Restless Hands

March 8, 2014 at 12:00 AM
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Content Warning: Explicit Gore

Since I was a child, I had always felt the need to move my hands and fiddle with objects. My parents would always pester me about it, how I couldn’t do well with keeping them still and picking up and messing with things.

This affected me in more parts of my life than I would think of. I had difficulty making friends, as I would typically touch and tangle with belongings that weren’t my own. This was because I began to grow a intolerable, unrelenting madness when my hands didn’t move, even a short period of time.

The condition became so common after time that I sometimes wouldn’t even feel or notice my own movements. Others would question curiously on why my fingers contorted and twisted in conversation, or why I would loudly tap on a desk during the middle of an essential test. I would only apologize, and say it was just a habit of mine. My parents never saw it as any real issue, as they believed it to be common for my early age.

My hands, with no surprise, also had a damaging impact on my process of sleep over the years. The feeling of my fingers became much more noticeable when I would seek rest. They dragged, curled, rapidly spread apart and closed, and did any other movements that would interrupt my falling into sleep. Sleeping medication helped to a point, but began to be ineffective when the problem continued to develop.

After years of attempting to cope with the problem, I took on a career that would involve an amount of finger movement, such as typing, in hopes that it would progressively lower my urges. I worked in an office building, and to my surprise, the problem never bothered me as much during the day. I still felt the urges to tighten and stretch my fingers, but it was never an obstacle to any task. I felt like a normal human.

Everything would change at night, when I would be alone. The problem always returned far worse, more than I could often handle. It was because of this phenomenon that I began to see the condition as more of a…possession. This sounds completely insane, I know, but my hands seem to come alive in some sort of way when I was alone and exposed. They felt more there, more apparent than any other part of my body.

With my parents out of my life and unable to refuse, I finally went to a doctor with the problem. He couldn’t even explain what the source of the condition was, as he had never seen an issue that was acquainted with the hands in such a way. He compared it most to “Restless Leg Syndrome”, which was classified as urges to move the leg muscles to cease uncomfortable sensations. Had my problem not been as bad as it was, I would have gone by this comparison. My problem was not “urges”. I was positive that my hands physically moved themselves, that it was something that I had no real control of.

The doctor’s only word of advice was to do regular activities that would exercise my hands and fingers, movements that would, in a way, satisfy and possibly remove the urge over time. This only lead to my fingers moving more, taking more control and seeking more attention than before.

I remember a particular night, where I first attempted to physically retrain my own hands, in hopes of sleeping well for the first time in years. I used a roll of duct tape to wrap each hand, forcing each joint and knuckle into a tight, immobile fist.

My hands were hardly stopped. After only minutes, they began to shake under the tape, rubbing against the material in a mix of cold sweat and burns from the friction. I forced my arms down to my sides as I lied on my bed, sweating entirely as my fists began to itch, burn, and ache. They had always felt like some sort of living, controlling being, and I had put it in a cage which it was desperate to be free.

I sawed the tape off with a knife as soon as I felt a pain begin to spread up my wrists, going as far as my upper arms. This horrified me enough to were obeying my hands felt like the greater option.

Once my hands were completely free, they went uncontrollable. They twitched and jerked at a speed that I would not expect the human body to be capable of. The beast that I believed my hands to be were now in a blind rage, with every muscle and bone moving all at once. They moved without my restraint until they began to slow to a stop, stalling as if it were a vehicle empty on fuel. I collapsed on the floor that night, waking up with no feeling in my arm muscles at all, and not much more everywhere else.

That was the last time I ever attempted to restrain my own hands, but strangely enough, I didn’t ever feel the need to from that point. The unknown condition, after that night, seemed to have left me. I often grew paranoid that it would come back, perhaps worse than before, but my condition appeared to have healed itself. I could still feel my hands as part of my body, but in the same way that I would believe any normal human would. Perhaps the spirit that I thought possessed them became bored, unsatisfied with my suffering, and simply departed. I pondered these ideas, but never fully questioned why it was gone, as I was unmeasurably relieved to have my hands at peace.

A year later, I experienced a nightmare, a dream that was the first sights of the condition since it had stopped.

I had dreamed of my own hands coming to life, rising above me as I awoke from a pleasant sleep. They rapidly rose above my head, pulling my arms along with them until I could feel them crack and break from the stretching. The hands twisted as if trying to escape from my own joints, like my body was their own prison. I felt them beginning to rip away, until they slowly lowered down, both in sync with each other’s movements. They moved like they were their own machine, as I could only helplessly watch as they lowered themselves in front of my face, with all fingers extended. Seconds past with no movements or sounds, then both hands clasped around my neck in one motion.

My vision blacked out.

Then, I awoke from the nightmare.

I was drenched in sweat, breathing heavily as anyone would after waking from a horror. I turned my head to look out my window, and saw a full moon in the sky, which streamed light over my face, and most of the room as well. The rest of my body felt still, including my hands. I only stared at my ceiling, in a relieving happiness knowing that what I just experienced had not been reality.
Then, like I had snapped completely awake, I turned my thoughts to something that was moving.

I immediately sensed my hands, but they felt undisturbed. My right hand was the same as it was, with no feelings of movement. The same was for my left hand, except for its index finger. It tapped, slowly, in a calm but noticeable rhythm. It was so consistent that I began to count along with it in my head.

One…two…three…

I did this as I was shaking, terrified because of what I felt was coming. I viewed each tap of my finger as more of an audible footstep, an invisible being approaching to possess my hands and wreak destruction on my body and sanity. My hand began to occasionally twitch, as the finger continued to tap, and tap.

It wasn’t long until the finger began to tap faster, harder. My left middle finger joined in its rhythm, bringing more fear of my approaching suffering. I shook on my bed, still motionless, thinking of what I could do to prevent my hands from springing to life. I had no ideas of bonding them again, as I didn’t want to bring on its aggressiveness sooner.

My left ring finger began to tap along, with all three of the fingers now sounding like a light beat of a drum. They continued to grow in speed and strength, with my hand beginning to shake more entirely.

I leaped out of bed and stood to my feet the second my right hand began to move.

I searched around the bedroom, looking for any sort of restraint that could guarantee my safety. I opened my nightstand drawer to find the roll of duct tape, the same that I had used a year ago. I went against my earlier state of mind, and went to grab it for it’s use.

The second my right hand touched the tape, pain shot through it, which continued up my entire arm. I screamed and immediately withdrew.

It was back. Both my hands, angered with my attempted efforts, began to move and contort at their own will. It took much of my strength to keep them down at my sides, which made my body rapidly become weaker.

I searched for a stronger restraint, until the only real solution came to my mind. I had so long made an effort to restrain, to control the problem I had.

I never had the thought to destroy.

I stumbled to the bathroom, still using much of my energy to keep my hands down. I had trouble opening the door with my hands moving the way they were. Each finger retreated from the doorknob with every reach, fighting to keep me trapped in the bedroom. I managed to get in by using both hands.

I opened only a few drawers in the bathroom until I found the knife I was searching for. My right hand immediately began to reject as soon as I touched it, causing a burning in both my hands that nearly caused me to withdraw. I wasn’t going to let it happen, as I was determined to not be literally killed by my own hands.

Pain began to spread more throughout my body as I gripped the knife tightly in my right hand. I went down on my left hand first.

I felt no difference in pain when the index finger went first. I slammed the knife down on it with most of the strength I had left to use, and it went with no resistance.

The middle finger wasn’t as easy. The knife slammed down on it, but only went halfway through. This may have been because I had less strength to use on the next swing. It went on the second hit.

The ring finger also went with only one swing. Blood began to drain out of my now desecrated hand, and then moved across the counter and onto the floor. Rather than swing down on the pinky, it severed off easily with a few saws of the knife, which took a little less energy than a full swing.

I was just about to move onto the thumb, when I realized the ineffectiveness of my current efforts. I wouldn’t be able to cut off my other fingers in the same way, as I wouldn’t be able to hold the knife properly. What remained of my left hand continued to spastically flail for life.

I had almost accepted defeat, but I remembered a feature of my apartment: the sink in the kitchen had a powerful garbage disposal unit.

The idea at any other moment would have been utter insanity, but in my suffering, I was perfectly desperate to make it happen.

I walked slower to the kitchen than I did to the bathroom. Blood continued to stream out of my left hand remains. Pain was raging throughout my body at his point, as my hands punished me for my efforts of escape. It was becoming nearly impossible to keep them down, away from what other damage they could cause.

I arrived in my kitchen, and used my almost uncontrollable right hand to remove the drain filter from the sink. I immediately shoved my entire left hand down the drain, careful not to include my wrist with what I was about to erase. I hesitated for a moment when reaching for the disposal switch, but I was set that it must be done in order to keep myself alive.

I turned on the switch, and I screamed as I felt my remaining left hand begin to grind away. The pain was worse than It was before, but I couldn’t tell if the pain was from the shredding of my hand or from the spirit that was rejecting my efforts. The time felt slower, but it took about fifteen seconds for the rest of the hand to be shredded away.

I pulled my arm out of the drain, and I didn’t look at what remained. I went straight to my complete right hand, which was now completely still and calm. I paused, questioning why the hand had ceased its efforts.

I snapped to my senses. It was trying to fool me into stopping, into keeping the hand alive. It gave me the perfect moment to put the complete right hand into the drain. I used the end of my left wrist, which was now a bloodied stub, to turn on the disposal again.

All the pain that I had felt before came back at twice the force. I screamed even louder as my right fingers went away at a slower pace. I could feel each finger flailing to escape the drain as they sinked deeper, being cut to silence as they were blended into a red pulp.

Like the left hand before, the feeling in my hand stopped after time, the point at which they were no longer there. My entire body still shook as I pulled my right arm out of the drain.

I collapsed on the floor, letting each arm crash against down beside me, as I fell unconscious with all my energy drained.

I awoke on a hospital bed. My memory was hazy, but I still knew where I had just came from and what I had been through. I wasn’t sure how long I had been there, but it must have been recent, as I still felt a slight pain in both my wrists. I looked down to see both ends of them heavily bandaged. I felt victorious at the sight, knowing that my hands had been destroyed, and will no longer be controlling or haunting me, like they had done all my life so far.

A doctor walked into the room, and performed a standard check-up procedure. He asked me a few questions, and explained that I had been asleep in the hospital for a few days. He told me that another apartment resident had heard screams, and called authorities. They had arrived in my apartment to find me unconscious on the kitchen floor, with a deadly amount of blood pouring from where my hands once existed. A trail of blood could also be found from the sink drain, where they then knew that I had mutilated my own hands.

I tried explaining to him my situation, that I had acted to save my own life. He listened to my story, but his expressions were not looks of understanding. His only response was that he would talk to me again once I had a few more days of rest. He told me to try and keep relaxed, and that I would be perfectly safe and okay, despite losing both my hands.

I knew that he, and most likely everyone else, believed I had gone mad. I didn’t care at the moment. I felt at peace again, conquering what had claimed control of my life all this time. My happiness made me laugh out loud quietly, as I simply stared at the ceiling from the hospital bed. I felt rather rested, which was unfamiliar to me.

I didn’t want to try and sleep again. I only continued to laugh, and I found myself blinking. It was very calming, as had a form of rhythm to it. It remained consistent, so counted along with it in my mind.

One…two…three…

Credit To – Richard S. (Emeryy)

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Are You Still There?

March 6, 2014 at 12:00 AM
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Rating: 8.5/10 (575 votes cast)

Chatroom log transcribed by *name expunged* on *date expunged*. Screen names presumably substituted by account holders’ real names for easier reference. Whether incident described was real or fabricated cannot be determined, as transcriber has vanished without a trace.

*

[11:29:09 PM] – Jon has joined the chatroom

[11:29:14 PM] – Matt has joined the chatroom

[11:29:16 PM] Jon: holla

[11:29:20 PM] Matt: holla!

[11:29:22 PM] Matt: haha

[11:29:31 PM] Matt: what the crap was sabatini talking about Tuesday?

[11:30:02 PM] Jon: I wasn’t in class Tuesday.

[11:30:03 PM] Matt: about the futurists

[11:30:09 PM] Jon: I was sick.

[11:30:13 PM] Matt: oh. you were ditchin

[11:30:22 PM] Jon: no I was sick. swear to god.

[11:30:22 PM] Matt: :D

[11:30:33 PM] Jon: came down with a cold or something.

[11:30:40 PM] Matt: whatever ditcher

[11:30:45 PM] Matt: holla Jimi!

[11:31:30 PM] Matt: nice to see you too. fuck.

[11:31:31 PM] Matt: holla! >:(

[11:31:33 PM] Jon: Jimi’s idle again.

[11:31:40 PM] Matt: hate how he does that. just logs in and walks away

[11:31:42 PM] Jon: or he’s toking up.

[11:31:51 PM] Matt: haha

[11:32:10 PM] Jon: what’s your deal with Sabatini’s class?

[11:32:59 PM] Matt: the futurist manifestos. supposed to have read em but I didn’t make any sense out of em

[11:33:04 PM] Matt: something about cars and graveyards and shit

[11:33:21 PM] Matt: and you know how he just throws the material at us and expects us to learn something like we got mind-reading powers

[11:33:34 PM] Jon: what you put into his classes is what you take out of it.

[11:33:41 PM] Jon: he expects each of us to decide what’s significant about the material.

[11:34:19 PM] Matt: shit I coulda just not signed up for the class and bought the book and read it on my own time then

[11:34:21 PM] Matt: >:(

[11:34:27 PM] Matt: hey bro I gotta skate ill see ya l8er

[11:34:35 PM] Jon: ok later.

[11:34:36 PM] Matt: see ya Jimi!

[11:34:49 PM] – Matt has left the chatroom

[11:39:40 PM] – Jimi is no longer idle

[11:40:02 PM] Jimi: jon you there?

[11:40:19 PM] Jon: yeah.

[11:40:26 PM] Jimi: the neighborhood is gone

[11:40:27 PM] Jon: Jimi how come you don’t answer my calls?

[11:40:32 PM] Jon: what?

[11:40:40 PM] Jimi: the neighborhood is gone

[11:41:05 PM] Jon: I don’t follow you.

[11:41:29 PM] Jimi: somethings wrong

[11:41:35 PM] Jimi: can you see outside your windows?

[11:41:51 PM] Jon: what you been smoking Jimi?

[11:41:59 PM] Jimi: can you see outside your windows?

[11:42:18 PM] Jon: yeah.

[11:42:26 PM] Jimi: what do you see?

[11:42:31 PM] Jon: street lights.

[11:42:38 PM] Jon: Jimi what’s your problem man?

[11:42:49 PM] Jimi: i dont see street lights

[11:42:55 PM] Jimi: i dont see anything. just black. the neighborhood is gone.

[11:43:22 PM] Jon: Jimi if you’re tripping again I’m coming over there to beat your ass. I’m serious.

[11:43:58 PM] Jimi: im not tripping i swear. everything is just gone.

[11:44:20 PM] Jon: the lights on your street probably just burnt out

[11:49:00 PM] – Jimi is idle

[11:50:29 PM] Jon: you still there?

[12:19:53 AM] – Jon has left the chatroom

*

[10:54:20 PM] – Jon has joined the chatroom

[10:54:28 PM] Jon: Jimi how are you today? Everything all right?

[10:55:19 PM] Jon: Jimi talk to me buddy. You feeling all right?

[10:59:12 PM] – Jimi is no longer idle

[10:59:25 PM] Jimi: theres nothing outside

[10:59:58 PM] Jon: Jimi do you want me to come over?

[11:00:25 PM] Jimi: no dont come over

[11:00:29 PM] Jimi: stay there

[11:00:58 PM] Jon: Jimi what the fuck man? What’s going on over there?

[11:05:58 PM] – Jimi is idle

[11:07:06 PM] Jon: I’m getting tired of this Jimi.

[11:10:54 PM] Jon: grow up.

[11:30:01 PM] – Matt has joined the chatroom

[11:30:08 PM] Matt: holla!!!!

[11:30:14 PM] Matt: holla Jimi :D

[11:31:07 PM] Matt: Jimi you aint been at school in three days. Spring break isn’t for another month yo

[11:31:00 PM] – Jimi is no longer idle

[11:31:09 PM] Jimi: matt can you see outside your windows?

[11:31:23 PM] Matt: yeah I see ladies dancing

[11:31:39 PM] Matt: and theyre callin your name Jimi! They want yuh!

[11:31:41 PM] Jimi: i cant see anything. its pitch black outside my house.

[11:31:50 PM] Matt: for real?

[11:31:52 PM] Jimi: the neighborhoods gone. i dont know where i am.

[11:32:01 PM] Matt: haha what?

[11:32:02 PM] Jon: Jesus is he still going on about that?

[11:32:11 PM] Matt: whats he talking about Jon?

[11:32:30 PM] Jon: he’s being an asshole. He was babbling about it yesterday too.

[11:32:51 PM] Matt: haha Jimi whatre you on man? You take your meds?

[11:33:22 PM] Jimi: im not on anything

[11:33:56 PM] Jon: Jimi I’m coming over.

[11:33:58 PM] Jimi: im fuckin scared and all you guys do is give me shit

[11:34:09 PM] Jimi: no i told you dont come over

[11:34:10 PM] – Jon has left the chatroom

*

[11:58:12 PM] – Jon has joined the chatroom

[11:58:14 PM] Jimi: one was scratching on the window a minute ago

[11:58:27 PM] Matt: welcome to the twilight zone Jon haha

[11:58:39 PM] Jon: Christ Jimi what happened?

[11:58:40 PM] Matt: you’re missin out on some crazy shit

[11:58:51 PM] Jon: what happened to your house Jimi?

[11:59:02 PM] Matt: whats up with his house?

[11:59:07 PM] Jimi: did you go to my house jon?

[11:59:18 PM] Jon: it isn’t there. Just a foundation.

[11:59:19 PM] Jimi: i told you to stay away

[11:59:30 PM] Jon: Jimi what happened?

[11:59:31 PM] Matt: Jon are you serious?

[12:01:13 AM] Jimi: theres movement outside now. i cant see anything but i can hear things.

[12:01:53 AM] Jimi: i hear people talking outside real quiet. im scared to go near the windows.

[12:02:17 AM] Jon: Jimi when did this happen?

[12:03:11 AM] Jimi: did you see davan kellys painting?

[12:03:25 AM] Jon: yeah I think so. The scary one, right?

[12:04:15 AM] Jimi: he invited me over a couple times as a critic. he painted about a dozen of them and he wanted to know which one was scariest. i pointed to that one with the twisted face like a nightmare peeking out of the dark and told him it was like looking at a bad dream.

[12:04:59 AM] – Matt is idle

[12:05:02 AM] Jimi: and i dreamt about the thing in his painting that night. it wore shadow like a cloak and the face was distorted like something laying at the bottom of a pool when the waves havent settled.

[12:05:45 AM] Jimi: it just stood staring at me

[12:06:00 AM] Jon: damn.

[12:07:06 AM] Jimi: davan called me over again and when i got there he had all these new paintings, all worse than the one i picked before.

[12:07:40 AM] Jimi: i never saw anything so horrible

[12:07:56 AM] Jon: that bad, huh?

[12:09:11 AM] Jimi: no no no

[12:09:29 AM] Jimi: not poorly done horrible. never want to see again horrible. you shoulda seen them. they were almost alive

[12:13:42 AM] Jimi: i saw the thing in my sleep again, and there were others. they all stared at me like i was interrupting something and i still couldn’t make out their faces enough to see their eyes but davan said youre not supposed to look them in the eyes because youll freeze up and thats how they get you.

[12:14:30 AM] Jimi: davan saw how bad they made my skin crawl and he smiled

[12:15:10 AM] Jon: I haven’t seen Davan around campus. Did he lock himself in his studio?

[12:15:12 AM] Jimi: and after class one day he told me the things were from his dreams. he used to dream about them as a kid and they used to scare him, and then one day he stopped seeing them.

[12:15:59 AM] Jimi: but he started painting them and somehow they came back. he said he could make them appear in his dreams more vividly the more he painted them.

[12:16:28 AM] Jimi: he had this theory that when we sleep sometimes we see glimpses of other worlds and it might be possible to bring part of those worlds into ours

[12:18:56 AM] Jimi: davan told me that sometimes the paintings would show a twitch of movement or change slightly when he looked away. or he’d be walking past the studio door and hear his name being whispered in there. he said it scared him at first but he got used to it after a while and figured he was progressing.

[12:19:30 AM] Jimi: he was crazy. i think he wanted to meet one of them in person.

[12:18:37 AM] Jon: is he there with you?

[12:19:04 AM] Jimi: no hes gone and im next.

[12:21:00 AM] Jimi: he called me over for one last critique. he said it was really important to him and i didnt believe the shit he said before about the paintings moving. i didnt believe him. i thought he was just nuts but we were pals and i just wanted to help.

[12:26:00 AM] – Jimi is idle

[12:29:00 AM] Jon: Jimi you still there?

[12:29:11 AM] – Jimi is no longer idle

[12:29:31 AM] Jimi: davan opened the door and smiled like everything was normal. all the lights were out in his house and i started to ask him why but thats when i saw the shadows

[12:31:44 AM] Jimi: they moved like there was people swimming in them

[12:32:10 AM] Jimi: he invited me in but i turned and ran

[12:34:12 AM] Jimi: that was last weekend and this monday i woke up thinking it was the middle of the night but it was one in the afternoon and i couldnt see outside.

[12:39:12 AM] – Jimi is idle

[12:49:01 AM] – Matt is no longer idle

[12:49:10 AM] Matt: jesus man you weren’t kidding

[12:49:32 AM] Matt: Jimi you got some weird crap happening in your neighborhood

[12:49:39 AM] Jon: did you see his house Matt?

[12:49:56 AM] Matt: no man nothing there to see. like someone just picked it up and carried it off

[12:50:04 AM] Matt: what’d I miss?

[12:50:12 AM] Jon: scroll up and see for yourself.

[12:50:30 AM] Jon: Jimi try calling me on your phone.

[12:53:43 AM] Jon: Jimi you there?

[12:53:55 AM] Matt: wow

[12:55:00 AM] Matt: what do you make of all this?

[12:55:30 AM] Jon: well I can’t say he’s tripping on anything because that doesn’t explain the missing house.

[12:55:55 AM] Jon: keep him company for a while. I want to see if it’s the same at Davan’s place.

[12:56:11 AM] Matt: ok

[12:56:31 AM] Matt: Jimi you still there?

[12:56:35 AM] – Jon has left the chatroom

*

[02:09:30 AM] – Jon has joined the chatroom

[02:09:40 AM] Jon: it’s the same at Davan’s place! There’s nothing there!

[02:09:57 AM] Jon: Jimi you holding together?

[02:11:29 AM] Jon: Matt you still there?

[02:14:48 AM] Jon: Matt don’t fuck around I mean it.

[02:14:40 AM] – Jimi is no longer idle

[02:14:55 AM] Jimi: goddammit i told you not to come over here! why wont you listen to me?

[02:15:10 AM] Jon: Jimi calm down.

[02:15:30 AM] Jimi: did you think i was fuckin kidding? i told you to stay there!

[02:15:49 AM] Jimi: they came for me because i went to davans place! they get your scent and they come for you like when sharks smell blood!

[02:15:56 AM] Jon: Jimi have you been talking to Matt?

[02:16:45 AM] Jon: did you try calling my phone?

[02:20:21 AM] Jon: somebody please talk to me.

[02:20:49 AM] – Jimi is idle

[02:38:00 AM] – Matt is no longer idle

[02:38:04 AM] Matt: jon

[02:39:00 AM] Matt: jon you awake?

[02:39:09 AM] Jon: Matt what’s up? Where did you go?

[02:39:29 AM] Matt: nowhere jon

[02:39:55 AM] Jon: Matt what’s the matter?

[02:41:07 AM] Matt: drew came over. I was telling him about the situation and jimi was quiet for a long time.

[02:43:00 AM] Matt: it got drew, jon

[02:44:01 AM] Jon: what got Drew?

[02:44:50 AM] Matt: i dont know what it was

[02:45:33 AM] Matt: it got dark outside all of a sudden and drew wanted to step out and get a better look. We thought it was an eclipse

[02:46:11 AM] Matt: he opened the front door and there was nothing but blackness on the other side like the bottom of the ocean

[02:46:32 AM] Jon: is he okay?

[02:48:01 AM] Matt: this thing just appeared all of a sudden and stared him right in the eye like a snake. i dont know what it was but it was pale and gnarled and i think it was smiling

[02:49:03 AM] Matt: drew froze and just stood there staring at it and before i knew what was happening the blackness slurped him up

[02:49:27 AM] Matt: i flung the door closed as fast as i could

[02:49:28 AM] Jon: jesus

[02:54:27 AM] – Matt is idle

[02:55:57 AM] – Matt is no longer idle

[02:56:12 AM] Matt: i don’t know what to do. theyre out there right now looking for a way inside

[02:56:43 AM] Matt: theyre smiling at me through the windows

[02:56:57 AM] Matt: jon i don’t know what to do

[03:01:57 AM] – Matt is idle

[03:12:54 AM] – Jimi has left the chatroom

[03:14:07 AM] – Matt is no longer idle

[03:14:14 AM] Matt: i think jimis gone jon

[03:14:49 AM] Jon: shit something weird is going on over here.

[03:15:26 AM] Jon: hang in there matt. I’m going to haul my laptop out to my car so I’ll be gone just for a minute. I got to get out of here.

[03:15:38 AM] – Jon has left the chatroom

*

[03:27:54 AM] – Jon has joined the chatroom

[03:27:55 AM] Matt: please jon its inside

[03:28:08 AM] Jon: back and I’m in my car in the campus parking lot.

[03:28:17 AM] Jon: Matt what was that?

[03:29:59 AM] Jon: Matt talk to me.

[03:32:55 AM] – Matt is idle

[03:45:02 AM] Jon: somebody answer please.

[04:03:01 AM] – Matt has left the chatroom

[04:41:28 AM] Jon: shit i cant see anything the headlights don’t work at all

[04:50:11 AM] Jon: matt, jimi, please talk to me

[04:52:06 AM] Jon: please i dont want to look at them

[04:59:47 AM] Jon: please somebody

[10:07:17 PM] – Brian has joined the chatroom

[10:07:47 PM] Brian: hey guys whats goin on in here?

[10:10:14 PM] Brian: anybody home?

[10:14:03 PM] – Jon has left the chatroom

Credit To – Mike MacDee

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Friends

March 4, 2014 at 12:00 AM
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I don’t remember much about my childhood, like most people. Those memories are always vague and eventually you realise whatever you ‘remember’ is probably just a reconstructed memory. You don’t have much choice in the matter, and are usually convinced that your memory would never fail you.
The first memory I have was when I was 5. I’m not sure if it’s real or not, but that’s when I think I met Michael. I never had any friends, so I was glad when I met him. He called me Jack, and I liked it. As uncertain I am if I remember our first encounter, there is no doubting the strong bond we immediately formed.

I won’t bore you with the details of what we did every day for the past few years, but I will outline some of the things we did together, to assure even the most sceptical among the readers of our friendship.

Michael, being a slightly effeminate child didn’t have many friends at school either. He was bullied, and the highlight of his day was coming home and sharing a cup of tea with me, all the while telling me of his woes and lessening his burden. The tea, unlike my words of consolation, was make believe.
Another one of his favourite activities was cutting my hair. He would style it in all sorts of ways and I enjoyed each one of them. Fortunately for him, my hair grew inexplicably fast and he often got a chance to restyle it.

There was one thing that constantly strained out relationship, though. Don’t get me wrong, Michael and I had absolutely no hard feeling towards each other. It was his parents. I don’t think they approved of me, and I couldn’t tell you why even if I tried.

It wasn’t just disapproval; I began to think they hated me. The longer our friendship lasted, the worse it got. It pains me to even think about it, so I won’t dwell on this for long.

As quickly as our relationship had initially flourished, it began to diminish after two years. Michael grew to become a stocky football player, and I remained exactly the same as before; scrawny and completely incapable of competing athletically.

He made new friends and started to ignore me. This hurt me a lot, especially since I was there for him in his time of need. His abandoning me was the last thing I expected and it hit me hard. I felt like I had no one left in the world.

As I sit in the corner of the room and write this, I can see Michael and his friends watching T.V. Sometimes it seems like he notices me and looks my way, but I know better. I have now resigned to my fate; He created me, but forgot to destroy me.

Credit To – Vish P

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Among the Trees

February 26, 2014 at 12:00 AM
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For several nights I have seen a man vanish into the woods behind my home; a man that I do not recognize. It started three nights ago. I thought nothing of it at first; perhaps he was a homeless man living in some clearing in the woods, or possibly a drug addict looking for a secluded place to practice his sickness. Either way, I did not read into it very much. But, eventually, my curiosity got the best of me and I began to wonder what it was that he did beneath those dark branches.

He appeared every night, at exactly nine o’ clock, in my backyard, walking toward the edge of the woods. I would watch from my bedroom window as he stood there for a moment and then proceed into the dark canopy. He walked slowly and with conviction, walking to a destination completely unknown to me. Eventually I would lose sight of him among the black trunks of the pines and my interest would make my mind race. Where was he going? What was he doing? The answers to these questions would, unfortunately, be revealed to me.

Another queer facet about the man’s nightly journeys was that I never once saw him emerge from the forest in the morning. At first I thought that he merely left while I was asleep, but I once woke up earlier than usual to test this thought. Even then, I did not see him come forth from the woods. This intrigued me greatly and I soon found myself wanting to follow the man, to know where it was that he went each night.
The following evening, I decided to follow him from a distance. I slept during the day, so that I may have the energy to complete my excursion, and woke up around six. As with every other night, the man appeared in my backyard at nine walking towards the woods. Once I saw him, I got dressed and set off after him.

By the time I had made it outside, he was a good ways into the forest, but I could still see his black silhouette moving among the trunks. I followed him for some ten minutes before he stopped suddenly. He did not move, but instead just stood there. I ducked below a bush to avoid him seeing me and knelt there perfectly still. The man stayed like this for a minute or so and then resumed his walk. At his continuance, I broke my cover and began my stalking once again.

It was not long before the man stopped once again, quite abruptly this time. As with the last occurrence, he merely stood in place, not bothering to look around, but rather listen to his surroundings. Without sufficient cover around me, I decided this time to lay down on the forest-bed, hoping that the darkness would blend me with the soil. I lay there for a little while, wondering when the strange man would resume his journey, when I heard a crack from behind me. I started slightly and then looked to see what had produced the disturbance. Seeing nothing, I looked forward again, but the man was gone!

Somehow, he had slipped from my sight while I was not looking. I thought that he must have snuck away as soon as he heard the noise that broke the nightly silence. I rose from my earthly hiding place, looking for him between the trees. He was not to be seen anywhere. With nothing to go on and without sufficient lighting to study the ground for prints, I decided that it was best to go home for the night. I immediately went back the way I came, wondering the whole time how the man had gotten away from me so quickly and without making a sound. Upon reaching my home, I decided that I would try to follow him again the following night.

I slept most of the next day, not waking until about three o’ clock. I waited with anxiety until nightfall for the strange man to appear. Nine o’ clock came around and the strangest thing happened: the man did not show up! Night after night, the man would appear in my backyard at exactly the same time, but not this night. This baffled and bothered me, perhaps more than it should have, and I spent most of that night trying to figure out what it meant. The only explanation that I could come up with was that he had decided to stay away for some time, having caught me following him the night before. I wondered if I would ever see him again or, more importantly, know what it was that he did on his nightly wanderings.
Three nights passed without an appearance from the nightwalker, as I had by then nicknamed him. I was sitting in my study, which faces the woods, with the window shades open and the lights dimmed. At nine o’ clock, I instinctively looked out the window. There at the edge of the woods was the man! My heart jumped and I put on my jacket with haste. Once again, the man began his trek through the trees and I followed him, keeping more distance between him and myself this time than the last.

It seemed like hours the amount of time I spent following him. The fog was heavy that night, which I think helped me follow him without fear of being noticed. He walked deeper into those woods than I had ever dared, or thought, to explore. I began to worry if I would be able to find my way out of the forest, or if I would have to spend the night beneath those menacing branches. After some time, the man came to a small clearing. He stopped there at the tree line for a while before emerging into the thick fog that clung to the grass in that open area. I moved towards the clearing, hiding behind a tree that was just on the edge.

Looking forward, I could see the man clearly, due to the light of the full moon. He was walking toward a particularly large tree on the other side of the clearing. It was very old, by my judgment, with gnarled branches that groped at the night sky, with not a single leaf to be seen on them. The most abhorrent feature, though, was the wide hollow in the middle of its fat trunk. The man stood before this hollow, staring into its dark abyss, not moving a muscle. I could faintly here him muttering something, but I could not make out what it was that he was saying. When I heard him speak no more, the man began to remove his clothing, revealing a most horrid sight.

The man was completely covered in pus-filled boils. They dotted every single part of his exposed body, giving him the appearance of a rotting plague victim of old. The sight of this revolted me, as I had never before seen such a disgusting example of human disease. Once the man was completely naked, he moved towards the tree and climbed into the hollow that he had for so long viewed with intent. Once inside, he turned around and sat there, completely enveloped by the gnarled wood of that most ancient tree. It was at this point that the most horrifyingly grotesque thing that I could never have even imagined happened.

The tree began to shake, its branches twisting and turning in the night air, yet without a breeze to cause their action. The trembling continued down to the trunk, which began to swell and contract in a horribly unnatural fashion. It was then that the man inside began to scream as the tree began to, as it seemed, eat him. Pus and blood flowed forth from the hollow as the man inside was crushed and churned within. The screaming turned to gurgling as it combined with the groaning of wood and the squelching of flesh, along with the occasional cracking of bone. I ran at this, terrified out of my mind. The entire time that I was fleeing, I could hear the horrid sounds of death behind me and the forest seemed alive with terror. Tripping and falling, I ran back to my home.

That terrifying night has haunted me ever since. I no longer feel safe in my home, as I feel it is too close to the forest that is the cause of my nightmares. But the most frightening thing about the entire ordeal is that the man that I saw consumed by that evil tree, the man that for all reasons should not be alive, still appears at the edge of the woods, at exactly nine o’ clock each night.

Credit To – Marcus Porche

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Game Board

February 24, 2014 at 12:00 AM
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Ever since the incident I’ve been so paranoid. No one would even really explain what exactly happened that night. I couldn’t make any sense of it, even though I was there. Every single detail is still etched into my brain, but I still can’t tell anyone what happened really.

The car pulled up to the big Arizona house, in the middle of nowhere. I mean, seriously? How do people live like this? Hawaii was a good call, mom. This is depressing. I glanced between my parents as they discussed whatever about who-cares. I can’t believe they were going to leave me here like this while they took a trip to the Bahamas! Did it ever occur to them that I’d like to go with them? But no, they’d rather ship me to another state to live with my crazy cousins for a whole week. Why couldn’t I have stayed with Aunt Kayla or any of my friends back in Hawaii? You’d think that they would want that, considering the whole family-fall-out thing that happened twelve years ago. But apparently that’s not what they wanted. Here I am, in ninety-degrees-in-October Arizona. I swear, when I’m president, I’m deeming Arizona as too boring and will gladly donate it to all the illegal immigrants so they will no longer be illegal. See, I’m very generous like that. I just solved two of the world’s problems, and amazed you with the thought.

My oldest cousin, Cassadee, came out to help bring my bags into the house and I finally stepped out of the car. I headed to the back of the car, to see that everyone had already gotten all of my things. I huffed. Oh, well. I didn’t want to carry them in anyway. I took in the sight of the humongous house in front of me, my house for the next week. This is just great. I really do hope you noted the sarcasm. I ran my hands through my long brown hair and sighed. It looked like it was either three-story, or two-story with a huge attic. The front door was swung open, letting me feel a small breeze from inside the house, but as tempting as it was to just run straight into the cool simulated wind, I stayed outside until my parents came back out.

“Are you sure you’ll be fine here?” My dad asked again, and even though I wanted to scream at them to take me home, I slapped on the best fake smile I had in me and nodded with creaky motions. He smiled wearily and rolled up the window to our ’09 Chevy Silverado. Only a few seconds later, I was left to stare at the dust they trailed behind them. I turned back to the house and nearly jumped at the sight of my little cousin, Clementine, standing in her window, just staring at me. Clementine is eight years old, and creepy-looking. She had black hair in a pixie cut matched with dark eyes, and a seriously pale complexion. She was very thin and short, also. She looked like she was tapping on the window as she looked out at me, but Cassadee came back outside, so I didn’t get to react more than with a simple wave.

“Bailey’s having a couple friends over later, so I think you might just want to stay in your room tonight. Dinner is later, I hope you like chicken…” Cassadee was saying, but I let my mind wander to other things as she led me up the narrow steps to the massive front door. A pattern was inscribed into the wood on the door: a bunch of swirls, leaves, and what looked like fairies decorated it giving out the theme of a horror movie. The terrified and mutated faces of the little people carved into it didn’t help. She led me through it, with great effort on her part in opening the heavy door. It swung open to reveal a Victorian-era-styled living room.

There was nothing hanging on the pale yellowish walls, and the floor was hardwood. There was a door across from the front one that was about as big, only it didn’t have the carvings in it. It also looked easier to open, and you could tell that the room beyond that had a tiled floor. There was a staircase to the left, and it looked like it was the oldest thing in this house. It was made of wood that looked like it had been through more walking than a single family of five could do. It seemed as if anyone were to take one single step on the worn wood, it would split in two to let you fall into the deepest layer of hell. There was an old red rug on the floor, and it shared the same type of designs on it as the door had. A large love seat sat in the middle of the floor, and then there was a small couch sitting across from it, the only furniture in the room. The high ceiling and lit up chandelier led me on to believe that there was no upstairs after all, but of course there just had to be, because Cassadee grabbed onto one of my bags and started up the wooden death-trap with it, not bothering to check if I was following her. I quickly grabbed my other bag and scrambled up after her, trying to forget my fear of dying on the steps.

“Your room is at the back of the hall. We’ll come and get you for dinner when it’s done.” I nodded, even though she couldn’t see me because she was in front of me. We finally came to the top of the creaking steps and I almost tripped when I saw the hallway. It was completely different from the front room. It was completely wooden, and looked so old, like they decided they would just renovate the first room people walked into. There were doors all over the halls, and I listened intently as she named them off to me. “This room is Bailey’s, just leave her be,” she explained, pointing to the first door on the right, “she has her friends with her and likes to turn on the bitch around them.” She shot me a smile, in an attempt to lighten the mood, but it didn’t really work. Still, I smiled back at her. She pointed to the door across from Bailey’s. “That’s my mom’s study. Don’t go in there.” She glanced over the door as if it held no real importance and we continued down the hall, our feet making echoes bounce off of the floor and walls, through the seemingly empty house. She paused at another door. “This is my parents’ room. Don’t go in there either.” She gave a quick point and we started walking again. The hallway was narrow, and I swear there was this weird smell coming from the wooden walls. The wooden panels were popped out in some places, giving it an uneven look, almost like they had a rat that crawled through the walls, pushing them out. The wooden planks we walked on creaked with every step, pronouncing your presence to everyone. I was so stunned on how far back the hallway could go, too. There was so much room between each door that I guessed the rooms must be huge. There were only three more doors at the end of the hall. Two were right next to each other on our left, and one was across the hall from the one closest to us. She stopped again at that door. “This is the bathroom. And that is your room,” she said, pointing to the first door on the left, right across from the bathroom. I pressed my lips into a thin line and nodded, biting my lip. She nodded back at me and turned to leave, but I stopped her before she could go.

“Uh, whose room is that?” I asked, curiosity tugging at my insides.

She immediately started acting defensively. “That’s Clementine’s room, but you can’t go in there!” She yelled angrily, coming closer and grabbing my bags from off the floor. She’s so protective of her little sister. Gosh. She practically gives off the ‘I-don’t-really-care’ attitude when she tells me not to go into her parents’ room, but when she tells me not to go into Clementine’s room it’s like she’s my mother telling me not to swim with sharks. I rolled my eyes as she hauled my things into the room, which was way smaller than I would have thought. It only had a bed and a window that was covered in thin white curtains. Great, I get to have a sun-alarm clock.

She set the bags right next to the bed and I thanked her as she walked out the door. Yup, I’m in hell for a week. The door was painted white, but the paint was peeling, and it had the same creepy designs as the front door and the rug from earlier. The doorknob sported a fairy that seemed to look at me with sympathy as I made my way to the only source of entertainment I had, the window. It was a smallish window with white curtains that were too large for it so they flowed lazily around it. I stared outside it and watched as the sun dipped down below the distant mountains, casting a shadow on the house that started to darken my room. I sighed in frustration that there was nothing outside to look at but the desert. Why do they have to live in the middle of nowhere?

I left the window and plopped down on my bed, the only thing actually in the room. I started playing with my fingers and hummed a song that I liked. After a minute of insane nothingness, I heard a tapping. My head shot around to look at my window out of habit, but nothing was there. My eyes went wide and my heart sped up. I stood up quickly, the wooden floorboards creaking loudly under me as I do. Then my head snaps to the right of me, at the wall where the light taps were emanating from. My head spun until I figured out that that was the wall that stood between me and Clementine’s room. It was just her. I slowly started walking towards the wall, but the floor decided to announce my movement to the whole house once again and by the time I had made it to the wall the tapping had stopped. I swallowed back my childish fear and commanded my heart to slow as I lifted my finger to the wall and tapped twice, like she had. When she didn’t answer I sighed and turned back to look at the window for a millisecond before my head rounded towards the wall again. She tapped twice and I smiled. I’m not alone after all. I tapped twice again, but before she could reply to my tapping, my door opened and I straightened quickly, turning to see a confused Bailey was standing in the door.

She had grown a lot since we were kids. I was older than her by only a couple months, but the way she stood in front of me now, she looked like she was years older than her age. You could see it in her eyes and the way she carried herself. I also saw this in Cassadee, but I figured that was due to being the oldest in a family with parents who are barely around. She looked at me, taking me in for the first time in twelve years and I suddenly felt like yelling at her and hiding from her at the same time.

“Dinners ready,” she said, barely moving a muscle in her face. With that she turned on her heel and walked away noisily. I swallowed and reluctantly walked away, trying my best to keep my footsteps light.

I followed Bailey down the hall, down the groaning steps, and then through the door I saw earlier, the one with tiled flooring instead of the croaking wooden floors the rest of the house possessed. The tiled room was a kitchen and dining room. It had a small dining table, set for only five, and a kitchen to the far left. There was another door to the right of the kitchen sink, and since it was so narrow I guessed it was a pantry. Bailey quickly took her place sitting in between two girls I’d guessed were the friends she had over. Cassadee was motioning for me to sit down at the only place left next to her. I quickly did a double count. Where was the other place, the one that was supposed to be here for Clementine? Wasn’t she coming down? I refrained myself from asking as everyone started to dig into their food and talk. I stayed silent though, I didn’t feel like talking. I felt sick to my stomach and can’t believe I was even able to swallow the dry baked chicken. It left a weird taste in my mouth as I gulped down some water after a few bites. After a while of talking Bailey and the two girls with her excused themselves to the room upstairs, giggling following them in their wake. Cassadee turned to me now, looking for the next subject to converse about.

“So, how’s Hawaii?” I nodded, keeping my eyes cast down.

“Fun, cool…sandy,” I said, not really wanting to talk about home when all I wanted to do right now was go there. She sighed and I finally looked up at her.

“Look, I’m sorry that you were dragged all the way here, to boring Arizona, a state no one wants to care about anymore, but I’m trying to make this at least a little bit easier on you. It’s just a week, and you pretending that your parents abandoned you here for the rest of your life isn’t helping anything.” Her eyes were hard, but they still pleaded with me to cooperate as her jaw clenched and she let out a shaky breath. My lips tightened into a thin line and my eyes found solace in looking at the ground. I swallowed and stood, walking quickly to my room. It’s their room. You can’t start labeling things as yours when you know it’s only temporary.

I was asleep in my temporary room when something brought me out of my well needed slumber. I sat up slowly, momentarily confused and covered in sweat. I blinked a couple times, trying to shake the forgotten dream of five minutes ago. The room was dimly lit by the appearance of a waning crescent moon right outside my window, being barely covered by the thin white curtains. The light coupled with the dark shadows sent an eerie chill up my spine.

The thin blanket that I brought from home was all the way on the other side of the room in front of the door. My small pillow was nowhere to be seen and I guessed it was under the bed. Somehow my bags, which had been situated next to the bed, ended up next to the blanket on the floor, some of my things strewn around the area. The sheets under me were coming undone, indicating that I must have been moving around in my sleep. I tried my best to sit all the way up and stand on the floor without making any noises, but that would always fail in this house.

I bit my tongue and hoped I didn’t wake anyone up as I crossed over to the window, loud groans trailing my feet. I pushed the curtains back and shakily opened the window. It made louder noises than the floor and I winced at the sound. Cool air from the night engulfed me, causing me to shiver slightly as I stared out at the moon and the clouds that passed over it swiftly. I looked down at the long dirt driveway, the one that led to the old gravel road that my parents had taken to get out of here. My eyes started to water at the unfairness of it all. Before my vision could completely blur over, however, something caught my eye. There was a tall figure pressed against the side of the house outside.  I could tell it was human by the way it moved, but it also looked so… unnatural. My breath hitched in my throat and my heart sped up to match the gait of a cheetah. The thing moved closer to the front door and I shook my head, trying to will it away. It didn’t seem to see me, though, because it just slipped in the front door, opening and closing the colossal wooden door with ease; which was something not even someone who has lived here their whole lives could even do. The blood drained from my face as I realized that meant there was someone in the house.

I tried to tell myself that that could’ve just been Cassadee, or her shadow that followed her around as she went outside to get something, but my mind wouldn’t really listen as I moved away from the window and backed up straight to the bed, not really caring about the noise anymore. I felt frozen to my place, thinking about the fact that someone could be in the house, ready to murder me. I tried to look at the reason, just to calm my nerves which would surly kill me before the stranger could even look at me or think of walking up the stairs. Just use your brain for once! You never heard the door, like you would if it really opened. Plus you never heard footsteps, which would be impossible to avoid in this house. And no one in their right mind would be in the middle of nowhere at this time, let alone a murderer with an axe. It’s just your weird ass mind trying to psyche you out, idiot!

I took in a deep breath, and kept it in for a second before letting it out. I’m letting this place and the heat get to me. I sat in silence for a couple minutes and closed my eyes, grateful for the quiet. After my eyes felt like they would start burning a hole through my eye lids, I opened them again, and then they widened with fright. My whole body went rigid as I heard a soft tapping come from behind me. After my brain had finally caught up to me, I sighed in relief that it was just Clementine. I leaned over the end of the bed frame that was against the wall and tapped twice, so she knew I was here and awake. She tapped once and I mimicked her, deciding to play her little game with her. She tapped twice and I copied. Then she didn’t answer. My heart dropped and I tapped two more times again just in case she didn’t hear me. Suddenly she started pounding on her side of the wall. It scared me so much that I jumped back to the other side of the bed and felt my heart drop to my stomach. Her poundings started out lightly, like a little girl’s, but then they started to get harder and harder with each time her fist met the wall. Then, to add to that, she started screaming a blood curdling banshee scream. I cringed and whimpered, bounding off the bed, out the door, and down the hall without thinking. I was too scared to think. You don’t ever think at a time like that.

I made it halfway down the hall before the screaming and pounding stopped, but then I could hear footsteps walking calmly behind me.

I didn’t dare look.

I sped my way down the rest of the hall as fast as I could, flinging open Bailey’s bedroom door. When I was inside, I slammed the door behind me and turned around. The only one in there was Bailey, and she had just woken up from a dream when I slammed the door to her room. Her room looked absolutely nothing like my room. It was all frilly and pink and everything you would imagine a teenage girls bedroom would look like. She sat up in the bed and looked at me wide eyed.

“What the hell are you doing?!” She hissed, but then she took a look around her room and started to worry. “Where did my friends go? What happened?” She looked at me and I could feel tears leaking down my cheeks. After a second her eyes widened and looked scared, understanding dawning in the blue-green orbs she possessed. “Clementine…” she whispered and the way she said it made me shiver and want to hide in a ditch to die peacefully. She stood up and grabbed my hand, pulling me to sit on the bed with her.

I didn’t know what to do, but she was looking at me expectantly so I just spilled. “I-I woke up about ten minutes ago, and I was hot so I went to open the window,” I averted my eyes from her, ashamed to say that I had seen something outside her house when in reality nothing was there, “and I saw something moving. It looked like a person, but it was too tall so I thought it was a shadow, but it opened the front door and got in. I was so scared and I just thought that maybe I was just really tired and seeing things, so I went and sat on the bed. Then I heard your sister tap on the wall, and so I tapped back ‘cause I thought she had heard me and knew I was awake or something. But then she started screaming and pounding on the wall, so I got scared and ran out. I didn’t mean to wake you up, but I had nowhere else to go and Cassadee never told me where her room was and I didn’t want to be alone…” I started crying as I finished. “I was so scared! I felt like I was gonna die,” I choked out. She squeezed my hand in an attempt to calm me.

“It’s okay, but we got to find Cassadee and get out of the house, okay?” I nodded.

“But what about getting Clementine and your friends?” Her face went completely solemn as she answered me.

“I can’t help my friends now, and Clementine has been beyond help for years now. We need to find Cassie.” She pulled me up, and I was too stunned to do anything but follow her as she pulled me out the door.

She stood outside the door for a second before she reached over and pushed on one of the panels in the walls, one that had the crooked look to it, and it fell off the wall to reveal a little compartment. In the compartment was a thin rope that ended in a knot, which she pulled on, making a bell sound echo through the house. She tensed up, but waited bravely with me still clinging onto her arm for dear life. She looked at the wall opposite the one she just pulled a rope from and I did too, not knowing what else I could do. Then, from behind the wall, we both heard a heavy thud. She jumped at it and I felt my heart freeze over as another thud sounded against the panel and it fell open, revealing Cassadee. She was on the floor, and it was evident she had fallen down the staircase, and landed against the hidden doorway unconscious. I gasped and Bailey tensed next to me. She shook me off her arm and I stood there helpless and watched as she checked her older sister. Tears dripped down her face silently as she cursed and shook her head at me. She stood and I felt completely hollow as she dragged me down the stairs, easily maneuvering around the dark house.

We got to the front door when she let go of me to open the giant thing. I couldn’t see a thing in the pitch black of my surroundings except for a tiny sliver of light that manifested under the door from the rising sun outside. I waited as she tried to open the door, and I could hear her struggle with it for a while, but then I heard her take in a sharp breath and curse. “Dammit, Clementine!” She sounded exasperated and sad when she said it, as if the words itself were a way to morn.

“What, Bailey?” A voice hissed from right next to me in a small voice, making me jump about ten feet in the air. Bailey went silent and everything ceased, the only thing visible was the little line of light hovering on the floor, and the only thing audible was my heavy breathing. After a minute, I felt as if I would die of suspense. What was Bailey doing? Why wasn’t she opening the door so we could get out of this hell?

“Bailey?” I asked. No answer. I waited for something to happen, but after a few minutes it felt like waiting for the sun to give birth and die. I felt a couple tears leak down my cheeks as I lowered my head in defeat.

*two weeks later*

I sighed as I turned off the TV in defeat. There was never anything good on at this time. I decided I would go check up on Jordan again.

Ever since the incident I’ve been so paranoid. No one would even really explain what exactly happened that night. I couldn’t make any sense of it, even though I was there. Every single detail is still etched into my brain, but I still can’t tell anyone what happened really. I remember being there with Bailey one second, then the next I was standing next to Clementine in the dark, and then the next my uncle and aunt walked in the house, shining light on the only person in the house anymore: me.

They walked inside and immediately pulled me out of the house with them. I turned to see where my cousins went, but they weren’t there. I was completely baffled as my uncle and aunt held me and cried. How did they walk away? Why didn’t I hear them move? Why didn’t I hear Clementine walk up next to me before everything went silent? All these questions ran through my head as my relatives pulled me by my arms into their car, driving me to the airport to meet my parents. They were also crying, and they looked happy to see me. Without acknowledging the couple that had brought me to them, they dragged me along to get on board the plane, without my things and still in my PJ’s. We didn’t talk at all on the trip home, and when we finally did get home they ignored me. My parents never ignored me, they always supported me and cared for me, but ever since we got home they’ve been very distant and won’t let me talk about Arizona. This is the first time I’ve been out of my own home for two weeks, and it’s to babysit my younger cousin, Jordan. My Aunt Kayla was going out with my Uncle Steven for their anniversary and I was their first choice to throw their kid at for the night. I didn’t mind though, it made me feel just a little bit normal for a while.

I stealthily climbed the wide, carpeted staircase and checked on the little two-year-old. When I was sure he was still asleep, I walked back to the living room and picked up one of the books off of the counter, figuring they wouldn’t mind and needing a time-killer. I plopped back down on the large loveseat and started reading when the phone rang. My eyes widened at the possibility of the noise waking up the baby so I quickly made a mad dash for the phone on the other side of the living room. I quickly pressed the ‘talk’ button, not reading the caller ID.

“Hello?” I asked, a little out of breath.

There was a pause on the other line, then a voice that I never thought I’d hear again. I could practically hear the devilish smirk in Clementine’s voice as she spoke, “Shouldn’t you check on the baby?” My heart immediately picked up to match the pace of a race cars’ engine as I hung up the phone and ran towards the stairs. My eyes were already starting to water as I reached the steps, and when I was about halfway up, the phone started ringing again. I stopped cold in my tracks and looked down at the phone that was still clutched tightly in my hands. The caller ID read, ‘WINNER’. My head started to spin and I felt as if I would pass out, but I took the bait and answered. Before I could even say anything, Clementine’s retched voice greeted me. At the same time she started talking, I heard small little taps on the door. My eyes started to pour and I fell to the stairs, sitting down so I wouldn’t pass out. “It’s just a game, you know. We’re all just pieces in a game…” She trailed off and the tapping grew to be pounds on the door, each one getting fiercer and harder than the last. “But I should have warned you,” She took another pause and when she finished her sentence she didn’t sound like Clementine anymore. She didn’t sound like a little girl anymore and I briefly wondered if the male voice that finished her sentence for her was even human. Just as the first word was uttered in that sinister voice, the front door slammed open, revealing the darkness behind it. “I always win.”

Credit To – J. Nicole Garcia

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A Jaunt Through the Trees

February 20, 2014 at 12:00 AM
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The sun was still up when we arrived.
The car park was more of a passing place.
Simmers was shuffling in the passenger seat next to me, he was overheating. Dressed in all the latest climbing gear, tin whistle and dodgy Japanese head torch from ebay, he had certainly put in  considerable financial effort whilst preparing for this (his first) relatively basic hike. “I’m sure we cant stop here” he said, pointing assuredly to the water logged clearing at the side of the tree-lined road. I assured him that we could. I had checked and double checked for easily two miles each way of Utch forest’s main signpost, and this was the car park. It had only taken us two hours to get here, but those were two long hours. Simmers had originally stated that it would be a 35 mile drive, however,  nearly forty minutes into the journey, he muttered “ actually, 35 miles north of Kathrie rock, then another 40ish on the B roads”. He also insisted the website had mentioned a sizeable car park next to an old cattle grid, but there were neither, and I was done with wasting petrol trying to find one. Anyway, we were here now.

We alighted and I grabbed my kit from the boot, Simmers grabbed his backpack. The annoyances from the journey seemed trivial now,  I was glad to have a friend with me for once, I was so used to doing everything alone, and whatever David Sim lacked in experience, he made up for in enthusiasm. His interest in my wilderness camping and hiking stories was genuine, and it made me feel wiser than was really justified. He had been talking about doing some proper trips away with me in the coming year, and seemed to be taking a significant interest in the outdoors. As we began  to climb along the immediately uphill trail however, the conversation became physically strained on Simmers’ end. He was slim enough, and prepared in every other aspect..aside from his fitness level, which was surprisingly low. The fancy vents in his jacket, and his high priced baselayer were not compensating for his poor cardio, and I suggested we turn back and he leave some unnecessary items in the car, it was forecast to be a stable night with temperatures staying above 8 degrees, and his multiple accessories seemed a hindrance at the time. Ten minutes later we were back at the “car park”. We dumped some weight then set off again, the sun now starting to set, and lending an eerily sombre tone to the  forest. I can’t honestly say that I felt something was wrong as we set off that second time, it’s a struggle to articulate the change in mood we both felt, but we did both feel it, it was an intuition almost, but not really….it was maybe just a tweak in chemistry, not enough to make us turn back. However, thinking back to being at the foot of that initial uphill trail the second time around, the car ten meters behind us, it fills me with regret. The sadness I feel when I think about this specific point in time is unwavering. If we had been given an opportunity to save ourselves the sickening horror, and ultimate tragedy which was patiently waiting for us within the forest, that was it.

The breeze picked up significantly after about twenty minutes, and though it wasn’t cold, the atmosphere seemed to be snarling as the increasing wind snapped through the trees, whipping loose straps into our face and onto our skin. Within an hour, perhaps less, the sun seemed to have set. We assumed it was simply the effect of clouds mixed with the large Douglas Firs that surrounded us giving the illusion of a premature sunset, as it was at least three hours early. It was around about this time however, that we made a rash and ill conceived decision, which was to haunt me for the rest of my life, every night, every morning, and finding a place in every dream.
Clearly uncomfortable with my moderate hiking pace and frustrated at the chronic wind, Simmers convinced me it was better that I go on ahead, that he was certain of where to go once the path gave way to a clearing with around a half mile of 30-35%  gradient rocky scramble to the top of the mountain. I initially objected as, although this was by no means a technical route, and even a map and compass were unnecessary, it was still his first proper hike, and it was by no means unheard of for people to go missing on trails half this size due to absence of light/lack of orienteering experience. I have to admit though that the walk had been tedious for me, and that strange, unrelenting wind was having an odd effect on my temperament. Usually it takes a lot to aggravate me but I was aware that I was becoming more abrupt with Simmers, despite him obviously just trying to improve the mood by talking. “Hurry the fuck up, you out of shape piece of shit.” I screamed silently, through closed mouth and gritted teeth. My mood was becoming more and more hateful, and I mean hateful. When the wind would get particularly strong I would actually spit these kind of immature and vicious remarks into the air, convinced there was a big enough gap between us that he couldn’t hear me.. I don’t understand looking back what it was filled me with such uncharacteristic.. maliciousness. There were points before we split up that I didn’t even feel self aware, for a while we were just walking, half bent over into the wind, I was just thinking about how I didn’t want him to be there. It was him, however, that made the suggestion openly that we should break away.

I began to steadily increase my pace, the wind seeming less of an irritation now that I was alone The negativity which had been building inside me like an off-tone crescendo had now been tempered, and I felt as if something that had once been cloaking me was lifted, or had dissolved. It was almost a tangible difference in restraint. They way I felt when ascending was almost comparable with the feelings a beginner might have when imagining climbing Everest. I only experienced the positives, the beauty of the place (the darkness now lent a different, less macabre tone to the shadowed forest and rocks ahead), I had no feelings of fatigue or even of physical exertion, or I was unaware of any such feelings I might have been experiencing. It was almost as if I was being rewarded for leaving my friend behind, although I say this with hindsight, as Simmers’  presence or lack thereof never once seeped into my thoughts during this period. This unbecoming feeling of euphoria despite my close friends extreme fatigue and my lack of care of his progress, continued as I broke through the trees and commenced a scramble to the top. It was only here that I can recall thinking of my companion, and I thought of him only because I knew he would have trouble with the jagged and (unusual considering the time of year was only late autumn) almost frosty rocks. I am ashamed, and find it hard to understand why this realisation brought an unnatural smile to my face. This wicked smile stayed with me even when I noticed blood on the rocks, and smeared across my palm, and instead of stopping to inspect the wound and wait to warn Simmers of particularly jagged rock edges, I increased my speed tenfold, rushing to the top,  the wind screaming with me, pulling myself with bloodied hands onto the monstrous, cracked, horizontal rock signalling the top of the mountain, grunting and trembling like a savage at the end of a bloody fight.

Silence.

Everything was silent, and I was oddly numb. Regret or worry had not yet started to return to my once fully irrational mind, but gradually I began to become aware of the situation. What was wrong with this scene? What was I thinking leaving Simmers alone and rushing off, unable to hear anything he may have been shouting, not caring, and not even considering to look back, not once!.. Where had the wind gone? I had been battling it for hours and now, at the highest point in the climb, there was nothing but an eerie heaviness, and strange patches of what looked like frost on the rock surface. From my vantage point at the edge of the towering rock, I established the path with which my friend would most likely ascend, and using my broad view of the trees now far below I began painfully focussing on anything which looked like it may be a torch light. I couldn’t see him. I sat for what seemed like an hour, though I had no way of estimating time. I just sat, gradually succumbing to a creeping fear, unable to take any comfort in lying to myself, suggesting he may have just gone back to the car. The biting cold form the rock seeping into my body.

Then I saw it, moving at a furious pace.

The head torch was progressing in a rapid, irregular manor. Every now and then it would disappear, only to reveal itself a few seconds later in an impossibly advanced position. My initial relief of seeing Simmers in  motion was quickly turning to bewilderment, mixed with the fear that I was going mad, that my eyes were deceiving my logical mind. How could he move like this up such an unforgiving route, he was nowhere near the path we had agreed on taking..Then he broke through the trees. I was half standing, with one leg behind, poised as if to retreat, though I knew I had nowhere to go. I now had no idea what it was that desperately climbed the rocks only meters below me. I tried to look down clearly, inching forward whilst still poised to run, but as  I did, the head torch jolted up, as if to look back at me, its light blinded me and I involuntarily spun round…My eyes recovered and this is when I saw her. She stood at the edge of the rock behind me, a cruel twisted smile on her white face, long fingernails pushed in to her bald head, like a maniac in ecstasy she was laughing, but I could now hear nothing save the immense wind which had returned, it was worse than ever. As I lay helpless on the cold rock I saw that thing which took my sanity forever, her eyes, reflecting utter darkness, her mouth was open and darkness spewed out. Her body was white, and draped over her nakedness was some crude symbol made from what looked like twisted branches and torn skin. More violently she laughed, and more painful the wind became, gnawing at my skin and taking my breath. Her posture was menacing. She stood on disfigured toes, like a cadaver hoisted up and moving like a possessed marionette. Though I could hear nothing, I could see her cracked black lips move as she stared at me, her smile mocking my vulnerable body. Then she looked down, as if in some sickening trance. As she did, I saw the light of Simmers’  torch. With difficulty I turned to face my friend. Oh god, what had she done to him, his face! That smile! That wretched smile on his face!

Credit To – Odemaker

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