Lorraine

July 29, 2014 at 12:00 PM
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I used to be an avid watcher of Youtube. I had subscribed to literally hundreds of channels and watched probably thousands of videos. I especially loved channels that featured spooky content. Short films, disturbing facts lists, scary story readings – you name it. I was hooked on that stuff, a real horror junkie. There was nothing I liked better than ending a long day of school or work curled up in front of my monitor, headphones cupped around my ears, watching an amateur Slenderman flick or learning about creepy videogame glitches.

One day, while browsing through the site, I happened to click on a certain video in my recommendations. Nothing particularly special about it – I was just kind of going down the line, and that one was up next. I could’ve easily skipped over it or watched it first. Anyway, the video was made by a Youtuber called loonylorraine713. In the video, Lorraine, a youngish woman with frizzy brown hair that hid more than half her face, did a basic outdoor vlog pertaining to some urban legend. She spoke with locals, trekked through daytime woods, and scouted out a small playground at night, all the while sporting a very playful, entertaining attitude very unlike the average horror host. Her editing wasn’t bad either, making the vlog seem more like a story than just a person talking to a camera. At the end, she had this cute outro where she made a sideways peace sign over her left eye and said, “Stay spooky!”

I knew I liked her immediately. I quickly subbed to Lorraine’s channel and started watching all of her videos. She mostly did solo mystery hunting stuff, but there were a few skits in there, a couple Edgar Allan Poe readings, update vlogs, etc. Each one ended with either her or a drawing of her making the peace sign over her eye and saying, “Stay spooky!” I became a big fan of her work, never failing to post a comment on a video or click the Like and Favorite buttons. I even had my phone send me text alerts when she uploaded a new video, I was that hooked.

Nearly six months of avid watching passed, and I started to think of Lorraine as a friend. Now, don’t get the wrong idea – this isn’t a story about how I became a stalker. I just mean that Lorraine and her content became a big part of my daily routine, something fun and exciting to look forward to when I got home. Bad day at work? I’d watch Lorraine carve a really bad Freddy Krueger pumpkin. Finished two hours worth of schoolwork? I’d listen to Lorraine read “The Raven” for the umpteenth time. Her videos were something that made me happy, and, at the time, I couldn’t thank her enough for that.

Sure, I wondered what it would be like to meet Lorraine, to actually talk to her and tell her how awesome she was, but I doubted that would ever happen. She never said where she lived in her videos, and she didn’t go to conventions or public events for signings or meetups. She didn’t even like to show her whole face on camera, one side of it always covered by her perpetually messy brown hair. I accepted this, though. I was content with being just a fan. As long as she kept making neat videos, I was perfectly happy.

Then things started to get strange.

At some point in Lorraine’s vlogs, I began to notice something in the background. What looked like a pair of orbs, flat, glowing a dull red. It was indistinct at first, hardly catching my attention at all, but, with each video, the orbs seemed to become clearer, to move closer and closer to Lorraine. By one video, they were right beside her head, though she didn’t seem to notice. I wasn’t the only one to see this – the comment section was often filled with others asking what the heck those things were. Lorraine replied to a few of those comments, saying that it was probably something wrong with her camera filter or a trick of the light.

This explanation made me suspicious. This girl thrived on conspiracies, urban legends, and the paranormal. The reaction I’d expected out of her was that they were the presence of some ghost or alien laser pointers or some other ridiculous, pseudo-paranoid idea. Why would she be so quick to disregard something that, for all intents and purposes, seemed even more real than any ghost she’d hunted or Bigfoot she’d chased?

And something else about the videos bothered me. As time passed, Lorraine’s content changed. She didn’t do as many legend hunting treks as she used to. Her readings seemed flatter and less involved. Even her vlogs, which pretty much became her primary content, seemed so different from just a couple months before – for example, one of the later videos consisted of her sitting in her office chair before the black sheet she had draped behind her for all her at-home vlogs, just staring off to the side, her hair-veiled face looking incredibly blank and sad. The orbs were also in this video, hovering just behind her head like red eyes peering down at her. When a full two minutes of silence had elapsed, she glanced up at the camera, made the peace sign over her eye, and said in a perfect monotone completely unlike her, “Stay spooky.”

I grew very concerned, as did the rest of the small fan base she had. People constantly asked in the comments if she was alright, if something was wrong, or if she was playing some joke on us. Lorraine never replied, never gave any indication as to what was happening. Even the descriptions of her videos were left blank.

Her uploads grew fewer and far between until, after probably three months of strange behavior, they stopped completely. No vlogs, no skits, no updates. More questions from viewers, myself included. Are you dead? What happened to your daily videos? Is everything okay? Not a single response.

Then one day, completely out of nowhere, all the videos on her channel disappeared. Each and every one of them – deleted. You could search the entire spectrum of the Internet and not find a single trace of them. The channel became an empty shell, with even the profile page and photo slot wiped clean.

I was caught between disappointment and concern. Lorraine and her videos were my escape, my home away from home, and to have them just… vanish the way they did broke my heart. I constantly wondered what happened to her, what made her change and drop off the face of the Earth like that. More than anything, I wondered if she was alright. Those weird orbs in the background of her videos kept coming back to me, filling me with unease. Something to do with them… but what? I had a dozen horror-inspired explanations for that, but I didn’t really believe any of them. Whatever happened with Lorraine was real, not some nightmare written on Reddit NoSleep.

So what could it have been then?

I got my answer when, after an entire month of inactivity, Lorraine finally posted a video.

I was shocked when my phone informed me of the new vlog. I think I even said something out loud like, “She’s alive!” Quickly, I found a quiet spot to sit, plugged in my headphones, and opened Youtube. The video was first up on my Subscriptions list, entitled simply, “Im Sorry.” I felt a wave of relief wash over me. So she was alright after all, coming back and apologizing for whatever happened with the old stuff. She didn’t have to be sorry; I was just glad she was back.

Smiling, I opened the video.

It was nothing like her normal vlogs, where she pops on screen with her arms spread wide and her wide grin partially covered by her hair. It cut straight to a very, very close shot of Lorraine’s face, the lens practically pressed against her chin, her camera phone the only source of light. Her breathing was very loud, obviously too close to the mic. It made me jump a little. She then pulled the camera away so that I could see her whole face and not much else. It was completely dark around her, though I thought I could make out bathtub tiles behind her when the light moved. Her face was half hidden as always, but her expression was jarring. She looked terrified, her brown eye wide, her jaw trembling, her skin white as cheese.

When she spoke, it was in a whisper so quiet that I had to turn my volume way up to hear it: “Heh… hey, guys. L-Loony Lorraine here. Uh. You’re… you’re probably wondering why… why I haven’t posted in a while, or… or why all my videos were deleted. Um, well… you see… things have gotten a… a little strange and, um…”

She paused to glance around herself, her camera dipping down to let me see her chest moving furiously up and down with her frantic breathing. A moment later, she readjusted the camera and resumed speaking.

“There’s… there’s not a whole lot that I can explain. I don’t have much time. But, uh… all you really need to know is that I, um… I fucked up. Yeah, I fucked up… big time.”

I blinked when she said this. If there was one thing I knew about Lorraine, it’s that she never, ever swore, not even when she got scared during a ghost hunt or haunted house run. This added to the feeling that something wasn’t right. I listened on as she nervously whispered to the camera.

“Um, I don’t know… when it happened or… or what I did exactly, but… I… God, this is going to sound crazy, but I need… I need to tell you. Uh. Do you guys remember my old ‘cheating death’ videos? The… ones where I play supposedly haunted games and creepy rituals? Well, uh, I think that, during one of them… I don’t know which… I think I… unleashed… something. Something very, very bad.”

Again, she paused to look around as if trying to spot something watching her in the close darkness. She swallowed and wiped her brow with her sleeve before continuing.

“I, um, didn’t really notice it until it was… was too late. I just started getting real… tired for a while. Like I had no energy, no drive. I thought I was just, uh… getting sick or something, but then it just got worse and worse week by week. Then the nightmares…God, those horrible… I fought sleep for weeks on end to avoid seeing those… awful images. I can’t even begin to describe them… I don’t want to. I can’t.”

A tear rolled down her cheek, and she wiped it away, sniffing hard. I was locked on the video, her pain seeming so real, her terror so genuine. Where was she? What was happening to her?

“By the time I, uh, realized what was going on,” she continued, “I’d stopped making videos. I barely left my house or… spoke with my family. I… had blank spells, I… lost time. I started seeing my nightmares when I wasn’t asleep… in broad daylight. I thought… I thought I was losing my mind.”

She paused to take a deep breath, the exhale coming out in a long shudder.

“Guys… do you remember those orbs? Those weird, red, floaty things that kept appearing in my videos?”

I felt a cold chill pass through me. I think I knew what she was going to say before she said it.

“I… lied to you. Not at first, but… towards the end, when I said I didn’t know what they were. You see… they’re not lens flares or specks of dust or whatever… They’re actually eyes. I know this because I’ve… seen the same eyes in my nightmares, attached to the face of something… too terrible for me to describe. When I finally realized this, that… whatever was haunting me… was actually real, I got scared. I took everything off my channel, deleted everything that had to do with me, thinking it might help, but… I think it only made it angry. So I packed a couple bags and left town. I’ve… been running for at least a month now.”

She closed her eyes and pursed her lips for a moment, looking almost childlike in her terror.

“The nightmares are non-stop now. I haven’t slept in a couple days, but… the eyes… and the images… Guys, I don’t know how long I have. I’m at a motel now, hiding in the bathroom… it’s in the room. It’s stronger now. I’m gonna wait it out until morning and… try to head out again, find another place to… to spend the night. But… I just wanted to make one last video before I did in case… well, in case.”

She looked at the camera, her eye bloodshot, her lips trembling with a soft smile.

“I, um, just wanted to say… I’m sorry for… letting you guys down. You supported me in all my weird adventures and stupid shenanigans… and I repay you like this. By making the biggest mistake of my life. I just… hope you guys can forgive me for… what I did and… what’s going to happen. I hope you’ll remember me… for who I was. I hope that… I made some of you out there… a little happier for a while.”

I had to cover my mouth to keep down the choked sob that wanted to get out. She sounded so scared, so helpless. I wanted to do something, wanted to help her, save her, but I didn’t know where she was or what was really happening. Demon, maniac, whatever – she was in trouble, but there was nothing I or anyone else could do.

Especially when, from the dimly-lit darkness, four little arms as black as ink started to reach out from behind Lorraine. They weren’t special effects; they weren’t props on strings; they were real, extending out from the shapes of small figures pressed against the tile, figures with red, orb-like eyes.

I started screaming at my phone, calling out for Lorraine, telling her to look out, to get out of there. Of course, she didn’t hear me. This was a prerecorded video. The young woman with her face half-veiled with hair only sniffed, made a peace sign over her left eye, and whispered, “Stay spooky,” as the hands wrapped around her face.

The sound of her scream, amplified by the volume increase, made me tear my headphones out and drop the phone. On the little screen, I saw her do the same, the view bouncing and blurring for a moment before the camera came to a stop propped slightly against the wall. In the faint phone light, I could see the edge of a white bathtub and Lorraine’s thrashing legs being pulled up into it. I could still hear muffled sounds coming from the dislodged headphones. Screaming, banging, and something else that made my skin absolutely crawl: a wet, meaty tearing that reminded me of a turkey leg being pulled off. Before long, something red began to drip down over the side of the tub and pool on the linoleum. Seconds after that, the screaming stopped, and all I could hear was that awful, gleeful tearing. Then the screen cut out, and the video ended.

It’s been about a month since all that happened.

They found her body about a week after “Im Sorry” was posted – one Lorraine McDermont, age twenty-five, resident of some small town in southern Wisconsin. She’d been staying at a motel about fifteen miles north of Chicago. A maid had stumbled upon her in the bathroom of one of the rooms and was quoted as saying, “I’d never seen so much blood in my life.” Her family was contacted immediately after the remains were identified. No clues as to what had killed her were ever found.

I never met Lorraine. I never spoke to her or contacted her in any way. But, seeing that video, leaning of her death, I felt like I had lost a good friend. She may not have known it, but she was important to me, important to a lot of people. She was a good person. She didn’t deserve to die like that. She didn’t deserve the torment that led up to it.

I made a page on Facebook in dedication to her. Some of her old subscribers liked the page, but there isn’t much I can do with it. About fifteen minutes after that last video was posted, Lorraine’s channel had been deleted for good. So, if you were thinking of finding it or that video after reading this, you’re out of luck. You can’t even find screen caps of her content. To this day, I don’t know who did it or why. People I’ve talked with online said that only a couple dozen people actually saw the video, and that there’s no copy of it anywhere on the Internet. Someone had even tried to call the police after seeing it, but no one could find the link afterwards. There was no way to explain what had really happened without sounding like some lying horror junkie. Hence the reason the case went cold.

There’s really not much more I or any of the others can do besides keep her memory alive on her page.

Maybe it’s better that way. Having her videos gone, especially that last one. I think about it often. If they hadn’t actually found her, I’m sure most people who saw it would’ve said it was faked. Even a diehard believer of the paranormal might’ve played the skeptic card. I remember the fear in Lorraine’s eyes, the tremors in her voice. That’s probably what clinched it for me and a lot of the others – you can’t fake a level of fear like that. And those… things behind her. I still can’t say what they were. Without the old videos, I can’t deduce which game or ritual she played caused them to… I guess “awaken” is the only suitable word. Did they disappear after they… got Lorraine? Are they still out there?

What exactly did she mean when she said she was sorry for “what’s going to happen”?

I don’t know, and, frankly, I don’t want to know. I’ve pretty much had it with the strange and unusual. I don’t even go on Youtube much anymore. It reminds me too much of a dead friend.

I think I might delete Lorraine’s page. I think I need a break from all the creepiness for a while. After all, it’s not helping that people keep talking about the eyes from her videos. They’ve been posting troll comments like how they’ve seen them in real life and how weird shadows appear in their pictures. Some have even talked about having nightmares. This is probably my fault because I wrote a few status updates about how I’ve been having really bad dreams lately. A little accidental suggestion on my part, I suppose.

Still, it’s disrespectful to her memory to keep this kind of talk going. So, yeah, I’ll delete it later today. I think Lorraine would understand. She wouldn’t want anyone to end up like her.

Anyway, I’ve said all I wanted to. And, I’m really tired. I think I’ll try and sleep. Hopefully, there won’t be any of those nightmares this time. I don’t think I can take another night without closing my eyes. I might go insane.

Credit To – MercuryCoatedVeins

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Stairs

July 28, 2014 at 12:00 PM
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My house is old. It’s by far the oldest house on our block. We tried to liven it up, to make it comfy, and and we did a pretty good job. We put colorful rugs on the freezing concrete, lamps in every corner. Every room was nice and modern-except the basement.

When I was a little kid, I would sprint up the stairs coming up from the basement. I don’t know what I was afraid of. Maybe a ghost, or a monster in the dark behind me, waiting for me to turn around so it can catch me and… I don’t know what it would do.

But now, as a seventeen year old boy, I’m walking up the stairs from my basement, and my childish fears, long repressed, are coming back. I tell myself to shut up, but that dark part in the back of my head tells me to run, to get out NOW. More than anything I want to rocket up those stairs as I did as a child, but I force my feet to take even, normal steps. I feel the overwhelming urge to look behind me, but I also want to win the battle of paranoia that’s going on in my brain.

So I slowly walk up the seemingly endless staircase, my palms sweating and my heart racing the entire way. But about ten steps from the top, I feel an ice cold hand close around my ankle.

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The Apollo Inventus

July 27, 2014 at 12:00 PM
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I hope to God, that this is the right thing to do. This is what he told us to do. This is the precaution he told us to take. That’s what I’ll tell myself to help me sleep at night.

***

The following is the main body of the transcription of the Apollo Inventus flightcrew personal communications as recorded on the Personal Data Storage Device (PDSD). Collected tapes containing voice recorded ground elapsed time (GET) were forwarded to the NASA Manned Spacecraft Center, Houston, Texas after retrieval. Transcription of these tapes was managed by my peers at Test Division, New Apollo Spacecraft Program Office.

The Apollo Inventus mission was flown December 17, 2009 and its status is still currently under evaluation [June 17, 2014].

Communicators in the text are identified as follows:

CDR Commander Padraig F. Dennison

00 00 00 24

“You lied to me. You’ve been lying to us all. You sent me up here thinking you knew what it was. You sent me here as your goddamned guinea pig. You knew I’d die up here, but I won’t; I can’t. It’ll never let me die. It told me that. It told me everything. It told me what you know about it, and what you think it is. You were so wrong. You’ve sent me to hell without realizing, and it’ll keep me here forever; for eternity. I’m a prisoner, like you. This is happening because we broke the rules; the ancient rules set out by its ancestors. The rules are just for us, and we’re not supposed to understand them. We’re meant to obey them; we’re meant to die by them. It wants to contain our cancer, before we spread it. It knows what happens. It wants me to tell you, so you never try anything like this again. This isn’t what we’re supposed to do. This isn’t for us, it never will be. It’s important you understand that you can never come back here again. It’s important that you understand why that is.”

00 00 01 32

“I first became aware of extreme disorder about 4 hours after touching down at Autumn Base, and it was about 12:50 am on the monitor when the first incident started to occur. I spent the first 3 hours after touching down trying to re-establish communications with Houston, but it is my guess now that I was just being ignored. I was preparing tools and finishing the final calibrations and I had just put my suit and helmet on. I was about to leave the Inventus to conduct the geological tests outlined in my brief when I noticed that outside the craft, through the port hole on the exit latch, there was a dense layer of dust, hovering in a kind of stasis off the ground. This was at about 12:52 am. It was like a sandstorm, except everything was still. Then everything got dark, like a thick fog had rolled in, and then the tremors started. It was like the ground had a pulse and it rattled the shuttle violently, at intervals, maybe 2 seconds in between. There was a noise, too. It was like something was resonating through me from the ground, a kind of low humming noise, and it got louder and louder until it was like it was coming from inside my own skull. And then I saw him.”

00 00 02 15

“I watched his head come into view in the porthole gradually, as he climbed the last few steps on the ladder up to the hatch, and then he just watched me. I watched him back through the window; hoping to God It was some sort of hallucination. I tried to see his face, but I couldn’t see into his helmet through his dark visor and the mist. Then he brought a rock over his head, and began beating the porthole window with it. Between that and the tremors, I didn’t know what to do. What could I have done? They don’t prepare you for that kind of stuff in training. The first thing I did do was try to wake myself up, but obviously I wasn’t dreaming. I was terrified the tremors or the astronaut would cause some sort of irreversible damage to the shuttle, so I tried to take off; I tried to abandon my mission; I tried to get out of there. When I went to set up for lift off I noticed the banging on the window stop. When I turned to see what was happening at that point, there was a sudden, stronger, deeper movement in the ground. And then everything went black.”

00 00 03 12

“I wasn’t sure how long I’d been out for, but my oxygen gauge was telling me I’d used about 70% of my reserve; I don’t remember exactly how much. I woke up outside the shuttle, on the Moon’s surface, about 50 meters away from where I’d landed. That was my first time ever stepping foot on the Moon. I had no idea what was happening. I still didn’t know at that point whether I was hallucinating, or whether I was imagining things, or I don’t know what. The tremors had stopped and it seemed the dust and rocks had settled back on the surface while I was unconscious. The mist was gone too, and that humming noise. It was as if nothing had happened; just dead silence. I spotted the Inventus in the distance and started making my way towards it. Then as I got closer, I noticed a strange rock between myself and it. It was paler than the rest and longer too. Looking at it, it was noticeably distinctive from everything else; lying kind of skew-ways and lumpy. Then I saw it wasn’t a rock at all. It was the man, the astronaut from before. I stopped and watched. I tried to get a grasp on reality. I figured it couldn’t be real; what I was experiencing, but he stayed lying right there, motionless. And then he started to get up. He got up slowly, stopping on all-fours for a while, before getting completely to his feet. Then he started on his way back to the shuttle.”

00 00 04 18

“I kept about a 10 meter distance from him up to the ladder. When he got to it he started doing what I was hoping he wouldn’t do. He climbed it, halfway, and reached to the entrance latch. Then he got back down and lifted another rock. That’s when It happened the second time. The dust and rocks rose off the surface for as far as I could see. The deep pulse in the ground started beating again and that thick, dark fog just kind of materialized. I could barely see 5 meters in front of me. And that sound too, but it wasn’t really a sound. It couldn’t have been a sound. It was as if it was originating inside me; like it was vibrating through me. I could feel the hum in every inch of my body, and it got gradually louder. The astronaut seemed as concerned as I was. He got back up the ladder and started trying to break through the porthole again. My fear of being stranded out here gravely outweighed the fear of the astronaut, so I went after him.”

00 00 04 45

“When I got to the bottom of the Inventus’ ladder I reached up and wrapped my arms around the man’s suit, and with my body weight I dragged him off the and onto the ground. In a kind of desperate attempt, he swung at me with his rock hand. It struck my elbow that I had raised to it and I took that as my opportunity. I managed to prise the rock from his grip – I remember it being pretty weak – and then he stumbled back and took a moment to what looked to me like he was trying to catch his breath. He just stood there silently, kind of leaning forward a bit. That didn’t tell me much at the time. I stood there for a second too, as the adrenaline peaked, just looking at him in confusion, and fear. I was trying to see into his helmet, to see who he was… or what he was. Then he started coming towards me again, slowly, but intently. I put my boot out and planted it into the stomach of his suit, just to keep him back, but his legs folded and he landed face down in the dust. I watched to see if he was going to get back up, but he didn’t. Then my gauge pinged again. I had very little oxygen left in my tank at that point. I had to get inside the shuttle; I knew it was my only hope of getting out of that mess, whatever grossly underestimated mess I thought I was in at the time. I turned and put my boot on the first step of the ladder. I could see the man behind me in the reflection of the Inventus. I turned around to look at him one more time, before I climbed the ladder to the hatch; I don’t know why. He was sitting upright, his arms limp at his sides, staring at me through his dark visor, but there was something different about him that time. Then the ground gave that same, sudden grinding movement… of monumental proportion, and everything went black again.”

00 00 06 01

“I woke again on the ground outside the shuttle. My eyes burned and my ears were ringing. I had to fight with all my strength to not vomit inside my own helmet; I felt like I’d been brought back from the dead. I lay there until I could think straight, and then I noticed my gauge had been pinging while I was unconscious. I saw that my oxygen levels were critical. That was when panic started to really set in. I got up slowly so I wouldn’t pass out and spotted the shuttle about 30 meters away. I was so desperate to get back in there. I was desperate for oxygen… and to get away from this place. It was obvious something unprecedented was happening, even though I didn’t know what exactly. I had to get back before the tremors started again, and the fog, and the blackouts. I knew I was in a terrible situation, but I had no idea how bad it really was; how bad it was for all of us. I got to the shuttle eventually. There were moments I thought I would pass out, but I managed to get there. It was getting harder and harder to draw breaths and my head was getting hot. I climbed the ladder halfway and checked the entrance latch. It was locked. ‘The man’, I thought; ‘The man was using a rock, that’s the only way to get in’. I wasn’t thinking straight. I was desperate. I had my mind on the oxygen reserves inside; I had my mind on my family, on home.”

00 00 07 05

“This was meant to be a textbook mission. I mean… I was meant to come home! When I asked why it wasn’t going to be public, you told me it was for security reasons, and other reasons that weren’t relevant to me. I trusted you; why shouldn’t I have? I put my faith in all of you. I knew it was important, I understood that I was doing something that others couldn’t know about, but you kept so much from me. I put my life in your hands and you threw it away like it was nothing, and for what? You manipulated me. You threw me to the wolves. I wanted a story to tell, but not like this. I want to go home. This can’t happen to me… why did you let this happen to me?” [Sobbing and uncomprehend-able muttering from Captain Padraig F. Dennison until 00 00 14 19]

00 00 14 30

“After remembering the astronaut while standing at the locked hatch, I remember getting dizzy. I got off the ladder and found the easiest rock to carry, like I had seen him do, and then everything lifted off the ground again.”

00 00 14 42

“The rocks and dirt just hung there motionless like before. The fog materialized and everything got dark… and hazy. The hum started vibrating through me, louder and louder, and the surface started to pulse; that same primal series of beating coming from deep inside its core. The thought did cross my mind at the time, that it was as if it was alive. I got back onto the ladder, trying my best to hold on; the tremors were rocking the shuttle intensely now. Then I got to the top. I got to the hatch and looked through the porthole, and I saw myself. Not like a reflection, like a man inside the shuttle, only it was me. He stood there in his suit and helmet and just returned the stare. I saw the oxygen tanks on the racks to his left, and the screen that read 12:53 am to his right. I could see what was happening now; it had happened already before. I was not able to breathe at that point, and the pinging from my gauge was deafening. My tanks were empty. I held my last breath and with the rock I started hitting the window. I was trying to break it; there’s an emergency release on the other side, but then something grabbed hold of me around my waist. It was the same man as before. It was me. He pulled us off the ladder, away from the latch; away from the oxygen, and onto the ground. My chest burned, I couldn’t hold it any longer. I swung at him with the rock but he easily blocked it. Then he took it from me. I felt the blood rush from my head. My eyes leaked tears into the helmet and my vision spun. I stumbled forwards and felt him kick the last breath out of my lungs.”

00 00 15 56

“I lay there flat on my stomach, in agony. My eyes felt like they were going to pop, and my chest was clenching up so hard I thought it would burst. I felt its pulse rattle my helmet at 2 or 3 second intervals. The humming noise got louder and louder until I felt like it was shivering against my soul. My vision faded and I felt my life stutter. I felt it leak out of the cracks in my broken spirit. I felt it with every convulsion, and then it spoke to me.”

00 00 16 22

“It spoke to me without words, but I understood. It was instantaneous, like a flash, but less than that. All at once it told me. It flooded me with its knowledge, its evil, and it was terrifying. It’s not a God, but it is a creator. It’s a creator AND a destroyer; a manipulator. It’s an observer, an instigator. It’s our mother and our father, but it’s not our friend. Its nature is insidious. You lied to me. You’ve been lying to us all. There’s no flag up here. There are no footsteps, or milestones; I was the first. We have no history up here, we have no right to. You had no right to come here at all. It wanted to show me, so I could tell you. It wants to send a message. There are rules that you don’t understand. Rules that are beyond what we will ever be capable of understanding. But you need to know they’re there. The Earth is our prison; a cage. IT is our warden. That’s why it floats up here, watching us. You weren’t meant to leave. You’re never meant to leave! This is our punishment, and has been since germs turned to fish. You knew it was alive. You were trying to contact it. You fools. You sent me here to poke it, to see if it was awake. You thought maybe it could help us; it will help you die alone on your miserable blue sphere, away from the rest of the universe.”

00 00 17 52

“You’ll come back for my tapes, you’ll want them. It wants you to have them. A group of you will go public with them shortly after the investigation, and leak it all. This will trigger a series of events that will lead to the end of man. It will decide to speed up this process when it begins, and then it will take all of you as well, to where I’m going shortly. I hope we do burn together some day. It knows everything from now until the end, and now I do too. You need to destroy these tapes, discredit the transcripts. Do this by any means necessary before they can be leaked to the public. Make it so that nobody will ever believe their authenticity; it’s the only way. Then you need to leave this place alone. It will keep me forever, as a reminder to you. I don’t need food or air anymore; I’ll never die. It did this to me; YOU did this to me. There’s nothing for you here anymore. This place has a deep, dark evil living inside of it. It’s alive; it’s conscious. Please, never come back. Never leave Earth again.”

00 00 18 54

“At this present moment I’m just lying here recording this message, waiting for it to send me away. It brought me back from the edge just as I was about to die. It filled my lungs with air, and I almost choked on it, like I’d forgotten what it was. Soon I won’t need it anymore; I know that it’s only temporary. My eyesight and hearing came back almost immediately. Its pulse deep inside the core still rattled my helmet, and the hum still resonated inside my skull. I sat up slowly, through the floating layer of dust and saw the Inventus and the man on the ladder. I knew exactly how it would happen; it had happened already before. He climbed the last two steps and turned back to look at me through the layer of floating debris. Then the ground tensed and heaved, and they were gone.”

Notes:

Recording stays active after the speaker has finished until 00 00 27 53 before being manually terminated by the speaker. The sound recorded during this period mainly consists of the speakers breathing and sobbing. A snippet of an adult male’s voice can be heard just before the recordings termination. The location of Captain Padraig F. Dennison by his own account during the period of time which he records these messages would have made it impossible for noise outside of his space suit to be picked up by his Personal Data Storage Device (PDSD). The voice heard in that snippet has been confirmed to not belong to Captain Padraig F. Dennison.

It should also be noted that during the retrieval mission conducted by the Apollo Memory, no trace of the Apollo Inventus shuttle was found at Autumn Base in relation to where Captain Padraig F. Dennison’s suit was found and where he claimed to be speaking from in the recordings. Captain Padraig F. Dennison’s space suit was found in close proximity to Autumn Base and the tapes were collected from there. Captain Padraig F. Dennison’s body, however, was missing from the suit and was never located by the flightcrew of Apollo Memory. The crew reported that Captain Padraig F. Dennison’s space suit was completely intact on inspection, but that the lunar surface area where it was found on appeared to have suffered extensive burn damage in a 3 meter radius from an unidentified source.

***

I am still gravely unsure as to whether or not I am leaking this, or discrediting it. What I am certain of however, is that regardless of whether or not it comes for us, I will burn with Padraig F. Dennison someday for what I’ve done to him, along with everyone else directly involved in the Apollo Inventus mission. I feel that I may be joining him a lot sooner than I had previously anticipated.

Forgive me please, if I’ve damned us all. Forgive me, Padraig F. Dennison.

Credit To – Coffeey

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ALEX & J002E3: Two Video Shorts

July 22, 2014 at 12:00 PM
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This is a videopasta post. If the embedded videos do not display for you, please click the links to watch them on YouTube.


ALEX
ALEX is presented in Spanish, with English subtitles (you can toggle subtitles on/off via the CC button).

In the old times of the academic career, we heard about an engineering student that, in his final exams, gets a call in the middle of the night from his mother to tell him the worst news: his brother had died in a strange accident. The next day the student disappeared and was never seen again in the classroom. No one —not teachers, peers or tutors— knew nothing of him since then and that event was wrapped by a mistery forever.

Not long ago, at an old students meeting, someone told me that he had been told that someone knew what really happened that night: actually occurred the terrible accident in which his brother died, and yes, that night the student spoke to his mother, except that was not her who made the phone call: was him who made it …


J002E3

J002E3 is in English, with Spanish subtitles (you can toggle subtitles on/off via the CC button).

During the manned missions to the Moon, the last-phase launchers—so-called S-IVB, giant structures of almost twenty meters long and seven meters in diameter—were crashed into the selenite surface to study their seismic impact or were sent to heliocentric orbit, where they would remain indefinitely.

But in 1969 something failed in the attempt to place the S-IVB of the fourth lunar trip in orbit around the Sun, and the launcher was lost in deep space, without a trace.

In 2002, the S-IVB briefly approached Earth. An amateur astronomer detected the rocket and was able to calculate its trajectory and estimate the date of its return several decades in the future.

It was named: J002E3.

Credit To – Vip Vop

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Mermaid

July 20, 2014 at 12:00 AM
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I knew it, my friends all knew it, and everyone at school knew it. But, no one would believe us. School was quiet with the truth hanging everywhere. The other students silently drifted from class to class, no one really spoke all that much anymore. Between each period, there was a brief and hushed march of bodies before the halls died again.
All but a few teachers seemed to not really care- they enjoyed the silence. The teachers who did care did not know how to help, or even what to say.
It had started a few days after Zach Thompson drowned. His girlfriend, Mallory Andrew, said that someone dragged him into the sea; pulled him right off their boat. No one was there to see it, and she could not tell anyone what the person looked like, so when Zach’s body floated in, drowned but unharmed, everyone wrote her off. A few days later, Mallory went missing. No one had seen her since.
I did not really know Zach or Mallory. A few of my friends new them though, and they seemed nice enough. No one should ever have to drown. The thought of falling into the Atlantic, the darkness everywhere, the liquid pouring into my lungs… It terrified me. I hated to think what Zach felt as his legs flailed half a mile above the nearest ground. Did he just breathe in to get it over with, or did he keep holding his breath as long as he could?
My friends who knew them joined the first wave of mourning zombies that populated the high school. They all remembered listening to Mallory’s tear-stained story of the hand, and the splash, the screaming, the eyes.
A few days later, Matt Miller was found caught in the framing of his parents dock. Apparently, Matt had gone out in the night to look at the water and fell over. The police say that is when his shirt got caught.
I did not know Matt Miller that well either. He was never that nice to me. To be honest, he was an asshole. But you never hear about that stuff after the fact. You only get to hear the nice stories about what a great person they were. It was then that the school moved in a small fleet of councilors and social workers to help with feelings. The lines to talk to someone stretched out into the hall, at first.
It was maybe a week before Aubrey Strong drowned. She was found naked and bruised along the beach. Her lungs were filled with water. Her sister, Tammy, had been there when something attacked them. She told the police it had grabbed Aubrey and ran off. A few days later, Tammy’s story had changed from “something” to “someone”. Her body was found the next day at the same beach as her sister, still wearing the same clothes from school.
The city began hiring more lifeguards, strict curfews were put in place at all beaches, and students were questioned mercilessly by police and teachers. Students stopped going to the councilors. The meetings began to feel more like interrogations than anything else.
Then, Mark Sawyer and Ashley Corry died on the same night. I was with Mark Sawyer. He was my best friend. We were playing Call of Duty and eating pizza in his bedroom. He was winning. I had been tracking him for ten whole minutes across the desert and my sight was lined up on his guy’s back. Then, the lights went out. The T.V. made a weird whistling noise before falling black and silent.
“What the hell?” I said to him as he stood up and began messing with the light switches. He never had a chance to respond. I froze in terror when I heard it slap up the stairs and saw its hand reach around the door-frame. The smell- like under the docks. Mark could not move either as the net fell over him. I listened to him scream as he thudded down the stairs, one step at a time.
I ran home. I slammed my bedroom door shut behind me. I never said a word. The next day, Mark Sawyer and Ashley Corry were added to the list of people. Both of them were found in the shallows by a fisherman. Amanda Stoner had been with Ashley Corry when it happened. She spent all day being tossed around by councilors and police officers. Amanda told them about a man who ran at them and how they had struggled with him on the beach.
I could not speak to anyone; the words refused to leave my lips. Whenever I tried, I saw Mark fall beneath the net, his fingernails scratching at his bedroom floor, and then I saw him drowning, his legs kicking in an endless void of darkness. Did he breathe in, or did he hold on for as long as he could? The teachers looked on me with pity. They did not know what I had seen. The councilors made sure that I knew their doors were always open. They did not know I had been with Mark Sawyer.
I could not say a word to anyone, anyone but Amanda.
“Hey,” I said to her at a lunch table. We had never met. She was very pretty with dark hair and brown eyes and large, gorgeous lips; the kind of girl I would usually have to build up my courage to talk to; the kind of girl I probably just wouldn’t talk to.
She looked up at me- dismissive. Then, she saw a look in my eyes. She reached out and took my hand in hers. “You saw them,” she whispered.
I nodded. Again, Amanda told her story. It was just like mine… The hand, the screaming, the eyes…
From then on, the two of us were inseparable. I sat next to her with my beige lunch tray and that was that. We waited for each other on the bus in the morning, we met again after school. At night, when we had to leave for our own houses, we sat on our phones. Eventually, we even began to talk about other things, we tried to forget… We had seen them. Everyone who saw them disappeared.
As the month went on, the drownings turned into disappearances. For some reason, the creatures were no longer happy just killing. They now took their victims away, never to be seen again. The sea left us with a new empty desk every other week or so. Amanda and I were not sure why the creatures from the water left us alone. Maybe it was because both our houses were inland, or maybe because we were the only survivors who banded together.
Fall came and the leaves transformed into brilliant New England reds and golds, leaving a sad magic in the air. When our town’s annual October Festival arrived, most people could not find the heart to attend. Our tragedy had become so long lasting, we barely even made the news anymore when a new child went missing, and a melancholy sunk its fingers into the entire town. But, Amanda and I went.
We walked close, passing beneath the large banner that hung above the boardwalk. Pumpkins and gourds and bundles of straw festively adorned the walkway, placed along the streetlights and the porches of the homes that looked out over the sea. Fishermen worked at large vending stalls, and craft displays sold wares all the way down to the docks, punctuated by the occasional carnival game or food stand selling funnel cakes and grease. But it was quiet…
Amanda took my hand and pulled me along to everything she wanted to see. We had both seen it every year before, but that day was different. When she took my hand, I felt my heart leap back to life, and when I won her a giant teddy bear, I could not stop smiling; neither could she.
Then, something happened. We began to laugh. The people around us smiled, and the moment of happiness infected everyone. The vendors began shouting to the people passing by, proclaiming their fish was the best, or how you could not find a necklace like theirs. People began coming out of their homes, the carnival games had lines stretching back into the streets, little children laughed as their parents swung them between their hands, and everyone forgot…
That night, as the sun set behind us and people began heading home, Amanda and I sat on a black bench, barely big enough to fit us both and her teddy bear, looking out across the water. I did not even realize that we had been holding each other’s hands all day. Then, she leaned in and kissed me…
It was short and sweet and when she stopped she gave me a shy, embarrassed grin. It was the best day I could remember.
In the coming weeks, the temperature began to drop and the first flurry of snow descended on our town. The disappearances began happening more frequently and sadness evolved into pure terror.
With the attacks growing in frequency, many people began to leave, some not even waiting for their homes to sell, and others leaving everything behind. I came home one day to my parents beginning a stack of cardboard boxes in the living room. Neither of them said anything, we all understood. But, all I could think about was leaving Amanda behind.
That night, awoken by the sound of a frenzied dog, I saw something from my bedroom window as I looked out across an increasingly desolate town. The front gate of the yard had been opened, its lock twisted off, the black iron smacking into the fence as the wind swung it back and forth along its creaking hinges. It walked like a man, with a slow, heavy stride. The creature was tall and bulky, its wide torso resting on legs as thick as tree trunks. I could not get a clear look through the darkness, but its eyes, the size of a small dinner plate, reflected flashes of light from the street.
I dropped to the floor and peered from the corner of the window. I watched as the thing walked towards the front door, quietly fiddled with the doorknob, and then began pacing along the first-floor windows. At each one, it tested their weights, figured out which windows were locked, and which ones were not. Then, satisfied, it walked back through the gate, back to the water.
I told my parents I had seen someone sneaking around the house in the night. They called the police; the police took my statement and a description of a large man in the shadows. My mom began packing faster that day, and my father put a hand on my shoulder, looked me in the eyes and promised he would protect me.
I knew it would be back for me… Later on, just as the sun was beginning its decent, I packed a backpack, left through my fence with the broken lock, and headed for Amanda’s. The creatures had never attacked an adult, my parents would be fine. But for me, my home was no longer safe. They would drag me away like Mark…
“They scouted my house last night,” I said as Amanda let me inside. She was scared, we both were. She led me to her bedroom where we talked about my parents getting ready to move and she told me that her parents were planning to head up to New York.
“I can’t leave you,” she told me as we wrapped our arms around each other.
After dinner, she told her parents that I had left and hid me away in her bedroom. We stayed up late, lying on her bed, watching the movies she had on her shelves, and kissing whenever either of us built up the courage. Periodically, I would stand and look out her window to the town where the ocean fog obscured lights that lit empty streets. No one walked the stone pathways and most of the homes had all gone dark. If I stood at the right angle, I could spot the water from the ocean peacefully washing into the shore.
When we fell asleep, my arm was wrapped around her waist, and her fingers curled over my hand and rested in my palm…
The room was dark when I woke up to a dog barking in the distance. The light from the television cast the room in a pale, flickering glow. I reached out to touch Amanda, and when my hand felt nothing but the blankets, my heart began to pound in my chest. I shot up from the bed, the room smelled like stale water and the carpet was wet. I darted to the window, where along the beach I could see several figures dragging another…
Without a second thought, I raced down the stairs and slammed through the front door. By the time Amanda’s parents were flipping on the light in their bedroom, my desperation had carried me half way through town. Ahead I could hear the whispering roar of the waves, and Amanda… she was screaming.
“No,” I cried as my feet touched the sand. “Leave her alone!”
The creatures turned to look at me, stopping only a few feet before touching the water. Amanda struggled beneath the tangled weight of an organic looking fishing net, the rope of which resting in the clenched fist of the last creature. They were all large, muscled humanoids with massive webbed feet and hands. They stared at me with fish-like eyes and flattened faces; the cross between man and piranha. Each one carried a large spear that they aimed at me as I approached.
I stopped and lifted my hands into the air when one of them let out a hollow call like a whale and threatened me with a long, barbed weapon. The creature with Amanda protectively lifted her over its shoulder like she weighed nothing and held her away from me. One of the monsters moved towards me, its feet thudding against the ground and kicking up a wave of sand with each step. It stopped a foot in front of my nose and bared a row a sharp teeth, and with one of its great arms it motioned towards the net and then pounded its clawed fist against its scaled chest.
“No, no please.” I clasped my hands together and fell to me knees.
My begging did nothing as the creatures turned and continued their slow march back towards the water. I screamed for someone to help. When I saw Amanda struggle, digging her nails frantically into the sand I lunged forward only for the one who denied me to hurl my body away.
I smacked into the sand, shouting and screaming at them. Tears flooded over my face that twisted in rage.
“Take me,” I roared over the thunder of the ocean. “Take me instead.”
The creature I spoke at before turned to see me with my hands held out in front of me in surrender. It gave another hollow call halting its party.
“Take me,” I demanded again. It paused a moment, staring at me with its gigantic eyes. Then, it took a sharpened blade of corral and sliced through the rope that its companion held. Immediately, Amanda rushed from the net and flew into my arms. I held her for as long as I could, breathing her in, before the creature grabbed me by the arm and pulled me away.
Amanda screamed and chased after us only to be flung back by another of the terrible creatures. When she tried again, the one holding me aimed his blade towards her.
“Amanda, it’s OK,” I told her as my feet hit the water. “It’s OK.” The water came to my waist. “Promise me you will leave this place.”
She fell to her knees, sobbing.
“Promise me,” I yelled. She promised beneath a shower of tears and helpless screams. The water lapped at my chin as the monster continued to drag me below. I tugged back one last time to cry out above the cold blackness, “Amanda, I love you.”
Instantly, the surface shot away above me. I remembered Mark and so many others; how they fought helplessly as they vanished beneath the sea. Did they breathe in, or did they hold on for as long as they could? As I watched the world above me rip through my fingertips, falling deeper and deeper into the ocean, I could only think of Amanda. And I held on… I held on for as long as I could.

Credit To – Ryan Austin Gray

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Red Dunes

July 16, 2014 at 12:00 AM
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The sun warmed my face through the car window as I drove down the isolated stretch of road. I looked back at my daughter in the back seat who giggled, waving her feet. I contentedly sighed and focused my attention back on the road. This would be my last trip with my daughter for a year since I was leaving for my tour of duty next week. We’d visited these sand dunes before as a family, but as I wanted some extra bonding with Lucy so my wife had allowed me to take her alone. Lucy really seemed to love them last time, climbing up and sliding down the bright red dunes of sand. I could still remember her happy laughter ringing in the air.

Spotting the hotel down the road, I turned in and carried our suitcase in one hand and held onto Lucy with the other. After checking in and finding our room, we sang songs together in the dark, laughing through the night until we both fell asleep.

The next morning, I woke up just as the sun was rising to prepare for the day. I filled a backpack with several bottles of water and all of Lucy’s favorite snacks. Then thinking about how my wife would chide me if Lucy got sunburned, I threw in a bottle of sunscreen.

After shaking my daughter a few times, she popped out of bed and danced over to the suitcase. She pulled out her clothes, and went to the bathroom to change.

I smiled, standing by the door to wait for her.

After Lucy was ready, I gripped her hand and we walked together down to the car.

Before I had even fully stopped the car, Lucy swung the door open and jumped out into the sand running toward the nearest dune. I took a quick glance to make sure she was safe, and then I stepped out into the sunlight. I stretched my arms out and closed my eyes, feeling the hot sun on my face. Our hometown was perpetually cold and snowy so this was a welcome change. I took a deep breath, opened my eyes and saw a man and his son walking toward the parking lot where I was standing.

“Good morning, sir. Leaving so soon?” I ask the man.

“Yeah,” he sighed. “This little rascal stayed up all night and now he can’t even keep his eyes open!” The man glanced disapprovingly at his son who slightly furrowed his brow before yawning.

“Kids,” I mutter, and we both get a chuckle. “Well, I’m here with my daughter,” I say, gesturing over to the sand dune. “We’re planning to stay for the whole day, and maybe a little of tomorrow.”

“Ahh,” mused the man. “Don’t go too far into the desert. I’ve heard that some tourists have gotten lost in there.”

“Really? How? ” I ask.

“Well, I’m not really sure about the details, but I do know that some people go out into the dunes and are never heard from again. We assume they tried to hike through it. Anyway, I’m sure you’ll be fine, just stick near the edge of the desert.”

“Of course, I would never do anything to put Lucy in danger.”

“Great! Well, I really must be going. Have fun and good luck!” The man gave a little nod and pulled his half-asleep son towards their car.

I smiled towards their backs and watched them drive down the road before turning back toward the dune. Lucy was happily sliding down with another girl slightly older than her, her beautiful laugh ringing in the air. A warmness swelled in me. It was the knowledge that I could give her a happy memory. It didn’t matter that I had to leave her for a little while. She’d remember this.

Reaching into the backpack, I pulled out the bottle of sunscreen and a small jewelry box.

“Hey, Lucy! Come down here for a sec!” I call.

She popped out of the sand and flitted over to me, a big smile on her face.

“Sunscreen time!” I say cheerily, glopping the white lotion all over her face. I was never good at this.

“Daddy…” she whined, snatching the bottle away from me to apply it herself in the reflection of the car door. When she was done she tossed the bottle into the bag and was about to turn and run back towards the sand, but I stopped her by placing a hand on her shoulder.

“Lucy dear,” I say softly. My heart pounds in anticipation of her reaction. I pull out the jewelry box and hand it to her.
She slowly opened the velvet lid and looked into it with confusion. Listing up the small glass bottle topped with a cork, she flashed me another puzzled glance.

A little disappointed, I explained that I got her a little bottle to place some sand into as a keepsake and that she could wear it and remember me by it. She burst into a big smile and hugged me tightly.

“I love you, daddy,” she whispered in my ear. “I’m going to fill it up right before we leave so I can have some happy sand.”

I squeezed her tight and then let her run back over to her new friend. I watched them have fun together all day as I chatted with the other girl’s family. Time just flew by and soon enough, the sun was setting with a red glow.

We said our goodbyes to the other family and I turned to go to the car, but Lucy said, “Wait! I still have to fill up the necklace!” and ran off again up the sand dune.

I leaned against car and looked up and around at the empty stretch of desert surrounding us, completely devoid of other life. It was actually quite serene, hearing the soft breeze shift sand around. Suddenly, I felt an out of place shiver run down my spine. I didn’t know how I could tell, but I had the feeling that the desert was a bit bigger, the dunes a bit higher than the last time we had visited several years ago.

I looked up and saw Lucy at the top of the sand dune holding the necklace above her head, tapping it to level the sand inside. Then, just as she was replacing the cork, she let out a shriek and dropped the necklace.

“Lucy? Lucy!” I yelled. “What’s wrong?” I sprinted up the dune toward my little girl.

“I’m okay,” she said softly, holding her finger out at me. “Something bit me, but it doesn’t hurt anymore.”

I grabbed her hand and kissed it. “There, it’ll be all better. Oh right, your necklace, let me get that for you. Then you can fill it back up.” I trotted down the side of the sand dune and bending down, I scooped up her necklace in my hands. I then looked up to see my beautiful angel blowing away. My eyes widened and I froze there as her body disintegrated. First, a few grains of red sand from the tip of her head fluttered away, followed by a stream working its way down her body.

Snapping back to reality, my heart pounded in my chest as I ran back up the slope, reaching it just as the last of the sand was blowing away. I splayed my hands out, trying to grab a hold her, but the small particles just slipped through my fingers.

I fell to my knees, the wind howling around me, the darkness quickly approaching. All I wanted were some memories with my daughter. She was having so much fun out here and we only stayed because of my necklace. That stupid necklace.

I emitted inhuman, tortured sobs, clenching the necklace in my hands, and called out for her into the emptiness. Slowly, I fell to the sand, having lost any will to ever get up again. I could hear the unforgiving wind howl and the cold of night start to creep up. Eyes clenched tight from squeezing out sandy tears, I felt pinches up and down my legs. They hurt for a few seconds, but then the pain faded. Lightness streamed from my core throughout my body. My eyes still held tightly together, I felt the sensation of flying, no, soaring through the sky. Toward my baby girl.

Credit To – Mithril

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