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Little Fingers

August 24, 2015 at 12:00 PM
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This pasta was submitted in both audio and written format. If the video below does not load for you, please go directly to the video’s YouTube page instead.

Tiny goosebumps. Ice tingling up the spine. These sensations lingered; the only means of knowing that someone was watching. No, not watching… stalking. For how long? He didn’t really know, but he became aware of this presence not a few hours ago.

In that little cafe, with the clever wooden sign that hung above the door, Desmond had picked out a spot at a table by the window. Lazily flipping through his copy of the latest Digital Arts magazine, he absently grabbed for the latte beside him, and was just about to take another sip, when he spotted a hair… landing in the foam. Lately it was becoming a sort of ongoing joke that perhaps his hair thought he wasn’t getting enough protein. At least that’s how it appeared, since fending off the short, auburn strands from getting into food seemed now a familiar nuisance. Still, mild irritation quickly subsided when he came across the article he’d been searching for.

The article in question was a spotlight piece the magazine had published on his art career. Throughout the whole interview, he was surprised – sceptical even – that they would want to write about him but, well, there it was before him between vibrant and glossy pages! He even groaned a little at the accompanying artist photo. Having been torn between two photos, at the time, he now wished he had chosen the latter. Regardless, the finished article was still beautifully written and complete with several of his works. He was proud to see that most of his favourite pieces were there but, upon turning the page, his heart quickly froze. For taking up the entire following page was a picture that he had not recognized…

“They made a mistake,” he cursed quietly under his breath and inspected the image carefully.

Anyone would agree that his art had always been more on the darker side of things. He was the one who people came to when they needed macabre or monsters for their projects. Yet, try as he might, Desmond could not recall ever painting this piece, which was comparatively more creepy than anything he had ever attempted. However, the striking similarities between the artist’s style and his own made the piece nearly indistinguishable, except for the fact that the content was far more minimal. Within the painting, the viewer stood in a plain, dreary room, looking at the only other thing there: a large, cracked, and soil-smeared window framing a pitch black night outside. Desmond noted out-loud the artist’s skilful and pragmatic use of black, grey, and earthy tones that created an almost photo-realistic quality.

He searched for the title and quickly found it on the opposite page, in small italicized font: Nightmare by Desmond Freeman.

Clearly it was a mistake but it somehow still felt eerie. It was at that moment, though, that he spotted something else. Something tucked away in the darkness of the brush strokes. Something on the other side of the glass. It peeked through the bottom corner in a colour of pale white: a face – or at least a small fraction of what looked to be a face. Only a single eye could be seen peering in, bulging intently through matted, rain-soaked hair, as black as the night outside. Each strand clung to its clammy skin limply. Its stare, penetrating. A sense of maddened fear hung in the tension of long, dirtied nails of little fingers, paused in the act of slowly prying open the window pane.

He closed the magazine, perhaps in disgust.

The creepy nature of the article seemed to have thrown Desmond off, causing him to hesitate and momentarily dismiss the sensation of eyes fixated upon him as being all in his head. Still, with each passing moment, the unease steadily grew. Committing to the conclusion that the culprit was likely someone in the cafe and, upon quickly raising his head, Desmond scanned the almost vacant venue. The few people around didn’t appear to be paying him any mind, though. A group of three teenagers sat in a booth at the back, chatting loudly amongst themselves. Otherwise the only other patrons were an elderly couple quietly drinking their coffees and sharing a scone. Even the people on the bustling city street outside treated him with the same distracted disinterest as usual. Yet, the unsettling feeling stayed… it lingered. Lingered to the point where Desmond decidedly packed up his belongings into his bag and headed towards the park.

So, it was here, on the park’s weathered bench, that Desmond presently sat; patiently waiting in the hope that his suspicions be confirmed. Hunched over and shifting around on uncomfortable wooden slats, with steely blue eyes focused downward towards the pavement. He quietly watched as an ant made its way up the cup of unfinished latte, which sat on the ground beside his pair of beaten up Converse shoes and a few tufts of stubborn grass, before clumsily falling in. The path was in dire need of repair, he had determined some time ago, but was apparently still in use. Occasional echoed footsteps of joggers announced their approach, but would always pass by uneventfully. Mostly, though, the park was silent and empty. Not a soul around, save for the birds.

He paused for a moment to pull out his cell phone and glance down at the clock. He hadn’t been aware of the time and, though it didn’t feel like long, he had definitely been sitting there for at least an hour. No doubt this is what reminded him that Melanie had reserved a table for them at a new restaurant they had been meaning to try. If he left now he’d still have time to head home and shake off his nerves.

“Last chance to come out before I leave”, he tried – just in case – but, as expected, there came no reply. He sucked his tongue loudly in frustration and tugged at a loose shoelace before rising to his feet. The parking lot was not too far but, along the way, he made sure each step was deliberately slow and dampened, in an effort to listen close for footsteps following him. Yet, much to his relief, no one appeared and he even slightly chuckled at himself for allowing such silly paranoia to get under his skin. Confidence renewed, he reached into his jeans for the keys and groaned when the metal teeth caught on the fabric lining. They slipped in slow motion and hit the pavement with a loud, metallic thud. He bent down swiftly and scooped them up, but it was upon standing up that Desmond dared to glance back towards the bench once more and, for the second time that day, froze in place…

Shadows of the dense thickets made it hard to see at first, but his eyes had managed to pick out the chalky paleness of sallow flesh that reflected off the setting sun and little fingers – barely distinguishable from twigs – that parted leaves, to reveal my smiling face.

Credit To – Nuzzlebunny

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What Doesn’t Kill You Will Come Back For You Later

August 24, 2015 at 12:00 AM
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[static sounds, with a click of a button. As the cassette rolls, a woman begins to speak]

There once was a girl who could sleep peacefully at night. She would curl up in her blankets without any fear, just rest in the fact that she was safe and sound. That girl was me.

[pauses. clears throat.]

I was five when I was adopted by my parents. They were a warm, loving couple. I lived a great life with them, never worrying they would hate me, and there were no siblings around either. My mom would put me to bed and read me the Giving Tree as much as I wanted, and my dad would be there in the morning to make me breakfast.

I remember, one night, when I was seven, I’d had a nightmare. Scared, I rushed out of my room and ran to theirs, jumping in their bed and pulling the covers over my head. It woke them up, of course, and they asked me what was wrong. I told them that, when I fell asleep, something had snuck into the room with me, just sitting there, whispering. Shaking their heads, they let me sleep there, since we were all too tired to do anything else.

The next night, believing what I had seen was a nightmare, I lay down and went to sleep. That is, until 3 in the morning, when I heard. [sharp breath] My eyes wide open, I heard muffled screaming, coming from my parents room. I wasn’t entirely sure what to do, so I lay there, my blankets drawn up to my face. The screaming faded after a while, but they were replaced by different sounds.

The sound of claws scraping across the tiled floor.

[static and stuttered, quaking breath]

It came closer and closer, the being closing in on my door. I wasn’t sure what it was, but I was close, pressed up to my door in no time. But it never came in. I-I could hear it, whispering, over and over. You’re in there; let me in. You’re in there; let me in!

But I didn’t move until the sun rose, and I knew it was gone.

[faint sobs. continues]

The police came by later that day, and the ambulance took… my parents away. I saw them, covered from sheets, in head to toe, and I tried to follow them. A police officer held me back, saying that they were gone. I told him no, they’re right there, on those beds. I asked him why there was a blanket drawn over their faces, but he just left me there, wrapped in my own blanket, sitting on the steps. [pause, break in voice] Alone.

I’m, uh… I’m 27 years old now. I graduated from college three years ago and I’m now on my own. I was passed around from foster family to foster family. It wasn’t all bad, but I was never the same afterwards. I wouldn’t sleep without the light on. And I never held a blanket over my head. Ever. It’s still the same today, only I have a battery-powered light source now, and not wasting electricity.

I don’t know if what I saw was real. The police told me someone had broken into the house and killed them brutally. I left it at that, for at the time, I was a mess. I wouldn’t eat or sleep. All I could think about was the whispering.

You’re in there; let me in!

It wasn’t human. It was rather obvious. But I told no one. I’m not entirely sure why, at the time, but it was probably for the best. They would have thought I was crazy. [small peal of false laughter]

But I’m telling you this because… because the bad dreams are coming back. I… I hear it, at my door again, whispering. It’ll, um, it’ll knock sometimes. It starts out quiet, but, then it gets louder. Louder. Louder. Louder and louder until the whole house feels like it’s shaking.

[frantic breathing, then calm]

And, last night it… Last night it came again. But this time, it… it opened my, um… my door, and- [crying, sniffling of nose] I heard the handle jiggle, slightly, and the click. The hinges didn’t make a noise, but I knew. I opened my eyes, and I saw darkness. Nothing but pitch black.

I’m here. It whispered only one more time. I’m here for you.

[sniffling and blowing nose]

They say… they say what, uh, what doesn’t kill you makes you stronger. But… but I found that what doesn’t kill you will come back for you later.

It’s almost ten o’clock. My windows are closed and the main light is on.

[long pause]

If I don’t post anything on this tape in the morning, assume the worst.

[The tape audio stops. For a few second, you hear silence. Then, suddenly, the audio begins.]

[shuffling, quick movements and rough static]
i came. i told her i would.

[large, heavy, uneven breathing]

now, look behind you, in the door way.
[The audio stops. You look behind you and-]

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And More

August 23, 2015 at 12:00 PM
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“No, absolutely not,” I told the doctor. Dr. Murdock maintained eye contact with me. Whether or not he had any personal feelings about the situation, I couldn’t tell. I always thought it was eerie how detached some doctors could appear, almost as though they were machines that could turn emotion and off at will. Hell, with some of the cases they faced, that’s probably a necessary survival technique.
“You’re certain?” Dr. Murdock asked. “You know his situation. Free health care is a wonderful thing in theory, but you need to understand that it will be years before his chart is even processed, and even longer until they approve or decline his kidney transplant. He came to America because he knew you were here. The tests are positive, you are a perfect candidate as a donor, and it would expedite the process greatly if you agreed to this donation. That’s not to say this is his only hope, but you would be doing him a kindness by alleviating all the anxiety of having to find another potential donor.”
“I don’t even know this man. We’re supposed to be related? I didn’t know he existed until I received that damned letter telling me to receive a so-called ‘relative’ at the embassy. He’s no one to me, why should I owe him a kidney?”
Murdock’s lips tightened into a thin line. Ah, finally some emotion. So this doctor did have an opinion.
“You understand, Mr. Erikson, that there are hundreds of willing donors who are complete strangers to Mr. Fyrafemsju, who, if they were appropriate donors, would simply donate the needed organ for the sole purpose of helping another human being. They don’t owe him anything either, and yet they’re willing.”
I scoffed.
“Fyrafemsju. Why the hell doesn’t he go by first name when his last name is so jacked up? I almost choked on my own tongue tongue trying to say it. Aside from which, if he’s family, then why didn’t they come to America when my mother immigrated? Why would his family have stayed?”
“Fyrafemsju is his only name, he simply identifies as a member of his clan, a tribe derivative of the Sami people in northern Scandinavia; a tribe whose name, I assure you, is much more difficult to pronounce than his given name. And the short answer to your second question, Mr. Erikson, is simply that I don’t know. I don’t know your family history, I simply know that Fyrafemsju is in need and he came to you for help.”
“Yeah, I know he’s a part of some weird-ass tribe; the guys at the embassy gave me the background of his weird little voodoo mysticism cult, and I don’t give a damn. Why is he even using western medicine anyway? He should just get his shaman to do a little rain dance, pump him full of peyote or whatever the hell they smoke up there, and leave me the hell alone.”
Murdock closed his eyes for a moment. He was obviously trying to keep his frustration from showing. Without a word, he handed me a clipboard with a paper attached.
“Sign here. This is a disclosure indicating that you decline to undergo the transplant procedure and that we’ll be free to continue looking for a suitable donor as soon as possible.”
“Fan-tastic,” I said and scribbled my name at the bottom of the page. Murdock wasted no time in leaving the room, and I followed suit. As I walked through the waiting room of the doctor’s office, I saw my ass-backwards cousin sitting in a hard-backed chair. He glanced up at me, a hopeful look on his face. I winked at him.
“Sorry Pal, what’s mine is mine.”

“What do you mean you said no!” Becca shrieked on the other end of the line. I actually had to pull the phone away from my ear due to how loud she was screaming.
“Why should I have agreed?!” I yelled back. “What is it feminist women always say? ‘My body, my choice’? Well I’m invoking the same privilege!”
“You just gave this man a death sentence. You’re practically killing family, you—”
I hung up. I didn’t need this. I’d called my fiancee for support and hopefully to make plans for dinner or something. This was the last thing I’d needed after another 14-hour day at the office.
I was exhausted and had to get up in four hours to meet with a possible supplier for the moulds we needed to produce a single piece hardware required for the new product we otherwise were completely finished with.
One. Single. Piece.
Why the hell we needed to enlist a new supplier for something smaller than the size of a battery watch was beyond me. I know specialization is huge and everything in the modern economy, but let one of the other companies we’re already paying put forth a little damn effort and take this extra project! I handled dozens of projects at once, it’s completely unbelievable that a single product that can fit in one hand requires a different company for each piece of hardware. What a bunch of lazy-assed, pathetic wastes. I could make this piece myself, but they refuse on the principle of ‘industry’.
Like it mattered. We may as well have scrapped the project with how far behind schedule we were. We were supposed to have started production two weeks ago, and instead we’re meeting with weasels and sharks we who want to screw us over at every turn. I knew exactly what was going to happen tomorrow—we would exchange niceties, waste about two hours talking utter nonsense and pretending we didn’t want to stab the other person in the gums with the nearest relatively sharp object, listen as they explained their offensively high rates, pretend to haggle, and then walk away pissed off with another day wasted. If it were up to me, I’d just cancel altogether. Hell, if it were up to me, I’d just release the product without that final mould and find some famine-stricken village in Kiribati do it all by hand for pennies a day. It’d save us a hell of a lot of time and money.
I drove home in a fury, cursing the rain, cursing the traffic, cursing the ass-hat pedestrians who couldn’t figure out how a crosswalk works. A 15-minute car ride took over 45 minutes because apparently the world just loves to piss me off. Finally, I arrived at my complex, parked the car in my parking garage and made my way up to my room on the 44th floor. Psh, the 44th floor. That jackass who had the penthouse suite above me thought he was all that. He was never forward about it, but he rubbed in my face every day with his smug expression and condescending attitude. I’d board the elevator and there he’d be, on the way down from the floor above, greeting me with a smile on his face and an obnoxiously cheerful: ‘Hey Ben, how you doing today? Are we finally gonna grab lunch this week? My wife and kids want to finally meet you!’
The bastard.
When I unlocked the door to my apartment I nearly soiled myself. Standing, not even sitting, but standing like some kind of lunatic, in the middle of my darkened living room was a black silhouette. I reached into my Gucci jacket pocket and retrieved my taser, shooting without hesitation and, unfortunately, without taking careful aim. I’d hoped to see the son of a bitch fry.
The figure ducked out of the way quickly, with almost animal-like reflexes. With similar reflexes, I pressed a button on my smart watch and illuminated the room.
Ah. That’s why it was animal-like. It was my maniac forest monkey cousin. How long had he been in the country? Why was he still wearing his ridiculous hand-woven trash? It looked better than the day I met him, dressed all in furs, but still, he didn’t exactly look like a fully functioning human being with with his scruffy face and dirty blonde hair pulled back into a bundle of braids, forming some kind of ridiculous mega-ponytail. Nor did his handmade clothes help much. Long sleeved, forest green goat-hair shirts with leather boots lined with wolf fur don’t exactly scream “I’m American!”
“How the hell did you get in here?” I demanded, retrieving my phone from my pocket, already dialing 911.
“You…no want do,” he said in a thick, garbled accent reminiscent of a German gargling glass shards.
“Oh, so you speak English now?” I replied, still preparing to connect to the police. “Please, by all means, explain why I ‘no want do’.” He approached me slowly, his hands up so as to show he was unarmed, and spoke very slowly, a soft smile on his face.
“Because I have you gift.”
“You have my gift? What are you—”
I noticed he was whistling a soft tune as he approached. I don’t leave the city much, and I certainly never go into the countryside, but the whistling sounded like wind cutting through the trees. In some strange way, it made me feel nostalgic and at home. He had a very soothing manner about him and I no longer felt on edge or even nervous as he advanced. Gently, very gently, he removed the phone from my hand and set in the table. The whistle had evolved into a deep-throated hum, the kind of earthy noise you hear emanating from geothermal power reactors or when you’re deep inside a cave in the heart of a mountain.
He reached into a leather pouch affixed to his belt and pulled out what looked like a small drinking horn plugged tightly with some kind of tree bark or cork wrapped with animal skin. He removed the top, brought the horn to his lips and drank a sip. He then brought it to my lips. I was intrigued and confused, but most of all just at peace. I normally can’t stand people getting anywhere near my person, but this time, it didn’t bother me at all. In fact, I rather enjoyed it when he raised the horn to my mouth and let me drink. It tasted sweet, like nothing else I had ever tasted before. Strangely, the only word that came to mind to describe the flavor was:
He took another item from the pouch, something that looked like a large bone, perhaps a femur, but far too stout to be a wolf or deer and far too thick to be from a rabbit or wild cat. He twisted, pulled, and it came apart in his hands in two halves. With one end he was very careful about keeping the opened end upright, and I quickly discovered it was because that piece contained blood, thick and visceral. He dipped his fingers in it and drew a pattern on my face, all the while quietly chanting something that brought me back to a home that I never knew.
Upon completion, he proceeded to draw what I presume to be the same image on his own face with remarkable detail.
When this ritual ended, he grabbed my face in his hands and stooped slightly so that we were at eye level.
“Broren min,” he whispered and pressed his forehead to mine. Then, in English, he said, “I take what I need. And more.”

I woke up in my bed. I don’t even remember having gotten ready for sleep, the last thing I remember was that psychotic nutjob breaking and entering into my home. I scrambled out of bed and looked for any remaining footprints, droplets of blood, hair, fibers that may have fallen off his clothes, anything to prove that he’d broken in. If he left anything evidence, I was going to get his ass deported as fast as possible. Hopefully I could land him in prison instead. I darted into the living room, but saw everything was impeccable, perfectly spotless how I always left it. I sighed in defeat, wishing that I could get this mongoloid out of my life.
That’s when I noticed the clock.
“Damn it to hell…” I muttered. It was already 9:17. I’d missed the meeting by over two hours. I was going to catch hell for this from Dennis. Luckily, I always had a few excuses prepared. Confident that I could talk my way out of this, I returned to my room to grab my phone from off the end table near my bed. I went reach for it with my right hand, and saw something that stopped me dead in my tracks.
My fingertips were missing.
The ends of my fingers, the pads, the fingernails, they were gone, ending with the knuckle. Had that freak drugged me with that drink and cut off my fingers? Even if he had, a single sip of a drink couldn’t be enough to knock someone out cold and leave them so numb that they wouldn’t feel someone cutting off a part of their body.
This wasn’t possible. I pulled up my sleeves, checking the insides of my arms for apertures that would testify he had drugged me with some kind of intravenous sedative. What I saw were the same arms I’d seen my whole life, no new scars or marks. I lifted up my shirt and did the same, checking my torso for markings.
There was nothing.
Then how he did do it? How in the hell could he come into my room and sever part of my body without me waking up, without me noticing? I looked again at the nubs that that lay just beyond the furthest knuckles of my fingers.
Maybe a better question was how did it heal so fast?
The skin around the severed part of my fingers looked so natural, not even like it was a wound, but rather like I was born without fingertips. The blood drained from my face and I suddenly felt light-headed and nauseous. Dialing work with my left hand, I moved into the kitchen and retrieved a glass from the cupboard. Or I should say I attempted to. I was only missing the last inch of my fingertips and yet I seemed barely able to function. Without the pads of my fingers, I underestimated my reach and accidentally knocked the glass over with my new nubs, causing it to fall and shatter on the floor. It took two more attempts before I successfully grabbed a glass, awkwardly seizing with the base of my fingers, squeezing it tightly like a lifeline. I was shaking now, full on tremors. I lifted the faucet and filled the glass when I heard:
“Hello! Are you there, Ben?” Apparently my call had gotten through while I was fumbling around with the cupboard. Who knows I don’t know how long Alice, my secretary, had been waiting on the line. I raised the receiver to my ear.
“Uh…Alice, hi,” I stammered shakily.
“Ben, what’s going on?” Her voice softened. She could tell I was obviously upset about something.
“I—” my voice cracked with that single syllable. “I’m not coming in today. Tell everyone.” My voice betrayed me and I hung up before I heard her response. Involuntarily, tears began streaming down my cheeks. What was happening? How was this possible? If this man was capable of removing parts of my body without me noticing, what else could he do?
I take I what need. And more.
I suddenly became aware of just how real his threats were, and I began fearing for my safety. But what could I do? I couldn’t call the police, they’d take my claim as a stupid joke, or even worse, try to commit me to a mental hospital.
Becca. I had to talk to Becca.

I pounded on the door as hard as I could with my left hand. My right hand didn’t hurt, but I felt like I couldn’t use it, that by somehow using it would cause more pieces of my hand to fall off. Luckily, she answered on the second knock. The door swung upon and there she should stood, an overly large tank-top and sweat pants with her her soft brown hair tied into a ponytail. Was today a day off for her?
“Hey babe, I’m sorry I got so mad at you over the phone,” she started. “After thinking about it, I realized I think you’re right, you don’t need to…what’s wrong?” She asked, seeing the look on my face.
“This is what’s wrong!” I yelled, throwing my mutilated hand in her face. She stared blankly at it.
“I don’t understand,” she said flatly.
“What do you mean you don’t understand? My fingers are missing!”
“Yeah, like they always have been. You’ve never seemed bothered by it before, in fact I remember it took me until our fourth date before I realized that your fingertips were missing.”
They always have been? What was she talking about? My body was perfectly intact until last night, what did she mean that I’d been deformed since we first met?
She must’ve seen the anxiety and confusion pass my face, because she wrapped her arms around me.
“Hey, hey, calm down. You’ve been under a lot of stress lately, I think what you need is the day off,” Leaving one arm wrapped around me, she led me into her house where we sat down at her kitchen table and she went to fix some tea.
“So…ugh, I’m going to sound crazy, but I need to ask you something.”
She kept her back to me as she prepared a kettle on the stove, but answered with kindness and patience in her voice.
“You can ask me anything, sweetie,”
I sighed, “You don’t ever remember my hand having my fingers complete?” She paused for a moment, her eyes cast slightly upward like when she’s pondering something intently. I couldn’t tell if she was genuinely considering it or if she was just making a show of pondering to humor me. After several seconds she responded.
“No, but we’ve only been together for what, three years? Did you lose them before we met? I always just assumed you were born without them, but you never volunteered the information and I never found it important enough to ask.”
As she was talking, I furiously typed up a text and sent it to everyone in my contact list who had known me my whole life—my mother, my father, close family friends, and I asked a similar question. I got a lot of confused replies, many of them questioning whether I was joking or not. But it was unanimous.
They all said I’d been missing my fingers my whole life.
I began searching through photo albums stored on my phone and in my Cloud account, hoping to find evidence of me with my fingers fully intact, but as I traveled further back in time, year after year, all of the images attested that I never, at any point in my life had a complete hand. I ran my left hand through my hair, my breath shallow and close to hyperventilating.
“Hey, I don’t know what’s going on, but this is not normal,” Becca said, her voice full of genuine concern at this point. “You’ve been pulling 14 to 16 hour days for the last two weeks, I think it’s finally catching up with you. It’s only 4:00 pm, but you need the rest. Come on, let’s get you up to bed and I better not see you awake until at least 10:00 tomorrow morning. You may not feel like your body needs the rest, but your mind does, now let’s go.”
I didn’t resist.

I woke up while it was still dark outside. It was 3:00 am. I’d slept a solid 11 hours uninterrupted. I rolled over and found Becca lying by my side, snoring softly. Normally snoring drove me insane, but hers was soft and cute, like a kitten. I could listen to it all day and it would never bother me. She looked so gorgeous in the moonlight, her delicate features softened and bathed in milky light. I didn’t know what was going on in my life, but I was grateful to have her. I was grateful that I had such an incredible person to be there for me, to support me when I needed it. I just wanted to embrace her, hold her close and feel safe, never letting go. I reached out to stroke her cheek.
“No,” I whispered. “No, no, no, no, no, no!”
Becca stirred.
“What’s up, honey?” She asked, groggily.
I stared at my hand. What was left of it anyway. Half of my hand was missing; only half of my palm and my thumb remained.
“My hand is gone!” I screamed. Becca flinched and backed away slightly, her eyes wide with uncertainty.
“Ben, you’re scaring me. We had this exact same conversation yesterday in the kitchen. Why are you suddenly so fixated on your hand? It never affected you until yesterday when you came over.”
“Yesterday, my fingertips were gone! Now it’s half my damned hand!”
“No,” she said, her voice reverberating with small tremors. I was making her nervous. “Yesterday you came over and you were freaking out because your hand was missing. That hand never had fingers, it doesn’t make sense that you’d say your fingertips were missing you’ve only ever had half a hand.”
“He’s doing it! Fyrafemsju is chopping pieces of me off, bit by bit!”
She pulled away much further now, all the way to the edge of the bed. Legitimate fear now shrouded her face, and she looked at me like she didn’t recognize the man in her bed.
“Who? Your cousin? You’re not making any sense,” she stammered.
“It’s him, I swear it! He’s trying to get revenge for refusing to give him my kidney!”
“Ben! Stop it!” Becca shrieked, tears spilling over her eyelids down onto her cheeks. “What’s going on with you? You’re scaring me!”
“He placed some sort of curse on me and now he’s stealing my body! Can’t you see?” I yelled, unsure if I was more furious at my insane cousin or horrified at the situation I faced.
“Ben, please, let’s go. You’re not well, you’re…you’re having a stroke or something! We need to get you to the hospital, they’ll find out what’s wrong. We need to get you help!”
It broke my heart to see her like this. She was terrified, unsure of what had become of her fiancee, and yet even while her body shuddered from fear, she still struggled to slide her arms into a jacket. Twice the jacket fell from her shoulder because her body was wracked so heavily with sobs. Even though she could barely hold it together, she was still trying to comfort me, to help me.
My cheeks burned from the trail my own tears had made. As much as it broke my heart, I knew I couldn’t continue doing this to her, I couldn’t emotionally torment this woman who loved me so much that she was trying to get me help when she, herself, so obviously needed comfort.
When she went to go get her keys, I left her house.

Damn it. Damn it, damn it, damn it all to hell! How did I fall asleep? I’d taken uppers, I’d been feeding myself a steady supply of energy drinks and caffeine the whole night. I’d been watching marathons of TV shows on Netflix, and I’ve never been able to fall asleep with the unnatural glow of a television set burning into my eyes. There is no possible way I could’ve fallen asleep!
Sitting on the arm of the chair I was in was my cell phone, the green notification light pulsating. Most likely more texts or voice mails from Becca.
It had been two weeks since I’d officially called things off. I know she wanted to help me and she loved me, that she didn’t understand what was going on. But I couldn’t drag her through this. I couldn’t pretend that nothing was happening as I saw my body slowly disappearing piece by piece at random intervals. I may be losing my mind and my body, but that didn’t mean I would subject her to the same thing.
I reached out to pocket my phone
Alerted, I my attention was drawn to the most noticeable area that didn’t register. My right arm was even shorter now, ending in a round stump just beyond my elbow. Aside from that, the pinky and ring fingers of my left hand were missing. Something else was missing, I could feel it, I just didn’t know what.
I knew it was a bad idea, that I shouldn’t check to see what else was taken from me this time, but I had to know. And besides, it wasn’t like I wouldn’t find out eventually, so would the shock of finding it out now change anything in the long run? Hell, maybe I’d catch a break and my mind would finally just snap and I’d live like a vegetable, not having to think or feel or even know anything of what’s going on around me.
I rose out of my recliner to find a mirror, and after the first step almost fell to the floor. My slipper had fallen off when I stumbled, and I discovered that the front end of my right foot was missing now.
My leg ended in a misshapen chunk of flesh attached to a heel. There was so much missing compared to the first night. He was taking more. That first night was just a warning, showing me what he could do, and now he was coming in full force, trying to drive me into a panic.
And it was working.

Everything felt so wrong as I rolled into work in my electric power chair. The people I worked with every day either ignored or didn’t register the look of depressed resignation on my face as I rode past them in the lobby. I got the occasional nod or casual greeting from people I knew, but for the most part almost nobody looked pleased to see me. Apparently whatever Fyrafemsju was doing to me only changed my body, it didn’t change how much of an asshole I’d been to everyone over the last couple of years.
I arrived at the elevator and reached for the button.
“Hey, don’t worry, I got that,” a cheerful voice said as he pressed the button for me. I looked up and saw the clean-shaven, youthful face of out intern. Probably the last person who treated me kindly.
Tears sprung to my eyes, unbidden. I’d treated this guy like dirt, I was purposefully disrespectful to him because of his status and mocked him at every turn, and what tore me apart was the fact that this is how he treated me even before my nightmare started, not that he knew of the hell that I was experiencing.
“Thank you,” I said, making eye contact with him. He smiled back at me, and I got caught in the reflections of his lenses. The image that stared back at me was hideous. All the hair on my head, including my eyebrows and eyelashes, was completely gone. My lips on the right side of my face concaved so far inward that the side of my head looked like a decaying pumpkin, an image not helped by the fact that the fleshy cartilage of my nose was now missing, exposing two large holes at the bottom of the bridge of my nose.
Even though I had an amazing tailor, even he couldn’t help my situation, as evidenced by the limp right sleeve of my jacket that dangled uselessly at my side. My left pant leg, too, was deflated and rolled so as to avoid getting snagged under one of the wheels of my chair. My only remaining fingers on my left hand were my index finger and thumb, which rarely got much use these days except for pushing elevator buttons and pressing the “answer” button on the BlueTooth touch pad embedded in the arm of my chair. Even with all these enormous changes in my life, my busy work life was remained as busy as ever.

We rode up together to the 52nd floor where I was to have my meeting. The meeting didn’t go well. Everything was a foggy haze and although I heard angry, yelling voices directed at me, I heard them as though underwater. They were unclear and muddled, and I couldn’t care less what they were saying. That is, until Dennis, my immediate supervisor slammed his hand on the table in front of me. I slowly looked up to see his fuming, hateful expression gazing back down.
“Did you just hear a damned word I said, or are you as deaf as you are mangled!” He screamed at me so forcefully that I could feel his breath blowing on my like a hot fan. People in every room three floors above or below us must’ve heard his angry bellow.
“No. I wasn’t listening,” I responded, my voice hollow devoid of response.
“Then let me say it again in language you can understand. Your work is SHIT! Get the hell out of my building, you don’t work for me anymore!”
I nodded, and using the remaining digit on my left hand maneuvered the joystick of my power chair to guide me outside the building.

It must’ve been a month and half or two months since this curse started. Some days I’d wake up with everything intact, and sometimes I’d wake up with large chunks of my body missing. The process was so unpredictable that as soon as I though I was finally adjusting to a the lifestyle of invalid, I’d become even more limited. When I finally thought I was safe and nothing more would happen, I’d wake up to find a large section of my leg missing or a few more toes.
Nothing prepared me for this day, however.
I woke up with a full-length mirror hanging directly above my bed. It took me a moment to realize it because the image staring back at me barely resembled anything human. My lips and gums were completely gone, leaving two rows of exposed bone and teeth. My nose, similarly, was completely gone and was replaced with two skeletal holes that comprised the outermost pieces of my nasal cavity. My eyelids were intact, but my eyelashes, eyebrows, and all the hair on my head was still gone, leaving me with the appearance of a freakish skeleton wrapped with skin.
The skin of my torso around where my right shoulder should have been was smoothed over. My left arm ended just above where the elbow would have connected. The skin stretched across my chest was completely free of any natural markings, no nipples, no navel, nothing. I don’t know how, but Fyrafemsju somehow stripped the muscle and tissue away from my collarbone and the the most prominent sections of my ribs, leaving the bone in the areas exposed and glaring white.
Below my torso, my genitals were gone, removed. He made me into a eunuch. My right leg ended somewhere around the knee. There may have been an appendage, there may not have been. I didn’t care anymore. My left leg, as a cruel mockery, he left completely unaltered. It was the only part of my body he had left untouched ever since his perverse torture started. It was a reminder of what I once was, the person who I used to be. It was also the least useful appendage to remain. What was I going to do with a single leg? I can’t grip anything with a leg, I can’t walk on a single leg, he may as well have taken all of my limbs.
My body was destroyed, useless now, and the ironic part of it was that it looked like there had been no damage done, it looked as though this was how my body was supposed to have been designed from the beginning. Like someone had pulled a car from a devastating crash and polished it to a finish, my own body was malformed and incomplete in utility, yet so perfect, smooth, and flawless in finish.
It’s been like this for weeks. I’ve never left this bed since I woke up that morning and from what I can tell my neck muscles are locked in place, causing me to forever make unbroken contact with my own personal hell, the mirror above my bed. Although I’m perpetually thirsty and hungry, my body never thins nor does it show signs of dehydration. I never urinate and I never have bowel movements. I never sleep. All I ever do is lie and stare at my reflection. And every day, every minute of every day those words ring through my head, the words that could never reflect the true sadism of their intended meaning, the words that, had I understood what they actually entailed, would’ve caused me to take my own life the night that I had heard them.
I take what I need.

And more.

Credit To – nibris

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August 23, 2015 at 12:00 AM
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Arthur Willow lie awake listening to the rustling noise in his closet. He was fourteen, much too old to believe in the clichéd thought of a monster in a closet.
Yet as he tried to force himself asleep for yet another time this month, the rustling grew louder than it had before. Whenever this noise occurred he justified it as a rogue toy, or a raccoon stuck in the wall.
There was no point in checking the closet, he had before and there was always nothing there. So the sound continued on into the night, until as per usual, Arthur finally shut his heavy eyelids.
“Arthur, breakfast!” His mother’s voice echoed up from the kitchen.
Arthur rubbed his eyes, rolled out from the warmth of the covers, and started his routine. He opened the door to the closet, glanced around at old toys, a pile of clothes he outgrew, and a rather large bunny his grandparents had given him for Easter. He never found anything during this routine, and that gave him some comfort.
“How did you sleep, Honey?” Arthur’s mom asked as she plopped two pancakes out of the frying pan, onto his plate. Arthur was always impressed with how strong she was after his dad passed away.
“Wonderful.” Arthur lied.
His mother gave him a worried look, patted his messy hair, and started cleaning dishes. Arthur finished breakfast and put on his coat.
The freezing air nipped at his cheeks as his shovel sank into the driveway snow. Neighbor children ran up and down the block pelting each other with snowballs, and making snow angels.
Arthur watched the snowflakes fall briefly, then returned to the warmth of his home.
Arthur removed his coat, sat on the couch and began to read. The noise had become more frequent, silent nights were becoming rare. Sleep deprivation had caught up to him, and Arthur took a much needed nap.
He awoke to gunshots. Arthur’s eyelids flew open, and he sat straight up. Through panicked breaths his eyes raced around the room and saw cowboys on television in a shoot-out. Mary, his little sister, had turned on the T.V. while she in the cushy recliner holding a doll.
“Mary, you should have let me rest.”
“I sowwie.” Mary looked genuinely sad.
She was only three, so it was near impossible to be upset with her. Arthur’s mother walked into the room and the rest of the evening was spent in the living room with his family. Before his father passed away having a good relationship with his family was not as important, now they relied much more on each other.
Everyone said goodnight and Arthur returned to his room. He uneasily laid down under the covers and waited. Just as Arthur was on the edge of sleep, it began. Arthur was starting to believe he was going insane. Once again he forced himself to sleep.
He awoke to his closet slamming. At first it didn’t register with Arthur. He rolled over and looked at the clock, it was 5 a.m. When his sleepiness drifted away he sat up staring at the closet door. Using the sliver of morning sunlight available Arthur could see that the floor in front of the closet was damp. He quickly flung open the closet door, threw the pile of clothes out of the closet, scattered toys, and chucked the rabbit. There was nothing.
Arthur replaced the contents of his closet and returned to bed. He laid in bed wide awake until breakfast.
At breakfast he sat down and his mother gave him waffles. “Some neighbor children built the cutest little snowman in our yard.” His mother said while she handed him syrup.
“I’ll take a look at it when I go to shovel snow.” Arthur replied.
The snowman outside was small and poorly made. It had classic twigs for arms and rocks for eyes. A scarf was loosely wrapped around its neck. The scarf seemed familiar to Arthur. It was blue with small rubber ducks scattered all over it. It was exactly like a scarf Arthur wore as a child. In fact it was Arthur’s scarf.
Arthur ran back inside and searched for his sister. “Mary?” Arthur jogged upstairs and checked his sister’s room. Mary sat on the floor coloring from the light of the window.
“Mary, did you build a snowman outside using my scarf?”
“Tury did et.” Mary replied without looking up from her coloring activity.
“Who’s Terry?” Arthur analyzed Mary trying to figure out if this was some sort of joke.
“My friend.” Mary seemed completely serious.
“When do you see, Terry?” Arthur asked feeling his heart sink.
“Night. He watches us.” Mary kept coloring away as if this conversation was normal.
Arthur lie awake that night. No matter how much sleep gripped him, he wanted to stay awake and watch. He forced his breathing to become very slow, to appear to be sleeping. Around 3 a.m. Arthur heard something very strange. The sound of shifting floorboards, he deduced, and then the door opened.
To Arthur’s shock, the rabbit plopped out of the closet and remained motionless. Arthur couldn’t believe it, the rabbit was alive? This made absolutely no sense. It had most likely been purchased at a Wal-Mart by his grandparents. How was an Easter toy alive?
While Arthur’s eyes were fixed on the rabbit, the door slid open more. A small boy slowly stepped out of the closet. He stood there seemingly staring at Arthur. Arthur became so terrified, but kept his determination and remained still.
The child had dark brown hair, and murky gray skin. His eyes remained fixated on Arthur, unblinking. Arthur stared in horror as he realized the boy’s eyes had no pupils or color. They were completely white.
For minutes, which felt like hours to Arthur, the disfigured child stood in the moonlight watching Arthur. The horror of the situation had overtaken him, and he laid in bed paralyzed by his gaze. After around twenty minutes, the intensity of the situation had become too much and Arthur began to cry. The small child almost appeared to be startled by the sound. He slowly walked across the room, appearing to study Arthur.
Arthur remained completely still as the child approached. The child’s cheeks were sunken and his white eyes were glazed over. The child stopped getting closer when their noses almost touched and Arthur could feel his breath.
Then the child shrieked.
Terry’s scream made Arthur’s stomach churn, and he leapt backward on the bed in terror. Suddenly Terry ran out of Arthur’s room and down the hall. Arthur remained frozen with his back to the wall staring at the entrance of the room. While processing what had happened, he reflected back to what Mary had told him.
Had he ran into Mary’s room?
The overwhelming fear of this creature was stifled for the welfare of his sister. Arthur grabbed his battered baseball bat and headed down the hall.
He half whispered, half yelled “Mary?..” while he slowly walked with his bat up checking every corner. Finally he made it to Mary’s bedroom. Her window was open, and cold air was rushing into the room. Arthur turned the lights on, and searched the room. Mary was gone.
The police were called to the Willow family home that night. Arthur never spoke to his mother or the cops about what happened. The police said they found two sets of small footsteps side by side in the snow leading to the woods before they disappeared. They searched the neighborhood, and woods long into the night to no avail.
Early that morning Arthur once again searched the closet. He recalled back to the noise of the floorboards shifting, then he started putting pressure on the floor. The boards gave in a little, and Arthur managed to pull out a few.
Beneath the floor, Arthur found an odd crawlspace. This must be where Terry had been hiding, right under the rabbit, beneath the floor. Inside he found some of his old toys and various drawings. The drawings consisted of what Arthur could tell was Terry and Mary. Arthur became sick when he saw that Mary had gray skin, and white eyes.
The last picture had Terry and Mary on a distinct hill in what appeared to be the woods. Arthur stared at the hill and realized, he had seen that place before. When he was younger, he played in the woods and more specifically on that hill.
Arthur grabbed his coat and boots, then sprinted out the door into the cold morning air. He rushed through the woods dodging rocks and limbs. Off in the distance he saw the hill from his childhood. As he approached, he began to make out the figure of Mary laying in the snow.
“Mary!” Arthur yelled as he dropped to his knees beside of her body. Her skin was gray and frost bitten, her hair slightly covering her white eyes. “Mary… wake up..” He gingerly picked her up and checked for a pulse. There was none.
“Mary you can’t die, you’re my sister..” Arthur said with tears running down his face.
Mary slowly turned her head and screamed.

Credit To – Zolast

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The Crow

August 22, 2015 at 12:00 PM
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The Crow

This is an audiopasta hosted on YouTube. If the embedded video does not display for you, please click the link above to load the pasta on its YouTube page. Enjoy!

Credit To – MorganM

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August 22, 2015 at 12:00 PM
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Ralph sat in bed listening to the house talk. Ralph liked to listen to the house talk, it talked to him most nights; and when it did he always listened with equal parts excitement and reverential discomfort. Listening hard, Ralph leaned forwards; letting the bedclothes fall away from him he cocked his head trying to make sense of the groans and creaks and commit them to his memory. When the noises stopped Ralph grinned and nodded staring into the dark void of his bedroom. He lay back in his bed and hoped that the house would speak again to him before sleep overtook him. It did not.

That morning as Ralph thought of the noises he had heard last night and of all the times the house had communicated to him previously as he stared into his soggy cornflakes. Ralph and his parents had moved into the house six months ago and the house had been talking to him nearly every night over that time. At first he had been scared of the noises; he had run to his mother and father, waking them with his cries. They had sent him back to his room, their groggy moans had begun to spike to anger when he had tried to refuse, and he had sat there the whole night, peering at the dark, the quilt drawn to his chin, he had not fell asleep until dawn had slipped through the curtains and amber light illuminated the familiar shapes of his room. The noises had not stopped until then.

Over the days after his first night in the house Ralph had heard the noises intermittently every night. His parents had explained that the house was old and poorly tended; they had shown him that floorboards creaked and pipes shook. They had not listened when he tried to explain that the noises in his room were different, that they carried with them a different quality. After many fruitless discussions Ralph had sensed his parents growing annoyance and had stopped talking about the noises. Instead he had spent the nights listening and trying to work out what caused the sounds keeping him awake. Every night he leant against the cool walls and the bare wooden floors and listened trying to hear for one of the things that his parents had told him was the cause. He could not find one, but when he pressed his ear to the wall he had realised that the creaks and groans were not all he could hear.

With his ear pressed tight to the wall he heard scratching, a strange slithery sound that sounded like the panicked throes of something trapped; he would hear the scratching for a few minutes then it would change; sometimes it would turn into a series of little taps that he would follow and try to repeat against the wall. Sometimes he would hear a fluttering sound; similar to the sound of an envelope being torn open; and he would follow the sound across the walls surface with his fingertips for a few inches before it stopped. Sometimes it would return to the scratching sounds after Ralphs attempted copy cat sound…. sometimes it stopped completely for the night. After a few nights Ralph had awoke to the scratching sounds behind the wall that the headboard of his bed was against; this new, closer arrival of the noise scared Ralph but he didn’t run to his parents or cry out. Eventually, with the arrival of dawn the noise had stopped; as it always had. After that Ralph stopped leaning against the walls of his room and he stopped copying the noises; he had decided he didn’t like the scratching sounds at all.

Despite this scarier turn Ralph continued to listen for the noises the house made, though he never leant against the walls or seeked the scratching noise anymore he continued to hear noises in the night. The knocks and groans became commonplace to him and he found he was able to sleep through to the morning if he chose to; not that he did often. The noises; though scary at times, captivated him. After a while Ralph realised that the noises were not confined to his room or to the night time. During his solitary time, usually for a couple of hours after breakfast and just before his evening meal Ralph was able to wander the house listening.

Ralph would wander from the kitchen after his morning meal and usually take a left into the living room. Here he would lean his forehead against the brick chimney breast that stood in the middle of the far wall. After absorbing any sounds he could he would leave the room and then go to the stair case. He would walk halfway up them; counting the steps, one, two, three, four, five, six, seven, stop……. here he would get to his knees and place his ear against the wooden horizontal part of the eighth step and listen. Over the time that he had studied the house noises he had noticed that these staircase sounds were different to the others in the house. Though he didn’t always hear them; these sounds echoed and clicked like the others, but they sounded……. shadowy. Ralph always frowned at the thought but couldn’t think of any other way to describe it.

After hearing the staircase, he would either go to the bathroom, though usually only if he actually needed to use it as he noticed the sounds were less prevalent there, probably because of the tiles. He would then go back to his room and “play”. Instead of really playing Ralph would take several of his toys and scatter them around the room; sitting near some in case his mother chose to look in on him, this had not been his own idea, but something that he had realised during one of the houses night time mutterings. After carefully constructing his ruse, Ralph would sit and absorb more of the houses sounds for as long as he could. This was usually for a few hours uninterrupted, until his mother called him for lunch, at which point he would traipse downstairs, bolt down his food as quick as possible, and run outside to the large back yard. The outdoor playtime had been at his mother’s request, who saw no reason why young children should spend so long indoors, especially with such abundant outdoor space available.

At first Ralph had fought this forced outdoor time; but one night, after listening to the houses nightly noises, Ralph had realised that the house wished him to go outside. After going out Ralph would run to the nearest grove trees at begin to search the fallen leaves and the twisted exposed roots. He would dig, muddying his hands and scratching his fingers, until he found what he was looking for. Flushed with joy at his prize he would sneak back through the back door, cross quietly through the hall; listening to the soft snores of his mother or the blaring of the soap opera tunes on the television; and tiptoe up the stairs. Upon reaching the eighth step he would stoop, using his free hand to pull at the wooden slats that make up the step. The second of the three slats was loose, and Ralph was able to pry it open slightly leaving a tiny, black void. Ralph would then push his other hand forward, offering his capture to the darkness. It was at this point whatever he had taken from the garden, this was usually a spider, a worm or a butterfly, sometimes; especially on a good days a baby mouse or tiny bird, and on a bad one an acorn or a pill bug, and drop it into the darkness. As soon as the offering disappeared from sight Ralph would be rewarded with a contented groan; and Ralph would smile.

When Ralph had first done this he had felt sick at his actions and he had to run to the bathroom where he had spent a scary few minutes dry heaving and shaking. But after a few sacrifices Ralph had become numb to the experience.

After washing his hands Ralph would return outside and wander through the garden for a while, before returning to the house. He would eat dinner, watch television with his parents, go to bed and listen to stories; first ones read from books by his parents and then later to the house. He would fall asleep, and the cycle would start all over again.

And then slowly Ralph noticed the house became less appreciative when he gave it the tiny animals. Its appreciation grew less apparent with each passing day’s feeding. And so Ralph decided he had to try harder. Soon the bird’s nest that sat in the nearby tree was emptied, and then Ralph’s parents noticed that the chicken they had purchased for dinner had disappeared from the freezer, then next doors cat went missing……

For the next few weeks Ralph was able to satisfy the house, he had become quite adept at finding and subduing the larger animals of the gardens, hedgehogs, rabbits and the like and he resorted to stealing only when he absolutely had to. Ralph, and more importantly, and the house were content with their life together.
And then things changed……..

Shortly after Ralphs eighth birthday, his mother went back to work. This meant Ralph would have had to spend the time when he was not at school alone. Ralph adored the hours he was able to spend alone in the house; he was able to take hours of uninterrupted house sounds. It also gave Ralph longer to gather his offerings now that his schedule was altered by school.

Soon though his parents decided they did not like the idea of Ralph being so alone for so long, they recognised that Ralph was a …… unusual child, and the missing food and lack of animals in their garden had become apparent. And while they could not prove Ralph had actually done anything wrong, they decided they would have to hire someone to look after him during the hours he would have been otherwise alone. They hired a young child carer called Miss Harris.

Miss Harris was a strict woman. She would be waiting for him when he returned home from school. Sat in the living room she would make him recite his times table before her, before letting him go out into the back garden for “ fresh air “. While he was outside she would sit in the kitchen and watch him from the window. He was never able to leave her field of view; or else she would come and force him back inside the house. And, consequently, he was unable to gather any offerings for the house. If Ralph was lucky he could find a spider or a worm and quickly stuff the into his trouser pocket, though the house was never pleased by such meager offerings and Ralph would spend the night trying to coo and console the groaning sounds. After a while though Ralph was unable to even acquire these sparse morsels. Miss Harris had caught sight of his muddy trouser pockets and had forced him to turn out his pockets. Upon seeing the squirming worm he had hidden there, she had shrieked, her shrieks becoming a tirade of “filthy boy” and “naughty, selfish child”, she sent him to his room and later he had been refused dessert while at dinner.

Weeks later Miss Harris had caught him clutching a rabbit he had found grazing in the long grass of his garden. She had forced him to release the animal immediately, even ignoring his protests, and after he had begrudgingly let the animal hop away she had spanked him and sent him to bed early.

That night Ralph came to a realisation. If life was to return to the way he desired, he would have to get rid of Miss Harris. He leant against the cool wall, and for the first time since that night long ago, he listened for the slithery, wet scratching sounds again. He found them quickly and listened intently. A look of approval showed on his face that night as he slept content in his dreams of his coming plans.

The next day Ralph left early from school and rushed home before Miss Harris could arrive. When he got home he flew up the stairs and eagerly began prying the slats of the eighth stair up. It took a tremendous effort, but Ralph was able to pull the middle slat free. Coughing from the cloud of ancient dust that he had disturbed he placed the slat carefully to one side, he then began working the other two slats loose. A little while later Ralph was dripping with sweat and panting heavily, but he was pleased. Before him was a open void in the staircase, which to Ralph looked like an open, toothless mouth.

Ralph leaned over the edge, and immediately was hit by the foul smell that wafted up from the hole. Ralph reeled, and was forced to steady himself quickly as he was in danger of falling headfirst into the hole he had created. Only when he was sure he was steady again in his perch did he dare to lean forward again, he was again peering into the darkness so he took out a torch from his pocket and paused. This had not been part of the plan. He had taken the torch on an impulse that morning and it had rested in his pocket heavily all day, feeling like a guilty secret.

Ralph grimaced and then turned on the torch light. He shone the beam of light slowly down the supports of the stairs and the ancient brickwork of the house wall, barely illuminating them. Ralph watched as the torch light showed on the last of the brick and wood supports before illuminating nothing…….. Pure blackness existed beneath. The brickwork continued down but was completely obscured by the blackness, the wooden supports instead ended abruptly. Ralph frowned at the impossibility of the stairs he knelt upon. He could now see that physically nothing held the stairs up, and yet here they were. Ralph couldn’t help but lean into the hole as he strained to light up more of the dark. He could now see that beneath the last of the wood beams and red house bricks that the wall changed into a darker brown bricks that could not be seen on the outside of the hose. Here and there random indentations and small ledges had been carved into this brown brick.
Ralph swung the cone of light his torch produced across the shaft, trying to find a ledge that was close enough for him to look at properly. On the front side he found one, it was narrow and he could not see to the back of it. Its bottom was covered in a fine dust and grit, and as he pushed forward he saw the first gleam of ivory break the dark. Ralph flinched backwards as his torch showed the bones of a small rabbit lying there. Randomly scattered around it like weird macabre satellites were the shriveled remains of spiders, worms and other bugs. Behind the bulge of the rabbit, Ralph could see other dim flashes of ivory. Ralph reeled away; but not before the torch shone on several objects further down the wall, each deposited on their own shelf, here there lay the skeleton of a fox, its paws pulled forward as if it were digging, on the next shelf there was an old nest with broken egg shells strewn inside, and most sickeningly on the lowest shelf that Ralph could see their lay an old shoe on its side. Ralph couldn’t see what was coming out of the shoe and he was immensely glad.

Ralph pulled away, breathing hard so as not to vomit. The skeletons he had seen on the lower shelves were not from him……. he felt immediately paranoid. Tears ran down his face; he would stop now, run away from the house if he had to, just to be free from it.

A sudden creak from beneath him caused Ralph to whimper. He knew immediately that if he tried to leave the house would swallow him whole, pull him into the darkness and deposit his bones on a shelf of his own to be flanked by the bones of birds and the fossilized grubs forever.

No. Ralph knew he would go through with the plan. He got up quickly, keeping as far away from the hole as he could. He began to walk down the stairs, but stopped suddenly; he turned and threw the torch down into the hole. Its light making cartwheels as it fell. Ralph wondered if it would fall forever but after a minute he heard the faint crash of it hitting something hard and knew that the torch had reached a bottom that nothing living would ever see. Ralph sighed and went down the stairs.

A little while later the front door of the house was flung open. Miss Harris stepped through into the hall, furious. The school had phoned her and informed her of Ralph’s absence. She intended to be there when he turned up and planned to punish him accordingly. She was stopped in her thoughts of reprimanding Ralph by the sight of a hole in the stairs. She started forward slowly.

As she got nearer she became aware of the sound of faint sobbing coming from the hole. She mounted the stairs and climbed them, listening to the creak of the wood and the continued cries.

“Ralph? “She asked as she stared into the dark eye of the stairs.

The crying continued, though she thought it had quietened a little. She leaned forward slightly.

“Ralph? Is that you? Did you fall? “She spoke to the dark circle.

The crying stopped. She breathed in sharply through her teeth. Her knees were trembling unconsciously. Should she go back and phone someone she wondered. She was wondering if she had really heard any crying in the first place when a sudden moan echoed up.

“Ralph! “She breathed, falling to her knees before the hole, like someone beginning to worship.

“Ralph “she moaned. Her eyes searched the dark, where was he?

Silently Ralph emerged from the shadow of the Living room; he went quickly to the staircase and climbed. When he was behind the kneeling Miss Harris he stopped. He took a deep breath, reached out and pushed the unsuspecting woman before him.

Miss Harris saw the shadow of Ralph behind her at the last moment, and from the corner of her eye as she began to turn she saw him reach out and push her. Then her world was turn upside down as she fell headfirst into the hole. The last thing she saw before the dark was Ralph’s face. He was smiling, and his eyes were full of tears.

Ralph sat on the bottom step of the stairs. The house was silent now but in his ears he heard Miss Harris’s scream as she fell into the darkness below the stairs. Unlike the torch he never heard her hit the bottom. Her scream had just continued for a while, slowly quietening until it was no longer audible. Ralph wondered if that meant she was gone and had stopped screaming forever, or if she had just fell so far that he could no longer hear her.

After Ralph could no longer hear Miss Harris anymore he had ventured up again and returned the boards. Keeping his eyes shut, because he did not wish to see the houses grim trophies again. He did not expect to see Miss Harris though, he was sure that she was gone. Ralph knew he would only see her again in his nightmares. After nailing the boards back again with a hammer he had found in the garage Ralph went back to the bottom step and waited.

The evening passed slowly. Ralph was quiet during dinner with his parents, he did not watch the television or listen to the stories his mother read him. He was waiting.

The night passed slower. And silently…… Ralph sat in bed waiting for dawn. And eventually dawn did come and Ralph felt slightly better.

Time passed. No one missed the absent Miss Harris for a long time, eventually it was decided by Ralph’s parents that she had decided to leave her role looking after Ralph without giving notice, and they decided not to pursue it. They hired another woman to take over; a kind elderly widow called Mrs Marvell, who Ralph enjoyed the company of.

Ralph was happier than anyone could ever remember. Since Miss Harris “leaving” the house had been silent all the time. He enjoyed the freedom and the peace the silence brought. He slept each night through; save for the occasional nightmare, but even these had diminished over time.

One night Ralph was woken by a nightmare. In it Miss Harris had been trying to climb out of the hole he had pushed her into and drag him into the dark. Ralph shivered under the covers as his breath slowed and his pulse steadied. He relaxed as his eyes found the normality of his room in the moonlight. He sighed; closed his eyes and tried to sleep.

Scccrrriiiittchhh. Scccrrriiiittchhh. The silence was broken by a low scratching sound.

Ralphs eyes flew open. Scccrrriiiittchhh. Scccrrriiiittchhh. It continued, louder than before. A low moan escaped his lips.

“Not again, never…….” Ralph cried. He flung the covers over his head.

The stairs creaked…….

The End ?

Credit To – pdfletcher

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