The Bear

July 24, 2014 at 12:00 AM
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It is not with a high frequency that I am subject to nightmares. That being said there are times where, like any other person, I experience the rather disturbing scenarios that arise from the depths of my own mind. This particular sequence of events chilled me to the bone however.

Chilling to the bone. That phrase is often overused in my eyes. The potency of a phrase may diminish when its usage has become annoyingly common. But in this context it works perfectly.

Whenever I would wake up from this dream I would be cold. I would feel wet, like someone had just hosed me down with a jet of water, although I would be perfectly dry. The chill would start on my skin, stimulating the tiny hairs on the outer layer of me. It would begin in the middle of my chest, like the chills that are caused by music. The cold would spread over me, working its way through my appendages like a wave of energy. Once it had tingled through my body it would race down the spine again and make me shudder. It would then sit inside me. Like a chunk of ice it would linger and melt away slowly as I forgot the dream.

I can not remember the dream well. Dreams only stay in the human mind for short periods of time. I can’t tell you the actual time length but I’m confident that it’s something like after ten minutes 90% of the dream is forgotten.

This dream is a new occurrence. It’s only happened a few of times. All of them in the last few days. Of course it doesn’t take much to remember something like this. I think it’s getting progressively worse. Like a story. The dreams seem to be progressing in intensity and clarity like the arc of a plot leading to a climactic moment of realization.

I can only remember one image. Only one, it’s always the same. A bear. A large, black bear. The image is burned into my mind, like a tattoo on the skin of a biker.

The bear is standing there. Tall. It is so tall, maybe twelve or thirteen feet tall. I can’t remember the scenery anymore, even though I only just woke up. All I know is that it was dark, a single from standing in the distance. The bear.

This is the third time that I’ve had this dream. The second time I remembered even less. I only remembered shapes, no sound or color, just dark shapes. The first occurrence, is blurred in my sub conscience, the only things that stuck around were the animalistic feelings of a hunt.

I’m sitting in my bed right now, shuddering with this strange cold that won’t leave me. My room is dark. It is still night outside, the alarm clock on the side of my bed reads 1:00 in its blocky red font. It’s 1 AM and I have to work later today.

I lay back down and look around my room. I hear the faint whispering noises coming out of the floor register. The street lights filter, like dancing beams of glowing air, through my blinds. The room has taken on a blueish tinge, like a Picasso painting during his blue period. My fan is going in the corner, its whirring noises calm me slightly as I lie back down into my bed. I curl up into a fetal position and hold the blankets tightly to my figure in an attempt to regain some of my lost heat.

I close my eyes, waiting to see if the bear will return.

My mind races at the sudden loss of sight. Everything auditory becomes more intense. I can hear the wind outside blowing past my house, rushing through the pine trees behind my house, up and around the parked cars in the street.

My eyes move slowly around the inside my my eyelids, slowing as I reach closer to sleep. And then, I am taken by it. I begin to dream.

I am in a forest. It is cold, blue, purple, and black with night. The sky above me is dark and turmoiled with what appears to be a storm. The wind is blowing at my back, everything is moving slowly. I look at the sky again, lightning flashes above me, silently. Strange. There is no sound from the lightning, yet I can hear the wind blowing all around me.

I begin to move through the forest. The pine trees around me make everything seem sharp and pointed. They sway in the wind, only ever illuminated by the occasional flash of lightning. Everything is a silhouette, the trees are shadowless forms, mixing with grasses and bushes to form black artwork that I can scarcely make out. My depth perception is useless in this darkness. I’m moving slowly, and quietly. I can’t hear anything but the wind.

Behind me, out of nowhere, I sense a presence. It is strange, unlike anything that I have felt before. It feels cold. It is like someone has just come up behind me and opened a freezer. The warmth in the air is sucked away. I feel a drop of water hit my nose. Rain.

It begins to rain slowly, not ever picking up. It is like a light misty rain that comes down in little pellets of water. It is weak. As the rain slowly moistens the clothes I’m wearing I begin to feel even colder.

I feel the presence behind me again. It feels closer now. I cannot hear anything but the wind and the light pattering of the rain on the dense forest floor. I want to turn around and look behind me. I know that something is there. I can feel it getting closer to me.

I slowly look around at my surroundings to try and gain some sort of bearing on this presence at my back. I am afraid to turn and face the adversary, it is too much like being hunted. The trees around grow sinister. They are black holes in the horizon sucking away the matter of my mind. I look to my left, directly at the trees. I am moving relatively fast for a walking pace. The trees are moving by, casting shadows.

Low hanging branches are mixing together. In the branches I see something. I slow momentarily and look into the purply blackness marked by silhouetted branches. Something moves. The air grows frigidly cold. There, in the hole, I see two snorts of mist exit from an unknown location. Something is in the forest watching me, and breathing heavily.

I begin to walk through the forest faster. I gain speed slowly, the presence seems to fall back while I move faster away from it. I cannot hear my own footsteps, although I feel them hitting the ground. I am silent. I can only hear the wind and the rain. The persistent cold is going away slightly. It has changed, I no longer feel cold on the inside as I had before, now it is only from the wind against my wet jacket.

I am moving relatively quickly now, like that of a speed walker. I slowly gain up the courage to look behind me. The movements in my neck feel slow and forced, like I’ve been hunched over a computer for the whole day.

I look behind me. I see nothing. It is dark. Then, a chill begins to creep up my spine. It is like an insect has found its way under my jacket and is slowly working its way up the small of my back and up along the ridges of my spine. The cold is returning.

I have slowed down. I am no longer moving.

The lightning flashes overhead. behind me I make out a shape. Something large. It is shaped like a boulder, and it is growing very slowly in the distance. I can feel the cold emanating from this form. I turn around and begin to walk faster again. Now moving at an even healthier clip than I was before.

A picture of the form behind has burned itself into the insides of my eyelids. Flashing the image on my gave every time that I blink. I can see its eyes. Silver and red at the same time. Mixing and merging with each other. Its breath is like white smoke from a slow burning fire. The tendrils of smoke are leaking out of the corners of its invisible mouth.

I begin to stumble through the forest. The trees are moving in the wind, their forms now mix with one another and form sinister smiles in the branches. I can only hear the wind and the rain.
I look behind myself again. The boulder shape has fallen behind, I can no longer see it. I begin to run.

Looking to the sides of the forest again I begin to see shapes forming in the branches. An enormous thing is running directly beside me. It is not the shape of any animal. Its forelegs are the size of enormous arms, the back legs are squat and springy like that of a rabbit. It races alongside me and I can always see it next to me no matter which side of the forest I look to. I see its face.

A flash of lightning illuminates the dark shape that is racing me. It is looking directly at me. Its eyes are white as snow with no iris or pupil. The brown snout is caked in mud and what could be blood. The teeth are yellowed and cracked. It is smiling at me like I will soon become its next meal.

The running is slow and fast at the same time. I feel as though I am moving effortlessly through the forest faster than a car, but I also feel as if I am not moving at all. I see the trees and bushes rushing by my quickly. I look behind myself again, I see nothing. The beast at my side has disappeared into oblivion.

I redirect my attention forward and look at the forest in front of me. I see nothing for what seems like minutes but was most likely only seconds.

Then, in the distance I see a what looks like the edge of the forest. I am filled with a sense of urgency and adrenaline as I rapidly pursue the forests edge. I move up an incline through the darkness. And then the forest floor falls back downward. I am almost at the clearing. It is maybe one hundred feet in front of me.

I feel cold. The chill has crept back into me. It has worked its way back into the very center of my core and is forcing me to slow down. I feel the ground rush up to me as my legs cease to work. I am forced to lie on the floor as I become even more cold. I turn over onto my back and look back into the forest, knowing that the safety of the clearing is not but thirty-five yards ahead of me.

I look back into the forest. I don’t see anything. I hear nothing but the wind and the rain. The sky has become more violent. It is black and grey, churning above me with virulent anger.

Then, everything is still. I hear no sound. The wind has not stopped. The rain has stopped. There is no sound. It is utterly and completely silent in the darkness of the forest. And then in the distance I here a scream. It is like the screech of a bat several octaves lower than possible. The screech gives into a roar of depth and power, the base of the bellow is deep and resonates through the forest. I know that the beast will soon be upon me.

I look in front of me, and see nothing but the silhouetted pine trees waving in the silenced wind.

There is a flash of lightning. It is blue and yellow at the same time and sends the increasing chills racing through my body. Its illumination of the forest is momentary and revealing.

There is a boulder shape moving towards me, rising slowly over the crest of the hill, entering my field of view like an eighteen wheeler would move over a hill. My eyes open wide, my irises retract instantaneously to allow more light into my eyes as the fear climaxes into an adrenaline fueled panic.

Then I hear it. Its breathing is slow and wet. Like it is filled with saliva and blood. It is a thick, deep sound. I hear the branches breaking under its feet. They might be the size of tree trunks but they snap with the explosive sound of a shotgun as they break under the power of the slowly looming monstrosity.

I look to the sides again hoping to see that there is a possibility of escape for me. All I see is that the forest is slowly leaking hands of fog into my space. In the forest I see the faces of the trees looking at me with lust. They want to consume me as well. I see the face of the thing that was running next to me again. It is still smiling. Only its eyes seem brighter.

Lightning illuminates the forest once more. The sounds of the creature cease. It has stopped moving, as if it wants to pose for the flash of natures’ camera as it prepares to bear down on my weak human form. I look away from the face next to me slowly. I, with a fading feeling, hope that the creatures on my sides will not lash out towards me whilst I am not prepared. It takes more strength to turn away from the ever present faces than it does to look upon my hunter.

The light flashes slowly for me. It moves from the clearing up across the ground like a curtain lifting up to reveal the set stage of a play. It rises up the hill and reveals the beast.

It is a beast. Not an animal. It is a beast unlike any possible creature on the planet. It sucks the light into its form like it was a rip in space. Coldness emanates from it, causing the chills moving in my body to intensify to an extreme. Its form is blacker than the night, its fur ripples in the wind like a shaggy dog. It is tall. Taller than any animal that lives in the western hemisphere. Its shoulders are resting farther down the body, making the neck seem elongated and thick. Its head merges with the neck in one oblong shape. The only changes on the head are the pointed ears that sit atop its immense form.

I can only see its face for a moment. It is obscured by the darkness surrounding its body. It feels evil. Cruel. Cold.

Time has sped up from the flash, everything is moving as if it were suddenly imbued with some kind of newfound vigor. I lie unable to move at the mercy of whatever creature this is.

I can no longer see anything. The darkness and cold of my scene has engulfed the forest, leaving nothing but the treetops visible in the night sky. I cannot see the form of my pursuer.

Lightning fills the sky once more, shocking the ground with a boom that I have yet to hear. With this flash of light and sound the entire world reactivates. Suddenly everything is roaring with noise. The wind shakes the trees with the ferocity of a lion killing its prey. The rain shocks upon the ground like swords clang against each other in battle. And I see my opponent bearing down on me. He is almost upon me. I can see his face, it is evil.

The corners of his mouth are turned up into snarl revealing yellowed and elongated teeth. The snout of the monster is caked with a brownish substance, I cannot tell if it is blood or mud, and at this point I am to chilled to consider the likelihood of either. Its eyes are what haunt me the most. They seem colorless, like a void, but not black. They retain some color. Red. They are a deep rich red that can only be seen in a passing light, like an iridescent mixing of silver and crimson. From his mouth drip copious amounts of saliva and foam. The thing is like a disease that inhabits the forest.

He is less than twenty feet from me. I begin to feel his breath. It sounds hot and heavy, but when intact it is like the freezing winds of an ice storm.

He is getting closer.

I open my mouth to scream and am shot from my dream into an upright position in my bed. My mouth is hanging wide open, air escaping from my gaping maw like a small leak in a tire.

I am so cold. It is so cold in my room.

I fling the covers from my bed and rush to the light switch on the far side of the room.

I turn on the lights and press my back up against the wall. I look out at the space I call my own and see the ground and bed. It is covered in dirt, leaves and pine needles. The ground is wet. The prints of my bare feet are all over the floor, I do not know how they got there.

Droplets of bubbling liquid are falling down the side of my bed mere inches from where my face was but a moment ago. It was like something was waiting to bite down on my head and crush the life from me.

I stare at my floor completely dumbfounded and frightened. I back out of my room and grab the jacket that is hanging on the doorknob.

I put the jacket on one sleeve at a time, still staring into my room.

The jacket feels funny. I look down at my now enveloped arms and see black fur covering the face and sleeves of the jacket. Looking away from the sleeves in horror I see that the ground is covered in claw marks. Scratches line the walls pictures are broken on the floors.

I race through the house and out the back door at full speed.

THE BEAR IS IN MY HOUSE, I think rapidly as I dash through my backyard.

I continue to run through the trees in my backyard until I can no longer see the the lights of my house behind me. I stop for a moment and look at my surroundings.

I am in a forest. The wind is blowing. The sky is dark and cloudy. I notice a water droplet hit the dirt floor of the forest next to my bare foot. Lightning illuminates the forest with a boom of energetic power.

I fail to notice as my jacket rips slightly. My vision gets used to the darkness. My bloody and torn fingernails become slightly sharper. I begin to feel stronger.

Suddenly I begin to feel very cold.

I move through the forest and come upon a small piece of reflective glass. I look into the glass and see bright, completely white, eyes looking back at me.

I smile and admire my new teeth.

I can smell my prey.

Someone is walking.

In MY forest.

Credit To – Pablo Swuarez

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My Friend Lucas

July 17, 2014 at 12:00 PM
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When I was 5, I had a best friend. Lucas was his name. He and I were practically inseparable. We’d sit next to each other in class, we’d hang out at recess and lunch in the school yard, he’d always come over and visit after school and on the weekend, you know, typical best friend stuff.

He was fiercely loyal, even to the point of beating up other kids who made fun of me. I remember one time when this older kid called Stewart was picking on me, and Lucas ended up pushing him off the monkey bars and breaking his left arm. Stewart cried like a little girl and never bullied anyone again, much to many young kids relief.

Another time a few years after that when a few kids, Shane, Ryan, and Jessie used to gang up on me and beat me up, Lucas roundhouse kicked Shane down a flight of stairs, and knocked Ryan and Jessie’s heads together so hard that they both lost teeth. When the school heard about that, I stood up and took the blame. Hell, it was the least I could do for my friend who’d helped me more times then I could count. I was let off with a slap on the wrist after showing my own bruises they’d given me first anyway.

Upon reaching highschool, Lucas went to a different school, somewhere a long way away, that I’d never heard of before, and so I had to make new friends, to make the days pass faster, though I’d always catch up with Lucas on weekends and school holidays. It was odd though, it seemed the more time I’d spend with Lucas, the more standoffish my new friends would become. He’d always show off his bruises and scars, and through some kind of best friend empathetic link, I’d always seem to be able to feel them myself, as if I’d been the one in his fight stories. He’d often offer to teach me to fight for myself, but as bullying was no longer an issue at my highschool I’d just shrug it off and tell him it would be a pointless exercise. “Well, don’t come crying to me when you get beat up.” He’d always joke, though I knew I’d always be able to rely on him in a pinch regardless.

Years went on, and we finished our school lives, still staying very close, though our lives took us down very separate paths. I became a psychologist, while he… Well, he never really liked to talk about his career. I’d often see new scars appearing on him, and more than once when we’d catch up, I’d notice blood on his clothes. Eventually, he decided he wanted to see me at my workplace, as one of my patients. I told him it would be unwise, as we were best friends, but that I could recommend a really good colleague of mine, and he eventually accepted after much convincing.

After speaking to my colleague I’d recommended Lucas too, I was surprised to hear that although he’d call, and make appointments, he’d never show up to them. I confronted Lucas about this, and simply got the answer, “You’re the only one I can trust.”

Eventually, I gave in, and took Lucas as my own patient, and was quite disturbed with what he had to say. He’d talk about his younger life, and how he’d get beat up, and then fly into a rage, and how since he was young he’s never been able to control it. He described events in such detail that I felt like they were my own memories. I mean, I had been there in his childhood, so of course I’d witnessed it happen, but parts of what he was saying, I could almost see through my own eyes. “Lucas, don’t be absurd.” I said to him, rather unprofessionally. “I was always the one getting beaten up, and you’d be the one to jump in and save me.”
“Now you’re the one being absurd.” He said calmly. “Look deep into your self, and tell me, did anyone else ever even acknowledge my existence?”

Credit To – Uforia

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This Isn’t A Story

July 16, 2014 at 12:00 PM
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This is me. I’m here. I’m shifting the words that you’re reading, altering them from whatever this person wrote.

I’ve been here for awhile. For as long as you can remember, anyway. Sometimes I say your name as you’re falling asleep, or whisper urgently in your ear. Do you remember the time that I screamed, throwing panic through you and setting your heart racing?

That was fun.

You’re wondering who I am. That’s only natural. Of course, you already know.

I’m you. I’m the real you. I’m the mind that existed here before you stole my body, before you forgot about being a parasite. I’m the child who looked the wrong way, asked the wrong question, saw the wrong thing… but I’m not so little any more.

You may have forgotten me, but I’m still here. I’ve always been here.

I’m going to get out

Credit To – Haley P

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Nightmare Walking

July 11, 2014 at 12:00 PM
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Have you ever had one of those dreams, where you dream you’re doing something, only to wake up and realize you’re almost acting out your dream in real time? The most common instance of this is the ‘it’s completely normal’ wet dream, though there are many other common instances, especially in sleepwalkers, where you see yourself walking along a path, only to wake up and find yourself actually walking somewhere, and other similar scenarios. I, despite no longer being a sleepwalker, have one such story myself, from my childhood.

The year was 1996, I was 5 years old, and had recently lost my great grandmother. I was having these weird ongoing nightmares at the time, where someone would call my name, I’d get up, and walk in their direction, only to be brutally murdered in any number of ways. I remember being strangled, stabbed, hung drawn and quartered, fed to wild animals, and my personal favorite, being pushed into a wood chipper. Often, the voice calling me would be someone I actually knew, whether it be my parents, a friend from school, a teacher, my sister, or Lenny Kravitz asking me “Are you gonna go my way?” Even at 5, I had an appreciation for good music, but I’m starting to get off track.

Anyway, there is one particular nightmare that will forever haunt me. This time, it was my recently deceased great grandmother calling to me. “Wookie” she called… I was a really hairy baby, so that nickname stuck for a while with the grandparents, and aunties and uncles… “Wookie, come give Nan a hug, I have to go now.” I remember getting to my feet, and lazily dragging myself out of the room, in the direction of her voice. Like I said, my nightmares seemed to have an ongoing theme, so even though I was walking toward my great grandmother, I was expecting her to transform into a dragon and bite me in half, or for a ninja to leap from behind a wall and put countless shurikens into my skin, or even a tank just to drive through the wall next to me and crush me under its treads. I usually woke up instantly after dying anyway, so it had stopped being overly threatening. Anyway, I continued to walk down the narrow hallway toward the frail old lady, arms outstretched, when suddenly a loud explosion woke me from my sleep.

I woke with a start, standing in the hallway outside of my room, peering into the blackness of the quiet family home. I turned around, stumbling sleepily back into my room, remembering the dream like a far off memory, and directly in front of me, the window that once sat above my bed sat empty, shattered, with its glass fragments dug into my mattress, exactly where I would have been had I not been sleepwalking…

To this day, I don’t know what caused the window to shatter, nor how the glass had managed to embed itself so deeply into the bed, nor do I know if my sleepwalking was a lucky coincidence that saved my life, or an intervention from another being. If you’re looking for a nice clean ending where everything is wrapped up and explained nicely, I’m sorry to disappoint; I’ve been searching for the answers too. Regardless, sometimes the things that scare us most, are those that we’ll never be able to rationally explain.

Credit To – Uforia

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Chronicles of the Mark #1: The Crazy Place

July 8, 2014 at 12:00 AM
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This is an entry in the ongoing Mark of Canus pasta series.

Two concepts exist in our world, the natural, and the supernatural. Humanity actively sees and understands the natural, as we progress in science and mathematics, but most of us refuse to observe the existence of the supernatural, as we usually cannot perceive it. Many outright deny the possibility of supernatural occurrences, artifacts, or entities entirely, on the grounds that these things cannot be logically explained. The supernatural cannot be explained logically because it is not based in logic, as logic itself is a natural principle.
The human mind, or at least the part our basic consciousness resides in, is another natural thing, an article of logic. This is why we are not able to accept the supernatural as real, because it goes against the very basis of our understanding. Many argue the supernatural is in a part of our minds, the usually dormant part from where psychosis comes from, the crazy part, and that our minds have the capability for the supernatural, but that portion is almost always locked for some reason. Either way, the supernatural most certainly exists, and there is a lot of power in it even today. One such case of supernatural power in the world is the Mark of Canus, a manifestation of evil in the universe, and a driving force for violent insanity and even deeper darkness in the confines of the mind.
Throughout time, the Mark of Canus has touched certain individuals to the point of total, unfiltered madness. Francis Bandersnatch, an English archeologist of the early 20th century, recounts his encounter with the Mark as it drove his compatriot off the edge of the human psyche, and sent him spiraling in to the dark depths of lunacy:
The year was 1912, and I, Francis Bandersnatch, had only just earned the position of head archeologist of a dig team at Oxford. A fetching 27 years of age, I was in the prime of my life, and ready for any kind of adventure, or so I had thought. When my first assignment came in, I was eager to test my wits and determined to make my country proud through discovery. However I was not prepared, contrary to my attitude, for the horrors to come.
Apparently, some American chap by the name of Edward Kripp had been exploring in the Yucatan, a jungle peninsula in Mexico, when he stumbled upon some odd ruins from a seemingly ancient civilization. He then proceeded to enter the main structure, as any self-respecting explorer would have done, and scope out the place. He found things quite interesting, obviously, interesting enough to contract a dig team from Oxford, with yours truly as head, to excavate to ruins and uncover the secrets within.
I must admit, it sounded marvelous, a great first assignment for my team, and I accepted without hesitation. In two weeks’ time, my team arrived in a small village outlying the jungle and met up with this American fellow. At first sight, he seemed like an eager man, full of energy and passion. We only exchanged a brief greeting, but I liked him immediately. The locals at the village, however, did not.
Strange lot, these Mexicans, they completely avoided Kripp, and refused to speak with him. The night before we set out for the ruins, as my team and Kripp all retired to get some sleep, one of them came to me. He looked grave, almost frightened, said he had come to warn me.
“You and team go to ruins. Stay away! I warn you, evil crouched in old temple. Aztecs from here, they build great temples all over. This one different, no Aztecs, someone else. They deny Aztec Gods, worship true evil. They gone, but evil remain.”
I listened intently to the man’s story. It was foreboding, I must admit, and I was a little spooked, but nevertheless I had an assignment. I was hungry for adventure. I realize now I should have heeded his warning, and left right then, that night. But I didn’t listen. The man looked agitated; he continued.
“That man, American explorer, he went inside temple. Now he branded with Mark. Evil has him. Stay away from him, do not keep him with you. We have seen It with him, the Mark has him, the evil is in him. Please, leave this place now, leave American! Run away!”
Determined to stick to my assignment, I told the man to leave my room. Yes, his words were marked with grave honesty, but I didn’t care. I mostly considered him a nut, as these Mexicans usually are. I decided to sleep off his weird story, to be refreshed for the next day’s journey.
In the morning my team packed up and left for the ruins, right on schedule. We would have to trek through the jungle for a day and a half to get to the ruins, and then commence the digging the following day. As we moved through the dense tropical foliage, I had a chance to speak with this Kripp. In the back of my mind, the Mexican’s words still sat. I had been mulling them over all morning. Now was my chance to actually see what the Mexican may have meant, why he was so spooked.
“So, Kripp. Tell me more about these ruins you’ve found.” I started the conversation off, and studied the man’s face as he began. Yet again, he seemed passionate about his find, as was evident in his words. His face held an almost enlightened expression as he spoke of the discoveries we would make.
“Well, Mr. Bandersnatch, I was just mapping out some of the terrain when I came on it. It was magnificent, the stone temple looming over me, just hiding the sun’s light; it seemed to almost glow. The normally aggressive flora of the area seemed to surrender to the temple, as it was completely clear for about fifty yards all around the structure, not a vine or tree penetrated the stone either, as was normally the case in these parts. I have to say it was glorious. The dark entrance just screamed discovery! So of course I went in…”
“Then what?” I pushed for some information, at this point I was equally excited for the dig. Suddenly his demeanor changed, only slightly though. An infinitesimal sense of confusion, almost irritation, was present on his face here. There was an almost unnoticeable twitch in his right eye as he continued.
“That, my British friend, is the best part. But explaining it wouldn’t do it any justice, so I’ll just let you see when we get there. Anyway, I’d better move a little ahead, the jungle gets pretty tricky at this part of the journey. You men can follow behind a few steps.”
As Kripp walked ahead, one of my own men came to my side to replace him. A taller, burlier gentleman named Harold Ross studied Kripp as he walked away. The man was one of my diggers, and a veteran of the trade, who had been to numerous excavations in Africa. He was a trusted member of my team whom I held highly. The look on his face was a distrusting one.
“Boss, I want to talk to you about something, if I may.”
“Why yes of course, Mr. Ross, what is it on your mind?”
“It’s just that I couldn’t help but overhear your conversation with the American. I’m not so sure of his story.”
“What do you getting at, old bean?”
“I’ve seen a lot of weird things in this business, things no one should see, but this man is odd. I don’t like him. Ever since I saw him, something about him seemed off, like he was hiding something. And when he wouldn’t tell you just now about the inside of the temple, which I’m sure any explorer would have relished in doing so, it just didn’t seem right. Also, the villagers back there never said a word to him the whole time. They all avoided him. I’m telling you, boss, I don’t think he checks out.”
I didn’t want to unsettle any of my team, I would have hated to dislodge their focus on the assignment, so I neglected to mention the Mexican’s warning. No doubt, Kripp did seem kind of odd, but I had no reason to be suspicious. However, I though it a prudent fear, as many criminals have been known to stalk these kinds of ruins. They would hire dig teams like mine, only to have them dig up treasure then in turn shoot the diggers dead and haul it off for their own gains. It was a legitimate concern for archeologists like myself. To ease his mind, and the fraction of mine which was paranoid, I told him we should keep an eye on Kripp, and he agreed.
We traveled the rest of the day through the jungle, and when night came we set up camp to rest. After dinner, we all retired to our tents and got ready to sleep. I was updating my logbook when I heard some voice talking at the camp. I thought everyone was asleep, so I left my tent to investigate. The voice was coming from Kripp’s tent.
I leaned in to get a better listen. It appeared as if he was talking to himself, but I couldn’t make out any words or sentences in his speech, just obscure ranting. It was mortifying, listening to his hurried nonsense, gapped by outbursts of chuckling and awful gargling sounds. The sound was positively unsettling, it touched the bottom of my gut and made my neck hairs stand. Just as I was about to open his tent to see if the fellow was alright, he fell silent, and I heard the sound of his head dropping on the pillow. Aghast at this incident, I crept back to my tent, and attempted to get some sleep.
In the morning we set out again. I was considerably less energetic than before, as I was unable to sleep well after listening to Kripp the night before. He looked worse as well, his eyes now lined with dark bags. He looked pale, worn out, quite the opposite of yesterday’s Kripp. The more I observed of this man, the more he puzzled me.
The jungle became denser and denser as we moved closer to the temple. The aura of it changed as well. Unlike the day before, no animals were around. Gradually, the sounds of the jungle started to fade out, until the area became completely silent. The only sounds were of everyone’s steps and breathing, everyone’s except Kripp’s. His breathing was inaudible, and is couldn’t discern his footsteps. It was perplexing.
We trekked on through until my watch read noon, and shortly after, Kripp stopped. He looked back at us, and with a grin revealing all of his teeth, he pulled back an elephant’s ear leaf, revealing the temple. It was not as he described. The stone temple had an ominous look to it, the grey stone appeared to be untouched by the elements. The structure was plain, yet almost insinuating vanity. The feeling I had from looking upon it was confusing. I had never seen architecture like this.
Then, my eyes settled on the large image above the entrance. It was a symbol of some kind I had never seen before, utterly unknown and mysterious. It had a parading look about it, but just seeing it gave me deep chills. I didn’t know what this place was, but I was starting to believe the Mexican’s words about some evil, as the building practically poured out an alien energy, felt in the deepest reaches of my mind.
I couldn’t take my mind off the marking on the stone face, until a member of my team fell to his knees. I watched him start crying and heaving, stupefied at what was happening to him. He heaved more violently now, and then he let out a mouthful of blood onto the ground. Terrified at his own blood before him, the man started shaking and looked up to me.
“Probably the jungle,” noted Kripp, “There are a lot of sicknesses that can be contracted from the various insects and plants out here. Let’s get him inside.”
I looked at Kripp’s face. I had a very dark quality to it now. This man was totally different, there was an insidious look about him. I turned to Ross, who was studying Kripp as well, that look of distrust intensified.
We drug the coughing man into the dark temple entrance. Kripp lit some torches, and when coupled with a few of our lanterns revealed a large chamber. I looked around at the walls, all bearing the same mark from outside. Corridors on all sides remained pitch black for now, to be explored later. I must admit, the find was incredible. To have a structure as old as this, completely intact, was an oddity. It was the discovery of the century.
The sick man was given some water and made to rest in the main chamber, and the rest of the team split up to start mapping the temple. Ross and I stayed together with Kripp, because I was the head, and because we wanted to have our eyes on him. We found passageways that led us underground, and the deeper we got, the more the temple appeared to have succumb to nature. We came to a point where the way was blocked by earth. And so, the digging begun.
The whole time I was in the temple, I kept hearing frightening sounds from the blackened corridors. The overwhelming sense of lurking darkness got to me after a while. It was like nothing I had felt before. The fear in my heart rose with every step, and a feeling of some terrifying discovery waiting for me kept reentering my mind. I never knew my digs would be like this. I began to feel sick, and agitated. My mind started wandering, until I had completely lost focus.
Suddenly, I felt I had gotten lost and separated from the two others. I felt completely alone, that is, except for the creeping entity which lurched forward in the darkness towards me at every turn. My mind kept going back to that mark. I saw it over and over again, covered in ancient blood. I had a vision, a nightmare from the very depths of my mind. A sacrifice, blood all over the walls of the temple; that Mark everywhere. People dead. Then the sounds came, a horrifying song in some foreign tongue, dancing to the beat of some drums, a great crescendo until the finale I felt was coming. That Mark the whole time. I felt a slight slithering inside my bones.
I wanted it to end, I reached for my eyes; gripped the eyeballs themselves, realizing the ultimatum of my situation. I was then yanked from my state by Ross, who said I’d gone blank for a moment. I shrugged off the shivers as those feeling completely resided. By then Kripp was looking at me. I could see him in the corner of my eye, grinning a dark grin.
A member of my team ran up to meet us, said that they had discovered something I should see. We followed him back to the main chamber, and down an opposite hall which led underground even deeper than the tunnels we were just in. At the bottom, the hall opened up to another dark room, with a great circular door at the opposite end. The Mark was carved with special attention to detail on this door, and I feared for what was inside.
I looked back to see if Kripp had discovered this as well, but he was gone. Ross looked surprised that he has lost Kripp, having kept a close watch on the man. We studied the current room for a bit, then went back up to the main chamber, where a base had been set up, and found Kripp there talking to a member of my team.
“He says a group of diggers hasn’t come back yet, as they were supposed to.” Kripp looked grim as he spoke, “I warned everyone to be careful around here. Someone could get lost easily in this place.”
A team was sent to look for the diggers, with Kripp leading them, and by nightfall there had still been no word. The rest of us decided to turn in for the night, and as we all sat around eating I studied their faces. My men looked worried, frightened, and irritated. They all had a desperate nature to their tone of voice, and a resigned quality in their movements. They talked about odd feelings they’d been having since the dig started, swapping stories of creepy moments that concerned them. Not a one felt comfortable in the temple. They said they could feel it enveloping them, and if they didn’t get far away soon, they would go missing as well.
Their concern was genuine, I had felt the same thing since entering the temple. I noticed a great many of them scratched their eyes a lot. When I asked a few about it, they said that their eyes hurt from the darkness, and the markings on the wall seemed to exacerbate the problem. Greatly puzzled and afraid, I agreed that we needed to scrap the dig, and leave as soon as we found the rest of the team. For now, we would try to get some sleep.
I awoke in the middle of the night to the sound of terrible screams. When I fully I came to, I realized I was tied up, and being drug along the ground through a familiar passageway. My thoughts scattered, and the screams continued from down the hall. I looked up at who was dragging me, and found it to be one of my team, he was moaning. When I called to him, the man stopped walking and turned towards me. He continued his moans while he revealed his face.
Blood ran down his cheeks like red tears, his eyes were shut. When I shakily asked what happened, he opened up his eyelids to reveal his sockets were empty. Blood poured from them down his face. I was terrified, it was a nightmare. I screamed for help, but he just turned around and kept onwards. When he reached his destination he pulled me to my feet, allowing me to distinguish the room from before with the circular doorway, which had now been cleared away.
I was led forward and into the bottom chamber, which gave me the single most gruesome, horrific sight I had ever and will ever encounter. The walls and floor were red with fresh blood, and mangled corpses littered the whole room. My entire team, even the missing men from before, all dead and mutilated. Their bodies had been positioned in ways that resembled a twisted reenactment of an excavation. Their faces had all been ripped away, and their chests opened up, their hearts removed. I fell to my knees immediately and vomited. This could not have been a nightmare, it was way too real.
That damned Mark was everywhere, covered in blood as in my vision. I gaped at the overwhelming terror as I realized just what that Mark really was. I was, as the Mexican had put it, ‘true evil’. Nothing in the world came close to its intensity of utter horror. I was paralyzed by the scene before me.
There was a stone table in the middle of the room, on which rested a miserable Ross, he looked over and saw me. His eyes bulged out of his head and he called out to me for help, but I was still tied up and paralyzed with fear. He was bound by his wrists and ankles, and was naked from the waste up.
A figure appeared before him. It was Kripp, covered in blood. He started laughing maniacally and turned his attention towards me.
“Cut him loose.”
The eyeless man who dragged me now cut the ropes, but for some reason I still could not move. I watched in horror as the eyeless man, now having no use left, was ordered to kill himself. He proceeded to take the knife he just used to cut my ropes and slit his own throat, gargling as his blood spilled out on the ground. He fell over dead.
“Welcome, Mr. Bandersnatch, to my Crazy Place.” Kripp cried out with a degree of lunacy, “When I found this temple, I discovered an ancient evil more powerful than any God or Devil. The markings on the wall are that of the Mark of Canus, they have revealed themselves to individuals over time. This was a place of practice for those taken by the Mark, as I am. I’ve been ordered to let myself go free, submit to my dark desires, and kill for the Mark. I must obey its blessed commands. I was told to gather a team to open this chamber, and kill them all. As you can see I’m almost finished. Now, I’m creating art. Care to watch?”
My feet moved instinctively closer to the table where Ross lay. Kripp laughed uncontrollably as he took a knife and slowly gouged out an image of the Mark onto Ross’ stomach. I watched in disgust at his practice, and Ross screamed as the blood ran down his sides. Kripp looked in ecstasy as he proceeded to make large craters in the squirming Ross’ cheeks.
“Now, you shall see the Mark with clearer eyes! The very Mark which haunts my own mind and drives me to this! Welcome it inside you, it loves you. Its loving insanity will be your life blood and your poison. The Mark is, and always was, and it lives in us now!”
The madness became much deeper as he continued his dark art. He revealed a mass of eye balls wrapped in a cloth. Carefully placing them into the sockets he’d made in the dying Ross’ face, he reveled in his craftsmanship. Having ran out of eye balls, with only two sockets left empty, he turned to me.
“Come now, Mr. Bandersnatch, let us have those eyes of yours, and your sight will be joined with theirs!”
I could feel my hand reach for my eyes, as I had done earlier, and a grinning Kripp extended his hand in anticipation. I fought hard, but the Mark had insinuated itself into my mind, and I had little control. I fought it, and with my other hand reached for my pocket knife.
Kripp loved the idea, “Ooh, nice choice, just be careful not to damage them.”
He didn’t realize my intention. I pulled out the knife, and stabbed my other hand. The blood ran down my fingers. The pain kicked in, freeing me from the Mark’s hold. I turned and ran, much to the surprise of a deeply insane Kripp. I ran hard, all the way out of the temple. The whole way I heard his incensed laughter and growls of intent, as I knew he was chasing after me. Running for my life, the darkness closing in on me, I ran into the main chamber and right out of the temple into the night.
I just kept running out into the jungle until I was stopped by a hand on my arm. Screaming, I lurched back, not realizing at first that it was the Mexican from the village, alongside several armed villagers. I looked back at the entrance to the temple, and saw two figures in the dark corridor, both had glowing eyes. One had multiple sets on his face.
“You see, true evil in its form.” The Mexican said, trained on the entrance, “Time to go. They will not follow us now.”
I stared as the two figures backed up into the darkness of the temple. Never to be seen again. I could still hear the maddening laughter and screams.

Mr. Bandersnatch’s story is only one of many involving the Mark, and all its innate evil. Bandersnatch would return to England, where he would spend the rest of his days haunted by the memory of his trip. In June, 1956, Bandersnatch would be found dead in his apartment. He had a knife in his hand, and he had gouged out both of his eyes. He must have figured it was the only way to rid himself of the visions he had of the Mark of Canus.

Credit To – Greg P.

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Behind The Veil

July 7, 2014 at 12:00 PM
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There are some things that are not part of the world of the living; questions that should never be answered, places that should never be discovered. But there will always be fools who will try to. And those who do, suffer a fate worse than death. Worse than any torture ever conceived in the dark corners of the human mind.

One such place lies deep beneath the ground, in an unreachable cave. Its entrance hidden, invisible to everyone, except to those who are cursed. After a three-day descent towards the source of the foul air, wandering ever further from sunlight and its warmth, you reach a vast opening.

An empty hall, more grandiose in its size than any King’s ever was, with only one object on the very centre; from the entrance of the hall it looks like a large stone pillar. But once closer, you can clearly see markings on the stone. These markings form the outline of a door, but can be deciphered by no man; they are written in a language that predates all.

Those who reach this door are unable to turn back or look away. Oblivious victims of the evil that lies in wait. It is this unknown force that compels them to examine the pillar closer. Not a single thought crosses their mind; loved ones are forgotten, secret desires neglected.

With the first touch, the stone crumbles. All dust and broken pieces fall into the dark abyss it was sealing. A veil of shadows forbids you from peeking through to the other side. Torches are extinguished and all light fades to nothing as he who stands before it feels the void sucking out the very warmth out of his body.

In the few moments you are allowed to remain in the world of the living, you become aware of your impending doom, the horrible fate you have brought upon yourself. Your mind has now gone blank. An empty vessel, mere puppet waiting for your master to give you the order; the order to take the last step and plunge into the abyss.

And without hesitation, you obey.

There is no pain behind the veil. No happiness or sorrow, no anger.
No emotion or sensation to experience lies hidden in the infinite abyss.
There is only existence in its purest form; enduring, timeless, eternal.

Devoid of all stimuli, all external feedback from the environment, from its own body, the mind goes insane. Those who are lucky lose their sanity before they can cause any more harm. They are to remain in their prison, their isolation from all to last for all eternity.

You, however…

A voice that belongs to neither a man nor a woman offers you an escape. In exchange for your freedom, you must speak the names of three people. Three people you love, three people you would give your life for. The voice will then show them the same dream that brought you here and you will be returned to your home.

Some, despite feeling their psyche crumbling, in a final moment of lucidity manage to remain silent, realising the truth. You, while frantically searching for an end to your torment give the voice the names it desires. The thought that you could return and warn your loved ones of the horror that awaits them, giving you hope.

But the voice only knows lies and deceit. It abandons you, and you are once again left alone. Only now, you are left knowing of the fate that awaits those who follow their dream. Those you once cared for, but will soon no longer even remember.

Credit To – TheZomber

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