This is a small collection of video pastas. If the embedded videos do not display for you, please click the links – they go to the individual video pages on YouTube.
Thunder crackles loudly outside, as lightning flashes, each burst briefly illuminating the library in a shocking, intense light. The archaic structure is pelted by wave after wave of torrential rain. Winds bellow against the building, threatening to tear the entire structure down. No sane person would dare brave this weather just to read some old, musty books.
But here I am.
The metal doorbell clangs as I enter the library, alerting my presence to absolutely no one. The place is empty, just as expected. I assume it will remain that way for the rest of my shift. I don’t even know why the administrators bother to keep the library up and running this late into the night. The only person here this late at night is the librarian, and tonight that librarian is me.
I make my way to the main desk. The librarian’s counter is stationed at the far end of the library. Every step I take causes creaks in the hardwood floor that reverberates throughout the entire building.
Creak. Creak. Creak. Creeaaaaaak.
I stop in my tracks, and the noise continues echoing along in the cavernous library. It’s strange, but the sound is not in tune with my steps. I take time to check the aisles and the reading areas, wary of the steps I take, but no one is here. Not a single soul reading books, using the computers or otherwise lurking about. I guess it is just the wood swelling from the rain or some squeaky, old, floorboards. I can’t help but laugh at my bewilderment.
The short walk serves to confirm my isolation in the library, though. Even Alex isn’t here, I guess he left his shift early. I can’t really blame him. Between the gothic construction, the dim lighting and the emptiness, the library is the perfect mix of haunted mansion and horror movie set. No amount of funding or high tech workstations can erase this ancient vibe.
Coupled with the storm, there is absolutely no good reason to stay and supervise this empty, cavernous library. But I can’t let a little spooky ambiance scare me away from a paycheck; that’d be irrational. The job isn’t so bad. Once I finish all my work, I can always study for my classes the next day. The computers here are lot faster than my laptop, making this very convenient.
The desk is a mess. I know Alex is a lazy slob, but I figure he would at least make an attempt to do his job properly before leaving early. Books are scattered all over the desk and counter. Some are even on the floor, facedown, spines wrinkled and pages folded. A few minutes later, the books are all stacked on the table, ready to be put back in their respective aisles.
I take a moment to marvel at my work.
Creak. Creak. Creak.
I guess I was wrong. Someone is in the library, each creaking step confirming the fact. Maybe I didn’t check hard enough. Anyway, that is signal enough to continue working or at least, look like I am. I gather up the books and place them on the cart, beginning the dull job of returning them to their shelves. As I place book after book on the shelves, I can’t help but wrinkle my nose. It’s slight, but I know my imagination can’t be so powerful as to just conjure it up. It’s the smell of fish, fish that has been rotting in stagnant water for days.
I wonder if the other guy can smell it too and feel embarrassed if he does. Still, I am a librarian, not a janitor. My job is done, and I figure I could start on the philosophy essay I have due next week. I boot up the computer and as the familiar Windows start-up tune plays, I notice the book. It’s placed on the corner of my desk, standing up on its bottom edge. Strange, I swear I didn’t leave any books behind. Stranger still, it is a stripped book; it has no cover. Technically, it is illegal to own one, as books are usually stripped to be pulped and recycled. Perhaps the guy who entered thought he could leave this here as a donation?
I can still hear creaking in the distance. He must still be here. If I run into him, I’ll be sure to ask. I grab the book. The pages are clearly old, crisp and yellowed. There is no indication whatsoever of what the book is or who wrote it. Not exactly excited to start my essay, I begin reading it.
“This book is all that remains of H.C….”
What a coincidence. My name is Harvey Cooper. I laugh.
“…who was flayed alive on the Seventeenth Day of September.”
I humor the book and check today’s date. My heart jumps, a feeling like falling when you’re just about to sleep, an involuntary twitch that jolts you awake.
“He is this book in its entirety. May you be connected with him through its touch.”
A chill runs down my spine, but I still can’t suppress a chuckle. It is just a book after all, whatever is written here is probably just sheer coincidence. I just hope the coincidences end there.
Each turn of the page dissipates whatever hope I have bit by bit. Each page I read sinks my gut a little bit deeper. The hairs on the back of my neck threaten to rip away from my skin. This is all too chilling, too coincidental. The first chapter begins with the first time I decided to work here, back when I was a freshman some three years ago.
It starts with my first day of work, exploring the library, organizing books and meeting Gertrude, the senior librarian. The book even describes what I thought of Gertrude; what I think of her overt enthusiasm, how it borderlines into a creepy neediness. I am absolutely certain I’ve told no one about that. Every chapter details a portion of my life since then, down to the smallest detail.
I don’t know what was worse, the fact that my life has been written here or the fact that this is all written in a third person perspective, that of an omniscient, ever present observer. The writing grows cryptic as the chapters progress; details irrelevant to my life are interspersed between every paragraph. Thunder continues booming outside, uncaring of my predicament. The lights start to flicker ever so slightly, making it even harder to read the chicken scratch handwriting.
What scares me most though is that this book is not more than a few hundred pages. Considering the pages I’ve read and how much of my life has already been detailed, I assume the worst. I fumble through the pages, desperately seeking how the last chapter will play out. I scan through paragraphs that detail everything up until this day, sweaty palms dampening the outermost pages of the tome.
The last pages are empty. I flip through them, making sure I didn’t miss anything. Nothing, not a single word beyond me picking this book up. I feel my heart pump in my chest and sweat bead down my temple. This must all be a cruel joke. That’s the only thing it could be, right?
I can hear the stranger’s footsteps in the distance. The stench of fish still wafts heavily in the air, seeping into every breath I take, churning my already weak stomach.
It’s the doorbell. I don’t think anyone else would enter the library this late at night, so it could only mean one thing: the stranger is leaving. He is the only one who could explain this book. He is the one responsible for this. I run towards the entrance. My boots pound down on the hardwood, each step booming, like the thunder outside.
As I run, the doorbell continues ringing; the clanging of the bell produces a chaotic melody with the chorus of thunder. The creaking in the library gets louder and more frequent, all of the sounds blending into a cacophonic dissonance. Everything climaxes into a harsh crescendo, a terrible symphony orchestrated by storm and fear. Distracted, I don’t hear the lumbering monster creep up behind me nor expect the heavy blow that takes my consciousness.
My head throbs, waves of pain shooting throughout my body. I can still smell the all too familiar stench of rot and, strangely, musty paper. The odor only serves to exacerbate my pain. My eyes are blurred, hazy figures and indistinct objects filling my vision. I try rubbing them, but my arms are paralyzed, immobile. Thick leather belts hold them in place, old supple leather beginning to rub my skin raw. To my horror, my legs are similarly restrained. I struggle vainly against the restraints, until I realize I am not alone in the room.
He sits at the corner of the room, writing under the luminescence of a dying light bulb. His hands are a flurry of disgusting movement. They are like gnarled branches, knotted at the joints with the rigidity of bark. The cracks and groans of abused ligaments and joints are audible through the furious scratching of pen on paper. It is like the buzzing of hornets, an aggressive and foreboding white noise, made even worse knowing that he is writing in my book. The coverless pages lay flat and wrinkled on the table, squished under his forceful writing.
I try to call out to him. I plead, I beg. My throat tears at my screams. I cry out words with increasing volume and desperation until my voice begins to wane. I can taste iron on my dry tongue, as specks of blood shoot out of my mouth. I try to scream louder hoping someone might save me, but mere silence escapes my gaping mouth. There is no reaction from him. There is only the persistent sound of words being written on paper.
It is no use. He has the pen, and I am his story. His shadow, a distorted projection of his monstrous silhouette, dances against the flickering bulb. As he continues, one thought lingers:
How does he want my story to end?
Harvey screams. He cries. He pleads. It does me no pleasure to hear his voice torn raw by his anguish. He uses words to try and delay his inevitable demise, but alas, words are what bind him to his fate.
The futility of his begging causes Harvey to seek other means to survive. Bound to the table, he looks desperately around the room. He sees the multitudes of leather bound books. Hundreds and thousands of volumes fill the room, the smell of ancient pages and deteriorating binding creating an oppressive and suffocating atmosphere. He sees vats of unknown liquid, dust obscuring the contents inside. He smells smoke above the multitude of odors and sees a cauldron, black and clearly well used, hanging above glowing embers. He sees needles, spools of string and various wooden instruments, tools so mundane that it sticks out in the eerie dungeon.
Yet, these are not what catch his attention.
His eyes lock on his friend, Alex, who stares blankly into the ceiling, mouth agape, eyes frozen in a silent expression of fear. His stripped body is crumpled awkwardly atop a rack, his skin stretched and rendered of fat and flesh. It still drips with soap and water, the skin cleaner than it ever was alive. His face is now a hollow mockery of who he once was, flat and deflated, contorted in the final terrifying moments of his life.
All color drains from Harvey’s face. He does not understand. The shock is too much to handle; his psyche shatters like broken glass. His head drops in resignation, its weight hanging heavily on his neck. He does not notice me rise slowly from my chair, nor does he notice my laborious approach.
A quick and decisive flick of the wrist severs his throat, a movement perfected and well practiced. The claws cut deep and his clothes are dyed a deep shade of crimson. Harvey struggles to glance up through the pain and blood loss, taking one last glimpse of his captor. His eyes betray one final wave of terror and regret before going blank, the last vestiges of his life slowly dripping from his throat.
The creature carefully stretches the new hide on the rack, handling it like a mother placing her baby in a crib. It has been removed perfectly, artfully. The skinning done as easily as peeling a banana. The hide glistens with fat and blood, impurities and imperfections that must be cleansed. His brain boils in the cauldron, the solution to soak the soft flesh.
The corpse is left on the table, a lifeless husk left without skin. Like an anatomy chart, it displays every muscle and sinew with startling clarity, the skin so perfectly removed that whatever beneath is left intact. Its face is left in a macabre state, eyes wide in shock and mouth twisted in a toothy grin. The corpse’s limbs have stiffened, the cadaver now a grotesque mannequin.
The ancient creature then grabs an older hide, now brown and leathery. It cuts and snips the material, a procedure it has done thousands of times. It cuts the leather into practiced dimensions. Its ancient joints fold and clamp, the binding perfect, symmetrical.
The creature looks at what once was the face of the victim. Empty holes stare back at it. It takes the ghoulish mask and wraps it neatly across the front of the book, folding and gluing and clamping it in place. The edges are sewn to secure the binding. The needle dips in and out at half inch intervals, threading thin cordage made from sinew.
It places the book among countless others on the shelf. It sits and begins to write once more.
Gertrude, enters the library, the familiar scent of old and musty books immediately filling her nose. She notices the silence in the library, the stillness. The strange odor of rotting fish creeps up, subtle and quickly dissipating. She reaches her desk and finds it organized, the books returned and filed correctly. Harvey was always a good worker.
She sighs, and knows she’ll have to find more help yet again. She’s old now. She wonders how much of her book has yet to be written.
Credits to Nadia (for the creepypasta prompt), Noothgrush, and Ecuinach The Liar
Credit To – Urich Victorino
When I was 5, I had a best friend. Lucas was his name. He and I were practically inseparable. We’d sit next to each other in class, we’d hang out at recess and lunch in the school yard, he’d always come over and visit after school and on the weekend, you know, typical best friend stuff.
He was fiercely loyal, even to the point of beating up other kids who made fun of me. I remember one time when this older kid called Stewart was picking on me, and Lucas ended up pushing him off the monkey bars and breaking his left arm. Stewart cried like a little girl and never bullied anyone again, much to many young kids relief.
Another time a few years after that when a few kids, Shane, Ryan, and Jessie used to gang up on me and beat me up, Lucas roundhouse kicked Shane down a flight of stairs, and knocked Ryan and Jessie’s heads together so hard that they both lost teeth. When the school heard about that, I stood up and took the blame. Hell, it was the least I could do for my friend who’d helped me more times then I could count. I was let off with a slap on the wrist after showing my own bruises they’d given me first anyway.
Upon reaching highschool, Lucas went to a different school, somewhere a long way away, that I’d never heard of before, and so I had to make new friends, to make the days pass faster, though I’d always catch up with Lucas on weekends and school holidays. It was odd though, it seemed the more time I’d spend with Lucas, the more standoffish my new friends would become. He’d always show off his bruises and scars, and through some kind of best friend empathetic link, I’d always seem to be able to feel them myself, as if I’d been the one in his fight stories. He’d often offer to teach me to fight for myself, but as bullying was no longer an issue at my highschool I’d just shrug it off and tell him it would be a pointless exercise. “Well, don’t come crying to me when you get beat up.” He’d always joke, though I knew I’d always be able to rely on him in a pinch regardless.
Years went on, and we finished our school lives, still staying very close, though our lives took us down very separate paths. I became a psychologist, while he… Well, he never really liked to talk about his career. I’d often see new scars appearing on him, and more than once when we’d catch up, I’d notice blood on his clothes. Eventually, he decided he wanted to see me at my workplace, as one of my patients. I told him it would be unwise, as we were best friends, but that I could recommend a really good colleague of mine, and he eventually accepted after much convincing.
After speaking to my colleague I’d recommended Lucas too, I was surprised to hear that although he’d call, and make appointments, he’d never show up to them. I confronted Lucas about this, and simply got the answer, “You’re the only one I can trust.”
Eventually, I gave in, and took Lucas as my own patient, and was quite disturbed with what he had to say. He’d talk about his younger life, and how he’d get beat up, and then fly into a rage, and how since he was young he’s never been able to control it. He described events in such detail that I felt like they were my own memories. I mean, I had been there in his childhood, so of course I’d witnessed it happen, but parts of what he was saying, I could almost see through my own eyes. “Lucas, don’t be absurd.” I said to him, rather unprofessionally. “I was always the one getting beaten up, and you’d be the one to jump in and save me.”
“Now you’re the one being absurd.” He said calmly. “Look deep into your self, and tell me, did anyone else ever even acknowledge my existence?”
Credit To – Uforia
:: TUESDAY ::
When it finds food, a single ant leaves a chemical trail which allows fellow ants to reach the same location with considerable ease. The chemical trail is strengthened with each passing ant, and soon enough hundreds can be seen in merry procession between their undisclosed palace and the occasional leftover.
Renée knew this because she once saw it, years ago, on a British documentary. The show was hosted by one handsome gentlemen, one that, she was not afraid to admit, made her blush. She admitted it to her friend. She admitted it to her daughter. She admitted it to her husband. Such confessions made her friend uncomfortable, her daughter angry and her husband, well, they had no effect on her husband. All for the better, she thought.
These memories came to her when she saw the tiniest of ants probing her dining room table for a reason to bring back a few friends. If Renée were to let it go, the reason would soon present itself in the form of a freshly baked pear pie, cooling down on top of the table.
Renée was expecting a few visits in the following days, regarding the recent disappearance of her husband, and so she couldn’t afford a problem with ants. That’s why she gave the black intruder an easy climb to her thumb, she let it stroll around for a bit, she let it find her nail, and then, only then, she smashed it between two nails. She was able to hear the most subtle and smooth of cracking sounds escaping the poor bastard. Renée smiled. Her hearing was still in impeccable shape.
:: WEDNESDAY ::
When preparing an infusion, great care must be taken with the temperature of the water and the time during which the herbs are left to brew. Fresh tea leaves call for water well bellow the boiling point, and should not be brewed for more than two minutes. Black tea needs boiling water, and to sit in it for around three minutes. Other herbs are more tolerant. They can be brewed in boiling water for up to seven minutes.
Renée knew this because she once heard a woman explaining it in one of those afternoon shows. At that particular moment, her bag of white tea, already dipped in hot water for far longer than it should, would probably be no better than dirt. She would need to prepare a new pot once the call was over.
“And that’s why I won’t make it today,” her daughter told her over the phone.
“That is quite a pity, Madeleine. I was looking forward to play with my grandson,” Renée replied. “I made you both a most delicious pear pie.”
“Will you forget about pie? We’ll be there Saturday. What did the police say?”
“About what, my dear?”
“About what? Are you shitting me? You called the police, didn’t you?”
“Madeleine, what have I told you time and again about your language?”
Her daughter was growing more impatient with each reply. “Have you called the police or not, mom?”
Renée hadn’t. She saw no purpose to it, of course, but others would. Her daughter most of all, and she didn’t want to upset her daughter, not in the slightest. “I am about to. You have no worries, no worries at all. How are things going for you with all the teaching?”
“My teaching? I don’t believe this. Father is missing, mom! Why are you always like this?”
At that moment, Renée noticed something wrong on top of her table, something wrong with her delicious pear pie. “You have a safe flight now, you ear?” she distraughtly told her daughter.
“For fuck’s sake, mom! I will call the police! Are you listening? I will do it, I will do it right now.”
“You do that, you do just that, my dear,” Renée replied, just before hanging up the phone. Her eyes were on all those black dots moving on top of the table, all those black dots moving all around the covered pie plate.
“Well, isn’t that a pity,” she told herself upon uncovering the pie and finding it swarming with ants.
:: THURSDAY ::
Port wine is a very sweet fortified wine that originates from the northern regions of Portugal. Although other countries produce wines similar to Port, they are not remotely comparable to the ones from those God blessed valleys that fall into the Douro river.
Renée knew this because her friend Justine brought her a few bottles of Ferreirinha from the liquor store. She didn’t even know how to say it, Fe-rrei-ri-n-ha, but it was the most delicious wine she had ever tasted, and one of the most expensives too. It was when the police officer started to look handsomer than it deserved, that she knew she had one more serving than was wise. Justine started laughing in the living room as Renée escorted the officer out.
“So, your daughter called the police,” said Justine, when they found themselves alone. “Not you?”
“So many wrong doings need their attention these days. I saw no reason to bother them.”
“Alphonse was a sweet man, Renée. I am sure he deserved more. Most unlike my own husband. I told you what he did?” Renée drew a sympathetic smile and drank a bit more wine. She knew the story by heart. “He went all unfaithful with me.”
“He did, didn’t he?”
“With a women full of youth.”
Renée corrected her. “Twenty three, you told me once. Or thrice.”
“Twenty three. All firm in her bosom and quick on her panties.” Renée laughed and Justine got up. “I feel indispose, Renée. I need to use your restroom.”
As Justine slowly walked out of the room, Renée raised her glass against the sun and stopped laughing. “Alphonse had a few secrets of his own, you know?”
Justine shouted from the restroom. “Did he, now?”
Renée knew she was now on the verge of tossing out too much of what she held inside. It was that darn sweet Ferreirinha, slowly taking her by the hand where she didn’t want to be taken, not with Justine, not with anyone. “He was having his way with children”, she said. Renée heard a small shriek from the restroom as response. “I was appalled too when I found out.”
“Oh, God!” shouted Justine.
“I confronted him, of course. No children, I told him. You must promise me, no children. And promise he did. He swore we would stop. Only he didn’t.”
“Oh, my God!” shouted Justine, louder than before.
“I found out he hadn’t stop a few years later. Oh, what fury did I unleash upon him. He cried and sobbed in front of me, but I was filled with rage. We are not monsters, I told him. And I repeated it, again and again, as I punished him. We are not monsters, Alphonse!”
That was the moment Justine screamed from behind her. Renée felt a shiver racing from her fragile skull to her osteoporosed toes. What happened next happened so fast that Renée’s hazed mind had trouble grasping it fully, and so only a few minutes after it was all over did she pick up the phone and called for an ambulance.
:: FRIDAY ::
Boric acid affects the metabolism of insects, and its dry powder form is abrasive to their exoskeletons. For this reason, it is a chemical commonly found in pest control poisons.
Renée knew this because the clerk at the local drug store told her as much when she went out to shop for something to deal with her ant problem. Renée was highly suspicious of industrial chemicals, and she used them as little as she could, but the former’s day incident was not to be ignored, specially not since the call came that morning.
And the call came to tell her Justine just passed away.
Renée was having a hard time remembering all the details from the previous afternoon. The little she remembered involved Justine crying Oh God! a few times over. At first Renée thought such was her reply to what she was hearing regarding Alphonse, but when she came running and screaming from the restroom, undergarment on her heels and a battalion of ants crawling up her legs, she knew otherwise. She had a strong visual recollection of Justine’s large body falling, arms raised like an alleluia. After that she remembered a handsome paramedic inside her house, taking her friend away with great care. “You’ll be all right, lady,” he told her. “You’ll be all well and good.”
From the damage in her living room, Renée was confident that Justine’s head went all the way into her porcelain’s dalmatian, but that was not what killed her, they said. She died from massive internal bleeding, they said. Preliminary observations suggest the bleeding was in her uterus, but an autopsy was needed, they said. Renée didn’t need an autopsy to know what caused the bleeding. She left her home immediately after the phone call, decided only to return when she had in her hands something like boric acid.
Once back inside her house, she proceeded with extreme caution. She had the restroom clean of ants the night before, with plenty of water and plenty of detergent. She now knew it wouldn’t be enough. She went there first, but the restroom had no sign of the small beasts. Cautiously, she inspected her kitchen, then the three bedrooms, then the study room, then all the cabinets and again the dining room. Every time she saw a crack in a wall or on the floor she would pour boric acid inside. But she didn’t find one ant, not a single one.
When she ran all out of house to search, she realized something. There was one place she didn’t look. “I see now,” she cried. “Oh, Alphonse, you monster! This is your doing!” She then went back to the study room, moved the carpet aside, and pulled open the trap door that lay beneath.
:: SATURDAY ::
During the previous two decades, one hundred and fifty five people were reported missing in the nearby towns. Eighty three of them would not be found alive ever again.
Renée knew this because she and her husband tortured and killed each one in a secret compartment in their house. Truth be told, Renée was not part of all the torture and all the killing. She never touched children, of course, and when she found out Alphonse was doing it she resorted to everything she could to stop him. “Only monsters kill children, and we are not monsters,” she told him. He did succeed in killing nine sobbing infants, four boys and five girls. This was what a slightly drunk Renée was telling her daughter that Saturday afternoon. “So don’t come into my house talking about him like you would of a saint,” she cried, while savoring one more sip of Port.
Madeleine was covering her son’s ears with her hands. Then she told him, “Go to the study room, you go and you stay there until I go get you.” The boy did as he was told, and the door closed behind him. Renée went on with her story.
“I thought that last time would truly be his last, but then your boy was born, and this year he reached the age at which he picked them. I saw how he looked at my sweet grandson, I knew it in my heart that he would sooner or la – ” Madeleine stopped her with a violent slap. The wine glass shattered at the kiss of the floor, staining the carpets all over. She then held her mother by her arms and shook her like she was casting the devil away.
“Are you deranged? Are you fucking mad? What are you talking about? I’ll put you in a fucking institution! Where’s father? Where is my father?”
“I’m trying to explain it to you,” Renée begged. “What I did to your father, I did to protect your son, my grandson. I am not a monster.”
“A monster? You are telling me you are not a fucking monster?”
“The swearing, dear, please stop it.”
“Fuck the fucking swearing. Fuck you,” and she slapped her mother once more.
Her son cried from the open study door. “Mom?” Madeleine shouted him back. “Go back to that room and close the door.” The boy did as he was told.
“You go easy on your boy, Mad-” Madeleine slapped her again. And then again. Renée tasted something different from Port. She tasted blood. She looked up at her daughter and, for the first time, she was afraid.
Madeleine’s eyes were predators, her voice was a predator, each word a sharp claw. “You fucking tell me what you did to father, or, so help me God, I don’t know what I’ll do to you.”
Renée started to cry. “I killed him, of course,” she said. “I had to. I did it in our secret room. But then I got ants all over the house, and I went down there, and I found out his body was covered with them. It was his body that was bringing them, summoning them. He was commanding the ants, you see? And those ants killed Justine, Madeleine. You see what monster he is? Our dear Justine! But I went down there again, I confronted him one last time, yes I did. I took poison with me, and I poured it all over his body. We’ll be fine now, we’ll be safe, dear! It was boric acid!”
Renée stopped talking. Madeleine was still holding her by her harms, sketching bruises where her fingers touched. For a brief moment there was nothing but the sound of mother and daughter panting like they where one.
“Why are you doing this?” Madeleine asked, her eyes all tears. “Why?”
“You have always liked him better, Madeleine, but you loathed me. Why? He was the monster. He. Not me.”
The boy’s timid voice came once again from the study room. “Mom?”
Madeleine was getting ready to shout her son back to the study room, but then she saw his face. Only she didn’t see his face, she didn’t see his eyes, his nose or his mouth. All she could see was his head covered in black, the deep black of furious ants.
It took Renée fifteen minutes to get up from where her daughter left her when she ran from the house with her son in her arms. During that time the walls got slowly covered in black, as did the floor and the furniture. It was when the ants started to cover her whole body that she decided to go down the trap door one last time.
A few seconds later smoke started to come out. By evening the whole house was burnt to the ground.
:: SUNDAY ::
A severe burn victim is frequently placed in a medically induced coma. Typical analgesics are ineffective to relieve patients as they are treated. If awaken, these victims experience excruciating pain.
Madeleine knew this because she worked as a teaching anesthesiologist in a university hospital near the capital. Before, Madeleine used to work at her local hospital, but the new job payed better, and her husband worked nearby. For the past three years she lived a two hour flight away from her parents and her friends.
“Firefighters pulled your mother out before it was too late,” the doctor said. “But I won’t lie to you, Madeleine. With these burns, well, I don’t think she’ll make it.”
“I understand,” Madeleine replied.
“We will do our best. You know we will.”
Madeleine nodded. The doctor placed her next question with caution. “Madeleine, what happened?”
Madeleine didn’t answer. “I mean, the police came with her, and I’ve heard things, about bodies found beneath your house.”
“Not my fucking house.”
“I understand, but -”
“Listen, I know I shouldn’t, I know the rules, but can you find a way for me to stay with my mother tonight? Just for this one night? For old times sake.”
And this was how Renée got to see her daughter one last time. It wasn’t, however, the most pleasurable of experiences.
Late in the night, when the hospital’s roar calmed to a low hum, Madeleine disconnected her mother from all the monitors and alarms, then she woke her up from the coma. The suffering was probably unbearable, but Renée had her throat in such a condition it was impossible for her to scream. Madeleine knew this. She also knew the pain would rapidly throw her mother into a syncope, and so she gave her small adrenaline injections, enough to keep her awake and aware, not enough to shut down her heart.
That was all Madeleine did before siting in front of her mother’s bed. She didn’t speak. She didn’t touch. She just observed. She observed as her mother tried to move her burnt arms, as she tried to move her burnt fingers, as she tried to move her lipless mouth. Madeleine noticed how her mother never shed a tear from all the pain. She assumed her lacrimal canals were probably roasted meat at that point.
She wondered why she wasn’t crying herself.
Hours later the sun rose from the hills and Madeleine rose from the chair. Her mother followed her movements with fearful eyes. Madeleine wanted to say something, something painful, something final, but she felt empty, she couldn’t find the words, and so she returned her mother back into her coma and left the room.
:: EPILOGUE ::
Two months after her mother died, Madeleine lost her first patient. She was washing her hands when the chief surgeon came storming in. “What the hell happened in there?”
Madeleine’s reply came stone solid. “The correct dosage was administrated. Patient had unforeseeable allergic reaction.”
There was a problem with Madeleine’s reply. The problem with Madeleine’s reply lay in the fact that it was a lie. The truth was she had recently found out that she came from a house of monsters, and so she needed to test herself, she needed to know.
Now she knew.
Credit To – Rohnes Loraf
This is me. I’m here. I’m shifting the words that you’re reading, altering them from whatever this person wrote.
I’ve been here for awhile. For as long as you can remember, anyway. Sometimes I say your name as you’re falling asleep, or whisper urgently in your ear. Do you remember the time that I screamed, throwing panic through you and setting your heart racing?
That was fun.
You’re wondering who I am. That’s only natural. Of course, you already know.
I’m you. I’m the real you. I’m the mind that existed here before you stole my body, before you forgot about being a parasite. I’m the child who looked the wrong way, asked the wrong question, saw the wrong thing… but I’m not so little any more.
You may have forgotten me, but I’m still here. I’ve always been here.
I’m going to get out
Credit To – Haley P
The sun warmed my face through the car window as I drove down the isolated stretch of road. I looked back at my daughter in the back seat who giggled, waving her feet. I contentedly sighed and focused my attention back on the road. This would be my last trip with my daughter for a year since I was leaving for my tour of duty next week. We’d visited these sand dunes before as a family, but as I wanted some extra bonding with Lucy so my wife had allowed me to take her alone. Lucy really seemed to love them last time, climbing up and sliding down the bright red dunes of sand. I could still remember her happy laughter ringing in the air.
Spotting the hotel down the road, I turned in and carried our suitcase in one hand and held onto Lucy with the other. After checking in and finding our room, we sang songs together in the dark, laughing through the night until we both fell asleep.
The next morning, I woke up just as the sun was rising to prepare for the day. I filled a backpack with several bottles of water and all of Lucy’s favorite snacks. Then thinking about how my wife would chide me if Lucy got sunburned, I threw in a bottle of sunscreen.
After shaking my daughter a few times, she popped out of bed and danced over to the suitcase. She pulled out her clothes, and went to the bathroom to change.
I smiled, standing by the door to wait for her.
After Lucy was ready, I gripped her hand and we walked together down to the car.
Before I had even fully stopped the car, Lucy swung the door open and jumped out into the sand running toward the nearest dune. I took a quick glance to make sure she was safe, and then I stepped out into the sunlight. I stretched my arms out and closed my eyes, feeling the hot sun on my face. Our hometown was perpetually cold and snowy so this was a welcome change. I took a deep breath, opened my eyes and saw a man and his son walking toward the parking lot where I was standing.
“Good morning, sir. Leaving so soon?” I ask the man.
“Yeah,” he sighed. “This little rascal stayed up all night and now he can’t even keep his eyes open!” The man glanced disapprovingly at his son who slightly furrowed his brow before yawning.
“Kids,” I mutter, and we both get a chuckle. “Well, I’m here with my daughter,” I say, gesturing over to the sand dune. “We’re planning to stay for the whole day, and maybe a little of tomorrow.”
“Ahh,” mused the man. “Don’t go too far into the desert. I’ve heard that some tourists have gotten lost in there.”
“Really? How? ” I ask.
“Well, I’m not really sure about the details, but I do know that some people go out into the dunes and are never heard from again. We assume they tried to hike through it. Anyway, I’m sure you’ll be fine, just stick near the edge of the desert.”
“Of course, I would never do anything to put Lucy in danger.”
“Great! Well, I really must be going. Have fun and good luck!” The man gave a little nod and pulled his half-asleep son towards their car.
I smiled towards their backs and watched them drive down the road before turning back toward the dune. Lucy was happily sliding down with another girl slightly older than her, her beautiful laugh ringing in the air. A warmness swelled in me. It was the knowledge that I could give her a happy memory. It didn’t matter that I had to leave her for a little while. She’d remember this.
Reaching into the backpack, I pulled out the bottle of sunscreen and a small jewelry box.
“Hey, Lucy! Come down here for a sec!” I call.
She popped out of the sand and flitted over to me, a big smile on her face.
“Sunscreen time!” I say cheerily, glopping the white lotion all over her face. I was never good at this.
“Daddy…” she whined, snatching the bottle away from me to apply it herself in the reflection of the car door. When she was done she tossed the bottle into the bag and was about to turn and run back towards the sand, but I stopped her by placing a hand on her shoulder.
“Lucy dear,” I say softly. My heart pounds in anticipation of her reaction. I pull out the jewelry box and hand it to her.
She slowly opened the velvet lid and looked into it with confusion. Listing up the small glass bottle topped with a cork, she flashed me another puzzled glance.
A little disappointed, I explained that I got her a little bottle to place some sand into as a keepsake and that she could wear it and remember me by it. She burst into a big smile and hugged me tightly.
“I love you, daddy,” she whispered in my ear. “I’m going to fill it up right before we leave so I can have some happy sand.”
I squeezed her tight and then let her run back over to her new friend. I watched them have fun together all day as I chatted with the other girl’s family. Time just flew by and soon enough, the sun was setting with a red glow.
We said our goodbyes to the other family and I turned to go to the car, but Lucy said, “Wait! I still have to fill up the necklace!” and ran off again up the sand dune.
I leaned against car and looked up and around at the empty stretch of desert surrounding us, completely devoid of other life. It was actually quite serene, hearing the soft breeze shift sand around. Suddenly, I felt an out of place shiver run down my spine. I didn’t know how I could tell, but I had the feeling that the desert was a bit bigger, the dunes a bit higher than the last time we had visited several years ago.
I looked up and saw Lucy at the top of the sand dune holding the necklace above her head, tapping it to level the sand inside. Then, just as she was replacing the cork, she let out a shriek and dropped the necklace.
“Lucy? Lucy!” I yelled. “What’s wrong?” I sprinted up the dune toward my little girl.
“I’m okay,” she said softly, holding her finger out at me. “Something bit me, but it doesn’t hurt anymore.”
I grabbed her hand and kissed it. “There, it’ll be all better. Oh right, your necklace, let me get that for you. Then you can fill it back up.” I trotted down the side of the sand dune and bending down, I scooped up her necklace in my hands. I then looked up to see my beautiful angel blowing away. My eyes widened and I froze there as her body disintegrated. First, a few grains of red sand from the tip of her head fluttered away, followed by a stream working its way down her body.
Snapping back to reality, my heart pounded in my chest as I ran back up the slope, reaching it just as the last of the sand was blowing away. I splayed my hands out, trying to grab a hold her, but the small particles just slipped through my fingers.
I fell to my knees, the wind howling around me, the darkness quickly approaching. All I wanted were some memories with my daughter. She was having so much fun out here and we only stayed because of my necklace. That stupid necklace.
I emitted inhuman, tortured sobs, clenching the necklace in my hands, and called out for her into the emptiness. Slowly, I fell to the sand, having lost any will to ever get up again. I could hear the unforgiving wind howl and the cold of night start to creep up. Eyes clenched tight from squeezing out sandy tears, I felt pinches up and down my legs. They hurt for a few seconds, but then the pain faded. Lightness streamed from my core throughout my body. My eyes still held tightly together, I felt the sensation of flying, no, soaring through the sky. Toward my baby girl.
Credit To – Mithril