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The Abalone Thief

May 19, 2015 at 12:00 AM
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Although there is no internet access or even cell phone service in this tiny cabin where I sit typing, perched on a cliff high above the Pacific Ocean, still I write this blog, in the hopes that it might find some new civilization, long after mankind is gone. That this may be a testament to one man who found faith and religion, after doubting for so long.

You see, I was never a spiritual or superstitious man. I was a man of science. A student. A marine biologist. Before this I never had what one would call faith in anything resembling religion. To me it was all math, everything. The strange mutations of life were simply an exponential progression of evolution. But now, as I see the sacramental fires burning bright on the beach below me, and feel the awakening of the ancients echo in my sleep and dreams, now that I realize that man’s time is over and it is a new beginning for beings much greater and more powerful than our own, I offer up a poem, a sacrament, a narrative, to the events that unfolded before the great awakening.

Let me start at the beginning.

I was a doctoral student at the University of California Santa Cruz working on my PhD in marine biology. Mollusks were my specialty. Specifically Haliotoidea Haliotis rufescens, or as they are known by their common name: red abalone. Abalone are an edible type of sea snail, a marine mollusk, single shell gastropod found in coastal waters around the globe. Like all snails they have a head, with a mouth and a pair of eyes, and a foot which they use to cling to rock formations while using their file like tongue to scrape algal matter into their mouths. They also have an enlarged pair of tentacles. They are considered a delicacy, their flesh being comparable to calamari. Red abalone, the largest and most prized of the species, are found only on the west coast of North America. Red abalone are not endangered but because of overfishing and acidification of oceans they have become rather scarce; that is why, California put a ban on the commercial fishing of them in the 1990s. They can be harvested for personal use only north of San Francisco, April through November, with a hiatus in July, and with a limit of only three a day and a total of eighteen a year.

Since I was writing my doctoral thesis on Haliotis rufescens it was deemed that I should spend the summer in a tiny fishing village called Shelter Cove. There I would study, measure, count and map the abalone and also report any suspicious activities relating to abalone poachers to the California Department of Fish and Wildlife. So, when the school semester ended in June I packed up all my gear (scuba set, books, slides, specimen jars, microscopes) and strapped my kayak to the roof of my trusty old Subaru outback and headed north up highway 101 for Shelter Cove.

Shelter Cove is a quiet little hamlet on the coast of Humboldt County. The sign as you enter declares it, “An Island in Time”. There is only one long, winding road in, which climbs up to nearly 2,000 feet as it transcends the summit of the King Range mountains and, conversely, only that one twisting, dangerous, cliff strewn road out. To the south is nothing but inaccessible shoreline facing steep cliffs, dotted with pockets of tiny beaches where the surf smashes down on jagged rocks, and deep, dangerous tide pools. To the north it is relatively the same, only a thin, potholed, dirt road winding over the cliffs slightly to the east.

This is why this area is known as Humboldt’s Lost Coast. The brave surf and kayak here but it has a notorious rip tide and once an entire troop of tired boy scouts resting on the beach were swooped up by a sleeper wave and sucked out to their deaths in the ocean’s depths.

The lodgings that were given to me consisted of a small cabin, nothing more than a shack really, perched high up on a cliff face. To the right I could see the boat launch the fishermen used, the caged in area where they gutted their catch. A small stretch of beach lay there where locals would drive their pick-up trucks up onto the sandy shore and drink beer and barbeque. To my left was another stretch of beach they called Deadmans, separated from the boat landing by a jutting cliff. Deadmans, a favorite surf spot, is only accessible by the ocean. The surfers have to paddle on their boards around the cliff face to get there.

The only internet access in Shelter Cove is from satellite and the university was too cheap to put one up in the shack they had supplied me with. I couldn’t even get cell phone service to use my phone as a hot spot. So when I had to post my data on the University’s Science Lab website, I would have to travel down the road a few miles to a coffee shop in the lobby of an old hotel that had Wi-Fi. There I could also manage to get cell phone service, but only in the parking lot at the top of a steep embankment.

My closest neighbors lived down a rutted dirt road. A young single mom and her 9 year old girl Suzy.

On my first day, as I was unfastening my ocean kayak from the roof of my battered old Subaru Outback, Suzy rode right up to me on her pink Huffy bike, an inquisitive look on her round little face.

“Who are you?” she asked in that bluntly curious manner children from small towns often have.

“My name’s Theodore.”

She nodded as if she approved of my name, her eyes wandering along all of my equipment.

“What’s all this stuff?”

“This is my scuba gear, these are specimen jars, and these, here in these boxes, are microscopes. With a microscope you can see real small stuff.”

“I know what a microscope is. The sixth graders use them at my school. Why do you have all this stuff?”

“Well, I’m a scientist and I’m here to study abalone.”

“Abalone? Oh gross, my Uncle Bob tries to make me eat that stuff every 4th of July. I don’t like seafood.”

“You live in a fishing village and you don’t like seafood?”

“No. I don’t like anything slimy, stinky, slippery, wet or gross.” She nodded her little head in that authoritative manner she had used when I told her my name and then rode off, leaving me standing there laughing.

After that day, whenever Suzy rode past on her bike and saw me she would stop and talk. Though she claimed to hate slimy stuff- (“Oh!” she’d squeal, “Get it away!” when I held up a baby squid for her inspection), she soon fell prey to the wonders of nature, marveling over a sea urchin or laughing uproariously at the awkward antics of a huge dungeness crab I had brought back from the ocean for her amusement. Her big brown eyes would gleam and her pig tails would bob up and down as she stroked a starfish. I showed her the tiny holes in the mantle of the abalone’s thick domed shell, the respiratory apertures, and explained to her how the sea snail vented water through them with its gills. She stared into the microscope at macro algae and I explained how the abalone fed on them with the small median teeth of the radula. As her enthusiasm began to grow I sensed a future marine biologist in the making and grew to truly love her visits.

I quickly settled into a routine of waking early and taking my kayak out to dive. Even though it was summer the water was cold, averaging about fifty degrees, and I had to wear a full wet suit with a hood and gloves. I would pull my hood over my head, pull down my half mask, put my regulator’s mouthpiece to my lips, and slip into the murky water to explore the underwater rock formations with my flashlight, looking for the domed, brick red shells that are the underwater homes of the abalone who had suctioned themselves to the craggy surfaces. I would count and measure them and then return to my kayak to scrawl out my findings. It was peaceful work but it could be dangerous. Every year dozens of abalone divers wash up dead on the shores, smashed against the rocks by a swell or sucked into dark ocean caves. In 2004 an abalone diver, who ironically worked for the Recreational Fishing Alliance and was on a federal fisher management panel, was attacked by a great white shark while diving not too far south from here, off the coast of Mendocino. When his friends first saw the huge cloud of blood in the water they thought it was some kind of sick joke. They were gravely mistaken. His mauled and ravaged body washed up on shore a day later.

In the evenings I would type out my statistics on my laptop, their average depth and proximity to the shore; and, in my free time, I would wander the desolate shoreline exploring the tide pools while I sipped a local micro-brew and sampled some of the fine cannabis the hills to the east of us were famous for. I’d gaze up at the sky, streaked in pink and purple as the sun sunk down into the ocean, watching pelicans beat their wings in unison as the high pitched wails of young harbor seals echoed off the towering bluffs. I was happy. As happy as I’ve ever been. By my third week I had charted the entire shore line for over half a mile.

At the end of the first month I had made enough inroads with the notoriously secretive locals to be invited to a party.

It was a wild event, held on a sprawling manor that sat on a grassy hillside with the ocean spread out below it. It was the last day of June and there would be a month long hiatus for abalone harvesting all of July, so the abalone divers were throwing a feast. There was abalone wontons, abalone salsa, two kinds of abalone ceviche, abalone sausage, but the most scrumptious was the abalone wrapped in dates, goat cheese and bacon and deep fried. All of this as well as the standard fare of salmon, halibut, cod and oysters. Bottles of wine from nearby vineyards littered the tables and ruddy faced fishermen gathered around kegs of local micro-brew. The sheriff was there in full uniform and when someone passed him a joint he puffed it and passed it on like everyone else.

A week into July I noticed a massive amount of abalone missing off the point of Deadmans.

Abalone concentrate where current flow causes drift seaweed to accumulate. The point of Deadmans was one of those places. Because abalone expand a large amount of energy when moving they tend to stay in one location. Last week the point of Deadmans had been littered with abalone; now, there wasn’t a single one left. I shone my flashlight along the submerged rocks, nothing. I reached my hand into a narrow crevice, felt around the deep fissure for the telltale feel of those thick shells, cautious and aware that a swell could suck me into the narrow space, crush my bones, wedge me in and trap me.

Even if there wasn’t a moratorium on abalone fishing going on an absence of this size was unprecedented. This had to have been some kind of large scale poaching. In San Francisco, in Chinatown, dried abalone sells as an aphrodisiac for $2,000 dollars a pound. A haul this big could easily net over half a million dollars.

First, I alerted the fish and game department. Next, figuring that the poachers, after having exhausted the supply on the point, would now move down into Deadmans cove itself, and that they would most likely come in the early twilight hours, I decided to stakeout Deadmans beach to see if I could catch the poachers if they returned.

The only way accessible to Deadmans cove is over the ocean; so, I hauled my kayak out to the boat launch, slipped it into the dark water, waves lapping at the concrete pier, jumped in and paddled out. There was a full moon but the fog was rolling in thick across the relatively calm water.

I kayaked past the beach where a few pick-up trucks were still parked, surfers relaxing on the shore and having a few beers after a day of riding the waves, and made my way around the towering point of Deadmans, carefully avoiding the crescent of jagged rocks that rose up out of the black water and fog. Paddling into the small cove I rode the surf up onto the beach. Pulling my kayak across the black, pebbly sand to the cliff face, I found a small cave, nothing more than a craggy wrinkle in the bluff, and tucked my kayak into it, camouflaging it with driftwood, dried seaweed and a few handfuls of sand. With my kayak hidden I hiked down the beach and behind a large, washed up tree stump I set up my small one person tent. I hunkered down for the night, staying awake for a good while, but then drifting off to a light slumber, determined to sleep lightly and awaken as early as I could.

In the middle of the night I awoke to a garbled noise. I at first assumed it was the yapping of sea lions; but as sleep left me, I realized it was human voices. It sounded like they were singing or chanting. I poked my head out of my tent. The entire beach was now draped in a thick shroud of fog, but when I peered out into the distance I was startled to see a mass of orange flames flicking up into the night sky. It was a huge bonfire and silhouetted around it appeared to be a circle of people. Was I dreaming? I blinked my eyes and focused on the fire and, yes, around the fire was a ring of people in black, hooded cloaks.

They held hands and slowly circled around the flames, chanting, with the fog swirling around them. On the outside of the circle were others,also in dark cloaks, remaining still as statues, holding torches. They couldn’t see me, hidden in the fog behind the massive log, and I watched curiously. It was definitely strange; but, I just assumed it was a bunch of teenagers getting weird, or, maybe even a coven of old hippy wiccans getting their witch on. Either wouldn’t be unheard of in these parts.

I watched the strange ritual for over an hour till they were done. Then they responsibly put out their fire (which impressed me), burying its smoldering remains in sand, and wandered up into a ravine where a trail took them up the cliff side. So there was a way to Deadmans cove besides the ocean. I would have to scope out that trail when I got a chance. Maybe the abalone thief used it to get to the beach.

Since the strange cultists, or whatever they were, had not waded out into the ocean or given any sign of abalone poaching, I paid them no real mind -live and let live, right? Just a bunch of kooks getting weird. I had often heard that Humboldt County was a weird place and that Southern Humboldt even weirder. I waited all day on the beach for any sign of poachers, eating trail mix and dried fruit, but saw nothing.

When the sun set and the sky began to grow dark I packed up my tent and went and retrieved my kayak. I had been on the beach for over twenty four hours and had seen no sign of the abalone thief. I pushed my kayak out into the surf, jumped in, and paddled back around the point.

That night, even though I was exhausted from my little expedition, I was restless and unable to sleep, tossing and turning in my bed. I went outside onto the cliff edge to smoke a joint and drink a beer to calm my nerves. A slight breeze stirred the leaves of the manzanita and dune tansy that lined the cliff edge, the salty smell of the sea heavy in the air.

It was then I noticed that from up here I could just make out a fire burning on Deadmans below me, tiny silhouettes of circling acolytes around it. I could even make out the torch bearers that encircled the group. They were back, the local weirdos. Probably just a bunch of Goth or metal kids who listened to too much Marilyn Manson. The beer and pot were doing their trick and I yawned, feeling exhaustion take over.

That night I had the first of the dreams.

I dreamed I was in the ocean, deep underwater, beneath the waves, examining the abalone. I ran my finger over their hard outer shell imagining their fimbriated head lobes, their columellar muscle. It was breeding time and I could see their respiratory apertures venting eggs and sperm into the ocean’s water column.

I had no scuba gear. I didn’t need it. It felt as if I had some sort of gills, for I could feel the salty water swooshing in and out of me as it churned, cold and green. Full of fascination I studied the formations of rock and shell as a hand, almost human, crept over the craggy shelf. It was covered in pale, green scales and the tips of the fingers ended in black claws. It reached out and took hold of a Haliotis rufescens’s blood red shell and slowly peeled it off the rock, the slime trail the sea snail uses to locomote leaving a viscous, oozing stain.

I gazed in wonder as a humanoid head then rose up over the rocky ledge. A face with the features of a fish: gills, small holes where the nose should be, massive black, empty eyes. I stared on as the creature put the abalone to its mouth and with fanged teeth pulled the sea snail slowly out of its shell and began chomping on it, swallowing it in quick, eager gulps. When it was done it extended a long, thin, black tongue, forked like the tongue of a snake, and licked the empty shell clean.

So this is the abalone thief, I thought to myself, with the calm and calculating mind of a scientist, without any fear whatsoever.

Then I saw, out in the murky distance of the ocean floor, more. There were more of them, hundreds of them. Maybe even thousands of them. An army of these scaled sea creatures, feeding on the abalone; I realized that they were gaining sustenance to strengthen themselves. They were preparing for something.

This army of creatures was readying themselves for the coming of a being greater than that that has ever roamed this earth. They awaited a great awakening. And in a massive epiphany, I realized the importance of their mission, and that I was needed; I must join them, lend my psychic support, and then I realized what the cult on the beach was doing, what their goal was. Then I looked down at my hands and realized that my hands, too, were webbed and covered in scales. I was one of them.

I awoke bathed in sweat, shivering, unable to dislodge the strange dream from my mind.

The dream was bizarre. Silly. Obviously it had no bearing on reality. Sea creatures poaching the abalone? But something within me felt different. I felt very unscientific. For the first time in my life I felt an inexplicable spirituality: a desire to worship a higher being, a higher power. I also felt very, very scared, though I couldn’t say why.

The next day I searched for the path that lead to Deadmans. I realized that from my cabin, I could walk along the cliff edge, between the clumps of coyote bush and dune tansy, down a hill into a gully that eventually formed into a steep, rocky ravine. Following this ravine down into a small valley I found the trail. Nothing more than a deer or elk path, really.

On an impulse I decided to stake it out that night. To watch and see if that strange group appeared again. Just to check them out, for curiosity sake, and see what they were up to. If I could identify any of them maybe I could question them about the abalone thief. See if they had any good intel on boats or strangers coming or going from the beach.

That night, sure enough, as I crept down to the ravine, I could see the fire burning on the beach below. I positioned myself off the trail and above the cove, just close enough to see the beach fairly well with my binoculars. I crouched down and put the binoculars to my eyes.

I could see that they were holding hands around the fire again, slowly rotating, most likely chanting the strange mumbo-jumbo I had heard last night. I tried to make out their faces to see if I could catch anyone I recognized, but their hoods obscured them and all I could see were dark shadows where their faces should be.

I scanned the gathering with my binoculars and noticed something going on off to the side, some sort of commotion against the cliff wall. Two hooded figures were holding a struggling figure by its arms. I focused my binoculars and what I saw made my mouth go dry and my gut clench. It was Suzy. They were holding little Suzy and she was naked. Naked and struggling. This couldn’t be.

Then, as I watched helplessly above, they pulled her forward to the fire. It took four of those cloaked maniacs to hold the squirming girl down, as another, this one’s robes a crimson red, raised what must have been a knife above her, for it glinted in the moonlight, long and pointed.

I froze.

What should I do? What could I do? There had to be at least a dozen of them down there.

Then it all happened so quickly: the knife fell and I thought I could hear that little voice I knew so well cry out in pain and go silent. The crimson robed one hacked into her chest and pulled out a dark object I could only assume was her heart and brought it to his mouth. He then passed it on, little Suzy’s pale, naked body now limp and crumpled on the sand.

I had to do something. I had to call the cops.

I spun around and clawed myself up off the ravine and as I did my foot slipped and I sent a shower of pebbles and dirt down into the mist covered gully. I froze, my mouth dust dry, clinging to the rock face. Had they noticed? With a pounding heart I started back up.

Once I got to the top I sprinted over the bluffs to my Subaru, now out of breath and huffing. Fumbling with the keys I started the engine and sped down the road. I squealed into the parking lot of the Inn of The Lost Coast, leaped out of my car and with sweaty, shaky hands dialed 911 on my iPhone. When I told the operator what had happened and where I was she transferred me to the sheriff.

“Calm down,” he said, “and explain to me again what happened.”

“I saw them kill her,” I said. “Kill her and eat her heart.”

“Who?”

“Suzy Anderson.”

“Suzy Anderson that lives on the corner of Toth and Steel Head with her mother Cathy?”

“Yes, I’m sure it was her. On the beach at Deadmans.”

“You saying she’s been murdered?”

“Yes.”

“By a cult in hoods on the beach?”

“Yes. Fuck. They ate her goddamn heart. Are you not listening to me?”

“Okay, Ted, okay. Just calm down. Now, listen, what I want is for you to go on home. I’ll check up on this and stop by after I get it all sorted out.”

“But they killed her.”

“Now, Ted…”

“But…”

This time firmer: “Now, Ted!”

“But…”

“Now, no more buts, Ted! You go on home and I’ll see you there. Got it?”

I couldn’t believe how nonchalant the Sheriff was being but what could I do? I would just have to do what he said: go back to my cabin and wait for him.

“Well, okay,” I said and I heard the line go silent. I stared down at the black device in my hand, knowing if I left this one small spot of land it would be rendered useless. I would be cut off from the rest of the world. Alone. But what could I do? He was the sheriff. Even if he was an overweight, pot head, he was the sheriff, and I had no choice but to listen to him.

So I drove back to my cabin and waited. I looked out over the cliff face but I couldn’t see the fire burning anymore. I drank a beer, tried to go over my data, but I was too shaken up. My hands shook so bad I couldn’t even manage to type numbers into the keyboard of my laptop.

Suddenly there was a knock at the door that startled the living shit out of me. Shook me to the bone. Wishing I had just hightailed it out of there earlier, driven away down that long winding road that was the only way in or out, never to come back, I crept up to the door and cautiously pulled the curtain of the window back. Peeking out the window I saw the Sheriff standing at my doorstep with Suzy’s mother Cathy and a little girl.

I tentatively pulled the door open.

“This the girl you saw murdered?” the sheriff immediately barked at me.

I gazed at the little girl before me, a girl the same age and height as Suzy, with similar hair, but definitely not Suzy.

“No. This isn’t her. I said Suzy Anderson.”

The little girl looked up at Suzy’s mother. “What’s he talking about, Mama?”

“This is Suzy Anderson,” the sheriff grumbled. “And this is her mother. Known both of ‘em my whole goddamn life. Now what the hell is going on around here?”

“No. It’s not. That is not Suzy. I saw them kill her!” I shouted. Somebody had to fucking believe me. I gazed up to Suzy’s mother who looked at me like I was crazy and clutched the little girl to her.

“Momma, Ted is scaring me!”

“Okay, you two go wait in the car,” the sheriff mumbled, waving Suzy’s mother and the little girl along.

He then put one of his big, beefy hands on my shoulder and pushed me into the cabin.

“Listen, mister, you’re scaring that little girl half to death and you need to tell me what the fuck is going on.” He spoke into my ear and his breath was hot on my face. “You on drugs? Doing a little meth to stay up all night and do your research?”

He gazed suspiciously around the room, the specimen jars full of bugs and mullosks, the beakers of sea water samples and glass slides. “Do I gotta go get a warrant from my old buddy Judge Johnson and come back here and search this place?”

“Am I on drugs?” I shouted. “Me? I saw you smoking a joint at that party!”

He laughed a hearty laugh and grinned a big shit eating smile. “Hell, son, that’s for my glaucoma. I’ve had medical marijuana for over fifteen years. Was one of the first people in the cove to get it. Everyone knows that.”

I was starting to feel dizzy, the room was beginning to slowly rotate.

“You alright, son? You don’t look so good.”

“But the fire on the beach. Did you check out the fire?”

“Yeah, I went down there. Looks like a bunch of kids was having a party, left fucking beer cans everywhere. But they’re gone now.”

“You went down? How?”

“How do you think? I walked.”

“You know about the secret trail?”

“Secret trail? Damn, you’re a dumb one, ain’t ‘ya? That fucking trail ain’t secret. Everybody knows about that fucking trail.”

I staggered back. The sheriff pulled out a chair and pushed me heavily into it.

“I saw it. I saw them kill her. Kill her and eat her heart.”

“You didn’t see nothing, son. Sometimes the light of the moon reflecting off the water, the sound and rhythm of the ocean, they can play tricks on your mind. Trust me, I’ve seen many a good man go a little crazy out here. Shelter Cove is known to have its share of crazies and they didn’t all start out that way.”

I sunk my face into my hands and shook my head.

“But, I… but, I…”

He put his big mitt of a hand on my back in a tender way, gave me a pat. “Tell you what, son. You get some rest. Sleep on it. I’ll come back tomorrow afternoon and we’ll talk again. Even take a little walk down to that beach. I’d like a walk with a scientist guy like you, maybe you can tell me what some of that weird looking shit in the tide pools is.”

How I fell asleep that night I don’t know. It was as if I had been drugged. I drank half a beer and a great lethargy fell over me and I stumbled to the bed with my eyes heavy and was asleep before my head hit the pillow.

That night the final dream came to me and I had the great realization. I was in the ocean, with all the other deep ones; the cool salty water swooshing in and out of our gills, the light of the moon sending out great shafts of pale light through the deep, murky water. Of course we were harvesting abalone. Eating some for our own strength, bringing back armfuls of others for the great one who slept out in the ocean depths: the dark lord who was awakening and who would soon rise in a fury of black leathery wings and tentacles.

The next day the sheriff arrived at my house as he said he would. He brought with him a box. I opened it to find a large, black, hooded cloak. I slipped the cloak over my head, pulled up the hood, and together we walked down to the beach to start the fire and await the arrival of the others.

Credit To – Humboldt Lycanthrope

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Vanities for the Vampire

May 18, 2015 at 12:00 AM
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Vanities for the Vampire

This is a video pasta. If the embedded video is not loading for you, please click the link above to go directly to the video’s YouTube page and try watching it there.

Credit To – MorganM

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Don’t Peek

May 17, 2015 at 12:00 AM
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I lay awake under the covers of my bed. I’d grown accustomed to sleeping with my head completely underneath due to the extreme coldness in my bedroom. We had recently moved house and although we were settling in quite well the cold was something we all had to adjust to, especially with winter slowly creeping in.

As I gazed blearily into the dark blankets I started wondering what had awoken me, for I had been sleeping peacefully until just this moment. I strained my ears and caught a very faint creaking sound, almost rhythmic in its regularity. I shut my eyes once more, it was simply the shutters on the windows creaking in the wind. I settled back into the pillows and listened to the noise, it was almost soothing in a way.

My eyes suddenly shot open, my old house had shutters that would sometimes creak in the wind but this new one didn’t. I’d inspected the windows thoroughly a few days before fruitlessly trying to plug up any gaps that might be letting the cool air in. I’d asked my parents to change bedroom but they said they needed the space in the other rooms and my brother definitely wasn’t swapping his, he had the warmest room in the house next to the boiler.

Listening intently I realised another thing, the sounds didn’t seem to be coming from the direction of the window. Although slightly muffled by my blankets, the sound seemed to be coming from directly above me as if I had some ancient creaking fan on the ceiling. I still didn’t want to leave the warmth of the covers so I turned my head to try and listen to get a better idea of what it was.

As I moved my head the sound abruptly stopped. I lay there holding my breath trying to catch any hint of the creaks again. Just as I thought the noise had stopped for good I heard something that chilled my insides, even in the warmth of my bed. A grating scratching sound like teeth grinding on a bone uttered the words:

“Don’t peek”

Lying completely still, my heart was racing. The creaking had once again started slightly faster this time, and with a jolt I suddenly realised what it was. Breathing. The horrible thing that was hanging above me was breathing. How could I have thought it soothing before? It was a horrible choked noise, sounding more like a death rattle now than the quiet creaking of before. The voice had been inhuman, utterly devoid of any emotion.

I lay trembling listening to the quickened pace of the breathing. Minutes dragged on and after seemingly hours daylight began to creep into the room. I must have dozed off at some point, even amidst the sheer terror that I was feeling that night, because I couldn’t remember that horrible breathing stopping. It was silent now, but I refused to get out from under the covers.

It wasn’t until my mother came in to wake me up for school that I braved leaving the safety of my bed sheets. I tried to tell her about what had happened the previous night and she initially seemed concerned, but that was mostly due to the bags under my eyes and lack of sleep than some kind of “make believe monster”. I went down for breakfast dreading the day of school that lay ahead of me in my tired state.

As I predicted school went by slowly and I dozed off in class multiple times much to the annoyance of my teachers. After a short talk with the principal after school about making sure I get enough sleep and not to let it happen again I could finally start the walk home. As I walked a new dread filled me, would it be back tonight?

Forty minutes later and I was walking down the driveway. Seeing the lights from the windows was comforting, it was already getting dark and I really didn’t want to be walking alone at night. I went inside and was instantly cornered by my mother who’d had a phone call from school earlier on. They had told her about me sleeping during lessons and she wasn’t all too happy. I was told I was going to have supper and then get an early night so that it wouldn’t happen again, much to my disdain.

I ate supper as slowly as I could in order to prolong the time it took for me to have to go into that room again. All too soon my plate was cleared and I was sent up to bed with a warning about no TV if I let it happen again. That was the least of my worries.

I climbed into bed and made sure that my door was ajar and the landing light was left on. I could hear the TV and murmurs of my parents which gave me some comfort, at least they weren’t too far away. The room was getting cold again but I refused to go under the covers, the light from the door partially illuminated the room and banishing the darkness giving me courage.

I lay like this for a few hours, partially dozing off when I heard the sound of the TV go silent and movement signalling that my parents were heading for bed. I listened to their door close and sighed, maybe there was nothing after all. The light spilling into the room comforted me and I curled up underneath the covers away from the cold.

I awoke staring into blackness, it took a while for me to realise what was wrong. The light from the landing had gone off, I could tell without leaving the warmth of my bed sheets. I felt an icy chill and memories from the previous night came rushing back. I lay still as a corpse as I held my breath, listening.

It was there, I could hear the rasping rattling sound of its breath. A shuddering sigh escaped my lips and I realised that was a mistake. The hideous breathing intensified, as if some inhuman being had realised its prey was trapped within its grasp. To my horror the breathing got louder, it seemed to lower from the ceiling towards the thin barrier that lay between me and it.

It sounded like it was a few feet above my bed now, its dry rattling was all I could hear. Until once more:

“Don’t peek”

The voice sounded even more terrifying when it was this close, it was all I could do not to scream. I knew that if I tried to make a noise it would silence me before the sound had left my throat. I closed my eyes, tears escaping through my scrunched eyelids as I waited for dawn. And it watched.

I was awoken by my mother yet again, sometime in the early hours I must have passed out from either fear or tiredness. Perhaps both. I felt awful and I must’ve looked it too because my mother did a double take when I rose out of my blankets. She suggested I take the day off school, that I must be ill. I was tempted until she said “A day in bed will do you good”. I sat bolt upright and flat out refused, I was ok, I just felt a little iffy but I’m sure it’ll pass.

My parents both have work and my brother would be at school, there was no way in hell I was staying in the house, in that bedroom on my own. Even in daylight it was an uncomfortable thought.

The school day was another blur, falling asleep in class and speaking to the principal again. He was getting frustrated at my apparent lack of interest in my subjects, seemed to think I was doing it on purpose for attention now. I didn’t argue, sitting in his office after school delayed going back to that room.

That night played out much the same as the one before, except the creature was getting closer once more. Night faded again to a bleary day repeating the same old steps, falling asleep, principles office and dreading going home. This time I was promised a detention after school the following day and if my behaviour continued then they would discuss further options.

That night I sunk into bed once more feeling utterly defeated. It was just going to continue like this, it was going to ruin my life and keep me awake forever. I’d read about people dying from sleep deprivation, was that going to be my fate? Soon enough the breathing started again as I lay powerless beneath the covers. This time it felt like it was merely a few inches from the top of my sheets. I could feel them quiver with each breath the thing took.

“Don’t Peeeeeeek”

It rasped the words so loudly I half expected my parents to come bursting into the room to see what was going on. But as with every other night they were either sound asleep or just deaf to the nightmare that was happening in my room. I could feel pressure on the covers, it was pressed right up against them now. My mind raced in panic, all it had to do was rip of the sheets and it could devour me or take me or do whatever other horrific thing it had in mind.

If this is how I’m going to die I want to go out with a fight at least. I had no idea how strong the monster would be, or if I could even hurt it at all but I had to try. I grabbed the top of my bed sheets and paused for a moment, steeling my resolve. Its gasping breathing had increased now as if it could sense what was happening.

With a roar I pulled the bed sheets down from over my head and swung upwards as hard as I could with my fist. I hit nothing but air. Scanning the room for any signs of the creature I quickly jumped out of bed and sped towards the light flicking it on. As the room filled with brightness my eyes took a while to adjust, I had my back pressed against the wall so nothing could get behind me in my temporary blindness. Once my vision had returned I had a proper look around, rummaging through my cupboards and under the bed. There was no sign of anything abnormal. I stood shivering, after the initial adrenaline rush I was feeling the cold of the room again. My breath appeared mist-like in front of me.

I glanced at the bed again wanting to get back under the covers. After a few moments of consideration I climbed back into the warm blankets. This time I refused to put my head under the covers no matter how cold it was. I had left the light on which gave me comfort, I was sure the thing needed darkness to manifest itself. A glance at my clock told me it was 1.47am. Had I defeated the monster? Maybe it didn’t want me to peek because that was what it gained strength from, fear of the unknown. These thoughts swirled around in my head as my eyelids drooped.

I awoke the next morning feeling refreshed, that was the best nights sleep I’d had in a long time. As my mother came to make sure I was up she commented on my appearance, the bags under my eyes that had been present for the last few days had gone and my face had colour once again.

The day at school went well, not once did I fall asleep and I tried my hardest to catch up on what I missed. I still had the after school detention to get through but even that didn’t seem so bad now I was properly awake. I could use the time to catch up on my work. As the school day drew to a close I went towards the detention hall feeling confident that the past weeks horrors had ended.

After the detention I started the walk home from school. I wanted to hurry because it was already getting dark. By the time I saw the comforting lights of my house the sun had fully set. Opening the door I called out an apology for my lateness before heading into the living room. The television was on, the usual wildlife documentaries my parents watch that I never had much interest in. The room was empty however, so I headed for the kitchen thinking maybe they had already started dinner without me.

Upon entering the kitchen however, I stopped confused. They had indeed started eating without me, plates containing a half eaten meal were sitting on the table. But there was no sign of my parents or my brother. A quick check in the other downstairs rooms confirmed they weren’t there either. I headed upstairs in the vain hope they had decided on a very early night. Even if that was the case they wouldn’t have left their meals like that.

My heart was a dull thud in my chest when I reached the top of the staircase. A peek into my parent’s room showed it empty, the same with my brothers. I was beginning to sweat now as I walked slowly towards my bedroom door. I gripped the door handle, my mind was telling me to turn around and leave, but I had to see. I pushed open the door and looked towards the bed.

Three black silhouettes were sitting up against the headboard, two larger and one smaller. They were the unmistakeable shapes of my parents and brother. Something looked off about them however. I groped towards the light switch as the voice in my head screamed at me to go downstairs and run to the neighbours, to call the police. Ignoring it I flipped the switch.

The vacant eyes of my family were all staring at me, glasslike but somehow they were looking right at me. Their heads were hanging at an unnatural angle, as if their necks had been simply snapped. They had been propped up against the bed like grotesque puppets. A cry was caught in my throat as I stood rooted to the floor. I willed myself to take a step back when I heard it again, the sound that had tormented me all those nights. The breathing really was a death rattle now, it sounded somehow even more full of malice than the previous nights. And it was coming from right behind me.

“You Peeked”.

Credit To – Spamalot2006

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Gazing into the Abyss

May 16, 2015 at 12:00 AM
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“Robert Adam Lane the Third. You gave your soul to Him on May 7th, 1989, and it was a lie. A lie that you told the whole time you held your breath in that brownwater river. A lie you smiled out at that those holyrollers on the bank. Lies are mine, Lies are mine. Mine.” The last “mine” trailed off into a phlegmy wheeze.

These words were clearly audible, despite the man lying face down and away from the windowed door to the isolation cell. The heavy steel meal-flap was standing open to facilitate communication and accommodate feeding times, but usually the cell’s hard surfaces made an echo that distorted every sentence into chaos. This man’s words, though, were not only audible, but guttural, far deeper than the inmate’s normal speaking tones.

“I am His. I am His,” Robert whispered, his voice tight and his chest light from raw fear.

There was no way for this man to have known his full name, and there was no way for him to have known that dark and shameful secret that Robert had never spoken aloud.

He was just a kid when he was baptized. He didn’t really understand the significance or the need until he and his wife had their first son. Introspection accompanied late night feedings and changes; the need for something greater and a higher purpose drove him to accept the religion he’d long ago been a part of, but had never really had be a part of him.

He had taken the job in the county’s number two industry. First was farming, chiefly cattle. Second was the State Prison.

He had been on the job for three years when he encountered Simmons, David R., Number 200400097. Simmons had transferred in from another facility, and he was on year two of a six year sentence out of Atlanta. He had been in medical isolation for most of his incarceration, and he was now in segregation for his own safety and the safety of others. Medically speaking, physically, there was nothing wrong with him. Psychologically, he had several diagnoses that required a small buffet of medications morning and night.

Robert’s encounters with Simmons had been completely routine in nature. Meals were delivered, medications were administered, the head count was conducted. No conversations ever occurred outside of “Good morning, please, and thank you.”

But every day, each and every day that Robert stood shift in the isolation unit, Simmons would “act out” between 2 and 2:15 pm. These episodes mostly consisted of shouting, dancing, stripping, and speaking in tongues or singing. No seizures or convulsions, no physically damaging behavior ever presented itself and necessitated that restraints be used. So regular were these outbursts that somebody could set a watch by them, which was in itself odd…because inmates in isolation had absolutely no way to tell time.

To make matters even more interesting, after a few weeks, Robert’s supervisor claimed that the episodes only went down when Robert was in the building.

There was no exterior window nor any way for Simmons to have heard or seen when Robert was working a duty rotation in Isolation, until Robert himself came to his door.

Some days, Robert never went into the cell blocks, instead, he worked solely in the control room…and still, the episodes presented themselves at around 2pm.

Robert never told anyone at work about what Simmons said. He did his job, day in and day out, and he did his best to pretend that nothing had happened.

He always tried to avoid being in the cell blocks around 2pm.

For several weeks, this worked, until one day, time got away from him, and he found himself doing a head count…at two fifteen.

When Robert came to the window, his heart stopped.

Standing stock-still with his nose inches away from the reinforced glass, Simmons was completely rigid, absolutely, perfectly tense, and on the balls of his feet. Every muscle in his naked, wiry frame was taut, as though his whole body was experiencing a cramp. His eyes were saucers, opened as wide as they would possibly go, and they constantly rolled. Around, around, back until only the whites would show, and then back down, and around and around.

When Robert’s eyes met his, Simmons stopped his eyerolls. Silence filled the cell and the hallway.

Laughter, slow and low, greeted Robert, and then that same guttural voice that had haunted Robert for weeks, spoke.

“Adam Lane the Third. Would you like to see what We do to this man when no one watches? Let Us show you.”

With that, Simmons head-butted the reinforced glass window. His forehead hit with such force that the steel door shook in its frame, and Robert was amazed that the glass didn’t spiderweb. Twice, he hit the window, and before Robert could call for support to get Simmons restrained, a fourth and fifth impact sounded on the steel edge of the windowframe, and as suddenly as the assault began, it ended.

Simmons regained his tensed pose on the balls of his feet. His eyes, still wide as saucers, met Robert’s. Blood slowly poured from large gashes above the inmate’s eyebrows, covering his face in a red mask. There was absolutely no expression, no indication of pain, anger, or distress.

Perfectly impassive, Simmons stared.

Robert broke eye contact and walked on.

A short time later when medics arrived to clean him up, he had curled up and was asleep on his cot, and at final meal-call of the day, he said “Thank you” to Robert in his normal speaking voice as though nothing had happened.

Robert could barely hide the shake in his hands as he handed over the tray of food.

________________________________

Corrections Officer Lane had grown up in the Pentacostal church. His grandmother, 93, still went every Sunday and Wednesday, and twice a month she attended Sunday School.

He was driving her to a Wednesday evening service when he told her about Simmons.

Her hand, covered in parchment-thin skin and decorated with liverspots and bruises, gripped his on the steering wheel. He drove with his left as she, with surprising strength, took his right hand in hers.

“Don’t let him in, son. Don’t you let him. He knows when those b’long to Jesus come ’round. He smells it. He hates it. You pray on it, yhear? You pray to Lordjesus, I’ll pray with you. You pray with me today and you lookit that man in the eye the next time he acts the fool. You lookit’m and you tell’m to give you his name by the will of the Lord. He will. You ain’t gonna unnahstand him, son, but he will. He’ll do it if you’re right with th’Lord. Get right, boy, and stay right. And you get clear. You stay away from that’un.”

His grandmother was telling the truth.

__________________________________________________

Weeks went by, and Robert heard nothing unusual out of inmate 200400097. Just when he was beginning to think that the whole thing was a strange game, something happened.

Simmons had maintained his routine of “showing out” at around 2pm daily. By coincidence, and not design, Robert had not found himself on the floor at these episodes. Ever since the day he’d rammed his head into the doorframe, Simmons had been calmer, only whispering, whimpering quietly, or singing to himself during his regular shows.

It was mid-song that Robert entered line of sight for Simmons. Abruptly, the singing stopped, and Simmons faced the door.

“I don’t like it when you’re here, Lane.”

This came out as all one word, a husky whisper, but still that deep tone that was so unlike every other time the prisoner spoke. “Lane” became “laaaaaaaaaaaaayyyyynnnnnnnnnnn” in the latest attempt to rattle the officer.

“Hey. By Jesus, tell me your Name. Who are you? By Christ’s command, what is your NAME?” Robert shouted the last word, and the echoes filled the concrete hallway.

Simmons recoiled as though struck. He looked to be in physical pain, but Robert heard him speak. The jeering, cheerful face was pinched, and a word came from his lips in a rasp. Robert heard it clearly, but he couldn’t understand it. It sounded foreign, it sounded alien.

It sounded Other.

“I have heard your Name. Never. Speak. To. Me. Again.”

With that, the inmate curled up into a ball on his bed.

That was the last time that David R. Simmons ever spoke to Robert A. Lane, III.
______________________________________

Robert Lane’s hand shook as he snubbed out his last Marlboro Red. A collection of them sat bent, burned and broken in the silver ashtray between us. We both leaned our elbows on the pinewood picnic table where we’d shared a meal and a story.

He thumbed through the pages of the book by Malachi Martin I’d been reading before he sat down to eat with me today. Cover fluttering in the wind, “Hostage to the Devil” had gained its own seat at our table as he put it down next to the remains of my chicken salad sandwich.

“I don’t need to read about this in a book or see it in a movie, man. I’ve seen it in real life. What scares me most, though, is that it has seen me.”

Credit To – Nick O’Caliban

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The Stairs Game

May 15, 2015 at 12:00 AM
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“It’s called the stairs game.”

“The stairs game?”

“That’s the only thing we were able to get her to say, the parents will be here in about an hour they caught a red-eye back from Houston. Try to get something else out of her because we have to hold her until they get here anyway.”

“What do you think I’m going to be able to extract if you couldn’t get anything?”

“Well you’re younger, have less receding hair, and those pants aren’t tighter by regulation are they David?”

“Fuck you man.”

He actually smiled a little, despite being a dick I think he genuinely thought I might be better equipped aesthetically to get more information.

“Please try, you saw the coroner’s report. We can’t just tell the girl’s parents she played some stupid game.”

“I’ll try.”

“Good, I’ll get an ETA on the parents and check back in later.”

She still wasn’t looking at me directly, it’s like something would disappear or she would lose track of something were she to make eye contact.

“You’re saying a game killed your friend?”

She didn’t respond.

“Look, we know that you are in no way responsible for Sara’s death. That’s not what this is about, and I know discussing what happened to her with a complete stranger is not ideal. But if you know Sara you know Sara’s parents; they deserve to know what really happened to their daughter.”

“And I already said what happened.”

“Your official statement is too vague to be considered as a satisfactory explanation.”

“So you’re saying that I need to elaborate or there will be… complications?”

“Kelly, the only thing you told us was that she played the stairs game.”

“And that’s all I can tell you.”

“Kelly be reasonable…”

“Reasonable…?”

I didn’t say anything.

“Look I’m sorry. It’s not that I don’t want to, it’s that I can’t. I could be..”

“You could be what Kelly?”

“I’m sorry.”

He knocked on the glass and pointed to his watch, clearly I didn’t have much time left until the parents arrived.

“Kelly, we need to find a way to talk to each other. I want to be completely honest with you, Sara’s parents are about 15 minutes out. Even though we don’t consider you a suspect at all, we have to rationalize based on the limited evidence we’ve gathered. If you can’t shed more light on what happened tonight, it’s possible Sara’s parents could file charges that would indicate you as being an accessory in Sara’s death.”

“Give me your phone.”

“I’m sorry what?”

“I can…show you a video that kind of explains.”

“You’re telling me you can’t directly tell me what’s going on, but you can show me something on YouTube?”

“Do you want answers or not?”

Reluctantly, as I’d bought it literally the day before, I pulled the iPhone out of my pocket and handed it to her.

“Thanks. What’s the password for wifi here?”

“jUStice6683”

“Seriously?”

“I didn’t choose it.”

This was the first time her face warmed into an expression that matched her age; but only for as long as it took her to type with her thumbs.

“Before I show you this..”

“Yeah?”

“You have to realize I didn’t want any part in this.”

“Part in what exactly?”

“Yeah, that sounds bad.”

“Try to explain it?”

I tried to keep my eye contact friendly, but I was starting to think that it was possible that Kelly played a greater role in Sara’s death.

“It’s like being in a group project.”

I was noticeably confused by this statement.

“As an adult?”

“Jesus, no. Like in school. I never tried to stand out in school, it was never my thing. I was much more confident doing the work and having my name on it while someone else presented it to the class.”

“I think I get that.”

“Alright. But this is the bad version, I think it only really happens to you once academically. You go out of your way to make sure any sort of non-speaking portion of the project is well done. Historically asking someone else to do it allows your contribution to be seen and no heard.”

“That sounds pretty standard.”

“Yeah but there’s the one time it doesn’t work out. The person you’ve elected to explain your work gets it wrong. They’re indifferent because their only role is to briefly explain the work of someone else, someone smarter. So they goof off, and try to amuse your classmates instead of your teacher. At first, it’s not the worst thing really; quite in fact you almost feel like you’re getting to experience a popular glow by proxy. Like this dude who will grow up, just to grow up is somehow making you seem more appealing.”

“What does this have to do with…”

“HI I’M JASMINE JOLLY KILL AND YOU’RE WATCHING THE SCARRRRRRRRRRRRRY STORY COUNTDOWN ON MY CHANNEL…”

She paused the video.

“What I’m getting at is that you never asked to for that glow, or the subsequent disapproving glances from the teacher who liked you because you weren’t interested in that glow until he started talking. It’s the feeling of being tarnished personified.”

We just sort of waited in silence for a few seconds, she was checking to make sure the clip was almost fully loaded.

“Sara was reckless. It wasn’t enough to be thin or happy or smart; she had to be that girl who wasn’t afraid. I don’t mean ‘I’m going to ride a motorcycle reckless’, on her 21st birthday she drove with a blindfold on for nearly a mile.”

“That’s fucking stup…”

I did not mean to let that slip out, but it got a laugh out of Kelly; the more I spoke to her the more concerned I became for her.

“No you’re right it is fucking stupid but that was Sara’s temperament.”

“I’m guessing you were the one who told her when to accelerate and stop?”

“All my life unfortunately. Some friend right?”

From a little ways away I heard the door to the main office slam. The parents would be briefed by the officer and asked to identify the body in the morgue. So this bought me about another 15 minutes; I would have to be the one to accelerate now.

“The stairs game.”

She shut her eyes and held them shut for nearly a minute.

“I’m really sorry but you did ask, I’m already losing 1 with you.”

“I don’t under…”

She hit play.

“Hey ghouls, gals, and geeks! It’s your girl Jasmine Jolly Killer here counting down what I think are some of the scariest creepypasta or internet urban legends I’ve found! Now for those of you who don’t know what creepypasta is it started out as online horror stories which were then “copied and pasted” into e-mails sent back and forth all across the world wide web. Some of the more notable characters from this collection of cyber horror are Slender Man, The Rake, and a lovable kids show called Candle Cove.”

She started scratching the black paint of her nails as I held my phone in my hand.

“Now I wanted to dig a little deeper for you guys because hey you’re my peeps and I need to hook you up with some hardcore horror stories or my reputation will be caput, haha. Now the first story I found is a little boring but bare with me because I still think it’s pretty damn spooky. Now a lot of creepypastas, and worthwhile stories in general, usually are built upon an object or location that when sought after by a protagonist, who whether noble or not, usually experiences something macabre as a result. My absolute new favorite is called…”

Kelly grabbed the phone out of my hand.

“Hey!”

“Sorry this girl talks FOREVER, I’m skipping to the…here.”

“Thanks.”

With the phone back in my hand I pressed play once more.

“I mean can you believe she would eat her boyfriend’s fingers without knowing?! Haha, I feel like I’ve been there. Do you feel me YouTube? Do you feel me? Alright, possibly what I found to be the most psychologically disturbing story that makes elevators way more appealing. The stairs game, as it’s called, is not really a “game” it’s more of a dare? Whatever. Essentially you need to be alone in your house, or I guess alone anywhere really as long as there’s some sort of staircase. It can’t be something with 4 or 7 steps it needs to be 11 steps or more or this won’t work. Now you need to place a candle on the very top step and the very bottom step, nothing specific so we’re talking some shit from Bath and Body or those weird Mexican divinity candles with like a picture of Mary on them. They have to be lit within the same minute, and the bottom one must be lit first. Now…”

My ringtone started playing, that annoying little Marimba standard tone. I still hadn’t figured this thing out fully.

“Will you excuse me for a minute?”

Kelly just sort of looked through me.

“Yeah I’ve got time.”

“Thanks.”

I stepped into the small hallway with the bench and water cooler.

“Babe, you can’t call me at work like this I’ve told you.”

“I’m…I’m sorry I know it’s just you weren’t here at 3:00 today and I got worried.”

“John we can’t keep doing this. It was a year ago and we weren’t even together.”

“No it’s..not that. Well it’s not totally that at least; look I’m sorry. I’m going to Whole Foods now is there anything you want to eat later?”

“Aside from you?”

He laughed on the other end.

“Make that pasta thing from the other day. That was really good, and if two pieces of cheesecake magically appear in your cart know that I will eat them both.”

“You’re ridiculous, but so am I for calling. I love you and I like you.”

“I love you and I like you too. Also I know you like all that horror stuff have you watched the YouTuber JasmineJollyKiller before?”

“Are you kidding me she’s like the queen of YouTube horror. I live for her weekly updates. She just reviewed “It Follows” a couple hours ago. But I don’t want to keep you, sorry for calling again I just…feel better when I hear your voice sometimes.”

“It’s mutual. Later babe.”

“Bye.”

I walked back into the room and Kelly had apparently gotten up to get water without me noticing.

“Wife?”

For some reason she was using a coffee stirrer in her water.

“Close, boyfriend.”

She looked up at me with sort of drunk Zooey Deschanel eyes.

“You’re gay?”

“Much to the disappointment of my father, yes.”

“How long have you and…”

“John. We actually just got back together recently we had some…”

She was listening more intently to me than I was to her 10 minutes ago.

“Problems?”

“Something like that.”

“You need to finish.”

“I’m sorry?”

“The video.”

I rolled my eyes.

“Of course I thought you meant…”

Her nails were all black now. The chipped paint from before the call somehow revived itself, strange. I tilted my phone and pressed play.

“Now, at the top of the stairs you need to write down the number of stairs you have but backwards. So like, if there were 14, you would write 41. Fold the sheet of paper twice and light one end with the top step candle then walk down counting the number of steps out loud. Blow out the piece of paper and the side that’s not burnt light with the bottom step candle. Have something you can put the burning paper in because it has to burn completely for this to work. Once you’re paper is ashes return to the top stair.”

Kelly was looking directly at the back of my phone like she was burning a hole into it.

“Once again, make sure you’re alone. I would never try this and obviously it’s not something real; but hey there are people out there that go out of their way to make it seem real. No matter what these are just stories guys, the steps are specific because they want it to seem like something important. It’s not real.”

Kelly laughed.

“What?”

“Why would someone go to that much trouble if it’s not real? What’s the purpose?”

“I guess..I guess people just want something more exciting out of life? Maybe they feel like their idea could evolve to the point where it was almost real.”

“What’s almost real, exactly?”

I didn’t even realize I had paused it again.

“Whatever, you’re almost done now.”

“Yeah I…guess.”

I pressed play one more time.

“I’ve only found one ‘interaction’, take this as more than likely fictional, in which a second person was present and the game got creepier. Now there are also about 100 more instances where having another person makes no difference, because once again this is some halloween slumber party bullshit haha. The so called interview with the ‘second person’ just sort of…”

The video screen went static and asked me to re-load the video. I clicked the small sad face and was able to reload it, but it seemed to skip past the part I was at.

“Once on the top stair, shut your eyes. Walk down five steps and then on the fifth step turn around and walk backwards down the remainder. The goal is to trip in this instance, as crazy as it sounds. It’s not listed in the rules but if you’ve done this correctly the last step should be missing. Now once you’re at the bottom of your less than one stair turn around but don’t open your eyes. Very carefully find the bottom step candle and blow it out. There are several variations but they all STRESS the rule that you cannot open your eyes before blowing out the bottom step candle.”

He knocked again on the door with more ferocity than before, like he was trying to get in more than get my attention. But I had 1:43 left.

“The idea is that there’s another you, a doppelgänger who will blow out the candle at the top of the stairs at the exact same time you blow out the bottom stair candle. That’s why you need to play this alone otherwise it’s hard to establish whether or not this “game” was a success. There was one variation I read in which they did the top stair instead of the bottom and the person was ‘pushed by something’ down the stairs. Not only injuring themselves but causing the bottom candle to spark some curtains and eventually a full fledge raging inferno. Did it happen? Probably not? But hey it sure is creepy right?

Now full disclosure I do NOT want you to attempt this but my friends at Cedar Night Scents have provided me a discount code for what they’re calling their “ritual candle collection”. Four candles, all made naturally and include a small description of the perfect “ritual” to use them for. I like them because they smell fucking good, but hey maybe you feel the intrinsic need to prove yourself or scare the hell out of your friends. The candle code is JJKILLER14 and gives you 30% off the regular price. Personally I’m loving the “white magic” candle and have bought about 3 since getting in contact so they have the Jasmine Jolly Killer seal of approval. Okayyyyy? Also I posted this story on Instagram earlier and I thought it would be fun to take some questions to see if I could find anything that resembles an answer so lets see the top 10!”

I looked at Kelly.

“Do I need to watch this part.”

“Oh, definitely.”

“Dear JJK, love that nickname haha, what happens if the candle at the top stays lit after the ritual? PS I love your smokey eye tutorial.

Well from what I can tell that’s what happens about 98% of the time, and honestly anyone that’s “stating” it’s blown out is probably lying. So I imagine nothing happens really.”

“Dear JJK, you never elaborated on what happens if someone is present while you play the game, what happens?! Love your videos and think you are the cutest.

Well thank you firstly! God knows I try to stay pretty. But…”

The video began to erratically jump.

“Haha, haha, haha. I guess…PRETTY PRETTY PRETTY. I love love 7 PEOPLE FOUND DEAD love love you all all all. Subscribe, like, follow ow ow ow and .. I guess I guess I guess I guess.”

“Is that it?”

Kelly was just staring off again.

“That’s about as far as you’ll get I imagine.”

“Okay, so I know a little more about the stairs game now. Can you connect the dots for me a little more?”

“I was only able to get about 3 minutes further into that video than you did. I think it’s because I’m here you can’t finish it, honestly.”

“Kelly that wouldn’t affect video in that way.”

She just shrugged.

“Maybe you’re right. Maybe I didn’t see my best friend blowing out a candle, and then see her again blowing out another candle at the same time. Maybe that thing didn’t walk slowly down those stairs towards the real Sara.”

I kept eye contact.

“I kept pulling her arm but she wouldn’t move, it was like she was rooted to the spot. I fell backwards as it bit into her bottom eyelid and ripped it downwards until her eye was barely dangling in it’s socket.”

I heard the banging on the door again.

“At one point I thought it was kissing her but it was just ripping her bottom lip off with it’s teeth. The last time I saw life in Sara’s eyes were seconds after. Her smile looked surreal. Unable to cover her bottom teeth as the skin flap hanging on by a few strands of skin and muscle.”

I suddenly had a coughing fit.

“Whatever it was it walked back up the stairs counting the steps in a voice that sounded like it came from every direction. That’s when I called 911.”

Once I got the cough under control, I reached out an held her hand.

“That wasn’t easy for you, and I know that. Thank you. It may seem arbitrary or dangerous to you but the information you gave me will be very helpful. Once again you’re not at fault at all and I’m going out of my way to…”

“Just stop.”

“What?”

“This thing…this game. Once you’re a part you, you start losing steps.”

The door suddenly slammed open, and Kelly was held by two men who held her in place. He came in with handcuffs and putting up no resistance Kelly complied.

“We were just discussing…”

“Parents got a look at the body, they’re pressing charges now.”

“Kelly I…”

“The more people you show, the more you’ll lose. I’m so sorry.”

“Kelly what does…”

The men were being excessively rough with her, one actually slamming her into a wall and punching her lower abdomen.

“FUCKING WATCH IT.”

I tried to follow as much as I could, but once they got to the stairs Kelly tripped on the second step flinging herself towards the the side. Kelly fell straight through the stairs. Falling all the way to the bottom, snapping her own neck in 3 places. The expression on her face almost looked like a grim relief, that face has since be etched into my brain.

It’s been nearly a week of dealing with both Sara’s and Kelly’s parents, mutual attorneys, fellow officers, security specialists, and even John. They all wanted to hear about how bizarre the case was, or how it was linked to other unexplained deaths that followed it. In most instances I would just send the same video Kelly showed me, it was the easiest way to explain the situation. But I only started sending it after I started tripping all the time. I don’t know how many people I actually spoke with regarding the case but after so many I started to get this panicked feeling. I live with John on the second story of our building, about 9 blocks from the precinct. There’s always been 23 steps from my door to the street but yesterday there was only 13.

Credit To – xcessiveknight

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The Real Town of Blanche

May 14, 2015 at 12:00 AM
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I turn on the lamp as I sit down at my desk. I softly remove the ribbon that was holding the diary together. As I open the strange looking book, a hard smell of rotten pages hits me. Interestingly enough the text is still intelligible, something you wouldn’t really expect when you find a diary in a trashed house that has been burnt down by the owners. The police didn’t bother demolishing it, so they’ve just restricted access to foreign personnel. In order to gain access to the house you must go over to the police with your ID card, so you can prove that you are in one way or another, related to the former owners. My last name definitely helps. Or better said, the fact that an officer called me to warn me about the tragedy, helps even more. The officer stated that he found my phone number in an agenda that has also been spared by the fire. I was obviously in shock when I heard the story over the phone, so my first question was: “Is my brother and his family OK?” To which he replied: “They… they’re all dead!”. A moment of silence, followed by the officer’s worried voice: “Is everything alright, sir!??” snapped me back to reality. I had to fly over to Europe as soon as possible to investigate. When I arrived, as I priory mentioned, the police came to the conclusion that the fire was actually started by one of the family’s members. That didn’t really make much sense to me at that moment. In fact it didn’t make sense at all. How could’ve they known? But then again I am no expert, so I avoided posing questions just so I wouldn’t make a fool of myself in front of a legalized and specialized institution that has been dealing with over 1000 crime cases over the course of a decade. But this was no crime at all, since there was no criminal to start the fire. I requested the permission to take a look at the house, and at my brother’s personal belongings, thinking that maybe I could find something that would lead me to the roots of this mystery.

John was always an excellent brother to me. You can probably already tell that he was the older one. He knew to work his way around tricky situations, that’s why I was shocked when I found out that he… died. I can already imagine him grabbing his wife’s hand, his kids, and bash right through the window over to safety, then pull out his phone and call the firefighters. But that didn’t happen. They all died. “WHY!??” I kept repeating over and over in my head, why…? When I entered the house, I couldn’t help but realize how fast they must have died. The fire must’ve been huge. A common misconception spread amongst many people, is that dying in a fire must be really painful, to be surrounded by tall flames, knowing there’s no way to escape but trying to dash through them, which ultimately might lead to you collapsing to the floor under the excruciating heat, burning there, like a stuffed turkey in an oven, the only difference being that you’re alive, and feeling the actual pain. Sure, burning alive is extremely painful, but in 99% of the cases, people die of smoke intoxication, before the flames even reach them. By the time the fire claims its victim and turns it into ash, the soul is long gone. That’s exactly what happened to John, my beloved brother, and his family. Their bodies were beyond recognition, only a slightly taller pile of dust helped the legists tell them apart from other objects that have been turned into dust and ashes by the fire. I headed to my brother’s room. It wasn’t difficult at all to move around and get through rooms and hallways. Obviously all the doors were gone. In fact pretty much everything made out of wood was gone. There was nothing for me to see there anymore… Or was it? As I was preparing to leave I stepped on a solid… solid something. I couldn’t tell what it was, until I bent down to look at it and swept the dust away. It was the diary. That was a little bit unsettling. How could have the diary survived? Well, even now by looking at it, I can tell it is in a deplorable state, but you’d normally expect it to be inexistent. Disregarding this peculiar fact, I picked up the diary, and decided to head off to an apartment I used to own downtown, when I still lived in Amsterdam. I didn’t sell it, thinking that I might visit John sometimes, but I never really got the time and the opportunity to do so, only now, under unpleasant circumstances, when it’s already too late. I moved to The States a long time ago. I think it’s been almost 8 years since I moved to San Francisco. But my brother always preferred Europe over America. He also loved traveling, God, how much he loved traveling with his family. Every holiday, which you’d probably spend wasting your time, he’d spend planning the perfect trip.

I remember him calling me last time, almost tripping with excitement, as he was telling me: “Oh God, I am so happy, you know that I never really got to see France. And now, after so many years, given the fact that I’ve been almost everywhere around Europe with my family, on my own money that I always struggle to gather before holidays begin, the company I work for has given me a salary raise to pay for my efforts since my boss told me that I am probably one of their most dedicated workers. Isn’t that just great!?” By then, I was having a hard time dealing with my own workplace, which I never really liked, so I was really stressed, always refused to go out with friends, and all that, but whenever you talked to John, he always cheered you up somehow. He had that tone in his voice that immediately gave you a boost of confidence and made you feel really good. He’s always been the optimistic guy, even in the worst of situations. On the other side, I don’t really classify myself as a pessimistic person, I’m more of a combination between an optimistic and a realistic guy. I do see things for what they are, but I try to get over with it whenever I’m having a bad time. His phone call really cheered me up that day. I responded: “Oh wow, that’s really great. I can’t believe it. You will get to see Cote d’Azur, Paris, and many other attractions I’d like to see as well [He knew that I just didn’t really have the time to go in these trips together with him due to my workplace]. I just… Wow… And your boss sounds like an amazing person. It’s finally starting to look good for you brother, it’s finally looking good!”. He replied: “I know Dan, I know, thanks for being supportive, you’ve always believed in me more than anyone else, and now, here I am, I did not disappoint you. I never really expected to go on a trip without having to gather money for it throughout a few months! We’re probably even going to afford a fancy hotel now, and all that good stuff –“. And the call suddenly stopped. I tried to call him back but he didn’t answer.

Later on he texted me that his phone battery died, but there wasn’t much for us to talk about anyway so he wished me good luck for my interview [I almost forgot to mention that I was planning to quit my old job, as I hated it so much, and the new one is still the job I love and own today], and that about sums it up. We haven’t spoken since then, only when he returned to Amsterdam from his trip, but we only had a quick Skype conversation, as he was preparing his kids for school. After that we’ve both been really busy, me with my new workplace, him in his new position at work, so we haven’t talked at all in almost two months. Until I received the call from the police officer. And now here I am, in my apartment, in Amsterdam, sitting at my desk, ready to open the diary to unveil its secrets. Not surprising at all, the first page of the diary just comes off the edge of the book. I can’t tell what’s going on, my mind is still having flashbacks, not letting me rationalize. I might need some sleep right now, but I… I feel like I have to read the diary. Me and my brother never had any secrets. Of course a diary is a personal thing, but if he’d owned one he would have told me. My eyes must be playing some sort of trick on me, this isn’t John’s handwriting… Oh wait, I think I know! It belongs to his son. I remember John telling me that his son really loved writing down stories about how their trips went, and much more. Each night he would close the door to his room, and write down everything that happened that day. It seems the diary was a habit he didn’t plan to give up on all of a sudden. There are no days missing. Except for the last week… It’s missing entirely. But there’s something even stranger. For a 10 year old boy, his handwriting is actually pretty. And John always praised about his good grades. So I guess he was a smart kid. Heh, just like his father… [I shed a tear that falls on the diary’s page, soaking the dry ink, making it spread a little bit on the corner of the page]. The strange thing that I notice is that his handwriting suddenly changed at one point in the diary. To be specific, on June 20th 2014, when they left Amsterdam for France. Now obviously, everybody’s handwriting changes at one point, but for a kid, quite unlikely.

One more thing I can’t pass by is that he progressively moved on to the usage of the word “friend” instead of “diary”. He moved on from “Dear diary”, to “Dear friend”. I don’t really know how much a diary can mean to a person, because I never owned one, but I guess there is a special connection to it, you know, something similar to a teddy bear. Hey, I’m not judging anyone. Well it’s finally time to start reading I guess:

“ Dear friend, [Exactly what I’ve said before]

France is awesome so far. I’m really enjoying it. Right now we’re sitting at an inn in Blanche– ”. Umm wait, what!?? I must admit that I am not good at geography, but to be really honest I’ve never heard of “Blanche” so far. Should I keep reading? “ Blanche is a strange town, but I guess it’s OK, we’re leaving soon anyway! ”. I’m confused. Good thing I brought my laptop with me, so I can look the name up. The name does return indeed some historical data related to France, Blanche was some sort of queen I think, but besides that, nothing more. There’s no town named Blanche located in France. He must have misspelled the name. I should continue reading:

“ I don’t know when, but we’ll be leaving. Our car broke down and daddy can’t really fix it right now. He says he must find some parts for the car or I don’t know. He looked a bit concerned. He loves his car. He’s had it for almost 6 years now. Mommy and sis aren’t that happy with the idea that we must stay in this town for a while. The good thing is that we can now afford separate rooms at the inn with daddy’s salary raise. It’s not that we can’t afford a hotel now, but there are no hotels in this… village. ” [Aha! So after all Blanche is in fact a village. Villages don’t usually show up on maps or Wikipedia. That must be it, he’s probably mistaken it for a town and found out later on that it’s a village] “ Also something really strange happened. But I can’t really be sure of it. Mom and dad say they’ve been hearing me talk in my sleep. But I don’t know what to say, I think they’re lying to me, or… Anyway time to go to sleep, that’s it for this day friend, see you tomorrow. Take good care of yourself.”

As I said, creepy. I don’t really know why he was treating the diary like a real person. Anyway, it’s getting late now, maybe I should go to sleep, but I really feel like I must uncover this mystery. I really want to know what happened. This diary might or might not hold the answers to my question, but I don’t really care right now:

“ Dear friend,

Today something amazing happened. I made a new friend. I wanted to be sure of it before I tell you. I’ve been dreaming of the same guy for a few nights, over and over again since we’ve arrived here in Blanche. He is a tall guy, with red eyes, but a pleasant red, I can’t really describe it, it’s not scary however. But it’s a bit creepy because I can never speak whenever he shows up in my dreams. He said that the only way for me to talk to him is you. But he said I must not let mommy and daddy or anyone else know. ” [Now what’s this? OK, fine, he is 10 year old, or, sorry, was 10 year old, but I think that the time for imaginary friends should be over by that age. Then again, I am in no position to judge anybody] “You are the only one allowed to know. He didn’t tell me his name however, and I don’t know how to address him. ‘Could you please tell me your name when we meet again?’ Also I can never make out of him more than his red eyes, he sits in the dark. There is light in my dreams, but he says light is bad for him, and he won’t show his face. But I’m sure he’s pretty. I don’t have many friends so I’m really happy with him. I actually want to go to sleep right now, to see him again, maybe we can play together! ”

Well, this is very unsettling. This doesn’t really seem like an ordinary imaginary friend, as he mentioned he only sees him in his dreams, and he’s been dreaming of him every night. This is really getting interesting, but I should go to sleep. My mind is playing tricks on me. I hear things cracking in the kitchen, and footsteps. But it’s the same as the story with the fire, only a different scenario. It’s just my imagination sending signals to my subconscious, trying to alter different aspects of reality, tricking me into thinking that something is wrong. The urge to check if everything is OK is almost uncontrollable for many people, but I am different. As I mentioned before, I am sort of a realistic guy. It’s probably nothing. I’m going to read a few more pages. After all, maybe I’ll be able to sleep better if I get to the end of this diary:

“ Dear friend,

Last night was awesome. I can really talk to him, through you. He said he can’t tell me his name, because he would be punished for that. Today I’m going to try out something more interesting. ‘Could you please do something about daddy’s car? Mom and sis really want to leave, they miss Amsterdam, and we haven’t even got to see Paris and the Eiffel Tower. I promise I won’t tell them it was you who fixed the car if you can do that! Nobody ever touches my diary, only me.’

Oh wow, now I’m not even sure whether I’m lucid or not right now. What am I reading? It’s a kid’s diary, I know that, I shouldn’t be that amazed, but it’s still creepy, and I don’t know what to do about it. I can’t even… There’s only one way to know. I know for sure John arrived in Paris on 26th of June, 2014 of course. He posted a picture on his Facebook, now that’s what I call a fancy selfie, with the Eiffel Tower in the background. And this page of the diary was apparently written on 25th of June. I, I should read it, but…:

“ Dear friend,

He did it! Daddy’s car is now working. I don’t know how, or what kind of powers he has, but he helped us get out of that village, and now we’re in Paris. ‘Thank you very much!’ Also I feel like I should apologize to him as well. As we were preparing to leave Blanche, daddy went into my room to pack my things. Please never have me go through such panic again. It was OK for daddy to see you and even read you before, but now it’s forbidden, I’ve already told you, that’s what the man with the red eyes said. ‘I am really sorry! The diary fell off the table, and somehow opened at the latest page. Daddy picked it up and probably wanted to read it, but fortunately I stepped into the room at the right time to stop him from doing so! It won’t happen again, I promise!’ Something strange happened as well. As we were leaving, when my parents weren’t around, the innkeeper walked up to me and gave me a ribbon [Probably the one I’ve just removed earlier], a beautiful one. I asked him: ‘What’s this for?’ And he said to me: ‘Oh, you know you don’t want mommy and daddy to open that diary. This will hold the pages together, preventing anyone from reading it.’ Before I had time to ask him another question he went off to welcome the new guests. That startled me a bit. Why did that happen? How did he know that mommy and daddy were not supposed to read the diary? Did he actually find it and read it? I know I was the only one with a key to my room, but obviously he must have had a spare one in case I lost mine. But I’ve spent almost all my time in my room. I never left for more than 30 minutes as there wasn’t much you could do in town. ” [He’s calling it town again] “ I… I don’t know. I didn’t like that man very much. He’s been strange since we’ve arrived in Blanche. But he wasn’t even probably a bad person after all, I think. He must have seen me writing to you, and that’s all. Then again I don’t blame him, I don’t really like strangers at all, I don’t hate him specifically! ”

I am speechless. So they did leave Blanche on 26th of June, and the car was fixed miraculously. Or not that miraculously, now that I know the story behind it. Is it just a pure coincidence in fact? Did John find the parts for the car that very day? Is the man with the red eyes real? Was his son a shy person that didn’t have many friends? Why did he start mentioning the man with the red eyes only after they arrived in Blanche? So many questions. I don’t know what to believe. I am curious to what the diary has to offer me furthermore. But at the same time I feel afraid. And even more tired, but scared, I can’t go to sleep right now. Who is the man with the red eyes? I guess I have to keep reading.

“ Dear friend,

We are back home. Tomorrow’s first day of school. My daddy and the teachers say I’m a really good student. But I hate going to school because of my classmates. I think that it’s time for a change. I’m going to need the help of the man with the red eyes. But first, I will wait. What if they changed during this holiday? I hope they will treat me accordingly, or else it might get nasty for them. I don’t want to hurt anybody, but I don’t like being hurt by someone else. I’ve talked to daddy and he said revenge is not good. He proceeded to speak with my teachers, and they’ve calmed down for a week or two. School ended shortly after that. Tomorrow’s a new beginning for me, and hopefully for them. ‘I don’t know who you are, but thanks for coming with me. I appreciate your support. So far I’ve asked you to help me with minor things, but tomorrow that might change.’

Did I leave the window open? I feel a slight breeze. Or is it my imagination again. Most likely. I am pretty sure I closed it, or did I? It doesn’t matter. I am by far shocked by the stories I’m reading right now. I don’t feel any better. I must keep reading:

“ Dear friend,

As I assumed, they haven’t changed at all, they started bullying me again. I knew they would do that, but I still had to make sure. Normally I’d speak to daddy again, but this time I’m not going to do it. This time it will be different. ‘I really hate Ray. He’s the worst. He never leaves me alone. Could you please make him stay at home? For a while at least? I promise nobody will ever know it was you, not even if the teachers ask what’s happened to him! Thanks in advance, and see you tonight!’

I don’t know what to expect anymore. At some point or another, it was pretty obvious that he was going to ask for something like that. But continuing reading the diary will reveal whether the “car fixing itself” was just a mere coincidence, or the man with the red eyes is… real. I’m still hoping for the best. The man with the red eyes must be the work of a boy with an extraordinary imagination that unfortunately passed away. The only explanation as to why the man with the red eyes started to show up in his dreams only when they arrived in Blanche, is because they were on holiday. I will explain. In fact, this page of the diary might be the answer I’m looking for. You see, if he was bullied on a daily basis, he’s also must been really stressed. The mind was desperately trying to find a way to release that stress, but he was fearing the next day of school. He probably wanted to stay at home, in his room, alone with his diary. But he had to go to school. When holidays finally arrived, he started to feel a little bit relieved. And his mind created the man with the red eyes in order to get rid of all the stress he’s gathered during school days. John probably fixed the car, no, John definitely fixed the car. If he hadn’t fixed it that very day, the man with the red eyes would’ve most likely dissolved into inexistence, due to the fact that John’s son would’ve felt deceived by the man with the red eyes, betrayed. But given the fact that John somehow fixed the car, it fed his son’s imagination, tricking him into thinking that the man with the red eyes fixed the car in fact. And so he lived on in the boy’s imagination, up until now…

That’s my take on the story, and I strongly believe that I am right, no matter what. It can’t be any other way. I remember when I was a kid, I also used to have an imaginary friend, when I was about 7 or 8, but I soon realized there’s no such thing as imaginary friends. So I simply gave up on him. Soon I made real friends which were more fun to play with, obviously. At the age of 10 I might have even forgotten his name. It’s useless to try to recall it now. L… L something, I don’t know… I don’t care. However, my imaginary friend did have a name. The man with the red eyes has no name apparently. Well, I mean John’s son mentioned in the diary that the man with the red eyes would be punished for saying his name. What could that possibly mean? I am upset with the fact that he didn’t insist upon finding out his name. Usually kids are very curious at the age of 10. I wonder if… Nah, it can’t be. I definitely need sleep right now. But still… I might give it a shot after I finish reading the diary, not too many pages left anyway. I… I just feel like writing down a simple question in the diary: “What’s your name?”, and then go to sleep, but that won’t lead anywhere. I am already being delusional, it’s a bit disturbing to read such stories told by a 10 year old kid. But the next page of the diary will finally reveal the truth, I hope:

“ Dear friend,

Today I found out something rather disturbing. I am thankful to the man with the red eyes for the fact that Ray did not come to school today. But… I found out that he got ran over by a car, and he died. ‘Please don’t do this again. The teacher was upset with me when I told her that he had it coming for being mean to me, but I didn’t know at that time that he died. Today nobody bullied me, but I didn’t expect you to kill him, why did you do that!?? We must talk tonight. I am mad at you!’

Yeah… OK, this is… odd. Well, this should have shown up on the local news and newspapers. I should try and look it up on my laptop. […] Oh God…, he is right. But that’s not all to it. The page in the diary dates 3rd of September. You’d normally expect the newspaper to go stir crazy about the story the very next day. But they published the story on 5th of September only, and it’s…, well:

“[…] His parents state that Ray wasn’t the best kid in town, but definitely not the type that would like to get in trouble. The driver that committed this horrible crime is yet to be found, as there weren’t many witnesses at that point, and he just drove off like nothing happened. The police has set up control points in the major areas of the city. No driver is allowed to leave this town, until the criminal is located and arrested. A peculiar fact is that Ray’s teacher, completely terrified by this incident, died the very next day to what the medics would believe to be a heart attack. The strange thing is that she’d never had any health problems.”

So the teacher died as well… Why!?? There’s no request for a punishment in the diary. There’s only this line which I’ve previously read: ‘The teacher was upset with me when I told her that he had it coming for being mean to me, but I didn’t know at that time that he died.’ So why did she die as well? Was it AGAIN, only a coincidence? Was Ray’s death a coincidence? I have to keep reading the diary:

“ Dear friend,

He killed my teacher too. Why did he do that? I didn’t say I was upset with her. I only said that SHE was upset with me, and the man with the red eyes finished her off, just like he did with Ray. I don’t like him anymore. Last night he was really scary. He wouldn’t talk to me anymore. But he had a really big and creepy grin. He would stare at me but… I think he moved closer to me, and it’s getting darker in my dreams. I’m afraid of him. I don’t want to sleep anymore. ‘Please stop killing people, I don’t like it!’

I am almost getting to the end of this diary, but I still refuse to believe that the man with the red eyes is real. However, he seems to be the only… “logical” explanation to all these events invading all of sudden John’s son life. To be really honest now, the real problem here is that not many 10 year old kids own a diary. As a parent, I would be a bit concerned about my son owning a diary at such a young age. Again, I know that a diary is a personal thing, but as a parent, I would check it from time to time, just to see what my child is trying to hide from me. I must admit however, that I’d have no idea what to do if I found a diary such as this one. Call the police? Call a psychiatrist?

Nevertheless John should have done something about it. I’m in no position to judge but as I mentioned before, he always had an answer to his problems. But most likely he was unaware of his son’s “imaginary friend”, the man with the red eyes… I can’t be surprised anymore, no matter what the next page in the diary holds for me, however… this isn’t John’s son writing. WHAT!??… WHAT’S THIS:

“ Dear friend,

I am starting to like the man with the red eyes again! ‘I really like you, man with the red eyes. Can you please do me the biggest favor of all times? Daddy can be really annoying sometimes, walking into my room without permission. He never touched my diary, but he might be tempted to do so one day. It’s already too dangerous to be around my family. Make daddy grab a gasoline tank and spread it around the house, make him do this at night, when everyone’s sleeping. He should save the last drops for him, sis, mommy and…me! He should then grab a lighter and set the house on fire, together with us. I am really sorry it had to come to this, but I just can’t be around you anymore, maybe you’ll find a new friend, a worthy one, I am really sorry that I couldn’t live up to your expectations! But this way you will be free, you won’t be tied to me anymore, and that’s what you do with those you love. You set them free!’

I said that nothing can surprise me anymore, oh how wrong I was… WHAT IS THE MEANING OF THIS!?? Was it someone else that has been using John’s son diary? Or… was it actually still him!??

“ Dear friend,

I am CRYING. I am really scared. I don’t know what to do, what’s this? A random page showed up, and I am sure it wasn’t me who wrote it! Why? Who did this? It must have been the man with the red eyes. Last night he was laughing in my dream, and he still wouldn’t talk to me, I could feel him getting closer and closer to me. I am afraid. I won’t sleep anymore. I don’t want my family to die. I don’t want to die. Please, someone help me. ‘Why are you doing this to me? Please leave, please stop it! I don’t want to talk to you anymore… YOU’RE NOT A FRIEND ANYMORE. You can only hurt me if I go to sleep, but tonight I won’t sleep!’

Wow, I have some really bad habits. When I’m really focused, I start playing with stuff around me. Well, normally what kids usually do, you know, chewing on a pen, etc. But… I’m holding a cutter, playing with it. Was it here on my desk all the time? Maybe I’m just being paranoid. I can hear noises again, footsteps.. It must’ve been on the desk. I was just too busy to notice it, because of this diary. The next page is really scribbled:

“ Dear friend,

I am still alive. We… are still alive, I haven’t slept the entire night, and this is the first time I’m writing to you in the morning. The man with the red eyes was… under my bad last night. I could hear him whispering to me, trying to persuade me to go to sleep. I was keeping my eyes wide open, so I wouldn’t fall asleep, but I imagined him showing up in front of my face and dragging me under the bed. I was sobbing silently. I think he was enjoying it. I am afraid, I don’t know what to do, but I still have to go to school, I will take you with me this time! ”

This was played smartly by him. He took the diary with him. Well at least I think it was a smart move. And apparently the man with the red eyes can only attack while he sleeps. That’s really strange, but… I guess he couldn’t take it anymore without some sleep, since they… died. Oh and I was wrong about them not suffering as well. If what the diary states is true, John must have set himself, his family, and the house on fire. Looks like I am getting to the bottom of this story. I wouldn’t be surprised however if I wake up tomorrow to find out that I am just being delirious, and nothing bad happened in fact, only an unfortunate accident, and this diary is in fact not readable, only my mind making up stories. That has to be it, but I have to finish reading it:

“ Dear friend,

I am crying again, I think it’s going to be over soon. My new teacher sent me home, thinking that I am sick, because I fell asleep for 5 minutes during her class. I didn’t tell my parents yet, just so they wouldn’t force me to go to sleep, but I don’t know how much I can take it anymore. Right now, I can hear daddy talking to my teacher on the phone, in the kitchen. I tried to listen to them using the extension phone, but daddy heard me breathing and told me to hang up. He might be coming upstairs in a couple Of minutes. It’s too late already, I will miss you, this might be the last page I am writing. You’ve been together with me whenever I needed help. You were my best friend, and now somehow you are also the one who tied me to this hideous creature that won’t tell me his name. The man with the red eyes, oh, how much I hate him. If I fall asleep, it’s over… over!
I took a break, daddy came into my room, as I’ve told you before. He said that trying to hide the fact that I am sick is not good for me, and he forced me to take a pill, an antibiotic probably, which usually causes sleepiness. I tried to tell him about the man with the red eyes, but I guess it’s too late, he didn’t believe me, he blamed it on my fever. An inexistent fever… ‘I beg of you once more, please spare us, what did I do wrong? I considered you my friend, please leave, go back to where you belong. I regret the day I started dreaming about you, in Blanche!’

And that’s the end of this page, but there seems to be one more page. He said this would be his last one. Was he really able to control his urge to sleep? Impossible. The last pages are glued together, probably due to the fire… Well, I guess the cutter isn’t useless after all. But… it was dry blood holding the pages together… This is it, the moment of truth, what can the last page possibly hold for me, since I am certain John’s son fell asleep that very day… leading to their deaths. It’s the scribbled different writing again. And… I see my name written in capital letters. I will read the page entirely however:

“ Dear friend,

These are my last words. I am going to die for my best friend, the friend that I love the most, the man with the red eyes. ‘I first freed you from Blanche, taking you with me, but you obviously returned the favor by fulfilling the wishes I’d write down here. Tonight you will be truly free. But for that, we all must die. It’s not going to be hard, I will be falling asleep soon, and that will sort me, mommy, daddy and sister out. DAN, daddy’s brother will find out about what happened to us. He will obviously want to investigate, no matter what. He will find this diary, and he’ll start reading it. But as he progresses and gets through more pages, he will become paranoid. He’ll start hearing strange sounds, footsteps, wood creaking, whispers. He won’t take it seriously. He will blame it on the lack of sleep. At one point or another, he will feel a light breeze. Unbeknownst to him, he will go and shut the open window, and also grab a cutter from the kitchen. As he continues to read the diary, he will start carving the desk with the cutter, until he becomes aware of it at one point, leaving him confused for a few seconds. He will then proceed to use it to unglue this last page from the previous one, and notice some of my blood drops. He won’t get to finish reading this page. He will notice his name that I’ve just written down before, but as soon as he starts reading the page, unaware of his hand gestures, he will take the cutter, and stab his left hand, cutting his veins. He will sit there at the desk, with the life flowing out of him. When he’ll realize what he’s done, it’s going to be way too late for him. And that is, when you will be free!’

Credit To – Gothard Eduard; Schiau Remus

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