Lunchbox

August 31, 2015 at 12:00 PM
VN:F [1.9.22_1171]
Rate This Pasta
Rating: 7.7/10 (64 votes cast)

We ended up going to a place I knew. John had no idea if the bars he used to frequent were still cool, or even open. The cold air shocked him back to his senses, some, and as we stumbled through a labyrinth of back streets you could tell he was thinking we might not even be going to a club. How well do you know your old buddy Charles these days? Suspicion prodding him with questions he should have asked long before setting foot outside his front door.

But the lure of the good old times, no matter how rose tinted, were too strong.

We swung off into the front yard of somebody’s house. Somebody who’d once had kids but maybe not now, maybe not for a long time, and John grunted and tripped on toys scattered across the concrete square. Either way, the parents’ hadn’t had the heart to get rid of their things.

Reaching the miniature swing set I sat down and swung back and forth a little, grinning up at John smugly. The entire structure creaked and groaned alarmingly.

‘We’re going to need the Jaws of Life to cut your ass out of that seat,’ John observed unkindly. ‘Ages four to twelve it says on the side. What are we doing here, Charles?’

Giggling a little I struggled up but the seat came with me, chains rattling. ‘Oh crap, I am stuck.’ A brief moment of panic before John managed to help prise the four to twelve seat off my adult backside.

‘Shh!’ John looked at the house nervously, though all the lights remained off. ‘You’re going to wake the family.’

‘Not bloody likely.’ I wrestled with one of those little rocking horsey things that lurch back and forth on springs, trying to lift it right out of the floor and likely to bust a gut doing it. ‘Help me with this.’

Somebody had to be fired from the toy factory. The jolly grinning beastie inviting some kid to leap into its saddle sported a stubby little horn jutting from its face that must have been quite long and wicked once, before a wiser soul had sawn the plastic down to make it less noticeable.

John loaned his twiglet arms to the effort. ‘Why are we stealing this?’ he hiss-whispered, the way tipsy people think they’re being quiet. ‘It’s not going to match your sofa.’

‘Not stealing,’ I grunted. ‘Push it to the left.’ Which shouldn’t have done anything, the springs seated deep in concrete, but which nonetheless yielded a deep mechanical click.

The entire slab we were standing on grated off to one side and John leaped away with a girlish shriek he instantly tried to cover by coughing.

I bowed, gesturing him down the revealed staircase. ‘Welcome.’

‘What the hell, Charles!’

‘Hey, we’re celebrating. What with my suddenly being un-married and all, and you offering to share your spooky secret I’m gonna treat us to something special.’

The dimly lit space we dropped down into could loosely be called a bunker, although the remains of brackets on the walls attested it’d been
machinery that had once cowered down here, not people. Now the space was crowded with any old paraphernalia that somebody had thought looked cool, glass fronted cabinets springing up all over, busting at the seams.

‘Chaar-leei!’ the bartender hollered, a stringy little fellow with less gristle to him than John and not even as tall, he could scarcely peep over his own bar.

‘Sanjay!’ I boomed back, shoving my way to a bar stool and bringing John along for the ride. ‘I’m treating my friend to the good stuff tonight, Sanjay. We’re off to see a ghost.’

‘Ghosts, now!’ Sanjay rolled his eyes. ‘What excuse for a good drink’ll you think up next? Armageddon?’

The obligatory pretty young things pulling drinks to either side of him, a lass and a lad, smiled weakly. Flashing cleavage was a cheap trick to get the sad bastards lining up on a mission to drink themselves into believing they might be in with a chance, but it was the same worn out dog of a trick everyone used. If you fell for it, more fool you. At least Sanjay ensured these kids learned their stuff, they could leave to run their own establishments someday from books to stock. And he kept them more virtuous than his own children.

‘Bric and Brac,’ Sanjay indicated with a flip of his hand, not handing the adolescents’ real names out to anyone, even regulars. ‘When you want the best drink in the city this is where you come.’

Bending to a spout he filled two grimy glasses. ‘Some say that a sip brings immortality, you’ll live to see the end of days. I’ve had men and women in here swear it gives sleep without dreams, a far more precious commodity. I call it “tears of fools.”’

I accepted mine eagerly. John merely stared at his own set down on the bar in front of him so I prompted, a little annoyed. ‘You’ve never tasted anything like this, mate. It ain’t cheap.’

Sanjay squinted through the labial light at John’s face. ‘Your friend is nervous of the yellow death. He’s a good lad to take care of his liver, you should treat it like your old mother.’

‘I do!’ I protested merrily. ‘A sherry tipple every night and shandies on Thursdays.’

‘Let Bric set your fears at ease.’ The improbably comely lad who had to be skirting the minimum for responsible service, unless they handed them out at kindergartens these days, drew a tiny amount from the tap with a spoon. Taking a tealight candle from the bar he deftly lit the spoonful with the tiniest “woomph.” Delicate blue flamelets flickered and curled across the surface.

After a moment of holding it for inspection Bric flicked it into the sink with a curse, shaking scorched fingers where the spoon had heated up.

‘Run it under cold water,’ Sanjay instructed absently. ‘You see, friend? Red means dead, just like my ex-wife’s stare but this burns blue as my girlfriend’s beautiful eyes. Spirits. What better drop to toast the paranormal?’

‘Ghosts don’t exist,’ Brac asserted from her half of the domain, having that rare ability to work and track the conversation at the same time. ‘The city would be wall to wall ghosts by now if they were real.’

‘And how would you tell?’ I wriggled my fingers at her, booga-booga style.

‘You’d know,’ Bric asserted. He figured his hand all recovered by now but Sanjay thrust it back under the running tap.

‘You know the rules. Ten minutes minimum for a burn, even a bee’s dick of one. And don’t let me catch you sticking ice on it like last time, either. Just damages the cells more.’

‘You believe in ghosts?’ Brac asked Bric curiously. Just went to show, you could work with someone ever so long and still have things to learn.

‘Used to live next to one.’

‘I call bullshit.’

‘No, really. You don’t have to see it to know it’s there. It makes everything … horrible. My family went all weird. I was off school for weeks, just staying in my room and it was like they hardly noticed.’

Sanjay in the middle looked unimpressed but Brac’s peepers were big and round, an expression that wound her age back at least another four years. Back to the age of never checking under the bed or in the closet, because it was better not to know.

I was delighted, really jonesing on the whole paranormal shtick. ‘Well come on. Don’t spare us the juicy-oocy.’

‘Dunno about “juicy.”’ Bric muttered, finally winning free of the tyranny of the sink, the spoon now cool enough to pop in the dishwasher. ‘It was my Mum started acting weird at first, and no-one except me seemed to notice.

‘I read up on it and apparently if you’ve had a loss the ghosts, well, they seem to just get at you more. My uncle, Mum’s brother passed away that year and although I’d never known him I think they were close when they were little. She’d been thinking on him a lot, going through photos and such. Said it made her realise how important it is to appreciate family, but her behaviour sure didn’t back that up.

‘One day the meat in my sandwich was raw. Just … just raw and cold, slapped between two slices of unbuttered bread and I bit into it before I realised. That was one hungry day. When I took it home and showed it to her she laughed in this vague, distant way and said, “What a silly Mummy.” That was for sure: I opened up my lunchbox the next day and she’d put a rock in it! Just … a rock. And she’d buttered it, maybe ‘cause I pointed out the bread thing along with the raw meat.’

Brac stifled a laugh behind her hands, although her eyes said clearly it wasn’t funny. Bric nodded his head. ‘Sounds silly now but I cried so
hard, all those other kids sitting around eating lunches from parents who loved them and there was me with a buttery rock.’

Now I snorted too, but I hope my face was full of sympathy.

Sanjay clapped Bric on the shoulder. ‘Lad, anytime you’re feeling peckish on my watch just say the word. Nobody does good work on an empty stomach.’

‘Much less a kid – I certainly wasn’t getting much out of school. Stopped even looking in my lunchbox. Safer to just hold it open over a bin and turn my face away from whatever came thumping out. But it got worse when Dad started acting up too. I don’t even know what he was doing: might be brushing his teeth or something, and suddenly he’d start trying to do it backwards. Had his lips sealed over the drain trying to suck back all the toothpaste foam.

‘He’d ask me to do something but if the words came out in reverse and I couldn’t understand he’d get angry, this horrible garbled back-wise yelling. He started watching me at night, too. Just sort of stood there in my bedroom in the dark, watching me. He stood in different places but his eyes were wet and I could always seem the gleam from the little light that crept under the door, staring at me. On those nights I don’t think he ever blinked.

‘That’s when I started staying home. I slept during the day so I could stay up all night and stop Dad coming into my room. I couldn’t stand him staring at me. And that’s when I felt it. Cold, a big blast of cold coming right through the wall from next door. But you could only feel it here.’ He put a hand on his chest, over his heart.

‘I know it sounds bizarre but it was the biggest relief when I realised. It meant my parents did love me after all. It was the ghost doing this to them.’

‘And ..?’ I urged. ‘Then what happened?’

‘That morning come daybreak I marched straight to my Dad and told him we had to move, there was a ghost next door and it was messing everything up. He nodded in his slow underwater way, but must have already known something was wrong and was just waiting to be told which way to jump. Before that day was out we were all in the car with everything we owned, heading off down the street. Looking about, it was obvious to see that all the other neighbours were gone. We were the last to leave.

‘I glanced back out the rear and I swear, next door’s street facing window had two handprints on it. Handprints outlined in frost.’

Sanjay gave a low whistle, shaking himself to work the shiver loose from the back of his neck. ‘Well that’s about the most disquieting thing I’ve ever heard.’

‘Cover your ears, then.’ Bric shook his handsome head miserably. ‘The worst was when we made it to our new house. Mum and Dad were already shaking it off: they did a lot of hugging ‘til the air was all squeezed out of me. Dad got started on a special dinner right away to make up for all those missed lunches and Mum, well for days I couldn’t open my mouth without her trying to cram food in. I ought to have been happy.

‘But there in my new room, when I went to unpack my toys I found that there were these long, old rusted nails driven into the faces of each and every one. Every toy I loved. I did that. And to this day I have absolutely no memory of doing it, or even where I got the nails. None at all.’

Whoa. I would’ve kept that last part to myself – for a while Brac’s big shining eyes had looked ready to bestow the ultimate in tender sympathy but now … now she just looked sick. We were all that bit disturbed and couldn’t settle on where to look, especially not at Bric who might have spilled more than he meant to.

It took a stern sense of reality to return to the hazy friendliness of the bar. Or irreverence. Raising his glass, John toasted a whey-faced
Sanjay. ‘Salut. To ghosts, hey?’ The others scowled but I raised my own drink enthusiastically. The tears of fools scalded like fire, going down.

Credit To – BP Gregory

VN:F [1.9.22_1171]
Rate This Pasta
Rating: 7.7/10 (64 votes cast)

A Parent’s Plea

August 30, 2015 at 12:00 PM
VN:F [1.9.22_1171]
Rate This Pasta
Rating: 7.5/10 (92 votes cast)

Throughout my years of reading people’s stories of this nature, I have noticed that many of them speak from the perspective of a child. This is entirely apt: we’ve all been children, we’ve all had the strange and unexplainable experiences before we “grew up” and convinced ourselves we’d figured out how the world worked.

As children, the rules are flexible. Monsters, flying, magic are all perfectly acceptable in our worlds until the droll, seriousness of ‘science’ takes over.

Please forgive me if I depart from this perspective and assume that of a parent, a father. I realise that many of you good readers, for plentiful reasons, have not had this experience. Those of you who have will agree that the becoming of a parent bestows upon one the weight of all responsibility. You are the one upon whom all the power of protection, reassurance and care rests. You have in your charge a unique and precious entity, your duty to preserve and nourish it. It is a sacred and terrifying burden. Thus is was with Corley.

When my first son – how I miss him! – was born, I confess I felt lost and terrified as well as the happier emotions new parenthood brings. But plenty of others do it, I thought. Millions all over the world, throughout history, have raised children and they managed. Poorer, less educated, even less evolved animals do it all the time! I would be fine!

Oh would it were so.

The first few months were the typical mundane, hectic, calm, chaotic, messy, joyous and absurd times of modern parenting. Corley was a difficult sleeper at first; hated sleeping alone. I can sense the parents reading this smile knowingly – for aren’t all babies like this? They have to be trained to sleep alone, heartbreaking though it might be. In infancy, Corley would scream for hours if he was separated from his mother or me; long after we had passed out from exhaustion, we would wake to hear him screaming. Eventually we relented. Surely any damage done by sleeping with his parents would be less than the obvious discomfort he felt screaming all night.

He developed into a spirited, highly energetic toddler. He was tireless, rough and boisterous but just as loving and relational as one could hope for. He was a little delayed in walking, and speaking, but every child is different aren’t they? Don’t rush them, says the literature. They’ll get there in their own time. And of course, he did. For a time.

Now reader, please allow me a small indulgence. You’ve heard about the horrors of parenthood: the sleeplessness, soiled nappies, drudgery, boredom. You’ve also heard about the “joy”, and the “amazement” and any number of superlative words of “wonder” that it brings. Thus it was when Corley started talking. More so, understanding. It is known that babies and children absorb huge amounts of information before they venture into language themselves. A new word, a colour, a concept. I was especially moved when he identified with me enough to give me a name: “Bab”.

The most special part of this for me was that instant of connection between two minds – that brief eye contact where he understood something, and I saw that he did, and he saw that I saw, and so on into that endless feedback loop that signifies the connection of two minds. We adults do that every day of course, with our friends and colleagues; but when you see it happen for the first time with your own child… then, you understand why we go on about it so.

And this must be when it started. Of course I didn’t realise at the time – who would with their first child? – that something was amiss. Shortly after I had begun to see these ‘connections’ regularly, I noticed that Corley would often shift his gaze from mine to a space in the room just over my shoulder. The look of understanding in his eyes would deepen. His smile would broaden. The first time I had assumed that his mother was behind me, and he was reacting to her. He would still acknowledge me of course, but his greatest recognition was reserved for that vacant space behind me, up by the ceiling, or at the top of the curtains.

“Bab!” he would say, as I caught his attention. “Bababab!” and he would give me that look of recognition before sliding his eyeline beyond, and smile and perhaps nod faintly as he acknowledged his unseen ‘friend’.

Now. I know at this point there are a thousand reasons that this could be. Perhaps his reactions were just delayed – he needed to stare into space momentarily as he processed his infant thoughts. Maybe a fly or a wisp of light caught his fancy. Or he was daydreaming! Why would I entertain foolish thoughts of him looking at ‘someone else’? Something else? For heaven’s sake, maybe the supernaturalists are right, and children do indeed see sprites and beings and auras and faeries and dragons, before the mighty hand of ‘science’ and ‘reason’ crush out altogether the world of the fantastical! If it’s normal and happens to us all, well then what of it?!

Like you, dear reader, I scoffed at my over-concern. And I would have forgotten it by now, as Corley is almost seven, had things eventuated the way I’d hoped. But as you see by now, they did not. Far from it.

Some nights later, I was heading to bed very late, congratulating myself on my brilliant fatherhood prowess, as I had only recently got Corley to sleep in his own bed calmly and without fuss. His mother worked night shifts as a nurse, so this formidable task had been left to me. As I passed his room I heard a voice. A calm, competent, clear voice. I inched closer, obviously in some confusion. The voice was Corley’s. He was holding a conversation! Proper sentences, and leaving a pause for the imaginary other participant, much as if he were on the phone. As I approached I was able to make out his dialogue.

“I can’t,” he said.

A brief pause.

“I’m not going to.”

Another pause.

“No. No I won’t. I would never do that.”

Of course I was stunned as he’d never said more than “bababab” or “mama” or “num num num” to me. And now he was negating hypothetical future situations? How was it so?

He continued:

“No.”

And then, after a longer silence:

“Because he is my father.”

Aghast, I strode into the darkened room. The curtain was open as usual, the sodium streetlight casting a dreary orange stripe on the far wall. It was dark enough to sleep, but light enough to see Corley sitting upright facing the end of his bed. He turned to me as I entered, his little face blank and neutral.

“Who were you talking to?” I asked him. He stared up at me, his face unreadable and innocent as a toddler’s.

“Bababab,” he replied. I knelt down by him, and gestured to the end of his bed.

“Who were you talking to?” I repeated, in a more kindly and soft tone. He continued looking at me and whispered “babab” again and put his hand gently on my arm. I tried a few other more complex questions to prompt him into revealing his powers of conversation with me, but he just continued to stare calmly, occasionally whispering “babab”. I was tired, I was rattled, but what could I do? I couldn’t demand he converse with me. I bid him sleep now, and he immediately lay down, placed his head on his pillow, all the while watching me as I kissed his forehead and left. Watching me with that same serene, impenetrable expression.
I slept poorly. The image of him in confident discussion with the end of his bed haunted my slumber, and the nature of his subject echoed on the edges of my conciousness. I rose some hours later to use the lavatory and heard Corley’s voice again. It was hushed this time, scarcely above a whisper. I crept to his door and listened to the following:

“I just want to go to sleep now.”

Pause.

“Please go, I’m tired. I want to sleep.”

A longer pause, and then something of a weary sigh.

“Alright. I will if I can go to sleep right now.”

Pause.

“I’ve said I would.”

I’m sorry to say I burst in at speed. Corley was fast asleep, snoring soundly, tangled in his cosy nest of blankets and toys. I tried to rouse him a couple of times but he was deep in slumber. ‘Dead to the world’, as the phrase goes.

As it was almost dawn and his mother would be home soon, I decided to resist the urge to sit up with him and watch over him. In any case he was now so deep in his dreams I reckoned that nothing could wake him, and I trudged back to my own bed and slumped into unconsciousness.

I decided against burdening my dear wife with the story; her work as a psychiatric nurse is traumatic enough and throwing a bizarre story at her about her son’s nighttime conferences wasn’t what she needed. And what would I expect her to do about it, I imagined her saying. Shouldn’t I, as the father, the husband of the house, the protector – the ‘man’ – be able to resolve it?

The next few days, indeed months and years, are of scant interest to this story. Suffice to say there were no more midnight communications that I was aware of, and though he was slower than most, and his distracted recognition of this unseen ‘friend’ of his increased and deepened, Corley grew. His character as observed by others, was of a quiet and solitary boy. Polite and serious when spoken to, his expression unknowable, gentle and reticent. The boisterous exuberance of his infancy was all but gone. Occasionally he could be seen running and laughing as he played outside, often alone, so as a family we weren’t particularly concerned.

When he was nearly four, his brother Antonio was born. Having experienced a new baby once already, we were much less stressed and ‘on-edge’ than with Corley. Antonio learned and adapted to life quickly. He could speak before two, and shortly after he could read several words and toilet himself. His knowledge of the basics – colours, animals, numbers, people – was considerable. Every day he seemed to learn a new word or phrase and begin using it. He would relish the idea of learning concepts and ideas. Corley, at six years old, was his idol, his hero. At least at first.

But as you will predict, the happiness receded and a darker time stole ever closer to us.

Corley grew more distant as his brother grew more competent. He had almost stopped talking to anyone, and seemed to run on autopilot. He ate mechanically. He read, wrote, engaged with other children, spoke, played only when directed. He never offered comment or opinion unless demanded, and then it was only ever “good” or “nice”. When we embraced him before school or before bed, his arms would automatically return the hug then drop to his side, devoid of emotion or warmth. His eyes would meet mine, but his neutral expression was even more pronounced. Please forgive my absurd oxymoronic grammar, but I could only describe it as ‘extremely neutral’.

I have read enough about conditions and syndromes such as dyspraxia, autism, Aspergers and such, to know that the world is big enough to embrace every child, no matter their disposition. I know that children who are exposed to trauma or poison or drugs can develop conditions like this. In Syria there are children so affected by the horrors of conflict that there is doubt they will ever ‘come back’. In Congo there are child-soldiers who have been stripped of their personalities through drugs and exploitation. Haiti even has a legal status of ‘zombie’ for people who have disappeared and returned with their emotions and humanity drained. In areas of Eastern Europe are children who have been mentally erased through trafficking and prostitution. Every country hosts some of these tragic, blank beings. Though it was somewhat agonising for us, his parents and brother, and the underfunded and disinterested health-system being what it is, we never found out what it was that caused this ebb of passion, of vitality.

Months passed. Antonio grew disinterested in his brother, in favour of his other friends. He stopped acknowledging him altogether, and regarded him as something of a piece of furniture. He wasn’t cruel or disdainful, but I suppose since he never elicited any reaction from Corley any more, he just ceased his engagement with him.

It was another dark and heavy Autumn night, around the 25th or 26th of March (Northern Hemisphere readers please note, in New Zealand the Autumn seem to come quickly, as sunset clunks in early when Daylight Savings Time ends.) I was again heading to bed late when I heard a voice coming from my boys’ bedroom. Antonio’s voice. Again that one-sided conversation, as of Corley’s those years ago. Though my distress was obviously great, I again listened.

The conversation was much more animated than Corley’s had been. Antonio was discussing events from his day, subjects like his favourite toys, basic emotions – normal three-year-old stuff. And occasionally laughing, as if the ‘other’ party had made some amusing comment. Then I heard this:

“You’re my brother. I love you, Corley!” and a delighted laugh.

I rushed in. Antonio was sitting up in his bed, his attention directed to the foot of it, an empty space. Corley was asleep, silent and still in his own bed on the other side of the room. Antonio glanced toward me as I approached, then returned to his dialogue.

“Dad here,” he said to the empty space. “Come on, Corley. Come out.” He turned to me and smiled, saying: “Dad, Corley’s here!”, again directing his attention to the foot of the bed.
“Where you going, Corley?” he giggled. nad after a moment he simply said “goodnight” and clunked his head down onto his pillow.
“Goodnight Dad.”

Needless to say reader, he offered no explanation of his eerie actions. He just looked at me with a gleam of happiness in his eye until he fell asleep.

I never heard his nocturnal conversations again. And that is almost the end of my story, except for this final event. Some months later Antonio was sitting at the table finishing his dinner. Corley was there too, but it was almost as if he had regressed further. Antonio did not even register him any more. Even his mother and I had to remember to attempt to engage with him, as our busy working life and day-to-day business took up more of our time. I was trying to get Antonio to acknowlegde Corley, perhaps talk to him or share his thoughts with him.

Antonio frowned. “No,” he replied. I don’t like Corley. I replied with some platitude about that not being nice, he’s your brother, he loves you, and similar words.

“I don’t like Corley,” Antonio repeated more emphatically. “Corley screaming. Corley screaming all the time.” He must have seen my shocked expression as he shifted his gaze to over my shoulder, up to that space by the ceiling, still frowning. His tone became grumpy, as that of any annoyed three-year-old. He stared back down at his plate, his eyes briefly flicking up to that empty spot.

“He screaming all the time now.”

***

And that really is all there is to tell. But my plea is thus: all of you parents, and those that would become parents, and those that are thinking of becoming parents. Please hug your child every day and tell them that you love them. Take every opportunity to spoil them. For the time we can show them that love may be all too brief.

Credit To – Mastadon

VN:F [1.9.22_1171]
Rate This Pasta
Rating: 7.5/10 (92 votes cast)

Mako524

August 30, 2015 at 12:00 AM
VN:F [1.9.22_1171]
Rate This Pasta
Rating: 5.0/10 (82 votes cast)

I got a message in my inbox a few weeks ago. I run a paranormal side-blog on tumblr but it is a small one. I barely have a following. It is mostly just the friends I have who happen to care about that sort of stuff (it isn’t many).

When I got the message I actually asked if one of them had sent it. It felt like it was probably a prank. I don’t get many (read: any) submissions to my blog. I’m just too small time and I don’t advertise plus I just reblog other people like sixpenceee and fuckyeahnightmares instead of making any original posts. To tell the truth I’ve been contemplating closing it and only haven’t because its been a convenient archive for the creepy posts I like but know most of the people who follow my main blog don’t care about.

Anyway the message read:

“Do you know about that tumblr that posts an odd audio file once a week? It only does it after erasing the previous week’s file, so there is only ever one audio file on it at a time.

Someone posted the link to it on the paranormal forum I frequent and I bookmarked it, I’ve been listening to the new files every week. People on the forum said the language is usually Japanese but despite knowing the language the files don’t always make sense to me.Sometimes they do but more often they are very distorted and odd. I can’t put my finger on exactly why sometimes, other times it is very obvious.

The most recent file is both. The beginning seems to mean something along the lines of a prayer and then fades into babbling but the audio feels wrong somehow, then it gets progressively louder until it is deafening before easing back out into it’s odd quiet statement of nonsense.

I went to the forum to discuss this week’s file only to find the thread had been deleted. Only a few of us were left talking about it, most people had lost interest or left the forum so there just were not that many posters. I thought the thread was deleted for inactivity, but when I tried to start a new thread it was closed immediately.

I don’t know why. I want to think it is because maybe the mods just got fed up with us. No one had any conclusive theories after all and the thread was pretty dry by the point of it being closed so maybe they just anticipated it would be the same in a new thread. That is what the rational part of me is thinking. I did try to contact the mods but I haven’t gotten a response.

I tried to contact some of the other people I had been talking with but they didn’t respond to me either, and I’m starting to realize a lot of them, formerly very active contributors, haven’t been active for weeks now.

The less rational part of me is starting to feel kind of alone and nervous. I’m the only person still active on the forums who got into it this much, it seems like. I can’t talk to anyone about it at all in real life, no one would be interested. It feels like I’ve been left alone in a room with something volatile and curious with no one to tell me what to do with it. I don’t know if I can stop poking at it, and I don’t know what it might do. So I thought I’d tell more people because probably the sinister part of this is all in my mind, and someone else will figure it out, I mean if it is a code like we were theorizing and/or if its just some weird viral marketing thing or something?

its probably benign after all.”

It was submitted as a link which went to the tumblr it is talking about.

After my friends swore up an down they hadn’t submitted me anything I tried googling the post. I thought it was probably a sort of creepypasta spam. I guessed it had probably been sent to a lot of people including the bigger horror tumblrs but in the end I came up empty.

Googling parts of the message in quotations (“like this”) on google brought up nothing. Googling the url included brought up no one talking about it. Googling just the username portion of the tumblr url brought up a lot of results but it seems like the name is pretty common so that was just another dead end. I tried to look for the forum referenced in the message but without any real info on what it was I couldn’t find it.

I should probably mention I had visited the url the message linked to. When I first got the message even thinking it was a friend prank I was curious enough to check it out. I listened to it and closed it pretty annoyed that I’d had headphones on when the sound picked up. The message had warned me about that though so it was my own fault. On a whim I ended up going back and downloading the file to see if maybe the meta data said anything about the author (and maybe prove it was someone I know playing a long game) but there was nothing there. Someone had wiped it clean. Here is the file uploaded to vocaroo if you want to check: http://vocaroo.com/i/s1OrAEwC5nIf

My blog is tiny, even if I published it no one would see it so I didn’t really think of doing that. I left it or awhile and eventually forgot about it.

But then today a new audio post from the blog showed up on my dashboard.

I’m sure most people are familiar with how tumblr works. You don’t see someone’s post on your dash unless someone you follow reblogs it, you are following the poster or tumblr promotes it on your dash (in which case there will be an icon/words on the post saying it is promoted content). This was none of those things.

the post showed up on my dash /as if I was following that blog/. I did not hit follow that time I visited. I even checked the list of people I follow and that blog is not on it. But somehow a post from it ended up on my dash. I hit play.

This one was short. It consisted of one word. The sound quality was weird. It sounded like English but also could be a similar word in French. I had thought all the messages were suppose to be in Japanese and was somehow startled. I’m from Quebec and speak both English and French. Why would it suddenly be in a language I could understand?

I went to the blog and sure enough this was the only post just like the message said. I tried to shake it off but why was it on my dash? In a language I know?

I didn’t bother asking my friends about it. The person I had most suspected before is camping this week and has no internet access. Sure it could be a queued post but how the hell would it get onto my dash? And if it was a queue post why would the previous post have been deleted?

I also don’t know what to do with it. No one reads my blog. I feel like something is really going on here but I don’t think I can figure it out by myself. i tried emailing the person who sent me this message for the millionth time but have gotten no response. So I decided to share it here. I mean it is probably nothing though, I mean if it is a code like we were theorizing and/or if its just some weird viral marketing thing or something?

its probably benign after all.

mako524.tumblr.com

VN:F [1.9.22_1171]
Rate This Pasta
Rating: 5.0/10 (82 votes cast)

The Mechanic

August 29, 2015 at 12:00 AM
VN:F [1.9.22_1171]
Rate This Pasta
Rating: 8.6/10 (132 votes cast)

My boss is an absolute dipshit. Sorry, I hate to be so blunt but that’s just the way it is. My name is Sarah Collins and I work as a personal assistant for a private law firm. It’s probably safer for you if I don’t mention where. Anyway, back to my arsehole sleazebag of a boss. He’s a short, fat little man who walks around the office like a total bigshot, Rolex watch, Armani suit… you get the picture. He’s also got one of those ridiculous moustaches that look like a gerbil sleeps on you upper lip. He’s a completely sexist pig and treats me like garbage. To give you an example, the other day he walked past my desk and “pretended” to trip, spilling a giant glass of water over my white blouse, making my shirt see through. It was so embarrassing. I would have left ages ago if I didn’t need the money so much. Simon Jones is his name. He orders me around like a dog, with no respect or praise at all. But back to the point. The other day after his usual rounds of berating everyone in the office he headed to his private lift to whisk him away to the safety of his ridiculously large office. Yet, when he pressed the button, a screeching noise of metal on metal filled the room and smoke billowed through the closed doors of the elevators. It was broken, which, as you can imagine made for a pleasant morning for the rest of us. NOT. He stormed into my cubicle, his ‘stache twitching furiously. “I don’t care how you get it done, or how much it costs, but if that elevator isn’t fixed overnight it’s coming out of your pay!” he leaned closer. “Slut” he whispered. I lowered my gaze, my face burning ferociously. “Yes sir” I mumbled. Unfortunately this would mean that I would have to spend the rest of the day searching for a repair man.

*

After 2 hours of searching I had made no progress and realized I was screwed. When everyone had left the office and it turned to 9 PM my finger scrolled down the webpage further and further, but I thought it was pointless. What sort of mechanic is open past nine? My heart fluttered when I saw the next ad. It didn’t stand out and the wording was dull and boring but there it was: Mr. Mechanic – WE FIX EVERYTHING. It also said that they were available whenever needed. I called their number which was really unusual, 005 555 555. A voice picked up on the other end, male but no emotion whatsoever. “Hello Ms. Collins” it said. “Hey” I replied before getting straight to the point. He was patient and when I was finished he said: “I will depart shortly”. I thanked him and hung up. I didn’t realize then that I hadn’t mentioned my name yet. He arrived faster than I had expected. His grey overalls were matched by his grey cap that both sported the slogan on the website. He was tall and unusually slim and his eyes were dull and glassy like marbles. I led him to the elevator and told him that I’d be catching some sleep in my office. An hour later I woke at my desk, a pool of dribble formed at my mouth. The office was eerily quiet. I looked up and the mechanic was staring at me from the door to my cubicle. “All finished.” He said. “Great, you’re a lifesaver. What’s the charge?” I replied. He told me there was no fee as it was an extremely simple job. I thought he was joking but then he nodded at me took off his hat and left. I locked up and went home and dreamed of men with grey hair and glass eyes.

*

Simon Jones strolled around his office impatiently whilst drinking a glass of bourbon he had poured himself two hours earlier. He was waiting for the CEO of a competing company to arrive so they could attend lunch together and discuss the civility of their situation. In frustration he threw his glass against the wall and it shattered everywhere. The phone at his desk buzzed and he jogged over to pick it up. “Mr. Jones, the competition has arrived sir”. “Good” was all he said before slamming down the phone and heading to his elevator. He pressed the button and the doors slid open silently and smoothly. He smiled to himself and adjusted his tie around his bulbous neck. Whoever that dumb assistant of his had hired, they had done a good job. Jones took one step forward, but his foot found no purchase and he fell, screaming 34 stories down an elevator shaft to his death.

*

After my boss died, his brother took charge. He was a great guy who gave me a promotion and a pay raise. A touch of class. There was an investigation but when tested following the incident, the elevator functioned perfectly. I was asked to show the police the number and the webpage of the mechanic I had called but the page had disappeared and when I called the number in front of the police a mechanical voice informed us that the number did not exist. However, one warm evening I was walking back to my apartment and a grey van swerved around the corner. The glassy-eyed man was behind the wheel. It may have been my imagination but he turned quickly to me, doffed his hat and gave me the briefest of smiles before disappearing around the next corner. I never saw him again, but the words on his van, overalls, hat and webpage are forever stuck in my head. WE. FIX. EVERYTHING.

VN:F [1.9.22_1171]
Rate This Pasta
Rating: 8.6/10 (132 votes cast)

Adelaida and Kruv

August 27, 2015 at 12:00 PM
VN:F [1.9.22_1171]
Rate This Pasta
Rating: 6.9/10 (65 votes cast)

The realm was beauteous and plentiful, its people more so. No plague touched its borders, no famine its lands. War was seldom seen in this kingdom, whose peaceful lords ran their fortified estates in harmony with one another. The only problem was that peasants were treated harshly, scraping to live on the scraps of land provided to them by their lords. Besides this, the nobles were amiable and open with their dealings with one another, with one exception.

In the southernmost castle of this bountiful landscape lived an estranged baron and his wife. Though seldom seen, they were both said to be startlingly beautiful youths, albeit rather sallow. Despite this, the Baron Kruv and his young wife Adelaida were a reclusive couple, only leaving their citadel in the utmost emergency. They never attended holiday feasts or tourneys held by the noblemen. The knights of their court were seldom seen in the festive jousts.

It was therefore a shock when it was said that the baron was to throw a jousting tournament in honor of his wife’s naming day. There was to be a feast following the events of the day, which would continue late into the night and into the early hours of the next morning. The noble men and women were ecstatic for the event. Knights trained, ladies gossiped, and nobles prepared their families for the festivities.

All the while the smallfolk would notice caravans of food, decor, lavish cloths, and other such things passing through their towns, bound south to the domain of the baron. This change was very sudden and new for the people of the land, who fantasized about the celebration to come. The day of the feast approached quickly. Those of higher birth donned their best attire, knights bore their armor, and everyone from the northern domains all the way to the south packed and left for the journey to Castle Kruv.

As the numerous families traversed through foggy wetlands and dense woods, a startling sight met their eyes: the dark and grasping spires of Castle Kruv. Each dark stone tower clawed its way into the sky, casting a gloomy and dismal aura about the battlements. While none could deny the macabre aspects of the castle, it also had an air of beauty, with its lush birch forest and surrounding grounds. And although the castle was undeniably unsettling, it too had aspects of beauty in its cold stone walls. It was these sights that greeted the ecstatic nobles and knights, as they completed the final stretch to the festivities.

Upon entering Castel Kruv, the revelers were led to various wings of the estate, in which they could clean themselves and rest from their travels for the evening to come. An hour after the last guests arrived, a servant of the house announced that the first of the jousts were to begin promptly. Lords and ladies greeted each other exuberantly in the decorated halls of the mighty, elegant fortress as the knights and squires proceeded to the field where the joust was to be held.

The pageantry of the Kruv family hung proudly from the halls and streamed from the tops of walls and towers. The heraldry of knights flew from tents, horses, and tabards, and the excited chitterings of near a hundred high-borns could be heard through the entirety of the arena.
Finally, another herald in the service of the Kruv’s announced that his lord and lady would not be attending the jousts. He apologized hastily on behalf of his benefactors, and swiftly departed. A small cry of dissent sounded from the amassed guests, but was swiftly silenced as the castle’s master of arms entered the field to commence the first match.

Horses charged, lances broke, knights rolled in the dirt. The crowd cheered their favorites and booed their rivals, all the while gossiping and chatting away. By the time of the final match, everyone’s voice was hoarse from over-use, yet their enthusiasm did not wane. After the sun had started to set and the winner of the day’s events had been announced, the noble families retreated to their temporary chambers to prepare themselves for the evening’s feast.

Lords and ladies clothed themselves in their finest raiments, planning to outdo each other in beauty and wealth. Long embroidered gowns of the finest silks and velvets were strewn about the shoulders of well-off women. Men in doublets of lavish textiles, decorated by the rarest gems, led their families through the torch lit halls of Castle Kruv, making their way to the heart of the fortified manor, the banquet hall. Rows of delicately carved tables lined with cushioned benches filled the room, save for a large central area serving for a dance floor.

Once everyone was seated, a loud musical flourish was played by the heralds of the castle to announce the entrance of the baron and his wife. The room became immediately hushed, all attention drawn to the ornately engraved door on the farthest wall of the room. The doors were pushed open, and in came a small stream of household servants, a few dressed in varying arrays of finery, handmaidens to the young baroness. A small escort of the castle’s resident knights followed behind, each sporting their colors on elaborately embroidered tunics. Finally came Kruv and Adelaida.

Lords and ladies alike gasped in stupor at the young nobles. Both were dressed in the colors of the Kruv family, red and grey. Both were also infinitely more stunningly beautiful in person than any of the stories had told.

Adelaida was a charming and spritely girl seemingly of around twenty years of age. Her hair fell in ebony ringlets around her shoulders and down her back. A circlet of silver inlaid with garnets rested lightly on the brow of her ivory flesh. Her dark lush ruby lips curved in a slight smile as she gazed over the crowd with stunningly pale green eyes. The long sleeves of her red gown almost brushed the ground, embroidered with intricate braided silver along the edges.

The other youth, Lord Kruv, was also pleasing to the eyes, causing the hearts of the younger maidens to skip a beat. His dark hair was worn short, though it still fell about his eyes. His strikingly pale skin mimicked his bride’s, unnatural for the location of their southern home. Kruv stood at an average height amongst his peers, yet he seemed to have dominating, almost feral air to him. His fine-boned, lupine face scanned the crowd of nobles assembled. He had no smile playing upon his lips, and bore a look of what seemed to be disinterest.

“My lords and ladies of the realm, I thank thee kindly for coming upon such short notice. My lady wife is very dear to me, and it greatly pleases both I and her that thou hast all arrived. It has been ages since we have had such a feast” rang out the voice of the baron, who proceeded to laugh deeply and unnervingly. Too late, the noblemen realized the knights of Kruv’s court had blocked off any means of escape from door or window. Lady Adelaida grinned fully now, revealing unnaturally sharp canine teeth. The handmaidens and servants of the baroness and baron began rushing through the crowds, snatching lords and ladies from their seats and dragging them to the corners of the hall to be fed upon. Surviving nobles fled to the exits futilely, blocked by the armed guards of the castle.

Many guests attempted to plead with the Baron and baroness, offering land, wealth, loyalty, and servitude. These attempts were made in vain however, and many of these whimpering lords and ladies became the blood-feast for the fair Lady Adelaida or her lover Kruv. Blood bedecked the banquet hall, and the court of Castle Kruv had a feast as none had ever seen before, nor ever had wished to see again. The peoples of the land reviled the southern realm of Kruv, yet no commoner complained to the liberation of the realm from their pompous liege lords.

It is still said amongst the peasants that any who wander past Castle Kruv on the darkest autumn night, shall hear the screams of those damned to a bloody fate amongst the vampires of Kruv’s court.

Credit To – Nefertam

This is a Crappypasta Success Story; it had a 100% upvote rate on its Crappypasta post (which can be seen here) and so it is being moved here with minor formatting/typo corrections. Admin Fail!

VN:F [1.9.22_1171]
Rate This Pasta
Rating: 6.9/10 (65 votes cast)

Scratch

August 25, 2015 at 12:00 AM
VN:F [1.9.22_1171]
Rate This Pasta
Rating: 6.7/10 (239 votes cast)

I could say I was having a pretty peaceful life. I just graduated high school and is about to enter college in a week, to which my mom is really proud of because I decided to pursue something great for my life instead of just applying for McDonalds or something. Anyway, everything was going along pretty normal, until one day I overheard my mom talking to someone through the phone.

“Who was that mom?” I asked because she looked sorry for something, like a friend had a problem and she was feeling sorry for her.

“Oh, just our old neighbor. Remember that house we lived in many years back? He said the family that moved after us just left yesterday.”

My brows just furrowed, since I couldn’t recall living in a house other than this one. Then my mom softly laughed and patted my back. “You probably don’t remember because you were too little.”

“Really? Why did we move away?”
“We moved because of you, honey.” She chuckled as she waved it off with her hand. “You kept on bugging me about some monsters or whatever. To be honest, we wouldn’t have left there if your aunt didn’t offer this house for only half the price. A lot cheaper, and you kept on complaining back there anyway so I just agreed to move.”

I just nodded in understanding, though I still couldn’t recall what she was saying. Eventually I just let it go and continue with my business. Making sure my papers are complete, packing my stuff that I’ll surely need; you know, the usual things to prepare before you move away and enter a new part of your life. The next day, I guess I could say boredom and curiosity just attacked me out of nowhere, and the idea of visiting that old house crossed my mind. I asked my mom, and I was actually surprised when I found out it was just a 15-minute drive away. You guessed it right; I did go to the house, and as soon as I stood there in front of the empty driveway, the memories started flooding back like a light switch was flipped open. And I did remember the little me complaining about something almost everyday during breakfast, but I just laughed it off, thinking that it was probably just my wild imagination as a kid.

I carefully approached the door, just in case someone was still in there even though mom said the family moved out and the house is probably empty by now. I tried to opened the door, not really expecting it to be open, so I was surprised when it did open. Maybe I’m just lucky, eh? Anyway, the house still had a lot of furniture around, and I actually remember myself doing childish stuff on them like jumping on the sofa or scribbling on the cabinets. I could only chuckle as the memories flashed by my eyes like I was watching a movie. Eventually, I found my way to my old room, and my small bed was still there on a corner, like all these years it has never been moved the other way. The tiny amused smile on my face faded away as I started to remember what I was fuzzing about while we still lived here.

I kept on complaining about a monster under my bed. Every night before I sleep, mom would check and assure me that nothing is under there, but as soon as the lights are off and mom is gone, I start to feel those long, slow scratching right against the wood under my bed. I could even feel it vibrating through the mattress and the thick blanket I wrapped myself with in fear. Eventually, I’ll fall asleep despite of the incredible fear and wake up the next morning crying.

As I stood there at the doorway, this new surge of curiosity flowed right through me. I dunno; that “monster under the bed” was probably just the usual stuff kids tend to imagine, but I wanted to fulfill this silly curiosity so why not? I walked closer to the bed and took deep breaths. For some reason, being near it sent an eerie sensation up my back, but I tried to shake it away. With one heave, I lifted the whole bed and propped it against the wall. I was ready to laugh at myself for doing that for nothing, but horror washed all that away as I saw long, deep scratches against the wood. There were just so many to the point that some parts of the wood were already too thin and could break with just a single poke.

I couldn’t believe it.

Gasping, I scrambled out the room and out of the house. I was about to enter my car when an elderly woman from next door called out to me.

“May I help you?” She said with narrowed eyes. Darn. She probably thought I was stealing something from the house. Wiping the sweat off my face, I awkwardly approached her.

“I was uhh… I used to live here. I was just checking out what’s new.” I half expected that she wouldn’t believe me, but then her eyes widened as if she recognized me.

“Oh! Are you that little superman kid?” She made awkward little gestures that looked like dancing. “The one that always danced like this in the backyard?”

It was funny how the embarrassment was able to wash away the horror in a blink. Yeah, I remember that. “Y-yeah…”

“Oh my gosh you’ve grown so much!” She said all teary eyed and hugged me tight, then started mumbling things like she and mom were friends and they always came over. Only when she mentioned about a call that I realized she was the one mom was talking to yesterday.

“Did you decide to visit because I called yesterday?”

I glanced at the house, but this time, fear crept inside my heart instead of nostalgia.

“Yes, sort of… You said the family just moved out of here?”
“Yeah, they were such a nice family.” She said sadly as she followed my gaze. “Too bad they had to move away.”

“Why did they move away?”

“Quite silly, actually.” She chuckled, but the sorry look remained on her face.”But I guess they’re just ready to do anything for their kids. The mom told me that their youngest daughter won’t stop whining over something for months. It stressed the parents so much and even their older daughter. They had to endure the little one’s whining, but then I guess they eventually got tired of it decided to move away.”

The same eerie feeling started to crawl up my spine once again, but I pushed on my curiosity and asked another question. But boy, little did I know that I’ll only regret that I ever asked that.

“What was the girl whining about?”

The older woman paused for a bit, as if to try to remember, but quickly returned her attention to me with a smile. “You know, just some usual children stuff. Someone scratching under her bed or something.”

Credit To – Euwonlol

VN:F [1.9.22_1171]
Rate This Pasta
Rating: 6.7/10 (239 votes cast)