The Autopsy of Cole Ryder

June 19, 2013 at 12:00 AM
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“Cole Ryder. Age 23. Death by multiple lacerations to chest, reaching as deep as his lungs. Poor bastard looks like someone cut him open multiple times with a damned sword. No visible signs of struggle, indicating that he was either drugged before hand, or was hit unexpected.” the coroner recorded, working together with the officers to try to piece together the final moments of Cole’s moderately short life.

Cole’s lifeless, blood-drained corpse lay flat on the autopsy table, with the ribbons of flesh hanging loosely – even before the coroner began his work. He was approximately 5’11” tall, short brown hair, average build, with no tattoos or piercings. The average kind of guy you could walk past every day on the street and never take a second glance at. To society, he was just like everyone else – an invisible person, with an unimportant life.

“How can people do this to each other?” the coroner questioned aloud while removing Cole’s ribcage. As he was about to make an incision to remove the lungs for closer examination something caught his eye. He placed a hand just under Cole’s shredded left lung, and produced a bloody, airtight plastic bag. Removing the bag and emptying its contents onto a nearby sterilized desk produced a USB stick, simply labeled: PLAY ME. Breaking from the procedure, the coroner ran out of the room to the two officers working on the case, handing them this strange new piece of evidence.

“Continue the autopsy, we’ll find out what this is about.” instructed one of the officers. They turned to leave, rushing to the nearby police station to check the contents of the USB. “We’ll be back shortly.”

The coroner re-sterilized and once again entered the room to continue working on Cole’s corpse. Picking up the scalpel, he continued where he had left off, about to remove the lungs.

At the police station, the two officers loaded up the USB and checked the files. There was one single audio file, entitled ‘Current Number’. Opening the file, they could hear a voice, though it sounded slightly different than a human voice. It sounded more raspy and cruel, almost animalistic; though still in English. “Eleven thousand, eight hundred and forty-two.” the voice kept repeating, as if trying to memorise the number.

“What the hell is this?” asked the first officer. The second simply shrugged and they closed the file down. Strangely, however, there was now a second audio file on the USB titled ‘Update’.

“By the time you return, the number will be eleven thousand, eight hundred and forty-three.” It was the same inhuman voice, scratching through the speakers.

“Have you ever seen anything like this before?” the second officer asked the first. The first shook his head violently and a chill air passed through the room. “I think, perhaps we should return to the coroners office.” suggested the second.

Upon re-entering the coroners office, the metallic sickly smell of blood wafted through the air and a strange laugh could be heard from the autopsy room. Drawing their handguns from their holsters, the two men kicked open the autopsy room door to a scene straight out of anyone’s worst nightmare. There was more blood than paint on the walls and the coroner was completely missing, except for the pair of eyes, slowly rolling across the floor. Cole Ryder still lay motionless on the autopsy table, chest cavity still open and face still lifeless, though he was now caked in the coroners blood. Walking slowly around the room, the two officers stopped either side of Cole’s body, surveying everything and drawing their guns, ready to unload upon the next thing that moved. Some sick fuck had obviously done this… and the officers did not care to be the next two victims.

A spine chilling animalistic laugh filled the room, reverberating off all the walls, making it impossible to tell where the sound came from originally. “More fresh meat!” the voice exclaimed, and both men were impaled by large, sword-like claws.

Cole sat up, withdrawing his bladed hands from the officers chests. Then using his razor phalanges with utmost precision, neatly cut out the sets of eyes from the now lifeless men. Changing the scalpel like protrusions from his fingers to blades like large hacksaws, he then tore at the bodies, ripping them to pieces and splattering even more crimson stains over the walls.

Picking up the pieces of flesh that were now scattered around the room, he started placing them into his own chest cavity and lungs, which while still exposed and cut open, seemed to take on a life of their own. Thrashing around like wild animals, they consumed the raw human meat. Once he was done completely consuming the bodies, he retrieved his ribcage and pushed his chest back together with the sickening crunch of bone on bone, deleted the recording of the autopsy from the audio recorder, picked it up and casually walked back out into the world, speaking over and over into the recorder “Eleven thousand, eight hundred and forty-five.”

Credit To – Uforia

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My Medusa

June 16, 2013 at 12:00 AM
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There are few times in life when a man can admit that he’s afraid of a beautiful woman. Sure, the shyness of lust and romance may be one excuse, but the legitimate fear of her power, as small or infinite as it may be, is something very hard to come by. This is the reason I am afraid of Laura. The role of a man is to protect his woman, never the other way around. I love her, but I am scared to death of her.

We met in junior high school. I wasn’t much to look at back then; I was a scrawny nerd obsessed with Pokemon and anime, often daydreaming day and night, never really doing much in favor of my social status. I would drift in and out of classes, letting apathy get the better of me. It was a lunch period that I first met Laura.

I sat by myself often, enjoying the time to think and reflect on my imagination, when Laura came to sit across from me. I looked at her but couldn’t help but notice her low-cut shirt. She had the body of a model at 15. I was instantly turned on, to say the least. Awkwardly, I’d said hello to her. She told me she was waiting for ‘a friend,’ but never mentioned who. We spoke a bit, generally about television shows, I mentioned Pokemon. I started to feel as if I’d instantly lost her interest. That’s when she started talking about books.

I’d never really read anything before that point, often caring nothing about that part of life, as no moving images meant no entertainment. The thing is though; your mind is a powerful thing. You can envision anything you want to, and that’s exactly what she taught me that day. “Let’s say you look at a book. On every page, you have adjectives, nouns, verbs, all of them describing things. Don’t think of the words themselves, but what they’re talking about. You can imagine the details in your head, like a movie.” From that point on, I started looking at reading differently, and slowly but surely, I adapted to this new form of nerdy obsession… Reading.

I didn’t see her again that year. As a matter of fact, I sort of forgot about her apart from the lesson and her beauty. It wasn’t until I was a 16 year old kid in high school that we met again. Laura was into gymnastics by then, and had just gotten through a relationship with one of the seniors on our school’s football team. I, sadly, had become picked on by a lot of kids, many like him. I never could stand up for myself, and I was used to getting pushed and hit like I was nothing more than a toy. I’ll admit, I had my habits that encouraged such behavior, but people always took it too far.

Laura and I met again as I was being shoved into my locker. A brute by the name of Carson was trying to pester me into making an ass out of myself in front of the crowd, telling me that if I didn’t take my shirt off and start squealing like a pig, I’d get a knuckle sandwich (well, it was worse than that). Laura came out of the blue and shoved him away. “Leave him alone,” she had said, “what are you, a kid?”

Carson just looked at her like she was nuts. “Dweeb boy’s your boyfriend?”

She didn’t respond. She just glared at him, and offered me her hand. I took it, and she hoisted me up from the bed of papers in the tiny metal jail. “I can’t believe you’re doing this to him. What’d he do to you?”

Carson just shrugged, and walked away. Laura and I ate lunch that day, and discussed how things had been through time. She remembered me very well, and asked about my reading. I told her I was starting to become more of a writer. She appreciated that change, and said I might be able to make a living off of it, if I got good enough.

For the first time, our eyes met in an intimate fashion, we just stared at one another, smiling. I knew she was beautiful, far too much so for me, but I was attracted to her. I was falling in love, I felt. We hung out frequently, and my daydreams quickly became filled with her. She added me on Facebook, expanding my friends list to 32. I became a bit of a stalker… I would look at her photographs, pleasure myself, and feel like a sickening dog afterward.

It was on my Junior year that something happened between us that I didn’t ever understand until this day. It was a homecoming dance, and she’d asked me if I wanted to go. I reluctantly said yes, not wanting to embarrass her. I did my best to dress well, but an oversized Armani suit still doesn’t go well with thick rimmed glasses.

I had to be dropped off by my older brother, who thought it was a pointless venture until he saw her. “God damn, bro,” he had said, “how’d you get that?”

Laura had driven herself, since she had a permit and owned an old Plymouth. She was a fan of classic cars, she had told me. It was an old 1950’s model, very rare back in 2008. We danced together for the entire course of homecoming, she didn’t ever take her eyes off of me, not even for a minute. She showed such great devotion and trust that I started to feel a little afraid.. how was I supposed to compete with the intimacy of someone so beautiful? What could I do in return?

After the dance, she offered to drive me home. We went out to the car, and she set out on the road. The radio played an old forgotten tune, something from out of 1950’s suburban America, I was sure. It was then that she reached over, putting her hand on my leg. She asked me, “do you know what love is?” I couldn’t answer. Dancing with her was alone the pinnacle of my life. When we had sex in the back seat of her car, it all quickly overtook that, and I had never felt so alive…

Or, so changed.

After that night, I completely gave up on what I now call my “past-life,” and started to feel dead. Everything I did revolved around Laura, and everything she did involved me. We were inseparable, but I was modified, to say the least…

I ditched the glasses, and began to wear contacts. I threw aside the hand-me-downs and started spending every cent of my birthday money on new clothes, dressing fashionably. My “friends” faded away, and were quickly replaced by the people that Laura knew, the jocks and rough talkers, many of which I had known even before meeting her, and had bullied me when growing up.

The only person that didn’t see me any differently is Carson. Carson hated me with a passion that I can only equate to the anti-Semitism of Adolf Hitler. I didn’t “deserve” Laura. I didn’t “earn” sex. As far as he was concerned, I was nothing more than an insect getting laid by a goddess. I wouldn’t know how much he hated me until he, and a few friends, decided to trash my SUV.

It was late after school, I’d stayed to watch Laura’s Gymnastic tournament, and she was a no-show. I stayed anyway, talking to a few of her friends on the team instead, trying to get a bearing on what a good gift would be for her. Something was wrong, though. Nobody had seen or heard from her for about a week, yet I had spoken to her only hours earlier at the end of classes. They told me she may have been going a little crazy; she had blocked a few of her friends over minor things. What stuck out to me was, they were the same people who didn’t approve of our relationship.

After the tournament ended, I made my way into the parking lot. I twirled my keys on my fingers, bored, ready to get home, maybe call Laura to ask what was up. That’s when I saw my Tahoe sitting in it’s lot, windshield busted out, tires deflated, and an axe in the hood. I was taken aback at this, as you might suspect. Some people gathered around, watching in confusion, asking one another if they knew anything about it. My vehicle was totaled, and I had a good idea of who was responsible.

It was then that, out of nowhere, the round headlights of Laura’s Plymouth appeared. I stared into them as they came closer and closer, people began to clear out of the street, as if she wasn’t going to stop. The hood of the car was inches away when the car halted. It was as if I knew somehow that it wasn’t going to roll me over. Laura got out and yelled, “get in, right now.”

I did as I was told, not questioning her order. I stared at her as she drove, eyes dead-set on the road, a slightly furious expression on her face. “What’s wrong?” I asked.

“The guys who wrecked your rig broke into my house,” she stated. She twisted the steering wheel, swerving the car down another street.

“What?” I asked.

She glared at me. “You don’t even know what…” she hesitated. She pointed to the glove compartment. “Open it.”

I swallowed the knot in my throat. I slowly gazed at the glove compartment. I unlatched it and let it drop open. Inside, a knife sat on a paper towel, covered in blood. “We’ve got to finish the others.”

“What?” I asked.

“Carson,” she said. “He broke in. You know god damned well what he tried to do.” She pointed at the knife. “I stopped him, but his friends got away.”

“Wait, what?” I asked again.

“We’re going to kill them, Arnold. We’re going to destroy them.” She grabbed my wrist. “I will not let them ruin this one.”

Not only was I confused, now, but I was getting frantic. “What?” was the only word I could muster.

“They’re going to KILL you, Arnie.”

“No, that’s…” I didn’t believe a word she said.

“Your brother’s dead, Arnie.”

My eyes started to water. “What?” I repeated.

“You have no fucking idea.” She swerved down another road, and then into the driveway of an unfamiliar house. “Take the knife,” she said.

“I don’t even know what’s happening,” I pleaded. “Don’t.. push me into this!”

“You’re already in this,” she stated. She switched off the car and held out her hand. “I’m in it with you.”

“What the fuck did I even do?” I asked.

She shrugged, then instead reached for the knife. As quick as she grasped it, she was out the door of the car. I watched the tight jeans she wore move up driveway, then glanced up at her darkened hair. She didn’t turn back. She went straight for the door, jiggled the knob, and began to violently kick when it didn’t budge. She did over and over again, until the frame finally cracked, and the door rattled aside.

When I heard the screams, I gripped the handle of the door, pushed it open, and stood up, ready to rush into the house to save the one woman who meant the world to me. The screams rang out again; they were not Laura’s.

I stared at the house, mouth agape, waiting for something new to happen. Dead silence enveloped the subdivision. Then, I saw my princess leaving the building, bathed in blood that was not her own. I stared in awe and horror as she made her way back to the car, the plain red knife in hand. “Get back inside,” she commanded. I did so, slamming the door as she sat at the driver’s seat. She stared ahead at the garage door, then leered over at me. She reached out and pulled me close, locking her lips with mine. “We’re not finished, yet,” she said.

The thing about love is that it is always hungry. It is fueled by a ferocious desire to consume your life. Your family, friendship, and time are her main course, your sexual drive is just the appetizer. Chances are, you don’t know what it’s like to be in love, and to sacrifice so much to power that urge… It can be, at times, insane. If I were to tell you that Laura were the “man” in this relationship, it would be an understatement.

When she told me that she’d set them up for a fall, but it ended up costing my own brother, I couldn’t stay angry. It was a possession of sorts… She would bribe me with her love and body. I would take that bribe like there was no tomorrow.

I didn’t even attend my brother’s funeral. I haven’t spoken to my family ever since. I have not seen my old friends, nor her old adversaries.

No man I know is as brazen and fearsome as Laura. Like medusa; all who sought her seemed to turn to stone. The next person we “visited” was her ex, the old quarterback who was now an alcoholic drop-out. She told me how they broke up, and why. The minute she mentioned a drunken stupor and the black out, I was in on the plot. We set him up. I was merely a passive accomplice, but a participant no less. What we did was illegal, but that wasn’t anyone’s concern, not for a man like that.

The only question I have is why am I the only one she has faced and not destroyed the life of? Why am I the only one she can not destroy? What is the key that keeps me from turning to stone?

It is only then that I realize that it is she who made me who I am. I am her creation. I had no life before Laura, and that is the blindness that protects me. It is the blindness that drew her to me in the first place.

Laura is my protector. My Medusa.

Credit To – Perseus

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The Bear

June 10, 2013 at 12:00 AM
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A quarter after nine, right in the middle of Dad’s favorite game show, the sound cut off. I winced, but before he could say anything the set started buzzing and the screen changed, turning the dark living room around us a deep blue.

“What’s wrong with the TV?” Dad said, leaning forward on his chair, glaring at the set like he could scare it into doing what he wanted. “What’d you do?”

“I didn’t do anything. It’s an emergency broadcast,” I said.

On the screen, the news anchor looked as calm as ever.

“This just in,” he said, with that winning smile I could never pull off no matter how long I practiced, “A prison transport bus has crashed near the state border. Though police were on the scene immediately, one inmate remains unaccounted for.”

A picture of the man appeared. He was just a normal guy: dark hair, square jaw. Maybe a little uglier than most. I thought he looked a little like my Dad.

“The inmate is to be considered extremely dangerous. Citizens are advised to remain in their homes, lock their doors and call the police immediately if they see anything suspicious. Authorities believe the fugitive was injured in the accident and will likely not have gotten far.”

While he talked, a list of towns started scrolling under him. Sure enough, the little nothing town ten miles from our house went crawling across the screen.

“Shit,” Dad said, slowly crushing his beer can. “Shit shit shit.”

“Don’t worry,” I said, “we’re way out here in the woods. What’re the chances-”

His hand shot out like a snake. The empty can bounced off my head and clattered into the shadows. My Dad’s way of telling me to shut up.

“Little house in the middle of the woods, one back-ass road running by it, owned by an old man and his idiot son?” Dad spat. “We’re sitting ducks. Easy pickings.”

“He won’t know we’re out here.”

“Yeah, you keep telling yourself that, dumbass. Maybe after he’s done gutting your old man, he’ll keep you around for a pet.”

Hands on the armrests, grunting and heaving, Dad tried to stand. I ran over to help him. He smacked at me and cussed, but I got him on his feet.

“No way in Hell I’m gonna just sit here and let some shithead take my house. Go get my gun.”

“Dad, you sure you-”

“Don’t backtalk me, get your thumb out of your ass and get my gun!”

I ducked a smack and went to Dad’s office.

Anyway, he called it his office. It was more of a trophy room: deer heads, fish and birds mounted on the walls, staring down at me with their black little eyes. In the corner by his desk was the big stuffed grizzly bear, up on its back legs, snarling at the doorway. I’d never asked him where he got it. I was always a little afraid to. When I was a kid, he’d call me into his office when I’d done something wrong. He’d be sitting at his desk, that bear looming behind him, both of them glaring right at me. Most of the time he didn’t even have to whip me, I’d be so scared of facing him and that monster.

His old hunting rifle was in a glass case on the wall, the place of honor. He used to clean it every day, for hours, running his hands over every piece of it. Before she left, mom used to say he touched that gun in ways he never touched her. Lately he’d been letting me clean it. Not that he wanted me to have it or anything, only because he had to. I had to do it when he was asleep, though, or he’d just sit there, staring at me, that hungry look in his eyes.

When I came back to the living room, gun in hand, he was already back in his chair, huffing and wheezing. Just standing up had done him in.

“You can’t go out there,” I said. “It’s too dangerous.”

He snorted. “Dangerous! Shooting goddamn tigers is dangerous. Shooting one man, running around in the woods at night?” He spat.

The way he was carrying on, I was afraid he’d have another stroke any second. But I didn’t know how to tell him that without making him mad.

“Let’s just stay here, Dad,” I said. “The police’ll take care of it. I bet that guy won’t come anywhere near us.”

He shook his head. “No. You go. Take the gun.”

A cold shiver went up my spine. “Me?”

“Yes you, moron. You know how to shoot. I taught you, didn’t I?”

He had, a long time ago. There’d been a couple months in high school, right after mom left, when he’d quit drinking and yelling. He’d taken me out to the woods and tried to teach me. I was a lousy shot, but the one time I’d managed to hit something, he’d put his hand on my shoulder and smiled.

Those days didn’t last long. Mom never came back, but Dad sure did.

“Yeah, Dad. But I never shot a man before.”

“No different than shooting a deer. Easier, really, don’t move as fast.”

I felt the weight of the gun in my hand. With every word out of his mouth, it felt a little heavier.

“Come on, wipe that dumb look off your face. You wanna let that son of a bitch kill your old man? Is that it?”

“No.”

“Then quit being a pussy and get out there. Long past time for you to grow up, boy.”

He pulled the tab on another beer can. He tipped his head back to take a long drink. His neck was all skin and bones, and I could see every swallow. His eyes were wide open, still glaring at me, with that hungry bear look of his.

I pulled on my coat, hefted the rifle on my shoulder, and stepped out into the night.

The woods were pitch black. If anyone was coming from that direction, we’d never see him coming. I shivered a little thinking about it. I felt a little better looking at the house, seeing that the only light was the TV, and you could just barely see it through the window. Would some crazy guy running for his life see something like that?

The road was a little brighter. It was a little two-lane, winding street, the paint fading. Nobody really came this way anymore. When he’d been younger, Dad had yelled at the government to put up streetlights, but they barely worked now too. Most of them were dead, so between every pool of light was a long stretch of darkness.

No cars meant it was dead silent. Not even the wind blowing. Just my boots crunching through the grass so loud it was like smashing windows. I winced with every step.

Which way should I look? I couldn’t see anything around me past my own nose. When I stumbled too close to the trees, they seemed to just spring up out of nowhere, looming over me on their back legs, snarling.

The grass turned to asphalt under me. I looked around, but didn’t see any headlights. Just in case, I moved into the streetlight closest to the house. Looking up the road, I saw three more working street lights, far apart, and beyond them only darkness. I hunkered down and wondered what to do.

I don’t know how long I waited out there. It seemed like hours went by. Every once in a while I’d look back to where the house should be in the dark, and wondered if maybe he’d snuck past me and broken in. Would I be able to hear Dad if he was in trouble?

The gun felt heavier every second. I set it down, checked to make sure it was loaded for the hundredth time. Dad always kept it loaded, even years after he couldn’t go hunting anymore. He used to say it was just in case he ever got sick of that dumb look on my face.

I heard something, far away. A scraping sound. I tensed, looking everywhere.

Nothing.

Then I heard it again. Something being dragged.

And again. Coming from up the road. But when I looked, I couldn’t see anything.

A lump rose in my throat. My hands shook, the rifle clattering in them.

He appeared out of nowhere, out of the darkness and into one of the circles of light. His head was down, staring at the road. He was limping, one foot dragging.

Even in the cold, I could feel the sweat all over me. I tried to raise the gun, but I couldn’t feel my hands.

He was coming right toward me. He limped out of the light and vanished again, but I could still hear his foot dragging across the road.

I tried to swallow, but my throat felt thick, stuck. I couldn’t scream even if I wanted to. I squinted at the road, looking for some sign of him. There were two more working streetlights between him and me. Would he step through another?

His dragging steps sounded louder and louder.

Far away, I could swear I heard Dad growling.

In an instant I saw him again, under the second streetlight. I could see his dark hair, and blood on the leg he could barely lift. And now I could hear him grunting with every step. He sounded just like Dad.

I must have made a sound. His head whipped up and he looked right at me. His eyes were huge and wild.

He shouted something, not really a word. The cry of an animal. He raised his arms toward me and started moving faster.

I choked and stumbled back just as he reached the edge of the light. We both disappeared at the same time.

He was grunting louder, wheezing and gasping and making those animal sounds. His dragging leg came closer and closer.

There was one more streetlight between us. I raised the gun and tried to aim at the light, but I couldn’t stop shaking. Had he seen the gun? Would he stay out of the light until he could reach me?

His dead leg scraping against the road was the loudest sound I ever heard. It filled the whole world, echoing through the woods. His wheezes turned into growls.

I saw him. He came into the light. He looked just like my dad. My hands grew steady.

I fired. He crumpled to the ground.

For a long time, I couldn’t move. I just stood there, trying to stop shaking, to control my breathing, to make the world stop spinning.

He was just lying there. He’d twisted when he fell, his top going one way and his legs the other. One arm was stretched out the way he’d come, the other covering his face.

My mind was blank, echoing with the gunshot. Eventually, out of all that noise, I thought “I did it.”

I was still shaking, but not with fear. I couldn’t stop the smile spreading across my face. I did it. I shot him. He was dead!

I thought about Dad, sitting at his desk with that bear behind him. When he’d call me in there, I used to wish the bear would fall, bring those stretching claws and snarling teeth down on top of him. I used to stay awake for hours every night, imagining.

When I could feel my feet again, I walked through the dark to the body, lying there in the middle of that circle of light. I’d gotten him right in the chest, but the wound on his leg looked much worse.

I used my foot to nudge his arm from his face. I didn’t even hesitate. I had to look into his eyes.

The funny thing was, now that I was looking at him like this, he really didn’t look like my dad at all. I wondered how I could ever think he did.

I’d have to call the police. They’d want to pick him up, probably. I headed back, walking straight to my house. The trees were still there, looming, but I didn’t flinch or shudder any more. Holding my gun, feeling it in my hand like a part of my arm, I felt like the strongest man in the world.

Dad was still in his chair, watching the TV. He’d been going a little deaf lately, so I guess he didn’t hear the gunshot. He looked at me with his beady little eyes. But before I could tell him, before I could finally show him who I really was, he said “I hope you enjoyed your little camping trip, idiot. You missed the whole damn thing.”

The anchor was on the screen again. Dad turned the volume up.

“…has been taken into custody. None of the hostages were harmed, and police were able to arrest the fugitive without injury. However, witnesses say that one hostage escaped on his own after sustaining a leg injury. He was last seen fleeing down a back road into the woods. Rescue workers are on their way now.”

Credit To – Gray

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Confession

June 8, 2013 at 12:00 AM
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All the names – except J.J.’s – are changed, for reasons that should be obvious.

I grew up in Royal Oak, Michigan, about twenty minutes from downtown Detroit. It’s one of those places where the people with money ran to after things in the city went shit-shaped.

I went to high school with this guy I’ll call Nick. We had a TV Production class together, and we both decided that was the kind of thing we wanted to do for a living, so we ended up in a lot of the same film classes in college.

We weren’t that close, and I didn’t hang out with him that much outside of school, but a year after graduation, he contacted me about this show he wanted to make. He said he really liked my camera work, and I was better with editing and effects programs than most of the other students – I’d been playing with them as a hobby since tenth grade – and he said he could use my knowledge for the production values.

Nick was never that great at the technical side of things. Even after film school, his stuff always looked kind of cheap and Youtube-y. But he was charming, the kind of guy who could do great voiceovers, come up with impressive-sounding “artistic visions” (he was great at putting on airs and convincing stupid people his shitty-looking films were actually high art with all kinds of symbolic metaphorical ironic subtext or whatever) and pitch the hell out of any idea, no matter how stupid. So he thought we’d make a good team.

His idea was for this “Real Stories of Detroit” type of show. I mean, That wasn’t what he called it, but it’s a pretty good summary of the premise. His explanation was that people on the outside know this place sucks, but besides all those dilapidated building photos (“ruin porn, ” they call it) and the crime reports no one cares about, they don’t know enough about the very real horror that happens here on a daily basis. In other words, they didn’t see us as human, man, just a big joke.

I agreed with some of his points, I wasn’t finding paying work at the time, and I wanted to help out an old sort-of-friend, so I agreed to do some camera work for him. If anything became of it, I’d get partial credit and we’d split the profits.

During the planning phase, Nick was always going on about how the show would have both artistic merit and social relevance, exposing the darker side of humanity as well as the conditions we overlook right here in America, and hopefully, encourage the complacent masses to wake up and do something about our poverty and urban blight.

It took me about a week to realize that was all bullshit.

In the early days, the material that would make up the meat of our show was hard to find, so we spent hours every day combing through shock and gore sites for whatever we could find that might have come from around here in the last ten years. Over the next several months, my external drive filled up with camcorder videos of rotting corpses people stumbled across, security camera footage of cashiers getting shot in the face by robbers, leaked footage of blood-soaked crime scenes, and every type of forensic photo imaginable.

We called up and interviewed crack whores – the very few who had access to phones and could complete intelligible sentences, anyway – ex-cons, and people who’d confess to any depraved shit as long as we didn’t show their faces.

The “real stories” were never positive, always just the worst shit we could dig up. We never talked to people reading storybooks to kids or tending community gardens or anything.

According to Nick, that was “feel-good fluff” and didn’t “reflect the city’s brutal reality.”
According to Nick, what did “reflect the city’s brutal reality” was a freak show of poverty, misery, and suffering.

We added some dramatic public domain music and somber narration, but that was the only thing “artistic” about it.

Our first episode was too gory for any TV network to touch, or to post on any of the big video hosting sites without it getting pulled within the week. But we started our own site, and Nick posted links on a few of the sites where we’d found our source material.

It took a less than a month for me to start hating it, but when I make promises, I keep them.
I didn’t really want to quit until after what happened to J.J.

We did a lot of shooting on the streets – for both the interviews and for ruin porn – especially in the northeast and Highland Park. If you don’t know, Detroit’s west side is (mostly kind of almost) a normal city. Those parts of town where you hear about the forest reclaiming whole blocks and bears wandering the streets are up Northeast. And Highland Park is the worst of the many neighborhoods that make up crackland.

None of them are the kinds of places you want to walk into unarmed with a camera, so for security, we hired this big guy with tattoos on his face who always carried a 45. I have no idea how Nick met this guy.

One day, while we were out getting footage of the old Grande Ballroom to use as establishing shots for a nearby neighborhood where I think someone set his girlfriend on fire, we met this old homeless guy who went by “J.J.”

He was a drunk, but at least he wasn’t on anything harder, and for a drunk, he was surprisingly friendly, lucid and intelligent.

For a few dollars an hour and some hot food, he’d show us around his stomping grounds and point out some of the more interesting sights. There was one time when he showed us a house where whoever lived there had left their doll collection behind when they moved out, for example.

Whenever we were on set, Nick was really adamant that I not only turn off my phone, but leave it at home. He wanted to make sure I didn’t sneak and start texting or something while we were working.

I didn’t know why he was so paranoid about it at the time, I mean, it’s not like he was even paying me by the hour, but it started to make perfect sense about two weeks later.

One day we were filming on Robinwood St. – just getting some shots of garbage and burnt-out houses to fill some space between videos of murders – when J.J. told us he used to squat over here, and he knew an abandoned but still pretty solid two-story house where you could get to the roof through one of the upper story windows. From there, we could get a shot of most of the neighborhood. I didn’t think it was safe, even with my lightest camera, so he volunteered to go first just to show us nothing would collapse under his weight.

Well, he caught his foot on something, lost his balance, and fell right off the roof and landed in (what was left of) the concrete driveway. Both his legs snapped under him.

We both kind of panicked. Mostly because we couldn’t afford to pay any medical bills or risk having anyone sue us. Nick was very adamant about that.

So we left him there.

Actually, it’s a bit more complicated than that.

It quickly dawned on us that if anyone came around and found him, he’d talk to some kind of authorities as soon as he was back to civilization.

Or at least I think I think that’s why we decided to do it. It was hard to hear each other over all J.J.’s screaming and crying. I’d never heard a man make that much noise.

So Nick had our bodyguard hold the guy’s arms while he shoved a rag into his mouth.

We used a clean one. We’re not animals.

Then he duct taped it shut. Nick and I put on our gloves, so we wouldn’t leave fingerprints. When we’re out shooting, we carry thick work gloves everywhere we go. There’s no specific reason, just that when you work in abandoned buildings, and sometimes around human waste and dead bodies, gloves are always a good thing to have. I didn’t know why Nick had duct tape. Maybe it was in case he ever had to do something like that.

That muffled the screams were enough to the point where no one more than ten or twenty feet away would hear them, but Jesus, his eyes. I still have nightmares about his eyes. Bloodshot and wild with pain and terror, just begging us not to do that.

Then we bound his arms behind his back and wrapped his hands in cocoons of duct tape. Then we picked him up and moved him into a nearby abandoned house, and because he was still thrashing around, we “accidentally” let him fall down the basement stairs, so he couldn’t wriggle his way out to the street.

Then we left him there.

We’d thought about having our guard just shoot him, but we all agreed that would make too much noise, and we’re not murderers, we’re just… Refusing to take responsibility for J.J.’s reckless actions. Yeah, something like that.

“What if we get caught?” I asked Nick.

I imagined myself trying to explain this.

The duct tape was because he was drunk and trying to attack us, officer. Had to restrain him. We’re so sorry we forgot to call you, but we were just terrified.

He just looked at me like he couldn’t believe my stupidity and told me they’d never investigate this. As far as they’re concerned, a homeless guy just pissed off some thug who broke his legs. Happens all the time around here.

Being a human with a functioning soul, I was freaked out the entire time, and I told Nick I wanted to quit. He just shook his head.

I looked behind him, and our bodyguard was just silently staring at me, with his shirt pulled up so you could see the gun and this look devoid of any recognizable emotions on his face. He just stared me down for thirty seconds straight without breaking eye contact before I just mumbled that maybe I’d keep working here, but I’d like the rest of the day off.

Would we actually have had to pay J.J.’s hospital bills or risk a lawsuit from this man who obviously couldn’t afford a lawyer? In hindsight, I don’t know, and I’m pretty sure Nick didn’t care.

When I got home and checked my phone, I found a text from Nick saying “SEE YOU TOMORROW.”

Caps his, not mine.

I knew what that meant. I wasn’t going anywhere. Nick and our bodyguard had voted down my decision, and they knew where I lived.

We’d come back a few times over the next few days just to… Check up on J.J. It took about three days for him to stop moving.

After that, we went right back to making the episode, and many more after that, like nothing happened.
We developed a cult following. Teens loved what we were doing. They passed it around on Facebook, used it to gross each other out. So did that specific set of gorehounds for who slasher movies are just a little too fictional to be scary. And violence fetishists. We got a lot of comments about people jacking off to parts of our shows I never wanted to know anyone could possibly jack off to. …And even more from people who just thought this kind of stuff was “what those ****** deserve.”

This went on for almost a year without incident.

…Until, a few weeks ago, I finally admitted one of my friends in private that I’d never wanted any of this shit and part of me had always thought just moving to another state and being done with it. I’m assuming she told someone who told someone else until Nick caught wind of it somehow, because two days later, he told me we’d be filming something special.

He took me into this abandoned school in one of those neighborhoods with like one building left per block. Our bodyguard was waiting there for us, as well as about ten of his friends. They were all wearing matching colors and bandanas that covered their faces.

When I came in, Nick had set up a tripod for me, about ten feet in front of something under a filthy sheet that squirmed from time to time.

Our bodyguard pulled off the sheet, and there was this terrified kid bound, gagged, and tied to a chair. Looked like he was in his mid teens, definitely not older than twenty. He looked kind of like my little brother, and maybe that’s why Nick was so enthusiastic about making me film this.

This boy, our bodyguard told us, had been talking too much, and these guys wanted to make sure the world knew just what happens to people like that. The whole time, Nick was just staring vacantly at me with this empty half-smile on his face.

I pointed the camera at the kid, turned it on, and just watched. I knew what was going to happen, but for some reason, the part of me that usually triggers fear just didn’t go off.

One of the bandanas was slowly circling him, tapping a baseball bat on the floor. I think he was the leader, so he got to go first. With every tap, the kid would almost shit himself, which was the point.

Finally, after about three or four minutes of that, he swung it right into the kid’s gut. They started low so he wouldn’t pass out.

After they’d worked over every part of the kid’s body besides his head, they finally handed it back to the leader, and he took one hard, climactic swing that splattered red and bits of meat across the walls. Then several more, just to drive the point home.

By the time they were done, his face wasn’t recognizable as human, I could see the white of the inside of his skull, his brain was lying on the floor looking like a raw hamburger dropped off a building, and there was a river of blood running across the floor.

The strangest part was that I didn’t cry or anything. I guess that by that point, I’d just kind of checked out mentally. That was probably the moment I learned where Nick and our bodyguard got those weird stares.

When we put the footage in our show, we told everyone a gang member had anonymously dropped it in our mail slot after he heard about the kind of show we were doing.

“The following video is real, and extremely graphic. Viewer discretion is advised.”

Everyone knows that just makes you want to watch it more.

As soon as I got home, I opened my email to find one from Nick saying “SEE YOU TOMORROW.” That’s just his way of rubbing it in.

But he didn’t need to, because I wasn’t really planning to quit anymore. It’s just something I bitch about sometimes.

See, Nick might not have a conscience, but at least he’s been unusually honest through this whole thing. He made good on his promise about the money and the credit. I’m now half-owner of what looks like it’s going to be an online empire. Nick knows a lot of people, and these days, I’ve started to, too. Through these people, we get material.

A lot of the things it used to take us hours to dig off the internet, now… I’ll get an anonymous phone call, drive out to some abandoned building where guys in masks or bandanas are waiting for me, and film, silently and without empathy, myself.

People send us even more, too, from grainy cell phone videos to almost professional-level Canon TSi work. Beatings, rape, stabbings, execution-style shootings, and some things much more creative.

It’s not hard to find our site on your own, if you haven’t already, but I can’t link you to it. I can’t even tell you its name. Nick’s kind of a narcissist, and he Googles it all the time to see what people are saying about us. The site is down right now anyway. We’re moving to a bigger server. All the views keep crashing it.

Local newspapers slam us and the tourist board clucks their tongues, but we bring in enough ad revenue to pay for a middle-class lifestyle for us both. One night while we were out drinking, Nick started raving about “This is what the news was talking about, the ‘user-created content revolution.’ We’re a fuckin’ Alger story, and watch, people like us are going to run the media in the future.”

And it’s true.

People like us will bend public opinion to our will, tell you who to vote for, and train you to love watching what we want you to see.

We’ll raise your kids.

People love us. They’re imitating our format all over the place. First just in this country, in places like Newark, New Orleans, and Chicago, but I’m seeing it from other ones, too. They send me all the links. Today, I watched a bunch of Zetas pick up machetes and lay into a housewife as some kid imitated Nick’s narration style in Spanish.

But none of this matters. The only reason I can confess it all here is because you’ll never take it seriously. Even if you’ve seen our site, you think it’s just a spooky story to tell on the internet, and you’ll assume there’s no way I’m not really who I am. People have pretended to be me on the internet before. We’re a legitimate company, you’ll say. We’d never do things like this.

Police have questioned us a few times about stuff we may have seen, but we just tell them we find it on the internet, or it gets sent anonymously to us. No idea where this stuff comes from. Fucked-up place, this city. We have part of our budget set aside to pay off the ones who ask too many questions, and that deals with the problem. They are, after all, Detroit cops.

I don’t care anymore.

DISCLAIMER:

This is a rework of this creepypasta by TvTropes forumgoer Porcelain Swallow, so credit for the premise and some of the ideas go to him.

Credit To – C.S. Jones

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Beware of Those Who Would Do You Harm – Epilogue

June 5, 2013 at 12:00 PM
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Epilogue – Wendy

(Suggested tracks: Decode, by Paramore or Angels, by Within Temptation)

9 months earlier
Wendy couldn’t’ help but stare at the mysterious new kid whose locker was across the hall and diagonal from hers and her friend Abby’s. She was also currently spacing out as Abby went on about her plans for her and Tucker’s two-year anniversary.
“I was thinking about taking him to his favorite restaurant, since last year he took me to mine. What do you think, Wendy?”
“Yeah…”
Abby slammed her locker door shut. “Wendy!”
“Huh, what? I think it’s a great idea that you go to the restaurant where you had your first date!”
Abby stared at her. “That’s not what I said, but that’s a good idea.”
“Glad I could help. So what do you know about the new kid?”

Abby glanced over at him and cringed. He was just standing there, staring into his empty locker. He must have felt two pairs of eyes on him because he slowly turned to look at the girls. He had on pasty white foundation, messy black eyeliner, and red lipstick that went up the corners of his mouth giving him a creepy grin. Although Abby turned away, Wendy continued to stare into those coal black eyes through his messy black fringe.
“He’s so interesting…”
“He’s also a killer.”
Wendy whirled around and looked at her friend.
“At least that’s what I heard around town. Apparently he’s on the run because he’s suspected of murdering his entire family. Now he’s living with some rich distant relative across town.”
“You don’t believe that do you? I bet it’s just a rumor. I mean, come on.”
Abby once again glanced over at the boy, who was still staring at Wendy. “He creeps me out. I’d stay away from him if I were you.”
“Oh, come on! Give him a chance. I bet he was ostracized at his last school just because he was different.”
“I still have a bad feeling about him, Wen. Maybe those kids at his last school were on to something.”
Wendy rolled her eyes as Tucker strode up to them.
“Hey ladies, what’s going on?”
“Hey babe!” Abby said, kissing him.
Tucker looked expectantly at Wendy, who had returned the strangers gaze. Finally, Tucker tapped her on the shoulder. “Ahem.”
“Oh, hi Tuck! Happy two-year anniversary.”
“Thanks Wen, I was—”
“What do you know about the new kid?”
Tucker shared a worried glance with his girlfriend.
“You mean the Joker wannabe? I heard he’s a serial killer and that this town his just the latest in a long string of towns he’s terrorized.”
“Are you serious!?” Abby gasped.
“Nah, I’m bullshittin ya. But I have heard that he’s dangerous.” He took Wendy by the shoulders and turned her around to look at him. “I know you like weirdoes, Wen. But he’s bad news. So Stay. Away.”
“Ugh.” Abby rolled her eyes and stepped out of his grasp. “Whatever, Tuck. Why don’t you guys go make googly eyes at each other or something?”
Abby smiled. “Not a bad idea. It is our anniversary after all, and this is our last year in high school. Why don’t we have a little fun?” She took his arm and pulled him towards a janitor’s closet just as the bell rang.

Wendy turned and pretended to rummage through her locker. She would never admit that she was jealous of her best friend’s relationship, since Wendy had so much rotten luck with them. But at the same time she was happy for her, and knew that she was in good hands because the three of them had been best friends for a long time. All of her own relationships never lasted long, but maybe she just hadn’t found the right guy yet.

Wendy turned around to see that the hallway was just about empty. The boy was still there, staring into his locker once again. Wendy started to head to class, but turned again to look at him. He would probably be teased and avoided by everyone else in school. She remembered how no one would talk to her because she was different, until Abby, and later Tucker, came around. Wendy took a deep breath, and marched over to him.

Although she knew he heard her approaching, he didn’t immediately turn around. Knowing that it would probably be rude, she craned her neck to see what he was looking at. It was a picture, taped to the back of his locker, of what looked like a happy family. There were the parents and two smiling little boys, one with black hair and one with brown. Wendy guessed that the black-haired one was him. As she squinted at the picture, she thought she saw that someone had scribbled large smiles on their faces in red pen. Just as she was trying to get a better look, he turned around.

“Oh, um, hi!”
The boy cocked his head at her. Wendy had to admit that up close, he looked a little scarier. His eyes were bloodshot, like he hadn’t slept in months, and his pasty white make-up made him look like a ghost.
“My name is Wendy. I just wanted to let you know that if you ever need anyone to show you around, I’m just across the hall. I know it’s not easy being the new kid.”
He turned to close his locker and then faced her again. Wendy shuffled her feet.
“So um, what’s your name?”
“Jeff.”
Wendy winced at the sound of his voice. It sounded dry, like he needed to drink a glass of water.
“Well, Jeff, how about I show you to your first class?”

As Wendy gently took the crumpled up schedule from him, an image flashed through her mind as their fingers touched. It was of herself, covered in blood, and pointing an accusatory finger at her. “Wha…” Wendy felt woozy for a moment. She leaned against the locker for support.

“Are you alright… Wendy?” Jeff asked, amused.
“Yeah.” She straightened up. “Let’s go, shall we?”

Wendy wondered what it meant as they walked down the hall. Could it be an omen? Did it have something to do with Jeff? No, that’s impossible. Jeff seemed like a nice guy, and it’s not like she actually saw a vision or anything. It was probably nothing, nothing at all.

~END~

Credit To – Angel Rocket

This is the last 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 – Act 3

June 4, 2013 at 12:00 PM
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Act 3 – Officer Jane
(suggested track: Teenagers, by My Chemical Romance)
Officer Thomas Jane and his rookie partner, Jade Mason, walked lazily through the cornfields, occasionally flashing their flashlight at every sound they heard. Officer Jane hated nights like this, when teens prank called the station, yet he was still obligated to check it out. He knew he wouldn’t find anything, so he didn’t object when Officer Mason suggested they stop for coffee. Even so, according to the operator, the kid who called sounded really calm. An unnatural sort of calm, like the kind that comes before a storm. He knew the kid too; the one whose girlfriend went missing after her best friend disappeared not long after her parents were murdered. It seemed like ever since that boy came to town, there was just one bad thing after another. But why would the killer stay here? It didn’t make any sense, the kid had to be mistaken.
As soon as they reached the house, Officer Jane felt like there was something wrong. He couldn’t quite put his finger on it, but something jus didn’t feel right. He turned to his partner.
“Get your gun ready Mason, I have a bad feeling about this.” Officer Mason nodded solemnly and did as she was told.
As soon as they opened the door, a powerful odor hit them. Officer Mason wouldn’t know, but Officer Jane recognized that smell. It was the smell of death. Once again he turned to his fellow officer. “I think we’re going to need back-up.”
After calling for back up, the two officers cautiously entered the house. Not knowing whether or not the killer was still there, they decided to stick together at first. They searched all of the rooms on the first floor, eventually making their way to the living room. Officer Mason let out a shriek as she shined her flashlight over the couches. When Officer Jane shone his flashlight as well, all he could utter was “Mother of God…”
There were corpses everywhere, of men, women and children of all ages, and in various stages of decay. There must have been over a dozen of them. They were all posed in different positions, as if they were friends and families gathering together for afternoon tea. There were people slumped on the couch “reading a book”, or sitting in a chair with the newspaper. Some were even sitting on the floor, posed as if playing a board game. Their mouths were agape, and their eyes were rolled to the back of their heads. As the officers began to examine them, they recognized a few from the missing posters that had skyrocketed in recent months. Officer Mason had to leave the house to throw up outside. Officer Jane remained inside, wondering why there weren’t any flies surrounding the bodies.
As the officers made their way to the stairwell, they noticed the dried blood on the floor and the rail. They gave each other a wary look, and then continued on, guns at the ready. Once they reached the top floor, they split up and checked each room. They were all the same as the living room. More corpses, all posed in various positions, their mouths and eyes agape. They were all in different stages of decay, some fresher than Officer Jane would have liked. “Just what kind of sick fuck are we dealing with?” He murmured, to no one in particular.
“Jane!” Officer Mason called from another room. “I’ve got something over here.”
Officer Jane followed her voice to a middle closet. Officer Mason wore a grave expression on her face, but she nodded towards the open door. Officer Jane took a deep breath and aimed his flashlight into the closet. Inside were the bodies of two teenage girls. One was a lot more decayed than the other, but there was something strange about the way they were positioned. They were leaning against each other, the eyes and mouths closed in what could have been a peaceful slumber. They were holding each other’s hand, and wrapped around the two bodies was red string, tying them together.
A tap on his shoulder startled Officer Jane, but before he could say anything, Officer Mason pointed above the heads of the bodies. Following her finger, Officer Jane saw that written in blood were the words “Loved and Lost.” Officer Jane wondered what that meant, but he couldn’t dwell on it right now. There was still one more room that they needed to check, and hopefully the killer was still hiding there.
As they made their way to the end of the hall, they could hear sirens approaching. Their back up, finally. It would take them a while to make it through the cornfields. Officer Jane didn’t have time to go down and give them a briefing. He had to see what was in that last room. He looked at his partner, who looked back at him with a determined expression on her face. He knew she was afraid, but he also knew that she wanted to take this person down as much as he did. She would never forget this experience for the rest of her career; she could no longer be considered a rookie cop. Today, she had seen more than half the cops on the force. Things like this just didn’t happen in their peaceful town.
When they entered the last room, Officer Mason once again had to stop herself from throwing up. Lying on the bed was a young woman, her abdomen sliced open and her entrails falling out. She was a fresh corpse, Officer Jane realized as he examined her. She was pretty too, such a shame. They looked around for the killer, but they quickly realized he was long gone. There was a desk with a computer monitor on it, but the computer itself was gone.
“He must have found out we were coming.” Officer Mason sniffed.
“Yeah, while we were out there taking our time, he was escaping.”
“I wonder how he was able to use this computer.”
“What?” Officer Jane said, turning to her.
Officer Mason looked stunned. “The computer, how could he have used the internet when there’s no signal or any electricity out here?”
“How do we even know he used it?”
“Well why would he take it if he hadn’t been using it? A monitor with no computer, that doesn’t make sense.”
“Yeah…” Officer Jane didn’t have much time to think about it, as he could hear the other officers coming through the door and calling out to them.
“I guess I’ll go down and tell them the situation, seeing as how he’s not here anymore.”
“Alright, I’ll stay up here and look around some more.”
As Officer Jane headed to the stairway, he tried to collect his thoughts. He was ready for this nightmare to be over, but he knew it wouldn’t be for a long time. And what’s worse? The killer had escaped because they hadn’t taken the call seriously. Just as he reached the top of the stairs, he heard a shout coming from the room at the end of the hall.
Officer Jane, followed by the other officers that had come as back up, ran to the room with their guns ready. But when they reached the room, it was empty save for the young girl who was already dead.
“In here!” Came a muffled voice from a small doorway.
Officer Jane and the other officers slowly entered the room. A fresh metallic smell filled their noses upon entering. They all flashed their lights around the room. Lying on a bloody metal operating table was a teenage boy. His hands and feet were tied down, and his throat was slit. Officer Mason was leaning over him.
“He’s still warm.” She said, her voice quivering as she tried not to cry. “This must be the boy who called 911. We came too late.”
“And that’s not all.” Said an officer named Joe Rake, as Officer Jane comforted his partner. “It looks like we’ve got a confession.”
All of the officers simultaneously aimed their lights were Officer Rake was pointing his. On the wall above the boy’s body, written in fresh blood, was a message:
Jeff was here.

Credit To – Angel Rocket

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

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