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The Truth About the Lake

August 15, 2014 at 12:00 AM
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Albanie put her bare feet in the water and leaned back on her arms. She had her jeans rolled up to her knees. The night sky sparkled with a billion stars above her. She couldn’t imagine a more perfect moment. She was so happy that she decided to take this trip by herself, even after everyone else bailed out. They were worried about the rumors about the lake, and she knew it. They all used excuses, like needing to work or a sister’s birthday party, but she knew. She wasn’t afraid though. She wasn’t afraid of anything.

She wasn’t even startled when she heard twigs crackling in a nearby bush. She looked over at the shrubbery and watched it, expecting to see some form of wildlife, but she didn’t see a thing. If it was a timid animal, she assumed she should make a noise. Aloud she told it, “I guess you and I are sharing the lake tonight, huh?”

At first she was met with silence. Nothing ran away. Nothing came forward. She guessed she startled it into a camouflage mode, where the creature would stay still and hope she went away. She shrugged and looked out across the lake. The waves came up and brushed the backs of her rolled up jeans, but she didn’t care. She had a fresh pair of pants in her tent after all. Who wouldn’t want to relax in this water?

From the hidden shoreline, shrouded by bushes and trees, something splashed in the water. Albanie frowned at the deep ripples that drifted her way from the impact. Maybe it was the creature she scared. It could have been anything. It could have been a little perch for all she knew. She watched the water for a while, to make sure nothing was sneaking up on her feet, then tilted her head back to look at the stars.

They were softly twinkling in the sky above her. They reminded her of how great it was to be there. She didn’t get this sort of thing in the city. It was always go, go, go. There was never any Albanie-time. She was getting that time now, all to herself.

At least she thought she was. In a matter of seconds, she felt a hand on her ankle and it gave her a yank. She screamed as she slid through the pebbles along the water’s edge. Her arms gave out from under her and that she fell back against the rocks. By the time she stopped moving, the waves were teasing the tops of her shoulder blades with cool water. She kicked at whatever had her ankle and tried to sit up to look at the culprit as she tried to get away.

As she rose onto her elbows once again, her legs thrashing wildly, her eyes caught a terrible sight. In the water, holding onto her leg with a web-fingered hand, was a creature unlike one she had ever seen. It had huge black eyes and a wide mouth. All she could see of it was its torso, arms, and its head. It hissed at her, revealing its pointed teeth. She screamed again as she fought harder to get away.

“Share the lake tonight,” it mimicked her in a raspy, under-used voice. She screamed again and started to cry as she twisted and kicked at it. Its skin was cold and slick, like a fish. Louder it yelled at her over the sound of the water flailing around them, “Share the lake tonight!”

“No! No!” Albanie screamed in absolute terror. The thing had a firm hold on her ankle. It ignored her thrashing, even as she kicked him. It just stared at her with its mouth just barely parted. Its teeth gleamed out at her. It yanked at her once again, pulling her deeper into the water and causing her to fall. She screamed again, spitting out water as she did. She thrashed about again, and her leg touched something odd, the lower part of this thing was basically solid. She didn’t feel any legs. She forced herself to rise up again. She looked at it with tears blurring her vision and it calmly looked back at her. She pleaded, “I don’t know what you are, but let me go. Please let me go!”

“We share,” it told her, mimicking her pleading tone. “We share. We share. We share.”

“No please, no,” She pleaded, her face wet from tears and lake water. “No.”

The creatures face twisted angrily. It demanded, “Share the lake tonight! We share!”

“I just want to stay on the shore,” she cried. “Please, I can’t swim well.”

“Swim?” the thing asked. Slowly, it started to pull her out. She could feel something like a flipper or a fin brushing her calf.

“No! No! I can’t swim! I can’t swim!” She objected. She pushed her hands into the pebbles beneath the water and tried to stay up right. She knew how to swim well enough that she could go in shallow waters. She just didn’t want to go in with this thing. She wanted to go home, far away and never come back. This thing, whatever it was, seemed to listen, sort of. She hoped to get it across to it that she wanted away before it dragged her under.

“Can’t swim,” It repeated. It blinked at her. It seemed to be getting it. It mouthed the words as if it was sinking in. Finally, its eyes lit up with a sense of knowing. As it yanked her further and further into the water, ignoring her screams as it chanted loudly, happily, “Can’t swim. Can’t swim. Can’t swim. Can’t swim! Can’t swim!”

She thrashed around, trying to tug her legs away from it and scrambled to keep a hold on the shoreline as it pulled her out deeper and deeper. She struggled to keep her head above water. Sometimes she would go under and she would have to fight to get air. Every time she would go beneath the surface, she would come back up spitting water. She knew this would be the end of her. She was going to be murdered by some creature in the lake that wouldn’t stop chanting “can’t swim”. She was still so young yet! How could this have happened to her? She saw her life flash before her eyes, and by the time the show was over, they stopped moving.

All of the sudden, the thing let go of her ankle, she fought to stay above the water’s surface. She couldn’t feel the bottom and the shore seemed far away. They were out in very deep water. She heaved for air as she bawled. Right in front of her, the thing watched with its enormous black eyes. Its raspy voice was much softer now as it chanted, “Swim, swim, swim.”

Swim was all she could do as it began to move away from her and said, “Share lake. Swim.”

It ducked under the water, and a second later she saw a tail moving away just under the surface. It looked like a seal’s tail or something like that. She didn’t wait around another moment. She swam as fast as she could towards shore. Her technique was lacking and slow in comparison to someone that knew how to do more than paddle along. It took her a little while to get to the water’s edge. As got into shallow enough water to stand, she trudged towards shore.

The going was slow, but she quickened her pace as much as possible when she heard from somewhere nearby, “Swim. Swim. Swim. Swim!”

She let out a cry and moved as fast as she could. She could hear something move up behind her as she moved up on shore, onto the rocks. She didn’t stop running until she was in the grass. It was only then that she was brave enough to turn back and look. At the edge of the waves, the creature sat with its arms on the rocks and its gray tail glistening in the moonlight. The look in its eyes could only be described as wounded and angry. It was then that it occurred to her that this thing was what all the rumors were about in regards to this lake. There was supposed to be some monster fish here and a ghost. The fish was massive and it was impossible to catch. The ghost would watch partiers and campers from the brush near the water. They were all wrong. It was this thing.

She stared at it in wonder, and it looked like a child that couldn’t have a toy. It reached out to her and she backed away quickly. Albanie kept backing away until she ran into the side of her tent. She slide down the side and her foot landed the wrong way on a stick. She yelped and looked longingly at her shoes down by the water’s edge, near the creature. The thing seemed to visibly sigh before turning back towards the water and slithering out into the waves. Albanie was left to grab a few of her things and hike back to her car without any shoes to cover her feet. There was no way she was going near the water again.

Credit To – Nixie B. Vilda

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Under the Ice

August 14, 2014 at 12:00 AM
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6:52 AM
Another nightmare. I wake up in a pool of my own sweat. My heart is pounding and my brain feels like its going to break through my skull. Through the window the sun has just begun to rise, banishing the demons and the darkness of night back to Hell where they belong. The light shines through the blinds and covers my room in cage-like shadows. I sit up, pick my watch up off of my nightstand, and slide it on my wrist. I pull my rifle out from under the bed, knocking over a newly emptied whisky bottle. That explains the headache. I reach for the bottle and toss it into the waste basket. Whatever I had done last night is completely forgotten now. I grab a rag and polish the barrel until I can see a blurred reflection of myself looking back at me. I count each counterclockwise rotation. Its monotonous, but it calms my nerves. It is all part of my routine.

My routine keeps me alive.
My routine keeps me sane.

I lay my gun to the side and look out the window at the sun as it crawls over the mountain peaks that line the sky like jagged teeth. It is a nice morning. Yet I wish I could fully appreciate it. I can’t seem to distract myself from my dream. People used to tell me they have a hard time remembering their dreams. But not me. My dreams stay burned into my brain like a brand. Replaying themselves whenever I have a moment of peace.
It was dark. I was hiding. From what, I don’t know. But I knew it was there. I could smell it’s foul, festering stench. I could hear its heavy, shuffled footsteps. I closed my eyes, in the vague hopes that it would somehow shelter me. I could hear the footsteps slide closer and closer until I couldn’t hear them anymore. Thinking the worst was over I opened my eyes. In front of me there was a figure, a woman. Her thin face is shrouded with long, dripping wet hair. I cannot see her eyes, but I know she can see me.

Then I woke up.

I can’t remember the last time I had a pleasant dream. Hell, I don’t think I’ve ever had a pleasant dream. As a boy I was plagued by night terrors. I’d wake up in the night screaming. My mother would come running in to calm me down. She’d hold me and tell me to focus on the sound of her voice. She told me to think happy thoughts and I’d never have one again. It never worked. Happy thoughts don’t come easy to me. So the nightmares always stayed. But whose to say that’s a bad thing? I’v never understood why people insist on having “sweet dreams.” It sets expectations too high for life. Nightmares keep you grounded. They keep things in perspective. Life can seem to be terrible but the horrors it holds for you will never quite be as bad as what your subconscious can create while you sleep.

At least that’s what I tell myself.

8:28 AM
I make myself a quick breakfast. The last of the rabbit. A measly portion like this isn’t enough to last me until tomorrow. I’ll have to catch another if I want dinner tonight. I look down at my watch again and attempt time out a schedule for the day. If I head out now I can still have time to chop wood before the sun goes down. Between keeping warm last night and making breakfast, I only left myself half a log and a few twigs for kindling. If there was anything worse than a cold night up in these mountains, it was a cold night in the dark. The mind begins to wander when left alone in the dark. It fills the blackness with anything it can muster. Often times it shows you the last thing you want to see.

I put on my coat, grab my rifle, and make my way towards the door. As it creaks open, it fills the house with the frigid winter air. The chill immediately stabs at my face. I’ll definitely have to make this hunting trip quick if I don’t want to freeze to death tonight. My old tracks create a path in the snow from my last venture into the woods. I follow them, matching my boot into each corresponding footprint. Each step crunches the snow and sends echos ringing through the silence around me.

The forest cages the small clearing that houses my cabin. The towering pines stretch for miles. Beyond them, the mountains climb high into the sky. Beyond them… I don’t know. I don’t care to know. This vast tundra of frozen ground is my home. My kingdom. My wasteland.

I keep away from the outside world and it keeps away from me. It is an unspoken bond that has served me well these past three years. I loath the world I left behind. Day in and day out, I found myself surrounded by people I could not stand to be around. It was all too much for me. I don’t remember exactly when I realized I couldn’t take it anymore. But one day I knew I had to get away while I could, while I still had an ounce of sanity left within me.

I severed almost all ties I had to that life. Anyone worth knowing was gone and I had no interest in meeting anyone new. The only contact I still have is an old friend; Harry, who’s a trucker. Once a month, his route takes him to a dirt road about five miles away from my cabin. He keeps me supplied with my bare essentials and anything I might need or want. I never ask for much. Some canned food, booze, hunting supplies, a few books, and fresh water. I haven’t actually seen him since he first brought me up here two years ago. He leaves the cargo for me, I fetch it and bring it here. Easy as that. Every now and then he’ll leave a note for me. But all they do is sit in crumpled balls under my bed. I’ve never bothered reading one.

12:31 PM
I look from my watch up at the sun shining through the tree’s canopy. I have been on this little shit’s trail for three hours. Endlessly following him through this labyrinth of trees. Any time I get a clear shot, the bastard scurries off. I followed him to the edge of a pond within the forest. I squat behind a fallen tree and rest my elbows on its cold, frozen bark waiting for him to stop moving for a second so I can get him in my sights. I’ve been here for a while now. But that’s what hunting takes. Patience. A hell of a lot of patience. But I’m used to this. When you live a life like I do, patience is a big part of your day. Maybe tomorrow I’ll take a walk down to Harry’s route and leave him a list for parts so I can build a few traps. It would make getting food a lot easier. I could use the spare time to engage myself in other ways. I never did mind hunting though, there’s a certain satisfaction in feasting on a meal you killed yourself. The thought of it makes my stomach rumble with hunger.

At last he quits moving. I align his small, furry body with the crosshairs when something in my peripheral catches my eye. Beneath the ice of the frozen pond I see a blurred, shadow slowly moving about. I’ve tried fishing in that pond enough times to know that there is nothing living in there. So what is that? It can’t be a log. It’s moving around too much. Whatever is under there has to be alive.

My eyes dart back to the crosshairs for a second. The rabbit is gone. I let myself get distracted and now it’s run off. I punch the overturned tree, splitting the skin on my knuckles a bit. No. I can’t let this work myself up too much. I have a hard time bringing myself down after I work myself up. If I let myself get angry, I’ll never be able to focus hard enough to catch this little shit. I head closer to the edge of the pond to where he was standing and look for a trace of tracks to point which direction he went. The shadow under the ice moves again.

I can see it more clearly now. It is a large silhouette eerily swaying beneath the ice. I lay down my rifle and inch closer to the bank of the pond. The shape looks almost…human. I look across the ice’s surface. There is no break or crack to be seen. Nothing could have fallen in and still be alive. I put a bit of my weight on the ice. It’s solid. It should be stable enough for me to walk on. Step by step, I carefully make my way to the shadow as it carries on its ghoulish dance. I loom over it and can see through the frosted layer between us that it is certainly human. This is impossible. How did they get down there? How are they still alive? I bend down to my knees and wipe away the layer of snow atop the ice. A hand is pressed against the other side. It is a thin, dainty hand. A woman’s. Wrapped around her pale ring finger is a gold wedding band. I press my hand against the ice to match her’s. I have to find a way to get her out. I survey the area to see if there is a nearby rock or branch I can use to break the ice. I shift my weight to stand up.

In an instant, the ice shatters beneath my feet and sends me plummeting into the sub zero temperatures below its surface. The water so cold it burns my skin with its touch. My entire body momentarily shuts down as I sink further down. As soon as my head is submerged I am suddenly jolted back into consciousness. My arms flail desperately trying to find the edge of the ice to pull myself back up. My thoughts are rapid and incomprehensible. Somehow I am able to find the edge. I grip it hard and pull my torso onto the ice’s surface. I put my weight onto my elbows and force myself completely out of the water. The frigid air feels like summer compared the the depths I just crawled from. My body lies limp, staring into the sky as I try to catch my breath. My head is still spinning as if it hasn’t caught up to my body yet and is still drowning in those freezing waters.

The woman. What happened to her in all that commotion? I turn over and look into the hole. She is gone. Great. This is exactly what I need. No food and a vanishing woman. I stand my self up and carefully shuffle myself back to land. I can immediately feel the difference of solid ground under my feet through my soaking boots. I have to get out of these clothes unless I want to get hypothermia. I almost did when I first moved up here and it is not an experience I want to live through again.

I grab my rifle and begin to follow my footprints back home. That fucking rabbit. I hate it for bringing me here. Tomorrow I’ll gut that little shit and have the most satisfying meal of my life time.

As I make my way through the trees, I can’t help but think of the woman. I tell myself that my hunger and frustration must have gotten the better of me. Made me see things that weren’t there. But something about her gave me a strange feeling of deja vu. That pale, ringed hand seemed so strange yet so familiar.

4:15 PM
Somehow I make it home. I don’t know how I did it. About half way there the cold began to set in and I contemplated stopping. I wanted to just lay down in the snow and let the cold consume me. But something about dying then and there seemed weak. Like I was giving up. I didn’t want to go out like that. For a while, death is such a foreign concept to us. It’s something we hear about, maybe imagine. But it’s all a fantasy. Something that is so far out of reach, it could never happen to you. Then suddenly it’s there. It comes in like an unwanted visitor that refuses to leave. It buries itself deep under your skin. You can’t see it but you know it’s there. For the rest of your life, however short or long that may be, it patiently waits there until it can claim you and attach itself to the next poor soul.

I slide my gun back under my bed and lay my soaked clothes next to the furnace. It’s still burning the last bit of left over wood from last night. It’s not giving off much heat anymore, but they’ll dry in time. I sit by the warm glow and try to get some color back in me. The warmth slowly begins to thaw me. At first the sharp contrast in temperature hurts my skin. But I welcome it. In the cold I had become numb to all sensation. It’s good to feel again.

Once I’m practically dry I put on a new outfit and head back outside to chop wood. I look up at the sky. I have about an hour or two before I lose the sun. I walk out the door and head to the other side of the cabin. I remove the large nylon tarp from the wood pile and pick up my axe. Although chopping wood is a chore, it’s one I sometimes enjoy. When I build up frustration after a bad day I need an outlet to get it all out. And I’ve had a hell of a day.

The wooden handle feels good in my grip. I hold on tight and bring the sharp metal blade high over my head. With everything I have I hurl it down into the log at my feet. In one clean motion, the log splits in two.

So satisfying.

6:02PM
Whisky warms my entire body in a way only alcohol can do. The sun is gone, but my house is filled with a light orange glow. Within the furnace, bright flames lick and crawl over the logs. Letting out a hiss as they take over their new victim. The flames feed, growing ever stronger as the wood grows weaker. Eventually the ambush will end all they will leave behind is a dead, black husk of what existed before. The flames will jump and dance at the defeat of their prey. But in their celebration, they will grow ignorant and forget what had given them their power. They will attempt to maintain themselves on whatever they have left over, but they were greedy and left no spare traces. Their inevitable defeat is brought upon by their own victory. But it is not all for nothing. Amongst his dying brothers, an ember will always hang on to life. He will be taken away by the wind, to a new and strange place. But in his confusion, he will find new victims to prey upon. Once again, he will grow strong.

I take back a swig of whisky and laugh at the idea of the never ending cycle. I usually try to save my alcohol for a celebration. When I can properly enjoy it with a good meal. But I’ve had a long day and no longer give a shit. I fill my mouth with the amber liquid and swallow. It burns like hell going down but settles nicely in my stomach.

It’s Late

Most of the bottle is empty. I probably should have stopped a while ago. But I didn’t care. I deserved to treat myself after what I’ve been through today. It’s safe to say that I am hammered. I remember when I used to get drunk like this in the city. After a long work week, Saturday nights were usually spent with my face down against a cold bar with an empty glass in my hand and an open tab. The bars were loud and the people were annoying, but I was always able to get drunk enough to down them out. Somehow I’d make it home and in bed, usually making a mess and trashing the house in the process.

The floor beneath my ass grows harder and more uncomfortable. I grab a table ledge and pull myself to my feet. The room moves uncontrollably as I make my way into the kitchen. I punch the wall to tell it to stop, but it doesn’t listen. I need to take it easy or I’m going to be sick. I slump over the sink and turn the water on. The cool water pours over my hands and settles me. I splash some in my face and look out the window. Why did I come out here alone? Ive only ever needed myself. But sometimes I do get a little lonely.

The clouds fully engulf the moon, making my cabin the only source of light. I focus into the darkness and am filled with a sense of dread. Something is out there. At first I think I’m seeing things. But then I see it again, slowly moving toward the cabin. I press my nose against the glass. I tell myself that it’s probably just a wolf or a deer, but the shape is human. A woman now stands just outside the cabin. Her hair is long and hangs in her face. She’s wearing a long, white night gown. She is soaking wet. She is the woman from the ice.

She does not move. She just stands there, looking down at her feet. My eyes are drawn to her left hand. I can’t get the image of it pressed against the ice out of my head. That pale, thin hand with the gold wedding band. I look back to her face. She is now looking directly at me. Her gaze pierces through her dripping hair and locks onto me. I have never felt such an uneasy feeling in my life. I am sick to my stomach now. I flail my arms, gesturing for her to look away or hopefully just leave. But she stays where she is, fixated on me.

I can’t take this anymore. I turn away from her and run from my kitchen, through my living room, and into my bed room. I just need some sleep. Tomorrow all of this will go away and I can get back into the swing of things. My head is reeling. The room continues to move around me. I look down at my bed, but I can’t bring it into focus. I lean forward and reach for it but miss and fall to the floor. I fail to brace myself and my head thumps against the floor. The pain shoots through me as I lay there. I groan and open my eyes. Under the bed lay several of the crumpled up notes from Harry. The haze of my fall begins to clear and I make out the words “police” and “suspicious” written on one. What the hell? I grab the paper and unfold it. The words spin around the page as I try to read them. I rub my eyes and try to focus.

Hope you’re doing okay. The police questioned me and were suspicious for a while. But I think we’re in the clear now. You don’t have to worry about them finding you up there. Hope these supplies last you until next month. Keep in touch.
-Harry

Police? What the hell is this all about? I open another note.

Was hoping you’d have gotten back to me. Are you doing okay? I’m getting worried about you. After what happened, I hope you’re keeping yourself together up there.
-Harry

My head is going a mile a minute. What is he talking about? After what happened? Why should he be worried? What is going on? I grab another and quickly unfold it.

Really wish you’d get back to me. I don’t know what you’re doing with yourself all alone up there. I could give you some company when I come by if you need. I just worry what you might be doing to yourself. I’m sorry to bring this up and be so blunt, but a guy doesn’t just drown his wife and walk away like nothing happened. Really, you can talk to me about it. Please let me know how you’re doing.
-Harry

What is he getting at? He has to be fucking with me. I toss the papers back under the bed. I was never married and I sure as hell have never killed anyone. I’m not hiding from anyone. I’m here because I want to be. I need the isolation. Don’t I? I’m so confused. I’ve been through too much tonight. I can’t take this right now.

I look down at my hands. My fingers are feverishly shaking. I bring myself to my knees. I couldn’t kill anyone. Could I? I look at my left hand. What is wrong with me? How did I never notice this? A faded ring of pale white skin wraps the base of my ring finger. I feel like a was beaten over the head. My thoughts scramble and slowly come together.

Samantha.

I had another day of my boss chewing me out at work. I came home agitated, on edge, and roaring drunk. I just wanted to be left alone to drink. And she knew that. But she yelled. She yelled at me for coming home drunk every other night. We fought. We screamed. We threw things at each other. Eventually she said she was done with me and went into the bathroom to start a bath to calm herself down. But I wasn’t calm. I needed to tell her exactly what I thought about her and her shit. How could she just walk away like that. Like nothing happened. Like we never loved each other. Like I wasn’t worth her time. Then she started humming. That hum that got under my skin. I just couldn’t take it anymore. I couldn’t take her anymore.

I burry my face in my hands. My tears run down my palms and fall to the floor. I can hear foot steps coming in through the living room. It’s her. Why can’t she just leave me alone? Why can’t she just let me be? I just want to be left alone.

The fire has begun to die down. The light doesn’t reach my room anymore. I sit in the dark on my bedroom floor. I can hear her footsteps getting closer. She begins to hum. I can’t take this. I crawl to the corner of the room next to my dresser. Just leave me alone. Please. Her footsteps grow closer and closer. My toes curl and my heart races. I shut my eyes. Just go away. Please go away. You’re not real. You’re dead. I killed you. I fucking killed you. Just go. Let me live. Let me forget.

It is quiet. Is she gone? I open my eyes. She is inches away from my face. I try to scream. But I can’t. Her long, brown hair hangs over her face. Dripping on the floor between us. Her eyes look deep within me. I begin to get light headed. My eyes grow heavy and I fall to the floor. Everything flies by me. Except her. She stays in focus. Fixated on me.

Then everything is black.

6:52 AM
Another nightmare. I wake up in a pool of my own sweat. My heart is pounding and my head feels like its going to break through my skull. Through the window the sun has just begun to rise, banishing the demons and the darkness of night back to Hell. I sit up and pull my rifle out from under the bed, knocking over a newly emptied whisky bottle. That explains the headache. I reach for the bottle and toss it in the waste basket. It clinks against the other bottles. Whatever I had done last night is completely forgotten now. I grab a rag and polish the barrel until I can see a blurred reflection of myself looking back at me. I count each counterclockwise rotation. Its monotonous, but it calms my nerves. It is all part of my routine.

My routine keeps me alive.
My routine keeps me sane.

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Walburton Park

August 13, 2014 at 12:00 AM
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Curtis held on to an unfulfilled joy for exploring.

The prospect of discovering new places always enthralled him, and often, whether he was just lazing around at home, slacking off during a lecture, or just hanging out on a sober night with his friends, he would often daydream of travelling the world to diverge himself in the vast cultures of many countries.

Unfortunately, he was unemployed and was still living in his home town after 21 years. Also, he came from a lower-middle class family who couldn’t afford many luxuries, especially in this lousy economy, and after all the CVs he had sent out, and all the interviews he had stressed himself through, he just couldn’t seem to get a full or part-time job, no matter what. He didn’t have the resources to travel to places abroad. He couldn’t even drive, so his options were limited even in his own local area.

His impatience and unrest to break free from the small town to explore the world was rapidly beginning to catch up with him, so he did his best to satisfy this need by walking the dog everyday. He would go to pathways and nature walks he had never walked before, explore forests and lakes that were well out beyond civilizations’ way, and climb up steep hills in the countryside and gaze around at square miles of fields, forests, and hills. If he was walking the dog through his local neighbourhood, he would even go into housing estates he had never been to before, just for a change of scenery; to see what the houses there looked like. He even had a peculiar habit of estimating the demographics of estates he visited, based on the type of houses they lived in and the cars they drove.

Today, he decided he would walk the dog by the nearby pond. Recently, he had been frequently going to a forest a few miles out, and he hadn’t walked the dog by that lake for around a fortnight now. The surroundings of the forest were starting to become all too familiar to him now, and seeing as Spring had just arrived, the scenery would not be changing anytime soon. The thirst for a change of scenery was really beginning to tickle his throat.

So he grabbed the leash, strapped it on to Sylvester (who heard the sounds of the leash being removed from the drawer, and in his usual response, ran eccentrically into the kitchen), and headed out to the nearby pond on an unusually scorching April afternoon. He walked by the row of identical houses that he lived on, imagining taking breathtaking pictures of giant castles in Germany. After that, he walked through tufts of grass and straws of chickweed at the rusty, abandoned railway road, dreaming of drinking bourbon in a red barn with people he just met in one of the rural states of The USA. Finally, before he crossed the road to the park where the pond was, he envisioned touring through the Southern French countryside, embracing the sweet smells of France’s wine country; he envisioned relaxing to the sound of oars splashing the water, while slowly sailing through the rippling canals of Venice; and he envisioned gazing up at the empowering pyramids of Ancient Egypt with the desert sun roasting his milk-pale skin and bleaching his brown curly hair.

Yet when he reached the lake, it only made him depressed that he would most likely not be visiting these countries anytime soon, and frustrated at the fact that after all the painstaking job-searching he had done, that he was still unemployed and lacked the resources to satisfy his travel-hungry mind. Trying to ignore his annoyance and to just enjoy the beautiful, sunny day, he approached the section of the path which started down a short but steep hill, and which diverged into a left path and a right path in the shape of a bident. From here, he could gaze at the rippling pond, sapphire in the flourishing sun; at the flat plains which surrounded it, deceivingly emerald on this bright April; and at the fancy new private hospital which had only been recently built. Looking at the colourful, sharp design of the hospital, his attention caught the entrance to a small housing estate which was located right beside it.

It was not that Curtis had never noticed this housing estate before, he had just never thought to journey into it. Walking by it all these months, he had only ever noticed two things about it; he had always seen its large green area just past the entrance, which had a single sycamore tree sprouting out from the middle; and the centre road, which all other lanes in the estate emerged from like branches from that tree. The main road of the estate had also been a hill, although its steepness had been rather more subtle than the sharp drop of the hill which he was standing on right now.

Curtis wondered whether the houses all looked different, or if they all looked the same. Perhaps there were sections to this estate, where the houses all looked the same in their own individual section, but the design of these housing sections were all unique. He wondered what brand of cars the neighbourhood in general owned, what their gardens looked like, and perhaps he could get to glance into the inside of their houses. Gathering all this information, he could try guess what kind of people lived in this estate. He yanked Sylvester’s leash, and trotted down the left path of the steep hill.

He crossed a small stone bridge over one of the stream which fed into the pond, took the path around the large, circular plain surrounding the pond, and started walking on the footpath beside the road. He continued walking until he was directly opposite of the entrance, waited for the two oncoming cars on either side of the road to pass, and jogged quickly across the road when the second car had driven by. Imitating Curtis, Sylvester sprinted ahead of him in a sudden burst of excitement.

“Walburton Park” was etched into a sparkling, light-grey boulder in all-capitals, which sat on a small patch of grass on the corner of the road. There were three houses on either side of the road at the entrance, and all six of them were small, white, two storey houses. After the houses was a cross roads. Down both the left turn and right turn, there were seven medium-sized, two-storey, redbrick houses on either side of the streets, totalling 34 houses at the entrance. The road continued on to a t-junction at the very back of the estate, and there, the right street was about equal length to the two streets at the entrance, and the left street was much longer than the rest of them.

The houses on of both these streets were nearly twice as big as the houses at the entrance. All houses were on one side, while the other side was a field separated by a line of old, large oak trees. They all had two main parts to them; one part was a white two-storey, while the other was a brown dormer bungalow. There were four of these houses on the right street, and another ten down on the left street. Before that, there were two green areas in between the crossroads and the houses at the t-junction. One was the clean-kept, well-maintained green area with the large sycamore tree spurting out from the middle that Curtis had always seen, whereas the other was a shaggy, overgrown green area with a swing-set and a slide, surrounded by three grey concrete walls. Curtis had never noticed this area before, despite all the times he had walked by this estate.

While Curtis was walking down the street observing the ten large white and brown houses, something odd occurred to him. As nice as this estate was, it was eerily quiet, and from what he had seen so far, was totally deserted. Of course there was nothing wrong with these quiet estates. In fact, if Curtis had noticed groups of hyper children playing around here, he would more likely have shied away from coming here in the first place. However, Curtis had not seen a single soul. No children out playing around the sycamore tree or on the swings, no middle-aged people sitting on their sofas watching television, or even any senior citizens out gardening, basking in the glorious sunshine. The quiet wasn’t just attributed by the absence of people out and about though; Curtis couldn’t even hear any cars driving on the main road he had crossed to get here, or on the road which he knew was beyond the fields and rows of tall oak trees. He didn’t hear the trees sway in the wind or even hear any birds tweeting. All he could hear was his own footsteps and the ringing of Sylvester’s collar as he trotted alongside him.

Curtis reached the end of the cul-de-sac, turned around, and decided to have a look at the four houses down at the other side of the estate. While walking, he looked up at the trees, swaying silently in the brisk spring wind. He noticed that grey clouds were beginning to quickly accumulate from what he guessed was a west-south-west direction. He checked the time on his phone. It was 15:30 exactly. He decided that he had enough time to have a look around the remaining streets of the housing estate, before making his way back home before four o’clock.

When Curtis reached the top of the right street, it looked as if the four houses here were exactly the same as the ten he had just observed. This street was slightly curved however, so he continued walking just to make sure that he wasn’t going to miss anything. Slowly, the hidden remnants of the last two houses emerged from behind the front two houses, and to his disappointment, Curtis found that they were in fact just the same as all twelve other houses at the back of this estate. This anti-climax, however, was short-lived, as almost immediately Curtis had noticed a sharp right turn just after the last house. Quickening his pace, he observed that this newfound section was identical to the two streets of two-storey redbrick houses at the entrance of the estate. Curtis looked back at his phone. 15:41. He walked forward, looking at the Volvo parked in the driveway of the first house on the right…

…and was then halted unexpectedly. Dazed for a very brief moment, he turned around to find Sylvester sitting down, all four of his paws pressed into the concrete.

Curtis jerked on the leash twice more, urging Sylvester to walk on with him. “C’mon boy! C’mon! C’mon Silver, c’mon!”

Sylvester continued to sit stubbornly, staring solemnly at Curtis with those wide, watery brown eyes. Curtis stared at him, defeated. Had Sylvester been a Chihuahua, a Jack Russell, or even a King Charles, he could have dragged him down the street easily enough, but he was a well-fed, sturdy Weimaraner, who Curtis knew would have put up a tough fight. Curtis whipped the leash up in the air feebly, then Sylvester sprang to a stand with his ears pricked, and followed Curtis away from the street of the hidden fourteen houses.

Curtis led Sylvester to what looked like a young Ash tree, growing amidst the old, looming oak trees. He tied the leash around it, and bent down to rub Sylvester reassuringly. Sylvester tried to lick at his face and sprang at Curtis, as he walked down the street away from him, but was jerked back by the tight knot which secured him to the tree.

Trying his best to avoid the guilt from Sylvester’s puppy eyes, Curtis walked along the middle of road, glancing at all the redbrick houses without looking back. All houses appeared in good condition on the outside, although a few had messy, unkept gardens. Curtis counted six of these gardens, five of which had at least one children’s toy recklessly skewed about somewhere. It reminded Curtis of the discomforting, empty, overgrown green area with the cheap slide and swing-set near the entrance of the estate. The remaining gardens had their edges and corners blemished with haphazard bunches of flowers, their colours vividly clashing, yet relievingly soothing to the eye. Their lawns were flatly even and fresh spring green, and one or two had a few rusty coloured tiles matching their redbrick house, just as a cherry on the icing.

Curtis reached the end of the cul-de-sac, marked by a mossy, grey concrete wall with long green grass at its bottom corner that towered at what Curtis assumed was at least 15ft tall. Following it up to the top, Curtis noticed that the sky was completely overcast with thick, light grey altostratus clouds. Fearing the small risk of rain, Curtis decided it was best to head home straight after this, also deciding to observe the types of cars on his way out. Looking around at a few Volkswagens and Hondas, and remembering that one Volvo at the very first house on the right (which was now the very last on the left), Curtis looked for the car at the house directly opposing that one. While doing so, the same eerie thought from before struck him from out-of-nowhere.

While it was weird enough to have absolutely no human activity on one stretch of housing in this estate, it was getting all too unnerving now for him that there was no people on this street either. Again there were no children playing, elderly gardening, and not even anyone sitting in their front rooms, from what Curtis could remember.

While approaching the left turn back onto the street at the back of the estate, Curtis noticed something stark that made him halt and recoil in swift panic.

Sylvester was gone.

Curt’s muscles intensified, he was breathing heavily, immediately sprinting, profusely panicking and cursing himself for leaving the dog all by himself. “SILVER. HERE BOY. COME HERE SILVER.” he said loudly and desperately while running at a sharp pace. He whistled thrice, and loudly called for him again. “HERE, SILVER SILVER SILVER. C’MON BOY.” He was approaching the turn when he began to shout for him, straining the muscles in his dry throat. “SILVER. SILVER. SIL-‘’

His shouting was brought to a halt, as sudden confusion washed away Curt’s fretting. He should have been running on the road between the oak trees and the large brown and white houses. However, unease was tingling down Curt’s spine, as he looked around at the redbrick houses, standing only a few feet away from the tall, mossy, grey concrete wall which marked the end of the street he had just turned away from.

Curtis was anxious, wondering how he had just unexpectedly hallucinated or daydreamed that whole fiasco. But as he looked back up to the top of the street, Curtis saw once more that Sylvester was nowhere to be found. Curtis sprinted again, his thoughts a little more collected and his worries pushed aside briefly. As he approached the turn for the second time, Curtis noticed that the leash was also missing, signalling to him that someone had found Sylvester and took–

He looked around at the redbrick houses, standing only a few feet away from the tall, mossy, grey concrete wall which marked the end of the street he had just turned away from.

Curtis was frightened. He had definitely not hallucinated that. ‘If I had, why would I be panting so much?’ he thought to himself. He sprinted once more, faster than the previous two times. He was fatigued, but he kept himself motivated by that thrive to break free from the seemingly-infinite maze. He was thinking to himself again. ‘Perhaps if I just try to glimpse at the white paint of the house around the co–

He looked around at the redbrick houses, standing only a few feet away from the tall, mossy, grey concrete wall which marked the end of the street he had just turned away from.

He was dreaming. He trembled fiercely and glanced around frantically, feeling like he was going to go blind if he stared at one thing for more than three seconds. His energy was absent from all the running, but he kept walking, doing-so rapidly while swirling his vision around in circles, his only motivation fear and despair. The Ash tree that Sylvester was tied to jumped back and lurched toward him every few seconds, like his rapidly beating pulse. His shaky legs attempted to pick up a jog once more. Trying to glimpse for one of the white houses again, he peered intensely through any gaps, blotches appearing quickly in his central vision while his outer vision blurred. When he couldn’t find even a hint of white housing in any gap anywhere on this street, Curtis clutched his head into his hand, flailing his legs into a chaotic run towards the left-turn, only hanging onto a thread of hope th–

He looked around at the redbrick houses, standing only a few feet away from the tall, mossy, grey concrete wall which marked the end of the street he had just turned away from.

Curtis lay down on the cold concrete in the shape of a foetus, burying his face into the warm, dark depths of his palms, his emotions latent on his pale, blank face apart from the wordless tears which gushed from his hazel eyes. He unintentionally scratched his brown curly hair against the harsh surface of the road, refusing to look at any of his surroundings. Curtis was surrounded by unchanging scenery, and total, maddening silence. There was not a single soul to share or polarize his never-ending suffering.

Hundreds. Hundreds of dead arms slowly materialized from beneath the nucleated evergreen trees where Curtis had submerged himself into. Rotting flesh, crusty and glistening, the colour of mixed pale grey and deep blue. From all floors on the houses; behind the numerous windows in all the large, white and brown houses, bodies of pale grey and faces of deep blue, with large circular black eyes, thin, stitched lips, and noseless faces, scratched softly at the window, sometimes drumming all five fingers on the glass. You couldn’t hear the sound, but the vibration left an echo in your chest, an echo so dense it was like a protected kick from a startled horse. Their vacant eyes spoke the messages that the muscles of their stitched mouths struggled to.

Sylvester snarled at the slow-moving arms, and barked viciously at the dead eyed children emerging from the sewer. Sylvester whined for Curtis to return, and with every passing minute, the sky turned an even deeper orange.

Sylvester pulled full force away from the black, dying tree. Each leaf that fell onto his back was scorching him. The deceased children swayed from side to side, slowly moving in on helpless Sylvester. Not a sound could be heard from anywhere, as Sylvester violently shook the leash which had bound him. Sylvester snarled and barked viciously once more, in a futile effort to intimidate the emotionless, dead children still swaying slowly toward him.

Sylvester turned away from them and then towards the tree. He walked backwards, until the leash was at its very-most strained. Then, he shook his head rapidly from side to side, tightening the grip of all four paws that were submerged into the muck. Slowly, the leash began to slide over his neck, the nylon scraping painfully at the back of his ears. The ball in his throat became rapidly swollen as he struggled to breath with the collar wrapped so tightly around it. The heavy friction made the collar slip past his ears extremely slowly, awfully anxious about the emotionless, dead children swaying toward him painfully slowly.

His vision blurred when his head jerked back violently and when the air flooded back into his lungs. The moment he released himself, a pale grey arm swung toward him and their rust-coloured, razor-sharp nails dug past his thin silver coat and into the soft tender flesh just above his hip. Sylvester yelped, then snarled and barked mercilessly at the noseless, stitched mouth, void-eyed, dead child, sinking his teeth into their ice-cold flesh. The child stalled and pulled away, with just enough time for Sylvester to dash away from them.

He galloped left, down the subtly steep hill. The orange sky swirled like a gyroscope right above him, but Sylvester never looked back once. He galloped towards the entrance, where a slit of light shone blindingly bright in the dead centre. Surrounding the blinding light, was nothing but total darkness. The pale grey, deep blue bodies of men, women, and children hung, gloomy and still, from the thickest branch of the withering, black, dying sycamore tree. Sylvester stopped to snarl and bark at the dissolving children sitting on the swings, and the eyeless men and women drumming their fingers on the windows from the small white houses at the entrance.

Sylvester continued running and running and running, running towards the blindingly bright light, until it was that, that was all he could see. At that moment, the entire world seemed to shift entirely onto one side, while Sylvester could see nothing but blindingly bright lights, hear absolutely nothing, and floated in the air, feeling gravity pull him to the left.

Sylvester landed onto his side, a sharp pain throbbing just above his hip, and a dull burning sensation all over his back. He barked a few times while his vision spun around dizzily in his mind. A few seconds later, after he rubbed at his eyes with both his front paws, Sylvester looked around him curiously, readying his teeth to snarl. Families of smiling adults and playful children were walking around the lakes with their noses and eyes in tact, and their mouths unstitched. Cars were driving on the roads and the sounds of birds tweeting and ducks quacking still echoed through the beautiful, sunny April afternoon. Sylvester loosened his jaw, and started to pant.

All that was missing was Curtis.

Credit To – CrashingCymbal

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Clip-Clop

August 12, 2014 at 12:00 AM
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I knock on the door for the third time, the noise of my fist banging hollowly off the door and into the house beyond me.

I wait. No answer.

It’s weird. My father told me that he and my family would be here for when I got home. We haven’t seen each other for over a year, as I was at school halfway across the country. There is no note on the door explaining their absence, they haven’t sent an e-mail. Maybe they were planning to jump out and scare me … But I don’t think they would do that. They know how I feel about that kind of stuff.

I knock one more time, losing my patience with every passing second.

“Hello?” I shout. There’s still no answer. Maybe they all fell asleep and they’re sleeping through my constant, obnoxious knocking … that seems a little unlikely.

I decide to look for a spare key. My mother always keeps one, but constantly changes its position. She is terrified of the idea of somebody getting into our house, and always leaves the door locked.

After looking under the door mat, under the porch and in the head of a garden gnome on the front lawn, I peer into a potted plant that hangs just before the door. Inside is … dirt; and plants. Great, I think, now I’m stuck here!

I pace the porch several times, pondering how I could get in. I could go and see if a neighbour has a spare key … but I don’t want to bug anybody this late at night unless it’s an absolute emergency. And I don’t think my mother would give anybody outside of the family a spare key, just in case.

I suddenly go for the door to try and open it. I didn’t want to have to break in, and frustration forces me to try to open the door, even if I know that it won’t open.

But it does.

I stand there surprised for several seconds. That’s very unusual. Normally my mother keeps the doors locked, no matter if somebody is home or not. I step cautiously inside. The house is completely dark. I flip on the light switches that lay beside the door. The lights flicker to life, though that doesn’t help the unease that is mounting over me, creeping up my insides.

“Hello?” I shout again. “Is anyone home?”

There is no answer. The night now seems completely silent. I can here myself breathing.

I turn and close the door slowly, and the clicking noise of the door meeting its frame makes me jump. That’s when I realize: the chain lock on the door … it’s broken. It’s broken … Not as if somebody had cut it. It was broken as if somebody had opened the door with such force that it was pulled into pieces. As I step backwards, I step on something small on the ground, causing a tinkling sound. I look down at my feet. Pieces of the chain lock are strewn across the floor. The fear is growing on me. Was there a break-in?

“Hello?” I shout again, my voice sounding more fearful than I intend. They should be home. I saw the car in the garage.

I walk down the hallway that is immediately adjacent to the front door. To my right is the staircase that leads upstairs, and to my left is the den.

Past the hallway is the kitchen. I flick on the lights. Nobody’s there, but the remains of what looks like tonight’s dinner is on the counter, uncleaned.

I turn around and hear a small thump upstairs. Sounds like someone’s up there

(somebody …)

waiting for me to come upstairs, or getting ready to come down. So I walk slowly back down the hallway, my footsteps sounding unbearably loud in the distracting silence.

As I reach the end of the hallway, I hear the thump again. It’s still very faint. I’m not sure what it is.

I take a left and begin to ascend the stairway. The wooden stairs beneath my feet creak angrily with age.

Upstairs is darkness. Complete darkness. I enter a curve in the stairs and emerge into the top floor. I begin to search for the light switch and can’t find it. I find it very weird how I’ve memorized the entire upstairs floor – I could walk around up there with my eyes closed – but I can’t find the light switch.

Thump.

There it is again. That sound. It seems to be coming from my parent’s bedroom, straight ahead, down the hallway.

I shuffle my way down the dark hallway, feeling along the walls for the light switch.

Thump.

Somebody is in my parent’s room.

Thump.

(Somebody is in there …)

It sounds like somebody bumping into something … like a desk or the floor.

As I shuffle further down the pitch-black hallway, the sound increases. It becomes louder. It breaks the deadly silence of the house, and my stomach sinks in nervousness.

I approach the door. I don’t want to open it. I’m not sure what’s inside there, and something tells me I don’t want to know. But something else forces me to step forward towards the door that leads to my parent’s room and beyond, to whatever is inside.

I reach my hand out slowly towards the doorknob –

Thump …

I feel like I can hear my bones creaking –

Thump …

I grasp the doorknob –

Thump …

Something’s in the room –

Thump …

I twist the door knob –

Thump …

The door creaks loudly as I open it slowly …

I peer in, and see something. I can’t quite make it out. But my eyes adjust to the darkness straight away. I stifle a cry and a scream. I see it. My family – hanging from the beams on the ceiling from their necks. The thumping –

Thump …

It was their bodies swinging and slamming into the wall behind them.

Their bodies are soaked with blood, and their eyes are wide open with fear. My parents, my brother and my sister – they are all dead. I can’t process this. It can’t be.

I start hyperventilating, and a weird, repeating noise is expelled from my mouth. Is it crying, whimpering, or a stifled scream? I can’t tell. All I know is that somebody was in this house and killed my family.

(Was?)

(Is …)

I run back down the hall, leaving my family’s bodies there. I start to panic, and I reach the stairs and run down, almost tripping and falling. I sprint down the first floor hall and into the kitchen. There’s the phone: on the kitchen counter. I run to it and pick it up, dialing 911 as I do so. I wait. There’s no ring. Why isn’t it ringing?

I try again – still no ring. The more I try, the more fear builds upside of me. It won’t work.

Then I see something that makes me freeze completely. The phone cord – it’s been cut! I can’t make any calls on this phone.

And then I notice it, and I go stone cold: the lights are all off again.

I walk towards the light switch for the kitchen and flip them on. There’s no light. I flip them on and off again. The light doesn’t come on. I stare around. Everything has been switched off. The digital clocks, the lights, anything that runs on our electricity.

The power has been turned off.

It can’t be a coincidence. I find my family dead and the power turns off. Whatever was

(is)

here has turned off the power. I’m terrified now. I can barely comprehend what’s happening. I turn my head from side to side helplessly, as if looking for someone to help me. And then I run to the door. I need to get to a neighbour’s house. Hopefully one of them will help me. Hopefully someone in the neighbour hood is awake.

I run to the door and turn the door knob. I pull; it’s locked.

How could this be? I didn’t lock the door when I came in …

I pull and pull and can’t get the door to even creek. I finally resort to slamming against the door with my shoulder after pulling and yanking and shaking with all of my might. The door shudders as I slam into it, and my shoulder begins to hurt more and more with each time I hit it. I slam into it so many times that it the constant banging noises start to turn into a rhythmic beat inside of my head. But the door still won’t budge.

That’s when I remember the sliding glass door at the back of the kitchen. I sprint back down the hallway and into the kitchen, panicking in the darkness.

I’m at the end of the hall, staring into the kitchen and the dining room. Straight ahead of me is the sliding glass door. I run over to it and yank back the beige curtain. But outside, there’s nothing. Everything has disappeared. There are no lights from other houses. There are no other houses. I should be able to see the back yard from here.

Then I here another sound from upstairs; it accompanies the thump … thump … of my family’s bodies slamming against the wall. But this sound isn’t a thump … It sounds like …

Clip-clop

What is that?

Clip-clop

I hear it … it’s moving up and down the hall upstairs, as if someone was pacing …

Clip-clop, clip-clop

It sounds like … hooves?

Whatever it is … I don’t think I want it to be here.

I’m not sure if I want to know what it is, but instinct drives me to see what it is, the steady clip-clop covering up my timid, slow footsteps. I reach the stairs. Now I’m climbing them. There’s someone

(something)

in the hallway. I can feel coldness from upstairs. I’m terrified right now, but that’s not what I feel in my gut. It’s something more insidious than that. It’s like knowing somebody is going to jump out and scare you, but you don’t know from where. The feeling is slowly overwhelming me to a point where the creek of the stairs over the clip-clop of the hooves above makes me jump.

Upstairs is my dead family, and

Clip-clop, clip-clop

someone

(something)

is in that hallway. It’s waiting for me.

Clip-clop, clip-clop

I can feel it.

I’m on the last step of the staircase. I close my eyes as tears of fear well up inside of them.

Clip-clop, clip-clop

The noise … it’s getting closer. It’s coming towards me.

Clip-clop, clip-clop

It’s getting louder; the feeling inside of me is ready to burst.

CLIP-CLOP, CLIP-CLOP

It’s right there. In front of me. I know it is, even though me eyes are closed tight. I don’t want to open them. But I know I have to. So I do.

And nothing’s there.

I know I should feel relieved, but now, if it’s possible, I feel even more terrified than before.

All the way down the hallway I can see my family’s bodies, swinging from the nooses around their neck.

Thump …

I begin to cry. They’re gone. That’s starting to process in my mind. I can’t believe it. I’m stuck in here, with no way out, all alone

(or am I alone?)

And my family is dead. I can’t use the telephone … but one of my family member’s bodies might still have one.

I don’t want to have to do this … but it’s the only way I’ll have any contact with the outside world.

I run down the hall, tears streaming down my cheeks. Each one of my footsteps scares me. I think I can almost hear the

Clip-clop, clip-clop

I’m in the room now. My family is hanging in front of me. I don’t want to look at them, but I have to. I need to find a phone and call for help.

I put it off for as long as I can by pacing up and down the room, but eventually I realize that I have to. I go up to my father’s hanging body, whimpering as I do so. I check his pockets – there’s no phone.

Next I check my mother’s pockets. I can’t find her phone, and now I’m all-out crying. I check my sibling’s pockets and can’t find their phone. Now I’m terrified, I’m filled with despair.

(my family’s dead, why, why, why -)

I collapse into the corner of my parent’s bedroom, right beside the dresser. I cover my eyes and begin to sob. Tears stream down my face. I try to keep quiet, though, as I even the noise of my familiar crying is scaring me in this silence.

I force myself to look up at my family again.

Thump …

Their shirts are soaked with blood, and are torn open by claw marks

(claw marks?)

I get up shakily and walk timidly over to my brother’s body. I painfully pull a strand of loose fabric from his shirt and it reveals claw marks. Not as if a person had scratched him, but … I couldn’t explain. They just weren’t human. And no human could cut that deeply with their nails. Blood pours profusely from his wounds. And now that his shirt isn’t soaking up the blood, it drips to the floor with a steady and haunting

Drip, drip

I back away, even more fear bubbling inside my stomach. I want to throw up, but I can’t. I’m too scared. I now notice similar claw marks on the rest of my family. I start to back away into the dark hallway again.

Clip-clop, clip-clop

There it is again. But it’s not on the upper floor … it’s coming from downstairs. I think it’s in the kitchen.

Once again, I walk slowly down the stairs, fear overcoming my tears. I have no idea what is happening. All I know is that someone

(something)

killed my family and is in the house. But that doesn’t explain the claw marks, the hoof-noises, or how whatever it was seemed to have disappeared when I opened my eyes to look at it.

I’m on the stairs now. They creak underneath my feet. I feel for every stair before stepping. My eyes won’t grow used to the dark.

Clip-clop, clip-clop

I’m at the bottom of the stairs now, after what seems like hours of treading carefully downwards.

Now I stand just before the hallway. I can’t see all the way down. The kitchen is pitch black. I just stand there and take in all of the surrounding sounds.

Drip, drip

Thump …

Clip-clop, clip-clop

It all seems to be coming together, like some twisted orchestra, or a clock that won’t stop ticking, trying to make me lose my mind.

Clip-clop

I take a gulp of fear and take slow, timid steps down the hall, like a small child greeting his uncle’s new dog for the first time.

I can see the kitchen more clearly now. And the beige curtain in front of the sliding glass door. As I step closer I see something – at least I think I do – through the curtain.

Something’s behind the curtain. I know it’s whatever was walking around the hallways, because the clip-clop has stopped.

I’m approaching the curtain. I want to find out who has

(what’s)

done this.

Thump …

Drip, drip

I’m choking on my fear now. I’m trying to stifle whimpers. I reach my hand out and I’m ready to yank the curtain away to confront whatever is stalking me.

But then I feel it on my neck: a cold wind. No, it’s not a wind. I can hear it behind me. It’s a raspy, breathing sound. It’s like somebody with strep throat, breathing heavily after a long run.

But it doesn’t feel like breathing. It’s too cold. It feels lifeless. But I know that this person

(thing)

is behind me.

I close my eyes and take a sharp, shuddering breath. I open them again. I want this thing out of my head.

(house)

I swing around abruptly, terrified of what will be standing there. But there’s nothing. But it can’t be nothing. I know that something is in the house. He’s here. I can feel its eyes on me. I can feel it smiling, grinning widely at my fear. It’s watching me.

Now I snap.

“WHAT DO YOU WANT FROM ME?”

I close my eyes, and kneel down with my face on the floor. I hold my head, and I stay like this for some time, until I’m answered by the shattering of glass. I jump at the sound and fall back. I’m staring down at the hallway. It’s still dark, and I can barely see down there.

Thump …

Drip, drip

I suddenly know what’s been broken. It’s the mirror that lies along the wall of the hallway.

I get up, and I feel like I’m shaking uncontrollably. I walk, still timidly, into the hallway. I expect to see a face come out of the darkness, or feel a clawed hand grab my shoulder. But that doesn’t happen. Instead, I stand in the middle of the hallway, alone

(not alone)

and vulnerable. I hear the crunching of glass beneath my feet and look at the mirror on the side of the hallway. It’s cracked, but not smashed. I stare at the cracks in the mirror, terrified about what did it. But with a startling realization, I see that the cracks in the mirror made … letters; Words. What the hell is happening?

I look closer. The words say:

I WANT YOU

My eyes widen in fear. He

(it)

has answered. It wants me. Why? What did I do to deserve this?

And just as I think these words I feel that cold, insidious feeling, coming from my left – the kitchen.

I turn, and I can just see the kitchen, and the sliding glass door with its beige curtain. And there is something behind the curtain again. I know it. I can feel it. But I can also see it. As I stare more closely, I see them: claws. Bloody claws protruding from the small gap in between the two beige curtains, and the bloody claws leave a stain on the curtain, which are slowly being drawn apart, ready to reveal the thing behind it.

I don’t want to confront it anymore. I want it to go away. To leave me alone. To give my family back. But it won’t. It wants me to feel this way.

I run. I run as fast as I can back up the stairs and into the second floor hallway. I’m crying again as I run, and as I run, I fall. Now, I’m here, crouched on the floor, sobbing. My face is to the hard wood floor, and suddenly the rush of adrenaline disappears and the whole house seems silent again. Nothing stirs. And then I hear all of the sounds again, all working together to taunt me, to scare me, and eventually to kill me.

Thump …

Drip, drip

Clip-clop, clip-clop

It’s coming again -

Clip-clop, clip-clop

It’s in the hallway on the first floor -

Clip-clop, clip-clop

It’s coming up the stairs -

Clip-clop, clip-clop

It’s on my floor -

Clip-clop, clip-clop

It’s getting closer -

CLIP-CLOP, CLIP-CLOP

It’s almost here -

CLIP-CLOP

I feel it standing over me. It’s breathing on my neck again, as if it’s crouching just behind me. I think I hear a hoarse, strained giggle, but I’m not sure. I only hear three sounds:

Thump …

Drip, drip

What’s that last noise?

The breathing.

The last sound I ever heard.

Credit To – Graham

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Two Community Promos & Introducing a Beta Reader Contact Page

August 11, 2014 at 6:42 PM

As those of you who visit the site regularly already know, I sometimes like to help promote projects that involve members of our community. Today I have two such promos for you – a book and a film – as well as a request for some input on a new part of the site.

First, let’s talk about the community projects.

The Thing That Stalks The Fields Film

With author David Feuling’s permission, a group of filmmakers is working on taking the popular pasta The Thing That Stalks The Fields from a story to a full-blown movie. I feel this is pretty self-explanatory, so I’ll just let the project-runners themselves do the talking:

The Story
The film follows a young man, John, who inherits a farm from his estranged father. Soon, John begins to learn more about the man who abandoned him, as well as a malevolent presence that seems to haunt him at night. The film explores John’s relationship, or lack there of, with his father as he is psychologically tormented by a creature that seems to have a particular interest in him.

What We Need & What You Get
We are prioritizing the authenticity of the story, so most of our budget is going towards our location and actors. Luckily, Ithaca College PPECS is providing equipment, which allows the rest of our budget to be used towards set essentials such as travel, food, and lodging as well as essential post production work.

As of this writing, they are 47% to their goal of $2,500 – so if this sounds like a film project that you’d like to see come to fruition, please do consider kicking a few bucks their way if possible. You can find their indiegogo fundraiser here, or use the widget below.

Alone in the Woods: Scary Stories, True Tales, and Other Disturbing Things

Brenden Dean, host of the Never Sleep Again Podcast, recently released an eBook compilation of creepy stories. He sent me a complimentary copy (thanks!) and asked me to consider promoting it if I liked it enough. Well, I did – so here I am, passing on the word to the rest of you.

You can read his blog post about the book release here.

Get ready for 242 pages of original horror tales featuring ravenous creatures, perverse psychopaths and malevolent demons, as well as true stories and popular articles from around the web. This is a cocktail of horror formulated to get you thinking about what might lurk in the dark, what truly haunts us, and what could be just around the next corner. Enjoy the sleepless nights to come.

The book is already available for purchase on Amazon here. If you’re interested but want to read a sample of the book first, you can either download a preview directly to your Kindle via the Amazon page, or you can download directly from his site in one of two formats: PDF or ePub. Those links go directly to the files, so you can right-click save-as on the links to start the download.

Available Beta Readers Page

UPDATE: THIS HAS BEEN IMPLEMENTED – PLEASE GO HERE TO SEE ALL CURRENTLY AVAILABLE BETA READERS.

Next, I’d like to talk about a very good suggestion made by Nessa:

Hey Derp,
Might it be possible to create a post on Crappypasta where readers might post their emails in the comment section (of course I would suggest not using a personal email address and rather one specifically for Creepy purposes)if they are willing to be Beta readers for Creepy authors? Authors could use these if they know their pasta is not quite up to par rather than just submitting and hoping for the best, or authors whose works have already ended up on Crappypasta might contact a beta to get in-depth one-on-one help with edits and improvements. Plus, this way when people send you “Can you edit my pasta plzzz?” emails/requests you can tell them no but link them to a post where they can contact people from within the community who would be happy to do so.
Or would this simply be redundant, and are there Creepy forums out there where this service already exists?
Thanks for your time and consideration, both in reading this, and in everything that you do for this site and community!
-Nessa

I think this is an excellent idea, and will go nicely with our already-existing Creepypasta Prompts page and the Crappypasta system. Of course, people who are interested in beta reading can also visit The Creepypasta Network’s forums as many aspiring pasta writers are already posting their in-progress works there, but I think that having a page where people can individually and privately access beta readers would also be valuable. I’m aware that not everybody feels comfortable with posting their unfinished work for at-large public consumption, and this more individual approach would probably be more comfortable for those people.

If you’re interested in having your contact information placed on the beta reader directory, please reply to this post with your information (how the author can contact you, any notes about how much free time you have or what types of stories you are/aren’t interested in reading, etc) and once we get a few available readers, I’ll create the page. After it’s up, it will work like the ‘More Creepypasta’ page where you can just comment on the specific page with the information that you want added/edited.

For now, I’m planning on calling it “Available Beta Readers” unless anyone else has a better idea. If you do, feel free to let me know.

THIS PAGE HAS BEEN CREATED. PLEASE FOLLOW THE INSTRUCTIONS HERE IF YOU WISH TO BE ADDED TO THE LIST OF AVAILABLE BETA READERS.

Thanks for your time, everyone!

Once, In Karachi

August 11, 2014 at 12:00 AM
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It was his first time in Karachi. The coastal city seemed to sprawl on forever, and for a little while he was concerned about getting lost there. But, fortunately he had a lot of friends accompanying him. One look at his them as they stood gathered there outside the bus station and he felt neither alone, nor afraid.

“Take one of these whistles with you!” said one of them, handing him a smooth silver whistle and moving on to the next person, handing him a whistle as well.

“What are these for?” he called to him.

“Well, since we’re dividing into small groups to explore, I thought it was a good idea for us to have a quick way to calling out to each other”

He looked back down at the whistle and then to everyone else slowly forming groups of different sizes. He was the only one travelling alone; Since he had a few relatives he wanted to meet, and a few traders he had to discuss terms with. ‘I had best get going’ he thought.

It was all a very boring affair. He wanted to finish his visits as quickly as possible so he could meet up with his friends and maybe go around the city seeing the sights. The British had left only a few years ago and the city had since become a model city for development and growth. It was called ‘the city of light’ and he wanted to see exactly why it was so.

It was already evening by the time he finished all his ‘work’. He was considering where to start looking for his friends when he was approached by a weak, aging woman.

“Could you help me carry these son, son?” she said, gesturing to a sack of rice. It looked heavy even by his standards and he was surprised the woman had actually managed to carry it at all.

“Sure gran. Where is your home, exactly?” he said, lifting the sack onto his back.

“Not far from here” she said, smiling sweetly.

There was something off about her smile but he kept following her anyway, dismissing it as his imagination.

It took him five minutes to toil to get to her house and he was grateful for it not being any farther. She offered him food as he sat on the threshold of her tiny house, trying to catch his breath. He tried to refuse, thinking he should probably be joining his friends soon, but she insisted.

“I really can’t let you go, son. You have helped this old woman. Besides, I have a real treat for you if you can do me just one more favour.” she said earnestly.

“What’s that?” he asked her, wondering if the favour was more donkey work.

“Well, you see… my son died last night”, she said, her face serious and strangely impassive. “…I am but an old woman and I do not have the strength to bathe him for the burial”

He felt shaken by the woman’s request, and a little embarrassed at wanting to get away from there. The helpless old woman was simply preparing for her son’s funeral.

“I’ll be honoured to help”, he said after a moment, resigning himself to do another good deed.

She thanked him profusely led him through a narrow corridor and into what appeared to be a rather austere lounge, seating him on a rug.

“I’ll get you some food first. You will need your strength” she said, bringing him a tray full of pilaf rice. “Let me know when you’re done” she said, and left him to go elsewhere.

He was grateful for the food. His stomach had been aching for a while now and some Pilaf was just the thing he needed. So, he dug in eagerly, searching the rice for some meat. He found a finger.

His body gave a shudder and he immediately spat out the rice he had been chewing. He held up the finger he had found to the light and realized beyond doubt that it really was a human finger. That woman was a cannibal. The horrifying realization hit him like a hammer and he dropped the finger out of shock.

And then, he realized that he had probably been lured there to be eaten.

He looked around him, searching for a way to escape. The woman was waiting outside, he knew, and he did not want to risk running through her. She could be carrying any number of weapons and he needed to be very, very careful about how he dealt with the situation from then on. One wrong move, and he could be the next guy to be made into pilaf rice.

So, the first thing he decided to do was to take all the rice he had scattered over the rug in shock, and sweep it all under the rug along with the finger. He threw some more rice under the rug to make it appear as if he’d eaten his fill and then called out to the woman, and told her that he was ready to bathe her son’s dead body.

She led him out back to a courtyard, where a dead body was indeed placed, covered by a large white sheet on a wooden bed. He wondered if that was really her son. Did she intend to eat her own son as well? Perhaps, the body was simply another one of her victims, and he was actually helping her clean him up for her next meal. The thought was chilling.

He was treading in dangerous territory he knew, so his senses became extremely alert to every single move the woman made. She was carrying an oil lantern and went over to stand by the body’s head holding up the lantern for light. He brought some water in a large steel bucket, and began to bathe the body, keeping an eye on the woman as best as he could.

The first thing he noticed was that the body was not very cold to the touch. Fresh kill, perhaps, he thought. Though a cold shiver ran through his spine, he concentrated on not letting any emotion show on his face. He required every single bit of concentration he could muster to stay in control of the situation, pouring water over the body slowly, and trying to adjust his eyes to the dark.

He quickly became aware of an advantage he had. With the woman standing at the head of the body, she cast a very sharp shadow across the walls and he could see if she moved slightly even with his back turned to her. He thought about it a bit and decided that if the woman really wanted to kill him then he might as well try to lure her into an attack.

So, he deliberately started working on the body with his back turned to her, keeping both eyes on her shadow as he worked. At any moment, he would see hand move, and would immediately counter-attack.

He saw what happened next quite clearly as shadows started to shift. The woman’s left arm slowly drew out something from within the folds of her clothes and raised it high to attack. At the same time something else happened just as slowly though. Something he had not been expecting. It felt like terror creeping up his limbs as he saw the body’s right arm move as well, drawing out something long and blunt from under the shroud.

He jumped away from them reflexively. Fortunately for him the old woman chose to strike at the same moment; her iron rod missed him by mere inches as she brought it down. Her son, who had sat up to reach him, was not so lucky. Her full-blooded swing hit him to the side of his skull and he was knocked out immediately from the hit.

He could not let her recover, either. He jumped right at her and delivered a kick straight into her chest. She was lifted clean off her feet and flew back into the wall. That was it. He did not check to see if either of them was still conscious. He ran out of the house as quickly as he could, covered in cold sweat and short of breath as he was. And as soon he reached the street, he found the whistle his friend had given him and started blowing as hard as he could.

It did not take very long for him to gather a crowd. Some of his friends arrived as well, and he quickly told them what had happened. The police arrived soon after, and began searching the house for the the woman and her son.

The search resulted in a few shocking discoveries as bones of over 50 people were found from the basement of the house. The woman, and her son were arrested. Apparently they had been luring people to the house and eating them for quite a while. Also, according to them, they were not the only ones. Not by a long shot.

Writer’s note: This true story comes from my maternal grandfather, and has been told from his point-of-view. I have tried to keep all the details intact.

Credit To – Salman Shahid Khan

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