Ghosts of Yesteryear: Mugsy Grey

October 4, 2013 at 12:00 PM
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First off -before we get too deep into this I’m telling you trolls and ‘yeah rights’ out there to sit down and behave yourselves. This story is true, and one any of you naysayer’s could uncover yourself given enough actual footwork and patience. Second, if whoevers reading this gets their chills from blood and guts then, as this is from real history, you’re out of luck.

But if you’re afraid of the unknown and unforeseeable then settle in. Cause it’s time to tell you about the ghosts left behind in the past, and of a specter by the name of ‘Mugsy Grey‘.

Our story begins, or maybe more accurately ends, back in the early 1930’s in the outskirts of Chicago on September the twenty ninth. Mugsy Grey, who’s real name was actually Arthur Carrie, was a two bit hood in the criminal underworld that wanted the finer things in life, but didn’t like crawling around in the muck to get it. If he had maybe his life wouldn’t have ended on a bitter note.

Although no two accounts can agree on what exactly made him do it, on September 29th Carrie took the biggest gamble of his life by “borrowing” (that means stealing), roughly fifty thousand dollars from his unsuspecting boss before running hell for leather. No doubt imagining what his employer would do to him if he ever found him again, Carrie ducked and weaved through various dives and bars, leaving a trail of misinformation and false destinations before finally running out of town with his ill gotten gains. As it turns out he wasn’t the only one running out, which is why is car crapped out along a stretch of lonely highway. After pushing the car into a decent hiding spot, Carrie began his long trek with cash in hand in the hopes of finding someway out of his predicament.

Tramping through the small hours of the night into the early hours of morning you have to wonder what was going through his mind. After all his brilliant plan didn’t so much as hit a bump but smacked right into a brick wall. His head start had dried up hours ago, he was tired and hungry, men were out looking for him (and likely to hang various bits of him from a nearby tree), the money needed hiding, and the word along the grapevine was certainly covering more ground then he was right now. To know if he ever did reach civilization he wouldn’t be able to cool his heels for long probably didn’t perform any small miracles for his temper. I could honestly say what he really needed now was a break from Lady Luck herself.

And just over the next horizon was a gas station at last. Better yet as he get closer, a car further down the road pulled in to fill up, a perfect replacement car no one would recognize him in.

Moving speedily closer he no doubt watched the not so lucky man hungrily with pocket knife in hand. All he needed was the keys, he must’ve been thinking, and he’d be safe at last and in the clear, with fifty thousand big ones paving the road to happiness. He crept closer.

The unsuspecting motorist must have finished filling up by then and was about to pay when Arthur sprang forward and grabbed the man from behind- pressing his knife to the man’s throat. What happened next should be obvious. Especially since with an irony only life can shell out the motorist turned out to be one of the very thugs looking for him.

This particular goon, having lack of direction that could rival some of the shoddiest GPSs of today, had gotten lost following one of Arthur‘s fake leads, and had spent the better part of his night taking back roads and dead ends to make a giant dog leg back to Chicago, and was probably in a really bad mood when some stupid yahoo jumped him from behind. The humor of the situation was clearly never seen by Carrie later on (however brief it was), since shortly afterwards reports began cropping up of people in that area getting attacked by a ‘grey faced mobster’. Since no one knew who he was he was finally just nicknamed, ‘Mugsy Grey‘. As to how he ‘attacked’ them, it went something like this…

Imagine you’re low on gas or something. Whatever it is you decide to pull off to conveniently nearby gas station, fill up the tank, grab a snack or decide to stretch your legs. Suddenly you’re grabbed from behind, and something long and sharp is pressed against your throat. Quietly someone says in your ear, “Gimme your keys.”

Congrats. You’ve just been mugged by a dead man called Mugsy Grey, and now have only two options. Either do what he says, or, try to get away. And you better choose fast because Mugsy doesn’t like to be kept waiting.

There are a lot of stories willing to tell you -in great detail- what happens if you pick the wrong one. How you’ll be found dead in your car with your throat cut and the initials MG written in blood on the driver’s rear view mirror. That he’ll take you with him and you’ll never be seen again. Or how he’ll follow you home and kill you in your sleep that very night. And finally, if you don’t decide fast enough he’ll kill you right where you’re standing and disappear laughing manically.

To fend him off varies on the person telling it, ranging from simply pleading for your life to being the right gender and even all the way to re-enacting the event as the thug. Generally though you’re supposed to give him the car keys since (it’s said), that’s what the thug did just before he killed Mugsy, and by doing so makes him relive his own death and vanish. But these are all just stories.

Out of all the reported sightings, a total of one hundred and forty nine in all, no one has ever died by “choosing the wrong one.” In most cases the victim dropped the keys and waited in terrified silence for their attacker to leave or just kill them, standing still for some time but none the worse for wear. The same almost goes for those who try to run, based on an actual account from a woman named Patrice Grace, who died in 1992. Luckily she had passed the story on to her grand children, one of which was kind enough to tell me.

Grace had just finished washing up it the restroom when she felt a cold breeze wash over her and then was suddenly grabbed from behind. Knife pressed against her throat her unseen mugger (Mugsy), demanded that she give him her keys. Though she said she never saw what he looked like she did say that she almost keeled over at the smell of his stale tobacco breath. Thinking quickly she told him that she left the keys in her car and needed to go back and get them. The mugger, who sounded “far away“ to her, didn’t have a problem with this but warned her not to try any funny business. Together they went outside with him holding her at knife point and halfway to the car Grace took her chances to break free. She said afterwards that she felt only a little more pressure on her throat before it vanished completely as she ran away screaming for help. When she was being comforted by the station’s staff someone noticed that across her throat was a thin red line, exactly where she swore the knife had touched her.

Accounts from those who also fought back are pretty similar to Grace’s experience, all of whom save and sound. Those who got a good look at him describe him as a thin, ‘white or grey faced’ man, with bad breath and a far away expression -some adding that he wore old looking clothes. All given the same parting gift of irritated skin along the throat where they say the knife was pressed, but would fade away in a few days time.

Mugsy Grey’s reign of terror lasted for a handful of decades before finally petering out in 1974, probably due to road changes along the highways and newly added interstates. I tried finding the gas station myself three years ago but ended up without anything to show for it. Meaning the gas station itself may have been abandoned or even torn down over the last few years. But I shouldn’t get comfortable if I was you.

In 2011, reports along Wisconsin, Illinois and -for some reason- down in Florida, describe a phantom mugger whose MO is eerily similar to an old friend. Even after some digging I’m not sure if any of them are fakes or that it may be the work of a new ghost. However. In one of the articles taken from a small Peru Illinois newspaper, it mentions that the lucky survivor escaped with only, “a visible bruise across the throat.”

Credit To – Collaborater1241

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My Grandfather Knew Why We Run from the Dark

October 4, 2013 at 12:00 AM
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I always admired my grandfather’s courage. He had fought in the war on what we nowadays think of as the wrong side, but he had never been a believer in the cause. Sometimes a rifle is pressed in your hand and your choice is either to fire and worry about being shot from the front, or not to fire and be sure that you’ll be shot from behind.

He was young when he was drafted, barely 16. Before he left he gave his first kiss and a promise to a girl. She waited five years until the end of the war, surviving on just five or six letters that she kept as treasure.

The war ended but even the defeat was celebrated. Not openly, but in the hearts and eyes of the people. People never wage war, it is politicians that wage war. No soldier that ever stood in the line of a rifle believes that war is heroic, only those divorced from reality, those that sit in tidy offices, those dream of war.

Soldiers came home with thin bodies and bandaged limbs. They hugged their wives and women before they fell onto beds and relived the front in dreams that made them toss and turn and wake up from their own screams.

His girl watched with tears in her eyes while her sister and mother each welcomed their men home. She heard the men scream at night and each scream lodged a stone in her throat. She prayed that the man she had kissed did not have to scream and then she prayed that the man she had kissed was alive enough to scream. Then she prayed for forgiveness for her selfishness.

The other men, when they came, were often so thin that their women, when they welcomed them, were scared of hugging them too tightly for their spines or ribs might break. Especially those that came from the East were thin, the skin of their faces sunken into their cheeks.

Two years after the war a scarecrow knocked on her door. An old man, forty at least, the arms thin like bare bones, a hard and dirty beard that had long stopped growing for want of nutrition and his skin a gray with blue and black patches. His lips stretched into a black-toothed smile. She stepped back into the house. The door was closing fast.

“Wait,” he said. “It’s me.”

Even after hot meal and shower and shave she still recognized nothing except his eyes and the shape of his nose. It took two weeks before she thought that he was true and another two before she was sure.

Sometimes, on those days where she took him along to the market, the sellers called him her father. The man in the leather chair had to ask her twice and then demand another witness to make sure that he was the man he claimed to be and not his father or uncle or another older relative.

The war had stolen his youth.

When my grandfather spoke about the war he never spoke about his experiences. He spoke in the abstract, the way you speak about a movie or a book, not even the way you speak about history.

“They were overrun. Hundreds of kilometers, there was no resistance at all. Then General Winter, as the Russians call it, attacked.”

“The troops still got further. There were villages, poor people. It wasn’t a choice; the supplies weren’t coming. Everything was taken. All those that didn’t run were shot.”

Sometimes he talked about the early phases of the war, when everybody was hopeful, when things were going far too well and easy. He always said, not with pride but in a matter-of-fact way, that the war would have been won if it had been against one or two or five countries, rather than against half the civilized world.

But my grandfather refused to speak about the things that happened at the end and after the war. When he was asked he didn’t reply. He only shook his head and looked away.

My grandmother said that she heard strange things when he was asleep. She heard him begging for food and water, for a blanket. She heard him beg that someone stop. She heard him beg that someone let him go. She heard him beg for forgiveness.

As long as I can remember I asked my grandfather about the war. Despite his warnings, for me those were stories of adventure and courage. I only heard when he spoke about trenches and gunfire, not when he spoke about catching rats for food and drying puddle water and trousers so soiled that it was better to rub them clean with mud and dry them in the rare moments of sun than to leave them as they were.

I didn’t understand that my questions hurt him, that I forced him to relieve a time that he would have given an arm to forget.

And yet, all those times when I made him tell stories in his odd unemotional and descriptive way, he refused to speak about the end. Once I baited him enough to say that he did not remember how he got home; sometimes riding on trains and sometimes by foot, but always just following the direction of the setting sun until he stumbled upon street signs that he finally could read.

He came from far in the East. Places he either did not remember or did not want to remember. And every time I asked his stories ended with the village that they pillaged, where they condemned men and women and children to death because they themselves did not know how else to survive.

As said, I always admired my grandfather for his courage. He paid that war with his youth and on his return decided that, for this heavy price, he at least wanted to be a good man.

I could recount countless times when I saw him, an old man by then, chase down young rascals that had egged a house or stolen a handbag. He jumped in when neighbors needed help. He passed a burning house and thought he heard a child caught still inside. He told me to stay where I was and without a thought slammed his shoulder into the door until it broke from its hinges and he himself disappeared in black smoke. In the end there was no child that needed to be saved. My mother called him a fool for breaking his shoulder like that. For me he was a hero.

My grandfather taught me that we all dream of being courageous but that very few of us take our chance to be a hero when it is offered to us. In our lives we pass countless times where we could save, but we drive past and look for excuses. “I have to hurry home.” “It didn’t look that bad.” “Others were helping already.”

Being scared and comfortable is easier than being courageous. And to make ourselves feel good we imagine the heroic acts we would have done if we had had the time or if it had been that bad or if others hadn’t been there.

There was only one thing my grandfather was scared of. Dark rooms.

Their house had a basement but they rarely, if ever, used it. There were strong lights installed and the light switch was outside the basement door, but there was nothing inside except for old furniture never to be used again and a few old tires that should someday have made a swing.

My grandmother did not mind entering the basement, but he forbade her to use it.

“There are things,” he said. “That live in such darkness.”

At night he made sure that everyone else was upstairs and in their rooms. He turned the flashlight on and the living room lights off and, faster than he should have moved in his age, hastened up the stairs.

The guest room was right next to their bedroom. So many times and years I heard him run up those stairs, slam the door and breathe heavy air into his lungs. My grandmother never complained. She never told him that he had to stop or that he was risking his life.

She understood. She knew. He had told her.

My father’s parents had died in a car accident when I was young. For me they are a hazy memory, more photos than people. That might be why my mother’s parents were so important for me. They were my personal grandparents, the ones I had and the ones I loved.

They had always been very healthy. When I was young my grandfather still ran and played soccer with me. But in the last few years their age was beginning to take its toll. I noticed that they lost their ability to focus, then their ability to remember recent events, then their ability to remember me.

My grandmother and grandfather still followed their routine. They cared for themselves and didn’t need our help except for tax matters and other administrative duties that some government official had decided needed to be complicated. My parents visited often to make sure that the house was in order and food in the fridge. They kept me updated on my grandparents’ health and happiness.

For Christmas I finally managed to visit. It’s not a nice thing to admit but my parents and I – with my mother as her parents’ only child and me as my parents’ only child – made sure to be there and not have any other plans because we thought it might be the last Christmas that we would have together as a family. I was happy to see them and hug them again. I felt guilty, in a way, that I hadn’t provided any great-grandchildren yet and had not even a girlfriend or wife to present.

I was surprised how confused they were; that they did not remember who I was. My grandparents did not seem to remember my parents’ names either, but they still recognized their faces. I was a stranger, face and name alike and during the meals and songs and conversations I felt as if I was an intruder in bygone lives that they were reliving with glassy eyes.

It was the 26th of December. My parents and grandmother went to see the Christmas market. I stayed home with my grandfather and his aching knee to drink tee and play scrabble.

I was in the kitchen when he called out.

“Son!”

With the teapot I walked back into the living room. He sat in his armchair, upright, his eyes suddenly clear and right on me.

“Son!” he said again, loud and forceful.

“Yes?”

“Make sure the lights are on.”

“Sure, grandpa.”

I walked towards the light switch. His eyes followed me.

“They come when the lights are off,” he said. “You know that, right?”

“I’m not sure who comes, but I’ll keep the lights on for you.”

“They!”

His voice was not frail anymore; it thundered through the room.

“They come! Those things! I told you about them!”

I turned the light on.

“I don’t think you told me,” I said. “I’m not sure what you mean.”

“Don’t fool me, boy!”

“I’m sorry, I really don’t know what you mean.”

“Oh, I told you. I know I told you. I taught you to keep the lights on.”

“You told me to keep the lights on, but you never told me why.”

There was anger in his face.

“Why? Why? I saw them and I saw what they do to us and you doubt me?”

“You saw things in the dark?”

“Three years I saw them. Three years they held me and the others.”

“I never heard about that.”

“Oh,” he said. “Then you should.”

That evening, in less than twenty minutes, my grandfather told me about his last years at the front.

One year before the war ended they were ordered to retreat. They fled in small groups through the countryside they had pillaged and burned just weeks before, past houses with the frozen dead still inside.

There was a church, he said, a large old church made of stone. It was the only building still intact in the village, the only place to seek shelter from the wind and cold.

They made a fire with old church benches and sank to their sleep right next to it. Seven men in total, two injured and moaning and the other five just scared and weak.

My grandfather said he woke up from screams all around him. The room was pitch black. The stone floor was moving under his body. He struggled to get on his feet – and only then realized that his feet were being held. The floor was still; his feet were being pulled.

Then he too screamed.

He said they were pulled down stairs. His weapon and knife were gone. Then he heard more people, moaning and screaming. A suffocating stench punched into his lungs.

He was thrown onto a heap of warm bodies. Something bit his leg and he kicked and a man screamed in pain.

The room was pitch black. Another man was thrown on him. A door fell shut and was locked.

He said they moved away from the heap of bodies, but the cold soon drove them to get closer. Every few minutes somebody screamed. He could hear flesh ripping and teeth grinding.

He said there must have been hundreds of people. He said they tried to hammer against the metal door and scream for help and the voice of an old man laughed at them from behind. He said in broken German that the door was thick and nobody there that could hear them.

But once every while the door opened. Something dark moved inside and when it came inside the room grew cold and the humans moved closer to one another. My grandfather said he felt the energy being drained from his body and a panic and dread rise in his soul.

Soon the dread started even before the door opened.

They all adapted. There was no problem with water. It ran occasionally down the walls and if it was not licked off it accumulated on the floor to join with the layers of excrement and sweat. He said that he tried to hold out, but that after days of hunger you choose desperate measures. He said that he never killed one there, that he only took pieces from those that had died or at least those that he thought had died.

Every few days more were thrown into the room. Every few days there was a struggle, some of the old against some of the new.

They tried to stay together, the brothers in arms that had fought together, but soon that too broke apart.

He said that some day the number of new people started decreasing. There were only a rare few and the numbers in the room dwindled. He sat for most of the time on a higher stone, one that the others seemed to not have found. He only climbed down when he knew that a struggle had ended, that one was dead, that something could be eaten.

But no matter the struggles, every time when the dread came and the door opened, they all huddled together. They all felt the same exhaustion and cold and panic in their souls.

And then, one day, long after no more new people arrived, when only three or four or five were left, there were footsteps outside. He was scared because he didn’t feel dread. The door opened and a man with a torch stood there. A gun fell from his hand and his mouth opened and he ran and scrambled up the stairs and he threw up while running.

The door was open. There was a glimmer of light from upstairs. That was how my grandfather left. He said he didn’t turn to look who or what he left behind. Something behind him scrambled up the stairs too, but he was the first to get out and he was the first to reach the forest and eat grass and bugs and other things that he found close to the ground.

He found a piece of cloth first, then a rotten uniform on a corpse and later, when he had scrambled far enough and when his strength returned, he found a village and stole a dry uniform from a laundry line and a bag of potatoes from the same place.

“I don’t know what they are,” he said. “But they live from the warmth and spirit we leave behind.”

I nodded.

“They live off us,” he said. “Do you understand? They need you to exist. They want to catch you. They want to drain you. They want that you forget about the light.”

“The light?” I asked.

“Yes,” he said. “The light. They held us in the darkness. Three years they drained me and lived off me and made me do things I don’t even want to think again.”

He cleared his throat.

“And,” he said. “I know what that dread feels like. It is not like any other. It is at the core of your being, you feel it in your spine and back and gut. Three years I felt it and after that it never went away.”

“It never went away?”

“Of course it didn’t,” he said. “Because they always stay. They always wait. They will always be there, consuming what spirit you leave behind, and hoping that one day you become careless, that you forget about the light. And then they strike.”

I glimpsed outside, where the world was slowly turning gray.

“They are here, right now?”

My grandfather nodded.

“They wait,” he said. “They come and consume what we leave. But they hope for more. They hope that one of us grows careless and ignores the dread. They wait until one of us stays when the room is dark.”

We sat quietly, his eyes meeting mine.

“Okay,” I finally said.

“Good,” he said.

He nodded silently, then looked outside. A moment later his eyes seemed glassy again.

“Are you okay?” I asked.

He turned to me and frowned.

“Who are you?” he asked.

It was the last conversation that I truly had with him. Since January his condition got worse, he talked about dead men. He spoke about hunger and fear. He asked for the girl that he had kissed when he was 16 and neither he nor she noticed that the girl sat right next to him, patting his hand.

I loved my grandfather. I miss him. I wish I had been there rather than a six hour drive away and that I could have taken care of him rather than leave him alone. I wish that it had been me or my parents and not the girl that waited seven years for his return that had to find him.

But most of all, and I know that sounds cruel and wrong and selfish, I wish that he would have died in his bed or in the hospital, during the day.

I wish so much that she didn’t have to find him in the morning, on the living room floor, with the flashlight off and his mouth wide open.

Credit To – Anton Scheller

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Young Again

October 2, 2013 at 12:00 AM
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“Youth is wasted on the young.” – George Bernard Shaw

The old, hate-filled woman had been staring at the bathtub for a whole 15 minutes until she was entirely satisfied that it was dead. Taking her gangrenous black foot from the back of its head, it rose slowly to the surface of the calm, cold water, no longer pinned down by the crabby appendage.

Gripping its scalp with her claw-like nails, digging them under the surface of its soft white skin, she snatched it out of the water in a single, wicked motion, before forcefully smashing it against the floor, like a potter adding clay to the kiln. The back of its head became flat as a pancake, while the sides split open and sloppy brain flowed freely from the cracks. Then she went to work.

Taking a pair of rusted scissors, she messily snipped and sliced the skin from all around its head, taking special care to preserve the eyelids. Then, with a great deal of effort, made more difficult by her missing fingers, she ripped off its head and flipped it inside-out, discarding its small skull by tossing it in the nearby faucet.

She was greying, with hair down to her knees, and horrible, sunken eyes and a near-toothless mouth. Ugly. Horriffic. But that was about to change.

Grabbing a large needle and a thick, leather thread, she began stitching the skin to her own face. It didn’t look good. The mangled, tatty skin was secured to her face by the rotting thread, which wove messily in and out, over and under her skin. She ignored the pain. And the blood. There was a lot of blood. Some of it even her own.

After what seemed an agonizing few minutes, she stood up from her wobbling knees, her hands still shaking and her vision slightly blurred from the intense pain. None of that mattered now, though.

As she looked at herself in the mirror, she couldn’t help but smile that wicked, foul, toothless grin. She looked disgusting before, like a witch, or something dead, but now she was beautiful. It was a miracle, she thought, that the family from across the street had ever trusted her to babysit their child.

It didn’t matter now. She finally had her baby face.

Credit To – Acaimo

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Tu Es Partout

October 1, 2013 at 12:00 PM
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“Run goddamnit run! They’re swarming in!”

I peered my head out the shattered window to catch a glimpse of my malicious attackers, unceasing in their desire to end the lives of me and my platoon. I have no idea how they infiltrated our bunker, but I was keen minded and caught one of the damned krauts trying to slit my throat as I slept. Unfortunately for the bastard he met my Thompson machine gun before he could do me harm; and with the instincts of a true soldier I proceeded to storm room to room, slaughtering any of Hitler’s boys that I could find. I admit a slight maliciousness overcame me, as I often jeered upon hearing the quick screams of the damned jerrys cut short when I threw in a frag, and at least once I made an audible shout of joy when red crimson sprayed in the air upon a shot to the temple.
It was just when I thought I regrouped with the survivors of our platoon I shouted for them to retreat, opting myself to be the valiant last line of defense as my comrades would disengage for reinforcements; however, the only response from behind me was an inaudible scream of unimaginable horror. Immediately fearing the worst, I glanced behind and saw the familiar glint of gray helmets with a bell-like curve. Knowing my men were already lost, I fully turned around, Thompson in hand, and unloaded what was left of my clip to the kraut group of four or five, shouting at the top of my lungs as each was falling upon the other in a spectacular display of bloody carnage. The familiar stuttering of an empty cartridge followed, as well as several seconds of holistic silence; I couldn’t help erring a wry smile at my quick show of force that had no doubt kept me alive these many months behind enemy lines. Silence however was soon disrupted by a faint cry from the pile of cadavers I just created.

I stepped closer to investigate – gun in hand in case of survivors – and lifted one of the bodies; beneath it was crouched a young girl, around nine or ten, draped in what looked like a white hospital gown splashed with red. With her bloody hands draped over her ears she lifted her head and stared at me in pure terror, an unfamiliar but immediately recognizable sight beyond the likes of which I had never seen. Realizing the smoking barrel of my gun was aimed between her eyes, I quickly discarded that nasty bit of machinery and came to her eye-level, hers filled to the brim with horrified tears. In a sudden stroke of paternal instinct I held her tight in my arms, quietly murmuring that everything is going to be alright. It’s going to be just fine.

It was only then I realized my own attire, a blood-drenched white gown much like her own, and the quiet playing of a phonograph nearby that relayed the soothing sounds of Edith Piaf. If one listened closely, the distant wails of sirens soon accompanied that sweet tune.

It was 1946, the war was over.

Credit To – Len Lye

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Mute

September 28, 2013 at 12:00 AM
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I should’ve known something was wrong. What happened that night was fucked up, no doubt, and I had a lot to deal with, a lot on my mind. But how did I not notice something so obvious, something that was staring me right in the fucking face, WHAT THE FUCK IS WRONG WITH ME?!

I’d put Susie to bed several hours ago, her slipping eyelids and persistent yawn being all the evidence I needed that she lacked the fortitude to complete our Disney Marathon. “But daddy, I’m really awake, I promise!” she’d pleaded with me as I carried her up to her room in my arms. “Oh really?” I chuckled, playing with her, “Then what’s your middle name?”. I could almost hear the gears spinning in her tired little head as she desperately tried to find the answer, the one thing she needed to watch the stunningly climactic conclusion of Mulan 2, if indeed she could remain conscious long enough. She pulled a funny face and guessed, “Pretty?”. I laughed and touched her nose. “Alright, take me to bed.” She said moodily, looking defeated.

The move had been hard on her. She was only five, after all, and she’d had to grow up a lot faster than any child should ever have to. But she was so smart for her age, so understanding. She understood why we had to move so far away from all her family and friends, to this unfamiliar house in an even more unfamiliar city. She understood why she couldn’t see her mother anymore, that she wasn’t the same, that she’d forgotten how to love after the drugs took their hold. She understood that she’d probably never see her old friends again, that she’d have to make new ones. She, somehow, even understood why I’d suddenly had to start taking the little white pills from the little orange bottle every morning and afternoon (The stress of a long, drawn out separation from my wife, and waking up every morning to see the shell of the woman I once called the love of my life, had broken my heart, literally). “If my daddy gets too excited, his heart explodes!” I’d heard her telling some other girls one day when I was picking her up from school, much to their fascination. Not quite right, bless her, but it was amazing that she was so close because we’d never even spoken about it before.

“Don’t worry, we’ll watch the rest in the morning, together, I promise.” I reassured her as I tucked her into bed and gave her a kiss on the cheek. “But I must warn you, at the very end, Mula-” “Don’t tell me!” she shouted as she buried her head in the pillow and made the classic “I can’t hear you” sounds. I laughed again, told her I loved her, as I always did, turned off her lights and left her door open a crack before going back downstairs to watch some shitty late-night tv.

She was the strongest girl I’d ever met, bar none. Even during her infancy, she’d rarely ever cried. Even if something was upsetting her, even if something was really scaring her, or if she was in serious pain, she would just sit there, resolute, showing no weakness. I laughed as I recalled the memory of when she was only two. By that age, she already knew how to feed herself using a spoon, and I’d normally just sit her in her high chair with the bowl in front of her and let her get to it while I did other chores around the house. But one morning, she wasn’t eating. She was just sat in her chair with a sour, unhappy, pained expression on her face. She wasn’t crying, but I could tell something was wrong. Turned out that I had accidentally trapped her entire hand in the joint of the high chair’s folding table when I’d put her food down on it. She wasn’t hurt, luckily, but it just goes to show how tough she was, even as a baby. When I looked into her eyes, I didn’t see a child, I saw a woman. She was the only female I needed in my life now. I loved her, unconditionally, more than life itself and I knew that as long as we were together everything would be fine.
It got to that point in the night where the adverts for stretching super-hoses or pop-up gazebos begin to run together with the fake tarot readings and over-the-phone spiritual guidance, and I really thought I might die or, at the very least, become brain damaged to the point of incontinence if I watched another second. When even the tv strippers start putting their clothes back on, you know it’s time to hit the can. Switching the tv off with the remote, I quickly stood up and patted myself down to make sure I hadn’t, indeed, shat myself. I got the all clear and started up the stairs, fumbling with my pills, turning off lights as I went and preparing myself for bed.

That’s when I heard the scream. That bone-chilling, blood-curdling scream. That pained, gurgling scream. Susie’s scream.

I launched my pills into the air and sprinted up the stairs. I burst into her room, panting, scanning around for any sign of danger, and found none. Content that the room was empty, save for myself and her, I kneeled at her bed and stroked her face. “What’s wrong, honey?” I asked her gently. She just sat up in bed, frozen, paralyzed almost, pointing one shaking finger towards the foot of her bed and clutching her other hand close to her chest. This wasn’t really any surprise to me. Yes, she was a strong girl, but she was entitled to her share of childlike monster-in-the-walls-type fears that everybody goes through at that age. I’d been woken up many times in the small hours of the morning by her cries of “Monster in my wardrobe!” or “Ghost in my floorboards!” (The latter of which ended with me doing some weird, foot-stomping dance ritual to ward off evil spirits). One that had become more and more frequent of late was “Man at my window!”, which was one of the few I actually took seriously, but luckily there never was, at least not that I saw. This time was different, though. She hadn’t shouted out any of those usual complaints. She hadn’t shouted anything. She had just screamed.
That’s when I should have known, right then, right then and fucking there is when I should have realized. That I was too late. That the worst had already happened.

I decided to see if I could calm her down, have a little fun with it, try to get her back in the sleeping mood, y’know? I walked over to the other side of the room, where the wardrobe was. “Is it… IN THE WARDROBE?” I asked loudly, suddenly jerking the doors open to reveal nothing but clothes and hangers. “Nope, no monsters in there.” I concluded. “Unless… It’s Invisible Ivan!” I yelled, unleashing a flurry of kung-fu-esque moves into the empty closet. “Nope, Ivan’s not in there either.” Then I bent down and started rapping my knuckles on the floor. “Hmm… floorboards sound empty to me!” I stood up again, smiling, and looked at Susie. Her cold, terrified gaze just followed me around the room, her face the picture of absolute seriousness, her quivering finger unmoved from the end of her bed. The smile quickly melted from my face. My ghostbuster routine usually at least made her chuckle, I knew something had seriously scared her and whatever it was, she thought it was under the bed. “Down there?” I mimed to her, gesturing to the floor under where she sat. She nodded silently, then withdrew her hand and clenched it tight to her chest, like the other one. I got down on two knees, put my hands on the floor and prepared my scariest roar to pretend to scare away whatever imaginary creature lived there. I quickly brought my head down to floor level and was just about to shout under the mattress when what I saw made the breath catch in my throat; I felt nauseous, terrified and infuriated all in the same instance, but that’s not when I had my heart attack.

He was laying there, totally naked and on the erect, in an expanding pool of his own piss. His wrinkly, curdled, wart-covered skin was stuck to the floor by his stinking sweat, and I could see his yellow, rotting teeth, the few he still had, leaning pitifully towards me through his cracked, arid lips. He must have been in his late sixties, and his greasy, silvering hair, where he wasn’t bald, fell down over his face in messy knots and clumps. In one veiny, clawed hand he held a bloodied steak knife, rusted with use, a large stained burlap sack in the other. And he was under my daughter’s bed. He was under my daughter’s fucking bed. “Uh, listen friend, I-I can explain-” he started, half crying.

The sound of his bones crunching in the doorframe were not nearly as disturbing as his frenzied, animalistic screams.

About 15 minutes later, his near-lifeless trunk was getting loaded into the back of an ambulance, thankfully clothed and under heavy guard, and the police who’d arrived on the scene were filling me in on what had happened while a medic bandaged my bloody, misshapen knuckles. Using Susie’s bedroom door, I’d broken his jaw, his nose and the globe of his left eye-socket, cracked his skull, broken 6 ribs and seperated his spinal column at the 16th vertebrae. When the hinges splintered and the door fell from the frame, I resorted to using my fists and had shattered all 9 of his teeth, half-crushed his windpipe and left him with a major concussion, all of which made identifying him in any way very difficult (mainly due to the fact that his newly swollen and disfigured face could now have put Jocelyn Wildenstein in high spirits). We would have to wait for his fingerprints, luckily intact despite most of his digits being mangled and snapped, to be put through the database to be sure, but they believed I had just caught one Jeb Roberts, the perpetrator of a series of weird murders taking place accross the city. He had entered the house by climbing up the guttering and entering a slightly opened upstairs window. Reports indicated that he would stake out a house (was that the “man” at Susie’s window? I couldn’t be sure) before breaking in, drugging the child with strong trihalomethanes, and then harvesting their skin, bones and internal organs, using them to fashion creepy dolls and marionettes from dead, rotten flesh, leaving nothing behind but a soft heap of fat and muscle, lovingly topped with 20 little teeth.

I felt sick. I couldn’t believe Susie had almost become a victim of that manic cunt. I remembered watching a news report about the guy not 3 days ago; there wasn’t an actual name for what he was, but the general, one-size-fits-all terms such as “Paedophile”, “Murderer”, “Creep”, “Child-Killer”, “Communist”, “Servant of Satan” and “Straight-up fucking psycho” were getting thrown around a lot. The officer’s commended me for my brave and valiant action, and assured me that, if this was the right guy, and he lived long enough to stand trial, he would be getting nicely acquainted with Ol’ Sparky within the new year. Susie just sat there in silence, still clutching her hands to her chest and not moving an inch. I hadn’t heard her say a single word throughout the entire ordeal; she even silently dismissed the paramedics who tried to check on her, insisting instead that they focus on me. She didn’t look as scared anymore, but I assumed she was still too in shock to say anything or give a testimony to the police. They said that was alright, and that I could bring her down to the station whenever she was ready.

In hindsight it wasn’t the best idea, but I decided to wait until all the cops had cleared out, the investigators had taken their photos and left, the paramedics all piled into their car and sped away, and the sound of wailing sirens was no longer audible in the distance, about an hour in total. Then I sat Susie down on the couch and decided we needed to have a talk about what had just happened. I explained to her that a nasty man had gotten into the house, that he wanted to take her away, but that it was alright because Daddy had been there to protect her, and that that man was never, ever coming back. She placed a hand on my cheek and nodded, that nod she always did to show me she had understood everything I had just said, and everything I hadn’t, as the first tears I had seen in almost 5 years started to roll down her cheeks. “It’s alright, Suze,” I comforted her, “you don’t have to cry”. She still said nothing, but I didn’t question it too much. I hugged her lovingly, and she nestled her head into my shoulder, but she hardly hugged me back. Her arms were still clamped tight against her chest, as if trying to hide something valuable, afraid she could lose it at any second. “Susie, darling, what’s that in your hand?” She looked suddenly apprehensive, and that fearful expression crossed her face again. “It’s okay, you can show me, it’s alright, I promise.”

Only then, only then did I put two and two together and work out what had happened. I failed my daughter, the girl that meant everything to me, because I was too fucking dim to see what was right in front of my face, HOW FUCKING STUPID CAN YOU BE?. Now I’m gone, and she’s all on her own. I was meant to protect her… I was meant to protect her…

What I saw burned my very soul, and set fire to my chest. As she reluctantly uncurled her fingers, she opened her mouth in a wide, forced smile, revealing an entire mouthful of crimson-tinted teeth, as blood, still oozing from the sickly, throbbing stump, poured messily down her chin. In her precious, shaking hand, cruelly taken from her innoccent mouth, glistening in the first rays of morning sunshine poking through the window, was her own severed tongue.

That’s when I had my heart attack.

Credit To – Acaimo

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Bullied

September 23, 2013 at 12:00 AM
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I grew up in a small, quiet town called Dureyham. Everybody knew each other, and there was a beautiful forest nearby in which I lived, in a wooden cabin. I lived with my father, my mother had died during labour. I had been forever pained with guilt at the fact that the beginning of my existence was the end of hers. Due to the circumstances, my father and I had a very close relationship.

Ever since I could remember, I had never socialised with the children of my town nor did I possess any desires to. I was shunned by the other children of my village. I have learned now that this was undoubtedly due to my familial situation and in that day and age it was bizarre for a child to grow up with a single parent, let alone a single father. This was perhaps the reason that my father and I lived in the forest rather than I the village itself, partially secluded from the small society. I recall one occasion in which I was approached by a boy of my age, who snorted “My mum says to stay away from you. She says your family ain’t right.”
As a six year old, I was perplexed by this statement and rather confused as to why he had said this, and what he meant. I shrugged it off and continued to skim stones across the playground solitarily.

When I was around the age of seven, a classmate of mine, Sarah Potts, went missing. All I can remember of Sarah is that her almost white, blonde hair was always plaited into long pigtails at either side of her head, and adorned with bright, satin ribbons and she had bright blue eyes. She would often glance at me from her desk in class, whispering to her friends and giggling, before her eyes resided on her pencil and paper, though I was overly familiar with being frowned at. This was an extremely strange occurrence for our quaint, sleepy town. Neighbours spoke to each other on a daily basis, any children playing out would be watched over immediately and parents had no reason to worry about their children playing outside. That was until several days following Sarah’s disappearance, when the frantic search parties had died down and the town came to the morbid conclusion that any hopes in finding the girl were futile.

Communication between villagers broke down. Children were forbidden to play outside now, and a child wouldn’t be seen without a parent by their side. Dureyham became a ghost town. I skipped down the darkening streets alone on my way home, triumphant, as any young child would be, at the fact that I now had the entire town to play in without facing the usual torment I succumbed to from the other children.

Creaking open the wooden door, I walked to the kitchen where my father was dishing up the evening meal. I began to salivate with anticipation and hunger. I hadn’t eaten all day again as the village children, as usual, had stolen my lunch.
“Sit down darling,” smiled Father. I jumped onto a wonky wooden chair, licking my lips.
“They didn’t find Sarah,” I slurped through mouthfuls of beef.
“That poor child,” murmured my father, his brow creasing with empathy. He took a bite of his own food and swallowed, before adding, “Were you tormented by those wicked children today, my dear?”
I shook my head, chewing.
“Good. I suppose the town has grown quiet following the disappearance.” He swallowed his glass of water in three small gulps, taking his dish and cutlery to one side before leaving the room.

Sucking at a piece of gristle caught in my tooth unsuccessfully, I used my little fingers to pry it out. I looked at what lay in my small hand before me; a red snippet of ribbon and a strand of long, blonde hair. I smiled, and continued eating.

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