Ink Filled Dream

May 8, 2014 at 12:00 AM
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“Oh! that my young life were a lasting dream!
My spirit not awakening, till the beam
Of an Eternity should bring the morrow.” -Edgar Allan Poe

In a dream Joseph saw himself sleeping. His twelve year old body tucked in a thick comforter, on top of his old hand me down mattress. Even as he stood by his bedside, looking at himself, he could feel the warmth of the comforter. “Curious” he thought to himself, he decided to explore this dream. He looked out his window, the moon still bright, and with a bit of concentration he passed through the window, like a ghost in a movie. Gently floating to the ground from his second floor room, in the way gravity’s laws hold no sway over a dreamer. He explored the empty streets as snow started to fall. With great leaps he could almost fly, floating as he ignored gravity and the rules of the wakening world.

The streets where dark and only the sound of an occasional car could be heard in the distance, Joseph did not feel the night chill he should have. After a little time of playing and exploring he saw something. Down the darkly lit street was a figure, a silhouette of a child no older than him; the figure had no facial features and appeared to be a black mass only in the shape of a boy. It turned; even without eyes Joseph could tell it was staring at him. Unnerved by the figure Joseph ran home. Moving faster than his wakening legs would manage. He never looked back to see if he was followed.

Stopping when he reached the front of his house, standing on the front steps was his mother. The tall, blue eyed woman was smoking a cigarette in her pajamas, breaking another promise to quit. As she dropped the ashes into the flower pot next to her Joseph wanted to yell at her. However he quickly found he had no voice, as he tried to gain his mother’s attention he found she did not notice him at all. She tossed the last of her cigarette into the flower pot before going back inside, Joseph followed inside as well, and walking back to his room was the last thing he remembered before being awakened by the sun in his eyes.

As he walked out the door the next morning, he nearly forgot his dream. In the flower pot by the door there as a cigarette bud. “She really is smoking again” he thought to himself with a sigh as he made his way to the bus stop. It wasn’t till lunch that he noticed how tired he was, unable to keep his eyes open any longer he fell asleep right in the cafeteria, once again he dreamed. He saw himself face down in his chair, and the spitballs on his back from the kids at the table behind him. He watched the room at bit before moving out of the cafeteria. Unsure where to go, he moved to his next class. There he saw Miss Frances, teaching the class on the schedule ahead of him. They looked to be taking a pop quiz, Joseph felt dread at the thought.

Once again none of the kids or the teacher noticed him as he moved between desks, looking over each of his peers shoulders. Bored of school, he decided to move outside. He put his hands to the window ready to float out them like he had done before, however he noticed a dark figure just below. It was the faceless child again, crawling up the wall as it where the floor. It was on all fours now, looking even less human with extended arms and fingers that ended in points like one large claw.

Joseph almost fell out of his chair as the loud ringing noise of the bell went off. Once he stood up, he noticed the spit balls falling off his back, with a quick rub he wiped the rest off angrily and moved onto the next period. There Miss Frances announced a pop quiz. The Quiz read the same as it did before. Suddenly remembering the window he ran over and looked down…yet there was nothing there. The rest of the class stared at him. Mumbling “Thought I saw something” he sat back down and took the quiz. Joseph however could barely write, he was starting to understand his dreams where more tied to reality then he thought.

Over the next few days Joseph went to bed earlier and earlier, looking forward to his dream like playground. It was clear now that no one could see him in this state. He started with spying on his older sister as she spent time in her room, wakening and sneaking in the room later to confirm what he saw in his sleep. He did not see the dark figure for a few nights, and slowly stopped thinking about it, enjoying his newfound powers too much. However each time he waked the less sleep he felt like he had gotten. His mother noticed her sleepy child and decided to keep him home from school in fear of illness.

Before today most of his trips into the dream world had been at night. So Joseph did not put up a fuss when his mother put him back to bed, his body quickly dazed to sleep while his mind his spirit like form awoke. He only took one glance at his sleeping body before running off to the school. This time he was free with no time limit to spy on his peers. He moved faster than he even realized, surprised when he was already looking at the front gates of the school. Looking up at his classroom on the second floor his smile quickly turned to a frown as the creature was standing on the other side. Joseph turned around to run away but stopped when he heard a loud “Smash!” as the sound of glass landed on the ground. He turned around and saw his peers looking out of a broken window confused, an angry teacher beyond them. Joseph was shocked at the realization this creature could affect the real world.

As the weekend started Joseph had doubts if he should still be exploring this dream world. Despite his fears however he was enthralled. At this point he slept more than he was awake. He saw his monsters more than once, but managed to avoid it each time. This thing scared him, but it too was part of this dream world that fascinated him. He found it could change its shape, sometimes looking more human, more like a child. Other times it looked completely inhuman, like a dark beast. He always watched from a distance, and ran away when it noticed him. If he was cornered Joseph found he could force himself awake. He was addicted to the dream world. His overworked mother failed to notice, and his teenage sister was too wrapped up in her own life to notice her over sleeping little brother.

It was a cold night; Joseph was busy playing in the snowy streets when he noticed the creature once again. This time it was looking right at him, standing in front of his house. It turned and walked through his front door. Panicked, Joseph thought it was going after his mother or sister and ran after it. He quickly checked his mother’s room, but no sign of it. Then he looked in on his sister, but still not there. Joseph felt relived for a moment before remembering that he still had his own body, sleeping soundly in his bed. Rushing into his own room he saw the creature sitting on the floor, looking like a human child without a face. A soft glow was next to him on the corner of Joseph’s bed. A smile formed on the creature where there was no mouth before, on the floor next to his hand was Joseph’s mother’s lighter. Joseph could feel warmth in his feet, and saw the glow for what it was, fire. He immediately tried to wake up, but he couldn’t. The oil like child got up off the floor, and walking right though the wall. Joseph could not see it, but the newly formed mouth never left the shape of a smile. In a matter of moments the fire spread over the old mattress. Joseph could feel the flames. He felt the burns and he screams in agony, but makes no sound. He ran to his mother’s side trying desperately to wake her. All of his words where without sound, and she slept soundly as her son burned to death.

The neighborhood was awake that night, watching firemen come into and out of there neighbor’s house. A teenager and middle aged woman where saved thanks to smoke detectors, but the firefighters could do little for the boy whose room the fire started in. The firefighters had seen this sort of thing before, an unwatched child playing with fire and an old mattress. Yes, this was likely another case of the same. Unknown to everyone else however, there was someone else watching. Joseph watched as he saw his mother and sister crying, begging for them to notice him.

Credit To – BlueHero

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Logical Explanations

May 6, 2014 at 12:00 AM
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I awoke that night to Echo, my dog, barking up a storm. He was perched on the edge of my bed, facing the door and yapping away like crazy. I scratched him behind the ear to get him to calm down and guided him to his usual spot on my bed.
In hindsight, him barking was the first warning.
My brain, overactive as it is, was curious as to why he was behaving so oddly. Echo rarely barked at anything, so it was unlikely he was barking at nothing. Perhaps there is a skunk in the yard, I thought to myself. Seeing as how I was half-asleep at the time, that explanation seemed perfectly logical. Had I been more aware, I would have realized that any skunks in the neighborhood would be weeks into their hibernation this time of year. Even if they weren’t, the vicious snowstorm outside would deter them from wandering about.
I attempted to fall asleep after that, and how I wish that I did. Unfortunately, due to my habit of sleeping with my mouth open, I was becoming increasingly aware of how thirsty I was. I tried to stay in the warmth of my bed for as long as possible, but it wasn’t long before my tongue felt like sandpaper. It was clear to me that I wouldn’t be able to sleep without a glass of water.
I told Echo to stay and slipped into my moccasins. The air outside my nest of blankets was freezing so I put on my housecoat as well. When I left my bedroom, I noticed that the basement television was showing static. Mother probably forgot to turn it off after watching her murder mysteries, I thought. The TV’s playing static because of the storm outside. It’s just messing with our cable. Another logical explanation, which would be far less logical if I were fully awake. My mother, no matter how tired she was, would never leave the television on. She’s far too meticulous to do something like that. In my sleepy brain, however, it made perfect sense. I couldn’t find the TV remote, as the room was dark and I didn’t want to accidentally blind myself by turning on the lights, so I left the TV on.
I should’ve turned back, crawled back into bed and waited for morning.
I climbed the stairs to the landing, which was bathed in an orange glow, cast by the streetlights reflecting off of the clouds above. From up here, I could hear the wind battering itself against the house’s walls. I was starting to wake up a little bit. I noticed that the deadbolt on the door was unlocked.
That was my final warning.
My parents felt that it wasn’t necessary, what with the storm and all. The seeds of doubt began to form in my mind. I knew that that wasn’t the case. Some new neighbors have been suspected of breaking into people’s houses and stealing their liquor. My parents, being collectors of fine wines, have made it a habit to lock the deadbolt every night for the past few months, even when the act was completely pointless. My conscious brain was starting to wake up, starting to notice these things. A feeling of uneasiness began to pool in my gut. Still, after locking the deadbolt, I continued to the kitchen.
From the kitchen, I had a clear view of the living room, and while I filled an empty glass with water from the sink, I not only noticed that the television up here was also showing static, but that there was a figure seated on the couch. Don’t worry, I thought nervously, that’s just Dad. He’s been sleepwalking again. This time, I was fully aware of the flaws in the this ‘logical explanation’; the fact that the figure on the couch was bald and plump, while my father is lean and his hair is only beginning to thin. The fact that my father has been taking medications to prevent his sleepwalking. The fact that I could hear him snoring from my parent’s bedroom. I tried to disregard these thoughts, to push them to the back of my mind like I had done before. This time, it didn’t work.
I gently set my glass on the kitchen counter. My hands were cold and clammy, shaking in terror. My heart rate was increasing and my breathing was rapid. Even in the confusion of the moment, I knew that this wasn’t just some regular burglar, I doubted that the thing on the couch was even human. I reached for the phone to call 911, only to find out that I couldn’t get any service due to the storm. Frustrated and confused, I started randomly pushing buttons on the keypad.
That’s when I heard the thing move. The sound wasn’t loud, but it was enough to make my blood run cold and send clammy sweat down my back. It was the sound of bones popping, not just a few either; it sounded like an entire room full of people cracking their necks, backs and knuckles all at once. I turned from the useless phone to look at the creature for the first time.
It was now standing, facing me and illuminated by the orange glow from the living room’s window. It stood at about six feet tall, was completely naked and was rather plump. Its skin was a sallow grayish color and looked almost slimy. The creatures arms dangled as if they were boneless and at the end of each was a gnarled mess of fingers. The worst part about the creature, however, was its face. The thing had no nose, only two slits where its nostrils would be. Its eyes were hollow, white orbs that seemed too large for the rest of its face. As for its mouth, well, it didn’t really have one. It looked as if its entire lower jaw had been knocked clean off the rest of its face, leaving a swollen, pink tongue hanging against its neck.
The creature started walking towards me, making that awful sound with each step. It looked like it was trying to speak to me, but without its jaw, the tongue could only wriggle around helplessly as sinister moans escaped its throat.
I did what anybody else would do in that situation. I ran like hell.
When I got to the landing, I closed the door between the landing and the first floor. I had three options: I could surrender myself to the creature, I could run downstairs, which would eventually lead to a dead end, or I could run outside and face one of the worst blizzards of the decade. None of my choices were desirable, but I knew that I’d be dead anyway if I kept standing there. I didn’t get much time to choose though, as the door between me and the creature swung open, revealing that thing in all its grotesque glory. It began to descend the stairs toward me. I made my decision, and as stupid as it was, I wouldn’t be alive if I hadn’t done it. I unlocked the deadbolt and ran outside.
For the first few seconds, I felt absolutely nothing save for the adrenaline and fear surging through me. Looking back at the house as I ran, I swear I could see the creature looking at me through the kitchen window. It looked almost… happy.
By the time my house faded into the blizzard, the cold was starting to set in. Wearing only pajamas, slippers and a housecoat, it wasn’t hard to see why. I continued running, in fear that the thing would chase me, but I was starting to go numb. By the time I reached the highway, I couldn’t feel my fingers. By the time I noticed the approaching headlights, I couldn’t feel my toes. By the time the vehicle had stopped in front of me, everything was starting to go black.
I awoke several hours later to the sound of a machine beeping. At first, I thought the whole thing was a nightmare, that I was back in my bed and that my alarm clock was telling me to wake up and go to school. I began to regain consciousness and realized that I was no longer wearing my pajamas, rather I was wearing a hospital gown. There was a nurse standing above me, checking my vitals.
Apparently, a tow truck driver had found me on his way to a job. He did what anyone else would do if they found a teenager running like hell in the middle of a snowstorm at midnight and rushed me to the nearby hospital. I was admitted to the ER with severe frostbite and a moderate case of hypothermia. My parents were contacted immediately and at first, it seemed like I was going to go back home again. That is, until the doctors asked why I was outside in my pajamas in the first place. I told them the story as I couldn’t think of any excuse that sounded less crazy.
As one might expect, I was shipped off to the psyche ward. That is where I’m typing this now. See, the doctors can come up with any number of logical explanations. They can tell me that I was hallucinating, that I was having a nightmare, that I was over-stressed. With a medical degree, one can explain any unnatural phenomena with enough pills and prescriptions. But just because an explanation is logical, doesn’t mean that it’s true. At first I believed what they were saying, at first it all made sense. But something that happened later in the day changed that.
I was reading a book in my bed, starting to come to terms with what happened, when the TV in my room flickered to life. It was showing static. Outside the window, I could a gray figure outside the hospital. Even though I was on the fourth floor, I could tell that it was looking directly at me.

This story is a Crappypasta Success Story – it got such a positive reception over at Crappypasta that it’s being moved here to the main site. Congratulations to the author and thanks to the Crappypasta community for the save!

Credit To – InsanityUnderHats

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Don’t Turn Your Back

May 3, 2014 at 12:00 AM
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At the incessant crash and rumble of the storm outside, you jolt awake, shaking off the tendrils of confusing, light dozes.  Your bed is positioned by the windows that you forgot to close; slashes of lighting illuminate your untidy room, spatters of rain fly in.  You go to close it but stop, leaning halfway out, enraptured by the storm.  You are overwhelmed with an almost indescribable feeling, the feeling a fierce storm brings.  A churning stomach, bewildered eyes, a sense of powerlessness against this great beast that claims the sky as its own before slinking away, defeated by the dawn that battles through the cloud.

You look delightedly down at your garden, too disconcerted and too ecstatic to care that it’s being torn slowly apart.  Lawn chairs overturned, plants uprooted, great streaming lakes of rainwater covering the whole thing like a second skin.  You catch only glimpses, snapshots, being lit by random flickers of lightning.

However, just as suddenly as your strange happiness at this beautiful storm began; it turns into fear.

The lightning stops, leaving you drenched in suffocating blackness.  The rain, as if controlled by a dimmer switch, becomes a gentle patter on the windows.  Left is the howling wind, and you.  And the silhouette in your garden.

Half of you is absolutely certain of what you saw, glorified for two or three seconds by lightning.  A man.  Standing there.  Watching you.  An immaculate, murderous smile etched onto his grubby face.   And in his hand was something positively glowing in the sudden light.  Something in the shape of a knife.

Your more rational side laughs incredulously, tells you that that is impossible.  It was a trick of the light, you’re exhausted.  For all you know, that’s a scarecrow placed there for a cruel prank.

But you have to know for sure.

You turn away from the window and reach into the drawers by your bed, fingers fumbling for your flashlight that you keep there for emergencies or blackouts.  You click it into life, letting the beam of light swoop onto the darkness, rake through the night in pursuit of your fears come true.

There is no-one.

You force a laugh at yourself.  But in your shaking hand, the light catches something that makes your involuntary smile freeze, makes the hairs on the back of your neck creep up to attention.  Craning your neck, you see that your back door is wide open.  It swings wildly in the wind.

You are still sat completely silently, frozen and terrified, staring out your window as your bedroom door opens silently behind you.

Credit To – Sophie C

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Grand Sacrifice

April 25, 2014 at 12:00 AM
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The notion that our existence was crafted so eloquently without the guiding hand of a supreme being is equally as indigestible as that of an omnipotent, omnipresent God. I have always believed this uncomfortable paradox was the catalyst for my pursuit into the study of the human mind. What secrets must be kept, locked away for millennia, which could illuminate the answers to the questions that constantly plague each and every one of us? Those core doubts and emotions, buried deep within and kept chained to our subconscious minds, that taunt us with their vague yet constant nagging . Whose pervasive wailings are droned out by the inane and petty chatter of our everyday lives. Why are we here? Is their a point to existence? Be it darkness, beauty, or a dash of something not yet known – I aimed to uncover essential truth.

I do not wish to frighten those of you that have chanced upon this document. I have struggled with the best method of unveiling my discoveries for some time now, but believe that is imperative for this knowledge to be disseminated. If you are currently enjoying a pleasant, simple life, I encourage you return to your normal routine. There is still time and you are helpless to rectify the coming events. If you insist on pursing than I encourage you to write me off as your everyday run-of-the-mill quack who could not handle the pressure of intense research. Whatever you do, only convey the knowledge contained within to those of sound mind and resolute constitution, as it will surely cause havoc to those not prepared for an inevitable drastic worldview change.

It was not until I was awarded a lucrative research position with the World Health Organization that I was able to guide projects as I saw fit. While I would never betray my stimulating years of study or my stint as a neurological engineer with the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency, I had never been able to break through the comfortable womb of learning into the dimensionless chasm of discovery. I now possessed the money and freedom I desired. I sought to map the operational differences between well preserved Cro-Magnon brain samples found at the Peştera cu Oase with that of the modern man. I had hoped to isolate any differences to determine the effectiveness of evolution over the last 40,000 years. This would form the basis for research into providing a reliable catalyst towards accelerating growth in the human mind. Sadly we will not get the chance for such actions to manifest themselves.

The research went at a predicable, yet frustratingly slow pace. The process of mapping the brain was as intricate as it was time consuming. Specially fabricated electrodes had to be arranged with extreme precision in numerous permutations to cortical stimulation areas. As series of increasingly powerful currents would be introduced, and their path through the brains neural networks would be traced. The results would be compared to a software simulation of an optimized brain running various algorithms for achieving a variety of different goals – maximizing speed, minimizing chemical synapse activity between nerve cells, and minimizing information fidelity.

I was bewildered to find how advanced the Cro-Magnon brain was. It was generally accepted in the academic community that the modern brain has undergone significant changes, namely in areas involving verbal communication and multitasking. Thus I assumed our methods were fundamentally flawed when the first few experiments were finalized. In comparative benchmarks it was indubitably evident that certain sections of the samples brains out performed out optimized brain simulations. I squelched an abundance of time searching for a flaw in my experiments design that simply was not present.

When I realized the experiment was robust and the data therefore accurate it took all my willpower not to initially publish the results. I wanted this groundbreaking news to reach all corners of the globe. While the layman would likely not flinch at the results, this could have caused a paradigm shift in both the fields neurology and archeology. My status amongst my peers would be elevated and I would no doubt receive an abundance of grants to continue pursuing the secrets I had sought out to answer.

My hesitance to publish early results turned out to be a decidingly correct choice. I would have had to break the non disclosure agreement I had signed, which could have resulted in possible incarceration unless I switched to a foreign residency. This would have allow another scientist to use my experiments as a baselines to make the discovery before I did. How another individual would have handled the discovery still makes me anxious, although in dark times I wish this curse was another’s to bear.

Charging ahead I began to perform the same experiment on modern humans. Obtaining samples became a challenge, as most families proved unwilling to part with the cadavers of loved ones – even in the name of science.

I didn’t know how to interpret the results. How could Cro-Magnon out perform the brain of a modern human? More shockingly was the reason for the modern brains defeat. There, simply stated, was an entire region of brain which was not utilized. It was as if the equivalent of detour signs had been placed intricately around subsections of the Taenia thalami. Just as bewildering was the observation that the location and volume of brain effected was exactly the same in all modern human brain samples.

Various probes and scans could not account for the difference in outcomes. Both sets of brains seemed to be externally healthy. What could possibly account for the path the electricity took in modern brains?

I conducted a seemingly endless number of experiments to reach a satisfying conclusion. No matter what I chose to do, the results were the same – a part of the modern brain was dead. I became utterly consumed. I could not eat or sleep. My desire for a sound, scientific explanation shadowed all other aspects of my life.

With no logical technique left to solve this enigma, I decided to physically swap the affected sections of brain between two samples. No other scientist would have approved, as I was ceremoniously accomplishing nothing more than destroying two perfectly adequate samples. Yet when the swapped out portion of the Taenia thalami functioned perfectly in the modern sample the realization that I was knocking on the door of my careers dreams was almost more than I could bare. Ancient humans, thought to have been the basis for our evolutionary journey, had a secret which has been lost to annals of history.

Sections of brain do not simply stop working. It would take techniques that are decades away for modern medicine to be able to replicate the outcome. The most logical reason my exhausted mind could come up with was the existence and interference with our progress by God. I deeply desired to understand why and was all to aware that my scientific teachings would be tools most unhelpful if further understanding of this mystery were possible.

I did not get any further before dark visions began to haunt me.

Spaceship. Deep in space. Humans in control. Something not quite right. Past or future? Familiar. Been here before. Rows of cells. No – houses. Families playing on ship. Windows all around. Darkness outside. Occasional star. Feeling of movement. Lighter than usual. Odd looking man staring at me. No eyes? Trying to say something. Can’t make out.

It mattered not what I was occupying myself with, for lucid hallucinations would overcome me in any situation without abatement.

Pews are all full. All wear robes. Black robes. Deep red symbol on right breasts. Diamond. Star. Frightening. Priests? Not quite priests; but almost. Chanting. Closing eyes. No cross. Candles. Burning bright, hot, very hot. Everywhere. Small tank by priests. Dark water; something moving. Chanting louder. Priest? grabs out of water. The hell? Takes thick needle. Inserts into mans head. Flames leap. Chanting is a roar. Odd man again, front row. Turns to me. Mouths something..”tell no one?”

None of the therapists I sought refuge from had any insight into the dilemma. They each in turned agreed the long hours and years of tireless work were resulting in significant and troublesome burnout.

Earth. Beautiful. Animals, no humans. Spaceships. Blotting out sky. Everywhere. Huge ships. Landing. Opening doors. Cages. So many cages. Humans in cages. Humans pulling cages. Hundreds of humans. Tranquilized? Humans taken out of cages. Others back on ship. Bright colors. Ships leaving. Blackness. Odd man on top of me. Whispers..”tell no one”.

They struggled to grasp my research, and dismissed it as “simple fantasies constructed from an over stimulated mind”.

It was not until I began to record the history of my pursuits that He has manifested himself during my waking hours. Everywhere I go He is there. Amongst the emptiness of my own home, He is present. Never directly appearing in front of me. Always in the corner of my eye I can make him out. Soulless and of singular purpose, I fear his presence is to keep my silence compliant. Surely He will interfere should I decide to release my confessions.

Spaceships. Near earth. Hovering. Earth seems normal. Humans on earth. I see family. Friends. Normal. Clouds, red clouds roll in. Flames from sky. Explosions. Asteroid? Bomb? Fire all around. Screaming. Panic. Death. Rumblings. Earthquake. Creature emerges. God? Devil? Taking, killing. Horror. Ships approach. Land. Humans come out. Still in robes. Bowing, bowing to beast. Cheers, claps, prayers. Odd man appears. Screams…”tell no one”.

Credit To – bigpolish

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Orange Three

April 12, 2014 at 12:00 AM
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ORANGE THREE

_________________
PART ONE

The red fabric seats held nothing but dust. That made him uneasy. He didn’t know what to expect, but he did expect someone. The letter told him the exam would be held the following day, at the old theater, and that he should take a seat in the main auditorium. It also told him he would be safe, but little else. A voice through speakers was the only entity welcoming him. “Please sit,” it said. “Where?” he asked, but there was no reply, so he just strolled down the aisle and stopped more or less in the middle. He had never been at the old theater before, not even when it was a new theater, with different plays opening every month, and long lines of people curving the corners for tickets.
“Can we raise the curtain?” the voice asked. He wanted to say yes, but only a shriek came from his throat. He felt nervous. The voice insisted. “You can, yes,” he finally coughed out.
A faint orange glow framed the stage curtain from behind, an old piece of cloth ripped at places and stained all over. It rose slowly, and as it did the man grew increasingly agitated and confused.
“What do you see?” the voice asked.
“What is this?”
“You must tell us what you see.”
“I see four children. They are sitting in wooden chairs, looking at me.”
“What are their names?”
“I,” he began, but then he paused for a moment. “I don’t know these children.”
“Describe them.”
The man moved inside his seat with discomfort. The tie was too tight, the bloody red tie he didn’t want to bring anyway. He gave it a pull to loosen it up a bit. “They wear old clothes,” he said. “Well, not old, but antique. They are very still.”
“Describe each one.”
“Why are they so still?”
“Describe each one, please.”
“I don’t understand,” he began. “There are two boys and two girls, but the two boys are the same, and the two girls are the same also. They don’t look the same, they are the same. Not like twins, more like copies.”
“Go on.”
“The boys are brown eyed and brown haired. They wear leather boots under cotton trousers, and white shirts with red suspenders.”
“Go on.”
“The girls wear a floral themed cotton dress, white sandals, and green ribbons on their heads. The hair is lighter than the boys’, but they have much darker eyes.”
“Can you tell us their names now?”
“This is odd, but yes. I know their names now. Martin and Anna. How do I know their names?”
“You told us there were four children, but only gave us two names.”
“I told you they were copies of each other. Two boys called Martin. Two girls called Anna. Their eyes are open, but –” and he stopped.
“Yes?”
One hand started to swing his tie from side to side, while the other was clamping so hard on itself the nails started to pierce the skin.
“Yes?” the voice insisted.
“They are not alive,” he finally said. “They are not dead either. They have never been alive.” He shivered and felt an urgent need to close his eyes. Once he did, he surprisingly thought of her, always angry at him, always telling him he’s always breaking things. Truth be told, he did brake her, and when he did it was serious.
The voice pulled him out of his thoughts. “You cannot keep your eyes closed. Please, tell us what you see.”
The man gave a better look. “They are not children,” he said. “They look like children, they look exactly like children, but they’re not. They are mechanical. I know it. I know they are mechanical.”
“What do you mean?”
“They are made of cogs inside. I can see them.”
“Are the children transparent?”
“No, but I can see the cogs somehow.”
“You mean you can sense them?”
“No, not sense them. I can see the cogs. It’s hard to explain. And they are moving. I mean, these children things are still, they are very still, but the cogs inside are moving.”
“But the children are completely still?”
“Completely. It upsets me.”
“Do you wish them to move?”
“No.”
“Why?”
“I think I’m afraid.”
“Of what are you afraid?”
“I’m afraid of what will happen when they start moving.”
“You fear they may attack you?”
“I’ve been told I would be safe.”
“What are you afraid of, then?”
“I don’t know. I’m just afraid. I shouldn’t be, but I am. That is all.” He was trying to keep a calm voice, but it was hard. “Martin,” he said.
“What about him?” the voice asked.
“He is raising one arm. Now the second Martin is doing the same.”
“Are you afraid now?”
His hands were spiking his legs. His skin starting to soak. His eyes as open as moon craters. “I’m safe. I’ve been told I would be safe. I shouldn’t be afraid. I’m not afraid,” but he closed his eyes nonetheless, and she was once again on his mind.
“You’re safe,” he told her.
“You’re drunk,” she said. “You’re an idiot and you’re drunk.” Always such a bloody prudence goddess, he thought.
“They were just a couple of beers. I can drive. I can keep you safe,” only he didn’t. They crashed. Her right arm broke in three different places and she had a concussion. He was by her side the whole time she was at the hospital, but they didn’t speak, they didn’t look at each other, six full days mutually ignoring one another. One day he accidentally touched her hand while going for the remote, but the hand quickly slid away from him, and her whole body closed upon itself with a shiver.
“You have to open your eyes,” the voice said. “You have to keep telling us what you see.”
He obeyed. “The children,” he said.
“What about them?”
“They don’t look like children any more. No, I was mistaken. They never looked like children. They are – “
“Yes?”
“They are a spider, a mechanical and enormous spider. And the cogs inside, they were never cogs. They were small spiders, black ones, moving inside the big spider.”
His panting made his voice come out as thin as a strand of web. His eyes were jumping out of his skull, while his body was trying to bury itself inside the seat.
“The spider is all over me. It is so big, so bloody big. It is trying to touch me. And the sound it makes –”
“Don’t you see the children any more?”
“You don’t understand. The children are the spider.”
“You mean the four children compose the different parts of the spider?”
“And the sound it makes! Oh! The sound it makes!” He was holding both hands at his hears, fighting not to close his eyes again. “The sound comes from the mouths of the children. They scream like they are dying. This is their dying scream. Make it stop! Please make it stop! ”
“How can they be dying if you told us they were not alive?”
“I don’t know, I swear I don’t. I don’t want to look any more. Please don’t make me look any more.”
“You have to.” He was trying to obey, fighting to keep his eyelids from shutting down, but they were so heavy, so bloody heavy, that the theater vanished once more behind them, and now she was eating soup at his side. She held the spoon with her left hand, since her right arm was wrapped in cast. The letter was beside the bowl.
“It came today. I need to take the exam tomorrow,” he said.
She ignored him. He knew what it meant. It meant she couldn’t care less, but it also meant she thought he would fail. He tried to remember the last time they exchanged something other than hatred, but that only made him angry. He also tried to remember the last time he didn’t fail at something, but that only made him angrier.
“It is mandatory to take the exam once you’re called,” he said. “I don’t know of anyone who has taken the exam. My sister’s cousin had a friend. I think she took it. I’m not sure. Maybe I’ll pass.”
“The exam is tomorrow,” she said.
“That’s what I said.”
“This soup is terrible,” was the only thing she answered.
“You must keep telling us what you see,” the voice urged.
The sound of the children had faded to a low hum. He opened his eyes. On stage he no longer saw the children and the spider. He saw something else.
“What is the meaning of this? I see –”
“Yes?”
“I see my wife. Why is my wife here?”
“Describe her to us.”
“What are you doing here?” he shouted.
The voice on the speakers grew impatient. “Please, describe her to us.”
“I don’t understand. Why is she part of the exam?”
There was no reply. The man sprang to his feet and walked down the auditorium. “She’s wearing her green dress. I hate that dress, and her hair, her hair is a mess,” he said, while jumping onto the stage. “Why are you here?” he asked, but then he paused, gazed, shivered. “It is not her,” he finally realized.
“Who is it, then?”
“It is not even a woman. It is a mechanical thing that looks like her, made of small, mechanical spiders. And each spider is made of those four children, only now they are as small as ants, as small as ant legs. No, smaller than that.”
“Continue.”
“The spiders form a mass, and the mass looks like her. It’s a trick. I can see it now.”
“You think this is a trick?”
He started to laugh. He laughed so hard he had to hold his bladder in.
“I can prove it,” he said, still laughing, and then he reached for her.
“Describe us what you are doing.”
“See? I’ve ripped her left eye out, but it is not an eye, it is a spider. See? I’m throwing the spider at the floor and I’m crushing it.”
“Continue.”
“I’m taking out all the spiders, one by one. I’m dismantling her. Not breaking her. Dismantling her. Do you see?”
“Continue.”
“The spiders crack under my boot. I’m dismantling her and breaking the spiders. I’m not afraid. Not anymore.”
“Continue.”
“And the children, the mechanical children? And the low hum they’re making?”
“Continue.”
“The hum stops as soon as I fall on them with my shoe.”
The voice did not reply.
“It wasn’t my wife. It was never my wife. All around me nothing but crushed mechanical spiders, crushed mechanical children.”
The voice did not reply.
“You saw what I did?”
The voice did not reply.
“Did you see it?”
The voice did not reply.
“Did you see it?” He was not laughing any more. “You did, didn’t you?”
A loud crack reverberated in the room, and all the lights died.
_________________
PART TWO

He never thought of himself as a sunset person. Some people find them spectacular events. He didn’t. He felt that orange light always rendered everything a bit wrong, but at that particular moment, he finally realized, it was the sunset in itself that felt wrong.
When the lights went out inside the theater, he knew the exam was over. The letter told him where and when he had to be to begin, but it said nothing of what he should do after finishing it. He waited a while for instructions, but after a few minutes he came to the conclusion there wouldn’t be any. He was in the dark, but not afraid, not any more. He waved his hands around, searching the floor as a blind man, but he found nothing, no children, no spiders, no wife. So he just started to feel his way out of the auditorium. He touched a door. Then another. Then another. A final door opened outside, and he saw the sunset behind the rooftops. It didn’t feel wrong. Not then.
He took a deep breath and tried to recall what happened. “What did I do?” First it was pure doubt, then it was pure terror. “They made me do something, didn’t they?” He knew it had been a trick, but it turned out to be a different kind of trick from what he thought. “Did I kill her?” It was the moment to be afraid, he thought, so he put his feet into a panicking motion and headed home.
When he arrived at his doorstep, all out of breath, he felt that something had been wrong the entire journey. First he thought of the people, or their absence, to be precise. He didn’t see one single person the whole way. Such was odd, but that was not it. Then he looked at the trees and the vivid green of the leaves. It was not November green, and it was November. Such was odd too, but that was not it. He then checked his clock. Still little past three in that orange afternoon.
That was it.
What he felt as wrong the whole way was the sunset. There are no sunsets at three in the afternoon, not where he lives anyway. That was wrong, that was definitely wrong. Even so, he took his keys, opened the front door and went inside, not sure of what he expected, not sure of what he wanted.
She was at the study, holding two books in her hands and looking up at a high shelf. He was so quiet going in it spooked her. “Oh, it’s you,” she said. “You pushed me this close to a heart attack, silly thing.” She surprised him with a kiss, and went back to shelving the books. “How was the exam?”
“It was good, I think,” he said, while his fingers touched his lips.
“Did you pass?”
He had not thought of that until that moment. Truth be told, he didn’t know. He didn’t know what kind of exam that was, if it was the kind where you pass or fail, or where you find out something about yourself. He knew nothing, nothing at all, and so he lied. “Yes. Yes I did.”
“That is very good,” she praised. “We should celebrate. You know what we could do? You could cook that lasagna of yours, and I’ll open the bottle of Douro.”
“It sounds good. Yes, it sounds wonderful.” He was then surprised by her arm, and how it was all clean and free of cast. “How is your arm?”
“It’s fine, silly thing. Just fine.” Then she laughed. He had forgotten all about that laugh. He had forgotten all about the high pitch that started it, the throat tremble which followed, and the deep chest finale. He had forgotten all about that laugh. “Don’t just stand there. Go cook.”
Such loveliness was intoxicating. He was twenty one all over again. When she walked away, he didn’t walk after, he floated. That’s how it felt anyway. He floated into the kitchen, he floated while he cooked, then he floated out of the kitchen, carrying forks and knives and plates and glasses, and he was floating when he saw it, framed inside his own house, on top of his own sideboard, two photographs, one of a boy, one of a girl, Martin, Anna.
When her wife heard the sound of braking porcelain in the dining room, she rushed to see what happened. “You are always breaking things,” she said, but she was not angry, not at all. She was smiling, she was smiling a midday sun bright smile. “Would you kiss me?” he asked suddenly. Her smile toned down. It was no longer a midday sun bright smile, it was a sunset smile, but it didn’t feel wrong. She held his head gently and gently she kissed him. First she just touched his lips with her own, then she opened them and slid her tongue inside, then she devoured his breath, his body, his soul. He had forgotten all about that kiss. When she stopped, he looked deep into her eyes, and that’s when he saw the spiders moving inside her pupils.
“The lasagna is ready” he said, “but we’ll need other dishes.”
She laughed again. “Well, I can see that. Go get them. I’ll open the bottle.”
The whole meal he stared at her, drawing a fake smile every time she raised her eyes at him. Her eyes infested with spiders. The smiles she gave him, however, didn’t feel fake. They felt as pure as she had ever given him. They ate without a word. They washed the dishes without a word. They took a shower together without a word. They fucked without a word. They fell asleep without a word.
He woke up two hours later and looked outside. It was still sunset. She was deeply asleep, wearing that beautiful sleep expression of hers. He had forgotten all about that expression. “It is not her,” he told himself. He felt thirsty and headed for the kitchen, but first he stopped at the dining room and looked at the framed photographs. Martin and Anna were gone. They had been replaced by photographs of him and his wife. “They must suspect I know,” he realized, “and they are trying to confuse me, to put me off track.”
The kitchen still smelled of béchamel and red wine. “I’m so bloody thirsty.” He filled a glass of water and drank it. He filled a second glass of water and drank it. He took a deep, satisfied breath and went back to his room, calmly holding a kitchen knife in his right hand.
The room had an orange hue. Sunsets always render everything a bit wrong, he thought. Outside the window he saw no one. He sat at his bed, next to her. With his left hand he caressed her cheeks and felt her hair, with his right hand he held the kitchen knife on top of his thigh. She opened her eyes briefly and smiled.
“Everything fine, silly thing?”
“Everything perfect. Everything just perfect.”
And she went back to sleep.

_________________
PART THREE

“This is a cast saw,” the doctor said. “It is specially made to cut through the cast without harming the skin, but tell me if you feel any pain, any pain at all.” She nodded and the saw started to vibrate. She looked away.
The wall had a reproduction of a painting by J. M. W. Turner. Nothing but orange paint, she thought. She closed her eyes and thought of the sky and of how it was nothing but orange too when he told her she was safe. She told him he was drunk. He wasn’t, not really, but he had been an idiot that whole afternoon and she wanted to insult him, to be angry with him, to hurt him. They were always at each other’s throats for the last two years. They were at each other’s throats when the curve came and the setting sun lightened the wind shield up like it was Nagasaki.
“All done,” the doctor said.
She opened her eyes.
“How are you doing?” he asked.
She didn’t answer. She was staring at the Turner reproduction. Eighteen thirty to thirty five. Tate Britain.
“Feeling any headaches? Nausea?”
She shook her head.
“How about difficulties sleeping?”
“Difficulties sleeping?”
“Yes.”
“Of course I have difficulties sleeping.”
“I understand. Do you want to take something?”
She stood up and reached for the Turner print. There was no texture. Sunsets have textures and sounds and tastes, she thought. They did now, at least.
“Something? Like what?”
“Something to help you sleep better.”
“I don’t want to sleep better,” she said, and she closed her eyes again.
Blue lights were flashing all around. “We’ll take you out of there, lady,” someone told her. She remembered the flash light at her eyes, the cervical collar, the loud sound of the siren as they drove her to the hospital, the questions, “Do you know your name? Do you know where you are? Do you know what day is it today?”
“Anna, my name is Anna.”
“Anna,” the doctor called, “you don’t need to go through this like that.”
“Like what?”
“It was not your fault.”
“I didn’t say it was. Is it all? Can I go?”
On her way out she saw the room where she thought he moved his hand to touch hers. He was going to be fine, we wasn’t going to die or anything like that. No yet. “We’re optimistic,” they said. “We need to do this head exam to know exactly what to do next,” they said.
Anna tried to remember him before the accident. She could remember things she did with him, but she couldn’t remember him. She tried to recall the first time they had sex. He cooked lasagna. It was an awful lasagna. The béchamel was too thick and the meat as salty as the dead sea, but she lied and ate it with a smile. She remembered the wine and the taste of the wine, but not the taste of his mouth, she remembered what they did in bed like items on a list, but not what it felt like, and she knew by heart all they talked about afterwards, but she couldn’t remember his voice. The voice was what hurt the most. Anna left the hospital and took a bus home.
When she arrived at her doorstep, the sun was setting over the rooftops. The keys were in hand, but she showed no intention of opening the door. She just stood there. She stood there for a few minutes, then a few minutes longer. The sharp January air sliced through her clothes, but she didn’t seem to notice. She was listening to the doctors, she was listening their words from November. “We’re optimistic,” they said. “He will probably make it,” they said. But then something happened during the exam. It was little past three in the afternoon. “He had a seizure. We don’t know why. His vitals went down so fast.”
The front door opened. “How long have you been here? You’re ice cold. Get in.” Anna went inside. “You’re freezing, dear. I’ll fix you up with something hot.” Anna’s mother-in-law moved slow and heavily. She brought her a cup of tea, a blanket and ordered her to rest in the sofa. “What were you doing out there?” Anna didn’t answer. “What did the doctor say about your arm?” Anna didn’t answer. “Well, suit yourself,” she said as she left the living room.
Anna got up and went after her. “I’ll cook tonight,” she said. “I’ll make lasagna.”
“Are you sure? Can you use your arm?”
Anna nodded.
“Well, I guess that is quite all right, then.”
Before starting to cook, Anna went to her room. It was already dark outside, but she didn’t turn the lights on. She didn’t want to look at him. “He’s in a stable vegetative state,” they explained. “He won’t be able to move or interact. Sometimes he may have his eyes open, but he doesn’t see or hear. His brain is disconnected from his senses. Do you understand this?”
Anna said nothing.
“You also need to understand he doesn’t need a machine to live, so he must go home.”
“Is he still in there?” she asked.
“Some part of him, maybe, but nobody can say. How are you feeling?”
Anna said nothing.
“Do you understand what this means, Anna?”
“I’ll take him home. I’ll feed him through a tube. I’ll change his diapers and keep him clean,” she said. And she took him home, and she fed him, and she kept him clean.
Anna and her mother-in-law ate the lasagna in silence. They were quietly drinking cheap red wine when her mother-in-law said, “You need to be strong, Anna. We need to be strong. For Martin.”
“That is not Martin,” Anna replied. She thought that when that sentence were to finally come out, it would be shouted out, each word a heavy stone, each word relentlessly violent, each word the whole message. That. Is. Not. Martin. That’s why a smile almost grew on her face when she heard how softly she was saying it, like a sweet secret whispered between lovers in one single breath. Thatisnotmartin. Her mother-in-law, on the other hand, threw her reply as furiously as she could. “That is Martin. That is my son, your husband.” Anna said nothing.
The rest of the evening they didn’t speak. The table was cleared in silence. The kitchen cleaned in silence. In silence, the mother went to check on her son, then retired to the guest room and turned the TV on. Anna knew it would stay on until morning. It helped her mother-in-law sleep.
Anna smoked in the kitchen while looking outside. The night is dark and heavy and filled with silence, she thought. I am the night, she thought. After taking a shower she went to her room. Martin had his eyes open. That scared her. That always scared her. She closed them gently and noticed his lips were dry, so she gave him water with a small sponge before trying to get some sleep. One hour later she was still awake, and her own mouth was dry.
The kitchen still smelled of béchamel and red wine. Anna drank a glass of water, then she lit up a cigarette, then she drank another glass of water, and then she lit up another cigarette. This last one she didn’t smoke, she just let it burn away in the ashtray. She repeated this until the pack got empty and the sun started to rise. A sunrise is just a sunset in the opposite direction, she thought. That’s when she decided to go back to her room, calmly holding a kitchen knife in her right hand.

Credit To – Rohnes Loraf

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A Childhood Dream Destroyed

April 1, 2014 at 5:00 PM
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A Childhood Dream Destroyed

There is no God. There is no Heaven. There is no Hell. There is only this fucking Dorito disguised as a GODDAMN Greasy lookin chicken nugget from McDonald’s Hell, where it was banished for all entirety. What the fuck is this? Who would do this? What has this world come to? Thanks Obama.

Ever since I was a little boy all I ever wanted, was to buy my own bag of Doritos. My mom would never let me eat them. Oh how I longed for my own bag of Doritos. I would sometimes imagine the smell of opening the bag, that sweet, sweet smell invading my nostrils, SMELLIN like a fresh home cooked ham in December. How I forever wanted to slowly lick my fingers off and taste the dust and shit that gets left over from them after you hold it. My mouth would be in heaven after I crunched down on them, chewed, laughed and cried as I devoured them. But that all would change tonight. I walked into cvs with much, so much anticipation, it would finally happen, I would finally buy my own bag of Doritos. I finally made my way to the chip aisle and grabbed the first Doritos bag I found. I payed for them quickly and got the fuck out.

My mind, body, soul were all ready and prepared for this moment. It was 19 years in the making, it was everything I’ve ever dreamed for. As I took a deep breath and opened the bag, I couldn’t hold myself from letting out a little scream of joy as I knew this was it, the moment that I had waited a lifetime for. The nightmare of never eating doritos was at a end. Eating this beautiful bag of chips would be my escape from madness. My life long dream would come true. As I ate the first small Dorito, a small, single, wet tear fell down my rugged face. At the moment I was in heaven, just like John Coffee at the end of the green mile when he was in the execution chair crying. This was nirvana, pure harmony at its finest. I felt like Luke Skywalker after he destroyed the deathstar and so carefree and light like Miley Cryus on the wrecking ball.

As I reached into the bag, I felt something round and large. At first I thought I hit the FUCKIN JACKPOT and it was a huge one, the kind of dorito that comes around once in a 1000 years like a Lebron James in the NBA or a Wayne Gretzky in the NHL. But as I slowly and carefully pulled it out, my world… shattered & crumbled right before my very eyes.

There is a moment in everyone’s life where there are no words. You are just stuck in the moment. Time has slowed down. You can’t think, feel, or move. I couldn’t breathe, I couldn’t speak, my life flashed before my eyes. A lifelong dream shattered in seconds. I started to shake furiously, my mouth agaped in horror as I stared at the very thing that I had dreamed of but this wasn’t a dream. This was real life, and sometimes life doesn’t go as planned. I held up the dorito, no chicken nugget and let out a blood curdling scream that shook the house to its core and would have made a banshee proud. This not what I had dreamed for, this not what MLK had dreamed for. There is no light in this world, only darkness, and as the Winter Storm of the Century nears closer to Metro Detroit, where I live and I can only think this it, my time is up. By standing outside in the storm I can end it all, the nightmares, the childhood dream, everything. I will leave this earth as a man who is broken and shattered beyond repair. There is no hope left for me. Death is my only option. As my life slowly fades from my dark, cold brown eyes, as the cold winter storm and snow tears away at my naked body, freezing me to death, I will get down on my knees, throw up my arms & look up to the heavens and scream, “God why have you forsaken me!!?” And all I will be able to think about, as I die, is that fucking chicken nugget dorito from hell, and how the very thing I dreamt about and swore to eat, was the death of me. God is dead. There are no dreams, only nightmares.

There is no hope in this world…

No Hope.

Credit To – Cameron K

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