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The Grimes Home

October 18, 2013 at 12:00 PM
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(The following was found in an envelope on a bus bound for Chicago)

My name is Jason Grimes and I am writing this so that when the room is eventually opened people will perhaps understand the things they find within it. And so that I will not be thought of as the madman that part of me already fears I am.

It all began with the reading of the will. My mother (My only living parent left) had passed away due to a heart attack in her New England home. Her body had been found by one of the women who came to clean every few days and the news had not come as a shock to any of the family. She’d had two previous heart attacks and with her smoking and drinking she wasn’t exactly in the best of health.

It had been a surprise that she wanted me to have the old family home though. I’d never exactly had much love for the place and had moved out the first chance I got. Honestly I hadn’t been expecting to get anything in the will, given how long it had been since we’d even spoken, I was surprised that she hadn’t written me out, the way she’d tried to write me out of the family’s history by removing any pictures of me from the house.

I certainly didn’t plan to keep that creepy, rundown old place. But at the same time I knew that there was a chance it could fetch a bit of cash on the market if someone put a little work into fixing it up and as I was currently between jobs it might be a worthwhile use of my time. I got my brother and our cousin to come over and help with fixing it up, which they happily agreed to do.

There actually wasn’t as much work to do as I had first thought as the house seemed to be in better repair than I remembered it being. I guessed that my mother, cheap as she was, had still finally been forced to actually get someone in to fix up some of the bigger problems the house had. There was still stuff that needed repair and a new coat of paint but it only ended up taking about a week or so in the end.

It was during this time that I first found it.

Now I didn’t have the best memories of the old place, given how long it had been since I had stayed there. But one of the first things I noticed while I was walking along the ground floor hallway was that there was a door that hadn’t been there before. I stared at it for a few moments, more out of confusion than anything else before trying to push it open. It wouldn’t budge an inch.

I asked my brother if he knew what might be down there and he shook his head, saying that he’d not even noticed it before now. My cousin said that she’d noticed a big, old fashioned looking key in the keyhole of the door the last time she’d come round to visit but she had no clue where it might be right now. I shrugged, not really thinking much of it at the time, just figuring that I’d had to get someone to bust the door down at some point before I got the house sold.

The room none of us WANTED to go in was Emerson’s. It was weird, seeing all his old toys and colouring books still there, as if our mother had been trying to bring her son back by clinging on to the past. Emerson had always been our mothers favourite, the one who she’d lavished all of her attention on and I saw that she had stuck his drawings up all over the place. Drawings of pirate ships and odd, comical looking figures with strange designs.

My brother told me that when he’d stayed for dinner, our mother would still set a place for Emerson as if she expected him to just show up out of the blue. Missing for all these years and she was still expecting him to come wandering through the door…

That first night I spent alone in the house I didn’t sleep very well. Crazy as it sounds I kept thinking that I heard noises in the house, people talking to each other. I must have checked each and every one of the rooms a good dozen times only to find each and every one of them empty. I even checked to see if I’d left the TV on but it was still unplugged.

I would go back to bed and then after a little while the noises would start up again. Sometimes I was sure that I could hear music as well. It was around four in the morning that a thought occurred to me and I went to the locked door in the hallway, pressing my ear against it and listening closely. I was sure I heard what sounded like a muffled tune coming from within.

The next day I went into town to buy some food and after the events of last night I also bought a hammer to knock that old door down. It was while chatting with the cashier that I learned something unsettling about the neighbourhood that I had temporarily moved into.

I had casually brought up where I was staying after he commented on me being new around here and told him that I was planning to try and sell up. He’d let out a short burst of laughter before looking embarrassed about it and when I’d asked him to explain had said the following:

“No one with sense is gonna buy that dump. No one with half a brain would buy ANY house within ten miles of that place” he said, not looking up from the groceries he was packing away.

“Why not? It seems like a nice enough neighbourhood” I had replied.

“Because of all them kids going missing, of course”

He’d gone on to explain that for the past few years there had been a sudden and disturbing rise in the number of children vanishing from their homes in the area. There had been search parties formed, the police and the FBI had gotten involved but nothing had turned up. The kids had vanished from their homes with no signs of forced entry or struggle and no evidence left behind as to who might have been responsible.

People were trying to move away as fast as possible but there were few who would buy a house in the area once they heard about what was going on. No one wanted to move to a place where a child kidnapper/killer was active.

I have to admit the story kind of creeped me out. Knowing that something so strange was going on near where I was staying made the odd goings on of the previous night seem even more unsettling to me and so as soon as I got home I decided to bust that door down. My neighbour, a fairly nice young woman named
Charley who I’d gotten to know, was working on her homes front lawn when I got back and noticed the hammer in my hand as I headed towards the front door of my home. Not really wanting to be alone when I broke the door down I gave her an abridged version of events (Leaving out the odd noises of last night) and asked if she’d like to join me in finding out what was in the room.

“Mysterious locked door? Very Scooby Doo” she said as I grinned.

“Sure. I’ll be Fred, you be Daphne” I replied, happy to have someone with me, her presence making the nervousness I had felt while listening to the cashiers story start to fade a little.

“Trust me; I’m more Velma than Daphne”

Once inside the house I packed away the various groceries, pouring drinks for myself and Charley before we went to the white door. It only took a few swings from the hammer to smash it open, the lock breaking beneath the assault and the door swinging open. Behind it was a staircase, leading down into a darkened basement below. I stared in confusion at the stairs, not believing what I was seeing. Our house didn’t have a basement, I was sure of that.

And yet suddenly I seemed to recall seeing this before. I could remember playing with Emerson one day, daring each other. Emerson had always been afraid of pretty much everything and I, in the way of older brothers everywhere, had taken far too much pleasure in tormenting him. I seemed to remember the two of us stood at the top of this staircase, me daring him to go down into the dark while calling him a chicken.

‘C’mon Emerson’ I had been saying to him. ‘You have to go inside…’

Charley and I began to descend the old, creaking steps towards the basement, the hammer still clutched tight in my hands. I didn’t know what we would find but I knew that I felt better being armed with something that could do some damage. As we reached the bottom of the stairs Charley began feeling around for a light switch, finding one after a few moments and flicking it on. The room was instantly illuminated, revealing what was within.

“Oh my god! LOOK at all this cool stuff!” Charley cried out.

The basement was full of puppets.

There was dozens of them, all lined up on various shelves all in very good repair as if they were brand new. There were puppets of all shapes and sizes, some of them being very human looking while others were Muppet-like animal creatures and others were more monstrous. There were props from what looked like the set of a kids show I guess. None of it had any dust on it, as if someone had been down to tidy up just moments before.

I could guess what all of this was from but what it was doing down here I had no idea.

“What IS all of this?” Charley asked as she picked up one of the puppets, a guy with a massive moustache and a monocle over one eye. She grinned, playing around with him, moving his limbs up and down.

“My brother used to work on a kids show, years ago. ‘Pirate Place’ I think it was called. Only ran for a couple of years before it got cancelled. I guess this stuff is all the old puppets and sets from the show” I said as we looked around at the room. My eyes fell on a creepy looking skeleton puppet with a really weird mouth and a top hat upon its head. Ugly looking thing, I thought to myself at that moment.

“No way! Do you have any idea how much some of this stuff might be worth? Collectors pay a FORTUNE for things like this on eBay” Charley said, setting the puppet down gently on one of the shelves.

I glanced around at the rest of the contents of the room. Apart from the puppets and the set pieces there was an old sewing machine set on a desk that was otherwise completely bare. There was no sign of anything that could have been the source of the tune that I’d heard before. Deciding that I must have imagined it, probably due to lack of sleep and being back in the old place, I did my best to forget about my fears and concentrate on the opportunity before me now.

There was just one thing that troubled me as I looked around. On the desk the sewing machine was set on there were several odd red stains spattered over it. As I stared at them I was sure, out of the corner of my eye that the odd looking skeleton puppets head had twitched in my direction.

The next few days went by without anything odd happening really. I put the puppets up on eBay and had a few people come to view the house. The only thing that was strange was when one couple viewed the basement. All of the colour drained out of the husbands face when his eyes fell on the skeleton puppet and he just turned, left the basement and then the house. He went to the car, started it up and sat there until his wife joined him (After apologising for his rudeness) and the two drove away.

Later that night I was sure I heard the old sewing machine in the basement. I wanted to go down and check and yet at the same time looking at that darkened doorway I suddenly felt very frightened. And when there was a knock at the door the sudden noise almost made me jump out of my skin, my head jerking to the side towards the source of the noise. Taking a moment to steady my nerves I walked to the door, opening it cautiously to see Charley standing there.

“We need to talk” she said.

She explained that she’d mentioned to a friend of hers about the find in the basement a few days ago. When she’d brought up the name ‘Pirate Place’ he’d gone quiet and asked for her to describe the puppets. He looked afraid, she said, as if he’d just seen a ghost. He had told her to move house, to get away from me and from those ‘Damn things’ as he referred to the puppets, growing increasingly hysterical as the conversation had gone on. He’d repeated over and over that it wasn’t safe to be around them that ‘They could see you through them’. He’d rambled at length about ‘Physical avatars’ and ‘The signal’ none of which had made any sense to her.

Apparently he’d used to work in television and had known my brother. He said that he’d sat down with Emerson in what he called ‘The Script Room’ and then started raving about ‘Knowing where the stories came from’. Charley said that she had never seen him like this before, that he seemed to be almost psychotic. His eyes bugging out of his head, his face glistening with sweat. She had been worried that he was about to have some kind of attack.

“Was your brother involved in anything…weird?” she asked me and I honestly didn’t know how to respond to that. Emerson had always been an odd kid, no doubt about that, but I couldn’t imagine him ever provoking such a frightened reaction in anyone let alone a grown man. I asked her if he’d said why the puppets were so awful and she shrugged.

“All the stuff he was saying wasn’t making much sense. He just said ‘It’s not the puppets. It’s what made them’ and then he just got up and said he couldn’t be in my house anymore. Just ran out to his car and drove off”

I decided that as she’d shared her weirdness with me, maybe I could open up about some of the weirdness in my life right now. I explained about the odd noises, the music and the sewing machine seeming to turn itself on. And against my better judgement we decided to descend into that pitch black basement once again.

I’m not sure what I expected to find but I was sure that something would be wrong. So when we saw that nothing seemed to have changed or been moved I felt an odd sense of almost disappointment. I kind of WANTED for there to be something strange down there, just to prove that I wasn’t imagining all of this, to prove to myself that I wasn’t going crazy.

And that’s when Charley spotted the door.

It was when she flicked off the light as we began to go up, casting one last look back into the darkness and noticed that there was light coming from somewhere. Not very bright but nonetheless a light source. Moving swiftly we shoved aside one of the shelves of puppets and felt along the ‘wall’ behind it, to confirm what Charley had believed to be the case: there was a door behind it.

“Told you this was all kinds of Scooby Doo” Charley said with a grin on her face, clearly enjoying herself. I smiled, which was something I definitely wouldn’t have been able to do if she wasn’t here. It was nice to have someone to share this insanity with.

We felt along the wall trying to find some way to open the door, some handle or switch to make it open. From behind it I was sure that I could hear SOMETHING. It sounded almost like music. Circus music, a cheerful, upbeat tune but also off somehow, as if there was something not quite right about it.

Out of the corner of my eye I was sure that the puppet with the ridiculous moustache and monocle had moved. And I realise how ridiculous that sounds but I was certain of it. It was just the tiniest movement, a twitch of its head toward the skeleton puppet. ‘As if waiting for orders’ I thought to myself, and then wondered why that had popped into my head.

With a bit of work we managed to strip away the wall paper that was covering most of the door, revealing that it was a bright red in colour, the paint chipped and flaking in places, with a small keyhole and no handle. I assumed that it just pushed inwards once unlocked or perhaps slid to the side as there was no place for a handle to have once been either.

It was then that I noticed that Charley had stopped smiling. In fact she was staring at the door with what looked like a mix of confusion and fear, taking a few steps back from it. When I asked her what was wrong she just shook her head and made excuses to leave. I asked her if she was alright and she just told me she was tired and promised to help me try and find the key to the door in the morning. It was getting late so it was plausible enough but I knew that something was wrong here.

For the rest of the evening I looked through Emerson’s old things in his room, looking for some clue perhaps as to what it was that had inspired such fear in Charley’s friend. For the most part it was old toys and childhood drawings, nothing of much use. There were a few things that were odd though.

It was a picture that I guess Emerson had done when he was little. There was a crude drawing of a boy sat in his bed that I think was meant to be Emerson himself. Around him were stood several figures. One was just a stick figure with a hat upon its head. Another was a portly man with a cartoonish moustache and teeth. And there was a third that was…very odd.

It was just a scribble in the outline of a person, a black, shadowy scribble. There was a circle drawn above the three figures and the boy and lines were shown coming down from it leading to the boys head. For some reason, looking at those lines, the word ‘Tendrils’ came into my head.

There was a picture of a red door. The words ‘WHERE THEY TAKE THEM’ were scrawled in large letters beneath it.

And the final picture was of the stick man and the man with the moustache leading several smaller figures towards a third. This one was a woman, a rather well drawn one in comparison to the crude, basic nature of the others except for the face. The face was just two dots for eyes and a line for a mouth.

The words ‘WHERE THEY TAKE THEM’ were written here as well.

There was a message on my answering machine from Charley the next day. She said that she’d gone to stay with her girlfriend for a few days ‘Just to clear her head’ and apologised for leaving so suddenly the previous night. Her voice sounded odd, kind of shaky really, and she said not to bother with the door. She tried to sound calm and casual when she said it but there was fear in her voice. She said it was probably best to forget all about the whole thing and just cover up the basement, not even mention it to potential buyers for the house. She said it would be a good idea to take the puppets off of eBay as well.

I should have just done as she asked.

Instead I spent the rest of the day ransacking the house, searching for the key to that door. I looked everywhere with little success until, almost on a whim, I decided to search Emerson’s room more thoroughly. And there, hidden in one of his old pillow cases, was a key.

I poured myself a drink to steady my nerves, sitting down to watch the TV. I remembered the old thing never picking up much when we were little, the channels always being full of static. It seemed to be working better now at least and the news came on, talking about another disappearance in the area. A girl of twelve this time, vanished from her home in the middle of the night. I flipped through the channels looking for something a little less grim while I finished my drink

Getting up, I headed down the steps into the basement, striding toward the door, ready to open it.

The skeleton puppet was sat at the sewing machine now. I knew I hadn’t moved it and neither had Charley. And the other puppets…their heads seemed to be turned towards it, as if they were waiting for it to do something, to say something. God it was a hideous thing, that awful misshapen mouth looking so awful. God knows why the prop designer had made it look that way.

At that moment, the words ‘To grind your skin’ popped into my head.

I put the key into the door and sure enough it unlocked it, the door pushing inward with ease, revealing the room that lay beyond it. It was illuminated by a single dirty bulb, making the contents of the room easy to see. Dear lord the smell…the only thing worse was the sight of what was littered around the room.

Children’s shoes and clothes, some spattered with old, dried blood were piled in a heap in one corner of the room. The floor was stained with large patches of red, one of which, as I stepped into it, I realised was still somewhat fresh, fresh and sticky like soda spilled on a movie theatre floor. The room smelt of spoiling meat and burnt hair and it took all I had not to throw up as I entered it, wondering how the smell hadn’t travelled from this room to the basement.

There was a pile of old video cassettes in one corner of the room, all labelled with things like ‘Emerson’s first bike ride’ and ‘Emerson’s first spelling bee’ all old home movies I guess. But mixed in with them were tapes labelled ‘Candle Cove episode four’ and ‘Season three pilot episode’. I picked up a few and noticed that there were bloody fingerprints on several.
There was a series of steps leading down further into the blackness at the rear of the room and I felt oddly compelled to go down there. How far down did this go? How was this even here, beneath my family home, without me ever knowing of it? And yet…and yet I felt like I DID know about it. Looking at those steps I felt like I remembered being in this room before. I was a child and it had been empty then and there I stood with Emerson, at the foot of these stairs.

“Emerson…you have…to go…inside” I had whispered to him, taking delight in how terrified he looked. He had gone down into the dark and…
And…

My head throbbed with pain. It actually physically hurt to try and remember, as if something was willing me not to. Had there been someone down there with us? I was sure I remembered there being someone in the room besides the two of us, the more I thought about it. Our mother? No not our mother but another woman. Why couldn’t I remember her face?

I began to take unsteady steps down the stairs; the more I walked the closer I got to another door, another red door. The key fit the lock of this one as well and it opened with ease. There was music coming from within now and the sound of waves crashing against the shore. I felt it pulling me towards it, calling to me like a siren song.

I had to go inside, I thought to myself. I HAD to go inside.

I wasn’t alone in this room.

I burned all the puppets later that night. Not that I imagine it matters.
They’ve been destroyed before and it hasn’t stopped them from coming back. They’re just wood and paint and cloth, nothing but a conduit. They allow them to come through, allow them to walk through the door and come here. Oh god the door…I know where they go now…I know where they go, oh Christ, oh Jesus please help me I know where they go…

I saw it. They took me there, the way they took my brother when he was a child. They need us. I don’t know why they need us but they need us, that’s what he said. Through that horrible, misshapen mouth, those eyes rolling in his sockets wildly. They needed my brother and they need me. My family is not safe. The signal needs us. The story needs us.

The ship came to that cave. Emerson was laughing and crying at the same time as he spoke the words I knew were coming. As he told me what I had to do.

It was waiting for me.

I saw the

(The following portion of the letter has been heavily crossed out, making it almost impossible to read. A word that may or may not be ‘Mannequin’ appears at one point in the letter and the words ‘skin’ is visible at several points in the following two paragraphs. What could be ‘Faker’ or ‘Taker’ can also be made out in the second paragraph and ‘ship’ in the final sentence. The letter resumes…)

I ran. You may think me a coward for not helping them, not even trying to save them. But I know where the ship is taking them now. I know where the voyage leads and I know who is waiting at the end. I would pray to god but know that will do no good. I know now. I know things that no one should ever know.

I know what Emerson learned, that day the signal found him. I know the things he learned in the dark places, where the music comes from. Music played on instruments crafted of bone and organs, wrapped in flesh. It’s always there now in my head, playing on an endless loop. The signal has found me like it found Emerson that day I made him go down those stairs. Like it found our mother. I know why she did what she did. I know what she knew and I know where Emerson is. I saw him on the ship.

My god the ship…

The laughing was the worst. I wish it would stop laughing.

I have sealed up the basement but know that one day someone will go down there again. I write this so that when they discover the things I know they will find down there they will know neither I nor my mother were responsible. And perhaps so they will have the courage to do what I do not and destroy this terrible place, burn it to the ground. The only thing that holds me back is the fear that perhaps this place is not merely the door to their cage but the cage itself. If the house were to be destroyed perhaps they would be able to spread.

I wish to apologise to my family. I hope they will forgive me for what I am about to do. I hope they will understand. My brother, if this reaches you please do not go into that house. And don’t sell it. Board it up and let it stand forgotten, a creepy old building for people to stare and wonder at. Maybe that will hold them back at least.

The sewing machine is going at all hours of the day now. I know that it’s him, sewing himself new additions to that terrible cape. She lets him keep the skin, you see. He gets to keep the skin.

I am so sorry Emerson. I don’t hate you for the things you did. I wish I could help you or at least put you out of your misery. I know they won’t let you rest. I know you cannot be free of them now.

I see them out of the corner of my eye sometimes. They’re going to take me to the ship. I won’t let them. I will die the way I choose. The sea will carry my body away, hopefully far from where they can ever find it.

(This letter was found lying beside a cassette tape. The tape proved to be nothing but static although those who watched it reportedly felt a sense of ‘unease’ and ‘nausea’ when they tried to view it.

The Grimes home was searched and the belongings of over twenty three children who had gone missing in the local area were discovered within. No trace of the children themselves was found within the house or near it however.
The basement and the secret room were both as the letter described them. However no stairs leading down to a further sub-basement were found anywhere on the property. The puppets all also appeared to be completely undamaged, despite the claim that they had been burnt. The tapes mentioned in the letter were missing however.

Two families have since lived in the Grimes home. Neither has stayed for more than a few months, reporting strange smells, odd noises around the house and things going missing. One reported sensing something ‘Terrible’ in the basement and her children spoke of horrible dreams about ‘The ship taking them away’ and ‘The bony man from the TV’ watching them at night.

The house is now abandoned, having been purchased and then left empty by one Adrian Grimes in early 2011.

The puppets and set pieces from ‘Candle Cove’ (Mistakenly named ‘Pirate Place’ by Grimes in the letter, an early working title for the show that Emerson Grimes later abandoned) supposedly vanished shortly before Adrian Grimes made the purchase.

The whereabouts of Jason Grimes remain unknown)

Credit To – Alice Thompson

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The Wind Whispered A Secret

October 18, 2013 at 12:00 AM
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I sat on my balcony, preparing to smoke the last cigarette of the night. It was late and my bones themselves were tired. As I snuffed out the cigarette and stood with a stretch, a noise caught my attention. It was so faint that I immediately brushed it off as the wind and continued on to bed, the noise already out of my mind.

The next morning, I returned to the balcony for more cigarettes and coffee. I watched the world wake up with me, the cars churning through the intersection like ants, the birds making their endless racket, the shadows growing steadily shorter. As I watched and listened, I heard the noise again. For a moment, I thought it was the wind, since I could see the palm fronds moving across the road. Squinting and looking down at nothing in particular, I tilted my head to try to hear it better. It wasn’t just the wind. There was a voice.

I tried to brush it off again, and continued about my day, returning to the balcony once in a while for another cigarette. I found myself squinting and tilting my head each time, the world around me forgotten in favour of this whispering wind. I couldn’t understand what it was saying. It was a like voice on the television in a room down the hall, stifled by three or four walls between us. No matter how much the noise around me died down, it was still so quiet.

I had another cup of coffee along with my lunch, another cigarette to smoke and that damned wind to keep my company as I sat on this damned balcony. I felt strange. I felt almost as though I weren’t myself, as if I were an actor in a screenplay of my life. I instinctively knew my lines and every move I had to make. I began to fear that voice in the wind.

Dinner. I still sat on the balcony as I ate. I didn’t want to eat, I just knew I should. I wasn’t even sure what I was eating, but I still ate it out of necessity. I lit my cigarette and listened intently. I would hear what this voice said. I must hear this voice. For an hour, I sat still, allowing my cigarette to burn down to my knuckles. I didn’t move as I felt it sear my flesh. I would hear this voice. I would hear this voice and it would tell me its secret.

I nodded off. I wasn’t aware how long I had slept, but the sky was dark and the streetlights lit. As I awoke, I had an idea. I would pretend to continue sleeping. I would lull it into the open. The crick in my neck bothered me only slightly as I waited for the wind to tell me what I so desperately wanted to know.

From the corner of my eye, I saw the moon rising high in the sky when I finally heard the voice again. It was clearer. No longer three or four rooms away, it was just on the other side of the wall.

I could hear it! I could hear the words!

My internal celebration was cut short, however when I finally heard the secret the wind had been keeping from me.

“The anti-psychotics appear to be working, doctor.”

Credit To – Jack Alltrade

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From The Sea

October 17, 2013 at 12:00 PM
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The day was August 5th, 1989, the rain pounded onto the beach like gunfire and the lightning arced across the sky in magnificent blue colors. I sat in my tent on the cliff edge, listening to the boom of thunder while holding in my hands a pair of binoculars. It had been like this for the past six days, and I had been camped out here all the while. I was not the kind of person that would go chasing tornadoes or anything as dangerous, so please refrain from assuming such things. No, I preferred to camp near coastal regions with lots of thunder, lightning and rain and simply observe Mother Nature’s destructive force. This night however would be the last night I ever go storm watching, or anywhere near the sea for that matter, and not for any of the conventional reasons such as loss of interest or an inability to do so. What occurred that night on the beach below that cliff edge is something I will never forget, it is something that will haunt my thoughts and torment my nights of sleep until the day I die.

I had decided to stay up later than usual and observe some more of the wondrous power that nature was. I took the binoculars away from my face for a moment and rubbed my eyes for they often got quite dry when I spent extended amounts of time staring into them. As soon as I had finished, a bright flash lit up the night sky. And in that brief but bright flash, I saw something on the beach. Something that caught my eye, making me forget about the lightning and thunder for a second. In that brief flash I saw people moving around on the beach. At first I thought it was my mind playing tricks for this is not uncommon, especially considering my location, the time of day and the fact that I was all alone. But as soon as that thought crossed my mind another flash lit up the sky and I saw more people moving around on the beach in the pelting rain. Why in god’s name would anyone be moving around out here at this hour and with this kind of weather? I naturally thought to myself. Curious, (as I’m sure anyone would be given the situation) I brought the binoculars back to my eyes and focused in on the beach where I saw movement, determined to prove my eyesight right or wrong.

My binoculars remained fixed there on the beach, eagerly waiting for another flash of light, still not fully convinced at what I had seen. I was just about to give up and shift my gaze from the beach when the flash finally came, lighting up the beach in its entirety. The flash was only for a couple seconds, but I managed to see the people again, and in more detail this time thanks to the binoculars. There must have been around five of them and they all seemed to be cloaked in black robes or something extremely similar at least. They all seemed to have hoods thrown over their heads (From the robes I presume). Two of the cloaked figures appeared to be walking toward the ocean itself, each of them carrying a post of some kind that looked to be around the same height as they were. The other three figures seemed to be walking towards an area of the beach that I could not see from my vantage point. The light from the flash left as soon as it had come, leaving me staring at total darkness. How odd. I said to myself, completely intrigued by what I had just seen. At this point, I had completely forgotten about watching the lightning and listening to the rain, all of my attention and thoughts were being directed at the beach as I tried my very best to determine why these people were here and what they were doing. But in truth, I would never have been able to imagine the events that would occur on that night.

My binoculars were still focused on the beach, waiting for the next flash to come when I saw dim orange shapes bouncing around the beach. I observed the orange lights for a short while before the flash came again. The first thing that I noticed was that all the figures were carrying the orange lights. I quickly made the connection between the bouncing orange lights and what the cloaked figures were carrying, realizing that they must be torches. But not before seeing something quite… Ominous. Two of the figures were dragging a sixth uncloaked person through the wet sand towards the coast. I quickly determined that it must have been a woman judging by the clothing she was wearing, and then I noticed something thrown over her head; it almost resembled a burlap sack of some sort. That was all I managed to see before the light left once again, leaving only the dim orange lights of the torches moving around on the beach. This was when the thought of calling for help struck me. What if the person was in danger? What if he or she needs my help? I thought to myself, but quickly realized that no one would dare to come here in this kind of weather and at night. No one would arrive until morning at the earliest. So that idea was out the window.

Almost immediately after that brief thought, another flash of lightning lit up the beach, allowing me to see clearly once again. The woman sat on her knees between two posts that appeared to have been stabbed into the sand of the beach, very near the ocean itself. It was hard to see from where I was, but it seemed as though the waves were actually getting larger. Two of the figures seemed to be tying each of her wrists to a separate post while the other three stood quite a long distance away, merely watching the other two and holding their torches. The scene disappeared as the black of night once again returned to shroud the beach in darkness with only the dim torches visible from my tent. What in god’s name is going on? I thought to myself yet again, even more confused and scared than I was before the previous flash.

I thought about making my way down the small cliff in which my tent sat upon and helping the woman. I wanted to help her, I truly did. Yet, I knew that it would be basically impossible for me to navigate my way to the beach in this weather. And even if I did, how could I ever hope to overpower all five of those figures by myself? Maybe I was seeing this all wrong. Maybe this wasn’t as foreboding as it seemed, maybe this was something entirely different than what it seemed to be. I thought to myself as I sat in my cold, dark tent. But I knew somewhere in the back of my mind that this was not the case. Regardless of whether the situation was as it seemed or not, I was alone. And there was nothing I could do but observe and hope that this would end okay.

My binoculars remained focused on the beach, ready for the next flash. I hoped against hope that what it revealed would be far less sinister than what had been revealed before, but I somehow knew, even before the flash, that it would not be. Suddenly, the flash came. Light flooded the beach and what I saw was very similar to what I had seen before; the woman’s arms hung above her head and she sat on her knees with her head down. I quickly noticed that her wrists were tied to the top of the posts judging by the position she was sitting in and the way her arms were outstretched. All five of the cloaked figures stood some distance away from the woman, holding their torches. They all just seemed to be motionless… they were just… staring at her. The light vanished, and I was staring into darkness once again. Then… then I began to feel something strange. A… A rumbling ran through my body. It did not come from my body; no it seemed to be coming directly from the earth itself. I took my binoculars away from my face as I tried to determine the source, completely forgetting about the beach for a moment. The rumbling became a shaking as it became stronger. At first, I assumed that it was an earthquake. But… But then the flash came again, and what I saw made me realize that this was no earthquake.

The flash came suddenly, and seemed brighter than the other flashes. As soon as the light flooded the beach, I saw it, even without my binoculars. Its size made it nearly impossible not to see when that flash came. Initially, I was confused by what I was looking at. But it barely took me a second to realize what it was. A large, humanoid figure stood upright in the ocean water. The flash only came for a few seconds so I could only make out so many details on the figure. But what I did manage to see in that short time was that its arms ended in a mass of tentacles and… and that it appeared to be reaching down towards the shore, where the woman was. Its body was glimmering as if it were soaking wet, and its skin… Its skin seemed to be bleeding a black liquid from various pours in its body. As the light left the shore, a loud roar sounded from the beach. The roar seemed to shake the earth itself and I could feel it as it vibrated through my own organs.

Awestruck, I sat staring at the shore, unable to comprehend or process what I had just seen. I wanted to tell myself that it was just a figment of my imagination, all of it, that I had just imagined this whole thing, or maybe that I was having some crazy nightmare. Yet I knew that this was not the case… I knew that what I had just seen happen was real and that this was not something I could wish away or make excuses for. This WAS real. As I fell deeper and deeper into my thoughts of what I had just seen, another flash came. The beach was completely empty except for one thing; a broken post partially sticking in the sand.

Sleep never found me that night. There was too much fear and horror to even hope for the slightest second of sleep. I wanted to just pack up and leave that night and forget this entire ordeal had ever occurred. But… I could not. It was too dangerous. Not to mention how fearful I was to even step outside of my tent. Because as frail as that tent was compared to that beast, I still felt some sort of security inside of it. Like a false sense of safety. The morning came slowly, and it wasn’t until daylight flooded the entire area that I felt safe enough to step outside of my tent. I left the coast as soon as I could and have never been within two hundred feet of an ocean since. I kept telling myself it was a nightmare, that none of it was real. But I knew in the back of my mind all the while that what happened to me was real. I have carried the horror of what I’ve seen with me ever since that horrible night. I never told a soul, not even my wife. But I can feel my memory slipping in my old age. And as much as I would like to merely forget what happened to me, I know that there must be some record of what happened that night, which is why I convey this story to you, whoever you are. Whether you believe what I have said to be true or not, please just don’t forget what I have told you. Be wary of the ocean; be wary of the thing that came from the sea.

Credit To – Zyon Johnson

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The Crawling House On Black Pond Road

October 17, 2013 at 12:00 AM
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I can’t sleep. I have to share because maybe I won’t feel if I share. Dr. Kirsch says to write and get it off my chest. Writing about it might release me from it. What should I title this? “Therapy”?

I’m currently seated at a computer terminal in a little, white, sterile room. There’s about a half dozen other computer terminals here, all facin the same way like a classroom. There’s posters on the walls with medical information. Everyone in em looks happy and complacent. Zombies. This place is called Sleep HealthCenters, just outside of Boston. It’s a clinic for people with sleepin disorders.

I’m feelin a little loopy from the eszopiclone, so if my writing gets all garbled just deal with it and I can edit it when I’m clear-headed.

The doc wants me to do a little writing. He said that repetition can help with insomnia, and I gotta admit, if things were normal, this room and the clack of these keystrokes would probably make me pass right the fuck out.

Things ain’t normal though.

It’s not that I can’t sleep, it’s that I don’t want to sleep. I actually doze off pretty frequently, but then I realize I’m falling asleep and I snap myself out of it. When I don’t, when I drift off and can’t stop myself, I dream, and that’s what I want to avoid. If I could control what I dream about, I would sleep right now and not wake up til fuckin October. But I can’t control it. And ever since May, ever since

Tom

That house on Black Pond Road

Fuck, just thinkin about it makes my skin crawl. And writin that makes me see it all again in my head. I don’t wanna relive it. But Dr. Kirsch– he’s my doc. Nice guy, smiles a lot, practically whispers when he talks– Dr. Kirsch said that if I write about the experience, it might “release me” from it. Like there’s some sorta mental hold on me, torturin me. Guilt? I was as much a victim as Tom was.

Tom.

Tom was my friend from college. We both attended BU. Freshman year, his room was right across the hall from mine. I remember runnin into him on a bench late one night when my roommate was spending too long talkin on the phone to his girlfriend from home. Tom bummed me a smoke and we just sat and talked about our roommates’ idosyncracies for a couple hours. After that, we just hung out all the time. Even after college we stuck together. Both got jobs in the city, lived near each other in Somerville.

When was it? It was May. Right. Friday the fucking 13th of all days. And Tom called me up after work and said

“Whatcha got goin on this weekend?” and I said, “Nothing.” and he said, “Any chance you can help me clean out a house?” and I said, “Who we robbin?” and he said, “My dead aunt.” and I said, “Friends help you move, good friends help you move bodies.” and he said, “Unfortunately somebody already moved the body, but she’s got a lot of other shit in her place and I need to clean it out so it can get sold.”

So he picked me up that night and we drove and listened to tunes on the radio, stopped and ate and chilled and just drove and drove. And I asked him as we were goin,

“How’d she die?”

“She hung herself.”

“Well I’m sorry for your loss.”

“Don’t be, she was batshit insane.”

“I’m sure she loved you, too.”

“Hardly. But she loved her brother, and he just happened to be my father. He needs to get the house sold but they live out in Washington now, so I agreed to clean the house.”

“What a good son.”

“Well, I’m gettin paid for it.”

“Oh, I see. I help do the work and you get all the reward.”

“You get the reward of my company for a weekend in some rat hole.”

“I guess that’s better than what I had planned.”

Black Pond Road. That’s a hell of a name. Her house looked like it was going to collapse. It was one floor, one large living room connected to a tiny kitchen and two tiny bedrooms. The bathroom was practically a closet. There was a screened porch off the side lookin out into woods.

It was after 1 in the morning when we got there. I remember suggestin we sleep in the car just in case the house collapsed. Tom pulled out a flashlight, we gathered our bedrolls and backpacks and went inside. I was

the floor moved

It was dark, but when Tom shone his light in, I swore it looked for a moment like the floor… moved. Fuck that floor. It was the kitchen. Greasy, stained white tiles. Everything in that room was greasy and stained. Even the windows. They were so gross, the reflected light from Tom’s flashlight came back like a mustardy puke yellow.

Was it clicking? Tapping. I can’t describe it, but the feeling when we walked in was like a couple crashers walking into a chatty party and everyone stopping what they were saying and lookin at us. Almost the faintest echo of a final sound, like a hundred fingernails tapping on a tabletop and then quiet.

“Did you hear that?” I asked.

“No.”

We shoulda slept in the car.

My room was like a prison cell attached to the living room. Tom’s room was only accessible from the screened porch. I took a look in and told him we should switch.

“If I’m not getting paid, at least give me the nicer room.”

“You don’t want this room, this is the room she hung herself in.” We just stood there for a bit.

“The only thing missing from my room are bars on the window.”

“That’s so you can escape when her ghost comes for us.”

“A ghost wouldn’t be caught dead here.”

I went and unrolled my sleeping bag on the tiny bed in my room, then climbed in and lay there in the dark. After a while of everything bein quiet, I started hearin this sound. It was like chittering. And buzzing. Fucking mosquitoes, that’s what I thought. I pulled the sleeping bag over my head and tucked it under me to keep anything out.

God

If I hadn’t been so tired.

Somethin bit me. On the web of skin between my fingers. I woke up and was instantly in pain all over my legs, like a hundred needle pricks. And my feet felt like I was standing in the sand at the beach with the water coming in and the mud squishing between my toes. I jerked out of the sleeping bag and fell on the floor. I hurt my chin on somethin, I don’t know what. I got up yelling and checking my hand. There was a tiny red dot of a bug bite between my index and middle finger. And then I looked at my legs and they were dotted like a bad case of chicken pox. Hundreds of little bite marks. And I looked at my sleeping bag and

bugs

just skitterin out of the bag like

It was a stream of them, crawlin over each other. Earwigs. Hundreds of earwigs slithering out of the bag I’d been sleeping in. And house centipedes with them, wiggling along. This just tide of glistening bodies crawling out of the bag with me. I felt like I was going to puke and I ran from the room, slamming the door shut.

It was morning. I went out through the porch and into Tom’s room and shook him til he made a sound.

“Get out. You gotta get out of your bag.”

“Dude, what time is it?”

“It’s morning time and you need to get out of the fucking sleeping bag, dude. My bag was full of bugs. I’m covered in fucking bug bites. Get the fuck out of the fucking fuck bag!”

“My stomach hurts, just give me a second.”

He didn’t have any bugs in his fucking bag. I almost hated him for it. But then he complained again about his stomach hurting and pulled up his shirt and I saw these swollen marks all along the waistline of his pants.

“What the fuck, dude?”

“We’re not sleeping in this fucking house, man. Look at my legs.”

My bites weren’t swollen but they itched so bad. I wasn’t taking my bedroll home. No way in hell I was keeping it after seeing all those bugs crawl out of it. Burn it. Burn the whole house.

Burn it

That’s my dream. When I fall asleep, I’m back in that fucking bag, only I can’t get out, and the earwigs and the centipedes are covering my feet and my legs and crawling up into my underwear and all over my chest and then they’re on my neck, on my arms, in my ears and wigglin toward my nose and I can’t scream because they’ll be in my mouth and no matter how much I thrash the bag won’t open and they just keep crawling back over me. I can’t dream that anymore. I spent a week telling myself it was just a dream but I know they did crawl over me. They had to have been all over me as they slithered into the warm, dark comfort of my bag.

Maybe I wouldn’t dream it if Tom hadn’t

I’m getting off track.

We didn’t find any bugs in Tom’s room. He gave me his car keys and I went into town and bought some Cortisone for him to put on the bites. When I got back, Tom was outside. He had his flashlight and was looking under the porch.

“Come here.” So I went. I looked under the porch at what he was pointing at. The porch was raised on these concrete blocks because of the tilt of the ground, and we could see all the way under the house. On the far side, there was this gray shit. It looked like crusted, packed mud.

“That’s a hive.” Tom said. I remember it felt like I just hit the peak on a rollercoaster and now the world was flying down at me.

“It’s huge.” There’s no way I can do the enormity of this thing justice. It was spread across the underside of the house from the edge of the base on deep into the darkness. Nothing was moving on it, but I looked at it a long time and I could see the little passage holes in it. Hundreds of holes.

“We’re leaving.”

No shit we were leaving. I wanted to be home already. I waited while Tom used the cream I’d bought on his bites which I knew now were stings. It was unnatural, I swear, the aggressiveness of the insect life in that house.

I ended up driving us back. Tom got awful cramps

awful cramps

He eventually had to lie down in the backseat, doubled over in pain. I pulled over at a rest stop and made him let me check the spots out, but the swelling had gone down. He had these stabbing pains in his gut though. I told him we needed to take him to a doctor. I wanted to see one myself. Fucking bites all over my legs.

“You gotta tell your parents to burn that fucking house to the ground.”

“Believe me, I will.”

I went and had the bites checked on Sunday. I was fine. I had my first nightmare that night. Back in that bag, being consumed by earwigs and centipedes.

I called Tom to see if he had gotten checked but he didn’t answer. I called him again on Monday. When I talked to him, he sounded … he sounded distant. Like he was thinkin about somethin else. I asked if he’d told his folks about the house and he said he hadn’t.

I took the day off and went to see him on Wednesday. I buzzed him, but he didn’t answer. I got into the building when someone else came out, and found his door was unlocked. He was sittin on his couch, staring at the far wall. He looked gray. His skin, it wasn’t pale or rotting or anything, but he did not look healthy. He hadn’t cleaned up in a couple days, the place stunk. He just sat there.

“Tom, we gotta get you to a doctor, dude.”

“I’m fine now, thanks.” he still sounded distant. I don’t think he even saw me.

“You’re not fine, dude. This isn’t fine. I’m getting you some clothes and we’re going to the hospital.”

Oh god, I let him out of my sight. This is my fault.

I’m so sorry, Tom.

I– when I came back, he was gone. His door was open. I went outside and looked for him, but he wasn’t anywhere. I waited for hours on the step to his building. Finally I went home.

I went back after work on Thursday, but his door was shut and locked. I buzzed him but got no answer. I called his cell and was directed straight to voice mail. I didn’t know what to do. I was strugglin to think. I’d been havin the nightmare for days and had started refusing to sleep. I couldn’t think straight. I shoulda called the police, but when I got home I fell asleep on the couch and dreamed of being trapped in the bag again. I swear, when I woke up it felt like the bites on my legs had returned.

Friday. It was a week after that awful day. I was a zombie the whole day. My supervisor told me to go home. I was so tired I missed the stop for Davis Square and found myself wandering out of Alewife, not even thinking about where I was going. The walk helped me think though, and when I got home I called Tom’s folks. I told them Tom was sick and I was worried about him.

“He did sound odd when he called last night.”

“He called you? Did he tell you about the house?”

“Well I assume that was a joke.”

“No, Sir, you need to have that place razed.”

“Razed? No, he didn’t say anything about that. He joked about going to live there.”

I honestly don’t think that was Tom. I don’t think he was in control at that point, and whatever was in control intended to take him back to the house to live there. Poor Tom.

Poor Tom.

I went back to his place that afternoon and got in again. His door was unlocked, but he wasn’t there. He had left a note on his fridge. You could tell he was fucked up, it was so hard to read. It said

i can feel them moving
inside me
i can’t stop it
i don’t want to
go

bye

My friend Tom shot himself that weekend. They found his body in Cambridge with a self-inflicted gunshot wound to the head. Just a body in an alley with a hole in its head. I didn’t even know he owned a gun. The police didn’t suspect foul play, but they did an autopsy because he looked like he’d been on drugs. When I called his folks to give them my condolences, I asked them if they’d found drugs. They told me that the coroner had found dozens of large wasp larva living inside him.

Oh God.

They had been feeding on him from the inside, burrowing through his body.

I told his parents to get that house burned to the ground. I wanted to add that they should piss on the ashes. I wanted to piss on the ashes. I don’t know what they did about it. It may still be there. Buzzing with life.

the floor moved

The house took Tom’s life. The bugs. And I can’t sleep. I’m trapped in a bag and they’re getting in my mouth and my nose and my ears. They’re moving across my skin, consuming me.

I don’t feel better. I just want to forget. How do I post this thing I can’t stand this room anymore

Credit To – William Dalphin

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The Mark of Canus

October 16, 2013 at 12:00 PM
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In today’s society, the advent of science brings an understanding of the world which puts people into a sense of security. We know what the world is made of, the way chemistry, physics, biology, and geology all fit in to the picture. There’s not much humanity doesn’t understand anymore. But we do not have it all figured out, not entirely. There is still mystery out there, darkness hiding in the cracks between human understandings. Monsters, spirits of nature, artifacts of extreme power, these entities act on the world without our knowing, but every once in a while, perhaps only for a moment, they are perceived, that moment where the blood goes cold and the skin shivers, when we are struck with the realization that there is a reality of things is beyond science and mathematics. Some go insane, the mind broken by its sense of insignificance, or by something so frightening that the brain is thrown into despair so deep it turns over, accepting the new reality by way of erasing every facet of the old one, souring it in a debilitating logic vacuum. In some occasions, the mind is so affected by the supernatural that it becomes twisted, not fearful or stagnant, but psychotic, as if the supernatural unlocks a part of the human brain dormant, where the most twisted thoughts and notions are born. This part of the psyche creates terrors to rival the supernatural, and can cause us to commit unspeakable acts. There is no way to fully understand this part of our brain, but it exists, and the truth of it is a testament to the supernatural, even in the natural confines of the mind. In one case, an artifact of power has had devastating effects on humanity over time, and its nature cannot truly be perceived, unless one completely embraces the dark nature of the artifact itself, thus succumbing to that evil part of the mind, and saturating oneself in eternal darkness. One such artifact is the Mark of Canus, a manifestation of extreme evil in the world which predates man by some time. Many believe the Mark is eternal, it is, always was, and always will be, some others believe it was born of the deepest, darkest sin in some ancient ritual, others believe it was made by Satan, though it predates him as well. The Mark has inspired mass killings, suicide, and various other evils, too disgusting to explain in detail, and it has permeated into civilization for millennia. To some, it is a supernatural artifact which causes insanity, but the truth of it, the unknown, is so much more insidious.

The Mark of Canus is named after Canus Sepius Florius, commander of the Eighth Roman Legion, the man who is attributed to its discovery, and who brought the mark into Civilization. Canus was a bright young commander, very wary of each situation. He served under the Praetor’s great army during the defense against Hannibal in the Second Punic War, during which he proved his logic and skill on the battlefield against one of the most proficient strategists of all time. Canus was tasked with following Hannibal’s footsteps through the Alps and into Gaul, with the object of understanding the Carthaginian’s thinking behind his route, as well as setting up a defense against further potential attacks on Rome from Gaul. He brought with him 450 veteran legionnaires into the mountains, and two weeks later Canus returned, extremely ahead of schedule and completely alone. When asked what happened to his men, he replied “The legionnaires? Yes they returned home, they’re sleeping soundly in darkness.” This response deeply baffled the consul, and he had Canus taken into custody, for a real answer to the absence of his men. This is the testament of Haran Epiganus, the Roman who questioned Canus:

“As we were led to the chamber I noticed the distracted look of the commander. I thought nothing of it, after his response to the questioning of the consul I felt he had stress. Perhaps he was ambushed by barbarians and they broke his mind. It was only when we were locked in the room that I caught his eyes. They were made of terror, focused and alert, holes to the horrific mind of Hannibal himself. I could not bear to see them. I looked around, but Canus was locked on me. I finally got to the question, ‘What happened in the [Alps]? Those men, they are dead?’ Canus calmly started, ‘They are unto the darkness. May they feed the Mark.’ This answer was confusing, so I asked another question, ‘Canus, you were attacked?’ To which he quickly answered ‘May they feed the Mark.’ I asked around more, but the answer was the same every time. Then he went dazed, so I gripped his shoulder, then he jumped awake, and his eyes changed again. He took his necklace, a new piece, and threw it on the ground. He was frantic, rambling, I asked what was wrong. He replied, ‘The Mark! The Mark! Never let it touch me again, the terrible Mark!’ I asked what happened, what this Mark was, and what happened to the legionnaires. He told me he would only recall it once, and then begun, ‘We were marching up the [Alps] in Hannibal’s footsteps, making excellent progress. We made camp when night came, but I could not find sleep, though I had marched the whole day. I heard whispers, in ancient tongues, calling to me. I was disturbed, no way to sleep, so I went up to investigate. The whispers came from the cave, the unholy cave. I entered like a fool, lit a torch and ventured through the tunnels. The whispers became louder, and I started seeing shadows. Then I wished to turn back, but my legs kept onward, and I felt detached from my body. The feeling became more so, and then the visions stared. I saw visages of a single Mark, this frightening symbol as old as time itself. I do not wish to describe it to you. Then the visions contained blood, and killing, not like on the battlefield, killing from the most violent nightmares. I ventured for hours, farther and farther down into the mountain, until I reached a chamber at the bottom, perfectly round and made of the same stone as the cave walls. No markings anywhere, no furniture, but the chamber seems so perfect yet not man made. In the center, on the ground lay the necklace. A shining piece in sterling silver, no gems, bearing the Mark that persisted in my visions. I heard the whispers rise here, and the rapid beat of drums, the likes of which I had never heard. The sounds rose to a deafening volume, then suddenly dropped out to silence. I then took another look at the necklace, and saw the Mark again, and was filled with a terror so deep it drove into my being. It overcame me swiftly, I released my bladder, and took a step back in fear. Then something took me, seized my body, and gripped my soul. I felt a scraping inside me, all over a sense of wurms in my blood, shivering inside me. It stopped, and I heard a loud whisper, right next to my ear, slave. My mind burst then with images of the Mark, and then the brutalization of my men. It was uncontrollable, part of me released and gripping my mind in fury. The Mark all over everything. I felt a presence inside, one that was not my own. I went to the necklace, put it on, and realized the Mark itself was inside me, and I now lost control. I had to watch as I walked out of the cave, and went back to the camp. I slept in my tent, nightmares the entire night, the disturbing and silent images of the Mark coursing through me. I did not understand it, but I do now. The true terror would warp your mind if I spoke of the Mark in its full evil. It is ancient, beyond the time of men, working with a dark force so much more powerful than the Gods themselves. I woke up, washed over with insanity. I was outside of the person which was me, and I watched in terror as I led the men to a mountain pass, and ordered them to stop. I showed the Mark to them, and it took them all, stopped them in fear. I proceeded to slaughter them all while they stood. I took out the hearts, ate them, then cut off the face. The blood everywhere, I washed in a stream, and made my way back to Rome.’ I stood terrified at his testimony. I looked at the necklace and a shiver caught my back. That was all I needed, Canus confessed to killing the legionnaires. I wasn’t sure if his story was true however part of me believed it, when I saw the Mark. Either way, it was time to tell the consul…”

This chilling story is only the beginning of the Mark in humanity. Haran spread the word of the Mark to Rome, and it became known as Canus’ Mark, or the Mark of Canus. They say the Mark can affect anyone. It chooses freely, and you don’t need to look directly at it for it to take you. The necklace itself is referred to as the Mark of Canus, but the image itself has power as well. The relationship between image and necklace in terms of power is not entirely known, however it is known that wherever the necklace goes, the evil is always there. It has passed hands from the Romans to the Germans, then the English, then to America. It instills fear where ever it is, and the killings always follow. Many have tried to study the Mark, but its existence is entirely a mystery. Some say Canus did not actually find it, that he made it, others say it is alien in origin, most believe it does not exist, because it cannot be explained. In 1745, the Mark was found on a witch in America. The witch was found out, and the Mark confiscated. The magistrate ordered the Mark destroyed, saying it was of the Devil, but it was taken by one of his own men, Edward Tiller, a Puritan clergy. Edward fled the country by boat, went to Spain with the Mark, and committed suicide there without any excuse. It was said by Tiller’s wife that he left, “without any cause or reason, but with such obsession [She] never saw in him before.” Most likely the Mark had taken Tiller, as she found pictures of it in his closet, scribbled with chalk.

The Mark’s legend was strong by the 1930s, so strong that it sparked the curiosity of one such German leader who had been obsessed with the occult. Adolf Hitler, furor of Nazi Germany, led a campaign throughout the world to collect objects of supernatural significance, and studying their power to weaponize it. Hitler sent Gustav Kerch, an SS official, to Spain to find this Mark of Canus. Kerch was successful, the Mark around his neck when he returned to the furor. He handed the necklace over to the SS, but it didn’t matter, the Mark already had him. He then returned to his original post, the administration of the concentration camp Auswitz. He let the Mark control him, and with its darkness he became notoriously cruel, openly killing many prisoners with his bare hands, eating their hearts, and cutting off their faces. One Joshua Dicsh, a Polish Jew held in Auswitz, recounts his brush with Kerch,

“During my time in Auswitz, I saw many horrors. My fellow Jews, working themselves to death, through starvation. The Germans were merciless, but there was one man in particular who was even more disturbed then the worst Nazi, his name was Gustav Kerch. Kerch was the man in charge of Auswitz, and he was more terrifying than the camp itself. He stalked the camp, looking with those eyes, those terrible eyes. They were like pools of the bluest poison, ominous and deep. It was like looking into the eyes of Beelzebub himself. He was insane, often times breaking into fits of rage, scribbling symbols on the walls, and rambling in other languages. The guards said one of them heard him talking to himself in his chambers, in dual tongues. We dared not sleep alone at night, and in the day we worked hardest to keep him satisfied. One morning I was working in the mill with Deter, and Franz making helmets when Kerch walked in to inspect us. He had those eyes again, I could hear whispers around him, as is right out of my nightmares. He looked at Franz’ work and smiled his wolfish grin, ‘Excellent craftsmanship, Franz. Were it not for your foul Jewish nature you would be a master at your trade. Leave now to work in the yard!’ He dismissed Franz, then walked to Deter. “Oh Deter, this is wonderful. Very nice camouflage paint on the sides. The Bolshevik hordes will never see us coming! Now, you may join Franz in the yard. Go now!’ Kerch may have been a psychopath, but even he could not ignore superior metal working. He then moved to me, and he changed. The whispers became louder. He looked at my helmet, a ding in the side, the swastika unfinished, and he looked filled with a calm, almost otherworldly anger. ‘Joshua, a truly Jewish name. You must have roots in Canaan, don’t you? You’re filthy, this work is shameful. You’re good for nothing, besides to stink up the ground like dirt and mud.’ Then his voice changed completely, ‘Look at me, child.’ I stared into his eyes, and I saw it, the Mark, the terrible Mark! It was hideous, drenched in ancient blood, ungodly and disgusting. I thought it of the devil at first, demonic and Hellish, but as I stared it took on a different quality altogether, something much more terrifying, basing its power in fear itself, rather than torment. I could see the terror on my own face, then I was out of my own body, and I found myself in front of a room, not like any other I had seen. The Mark was all over the walls, and a light shone in the middle of the room. I went towards it, unable to control myself, and when I nearly came upon it, the light disappeared. In its place was Kerch, covered in blood and laughing hysterically. I had begun to weep when he stopped and called to me, he then whispered, but I could hear it as if he were right in my ear, ‘slave.’ I cried out, ‘No, no, no!’ I begged, pleaded, but Kerch only continued to laugh as he took out a combat knife, slit his own throat, and watched the blood drain out on the floor. I stood frozen in terror as the blood pooled and Kerch fell to the ground, then gaped as the blood on the floor started spinning, forming a whirlpool in the room. I prayed out loud to the Lord and begged for forgiveness, but then I started to see the scarlet whirlpool change, as if something was stirring inside, it begun to climb out, ever so slightly I noticed a form move from the puddle, then I blacked out. I woke up in my cot, soiled and sweating. The prisoners were cheering, and Franz came to me, told me Kerch was dead, had killed himself in his room. They found his body on the floor, he slit his own throat, but there was no blood anywhere.”

Legend has it the Mark itself was cast into the Mediterranean, and washed up somewhere in Africa. The myths were recognized by the US government as fear-inducing propaganda, and all traces of it were wiped from the archives. The reasoning behind this is shrouded in mystery, but the government continues today to deny its existence, and maintains tight internet censorship of the Mark. Most searches for it come up empty, but every once in a while something slips.

The power behind the Mark of Canus is unknown, we cannot imagine its true nature. What we do know, is how it can affect us. The Mark doesn’t need to be touched to affect someone, in many cases, merely seeing its likeness can cause it to grip you. Often times, the Mark finds you, as several have claimed to see the Mark clearly where others cannot. This signals its arrival into your mind, and you should be worried. The Mark existed before man’s impact on the world, it doesn’t need to be where people are. Some have claimed to see it etched in the woods, in deep parts where no one has been. One thing is for sure, if you see the Mark, you are not safe. Efforts have been made to secure the Mark, to contain it in order to protect humanity from its devastating evil. These attempts have all failed, as the Mark can control men, make them do crazy things. Most who see the Mark experience nightmares, hysteria, fever, hyper salivation, dehydration, sometimes blindness or paralysis, and always insanity. The Mark so far has not directly killed anyone, but almost all who see the Mark end up committing suicide, to escape the mind-numbing terror. Attempts to destroy the Mark have also failed, as it seems to be made of an unbreakable metal. People in exposure to the Mark have claimed to experience prophetic dreams or visions, images of the Mark as the creator and destroyer of humanity, and extreme love from the Mark, as it nurtures them. They claim the Mark is sentient, that it watched over everything, that it exists in the deepest oceans, the darkest forests, and in the confines of our minds. They claim the Mark is always there, even when we don’t perceive it, that it is fear, and whenever we are afraid the Mark is with us. The creepy part is that they can recite testimonies for events that they should not have known about, places they weren’t present. One cop was startled as an “odd-acting” perp once told him about his son’s birthday party as if he had been there, when the party happened in a private place over a decade ago. The Mark is all around us, thriving in fear and the unexplained. Some day you may just see it, even for a moment, then it will haunt you for the rest of your life, which may be shorter than you think. Is there something you can do? No, not so far, but you can only hope the Mark passes you by in silence, and you never have to hear that whisper in your ear, “slave.”

Credit To – Greg Padrick

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Alien Hand Syndrome

October 16, 2013 at 12:00 AM
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Alright, it’s working. My name is S______ and if you are reading this, then you are probably the police or some mental health professional, investigating my recent actions. Let just apologize in advance for any weird grammar errors, as I’m actually writing this on some pirated voice recognition software, and I haven’t really had time to calibrate it. What follows may not seem believable to you, and could all be the product of a disordered mind on my part, but there’s enough circumstantial evidence to make me believe what I will have done was the only rational solution.

It all started about 8 weeks ago, when I was in a major car crash. To my credit, I wasn’t the one driving. To my discredit, I also wasn’t wearing my seat belt. Not that I’m sure it would’ve helped. It was an older model car and the other guy t-boned us on the passenger side. My friend, the driver, escaped with some bruised ribs and some scrapes. Me, I suffered compound fractures in my right hand and forearm, massive bruises all up and down my right side, several deep cuts on my forehead and most disturbingly, a subdural hematoma. I’m told I was a mess when they brought me into the ER, but the doctors did there job as best they could, and I survived. Well, maybe they did their job as best they could. I’m starting to have doubts about it.

When they sent me home to recover a couple days later, I had several very expensive screws and plates in my arm, a prescription for some lovely painkillers, a lovely shaved head with small patch where they’d opened the skull to relieve the pressureand a cast thick enough to play baseball with. I would spend the next couple days in a drug filled stupor, staring at the ceiling of my bedroom, listening to either daytime or late night TV or dozing off into odd dreams.

It was about a week later when I first noticed it. I didn’t have a whole lot of feeling back in my hand yet, as the nerves had taken a hell of a beating and were still mostly numb. However, it’s kind of hard not to notice when your fingers decide to start twitch on their own. And I’m not talking the odd muscle spasm or cramp we all get from time to time, I’m talking full blown clenching and unclenching and moving side to side. The strangest part was I couldn’t feel it at all. It didn’t register in my brain that it was moving. It was like the hand belonged to someone else. This continued for a couple minutes before subsiding.

Over the next couple days, it seemed to spread through the rest of my fingers, though all but my index and thumb were immobilized by the cast. Still, I could feel them torquing against the cast for a couple moments, some dull pain in my hand and then the movements would subside. I decided to chalk it up to the interaction of the painkillers I’d been taking and various psychiatric drugs I had been on for years. It didn’t seem to be a problem, and honestly it was kind of cool. Very dissociative and trippy.

It was about 10 days after it started that I woke up in the middle of the night to an intense stabbing pain in my forearm. I fumbled for the light stand next to my bed, panicked and when I flipped it on, it was several seconds before I regained composure enough to start tring to figure out what had happened. The first thing I noticed was a small trickle of blood from the bottom of the cast. Several other bloody spots had started to form on the cast, all in a line down my arm from hand. When I looked back to the bed, I saw several spots of blood about where my arm had been resting, along with something else. It was very small, and I had to pick it up and bring it over to the light to get a better look. When I finally realized what it was, I was so startled I dropped it, and it hit the nightstand and rolled off the surface and behind the headboard. It was a single, bloody screw, similar to one the doctors had shown me after my surgery to explain what they’d done to set my bones.

I was back at the hospital ER the next morning. Turn out a bloody cast will get you pretty high up on the priority chart and I was seen almost immediately. Doctors examined the bloody spots and listened to my story, but their skeptical looks told me I wasn’t getting the benefit of the doubt here. Finally, after some hemming and hawing, they ended up cutting the cast off to examine the arm closer. When they did, it was revealed that I had a long, thin scratch from the base of my wrist down to where the cast ended. That gave them pause, but they said something about not taking proper care and letting something get in the cast. My story about the bloody bone screw was chalked up to a vivid dream brought on by the painkillers. They did seem a bit startled by an odd bruise in my palm, but in the end, they simply reapplied the cast and sent me back home, this time with with a bottle of tylenol.

The next week and a half saw the weirdness of the whole situation increase. My hand was twitching almost hourly now, and the free thumb and index finger would sometimes pinch me, as if possessed of a mind of their own. Thats when I decided to get a second opinion from the hypochondriac’s handbook, the internet. It didn’t take long before I’d managed to track down my symptoms to a very specific condition, that of Alien Hand Syndrome. This extremely rare condition usually follows some sort of brain trauma, and is characterized by a complete dissociation from the activities of the given limb. These activities can include various rude gestures, violent acts or other inappropriate motions. The condition is sometimes thought to be brought about by a suppressed personality taking control of the limb. Needless to say, this scared me shitless, especially when I found that there was no known treatment for the condition.

At the same time, more weirdness ensued while I slept. Every other morning or so, I’d awaken to feel something jabbing me in the thigh, and reach down to find another bloody bone screw. However, the trail of blood would now lead back to the open end of the cast just past my finger tips, and there was no visible blood beyond a few drops on the cast. I still hadn’t regained much feeling in the hand or forearm, and was now starting to seriously about what was going on. A return trip to the hospital didn’t help at all, as I was told that I was being unrealistic. Alien Hand Syndrome, they said, was extremely unlikely with the type of brain injury I’d sustained. They were, however, concerned with new x-rays of my hand, which showed that the bones were not healing quickly, and they began discussing the possible need for a second surgery to re-set them. I didn’t even bother showing them the bag of bloody screws, now number a dozen, that I’d brought with me. I’m sure they’d have rationalized that away as well, despite the odd bruising on my hand when they replaced the cast yet again.

The next couple weeks are when thing started getting downright terrifying. More screws showed up in my bed, along with two bloody metal plates pushed out the bottom of the cast, always while I was sleeping, until I was pretty sure that every piece of metal that had been put into my arm had been accounted for. And thats when spasms started to get really bad. There wasn’t any pain, as I’d lost the feeling in the arm, but it was still noticeable. It seemed like the arm would pulse along it’s entire length, and sometimes I could hear faint organic squishing noises coming from inside the cast. This coincided with the hand itself really starting to act up. It seemed to have gained control of my arm up to the elbow, and it would now raise itself up and knock things off my desk, jam itself against the door to stop me from opening it, or even scratch gouges in my thigh.

I eventually resorted to using a homemade splint of duct tape and lengths of pipe to immobilize the arm. I’d cover the hand in several layers of socks to keep the exposed fingers from being able to find and bite flesh between it’s nails. Oh, I’d forgotten about the nails. The nails on the exposed hand, they always seemed to be too long. I’d tried trimming them for awhile, but they’d always grow back the next morning. When the fingers started to seriously avoid the clippers, I just gave up. That had been the initial logic behind the socks, but it was also what some people may refer to guy logic. “Out of sight, out of mind.” comes close to the logic, but there was also an element of blind hope. Hope that it would miraculously solve itself.

I couldn’t maintain a normal sleep schedule anymore, thanks to the odd noises and spasms coming from my arm. I would often awaken after passing out somewhere in the house to feel the hand straining against its bonds. What was more worrying was that it seemed to be getting stronger, while the weird noises and movements had gotten worse. I wasn’t able to see the doctor anymore. It was partly fear of what they might find and partly fear of what might happen if that arm somehow managed to get loose when I was driving a car. So I simply waited. Waited for the other shoe to drop.

That all culminated in what happened last night. Well, this morning technically. I awoke in the middle of the night, to an odd series of stimuli. The sound of scratching fingernails and peeling tape. The feeling of my arm being torqued by something. I didn’t want to turn on the light. But I did. I’m not sure why. I think I already knew, generally what I would see.

The sock tapped to the end of the cast were still there. Except there was now a hole through them. Extending through the hole was a single finger. Well, it had once been a finger, my finger. what it was now, I don’t think there’s a word for. It looked my a normal finger, with a neatly trimmed nail, a healthy skin color, unswollen and unblemished except for some short hairs on each phalanx between the joints. All two dozen or so. It was now easily over a foot and a feet long, and was was articulated like no hand on earth ever had been. It had bent backwards over the hand, forming a nauseating loop of flesh, and was scratching at the edges of the tape with that neatly trimmed finger nail trying to peel it loose. It kept at this for maybe 15 seconds as I watched, before it suddenly stopped, and the tip of the finger slowly rose from it’s efforts at freeing itself and pointed at my eyes. No, thats not right. That may have been what it might have looked like objectively, but I knew that it wasn’t pointing at my eyes. it was looking me in the eyes. This hideous, tendril-like appendage was looking me in the eyes.

The next few minutes were a blur. I can only recount snippets. The muscles of my forearm straining against the immobilizing bonds. Me stumbling to my feet, screaming in stark naked terror. The feeling of something else wriggling in the socks over my fingers, the sound of fabric beginning to tear. Me lurching across the room, stumbling and falling to the floor. The sight of rapid movement through the growing hole in the sock. My fingers, MY fingers on MY remaining arm feeling something solid and heavy under their grasp. Another frenzied series of movement, and when time slowed down again, I was slumped on the floor, a heavy wait in my left hand, a screaming pain in my right. I looked down to find a heavy duty Maglight I kept by the side of my bed for nighttime emergencies clutched in hand. Glancing right, I saw what I’d done. My elbow was bent at an odd angle, a series of heavy circular bruises visible where I’d useed the but of the flashlight to shatter it. The sock at the end of my arm was slightly bloody and I could feel a twitching mass inside. The one finger that had worked it’s way out of the sock was writhing on the floor, several joints broken. I’d beaten my fingers to a pulp with the flashlight, but they still had life in them.

I sat for a moment while I regained my wits. I ended up downing a couple of the remaining strong painkillers I had left, and by the time they’d kicked I discovered that the tentacle finger had managed to pull itself back into the sock. Even then, I could still hear the viscous, wet noises coming from inside the cast, and could hear the finger popping as they set the joints I’d dislodged. They’re still at it. I’ve already had to whack them a couple of time with a hammer I grabbed from my toolbox while I’ve been dictating this. I also took a couple swings at the elbow, just to be on the safe side. My arm probably would hurt like hell. But I don’t think I can really call it “My” arm anymore.

See, I think I know what happened. The doctors were right and wrong when they told me my type of injury was not correlated with Alien Hand Syndrome. What they hadn’t taken into account was that it might not have been the injury that caused the problem, but the treatment. You see, what they do when you have a severe subdural hematoma and time is in short supply is basically cut a hole in your head to let the blood out. This is similar to the ancient practice of trepanation, a process that was often used by primitive medicine to let ‘evil spirits’ out of the person. However, this technique was only widely used way before any form of modern medicine or science, because we know better now. Well, maybe we do. The thing currently repurposing one of my extremities begs to differ. But back on topic, since this occurred before our understanding of modern medicine, the patients would often die from a variety of causes before recovering. So, there was never any extensive data on the effects of the process. So, for all we know, it may have let the demons out. The problem is that no one ever did tests to make sure this was a one way street.

Maybe, when they opened my skull to save my life, they accidentally let something into me. Something with malevolent intent that doesn’t follow the laws of reality as we know them. And when they operated on my arm afterwards, the metal screws and plates, combined with the loose blood served as an impromptu ritual to ‘bind’ it to that part of my body for the time being. So it had to work it’s way loose from there. It tore its way free, and started repurposing what flesh it could get at to serve it’s new purpose. I’m not sure, these are only guesses, but I don’t think it matters anymore. It doesn’t really matter if it’s demons, aliens, or whatever. I just want this to end.

I’m filled with a strange sense of calm now. I have a plan, and I’m going to execute it. I know that, whatever is in my arm, it has to be stopped. But I also don’t want to die. I’m not sure offing myself would even help. I don’t think that the thing in my arm really needs me, judging by it’s behavior towards the rest of my body, so suicide or amputation are out. But I’ve hatched a plan. When I started telling this story, it was really just to kill time. When I do this, in order to survive, I need to make sure I’m somewhere people will see me and call for help right away. And thats what helped me arrive at the course of action I’m about to undertake. See, they county is doing some long overdue maintenance on the trees along my street. I can already hear them going at it a couple doors down with chainsaws. Those saws aren’t what interest me, though. What interests me, though, is another piece of equipment they brought with them that I can hear running. A large, industrial grade wood chipper.

If I’m lucky, I’ll be able to tear myself free after it gets to my elbow. And if not…well, I won’t ever have to remember what I’ve been through.

Credit To – Discardable

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