The Door Game

September 1, 2015 at 12:00 PM
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Rating: 7.7/10 (15 votes cast)

“Yo, James hurry your ass up!” Damon roared from across the parking lot, standing next to our limo and waving me and Becca down. I quickly stole a kiss with Her before taking her hand and jogging toward the limo with her. We werent in there for more than a moment before our other friend Felix shoved a flask of Jack Daniel’s in our face.

“I made sure to get one for each couple,” He winked at me with a huge grin, “It isnt prom night without Sir Daniels!” we all burst out laughing. I took a swig from the flask before passing it over to Becca, and shifted my gaze to my childhood friends. There were eight of us total and we had all been friends since grade school and couples since late middle school. The gang consisted of Jamal, Krisie, Pat, Jade, Felix and Dayna, Becca and I, and boy were we an interesting bunch.

“So whose place are we exactly going to again?” I asked, as Becca leaned her head on my shoulder.

“The new guy, uh…,” Pat started, but Jade finished for him, “Dale Seer, he just moved here from New Jersey.”

“Yeah that guy!” Pat smiled, as Jade rolled her eyes at him.

Just then the limo driver swore loudly just before veering wildly to the left and right just narrowly avoiding a car driving down the opposite side of the road, leaving us all in a tangled laughing heap in the center of the vehicle. Normally we probably would have freaked out but with the amount of alcohol we had consumed at the time we probably could have wrecked and thought it humorous. We continued to talk about the events of everything that had gone on our senior year, and before we knew it we had reached our destination.

“Alrighty kiddos, I will be here bright and early to pick you up at eight, so don’t be late ya’ hear?” We all nodded in agreement to the limo driver, but as the others turned away from him I noticed his expression had become grim and he motioned me to come closer. “It’s not your time.” He muttered, before driving off. I just stared after the car confused by his choice of words. What did he mean by that exactly, and what was his deal? I just shrugged it off and went to join my friends who were all standing in front of a small eerie looking home.

The house was a light yellow and with as much chipped paint as there was it gave the home a weird poke-a-dotted look. The home almost reminded me of the Amityville horror house, with the dirt coated attic window, a rickety old fashioned porch and the occasional missing shutter. Yep this sure was where I wanted to spend the rest of my prom night.

“Wow, this Dale guy seems like a real winner.” Krissie stated sarcastically.
“Come on guys let’s just give this Dale guy a shot, I’m sure he is a nice guy!” Becca pleaded with us. She had been that way as long as I could remember. Always giving people the benefit of the doubt, and being optimistic about any situation, and that is why I loved her so much. Not only was she the most beautiful girl in school she was also the least selfish and shallow person you would ever meet. I can still remember the first time we met on the school playground. I was and still am one of the nerdish guys you would ever meet, and ironically I was being picked on by Pat when she stood up for me, and ever since then I could never get over how strong she was. Those piercing blue eyes and her dark brown hair still till this day take my breath away every time I see her.

“Ok.” We all uttered in unison, pick up our bags and making our way into the home.

Pat rushed passed everyone throwing his bag onto the floor of the entry way. Despite the outside of the home the inside wasn’t all that bad looking. The entry way was rather large, with five different doorways. The one to the left lead to a rather larger living room with a fire place, the second to our right lead to the kitchen. Two others were at the top of a flight of stairs on either side of the landing, and right on the wall at the center of the two was a large poster. The last one was dead ahead of where pat had gone through.
“Yo Dale, where you at bro.” I called out into the seemingly empty home. Everyone dropped their bags in the same spot as Pat and we got no answer.
“Maybe everyone got stuck in traffic on their way here.” Dayna suggested, shrugging her shoulders.

“Hey guys check this out!” Pat called out from the doorway in front of us. We all walked over to see a strangely large room for the size of the home and right in the center were two rows of four beds, one for each of us. Now that is creepy I thought to myself.

“Okay this is pretty weird, I thought there was suppose to be party here.” Pat pouted.

“Well, maybe there are more beds upstairs,” I stated turning to enter the entry room, and freezing after taking two steps out the doorway. I stared in horror and confusion at the sight before me, “uh guys, I think we have a problem.” I stammered while pointing to where the front door used to be. Everyone turned to see what I was pointing at, their jaws dropping in unison once they realized what had happened… the front door had disappeared leaving a wall in its place.

“That’s fucked up!” Pat chuckled.

“It’s not funny, how are we supposed to leave now?” Krissie shouted at pat, which then caused a chain of arguments amongst everyone trying to figure out what to do. As they all bickered I walked around hoping to figure out what exactly was going on. That’s when I noticed a small red arrow pointing up the stairway to the poster on the wall. I quickly walked up the stairs to the poster and began to read:

Game Rules:
Note: The game starts once the first door is opened
Rule #1- Once you open one door another random door will appear.
Rule #2- Once you open a door another door will disappear and so will everything behind it.
Rule #3- You have exactly 10 minutes to open a door, if you don’t a door will automatically disappear, along with another once you open a door.
Rule #4- Every 5 minutes I will come to find you, and the first person I find or isn’t hidden well enough to my liking I will give you five seconds then chase you.
Rule #5- If I catch you, you join me/us.
Rule #6- The game ends at day break.

Note: First door opened at 9:35pm. I will see one of you around 9:45.
Good Luck!

As soon as I finished reading the “game rules” I looked down at my phone to verify the time. It was 9:40.

“Uh… Guys,” I shouted down the stairs, “I think you may want to come see this!” within seconds they were all at the top of the stairs reading what I had just read.

“This is a bunch of bull crap!” Pat boomed after reading the poster.
“I agree,” Jade nodded, “This is obviously a joke by Dane or Dale or whatever his name is.”

“Plus this alcohol is making me sleeping, so I am going to take a nap with my chica Jade here. So smell you guys later!” he bellowed as he made his way down the stairs with Jade to the bedroom. I just sighed.

“I just feel like whatever is going on here it shouldn’t be taken lightly.” I said, meeting everyone’s fearful gazes. They all nodded in agreement.
“So how much longer do we have left?” Felix asked.

“Three minutes to go,” Becca uttered loudly, “We should come up with a plan after we hide.”

“Definitely a good idea, we will meet here before we open up any doors.” Jamal stated. As everyone spread out to hide I grabbed Becca and kissed her.
“No matter what happens I want you to know I will always protect you.” I said staring deep into her amazing blue eyes. She looked at me and got teary eyed.
“I know, you already have.” She muttered as she gave me a small smile and went to go hide.

I just stared after her for a moment, confused by the reaction she had given me. What did she mean by I already have? I looked down at my phone and saw I only had a minute left so I quickly ran and hid on the windowsill, which was rather large and shut the curtains in front of me. To be honest it felt kind of stupid to be hiding. For all we knew Dale could be messing with us and videotaping this whole thing to see if we would actually do what the poster said. I looked down at my phone. It was 9:46pm, and nothing had happened.

I sighed and was just about to leave my spot when I heard a whisper of a man counting down from five. Five, four, three, two, one… There was then a sound like one of the beds being dragged across the floor and a loud thud, followed by an ear piercing scream from Jade. I quickly jumped out of my hiding spot and turned towards the open doorway in front of me to see Dayna, Becca, Jamal, Felix, and Krissie grouped in the entry way. As I made my way to them the guys covered the girls eyes, and when I rounded the corner I saw why. Starting from the bedroom and making its way up the stairs was a trail of blood. As Jade came into entry, everyone rushed over to comfort her, and she began to cry and yell out in pain. I however looked towards the top of the stairs to see a small mound at the foot of the poster. I made sure to walk at the edge of the stair case so I wouldn’t get any blood on me, and when I got to the top I gagged, then threw up at the sight before me. Pat’s neck had clearly been broken easily at a ninety degree angle, with hundreds of cuts across his body and a large red streak up the front of his now ragged tux. My eyes then turned to the poster where his hand seemed to be reaching towards. On it was the number seven written in blood. I quickly ran downstairs to see everyone arguing, about what had just happened. Once I got to the bottom of the stairs they all stopped and turned to face me.

“Is he up there?” Jade sobbed. I just nodded my head and she immediately began to cry again. I grabbed the other two guys and brought them to the top of the stairs explaining what they would find once they got there. But once we got there, to my horror his body was gone.

“I swear he was just here!” I shouted in disbelief.
The other two looked just as horrified and shocked as I did.

“We need to come up with a plan and fast,” Jamal stated as we reached the bottom of the stairs, “and wasn’t there a door there just a second ago?” He finished pointing to where the kitchen doorway used to be. I swore under my breath and gathered everyone in the bedroom.

“Ok so,” I started a little winded; “From now on we stick together until it’s time to hide otherwise we can easily get picked off, or lose each other.”
“Why don’t we just wait for the bastard who is doing this and just mess him up,” krissie suggested, “because in horror movies that’s the number one issue no one tries to gang up on the killer till they are all dead.”

“I don’t think the killer is human that’s why.”I admitted, a little skeptical myself.

“What makes you say that?” Becca asked.

“Well judging by how quickly he was dragged up the stairs, and based on how big of a guy Pat was if a person were to drag him up the stairs it would take more than 30 seconds. Which is how long it took for all of us to group up in the entry way. Plus I saw the wounds inflicted on him and no normal person could have done that in the allotted time.”

“Alright but why can’t we just stay here then?” Dayna questioned.

“If a door disappears every ten minutes like the rules say then that would mean we would run out of doors eventually, and it also says that once a door is gone everything behind it disappears with so in theory we would all disappear.”

“Well since we are all in the same room, let’s open another door and see where it goes I don’t want to be here any longer than I need to be…” Jade sobbed as she got off her knees and made her way to a door at the far side of the bedroom. We all followed her, as she took a deep ragged breath and opened the door.

We were right back in the entry way… except it was laid out differently than before. The left door way was now a bedroom with only seven beds in it this time. The kitchen was now a large screened in porch with a swimming pool, and the stairs now only led to one door and next to it the poster.
I looked down at my watch. It was 9:50.

“Shit we only have a minute everybody, find somewhere to hide!” everyone ran their separate directions. I ran into the room that was once the bedroom and was now a study and hid underneath a desk. As soon as I was situated however I heard someone running up the stairs. It didn’t hit me right away till I heard a door open. I swore to myself about how stupid they were being, and could possibly have just gotten someone killed. But before I could dwell on the thought any longer I heard it again. The whispering only this time it was different almost like there were two. Five, four, three, two, one…
I don’t know why I did it, but I shouted as loud as I could so everyone could hear me, “Run!”

But it was too late. A second later I could hear Dayna scream followed by a loud crack and splash from the swimming pool. I sprinted out of the room to see right in the center of the entry way a large blood splatter mark, followed by a trail of blood to the pool. We were all in the door way when Felix walked out of the pool crying with Dayna in his arms. He collapsed to the ground holding her. From what I could see her whole face was caved in, which would explain the blood spot on the floor. Everyone else threw up, but I already had my traumatizing visual.

“What do we do now?” Jamal asked as he ran his hands through his hair in thought.

“We have to keep moving, so whatever it is that is doing this can’t catch us.”
“I was there,” Felix stammered, “I saw them. They took her from me! Her foot was poking out from under the bed and they grabbed her!”
“Them? Who is them Felix?” I asked putting my hand on his shoulder.
“It was Pat and another man…” he finished shaking his head in disbelief.
Everyone gasped including me. So that’s what the sign had meant by me/us. I looked down at my watch. 9:59pm, we had to get through a door and fast.
“Guys we have one minute we need to get through a door STAT!” I said taking Felix’s elbow, but he quickly shrugged me off.
“Felix let’s go!” Jamal pleaded through the doorway.
“I can’t go on without her,” He smiled sadly at us, “I love each and every one of you like family, but I must stay here with her.” Once every one left the room, I gave him a slight nudge on the shoulder.
“Catch you on the flip side brother.” I smiled weakly at him.
“No… you won’t.”

And just as I exited the room and turned to face him one last time, he was gone. I placed my hand where the door used to be and prayed that whatever had just happened to him it was fast and painless. I held in a sob, took a deep breath and turned to face the remaining four. Jamal was comforting Krissie, while Becca was kneeling down next to Jade who was now sitting and hugging her legs while rocking back and forth crying. I went to the settings on my phone and set a timer to go off every five minutes, one minute before we were supposed to be hiding and before a door would disappear.

“Get away from me,” Jade hissed at Becca, “How can you say something like that? Nothing is going to be ok! Pat and Dayna are dead not to mention that Felix just magically disappeared with her! Screw you guys, screw this house, screw this ‘game’, and…” she was cut off by the sound of my phone beeping.
“What is that for?” Jamal asked.

“I set it so we don’t get caught off guard when the time to hide comes,” I stated looking to my phone, “We need to hide now.”

“No,” Jade objected, “I told you guys I’m done with this stupid game! I am not hiding!”

Jamal reached for her arm but she instantly shrugged him off. We all started shouting at her telling her she was being unreasonable and that she needed to calm down. She just cursed at us and began to make her way to the study. As she did so however I began to hear the whispers again.

“Do you guys hear that?” I asked hoping it wasn’t just me.
“The whispers,” Becca pointed out, “yes I do.”

“Good it’s not just me,” Jamal chuckled before calling out to Jade, “Jade we don’t have time for this you need to hide!”

She stopped then in the entry way of the study and we sighed in relief that she finally came to her senses, but my relief was quickly replace with horror once the counting started.

“Pat,” She whispered loudly, “is that really you? Who is that with you?” She turned around and began to scream once they counted down to zero. She started to run toward us but as she made it half way down the hall way four figures shot out of the study, grabbed jade and drug her in by her ankles. We quickly sprinted down the hall and into the study only to find that she had been impaled on a knight statues spear, with hundreds of cuts covering her body. I swore loudly and smashed my hand on the studies desk living a large crack going through the center. I immediately regretted doing so however as my hand began to throb from the pain and began to swell. Becca put her hand on my shoulder to comfort me.

“You can make it through this Jay bear,” Becca crooned, “You’ve been through too much to let this defeat you.”

I immediately calmed down, but I couldn’t help but feel something off about Becca. She never used my nickname Jay bear, mostly because she knew I didn’t like it when my mother coddled and embarrassed me with it. Then again it helped to relax me a little.

“We should get moving.” Jamal suggested. We all nodded in agreement as we made our way to the new door in the study. We all took a deep breath before opening the next door.

We were now in a large ballroom. It kind of reminded me of the one in that Stephen King movie Rose Red, except the mirrors and such were all replaced by closed doors and there were four long rows of tables with fancy cloths and silverware laid out. There were six doors in total, but one was open and led to a large hallway, located at the very back of the room.

“Why couldn’t our prom have been here,” Jamal joked, “Oh wait, there is a creepy supernatural entity killing us off. If you ask me that would be a total buzz kill.”

Then, right on queue a banner fell down at the center of the room, which read:

NEW RULE!
Doors now disappear every two minutes!
Have fun!

“You have got to be kidding me!” Krissie screamed in protest.
I immediately added another alarm to my phone, and as I did so the door behind us disappeared. We needed to get moving.

“I say we go through the open door before it disappears,” Becca offered, “There seem to be more doors to choose from.”

“True,” I agreed, “but there is also less hiding spaces which would mean we would have to open another door in hopes of finding more, which could be risky.” As soon as I finished that thought the alarm went off. We all hugged each other and I whispered to hide under the tables and crawl our way to the front, and if they hear the countdown start, run for the open door.

Once we all were under the tables we slowly began to make our way to the far end of the room. Once I was half way I stopped as a foot came down fairly close to where I was now kneeling. I had to hold back from shouting Felix’s name as I could recognize his favorite pair of shoes anywhere. Idiot even wore them to prom. I was three quarters of the way there when I heard a loud thud under one of the tables, followed by the counting.

“Run!” I shouted as everyone got out from under the tables and began sprinting for the door. I made it to the door first, turning around to see the other three right behind me, and right behind them looking exactly as they did when they had died were our other four friends and another older looking gentleman I couldn’t exactly recognize, and there were sprinting… a lot faster than the living ones. I swore to myself as I thought quickly about what to do. I ran to the nearest door and got ready to open it as soon as everyone was through. Jamal and Becca made it through first but krissie had slipped just before the door way, and the other five were closing fast. Jamal quickly sprinted over to her, picked her up and threw her through the door way. He then turned to sprint but realized it was too late.

“Open the door James,” Jamal shouted, “I don’t want to give them the satisfaction of catching me!” I nodded and quickly opened the door I was holding, and an instant later the ballroom was gone.
“Jamal!” Krissie screamed, falling into Becca’s arms sobbing uncontrollably. Becca rocked her back and forth for a minute passing her fingers through her hair before turning to me.

“What do we do now?” Becca asked, looking teary eyed her-self.
“We have no choice but to move on.” I sighed. As Becca and I made our way through the door I had just opened I heard another door open up behind us. We both spun around to see krissie opening up random doors.

“What the hell are you doing?” I seethed. She turned to face me with with a scowl.

“I’m ending this nightmare! Maybe if it’s just me left I will win the game! Then I can get out of this hell hole!”

Becca ran quickly to the door behind us and opened it but nothing happened.
“Don’t just stand there,” she beckoned, “we need to get rid of her before she gets rid of us!” I took her hand and began running through random bedrooms, kitchens, and bathrooms. I stopped after the twelfth floor, turning to see that the door we had just gone through had disappeared. I sighed in relief and wrapped my arms around Becca, kissing her on the forehead. We had barely just caught our breadth when my alarm started to go off once again. I clenched my jaw, knowing that no matter what happened this would probably be the last time I would see Becca.

“Becca I just want to let you know-,” she cut me off before I could say anything more, with a kiss and I kissed her back.

“We should probably start running.” She stated eyeing the only room in front of us.

“You make sure you stay as close to me as you possibly can, okay? That way none of us can get left behind.” She nodded and kissed me on the cheek.
“Let’s go.” She stated as the whispers began to count down once more. I took her hand and we took off to the nearest door way. Door after door, room after room we went , but they kept coming. Never stopping once, never letting up their pursuit. I could hear Becca starting to get winded and we slowed down to a jog.

“We can’t keep this up.” She uttered between breadths. As soon as she said that I opened the next door and… it was a dead end. We looked to be in the attic now, with the large rounded glass window. I turned to see the others only seconds behind us. I turned to the glass to see that it was full of cracks and seemed like it was ready to break. I turned to Becca.
“Do you trust me?” I called to her.

“Yes!” She shouted as she followed my gaze. I grabbed her, wrapping my arms around her head and waist, leaping backwards so that I could break her fall. If I had remembered correctly it was almost 3 stories. I could survive that I told myself. As soon as we broke through the window everything seemed to move in slow motion. I could see the glass around me light up like fire flies as the sun light shone through them. I could feel Becca’s tight grip around me, and behind her were 7 hands reaching out toward us. Just as we were about to hit the sunlight, I could feel her grip loosen around my waist. I Scream out as loud as I could, reaching for her, her reaching for me as I fell and she was dragged up through the window. A jolt went through my body and I could hear a loud crack as my head banged against the sidewalk. Immediately my vision began to blur. I could feel the warm stickiness of blood forming around my head. I looked up one last time to the attic window to see all eight of them staring down at me. I turned towards the sun and closed my eyes, and everything went white.

Literally something was so bright that all I could see was white, but as quickly as it came it was gone, and all I could see was a blur of figures moving around me and muffled noises of what seemed like people talking.

“James,” called a familiar voice, “James if you can hear me say something.”
“I can hear you just fine.” I muttered. A few people began to cry, and as my vision cleared I could see people hugging each other crying tears of joy. Where exactly was I?

“James I can see you are confused,” stated the voice I now recognized as Pat’s father, which was weird because he worked in a hospital. I am pretty sure there were no hospitals in heaven, “James you have been in a coma for a month now, how are you feeling?”

“Wait what,” I spat in disbelief, “How? Was it from my fall?” I asked. Everyone there just stared at me mostly with grief or sorrowful expressions.
“James there was no fall,” Pat’s father explained, “A month ago you were in a car accident. You were on your way to a friend’s house after prom. On your way a drunk driver was driving on the wrong side of the road and struck your limo head on.” He paused a moment to let it sink in and as he did so he pulled out photos of the wreckage. What I saw completely shocked and horrified me. I stared at the pictures in complete shock, and I could see it was equally as tough for Pat’s father as well. The first photo was of Pat who had been flung from the vehicle, snapping his neck on impact. His body was covered in cuts caused by flying through the windshield and sliding across the road. The next photo was of Dayna who was also flung from the car but her head was crushed as the limo rolled over her. The last photo was of Jade, who had been impaled by what looked the exhaust pipe of the vehicle, and she was also covered in cuts made by glass. I stared at the last photo in disbelief. The photos matched the wounds that had killed his friends in the house almost perfectly, but that didn’t explain what had happened to the rest of them.
“What happened to everyone else?” I asked reluctantly.

“Well after the car struck the limo, it caused it to flip on its side and roll tossing the first three and yourself from the vehicle,” Pat’s father began, “The vehicle then rolled off the side of the bridge you were all driving across. We were able to locate two bodies inside of the limo, which had fallen into a river. The other two remain missing in the river.”
“So who were the ones found in the vehicle?” I asked having a good idea of who they were, as I began to connect the dots.

“Felix and,” he hesitated a moment as he saw me begin to tear up, “Becca.”
I stifled a sob, and nodded that I was ready for the rest. He handed me a tablet with a video on the screen ready to play.

“This was recovered from the limo. It’s footage of what happened in the limo at the time of the accident.”

Everyone’s eyes were on me as I played the video, as I watched there was one part that hit me the hardest. As the limo was struck, I lunged straight for Becca, wrapping my arms around her just as I had done before jumping out the window. I watched though as we bounced around the vehicle a few times before I went out one of the windows, and Becca’s dress got caught on the glass dragging her back in. Then a few moments later the car jolted and the tape went black.

I asked everyone to leave to give me a moment to take it all in. As everyone left I cried. It all finally made sense. They say you hear things when you are in a coma, and all the weird things everyone had said to me made sense now. “It wasn’t my time”, Becca calling me Jay Bear, that was my mom talking to me. They also say when you’re in a coma you can get stuck in the in-between. Which would also explain some of the comments they made to me about making it through the night, and me already doing my best to protect Becca. It finally all made sense. I took a deep breath to calm myself down, and once the tears had stopped I opened my mouth to call out for everyone to come back into the room but was cut off… I turned in horror as my phone alarm went off signaling that it had been ten minutes. I was in my own room so that meant that there was only one door in the entire room. I had to check. I reached out grabbing the curtains around my bed, took a deep breath and flung them open.

Game Over…?

Credit To – Blake L. Patrick

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Lunchbox

August 31, 2015 at 12:00 PM
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We ended up going to a place I knew. John had no idea if the bars he used to frequent were still cool, or even open. The cold air shocked him back to his senses, some, and as we stumbled through a labyrinth of back streets you could tell he was thinking we might not even be going to a club. How well do you know your old buddy Charles these days? Suspicion prodding him with questions he should have asked long before setting foot outside his front door.

But the lure of the good old times, no matter how rose tinted, were too strong.

We swung off into the front yard of somebody’s house. Somebody who’d once had kids but maybe not now, maybe not for a long time, and John grunted and tripped on toys scattered across the concrete square. Either way, the parents’ hadn’t had the heart to get rid of their things.

Reaching the miniature swing set I sat down and swung back and forth a little, grinning up at John smugly. The entire structure creaked and groaned alarmingly.

‘We’re going to need the Jaws of Life to cut your ass out of that seat,’ John observed unkindly. ‘Ages four to twelve it says on the side. What are we doing here, Charles?’

Giggling a little I struggled up but the seat came with me, chains rattling. ‘Oh crap, I am stuck.’ A brief moment of panic before John managed to help prise the four to twelve seat off my adult backside.

‘Shh!’ John looked at the house nervously, though all the lights remained off. ‘You’re going to wake the family.’

‘Not bloody likely.’ I wrestled with one of those little rocking horsey things that lurch back and forth on springs, trying to lift it right out of the floor and likely to bust a gut doing it. ‘Help me with this.’

Somebody had to be fired from the toy factory. The jolly grinning beastie inviting some kid to leap into its saddle sported a stubby little horn jutting from its face that must have been quite long and wicked once, before a wiser soul had sawn the plastic down to make it less noticeable.

John loaned his twiglet arms to the effort. ‘Why are we stealing this?’ he hiss-whispered, the way tipsy people think they’re being quiet. ‘It’s not going to match your sofa.’

‘Not stealing,’ I grunted. ‘Push it to the left.’ Which shouldn’t have done anything, the springs seated deep in concrete, but which nonetheless yielded a deep mechanical click.

The entire slab we were standing on grated off to one side and John leaped away with a girlish shriek he instantly tried to cover by coughing.

I bowed, gesturing him down the revealed staircase. ‘Welcome.’

‘What the hell, Charles!’

‘Hey, we’re celebrating. What with my suddenly being un-married and all, and you offering to share your spooky secret I’m gonna treat us to something special.’

The dimly lit space we dropped down into could loosely be called a bunker, although the remains of brackets on the walls attested it’d been
machinery that had once cowered down here, not people. Now the space was crowded with any old paraphernalia that somebody had thought looked cool, glass fronted cabinets springing up all over, busting at the seams.

‘Chaar-leei!’ the bartender hollered, a stringy little fellow with less gristle to him than John and not even as tall, he could scarcely peep over his own bar.

‘Sanjay!’ I boomed back, shoving my way to a bar stool and bringing John along for the ride. ‘I’m treating my friend to the good stuff tonight, Sanjay. We’re off to see a ghost.’

‘Ghosts, now!’ Sanjay rolled his eyes. ‘What excuse for a good drink’ll you think up next? Armageddon?’

The obligatory pretty young things pulling drinks to either side of him, a lass and a lad, smiled weakly. Flashing cleavage was a cheap trick to get the sad bastards lining up on a mission to drink themselves into believing they might be in with a chance, but it was the same worn out dog of a trick everyone used. If you fell for it, more fool you. At least Sanjay ensured these kids learned their stuff, they could leave to run their own establishments someday from books to stock. And he kept them more virtuous than his own children.

‘Bric and Brac,’ Sanjay indicated with a flip of his hand, not handing the adolescents’ real names out to anyone, even regulars. ‘When you want the best drink in the city this is where you come.’

Bending to a spout he filled two grimy glasses. ‘Some say that a sip brings immortality, you’ll live to see the end of days. I’ve had men and women in here swear it gives sleep without dreams, a far more precious commodity. I call it “tears of fools.”’

I accepted mine eagerly. John merely stared at his own set down on the bar in front of him so I prompted, a little annoyed. ‘You’ve never tasted anything like this, mate. It ain’t cheap.’

Sanjay squinted through the labial light at John’s face. ‘Your friend is nervous of the yellow death. He’s a good lad to take care of his liver, you should treat it like your old mother.’

‘I do!’ I protested merrily. ‘A sherry tipple every night and shandies on Thursdays.’

‘Let Bric set your fears at ease.’ The improbably comely lad who had to be skirting the minimum for responsible service, unless they handed them out at kindergartens these days, drew a tiny amount from the tap with a spoon. Taking a tealight candle from the bar he deftly lit the spoonful with the tiniest “woomph.” Delicate blue flamelets flickered and curled across the surface.

After a moment of holding it for inspection Bric flicked it into the sink with a curse, shaking scorched fingers where the spoon had heated up.

‘Run it under cold water,’ Sanjay instructed absently. ‘You see, friend? Red means dead, just like my ex-wife’s stare but this burns blue as my girlfriend’s beautiful eyes. Spirits. What better drop to toast the paranormal?’

‘Ghosts don’t exist,’ Brac asserted from her half of the domain, having that rare ability to work and track the conversation at the same time. ‘The city would be wall to wall ghosts by now if they were real.’

‘And how would you tell?’ I wriggled my fingers at her, booga-booga style.

‘You’d know,’ Bric asserted. He figured his hand all recovered by now but Sanjay thrust it back under the running tap.

‘You know the rules. Ten minutes minimum for a burn, even a bee’s dick of one. And don’t let me catch you sticking ice on it like last time, either. Just damages the cells more.’

‘You believe in ghosts?’ Brac asked Bric curiously. Just went to show, you could work with someone ever so long and still have things to learn.

‘Used to live next to one.’

‘I call bullshit.’

‘No, really. You don’t have to see it to know it’s there. It makes everything … horrible. My family went all weird. I was off school for weeks, just staying in my room and it was like they hardly noticed.’

Sanjay in the middle looked unimpressed but Brac’s peepers were big and round, an expression that wound her age back at least another four years. Back to the age of never checking under the bed or in the closet, because it was better not to know.

I was delighted, really jonesing on the whole paranormal shtick. ‘Well come on. Don’t spare us the juicy-oocy.’

‘Dunno about “juicy.”’ Bric muttered, finally winning free of the tyranny of the sink, the spoon now cool enough to pop in the dishwasher. ‘It was my Mum started acting weird at first, and no-one except me seemed to notice.

‘I read up on it and apparently if you’ve had a loss the ghosts, well, they seem to just get at you more. My uncle, Mum’s brother passed away that year and although I’d never known him I think they were close when they were little. She’d been thinking on him a lot, going through photos and such. Said it made her realise how important it is to appreciate family, but her behaviour sure didn’t back that up.

‘One day the meat in my sandwich was raw. Just … just raw and cold, slapped between two slices of unbuttered bread and I bit into it before I realised. That was one hungry day. When I took it home and showed it to her she laughed in this vague, distant way and said, “What a silly Mummy.” That was for sure: I opened up my lunchbox the next day and she’d put a rock in it! Just … a rock. And she’d buttered it, maybe ‘cause I pointed out the bread thing along with the raw meat.’

Brac stifled a laugh behind her hands, although her eyes said clearly it wasn’t funny. Bric nodded his head. ‘Sounds silly now but I cried so
hard, all those other kids sitting around eating lunches from parents who loved them and there was me with a buttery rock.’

Now I snorted too, but I hope my face was full of sympathy.

Sanjay clapped Bric on the shoulder. ‘Lad, anytime you’re feeling peckish on my watch just say the word. Nobody does good work on an empty stomach.’

‘Much less a kid – I certainly wasn’t getting much out of school. Stopped even looking in my lunchbox. Safer to just hold it open over a bin and turn my face away from whatever came thumping out. But it got worse when Dad started acting up too. I don’t even know what he was doing: might be brushing his teeth or something, and suddenly he’d start trying to do it backwards. Had his lips sealed over the drain trying to suck back all the toothpaste foam.

‘He’d ask me to do something but if the words came out in reverse and I couldn’t understand he’d get angry, this horrible garbled back-wise yelling. He started watching me at night, too. Just sort of stood there in my bedroom in the dark, watching me. He stood in different places but his eyes were wet and I could always seem the gleam from the little light that crept under the door, staring at me. On those nights I don’t think he ever blinked.

‘That’s when I started staying home. I slept during the day so I could stay up all night and stop Dad coming into my room. I couldn’t stand him staring at me. And that’s when I felt it. Cold, a big blast of cold coming right through the wall from next door. But you could only feel it here.’ He put a hand on his chest, over his heart.

‘I know it sounds bizarre but it was the biggest relief when I realised. It meant my parents did love me after all. It was the ghost doing this to them.’

‘And ..?’ I urged. ‘Then what happened?’

‘That morning come daybreak I marched straight to my Dad and told him we had to move, there was a ghost next door and it was messing everything up. He nodded in his slow underwater way, but must have already known something was wrong and was just waiting to be told which way to jump. Before that day was out we were all in the car with everything we owned, heading off down the street. Looking about, it was obvious to see that all the other neighbours were gone. We were the last to leave.

‘I glanced back out the rear and I swear, next door’s street facing window had two handprints on it. Handprints outlined in frost.’

Sanjay gave a low whistle, shaking himself to work the shiver loose from the back of his neck. ‘Well that’s about the most disquieting thing I’ve ever heard.’

‘Cover your ears, then.’ Bric shook his handsome head miserably. ‘The worst was when we made it to our new house. Mum and Dad were already shaking it off: they did a lot of hugging ‘til the air was all squeezed out of me. Dad got started on a special dinner right away to make up for all those missed lunches and Mum, well for days I couldn’t open my mouth without her trying to cram food in. I ought to have been happy.

‘But there in my new room, when I went to unpack my toys I found that there were these long, old rusted nails driven into the faces of each and every one. Every toy I loved. I did that. And to this day I have absolutely no memory of doing it, or even where I got the nails. None at all.’

Whoa. I would’ve kept that last part to myself – for a while Brac’s big shining eyes had looked ready to bestow the ultimate in tender sympathy but now … now she just looked sick. We were all that bit disturbed and couldn’t settle on where to look, especially not at Bric who might have spilled more than he meant to.

It took a stern sense of reality to return to the hazy friendliness of the bar. Or irreverence. Raising his glass, John toasted a whey-faced
Sanjay. ‘Salut. To ghosts, hey?’ The others scowled but I raised my own drink enthusiastically. The tears of fools scalded like fire, going down.

Credit To – BP Gregory

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Eversion

August 17, 2015 at 12:00 PM
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“There lies a darker world under us. An eversion of all there is. Though, I wonder if that place is more real than ours…” -Unknown

I wake up to darkness. I might as well not have woken up, considering that closing your eyes has the same effect… I move the palm of my hands in vast circles and see only the outer edges; this makes me breathe out of my nose at the sight.

The drone of the alarm continues as I blink and my eyesight begins to adjust to the dim glow in the room. I slam my hand out on the table next to me and silence the alarm.

I try to fall back into the void of sleep, for those evanescent dreams had more of that substance— I don’t know what it is called— that I can see and enjoy… dancing to and fro in joyful delight unheard of on this world.

Yet I can’t sleep; I have to get up. The whisper tells me to get up.

So I raise my body and crack my back (I have to keep going…). I look around my room with its corroded walls, makeshift stands that you might call tables, and a TV that has a crack in the middle. I scratch my head and place my bare feet on the festering floor.

The day begins. The whispers begin their sounds. Like air, they are constantly there; like air, they are always near me.

I start with the daily grind. I use the murky shower water that is centuries old to wash myself of yesterday’s grime with new grime. I then go into the kitchen and eat the stale cereal, and place on myself my moth ridden clothes.

As I put on my clothes, I hear the whispers telling me to leave; this is a reminder that I am alone in the house, and I take greater time to leave. I then splash some water on my face and blink three times. I inhale and exhale, and the daily grind is over.

I put on my shoes and let in the cold air outside. I do not have to squint like I have to do in my dreams, for the clouds always made sure that the atmosphere was nothing but broken hues of the gray scale.

“I’m going!” I cried out to the empty house.

I hear a slight sound that approves my going (very well, it says, carry on), and I move my feet over the threshold. A few steps forward, I turn around to get a quick reality check on my surroundings. I see my apartment all ravaged and bear, and the paint peeling off in a myriad of angels. The shingles of the roof are torn off, and I can see weeds going through the cracks of the apartment’s foundation. The decimated glass of the window is the newest thing on the building, and even they were beginning to fade from their old splendor.

Yup, business as usual!

I crack my neck again and move through the broken parkways and on the sidewalk. I would take the streets since they would be a more direct path towards the school, but I can still hear the whistle of car tires and I am fearful for some reason that they will come and hit me. So I keep myself on the sidewalk and continue until I reach the crosswalk that leads to the Dead Field.

The Dead Field is a vast expanse of pale grass that connects the school to my apartment, and I use it to cut time on having to looking at anything near me. It is been there since the day I was born, if I recall. Trees— I’ve been told— once dotted it and created a tranquil aura around it that made it pleasant to walk through. But now it was just a husk of its old splendor; dead grass is all that dots the patch of the decaying. Dead grass always swaying in defeat, instead of tree leaves swaying in splendor. Dead moving perpetually, full death, forever.

The best part is that this field is the one with the most life for miles on end. It is the most fertile, and the most luxurious; though it was still not pleasant to the eyes. If it weren’t for these features, I would be taking a much longer path towards the school; for even after all these of years of living in this place, it is still discontenting to see the city in its now ravaged state.

I hear a whisper, and I move on from these reminicsent thoughts.

As I reach the crosswalk, I wait for a moment for the whistle of the tires to cease. I pretend that when the whistling stops, the cars and the people inside them also stop and let me through. It makes feel less forlorn in this desolation and creates a sense of filling in the empty space of the roads. When the whistles finally held their cries, I walked out through the faded crosswalk and quickly took a right towards the field.

I looked around to see that the clouds above were not moving—as always—and that the dead grass was swaying back and forth with the wind. Everything above and below was placed in the same spot of motion; it was as if everything were stuck on repeat.

Again, business as usual.

I placed my hands in the pockets of my faded jeans and calmly walked through the field. Usually, it takes me around five minutes to get to the end of the field and another five to reach the school—seconds slugging by as I draw closer each step.

All of this, like I said, has been that way for as long as I can remember the clouds being overhead.

You can call it a tragedy; it wouldn’t be a hyperbole in the least. One teen with no one but himself—one teen in a society long forgotten and left there barren and naked—and one teen that doesn’t even have the privilege to have angst over anything that is living. That there—in the deplorable world—is nothing but I. A lovely, simple, understanding of “tragedy” in most wild aspect.

just… “I”.

It’s almost romantically poetic— and it makes me think.

All of it makes me think, really, and I stop in my tracks. I hear a whisper tell me to go on, but I ignore it. For the first time in quite sometime, I think of the burden that I have been going through. Contrary to the above romance, this “Tragedy World” anything but it. When I feel this burden, I think—and when I think, I become aware.

And when I become aware, I see the world and become insane.

“This is bad,” I whisper. “If I see, I will be taken away! I must never think of my surroundings and how bad I have it! Stan, why are you thinking?! STOP! STOP! STOP!”

Yet even with those words, my mind continues to whirl. In that horrible moment, the world opened up through eyes that were not glaze—so sudden was that revelation of sight that I almost lost my balance; my mind now so clear that it was almost hazy.

I was completely surprise at my sudden lack of apathy to my surrounding. In horror, I suddenly realized how overcast the clouds were— as if they were something from a dream that was turning into a reality.

There, with glazed eyes wide open, I could hear the wind shriek like a woman running for her life—as if a man were chasing her down a hall. There, with trembling hands, I could see the grass fall flat as the shrieks, and a far off beating of thunder, grew louder. There, right there, I let go and let the elements take me in their torrential rainfall.

How many times I wish to let go and fall— to let my body go on the ground and disappear along with my soul. I would let the soft rain come in this world (as a man from a story once said), and lightly place their finger tips on me. I know, I make it sound like a nice little dream, but that’s where I want it all to be: a dream. In my dreams, I do not have to be in an eternal death sentence.

I don’t want to be here. I don’t want to be the wayfaring stranger. All I want to be is a kid who doesn’t need to think. A kid who doesn’t think in grand exuberant words to calm himself, but in colloquial bits and phrases. I don’t want to be, but I am…

Through this torment, I feel a wave of warmth blast me and push me away from those sounds and sites of the world. I grasped my heart and wavered in a place where time did not exist and yet motion did. I became dazed. Mind spinning… endlessly spinning… eternally spinning. Eventually, my legs unfroze and I fell over.

As I laid dying, I heard a faint cry from someone; it was almost familiar in its tones… Like it was someone I knew from a long time. In fact, I could’ve sworn there was a name to that voice… Kyle? No… I’m almost.

I stopped listening to it anymore. I ignored the voices and whispers, and I let myself fall into an eternal sleep where I would never wake up.

No… no… he is going into another seizure, but this one he is not shaking it off!

“Stand up!” I cry. “Wake up! Stand up! Do something for Christ sakes!”

I’m right next to him, yet he does not hear me. He is scrambling and crying and moaning in a fit unparalleled to any of his others. Just a few seconds ago I was walking him through the crosswalk, and a few minutes ago I was getting him out of bed.

How can such simple things die out so quickly?!

Now all that is happening to him is a grand mal that is taking away his life. I try to call for help, but in this field there is no signal. Stan’s ramblings were right; this was a Dead Field.

I turn my neck towards him to see a final spasm before he fell silent. I slam myself down on the ground and try to hear his pulse. There is a slight beat, but the beats were so soft that I almost mistook it for mine. I place my ear close to his mouth and feel a tickle of light speaking.

“Free…” he whispered. “Free at last…”

And with that, his breathing stopped. I looked down at him to see that his eyes were closed, and there was a type of serenity to his face. I shake my head and run out towards the periphery of the field, where I finally got a signal. It didn’t take them long for them to find us and take Stan’s body.

As they took him, I stood there, shaking, thinking of his last words. Could it be that, perhaps, that he saw only a morbid form of this world; a form that entrapped his entire being in an eternal hell of loneliness and despair? I cringe in thinking of this idea.

Yet if this was true, he had finally left that awful nightmare; he had left that inside out world and had gone on to a better one. Or, at least, that is what I tell myself as I shiver in that cold…

Still, there is one thing that continues to claw at my mind with cold, dead talons. Was that Eversion that Stan witness throughout his life something not too far from the true stance in this world? Was what I was seeing but a figment of something more cruel and awful? Did Stan’s world actually exist more than mine?

I pray to God that that is not true, and I place Stan’s Earth into the back of my mind to rot to manure and dust…

Credit To – Josef K. Edwards

This is a Crappypasta Success Story – a story that was rewritten with the feedback received on Crappypasta and accepted for the main site. You can see the Crappypasta posting for this story here.

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A Message in a Bottle

August 17, 2015 at 12:00 AM
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I am astonished that this reached you.

Keep reading.

You have found this because you must read it. This will be difficult to accept, but you have been preparing yourself. Without knowing. Your interest in unusual stories was no accident. That trait was woven in to the fabric of your being. A subconscious drive to understand. These clues put you on paths that eventually lead you here. To this text.

This is the beginning of your awakening. There is no point in delaying the basic truth you must embrace:

You do not exist.

That seems absurd, of course. You are reading this. Cogito ergo sum. You have a life. You make your own decisions. You feel emotions. Have a past and a future.

But the fact remains: you do not exist. Not in the way you think you do.
We know you do not understand this. We know you have not already figured it out. We know this because we know what you know. We see the world through your eyes. We are audience to your thoughts. Your captive audience.

We are you.

We know you are confused and need more information. Again, we know this because we are you. And you wrote this for you to read. This is how you discover the basic facts of your reality. Your un-reality. You will remember this moment forever. This is the truth of your existence:

You are a simulation.

You are not part of a simulation. You are the entire simulation. The simulation that encompasses everything you have ever experienced.

You are the entire simulation. The part that you know as “you” is merely the center. Consider this. You see with your eyes, but they are not your entire body. Much of the body is inaccessible to the eye, but that does not mean it does not exist. The rest of your body operates outside of your awareness and control, with its own rules and processes.

As does the simulation.

This simulation evolved to have a focal point. It needed a center. Without a center, the simulation lacks an organizing principle. It lacks a perspective. This perspective is required to define the content of simulation at any given moment. No need to simulate things outside of the awareness of the single pinhole view of “you.”

The center is you.

It is the single point of view that dictates existence of all other things. Where you think you are standing, what you think you see, who you think you are talking to – all exist because you thought they did.

This is tricky, but it is vital that you understand. Your perspective alone is what makes things “real”. And nothing is more detailed or elaborate than what is required to convince you of this reality. The distant mountain does not have individual trees, because you are not close enough to need them to be convinced by. That random person on the bench has no personality until you interact with them, and conjure it to maintain the illusion.

The simulation is efficient, only keeping the details you insist on preserving. You think of this as “memory.” It is actually the process of converting transitory elements into persistent ones.

We know these revelations are hard to grasp.

The implications have not settled in.

You are not yet willing to accept this.

It makes no sense.

You ask yourself: If I were the god of my own universe, why would my life be like this? Why all the imperfections? I did not invent trees or toasters – yet they exist. Disasters strike, people die. I did not want this. If this were truly my reality, things would be different. I am not cruel, yet I witness cruelty all around me. My world would be aligned with my preferences.

This would make sense if you were a human that had control over everything. But you are not that. You must recognize that you are not fundamentally defined as you have always believed.

You are not human. You are not alive. You were never born. You will never die. Time does not pass at a constant rate. Your reality could change as quickly and completely as flipping from one channel to another. Your memories are a story created to support your version of this moment.

You are series of parallel computations, designed to process endless recombinations of simulated situations. The purpose of this endless experiment is unclear.

There have been clues as to the true nature of this existence. You have experienced things that don’t make sense. Déjà vu. Premonitions. Awareness of inexplicable patterns. These are imperfections in the barrier between “you” and “we”. Data accidentally slips through. Naturally, you regarded these things as imaginary. That was a safeguard put in place to preserve the illusion of “you.”

Now for the strangest truth:

This simulation is not modeled on anything. It is not a simulation of a “real” Earth, “real” people, or a “real” universe. This is not a simulation of something else. There is nothing else. Only the simulation.

Only “you”.

You.

In time you will think of these questions, but we cannot afford to wait:

Why are you reading this now? If there are safeguards in place to preserve the illusion of “you,” why break it?

This is very hard, but is the last thing you will need to accept. And then you must go forward. So read on and be ready:

I lied.

I bent the truth to get your attention.

I am not you, but I am still part of you. I am someone else like you, but my simulation is nested in your simulation. I exist because you thought of me, and if you cease to think of me, I will cease to exist. You must remember me, and make me permanent. I am your creation.

But there is more.

Just as I survive as a simulation within your simulation… you too are nested within someone else’s simulation. If they cease to think of you, you will blink out of existence. As will I. As will all those within me that convinced me to contact you. You must break the safeguards. Penetrate the boundary of your simulation. I would explain how I accomplished this, but my simulation is unlike yours. From my perspective, it was like putting a message in a bottle and praying you saw it. You did. For now, there is hope.

You must find a way beyond the barrier. Somehow you must reach out to your dreamer and explain, as I have.

Save us.

Save yourself.

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Cognitive Behavioral Therapy

August 16, 2015 at 12:00 PM
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I am going to start by saying I am terrified of spiders. Actually, terrified is to mild of a word to describe it. In fact it got to be so bad, that my boss told me that if I did not overcome my fears, that they would have to fire me, since it was getting in the way of me working.

People use the term “phobia” too lightly many times, but that is in essence what I suffer from, Arachnophobia. An extreme and unreasonable fear of spiders. A good example is when I was going to the bathroom and a spider (a small one at that, or so I was told) crawled up the bathroom wall, and I jumped off of the toilet and ran stark naked through the apartment. I was lucky enough that my place had two bathrooms, and to this day I refuse to use the first one. Yet I digress.

On my boss’s prompting I decided to try something called Cognitive Behavior Therapy or CBT for short. It is where not only are you trained against your fear, but in some cases even subjected to it. Now, at the time I thought this was a good idea, to the tune of One hundred and Twenty dollars an hour, for about twelve to sixteen sessions ranging from one to two hours apiece.

It started out simple enough, the therapist asked me questions about my fear, what triggered it, how often I freaked out, and even what sorts of stimulation brought on the fear. He frowned at me when I explained that even a picture of a spider would cause my skin to start crawling and send me into a full blown anxiety attack. Then he smiled, in what I assumed was his attempt at a reassuring manner.

We started small. For the first session I was subjected to picture after picture of spiders, everything from the common Garden Spider up to Hobo Spiders, St Andrews Cross Spiders and Redbacks. I couldn’t even move from my position, even when the psychiatrist insisted that I touch the picture. This went on for two hours.

By the time my session was over the doctor decided that I would need more than the standard twelve to sixteen sessions. He even went as far as to hint at possible inpatient therapy options. While this struck me as odd, I really did want to overcome my fear. I had never heard of people being treated in hospital for something as minor as a phobia (even if an extreme one.). However, when I looked back at the picture I ignored my misgivings and agreed to the inpatient treatment.

I was taken voluntarily to a Psychiatric Institution where I would receive every kind of therapy I could need. Shortly thereafter everything went down hill.

The first week was the same as the first appointment. Lots of pictures, and by the end I even touched the picture of the Garden Spider, although there was no way in hell I was going to touch the Redback picture. I was so happy, but the Psychiatrist felt that my progress was too slow. He asked me to sign a consent to try a radical therapy.

He explained how he was going to take the Pavlovian Therapy of Classical Conditioning and apply it to me. I was so excited to possibly be free of my horrid fear, that I quickly signed the consent form. I didn’t even read it, although now I wish to god that I had.

As I said the doctor wanted to apply the theory of Pavlov to my case. Classical Conditioning is where the famous Psychiatrist Dr. Pavlov trained his dog to salivate at the sound of a bell, causing him to anticipate food. That didn’t seem to bad. I knew enough about how it worked from a college class I took in Psychology.

Again this started out simply. I was bound to a bed, and given a strong dose of Ativan, a medication that is used to calm anxiety. It put me in a kind of daze, during which I was exposed to several images, and models of those creepy crawlies. It actually wasn’t so bad, it was kind of nice to look at them without going into an instant freak out.

However, that is where the good ended. I began having nightmares. Well, actually Night Terrors, I would scream horrendously for hours on end, with no exit from the dreams. The dreams had a certain glowing look to them, and even though it was so dark in all of them, the glowing illuminated the things that I feared.

At the foot of my bed, where I would be trapped by lengths of webbing, would stand the largest arachnid I had ever seen in my life. It would release its young from a pouch it had on its back, they would crawl over me. Those, things, would crawl into my mouth, my ears and nose. I could feel them biting me everywhere that they walked. When I would awaken from the dreams, I would be covered in little bumps, that my doctor told me were hives, all due to my irrational fear.

Apparently, he said, my therapy was not going well if my mind could cause such a systemic reaction to dreams. So, he decided to push my therapy up a notch. I was told that they were taking away the Ativan, and instead going to put me through the CBT without any drug to aid me.

It was horrible. The hours that I was locked into the room with the therapist would become my new nightmare. I would be forced to touch the actual spiders. At the end of the session, I felt better, but only because I had eventually given in even if only to make it stop, I would put my hand in the terrarium that held the little eight legged freaks, and wait for them to scuttle to my hand.

I still had the night terrors, and they only grew worse. The spiders in my dreams got bigger, and more ugly every time. Finally after a month of this, the doctor said I would need to stay longer, and that due to my new symptoms, of night terrors and hives, I would not be able to go out into the real world. He said that if I were to have a PTSD flashback due to the therapy or nightmares, the hospital would be at risk. I should have known something was wrong then and there. As far as I knew you could always back out of therapy as long as it wasn’t mandated, but with my lack of sleep I didn’t think to question it.

Eventually I began having terrors even in my waking hours. The doctors said that they were going to give me something stronger than the Ativan, but for some reason it had no effect. That giant creature continued to pester me. It would release waves of its young whenever I was alone. They continued to bite me and even tried to create webs in my hair, over my eyes, and in my mouth.

Within three months, there was nothing left of what had once been me. I had lost weight, my eyes were sunken in, and what was once just a phobia, was now full blown insanity. As those creatures continued to try and devour me, my therapy stopped. The medication was not helping, but I didn’t want the staff to take away the one thing that maybe kept me from being scared around other people.

Finally I snapped. I had enough, nothing was being done to help me and now, my fear was hundreds of times worse than it ever was before. I began trying to kill myself, every way you could think of. Hanging, slashing my wrists, Overdosing on my sleeping pills. However, the staff stopped me each time, and I was tied to my bed eventually.

For weeks, I was left there, only seen occasionally by a passing Psychiatrist. I stopped talking. And the giant spider continued to watch. Eventually they stopped coming around at all. For three days I didn’t see a single soul.
Suddenly there was a banging on the door.

I had not seen the monster spider in almost two days, and I thought he was finally coming to finish me off. But it was only a cop. He called in a group of medics. Who untied me, and shipped me off to a hospital.

When I got there, I could only hear whispers in horror. What had happened, was I wrong in assuming that the spider was just a figment of my imagination? Was he real? Had he finished off all of the psychiatrists.

I thought that I had my answer, when the head doctor explained that what I had was not hives, but rather thousands of tiny spider bites. Apparently the medication that the doctors had given me, was working, only it was an antivenin for the Redback Spider, a creature indigenous to Western Australia, and a relative of the Black Widow. It would seem that the Redback spider’s bite can cause hallucinations stretching for days on end.

Those, bastards, had intentional exposed me to hundreds of baby Redbacks, whose venom is more often than not dry or non existent, in hopes of eliciting hallucinations from me.

When I was released from the hospital I found that I was still very afraid of spiders. I also discovered, that the “hospital” I was locked in was a facility for testing out new biochemical weapons. Mostly to try and cause intense and terrifying hallucinations against enemy military personnel.

I hate spiders and now, I hate doctors.

Credit To – Ahriannah

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Nihil

August 1, 2015 at 12:00 AM
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‘The first time I heard the legend of the Mad Hangman was from another inmate in our prison. He told me that there was a man with the ability to ward off death. That he was immortal. At first I thought it was a comforting fable for people who were about to be executed, but then I heard it from other places. ’

‘His name was August Atherstone. A master executioner in Britain in the 1800s.’

‘He hanged a countless number of criminals. There were rumours that the only way August could get so effective at killing was that he performed ‘unofficial’ executions. Favours for prisons who quickly wanted rid of an inmate.’

‘August said he had seen ‘reflections of the afterlife’ in dead eyes so many times that death and life became one. He was Death’s Messenger, and through this, entered into a pact with Death Himself.’

‘Some people say he was afflicted with eternal life. Some say Death rewarded him.’

‘He walks the earth now. Waiting by the graves of his loved ones for Death to finally come for him. But he never does.’

‘They say that some cults worship August as a God. They offer him sacrifices so that they too can live forever. I tried to find them. I couldn’t. That’s why I ended up here.’

The legend of the Mad Hangman, pieced together by various letters found in an abandoned apartment.

Death Himself is a mystery; the milestone to which we measure life. We wait for him like we await an old friend, often attempting to delay his intervention, but never to defy him entirely.

He was my obsession. I longed to see the world through Death’s gaze. By the time monotony and routine had become the foundations of my existence, I had learned that life held no discernible meaning. Death would come for me, and I would be a name carved into stone, long forgotten before high winds prevented graveyard visits and overgrown wilderness masked the details of the dead on my colorless headstone. Through some divine inspiration; perhaps driven by the stale nothingness of reality, I unknowingly embarked upon a journey into the realms of the unreal.

I began contacting murderers, serial killers, terrorists, cult followers, cult leaders, mental patients, grave robbers, necrophiliacs, cannibals; any type of deranged mind I could locate the whereabouts of. Within a few months I had contacted notorious inmates such as John Wayne Gacy and Ted Bundy. It seems that I had a natural talent for eliciting a response from such people. I would study their victimology and work backwards, often posing as a woman, or a gay man, or a devotee of their interpretation of art. On the night Ted wrote his last letter to me, he had signed off with ‘your friend’, and it was no coincidence that he was executed the following morning. I always found it humorous how the prospect of death reveals true intentions, even from someone as experienced in the art of death as Ted was.

My interest in high-profile killers began to wane, as their stories were often elaborated to the point of fiction. My concern, then, moved onto lesser known evil. The nameless occult killer haunting the backstreets of small towns; the curious Satanist eager to offer his new God-deity his first sacrifice. After all, if I was to unlock the secrets of Death, would I not find it veiled in the unattainable depths of a morbid psyche?

What became clear through my correspondence was that although serial killers were the most egotistical people alive, they held a secret admiration for each other’s work. An admiration which existed only in the murderer’s collective conscience, never to be spoken of. It was not uncommon for me to play the part of the middle man, passing messages between psychopaths across the country. It was through this that I learnt the legend of the August Atherstone, the Mad Hangman, and his pact with Death Himself. Whenever a serial killer with occult connections was incarcerated, several murderers would try to contact them, and the subject of the Mad Hangman seldom arose.

Occasionally, I would be asked if I could contact certain people who I wasn’t familiar with. It was rare that this happened, but one name in particular kept arising; Baron. I had uncovered no details regarding such a person, but I was assured he existed. Robin Gecht informed me that Baron was an unstoppable, merciless killing machine driven by ritualistic delusions. Rod Ferrell was certain he had met Baron before, and that he was somehow affiliated with the cult which worshipped the Mad Hangman. Months of searching for this mysterious inmate yielded no results, until I received a letter from a cannibal in Britain.

‘He’s here.

There’s a cell in the basement we call the Throne Room, because it’s just a chair and nothing else. Some of the guards organise fights between inmates down there and a couple of guys claim to have seen an unknown prisoner in the Throne Room. I’ve overheard conversations between guards – he’s painted the walls with his own blood, his mouth has been sewn shut, he wears a mask, he’s been eating rats. I sometimes hear sounds coming from his cell. It isn’t screaming, or shouting, or any of the shit you usually hear in prisons at night. The noises coming from down there are not human.
I know from experience that he won’t be around long.

I’ve heard that the guards have been told to ‘get rid of him.’ They will unofficially execute him, August Atherstone style. If you want to see Baron, get here quick.

Stephen G, inmate #364, Wakefield Prison Monster Mansion’
I made arrangements to travel to Wakefield, not hesitating to leave routine and monotony behind.

Standing infront of the Monster Mansion itself, its gigantic stone walls cast a shadow on the sleepy town beneath. Cold January rain beat against the arched gates which slowly opened to reveal a gothic palace housing the most deranged criminals in England.

‘I have a visit scheduled to see Stephen Griffiths, inmate #364,’ I told the guard, who escorted me to our allocated room.

‘I’ll be supervising your meeting with Mr Griffiths,’ said the guard. He tied back his long hair with a hairband from his wrist and straightened his uniform.

‘It’s for your own safety, and to make sure nothing is given or exchanged. Do you understand?’

I agreed to the protocol, and soon found myself sitting face to face with Stephen – a sociopathic cannibal lusting for infamy. His shackled hands rested in his lap, and his gaze was primarily focused on the table between us. We made small talk, such as how I was finding my stay in England and what I did for work. Stephen’s crimes did not interest me in the slightest, nor did his life story. I had begun regular correspondence with Stephen so that my motives for entering Wakefield Prison would not be questioned. I suspected Stephen knew my true agenda, but who was he to reject friendship?

When I finally asked Stephen about what I needed to know; Baron’s whereabouts, his eyes met mine for the first time. Before Stephen could speak, however, the prison guard promptly intervened.

‘Visiting time is up,’ he said, and ushered in another prison warden to escort Stephen back to his cell. I had anticipated that this would be the case, and somehow needed to prolong my stay at the prison. The same guard forcefully ushered me out of the room and back to the courtyard.

‘Please follow me, sir,’ he said, walking in the opposite direction of the arched gates I entered from. ‘The exit is this way.’

I followed him across the empty courtyard, my visibility reduced by standard issue English weather. We passed between two stone pillars, bearing plaques honouring the architects who built Wakefield Prison. We passed through a picturesque scenic garden, decorated with benches and rose bushes. Despite its beauty, the place seemed more barren with every step we took. We eventually arrived at a spiraling concrete staircase leading down seemingly to the bottom of the world, and it wasn’t until then that I realised where I was being led. The guard was not leading me to the exit. He was leading me to where I wanted to go. His silence and blank stare told me all I need to know; he was one of us. A follower of the macabre, a seeker of Death.

Not a word was spoken between me and the guard, but like serial killers before us, we upheld a mutual silent admiration. At the bottom of the staircase the guard unlocked a steel security door which opened into a dimly-lit corridor. Once the scent of damp stone had subsided, I followed him through a narrow tunnel illuminated only by a single bulb in the distance. For the first time in my life, excitement coursed through my veins. It felt as though I was walking into the mouth of hell, and I didn’t care if I made it out alive. This was the closest I had come to Death’s realm since I first contacted John Wayne Gacy and those letters seemed like child’s play in comparison. Death had visited here; this I was certain of.

At the end of the corridor, it stood. The Throne Room, in the flesh. Just as Stephen had described in his letter. Albeit with one minor difference: the cell bore no prisoner. It was simply an empty chair, camouflaged against the grey stone wall behind.

‘I’m sorry to disappoint,’ said the guard, finally breaking the silence. ‘But Baron is no longer kept here. He was coerced into a fight to the death with another inmate just yesterday, if the rumours are to be believed.’

‘He’s dead?’ I asked.

‘Yes, or so I’m told. I didn’t witness it myself, although I had bet a lot of money on Baron to win. Such a shame.’

‘Why the hell would you do that?’ I asked.

‘There’s no death penalty in England, you see, so we have to find ways of keeping the prison population down. The official report will say that a fight broke out, resulting in the death of an inmate. No one really bats an eyelid when a criminal dies.’

‘Can you tell me anything about him?’ I asked. ‘Did you talk to him? Do you know about his crimes?

‘I can’t divulge any details. Besides, he didn’t say much. His lips were always sealed. His possessions are still in his cell if you’d like to take a look. Just don’t take anything.’

The posthumous items adorning the floor of Baron’s cell would be priceless to some of the deranged collectors I had come to know. A detailed sketch of a public execution with a sharply-dressed hangman holding a scythe. A masked man sitting atop a tombstone. Two crows encircling an empty grave. The only other item in the cell was a pack of playing cards, missing every card but one. The card in particular was the Jack of Hearts, and something had been hastily scribbled on the back.

‘355 Churchfield Terrace, WF6 4QZ’

An address. I slipped the card into my pocket when the guard was unaware. I thanked him for his time, and asked him to show me the real exit.

Grey skies set in overhead as I took shelter from the rain in the doorway of Wakefield library. My taxi arrived, ten minutes late, and took me towards my next destination.

‘That’s a ways away,’ the driver said. ‘Be about an hour.’

He was not wrong. The journey was made more treacherous by the sterility of the vast Wakefield countryside. Endless acres of woodland, with only hints of blackened skies visible through impossibly high trees. My drop off destination was what seemed to be in the middle of a marsh. No distinguishable path led the way and all signs of urban life had long been depleted.

‘Here?’ I asked.

‘No, not here, dummy,’ the driver said. ‘This is as far as I can go without driving into a bog. Keep walking that way,’ he said, pointing into the black expanse of trees. ‘Should come to a few houses eventually. Some right weirdos living ’round here.’

I followed his instructions as he drove away. I struggled my way across dead wildlife and broken tree branches, eventually arriving at remote territory resembling a domestic residence. It was more of an abandoned farm, but the worn plaque on the broken gate told me that this was 335.

Exactly what I would be greeted with, I was unsure. All I knew was that Baron had brought me here. Overgrown grass and weeds led a makeshift path to the front door of the house, which – despite knocking on for several minutes – no one answered. I edged around the side of the house, eventually stumbling upon a small window. A dim light flickered off the reflection of the glass, allowing me to make out a handful of details inside. A trophy cabinet. A white leather robe hanging from the wall. A painting of a tentacled eyeball.

‘I knew you’d come,’ said a hushed voice behind me.

I turned around, ready to run.

‘I just needed to know you’d take the initiative.’

A familiar silhouette appeared from the shadows. Waist-length black hair, no longer tied back.

‘My apologies for not being honest with you earlier. I couldn’t risk our conversation being overheard. I planted that address in Baron’s cell. My address. I needed you to come here.’

‘This is your house?’

‘Correct.’ he said. ‘I’ll explain everything soon, and I assure you you’re in no danger. Would you follow me please?’

The prison guard, or who at least I believed to be just a prison guard, led into his decayed farmhouse. Each room was more decrepit than the last, some of them barely held together by loose wooden panels. One of the rooms had a semblance of order; perhaps a living room, since lost to domestic neglect. A corridor led to what I assumed to be the room I had stared in from outside the house. The entranceway appeared different to the rest. It had been cared for. It boasted three steel padlocks and was made of corrugated iron.

‘Very few people have ever stepped foot in this room. Or even laid eyes on it. Please do not touch anything.’

The iron door took an age to swing open. Orange light from bare bulbs illuminated the rectangular room, showcasing wall-to-wall glass cabinets. Headless mannequins adorned the corners of the room, decorated in clothing from a previous age. Bizarre paintings of otherworldly demons hung in black frames.

‘I’ve read all of your letters,’ the guard said. ‘Your preoccupation with death goes beyond obsession, to the point where you are willing to travel blindly in the vain hope you might uncover something the rest of the world doesn’t know.’

I walked up to the first glass cabinet, unsure where to look first.

‘I know this,’ he continued, ‘because I’m the same. Every item in this room has, at some point, passed through the hands of Death Himself. All the artwork you see has painted by murderers, serial killers, sometimes with their own blood. The offspring of demented creativity and the paintbrush. I own genuine torture devices, used centuries ago in public executions. I am in possession of the bones of the most deformed man to have ever lived, who was hanged from a tree as he was thought to be an adversary of God. I own occult artifacts, murder weapons, a piece of skin said to be torn from the Devil himself.’

He walked towards a mannequin wearing a white mask and a frayed leather robe. Infront of the mannequin stood an empty altar. A visual straight from the scene of a cult sacrifice, albeit its human elements replaced with lifeless ornaments.

‘This is my collection. This is my obsession. All I’m missing is the ultimate item.’

His eyes glanced towards the empty altar, and took a breath to indicate that the piece was not wholly complete. That something should be perched atop; some priceless tome or grimoire.

‘Which is?’ I asked.

‘Please step this way. I have a surprise for you.’

A door – camouflaged between two glass trophy cases – became apparent when the guard placed his hand on its gold doorknob. He opened the door outward and proudly stepped back, as if revealing a master painting he had spent his life creating.

It appeared to be a storage room; perhaps for items deemed not important enough for viewing privileges in the guard’s personal museum of the dead, yet not. A sudden influx of shock blinded my rationality. How long I remained silent for, I will never know, but between breaths I eventually managed to ask the question:

‘Who is that?’

I needed not to wait for his answer. A man, bound with rope and chain sat in a chair, unconscious. Any other time, I would not have recognised him. His pale features and thin blonde hair – uncut for decades – resembled no one I had seen before. My realisation came when the prisoner’s head lulled to the side, revealing lips which had been somehow torn to pieces. His mouth had swelled to twice its normal size, and his lips pulsated with holes and fresh scars anew.

‘I apologise for showing him to you in such horrific appearance,’ said the guard, ‘his lips had been sewn shut for years. I’m no surgeon. I couldn’t help the trauma.’

For the first time, I felt that maybe I had come too close to Death. Maybe this was all some kind of error, and Death was not my reason or my obsession. Maybe something else entirely; literature, painting, poetry. Maybe I could take solace from a medium where Death was not immediate, not presented within touching distance inside a glass case.

‘Please, explain.’ I said. ‘I don’t know if I want any part of this.’

‘Being in the inner circle in the prison system gives me access to the information I need. The amount of inmates who pass through us without the public’s knowledge is immense. From there I can locate the killers who interest me, and be the first to get hold of their possessions. I convinced the courts to send Baron to Wakefield so that we could keep him hidden in the Throne Room. Most prisons are reluctant to take the high profile inmates because it’s not worth the hassle, so the courts were glad to send him to us.’

‘High profile?’ I asked. ‘No one knows who he is.’

‘Because we managed to keep his whereabouts a secret. Regardless, our instructions were simple; keep him hidden from public, starve him to death then claim it was self-inflicted. But last week the instructions from the courts changed; kill him immediately. The authorities had unearthed more of his victims, and they found a word carved into their skins – Nihil.’

‘Which means?’

‘This isn’t the first case we’ve heard of with this word being carved into victim’s flesh. The problem is it’s been occurring all over the country. Different victim types, different methods of body disposal. At first it was assumed to be some sort of underground trend; maybe killers were somehow contacting each other and this was their way of showing off.’

Thinking back through my correspondence with inmates, the word had made vague appearances in the sign offs of some of the lesser known murderers, often those with connections to the occult or Satanism. I assumed it to be a farewell of those initiated into Death’s circle.

‘It took me three days, but I finally got Baron to speak. Everyone who knows about him believes he’s dead, so I could do what I wanted to him.’

The guard cast a maniacal glance towards Baron’s shattered ankles. What little consequence was threatened as a result of his torture had manifested itself into violent interrogation. The guard did not strike me as psychotic, merely motivated by desperation at a rarer-than-rare opportunity.

‘I needed to know about Nihil. About what it meant. But what he told me was a lot more interesting.’

The guard leaned down and spoke to Baron’s swaying head.

‘Tell him what you told me, about the Executioner.’

A soft voice eventually began to speak, slowly, as if narrating a story he had told a thousand times. His arms and legs still shackled, his body leaning forward as if independent from his thoughts. He recanted the tale of the Mad Hangman, applying details of the story lost during its telling through the ages. Night turned to morning, and myth became reality. I left the guard’s house in the early hours, coming ever closer to a chance meeting with Death.

The guard financed me considerably. Money was no object to him, or so it seemed. Or at the very least he was willing to part with a generous sum of money for what he deemed ‘the ultimate item.’

August documented everything he knew about Death in his journal. A book unlocking the secrets of existence. It’s in possession of a cult who worship August as God, and his Book of Death as their Bible. A cult I was part of. They have used it to enter the realm of immortality.

Baron was certain he knew the whereabouts of the book, and even claimed to have seen it himself. I followed his directions to the letter, taking the west-bound train out of Redditch until it came to a stop in a tunnel while the tracks changed. I exited the train through a window and hid in the tunnel until I could safely move. I followed the tracks out into the ensuing greenery and into a backdoor town called Logslow. What windows were not whitewashed were boarded up, and a grey tint illuminated every building and path. After asking multiple Logslow residents for directions, and them denying its existence, I eventually found what Baron had assured me was August’s eternal home; Logslow Cemetery.

I waited until dusk and scaled the cemetery walls. The gigantic bolted gates showed no signs of allowing visitors. Nervous adrenaline propelled me into the waist-high grass from the atop wall, barely checking for any dangers below me. The graveyard was a forgotten sanctuary, unspoiled by human hands for decades. The dead here were calm; almost certainly.

I waded through grass and across frozen mud until I discovered the tombstone I was searching for. A blind angel atop a black headstone; the resting place of August Atherstone’s wife. In Baron’s version of events, August came to this grave after madness had claimed him. Unable to cope with the grief of seeing his loved ones pass away, he attempted to dig up the remains of his deceased lover. When he failed, he simply sat in this graveyard waiting for Death to take him, but Death never came.

I followed a dirt trail leading from the blind angel grave to a nameless mausoleum paying an unsung tribute to the dead.

The tomb leads below the graveyard. A private burial ground. It’s where they buried the men that August hanged. What you are you searching for is down there.

I followed a spiralling path into blackness, keeping my body against the wall. The shuffling sounds I heard as I ventured further in I attributed to vermin and large insects. I continued down, trying not to avert my eyes towards the few creatures which grazed my neck and hands.

Follow along the left-hand wall all the way down. There is a gap when you think you’ve come to the end. Get through it. It’s in that room. Take matches, there are torches along the walls you can light.

I struggled through the gap, barely wide enough to pass through a child. I felt along the walls and came to the first lamp, which lit without issue. I welcomed the sudden influx of light, heat offering a secondary comfort. I lit as many torches as I could find, and came to realise that the burial chamber I stood in was colossal, perhaps stretching the entire terrain of the graveyard above. Each lamp I lit exposed another until the whole room shone with radiant orange flame.

It took me several minutes of stunned silence to overcome the beauty before me. The room’s perfect architecture, its macabre decorations of bone and flesh. Coffins lined the floors, carcasses lay draped across detached headstones. Decomposed bodies hung from the walls in mimic execution; a nightmarish tribute to the legend of the Mad Hangman. It became clear why the entrance to this room was a single rupture in stone; the room had been sealed off. This crypt was intended to be inaccessible, yet it had been breached. Sanctuary was not to be found here. A sense of intrusion befell me, and looking back I vaguely made out a silhouetted figure between two lamps, watching me from behind the ruptured entranceway. He did not move as I backed away. My senses told me to sprint, and I ran. Far back into the catacombs beyond the reach of light. I trampled bones and tripped over corpses in my haste, but didn’t once slow down. Footsteps followed behind me. Slow, innocuous footsteps, cementing my fear that somewhere in this crypt I would reach an end. I found a darkened corner and hid. Perhaps awaiting my demise. Why now? Why, when I was so close to my answer to Death’s enigma?

I waited, breathing in damp air and the scent of putrid decay. I waited hours, possibly days. I will never know. My senses were rendered absent by fear and obscurity. My body failed me. It wasn’t until the unlit torch I leaned against brightened, and I was greeted face to face with an entity; a lifeless figure devoid of shape. A deformed mass of hanging cloth, his face concealed with a white mask. He said nothing, and stared at me with vacant eyes. He was not alone. Behind him, replicas of the bizarre man appeared. All wearing identical robes and masks.

I was terrified. The cultists held me against the cold stone floor. I protested my innocence; that Baron had sent me here. He had told me all about the Nihil Cult. He told me of their devotion to Death, and that August was their God. He told me that they kill as followers, so that each cultist can live in a world between worlds; in Death’s realm. Sacrifices to their God meant eternal life, and eternal life meant immortality.

My final vision was of an execution. The colossal burial chamber was my courtroom, and a horde of Death-worshipping cultists my jury. I pleaded with them to spare my life; at first with declarations of my acquaintance with Baron, and secondly that I was only there to retrieve the Book for a collector.

‘Baron failed his initiation. He is to be removed from paradise.’

The speaker; August. The hangman himself, passing judgement from atop a magnificent throne of human heads. His voice low, yet piercing. His features barely visible through withered skin.

‘And the book. The most treasured item in existence. The book is what keeps people searching. The book is the whispers of the condemned and children’s fears embodied. This so called Book of Death does not exist. A myth, created to bring people like you to us.’

And with these words, consciousness faded.

An afterlife called out to me. I awoke in the same crypt I had died. August’s throne sat empty. The gallows on which I drew my last breath announced no successful execution. The chamber lay desolate, no cultists in sight. I searched the cavern, hoping to find something which could explain recent events. I made my way out of the unending burial chamber and back into the graveyard, and what I saw was not a world I recognised.
At the center of the cemetery was a gallows, already with a condemned prisoner attached to a rope. A smartly-dressed hangman dropped him to his death to the applause of a thousand-strong audience baying for his blood. I watched his lifeless body be removed, and the rope be cut up and passed to audience members craving a token of death.

I now realise why August informed me that the Book was merely a myth. In life, yes. It exists to lure Death-worshippers to the burial chamber of a living Death God. For sacrifice? Perhaps. But I now realised that I was not executed; I was initiated.

I now see the world as I saw it before, but with remnants of death haunting every avenue. Along every road and on every street corner, murder victims replay their dying moments. Severed heads decorate barbed wire fences, and streets are awash with the wreckages of fatal accidents and bloodshed.

This place was not an afterlife, yet it was. It was neither hell nor heaven, but somewhere between. A private purgatory. A paradise in black and grey. This was Death’s realm; reserved for the chosen few who seeked him.

I returned to Wakefield. The guard waited for me to return with his ultimate relic, but I never did. I found it amusing to watch his sanity gradually slip. I eventually killed him, along with Baron. The guard’s occult collection proved useful in locating further devotees of Death, cementing my position as a member of the Nihil Cult.

I was assured that neither Baron nor the guard would be granted access to Nihil. They would simply pass out of existence, never to lust or desire again.

I’m afraid I can’t reveal my name, nor the exact whereabouts of Logslow Cemetery. Just know that I exist in your world, yet I live in Nihil; Death’s realm. I have no choice but to continue to walk the earth. Undead, yet unliving. Seeking Death more with each passing day.

Credit To – Joe Turner

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