is a dinosaur. It looked like a small, feathered raptor. With the patches of strange, leather like skin and sharp talons.
“What the hell is this?”
Brad was peeking out the window trying to see what I was staring at “What’d you hit?”
I looked over at them and casually said “A dinosaur.”
Brad reaction to my statement was… interesting. He got out and hobbled out of the van to the front of the van before looking down at the baby T-rex with strange puzzlement.
“What the hell is this” he asked.
“Yeah, that’s what I said.”
Anyways we left the Jurassic roadkill behind and spent the rest of the time wondering what it was. After a few miles we stopped at some tourist trap to fill up on gas and when I was paying I noticed the same creature on a magnet next to the bored cashier.
I picked up the magnet and looked up at the cashier who held a fair resemblance to Squidward, I politely asked the sea creature what the bird was. He shrugged and spoke in a monotone voice “Red-necked Pheasant. The state bird.”
I laughed for the rest of the ride home.
I’ll do on more before I have to get to work, maybe we’ll get lucky and not have to read a scary story today.
Well damn it, this is a creepy one.
I was in Arizona with Amy, the only good partner I actually had. She was a nice girl which was a huge step forward from a selfish pricks I was accustomed to. We laughed and joked and talked our way up and down the roads for miles and miles. But this specific time, our conversation was interrupted.
What’s stranger than a military roadblock in the middle of nowhere? A military road block in the middle of nowhere that is only blocking off ten feet of road. Let me try to describe this to you, there was a massive group of armed soldiers with a red tape blocking the road and ten steps past that was the exact same thing.
We got closer and the guy who looked like a leader stopped us, motioning for us to roll down the window. We did as we were told and the man poked his head into the window “Howdy, whatcha fellas doin out here?”
I explained to the man what the Google van was and he nodded slowly “Okay, we’ve gotta roadblock here and it’s our orders to check out any persons who come across this section. So if you can provide any proof that you are in fact from the google compant then we can send you right on your way.”
I gave him a strange look “Um, the big words on the side of the van ain’t enough for you?”
The man’s voice grew deadly serious “Do ya have proof or not?”
I shook my head “Sir, with all due respect, I’m not sure what you want from me.”
The man nodded and stepped away from the van, he then stopped a good distance from the van before nodding to the armed me “On my order.”
The men all lifted their guns simultaneously, the barrels of twenty rifles trained right on us. I threw my hand in the air “Hey! Hey! Hey! Wait!”
“Aim” the commander said.
“I have proof” I yelled closing my eyes waiting for the bullets that never came.
The commander turned back around and nodded “Okay, let me see the proof.”
I handed him my phone and told him to call my boss, he did and the two had a nice chit chat about how I dropped my phone when climbing into the Google van and he was looking to return in. After my boss didn’t question the ‘google van’ statement he dropped the phone and crushed it under his boot “Lost the single” he said before nodding to us “You can go.”
We drove around the block and started speeding down the road, it wasn’t until later, when I was studying the photos we took, that I saw something strange.
When the pictures showed the roadblock there was something in between the two road blocks, it looked like a massive crack just floating in the air. And inside I could see thousands of different faces watching me, and in the next picture some of them actually looked like me.
That’s all for now, see you next time. I’ll post again another day… hopefully.
When I was a kid, my primary school, for about one month every year in the beginning of autumn, made us do cross country running. Every morning for that month, we'd go to class to get our names ticked off and then head off to the start of the track. For context, my school was surrounded by a large area of thick bushland, through which a number of walking tracks ran, both the school's tracks and public tracks. The school had two tracks, a short one for the younger kids and a longer one for the older kids. Both tracks left school grounds at the same point before diverging and meeting back at a different point, re-entering school grounds. A couple of the public tracks could be seen through the trees and shrubs from the longer track but were mostly completely separate. Every morning for about a month we would have to run or walk the track for 30 minutes before returning to class and starting lessons. At the end of the month, we had a cross-country carnival where we were divided by year group and gender and raced the track. Two laps.
Anyway, I was always one of those kids who walked the track. I'd never been particularly athletic, and my equally unathletic friends and I used the morning cross-country practice to talk about whatever it was we talked about back then. Aside from the conversation, I found the morning practice incredibly boring. It was the same scenery over and over again, walking in circles for 15 minutes. Large circles, but circles all the same.
One morning, my friends Aiden, Harry, Jack, and I had been complaining about how boring it was when, about five minutes in, Jack had an idea. He suggested about halfway through the track, we break off and cut through the bush to a part of the track that was further up and scare the people there. Being incredibly bored nine year old boys, we thought it was a great idea. We spent so much time carefully plotting exactly what we were going to do and how that we ran out of time to do it that day. It was later decided that we would enact our plan the following day. Fortunately for the people up front, we never managed to carry out our plan. Unfortunately for us, though, it wasn't by choice.
10 minutes into cross-country practice the next morning, we started to carry out our plan. We made sure there were no teachers or other students who would tell on us around and we squeezed between a couple of shrubs to start the shortcut to the front through the area between the two tracks we'd decided on the day before. We figured it'd probably be about a five-minute walk back to the track, where we would jump out and scream at the kids up front. Simple, but we figured it would be effective enough.
Three minutes into the walk through the bush, I started to feel like something was wrong. I said as much to my friends, but Aiden brushed it off and Jack called me a pussy. Harry, however, looked just as uneasy as I did. I didn't know why I felt that way, I just did. Harry suggested that it was because we were somewhere we didn't recognise, but he seemed to believe that as much as I did, which is to say, not at all. I nodded anyway. We kept walking.
A minute later, I realised what felt so off. It was silent. For the first couple of minutes, we could hear other kids talking and laughing, but at around the three-minute mark, it all faded into silence. I reported this to the other boys and noticed that Aiden was also starting to look a little uneasy. Harry suggested we turn back, but Jack insisted we kept going, that it was normal and that it was just because we were far away from the tracks. However, both tracks should not have been so far away that we couldn't hear anything. I didn't say anything though. Neither did Aiden.
Another minute passed and Harry declared he would head back himself. Jack called him a wuss and a loser but made no move to stop him. Harry left back the way we came while the rest of us pushed forward.
A few minutes later was when I went from uneasy to downright terrified. We should have reached the track already, but we were still in thick bush. Also, not only had we not seen any other kids, we still couldn't hear them. I grabbed Jack by the arm and turned him around and he looked pissed off. I was ready to yell at him and demand we turn back when a look of confusion crossed his face. Then a look of fear. He frantically looked around, eyes searching before he turned his terrified gaze back to me. I opened my mouth to ask him what was wrong when he interrupted me. "Where's Aiden," he whispered. I dropped his arm and stepped back, looking around me in a full circle. I couldn't see him anywhere. Then, I saw something else. Movement. A shadow in the distance, behind a bush. It was a human-like figure, tall, but hunched over. I couldn't tell for sure, but it seemed to be looking straight at us. I looked at Jack. He saw it too. He turned to me and mouthed one word. Run. We bolted back in the direction we came, sprinting as fast as we possibly could. I could hear the thing behind us though, snapping branches and crunching dry leaves. I didn't turn around to look, but Jack did. When he did he let out a whimper and started running faster, faster than I thought he could. The bush was starting to look familiar and I could hear talking up ahead. I almost cried with relief.
We had almost reached the edge of the bush and beginning of the track when the thing behind us let out a blood-curdling shriek. The shock of the sudden loud noise caused Jack to fumble and trip, but I caught him by his elbow and dragged him along with me until we finally broke through the bush to find a small crowd waiting on the track. The crowd was made up of teachers, police, EMTs, Jack's parents, Aiden's parents, my dad, and Harry, who looked like he'd been crying. My dad scooped me up in a big hug, murmuring about how worried he'd been and how much he loved me. When I asked what was wrong, he shot me a confused look. "Kiddo, you've been missing for two hours". I remember thinking that was impossible. We'd been gone for a maximum of twenty minutes, half an hour. Definitely not two hours. It was then that Aiden's mum walked up to us. I'd met her a few times before, and she was an incredibly nice lady. I'd never seen her look so worried before. She asked me the same thing Jack had asked me when we were lost. "Where's Aiden?" she said. It took me a few moments to get the words out. I told her we got separated and that I didn't know where he was. She began to tear up but thanked me all the same.
I was then checked over for injuries by an EMT before I was asked a few questions about the incident by the police. I told them everything I knew, even about the strange thing that Jack and I saw. At that, the two police officers shared a worried look, but not like they were worried about me hallucinating. They looked worried like they'd seen this sort of thing before. They thanked me for my time and Jack, Harry, and I were sent home early.
I didn't end up going to school for the rest of the week, and when I did go back, I avoided Jack and Harry. They avoided me and each other. Whatever happened in the bush that day tore us apart.
Despite the events of that morning, the school continued to have us do morning cross-country practice on the same tracks, perhaps in the hope that he would stumble back onto the track and be found again. Jack, Harry, and I were exempt from cross-country practice. Aiden wasn't found that year.
The police continued to look for Aiden over the next couple of months but were unsuccessful. There was no trace of his body anywhere in the area. Up until last month, he was still classified as missing. Last month, though, a group of boys from the same primary school as us went searching for the mysterious creature of our legend. Although they didn't find the creature, they did find Aiden's body, remarkably preserved and stuffed in a hollowed out log, still in his school uniform. They say he bled out after being tortured for hours, maybe days. They also believe he never left the area he disappeared in.
It took fifteen years to find a boy who'd never left the area. He could have been saved. We could have saved him. Or we could have ended up like him.
The police say they're trying to catch Aiden's killer, but I don't believe them. I think they know the truth. Whatever the fuck it was that killed Aiden and that Jack and I saw, wasn't human. But if that's the truth, then what was it?
When I was in my early twenties I worked for a while as a night guard at a printing museum. I met the owner of the museum through my family’s church. He was an older guy, and was looking for someone to stay at the museum after dark; apparently he’d found evidence that someone had been inside. Lights left on, things knocked over, stuff like that.
I was back in town for the summer, so I took the job. I figured it was an easy way to make money. The worst that could happen was that I had to chase away some kids, right?
When I showed up for work on the first day, the owner led me around the place. It was full of printing machines and paintings. It almost looked like someone had turned a house into a museum a few decades back. The owner was a jolly old guy, and I could tell he loved giving tours. It took a long time, and he went into detail about each printing press, document, and painting.
We stopped by an old painting of a couple. He pointed to it and told me that it was of his parents. He told me that they were the ones who actually built this museum, and that he'd only inherited it after they’d died.
When the tour was wrapping up, I noticed a door that was boarded up, halfway down the hallway. When I asked him about it, his whole demeanor changed. The jolly old guy disappeared, and he got angry.
“Never go near that room, you hear me? It’s off limits to you. If I ever here of you trying to get in there, you’ll be fired, is that understood?”
I was surprised at his anger. I responded that there was no problem, and that I was happy to leave it alone.
I started working nights later that week. It started out as boring as you might expect, but soon strange things started happening, similar to what he’d described. I would leave a wing of the museum and come back to find the light on, or a bucket knocked over. Nothing too over the top, but enough to make me a little on edge, you know? There was no sign of forced entry anywhere.
I took video of the interior of the museum, just so you can see what it was like inside: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UX0IfuMLSYk
Over the course of a few nights my curiosity about the door he’d told me to stay away from grew. I stopped by it every once in a while. After a few nights working, I noticed that the wall next to the door had a small hole in it, maybe the size of a dime, and seven feet off the ground.
I grabbed a chair and brought it to the wall where the hole was, and stood on it so I could look through the hole. I could see clear through the wall into the room on the other side. It was full of furniture. There was a wardrobe with an open door, and I could swear I saw part of someone standing behind it. Two legs in what appeared to be suit pants and dress shoes were visible standing behind the door.
I pulled my head back in shock, and tried to think. What could there be in this room, that looked like a man standing behind a wardrobe in dress pants and shoes? A mannequin maybe? I put my head back up to the hole and looked through it again. This time I didn’t see the room at all, just this formless red. I didn’t understand what I was seeing other than this deep red color.
I gave up and stepped down from the chair. I was on my way to return the chair when the painting of the owner’s parents caught my eye. I set the chair down and stepped close. I noticed his father was wearing suit pants and dress shoes, similar to what I’d seen. When I looked up to his face, I saw that he was painted as having bright red eyes.
I dropped the chair and left the place immediately. When the owner called me the next day, I just told him I quit. He bothered me about it for a while, but eventually left me alone. To this day I’ve never gone back to the museum.
My son was born in early October, nearly three weeks from his due date. Little fucker probably got bored all cooped up inside his mother's womb and decided it was time for his great reveal. I was scared of being a father and for the longest time I was against even talking about having kids. You see my father was very abusive to me when I was a child. He would beat me and my siblings if we didn't move out of the way fast enough, or if we didn't obey him fast enough. He would grab us by the arms and throw us onto a bed or a floor and open hand hit us until his heavy breathing calmed down and he would walk away, telling us to shut up and stop crying. I grew up with that rage and I was afraid that if I became a father, I would be just like mine.
My wife reassured me that this wasn't going to be the case and that I was just living with the sins of my father as if they were my own. I didn't disagree with her but I didn't really agree either. She understood my hesitation to take on the role and she wasn't about to pressure me into it. About two years into my marriage my estranged father passed away from a heart attack. He divorced my mother when I was in my teens and I rarely heard from him after he moved out of state. Every now and then I would receive a Christmas card or even a late birthday card with a little more written in his scratchy but legible hand writing. He would write about how he was doing and what he was doing and to be honest I would open those cards, laugh a little on how he signed them and throw those pieces of useless paper right into the bin. Fuck him.
After awhile I grew to like idea of being a father. Now that mine was dead, he didn't haunt me and torture me as he once did. I didn't see myself hurting my child like he had no problem doing to me and my siblings. My father was dead and so was his goddamn weight that had suffocated me for what seemed a lifetime. Almost as if the gods had heard me my wife comes jumping into my arms with her pregnancy test in hand. She gleefully looked into my eyes, kissed my lips and softly whispered.
"You're going to break the cycle."
Break the cycle, I thought to myself. That would be something. I was the youngest child of three in my family. I had an older brother and sister who had both got beat on possibly worse than I. See, daddy dearest was actually soft on me compared to the other two. The oldest child, my brother, still lives with my mom. He couldn't finish grade school due to the brain trauma he received courtesy of pops. He currently works as a dishwasher at a restaurant near by. My sister, the middle child ran away at 15 with her boyfriend who was 32. They got married in Vegas where he scored heroin, injected her with it and proceeded to have a group of other druggies gang rape her until she died in her own vomit. When the cops found her she had already been dead a week. Her pedofile boyfriend was arrested shortly after and who knows what happened to him. Probably dead, I stopped trying to figure things out. That's my family and that's what we became.
Me? Well I did what every freshly graduated, hateful and rage fuled teen would do. I joined the Marines. None of that matters though. That's not why I'm writing on "no sleep". This isn't my autobiography. Fuck.. how do I explain this? I'll just dive headfirst in. That's all I can do, right?
My wife was out at work, she was a night nurse at a local hospital. I was alone with my now three week old son and I had finally just got him to settle in his crib which he seemed so small in. I quietly walked back into my bedroom, laid my head on my cool pillow and began to close my eyes when he started screaming. He had been doing this constantly for the past three hours and my head was beginning to ache. I repeated the process.
I would first pick him up gently in my arms and swing him slowly back and forth. Then I would sing a little song for him. Telling him it'll be ok and that daddy was here. I would see his eyes begin to close and his breathing would slow. I would gently place him back into his crib and repeat my silent walk back to my bedroom.
He would scream....
And fucking scream. ....
And I couldn't take it...i felt my face start to burn, my eyes were watering and the headache! It was so painful. I felt like I wasn't in control anymore. His crying, it just wouldn't stop. No matter what I did!
I can see myself now, reaching into the crib and grabbing my son, my sweet baby boy, and slamming his head into the wall. I can feel his neck snap under the force of my hand. I can feel him stop moving. I step back in horror as his limp body falls into the crib. What the fuck have I done?!!
But I wasn't in my son's bedroom. I was still in mine. There was a shape of a man standing in the dark corner by my dresser. His shape was familiar but it was his voice that sent shivers down my spine.
"I'll never leave your side kiddo." My dead father chuckled as I ran out of the room to check on my boy. He was in his crib sleeping quietly, making typical baby sounds. I felt some relief which was overwhelmed by absolute terror.
"I am always going to be there kiddo." That voice echoed in my head. I could smell his rotting corpse behind me. I can feel his smile, His dead breath on my neck. I watched as my son's eyes opened and he turned his head toward me as if he knew what I was thinking. My son began to laugh. His laugh wasn't a baby's laugh. It was my father's laugh......
I knew at that moment my dad wasn't dead.
This is a story about my sisters. Juniper and Marigold. June and Mary. Twins born on the first day of September. Two and a half years older than me.
We lived in rural Wisconsin. Our father was a long haul trucker and our mother waited tables at the Denny’s. Mary, June and I were great explorers, charting the woods behind our modest home with construction paper and dulled crayons. We spent most of our time playing outside, sun, rain or snow.
There was safety in numbers. We were always back in time for dinner. In retrospect, I’m not even certain our mother knew just how far from home we strayed.
This is a story about a lake we found, a couple of miles into the wilderness. It was a Saturday in early February. We were bundled up in puffy jackets and snow pants. When we first came across the clearing, it was striking. The most beautiful thing my young eyes had ever seen.
Crisp white snow, sprawling flat as far as the eye could see. There wasn’t so much as a twig or a paw print to interrupt the pristine blanket of powder.
It was Mary who realized there was water beneath. She pointed out the reed stalks that speckled the perimeter. Even approached what must have been the edge, crouched down and brushed away the snow to reveal ice. She was always very science minded. Even with her mere twelve years of experience on the planet, she was one of the smartest people I knew.
So of course, she was the first to ask why we’d never seen this lake before. In all our years of wandering, we must have come this way at least a dozen times. I had no answers. I simply shrugged and pulled my hat down tighter around my ears to stave off the cold.
June was silent. Staring out into the vast expanse of white.
Other people had trouble telling my sisters apart, but I never did. They had the same wavy chestnut hair, grey eyes, and angular jaws. They had the bones of birds, thin and fragile. But June was softer. Quieter. She had more freckles sprinkled across her cheeks. Mary questioned and June listened. That was the way it had always been.
“Do you hear that?” She almost whispered, gaze glued to the horizon.
“What?” I asked, somehow feeling I should be just as quiet.
“The crying… someone is crying.”
“Junie, what are you talking about?” Mary straightened up, dusting the snow off her gloves.
June raised a finger to her lips, requesting silence.
I didn’t hear anything. No birds. No rustling trees. I’m not sure I’ve ever experienced a deeper or more unsettling quiet.
If there’s one skill Mary never quite developed, it was keeping her mouth shut. It only added to the gravity of the situation when her eyes widened in sudden comprehension and a full minute passed before she said anything.
“Where is it coming from?” She wheeled around, staring at the frozen lake, just like June was.
June took a few steps closer to the edge of the lake. There was an odd look in her eye. One I’ve never seen before or since. She looked empty. Like an upright shell with nothing inside it. Her face was devoid of any expression.
Mary, on the other hand, was growing more agitated by the moment.
“We have to look for help!” She blubbered. “There–was a hunting cabin a little ways back, wasn’t there? The Darby boys have a hut out here–we’ll go get them.”
June didn’t give any indication of agreement or dissent. Mary grabbed my shoulder and squeezed it.
“Ryan. You and June stay put. Stay right here and I’ll be back.”
I nodded, confused, more than a little afraid. I still didn’t hear anything. I accepted it all. Because the prospect of both my sisters going insane at the same time seemed less plausible than my just not being able to pick up on what they were hearing.
Mary bounded off, leaving boot-prints in the snow. I watched her run until she disappeared between the trees. When I turned around, June was already a few feet out onto the lake.
I called to her, asking what she was doing. No response.
I yelled that it could be dangerous and that she should turn around. She ignored me.
I started crying. At first they were crocodile tears. The kind a little brother can usually muster when he’s trying to get pity or attention from his older sisters. But it turned all too real when the resounding crack echoed through the air. June sunk below the ice instantly.
My cowardice is probably the thing that saved me. I was paralyzed. Shocked and terrified. There was a gaping hole where my sister had been. No matter how much I wanted to move, to run to her, to save her, I couldn’t do it. I just stood there as the seconds ticked by into minutes and she was surely dead.
Time is a funny thing to pin down. I couldn’t honestly tell you how long it was before Mary showed up, with two of the Darby boys in tow, and I tearfully choked out what had happened.
The Darby boys looked at me in utter bewilderment. Mary frowned with concern.
“Ry… June is right over there.”.
Mary pointed. I turned to look. There was no hole in the ice. June was standing a ways off, next to the edge of the pond, still staring at some undefined point in the distance.
Apparently, whatever sound Mary heard had stopped. The Darby boys rolled their eyes and grumbled about what wild imagainations my sisters had. But they walked us back towards a more clearly marked trail, and said we shouldn’t wander off so far.
June didn’t say a word the whole walk home. The hairs on the back of my neck kept prickling, like someone was staring at me. But any time I glanced over, June was looking straight ahead.
Maybe I imagined it. But I could have sworn there were droplets of water clinging to her eyelashes.
This is a story about how my sister started to change.
I was still a little young to understand the finer points of puberty. But June’s came early. We were sitting on the couch together when she bled through her soft, pink sweatpants.
She didn’t stand up right away. In fact, she probably noticed long before I did.
“Huh. Guess I’m a woman now. Fucking fantastic.”
She started shaving her legs and wearing tighter clothes. She’d put on makeup in the girl’s bathroom at school. She used to have lunch with Mary and I. But with the change in appearance, people started to notice her. It wasn’t long before she sat at the same table as the girls who had money. The girls who lived in big houses, and carried around real leather purses, and drank pilfered strawberry vodka when they had sleepovers. It wasn’t long before June started talking to boys and twirling locks of hair around her index finger as she giggled at jokes that weren’t funny.
June used to come into my room late at night and sit on the edge of the bed.
Sometimes she’d talk to me. Sometimes she would just stare. Either way it seemed threatening in a manner that was hard to place. I would pretend to be asleep if it was late enough. But we both knew I wasn’t.
Sometimes I would cry.
“You watched me die, Ryan.” She would say, in that soft, eerie calm voice. “You didn’t even try to save me.”
“I’m sorry.” Pressing my face into the pillow didn’t hide the tears. But I didn’t know what else to do.
“You don’t love me.”
“I do, June. I’m sorry. I–I was scared–”
“You have no idea what it’s like to drown. All that stuff about it being peaceful is bullshit. It hurts, Ryan. It feels like barbed wire wrapping around your lungs. It’s like being trapped in a tiny box, that keeps getting smaller and smaller until you’re completely crushed.”
She would lean down to whisper right in my ear. Her hand on the back of my neck, squeezing just a little too hard, was icy as the first snow.
During the day, she’d carry around those little chemical hand warmers that skiers put in their gloves. But she wanted me to feel the cold, because it was my fault.
“Say you love me, Ryan.”
“I–I love you, June.”
Frank Darby went missing. I was probably the last person to see him alive. Or well, the second to last.
I saw him climbing out of June’s bedroom window a little after sunset, while I was raking leaves. It wasn’t a secret what they’d been doing. I’d gone outside because I could hear the slick sounds and creaking mattress springs through the thin walls.
June climbed out after him, smiling much too wide. Her hair was messy, and her face was flushed. The two of them got into the branches of the tall maple tree that grew beside our house, and shimmied down it.
They walked towards the woods, holding hands.
Just as they were about to disappear into the trees, June looked over her shoulder and winked at me.
The park rangers found Frank about a week later. I didn’t see the body, only heard stories. It’s hard to say what was embellished and warped in the game of telephone that spread through town. But the most common details are that Frank’s throat was ripped out, and his ribs had been cracked open. Whatever killed him took his heart.
My mother fell ill. Stage three breast cancer. I was twelve. June and Mary had recently turned fifteen.
Mary cried a lot. June spent most of her time at the hospital, stroking mom’s hair and feeding her soup.
Sometimes I wonder if her hands were cold. I wonder what my mother thought about that in the fading twilight.
Mom died in the middle of the night in early spring. June was the only one in the room with her.
Joe Darby met a similar fate to his older brother, for a slightly different reason.
Joe asked Mary to the homecoming dance.
At that point, Mary was wearing glasses. We didn’t have much money, so her dress was from the thrift store—several decades out of fashion.
She and Joe swayed back and forth at arm’s length. Smiling awkwardly. Or that’s how I imagine it happened. I wasn’t there.
I was there for the shouting match in our backyard. When June called Mary a cunt and they pulled each other’s hair and fingernails broke skin as they tumbled on the ground together.
Joe went missing shortly after that. Mary spent a lot of time searching the woods for him. After June apologized, they went together. They disappeared into the trees, holding hands, and a pile of bricks settled at the pit of my stomach.
Mary came back with damp hair and stopped wearing her glasses.
A few days later, the police found the shredded remains of Joe Darby. Once again, missing his heart.
This is a story about a lake in the middle of the woods, and how my sisters tried to drown me in it.
It was a foggy winter morning. My sisters kept throwing each other meaningful looks across the breakfast table, communicating in that way twins will. Having a conversation I could never hope to understand.
I was fourteen, and afraid of them both. When they asked if I wanted to go on a hike, I said no. They didn’t insist. They didn’t have to. Mary had made breakfast. The sleeping pills were already in my system.
When the drowsiness hit, I tried to make myself throw up, but it was too late.
They put me on a sled and dragged me out into the forest. I was unconscious for most of it. Just little flashes of trees and sky.
They waited for me to wake up. They were standing over me, completely naked, smiling wider than a human mouth should be able to stretch. They didn’t seem uncomfortable, despite the frigid wind whipping through their hair, and the snow between their bare toes.
“Can you hear it yet, Ryan?” June laughed.
“I’m sure you will soon. You’ll join them. All of them, at the bottom of the lake.”
“Screaming for help.”
“Begging for mercy.”
“It’s a little pathetic, really.”
I wanted to believe I was dreaming. But I knew I wasn’t. In a dream, my sisters would have shifted into something monstrous. Their hands would have become talons. Their teeth would have morphed into fangs around a forked tongue. But they looked the same as they ever had. Identical except for the freckles.
They each grabbed one of my arms and lifted me to my feet with a surprising strength. They stepped in tandem, slowly towards the edge of the lake in a grim procession. I was the star of it all.
My survival instincts must have kicked in about halfway to the ice. I began to struggle and scream, sure that nobody was listening. What is there to do when faced with imminent death but shriek at the heavens for mercy?
As I screamed, there was a swelling chorus of tortured cries. It sounded as if the ground hand opened up beneath me to unleash the anguish of the damned. The deafening noise echoed all around us. Centering on the lake. The lake that was no longer frozen over, but frothing and steaming like the surface of a cauldron.
My sisters held my shoulders firmly and lowered me into the water. Feet first. It was blistering. Painful beyond the point where I could distinguish heat or cold. It burned. That was all I knew.
Perhaps it’s poetic that a Darby saved me.
Perhaps it was divine intervention.
I tend to think it was nothing but dumb luck. It’s hard for me to believe in God anymore. Or at least, I can’t believe in a God that is fair and merciful. The only thing I know for sure is that evil exists. Something dark and twisted claimed both of my sisters, and will never give them back.
But a gunshot rang through the air, just when the water was lapping at my knees.
June released her grip on me suddenly. My center of gravity shifted backwards. It was enough time for me to wrench out of Mary’s grasp and crawl back up the snowy bank of the lake. I couldn’t stand. But I kept pulling myself along, farther and farther away from the water.
Two more shots in rapid succession cracked through the air above me. I saw the eighty-year-old grandmother Helen Darby, with a floral handkerchief tied around her head, holding a double barrel shotgun. Aiming it at the lake.
I didn’t turn around until long after she rushed past me. June’s naked body lay prone on the lake’s shore, bullet wound in her back leaking blood into the ground. Steam floating into the air from her torn flesh.
Mary was nowhere to be seen. I didn’t hear any more gunshots. Helen Darby circled around after a while. She put me back on the sled and dragged me to the hunting hut, where the rangers came to get me.
I lost three of my toes to frostbite. I considered myself lucky.
After my sisters disappeared, Helen Darby effectively adopted me. Whenever my father wasn’t home, she’d make a point to stop by. She’d teach me how to cook, help me figure out how to run the washing machine, knit while I did my homework or watched TV. Most importantly, she’d sit in the living room with the shotgun, long into the night. Making sure whatever had gotten a taste of me didn’t come back for another bite.
When I was old enough, or rather on my fifteenth birthday, Helen gave me a gun of my own and taught me how to use it.
Part of me knew it was all a little bizarre. But I could pretend it was about the grandsons she’d lost. She was just treating me as their replacement. We only talked about what happened at the lake once, and never again after that.
It was a cold night in December. We were sitting by the fireplace, listening to a radio broadcast of A Christmas Carol. Helen had been drinking gin straight from the bottle for a couple of hours. She often got sad when she drank. Her baggy, wrinkled eyes shone with a hint of tears, and the corners of her mouth sagged downwards.
“There’s something wrong out in the woods.” She said suddenly. Unspoken context looming over us. “It takes the little girls and kills the men. It’s been there longer than this town. Folks just stopped believing in it.”
I had so many questions but couldn’t voice any of them. I just stared at her wide eyes.
“It still talks to me. Always talks to me. It tried to make me kill my brother. My husband. My sons… but I’m too old for it now. It can’t do much besides talk. I’ve tried avoiding it but look what that did. No. Somebody has to stay out there.”
She took another long swig from her bottle.
“You know, I’m not going to live forever, Ryan.”
I nodded, solemn. Life already a tangled mess of grief. What better cause could I pursue than wardenship?
“You know what has to be done when I’m gone.” It wasn’t a question. It was a statement. A sigh of relief.
This is a story about how I moved into a small cabin in the middle of the woods. I hunt and fish, and sell lumber to whoever needs it.
I don’t hear the voices or the screams. But some moonlit nights there’s a rapping on my window. I see the silhouette of a shriveled, naked woman with matted chestnut hair.
One day, she will probably finish what she started. Until then, I will keep watch, and do my best to pass along the story.
The worst things happen when we try to forget the warnings of a different time. Don’t wander in the woods. Don’t stray off the path. Something evil might get you. Just like it got to me.
I woke up one morning, the morning my entire life had changed. Looking back on it now, i'm glad it happened.
Consciousness slowly crept into my thoughts. I felt groggy like I had just had a serious drinking binge the night before. It took a minute before I was finally able to open my eyes. A voice rang in my ear, at first I thought it was my wife's voice. I turned my head and moved my left arm to rest on top of her body. When I felt nothing but an empty bed, my eyes shot open.
My wife was gone! The sheets were ruffled, indicating she had been in bed with me, but where could she have gone.
A voice rang in my ear once again. This time I was able to make out the words.
Unknown: It's time to wake up kirk, you have a long day ahead of you.
Now I was completely confused. I sat up in bed and looked around, there was no one in the room except for me. I put my finger up to my ear, when I finally noticed something wedged inside.
Kirk: hello? Who is this?
Unknown: that doesn't matter right now. What does matter is that if you don't do as exactly as I say when I say it, you will not see Diane and Laura ever again.
My eyes opened wide as the man on the other side of this ear piece mentioned my wife and son.
Kirk: wha... what do i have to do?
Unknown: you have 7 tasks to do in 7 hours. If you fail to complete these tasks, you will never see your wife and child ever again. If you go to the police, you will never see your wife and child again. If you manage to pass all the tasks, you have a chance to see them again.
Your first task starts now.
At the moment he said that, the door to my room opened, and a young blonde blue haired girl entered. But that wasn't what caught my eye. She was completely naked, her shin was flawless except for a birthmark on her stomach right above her belly button.
Unknown: you will have sex with this woman, succeed and you are one step closer to getting your family back fail, and well... use your imagination.
I just sat there in bed looking at this woman, knowing that if i slept with this woman, i will never forgive myself and be ashamed to even look at my wife again. Although if I don’t do anything I will never see her again even if i wanted to.
Tears started to roll down my cheeks. I got up and stumbled over to her. Even though I didn't want to, the sight of her aroused me and made me want her which made me sick. I walked over to her, naked myself and brought her over to the bed. I wanted to get it over as quickly as possible.
What i wasn't expecting was her yelping in pain, and some blood running out. Crying i finished and rolled over and onto my back, looking up at the ceiling.
Unknown: Good job kirk, your lust for her made you pass the first task.
I left the girl on the bed, crying her eyes out. I could see that she had been forced to do this against her will, just as much as it was against my will to bed with her.
Unknown: your next task will bring you to the red top on St. Mary's street. I need you to put on the clothes that I left for you on the night table. You have 40 minutes to get to the restaurant. If you do not get there in time, you will fail the task, and will never see your family ever again.
I looked over to the night table, sure enough there was a set of clothes sitting on top of it. I put on a white undershirt, with an ugly Christmas shirt over top. Luckily the pants were my size, stretchable and comfortable. If anything, they were too big.
Once i got everything on I exited the bedroom, went downstairs and stopped for a moment. I thought i heard a creaking somewhere in the house. Thinking it was the girl upstairs, I put on a winter jacket, boots, and toque and leather gloves. I grabbed my keys on the hanger and opened the door to the outside.
My car beeped as i unlocked it. I hurried inside my Hyundai Accent and backed out of my driveway and onto the road. By the time I had pulled into the red top parking lot and stepped inside the restaurant, I looked at my watch and saw that it had just reached 40 minutes. Not surprisingly it was also 9am on the dot.
Unknown: good, good you made it just in time. When the waitress asks for your name, tell her the truth. They know all about your visit to their establishment and have your breakfast waiting for you.
A hostess greeted me at the door and asked me for my name. Kirk: uh, my name is Kirk Warland. I am told that you have been expecting me?
Hostess: ah yes, Mr. Warland, we have been expecting you. She didn't bother taking a menu with her. She led me to a lone table sitting in the middle of the restaurant, with a bunch of people standing around it. As I walked up to the table, people started to clap and say
Crowd: woo! You can do it! You’re the man!
Confused, I looked down at the table and my eyes opened wide. It was a giant platter of food. A crepe on the bottom, with a mound of hash browns on top of it, 12 sausage links, 24 pieces of bacon, 8 pieces of toast, 4 slices of ham, and a giant layer of scrambled eggs on top. It looked to be 12 eggs there.
I knew at this point what the challenge was. Thankfully he the man didn't give me a chance to eat before I left.
I sat down on the chair, looking at the challenge that awaited me. At 9:30am a man, who i assumed to be the restaurant manager, said, go. And i dug into the food. First i divided the eggs into eights and put them on the toast to make them soggy, then i ate all the meat and made my dry mouth moist by eating the bread and eggs.
I was doing pretty well on time by this point. I managed to eat all of that in the first 15 minutes. Now for the most filling part, the hash browns. By the time I got through half of them, i started to waiver. It was now half an hour into the task and I was struggling. That's when a voice came through my ear once again. I was expecting it to be that man again, but instead it was my daughter
Laura: daddy, please do as the man asks... He says that if you don't finish the meal... he will...
I could hear her starting to cry.
Laura: He will cut off my ring finger.
My own eyes teared up as i heard her speak. I wanted to say something, I looked up and noticed some people were giving me an odd look. Probably because I was crying. They had no idea what was really going on; i thought.
This gave me a renewed determination to finish the meal. To my relief the pants I was given seemed to be the perfect fit. It was almost like that man thought about this. How he seemed to have thought of everything.
After another 5 minutes of shoveling everything down, i had maybe a handful of food left. The only problem was, i could feel food slowly raising in my throat. No matter how hard I tried I could not take another bite. Even worse was its all about to come out. I picked up the remaining food into my hands, and shoveled it into my mouth.
I managed to eat it all. The crowed behind me cheered as I finished it.
I did it; i thought. I somehow managed to cram all the food in and keep it down. That is until i felt a hand slap my back and someone say congratulations.
I am not sure if they did it on purpose, or they were just ignorant about what I had just accomplished. But everything I had just eaten, came back up and flew across the table, spraying the customers infront of me.
Pieces of meat and eggs and hashbrowns covered people and the floor.
Unknown: oh I am so sorry, but you have failed the task.
In my ear I could hear my little girl still crying.
Laura: daddy? Why did you have to disappoint me?
My eyes opened wide in horror as i heard a crunching of skin and bone fill my ear. This was soon drowned out, as a bone crushing scream filled my ear.
Unknown: your next task, since you failed the last one, is to leave the restaurant without paying for the meal. If you look inside your wallet, you have no money or credit cards. You better leave before the management realizes this.
Everyone was distracted by the vomit covering the place. Some people even yelling at me. I got up and ran over to the washroom. Thinking that's what most people would do after vomiting all over themselves.
When i got into the washroom, i noticed a small window. I tried to open it, and with success it opened. I climbed up and into the window. I had to scrape my sides and by the time I pulled myself out, i was bleeding a bit. I ran over to my car, unlocking it as I did. A patron from the restaurant saw me and started to yell for the management.
I did not care, before the manager even managed to get out of the restaurant, i was in my car and speeding away.
Unbeknownst to me, the unknown man had left all my information with the restaurant, just not my credit card information. I was screwed and I did not even realize it yet.
As I drove away from the restaurant, the sudden realization of what has been going on had hit me. This man was taking me through the 7 deadly sins…. Why was he doing this to me, I have done nothing bad to anyone. Nothing bad enough for my wife and daughter to be abducted and tortured unless I do as exactly as the man said.
My thoughts were interrupted by the mans’ voice ringing in my ear.
Unknown: alright, alright you are doing a good job, despite the fact that you had failed the last challenge. You need to be careful now, the people at the restaurant have called the police. They know your name, where you live and your car.
My eyes opened wide at this realization. I slammed on the brakes to my car, luckily there was no one following too closely behind me. I pulled over to the side of the road and put the car in park. Sweat was dripping down my brow now.
Kirk: What do you want from me? Why are you making me do this? Did I do something to make you hate me and my family?
I was screaming at the man. If people were to look inside the car, they would think that there was a crazy man talking on the phone. My hands gripped the wheel tightly
Unknown: Well Mr. Warland, all of these answers will be answered for you in time, but your next two tasks await you. If you look across the street you will see a church. I want you to go inside, once inside you will have to make a decision. You have a choice to either do nothing or take action. Whichever option you choose has dire consequences. The question you have to ask yourself is, can you live with yourself after you make the decision.
My grip loosens up and I take a big breath in. I reach up near the light and open a little compartment I take out a pair of sunglasses. I put them on the seat, then grab the ends of the ugly Christmas sweater and pull it over my head. Once it was off I threw it into the back seat, I picked up my sunglasses and put them on before opening the door and getting out of my car. Luckily there wasn’t a lot of traffic on this road, and I crossed the street heading over to the church.
I put my hand on the door handle, and with a big tug opened it up and stepped inside. The smell of church wafted into my nostrils. Now I wasn’t a religious man, my wife made me come on Christmas and Easter. For the rest of the year, we never went. I walked inside and looked around. There wasn’t anyone around, so I walked over to the farthest pew away from the altar and took a seat. I looked down at my watch at this point and saw that it was 10:30. The man said I had 7 hours to complete 7 tasks. Since I had already completed 3 tasks and now were on my fourth and fifth task. It made me wonder what this man still had in store for me.
I was expecting to get more information from the unknown person, when I finally looked closely at the altar at the front of the church. My blood ran cold, what I had at first thought was Jesus hanging on the cross. Instead a priest hanging on the cross, his hands and feet were nailed to it. On his head rested a crown of thorns, his side was bloodied from something puncturing it as well.
I would have thrown up, however my breakfast had already been expelled from my body, and instead I just dry heaved beside me. After a moment a I got shakily up onto my feet and started down the long walkway up to the altar. Every so often I would bring my hand over to one of the pews and use it for support. After I gathered myself, I continued down. It seemed like it took me longer than it should have. Since I was on a clock, every second count, so I had to push on no matter how hard it was.
Once I got to the edge of the stairs, my eyes left the man currently being supported only by his hands and feet, and saw a chalk board to the right of him.
Mr. Warland, In front of you hangs a holy man. He has served the community for 25 years. A beloved resident to all. He gives money to charity and helps those in need.
However he has a darker side to him. If you look on the table below, you will see pictures of little boys. These boys were all molested by this priest, many parents have complained to the church, stating that he had done something to their children. All the church did however was move him to a different clergy. One where no one knew who he was.
I slowly walked up the steps and looked down at the table. Sure enough there was dozens of pictures of little boys lying there on the table.
I continued to read what had been written on the chalk board. There had been something written on the back of it, as well as a table. On the table sat a hammer and a gun with one bullet inside.
You will either be his savior or the doer of his demise. If you take the hammer, you will be able to take him down off of the cross. As for the gun, you can imagine what it is for. I looked down at the two items. I knew that if I were to kill this priest I would definitely go to hell, and go to jail for killing him. At the same time however, most of the children that were on the table were the same age as laura. Which infuriated me.
No one should do something as heinous as molesting a child and get away from it. I brought my hand down to the gun and picked it up. I pulled out the clip, sure enough there was only 1 bullet inside. I placed the clip back inside the gun, pulled back the barrel and took off the safety.
I walked round and down the stairs once again and turned around to face the priest. I lifted the gun, pointing it at his head.
I froze as I heard a moan come from him. I saw his eyes open and slowly come into focus. He looked at me and his eyes opened wide in terror.
Priest: please sir! What are you doing? I am in so much pain, you need to get me down and get me to a hospital!
Kirk: Why should I help you? You are a sick man who takes advantage of the young and defenseless.
Priest: what are you talking about? I did not hurt any children! I just showed them how their bodies worked, never once did I get any pleasure from it myself. Not once did I enter their bodies.
Kirk: Are you joking me? You think that just because you did not have sexual intercourse with the boys it wasn’t wrong?!
Rage entered my whole being. I did not waste a single moment longer. I pulled the trigger and the gun fired. Blood exploded from his head as the bullet entered. He died instantly, a pool of blood forming below him and running down the stairs.
Unknown: Good, good you made the correct decision. That priest got what was coming to him. Now I recommend you leave as soon as possible before the nun by the door gathers her nerves and calls the police.
I look over to the wall at the other side of the altar, and sure enough there was a nun standing there in terror. I turned away from her and ran down the aisle, opened the door and outside.
Across the street, I saw a police car behind mine, and taking down its information. I quickly turned away and headed down the street before he saw me.
Unknown: your final two tasks is upon you. All you have to do is get home before 2pm and your wife and daughter will be waiting for you. Since it took you half an hour to drive here. You should be able to make it home in time. Tick tock Mr. Warland, If you pass these final tasks; you will be reunited with your wife and daughter.
Kirk: You sick bastard, when I find you, I am going to kill you!
Which rage still surging though me, and the clock continuing to count down, I started to jog down the street. I had to take a few shortcuts when I saw police officers. They seemed to be on high alert, I wouldn’t be surprised if they were looking for me. Especially if they found the body of the priest.
By the time I finally reached my house, it was 1:55 pm. I was huffing and puffing when I finally walked up to my door and turned the door knob. I opened the door and stepped into my house.
Unknown: there is a present awaiting you in the basement. You will have to make another choice, this choice will be even more difficult to make than the decision of killing or saving the priest.
Kirk: what… what are you talking about?
I thought back to earlier this morning when I was upstairs and had to do the most unspeakable of things. Then I remember hearing a creaking sound coming from the basement. This is when it hit me. My family had been inside my house the entire time! I walked over to the basement door and opened it.
It creaked as I pulled it open. I couldn’t hear much so I started to descend the stairs. When I got to the bottom, I was confused, and happy at the same time. Sitting there was my wife and daughter. They both had blindfolds and tape over their mouths. What made me surprised however was my neighbour sitting beside my wife? The two of them were naked.
Kirk: Laura! Diane! I can’t believe it’s you! Why is Mark here… naked?
I could see tears rolling down my wifes face and her muffled voice through the tape. The mans’ voice continued in my ear.
Unkown: here is your final tasks, will you save your pride and joy, your daughter? Or will your envious nature take over and kill your wife over cheating on with you with Mark? If you choose your daughter, your wife and Mark will die. If you choose your wife, then your daughter will die. I have a feeling I know which one you will choose to save, it doesn’t take a genius to figure out.
In front of everyone was a gun, the trigger was set to go off if the pressure switch of a chair was taken off, killing the other two people. This meant only one could be saved. I had always known that my wife had been cheating on me, but the last person I was expecting was our next door neighbour. I walked over to my daughter. I left the tape and blind fold on her. Knowing what was going to happen once I lifted her off of the chair. I looked over to my wife, and said with tears in my eyes.
Kirk: I am so sorry
I undid the ropes on her arms and legs and lifted her off of the chair. As soon as I did two guns went off, blood splattering all over my white shirt.
Upstairs I heard the door being broken down and shouts of “this is the police” coming from upstairs. I carried my daughter to the stairs and saw a swat member pointing his gun down the stairs and at me. Before I was able to open my mouth, I felt a bullet penetrate my leg, and I fell to a heap on the floor.
I woke up in a hospital bed, and tried to get up. But my arm was handcuffed to the bed. A police officer stood outside my door. I was able to get a notebook, and am now writing down what happened to me in here. I hope that my daughter will get this and will know what happened to her dad and mom. More than likely, the police will take this and use it as evidence.
I will be going away for some time, but I may not be gone for long. The police managed to put it together that an unknown person was behind the terrible things I did. Unfortunately they were never able to find him.
I placed the pen in the notebook, and plced the notebook on the table. A middle aged man in a white coat entered the room and smiled as he entered.
Hello Mr. Warland, I am glad to see you are awake. as I promised your daughter is safe now that you have passed all of your tasks.
My eyes opened wide in shock, realizing that he was the man that had been talking to me. I tried to speak, but the breathing tube in my mouth made it almost impossible. He took out a syringe and inserted it into my i.v. drip. Seconds later, I was passed out.
My sister hasn’t been the same since we saw that old woman in Mexico.
Let me back up though.
My twin sister and I are basically roommates. We probably never would have lived together but Mom left the house to both of us. It was worth more than we could sell it for, and it was paid off..so we figured we’d live there long enough for the housing market to improve. Move out. Split the difference.
It was difficult at first. We argued a lot. Close quarters and all that. Our birthday trip was meant to be a sort of reconciliation.
Of course, we managed to fight in paradise too...
“I don’t wanna go to a psychic, Taylor.” I frowned as my Jeep bumped along the dirt road of the tiny village, hoping I didn’t pop a tire. I don’t know why I agreed to let Taylor drive there.
She scowled. “And I don’t wanna go on a hike! I’d rather lay out on the beach and tan. But I recognize that this is your birthday trip too, so I’m compromising. Compromise means you give something up too ¿Comprendé?”
I rolled my eyes. “Your accent is terrible.”
“Just like your attitude.”
“Fine! I’ll participate. Let’s just get it over with before I change my mind.”
At around 11:00 pm, we pulled up to large shack. Empty buckets and glass bottles littered the dirt yard. Mismatched wooden planks comprised the walls and roof. I vaguely hoped that it didn’t cave in on us when we went in.
The woman who greeted us looked to be at least a hundred years old. Her skin was like leather. She wore her gray hair out. Though thin, it trailed the floor when she sat down. She wore an array of beaded jewelry that clinked as she moved. On her eyes she wore heavy dark black makeup but she wore nothing on her ash-colored lips.
She asked us to sit down. It wasn’t exactly what I had expected. We were basically in a living room. Our “chairs” were milk crates. It was very dark. I felt cold. Seven wax candles were all that lit the large room. I saw no television or phone or anything else to connect this place to the outside world.
I asked the woman if she had tarot cards.
She grinned, revealing two sets of rotten yellow teeth.
“I have no need for those,” she replied in a raspy voice. She sounded like a smoker.
I frowned. “Well do you have a ball then? You know, the ones they use on tv? Or are you just going to read our palms?”
She leaned forward. I winced as she placed a wrinkled hand on my chest. “I don’t read palms. I read hearts.”
My sister smiled. She was loving this.
“Alright then,” Taylor said. “Read our hearts.”
The woman placed her other hand over Taylor’s breast and closed her eyes. She mumbled in a strange language and gnashed her teeth. Her eyes rolled back in her head and her mouth began to foam. She must have felt how hard my heart was beating. I was more than a little terrified.
Finally, she spoke to us. First in Spanish, and then in English:
”You are each other’s image. You came with but one face. But envy will undo it. And prove the envious one’s disgrace.”
I tried not to roll my eyes. I wasn’t even afraid anymore. Gibberish and nonsense was what this was. Figures.
The woman suddenly stopped. She looked at us.
“What’s wrong?” my sister asked.
The woman clicked her tongue. “That one.” She pointed a long bony finger in my face. “She does not believe. Her energy is an insult.”
My sister looked at me with a confused expression and then back at the woman. “I apologize for my sister,” Taylor said. “Please continue.”
The woman shrugged. “She does not believe. Why bother? It will all come to pass soon enough.”
“What will come to pass?” we asked in unison. It surprised me a little m. My sister and I hadn’t talked at the same time since we were kids.
The woman smiled, once again revealing her decaying molars. She looked back and forth between me and my sister. “Your mother promised one of your souls to a demon.” She paused as if trying to contain her giddiness and then threw her head back and cackled. My sister’s eyes widened and I was preparing to sprint for the door.
The woman finally stopped laughing and composed herself enough to continue. She cleared her throat. “This is not your fault, mind you.” She said, gesturing vaguely at us. “But you must pay the debt.” She shrugged. “Así es la vida.”
Taylor stood up then. “What do you know about my mother?”
I stood up too. “Let’s go, Taylor. Now.”
“No!” Taylor looked down at the woman and repeated her question. My sister and I were tall. 5’11. That old woman couldn’t have been more than 4’10. But she didn’t flinch as Taylor leaned down and repeated the question in a menacing voice. “I said: What do you know about my mother?”
The woman threw her head back again. She laughed so hard she gave herself a coughing fit before she choked out “More than you!” and continued her maniacal chuckling.
I managed to get Taylor out of the house and back into our Jeep. My hand shook as I placed the key in the ignition.
“Fuck, Taylor. Where did you find that woman anyway?”
Taylor stared out the window. “What if she’s right, Amanda?”
“You can’t be serious.”
“Oh please, Taylor. ’You came in as twins, you’ll pay for your sins’ I mocked, waving my hands in a ridiculous motion and laughing before placing them back on the wheel. “I couldn’t tell if she was a medium or Mrs. Dr. Seuss.”
Taylor paused. “Amanda. There’s... something I need to tell you.”
“What?” I asked. “That you’re the evil twin?”
“I’m being serious, Amanda. I never thought it was important until now but...maybe it is. Before Mom died... we were hanging out one night. We got drunk together. It was stupid, really. Totally unsafe for her to be drinking. But, we knew she was terminal by then and we thought, what the hell, right? Might as well have some fun while we can.”
“Just listen, alright?”
I closed my mouth and waited.
“We were pretty gone off the Rosé and Mom just started venting. About everything. The cancer. Wasted opportunities. Dad running off when we were little. Just...life. Eventually she looked at me and started crying. She said you and I were such a blessing for her. She told me she thought she was infertile before you and I were born. She went through IVF twice, had like four miscarriages...and, finally, she realized it was probably hopeless. But that she...did something. Saw some lady. Here in Mexico. Did some sort of black magic shit.”
“Oh come on Taylor!”
“Will you shut up and listen? I think...I think maybe. Well, what if that’s what the psychic was talking about? What if...what if, in order to get pregnant, she had to barter one of us off?”
“If so, I hope she bartered you.”
“I’m being serious, Amanda!”
“Taylor...really? You sound like a nutcase. You can’t barter off a soul. This is why I didn’t want to do a psychic reading. You take this stuff too seriously.”
“Enough, Taylor. I’m over it. I don’t want to hear anymore. I let you have your fun, and now I want to enjoy my vacation. We chill for the rest of the day, go on the hike tomorrow, and then go home. No more psychics. No more supernatural bullshit. Got it?”
She sighed heavily. “Yeah. Whatever.”
Taylor was off the next day. More...solemn. I didn’t care though. I finally would get to do what I came here for. When we finally arrived at the trail, I was mesmerized. The thick greenery...the towering mountains. We were in the Barrancas del Cobre. It’s a popular spot. It’s supposed to be larger and deeper than the Grand Canyon.
My sister and I had ventured to a more remote trail to avoid the tourists. I was so taken aback by the beauty of the place that I barely registered it when my sister said, “I’ll race you.”
I stared at her for a second and then burst out laughing. I ran track all through high school and college. I didn’t even think my sister could sprint a mile. She thought the Giuseppe Zanotti sneakers counted as running shoes. “You’ll lose, Taylor.”
She rolled her eyes. “Yeah. Of course, I will. Because you’re the athlete, right? You’re the one with the medals and trophies.”
“Yep, that’s me.” I smirked.
“And that’s why I want to race you. See, I can’t actually lose. I mean, if you beat me, that’s nothing. It’s expected. But if I beat you, well, that’s something to talk about.”
I shrugged. “So there’s nothing in it for me. Why should I do it then?”
She paused. “Okay. How ‘bout this? We’ll bet. You win, and you can have my diamond studs you always borrow.”
I thought about it. I would never buy anything that expensive for myself. So this might be my only chance to own a pair unless my imaginary future husband turns out to be generous. “Okay. And what happens if a miracle occurs, and you win?”
“Then I get mom’s old bedroom.”
I shook my head. “No, Taylor. In the will, Mom specifically said that we share the house, but I get the master.”
Her eyes narrowed. “Yeah. You’re right. It did say that. Isn’t that a really odd fucking thing for a dying woman to put in a will? I mean, why in the world, out of all the things Mom had to think about, would she be so specific as to make sure — even after she’s dead and buried — you still have just a little bit more than I do?”
I was beginning to feel uncomfortable. What was wrong with her all of a sudden? “Taylor. This is petty. Seriously.“
“If it’s petty, then take the bet.”
Her voice was colder, harder than I was expecting. There seemed to be a subtle threat in her tone.
I straightened my back. “Alright, Taylor. It’s a bet. You win, you get the room.”
She gave me one of her half-grins that always looked like more than a grimace. That was as good as a handshake, I guess.
We crouched. I gave the countdown and we raced up the mountain. Without a real path, we had to dodge tree branches and hop over various objects in our way. Taylor managed to get ahead of me. I lost sight of her for a moment. I smiled inwardly. She wasn’t pacing herself. I was sure I had her when I heard a loud scream.
I sprinted forward to find my sister on the ground holding a bare leg, her face twisted in pain.
“What happened, Tay?”
“I fell. I must have fallen on a rock or something sharp. It cut my leg pretty bad.”
I gently lifted her hand and gasped. The skin on her calf had been sliced deeply in two places. It was bloody and swollen. Her normally light olive skin had darkened to a deep purple around the area.
“Taylor...I think you need to see a doctor. That looks awful. Are you sure a rock did that?”
“I don’t need a doctor, Amanda. Look. I’m fine. It’s not even bleeding so much anymore. Just...help me back to the Jeep.”
I tried to crack a joke for her benefit. “I guess this means I won?”
She rolled her eyes but I thought I saw the corners of her mouth twitch up toward a smile. “Just help me.”
The next day, we finally made it home. I was happy the trip was over. But Taylor seemed distant. Quiet. But my sister has always been sort of moody so I didn’t stress too much.
That is, until a few weeks ago. It was around midnight. I was been in bed scrolling through YouTube videos of babies tasting lemons. I was laughing quietly so as not to wake Taylor. I paused a video when I heard mumbled curses and grunts coming from her room. It sounded almost like she was fighting with someone.
I walked down the short hallway approached her door. It was closed.
No response. Just more of the odd noise. I took a deep breath and turned the knob.
Taylor was sitting on her bed. She wore only a long t-shirt and underwear. In her hand she held the small metal peeler Mom had used to skin apples and potatoes.
I covered my mouth in horror. Taylor was rubbing the peeler furiously over her now bloody arms and legs, swearing and grunting in frustration like a madwoman.
I screamed. “What are you doing?!”
She finally looked up. I don’t think she even noticed me when I first walked in. Her eyes filled with tears and she brought her cracked and bloodstained hands up to cover her face. She sobbed as her thick mascara began to run. Her voice was muffled but I could hear her.
“My skin, Amanda. It itches so so bad. I keep scratching and it still fucking itches! I can’t take it anymore.”
I scoffed. “So you decided to cut it off?! Look at yourself, Taylor. Are you crazy?”
She lifted her hands from her face and began to smear black tears into her cheeks. She wasn’t paying attention. I’m not even sure she heard me. “It’s so dry, Amanda...it’s all cracked. I tried lotion. Itch cream. Vaseline. Olive oil. But my skin just absorbs it all. It’s like a desert. I thought if I could just take a layer off. Scrape off the dead skin, maybe...maybe it would help. But there’s just more layers of the same thing underneath.”
I took a deep breath and tried to remain calm. “Taylor. Dry skin is a thing. Maybe it’s eczema. Or maybe a rash from the bedding at the hotel. In either case, you have got to relax. Just...take a bath and — give me this.”
I winced as I picked up the grater. When I noticed that the blades were completely caked with the top layers of my sister’s flesh, it was all I could do not to vomit. I walked into the kitchen and threw it away, knowing I could never use it again after that. I ran a bath for Taylor and changed her bedding while she was in the tub. Eventually she managed to fall asleep.
Taylor was quiet again the next day. It was Sunday, so neither of us had to work. I had stayed with her all night to make sure she kept breathing. I wasn’t sure how much blood she had lost during the incident. I felt like she needed to be monitored for a while.
We sat at the kitchen table across from one another. As I shoveled cold cereal into my mouth, I looked at her skin. It looked terrible. But I couldn’t tell if that was from the grater or something else. It seemed to take on a murky hue. It was obvious my sister was unwell.
“Taylor...your Special K is getting soggy.”
She pushed the bowl away. “I don’t want it.”
She looked out the window. It was raining.
She got up from the table.
She looked at me. Her expression was vacant.
“I want to go outside.”
I got up as well. I didn’t know what had gotten into her. By the time I got out to the yard, Taylor was rolling around in the mud like a crazy person.
“Taylor, get up. What’s wrong with you? What are you doing?”
“The mud makes my skin feel so much better. It feels like a warm bath.”
“Taylor, you need to get up. You look insane. Get up!”
Reluctantly, she allowed me to guide her to her feet. She walked slowly inside, dripping mud. Once in the doorway, she stripped down, leaving her soiled clothes in the doorway and made her way to the shower.
I heard her cry out within minutes.
I raced to the bathroom and opened the door.
I saw my sister sobbing and shaking as clumps of her blonde tresses fell in heaps on the shower floor.
“What’s happening to me?” she whispered.
I stood in shock. “I don’t know...I don’t know what’s going on.”
Aside from a few patches toward the back, my sister was completely bald within ten minutes. I couldn’t believe it. I thought this had to be a nightmare.
Taylor sniffled. “I guess this is how Mom felt when she lost her hair, huh?” My eyes filled with tears. I grabbed a fluffy white towel and wrapped it around her shaking body and we cried together.
I took Taylor to the ER. She requested that I be able to join her in the examination room. After Taylor described what happened, the doctor asked to speak to me outside.
We stood outside the door, with busy nurses and lab techs buzzing around. I felt nervous. “Do you think it’s cancer, doctor?”
The middle-aged man shook his head and tapped his pen on his clipboard. “We have to do some more testing, but I highly doubt it. I took you out here to ask...well, are you...are you sure she didn’t shave it off?”
My eyes widened. “What? Why would she shave her head? And yeah. I went in the bathroom and I saw her hair on the shower floor...”
“But you didn’t actually see how it fell out...isn’t that true?”
I frowned. “Well, I -“
“Amanda, I’m referring your sister to a psychiatrist. I think she may be mentally ill.”
“What? Why do you say that?”
“For one thing, she has cuts all over her body. Apparently self-inflicted.”
I shook my head. “That was an accident. Her skin was itching. She used a potato peeler to—“
I paused. It was then that I realized how this must have sounded. If I kept talking I was probably going to my sister committed.
I shook my head. “Never mind. Thank you for the help, doctor. And for the referral. I’ll make sure she gets in to talk to someone.”
Taylor was released the same evening.
The next day, I began to wish I had left her at the hospital.
Taylor had been spending less time in the house and more time out in the yard. I had returned to work, but Taylor hadn’t. I was fairly certain she’d been fired, even though she denied it.
I looked out the kitchen window to where Taylor was wandering around the backyard. She stopped at a bird’s nest we’d been eyeing since before we left for Mexico.
The chicks should have been about ready to hatch by now.
I watched as my sister reached into the nest and grasped a tiny freckled egg in her hand.
I felt confused as she gingerly lifted the egg to her nose to sniff it. She then smiled, opened wide and plopped it right into her mouth.
I stared from the window as she chewed and crunched, globs of blood, shell, and soft down feathers running in a liquid trail down her chin. I felt frozen. I could only look on in horror as the other three eggs met the same fate.
Aside from emptying my own breakfast into the nearest trash can, I did nothing. I didn’t scream. I didn’t run outside to stop her. For the first time in my life, I felt afraid of my sister. I avoided her for the rest of the day.
But the next morning I decided to tell Taylor that she needed to make an appointment with the psychiatrist.
My sister just sat at the table, staring at me absently, and stirring coffee I knew she wouldn’t drink.
I asked if she had heard me and, finally, she looked up.
“Amanda....look at my hand.”
I peered down and then jumped back. “Ugh. Your nails. They’re all yellow and thick-looking. You probably got an infection rolling around in that mud.”
“Would that explain my feet too?”
I looked down as she showed me her soles — they looked like they had been dipped in soot.
I frowned. “Look, Taylor. I have to go to work. When I get back, we’ll deal with this. If things get any worse before I get back, go ahead to urgent care.”
She nodded and placed her feet back under the table.
For some reason, I hugged her. I never did that before I left in the morning. But that time I did. I gently adjusted the skull cap she was using to hide her bald head, gave her a final squeeze, and left.
When I got back from work, Taylor was still in the kitchen. I would have thought she hadn’t moved all day but for the fact that thick black sunglasses now covered her eyes.
“Taylor...how long have you been sitting like this? Are you alright?”
She sat still and said nothing. I leaned closer. That’s when I smelled it. Her breath was absolutely vile.
“Holy crap, Taylor. Have you not brushed your teeth.”
She turned her head to face me. “Something is wrong with me, Amanda.”
I sighed. “I know, Taylor. We need to get you back to see a doctor. I should have begged them to admit you the first time. I will now.”
Taylor shook her head slowly. “No. I’m not going back.”
I couldn’t believe this. I wanted to shake her. “Taylor, this is ridiculous! You’re going back to the hospital if I have to drag you! You haven’t worked in weeks! You smell! Your skin is a mess. Your hands and feet are discolored. We’re going back!”
“I SAID NO!” she screamed, her nasty breath assaulting my nostrils.
I still feel sorry for what I did next. I was just so frustrated. I slapped my sister. Hard. Right across the face. I guess I was hoping to wake her up somehow. Get her to see reason. But when I hit her, the sunglasses flew off. That’s when I saw.
I shrieked and stepped back. Taylor’s eyeballs and irises were totally black. She looked like a demon.
Taylor jumped up from the table then and pushed me down. I thought she was trying to retaliate for the slap until she got down on the ground and yanked up the pant leg to my denim jeans. She bared sharp teeth and bit down into the flesh of my calf, thrashing like a maniac. I screamed and managed to use my other leg to deliver a strong kick to her head. She let go then. She got up and ran past me out the front door and around into the backyard.
Unfortunately, our yard was heavily wooded. We lived in a relatively rural area and almost everyone had a ton of land. That meant that Taylor had room to run.
I hobbled after her, half-hopping on the leg she hadn’t gnawed into. Suddenly, I could hear my sister’s pained voice yelling out in what sounded like agony and fear.
“Help! Somebody, please!”
I limped forward. “Taylor! Taylor, where are you? I’m coming!”
“Ah please somebody, anybody...please...pl-“
Under a large pine tree, I found a white sun dress, a skull cap, and thick black sunglasses. On top of it all was a 1.5-ft long black and yellow striped lizard.
I somehow managed to grab the thing by its tail without getting bitten and wrestled it into a small storage bin. I have since had it examined by the only veterinarian in the state who deals with exotic animals.
According to the vet, the lizard is called a Gila monster. She asked where I had gotten it since they’re mostly found in the southwestern states and certain parts of Mexico. I dodged the question and she warned me that these animals are not appropriate as pets and may even be illegal to posses. She said I would be best to turn it over to animal control or a wildlife agency. I lied and told her that I would.
Instead, I did some of my own research. Apparently the pioneers in the Old West believed the Gila monster’s breath was toxic and its skin had supernatural powers. The vet didn’t talk about that. I wonder if she knew.
I realize I should let her go now. But I can’t leave her all alone to fend for herself. It wouldn’t be fair.
I can’t hold her, unfortunately, but I found a decent sized tank. She seems happy enough in there. I feed her twice a day. Mostly bugs. Sometimes the occasional mouse as a treat. The vet had said she might live up to thirty in captivity. I wonder when that clock starts ticking for her. At birth? At rebirth?
It doesn’t matter. As long as she’s alive, I’ll be here. This is life now.
Así es la vida.
Hey nosleep. I eagerly waited for the 24 hours to go up so I could go ahead and post the rest of the pages.
5AM. Just heard something outside. Sounds like a car pulled into the driveway. Which is strange because everyone that comes over knows that the gravel is uneven, and you have to park in front of the house. I could barely hear it.
It was so the car was going so slow, like, meticulously as to not wake me. I just laid in bed with my eyes wide open, unable to move... I wanted to cry. "What if they're just turning around?" But they weren't. The car just rolled into the driveway, so fucking slow like 2MPH and just... reversed out. Normally the driveway is loud as hell when someone is pulling in. But I could barely hear it. What were they doing?! Why were they trying to be so quiet? I'm so fucking scared. I wanna call my mom. I want someone here. I don't want to be alone. I don't want to sleep. I can't leave my bed or turn the light off. What do I do? What do I do?
It's the morning. My
asdjkljf phone went off, I was called into work but I couldn't find the courage to leave my house unattended. If someone wants to fucking rob my house, or kidnap me. What the fuck ever. Just writing aggressively is giving me false courage. Fuck being afraid. I'm taking a shower and I'm gonna get my ass to work. I'm stronger that than this. Will update later.
Oh my god. It's happening everywhere. Am I going crazy?
Driving to wor I first noticed it as I was driving to work. I pulled up to the stoplight, and there was a grey, Dodge Neon next to me. Naturally I just glanced over to the passenger driver's side. And FUCK She was at already smiling. She staring at me. Her face was pressed against the window, like her fucking eyeball was touching the glass. When the light turned green, she didn't even go. The cars behind her started honking. She watched me drive away. She got out of her chair to watch me drive away, leaning on the dashboard. All the cars behind her went around her. She stayed parked.
It was a different woman. God... What is happening... Am I being stalked? I hope to god its another stupid online prank that people are doing. I hope some stupid teens are having a good laugh. Because I am losing it. L-O-S-I-N-G it. Completely bonkers. Whoops! Crazy! That's me! The crazy girl always looking over her shoulder! Always paranoid and afraid!!! I've COMPLETELY lost my mind!!! Why did this have to happen to me! Sometimes I just laugh! Then cry! Laugh and cry and laugh and cry and laugh and cry and laug
I turned around & went home.
EVERYONE WAS STARING ANG SMILING AT ME. Oh god why is everyone looking at me I need help I called the police but the man just laughed and laughed he said nothing I called everyone in my contacts and they all laugh
NO MATTER WHAT I POST ONLINE NO ONE TAKES IT SERIOUSLY. WHY ISN'T ANYONE HELPING ME?! SOMETHING FUCKED UP IS GOING ON.. Theres nothing I can do!!! I'm fucked They want to murder me and wear my skin!! Something so horrible oh god so fucking horrible. I know it I know it I know it I know it I know it I know it Dear Lord above. Please hear my prayer. Please look after me and guide my soul to heaven. Please
let don't let my mother suffer. I just want to see her again. I love her. I want to see her one more time. I love my brother love my family please
Oh man, what a day! Because I opened, I had the rest of the day to myself and so full of energy! When I got home from work I took Max on a walk because it was just so beauuutiful out:) I just love the bright flowers in the spring, it's lovely! ✿✿✿✿ My favorite color is purple 🙂
Hehe it was just wonderful. One of my neighbors has such a beautiful garden, with roses and other flowers. There was also this adorable little bird bath with some birds cleaning themselves, I wondered what their insides looked like! Man, I am in a wonderful mood today. I haven't felt this good in a long time. I'm hoping that 2016 is a better year for me financially. Okay my hand hurts, I'm gonna practice some calligraphy now while I watch the bird's insides!
And thats it. I carefully flipped through every page, looking for something, anything, but that's it. I'm at the coffee shop now, that's how I'm posting this. I went up to the counter and asked the dude if the barista girl with the long black hair was here, showed him a page with her handwriting and he said that she was supposed to come in yesterday but never showed. I said, that's too bad, I think this belongs to her, and I gave him the journal. He said that employees have lockers to keep their stuff, and I watched him go to the locker with the master key, open it, it still had like a jacket and a phone charger in there, and he put the journal in the locker and locked it. I walked back to my seat by the window and that's that. Not that you really care, but... She seemed so sweet. I used to fantasize about asking her out on a date sometime because she was just so beautiful and bright. I hope she is okay. The last page raises a lot of worries. You're in this with me... let's try and figure this shit out.
In that last page, she mentions the flowers in the spring. When this clearly happened in December.
Some may think that the last page is out of place, but it's definitely the next page in the book. I don't even know what to make of it. Perhaps she had a manic episode due to fear or stress.
Who is Max? Didn't she mention wanting to get a dog? Did she already have one?
And for those of you thinking these entries were written last year, on page 4 she describes the day as "it was just an everyday Monday, slow and mundane" on December 11. Last year, the 11th was on a Sunday. So the timeline fits.
She wrote the same exact phrases from page 1, but some words are changed. 2018 was changed to 2016, and instead of watching The Office, she was watching bird's insides. Whatever that's about.
The journal is gone, and I have homework to do. I guess that's that. I doubt anything else is going to happen. Just a strange journal I found in a coffee shop.
When my mum died, she weighed two hundred and sixty two kilograms.
As a kid, I never understood why she couldn’t come for parent teacher interviews, or school plays, or even pick me up. It’d always be a nanny or a neighbour driving me to school, at least until I was old enough to take the bus on my own. And whenever I’d come home, she’d be slumped in a chair, chin dripping with grease and sauce from whatever ready-made meals she’d eaten. Our entire house reeked with the stench of sweat stains soaked into fat rolls, the musty aroma of a carpet left on its own for years. I wallowed in it for years, my childhood wasting away in that rotting house. I didn’t know then, but now I realise some part of me always felt the sickness of it all, the festering disease that was eating away at the very foundations.
As I started to get older, my ignorance turned to disgust. It was a combination of shame and fear; shame that this was who I’d come from, that this was what I could become, and fear that she was going to die one day, die and leave me all alone in this world. And I grew angry. Why couldn’t she get better? Why couldn’t she just stand up, get herself further than the kitchen, maybe even out of the house. A part of me wanted to starve her, keep her choked for food until she shed that rubbery exoskeleton of fat. She was still my mother though, and I couldn’t just do to her. She was the only person I had. Still, having to rub between moist flaps of skin and fat with a damp cloth every night, clothe her, and even take her to the bathroom started to eat away at me.
You have to understand what I was escaping when I got into med school the next state over. For the first time in my life, I wasn’t directly responsible for that corpulent pig that was my mother. She’d stay in our sleepy Midwestern town, with a carer paid for with her insurance, and I’d be free to live my life. That’s what I figured anyway. The thing with that kind of plan is that there’s always something to drag you down, something to eat at your hopes until there’s nothing left. For me, it was my mum’s necrosis. If you don’t know what that is, here’s a basic definition.
Necrosis: the premature death of cells in living tissue
What it really meant was she was rotting away in a cage of her own flesh. The weight of her own body had crushed the flesh on her backside that it had stopped circulating blood, had started to die. It meant I had to go home and take care of her again, after only twenty six days of freedom. I came back to a familiar smell of piss and sweat and mould; but that was all mixed with a new taint, the sour and yet sickeningly sweet smell of rotting flesh. She wasn’t in her usual chair. Instead, I found her collapsed on a mattress in a bedroom she hadn’t used for as long as I could remember, the springs creaking under her weight. She was dressed in a simple blue shift, almost like a hospital gown, and lifting up the bottom edge, my eyes came level to where she was rotting.
It almost looked like some rabid animal had taken a bite out of her, except there was no raw wound. The entire gash was instead coated in some black, crumbly lumps of flesh, dry blood oozing from the cracks in between each globule of meat. Suddenly the rotting surface jiggled, and my mum turned around to look at me.
Her forehead was beaded with sweat, her glassy eyes straying away from mine. Shame flickered across her face for just a second, but that was covered up with a weak smile. No. I wasn’t having it. I backed out of the room, shutting her behind the bedroom door. I’d deal with her later. Instead, I went to pack. My neighbour, Michael, raised his right hand and waved. Looking at his other, I realised it was just a stump. Things had changed around here, a lot faster than I’d realised. Things were only going to change faster from there though.
The rot ate into the back of her thigh in just a week, pale white bone coming to surface, poking through a pit of slimy pus, lumpy flesh and dark, clotting blood. The doctor had told me to just keep it clean and disinfected, but it seemed like every time I tried to scrape off the gunk, a new layer would ooze out. I’d also started to ration her food, feeding her with a diet half the size of a regular person’s in the hopes that it’d maybe help her slim down.
That was a mistake.
I caught her one night when she thought I was sleeping. Watching from the darkness, I saw her hand reach behind her, into the weeping crater of her rotting thigh. She scooped out some of the gunk and the flesh, her nails scraping against the exposed bone. Shivering and groaning, obviously in extreme pain, she brought her shaky slime-filled hand to her mouth and stuffed it in. I silently gagged as I watched her lick off the filmy white goo from her fingers, smacking her lips loudly. The next day, I covered the wound in several layers of bandage, and tried to forget that image. I still have nightmares about it.
I nearly saw her do it several other times afterwards, turning away every time I got close. I think the only reason I didn’t bring it up was because it would make it too real, and force me to acknowledge the truth of what I’d seen. She was eating her own, sour, rotting flesh, and I was just letting her do it. When she finally died of a blood infection, I couldn’t even stand her breath, as tainted as it was by the sickly stench of decay. She’d lost twenty six kilos at that point; sometimes I still can’t help but wonder how much of that she’d eaten. In the end, I’d had to call in a crane to carry out the final, decaying remains of my mother. In a way, that was the most tragic part of her death possible; the first and last time she’d left the house was out of living memory.
These days I look at my own thickening waistline and shiver. Will I become her? Will I surrender to my impulses, the hunger in my belly eating me alive? Will I start to rot away, start to eat myself just to feel like I’m full?
I wish I could see the future.
I had gotten up this morning just like any other morning: Laid in bed for an extra half an hour before rushing out the door without tying my shoes. Except, today, I took a slight detour while exiting my house. An unknown force seemed to pull me towards the kitchen. There was no reason for me to be in the kitchen, as I seldom ate breakfast in the morning, due to my laziness and my ned to procrastinate.
There, on my kitchen table, was a piece of notebook paper. The idea of leaving on time slipped my mind as my focus was put entirely on this paper. I snatched it into my hands and quickly became immersed in the words on the page.
*If you are reading this, then I guess I have successfully killed myself. If you are the first to read this, congrats! You are probably the first to find my body also. If you are reading this please know this is not your fault, this was inevitable. I don't want you to think you are the cause of this, because you aren't. No human is the cause for this. *
*Mom, if you are the first to read this, I'm sorry. You deserved so much better, I just can't go on. Please don't blame yourself, this had nothing to do with you. This was the only way to escape them. Please just stay positive and live a happy life, for me. Instead of remembering me like how I was these past couple of years in this dark place, remember me of how I was as a child. Remember our fond memories together. Remember our laughter, remember our smiles. *
*This isn't your fault. This is nobody's fault. This is my own fault, and it needed to be done. This is not because of school, this is not because of stress. Do not think that it is. Do not be fooled. I am infinitely apologetic if this note has been hard to keep up due to my jumping around, I'm just saying whatever comes to mind, and right now my mind is both filled to the brim with words to say and also completely empty at the same time, so I apologize for any sporadic wording. Just try to truly live your life to the fullest, you all deserve it. Please don't let them take you as they have taken me, you do not deserve that. Remember all of the fun times rather than the sad times. Don't dwell in the past, but be hopeful for the future. That's enough life advice for now. *
Don't take your own life for granted, as I have taken mine so far. Please, just don't let the demons get to you. Enjoy your life while you have it.
There was staining of blood on the paper. I became lightheaded and dizzy, I didn't know what this meant. I became even more faint as I realized this was in my own handwriting and the date written at the top was yesterday.
In my hometown, there is a unique shop of oddities called "HexWorks" that I frequent from time to time. It's an old-world boutique that specializes in niche products that I'd describe as being vintage-style with a modern spin. Their items include cloaks, pocket watches, lapels, bizarre art prints, lavish jewelry, victorian home decor, among other curiosities. Let's just say it's a great place to visit if you're ever putting together a steampunk cosplay.
HexWorks is, without a doubt, my favorite place to window shop, but I rarely leave with anything. The prices are high, rightfully so, and though I love the selection, I can't really say I need anything they have to offer. It would be different if I were a convention-goer or financially stable enough to justify such luxury purchases, but alas, I am neither. Instead, I relax in the shop's tranquil atmosphere and drum up business for them whenever I get the chance to talk about the place. It's a mutually beneficial relationship.
One day, however, a new product arrived at Hex - one that I couldn't help but gush over. There, sitting on an easel behind the store's front window, was a large, hand-made, one-of-a-kind Ouija board. The woodwork was beautiful and the text was striking. It was crafted so elegantly that I couldn't help but be captivated by it. I had to know where it came from and how much it was going for.
Curious as ever, I made my way into the shop, walked right up to the owner, and inquired about the board's origins. He told me it was a new piece sent to the shop by a friend of a friend who had inherited it from a relative. It was an heirloom that had been in this person's family for many years, passed down from generation to generation. Too spooked by the board to continue the tradition, the man donated it to HexWorks.
The more the owner and I talked about it, the more I wanted the board for myself. I was never big on the occult or the paranormal, but it was too beautiful a piece to pass up. It was something I wanted for no other reason than to say I owned it. It would be a conversation starter and an item I would proudly show off to my friends and family. The downside? The owner wanted $500 for it.
After much private deliberation and further conversation with the owner, we came to an agreement. He would put the Ouija board aside for me and I would make weekly payments until it was paid off. He even offered me a slight "friends and family" discount for being a regular at the shop. After all was said and done, I would be paying $432. That was still a hefty price tag, but I was grateful for the compromise and gladly agreed to the conditions.
A grueling nine weeks later, I was the proud owner of my very own spirit board. It came in an equally well-crafted, wooden chest, upon which the word "Ouija" was etched, along with what was presumably the year it was made, "1913". Upon opening it up at home, I noticed a few extras that came with it.
Inside the chest, alongside the board, was an ivory planchette, an empty picture frame, and a small, faded pamphlet titled "User Manual". The pamphlet's contents consisted of diagrams and instructions over-explaining the use of the board. It more or less boiled down to "place your hands on the planchette and wait for it to move". What I found peculiar was a section towards the back of the manual with a heading that read "Cheat Sheet".
It went something like this:
Want a simpler way to see your loved ones in the afterlife? Fear not! We have just the solution. Introducing the Ouija board cheat sheet! With this easy-to-follow guide, you'll be able to see those bereaved from you and know that they're okay. Simply follow these instructions:
Place the frame included in your kit directly in front of the board in an upright position.
Choose one of the following 29-character sequences and place your planchette over the letters and numbers accordingly. The year in which your chosen loved one was born is represented by the four question marks at the start of the sequence. The year in which they passed is represented by the four question marks at the end.
????-ENY4YSE7PM2LEA2OL4ET3-???? ????-ZEOLBTEIWBAOEHTKRITDE-???? ????-HPTNE26SELH12NGUI13UK-???? ????-CRNNEKTR4AHDEHATDANUA-???? ????-LT8AFUE4CL8VAU18TLO4T-???? ????-VTM43RD5IESL45OER5IE0-???? ????-RL12ENW61TCA22RTE01AP-????
- Be sure to visualize the person in your mind as you move the planchette across the board. If done correctly, a still image of your loved one should appear within the frame, however briefly.
This is not a precise science and results may vary. Each string of characters works differently depending on the person, the time of day, and the area in which you are located relative to the spirit realm. If one sequence doesn't work, fret not. You can always try another. And please bear in mind, this is a one-way window. Your loved one will not be able to communicate with you when their image surfaces. Any attempt to speak with them will be met with silence. Enjoy.
I chuckled at what was clearly an attempt at humor by the maker of the board. Distasteful, perhaps, but it was certainly comical. Imagine that - entering a code into a Ouija board and receiving a snapshot from the other side. How ridiculous!
Still, something about the Ouija board "cheat sheet" irked me. Was the picture frame's only purpose to accompany the joke? Shouldn't the manual have clarified this a little further? And who exactly was the joke meant for, anyway? This board was one-of-a-kind; more than likely commissioned by its original owner. Was such a beautifully-crafted piece really meant to be nothing more than a gag gift?
Having a gag myself, I set the thing up, frame and all. Whether it was out of boredom or a desire to prove to myself that the "cheat sheet" really was a load of malarkey, I decided to follow the instructions to a tee. I grabbed a beer, chose a character sequence, and recalled the birth/death dates of my favorite family pet, Scratches. All dogs go to heaven, right?
After placing the planchette over the corresponding characters, I looked up at the frame. Behind the glass, I swear I saw a milky, white fog manifest. No image, just cloudy particles dancing about like dust brushed off of an old book. To make sure I wasn't seeing things, I repeated the process, and to my surprise, it happened again and again. With each subsequent use, the smoky substance grew in visibility. It was still faint, but entirely noticeable.
Several theories swam around my brain, many of which sunk into the abyss of my collective thoughts. One, however, kept coming up for air. It was silly, but I kept considering the possibility that maybe, just maybe the cheat sheet was legitimate. Crazy, I know, but the prospects of having a truly supernatural artifact were exciting. Even if there was a rational explanation for what I'd seen, I was at least going to have some fun playing around with the thing.
And so, I took off. I called up my parents and collected the dates of various relatives who had passed away. I told them I was doing that Ancestry.com thing to "learn more about my heritage". Deceptive, yes, but they wouldn't have been so understanding if I told them I was dabbling in the dark arts.
After gathering the information I needed, I reclaimed my seat in front of the board. I'd had a few more beers by this point, so my motor skills were not exactly in perfect working order. Because of this, I fucked up the first sequence. Using my great aunt Linda's birth and death years, I entered the code precisely except for the "O". I accidentally placed the planchette over the "O" in the Ouija logo at the top of the board. What happened next was surprising.
I noticed my mistake and expected the frame to remain dormant, but this was not the case. To my astonishment, a clear image came into focus behind the glass. What I saw was the outline of a structure sewn into a white, foggy backdrop. And as quickly as it came, the image faded out of view, leaving me baffled.
What was I seeing, exactly? A building in the afterlife? Is that where buildings went upon being demolished? Or was the next world industrialized, much like earth?
Fascinated by the idea of having a peek into heaven's inner workings, I fudged up some more sequences. I plugged in random years, past, present, and future, and made up my own codes. There was no rhyme or reason to my methods - I was basically punching in random combinations just to see what would happen. I was rewarded with little results. Only a couple of my codes worked and the images that came about were too blurry to make out any discernable features.
Despite mostly failing in my endeavors, I kept at it. Sequence after sequence, I continued to move the planchette across the wood. I grew tired, but my curiosity far outweighed my eyelids. Towards the wee hours of early morning, I struck gold. One of my made-up codes worked, giving me a proper glimpse into what comes after.
As clear as day, I saw a bustling street, filled with what I assume were souls of the departed. In addition to people, there were cars, buildings, and traffic signs, the likes of which I'd never seen. It was similar to earth scenery, but significantly different. Surrounded by a flood of light and white fog, the landscape felt all together more peaceful, for lack of a better description. It's something I look forward to being a part of - in the distant future, of course.
I was satisfied with my find, but I couldn't stop there. Using different variations of the same sequence, I pressed on. To my delight, I was greeted with more and more images of the afterlife, all of which bore great clarity, allowing me to see even the finest of details. Here are some of the things I saw:
- Skyscrapers, far taller than their earthly counterparts
- Transparent bridges, connecting various parts of the heavenly community
- Bioluminescent trees and wildlife (mostly scattered about, but I did find one large forest)
- Glimmering pools of water around every corner
- Strange weather patterns. Every now and again I'd see clouds, but they were always changing color from image to image
With every sequence, I'd find something new and unusual on the other side. I was an explorer of sorts, discovering vast sections of land in uncharted territory. This was now my hobby of choice. Unfortunately for me, it was one that wouldn't last.
In an attempt to take things a bit further, I grabbed a camera, a pencil, and paper. I would record my findings and write down points of interest. I was more or less setting out to make a map of heaven. It would be a tough project, but one I would most certainly enjoy.
Now by this point, it was around eight o'clock in the morning. I'd been at it for about nine hours straight and I was more than ready to take a break and catch some shut-eye. I decided it would be best to start my cartography project after a quick nap, but I wanted to try one more sequence before going to bed.
I made up another variation of the jackpot code and entered it into the Ouija board. I then watched with baited breath as the familiar white particles came together like puzzle pieces to form another heavenly landscape. The anticipation was torture - I felt like an addict, biding my time as I waited for the heroine to take effect. I might have been a little obsessed, but at least the way I got my kicks was harmless. Or so I thought.
Just as I was about to receive my fix, something strange happened. The pieces of the image swirled around at high-speed before revealing a blank, dark background. White letters then faded into view, creating a very clear message.
Perplexed, I tried another sequence, then another, and another. Each time, I was greeted with the same word. I even tried older codes that I knew worked, but to no avail. For a whole hour, I tried and I tried, begging the board to work again - to restore its supernatural properties. Eventually, I got one code to work, but not in the way that I'd hoped.
Upon using the code, old images resurfaced, cycling backwards like slides on a projector. In every one of them, something was amiss. It was distant at first, but as the frame cycled through the images, it came closer to the foreground. It appeared to be some sort of shadowy figure, pitch black and faceless - like a black cloak suspended in the shape of a person.
Within a few moments, things took a turn for the worst. The darkness stayed, but the scenery changed - from the afterlife, to this life. I saw still frames of my family and friends here on earth, the shadowy figure always looming behind them. I helplessly watched as it creeped up on them, inching closer and closer to contact. I was horrified.
Before the figure could reach out and touch one of my loved ones, the slideshow ceased. For a moment, the frame was empty, void of the horrors that once danced behind its glass. I was granted a breather, but not for long. After a moment or two, one last image filled the frame.
It was me, sitting in front of the Ouija board, just as I was then. I might as well have been staring at a reflection. Standing directly behind me, however, was the shadowy figure. It reached down and touched the back of my neck. I felt its cold fingers slide across my skin. Breaking free of my initial shock, I jumped up and ran for the door. I left my house, tired and terrified. I didn't return until the following day.
After everything that's happened, I can only guess that I pissed off some angelic being upstairs by poking around its home. I saw things I never should have been able to see and overstayed my welcome, breaking some sort of divine law in the process. I've since disposed of the board, but my experience has stayed with me. I'm always looking over my shoulder and constantly checking on my family and friends to make sure they're okay. So far, so good.
Though I'm alive, I can't help but feel I'm closer to death than I've ever been. Yesterday, I almost walked into oncoming traffic. A passerby had to pull me back. This morning, I felt the elevator at my work wobble a bit and I swear it was about to fall. Maybe it's paranoia. Maybe I'm just shaken over what I saw and felt. No matter what's going on, I'm going to play it safe from here on out.
Moral of the story? Don't fuck around with Ouija boards.
Truth be told, I’ve never really liked dealing with the mentally unstable. I wouldn’t say it’s because of personal experiences, though that might have swayed my judgement a bit over the years, but because people who are unstable make me uneasy. They’re impulsive and very much unpredictable. You never really know what’s going to happen next but as a dispatcher, you’re expected to use your training to paint you a picture of where they are going with the call – to predict the unpredictable. All of which can get very confusing and could end in a way that you don’t expect.
For confidentiality reasons, all names have been made up.
This call came in the early morning around 3 am.
“911, what’s your emergency?”
“H-hello my name is Brianna Roy and I really need help.” A woman’s voice rang over the line, she was sobbing and seemed out of breath.
“What’s your emergency, Brianna? Where are you located?” She was calling from a cell phone.
“He’s coming after me. I can hear him out there, he’s going to kill me.” She spoke fast while somewhat hyperventilating.
“Okay, who’s going to kill you? I can send someone over as soon as you tell me where you are.”
“I-I don’t know where I am, I woke up here. I don’t – I just don’t know where I am.” She started to cry again.
“What do you mean you just woke up there?”
“We stopped on the side of the road to get some rest – we were driving to (city name) – and then I woke up here in the middle of nowhere but I can hear someone walking around out there. He’s gone.” She sounded panicked and my system provided me with a ping.
“Who’s Carter? Is he your boyfriend or something?” I was starting to get confused.
“He’s not with you anymore? Was he there when you woke up?”
“No, I think he’s going to kill me.” Her breathing was still very rapid.
“Okay, I’m sending someone out now to come find you but I want you to do me a favour and give me a description of where you are. What do you see right now?”
“I think I’m on a highway – I don’t know – there aren’t any road signs or anything and there are trees everywhere. There’s nothing out here, not even a single car.” Her breathing calmed slightly but her voice was still shaky.
“Okay, keep on describing things to me, Brianna. Is there something that sticks out to you?” This is a tactic often used when people don’t know where they are or are panicking, it helps them breathe for a moment without worrying about the emergency at hand. Even if they focus for a minute, it gives their mind and body an opportunity to calm itself. It also helps provide me with a good description of where they are for the dispatch.
“Um, there’s a big tree that’s snapped in half. It’s kind of on the road but not really.” Her breathing stopped short and she continued “Did you hear that?” She was already beginning to panic again.
“Brianna, I didn’t hear that. Can you tell me what you think you heard?”
“He’s walking around out there, he’s following me. Where the hell am I?” She raised her voice out of frustration.
“Brianna, listen. I want you to get back into your vehicle and stay there. Do you believe that Carter is a danger to you?”
“I had my doubts before, you know? But now I know that he definitely wants to kill me, he was just waiting for the perfect time.” I heard her walking.
“Okay, police are on their way. What happened before you woke up, you said Carter wasn’t there right?” She sighed out of frustration and then I heard her shut the vehicle door.
“We were driving to (city name), my sister is getting married – not tomorrow but the day after so we left after work today. I think we drove like 5 hours and then we decided to stop because he was tired and didn’t want to fall asleep at the wheel.” She took a deep breath and I heard her begin to cry “ We – we just pulled over and fell asleep but then I was cold so I woke up and we were still on the side of the road but he was gone, he left me. How could he just leave me? I was screaming for him to come back because I could hear him in the bushes but he just wouldn’t come back. He’s planning something, I know it.” At this point, I was very confused as to what exactly was happening.
“So you fell asleep, you woke up, and then your boyfriend was gone, right? But now you think that he is trying to kill you, why do you think that? Maybe he’s looking for help?”
“I’ve always known, I can just tell. I don’t trust him, I never did. He’s the kind of person that says he likes my hair but I know he doesn’t. He doesn’t love me, he never did. He probably only wanted to go to the wedding to sleep with my sister – Do you think he’ll kill me?” She spit the words through the phone in very broken sentences and I took a moment to process. This young woman was very unwell.
“He’s most likely trying to get some help.” I tried to sound reassuring despite the fact that I was still very confused. A part of me thought maybe she might have been hallucinating.
“Are you in on it? Is that why you’re defending him?” She retorted and I was completely dumbfounded. What was I supposed to say? But just as I was about to speak, she started to panic.
“I can see him! I can see him, he’s got his hand behind his back. Do you think he’s going to kill me?” I heard her open the compartments to the vehicle and shut them. She was turbulent.
“Are the doors locked in the vehicle? I want you to talk to him through the locked doors, can you do that?”
“Yeah, what do I say?” She whispered and then I heard a knock at the window.
“Just make sure you’re safe with him, ask him where he was” I heard her repeat what I said back to her boyfriend and after a few moments of what I heard as silence, she unlocked the doors.
“Baby, I’m sorry. I walked up the road thinking I saw a gas station or something – I told you the starter’s fucked.”* I heard him say as he got into the vehicle. “Are you calling the police?” He asked.
“Yeah, I’m talking to someone right now. Do you want to talk to him?” They exchanged the phone and Carter’s voice came over the line with a simple “Hello?”
“Hi there, you must be Carter. My name is Ethan and I am with the (city name) dispatch. An officer should be there shortly, did you say it was the starter?”
“Yeah, I think s – Baby, what are you doing?” He sounded worried. “Put that down, right now.”
“Carter? What’s happening, is Brianna alright?”
“She – she’s got a gun pointed at me.”
“Was this a setup?” She yelled at him.
“Baby, what are you talking about?”
“I’m not a fucking idiot, Carter – I know you want to kill me. This was all a part of your big plan.” She was still yelling.
“Carter, I want you to calm her down. Start by telling her that you love her and that you would never do that to her.” I spoke fast, my heart was racing.
“I love you, why would I ever do that? Please put down the gun, we can talk about this. I know you’re sc –“* She cut him off.
“Don’t you dare lie to me, I know what this is.” She said before I heard a single gunshot being fired. I gasped and jumped in my chair, not expecting it to be the last thing I heard before the dial tone.
I don’t know the details of what happened once police arrived, I don’t even know what happened to Carter or Brianna following the call. I checked the news religiously every day, multiple times a day for weeks hoping that I would get some sort update on what happened that night but nothing ever made the news.
To this day, I still have no idea what happened to Carter or Brianna. What do you think happened?
Hey guys. The only reason I‘m really telling you all this is cause I have to. I don’t know if that makes sense to you, but it does to me. I just need to tell somebody who will listen.
I keep thinking I’ve shoved all this crap behind me, but every once in awhile, one of my high school buddies will remind me, and the next week is awful. It’s all I can think about. Completely awful. My younger bro Philly showed me this community a few weeks ago and I decided, this might be a way to just get everything off my chest. I think that’s a common thread with everybody here. Getting it all off our chest.
It’s really my fault this time for remembering everything that went on at highschool. If I had stayed up at college another week, right now I might shooting hoops with my younger bro Philly, who is still up there, or hanging at a dorm christmas party. But I hurried through finals, like always, so I could come home a week earlier and work.
Every summer and every christmas break I work at my old job to help pay off my increasing pile of student debts. It’s sorta a deal I worked out with my old manager even though he usually likes longer term workers. And please, don’t ask me where I work; I’m not exactly proud to admit I literally flip burgers for a living.
The second day I started again, just as I was meeting the new employees, a girl I kinda recognized for some reason caught my eye and smiled. She said something along the lines of, “Hey didn’t you go to Wilkins with me? You were like a year ahead of me?” (we’ll just call my old highschool Wilkins. Sorry; I just can’t deal with somebody who actually went there messaging me).
“You heard it closed?”
“Probably cause of all the crazy stuff.”
My third response was the same, but inside the screaming started. Why’d she have to bring it up? But now it’s stuck.
I was planning on telling you some of the stuff that happened to me first, but thinking about it, everything that went on with me would make more sense if I told you Jack’s story first (we’ll just call him Jack).
So like every high school, Wilkins has a prom every year. I don’t know if it works this way at other schools, but at Wilkins, only Juniors and Seniors were allowed to go, unless some older person asked you out. As a sophomore boy, I was out of the deal, but my dude Jack was a junior.
You have to know a few things about Jack. He wasn’t a jerk, not really, but he’s one of those guys who’s kinda full of themselves for no reason. Like he’s always thought he was this total lady-slayer, even thought no girl would ever put her lips on his.
But when he asked this girl in my grade, Carly, to prom, she wasn’t going to refuse. Not if it meant she’d actually get to go, even if he creeped her out. (Jack didn’t tell me he creeped her out when he told me this story, but he creeped every girl out.) So he picked her up, opened her door for her all gentle-men like, then immediately tried to hold her hand. While driving.
Seriously Jack? You’re a bad enough driver as it is without trying to snatch the fingers of a girl who doesn’t want you to.
But anyways, they got to the dance all fine, albeit probably awkward already. Jack didn’t tell me much about this part, but I imagine it was like most proms. Sweaty and not nearly as fun as you thought it would be―besides for the people who can’t seem to stop making out and swaying awkwardly.They probably had lots of fun making everybody around them want to barf their guts out.
Jack did tell me he made another few moves on this girl though, or as he described he had “hecka smooth woman-catching skills.” Though not stated, anybody who knows Jack (no offense) knows she rejected him. Flat out. In fact, eventually she told him she had to go to the bathroom, probably just to get away from him.
I wonder if Carly had decided not to go to prom, if things would be different. If none of this would have happened. She could have just stayed home, had a sleepover with her girlfriends just like all the other sophomore and freshman girl's, and Wilkins high school would have continued as always.
Jack says when Carly got back from the bathroom, her face was pale white. Like a ghost. She was shuddering, and an expression of pure fear was written all over face. She looked so bad he didn’t even try to hold her hand again.
“You okay?” he asked.
“There was somebody watching me.”
“You kidding?” he asked. “A peeping tom?”
“Not a guy.”
Carly shook her head and glanced both ways. “A thing.”
I imagine this terrible moment of silence even with the blaring rap music and singing. A long one that stretched eons. Neither of them wanted to break it
“I was washing my hands,” she said, “when the lights flickered a few times. Just like a horror film. I tried to hurry as fast as I could, and then I looked up to the mirror and―”
“And there was something in the back of the room, near the door. Watching me, just standing completely still. All I really saw was that is was black, all black, before I turned around. The lights flickered again, and it was gone. The door didn’t bang or anything. The thing was gone. But it was watching me Jack.”
Then Jack did something utterly, horribly, stupid. He put his hand to her forehead and asked if she was feeling okay. She flipped out and started screaming at him for not believing her about something actually being there till he finally asked her if she wanted to be driven home.
They didn’t talk or anything the whole time. The most silent he’d ever felt, Jack told me. And the entire time they drove away from Wilkins, Carly was sort of shuddering and white-faced.
They stopped, Jack got her door again, and walked her up to the doorstep. She muttered goodbye.
Now here is the real reason Jack has never, and will never, find a girl who will marry him. Yeah, the advances before were terrible, the whole admitting he doesn’t believe her was horrible, and to be honest, he never was a looker, but this next action describes him perfectly.
Jack leans in and tries to kiss the girl.
The way he tells it, she ‘totally overreacted,’ but I knew Carly. She was honestly, one of the nicest girl's in my grade of all time. All night she’d probably been finding nice, polite ways of not giving into Jack’s advances, until this one moment he tries to kiss her after she’s still in shock after the whole bathroom watcher thing. So duh, she freaked. She might have even shouted at Jack.
He was pretty mad though, ended up back in the car, fuming, until a knock on the window revealed Carly, blushing, telling him she’d left her blue purse in the car. He handed it to her, and drove off without walking her to the porch again or watching her make it inside like a good date.
Why couldn’t you have sucked up your stupid ‘man-pride’ and made sure she got into the freaking house? Seriously, Jack? Why?
The next morning, cop cars were surrounding her house.
Carly had never made it inside. Somewhere between Jack’s car and the front door she had been taken. ###
I know it might not make sense how Carly’s disappearance tied into everything awful that happened at Wilkins and my own experience, but it does. I’ll tell you more in the next update when I’m not exhausted by work. Probably in the next week, but I guess I’ll tell you this:
Carly’s blue purse. The one she’d gotten from Jack’s car was in my locker the next morning.
Though he wasn’t real, Fargo was the best friend I ever had. Growing up poor meant moving to wherever my dad could find work, and we never stayed anywhere long enough for me to make any real friends. It also meant that new toys weren’t a luxury we could afford, but I didn’t mind--I loved Fargo more than any kid ever loved their new Playstation or trampoline.
He was a breadbasket sized stuffed dog we bought from the flea market. He looked like a mutt, and had soulful chocolate brown eyes.
The old lady we bought him from said that Fargo was a magical doll who could come to life. She also said that the moon landing was fake and that Ronald Reagan was the reincarnation of Jesus Christ. I don’t think my parents took her seriously. Her word was enough for my imagination, though, and soon Fargo had come to life, even if I’d forgotten the stuff about the moon and Ronald Reagan.
Every day after school Fargo and I would go treasure hunting around the neighborhood together. He would lead me to all sorts of amazing things: a stick that was a magic wand, a piece of glass that was a diamond, and a bird’s nest that was a king’s crown.
It didn’t matter to me that I didn’t have money or friends--Fargo made sure that I was the happiest kid in the world. Until the day he got ripped.
It had started off the same as any other day, Fargo had told me that there were mermaid scales down by the creek, and so we went looking for them. We had just found a big one when I heard a low rumble coming from beside me--Fargo was growling.
He was turned away from the creek, looking at something behind me. I turned around to see a man I didn’t know. He wore a washed out denim jacket and he smelled like cigarettes. When I looked at him I couldn’t help but get a sinking, uneasy feeling in my stomach. He smiled.
“Hey kid,” he said, “what are you doing?”
“Collecting mermaid scales,” I answered.
“Oh, is that right?” the man asked, edging towards me. “Well I’ve got a whole real-life mermaid back at my house, and she’s just giving away her scales for free. Wanna see?”
I backed up towards the creek.
“Um, no thanks, sir. My mom says I’m not supposed to go off with strangers.”
I could hear Fargo growling again, but the man didn’t seem to notice.
“Come on, kid, you gonna pass up the chance to see real life mermaid?” the man said, and his grin widened to reveal gaps in his crooked yellow teeth.
He was still edging closer to me, and I got the sudden urge to run. I glanced around and saw I was in an elbow in the creek--the only way out was forward. I picked Fargo up and held up out in front of me like a shield. He barked and snapped at the man, but the man still didn’t seem to notice.
“Is that for me?” the man asked. He lunged at me. I pulled back but it was too late, he had swiped Fargo from my hands. “He’s a cute dog,” the man said.
He reached in his pocket and pulled out a little brown knife. He clicked a silver button on the side, and a blade popped out. He stuck the blade into Fargo’s stomach, and Fargo let out a yelp that the man couldn’t hear. He threw Fargo on the ground and Fargo lay there whimpering, staring at me with pleading eyes as his stuffing leaked out onto the ground.
I took another step back and felt my foot sink into the mud. I had reached the embankment of the creek. I tried to swallow, but my mouth was dry. My heart pounded in my ears. I had to run.
The man lunged for me again. I felt his fingers close around my wrist. I squeezed my eyes shut and tried to pretend I was somewhere else. I heard a scream, and I opened my eyes again to see the man stumbling backwards, swinging his arms around wildly. A stray dog was leaping at him, barking and snapping. The dog clamped his jaws around the man’s knife arm, and the arm spurted blood.
There was a loud rip, and the dog’s jaws came unglued from the man’s wrist, taking part of the denim jacket with him. He slashed the dog across the face, and the dog yelped and fell back. The man charged, but the dog crouched down low, sending the man tumbling headlong into the mud of the creek. The dog leapt at him, and the man scrambled up and bolted, little flecks of mud flying off behind him as he ran. I could hear the dog growling somewhere behind me as I watched the man disappear into the distance. The growling stopped, and I turned around to see the dog was gone.
I walked over and picked Fargo up. He wasn’t alive anymore.
His little brown eyes stared at nothing, plastic and empty, and his stuffing spilled out of the rips in his belly and face.
It wasn’t until I leaned closer and saw the little piece of washed out denim sticking out of Fargo’s mouth and the flecks of blood that dotted his muzzle that I remembered the man hadn’t slashed Fargo’s face at all. He had slashed the stray’s face. My arms prickled up with goosebumps, and I gently tugged at the scrap of denim. It slid out of Fargo’s mouth, and the seam that had always closed up his snout sealed up behind it.
Fargo never moved again after that day, and as the years went by and I grew up, I realized that the the scrap of denim in Fargo’s mouth must have just been my imagination. After all, the world isn’t like a story, toys don’t really come to life because you want them to. Eventually Fargo was relegated to a cardboard box at the top of the closet.
That is, until last week
I woke up in the darkness to footsteps next to my bed. I froze with fear, not daring to breathe. Then I heard the low rumble of a dog’s growl--Fargo’s growl.
A snarl, jaws snapping together.
A man crying out, and then a thud, and footsteps retreating into the night.
When I hit the lights, my eyes caught on the silver gleam of a knife at the foot of my bed. Next to it sat Fargo, his muzzle dotted with blood.
The police would later tell me it was just a random home invasion--a drug addict looking for jewelry to steal.
But right then I was only thinking of Fargo. My heart pounded in my ears and my skin knotted together in little bumps as I picked him up. I washed the blood off in the bathroom sink and gently dried him off, placing him next to my pillow.
I think that from now on, that’s where he’s going to stay.
Alright. So. Huh. I guess I'll just tell this in chronological order.
So first off I heard from the realtor. They contacted the people I bought it from and acted like they were just curious if they'd ever had any poor experiences with the house. The owners told him that they just didn't really feel that the neighborhood suited them. No ghostly experiences or anything like that. I asked that my realtor give them my number but I haven't heard from them. However, I did a little digging and here's what I know:
So the house was built by a family about a hundred-fifty years ago. Like I said, we're in an OLD area. So the family that built it lived in it and passed it down until the last few members died out. I guess no one had any kids so the bank took ownership. I found all this out through public record, but I don't really know the details of the sale to my parents. I assume they bought it from the bank.
My buddy came over around five after work and I basically gave him a rundown of everything I know so far. He agreed for the most part, but I could tell he thought it was some prank I was pulling. I had asked him to bring over some climbing stuff and even though he didn't know why I wanted him to he came through. One of the things he brought was a little flashlight, and he said the first thing to do was lower something brighter than a glowstick in there. The rope was about 90', and we got just about two-thirds of it in there before it started getting pulled to the left. The tunnel was curving, like a spiral.
That's the best way I can describe it. Reminded me of how a magnet on a string acts when it's being attracted to another one. The light also flickered and we thought it would go out but it was tougher than the other lights and stayed on. By that point my buddy was 100% in agreement that shit was really not normal. That must explain why the glowsticks never hit bottom. They got sucked into and beyond that curve.
We lowered the light in as far as we could, and lost sight of it. By our estimate the curve becomes really noticeable around 75 feet down. I was all for going down right away but my buddy is smarter than me and insisted that we do a few more checks. He sort of rigged a system up that was tied to one of the bigger beams and attached a harness to it. He was VERY insisted on it being just a piece of shit thing that would never be as totally safe but I have to admit my adrenaline was going and I NEEDED to know what was in there.
He got the thing all rigged up but when I asked for the harness he wouldn't give it to me. I said, give me the damn thing, and he refused. He kept saying no, it's not safe, I'm the only one trained to do this, all that stuff. And I tried to be respectful about it but we started arguing pretty bad. Then he threatened to take his entire set up down and out and I VERY reluctantly agreed to let him go down first to check it out.
He put on some kind of respirator thing like I've seen constriction workers wear and got himself all rigged up in the harness. He's a bigger dude so it was a tight fucking fit for him under that roof. So much so that I thought maybe he wasn't gonna fit at all. But he managed to cram himself inside and test his weight down on the ladder. It was fine, totally solid, and he started down with me holding a really big camping flashlight to give him as much light as possible.
Everything was fine until he got about 30 feet down. We'd been talking and then suddenly his voice cut off. It scared the shit out of me. I could see him but it was like he was behind a wall, no sound at all. Afterward, he said he couldn't hear me either, and he came back up, calling the whole time. From my end, he was totally silent until a very specific height, when suddenly I could hear him again. We narrowed it down to just about where we figured the basement would be. 32 feet, give or take. Which means that this tunnel is going WELL below the basement.
He got almost triple that before he had to stop and come back up. His voice was really shaky. He said, it's fucking cold down there. I didn't really realize what he meant at the time so I just asked if he was gonna stop. At first he said no, but then he went back down and it seemed like he got stuck going around that curve. He tried a few different ways but because of the angle he didn't have enough clearance. The tunnel doesn't exactly get narrower but my friend was having some trouble anyway (he's a BIG fucking dude) and for some reason just couldn't seem to get the right angle to make that curve. It seemed like it took him forever to get back up. We regrouped.
He said at that specific point a little over 30 feet down, it was like going into ice water. Freezing cold, no sound. He couldn't even really hear himself, he was super muffled. He said it wasn't like anything he'd ever experienced before, and did I really want to go down? Of course I said yes, and he got me all strapped in to the harness. I'm small, it runs in my family, so I had no problem getting down inside.
The ladder is made of the same wood as the rest of the house, and is basically just blocks of wood hammered into the side. As you go down the curve is VERY noticeable, much more so than if you were just looking at it. At the point where you hit the basement, the panelling gives way to dirt that's shored up with some occasional planks. At around the same point, you go through that barrier and it's shocking to the system. Takes your breath away. There's also a pressure change- my ears popped really painfully.
Since I was going down feet first I couldn't really see what was below me. I felt the curve more than saw it. I gave my friend a thumbs-up and started the turn.
I went down for over five minutes, guys. I timed it. Now admittedly I was going slow but I can't even express how wrong it felt to just keep going down into this fucking endless hole. There was a point where I really seriously started getting scared that I was never gonna find the end of this thing. It was that long. Then all of a sudden I went to take another step and my foot landed in something that rolled under me and almost send me on my ass. I kicked it all aside and got my feet under me. Solid ground. Cold through my shoes. I pointed the smaller flashlight at the ground.
The glowsticks. Still glowing. And farther away in what was basically a closet-sized room, the marbles. Holy shit.
The room is small, like I said, and open at one end, where it appears to continue downward in that same circular way. There is no natural light, and the air is INCREDIBLY cold. I only spent a few minutes down there but I was frozen by the time I left, which was quickly. I was nervous being down too long without my friend knowing what was going on.
Needless to say he was pissed that he couldn't get in but neither of us was willing to call it quits. Communication down there was an issue, though, since after a few failed attempts at my calling from the room, we concluded that electronics didn't seem to like working down there. We decided we'd do things on a time limit instead. I'd go down for half an hour at the most and come right back when time was up. If I didn't show, he'd call the cops. He wasn't crazy on it but by then he was dying to know what it was just as much as me.
In total, I spent about two hours down in what I just started thinking of as the sub-basement. The walls are some kind of grey rock. They're smooth, no markings or seams. Completely dark, no lights of any kind. I didn't have the balls to turn off my light to verify that though. The ground is dirt, and there's no sign of prior traffic except a place that's scuffed right by the edge of the ladder, near where my own marks are. The hallway leading down, out of the room, is wider than the tunnel coming down. I followed that for a ways, but it seemed like the space was getting wider and I didn't want to risk getting lost. Everything looks the same down there.
The entire time I was going down this hallway, farther into the ground, it kept getting colder and colder. The walls were almost painful to touch. My nose hairs were freezing together, and about then is when I turned back. That second time through I noticed something I'd missed coming in. It was lying out of my line of sight, near the right wall. Something green.
A piece of a string of Christmas tree lights. It must have fallen off when I lowered it and gotten stuck to my shoe. I don't know how else it would have gotten there.
Up top, I was so cold my buddy had to help me out. I had no use of my hands. It was like I'd been in a deep freezer. I got into the shower and stayed there for almost and hour trying to warm up. My buddy agreed to stay the night in case i needed help or something.
He has tomorrow off, and I've agreed to wait until he comes over again to do anything else. I'm going to buy some heavy winter gear to take down with me, as well as some fishing line and chalk to mark my way. I'm also bringing a tape measure and some paper so I can draw out what this place looks like roughly. If there's anything else I should bring let me know.
I don't really know what else to say about it. It's beyond strange. Impossible. I don't know what to think. I had no idea this thing was under my house and I want to know why it's there. Why there's ZERO record of anyone even knowing about it. I'm gonna look around in the attic to see if maybe there's stuff up there from the previous owners that they forgot or something.
I feel really sick today for some reason, though, so I'm not feeling up to much. I'll do it tomorrow first thing.
Anything and everything vampire-related, from the classics to modern-day!
So... Since the more notable vampire stories have the Vampire damaged if not destroyed by sunlight, and the moon reflects sunlight,... how is it that vampires aren't agonized by a full moon?
So after I had a joint last night I started thinking of vampires and why early vampires (like nosferatu) look entirely different to modern day vampires (Brad Pitt in an interview with a vampire). Well obviously vampirism was a curse from a Greek god who cursed someone. Blah blah you know the story. Throughout the ages they'd have to mate with people in order to keep the bloodline going so vampires won't die out, eventually creating an incestual family tree. Which isn't the point but through all of this vampires mating with humans it would eventually come to a point where vampires will start to take on more human attributes, like looking like a normal human being. It might be a bit obvious but last night I was patting myself on the back for thinking of this.
Do they end up hating the being that turned them or will they eventually adapt to their new fate?
(I wrote this as, like, a pamphlet from a vampire researchers. I appreciate questions and suggestions and criticism, as I am trying to flesh out these vampires for a book I'm writing at the moment.)
Because I have recently been exploring the idea of the vampiric through both historical and in-field research, I have unfortunately stumbled upon the book series, Twilight. As I was highly offended by the author’s interpretation of these quite real and dangerous creatures, I put my mind to write down my experiences with and thoughts on vampires.
I will go through the sections that I believe are most important to know when dealing with these creatures: Identification and Behavior, Weaknesses, Abilities, Conversion, and Vampire Social Structure.
Identification and Behavior
Identification of a vampire is relatively easy in most cases except when a more intelligent vampire deliberately alters their appearance to conceal their identities. Then it becomes much more difficult. But if we are dealing with an adolescent vampire, then you should see the following signs:
The skin is pasty white, almost translucent, showing blood vessels underneath, the pupils are fully dilated at all times, hair is often white and/or thinning, and of course, their mouths are full of teeth that belong in a predator’s jaws. During the day, vampires may wear extensive clothing and try to stay in shade and shadow to protect themselves from the sun. They will have difficulty seeing in any normal lighting.
These are the usual physical signs, but if you wish to be surer still, try to analyze the being’s behavior around humans.
The behavior of most vampires is greatly different than the modern view of them as beautiful seducers. There are a few occasions where you might encounter a vampire like this, but they are never very likely, so don’t get your mind set on a vampire date for prom this year.
Vampires are most powerful and bestial at night, when the hunger for blood is at its highest and when prey is most vulnerable. I cannot emphasize how important it is that you never confront a suspected vampire after dark. If your suspicions are correct, then the encounter can only turn out unfavorably. Instead, try to subdue a vampire during the day while they are the weakest. I received most of my information on vampire social structure this way.
Young vampires often have difficulty speaking intelligibly, are more likely than elder vampires to attack during the daytime and when cornered, and overall act much more like animals than you’d expect from the creatures of the night.
I have discovered that vampires become much more intelligent, manipulative, and powerful as they age, but it is very rare that you will encounter a vampire over the age of 100, which is a vampire’s prime of life. By then, they have usually already been discovered by a vampire hunter, or they will be killed off by a rival vampire for territory and prey. Elder vampires are much closer to the modern view of vampires than young vampires: often, they act close to humans, some have the ability to control themselves around the scent of blood, they learn to understand human emotions and how to manipulate them, and are overall much more dangerous.
Elder vampires are usually found as “queens” of vampire “hives,” and are almost never seen beyond the confines of the hive, so it is rare you would ever encounter one. I will elaborate on my experiences with vampiric hives in Vampire Social Structure.
As far as I can tell, a vampire does not retain memory of its human life. I have heard stories of elder vampires who went to search out their human lives, but most vampires prefer to forget that they were ever like their prey.
If a loved one ever disappears for an extended period of time, then returns without memory of who they were or anyone they knew, and they show the physical symptoms of vampirism, then it is too late. The person you knew and loved is dead, and only an animal remains. Do not try to reason with them. They will not care. They attack without mercy, and if you are reluctant to defend yourself, you will only make yourself an easy target. Shoot to kill.
Unlike common belief, vampires do not perish in sunlight, but it greatly alters their demeanor and it weakens them as well. A vampire is extremely uncomfortable in sunlight, no doubt about it: they burn and overheat easily, their vision is impaired, they are weaker physically, and they become dazed and confused. This is indeed the time when vampires are most vulnerable, and the time when they can be apprehended for study without much difficulty, but it is rare that you will find a vampire waltzing down the street in the middle of the day. They will most likely be asleep in some hidden nook or cranny. Wooden stakes will be as effective against vampires as they will against any normal human. Really, you could use anything: just beat/stab/shoot a vampire until it dies. However, vampires have a high healing factor, and they have the ability to “play dead”, slowing their breathing and heart rate to such extraordinarily slow speeds that they are undetectable. Stabbing a vampire in the heart and leaving the stake in place is a pretty reliable way to kill one, though not infallible. I personally recommend beheading as a fool-proof execution.
The idea that vampires cannot entire dwellings without permission is an idea mostly invented to give a feeling of security to people who feel defenseless against a vampiric threat. However, it isn’t accurate. A vampire would be more than happy to break down a door or smash a window to get to potential prey.
The idea that vampires cannot cross over running water is surprisingly accurate. Vampires are usually carriers of rabies: if one survives a vampire bite, you will usually be infected by a strain of the disease rather than becoming a vampire yourself. But even though vampires are usually carriers, they also show several symptoms of the disease, such as being unable to quench their thirst, violence, and, yes, fear of liquids. The one exception to this is blood. The idea that Holy Water repels vampires is also accurate in this manner.
Repelling a vampire using garlic can also work, but not in the way that you think. No vampire, to my knowledge, is allergic to garlic, but their heightened sense of smell plays a huge factor. If you were to shove freshly cut garlic (or pepper, maybe) under a vampire’s nose, it would most likely be forced to stop and sneeze, providing a small moment to escape. It’s not highly reliable, though, so don’t count on this in a life-or-death situation.
Their other enhanced sense can also be exploited in this way: I suggest shining a bright light into a pursuing vampire’s eyes if you have no weapon to defend yourself, or playing an extremely loud, annoying noise.
The idea that Christian crosses or a Bible repel vampires sprung from the idea that vampires are satanic in nature, when really they are more animals acting on instinct than anything else. This is not effective.
I have found that young vampires who have a consistent bond (whether it is a child/parent, ruler/subject, or puppeteer/puppet relationship) and contact with their vampire sire will often be greatly weakened if their forefather is destroyed. I believe this is linked with a vampire and their telepathic link with their predecessor.
Vampire's' abilities have been greatly exaggerated to the point of absurdity over different myths, lore, and franchises, but here are the abilities that I have come into contact with over my journey studying vampires.
Enhanced senses: Vampires’ sense of hearing, taste, touch, smell, and sight when in low-light conditions are greatly beyond that of humans. A vampire is the world’s greatest predator. If a vampire wants to find you, they will do it. However, these enhanced senses can be used against them by simply overloading any one of them. It is both a blessing and a curse for a vampire.
Enhanced strength: Although this ability varies from vampire to vampire, as it somewhat depends on the physical state of the vampire when they were human, but generally you can expect a vampire to be about as strong and fast as an average Bengal tiger, as I have clocked vampires running at a top speed of around 40 mph when pursuing prey or fleeing potential predators, and I watched a physically-average vampire crush the skull of a man with two hands on either side of it, but only at night.
Accelerated Healing: It is common for a vampire to return from wounds such as a stake just slightly to the side of the heart, punctured lungs, lost limbs (although they don’t get their limbs back), and the cutting of major arteries with little to no medical attention. But if their heart or brain is completely restricted from use (a.k.a. being destroyed), a vampire is effectively dead.
“Playing Dead”: This is the ability that vampire hunters find most troublesome. When a vampire has sustained too much damage to go on fighting, they will enter a dormant state of healing where their breathing and heart rate are slowed exponentially. If you bury the corpse, or simply leave it be, chances are the vampire is still alive unless you are completely sure either their heart or brain is functionless. Or better yet, just burn the corpse and/or behead it.
Hypnosis: Staring into a vampire’s eyes can produce a similar effect of a deer staring into a pair of headlights. Try to never meet a vampire’s gaze, as I have found myself being unable to move, or even drawn closer to a vampire that I know for sure will kill me the moment they got the chance. If you are able to break direct eye contact, the effects leave immediately.
Semi-Immortality: Vampires have never been recorded to die of natural causes, but only from violent means. Therefore, no one is exactly sure of a vampire’s true lifespan or if they can die from any diseases, but if they can, it is highly unlikely.
Connection with Their Spawn: I will elaborate more on the creation of vampires in its own section, but if a vampire willingly creates a vampire and remains alive until the metamorphosis is complete, the vampire will have a telepathic connection with the vampire they sired. Usually the relationship is always controlling, and a new vampire is always utterly loyal to their sire, like a wolf to its Alpha, so it provides a vampire with a minion to control.
The Rumor of Flight: Although this is not an ability vampires naturally have, I thought I would mention it. The myth of a vampire’s flight came from a very ancient elder vampire whose name has been lost to time that constructed crude flying machines that they used to glide into windows to ambush their prey.
The Creation of Vampires
Unlike popular belief, simply surviving a vampire feeding does not turn one into a vampire. More often than not, this will simply infect you with rabies. A nasty experience, if I say so myself. Therefore, never actively try to be bitten.
I don’t recommend becoming a vampire at all, actually, as I doubt you want to kill everything that makes you you: your memories, personality, and morality, to name a few.
This section is to warn you, mostly. Do not consume vampire flesh or blood for any reason.
A vampire’s life cycle begins with a human ingesting vampire flesh or blood. There is no way to save an infected individual after this point.
It is then that their body begins to transform over the course of three to four weeks, although it varies in each case. During the first week, they will begin to sunburn more easily and feel weaker in the day time. Their skin will pale, and they will begin to look sickly.
During the second week, the infected individual’s body will begin to reject human food, expelling it soon after ingestion. They will be rapaciously hungry and thirsty at all times, and it is now that the animal instinct begins to take hold of their minds.
At this point, the infected individual must consume its first victim or starve to death. Only men and women of the strongest wills can overcome this desire to feed, and must die as a result.
If the infected consumes its first victim, the individual will then go into hibernation. This hibernation is similar to a vampire’s regenerative dormancy, where the functions of the body slow down and all energy is focused on changing the body’s processes to adapt to the infection. Often, this process is mistaken by humans for death, and the transforming vampire is often buried. It is from this mistake that the association of vampires with coffins comes from. It also explains why some cultures believe vampires to be resurrected corpses, as once thought dead companions burst from their graves as fully formed vampires.
Once a vampire reawakens and emerges from its dormancy which usually lasts around six months, it is ravenous and goes on a feeding spree. Beware of a newly emerged vampire, they have no caution or discretion and attack without provocation.
A vampire always has a connection with the vampire whose blood they were created from. It is the closest to family vampires have, and after their initial awakening and feeding, a vampire usually searches out their sire. I have used this to my advantage quite often, watching a newly emerged vampire and following it back to its hive.
This is the only way that vampires reproduce. A vampire’s only hope for reproduction is through humanity. Vampires are like fleas on a dog’s back: they feed off of the dog and like to think they are in control, but would perish completely without it. Although I cannot confirm it, I don’t think that vampires are physically capable of reproducing using the human method.
Vampire Social Structure
The connection that a vampire shares with the vampire who sired it can only be described as the relationship of a worker bee to its queen bee. This is why I have decided on calling a group of vampires with a single vampire controlling the majority of them to be a hive, and the head vampire to be the queen, no matter the gender of the vampire. I will be referring to the head vampire as the queen, the entire group as the hive, and the individual vampires below the queen as drones.
A vampire hive begins when a queen vampire has multiple vampires ingest their blood. Once the drones have completed their metamorphosis, you have a basic hive. Vampire hives are not very common, however, because often a new vampire is born from a vampire slayer who accidentally ingested the blood of their victims, therefore having no living queen to serve.
I have found many different varieties of this structure: some queens only create one drone, but their drone creates many more drones, or a queen creates many, many drones, and each drone creates many, many drones. But there is always one, singular queen at the top of the pyramid, the cornerstone of the arch.
If the queen of a hive is destroyed, the hive completely collapses: the drones’ powers are greatly diminished, they become far less organized, and will sometimes attack each other if they wish to take over the territory. If you are facing a developing vampiric hive, destroy the queen before attempting to take out the drones.
However, this method also poses its own problems. Without a queen to keep the drones at the hive, there is nothing stopping a newly freed drone from running away and starting its own hive somewhere else far away. It really depends on the situation. A drone is loyal to its hive until its queen perishes. A drone always has a telepathic connection to its queen while the queen lives, and I have observed some cases where the queen has such a connection that they could actually hear and see through the eyes of their drones. However, this queen had governed its hive for almost two centuries, from this knowledge I assume that a queen’s connections with its hive strengthens over time.
A drone located in a hive is almost always more coordinated and powerful than a lone vampire. Be wary of them.
There, I hope that’s everything one would need to know on vampires. If you have any questions, I’d be happy to answer them.
As a teenager, I was a big fan of vampire books and after a long break from them I'm looking to get into something new. My favourite authors were Anne Rice, Laurel K Hamilton (her earlier Anita Blake books, I don't like the later ones that are essentially erotica) and Charlene Harris. I'd prefer something recent (last ~5 years) and that isn't a romance. Romantic subplots are ok, but nothing where the focus is a romance.
Imagine she would have had a child with Lucian would it make her a half Lycan as well? or if she had not met Lucian would she have become a strong vampire too?
Does Vampires have any signs on their body or in their home?
1) Say an 18-year-old kid gets into a car accident and the injuries require their hip to be replaced with plastic and titanium. When they get turned into a vampire, would the old bone heal and the synthetic parts be ejected from their body?
2) Say someone gets turned into a vampire in their 30s. Would their wisdom teeth (which we'll assume were extracted earlier in life) regrow?
3) If someone with extensive plastic surgery gets turned, do they go back to their original appearance?
On this post, there are downvotes instead of upvotes, so why is this hated? Is it because people wanted to become vampires instead of killing off vampires? I don't get it, since I liked it so much.
I'm looking for vampire novels with either a newly turned vampire or a currently turning human as main character - someone, who doesn't remember how they got turned and slowly has to figure out that they're a vampire.
Preferebly with no/as little love story as possible, blood/gore and the occasional "accident" are more than welcome though.
English or German, no mangas please.
Thanks in advance!
Mine would be:
The anime Shiki (I recommend it even to those who don't like anime, but I warn you about the slow start.)
The game Vampire Masquerade: Bloodlines
Vampire Diaries and The Originals
Interview with the Vampire, the movie version. As much as I like the books, they could be somewhat draggy.
So, what are your favorites and recommendations?
overview for Kylix_
I mentioned in the original post that I was going to post VOD clips from today as soon as his stream ends, but my post was removed already, so I guess it doesn't matter.
I just hate the misinformation being spread about this guy when it's very obvious why he actually gets banned. Being a Sym OTP has very little to do with it and he's creating more toxicity everyday.
It was a discussion piece showing that this Stevo guy gets banned for other reasons (being toxic) and then spins it to the community as if he is getting banned for just playing Symmetra. Trying to make everyone feel sorry for him, when that's not the case.
Sorry if you think that is "shit talking", but it's very obvious why he gets banned repeatedly.
Witch Hunting would be me calling for people to rise up and take action against him or something, which is not the case.
Of course this happens as it's starting to gain traction... But the posts about him being banned for OTP can make it to the front page? /ReaperShrug
I made this post so people don't keep feeling sorry for a guy who actually is getting banned for other reasons and then spins it to make it look like he gets banned for just playing Symmetra. That's not the case at all. He gets banned for being toxic and then acts like a victim.
But I guess there's no way to discuss that without looking like a "witch hunt" right?
It's not witch hunting.
That's because he wasn't actually watching the clip here. Someone cropped the video from his stream of him saying "there was no evidence of him throwing" and pasted that onto the game footage from Agilities perspective.
If someone actually forced him to watch this Agilities clip and speak on it in real time, I'm sure he wouldn't be able to lie his way out of it.
I see why they didn't give that guy permission to speak now. His speech is incredible and I'm so happy Commissioner Clyburn spoke his words on his behalf in such a powerful way. I'm honestly surprised Pai let her read it.
A little irrelevant, but actually totally relevant story...
I once went into a clothing store at my local mall and saw they were have a special "buy one, get one free" sale for the shorts. I looked around and found two pairs of really cool $40 shorts I liked and took them to the register.
This girl rang the shorts up and it came to ~$80. I said, "hold on, they're suppose to be buy one, get one free, right?" and she said that deal doesn't apply to items that are on sale. I asked her what item was on sale because they came from the same rack of shorts.
She showed me the tag on shorts #2 and it had a small label on it that literally said $1 off. (Manually made from a label maker.) So they were $39 instead of $40 and therefor didn't "qualify" for the bogo deal.
I asked for a manager and she came over and told me there's just nothing they can do for me. I left the store and haven't stepped foot in that franchise since.
Moral of the story, if you do stupid shady shit like that as a business practice, you just guaranteed that I will blacklist your products and never buy from you, no matter how nice your shorts are.
Yo, on some real shit... Don't bring the way of the blade into this my nice friend. I will slice you so fast and so precise, your body will fall apart 2 weeks from now while you're in the shower. The slices will be so thin I could make 113 perfect deli style sandwiches from your flesh.
Actually, being partnered has a lot to do with their quality. Don't be fooled by some of the responses you were given. They are coming from people who obviously aren't partnered.
Being a partner on Twitch gives your stream access to something very important. It's a feature called transcoding options. This enables the steamer to stream in much higher bit rates than other people because the viewers can now select the level of quality they see based on their own internet connection.
For example, Twitch recommends that new streamers use a maximum of about 3500kb/s so they don't alienate viewers with slower internet, but once you become partner, you could steam at, say, 6500kb/s because now your stream has transcoding options available and your bandwidth cap is higher. So a user with slow internet can still see the stream at a lower quality if they need to, where viewers with faster internet (like you) can see the stream at its highest bit rate.
If you pop into a small, new stream that isn't partnered and look at the video player settings, you won't find any options to change the quality, and they will likely have that notorious muddy look. Now go to a big streamer and you'll notice you have all ranges of 240p to 1440p/60fps (source) etc.
So even though Summit's stream looks absolutely crystal clear to you, there are thousands of slow internet viewers out there also watching him in 480p. Keep that in mind.
TL;DR Once you become partner, you can stream at a much higher bit rate than other streamers without the risk of alienating viewers because of transcoding options.
"This is what I went to four years of art school for."
He secretly just wants to be included 🙁
"That is 1 Big Walrus." ~said someone in the future after seeing OP
Introduced > "hells fucking yes"
Passed House > "omfg, hells YES!"
Passed Senate > "THE DREAM IS REAL!!"
To President > ~gets vetoed by Trump~
Became Law > ...
just an attempt by the Author to give the Illusion of some kind of victory
No, OP meant that the commissioner actually charged up a full power Kamehameha and literally blasted the FCC. It's just a crater now.
It's actually referred to as being "blacked"
Wait, you're telling me that they actually DIDN'T get Donald Glover to voice act this? It would have been the perfect opportunity!
The one I'm in is a PC version only Discord, unfortunately. But, I found them through /r/OverwatchLFT/ so you should make a post there. I'm sure there's a community for PS4!
I'm actually drooling over here. I'm stuck with an old 1080p, 60Hz monitor and a 980 from years ago. I have to live vicariously through you right now 😀
Thanks for the marks!!
Yep! I'm in one that's committed to positivity and no toxic players. Always active and well moderated. It's really nice.
Oh, it had such a small section, I missed it! Apologies.
My question is, are you running these marks with a single monitor? Or multiple? And what type of monitor as well?
Next, I guess I would like to know the marks at 1440p, 144Hz (if possible?), maxed graphics, 200% render, but in an actual match, any map. Rather than just the training area.
Thanks for taking the time.
EDIT: And maybe if you have time, the same, but on the lowest end of the spectrum. 1440p (or even 1080p), 60Hz, lowest graphics, 100% render, any map.
Probably because Blizzard does everything in-house. Fully custom engines, assets and coding. They can't just "borrow" code from people who used, say, Unreal engine for example.
They have to create, tweak and modify everything from scratch among their own, relatively small, team. So some things like this end up very low on the list of priorities, unfortunately.
Those games are not Overwatch? Different engines, physics, coding, etc.
Guys, it's actually just the light source that is rotating above the fan blades. Still playable.
EDIT: Forgot the /s haha! I don't actually think that's how shadows work! XD