Love Letter

May 4, 2013 at 12:00 AM
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Hello Darling,

I am writing because I now realize that our relationship is fast approaching its end. While I’d love to believe it could go on forever, I’ve (reluctantly of course) grown tired of our silly routines. The spark has simply faded, and I can’t help but hold myself responsible. From the very first time I peered through your window, I knew that you were special. You were different from the rest, and I still believe that. There is something so interesting, so… desirable about the way you carry yourself. The things you do when you believe you are alone. Watching you is what has kept me here for so very long.

In fact, I remember vividly the first time I watched you sleep. You were so peaceful, yet right when I feared I was wrong about you, that I may grow bored of you so early… A laugh. You surprised me, love. You were never like the rest. There is no way you could’ve been. That is why I fell in love with you. You intrigued me. Nothing made me happier than to spend time with you, To see you in your natural state. Did you know that people are most themselves when no one else is around?

Yes, things were so magical then. Now I’ve taken to watching you carry out the same routine over and over. You go to work, buy groceries and that is it. What has happened to you? You were once so full of life, now you’re reduced to chores and hiding in bed. I have not heard a single laugh in months. Do you realize how much I miss it? I don’t think you could ever understand how much you mean to me. How it pains me to hear you cry like that.

I told myself you would never hurt me. That you could never even try. Unfortunately, dear that is where you began to resemble the others. What a pity. Tell me, do you remember the first time we spoke? That day was meant to be so special. I followed you to work that morning, hardly able to contain myself… The excitement of speaking with you that day was far too great. This was at the height of my love for you, in my eyes you could do no wrong. I meticulously planned our meeting, you would never know that I had followed you, and watched you all of these months.

Although when I gathered my courage to speak with you on the train, I was simply disregarded by you. I doubt that you remember our conversation, or the fact that you attempted to ignore me to begin with. I could wager anything in the world that you could not even recall my name if asked today! The conversation was nothing like I had imagined, you dimly passed my attempts at starting it with short answers. Every part of you seemed to reject me, before you even knew me. That hurt, darling.

When I realized that, I let slip a few things I knew from our time at home. Of course I know about your social life, your quirky habits, and even your favorite drinks. I expected a warmer reaction to say the least, I was the one who went out of my way to see you, wasn’t I? I knew I understood you in ways that no one else could! That was when you stopped going out. You seemed to want to close yourself off from the world. As if to take your rejection one step further, your whimsical nature seemed to go missing once you knew about me. Did you want to hide all of yourself away from me, to even take away our time at home?

I didn’t mean to startle you, or scare you away… I love you. I can now say that possibly going to speak with you a second time was my own mistake, and for that I apologize. I was foolish to come to your doorstep, even though it felt like such familiar terrain. You have to understand how lost I was. I had let my emotions escalate, soon it was not enough to see you. To watch you. No I needed more of you than that. I needed to interact with you once more!

Having said that, our painfully short conversation, and a door in my face… Well doesn’t sit well with me. I would simply love an apology for that. What disappoints me the most is that just like the others, you will apologize, though you won’t mean it. I know this because a weapon is a great persuader. After that everything you will do will simply be out of pity. You will see me as crazy, and reject me all over again. You will comply simply to make me feel better. I can’t stand pity, and I don’t want yours.

That is why we must bring this to a conclusion. That way you will be mine forever, we can skip through the usual process as I’ve done all of that before. I will end this before the restraining orders, before I begin to get bitter. While good memories are still young. Even now that I know things are going awry, I can still look at you with no contempt.

You may wonder now, what will become of you? I can assure you darling, just as in life you will be treated nothing like the others. I think I’ll tie ribbons around cut off locks of your lovely hair. They’ll make great decorations for my bedroom. Perhaps I’ll put a tack through them so that they may hang above my bed. Your ribs may find their way onto my living room wall, especially close to the fireplace. That way, I will always know that your bones are warm there by the fire. Finally, I found an antique tear catcher so that your final tears could be encased in it, and that I may have you with me always.

Don’t mistake me, my pet… I’ve never treated anyone, or their remains with such reverence. You are special, and you are mine. Even when I am done with you and we are separated more… permanently, I will still be yours. I will always be yours, with each victim that comes subsequently, even if there ever were a person who could return my affections… You will remain special among all of those who have fallen by my hand.

Love,
Your not so secret admirer

Credit To – Kaitlyn

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Something Was Off About My Freshman Roommate – Part Three & Epilogue

May 3, 2013 at 12:00 AM
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To read about the horrific events caused by my freshmen roommate leading up to this, click here for the beginning and here for the 2nd part.

Had I been thinking clearly, I would have made sure that Andrea didn’t see the pictures that “Zach” left me on his iPod. But, by the time I looked up from crying, she was already viewing the images, a look of shocked horror on her face.

She asks, “Eric, what kind of monster is this?”
“He’s a psychotic killer. And I think he’s out to get me because I found out his secret. I know that he’s the one that killed the real Zach and he’s trying to stop me before I can go to the police.”
Just then, my cell phone rings. I’m surprised to see that it’s my mother who is calling. My mom never calls me this late at night…
“Hello? Mom?”
“Eric, honey, I think you better come home tonight.” Her voice sounds strained.
Starting to panic, I ask, “Mom, are you ok? What’s going on?”
“Eric, just, please come home. Your father and I need to see you.” And with that she hangs up.
I’m gripped with fear that “Zach” has somehow found his way to my parents’ house. I don’t know if he is playing a sick game, but I need to make sure my parents are safe.
“Andrea, I’ve got to go home to check on my parents. You need to go somewhere safe. Go to your parents’ place. He shouldn’t know where that is. I’ll call you when I can. Then we can go to the police.”
“Eric, I don’t want to go alone,” she retorts.
“You gotta trust me. I think “Zach” might have my parents and I don’t want you anywhere near there. Just go home as fast as you can. You’ll be safe at home with your folks.”

My mind is racing during the drive home. How could all this be happening so fast? Zach _________ was just a name on a roommate info card 8 days ago and now his killer has pretended to be him while living with me, stalked my girlfriend, killed my friend, and is now terrorizing my parents.
It’s very late when I pull into our cul-de-sac. I’m immediately shocked to see police cars with flashing lights all around my house. Could my parents have somehow contacted the police? Maybe they’ve already captured “Zach.”

I park the car and sprint toward my house. After a few seconds I hear someone yell, “There he is! Someone grab him!”
I start looking around anxiously, hoping to identify “Zach” as he’s trying to dash away. All of a sudden, the wind is knocked from me and my vision blurs. I’ve been slammed to the ground.
“What the hell!?! Get off of me! What’s going on?” I can feel my arms being twisted behind my back and I feel cuffs locking.
“Eric, you are under the arrest for the murder of Zach _________. You have the right to remain silent. Anything you say or do will be used—“
“What are you talking about?! I didn’t kill him!” I scream. “My roommate at DePauw has been pretending to be Zach, but he’s the murderer! I can help you catch him!”
I continue to try to make the police officer understand, but he continues to escort me into my house where I see my parents sitting at the kitchen table. They look distraught and pained when they see me walk in.
“Mom? Dad? Are you guys ok? Did my roommate try to hurt you? Was he here?!” I anxiously ask.
“Eric…” my mom starts to say.
“Mom, the cops are making a mistake. They should be arresting the guy that’s been my roommate at DePauw. He’s been pretending to be my real roommate, but he murdered him! And he killed Joel!”
“Eric,” she starts again quietly. “They found something in your room…”
A large police sergeant comes over to me. “Eric, I’m Sergeant Rosado. We received a tip tonight that you might be responsible for the murder of Zach _________ two weeks ago.”
“What?!?” I yell incredulously. “That’s ludicrous. My roommate killed Zach! Who told you it was me?”
“The caller identified himself as a friend of yours from school,” responds the Sergeant. “He said you were acting strange and thought it had something to do with the death of Zach.”
“But… that doesn’t make sense…”
“We weren’t convinced either. That is until we came here and found this under your bed.”
As he said this, another cop brought in a duffle bag, the same duffle bag that had been sitting on the floor of my dorm room for the past week. “Zach’s” duffle bag.
“Does this look familiar?” As he opens the bag I can see a small cooler inside. He flips open the lid to reveal human organs and ice. A heart, a liver, and a few others.
Stunned, I blurt out, “This is crazy! I’m being set up! My roommate is framing me for the murder that he committed! Ask anyone on my floor at school. They’ll all tell you how strange he’s been acting all week! Call Andrea. She’ll tell you how he’s been leaving origami flowers in her room! He’s framing me somehow! I didn’t do this!” Tears begin to stream down my face.
“Son,” Sergeant Rosada says. “You’re going to need to come with us tonight.”

As they walk me out of the house and to a squad car, I can hear my father ask the sergeant if it’s possible that I’m telling the truth. Is it possible that my roommate is framing me? I hear the sergeant respond that they’d look into it, but that it’s very unlikely.
I spend a long, sleepless night in a holding cell at the police station. A few times I try to plead with the officer on duty to talk to my friends at DePauw. I tell him to ask them about the guy that I’ve been sharing a room with. He just ignores me.
Late the next morning, I’m taken to an interrogation room. Sergeant Rosado walks in holding a manila folder and sits down.

“Eric, can you tell me, in detail, about this person who has been your roommate this past week?” he asks.

So, I tell him all about my roommate “Zach.” I tell him about all the weird things that he did that week: the staring out the window, the sleeping without bed sheets, the late night walks, and the creepily staring at me while I slept at night. I then go into detail about what happened the day before, starting with my discovery of the news article revealing that the real Zach had been murdered two weeks ago. I share about meeting with Joel after class and then having him to go to the police while I went to check on Andrea because I thought “Zach” was after her. And finally, I explain to him about driving down to Andrea’s and finding out “Zach” had been coming there at night and how we found an origami flower and iPod with the images of the murdered Joel on it that had been left by the door while we talked.

“So you have to stop him. He killed the real Zach and he killed Joel yesterday.”

Sergeant Rosado just stares at me and sighs. “Eric, we went up to your dorm room this morning to verify your story. We found this.” With that he opens the manila folder to reveal a set of photographs. The pictures show the same scene that I saw on the iPod that “Zach” left me. But the police photos were taken further back to reveal that Joel was killed and placed into my bed in my dorm room. I stare at them in shock.

“He killed Joel in my room… These are just like the pictures that he left for me on the Ipod—“
“An iPod that only has your and Andrea’s fingerprints on it.”
I pause. “I’m not sure I follow…”
He continued, “Don’t you find it peculiar that there is nothing on the other bed in your dorm room?
Isn’t it strange that your roommate doesn’t have any clothes or personal possessions?”
“That’s what I’ve been saying!” I scream. “He’s always been super weird. He’s a psychopath!”

“Eric,” he calmly says. “We talked to the other people that live on your floor. No one has ever seen or heard of this roommate of yours. The teachers say they’ve never had this ‘Zach’ in any of their classes. Eric, you’ve been living alone for the past week. You never had a roommate.”

EPILOGUE

The hearing and the trial went by in a blur for me. I was tried and convicted for the murders of both Zach and Joel. Additionally, they are currently trying to link me to two similar unresolved murders that happened in the past month, all in Indiana.

I never got to speak to Andrea again and I only saw her once during the whole process. It was when she testified on the stand about her relationship with me and about what happened to her that fateful week. She only looked at me once and I could see the revulsion and fear on her face.

It didn’t make sense! I don’t remember doing any of these things. I pleaded with them that I was framed and that if Joel were still alive, he could confirm meeting my roommate, the real killer. He knew how crazy “Zach” was and he helped me figure everything out. The prosecuting lawyer said it was awfully convenient that the only other person who had seen or spoken to my supposed “roommate” was now dead.

After the trial, they put me in a prison for the criminally insane. They said I have dissociative personality disorder; that’s why I don’t remember killing anyone. I’ve been here for months now and I’ve been told this so often that I’m starting to believe that maybe they’re right. Maybe I did kill those people…

This morning, I received a letter. A rare surprise in this hellhole. I opened it up to see a folded origami flower and picture. On the flower was written a note in handwriting that I immediately recognized:

She looks so peaceful when she sleeps, Eric. I envy that.

The picture was the photograph of Andrea that was taken from my nightstand.

Credit To – legendaryhero27

This is the last entry in a small miniseries that was posted in three parts. For the prior two entries, you may visit the links at the start of the post or track the Freshman Roommate Series tag to see all three posts.

This story first appeared on reddit’s /nosleep/ board and is being hosted here with permission from the original author.

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Something Was Off About My Freshman Roommate – Part Two

May 2, 2013 at 12:00 AM
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If you haven’t read the first part of this story, please click here to be brought up to speed on when I first started to notice something was off about my freshmen roommate.

Time seems to slow down as I try to process what it means that I have been sleeping in the same room as psychotic murderer for a week and that the picture of my girlfriend is now missing. I try to quickly scan through everything that I know about “Zach.”

He listens to music on his iPod a lot. He likes to look out windows and people-watch. He supposedly goes for long walks late at night. He stares at me while I sleep.

Suddenly, I realize that “Zach” has only begun conversations with me twice in the past week: the night he was staring at me while I slept, and move-in day when he asked me about Andrea’s picture.

“Joel! I’ve got to talk to Andrea! I think “Zach” is going after her.”
“What? Why would he do that?”
“I don’t know, but our first day together he asked about her picture and I told him she went to IU. Now the picture is gone!”
I immediately pull out my phone and call Andrea. No answer. Frantically, I call again. No answer this time either, but I leave a voicemail.
“Andrea, it’s me, Eric. Listen, call me as soon as you get this. I’m serious. Call me immediately please.”
“What do you want to do, man?” asks Joel.
“I’ve gotta go down to Bloomington and make sure she is all right. She’s probably just out with friends right now and missed the call, but I need to be sure.” I’m desperately hoping this to be true. “Joel, you still need to alert the cops about this bastard. Can you borrow someone’s car and go to the police without me?”
“Yeah… but I think you should come wit—“
“I can’t! But I’ll be back as soon as I can get Andrea and make sure she’s ok,” I interrupt. “Just please do this for me. The sooner we get the cops involved, the sooner we can catch this guy.”
“Alright, Eric.”

I run to my car while texting Andrea to “call me ASAP.” I pray that she responds. As I begin the hour-long drive down to Bloomington, I’m so nervous that I can’t even listen to music. I just keep telling myself that she’s alright as the sun begins to set. After what seems like ages, my phone rings and my heart skips a beat as I see that it’s Andrea.

“Andrea? Are you ok!?!” Please tell me you’re alright!”
“I’m fine, Eric. What’s going on? I got your message and I’m a little scared. Did something happen to someone? Are you ok?”
“Kind of… Listen, it’s probably better if we talk in person. I’m about 15 minutes away from you right now. Are you in your dorm?”
“No. I’m out with some friends.”
“Can you meet me at your dorm room? I’ll be there in 15 minutes. And don’t talk to anyone who you don’t know!”
“Eric, what’s going on?”
“Please, just listen to me for now, Andrea. I’ll explain everything when I see you. 15 minutes.”
“Ok. See you at my place.”
It’s late when I arrive at Andrea’s, but I’m flooded with relief when she opens the door and I see that she’s ok. After a long embrace, I tell Andrea she better have a seat. I lock the door and sit beside her.
I begin, “Do you remember when I told you Tuesday how strange my roommate was?”
“Yeah.”
“Well, things got a whole lot stranger in the past few days.”

I tell her all about my first week with my new roommate and all about “Zach’s” weird habits. I share about how he supposedly goes for late night walks for hours every night and how he was watching me sleep the previous night. Then I share with her what I found out about the real Zach when I Googled his name. I can tell she’s a little unsure of how to react or what to say, so I tell her that I can prove it. I grab Andrea’s laptop and type in the search for the news article concerning Zach’s murder from two weeks ago. She reads it out loud.

ZIONSVILLE TEENAGER ZACH _________ STABBED TO DEATH, CULPRIT STILL MISSING Last night, Zach ______, 18, was found brutally murdered and mutilated in his bedroom at his family’s Zionsville home. His parents, Richard and Alice ______, found his body in his bed when they returned home around 11:00pm. They immediately called the police.

This gruesome murder is a shock to the normally safe suburban community, as Zach is well remembered for being a likable and pleasant teenager. Before his death, Zach had recently graduated from Zionsville Community High School and was a member of the marching band and an actor in many of the school plays. He was an honor student that was planning on attending DePauw University as a freshman at the start of the fall semester next week.

IPD is reporting that the body had been stabbed repeatedly. It had been severely mutilated and was then purposely tucked back into the victim’s bed. Currently, the police are reporting that they have no suspects and few leads to go on. All blood samples found in the room have been confirmed to either belong to the victim or have been mixed with an ammonia-based solution rendering them unidentifiable. The only clue the police have to go on is an origami flower that was left on the victim’s body.

Andrea’s voice trails off as she finishes reading the article. Her face looks stricken as she slowly backs away from the computer.
I point to the picture of the real Zach and say, “That is not the person that I have been sharing a room with for the past week! I think the guy I’ve been living with has been pretending to be Zach _________. I think he’s the murderer. Andrea? Andrea?”

Andrea is still staring at the screen in horror, but then reaches into her closet and pulls out three objects. Shakily she states, “I started receiving these three nights ago, one each night. The first two were just set out in front of our door late at night. My roommate and I saw them in the morning. The third one was left on my nightstand last night, but I swear we locked the door! Eric, they were cute, so we thought they were from a secret admirer or something!”

In Andrea’s hands are three perfectly folded origami flowers.

“Do you know what time these were left here?” I ask frantically.
“I don’t know… Sometime after I go to bed, which is usually around 12:30. They were there each morning at 7:00 when I wake up to shower.” I can hear the fear seeping into her voice just as I can feel it seeping into my thoughts.
“That bastard! He wasn’t going for late night walks, he was coming here! I don’t know how he found your room, but we’ve got to get out of here. Joel went to the police already. We should go there and join him.”

I grab my phone to call Joel. No answer.

“He’s probably still explaining everything to the cops. I’ll try him again in a few minutes, but we should start making our way there.”
“Eric, a killer was standing next to my bed last night…” Andrea barely whispers. I bring her in close and hold her tight.
“I know, babe, and I’m so, so sorry. But the best thing we can do now is meet Joel at the police station. They’ll know what to do. It will be safe there.”

I go to the door and unlock it, but stop in my tracks. Sitting on the floor in the hallway is a beautifully folded origami flower. And sitting underneath it is an iPod. I know immediately whose it is. I grab them both, slam the door, and lock it.

“What are those?” Asks Andrea timidly.
I show her the flower and iPod and say, “Gifts from my ‘roommate’.”
Andrea starts to cry. I go to hold her again, still holding the flower and iPod. As she’s sobbing into my shoulder, I see that there is writing on the white side of the origami flower. Slowly I step back from Andrea and carefully unfold the flower. In it is written a note from “Zach.”
Eric, you once asked me if I knew what I wanted my major to be. I’ve decided perhaps photography.
And below that:
Your friend looks very peaceful when he sleeps, Eric. But I don’t envy him.

My hand shaking, I turn on the iPod. There’s nothing on it except the factory default programs. There’s not even any music on it. That psycho was listening to nothing all along! I press the Photos button and my knees start to go weak.

There is one photo album with five images in it. Each one is a different shot of a severely mutilated human body. Blood and gore flood each photo. Cautiously, I flip through the photos of carved human flesh and organs. When I view the last image, I drop the phone and begin to weep.

On the iPod’s screen is an image of Joel lying in a bed. The sheets are saturated in blood and sitting on top of his chest is an origami flower.

Credit To – legendaryhero27

This is a small miniseries that will be posted in three parts over the next few days. Once the other parts go live, I will edit in links to their posts here. You can also track the Freshman Roommate Series tag to see all posts in this series.

This story first appeared on reddit’s /nosleep/ board and is being hosted here with permission from the original author.

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Something Was Off About My Freshman Roommate – Part One

May 1, 2013 at 12:00 AM
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It didn’t take long for me to realize that my freshmen college roommate was a very strange guy. But that wasn’t all that surprising as I’d heard about plenty of people that got saddled with weirdos as roommates their first semester of college. He wasn’t strange in the sense of being a LARPer or never taking showers or anything like that, but from the moment I met him, something just seemed…off.

Move-in day was pretty odd. The first thing I remember is being surprised at how old he looked when I met him. From the roommate info card that I had received from my university over the summer, I knew that my roommate’s name was Zach _________ and he was from a town called Zionsville, a suburb of Indianapolis. I thought that he was an 18 year-old freshmen like me, but he looked like he was maybe 4 or 5 years older than that. Oh well, I thought, it had been two months since I read that roommate card, so I figured I was simply mistaken and that he was just one of those guys that waited a few years before going to college.

Now all that Zach brought with him to move into our dorm was a duffle bag of clothes. No furniture, no computer, no belongings, nothing. He didn’t even bring bedding. I asked him if that was all that he had, and after an awkward pause he said that we was bringing the rest of his stuff later.

For the next hour, I went about setting up our room. Zach sat down at the desk that came with the room and pulled an iPod out of his back pocket. So he did have at least some other things, I thought. He put his headphones on and while doing so, he would just watch me or look out the window. I tried talking to him while doing this, but his answers would be pretty short.
“Are your parents here with you today?”
“No.”
“Do you know what you want your major to be yet?”
“No.”
“Do you know anyone else here at DePauw?”
“No.”
After another half-hour of feebly trying to converse with him, Zach says, “That’s a pretty girl. Who is she?” I was holding a framed picture of my girlfriend. “What? Oh. That’s Andrea. She’s my girlfriend. She goes to IU.” I set the frame down on the nightstand by my bed. And that was all he said.

After another 30 minutes of awkward silence, I have to get out of there so I go to meet up with the only other guy I know from high school, my buddy Joel. I tell Joel that I think my roommate situation is going to be disaster this semester, and then we go out to grab a bite to eat. I come back to my room to find Zach is gone, but see his duffle bag still lying on the floor. I finish setting up the room and go to bed around 1:00 AM. Zach still isn’t back by then.

I don’t sleep well that first night, but figure it’s due to sleeping in a new, unfamiliar place. I wake up to find Zach sleeping on his mattress with no sheets. During the day, anytime Zach isn’t in class, he is in our room just staring out the window with his headphones on. He nods his head if I said hello, but that’s about it.

I try having Joel over to our room one night, but Zach is there and it gets awkward fast because he just keeps looking out our window listening to his music the whole time we are there. After attempting to watch a movie for about 15 minutes, Joel makes an excuse to be somewhere else.
Frustrated, I angrily ask Zack, “Why do you just stare out that window all the time?”
“I just like to people-watch. There’s so many interesting things to see here.”
“You’re a strange dude, Zach. You need to get out more,” I respond. And with that I follow Joel out. When I catch up with him, he asks me, “What’s up with your roommate?”
“Yeah, sorry, I tried telling you he was a weirdo. He stares out that window all the time. He said he likes to people-watch.”
“Well, he was probably homeschooled our something. Maybe his parents were really strict and he isn’t sure how to handle the wild college life,” replies Joel.
“Yeah, maybe. It’s just that he looks like he’s 23. You would think that he’s lived a little.”
When I go to bed again that night, Zach is once again gone. I have another restless night and when I wake, I see that he is once again sleeping on his blank mattress. He must have come in quietly while I was asleep. I notice that my computer screen is on, which was odd, because I thought I had turned it off when I went to bed. Oh well, not the first time my screen turned on because a draft moved the mouse.

A few more days go by and I’m still not sleeping terribly well, but think it probably isn’t helping that I am staying up much later than I ever did at home.

Each night, Zach is gone when I go to bed late and he is asleep on his mattress when I wake up in the morning. I can’t figure out where he would be since I have never seen him talk to anyone other than me. I’m pretty sure he doesn’t have any friends. Thursday night of that first week, I’m doing some homework at my desk and Zach, per usual, is just staring out the window like a creep, listening to his iPod.
“Hey, where do you go every night? You’re never here when I go to bed, and I’ve been up pretty late each night.”
He didn’t respond immediately, but finally said, “I like to go for walks at night. I like the quiet.”
“At 2:00 in the morning?”
“Yes.”
“Did you do that at home too? Did your parents just let you walk around late at night?”
Again, long pause. “I lived in a pretty small town, so it was safe. My parents didn’t care.”
“I thought you were from Zionsville. Isn’t that pretty much Indianapolis?”
Another, longer pause. Finally Zach says, “I’m going for a walk.” And walks out the door.
Late that night, I’m startled awake to find Zach just standing next to my bed, looking at me.
“JESUS! Oh God! Zach, what the hell are you doing?!? You about gave me a heart attack!”
“You look very peaceful when you sleep.”
“What?” I say groggily. “What the hell are you talking about?”
“You look very serene as you sleep. I envy that.”
Thoroughly creeped out, I say, “I gotta take a piss.” I didn’t have to pee, but just wanted to get away from Zach. I go to Joel’s room and tell him what just happened. It’s about 3:00a.m., so I’m not sure Joel is completely coherent, but he lets me crash on his couch.

The next day between classes, I share with Joel again how uncomfortable Zach is starting to make me.
“Have you tried Googling him?” asks Joel, “He’s got to have Facebook page or something online. Maybe you can find something out about the creep.”
“Yeah, I’ll check it out when I get back to my computer.”
After another class, I return to my room. Fortunately, Zach was at class. I typed “Zach _________ Zionsville, IN” into the search bar on Google. Google finds thousands of webpages instantly, but I stare in disbelief at the top listing.
ZIONSVILLE TEENAGER ZACH _________ STABBED TO DEATH, CULPRIT STILL MISSING
I click the link and see an article from the Indy newspaper about the brutal murder of my roommate, who was repeatedly stabbed to death in his bedroom two weeks ago. They show Zach’s senior photo. It is not the same person that I have been sharing a room with for the past week.
I close the browser and sprint to Joel’s room, but he has classes until 4:00. Wanting to be out of our dormitory, I text him, saying to meet in the student commons after his classes. I don’t want to be anywhere near my room if “Zach” should return in the mean time.

Joel finally meets me in the student commons and I tell him everything. I’m trying not to make a scene but as I’m sharing the story of sleeping in the same room as a murderer for a week, I begin to break down and sob. I can tell that Joel is still unsure until I pull up the news article on his phone, then his face turns grim. He says it’s probably best if we go to the police in person and tell them everything.
Joel doesn’t have a car on campus, so we have to go back to my room to get my keys. I’m incredibly nervous, but Joel says if we happen to see “Zach” we’ll just act normal and say we are going out to eat. No big deal.

I peek into my room and sigh with relief as I realize that he isn’t there. As I grab the keys from my desk drawer, I notice that my computer screen has two tabs open on it. One is my web history. The 2nd tab is the news article about Zach’s murder.
“Shit!” I scream, “He was here and saw this.”

I glance around the room and see that his duffle bag is now gone. “We gotta get to the police NOW! Who knows where this psycho is?!?”
As I’m running out of the room, I notice something odd. The picture of Andrea, my girlfriend, is no longer sitting on my nightstand.

Credit To – legendaryhero27

This is a small miniseries that will be posted in three parts over the next few days. Once the other parts go live, I will edit in links to their posts here. You can also track the Freshman Roommate Series tag to see all posts in this series.

This story first appeared on reddit’s /nosleep/ board and is being hosted here with permission from the original author.

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The Shephard Cane

April 27, 2013 at 12:00 AM
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My girlfriend and I have this special spot. This nice little place that serves up food, drinks, and amateur stage performances. They named it the Stage Harbor Dinner Theater. It used to be a loading dock but what was once a place for blue collar grunt workers is now a quaint setting to showcase local talent. Rachel and I first laid eyes on each other there and have made it an unspoken rule that we return at least once a month. We love the open mike nights.

Our small-town doesn’t seem to have many serious artists and yet we have one person with dreams far larger than those of its simple residence. Jeffrey Buttfellows. He aspires more than anything to become a comedian.

For years we have watched in discomfort as Jeffrey leaps out from the red curtains all smiles and self assurance. He joyously grabs the microphone and proceeds to tell the unfunniest jokes imaginable. His intentions are so sincere, his confidence so undeserved, and the setups so horribly timed, that even laughing out of politeness is impossible.

Most of the audience has become exasperated at this point. Whenever his rusted Ford pickup truck can be seen in the parking lot the dinner theater loses business. His shows always end the same fashion: whenever he’s getting overly heckled and hissed by the audience, this old fashioned vaudevillian shepherd’s cane reaches out from the side curtain and pulls him away by the neck. The audience usually gives this shepherd’s crook lavish applause as soon as it hooks him. That stick has undoubtedly saved Jeffrey and his spectators from further humiliation on countless occasions.

I liked Jeff though. A true artist. With absolutely zero support he’s able to go out there and shoot for his dream. Even his own lack of improvement doesn’t discourage him. I believe if all joes had his kind of ambition we’d be a world brimming with genius.

My admiration changed a few months ago when Rachel and I were celebrating our three year anniversary. We bought a bottle of champagne and waited for another lousy attempt by our persistent stand-up. Rachel had on a screaming lemon dress that may have been a little too revealing for her plump form. Perhaps it was that dress that had garnered Jeffrey’s attention that night.

For that evening a couple of drunk frats from the city were at the club. I suppose they had even less patience then us locals. They would interrupt Jeff with, “This guy sucks giant hippopotamus balls!” other times they’d simply scream, “NEXT!” One even threw a bottle at his head.

Talented comics can handle hecklers with devastatingly vicious comebacks, but as you know Jeff was not a talented comic. Realizing his material was unfit for these city boys he looked around for something he could make funny. He saw it. Rachel. All 4’11 and 220 pounds of her. He started making fun of her size.

She was silent and chuckled quietly with poorly disguised hurt on her face while the rest of the audience roared with laughter. This went on for twenty agonizing minutes as if he’d been planning it in his head all these years. Eventually he exhausted himself of fat jokes and moved onto more neutral subjects which left his listeners hot and bothered. Once more the shepherd cane materialized behind the curtain and relieved him.

Though she pleaded with me not to confront anyone I talked to the stage manager backstage. He had his back turned holding the shepherd’s cane. As he turned to face me, the first thing I detected from his face was that he was blind. His eyes lacked that glint of focus.

“Hey listen pal,” I began, undeterred by his handicap, “Jeff went too far tonight when he made fun of my girl. It was completely uncalled for and I didn’t like it.”

The Stage manager raised his hand and lowered his head in respect,

“Sir, I understand completely, but that was first time that I ever heard such laughter coming from that kid. And I mean ever! I’ll talk to him for you. Though you gotta admit the guy was due. Let’s just hope the confidence boost can help him find other material.”

But he didn’t find other material. Every night when Rachel and I came to visit, he’d direct the spotlight on her and could dish out jokes and wisecracks without repeating himself for over half an hour. He called her, “whale cunt,” since he never asked her name and never needed to since she was more of an entity of fatness to him. His growing fan base would slap their thighs and tickle their ribs amidst the satisfied howls. Even I have to admit his normally dull act became diabolically clever. Though I certainly did not find it funny in the least which is why I will not repeat his jokes here.

Afterwards Rachel would be quietly depressed yet would insist we return week after week. As if she saw it as a hurtle, to not allow this man to take away a location she associated with hope and happiness.

I begged the stage manager to use the Shepherd Cane once his abuse was starting to begin, but he wouldn’t do anything. It seemed years of yanking Jeffrey from his beloved spotlight had simply softened the blind man’s heart too much to punish him.

Finally Rachel said she’d do something. She decided to call Buttfellows to see if she could persuade him to not make fun of her weight as it was a sensitive subject to her and she was self conscious about it. She had left a voicemail.

The next night Buttfellows played the voicemail for the audience while pausing and mimicking her voice. Then he gave a violent recant that had everyone in stitches. He grabbed her drink and hocked up a loogie in it much to everyone’s delight.

In that moment the idea for revenge that had been growing in my brain finally blossomed. I had a plan to punish not only Jeffrey for obsessively spitting out fat jokes but also the blind stage manager for his misguided sympathy. It was all so foolproof. The shepherd’s cane was the key.

I grabbed an old farmer’s scythe at an antique store and sharpened it until paper could be sliced from its own weight when rested upon it’s blade. I then smoothed its handle with sandpaper until it felt just like the shepherd’s cane. Same wooden handle, same weight, same everything save for the steel crescent moon on it’s head. I put a bag over the blade so no one at the restaurant would be suspicious.

When I peered inside the stage manager’s office I saw the Shepherd’s Cane hanging on the wall by a nail. The stage manager himself sat on a chair looking directly at me, but he had some headphones on and was tapping his foot to the music. I coughed. No reaction. I lumbered in noisily to see if he’d react. I put my face close to his. I could hear the soundtrack to West Side Story. Perfect. I made the switch. Jeffrey Buttfellows was on in 15 minutes.

Ten minutes later I met up with Rachel. She gave a weak smile when she saw me. I thought witnessing tonight’s show might churn her stomach at first, but perhaps later, maybe fifty years from now, when we’re an old couple, I can say, “Remember Buttfellows? That awful lout who got his head chopped off for being a failure as a comedian? I did that.”

Rachel would smile and say, “Deep down I always knew.” Then she’d squeeze my hand. That would be wonderful.

I noted the scar on her wrist and decided to buy a bottle of wine to lighten her mood and my nerves. For tonight was going to be one to remember. I noted that we’d probably have to take the bottle home, since they were bound to close down the restaurant for about a week or so after tonight.

Jeffrey headed down the stage and lifted the microphone up to his face. “What’s up folks? Miss me? I’m sure you did didn’t you my buxom lady?”

The spotlight radiated our table. Rachel looked down and braced herself for the coming onslaught of verbal lashes. That night, his bits about her were merciless. He had sketches, impressions, fake stories about how her parents tried to drown her for her hideousness. How it was her medusa-like ugliness that had actually struck the stage manager blind. I could scarcely hear the manager himself chuckle at that one from behind the curtain. I poured another glass and pulled it towards my grimaced lips.

It went on for hours like that until finally he had to change to one of his less popular themes. Throughout all this suspense I was on my third bottle and started feeling quite a bit drunk off the wine as well as my thoughts of fore-coming revenge.

The heckling started small since the audience truly wanted to give him a chance with other topics. After all it was his genius who had had them laughing for hours at the same subject. Yet before they knew it, he dished out some unforgivably godawful material that had them moaning their unavoidable disapproval. He started stuttering and repeating the punchline while tapping the microphone. “Is this thing on?” It was so pathetic. Even Rachel begun booing which was perfect. She deserved to have a hand in his death.

Then, on the side curtain. There it was. Lurking its way outside the curtain. Hovering it’s shiny blade reflected by the stage lights. It was like watching the moon making its elliptical trajectories across the sky. Slowly moving towards the unsuspecting buffoon. Not slow enough for someone to notice and warn him. Oh no. It was such a bizarre happenstance no one could figure it out in time.

The only reaction came from the patient and expecting murderer. I smirked and raised my wine glass to the comedic failure. I recall his eyes actually reaching mine as the crescent blade curved its way around his neck.

With an overly ambitious tug, it made it’s way through. The blade swiftly disappeared behind the curtain. The Stage Manager must be confused by now. Jeffrey stood there with the microphone by his lips. We could no longer hear his voice. All we could hear was his gurgling. Blood coming from his neck reddening his collar and his shirt. Then his head slipped off with a thud. It rolled off the stage and onto a family’s table. They screamed. His body still stood on the stage, his microphone held up to the stump of his neck which erupted with scarlet liquid. After a couple spurts his body went limp and fell backwards. His legs kicking a little. The crowd was hushed.

“Don’t worry everyone! I’m a medical student,” I drunkenly announced amidst the stunned silence. I stumbled onto the stage and got down to my knees as I checked the corpse’s wrist. I spoke into the microphone still in the dead Jeffrey’s hand, “It’s too late, he’s dead.”

Perhaps out of fear and disbelief over what they had just seen. The audience actually laughed. A few were still gaping however, but eventually they started laughing too. Maybe they thought it was a magic trick? I suppose I got a high off of the initial laughter. “He’ll never get a-head with that sort of material right?” Silence. Too soon I guessed.

“That really sucked!” shouted someone from the back. Most of them started booing. I noticed a pair of female twins in their teens from the family table were gazing at Jeffrey’s pale face. His mouth was open and his left cheek was caked in gravy. His eyes darted around in confusion until they finally rolled in the back of his head. The twins shrieked again.

“Whats-a-matter?” I grabbed the microphone from Jeff’s dead fingers and stood up, “Oh come on girls! You should know at your age that a little head can be a good thing!” The audience continued to groan, the father threw an apple at me. Even Rachel shook her head in disappointment from that last one. Suddenly, I felt something sharp encircle my neck. My blood went cold for I knew what was next.

Credit To – Johnny V

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Mess

April 17, 2013 at 12:00 AM
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I awoke with a start as I heard a loud bang out in the street. I HATED noise before 8:30 AM. I have OCD, so the tiniest things can set me off.

Annoyed, I pulled on my bathrobe and walked out the front door to see what the commotion was. I stopped to fix a flower that was drooping to the wrong side. Immediately, I was assaulted with the world’s imperfections. I gave a silent yell as I surveyed my block; it looked like a disaster zone. A house down the street was on fire, and people were running out of it, screaming. Overturned trash cans and makeshift sand bag barricades lined the sidewalk. I gave a small “humph” and turned on my heel back into my house, locking all 4 of the bolts on my way in. I checked to make sure all my windows were boarded properly; everything seemed ok.

I moved over to the living room, grabbing the orange juice container and pouring myself a glass before I sat down on the sofa. I flipped on the television, and the hum of the backup generator kicked up as power usage increased. For the 4th straight day, the state’s emergency broadcast system was airing. I sighed, and returned to the kitchen to make myself a piece of toast. I was tired of the broadcast. I was hoping they’d be back on schedule with the morning news soon.

“The governor has issued a state of emergency. This broadcast has been tailored to your area.” A short pause. “Residents of San Diego and Imperial Counties are urged to make their way to the Red Cross centers in San Diego and El Centro. If you are unable to leave your home, lock and barricade your doors and windows. Arm yourselves with any weapons you can. Firearms are most effective, especially when aimed at the head. Remember to stay hydrated if infected. The CDC has so far been unsuccessful at finding a cure, but it is noted that staying hydrated keeps the immune system functioning properly. If an infected has already passed and returned in your household, do not hesitate to euthanize them. We repeat, DO NOT HESITATE. Remember, the Red Cross has centers in San Diego and El Centro. The military has camps throughout the state. Please stay safe.”

I recognized those closing words, and switched off the TV to conserve power. Another loud bang could be heard outside. I jolted, alarmed at the noise. I swore under my breath, I straightened the sofa pillows as I stood up, making my way back to the front door. Another bang. Looking through the peep-hole, I saw a disgusting figure knocking its head into my front door. It was one of the zombies, with rotting gray skin and yellow eyes. There was a festering wound on its neck; its dirty, blood-stained clothing accentuated its repulsiveness. Horrified, I stepped back. I had only seen the zombies on the television, never in real life. I wasn’t sure what to do.

Suddenly, a gunshot roared across the street, ripping into the zombie’s skull. It fell immediately, its brain and blood all over my porch. I nearly fainted. So much mess. I heard a loud whoop, and then the rippling sound of a motorcycle engine. I realized that I wasn’t safe in my home anymore. But with OCD, I found safety in what was familiar. The crowded, dirty city was not familiar. I knew it was foolish, and later I regretted it, but I chose to stay home.

I could hear the zombies becoming restless outside later in the evening, wailing late into the night. A few times I heard screams as the living tried to escape. One sounded like Mrs. Avery from two houses down. Another like Mr. King from around the corner. I vowed to try to escape while I still could the next day. With the thudding of zombies against my door, I fell into a fitful sleep.

The next morning, after gathering everything that would fit in my car and my Smith & Wesson, I backed out of my driveway for the last time. The air conditioning in the car cycled in the putrid stench of decay and vomit. The smell was overwhelming. I glanced around, trying to see if there was anyone nearby. Only zombies. They rushed over to my car, banging their bloody fists against my beautiful Lexus. One smeared entrails all over the window. I gave a small yelp, and floored the gas pedal to get away.

Minutes later, I was driving down the freeway. Overturned cars littered the road, with a few struggling bodies trapped in the wreckage. I hoped that those struggling were the undead. I passed a hospital with a large, crude banner reading “No help here, Try Mercy,” written in black paint. I shuddered at the thought of hospital patients, trapped in their beds, as the undead came limping down the hallway. I was amazed that everything had gone to ruin so quickly. Pent up inside of my perfect house, I had no idea what the rest of humanity was facing out in the world.

All of a sudden a zombie came trundling out in front of my car. Noticing it, I instinctually swerved to avoid it, which proved to be a mistake. I slammed into the center divide at about 65 miles per hour, flipping a few times before coming to a stop upside-down. My arm was twisted in a less than glorifying position, and I had multiple gashes and cuts from broken glass. Worst of all was the fact that I couldn’t move my legs. I didn’t know what was wrong. There was blood all over the place, gushing like a fountain. So much crimson, disgusting blood. I began to hyperventilate, and soon I was hysterical.

“Help!” I screamed. “Oh, God, someone help me! Please!”

Bad idea.

The zombies, hearing my loud cries, began to migrate over to my car. Where I couldn’t move my legs. Where I was defensless.

I screamed more. I wildly attempted to get myself free, but I simply couldn’t. Eventually, as the first zombies began to reach in through the window, I accepted my fate.

Delirious with blood-loss, I found myself with a childish grin. I felt dizzy as I said my last words.

“Just don’t make a mess.”

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