April 1, 2013 at 8:00 AM
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One day, I was walking home from school. I only lived about a block away, so that was easy. But as I was walking home one day, I saw something peaking out of the sand. It was a little grey videogame cart. It had to be for the old gameboys, or maybe the gameboy colors. This was on, like, the last day of middleschool, in 2005. Shows you how old I am, right? I took it home, and put it in my Gameboy Advance (which I swore I was going to get rid of, any day now, really. No, really! I’m gonna get a DS… Eventually.)

It didn’t have a label. That should have given me a clue something was up. But I put it in the Gameboy, and it was Tetris DX. Awesome! I looked through it, and I found them. The highscores table. And at the top of the highscores table was someone named DAN, with a highscore of 683,092.

I started playing. Trying to beat that highscore. But I had homework to do, so I didn’t get very far. I went to school and told my friends about it the next day. They found it cool, and we all got together and started speculating about who DAN was, and whether he missed his game, and how he got so good at Tetris.

I came home, and stayed up… Honestly, way too late, trying to beat it. That night,t hough, I only got 49,594 as the highest. But something weird happened. When I left for school, there was a note on my front porch.

“Don’t beat my score – DAN”

There was a little picture of a stick man with a knife in his chest.

I figured one of the guys from school had put it there. Maybe Ben. Eh, whatever. Pranks aren’t very funny if you just come out IMMEDIATELY and say you did it.

It happened the next day.

“Don’t beat my score – DAN”

This time the stick figure was decapitated. I put it in my pocket and went to school. I didn’t even mention it, ‘cause I figured that they knew I’d found it. And that night, I went home, and played Tetris.

And that morning, I got a note from DAN.

“Don’t beat my score – DAN”

The stick figure was being shot in the groin by another one.

I was getting annoyed, but my friends were smart guys. They know comedy. Rule of 3s. After three times, it stops being funny. At lunch, I kind of tried to lead the conversation that way. See if I could get them to tell me about it. Tell me it was all a joke, just fun and games. But they seriously had no idea.


Okay. That’s how they wanted to play it? Fine.

I kept playing. Every night, I went home, and played Tetris.

Every day, I got another note.

“Don’t beat my score – DAN”

And a stick figure who’d been murdered in a new, creative, gruesome way.

And then one night, finally, after a month of this, I was doing it. I was getting really, really good. Seriously, I was starting to kick ass and take names. I was up in the 100,000s regularly. Even the 200,000s sometimes.

And then, this night, I was getting in the groove. You know how there’s the right level of tired, the right level of drunk, where you’re REALLY GOOD at things?

Well I hit it. I’d been up all night, and I was getting good.

Icould tell this was it. This was going to be my high score. No, this was going to be THE high scre. I was so excited. It was going to happen. I was going to beat Dan. The Tetris tower was getting bigger. And bigger. I was in the zone, racking up points like it was my last day on earth.

And that was the night. My best night. My highest scoring Tetris night. I was playing up until the sun rose. And I went out on the porch to see if DAN was coming.

And you know what happened?


Monsters aren’t real. There aren’t killers stalking you, waiting for you to break some arbitrary rule, some made-up thing that only they know about. Fall into some arcane trap or push the wrong button and have your world destroyed. Have your life torn apart because of some weird videogame. That only happens in horror movies and creepypastas.

Although, to be fair, I only got 128,859

So maybe I just suck at Tetris.

Credit To: Redhat

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March 20, 2013 at 12:00 AM
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Ever since I could remember, ever since I had been a child, I had been afraid of the dark depths of any sea or deep lake. Dark blue or green water had a nauseating affect on me, and seaweed dancing sinuously at the bottom of pools made me shudder. Worse than that, however, was the feeling I got when viewing a large, upright stone or the hulk of a barnacle-encrusted wreck of a ship or submarine looming, ghost-like, out of black waters. Sights like these made me tremble with fear and look constantly over my shoulder, afraid to one day see behind me a rusty hull, corroded pale green by barnacles, swaying and creaking horribly…

At the same time as being horrified, I found the fear ridiculous. Far away from any truly large bodies of water, and therefore, far away from any sunken ships – besides which, how would they just appear behind me? – I was safe for the nonce.

However, two years after receiving my degree in archaeology, I found myself relegated to an island off a coast of South America, with a group intent on digging up a series of standing stones, the tips of which had been spotted by a native over a week ago.

I soon came to realize that our entire excavation was a mistake – we should have given up early on, we should have not even come. I am not a superstitious person by any means, but as bad luck and accidents continued to assail us, I knew that someone, something, was trying to warn us away.

At first, it was merely storms, and I was silent, believing it to be bad luck, nothing more – storms were highly common around this area, after all. But the storms became wilder and wilder, and when this did not deter us, an odd brittleness seemed to creep into our tools, which broke over and over. Nervous jokes became common within the group, but my suspicions were only aroused at this time.

Our communication to the outside world kept going down, technical difficulty after difficulty, which caused our excavation to halt almost completely time after time. I suggested we give up our endeavor, but my advice was turned down – we were halfway done, the others argued, we couldn’t just give up on such an important discovery, not just because of a little bad luck.

But it wasn’t just bad luck. If only the fools had listened…

So, we continued. Storms had not stopped us, nor had difficulties with tools or communication. Now, the presence that was trying to warn us became harsh. Accidents began to happen, accidents that, at first, merely wounded our pride. Harsher still, the presence became – twisted ankles and wrists, sore muscles, fevers and sickness, broken bones. I had become frantic. I pleaded for them to stop. They tried to soothe me with promises that tomorrow would be the last day – only a few more pounds of earth, and then we could see the stones, the strangely carved and shaped stones, in all their glory.

Tomorrow came. The stones were uncovered, and rose from the ground like a row of rotting teeth. They had an odd, pale green tint to them – an odd tint that makes me shudder to remember it now. We thought it was some kind of vegetable matter, but when one from our group tried brushing it off, he found that the residue on the brush was curiously like rust. Even still, it was easy to see the strange markings carved into the stone, markings that seemed to hover above the foul coloring, markings that depicted… but I cannot, will not describe it fully. The damned implications… a scaly being larger than a whale… bulging, fishy eyes, gills, bloated lips… monstrosity from that dark, indistinct world I so feared and hated… half fish, half… God, I must stop, I am already half-mad…

A figment of imagination from a long dead culture. After realizing that this was all it could be, the group breathed easier. Silly to be so fearful of an obviously fake being, created by a people who were merely thankful to the bounty of the ocean.

That deep, dark, hateful ocean…

The day passed quickly. No accidents, no bad luck, no difficulties. We contacted our base in Washington, preparing transportation of the stones. We stood around our discovery, unease replaced by a moment’s pride, sharing opinions and hypothesis about our megaliths.

Perhaps, after all, we had merely been jinxed – if only that was the case. That night, I was to realize that our luck had not changed, but had merely worsened. The presence that had tried so desperately to chase us away, to protect us from our horrible fate, had left us, had given up. Such is the folly of man and his greed for knowledge, knowledge of dark, unknown things, things that mankind should not awaken, things mankind has no earthly right to know about, lest madness wrap around us and drag us screaming into the black abyss of Sheol…

That night, my peaceful sleep was interrupted by a noise, a noise that haunts me right now as I struggle to keep quiet, to not scream and alert it to my hiding place – a noise that has, however, strengthened my resolve to end everything after my tale is told. The world must know that some things are better left alone…

I awoke slowly, not realizing what had jarred me out of my dreams at first. But as my grogginess faded, and the noise grew louder – it was coming closer – I began to shiver beneath my light cover.

The creaking… the creaking of a rusty ship, looming out of the dark, behind me…

I darted out of the tent, looking wildly around for the thing that could make such a sound on dry land. Left, right… up.

And when I saw the monstrous sight, looming over the trees, staring with its glazed, bulging eyes, its mouth with the puffy, obscene lips parting to make that sound, a wild scream tore from my throat and I ran. I ran from it, leaving my comrades behind like a coward. I can only pray that they were able to run, to hide, and if not get away, I pray their end was quick and painless, although I fear that is not the way of this beast.

I do not know what we unearthed. I do not know what was so important about those grotesque stones that the daemon surfaced because of our finding them. I do know why huge stones and wrecks under fathoms of water bother me so – it was never the object, but the resemblance to a half-remembered, aeons old dark being, covered in barnacles, pale green and white and red-brown in color, making that awful, nonliving creaking noise, slowly appearing, rising, rearing out of dark, unknown depths…

I am thankful I sleep with a pistol. Now I will end it – for I know there is no chance of escaping. Even if I could, what of my sanity? I have seen the thing, I have seen Dagon, fish god of man’s earliest ancestors, unholy creature that still resides in our being… and yet, my tale will merely be laughed at. I will be confined to an asylum…

So I will put the gun to my head, and pull the trigger, and sweet, peaceful oblivion will be mine.

The creaking. It’s so close. I would have been fine… have died quickly, with some semblance of sanity intact. But the noise caused me to pause, to stiffen, and to slowly set the gun down. I continue to write because I do not want to give into my maddening desire to look over my shoulder. But I must. I must look, even though I could pick up the gun right now and end it all without looking… because I know what I shall see. My greatest fear will be realized once I finish this sentence – when I turn and look, I will see a rust colored body, corroded pale green by barnacles, swaying and creaking horribly…
Credit To – Apocrypha
Credit Link – wouldjakoindly@gmail.com

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Looking for an Old Game

March 19, 2013 at 12:00 AM
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Posted: January 11th 2013, 9:02 PM

Hey, I’m still kind of new here. My name’s Matt, and I’m looking for an old game that my dad and I used to play together on the SNES, taking turns switching the controller over after the other died. I remember the game-play pretty well, I just can’t seem to remember the title of the game or what the cartridge looked like, aside from having the main character on it. Figured I’d play the game for old time’s sake when my dad was still here…=/ All I remember in the title is it had the word Mayan somewhere in it, I think.

The game itself had a kind of darker background and atmosphere to it, and that’s probably why I remember it so well, compared to all the other brightly colored games from Nintendo, like the Super Mario Bros games. In the corner of the screen, there was a crocodile that’s mouth gradually closed down on your character as you got closer to dying. To progress, you climb up vines on trees or jump on spider webs, and find your way around like a maze of of the jungle, and they had some sand traps that opened and closed on the ground, as well as different animals that would attack you on your way, like snakes, monkeys, crocodiles, a boar and I think a jaguar at the end that was like the boss in the first level. You collected things like rocks or pouches full of them that you sling at the animals, and I think a bomb and whip as well. I thought it was something like Indiana Jones at first, but turns out it wasn’t.

My dad and I used to play for hours to get away from the little annoying chores around the house and school work for me, we were really close then. =) But after a while… he moved out after a big fight with my mom and I only got to see him once in a while, but sadly, each time I saw him, he seemed to be losing touch and his actions became more and more rash, and just oddly out of character for him…He left one day without even saying anything about why or where he was going. And I moved into his old apartment when it was available, since he had left some stuff there that I was hoping he would come back to.

So, this is really important to me, we haven’t spoken in over two years now, and its the only thing I have that’s still a good memory with him that my mother hasn’t ruined that I can hopefully share with my son in a few years. He was just born October, I named him after my father, Allen. =) I’ve tried looking through the few boxes of games he kept in his room, but no luck finding it. I wonder if he took it with him, wherever he went. But I just got a call from a storage company in the next town over that says payment for his bin is overdue, which I didn’t even know he had. So I’m going to check that out within the week, or they might auction it off, so I’ll see if there’s anymore games or family pictures or anything of personal value in there. It would help out a lot if any of you could tell me what the game was called, so I know what to look for. It would be very much appreciated. I don’t know what happened to the SNES either, maybe its in there, if not I could probably just buy it on eBay or something if I find the game.

Posted: January 13th 2013, 5:33 PM

Well, I’m back…and I found it, Pitfall. I’m a bit shaken up after all the weird shit that’s gone on from this though. I couldn’t very well have typed all this out in such little time, so I’ve started up my voice-to-text program to tell what’s happened. Which brings me to ask this, since I don’t remember having these experiences from the game ever before…Has anyone else had strange experiences with this game that they couldn’t find an easy explanation for? I mean, I know some of it could be explained if its just a hacked game or whatever, but truth be told I wasn’t scared by most of the images, or texture changes in the game. There were however these really odd noises that I’ve never heard before, that didn’t even sound human. And there were strange things going on around me, with my senses, and in my dreams…I’ll be honest, because I must sound like some kind of hippy right now, I don’t really believe in ghosts or paranormal phenomenon or anything like that, but I can’t find any rational explanation for what this game seems to have done, it’s gone far beyond breaking the fourth wall and I don’t know what’s going to happen next, which terrifies me. Maybe I’m just going crazy, I’d just be happy to know that that was true. But considering I’ve recently seen a psychologist for a routine check-up, since I usually have alot of stress in my job and daily life, and having been told a couple weeks ago my mind was just as sharp as any other person’s, I just don’t get it. What’s happening to me, it’s not normal, it can’t be.

Okay, let me try to explain what I’ve experienced in a bit more detail if that helps. See, I didn’t have a car to go check the storage containers a couple days ago, I usually just borrow my roommate’s car to get to and from work, and to see my wife and son sometimes. But he’s been away for vacation this last week. And…I just couldn’t wait to play the game, so I found a download for a Super Nintendo emulator that worked fine, and a download for Pitfall: The Mayan Adventure.exe on Piratebay the next morning after my last post. It took a while to download, because I’m using a crappy Asus laptop. But it played fine at first, just like I had remembered it. Aside from my father not being there, I was having fun figuring out the tricks to the game again and the controls on my computer were simple enough.

I would go into more detail of the gameplay at the beginning, but just play the game for yourself and you’ll see its not the most complicated game there is, I don’t want to bore you with detailed explanation of hours of gameplay, and don’t feel I have too much time left before my turn is up, so I’m speaking to my speech-to-text program and just going to use the spell-check with it, while its still fresh and clear in my mind. Here’s hoping it gets it right. But I have to know if anyone else has experienced any of this and if so, how to stop it, or at least I can hope to help other people avoid the same fate I fear my dad and I are going through now. I know he’s still alive, he has to be…I know it now.

Well, if you’ve ever played this game, you know that every time it froze on a Super Nintendo system, whether from the cartridge having dust, or you accidentally moving the system an inch, you would have to reset the game and start over no matter where you were. After I had been playing for a while, I was trying to be thorough playing through the levels and as soon as I got up to 443,550 points, with three pouches left, and two lives, the game on my laptop froze and the game crashed altogether. I was pissed off at first, but I noticed something when I went to the files to launch the game again, there was another file added that said, “HeyBuddy”. I hadn’t really thought about it at the moment, but that’s usually how my dad would address me as a kid. Out of curiosity, I clicked the file and it opened a box of text that said, “Your turn is up.” Which I remembered my dad and I used to say to each other when the other had died.

It was a bit strange for me, to say the least, but it…the program, started itself up after I went to close the text-box. I noticed the three lights on the bottom of my laptop, that were usually white, green, and flashing white from left to right were now all solid red, which I’d never seen before as my computer started making that noise it makes when it gets heated up after being on for a while, but it was louder than it usually is. I didn’t mind it much, it just sort of stuck out in my mind for a moment. The screen was just black for a while, so I figured it was going to crash again…but then the animation before the title screen of the game popped up and played like it does whenever you reset. The text played normally, as I expected, but when the shadow of the boy’s father shows up at the doorway, it isn’t grabbed by anything, the shadow actually looked like his dad was stabbed and he fell to the floor. The boy didn’t exclaim “DAD!” he asked “Dad?” and ran towards the door. He was pulled through the door by something I couldn’t see on the screen and red lines ran down the stone face in the room the boy was in as static started playing…it was obnoxious. I didn’t realize until a little later that the red lines were supposed to be blood. Until red ran in through the door in a small puddle I guess it was, from where the boy’s father fell to the ground and where the boy was abducted. It was a bit odd, and unexpected.

Honestly, at this point, I wasn’t very scared though, it did seem odd and nothing like I remembered, but I thought it was pretty cool that someone was making this a more interesting game-play experience and potentially changing the story line, though this was a Super Nintendo game…there wouldn’t be much story line anyway. And since I’d pretty much beaten it in the previous play-through before it crashed, I actually hoped there was more, and unfortunately I was right. I moved over to options at the title screen, because I wanted to see if the controls were as I had set them before it reset, but the static sound picked up, as if the game was getting angry with me and the cursor moved itself over to play and it was selected.

At this point, I was just hoping my computer didn’t have some kind of virus from downloading the game. It wouldn’t be the first of my computers getting a virus from something like that. But this was an entirely different virus from anything I had seen before, if it was a virus that is. Maybe just an exceptionally good programmer.

The static sound stopped as soon as the screen transitioned to black and came up with the screen that said the first level name, “Ceiba Jungle”. Once it showed the play screen with the character, I saw the character wave to me, I paused for a moment and awkwardly waved back…I don’t know why I did, I just felt compelled to for some odd reason. The level looked exactly the same. But then, I noticed something, the main character looked different, he looked like he was trying to talk to me, and like he was in a panic at the same time. I felt the same for a split second, and when he tried to talk to me I realized…that was a sprite of my dad on the game. This brought a mix of emotions to me that were disturbing, part of me felt hatred for him leaving, partly was happy to see him there like we were playing the game together again, and the last part was the onset of genuine fear and paranoia. I thought, maybe someone was messing with me, and who was watching my life and doing this to me and why?

I pressed escape over and over again, trying to close the game and even tried to manually turn my computer off by holding down the power button, but nothing was working. And the character on the screen, he was still silent, there was no sound as he ran to the left of the screen, he ran straight into a tree trunk with a thud and fell to the ground a couple times. What scared the fuck out of me was that every time he did, I heard a slam against the door down the hall, in time with the game. When he stopped, it stopped. My heart was racing by now, and I rushed to look out the window overlooking the front door, but there was nothing, absolutely nothing and no one at the door, and I was the only one in the apartment. I was pretty scared to say the least, and half-expecting him to be there. I stood there for a minute, baffled, thinking I was going insane.

I ran back over to my laptop and wanted to see more of what was going to happen, but the character was gone. And as soon as I sat down, the game crashed again, and when I went to re-launch the file, it gave me another phrase that said; “YourTurnSon.” I clicked it, it read: “You’ll soon find out why.” I was a bit confused at that, but I didn’t want to restart the game, I was done with this weird shit. It did the same as before, it launched itself, went to black, then skipped the intro and went straight to the menu. And again, it wouldn’t let me press escape or manually turn off the computer. So I figured I’d outsmart it, I closed the laptop and unplugged it, hoping the battery would die soon and the next day I’d have it reformatted to get rid of the obvious virus. But it wasn’t that simple, even though I had muted my sound the last time it crashed, I heard a loud scream coming from my laptop, it was a scream of torment and torture, and it sounded like it was in my dad’s voice. I panicked and threw the laptop at the wall, but it got louder. I’m surprised my crappy laptop still works to be honest. It didn’t stop until I opened it up again and pressed play.

When it came to the first level again, I immediately noticed the level was different, everything was black and white, the only thing separating the black things and background was all the outlines traced in white. I couldn’t really tell if my character looked the same as before or not. But I also saw my health, it usually always started you at three lives, but it started me with two this time. I heard something that sounded like a record playing something in reverse…That didn’t bother me so much as the in-humane screaming and crying I heard from the left speaker, leading me to go where I’d last seen my dad’s character. I walked back to the left of the screen where the open tree trunk was, it looked like the hole in the trunk was all red though, and it looked sort of like a portal.

I didn’t want to go in yet, so I turned back and walked to the right, I went as far right as I could. And as I did, I started to see white things sticking out of the ground, I thought they were spikes or something like that, that I just jumped over. But when I stepped on one, I heard the cry of a wild boar that sounded like it was being tortured. And suddenly I realized, these were the skeletal remains of the animals that I had faced before on the ground. I heard some strange noises from my speakers that sounded like low laughter. Like that of something not human, demonic almost as I ran to the left of the screen again, towards the red portal. It got louder the closer I got.

The game crashed again when I went through. I was relieved. This time I could avoid clicking the files and reading whatever ridiculous things it had to say and try to shut down the computer without the game running at the same time. I checked again to make sure my speakers were muted, and I took the laptop and stored it under the stairwell outside between some blankets and old pillows next to the trashcans. Hell I would have welcomed someone trying to steal it. But I needed to get some sleep, it was a lot later than I thought it was by now. I knew the limits of my speakers and I knew I wouldn’t hear it from my bed at the least, I just wanted to forget about that game and give my laptop away to any unfortunate random pawnshop owner the next morning.

But that night, last night, I had some very strange dreams. I heard the screams again, the crying, and distorted laughter. I saw everything in the game play in my dream over and over, but I was seeing through the eyes of the character and it all seemed so real. But I heard my father, he said; “Help me Matt, buddy I need your help. Find it.” I didn’t know what he meant by that ‘find it’ part, but I knew in that dream exactly where he was, he’d gone to find the Mayan ruins from the game, to find something that I wasn’t clear of. After that, I saw him, and his body violently purge his skeleton from his flesh, there was blood and organs scattered everywhere around the pile of bones mostly mangled together, as he screamed and to my amazement started to laugh too. I don’t know why, or how he would have found them, but I knew I’d find him there and maybe there was a chance I could still help him and get him back before anything like that happened to him. Now I knew where to look.

So, at about 3 AM I was startled awake with tears down my face, then went to get the laptop and plug it back in to find out more. It had already brought up the game files, with a message that read: “WelcomeBack” and when I clicked it, the text-box said; “Come find me, you’re ready.” Then, I didn’t give it the chance to launch itself and I launched Pitfall myself and just pressed play, and the game let me this time. Now there was nothing, but my dad’s character, and pitch-black all around. There was this quiet music playing, that sounded like a pipe organ, and some low dark chanting or hymns or something, there were a lot of words I couldn’t quite make out. But I started feeling a burning sensation throughout my body, I almost couldn’t stand it as I heard flames crackling, I wanted to claw my skin off and I smelled fire for a split second. I got up when the sensation faded and checked around the apartment, I was the only one here, I never smoked, and our apartment can’t even facilitate fixtures for a stove of any sorts. The windows were all closed and we had no air vents, I still couldn’t imagine where that smell came from. When I got back to it, the last life went from one to zero and the game crashed for the last time and, when I checked, it had deleted itself completely from my computer. I had also used my Windows audio recorder to record some of it, but the files were either deleted or renamed and moved when the game crashed the last time. I’ll keep looking for that audio file. I tried to find the name of the author of the file download today, and I remembered the name was “Hourglass11″, but the file was just gone and I couldn’t download it again to find out more of what was going on. I have to see what’s on that damned cartridge…maybe it will give me more to go off of.

Posted: January 14th 2013, 12:11 PM

I’ve calmed down a bit now, as I type this last part myself. But that will only last until the next dream haunts me, and calls me to find him. But I realized today, that I am actually becoming my father in a way, as much as I don’t want to accept it, I’ve been rapidly drawing away from my family and becoming more reclusive because of all this. As much as I want to stop looking and break the chain now, I just can’t…I already took a vacation from work and went to the storage container when my roommate got back. I didn’t bother explaining to him, I knew he wouldn’t believe me. And I found both the game and the SNES in the same box with nothing else in it. Everything on the cartridge sticker were blacked out, except the character, that looked just like my father…a lot of people say I’m a mirror image of him. I’m going to find out where exactly he is and buy tickets to Mexico to find him and those ruins.

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The Two Figurines

March 16, 2013 at 12:00 AM
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It was around Thanksgiving when my grandparents came to visit. It had been almost two years since I and my younger brother and sister, Eric and Breanna, got to see them. They were always so lively when they came around. For an old man, my grandpa had a very interesting hobby. He collected action figures. Any sorts of them. He had collections of He Man figurines, to Power Rangers, to the Thunder Cats.

But the best part about them coming to town was that every time my grandpa came, he always brought a small collection for us to play with. Never to keep, but it was always fun playing with some of his favorite toys with him.

As our grandparents entered our home to stay for the weekend, my mother greeted them with a smile. She always had at least a grin on her face. She was one of the most ecstatic people that I’ve ever seen. She always seems to bring light to a dark day. Not just to me and my siblings, but to everyone it seems.

But for some reason, my grandmother never came through the door, and my grandpa walked in with a blank look in his eyes. They looked dead to me, which is the complete opposite of what they usually generate. He didn’t even say hello. He just walked in, with a bag in his hand.

My mother asked him, “Where’s Mom?” That of which my grandpa only replied to with, “…She went away for awhile.”

This puzzled my mother. I could see it in her facial expressions. She tried to bring up more on the subject but Grandpa quickly dismissed it, as if it were no big deal and to stop talking about it. So she did, thinking they must be going through some troubles that he would rather not discuss. Just as my mother and my father had.

Grandpa looked over at Breanna, (who was currently taking a nap on the couch,) and gave an almost sinister smirk. One that I’ve never seen on his face in my entire life.

“Isn’t it fascinating how easy it is to watch someone sleep,” He said.

He and my mom moved into the kitchen, where I finally gave my greetings,
“Hi Grandpa! How’ve you been?”
He replied with a quizzical stare. What was wrong with my grandfather? Why was he not so jumpy and delightful as his previous visits?

I dismissed the abstract, silent reply, and moved onto my next subject.
“Whats in the bag?”
Again he looked at me with that same stare, but this time he spoke,
“Just some figurines I found.”
He dumped out the bag, which was much more empty than usual. Instead of the ten or twelve action figures he usually brought, what fell from the bag, were two, very old, very creepy looking, tiny action figures. I quickly picked them up to look at them. At first glance they looked like regular old action figures, but the odd thing was, I&’ve never seen them in my life. No cartoon I’ve ever seen or anything have ever had these characters. One looked like an old man, his face riddled with dirt and grime. He was wielding what looked like a short dagger. He was also in loin cloth robes. The other one, also had the face of an old man, but he was wielding a hatchet. His face was also covered in dirt. He also had no clothes to accommodate his figurine body. He looked like one of my sisters Ken dolls that she lost all the clothes too. They were the two creepiest dolls that I’ve ever seen. But on the other hand. As I held them, I began to enjoy them. I had an inexplicable urge to put them in my pocket and keep them…

I looked up at my grandfather, ready to ask him where he got them. But when I was about to open my mouth, I noticed his expression changed again. He looked as if he was in a silent rage, staring at the dolls, and then almost instantly at me. There was a fire in his dead eyes as he spoke.

“Give them to me, Now! NOW!”

I looked at him startled. But by then he had tried lunging at me, for the two figurines. I, being as scared as I was from the incident, shot backwards to avoid his advance toward me.

My grandfathers knee must have faltered in his attempt to grab the two figurines, because quickly he fell to the ground. My mother quickly reached down and tried to pick him up. But by then he was clutching his heart, and gasping for air in a rather terrifying way. My mother called 911, but he was dead before the ambulance could arrive, from a heart attack.

In the next week, my grandfathers funeral had taken place. We had no way to contact my grandmother. We had no idea where she could be. So the funeral went on without her. But even whilst all of these sad events were taking place, my obsession for these two figurines began to grow rapidly. Not so much the the old man with the hatchet, as the man with the dagger. My brother, Eric, had subsequently taking a great liking to the man with the hatchet, so I gave it to him. It seemed like no matter where we went. We always had our figurines with us. In my experience with the dagger wielding old man, it gave me a sort of spark in my soul. There’s really no other way to describe it. It kept me eccentric, and happy, in a weird sense.

In the next coming months though, things had changed. I began to resent the old figurine. It stared at me in the most menacing way, and for some reason, made it unable for me to sleep. I knew I should get rid of the doll..but..I can’t… I’ve tried many times… but I always seem to pick it back up. I can never be rid of it. Not to mention the fact that it was giving me nightmares. And not normal nightmares either. Ones where people are watching me sleep and try to murder me, but more, the other way around. I would have dreams of myself, being in my brother or mother’s room, with a dagger, just as the old man figurine has, and just watching them sleep. Always in the shadow of the corners, never getting too close. And not a nightmare that you realize that you imagined so many different events in a small amount of time. It wasn’t that way at all. I would stand there, for hours, and just watch them sleep… and do nothing. Just… watch.

These nightmares scared me. But there was nothing that I could do, my brother was just as silent and lifeless anymore as I was, and we had both began to grow apart from our mother and sister. So silence was our only option. And for now, it had been sufficing.

One night, I woke up startled. I looked around my room to see nothing was there. But felt a cold wetness in my sheets. I reached down and felt the wet area. It seemed I had wet the bed. Oh great, how am i going to explain this to my mother.

I got up, and immediately looked for my figuring, (I’ve gotten to the point where I go nowhere without it,) but couldn’t find it. It pained me to go anywhere without my seemingly life companion, but I decided just to head to my mother’s room.

I stepped through her slightly cracked door and walked to her bed. I nudged her trying to wake her up to tell her the embarrassing thing I had done. It was 3am, and very dark in her bedroom with no windows. I tried nudging her again, but something was wrong, she was also wet.

I turned on he small light on her nightstand, and stood there, awe struck. There..lying in bed..was the cold, lifeless, blood soaked body, of my murdered mother. I looked at myself, I was covered in blood, and my mother looked like she had been carved like someone had been trying to cut pieces out of her. And there, sitting in her neck… was a dagger…

I grabbed it, and pulled it out of her neck. Its blood soaked blade shined in the dim light of the lamp. And I just stood there terrified, most people scream when they’re scared. But I was passed that point. I couldn’t even muster a sound out of my throat. I froze, scared to even turn around.

I glanced around my dead mother, and sitting there, on the top of the covers, was my figurine. Dagger in hand, laying there, like my mother was holding it before she fell asleep. Out of instinct I quickly grabbed it. And once I did, I felt its spark come into me again. Without being frightened or worry about my mother anymore, I looked at her body once again. All I could think of was,

“Isn’t it fascinating how easy it is to watch someone sleep?”

I took the dagger, and my figurine, and walked ever so slowly, into my brother Eric’s room. For no apparent reason, I just felt the urge. I had too…I had too…

I crept into his room, and hid in the shadows, staring at his bed. I saw the mound in his bed that was his helpless, sleeping body. And I watched him. I watched him for what seemed to be about two hours, the whole time only thinking.

“Isn’t it fascinating how easy it is to watch someone sleep?”

It was almost 5am now, and I was still,… just watching him, when I had another thought flow through my head, this one not in my own voice. But what seemed like the voice of an old man.

“Gut him, Nicholas, gut him.”

Without a second thought, and clutching the blood stained dagger in one hand and figurine in the other, I walked over too his bed. I lifted the dagger, and plunged it into the mound that was my brother. But… it felt soft, unlike a body.

I quickly lifted the covers to see that my brother was not in his bed at all, it was just a mound of covers and pillows that seemed made out to look like a person.

I stared at the mound, quizzical of what was going on, and then looked at my figurine.

What have you done to me?

Abruptly I heard a footstep behind me, I spun around, to see my brother stepping out from behind his curtains. The moonlight shining on his bloodstained face and night shirt. I looked right and saw the mangled, shredded corpse… of our sister.

I looked back at him, he had obviously been there awhile considering he couldn’t get there without walking right by where I was standing in the first place, and he just stared at me, with a hatchet in his hand, and his figurine in the other as he said,

“Isn’t it fascinating how easy it is to watch someone watch you sleep?”

Credit To – Sunshine Wayne

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The Noisy Portrait

February 27, 2013 at 12:00 AM
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Your mother had been sick for years. You never did know exactly what was wrong with her though. Countless doctors had examined her and all had to admit she was suffering some something they had never seen before. However, even though they could not pinpoint the disease itself, they all seemed to agree on one thing: it was terminal. Eventually, this mysterious illness would take your poor mother’s life.

You can remember back when your mother fist got sick. It happened after visiting family in a small town in West Virginia. The trip had ended abruptly when your aunt became furious with your mother for accidentally breaking a picture of your grandmother. You never did understand why your aunt had become so upset, it was just a photo. Regardless, your family had to pack up and leave that next morning. On the drive home, your mother seemed to be dealing with some allergies. Assuming it was just some of the local fauna getting to her, no one thought much of it. Everyone assumed it would clear up shortly after returning home, but it never did. Weeks, and then months after returning, your mother’s new “allergies” were still steadily growing worse. It was always a slow, but she never got even a little better even for a day. Back before it really got bad she always used to joke that “those darn allergies must have moved in and loved me so much they decided to stay and take over!” Eventually though, she stopped joking about her sickness. It took so much out of her that it made her angry and bitter. She would snap and yell at you for the smallest things, and she would become exhausted and just fall asleep at random times. A few times you even saw her fall asleep while walking. She would be walking one way, then her eyes would slowly close as she drifted off in another direction before jerking awake. You tried to help make things easy on her as much as you could, but there wasn’t much you could do. Every time she yelled you tried to remind yourself that it was just the disease and exhaustion talking so you wouldn’t start yelling back and just make her feel even worse.

The disease affected more than your mother though. Her slow deterioration began to wear out the rest of the family emotionally; as she grew worse, you watched your father and little brother grow worse as well. You felt yourself crumbling too, but you did your best to fight it and pretend like nothing was wrong. Eventually, it became too much for your father. You woke up one Thursday morning to find a note from him explaining that he couldn’t stand to be in the house with your mother anymore. He said he had left for good and taken your brother with him. The note didn’t say where he intended to go. He was gone, and you were left to care for your mother alone.

For years, it was just the two of you. Every day she continued to worsen, and every day you fought harder and harder to keep from breaking as your father had. Every week more and more doctors saw her and gave you the same clueless, useless answers. It was something they’d never seen before. It worked in unusual ways they couldn’t understand. It didn’t make any sense. It was terminal.

It was terminal. There was always that. Eventually, you gave up on doctors completely. Your mother was almost entirely bedridden by this point, and there was nothing they could do anyways, so why should you waste what time you had left with them? Instead, you stayed home everyday to care for her. In those brief moments when you were not occupied by some household chore, you would sit and try to read. You never did process very many of the words anymore, but it was easier to deal with books than it was to deal with television. Besides, if the tv had been on you might not be able to hear your mother when she faintly called out for you because she needed something. As the months dragged on, those calls became much more frequent and much more faint.

In those final few years, there seemed to be only one thing you could do to bring a tiny smile to your mother’s face: take her picture. She had always loved having her picture taken, even as a little girl. You could remember all the stories she and your grandmother had told you about how she would run to anyone she saw with a camera and beg to have her picture taken, even if the person was a complete stranger. As she grew older, she obviously learned not to approach random strangers for photos, but she never lost her love for being photographed. So, every single day you would get out the camera and go into her room. You would sum up all the cheerfulness you could as you raised the camera and called to her, “Time for your picture, Mom! Say cheese!” That faint smile you came to know all too well would slowly crease her face, the flash would go off, and then you would put the camera away until the next day.

One evening, while your eyes were sliding over the words of a book whose title you could not even remember, you realized you hadn’t heard your mom call for you in a while. Concerned that you had zoned out and missed her call, you put the book down to go check on her. As soon as you entered her room, your heart dropped. She was dead. After all these years, the disease had finally claimed her life. In a small way, you were glad because she no longer had to suffer, but that did not change the immense sense of loss you felt. Now you were completely alone.

With your mother gone, you had no idea what to do. For years, taking care of her had consumed your life, but now she was gone. Unsure of what to do, you remained in the house alone most days, still running your eyes through books without ever realizing what you were reading. A day or two after your mother was buried, you remembered the camera and all the photographs you had taken. You printed out that final picture, dug out an old picture frame from a dusty box in the attic, and hung it above the headrest of her bed. You stood there and cried for hours after you first hung it; you couldn’t believe she was gone. Some nights, while you were “reading,” you even thought you could hear her faintly calling you as before. You would close your book and start to stand before it would hit you again–she was gone, you were just imagining things. Most of the time, this realization sent you into another uncontrollable fit of tears.

One night, as you were making your way to your bedroom, you thought your heard your mother’s voice again. You knew that you were imagining things, but still you decided to go and look into her room. On your way, you absentmindedly grabbed the camera and took it with you. You poked your head into her room like you always had, but this time you looked up to her picture instead of her bed. Noticing the camera in your hands, you brought it up to your face, aimed it at the photo on the wall and said, “Time for your picture, Mom! Say cheese!” choking on every word as the tears began to well up in your eyes. Just before you took the picture, you almost thought you could see the smile forming on her face again, and that was when you lost control completely. In a fit of tears, you threw the camera to the far side of the room where it bounced harmlessly off a pillow. You dove onto your mother’s bed and ripped the picture from the wall and hurled it into the ground. As the glass shattered and spread across the carpet, you fell down on top of it on your knees, snatching up the now-broken frame. Cutting your hands on the bits of glass that remained in the frame, you tore the picture out and began ripping it to shreds, sobbing. You spent that night curled up on the carpet crying, clutching firmly to the shreds of the photo.

In the following days, you returned to your habit of attempting to read. Everything seemed normal, or at least as normal as things had been since your mother had died. However, you no longer thought you heard her voice. You guessed that your tantrum with the photo had served as some sort of release to help you accept her death, and that that had gotten the illusion of her voice out of your mind. You were extremely grateful for that, as it was easily the worst part of your suffering. Now the only suffering you had to cope with was some minor new allergies.

Credit To – SnoringFrog

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Mauvaise Foi

February 9, 2013 at 12:00 AM
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“The trust of the innocent is the liar’s most useful tool.”

-Stephen King


Somewhere out there in this great blue world of ours, across oceans and throughout time, there is a familiar face. Attached to this face is of course, a familiar person. This is a person that you can only recall in the vaguest sense of memory, someone that you may or may not actually know as a person at all. More or less, they appear as only a fleeting moment of human interaction, but not as an individual. Really, if anything at all, to you, they’re simply the negation of everyone whom they are not. It is in this way that this seemingly random stranger is timeless, immortal if you will. There will always be a familiar stranger, a stranger that you think you may remember from a past experience, ingrained into the backdrop of some greater scene of drama. Keep in mind though, that this stranger has a name. It could be Mike, or Lindsey, or Brian. Maybe it’s one of your father’s old coworkers, or perhaps a neighbor from that one house you used to live in when you were thirteen. You know that you know them, but from where, well, you just can’t put your finger on that part.


One day, you’ll be passing a downtown café in Chicago, and outside on the patio, you’ll see him. He’ll wave and smile and you’ll wave and smile back, the whole time trying to think of who he is.

Do I know him? Didn’t we go to high school together?” You’ll ask yourself. Or maybe you’re walking across a bridge in Dublin, and look, there she is, offering you that cigarette you’ve been craving all morning. You think you remember her name, but you won’t be sure, not really.

“Isn’t she my sister’s friend? The one who was dating that one guy?” It could be, but who knows? You’ll see her motioning for you to approach her, or you’ll see him offer you a seat, the way a casual acquaintance would. Go ahead, join them for a moment. You know each other, even if you lack the memory. Join them, and have yourself a chat. Follow them for a while if the opportunity comes about, it’s perfectly fine. After all, they may be a stranger, but that doesn’t mean you can’t trust them. It’s okay, just take a nice walk, and catch up if you can. Try to get their name if you can. It shouldn’t be that hard, it’s been on the tip of your tongue since you laid eyes on them at the bridge. Or in the parking lot. Or at the library.


If they seem friendly, it’s only because they are. Always urbane, always witty. No need to be cynical here, just because you lack the certainty of their motivations. If you begin to doubt that they are who they say they are, then feel free to ask as many questions as you please. Ask them anything, things like, “Who are you again?” or, “Where are we going?”  You’ll probably forget a few minutes later, but that’s okay. All that you need to stay focused on is the box.


Oh, did I forget to mention that, or did you already lose track of the situation? Well, you may want to check again, just to be sure. You’ll notice it eventually, tucked under one arm of your long lost friend. Your familiar friend, your pleasant friend. Yes, you’d be correct in saying that it is a box, a wooden box. Small and polished, with steal bolted to the trim. It’ll have a handle too, and even a lid. You won’t recognize this box. It’s something far too important to be swept under the carpet, even if it means nothing to you now. Despite the generally mundane nature of this small, banal box, you’ll still notice it regardless. It’s much too intriguing to ignore, in a simple way. Naturally, you’ll become curious, and conversation will inevitably lead to the contents. Here’s your chance to learn something, somethingvery interesting.

“What’s that for?” You ask the stranger. If you two find yourselves walking, your company will cease all movement. If you find yourselves near a bench or a few chairs, they’ll take a seat. No no, don’t worry about it, it’s perfectly normal. Just sit down, and try to enjoy yourself. If the mood is still right, the person you are with, whoever they may be, they’ll start to speak.

“Why do you want to know?” they’ll ask you, but only if you truly want to find out. Trust me, you do want to know.

“I was just wondering.” You’ll ask, or something similar to those words. Your friend, the stranger, they’ll start to smile. They’ll hold the box out in front of their chest, almost offering you to take a look inside.

“What do you think it’s for?” You won’t be sure how to answer that question. It could be anything for all you know. Anything at all, or nothing at all. Maybe even both. The stranger, if they are in fact a stranger, will see the confused look on your face. They’ll know that you don’t know, and smile.

“It’s a portal to hell. It’s every nightmare you’ve ever had.” They might say in grave voice. Or maybe, “It’s an abomination, a crime against nature, the likes of which you’ve never seen.” Or something like that. Then, they’ll stare at you, with a look of engraved seriousness.


Then you’ll laugh. You’ll both laugh; because there’s no way those things could be in that box. It would silly to think those things. There’s absolutely nothingdangerous about this box. Don’t even consider it. But, it does hold something that all containers hold until opened, an intangible thing. In that old box, in that strange and familiar box, held in the hands of that strange and familiar friend, there sits a secret ready to be rediscovered. More of a surprise really, a pleasant surprise. Definitely not a bad surprise. Just keep telling yourself that as reach towards the lid. Just keep telling yourself that you want to open the box.


Because you do want to open it, don’t you? Who doesn’t like a little adventure now and then? Now now, don’t worry about a thing. It’s normal to get a little nervous now and then, just so long as you don’t let those feelings get the best of you. Just have a little faith, and everything will be alright. Don’t be scared, it’s just an old wooden box, with a latch and a lid. Just open it up and take a look inside, just a little peek. It’s a good thing to be a little bit reckless now and then, curiosity has always been a good thing. Besides, what’s the worst thing that could possibly happen? It’s absolutely and perfectly safe.


So when you meet that certain familiar person, and you most certainly will, go ahead and just ask to look in that nice old box of theirs. Don’t be skeptical or rude or pessimistic. Open that box, and experience something that few others have. What’s there to lose? What’s the worst that can happen? It’s perfectly safe, so go ahead and look.


You can trust me.


Credit To – Stephan D. Harris

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