The Joys of Cat Ownership

July 23, 2014 at 12:00 PM
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I love cats. They’re so fuzzy and mischievous…totally adorable.

Well, not always adorable. Sometimes they’re destructive, annoying, and loud. Especially at night.

Any cat owner can tell you what it feels like to wake in the middle of the night to the sound of your beloved pet racing from one end of the house to the other and back at top speed, or to jump out of bed at the sound of a crash, certain you’re being robbed, to find your cat looking innocently up at you from a pile of pieces that probably used to be one of your most expensive possessions.

All cats are experts at demanding your attention, whether they’re jumping on your laptop while you’re writing that email or pawing at your face first thing in the morning to wake you. What they do in the night is likely just another method for making sure they keep your attention.

My cat especially is an innovator in this field. She’s a young tabby, just under a year old by the vet’s estimate. My boyfriend and I adopted her six months ago from a rescue run out of an older couple’s home. She’s always been an attention grabber with a sweet-and-sour attitude; she’ll hop right into my lap, knocking whatever I’m working on out of my hands, but she won’t let me pet her. She’ll nip at my hands if I try. Her bids for attention have changed a bit in the few months we’ve had her. She used to meow loudly for food any time I was in the kitchen, and try to paw her way into the cabinet where her food is stored. Now I only have to worry if I accidentally leave it open or leave the bag of dry food out on the kitchen floor, because she doesn’t hesitate to shred it up with her claws trying to get to the food.

Recently, however, she’s been acting really strangely. There’s a sound she makes when she sees birds and squirrels through the window, kind of like a barking/chirping noise. Apparently this is a normal part of the feline hunting routine. What’s strange is that lately she’s started doing that in our bedroom, to the wall opposite the windows. She’ll stare at a spot high on the wall, making that noise and trying to jump up to the spot like she thinks there’s something to catch there. It would be cute, if it didn’t make me worry she had vision problems or some other issue. The vet says she’s fine, so I just attribute it to her goofy personality.

It isn’t just the pseudo-hunting in the bedroom. Cats often have a habit of pawing their humans’ faces in the morning to wake them, but mine has started doing it in the middle of the night. She’ll paw at my face for a bit until I push her away, and then she’ll meow sorrowfully for a moment before hopping up and snuggling between me and my boyfriend. That’s another thing; this cat is not a snuggler. She likes to lay on my lap while I’m awake, but she does not particularly enjoy being held or cuddled and often snaps at me if I try to cover her with a blanket. Now she’ll climb under the blanket with us on her own. I’m starting to worry about her.

Now I know these peculiarities don’t sound all that odd, but something has just seemed…off, lately. Between my cat waking me and my boyfriend hogging the bed, I haven’t gotten much sleep. I’m always the last one to get to bed, so the cat and I are often the only two awake for a few hours each day. She likes to be right next to or on top of me during this time. I usually just watch or play something on my computer, or crochet. Sometimes I use this time to do laundry, but I don’t like going into the basement at night.

Now, I’ve seen some actual creepy basements in my young life. This isn’t really one of them. I used to work in a family-owned bookstore in the historic part of our city. It spanned two storefronts and the basements were joined. There were endless floor-to-ceiling shelves down there used for storing products and packing materials. There were plenty of lights, but the shelves made them ineffective anywhere but in their own aisles. There were pipes running through the whole area, several of which were low enough to require the employees to duck. There was a large wooden door on one wall with a red light coming from within through a knot in the wood. Certainly it was a boiler room or utilities room or something of that nature, but let me tell you, the time I spent alone slicing up cardboard boxes with a boxcutter right next to that door was a bit tense.

That was a creepy basement. The one in our house now, not so much. It’s empty, only two rooms. The stairs lead right to the middle of the space, with the laundry room on the left between the stairs and the back wall. It has another wall between it and the wall opposite the stairs but no door, so technically I suppose it’s all one room, except for a small closet under the stairs. The main space wraps around the stairs and the laundry room in an L-shape, and this is part of what I don’t like; I can’t see the whole room from the stairs. I’m one of those paranoid people who always sits in the corner of the room where I can see everything and I can’t stand to have anyone behind me. Going downstairs to arrive in the middle of a poorly lit room with several parts I can’t see is not fun for me. Even worse, the lights have been changing.

There are plenty of lights in the basement, the problem is that they don’t all work. Usually it seems like only the light in the middle of the room, at the base of the stairs, comes on, and it’s faint. There’s a separate switch at the bottom of the stairs for the laundry room, which has just been redone and thus has bright, working lights. But before I reach that switch, there’s very little light to go on. Recently, though, more of the lights in the basement will come on when I flip the switch, and sometimes the main light doesn’t go on with them. I mean, I guess that’s not too unusual. The house is old, and aside from the laundry room no one has touched the wiring in the basement for at least 40 years. It’s unnerving, though. I’m logical and detail-oriented, so changes like this make me want a more concrete explanation than “the lights are old.”

So, back to my cat’s strange behavior. There are two bedrooms upstairs that we’ve just been using for storage until we decide what to do with them. She has started wandering around the upstairs and meowing plaintively sometimes. Because the rooms are mostly empty, even her quiet voice echoes around up there. It sounds like she’s crying. I’ve brought her the vet several times since we got her; first for a basic checkup, and then out of concern over her eating habits. She’s finishing up her last round of worm medication and is otherwise healthy, so I know she’s not crying out of pain. I wonder if she’s lonely. That would explain why she keeps trying to wake me up in the middle of the night.

I’d love to get her a new feline friend, but my other half is going to take some convincing. I’ll have to start working on him tomorrow. Just thought I’d throw this up on my blog and see if anyone else has had similar issues with their cats.

My cat was not lonely.

She was not hungry, or bored.

She was terrified.

She woke me up last night, pawing at my face and mewing quietly but urgently at me. I tried to just ignore her, hoping she’d give up and settle down, but instead she extended her claws a bit. She managed to hit my right eye hard enough to make it water, then dodged my arm as I swiped at her, jumping up behind me and snuggling under the blanket between me and my boyfriend. She went very quiet and still.

Fuming, I thought about getting up to look at my eye in the mirror but decided against it; the room was cold, and my bed was warm. I decided to just keep the eye open until it stopped throbbing. Since I was laying on my right side with my long hair fanned out on my pillow, it fell across my face enough to block most of the light from the bathroom night light coming through the open bedroom door. As I waited to be able to close my eye and go back to sleep, I heard a noise.

The basement door was opening on its own.

Or so I thought, until I heard almost-silent footsteps navigating the kitchen with expert steps. Even in the dark, whoever it was managed to avoid the table, chairs, laundry baskets, litter box, garbage can, and cat food dishes without so much as a bump or a clink. I froze, not daring even to close my right eye or open my left. Through my hair I could see a large dark shape enter the bedroom and stop right in front of me. I prayed it couldn’t see my open eye as a thousand scenarios played themselves out in my mind.

Somehow my mind got hung up on the fact that it hadn’t tripped over anything in the kitchen, so this wasn’t the first time it had watched us while we slept. That fact kept me trying to breathe as I would in sleep, hoping that if it hadn’t done anything to us in our sleep during previous visits it wouldn’t start now. My cat was a warm, silent lump behind me, hiding beneath the blanket in terror.

Nothing happened for a few minutes. My right eye was still sore, and felt extremely dried out because I hadn’t blinked once. The shape didn’t move, standing so still I started to wonder if the cat had actually damaged my eye with her paw, creating the dark blur I was seeing.

Suddenly, I felt a movement from behind me. My boyfriend was stirring. I tried hard not to panic, unsure of what to do. Ordinarily I’m the kind of person who will grab a knife to go investigate a strange noise, but there were no knives in the bedroom and I didn’t know if the dark form was armed. It was definitely at an advantage, already standing above me, not tangled in blankets as I was. As my boyfriend shifted, it moved out of the room, back through the kitchen, through the basement door. I heard it close quietly.

I was pretty sure it hadn’t known I was awake. It wasn’t looking for a conflict; it had fled as soon as my boyfriend started to wake up. I felt him get out of bed to go to the bathroom and reached for my phone quickly. I didn’t want him to panic. I didn’t want the thing in the basement to know I saw it until it was too late. I dialed the police and reported a home invasion as calmly and quietly as I could. When I’d hung up, I got up myself, giving my boyfriend a hug and a kiss as I passed him on my way to the bathroom. I had to come up with excuses to stay awake until the police arrived without alerting the thing in the basement.

Finally there was the sound of sirens and a knock on the front door. I felt awful when my boyfriend came out of the bedroom and looked at me in confusion and concern as I opened it without a word, but there would be time for explanations later. I wanted whoever was in our basement behind bars. Tonight.

The police searched the whole house, but didn’t find anyone or anything as large as I’d described. The doors and windows were all locked and deadbolted from the inside, as we always kept them, but beneath the basement stairs they found a few bloody feathers and the bones of small wild animals. There was no point of entry for any animal from the outside, and there weren’t whole carcasses or skeletons, just a few bloody remnants of what looked to be, from the bite marks on the bones, someone’s last few meals.

The police didn’t know what to make of it, and to my knowledge no one has been arrested in connection with the “break-in” that left all of our doors and windows perfectly secured. I told my boyfriend what I’d witnessed and why I hadn’t alerted him sooner. We got a security system, added more lighting to the basement, knocked down the interior walls, and exchanged our normal stairs for a spiral staircase, eliminating the closet below the stairs and allowing for a full view of the entire basement from the top or bottom of the staircase.

Our cat started acting normally again. After months of wondering about her strange behavior I now realize that her demands for attention weren’t an indication that I should be worried for her, rather a sign of her concern for all of us. So the next time your pet starts acting up with no apparent medical reason, be on alert. Like I said, to my knowledge the thing under our stairs hasn’t been caught.

Credit To – Amanda Laven

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Echo Of The Dead

July 23, 2014 at 12:00 AM
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Saturday, 8:01pm

Michael and four of his friends wandered around the streets of New York. Laughing and chatting, they pushed each other around the sidewalks, provoking glares from other passerby. The boys didn’t mind, though. It was a wonderful night and nothing was going to ruin it.

Michael paused in front of a dark alley. “You guys go on ahead, okay?” He told his friends. “I’ll catch up.” He stared into the alley. No one was there, but he could have sworn he heard a voice…

Tuesday, 8:01pm

Catherine tried in vain to get her tube of lipstick open. It was Prom Night, and her date was already here, waiting for her downstairs. “Please!” She begged the lipstick. “I’m going to be late!” Finally, with a mighty jerk, the cap popped off. Catherine smiled and began applying her lipstick.

“CATHERINE!” Her date’s terrified voice came from downstairs, making her smear red lipstick over her cheek.”

“Tom!?” She cried, searching frantically for a napkin. “What’s wrong?!”

“Oh, good,” Tom replied, sounding much calmer. “You’re OK. You were up there for a while, so I got a little worried.” He paused. “Hey, can you come down here for a second? I want to show you something.”

Catherine frowned. “Right now? But I have lipstick all over my face.”

“Lipstick?” Tom sounded confused for a second. “It’s OK! I don’t mind! Just come quick, it’s urgent.”

Catherine gave up looking for a napkin. “Alright, I’m coming…”

Thursday, 8:01

“If your parents catch us, we’re dead!”

Diana grinned. “We’ll be fine. They think I’m still asleep. Besides, they won’t come this far into the forest anyway, at least not at night.”

James-her best friend- laughed. “Whatever you say, Di.” He looked around. They were in a dense forest with huge, leafy green and yellow trees. It was hard to see much color at night, though. “So, you said the old house was that way?”

“James!” Giggling, Diana shoved him. “It is not that old! We saw it being built, remember?”

James shrugged. “It’s haunted, right? That’s more or less the same thing. They say that a couple of kids died there. Cassie and Thomas, or something like that.”

Diana gave him a look. “That was a few days ago, bonehead! Besides, you shouldn’t joke about stuff like that.”

“Fine, fine,” he muttered. He was silent for a moment. “Want to race? To the haunted house, I mean?”

“Okay,” Diana agreed. “You’re on!” They stood side by side. “Ready, Set-“

James took off before she could finish.

“You cheater!” She cried, running after him. Diana raced for a little bit, though she couldn’t catch up. She flopped to the ground. “Okay….James…I give…up. You win,” she panted. “Can we….walk the rest…of the….way?” She paused and looked around, trying to catch her breath. “James?”

He wasn’t there.

“James, this isn’t funny.” Diana’s breath caught in her throat. She heard someone yelling up ahead, but it was too far to make out, and she doubted she could stand up, much less run to help. The yelling stopped. A few seconds passed. She tried to peer into the forest, but it was dark. The leaves were blocking the moonlight. She heard leaves crunching behind her. She whipped around, but nothing was there. Diana began to feel uneasy, even scared. That story that had caused such an uproar a few days ago flashed through her mind.

Up ahead, James laughed, making her jump. “Come here! I want to show you something.”

Diana nearly sobbed with relief at hearing his voice. “I would,” she answered, “but I’m a little….tired. I can barely walk.”

“Oh.” He sounded disappointed. “Well, I’ll just have to come over there, then.”

Diana waited, but she didn’t see anyone. Using a tree for support, she unsteadily got to her feet. Then there was a searing pain at the back of her neck, like someone was dragging a hot knife across it, and everything went away.

Saturday, 8:05pm

Michael took a cautious step forward. “Hello?” He called. His voice echoed off of the close walls, giving an eerie sound effect, and he shivered.

“Over here!” A girlish voice answered him enthusiastically from deep inside the alley.

Michaels eyes widened. “Linda?” It was his crush from school! He couldn’t believe it. “Is that you?” He took another step forward.

“Of course!” Linda laughed. “Now come over here. I want to show you something.”

Michael all but ran down the alleyway. He stopped when he reached a large wall. “Yes?” he asked eagerly. He waited, the frowned. “Where are you? I can’t find you….”

“I’m right here!” Linda insisted, then laughed again. At least, Michael thought it was a laugh. It sounded like dry leaves being crushed. “I’m here…right behind you.”

Michael turned slowly, confused. Then he saw it. A shadow melted out of the darkness and took form. It was large, it’s shoulder taller than he was, with a black, sleek, greyhound-like body. Unfortunately, that was about as normal as it got. The shadow had six long, skeletal legs ending in talons with three claws each. It was hard to tell, but it looked like there were two long, waving tails attached to its rear end. There were countless huge, gleaming, razor-sharp teeth jutting out of its mouth. Worst of all were its four eyes, which were large, white, pupiless, and made Michael feel dizzy and nauseated just by looking at them. He opened his mouth to scream, but one of the whip-like bony tails snaked around with a sharp CRAACK! There was a burning pain in his mouth, and he gagged, the remains of his tongue falling to the ground.

“Now, we can’t have that, can we?” The Monster scolded in Linda’s voice. “I’m not done with you yet. You can’t just go around calling your friends to come help you! That would be cheating.”

Michael was frozen in his spot, the pain forgotten. His thoughts were blurry, like he’d been drinking. He managed to string together a few words in his head. …That’s…Not…Linda…

The Monster almost seemed to smile. “No, I’m not,” It agreed, like it had read his mind. “Your girlfriend is dead.” It reared up on its back legs and spread the other four wide, opening its mouth and displaying the fearsome teeth. “Good game,” it hissed, and lunged at him, wrapping its arms around him in a strange hug. It ripped open the back of Michael’s neck with its claws, and let him fall to the ground. The last thing he saw was the Monster licking its black talons.

Tuesday, 8:05pm

Catherine hurried down the stairs, trying to simultaneously not fall over in her heels and wipe the lipstick off of her face with part of her dress. No matter what her date said, she was not going to be seen as a mess, even at home.

The house was strangely quiet. “Tom?” She called.

“In the living room!” He answered. “Come quick!”

Catherine hurried over, wondering what could be so important. “Tom? What is- AAHHHH!”

Tom was sprawled out on the floor face down. Dark blood coated the back of his shirt, and it was now dripping on the carpet. Around him were large red three-toed footprints and streaks across the couch and chairs. Tears clouded Catherine’s vision, and she tried to blink them away. He parents were going to ground her for life! She didn’t kill Tom, but it that’s what it looks like to someone who wasn’t there. The police were going to get involved-she couldn’t go to prison! She was supposed to be Prom queen! The prettiest girl in the state! She finally let herself cry, not caring that it was going to ruin her makeup. She was a mess right now anyway, and there might be time to reapply it later. Her life was ruined! There wasn’t even any time to clean up the blood-not that it mattered. She knew for a fact that blood stains almost everything you can stain, especially clothing.

Catherine heard leaves crunching behind her, and she froze. It wasn’t usually a sound you heard in a house, but there was no mistaking it.

“What’s wrong, Catherine?” Tom’s voice mocked her from behind. “Shocked?”

She made a whimpering noise in the back of her throat.

“Come on, turn around,” the voice prodded. “Like I said, I want to show you something.” There was the leaf-crunching noise again.

Catherine shook her head tightly, terrified.

Something roughly grabbed her and spun her around. She found herself face-to-face with four strangely hypnotic eyes and a mouthful of large fangs. “Hehehe…I don’t exactly look like Tom, do I.”

Catherine shook her head, crying. “P-please don’t kill me!” She begged.

The Thing seemed to grin. “Crying doesn’t work on me,” It told her proudly, before standing up on its back legs and spreading its arms wide.

It has six legs, Catherine realized with a sinking feeling. Just like a bug. I hate bugs. They all want nothing more than to eat you alive….

“Good game,” the Thing hissed, and grabbed her. She struggled, but she couldn’t free herself. It reached around and sliced open her neck. She went limp, and fell to the floor, staining more carpet.

Thursday, 8:05

Diana woke slowly. Where am I? She thought blearily, then remembered with a start. The forest! She and James were…they were…racing? But then something went wrong…

She tried to get up, but her legs wouldn’t move. Actually, weirdly enough, it almost seemed like….

Eventually, the world came into focus again. It took a second to realize what she was seeing. There was a lot of red-that’s for sure. But when she looked across her body, her legs were missing. So was half of her torso. And one of her arms. She was lying in a pool of her own blood. It should’ve hurt, but all she felt was a dull throbbing.

“You’re alive?” James asked from somewhere above her. He sounded truly surprised.

“James…” she croaked. “What’s going on?”

James sighed. “You haven’t figured it out? Oh, I don’t think you can see me from here. I should probably fix that.”

What stepped into view wasn’t James at all, but a huge black six-legged creature with very large teeth, two tails, and four very strange eyes. “Yeah, I’m not your friend. He’s dead. Like you should be. Aw, and I already started eating you and everything…”

“Who are you?” Diana cried. “What have you done to James?”

The creature seemed to grin. “Since you’re going to die anyway, I am called Echo. I think you can figure out why.” It narrowed its eyes. “Di! Run! Get help! No….NO!!!! RUN, DIANA! RUN AWAY!” It screeched in James’ voice. The terror in her best friend’s voice broke her heart. The horrible creature clacked its teeth together, making a sound like leaves crunching. “Yes, I rather like this voice, though I will lose it when I kill you. At least I will get yours, right?” Echo made the sound again, almost like it was laughing at her.

Diana wanted to cry. “Why…?” She choked out. “Why?”

Echo stood right over her and looked into her eyes, making her feel dizzy. “Why?” It purred. “You little humans have your games, and I have mine. Good game, Diana.” That was the last thing Diana heard before its jaws closed over her face.

Unknown Date

Echo watched its next target carefully as it read something on its…..what was that called again? Computer? Yes, a computer. But that wasn’t important, unless the human was on it again tomorrow when the moon took over the sky. Then it might be a little different. Echo studied it for a bit longer, then turned and slid quietly away, moving like a spider. There was a lot to do before the Game. He had to find out names, find out plans, learn voices, kill a human here or there… Echo was sure he had time, but only if he didn’t get distracted. The human had better be prepared, too. They always lost at this game, for some reason. It was simple, really. Whoever dies first is the loser. Funny, Echo didn’t even know the humans’ voice. But by tomorrow night, it would. Yes, by tomorrow night, it will know all about them.

Credit To – WikiGhost

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A Study In Fear

July 22, 2014 at 12:00 AM
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It seems wrong to imagine such horror beginning so calmly. As I drove to the hospital last night, I remember vividly the warmth of the inside of the car, made all the more comfortable by the snow blanketing the landscape around me; I felt enveloped in the seat as I watched the white flakes gracefully fall around me, flashing passed my windows. The gentle sound of the windshield wiper motor mingled in chorus with the sound of the road rushing by. It seemed, at the time, a perfect moment.

It was the ideal kind of night for the fear study to which I’d been assigned. The volunteers would be comfortable and relaxed when they came in. It was all very fascinating, and I continued despite my aversion to the night shift. I’d managed to avoid night shifts for a long time, by getting into the research division of neurosciences. That was a large part of the reason I’d taken the position in the first place. However, this leg of the assignment was just a week, and I felt I could muddle through.

As I pulled into the lot of the hospital, a state of the art, towering building with lots of windows, I remember thinking how sheepish it looked under all the snow. It usually seemed so dominating. I stepped into the warm lobby and ascended the elevator to my office, where the volunteers were quite anxious to get started. I put on my most formidable expression and strolled into the room, where three men and three women stood.

“Good evening, everyone, I’m doctor Montgomery Thorne.” I took them in carefully, trying to decide how comfortable I really wanted to make them. In the six faces I saw some anxiety, some distant interest, and just a little nonchalance. They all clearly felt a little out of element. “I appreciate your coming,” I said, “let me give you a run through of the night.”
”Four of you will be given a small pill. Two of these are placebo, but two of them should activate your adrenergic receptors and cancel your fear response. The other two of you will be given nothing. You’ll be hooked up to a monitoring machine whilst you watch a horror movie, tailored to what you told us you were scared of, and then you’ll try to sleep afterward and we’ll see what happens to your brainwaves. Questions?”

“What if we can’t sleep?” asked the largest man, in a deep voice. Peter, his name badge read. I smiled and answered, “I suspect that several of you won’t be able to sleep. That’s fine, trouble sleeping is a fear response and just as helpful.”
“How, uh, how scary-I mean, are the movies-“ the young woman with a name badge reading ‘Marie’ stuttered out.
I sighed a little to myself, and cut her off before she could stammer away further. “The movies are simple high rated pre-releases we’ve been allowed to use for the experiment; they aren’t particularly gory, just a nice combination of creepiness and jump scares to get your heart rate up a little. That’s all. Nothing to be worried about, I promise. Anyway,” I continued, ignoring another man who had just begun to nervously raise his hand, “your rooms are this way. Please follow me.”

The hospital was absolutely perfect for this. We ascended several floors, and I chose to take them down the dark stairwell, and through the halls with just emergency lights illuminating the way. The participants made some light conversation with each other, nervously discussed what they were doing and several made mention of how creepy the hospital was. One even mentioned something in the shadows. It was then that I began to get the impression of being watched, but with the dark halls and empty rooms, and so many sick people on the floors around us, I supposed that anyone would be nervous in this place. I led them to a hall with six doors, six rooms, and helped each of them get comfortable. My unease began to get the better of me, as I caught myself uncomfortable for just the few steps I had to take alone between rooms. Alas, I had a job to do. I checked their EEG headpieces and left them to it. An hour after I had arrived at the hospital, I was in the monitoring room, watching tiredly the graphs from the machine and the feeds from the cameras in each room. A half an hour later, despite the creaking walls and darkness, I found myself nodding off. I fell asleep for only a moment, just long enough for that shocking feeling of falling to jerk me back to reality.

Damn, I thought. I glanced over all the feeds. Everything was going well. I laughed as I watched the man in room four practically jump out of his chair from whatever he was watching. The man then looked up at the camera; probably wondering if I had seen him jump. Sure did, I mused, but the man continued to stare. I peered back into the monitor, growing uneasy, and noticed the reflections in the man’s eyes; something was moving. I decided that it must be a loose air vent, or perhaps a tear in the wallpaper. I peered over at the EEG scans for that room and saw, with no small amount of irritation, nothing. The brainwaves had flat lined. I looked back at the camera feed; something was wrong. The man was wearing his headpiece; it just wasn’t reading. I looked deeper still into the monitor, and a chill ran down my spine from a nagging feeling that something about the room was very off. Finally, I shook my head clear, stretched, and made my way toward the door to check on room four. In my tired stupor, I walked right into it with a loud thud.

Damn, I though again. I could swear I left this open. I pulled on the handle, which clicked oddly when it turned, and pulled on the door, but it didn’t open. My irritation grew, and I pulled harder, and saw the door flex back into the frame, as though it were fighting me. Naturally, I thought it was my tired imagination at work. I shook my head again and yanked it open as hard as he could; it came free and I fell backward, right into the computer. The monitors all went out.

Shit! I cursed loudly as my hand fumbled in the dark behind the computer and found a loose cord; thank God, the monitors had just come unplugged. I plugged them back in and looked up to see only static. Static? That made no sense. I sat down and was about to check the wires when I saw a face in the static of monitor three. A chill ran down my spine as I held my gaze to it, studying it; it seemed to be smiling. Its mouth then opened wide, and suddenly the monitors popped back on. Marie, in room three, was now sitting with her back against the wall, staring up at the camera, crying. She looked like she was pleading. I felt bad for her, but she had signed the waiver, and it was my job to make sure the test continued. The woman in room one had her hand down just below the view of the camera, making a motion as though she were petting something. Her eyes were glued to the television in terror. I peered at the monitors closely, unsure of what to do. If I went into the room, I’d interrupt the test. But what the hell was the room one woman doing? Pretending to pet a dog? Maybe that was how she coped with fear. Could be worse, I supposed. I turned back toward the door, this time to check on rooms four and three, and as I did so, a small shadow bolted away from across the hall.

My heart was then set firmly in my throat. Damn it, I thought, I could’ve hooked myself into an EEG. I slowly peered my head out from the doorway, looked both ways down the hall, and saw nothing. I sighed and shuffled over to room four, but as my hand approached the doorknob, I got a terrible feeling in the pit of my stomach. Something had occurred to me, and I bolted back into the monitor room and looked at the room four feed again. It was the walls. There was a very faint pattern running along the walls, absent in all of the other rooms; or, for that matter, any part of the hospital I had ever seen; some faint pink abstract lines against the usual green. It was barely perceptible, not something I would’ve even noticed if I hadn’t already been so nervous. With that thought, I headed back out to room four. The same ominous feeling crawled over my skin as I neared the door, and I felt my blood run cold as I grasped the doorknob; steeling my resolve, I twisted it open. An odd sigh came from the door, and then there was a scream and a warm rush of air against me. I leaped from the door in shock, heart once again in my throat. The man within peered out of the room and asked, “everything ok, doc?”

Scream. The movie, of course. Jesus. “Yeah,” I said, trying to hold my voice steady, “something’s wrong with your EEG.”
“I think something’s wrong with my room.” Justin, his name tag said.
“Like what?”
“Well, for one, the TV doesn’t work.”
Surprised, I looked up. Indeed, the TV wasn’t working. Another chill ran down my spine. “Did you hear a scream just now?”
“No.” Justin looked up at the camera. Something about his gaze shook my soul, and I looked up as well, but didn’t see anything. Uneasiness danced in my stomach. Finally, I tore my gaze away, looked over the machine, then unplugged the wire leading out to the headpiece; red fluid trickled out of the plug. Puzzled, and my uneasiness building, I looked up at Justin. “Did you unplug this?”
Justin shook his head. “No, he did.” He pointed up toward the camera. I looked up again, to the empty corner, the shadow behind the camera. I looked back down at Justin. Then at the strange patterns on the walls. “Who did?”
“I think you’re losing it, man. Can I keep watching?”
Now thoroughly confused, I looked up at the dead TV again. “Yeah, uh,” I looked back at Justin, “you want to watch a blank TV?”
“That’s not what I’m watching.” Justin smiled wide, and then gazed back up to the camera. My confusion and uneasiness mingled with fear, and I slowly backed out of the room and shut the door.

As I did so, I heard a bang from room three. I stepped toward the door and for a fleeting moment, begged myself to check the monitors first; but something about seeing Justin staring at me through the monitor was too much for me to even consider. I opened the door to a room in unnatural darkness, and there was the woman within, staring at me as though she expected me to be there. It was Marie, the girl who’d sounded so scared earlier; she was shaking, on the verge of crying. “Doctor, is this part of the test?” She pointed to the wall.

Even in the dark I could see the pink pattern running itself down under the wallpaper. With a sudden, horrified realization, and with what I can only describe as animal instinct, I dug my nails into the wallpaper and ripped a chunk of it away; red fluid spattered out of the opening. Some landed in my mouth, and with a disturbing bewilderment, I tasted blood. Spitting, I turned, and involuntarily leaped back into the bloody wall when I saw Marie standing almost right up against me, the light from the hall illuminating her features sideways and twisting her face.

“What’s wrong, doctor?” Her voice was shaking, and she stepped toward me, then looked up at the camera. My gaze followed, and this time, there was movement in the shadow of the corner behind it. I looked back to Marie, terrified, but she simply pressed her finger to her lips. I then slid against the wall, smearing blood against my back, trying desperately to get away from her, and she just stood, watching. I stumbled out of the room and grabbed the phone across the hall.

“Emergency number,” I mumbled, dialing, and pressed the phone to my ear. I turned around as it rang and saw Marie in her doorway, still wearing her headpiece, looking up at the camera and sobbing. Then, finally, there was a click on the other line, the sound of the phone being answered. “Hello?” I asked pleadingly, but all I heard was breathing.

“Hello?” I felt my eyes tear up in fear. The heavy breathing turned to growls, and I slammed the phone back down. Marie was now looking at me- no, she was looking at the ceiling above me. A cold chill shook me to the core; don’t look up, I thought, I refuse to look up; and, pressed against the wall, I slid back into the monitor room, closing the door behind me, just in time to see the lights in the hall go out, plunging Marie into complete darkness.

Marie’s brainwaves were all over the place, Justin’s were still flat lined, along with the woman in room two. Frankly, I couldn’t make sense of any of the patterns I saw. The woman in room one was now crouched, facing whatever she had been petting before, still off-camera. I couldn’t see her face, and I had the distinct impression that I didn’t want to. The pink was sliding down behind the wallpaper in her room. I wanted to run, just run and get the hell out of there, but I didn’t want to leave my patients behind. The woman in room two was staring at the monitor, facing away from the camera, and she wasn’t moving. As I tried to see what was on her monitor, I saw Peter, in room six, suddenly leap out of his chair toward the door, and the monitors all went out, and I was immersed again in darkness.

I threw myself against the monitor room door, with every intention of this time running straight for the exit. I yanked with all my might, but the door seemed to yank back. I kicked and pulled, kicked again, and my foot went through it. A sharp yell escaped my throat as I tried in vain to pull my foot back through, but it was no use. My leg was stuck. To my horror, I felt hands wrap around my foot and begin to pull; I thrashed against the door, but my leg was being pulled further and further in. Finally I grasped the doorknob again and pulled with all my might; this time it gave way, swung open, but with my foot firmly planted I fell backward into the wall. I kicked my other foot hard against the door and it finally came free, but my shoe was gone. I then leaped up and scurried out of the room, noting that my shoe was nowhere to be seen. The only light came from the green exit sign, casting a sickly glow and deep shadows across the hall. Marie was now huddled in her doorway, screaming at the camera in her room, or the shadow behind it; Justin was out of his room, beckoning me, his face disturbingly calm. I shook my head and slid against the wall, this time toward the exit, until I heard heavy breathing from my destination. Passed the sign, down by the stairs, two orange lights came in to view, stalking toward me. They bobbed up and down, the eyes of an animal, and I suddenly became very aware of the sound of heavy paws touching the ground, the click of claws against tile; I looked back the other way, passed the monitor room, toward the break area, but I knew there was no exit that way. With every bit of resolve I could muster, I ran across the hall, into room one.

The woman was petting the wolf with one hand, while it chewed on her other arm. It had eaten up to her elbow. My mind seemed to seize up; it was too much for me. There was simply too much to process, and I was too horrified to move. The woman looked up at me, sobbing, yet still mechanically petting the evil beast. She then gazed up at the camera above me, and again, I looked up, and finally I saw it; packed into the corner of the room and yet somehow infinite, it glared back at me. I was locked in place as it crawled down the wall, yellow eyes never blinking. Finally, as its first paw touched the floor, I snapped out of my stupor, flung the door away and ran – right into Justin, and fell to the floor. He looked at me with what I can only describe as passive indifference, and it horrified me even more still.

I struggled to get up; my legs wouldn’t cooperate. I wobbled, felt dizzy and sick, and heard abruptly the man in room five begin screaming in what sounded like abject agony. The door of room six burst open, and Peter fell face first into the floor, spattering blood all around him. “Please,” he pleaded to some unseen force, “let go of me! Please let go of me!” Justin turned and watched with nonchalance as the shadows from room six seemed to envelope Peter and drag him back inside, leaving a long streak of blood behind. I then turned my attention back toward room one, to the thing crawling out of the shadows, the twisted, broken figure of a wolf. Justin knelt beside it, and it smiled. It was a smile that made me want to scream, or weep; but I couldn’t seem to move. It crawled up to me, examining me, hot breath pushing hard against my face, the smell of death and rot permeating my nostrils. Its eyes pierced my very soul, and the walls seemed to shake, and sway back and forth with the beast’s breath; the wolf in room one was now up to the woman’s shoulder and the sounds from the stairwell had become wheezing and barking. For all the glowing eyes gazing into me and the horrors around me, I trembled greater still when my eyes fell back on Justin, leaning against the wall, as though he were bored. Where my final burst of energy came from, I’ll never know, but I leapt up and ran to the only place I had a hope of getting to; back into the damned monitor room. I’ve barricaded myself in, and done my best to make sense of all this.

Justin had the adrenergic receptor pills. As I looked through documentation I wasn’t supposed to read, I learned that the woman from room one’s worst fear is being eaten alive, and Marie had a great fear of darkness. Peter listed his fear as seeing his own organs, God help him. I am deeply thankful that the monitors aren’t working, thankful for the faces watching me in the static, for the alternative seems so much worse. I have now only this laptop and the banging and scratching from the hall. I can smell blood in here with me now. I will remain here until they get through the door, or until I’m driven mad.

They don’t know what my fears are. What will they do to me?

Credit To – C.Vox

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The Pit

July 21, 2014 at 12:00 PM
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When I was young, I had a dream. The dream itself was not an uncommon one among those who shared my age, of those on the brink of adulthood. In fact, I would say that it’s a very common ambition for anyone with the capability to imagine and to wonder. And in a way, I feel it is safe to say that we all aspire to accomplish such a dream in some aspect or another. Some seek it on an intellectual level, some seek it on an emotional one and some seek it physically.

Adventure, discovery, love, power, truth. All these words could be used to accurately describe the dream in which I had, in which we all had. Though, I doubt that any one word could completely embody the dream itself for the dream was more than just an aspiration or a wish, it was a destiny; a journey that could only ever be halted by one thing; death. For you see, our lives are the dream and by living we strive towards it.

This destined odyssey that we call life – which originates from that first initial dream – can lead us to many different places. Some of us are lead down a trail of tears; one full of agony and suffering. Others are exempt of this, and live a life of luxury and convenience. Most of us, however, end up following and living by the center road, a road that will neither be plagued by exuberant and overly frequent misery nor an utter lack of misfortune. Some find happiness and love while others only find anger and hate. Some journeys involve the destruction of nations while others bring about the construction of livelihoods which had before been unknown, anything is possible.

And in knowing this, I would gladly trade my destined discovery for any other fate, whether it be one of utter grief or the opposite; for nothing could be worse than what my scarred soul has stood witness to.

————-

The Nevada sun is one of the harshest on the planet; it beats mercilessly down upon all those who expose themselves to it, only allowing breaks from its damning heat during the freezing nights. For those who have not been born and raised in these sweltering conditions, it is easy to understand why they dread the place. Extreme heat is usually only welcome when accompanied by a large body of water, which has always been scarce in the desert wastelands of Nevada. But for someone who has lived there all their life – such as myself – it is home. Not just home, mind you, but a way of life.

To my family, those vast mountains of tanned rock and that beating sun are sacred. We were there before the Europeans first discovered America, before the sound of their thunderous muskets and cannons swept across the lands, before the east expanded into the west. But, try as hard as we did to hide, the world eventually caught up with us.

Along with the settlers came ambition and wonder. As one can imagine, it did not take long for the newcomers to discover the bountiful wealth of gold that lay just inside the mountains of our precious lands. And once the word was out, mining operations became as common in Nevada as scorpions in the sand.

Over the years, the mines dried out, as would be expected. But rather than be sealed off, many were simply… abandoned and left to be buried by time. Most of these old tunnel networks still exist today and are scattered quite abundantly throughout the otherwise sparse land.

It was in these abandoned tunnels that I found joy and wonderment as a child. While others played outside in the blistering sun, I found adventure in the forgotten excavations of those long gone. It was in these places that I felt my dreams of exploration and discovery come to pass. As a young boy, I was limited only to the ones close to home, but as I grew older, I began to branch out further and further until I found myself venturing days at a time in an old pickup to look for traces of these ancient locations.

By the time I was in my mid-twenties, my fascination with the old mines of Nevada had not diminished, rather it had grown. And with it, so had my skill in exploring them.

I was twenty seven when I discovered the ancient mine-shaft that would inevitably change my life forever. I had come to hear about it in a nearby town through a man who approached me while I was fueling up at a gas station. He made a comedic remark about the tools in the back of my truck and asked if I was out searching for mines to explore. Politely, I replied with a yes.

It was then that he spun me an extremely interesting tale. He claimed to have discovered the entrance to an old mine a couple years ago while searching for rare rocks to display in a museum he owned. According to him, it was buried under a considerable amount of brush and foliage in a canyon down the road from the gas station. What really intrigued me, however, was his suggestion that the mine had never been explored or set foot in since the old gold rush days.

Naturally, I was hesitant to believe him due to how unlikely it was that such a place would go undiscovered for so long; every mine I had ever set foot in had been picked clean by those looking for priceless relics to sell for exuberant amounts of money. Which never bothered me; the allure of ancient gold had no an effect on me. However, the thought of exploring a mine which had been completely untouched by anyone besides the miners who made it DID seem quite appealing to me.

I thanked the man and accepted his offer to reveal the location to me, which he did quite eagerly. In my logical mind, I figured I might as well try to find it since it was along the route in which I was travelling.

It hardly took any time to get there, and although it was difficult and time consuming, I did eventually find the entrance concealed beneath a considerable amount of brush and foliage, just as the man said it would be.

By that time in my life, I could have been considered a professional judged solely by the equipment I brought along. Within the large backpack I carried on my back, one would find a couple packs of glow sticks, a flashlight, provisions, water, a knife, and other miscellaneous objects useful for the exploration of such places. Some might say that this was too much, but the old tunnels had a tendency to be dangerous and entirely devoid of light, making it only careful to bring such an array of things.

As I stood before the entrance of the mine (which had undoubtedly been full of money-hungry miners and prospectors long ago), I found myself feeling… strange about the place. It was a feeling of which I can in no way describe fully; I can only say that it was neither positive nor negative. Rather, it was a kind of… anxiety, an understanding that this place would be… different. Looking back, I think that deep down I had known my fate would change that day, that my entire life would become altered by that loathsome expedition into the deep unknown. But rather than take this as a sign to turn away, my excitement twisted it so that I would only expect something marvelous.

In my mind, greatness awaited me in that cursed tunnel.

And so, I turned on my flashlight and began my journey into the core of terror itself.

————-

As I pressed onwards into the mine, I began to become disconcerted by a couple of things. The first of which was how singular the tunnel was; not once did it split off or turn in any other direction, rather it kept going in one continuous path. The second was that there was a distinct lack of relics, which were usually quite common amongst abandoned mines, especially those which had been utterly unexplored. And finally, the entire tunnel was quite steep in its decline, so much so – in fact – that I found considerable difficulty in trying to walk back up. It was as if the miners were digging directly towards something deep in the earth rather than searching for a large gold deposit as was ordinarily the circumstance.

All of these strange details did nothing but pique my curiosity, my mind began to race with ideas as to what awaited me further in the mine.

After a half hour or so, I came to a solidly smooth wall. It stood completely vertical before me without any chips or slants in it what so ever, which I found quite unusual. The obstruction was to be the end of my expedition, I thought.

Oh how wrong I was. For after examining it for a few seconds, I noticed a large… gap. Entirely natural from the look of it unlike the man made mine shaft I stood in. It appeared as if the walls had simply… pulled apart from each other, leaving a perfectly narrow passage through which one could potentially travel if he or she chose to do so.

Normally, I would have decided that it was far too dangerous to travel through such a claustrophobic crevice, but this was not a normal circumstance. I do not know for certain what compelled me to fit myself into the small opening, though I suspect that the draw of a fated destiny I had felt since entering the mine played a major role.

As I traveled through the encroaching rock and stone, I began to become weary that the passage would never come to an end, and if it did, that end would be a solid wall or a sudden and non-traversable narrowing of the tunnel. And on top of that, a strange… sensation began to arouse within me. It was entirely different from the feeling I mentioned earlier, rather it was an inkling much more similar to fear.

At the time, I figured that it was only natural considering my predicament; I was traveling through an extremely dark and narrow passage that could lead nowhere after all. But looking back, I suspect that the source of my dread was far more sinister in nature.

After what felt like an eternity of slowly making my way through the crevice, I finally came to its end. Only, it wasn’t an end. Rather, it was an opening. What greeted me was not a solid wall or sudden narrowing of the tunnel, quite the opposite really; it was an exit, a way to escape the passage. Upon emerging from the crevice I found myself in an immense cavern which impressed upon me a feeling of utter awe.

Darkness enwrapped me on all sides, seemingly relentless in its attempt to consume me. As I shone the flashlight up, the sight that greeted my eager eyes was not dissimilar to the night sky, the only difference being the utter lack of stars or any kind of light. The same scene welcomed me on all sides but two; downwards and behind me. The solid rock on which I stood and the ancient looking stone wall to my rear from which I’d come was all I could definitively see and feel. Everything else was a mystery to me.

Whether it was the horrid darkness or the absolute absence of any kind of noise or smell, I do not know; but something prompted a strong intuition from deep within my conscious that made me feel as though the cavern was of colossal proportion. And try as hard as I did, my meager flashlight did little to illuminate both the cavern and my knowledge of what exactly surrounded me.

I reached down to the floor, picked up a loose pebble and threw it as far as I could into the looming blackness. The sound received by my ears perplexed me for it was not the noise of rock meeting rock; rather it was the loud echoing thud of rock meeting metal. I snapped a glow stick and placed it at my feet, marking the entrance to the cavern. Then, curiously, I began to move forward with extreme caution, aiming my flashlight directly ahead of me while doing so.

It was only after a couple minutes of traveling that the tone of my boots meeting the stone beneath my feet changed to a sound more similar to the metal thud I had heard earlier. I aimed my flashlight downwards to see a metal – which appeared to be bronze – dug into the solid rock of the earth. My eyes widened as I came to the realization that I was standing on solid bronze. Not bronze ore, not some mutated form of rock, no; solid bronze metal, Bronze that had been melted down and shaped this way. I took to a crouching position and gave the metal a soft knock with my knuckles, which emitted a loud echo throughout the cavern. Based on the tone of the knock, I could immediately discern that the bronze was not hollow and that it was indeed a thick layer of melted alloy.

Curiosity overwhelmed me.

I snapped a glow stick and placed it at my feet, marking the rim of the metal. I began to walk along the threshold in which the bronze and the stone collided, but never mixed. And as I did so, I did not encounter a single corner; only a monotonous curve which (after a long while) led me back to the glow stick I had placed earlier. It was then that I understood the outlining shape of the alloy; it was perfectly circular. And not only that, but in my “measuring” I came to have a rough understanding of how truly enormous both the cavern and the plate of metal must be.

Anyone who knows anything about nature knows that perfect circles are not overly abundant in our natural world; especially when in the form of a solid bronze-like metal and as deep underground as this. Needless to say, I was breathless.

Now that had I traced the shape of the metal, I desired to explore the center of the circle. Yet despite my spilling curiosity, I was still cautious; and so my steps towards the core were slow and hesitant. As I moved forward, I shone my flashlight all around the surface on which I stood, and I as I did so I began to notice something… unusual.

There were lumps protruding from metal, finely chiseled and erected by something other than nature. It was only upon closer inspection that I discovered that they weren’t quite lumps, rather they were symbols and glyphs. And their positions were not random either; they were arranged like lines of writing, one after the other, in a circular fashion following the disk-like outline of the metal. They appeared to be hieroglyphs or some form of ancient script.

Growing up, the exploration of old mineshafts was not my only interest; I also had an extreme fascination with lost cultures from long ago. The Maya, the Inca, even my own Native American ancestral roots. I had studied many of the ancient dialects of lost civilizations from all over the world, but none of them were anything like the archaic chirography that lay around my feet. In fact, the dialects I had studied seemed to be derived from the writing before me, for many of their combined letters and alphabets seemed uncannily similar to the glyphs around me.

Lost in wonderment at the marvel on which I stood, I began to understand the impact this archaic alloy could have on the world. My mind raced with possibilities as to its origin, yet I could not settle on any one conclusion. The only thing I felt certain of in that eerily large cavern was that the circular plate of metal predated any known civilization.

Feeling more confident in my safety, I pushed onwards towards the center, more determined than ever to see what awaited me.

Eventually, I found myself standing before a circular pedestal made of the same bronze-like metal as the disc-like plate on which I stood. Its height reached up to my abdomen (I was roughly 5’9” at the time) and within the basin like top of it was a sphere, which appeared to be made of the same alloy as the pedestal. There was more strange writing on the sphere; and even though the hieroglyphs were entirely foreign to me, I was somehow able to read them.

“Carnate, the tormentor; devourer of worlds and father of all misery.”

Upon understanding them I became disgruntled and unsettled; even more so than I had been previously. There was a certain… Allure to those words. I felt the desire to grab the object and pull it from its pedestal, but I refused to give in and quickly turned my attention downwards to the flat face of the otherwise circular pedestal in an attempt to escape the sphere’s power over me.

I shone my light upon the surface of the odd column of strange alloy, immediately noticing the odd carvings that had been etched into it as I did so. What was depicted on that abnormal pedestal I shall never forget; just like the symbols on the sphere, they will forever be etched into my memory. Never before had I seen something so intricate in nature. Yet, despite its beauty, there was a certain terror to it.

Many of the figures and shapes were too bizarre for me to understand, but I will do my best to correlate their appearance to you. At the base was a row of consistent zigzags, which I perceived to be some sort of fire. Erecting from the “flames” were what appeared to be two rectangular pillars which were covered in the same hieroglyphics as those inscribed into the bronze floor. There were many other shapes and lines scattered about the mesh of images, none of which I can describe or identify in any way. All save one; which appeared to be the centerpiece of the network of images.

Although I found it quite baffling to stare at, I could vaguely discern what it was – or what it was depicting at least. It was a humanoid shape topped with an odd head, a head which appeared vastly different to that of a human’s. Its shape was similar to a dog’s skull, yet from both sides of its head protruded goat-like horns that curled continuously.

Even if it was merely an image, it still felt as if all the evil in the world had come together and spawned the horrible thing which sat engraved into that pedestal before me. It inspired nothing but unmistakable fear within me, fear so primal and basic that it felt more like a memory than an emotion – as if distress at the sight of this beast had been hardwired into the basic programming of my psyche. And as I continued to stare at it, I couldn’t help but think back to the strange phrase which had been written into the sphere of the basin.

“Carnate, the tormentor; devourer of worlds and father of all misery.”

Again and again, those unexplainable words ran through my mind.

That strange desire returned to me then, forcing me to turn my gaze upwards toward the sphere in the basin of the pedestal. Out of an unexplainable impulse, I placed my hand over the object and began to softly caress the odd hieroglyphs which covered the strange sphere. It felt warm, like a battery would after being used. That irrepressible urge overwhelmed me then; I gripped the sphere in my hand in preparation to remove it. For but a fleeting moment, I felt hesitant; but only for a moment.

I shall forever consider that simple action to be the biggest mistake of my life.

I pulled the sphere from the pedestal in one smooth movement, relishing the feel of it in my hand. My joy was only momentary, however, for it was only a second after that a loud and terrifying click echoed from beneath my feet, which was followed by a low tremble.

Frightened by the sudden noise and slight shaking of the earth, I began to run towards the crevice through which I arrived so that I could escape. It was only after stepping off of the metal and onto the solid rock that I heard another noise behind me, a noise which I cannot identify for it was in no way similar to anything I had heard in my life until that moment. The noise was so curious, in fact, that I felt compelled to stop and turn around. And as I so did so, I was greeted by a radiate light unlike any other. It was golden in color, yet sinister in nature, for as it washed over me and the cavern I could feel nothing beside fear. And stranger still, it seemed to be originating from the odd hieroglyphics which had been so carefully inscribed upon the bronze-like metal floor.

It was then that the metal itself began to mutate into a rust colored liquid and spread into the surrounding rock, transforming the ancient stone into the same copper-brown tinted metal the liquid once was.

I remember feeling my eyes widen in pure wonderment, for I had never seen anything like that before. Deep down, I believe I knew that it was an omen of what was to come; I believe I had some suspicion trying to convince me that such a beautifully odd sight could only herald something so primordial and awful that I would never be able to erase it from memory.

Yet I continued to stare with awe entirely present in my expression as the brownish metal spread through the rock and stone that made the floors and walls of that dreadful cavern. And as it did so, I could see the familiar engravings forming within the freshly created alloy, just as they had appeared when I first laid eyes upon them.

A loud boom drew my attention from the cavern walls and toward the origin of the metal; the space in which the strange alloy had once so quietly resided. Only now, there was no metal; only a perfectly circular hole in the earth, a pit from which only an indescribably putrid smell emitted.

My wonderment faded, and fear once again became the most prominent emotion within me; it compelled me to move towards the exit, which had – for a reason still unknown to me – not been covered by the bronze-like metal. Yet, despite the desire to run away, my feet remained planted and as immovable as stone. For although fear compelled me to flee, some dwindling fascination with the pit forced me to stay.

All I could do was stare at that terrible pit, eyes wide and flashlight fixed upon its position, which was just within range. My heart climbed into my throat out of anticipation and anxiety – and for the briefest moment – all was as silent as it had been before the loud noise.

Suddenly, a large, red hand with enormous claw-like nails emerged from the pit and slammed onto the metallic edge of the pit, apparently gripping it for support.

Fascination abandoned me then, and fear took full control.

I turned towards the crevice through which I had entered and broke into a sprint, never before had I ran so desperately or desired to return to the fresh rays of the Nevada sun so badly. My legs carried me swiftly and it wasn’t long until I found myself at the mouth of the narrow passage.

Feeling assured of my escape, I turned for what could only have been a few seconds to see what had inflicted so much terror upon me. Concerning what met my eyes in that horrific moment, I will say little; for I do not wish to dwell on the memory too long lest my torment grow further.

What greeted me was… Unfathomably horrific in every aspect imaginable. It seemed to be the upper half of an incredibly massive and red skinned humanoid looming out of the pit. Its entire body appeared to be coated with some sort of burgundy tinted slime, which dripped in massive globules from its body. And beneath its skin I could see writhing shapes and figures. Upon seeing them, I could just… Feel that they were alive within the beast and that they were all gripped by a pain far more severe than anything any man alive or dead has ever experienced.

And connected to the torso was that familiarly hideous dog-like head which had been engraved upon the pedestal; only now I could see it clearly and without confusion. Its spiraling horns were tremendous and seemed to seep with nothing but agony, and its eyes… its eyes were indescribable. They were a color I had never viewed before, and never wish to view again. By merely looking at them, I could feel pain course through my body, pain unlike anything I would have been able to imagine before. Its head was, as the pedestal had foretold, incredibly canine in nature. Only there was no fur or hair of any kind, only blood colored skin crawling with tormented shapes and burgundy slime dripping from its impossibly large teeth.

That brief eternity of staring at one another ended, however, when the creature opened it large lipless jaws to let out a roar so intense in volume that it knocked me and my flashlight backwards into the passage through which I had come. A loud noise followed the roar, and as I perked my head up to peer out of the narrow tunnel I could see the familiar rust colored liquid spreading over the mouth of crevice in which I lied; transforming into that same bronze-like alloy covered in strange hieroglyphics and creating a barrier between me and the thing from the pit.

And then I ran.

Concerning my escape through that ancient tunnel, I remember little for I was in such a hazy and panicked condition that I can hardly recall a thing. Apparently, I was discovered sprawled out on a road near the mine by a night-time driver and was promptly taken to a hospital. I was treated for a couple broken bones and minor cuts there and thereafter questioned as to how I had ascertained such injuries. I could provide no answers, only a blank stare. When I was finally released from the hospital, I was given all of my belongings back. Among them was the horrid sphere which I had recovered from that retched abyss.

————-

And that’s it. That’s my story, my encounter. That’s my recounting of the day I came face to face with genuine evil, evil so true in its form that no man could fully understand it. I know neither what it is nor where it came from, and I don’t want too. Though, I feel certain that both the metal and the giant were not of this world; earth would never be able to conjure such things naturally.

For the past six years I’ve lived in misery because of what I experienced in that damned cave. Whenever I close my eyes I see that terrible face with those horrible eyes and those awful horns… and every time I do the fear I felt in that moment fills me once again. I don’t sleep anymore. I just lay there with my eyes open, too afraid to close them. And I can still hear that roar, every second of every day, reverberating through my memory; as if I were still there in that horrid cave of nightmares.

That’s not the worst part either. The worst part is that I know I’m not insane, I know that what I saw was real. I know it’s still out there, pounding away in its metal prison. And I know that a day will come when it is freed once again, and that day will be our last. That day will be the one in which we join the writhing shapes beneath its skin, when our blood becomes the burgundy slime that drips from its unnatural body. And although that day can be eternally delayed, it can never be prevented.

Whether you perceive me as a raving madman or as a prophet preaching our doom, I do not care. For these words are to be my final, these thoughts to be my last. Every man has a breaking point, and I have reached mine; there is a gun in my hand and I intend to use it. Not on anyone else, mind you, for they yet have hope and reason to live in their hearts; they have not seen what lurks beneath. This weapon, so commonly associated with sadness and war, is to be my salvation. I find it oddly heavy.

Do not waste your time searching for the sphere either; for I have stowed it away in a place where it shall never be found.

Consider this last request to be my will in its entirety; seek neither the mine nor its inhabitant for you will only find a nightmare more horrific than anything you have dared imagine. And then the beast, Carnate, will be free.

Credit To – Zyon J.

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Those We Dare Not Speak

July 20, 2014 at 12:00 PM
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People often think they are sure of what’s real and what’s not, they think they know the difference between reality and something that’s otherwise made up. The question however is where does one draw the line drawn, when does a story someone tells you cross over from being seen as true to something that’s obviously false. Until recently I’ve never really thought about this sort of thing, before now everything just seemed so simple. The sad truth of the matter is that even now as I’m typing this I’m not sure if I’m dreaming or if I’ve already begun to lose my mind.

It started about four days ago when I was rummaging in one of the countless boxes that were being sold off from an estate sale. The owner had apparently died and their effects were being sold off by the family as they themselves didn’t really want anything to do with them anymore. The thing is I’m kind of a collector of objects that happen to pique my interest, usually old or antique, and have noticed that these sorts of sales are much better in price then if you were to go to an actual shop.

Over the years I’ve found some pretty good stuff, not always, but sometimes, and have been able to get away with only paying a fraction of what I would otherwise. However, recently I managed to find something that made me increasingly curious, a book bound in leather. The cover of the item was blank, and after flipping through the pages I found that everything inside was hand written. At first I thought it was a journal, that is until I went to the first page again and looked at it more carefully in which case I found that it read, “Notes on Folk Lore” written in black, nicely done handwriting. I had begun to wonder how old it was but could not for the life of me find any sort of date or indication of when or by who it was made which only made the book more mysterious. While I was never big into that sort of topic I none the less thought that between the unknown age and interesting look of the tomb that it would be worthwhile to purchase it.

After paying for it I then brought it home and immediately opened it up at my desk before beginning to slowly paw through it. At first, inside the pages were notes on story’s and creatures that one would expect to find inside your standard book on the subject. However, as I read on I noticed that some of the things written inside were pretty frightening or otherwise downright grotesque in the detail given on specific legends. Still I was unfazed, they were just stories after all, just like any other one would read, story’s researched and catalogued by whoever had happened to have taken the time to write them down. It only took about two hours before making it to the end of the relatively small volume which brought me to the last piece of notes on a group of creatures I had never heard of.

It was entitled “Those We Dare Not Speak” and described beings that lived in the realm of dreams. The book said that when a person sleeps their souls enter another world, that this is the world where our dreams take place. It indicated that these creatures, while usually not interested in interfering with humans will sometimes become mischievous and interact with them if they see fit, but that’s when the story began to resemble a fairytale strait out of Grimm’s. It said that there were some who were not simply mischievous but downright sadistic, that some of them if they happened to find someone that they took a liking to would torment and torture them every moment they were asleep.

The section went on to note that in some cases these creatures, especially the more powerful ones would be able to leave their own realm and enter a person’s waking life in order to induce madness and even death, all for the sake of their twisted enjoyment. As I read this it made me shiver like none of the other entries had for it seemed to strike a nerve, although at the time I was not sure why. As I read on, the book noted that it was the individual names of the creatures that if spoken enough could somehow lure or attract them to the one who was willing to speak their name. Apparently it was this fact that made the few names that may have been known by whatever culture that had originally believed in such things taboo, and eventually forbidden to say or write in an attempt to minimize the chance that one could intentionally or unintentionally draw one of these things to themselves.

While it was still a bit creepy, the idea that just by saying something out loud could somehow make an inter-dimensional monster attack you in your dreams or something of the sort was actually somewhat comical, so much so that after I read that line I began to laugh, if only a little. After getting that out of my system I looked to see if there was any more of the entry only to realize that the only thing left was a scribble made in the margin which read, “Note: It was very difficult but I managed to find one name belonging to one of these supposed beings ”. Underneath this was a circled word which was apparently the name that the author of this book had found. I looked closer at it, trying to see how it would be pronounced as it seemed to be written in some other language which should have been obvious given that the tale itself was probably from some distant country.

Without even considering the fact that any of what was written was true, I slowly said aloud the name with little in the way of hesitation. In retrospect I must admit I regret it, it’s something I should have never done but this is where the so called knowledge of fact and fiction comes in to play, I thought it was fake, that nothing could possibly come of it. After speaking the name a number of times while at the same time trying to get the pronunciation right I noticed that the more I said it the smoother it became and that in fact the name itself had a rather pleasant sound to it. I attempted to think of the region that such a name would have come from but was unable; I suppose it was just too foreign.

After I finished reading I noticed it had gotten late, and with me having work in the morning decided to shut the book and get to sleep. After slipping into my small, but cozy bed before I knew it I was fast asleep, the thought of the book that still lay on my desk only a fading image as I drifted off. Slowly I awoke, only to find that I was no longer in my bed. Looking around I saw that I was standing on some sort of scorched earth. The ground was dark and cracked, while in the immediate vicinity there was nothing, no trees, buildings, just desolation. Even the sky itself was a swirling mass of dark clouds moving faster than I had seen them ever do before.

It became clear that this was a dream, but I had never before been aware of anything while actually being in one. The first thought that came upon me was that maybe I was in some sort of a lucid dream, that I was now conscious and could perhaps make this world suited to my own desires. I tried multiple times to change my surroundings but nothing worked. It was then that a chill ran up my spine as the feeling that something was watching me began to take effect. I looked behind, towards the source or the feeling only to find what I first thought was another person standing about ten feet away. I immediately started too backed up, almost tripping on a slightly raised piece of the parched ground beneath me but managed to catch myself before falling.

Seeing me in this state seemed to amuse the thing that now stood before me as I could see a smile curling on its pale sickly skin, a menacing smile that seemed to make it clear that maybe it wasn’t human after all. Until that moment I had never felt such a strange amount of fear, it was at a level that I can’t explain. By sheer instinct I wanted to run but my legs would not move, as if I was a deer caught in the headlights of an oncoming car. With me being frozen in place the creature began to walk towards me, its white hair covering its eyes leaving only that terrifying smile plastered on its face.

As it walked, everything about it started to cause my fear to increase. From its thin, malnourished looking body, to its slender hands which had small but sharp looking claws at their ends the aura that seemed to emanate from it grew more and more the closer it came. During all of this I had begun to forget that I was sleeping, that everything I was seeing was nothing but an illusion, it all just seemed so real that I began to think that this was the end, that I was going to die here and now in some unspeakable way. With all my strength I managed to regain control of my previously paralyzed legs and turn around but not before the creature was able to speed forth, grabbing me by my neck with one hand while piercing my eye with its other.

The pain was beyond anything I had ever felt, something that made me think even more that this had to be real, as far as I knew one wasn’t supposed to feel pain in a dream but here I was in total agony. Using its two fingers I could feel it twisting inside my eye socket, its claws scraping against my skull, while the signature smile only widened, showing off its slightly pointed teeth. Even with it being so close its eyes remained unseen as its thick white hair continued to veil them. Still, I could feel them staring, gazing past the surface into my deepest thought. I cried out in desperation, “Why, stop, please stop it, I didn’t do anything, why are you doing this!” and with that the creature came closer, its mouth closing in on my ear and said in a gleeful tone, “You called upon me, didn’t you? You’re all mine now”.

In an instant I woke up in my bed, dripping with sweat, and my heart pounding. The pain continued to persist although I was able to see out of the eye that the creature in the dream had attacked. Running into my bathroom I turned on the light and checked the area fervently, trying to find some form of damage. To my relief there was none, and soon after the pain dissipated as well. I washed my face, and walked back to my bed, sitting at the edge. Looking at the clock on my bed stand I found that there was still about two hours before I normally got ready for work. Deciding I needed to relax I got dressed and left my apartment, thinking that by walking to a nearby diner for an early bite might help my nerves.

As I made my way there, the images of what transpired ran through my mind. Trying to piece together a logical explanation I then came to the conclusion that it must have been a lucid dream gone awry, a conscious nightmare brought on by that stupid book I had read earlier. Yes, that had to be it, or at least that’s what I was thinking. It made perfect sense after all, like watching a horror movie and eating junk food before bed, nothing more. The rest of the day went as I had planned, the diner helped to relax me, and work was relatively peaceful although boring as it usually was. When I returned home I was somewhat drained, all I wanted was to sleep but the thought that I would fall into another miserable nightmare kept me from doing so. At first I watched some TV, then moved on to messing around on the computer, I did anything I could to stay awake even though I had to get up early again tomorrow.

I did this until around two in the morning which was when I unknowingly began to doze off. Feeling myself slipping away I pinched myself hard on the arm which briefly gave me a shot of energy. I asked myself what I was doing, why I was letting such a stupid fear control me, it was fake, it wasn’t real, this is what I told myself over and over again In order to keep myself thinking logically. However, all of the sudden that familiar feeling that something was nearby filled me once more, the same ominous aura from before began to permeate the room. I didn’t care what it was, whether it was simply my mind playing tricks on me or if it was indeed happening, all I wanted was to escape the suffocating miasma that began to engulf me.

In a flash and without further thought I bolted out of the room and shut the door behind me but the feeling persisted all the same. Clutching my head, I leaned up against the adjacent wall, staring at my door, not knowing what was happening to me. I wondered if something was truly in there, if it was waiting for me to come back or if I had snapped, if I was literally going insane. Looking to either side of me I noticed there was no one, the hall was empty, nor were there any sounds from the various rooms located within. It was silent; everything was too quiet except for the sound of my breathing and the dull thuds of my heart which beat faster and faster as I began to lose my grip on reality.

Just then, the squeaking sound of the doorknob in front of me cut through the air as it slowly turned, causing me to scream out as loud as I could. I don’t know why I did it, maybe it was hopefully so someone would hear me, or maybe it was just an uncontrollable response given everything that was happening, all I know is that everything disappeared and I again woke up in my bed. I couldn’t believe it, was all that a dream too? Everything seemed so vivid which only served to confuse me further. I sat up, ripping off the blanket before staggering into the bathroom. Their I stood; looking at myself again in the mirror not knowing if I was still asleep or awake.

Slumping against the door I laid on the ground, not caring about work, or the time, or anything. I think I finally realized that I don’t know anymore, I don’t know anything. Sure, there may have been a logical reason for everything that was happening, maybe I fell asleep again, I mean I was definitely tired so it’s not outlandish to consider it as a possibility. Maybe I just had another nightmare; maybe I was becoming overly stressed. Sure, these were good reasons why everything was happening as they were, but they failed to help me regain my composure. It’s been two days since then, two days since iv slept, or at least I thinks that’s how long.

Since then I buried that terrible book under some junk in my desk, right now I can’t even think of looking at it again. I wanted to put everything behind me, but still, I often feel like something is watching me, that something is coming for me but is just dragging things out for its own entertainment. I try to find where it’s coming from, the source of this presence, I try to get a glimpse but I never catch sight of it and before I know it the feeling is gone in an instant leaving me wondering if I really felt anything at all to begin with. I want to tell my friends what’s been happening, to have someone to talk to about all of this but I know they’ll never believe me and maybe their right not to. I haven’t even been to work since everything began to break down, I just can’t figure out what to do anymore. I’m tired now, so tired, but I can’t sleep, I can’t let myself do that again, but seeing this all in words makes me doubt myself even more, it’s crazy, this can’t be what’s happening.

Thinking about all of this now, after writing it all out I’m closer to the realization that maybe I’ve already lost it, but then again perhaps this has all been a series of bad dreams, maybe I’m in one right now and soon that “thing” will come out once more to haunt me, to torture me. I just…want it all to be over.

Credit To – Auctor

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Sonnet of the Deep

July 19, 2014 at 12:00 AM
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Kevin found it in his grandparent’s scummy old pond. He’d been chaining a pack of ten and watching the butts drift across the nebulous waters when he spotted it; dark and flat, floating motionlessly on the surface. Had it been there a moment ago? He must have missed it. Either way, it certainly wasn’t a piece of broken fence or a branch. There was no telling what that crazy bitch had thrown into the pond before she went AWOL. It could be something valuable.

He snatched up a long-handled net leaning against the nearby fence and fished the object out of the water. It was a box.

The surface was slick with slime and algae and the keyhole was clogged with silt and dirt, but he thought the craftsmanship looked fine nonetheless and decided to work on opening it later, providing the hinges weren’t rusted shut. He would have asked the old woman about it, but obviously that wasn’t possible: his grandmother was gone, most likely dead. He thought her only neighbour probably was too, judging by the dilapidated state of the only other house he’d passed on his way here. The damn roof had collapsed in on itself, for fuck sake.

Running the pads of his fingers across the box’s surface, he thought: I’ll ask granddad next time I visit, if I can get a sane word out of the old relic.

But he only visited the Blackwood Home, with its grimy walls, grim faced orderlies and iodoform scented corridors once a year – and only then if he could help it.

He hoped the old man would die soon; thirty miles was a hell of a trip to make every July. More to the point, he supposed, was that he was scared. Scared that one year, he would arrive with his customary cheap card and even cheaper present, only to find the old sailor lucid enough to ask him about that night. About the break in, and the masked intruder who had beaten an old woman unconscious before stomping on an old man’s head until it cracked like a rotten egg, until pieces of brain were splattered all over the linoleum like yesterday’s porridge.

Or ask him how the intruder had known to look for their jewellery and cash in the nook beneath the kitchen sink.

His grandmother had disappeared shortly afterwards, vanishing without even a single goodbye. Only now, seven years on, had she finally been declared dead in absentia.

He stowed the box in his backpack alongside the few odds and ends he’d found that looked remotely valuable: a gold (he didn’t know if it was real, though) plated fountain pen engraved with a date – 13-07-83 – that was meaningless to him; a pale-skinned porcelain doll in a frilled baby-blue dress with dirty golden ringlets, which he’d wrapped in an old t-shirt to hide its unerring grin; an elaborate silver frame containing a photograph of all the grandchildren and the smiling grandparents – he’d thrown the photograph away. There were other things, as well, but he wasn’t sure if they would be worth anything, and as such hadn’t bothered with them.

Mostly the house had been crammed with junk, sentimental shit acquired during his granddad’s naval career: boxes and boxes of washed-out photographs; amateur oil paintings of ships and lighthouses and anchors; pieces of driftwood lashed together and mounted on the walls; coils of rope thicker than Kevin’s leg; an enormous rusted anchor in the basement. How the latter had found its way through the narrow doorway and down the rickety flight of stairs, he didn’t know. His Nikes were still damp from slogging around up to his ankles in water while he was down there. Fucking foundations were probably subsiding by now.

A bird cawed overhead, snapping Kevin from his thoughts. He ran a tattooed hand across his shaved head, which was dripping with sweat. There was nothing else out here. He headed inside to dry out his shoes and eat. As he crossed the threshold, he thought he saw a drape in the hall twitch, and the scent of iodine seemed to linger in the air. But of course, that wasn’t possible, and seconds later the smell was gone.

~

Kevin was slouched in his granddad’s high-backed chair next to the patio doors with his muddy boots – he’d changed out of his Nikes – propped on the once-pristine coffee table and a greasy slice of pizza dripping between his fingers. Old sea charts and framed navigational maps, cracked and yellowing with faint blue ink barely visible, adorned every wall. A brazen brass telescope was mounted above the empty fireplace, and a score of wooden ships dotted the mantle. Pieces of rigging hung from the low ceiling, and fat black spiders made their homes amidst the dark wooden joists.

The whole place stank of salt and damp wood, and the wooden fishermen in every room, with their pointed beards and jovial eyes, were downright spooky. He’d turned three of them around to face the wall already, but there were dozens he’d missed. Mildew ran rampant in the corners and dark places of the house. He hadn’t expected to find any medals; he knew they’d all been revoked following the old man’s dishonourable discharge. Kevin didn’t really know all the details, nor did he care to. A bound man thrown into the Atlantic, another drowned just off the coast of China and a third keel hauled halfway across the Baltic Sea. His granddad had been implicated in all three, alongside six other men, although none of them had ever been formally charged. The whole thing had been swiftly hushed over.

Probably the old man got what he deserved. Unlike me, Kevin thought. So far, I’ve got shit all.

And that was when he remembered the box. He rummaged through the backpack with his free hand, upturning a nearby vase filled with wilted daffodils with his elbow before his fingers closed around the slimy surface.

He was still scraping the last of the muck from the lid using a blunted knitting needle some time later, when the last rays of the setting sun reflected off the pond’s surface, staining the garden an ominous reddish-bronze. The box was much more detailed than he’d first thought; it was definitely worth something. The sides were etched with waves and whirlpools of the minutest detail, from which vague suggestions of great serpents and other beasts emerged. And once the lid was fully uncovered, it proved equally breathtaking.

A raging tempest, painfully detailed, littered with hundreds of shattered galleons. In the centre, blackness: a perfectly circular piece of dark stone set into the wood. Kevin ran his fingers across it – it was cool to the touch, surprisingly so.

Still, there remained the problem of opening it. Kevin knew that he could force it, but that risked damaging the box and its contents. Because the box was heavy; it had real weight to it. There was something in there. He’d get some rest for half hour or so, and then have a look around for the key. Tilting his head back, he shut his eyes and drifted off to sleep.

~

Kevin dreamed of waves. He was adrift in a tiny rowboat on a black ocean that extended as far as he could see in every direction. Dark clouds scudded across the sky, and thunderheads the colour of bruises grumbled ominously. But wait, that was wrong. The ocean wasn’t black. There was something moving beneath his boat, an unimaginable mass that darkened the water and roiled the surface.

He felt the boat rise beneath him, and he was pitched backwards into the abyssal waters. He was sinking, sinking, sinking to the depths. And something was moving down there, rushing through the darkness towards him. He opened his mouth to scream and the water poured in.

~

The bright, white light hurt his eyes. Kevin blinked like a mole dazzled by a torch, and then the world swam into focus. He was hunched over in front of the tiny window in the attic, affording him a perfect view of the moonlit garden and the mirrored surface of the pond. Strange, how it looked so much bigger from up here; so much more…oceanic.

What the fuck was he doing up here anyway? And what was that noise?

Dee-dum-di-dum-dum-dee

A soft, mournful tinkling, like putting your ear to a seashell or standing on the deck of a fishing boat in a light autumn rain; it was beautiful, yet it chilled him to his very core.

Dee-dum-di-dum-dum-dee

The box lay open at his feet, illuminated in a small pool of moonlight. The inside was a single compartment of plain wood, completely devoid of any carvings or images. Something silver was rotating slowly in the center. He reached for it with a shaking hand, and that was when the surface of the pond began to move.

A score of ripples spread across the still waters. A huge mass began to coalesce, moving sluggishly beneath the surface. Something sleek and dark broke the surface, lashing out and decapitating a nearby stone cherub.

Kevin watched transfixed as a smaller shape crawled forth from the water, moving with hunched deliberation across the lawn. The moonlight threw too many details into stark clarity; blackened skin like worn leather, bedraggled wisps of hair; sagging, lichen-covered breasts and arthritic hands curled into claws.

His grandmother stopped next to the headless cherub and looked up at the window, her eyes flaring with a hellish intensity, and smiled. Her teeth were mossy gravestone nubs. The wrinkled grey flesh of her thighs gave way to yellowing bone. Long silvery worms slithered through the hollow places of her body, and something many-legged and glistening emerged from a hole in the side of her skull and skittered sideways across her chest. Something that looked like a starfish clung to the side of her neck. But starfish didn’t have mouths bulging with razor sharp fangs.

She crooked a gnarled finger at him. Come on down, sonny. Let’s have us a little chit-chat by the water’s edge.

Dee-dum-di-dum-dum-dee

Behind her, the pond had swollen to monstrous proportions, the banks having long since fallen away. Water was spilling across the grass and onto the patio, jetting forth in geysers from the rapidly collapsing lawn. The sort of fish he’d seen on Discovery’s deep sea programs were floundering on the grass: phosphorescent and eyeless, utterly hideous. A crab the size of an Alsatian scuttled across the lawn and disappeared into the shrubbery.

The night itself seemed to take a deep breath, and the stars were snuffed out like so many tiny candles. Something gargantuan beyond comprehension broke the water’s surface. Piscine and loathsome, it bellowed in atavistic rage. The sound was deafening, like a blast from a ship’s horn. He had the sense of something crossed between an octopus and a dinosaur. No, that wasn’t right. The anatomy was all wrong.

He felt his mind slipping away like an eel between his fingers. This couldn’t be happening. He was dreaming. That was it. Of tentacles thicker than tree trunks and long spindly arms, at least three times the length of a stallion’s foreleg and ending in webbed claws the size of car bonnets.

Then the poignant tang of iodine once more filled his nostrils, and he knew he wasn’t dreaming. Something shuffled across the floorboards behind him. Wet breathing, coming in short shallow gulps like a fish out of water, and the squeak of rusty casters across rough wood.

The horror outside seemed to grow dim as Kevin turned to face his granddad. The old man’s piss stained hospital johnny fluttered in the draft from the window, exposing the wrinkled flesh of his thighs and buttocks. An IV pole trailed behind him, the bags deflated and crumpled. Tubes hung like transparent veins from his forearms.

Despite everything that was happening – and just how the hell had the old man gotten out? – Kevin found his eyes immediately drawn to the side of his granddad’s head: the side that was misshapen and crumpled, like a trodden on tin can. There was no guilt: only remorse.

He should have done things properly. He should have hit him harder. He should have fucking killed him.

Kevin stumbled to his feet as his granddad advanced across the cramped attic. And the old man was grinning, his saturnine features more animated than Kevin had seen them in all the years he’d visited him at the Blackwood Home. There he’d merely lain motionless and slack-jawed, drooling into a pillow that Kevin longed to hold over his face and shitting himself on an hourly basis.

There was water dripping through cracks in the roof now, and Kevin became aware not only of a sudden sense of scrutiny, but of an enormous pressure bearing down upon him, a tidal wave crashing over a coastal city, a force of incomprehensible enormity.

The grinning spectre before him fell to its knees with a sickening crack, sending the IV pole clattering across the floor. Splinters of bright white bone jutted from the old man’s kneecaps.

Somewhere in the gloom, the music box continued to sing its funereal song.

Dee-dum-di-dum-dum-dee

For a second, Kevin could have sworn he heard waves crashing against the side of the house.

And then the light disappeared. The room was engulfed in darkness, total and complete, and he found himself unable to see further than the tip of his nose. He could hear the old man’s laboured breathing, moving closer now. The sickly sweet stench of rotten gums and decaying teeth filled his nostrils, accompanied by the grate of bone against wood.

In desperation he whirled towards the window. And discovered why the world had gone dark.

The thing from the deep opened a cyclopean eye, and the attic was bathed in ultramarine.

His granddad, from the darkness, a rasp more like a rusted chain being lowered than a human voice: ‘…et akhlish… Nisroch… chtulzra dhrazgh et Nisroch boolusch…’ This was followed by a wheezy chuckling, a sound like water on the lung.

Then the roof exploded in a shower of tiles and wood, drowning out the guttural intonation, and an unimaginable pressure seized Kevin about the waist. His ribs snapped like matchsticks as he was lifted into the air. Red water spread across his vision. Only it wasn’t water, it was blood.

Through a haze of scarlet, he beheld a maw dripping with brine that was large enough to swallow an estate car and change. The stench was almost as overpowering as the pain crushing his torso, a thousand dead gulls rotting beneath the summer sun.

There was water everywhere, gushing from the pond at an impossible rate, and the garden now looked more like a small lake. Through a curtain of pain he could vaguely discern his grandmother scaling the thing’s vast body like a withered brown spider.

Kevin understood, in his final moments, that there was truly a God. But He didn’t love, and He certainly didn’t forgive. He was an old God. A God of the deep, whose fury against those above would be both beautiful and terrible to behold.

He was death.

Kevin’s shoulders dislocated with twin pops, and waves of searing agony rushed over him. Then he was gone, lost in pain and darkness. He died slowly. He died without hope.

~

Nisroch dropped the shattered human into the rushing water, threw back its head and roared with the wind. Rain poured from the sky, a hammering deluge that would, in the weeks to come, become a global catastrophe. One of the Seven walked the earth once more, and it would bring with it an ocean unending and suffering unbound.

Rain poured through the space where the attic roof had been, beating a relentless tattoo against the wooden floor. A torrent of water smashed through the patio doors, flooding the lower floor of the house and gushing out into the road. And amidst it all, the music box continued to sing.

Dee-dum-di-dum-dum-dee

Credit To – Tom Farr

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