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The Blue Bronco

August 2, 2013 at 12:00 AM
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This is the sixth installment in the Tower of Sorrow series.
Part One: Yon Black Edifice Hath Called Me
Part Two: First Steps
Part Three: Tight Spaces
Part Four: The Driver
Part Five: Hittin’ The Road

As the car speeds down this deserted stretch of two lane blacktop, the creatures in the background fade into specks. My heart thuds in my ears and the driver has his lips pulled back in a sneering grimace.

“Listen, uh…” I start, unsure of how to address my kidnapper, “mister, I don’t know what happened back there, but – ”

He throws his hand up and waves a solitary finger at me, “Silence human. I’m thinking.” He visibly grits his teeth and his brow furrows deeply. “It just doesn’t make any damn sense,” he says shaking his head. “No one in the history of any world I know has been able to draw Him with such ease.” I pull out my cigarettes and shake the pack at him. “Don’t mind if I do.” He puts the cigarette in his mouth and starts to draw. Instantly the tip begins to burn. He takes a long drag, savoring the feeling of the smoke entering his lungs. “Man, that IS good.”

“So what the fuck even happened back there I mean,” I light my own cigarette, “what were those, things?”

“I told you,” he said pointing his cigarette at me, “there are things out there that you just wouldn’t understand. For example, any idea why those things attacked us or how they even knew where to find us? Do you have any idea what they even were or where they came from?” I just look at him, dumbfounded. “Yeah, I didn’t think so. You have no idea what’s going on. I thought I did, until now.” He takes another long drag and looks at me, “Thanks for the smoke. It’s been decades since I’ve had one. Couldn’t very well go buy them for myself, could I?”

“I suppose not,” I chuckle. “So, where exactly are we going anyway?”

“I already told you! I’m taking you to meet my bosses. They have been expecting you for quite some time and they are very eager to meet you.”

“What? Why? What would they want with me? I’m a technical writer from “Nowhere, Pennsylvania” and frankly, I doubt anyone that you’re associated with would need my skills.”

He bursts into a fit of laughter. “Oh man,” he howls, “you humans and your logic. Your naivety never ceases to amaze me,” he slaps his leg as he laughs. “Listen boy,” he says sternly, “you do have certain skills that interest them, but it ain’t got shit to do with your job.” He holds his hand out, “Name’s Jack.”

I take his hand firmly in mine and give it a shake, “Conner.”

“So Conner,” he raises his eyebrow, “you still didn’t answer my question. What’s your take on what you saw back there?”

I look at him puzzled for a moment trying to gather my thoughts. “Ya know Jack, I don’t know exactly what I think. Something about it all seems familiar. Like, somehow, I’ve seen them before. I remember…bones…” I trail off staring out into the desert.

Jack shifts in his seat, “Bones? What the fuck do you mean bones?”

“Their eyes,” I mumble, “they remind me of bones somehow.” My eyes glaze over and I can feel myself drifting a bit. “I see bones…and a tower…and those things just circling around it in droves. The brittle bones of some small animals turn to dust under my feet. My mind is in a whirlwind. I can’t think straight. I’m being called. Somehow I simultaneously know I should feel fear, but realize that it’s just not there. There is only the call. I walk forward and into the tower and then…then nothing.”

I didn’t realize it while I was drifting but the car had stopped. Jack looks at me with wide eyes. “He-he tried to draw you Conner,” Jack whispers, “he called to you. This is much more serious than I thought. We had no idea that He was actively looking for you. We’ve got to get you inside now!”

“Inside?” I ask still dazed. “We’re already in the car.”

“No,” he says sharply, “in there,” he points through the windshield at a brightly lit building across the street from where we’re parked. I realize now that we are in a city. The streets are somewhat empty except for the night life. The building that Jack is pointing at has a giant neon blue sign depicting a cowboy riding a bucking blue bronco. Below the horse is another neon sign proclaiming the name of the place “The Blue Bronco Bar and Grill.”

I turn my head sharply to face him, “What the fuck are we doing here?”

His menacing toothy smile returns, “Welcome to The Blue Bronco. Come on inside and sit a spell, won’t you?”

“Come on Jack cut the shit!” I holler. “I think you owe me that much.”

He sighs heavily, “Yeah, I suppose I do. Well, like I said, you’re here to meet my superiors. This is their HQ. It’s their safe house in this world. Once you’re inside He won’t be able to see you. At least, I don’t think so. After what I saw earlier, I’m not so sure.”

“Well, I already fell in the damn rabbit hole. I might as well poke around a bit.”

Jack claps me on the back and chuckles a bit. Walking across the street I stare up at the crazy neon blue sign. I can’t help but wonder why I’m here. Why was I chosen? What “skills” could a guy like me possibly have that anyone would want? More importantly, why was I following “Jack” into what could be a trap? Something is nagging in the farthest, darkest corner of my mind, that’s why. For some reason following him feels like the right thing to do despite my anxiety.

Jack opens the door, steps back, and waves his hand, “Ladies first,” he says smirking. I flip him the bird and walk inside. Instantly, I stop and try to understand the scene before me. The entire room is filled with men. They are all over each other dancing, kissing, and groping. This is definitely not what I had in mind. I turn to Jack and my confusion grows deeper. Where once there was this “thing” now stands a regular looking guy in a black fedora and trench coat. “Jack?” He grins widely and nods his head. “What the–“again with that damnable waving finger.

“See that door in the back there?” he asks, pointing across the room. I nod acknowledgement. “Go.”

I shuffle to the door in confusion. He knocks three times, slowly but with intense force. A small rectangular hole towards the top of the door slides open. A pair of vibrant blue eyes comes into view and darts back and forth scanning the room. The person on the other side mutters something unintelligible. Jack answers, “ph’nglui mglw’nafh Cthulhu R’lyeh wgah’nagl fhtagn.” The eyes disappear, the small opening closes, and the door creeps open.

Inside the room is a large round table with half a dozen old men sitting around it smoking cigars. They seem to be in the middle of a hand of poker and there are some extremely large stacks of money involved. The man wearing the dealer’s visor looks up at Jack and smiles. “Running a little late aren’t you?”

Jack does some odd type of bow and removes his hat. He stands back up holding his hat to his chest and begins to address the old man in that same weird language. The old man waves his hand in a shooing motion. “Come now Jack,” he says still smiling, “please show some courtesy for our guest here, Mr…”

“Jenkins, Conner Jenkins,” I say trying to recreate Jack’s bow. The old man laughs heartily and Jack’s defensive posture relaxes.

“Right,” the old man grins, “Mr. Jenkins. Anyway Jack, you were saying?”

“Well sir,” he clears his throat, “Mr. Jenkins here,” he says jutting a thumb at me, “caused us a bit of a delay.”

“That’s all well and good Jack. I believe we expected that much,” the old man looks around the table and the others nod and grumble agreement. “So then, what was it? You fellas run out of gas or get a flat?”

“Unfortunately, it’s not that simple sir. You see Mr. Jenkins here seems to be very popular. As it turns out, The Collective isn’t the only entity interested in bringing him aboard.”

“Of course not Jack,” the old man guffaws, “with his particular talent I’m not surprised. Though my question to you now Jack, is exactly which of our competitors was so intrigued by our young friend? There aren’t very many of them left you know.”

“It was Him. He came for Conner in the desert. His minions rose from the ground and poured from the sky. The safety of this world has been severely compromised, sir!”

“How could He? Did I not specifically tell you to conceal yourself and Mr. Jenkins here? What the fuck happened Jack? Did you somehow forget how integral he is to our mission? Do you fail to see what’s at stake here? ”

Jack’s voice dropped to just above a whisper, “Conner simply spoke His name sir. I’ve never seen anything like it. He just-”

The old man throws up his hand, his smile now gone. The other men around the table looked directly at me. “Mr. Jenkins,” he said softly, “welcome to The Collective. We have much to discuss.”

Credit to: J. Brown

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August 2013 Discussion Post: Paranormal Podcasts & Creepy Radio Shows!

August 1, 2013 at 12:00 AM

I’ve mentioned it here and there, but I like listening to paranormal podcasts or radio shows. I’ve mentioned Anything Ghost with Lex Wahl and Welcome to Nightvale before, and while the main show has gotten a bit too New Agey for my tastes, I still listen to Coast 2 Coast AM’s “special” Halloween and New Year’s Predictions shows. I’m also looking forward to Art Bell’s return to paranormal radio with the new Dark Matter show that should be launching this fall!

So with all that said, I’d like to ask: what are your favorite creepy/paranormal podcasts and/or radio shows? Link us if you can, tell us a bit about the show and why you love it! Conspiracies, aliens, ghosts, zombies, horror movies – let’s all expand our podcast playlists and get some fresh sources of creepy pumping into our ears. Subliminal brainwashing optional, of course.

*Please refrain from recommending YT channels that are only “pasta reading” channels – that’s not really what I’m asking for this month. Nothing against those channels – they’ll have their own post to shine in since they’ve become such a huge YT trend. So please don’t bring them into this post and save them for their own discussion post when it happens! Thanks.

As before, we’ll create a master list in this post as you guys add your suggestions.

Anything Ghost with Lex Wahl
Coast 2 Coast AM
Darkness Radio
Farside Paranormal Podcast
Ground Zero Radio
Horror Theatre
Jim Harold’s Campfire
Lights Out
Quiet, Please
The Hermit’s Cave
The Last Podcast on the Left
The Mysterious Traveler
The Sealed Book
Weird Circle
Welcome to Nightvale
We’re Alive

The Black Hand

August 1, 2013 at 12:00 AM
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While I’m writing this letter, I don’t really know what I should write. I mean that I’m not sure if I’m going to wake up tomorrow, so I can’t decide if it should become a sort of my testament. My final goodbye to everyone I knew, whether they’re going to believe in what happened to me or not. On the second thought, if I survive, and someone finds this letter, let’s just say, they won’t think of me as they did before. Nothing is certain for me at the moment, and I’m writing all this just to get rid of my burden, something that devours me from inside since my childhood years.

It started then I was eight, or, maybe, nine. I can’t be sure even about that. The thing is that there was a boy I used to play with, he lived just across the street from us. One Sunday morning I had to meet him, but he never came. I went to his home and rang at the door. Nobody answered me – his apartment was empty.

I’ve never found out what happened to him and his family. My parents told me that his dad got a new job, and they moved away. I never believed it, and I don’t believe it now. Such things don’t happen so fast, and he would tell me about their relocation. The worst thing is that even these days, in the era of social networks, I can’t find any traces of my friend. He’s gone, disappeared into thin air.

Soon after that, a weird thing happened. I entered my grandmother’s room, and she said something that I would never forget.

“The Black Hand took’em,” she almost whispered, as if she didn’t want anyone, but me to hear these words.

“What is it?” I asked, feeling disturbance twining around my body.

“It flies by night, enters the open windows, strangles the grown-up and takes away the child,” she said in her trembling weak voice.

“Where does it take them?” I asked.

She never answered my question. You see, my grandmother didn’t feel good at the time. The following year she would pass away, and her death reminded me of these words once again. I spent years watching my window to be closed, even in the summer nights, then heat was absolutely unbearable. My fear grew more and more persistent, because although I had nothing to prove that the thing she had told me about, existed, but I had no proof of its non-existence either. I lived in the prison of uncertainty. I did try to talk with my parents, but whenever I mentioned the Black Hand, they would simply tell me that it doesn’t exist. Just an old legend.

When I grew up, I finally succeeded to break free from that constant anxiety. I’ve heard the legend of the Black Hand all around Hutgen, and for some time I could only laugh at my childhood fear. There are a lot of studies of this myth, and although nobody discovered how this terrifying image was conceived, all the researchers agree about the era when it was conceived.

Prior and during the Second World War, a lot of people in Hutgen disappeared without a trace. There was something different about those people, something unseen by a child’s eye. Everyone knew where and why they had disappeared, but nobody dared to talk about it, especially to their children. So the story about the window-invading creature was born – it served a fine apolitical explanation for all the weird things going on, and also a good warning for the children to avoid the stranger and to remember locking the doors at night. My grandmother grew exactly at that time, and she clearly knew that legend as a child. Perhaps, it was some eerie trick of mind that made her remember this story exactly at the time when I was dealing with my friend’s disappearance.

As I’ve already said, I stopped to believe in the Black Hand many years ago. I still don’t know what happened to that boy, and I don’t know if I’ll ever find out.

I tried not to think about that, and I still think that it’s just my feeling of insecurity. Moving into the dorm, after entering the Hutgen University was somewhat unpleasant thing to me. Probably, just a lack of privacy, I got used to at home. No, my roommate was nice to me, and I would even say that I quickly accustomed to this new life.

Everything changed when I heard slapping at the window. I couldn’t fall asleep, so I paid attention to that noise. “Some bird,” was my first thought. “Or, maybe, a bat – they’re pretty common here.” But soon afterwards, the noise started to sound like a human hand. From the slapping, it grew into the knocking. That’s right, it was like if someone was knocking with a fist into my window. This is there I started to feel unease. I got up and, trying not to disturb my roommate, slowly walked toward the window. Looking outside, I couldn’t see anything – it was pitch black, and I needed some light. I couldn’t turn the lights on, that would wake my roommate up, so I took my cell phone, trying to use its light. The knocks started to quiet down, and as soon as I brought some light, nothing could be heard at all.

I lay in my bed confused. Confused and frightened. My childhood fears woke up, but I still couldn’t let them take me over. After some tossing and turning, I decided to check the window again. Just in case. For a few minutes I was staring into the darkness. I wanted to now that it was nothing. No Black Hand. At last, I dared to do it.

I opened the window.

Yesterday morning I woke up late. I terribly overslept, missing some of my course. However, I had some other things to worry about. The window was closed, and I presumed my roommate had done it before going out.

He never came back, and he still doesn’t answer the phone. I worried about him, and so did the others. Some say, he left the college and moved out of the city with his girlfriend. I want to believe that. I want to believe that.

But tonight, I can’t be sure. I’m not a child, and I don’t believe in silly stories. I’m not superstitious, but I’m afraid. I’m afraid, because I am alone, and nobody can tell me that my fears have no ground. I’ve heard a knock in my window, but tonight I’m going to sleep with an open window.

I just want to be sure.

Credit To – CandleClock

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Kali Yoga

July 31, 2013 at 12:00 AM
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Are you familiar with this thing we call meditation?

Well, that was a foolish thing to ask. Of course you know what meditation is. It’s the thing new age gurus and hippies advocate to improve your well-being. Very simple stuff, y’know. You just sit cross-legged on a surface (hard or soft), close your eyes, get your hands into some kinda position, and start watching your breathing, or whatever it is your instructor tells you to focus on.

Pretty boring stuff, right? Most people find it hard to focus on any one thing, and their minds quickly wander off in search of whatever object or topic they like. It’s unstoppable. You can’t help it. No one can. All you can do is to return your focus to your…let’s call it your anchor. The thing your instructor tells you to focus on, whatever it is.

Now, for most people, this is no problem provided they are not insane. There is, however, one meditative technique that has been passed down among only the members of one particular family. This technique is known as the Kali Yoga.

Don’t bother checking it on Wikipedia. It’s not there. You’ll need to go to a remote part of India to even hear rumors of it. I can’t tell you where it is. To be able to learn this style of Yoga, one is to be guided by none but their own luck. Any attempt to seek it on purpose will fail.

Now, you may ask why one would go looking for this specific school of Yoga. Well, supposedly, a person who managed to complete the training will gain wisdom and knowledge on par with the gods and demons themselves. Nothing on this earth will ever surprise them. They will know all the secrets of the universe. The physical world will matter not at all, for they will know all that it will ever contain.

That said, if you ever managed to find one willing to train you in this endeavor, beware. This article is not on Creepypasta for nothing, you know.

When you start training, you can expect the stuff listed at the top of this article to happen. Once you get to a certain stage, however, you will feel the top of your head getting pulled up to the sky while the area between your privates and buttocks will get pulled down to the ground. You will feel your head piercing the very heavens while the lower part of your body feels like it is sinking far below the ground. You will be able to feel everything going on around your now expanded conscious. Eventually, all the secrets of the universe will be revealed to you.

This is the most dangerous phase.

You see, most people have a spiritual barrier that encompasses the essence of their spirit and soul, a barrier made of all the person’s memory and beliefs. This style of Yoga purposefully creates breaks in the barrier to allow your consciousness to perceive the things hidden by this wall of memories and feelings.

Thing is, this wall is there for a reason. Once removed, you will see all of creation in it entirety. You will see the gods as what they are. So will you see the things we call demons as what they really are. You will learn they are not to be feared, for they are beings with their own set of rules.

You will also perceive the things at the edge of all creation. Black things that seek only to corrupt all that it could.

You will fear them.

You will also seek them, for such is the fascination they imprint on the human soul.

This is where you must resist. This is where you need to return to your anchor. Failure to do so will draw you closer to the true corrupter. You will come to it, and it shall consume you.

Death will be a blessing. Most who fell victim to it will not receive such mercy. The lucky ones go insane, gibbering about the living darkness. Others keep their mental faculty, but they can’t eat, can’t sleep, and will not be able to feel anything but constant pain no matter what they do.

The truly worst off…well, I can’t tell you. They are all gone.

Not dead. I told you that’s a blessing.

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Faulty Wiring

July 30, 2013 at 12:00 AM
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It wasn’t long ago I noticed a strange noise coming from the air conditioning unit, in the wall of the living room. At first it was almost imperceptible from the other noises such a device would typically make. It started out as a slight clanking sound, only when it was first turned on. I had just accredited it to the age of the apartments and the appliances within. Realistically they weren’t all that old in the grand scheme of things, but without constant upkeep things break down and fall apart relatively fast. Everything in the place made at least some kind of noise. The washing machine shook, the dishwasher sounded like a jet taking off and the fridge would kick on every few minutes and hum so loudly I’d have to turn the television up to hear anything over it. So you can see how it wasn’t such a big deal for the air conditioner to rattle a little. So I put it to the back of my mind as just something that comes with age.

That was until it started making it more and more often. I first noticed it when I turned it on and the rattling didn’t just go away after a second or two.

‘I had better tell the landlord so maintenance can come fix this’, I thought. After about a minute it once again stopped and the thought faded into memory.

A few weeks passed and I began to notice other strange occurrences, scratching in the walls, the electricity flickering in and out, the occasional thump in the night. Again things that could all happen due to the age of the wiring, maybe a mouse had gotten into the walls, or a noisy new neighbor had moved in. All pretty explainable, I thought. Besides, I worked a lot and really didn’t have a lot of free time to do much, so it didn’t bother me. But when things started to go missing in my tiny, one bedroom, apartment, I started to worry.

I hadn’t been home in what felt like a couple weeks, between work and friends, I was barely there at all besides to sleep and bathe. I figured I should do a thorough search of the place and see where my things could have gone. The TV remote, a calculator, several pairs of socks, and one shoe, were apparently misplaced. So I went through, room to room (which was really only 4 rooms) searched high and low to find my things and as I did this I noticed more and more small ineffectual things were also missing.

‘Strange’, I thought. ‘Where could these things have gone?’ I hit the power button on the TV and sat down in my once familiar armchair, now a stranger in my own forgotten home, and noticed something. The TV wasn’t on. I flipped the light switch up and down but nothing.

‘Oh for god sakes this is getting a little ridiculous’

I got up and twisted the knob on the stereo, nothing. I went around and tested all the appliances, to see if they were all still functioning. To no avail as not a thing in the place was still functioning, except, strangely enough the increasingly loud air conditioner. It came on with a loud rattle and ran that way for several minutes until it sparked, I heard a loud pop, and then it too died. ‘Maybe the power’s out and it will be fine in the morning.’ I thought half-heartedly. I had a hard time sleeping that night. The neighbors were especially loud and the being without power made me a nervous. I woke up the next morning to find that the power was still out.

I took a shower, got dressed and went over to my neighbors to ask if they were having similar problems. I knocked loudly several times but no answer. I decided enough was enough and went to the maintenance office to complain and hopefully resolve this issue. When I opened the door the smell of stale smoke swept into my nostrils. The place was a mess, papers and ashes all about the desk, peeling paint, smudges on the windows, and a TV with only static bolted to the wall. Sitting behind the desk was a thin, graying man who looked as if he hadn’t bathed in a week. I told him about how everything was suddenly not working but the A/C unit, until it sputtered its last. He gave me a sarcastic look and with a gruff he grabbed his toolbox and followed me back to my apartment.

“You see I would have called but for some reason nothing seems to be working, and I don’t think the electricity is out because the air conditioner was running and suddenly died.”

“Well let’s take a look at it.” he said. He went over to it and unscrewed the faceplate and peered inside. He clicked his flashlight on and went to work unscrewing and checking different things when he stopped suddenly and pulled out a tiny thing attached to a cord that didn’t look like it belonged. He looked at me with a raised eyebrow.
“This yours?”
I couldn’t even identify what he was holding. “I don’t believe so, what is it?”
“It’s one of those little spy cameras, you haven’t been havin girls over, secretly tapin em have ya?” He gave a sly grin.
“No! What the hell was that doing in my home?!” I was getting a scared, and a little irate.
He shrugged “Well let’s see where this wire goes, huh?”
He followed the wired with his hand and stopped to look inside.
“There’s a little hole in here, it goes into the wall.”
He pulled out his hammer and got to work taking chunks out of the dry wall and following the cord. I was freaking out. ‘Who put that there?’ ‘Was this dirty old man watching me?’ ‘Are there more of those?’ All these things went through my head as I watched him work.
“Well that explains a lot” he said under his breath.
“What? What is it?” I exclaimed.
“Looks like somebody rewired your outlets over here.” He backed away to show me what he was seeing.
“But, why?”
“My guess, stealing your power. You sure you didn’t notice anything?” His calmness put me on edge.
I thought back to the odd noises in my walls, the thumping, the flickering lights. What had once seemed such a normal thing had my heart racing.
“I noticed a few things here and there but I haven’t been here a lot lately. I thought it was just an old place.”

He gave me a skeptical look and continued following the ever expanding bunch of wires and cables throughout the place. Some wires would branch off to more tiny cameras, hidden in vents and just in the shadows, one even wired into the eye of one of my pictures. ‘How have I not noticed these?’ My heart had started beating faster and faster as he discovered more. He kept going and, one by one, found all of my electric had been rewired into one central bunch that led to the bedroom. My heart stopped.

“How long have these been here?”
“Not long I’d say. We check all the appliances and outlets before we rent the places out.”
“Well where does it all lead?”
He kept knocking holes with his hammer and following the dreaded cables until finally he stopped and looked into the most recent hole he made with a flashlight.
“The space between the walls gets a lot bigger here. I think I can fit in here I see something glowing just around the corner.”
He smashed a hole big enough for him to squeeze through and disappeared into my bedroom wall. He appeared a few seconds later with a grim look on his face and his skin had gone pale. He was no longer the calm, apparently fearless, man he was before.

“You aren’t gonna wanna hear this, but there’s a little room back there. Bunch of monitors set up all over and all sorts of crap scattered around. Looks like somebody was livin’ in there but no sign of em now.” He swallowed hard. “This place is starting to freak me the hell out. If I were you, I’d move.”

I packed my things and left for my mom’s that day, not wanting to spend another second in that place. Over the next few days the police came and investigated the whole scene. They found twenty different monitors all linked up to VHS players in that little room in the walls. Surprisingly though no tapes were ever found. And neither was the thing that had been watching me all those nights.

A few weeks had passed and a box arrived on my mother’s doorstep. It was unlabeled but inside was all the little things that had gone missing in my apartment. I also found a dirty ripped piece of paper with a barely legible message scrawled on it:


Credit To – Hairy Monster Man

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The Effects of Fear

July 29, 2013 at 12:00 AM
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“Doctor Tabitha Lebarr, recording the story given to us during the psychiatric evaluation of David Shore, May 15th, 2013. Patient was admitted for treatment of what appeared to be an attempt to amputate his legs. It is worth noting that Shore is himself a psychologist, but appears to be currently in poor mental health.” There was a moment of static on the tape, and the woman’s voice continued. “Tell it to me from the beginning, Doctor Shore.”

“You know that feeling you get, when you feel as though you’re being watched? Of course you do, we’ve all felt it. We feel it more as children, and of course, when we’re already frightened of something. It makes sense to me now; it’s so simple. It’s leftover survival instinct. That, Doctor Lebarr, is the beginning. See, about a week ago, I came across a website for short horror stories, and it inspired me to do a case study on myself regarding the effects of fear. Fear is a fascinating thing, isn’t it? I read several stories until I came across one that really gave me the creeps, and the study began. I documented the basic things; loud noises that my cat was making pushed an immediate adrenal response, even though I knew where the sound was coming from. A hyper awareness of my surroundings was persistent and expected. I couldn’t help but scan the dark hallway outside my bedroom repeatedly, and the tapping from the vents in the ceiling seemed louder than they have ever been, and much more obtrusive. These are all expected results of fear and nothing particularly interesting.

“However, as I was winding down, I saw, in the dim light cast against the stairwell visible from my desk, a shadow pass from something apparently out of sight, presumably blocked by the wall ahead of me. As my cat, Gir, was in my lap, this was obviously a manifestation of my frightened mind, as nothing could have been there to produce the fleeting shade. I jotted down that it was interesting that my mind, winding down from fear, appeared to be trying to keep me in the hyper-aware and agitated state, by creating apparitions. Then it got stranger.

“I had noticed Gir’s ears perk up suddenly when I had seen the shadow but hadn’t thought anything of it. A moment later, Gir sat up very abruptly, obviously alarmed. Gir then looked directly at where the shadow had been; then into my eyes; then to that spot on the stairwell again, then to my eyes again, over and over about a dozen times, very quickly. As concern mounted and I was about to get up to investigate, as he has never acted in this manner, he jumped down and ran to the very spot in the hall where the apparition making the shadow would have had to have been standing. He then ran into the laundry room, his ‘safe place’ in the house, where he remained for about an hour until I went to bed.

“It was bizarre, but perhaps Gir just acted oddly because he sensed my fear. I decided to sleep on it. Anyway, that was my last personal entry as a psychologist. Funny, isn’t it? How something so simple can become so terrible. The night after, when I got home, Gir was still acting strangely. I decided to keep an eye on him, and again sat down to read some creepy stories. As I was reading, I heard a strange noise coming from the hall. It was the pat of heavy feet on carpet, and growling. At first I assumed it to be my frightened mind twisting noise Gir might make, but when I turned I saw that he was safely asleep on my bed. I carefully reached to my bed stand, wherein I had a hunting knife for security, and I brought it with me to investigate the hallway. Atop the stand was a picture of me and my good friend Jen, goofily waving at the camera. Looking at that made me feel a little better, and I was off to the hallway with my knife. The blasted light switch was on the other end of the hall, of course, so I let my eyes focus a moment. Just as my vision was adjusting, I saw a shadow bolt down the stairs. Air caught in my throat, and I lunged forward to the light switch, but whatever it was had gone.

“The following day went by fairly normally. Someone had placed a picture of a wolf where my face should have been on the placards indicating where each doctor was located, and there was trouble finding the old picture file again, so I had my photo taken and that was settled. It was odd, but was all that was unusual that day. Actually, I had gotten the pretty girl at the coffee counters number that day, and was walking on air by the time I headed home. I had completely forgotten about the incident of the night before. That is, until I opened my front door. Nothing was out of place, per se; but something was off about it. It smelled strange in there, the air was oddly warm and sticky. I had a strange feeling that the house was breathing, and the deep, nagging feeling that something was watching me. It was as though the whole place was plotting against me. I kicked on the AC unit, put it out of my mind and went about my business.

“I avoided the horror stories that night. I opted for some late night television from the comfort of my bed. This time, Gir wasn’t in my room, but when the footfalls and heavy breathing came from down the hall, I knew full well that it wasn’t my cat. I listened carefully, and it happened again; louder, heavy footfalls and angry growling. I crept away from my bed and into the dark hallway, again with the knife; that damned light switch; and as I made my way toward it, I heard the growl again, lower, more powerful. It shook me to my core and I ran to the light switch and flipped it on. Gir was staring at me from the floor, but I saw nothing else. I peered into the laundry room; nothing; but then the growl again, right behind me! I spun to face it – it was Gir! Staring up at me menacingly, this tiny tabby cat was baring his teeth and snarling like a beast; like a wolf, I remember thinking. My timid cat had never done such a thing. I tried to pick him up and he viciously dug his teeth into my hand. I screamed, I swung my arm, I had to pry his jaw open with my other hand and I locked him in the laundry room. I needed stitches.

“When I arrived home from the doctor, and as I was getting into bed, I heard my cat. My dear tabby, he was screaming and yowling and snarling and roaring, a combination of cat sounds and something much more sinister. I got up to silence him. I didn’t know how I would, but I had to try something. Maybe I would feed him a Vicodin. As soon as I stood, the noise stopped. I shook my head in irritation and my eyes fell on the photo of Jen and I; only I had disappeared from the photo, and in my stead was a vicious looking wolf, and Jen standing next to it, still smiling and waving at the camera. I had never felt such a chill as I did when I saw that photograph. It’s hard for me to believe I slept at all that night, because after I had ripped up the picture, I went to bed shaking, badly.

“When I awoke, I couldn’t believe my eyes. My darling tabby was torn apart at the foot of my bed, and his blood was unceremoniously spattered against the wall and television across from me. Shaking, I got a trash bag and scooped his remains into it. I called in sick that day, to clean my room, bury my cat and install new locks and cameras. I didn’t know what else to do. With Gir gone, I made sure the house was secure, I closed and locked my bedroom door, and I made sure the cameras were recording, one in my room, one in the living room facing the front door and stairs leading to my room, and one outside the door. I couldn’t imagine that what I might see would explain Girs behavior, but perhaps he was acting out toward an unseen intruder. He certainly didn’t tear himself apart.

“That night I slept restlessly, and awoke at around two in the morning to a thud coming from downstairs. I quickly and silently moved to my laptop, and connected to the downstairs camera. At first, I saw nothing. I peered closely, and with some concentration and patience I realized something was lurking in the shadows near my kitchen. I zoomed in on it, but could only make out small movements of some dog-sized animal. I must have peered at it for ten minutes; it barely moved in that time. Finally, it started toward my stairs. I watched it stalk toward the steps, and I reached toward my nightstand, toward my knife. I realized that I would have to take my eyes off the screen to get the knife, so I resolved to wait until it had started up the stairs, out of sight of the camera. It stopped on the first step. In the light of the streetlamp coming in through the window, I realized it was a wolf, and with a shock, it was identical to the one that had appeared in my bedside photograph. As I watched, it turned, and stared directly into the camera. Just when I thought my nerves could take no more, the wolf smiled. The goddamn wolf, smiled. It was the most disturbing thing I’d ever seen up until that point, this grinning beast, glistening teeth on display just for me, and I ran to my bed stand for my knife.

“Gir was sitting on the nightstand. In shock, I paused, and he leaped and clamped his jaws around my hand, right into the stitches from his first bite. I forced him off and pinned him down; he weighed no more than twelve pounds, but his thrashing still managed to nearly knock me away from him. I threw him in the closet, and as I did so a loud bang came from just outside my room. I grabbed the knife, peered at the monitor; the wolf was gone. I stood against my door and listened to breathing. Blood poured from my hand; I had to get to the aid kit in the bathroom. Hell, I just wanted out of that house. But the breathing from the door, the growling; was it coming from behind the door? Jesus, it sounded like the door itself was breathing. It swayed against the lock, gently tapping in the doorframe, and all the while, I could hear that wolf pacing the hall. But the door wasn’t moving with the wolf. It took me another moment of staring at the door to realize; it was breathing. The door was swelling and contracting. I shoved my knife through the center of it, and blood spurted against me. I had had enough. I grabbed my laptop, with all of the camera feeds and recordings on there, and with my knife in the pocket of my pajamas I leapt from the window, down the kitchen awning and landed hard on the side of the house. A great howl rang out from my bedroom, and I looked back as I ran for my car, and saw Gir peering out of the window after me. He didn’t have eyes of my cat anymore. He had wolfs eyes.

“I drove. Jesus, I don’t even know how far I drove. I know now, and suspected then, that whatever was in my house, it couldn’t, or wouldn’t, follow me out. I don’t know if there’s a demon in my house, some entity that just wants to torment me; I don’t have an answer for whether my cat is alive, or what he has become. I just know that the worst mistake of my life was stopping in front of the Starbucks that morning, turning on my laptop and looking at the camera feeds.

“The first thing I saw was my Facebook account; it had been left open. There were maybe a dozen messages asking me why the hell I had Photoshopped a wolf in my place in all the pictures I was in. Several people asked me how the hell I’d altered pictures of myself that were on their accounts. I trembled at the idea, but pushed it to the back of my mind and turned on the feeds. There was the wolf, staring me down from the hall, through the bedroom camera. It just stared, and smiled. I backed up the video. Jesus, I wish I could go back and stop myself! I backed up the video, and watched in reverse as I stabbed the door, stood by it, was attacked by Gir, who, according to the video, had been there since I was asleep. Gir was just watching me, all night. And when I got to about eleven PM, right about the time I had gone to bed, the video skipped and what I saw was not me getting into bed in reverse. The walls appeared to come alive, formless entities came out of them with knives and began cutting at my legs. To my horror and agony, as the video played, my legs were being slashed and cut before my very eyes, right underneath my laptop. I closed the damned machine, and it stopped. It had found me through the camera; that was my last thought, before I passed out, and woke up here.

“You see, they like to watch when people are afraid. They’re fascinated by fear. There’s no other rhyme or reason for this. We unlucky souls who pique their curiosity, we’re like rats in a horrible maze. The feeling you’re getting right now? The feeling that you’re being watched? Of course you are. Because they’re watching me. They’re waiting. I only hope, for your sake, that they find you less amusing.”

Lebarr shivered. There was a moment of static on the tape, and it ended. Doctor Lebarr sighed and stood up, stirring her now cold coffee thoughtfully. What had happened to Shore? They had been colleagues. He was smart, well adjusted, and now obviously completely insane. The hunting knife was covered in his own blood, and matched the wounds in his legs. They may have to be amputated, he was in ICU now. She peered carefully at the laptop that had been brought in with him, opened it, and saw that the recording of the video was paused on him sleeping peacefully. She shrugged. What did she expect to see? A possessed cat, a wolf entity and walls with knives? No. She expected to see nothing at all. She pressed play, and at first, the video was still. The cat on the bed stand did have an odd look as it stared at its owner. Maybe Gir knew that Shore was crazy. Soon, however, the walls did appear to come alive; long, slender arms reached out and grabbed the doctor from his bed, and began ripping and tearing the very meat from his bones. They used scalpels and medical drills, and Lebarr, completely convinced it was some sort of elaborate video prank, watched in horror as pieces of a wolf were stitched and forced into his body. He writhed in pain, helpless, until he was a wolf, lying on a bed soaked in his own blood. The cat hadn’t moved at all.

Lebarr shut the laptop, disgusted. As she left her office, a black and grey tabby ran by her feet. Very suddenly, she felt as thought something was watching her, and from the ICU, she clearly made out the sound of growling.

Credit To – C. Vox

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