This is a small collection of video pastas. If the embedded videos do not display for you, please click the links – they go to the individual video pages on YouTube.
This is a small collection of video pastas. If the embedded videos do not display for you, please click the links – they go to the individual video pages on YouTube.
Anne was new to the city, and she knew without a doubt that it wasn’t the place for her. She was used to winding country roads, gentle breezes on the porch, and the rustle of the wind through the trees. Here she was simply surrounded by angry drivers, angry cyclists, angry pedestrians, smog, car horns, bus horns, train horns, and the unshakeable shadow of looming skyscrapers. In this giant city, she was beginning to feel terribly claustrophobic, and the ink on her lease was barely two weeks old.
She trudged home through the crowded streets with an armload of groceries weighing her down. It was the middle of summer and suffocatingly hot, and the heavy bag clutched to her chest didn’t make matters better. Neither did the fact that she lived on a fourth story walkup. She made it safely—the bag did not burst—and she sighed into the artificial cool of her air conditioned apartment. While she begrudgingly filled her empty cupboards, her mind wandered to her porch back with her family in the tiny little town she called home. Cold lemonade and a gentle breeze always made up for almost any day, and while she didn’t have fresh lemons, she did have a jar of powdered drink mix that could possibly do the trick. Her groceries stored away for later, she pulled down a glass and mixed up some lemonade, topped with two ice cubes that began to melt as soon as they left the freezer.
Anne settled into her chair by the window, gazing out at row upon row of windows from so many other apartment dwellers. Her view wasn’t great, but at least she had more than just a single alley. Her window looked out across the street and, if she turned just right, she could see down the road a few blocks before the building faded into indecipherable blobs of brick and glass. She gazed out the window, daydreaming about lives playing out behind all those curtains and blinds. She considered the dull monotony of family life, the thrill of single adulthood, the terror of paying bills each month, other potential tragedies, dramas, and comedies all around her, all to the quiet soundtrack of ice clinking in her glass.
As she sat perched in her chair, her eyes eventually drifted down towards the street, meandering along the road until they met a park. She had seen the park on her way to and from work for the past few weeks, but did not think much of it. It was tiny, crammed between two buildings to meet some city ordinance for green spaces. She sat on the fourth floor looking down, she saw how overgrown it looked, the tree branches knotting into a thick weave above the ground. It was so dark in there, but subtly tempting. From here, it looked cool and quiet; it was an oasis in a sea of humanity. As Anne reflected on the park, a tiny voice whispered that it was always empty. She had never seen a soul resting on the wrought iron bench beneath the leafy shade, no matter how hot it had been. The flowers and bushes remained undisturbed around it. Though Anne had not been in the city long, she had learned that anywhere that was always empty, be it a restaurant, convenience store, or even street, usually meant there was a reason for it. But, this was just a park, right? And she hadn’t heard any nefarious stories about the dealing in this park. Maybe people around here were just too focused on their cell phones, cable TV, internet, and hustle and bustle to take the time for such a moment of quiet and solitude. She would go to the park and rest, simply listen to wind in the branches and relax under that shade. It would be nice and cool and peaceful. No one would—
Anne was halfway to the door with her keys in her hand before the sharp chimes of her phone brought her out of this daydream haze. She didn’t even remember getting up and putting on shoes, but here she was. She made a mental note to get some more sleep and turn the AC up a little more as she answered her phone.
“Hey, sweetie. Just calling to check in on my big city girl!” Her mom chimed in through the line, her voice taking a sweet singsongy lilt as she talked.
She plastered a smile on before speaking.”Oh, hi mom. I’m doing fine.”
“And how’s the job? Your apartment?”
“Everything’s great, mom. Still getting to know my coworkers and got most of my stuff unpacked. Just settling in.”
“You aren’t getting homesick, are you?”
“No,” she lied, “Not yet. But I’m sure I will once things calm down.”
“Oh, I’m sure things are just so exciting now. I wish I had such an opportunity when I was your age. You know your dad and I are so proud of you, moving to the city all on your own. I always knew you would make something of yourself.”
“I know, mom.” Her lips smiled as her eyes grimaced. “Say hi to dad for me.”
“Oh, I will. Talk to you later this week, honey! Love you!”
“Love you, too, mom.”
Anne punched the button off and tossed her phone onto the table. “Yeah, mom, everything is fine. Except that I’m miserable,” she muttered to herself, dropping her keys back into the bowl as she sunk into her chair again. Not that she could tell them that. She didn’t want to disappoint them again. They needed her to be the one to escape the claws of small town life, and she couldn’t let them down. Eventually she would get used to this life, right?
Anne sighed and picked up her book from the table, settling in for another evening alone in the sea of millions.
A few more weeks passed and Anne realized that, no, she probably wasn’t getting used to this. Time had passed and she had only grown more and more tired of the daily trudge, the impersonal nature, and the constant noise and motion of city life. She wasn’t made for this environment, and the sinking strands of depression were slowly dragging her down.
The park came to her mind more and more. She had watched it, asked about, and even dreamed about it. No one did anything besides shrug and look at her like a loon for asking such a question, and so finally, one weekend when she had simply reached her breaking point, Anne grabbed her book and made the trek down to the little oasis.
It was bigger than it looked from her apartment. The trees were tall and heavy with leaves, creating enticing patterns of dappled sun beneath their shade. There was a small bench near the entrance, mostly overgrown at this point by the vines and bushes behind it. Bees hummed among the flowers as birds chirped shrilly in the branches. Anne sighed and smiled for the first time in a week.
Her first spot was on the bench, but she was disappointed to note that the sounds of traffic still intruded into this quiet space. A path behind the bench caught her eyes, and while she was certain it couldn’t go far before running into the building behind them, she gave it a shot. It wrapped around behind a couple of the towering trees to a small clearing in the bushes. The sun was warm, the shade was cool, and a gentle breeze created moving patterns of light and shadow. Anne sat down, content with the dull whisper of traffic now, and began to read.
She didn’t notice herself growing tired, nor did she remember setting aside her book, but before too long Anne awoke in the dark to silence. The trees still swayed overhead, but she could hear nothing else. Anne shot to her feet, clicking the light on her watch to see that it was well past ten. She must have slept for hours. Gathering her stuff, Anne quickly marched towards the entrance, mentally berating herself for being so stupid. She walked along the path, past the trees, towards the bench up front, through some bushes, beyond the trees, and froze. In front of her only lay more trees, stretching impossibly far back. She began to wonder if she had gone the wrong way, but even then this block couldn’t be that wide. Anne began to make her way to the side, stepping through the bushes and underbrush that were now thicker than she remembered. Sooner or later she would have to this the side of the adjacent buildings.
Fifteen minutes of walking later found her only more stuck. When she looked up, she couldn’t see the buildings standing on either side. She couldn’t see any buildings, only the trees and the pale moon in the sky above. She could feel panic creeping into her body, slowly taking hold. Eventually, she felt her legs begins to run, hoping to slam headlong into a brick wall soon enough. She stopped when she ran out of breath, still without any idea where to go or what had happened.
In the quiet, she could hear only her panting. Only her panting and a steady whisper of feet through the underbrush.
Anne froze, her eyes darting from side to side hoping to find some branch swaying in the wind or some small animal scuttling through the bushes, but she could see nothing. The thought of looking behind her nearly propelled her to sprint again into the murky dark of the forest, but she maintained some composure. It was probably the wind, she calmed herself. Just an overactive imagination after being away from the country for so long. You forget what the woods sound like at night. She turned slowly. Maybe an alley cat wandered in and was looking to beg some food. Maybe—
She froze, her eyes locked on the person crouching no more than ten yards away, watching her. In the dark, it was hard to tell anything about him (or her, she mentally corrected), but she got the unsettling sense she did not want to know more. Then again, this person was the only contact she had right now, and she was tired of being lost in this park somehow.
“I’m lost,” she called out. The shadow smiled, and stood up, moving into the dim moonlight. It was certainly a man standing before her, but there was still something unsettling.
“I just came for a read, and I guess time got away from me. Could you point me to the street?” Even as she asked, she realized how ridiculous such a request was. After an hour of wandering around, she hadn’t found an exit. This park was not that big, but there was no rational explanation she could hold on to in this storm of confusion.
He smiled wider and stepped forward. Now Anne could see him more clearly, and she immediately took a step back. The first shock was that he was naked from head to toe. The next was the state of him. His flesh was red and raw, traced with the pearly patterns of a severe burn. The burns looked fresh, as she could see the blisters clinging to his skin, ready to burst. Where there weren’t burns, he was covered with scratches and deep cuts, all mottled together in a pattern of dried blood, pus, and mud. He grinned. Anne ran.
She ran faster than she thought she could, ran until her feet were weary and her lungs were bursting. And then she kept running. She glanced over her shoulder, only to see this hideous man charging after her, loping along the ground like some kind of animal as he chased her. She screamed, hoping someone might hear her and find some way to save her from this strange madness, but her cries merely echoed among the looming trees. They were silent in response, providing no aid, and seeming to grow closer together as the branches whipped at her face and roots leapt towards her fleeing feet. Finally, she stumbled. It was bound to happen as she grew so tired, but even as she splayed across the ground, Anne tried to tell herself such a thing had not happened. Even as she felt his fingers grip her arms and turn her over, she imagined she was still running and fleeing towards the safety of city lights.
He looked down at her, his eyes clouded over. The scent of rot and decay clung to him, overwhelming Anne in a wave of purification that snapped her back to the scene at hand. She fought against him, kicking his leg and watching as a large portion of the muscle tore away like tissue paper. He did not flinch or move, but studied her. She tried to wriggle away, to free her arms, but nothing helped. He simply looked at her and opened his mouth.
What came out was not a voice, not a sound like has ever been heard in this plane of existence. It was some terrible screech and clamor of voices, all combined into one unintelligible cry. He threw his head back with the force of the vocalization, and Anne watched as blood flew from his lips, landing with soft drops on the ground.
Anne screamed as well, redoubling her attempts to fight. His skin peeled away beneath her hands, blisters burst on his skin as she kicked and fought, but he never moved. It was only after a few moments of struggling that Anne saw other shapes looming between the trees, loping closer and closer with softer screeches of their own. They surrounded her, drawing in tighter and tighter like a noose around her neck.
Anne screamed. The trees were silent. They feasted.
Next time you make your way to a city and look for some peace and quiet, just remember, if a place in the city is frequently empty, be it a restaurant, convenience store, street, or yes even a park, there is often a reason for that. A very good reason.
Credit To – Katherine C.
(The following was found in an envelope on a bus bound for Chicago)
My name is Jason Grimes and I am writing this so that when the room is eventually opened people will perhaps understand the things they find within it. And so that I will not be thought of as the madman that part of me already fears I am.
It all began with the reading of the will. My mother (My only living parent left) had passed away due to a heart attack in her New England home. Her body had been found by one of the women who came to clean every few days and the news had not come as a shock to any of the family. She’d had two previous heart attacks and with her smoking and drinking she wasn’t exactly in the best of health.
It had been a surprise that she wanted me to have the old family home though. I’d never exactly had much love for the place and had moved out the first chance I got. Honestly I hadn’t been expecting to get anything in the will, given how long it had been since we’d even spoken, I was surprised that she hadn’t written me out, the way she’d tried to write me out of the family’s history by removing any pictures of me from the house.
I certainly didn’t plan to keep that creepy, rundown old place. But at the same time I knew that there was a chance it could fetch a bit of cash on the market if someone put a little work into fixing it up and as I was currently between jobs it might be a worthwhile use of my time. I got my brother and our cousin to come over and help with fixing it up, which they happily agreed to do.
There actually wasn’t as much work to do as I had first thought as the house seemed to be in better repair than I remembered it being. I guessed that my mother, cheap as she was, had still finally been forced to actually get someone in to fix up some of the bigger problems the house had. There was still stuff that needed repair and a new coat of paint but it only ended up taking about a week or so in the end.
It was during this time that I first found it.
Now I didn’t have the best memories of the old place, given how long it had been since I had stayed there. But one of the first things I noticed while I was walking along the ground floor hallway was that there was a door that hadn’t been there before. I stared at it for a few moments, more out of confusion than anything else before trying to push it open. It wouldn’t budge an inch.
I asked my brother if he knew what might be down there and he shook his head, saying that he’d not even noticed it before now. My cousin said that she’d noticed a big, old fashioned looking key in the keyhole of the door the last time she’d come round to visit but she had no clue where it might be right now. I shrugged, not really thinking much of it at the time, just figuring that I’d had to get someone to bust the door down at some point before I got the house sold.
The room none of us WANTED to go in was Emerson’s. It was weird, seeing all his old toys and colouring books still there, as if our mother had been trying to bring her son back by clinging on to the past. Emerson had always been our mothers favourite, the one who she’d lavished all of her attention on and I saw that she had stuck his drawings up all over the place. Drawings of pirate ships and odd, comical looking figures with strange designs.
My brother told me that when he’d stayed for dinner, our mother would still set a place for Emerson as if she expected him to just show up out of the blue. Missing for all these years and she was still expecting him to come wandering through the door…
That first night I spent alone in the house I didn’t sleep very well. Crazy as it sounds I kept thinking that I heard noises in the house, people talking to each other. I must have checked each and every one of the rooms a good dozen times only to find each and every one of them empty. I even checked to see if I’d left the TV on but it was still unplugged.
I would go back to bed and then after a little while the noises would start up again. Sometimes I was sure that I could hear music as well. It was around four in the morning that a thought occurred to me and I went to the locked door in the hallway, pressing my ear against it and listening closely. I was sure I heard what sounded like a muffled tune coming from within.
The next day I went into town to buy some food and after the events of last night I also bought a hammer to knock that old door down. It was while chatting with the cashier that I learned something unsettling about the neighbourhood that I had temporarily moved into.
I had casually brought up where I was staying after he commented on me being new around here and told him that I was planning to try and sell up. He’d let out a short burst of laughter before looking embarrassed about it and when I’d asked him to explain had said the following:
“No one with sense is gonna buy that dump. No one with half a brain would buy ANY house within ten miles of that place” he said, not looking up from the groceries he was packing away.
“Why not? It seems like a nice enough neighbourhood” I had replied.
“Because of all them kids going missing, of course”
He’d gone on to explain that for the past few years there had been a sudden and disturbing rise in the number of children vanishing from their homes in the area. There had been search parties formed, the police and the FBI had gotten involved but nothing had turned up. The kids had vanished from their homes with no signs of forced entry or struggle and no evidence left behind as to who might have been responsible.
People were trying to move away as fast as possible but there were few who would buy a house in the area once they heard about what was going on. No one wanted to move to a place where a child kidnapper/killer was active.
I have to admit the story kind of creeped me out. Knowing that something so strange was going on near where I was staying made the odd goings on of the previous night seem even more unsettling to me and so as soon as I got home I decided to bust that door down. My neighbour, a fairly nice young woman named
Charley who I’d gotten to know, was working on her homes front lawn when I got back and noticed the hammer in my hand as I headed towards the front door of my home. Not really wanting to be alone when I broke the door down I gave her an abridged version of events (Leaving out the odd noises of last night) and asked if she’d like to join me in finding out what was in the room.
“Mysterious locked door? Very Scooby Doo” she said as I grinned.
“Sure. I’ll be Fred, you be Daphne” I replied, happy to have someone with me, her presence making the nervousness I had felt while listening to the cashiers story start to fade a little.
“Trust me; I’m more Velma than Daphne”
Once inside the house I packed away the various groceries, pouring drinks for myself and Charley before we went to the white door. It only took a few swings from the hammer to smash it open, the lock breaking beneath the assault and the door swinging open. Behind it was a staircase, leading down into a darkened basement below. I stared in confusion at the stairs, not believing what I was seeing. Our house didn’t have a basement, I was sure of that.
And yet suddenly I seemed to recall seeing this before. I could remember playing with Emerson one day, daring each other. Emerson had always been afraid of pretty much everything and I, in the way of older brothers everywhere, had taken far too much pleasure in tormenting him. I seemed to remember the two of us stood at the top of this staircase, me daring him to go down into the dark while calling him a chicken.
‘C’mon Emerson’ I had been saying to him. ‘You have to go inside…’
Charley and I began to descend the old, creaking steps towards the basement, the hammer still clutched tight in my hands. I didn’t know what we would find but I knew that I felt better being armed with something that could do some damage. As we reached the bottom of the stairs Charley began feeling around for a light switch, finding one after a few moments and flicking it on. The room was instantly illuminated, revealing what was within.
“Oh my god! LOOK at all this cool stuff!” Charley cried out.
The basement was full of puppets.
There was dozens of them, all lined up on various shelves all in very good repair as if they were brand new. There were puppets of all shapes and sizes, some of them being very human looking while others were Muppet-like animal creatures and others were more monstrous. There were props from what looked like the set of a kids show I guess. None of it had any dust on it, as if someone had been down to tidy up just moments before.
I could guess what all of this was from but what it was doing down here I had no idea.
“What IS all of this?” Charley asked as she picked up one of the puppets, a guy with a massive moustache and a monocle over one eye. She grinned, playing around with him, moving his limbs up and down.
“My brother used to work on a kids show, years ago. ‘Pirate Place’ I think it was called. Only ran for a couple of years before it got cancelled. I guess this stuff is all the old puppets and sets from the show” I said as we looked around at the room. My eyes fell on a creepy looking skeleton puppet with a really weird mouth and a top hat upon its head. Ugly looking thing, I thought to myself at that moment.
“No way! Do you have any idea how much some of this stuff might be worth? Collectors pay a FORTUNE for things like this on eBay” Charley said, setting the puppet down gently on one of the shelves.
I glanced around at the rest of the contents of the room. Apart from the puppets and the set pieces there was an old sewing machine set on a desk that was otherwise completely bare. There was no sign of anything that could have been the source of the tune that I’d heard before. Deciding that I must have imagined it, probably due to lack of sleep and being back in the old place, I did my best to forget about my fears and concentrate on the opportunity before me now.
There was just one thing that troubled me as I looked around. On the desk the sewing machine was set on there were several odd red stains spattered over it. As I stared at them I was sure, out of the corner of my eye that the odd looking skeleton puppets head had twitched in my direction.
The next few days went by without anything odd happening really. I put the puppets up on eBay and had a few people come to view the house. The only thing that was strange was when one couple viewed the basement. All of the colour drained out of the husbands face when his eyes fell on the skeleton puppet and he just turned, left the basement and then the house. He went to the car, started it up and sat there until his wife joined him (After apologising for his rudeness) and the two drove away.
Later that night I was sure I heard the old sewing machine in the basement. I wanted to go down and check and yet at the same time looking at that darkened doorway I suddenly felt very frightened. And when there was a knock at the door the sudden noise almost made me jump out of my skin, my head jerking to the side towards the source of the noise. Taking a moment to steady my nerves I walked to the door, opening it cautiously to see Charley standing there.
“We need to talk” she said.
She explained that she’d mentioned to a friend of hers about the find in the basement a few days ago. When she’d brought up the name ‘Pirate Place’ he’d gone quiet and asked for her to describe the puppets. He looked afraid, she said, as if he’d just seen a ghost. He had told her to move house, to get away from me and from those ‘Damn things’ as he referred to the puppets, growing increasingly hysterical as the conversation had gone on. He’d repeated over and over that it wasn’t safe to be around them that ‘They could see you through them’. He’d rambled at length about ‘Physical avatars’ and ‘The signal’ none of which had made any sense to her.
Apparently he’d used to work in television and had known my brother. He said that he’d sat down with Emerson in what he called ‘The Script Room’ and then started raving about ‘Knowing where the stories came from’. Charley said that she had never seen him like this before, that he seemed to be almost psychotic. His eyes bugging out of his head, his face glistening with sweat. She had been worried that he was about to have some kind of attack.
“Was your brother involved in anything…weird?” she asked me and I honestly didn’t know how to respond to that. Emerson had always been an odd kid, no doubt about that, but I couldn’t imagine him ever provoking such a frightened reaction in anyone let alone a grown man. I asked her if he’d said why the puppets were so awful and she shrugged.
“All the stuff he was saying wasn’t making much sense. He just said ‘It’s not the puppets. It’s what made them’ and then he just got up and said he couldn’t be in my house anymore. Just ran out to his car and drove off”
I decided that as she’d shared her weirdness with me, maybe I could open up about some of the weirdness in my life right now. I explained about the odd noises, the music and the sewing machine seeming to turn itself on. And against my better judgement we decided to descend into that pitch black basement once again.
I’m not sure what I expected to find but I was sure that something would be wrong. So when we saw that nothing seemed to have changed or been moved I felt an odd sense of almost disappointment. I kind of WANTED for there to be something strange down there, just to prove that I wasn’t imagining all of this, to prove to myself that I wasn’t going crazy.
And that’s when Charley spotted the door.
It was when she flicked off the light as we began to go up, casting one last look back into the darkness and noticed that there was light coming from somewhere. Not very bright but nonetheless a light source. Moving swiftly we shoved aside one of the shelves of puppets and felt along the ‘wall’ behind it, to confirm what Charley had believed to be the case: there was a door behind it.
“Told you this was all kinds of Scooby Doo” Charley said with a grin on her face, clearly enjoying herself. I smiled, which was something I definitely wouldn’t have been able to do if she wasn’t here. It was nice to have someone to share this insanity with.
We felt along the wall trying to find some way to open the door, some handle or switch to make it open. From behind it I was sure that I could hear SOMETHING. It sounded almost like music. Circus music, a cheerful, upbeat tune but also off somehow, as if there was something not quite right about it.
Out of the corner of my eye I was sure that the puppet with the ridiculous moustache and monocle had moved. And I realise how ridiculous that sounds but I was certain of it. It was just the tiniest movement, a twitch of its head toward the skeleton puppet. ‘As if waiting for orders’ I thought to myself, and then wondered why that had popped into my head.
With a bit of work we managed to strip away the wall paper that was covering most of the door, revealing that it was a bright red in colour, the paint chipped and flaking in places, with a small keyhole and no handle. I assumed that it just pushed inwards once unlocked or perhaps slid to the side as there was no place for a handle to have once been either.
It was then that I noticed that Charley had stopped smiling. In fact she was staring at the door with what looked like a mix of confusion and fear, taking a few steps back from it. When I asked her what was wrong she just shook her head and made excuses to leave. I asked her if she was alright and she just told me she was tired and promised to help me try and find the key to the door in the morning. It was getting late so it was plausible enough but I knew that something was wrong here.
For the rest of the evening I looked through Emerson’s old things in his room, looking for some clue perhaps as to what it was that had inspired such fear in Charley’s friend. For the most part it was old toys and childhood drawings, nothing of much use. There were a few things that were odd though.
It was a picture that I guess Emerson had done when he was little. There was a crude drawing of a boy sat in his bed that I think was meant to be Emerson himself. Around him were stood several figures. One was just a stick figure with a hat upon its head. Another was a portly man with a cartoonish moustache and teeth. And there was a third that was…very odd.
It was just a scribble in the outline of a person, a black, shadowy scribble. There was a circle drawn above the three figures and the boy and lines were shown coming down from it leading to the boys head. For some reason, looking at those lines, the word ‘Tendrils’ came into my head.
There was a picture of a red door. The words ‘WHERE THEY TAKE THEM’ were scrawled in large letters beneath it.
And the final picture was of the stick man and the man with the moustache leading several smaller figures towards a third. This one was a woman, a rather well drawn one in comparison to the crude, basic nature of the others except for the face. The face was just two dots for eyes and a line for a mouth.
The words ‘WHERE THEY TAKE THEM’ were written here as well.
There was a message on my answering machine from Charley the next day. She said that she’d gone to stay with her girlfriend for a few days ‘Just to clear her head’ and apologised for leaving so suddenly the previous night. Her voice sounded odd, kind of shaky really, and she said not to bother with the door. She tried to sound calm and casual when she said it but there was fear in her voice. She said it was probably best to forget all about the whole thing and just cover up the basement, not even mention it to potential buyers for the house. She said it would be a good idea to take the puppets off of eBay as well.
I should have just done as she asked.
Instead I spent the rest of the day ransacking the house, searching for the key to that door. I looked everywhere with little success until, almost on a whim, I decided to search Emerson’s room more thoroughly. And there, hidden in one of his old pillow cases, was a key.
I poured myself a drink to steady my nerves, sitting down to watch the TV. I remembered the old thing never picking up much when we were little, the channels always being full of static. It seemed to be working better now at least and the news came on, talking about another disappearance in the area. A girl of twelve this time, vanished from her home in the middle of the night. I flipped through the channels looking for something a little less grim while I finished my drink
Getting up, I headed down the steps into the basement, striding toward the door, ready to open it.
The skeleton puppet was sat at the sewing machine now. I knew I hadn’t moved it and neither had Charley. And the other puppets…their heads seemed to be turned towards it, as if they were waiting for it to do something, to say something. God it was a hideous thing, that awful misshapen mouth looking so awful. God knows why the prop designer had made it look that way.
At that moment, the words ‘To grind your skin’ popped into my head.
I put the key into the door and sure enough it unlocked it, the door pushing inward with ease, revealing the room that lay beyond it. It was illuminated by a single dirty bulb, making the contents of the room easy to see. Dear lord the smell…the only thing worse was the sight of what was littered around the room.
Children’s shoes and clothes, some spattered with old, dried blood were piled in a heap in one corner of the room. The floor was stained with large patches of red, one of which, as I stepped into it, I realised was still somewhat fresh, fresh and sticky like soda spilled on a movie theatre floor. The room smelt of spoiling meat and burnt hair and it took all I had not to throw up as I entered it, wondering how the smell hadn’t travelled from this room to the basement.
There was a pile of old video cassettes in one corner of the room, all labelled with things like ‘Emerson’s first bike ride’ and ‘Emerson’s first spelling bee’ all old home movies I guess. But mixed in with them were tapes labelled ‘Candle Cove episode four’ and ‘Season three pilot episode’. I picked up a few and noticed that there were bloody fingerprints on several.
There was a series of steps leading down further into the blackness at the rear of the room and I felt oddly compelled to go down there. How far down did this go? How was this even here, beneath my family home, without me ever knowing of it? And yet…and yet I felt like I DID know about it. Looking at those steps I felt like I remembered being in this room before. I was a child and it had been empty then and there I stood with Emerson, at the foot of these stairs.
“Emerson…you have…to go…inside” I had whispered to him, taking delight in how terrified he looked. He had gone down into the dark and…
My head throbbed with pain. It actually physically hurt to try and remember, as if something was willing me not to. Had there been someone down there with us? I was sure I remembered there being someone in the room besides the two of us, the more I thought about it. Our mother? No not our mother but another woman. Why couldn’t I remember her face?
I began to take unsteady steps down the stairs; the more I walked the closer I got to another door, another red door. The key fit the lock of this one as well and it opened with ease. There was music coming from within now and the sound of waves crashing against the shore. I felt it pulling me towards it, calling to me like a siren song.
I had to go inside, I thought to myself. I HAD to go inside.
I wasn’t alone in this room.
I burned all the puppets later that night. Not that I imagine it matters.
They’ve been destroyed before and it hasn’t stopped them from coming back. They’re just wood and paint and cloth, nothing but a conduit. They allow them to come through, allow them to walk through the door and come here. Oh god the door…I know where they go now…I know where they go, oh Christ, oh Jesus please help me I know where they go…
I saw it. They took me there, the way they took my brother when he was a child. They need us. I don’t know why they need us but they need us, that’s what he said. Through that horrible, misshapen mouth, those eyes rolling in his sockets wildly. They needed my brother and they need me. My family is not safe. The signal needs us. The story needs us.
The ship came to that cave. Emerson was laughing and crying at the same time as he spoke the words I knew were coming. As he told me what I had to do.
It was waiting for me.
I saw the
(The following portion of the letter has been heavily crossed out, making it almost impossible to read. A word that may or may not be ‘Mannequin’ appears at one point in the letter and the words ‘skin’ is visible at several points in the following two paragraphs. What could be ‘Faker’ or ‘Taker’ can also be made out in the second paragraph and ‘ship’ in the final sentence. The letter resumes…)
I ran. You may think me a coward for not helping them, not even trying to save them. But I know where the ship is taking them now. I know where the voyage leads and I know who is waiting at the end. I would pray to god but know that will do no good. I know now. I know things that no one should ever know.
I know what Emerson learned, that day the signal found him. I know the things he learned in the dark places, where the music comes from. Music played on instruments crafted of bone and organs, wrapped in flesh. It’s always there now in my head, playing on an endless loop. The signal has found me like it found Emerson that day I made him go down those stairs. Like it found our mother. I know why she did what she did. I know what she knew and I know where Emerson is. I saw him on the ship.
My god the ship…
The laughing was the worst. I wish it would stop laughing.
I have sealed up the basement but know that one day someone will go down there again. I write this so that when they discover the things I know they will find down there they will know neither I nor my mother were responsible. And perhaps so they will have the courage to do what I do not and destroy this terrible place, burn it to the ground. The only thing that holds me back is the fear that perhaps this place is not merely the door to their cage but the cage itself. If the house were to be destroyed perhaps they would be able to spread.
I wish to apologise to my family. I hope they will forgive me for what I am about to do. I hope they will understand. My brother, if this reaches you please do not go into that house. And don’t sell it. Board it up and let it stand forgotten, a creepy old building for people to stare and wonder at. Maybe that will hold them back at least.
The sewing machine is going at all hours of the day now. I know that it’s him, sewing himself new additions to that terrible cape. She lets him keep the skin, you see. He gets to keep the skin.
I am so sorry Emerson. I don’t hate you for the things you did. I wish I could help you or at least put you out of your misery. I know they won’t let you rest. I know you cannot be free of them now.
I see them out of the corner of my eye sometimes. They’re going to take me to the ship. I won’t let them. I will die the way I choose. The sea will carry my body away, hopefully far from where they can ever find it.
(This letter was found lying beside a cassette tape. The tape proved to be nothing but static although those who watched it reportedly felt a sense of ‘unease’ and ‘nausea’ when they tried to view it.
The Grimes home was searched and the belongings of over twenty three children who had gone missing in the local area were discovered within. No trace of the children themselves was found within the house or near it however.
The basement and the secret room were both as the letter described them. However no stairs leading down to a further sub-basement were found anywhere on the property. The puppets all also appeared to be completely undamaged, despite the claim that they had been burnt. The tapes mentioned in the letter were missing however.
Two families have since lived in the Grimes home. Neither has stayed for more than a few months, reporting strange smells, odd noises around the house and things going missing. One reported sensing something ‘Terrible’ in the basement and her children spoke of horrible dreams about ‘The ship taking them away’ and ‘The bony man from the TV’ watching them at night.
The house is now abandoned, having been purchased and then left empty by one Adrian Grimes in early 2011.
The puppets and set pieces from ‘Candle Cove’ (Mistakenly named ‘Pirate Place’ by Grimes in the letter, an early working title for the show that Emerson Grimes later abandoned) supposedly vanished shortly before Adrian Grimes made the purchase.
The whereabouts of Jason Grimes remain unknown)
Credit To – Alice Thompson
I can’t sleep. I have to share because maybe I won’t feel if I share. Dr. Kirsch says to write and get it off my chest. Writing about it might release me from it. What should I title this? “Therapy”?
I’m currently seated at a computer terminal in a little, white, sterile room. There’s about a half dozen other computer terminals here, all facin the same way like a classroom. There’s posters on the walls with medical information. Everyone in em looks happy and complacent. Zombies. This place is called Sleep HealthCenters, just outside of Boston. It’s a clinic for people with sleepin disorders.
I’m feelin a little loopy from the eszopiclone, so if my writing gets all garbled just deal with it and I can edit it when I’m clear-headed.
The doc wants me to do a little writing. He said that repetition can help with insomnia, and I gotta admit, if things were normal, this room and the clack of these keystrokes would probably make me pass right the fuck out.
Things ain’t normal though.
It’s not that I can’t sleep, it’s that I don’t want to sleep. I actually doze off pretty frequently, but then I realize I’m falling asleep and I snap myself out of it. When I don’t, when I drift off and can’t stop myself, I dream, and that’s what I want to avoid. If I could control what I dream about, I would sleep right now and not wake up til fuckin October. But I can’t control it. And ever since May, ever since
That house on Black Pond Road
Fuck, just thinkin about it makes my skin crawl. And writin that makes me see it all again in my head. I don’t wanna relive it. But Dr. Kirsch– he’s my doc. Nice guy, smiles a lot, practically whispers when he talks– Dr. Kirsch said that if I write about the experience, it might “release me” from it. Like there’s some sorta mental hold on me, torturin me. Guilt? I was as much a victim as Tom was.
Tom was my friend from college. We both attended BU. Freshman year, his room was right across the hall from mine. I remember runnin into him on a bench late one night when my roommate was spending too long talkin on the phone to his girlfriend from home. Tom bummed me a smoke and we just sat and talked about our roommates’ idosyncracies for a couple hours. After that, we just hung out all the time. Even after college we stuck together. Both got jobs in the city, lived near each other in Somerville.
When was it? It was May. Right. Friday the fucking 13th of all days. And Tom called me up after work and said
“Whatcha got goin on this weekend?” and I said, “Nothing.” and he said, “Any chance you can help me clean out a house?” and I said, “Who we robbin?” and he said, “My dead aunt.” and I said, “Friends help you move, good friends help you move bodies.” and he said, “Unfortunately somebody already moved the body, but she’s got a lot of other shit in her place and I need to clean it out so it can get sold.”
So he picked me up that night and we drove and listened to tunes on the radio, stopped and ate and chilled and just drove and drove. And I asked him as we were goin,
“How’d she die?”
“She hung herself.”
“Well I’m sorry for your loss.”
“Don’t be, she was batshit insane.”
“I’m sure she loved you, too.”
“Hardly. But she loved her brother, and he just happened to be my father. He needs to get the house sold but they live out in Washington now, so I agreed to clean the house.”
“What a good son.”
“Well, I’m gettin paid for it.”
“Oh, I see. I help do the work and you get all the reward.”
“You get the reward of my company for a weekend in some rat hole.”
“I guess that’s better than what I had planned.”
Black Pond Road. That’s a hell of a name. Her house looked like it was going to collapse. It was one floor, one large living room connected to a tiny kitchen and two tiny bedrooms. The bathroom was practically a closet. There was a screened porch off the side lookin out into woods.
It was after 1 in the morning when we got there. I remember suggestin we sleep in the car just in case the house collapsed. Tom pulled out a flashlight, we gathered our bedrolls and backpacks and went inside. I was
the floor moved
It was dark, but when Tom shone his light in, I swore it looked for a moment like the floor… moved. Fuck that floor. It was the kitchen. Greasy, stained white tiles. Everything in that room was greasy and stained. Even the windows. They were so gross, the reflected light from Tom’s flashlight came back like a mustardy puke yellow.
Was it clicking? Tapping. I can’t describe it, but the feeling when we walked in was like a couple crashers walking into a chatty party and everyone stopping what they were saying and lookin at us. Almost the faintest echo of a final sound, like a hundred fingernails tapping on a tabletop and then quiet.
“Did you hear that?” I asked.
We shoulda slept in the car.
My room was like a prison cell attached to the living room. Tom’s room was only accessible from the screened porch. I took a look in and told him we should switch.
“If I’m not getting paid, at least give me the nicer room.”
“You don’t want this room, this is the room she hung herself in.” We just stood there for a bit.
“The only thing missing from my room are bars on the window.”
“That’s so you can escape when her ghost comes for us.”
“A ghost wouldn’t be caught dead here.”
I went and unrolled my sleeping bag on the tiny bed in my room, then climbed in and lay there in the dark. After a while of everything bein quiet, I started hearin this sound. It was like chittering. And buzzing. Fucking mosquitoes, that’s what I thought. I pulled the sleeping bag over my head and tucked it under me to keep anything out.
If I hadn’t been so tired.
Somethin bit me. On the web of skin between my fingers. I woke up and was instantly in pain all over my legs, like a hundred needle pricks. And my feet felt like I was standing in the sand at the beach with the water coming in and the mud squishing between my toes. I jerked out of the sleeping bag and fell on the floor. I hurt my chin on somethin, I don’t know what. I got up yelling and checking my hand. There was a tiny red dot of a bug bite between my index and middle finger. And then I looked at my legs and they were dotted like a bad case of chicken pox. Hundreds of little bite marks. And I looked at my sleeping bag and
just skitterin out of the bag like
It was a stream of them, crawlin over each other. Earwigs. Hundreds of earwigs slithering out of the bag I’d been sleeping in. And house centipedes with them, wiggling along. This just tide of glistening bodies crawling out of the bag with me. I felt like I was going to puke and I ran from the room, slamming the door shut.
It was morning. I went out through the porch and into Tom’s room and shook him til he made a sound.
“Get out. You gotta get out of your bag.”
“Dude, what time is it?”
“It’s morning time and you need to get out of the fucking sleeping bag, dude. My bag was full of bugs. I’m covered in fucking bug bites. Get the fuck out of the fucking fuck bag!”
“My stomach hurts, just give me a second.”
He didn’t have any bugs in his fucking bag. I almost hated him for it. But then he complained again about his stomach hurting and pulled up his shirt and I saw these swollen marks all along the waistline of his pants.
“What the fuck, dude?”
“We’re not sleeping in this fucking house, man. Look at my legs.”
My bites weren’t swollen but they itched so bad. I wasn’t taking my bedroll home. No way in hell I was keeping it after seeing all those bugs crawl out of it. Burn it. Burn the whole house.
That’s my dream. When I fall asleep, I’m back in that fucking bag, only I can’t get out, and the earwigs and the centipedes are covering my feet and my legs and crawling up into my underwear and all over my chest and then they’re on my neck, on my arms, in my ears and wigglin toward my nose and I can’t scream because they’ll be in my mouth and no matter how much I thrash the bag won’t open and they just keep crawling back over me. I can’t dream that anymore. I spent a week telling myself it was just a dream but I know they did crawl over me. They had to have been all over me as they slithered into the warm, dark comfort of my bag.
Maybe I wouldn’t dream it if Tom hadn’t
I’m getting off track.
We didn’t find any bugs in Tom’s room. He gave me his car keys and I went into town and bought some Cortisone for him to put on the bites. When I got back, Tom was outside. He had his flashlight and was looking under the porch.
“Come here.” So I went. I looked under the porch at what he was pointing at. The porch was raised on these concrete blocks because of the tilt of the ground, and we could see all the way under the house. On the far side, there was this gray shit. It looked like crusted, packed mud.
“That’s a hive.” Tom said. I remember it felt like I just hit the peak on a rollercoaster and now the world was flying down at me.
“It’s huge.” There’s no way I can do the enormity of this thing justice. It was spread across the underside of the house from the edge of the base on deep into the darkness. Nothing was moving on it, but I looked at it a long time and I could see the little passage holes in it. Hundreds of holes.
No shit we were leaving. I wanted to be home already. I waited while Tom used the cream I’d bought on his bites which I knew now were stings. It was unnatural, I swear, the aggressiveness of the insect life in that house.
I ended up driving us back. Tom got awful cramps
He eventually had to lie down in the backseat, doubled over in pain. I pulled over at a rest stop and made him let me check the spots out, but the swelling had gone down. He had these stabbing pains in his gut though. I told him we needed to take him to a doctor. I wanted to see one myself. Fucking bites all over my legs.
“You gotta tell your parents to burn that fucking house to the ground.”
“Believe me, I will.”
I went and had the bites checked on Sunday. I was fine. I had my first nightmare that night. Back in that bag, being consumed by earwigs and centipedes.
I called Tom to see if he had gotten checked but he didn’t answer. I called him again on Monday. When I talked to him, he sounded … he sounded distant. Like he was thinkin about somethin else. I asked if he’d told his folks about the house and he said he hadn’t.
I took the day off and went to see him on Wednesday. I buzzed him, but he didn’t answer. I got into the building when someone else came out, and found his door was unlocked. He was sittin on his couch, staring at the far wall. He looked gray. His skin, it wasn’t pale or rotting or anything, but he did not look healthy. He hadn’t cleaned up in a couple days, the place stunk. He just sat there.
“Tom, we gotta get you to a doctor, dude.”
“I’m fine now, thanks.” he still sounded distant. I don’t think he even saw me.
“You’re not fine, dude. This isn’t fine. I’m getting you some clothes and we’re going to the hospital.”
Oh god, I let him out of my sight. This is my fault.
I’m so sorry, Tom.
I– when I came back, he was gone. His door was open. I went outside and looked for him, but he wasn’t anywhere. I waited for hours on the step to his building. Finally I went home.
I went back after work on Thursday, but his door was shut and locked. I buzzed him but got no answer. I called his cell and was directed straight to voice mail. I didn’t know what to do. I was strugglin to think. I’d been havin the nightmare for days and had started refusing to sleep. I couldn’t think straight. I shoulda called the police, but when I got home I fell asleep on the couch and dreamed of being trapped in the bag again. I swear, when I woke up it felt like the bites on my legs had returned.
Friday. It was a week after that awful day. I was a zombie the whole day. My supervisor told me to go home. I was so tired I missed the stop for Davis Square and found myself wandering out of Alewife, not even thinking about where I was going. The walk helped me think though, and when I got home I called Tom’s folks. I told them Tom was sick and I was worried about him.
“He did sound odd when he called last night.”
“He called you? Did he tell you about the house?”
“Well I assume that was a joke.”
“No, Sir, you need to have that place razed.”
“Razed? No, he didn’t say anything about that. He joked about going to live there.”
I honestly don’t think that was Tom. I don’t think he was in control at that point, and whatever was in control intended to take him back to the house to live there. Poor Tom.
I went back to his place that afternoon and got in again. His door was unlocked, but he wasn’t there. He had left a note on his fridge. You could tell he was fucked up, it was so hard to read. It said
i can feel them moving
i can’t stop it
i don’t want to
My friend Tom shot himself that weekend. They found his body in Cambridge with a self-inflicted gunshot wound to the head. Just a body in an alley with a hole in its head. I didn’t even know he owned a gun. The police didn’t suspect foul play, but they did an autopsy because he looked like he’d been on drugs. When I called his folks to give them my condolences, I asked them if they’d found drugs. They told me that the coroner had found dozens of large wasp larva living inside him.
They had been feeding on him from the inside, burrowing through his body.
I told his parents to get that house burned to the ground. I wanted to add that they should piss on the ashes. I wanted to piss on the ashes. I don’t know what they did about it. It may still be there. Buzzing with life.
the floor moved
The house took Tom’s life. The bugs. And I can’t sleep. I’m trapped in a bag and they’re getting in my mouth and my nose and my ears. They’re moving across my skin, consuming me.
I don’t feel better. I just want to forget. How do I post this thing I can’t stand this room anymore
Credit To – William Dalphin
This all began with a family trip to Las Vegas; the year was 2009 and we decided to go on a little vacation for my 20th birthday. Now that I think about it, why couldn’t my parents have just waited a year and made the Las Vegas trip at my 21st birthday? Going to Las Vegas as a 20 year old is like going to an amusement park when you’re too short to go on all the good roller coasters. I’m an only child so was just my mother, my father and myself. As residents of Southern California, we decided to make the drive out there in our minivan instead of paying for airfare. Not to mention avoiding the horrifying experience of the Los Angeles International Airport. Anyone who’s made that drive before knows there’s not much to look at; nothing but desert and hot asphalt. We stopped in the small town of Baker California for a little bit of food at a Del Taco that was rated “C” by the FDA, some ridiculously overpriced gasoline and a glance at the world’s largest thermometer (it happened to be 108° F that day) which is about average for early summer since the town is so close to Death Valley.
The conversations on the road trip consisted mainly of my dad and I making Simpsons’ jokes and references (none of which my mom understood); or my parents talking amongst themselves about family matters that I didn’t really care about. I had an old Game Boy with me at that time, so I wasn’t completely bored out of my mind while my parents were talking. The total drive time from our house Vegas was about 6 ½ hours. We got to the Strip and found our hotel – we were staying at Circus Circus. Not the most luxurious hotel on the trip, but I had no complaints. It was a nice little 4 day, 3 night vacation where we did all the usual Las Vegas kinds of things, but that’s not what I’m here to talk about.
It was the third day of our vacation and we didn’t really have anything planned out for that day. At first we were just going to wander around the strip and see if anything interesting caught our eye; but my mom had a migraine headache that day, so my dad and I decided to go out on our own and leave the city while she rested. We were both very fascinated by the whole UFO phenomenon and we knew that the legendary secret base known as area 51 was about 85 miles north of the city of Las Vegas. So we planned a little adventure: to go up that desolate Nevada Highway 375 otherwise known as “The Extraterrestrial Highway” and head north. We just planned to look around a little bit and get some pictures at the border line of the base.
(I find the concept of a “legendary secret” hilarious by the way)
We knew that there wasn’t really much to see other than signs telling you that this was government property and that they have the right to shoot on sight if you tried trespassing; but we felt that that alone would be a good photo opportunity and that it would just be cool to be able to say “hey, I’ve been the area 51.” So we drove for about an hour and a half seeing literally no traffic which honesty was a little unsettling, though not unexpected. We got as close to the base as we could, got out of the car and found that it was exactly as we expected: there was a dirt road that was blocked off with those aforementioned signs on a locked gate. The peculiar thing was, that there weren’t any fences or walls blocking entry to any of the forbidden areas; just these orange markers sticking out of the ground marking the territory. I guess they just feel that since no one has the balls to go in there- why build a fence? We could see all the equipment they have for spotting curious onlookers such as ourselves. There were strange devices sticking out of the ground that I’m sure are used for things such as detecting oncoming vehicles, thermal surveillance and all sorts of video cameras. Before we knew it, I noticed that there was a white truck sitting on top of the hill with two men equipped with binoculars inside watching us. I’m sure they were there just to make sure we didn’t do anything stupid and to show us that this was serious business. I bet they get people out there like us all the time. Needless to say, we didn’t do anything stupid. We just took pictures of ourselves in front of the “will shoot on sight” sign, looked around a little bit and decided to get heading back because it was starting to get dark.
The problem was that it shouldn’t have been getting dark; and it was getting dark fast, unnaturally fast. When we got to the border of the base it was about 3:00 PM; so we should’ve had at least 5 hours of light, but it felt like we’d only been there for about 45 minutes. My dad looked at his watch and saw that indeed the watch said it was 3:43 PM… The only thing wrong with that was that his watch had stopped ticking. We discussed this strange occurrence briefly, but then just decided to get in the car and get going. We got into the van, sat down fastened our seatbelts and my dad turned the key in the ignition. The engine started fine; however, every electronic component of the car was not functioning. We couldn’t get the lights on, the radio wasn’t working and the digital clock face was completely blank.
At this point we were starting to panic, the car was in perfect driving order, but we had no headlights and the sun was quickly dipping below the mountaintops. The decision we made was just to drive as fast as we possibly could for as long as we had visibility. If we got pulled over by the cops, that would be our best case scenario because then, we would at least have some help. Getting a speeding ticket, even a big one would be a small price to pay. We of course thought to try our cell phones, but just like all the electronics in the car: they were completely dead. Let me give you a little recap of our situation: my dad is now driving like a bat out of hell, going at least 110 MPH down a completely abandoned highway in a minivan trying to get back to civilization before the sun disappears below the horizon at what we think is around 3:55 PM. My dad is completely focused on the road at this point, but I’m starting to see things out the windows to the right side of the car. I don’t want to tell him because if he looked, he’d probably flip the van and kill us both.
Honestly, I can’t tell you what I was seeing. There were streaks of light of varying color, things that look like fireworks imploding instead of exploding in utter silence, some very large pulsating lights that were just kind of teetering back and forth in the sky and other things my vocabulary simply cannot convey. These were definitely “unidentified flying objects”, but not the types of things that I think would constitute any kind of alien spacecraft. It was at this point that another strange occurrence started –the sun that was so quickly disappearing behind the mountains seemed to stop just below the horizon. It was odd; the sun was completely obscured by the mountains, but we could still see its glow behind them. we were in some kind of endless twilight. As strange as it was, it was beneficial to us; because at least in this situation, we had the visibility to continue moving on and hopefully get back to the city so we could just put crazy clusterfuck behind us. Something else I found comforting was that those strange lights that I was seeing earlier had vanished.
Our newfound optimism was, however, short lived. We’d been driving twice the speed limit for over an hour now but we hadn’t seemed to have made any progress. At this rate, we should have at least seen some sort of buildings or other motorists… actually, when I think about it; at the rate we were going, we should’ve already reached Vegas. Instead, all we were seeing was the same abandoned highway in an eerie orange tint that we had been looking at this entire time with no recognizable landmarks for bearings. It’s not like we could’ve made a wrong turn or anything like that either; the entire trip was a straight line. Something was seriously wrong… And we both knew it.
We just keep continuing down this seemingly endless road with no real semblance of time; but then, we finally saw something that was different. Way off in the distance we could see something large blocking the road in both lanes. As we got closer, we identified the obstruction as several large vehicles parked sideways. It was an apparent military blockade. There were two large Humvees and a single canopy-topped troop carrier. As we approached, my dad began slowing down. When we started getting close, the men manning their peculiar post started shining their incredibly bright spotlights in our direction from the tops of the vehicles. We then heard a loud, deep voice over a loudspeaker,
“Shut your engine down and keep your hands were I can see them!“
We obliged of course, my dad turned the car off and both of us stuck our hands out of our respective windows. It was at that point that we started seeing the soldiers: they seemed to be wearing normal military uniforms, though with the bright lights it was hard to tell because they were heavily silhouetted. One thing I did find strange was that they were all wearing gas masks. Something about this just didn’t seem right.
Nothing about this entire situation made sense. Why would they be blocking off the road going away from the base? Why has the sun apparently been frozen just beyond the horizon? And what were those lights I had been seeing? I counted six soldiers of varying height and build. They all seem to be carrying standard M4 assault rifles as one would expect; but there was just something about them that seemed off, that point accentuated by the gas masks. We were approached by one soldier on each side of the car. Each of our windows was met with a soldier and the one on my father’s side asked in a stern, somewhat warped-sounding voice:
“What business do you have being here?”
My dad answered nervously: “We’re just trying to get back to our hotel.”
The soldier in an even deeper, more warped-sounding voice replied: “Hotel? I don’t know of any hotels ’round these parts.”
It was at this point that I started feeling strange, time and space seemed distorted. I looked at the soldier on my side of the car, and noticed that he had no skin exposed whatsoever. I looked him dead in the eye and all of a sudden I was having images appear in my mind’s eye –thousands of them, all at once and an accompanying cacophony of sound bombarding my ears from within. I had never experienced anything so intense and overpowering in my life and doubt that I ever will again. I used all my energy just to try and stay conscious, but I couldn’t hold out for long.
The next thing I knew, it was early morning the next day, the sun had apparently set and risen as it always does and my father and I regained consciousness together. We were still in our car, with a car in motion; however now, all the electronics were functioning properly. We were turning down the street that leads to our hotel. It seems as though my father had driven all the way back with no memory of it. He told me that he had a similar experience to what I did and also lost consciousness around the same time as me. The clock radio in the car said it was 6:18 AM, my dad checked his analog watch to confirm it, but it read out 1:15 as the time. It was off by over five and half hours but was it was ticking again. We didn’t know what to say to each other, neither of us could come close to comprehending what had happened that night.
We made it back up to the hotel room with my mom worried sick and us not knowing where to start to explain what the fuck had just happened to us. We ended up just telling her that our car broke down on the highway so we were stuck on the road all day waiting for help and had forgotten to charge our cell phones; so it wasn’t until early that morning that a generous trucker stopped and helped us get our car in working order again. She was incredibly pissed, as she had every right to be; but she believed our story. It didn’t feel right telling her what actually happened since we weren’t even sure ourselves. My father and I still don’t talk about that night with each other to this day.
I’m not going to try to speculate on what exactly happened; maybe we saw something we shouldn’t have, maybe the desert sun just does strange things with your mind. I will leave you with this small word of advice: if you pursue the mysterious, you’ve got no one but yourself to blame if you find it.
Credit To – Han MPH