The Monster in the Walls

November 22, 2014 at 12:00 AM
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It was the old man. I could hear him moving around in the walls. But, no, I know that’s not possible. There’s dead, then there’s dead, and that old coot was deader than a doornail. But what was making the noise? What was responsible for the blood?

The first cold day of December was upon us when I killed the old bastard. It wasn’t for profit, or revenge. I did it because I hated him. He lived on the top floor of our building, and I lived on the floor below. To think, a carpet could have saved his life.

John, the old man, was an early riser. And the very first thing he did every morning was put on his shoes and walk across his apartment. He wore those shiny, leather shoes with hard soles that only film noir detectives and old people wear. Every morning, four a.m. that old man would wake me up. When I’m not acting as the super for the building, I work second shift, three to eleven. Two stinking jobs just to make rent on a terrible apartment and feed myself.

It wasn’t just me that hated him. I talked to other people in the building. I asked Joseph, the guy that lives with his mother on the first floor, “What do you think about this jerk living on Six? Real bastard right?”

He agreed. So did the three Chinese kids living on two and the mechanic on three, and of course the Patels that lived below me. When I pressed them, they all agreed with me that he was no good. So, it was like I was doing the whole building a favor really.

The only thing I ever wanted was a good night’s sleep, yet old Johnny boy couldn’t let me have even that. There were six apartments in the building. The Patels who lived below me, claimed that when I walked they could hear it too, but it wasn’t that loud. They were probably lying too. It didn’t matter, I was going to have some peace and quiet no matter what it took.

I planned it for months, meticulously. I studied his every movement, keeping a detailed log of where he was in his apartment at any given time, thanks to those loud shoes it was all too easy. The weekends were the best time to study him. I could stay in my place all day charting him. I knew when he went to the bathroom, when he ate his meals, when he fed his cat, everything about him.

The most important thing I learned about him was when he went to bed. Saturday’s he checked in especially early. What type of human garbage goes to sleep at six pm? Well, it would be the last insult of his I would suffer.

The building was old and decrepit, each step on the stairs leading up to his apartment creaked loudly. I was certain he would hear it, I couldn’t believe the other tenants weren’t yelling up at me to keep it down. But no, all was still, no one came out to investigate and when I pressed my ear to the old man’s door there was no sound from within.

Because I was the super I had keys to every apartment. Getting in was no problem. I left my shoes in my apartment, I’m no idiot I know just how loud the floors can be. When I opened the door a black streak shot between my legs and I froze in panic. Turning, I saw that it was only the stupid cat. I ignored it and went about my work. The apartment reeked of old man, garbage and cat piss.

He was asleep in bed, a dingy old mattress, yellow sheets filthy pillows. He was sunken into the middle of the mattress, only the glowing green of the alarm clock illuminated his waxy skin. I was patient, but even my patience had its limits. I opened my pocket knife and drew it slowly, lovingly over his pale, wrinkled throat. The sheets weren’t yellow after that!

But that was the easy part, I always knew it would be. The hard part, the part where everyone messes up is getting rid of the body. But I had the best plan ever for that. You see, they catch you when you move the body, when you let it get away from you, put it out into the world. They find it and use their forensic tricks to trace it back to you. They weren’t ever going to find the old man.

I retrieved the supplies from the basement. Some drywall, plaster, a hammer, a hand saw, some nails, paint and plastic sheeting. The first step was demolition, but it had to be done quietly. No one knew better than me how well sound traveled in the building. I made a small hole and used the saw to cut away a large section of drywall.

The old man was so frail and weak his body easily fit between the studs, even after I wrapped him tight in the plastic. It took me a few hours to affix the new drywall, but once it was done and the paint applied, no one would ever be able to tell there had been a disturbance. As I left, I realized in my excitement I left the door open and almost laughed at how stupid I’d been. No harm, no foul though, I hadn’t been caught so there was nothing to fear.

Or so I thought.

The next night I was awoke by the sound of scratching in the wall next to my bed. I thought it was rats, we’ve had them a few times, but this was louder. I listened as a minute passed, then five, then an hour, but no there was only a single scratch. My clock radio said four am.

I awoke the next morning, feeling apprehensive. The scratching was surely in my imagination. But when I went downstairs I noticed the Patel’s door was slightly ajar. I knocked but there was no answer. I pushed it open and was horrified with what I saw. In the middle of the room were the bodies of Mr. and Mrs. Patel, their throats cut open.

This was no good. If someone found this murder scene, they would certainly discover what happened to the old man. I did the only thing I could do, I sealed them in the walls just as I had the old man. It took longer to clean up, this murder was so much more gruesome. The Patels had struggled and their blood was all over the apartment.

That night the scratching again, exactly four am. This time there was no mistaking it. A scratching in the wall, right next to my head, right next to where I sleep. It lasted longer, two or three scratches, some muffled noise like movement behind the wall. Was this the old man getting his revenge? The Patels? This went on, every night the scratching would get longer and louder, more insistent and desperate. This, with the added stress of the deaths was driving me mad.

In the coming days other tenants went missing or were murdered. I found the Chinese students on the fourth day, disposed of them as I had the others. Joseph and his mother, I never saw again, but I noticed that one section of his wall was freshly painted. The mechanic must have called the police the night before he was killed, because shortly after cleaning up that mess, they knocked on my door.

Two men in their late thirties, dressed in uniforms and looking aloof greeted me. One was very fat, so much so that his giant belly spilled over the top of his police belt. The other was average, unremarkable even but for his bright red hair.

I asked them what I could do for them. I was the super, I had the keys, the cops wanted to look around. We started at the bottom floor. The police, looked around, mostly disinterested. Seeing that everything seemed to be in order they left the apartment satisfied. They asked where the tenant was and I told them he worked during the day.

The second floor was searched with equal lack of interest, as was the third and the forth. We passed my apartment on the fifth floor on our way to John’s “penthouse.” The cops asked me to wait in living room while they looked around.

The bed was stripped. That’s what tipped them off that something was amiss. They asked me to come into the bedroom. It was set up just like mine, with the bed against the outside wall (the very same I’d enclosed the old man in) and a dresser on the near wall.

The red haired cop pointed to the bed and asked me why it was stripped. I told him I didn’t know. He asked when I’d last seen the resident who lived in the apartement. I said, “A week or so ago. But that’s normal, he’s an old man that doesn’t come out much,” which was true.

“What about the other tenants?” red hair asked.

There was a light scratching in the wall. I very nearly panicked but instead answered quickly to cover up the sound. “I haven’t seen any of them recently either.”

The cops shared a look. Something I said had been wrong. “He meant, have any of them seen John?” the fat one asked.

Damn! I thought. Now they know something is amiss. I paused to think and the damned scratching started again, louder now, so loud it sounded like a slab of marble being dragged over concrete. “No, I wouldn’t know,” I said louder. “How could I know what they saw or didn’t see?”

“Calm down sir,” the red haired cop commanded. Still the scratching went on, endlessly, maddeningly. What demon force could have caused it? Not the old man, no surely not him. He was so cold and stiff when I shoved him into the wall there was no way he could have been alive.

“I am calm!” I shouted. Then a different noise, a yowling inhuman noise. And I knew.

“Sir, if you don’t settle down we’ll arrest you for disturbing the peace.”

“It’s the cat,” I whispered, barely even realizing I’d said anything aloud. “The monster is in there with him!”

Here I lost my control and kicked the wall in, furious with the furry devil. I tore through the drywall, yanking out pieces and casting them aside, exposing the plastic bound old man until finally I saw the creature. Before I could destroy it I was taken into custody.

Charged with all the crimes, even those committed by the demonic cat in the wall, I had no choice. I told the court everything, I told them that it wasn’t me that killed the Patels or the mechanic. I would never hurt them, any of them, it was the old man and his cat. They were the villains that tortured me, that killed the others. I had to stop him, and his cat got its revenge. Still, even in my cell, even behind the concrete walls and cinder blocks I can hear the cat scratching.

Credit To – LanaLamb

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Diloxodin

November 17, 2014 at 12:00 AM
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I awoke this morning with a dull ache in my head. I took two Excedrin and went about my day. It’s probably due to the change in pressure outside. It should pass as the day goes by.

Eight hours and four Excedrin later the pain has greatly intensified. I have made plans to go see the doctor later.

The doctor asks me some questions, and tells me that if the pain intensifies that she recommends an MRI. I agree. In the meantime she writes me out a prescription for Diloxodin. She explains that this medicine is fairly new, and warns me of the side-effects, including: fatigue, increased appetite, lucid dreams, and in rare cases auditory hallucinations, and death.

As soon as I get my subscription filled I take one as directed. Within five minutes the pain in my head has lessened greatly. Within ten my headache is completely gone.

I get ready for bed, and power down my laptop. I can hear the bathroom sink dripping. I didn’t notice it before, and get up to turn it off.

I drift off to sleep. I am awoken a few hours later by the sound of the bathroom sink dripping again. I turn it off, and assume that a valve must be loose. I can’t fix it right now, so I place a towel in the basin to muffle the noise.

I fall back to sleep when I hear a sound like someone letting out a sigh coming from the bathroom. I’m startled, and my eyes pop open. I lay in my bed listening. I hear water trickle onto porcelain, drip-drip-drip-drip-drip. I take a breath and make my way into the bathroom. I turn on the light to find the faucet completely shut off, and the towel still in the basin. I touch it, it’s barely wet. I chalk it up to side-effects of the Diloxodin, and head back to sleep.

The next morning I wake up, and take another pill as recommended. I notice that I don’t have a headache, and that I’m no longer hearing things. Still, I’ll tell my doctor after work.
The doctor said not to worry too much about the hallucinations, she said they weren’t that bad, but if they get worse that maybe I should cut back on the medication.

That night I unwind by reading The Amber Chronicles. I was well into the fifth chapter when I started hearing noises again. In the kitchen I hear a clack-clack-clack, as the sound of footsteps move across the floor. I push it out of my mind and continue reading. As I continue to read I begin to hear a faint static come from the direction I heard the footsteps. I put the book down, and listen. Soon, the static becomes whispers, and I am able to distinguish two different voices, but I can’t make out what they’re saying. I again tell myself that it’s the medicine, but nonetheless I go cautiously into the kitchen to check. I find nothing there.

I go to the bathroom to brush my teeth, and get ready for bed. As I’m in there, out of the corner of my eye I see something brown and lanky move past the doorway. My heart gets caught in my throat. I rationalize that it was due to the medication, but soon realize that nothing was mentioned about visual hallucinations. Cold beads of sweat begin to form on my body, and my hands begin to tremble.

With trepidation I peer my head around the door frame hoping that nothing will be there. My eyes peer into the darkness of the hallway, searching, then I see it. Hulking at the end of the hallway tall, and brown, and hunched over. Its presence menacing. I notice that it’s turned the other way, and that it can’t see me. I continue to stare at it until I notice something strange about it. Something familiar. I turn on the hallway light. I sigh in relief. It was just the coat rack. I decide to go to bed but leave the hallway light on.

When I awake the next morning I forgo taking my medicine, and decide to call into work. I have no headaches, and I don’t experience any hallucinations. I spend the day lying in bed and listening to the silence.

It’s been seven days since I’ve stopped taking the medicine, and everything is still normal. I had a sinus headache a few days ago, but that was it. It would now seem that I no longer need the medication. If this is the case, then I can be done with these pills and not have to worry about anymore side effects. I’ll hold onto the pills for a couple more day, and if I’m still doing well, I will flush ‘em.

My head is killing me. It’s worse than it’s ever been. I lie curled up in a fetal position, in my bed, in the pitch blackness, with my hands cupping my head. I’ve thrown up three times already. I don’t know if I should take the medicine, but I’ve been like this for I don’t know how long, and I’m afraid the pain might kill me.

I down the pill with a glass of water. It’s hard to keep from throwing up again. Almost immediately the pain subsides, and I can function again. I promptly call my doctor to set a scan at a local hospital.

The scan comes back normal. No dark spots, or swelling. Nothing to indicate what is causing the headaches. While I’m there I ask the attending physician if there’s anything else he could prescribe me for my headaches. He writes me out a scrip for Almotriptan, and sends me on my way.

I contemplate throwing the Diloxodin away, but change my mind. In case the Almotriptan doesn’t work.

Two days now, and everything is going better than expected. Not only are my headaches gone, but I’m in an overall better mood. I’m also more actively participating during work meetings.

Fifth day now, and I things are getting weird again. Despite not taking any of the Diloxodin I’m starting to experience auditory hallucinations. I can hear voices throughout the house. They sound like the low hums of television conversations in another room, intermingled with growls, but each discernible. If I concentrate I can count them. One, two, three, four. Four. That’s how many of them are out there moving about, waiting. They can only move in shadows. I don’t even know if they’re real. It wouldn’t surprise me if the Almotriptan caused hallucinations.

I called the doctor who prescribed me the Almotriptan and asked him if it’s known to cause any hallucinations, he says that it doesn’t. Not fully satisfied with the doctor’s answer I visit forums and try to ascertain rather or not anyone else has experienced any types of hallucinations while on Almotriptan. The most I got was that a few people got dizzy, or nauseated.

I call my doctor, and tell her about the Almotriptan I’m taking, and the hallucinations I’m having. She tells me that it might be that the Diloxodin is still in my system, and that everything should clear up as time progresses. In the meantime she suggests that I get blood work done, to see if the drug is still in my system, and also to speak with a psychiatrist. I agree, and after I hang up with her. I make an appointment with a local clinical shrink.

I have my lab work done, and go to see the shrink. We speak about the hallucinations I’ve been having, and he gives me some exercises to do when the hallucinations occur. He also writes a prescription for Clozapine. He tells me that it’s for people with schizophrenia, but that it should work in my situation. I don’t like the idea of taking more pills, but if it’ll stop the hallucinations I’ll try it.

Despite taking the pills I’m still hearing things, and seeing tall, brown, slender, hulking shapes move about the house out of my peripheral. I rationalize that the medicine needs a week to fully take effect. I just wish I could do something about the sound of the water dripping in the sink.

I know that the sounds I’m hearing aren’t real; the footsteps, the voices, the water dripping in the sink. But, if I were to apply a physical solution to a mental problem it might eliminate some of the hallucinations I’m having. The first thing I do is turn off the water under the bathroom sink. The dripping stops. Now I must figure a way to stop the footsteps. If I tell the hallucinations to leave, maybe they’ll no longer bother me. It’s unlikely, but it’s worth a shot.

I can hear them in the living room, mixing of low guttural voices, and the sloshing wet sounds. I step out into the hallway, and peer into the darkness. I see four of the brown things hunched over in the living room, their backs scraping the ceiling, long slender arms that come past their knees, and the sound of saliva dripping from their mouths.

I tell myself that it’s just the coat rack, and reach to over to turn on the light. As I do so my phone vibrates in my pocket. I answer it.
“Hello.”

“Hi, Mark. This is Dr. Jacobs. I’ve received the results back from your lab work. There is no trace of the Diloxodin in your blood.”

I stand there in horror, looking at the things in my living room.

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The Wicked

November 9, 2014 at 12:00 AM
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I see my toes peeking over the edge of a perfect, circular hole in the ground. There’s nothing in the hole but pitch darkness in screeching contrast with the smooth beige of the ground I’m standing on. Everything is quiet. I am not here to fall in.

Faint scratching heightens in volume until the distorted light in this world illuminates a pulsating mass of beige flesh sliding up the smooth, vertical wall of the hole—sliding up closer and closer to my toes. I do not fear it.

An arm shoots forth from the throbbing, ever-shifting amalgamation of what appeared to be human appendages. It reaches for the edge of the hole. It wants to get out. The fingers scrabble pitifully for purchase, but the walls are smooth and uncompromising. In desperation, the hand digs its fingernails into the wall, losing them as the bulk of the creature’s mass begins to slide back into the darkness of the hole. With a shudder, the body of limbs lurches upward again, a new arm shooting out, still searching in vain for the edge of the hole. I watch coldly.

Five times it does this. Five times the hands leave a trail of blood on the wall as the body slides back down.

On the sixth try, I lean down and wrap my hands around the wrist of its latest arm, easily pulling the entire amorphous creature out of the hole and laying it down on the ground beside me. I didn’t help out of pity or kindness.

A massive slit appears on the thickest part of the creature’s body, the curvature of lips slowly forming around the slit. It seems to face me, and the mouth opens to reveal pointed, uniform teeth, lips curving in a way that indicated sounds would soon follow. Still, I do not fear it.

My mother abruptly wakes me up for school.

I haven’t seen that dream for 11 years. But I remember it every night.

Because I fear dying among strangers, I didn’t enroll in summer courses at my university. I’m home for the summer, as usual, resigned to the irrationality of knowing that creature will eventually come for me. A flicker of defiance is all that sustains me. In a strange twist of a counter curse, I avoid happiness, believing the sacrifice of that crucial emotion would stave off the inevitable. But I was wrong.

Lately, there have been missing person reports in the news. People just disappear without a trace, vanish without any identifiable motive. Four gone in just a week, all in my neighborhood. The police are neck-deep in a city-wide manhunt, warning residents of my neighborhood in particular to be extremely careful of any suspicious people. I remember the door-to-door visit coming as a surprise in the evening during family dinner and the silence afterwards while the TV blared in the background. No one was watching it.

No one knows about that dream but me. Without reason or evidence, I know it’s coming for me. Still, I do not fear it.

Five gone, one for each of its damaged hands. My turn’s next.

I don’t know the correct way to fear it. I’m a dead man walking, emotions in limbo. This has not changed in 11 years. The ticking of the wall clock has been impossibly loud for 11 years.

The night brings with it a primal fear. I don’t go out at night, ever. At most, I look at the darkened world outside through the false safety of a window. Tonight is a window night because sleeping is risky.

There is a tree in my house’s front yard that blossoms beautifully during the summer. Some small comfort for me to look at through the window. An arm slithers around the tree trunk. I freeze. Some primitive instinct tells me if I move now, I will die. The moonlight is distorted and even the air has stopped moving. There’s no light source in the sky and everything seems to reflect a silvery sheen of light. The shadows are pitch black. A frozen world of high contrast marred by the movement of that arm spiraling upward and around the tree trunk, twisting itself into a knot around one of the branches. I blink. I know that was a mistake.

All along the length of the arm, the flesh pulsates, rippling like liquid. Eyes, noses, mouths, and ears slowly form and solidify into faces. Different faces protrude from the arm to form whole heads attached by a spindly neck. Pairs of eyes search in different directions, mouths stretched tight in a hideous grin. One set of eyes lock on to mine. The mouth opens and the piercing shriek swivels the other heads around until all eyes are on me.

“No,” I whisper.

I hear faint scratching behind me getting louder. I feel hands on my head, my shoulders, my arms, more of them wrapping around me. The arm around the tree slowly uncoils itself and the last thing I see are the heads, eyes narrowed in glee, repeatedly mouthing a word I think might have been, “Free.”

Credit To – January

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Flash

October 25, 2014 at 12:00 AM
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I’ve heard there are two kinds of people: those who have vivid dreams, dreams of things and events, some impossible some mundane, some joyous some horrible — and those who have the same kinds of dreams but don’t remember them. I’d give anything if I could fit into either category.

I remember my dreams, but “dreams” is a misnomer; it’s the same dream every night. And it’s not even a dream of a series of events. It’s just a snapshot, a moment, a flash photo. But it’s a snapshot I can’t look away from, an eternal moment in which I experience indescribable horror. I can’t remember not having this dream. It’s been my companion my whole life.

I’m in some room I don’t recognize, and in the middle there’s a kind of hole or vortex, but it’s not a physical hole. And out of it is arising some horrific monstrosity. It doesn’t see me yet, but it’s about to turn its attention to me. And I know that when it perceives me, it will take me to hell with it to experience unbearable torment for eternity. It’s the moment before the demon sees me. And I’m filled with an absolute terror, the terror of someone who knows he is damned forever.

Every … single … night.

Ironically, as a teenager, I started getting very interested in the occult. You’d think my dream would have had an adverse affect on that, but, for whatever reason, I just never connected the two until much later (and when I did, it wasn’t in the way you’d expect). It certainly didn’t spark my interest. But as I grew older, I pursued my occultic activities more and more. By my early thirties, I was already one of the more advanced students in the craft.

By my late thirties, however, I noticed something disturbing about my dream. It wasn’t exactly the same. I remember as a child the demon was facing away from me — not that it had a face, but its attention was on the opposite side of the room from where I was standing. But now, it had turned. Its attention was on the side of the room to my right. It was still just a snapshot, but I could tell it was in the process of turning to face me and be aware of me, and I knew the moment it did what would happen.

I started thinking that my dream was a premonition. This was my destiny, my doom. Yet I didn’t have the power in me to move off of the path I was on, to avoid such a confrontation. It was almost as if the dream and my life had no connection. I was barely able to bring my dream to mind during my day-to-day activities. When I turned fifty, I realized the demon had almost completed the turn. Its attention was almost upon me.

But then my conception of the dream started changing. I had been thinking that my life was the reality and the dream was a foreshadow or a message from another time in my life. But the opposite was the case. The dream was the reality and my life was just a message. I don’t mean that my life was just a shadow of some deeper reality, although I suspect that’s true. I mean something even weirder.

You know how some people say that when you die your life flashes before your eyes? That’s what my life was. I was living, reliving, my life in the moment before the demon saw me. I was experiencing my life flashing before my eyes. The dream that I’d been having all my life wasn’t a dream. It was the present moment. I had been playing with religion and had summoned a demon that would take me to hell. And in my final moment, my life was replaying itself.

Except there was a difference. If you keep choosing to be angry, or hateful, you’ll eventually reach the point where you can no longer choose not to be angry or hateful. Slowly, as we live our lives, we are taking away our own freedoms, and eventually becoming the people we will be forever. I had spent nearly all my life making particular choices and selecting certain courses of action. I realize now that my choices were not just a turning towards the occult, but a running away from — I don’t even want to say the word — God. I had been rejecting him with every conscious thought for so long that I was no longer able to accept him. I had taken away my ability to choose him.

And yet, somehow, I realize now as I approach my doom, that I am being given the power to choose God. I don’t want to choose him. But I know that I can. I am being buoyed up so that the effects of a lifetime spent rejecting him no longer force me to continue to do so. I can choose. I can actually choose.

And a still, small voice inside me asks: What do you choose?

Credit To – Jim S.

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The Inventor

October 23, 2014 at 12:00 AM
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“The Inventor”

“Thank you kindly, sir,” I said, handing the coachman a dull silver shilling. “No need to wait for me.”

I stepped out onto a cobblestone terrace amidst a garden of long-withered flowers that lead to the mansion. I began a brisk walk, marveling at the grand house. A wrought-iron fence surrounded the premises. My eyes followed the long spikes pointed toward the heavens that spread a few inches apart, easily keeping any criminal at bay.

I pulled my pocket watch from my lapel. Still broken. I hoped I was on time.

Carefully, I continued my way down the path slicked with ice. Exquisite light fixtures shone in the late winter dusk, giving off an eerie bluish tint that seemed to emanate from beyond the house. A light made up of crystallized beads hung from the porch. Two marble canine statues, teeth bared, guarded the front door, a massive wooden structure the color of oxblood.

The yard, once immaculate with lush, green grass chopped to perfection, now was overgrown with brown, crackling weeds, almost hidden by the fresh dusting of snow. A red hue of swooping curtains peeked through each window, giving the crimson interior the warm look of a womb.

I looked back at the iron gate that opened automatically when the carriage approached. The gate,
with bars of endless curly-cue designs splayed out in whimsical fury, was now closed. I shivered silently, wondering if I had made the right choice in coming here.

Just as I finished my trek to the porch, the door opened immediately.

“Hello. You must be David,” a woman said in a warm yet distant tone.

I stepped onto a black and white-tiled floor as the woman led the way quickly through the entryway.

Directly in front of the door, a silver-haired portrait painting of a man with a furrowed brow hung in an unsettling attempt to make visitors feel welcome. I tucked my hands into my pants pockets, toying with my penknife. Several steps later, a giant chandelier gave light to the otherwise dark entryway, the light sparkling through diamond-like droplets and intricate designs etched into a crystal base.

Another woman, who I figured was the maid because of her black dress and white apron, came
from around the corner in the foyer. I caught a whiff of something burning, and I looked around the hall for a fallen candle. The first woman whispered something in the maid’s ear, and the maid started following us just as the first woman spoke to me again.

“Do you always travel alone?”

“I try to. It’s been my habit ever since I’ve started this kind of work,” I answered, trying to keep up with the woman’s long-legged pace as she lead me through the house. “It’s hard enough as it is trying to patent these inventors’ wacky ideas let alone test them out. Most of these inventions never work they way they’re supposed to.”

“Well, this will work the way it’s supposed to, I’m sure. Jack is in real need for someone, like you, to sit in on his new project,” she explained, looking blankly past me and into another room adjacent to the foyer.

“Could you tell me something about his project?” I asked.

“He was inspired by an American with an obsession for electricity.”

“Edison?”

“No,” she answered, stopping in front of a door.

We stepped into the dimly lit room, and the woman gestured toward the settee.

“Have a seat,” she said, before handing me a folded slip of paper. Then she whispered something to the maid and left the room.

The expressionless maid, duster in hand, walked to the other end of the room, straightened a picture that hung on the wall, and left me alone to wait.

Feeling the softness of the velvet, I nestled into the cushions to make myself more comfortable. I
unfolded the piece of paper. This must be the name of the invention, I thought.

I couldn’t seem to take in all the spender of the room in one glance. My eyes scanned the room
swathed in flame flickers from a wall sconce. A dark bookshelf showcased gold detailed book bindings and a pair of fighting lions carved from stone on the mantel above a large fireplace. The fire crackled soothingly, and I watched as the glowing, sizzling embers cast shadows on the walls.

I was especially drawn to a painting of a dramatic storm over the ocean. I could almost hear the water crash against the rocks and see the lightening strike undeserving palm trees.
A sudden wave of heat came over me. I leaned back into the cushions and shoved my hands back into my pockets.

“I am ready to see you now,” a deep, masculine voice announced from behind me. Just before I turned around, I removed my hands from my pants pockets and noticed inky, black smears from my penknife on my right hand. I quickly wiped the ink on my white button-down shirt, secured the buttons on my overcoat to mask my carelessness, placed both feet firmly on the floor, and stood.

“Electric Chair,” I read again before stuffing the slip of paper in my pocket.

Credit To – Lindsey Cox

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Snap Man

October 20, 2014 at 12:00 PM
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Nightmares.

I never really understood them because I never had them. This is why when I did, I was surprised. It was like all of the horrors of reality seeped into my brain with no way of getting out.

At first, I didn’t even know they were nightmares. I would be watching a man from a third perspective. I never saw his face because he was always turned away from me but from what I did see, he was handsome. He had straight black hair, about 6’2’’ and looked fairly toned. He was always wearing a black suit with a red tie and it was nice and sunny outside. The birds were chirping and there was a slight breeze. I would see him walking on the sidewalk trying to hail down a cab. Every time one would stop for him, everything became silence and turned dark – then there was a snap. I don’t know why but whenever I hear that, it sent a shiver down my spine. It’s not like anything else happens, just a snap.

Now this was a recurring dream, happening about once or twice a week. Each dream was almost exactly the same. The only difference was that a different cab would pull up… and the snap would grow a little louder. A few weeks of continuously having this dream went by. I was in bed one night, thinking if I would have “the dream” again. The low hum of my fish tank kept me awake for a little while until I slowly drifted to sleep. The first thing I saw was the man. The dream carried out like usual. Almost. Everything played up perfectly but it seemed the man was walking towards me instead of away like he usually did. Despite the fact that he was facing my direction, I couldn’t actually see his face. There was an oddly placed shadow that surrounded it like a mask.

A yellow cab pulled up from the distance, he stepped inside and it got dark. There was silence. It was the sort of unnerving silence that you get right before something bad was going to happen. It was like the calm before a terrible storm. Nothing happened. I waited and waited but all I saw was darkness and all I could hear was empty silence. Some time went by until I finally heard the snap. Or was it? It sounded more like knocking… and it was getting more frequent. I woke up when the doorbell rang. Turning over to look at the time, it read 4:57. “What can someone possibly want at this time of night?” I asked to myself.

After quickly pulling on a pair of track pants and a t shirt, I cautiously headed down the stairs. There was a small stream of light flowing through the frosted window on the front door from a dim streetlamp outside. The light reflected onto the floor illuminating the hallway. After getting downstairs, I felt the coolness of the tiles under my bare feet. I got to the door but didn’t see anybody. Whoever it was must have left. I turned back around to go upstairs when something got my attention – I couldn’t see the top. It was as if someone put up a black blanket ending just above the last step. I shrugged it off assuming it was my grogginess getting the better me. However, I was wrong. Halfway up the stairs, I noticed I no longer making any progress. I would walk up one step, then the next, but never actually moved forward. It was as if the stairs expanded infinitely into nothingness. Then I heard the snap. I slowly turned around and saw the shadow of the handsome man in my dream. There was only one problem though…

His head was snapped upside-down. His eyes were just shells in a pitch black socket with a crimson liquid dripping from the bottom. He also razor sharp teeth, dripping with his saliva. I turned back around and began sprinting up the stairs, still without making progress. I heard him dragging his body up behind me which made me sprint harder. However, whatever blackness was at the top of the stairs prevented me from getting there. I heard him get closer and closer until I felt a tap on my back that sent me into a panic. Quickly spinning around, I was surprised to see nothing there. I must have been daydreaming. One thing caught my eye though. There was what looked like a note taped to the outside of the front door window. Recalling what just happened, I didn’t remember the note being there. Silently walking back down the stairs, I headed towards this note. I looked around to see if once again, anyone was there. Nothing.

I slowly reached for the handle which was ice cold when I touched it and unlocked the door. Now outside, I felt the cool fall breeze upon my unprotected arms. I grabbed the note from the door and looked at the paper. It was crumpled up and the writing looked like a 4 year old wrote it. “Look up” were the only two words scribbled on it. My face turned white. When I lifted my head up, the door slammed shut locking me outside. Rising up from the bottom of the door was the man in the suit. He looked exactly the way he did when I saw him on the stairs. Slowly lifting up his hand, he waved, taunting me. He then turned around and walked towards the stairs. Realizing what he was about to do, I screamed.

I don’t think I ever screamed that loud before. I screamed until my face turned red – but nothing. It was silent. All I could hear was the rustle of leaves that were scattered all over the ground. I tried to turn the handle – it was still locked. After slamming the note back on the door, I turned my back against it and began to sob. Whatever nightmare I was in, I wanted out. Then I heard it.

Snap.

Snap.

I tried for the door once again. This time, it opened with ease. After opening it, I felt everything get colder. That didn’t make sense though – it was much colder outside than it was inside. Pushing the thought out of my mind, I ran upstairs towards my parent’s room. When I reached it, the door was open. I knocked on it but got no response.

I didn’t know what to expect when I walked into the bedroom. It was too dark to see anything and conveniently enough, the lights are right next to the bed. I walked towards the bed and saw the silhouette of two people in awkward positions lying on the bed. Both of them. Both my parents. How, how could he have done this to them. Their heads, barely visible in the darkness, were snapped upside-down. Their eyes were just shells in a pitch black socket. They both had razor sharp teeth, dripping with their saliva. All around the bed were dark stains. I knew what they were but I tried not to think about it. My dad made a small gurgling sound. I couldn’t handle it anymore. Darkness consumed me as I fell to the ground and passed out.

I woke up in bed. Looking around, I was relieved to see it was just a sick, twisted dream. It was 7:54. I put on my school clothes and headed downstairs to have some breakfast. While I sat down eating at the dimly lit table, I realized my parents weren’t up yet. I shrugged it off remembering that they both worked late last night. After breakfast, I got all my books and headed down the hall. While walking, I noticed something up ahead that made me stop dead in my tracks.

There was a crumpled note, taped to the outside of the door.

Credit To – ItzaMeLuigi

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