The Five Of Them

August 14, 2015 at 12:00 AM
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Beware, boys and girls; beware Brie Woods!
It is no place for such young children;
Monsters are lurking in its shadows,
Big and small, wicked and kind.

There are brothers that roam those woods, five of them,
looking to either guide or slay its travelers.
Heed my warning, and you might survive;
Don’t, and your death is almost certain.

At the threshold stands the oldest, the Harvester,
the wisest and meekest of the brothers;
Who towers over all manor of man or beast,
Yet is more gentle than the morning dew.

Perhaps you know of the Harvester,
Who breaches the woods at dusk;
Who tills the fields as we sleep,
And returns before the break of dawn.

Yes, the Harvester has brought good fortune to our land,
But do not be deceived, children, for he offers no protection.
He dares not cross his brothers, as not his brothers him;
A blood bond that must never be broken between them.

All he offers is his wisdom and guidance,
For that is all he can give before you part ways.
But, take his words to heart and never forget,
For the other four beasts are not as kind.

Beware your surroundings, little ones,
For the fiercest brother pursues you.
The Stalker, lurking in the trees and shrubs;
Hunting the prey that roams its woods.

Yes, beware the Stalker, for he shows no mercy,
Like the lioness that watches over her cubs,
Or the hornets and bees that protect their hives;
He thrives on an abominable aggression fiercer than hellfire.

When I was young, we knew little of these beasts;
Believing them to be just that; beasts.
To us, mindless and animalistic in their nature,
And our actions were in accordance as such.

My father gathered many of our men for the hunt;
Setting out to slay these monstrosities that plagued our people.
I am still haunted by their lamentations that faded into the night,
Embraced by my weeping mother, who sought to shield me.

By morning, our eyes were laid on the wake of the hunt;
The men’s skins mended together into a gruesome banner,
Stretched out along the trees in the rising sun, displayed to all our people.
Their killer’s title inscribed across the flesh of my father and his men.

It’s true, survival cannot be guaranteed with this encounter,
But not incredible, for there is a way.
You must run, children, run fast and far;
Run and keep your sight forward, for behind is certain death!

This beast is bloodthirsty, and nearly relentless;
His pursuit will only end with one of two means:
The first, his hunt proves bountiful;
The second, his prey comes upon its other kin, the third beast.

Yes, bloodthirsty, but not the least bit foolish.
For once you are in the company of his younger brother;
You are no longer his prey, but the guest of the Sculptor;
The most vain of the five brutish siblings.

Unlike his brother before him, the Stalker,
The Sculptor is more cordial in the presence of strangers.
He even strikes many as a kind-hearted creature,
Appearing elegant and humble in nature.

But you are not beyond the realm of danger, children;
Although the Sculptor seems pure of heart,
He is truly self-obsessed, and easily offended.
From each guest, he demands nothing less than absolute glorification.

Once you’re in his presence, there are no early departures;
You are his guest until he grows weary of your company.
All the while, amusing him with melodies of flattering words and praises,
Be either his appearance or his talents, or even his artistic gifts.

As his name implies, the Sculptor’s most distinguishable trait is his sculpting;
Spending many countless hours molding, carving, and chiseling away.
And what of his materials, you ask, dear children?
Well, sometimes wood, other times clay, and few times unruly guests.

Which reminds me of this story of a huntsman from our village,
Who reeked with confidence, daring to accept any challenge.
To him, the five beasts of Brie Woods were just that;
A challenge that he sought to conquer.

At its threshold, he passed the Harvester,
Who sensed the determination of the huntsman.
He besought him to reconsider continuing forward;
“You will not make it far like that!” he warned.

The huntsman scoffed at the first beast’s pleas,
Presuming his words were a means of intimidation.
He continued into the woods, where the next of the five waited,
Leaving the gentle Harvester in a daze.

Well, days passed, then weeks, and then months;
And there was no evidence of the huntsman’s return.
Many wondered of his fate, but only I was determined to seek the truth.
In the dead of night, I slipped from my bed and hurried to the fields.

There, the lonesome Harvester tended the soil,
I anxiously asked, “What of the huntsman?”
The lofty creature looked down to me,
And with a somber note he answered;

“He was swift and spirited,
Eluding the Stalker’s grasp,
But was far too assured;
And was ceased by the presence of the Sculptor.

The Sculptor gave to him a nod,
But the huntsman did not return it.
The Sculptor gave to him his charm,
But the huntsman only gave to him his tongue.

The Sculptor prepared them a pipe and puffed once,
But the huntsman puffed twice.
The Sculptor prepared them tea and took a spoonful of sugar,
But the huntsman took two spoonfuls.

The Sculptor prepared them a feast,
But the huntsman gave him no thanks.
The Sculptor offered him a gift,
But the huntsman demanded more.

And the Sculptor was rattled.
But the huntsman remained odious.”
“But what became of him?” I persisted,
And the Harvester drew a small, crimson effigy from his hide.

“For the Sculptor, the company was excruciating;”
He sighed, bestowing upon me the sculpture,
“For the huntsman, his was dealt back tenfold.”
And with that, we spoke no more of the matter.

Leave your confidence at home, children;
For that was the mistake the huntsman made!
You should be timid and respectful,
Or you will be modeled into his next piece.

If the evening is satisfactory, you’ll be allowed to depart;
Only to continue deeper into the woods.
Confrontation with the fourth beast, however, is preventable;
Just fight shy of the scent of ginger and ash.

Though, like the Stalker, he may just find you instead;
The Brewer, the most debaunched of the five.
A stumbling, bumbling, drunken brute,
Seeking to indulge himself with a lavished feast.

He offers to all travelers of the woods his brew,
A deceptive concoction, contrived to tempt any mortal.
Enticing them with a heavenly scent that is nearly irresistible,
But you must resist, boys and girls!

Do not partake of the drink,
You cannot let it woo you!
With only a droplet of the repugnant ale,
You will fall into an eternal rest!

And when you are exposed and defenseless,
The Brewer lets his true intentions be known.
He devours his unsuspecting prey,
Slow and agonizingly, bit by bit.

Your will must be far greater to overcome this enticement,
It is the only thing that separates you from life and death.
The Brewer cannot force you to sip from his cup;
Neither drink, nor sip, or even taste the Brewer’s brew!

Try as he might, you must not succumb;
Brace yourselves and persist,
For you must regain your bearings for what waits ahead.
The fifth and final son of Brie Woods, the Spoiled.

With laughter like sobs, and sobs like laughter,
He skitters along the forest floor, like vile vermin.
Driven by a tormentful desire for what others possess,
He will do anything imaginable to acquire them.

The brat of Brie Woods stalks its wanderers,
Knowing what is most precious to them at that moment.
He will give you only one chance to decide,
With only two options to choose from.

You can surrender what he demands willingly,
And he’ll leave you to escape the woods;
Or, you can choose to refuse,
And he will relieve you of it in death.

You do not see many strangers to our village,
And that is owed to the Spoiled.
They are not as fortunate to first encounter the Harvester,
Who offers his guidance to ensure them safe passage.

No, for them, they travel with uncertainty,
With no understanding of what lurks in wait.
And when the Spoiled makes his presence know,
They attempt to resist him, and are met with a terrible fate.

A young outsider succeeded in escaping to the safety of our village,
Having eluded the beasts that would surely have stopped her.
And she recalled the chilling tale of how she survived,
And how truly horrific it was to have met with the Spoiled.

Her people had been wandering the land for much time,
Searching for a new home in times of famine.
Seeking what precious land waited for them on the other side,
They journeyed forth into the treacherous Brie Woods.

It wasn’t long before they were met by the youngest brother of the woods,
Who knew of the many goods and valuables they brought on their travels.
From each, he demanded what he claimed as his, or they would travel no further.
But, they were far too naive to submit to him, and instead sought to kill him.

The beast held his own against their men,
But was soon overpowered by their great numbers.
The Spoiled desperately cried out, as he would surely have perished,
But then, there came a fierce thunder from the woods.

And ferociously from the woods, came his four brethren;
The Brewer, the Sculptor, the Stalker, and the Harvester.
With wrathful intentions, they struck fiercely,
Slaughtering those that harmed their helpless baby brother.

Only one escaped the onslaught, the young outsider;
Who hid away in the trunk of a Weeping Willow,
Watching as her people were killed, looted, and devoured.
Then, slipped away to our village while the five brothers basked in their victory.

But, you see, children, her tale does not end there,
For her arrival has brought more trouble than good.
The Harvester has not tilled the fields in much time,
And our crop have ceased to grow, leaving us to starve.

The brothers of Brie Woods are scorned,
And demand from us atonement.
What wrong have we done?
We have stolen that which belongs to the Spoiled.

Tonight, children, we will atone for our sins,
And we will return what we so foolishly have taken.
Tonight, sweet children, say us a prayer,
For tonight we must go into the woods.

Credit To – Jonathan Tallent

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Rats

August 13, 2015 at 12:00 PM
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Every old house is bound to have a few rats, right?
I bought the old house the year I graduated from college. It was startlingly cheap for such a big house – two stories, multiple bedrooms, three bathrooms; conveniences that seemed luxuries after my tiny college dorm.
It was a very nice house, despite being located in the middle of nowhere. Because I had lived in a fairly large city for the majority of my life, the silence at the house was, by far, the worst thing about it.
I was used to the hum of the city, the constant drone of cars outside my window. Here, the nights were torture. The silence was louder than anything I had ever heard before. In my first week at the house, I threw away my old wall clock because its ticking – in the absence of any other noise – was so loud it was apt to drive me crazy.
This turned out to be a bad decision. The ticking was annoying, but it was at least a distraction from the other noises. I convinced myself every time the noises could be attributed to rustle of the wallpaper, a branch against a window, or the standard hums and bumps of an old house.
I wouldn’t admit even to myself that the noises did freak me out. That’s probably while the rats were, at least at first, a convenient excuse.
It was unreasonable to expect a vermin-free home in the middle of a forest, of course. But there were a lot of rats. I first noticed them when I opened a cupboard after my first trip to the store in the nearby town. I tried to put a loaf of bread in the cupboard and I was greeted by three huge rats, staring blankly at me with beady eyes. After that, I found more rats around – several in the basement, a few scuttling around the porch steps, the patter of their tiny paws in the attic, even a big, grey one in my bedroom.
Naturally, I purchased a few rattraps, which seemed to help the problem quite a bit. A few days after, I got a cat, too; a small, scraggly creature I bought for ten dollars in a Wal-Mart parking lot.
Soon, my new cat became so efficient at catching the rats that I no longer felt the need to purchase rattraps every few trips to the store. Though I never really liked animals, I began to grow close to that cat. I even started calling him Tom, which I believed to be a suitable name for a cat.
It would have been perfectly easy to feel content at that point. I was settling into my new home nicely, Tom was a good cat, and the vermin problem was under control. The only problem was that the noises hadn’t stopped.
They did quiet down for a while, just enough to explain them away. When I heard scratching, I would pat Tom between the ears and tell him he must have missed a rat or two. When I was sure something scraped against the window, it was probably just a limb on the tree outside. Once I thought I heard something moving in the basement – I asked myself what Tom could have been doing down there. Never mind that I had just seen Tom walk into the kitchen. There was always an excuse – usually, I blamed it on the rats.
After a few weeks, Tom wasn’t bringing dead rats to the doorstep anymore. I always patted him on the head and told him he’d just had bad luck. I didn’t let myself think that the cat had killed all of them – oh, no, then it would be harder to explain the noises.
Looking back, I suppose what started it was Tom pawing at the door, wanting out. It was late, and that cat had never wanted out at night before. I assumed he had seen a rat or some other small creature outside, so I let him out and went back to bed.
Not long after, I heard a relentless scratching noise outside my window. It was a harsh, scraping noise – not unlike fingernails on a chalkboard. I turned over and tried to get back to sleep, but the noise continued. Finally, I got up and went to look outside and see what the problem was.
Something had its face pressed against the glass.
It stayed there for just a second, but the fleeting image was enough. That sight will haunt my dreams for the rest of my life.
Its face was long and as white as bone. It had no eyes, but a red light seemed to burn deep within the pits in its skull. Black veins ran over its head, crisscrossing and bulging. The rest of its body was covered in a thick black fur. Then it was gone.
Once I had time to think on it, the creature was made even more horrifying by the fact that my room – and, of course, my window – were on the house’s second floor.
After it left, the sheer reek of it finally hit me. The whole night was filled with the smell of the thing, despite the fact it never entered my home – to my knowledge. The smell was sour and rotting, making me want to vomit.
I staggered back from the window, petrified by both the sight and the stench. I cupped my hands to my nose, my eyes watering and my legs shaking so hard I could barely stand.
I spent the rest of the night locked in my bathroom, a knife clutched in my hand, doubting what I had seen.
When morning came, the light gave me the courage to go outside. I remembered that I had let my cat outside, and I went around the house, calling for him.
It didn’t take me long to find him.
I won’t go into detail, but poor Tom didn’t even look like a cat anymore. I wanted to bury him, but the smell of the creature was all around him and, to be honest, I didn’t think I could get very close.
I was scared, and I was angry. This thing had killed my cat and taken away any hope of a quiet, safe life here.
Not knowing what else to do, I went to the police. I wasn’t hopeful they would do anything, but I knew I had to try. I was angry with their reactions – though I knew I would have reacted the same way. They didn’t offer any help with my problem, and only told me that if I didn’t like it, I should sell the house.
I drove home in a rage, intent on doing just that. I planned to put the house up for sale that very night. Let some other guy deal with that…thing.
I never got to my house. The thing was in my driveway.
In the light of day, I could see its clawed hands – huge, long paws with claws the size of my entire hand. It crouched on all fours, and though I was still a fair way from it, I could make out the expression on its face. I watched as it tilted its head to the side and…I could have sworn it grinned at me.
Naturally, I put my car in reverse with the intentions of never returning to that house again. As I drove away, I could hear it scream. Loud, almost scarily inhuman.
I got a new house and tried my hardest to forget. I didn’t tell anyone – who would believe me? All I said was that I found a good deal on a house in the city – not untrue – and that the house in the woods was just too quiet for my liking.
My new home is close to the city. It’s not as quiet here, but it’s undeniably more peaceful. I won’t deny that I still see that thing in my dreams, but I’m happy here. I got a new cat, one that seems even more friendly than Tom was. I even found a job so I can work nights, so that I never have to fear that thing staring at me in the darkness.
I won’t deny that sometimes I do hear noises. A scuffle in the basement. A rustle outside the window. Once or twice, even what seemed like scratching outside.
But, after all, every old home is bound to have a few rats.

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One Year Lease

August 13, 2015 at 12:00 AM
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The basement.

Gray. Concrete. Plain. Nothing special about the room at all, and yet.

Lit by bare florescent bulbs hanging in an aluminum fixture, it wasn’t a particularly shadowy place, and yet.

Shadows seemed to loom, just out of the corner of the eye.

No matter how often the bulbs were changed, they flickered. The landlord would be called, he’d show up in his battered old work truck, he’d change out the bulbs, he’d leave. Before he would go, he would test the lights.

When he was there, they’d never flicker.

Nothing had really changed in the basement since they moved in. It was stark, nearly empty. Unoccupied metal shelves lined two walls, the stairwell down occupied another, and an old Kenmore washer and dryer from the early 80s stood watch over the fourth wall. Beneath the stairs, the central heat blower, furnace, and exchange. Next to the dingy aluminum and steel of the climate control, there were only cobwebs.

And shadow.

Year round, the house was cold. When they first took residence in the old 50’s ranch-style, it was winter. The weather was a convenient and comfortable scapegoat for the chill in the air, but then came summer.

They never ran the window unit air conditioners.

Scapegoats became less comfortable and convenient.

The basement was, of course, the coldest room in the house, year round. Once in January, the waterline to the washer actually froze, and the landlord had to replace more than the overhead light.

There was no flood damage, since a large rectangular drain occupied the downward-sloping center of the basement floor. That, and the tenants kept nothing in the basement to be damaged.

The sounds of water dripping always seemed to come from that steel grate. It was dark, rusty, stained. Thick, almost like the sewer grates in a street.

Drip.

Drip.

No matter the weather, no matter the time of year.

Drip.

Her bedroom had an extra air exchange. Floor level, decorative cast iron, the headboard of her bed hid it. If it had been exposed, her frequent guests would have seen that it was painted white and flaking.

Hers was always the coldest bedroom, and she could sometimes hear the drips from the basement, like whispers in her pillow.

The first ninety days passed uneventfully for the group of friends in that affordable, if a bit run-down looking, three bedroom. They were each single, dating, vibrant and living the lives of young adults in a city filled with adult playgrounds. On day ninety one, she lost her keys.

They were found sitting on top of the washing machine.

It was laughed off, rarely discussed.

On day 95, the “prude” of the house came to knock on her bedroom door at 3:30am. “Christy, hold it down, will you? I’m tired of hearing you FUCK!” she yelled from the hallway.

Confused, Christy opened the door groggily.

“I’m alone, Tiff. What the hell are you talking about?”

“What? I heard you moaning and banging around in here like you usually do, but louder than usual,” Tiffany said.

“No, baby. Nope. I’m sleeping alone. Go back to bed, you were dreaming.”

Tiffany went back to bed, but she didn’t dream, or sleep, for the rest of the night.

Her favorite roommate was Josh. He dated a series of drag queens, so his overnight company was as varied as it was interesting. Shortly after moving in, his wicked sense of humor had him slipping index cards under Christy’s door whenever she was particularly vocal during her frequent nighttime aerobics. He’d rate her verbal performance in accordance with how well he perceived her partner was doing, on a scale of one to ten. Sometimes, she’d see the cards slipping in under her door, and others, she wouldn’t find until a restroom break. Josh made a game of it, often sharing the fun with some of his special friends.

There were quite a few nights when Josh would overnight elsewhere, and Christy would have the house alone, or just she and the prude would be home.

It was one of those nights where she was solo, 124 days after moving in, that she brought home a drummer. She was dancing to his rhythm when movement caught her eye; an index card slid beneath the door. She just smiled, thinking Josh was up to his tricks.

It wasn’t until day 125 that she learned Josh and Tiffany had both been out of town that night, and hadn’t been at home at all.

On day 202, Christy heard what she swore was the bouncing of a basketball and a child’s laughter from the vent behind her headboard. She chose to ignore it, roll over, and go back to sleep. On a trip to the restroom later that same night, she thought she heard the sound of a music box.

Josh loses his keys, Christy can’t find the remote control to her DVD player, and Tiffany’s watch goes missing. They are all found sitting on the bottom step of the basement on the two hundred and twenty first day of residence. Tiffany’s Timex had a face that showed AM and PM. It was stuck at 3am, and after she replaced the battery twice, it continued to stop at 3am before she replaced the watch entirely.

Day 279. Smells began. They ranged from summertime dumpster behind a Chinese buffet to clogged toilets in a busy gas station. They were daily, unpredictable, and lasted seconds (just a waft) to minutes (as many as 45).

The smells seemed to emanate from and be concentrated in the basement, but they could be detected in every room in the house.

The landlord finds no animals during his inspection of the entire property.

Day 295. Everyone in the house began using a laundromat. Trips to the basement stop.

Drip.

Drip.

Day 326. Christy had no quarters, was home alone, and out of clean clothes. She reluctantly descended to do laundry, calling a friend on the cell phone to chat away the clammy palms and coldsweat.

No unusual events occurred during her first trip to the basement.

While switching clothes from the wash to the dryer, conversation stopped, Christy screamed, and the phone was dropped. A child’s laughter and the sounds of a music box were clearly heard by her friend on the line.

A dirty, soot-blackened basketball didn’t roll out from the shadows beneath the stairs to hit her on the backs of the legs.

It bounced.

Credit To – Nick O’Caliban

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I’ve Plumbed This Whole City

August 12, 2015 at 12:00 AM
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It’s so easy to forget about what lies beneath the streets of the modern world. Towers that scrape the sky and estates that stretch on for miles, the urban sprawl we know so well. But a man who has seen what lies beneath the concrete can’t ever forget.

Sewers. The catacombs that snake through the underground. For every avenue there is a black tunnel that runs beneath it and for every house there is an allocated network of hidden pipes. Streets that bear no names. Only someone who has been there can truly appreciate the absolute and final darkness that inhabits this world below the world. Where the only sound one can be sure of is the flowing streams of waste where all manner of creatures not touched by the light fester and grow. This is the place where every footstep haunts the cavernous and silent halls and where every person subconsciously dreads to be, yet lives unknowingly above.

This is the place where I have worked for most of my life. The sewers of London were built in Victorian times, and the tunnels I spent my time in were well over one hundred and fifty years old. Built from a dull red brick and completely devoid of all modern comforts such as ceiling light bulbs. This was a subterranean world like no other, weaving shafts of stone built in arches, supporting pillars of the same brick dotted along the channels like sentinels guarding the ancient paths. The sewer was a network of smaller tunnels that all led off from the long and straight main shaft running underneath the centre of the city. This resulted in a labyrinth-like situation where one only had to make a wrong turn to be lost amongst the alleys and streets of the system. There were vertical pipes cut into the ceiling that led to the grates you see on the side of roads, put there to drain excess rainwater, but any light that attempted to enter through these was soon dispersed and beat back out of the sewers. This resulted, of course, in an almost pitch black environment as the only light present was the frightened white beam that struggled from the lamp on our hard-hats.

One of the company rules was that nobody could enter the sewers alone so I always did my rounds with a friend and colleague of mine, Oscar, or ‘Oz’ for short. For nine years me and Oz traversed the maze together, fixing leaks, directing waste flow and we became pretty good friends over this period. We drank together on weekends and regularly watched football games since we both had the same team. But the heaviness of the sewers made it hard to crack jokes or make decent conversation so most of our work was done in silence.

Silence was what predominantly made the sewers so unnerving. If you dropped a tool you would hold your breath as the metallic clang charged through the tunnels. You would look into the dark and half expect to see some unearthly fiend come crawling towards you, curious as to what had disturbed its quiet. But worse than this was hearing a sound you didn’t make. Over my time in the sewers, I always thought I could hear some kind of scuffling just behind the walls. Not like something was trying to claw its way out, but like it was moving around, just living. I always put these occurrences down to the silence playing tricks on me,but I could never shake the thought that there was more to the sewers than just an eerie feeling.
But how could I forget the smell. It never frightened me in the same way the darkness or silence did, but it was always there, the unmistakable stench of human waste clinging to you always. It made the air heavy and clogged your nostrils and throat.

However, the reason I write this is to document the occurrences of the fourteenth of June, year two thousand and fourteen.
Me and Oz were heading down into the sewers for the daily inspection. We had been down there for around three hours when we came across a damaged wall, a few turns off the main tunnel, along a minor shaft. The section of the wall had fallen in, almost as if it had been pushed from the outside, not a particularly strange occurrence since sections of the walls were always crumbling apart. The bricks had fallen but remained intact so I thought it would be an easy fix. I sent Oz away to the closest store room to return with some cement filler to reseal the wall with. I began to stack the bricks back into the hole, staring at the void behind. There seemed to be quite a large space there, which was unexpected since I had always believed that it was solid earth behind these walls, but I disregarded it as a small enclave in the rock and continued piling the bricks. But I could not disregard what happened next. I heard the scuffling again. Just a small scraping sound resonating from inside the void. I put down the bricks and listened. It lasted for about thirty seconds and then stopped. I was motionless and the air seemed to press down on me. Slowly, I built back my confidence and began once again to carefully stack the bricks, the knocking of the stones was a whimper that cut the atmosphere.

At this point in time, two things happened. Firstly I saw something. It was undeniably a face, it lifted its head from behind the wall and stared through the hole face to face with me, it made a sound, shuddering noises that sounded like a foreign language, but spoken in a way completely unlike any voice I’d heard. Next, my light cut out. I jerked backwards, fumbling for my spare batteries in utter darkness. Images of the creature raced through my mind. It was not a face unlike a human, the same size and shape. But it was bald and lacked any sort of eyebrows. Its skin was pulled taunt on its cheekbones and it was pale. Not pale as in the snowy white pale but as in monochrome grey, bordering on a sickly purple, almost translucent in its lack of colour, laced with dark veins. But its eyes were what caused me to panic. Small and pale they were, lacking any distinguishable pupils and filled with an empty and frightening aura.

The scuffling was back, but now, it was more like a heavy thumping. It came from all around me like a thousand of the creatures were beating their spindly hands against the brick. I abandoned my search for the batteries and instead ran backs though the shaft, sticking close to the damp wall. I turned the first corner and was blinded by the light atop Oscar’s helmet. He had come back from his journey to the storeroom when he had heard the pounding, which was now resonating from behind me, smashing the silence like a hammer against the anvil. I knew well that the exit we always took was down past the hole yet the thought of going back that way was too much to bear with only one lamp. I checked my pack only to find it gone, loosened from my belt when I had fallen at the hole most probably. Oz was staring wide eyed at the passage behind me and when I turned I could see why.

The creature must have attracted attention because the passage was filled with them, crawling and shambling towards us. By the light of Oz’s torch we could see them clearly. They were human sized and all looked very much the same, Lanky limbs and pale skin with those small eyes piercing the gloom.

I felt sick at the sight of them, but there was no hesitation. We both turned and went quickly towards the main tunnel, which we knew would eventually lead us towards an exit if we followed the waste flow upstream. In the glances he stole backwards I could see that Oz had wide eyes, his shallow breathing drowned out by our footsteps. On we went, pursued by the beings now whaling and screaming their protest at our presence. I was now breathing rapidly too as I followed Oz, leading the way with his torch, rambling under his breath as he went, swearing and trying to think about what sort of animal these things could be.

But we both know these were no animals.

We continued down the passage, blackness behind me and a feeble, dying light ahead. We dare not run, not wanting to provoke the creatures into a full speed chase. By this point, we had been working down in the tunnels for what must have been just under four hours. The life of a cell powering a high wattage headlamp was only about three and a half. The torch began dimming rapidly as we quickened our pace. It finally guttered out and all light was gone from our world. The blackness seemed to amplify the sounds coming from behind us, the ensemble in our pursuit was still there. With no time for a battery change Oz decided to take out his ‘Zippo’ lighter. Open flames were not permitted in the sewers due to volatile gases such as methane being potentially present. But a gas explosion would be a welcome relief from our current situation. With a flickering lighter to guide us we continued to move along the arched tunnel. A stolen glance behind me revealed the direness of our predicament as I was met with an army of small, white eyes, still steadily pacing after us.

Oz stopped. I ground to a halt and was met with a horrifying sight. Red bricks barred our way as a dead end presented itself. We had taken a wrong turn somewhere down the line, veered off into one of the many shafts on the left or right from the main tunnel. I turned, my back to the wall. The eyes came closer, but slowed and eventually stopped. Just outside of the lighters glow they stood, both of us staring each other down. I shuddered, ragged breaths escaping me as I wondered what would come next.

One came forward. It shambled toward us and stopped about three feet away, the firelight illuminating its features. It looked almost extraterrestrial in this view, a taller version of the classic little green man, with smaller eyes. A horror cliché in hindsight, but trust me when I say it isn’t any less terrifying in reality.

It looked me up and down. Deliberately perusing my white hard-hat, down to my steel capped boots. Searching me. It continued for what seemed an eternity as I pressed close to the wall my breathing shallow and ragged. It stopped and turned. Slowly walking back into the darkness from where it came. The others followed it back into the gloom. Leaving the lighter’s aura and entering the unknown blackness before us.

Me and Oz just stood for a while, not knowing whether to believe what we had seen or not. Eventually we came to and mutually decided it would be best for a fast battery change in Oz’s headlamp. We both agreed that getting out of the sewers was our next move, fleeing this place as quick as we could back toward the daylight and clean air. But leaving the tunnels would mean walking past the hole, towards the exit steps.

My chest tightens at the thought of encountering the fiends again. Obviously these were not malicious or violent beings, if they had wanted to harm us they could of done so already. So what made them so frightening? And what caused them to chase us as they did? I could not tell you, nor could Oz. Simply knowing that these things exist was what scared me. Were they some sort of undiscovered primates who lurked underground? Maybe some evolutionary offshoot of humans, adapted to dwell in the subterranean gloom, or perhaps, most disturbing of all, they were humans. Men or women somehow drawn into the dark, hundreds, maybe thousands of years ago. Breeding and mutating until they lost all recollection of the outside. We didn’t know what they were or whether they would hurt us or not, but we certainly did not want to encounter them again.

I searched my mind, trying to think of another exit, but we had only ever used this one, if there was an emergency exit of sorts, it was lost to both of our memories and neither of us was risking getting lost. The only way out was the way we came.

Oz goes ahead, he has the light. I brandish a wrench in my right hand whilst he grips tightly to some piping, feeble weapons if the creatures decide to attack, but better than our fists. The walk back reveals how far the things had chased us, and both of us become weary at where we are exactly. We keep walking back through the tunnels, trying our best to retrace our steps. The air around us seems to stink worse than usual and every footstep seems to reveal our new position to all throughout the caverns. I swear that I can hear the scuffling not only in the walls, but behind and in front of us, little scratches that sound like nails being scraped against the brick wall and soft padding sounds that could only be the footfalls of someone bare footed. I look down at the cement floor, it is the usual dull grey although now it is spotted with dark marks in the shape of footsteps, abnormally long toes stretched out and bent as they ran. We picked up the pace.

We eventually arrive at the hole, gaping out into beyond, the bricks I had stacked had fallen back down, presumably due to the creatures all climbing out and spilling out into the tunnels. I shudder at the imagery. Were they back in there? Could they be staring back right now? I drop my gaze and turn back to Oz. He is not there. Oz hadn’t noticed me stop and kept walking, he was now around fifteen metres down the shaft, a small flickering orb of light. And I was in the darkness. This is when it happened, if I had just kept walking, suppressed curiosity and not stared into the void perhaps it wouldn’t have.

I feel a rush of air from the hole and a spindly pale shape bolts out of the black, the outstretched nails raking my arm, fingernails rip though my overalls and pierce my skin. I jerk away and swivel my head toward the hole, surely enough the same haunting eyes as before meet my gaze. I bolt down the tunnel after Oz, hearing the creatures dive and crawl through the wall after me, screaming louder now, angered that I dare disturb them again. I do not look backwards, the sounds of slapping feet fuelling me towards the light in front. When I come up on Oz I shout to him telling him to run, he turns to look backwards but is met with my force as I shove him on. We both sprint for the exit doors and Oz barges through them.
Up now, dim electric lights illuminate the stairs casting a grey film across the scene. My legs begin to ache as we round yet another flight but the noises below have not ceased so I cannot either. Finally we reach the summit, and we know to turn left immediately, through more doors and up a final flight of stairs.

We stand in the street now, a narrow alleyway joining two larger roads. The sun is just rising which creates an eerie not quite night yet not day either feeling, as if we were in some sort of limbo. I glance behind. The creatures burst through the doors and charge up the stairs. I stumble backwards and fall as they reach the top.

Oz is trying to get me up again and I watch like a spectator in a theater. As the creatures come out of the darkness they squeal at the now emerging sun. They disperse immediately, some fly back down towards the gloom whilst other dash for the shadows on the street. Some climb up the metal staircase and shelter amongst the gloom at the top whilst others disappear across the buildings roof, but they all melt away, slipping into darkness wherever they find it. This is where I black out, my arm bleeding profoundly and my head spinning.

I awoke in a hospital bed. They tell me I have flu like symptoms but they can’t say what is causing them. My arm is in a bandage and I’m told the wound is bad, congealed and black like someone had burnt me whilst slicing it open. I type this now from my hospital bed, I grow sicker everyday and my arm is coated in searing pain day and night. I am sure the creature did this to me, positive but I dare not tell the doctors, I’ll make up some story when the time comes.

I have not seen Oz since the event.

But what haunts me most is that the creatures are now on top as well as below. Sure, they can only come out on the darkest of nights but this is still a disconcerting thought. Believe me or don’t believe me I do not care, but I’ve plumbed this whole city and I know what I saw.

Credit To – D Jones

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The Birds Are Singing

August 10, 2015 at 12:00 AM
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I don’t like telling this story and most people don’t believe it when I do. It brings back too many painful memories, memories that I’ve been running away from since I was a ten year old boy. I’d been called a devil, a murderer, a child just desperate for attention. I’m forty now and I’m sure people still question my sanity. I even question my sanity. It’s been thirty years, but I will never forget what happened in that house, I will never forget what I heard, what I saw. I saw things and heard things that no living person should see. Things that would leave a scar that can never heal and things that would leave you questioning your sanity. I will warn you, this story, this true story is NOT for the faint of heart.

It was in Ohio, 1985, when we moved into the house. My mother was looking for a fresh start after my father’s abusive acts became too much for her to bear. He never touched me or my sister, Hannah, in any harmful way, but he and my mother would go at it almost every night. My mother would be left with a black eye and a swollen lip. I pretended like I didn’t know what was going on. I regret that now.

When we first arrived at the house, I could tell that it was really old. The windows were dusty, the paint was weathered and peeling off, and the grass stood almost as tall as I did. It looked abandoned, as if we were the first people to live there in decades. There was also an old swing set in the back and behind that, was a pond that held dirty water with a greenish color. The fence would creak as you open it, as did the stairs.

The first two months were silent, nothing was really out of the ordinary, but I noticed something that seemed strange to me. I was in the house looking through the window to make sure that Hannah was okay being alone in the backyard. She was on the swing set, but, oddly the swing next to her was moving back and forth, as if someone was there with her. But there was no one there, nobody but Hannah. I figured it was probably the wind. I went out there, because I didn’t want her out there alone. I was very protective of my sister. When I sent her inside, I stayed out there for about a minute and I thought maybe I was imagining things because I saw someone in the hallway window. They looked down right at me, I couldn’t really see their face. Maybe it was Hannah. Maybe it wasn’t.

It wasn’t really until the next night when things got frightening. Hannah’s screaming echoed through the house in the middle of the night. My mother and I woke up and quickly ran to her. It sounded as if someone were attacking her, but we didn’t see anyone. She was just screaming on the top of her lungs, pointing up at the ceiling.

“She’s trying to drown me!” She screamed more than once. We didn’t see anything but she saw something that night, something was there.

After that night, things started getting…weird. I’ve heard footsteps echoing through the house and I know this is going to sound weird but I’ve heard someone singing. It sounded like a young girl and I know it wasn’t Hannah because it sounded nothing like her. I was laying in my bed when I heard it. It must have been around midnight because everyone else was asleep. She sung it over and over again.

The birds are singing, singing, singing
Go to bed, go to bed
I’ll see you in the morning, morning, morning
Now rest your head, rest your head

It got louder and louder. It sounded as if they were coming toward me. They were getting closer and closer until eventually, they were right at my door. I heard water dripping. It sounds strange but I know what I heard. The singing stopped suddenly and all I could hear was the water dripping. Then everything became silent. The doorknob started turning just slightly. I hid under my covers and eventually whoever it was or whatever it was had left.

That wasn’t the only time I had a weird experience like that late at night. I’ve also heard whispers, most of the time I heard them coming from the basement. I never understood what the whisperer was saying, but one night I heard them loud and clear. I was asleep, I heard footsteps in my room. It felt like someone was watching me, like someone was sitting right at the edge of my bed. I lay there with my eyes closed, hoping it’d go away. Then it whispered.

“Who are you?”

I didn’t reply, I didn’t want to make a habit out of talking to things I couldn’t see. It sounded like a woman. I guess it left afterwards because I didn’t hear anything else. I was horrified by what was going on in the house. I tried to explain it to my mother, but she never believed me. She claimed I was dreaming and I almost believed that maybe I was dreaming. My mother seemed distant. She wasn’t the same person anymore.

I was worried about Hannah as well. She must have been traumatized by what she saw that night. I loved my sister, we did a lot together, but she became distant as well. One day as I walked passed her room, I heard her singing.

The birds are singing, singing, singing
Go to bed, go to bed
I’ll see you in the morning, morning, morning
Now rest your head, rest your head

I walked in her room, and she stopped singing. She was sitting on the floor, drawing as usual.

“Where did you learn that song from Hannah? I asked her.

“I learned it from my friend,” she replied, pointing towards the corner of the room.

I looked around the room, but I didn’t see anyone or anything. I noticed her drawing and it was really strange. She drew herself sitting on the swing and next to her, was another girl.

“Who is that girl you drew?” I asked her.

“That’s my friend, her name is Maddie.” I figured she had an imaginary friend. She was six years old, so that was normal, but that didn’t explain the song.

“Is she the one who taught you the song?”

She shook her head yes. “Her mother used to sing it to her every night,” she told me. “And she still does sometimes.”

“Well where is she now?” I asked her. She dropped her crayon and stood up off the floor.

“She’s behind you.”

It was then that I felt a cool breeze rush through my body. I turned around slowly just to see myself through the mirror that hung against the wall. That’s when I saw her. She was only there for less than two seconds, standing to the right of me and drenched in water. She looked young, around 6, the same age as Hannah. I wasn’t as scared as I should have been. I asked Hannah if she was the girl who was on the ceiling that one night. She said no and that the one who was on the ceiling was Maddie’s mother. She said that her mother was evil and that she would kill us if we told anybody about her. The same way she killed Maddie. I wasn’t scared until then. I wanted to tell my mother, but I’m sure she wouldn’t have believed me anyway. I just wanted to protect my sister, so I said no word about it to anyone. I didn’t really think that a ghost could do any physical harm, but I was ten at the time. I didn’t know much about ghosts. The only thing I knew about them was that they were people who were once living.

Later that day, I was walking pass the basement when I heard the laughter of a young girl. It sounded like Hannah so I walked down the stairs. She was sitting alone in the middle of the basement. “You shouldn’t be down here by yourself Hannah,” I said to her.

“I’m not by myself,” she said. She had one of those old jewelry boxes with the ballerina that would twirl and play music when you open it.

“What are you doing down here?” I asked her.

“Maddie wanted to show me her jewelry box.” I looked around. I didn’t see anybody, not that I wanted to. I felt very uneasy, like somebody was watching me. Somebody was there.

“We have to go now!” I yelled. “We need to get upstairs!” I just didn’t want to be down that basement.

“Shhhhhh,” she whispered. “You’re gonna wake her mother.”

“Get up Hannah!” I yelled. I heard a noise, it came from the other room of the basement.

Hannah started crying, I could see the fear in her eyes. She stood up on her feet, dropping the jewelry box. “Danny…” she cried, pointing behind me. “She’s behind you.”

My heart popped out of my chest. I remember shaking and my heart beating at a rapid pace as I slowly turned around. I froze in fear for a few seconds. She was there. She had long black hair and was wearing a black gown, her face was pale and her eyes were pitch black. It was like looking in the eyes of death itself. I grabbed Hannah and we ran upstairs to our mother. I wasn’t sure if she believed us, she told us to stay out of the basement and that was it. The face still haunts me to this day.

The Birds Are Singing

Hours after that frightening experience, I lay awake in my bed as I couldn’t sleep. It was past midnight so everyone else was asleep. I heard music coming from outside my room. I got out of bed, thinking that maybe it was Hannah. I peaked out my door, but I didn’t see anyone. I walked down the hallway and on the floor, in front of Hannah’s room was the jewelry box from the basement. I watched as the ballerina twirled around and around and around. Everything was like in slow motion, I became lightheaded. The air was cold and heavy. Somebody was watching me. I heard somebody singing, singing that same song. It was a young girl this time, it was a woman. The singing was coming from Hannah’s room. I opened her door, the singing stopped and I didn’t see anyone. Hannah was fast asleep. I asked her about it the next day, but she had absolutely no idea what I was talking about.

Weeks after that incident was when everything took a turn for the worse. Just like before, she was screaming, screaming on the top of her lungs in the middle of the night. We ran to her, my mother and I.

“She’s trying to drown me!” She screamed. “She’s trying to drown me!”

“Who?” My mother asked. “Who are you talking about?” Hannah stopped screaming and stood from her bed. She was shaking, her face was pale and her voice became weak. Her eyes were wide as she stood there, almost like she was frozen, like she couldn’t move.

“She’s behind the door,” she whispered suddenly, pointing at the door with a horrifying look in her eyes.

BAM!

The door slammed shut and I found myself alone, outside in the hallway. They were screaming. My mother and my sister were screaming and there was nothing I could do. I tried to open the door, but it was stuck. LET ME IN! LET ME IN! I yelled, I kicked and I punched because that was all that I could do. They were screaming as loud as they could until suddenly…the screaming stopped.

“Mom! Hannah!” I screamed out. No answer. They were dead, my mother and sister were dead. That was all I could think.

The birds are singing, singing, singing
Go to bed, go to bed
I’ll see you in the morning, morning, morning
Now rest your head, rest your head

It sounded like my mother. I heard the door unlock from the other side. I opened it slowly to find my mother sitting at the side of the bed, singing to Hannah who was fast asleep. She then stood up, I saw the emptiness in her eyes as she walked by me, as if I weren’t even there. I was beyond confused. It just didn’t make any sense.

I woke up the next morning to a loud noise coming from the kitchen. I ran downstairs to see my mother making breakfast, soaking wet and singing that damn song.

“Why are you wet mother?” I asked. She said nothing. “Where’s Hannah?”

“Who are you?” She whispered.

“It’s me mother. I’m your son.” She looked at me, staring into my eyes as if she were stealing my soul. She smiled, a crooked evil smile I never saw before.

“I don’t have a son,” she said. “Now run along, Maddie isn’t available.”

She walked down the basement and closed the door. After less than a minute, I heard a loud noise that echoed from the basement. I ran upstairs to Hannah’s room, searching everywhere for her. She wasn’t in there. I walked out into the hall and that’s when I saw her walk down the stairs. I breathed a sigh of relief. I thought she was dead. I chased after her, she led me outside, but I lost her as I shuffled through the tall grass. I ran to the backyard, thinking she might be playing on the swing set. I didn’t see her, but the swings were both swinging rapidly. I heard laughter, it sounded like two young girls, one of them actually sounded like Hannah but I couldn’t see anyone. I walked behind the swing set and that’s when I saw her. She was floating lifeless, faced down in the pond. I heard her voice as it echoed with the wind…she was singing.

The birds are singing, singing, singing
Go to bed, go to bed
I’ll see you in the morning, morning, morning
Now rest your head, rest your head

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Hangar Man

August 9, 2015 at 12:00 PM
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I’m sure many of you won’t believe what I’m about to document, but in all honesty, I don’t really care what you think of me or what I am about to tell you. I’ll leave you to make your own decisions about it. I just need to write it down, get it out of my mind and onto paper, the computer, anywhere where the disturbing events of the past few days can be accessible. I need to tell /someone/. I need to do something so my memory can become tangible, before I forget any important details.
I write to you from my hospital bed. I’ve only been awake for around 5 hours, but one of the therapists at the hospital said that I’ve been in this bed for five /days/. I had been in a coma for five days after my accident as a result of head trauma she said, but I will come to that in due course.

The events leading up to my accident all started after I witnessed what I believe to be a suicide attempt on my way home from college one day. At least, that’s what I thought it was at first. I should mention that I live two hours away from my college, and as a result take a two-hour commute to and from the place each day. You may wonder why I go to such lengths to get to college, but to keep it simple, I’m not a huge lover of change, and so decided to stay at my previous college in West London when we made the move to South London. It wasn’t a problem seeing as I like busses and the three bus long journey gives me time to think as well as the opportunity to see the many towns that the bus route goes through. One of the busses that I take takes you through terminal 4 of Heathrow airport. When I first started taking the journey, it was exciting to see the planes coming in and going out of the airport. Being someone who had never left London, it was mind-boggling to see such colossal aircrafts up close. But as time wore on, terminal 4, as well as the rest of the journey, became a long, boring drag, and I soon found myself looking for new things to occupy my attention each time I took the commute.

That’s how I noticed the hangar. Well, it was pretty hard to miss, but I had never really paid close attention to it at 6am in the morning or 5pm after a long day at college: I often found the hangar blurred into the rest of the urban scenery. But when it caught my attention, I found myself studying it every time I passed it. It looked like it hadn’t been used in a while; the long row of huge windows that spanned the entire length of the hangar had browned and some broken, the “British Airways” sign on the side had missing letters as well as graffiti decorated on it and what I can only describe to be the rusted doors of the hangar looked like they hadn’t been moved in a decade. In all the time that I have been going to and from college, I have never once seen a plane in that hangar. But yet, for some reason, it was the focus of my attention every time the bus passed it by. It was this hangar that started the string of events that led up to my accident. Moreover, what was in the hangar.

It was a Friday night and I had spent some time with my friends after college. After a night of generally getting up to nothing productive, I was on my way home, feeling particularly tired after an extremely long day. As the bus passed the hangar, I found myself focused on one particular window: the middle one. Due to the amount of times I had passed it, and my boredom whilst doing so, I had counted the number of windows a numerous amount of times. It was for this reason that I knew I was focused on window 16 out of 32. The bus slowed in a line of traffic, and I found myself perfectly in line with window 16 of the hangar. It was partially broken, and more browned than the others. As I watched the window closer, I saw that there was movement behind it. I shrugged it off; maybe I was wrong all along and the hangar /was/ in use. Still, it was 8pm, an unusual time for a worker to be in a hangar, seemingly alone. The shadow behind the window shifted from left to right, until it suddenly stopped. I looked closer, my face almost pressing up to the glass of the bus window. It’s when I looked closer that the person behind window 16 suddenly smashed through it. I jerked back from the bus window in shock. The person held on to the walls on either side for dear life and looked down. I sat up straight, now fully alert. My heart was racing. The person clearly looked distressed, and I found myself anticipating the man’s next move. As he clung onto the walls on either side, he looked behind him. What was he looking at? Another person? Or was he rethinking what he was was about to do? The bus started crawling into motion, and round the corner to the front of the hangar. I craned my neck to see the person, heart still pumping like a race horse. I felt completely helpless. I knew something was wrong, and it was this thought that irked me to raise the alarm. Just as I was about to do so, I saw the man falling. My heart completely dropped and I let out a screech. I looked on in horror as I watched the man fall. Time near enough slowed to a halt whilst the man was airborne, and just as I turned to look away to avoid witnessing the bloody mess that would have erupted as the man came in contact with the concrete below, I looked up at the window. Oh, how I wished I hadn’t looked up at that window. What I saw definitely wasn’t human. It was crouching, holding on to the floor with one hand. I blinked hard to try and process what I was seeing and

I woke up with a start.

I was still on the bus and covered in a cold sweat. I quickly looked around, and everyone else on the bus was as normal as you would expect public transport users to be. A young woman trying to calm her two kids down, an angsty pre-teen listening to loud rock music through headphones, an air hostess, coming from Heathrow Central I presumed, and an old man who gave me a dazed look. I smiled back whilst smoothing my hair. I sighed deeply and put the dream down to the excessive amounts of weed I had smoked earlier with my friends. Besides, it wasn’t uncommon for me to fall asleep on the bus, and this was just another one of those times. Relieved, I put my earphones in and enjoyed the rest of the trip, assured that it was all just a dream.

Even though I knew it was a dream, the next couple of days after this were extremely distressing. I found myself thinking about the dream more and more, to the point where I questioned whether or not I had dreamt or really seen it. I stayed up until the early hours crawling through endless amounts of demonic and paranormal message boards and chat rooms trying to find out what that thing was. Nothing came up. I had been having more frequent and vivid nightmares about the creature, I had started sleepwalking again, something I hadn’t done since early childhood, and I was slowly being driven to the depths of my mental sanity.
Despite all this, I went on as normal. I never brought it up, and I certainly never told anyone. I mean, no one would believe me if I said some sort of demon thing had pushed a man right out of a 3 storey high window in front of my eyes, right?

The night before my accident was paralytic, by far the worst of all the night I had had since the encounter with the crouching demon. It was the early hours on Monday morning. I awoke to the smashing of glass downstairs. I opened my eyes wide and listened closely for more information about my night-time intruder. I heard the clacking of what I can only describe as claws against wooden flaw echoing up the stairs. As the steps got louder and closer, my blood ran colder and my heart beat faster. I heard the footsteps stop outside my door. I daren’t look at my door or what was going to enter my room through it. I shut my eyes as hard as I could and hoped for the creature to turn around and go back downstairs. How naïve was I for even hoping that would happen! I heard claws on the doorknob and as the thing twisted it open, it’s nails produced a horrid sound I can only relate to nails on a chalkboard. I felt warm tears stream down my cold face. The door opened slowly and I heard the monster make its way over to my bed. I held my eyelids tightly together and clutched onto my blankets twice as hard. I felt the hot breath of the beast on my face, and I can tell there was only a few precious inches between me and the personification of hell. I felt the demons long nails on my forehead as the thing stroked my face. It’s touch was like sandpaper, it’s claws were like knives. I winced in pain as it stroked my face all the way down to my chin. As it leaned in closer, my body tensed in fear. It put one of its claws under my ear and spoke. It’s voice sent a shock wave through my body. It spoke in such a low,distorted whisper that it was hard for me to process what it had said exactly. “Come to the hangar” it spat out, and then let out a low, sinister laugh. It pulled away from my face, and gave my face one last stroke before leaving the same way it entered. I was completely frozen in trauma. I stayed in the same position until the sun came up, the only movement that my body displayed was the tears rolling one after the other down my cheeks and onto my bed.

The events between that night and how I woke up in the hangar the next night remain a mystery lost in the dark spots of my memory. I’m not even sure how I got into the grounds, as the entire perimeter is outlined with a 7ft mesh fence decorated with barbed wire. And yet, there wasn’t a scratch on me. Regardless, it appeared that my sleepwalking had taken me a little too far this time. Either that or I had passed out in fear and the creature dragged me here. I slowly lifted my face from the cold concrete floor and surveyed my surroundings for something that could be of use to me. I saw multiple work boxes dotted around on work desks. Both doors, that had seemingly been rusted open for ages, had been shut. I was trapped. I looked up at the moon in the sky through the hangar’s glass roof, and judging by its position, sunrise wasn’t going to be for another 3 hours at least. I decided I needed to look for a torch. Without a sound, I slowly stood up and got a better look around. The moonlight illuminated a wall that was covered in tools. To the far right, I see my saviour, a huge, LED torch. I walked over to it, and gently eased it off of the hook on which it hung. I clicked the button down, and shone it around, trying to find a suitable way out. I shined the light at the wall, and I took a step back in horror. On the wall next to the stairs, a massive painted arrow pointed up, to where the windows were. I decided, after looking around a bit more, to investigate the upper floor, as there was no means of escape on the lower. I climbed the old, creaky metal steps to the next floor. At the top of the stairs was a doorway, that led into a huge, empty, black room. The only other thing at this height was a balcony, which I guessed was used for working on the upper parts of an aeroplane. Seeing as I had no other option, I proceeded forward, shining my torch in before me. There was a small amount of light being filtered in through the brown windows on my right. I saw the smashed 16th window and the hairs on the back of my neck stood on end. I suddenly realised how much danger I was in, but I needed to get out, or at least try to. As I slowly traced the walls with the light from my torch, I walked backwards towards the wall with the windows in. I shined my torch into the corner of room, and I felt all of the heat drain from my body. I shone the torch up and there it was (Whatever “it” was). It clung to the ceiling with one hand whilst the left one hung freely. Upon me shining the light on it, it smiled widely, wider than humanly possible, to show rotting teeth. “What the fuck are you?” I said, my voice a trembling whisper. Just as I spoke, it sprung to the floor below the corner it was hanging from and landed on all fours. My stomach flipped as it turned it’s head to both sides, resulting in two loud cracks of its neck. It was still smiling, and it’s dark, sunken, completely black eyes stayed focused on me. The place where you would expect a nose to be was completely flat. It lacked any hair, apart from a few stray, matted tufts that stuck out awkwardly on its otherwise bald head. It was hunched over onto its arms, and I could see clearly the outline of its spine. The being was disgustingly thin, and every bone in its naked “body” (if that’s even what you can call it) was visible through its translucent, grey skin. It licked thick, black mucus off its yellow, rotting teeth whilst revealing an equally black tongue. I had never seen the entity up close, and I was glad I never had before that point. It was the epitome of fear. I daren’t take the light off it, for I feared that the moment I did that it would pounce on me like a lion to its prey. The last thing I wanted was to become prey to this dreadful monster. My eyes darted around the room for escape, or lack thereof, in this case. Instead, all I could see was faeces and animal carcasses. I focused back on the creature. It’s vacant, sinister eyes were still locked in on me. “What are you!?” I repeated again, this time louder. It crawled slowly towards me, on all fours, scraping its disgustingly long claws along the floor as it did so. There was something about its limbs that wasn’t right. They were incredibly long and backwards, and much like the legs of a spider, bent out at the joints. The terror kept me firmly planted to the spot on which I was standing. As it dragged itself closer towards me, I heard its distorted, demonic voice whispering the same word over and over. Although I had never encountered the word in all my years of living, it was enough to make me make a decision that would put me in a coma for 5 days. “Hangar Man” it hissed “I am Hangar Man”. Just as it spat that putrid sentence, it leapt directly at me. I fell backwards onto the floor, hitting my head hard and cracking the glass of the torch. The creature landed on top of me, and pinned my arms down. It inched away from my face and screamed like a banshee, breathing its scolding, acidic breath onto my face. I turned my head away and tried to wrestle it off; for something so dangerously underweight, it had inhuman strength. It laughed deeply at my pathetic attempt of escape. I needed to act quickly if I was gonna get out of here. Despite my fear, adrenaline had now kicked in, and I had to get out. I leant up quickly, aimed for the things left ear and bit down on it. The creature howled and pulled its head back in recoil. I felt the flesh and cartilage rip in my mouth as it’s icy cold blood sprayed onto my face. I spat the ear out onto the floor as the creature rolled off me and clutched the side of its head. I struggled to my feet and looked out of the broken 16th window. It was the only way out. I looked back at the beast and saw it was getting up. If I was going to make it out, I needed to jump…

Falling.

It was the last thing I remember before I woke up in the overly bright hospital room. A therapist was on hand to fill in any blanks and questions I had, which was helpful, seeing as I didn’t have a clue how I was still alive. The therapist was a moderately tall, thin woman with dark, long hair. She came in and introduced herself as Marge Hann, and sat at the end of my bed. She told me the story of how I ended up in hospital, and it turns out that someone on a bus had called the police and ambulance services after they had seen me jump from the hangar window (coincidently), and that I was very, very lucky not to have been paralysed, let alone alive. However, I did come out of the ordeal with three broken ribs, a broken collarbone, shattered ankles and dislocated vertebrae, all minor to me when I even begin to imagine what that thing could have done to me in that room. Oh, and 52 weeks of compulsory therapy was in order, seeing as everyone thinks I’m mentally unbalanced now. The therapist then asked a million questions about how I was feeling before the accident and how I feel now, but I answered vaguely; I was just happy it was all over. She wrote all my answers down on a clipboard, but something was wrong with the way she was writing. She was writing as if she had pains in her shoulders; as if her joints didn’t sit in their sockets properly. I shrugged it off, it was probably nothing. She then asked if I had any questions. I replied “yeah, did they find anything or anyone else at the hangar?” She looked at me weirdly, as if trying to fully process what I had just said. “I’m sorry can you repeat the question? My hearing is weakening in my old age” she smiled. Now it was my turn to shoot her a confused look. She wasn’t too old, 40 at most by the looks of her, certainly not old enough to be suffering problems with her hearing as a result of her age. This couldn’t be right. I asked her if she could get the doctor so I could talk about some physiotherapy. I was suddenly disturbed by this woman’s presence as a wave of dread and questioning came over me. She smiled politely, nodded, and got up from the bed. As she opened the door to leave, a gust of wind revealed something I would never have in a million years dreamt to have seen. Something that could only have been made up as a result of the cheesiest horror movies. Something that was enough to turn a warm blooded human cold as ice. The wind blew her hair back, and where an ear should have been… There was…nothing.

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