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Hoarding

July 25, 2014 at 12:00 PM
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Rating: 8.3/10 (137 votes cast)

My aunt was a kind and benevolent woman. She was widowed, but never allowed her situation to get the better of her. She had a stern outlook on rules and etiquette, but a heart of platinum. She gave to charity even when she barely had enough for herself and she was loved by everyone… except for me.

My aunt wore a disguise. Her facade was so convincing I would love her for many years before.

Before.

Back in the days before I would often visit my aunts old house by the sea and would always be thrilled for the opportunity. She was an elder, but her house was never a bore. It was filled to the brim with knick-knacks and photo albums. Some in the town called her a hoarder, but she always preferred to be called a collector. A ‘collector of memories’ she would often tell me as we sat by the warmth of the fire that always bellowed in its stone cage. I would sit on the carpeted floor and listen quietly as she strung tales of the adventures of her youth. The stories of my young aunt clashed heavily with the frail figure I now saw rocking back and forth in her chair.

I was hooked on her stories and would not let her take me to my bed before hearing at least one. She also gave me free range in her home and there was plenty to explore. Her house had been built during the years of prohibition and the old place had been equipped with various nooks and crannies and the occasional hidden room or tunnel. The secret rooms were always dusty and filled with relics of years past. Whenever I asked her about a bottle cap or playbill I found littering the floors of the hidden storage spaces she would only tell me “Oh, sweetie, you know me…I never throw anything away!” then she would laugh and send me off with a sandwich or an apple in hand to go play some more.

I said before that she gave me free range of her house, but to be honest that was not completely true. There was ONE room that she forbade me from entering. “The basement is too old and dangerous, sweetie, you mustn’t ever venture down there, do you understand?” I would always smile and nod yes before going off on another adventure. Not that I forgot the room, I would often wonder what lay behind the old oak door that blocked me from my potential exploration. The door was always locked, though and I would lose interest very quickly.

That is how things went for a while until she started to show signs of mental illness. She began forgetting things. Small things at first…where she left her keys or that she had already bought eggs the day before. She still smiled through it all and would often dismiss her troubles by giving a simple “silly me, my head is full of rocks!” Although she never forgot her mantra “I never throw anything away” and would continue to tell me the stories attached to each object in her collection.

Her mental state slowly slipped away until she couldn’t even remember my name, let alone her own. I was in my early 20s by this point, but I continued to visit my beloved aunt up until the day she finally died from her illnesses. On one of the last days I spoke to her she was sitting in her chair by the fire as she had many times before and mumbling to herself. “Harold…Harold…Harold…” She was muttering my late uncle’s name over and over again. I knew little about my uncle, because he was one of the few topics she never spoke about, and to hear his name escape her lips for the first time since I could remember was shocking. “Auntie, do you want to say something about Uncle Harry?” I leaned in close and watched as a crooked smile went across her lips. Her teeth were yellow and brown in spots and obviously decaying with her age. She laughed for seemingly no reason and let out a raspy “I never throw anything away, child, never…” Then she just stared off into space and wouldn’t answer me. A few days later she died at the town’s hospital and we buried her the next day. Preparations had been in place for some time and the whole ordeal was over pretty quickly.
I learned a few weeks later that she had left the old house to me. I was very excited. This house meant the world to me and I decided to move in as soon as possible. I moved in a few days later and carried my bags up to what had once been my designated bedroom for when I visited. After all the boxes had been carried up I decided to look around my old playing ground. It was relatively the same as before, but age had withered it some. It would need some work, but I was up to the task if it was to restore my aunt home. I spent the next few weeks dusting and patching up the place and made a good amount of progress. The place was starting to look like it had 11-15 years ago. Her old knick-knacks still crowded every shelf and mantle in the house and that was just how I wanted it.

The only issue I had, though, was that at night the house made noises. I tried to tell myself they were just the sound of an old house settling and that I should ignore it. The sounds kept me awake however. I swore at time it sounded like rattling coming from the depths of the old estate. I even thought I heard grunts and voices at one point. This went on every night for weeks and I was getting less and less sleep.

One day while I was finishing up cleaning I noticed for the first time in years, the old basement door. I had grown so accustomed to it being off limits that I hadn’t even acknowledged it this entire time. However, now this was MY house and I had a right to finally see what secrets it held. Besides, I had to clean that room as well as the others. The door, however, was surely locked as it had been for years. I then caught sight of something shiny sitting atop the doorframe. I was a lot taller now than I had been as a child and assumed that is why I had not seen it before. I reached up and brought down a brass key. The key’s appearance conflicted with the rest of the house as it was shiny and polished without a speck of dust on it.

I slid the old key into the lock of the basement door and the tumblers moved with ease. The door creaked open and I was presented with wooden stairs that descended into darkness. I flicked the light switch on the wall, but a fuse must have been blown, because I was still staring at a black pit. I rushed and got a flashlight from my tool bag and was relived to find the batteries were still in working order. I shined the white ball of light into the basement and saw that the stairs themselves looked as if dust had been kicked around and the handrail was wiped clean. I descended the stairs and flicked my light from one side of the room to another. The room was filled with what seemed to be old science equipment. Beakers and test-tubes littered the tables and jars filled with various liquids and gels sat on the shelves. I wondered if my aunt had helped some old high school clean out their old science gear or something and was quite surprised to find this kind of stuff in her basement. There were other jars on the back shelves that seemed to hold organic tissue of some sort, I guess it was probably from frogs or pig fetuses as those where used in high school science classes sometimes.

Then my light landed on what appeared to be a large black box in the middle of the room. It was locked and I could see that little dust had fallen on it. I finally put together that my aunt must have been coming down here regularly when I went to sleep, hence why some of these objects had not been left alone long enough to gather dust. I walked towards the box and gave it a light kick, perhaps it was something from her travels? Or maybe it was just a bundle of old clothes she had put away for a rainy day.

As I kicked the box it moved. It moved not in the way an inanimate objects moves when force is applied to it, but as if something had moved from inside. I kicked it lightly again and it shook more violently this time. I thought I heard noises coming from the black mysterious object. The sounds seemed inhuman in nature and were mostly grunts and moans. The box was shaking more wildly now and I assumed that some animal had gotten stuck in it. My heart was pounding and my eyes were wide. I could feel my palms becoming clammy and sweat rolled down my cheek. This whole experience was so weird, so bizarre that I had no idea how to handle it. I saw that the box was locked with a sliding lock and I walked gingerly towards it. My hand was shaking but I managed to grab a hold of the latch and slide it so as to unlock the box.

The lid flung open and a black figure sprang up. I screamed. Or at least I tried and I fell backwards on my butt in the dusty ground. My flashlight fell from my hands and rolled away and I turned to bolt up the stairs that would lead me away from the horrid basement. I ran and ran until I was through the doorframe. I slammed the door behind me and locked it with the key that I had somehow managed to keep in hand. I felt a hard impact from the other side and my ears were polluted with the vile sounds of inhuman groans and the scratching of nails against wood. I ran to the phone and called the police.

By the time the authorities got to the house the noises had ceased. When they opened the door that found the thing had left long bloody scratch marks on the other side of the door. There were even some broken fingernails lodged in the wood. When they ventured further they found the body of the creature I had ran from in the dark. It had apparently died sometime between jumping out of the box and now. It was a man. His body was badly mutilated and was barely able to tell he was male. His skin was black and flaky and charred as if he had been in a fire. His eyelids and lips had been cut away and his tongue removed. One of his arms had been completely severed at the elbow and the autopsy revealed some minor organs had been removed. His genitals were horribly mangled and his bones showed signs of multiple breaks. His remaining teeth were cracked and jagged as if hit by a hammer. He had no hair as it had probably been burnt off in whatever fire had destroyed his skin. He had no toes on one foot and only half his fingers on his remaining hand. There were various chemicals found in his system that told us that he had gone through several heinous injections. He was nude except for a medical bracelet that had been fused to his wrist in the heat of the flames that had scarred him. It read ‘Harold’.
Upon hearing this I immediately remembered my aunt favorite mantra and my stomach became weak, “I never throw anything away”.

My uncle had gone missing over 15 years ago and was presumed dead. I never thought I would ever meet him. Old journals were found in the basement that revealed that my Aunts mental illness was worse than we could have ever imagined. It turns out that she thought her actions were justified under orders from God. She thought it was her duty to cleanse my uncle’s soul through continuous suffering and had trapped him down in the basement and tortured him for years. When I went down and unknowingly opened the door of his cage he wasn’t trying to chase me, but rather he was trying to escape the hell he had been confined to for 15 years…and I and locked him there. I had kept him in the basement and he died never being able to see the light of day again.

He died in the same hell he wanted nothing more than to escape from. I carry that guilt with me forever. I put her house for sale afterwards, but no one wanted to buy the house of the murderous woman who kept her husband in a box. The house burned down some years after, no one is sure if it was arson or an accident, but I didn’t care. When I heard the news I smiled.

I still have the key, though. A reminder that you can’t trust those you love the most at face value. A reminder that the person you hold in highest regard could be a devil in disguise. Besides, despite my animosity towards my aunt I cannot get myself to get rid of the key.
After all, I never throw anything away.

Credit To – Clever Boy

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Upstairs

July 25, 2014 at 12:00 AM
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“Upstairs” – Short Film from Jacob Worden on Vimeo.

Upstairs is a short piece inspired by creepypasta stories “In the Kitchen” and “Upstairs”. Made to emulate the look of a quiet, low-budget 70s horror film.

Credit: STUDIO GREYBLUE

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Residual

July 24, 2014 at 12:00 PM
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Concealed by rock and magma, there is a place which harbors an unimaginable secret. It is completely invisible from the empty sky, the cluttered earth and the chaotic seas. No matter how hard you look, how far you search, or how deep you venture, you will never find it. At a time, there may have been a passage leading there, an entrance through which one could enter; but I guarantee you that it does not exist anymore. There is no use exploring in an attempt to discover this place and neither is there any use in waiting for it to be revealed naturally over time, for the earth itself shall crumble before the rock encasing it corrodes.

There have only ever been a select few people there in all eternity, and after they left, they ensured that no other would ever be able to return. Or rather, they ensured that nothing would escape. For you see, this place was not chosen to be a fortress (though it could be defined as such), it was selected and then designed to be a prison; to contain. The secrecy and impenetrability of this place was a measure not meant to withhold secrets (though it does), it was a seal meant to protect the entirety of life.

Incarcerated in this archaic place of ancient stone and forgotten secrets is something far worse than anything mankind has dared to imagine. It is more dangerous than a supernova, more frightening than the most primordial legends and more powerful than any god.

Its motives are beyond the understanding of human minds and its appearance is enough to make any blind man go mad. To try and understand it would be like attempting to imagine a color you have never seen.

It is the inspiration behind demons and devils, the puppeteer of war and the seed of corruption, the absolute void of madness. For even from within its prison, it still reaches out; calling to us, bringing us ever closer to its malevolent grasp.

How it came to be is entirely unknown, a secret that it alone with holds from mortal knowledge. It can be said, however, that it is not of our creation and we are not of its.

It is neither alive or dead, only everlasting and infinite in its existence and boundless in its putrid influence.

Whether or not it will be our doom cannot be seen, though I suspect it will be. For no matter how far we venture from it, the footprint of its power will forever be embedded into our unconscious.

And eons after humanity has become extinct and the earth has become nothing more than asteroids blindly wandering the universe, there it shall remain; in its prison, residual for all eternity. It will forever be the sole survivor, yet never a victim; only a lone destroyer with a purpose that shall be perpetually unknown and indiscernible to mere mortal minds.

Credit To – Zyon J.

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The Bear

July 24, 2014 at 12:00 AM
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It is not with a high frequency that I am subject to nightmares. That being said there are times where, like any other person, I experience the rather disturbing scenarios that arise from the depths of my own mind. This particular sequence of events chilled me to the bone however.

Chilling to the bone. That phrase is often overused in my eyes. The potency of a phrase may diminish when its usage has become annoyingly common. But in this context it works perfectly.

Whenever I would wake up from this dream I would be cold. I would feel wet, like someone had just hosed me down with a jet of water, although I would be perfectly dry. The chill would start on my skin, stimulating the tiny hairs on the outer layer of me. It would begin in the middle of my chest, like the chills that are caused by music. The cold would spread over me, working its way through my appendages like a wave of energy. Once it had tingled through my body it would race down the spine again and make me shudder. It would then sit inside me. Like a chunk of ice it would linger and melt away slowly as I forgot the dream.

I can not remember the dream well. Dreams only stay in the human mind for short periods of time. I can’t tell you the actual time length but I’m confident that it’s something like after ten minutes 90% of the dream is forgotten.

This dream is a new occurrence. It’s only happened a few of times. All of them in the last few days. Of course it doesn’t take much to remember something like this. I think it’s getting progressively worse. Like a story. The dreams seem to be progressing in intensity and clarity like the arc of a plot leading to a climactic moment of realization.

I can only remember one image. Only one, it’s always the same. A bear. A large, black bear. The image is burned into my mind, like a tattoo on the skin of a biker.

The bear is standing there. Tall. It is so tall, maybe twelve or thirteen feet tall. I can’t remember the scenery anymore, even though I only just woke up. All I know is that it was dark, a single from standing in the distance. The bear.

This is the third time that I’ve had this dream. The second time I remembered even less. I only remembered shapes, no sound or color, just dark shapes. The first occurrence, is blurred in my sub conscience, the only things that stuck around were the animalistic feelings of a hunt.

I’m sitting in my bed right now, shuddering with this strange cold that won’t leave me. My room is dark. It is still night outside, the alarm clock on the side of my bed reads 1:00 in its blocky red font. It’s 1 AM and I have to work later today.

I lay back down and look around my room. I hear the faint whispering noises coming out of the floor register. The street lights filter, like dancing beams of glowing air, through my blinds. The room has taken on a blueish tinge, like a Picasso painting during his blue period. My fan is going in the corner, its whirring noises calm me slightly as I lie back down into my bed. I curl up into a fetal position and hold the blankets tightly to my figure in an attempt to regain some of my lost heat.

I close my eyes, waiting to see if the bear will return.

My mind races at the sudden loss of sight. Everything auditory becomes more intense. I can hear the wind outside blowing past my house, rushing through the pine trees behind my house, up and around the parked cars in the street.

My eyes move slowly around the inside my my eyelids, slowing as I reach closer to sleep. And then, I am taken by it. I begin to dream.

I am in a forest. It is cold, blue, purple, and black with night. The sky above me is dark and turmoiled with what appears to be a storm. The wind is blowing at my back, everything is moving slowly. I look at the sky again, lightning flashes above me, silently. Strange. There is no sound from the lightning, yet I can hear the wind blowing all around me.

I begin to move through the forest. The pine trees around me make everything seem sharp and pointed. They sway in the wind, only ever illuminated by the occasional flash of lightning. Everything is a silhouette, the trees are shadowless forms, mixing with grasses and bushes to form black artwork that I can scarcely make out. My depth perception is useless in this darkness. I’m moving slowly, and quietly. I can’t hear anything but the wind.

Behind me, out of nowhere, I sense a presence. It is strange, unlike anything that I have felt before. It feels cold. It is like someone has just come up behind me and opened a freezer. The warmth in the air is sucked away. I feel a drop of water hit my nose. Rain.

It begins to rain slowly, not ever picking up. It is like a light misty rain that comes down in little pellets of water. It is weak. As the rain slowly moistens the clothes I’m wearing I begin to feel even colder.

I feel the presence behind me again. It feels closer now. I cannot hear anything but the wind and the light pattering of the rain on the dense forest floor. I want to turn around and look behind me. I know that something is there. I can feel it getting closer to me.

I slowly look around at my surroundings to try and gain some sort of bearing on this presence at my back. I am afraid to turn and face the adversary, it is too much like being hunted. The trees around grow sinister. They are black holes in the horizon sucking away the matter of my mind. I look to my left, directly at the trees. I am moving relatively fast for a walking pace. The trees are moving by, casting shadows.

Low hanging branches are mixing together. In the branches I see something. I slow momentarily and look into the purply blackness marked by silhouetted branches. Something moves. The air grows frigidly cold. There, in the hole, I see two snorts of mist exit from an unknown location. Something is in the forest watching me, and breathing heavily.

I begin to walk through the forest faster. I gain speed slowly, the presence seems to fall back while I move faster away from it. I cannot hear my own footsteps, although I feel them hitting the ground. I am silent. I can only hear the wind and the rain. The persistent cold is going away slightly. It has changed, I no longer feel cold on the inside as I had before, now it is only from the wind against my wet jacket.

I am moving relatively quickly now, like that of a speed walker. I slowly gain up the courage to look behind me. The movements in my neck feel slow and forced, like I’ve been hunched over a computer for the whole day.

I look behind me. I see nothing. It is dark. Then, a chill begins to creep up my spine. It is like an insect has found its way under my jacket and is slowly working its way up the small of my back and up along the ridges of my spine. The cold is returning.

I have slowed down. I am no longer moving.

The lightning flashes overhead. behind me I make out a shape. Something large. It is shaped like a boulder, and it is growing very slowly in the distance. I can feel the cold emanating from this form. I turn around and begin to walk faster again. Now moving at an even healthier clip than I was before.

A picture of the form behind has burned itself into the insides of my eyelids. Flashing the image on my gave every time that I blink. I can see its eyes. Silver and red at the same time. Mixing and merging with each other. Its breath is like white smoke from a slow burning fire. The tendrils of smoke are leaking out of the corners of its invisible mouth.

I begin to stumble through the forest. The trees are moving in the wind, their forms now mix with one another and form sinister smiles in the branches. I can only hear the wind and the rain.
I look behind myself again. The boulder shape has fallen behind, I can no longer see it. I begin to run.

Looking to the sides of the forest again I begin to see shapes forming in the branches. An enormous thing is running directly beside me. It is not the shape of any animal. Its forelegs are the size of enormous arms, the back legs are squat and springy like that of a rabbit. It races alongside me and I can always see it next to me no matter which side of the forest I look to. I see its face.

A flash of lightning illuminates the dark shape that is racing me. It is looking directly at me. Its eyes are white as snow with no iris or pupil. The brown snout is caked in mud and what could be blood. The teeth are yellowed and cracked. It is smiling at me like I will soon become its next meal.

The running is slow and fast at the same time. I feel as though I am moving effortlessly through the forest faster than a car, but I also feel as if I am not moving at all. I see the trees and bushes rushing by my quickly. I look behind myself again, I see nothing. The beast at my side has disappeared into oblivion.

I redirect my attention forward and look at the forest in front of me. I see nothing for what seems like minutes but was most likely only seconds.

Then, in the distance I see a what looks like the edge of the forest. I am filled with a sense of urgency and adrenaline as I rapidly pursue the forests edge. I move up an incline through the darkness. And then the forest floor falls back downward. I am almost at the clearing. It is maybe one hundred feet in front of me.

I feel cold. The chill has crept back into me. It has worked its way back into the very center of my core and is forcing me to slow down. I feel the ground rush up to me as my legs cease to work. I am forced to lie on the floor as I become even more cold. I turn over onto my back and look back into the forest, knowing that the safety of the clearing is not but thirty-five yards ahead of me.

I look back into the forest. I don’t see anything. I hear nothing but the wind and the rain. The sky has become more violent. It is black and grey, churning above me with virulent anger.

Then, everything is still. I hear no sound. The wind has not stopped. The rain has stopped. There is no sound. It is utterly and completely silent in the darkness of the forest. And then in the distance I here a scream. It is like the screech of a bat several octaves lower than possible. The screech gives into a roar of depth and power, the base of the bellow is deep and resonates through the forest. I know that the beast will soon be upon me.

I look in front of me, and see nothing but the silhouetted pine trees waving in the silenced wind.

There is a flash of lightning. It is blue and yellow at the same time and sends the increasing chills racing through my body. Its illumination of the forest is momentary and revealing.

There is a boulder shape moving towards me, rising slowly over the crest of the hill, entering my field of view like an eighteen wheeler would move over a hill. My eyes open wide, my irises retract instantaneously to allow more light into my eyes as the fear climaxes into an adrenaline fueled panic.

Then I hear it. Its breathing is slow and wet. Like it is filled with saliva and blood. It is a thick, deep sound. I hear the branches breaking under its feet. They might be the size of tree trunks but they snap with the explosive sound of a shotgun as they break under the power of the slowly looming monstrosity.

I look to the sides again hoping to see that there is a possibility of escape for me. All I see is that the forest is slowly leaking hands of fog into my space. In the forest I see the faces of the trees looking at me with lust. They want to consume me as well. I see the face of the thing that was running next to me again. It is still smiling. Only its eyes seem brighter.

Lightning illuminates the forest once more. The sounds of the creature cease. It has stopped moving, as if it wants to pose for the flash of natures’ camera as it prepares to bear down on my weak human form. I look away from the face next to me slowly. I, with a fading feeling, hope that the creatures on my sides will not lash out towards me whilst I am not prepared. It takes more strength to turn away from the ever present faces than it does to look upon my hunter.

The light flashes slowly for me. It moves from the clearing up across the ground like a curtain lifting up to reveal the set stage of a play. It rises up the hill and reveals the beast.

It is a beast. Not an animal. It is a beast unlike any possible creature on the planet. It sucks the light into its form like it was a rip in space. Coldness emanates from it, causing the chills moving in my body to intensify to an extreme. Its form is blacker than the night, its fur ripples in the wind like a shaggy dog. It is tall. Taller than any animal that lives in the western hemisphere. Its shoulders are resting farther down the body, making the neck seem elongated and thick. Its head merges with the neck in one oblong shape. The only changes on the head are the pointed ears that sit atop its immense form.

I can only see its face for a moment. It is obscured by the darkness surrounding its body. It feels evil. Cruel. Cold.

Time has sped up from the flash, everything is moving as if it were suddenly imbued with some kind of newfound vigor. I lie unable to move at the mercy of whatever creature this is.

I can no longer see anything. The darkness and cold of my scene has engulfed the forest, leaving nothing but the treetops visible in the night sky. I cannot see the form of my pursuer.

Lightning fills the sky once more, shocking the ground with a boom that I have yet to hear. With this flash of light and sound the entire world reactivates. Suddenly everything is roaring with noise. The wind shakes the trees with the ferocity of a lion killing its prey. The rain shocks upon the ground like swords clang against each other in battle. And I see my opponent bearing down on me. He is almost upon me. I can see his face, it is evil.

The corners of his mouth are turned up into snarl revealing yellowed and elongated teeth. The snout of the monster is caked with a brownish substance, I cannot tell if it is blood or mud, and at this point I am to chilled to consider the likelihood of either. Its eyes are what haunt me the most. They seem colorless, like a void, but not black. They retain some color. Red. They are a deep rich red that can only be seen in a passing light, like an iridescent mixing of silver and crimson. From his mouth drip copious amounts of saliva and foam. The thing is like a disease that inhabits the forest.

He is less than twenty feet from me. I begin to feel his breath. It sounds hot and heavy, but when intact it is like the freezing winds of an ice storm.

He is getting closer.

I open my mouth to scream and am shot from my dream into an upright position in my bed. My mouth is hanging wide open, air escaping from my gaping maw like a small leak in a tire.

I am so cold. It is so cold in my room.

I fling the covers from my bed and rush to the light switch on the far side of the room.

I turn on the lights and press my back up against the wall. I look out at the space I call my own and see the ground and bed. It is covered in dirt, leaves and pine needles. The ground is wet. The prints of my bare feet are all over the floor, I do not know how they got there.

Droplets of bubbling liquid are falling down the side of my bed mere inches from where my face was but a moment ago. It was like something was waiting to bite down on my head and crush the life from me.

I stare at my floor completely dumbfounded and frightened. I back out of my room and grab the jacket that is hanging on the doorknob.

I put the jacket on one sleeve at a time, still staring into my room.

The jacket feels funny. I look down at my now enveloped arms and see black fur covering the face and sleeves of the jacket. Looking away from the sleeves in horror I see that the ground is covered in claw marks. Scratches line the walls pictures are broken on the floors.

I race through the house and out the back door at full speed.

THE BEAR IS IN MY HOUSE, I think rapidly as I dash through my backyard.

I continue to run through the trees in my backyard until I can no longer see the the lights of my house behind me. I stop for a moment and look at my surroundings.

I am in a forest. The wind is blowing. The sky is dark and cloudy. I notice a water droplet hit the dirt floor of the forest next to my bare foot. Lightning illuminates the forest with a boom of energetic power.

I fail to notice as my jacket rips slightly. My vision gets used to the darkness. My bloody and torn fingernails become slightly sharper. I begin to feel stronger.

Suddenly I begin to feel very cold.

I move through the forest and come upon a small piece of reflective glass. I look into the glass and see bright, completely white, eyes looking back at me.

I smile and admire my new teeth.

I can smell my prey.

Someone is walking.

In MY forest.

Credit To – Pablo Swuarez

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The Joys of Cat Ownership

July 23, 2014 at 12:00 PM
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I love cats. They’re so fuzzy and mischievous…totally adorable.

Well, not always adorable. Sometimes they’re destructive, annoying, and loud. Especially at night.

Any cat owner can tell you what it feels like to wake in the middle of the night to the sound of your beloved pet racing from one end of the house to the other and back at top speed, or to jump out of bed at the sound of a crash, certain you’re being robbed, to find your cat looking innocently up at you from a pile of pieces that probably used to be one of your most expensive possessions.

All cats are experts at demanding your attention, whether they’re jumping on your laptop while you’re writing that email or pawing at your face first thing in the morning to wake you. What they do in the night is likely just another method for making sure they keep your attention.

My cat especially is an innovator in this field. She’s a young tabby, just under a year old by the vet’s estimate. My boyfriend and I adopted her six months ago from a rescue run out of an older couple’s home. She’s always been an attention grabber with a sweet-and-sour attitude; she’ll hop right into my lap, knocking whatever I’m working on out of my hands, but she won’t let me pet her. She’ll nip at my hands if I try. Her bids for attention have changed a bit in the few months we’ve had her. She used to meow loudly for food any time I was in the kitchen, and try to paw her way into the cabinet where her food is stored. Now I only have to worry if I accidentally leave it open or leave the bag of dry food out on the kitchen floor, because she doesn’t hesitate to shred it up with her claws trying to get to the food.

Recently, however, she’s been acting really strangely. There’s a sound she makes when she sees birds and squirrels through the window, kind of like a barking/chirping noise. Apparently this is a normal part of the feline hunting routine. What’s strange is that lately she’s started doing that in our bedroom, to the wall opposite the windows. She’ll stare at a spot high on the wall, making that noise and trying to jump up to the spot like she thinks there’s something to catch there. It would be cute, if it didn’t make me worry she had vision problems or some other issue. The vet says she’s fine, so I just attribute it to her goofy personality.

It isn’t just the pseudo-hunting in the bedroom. Cats often have a habit of pawing their humans’ faces in the morning to wake them, but mine has started doing it in the middle of the night. She’ll paw at my face for a bit until I push her away, and then she’ll meow sorrowfully for a moment before hopping up and snuggling between me and my boyfriend. That’s another thing; this cat is not a snuggler. She likes to lay on my lap while I’m awake, but she does not particularly enjoy being held or cuddled and often snaps at me if I try to cover her with a blanket. Now she’ll climb under the blanket with us on her own. I’m starting to worry about her.

Now I know these peculiarities don’t sound all that odd, but something has just seemed…off, lately. Between my cat waking me and my boyfriend hogging the bed, I haven’t gotten much sleep. I’m always the last one to get to bed, so the cat and I are often the only two awake for a few hours each day. She likes to be right next to or on top of me during this time. I usually just watch or play something on my computer, or crochet. Sometimes I use this time to do laundry, but I don’t like going into the basement at night.

Now, I’ve seen some actual creepy basements in my young life. This isn’t really one of them. I used to work in a family-owned bookstore in the historic part of our city. It spanned two storefronts and the basements were joined. There were endless floor-to-ceiling shelves down there used for storing products and packing materials. There were plenty of lights, but the shelves made them ineffective anywhere but in their own aisles. There were pipes running through the whole area, several of which were low enough to require the employees to duck. There was a large wooden door on one wall with a red light coming from within through a knot in the wood. Certainly it was a boiler room or utilities room or something of that nature, but let me tell you, the time I spent alone slicing up cardboard boxes with a boxcutter right next to that door was a bit tense.

That was a creepy basement. The one in our house now, not so much. It’s empty, only two rooms. The stairs lead right to the middle of the space, with the laundry room on the left between the stairs and the back wall. It has another wall between it and the wall opposite the stairs but no door, so technically I suppose it’s all one room, except for a small closet under the stairs. The main space wraps around the stairs and the laundry room in an L-shape, and this is part of what I don’t like; I can’t see the whole room from the stairs. I’m one of those paranoid people who always sits in the corner of the room where I can see everything and I can’t stand to have anyone behind me. Going downstairs to arrive in the middle of a poorly lit room with several parts I can’t see is not fun for me. Even worse, the lights have been changing.

There are plenty of lights in the basement, the problem is that they don’t all work. Usually it seems like only the light in the middle of the room, at the base of the stairs, comes on, and it’s faint. There’s a separate switch at the bottom of the stairs for the laundry room, which has just been redone and thus has bright, working lights. But before I reach that switch, there’s very little light to go on. Recently, though, more of the lights in the basement will come on when I flip the switch, and sometimes the main light doesn’t go on with them. I mean, I guess that’s not too unusual. The house is old, and aside from the laundry room no one has touched the wiring in the basement for at least 40 years. It’s unnerving, though. I’m logical and detail-oriented, so changes like this make me want a more concrete explanation than “the lights are old.”

So, back to my cat’s strange behavior. There are two bedrooms upstairs that we’ve just been using for storage until we decide what to do with them. She has started wandering around the upstairs and meowing plaintively sometimes. Because the rooms are mostly empty, even her quiet voice echoes around up there. It sounds like she’s crying. I’ve brought her the vet several times since we got her; first for a basic checkup, and then out of concern over her eating habits. She’s finishing up her last round of worm medication and is otherwise healthy, so I know she’s not crying out of pain. I wonder if she’s lonely. That would explain why she keeps trying to wake me up in the middle of the night.

I’d love to get her a new feline friend, but my other half is going to take some convincing. I’ll have to start working on him tomorrow. Just thought I’d throw this up on my blog and see if anyone else has had similar issues with their cats.

My cat was not lonely.

She was not hungry, or bored.

She was terrified.

She woke me up last night, pawing at my face and mewing quietly but urgently at me. I tried to just ignore her, hoping she’d give up and settle down, but instead she extended her claws a bit. She managed to hit my right eye hard enough to make it water, then dodged my arm as I swiped at her, jumping up behind me and snuggling under the blanket between me and my boyfriend. She went very quiet and still.

Fuming, I thought about getting up to look at my eye in the mirror but decided against it; the room was cold, and my bed was warm. I decided to just keep the eye open until it stopped throbbing. Since I was laying on my right side with my long hair fanned out on my pillow, it fell across my face enough to block most of the light from the bathroom night light coming through the open bedroom door. As I waited to be able to close my eye and go back to sleep, I heard a noise.

The basement door was opening on its own.

Or so I thought, until I heard almost-silent footsteps navigating the kitchen with expert steps. Even in the dark, whoever it was managed to avoid the table, chairs, laundry baskets, litter box, garbage can, and cat food dishes without so much as a bump or a clink. I froze, not daring even to close my right eye or open my left. Through my hair I could see a large dark shape enter the bedroom and stop right in front of me. I prayed it couldn’t see my open eye as a thousand scenarios played themselves out in my mind.

Somehow my mind got hung up on the fact that it hadn’t tripped over anything in the kitchen, so this wasn’t the first time it had watched us while we slept. That fact kept me trying to breathe as I would in sleep, hoping that if it hadn’t done anything to us in our sleep during previous visits it wouldn’t start now. My cat was a warm, silent lump behind me, hiding beneath the blanket in terror.

Nothing happened for a few minutes. My right eye was still sore, and felt extremely dried out because I hadn’t blinked once. The shape didn’t move, standing so still I started to wonder if the cat had actually damaged my eye with her paw, creating the dark blur I was seeing.

Suddenly, I felt a movement from behind me. My boyfriend was stirring. I tried hard not to panic, unsure of what to do. Ordinarily I’m the kind of person who will grab a knife to go investigate a strange noise, but there were no knives in the bedroom and I didn’t know if the dark form was armed. It was definitely at an advantage, already standing above me, not tangled in blankets as I was. As my boyfriend shifted, it moved out of the room, back through the kitchen, through the basement door. I heard it close quietly.

I was pretty sure it hadn’t known I was awake. It wasn’t looking for a conflict; it had fled as soon as my boyfriend started to wake up. I felt him get out of bed to go to the bathroom and reached for my phone quickly. I didn’t want him to panic. I didn’t want the thing in the basement to know I saw it until it was too late. I dialed the police and reported a home invasion as calmly and quietly as I could. When I’d hung up, I got up myself, giving my boyfriend a hug and a kiss as I passed him on my way to the bathroom. I had to come up with excuses to stay awake until the police arrived without alerting the thing in the basement.

Finally there was the sound of sirens and a knock on the front door. I felt awful when my boyfriend came out of the bedroom and looked at me in confusion and concern as I opened it without a word, but there would be time for explanations later. I wanted whoever was in our basement behind bars. Tonight.

The police searched the whole house, but didn’t find anyone or anything as large as I’d described. The doors and windows were all locked and deadbolted from the inside, as we always kept them, but beneath the basement stairs they found a few bloody feathers and the bones of small wild animals. There was no point of entry for any animal from the outside, and there weren’t whole carcasses or skeletons, just a few bloody remnants of what looked to be, from the bite marks on the bones, someone’s last few meals.

The police didn’t know what to make of it, and to my knowledge no one has been arrested in connection with the “break-in” that left all of our doors and windows perfectly secured. I told my boyfriend what I’d witnessed and why I hadn’t alerted him sooner. We got a security system, added more lighting to the basement, knocked down the interior walls, and exchanged our normal stairs for a spiral staircase, eliminating the closet below the stairs and allowing for a full view of the entire basement from the top or bottom of the staircase.

Our cat started acting normally again. After months of wondering about her strange behavior I now realize that her demands for attention weren’t an indication that I should be worried for her, rather a sign of her concern for all of us. So the next time your pet starts acting up with no apparent medical reason, be on alert. Like I said, to my knowledge the thing under our stairs hasn’t been caught.

Credit To – Amanda Laven

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Echo Of The Dead

July 23, 2014 at 12:00 AM
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Saturday, 8:01pm

Michael and four of his friends wandered around the streets of New York. Laughing and chatting, they pushed each other around the sidewalks, provoking glares from other passerby. The boys didn’t mind, though. It was a wonderful night and nothing was going to ruin it.

Michael paused in front of a dark alley. “You guys go on ahead, okay?” He told his friends. “I’ll catch up.” He stared into the alley. No one was there, but he could have sworn he heard a voice…

Tuesday, 8:01pm

Catherine tried in vain to get her tube of lipstick open. It was Prom Night, and her date was already here, waiting for her downstairs. “Please!” She begged the lipstick. “I’m going to be late!” Finally, with a mighty jerk, the cap popped off. Catherine smiled and began applying her lipstick.

“CATHERINE!” Her date’s terrified voice came from downstairs, making her smear red lipstick over her cheek.”

“Tom!?” She cried, searching frantically for a napkin. “What’s wrong?!”

“Oh, good,” Tom replied, sounding much calmer. “You’re OK. You were up there for a while, so I got a little worried.” He paused. “Hey, can you come down here for a second? I want to show you something.”

Catherine frowned. “Right now? But I have lipstick all over my face.”

“Lipstick?” Tom sounded confused for a second. “It’s OK! I don’t mind! Just come quick, it’s urgent.”

Catherine gave up looking for a napkin. “Alright, I’m coming…”

Thursday, 8:01

“If your parents catch us, we’re dead!”

Diana grinned. “We’ll be fine. They think I’m still asleep. Besides, they won’t come this far into the forest anyway, at least not at night.”

James-her best friend- laughed. “Whatever you say, Di.” He looked around. They were in a dense forest with huge, leafy green and yellow trees. It was hard to see much color at night, though. “So, you said the old house was that way?”

“James!” Giggling, Diana shoved him. “It is not that old! We saw it being built, remember?”

James shrugged. “It’s haunted, right? That’s more or less the same thing. They say that a couple of kids died there. Cassie and Thomas, or something like that.”

Diana gave him a look. “That was a few days ago, bonehead! Besides, you shouldn’t joke about stuff like that.”

“Fine, fine,” he muttered. He was silent for a moment. “Want to race? To the haunted house, I mean?”

“Okay,” Diana agreed. “You’re on!” They stood side by side. “Ready, Set-“

James took off before she could finish.

“You cheater!” She cried, running after him. Diana raced for a little bit, though she couldn’t catch up. She flopped to the ground. “Okay….James…I give…up. You win,” she panted. “Can we….walk the rest…of the….way?” She paused and looked around, trying to catch her breath. “James?”

He wasn’t there.

“James, this isn’t funny.” Diana’s breath caught in her throat. She heard someone yelling up ahead, but it was too far to make out, and she doubted she could stand up, much less run to help. The yelling stopped. A few seconds passed. She tried to peer into the forest, but it was dark. The leaves were blocking the moonlight. She heard leaves crunching behind her. She whipped around, but nothing was there. Diana began to feel uneasy, even scared. That story that had caused such an uproar a few days ago flashed through her mind.

Up ahead, James laughed, making her jump. “Come here! I want to show you something.”

Diana nearly sobbed with relief at hearing his voice. “I would,” she answered, “but I’m a little….tired. I can barely walk.”

“Oh.” He sounded disappointed. “Well, I’ll just have to come over there, then.”

Diana waited, but she didn’t see anyone. Using a tree for support, she unsteadily got to her feet. Then there was a searing pain at the back of her neck, like someone was dragging a hot knife across it, and everything went away.

Saturday, 8:05pm

Michael took a cautious step forward. “Hello?” He called. His voice echoed off of the close walls, giving an eerie sound effect, and he shivered.

“Over here!” A girlish voice answered him enthusiastically from deep inside the alley.

Michaels eyes widened. “Linda?” It was his crush from school! He couldn’t believe it. “Is that you?” He took another step forward.

“Of course!” Linda laughed. “Now come over here. I want to show you something.”

Michael all but ran down the alleyway. He stopped when he reached a large wall. “Yes?” he asked eagerly. He waited, the frowned. “Where are you? I can’t find you….”

“I’m right here!” Linda insisted, then laughed again. At least, Michael thought it was a laugh. It sounded like dry leaves being crushed. “I’m here…right behind you.”

Michael turned slowly, confused. Then he saw it. A shadow melted out of the darkness and took form. It was large, it’s shoulder taller than he was, with a black, sleek, greyhound-like body. Unfortunately, that was about as normal as it got. The shadow had six long, skeletal legs ending in talons with three claws each. It was hard to tell, but it looked like there were two long, waving tails attached to its rear end. There were countless huge, gleaming, razor-sharp teeth jutting out of its mouth. Worst of all were its four eyes, which were large, white, pupiless, and made Michael feel dizzy and nauseated just by looking at them. He opened his mouth to scream, but one of the whip-like bony tails snaked around with a sharp CRAACK! There was a burning pain in his mouth, and he gagged, the remains of his tongue falling to the ground.

“Now, we can’t have that, can we?” The Monster scolded in Linda’s voice. “I’m not done with you yet. You can’t just go around calling your friends to come help you! That would be cheating.”

Michael was frozen in his spot, the pain forgotten. His thoughts were blurry, like he’d been drinking. He managed to string together a few words in his head. …That’s…Not…Linda…

The Monster almost seemed to smile. “No, I’m not,” It agreed, like it had read his mind. “Your girlfriend is dead.” It reared up on its back legs and spread the other four wide, opening its mouth and displaying the fearsome teeth. “Good game,” it hissed, and lunged at him, wrapping its arms around him in a strange hug. It ripped open the back of Michael’s neck with its claws, and let him fall to the ground. The last thing he saw was the Monster licking its black talons.

Tuesday, 8:05pm

Catherine hurried down the stairs, trying to simultaneously not fall over in her heels and wipe the lipstick off of her face with part of her dress. No matter what her date said, she was not going to be seen as a mess, even at home.

The house was strangely quiet. “Tom?” She called.

“In the living room!” He answered. “Come quick!”

Catherine hurried over, wondering what could be so important. “Tom? What is- AAHHHH!”

Tom was sprawled out on the floor face down. Dark blood coated the back of his shirt, and it was now dripping on the carpet. Around him were large red three-toed footprints and streaks across the couch and chairs. Tears clouded Catherine’s vision, and she tried to blink them away. He parents were going to ground her for life! She didn’t kill Tom, but it that’s what it looks like to someone who wasn’t there. The police were going to get involved-she couldn’t go to prison! She was supposed to be Prom queen! The prettiest girl in the state! She finally let herself cry, not caring that it was going to ruin her makeup. She was a mess right now anyway, and there might be time to reapply it later. Her life was ruined! There wasn’t even any time to clean up the blood-not that it mattered. She knew for a fact that blood stains almost everything you can stain, especially clothing.

Catherine heard leaves crunching behind her, and she froze. It wasn’t usually a sound you heard in a house, but there was no mistaking it.

“What’s wrong, Catherine?” Tom’s voice mocked her from behind. “Shocked?”

She made a whimpering noise in the back of her throat.

“Come on, turn around,” the voice prodded. “Like I said, I want to show you something.” There was the leaf-crunching noise again.

Catherine shook her head tightly, terrified.

Something roughly grabbed her and spun her around. She found herself face-to-face with four strangely hypnotic eyes and a mouthful of large fangs. “Hehehe…I don’t exactly look like Tom, do I.”

Catherine shook her head, crying. “P-please don’t kill me!” She begged.

The Thing seemed to grin. “Crying doesn’t work on me,” It told her proudly, before standing up on its back legs and spreading its arms wide.

It has six legs, Catherine realized with a sinking feeling. Just like a bug. I hate bugs. They all want nothing more than to eat you alive….

“Good game,” the Thing hissed, and grabbed her. She struggled, but she couldn’t free herself. It reached around and sliced open her neck. She went limp, and fell to the floor, staining more carpet.

Thursday, 8:05

Diana woke slowly. Where am I? She thought blearily, then remembered with a start. The forest! She and James were…they were…racing? But then something went wrong…

She tried to get up, but her legs wouldn’t move. Actually, weirdly enough, it almost seemed like….

Eventually, the world came into focus again. It took a second to realize what she was seeing. There was a lot of red-that’s for sure. But when she looked across her body, her legs were missing. So was half of her torso. And one of her arms. She was lying in a pool of her own blood. It should’ve hurt, but all she felt was a dull throbbing.

“You’re alive?” James asked from somewhere above her. He sounded truly surprised.

“James…” she croaked. “What’s going on?”

James sighed. “You haven’t figured it out? Oh, I don’t think you can see me from here. I should probably fix that.”

What stepped into view wasn’t James at all, but a huge black six-legged creature with very large teeth, two tails, and four very strange eyes. “Yeah, I’m not your friend. He’s dead. Like you should be. Aw, and I already started eating you and everything…”

“Who are you?” Diana cried. “What have you done to James?”

The creature seemed to grin. “Since you’re going to die anyway, I am called Echo. I think you can figure out why.” It narrowed its eyes. “Di! Run! Get help! No….NO!!!! RUN, DIANA! RUN AWAY!” It screeched in James’ voice. The terror in her best friend’s voice broke her heart. The horrible creature clacked its teeth together, making a sound like leaves crunching. “Yes, I rather like this voice, though I will lose it when I kill you. At least I will get yours, right?” Echo made the sound again, almost like it was laughing at her.

Diana wanted to cry. “Why…?” She choked out. “Why?”

Echo stood right over her and looked into her eyes, making her feel dizzy. “Why?” It purred. “You little humans have your games, and I have mine. Good game, Diana.” That was the last thing Diana heard before its jaws closed over her face.

Unknown Date

Echo watched its next target carefully as it read something on its…..what was that called again? Computer? Yes, a computer. But that wasn’t important, unless the human was on it again tomorrow when the moon took over the sky. Then it might be a little different. Echo studied it for a bit longer, then turned and slid quietly away, moving like a spider. There was a lot to do before the Game. He had to find out names, find out plans, learn voices, kill a human here or there… Echo was sure he had time, but only if he didn’t get distracted. The human had better be prepared, too. They always lost at this game, for some reason. It was simple, really. Whoever dies first is the loser. Funny, Echo didn’t even know the humans’ voice. But by tomorrow night, it would. Yes, by tomorrow night, it will know all about them.

Credit To – WikiGhost

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