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Repossession

June 7, 2013 at 12:00 PM
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I can clearly make out a hospital ward. It’s probably mine, since I’m in its bed. It’s a private room, and my low bed faces the wall. I see no windows. I turn my head–wait. I suddenly notice restraints digging into my arms, legs, across my chest, and fixing my head into place.

I realize that I can’t remember anything. I don’t know why I’m tied up. Though I’m not sure if it’s a good idea to, but I strain at my bonds, making a futile effort to get free. No matter. A doctor or nurse will come eventually. I’ll ask them why I’m tied up like this. There’s probably a good reason for whatever is happening. I wait.

I don’t think whoever I was had been especially good at sitting around and waiting. I feel a fear within me, as if it were inherent. It’s a fear of where I am, of what’s going to happen, of who I am. My breathing slowly becomes more erratic, the uneven hissing of my breath becoming louder and louder until all I can hear is the whistle of air entering and escaping my lungs.

I lie there, and wait, my fear growing with every passing moment.

I hear the swish of air from a door swinging open behind me. I should have felt relief as I heard the footsteps of one entering the room, yet I couldn’t. Instead, my feeling of dread heightened to one of raw terror. My heart jackhammered, and I felt a clammy, cold sweat begin to trickle down my forehead. I struggled, my whole body undulating under the thick straps fettering me. The bed barely budged. I was completely trapped.

The reason for my hysteria, whatever it was behind me, walked with the rhythmic, clicking footsteps of an average man. What set me off was its breathing. Its breaths were the scratchy growls of a crazed animal, intermingled with a laboured panting, as if it were holding itself back from something.

Or someone.

I strain even harder, pulling every muscle in my body. The veins in my neck bulge, my eyes pop. Nothing.

I hear the clanking of metal objects, and then slow, deliberate footsteps approaching me. I tremble, filled with fear. What is he holding?

A shadow falls over my face, blocking out the light streaming from the unknown light source above. I can’t see him. He’s right above me, and I can’t move.

I scream. The breath I didn’t realize I was holding rushed out of my lungs. A hand had entered my peripheral vision. A wrinkled, ashen claw. Human, but just barely. It was holding a tube, with a needle at the tip. It glowed despite the brightness of the room around it.

Struggling was futile, I know, but I couldn’t help but writhe and scream as I felt the sting of a sharp point push its way into my arm. Behind me, an audible click sounds, and I watch as my blood slowly streams out of my body, my eyes following the dark red line to where it disappears from my line of vision.

Dark red.

Blood.

I’m assailed by a flash of memory. It’s a memory of blood, dark red and flowing.

I suddenly realize who’s behind me, and who I am. I know why I am afraid.

I am a thief. I had a thirst, and I took this man’s blood. I drained him.

Laughing, I stop struggling.

He’s merely taking back what’s his.

A slow, but powerful lethargy washes over me, and I black out.

Credit To – Bryce Tan de Guzman

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Scratching

June 7, 2013 at 12:00 AM
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1

When I was 12 years old, my parents finally decided to split me and my younger brother up and give us our own rooms. I was a couple of years older than Alex so I got the bigger space, while he stayed in the box-room. My dad wasn’t too happy about having to move all of his junk down into the garage, but times change and I needed a room for myself.

The four of us lived in a bungalow on a quiet suburban street – a rather reclusive area. Me and Alex would get bored sometimes as there wasn’t much to do, but for the most part, all we needed was each other. Being two young boys with no one else to play with in such a huge neighbourhood, we were as close as two brothers could be.

One day after school, we arrived home to find that all of my belongings had been moved into the the room next to Alex’s. I didn’t expect to feel sad about it at the time, but deep down I knew that sharing a room gave us a stronger bond. After the realisation that we could no longer talk to each other at night, we had to come up with a plan. I devised a childish kind of morse code – a series of taps and scratches that we’d relay to each other on the wall behind our beds. I knew that this way, we wouldn’t get caught talking in the hallway or become bored during the night. After about three months, we had become experts at our secret talking and had managed to learn just over a hundred words. In our few months of doing this, there was one night in particular that stood out amongst the rest.

In the early hours of the morning, I was awoken by the familiar taps and scratches – this was confusing because Alex had never woken me up like this before. I sat up and listened intently to the words etched into the wall. It was vicious; it didn’t sound like Alex and some of it I couldn’t even understand. At that moment, I noticed Alex stood in my doorway: “What are you doing Jack?”. I stared at Alex in horror as the morse code upon the wall continued. Slowly realising what was happening, he began to tip-toe towards his bedroom door. Peering into the dark room, he could see that his window had been opened; somebody was in there. Alex slowly back-tracked, making his way into my room and closing the door. We didn’t speak, we just listened. The taps and scratches continued getting louder and more ferocious with every second; becoming violently intense until the persistent scratching built up into a loud bang. We couldn’t take it any longer. We screamed as loud as possible and our parents came rushing in.

In a fit of panic, we tried our best to explain to them what had happened. Mum sat and comforted us in my room while Dad went and checked Alex’s room. Seeing the open window, he sprinted into the garden to investigate, only to find that there was nothing there. After that, our parents tried their best to convince us that it was just our imaginations; but we know what we heard. After we had finally calmed down, we were put back to bed and all of the windows were locked. An hour or so later, I heard more tapping at the wall:

“Jack?”

“I’m awake Alex.”

“Me too, I can’t –“

“Me neither, there was definitely something there, something wrong.”

“I know, I know… Jack he’s here. He’s looking at me.”

“What? Don’t joke Alex, It’s not funny.”

“Jack, he’s staring at me through the window right now. I’ve got to move.”

The tapping ceased and Alex came stumbling into my room with a look of unconsciousness in his eyes. I shut the bedroom door and we sat on the bed shivering. We knew that there was no point in shouting our parents as they wouldn’t believe us; there would be no evidence of anybody being outside and we would most likely end up in trouble. Then we heard footsteps; they were accompanied by scratching that seemed to be leading from the outside of Alex’s room and inching towards my room. The heavy stepping stopped and a shadow blocked the moonlight behind the curtains. The window began to move a little as if it was being unlocked. We held our breath as it shook and creaked but luckily, it stayed closed. The figure leaned up against my window – almost completely shrouded by the shadows – and stared in to my room for what felt like an eternity. After a while, the shadow disappeared and never came back.

I asked Alex the next morning what the man by the window looked like; he told me he couldn’t remember – but it wasn’t a man. After the incident, we both seemed to block it out of our memory. We got back to our normal lives and completely forgot about it. Alex got the worst of it but he was doing fine and that was the main thing. It wasn’t until three years later that I realised it was never really over.

2

I was 15 years old and freedom-bound during the summer of 2003. I had just finished school for the holidays and earned a three month break to do whatever I pleased. Me and my friend Paul had originally planned to stay at home playing video games the entire time but those plans were soon shot down when I was told that Paul had to stay with his grandparents for a month. Paul spent a good hour or two expressing his love for the farm house his relatives owned; speaking highly of the lakes and fields that surrounded the family home. Eventually I gave in – it was clear I was to be joining him on his visit.

After packing my bags and saying goodbye to my parents, I headed down the road to Paul’s house with Alex helping me on my way. Me and Alex were still pretty close, but the older we got, the more we would drift apart. There were no more late night talks or playing out in the street together and I missed that. Once we had arrived at the house, Alex said goodbye, dropped my bag and ran off towards the direction of our local sweet shop. Me and Paul hopped inside the car and we were on our way.

We arrived safely at the farm within an hour or so. It wasn’t too far away, but it looked completely different from where we lived. – just a huge house isolated in the middle of nowhere with only hills and trees for company. After we arrived, time seemed to fly by and before I knew it we had already been there for a fortnight. The area was beautiful and his grandparents were lovely so I had no complaints.

One particular day after we’d eaten our dinner, me and Paul headed out to explore some more and somehow managed to venture too far. We’d usually spend the evening playing around in the fields or climb tress; but this time, we’d ended up a mile into the maze of bark. Eventually we reached a small stream and decided to have a rest. The sun lay low and twilight was fast approaching, but we couldn’t head back without having time to relax first.

After a while, I began to feel as if somebody was watching us from the surrounding trees. I looked around countless times but didn’t seem to find anything. I was on the brink of paranoia, when Paul frantically pointed out a small wooden box that he’d noticed floating downstream. All too excited to discover what was inside, I hurriedly made my way in the same direction until I was running so fast that I’d overtaken the box completely. I leaned over the bank as far as I could and managed to fish it out from the torrent. I looked back in Paul’s direction expecting him to be nearby but he was a mile away. “I can’t have run that far.” I said to myself.

I sat down and slowly opened the box. Inside, I found a small photograph and a scruffy, hand-drawn picture. The photo seemed to be of a small boy on his birthday; he was wearing a party hat and stood surrounded by torn wrapping paper – the biggest smile plastered on his face. Once I had managed to dry the picture off, I could easily make out a drawing of a family. There were three children and two parents stood outside of a dirty two-storey home. One of the children looked very sad and was separated from the rest of the family. Upon further inspection, I could see another person in the background; a much bigger man with an expressionless face staring from the corner of the house. It took a minute to register with my mind, but the events I’d hidden away from 3 years prior all came rushing back. A shiver ran up my spine and I picked myself up off the floor. I began to walk back towards Paul but my legs had gone weak. Then, in the quiet of the darkness I heard a noise from the trees behind me: tap, tap, scratch. My legs suddenly worked.

I ran towards Paul as we hurriedly made our way back to his grandparents cabin. Soon after we had arrived home, I managed to settle down. There were still doubts in my mind of who that drawing was of but the noises that followed my discovery kept leading me back to my original fear. Was that me and my family in the drawing? Who was the sad child standing on his own? What does the photograph have to do with anything? I went over the same questions in my mind, over and over and over – until the phone rang.

Paul’s grandma handed me the phone and told me it was my brother:

“Jack.”

“Yeah Alex it’s me, what do you want?”

“I have something I need to tell you.”

“Okay, I’m listening.”

“You know my friend from school… Tom?”

“I think so. I think I’ve met him once or twice. Why?”

“Well that day after I said goodbye to you, I bumped into him down at the shop.”

“And?”

“Well it turns out, he lives on the same street as us. Always has.”

“So, why is that unusual?”

“Well, it’s not really I suppose… It’s just, why didn’t we ever see him playing in the street?”

“Maybe he wasn’t allowed to play out when he was younger.”

“Yeah maybe, I don’t know it’s just strange.”

“It is a bit but some parents are like that.”

“I guess so. That’s not really the main reason I called anyway; I just found that unusual. I have something else I have to tell you, but it’s a big deal. We’ve never really spoken about it.”

“Okay, go on.”

“Well today I was at Tom’s house and ended up staying over for dinner. It got dark pretty early so we decided to tell some creepy stories. For some reason, I suddenly remembered that night, you know, the night a few years back. I got the courage to tell him about ‘the man’ and what he looked like.”

“Yeah.”

“Well he freaked out, he forced his fingers into his ears and started shouting. He kept repeating “Don’t talk about the man, forget the man”. I didn’t know what to do. His mum came running upstairs and told me I had to leave. I’m back at home now anyway, I think I’m safe. So you should never come back okay?”

“What?”

That’s when the phone cut off. I immediately rang back, only to be greeted by the sound of white noise. I stood there, shocked at what I had heard Alex say. A moment later, he called me back:

“Sorry about that, the phone cut off.”

“It’s… fine. Don’t worry about it. I think we should talk when I get back – talk properly. I’ll be home in a week. See you then.”

“Cool, see you then Jack.”

After I hung up the phone, Paul questioned me rigourously. I didn’t tell him much of anything – there was no need to – and I barely spoke a word for the rest of the time there. After all, I didn’t want to sound crazy. But all I could think to myself during that week, was that Paul has always lived on the same street as me too; so why didn’t I ever see him playing outside when he was younger? Maybe I was thinking too much.

I arrived home feeling worse for wear and noticed that Alex was waiting for me by the door. I was told that Tom’s mum had disappeared and left him on his own; all she’d taken with her was her jewellery box. Poor Tom went into foster care not long after his mum went missing; it wouldn’t be until a couple of years later that I’d meet him again.

3

Way back in 2005, I was invited to my first high school party. All I’d wanted since I turned 16 years old was to experience alcohol, friends and stupidity all in the same place; and after a long, boring year, I was finally able to.

I arrived at the party with Paul at 8pm and immediately got to drinking. We danced, laughed and avoided vomiting but after being there for a few hours or so, we began to get bored and realised that we hadn’t been missing much at all over the past year. We finished the last of our drinks and headed towards the front door. However, just as we were leaving, I heard somebody shout my name from the corner of the room. I turned around to see Tom standing there – swaying from side to side and happily slurring his words. I decided to stay a little longer.

After talking for a while, I felt as if I’d known Tom my whole life. He was only a year older than Alex, but he seemed much more mature. He was very open about everything that had happened and didn’t seem to mind talking about it. He told me that his foster family were not the nicest of people and never seemed to care about anything he did – they made him feel like an outcast and treated him like a stranger rather than a son. He told me that he hadn’t heard from his mother since she disappeared and doesn’t know whether she is dead or alive. He even mentioned that he was failing in school, but he just didn’t care anymore. His life was slowly falling apart.

When the party was over, I told Tom that he could sleep at my house so he didn’t have to make his way to the home he hates so much. I set the futon for him and watched as he collapsed into a drunken slumber. When I woke up the next morning, Tom was already awake and holding something in his hands that I hadn’t seen in over 2 years:

“Where did you find this?” he said.

“I haven’t seen that in a long time – forgot I still had it.”

“Yeah okay, but where did you find it?” he spoke urgently.

“I found it a couple of years ago. It was floating down a stream in Oakshale and I managed to fish it out of the water. Why?”

“This is my mum’s jewellery box. That photo was taken on my 7th birthday – the day my Dad left.”

“Are you being serious?”

“Did you find this box before my mum left me?”

“I did actually. When I got home a week later, Alex told me that your mum was gone.”

“This is so fucked up. Look at this drawing. That’s me and my foster family, I’m sure of it. Even the house looks the same.”

At this point, neither of us knew what to think. This all seemed impossible. I pointed to the man drawn hidden into the background and watched as Tom’s face lost all colour. I had no choice but to ask him about ‘the man’. I told him everything that Alex and I had been a part of back when I was 12. About Alex seeing him but me being spared. I mentioned to him about the scratching and the strange conversation with Alex back in Paul’s grandparents house. He listened to what I had to say and it seemed to give him comfort. Maybe knowing that he wasn’t the only one to experience the things he had made him feel a little better.

After a long silence, Tom began to speak:

“When I was younger, I would see him all the time. He would come to my window, find me at school, watch me as I tried to sleep; he was everywhere. As I’ve gotten older I’ve been seeing him less and less. But I do still see him. He usually appears at night; a tall, scraggly looking old man. His eyes are the thing I remember most. Pure black, with the most intimate glow behind them that almost seems relaxing. Yet, you’re full of sheer terror, it’s strange.”

Before I could say anything to Tom, he picked up the photograph from the box and showed me something that was written on the back of it: “Follow the stream to 66”. I had never noticed that written on the photograph before. Tom asked me if I would take him back to where I found the jewellery box in Oakshale. The way I saw it, I had no other choice than to say yes.

We set off walking to the stream with the hope of finding something – anything – to do with Tom’s mother but I don’t think either of us really knew what to expect. We had been walking for around half an hour when Tom stopped and pointed to a sign in the bushes for a shortcut to Oakshale. Upon seeing the sign, I was filled with a sense of fear that I’d never felt before; I really didn’t want to take that shortcut. I told Tom that I had a strange feeling – almost like deja vu or an extremely vivid dream – but he told me not to worry. As we were nearing the sign, I noticed a white, spotted bow on the floor. It was playing out exactly as I had seen it. I made my way back on to the main road and refused to go anywhere near the trees by the sign. I don’t like to think of what might of happened in those woods.

Eventually, we arrived at Oakshale and began to follow the stream. As we neared an old wooden bridge, Tom pointed to a small house on the opposite side from us. We headed towards the front door but there didn’t seem to be a house number anywhere. “This must be 66.” Tom said quietly. We made our way along the front path and knocked on the door. To this day, I still find it difficult to explain what happened when that door opened.

Tom’s mum answered the door and stared at both of us:

“Can I help you?”

“Mum?”

“I’m sorry, I think you’re mistaken.”

I stood silently as Tom exchanged words with the woman who was once his mother.

“Mum it’s me, Tom. Are you okay? What happened to you?”

“I am not your mother. I don’t have any children, so will you stop saying otherwise.”

At this moment, a man I had never seen before approached the door and chimed in on the conversation.

“What’s going on here? What do you kids want?”

“Dad? It’s me. Where have you been? Where has mum been? I don’t understand.”

We must have stood there – shocked and confused – for twenty minutes before Tom’s dad ended the conversation.

“Look, we couldn’t take it anymore. It’s your turn to deal with it now. We like it here and I think we’re safe. So you should never come back okay?”

The door slammed shut and Tom began to cry. We left that house and made our way home in silence. As we were heading back through the trees to reach the main road, I turned around to look at the house one last time. Standing on the bridge, as clear as day and staring right at me was a tall, black-eyed man pointing at the stream. I tensed up, feeling sick and dizzy, but I didn’t mention what I’d seen to Tom. That was the first time I’d seen my worst fear. I wish I could say it was the last.

A month or so after going back to Oakshale, I was given a school report to do on local history. I had been doing research, working my way through the years and was going through hundreds of old newspapers. I stumbled across a paper that was dated August 17th 1958. The main headline was detailing the death of a young boy who had drowned near his family home. A headline from a paper dated May 8th 1960 was of another young boy who had drowned whilst playing near a local brook. Over the next 6 years, five more child deaths graced the front page of local newspapers. Then, in the winter of ’66, the killer was caught.

On November 12th 1966, the front page headline boasted the quote: “It’s the only thing I’m good at”.
Solomon Wallace had killed seven children over the course of 8 years and had finally been brought to justice. His final victim was 7 year old Kimberly Matthews. She was lured away from her back garden where she was playing and had been drowned in the brook running along the back of her house on Kershall Street – the same street that I live on. Her body was found nearby after an elderly woman noticed the white, spotted bow she often worn, tangled up in the weeds. During the final court hearing of the brutal killing spree, a disgruntled father of one of the children shot Solomon Wallace three times in the back. After being taken to the hospital and placed in the intensive care unit, his nurse returned to his room only to find out that it was empty.

After weeks of intense searching, Solomon Wallace was never found. Most people believe that he died from the gunshot wounds; some believe that he got away with it scot-free. However, some people like me are still unsure to this very day. Things gradually got worse after our visit to that house. The occurrences became more common and sleepless nights were a part of our lives. But it wasn’t until meeting Michael three years later that things would become worse than ever.

4

It was the day of my 20th birthday and I had been persuaded to go for a meal with my family. I was never one for family events – being forced into spending time with relatives you barely know doesn’t really feel like a present – but it made my mum happy so I agreed. This happened to be my worst birthday yet; I hadn’t exactly been feeling great for the past year or so and neither had Alex. The experiences involving Solomon had become more frequent and were really starting to take their toll on all of us. Well, except for Paul, he seemed to be doing fine.

About half way through the meal, I excused myself from the table so I could go to the bathroom. I had just finished washing my hands when somebody approached me:

“You’re Jack aren’t you?” he said.

“Yeah I am. Do I know you?”

“I don’t think so. I’m Michael, I live down the road from you.”

“Oh yeah, another kid who hid away for his whole life.” I said snidely under my breath.

“Ha, I guess so. I actually used to see you playing out when I was younger. I was never allowed out, you know, because of him. You and your brother were pretty gutsy.”

“Him? So you know too then. Same shit, different story.”

“I know about it, so does my mum. We’ve never seen him but my dad has. Him and a couple of his friends were a part of it back in the late 70′s. He gets to people you know, fucks them up – drives people crazy. That’s what he did to my dad’s friends. Either you or one of your little friends will be gone soon.”

“Shut your damn mouth. We’ll be fine. We have been for the past eight years and we will be when it’s all over. We just have to ride it out.”

“Sure you will. Just make sure you keep in touch with your buddies daily. Those most tortured usually suffer in silence.”

For the next few days, I took the advice of Michael. I made sure to keep in contact with Tom while me and Alex looked out for each other. Tom seemed to be doing pretty well, considering he’d had it the worst out of the three of us but Paul wasn’t doing so well. He told me that something bad had happened and that things were worse than ever. Up until this point, Paul had never mentioned to me that he’d experienced anything out of the ordinary, so this was a complete surprise – I’d asked him once but he denied ever seeing anything. I guess he was suffering in silence…

Paul was looking worse than ever when he told me the story; very thin, pale and evidently tired. He told me that it was around 3am when he was woken up by a breeze coming in through the window – he expressed bewilderment at how the window had been opened because he keeps it locked at all times. He got out of bed, ran over to the window straight away and tried to lock it but the latch was snapped. After closing it shut, he slowly walked back to his bed and sat down. That’s when he appeared. Paul had seen him at his window before, but not like this. His face was not as distorted as usual; he could make out his black eyes and a look of sick happiness on his twisted face. The window slowly opened and Solomon’s tall figure began to jerk in through the opening. Crawling and wheezing heavily, he kept his eyes locked on to Paul and he couldn’t look away. Creeping over to where Paul was sat, he pointed his finger towards Paul’s wrist and marked a cross into his skin using his fingernail. In doing so, he stared at Paul and smiled. After that, Paul told me that he passed out – the mixture of pain and fear had become too much for him – and woke up the next day with his window latch still broken. It wasn’t a dream and he had the scar to prove it.

A few days had gone by and we were all terrified by Paul’s story; we had no idea what to do. We couldn’t hide, we couldn’t tell anybody because they’d react the same way Tom’s parents did and we definitely couldn’t stop him ourselves. We were being tortured nightly by someone or something, and it was made that much worse by not knowing what we were dealing with. After a surprisingly good night’s sleep, I awoke to a knock at the door – it was Michael.

After getting dressed, he took me on to the brook along the back of my house:

“There’s something you need to see. It’s only about a mile away from here.” he said nervously.

When we finally reached our destination, I was confronted by an old, abandoned house. I immediately knew where we were, but I didn’t know why:

“Why did you bring me here?” I asked angrily.

“I thought you should see it. I thought maybe you’d like to know that it’s still here.”

“Well I didn’t know that it was still here, that’s for sure. But I really don’t want to be anywhere near this house.”

“You need more answers and if there’s even a slight possibility that you’ll find some here, we should go inside.”

I hated to admit it but he was right. I had nothing. Some history on Solomon and the colour of his eyes wasn’t going to get me anywhere. I had to go inside; for all of us.

“Okay. Fine. Let’s go then.” I said with an infinite sickness in my stomach.

Upon going inside, we could see that it was completely abandoned and destroyed. The stairs leading up to the second floor had collapsed into a pile of wooden rubble, the living room and kitchen looked as if they had been lit alight and there was nothing left in the house that indicated that anyone had ever lived there. The only thing that looked to be in shape was the basement door. Michael was the first of us to grab the door handle. He anxiously turned the knob and began to walk down the rotting wooden steps. I nervously followed as the light from the living room slowly lessened, the further I stepped into the dark hollow.

As I turned the corner, I was greeted by an entire wall of photographs lit solely by a large candle on a dirty, old table. Hundreds upon hundreds of images scattered all over the place. Some looked as if they were from the 60′s, some from the 70′s, the 80′s – then there were the more recent ones. After looking through them, we had found pictures of everyone we knew. There had been crosses drawn on random pictures, while other pictures were clear of such markings. Tom’s photo had a cross on it, Alex’s photo had a cross on it, Paul’s boasted the same scribble and mine did too – but Michael’s was clear. There were even pictures of our parents from when they were younger. Tom and Paul’s parents had been crossed out, as had Michael’s Dad; but my parents and Michael’s mum were clear. None of this made any sense. What did the crosses mean? It didn’t mean death because all of our parents were still alive; so what did it mean? I was wracking my brains in confusion. Then we heard footsteps.

We froze on the spot, too scared to move. The bangs were getting louder as they approached the basement door. That’s when I realised that I’d left it open – it was clear that we were downstairs. The final bit of light hitting the basement turned to black and it became apparent that there was somebody standing at the top of the stairs. Michael and I tip-toed and hid beneath the steps as Solomon began making his way down from above our heads. He gasped for air as he reached the bottom stair. His lanky frame hobbled over to the table and took a look around at the photographs. The fear I was feeling didn’t scare me still; it compelled me to run. I nudged Michael and urged him to follow me. Right before we were about to run, Solomon turned around a let out an angry croak. We ran. We were running as fast as we could but he could somehow keep up. All I could hear was the panting, the morphed laughing, the hunger. He was only a foot behind us when we reached the top of the stairs. Michael slammed the door shut behind him as we reached the living room and headed straight back out onto the brook.

We followed the trail urgently and made our way towards our homes. I now had even more questions than ever and no answers to accompany them. When I arrived at my front door, it was already open. I walked inside the house to find my mum, dad, Alex and Tom sat in the living room. My mum and Tom had been crying; the air suddenly felt cold. Paul had been found dead in his room. He had slit his wrists during the night – the night I had been having a good night’s sleep. It seems that Michael was right and now one of us was gone; I just didn’t expect it to be Paul. He drives you insane and there’s no escape when you suffer in silence. I’ll never forgive myself for not giving Paul more of my time, I can’t help but feel that maybe I could have saved him.
I know one thing for sure; I lost a great friend that day and I’ll never forget him.

5

Four years have gone by since Paul ended his life. I’m now 24 years of age and living in my own apartment, far away from my old neighbourhood. Alex and Tom have their own place and spend their time studying in university, while I attained a simple retail job; barely managing to scrape enough money together to live off. Our lives had been scare-free for the past few years and we were just beginning to get back to normal. There was the odd nightmare of course, but aside from that, the three of us were doing good. Well, that’s what we thought.

About six months ago, I was over at Alex and Tom’s place having a few drinks and watching a couple of movies. The talk of the intoxicated soon began and before we knew it, we were discussing everything that had happened. None of us liked to even think about the events, never mind talk about it – but I suppose that’s what alcohol does to you. We found ourselves dissecting Kershall Street, remembering the people who used to live there and all the people who left. Tom’s parents were long gone – losing their minds down in Oakshale. Not long after Paul died, his parents left too. Then Michael was forced to leave with his mum and dad, as well as other neighbours just up and leaving. The street seemed so empty when we left.

When me and Alex moved out, our mum and dad decided to stay put. They liked the street, the area, their jobs and they had never been part of anything that had happened. It didn’t take me and Alex too long to figure out that the reason we were the only kids allowed out to play in the street was our parents lack of experiences with Solomon. Most of the other parents happened to be part of the strange history in some way. I suppose he chooses his fixations.

After a few drinks and some intense talking, the three of us fell into a drunken slumber. It wasn’t until the early hours of the morning that we were disturbed by a bang at the door. Me and Alex opened our eyes and attempted to focus our vision. Tom was nowhere to be seen. A feeling of pure sickness hit my stomach that wasn’t drink-related – I immediately knew what was happening. Alex wasn’t as fast to react to the situation we were in, after all it had been four years. We stood up and made our way towards the front door. Just as Alex turned the handle, his face changed. It was almost as if at that moment, he had the realisation of what could be outside. He slowly opened the door, but there was nothing there. Just a small white, spotted bow on the ground.

We slammed the door shut and made our way back to the living room. It didn’t take me long to realise that I knew where we had to go. The article, my deja vu, the bow; it all added up. The shortcut through the woods to get to Oakshale – the place I refused to enter – was where Solomon would be. During my history research, I read that he would hide the dead bodies of all the children he drowned in that area because Oakshale was locally known for it’s beautiful scenic route – there was no way anybody would tread those woods and miss out on the wonderful sights. If Tom was going to be anywhere, it would be there. I still had the fear and didn’t want to be anywhere near Oakshale at this moment in time, but we had to find Tom.

We eventually made it to the woods and stopped on the road. Everything seemed so surreal. I took a few deep breaths and stepped on to the grass. At that moment, Alex pulled the bow out from his pocket, as a brisk wind blew it from his hand and on to the floor where it had been once before. I shouted at him, grabbing him by the shirt; I questioned him as to why he brought it? The only answer he could muster was: “I feel like it’s a big part of our whole story”. As true as that may be, I didn’t want to be reminded of what I once saw in my mind. We slowly made our way into the woods and walked for a good ten minutes, but nothing happened. Maybe it was just a dream or deja vu or whatever you want to call it. Then the smell hit us.

We turned a corner, cut through some trees and there it was. My nightmare.

The moonlight shone brightly through the crooked branches of the trees. It bounced off the stream and seeped through every gap in sight. The tall, skinny figure of Solomon Wallace had his hands on Tom and seemed to be leading him to the water. The figures of Paul’s parents hanging in the trees, spun slowly, drenched in blood and smiling like kids on christmas. Tom’s mum and dad were sat slouched against the bark opposite Tom. They were disfigured – maimed. Cut apart and sewn back together to seem smaller and younger. They all looked so happy.

The look on Tom’s face however was indescribable – a fear once thought impossible to feel. It surely matched the horror that me and Alex were feeling inside. Solomon stopped and looked at us with his black eyes. He banged and scratched on the tree next to him but we couldn’t understand. He took a few more steps towards the stream and stepped into the water with Tom. The torrent only reached Solomon’s waist but it had completely submerged Tom. We didn’t know what to do. We stood there, stunned and useless. Then Tom fought back. He kicked and tussled until he relinquished Solomon’s grasp. Me and Alex snapped out of our trance and ran towards the water. Tom slowly crawled out of the stream as his fear was replaced by anger. Solomon let out a deafening scream and marched towards us. The three of us muscled a large rock along the floor and rolled it towards his boney structure. The stone knocked him over into the stream; landing on his chest as he failed to move it from on top of him. We couldn’t stay to see the damage done.

We ran home as fast as we could and called the police. We told them everything. The story of Solomon, the dead bodies in the woods, the suicides; we didn’t miss anything out. The police didn’t seem to care. It was as if everybody knew but never spoke of it – an entire town built on silence. They sent a team out to the woods and found everything that we’d described. All of the disfigured corpses and even the body in the stream. It was finally all over. Nothing was written in the local paper the next day and the three of us were barely questioned on what happened that night. I guess everybody was still unsure on the whereabouts of Solomon Wallace and whether he really did die that night.

Two days ago, I got a phone call from the police down in my old hometown. The autopsy had finally been completed and the officers thought that I should know the results. The body belonged to that of a man named Mr Ted Bradley – Michael’s dad. I hung up the phone, called Tom and Alex and told them to get over to my place the next day so that we could talk. They arrived as I’d asked and I erupted – rambling in fear, screaming that he was still out there, sobbing like a baby. Then they interrupted me:

“We just found this in the lobby downstairs.”

They handed me a small box. We opened it up to find a broken window latch and a small drawing of my apartment. The picture was dated 4th April 2013 and had a small cross next to it. On second glance, Tom noticed it and pointed out the scribbled image of Solomon in the corner of the page. That’s when we heard the scratching. The three of us ran into the bathroom and locked the door; that was almost 24 hours ago and the noise has barely ceased since. It seems as though nobody escapes, not even us. So here we are, terrified in our final moments, razors at the ready…

Goodbye.

Credit To – Jacob Newell

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Influenced

June 6, 2013 at 12:00 PM
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I watch the horror film that is news, every single fucking day. I have, shall we say, an unhealthy obsession, with knowledge, and subsequently the ‘knowledge’ provided by my television screen. I just cannot seem to ignore it; I suppose this is due to my primal instincts, provided by evolution. My instincts force my mind to pay attention to potential threats, and yes, forgive my insolence, but images of terrorism, horrid superbugs and violence look a little like threats to me, and they have stolen my ridiculous little life.
This is what I am now doing, sitting ridged in the darkness, with only my television set for company, providing me with a dull, glowing light, once again taking notes on the events of the world, as though I am in fact a reporter, and not simply watching one, with a terrified and aimless expression on my face, slowly wasting away.
I am calculating, and recalculating my chances of survival up against the new potential terrifying apocalypse being presented to me. Today it is bacteria, flesh-eating bacteria to be exact. Apparently it eats away at your flesh, and gains its nourishment from your blood. It sounds positively ghastly, definitely not something I wish to become involved in.
I come to the conclusion that I must stay inside, well, no changes there. I have always been somewhat, socially inept, but in the past few weeks I have become even more immersed in my own company, as though it is a separate entity from myself, able to entice me into solitude.
I make a mental note that I must not open the creaking, wooden door to the outside world, or the dusty windows, for fear of allowing that disgusting, damaging infection into my damp, dimly lit home. That would just be an excuse for some bad shit to happen, not that bad shit usually needs an excuse to arrive, but I sure as hell don’t want to give it one, for if I do, well, then the demise is on me.
I realize that this is in fact somewhat of a shame, because my only glimpses of the ‘real’ world come from my window, showing me the large skyscrapers outside of my home, and the gorgeous sunlight that is so bright it captivates me, perhaps because of how rare it is that I catch a glance in its direction.
Oh well, I must make sacrifices in order to survive in this terrible, uncaring universe, where pain and threats lay just outside, around every corner, in the very air I breathe, crawling underneath my skin, and plaguing my dreams.
I gaze at the news reporter before me, her hair as beautiful as her glowing skin, as though she was photo-shopped in the womb, and was born into perfection. She speaks in a monotone, her voice low, as though she is reading me a bedtime story, willing me to get some much needed rest.
I am exhausted; my brain is painfully fuzzy, and unable to calculate even the simplest of sums, probably due to my overuse of its functions, and tiring paranoia. I can almost feel my eyelids close, bringing me momentary relief, as though all I need in this world, to remain safe and calm, is some fucking rest.
No, no I cannot sleep now, not when I take in the harrowing meaning of her all too robotic words. She is showing me the potential number of human lives that could be lost, over a million, and statistically, wouldn’t I be likely to be one of them? Living in such a compact and large city, where bacteria have the ability to fester and thrive, even more so than the citizens.
I am basically a fish in a metaphorical barrel, with no defenses whatsoever. I attempt to be rational, I am aware that the stories I am being presented with are most likely filled with lies, or at least over-exaggerated truths. However, my minds rationality seems to crumble quite completely when the bright, fast moving images flicker in front of my eyes, as though visibly threatening me, and me personally. Isn’t it just too convenient, that just the other day I entered into one of my strange conversations with myself, that ended in the ghastly topic of bacterial threats, and my deep fear of a zombie apocalypse, and just two days later it is the main story on the news?
It is as though all of these threats are but one entire entity, determined to find and destroy my being, with some horribly aggressive consciousness.
They have been watching me for a long time now, I realize, thinking back to all of the television schedules I have studied, which appear to fit my life’s events, and the ‘coincidences’ that appear to occur daily, such as me speaking to a friend about thoughts that have been spiraling my mind, and finding that the same topic is being discussed on the television, or the newspapers. It is as though they somehow have access to my thoughts, to my mind. Perhaps they are the reason for it.
No, I’m being ridiculous, I’m just a fucking conspiracy theorist, and I sound like a crazy person. But still, the thoughts will not stop, they simply become louder, as though screaming at me, attempting to show me the truth of the matter.
As I glance at the television, cautiously watching the images before my eyes, I come to a starling realization.
I realize that it is not just the news that is in on this, but also the entire media system itself. They are warping my mind, distracting me from the truth, picking and choosing the information I am allowed to know, as though to render me weak, and easily suggestible. Every time I attempt to fit the pieces of this fucked up puzzle together, I fail, I become more confused, and deeply terrified. As though some fundamental part of myself is becoming more damaged the longer I remain in ignorance.
That is the only explanation I can find for all of the strange things that have been occurring. It is the only explanation for why my mind cannot comprehend such simple things the moment I turn on the screen, the moment those dastardly pixels enter my being, and take over my rationality. I hastily switch off the television, breathing rapidly, as my heart beats painfully against my chest. There is still a small, rounded light at the bottom of the television, reminding me that I cannot escape from this, I cannot escape from the pixels influence.
I cannot help but think that perhaps they can see me through these covert means, as though this is the way that they have been able to keep up with my thoughts, and remain topical in my life.
A loud harrowing knock pounds on my door, causing me to practically jump out of my skin, and physically jump backwards, further into the shadows of the room.
They are aware that I know; this must be it.
I shiver violently, and begin to sorrowfully weep, putting my head in my hands, as though to consume my very being, and keep it safe from these dastardly beings, although I know that it will do no good.
My breath is becoming shaky; I feel as though I am in fact exhaling the very panic that consumes me, although it still has not lessened, in fact it is increasing quite quickly.
Soon menacing beings enthrall me, and my brain becomes disturbingly weak. It is as though the organs within my skeletal frame are being mutated, turned into something unrecognizable, and my body is becoming as tired as my mind, as my eyes becoming blank.
Suddenly I come to the realization that this isn’t so bad; the images before my eyes are entertaining after all, so funny, so captivating. A manic laugh leaves my lips, at the sight of my screen, isn’t technology brilliant?

Credit To – Victoria Lendon

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The Van Ness Asylum

June 6, 2013 at 12:00 AM
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Being a devout fan of Creepypasta’s true story section, I felt compelled to share my story with other users. While it is nice to provide all of you with a chilling, and entertaining story, keep in mind I have a much greater goal in mind.

Before my experience two days ago (May 3rd and 4th, 2013) I was a very skeptical person; not just in the paranormal, but in all areas of life. Should something not be able to be factually proven, it was simply not true. While I was always interested in death, the paranormal, and ‘spooking’ myself in general, I had always been a hard-headed person who never believed that there was any truth to it all. I simply wrote things off as, “an interesting story” and never genuinely believed that in anything, “unexplained”. Following my experiences however, I’ve come to terms with the fact that just because things do not follow our illusion of reason, does not mean that those things aren’t actually valid.

As I had stated before, I have a greater goal in mind higher than simply entertaining my fellow Creepypasta members. Contrary to my previous belief, there are things in life that cannot be explained. Like the beginning of the universe, and life itself. We can trace things back in theory, 13.7 billion years ago with the Big Bang; but the further into it you go, the more questions arise. “And what before that, and before that?” Great wars have been fought over the topic ever since the beginning of man itself. We are all fighting and scrambling to answer the unexplainable origin of the beginning of the universe. Why? Simply put, we are very intrigued about a topic that is so complex, and abstract, that it could never be explained.

This is why the Creepypasta stories, true or false, are captivating. We all want to feed our hunger with a glimpse into the irrational world of the paranormal and incomprehensible. My goal above all is to show my peers that you must keep an open mind, and simply give into the inevitable truth that some things in life cannot be explained.

I apologize for the long prefix, but I felt it was an absolutely necessary one. Here are my experiences of May 3rd and 4th.

Seeing as how it was a Friday on May 3rd, I was very glad to be on a small but much appreciated break from work and school. Naturally, I did the old teenager cliché of spending the night at a friend’s house. As usual, I indulged in playing video games, and criticizing old classic movies with my good buddy, Cris. We were a couple of film buffs who loved share impressions of actors, and poke fun at poorly done special effects, etc. The night was honestly going great in true weekend fashion. My friend and I had just come to the realization that he could do a pretty good Nicolas Cage impression, so we spent a large part of that night laughing and talking like him at random points in our hangout.

When I had attempted to follow in and give the impression a try, he shot me down and ridiculed me for doing a bad job. I shrugged, and tried to laugh it off but he continued to pursuit berating me. Eventually, I grew tired of his negative criticism, and we had a small argument. It was no big shouting match or anything, we were used to this sort of thing because we made fun of each other on such a regular basis, it was only natural to have a small little fight now and then. We always got over it within a day or two. I felt the best course was to gather my things and ride my bike home so we could both cool off a little.

I was a little reluctant to bike home because it was really late already. I was no stranger to riding home in the dark, it was actually sort of routine because I got around a lot. It seemed I was always riding home in the late hours from someone’s house. This time was different however because it was now 1:24 AM (May 4th now). I had only ever ride my bike out past midnight only once or twice before for an absolute emergency. I refrained from riding when it was very late because I always had a fear of gangs and other not-so-great characters who tended to be out at that time of night.

Clouded of my better judgment by pride and anger though, I put on my backpack, hopped on my bike, and started off. I recall the cool summer breeze that I had felt as soon as I began to ride home. It was very therapeutic to feel the wind relieving me of my stresses. I was now confident that I had made the right call to leave my friend’s house, rather than stay there and wait in awkward silence until we both went to sleep. I continued to ride home for another ten minutes. At this point I was at a crossroads. Do I ride down Van Ness? Or turn, and head towards the main road, where the prostitutes and gangsters usually hung out?

I continued to go straight and head down Van Ness. Although this seemed like a no-brainer, it took some thinking, and a fair amount of guts. Van Ness was a very tranquil street. It was filled with tall pine trees, little traffic, and certainly no shady characters like Blackstone. It was the quintessential biking trail for the town during the day; a bikers paradise. At night however, it was much different. Van Ness was a bit off a historic part of town, so it did not have street lights. There were so many trees, that even the moonlight could not sneak through to illuminate the street. Me and my friends frequently joked that this was the darkest street in the world. Aside from being very dark it was also very quiet, even the sound of crickets would be relieving because you would know that you were not completely alone.

I had been riding on the street for a while now, and only had about three-quarters of a mile remaining until I was on my street. I had gotten kind of used to the street and was no longer nervous about the ‘spookiness’ of the street. The solitude was actually quite refreshing.

During the day, I frequently rode down Van Ness, as I had mentioned it was a ‘Mecca” for bike riders. I was very familiar with all of the buildings and fields on the stretch of road. So, when I saw an unfamiliar building, it stuck out like a sore thumb. At the end of a long, dry field stood a tall menacing, mansion of a home. Like straight out of a classic horror movie. I could totally imagine a thunderstorm in the background adding to the horrifying look of it. I stopped pedaling, and slowly passed the building by. The curiosity of the building began to burn a hole in my head. I knew that if I did not stop and analyze the building, I would lose sleep wondering at what I had missed.

I turned around and dismounted my bike, and stared at the building in awe. On the front of the building was a green text, the same green that was used on this historic part of town in Van Ness. I was nearsighted, which meant that I need to wear my prescription glasses to see far away. I reached in my pocket and realized that I had left my glasses at Cris’ house in my hurry. I decided that I would have to get a closer look if I wanted to read what it said. I was way too enthused to simply call it a night on that note. I had to at least read what it said.

I stepped onto the crunchy dry field and proceeded to walk towards the building. My imagination was running wild, thinking of what on earth this sign would read. My mind is drawing blanks now as to what I thought it could have said. Finally I got close enough to make out the words. “Van Ness Asylum” Under that what smaller subtext that I could not yet read. I did not know if I should continue to walk towards it, and run like hell out of there. Once again, I figured, I have to at least read it. I walked a little closer and read the smaller text,” 978 N. Van Ness”. I was so puzzled. I was so sure that had I seen this terrifying building before, I definitely would have looked inside of it, and at the very least remembered that it was there. It’s not very often you see an asylum you now.

Second, why would there be an asylum in the middle of all of these nice homes in the first place. All of the homes surrounding, and the asylum itself looked to be built around the same time period. The homeowners would have gone mad had they known a looney-bin was built right next door. The asylum was obviously abandoned as shown by the broken windows and poor upkeep. So at the very least, why wouldn’t the neighborhood have at least petitioned to have the building torn down in recent years?

None of this was adding up. I decided I should call someone and at least get their opinion. Should I go in? Then the grim reality reminded me that it was now about 2 AM. All of family and friends were asleep. Maybe not Cris, but he was mad at me. I contemplated going in, and paced back and forth at the idea.

My entire life, I had been kind of a play-it-safe type guy; afraid to branch out and try new things. In the past two years, I had tried to embrace the spontaneous life and tried to learn to say yes. I had to be absolutely nuts to go into an abandoned asylum on a dark street at two in the morning, by myself mind you. “But imagine what you’d find?” I recalled watching YouTube videos of people who would break into condemned asylums and see what they found. The idea fascinated me, but at the same time, I didn’t think I had it in me. “I couldn’t possibly, could I?”

Once again, clouded by my better judgment; this time by intense curiosity and the drive to take a chance and explore, I proceeded to look for an opening into the building. I circled the building and gave reasons like, “That hole is too small…” or “I’d rip my shirt there…” soon I realized I was making sorry excuses to delay the exploration. I psyched myself up, and crammed myself through broken window.

I saw no signs of graffiti, old soda cans, or cigarettes that would imply that anyone has been in here since it was boarded up and deserted. That scared me. If someone had been in here before, I would have at least known that they whatever dangers may be in here, someone had encountered before me. I had a very annoying habit of scaring myself when having a clear, non-timid mindset was very important. I had a flashlight that I attached to my bike that I used to navigate the dark, cold building. Because this was virgin ground since the boarding up, the inside of the asylum was very well preserved. The white, flawless tile flooring still looked very sterile.

Trust me when I say, neatness was much more scary than if the place was a wreck. It was very freaky. Papers were scattered about from when they were extracting files and sensitive patient information, but other than the papers, the place was pristine. Spotless, no mirrors broken, no cracked porcelain toilets, no piss and excrement all over the walls like you would expect.

Next, I focused on paying attention to where I was and where I was headed. Where were the patient’s bunks, where were the operating rooms, and where was the morgue? It seems I was in the admissions area, where you would be checked in and out. I walked down a narrow hallway and found a cluster of operating rooms. Complete with the anti-septic metal tables, stripped of all warm, comfortable sheets and pillows. I didn’t find any scalpels, or bone-saws. I presume they removed those for health concerns. I scavenged through drawers and found surgical tubing, respirator masks, and sterile gloves, still sealed in the boxes. It was so odd to see that aside from the scattered papers, and no chairs, or furnishings, the place still contained a lot of things necessary to keeping an operational medical facility.

I continued through the asylum and found that the pattern on the floor had changed, the tiles were a different color, almost like a yellow brown, and the tiles were smaller. I noticed that every few feet there were drains on the floor. I looked up and around and saw lockers where I assumed scrubs and other gear was stored. I put it all together, and made the conclusion that I was in the morgue. The drains had been strategically placed to allow for the draining of blood on the floor. A truly haunting thought.

My whole time in there, I heard a few creaks, and whatnot but just blamed them on my stepping, and the age of the building. I had been in there about six minutes when finally I heard something that absolutely made my stomach drop. The only thing that I could assign the sound to was a drawer of a morgue refrigerator slamming shut. (The large lockers where the dead are stored before burial) I did not explode and bolt out of there. I knew that if I had done that, I would have gotten scared that something was right behind me chasing me. I tried to keep calm and walk out of that place without panic, but in the back of my mind, I knew that I had never been so scared in my life. After an eternity it seemed I jumped out of the window and landed back on the porch of the Van Ness Asylum. I ran through the field and got on my bike and rode home. It’s not like my endeavor was over, I still had to ride nearly a mile home in anguishing fear on the dark deserted streets of Van Ness.

Soon, I was home safe and sound. I was so shaken up I didn’t think that I could return to living a normal life again. Falling asleep that night was very hard. I pushed through it, and the next day I felt a lot better.

Now, I suppose I could have sullied the story by making up some bullshit about how I saw a figure, or something touched me, or there was blood all over the walls. I know that some people would prefer to have some truly horrifying experience to make this long story all worth it, but I wanted to stay true to heart, and not spoil a true, and scary story. Need not worry however, the story is not over there.’ Here is the paranormal, truly unexplainable part:’

I called up my friend Cris and it seemed the both of us were done being mad, I told him about what had happened, and told him I’d meet him at his house in about an hour. I rode to his house and was there in about 40 minutes. I was very excited to tell him about it in person.

He was so amazed, that he decided he wanted to go and look at the asylum for himself. He also rode down Van Ness at least twice a year and did not recall seeing an asylum, night or daytime. I was very much still traumatized by last night, but I really wanted to show off the fact that I had gone into that scary fucking house all by myself. We decided we’d both take a bike ride down Van Ness to see the building.
When we arrived there at about 3 PM, thirty minutes later, we had some trouble finding the house. I recalled the length and shape of the field of the asylum, and I saw a field that matched it, but saw no menacing asylum on top of it. This didn’t make sense, it didn’t add up, just like the asylum being there in the first place. I didn’t understand. But as I stated earlier, there are just some things in life you cannot explain.

Credit To – Frankieseshy

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Beware of Those Who Would Do You Harm – Epilogue

June 5, 2013 at 12:00 PM
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Epilogue – Wendy

(Suggested tracks: Decode, by Paramore or Angels, by Within Temptation)

9 months earlier
Wendy couldn’t’ help but stare at the mysterious new kid whose locker was across the hall and diagonal from hers and her friend Abby’s. She was also currently spacing out as Abby went on about her plans for her and Tucker’s two-year anniversary.
“I was thinking about taking him to his favorite restaurant, since last year he took me to mine. What do you think, Wendy?”
“Yeah…”
Abby slammed her locker door shut. “Wendy!”
“Huh, what? I think it’s a great idea that you go to the restaurant where you had your first date!”
Abby stared at her. “That’s not what I said, but that’s a good idea.”
“Glad I could help. So what do you know about the new kid?”

Abby glanced over at him and cringed. He was just standing there, staring into his empty locker. He must have felt two pairs of eyes on him because he slowly turned to look at the girls. He had on pasty white foundation, messy black eyeliner, and red lipstick that went up the corners of his mouth giving him a creepy grin. Although Abby turned away, Wendy continued to stare into those coal black eyes through his messy black fringe.
“He’s so interesting…”
“He’s also a killer.”
Wendy whirled around and looked at her friend.
“At least that’s what I heard around town. Apparently he’s on the run because he’s suspected of murdering his entire family. Now he’s living with some rich distant relative across town.”
“You don’t believe that do you? I bet it’s just a rumor. I mean, come on.”
Abby once again glanced over at the boy, who was still staring at Wendy. “He creeps me out. I’d stay away from him if I were you.”
“Oh, come on! Give him a chance. I bet he was ostracized at his last school just because he was different.”
“I still have a bad feeling about him, Wen. Maybe those kids at his last school were on to something.”
Wendy rolled her eyes as Tucker strode up to them.
“Hey ladies, what’s going on?”
“Hey babe!” Abby said, kissing him.
Tucker looked expectantly at Wendy, who had returned the strangers gaze. Finally, Tucker tapped her on the shoulder. “Ahem.”
“Oh, hi Tuck! Happy two-year anniversary.”
“Thanks Wen, I was—”
“What do you know about the new kid?”
Tucker shared a worried glance with his girlfriend.
“You mean the Joker wannabe? I heard he’s a serial killer and that this town his just the latest in a long string of towns he’s terrorized.”
“Are you serious!?” Abby gasped.
“Nah, I’m bullshittin ya. But I have heard that he’s dangerous.” He took Wendy by the shoulders and turned her around to look at him. “I know you like weirdoes, Wen. But he’s bad news. So Stay. Away.”
“Ugh.” Abby rolled her eyes and stepped out of his grasp. “Whatever, Tuck. Why don’t you guys go make googly eyes at each other or something?”
Abby smiled. “Not a bad idea. It is our anniversary after all, and this is our last year in high school. Why don’t we have a little fun?” She took his arm and pulled him towards a janitor’s closet just as the bell rang.

Wendy turned and pretended to rummage through her locker. She would never admit that she was jealous of her best friend’s relationship, since Wendy had so much rotten luck with them. But at the same time she was happy for her, and knew that she was in good hands because the three of them had been best friends for a long time. All of her own relationships never lasted long, but maybe she just hadn’t found the right guy yet.

Wendy turned around to see that the hallway was just about empty. The boy was still there, staring into his locker once again. Wendy started to head to class, but turned again to look at him. He would probably be teased and avoided by everyone else in school. She remembered how no one would talk to her because she was different, until Abby, and later Tucker, came around. Wendy took a deep breath, and marched over to him.

Although she knew he heard her approaching, he didn’t immediately turn around. Knowing that it would probably be rude, she craned her neck to see what he was looking at. It was a picture, taped to the back of his locker, of what looked like a happy family. There were the parents and two smiling little boys, one with black hair and one with brown. Wendy guessed that the black-haired one was him. As she squinted at the picture, she thought she saw that someone had scribbled large smiles on their faces in red pen. Just as she was trying to get a better look, he turned around.

“Oh, um, hi!”
The boy cocked his head at her. Wendy had to admit that up close, he looked a little scarier. His eyes were bloodshot, like he hadn’t slept in months, and his pasty white make-up made him look like a ghost.
“My name is Wendy. I just wanted to let you know that if you ever need anyone to show you around, I’m just across the hall. I know it’s not easy being the new kid.”
He turned to close his locker and then faced her again. Wendy shuffled her feet.
“So um, what’s your name?”
“Jeff.”
Wendy winced at the sound of his voice. It sounded dry, like he needed to drink a glass of water.
“Well, Jeff, how about I show you to your first class?”

As Wendy gently took the crumpled up schedule from him, an image flashed through her mind as their fingers touched. It was of herself, covered in blood, and pointing an accusatory finger at her. “Wha…” Wendy felt woozy for a moment. She leaned against the locker for support.

“Are you alright… Wendy?” Jeff asked, amused.
“Yeah.” She straightened up. “Let’s go, shall we?”

Wendy wondered what it meant as they walked down the hall. Could it be an omen? Did it have something to do with Jeff? No, that’s impossible. Jeff seemed like a nice guy, and it’s not like she actually saw a vision or anything. It was probably nothing, nothing at all.

~END~

Credit To – Angel Rocket

This is the last entry in the five-part Beware of Those Who Would Do You Harm series.

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The Vigil

June 5, 2013 at 12:00 AM
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“What is sleep but the image of death?”
-Ovid, “Amorum”

***

Mayet sat in the big chair and looked out the window. The curtains were drawn, so there was nothing to see, but she looked anyway. She could hear them talking in the next room. They’d left the door open, so they must have wanted her to hear. “She doesn’t sleep,” Mayet’s mother was saying. “Not more than a few hours at a time, and even then only if I’m in the room with her.

“Last week I left for a minute to make tea and when she woke up and found me gone she started screaming. I’ve never heard anyone scream like that.”

The doctor cleared her throat. “How long has this been going on?”

“Weeks.”

“Has your family physician seen her?”

“Yes. He even prescribed something, but she won’t take it. That’s why he told us to call you. Can you help?”

“We won’t know until I talk to her. I’ll go introduce myself.”

“Should I come with you?”

“It’s better if you don’t. But you can listen.”

“If you’re sure…”

“This is what I do, Ms. Bautista. Let me work.”

Mayet heard footsteps on the carpet. She sensed, without turning around, the doctor’s presence just behind her, and her mother hovering in the doorway. She said nothing. The doctor sat on the floor next to her chair. “Hello Mayet,” she said.

Mayet raised a hand in a half-salutatory gesture.

“It’s nice to meet you. I’ve been talking to your mother and some of your friends; a lot of people are worried about you. They think I can help. If we talk a little we can see if they’re right.”

Mayet fidgeted with her fingers; they were feeling sluggish and tingly. It was something that happened whenever she was going on the third day with no sleep. She licked her lips before speaking: “Are you a psychiatrist?”

“No. There’s not really a job title for what I do. You could call me a kind of counselor. I work with teens who are refusing conventional treatment for their problems.”

“You’re here to make me take the pills.”

“I’m here to find out what’s bothering you, and hopefully find a way to fix it. I’m not here to make you do anything you don’t want to. So can we talk a little?”

Mayet shrugged.

“Why don’t you tell me why you’re afraid to sleep?”

“I’m not afraid to sleep. I’d love to sleep. It’s all I can think about.”

“That’s good.”

“I’m afraid to wake up.”

“I’m sorry?”

“Because of the man who watches me.”

“…what man?”

Mayet shook her head. The light coming through the curtains was hurting her eyes, though there wasn’t much of it. “He’s not a man, really. He doesn’t even look like a man. He looks like some kind of…dead animal. And he comes into my room and watches me sleep, unless someone else is here.”

“I see. And what makes you think this?”

Mayet turned to look at the doctor for the first time, to give her a disgusted look. “Because I wake up and find him here. And because I’m not the only one. My friends…he got them all.”

The doctor frowned. “Tell me about it?” she said.

Mayet shrugged and turned away again. “I’ve already told everyone. I guess I can tell you too; it won’t make any difference.” She sighed. “It started with Brianne.”

“Your mother mentioned her. She was your best friend.”

“Not really. Not for a while. But we still talked. She was the first person to tell me about it. It was a kind of ghost story, you know? She read it on the Internet. About a…thing, that comes into people’s homes.”

“And does what?”

“Nothing, really. Just watches you. People will wake up and see it there.”

“Then what?”

“The stories don’t say. Sometimes it hurts someone, but other times it just watches. But they say that’s actually the worst part. That when you wake up and find it there, and you know that it’s been watching you, you’re never the same.”

“Sounds scary. But people have always told stories like that.”

“That’s what I said. Brianne was freaked about it though; it’s almost all she would talk about for weeks until we told her to shut up about it already. That story really scared her, you know?”

“Who is ‘we’?”

“Me and Jan.”

“Jan. Your mother mentioned him, too.”

“I’ll bet she did. Anyway, Brianne was all worked up about this story for a while, and then she dropped it. Or we thought she did. Then she missed a few days of school, and when we saw her again she looked like shit. We thought she was sick, but she said no, that she just hadn’t been sleeping. Because she said she saw it.”

“It? You mean the creature from the stories?”

“Yeah. She said she woke up and found it sitting on her bed, just like people said. She said she screamed and it crawled away, and her parents woke up and the police came, and nothing was there.

“But then the next night, when she woke up…”

“It was there again.”

Mayet nodded.

“Did you believe Brianne?”

“No. It’s a stupid story, and the fact that she’d been talking about it for so long before it supposedly happened? We thought she just wanted attention.”

“Hmm. Your mother says she thinks Brianne was into drugs. Is that why you two weren’t such good friends anymore?”

Mayet bit her lip.

“I see. Did you tell anyone about this?”

“We didn’t have to. Brianne told everyone. She said she needed someone to help her, but she didn’t know who, or how. The entire school thought she’d lost her mind. She was missing class, fighting with her parents, staying up four, five days at a time. Not because she was scared to sleep, but because she was scared to wake up.”

“How did you feel about this?”

“Fucking embarrassed. How else was there to feel?”

“And how long did this go on?”

“A month? Maybe a little longer, I don’t really remember. By the end Brianne wasn’t talking to much of anyone. She’d given up.”

“Do you remember the last time you spoke with her?”

“Her parents asked me to talk to her. To help them make her come around. I didn’t want to, but they were so upset I couldn’t say no, so I went to her room. She was sitting by the window, staring at nothing. She was all skinny and pale, like a ragdoll. I sat next to her and I told her to get help. I begged her.”

“What did she say?”

“She told me…” Mayet stopped, flinched, then started again. “She said it was too late. She kept saying something like…’It’s because of his eyes. When I wake up and look into those eyes, I know things.’ And I asked her, ‘What things?’ And she said, ‘Terrible things.’ And then she just lost it. She was crying all over me. I hugged her and we cried for a long time.”

“You two must have been very close before all this.”

Mayet said nothing. The doctor paused for a respectful moment before going on.

“So what happened after that?”

“Things got a little better. Her parents thought I’d actually helped her. I was relieved.”

“And then?”

Mayet looked away. “She snuck into one of the locker rooms after school. They found her…hanging from a showerhead.”

The doctor squeezed Mayet’s hand, once.

“We thought that was the end of it, you know? But then Jan started.”

“Jan was your boyfriend?”

Mayet shook her head.

“Your mother says he was. She said he was another thing that came between you and Brianne. That you’d fought over him.”

“My mom says a lot of things.”

“All right. What happened with Jan?”

“He was pretty out of it after Brianne died. Everyone was, but he took it the worst. I spent a lot of time at his place; his parents are never around, and I didn’t want him to be alone.”

“Was he drinking?”

“Mom just never shuts up, does she?” Mayet sneered. “Yeah, he was drinking. So what? Who wouldn’t? That wasn’t the part that worried me.”

“…he started seeing it too, didn’t he?”

Mayet nodded. Then she began to cry. She smothered her face in the back of the chair, so that her voice was barely audible. “He came to me after the first morning. He was a wreck. He told me, ‘It’s all true. We should have believed her.’ He felt guilty, you know? Like we made it happen by not believing her.”

“Is that why he thought the creature came to him? As a kind of punishment?”

Mayet looked at her hands for a while. “He didn’t say so. But it makes sense.”

“Did you tell anyone that Jan was troubled?”

“A teacher. I wouldn’t, normally, but I was scared he’d do the same thing as Brianne.”

“Did he?”

“No. I don’t think so. He just disappeared.”

“Disappeared?”

“He ran away. After a week he couldn’t take it anymore, and he sent me an email telling me he was going. He said he didn’t think he could get away from whatever it was, but he had to try. And he said…” Mayet stopped talking. In the corner, the old clock ticked a minute off. Mayet’s mother quietly sobbed in the doorway. Eventually, without prompting, she went on. “He told me he was scared for me. Scared…that it would come for me next.”

The doctor’s expression gave nothing away. She drummed her fingers against the carpet, in time with the clock. “And did it?”

Mayet shifted in her chair. “For a while, I would get emails from Jan. Never very long, just telling me he was all right, that he was keeping moving. Then one day they stopped. I haven’t gotten one in over a month now.”

“What do you think that means?”

“I don’t know. But I do think that it was following him. And that whatever was happening to him, it’s not anymore. Because the same time he stopped writing…” her voice cracked, “was the first time I saw it.”

She turned and looked the doctor fully in the face for the first time. Her eyes were red; from crying, and from never sleeping.

“It was three o’clock in the morning, and I don’t know what woke me up, but he was sitting right there, right next to where you are now.”

“Here? Not on the bed?”

“Not that time. Not yet. He was naked, and rocking back and forth. He looked like he was hurt or something. He’s all pale, like one of those blind fish that live in caves. And there’s something wrong about the way his arms and legs and neck move.”

“Did you see his face?”

“Not the first night. The first night he just crawled away. And I sat there in bed, hugging my sheets, and I cried and cried. I cried because I’d never believed it, and now I’d seen it, and I couldn’t stand what that meant.”

“Did you tell anybody?”

“No. I knew what they’d think. Because it was exactly what I’d thought, you know? At first I just hoped that it would go away.”

“But it didn’t.”

“No. I woke up the second night and he was standing right next to my bed. His back was still turned, but he was standing over me. And the night after that I finally saw him face to face. And Brianne was right: The eyes are the worst thing. Once you’ve seen those eyes…oh God, the things I saw…”

Mayet’s mother sobbed louder, and then she walked away, crying. Neither Mayet nor the doctor watched her go.

“After that I knew there was no getting away. Brianne tried to get help and Jan tried to run, and neither worked. So the only thing I could think to do was just not sleep.”

“Because he only comes when you sleep.”

“Yeah. So if I never sleep, I’ll never see him again.”

“But you can’t stay awake forever.”

“I know. It’s not a very good plan, but the way I figure, it’s just like dying: You know it’ll happen someday, but you just try to go as long as you can. Someday I’ll fall asleep again and there’ll be nobody around and then I’ll wake up and he’ll be there. Even if I went to the hospital or something, I think he’d still find me, and he’d find a moment when nobody else was there. You have to be alone sometime, right? I can’t stop it. But I can put it off for as long as I can. I can do that much, right?”

The doctor didn’t say anything.

“So that’s why I won’t take the pills. And I won’t go to sleep on my own. That would be giving up. And I’m not going to give up.”

“Because you owe it to Jan and Brianne not to give up.”

Mayet shrugged. The doctor was quiet for some time. Then she stood, brushed off her slacks, and took something out of her purse: a bottle of pills, and a small bottle of water.

“Mayet, you’ve been through a lot. More than anyone your age should have to deal with. You need more help than I can give you. Even your mother can’t help you through this all on her own. But we both want to help you. Do you believe that?”

At first it didn’t seem like Mayet was going to reply, but then she nodded.

“The first step, I think, is up to you. These pills are over-the-counter. Your mother has a prescription from your doctor for something stronger, if you need it. You don’t have to take them, but I want you to think about something: The sooner you fall asleep, and the sooner you wake up again, the sooner you’ll see that there’s nothing to be afraid of. That this man in the night doesn’t exist.”

“Then why do I see him?”

“There are a lot of reasons why we see things that aren’t there. Especially when we expect to. Fear can do that; so can grief, and guilt. But I think, deep down, you know that he’s not real, and now that we’ve had this talk a part of you has acknowledged that. I think that the next time you wake up, you’ll see that for yourself. And that’ll be the first step toward taking your life back.”

The doctor stepped away. She left the pills on the arm of the chair.

“It’s up to you. I think that, with your mother and your doctor’s help, you’ll make it through this no matter what. But I also think the sooner you start, the easier it’ll be for you. Think about the morning after, Mayet. Think about how good it’ll be. I want you to do that for me. And for you.”

Then she left. Mayet was alone. There was no more light coming through the curtain. Her room was growing dark. She turned on her side, looking at the little orange bottle and the water. The back of her throat hurt.

And she listened very, very carefully, for what she knew was there: the skittering sound of pale, hairless flesh sliding along the ground, and the gentle, almost imperceptible thump of misshapen limbs scrambling over each other. Was he here, even now? Had he been in the room, hidden, all this time, even while she was awake? Sometimes she thought he was. He could even be right behind her chair, standing over her, watching her, ready to glide away or melt through the wall the moment anyone else came in but always, always there.

Mayet felt cold. She curled up into a ball, trembling, clutching at her hair. The doctor was wrong. Deep down inside, she knew that the Rake was real. And that the next time she saw him, it would be worse than dying.

She laid out on her bed, watching the shadows crawl over the ceiling. She squeezed the pills in one hand, the water bottle in the other. She shook two into her mouth, grimacing as she swallowed; she’d always hated taking pills. Then she took two more. And two more. She kept taking them until there were no more, washing them down with the tasteless water from the plastic bottle. She wanted out, but she didn’t want to do it like Brianne; she just wanted to go to sleep. To go to sleep and never wake up seemed the only way of winning; the only way to cheat him, somehow.

She was already feeling drowsy. She thought of her mother and a pang of guilt went through her, but it was too late now. The shadows on the ceiling swallowed the room, and her vision blurred at the edges. For a moment she thought she saw something, a malformed silhouette stooped over her, with a cold, wet hand reaching for her face…

But then there was nothing, and she slept.

***

The doctor sat at the kitchen table, a cooling mug of tea in her hand. Mayet’s mother sat across from her, drinking hers. Her eyes had dried. “Thank you,” she said.

“I’m glad to help,” the doctor said. “I think she’ll take them. We can’t say for sure, of course, but I think she will. The important thing is that it’s her decision.”

“I suppose,” said Mayet’s mother. She turned her head at the sound of something moving in the hall, but nothing was there. She shivered without knowing why. “I really don’t feel right about it, though. I hate trying to just knock her out with pills. I never liked those things.”

“Well, there’s no need to feel guilty about these ones,” the doctor said, downing her tea in one gulp.

“Why is that?” Mayet’s mother said. There was that sound again, like something fumbling with a door, but there was still nothing there.

The doctor grinned. “Ms. Bautista, there’s nothing in those pills. They’re just a placebo.

“Mayet will wake up in the morning, right as rain.”

Credit To – Tam Lin

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