Kelpie

December 19, 2014 at 12:00 AM
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I wasn’t very old when I first saw it. Maybe about five or six or so. It was a long time ago. But I remember it well.

For what feels like the longest time, the whole experience of it felt like…a dream. Like it never really happened, just a little image in my head. A half-forgotten memory.Maybe it didn’t. I can’t remember exactly where the place was, just what it looked like. As the same with the people there. No face or name I could say now. Maybe they weren’t even there. Just additions by time to the memory. Slowly changing the devils in the details. But they don’t matter much. They never did. What did matter, was the Kelpie.

It was summer. I was playing near the bayou not far from my grandmother’s house. I had been sent there to spend the duration of the warm season. My mother thought it was good to breathe fresh, humid air instead of the city smog. My summer that year was spent with my grandmother down south. She was a fierce old lady, second generation from Scotland. Often she would tell wonderful tales of the lochs and forests from her parent’s homeland. About all the creatures that lived within the waters, and all the ones that lived in the trees. One of my favorites was the Selkie. Beautiful seal-women who could change shape at will as they sunned on the rocks or swam in the sea. Another was the Each-Uisge, a more ferocious beast, but also quite interesting to me. My grandmother said that they could take the form of a singing woman, where they would lure sailors into the ocean, and drown them in the salt water when they got close, like sirens. The one I loved most though, was the Unicorn. Such a majestic, mysterious creature. I liked how pure it was told to be. I had always had a desire to see one. To touch its pure, white, coat. But I knew they weren’t real. Just stories. Just tales. But I liked to pretend.

One day I went down to the bayou to catch a fish. I was very proud of myself, having made a pole from a stick and some string. My grandmother laughed and said if I caught a fish, she would cook it for me. I became very determined to the task. I told her I would be back before sundown.

I waited at the banks of the water, legs crossed and pole in hand. There was a small bit of uncooked bacon on the end of the line. I knew I was going to catch a fish. I just knew it. My train of thought and concentration was broken, by music. Someone was playing a fiddle. The sound was enchanting. I looked around for the source. Not finding one, I tried to follow the sound. Abandoning the pole on the bank with the line still in the water, I quietly crept along the bank, walking until I found the source of the music. I found who was playing the fiddle. It was a young man, sitting on a branch of a large tree. The limb hung just above the water, and the young man lay against it, suspended over the mirror-like surface, playing a tune to his wooden fiddle. The white strings seemed to glow in the faint morning light. He stopped when he saw me, and smiled. No words came between us, but he beckoned for me with his hand to take a seat on the mossy bank and he continued to play. The music was wonderful. When the song ended, I asked for him to play another. He nodded, but only if I went into the water. My grandmother had been very keen with me to keep out of the water. I could not swim at the time, and she made me promise to stay on the bank. So I removed my shoes and let my legs dangle in the cool, calm, water. He played another song. When he finished, he beckoned with hand again for me to come closer, deeper into the water. Like he was going to tell me a secret and whisper it in my ear. I shook my head. I had made a promise. The young fiddler seemed sad. Dissapointed. I can’t quite remember the details of his face, but I can just remember his frown. He sighed and rolled off the branch and into the dark water without a splash. Just a few small ripples came from where he entered the bayou. He never came out of the water. After that, I went back to the house as my grandmother called my name. First, I ran to get my pole. A tiny minnow was at the end of the paper clip hook.

I almost told my grandmother about the young fiddler. But I didn’t. She would just think it strange and say it was nonsense.

The next day, I went again back to the bayou banks, fishing pole in hand. I said to my grandmother I would catch a bigger fish. I told her I would be back before sundown. I went back to my spot and sat cross legged, pole in hand. There was a small cut of deer on the hook. I sat, and waited for a fish to bite, my thoughts trailing off about my grandmother’s stories. They were stopped by the sound of laughter. It was a girlish laughter, light and soft. I was curious. Usually the bayou was so lonely, just the call of far away birds and the hum of cicadas. But the laughter broke though it. Right into my head. I followed the sound, leaving my pole on the bank and the line in the water. Moving silently, I walked along the bank. In the same place with the low hanging tree limb was where I found the source of the laughter. That small, watery grove seemed just a little different. A large grey rock sat in the middle of the water, emerging from the deep. I hadn’t noticed it before. Possibly I just hadn’t remember it from when I met the young fiddler. Sitting on the rocks, were three young girls. They looked a few years older than me. All of them had long, dark, hair that swayed around them like thousands of waved silk strings. Hearing them laugh made me…happy. I don’t really know why. I got closer and sat on the bank to watch them. The girls were as beautiful as the Selkies in the tales my grandmother told me. They all had fair skin seemed to glow in the dimmed bayou light. One of them met her dark eyes with mine. She beckoned with a finger towards me. She wanted me to come and play. I wanted to, they seemed as though they were having so much fun up on the rock there! I took off my shoes and rolled up my pant legs. I waded in up to my knees and my feet sunk slightly in the silty mud, but, looking down into the water, I remembered. I couldn’t swim. I sadly stood there, sorrowful that I could not join these new friends. One by one they slid effortlessly into the water and swam towards me, only their eyes visible above the water with their hair flowing behind them. They swum around my legs, barely disturbing the water. One pulled gently at my leg, another at my hand. A shook my head. I couldn’t. Disappointed, they sighed dismally and let go of my hand and left, slipping away like the water they swam in. Their sighs were almost musical, as melodic as they were. I didn’t want them to go. I almost swam in after them. But I heard my grandmother call my name. I went to get my pole. A small fry was at the end of my line.

I almost told my grandmother about the bayou Selkie girls. But I didn’t. I felt like they were…mine, somehow. Like a secret that only I would know.

The following day, I set out again. I was going to get a bigger fish. I had to. This was my last day in the bayou. I was going home the next day. I told my grandmother I would be back before sundown and went to the bank to fish, with the pole in my hands and my legs crossed over one another. There was a small strip of gator meat at the end of my makeshift hook. I gazed out into the dark, still, water. It seemed almost dead. Lovely, but dead. A metallic blue dragonfly landed on the water, took a sip, and flew off. I watched it go. My attention was then turned to most unusual noise. Hooves. And a neigh. There were no horses in the bayou, so I started to wonder. I put my pole down on the bank and let the line sit in the water. I followed the sounds of the braying horse. Yet again I came to that same place. The willows hung low, the tree limb sat just above the water, and the rock was empty of any Selkie girls. Standing by the tree on a small island bank in the middle of the water…was a unicorn. It didn’t have a horn, much to my disappointment, but there it was. A pure, white horse. It pawed at the ground with long furred hooves. Its mane was elegant and shiny. It seemed to glow. Just like the Selkie girl’s skin, and the young man’s fiddle strings. It was beautiful, even if it may not have been a unicorn as the bayou girls were not Selkies, and the young fiddler not the singing Each-Uisge. It looked towards me and waved its head up and down, up and down. It was calling me to it. Without hesitation, I got into the water. I didn’t even take off my shoes. I stood knee deep. The white horse trotted into the water and began to swim to me. I hoped it would play with me on the banks, or at least in the shallows. It stopped though, just a little further out from where I was. It could stand there, but then again, it was much bigger than me. The water couldn’t be too deep over there. Could it? It looked towards its back. It was offering me a ride. In my excitement, I forgot all about my grandmother’s words and went deeper into the water. Up to my chest. Then my shoulders. The water felt suffocating as it went higher and higher. I felt like my lungs were being crushed under the pressure of it. I held my hand out to the white horse. It was still just out of reach. I took another step and the water was to my chin. My fingers brushed over its silky mane. Water weeds had collected in it, giving it green flecks here and there. I went to touch it again. This time though, it felt more…sticky. Like tape, or glue. Looking down into the water, the white horse had lost its glow. It seemed more…grey. Darkening the further down it went until it was almost black. Maybe it was just the water.

My foot slipped.

I went down under the water. Opening my eyes in panic, I was horrified at what I saw in front of me.Where the white horse’s belly and legs would have been, I only saw smooth, black, decaying flesh. Water weeds strewn in and out of it. The back legs fused together in a slowly fanning tail. It was like something out of a nightmare. I immediately stepped back, my movements slowed by the water. I turned around and my head broke the surface as I reached the shallows. I scrambled onto the bank and looked back. The white horse was gone. I felt a relief, although I deeply missed the white horse. Where had it gone? I heard my grandmother call my name. In my soaked and muddy clothes, I ran by my fishing pole. A large catfish was at the end of the hook. I left both and hurried back to my grandmother’s house.

I told my grandmother about the white horse. I did this time. I left out the Selkie girls and the young fiddler from my story, and I did not mention the nature of me falling into the water, but I asked her about a white horse in the water. She told me a tale about a Kelpie. It was water demon, that often took the shape of a beautiful white horse, among others such as a handsome man playing a violin, or a young maiden. It would offer a ride to anyone willing, then take them into the water and drown them. Nothing would ever be found of them. That night, I forced myself to go back there. I needed to see if it was real. By the light of my torch, I followed the path I had taken as I had searched for the source of sound. But after hours of searching, I could not find it. No green willows, no low hanging tree limb, no rock.

I went back home the next day, happy to be away, yet desperate to go back. I never did.

Until recently.

My grandmother had died about a month before. It had been years since I had seen her, in fact, she had visited only once since the time I spent a summer with her. I traveled down back to the bayou, back to her home to pack up her things and sell the house. I had nearly forgotten those three days down at the banks of the bayou. The whole summer had been a blur that year, but going there brought those memories back. For so long I had dismissed it as a dream, or some dull event of meeting other people. A man playing an instrument. Some girls swimming in the water. An animal on another bank. A deer perhaps. Or a white goat that had lost its way. Nothing out of the ordinary for the south. Maybe it was just my imagination that I saw a white horse and pet its mane. But to reassure myself of this childhood nonsense, I decided to go and take just one little look that morning. I would be back before sundown.

I found my old fishing spot. My pole was still there somehow, as if I had just left it. I found the fresh carcass of the catfish I had left there years before. I tossed it into the water. Curious. Then I heard the music. Fiddle music. And laughter. And the sound of… a horse. I followed it, and I found that same place. The place with the willows and low hanging tree limb and the rock and the opposite bank with the tree. Once I got there though, all the music and laughter was gone. The tree limb sat empty over the water, the rock isolated and alone. On the opposite bank, was the white horse. The Kelpie. It shook its head and beckoned me over. Something seemed…strange, not quite right. Out of place. But against my better judgement, I took off my shoes and stepped into the water. Faintly, I could hear hissing, and a quiet screeching noise. It sounded like it was coming from the water. I ignored the sounds and went deeper into the bayou. Finally, it was getting too deep to stand. As I kicked off the bottom, my foot hit something sharp. I don’t think it bled though, so I continued across the water without a thought. I couldn’t shake the feeling that something was…under me. Swimming. Maybe even multiple somethings.

I climbed onto the bank. As I got close, the Kelpie kneeled. It was offering me a ride. I remembered what my grandmother had said about these ‘offered rides’. I took a box knife from my back pocket and held it behind my back. Just in case. Opening the blade, I stepped closer and hesitantly put a hand on the magnificent beast. Its white fur was soft, and felt like water in my hands. I told myself I shouldn’t. I had one of those feelings that you get going into a dark tunnel or alley. You know it could be dangerous, and most likely is, but…you still go. I sheathed the knife and sat atop the white horse. It stood and pranced in a circle. I laughed. Oh, how I wished I had done this years ago! Looking up, I saw the young fiddler, laying on the low hanging tree limb. He plucked a string and began to play. He had a handsome face, with shaggy blonde hair hidden under a hat. His clothes looked old, like he was from the wild west. The three bayou Selkie girls came out of the water and lay atop the rock, laughing and brushing out the water weeds with their fingers. I noticed their faces this time. Soft, delicate features with shining dark eyes and smiling mouths. They all seemed so happy. I started to feel the same. A large grin was stuck on my face.

Though after a moment, that was replaced with a feeling of sickness. Worriment. I had a deep ache in my stomach. I was scared. But of what? I tried to lift my hand from the white horse’s neck. I wanted to get off. I wanted to swim to the other bank and run away from this place. My hand wouldn’t move. I pulled at it with my free hand, but it was stuck. Like it had been glued. I watched in horror as the white horse’s coat began to grey before my eyes, becoming darker, and darker. Finally, it became an oily black. Light shined off of it in different colors. It turned its head towards me. No longer was this the beautiful creature I had seen across the bank. It was a monster. The Kelpie.

It’s eyes were blue and clouded, and I could see its jagged teeth through a decayed mouth. A long, greenish-black tongue lapped out of its jaws. The Kelpie’s skin started to become a sticky black goo, engulfing my hand and surrounding my legs. I called for help from the young fiddler and the Selkie girls. It was like they did notice me shouting at them. When they did finally look at me, I realized that they too were not as they seemed. No longer were the Selkie girls beautiful and young. Their skins were green, and rotting. One of them was missing an eye. They gazed lazily at me with tilted heads, as if they were frowning at me with disappointment from their retracted lips and bare teeth, at my fateful decision to ride the Kelpie. The young fiddler, his clothes torn and half of his face peeled away, plucked a few sad notes before his skin began to bubble and turn black. The Selkie girls did the same. Slowly, they all dissolved, bone and flesh, into the same black goo of which the Selkie was made. Gradually they dripped into the water and dissipated like ink, becoming underwater smoke. As soon as they were gone, the Kelpie leapt into the water with me on its back.

As it dove deeper, I tried to pull away. The melting black Kelpie skin was slowly crawling up my legs and chest. I was running out of air. I snatched the box cutter from my pocket and cut at the Selkie’s decaying flesh. It screeched and looked at me with its dead eyes. I saw my own reflection in them. It was angry. It was in pain. And it looked ready to bite. I slashed at it again, and it bit at me, just inches from my face. I had freed my legs. As I tried to cut away the black flesh around my arm and hand, the Kelpie jerked and changed direction, causing the box cutter to dig into my arm. Silently screaming, I watched in horror as the last of my air escaped towards the surface. I cut at it again, and I was free. At a small glimpse, I noticed I was at the bottom. There were bones down there. Human ones. In that short look, I counted at least four skulls. The Kelpie screamed and swam off into the dark water as I pulled myself to the surface.

I gasped and coughed as my face was touched by the warm and humid bayou air. I looked around. Nothing was moving. Dead silent. I noticed a small ripple a few meters away. It got closer and closer, then it disappeared. Only a second passed before I felt something grab my ankle and yank me back under the water. I was being dragged back down. The Kelpie seemed insistent that I never make it back to the banks. I opened my eyes to see myself face to face with the Kelpie. Its black mane flowed around it. Below me, the Selkie girls were grasping at my ankle. I jabbed the knife forward into the Kelpie’s eye. It screamed again, such an inhuman noise that made my ears feel as though they were about to bleed. I no longer felt the hands grasping at my legs. The grip around my ankle was gone. The Kelpie, screaming, swam away, the box cutter still in its eye. I swam back to the water surface.

Quickly paddling my way back to the bank, I hoped that the Kelpie would not come after me for revenge. As I reached the silty shallows, I slowly walked forward, holding my freely bleeding arm. Blood dripped into the water from my fingertips. I crawled up onto the mossy bank and lay on my back for a moment, catching my breath. I sat up and tore away the water weeds that had wrapped around me on my way to the bottom of the bayou. My legs were covered in mud up to my knees, blackening the ends of my rolled up jeans. I looked around. It was nearly night somehow. The sun was gone and the first few stars had begun to shine in the darkening sky. The quiet and beautiful lagoon had changed in appearance. Just like creatures that inhabited it. The rock was mossy, crumbling, cracked. The low hanging tree limb sat broken and sticking up out of the water. All the willows were dead, their leaves decaying upon the ground in clumps. The rest of the trees looked sickly as well. Nothing here was healthy or alive. I backed further away from the water. My hand touched something smooth. Looking behind me, I saw the remnants of a polished fiddle. It looked broken, untouched for years. Further away, I saw the remnants of three colorful beach towels. They were just threads now. The skeletons of fish were around every discarded item. Looking closer in the weeds, I noticed more. Dozens of things, left behind by those who rode the Kelpie.

I never went back to the bayou. As I sold my grandmother’s house to a happy family from upstate New York and handed them the keys, I warned them not to get too close to the waters. There might be gators. As I got in my car and started to drive away, I watched as a little boy tugged at his mother’s sleeve, saying, “I’m going to the bayou, just to have a look. I’ll be back before sundown.”

I drove away, my heart giving an empty ache for the mother of that little boy. Yes, I told myself. He’ll be back before sundown.

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How Do I Sleep?

December 16, 2014 at 12:00 AM
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How Do I Sleep?

This is a video pasta. If the embedded video is not loading for you, please click the link above to go directly to the video’s YouTube page and try watching it there.

Credit To – Liam Vickers

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Her Eyes

December 15, 2014 at 12:00 AM
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I never knew something as simple as a knock on the door could forever send me into a frozen state of terror. It all started with a cold and rainy autumn evening. The wind was blowing fiercely, whistling through the little cracks in the windows and door frames. I was sitting by myself in the living room, watching a terrible homemade zombie flick when I heard a dull thud of foot steps walking up the stairs to my porch.

I muted the television, sat upright, and turned my ear towards the front door. I heard the storm door open then slam shut within two seconds of it opening. I quickly stood up, stumbling over the small ottoman sitting in front of me. I turn on the light in the entryway then peek through the curtain on the little door window to see who was there. No one. I glance out further to see that I had left my driver’s side window cracked open. I curse under my breath and grab my keys from the side table and run outside to my car. I quickly roll my window up, then run back into the house, soaking wet.

I hastily shut the front door, as to not let any heat escape. As soon as it latches, the knocking begins again. Annoyed, I sigh, thinking I forgot to latch the storm door. I turn the knob, ripping the door open when I see a child standing in front of me on the porch. Startled, I gasp loudly, clutching my chest. The child, a girl no older than 10 years stood on my porch, in a raincoat, looking down to the floor. “Are you all right?” She says nothing. I take a step closer to her “Hey, can I help you with something?” I’m starting to panic inside a little because something seems terribly “off” about this girl. Then I notice, she’s completely dry. Not a single drop of rain has touched her coat. I look around to see that my porch is flooded where the wind had blown the rain against my house. Even if she had been on my porch this whole time, she still would’ve been drenched.

I stand there, staring at this child who wouldn’t even look at me.
“Little girl. Please answer–”
“May I please borrow your phone?”
Her voice is calm and kind of deep. She never takes her eyes off of the ground. I inhale sharply, surprised by her sudden question. I weakly ask, “Who do you want to call? Do you need the police, your parents, who?” I’m trying to stay calm, but my voice is shaking. Something is terribly wrong, but I can’t figure it out.

The girl stands very still, and starts sniffling. “May I come in? It’s so cold. Do you have any food?” I stare at the girl, confused by her monotone voice. I don’t feel comfortable letting her inside my house. I feel bad because she’s a child, but something about her terrifies me. I tremble, “What is your name? Where do you live?” The rain suddenly stops. Like turning off a faucet. The wind stops, also, making the neighborhood twenty times quieter. I get shivers down my spine. The girl slowly lifts her hooded head, finally making eye contact. I try to scream, but the only thing that comes out are aggravated breaths of terror. Her eyes. Oh my god. Her eyes. As black as the abyss that she had likely crawled out of. Her pale white skin glowed a soft white, making her eyeballs so much darker. She stepped closer to me, “Please let me in, I’m so cold.” I stare in fear, when the wind and rain turn on like a switch behind her.

I slam the door in her face, running to my phone. I dial 9-1-1, barely holding on because I’m shaking so much. “9-1-1, what’s your emergency?” I try to explain what’s happening, but just sound crazy. “There’s a girl. On m-my porch. Not wet. Black eyes. Oh my god.” I hear the lady from 9-1-1 trying to calm me down. “Ma’am? Ma’am? Calm down please, I can’t understand you. You said there’s a girl on your porch?” I stutter, “Y-yes. She’s out there. IT’S out there. She has black eyes and wants to come in. I won’t let her in!” I hear her knocking on my door. Each knock louder than the rest. I cry out, “Leave me alone! I’m not letting you in!” The knocking ceases. I sigh in a small relief. The woman on the phone asks me where I am and if I need a police officer to come. I say “Yes, please hurry.” Then hang up. Ten long minutes later, I see police vehicle lights dancing on my living room wall. I sigh in relief, and hear a loud banging on the door. I run, a little hesitantly, and answer it. “Thank god you’re here, officer–” I gasp. No officer. Only his car, sitting in the rain, driver side door wide open. I walk out onto the porch, frantically searching everywhere for him. I run to the back yard, dripping with rain water, shouting, “Officer! Officer, where are you?!” I run back to the front of the house when I see that awful girl standing in front of me, glaring at me. She sounds aggravated now. “Let me in so I can use your phone. I’m lost. Please help me.” I dart up the porch stairs, shoving her out of my way, throwing her off the porch. I look back to see her ankle twisted in an impossible angle. She doesn’t scream or cry, she just stands up, limping towards me, dragging her ankle behind her. I scream in horror, slamming and locking the door behind me. The knocking continues. I just want it to stop. I have to do something. I run to my kitchen, open the silverware drawer and pull out a sharp knife. The knocking will not stop.

I walk toward the front door, raising the knife above my head, and grabbing for the door knob. I quickly open the door to see the Officer standing in front of me, his gun drawn, pointing at me. Out of instinct, he fires, shorting me in the chest. I drop the knife, and fall to the ground. He enters the door and kneels beside me, yelling into his radio that he needs backup and an ambulance. He puts pressure on my chest as th blood pours out of me. I look behind him to see the black eyed girl standing directly behind him, looking down at me, smiling with her sharp teeth glistening. I’m choking on my own blood at this moment. Gasping in terror, my eyes widen. They never close again. The last thing I ever see is that girl and her harshly blackened eyes, smiling down at me like she just won a prize.

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Eleven Twenty-Six

December 3, 2014 at 11:26 PM
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A small, rainy town sits near a dense grove of trees as a series of streams run past and into the dark thicket beyond. There is newfound fear within the town of the approaching century. The growing popularity of gasoline powered automobiles and electric powered telephones are deemed an unnecessary change in the little town, with wild stories from the outside world only furthering their confusion and displeasure about the new inventions. This threat from the outside world is a drop of water in an ocean compared to the harsh realities within their tiny corner of the world. The time stands at eleven o’clock as the townspeople move about the dark streets as though it were the middle of the day.

The silent torment of inner dread is seen in every pair of eyes as they look upon one another with a strange kind of hopeless desperation. Their days pass by like any other but the fall of night had their worried glances reveal an old fear, untouched by time. They knew what was soon to happen and that their anguished cries would be useless. Eleven o’clock comes again. Twenty-six minutes more to wait. Every minute is counted in the heads of the people in the small town by the dark grove. Every night when the clock strikes eleven twenty-six, a collective sound of fear is heard before the inevitable silence as every person within the town succumb to a simultaneous slumber.

Nobody has been able to remain conscious after this time to bear witness to what goes on around them. To add to this strange event, all those in the slumber awaken together at exactly six fifteen every morning. The people born in the town refuse to leave and visitors are rare, but the ones who come across the little town tend to make their stay a transitory one after hearing the warnings from the townspeople. Those in the nearest town are aware of the curse, with people refusing to enter the dark grove after eleven twenty-six at night for fear of what might happen to them. Some believe their bodies will collapse after crossing the border and others believe they will witness horrors worse than their imaginations can conjure up. The residents here claim that it has not always been like this and one day it will return to good, much to the chagrin of outsiders who believe them to be in the company of delusions.

An elderly man, born in the cursed town, had one night decided to walk across the border and observe the town from the outside. He saw nothing at all for how far his eyes took him, but the view of the main street was not perceivable from his position and he returned to the grove the next day with nothing to tell.

A thirty year old man can be heard wailing into the night, every night as he wanders through the main street. He worries strenuously about what is being done to him as he sleeps and whether tonight will be the night they finally put an end to his life. Men seem to have the most reason to worry here. Nightmares of unfathomable horror and hopelessness fill their minds but leave the women dreaming of nothing but darkness. Some men have dreamed repeatedly of their wives hurling them over cliffs and drowning them in the deepest waters. Their thoughts have been twisted by this continual barrage of images and subsequently driven to desperate acts derived from a broken mind. Wives and lovers are left fleeing from the town in a blind panic as paranoia runs rampant among the men. Despite this unrest, all the people of the dark grove have agreed that they are not alone after they pass into the unknown sleep.

It was a well-known fact that women did not dream here, so when one cold morning a twenty-eight year old woman ran out into the street shouting about the dream she had during the unknown sleep, it sent a shock wave through the town. The sea of gasps and murmurs surrounded the woman as questioning eyes focused on only her. She was different to the others now and more people feared her as the concerned and curious looks quickly turned to expressions of confusion and terror. She was pestered endlessly about her dreams from that day on and she insisted that the only dream she had each night was a recurring one, but many accused her of being deceptive. Some even claimed she remained awake as they slept and somehow had a part in the unknown atrocities.

She told the truth about dreaming of the same thing every night but she had also lied to the people about the contents of her recurring dream. The images of the translucent forms of the townspeople; her family and friends, wandering aimlessly through blackened streets like they were not even aware they existed in the world, plagued her dreams every night. The last thing she wanted to do was to unleash real panic among the people so she told them she merely dreamed of walking along a sunny beach, but she could see the suspicion in their eyes, suppressed only by their fear of the unknown.

She had the same dream the next night. Once again the static forms of the townspeople littered the streets before her, not really seeing anything as they stared ahead through lifeless eyes. The dream would usually end with her collapsing into a pile on the ground and awaking in her bed, but she remained standing as she continued to observe the spectacle before her. Something was different this time around. There was a shift in the air as she looked all around her. It had never gone on for this long and she was almost wishing her body would collapse so she could wake up in her bed with the morning light on her arm. Dark patches began to appear next to each person, wandering along with them. She moved her head forward as she blinked, trying to focus on whatever was attached to the townspeople. She watched for only a few seconds more before she took a step back and almost fell over some clutter on the ground behind her, sending something rattling away as she breathed out loudly through her teeth.

She looked up to see that they had all stopped, now standing motionless as the dark spots appeared to detach themselves and move slowly towards her. They flickered erratically, making her wonder if they really existed and if they were even capable of harm. She stumbled back, cutting her arm upon a nail that stuck out from the side of the door frame as she watched them move closer.

She frowned as she peered down at the gash along her arm. She had never felt pain in her dreams before but the sting and burn from the cut was very real. She placed her left hand over the wound as the realization that she was not dreaming wrought a strange kind of calm over her. She did not see a face from the dark forms that enclosed her but she could feel her body dying the closer they came, like years were being stripped from her as every moment passed. Her head rolled forward as her chin rested on her chest with her body remaining upright in a perfect standing position. She did not know how they had killed her but at some undetermined point she suddenly knew she would never wake up in her bed again. She could not remember if they even touched her but it seemed unimportant in that particular moment. She drifted upwards, not even knowing if she was even herself anymore as she watched her body remain standing on the ground as some unknown part of her exited this world.

She did not feel at ease anymore as she watched in horror as her earthly body looked up at her with a blank expression as it reached its arms up towards her as far as humanly possible. She stared into the eyes of the empty shell of her former self. She did not know what moved the body now but she could see past the lifeless expression as its eyes quivered underneath the calm mask. She wondered if the same fate had befallen the townspeople, and they simply walked around with some unknown entity possessing their bodies. She wondered if there was any part of them that still remained.

She could not stop herself from rising now and she was not sure if she even wanted to stop it. She could feel more and more of who she was disappear as her memories faded without apology. Before she closed her eyes to accept her fate, she glanced down once more to see her human shell smile sadly up at her before collapsing to the floor. The dark forms had disappeared as the dull light of dawn began to fill the little room.

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Dancing Dead

December 2, 2014 at 12:00 AM
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Jake shouldn’t be outside tonight. Let alone walk through the woods by himself.
But he’s just gonna drop by his friend’s house real quick to pick up his phone, which he forgot there a few days ago. How much harm can that really do?
A damp, blue tinted fog silently prowls the night, meandering through the towering trees. The moon has deprived the sun of its throne in the sky and the repetitive sound of his sneakers hitting the dirt road is the only thing accompanying him. With the soft harmonies of solitude cascading through the forest comes complete tranquility.
You can really tell that there’s almost no one outside right now. A different kind of smell drifts with the wind and a different kind of air fills his lungs each time he takes a breath. The sensation of undisturbed nature is a pretty rare thing nowadays. Maybe the rumors of this night and why you should stay inside was all made up by people who wanted to enjoy this once every year.

A bush rustles somewhere behind him.
Jake stops in his tracks and pricks up his ears. Nothing but the distant hooting of an owl. Trying not to make anything of it, he continues walking the narrow path in front of him. He only gets to take a couple of steps, though, before he hears another rustle, and freezes instantly. The sound is a little closer to him this time, but when he spins around to face the bush, he sees nothing. Must be a squirrel or something. Maybe a cute little fox. The bottom line is: it’s nothing to worry about.

Jake presses on, but the air that fills his lungs is now flavored with paranoia, which pumps out through his veins like a malicious virus. He tries to calm himself down, but when the third rustle comes, there’s no doubt that he’s scared. He quickens his pace and keeps his eyes steadily on the road.
Maybe he should have stayed inside. He could have just gone to get his phone in the morning. Why does he always feel the need to be a rebellious idiot?

That was a footstep.
Yep, that was definitely a freaking footstep landing a few meters behind him. He knows now that something is there in the forest with him—something that’s not a cute little animal. But he won’t look back. That’s what you should never do.
Instead, Jake keeps walking determinedly towards the edge of the woods with fear rising up inside of him like in a thermostat. The rhythmical footsteps keep closing up on him. It seems like no matter how fast he walks, the footsteps behind him are set to always walk just a little bit faster. He can’t get away from them.
And when he starts hearing the wheezing breathing filled with gurgling fluid from the unknown being creeping up on him, panic breaks loose.
Jake runs. He runs as fast as anyone of his height and weight can, but he knows in the back of his mind that it won’t be enough. The thing behind him keeps the same rhythm to its footsteps but now moves like a galloping horse—inhumanly fast.
The rapid and shallow breathing coming down his neck sounds excited, and he can almost hear a little bit of crazed laughter emitting from his pursuer. The trees of the forest fly by quickly, and the outer parts of Jake’s vision blurs. He feels the air around him get colder, and the light from the moon getting choked by dark clouds.
A hand violently grabs his hood, and his head is thrown forward before he falls heavily to the ground.

Jake slowly turns his head as he lies there, helpless.
He is met by a lucid pair of big white eyes, and the tall body of a man, looming over him. The man’s hair is disheveled and under the long, dark coat, his skin is pale and filled with deep cuts. The mere presence of his lacerated soul makes Jake dizzy.
Even now, while standing still, the man taps his feet in that same rhythm, and the shaky smile on his face expresses maniacal delight. He bends over slowly and takes Jake’s hand. His fingers feels bony and frozen. Then, all of a sudden, an electric feeling bolts through Jake. It’s like nothing he’s ever felt before. Jake stands up with eyes wide open and feels euphoria flow through him. The rhythm seizes him.
And while preserving the peace and silence of nature, he and the man dance away through the forest together.

It is said in Jake’s town that once every year, the dead rise from their graves. For one night, the ones who lived miserable lives get the chance to experience fun. And what better way to have fun than through dancing? The children are taught to stay inside on this night, however.
Because everyone knows that dancing is better when you’re two.

Credit To – Daniel. S

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Knock, Knock

December 1, 2014 at 12:00 AM
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Summer. For someone living in a tropical country, it means unbearable heat and humidity, even at night.

I was on vacation and staying at my uncle’s house. His house is situated in a low hill along the border of the town. They are not really isolated as they got neighbors along the way going to the top of the hill.

It was my fifth day staying there and my usual habit after dinner is to go outside in the front yard and smoke. It is much cooler there, every now and then a small breeze will come relieving me from the irritating heat.

From where I stand, you can see the other side of the hill dotted with white things with crosses. Yes, those are graves and that part of the hill is a cemetery. Other people might get scared or uneasy being outside at night and in a full view of a cemetery a stone’s throw away but I’m not. I have gotten used to it and it’s not really that unsettling as the first night I was there.

So there I was smoking and halfway through my cigarette, I saw the front door opened!

You might think I got scared by then but I was not. I just stood there calmly, looking at the open door and after a few seconds it closed. I didn’t paid much attention to what happened and go on smoking.

A minute passed by and then the door opened again and closed. Still unnerved by that second instance, I finished my cigarette and went inside the house.

On the hallway, I saw my uncle’s maid sweeping the floor. I approached her and asked,

“Did you just opened the door a while ago?”

“Yes.” she replied.

“Why?”, I asked again.

“Someone was knocking, so I opened the door but no one came in. They even knocked twice.”

I just stood there, looking puzzled at her then we both heard it as someone’s knuckle rapped on the door.

Knock, knock…

Credit To – frank0ys

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