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The Hoof Lady

July 16, 2015 at 12:00 AM
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Rating: 6.8/10 (151 votes cast)

[Editor’s Note: The following is a written account transcribed from a true story told by Brandon Starcevic at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ow3ziEqAyEI. Full credit belongs to him. Any alterations to the narrative are purely cosmetic, for better readability.]

Here we go. Okay.

My name is Brandon Starcevic. I’m from the Northwest Territories and I live in Victoria, British Columbia, Canada. Everybody thinks since I joined the military, this is where I was posted. I’m here because I had to get away from something in my life before this.

We’ll start from the beginning.

In about Grade 11 I was going to school, and I had quit working so I could focus on my grades (which didn’t really help). My little brother though, he had quit school about a year or so before that — it just didn’t agree with him — and he was working at a chicken barn. Every day his friend would come and pick him up in the morning and drop him off at night, and he would be covered with dirt, poop, stuff like that.

One day towards the end of Grade 11 he came home and he said, “Mum, I’ve been offered another job but at the same place. It’s property manager of the chicken barn. They want me to live out there, and I said I wouldn’t move there unless you and Brandon got to move there too.” He didn’t wanna live there all by himself.

My mom asked how many bedrooms and how big is the house, and he said it’s a fair-sized house, three bedrooms, technically four. But the thing is, it’s really grimy and dirty and the old property manager just skipped town, just left everything. The good thing is, though, the chicken barn owner said they would pay for brand new appliances, paint, supplies, and they would get the floors redone and everything professionally. So all we would have to do was paint the walls and clean the place up — take care of the property, make sure nobody comes on, cut the grass, and that’s pretty much it. She said, “Well let’s go have a look.”

So we drove out of my town of Hay River, Northwest Territories to the little sub-town of Enterprise about thirteen kilometers out. It was just a little road, a little turnoff in the middle of nowhere. I had been by there many times to go camping, picnicking to the waterfalls, or just leaving the NWT to go on vacation, and I’d never noticed it before — a little road just off the side of the highway. It had a little wooden sign that said “62 Miron.” That’s it.

So we turned into 62 Miron, and you drive down and you see tall, white birch trees all the way down. It’s a narrow road and it looks like it goes nowhere, and then all of a sudden you get to the end and there’s a left. You turn left and there you go. There’s a large opening and on the left is a very large but long yard, and all the way around the yard are unkempt hedges fifteen feet high. In the middle of the yard there were saplings growing. You drive on a dirt road and on the right side, just a little bit in, there’s a house.

It looks fairly new. It’s backwards, though. When the house was originally built, it was facing down a hill towards the river. The river was far away, but in between the river and the house were all the fields. But now the trees on the hill were as high as the house, so you looked at trees when you were looking out the front. So the back of the house was the front. It had a little deck nine inches high, just a wide platform.

If you looked past the house there was a road that went right and down, all the way to the bottom of the hill, and there was a large field that opened up. And there’s a huge chicken barn, compiled of multiple smaller barns. The original barn was decrepit and…just creepy. It was dark all the time, no lights in it, and if you walked through it — because you had to walk through it to get to the upstairs chicken barns (the two newest ones) — all you could see halfway through was a white line right down the middle at the end. It was a set of doors that were used for loading, and once in a while you could swear that the white line would disappear, as if something walked by. It’s just your mind playing tricks obviously.

But yes, very large, four sections to it, two new parts — the egg packing part, and a back barn — and then the creepy one.

The property was called de Lancie’s Estate. Apparently an old guy named Arthur de Lancie used to own the place. More of a rich farmer, so that’s how you get something to be called an estate I guess.

The house when we got there was just disgusting. Grime and filth all over the walls. There was cat shit, cat litter, rat shit, rat pellets, poison…grease inside the filter of the fan above the stove, the yellow stove…the yellow fridge…everywhere was just disgusting. The carpet was thick laden with dirt embedded into it. But we ended up getting the place pretty tidy.

I’ll describe the layout of the house. As soon as you walk in the door, there’s a landing. Directly ahead of you is a couple stairs going up, and just to your right is a couple stairs going down. If you look directly across from the upstairs, there’s a room. It’s not the biggest room, but it’s a room. Next to that on the right side would be the master bedroom. It was the corner of the house. Across from that would be the bathroom, and at the end of that short hall was a pantry closet. My little brother said my mom could have the master bedroom because he really wanted her to stay there. He would take the bedroom next to it.

If you go left instead of right you would find the kitchen, and a half wall past that would be the dining room. To your right would be the living room, which also had the front-of-the-house window and the front door (but there was no porch or balcony or anything — the door was just shut and locked). The dining room had that ’80s panelling, that false wood look, and we painted over that. The linoleum was replaced, the carpet was replaced, all professionally done after we’d cleaned out the entire house and gotten the appliances removed. It looked brand new, but it wasn’t until you went downstairs that you realized how old the house was.

So if you round the landing and you go downstairs, directly across from the bottom was a wood shop — what I assumed was a wood shop, because you walk in and there’s this narrow wooden bench that was all warped. It was a very narrow room, but if you went right from the stairs you would see two giant plastic tanks full of water. That’s your water; you had to get a truck to come out and fill them up once or every two weeks. It wasn’t terribly expensive. Then you had your water heater, your washer and your dryer. To your left and behind you is that little cubby hole under the stairs, where you put your Christmas decorations, Halloween costumes, all that stuff.

Right next to that, to the left would be the first room. The carpet was still perfect. The walls were white and had a strip of children’s wallpapering. There was an old chalkboard, and a little kid’s picnic table. It was nice. That was to be my room, I chose it when we first saw the place. By the time we’d just about finished cleaning, it was summer and coming onto my grad year. I was gonna be spending a lot of extra time at home studying. It would work out really well, no distractions.

But then my brother, the oldest one, moved to the Northwest Territories. He wanted to find work up here, so he stayed. And him being the oldest, me being the second youngest and smaller than him, he got to pick that room. What was I to do? Beat up my big ol’ brother? Nah, wouldn’t happen.

So beyond that room, if you keep walking down to the end of the hallway, the hall stops. If you turn right, there would have been a door. But there was a basement pole on one side of the opening, so you couldn’t put a door there. You walk in and on the left there’s just a wall. It’s all wavy though from time and humidity, and that wall was connected to another wavy wall, and that wall was connected to a wall that had a little door. A creepy, tiny little door nailed shut. I’ll tell you more about that later. The floors were old, worn, wooden planks, some with holes in them.

If you turn right when you go in the room there’s a little propane furnace, and right next to that is a 6x6x6 foot cast-iron, turn-of-the-century wood furnace. It had the big spring handle, and you’d slam that door shut, and…yeah. It’s like something out of a horror movie. In between the furnaces and the walls you can go all the way to the back, and there’s a space behind them. Light never went there.

So that was gonna be my room. Yippee.

I went and grabbed the old carpet that was torn out of the living room. Perfect size, because that was right above me. I steam cleaned the carpet and trimmed it to fit. I put my bed on the left side against the wavy walls, because they were less creepy than the furnaces and little tiny nailed-shut door. I found a big steel rack with shelves, and that was my dresser. I put that in front of the little door in case anything tried to get through it. Ha.

There was a little light in the middle of the room: clink. You had to pull the string. I wished there was a better way, but I had to reach up — clink — and jump back into bed.

So we had the place all set up. Grade 12 had started, and I had to catch the bus as it passed our place. If I didn’t, I would have to look for a ride. After so many times and so many friends, you feel like you’re using them, and that nobody’s going to drive every single day just for you (and I didn’t have a car). So I took the bus home. It was just easier that way. I had time to study, time to do whatever I wanted to do out there. But then I got a bit squirrelly. Nothing to do, really. Watch TV, do your homework.

So one lunch, I went to the town library. Small town, 2000 people at most. I walk in and say hi to Ms. Barnes (I’ve known her since I was a kid) and told her I kind of wanted to read. She gasps and goes, “Oh my, I’ve been waiting to hear that your whole life!” She knew I didn’t read, and I added, “…but I don’t really wanna read. Does that make sense?” She says, “One second,” runs around the corner, and comes back with a stack of CDs. It was the second Harry Potter book on audio.

I brought them back home, went down to my room with a ghetto blaster, and just laid on my bed and listened. Across from the doorway I’d put a full length-mirror, and since I couldn’t put in an actual door, I’d hung a wolf fleece blanket there. One day while listening to Harry Potter, I saw something in the mirror.

As soon as somebody walks down the hallway, the blanket billows out from the air draft. But I sat up and looked at the blanket, and it was completely still. I looked out and there was nobody there. It had either been a woman in a white dress, or a man in a white robe walking by the mirror. I got all creeped out, and I went upstairs, told my brother and mom: Oh yeah, he’s smoking weed, mind’s playing tricks on him…

This is the first time I’ve told it by myself, and I’m having a bit of a hard time.

Um…okay. One time during winter we were watching a movie in the living room, and my mom wanted to watch it in her bedroom. We had satellite in the living room, and we could have all the rooms set up with satellite, but we’d all have to watch the same thing because we didn’t have the luxuries of a splitter. Just a manual splitter. She asks if I can go on the roof and bring her cable over to the splitter.

“Yeah, sure, no problem Mom. Just hold the flashlight and the ladder for me.”

So we walk out in the snow. The ladder was already there because I was supposed to paint the outside, but never did. She holds it for me, shines the light up, and I climb up on the roof. I untwist her cable from the antenna (you get like, thirteen channels out there with an antenna), and start pulling it through the snow. Then I get to the east trough and it’s stuck. It’s really stuck. Frozen. I tell my mom, say I need a hammer, can she go get me one? She said okay, and you hear crunching as she takes off.

Around the front of the house, in between the house and the trees, there’s a good seven feet of perfectly cut space. The light from the living room and bedroom windows lit up the trees, but it only went so far. If you were on the top of the house where I was, you could only see the trees and the darkness. All of a sudden I hear a crunching in the snow at the bottom of the hill. Fuck, there’s some animal. It’s coming up the hill, and it’s starting to break branches, it’s running. It’s not being quiet, you can hear the branches breaking and the trees shaking, and it’s coming closer and closer and closer.

I’m thinking I gotta yell to my mom that it’s coming, and it’s almost right there. I’m looking down into the trees, I’m looking and I’m looking and I’m waiting for it and suddenly it stops just out of my sight. I can’t see it but I know it’s right there, I can hear it, it’s so close.

And then it starts at the bottom of the hill again. Something’s crunching through the snow, something’s breaking the branches and it’s coming up the hill, it’s coming up the hill, and it’s coming closer, and my heart’s racing and I’m looking for this thing, I’m waiting for it, and I’m starting to freak out. How am I supposed to get down? And there’s running, and it’s coming and it gets right there, it’s right there and I’m waiting…and it stops. And it starts at the bottom of the hill again.

All of a sudden this hammer flies up beside me. I grab the hammer and say, “MOM THERE’S SOMETHING IN THE BUSHES!” And I smash the ice and I throw that cable, I just let it go and slide down the ladder and I run inside. I’m freaked out, and I tell my mom and my brothers about it. My mom said that her and my oldest brother had come home one night, and they were parking beside the house near the hill, and they heard something in the bushes too. So they started parking across from the house, backed up against the hedges.

You know, there’s wolves. There’s one person for every four wolves in the Northwest Territories. And seven bears. Or the other way around. Anyway, there’s a lot of animals out there that can kill and eat you. But how it came up the hill was extra creepy.

There was another time — this is where my family gets involved. We were in the midst of a blizzard. Blizzards are pretty normal up there. They happen several times a winter in the NWT. They’re a few days long and they’re cold and you don’t go outside, and if you do, you’re layered and you don’t go very far. Especially us, we lived in the middle of nowhere. There’s no driving in town, there’s just too much snow. We gotta wait for the graders. You usually know when the blizzard’s coming, so we went to the video store and rented lots of movies. Because you never know, right, and it’s nice to watch movies with hot chocolate and popcorn.

So we’re in the middle of watching a scary movie. My oldest brother had a girlfriend over, and there was my little brother, my mom, and me. We were watching Pumpkinhead 2, and it was just like in the movies where you’re waiting for something to jump out, they’re trying to get the timing right to catch you off guard, and all of a sudden:

BANG BANG

from behind me. I jump and we all scream and turn on the lights. I was sitting on a chair by myself against the wall. We all turn on the lights, somebody’s gotta run down to the porch, turn that on, run back up and you gotta look out the windows. And there’s nobody. If somebody had come in the middle of a blizzard, they would had to have driven. And there’s no tracks, it was already snowed over, even our own tracks from parking.

Well, you know, we could have left a rake out, or a tree branch could have fallen, or a bird could’ve hit the house. Anything, right? We all kind of calm down a little bit, turn off all the lights, and play the movie again. It was not even a minute later, when it seemed like it was in that same lengthy part where the music’s going and there’s something about to happen, and from the front door we hear BANG BANG BANG, and then from the roof, BANG BANG BANG, and then from the walls all around us, BANG BANG BANG BANG BANG. The whole house is shaking everywhere.

We jump up, we’re all screaming, and we turn on the lights — I don’t even know who turned them on — and everything just stops. We’re all just shaking, looking at each other.

Well what could we say? We look out the windows, no tracks, nothing. The ambiance of the entire house was weird. So we put on a comedy, grab something to eat — comfort food to make us feel better. That was it.

We all knew something was going on. I knew something was going on.

I talked to the manager. He had worked there since he was a kid. I asked him what that little door was there for. He just says, “Come on.” We walk down the hill and get about halfway down to the chicken barn. He suddenly turns into the bushes, and there’s a little steel shack in the middle of them. He pulls out this big ring of keys, fumbles around and opens it up, and he goes, “That’s weird, the light’s on. I haven’t been in here in years.”

We walk in and it’s like a mineshaft. There’s one light in there, there’s a little wooden shelf, and then there’s literally a shaft underground. It had the pillars and stuff, and it went all the way up the hill to that little door. It was caved in a bit. He said what you’d do is you’d fill that room — my room — full of wood in the wintertime, then fill this room down here, and when you ran out of wood, you would go down the shaft and bring that wood back up into your room. But the door is nailed shut because apparently Arthur de Lancie died going through the shaft. That’s where it’s caved in.

Oh, that’s cool.

It was summertime one day, and I walk into the dining room and my little brother is sitting there, just staring at the dining room window. “Brandon!”

“What?”

“Look out the window.” I look out the kitchen window, and there was an old lady just standing there looking at the house. I’m like, “How’d she get here?” He goes, “I dunno. Go talk to her.”

“You!”

“No, go go go! Go talk to her.” Okay. So I go down the stairs and I open the door, peek out, and she’s still looking at the house.

“Excuse me, ma’am?” She gets startled, and I’m like, “Uh, this is private property.” I notice there’s a car there, so okay, she drove here, she’s not a spirit. And she’s like, “Oh, sorry sorry, I didn’t mean to intrude or anything. I used to live here when I was a little girl. I grew up here and wanted to see it again.”

I say, “Oh wow, that’s neat, how old were you when you moved away?” She answers, “About five or six.”

“Would you happen to be related to the de Lancies?”

“Yes,” she says, “actually my father built this house. His name was Arthur.” Oh god.

“Did he die here?” It just came out of me, and it felt rude after the fact, but not when I said it.

“Yes, he did. That’s why we moved away, because when my father died getting wood, my mom had a little breakdown. She couldn’t live here anymore.”

She said she remembered her room, the wallpaper, the little chalkboard, the picnic table.

“Picnic table? I think you might wanna come see this.” So this little old lady came with me, and I helped her down the stairs and brought her to the wood shop where I’d put them. She said, “That’s them! Those are mine!” I said she could have them, brought them up to her car, and put them in her trunk. She took off.

Yeah, that confirmed that my room’s connected to a guy’s deathbed.

So it was the middle of winter again in the Northwest Territories. Very, very cold. Very frozen and everything is just stopped. Dark nighttime. Dark all the time. I was going to bed and it was really cold in my bedroom. It’s warmer upstairs because the thermostat’s upstairs, and heat rises. But it was extra cold and the furnace should have turned on by now. When it turns on, it doesn’t blow into the room, so I have to take off the cover and put it up against the larger furnace. You can’t see anything because the pilot light’s hidden. But when it lights you get these bunch of little flames, and it just lights up my whole room, and you get the heat.

I turn off the light, and the furnace still isn’t on. So I throw the blankets on me, and I’m thinking it’s pretty cold. But I feel like I’m starting to fall asleep. You ever get that feeling where you have a blanket, and a cat jumps on you, and it’s got that soft padding? Well I felt that on my feet, and I froze. Because I don’t have a cat. So what I did is, I became a small child and pulled the blankets over my head and held tight. I tucked the blanket everywhere around my body.

This feeling went up onto my shins…and then up onto my knees…and then up onto my thighs. But it wasn’t just my thighs, it was still on my knees and my shins and my feet. And then it crawled up on my hips. By this time it felt like some one was crawling on me, and I felt like it was a woman because I could feel their body parts on me. She was crawling onto my stomach, and onto my chest, and she just stopped.

I was frozen. What was I to do? My mind was racing and racing and racing, and all I could think was, Mom. I need Mom. I need to run and scream and yell and go to Mom and turn on every light in the house and I couldn’t…I couldn’t grasp onto my thoughts in my head. They were just going so fast, racing, racing. My body in comparison was so frozen, tense, terrified of whatever was on top of me. There was a feeling of knowing that there was something not right about…not just the fact that there was something unknown on me, but there was something wrong, there was something bad on me. Something terrifying.

I feel it still.

I was laying there, freaking out, thinking of what to do, what to do, gotta scream, gotta run, gotta go see Mom, do something…all these thoughts, and I can’t breathe now. I don’t know how long I’d been laying there, and I couldn’t breathe because I was running out of oxygen. All I could think was, I gotta breathe. So I took forever to turn my head to the side, and sooo slowly brought my hand to my face, and brought the blankets around my lips. I gulped in the cold refreshing air. It was such a relief, but only enough for me to forget for a moment.

And then the furnace must have turned on, because I could feel warm air on my lips. Then it started pulsating. Like breath.

I pulled the blankets back under my head in an awkward position, so tense I couldn’t move. My mind was still racing millions of miles a minute. I didn’t know whether I was there for hours or minutes or seconds, or if it was daytime. I didn’t want to look.

I’ve got to do something, so what I’m gonna do is I’m gonna jump and I’m gonna run, I’m gonna scream and go to Mom, mom, mom, mom, mom…and all of a sudden

…I’m sitting there driving my old truck. I’m in the middle of the highway in the middle of nowhere, just darkness. All I can see is the road, the ditch, and the trees in front of me. And I know where I’m going: I’m going home. I don’t work in town, but it’s not far away. I can feel the vinyl seat below me. It’s kind of chilly but the heater half works, and the orange light on the radio glows but the music doesn’t work, so all I can hear are my own thoughts and the truck.

I’m driving along, kind of feeling tired, when I hear a faint noise behind me. It sounds like a horse on the highway, but it doesn’t have that same rhythm. Instead of clop-clop, clop-clop, it’s more like clopclopclopclop. It’s running, something is behind me running on the highway, really fast, with hooves. I can hear it coming, getting closer and louder, and I’m starting to freak out, starting to speed up a little. I keep looking back but there’s nothing there, nothing behind me.

It’s getting closer and I can feel it now, it’s almost here. I look over, and it was as if the moon had come out from behind the clouds, lighting up the entire sky. That didn’t matter though, what mattered was what was next to me, running beside me at impossible speeds, staring directly ahead.

It was a woman with dark, curly, greasy hair. Gray, wrinkly, wrinkly face, black eyes. Hairy chest and gray skin, and once you got to her waist it was just thick, black hair. And she had hooves, running impossibly fast next to me. At this time all I did was lean forward, my lip touching the steering wheel, stepping on the gas as hard as I could. I would look over, look over, look over, I couldn’t help myself, and she was just staring ahead, running as fast as I was going. The engine roared as we went, and I looked, and she slowly turned her head towards me. Her black eyes glimmered as she reached her arm out and pointed ahead. I’m roaring, and I’m flying, and I’m coming down

…and I’m walking with my friend down the street. It’s darkness all around us, all you can see is streetlight, streetlight, streetlight, and a tiny little gas station, just the front of it illuminated. My friend there got hit by a moving van while riding his motorcycle, and he hops when he walks. We’re talking and laughing, having a good time, and he points and he goes, “Look.” We’re getting close enough to the gas station where we can see this shadow of a person huddled up against the wall, just out of the light. He goes, “Hey buddy, you okay?” Suddenly it jumps up and all you can hear is a clop on the cement. I don’t know why, but we start chasing it. We’re both running around and around but it’s always just around the corner. He says, “Stop! You go one way, I go the other way.” We split up, running and chasing after this sound

…and I’m standing there in the middle of the highway, looking at a house. Small house, screen door, a woman sitting on the porch. It’s lightly raining, and there’s this little girl jumping in the puddles. She has this little yellow slicker, with a little yellow rain hat and little yellow rain boots. She’s jumping and laughing in the water. There’s still color, but everything was a bit gray. I couldn’t move or say or do anything. It’s like I wasn’t there, I didn’t exist to them, I was just watching them. She’s laughing, and the mother’s laughing too. She’s smiling and clapping, the little girl’s having such a great time, when I hear this phone ringing in the back of the house. She says, “One second, Mommy will be right back.” She goes and opens the screen door, closes it.

Then it was instantly pouring, more rain than I’d ever seen pour down in my entire life. And it got darker. This little girl is having a blast, a shrill laugh coming out of her. These puddles she’s jumping in were so big. All I can do is watch as she jumps into a large puddle, and it comes up to her waist, and she jerks. And she jerks again, and all I can see is her falling slowly backwards. Just as her little hat disappears under the water, the door opens and her mom comes running out, and she starts screaming, “Kaylee! Kaylee!” while looking around frantically,

…and I’m laying there back in my bed. Petrified, fear-stricken. I couldn’t think, couldn’t do anything. There was something on top of me. I knew there was something on top of me and I had to do something about it. I had to build, build, build this courage, build this something inside of me that was stronger than me.

I knew what I was gonna do. I was gonna grab my blankets and push with all my might, as hard as I could, and run as fast as I could down the hallway, up the stairs, and into my mom’s bedroom, turn on all the lights I can on the way, and slam the door behind me. Mom, mom, mom, mom, mom. Finally after…I don’t know if it was minutes or hours or days, I built enough courage. I grabbed the blanket and I pushed as hard as I could, and pushed, and it was like everything was in slow motion. The blanket slowly fell, and just at that moment the furnace turned on, a roar and a flickery display of lights.

As the blanket dropped I could see the silhouette of a woman at the end of my bed. She had the black hair, gray face, everything. She was drifting slowly backward off the bed, but then stopped — and flung herself toward me.

I woke up and it was daytime. I hurriedly went upstairs and told my mom, my family. They half believed me because of what had happened to all of us. Within two weeks I joined. I looked and looked, and it wasn’t until I found a trade fair, but I joined the military and went to basic training. I moved here, and I’ve been here, happy, but still worried that something’s always behind me, always around the corner. The worst is going upstairs. You open the door to go into the stairwell, and right behind you, just as the door is closing, there’s always something that maybe snuck in with you. And just as you’re leaving, there’s always something that maybe snuck out with you, too.

Credit To – Brandon Starcevic

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The Mask of Edward Marquis

July 15, 2015 at 12:00 AM
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From the Case File of the Marquis Manor Massacre
Suspect: Nicholas Jacobs
Investigator: Michael Wells

The audio tape clicks on and a voice comes in…

It does not matter what more I say or add to my testament. You and the others will not believe me, and perhaps it is better this way. The saint in me feels that my being behind these walls is a small price to pay… but the devil ever seeks freedom does he not? Very well, Mr. Wells, I shall tell you what really happened that night…

It was late April, year 2005, when the now late Mr. Edward Marquis agreed by letter to allow me to view that strange oddity he had secreted away from the rest of the world. He simply referred to it as “the mask” in all of our long correspondence to one another. To say that I was excited to finally view the object would be a gross understatement.

It wasn’t until I got to his mansion and seen the grave expression on his face that I question my motives to see the object, and hopefully purchase it. I have always had a bit of obsession with occultism and the macabre antiques tied to it. I have heard stories of the mask, rumors with no real meaning, that is, until one lead me to Edward Marquis.

He at first disavowed all knowledge of the object or the cult that it was tied to it. It took months of prying at the old man to finally hear his confession and it seemed thick of regret. I was ever the fool in those days.

Edward met me at the door, stating that he called his staff away for the evening so that it would just be the two of us; I remember feeling that my friend had an overbearing taste for the dramatic. He offered to show me his gallery of art works and curios, an offer I accepted for we had the same tastes it seemed. After about an hour of dusty tomes and paintings we retired to his study for brandy.

In this time I tried greatly not to ask about the mask or press my viewing of it and my patience was waning. When I had finally brought up the mask he was startled, swearing off all knowledge of agreeing to allow me to see it. After several moments of discourse about the dangers that it possessed, warnings I now wish I headed, he took out a small chest from beneath his desk. It was an elaborate affair, lacquered ebony and polished iron bands, small etchings covered the boxes entirety. I found it odd that the box had no lock on it, yet had a ring for one; the small things that I dismissed astound me now.

He sat there for a while staring at the box, then started, “What do you know of the mask, my dear boy? What have you heard?” So I recanted the little snippets of lore that I was able to gleam together in my years of study on the cult. He laughed at me. “They believed there to be a fallen angel of sorrows that would save all mankind from sadness, grief, and despair, I pity their naivety. They also believed there to be another entity, a demon of hatred that would always battle with the angel. This mask was made as a vessel for these entities, in hope that they could pull them here, into our world.”

He placed the box upon the table before me and slid it towards me. Simply, he commanded, “Look and see,” and I was compelled to obey. The lid seemed heavy; unnaturally so, as if it weighed several times more than it should, but still, it slid open with wanting. Within the box was a parcel wrapped in linen. I glanced up to my host for confirmation that this is what I sought, he nodded and smiled. It was his first smile since I arrived, and I thought I saw moisture build in his eyes. With nervous hands and almost giddy heart I carefully, slowly, unwrapped the linen. What was within was an object of horror and beauty, simple, yet complex in its simplicity. It was a mask. Smooth with no real facial features, save two eye holes. One side was pure white the other was black. Beneath each eye was a line of the opposing color, as if it were weeping, and the white side had a black smile colored in while the black side had a white frown. In essence, it resembled one of those comedy and tragedy theater masks, but it was so much more. It chilled me to the bone and elicited a yelp for joy.

I was so entranced by the mask, lulled into its beauty, I almost didn’t hear Mr. Marquis weeping. I… remember asking what was wrong, but my eyes didn’t leave the mask until his reply was forced and choked with laughter. “He… made me do it,… boy,… I didn’t want… to do it, but he made me.” As he spoke a red drop landed upon my hand, drawing my attention to the ceiling. I vividly remember the taste of bile as I retched into my mouth at the sight. Five bodies, assumedly the staff, were chained tight against the ceiling, ripped to shreds, their faces locked in expressions of horror.

The sound of scraping metal drew my eyes to Edward. His face… it was twisted… frozen in a snickering grin, mouth wide, teeth black, and he was crying, but his tears were black. He looked like the mask, or rather, half of the mask, and he held a long knife in his hand, drying blood still on it. “Isn’t it lovely…? They will never feel sorrow again…” He began to laugh again, but his voice was… different, as if he were someone else. “So, how about it, Nicholas, you wanna smile for Ed,” he asked just before then lunged at me. I scrambled out of the way, for some reason grabbing the box. As he fell to the floor, I startled him and began bashing his had in. What happened next is vague and I can just barely remember that I was laughing. It was several hours later when the police picked me up on the side of the highway, covered in blood, clutching my mask in my hands…

A second voice comes in….

Your mask, Mr. Jacobs?

The first returns…

Why, yes, Mr. Wells, it is my mask after all. Now tell me, Michael, wanna smile for me?…

Laughter fills the remainder of the tape…

Credit To – 3wingzblack

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The Amazing Mr. Sykes

July 14, 2015 at 12:00 PM
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The Amazing Mr. Sykes
By Jon Creech

Timothy sneezed as some of the dust that had settled onto the pages of the book in his lap found its way into his nose. He loved spending his time in this antique shop no how much the other kids teased him about it, but it drove his allergies crazy. The furniture was out of style and he usually had no company other than an occasional elderly couple browsing around, but this place was quiet, it was peaceful, and it was all he had. Timothy glanced at the book he’d picked up upon his arrival, an old copy of Twenty Thousand Leagues Under the Sea, and sighed. He could never afford the things he wanted, and in truth this store’s prices were perfectly reasonable, his parents just didn’t have money to spend on anything besides cigarettes and the occasional bottle of whiskey for his father. His mother barely rolled out of bed every day, usually dressed in food stained clothes and covered in tissues from her constant illnesses, and his father had too much pride to ask anyone for employment so instead he occupied his time with handy man jobs. Their poor choices left his family penniless most weeks and barely able to put food on the table.

Most of the people in town resented Timothy’s family and saw them as more of an eye sore than anything else. They just didn’t fit in this small town where everyone knew each other and faked smiles on the street as they walked by. It got Timothy beat up at school most days. The kids made fun of his smelly cloths while calling his father a “Drunken bum” and his mother a “Lazy whore”. Thinking about it made a tear rolled down Timothy’s cheek and throw the book down on the old rocking chair in front of him in anger. He wiped the snot from his nose and tried hard not to cry, shaking from the effort of holding back the tears that now threatened to burst from his eyes like a flood.

After a few deep breaths and counting to one hundred, Timothy sluggishly picked up the book and put it back on the shelf. A moment later a bell chimed as the front door opened and Timothy instantly brightened up, jumping from his spot and running towards the front of the store. He smiled happily as he was greeted by the store’s owner Mr. Garen whom he had met a few months back during his first visit to the store when he had been caught trying to steal a watch. Instead of calling the police the old man made him come back every day after school and help him with things like sweeping and cleaning the windows. After a few days the two became well acquainted and Mr. Garen learned about Timothy’s school and home life. Taking pity on the young boy, he told him he was welcome in the store any time he wanted, as long as he didn’t fall into old habits. Today he had come into the store with a stack of boxes in his arms and a few bags hanging from his wrists, setting them down on the counter long enough to get the ones he’d left by the door.

“Timmy my boy, would you please help me with these?” he asked with a bit of strain. Timothy rushed to his side and took a few boxes off the top of the stack, struggling at first from the hefty weight but eventually getting them to the counter. “Good morning Mr. Garen, what’s all this?” Timothy asked as he excitedly opened a box, taking out various items like old knives and jewelry. “I went to an estate sale a bit up the road today,” said Mr. Garen, “Apparently some poor fellow had an accident and passed away a few days ago. He had no immediate family, so the house had to be emptied quickly”. He dug out pictures, plates, and little glass animal figurines from one of the bags he carried in and began examining them closely. “Hmmm, definitely a few gems here. Heh, better than the things I get from flea markets this time of year.” He smiled at Timothy and roughed up his hair. “I’m going to go about getting these shelved and priced. You’re free to search through the boxes, just don’t break anything”. Timothy smiled big. “Thank you Mr. Garen,” he said hugging the man around his waist. The old man patted his shoulder then walked off with a few bags and started setting things on counters and tables, humming a pleasant tune to himself.

Timothy watched him for a second and found himself wishing his father could be more like Mr. Garen. “Maybe then I wouldn’t hate being home so much,” he thought to himself, turning to the boxes on the counter and sorting through them. Most were full of things like silver spoons, crystal glasses, and the occasional painting of some beautiful nature scene like a small brook or a wood that looked like it came straight from a fairy tale. He admired them for a few moments then set them aside and stood to go find Mr. Garen when his foot knocked against something on the ground, making it fall over with a thump. Timothy stooped down and found himself inches away from the biggest book he’d ever seen, laying on its side beside the counter. He picked it up carefully and chills ran up his spine as his fingers grazed over the cold leather cover.

It hadn’t been there before Mr. Garen showed up, but he didn’t remember seeing it in any of the boxes either. He stared at it breathlessly, taking in the tome’s intricate craftsmanship and detail. “Wow…” he whispered. “Found something you like?” Mr. Garen said, walking up and looking down at the book. “Did you buy this at the sale?” Timothy asked, holding the book up so the man could get a clear look at it. The store owner scratched his head, deep in thought as he racked his brain.

“I don’t remember to be honest, but I’ve never seen it before so I suppose I must’ve”. He stepped up to the counter and examined it closely. “Hmmm there’s a lock on the clasp…and I sure don’t have a key”. He looked at Timothy and a smile spread over his face as he had an idea. “Would you happen to know a boy who loves books that would like to take this off my hands?”

Timothy’s eyes widened. “You mean it?” he asked happily, taking the book and clutching it to his chest. Mr. Garen laughed and nodded with another big smile. “It’s all yours Timmy, I just hope you can get it open”. Timothy hugged the man with all of his strength, looking up at him in admiration. “Thank you so much, sir. I’ll get it open, no problem! I promise!” He glanced at the clock and seeing that it was nearly time for dinner he put the book in his backpack then said goodbye, thanking Mr. Garen again and again on his way out.

When he got home he set his bag in his room and then went to the table where his mother and father had already begun eating soup, his own bowl awaiting him at the other end. He sat and tried to eat, imagining what it would feel like if someone were actually happy he was home. His parents made no effort to say hello or acknowledge his presence, but instead yelled at each other like usual. His mother would call his father a lazy slob, and his father would counter with “At least I even get out of bed you disgusting bitch,” and this would send his mother over the edge and into a long rant.

Timothy found his appetite suddenly ruined and quietly left the table, slipping into his room and shutting his door. He sighed trying to ignore the sound of his parents shouting in the next room, but to no avail. Eventually he gave up and sat on his bed, setting his backpack beside him and pulling out his new gift for further examination. The dark leather looked rough and dry but the jewels were beautiful, bright shades of red and blue glinting in the light. He looked at the lock and was starting to ponder how he could get it open when it suddenly clicked softly, sliding off the clasp and falling to the floor.

His breath got caught in his throat. What had he done to open it? He hadn’t even touched it yet. Not wanting to jinx his good fortune, he put it out of his mind and slowly slid the cover open. His eyes widened as they fell upon the pages inside. It was blank. The entire book was blank. At first he thought it was only the front page, but as he flipped through he realized every single one of them was white as snow, completely devoid of ink. He found himself shaking in frustration but this quickly gave way to sorrow and he began to cry. Covering his face and sobbing quietly he felt the tears burning his eyes as they fell down, streaking his cheeks. A few managed to slip between his fingers and hit the page with a soft splat as his body heaved with sobs.

He wiped his eyes and started to pull himself together when he noticed something odd. Staring at the book in wonder, the boy saw his tears turn black on the pages and start to move across them, forming letters in a strange language he had never seen before. Timothy watched in amazement as five words appeared on the page. Just five, right in the middle. Below them was a picture of two cat eyes, bright yellow with thin black slits staring right into his soul. He found himself shaking in fear, unable to look away. Why was he afraid? “It’s just a book,” he told himself, “Nothing bad ever happened to anyone because they were reading a book.”

But no matter how hard he tried he couldn’t shake the feeling these eyes could see him…that they were urging him to do something. He pried his eyes off the ones on the page and looked at the words. For a moment he tried to decipher them and figure out what they said, but then he felt something come over him, almost like a cold hand moving through his chest and gripping his lungs. It filled him, shaking his entire body with a sensation he’d never felt before, and slowly he let it take over. His eyes found their way to the words on the page and before he knew it he found himself saying something in an alien tongue. Five words…just five words. When he had finished speaking the feeling had vanished as quickly as it had appeared, and so had the words on the page.

The yellow eyes still remained but were now closed and he felt as if the book had grown a thousand pounds heavier. Unable to stand the weight any longer he dropped it to the floor and before he knew what was happening the book rose into the air with violent twitches and jerks. He gaped in horror as the pages began to tear and rip, glowing with a ghastly bluish green light. Wind whipped his hair around and tossed the contents of his room around like they were nothing. Timothy curled up in a ball screaming at the top of his lungs, hoping it was just a bad dream and would end when he awoke. A soft humming noise drifted through the air followed by a loud crash, and just as quickly as it had all begun it all stopped. The boy had barely lifted his head when his eyes met a small figure standing atop the book which now lay open on his bedroom floor.

It was a little man, or at least it looked sort of like a man. It had smooth grey-blue skin with a head of thick wavy red hair combed back and partly neatly. The being wore a grey suit thinly striped in black and garnished with a green pocket square. He ran his fingers along the sleeve of his jacket as if to straighten out a wrinkle using his pointed black nails. His gaze fell upon Timothy and the child had to swallow a scream as he noticed the man’s eyes. They were cat’s eyes…large, round, and yellow eyes with thin black slits that peered straight into his very being. This little man was the scariest, most intimidating thing the boy had ever seen, and he stood no more than three feet tall. Yet somehow it gave off an aura of control and power as its bright eyes studied him.

He greeted Timothy with a wide, pointy toothed grin. “Greetings my young friend, allow me to introduce myself,” he said giving a low bow. “My name is Mr. Sykes, the one and only, and I see you have found my book”. Slowly, he stepped off of the tome and peered down regarding it with disdain the way a fly might look at a spider’s web. Turning back to the child he put a smile back on his face. “I’d first like to thank you for freeing me from that wretched book. It gets quite boring inside the old thing after a while”. Timothy slowly sat up, looking at the little man, and after a few seconds he managed to squeak out, “You’re welcome”.

Mr. Sykes smiled and bowed once again. “I am sorry for any scare, sire. I didn’t mean to frighten you with my awakening”. He stepped forward and smoothed out Timmy’s hair and shirt then held his hands behind his back. “Now then, I owe you an explanation. I am a gifter; a conjurer of magic and spells, and it is my job to serve whoever finds and opens my book for me,” he said as he looked at Timothy with a grin. “And today that is you my dear boy.” Timothy looked at him, completely speechless. This…this couldn’t be happening, it wasn’t possible. But there was Mr. Sykes, standing before him as real as anything else in his room. “What…what do you mean, ‘serve me’?”

Mr. Sykes bowed once again, and when he straightened up he wore another mischievous grin on his face. “In any way I can, sir. I live to serve. I possess magical powers, and have the authority to grant you three wishes of your choosing. If, after each wish, you are unsatisfied with the outcome, I can undo what has been done without using up another wish.” Timothy’s eyes widened. Three wishes…could it be possible? Anything he wanted, anything he could dream of, and all he had to do was ask. He quickly got up and walked to his door, peeking out to make sure his parents had gone to bed.

As he suspected, they had wandered off to their room some time ago and had left their dishes out on the table for him to clean. He closed the door and turned back to face the creature. “Alright then,” Timothy said slowly, “then…for my first wish…I’d like a dog.” Mr. Sykes raised a brow, then crossed his arms tapping his foot as if annoyed. “You would like a dog? The whole world at your fingertips, and you ask me for a dog?” Timothy blushed in embarrassment. It was a stupid wish compared to all the things he could have asked for, but he had never been allowed to have a pet before.

After a moment he straightened back up and addressed the gifter again. “Yes,” he said with newfound confidence, “I want a dog”. Mr. Sykes looked at him for a moment, then he simply snapped his fingers, and vanished. Timothy looked around and, not seeing a puppy, a dog, or any other animal, he looked down sadly. “This was just some kind of a joke,” he thought. “Of course I’m not going to get a-“. Suddenly he heard a faint noise almost like scratching coming from his bedroom door. His eyes widened and his pulse quickened as he stepped towards it. Was it possible…? He opened the door excitedly, his mind racing as he thought about what kind of dog awaited him. When the door swung open he froze in horror, repulsed by what stood before him. It was a dog, or at least it had been a dog when it was alive. What was standing in his doorway now was just rotted flesh and fur clinging onto the skeleton beneath by a few strands of muscle. Its nose was completely worn away, exposing the bloody skull under the flesh. The ugly monster’s paws were grimy and matted with a mixture of dirt and maggots as if it had dug out of its own grave. Worst of all though was the smell; the reeking odor of decay.

The dog barked at its new master, wagging its tail which accidently flicked clumps of dirt and fur in each direction. Timothy’s mouth hung open in shock of the sight he beheld. The dog couldn’t seem to understand why the boy wouldn’t greet him so it took the initiative to tackle Timothy and lick all over his face. Its tongue was already half gone and what was left had turned a sickly green color that was starting to turn black. Timothy tried his hardest not to vomit but when the tongue suddenly detached from the dog’s mouth and clung to his cheek, he lost control and had to roll over, puking all over the floor. When he looked back up, Mr. Sykes stood before him, a wicked grin on his blue face. “What is it sir? I found a dog for you, and very close by. He was buried in the field just down the road”.

He laughed at his own wit as if his master’s displeasure was hilarious. Now Timothy was enraged. He didn’t appreciate being tricked by this thing, whatever it was, and he certainly didn’t need to be mocked. Picking himself up off the floor he pointed a shaky finger at the dog. “I want this thing gone, now!” he shouted angrily. Mr. Sykes wiped away a tear of amusement and then smiled up at the boy. ”As you wish sir,” he said, then snapped his fingers making the dog and the vomit disappear. Timothy shook with anger and embarrassment then turning his back to the creature he whispered “Go away…I don’t need you”. To this Sykes grinned evilly, running a single pointed nail down the child’s spine. “Oh yes you do Timmy boy…they always do,” he said soothingly. Timothy froze up and whispered quietly, “I-I never told you my name”.

But when he looked over his shoulder the small man was gone and he stood alone, scared out of his mind. Timothy slowly walked to his bed and curled up under the blanket, leaving the book on the floor. “Why did Mr. Sykes do that?” he wondered. It was a simple wish, there was no need to be so mean, especially to the one who freed him from the book. He shut his eyes and forced himself to sleep, then slowly but surely, he drifted off. The next morning he woke up and searched his room for relatively clean clothes so he could get ready for school. Finding a shirt and some pants he slid them on quickly and headed toward his door, but as he did he caught a glimpse of himself in the mirror. No wonder the kids made fun of him, he looked like a lost boy straight out of Neverland. His hair was a mess, his cloths smelled of cigarettes and mildew, and he hadn’t gotten new shoes for three years. Unable to take his reflection anymore, his gaze instead fell upon the book. He looked at it for a moment and realized that he did need Mr. Sykes after all. Only he was capable of changing his life for the better. He had to try again, or he was going to face another day with his head in a locker or a toilette. Closing his eyes he whispered softly, “Sykes?”

“Yes?” The response came from right behind him and he whirled around to find the little man standing on his bed, looking right into his eyes with his head slightly cocked. He bowed after a moment, then looked back up at Timothy. “I live to serve, master”. Timmy looked at him wearily, whispering to himself “Of course you do”. The boy looked at Mr. Sykes for a moment then said, “No more tricks. I want to make my second wish…I don’t want to be bullied at school anymore…but I don’t want you messing around with me either.” Mr. Sykes smiled. “Well I’d never do that to you, would I master?” He snapped his fingers then smiled again, baring all of his sharp teeth. “It is done, your day will be worry free”. Timothy glared at him hesitantly then nodded. “Ok,” he said, “I trust you”. Sykes patted him on the back, grinning the whole time. “Of course you do Timmy boy. Now, off to school.” Timothy smiled, excited to have a life where he no longer feared seeing the other kids. He quickly ran outside and raced down the street towards the elementary eager to start his day. When he arrived, he cautiously opened the door and peeked inside. Just down the hall, he could see a few of his usual bullies having a laugh by the water fountain. Mustering all of his courage he took a deep breath then started down the hall.

The moment the children at the fountain saw him, they hung their heads and moved out of his way. Timothy as awestruck. It worked! They were leaving him alone for the first time in years! He smiled, feeling good about himself and his new sense of security, but as he walked to class he noticed something strange. Everyone he passed would shy away from him; students, teachers, even janitors. Some went out of their way just to avoid crossing his path. The boy frowned in confusion. He attempted to approach his teacher when he got to class and ask her about what was wrong, but she refused to make eye contact with him or answer any of his questions. Timmy could’ve sworn that he even saw her flinch when he moved.

The whole day went by like this and when school was finally over he rushed home determined to get answers. The moment he opened the door he could tell something was wrong. His father took one look at him then cast his eyes down at the floor and seemed to shut out the world. He got a similar reaction as he walked by his mother on the couch and no all attempts to get her attention were in vain. “What’s wrong with everyone,” he asked himself? His confusion gave way to rage as he stormed into his room slamming his door and tossing his backpack onto the bed, looking around for the cause of this mischief.
“Sykes! Mr. Sykes! Where are you?” From behind him came a quiet noise, almost like a windy breeze, and he turned to find the little man sitting on his backpack, evil grin and all. “Why hello master, and how was your day?” he asked knowingly. Timmy balled up his fists angrily. “I wanna know why everyone is avoiding me. What’s up with the teachers? What’s up with my parents?” Sykes just smiled and calmly crossed his legs. “Why my dear boy, it’s because YOU are the bully now”. He rose and slowly strode over to the edge of the bed to face Timothy. “You wanted to be left alone, to not get bullied…well you got your wish. You’re the bully now, you have been your whole life. Everyone hates you, fears you, and loathes you. Even your own parents know all too well that your temper is always on edge. It’s such a burden, to fear being beaten by your own son”. He smiled his toothy grin and rested a hand on Timothy’s shoulder. “No need to thank me. I live to serve, sire.”

As the words sank in Timothy suddenly broke out into sobs. He never wanted it to be like this, to be the kind of person that he had to deal with every day of his life. All he had wanted was peace, to be left alone, to be normal. He looked at the little man, tears running down his cheeks. “Fix it. Undo it. I don’t want this anymore.” Mr. Sykes made a quiet tsk-tsk sound. “You’re so hard to satisfy my young friend, but alright. I’ll do as you wish.” He snapped his fingers then looked the young child in the eye as a grin broke across his face. “Now…how about that last wish?” he asked. Timothy shook his head quickly. “No way,” he said, “I don’t trust you one bit”. Sykes put an arm around him and leaned in close. “Come on my boy,” he smiled, “I’ve had my fun, I owe you at least one good wish. Name it, anything you want, and after this wish you’ll be rid of me.”

Timothy wiped away his tears thinking about the creature said. After one more wish he’d be free of this little menace and he’d have at least one dream fulfilled. He knew exactly what he wanted and he couldn’t think of any way for Mr. Sykes to ruin it. After taking a deep breath he looked over at the gifter. “Alright…” he said slowly. “I wish…I wish we had the biggest house in town”. Mr. Sykes smiled, “Of course,” he said, “After all, I live to serve”. He snapped his fingers and disappeared. Timothy looked around, waiting for things to change, for him to suddenly find himself in a grand home with large rooms and beautiful furniture.

Instead his room remained the same, nothing had changed at all. That was when he heard the first scream. It came from outside, followed by a loud thundering boom. He ran from his room then made it out the front door and was greeted by a bright orange light. Looking around in horror he watched as a fire spread through the whole town. Every house, farm, home, and apartment was up in flames, all of them burning to the ground. Ash fell like snow and black smoke clouded the sky as if a storm was descending on the town. Worst of all were the screams.

Babies, children, women, men…all screaming as they watched their homes crumble, engulfed in flame. Timmy knew that he had brought this on them and the guilt weighed on him like an anchor. Sykes had given him the biggest house in town alright, because his was the only one untouched by the inferno. He fell to his knees stammering, “…what have I done…what have I done”. In a mad frenzy he ran inside and barged into his room trying to find the little man and set things right, but Mr. Sykes was long gone and he had taken his book with him, leaving no trace. Timothy cried hysterically knowing that people had died, homes were lost, and it was all his fault. He sprinted back outside and stumbled as he ran down Main Street and made his way towards the antique shop where he could be safe.

His lungs burned as the fiery air filled them up, ash starting to settle on his hair and clothes. Sweat clung to his forehead and ran down into his eyes making them burn as he persisted towards his last hope of sanctuary, but when he arrived all he found was rubble and a few piles of bricks lying in the ruin. Apparently Sykes had made sure that the shop was burned down first, his last act of cruelty. Nothing was left. Timothy felt himself about to get sick. As he fell to his knees a shadow slowly cast over him and he turned his head to glance over his shoulder. Several children from his school had gathered behind him, their soot stained faces contorted in anger and disdain. “You little freak,” one of them yelled, “YOU did this, didn’t you?” Timothy cried out curling up into a ball, “No please, I didn’t mean to…” “See?” said another, “he admits it! I saw his house, it’s the only one left standing. He did this ‘cuz he’s jealous of us!” The other children all shouted in agreement.

Timothy curled up tighter and squeezed his eyes shut trying desperately to shut them out. The children closed in around him and started picking up anything they could find; rocks, stones, bricks, and threw them at him one after another. “Freak!” “Firefly!” Their shouting rang in his ears as Timothy lay there taking each stone worst then the last. Soon they began to feel more like boulders crashing into him and sending sharp jolts of pain through his body. He clenched his teeth to keep himself from screaming but eventually a cry of pain escaped his dry throat, drowned out by the sound of cracking flames and firetruck sirens. For a moment he managed to open his eyes, peeking out at his assailants and squinting at them through the smoke. There among the children stood Mr. Sykes, smiling just as big and brightly as ever. Timmy’s eyes widened as he realized the small creature held a brick in its hand. Slowly it pulled its arm back winding it up and hurled the brick at Timothy’s head. He fell on his side, sending a small cloud up as his unconscious body hit the ground. The children dropped their stones and searched the group for the culprit, but Mr. Sykes was gone and none of the children had even caught a glimpse of him.

None of the kids would confess to throwing the brick and none of them were brave enough to check if he was alive. They quickly pushed his body into the ruins of the antique shop and kicked some ash on his body for good measure. If anyone found him they would assume it was an accident, and if he was alive then he’d be too scared to snitch. Without an ounce of guilt they left him there and wandered down the road to find their way back to their parents. They didn’t even look back, not once. All alone in the scorched remnants of the old store, no one saw the little man approach Timothy’s body, clutching a leather book to his small torso. No one saw his evil smile and the glint of his yellow eyes as he reached out for the boy’s hand lying limp on the filthy ground. No one saw them disappear without a trace as the walls of the shop finally collapsed on themselves, removing all evidence that Timothy was ever there.

Once the fires were dealt with the police got involved and they never found any clue about what happened to Timothy. They questioned his school mates, his parents, even Mr. Garen, but no one seemed to know a thing about what had happened to him the day of the fire. After a couple weeks the cops gave up altogether. There were no leads, no tips, no sightings, nothing. Timothy’s parents left town because without their son attending school there they had no reason to stay anymore. Slowly everyone started to move on with their lives. The townspeople searched through the rubble of their homes finding old photographs and belongings that had barely survived as they attempted to salvage anything they could.

One particular day on the outskirts of town, a woman searched the remains of her apartment hoping to find a few photo albums and the chest she kept her wedding dress in. She was digging through the ash and pushing piles of the stuff aside when she felt her shovel hit something. Brightening up hopefully, she set the shovel down and brushed soot away from the object in front of her. It was a book, a strange leather book she had never seen before. Furrowing her brow in confusion she studied the jewel encrusted cover, her fingers roaming over the title which appeared to be in some kind of foreign language.

She looked at the item puzzled and tried to figure out what it was doing in her home, but try as she might there was no logical explanation for it. The woman shrugged and turned around tossing the book into the cart of things she’d found among the ruins. After she was done for the day she loaded the contents of the cart into the back of her car and began driving to the hotel she’d been staying at down the road. She arrived a little after 10pm, leaving her findings from that day in the car and setting her keys on the night stand beside her bed.

As she went to close her hotel door a chill suddenly went up her spine that made her blood run cold. Slowly she looked down at her feet and sitting there propped against the door frame was the book she’d found. “Didn’t I leave this in the car?” she thought. Stooping down hesitantly she picked it up and closed the door, closing her curtains and flipping the light switch up. She sat on the bed with the book in front of her and looked it over. Something about it seemed….off. Feeling uneasy, she set the book aside and stood to go take a shower when she heard a soft click. Breathing heavily now, she turned back toward her bed and looked down at the book sitting on her bed. The lock had clicked open and as she watched it slowly slid from the clasp and fell to the floor with a thud.

Credit To – Creecher001

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The Preacher

July 14, 2015 at 12:00 AM
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The Preacher

This is a video pasta. If the embedded video is not loading for you, please click the link above to go directly to the video’s YouTube page and try watching it there.

Credit To – MorganM

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Abbadelli’s Family Villa

July 13, 2015 at 12:00 PM
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Author’s note: A peculiar journal was discovered in the Abbadelli’s family villa, located in ███████ Italy. The piece seems to date back to the 18th century, yet is in a surprisingly good condition. It was discovered in ███████ when a wealthy couple bought the old mansion with the goal of renovating it. Soon after finding it, they quickly gave up on the specious plot of land, putting it up for sale. The diary is written in a typical date to date fashion and apparently belonged to Aryana Abbadelli, the younger of two sisters, who was in her late teenage years .The following are a few of the final entries, translated in English.

May 17th, 1752

I truly adore my family’s villa. I cannot believe I am going to spend the entire summer here with my mother. How she received father’s permission I will never know. Then again, with Lucia engaged and father occupied with his work, there was little for us to do back home.

The roses in the garden are as red as I remember; it appears that Marcel is quite a dedicated gardener. I wish father paid him more, given the splendid work he was doing. But I digress, father knows best.

We just settled in and I decided to quickly document my arrival, but other than that the next couple of days will probably be very uneventful.

May 19th, 1752

I just came back from my afternoon walk. Everything here is as beautiful as I remember. The endless fields of golden wheat, the small yet populated town and the crystal stream that runs close to it. Granted, my mother insisted that I bring Marcel along. He is a very hardworking man, but I am not too fond of him following me everywhere I go.

He also restrained me from going into the town, saying something about an illness that had fallen upon the people. Good thing the villa is far away from it, I do not wish to ruin my stay here by succumbing to sickness. Poor townsfolk, they were always so generous towards my family, I pray for their health.

I have to go now, mother is preparing dinner!

May 22nd, 1752

My enthusiasm is fading at a rapid pace. Marcel convinced my mother to forbid me from straying too far from the property, giving me little space to explore.

I wish I could go and visit the town, maybe explore the markets. You never know what you might find on some of the stands. Moreover, I might even meet some handsome farmer boy, with sun-tanned skin and curly black locks.

As if my father would allow it, ‘’I am to be given to a man high of stature’’ he would often say. I cannot describe how tired I am of powdered man with riches, looking to buy me off as if I am some sort of object, only so I can bear them another spoiled offspring.

I think I shall read another book, as there is so little to do here.

May 24th, 1752.

For the past few days I’ve been doing nothing but staring at the lifeless furniture. I feel like I am becoming a decorative peace myself. At least back home there was someone to talk to.

May 25th.1752,

I cannot take it anymore. I spend all day wondering the empty halls and, to add to that, the only company I have is that nosy Marcel. Each time I set a foot out the manor he is always there, waiting with his crooked smile to accompany me on my short walk.

At least I found an interesting book to read. It lacked a title and was stored far in the back, as if someone had tried to purposely keep it away from plain view. The pages are stuck together, it is dusty and some of the letters are simply too faded to be readable, but it is quite interesting.

Who knew people around here were so superstitious.

May 27th, 1752

I feel so guilty, yet proud of myself at the same time.

Last night, as the sun fell, I tip-toed down to the lobby and escaped my cage through an opened window. I couldn’t risk using the creaky doors; Marcel would surely hear the noise.

That night I snuck through the wheat and got a closer look at the town. The people didn’t appear sick, gloomy maybe, but certainly not ill.

I wonder where all the women were? I saw many men roaming the streets, going about their business, but no woman in sight. Then again, smaller towns were still quite conservative, maybe they were simply not allowed to go outside after a certain time?

I thought about revealing myself, but then I recalled that Marcel knew everybody in this town and someone would have surely notified him of my presence, which would result in me having even less freedom.

May 28th, 1752

Thankfully, my mother and Marcel are still as clueless as ever. I am as sly as a fox in the night, I suppose. Tomorrow I might try sneaking out once more, but for now I shall appear as the obedient child they want me to be.

This old book is really quite unique. It tells the story of this place, going back to ancient times and describing how vital this area was as a trade center for the economy of the Roman Empire. It’s hard to imagine that I am currently standing on the ruined foundations of whole massive district once populated by thousands of merchants and vendors.

I wonder what happened to it.

May 29th, 1752

This morning I heard mother and Marcel arguing. I didn’t understand much of what they were saying, but my mother was quite harsh.

Later I understood that she was heading to the town, eager to meet a few of her old friends. I was quite irritated that she was able to leave whenever she desired and I was not. Marcel had overstepped his boundaries, trying to convince her not to go as well, but even after he pleaded my mother’s decision was final.

She informed me that she was going to be back soon and departed, leaving me alone with the lifeless furniture and Marcel.

May 30th, 1752

Each day is more dull then the last. I must find something to do before I lose my mind. Perhaps I could read a few more pages…

June 1st, 1752

It is late and mother has been away for almost three days now. I would like to say that I am not concerned, but I am.

Marcel has been glued to the windows for the last day, taking breaks from his watch for only the most basic of bodily functions. Different unnerving scenarios are beginning to play out in my mind involving my mother.

I just pray that she is safe.

June 4th, 1752

Mother is still missing. Marcel assured me that he had contacted the proper authorities and that they should be arriving in a few days. I just hope I don’t die from worry until then.

All I have been doing for the past couple of days is pacing around the halls like some forsaken patrol, waiting for my mother’s voice to ring in my ears as she announces her return.

As I walk, I start to pay more attention to the details around me. Details that I would normally just glance over. The paintings aligning the corridors, for one thing. Between the many portraits of my grandfather, which were to be expected, stood quite grotesque pieces of art.

Some displayed people running through crimson coated streets, trying to escape some unseen entity. Other displayed corpses, gutted and piled one over the other, forming a hill of rotting flesh. It was also worth noting that every single victim was a woman. Come to think of it, I rarely saw men in any of the paintings.

A shiver ran down my spine. To think these were here all along and neither I nor my mother had noticed them.

They remind me of something…

June 5th, 1752

I never would’ve suspected that my father’s beloved villa was erected over a land with such disturbing secrets.

After some thought, I recalled what the gruesome paintings reminded me of. Some the images were featured in the faded pages of the aforementioned mysterious book I expressed interest in.

As I skipped through the pages, I found what I was looking for. Apparently, this place is known to house a very demented cult, which believes that the destructive phenomenon that leveled the previous ancient city to the ground could only be appeased by performing ritual sacrifices.

They named the entity ‘’Chimera’’ and would occasionally draw the blood of women in its name, supposedly ‘’feeding’’ it.

The book states that cult was eradicated by the Pope a long time ago, yet I cannot deny the lack of womanly presence I witnessed in the town.

I just hope mother comes back soon.

June 6th, 1752.

I can’t just stand here and do nothing.

My mother is out there, possibly in danger.

I care little for what Marcel says; I am going out to find her

June 7th, 1752

Of all the nerve!

I cannot believe that goon locked me in my own room!

Early this morning, I finally gathered the courage to leave and look for mother. Little did I know, Marcel had locked all the possible exits. When I demanded to be released, he simply dragged me to my room and locked me in here!

Does he not realize his place!?

At least he did not bolt the single window I had, but the height from here is too great for another ‘’silent escape’’.

Now what am I going to do?

June 9th, 1752

She is dead….

June 10th, 1752

I am terrified. I don’t want to die too, not like that… never like that.

Yesterday, two men arrived at our doorstep. The tall and lanky one carried a pitch fork, which he would threateningly wave around as he yelled profanities that I shall avoid quoting.

Then, he called out to Marcel who I haven’t seen for days. Even when he brings me food, he does so while I sleep. As I looked through the curtains of my bedroom’s window, my eyes focused on the more muscular man or, rather, on what he carried under his arm. It was a large wooden barrel, rotten and covered in moss.

I could clearly hear Marcel skittering around on the first floor, but he did not respond to the man’s aggressive taunts.

Unsatisfied with the lack of response, the skinny man ordered for the barrel to be placed down and opened. His companion did as he was asked; placing it next to him and yanking off the lid.

It was at this point that an unshakable feeling of dread overtook me. As if my body was preparing me for what I was about to witness, urging me look away. I didn’t.

The rude skinny man then jabbed whatever was inside of there with his pitchfork. The smile on his face was insanely wide, a smile only an evil man could produce.

When he brought the gardening tool up, I saw my mother’s decaying head impaled on the pointed tines…

I wanted to look away but I could not move my gaze away from her tortured expression, permanently carved on her beaten face. Maggots crawled out her faded eyes, nose, ears and mouth, eating away at her once caramel skin.

She is dead…She is really gone…

That bastard waved her head around like it was some sort of trophy. I wanted to go down there, grab that pitch fork and stick it in his wretched heart. Luckily, Marcel had a similar intention.

A gun shot was heard, originating from one of the lower windows of the villa. My grandfather’s rusty musket probably. The large man who carried the barrel dropped with a bleeding hole in the middle of his forehead, where the bullet struck.

The other seemed furious, yelling out to Marcel, calling him a traitor and saying ‘’it’’ was coming for the, quote on quote, ‘’little whore’’ regardless if he was willing to hand me over or not.

Then, before he could’ve said anything more, the skinny one also fell after an ear-piercing bang, dropping the pitch fork with my mother’s head still on it.

It is safe to say, I did not get a single moment of sleep after witnessing that. I also avoid looking out the window, knowing the remains of my dear mother were still lying there, on our doorstep.

Will I die like that too?

June 11th, 1752

I spoke with Marcel today. As expected, he still didn’t want to meet me face to face so we talked through my bedroom’s door. He assured me that he was going to protect me and that help was going to come soon.

I wanted to believe him, yet I knew the reality of the current predicament. No one was coming and it was only a matter of time before they return, knocking at our gates. I asked him about his history with these people and the ‘’it’’ they were referring to.

He ignored my questions, repeating that I was going to be alright that he was going to protect me.

Other than that, I’ve been laying across my bed all day, drenched it complete silence. Marcel was seemingly kind enough to dispose of the dead remains, allowing me to look out of the window again without feeling the need to break into tears. Yet, the blood still remained, dyeing the spot where the horror took place in a dark red color.

At least the sunset is nice…

June 12th, 1752

I had a very unnerving experience last night. As I was almost asleep, I heard a voice calling out to me. Actually, there were many different ones varying in pitch and tone, yet somehow synced into one. I can only compare it to a choir of some sort, only less melodic.

I have not heard anything from Marcel, which worries me. What is he doing down there anyway?

That’s all there is to write about for now.

June 14th, 1752

My room is now officially my prison, my own little well decorated cage. It’s been a while since I used my voice; my vocal cords have probably rusted. I don’t think help is coming anytime soon, or ever for that matter.

Marcel has been quiet. I can hear him walk up and down the stairs but, apart from that, I have not spoken to him in…4 days, maybe? Time moves at a snail’s pace when there is nothing to peek your interest.

I am probably going mad from being isolated for so long, because I am starting to hear the voice I mentioned in my last entry even in my waking hours. I feel like whatever is calling out to me, is drawing closer.

June 15th, 1752.

I am scared…no, I am terrified. Today Marcel came up to my room. He did not enter, of course, but I could hear him weeping and sobbing from outside the door. He kept repeating that he was sorry and that I had to endure. Then he told me that he could not protect me anymore, that the guilt was becoming too much to bare. I tried to fish out some sort of explanation from the mumbling fool, but he just kept repeating ‘’I am sorry’’ over and over, lightly banging his head on the door.

After a while, I could feel him backing away from the door. His last words to me where:

‘’Soon it will arrive, tempting you to give yourself over. You must not leave this room, no matter what. Remember, it can only take you on your own free will’’

That’s the last I heard from Marcel. After a few hours, a load ‘’bang’’ echoed across the villa, followed by a muffled thud. I can already imagine him, lying across the wooden floor with a bullet in his skull.

I am all alone now…

June 18th, 1752

Everything is so quiet. Dust coats the furniture and webs have formed on the ceiling. I haven’t eaten in days, that goon could’ve at least given me some food before blowing his brains out. I don’t have the energy to do anything besides lay on the bed, waiting for starvation to eventually be the end of me.

I tried breaking the door down, but the wood was much too resistant.

The voice is getting louder… more… excited.

June 20th, 1752.

I ate a spider today. It was repulsive but it did provide me with some nourishment. Yes, it was a rather large spider. Good thing it rained today, as well, my water supply was at an end. Although, I did almost fall through the window while I was attempting to gather the drops. A fall like that would surely shatter my frail body.

I haven’t been able to sleep well. The voice bombards my mind constantly and I think I am beginning to make out what it is trying to say:

“Come to me.”

June 21st. 1752.

I am going to die here aren’t I? I’ve already accepted that cruel fact. As I gathered the courage to look into the mirror today, I saw nothing more than a skeleton with a coat of flesh. The lack of food and sleep is naturally taking its toll. I wonder if I will live long enough to see whatever is coming for me. Maybe that was Marcel’s plan all along?

June 23rd, 1752.

Voices…Loud. Too Loud…. It Hurts!

June 25th, 1752

It’s here! It is actually here and it’s… magnificent. I woke up today and immediately directed my gaze towards the window. I saw it, looming over the horizon. A colossal formation of beauty and grace. I dragged my frail body across the dusty floor, crawling over to the window. I felt the sun rush in, it made me smile.

Then I saw it, standing in the field of golden wheat, roughly as tall as the mansion itself. A fusion of feminine bodies, aligned in the form of giant arachnid. Intestines binding them together, keeping the whole construction from collapsing. Each body fitting with the other like a peace in a puzzle, contributing to this living artwork.

It is still standing there as I write this, calling out to me with a voice sweet like honey. Thousands of faces smiling in my direction patiently, comforting me.

I want to be a one of them, I want to join them- be a part of something greater. That way, I will finally matter. My sorry existence will finally serve some higher purpose.

I am sorry Marcel, but such opportunities only graze a few. I must go now; I just hope I will have the strength to climb through the window and out of this prison.

I think I might’ve just discovered true happiness.

Goodbye.

After that, it is assumed that Aryana Abbadelli had jumped through the window. Falling from that height would resolve in severe injuries in the best case scenario. Assuming she survived, she must’ve had climbed down the side of the mansion somehow. Experts that analyzed the journal concluded that her encounter with the strange entity described in the last entry was most likely a hallucination caused by starvation. They are probably right. However, we did find old remains of clothing matching the ones stored in Aryana’s room, scattered through the field quite a distance from the structure. Any trace of Aryana’s body has yet to be discovered.

After a full investigation of the villa, we found the remains of a male in the cellar, buried under piles of dust and sludge. The cause of death was clear by the hole in the side of the skull; a self-inflicted gunshot from a very close range. The weapon itself was never discovered, probably taken by some of the previous owners. We have identified this body as the Marcel mentioned in the journal.

We are currently looking for the described ‘’barrel’’ which might possibly contain the remains of the mother; Maria Abbadelli.

We did, however, discover the mysterious untitled book. Due to its current age it is practically unreadable, hence why we are taking it to HQ for analysis.

As of now, the Abbadelli’s case in marked as “unsolved” until we come up with more concrete evidence of what had happened.
Credit To – Alex Murder

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Lake Wonapango

July 12, 2015 at 12:00 PM
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Everyone who grew up near Lake Wonapango had their own story about the lake. Some were your traditional and expected fish stories, some dealt with summer love and improprieties, and others were tragic tales of misadventure. And then there were the other stories, ones that spoke of great loss, the kind that does not stop when the sufferer passes on. Lake Wonapango held deep, dark secrets on its sandy bed, and sometimes those secrets floated to the surface. I remember well the night I myself came face to face with one of those secrets. All my years of trying to forget have done nothing but burn it more firmly in my thoughts.

I was never the fishing type. While it was the most common past time for those who lived around the lake, it was just never my thing. I did not have the patience or the appetite for the long hours spent catching the local fare. It seemed wasteful to haul them up and toss them back in. Still, like most folks around the lake, I had my boat. It was little more than a rowboat—I mean, it had a tiny outboard motor strapped to it, but I rarely used it. You see, I took the boat out not for fishing or swimming, but just to enjoy the water. I always went out at night, and the growl of the motor seemed overwhelming in the otherwise peaceful setting. So, I used it as a chance to get a good work out in, rowing along to a few of the calm, quiet spots I knew of.

The night in question was one of those nights hanging in between spring and summer. The air carried the thick humidity of summer, but still settled on the cool side of warm. It was heavy with the hopes and aspirations of summer. The crickets, frogs, and cicadas had all started their raucous chorus, so I would say it was anything but quiet out there. But out on the water, it was still peaceful. There’s something about Lake Wonapango that just feels rights when the critters are singing out of key.

There were two empty bottles in the bottom of my boat, and I was leaned back against the edge, the lake water gently rocking me back and forth. The sky stretched out like an endless canvas above me, inky darkness pierced by diamond light. The moon was full, glowing warmly down on the scene. I know that this memory is colored by nostalgia, cast glorious in contrast to the events that were to come. But I don’t know if I could imagine something better and more peaceful than that evening. Maybe that’s why it had to go so wrong. Perhaps beauty and peace like that simply cannot exist in this world for long. The balance must be righted.

In that moment of peace, there was a splash. Now, anyone who has spent much time on isolated waters can tell you a splash does not mean much. I was surrounded by all sorts of wildlife that may have wanted to slide into the water. Or a tree branch could have fallen in. Heck, it could have even been one of the many local fishes swishing to the surface to snag an unfortunate water skimmer. There was no real reason it should have caught my attention. Part of what bugged me is that it did, though. Whatever thoughts and reveries I had were lost and shattered along with the surface of the lake. I sat forward, scanning about. The boat listed a bit with my sudden movements, the bottles rolling and clanging in the bottom.

The ripples began near an old fallen log that jutted its way into the river. Probably a turtle, I thought, swimming back to the shore after a long day of sunning. I tried to rest back against the boat, slip back into my quiet contemplation, but my ears were on edge, straining for any other sounds.

Silence. Complete and total save for the water lapping against my boat. The bugs and frogs had quieted down, and their absence made me feel suddenly self-conscious. I grabbed the oars to row back home, now feeling out of place on the lake that had always been home.

As my paddles dipped into the water, I imagined I heard an echoing splash hiding in their noise. It was paranoia, I told myself, or an echo from the banks. But still my ears strained. I finally paused mid-stroke, the oars lying limp in the water, and heard another splash following behind me. I spun around and watched as something broke the surface of the water. It was an arm, long and pale in the moonlight. I felt frozen to the spot, watching as the other arm rose and fell, gentle strokes pulling whoever it was steadily closer. I watched the faded shadow glide beneath the water, the feet arcing into the air and pushing it downward just before it reached my boat.

People did swim in Lake Wonapango, so I assumed I must have surprised a sunbather or skinny dipper with my evening sail. I wondered who it was, since they had obviously made towards my boat and darted away to avoid detection. My mind wandered to a couple particular townsfolk I would not mind stumbling upon skinny dipping, but before the thoughts could get too far, something bumped the bottom of the boat.

I was alert and scanning the water, assuming it must be someone playing a joke on me after disturbing them. I was not too thrilled about the potential baptism I might endure if they took it too far; my goal was relaxation, not swimming in the murky water. I watched for them, trying to see when they would surface. But no one showed.

The second bump was louder, sending me careening into the side and almost overboard. It was no longer a funny joke, and I grabbed the paddles again. They could spend all evening in the dark depths of Lake Wonapango if that’s what they wanted to do, but I was going to go home and put an end to the long day.

The paddle in my left hand barely moved in the water before something latched onto it, ripping it from my hands. Wood splintered as it came free, disappearing into the water behind a trialing white arm. I watched it rocket to the bottom until I lost it in the shadows.

I admit, I was cursing up a good storm out there on my boat. Down to one oar, it was going to take me a while to get myself home. This joke was not funny any longer. I took my remaining paddle and prepared for the long journey home.

Only then a hand appeared over the side of the boat. The fingers were long, pale and greenish in the light. I assumed it was the reflection of the moon on the water or something, but now I’m not so sure. One thing I did note as weird was the webbing between the fingers and the long, tapering fingernails. That hand was attached to a long, slender arm.

Suddenly, a face broke the surface of the water. It was mostly human, but just not quite right. The eyes were too round, not the right oval shape. They also stretched a bit too big and had an unusual sheen to them. The lips were wide and flat, curled into a suggestion of a smile. Overall, the face was somewhat flattened. But she blinked those big, shining eyes at me and I was caught. Her hand—a bit slimy, very cold—trailed along mine, winding up my arm. I felt myself leaning towards her, enraptured at the unnatural beauty. Her hair lay in wet ringlets along her body, and it was clear she was completely naked below the water. I could not tell you what else was going on in the world around me then, because my entire being was consumed with devouring her presence. It was as if I had never experienced human connection until that point. Her lips slipped into an alluring smile, an unspoken invitation to come closer.

I tingled with the feeling of her hand on my arm—I only later realized that the tingle was not simply arousal, but a potent toxin that left my arm numb for hours after. In the moment, however, it was bliss. Every nerve danced with her touch, sizzling to new life as her skin glided over my own.

I was in the water before I realized it, drawn in by her smiling eyes. I felt as if I were diving straight into her pupils, drenching myself in their dark depths. But the muddy water of Lake Wonapango filled my mouth, its vile taste reminding me that this was no paradise. My arms flailed about, the one she had carefully caressed flopping mostly useless in the water. I felt her hands running across my chest, the same burn of pleasure and paralysis following her fingertips.

You would think that I would have been able to realize the danger I was in with this mystery creature, but I felt no threat from her. Even as she gently tugged me towards the lake bed, I felt she was only interested in my wellbeing. She could have held me underwater and watched me drown as long as her eyes held mine. No, it was not the awareness of her perilousness, but the long forgotten admonitions of my parents. You never go swimming if you’ve been drinking. It was a recipe for disaster. Their warnings ringing clear, I made for the boat

I suppose she sensed my intention to escape, because those long nails on her hand began digging into my skin. Fortunately, she had well-numbed most of my upper body by that point. I managed to flop into the boat, my vision going blurry around the edges. Eventually, the moon was the only thing left—that and some thunderous pounding against the sides of my boat.

I woke up the next morning, the heat having returned in force. My chest was sticky with blood, my head pounded, and my arms felt like they were filled with sand. It was a long, painful, exhausting trip back to shore as I stared down a long road of recovery and failed forgetting stretching ahead of me.

Most people blamed the bottles in the bottom of my boat for the strange report. I must have fallen in, gotten scraped up on some rocks. Others, I think, thought it was suicide gone wrong. But, I now know why the lake has claimed more than its fair share of victims. I know why men and women go missing out there, no sign of a problem in their peacefully floating boat. I stay away from the lake at night. I got lucky once, and I’m in no mood to tempt fate. I don’t think I could resist those eyes this time, and I know I’d make my home on the sandy bottom of the lake if she ever invited me again.

Credit To – Katherine C

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