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April 2014 Discussion Post: Urban Legends

April 1, 2014 at 12:00 AM

If you’ve never heard the term “urban legend” or “urban myth” before, it refers to – in a definition shamelessly stolen from Wikipedia – “a form of modern folklore consisting of stories that may or may not have been believed by their tellers to be true. As with all folklore and mythology, the designation suggests nothing about the story’s veracity, but merely that it is in circulation, exhibits variation over time, and carries some significance that motivates the community in preserving and propagating it.”

You’ve probably been told some form of urban legend as if it were a truth at some point in your life – I remember the whole “pop rocks and soda will make you explode AND DIE!!!” legend going around my elementary school (complete with dares to try it, of course), and as recently as last month I’ve seen people circulating – seemingly in earnest – the absolutely ancient myth about gang initiations and car headlights. Urban legends tend to have incredibly long lifetimes, and it’s very possible that some of you have unknowingly helped to spread an urban myth that originally spread before you were even born!

If you’d like to explore and familiarize yourself with most of the more famous urban legends, Snopes and Urban Legends Online are your best bets.

If you want to go directly to the creepy/horror urban legends, that category can be found right here.

So let’s talk about urban legends this month. Which of these tall tales is your favorite? Have you ever been guilty of spreading an urban legend, either for fun or because you actually believed it? Were you surprised to see that any of the legends listed on the linked sites were actually just stories? Why do you think certain legends manage to stick around for so long? So on and so forth – I just figured that, given that this discussion post would be publishing on April Fool’s Day, we might as well discuss all the interesting and wild and even creepy hoaxes and legends that have cropped up and spread around throughout the ages.

Have fun!

Submissions Re-Opened & The March/April Open Period Has Been Extended – UPDATED 4/14

March 20, 2014 at 12:00 AM

The backlog has been fully processed. If you did not receive a reply and you checked ‘yes’ on Crappypasta, it’s likely that one of the following things occured:

  1. You entered your email address incorrectly/your email account was full when I tried to email you and let you know of your submission status. Please do a search with some text from your pasta to see if it was uploaded to either site before you resubmit. The search bar is at the top of the sidebar.
  2. Your pasta was deemed over the line and rejected entirely. To play it safe: if your story involved abuse of any kind, pornographic content, racist/homophobic/sexist themes and language, obvious trolls or attempts at targeting myself or another community member, or anything else that we cover in the FAQ as possibly overstepping the bounds of what I’m willing to consider, DO ME A GREAT FAVOR AND DO NOT RESUBMIT THAT STORY. I don’t know if it was something in the water or just part and parcel with the bigger than usual submission count, but I estimate that about 300 submissions fell into this category during the last period.
  3. Your story simply didn’t go through for whatever reason. If I don’t actually receive the story, there’s nothing that I can do.

It was pointed out to me that it was somewhat unfair to do a massive Crappypasta posting spree with all ~600 stories posted within a few days – doing so would basically ensure that some of the stories were completely overlooked by the community as they got buried in the sheer volume of posts. To get around this issue, I tried to leave a day or two in between each batch. To make amends for the longer processing time that this tactic created, I’ve extended the open period once again – you now have until April 30th to submit your pastas.

There will be a ‘rest period’ of several days on Crappypasta to let people catch up on the massive number of stories looking for feedback.

To read the original content of this announcement, please click the ‘read more’ button.

The Lost

April 23, 2014 at 12:00 AM
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This is a Crappypasta Success Story – a story that was rewritten with the feedback received on Crappypasta and accepted for the main site. You can see the Crappypasta posting for this story here: The Lost

My name is Clare and I’m from a small country in central Europe. Many people have probably never heard of it. My country has everything from a small coastline on the Adriatic Sea to the majestic Alps but most of the landscape consists of small green hills, each with a little church on top. Almost two thirds of my country is covered with forests and the capitol is famous for its middle age architecture. It is a beautiful country where, most of the time, nothing unusual happens.

Like most people here I live in the countryside where my nearest neighbor is almost a quarter of a mile away. I spent most of my childhood running around the forest right by my home. I can still remember where the best trees for climbing are and where certain flowers grow. Something happened there in the summer of 2001 I will never forget. I was around twelve years old and I had decided to spend my whole afternoon alone in the forest.

As I said most of the country is covered in hills and the hill behind our house is quite steep. At the top of this hill is an old orchard my great-grandfather planted and from it you can almost see the capitol city in the distance. My forest extends from the orchard, across the Karst landscape and almost right to the Italian border. There are a few smaller towns and villages between my home and the border but I never really went very far from the area my family owned. On this particular day though I decided to explore some of the areas I had never been before.

I really didn’t take anything with me and I didn’t bother telling my parents where I was going. I always felt very safe in the woods even though bears were often seen in the area. In reality the most dangerous thing you would normally come across were drunken hunters. The forest is pretty in the summer and the leaves and tall trunks made me feel like I was in a big cathedral. I started to sing a tune I had heard on the radio and before long I was about an hour and a half walking distance from home.

At this point I decided to stray off the main road that leads through the forest. I’m not sure how much time passed but I suddenly realized that the Sun was starting to set and the light was making the leaves glow in sharp colors. Soon I found myself wandering, in the twilight, in an area I did not know. The wind blowing through the dry branches was making very eerie noises and I suddenly knew I was lost.

I could feel my panic beginning to rise and the adrenaline started to flow through my veins. My instincts were screaming to run away, but I forced myself to remain calm and tried to figure out the way back to the main road. It was pointless; I had no idea where I was. I started to walk around aimlessly, hoping to find the road or at least a path I could follow. Suddenly I saw a figure standing in the distance and from its size it had to be a child. I started to walk towards it but the child seemed to notice me and ran away. I chased after it through the forest for quite a long time but I could never quite get close enough to actually distinguish any of its features but it seemed to be a young girl no older than I was at the time.

As I was running after the mysterious girl the ground suddenly gave way beneath me. I experienced that dreadful feeling of falling, like in very bad nightmare, where time seems to slow down and everything is in slow motion. Then came the awful sound of my body hitting the ground and pain erupted through me.

For a moment I lay motionless on the ground trying to catch my breath. Finally I pulled myself together and opened my eyes, waiting for them to adjust to the thick darkness in the cave, where I had landed.

At first everything was pitch black but then I began to be able to see. There was a single pair of eyes staring at me just a few inches in front of my face. I quickly backed away, until I hit something dry and crumbly. Somewhere in the back of the cave a light suddenly flared to life. First there was one, and then more and more, until the chamber was fully lit. There were thousands and thousands of eyes watching me. Dead, dull eyes in dry sockets. Faces whose skin was desiccated and stretched over their skulls. Their mouths hung open, their lips having rotted and pulled back so that it looked as if they were all screaming in rage or terror.

I stared, I wasn’t able to move or scream. I am not even sure I was able to breathe. I blinked, hoping that the dreadful image in front of me would disappear. As I opened my eyes it seemed as if all the corpses had moved. I never saw them move, but each time I blinked it was like they had gotten one step closer. I felt cold sweat dripping down my neck and my eyes began to itch and water as I tried to keep them open. I couldn’t help myself and I blinked again. This time, as my eyes opened, I was completely surrounded. I simply closed my eyes, hoping this was all just a bad dream. I didn’t hear a single sound and I smiled thinking that I would soon wake up in my own bed. When I opened my eyes I was face to face with it. I could clearly see the dried and rotten face, eyes dim and lifeless. I started to feel dizzy and sick and then it seemed as though I could feel something like boney hands and fingers grabbing my hair and tearing at my clothes. I felt it and then again I didn’t feel it. I was so overcome with terror I could no longer tell what was real and what wasn’t. I tried so hard to stay conscious, to fight, but I couldn’t move a single muscle. Then the lights suddenly went out and it was pitch black all around me.

I opened my eyes, trying to adjust to the lack of light. I was lying on the forest floor, not far from my home. At that moment my body started to function normally and I ran home as fast as I could. I had no idea how I had gotten there and I just wanted to forget about what had happened. I was so happy to be home and safe but my peace didn’t last very long.

The next night I had a dream about the people I had seen in the cave. I woke with a start and saw a face looking at me through the window. In the moonlight the features of the face were much easier to make out than they had been in the darkness of the cave. It was the face of a young girl, she was dead and her empty eyes stared at me with wild anger as she clawed the window trying to get in.

Since then I have had the same nightmare of the girl clawing to get through my window every night. It has been twelve years now and in that time I have gone to many different therapists. They tell me it is just stress from school and work and that I should try to relax. How can I relax when every night I am afraid to open my eyes for fear that she will be there trying to get to me?

It is a known fact that right after World War II the communists took over the government and thousands of people who refused to cooperate with the new system were killed. Men and women were walled up alive in abandoned mines or shot and buried in mass grave sites. Some of them were part of my family. Our government still refuses to talk about this and almost none of the people responsible were ever punished.

Credit To – thepierces42

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Mapimi Silent Zone

April 22, 2014 at 12:00 AM
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In July, 1970, the US military conducted a missile test in Green River, Utah. The missile, a multi-stage rocket, was loaded with a payload of two small containers, nominally containing radioactive cobalt-57. It was launched toward the White Sands Missile Range in New Mexico. However, the rocket malfunctioned somehow and ended up crashing into the Mapimi Preserve in Mexico. The US government launched an investigation that took several weeks to find the rocket, build a road to the site and haul out the wreckage. At least that’s the story.

How a rocket could overshoot its target by over one and a half time its intended distance, when the fuel loads on missile tests are usually precisely calculated is only the beginning of the problems. Cobalt 57 is a marker isotope, usually used for medical tests, not so much for missile tests. The missile being used was one that was one that was used for launching test payloads, and not one that had any military application.

Over the years since then, stories about that area where the rocket fell have surfaced. The most prominent among these is the story that gives the area its nickname “The Silent Zone.” Apparently, no radio waves can be received in certain areas surrounding the rockets crash site. While areas devoid of radio signals are not unknown on earth, most of these are the product of altitude and mountainous terrain combining with a lack of transmitters in the area. The Mapimi Silent Zone is located in flat terrain with only small foothills surrounding it. Moreover, it is well within the range of several “Border Blaster” radio stations, known for highly boosted signals designed to carry them well into US territory. None of these stations can be picked up in the silent zone. Not even static is present. Just dead silence across all radio bands until you leave these areas of radio void.

Physical oddities are also present. Plants in some areas have taken on strange colorations, especially among certain breeds of desert plants. Bright purple or dark violet versions of cacti that are normally green have been found, along with strange, abnormally large growth patterns in scrub vegetation. The strange patterns are also prevalent in local animal species, with some tortoises in the area exhibiting triangular shell patterns, wild coyotes growing unusually large and small desert lizards growing to sizes unheard of in other areas. Blood work done on these animals and people living near the area, showed signs of blood cells that exhibited unusual properties, including rounded triangular structure in some cases.
The geology of the region is also highly unusual. Some pebbles and rocks in the Silent Zone feature an unusual content of rare metals; including ruthenium, rhodium, and most notably extremely trace amounts of Technetium. These technetium traces are most startling because technetium is not a naturally occurring element, and almost all isotopes decay to ruthenium in a matter of seconds to minutes. The few pieces that have had a relatively stable isotope, Technetium-97, indicate a wide array of origin dates when their decay rates were analyzed, indicating no single event could have been the source. Strange magnetic fields plague the area, causing compass needles to spin crazily. Ferrous rocks and pebbles can sometimes be seen to move, evidently being pulled by these magnetic anomalies.

This leads into a discussion of the most concerning aspect of the area, the unexplained activity in the region. Strange lights and unusual radio wave bursts have been observed in the zone. These lights and radio wave bursts occur both in the air above the Silent Zone and on the ground. Some people who have travelled to the area claim that they are subject to strange visions and auditory hallucinations during their time there. A small research station, originally located on the site as a biological research station, undergoes a very high rate of personnel turnover and desertion, sometimes including researchers seemingly disappearing in the middle of shifts.
No video evidence of these occurrences has ever made it into the public record, but in April 2013, scans of a handwritten journal pages turned up on several conspiracy and paranormal image boards. These pages were from a secret personal journal kept by a researcher named Hector Alvarez. In them, he chronicled the unusual phenomenon he saw while working alone on the graveyard shift at the station. He claims he started the journal after complaints about strange things he saw being ignored by higher ups, and attempts by him to document them with a digital camera had been unsuccessful due to some malfunction of the memory of the system.

The journal itself chronicles about 3 months of activity, and detailed multiple phenomena. Minor phenomena included some of those previously outlined. Additionally, he noted strange wind and barometric pressure readings on the stations weather sensors. These indicated extreme weather conditions despite the observable weather was nothing out of the ordinary. Unusual discolorations of the paint, both inside and outside the building would occur seemingly at random. There was no pattern to the color or location of these discolorations, but they would always be vaguely triangular in shape.

Some of the ‘disturbances’ he reported were more severe. These included a few sightings strange, glowing “triangles”. He was unable to give an exact size, but he said that they appeared to be the same size each time, roughly 6 feet on a side. These triangles would appear suddenly, often accompanied by odd sounds and rushes of air. These triangles were described as having borders of prismatic colored ‘fire’ while the interior of these triangles would contain translucent, undulating bands of shifting colors, with Alvarez noting he felt that there was a pattern to these shifts, though he did not know why he felt this way. These triangles would remain in existence for several minutes before disappearing with the same odd sounds and atmospheric disturbances as their arrival. Though he only recorded seeing half a dozen of these ‘triangles’ he noted that all of them appeared to be equilateral, and all of them were either tilted at a 15 or 105 degree angle, seeming to imply an unseen, regular pattern.

He also detailed an event where the speakers of all the computers in the station suddenly began to blast a strange, garbled white noise, despite the computers being off. This broadcast continued even after the speakers were unplugged from the computer. The next day, several of these computers would not turn on, and when tasked with repairing them, the technician claimed the motherboards and hard drives looked like they had melted under extreme heat.

The journal ends abruptly after three months. Officials at the Mapimi Preserve had no comment on the matter, other than to say Mr. Alvarez had apparently left his post the night of March 15, 2013, and did not return the following night for his shift. They had since referred the matter to the local police, whose investigation turned up no leads. Their investigation did turn up to interesting facts. First, Mr. Alvarez’s car was still at the research station the morning after he disappeared. Second, a large, triangular discoloration on the wall discovered the next morning was found to be emitting trace amounts of radiation. When analyzed in a lab, the surface of the wall was found to contain Technetium isotopes. The amounts of the isotopes present would place their time of origin at roughly the night Mr. Alvarez disappeared.

Credit To – Discardable

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Abomination

April 21, 2014 at 12:00 AM
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Abomination
By: Ben Meadows

First of all, I want to clarify that I cared about the people in this account that were taken from me very deeply. Their screams and spirits haunt me to this day. To their families, I promise you, when I find the thing responsible for the atrocities in this story; it will pay for the lives it has destroyed.

The blazing sun beat down on my neck as we walked. It had to be at least a hundred degrees and the Kentucky humidity didn’t help the situation. My National Guard unit was drilling out at Fort Knox in the summer and we were on our last day of training for the month in the woods near one of the shooting ranges. The other medics and I had already qualified with weapons and were winding down with some conversation. The same usual bullshit, talking about late nights getting hammered drunk and every aspect of the sexual encounters we had experienced during the month prior; there was also the occasional spousal joke thrown in between. My friends, Specialist Jeremy North and Private Austin Rivers had been by my side the entire time. We were relatively new at our unit and always got picked on accordingly, so we stuck together most of the time. It was about high noon and we were trying to think of ways to pass the time. The card games were getting old and the batteries were dead on our smart phones, so there wasn’t really much else we could think of to do other than walk around and shoot the shit.
“So how’s your woman doing, Red? Tell her she needs to give me her new number.” North said to me slyly with that ear to ear grin he had. “I’ll tell her she needs to renew her restraining order.” I retorted as I punched him in the arm. Rivers just snorted that goofy laugh he had and followed it up with something incoherent as expected. We walked over to the concrete building that housed the weapons to see if we could find someone to talk to or possibly charge our cell phones. Inside was Staff Sergeant Wake, a former Active Duty soldier who had made the switch to the Guard after eight years of service. “How’s it going, Sergeant?” asked Rivers, as he closed the door behind us. “Hot as hell, boring as hell, and tired as hell” he replied. I hadn’t seen Sergeant Wake all day and that was a good thing. He probably would have given us some kind of bullshit work to do so we would look somewhat productive in front of the officers from the other companies there.

We exited the building from there, realizing that we were dangerously close to receiving some kind of task and began walking back to our tent. The tents were large and green with big flaps on all sides, as if they would have looked any different being Army tents. From there we met about twenty-five other medics and started to pack all of the equipment up: the tents, M16’s, sleeping bags, and anything else that would have taken a while to put away, as we were hoping to leave before daylight in the morning to drive back down to southern Kentucky where our headquarters was. After this long and tedious process, I started to pack all of my personal things into my ruck. My other uniform that had been buried under my sleeping bag was still soaked with sweat from the day before. The name tag read “Winters” although my friends and everyone else at my unit affectionately referred to me as “Red” due to my unusually bright red hair. Rivers looked to me and asked if I would start separating my stuff from his because he had to take a leak, and I obliged. The temperature was getting to everyone. A chorus of frustrated grunts of the other medics trying to reform objects down to their smallest possible size before shoving them into their bags surrounded me.
I looked up into the tree line and smiled, though. I loved the woods and nature for the most part. I was raised in the woods and was always taught to respect the Earth. It’s hard to describe the feeling I get when I’m alone with nothing but the green canopies of leaves above.
Later on, as the sun started to advertise its departure from the sky, an orange glow slowly became more visible and the air started to cool down as well as become dryer.
My friends and I settled on the cots we had placed earlier and waited for the inevitable brief we were going to get from Sergeant Wake about what we needed to do to get out of there as quickly as possible without getting “hung up in more brass bullshit” or something of that nature.
One of the other medics, named Robinson and I were talking about recent news about video games, movies, and TV shows when a sudden realization hit me. I looked over at North who was sitting on his cot with his forehead in his hands rubbing it like he had a headache. “Hey North, have you seen Rivers?” I asked in an unconcerned but curious tone. “Nope, he must have gone to the latrine or something.” This answer didn’t satisfy me. He had been gone for at least two hours and it was getting too dark to be doing anything productive. I looked over at his ruck and saw that it was half empty with some of his things lying around it in a sloppy configuration the way I had left it. I ended my conversation with Robinson and started looking around the camp. I asked ten other people if they had seen him and at this point a concerned North was accompanying me. “He can’t be too far from here.” I said, this time in a concerned manner. “We’ll give it another hour and if he’s not back by then, we’ll tell someone” said North who shared the same apathetic tone as me. We weren’t the over reactive types and just assumed he had found an outlet for his phone or something.
About forty-five minutes later, Sergeant Wake called us all over for a head count. North and I were genuinely concerned for Rivers at this point, not for his safety, but we feared that he might get in trouble if he missed the head count. We told Sergeant Wake about the situation and he sighed, pinching the skin between his eyes at the bridge of his nose. “Had to be one of you fucking new guys” he groaned in an irritated tone. He called all of the medics over and gave us specific instructions not to tell anyone outside of our detachment because if we could find Rivers before tomorrow, no one would have to get punished; he was a nice guy in that way. I was starting to get really worried at this point. Rivers was a sensible guy and this wasn’t like him to just run off like this. We spread out amongst the woods in different directions in 3 man teams. It was getting really dark now and the chances of finding him were getting slimmer as the chances of us getting lost were growing. It had to be around 23:00 and each hour that passed made me grow more concerned for my friend. North and I exchanged glances of doubt and it seemed like we both knew that this wasn’t going to end well. We ducked under tree limbs and crunched the dirt under our feet as we made our way through the unfamiliar woods. We were walking at a pretty fast pace until we reached the mouth of a wide cave adjacent to a creek that seemed really out of place for the terrain. The other man that accompanied us was PFC Terrence Hale and he wasn’t afraid to vent his frustration of the whole situation towards us. “He’s your buddy; why the fuck did you let him run off? I mean, seriously, haven’t you ever heard of Murphy’s fucking Law.” Hale whined in a nasally voice. I just shook my head and proceeded into the cave with a flashlight. The air in the cave was cool and moist, a relief from the summer heat outside. The three of us made our way further inside and continued our search, hoping Rivers would show his face sooner rather than later. Behind me were North and Hale looking in opposite directions of the cave as I looked straight ahead. Hale was still extremely agitated. “I can’t believe this shit, this has never happened before. I swear, if we find him and he’s just fucking with us I will be so fucking..” He trailed off. I saw him stop and hold his breath as he backed away from what had just seen. A feeling of dread crept up on me as possibilities roared through my head. I didn’t want to look; I really, really didn’t want to look. I pointed my flashlight hesitantly over to what had Hale so shocked and vomited. There lying on the ground in a pile was Rivers, or what was left of him. His torso was ripped wide open exposing his lungs and heart and his stomach and other organs looked like they had been eaten away. What once was the face of one of my best friends was now a pit of flesh dug into the semicircle that was his head. And that was all I had the stomach to look at. While we were American soldiers and had been trained to deal with shocking sights.. This.. This was nothing like I had ever experienced. I was sure that this was certainly a very large bear or.. Or a mountain lion or something that had done this, but I was very wrong, so very, very wrong.
Hale let out a scream and North just stood there in shock as we tried to gain our wits. We had to get the fuck back to camp and tell everyone what had happened. We were starting out of the cave when we heard it; the low, bellowing moan of the thing that inhabited the cave. I froze; I had never been so disturbed in my entire life to hear a sound. It was accompanied by footsteps that mushed the clay and mud underneath it. As it approached, I began to smell the odor of decay, the pungent stench of something reminiscent of a dead animal. North and Hale began shining their flashlights in the direction the sound was coming from and Hale dropped his when we all saw it. An enormous, disgusting, humanoid creature took up the entire entrance to another chamber of the cave. It glanced over at us and began taking several awkward steps towards us. The more I saw of it, the more I wanted to vomit the rest of my dinner. Its stomach was swollen with the remains of Rivers it and walked on two long, hairy legs. The entire thing was covered in thick, matted hair from head to toe and its long, wide arms ended in two skinny hands with sickeningly long fingers that were reminiscent of a spider’s legs. The creature had to be at least eight feet tall standing upright and weigh at least a ton. It appeared neither male nor female and had a head that resembled something close to an emaciated deer or a goat with huge, gaping maw that housed several dull, bloody teeth several inches apart and pitch black eyes. Slimy saliva dripped from its mouth and I could smell the disgusting odor of my friend’s remains on its breath. Hale fainted when he realized what he had seen. I wanted to as well but I fought it as hard as I could. And then the room started to spin..

I can remember the blurry scene of North and I trying to drag Hale out of the cave as that thing.. That monster grabbed his legs and easily won the tug of war between us. As it got a hold of him, it lifted his body up by one leg towards its enormous mouth and in one crunching display bit his entire head off before proceeding to rip his limbs off individually. North and I started to fire at it with our M16’s but to no effect. It merely flinched at the rounds and looked as if it wasn’t even bleeding. We pounded through the woods towards our camp using pure adrenaline to push us. We had made it pretty far away from the cave, but something suddenly slammed into North hard and he fell. I heard the sickening crunch of his ankle breaking accompanied by his scream of pain. I tried to pick him up and carry him but I was still reeling from what had just happened and fell down myself. I eventually managed to lift him onto my back before I was struck with a large rock to my back. I lay there in agony, my back felt like it was broken and I could barely breathe. I barely had time to process what had happened before I turned over to witness another horrific sight. I watched as North was dragged away from me by his legs at incredible speed by the abomination. I picked up my weapon and fired every shot I had left in my clip above him at the thing that was dragging him away but still the creature seemed apathetic to my rounds. As it all happened, North’s gaze met mine; what can only be described as a look of sheer hell filled his dark eyes as he was pulled faster and faster away, screaming.

Now I’m not proud of what I did, but I turned around and I ran. I ran as fast as I could with my weapon in my hand, sweating profusely, and breathing so hard I thought my lungs would collapse. When I finally reached the camp, I broke down and balled uncontrollably. All of the other medics had already returned and could barely gather my story through the tears of agony. “In the cave..” I said and simply pointed in the direction I came from and fifteen of the others ran off into the woods. I begged them not to go, to wait until daylight but they wouldn’t. They grabbed everything we had at our camp and bolted into the tree line.

The next morning was a hazy blur. The men that had gone into the woods returned with three M16’s and a single, blood-stained combat boot. “We went to that cave he talked about” said McKenzie, a Sergeant who had accompanied them. “We found their weapons and a ton of blood, but none of the bodies or the thing that attacked them.” I was asked to submit a report of what happened, and I tried my best to explain the events but no one would believe what I truly saw. We eventually left two days later and as I got into the back of one of the HMMWVs, I took one last look at the tree line. A blackish brown dot stood in between two large trees. I squinted hard at it and it became clearer. The monster that had taken my friends faced me for a moment before turning around and vanishing into the woods moving with incredible speed for its size.

After that, I wasn’t able to sleep more than a few hours at a time. I was constantly bombarded by visions and nightmares of the abomination coming after me to finish its work. I did a ton of research on the thing and the closest thing I could find was something called the Wendigo, which is a Native American legend about a creature that has an insatiable appetite for human flesh. I had no idea what the fuck this thing was or how to kill it. The entire experience had turned my world upside down and I was making it a point to move away from Kentucky and as far away as possible once my military contract was finished.

The following night, I looked out my window and saw something that sent a violent chill down my spine. I live in the woods with only a couple neighbors who were out of town, and my girlfriend was out visiting her parents, so I was the only one in the neighborhood. As I stared into the darkness, I saw the disgusting deer head of the creature with its mouth gaping wide open. I instantly jumped up and grabbed my Remington 12 gauge along with a box of shells. I said a prayer, clutched the cross I always wore around my neck and ran out to meet the creature. It had moved from its original spot. I grabbed my flashlight and headed towards its direction but stopped myself. “That’s exactly what it wants.” I said to myself. I went back up into my living room, picked up my phone and called the police. I made up some bullshit story about a home invasion so they would actually come. I was not going to let this thing kill me or my girlfriend. I started back onto the porch to keep an eye one the thing but it had moved again. This time I panicked. It’s somewhere close and I had no idea where. I ran all around my property looking for it and eventually gave up. I returned inside and resigned to waiting for the police. At this point, my head was pulsating and my eyes started to become blurry again. I collapsed on the floor and looked up to see the creature standing about five feet away from me on all four legs, it reached out to me with its mutant hands but I managed to gain the strength to get up and run. I sprinted outside and collapsed in the driveway which ran parallel to a steep decline that led into the woods. The monster, now walking bipedal became more visible in the light of my porch. It was a greyish color with wrinkled skin as if it had been soaking in water for days. Its matted hair contained bits of blood and flesh from its past victims and its face was what terrified me the most. Its disgusting Baphomet face housed black eyes that revealed to be pits of where eyes should have been, which led me to believe that the creature relied off of its senses of hearing and smell to hunt. It crouched over my body and wrapped one long, bony hand around my face. Its skin felt like that of a squid’s, and the smell made me want to vomit.

“This is it.” I thought. “My life is over.” My survival from weeks earlier was just prolonging my death at the hands of this monster. It lifted me up with its second hand now wrapped around my torso as it moved to take a bite out of my neck when it suddenly stopped.

The sound of police sirens was now very close. The thing apparently didn’t like large groups of people and didn’t want to get caught. It dropped me to the concrete and started slinking its way back into the woods, but I wasn’t going to let it get away that easy. I ran as hard as I could and jumped down the decline after the creature. I barreled into the thing with all 200 pounds of my body weight and sent it careening down the hill. It was pissed now, and starting running back up the hill towards me with shocking speed, I barely had enough time to let out a buck shot right into its mouth as a slimy substance similar to pus shot out of the creature. I had hurt it! The creature wasn’t pleased and grabbed me with both disgusting hands. It immobilized me as it began slowly lowering its gaping wide mouth towards my head. I fought it as hard as I could but to no avail.

Seconds away from certain death, I started praying. I prayed harder than I ever had before and the creature stopped and threw me down. It backed away writhing in pain like I had seriously damaged it. I began praying again “My father, who art in Heaven, hallowed be thy name, thy kingdom come, thy will be done, on Earth as it is in Heaven.” and starting walking towards it, blasting at it with the shotgun, each shot putting pus-oozing holes into its stomach and neck. As I advanced, the creature turned around and ran faster than it had in our previous encounter into the woods. I screamed at it with tears rolling down my eyes as it limped away through the trees with its impossibly big body.

The past few weeks have hard. I’ve been to three funerals, gone through several police investigations, and I’ve barely been able to sleep. I rented a cabin far away from my girlfriend until this is all over; I’m convinced that the abomination has marked me, and I refuse to be the cause of her death as well. As far as she knows, I’m visiting some friends down in Tennessee. Now the thing not only threatens me physically but also in my dreams. I wake up some nights, screaming about the things I see. I know as well as it does that this is not over and that it will come back for me. I can only speculate on how much time I have left. I want this to be a written record for anyone who may find it if I don’t make it out alive this time. If I’m never seen or heard from again, tell the Winters family that I love them very much, and tell Jessyca Small that I never had the courage to ask her, but I was planning to make her my wife someday. There’s a thunderstorm outside, and I can see the shape of a figure between the lightning strikes. I would have been able to dismiss it as a trick of the mind, but there’s one inescapable thing I noticed about what I just saw- the glint of service tags wrapped around its wrist…

Credit To – Ben Meadows

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Chronicles of the Mark – The Snake In the Sun

April 20, 2014 at 12:00 AM
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View the original story here: The Mark of Canus.

Two concepts exist in our world, the natural, and the supernatural. Humanity actively sees and understands the natural, as we progress in science and mathematics, but most of us refuse to observe the existence of the supernatural, as we usually cannot perceive it. Many outright deny the possibility of supernatural occurrences, artifacts, or entities entirely, on the grounds that these things cannot be logically explained. The supernatural cannot be explained logically because it is not based in logic, as logic itself is a natural principle.

The human mind, or at least the part our basic consciousness resides in, is another natural thing, an article of logic. This is why we are not able to accept the supernatural as real, because it goes against the very basis of our understanding. Many argue the supernatural is in a part of our minds, the usually dormant part from where psychosis comes from, the crazy part, and that our minds have the capability for the supernatural, but that portion is almost always locked for some reason. Either way, the supernatural most certainly exists, and there is a lot of power in it even today.  One such case of supernatural power in the world is the Mark of Canus, a manifestation of evil in the universe, and a driving force for violent insanity and even deeper darkness in the confines of the mind.

The Mark of Canus has had a profound impact on certain individuals throughout time. James Dodd, an outlaw turned lawman in the American West during the time of expansion and greed recalls his experience with the Mark:

The year was 1876, a full one hundred years after this country was founded. During that time we have seen many wars with the natives, continued fighting with the British, and a full blown Civil War, but all those horrors pale in comparison to the man known as The Snake in the Sun, Darrel Shrimer, the gold tycoon.

Shrimer was an ambitious man, known for his drive and ability to get things done, but there’s more to him than that, alright. He was sadistic, ultimately evil, and it all had something to do with this symbol he always had on him, on a belt buckle or boot. They say you could see it in his eyes, pure evil in that symbol. I shiver to think of when I looked on it. My story with him begins with my return to Albright, Arizona.
I rode into Albright in the late evening, had taken me all day to get here from Tucson. Things felt different going into the town this time, could be because I wore a badge now, instead of a bandana. I was born in Montana, but Albright had been my home for a while, when I was with a gang. Things are different now, I protect people. I cleaned up myself and became one of the best, an Arizona Ranger. Yep, I wore a bright badge and a lot of responsibility with it. The last time I’d been in Albright I had been a criminal, so naturally I knew things would feel different riding in with that weighty title.

Maybe it wasn’t the badge at all, I couldn’t really explain it, but something had come over the town, a heavy feeling. I thought nothing of it, maybe it was just me, after all I’d killed men here years ago. I rode up to the bar for a drink and some food when I noticed a strange marking on one of the posts, it was some kind of symbol, a symbol I would later come to abhor for the rest of my life, but back then it seemed like just an odd little scratch in the post, so I went on in and sat down at the bar.

I looked around to exactly what I expected, people staring. They had a scared look in their eyes, they knew me from before. I used to be a stone cold killer, a criminal who’d rob and steal and shoot men for a living. It’s no wonder they all looked frightened to see me. I’d been brought to justice by a lawman, but not all justice in the West ended in blood. He took me to Tucson to be tried, and they stuck me in prison for many years, many turned to few as I was let off for good behavior. I was completely reformed, cast off my old life in crime, to seek a new one in the law.
I ordered a steak and some Dawson brew, and was waiting for my food, thinking about my new life here when a young man came up to the bar and sat next to me. “You that Jim Dodd they talked about, the outlaw gone put on a badge?” I looked over and saw his face. He looked young, his face not yet rough. He looked innocent enough, and yet there was something off about him, an odd feeling I got. I said nothing, only turned out my badge and nodded. The boy said, “So it is true then. You’re gonna keep the law round here?” I nodded again, eyes still on the boy. “That mean you gonna take Russell Lewis and the Snake in the Sun?” He asked. I cocked my head in curiosity, partly as to who these people are, as well as that the boy was so frank with me about the nature of the law. Sensing my puzzlement, he explained, “The Snake in the Sun is Darrel Shrimer, that gold boss who’s been sweepin’ cross Arizona lookin’ for gold and fortune. They call him the Snake in the Sun on a count of he will kill a man in broad daylight, as much as the dark night. He’s had the whole town in his hands for comin’ on two years now, and I reckon he won’t let us go till someone puts him down or he gets bored. Russell Lewis is his right hand man, he’s just as scary. This guy is like the Devil ate a scorpion and spit him back out into the desert to mock the Lord by puttin’ him in the image of a man.”

I was intrigued at these man he talked about. I’d heard once of Darrel Shrimer, apparently he had gone out on a mining expedition with a whole company of men, went up into the mountains, and returned alone, with a large fortune of gold and a ruthless ambition to get more, but that sounds like most all other gold tycoons around the West. This is the first I’ve heard of murder and settlement extortion, and who was this Russell Lewis? If these claims were true, I’d have to do something, being a man of the law.

Just as I decided to open my mouth and tell the boy I’d look into it, his stare changed. He now looked pale, almost grey, and those eyes, they were empty. The eyes were as empty as the night sky in the Mojave, and just as deep. My blood ran cold, I was frozen stiff. I could not look away. Then the boy said, in a raspy voice unlike what I had just heard from him, “You can’t stop the Mark, it lives everywhere, inside you, inside your mind. The Snake in the Sun will make you submit, submit to the warming insanity of the Mark. We have given in, all of us, Albright belongs to the Mark, to the Snake in the Sun. Can you feel it, man of the law, can you feel the Mark in your mind? It’s there, waiting for you to see its glory, and love it eternally in darkness as the Snake in the Sun, and all of us.”

I looked at the boy for a moment longer, trying to figure out if what I heard was even real, I was very tired. I blinked a few times, and to my surprise he was still there, with that grey look about him, but now the symbol from the post was there, inside both his eyes, this time terrifying, its silent glare penetrating my mind. It was like looking into the essence of the symbol itself, which I now knew as the Mark. It was like nothing I’d ever seen before, that Mark. It’s the face of terror, the face of sin and greed and corruption, it’s the origin of all evils. I turned away, towards the rest of the bar, only to see them all the same, silently staring with the Mark in their eyes, silent, unmoving. All of them. I got up without my food and left the bar.

I ran out into the street, unhitched my horse and saddled up as fast as I could and spurred the old bronco out of town at full speed. The Sun was down but I didn’t care, I was so mortally terrified, and every part of my being was screaming at me to leave, leave while I can. Think of it now what I did was pretty dumb, but I was just so scared I couldn’t think of anything else but to turn tail and run like a child. I rode and rode into darkness until I the horse was so exhausted she just collapsed in full gallop. I flew off her and hit the ground hard, then I blacked out. The last thing I saw as I flew through the chilly desert air was my horse, eyes gaping, the Mark in those eyes.

I came to when a hand tugged at me. In a daze I realized my own hands were tied up, and I was sitting atop my horse, walking along behind another man on a horse. He held the rope. I could tell I wasn’t speaking complete sentences, but I tried to ask what was going on, said I was an Arizona ranger and I demanded to know why I was tied up. The man ahead of me wore a black coat and brown hide hat, all dusty. He didn’t turn back, only laughed, the kind of laugh you hear in a looney bin. He then spoke, still facing forward, with a voice that could cut stone, “That’s a good one, friend, but the law don’t make it round these parts, law dog. And that shiny badge of yours, well it just got you in a world of hurt!”

He continued to laugh, and by this point I was all cleared up. “You trying to be funny?” I said, “Sounds to me like you’re the one about to be in a world of hurt when I get loose here friend.” He was silent for a second, then replied, “Who you think you are anyway, Dodd? The only reason you’re still alive is because It wants you somethin’ bad, and the Snake in the Sun wants to watch you suffer It’s madness. That’s the world of hurt I was talkin’ about earlier.”

I was surprised he knew my name, the Arizona rangers are officially anonymous, I had no ID. I finally asked “How’d you know my name anyways, slick?” “Oh It always knows, Jim.” he replied quickly, “It told me ‘fore I laid eyes on you yesterday. Besides, I heard about you, been an outlaw in Albright stirrin’ up trouble daily, caught by Manny Gargas with that six-shot .44, and put in jail. Then out of the blue they let you out early and you change colors, swappin’ your red sash for a white hat, and go on slaughterin’ outlaws like you’re some patron saint of Arizona. I hate lawmen like you, who use violence as means of ending violence.”

He made a point, but I was still baffled he knew so much of me. “And just who are you then?” I asked. He finally looked back at me, his face was rough as sun-bleached leather, all cut up and dusty. He looked like he’d been dragged through Hell by the spurs and pulled back to Earth again. “Why little old me? Name’s Russell, Russell Lewis, friend. I work for the Snake in the Sun, and I’m an outlaw through and through. I hope that hurts you inside, Jim, seein’ an outlaw you can’t kill? And, I serve It, our master, the Evil of Humanity. I serve the Mark. That’s all you really need to know there, Jimmy boy.” “Pleased to meet you.” I said, as we came upon the town. I looked ahead and saw him.

From a distance he looked like anyone else, a man on a horse, in a hat and coat. As we got closer and closer I began to make out features, He was older, snowy hair and mustache. He had a rough, stern face which was ever the norm in the West. He wore a tan coat, a hide hat and a nice shirt. On his boots was sewn an image of the Mark, and on his shirt and hat.

Then, as we got really close, I saw something different in him. His face was like an animal, he looked borderline insane, like he could snap at any minute. He looked evil. “So this is the James Dodd I was so compelled to have brought here.” He started, “you know something boy? You should have stayed in that jail cell, cause it ain’t half as bad as what you’re about to go through. You’re in Hell now boy, God can’t save you now.” I was thoroughly convinced of his words, but I wouldn’t show it. “You got a pair of balls holding an Arizona ranger like this. I’ll see you tried and hung, but that’s if I don’t put a hole in you first.” He chuckled, the kind of chuckle that made it clear he was confident of himself. “Well boy,” he said, “that sure sounds nice, but the Mark has different plans for you.” He reached in his shirt and pulled out a necklace, looked silver, with that unholy Mark on it. “Do you even know what this is, boy?” he got off his horse and I was pulled off mine.

He came up real close, held up the necklace. I could hear whispers in some odd language, saw lines coming off it, like sometimes in the middle of the desert, under the hot sun, when you’ve been out there too long and things get to your mind. He looked closely at me, I saw the ferocity in his eyes, after a long moment he spoke again, “This, boy, is the Mark of Canus. It’s as old as time itself, and it’s as evil as it is powerful. It can make men do terrible things, to others, to themselves. I feeds off us, our sheer horror satiates its terrific hunger. Men have lived and died wearing this Mark. I found it on a Spaniard some time ago when were on a mining trip. Said he got it from Spain, and it had great power. It haunted me from the moment I laid eyes upon it. So one night, in the mines while everyone was sleeping, I took the Mark, and I killed everyone there. I ate their rich hearts, and cut off their sad faces. It was ecstasy, the Mark had me from then on, and I’ve served it in madness to acquire my fortune. But now, now the Mark wants you too boy. And it’ll have you. You’ve seen it, I know you have, there’s no going back now. The insanity will come over you, then to serve the Mark, you’ll cut out your own heart for me, so I can taste it.”

I was not going to do that, but he spoke so confidently, as if it was inevitable. Suddenly, my head started spinning, I saw the Mark everywhere, on the walls, in his eyes, on the ground. I took a step back, tripped and fell. My hands were still tied, I sat there in horror as the Mark permeated into my mind. “Where are my manners?” Shrimer snorted, “Russell cut him loose.” Russell did as he was told, and I was free, or I thought I was. I then tried to run, but the whole town crept out onto the street and blocked me, they all looked grey, soulless. The Mark was in their eyes, all of them.
They started closing in, cornering me. All the while I could hear a thrum of some odd sounding drums getting louder, and whispers. The Mark was taking me, my own evils from long ago coming back out to claim what was theirs. There, back in my head the faces of the men I killed, the nightmares I’d woke from in my prison cell, all I worked so hard to erase back again. The sins I thought I had absolved, dropped on by as if they never really left. I screamed, fell down again and writhed on the ground, I could feel a slithering inside.

“You feel that boy?” called Shrimer, “That’s the Mark inside you, that’s me inside you. Do you know why they call me the Snake in the Sun? Because I slither through the desert and eat any rats I find. You’re no exception, boy, you’ll succumb just like all the others!” I fought it, I fought it hard, but it didn’t matter, the Mark was quickly taking me.

As the darkness closed in, I had a thought, something that sheriff Gargas had told me when get finally took me. He said ‘Evil is everywhere, friend, it is even inside you. Fighting that evil is all we can do, all we can live for, because it is the only way we can redeem ourselves. We do bad things, no one is perfect, but it is how hard we fight it that makes the most difference, because in the end, we are all judged by our efforts. Even if we never really win, what other choice do we have?’ That thought inspired me, I fought back the Mark, not completely but only for now, accepted it, and pushed it from controlling me.

My hands free, I reached for my hip, and pulled up my .44 Magnum handgun. I was surprised they left it on me, Shrimer was really convinced that I’d be taken. Things happened fast after that, Russell reached for his rifle, but I was too quick, and I nailed him twice. Two of the other henchmen tried after that, each went down with only one round, ranger training is extensive. There was blood on the ground, and Shrimer reached for his gun, but I shot him in the leg. He dropped it and went to his knees, I had him now.

The man dragged himself back as I came to him. “What are you gonna do now?” He puffed out a few more mad chuckles, “You’re out of bullets, you gonna cuff me, boy?” He seemed confident still, even wounded and outmatched. “Not today, Shrimer. Look again, and count my bullets before your blessings. Normally they have only five, but I had this one made special like Gargas’. There’s one round left, friend.” He stopped lurching backward, but I kept towards him.

He just continued to laugh, “Killing me won’t help you, Jim. The Mark still has you, though you managed to beat it back. We all go sooner or later, and the Mark is always there. You haven’t won, boy, not by a long shot. Evil will always be with us, and you can’t escape your wicked past! You can’t change!” I put the gun to his forehead, and looked down on him. “That doesn’t matter anymore. I am the law now, and I’m gonna bring you to justice. And you’re right, I can’t change. I killed back then, and I kill now, but the difference is I kill the killers, and not the innocent. Condemn me if you will, but if killin’ you saves someone else, well I’ll be damned if I let you go. You made this personal, you brought the hawk down on you, snake. Now I’m gonna cut you down, just like I promised.”

I pulled the trigger, and he fell down. The Snake in the sun was dead, and already I felt a weight lift off the town, suddenly the townspeople weren’t looking grey anymore, though they were confused. I plucked the necklace off Shrimer, and put it in my pocket. I would return it to Spain where it was found, and evil like that needs to stay buried.

Dodd’s story is only one of many like it. Throughout time, the Mark has always been there, tormenting souls and enforcing its evil on the world. However Dodd, unlike many, has been able to keep the Mark from taking him, it would always be there, and every once in a while a chill would creep down his spine, and he knew the Mark was present. He battled with the evil in him until his death in 1919, when the fever got him in his sleep. It is said he rambled in his last days, talk of something coming for him, and he mentioned the Mark over and over again. He passed away in the late night, a look of fear on his face, fear of the Mark and its madness, that same madness he had beat, if only temporarily, on that day in Albright, Arizona.

Credit To – Greg P

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Mould

April 19, 2014 at 12:00 AM
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To whoever may read this. The following is an account of some of the melancholy events that have befallen me in my dark tinged lifetime in my own words. I hope that some of you may for a moment put aside the pressures and events in your lives that may have some actual importance and listen, or read rather as I recount the tale of my life. In particularly my life insofar as it relates to a certain devil house which once constituted my family’s estate. It is a grim tale, and not for those weak of stomach or depressed by nature. Before I begin I suppose I must give you some information on whom life you are about to see inscribed on paper. I am 25, a failed writer and somewhat of an English scholar, I say somewhat as I never finished formal education, or at least not as much of it as I really should have. I now find myself as a failed writer and a journalist who hates his job. I will not use my name in this story for fear somebody may use it in order to find me and therefor the horror which I will now die attempting to keep from the world.

When I was a child I lived in a small thatched cottage in rural Devonshire, England. It is an eerie old house, the type that would look quite at home in some cheesy horror story. During the autumn and winter thunder storms where common in my area and on a dark night with the wind howling, the rain belting and with lightning chipping away at the surrounding mountainous countryside it could be quite a sight. It was also strange old place, the sort of house where you would wake up early in the morning with your heart thumping and beads of warms sweat streaming down your face onto your soaked sheets without any memories of a nightmare or any sign of what could’ve woken you. The sort of house were you could be alone in a room but even if you lock and bolt the doors you would find yourself sub-consciously glimpsing over your shoulder as if the very walls were sprouting unseen eyes and watching you.

There was always certain malice about the place. You never felt truly alone. It was never a place I could call home but I don’t think I was the only one. The house seemed to reject any sentient life that dared step foot into its dank rooms. It made you feel unwelcome by projecting its own darkness unto whoever entered it as if left tainted by the hateful heart of some previous deceased owner. We knew nothing of the houses history with my parents having only purchased it in the early 50’s. We had no significant contact with the houses previous owners other than to exchange money and legal papers. So when my father and mother (who was pregnant with me at the time) moved in they knew nothing of the place but we could always tell it was old. I don’t know quite how old enough to have seen a lot in its time.

There may well have been a whole village there when it was first built. But now there is only the house and the desolate country side that stretches out for miles each side. There it stands like a sentinel, standing erect in that untouched area of countryside, keeping its cold watch, ready to stop anything from touching its strange serenity. But there was also something meek and pathetic about the house, like it was the last survivor of some near apocalyptic event in which all its brethren was wiped out, now doomed to stand its lonely vigil until the its very earth gave way beneath it. Sad, alone, weak, with a crooked old heart filled with hate. I believe my poetic side is reading too far into it, so I will stop boring you with my romanticising and instead get to the bulk of my tale.

I lived in that house for all of the first 18 years of my life with my mother; a quiet and nurturing woman, my father; a rather traditional English gentleman, he commuted to the small village a few miles away where he worked in the isolated village’s bank. I also had a younger sister who was eight when she vanished. My sister disappeared from our family home on the 4th of November 1970 I was only ten myself when it happened. I don’t remember the details of what happened. I only remember that one day she was there and the next day she was gone, leaving nothing but a distraught mother and numb father to prove that she had ever been there at all. My parents called the police at a payphone in the village (because after a particularly brutal storm the week before knocked out the phone lines [at that time there was no internet and I still can’t figure out how we even had electricity and a phone line]).

The search went on for a few weeks after she disappeared but nobody was ever recovered. The police gave up the search reasoning that she had run of during the night for some childlike adventure those young ones raised in rural environment’s tend to go on and had fallen or gotten lost. There had been heavy rain and decent wind speeds on the night she disappeared so it wasn’t hard to imagine a young girl running through wet rocky area in pitch black tripping and breaking her neck or falling down into some crevice. The police knew there was no hope of finding her alive and this was long before the time of Facebook missing person’s campaigns. So the police stopped the search in the knowledge that all they would be doing by sending more officers into a secluded rocky area in harsh conditions would be risking more lives. So my sister was essentially classed as missing and presumed dead.

Although I might not remember the events surrounding her disappearance, what certainly stuck in my head were the events leading up to and the aftermath of her disappearance. My parents took her disappearance harder than I did. I was too completely young to comprehend what was going on and neither of my parents really felt like explaining it to me. All I understood was that Sal was gone and now mummy and daddy are sad. My mother took it hardest of all. She had clearly always wanted a daughter and my sister had been extremely close to her, following her around almost everywhere. It didn’t take long for my mother mental state to Deteriorate to a startling degree after my sister’s apparent death. She completely withdrew into herself.

She never spoke to anyone, not even my father. Yet, sometimes I would hear her talking though, but not to any person. To my young mind it almost sounded like she was, well, talking to the walls. Like she and the house were engaged in some deeply private conversation in hushed tones. What really stands out in my memory today is the fact that I could hear two distinctly different voices. At the time I assumed that she was either speaking with my father or talking in funny voices (I mean, at the time I saw nothing wrong with this).

In retrospect however neither of these things could be true, with my father apparently always having an alibi and the fact that that voice could not possibly have been my mothers. Not only was it in a completely different frequency, it also didn’t sound human. I know that sounds cliché but by inhuman I don’t mean it was the deep guttural growl of some demon or animal. There was something pure yet scratchy about its voice. The closest thing I could compare it too is the noise thick foliage makes when a strong wind blows. Something in between a whistle and a scream. Only a year after my sister’s disappearance my mother also vanished late on an October night. The investigation was short with the obvious, be it brutal verdict being that she had slipped of in the middle of the night without the intention of returning. There are many caves, hills and streams in the surround area a person could use to quietly take their life and never be found.

My father became cold and distant after my mother’s death. He was hit hard by my sister’s death but with the loss of my mother he felt he had nothing left to live for. I could tell he still cared for me and did not act distant to hurt me. My father was an honour bound man, there was no way he would take his own life but at the same time he had no hope, everything he had loved and tried to protect had been taken away from him in the course of one year. He never turned to alcohol or quit his job. He never left the house and lived in it every remaining day of his life. He just stayed in his own honour bound limbo until he died 20 years later. Once I hit eighteen I left to make my own way in life, although I wanted to be there for him I sensed he didn’t really want me there.

And so I lived a normal life. I got a decent job as a mechanic and bought myself a decent sized bungalow in a small town in Hampshire; I lived well but not in luxury. I then discovered my father had passed away aged 64 leaving the house and what humble possessions he had left to me. After I left home me and my father had never patched up our relationship, in fact I hadn’t spoken with him in 11 years and had only found about his death one I was approached about his will. I had over time blocked out the events of my childhood. Not even because I found them traumatising, but more because I thought them to be unimportant, particularly when I was younger. The moment I heard about my father’s death all the memories (many with new detail and context the older me could pick out) came flooding back. At that moment something happened; I was not filled with some strange curiosity, some urge to go back there, I was not suddenly aware of some great truth I had left unseen, not even the lightest flame of interest was ignited in my heart. I quickly, quietly and above all simply; lost the ability to live a normal life.

I can’t explain it, it wasn’t something understood by my higher thought processes. I simply could no longer continue with my endless dull routine of; work, eat, sleep. I found myself unable to focus on any of these activities. I found it especially hard to do them in any order uninterrupted. I was just accompanied everywhere by this nagging sense of insecurity follow me through life with the continuous sub-conscious feeling that returning to the site of my family members death’s would somehow ease my mind. I was not sure that it would and I wasn’t nervous about doing it either. It was just a vague hope, but a necessary one. A hope that, in the end, became just as nagging as the problem to which it was supposedly the solution. I eventually decided to claim a few weeks of work to visit the home (if I can even call it that) I grew up in.

It was a Monday I left for the house. I had no significant other and only a handful of friends so I had no-one to really miss me. My limping old ford twisted its way over the desolate Devonshire countryside until I finally came to the remote hilly area my childhood house was situated in. It hadn’t changed a bit. Then again I shouldn’t have been surprised, why should I expect an area which looked like it hadn’t changed in perhaps thousands of years to have changed purely to stroke what little sense of nostalgia I may have had. I had no pleasant memories of that place. I was always a quite reserved boy. Not meek or sickly but simply more at home with his own thoughts than out playing in the green wasteland that stretched out for miles around my childhood friend.

As I walked up to the gate of the house I finally saw something to assure me that I was in fact returning to the house rather than letting the creeping feeling I never left takeover. There at the gate stood an old wiry hazel tree which I remembered from my youth. Now however the branches where torn and crooked and the tree was a sickly shade of grey. I looked to have taken a lighting strike some years ago. The entire tree was fried and the top of the trunk had been totally blown off. I hated that tree, as a small child I found its dark bark would sometimes make shapes that, too a young child, resembled a human face all too much. Now the once healthy young tree stood crippled and hunchbacked leering down at me with its dark mangled faces. I opened the gate and it screamed as I pushed it open as if the house was warning me not to take a step close.

As I got a closer look at the tree I noticed multiple small patches of a pure black mould growing out of the holes in the wood. It looked smooth and thin and whistled at me as I walked past. I got the strangest feeling as I walked away from the tree. I felt as if the tree was watching me with its many strange faces. I could feel its eyes scorching the back of my neck. It felt as though I had woken the tree from a great slumber and now as it came around the frustration I felt in its gaze transitioned into something else. It was something primal, common to all higher thinking beings to some degree. Something we all keep locked away in the backs of our minds as we have no use for it. It’s the way a predator eyes its prey. Not even prey its hunting, just something that, under other circumstances it would be hunting. It didn’t take long to realise I had awoken the house and now it was watching me.

I was never one to keep diaries. I never felt the need or had the patients and commitment to keep one. At this point in my life however, for those few days, I did keep a diary for the sake of documentation. It is less my diary and more the diary of that house. So for now I will recite to you an abridged version of that very diary. I will hand over to my younger self for now.

1st November 1991

The journey here was uneventful. The round between my current home and this house is basically a remote country road so no terrible traffic. I think I’ve brought enough food to last me a week. I have a small-fridge which I’ve already plugged in and I can use the water from the tap in the kitchen with the cups I brought. It looks like we’re in for a storm in the next few days. Being here got me thinking about father and what it must have been like alone. The phone doesn’t work and there’s no-one living for miles. I can’t imagine what it must have been like for an old man living here alone. It makes me feel bad I wasn’t there for him but I know I wouldn’t have been welcome. I would only have made things worse.

It doesn’t feel like I’m home, in fact it feels as if I’m invading somebody else’s sanctuary. They say father died from some sort of reaction to an unknown contaminate, signalled by a black rash. So I’m being especially careful not to touch things when it’s not necessary. Years of poor upkeep mean the house if full of damp spots since the thatch on the roof hasn’t been changed in years so the one upstairs room I’m staying in has water stains down all the walls. I hate to think what it’s going to be like if it does rain. There’s one window looking out onto the front garden and the rolling hills and rocky crevices beyond. The walls are covered in small black spots of mould on the damp patches. What shocked me however the fact that there was mould on the window. There it was. Multiple small black smudges on the windows.

I was immediately` fascinated by this phenomena and upon finding the mould was thankfully on the other side I took a closer look. Each smudge was around the size of my thumb. What was strange about them was the fact that each of the smudges on closer inspection seemed to have spiral patterns were the glass showed through. This gave the weird effect of making smudges resemble fingerprints as if some unseen figure had been prodding at the window. Anyway, I’m now going to prepare some canned beans and go to sleep. I decided that since it was still here I would sleep in my old bed. I am staying in my old room so there’s no point in buying a sleeping bag with my childhood bed being right there.

2nd November 1991

I woke up at around three in the morning last night to a sound that resembled something hitting the window with an impact considerable enough to cause a loud smacking sound but not quite enough to break it. My first though was that a bird must have smacked into the window. It was pitch black outside after all. I flicked on the light and went to the window to discover what unseen event had startled me so much. When I opened the blackened curtains I was greeted by quite an unnerving site. New mould had grown on the window. This time it was a far larger single patch of mould that looked like a bunch of small patch’s stuck together. They all shared the strange marking I had seen on the other one with the spirals. There seemed to one large circular one with five small oval shapes coming of it. I very quickly realised what this looked to be and jolted backwards the moment I did. It still seemed to be on the outside, which came as some relief for some reason. I decided I was tired and my mind must be exaggerating just how much this silly patch of mould looked like a hand. I was about to turn off the light to go back to sleep when I caught one last look at the old hazel tree, and too my weary eyes it almost looked like it was looking back up at me.

When I got up this morning I decided to have a look around the house. All the rooms look exactly like they did when I left. In fact it looks the exact same as it did the day my mother disappeared. It must have reminded my father of her, keeping the place like this. The only new object in the house is an old photo of my mother and sister sitting alone on the dusty, mouldy mantelpiece. What I did find however is a door outback which appears to lead underground. I don’t recall us ever having a basement but I never went out back and I don’t see when we would’ve used it so it would hardly surprise me if we did have one and I just never came into contact with it or don’t remember ever having. I tried to pry the door open but it just wouldn’t budge as if something was holding it shut from the other side.
I went for a walk around the countryside, something I never did while I was younger. I’ve never felt as alone as I do here. The beautiful terrifying desolation of this place is palpable. The loneliness is the kind of loneliness you feel when the whole world turns on you and you have nowhere to hide. When the very earth itself seems to look up at you with a mix of disgust and contempt. Half ways through my walk it began to rain. By the time I had jogged back to the house it was belting down with the first signs of dark lightning storms moving over the empty tundra. I was soaked when I got in and intended to take a bath. When I got to the tub I found it still filled with the last disgusting remnants of the last water poured into it. The thought that this may have been the last bath my father had ever taken sent shiver running down my body. So I dried of and settled for some new clothes. The more I think about it the worse an idea this trip seems.

I still don’t know what I hope to achieve with this. I came on the logic that I should pay my final respects to my father. But that’s not what I’m here for and I know that. I just think that if I can get down into that Basement maybe I’ll find the answer I seek, even if I’m not even sure what the question is yet.

3rd November 1991

Last night was hell. I couldn’t sleep over the persistent feeling someone was watching my slumbering when no-one is there. In the middle of the night I became aware of the sound of something greasy squeakily rubbing against my window. I waited for the noise to stop and got up. I turned on the lights and opened up the curtains. Despite the heavy continuous rain the dark imprint of a hand seemed even more pronounced and there was a new pattern. There the black mould was, forming a human face. I almost yet out a yelp when I saw it. The face was large, as big as both my hands side by side. It looked human but there were things wrong with it. The eyes seemed that littler bit too small for the face, the nose was invisible and the mouth was stretched into a long crooked grin, a grin I might almost call hateful. It might have only been mould but looking into the things “eyes” I could have sworn I sensed malice. Reached out to touch, to see if it really was there and it wasn’t something the exhausted imagination had pulled from the darkest part of my psyche.

Much to my horror it was wet. Not even wet, but slimy and smooth. It was on my side of the glass tonight. I jerked my hand back. It felt like rubbing thousands of tiny smooth strands of seaweed. I felt a throbbing pain in my middle finger where I had touched it. When I looked at it I did not see a normal finger, where I had touched the mould the finger had gone black and grey. The nail had curled of and when I prodded it with a pencil it slid straight off. I was too tired for everything that was going on so I went back to sleep and just as I turned the light out I could sworn the face’s sadistic smile had widened.

The day went by without anything eventful happening. I woke up and attempted to nurse my finger. The pain had stopped and I ran it under cold water, to no avail however. The skin itself was black and shrivelled and there didn’t seem to be much I could do for it other than bandage it up with my small portable first aid kit. I figured that since it was no longer causing me any distress and it didn’t seem to be spreading I would risk the seven hour drive to the nearest hospital. With my finger like it is now I decided it wouldn’t be worth it. I would just keep it clean and keep applying fresh bandages and antiseptic. Until I find the answer. I need the answer and I’m not stopping until I find it. I won’t leave until I’m sure I understand this house. I took another look at the basement door. After years of decay and rainfall a small corner has snapped off, I managed to take it by the sodden wooden corner and pry it open. Its smells like decay down there but I can’t stay in this house, not for another night.

I went into my bedroom earlier and upon looking at my bed I noticed that on the walls above it are two large patches of black mould. They appear to be in the shape of humanoids in the crouching position looking down at the bed. They appear malnourished and misshapen. Like the pale imitations of the human for you might see in a child’s painting. The wretched creatures seem to be looking straight at the bed ready to spring from their position at anyone who falls into their trap. Any tired ignorant person. Me. I don’t know what they would do if they caught me off guard sleeping but I know it wouldn’t be good. I can’t sleep in that room again. I have decided that I will go down into the basement, get my precious answer and leave this cursed place.

4th November 1991

I am lost. Last night, in the middle of the storm I entered the basement of the house. The first thing that hit me was just how warm the air was. It felt like a hot, humid summer’s day down there despite the fact it was a chilly autumnal night outside and it was blowing a gale. I closed the door to attempt to block out the guttural pounding of the rain. As it shut I continued down into the darkness with no company other than the antique miner’s oil lamp my father kept on the mantel. I was bloody lucky there was oil in it. I just then noticed the smell. It was something in between meat, a green field and a rotting apple. It was strangely pleasant yet sickly sweet and totally sickening. They as I stepped down the final two steps I noticed the first of the carcasses. It was a rat nothing more. It looked relatively fresh, as if it had died only a few hours beforehand. The only off thing about it was the layer of black mould encasing its body. I had never seen mould like this. It was so thick it looked more like moss.

As I took a few steps I began to notice the shapes of other dead creature. They were lined up along the room like the trophies of some strange biologist. Who chose to, instead of preserving his specimens in vinegar encase them in this strange mould. There were animals of all types in there. Small birds and rodents to larger mammals like badgers and foxes right up to sheep and goats. All in differing states of decay but all sharing the same ominous layer of soft black mould. As I waved my lantern, at the end of the room something stirred. My mind was whirring as to what could’ve possibly have killed all these animals and brought them down here. A large predator? A Maniac? My own father? As well as what the mysterious mould was doing. My brain put the movement down to something being blow by a gust from the on-going storm outside. However whatever was moving continued to stir and grabbed my attention when it slowly but surely began to rise, like a child taking its first steps.

This pulled me back from the world of possibilities I was considering at the time. They shape raised itself unto its hind legs, it appeared humanoid. Like everything else in the room it was covered in a thick layer of mould, but was older than anything else in the room though. The skeletal shape beneath the tangled mess of fungus looked weak and incomplete. It swayed slightly as if the bone itself was crumbling. To reach such a state of decay would take some time. Perhaps around twenty years. As that creature turned to face me the other creatures in the room began to rise. I felt the rash on my finger begin to throb and burn as I saw the black shadow of another skeletal creature standing next to its larger counterpart. It was much smaller. It resembled the decaying bones of a small child. I had seen enough. I only had time to weakly utter one final word to the creature “Shit” as I bolted for the door. I panicked at first as I struggled with the old wood but my panic was short lived as I began to feel the door crumbling open. And so, I ran. With the shambling creatures slowly awakening behind me and getting up to lumber after me.

I jumped in my car and drove. Ignoring all my possessions I left in the house. I just drove. As I looked back at the house one final time in my wing mirror I saw the door to the basement still wide open with silhouettes poking out from the darkness that, from the distance, I could almost mistake for a woman and child standing and holding hands as the wind, rain and lightning beat the countryside around them.

That was too fucking much for me. I drove back to my hometown and am now spending the night at the house of my friend Jess. I cleaned and replaced the bandages on my finger. To my horror I also discovered that during my scramble to get out I had ripped my jeans and exposed the skin underneath to the mould. The rash grew for a couple of hours and stung like hell before calming down. It now covers most of my kneecap. I’ll go to hospital to get it checked out in the morning. For now I just need to sleep in a safe environment and gather my thoughts. Had I found my answer? Was I happy? Was I safe? I don’t know but I doubt it. All that I do know is that I’m far away from that house, and that’s all that matters. I think this will be my last entry.

And so it was. I got it looked at the hospital the next day, they were baffled. This sort of reaction only ever occurred due to the bite of some exotic insect, not some common English fungus. The reaction died down, although the black hue never went away. I stayed with Jess for another couple of months and over that time one thing led to another and over the course of many months we became more than friends. We got married in the spring of 1992. Spring, a fresh start for me, away from the endless fall of that house. We had two beautiful sons and have lived a happy life in our small town for twenty odd years. But I know I need to go back. The house kills and the mould feeds on decay left behind after death. It’s the perfect symbiotic relationship I suppose. The house is a predator that never lets go of its prey and I am its prey and the mould only lives on dead things. I was dead from the moment I touched that face. Therefore the mould will have me one way or another. I doubt I’ll come back and if so I’m sorry I couldn’t have been a husband to my wife and a father to my sons for longer. But I don’t want to take them down with me. I have to go back to that house and face it alone. Because lately, my rashes have been burning. And even more recently, I’ve seen the strangest spots of mould on the walls.

Credit To – CreepyZalgo

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The Shadow Beneath Whelford

April 18, 2014 at 12:00 AM
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December 25th, 1976. 11:00 PM. Christmas was winding down for most residents of Whelford. For its burgeoning police department however, the night was just beginning. A call had been received reporting flashing lights and loud noises coming from the abandoned coal mine, which lay just inside the border separating Whelford from the neighboring hamlets. The captain at the time, John Ford, had driven out to investigate along with another officer, anticipating nothing more than a group of teenagers out on a dare. Christopher Raymond was not included amongst the original dispatch, though he wished he had been. Most of his coworkers would’ve relished a day off on Christmas, but for the newly recruited officer, what should have been a day of merriment and celebration had, as per usual, turned into an excuse for his family to rag him out for his life choices. “Why would you ever leave Boston for this cow town? Why did you marry that Mexican whore? Why haven’t you and the whore given me a grandchild?” They never came to visit of course. It was a matter of principle for the elder statesmen of the Raymond family to avoid the perceived filth of Whelford. The lack of a physical presence from the parents didn’t make the obligatory Christmas phone call any less insufferable. The worst part of it was that his family was correct in at least one of their assumptions. Why had he up and left a promising position in a big city organization for a tiny no-name town out west? His wife’s status as a Mexican citizen didn’t bother him as much, and he was in no hurry to produce an heir to the now “corrupted” Raymond line, but the initial question still gave him pause. So when Christopher’s phone rang at 11:20 PM, with a frantic sounding sergeant practically begging him to drive down to the office for briefing, it was less of an unpleasant interruption and more of a godsend.

30 minutes later, Acting Captain Christopher Raymond was on the scene at Cunningham Mine. Everything was shaping up very conveniently for him to play hero. Both members of the original investigative team sent to the mine had completely lost contact with the outside world. The new recruits from Worcester and Boston were not arriving for another few days. And out of all available field agents, he had been summoned to follow up on this case. As he approached the mine, Christopher knew he had to force the uncomfortable sense that this was all too good to be true out of his brain. He was finally getting a chance to prove himself! An opportunity to get his foot in the door in this still foreign environment! Still, “that feeling” remained. The feeling that despite everything falling into alignment, something was off. It was a sort of paranoia that was a key tool in any effective policeman’s belt, yet it was especially pronounced for this occasion. “No time to worry now.” The officer’s thoughts dug their way through his brain and out his mouth for the first time in a very long while. He was quite correct in his assumption. The gaping maw of the mineshaft awaited him.

The scene that lay before the new captain as he entered the mine would not have been out of place in a geological freak show. The mineshaft was constantly shifting, wide to narrow, tall to compact. Every now and again a faint rumbling could be heard from somewhere deep below his current position, but this was the only thing he had noticed thus far that was even close to a clue. The more he wandered, the further he threw himself into the guts of the Earth, the more Christopher wanted to return to the surface. He was normally unfazed by the darker places of the world, but Cunningham Mine had a certain bleakness about it which chilled him to the core. Still, there was a job to be done, and he was not going to leave until his compatriots had been found. Taking a left at a rotting support pillar, Christopher called out, “Officer Ford! Officer Shepard!” His request for the missing officers’ presence yielded no reply. Right turn. The once-blinding cone of vision provided by the flashlight was now beginning to dim. Onwards, onwards, onwards, down into the endless, twisting halls of the mine. Faster now. “Officer Ford!” A rumble from below. “Officer Shepard!” A scraping noise from behind. Another right. And another scrape. Something was here. Down a slope. Faster. He could hear a squelching sound, closer than before. It was closing in. Christopher whipped around, gun in hand and…nothing. He turned forwards and began to run, then stopped himself. Had to stay calm. He began to explore once again, more prudently this time. Diligence and patience were key in these situations. Left. “Officer Ford!” Still nothing. Christopher rounded a bend and found himself facing a long hallway, a faint light at the end. Finally, a breakthrough. Once again, he began to run. As the light closed in, it became clear that this was the entrance to a room. A safe haven. And if luck was on his side, some answers. The light drew closer and closer, until finally – “Jesus Christ!” Officer Raymond skidded to a stop at the entrance of the room. Something was not quite right.

It was a bizarre sight indeed. Before him lay an abyss, the likes of which he had never seen before. It couldn’t have been a dynamite blast from long ago, gone badly wrong – the gap in the ground was almost ethereal in nature. The stone which made up these walls was different than the pale granite that comprised the rest of the mine. This made the smears of bright red strewn across them all the more striking. Pentagrams, pentacles, and far more ancient insignias from a dark, lost age adorned the sides of the artificial cavern. A doorway across the pit led deeper into the mine, but this chasm was clearly an impassable obstacle; a detour would need to be found. As Christopher cautiously wheeled around, taking care not to lose his footing, a muffled cry came from above. He shifted his gaze to the ceiling, and suddenly, the mission was complete. The missing officers had been found. Dangling from the top of the room was a sea of sickly-green pods, each containing the body of an individual who had found himself unlucky enough to venture into this primordial chamber. Hundreds of the pods, mashed together, swayed back and forth in the nonexistent breeze. Christopher could do nothing but stare, paralyzed by consternation, as the abominable container closest to him was ripped open slowly, the material comprising it stretching and straining against itself like a revolting sheet of plastic film. From inside of the shell emerged former Whelford Police Captain John Ford. Initially bewildered by his surroundings, Ford quickly remembered the purpose of his escape.
“Raymond! Get the hell out of here! They’re-” The ex-captain was cut off by a droning, guttural groan stemming from the hole which he swung perilously over. “Just go! It’s too late for us!” As if to prove Ford wrong, dozens of other pods began to open. Unbelievably, the bodies of the miners who had initially stumbled upon this unfortunate room had been perfectly preserved. Their wails echoed through the room and down the hallway – “Help! Help!” “For the love of God, get me out!” “Save us!” Their rapid movements only worsened their situation- one by one the pods dropped like icicles into the abyss. With each falling pod, the hideous noises from the pit became louder, and began to shake the room with increasing measures of violence. Yet still, Christopher was rooted to his spot. An unnatural gust blew in from the hallway behind him, and he was momentarily engulfed in a blinding cloud of smoke. Just as suddenly, the smoke cleared, the cavern was still and silent once more, and from the apex of the room, a booming voice both angelic and demonic, divine and unholy, rang out to address Christopher with three simple words – “Don’t look down.” This was enough to snap him out of his reverie. The pods were falling at a faster rate; the whole mine seemed to be collapsing. Ford was right. It was time to leave. Christopher bolted back down the hallway, feverishly working up an escape plan. Left turn. Right turn. Another left. The violence of the quaking seemed to increase tenfold with each passing second. Everything was slowing down. The hallways were spinning. Well aware that he was losing consciousness, Christopher attempted to stumble just a bit further, but to no avail. He fell to his knees, desperately grasping for a last moment of life. His vision blurred. His mind emptied. A shadowy figure skulked forward from the end of the hall. The blackness seeped in. And the mine was no more.

How Christopher had managed to end up in his bed by 7 the next morning was a mystery only to him. According to his fellow officers, he had never left it. There was no “John Ford” or “Haley Shepard”, nor had there ever been at the Whelford Police Department. The mine had been caved in for decades now, and Christopher had never gone there to investigate anything. He hadn’t come into work in the past few days in fact, and it was a relief to find out that he was okay.

This, at least, was the story he got. The town had a certain stillness to it that it had lacked before. The rowdy were docile, the children had calmed, and by the time he returned from grocery shopping that afternoon, Christopher knew that something was wrong. He had to have been to the mine. All of the memories were so vivid. This merited further investigation. Upon arriving at the mine for (supposedly) the first time however, the story perpetuated by those down at the station seemed true. A heap of rubble and wood blocked the entrance to the mine completely. He strolled up to the ruined doorway. Maybe he was just going crazy. But he had to be certain. His ear pressed up against the cool stone. And in a flash, his suspicions were confirmed. In that instant, Christopher Raymond ran from Cunningham Mine and never looked back. It may have been a trick of the mind, or perhaps just the wind. But from that point on, he would never deny that he heard something when he placed his ear up to the entrance of that accursed mine – the piercing screams of those still trapped in the recesses of a place that something beyond time, or space, or human comprehension called home.

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