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Dive God

September 21, 2015 at 12:00 AM
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Compared to where I normally bed down, Avery’s place was the fuckin’ Taj Mahal. He gave me the tour, indicating matters of importance by pointing his burning Newport around the dusty place, “Over there is the shitter, and that’s the beer fridge.”

There was what looked like primal spiders in the windows. The walls were stained by water damage. The mildew stank like the insides of a molested teddy bear. All in all, I liked it.

Avery was a bum that took in bums. Unlike the Salvation Army or the shelters, he takes in everybody: the pill-heads, the drunks, the depressed and deranged. His place even has fewer bed bugs.

“One thing,” he said, holding up the Newport, which was now mostly filter pinched between two fingers, “You have to watch for Otis. He can be meaner than a cougar with a pine cone jammed up its asshole.”

I glanced around the men and women that were just humps and shapes under moth eaten blankets, “Otis?”

Avery’s eyes shrank, “Yeah. Otis.”

He left me with that, shambling off into the kitchen, hacking up chunks of lung.
As the gray outside slipped into black, I lie in my cot among the other lost, listening to their prayers that where whispered under breath: their hushed wishes, sacred entreaties. Even down at the bottom of a grease barrel, buried under poverty and bad luck, hope still lingers.

I’m no different. I was already gathering goals together that had to be done by the end of the week–get a job, even flipping shit-burgers at McDonalds if I have to. Which was a shame to waste my talents, it was a blow to my pride, making me feel like I earned my carpentry certifications for nothing.

You’re a carpenter, just like our Savior, mom used to say.

I don’t hold much stock in the Big Carpenter in the sky anymore. After tornadoes of bad luck, it just isn’t in me.

Beside my cot, an old woman held a faceless, sexless, gray statue. She caressed its chest with wither-lipped kisses.

I had to respect them for that, they still have faith in something, I guess.

Dives are noisy places to sleep, after a while you get used to the rattle of cold bones, those first unsettling wet coughs of pneumonia, and the gentle weeping of the heartbroken. A more violent sound jarred me awake, a sharp creak in the boards, a steady pace, creak after creak.

It was too dark to see, and people walking in the dark bother me, hearing those creaks makes me imagine them walking bed to bed, looking down, observing each us.

Others heard the sound. In the broken down Dive, whispers flew back and forth. Some were excited, some were uneasy. The woman next to me took a sharp intake of breath and gasped, “He’s here.”

A candle bloomed into the inky black, and in the corner of my eye, I recognized Itchy Pete in the glow— his scabies rashes looking inflamed in the twitching light. Itchy Pete shined his light through the dark dive, showing that the dust caked aisles between the beds were empty. The creaks persisted—there was an unseen sentinel moving through the shadows. Itchy Pete looked at me, his face eager. “He’s here, Hayden. He’s really here.”

I didn’t know who ‘He’ was, and didn’t so much as give a dead fart, so I rolled on my side. Before I closed my eyes, an irritated voice garbled, “Pete pinch out that candle, some us have a twelve hour shift tomorrow.”

“Hush, He’s here. Here.” Skinny Pete repeated, the voice of a fanatic in the shadows.

The irate voice warned, “Pinch out that light, Pete, or I’m going to knock your teeth into your asshole.”

I prayed Pete would listen, he was a good guy and I didn’t want him getting worked over. Fights can get ugly in places like this, all the anxiety in the air, and the guy sounded drunk, I could smell the Bourbon from here.

Itchy Pete’s eyes searched the dark, following the creaks. He looked as if he believed all his prayers and dreams would come true. It was the happiest I’ve ever seen him.

A portable Zenith Radio flew across the room and stoved Itchy Pete across the mouth. The candle fell, the light went out. All we could here now where his cries into the dark, those sobs sinking into the broken dusty floor.

It hurt to hear Pete like that, he never hurt nobody. He was crazy after all, the PTSD fucked him up good, and Pete was constantly too worried to bother anyone.

His cries died off, and he whispered, “He’ll get you. The God will get you. He’ll eat your heart, throw the rest in the bonfire.”

As I drifted into deep sleep, I was glad Pete had that deranged God on his side. The hope may be false, but even false hope is better than none. The lost need something to look up to, even a Dive God that burns offenders in a fire. Pete’s wife left him once the doctors diagnosed him, his kids pass him on the street—Pete deserves something.
The screams cut through the night like a knife, and I shot bolt upright. As fast as the scream came, an abrupt gurgle, and a moist tearing sound cut them off.

I sat in the dark, heart thudding against my chest. I’ve heard a lot of weird shit in places like this, but that was different; wretched, horrible—like the sound of a castration.

The grime streaked windows lit up with white fire, and as the flash died down, I saw a bonfire raging outside.

I looked over, and Itchy Pete was smiling at me, candle held up to his gaunt face he slowly said, “He took him. Otis took him because he was mean to me.”

“Pete,” my voice was shaky, “Where is Otis?”

Itchy Pete raised his candle, showing dark wet footprints on the ceiling. “He lives up there. He walks above us. Always watching, always protecting.”

The old woman kissed her faceless, sexless statue.

The End.

Credit To – Charles Coffman

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The Beast and the Businessman

September 20, 2015 at 12:00 AM
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John drifted in an immense void. There was no way to control his movement, and no place he could have gone. He wondered if anyone even knew he was alive.

Not long ago he had been a traveler. In another time he would have been called an astronaut, but in his time such things were more common and words like “astronaut” seemed unnecessary. He had been moving with his family to another part of the galaxy. They were being transported through space, moving thousands of light years to reach a new home on a distant planet.

One morning he had attended a briefing on safety drills, along with the rest of his family. These were held regularly on board the ship to ensure everyone was ready in case of disaster. The first drill was always to get a protective suit on.

An instructor had stood in front of his family, demonstrating how the pieces of the suit fit onto the body. “Alright,” he said “everyone just go through the motions, then check the person beside you.”

John began to put his own on, and moved more quickly than the rest. Seeing his son Jim, a boy of five, struggling with the suit he bent own to help.

“No no,” the instructor rebuked, “do your own first, then help others. You can’t help much if you can’t breathe.”

Nodding at the instructor, John moved away from his son and reached for his own mask. He snapped the last straps into place…

…And woke up in space.

He had no idea what had happened. The last thing he remembered was putting his suit on. He dimly recalled a loud noise on board, something like metal scraping, but he wasn’t sure if he had simply imagined it afterward. There was no way for him to find out.

He guessed there was an accident, or perhaps something struck the vessel. By some miracle, enough of his suit survived to keep him alive. However, he had no food, and he knew his oxygen would run out eventually.

Really, it was nothing more than an accident that he had survived. If he had been a second slower, he wouldn’t have been ready. By all reason, he should have been killed along with his family.

Part of him wished he had been killed. While the thought of an instant, sudden death was terrifying, it was better than the inevitable slow death in space. Here he could only wait for a painful, lonely end as the feeling of loss at his family’s sudden passing filled his heart. Death on the ship would have at least been painless.

He thought about simply ending it, smashing the mask on his suit with his hand and waiting for space to kill him. There was only a thin layer of glass that kept the vacuum of space out and his suffering alive. However, he couldn’t bring himself to do it. Though he knew it would be better than the slow wait for death, the idea suicide seemed impossible for him to grasp. An impossible hope came back every time he thought about it, telling him something would happen to save him. This hope, whether a curse disguised as a blessing or a blessing disguised as a curse, kept him from death. At the same time, he knew his mask was made to withstand space, and he wasn’t sure if he had the strength to break it.

Instead he remained alive as he floated aimlessly through the emptiness of space. He still hoped to run into another ship, or perhaps even a planet or a star where people lived, but there were none in site. All he could see was a deep, eternal blackness.

It wasn’t too long before he noticed something had begun to change. The change was so subtle he wasn’t sure it was even occurring, and even then he had no way to comprehend it. He could not relate anything to it, or put it into words. The best he could say is that space itself had come alive. The darkness was moving.

He knew this was not right, that what he imagined was impossible. Nothing in front of him could truly be alive. But something had begun to take shape. A portion of the darkness had become darker than the rest, blacker then black. It wasn’t just that it was dark, it seemed to absorb the light around it. It made black seem light by comparison, and a void seem full. The blackness billowed out, moving and taking form.

And it was coming toward him.

This moving nothingness stretched further in each direction then John could see. In space you can see almost any distance. The human eye can see a star that is thousands of light years away, and a galaxy even further. However, this thing, or this lack of anything, appeared to cover all existence, leaving nothing visible and disappearing at the edges of the universe.

It was too large for him to see or even to determine if it had a shape. However, in his struggle to understand what he knew he never could, he began to see it as a massive, living being. Portions of the billowing darkness changed shape and color, forming gigantic eyes that glared at him. He saw arms reaching out of it, gigantic shapes that were coming to grasp him. It became a titanic, raving beast. In a way it seemed soothing to make it something tangible and understandable, even a giant beast, rather than think of what it truly was. It was nothing, but less than nothing, an all-consuming nothing that was coming inevitably toward him.

In his terror, he flailed his arms and legs. He struggled to get away from it, though he knew there was no way to move and get away from it.

He began to panic, and in his fright his limbs became frozen in place. He remained still as he watched the mammoth being of darkness descend upon him. He was helpless before the eternal darkness that moved like a deadly but starving animal on the hunt. And he was its prey.

Something else took his attention, and filled him with awe.

A light had appeared. It seemed to close to him, only a few feet away. He knew it wasn’t a star, as it was far too small and hadn’t been there before. It held the rough size and shape of a man, and he felt comforted staring at it. It was familiar in a way, and for that moment he forgot about the void. He struggled to move toward it, twisting his limbs as if he was swimming. It was a pointless attempt, but it felt soothing to think he had control over himself, and his actions could somehow move him toward the light and away from the dark beast.

He stared into the light. It began to change. Beams of light moved up and down its sides, leaving solid shapes behind them. The image took form as a tall, man like creature. “Man like creature” was how John would have chosen to describe it, but the only thing that distinguished it from a man was that it was in space without protection. From its appearance alone it was a brown haired, middle aged man, well dressed in a business suit and seemingly lounging in a non-existent chair.

John stared at it with his mouth agape. For a moment he forgot about the darkness and about being in space.

“Well?” the creature said.

“Wh…what?” John stuttered.

“I presume you want something. You may as well ask for it,” the creature replied, sounding bored. Though it seemed impossible for him to be speaking, the sound still filled John’s ears whenever it moved its mouth.

“What are you!?” John almost shouted.

“What am I? Don’t worry about what I am. It doesn’t really matter, does it? You have a problem, and I think you want a solution.”

“What are you talking about?”

“I am talking about that,” the creature said impatiently and indicated the encroaching void.

John looked back and forth between the infinite nothingness that was slowly coming toward him and the creature in a business suit directly in front of him.

“But… What… What is that thing?” John asked.

“That thing, is nothing. It is the infinite oblivion that existed forever before you and will exist forever after. You, and all like you, are only here for the briefest amount of time. Then that thing will claim you, and you will be forgotten in time and space. You not only be dead, you will no longer exist, and cease to have ever existed. What is not now may as well never have been, and to say you ever were in a meaningful way is almost an exaggeration. I know you don’t want that, and there is a way out, which I can give to you.

John listened, trying to understand what he had heard. The beast was still coming toward him, and seemed far closer than it had before. At this rate it would soon it would take him. The words of the businessman resounded in his ears, and horrified him. All his life, everything he did, everyone he knew, all gone forever as if it had never occurred. Simply nothing. It truly was a fate worse than death.

“You can save me from it?” he said, pointing at the seemingly unstoppable void.

“I can. It is my trade, in fact, and my job, though I do it mainly from boredom. This is why I appear as something you may understand as a businessman. But let me tell you, if you take too long, I frankly don’t care enough not to leave you to your fate.”

“No please don’t!” John cried. “Wha… what do I have to do?”

The creature smiled. “It’s simple. I want you to smash your mask. I want you to kill yourself.”

John gaped, unable to believe what he had heard. Had it really asked him to end his own life? “What!? Why would you want that?” he demanded.

“Think of it as a trust exercise. You prove you trust me enough to give your life for me, and I let you live forever.” The businessman chucked, “anyway, it will amuse me, and I am the one with the ability to save you. Do it, or you can sit here and rot while space consumes you.”

John pondered the options. The truth was, he didn’t trust this creature. He had no idea what it was, and it demanded that he do something that could end his life simply for its amusement while trusting the creature would save him. He thought back to all he had gone through before, the idea of suicide…. It was still beyond him. “I can’t,” John said, almost in tears.

The creature turned away to go, leaving John in the darkness.

“NO WAIT!” John shouted. The creature faced him again, staring apathetically towards him. Though what it was asking was horrifying, he couldn’t let it go while the Beast was still coming toward him. He needed for it to take time while he thought. “Wha.. What are you? Are you God?”

The strange businessman laughed out loud. “GOD?! HA! You think I am your god? You really do think there is a god waiting for you at the end of all this, do you? Just smiling and ready with open arms? Do you really think anything like a god, with power enough to create a universe, would care about your tiny existence? You prideful little creature, no god would ever want you, and there is none waiting.” He convulsed with laughter.

“What?! But… I thought that was what you were? Wasn’t that what you said?”

“No, you idiotic, insignificant excuse for a creature. There is no god for you. You think a god that cared about you would let you exist in same universe as that?” He pointed at the beast. “What a strange species. You fear the darkness so much that you create a thousand lies to avoid thinking about it. All your religions, all your ideals, your pathetic attempts at science, your arts, your delusions of glory in war and violence, all a feeble attempt to protect yourself from its truth. In the end you just hasten your own way to the darkness thinking you can avoid it. You are a species so foolish that you think you deserve respite from the eternal darkness and so vain that you’d send a thousand of your into it rather than simply go yourself. In the end, it is all for nothing, all lies, all fake, and you end up in the same place as the ones you killed. Not that other species are any better. ”

The businessman laughed again, and pointed at the beast. “You want a god? THAT is your god. Nothingness is your god. Nothingness is infinite. Nothingness lasts for ever, and extends everywhere, like your beliefs of a god. You came into it, a cosmic accident the cosmos forgot. From nothing you came and into nothing you will return. I am not your god. I am simply a businessman. I can offer you respite from that thing, and allow you to keep existing. That is all you need to know.”

John stared at him for a moment. The Beast was closer now, so close it was almost touching. He tried to remain calm despite the panic inside him. “So… you will save me from it? How do I know it isn’t a trick?”

“I will, and I guess you don’t,” the Businessman said, looking away from John and into space. “I am almost out of time. I don’t care at all if you trust me or not. Do you want me to do it, or not?”

John stared back and forth from the beast to the businessman. The horror of the void was too much to handle. Slowly, he nodded his head. “Yes,” he said,” I do want you too.”

The creature grinned. “Good. Then smash that mask. Don’t worry, I’ll make sure you have the strength.”

John paused for a moment. He still had no idea if the creature was being honest but he knew he had no option. He swung his hand at the glass, and saw it crack slightly. He tried again. The cracks grew, and he began to feel sick with fear. He knew that soon there would be nothing left keeping him from a thousand horrible deaths in space. The terror began to make him shake.

He sung again. The glass shattered, sending shards driving into his eyes and skin. He screamed in pain, and the sound was silenced by the void. The air was sucked from his suit, and he felt his lungs collapse, making him suffocate. All heat left him, getting replaced by the absolute cold of space. The pain was excruciating, and if he could think he would have wished for death. He knew he would be dead in seconds if nothing happened. He stared at the creature, hoping it would save him.

It began to chuckle, then to laugh out loud. It was a cruel, horrible laugh, like someone who has succeeded in a terrible crime. It sent chills down John’s spine. “The funny thing about you humans,” he said “is that you all seem to think your life is a good thing.”

John stared at it in shock. It began to transform, changing from something recognizable into something horrible. Dozens of tentacle-like limbs spurted out from his chest, twisting and turning with multiple joints and ending bizarrely human hands. His eyes grew and multiplied, appearing all over his body and matching the limbs in number while the rest of his face disappeared completely. What resulted was a writhing mass of sharp jagged angles, formless and constantly changing shape as the limbs moved and the eyes peaked out at seemingly random intervals.

The beast touched John, but nothing happened. It retreated back into space, and slowly disappeared forever.

Death never came. But nothing else changed either. The pain was still there. Every second seemed like a year, and he struggled in immense suffering that should have killed him. It would have killed him, if he could die.

John knew had had made some horrible mistake, but did not know what it meant. He tried to take back his words, but found he couldn’t move.

“Now changing your mind now!” the creature laughed. His voice came from all directions at once, filling John’s ears and his mind. “You wanted to see an eternity, and you will.”

John’s mind was blank with terror. The horror at the thought of eternal existence in the void of space, with never any respite or hope, filled him. He wished now that the beast would come back, that the void would claim him, that he could finally die.

But nothing came. The creature watched him struggle, laughing as it did.

“I must thank you, this really has been amusing,” it said. Another light had come, and began to rotate around it. “I hope you enjoy your eternal existence,” it said, and left the same way it had come in.

John continued to float through the eternal void. He didn’t fully understand what had happened, and doubted he ever would. Perhaps he had encountered some kind of demon, or the devil if there was one. Perhaps it was just some kind of prank played by a more powerful species. He had no way of knowing, and guessed it didn’t really matter.

The pain continued, and never changed. He wished he could die, as death would be better than even a moment of it. But he knew he never would. He simply remained. He remained as anyone who ever knew his name passed away. He remained as the last remnants of humanity vanished. He remained as all the living things in the universe died out, never to return. He remained as the stars shrank and turned cold, and all the energy in existence was used up forever. He remained until the only thing left in the universe was his silent, eternal scream.

Credit To – EricAMBM

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I Can Hear Them

September 19, 2015 at 12:00 AM
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Before I say anything, I need you to understand something. And make a promise.

I know…what I’m about to say is gonna make you want to throw me into a nut house – and I can’t blame you, I get it – but first I need you to know that I wouldn’t be telling you this if I wasn’t desperate. And I need you to promise to hear me out, okay?


I can…hear things. Bad things.

It first became apparent when I was six. Right after my dad left my mom, my sister, and I for another woman. It really hit us hard. My mom had to get a job to support us, we had to get on food stamps, and – I didn’t realize it at the time – she started taking money out of her retirement fund. We sold the house we were living in and moved a couple states away because she couldn’t stand to be anywhere near there.

Ahem. Sorry, getting off topic.

They started out as nothing but whispers. Small noises that I could pretend I didn’t hear. Whenever I asked if others heard and they said no, I just kept my mouth shut. I don’t like drawing attention to myself.

It took a couple years before the whispers started making sense. By then, I was eight or nine, maybe ten, I don’t remember. But I do remember the day it happened like it was just five minutes ago.

I was in the living room with my sister watching TV when I heard them. At first, they were the mumbles I was used to, and I could ignore them, but they slowly started making sense. Started actually making words.

“It’s no wonder he left you. Why would he stick around for someone like you?”

Immediately, I knew it was talking about my dad, and the words felt like a punch to the gut. Tears sprang to my eyes, and I was about to yell back at it, but its next words hit me even harder, hard enough to steal my breath.

“He has a better wife now, one better than you. Besides, how could he love you? A sniveling little girl who didn’t even have a job, constantly begging for attention. Pathetic.”

At first, I was confused. But when I looked around for the source of the words, my eyes landed on my mother, and I could see it immediately. I could see past her smile, past the little tune she hums when doing the dishes. I could see the pain in her eyes and I knew. I knew those were the thoughts going through her mind.

Now, understand, I can’t read minds, that’s not what this is. I can just…hear people’s demons, if that makes sense? I know everyone’s doubts and anxieties because they’re broadcasted to me, and I can’t stop it.

It got worse as I got older. At first, the voices came only every once and a while, and kept to people I hung out with. But then they got louder, broader, and soon I could hear everyone. It was – is – exhausting, terrifying, it drives you insane. Just this constant thrum of darkness and pain, choking you, and you can’t get rid of it no matter what you do. It hurts and it’s sad and you just want to give up–

…There was, uh… A time where I was willing, y’know, to give up. Especially after I started seeing their manifestations. Thick, black clouds of oil sticking and hanging to people. They clung like a disease, weighing the person down while it whispered its poison into their ears. Some were bigger than others, but everyone had one if they were over the age of nine or so. And their eyes… Inhuman, blood red pools that bore into me. They knew I could see them. It was nauseating. I just wanted it to end.

I avoided everybody, all the time, as much as I could to keep the voices at bay. It was lonely, but it was better than having to hear those goddamn voices all of the time. I needed to end it.

But I was too much of a coward. I could never actually bring myself to..y’know..

Ahem. Sorry, I– …just…give me a second.

I eventually ended up marrying after I learned to deal with everything, and we had a daughter. My little girl, the light of my life. So sweet and innocent, with no doubts or fears. She is my one solace, my one pride, and my reason for living. She’s six years old now…

A-And that’s why I’m asking for help. That’s why I need you to listen to me, to believe me. I don’t care what happens to me, but she–

… A couple days ago, she came up to me… and asked why there’s a black cloud clinging to me.

Credit To – apocalypseHunter

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September 18, 2015 at 12:00 AM
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I have had a keen interest in the supernatural ever since I was seven years old. That door in our house that slammed itself shut back in 1990 was my first “scary” encounter (yes, I know, there are more frightening occurrences in the world than that) and ever since then I’ve had several other experiences, some similar and some that were a bit more intense. I don’t know why I’m so unlucky but the paranormal has followed me pretty much into every house I have ever lived in and every place that I have worked at. Our current place of residence is no exception…

A small two bedroom apartment is what we call home. My wife, myself and our two kids Nick and Candice have been living happily here for about five years. It’s close to their school, close to where we work, close to both my parents and my in-laws and close to a shopping mall.

From time to time we’ve heard some strange sounds in our home, mostly at night, but nothing that truly convinced us that it was supernatural. Because of the size of our place it’s fairly easy to pick up sounds and little noises from any of the rooms and we would usually think of rational explanations for them. “It’s probably the wind that blew over that container on the kitchen counter” or “the batteries in that toy are old, so that’s probably why it started playing by itself…” but we never actually got up to investigate. I think deep down, and not wanting to admit to each other, my wife and I feared that we might walk in on something that we didn’t really want to see.

Nick never slept right through and, like clockwork, would walk into our room at about 23:30 every night and climb into our bed. If we happened to be awake at that time my wife would take him back to his own bed, but often we were fast asleep and would wake up the next morning with him snuggled in between us.

One Sunday morning we woke up with the little guy in our bed and while drinking coffee he asked us “Who visited last night?”

“You were with us, dummy, you know that no one visited last night” we laughed.

“No,” he said, “last night when I walked into your room there was a lady in your room, standing there by daddy’s closet”

My wife and I looked at each other and I knew that she believed him and she could tell that I did too.

When I was eleven, my then baby sister told my mom that she saw and had a conversation with an old man who was sitting on her bed. Not certain why she’d have an elderly man as an imaginary friend, my mom decided to take my sister to a child psychologist who, to my mom’s horror, told her that kids do not lie about these things and that he truly believed her. My mom never went into my sister’s room by herself after that.

So we kind of played the whole thing down and changed the subject every time Nick would ask about our visitor. After about two weeks the incident was forgotten.

One morning we woke up, Nick still sleeping between us again, and just lay there talking about random things when Candice walked into our room and kissed us as she normally did after getting up in the mornings. We invited her to lie down with us as it was a Saturday and we were in no rush to get up and start the day, but she wanted to go watch the kiddies’ shows on the television in the lounge. She walked out the room and with her cheery voice we heard her greet someone “Hello!” and gave a cute little chuckle.

Again my wife and I just looked at each other wide eyed and called Candice back to our room.

“Who did you greet in the lounge just now?” I asked her with a smile.

“The old lady, daddy” came her reply.

I got up and walked to the lounge and obviously saw no one, so without making further ado I switched the television on and she watched her favorite shows. Again, we didn’t make mention or ask further questions about “the lady” as my kids didn’t know about things such as ghosts and as far as they were concerned, the only supernatural being that came to our home was the sandman.

Months passed without any sightings or talk of “the lady”, except jokingly between my wife and I, usually after the kids were asleep and she had to go make us coffee which we would drink while watching movies in bed. “Say hi to the old lady for me on your way back” would normally get my wife running back to the room and earn me a smack from her on my shoulder. Little did I know that the joking was going to catch up to me eventually…

Candice talked in her sleep a lot and we would sit in bed many nights listening to her mumbling, trying to make out what she was saying and wondering what she was dreaming about.

One particular summer’s night I woke up and heard Candice talking up a storm, but at the same time I could hear what sounded like a soft voice singing. Our bedroom window was open during the hot nights, so I dismissed it as sounds coming from outside and rolled over and fell asleep again. This started happening more frequently though, at least every third night, and every time I got up from my bed and start walking to the kids’ room Candice would stop talking and the “singing” would disappear before I could get through their door. I’d stand there in silence and wait for a sound, but nothing would happen. Again, I thought that it must’ve been sounds from outside, because as I walked out of my room the “singing” would stop. It made sense to me.

The next couple of days we had unusually chilly weather, so we closed our bedroom windows at night and guess what? I did not hear the “singing”. I was relieved but it didn’t last too long.

On one of these cold nights I was lying in bed awake while the rest of my household was asleep, thinking of everything from work to what we would eat the next evening. Candice starts mumbling but after a couple of seconds it starts to sound like she’s having a terrible nightmare. The soft mumbling has become much louder and I could hear that she’s very scared. Just then the soft singing started too.

I got up slowly and quietly made my way out of our bedroom, each step I took towards the kids’ room made my heart beat a little faster as the singing kept growing louder and louder, clearer and clearer, where in the past it started disappearing as I neared their room.

Standing right outside the kids’ door I heard Candice’s mumbling dying down, but the soft singing, clearly a woman’s voice, continued.

Chills sprinted up and down my spine, my legs started feeling like they do when you run away from someone in a dream, like jelly while I could feel cold beads of sweat dripping down my side. My mouth went dry instantly as I listened to this sweet sounding lullaby, one which I’ve never heard before and will now never forget.

“…blacks and bays, dapples and greys, go to sleep little baby…”

I knew I had to confront whoever or whatever was in the room with my kids, so I took a breath and slowly started pushing the door open.

“…when you wake you shall have…”

The singing stopped abruptly as I peeked around the door.

She just sat there on my daughter’s bed, arms folded in her lap and head turned towards me. We just looked at each. I wanted to but couldn’t get my eyes off of her. Then she just carried on singing softly “…all the pretty little horses”

My wife said she found me lying in the kids’ doorway and helped me back to bed. Apparently I was ice cold but sweating a lot. I myself can’t remember what happened after those last few words she sang, I must’ve blacked out, but the strange thing is that my kids have been sleeping very well since that night. I wish I could say the same for myself…

Credit To – Jaco Labuschagne

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The Singing Man

September 17, 2015 at 12:00 AM
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Grandpa told me, a long time ago
About a man he once saw walking in the snow.
The man’s shoes were golden and brown;
The colors were the sun and the blood of the town.


In bed one night, when the dogs were outside,
And momma was talking to the neighbor (who’d died)
And I was watching the walls for when daddy came home,
Waiting to hear all the places he’d roamed,
The Singing Man came, with shoes golden and brown
With specks of red from when he’d just been through the town.

The Singing Man told me, with no face and no voice,
That if I so desired, he’d give me a choice.
Outside in the woods, past the carcasses and birds,
There was a gateway divided in thirds.
One for the money, and Two for the show,
But Three was the place that no one did go.

One was a favorite, loved by many and all;
Its pathways curved across summer and fall,
And long into spring, and winter and all,
But in One you could not hear your own call.

In One you heard yourself, The Singing Man sang,
In One there was money and happiness and fame;
In One you heard yourself, there’s no doubt about that,
But you heard and didn’t listen, and that’s how souls fall flat.

The Singing Man told me, as I walked through the woods,
That One was the place that he had once stood.
But One was not what he had described;
The gateway was covered in dust and blood and grime.
This was the way the woods perceived it, he said,
And it isn’t to be changed if they see blue as red.

As we walked to Two, the ghosts were all watching,
And I heard momma at the door knocking
For them to come back, because she had made
Them something I knew not of, only that it made me afraid.

The ghosts and The Singing Man awaited me there,
At the gate of Two and gave me a glare.
The Singing Man said that he would not come;
Since he could not Sing, I’d just have to hum.

I hummed and asked Two what it stood for:
Was two like One, did it stand through peace and through war
Was it oblivious, indifferent, to the people that plagued it
With their insolence and ignorance and souls cracked and split,
Or did Two have something that we did not know,
Something like love, or a desert’s first snow

Or was Two just another place bad people would go.

The Singing Man sang, and he smiled with blood
Running from his hands down into the mud,
And the ghosts told me that he said:
The people who go to One and Two are dead.

I told them I know, as I looked through their blankness,
I’d figured that out, but they were not thankless
For they told me there was more, and The Singing Man nodded;
I’d done well to get this far, and so he applauded
But Three still stood down the pathway a bit,
Awaiting our interest and any effort to reach it.

But I did not want to, for it was too far away,
And the road was crowded with fear and ocean spray
As it curved around stalagmites, through caves and tunnels;
Across mountaintops and seas and down into water funnels;
Past countries and castles and lands fallen under rulers;
Around violence and hate and falsely spread rumors;
Through all the world’s troubles, failures and pleasure,
Yes, that was too long a walk, and for too small a treasure.

The Singing Man told me, blank face in a grin,
And with blood and tears dripping off of his chin,
That this was the reason to Three no one would go;
It was too long a walk, and too much to know.

The Singing Man said that daddy knew men
From and to One and all the way up to ten.

One saw my dad on a dark street one night;
He said give me what you’ve got and we won’t have to fight.
My dad told him he would not do so,
But the man from One said he had nowhere else to go.
My dad said that he’d once been in his stance,
And that it could get hard to know there is still a chance.
But the man from One just laughed; he was a trickster, a pest,
So my father answered with a round in his chest.

The man from Two met my dad when he was walking in town;
Two was a politician from Utah with face in a frown.
Two said my dad was a good man to know,
And that his education showed he could give a few good blows
If he took up a House seat for his political party
But for left or right, my dad was neither army,
But still the man said, why don’t you choose,
But my dad answered that he wanted no views.

My dad never met anyone from Three,
For there is no one there who is to be.
Three was too far, and for too small a prize;
No one ever saw it, not with their own eyes;
So Three is forgotten, Three is now nothing;
Though the people from Three are said to be the most trusting.

The Singing Man left, in a trail of dirt and tears and blood,
And he and the ghosts left me there in the woods
As the woods started crying and the trees started howling
And The Singing Man’s song was drowned out by their fouling.


I told my grandson, not too long ago,
About a man I once saw walking in the snow.
The man’s shoes were golden and red;
The colors were the sun and the people now dead.

Credit To – Americium241

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September 13, 2015 at 12:00 PM
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I remember when it started. The woman next door was strangled to death in her bed, with no sign of forced entry. Although her window was open, she lived on the fifth floor without a fire escape. The killer was never found, and the apartment remained vacant.

Some time after she died, I started having night terrors. I would awaken suddenly, gasping for air. One night I opened my window and stuck my head out to take some deep breaths. That’s when I first noticed him. A man was standing in the window of an apartment across the street. It was the only one with the lights on, and his body was just a silhouette. I couldn’t really make it out at first, but he seemed to be outstretching his arms toward the window.

The next night, I awoke again in a panic. This time it really felt like someone was choking me, but there was no one there. I assumed the incident with the woman next door was just making me paranoid. For the first time in my life, I was a little scared to be alone. As I opened the window for some fresh air, I noticed him again. Just as the night before, there was one apartment across the street with a light on, and a man standing in the window with his arms outstretched.

“Is that all this guy does?” I muttered to myself. “Maybe he’s not right in the head.” I had an eerie feeling that he was looking right at me, but it was hard to see. I closed the window, pulled the shades, and went back to bed.

I was getting curious about the man in the apartment across the street, so I bought some binoculars. During the day, I watched his window to see if there was anything strange going on. There was no activity; not even any furniture that was visible from the window. Had he moved out since last night? I watched until the sun went down, but no light in the apartment ever came on.

That night I dreamed there was a man at my window. Like my late neighbor, I lived on the fifth floor and there was no fire escape. It was hard to see his face, but I could feel his eyes examining me. His presence was thick and suffocating; almost intoxicatingly so. I struggled to avoid his gaze as I ran to the window, attempting to close the shades. Before I could scream, he reached right through the glass and put his hands around my neck.

I awoke terrified and convulsing. The window was open, though I had closed it earlier. Coughing and wheezing, I stuck my head out and took in the night air. It was unusually quiet; no cars on the road. Looking down at the street, there was a long stretch of light penetrated by a looming shadow. Reluctantly, I panned up to find the source. Again, there was one apartment across the street with a light on, and a man standing in the window with his arms outstretched. I grabbed my binoculars to get a closer look. Immediately, I was petrified. He was most definitely staring at my window, and his arms seemed to be reaching for me. I locked the window, pulled the shades, and hid under the blankets.

Each night I became more paranoid. I stopped looking out my window, and kept it locked at all times with the shades drawn. Even so, I could feel him staring at my apartment. I thought about calling the police, but I still wasn’t sure if it was all in my head. Then came that horrible night.

As usual, I awoke in hysterics. My window was still locked but the shades were up. I looked across the street, and the man with his arms outstretched had his window open. This was my chance. If he could hear me, maybe I could get a response out of him.

“What the hell are you looking at?!” I shouted, but there was no reply. The man remained silent and motionless; his arms extended slightly beyond his open window. I thought he would at least be startled, but he showed no sign of acknowledgement. “Why do you stand there every night?!” Still nothing. Just as I turned away, his light went out. I looked back to see if he was still standing there, but it was too dark. I slammed the window shut, locked it, pulled the shades, and turned on the TV. There was no way I was going back to sleep. Or at least, that’s what I kept telling myself until I started to pass out. I couldn’t help it, so I shut off the TV and climbed into bed.

Later that evening I had another night terror, feeling like I was being strangled. The sensation didn’t stop, however. This time I really ”was ”being strangled! Two real hands were clasped around my neck, attempting to squeeze the life out of me. As I struggled to break free, I tried to get a look at my attacker. I followed the arms, expecting them to lead to a body, but they just kept going. They stretched all the way to, and through, my open window. I couldn’t believe it! Arms were reaching into my fifth story window, all the way to my bed, and were choking me!

I flailed around, trying to wrestle away from the freakish extremities. Kicking and scratching didn’t phase them, and the grip was so tight that it hurt to move. I reached out in desperation for the knob on the nightstand drawer, as brittle nails dug into my skin. I managed to get it open, but trying to reach inside made the choking even more painful. Frantically, I felt around for anything sharp. I grabbed a pen and began stabbing the left arm with every ounce of strength in my body. I don’t know how many times I stabbed it, but eventually it pulled back a little, removing the left hand from around my throat. I grabbed it, pulled it to my mouth, and bit down as hard as I could until I drew blood.

The arm shook violently, trying to pull its hand from my jaws. Choking on blood, I unclenched my teeth. Both arms began retreating while I spit and gagged. I stumbled to the window hoping to slam it down on them, but I just grazed the fingertips. I watched in horror as the arms, which had stretched all the way across the street, retracted back to their source. My heart stopped when I saw who they were attached to. They were ”his” arms. I couldn’t look away as the hideous limbs wobbled and whipped, returning to their normal length. He put them down at his sides, and the light went out. This time I didn’t just lock the window, I moved the bookcase in front of it.

I sat on the floor shaking, trying to get my thoughts together. What was I going to tell the police? A man reached into my window — from across the street — and tried to strangle me? They’d surely think it was a prank call, but I needed someone to check out that apartment or I would never be able to sleep again. I decided to make a quick, anonymous call about a domestic disturbance.

Eventually, two officers pulled up to the building across the street. They went inside, and a light soon came on in the window. I waited for something to happen, hoping I didn’t just send two unwary men to their deaths. After mere minutes, the light went out and the officers returned to their vehicle. Their voices just managed to carry up to my window, and I heard them say what I was hoping they wouldn’t. Nobody lived there.

A few weeks later, I saw a moving van outside the building. Someone was moving into that apartment. I was relieved, though my night terrors had already stopped. One night I couldn’t sleep, so I turned on a light and looked outside. I noticed someone across the street looking out their window. For some reason I felt compelled to reach for them. I’m still trying.

Credit To – Umbrello

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