Behind The Veil

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

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

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

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

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

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

And without hesitation, you obey.

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

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

You, however…

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

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

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

Credit To – TheZomber

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Nightmares

July 4, 2014 at 12:00 AM
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I used to think nightmares were fun, so I asked for more. They were the only source of excitement in my endless rut of a life. I never used to get nightmares, and for that, I should have been grateful. I wasn’t. I wished for more, I craved the adrenaline and the pounding of my heart as my eyes flew open. They say be careful what you wish for. They are not lying.
The nightmares started to come quicker and much more often. It was small things at first, the things anybody would have. Being chased by wild dogs, being abandoned, or running naked into school. I tired of them quickly, I had no reason to keep myself awake after them. Soon, they began to become more intense, my brain began playing with me.
I’d be held down by my throat, unable to breathe, unable to scream, my chest heaving but no air entering my lungs. I’d be torn at, my skin coming away like butter. I’d be tied down as those I trusted sliced into me. I began to dream of Hell. Then I’d wake, my eyes not quite focusing on anything in my small box room.
The purples of my cushions would merge with the cream of my wall, and the giant teddy bear that sat in the corner would blur. But I could breathe. There was no pressure on my throat. I would take in deep lungfuls of air, as if I hadn’t breathed for hours. I scratched at my skin to check if it was still there, and it was. I would check my clock, and it would always be the same time. Five minutes past three in the morning became my waking hour.
My eyes would try to slide closed, but I couldn’t let that happen. Instead, I’d pull myself to the bathroom down the carpeted hall and splash icy water on my face until I was in no danger of sleeping. The sleep deprivation, I concluded, would be better than facing the horrors of the night.

I’d go into school like a zombie, and nobody seemed to notice that anything was different. I began to become paranoid. As people walked past me, the memories would come rushing back, invading my mind. She was the one who made the first incision two nights ago, he was the one who had his hand over my neck last week, and they were the ones that retrieved the knives in the depths of Hell. I pushed everyone away, in fear that they would build Hell on Earth, so I sat alone, excluding myself from the drone of conversation and the inconvenience of life.

My nightmares would plague me. Creative writing assessments in English were easy. Just pick a night and there was a horror story right there. Talks of battles in History shocked others, but barely even struck me as odd. The drawings I did in Art made everyone feel nauseous, but seemed quite normal to me. Lessons on Hell in R.E. would strike fear into my very soul. Of all the things I needed, more imagery about Hades was not one of them. Those lessons began to creep into my dreams too.

A human being can go fourteen days without sleep before they die. The record for days without sleep is eleven days, a record which is held by a university student from America. My record is five days. I started hallucinating so horrifically on day five, I couldn’t take it any more. The susurrus whispers began first. Those voices assuring me I was crazy, that I was worthless and doomed to be ended by my own mind. Next, it was the high-pitched, sempiternal squealing. It sounded like nails running down a chalkboard, or a knife scraping against a plate, only twice as high and five times as loud.
Then, inanimate objects began to turn clinquant, the spots of brightness emitting from plants and pictures blinded me. I knew that these were merely chimerical, but can a schizophrenic stop having hallucinations? Neither can someone suffering with extreme sleep deprivation.

I decided to suck it up and face the monsters every night.
I’ve been sleeping well. When I say well, I mean I’ve been getting six hours of sleep a night. That’s why I know I’m not hallucinating when I see dark figures in my bedroom at night. When I hear the creaking of my door opening, I know it’s real. When the piercing screams of tortured souls invade my eardrums, it’s actually happening. When I hear the hissed threats that they’re coming for me, sadly, I know that’s real too.

They say be careful what you wish for.
I wished for Hell.
I got it.
It’s five minutes past three in the morning.
I can hear them.

Credit To – Anabiel

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My Face

July 2, 2014 at 12:00 AM
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I’m not sure why I’m writing this right now. I’m not even sure if I am writing this now or, if I am, whether the words I’m seeing in my mind’s eye are the same as the words my hands are typing. I suppose the only way to find out is to check tomorrow and see if this is still here. If it is, and it still looks like this, then I’ll know it wasn’t some dream I was having with my eyes open.

‘Dream’. Even looking at that word right now makes some guttural part of me tense up. I’m not surprised though. After all, my dreams are the reason I’m even awake at this hour. Everyone else in the house is asleep right now. Well, except for my mum, but she always wakes up at 4 AM like clockwork. Hell, she doesn’t even need an alarm.

I’m looking back at what I’ve written so far and I realise I’ve been rambling. I tend to do that, simply because my thoughts just get scattered like dandelion seeds when I don’t completely concentrate. There’s only so much concentration you can give something when you keep getting flashes of terror every time you blink. It might just be that I’m doing it so that I can stay awake as long as possible by writing. Either way, I should probably at least explain what I’m babbling about some time before my parents find me awake like this.

I’ve been a student at London University for a year now, studying psychology. I would be in my second year, but I had to stop mid-way through, so this year is a resit. I was hoping at some point to be a counselling psychologist, to help people get past their problems without being the guy who forces a prescription down their throats.

It went fine for the first semester; I even managed to make a few friends, which is an achievement for someone as socially awkward as me.

For the first few months I would hang out with a small group of people, all of whom shared my weird interests: we’d talk about the usual nerdy pop-culture we’d digested that week, about how we all threw our shoes at the television when a certain character from one of our shared favourite TV shows was killed off very ignobly and needlessly by a bear, that kind of shit. Of course, as close as we got we never saw each other outside of lecture days, which suited me just fine.

I remember exactly the day that my current “predicament” started. I only call it that because even now, six months later, I still don’t know what the Hell it is.

It was February 2nd when we received a foreign exchange student from Canada. I’m not going to name him here, partly because he wouldn’t want me to and partly because I don’t want this to come back to him. It was clear on his first day that he wasn’t the talkative type, so it wasn’t surprising when he started gravitating towards our little clique. He seemed enthused about what we were saying, sure, and he even managed to get some of the references we flung out about some of the TV shows that was more localised to Britain, but none of our geeky bullshit would ever stimulate a reaction with him quite like his extensive knowledge of urban legends. I’m not talking “Sewer alligators of New York” kind of legends either: I’m talking about the kind you see on the darker underbelly of the internet; the ones that make your palms sweat and give you a nervous tick while you read about them.

The first time he ever mentioned his . . . “hobby” was after a lecture we’d been given on the neurotransmitters involved with fear. Our lecturer, on one of his slides, put up a rather disturbing image of a dog with a malicious grin across its muzzle in an effort to demonstrate one of the technical variations of fear. Needless to say, it worked.

After we left, our new Canadian friend told me and the group that he knew where that image came from, and then went into great length on the mythos surrounding what he called “Smile.jpg”. At one point, I remember him using the word “Creepypasta” and one of my friends, who we’ll call “Michael”, inquired, after the obvious quip about haunted ravioli, what he meant. After a quick explanation on what he meant, our friend continued on to say that, according to the Smile Dog myth, everyone who saw that image and didn’t pass it on to someone else would be plagued with nightmares from the creature in the picture.

After joking away the macabre subject and going our separate ways, I took the Canadian aside, curious about where I could find the original story. At that point, I thought it might give me a good laugh, and when he told me to listen to a narration on YouTube for the best effect, it didn’t take long to find what I was looking for.

Of course, being the cynical asshole I was back then, it did make me giggle a little to think that something as simple as a photoshopped picture of a husky could inspire such fear in people, but ever more curious, I kept going into the topic of Creepypastas to see what else I could find. Most of it was the same shtick about being stalked by creatures with no face or eyes as big as dinner plates with claws the size of your arm, or the trope about some kid picking up a bootleg copy of a nostalgic game only to find out that the main character had been warped into some sadistic shadow of its original self, but some of them actually sent a real, visceral chill down my spine, which really surprised me.

I think by about 2AM the next morning, I’d watched about twenty different videos of narrated Creepypastas and I was about ready for bed. I didn’t have anything resembling an early morning lecture the next day, but I knew I’d have to be up and about by around ten o’clock.

Now, I always considered myself a rational human being, not prone to believing in boggarts and the sort, but for the life of me I swear I couldn’t keep my eyes closed for five seconds without flinching from some gut feeling that there was another presence in my room, and in my mind’s eye it kept metamorphosing from one form to another, and after around half an hour of my futile attempt at sleep I decided that enough was enough and that I should go into the kitchen and get something to calm myself down.

As soon as I put my hand on the wood of the kitchen door on my way back to my room, a sense of danger jabbed at me inside my stomach, just like it had before in my room. I got that same irrational feeling that I wasn’t alone, and I spun around, my eyes scanning every facet of the brightly lit kitchen, even checking the doors of some of the cabinets, and saw nothing. I sighed, knowing that my binge on horror stories was getting to me, and that it was my own fault for listening to so many of them, especially so late at night, so I went down the corridor and back to my room.

As I opened the door, I did my best to swallow down the feeling of dread that was accumulating in my gullet like a stone, and when it was open all the way, I had to take a step back for a second. My breathing picked up as I stared wide eyed at the empty space where my bed once sat. Everything was gone, from the crates underneath to the posters on the wall, leaving a barren, white-walled corner.

As I stared in disbelief I heard a soft, muffled whisper of a chuckle from one of the nearby rooms.

Thinking that maybe one of my roommates was playing a prank on me, I smiled and looked back at the door behind me that led to Jenna’s room. Jenna was the only person I got along with on my corridor, and she even showed up in some of my lectures as her sociology course sometimes overlapped with my own.

I quietly knocked on the door, and when I heard the lock click I came in ready to confront her. “Alright, Jenna, I know you took my bed, so. . . .” my words died in my throat as I looked into Jenna’s room, or what should have been Jenna’s room. As I gaped blankly through the doorway, I saw my room exactly as it was, right down to the last detail, and sat on the bed was a young man with bedraggled red hair, exactly the same as mine, looking down at the floor. He was making some sort of sound as he held his face in his hands, and to this day I still don’t know whether it was laughing or crying, but it was a wheezy, choked noise that ran through me like a cold breeze.

I dared not move. I didn’t even blink, though my eyes were becoming itchy and irritated.

I blinked once, and in that short time between closing my eyes and opening them, something flashed against the inside of my eyelids too quickly for me to figure out what it was, and when my eyes opened again, I was face-down against the keyboard of my computer, which had grown tired of waiting for me to turn it off and gone into standby.

I let out a haggard, relieved breath. It was only a dream. Just a bad dream.

I was reassured the next night when my dreams returned to normal. Hell, I don’t even remember what I was even dreaming about that night. All I remember is waking up the morning after like I always did and getting on with my day. It was a long lecture day, though, and I remember being almost completely wiped out when I left the lecture hall at 6PM, cursing my allergy to caffeine. I would’ve killed for an espresso right then.

I remember feeling slightly on edge as I walked the path back to my hall of residence. I put it down to the cold winds and the darkness at the time, but I couldn’t shake that ominous feeling I held in my gut as my eyes darted around the darkened campus grounds. It was that same feeling as in my dream, that feeling of being watched.

I heard a sound against the wind buffering my ears. It wasn’t quite a giggle, but it wasn’t quite a sob, and it seemed choked and gargling, as if both had been stuck in the throat of whatever had made it and formed some odd chimera of the two.

The hairs raised on the back of my neck. I knew that noise.

The sound was getting closer with every quickening step I took, and no matter how hurried my stride it gained on me. I knew I’d look like a pussy to whoever was watching, but I had to run.

The sound was right in my ear by the time I touched the front door of my hall.

I jerked awake and looked around at the emptying lecture hall. I’d dozed off again.

I was, as you can guess, as unnerved as they come when I left the lecture hall. My hurried pace was brought into question several times by my friends but, unwilling to talk, I brushed off their questions. Placated by my repeated insistence of “It’s nothing, really: I’m just being silly”, they decided to leave me be and go off, disgruntled, in another direction.

It was about quarter-past -six when my hall was in sight again. That was when I heard that noise, that goddamn choking laugh again echoing in the distance. This time I knew not to take my chances. I bolted, and as my legs pounded and my body lurched forward from abject fear, I heard the giggle slowly ascend into a mangled cackle that grew louder and more fervent as I ran.

I didn’t even make the door before I felt a hand clutch my throat.

I awoke again in my room and looked at the clock, which had long since abandoned trying to wake me up, I recoiled in surprise: I’d woken up at 8:30 PM. I had to check twice to make sure it was in fact evening time and not just early in the morning, but it was.

I’d slept through an entire lecture day. Up until that point I’d never done that before in my life. Hell, I didn’t even take sick days when I was a kid, but now I’d missed a whole day for no reason.

But still, from the dream, I would’ve sworn I was in the lecture

The worst part was that that was the pebble that set off a snowball.

My dreams became worse and worse for the next few weeks. I’d awaken several times every night in a hard sweat and have to gnaw a little at the same spot on one of my fingers just to make doubly sure I was awake. If it drew blood, real blood that I could taste, and I felt real pain from it, only then would I calm down. I had a bandage on my finger for weeks, and people were starting to notice.

That man . . . creature . . . thing that I saw sitting on my bed was there in every single one of my dreams. It would always just appear in random places in my dream environments, always keeping its face obscured in its hair and always laughing that wheezy, throaty laugh, sometimes approaching me, other just keeping its distance and watching.

It was almost as if it was toying with me, playing on my subconscious irrational fears for sport.

Thanks to those dreams, my sleep patterns were getting so erratic that it even got to the point where I was awoken by security after having slept for five days straight. Jenna had called them after having missed me at a lecture and not seen me enter or leave my room at all that week, not even to eat or go to the toilet.

Missing lectures was starting to become a habit, and my grades were beginning to suffer from it. That only served to aggravate the problem, it seemed.

My coursework and assignments were beginning to suffer as well, but in the most disturbing ways. I’ll give you an example: at the end of February, we were told to carry out an assignment essay on the relative effectiveness of talk therapy on alcoholics and other chemically addicted people. I remember specifically that I’d finished it right down to the references and saved it before putting it away for later submission.

Being a meticulous student, I had the urge the next day to check it again to make sure I hadn’t missed any key points or references.

It wasn’t there. I checked the recycle bin frantically, thinking that maybe I’d accidentally deleted it, but it wasn’t there either.

I did find something else in that folder, though. It was a gigantic, unpunctuated wall of rambling nonsense, as if someone had gotten jacked up on cocaine and decided to write an essay on whatever random word would pop into their head until they got bored. Interlaced with the text were several disturbing images of the corpses of small animals, ranging in size from mice to squirrels. In each picture, the animal’s eyes had been removed.

When I checked the timestamp, it read “27/02/13, 15:45”, the exact same date and time I saved my last draft of that coursework.

As time went on, it was as if my idea of reality was beginning to unravel around me. As my constant nightmares began to erode my fondness of sleep, it got more and more difficult to tell when my dreams stopped and my waking moments started. When I was in the middle of working on something, I’d begin to see hands reaching for me that vanished when I turned to look, and when my stubborn refusal to sleep faltered, I’d hear a low chuckle in my ear and bolt awake again, terrified that it was too late and it had already dragged me into another dream. Sometimes it really was.

At one point, I was getting so distressed by these dreams that I began entertaining the possibility, against my better judgement, that it could have been that fucking dog in the picture my lecturer used in his fear presentation. After all, the Canadian told me that it’s supposed to haunt your dreams, right? Looking back on it now, it seems stupid, but I was desperate enough at one point that I actually had an email ready with a random ‘Smile.jpg’ picture I’d lifted off Google Images just in case.

I didn’t need to, it seemed. It showed me its face a month into the “predicament”. It’s a face that still haunts me this very second, and I see it against the blackness of my eyelids every time I close them.

It happened when I awoke one day after a peculiarly dreamless sleep. I tried not to think about it too much in case I jinxed something, but I let myself feel a small sense of relief.

It was patently obvious that I was in dire need of a shower it seemed, as I’d been wrestling with my “predicament” for weeks now, leaving little time for hygiene. As I walked into the shower room, I caught a glimpse of myself in the small mirror and nearly jumped out of my skin.

Having simply mistaken my reflection for someone else, it didn’t take long for me to calm down and assess my appearance: my eyes had devolved to pinkish orbs of irritated veins hooded by purplish-black bags of skin that attested to my lack of proper sleep and the utter destruction of my body clock. I’d grown a thick, prickly beard of red hairs across my chin, and my hair now lay dishevelled and greasy across my shoulders in long curtains. I chuckled: this shower was a long time coming.

That shower got rid of aches I didn’t know I had. I felt like a new man after I stepped out of the steaming glass cubicle to towel myself off. By this point, the mirror had fogged up beyond being a mirror, so to help get my hair in some semblance of order I decided to wipe it off and sort my hair out then and there.

I froze. The blood in my veins screeched to a halt, and my breath caught in my throat like a vice.

The figure that stared back at me from the now cleared mirror was not my reflection. It wore my face, but I swear on my life it wasn’t me. Its mouth nearly touched its earlobes and was contorted into a horrible rictus grin filled with yellowing teeth. The skin of its face seemed stretched over, like a mask, and its hair stuck to its scalp with a layer of shining grease.

It didn’t have eyes. The sockets were just empty, featureless craters, made all the more haunting by the sagging black bags beneath them.

Despite this fact, it still managed to look at me in a way that made my windpipe tense up like it had hands squeezing it.

It laughed. It laughed that same gargling chuckle I’d heard countless times over, but this time it felt as if, between its maniacal giggles, it was forming words with its croaking wheeze, repeating the same fragmented sentence over and over.

“Missed . . . you.”

I blinked, and the words were scratched all over the walls. Missed you. Missed you. It covered every bare patch of wall, scrawled frantically.

It was then that I finally snapped. I punched the mirror as hard as I could, knowing it had trapped me in another nightmare, and kept punching until most of the glass was either on the floor or sticking out of my hand.

It was only after the last of my anger had given in to a crushing sense of defeat and I slumped down into the corner that it dawned on me.

My hand was hurting.

I flipped out. According to Jenna, when I asked her about it earlier this year, I was inconsolable for the rest of the day. I was just sat in the shower room next to the pile of broken mirror shards letting my hand bleed out as I held my head in my hands, trembling and muttering in tongues. I apparently wouldn’t even let the paramedics come near me when the ambulance Jenna had called finally arrived. Of course, I remember none of this.

My parents, being the insufferable worrywarts they are, have insisted I live at home while I resit my freshman year so they can keep an eye on me. They’ve thrown me into a therapy program too, for all the good it’ll do me. Kind of ironic, if you think about it: I was going to be a therapist, but now I’m sitting here on the other end of the stick.

I did have a mirror in my room, one of those old vanity mirrors you sometimes get on top of chests of drawers, but it’s been covered up at the request of my therapist.

After I told my parents what I saw in the mirror, they went white and looked at each other as if I’d just threatened them with a knife. Then, with great reluctance, they told me that when I was just turning four I’d had an imaginary friend that looked exactly like me with what I described as “a nice big toothy smile”.

I called him “Timmy-Tom”, and explained that he was born without eyes, so naturally the best thing to do was find him a pair that he liked. It started out with household objects like sequins, buttons and marbles, so my parents never paid much heed, but soon it became apparent that these weren’t what he was looking for.

That was when they found me cutting out the eyes of a squirrel, and fearing for my sanity they had me . . . as they put it, they had me corrected.

Even now, months into my therapy, I still have those dreams sometimes: sometimes I’ll wake up in my old bed back in the halls of residence, wondering if everything up to that point was just another twisted dream; sometimes I’ll wake up in a padded room, the screams of other broken souls ringing through the little viewing slot in the door, and wonder if I’ve always been there. That last one seems to be its favourite place to send me.

It doesn’t matter where I wake up though. It will be in there with me when I do, giggling that mind-curdling giggle just to let me know that I’m still at his mercy, that I’m still its plaything.

It’s here now, just sitting in the darkest corner of my room watching me write this with that distended grin spread across its face, across my face.

It’s wearing my face.

It’s not even giggling anymore, it’s just . . . it’s just sitting there.

It’s still wearing my face.

It won’t stop looking at me with that goddamn eyeless smile.

It’s STILL wearing my face.

Maybe it just wants my eyes. It has the rest of my face, so why doesn’t it have my eyes?

Either way, if I didn’t have eyes, I wouldn’t be able to see it anymore. Maybe it’d get bored and go find someone else to drive insane.

Now there’s a thought.

Credit To – DementedEmperor

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What I Forgot

May 30, 2014 at 12:00 AM
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I awoke to the sound of thunder rumbling in the distance. I smiled to myself, relishing the quasi-rational excuse to sleep in. I could see light through my closed eyelids, and hear the seagulls squawking nearby. If it wasn’t about to rain, I would probably encourage myself to get up and outside to do some yard work. Spring was finally managing to punctuate a particularly long and snowy Maine winter. I had things to sweep and rake and plant outside, but it would have to wait for another Saturday. I stretched my legs out while cozily snuggling further under the blanket. I swept my feet across the foot of the bed but was impeded by a firm object blocking my path. Slightly annoyed but not at all surprised, I pushed my cat over with my foot so my tall frame could take advantage of the full length of the bed. She reacted to this rude awakening by standing up, stretching her muscles and settling back down for more sleep.

I should probably mention that sleep doesn’t come easily to me, and when it’s disturbed I can be pretty unpleasant. I’ve had a problem with insomnia for as long as I can remember, and take medicine to help me sleep. It works pretty well, and I always try to get enough sleep at night so I don’t fall asleep driving and hurt someone. These current pills seem to make me more forgetful than I used to be, but I can live with that. Not being able to sleep is worse.

As I was drifting back towards unconsciousness, my ears suddenly registered a muffled noise coming from somewhere. It was a monotonous beeping, like that of an alarm clock. Knowing it wasn’t mine, I lay still trying to ignore it, patiently waiting for its owner to wake up and turn it off. After about 10 minutes, I rolled over on my back and groaned, accepting the fact that I wasn’t going back to sleep. So much for cozily napping with my cat during the thunderstorm.

The sound was, as I was now clearly aware, coming from my neighbor’s apartment above me. I lay staring at the ceiling for several more minutes, silently hating him, and finally decided to get up. I sleepily walked into the kitchen to start a pot of coffee, my bare feet quietly padding on the old wood floor. I took a shower and sat down at my kitchen table with a steaming cup of coffee, carefully sipping it. As I quietly sat trying to finish waking up, I realized I could still hear the alarm from upstairs. I looked at the clock. 10:11. The alarm had started at nine-thirty. Jesus, that guy must be capable of sleeping through anything. If the alarm is loud enough for me to hear it, it must be blasting in his ears up there.

Maybe he died, I thought with a wicked smile. Or, as I continued to postulate, he’s a jerk who went out of town without turning his alarm off. Probably that one.

I finished my cup of coffee and stepped out my front door, fully intending to yell at this guy if he was home. I clomped angrily up the wooden stairs leading to his front porch. When I reached the top, I could see through the window in his door that his apartment was dark inside. I peered in the window and examined the lifeless interior. I knocked and waited. No answer. I knocked again twice, both times receiving no indication that anyone was home. I walked over to his window and, upon trying to open it, found that it slid up easily.

I leaned down and called in, “Hello?” No answer. I called once more, louder. I listened for any sound coming from inside, but there was nothing apart from the beeps of his alarm. From my position at the window I could see into his bedroom and that his bed was unoccupied. I debated for a moment and decided I might as well pop in and turn the alarm off. I’d come this far and the damnable thing was sitting roughly 20 unimpeded steps from me. He’ll never have to know his privacy was violated, I reasoned.

I opened the window as far as it would go and climbed through. I stopped and listened to make sure I wasn’t about to be chased out by a frightened guy with a bat. Nope, still nobody home. I went into his bedroom where the alarm was blaring and saw clothes scattered on the floor. Dude’s kinda messy, but that’s not that unusual I suppose. I walked over and turned the alarm off. Ahhh, silence. My ears rang as they adjusted to the newly silent apartment, the peaceful sound of ocean waves caressing my ears from the open window. I took a curious look in his bathroom and saw more mess, bottles and things lying around on the counter and floor. Kinda looks like someone was looking for something, or packing in a hurry.

As my eyes finished scanning the room, I suddenly felt something soft touch my leg. I jumped back with a frightened shriek, only to find a cat looking up at me inquisitively. Sheesh. Thing just took ten years off my life.

Given the rushed state of affairs in the apartment, I wondered if the guy remembered to feed the cat before leaving. I went back to the kitchen and found the cat’s food bowl overflowing under a pile of food. The bag of food was sitting overturned next to the bowl.

Something in the back of my mind gnawed at me making me increasingly uncomfortable. The longer I stayed in here, the more I risked being caught in my breaking-and-entering foray. My curiosities and samaritan duties now satisfied, I climbed back through the window, closing it behind me. I leaned against the balcony rail, enjoying the satisfaction of having successfully completed my stealth mission.

Man, this bastard is lucky, I thought. His balcony has a nice view of the ocean over the neighboring houses and treetops. I surveyed the dark clouds looming in the distance, now noticeably closer than before. I’d almost forgotten the encroaching storm. As if on cue to remind me, a crack of thunder echoed across the sky, interrupting the quiet. As I listened to the rumble get quieter and quieter, the same sense of unease I felt before came creeping back, although this time I couldn’t pin it on a fear of being caught. It was quiet. Too quiet. I kept listening for several seconds, fully expecting to hear some kind of noise. Given that I’m in the middle of the city, I should be hearing all manner of sounds right now. I strained to hear a car, a dog barking, music playing, people talking, anything. But there was none. Not even birds, which I found disturbing. Just the roar of the ocean. And the thunder. How long had it been this quiet? I didn’t notice it before.

I’m pretty introverted and also work from home, so I can go days without talking to another human being, and when I do it’s usually the cashier at the grocery store. But this was unnerving. Right now all I wanted was to hear someone’s voice.

I called out to no one in particular, “he-Hello? HELLO?” My shaky voice echoed through the trees and nearby houses. There was no response. The only contact with life I’d had since waking up was with two cats. Loneliness was beginning to soak into me like cold water, and a sound like static on an old television invaded my ears as the panic rose in my throat.

And that’s when I heard it.

Or rather, stopped hearing it. You know how sometimes when you hear a noise go on long enough, it seems to fade away into the background of your subconscious even though it’s still there? Like a loud smoke detector chirping, or locusts in a forest, or the noise of an electric fan? Only when the noise stops do you become aware of it. Maybe that’s what happened. Or maybe my mind blocked it out to protect me from the dread I’m feeling. It doesn’t matter now anyway.

I slowly began backing away from the balcony rail, my mind reeling, until I bumped into the damp vinyl lounge chair behind me. I didn’t hear the sound of the chair’s legs scraping against the wood as I collapsed into it, my legs finally giving way beneath me. My stunned mind desperately tried to explain the noise away as something else, replaying it again and again from where it still lingered in my cloudy memory, burning like ash, making my eyes water. But the sound was undeniable.

It was the city’s emergency alarm. The one they use to alert you of some impending disaster. When I finally accepted that, my memory made a connection. The emergency weather bulletin that came on as I was drifting to sleep last night. Something about a major storm and massive ocean swells.

As the sobering reality washed over me, the static in my ears was reaching deafening levels. But it wasn’t my panic. It was the ocean.

My memory quite often fails me, but usually not quite so colossally. Not with such… finality. A sick feeling of regret tore at me, leaving me in my final moments with only my eternal yet fleeting remorse, and the shame at being the cause of my own demise.

I slowly got up and walked over to the edge of the balcony to look in the direction of the ocean. A monstrous, unforgiving wave was colliding with my abandoned neighborhood.

My heart sank. I was alone.

Credit To – herbalcell

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Memory Archaeology

May 25, 2014 at 12:00 AM
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I’d like to advise that I don’t condone repeating the efforts I’m about to detail. I can’t stop anybody from acting upon curiosity, but my actions haven’t done any real good for my well being. I wouldn’t expect another individuals experience to fair much better. I’ll get back to that subject later on, but I’ll first give you my actual story.

There’s a feeling that I’m sure many have experienced, even on a small scale. Before one is about to sleep, there’s a sensation in which the body feels like it’s sinking downwards, falling into nothing. This has been simply named a “falling sensation”, or at least I’ve never heard by another other name.

I’ve always had a large fascination of this sensation, to where I looked more into it. I studied the feeling down to its specific, and even learned how to prolong it by a few minutes. Aside from my strange amusement, my efforts did present a positive: The feeling could disperse my stress very quickly, leaving me more than relaxed.

There was a growing issue, however, that eventually led me to stay away: Every time the feeling was finished, despite my body being calm, there was a evident pain in my chest. This never happened at other parts of the day, or any time before or after sleep. I was concerned if I was causing damage to myself, so I made the sensation less frequent. They almost stopped altogether.

There came a night where my stress was through the roof. Since leaving high school, I was paranoid about having no money, so I worked three jobs at the time. Adding on the other obligations of my life, I needed a quick escape from reality. The feeling lightly came over me, so I grasped the opportunity.

I envisioned myself falling through stars as I usually would. My body began to follow my thoughts, as it felt heavier. I kept it consistent about a minute, as I usually would do. I never wanted to go overboard, so I typically opened my eyes and stopped it after that time. I did the same in that moment.

When I opened my eyes, nothing changed. When I say this, it means that I still saw nothing but darkness, as if my eyes were still closed. I thought this was the case, until I continued to feel myself blink.

I still felt myself falling, faster than I had seconds before. My body was paralyzed, still feeling weighted down as I continued to drift. The speed was building, and the thought that it was a dream came over me. It all felt too sensitive to be a dream, though. I could feel as though I was awake, yet blind to the world around me. The falling had progressed to a flying, plummeting towards the ground. My body began to ache, as it would when I would fall for too long.

The falling stopped, leaving my body floating in a pitch-black void. I couldn’t lift my head to see if the rest of my body was visible. My eyes only looked up, remaining still. Not long after I stopped descending, an image flashed across my eyes. It was quick to the point where I couldn’t pin any details down. It was bright than the void, for sure. I remembered it covering my entire vision, like I had been briefly transported to another place.

Soon, pictures flashed for longer intervals. They came one after another, with an occasional frame of darkness. The pictures included places and people that I recognized. There were my friends, workspaces, family members, but sometimes of individuals unknown to me. It wasn’t impossible that I could’ve seen them at some period of time, but they were a stranger to me in the moment.

An image passed that stayed longer than the rest. It was of a young man, perhaps in his twenties. He was looking directly at camera, or whatever was used to capture the moment. His hair was a short brown, and his smile suggested laughter, the kind that came after telling a joke. I knew him well. His name was Leon.

To bring some knowledge to light, Leon was my best friend for at least five years. We knew each other since my senior year in college, and we continued to be close after graduation. I say “was” because he disappeared three years ago. From what others told me, he had vanished overnight when walking home. I came under the impression that he had left the city for another life, not saying goodbye to make it easier on the transition. Even if this wasn’t the case, I liked to think that way, seeing as I could never contact him successfully.

A few similar images of landmarks and people rapidly flashed in my eyes, some of which I identified, but all of them felt familiar in the least. Finally, a realization reached me:

They were the sights of my own eyes.

They were my memories.

Most of the images beyond that point didn’t feel like major memories. They weren’t significant scenes in time, but pictures of places and people that I might have seen at some time in my life. There were still memories of people I knew, but they’re expressions were not one’s I recalled. Their faces were lifeless, holding little emotion. Their stare suggested no anger, happiness, or sorrow. Only emptiness.

There were some figures in the memories that didn’t seem complete. They were partially faded, appearing blurred or otherwise transparent. I suppose the best way to describe it would be comparing it to “spirit photography” one can find on the internet. I didn’t want to think of the figures as ghosts, but they did become more numerous as I seemed to fall deeper. There was a partial hand grasping a man’s shoulder, as well as feet on a completely empty, dark street. In an image of my mother, a pair of eyes appeared to hover next to her, staring forward.

The last of what I saw was more concerning. The final images were very limited in their view; There was a twisted, bruised leg. A wrecked car, its front flattened against a tree. A trail of blood on a dirt road, leading off-frame.

Piecing the images together, I associated them to be of a car crash I had been in years before. The crash had damaged my head, and its memories of the event with it. Others at the time explained that I had lost control of my vehicle, specifically a steering wheel malfunction. I had always thought the car had some potential dangers to it, after long use without maintenance. I had just been too much of a cheap prick to get them fixed. After the crash, that didn’t seem to matter.

After pictures of the crash I snapped back to reality, still lying in my bed, sweating. My chest was pounding harder than it ever had. It ached with every breath, delivering pain to my head as well. My body felt strained, like its muscles had withstood pressure for a long while.

On the subject of time, I glanced at my alarm clock to see how long I was subjected to the whole event: I had been under the state for nearly four hours. I lied awake for a while after, with my body being in too much pain to rest. When the aches degraded, I was exhausted enough to quickly fall asleep. I don’t recall dreaming.

During the next day, I was far more conscious (and maybe cautious) of my surroundings. I took mental notes of everywhere I went, and compared almost every sight to the images I witnessed. I studied people, locations, daily sights. Maybe entering the state had heightened my senses in some way? Regardless if it was correct, the idea brought curiosity.

I will say here that I take sleeping medication, which has occasionally yielded side effects (though they were all bodily based). I say this because, throughout the entire day, I would occasionally hallucinate for only seconds. I would be speaking with someone, and almost swear to see small parts of them…change. Portions of their skin would look more pale and aged. Their eyes would turn a gray, empty shade of color. Their teeth sharpened into an array of jagged, intimidating thorns. These disturbing appearances were brief, leaving with the next blink of my eyes.

The sights and thoughts by the end of the day left me in a madness. Trying to make sense of everything only worsened my confusion. The the idea of the memories was the worst of it: I couldn’t put them out of my mind, even if what happened the night before had been a dream.

While driving home, I passed a construction site. It was in it’s first stages, where the foundation was being excavated for space. The sight brought an idea to my mind about the night before, about everything that I was stressing over:

The falling sensation could be brought to a level to where one “falls” into deep areas of the mind, where memories themselves form into visible images. There are many thoughts and sights of life that are forgotten, whether lost from the pass of time or other external causes. In this mental place, the unprocessed memories are free to be examined, and therefore recovered. It was a sort of “archeology”, where the deeper the soul falls, the more buried memories it can uncover.

The idea was insanity to me, but it also presented an undiscovered opportunity. The potential to see distant, shadowed areas of my life was enough for me to continue focusing on the experience.

It was enough for me to try it all again.

I was prepared to start the following night, where my next day was free. I remembered that after the last time, my chest was in an alarming pain by the end. The risk of this being worse almost made me back off, but I thought about what I could find through the struggle. Even if there were no significant answers to be uncovered, the discovery of the phenomenon was enough to tell about.

I laid down, relaxed, and imagined the same feeling as before. It was only a few minutes until I began to feel it build. Typically, I would need to concentrate for as long as an hour to bring the sensation to its highest intensity, but it only took minutes with my concentration.

My eyes closed, and tension began to spike throughout my muscles. I tried to imagine the peaceful stars, but I was more focused on preparing for whatever uncovered memories would be recovered. The speed of the fall increased as it did before, and my body abruptly stopped, and began to drift.

I was back.

At first, I expected the same images as before. It wasn’t long until the image of Leon appeared. It took a moment to recognize it as the same image, because it had become different in ways. His smile appeared more menacing, filled with malicious intent. His eyes were more empty, soulless, grey with no flicker of life. His smile revealed teeth, sickly sharpened. This transition continued as more images of people passed. They were unrecognizable because of the changes, almost appearing as an entirely new picture.

The faded, intruding figures were also more significant. They were positioned in new spaces, reaching out their ghostlike hands to whoever was also in the picture. They’re faces were still too dark to decipher. I felt uneasy, nauseous as their blurred eyes locked towards me. Because of the assailment of altered memories, a new pattern had passed unnoticed:

The beings were in every image. As if they really existed, each figure had found home in the memories, beginning to change the rest to fit their appearance.I tried to contemplate why these creatures were in my mind. Thinking of them only seemed to bring more into my sights, an expected trap of thought.

I snapped back to my objective of discovery, specifically of what might have happened to Leon. For all I knew, the answers to his fate didn’t exist in my memories. He could have disappeared in an event unrelated to me, and I could’ve been wasting my time. My past closeness to him still got the best of my efforts.

A repeated memory appeared for longer than the rest. It was one of few that I recognized from the earlier night, my last time falling into the void. There was a view from inside a car, on a dim, unpopulated road. I made a connection to the image of the wrecked car, the accident I experienced years ago. Finding an explanation for that alone would be worth the effort, even if I was watching punishment for my ignorance.

The view was still from the drivers seat, looking forward. Because it stayed in my vision for a longer moment, I was able to examine it more: The image was distorted, blurred to a degree. The other difference I could find was a hand in the lower corner of the view. This wasn’t another another faded, phantom hand like the rest. It belonged someone else in the car. The next image looked to the right, and it confirmed whose hand it was.

It was Leon’s. He was in the same car.

I wanted out right fucking there. I wanted to snap back to consciousness and forget all the progress I had made from that point. I had an idea of what was about to be seen, and I wanted no part of it.

The images went on without stopping, like a rapid flip book. Every page moved more towards despair. Whatever this void really was, it wanted me to suffer. It wanted me to see the event happen steadily, in its best detail. Leon had an overjoyed, excited expression. He raised a large can, and I raised my arm towards his, holding the same object:

Alcohol.

More fear began to grow in my shaking, dropping soul. If I could’ve opened my mouth in the moment, I would’ve been screaming in self-anger and hatred. The car crashed as it swerved off the road, colliding with a tree ahead. Leon was ejected from the vehicle, cut apart from broken glass and the force of impact.

There were no more images, as the entire final scene played out as a first-person video. I stepped out of the car, stumbling from both my drunken vision and injuries. I walked towards my best friend’s body, who was crawling away from the scene. Blood was flowing from his head at a critical rate. Dragging forward with all his lasting strength, he collapsed into a limp sprawl.

Leon’s last moments of pain will be forever embedded into my thoughts. What will be forever scarred into my soul was the look of his face, as it looked back at mine. It was a look of defeat, hopelessness, regret. It was an expression that spoke “it’s not your fault”, but I knew the terrible choice I had made.

Nobody had ever told me the reality. Nobody ever told me Leon and I had made such a foolish, suicidal mistake.

Nobody ever told me that I caused his death.

Just as his face was looking into mine in the memory, it flashed with a hideous facade. The sorrow in his eyes turned to malice, an inhuman stare. The scars on his face multiplied until it was a mask of scrapes, and his mouth turned to a vicious smile.

I knew that this was not the reality of the memory itself, but my mind being possessed. Memories were shattering away into horror, from what waited in its depths. They had been waiting for a curious, ambitious soul to wander down, looking for answers. They gave me what I was looking for, and now they were looking to keep me there.

They wanted me to be trapped.

I was internally screaming, desperate to wake back to consciousness. I had no knowledge of how to leave the place. The only action I was capable of was thought. This guided me to different memories, twisted by the demons inside my head. No amount of mental concentration seemed to bring me to freedom.

I felt a pressure begin to build in my chest. In the moment, I had hoped it was the feeling of my heart stopping, killing my brain and ending the nightmare. There was a tug, jolting me upwards. Each pull was overwhelming, painful from the motion. This didn’t matter, as it still felt like I was moving upwards towards freedom.

Despite the hopeful situation, tainted pictures were still being forced into my vision. They were no longer visions of my past, but depictions of human torment. I saw the people in my memories continuously mutilated, sucked of life, burned to ash. The people in my mind had been turned to a canvas, being used to create pieces of repulsing, psychotic artwork.

The last sight I witnessed in that place was a blur of red, which covered my whole sight. When I think of it, it reminds me of what one would see when closing their eyes to bright, direct sunlight.

I gasped awake, if “awake” would be applicable. My entire body pulsed with aches, but there was a weight on my chest that made nearly every breath impossible. Attempting to get up for help was useless, as my energy was better spent keeping air in my lungs. I laid in the same place for two hours, with my heart screaming to shut down. To my surprise, I heard sirens approaching from the street, an ambulance. I was confused about the arrival at , but I learned a few days later that a neighbor of mine had heard terrible noises nearby, and called the authorities: In my unconsciousness, my suffering was audible, enough for a different home to hear my screams.

I stayed at a hospital for two days, as I had suffered a near-fatal heart attack. My examiners found the event rather surprising that a man as healthy and young as myself could fall victim to such a severe occurrence. They asked a few questions relating to my lifestyle, and potential medications, but I never mentioned anything about my recent experience. I was too tired to go through the entire story, or to be judged as insane.

Once I was released, I had the idea of speaking with others. Maybe my friends would tell me why they lied, especially about someone so close to me. I decided against it. I’m sure others were mourning enough without me trying to bleed explanations from them.

All I have left to do now is think how my last few months could have gone differently. I think about what it would be like if I had never discovered the ability to fall, into what I believe to be an undiscovered section of the mind. My life continues as much as it can, but I find it difficult to concentrate with those burning images in my thoughts. There’s so much guilt inside me now that I don’t see old friends anymore, or even family. I can say that I’ve had ideas of suicide, but only time will tell if I become that desperate.

Now, with my story concluding, I reach the part where the reader begins to associate themselves with the experience I had. With such a discovery comes the idea of it being used for personal desire, or even just reckless adventure.

I reach the part of the story where you think about trying it all yourself.

And with this comes the part where I try to warn you. Based on what I’ve described, here’s the best explanations I can give for what went wrong:

I’ll first present the notion that we all forget certain memories for a reason. There are parts of our lives that seem to fade from our minds, that we run to again. There’s an idea that in knowing everything, especially about ourselves, we are brought to a level of peace. Humans weren’t born to have a constant peace of mind, as much as we wish for it. In looking for all your memories, the only feelings you’ll find will be regret, anger, and frustration that you caused something that can’t be undone.

But your life’s not bad, right? You’ve had nothing but good memories, nothing but events that you only wish could be replayed. I’ll present you with another idea:

We’ve all felt negative emotions, dark states of thought. There are everyday occurrences that create fear, sorrow, dread, many unpleasant sensations. These don’t leave once their brought about. They’re only stored away, placed in the deep caverns of the brain, where they sleep.

That is, unless you decide to bring them back up. When awoken, they’ll gladly rise from the pits, taking their forms of the “ghosts” I’ve mentioned. Once they’re free, they will start placing themselves in other frames, infecting your memories one-by-one. Their possessions will continue, until their revolting forms are all you have left to remember.

I still see them. I still see their eyes in the people I see, walking by me or looking at me through windows. They stay there for longer, not just seconds like they used to. I can hardly stand living with them haunting me, but I know that my results could’ve been worse: I could still be trapped in the passages of my thoughts, left to whatever sadistic pictures they wished to place in front of my eyes. That was their goal, after all. The possibility would still exist for you.

I know I’ve said a lot, but if all I’m saying are warnings, what was the point of explaining the story at all? I may have discovered this on my own, but that’s not to say I was the first. What I experienced was at first an accident, which then grew to a mistake. The “falling sensation” is a common phenomenon, felt by hundreds of humans every night. There are people who die in their sleep, whether from heart conditions, strokes, or other causes. I shudder to think how many may have been somewhere else in their mind before then.

I know there will be those who be unable to keep away from the opportunity, and will seek to understand more. Despite all my words telling them to stay the fuck away, they will continue with their efforts. They’ll probably wonder how I made it happen, though I’ve already explained it:

Just lie down, relax, and begin to imagine yourself falling. You’ll start to feel it come over slowly, but keep concentrating. If it’s anywhere the same as it was for me, it won’t take long to arrive. You’ll see your memories, and the only thing you’ll be able to do is go deeper.

Your mind is the site, your soul is the shovel.

Lower yourself down, and start digging.

Credit To – Emeryy (Richard S.)

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Just Your Average Night

May 23, 2014 at 12:00 AM
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Just Your Average Night
By Julie Oliver

“Ok, time for bed” … is what I said to the empty living-room. It was getting late, and the internet no longer amused me. I picked up my cell phone, rooted through the couch cushions until I located the remote, and turned off the television that had been nothing but background noise for the last few hours.

I made sure the front and back doors were securely locked, walked around the back of the couch, and turned off the only light. A tap on the screen of my phone created just enough light to keep from busting a toe on an errant table leg.

Because my cats have an evil tendency to lie in the middle of the hallway, I aimed the small amount of light from my phone directly in front of my tired and shuffling feet. I’d only covered a small distance before I knew, from many nights of this same regimen, that I was getting close to the bedroom door. At this point my arm started the slow upward arc that would eventually illuminate the now pitch-black opening to the comfort of my room.

The light emanating from my cell was quite dim, and this action had become quite rote, so my arc was about waist level before I noticed a slight variation of the familiar black of the open doorway. At that point, and in a disturbingly short amount of time, five things happened nearly simultaneously:

My arm, the arm carrying the phone, continued to rise in its predetermined arc, having been an object in motion which would stay in motion.

I released a small gasp and exclaimed to my husband that his sudden appearance in the dark had startled the breath from me.

I remembered that my husband was at work.

The light arc reached its apex on a face of protruding nail-like teeth. A face suspiciously bereft of eyes, with a gaping, oozing, bloody pit where a nose should have been.

The light went out.

Credit To – Julie Oliver – Grand Pubaa of Shaddow Domain

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