Beware of Those Who Would Do You Harm – Act 1

June 2, 2013 at 12:00 PM
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Act 1 – Abby
(suggested track: Coming Undone, by Korn)
Abby didn’t know what to do. Since her best friend was now an orphan, she convinced her parents to let Wendy stay with them until they graduated from high school. After that, she was going to move in with her Aunt over the summer. Abby’s main reasoning was that Wendy was going to need someone to lean on after such a horrible tragedy.
Abby believed that she could be that person, but ever since Wendy moved in she had started becoming withdrawn from the world around her. Wendy hardly talked to anyone, she barely ate, and she often woke up screaming in the middle of the night. She always acted as if someone was following her, watching her, yet she always wanted to be alone. Not to mention her appearance had become startling from lack of sleep and care. When Abby tried talking to her, Wendy just shut her out. Abby didn’t want Wendy to deal with her pain alone, but what could she do? It wasn’t like before, when the worst thing that could happen to her was a petty argument with her parents.
Her parents. If only they were here. But if they were here, then Abby wouldn’t be having this problem. It was all his fault, oh how she hated him. From the moment she laid eyes on him, she knew he was trouble. But Wendy couldn’t see it; all she could see was someone she could try to save. Now it was her who needed saving. And he was still out there…somewhere.
A month after the murders, on a rainy evening, Abby lay in her bed. Across the room from her, Wendy lay in her own bed scribbling furiously in a diary she had been keeping. When she finished, she placed it on her side of the bookshelf with her other belongings. Wendy then peeked out of her window and froze for a moment before closing the curtains. She looked over at Abby, who was starting to fall asleep.
“Abby?”
“Hmm…”
“Remember when we first met, in middle school?”
“Yeah, why?”
“I was just thinking back on my life, and how far I’ve come. I’ve been trying to write them all down. All the good memories I have to leave behind, after I’m gone.”
Abby sleepily propped herself up on one elbow to look at her. “Gone? Where are you going?”
Wendy didn’t respond right away. “Nowhere, it was just a figure of speech.”
Abby stared at her for a minute before collapsing back onto her pillow. “Don’t scare me like that.”
They were both silent for a minute. Abby started drifting off to sleep again.
“When we first met, I was the weird kid.” Wendy said, waking Abby up again. “I remember how nobody talked to me at first. I spent most of elementary school alone because I wasn’t into the same things as every other kid my age. Then one day, you spoke to me.”
“Yeah,” Abby slurred, trying to remember. “I told you I liked your dress, the one with the blue flowers on it.”
“Yep, and we’ve been best friends ever since. And after that, more friends came.”
“Mmmhmm…”
“I never thanked you for that, for being my friend.”
“You didn’t have to thank me. I liked you; I liked the fact that you were different. At least back then you were, high school normalized you.”
They both chuckled.
“Yeah, I became ‘normal’, whatever that means. But I was still drawn to weird people.”
“Yeah…” Abby yawned.
“Remember all those guys I dated?” Wendy laughed. “Stephan, Drew…Gary, the guy who was obsessed with chins?”
“Jeff, the homicidal psychopath.”
Wendy was quiet for a moment. Abby sat up and looked at her.
“I’m sorry. But I can’t help being a little mad at you for this. It’s been a long enough time since the funerals for me to say that. I know you couldn’t have known. But the worst part is that you’ve changed on me. This is the longest conversation we’ve had since…”
“No, you’re right. I haven’t been a good friend, and I’m sorry.”
Abby lay back down. “No, don’t be sorry. I forgot about that golden heart of yours. You could never think ill of anyone, not even him.”
“He didn’t seem dangerous at all, while we were dating.” Wendy said in a quiet voice. “He was a bit distant, and quiet, but I thought he genuinely loved…”
Wendy looked up to see that Abby had drifted off to sleep. She got up and walked over to her friend’s bed. Crouching down in front of her, she tucked some stray hair behind her ear. Leaning down, she whispered in her ear.
“Thanks for being my friend.”
Abby opened her heavy eyes long enough to see Wendy quietly walk out of the room. “Wendy, where are you going?” She moaned. But sleep overtook her as her vision got blurry, and then everything went black.
The next morning, Abby woke up to find Wendy’s bed empty. In fact, it didn’t even look slept in. Abby sat up and tried to remember what happened the previous night. All that talk about looking back on her life and thanking her for being her friend, it almost seemed like she was saying goodbye. Abby searched the house calling her friends name, but she was nowhere to be found.
First she alerted her parents, then the police, and then the whole town. Some people claimed to have seen her on the night she went missing. But no matter how many search parties were sent out, no matter how much the reward was for any information on her whereabouts, no matter how much Abby wished, Wendy remained missing.
Two months after her disappearance, Abby noticed that the police were starting to give up. They had no leads, and no evidence of any kind. They began treating her as runaway because of her deep depression over the deaths of her parents. Never mind the fact that none of her clothes or other belongings were missing. They didn’t even bother to look through them.
They assured Abby and her parents that Wendy would return when she was ready, or that she would eventually be found. Abby wasn’t convinced, but she couldn’t convince anyone else to listen to her. Her mother and father cared about Wendy very much, but they were tired and wanted to get on with their lives. So Abby had to find her friend on her own, or at the very least, find out what happened to her.
Abby decided to start with Wendy’s computer. Her boyfriend, Tucker, was an expert hacker. He could hack into just about anything. So when Abby asked if he could come over to try to break into her computer, he was almost insulted that she even asked if he could do it. After they successfully hacked into her computer, they did a wide search. Finding nothing suspicious, they decided to check her emails. But even after hacking into it, there were no emails or messages of any sort to give them a clue.
“Ugh…” Abby sat back in her chair, exasperated. “This is hopeless.”
“Don’t give up yet, babe.” Tucker said, getting up and massaging her neck. “I’m sure there’s no need for any of this anyway. She’ll come back.”
“Yeah, and when she does I’m going to beat the living crap out of her.”
“Shhh…” he whispered. He massaged her neck a little bit harder, causing her to moan softly.
Tucker smiled. “Hey, I still have half an hour before I have to meet with up with the guys. Your parents are out, wanna fool around a little?”
Abby leaned her head back to grin at him. “I could use some comfort.”
After he left, Abby straightened herself up and then continued to explore Wendy’s computer. Looking at her search history, Abby wondered just what was going through her friends mind before she disappeared. There were searches about night terrors, sleep paralysis, and articles on other recent disappearances happening around town. Abby eventually found herself back in Wendy’s email. She hadn’t thought before to check the spam folder, so she clicked on it. Abby was shocked to find that there were hundreds of messages in the folder, all from an anonymous email address.
Abby clicked on an email, which read: I’m coming for you.
Abby was more than a little spooked. She clicked on another one.
Gonna get you, baby.
Abby was frightened, but she clicked on another one, and another, and another. The more she read, the colder the chill creeping up her spine became.
Don’t try to run.
No one can save you from me.
There’s no escape.
There’s nowhere to hide.
You’ll be mine again.
You’d better not tell anyone, or they’re next.
The messages dated all the way back to the day after her parent’s funeral. Abby shook her head as hot tears ran down her cheeks. So, she had been dealing with this all by herself, for so long. No wonder she had changed so much, and wouldn’t let anyone in. Abby composed herself, and clicked on the very first message sent to Wendy.
I want you, but we won’t be separated for much longer. Jeff is coming.
Abby’s hand flew to her mouth. Jeff, of course. There was no denying it now; Jeff had something to do with it. But first she needed more proof. Abby quickly wiped away her tears and began to look through all of Wendy’s things. She looked through her book bag, her side of the closest, under her bed, and her side of the bookshelf. She flipped through some of her notebooks. What she found were messages sloppily scrawled by her friend in the margins of almost every page:
Jeff is coming.
Jeff is coming for me.
There’s no escape for me, it’s all over.
I can’t run, I can’t hide.
He won’t stop.
I have to protect them.
No one else needs to die.
Jeff.
Jeff.
JEFF.
He’s coming.
She tossed it onto Wendy’s bed to give to the police and looked through her other notebooks and textbooks, all the same. How could she have kept it inside all this time? Abby glanced at all the titles until her eyes rested on Wendy’s journal partially hidden underneath a World History textbook.
Cautiously, she picked it up and read the first entry.
Dear Abby,
If you are reading this, stop right now. By now I have probably disappeared, and I know you want answers. But it’s too dangerous. Just forget about me, and move on with your life. You’re strong, stronger than I am, but there is evil in this world that even you just can’t fight. You’ll definitely lose, so just put this down. In fact, bury it, or burn it. It doesn’t matter now that I’m gone. I only kept it so that I could stay sane. I wanted to right down everything I could remember about my life, so that I wouldn’t forget. I wanted to talk to you so badly, but that would have been sealing your doom. I won’t make the same mistake twice. Goodbye Abby, you’re my very best friend and I love you. Have a great life.
Love, Wendy
After a few moments of uncontrollable sobbing, Abby wondered why she left the journal behind if it was so dangerous. Maybe she didn’t get the opportunity to get rid of it. Abby stared at the journal, conflicted about whether or not to continue reading. She decided to take the chance. She flipped to the next page, but it was just an entry about her earliest memory. It went on like that for the first half of the journal, as if she were trying to write down every single memory of her life that she could remember. Even the memory of when they first met was there. Abby smiled as she tried to blink back tears.
But then it took a dark turn. Wendy began to write about nightmares that she had been having, one about a pale-faced figure chasing her through the cornfields. Abby had heard about that night when Wendy was telling the police about her parent’s murder. She remembered feeling infuriated about the fact that the police couldn’t find the killer, even though he was just a teenage boy.
The entries continued, apparently Wendy sometimes couldn’t sleep at night because she heard noises outside the window. Sometimes when she thought she was alone, she would feel like someone was watching her, but when she looked, no one was there. But there was someone there, as confirmed by the messages she was receiving.
There was even a time when she actually saw him. It was a cold night, about a week before she disappeared. She had gotten up to close the window when she saw him. He was standing outside their window with his hood up, head held down. Since their bedroom was on the second floor, he couldn’t reach her.
Still, he slowly lifted his head and locked eyes with her. Wendy gasped at the sight of his face, but she didn’t turn away. They stayed like that for what seemed like hours. But when Abby shifted in bed, blissfully unaware of any danger, Wendy turned to make sure she was still asleep. When she turned back to the window, he was gone.
“If she knew it was him, then why did she gasp when she saw his face?” Abby wondered aloud.
She sank down onto the bed. So he was here this whole time, yet no one even knew? No wonder Wendy felt so alone. Abby continued to flip through the journal, reading about many more mysterious things happening to her and about Wendy’s depression and loneliness. But it wasn’t until she got to the back of the book that Abby shrieked and let the book slip from her hands.
Abby dropped to the floor and slowly opened the book again. On the back cover of the journal was a sketch of Jeff, dated a week before Wendy disappeared. But this was no ordinary portrait. He still wore The Joker makeup, but his face was now horribly mutilated: his eyelids, nose, and lips were all missing. The only color on the picture was the area around his mouth where Wendy had scribbled in red ink. And underneath his picture, also written in red, was one last message:
Jeff is here.

Credit To – Angel Rocket

This is the first entry in the five-part Beware of Those Who Would Do You Harm series.

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Beware of Those Who Would Do You Harm – Prologue

June 1, 2013 at 12:00 PM
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Prologue – Wendy

(Suggested tracks: Monsters, by Matchbook Romance or Cat & Mouse, by TRJA)

Wendy ran as fast as she could. She had no time to stop at any of the houses that flew by as she ran, because she knew the darkness was closing in on her. Besides, this was all her fault, her grave mistake. She had allowed darkness into her life, and she wasn’t about to lead it into others’. Her parents had already paid the price for it. She blinked back tears as she remembered, just moments before, how she had walked in to find the disemboweled bodies of her parents lying in a heap on the floor. And how a dark figure had stepped from the shadows into the moonlight, holding a bloody knife, and revealing himself to be…

Wendy shook her head as she continued to run, now was not the time. He was coming for her, and she had to lead him as far away from her little hometown as possible. All of her friends and neighbors were there; she could at least save them. Wendy had resigned herself to her fate; it was what she deserved after all. But how could she have known that the one she loved the most would turn out to be someone, something, wicked. Wendy paused to catch her breath. She was standing in front of the cornfield that separated her town from the next one.

Wendy thought back again to when she had first met him. She was always drawn to strange people, and the new boy in town definitely fit the bill. Everyone stayed away from him at school, so she was the only one brave enough to talk to him. It wasn’t long before she had fallen hard, and despite everyone, including her best friend Abby, warning her that he was dangerous, they began dating. Looking back on it now, it seemed like she had cared about him more than he cared about her. It was like he was void of any emotions. But Wendy didn’t have long to reminisce. A whizzing sound interrupted her thoughts, and before she could turn around she felt a sharp pain in her leg.

“Ah-,” she moaned, as she fell to the ground. Upon examining her leg, she discovered a small pocket knife protruding from it. Looking up, she could just make out his silhouette in the distance. He always did have impeccable aim. She gritted her teeth, pulled out the knife, tried to stand. Because the knife hit her in the back of her knee, she knew that running would now be difficult. She also knew that he knew that as well.

The silhouette was getting closer. Wendy forced herself to stand, ignoring the pain, and limped into the cornfields. Glancing over her shoulder, she saw that she was leaving a trail of blood behind. It would most assuredly lead him straight to her; he must have predicted that as well. Oh well, it didn’t matter now. He was away from the town, and her best friend, that’s all that mattered.

Finally, up ahead she could make out what she was looking for. There was an old abandoned house in the middle of those cornfields. No one knows why it was there, rumor has it that it had been there ever since the town was first established. It certainly looked hundreds of years old. It also looked similar to a plantation house, only not as big. Still, it was pretty big, and spooky. No one, as far as Wendy knew, had ever lived there or even had any interest in buying it. She and her friends used to dare each other to spend the night there when they were kids, who could have known that this would be her final resting place.

Since no one bothered to lock the doors, Wendy staggered inside, slamming the door behind her. The pain in her leg was becoming unbearable, and the loss of blood was starting to make her head spin. Wendy collapsed against a wall in the living room and glanced around the empty house.
As she waited for him to come, she wondered what she should do. She had come here without a plan, only wanting to lead him away. But what happens after? How could she be sure that he wouldn’t simply go back? No, she wouldn’t let that happen. She had let the wrong one in, so he was her responsibility. It would all end here.

Her head snapped up as the front door slowly opened, she was out of time. Using the window sill next to her, she managed to stand. The silhouette entered and, after locating her, calmly walked in. Wendy pressed her back against the wall and held her breath as he inched closer and closer. The closer he got, the more clearly she could see him, thanks to the light provided by the window.

When he was just an arm’s length away, she could examine him in his entirety; the bloody white hoodie, the knife that used on her parents, the long black hair covering most of his face. Wendy wanted to look into his cold black eyes, but he held his head slightly down, making it difficult. Instead, Wendy glanced again at the knife that he gripped in his hand as if his life depended on it.

“Jeff…” Wendy murmured.
Jeff slowly lifted his head. She could only see one eye, but its stare burned into hers. Carefully, she lifted her hand and pushed his hair aside. His face was made up like it always was, like The Joker. She had found his strangeness interesting, but it scared everyone else to look at him. “A demented clown” is what their schoolmates had called him behind his back.
“Jeff,” she said again. “Why are you doing this?”
Tears rolled down her cheeks as memories of their short time together flashed through her mind.
“I don’t understand. What did I do wrong?” she went on. “I-I loved you, Jeff. I thought you felt the same way.”
Jeff said nothing; he simply took a step back and raised his knife, preparing to strike. Wendy nodded, realizing that she might never know.
“Alright Jeff, if this is what you want. Just…one more kiss before I go?”
Before Jeff could respond, she wrapped her arms around his neck and leaned him down for a kiss. His lips were soft, like they had always been, but this kiss was different. He didn’t return it; he merely stood there as she embraced him. Wendy dropped one of her arms to discreetly dig into her pocket. She gripped the pocket knife that he had thrown at her earlier, but did not pull it out. Up until a few moments ago, she wasn’t sure if she could even use it on him. Now, she was definitely sure that she couldn’t, no matter what he had done.

Wendy let go of him, and leaned back against the wall. Wendy studied his face, which was now dumbfounded and his breathing quickened. She couldn’t understand why, but it didn’t matter.
“Goodbye, Jeff.”
Wendy closed her eyes and waited. And waited. And waited. After what seemed like forever, she slowly opened her eyes.

He was gone. Without a word, without a sound. The front door was opened wider than it had been before, so she was truly alone. Instead of leaving right away, she sank to the floor and wept.

Credit To – Angel Rocket

This is the first entry in the five-part Beware of Those Who Would Do You Harm series.

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I’m Not Scared

May 31, 2013 at 12:00 AM
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I have to be brief, for I don’t really know how long I have until it finds me.

My name is Daniel Lockwood, I’m a 20 year old British citizen and I’ve been living in China for the last 18 months. My Mother’s name is Deborah Lockwood. I am typing this on an Ipad. It’s around 10.45pm on Tuesday 30th April 2013. I am unsure of my exact location, but I am somewhere in the mountains south of Beijing, on the border of Hebei province, close to a small village named Shidu.

My fingers are trembling as I quietly tap away at the touch screen and tears are flowing heavily from my eyes, creating a satisfying patter sound as they slam against the smooth surface of the tablet. A cigarette is hanging loosely from my lips. This space is tight and unwelcoming, not the kind of tomb I had hoped for.

Please forgive any spelling mistakes or nonsensical ramblings, my vision is slightly blurred and my mind abundant with unimaginable horrors. Isn’t it funny, that even in death the brain is concerned with such trivial things as grammar?

Anyway… This is my legacy. If you are reading this, I hope to God that you are warm and safe, within the confines of a locked room or in a heavily populated area. I hope that your friends and family are close by or that your pet cat is cuddled up on your lap. The tale I’m about to tell is not for the faint hearted, nor is it fabricated or exaggerated. It’s the telling of a desperate man’s final hour in existence, one filled with horror, fear and experiences he wouldn’t wish upon his worst enemy. The purpose of this final entry is to reveal the truth, to let it be documented that there are still things in this world that we don’t understand, that we’ve not discovered. There are still things in this world that haven’t emerged from the darkness to reveal their twisted and unholy faces. But I’m not scared anymore.

If you are reading this, I am surely dead.

Around 11 hours ago, myself and 4 others embarked on a ‘mini-adventure’ outside of the familiar and into the wild. I won’t waste time on back stories and the like, all you really need to know is that the 5 of us were intrepid travellers, a close group of friends who thoroughly enjoyed each other’s company and frequently enjoyed treks and hikes together. Of this 5, only I remain, and soon my life will too come to a grizzly end.

This particular escapade landed us in Shidu, a small and rural village far on the outskirts of Beijing municipality, China. Shidu is famous for its beautiful scenery, adventure activities and serenity. It’s also famous for its rich and colourful folklore, an area of Asia that often attracts crypto-zoologists from around the globe.

If you live in a foreign country for long enough, and take enough of an interest in its traditions, you will reach further and further into the foundations of its culture, learning about the food and history and mannerisms. You will eventually and undoubtedly come across an aspect of that culture that is often a very defining and unique feature – Fairytales and stories about beasts and boogies that hide in the forests or under your bed. Goblins and ghouls that will suck your soul out through your mouth, or drag you kicking and screaming through the earth until you reach the burning core of hell. You’ll learn about graveyards and rituals, superstitions and spells, curses and ghosts. All of these things add a certain charm and elegance to a culture and Chinese culture is brimming with such legends.

I have taken that step from reality into the realm of legends. No longer am I skeptical of the shadows in my cupboard or the creaks from the attic. I now believe that people have been possessed or abducted or probed or haunted or eaten or defiled in horrifying ways by horrifying things. These things I now know to be true. But I’m not scared anymore. I just hope that there is a God who can offer me some form of peace after this ordeal comes to its inevitable end…

We departed from Beijing’s city centre at around 11am, excited and well prepared for a couple of days in the mountains, armed with snacks, cameras and a sense of adventure. As the concrete jungle behind us slowly faded away into the thick layer of smog that frequently engulfed the city, the 5 of us enjoyed a long and comfortable ride through the Chinese countryside, passing large open fields and seas of rotten wooden shacks, which became less recurrent as we entered the sloping valleys and canyons that twisted through south-western Beijing.

The first port of call was a brief stop at the guest house, where we could stretch our legs, wash up and offload any unnecessary baggage. I’m not going to attempt to make this into a cliché horror story by providing falsifying claims of unsettling landlords or shaky warnings from deformed locals, because none of that happened. It was an ordinary guest house within the confines of ordinary mountains, inhabited by ordinary folk living ordinary lives. There was nothing extraordinary about this place just yet.

After a quick shower, a bite to eat and a cigarette, we hopped back onto the bus and started the brief journey to the beginning of the hike, which would take us through the most rural and unexplored section of this particular mountain range. At 5.20pm, we arrived. The driver, a stern but pleasant local man, told us to call him roughly 30 minutes before we wanted to be picked up. We responded by informing him that we should have completed the hike by about 9pm.

I guess he’s getting pretty worried by now.

We purposefully chose to start the hike slightly later than usual, to avoid swarms of other tourists, but admittedly not as late as we did. The sun was already waning in the sky, foreboding the fading light that would soon be devoured by darkness. The last few drips and drabs of sightseers were funneling out of the narrow opening ahead, shooting us concerned looks as we shambled past them on our way up. We had traversed tough terrain in the late evening before, so we didn’t give much thought to the implications of a night hike.

The first hour or so of the hike was relatively undemanding, lightly inclining slopes and steps, paralleled with rows of stone carvings and badly translated signs. All of the stalls and markets that accompanied the first section of the trail were deserted now, save for the one or two remaining locals gathering their cheap tat and trinkets, ready to sell on the next day. We only passed a handful of others, who shot us yet more disconcerting looks as we strolled past them in the fading sunlight. Areas of the mountain had already been swallowed up by shifting shadows, other sections were relishing in the last few minutes of luminosity.

The trail gradually became more demanding as equally spaced steps became less and less frequent. After about an hour and a half of trekking, we came across a tattered notice board which informed us of our current position and distance from the peak, not too far away.

The only sounds that filled the evening air were our voices as we discussed the next day’s activities – water rafting and horseback riding. Gaps in conversation would bring a dead silence. There wasn’t even a breeze to rustle the trees, not a cricket chirping, not a bird tweeting. Just silence. Even the sounds of our heavy footsteps seemed to be drowned away by the enormity of the mountain.

Close to the peak, we came across a small, traditionally crafted pagoda. The path split in two here, one lead straight ahead, further up the mountain and towards the peak. I remember from the map that this was also the exit route, which eventually wound down and intercepted the entry path close to the bottom. The other path strayed off to our right. This route, dutifully named ‘cloud road’, was steep and led to a large raised viewing platform about 200 meters above.

We spent a few moments deliberating whether or not to take the minor detour to catch a glimpse of the setting sun from one of the mountains few viewing platforms. Sarah and Thomas, the couple of the group, decided that they would have a rest at the pagoda. The rest of us, assuming that they just wanted some alone time, sighed and began to make our way up to the platform.

It wasn’t much of a detour, perhaps 10 minutes each away, but a tiring walk nonetheless. Neither of us really spoke much on the way up, the path was too uneven to focus on conversation, but the top of the platform rewarded us with a breathtaking view of the landscape. The mountains stretched on for as far as the eye could see. Even in the waning light, I could see far into the distance. The rolling hills seemed to carry on forever and signs of early summer blossomed and cascaded over the slopes. We spent 5 or so minutes catching our breath at the rest stop. I enjoyed a celebratory cigarette, resting against the lone fir that occupied the platform, appreciating the spectacular view that lay before me.

I found myself unable to take my eyes away from the scene. The hills seemed to twist and ripple around me, not in a sinister way, but in a magnificent display of beauty. It wasn’t until my friend Jay nudged me that I awoke from my day dream, crushed the cigarette butt into the ground and turned on my heels to begin the descent back down to the pagoda.

The sun was hanging very low in the sky now, disappearing behind a large set of mountains to the west as we fumbled our way down. Gradually, the pagoda emerged from behind the shrubbery and into view. Sarah and Thomas were no longer perched on one of its colourful beams as they had been before. My first thought was that they were probably responding to a call of nature in a nearby bush, or that they had gone on ahead without us.
Then Clare saw it. Then she screamed. Then we all saw it.

A human scalp, sprouting long, blood-matted blonde hair lay on the ground towards the back of the pagoda. Folds of tattered skin were hanging loosely from the main bulk of the flesh. It looked like a piece of road kill and as though it had been clumsily removed using a blunt instrument, or perhaps a giant animal’s claw. It was clearly identifiable as being from Sarah’s head. The rest of her was nowhere to be seen. Long streaks of crimson had stained the wooden floor of the pagoda, and lead away into the foliage just past it. My eyes shifted from the gory mess in front of me to the left, where a detached jaw lay clumsily on the soil. Velvety tendons protruded from the thing. Whatever had ripped it from its owner did so quickly and with almighty strength.

I began to taste acid on the back of my tongue as mouthfuls of thick hot vomit made its way out of my stomach and up my esophagus. I could barely distinguish between the sounds of my friends screaming and the throbbing retches that accompanied the stream of bile that flowed from my mouth. My stomach had emptied itself onto the earth before me, stinging my nose and eyes as it did so. Somebody grabbed me by the shoulder and was yelling maniacal and undecipherable words at me. My legs instinctively began to carry me away from the nightmarish scene and along the unexplored path ahead.
The sounds of heavy breathing and clumsy footsteps rang through the trees and bounced off the rock faces surrounding us. Dusk was settling in and the first few stars began winking in the void above me. We sprinted for several minutes, plummeting through thick shrubs as we lost all sense of direction, fuelled solely by adrenaline.

The path was tight here, barely enough space for two people to stand side by side. I glanced over my shoulder to see that the others weren’t far behind me. Their panic stricken faces only served to heighten my own desperate fear. Another 20 seconds of sprinting led me to take a sharp left turn around a protruding rock, after which I stopped dead in my tracks.

Fear is a horribly difficult emotion to describe. It does things to the human body that can traced back to the earliest species of man. It forces hair follicles to stand on end in an attempt to make our forms seem more menacing. It commands a fight or flight instinct, designed to secure our continued existence when confronted with something potentially life threatening. Fear can also paralyze the human body, a reaction to frightening stimuli that is less understood by those who study it.

This latter reaction, being paralyzed, is the unfortunate response my body decided to commit to when confronted with the terror ahead. The path in front was again long and narrow. It was lined with brooding trees, most of which hung delicately over the lane. Roughly 100 meters along the trail stood, or rather ‘hunched’, a figure. I immediately came to the conclusion that it was not human. It was far too tall, perhaps close to 8 foot, even with its drooping posture. Its arms and legs were massively out of proportion to its body, stretching almost to the floor. I couldn’t quite make out any defining features; it was far too dark to pick up on anything other than its overall size and shape. One thing I did notice, however, was that it was clutching something in its right hand. This ‘something’ was dripping a thick liquid, which was pooling in the earth below.

I assumed that the others had witnessed the same horrific sight as I had; I could sense them standing close behind me. Even in this situation, the closeness of others provided the slightest amount of comfort. I’m not really sure how long we were standing there. It could have been as much as several minutes. I can’t say for sure how I knew it, but I was certain that I was staring into whatever it had instead of eyes. Dark voids occupied the space, a shade of such complete blackness, it was unnatural.

It dropped whatever it had clasped in its claws, extending its slender fingers so that they scraped the ground below. The object, which I now assumed to be a chunk of flesh, splattered onto the soil. The thing began creaking and moaning as it shifted slightly.

Then it began running straight towards us. Life swept back through my limbs as I launched myself in the opposite direction, pushing past the others in a selfishly desperate attempt to put myself ahead of them. The thing was screeching now, a blood-curdling sound that quickly intensified as it grew nearer. I had been running for a few seconds when I heard a different kind of scream. I can only assume that it had mounted Jay, for the most unnerving shriek, obviously that of a male, stung my ears, quickly followed by a loud thud. His screams were soon cut off by a sharp snapping sound that echoed through the night. It certainly was not the sound of a branch breaking.

Tears blurred my vision, making it difficult to navigate the uneven path. Frequent glances over my shoulder confirmed that Clare was not far behind me. Looking past Clare, I could see the thing, sitting atop Jay’s chest and greedily gnawing on his face. One prolonged look treated me to a view of the thing pulling Jay’s eyeball out of its socket with its teeth. The optical nerve stretched to a surprising length, before eventually snapping and bouncing back and forth like a child’s play thing. It slurped the sensory organ into its gaping maw and swallowed it down whole, sending it down into its abyssal stomach.

I turned again, making eye contact with Clare, whose face was a mess of colours as her makeup was sent sprawling across it in a mixture of sweat and tears. My stomach lurched again when I noticed that the thing was no longer in view. Jay’s mangled corpse still lay awkwardly on the floor. I screamed at Clare.

“IT’S GONE, IT’S GONE”

Clare immediately swung her head around in an attempt to confirm my claims. As she did so, her foot caught on a stray root that had defiantly pushed its way through the rock floor. I tumbled to a halt, only catching a short glimpse of her rag-doll like form as she toppled over the edge of the steep bank on her left. I could do nothing but stand and listen to her muffled yelps as she crashed down through the foliage. The drop was at least 20 meters and strewn with ragged rocks and tangled trees.

I made a necessary and self preserving decision right then, to carry on without her. If she managed to survive the fall, then surely the thing would get her anyway. I pelted my way back down, past the pagoda and the scalp and the jaw. I fell down a couple of times, quite seriously hurting myself.
I ran until I could physically run no more, and collapsed in a heap on the floor. My chest and head were pounding violently and for the first time since the start of the ordeal, I had a few seconds to reflect on the reality of what had happened. 3 out of 4 of my friends were certainly dead, the fourth’s fate as yet unknown. This thing was fast and likely had super-human sensory abilities. Was there just one of them? Or had a whole clan of monsters evolved in this untouched region of China. The thought of a group of the things made me whimper audibly.

I screamed quietly as my phone vibrated against my leg. I quickly fumbled it out of my pocket, so as to silence the damned device and use it to call for help, now that I had a chance. Clare was calling me. I answered it immediately and put the phone to my ear. She was sobbing painfully. Through the weeping, I could hear her saying,
“Why did you leave me? Why did you leave me? Why?”
And then,
“It’s here. It’s here now. It’s just standing there. Watching me. Just standing there. Right in front of me”
A screech, a scream and a sickening squelching noise bellowed through the speakers. I scrambled along the ground and into a crevasse in the side of the mountain, behind a bush, and buried my face into my knees. Indescribable sounds continued to stream out of the mobile phone, which I had placed on the ground in front of me. A brief moment of silence followed, eventually broken by the sniffing, creaking sounds of the thing. It handled the device for a few seconds before screeching, dropping it and galloping off into the night.

I threw the phone away from me and rustled through my backpack for a cigarette and my Ipad.

I’ve spent the last 30 minutes chain smoking and immortalizing my last words. It’s almost time, I can feel it. I’m not scared anymore, because I know it will be all over soon. Anybody reading this might think it insane of me to just sit and wait for death as opposed to attempting escape. I don’t really know why I’m not currently cascading through the night; it just feels right that I sit here and wait. I’m not scared anymore.

It’s here now. I heard its silent footsteps a few moments ago. Now it’s standing about half a meter away from me, on the other side of this bush. I can see its pale, scaly, thin legs through the shrubbery. I can see its crimson-stained claws hanging freely by its side, almost touching the floor. I can hear its controlled breathing and croaking. I can smell its thick musk and the drying blood around its face. It’s my turn now, and I’m not scared.

Credit To – Reece Ayers

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An Eye

May 25, 2013 at 12:00 AM
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The girl who pushed open the shop door was too young for the cane she leaned on. I examined her from under the brim of my dark baker’s boy cap.

I sat in my tall swivel chair behind the counter, feet kicked up next to the register. Two knitting needles clicked in my lap, the motion so mechanical I never looked down. They manipulated the strand of yarn into a nearly-completed scarf. The little ball danced on the ground as I pulled from it.

“Morning,” I said.

The girl flashed me a smile. “Good morning.” She was polite, and didn’t stare or even give a second glance to my eye patch, partially hidden under the brim of my cap. Since I had turned, I had never felt bad about taking what I needed, but this girl seemed oddly bright, naïve even. What a waste. I couldn’t wait any longer, though.

My good eye never left her as she limped through the store. It wasn’t hard – the shop was more of a nook than anything, and the bright and airy front windows did nothing to make the shelves seem less crowded. They were looming and solid, full of open-front cubbies that displayed neatly stacked skeins of yarn. I had sorted them by weight and by color, careful to tuck all the loose ends away.

I glanced down for a moment to finish off the scarf, looping it around my neck once it was free from the needles. When I surveyed my shop again, I saw that the girl had knocked a skein to the ground. She perused a nearby cubby, unaware. Spots danced in front of my eye. For a moment I expected to feel the accelerated pounding of my heart, as well. But then I remembered.

“You dropped one,” I said, my voice stiff.

“What was that?”

I gestured toward the rogue skein. “You dropped one.”

“Oh,” the girl said, smiling, and replaced the yarn. She had to stoop down awkwardly, keeping her weight off her bad leg. Only once everything was back in order did I breathe deeply, feeling the passageways in my mind open back up like undammed rivers.

I adjusted my baker’s boy cap. “How long have you been knitting?” I asked, leaning my elbows on the counter.

“Ever since I got hurt,” she thumped her cane to emphasize her bad leg. “I couldn’t walk at all for a while, and I needed to keep busy.”

“What happened?”

“Car accident,” she said simply. Her eyes met mine and I felt the emptiness under my eye patch.

“We have a knitting group here sometimes,” I offered, struggling to keep the pushiness out of my voice. It crept in anyway. “We could use some new members.”

“I’m all set, thanks though.”

“You don’t even have to come,” I said with a charming smile. “Just sign up and you get a free skein of yarn. All I need is your name and an email address.” I could see her resolve breaking. “Preferably one you use, but hey, I’m not picky.”

“Fine, but only because I need this,” she held up a skein of expensive alpaca yarn and smiled again.

“Sign up sheet’s in the back.” I slid out of my tall chair before she could change her mind.

I led her into the only other room in the shop – my windowless office that was no larger than a breadbox. The florescent light flickered slightly. The desk was small and shoved into the corner, covered in neat stacks of paper. The faint smell of cleaning product hung in the air, and not a single mote of dust could be found. I produced the signup sheet from one of the perfect stacks of paper.

“This is cozy,” the girl said as she filled out her name and email.

“It’s really a supply closet.” I closed the door and stood behind her. The cane leaned against my desk. I unwound the scarf from my neck and gripped an end in each hand.

“Sorry about this,” I said flatly, and looped the scarf around her neck, pulling it tight and cutting off her windpipe. She struggled, but her bad leg gave out and we both fell to the floor, crashing against the closed door on the way down. Her hands clawed at mine, but she grew weaker and was still after a few minutes. I loosened the scarf from her neck and wrapped it back around mine. That was easier than last time.

The girl slumped forward, her hair spilled into her now-puffy face. I pushed her onto her back and yanked my eye patch down around my neck, exposing my raw, empty eye socket.

Mechanically, I pulled the girl’s right eyelids wide open with one hand, and with the other I scooped my fingers under her eye, popping it out with a sickening squelch. I didn’t flinch. Once upon a time I might have, but not now. Tendons popped as I freed it completely from the dead girl’s distorted face. Careful not to drop it, I pressed the organ into my own waiting eye socket, squeezing my lids shut over the foreign object.

Warmth slowly radiated out from the new eye back into my face and head as my body adapted. I blinked rapidly, but my sight didn’t return immediately so I repositioned the eye patch once again.

I walked out the front door of the shop, not bothering to lock up. I wouldn’t be back here. Dismayed, I saw that the girl had left shallow scratch marks running up both of my forearms. Those would need to be replaced too, then. Just when I thought I was done for a while.

I adjusted the baker’s boy cap, pulling it lower over my eyes to block out the beams of sun that flickered between the low square buildings that populated the outskirts of the city. My legs were new enough that I walked normally, without the shuffling that usually plagued others like me. I was grateful to still look human. The warmth in my new eye grew more intense. I whistled as I walked down the sidewalk, eventually pulling off the eye patch and dropping it into the gutter, my eyesight restored.

Back at the shop, I knew the girl would be stirring now.

Credit To – Lucia Costello

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Sewers

May 20, 2013 at 12:00 AM
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A laptop computer was found in the city sewers on Monday, April 22nd of 2013, after screams were heard echoing from below. As far as authorities could tell, there was no owner. All picture files on the hard drive were corrupted, and forensics failed to reconstruct all but one of them. The reconstructed photo partially revealed a terrified man in his late teens or early twenties, and some sort of face behind him.
Analysts have disputed whether or not that actually is another face, or simply image noise created as a result of the reconstruction of the photo. Apart from the single image, all that remained on the laptop was a cryptic word file left open, unsaved. Some see this as the suicide note of a deranged lunatic. Others see it as a prank. All that is known for sure is that over the past three months, there have been over twenty disappearances, all leaving no trace.

**********

I just hope I can finish this. I need to tell it. I can’t NOT tell it. But I don’t have time to finish it. And that’s what’s horrifying. Because, if I don’t tell, then it might get the rest. I HAVE to. I’m on very limited time, but I’m gonna be as detailed as possible. So it doesn’t get the rest. Please bear with me, please listen to me.

I guess it all started three months ago, when we found that secret room. The room in the sewers with the little trap door under the rug. When that happened, everything went wrong. But I’m getting ahead of myself, I have to tell the full truth. Or else it will get the rest.

I’m nineteen years old. Me and my three best friends have always been fond of the sewers. We would go down there and explore, at first using rope, then chalk signs, then nothing at all as we learned every twist, turn, and passage to the point where we could find our way around in pitch darkness, something we’ve had to do on at least three occasions when our flashlights died.

Now, what’s strange, is that we never found the room. It was when James asked to join us that the room was discovered. James was more of an acquaintance than a friend, but we often found him hanging out with us. We never told him about our excursions to the sewers; most people thought of that as strange. We had known James for probably six months before he overheard us speaking about the sewers.

Of course, he wanted to know what we were talking about. So we told him, about how we went down into the sewers every now and again to explore. He, of course, wanted to join our next expedition. We said it was fine, and we went early the next Saturday.

James wasn’t very good with darkness. We found that out the hard way. Or maybe it was the darkness coupled with claustrophobia. I don’t know. But, once we got into the deeper levels of darkness, where the daylight ceased to exist, and the tunnels became black, he began to hyperventilate.

At first, it was almost unnoticeable. His breathing got quicker, and he moved closer to me. Then, without warning, he began to breathe wildly, and he dropped his flashlight. It hit the ground and went out, and just like that, he was sprinting, sprinting and screaming for help, down the dark tunnels.

We chased after him. Following his screams, we started to lose all of our sense of direction. We went deeper than we thought possible. We thought we knew these tunnels. But there was one small niche, that we had never noticed before, that led into an even older series of tunnels. We had to crawl on our stomachs to get through it, and it opened into a tunnel not much bigger than that. We had to crouch down to the point of being on our hands and knees to traverse it.

It’s in those same sewers that I’m sitting now, with hundreds of white Christmas lights strung up around me, and stretching down the tunnel. These won’t last forever. The battery I’m running them off of can only keep them lit for a few hours. But they keep me comfortable, and serve as a warning. The thing can’t stand to be in light. It’s coming for me, I know it. But the lights will go out before it can get to me, so I’ll know.

I’m hiding here because this is the last place it will expect me to go. It’s looking for me. But it wouldn’t think that I would go into its sewers, its very back yard. I know that it will find me, and soon. But I just hope that this will prolong the inevitable. Long enough for me to get my story out. I’ve got my phone programmed to dial 911 in two hours. And I’ve got a camera, with night vision, ready to record when it shows up. So the cops will know, to stop it.

I just hope they can.

We eventually tracked down James, and he was sitting outside a big rusty door. It looked like it hadn’t been touched in years. Somehow we convinced ourselves to open it and oh my god I just wish we hadnt this crap would have NEVER HAPPENED IF NOT FOR THAT STUPID DOOR OH MY GOD IM GONNA DIE AND

I have to stop. Panicking won’t do anything to help me. I’m past help. Have I told you our names? There was me- Curt, and then James, Alan, Josh and Chris.

Writing down facts help me calm down. Just bear with me. I’m almost there.

We went in the door. That was a mistake. In the room, was an ancient chair, and a threadbare rug. Not much else, except a table full of disturbing instruments. And a calendar. The calendar was old and faded, and a dark yellow, but I could just barely make out dates in the faded ink.

The calendar was dated for 1903. Over a hundred years prior.

The table had what looked like torture tools set on it. I recognized a thumbscrew. Josh cut himself on some kind of twisted knife-hook-thing. Hammers and nails. I shudder thinking of what some of the other instruments were used for. There was what looked like the remains of a skeleton on another table in the corner of the room.

A rectangular table with Metal rings at each corner, and decayed ropes through those metal rings. I felt sick.

We decided then that we needed to get out, but Alan tripped over the rug and kicked it to the side. There was a trap door under it. Again, curiosity got the best of us, and we opened it, against James’s protests. It was pitch black down there. An old ladder led down, but that was it. We shined our lights in, and there were several things that might have once been human remains, but were now nearly dust.

At this point, something came over James. He climbed down the ladder into the hole, against our protests. After a moment, his light flickered and then died. Nothing but silence from down below. We were just beginning to panic when he casually walked into view.

He smiled up at us.

His eyes were just empty bleeding sockets.

We all just stood there in stunned silence, and then our lights wavered and flickered out. Mine flickered back on for a split second, and we saw some THING standing behind him. I don’t know what it was. Yes I do.

It was IT. The thing that’s been hunting me and my friends.

It looked very angry. It looked horrifying. It was dead blue skin and decomposing face. I could see its skull through its cheeks. It looked female. It had long decayed hair, and a bony frame. What looked like slashes in its dead cheeks, and gashes around its empty sockets. It was the most terrifying thing I’ve ever seen in my life. I think, that if I would have seen it for more than a split nanosecond, I would have gone insane. Gone insane or dropped dead.

The light lasted for a fraction of a second, a fraction of a second that has haunted me every minute of every day since then, and then everything was dark and James was screaming. I ran. Everyone else ran too, but I was the first. We scattered. Floundering in the dark, in the unknown. I don’t know how long I was down there. It felt like centuries.

Eventually, I made it to the surface. It was pitch dark in the dead of night. I remembered that we had gone in during the early morning hours.

I went home. It was four o’clock in the morning. All I remember is turning every light in the house on, blasting Looney Tunes on the TV, and then passing out.

The next day, I found out that only Alan and Chris had made it out the previous night. We went to the police and they organized a manhunt. Twenty people went into the sewers that night. Me, Alan, and Chris were not among them. We vowed to never step foot in those tunnels again. The manhunt never found that room.

We never told them about it. We agreed to tell them that we had found a section of sewer that we hadn’t explored before, and gotten separated and lost.

The search was unsuccessful. After a week, the police were forced to call it off. And the rest is history. Over the next several months, everyone who went into those sewers has disappeared, without a trace. Alan, Chris, gone. I’m the only one le

Oh fuck I think a light just went out. The darkness is coming, and I think I can see her or it whatever the fuck it is shit

Im the only one left you cant go into the sewers. They need to find the room and SHUT THE TRAPDOOR and SHUT THE OTHER DOOR so it cant get out

oh god the lights are going out oh shit oh fuck fuck look for my camera and shut the doors PLEASE YOU HAVE TO

**********

Police found a dropped camera deep within the sewage tunnels. No one has spoken about what footage is on the camera, and all to see the footage have committed suicide soon thereafter. Police are currently working with city records to conduct a coordinated search of the sewer system to find the location spoken of in the file….

**********

Detective Alexander Sherridan sits down in front of the television. He had requested a copy of the tape that has so disturbed anyone who has watched it, and now he has it. He feels apprehension building. Should he watch this? Some think it is cursed. However, Sherridan is not a superstitions man. He puts the tape in and presses play. A young man comes on the screen, the same from the picture. He is screaming, while behind him the lights are rapidly going out, moving in sequence towards him. What he is screaming is mostly incoherent, and what Sherridan is able to make out is simply more of the same of what he said in the word document– “close the doors.”
Suddenly the last lights flash out spectacularly, and there is a small glimpse of the laptop before the camera goes dark. What ensues are some of the most horrifying screams that Sherridan has ever heard, but he only barely registers these. He refuses to believe what he thinks he saw. To be sure, he rewinds the video, and plays it again. And again. And again.
Finally, he pauses it and goes forward frame by frame, until he sees the image he feared. Just as the lights flash for the final time, there is a woman grabbing the young man. Except he is not sure that she is a woman. It has no eyes. They look like they were gouged out at some point. There are slashes in her face, or what is left of its face. It is mostly decayed bone, with some skin stretching over it. The teeth are worn nubs. Sherridan averts his eyes. He can’t look at this thing anymore.
He notices at that moment, in the background, stand other things. People that have disappeared. All decaying. All with no eyes. They seem to be looking directly at him, accusingly almost. He tells himself that that is impossible, as they have no eyes. Then he notices motion.
The woman holding the young man pulls her face in some caricature of a smile. Then, she begins digging her fingers into his face. He begins screaming, as she literally rips his eyes out of his head. Sherridan runs forward and presses the power button on the TV. Nothing happens. The woman/thing continues to rip the eyes out of the man’s head, and Sherridan begins screaming with him, as he feels his sanity begin to slip. He rips the plug to the TV out of the wall.
Nothing happens. He retches as the thing pulls the remains of the eyes out, and begins pressing them into her own sockets. He turns and runs full force towards the wooden baseball bat mounted on the wall. He grabs it. He intends to destroy the TV. As he runs back towards the television, the he raises the bat. Just as he’s about to swing and destroy the screen, the thing winks at him with its new eyes.
Whatever vestiges of sanity that are left in Alexander Sherridan shatter at that moment. He drops the bat and stumbles backward into the next room. All he knows is that that thing knows where he is and how to get to him. And he knows that he doesn’t want that to happen.
As he presses the barrel of his police issue Glock into his temple, he vaguely recalls some urban legend or quote or something he’d heard somewhere about how if someone dies a violent death, their spirit stays there, angry, forever. “Fuck that,” he says out loud, before squeezing the trigger.
On the television screen, all that is seen is a terrified young man in a bright flash of light. Nothing more.

Credit To – Matt M. – read more of his work at http://mattmhorror.wordpress.com

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The Blood Donor

May 16, 2013 at 12:00 AM
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“Donate Blood. Save Lives. We Pay High.”

On any other day, I wouldn’t give much concern about this sign, but today was especially bad. All I sold today were a handful of packs of cigars. I haven’t had anything to eat all day. It was getting late, and helping save a life should make me feel a bit better.

The sign pointed into a 3-story hospital. The facade of the building was faded, probably a decade old. The interior was well-lit, and nothing seemed unusual about this place. The receptionist seemed glad to see me, and I felt a sense of hospitality, so I entered.

The receptionist, Heather, asked what I was looking for. “I’m looking to donate blood. The sign said you pay high?” I asked, quite excited.

“Yes, sir. 100 dollars a pint. I feel you’re interested. What’s your name, sir?”

“Jose. Jose Mendoza.”

“We’ll be done in under half an hour. Come this way, sir. We’ll get you prepped.” She said as she started walking down the hallway. Happy for a chance of easy money, I followed.

The hallway was empty, but for a late night shift in a small town like this, I guess this was the usual. The walls were painted with a faded shade of red, which was quite appropriate for a procedure like this. Empty rooms lined the hallway left and right, which pointed to a blood bank at the end of the corridor. Large swinging doors closed the room off from non-employees.

Heather led me up a staircase into the 2nd floor. It was like a carbon copy of the 1st, save for the blood bank exchanged for a blood testing room. Again, no sign of human life. We walked through the swinging doors into the blood testing room.

“Jose, this is Dr. Noah and Dr. Williams. They will guide you through the blood donation procedure. You’ll be safe. Take care.” Heather left, not before making an eerie half-smile. I was just thankful to see a bit of legitimacy to this hospital. These doctors seemed to be veterans in the business.

“Mr. Mendoza. Please sit. This won’t take long. We promise.” Dr. Noah said. The man had straight, flowing hair extending to his neck, with a deep, reassuring voice.

“So…Mr. Noah. You need my blood type, medical history, anything? I think I’m a Type C.” I was clueless about these things, not like I was ever able to afford to go to a hospital.

“Oh, don’t worry sir. We’ll figure these things out later. Right now we want you to relax. Feel at home.” Dr. Williams said. She put her arm over Dr. Noah’s shoulder. The two must have been long time co-workers, since they were pretty comfortable with each other.

I took my seat on the blood testing area, which had a left and right hand armrest attached to it. Next to me, on the table, was the biggest syringe I’ve ever seen. Good Lord, I could have fainted right there and then.

Ms. Williams seemed to trace where my eyes gazed at, as she tried to calm me down.

“Sir, don’t be afraid. This would feel like nothing more than a pinch of the skin. Here, put on this blindfold. It should help.”

She wrapped a black piece of cloth around my eyes, snugly fit at the back of my head. Suddenly, all my other senses started to kick in. The smell of iron seemed to be stronger now. This room must have had thousands of donations in the past.

My fingers could feel the dents and scratches on the metal armrests – signs of struggle. This is going to be painful. The touch of cold metal didn’t make me feel any better either.

“Mr. Mendoza, we shall procure the rest of the tools needed for your procedure. In the meantime, sit back and relax. We won’t be out for long.” Ms. Williams said. The two walked out of the room.

A sense of eeriness started to befall upon me. I have no idea how this procedure should go. No personal information was asked from me either. Those half smiles, giggles, signs of excitement, are making me think twice of my decision to enter. But the thought of pocketing 100 dollars and eating a nice Big Mac always counter my doubts.

Wait, did I hear crying?

The entrance door to the area creaked heavily. My ears focus hard. A child, male, seemed to be bawling as he walked in the room.

“Who’s there? What’s happening, kid?” I say, as dread and worry washes over me.

“I..I…I’m thirsty. I think I’m dying.” The child’s voice, was dry, raspy, almost like an elderly man.

“Wha…wha…why don’t you go to any of the doctors?” My fear grew ever higher.

“They can’t help me, only you can.” He was pleading, tugging at my jeans.

“What do you want, kid? Get this blindfold off me, and I can help you.” Not only was I keen on helping this kid, but also on getting out of this eerie place.

“Okay, sir. You promise to help me?”, joy finally accompanied his childish voice. He skipped behind me to remove the knot on my blindfold.

“I promise. What do you want anyway?”

Right before he could answer, the blindfold fell out of my eyes. The 2 doctors walked in. One was holding handcuffs, and the other with dozens of syringes. Then the child whispered into my ear:

“A pint of blood, ice cold, freshly drained. You can give me that, right?”

The monster behind me sneered. The shock froze me on my seat. Paralyzed in fear, the syringes pierced deep, up until every ounce of blood was drained from my body.

The last thing I heard was the monster slurping his delicious drink of blood.

Credit To – Brian Tan

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