Sister

August 15, 2013 at 12:00 AM
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My sister always screams in the middle of the night. Horrible, blood-curdling screams. And I cannot get her to stop.

I lie in my bed, away from the earth, dreaming in mist, and her screams penetrate them. She cries for me, she cries for someone.

I cannot help her, nothing I do will make her stop.

I bring her some fresh lavender, one day. I hope the scent can calm her.

My eyes shut and I drift away.

But she screams.

What can I do, Sister? Why do you scream? What scares you? You will not tell me, I can’t help.

One night, when the screams are too much, I get up. I will stop her screams.

I make my way to her bed, and kneel down right on top of her.

Stop screaming. STOP SCREAMING.

I look down at her, but I cannot see her. It is dark, and there’s distance between us.

STOP SCREAMING.

She stops, but only because she knows someone is there.

She is quiet, she doesn’t want them to know she’s there.

My mother, telling me to go back to my bed. I need to stop coming to see my sister at night.

But don’t you hear the screams, Mother?

But she doesn’t. It is only me.

My sister pretends to be asleep.

I get up.

I am dirty from the ground where I knelt over my sister’s grave.

She rests in her coffin. Dead but she still screams.

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Sunlight

August 14, 2013 at 12:00 AM
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I used to live in a small cottage in the country. It was quite secluded and there were only two buses a day that went past my home. If I missed the bus, I’d have to walk down a long country road to get back. In summer, it was quite nice walking past the fields in the shade of the trees. In summer, there was still sunlight. In winter, there was no sunlight, and it was in winter when I missed the bus home.

I’d been working late at the office and I had to get the later train home instead of my usual one. As I sat on the train home, I watched as the sun slowly sank beneath the rolling hills of the countryside. It was getting dark outside.

I got off at my stop and starting walking towards the bus stop. It was then I saw its familiar shape cresting the hill on the horizon. I knew I couldn’t miss the bus. If I did, I’d have to walk home in the dark. I jogged to the stop and managed to reach it before the bus did. I held out my hand to stop the bus, but the bus didn’t stop; the driver just kept on going. Now obviously I was annoyed, but I knew that swearing and cursing wouldn’t help my current situation. Instead, I started walking home.

It was at least three miles to my house, which is a lot for one person to walk alone on a dark, cold winters night, but still I persevered. The dead leaves beneath my feet made a satisfying crunch as I walked over them; but it wasn’t so satisfying when I heard the same noise coming from behind me.

I knew I was alone, I’d checked several times during the walk to sooth my paranoia but now I couldn’t even consider turning around just in case. Just in case I would find something as horrifying as the things that often appeared in my nightmares.

I ignored the crunching and carried on, but I started to speed up at this point hoping that I could out run the noises.

But I couldn’t.

As I moved faster, the noises behind me moved faster too and they started to sound closer and closer.
I started to run when I heard the breathing.

The deep, croaky, terrifying breathing of the thing following me. I ran fast, but the thing did too. Adreneline gave me a boost but fear powered me through out. I wasn’t going to let that thing get me; I was determined.

I kept running while the breaths behind me became shallower and shallower.
I kept running while the crunching leaves sounded quieter and quieter.
I kept running because I couldn’t stop.

I didn’t stop until I reached my house. I quickly unlocked the door and slammed it shut behind me before stumbling through the onyx black darkness and tumbling into the cupboard under the stairs.

The cupboard was my safe place; I always felt safer in confined spaces. If I ever had a panic attack or worked myself up into a fear frenzy I’d just hide in there as I did that night. I curled up in the blankets I’d left under there and fell asleep, but as I drifted off, I thought I heard scratching at the cupboard door.

Some hours later, I was awoken by sunlight pouring thought the cracks in the door. I slowly opened the door and peered out, half expecting a monster to lunge for me. Instead I was greeted by my cat, Snowball. I noticed her food bowls were empty. “So that’s why you were scratching on the door last night,” I cooed “You were hungry weren’t you poppet.”
I emptied a sachet of cat food into a bowl for her and brewed myself a cup of coffee. Suddenly, I heard a floorboard creak upstairs. I grabbed a knife from the draw and quietly walked up the stairs, keeping on guard at all times. When I reached the top of the stairs, I saw the landing was empty. Cautiously, I opened the door to my bedroom and checked in there. It was empty too. So was the bathroom and so was my study.

Everywhere was empty.

I told myself to stop being so paranoid; it was an old cottage and the beams were probably weak and creaky. I retrieved my coffee from downstairs and started doing some work in the study, for today I could work from home which meant I didn’t have to run down any country roads late at night being chased by a boogey man! I turned my laptop on and started working. I worked for several hours without a break. Sometimes I felt Snowball come and brush up against my leg so I’d stroke her and assure her I’d come down and play with her later.

Whilst I was working, I heard a noise outside. It was an owl hooting. I looked out of the window opposite my desk, when I had a realisation. It was a realisation so chilling it made my blood run cold.
There was an owl.
It was still dark outside.
My house was dark when I got home, but now the lights were on.
I wasn’t woken up by sunlight. Someone or something turned the lights on.

The house wasn’t empty.

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The Gallery

August 5, 2013 at 12:00 AM
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Father, forgive me, for I have sinned.

I never had taste for art, but sometimes you get an invite to the finest gallery you could ever be invited to: free food, rich women, cheap security and expensive art. The whole situation was fantastic for a skilled ne’er-do-well such as myself. I was to walk in, collect what art I could, get an artsy girl, and stroll right out. I would cash in the art in a shady pawn shop in Utah and live the rest of my life in paradise. But things aren’t that simple and they never were. I should have known.

My first major realization after walking into the Gallery was it’s emptiness. Nobody was in there and there were no traces of people putting the art up. The walls were painted a bright red that took a second for my eyes to adjust too. There were seven sculptures total that lead to a great white canvas at the end of the room. The sculptures weren’t covered or shielded, there was no glass or security. I should have walked out when I saw that stealing the art would be an issue, but instead I just observed the art, thinking that I could cart one or two of the smaller sculptures out of the building and into my truck. Now, I know, that wasn’t going to happen.

The first sculpture was of a woman. She would have been beautiful, but she had been ruined. She had scars from surgery and violent acts; she had a pale purple makeup dusted along her body and her mascara was running down her cheeks. She was practically nude and had a frightening sexuality about her. She reminded me of a girl that I knew in Chicago. She was a prostitute and died a few months ago when she was at her most desperate. A man picked her up and I never saw her again. Poor girl, she might have been the best deal in all of Chicago.

The second sculpture was a very fat man. He was covered in even more surgical scars. They were in places where you would expect a for a weight removal operation. Whatever operation the artist attempted to portray had failed the fat guy. He was nearly bursting at the seams and the staples of his scars. A soapy fat substance dripped onto the floor. I think he looked a little like me. I mean, I’d been called fat before, and maybe I was, but I never reached this level. I stole food when didn’t need it from those who did for sport, and I ate whatever I had. Maybe the fat guy is more like me than I could imagine.

The third was even stranger. It was an old man, who was also quite bloated, but this time from a different substance. He wore a crown and jewels, but most of his riches were inside of his body. He was cut up and gold and jewelry was stuffed into his slots, like a piggy bank. His skin had a rotted gold hue, and the gold sometimes bled out from his wounds. This man looked more like me. I was happiest with this sculpture though. It seemed like I could have reached inside of his stomach and took a hand full of riches with me. I might be able to run from everything if I stole his crown or coins.

The next sculpture was of a very thin man. He was legless and his waist concluded with a odd withering tail forming around his spinal column. He was sat upright against a chair and looked blankly at me. I couldn’t help compare myself to this deathly inactive being, as I never helped anybody other than myself. I stood by and watched good people die and I never have done anything that hadn’t benefited me. I’m sure the poor sucker represented here never did anything for anybody either.

The next one, was very difficult to compare to any human figure. It had large eyes spread across its body staring longingly at the other sculptures. It seemed like it had only characteristics depicting of the other works of art. As if it’s only goal was to become what it saw. I was very much like this sculpture. I have always looked at richer men in hatred, maybe thats what leads me to steal from them. I show them that I am better and richer, and I leave them poor and damaged. They always deserve it.

The next sculpture was maybe the most disgusting. It looked as if it could have resembled myself or someone I knew, if not for the horrible disfigurements on it. It was painted a bright red and seeped blood from its many injuries. These injuries meant that it would be impossible to steal this sculpture, because along the sculptures large muscular body were razors, blades, and nails stuck outward towards me. If I grabbed it anywhere, I would be cut or stabbed by its violent being. I saw myself in this one too, though. I have always been violent and volatile to my fellow man. I get the largest share in a partnership or someone suffers. People who work with me, might happen to end up dead. I realized who it looked like. It looked like Jimmy from Boston; I slit his throat with a razor and nailed him onto wall where his blood would drip. He got what was coming to him though; he attempted to take a fifty percent share, then the idiot tried to threaten me.

The last one was odd in comparison to the others. It was a very attractive man cast in bronze. There was less horror involved, save for one thing. It looked exactly like me. He was placed on a pedestal above every other sculpture and shined a bronze so bright and separate from the red on the walls of the gallery. I think I like this one the most, I just might steal it and keep it for myself. A man as skilled as myself deserves only the best and this is the best I’ve seen, and it looks alot like me.

One piece of art still remained. A large white canvas draped on the floor and wall of the back of the gallery. I decided that it was worthless while it was blank and turned around to leave. I was stopped though. Every sculpture disappeared from their placement. I was frightened and shocked. I ran for the door in haste but I was knocked down. I woke up at the canvas. I looked away from it, to see the sculptures coming towards me.

I was the last piece of art. A great mural painted in sinner’s blood. Now I lay here, torn piece by piece. A monument to all great sins.

No god can hear me repent, no matter how loud I scream.

Credit To – KSS

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The Harp

August 3, 2013 at 12:00 AM
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There is an angel perched on my bedside; it whispers a name all too faint.

The world has been cruel to me. More cruel than I could ever imagine. Now, I doubt what it really means to imagine. I’ve been seeing the angel for a few weeks. The first time I saw it, I was more frightened than I’d ever been in my life.

I woke up to its whisper. It was a rough and scathing noise that penetrated my body through my ears and out through my soul. I dared not to open my eyes, as I had the certain feeling that I was being watched. Soon enough though, my eyes were wide open and I saw it.

I didn’t believe my sight, I couldn’t have. It was only visible as the moonlight shone through my windows and revealed the thing. It sat perched, naked on my bedside with a certain comfort. It was a thin and pale creature. Its arms were folded over its chest and its taloned feet were planted to my bed in a manner very similar to a bird sitting in its cage. It’s head was turned toward me, so in the moonlight I could see its face. Its face was hideous. It’s features seemed as if they could have been drilled into its pale canvas, save for its eyes and mouth. Its eyes were large and without pupils, while his mouth was in the formation a long and expressionless frown that extended from the sides of its face. I saw glimpses of the creature’s jagged teeth when it spoke. Its mouth opened ever so slightly when it spoke and its name gasped from between its teeth as if it were its last breath. It spoke a name that bore itself into my mind even though it couldn’t be heard.

I feared it for weeks. I would wait for its appearance each night, and it would always appear when it was the least convenient for myself. One night I stopped eagerly awaiting the creature’s return and it showed me something in my sleep. It gave me the whole world for an instance. I saw a boy born, a soldier die, a young pup picking the bones of it’s own mother, a woman on a noose, and ungodly things that I could never dare recall, but I remember. I will never forget. But it was only in the end of our vision that it showed me truth.

I walked naked along the desert sands. I walked nearer and nearer to it, and its name became more and more clear as it whispered. That’s when I saw its halo and I saw my own. The angel sat a on a cactus overlooking the desert. It unfolded it arms to reveal a pair of great wings; wings of bone with a thin flap of pale flesh connecting the angel’s arm to the sides of its torso. It raised one wing and slowly crept its other claw to its wing. The angel’s claws screeched on the bones of its wing to create a horrid sound. The sound blared through the desert and the painful noise brought me to my knees. As it played it’s wing, a group of pale buzzards gathered above the angel. They circled into a halo and hovered mere meters above its head. The screeching sound brought me to fall into the burning sand. I looked into the sky and as the group of buzzards began to circle around my body. The noise woke me up soon after, and the angel had left.

Every night it came to me; every night I heard the same name. I don’t fear it, not anymore. I don’t think I can fear anymore, it’s just too late. I knew that the illness that put me in my bed would soon kill me. My body had degraded to a point of no return. I was to die in that bed. In my helplessness, I could no longer move my arms or legs. The medication they had put me on made sure that I felt no Earthly pain, but now my body’s pain didn’t matter. My life was over and I could do nothing; that is all the pain I would ever need.

In this state, I could do nothing but wait for the angel, wondering if it may be its last visit. It appeared in the moonlight again, as it always had. It whispered while it raised its wing. It used its claw to play on its wing. The music that played through its body was the most beautiful sound I’d ever heard. Now, I lie here in my bed, having heard the angel’s harp, and I feel my last breath slipping from my soul. I look at the angel for the last time. I see its beauty in its sharp teeth and empty eyes, I hear the beauty of its screeching melody, I hear the beauty of its name whispered in my final moment.

“Malach HaMavet”

Credit To – KSS

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The Blue Bronco

August 2, 2013 at 12:00 AM
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This is the sixth installment in the Tower of Sorrow series.
Part One: Yon Black Edifice Hath Called Me
Part Two: First Steps
Part Three: Tight Spaces
Part Four: The Driver
Part Five: Hittin’ The Road

As the car speeds down this deserted stretch of two lane blacktop, the creatures in the background fade into specks. My heart thuds in my ears and the driver has his lips pulled back in a sneering grimace.

“Listen, uh…” I start, unsure of how to address my kidnapper, “mister, I don’t know what happened back there, but – ”

He throws his hand up and waves a solitary finger at me, “Silence human. I’m thinking.” He visibly grits his teeth and his brow furrows deeply. “It just doesn’t make any damn sense,” he says shaking his head. “No one in the history of any world I know has been able to draw Him with such ease.” I pull out my cigarettes and shake the pack at him. “Don’t mind if I do.” He puts the cigarette in his mouth and starts to draw. Instantly the tip begins to burn. He takes a long drag, savoring the feeling of the smoke entering his lungs. “Man, that IS good.”

“So what the fuck even happened back there I mean,” I light my own cigarette, “what were those, things?”

“I told you,” he said pointing his cigarette at me, “there are things out there that you just wouldn’t understand. For example, any idea why those things attacked us or how they even knew where to find us? Do you have any idea what they even were or where they came from?” I just look at him, dumbfounded. “Yeah, I didn’t think so. You have no idea what’s going on. I thought I did, until now.” He takes another long drag and looks at me, “Thanks for the smoke. It’s been decades since I’ve had one. Couldn’t very well go buy them for myself, could I?”

“I suppose not,” I chuckle. “So, where exactly are we going anyway?”

“I already told you! I’m taking you to meet my bosses. They have been expecting you for quite some time and they are very eager to meet you.”

“What? Why? What would they want with me? I’m a technical writer from “Nowhere, Pennsylvania” and frankly, I doubt anyone that you’re associated with would need my skills.”

He bursts into a fit of laughter. “Oh man,” he howls, “you humans and your logic. Your naivety never ceases to amaze me,” he slaps his leg as he laughs. “Listen boy,” he says sternly, “you do have certain skills that interest them, but it ain’t got shit to do with your job.” He holds his hand out, “Name’s Jack.”

I take his hand firmly in mine and give it a shake, “Conner.”

“So Conner,” he raises his eyebrow, “you still didn’t answer my question. What’s your take on what you saw back there?”

I look at him puzzled for a moment trying to gather my thoughts. “Ya know Jack, I don’t know exactly what I think. Something about it all seems familiar. Like, somehow, I’ve seen them before. I remember…bones…” I trail off staring out into the desert.

Jack shifts in his seat, “Bones? What the fuck do you mean bones?”

“Their eyes,” I mumble, “they remind me of bones somehow.” My eyes glaze over and I can feel myself drifting a bit. “I see bones…and a tower…and those things just circling around it in droves. The brittle bones of some small animals turn to dust under my feet. My mind is in a whirlwind. I can’t think straight. I’m being called. Somehow I simultaneously know I should feel fear, but realize that it’s just not there. There is only the call. I walk forward and into the tower and then…then nothing.”

I didn’t realize it while I was drifting but the car had stopped. Jack looks at me with wide eyes. “He-he tried to draw you Conner,” Jack whispers, “he called to you. This is much more serious than I thought. We had no idea that He was actively looking for you. We’ve got to get you inside now!”

“Inside?” I ask still dazed. “We’re already in the car.”

“No,” he says sharply, “in there,” he points through the windshield at a brightly lit building across the street from where we’re parked. I realize now that we are in a city. The streets are somewhat empty except for the night life. The building that Jack is pointing at has a giant neon blue sign depicting a cowboy riding a bucking blue bronco. Below the horse is another neon sign proclaiming the name of the place “The Blue Bronco Bar and Grill.”

I turn my head sharply to face him, “What the fuck are we doing here?”

His menacing toothy smile returns, “Welcome to The Blue Bronco. Come on inside and sit a spell, won’t you?”

“Come on Jack cut the shit!” I holler. “I think you owe me that much.”

He sighs heavily, “Yeah, I suppose I do. Well, like I said, you’re here to meet my superiors. This is their HQ. It’s their safe house in this world. Once you’re inside He won’t be able to see you. At least, I don’t think so. After what I saw earlier, I’m not so sure.”

“Well, I already fell in the damn rabbit hole. I might as well poke around a bit.”

Jack claps me on the back and chuckles a bit. Walking across the street I stare up at the crazy neon blue sign. I can’t help but wonder why I’m here. Why was I chosen? What “skills” could a guy like me possibly have that anyone would want? More importantly, why was I following “Jack” into what could be a trap? Something is nagging in the farthest, darkest corner of my mind, that’s why. For some reason following him feels like the right thing to do despite my anxiety.

Jack opens the door, steps back, and waves his hand, “Ladies first,” he says smirking. I flip him the bird and walk inside. Instantly, I stop and try to understand the scene before me. The entire room is filled with men. They are all over each other dancing, kissing, and groping. This is definitely not what I had in mind. I turn to Jack and my confusion grows deeper. Where once there was this “thing” now stands a regular looking guy in a black fedora and trench coat. “Jack?” He grins widely and nods his head. “What the–“again with that damnable waving finger.

“See that door in the back there?” he asks, pointing across the room. I nod acknowledgement. “Go.”

I shuffle to the door in confusion. He knocks three times, slowly but with intense force. A small rectangular hole towards the top of the door slides open. A pair of vibrant blue eyes comes into view and darts back and forth scanning the room. The person on the other side mutters something unintelligible. Jack answers, “ph’nglui mglw’nafh Cthulhu R’lyeh wgah’nagl fhtagn.” The eyes disappear, the small opening closes, and the door creeps open.

Inside the room is a large round table with half a dozen old men sitting around it smoking cigars. They seem to be in the middle of a hand of poker and there are some extremely large stacks of money involved. The man wearing the dealer’s visor looks up at Jack and smiles. “Running a little late aren’t you?”

Jack does some odd type of bow and removes his hat. He stands back up holding his hat to his chest and begins to address the old man in that same weird language. The old man waves his hand in a shooing motion. “Come now Jack,” he says still smiling, “please show some courtesy for our guest here, Mr…”

“Jenkins, Conner Jenkins,” I say trying to recreate Jack’s bow. The old man laughs heartily and Jack’s defensive posture relaxes.

“Right,” the old man grins, “Mr. Jenkins. Anyway Jack, you were saying?”

“Well sir,” he clears his throat, “Mr. Jenkins here,” he says jutting a thumb at me, “caused us a bit of a delay.”

“That’s all well and good Jack. I believe we expected that much,” the old man looks around the table and the others nod and grumble agreement. “So then, what was it? You fellas run out of gas or get a flat?”

“Unfortunately, it’s not that simple sir. You see Mr. Jenkins here seems to be very popular. As it turns out, The Collective isn’t the only entity interested in bringing him aboard.”

“Of course not Jack,” the old man guffaws, “with his particular talent I’m not surprised. Though my question to you now Jack, is exactly which of our competitors was so intrigued by our young friend? There aren’t very many of them left you know.”

“It was Him. He came for Conner in the desert. His minions rose from the ground and poured from the sky. The safety of this world has been severely compromised, sir!”

“How could He? Did I not specifically tell you to conceal yourself and Mr. Jenkins here? What the fuck happened Jack? Did you somehow forget how integral he is to our mission? Do you fail to see what’s at stake here? ”

Jack’s voice dropped to just above a whisper, “Conner simply spoke His name sir. I’ve never seen anything like it. He just-”

The old man throws up his hand, his smile now gone. The other men around the table looked directly at me. “Mr. Jenkins,” he said softly, “welcome to The Collective. We have much to discuss.”

Credit to: J. Brown

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Observe

July 28, 2013 at 12:00 AM
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Take a look around and observe your surroundings. Where are you right now? Are you sitting inside of a dark room? Is there anyone else with you? Are you all alone? Most sources indicate that a majority people read tales of horror by themselves. Something about this genre and medium compel you to experience it in a quiet room, all alone. But why is this? Why subject yourself to fright in solitude? What compels you to purposely scare yourself, to fill your mind with visions of the grotesque and supernatural?

Do you enjoy feeling a sense of, what some deem as, “paranoia”? What thrill can come from becoming suspicious of that shadow moving in the corner of your eye? That shadow that you think “isn’t anything”. Listen closely; is there a noise you hear that was or wasn’t there all along? Take a look around. Is there anything you didn’t notice originally? Is there something different? Is something out of place? That feeling on the back of your neck: is it your imagination or is it just too faint to pin-point?

When you read you expand the limitations of your mind. Clear of auditory and visual distractions, it can push your consciousness to perceive at levels you do not normally reach. The longer you read, the more you become aware. Maybe of things you thought weren’t there. There is a reason why your brain would block out these sensations. No one can be sure why. Maybe your mind is warning you. Maybe there are things you weren’t meant to see. Things you didn’t realize were there. Things that cannot be unseen. Things you cannot forget. Things that shouldn’t be.

Take a look around.

Credit To – crazelord91

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