Popular Tags:


Halloween’s End

October 14, 2014 at 12:00 AM
VN:F [1.9.22_1171]
Rate This Pasta
Rating: 7.2/10 (188 votes cast)

The bitter cold of night’s sharp breath covered his grey skin in goosebumps, under the glow of the pale moonlight. He drew ragged breaths that were quickly expelled from his lungs, as if the air was poisoned. Every movement was heavy and his body ached. He reminded himself this was all temporary, and the discomfort of human life would soon end. After all, sustaining himself in this form was only for one purpose, and its time was swiftly coming.

He folded his great pearly wings close to his body and rose unsteadily to his feet, grimacing at the darkness of the deep alleyway around him. This was not the life he was used to, and he was always disgusted by the filth. He smelt the stench of life around him, rotting rubbish, human sweat— it was all overpowering. The many puddles around him helped explain the high humidity, and why the smell was far worse than he’d expected. The last time he’d walked the earth was long before this age.

The drone of air conditioning units hummed around him. He didn’t want to be there, but his mission was too important.

In the distance, he heard rock music and the cacophony of voices in crowds. Laughter, crying, and shrieks of pleasure reached his ears.

“Bless me, heavenly father, for I walk through the valley of the shadow of death. I will fear no evil, for you are with me. I will not fail you,” he said through firm lips, bringing a clenched fist to his chest. He began to shiver.

Human life is so fragile, he thought.

Smiling, he felt his heart thump within his chest. He knew he was near mortal, at least for a while. It had been a long time since he’d ever risked living on earth, and it would usually be unnecessary as he could watch from a higher plane with no risk of dying a typical mortal’s death. This could mean the end of him, but if that were to happen, then he’d be reborn in a new, invigorated life.

His death would be a small price to pay if he could save her. The other six archangels had their own missions around the world, but through divine intervention, he was chosen for this task.

His smile vanished the second he heard cans rattle by a nearby industrial bin. He instinctively reached for the sword of light, strapped at his side, then suddenly remembered that he was naked. He knew this journey was fraught with danger. He longed for his ethereal armour, but it was not to be. At the very least, he knew he still had his razor sharp wings, which were stronger than any steel beheld by man.

Father, hear my prayer. Protect me and deliver me from evil, amen.

He heard a desperate, pleading voice cry out from the darkness ahead. “Whatever the hell you are, you’re not of this earth, are you? I saw you appear out of thin air, and I’ve not been drinking tonight. Who are you? What are you?”

“I am known as Barachiel, and from hell I’m not.”

A wizened old man, bent almost double, warily approached him. The man was completely covered in dirt and clutched a woollen, hooded coat.

Lucifer could’ve already seen me through this man’s eyes, in which case it’s only a matter of time. There’s one thing I can do.

He approached the old man, putting a hand on his shoulder, easing out his wings to provide them both with some cover. The man’s eyes widened and a toothless, open-mouthed grin stretched across his face. He held out his clasped hands. The many scars along his arms revealed a plethora of attempts at suicide.

“Oh my god. You’re an angel, aren’t you? I thought I’d heard your name in scripture. Please, I beg of you, take me out of this place. This life I lead isn’t worth living anymore.”

“The scriptures,” Barachiel said slowly, almost in contempt, his voice drifting away as he paused to remember the bibles worshipped in church. “Are the many books of men that don’t contain the truth, despite whatever they chose to believe. They were penned in the name of god, but make a mockery of god’s true self for their own gain. You’re not the one I’m here for, but the end is near, and the day of reckoning will come. Keep your faith, and you will join us in the afterlife.”

He wasn’t sure if he was reassuring the man, but he couldn’t tell him the whole truth. God’s selection for heaven was not judged by going to church, reciting the bible, or putting money in a collection plate. It was by ones heart and actions. This man would most likely be destined for the underworld.

Well, it’s never too late to hope.

“Barachiel, I wish I didn’t have to wait. What end are you talking about? I’ve not seen any signs.”

“The signs are everywhere. Ignore what you hear from preachers, and open your eyes. The great battle to end the war is looming, and this world is the battlefield.”

The chime of the nearby clock tower reminded him of his mission. Earth was not timeless, and the sands of the hourglass were slipping by. Barachiel began to shiver and his teeth started chattering. It was freezing and he needed to find some clothes, fast. He looked into the man’s eyes and concentrated.

A brilliant white light flashed from his eyes, and the old man stood as still as a statue. His face began to twist and turn. The old man’s bloodshot eyes and black pupils confirmed the worst.

A dark voice spilled from the possessed man’s lips. “Ahh Barachiel, it’s been a long time, hasn’t it? I don’t know if you’re brave or stupid to show your face on earth. Tell me, did you come here to die?”

Lucifer!

With one smooth movement, Barachiel launched from the ground with an enormous flap of his wings, pulling the coat off the old man and folded his wings as he landed near the bright end of the alley, toward the Main Street full of people. He covered himself and pulled the hood over his head as he ran through the shadows, heading toward the lights of the crowd. The hisses of the underworld lord dissipated as he blended in with the people around him, slowly regaining his bearings.

The warmth of the old coat was a welcomed change for his freezing body, but it wasn’t enough.

Staring at the clock tower as he fled down the main thoroughfare, he was nearly bowled over by a heavy set man dressed as a vampire, sneering at him. The sight of the man drenched in fake blood was confusing. The costumed vampire cried out, “You! Watch where you’re fucking going!”

The same incredulous vision haunted him, flashing again in his mind like some crazy nightmare he wished would end. He gripped his head and gritted his teeth as the scene played out in his mind. Gunfire was all around and the streets were piling up with dead bodies. The smell of rotting corpses and burnt gunpowder stained the air. Human cries of agony accompanied the symphony of spent shells hitting the ground, and the whistle and thump of every bullet landing in flesh, concrete, walls, everything. It was an orchestrated attack. The demons were everywhere, with bloodshot eyes under white hockey masks splattered with the blood of their victims.

Returning to reality and ignoring the man, Barachiel realised that he was in the city of Brisbane, in that far off land of Australia. He had followed the signs of the vision to appear here. People were everywhere. The sound of laughter filled his ears. The smell of coffee and hot food was a pleasantly contrasting aroma to the rotten stench of the alleyway. Many families and couples walked the streets, but almost everyone was dressed up for the occasion. He never understood this desire by humans to celebrate festivals of the living dead.

Such foolishness.

The smiling faces and joyful laughter of mortals parading the streets brought no happiness to his ears. Soon, they would be dead, every single last one of them, save one. He couldn’t save them all, as much as he would love to try. There’s only so much he could do when the bullets fly.

My mission and purpose is simple, and must be carried out. I can’t save them all, but I may just take some of the sinners with me.

Lucifer, that bastard, has his hand on anything bad that happens. Mass murders, corrupt politicians, pedophiles— the list was endless, all with the hand of the devil himself on their shoulder. The ridiculousness of the bible’s assumption that Lucifer can only be in one place at one time, was so far from the truth.

He could be anywhere and everywhere at the same time, but his influence depends on the weak minds of his victims. He capitalises on the moments where humans are susceptible to his evil. His formidable army of demons relished on played their part on his behalf. They were almost as cruel as Lucifer himself.

He continued racing toward the sign reading, ‘King George Square’, in the centre of the city. This is where it will all take place, and the sea of blood would flow through the streets, or so it was prophesied. Massacres like the one that was to occur that night, would be coordinated all over the world. Such other central locations as Red Square, Manhattan, Havana, New Delhi, Beijing, and Piccadilly Square would all fall under Lucifer’s coordinated and lethal purge. So many souls would soon be flooding into the afterlife.

Barachiel knew that Lucifer counted on his influence in shifting the balance of souls to his favour. They were on the cusp of the earth becoming a hellish battleground. The devil had been busy turning the world into a pool of true sinners. He had created cheats, murderers, rapists— just general degenerates. Some barely needed his influence, and yet he still spurred them on. Those who die violently will most likely end up in between worlds. He would do everything to see that the war is won, but at what cost?

A woman joyously calling over a loudspeaker interrupted his thoughts. “Welcome to the 2015 Brisbane Halloween Festival. Happy Halloween, everyone! The band you’ve all been waiting for is about to take the stage. This is a special performance before their concert tomorrow night at the Brisbane Entertainment Center. Please, give it up for, Metallica!”

The crowd cheered and whistled, holding up plastic lights in the shape of pumpkins and skulls. The sounds of a horrific warzone were slowly overshadowed by the chopped air of a helicopter as if it descended from above. His face paled as he looked around. Surely, it’s not time yet.

It’s the band.

Barachiel narrowed his eyes as he scanned through the crowd. He spotted the old man’s twisted face and bloodshot eyes, standing on a bench under a neon sign, pointing at him. A number of men, women, and children were suddenly possessed. Their heads snapped unnaturally to stare at him, and they charged at his position.

Damn you, Lucifer.

He moved quickly, fleeing through the crowd, dropping his coat to wrap around his waist, while leaning down to disappear from sight.

Some nearby children called out, “Hey man, that’s an awesome costume!”

Ignoring them and turning into a nearby Myer store, Barachiel ran past a security guard who was too busy watching a group of leggy teenage women, dressed as film characters, to notice him. However, people stared at him, a barefooted man with wings in the middle of a department store, but he cared not. He knew that not everyone was susceptible to Lucifer’s reach, and he had to risk it. He had to blend in, and fast.

When I find her, I can take her far away from this forsaken place. I must be vigilant and hurry.

He spotted the menswear section, running in between the aisles and dropping the homeless man’s coat. He grabbed a pair of black business trousers, much to the wide eyes of a nearby female shopper.

“Well, I never!” the woman said, watching him pull the pants on and rip the tag off a nearby belt. He smiled at her, and she stared with flushed cheeks as he quickly dressed.

Now I can move easier, but everyone will recognise these wings.

A security guard approached him and grabbed his arm. “Excuse me, sir, but you have to come with me.”

Barachiel’s eyes glowed, and with a flash of light, as with what had happened with the elderly man, the guard froze, his eyes revealing the terror that had seized him. He hated scaring people, but he had no time to allow anyone to detain him, or have to explain why his wings aren’t part of a costume. It would be seven o’clock soon, and the massacre will begin. The musical chimes of the clock tower would soon play its song of death.

Continuing his run through the store, he grabbed the largest black leather jacket he saw, groaning as he folded his wings as far as they could go to hide their bulk. The wings’ tips were past his buttocks, as he tried to fit into it. Once the jacket was on, the wings were nearly invisible, but now he had the slight problem of a hump on his back.

Perfection is unattainable; it will have to do, given my circumstances. Shoes, I need shoes.

Scanning his peripheral, he saw what he needed. He slipped on a decadent pair of black dress shoes. They were a tight fit of hard leather, but they’d serve well. Heading back toward Queen Street Mall, he picked up his old coat and held it in his left hand.

Everything in this world belonged to god, so it wasn’t a sin for him to take what humans believed to be theirs.

The security guard he’d seen earlier stared at him with a raised eyebrow, pressing the tip of his finger into his clear earpiece. Barachiel turned to him, flinging the coat over the guard as he fled through the security scanners, hearing the screaming siren coming from the alarm behind him.

The Square, I must get to the Square. That’s where I see her, when they all fall.

He turned right, disappearing into the thick crowd, ignoring the desperate shouting of the security guard far behind him. A smiling woman, dressed as an angel with plastic wings, handed him a balloon. She held out a handful of paper masks, and gratefully he reached out for one.

“Here you go, handsome. Happy Halloween!” the woman said.

“God bless your kind heart,” he replied.

He held the mask in his hands, staring at a painting of a devil, grimacing at the thought of wearing a depiction of lucifer. It was the best disguise he could think of, as the real devils would never suspect it. Slipping the mask over his head and adjusting the strap, he continued through the crowd, toward the lights emanating from the square.

The sound of the rock band was getting louder with each step he drew closer. He knew he was heading in the right direction. They were all converging in the same direction, and he stayed in the current-like flow of people.

He heard the hiss of a voice a short distance from him. “Find Barachiel, he couldn’t have gone far.”

It’s working.

The singer’s voice filled the air. “Now the world is gone, I’m just one. Oh God help me! Hold my breath as I wish for death.”

Most of the crowd raised their hands and chanted, “Oh please God, help me.”

Scanning the crowd, he still didn’t see her, but he knew he had to find her. He reminded himself to have faith and believe in his purpose. Many parents near him held their children, some carrying them on their shoulders, as they took them toward the surprisingly enjoyable music. He wanted to save them all, but if he induced panic, then he may never find her again. He had to stay focused.

He pushed through the crowd and caught sight of the stage, and the band’s musicians furiously belting the drums and slashing the guitar to their opening song. He remembered the song that was playing when the gunmen appeared in his vision, and this one wasn’t it. The clock tower was nearing seven o’clock, and he still hadn’t seen her. Straining his memory, he remembered that when he saw her bloodied body on the ground, she was wearing a brown jacket and jeans, and her jet-black hair was tied in a ponytail.

Come on, show yourself. Your salvation depends on it.

The crowd erupted in cheers and applause as the first song wrapped up. Barachiel pushed and shoved his way toward the edge of the Square. His heart raced as he frantically searched the crowd. There were just too many people for him to find her.

“Thank you, Brisbane! Are you ready for… Master of Puppets!”

The crowd went wild and the clock tower bells rang moments before the band’s guitarist began to play. Barachiel’s scream of, “Mary!” was drowned out by the fury of the song’s opening. His heart sank. They were all moments away from massacre.

His head sagged into his trembling hands. It dawned on him that this could be the first time he failed, and of that, he would never forgive himself. But it was not an option— he would not fail, he could not. To reveal his true self would change everything, and although the apocalypse would soon come, there were rules to be followed. His mind raced, and the rock music only loudened. There was no way that she would hear him, and he couldn’t see her.

Father, if you can hear me, now is the time for a sign. Help me find her, I beseech you.

He stood as tall as he could and scanned the crowd once more. The crowd chanted with pumped fists in the air. “Master, Master!”

“Where’s the dreams that I’ve been after,” the band sung.

As the crowd raised their hands and rhythmically clapped, he finally saw her. She was in the thick of the crowd, and he growled as he pushed his way through the crowd, but they pushed back, raising their fists at him. Violence would be a final solution, and he could not harm the innocent.

On the outskirts of the concert, men wearing hockey masks and trench coats surrounded them. They had climbed statues of King George, the lions, and the many benches scattered around the Square. A number of men, women, and children started to run from the crowd, determination clearly painted on their faces. One of them passed him and he saw clearly that they’d been possessed. It wasn’t the innocent that fled the massacre grounds.

The band played on, singing and playing louder. “Hell is worth all that, natural habitat. Just a rhyme without a reason. Never-ending maze, drift on numbered days. Now your life is out of season. I will occupy. I will help you die. I will run through you. Now I rule you too.”

Their ironic lyrics sent shivers down his spine. This was all from his vision, but he could not control what he’d seen. It would all begin at any moment, and he had to save her. It was no longer a choice of how. He never enjoyed spilling blood, but he had to protect his children.

Narrowing his eyes and gritting his teeth, he gripped his jacket and spat out his words. “Forgive me father, for I must sin.”

His eyes glowed as he ripped the jacket off of him, tearing its buttons in the process. He couched down and pounded his fist into the ground, The shockwave sent the nearest idiots flying backward into the bulk of the crowd. He extended his wings and locked his vision on the gunmen as they, in turn, threw off their coats, revealing their body armour. They held M4A1 Colt Carbine machine guns, and chests were full of taped magazines. He had to get their attention, now!

It has begun.

A nearby man cried, “Holy shit! That’s not a costume,” staring at him in disbelief, as others started followed his gaze.

“All of you, run. Save yourselves!” Barachiel said.

The old man suddenly appeared beside one of the gunmen, one again pointing at him frantically. As if time had slowed down, Barachiel launched himself from the ground with unnatural, but self-assured strength. He watched as the men around him took aim with their machine guns, but they were too slow. He suddenly swooped down and reached for the nearest gunman, grabbing him from behind and then rocketing into the sky. White bullet trails filled the star-speckled sky, and his hostage began to open fire randomly.

Barachiel leaned in so he could hear him. “Thou shalt not kill.”

“Fuck you…” the gunman screamed, as Barachiel let go of him, snatching the weapon from his hands. He plummeted through the air, dodging the bullets. The gunman’s eyes returned to normal and his screams continued as he realised his fate, crashing onto the roof of City Hall, his head splitting like a tomato. His lifeless body now a mass of broken bones and guts.

A stray bullet grazed Barachiel’s shoulder, and he cried out in shock, but continued his path toward the swarming and scattering crowd, hunting for his quarry.

She can’t have gone far.

Looking down, to his horror, he saw Lucifer pointing toward the crowd. Some of the gunmen were indiscriminately slaughtering police, and those who’d foolishly engaged them in any manner were swiftly executed. The rest opened fire on the crowd.

God, no!

Thankfully, he spotted her again; she was crouched on the ground, as close to the ground as she could press her body. Barachiel just couldn’t tell if it was either pain or fright.

An image flashed in his mind. She’d die there! He landed harshly on the ground beside her, cracking the ground beneath them. He pulled her close to him as he covered them both in his wings. He knew he could stop the bullets, but also knew his wings weren’t going to cover every angle.

She turned to him with quivering pink lips and a tear-soaked face.

“Am I dead?” she asked.

They must have turned their guns on him, as he groaned with the strength required to hold their position under a barrage of bullets. This was not the first time that he’d seen guns and the death that follows them, and he knew that they had to reload soon.

He looked deep into Mary’s aqua eyes, knowing full well how important she was. He didn’t have time to explain it all.

“Mary, you have to trust me. You’re not dead. Listen to what I say, let me guide you, and you’ll stay that way. Get ready to move.”

She nodded and swallowed hard, gritting her teeth. Barachiel realised that a pool of blood had built beside them and flowed under his wings. Lollies in plastic packets floated underneath their faces. The bullets slowed, and he grabbed her by the hand, walking her away from the Square as he kept his wings around them both. The sight before him was truly horrifying. Everyone in their nearest vicinity had been slaughtered. Women, children, and men were lying in ghastly, unnatural positions, covered in blood. They stepped over the bodies. This was a kind of horror that was truly disturbing to witness. The young were lying prone with bullet holes through their skulls; their insides were spilling to the ground. Some of them were still moaning as they bled out from chest and stomach wounds, calling out for their parents that were already dead beside them.

He could fly Mary out of there, but it would mean exposing their flesh to gunfire. They headed toward the Mall. Through a small gap in his wings, he saw some gunmen painting symbols on the smooth walls of nearby structures. They were painted with their victims’ blood; from the slit throats and slashed chests of the dead, to keep their supply going.

That could only mean they were doing one thing; the realms were merging. Dead souls would be kept here, unable to leave their bodies, but would become mindless flesh-eating creatures. This would be a forsaken place, and the time for the ultimate battle would come far sooner than he’d ever expected.

He crouched down as bullets danced around their feet. He wouldn’t be able to hold out like this for too much longer. His right arm was cradled around a trembling Mary, and his left held the machine gun. Listening hard, he heard the metallic clicks of a nearby gunman reloading, and the boots of others converging on his position.

Breathing deep, he folded his left wing and took aim at the reloading gunman, squeezing the trigger. His aim was terrible, but the bullets sewed their way up the man’s armour, until they tore through his neck and mask, blood and brain matter exploding in cloud behind the man’s head. He turned the gun to another that had drawn a machete and hissed at him as he ran over the bodies as if they were rubbish.

Barachiel narrowed his eyes and let go of Mary for a moment, pushing her down to the ground, keeping his wing over her. He threw the gun with all his strength, connecting with the gunman’s face. His move catapulted the man into the air, snapping his neck in the process, and the freed blade spun through the air.

Catching the machete by its hilt, he plunged it through the man’s skull and heard the popping of another round of gunfire, taking a bullet through his shin as he ripped the weapon from the man’s head, crouched beside Mary, and covered them once again.

He noticed a dying boy’s eyes, completely possessed, through another small gap in his wings. The boy spat his words out. “Barachiel… Do you really think you’ll survive this? You fucking maggot! You serve a god that’s forsaken all of us. This pitiful act of heroism won’t change what will come.”

Groaning, he held his shin, the searing pain making it difficult to concentrate. He began to lose too much blood from his wounds, and started to feel nauseous. There was only so much power he could use to heal himself, and he had to be careful with expending it.

His eyes and hands glowed as he held them over his wounds. A small scar remained as they closed up. Feeling better, he knew there were safe havens they could get to, and one was not too far from the Square, but to fly there would be a risk. It had to be timed right.

He heard the continual sounds of police sirens and the firing of guns throughout the city. Worse, the screams continued, just not right beside them. The entire city was falling, the world along with it. He would know when to send in the army of angels.

“Lucifer, the time has come for your actions to be judged by him. I am just the beginning,” Barachiel said.

“I was like you once, an angel. Hand over the girl and join me. Worship me, and your life will be glorious,” Lucifer said.

Barachiel’s face twisted as he growled, “You’re nothing like me, and I seek no glory.”

“Then die.”

Looking up, he saw that they were crouched below a bright light. The gunmen must have either run out of bullets, or realised that he wouldn’t be so easy to shoot. He heard the stomping of three men’s boots as they charged at him. He rose to his feet, with his right wing still draped over Mary.

One of them swung his blade toward Barachiel’s neck. This was combat he was used to. He expertly spun to his right, bringing his wing up to block the blade with a loud resounding clash. Spinning anti-clockwise, he decapitated the man with a clean swing of his right wing, and threw his blade high, shattering the glass as it smashed into the light. One man had almost reached Mary, and he barely brought up his wing fast enough to stop the blade from crashing into her skull, knocking it clear out of the man’s grip.

He moved faster than any of them could, and picked up the gunman by the neck, ignoring his body blows. With both arms, he swung him into the third attacker, their bodies colliding with a collective snapping of bones.

He looked around to realise that the gunmen were not stepping through the bodies anymore. The hundreds of bodies around him began to move, growling and groaning as if they were animals.

And the dead will walk the earth.

Then it was true, the realms had finally combined, and demons would soon dominate the lands.

The possessed boy had long died, but his cackling laughter was haunting as it echoed around him. “It’s too late for all of you. How will you feel when all of his children are dead?”

Not if I can help it.

He pulled Mary up and held her tight, flapping his wings as hard as he could, rising into the star speckled sky. No bullets followed him, and he suddenly realised why. Lucifer thought he’d already won and the world belonged to him. There was no longer any point of fighting an archangel when the end of days had come.

Time was short, and with Mary sobbing on his shoulder, he headed toward Kangaroo Point Cliffs. Every street in the city was full of death and the undead, people falling everywhere in a vein effort to fight back.

The moonlight reflected off a golden statue in front of him, and as he raced toward it, he saw the long line of Eurocopter Tigers flying below him in a classic “V” formation. As a mass of undead headed toward the nearby Story Bridge, most of the choppers each fired two AGM-114 Hellfire missiles into the bridge’s key structures, while three of their GIAT 30 Gatling guns whirred to life, mowing down the mass of undead in a rain of bullets.

As a squadron of F/A-18F Super Hornets flew over their heads, he spun through the air and quickly regained his bearings as he hovered with Mary, watching their AGM-65 Maverick missiles destroy the Pacific Motorway bridge in the distance. Large concrete chunks of the bridge fell into the river below with great cascades of water erupting skyward. A CityCat passenger hovercraft had been shattered in the wreckage.

The war had already begun.

Mary’s voice rose, matching her thumping heart, as she gripped him for dear life. “Holy shit! The world’s gone mad.”

“Don’t worry, you are safe and I will protect you.”

Explosions were going off around the city, and for a short moment, he believed that the people could win the war on their own. His hopes were suddenly shattered as a number of RPGs were fired at the Tigers, taking out two of them in the process, with a volley of gunfire erupting from the city streets. The undead won’t attack Lucifer’s demons.

“Why did you save me and leave everyone else to die? What makes me so special?”

Barachiel looked into her eyes and scrunched his eyebrows, amazed. “You don’t know?”

She shook her head and he realised she had been telling the truth. He placed a hand on her stomach.

“You’re carrying his son. Jesus will walk these lands once more, and you will lead the war against Lucifer. You play a great part in stopping all this madness.”

Her eyes widened as he flew toward the church ahead of them.

“What? But that’s impossible; I’ve never been with a man. I can’t be pregnant.”

“Worry not, as it will all be explained to you in time.”

“I could have taken care of myself, you know, but not with the slaughter that took place in The Square. Thank you for saving my life,” Mary said.

“I know, and you’re welcome. You will save far more lives in the years to come.”

Their moonlit reflection wavered far beneath them, glowing off the murky waters of the Brisbane River. As they neared the church, he saw that a long line of men were already waiting, wearing SERT police body armour and brandishing Steyr AUG machine guns. They were not at all surprised to see him as he landed in front of them, folding his wings.

“Welcome, Barachiel. We’ve been expecting you both. Mary, come with us.”

He pulled out a 9mm Glock, handing it to her by the hilt. “Do you know how to use a gun?”

Mary smiled, flicked the safety switch, grabbed the slide and pulled it back. The men’s eyes widened at the sight of her handling the weapon. “I wasn’t a weekend warrior for nothing.”

She approached Barachiel and laid a kiss on his cheek. “You don’t need to worry about me anymore.”

“The war for earth has come, sooner than we expected. I must return now, but know that we will return.”

The man approached him, extending his hand. Barachiel took it, shaking it warmly, now clearly understanding the customs of men, however strange they’ve always been.

“We’ve been preparing for this, for a long time now, wondering when the apocalypse would come…..we’ve always kept our faith.”

“And what of the people of this church?” Barachiel said.

The man gritted his teeth. “They understand, and with Mary, and you standing here, they know their faith was well served. We have a network in every city around the world. Lucifer will have his hands full.”

Barachiel nodded, placing a gentle hand on the man’s arm. As he was about to speak, they all turned toward the screams of the hordes of people lined up against the Kangaroo Point Cliff’s walls. As one, they were pointing to the Brisbane River below. Barachiel approached the walls, and saw the swarm of undead running across the Brisbane River as though it were not there, many of them already starting to emerge on the other side.

The soldiers of the Church grimaced and fired their rifles on the advancing horde below, two of them lobbing F1 frag grenades in the path of the unrelenting undead. They cried, “Grenades out, go go go!” then finally taking aim with their own machine guns and mowing down more of the mindless zombies chasing nearby civilians.

“Shit, I’m out!” yelled the nearest soldier, quickly catching another magazine, tapping it on his helmet and loading his weapon. One soldier yelled at the top of his lungs to the nearby crowd, “Get out of here, all of you! Find secure shelter.”

Mary ran up beside them, aiming her gun and shooting the zombies through the skull. “Spread out, we’ll get better coverage! Form a defensive perimeter and retreat to the church.”

The Church’s men were now heavily engaged. Barachiel wanted to help, but knew he was nearly past his allocated time on earth. He now realised that Mary truly no longer needed his protection and he’d succeeded.

“We need reinforcements!” one of the men yelled into a radio. A muffled response came from its speaker, “Roger that, Echo One, hold your position!”

Barachiel heard his voice in his mind once more. You’ve done well, my child. She will save them, and we’ll watch closely. It’s time for you to come home.

He raised his arms, and with a flash of brilliant white light, he disappeared from earth.

Credit To – Peter Koevari

VN:F [1.9.22_1171]
Rate This Pasta
Rating: 7.2/10 (188 votes cast)

What A Beautiful Soul

October 13, 2014 at 12:00 PM
VN:F [1.9.22_1171]
Rate This Pasta
Rating: 7.5/10 (150 votes cast)

I fought to breathe, swinging my arms in a windmill-like pattern while slowly feeling myself slipping out of consciousness. The room had been spinning for what felt like an hour. Gravity seemed to weigh a ton and then some. I managed to unravel the hand that clenched my throat so firmly, so spitefully, and so intentionally, allowing myself one last gulp of air before I braced for the blow that knocked me out cold —

“Meow!” Rolling over, I managed to fall on top of my hostile cat, Felix, in the soft rolls of my duvet, which in turn resulted in a loud shriek that pierced the walls and windows of my crippled two-story apartment accompanied with a minor scratch across the nose. Batting Felix to the floor, I nustled into my pillow for a brief moment more.

If you could park a house, mine would surely come with a handicap sticker. Peeling paint, warping floorboards, broken faucets, clogged drains — there wasn’t much beauty left in the establishment. I’d lived here for no more than a year and it was clear that the previous resident took no pride in their living quarters. Dust had clumped, rust accumulated, and strange residue dripped from the ceiling in the basement.

I opened my eyes (barely) and with a great deal of effort managed to shift my weight from the spring mattress to my pathetic excuse for legs. Shuffling across the soft, carpeted floor, I started heading for the staircase. Flailing for the handrail to find my balance, slowly I descended to the first level.

The wooden platform at the bottom of the steps was cold on my bare feet. I performed a dance of sorts in order to keep my feet off the icy slate. Hopping and skipping in a strange fashion, I made my way to the coffee pot and brewed a fresh batch, I knew I needed something to stimulate my senses for the next hour or so without throwing me into some ridiculous caffeine overdrive. Coffee never did a whole lot for me, but it was enough to keep my Mondays rolling at six in the morning.

However, today was not Monday. It was Saturday. A day meant for relaxation, potential yard work, and my favorite pastime, meditation.

Meditation isn’t exactly what they glorify it as in strange movies about 80’s kungfu techniques, at least, not the form that I practice. No — what I do requires immense concentration. A silent mind with complete attention to your surroundings all the time. I practice this about an hour after waking up every weekend, and I could only feel myself getting stronger with each attempt that I made. Subconsciously, I felt empowered by my actions. Consciously, I was terrified.

My process was pretty simple. I’d start by laying on my back, arms rested to my sides. One pillow for neck support but not to cause damage to my neck or back, or disorient my concentration. I’d lay still for about twenty minutes, completely emptying my mind of anything negative and positive, focusing solely on the fact that I wanted to empty my mind. Once I am sure that everything but that thought has been cleared, I let that thought go and hold onto nothing but silence.

I’m no longer focusing on thoughts at all. I concentrate everything on my breathing. My heart rate. The sound of my blood flowing through my body. As crazy as it sounds, it’s there. It’s complex. You can’t think to yourself, “Wow, my heartbeat is really fast” or, “My blood is flowing so quickly.” You have to simply acknowledge that you are aware that it is there, and control it. Slow everything down. Feel your body sink in to the blankets and sheets beneath your body. Visualize yourself being consumed by the bed.

You’ll start to feel still. Paralyzed really. If you feel this sensation you can’t break focus. You can’t lose concentration. You’re doing it right. Keep going. Keep slowing everything down. Count to ten if you must, but focus solely on the numbers as you inhale and exhale. Nothing more, nothing less. If you break focus now, it’ll take you forever to return to this state.

As I continue my lengthy, nearly tortuous process, I start to regain the fear that’s come with every experience prior. The things I’d read online always seemed far-fetched and I didn’t believe much of it, but I knew the meditation practices had been helping me with my anger management. That was until I knew what I was truly doing. I’d taken things one step further, one step further into there was a weekend when things went too far. Voices started echoing from the back of my mind. I’d read on one of my many searched websites that this was common within the practice and was merely your body beginning its ascent into the lucid dream world. Most know these practices as, “Out of body experiences” or OBE’s.

They say OBE’s take your spiritual being and place it on the astral plane of our universe, allowing you to lie lucid in your bed while seeing yourself and everything around you in first person from your third eye’s extensive leash into the astral world. Bizarre concept, and I didn’t believe any of it. Not until the voices came.

They were horrific. Nightmare inducing. Mind piercing. They said no foul words, they spoke only in tongues and languages of sacred texts that I couldn’t even begin to identify. I could hear one voice speaking English, but it was distant, quiet, as if it wasn’t even relatively important. I focused hard to hear this voice above all others, but this sequence in my meditative state I seemed to have no control over. The first few times I attempted this, I couldn’t conquer the voices. They scared me plain shit-less, for lack of better words. I’d hesitate or over-think the situation and break focus nearly every time. It was without fail 45 minutes in to my session each time I came back to my true senses.

Today was different. I wasn’t letting these voices of unknown nature hinder my ability to travel beyond our world. What an amazing feat it would be to conquer the physical and enter the astral dimension. Why let a few sacred voices stop such an extraordinary experience?

I had already laid under my covers, as to provide extra weight to my subconscious mind, allowing the feeling of sinking into the bed to come more natural. I’d practiced the sequence so much, I had the initial actions of my process mastered and it took me but 10 minutes to become numb and fall into my subconscious.

Faint, and nearly present, the voices slowly leaked into my head. Demonic tongues and foreign language rattled in my brain, it caused a bit of a headache really, but I held focus. Focusing simply on my breathing and the calmness that was my bodily relaxation, I dropped the astral rope from above me. Performing the last set of the sequence was deemed the hardest. Once the voices trespassed your serenity, these guide sites stated that in order to leave your body, you need but imagine a rope. A heavy rope like you’d climb in high school gym class. That rope was your freedom. You are to simply reach for the rope with your astral arms. Feel them lift from your physical body, envision them on your own. Once you make contact, use all of your mental strength to escape your body. Lift and pull as hard and as thoughtfully as you can.

——————————————-

I stood in my room once more. It was silent as ever. No birds at the window, Felix no where to be fou — oh, there he is. I called his name, beckoning him over. He stared at me with a crooked look of confusion. As I investigated his inquiries, I realized he wasn’t looking at me, but rather looking through me. I froze. I turned to look at the bed and saw myself lying there motionless.

Had I died? Had everything I’d known to come and love been obliterated? Was I damned to life on Earth as a harmless spirit for all eternity? I took a step forward. A light glistened beneath my feet. I tried to squeal in excitement, but nothing came out. I was voiceless. I knew I had to transmit anything and everything with my thoughts, but this was my first time and I was so new to the experience. How far could I go? Who would I encounter?

I realized on the astral plane you could really bend through anything. I sank through my glass window and took to the skies above my house looking at the land beneath. No other spirits were in the area, so I took a brief second to enjoy the natural silence. I wanted to go higher, but my lack of experience kept me bound pretty close to my house. I didn’t have the mind power to stretch my leash any further. I circled my home a few times, looking out and over, seeing the silent night that fell so innocently over my quaint neighborhood. Nobody was stirring, no one except the neighbors. I glanced for a mere second to see shadows and silhouettes moving about their windows.

I couldn’t move any closer, so I stared inquisitively for a few moments. Five minutes past, and nothing else had caught my interest in that time. Knowing I’d be weak after waking from such a glorifying experience, I sunk back through my window to my room.

Taking a final glance around my room, I slowly positioned my back to the bed as to align my astral body with my physical self. I attempted to line my right arm, but nearly destroyed my astral body with my inability to collect the information that lied before me.

…my body was gone.

I’d practiced the sequence a thousand times. I knew I had left my body in the bed, there was no where else that I could have started this whole process. I frantically searched the house for what seemed again like hours. To my complete confusion and total dismay, I found nothing until I, for reasons I still don’t know to this day, searched the bathroom. There I was, lying in the bathtub.

Water had dripped from the edge of the tub to the floor beneath. Blood was scattered among the walls and on the rungs that held the curtain in place, as well as the curtain itself. I forced my astral body up with the little energy I had left and flew down the stairs. As I hit the platform, I began feeling dizzy and excruciatingly weak. I managed to glance at my wipe-board where I normally hosted my chores for the week. Written in thick black marker were words I didn’t understand.

“What a beautiful vessel.”

I felt myself being pulled back to my body. The astral chain was being broken by a force I hadn’t read about. I snapped and with a heavy click I heard my astral body snap.

I woke under water in my bathtub. My eyes had shot open from the pain I had just felt as my mental body snapped from drifting unconscious. Water splashed among the room as I struggled to stand up. I was so weak. I ran back downstairs to see if I could collect any more information from my journey.

….Everything was as I had left it.

No change in scenery. Furniture still together, the wipe-board hosting my goals for the week, but the blood still remained in the bathroom. I didn’t understand. “What a beautiful vessel.” What did it mean? Clueless, I ran back to the bathroom to see if there was any additional information. I opened the cabinets beneath the sink and everything was still in order. I opened the lid to the toilet and screamed louder and more shrill than I ever thought possible. A knock had hit the wall behind me. It was the neighbor.

“Are you alright?”

“HELP!” “SOMEONE HELP!” I started crying, bawling really. What I saw was simply something not meant for the eyes of a human being. In the bowl of the toilet, laid the head of my cat, drifting in a circular pattern while I noticed the body lay behind the neck of the white waste dispenser. I sobbed, and with these cries came a sharp pain to my side — but it wasn’t internal.

Scratches. Scratches from my Felix. They literally had covered my body. From the top of my torso down to my lower pelvic region, and the layover of my skin over these scars caused a searing amount of pain. I had only thought I hadn’t noticed them at first due to the extensive amount of adrenaline surging through my body as I had awoken.

I now heard my neighbor banging at my door pleading for me to let them in. I couldn’t bring myself around to do so. I just sat kneeling in front of my toilet crying. As I did so, things started lining up.

Those voices as I meditated. They weren’t warnings, they weren’t simply sacred tongues, they were demons. Pure, relentless, demons; and in exiting my body, I let one of them in, and forced one out upon my re-entry. It used my body for a sinful deed to fulfill it’s demonic desires. I must of kicked it out, and in that right it wouldn’t be happy. I had to tell my someone. My first instinct was my neighbor, still banging at the door, but she was a devoted Christian woman who wouldn’t take kindly to such a story. I knew she’d see it as a sick joke and simply take it as a poor excuse for me decapitating my own cat.

In shock with no viable way to address the issue, I did what anyone would least expect. Walking back to my room, I grabbed a change of clothes from my closet and laid back down on my bed. This had to be a drastic nightmare, right? An extensive taken on a lucid dream that I was having. A dream within a dream, those do happen from time to time.

…but only when you’re close to death.

I shot up, only to be greeted by a grim stare. Eyes filled with hatred and lust for torment and pain. I swung myself to the left in an attempt to throw myself from my bed, but the ravenous hand met my throat before I could make another move. The creature that looked down upon on was massive. A small titan really. It was as black as night with spikes stretching from every inch of it’s rotting flesh.

I fought to breathe, swinging my arms in a windmill-like pattern while slowly feeling myself slipping out of consciousness. The room had been spinning for what felt like an hour. Gravity seemed to weigh a ton and then some. I managed to unravel the hand that clenched my throat so firmly, so spitefully, and so intentionally, allowing myself one last gulp of air before I braced for the blow that knocked me out cold.

——————————————————-

The cold side of the pillow had never met my body so welcoming. I managed to turn and see the clock sitting on the nightstand. “5:07pm” I gazed around the room and saw a nurse flicking the end of yet another IV needle. I knew it was for me.

“A present for me?” I asked playfully.

“If that’s how you want to look at it, I guess.” The nurse smiled akwardly while acknowledging my attempt to lighten the mood.

“Did you sleep well?” she asked.

“I did, but I definitely had some crazy dreams.”

The nurse chuckled, inserted the IV slowly and with great precision, but left the room immediately. I scanned the room. I couldn’t remember much but the vivid dream I had had whilst laying in the hospital bed. To be honest, my recollection of arriving at Jude’s Hospital was non-existent. Switching on the TV, flipping through the channels and realizing that nothing worth my time was on, I took my attention from the television to the hospitals wipe-board to see who was taking care of me.

Rather than names, I saw something that only clarified that I wasn’t as crazy as everyone claimed I was. I rattled my bed, I called for help, and I started shaking violently. The room began spinning and I lost control of my senses. Doctors and nurses had flooded the room to see my actions take place, but no one expected the outcome.

That board left me with a sense of realism and it only confirmed my, “crazy dreams.” Written quite legibly, in the thickest marker they had, left words that donated information to what happened after I was knocked out cold. I had a heart-attack, and my body was left empty. Doctors couldn’t diagnose the cause, but I knew all along, even as I had left the physical world.
The demon had visited the hospital that night. He left me but four words to remember him by.

“What a beautiful soul.”

Credit To – Tanner M. Bailey

VN:F [1.9.22_1171]
Rate This Pasta
Rating: 7.5/10 (150 votes cast)

Underground Families

October 13, 2014 at 12:00 AM
VN:F [1.9.22_1171]
Rate This Pasta
Rating: 8.7/10 (321 votes cast)

The Shadow Web is the side of the internet that can’t be found using typical search engines, but instead can only be accessed using downloaded programs that grant you anonymity. It contains some of the sickest filth you could ever (and not ever) imagine, and is the topic of this traumatic tale.

*The Hidden Wiki is a Shadow Web site that informs you of many of the different, sick sites the Shadow Web has to offer.

I explored the Shadow Web once.

Getting there was difficult. All the programs that let you run around on the web anonymously have rather convoluted installation instructions, and I’m not the tech-savviest type, so it was a struggle. But after a few frustrating hours, I managed to do it.

My first stop was, no doubt, the coveted Hidden Wiki*. You hear about it all the time, and it really makes you curious to see it for yourself. People talk about how sick it is- how you need to be extremely careful of what you click. They’re 100% right. I avoided so much, but still would wind up seeing an image or an article I really hadn’t wanted to see. Things that no one should see. Disgusting, pure evil things that shouldn’t exist. I’d been on the Shadow Web for ten minutes and was already expecting the FBI pounding on my door, and here my only crime was curiosity.

Weird comparison, I know, but the Shadow Web is sort of like doing drugs. You’re alarmingly paranoid at first, constantly questioning your actions. Hell, my friend called me while I was on it and I about had a heart attack I was so sure it was the police.

But after a while, you sort of relax a little. Feel a little more confident. After a few days of being the most cautious I’ve ever been in my life, I started feeling more… adventurous. Started clicking links and exploring the interesting-looking sites. Human experiments, killers-for-hire, black market sites… Seems weird to explore these sites, I know. But the sites are so cheesy half the time, it’s hard to believe they’re real. You can find half these websites on the normal web, too. They’re pretty much always fake.

I completely avoided porn links. There are so many sick, sick sites featuring minors- the Shadow Web is where pedophiles get their endless supply of child porn, after all. Even porn sites claiming to feature only people 18+, I simply didn’t risk. I didn’t risk most of the snuff film sites, either. Though I admit I did watch a video or two, purely out of curiosity. (Worst decision ever. Don’t watch them.)

It’s when several weeks of regular Shadow Web access had passed that I began feeling extremely confident. I’d gotten to a point where I could easily and automatically avoid links I knew led to bad things. I’d explored a few seriously gruesome sites, with no police visits. I was cocky. I was curious.

I joined a forum.

It was a pretty tame forum, compared to the others I’d stumbled across. This one was for, as they called themselves, “Underground Families.” Literally, it was a ton of people who lived underground or in completely isolated areas with their families, all over the world. And they weren’t like the backwoods inbred families you see in horror movies, or giant religious communities like the one discovered in Texas. Most of these families were pretty small in numbers, usually living in some warehouse or basement, or even a normal house, in some cases. What brought them together was that they never left their homes… ever. They were living completely secluded lives- only socializing with their own family and the people on this forum.

There was no talk of torture or human trafficking or kidnapping. No talk of murder or inbreeding. Seriously, they appeared to be totally normal families, who honest to God just wanted to live alone. Stay “off the grid” so to speak. Really not all that weird or uncommon, actually.

I’d joined the forum purely for access to the all the topics (you had to be a registered user to view them.) I wasn’t planning on talking to anyone.
But one user caught my eye. He seemed to be extremely popular on the site; he’d posted several threads, and had way more thread views and replies than most of the others. He replied to everyone- even silly remarks you’d think would have gotten lost in such heavily populated threads.

Not wanting to bring attention to myself (the community was actually a decent size, but I still felt like they’d easily sniff out a newbie like me and begin questioning my authenticity), I messaged him privately.

“Hi! Sorry to message you out of the blue like this, but I’m new to the forum and didn’t feel totally comfortable posting yet.

I’m trying to write an unbiased article for online publication about Underground Families, and was hoping you could tell me more about your life. I’m ultimately hoping to give public insight about family life in seclusion, compared to, say, one person who lives alone. I’m also interested in the reason behind your family’s decision to live underground. If you’re interested and willing to offer your views, I have several questions ready! There’s absolutely no obligation to answer any of the questions you don’t like or don’t feel comfortable answering, and none of them are personal towards you specifically or would take away your anonymity. Thank you!”

So I’d lied about the article thing, but I had a gut feeling that if I’d tried to talk to him pretending to be a member of an underground family myself, he’d call me out immediately. You can’t just read a couple posts about something you’ve never heard of before and then blend into their community seamlessly. Besides, this way, I could ask all the questions I wanted without fault. My motive was presented up front- he could either say yes or decline. No harm done either way.

Several days passed with no response, so I stopped lurking the forum as often. After a while, I only checked it once every couple of days. Eventually, a week passed, and I’d basically moved on altogether.

The second week after sending that message, I did get curious again, so I went back to the forum. But it was gone. The entire thing was gone. Did I have the right web address? Yeah, definitely the same. Where was it? The site wasn’t just taken down- the entire page was disabled. Just got an error message- this site doesn’t exist. What?

Was it because of my message? Did he report it, the owners get spooked, and the whole place got deleted?

There wasn’t even anything bad on that forum. Why would they react so seriously to one message? They were on the Shadow Web- all presumably browsing completely anonymously like I was. Surely I couldn’t have been the first curious person to find it and ask questions.

I started digging around the Shadow Web. A whole community wouldn’t just delete themselves- they’d create a new site, right? I did find a couple of websites describing the Underground Family lifestyle, but no forums. They seriously deleted the whole thing? Maybe a new one was being created as I searched. I decided I’d wait a week, and then search again. Give them some time to rebuild, if they even planned to.

As I waited, I grew bored. The Shadow Web is virtually endless, but to avoid any confrontations with the FBI, the sites you feel comfortable visiting are extremely limited. The normal web would never satisfy me again- I was able to tell that the first day I’d used the Shadow Web. But by now I’d gone through all the tamer websites I could find. I just wanted more interesting stuff. I was just curious. I wanted shock value.

So I began digging a little deeper. Visiting more “iffy” sites. Still avoided all the porn the best I could, but I did wind up on some seriously nasty pages. Found one site that sold small objects made of human skin. Actually seemed relatively legit, so I didn’t stay long on that one. Found another site that sold cyanide capsules and other drugs/guns.

I even came across a site called Suicide Voyeurs, where basically, people filmed their suicide live and users could pay to watch. It even went so far as to hold contests: a “suicidal” (the person planning to commit suicide) would, live on camera, present several options for killing themselves, and paying users could vote on which method was ultimately used. Of course, that information was all written in the site’s FAQ; I wasn’t going to pay to watch a suicide, so I have no idea if it was legit or not.

The week finally came and went, so I searched again for the Underground Families forum. Again, no luck finding a forum. Apparently they really had deleted it. Or hidden it way better.

I was about to give up the Shadow Web altogether when my eye spotted a site called “Road to Nowhere.” I’d actually seen this name when doing my original search for the underground families forum the week before, but hadn’t thought to click on it. So, I clicked on it this time.

It was a website, not a forum, but with a familiar theme. It showed some pictures of families hanging out in places that appeared to be furnished basements or rooms with cement floors. The pictures were usually a little dark, often kind of grainy, but the families seemed happy and close. Most of the people (and kids) in the pictures were smiling or talking- and not like cheesy stock photos, but like actual candid photos. Maybe some of them hadn’t even known their pictures were being taken.

I explored around, and it turned out that the site wasn’t quite like the forum (where users shared stories and experiences), but more like, a dating service of sorts. Except, instead of finding dates, you found families to join.

Families posted pages advertising themselves, anonymously of course. They’d describe their appearances, size of the family, how big their “home” was, their religion, goals, hobbies and interests, the works. Then they’d say exactly what they were looking for.

And when I say exactly, I mean exactly. Right down to things like, “You must have prominent cheek bones. We all have cheekbones.” And “You must be 5’10”.” Even things like “You must have a deep, soothing voice. Perfect for telling bedtime stories but also for effectively scolding.” These families meant business. Many said that if you didn’t meet every single aspect they were looking for, don’t bother replying. Others were more open to compromise, but even then not by much. It was pretty weird, to say the least.

I dug deeper into the site, even more intrigued. Then, literally by accident, I found a hidden link. It was the period at the end of the third sentence on one of the families’ listings. Why there, I don’t know. Maybe the link changed daily to a different random period somewhere else on the site. Either way I clicked it, and was taken to a new section of the site.

A forum.

Except this forum wasn’t anything like the first one. This forum didn’t have happy, close-knit underground families joking and bonding with one another. This forum was serious… dark in tone, blunt in its cause.

The website was for families looking to welcome a new adult to their home.

The forum was for families looking to welcome new children.

There were only two sections in the forum: one for families seeking children, and one…

…for families advertising theirs.

One thread in the second section was titled “Third Was Fake.” It was by a woman, apparently single. She’d “already ‘taken in’ 2 kids” and had “mistakenly decided to ‘take in’ a third”, and it just “wasn’t working out.” She said she hadn’t realized the third, a 4 year old boy, had had his hair dyed black by his “previous family”, who I guess had given him up because he “cried more than their other child.” None of it made sense to me, but looking through her thread, it was filled mainly with sympathy posts.

I kept scrolling, each reply being worse than the last. People sympathized with her struggles, but she wasn’t getting any takers for the boy. One user commented saying how “difficult it is, finding families for children over 2.” From the other posts, I learned that crying children can rarely be “rehomed”, because apparently crying is one of the many “negative” child traits underground families don’t want. Others include “large feet”, “narrow mouths”, and “bony limbs.”

Between the website and the forum, it suddenly dawned on me why everyone had listed such meticulously strict traits and qualifications.

They all wanted their families to appear biologically related. Right down to temperament and personality.

Maybe for some other, much sicker reasons, too.

I went back to reading the replies. I was getting to the more recent posts, like in the last week or so. It was obvious the woman was growing increasingly frustrated with her lack of luck. Finally, she posted a time limit.

“If no one takes him by August 3rd, I’m going to dispose of him.”

Today was August 1st.

A few people replied with things like, “Aw, poor little guy. But, you have to do what you have to do.” No one seemed concerned for the boy. Only sympathetic towards the “mom.” So I did something I never, ever should have done.

I messaged her. Privately, as with the man on the last forum.

I said I’d take the boy.

I wasn’t expecting a reply. Hell, I half expected the site to suddenly shut down like before. So imagine my shock when, not even fifteen minutes later, I get a message back.

“Thank God. Disposing is such a mess, and my other kids haven’t witnessed one yet. Tell me about your family.”

Short and to the point. It seemed most of the posts were written like this- short, precise, and to the point. I tried my best to reply in the same manner, making up a family on the spot and praying she didn’t ask too many more questions.

“I’m a married mother of one. Our daughter is six. The boy looks like he could be her twin. We’ve discussed, and are willing to try and appease his crying habit.”

I’d seen the word “appease” thrown around on both this forum and the last one, and I had a feeling it referred to something a lot more sinister than it sounded.

The woman responded back with an email address I could reach her at (an anonymous one, of course), to discuss the finer details and eventually an “exchange location.” I agreed and promised her a prompt email.

Then I sat at my desk for a moment, thinking what on Earth I had just done.
Do I call the police? If I show them all of this, will they forgive the fact that I’ve been browsing sick and twisted sites on the Shadow Web for the past month and a half? Or will trying to be a hero for this little boy wind me up in prison?

I was scared. Extremely scared. Terrified of being exposed. This would definitely make national headlines- maybe even international ones. Everyone in the world would say “Yeah, she saved a boy, but what was she doing on all those other sites?” My friends and family would know I watched that 2 minute video of some Indian man being beheaded with a hunting knife. They’d know about that live torture site I’d hung out on for 2 hours. I hadn’t watched any of the videos- they were pay-to-watch anyway, and even if they weren’t I still wouldn’t have. Right? No… maybe I would have.

My curiosity had landed me in hot, unforgiving waters, and given me a black and white choice as punishment.

Save the boy but face public humiliation and possible prison time for my sick curiosities…

…or delete anonymous browsing altogether, never look back, and convince myself the boy’s fate was out of my hands.

Top Story: 4 Year Old Found Dead After Anonymous Call to Police.

“A woman’s anonymous phone call to police headquarters around 4:30pm last Friday may have resulted in the death of a young boy thought to be a victim of a large-scale underground child trafficking trade. Tom has the story.”

“Thank you Beth. An investigation of a 4 year old’s discovered body now shows that the boy is the same child who was kidnapped from a daycare three years ago- a crime that had left such mystery and sorrow in its wake that the daycare had been forced to shut down just weeks after the incident occurred. Hope of locating the boy was slim, until an anonymous phone call to the Rosendale Police Department came in late last Friday afternoon.

Here’s the call…”

911 Operator: “911, what’s your emergency?”

Caller: “I think a boy is about to be killed.”

911 Operator: “What? Tell me where you are.”

Caller: “N-No, no I can’t. Okay so, I was… I was on this website-“

911 Operator: “What website?”

Caller: “A website for families. Underground families. Where they kidnap children and, and look, I-I think-“

911 Operator: “M’am, please slow down. What’s this website’s URL address? Where are you?”

Caller: “Look! A woman is taking a boy to the corner of *blurred* and *blurred*. He was kidnapped. She had kidnapped him. If you don’t go get him, she’s going to kill him. She’s going to kill him at 5 o’clock if you don’t go get him!”

911 Operator: “M’am-! M’am!”

*beep* *dial tone*

911 Operator: “M’am-! ….Hello?”

“Upon further investigation, it is believed the boy was being traded through an underground child trafficking ring, but the details are still being worked out. The name and whereabouts of the anonymous caller are currently unknown, but police believe the call was made from a payphone just down the street from where the body was found. The police are unsure if the caller was part of the trade.

An alert was called and responding officers were immediately sent to the location provided. They arrived a little before 5pm and waited, but no woman or child showed.

The next day, on August 3rd, they returned to the spot for a follow-up and discovered the deceased body of the 4 year old left in a nearby dumpster. Cause of death has not been officially released, but investigators suspect it to have been by strangulation. The boy otherwise showed no signs of trauma or abuse. No clues to his killer were left, and investigators are still working to determine where he’s been over the past three years since his disappearance. Back to you, Beth.”

“Thanks Tom. Absolutely tragic.”

“Yes it is.”

“In other news…”

Credit To – inubasket

VN:F [1.9.22_1171]
Rate This Pasta
Rating: 8.7/10 (321 votes cast)

I Felt It

October 12, 2014 at 12:00 PM
VN:F [1.9.22_1171]
Rate This Pasta
Rating: 8.4/10 (389 votes cast)

When I was fourteen, I had a best friend named Boone Hicks. He was real sweet looking, with long blonde hair, Irish green eyes, and an elvish face. He was a little on the short side, only about five feet tall, and we hung out mostly indoors because he was so fair skinned. His parents didn’t like him too much, though, and he spent most of his time at my house, but I never minded it.

It was when his aunt announced the gender of her unborn baby that things started to get weird. “When the doctor told me, I was so excited,” His aunt Caroline said, rubbing her belly affectionately. “I just knew it was going to be a girl.” We were all at Boone’s house, sitting in the family room; he had invited me over to meet his aunt. Boone just kind of stared at her with his piercing green eyes and a blank expression.

“No, it’s going to be a boy.” He said, still giving Caroline that heavy stare. She gave him a questioning look.

“But the doctors said it was a girl.”

“I guess there was a mistake,” he said, his expression never changing. “It’s going to be a boy.”

His aunt stared back at him with a worried look. “Are you feeling okay, Boone? Why are you saying these things?”

“I felt it.” He said simply, shifting his eyes to the floor. His mother threw the book she had been reading earlier at him, hitting him in the chest. It fell to the floor, but he didn’t even look at it.

“Boone, hush up, you idiot! Quit trying to scare your aunt!”

“Hang on, Julie,” his aunt said, holding a hand up. “What else did you, uh… “Feel” about the baby?”

“Well, it’s a boy,” he said, causing his mother to roll her eyes. “a-and it’s going to be born a month early, January third at eleven thirty A.M to be exact.” He went into another stare, eyes back on his aunt. “You were thinking about naming your girl Addison, but you want to name your boy Aiden now.” His aunt went wide eyed.

“H-how did you know that?” She asked, furrowing her eyebrows at him. “I haven’t told anyone about that!”

“I felt it.”

“No!” She yelled, grabbing his shoulders. “How did you know that?”

“I told you, I felt it-”

“Quit saying that, you freak!”

“Hey!” I said, interfering the fit that she was about to throw. “It was probably just a coincidence that he guessed his name, I mean, how many choices are there, really? You said you wanted it’s name to start with A, right?” I asked, recalling something Boone had told me a couple weeks earlier. “Besides, you haven’t even figured out if he was right about the birthdate or gender. Everyone just needs to calm down.”

Caroline looked at me for moment, and I honestly thought she was about to slap me. She just stood up. “I’m leaving.” And she did just that.

“Boone, you screw up! Get out!” Mrs. Hicks yelled, shoving Boone and me out the front door. I decided to let Boone sleep over at my house that night.

“Dude, why’d you do that?” I asked him as we walked down the road, the sun setting in the distance. “I think that was a little much.”

“But Viktor,” he said quietly, sounding a little like he was about to cry. “I felt it.”

I felt shivers rack my spine at that moment, and I slept as far away as I could from Boone that night. A few months later, his aunt gave birth to a baby boy, one month early, on January third at eleven A.M, and she named him Aiden. I don’t think he ever saw his aunt Caroline again.

Months passed and we soon forgot about the scare Boone had given his aunt. We went on with our normal lives, hung out and played video games like old times. That was, until my accident.

I was walking home from school one day, alone because Boone was home with a cold. The school was only a couple blocks from my house, but I decided to stop by a gas station and get a Pepsi before heading home. Too do that, though, I had to cross the street. Keep in mind, I was fourteen. If I didn’t see a car passing straight in front of me, I was not going to wait before running across the street. I began jogging across the road without a second thought. All I heard was squealing tires and a crash, then nothing. When I came to, I was being wheeled into a hospital room and poked with needles.

I don’t know how long I had been in there when one of the doctors came into my room. “Excuse me, sir, but someone’s here to see you.”

I expected it to be my parents, but it was Boone who came through the door. He rushed to my side, tears in his eyes. His hands hovered over me, like he was scared if he touched me he would hurt me. He finally settled one on my forehead. “I knew I’d find you here,” he mumbled, lips trembling. “I felt it.”

I shivered at those words. I didn’t know what was going on with Boone, but it was scaring me a little. “Did you call my parents?”

“Yeah,” he said, sitting in one of the plastic chairs beside the hospital bed. “They’re on their way.”

“Boone,” I started, turning my head to look at him. I couldn’t move my left leg, and I had a killer headache. “What are these “feelings” you get?” I had to ask; it was eating at me.

“I don’t know,” he mumbled, playing with his shirt sleeves. “I’ll just be sitting there and all the sudden I know about something before it happens. Or before anyone knows about it.”

I looked at his Irish green eyes one more time. They looked far more frightened than I felt. “That’s… That’s really cool.”

He grinned at me, then my parents came in, bawling and yelling about how I should’ve watched for cars. I was put in a cast later that day, my left leg was declared broken, and I had a minor concussion.

It was a year later before Boone had anymore “feelings”, but his last one haunts me to this very day.

It was a perfectly normal day, just like any other, except for the fact that Boone had been exceptionally quiet at school. I asked him about it at lunch, but he shrugged me off saying he hadn’t got much sleep the night before. I wasn’t convinced, but I dropped it. Boone didn’t walk home with me that afternoon, but I didn’t run across the road again. I went home, did homework, ate dinner, and went to sleep like always.

I awoke to tapping on my window at what my clock said was two in the morning. I moaned, rubbing my eyes and rolling over to face the window. Boone stood outside, in his pajamas, motioning for me to come over. I sighed, falling out of bed and shuffling to the window. I unlatched it and yanked it open, popping my head out. “What is it? Shouldn’t you be in bed?”

“Come on,” he motioned for me to climb outside. I raised an eyebrow at him.

“What?”

“Shhhhh! Come out, we’re going to the police station.”

“What the heck are you talking about?” I asked, closing my eyes. I just wanted to slam the window in his face and go back to bed.

“Just trust me!” He gave me a pleading look and I grudgingly put on my shoes.

“Fine,” I snapped, climbing out of the window and hopping to the ground. “But if my parents find out, you’re dead.” Boone didn’t say anything, just began jogging towards the police station.

You should have seen the look on the police officer’s face when Boone asked him to do my finger prints. He looked at him like he had two heads, but took me into a room and did as Boone said. After I washed the ink off of my fingers, I came back into the front room where Boone was saying something to one of the officers. When I got closer, I heard him telling him to compare my fingerprints to the ones of a missing persons case from eleven years before. I stopped dead in my tracks. He had to be crazy.

I felt something like a weight drop in my stomach and I thought for a second I was going to be sick all over the police station floor. I started shaking, then I tore out of the door before they noticed I was listening. I left Boone at the police station that night, running all the way home. I climbed through my window, collapsed on my bed, and cried myself to sleep.

It was a few weeks later when my “parents” were sent to court, and then sentenced to prison for kidnapping. Apparently, my name wasn’t Viktor. It’s Garret, and I was taken from my parents when I was only four years old. The police found my real parents, who I met the day my “parents” went to prison. They were bawling and hugging me, saying they thought they’d never see me again. They told me I’d be moving with them several states away, back to my home in Montana. I’d be leaving Boone.

Our goodbyes were short, and they ended with a long hug and a few tears. I would never forget Boone Hicks and the impact he had on my life, and as I watched him waving goodbye to me when I boarded the plane to Montana with my real parents, I didn’t have any questions about how he knew I’d been a missing person’s case. I knew he felt it.

VN:F [1.9.22_1171]
Rate This Pasta
Rating: 8.4/10 (389 votes cast)

The Painting

October 12, 2014 at 12:00 AM
VN:F [1.9.22_1171]
Rate This Pasta
Rating: 8.7/10 (297 votes cast)

When I was seven years old my ten year old brother Jamie was kidnapped, or so they say. The police claimed whoever had taken him were ‘professional’ in doing so. That I had been incredibly lucky to have not been taken as well. They described the kidnapper in this way because no finger prints were ever found on any of the furniture. My brother had never made a sound at the time and most importantly, there was no sign of a break in at all. None of the windows had been broken, the doors weren’t busted. Nothing.

Several days before his disappearance my father found a painting while rummaging around in the attic. He had been trying to find his old bass guitar after I had asked him if he played any instruments. Turns out he used to play in a band with some of his friends, and was a pretty decent player. His group was called ‘Serrated Edge.’ Unfortunately after an hour of searching the guitar was never found, but the painting was. It had been placed against a wall and surrounded by boxes, my father had noticed the golden frame glinting as he walked around.

The painting itself was magnificent when he lowered it down. It seemed to be in good condition despite being in the attic for so long. There was a house in the picture, a large grey house surrounded by grass. In the background a cliff could be seen, then a sudden drop which evened out to an ocean. It stretched on into the distance. Some birds could be seen up above circling the house. On the back were scrawled some words in red ink that read ‘Gadael ei ben ei hun.’ My mother recognised it as welsh, we didn’t know what it meant at the time. My brother and I weren’t very ecstatic about having it as a new house decoration, but my father loved its simplicity. He decided to put it up our bedroom.

That night we had dinner as usual, spaghetti I believe, then my brother and I went upstairs for bed. We both shared the same room. We were slightly afraid of the dark so our door was left ajar most days, letting some of the light seep in. After getting changed into our pyjamas and joking around for a bit we both settled down to sleep.

It was around 2:00am when I awoke. I realised I was hot and sweaty so pulled myself into a sitting position. Jamie was in his own bed to my left, sleeping soundly. My throat was parched, so I figured I’d get a drink of water. I pulled myself out of the bed sheets and left the room as quietly as possible, creaking the door open. Slowly I crept down the hall, conscious that the floorboards creaked. The last thing I wanted to do was wake everyone up. I headed into the bathroom.

When I returned I was refreshed, and pulled myself back into bed. I had pretty much stood my head under the tap and lapped up water like a cat, cupping it in my hands and splashing my face as well. As I pulled myself back into bed I noticed something odd about the painting on the wall. There seemed to be a black smudge to the right of the house, something I hadn’t noticed earlier. Curiously I pulled myself back to my feet and approached the painting, as I couldn’t quite make it out properly in the dark.

On closer inspection I gathered that the smudge was some sort of man, it resembled a human but was completely black. It looked like it was standing stationary, looking outwards, its head was cocked ever so slightly to one side. I considered waking Jamie to show him the mysterious figure but decided he’d be cranky if I did so, I’d wait until morning. I retreated to my bed.

When morning arrived the figure was gone, to my dismay. I told Jamie about the figure but he didn’t seem to believe me. For the rest of the day I watched the painting suspiciously, believing that it may appear again at any moment. It didn’t.

As my brother and I were climbing back into bed that night I had forgotten about the figure. That is, until the same thing happened again. Just as before, I awoke in the early hours of the morning, soaked in sweat. This time I anticipated the figure’s arrival, and glanced at the painting straight away. I felt a twinge of fear. The smudge was there again, but it had moved, and it had doubled in size. It had adopted a new position, right in front of the house, a few metres away from the front door. Instead of going over for a closer inspection I forced myself to go back to sleep, hoping with every fibre of my being that I was dreaming. That night I fell asleep shaking in fear.

The next day was uneventful. I avoided the painting for the most part, spending time in living room downstairs watching TV. I mentioned about the dark figure to my parents that day, and of course they didn’t believe me.

‘You were just dreaming, Harry, that’s all.’ They told me. This was the last day I ever spent with my brother.

That night I had awoken at a similar time again, around 2:00am. I can’t remember exactly what time. With dread and fear churning in my stomach, I reluctantly glanced at the painting. It was completely black. I remember physically shaking in terror, believing that if I made the slightest noise I would trigger something. Slowly I pulled myself out from under the bed sheets. I crept over to the bedroom door and then ran over to the bathroom, the floorboards creaking as I went. I locked myself inside. I figured I’d stay here until morning, then ask my father to put the painting back in the attic the next day. There was obviously something wrong with it, I just didn’t know what.

What happened next will stay with me for as long as I live. After several minutes of waiting in the bathroom I heard the floorboards creak in the hall outside. At first I thought my brother had woken up, disturbed by my footsteps running down the hall. The creaking was approaching the bathroom, and stopped just outside the door.

‘Jamie?’ I whispered. No response.

I knew someone was standing right on the other side of the door. I just couldn’t figure out what they were trying to do. Did they need to use the bathroom?

‘Mum?’ I said. To this I heard a scratching sound on the other side of the door, as if someone was dragging their fingers across it. I backed away, terrified. After a moment whoever it was walked away, their footsteps creaking their way towards my room.

The next day I awoke in the bathtub to the sound of banging. It was my father, he was thumping the outside of the door with his fist.

‘Harry? Jamie? Are you in there?’ He snapped.

I answered it slowly, stiff from lying in such an uncomfortable position. Apparently this morning when my parents had awoken they had found our room empty. My Mum went downstairs to find us and my Dad looked around upstairs.

‘Is your brother in there you?’ He had asked when I opened the door. I shook my head but he didn’t believe me, and pushed past, searching the room. It was only after another half hour of searching that my parents began to panic. The police were called around. Everyone was convinced someone had broken into the house and taken him in the night. The police believed I had locked myself in the bathroom to hide from the kidnapper, out of fear. They questioned me relentlessly about whether I had seen his face, I couldn’t answer.

There was something else. On the outside of the bathroom door there were three deep gouges, diagonal from top left to bottom right. The police believe they were caused by a knife, repeatedly dragged across the surface. They claimed that the kidnapper had been trying to get me as well, but had thankfully given in. Our house was closed off for several days and we were provided with a hotel, while the police searched for fingerprints or any signs of breaking and entering. As I said at the start, they found nothing.

When we finally returned to our home my parents were a teary mess. They moped around slowly, answering my questions with one word answers. I knew anything I said about the painting at this point was useless. No one ever seems to listen to children in times of need. They continued to act like this for half a year. It was a horrible time.

Returning to my bedroom after everything that had happened was horrible. I remember crying when I saw my brother’s empty bed. His toys that were still scattered across the floor, toys he may never be able to play with again.

Before I turned to leave the room I glanced at the painting one final time… and noticed something peculiar. There was no dark figure, but there was something strange in one of the house windows. Curiously I approached and looked closer.

It was a face. A little boy. And from what I could tell he looked the spitting image of my brother. His face was contorted into one of terror, and he had tears streaming down his face. His hands were both pressed up against the glass.

Several months later the police gave up on the search. His funeral was held on April the 12th, to this date the saddest day of my life. After that all we could do was get on with our lives. I showed my parents the painting but they shouted at me and stashed it back in the attic. They thought the boy had been in the painting all along, that I was simply imagining the resemblance.

I’m thirty eight years old now, and have a place of my own. When I eventually left my old home I made sure to take the painting with me. For I am the only one who truly knows what happened to my brother.

The dark shape I saw all those years ago was some kind of entity, something evil that intended to trap us both in the painting for an eternity. It succeeded with my brother, but I had locked myself in the bathroom, so had been saved.

I keep the painting in the attic now, in case one day I might be able to free him. I can’t lose hope, like my parents did. After researching I found out that the words on the back of the painting, ‘Gadael ei ben ei hun,’ – had been a warning. It translates to English as ‘LEAVE ALONE.’ Sometimes, in the dead of night, I’ll hear a thumping sound coming from up there, footsteps roaming around in the attic. I’ll always shout my brother’s name, in hope he may have finally been let out. I never get a response.

cryingboy

Credit To – Meek

(Admin Note: The painting shown here is The Crying Boy by Bruno Amadio. This painting has inspired quite a few short stories as it is supposedly “cursed” and quite notorious in its own right.)

VN:F [1.9.22_1171]
Rate This Pasta
Rating: 8.7/10 (297 votes cast)

Smile

October 11, 2014 at 12:00 PM
VN:F [1.9.22_1171]
Rate This Pasta
Rating: 6.8/10 (237 votes cast)

On the walls hung portraits of her family members who watched and made sure Evita didn’t cause any trouble when she was home alone. The same smile took over their faces in each one—the forced, wide, teeth-showing, nothing-can-ever-be-better smile—not exaggerated but fabricated.

The three friends were sitting on the floor, encircled by five lit candles, their hands resting on a Ouija pointer. It strafed to the left, slowed to a stop, and pointed at the letter “K”.

“S. U. C… K?”

Evita looked up at Daisuke, who concealed a smile and kept his eyes down. Claire was looking around the dark room.

“Suck? Screw you guys,” Evita said.

Evita often tossed dice and drew tarot cards to make her most important decisions. And tonight, while her parents were out, she’d dragged her friends over to invoke a spirit for advice on which college to attend.

“Wasn’t me,” said Daisuke. He stood from the floor and stretched toward the ceiling, then released his goofy smile on her.

“Right,” said Claire. “Then I guess it was the ghost, huh? Because it wasn’t me.”

The three friends exchanged quick glances, then broke into laughter.

“Whatever,” said Evita. “Screw you both. You know how seriously I take this stuff.”

The flames of the surrounding candles flickered.

“Anyways,” said Evita. “You guys have to get out of here, now. Parents will be home soon. They’d freak if they saw this.”

They got up and headed for the door. Evita opened it and smiled at them as they passed through.

“Good night, idiots” she said, and she slammed it shut.

Evita switched on the light and turned around, becoming aware of the room’s overbearing silence.

As she walked toward the candles and Ouija board, she felt as if someone were watching her. She quickly blew out four of the candles, and was about to blow out the last when she felt the Ouija board dare her to ask a final question, alone.

Evita never shied away from scary ventures, and she wasn’t about to start now. She placed her fingers on the pointer.

“How..”

She took a deep breath.

“..will I die?”

The pointer shifted in tiny movements. Her heartbeat quickened as she desperately told herself that her nervous hands were causing it to move.

It glided, and pointed. First to the F, then the I, an R, and finally…

“E…”

Evita heard a creaking sound behind her. As she spun around to see, she accidentally knocked the last candle over with her left hand. No one was there. Only a picture of her family, smiling.

Credit To – Chong Gong

VN:F [1.9.22_1171]
Rate This Pasta
Rating: 6.8/10 (237 votes cast)
Try a free sample Personal Astrology Profile!