Recent Discussion

This Week's Active Posts

South Ferry
• Comments: 4 • Facebook: 1
Scavenged, Part Two
• Comments: 3
The Intruders
• Comments: 1 • Facebook: 1

Please read the FAQ before using this form!

Your Name (required)

Your Email (required)

Pasta Title (required)

Category (required)

 Aliens Audiopasta/Podcasts Based on a True Story Black-Eyed Children Candle Cove CandleJack CandleWalker Conspiracies Creepy Comics Cthulu Mythos Eyeless Jack Haunted Games Historical Horror Interactive/Choose-Your-Own-Adventure Jeff the Killer Lost Episodes Micropasta Mythology/Folklore Parodypastas Poetrypasta Real-World Creepy Seasonally Spooky Slenderman Smile Dog The Holders The Rake The Russian Sleep Experiment Vampires Video Pastas WHO WAS PHONE Zalgo Zombies

Enter Your Pasta Here


Credit Link

Author Tag: If you have an author tag, please enter it here. IMPORTANT NOTE: This field is ONLY for people who already have existing author tags. If you enter something in this field and your tag does not already exist, this field will be ignored even if your story is accepted. If you fulfill the requirements for an author tag, you must follow the rules on the Author Tag Request form to obtain your own tag.

Terms of Submission: By submitting your story to us, you are giving us permission to post your story on We do not claim any ownership or responsibility for your story beyond that; you retain ownership of your work, you are free to do with it what you wish. Further, you acknowledge and agree that you will not receive any compensation – monetary or otherwise – from us in exchange for posting your story. You are not entitled to any profits that we may receive from advertising or donations. If, at any time, you wish for us to remove or edit your published submission, you must let us know by replying to your submission email with your request - any other ways will be ignored. Lastly, by submitting you are acknowledging that the work you have entered here is your own and not plagiarized or borrowed.
 I Accept

Crappypasta: If your pasta is not selected for publishing on the main Creepypasta archive, do you give permission for us to possibly publish it on our sibling site, Crappypasta? This will allow people to read and provide feedback on your pasta, but be warned - it is not for the faint of heart! Please visit About Crappypasta for more details.
 Yes No

Human Verification: In order to verify that you are a human and not a spam bot, please enter the answer into the following box below based on the instructions contained in the graphic.

Please leave this field empty.

Your Favorited Pastas

  • Your favorites will be here.

Available Beta Readers

Whether you're looking for someone to help proofread and refine your creepypasta or you'd like to offer your help to writers in need of a second opinion, please check out the Available Beta Readers post!

Creepypasta Prompts

Have an idea for a great pasta, but lack the time or ability to see it through? Or do you have the time and the will to write a story, but your personal font of inspiration is running dry? The Creepypasta Prompts page should be helpful to people in both camps!

RSS Stories Looking For Feedback

Popular Tags:

The Woman in Red

October 26, 2014 at 12:00 AM
VN:F [1.9.22_1171]
Rate This Pasta
Rating: 8.3/10 (270 votes cast)

I’m writing this down upon my psychiatrist’s advice. She wants me to write as if I’m telling my story to a friend. Perhaps she’s right, maybe I do just need to let it all out, and what better way to do it than on a computer, away from prying eyes. After a week of nearly sleepless nights I’m willing to try anything.

She says it’s a relapse of my post traumatic stress disorder. She diagnosed me with PTSD eight years ago after the event that I’m about to speak of. My shrink tried every trick in the book to get me to tell her what had happened, and I repeatedly refused. She said it was critical to my recovery, that she couldn’t help me if I didn’t open up. Too bad, I’d rather go on with the stress and insomnia than not go on at all.

She continued to work with me even through my lack of cooperation. Dozens of hypnotherapy sessions, prescribed acupuncture, a shopping list of prescription drugs, and after about nine months, I was more or less cured. Of course I still had to take a couple pills each day for the rest of my life, but I wasn’t complaining.

So as I said earlier, I relapsed recently, I’m not really sure what brought it on. I just woke up one night in a cold sweat and haven’t been able to sleep since. When I do drift off I awake immediately to that image I thought I had rid myself of years ago. But no, it was back.

Just thinking about it sends a cold chill down my spine. I can’t believe I’m actually doing this after all these years of keeping it pent up inside me, but I have to try something. Plus I think my doc really knows what she’s talking about, I mean she cured me once, why not twice? So here is the story of what gave me this dreaded disorder.

Back before I moved to the city, I lived out in the country in a small house I had bought with the money my grandfather left me. It was a one story ranch style, the previous owner had built it himself about twenty years prior. I loved this little house, it was so cozy and made me feel so safe. It wasn’t too terribly secluded, but the next closest house was more than a mile up the road.

Behind the house was endless woods, tall powerful oaks provided a peaceful barrier between me and the outside world. I loved to walk among them, sometimes for hours at a time. I would walk miles deep into them, always carrying a small can of pink spray paint so I could find my way back. One morning I decided to start out early, and see how far I could get before feeling the need to turn back.

I packed a couple sandwiches and a few bottles of water in my backpack and headed out. I followed my previously marked path until the trees no longer bared my little pink beauty mark on them. I decided to go straight up the hill, instead of around. I had no idea how long it would take me to get around it, and I wanted to get as deep into the woods as possible.

As I climbed, I noticed the sweat had begun to flow. I could feel the heat flushing my cheeks. This was still better than walking possibly miles the long way. As I reached the top of the tall hill I turned to look back the way I had come. Nothing was in sight. I could see over the trees that I had just traveled through, but still could see nothing of civilization. I guessed I had walked at least three miles so far.

As I walked across the flat top of the hill, I was frozen in my tracks as I discovered what was on the other side. A large meadow, about the size of a football field, was laid out before me, and there was a small shack in the middle of it. I couldn’t imagine that anyone had ever lived out here, but I thought maybe it was a hunting camp at one time.

I walked across the field toward the shack and realized it appeared to be ancient. The rough hewn lumber that made up the exterior walls was grey like ash, and much of it had rotted away. As I walked to the corner I noticed some empty paint cans that had been stacked at the base. I could see that they’d contained white paint, and I knew that meant someone must have used them somewhat recently or else they would be nothing but rust. The shack was about twenty feet by twenty feet square, with one window in each wall.

I inched up to the nearest window and peered in. There was no one inside, not even any furniture. Now I could see what the white paint was for. The walls, ceiling, and floor were all bright white, but not white alone. On all the walls were strange symbols drawn in dark red. They weren’t anything that I recognized, but they gave me a very uneasy feeling.

On the white floor, in the center of the room, there was a huge star painted, also in red, and from the ceiling hung dozens of tiny stick figures. I couldn’t really make them out but they did appear to be in the shape of stick people, made out of twigs and straw. My heart was racing, whatever this was I didn’t like it, and it was in my own back yard! I was furious but also curious.

I decided to walk back into the woods a ways and eat a sandwich while I waited to see if the owner might return. I had no intentions of confronting them, but I had to know if someone was staying here or using this place for some sort of shrine. I ate my sandwich… then I ate the other one. Hours passed, and no one had come. The sun was beginning to set. I thought about leaving, but I had packed my flashlight in case I didn’t make it back before dark. My curiosity won out, I had to know. I told myself I’d wait another hour, and if nothing showed, I would leave. The sun was about to disappear behind the horizon when I heard leaves crunching across the field.

There was just enough daylight left to see a figure appear from the tree-line. It appeared to be a women, she was wearing a bright red dress, and she was dragging a large sack behind her. I could see two red dots in her face which I thought must have been the last of the sun reflecting in her eyes. She continued across the field pulling her sack behind her, it appeared very full and heavy.

As she got to the front of the shack, she heaved the sack up onto the small porch, and then retrieved a key from her pocket. She opened the door and pulled her bag inside. “Now what?” I thought. I realized I had no plan other than to find out if someone was using this place, now that I had my answer, I was lost. I decided I would watch a few more minutes to see if the women left, then I would head back home and think about what to do next.

The minutes passed, and she hadn’t emerged, so I slung my backpack over my shoulder and began my trip back. I took no more than half a dozen steps when I heard a muffled cry. I froze and listened, sure enough someone was crying. I could barely hear it, like someone holding their hand over their mouth as they sob by their loved one’s casket.

Now I am not a brave man, but a curious man, there is none more so. I decided I had to try to get a peek, maybe the woman had fallen inside and needed help. I did a crouching jog across the field, trying to stay as low as I could until I reached the side of the shack.

I sat and listened, it was much clearer now, a woman was definitely sobbing with something being held over her mouth. I wasn’t sure, but it didn’t sound like sobs of pain or loss, it sounded like fear. I eased around the corner making sure to swing wide enough to miss the paint cans I remembered being stacked there, and inched over to the front window beside the porch. I sat there crouched down for several minutes trying to work up the courage to peek in. I could hear another noise from inside, a dragging noise, then it stopped, but the sobbing grew louder. I had to look. As I eased my eye up to the corner of the window, I could see the back of the woman in red.

She was no more than three feet from the window but luckily facing away. Her hair was pulled back in a tight bun that looked like something a bird might lay eggs in. I noticed a rope was hanging from a pulley attached to the ceiling that I hadn’t noticed earlier. It appeared she was doing something with whatever was hanging from the rope. I continued to hear the crying, but it was getting much weaker now.

As I watched the old woman bend over to retrieve something from the floor, my heart seized in my chest. Hanging from the rope by her ankles was a young woman, she looked to be about my age at the time, late twenties. She was thin, very pale, with bright red hair, and had a look of fear in her eyes like I had never seen before.

As her eyes locked with mine she froze, no more crying, just a cold penetrating look of sadness. She was screaming at me with her eyes to help her, I didn’t know what to do. I watched as the woman in red raised back up with a small can in her hand. She began dousing the girl with liquid from the can, and the girl started thrashing wildly. As the old lady did this, she let out a horrifying cackle that would have made the devil cringe. I panicked and turned to run, and as I did so, I heard a loud rush of sound from inside and saw a bright flash of orange in my periphery.

“NO! She couldn’t have!” I thought. After no more than three quick steps I stumbled into the paint cans and came crashing down with an awful thud. I felt like my heart was going to explode as I noticed the screeching laughter from the interior had stopped, and I heard the door slam open. I didn’t bother to look back, I just jumped to my feet and started running for the woods.

As I neared the edge of the woods, I noticed two red orbs glowing between the oaks. I froze in my tracks as she glided out of the cover. She looked ancient, her skin looked like it was made of tree bark. I just stood and trembled as her glowing red eyes closed the gap between us. The last few feet she finished in a sudden rush, freezing no more than an inch from my face. Her fiery eyes glaring into mine, I felt my bladder let loose as urine soaked down my pants leg.

I could feel and smell her hot rancid breath flowing over my face. I looked down and noticed the eyes weren’t the worst, her mouth was twisted into an impossible maniacal grin. It was cartoonish in nature, it appeared to stretch all the way back to her ears. Even worse, her teeth weren’t human teeth. If they ever had been before, they were now filed down to fangs. I felt sure that my heart would stop any second.

As I stood lifeless in front of this evil being, she raised her hand up to my chin. She extended one crooked finger and began to press it into my flesh, lifting me up onto my toes. As she continued pressing, her nail dug in, and I felt the blood running down my neck, then my feet left the ground. I was now helpless as she dangled me at arms length like a lifeless puppet. She began to speak, her voice was so shrill and raspy my ears could hardly withstand it.

She hissed these words that changed my life forever, “You have seen what should not have been seen, not because it is wrong, but because you can’t possibly comprehend. I will allow you to live on one condition, you must never speak of what you have seen here tonight. You will take this to your grave, and if you don’t, I will come for you, and your suffering will make what you have just witnessed seem pleasurable. Your pain will never cease. You will be my pet for all eternity.”

Needless to say, I agreed to the terms. She dropped me to the ground and disappeared in a flash. I pressed my hand under my chin to slow the bleeding, and then turned to see the shack going up in flames. I knew there was nothing I could do to help the poor girl inside now, she was gone, used up for whatever ritual this evil creature had just performed. The wound under my chin seemed to have almost stopped bleeding, so I returned to the woods to find my backpack, retrieved my flashlight, and headed home.

I spent weeks in a near state of shock. I lost my job, most of my friends stopped calling. I felt like I was drowning. I had just witnessed the most disturbing thing humanly possible, and I could tell no one. I couldn’t sleep, my appetite was nonexistent. Every time I closed my eyes I either saw the girl hanging from the rope engulfed in a blaze, or I saw the glowing red eyes and the sickening grin of the woman in red. I sold the house and moved into a small apartment in the city nearby.

The move didn’t help anything. Finally I knew something had to be done, so I called up the doc and made an appointment. It was difficult at first, she wanted so badly to know what had caused my trauma, but I knew that the old woman had meant what she said. She was an ancient evil, I could feel the dark energy flowing from her single finger as it held me in the air. I could sense a darkness that had lasted through the ages that no one could ever snuff out. I would never speak of what I saw that night, and that’s why I was even skeptical about typing this out. The doc said I had to get it off my chest, and if I wasn’t willing to talk about it this was the only way.

There was just a knock at the door, and it almost gave me a heart attack. When I went to look through the peephole I couldn’t see anything but red. It was glowing through the peephole like someone was maybe pointing a laser in it. Probably just some kids playing a prank, but I’m not about to open the door. People are always getting robbed in this city, and I’m not in a hurry to become one of them. Plus I’m more than a little unnerved by writing this. Anyway, so the doc thinks that after a few weeks of hypnotherapy, and after writing out this story that I should be good as new. I’m not sure if I believe I’ll ever be as good as

There was just another knock, it wasn’t the front door this time, it was my bedroom door.

Credit To – Jay Ten

VN:F [1.9.22_1171]
Rate This Pasta
Rating: 8.3/10 (270 votes cast)
LineWhatsAppTumblrFacebookTwitterRedditPinterestGoogle GmailGoogle+StumbleUponShare

Child of God

October 25, 2014 at 12:00 PM
VN:F [1.9.22_1171]
Rate This Pasta
Rating: 8.3/10 (1290 votes cast)

August 1st marks the tenth anniversary of the day the hunters came, though none of my family celebrates this anniversary. I’m only telling this story because I owe it to those men who saved us that day.

I’ll be honest. It was my fault. It was all my fault.

Ten years ago I was a sadly unpopular, unattractive, loner girl in my high school. I had no friends growing up in rural Montana and no extended family to visit. I was raised by a single mother all of my life and together we both took care of my younger brother, Matthew.

My mother took us to a small Catholic church every Sunday for mass even though I never really believed in any religion. Apparently she baptized me as a Catholic but I don’t consider myself beholden to the church.

So, being a sixteen year old girl with no friends and no boyfriend, I desperately wanted someone to talk to. My mother was always working and my brother was only twelve which made it hard for us to relate to one another. One day on my way home from school, I stopped by the local bookstore and started looking for books about witchcraft. I (stupidly) thought that I could “summon” a ghost or supernatural entity which could eventually become my friend. I imagined befriending a ghost of a girl who died around my age so at least I could have someone who would understand the girl problems I was dealing with then.

I know, when I look back, I was naïve; but I was desperate for a companion and confidant.

I started reading into this pagan belief system called Wicca and though I thought the idea of practicing “white magic” (or what is considered benign magic) was cool, it didn’t offer me any solution to finding a friend. About two weeks after delving into Wicca, I went back to the bookstore to find a book about “black magic” (or what is considered malign magic) because I learned that black magic and necromancy are the schools of sorcery that would help me conjure a spirit.

All the while my mother had no idea, mainly because she was busy, but also because I didn’t tell her so she wouldn’t throw away my books because she was a devout Catholic. Although, when I look back now, I almost wish she found out and stopped me before I went to far.

So there I was, a teenage girl learning about the devil’s arts to raise the ghost of a dead girl in order to have a friend.

I was actually scared at first when learning these rituals and spells. Some seemed so silly that I almost didn’t believe they would work, but other spells had a feeling of absolute seriousness such as the ones involving animal sacrifices and self-mutilation.

I did my best to research before trying anything out because I didn’t want to slit my hands or arms for no reason, but when I found the spell that I was looking for, I was more than horrified.

Before I had to make the sacrifice, I had to pledge my faith to “The Darkness” and had to chant every night for hours on end using pentagram symbols and candles. I lived in a small home but in Montana we had five acres of wooded land behind us, so I would go into the woods at night to do my chanting. It was difficult at first because I was afraid of every sound I heard coming from the shadows, but after a month of performing my minor rituals, I became more in tune with the darkness.

I started to feel more depressed, but comfortable in my depression, and I would constantly think about morbid things. I would draw pentagrams in class when I was supposed to be taking notes and my whole being really changed. People started to notice me at school for the wrong reasons. I didn’t dress like a stereotypical gothic person, but I did wear darker colors and had some kind of malevolent energy always about me. I stopped smiling and laughing and I became more reclusive than I already was. But when I was in the midst of all this, I didn’t really notice.

Eventually it came time for me to summon my spectral friend. I went to the graveyard on a Friday night and had found the headstone of a girl who died when she was seventeen years old. I won’t give her full name out for the sake of respect for the dead, but I knew her as Jezebel.

It was a terribly gruesome rite I had to perform, but by that time, I had undergone such a transformation of character that I didn’t even feel remorse. On Jezebel’s gravesite, I chalked a pentagram, lit my candles, and slit the palms of my hands. Then I took the stray kitten which I found wandering around the outskirts of town (this was common for stray cats and dogs to loiter in the boondocks of my town) and I slit her throat. My blood and the kitten’s blood mingled on the soil of Jezebel’s grave and after reciting certain incantations, her shadowy form rose from the earth.

I was shocked that it worked but even more frightened of her. I expected to see a whitish or bluish spectral image of the girl whose grave I had defiled, but I never saw Jezebel that way. She was always just a black shadow; she had the shape of a teenage girl, she had the voice of one too, but never had a face. It was as if she was a perpetual silhouette which made it slightly difficult to befriend her. She had no eyes that I could look into and see a reflection of my own sorrow, nor did she have hair I could braid or a smile that I could find solace in; she was just pure darkness.

Despite her off-putting essence, she was kind to me. She followed me back home and found peace inside of our one story house. Jezebel liked to stay in my closet and would only come out at night and follow me to the woods to watch me continue performing rituals to confess my ever growing faith in the darkness that had brought her to me.

All was well for a few months until I began to notice her increasing affection toward my younger brother. I told her that Matthew was only twelve years old, but she took a weird liking to him anyway. Eventually she would leave the closet in which she slept only to stare at my brother while he was laying in bed. I asked her to stop, but she wouldn’t. She kept telling me that there was something “special” about his soul that she found so endearing.

Soon enough, Matthew began to hear something follow him around the house during the evening hours and he would complain to my mother who only blamed his young imagination. I can’t remember how many times he told my mother about feeling something following and watching him, but it seemed like far too many times to be ignored.

Despite all this, I stayed quiet, not wanting to reveal my secret involvement with necromancy and Jezebel. I tried to comfort my brother by telling him there was nothing to worry about, but he refused to believe me.

I had another talk with Jezebel about staying away from Matthew, but she didn’t take my words seriously. Instead, she became violent and knocked my nightstand over along with the pictures and glass of water that were on top of it. Now I had started to fear Jezebel, but sadly, it was much too late.

That very night, around three o’clock in the morning, Matthew woke my mother and I up with a hysterical scream. My mother rushed into his room not knowing what to expect, but I stayed in mine, not wanting to see what had happened.

According to my mother, she saw a black shadowy form grasping onto Matthew’s arm as he tried to leave his bed. At that instant, she threw a book from his desk at Jezebel and she relented her hold on my brother. Then I heard Jezebel speaking some strange language (which I later found out was Latin) and when I finally left my room, I saw my mother laying in the fetal position weeping incessantly. I began to cry too from the shock of seeing my mother so defeated. Jezebel left Matthew’s room and began to run to every door in the house; opening and shutting each door six times before moving on to the next one. As she did this, her voice morphed from the teenage girl’s to what can only be described as a voice of a demon. Jezebel kept repeating something in Latin which to this day I do not know what it was (nor do I want to know) and finally I grabbed the keys to the car and dragged my mother and brother outside the house and just started driving no sooner had the last car door closed.

Since I had no friends nor family to retreat to for safety, I just kept driving until my mother regained enough of her composure to instruct me to drive to the church. Once we got to the small church, my mother pounded on the door like she was about to be murdered. Soon enough, Father Preston opened the doors and took us all in.

My mother explained what had happened between sobs and our priest allowed us to stay the night in the church. We all slept on the pews until we had sufficient rest and when we awoke, Father Preston had a talk with all of us.

“I know Mary (my mother’s name), that you believe you saw a demon, but to be sure, we will all go to your home after you’ve had breakfast and I will perform a blessing.”

Father Preston decided to fast since he intended to bless our house, so after my mother, Matthew and I ate food, we drove our separate cars and arrived back home together. My mother was noticeably disturbed and Matthew was unusually cautious, but I was nervous that the priest would find out why Jezebel was there in the first place.

So Father Preston entered first and we all followed, and the house seemed normal then. There was an air of “heaviness” he said, but I didn’t notice it because of how involved I was with the darkness at that point. Nothing was out of order beside the beds not being made since we left them in a disheveled state the night before and Jezebel was no where to be found. I was smart enough to hide my chalk, candles, knife, and book outside in the woods where no one would find the evidence of what I was doing, but even still, Father Preston looked visibly bothered by my bedroom and closet, but he said nothing. He blessed the house in its entirety and gave my mother what would be only a fleeting sense of relief.

After the ceremony was finished, we all talked outside by his car and he told us what he thought.

“I did feel as if there was some being that was lurking around the house, but I couldn’t discern any evil that would mark this entity as being demonic in nature.”

My mother then replied,

“Well, I appreciate everything you’ve done for us Father, I hope we haven’t been too much of a bother on you.”

He then replied once more before he left.

“Nonsense Mary, looking after my children of the church is never a bother to me. Please, don’t be afraid to come to me again if you ever need help.”

Then he left, and my mother and brother did feel slightly relieved after the event. Yet I was still unnerved at the way Jezebel acted the night of the incident. Soon enough evening arrived and when I realized Jezebel wasn’t in my closet, I snuck out my bedroom window and went to my ritual spot in the woods. Sure enough, I found Jezebel and now her voice was again that of a teenage girl’s. She told me how disappointed she was with me and she accused me of being a terrible friend because I didn’t want her around my brother. Needless to say, her words cut me to the core because she was the only friend I had and I had let her down. After an hour of talking and me asking her forgiveness, I finally gave Jezebel permission to be around my brother.

If only I knew what this permission actually meant to her and what it would mean for Matthew, I never would have allowed it. That was the last restful night any of us would have in that house until the hunters came.

The next night, my mother and I again woke to the dreadful screams of my brother, only this time I reacted sooner. I almost wish I hadn’t left my room because I saw something I wish I could forget. Matthew’s body was lifted twelve inches in the air, hovering over his bed and all the while, Jezebel in the deeper demonic voice told my mother and I to leave the room.

“Leave Mary! Leave my room! Marissa gave him to me! She gave him to me!”

After we heard those words, my mother instantly fainted and I could do nothing to help her. I knew I couldn’t help my brother because Jezebel was right, I had given her permission to be around my brother and I could only cry after knowing what I had actually done. The only action I could take was to drive to the church and get Father Preston so he could save us from the horror that was Jezebel.

I drove maniacally fast even though I still only had my learner’s permit at the time and when Father Preston opened the church doors to see me standing there alone, without me having to say a word, he knew something was wrong. He grabbed his Holy Bible, holy water, his crucifix, and a coat and drove us in his car.

It was the most awkward car ride I’ve ever had and probably will ever have. Neither of us spoke the entire seven minute drive and I felt so disgusted with myself because I was bringing our old town priest into a situation that he didn’t know I created.

I have many regrets in regards to this entire experience, but this had to have been the biggest regret. I didn’t tell Father Preston about Jezebel, didn’t tell him how she came to be in our house, nor did I tell him how she had rightful control over my brother. I wish I told him before he learned it all from Jezebel herself.

So we walked into the house and at the end of the hallway we could see my mother’s legs around the corner where she had fainted and we heard the deafening noise of a door constantly opening and slamming. It was dark, but I could plainly see fear in Father Preston’s eyes when he became immersed in the nightmare with us.

Father Preston was a kind, old priest who had lived in our town for two decades and it was clear to see that he had never dealt with any evil of this magnitude before. I struggle to find words that could fitly describe the fear that I felt when I realized that our priest was physically, mentally, emotionally, and spiritually incapable of defending us against this monster.

After he endured the initial shock of entering the house to the sight and sounds that greeted us, with shaking hands, he opened his Bible and began to recite verses with an equally shaken voice. After only a few minutes of reading select passages from the Bible, Jezebel became irritated and decided to confront us, only this time, we were not facing her shadow.

Matthew was crawling on his hands and feet toward us from the hallway and growling the entire time. As he came nearer, we could see from the scanty light of our nightlight plugged into the wall that his eyes were pitch black and his face was unnaturally contorted in a way that barely resembled my younger brother.

Finally I broke down. I couldn’t hide my secret any longer because of the harm she was causing us. So I fell to my knees and started to cry out to Jezebel, pleading for her to leave us alone.

“Please Jezebel, please don’t hurt us! Please leave us alone! Please don’t hurt my brother!”

Jezebel, now using her girl voice, I assume to mock me, said,

“But Marissa, you gave him to me. Remember Marissa? You gave him to me.”

At such words Father Preston stopped praying and looked down at me. He put his hand over his face as if he was ashamed for what evil I had invoked. With faint words muffled even further by my weeping, I pleaded with our priest,

“Please Father, please help us.”

He found the strength to open the bottle of holy water and he cast the blessed liquid upon my brother while reciting more prayers. His body began to flail about and he growled even more until Jezebel finally had enough. Still in my brother’s body, she left through the back door, but not before opening and shutting it six times before she left. I knew she had fled to the safety of my ritual grounds but I also knew that she was not going to be gone for long. After Jezebel departed for the night, before checking up on my mother, Father Preston knelt to the ground in front of me and roughly grabbed my shoulders. With tears pouring down his face, he shook me with what strength he had left and chastised me saying,

“What have you done girl?! What have you done?!”

I could only reply while looking away from his face,

“I’m sorry Father, I’m sorry.”

Then we attended to my mother and when she conscious again, he drove us back to the church and spoke to us.

“Mary, I am sorry for doubting you, but I am now certain that your home is plagued by a demon. This demon was summoned by your daughter Marissa for reasons only she could tell us.”

He then looked at me demanding a reason for my sacrilegious actions and with my mother looking while now crying, I told them the truth.

“I wanted a friend. I performed a ritual to summon the ghost of a teenage girl so I could finally have someone to talk to.”

I then cast my head down, refusing to look at their harsh disproval and what words I heard next I don’t quite remember. I think I’ve done well enough to forget the chastising words of my mother and our priest. All I remember after that was the conversation about a solution to the problem.

“Mary, I’m terribly sorry, but I am too old and unpracticed in the workings of demons to rid this hell spawn from your home by myself.”

My mother then replied,

“What about the Bishop? Can you call him and ask him to do it for us?”

Then Father Preston continued,

“I could contact the Bishop of our diocese and tell him what has happened, but without more and substantial physical evidence, he would not be able to come out here to deal with this demon. It could be months before the church approves of any considerable action in regards to this problem.”

Now my mother in dire straights, pleaded with our priest and asked,

“Can you please call him anyway? There has to be something he can do. You saw that demon, Father. We can’t go back home, we just can’t.”

Father Preston took a deep sigh and relented saying,

“I will call him.”

We left his office and sat in the pews again for at least half an hour before he called my mother and I back in to tell us what could be done.

“I called the Bishop and I expressed to him the urgency of our matter and the lack of force we have in order to deal with such a malignant entity. What advice I am about to offer you is advice that is not officially sanctioned by the Catholic Church in any way. In fact, the Catholic Church does not condone the advice I am about to give you, Mary, but I see no other choice. I am the only Catholic priest in our area of Montana for three hundred miles and even the closest ones to us would still not be able to fight the evil that your daughter has allowed into our world. However, there are two men who can save your family from this demon and after I tell you about them, you have the choice to call upon them or not. But if you do decide to call upon these men, know that I cannot help you any further until this is all over.”

We were taken aback by what we had heard, but finally, my mother agreed to hear of these men who could possibly be our saviors.

“Our Bishop knows of two men, brothers even, who “hunt” demons with motives unclear to everyone who has heard about them. The younger brother is a practitioner of the witchcraft called Wicca which is forbidden and condemned by the church. He has no affiliation with us, but his older brother used to be affiliated with the church. Our Bishop went to seminary with the elder of the brothers whose name no one speaks any longer and whose records no longer exist in the church, but according to our Bishop, this man was different. He isn’t even quite sure how he was accepted into seminary because he was so quiet and indifferent to preaching. Though he did exceedingly well in his studies, he never seemed fit to lead a parish or even assist in one for that matter. He also had no friends the entire time he was in school. People tried to talk to him, tried to befriend him, but he would never allow anyone to get close to him. No one was quite sure what his reason for being in seminary was, but he stayed the course. Only until the last year of seminary did people start talking poorly of him, saying he shouldn’t be there and he couldn’t offer anything to the church, and he was consequently spoken to by the elders. Now, our Bishop didn’t see what had happened, but the rumor was that after so many warnings by the elders of the seminary, this man apparently mutilated himself and possibly tried to commit suicide. Someone found his unconscious body in the men’s restroom and he was carried to the hospital by paramedics. Shortly thereafter, he was expelled from the seminary and excommunicated from the Catholic church because of his reasoning for his behavior. Some also say that he was actually pronounced dead on the school grounds but was later revived without the intervention of any medical equipment or personnel. Though this man no longer has any record or affiliation with the church, our Bishop says that some still call upon him and his brother to hunt demons that they would be unable to exorcise due to the rigorous constraints of our protocol. In all the twenty years I’ve been here working with our Bishop, this is the first I’ve heard of these men. But because they were recommended to me by one who exceeds me in wisdom, I grant you the choice Mary, to call upon these men to hunt this demon, or to wait as long as you can until we gather sufficient evidence for the Catholic church to become heavily involved.”

My mother looked at me and then to Father Preston and said,

“I’m sorry Father, but we are not strong enough to wait. We can’t wait.”

Father Preston then replied,

“I understand Mary, I was witness to the horror that now lives in your home and I am glad you have done this for your family’s sake. Give me some more time to contact our Bishop who will then contact these men for us.”

So we left the priest again but only for ten minutes this time and with a look of uncertain happiness, he told us more when we returned to his office.

“The men are flying out tonight. They are on their way to the airport as we speak, but before I let you two rest, I must tell you more about these men. The younger brother, the witchcraft practitioner, is named Marcus. I am told he is an amiable fellow who knows much about his craft, much more than a man ought to know about sorcery, and his elder brother doesn’t have a name. The Bishop claims that no one speaks his real name any longer, but instead, to those that know about him, he is known only as “Child of God.” Apparently he keeps his faith in our God, but because he is not officially ordained, he cannot be a priest; thus, he uses a title that we all bear since we are all children of God. Not much else is known about these brothers, but the advice I can give is that you leave them to their own devices. Don’t get involved with them and stay out of their way. There is a reason why our Bishop says that they are called upon in times of great trouble and urgency and it is because they can overcome these evil forces. When they arrive, they know better than to step into this church, thus, they will be waiting for you at your house tomorrow morning. Now, get some rest before the night is spent and when our Bishop calls, I will wake you up for they will have arrived.”

After he gave us all the information we needed, we were able again to rest in the safety of our church knowing that we were getting help.

Father Preston woke us up at ten o’clock in the morning and gave my mother a copy of the Holy Bible in case she wouldn’t be able to get to hers at home. He also said prayers for us all and wished us safety in the coming trials.

Finally we left and had breakfast at a local diner. We were the only ones there and neither of us said a word the entire time. After our morning meal, we drove home to find a rental car in our driveway and there waiting for us was a man in a black robe. He was holding a tome of what was presumably spells and over his shoulder he had a satchel full of his materials, ingredients, and trinkets. My mother then asked sheepishly as she had never encountered a real life witch before,

“Are you Marcus?”

He replied without a smile, but with a warm face,

“Yes I am.”

I then asked,

“Where is your brother?”

Marcus gave reply,

“He is praying somewhere. He should be done any moment.”

No sooner had he finished his sentence did we see his brother come from the side of the house. From afar he looked like Marcus as he too was wearing a black robe, but as he drew nearer, I understood why the church doesn’t speak about him. His entire body was covered; he wore a black robe, black gloves, black boots, and a black hood. He carried with him a tome which wasn’t a Holy Bible as well as a walking staff. But the most disturbing part of him was his face, or lack thereof. His head was covered by a hood and his face was covered by what seemed to be an iron mask. It was an expressionless, genderless face mask and over the eyes was wrapped a fresh strip of gauze. I could only assume that he looked somewhat like Marcus if they were indeed brothers related by blood, but the iron mask was so vexing to look at that I could never truly imagine what “Child of God” actually looked like.

We were bothered by his brother, but to be kind, my mother extended her hand to “Child of God” as if to introduce herself, but with that blank, blind face, he stared at her and didn’t say a word. Marcus then asked to go inside in order to prepare and instead of opening the door, my mother gave him the key to the house. We intended to stay outside far out of their way, but Marcus insisted that we be a part of it, or at least be inside the house while they did what is was they were infamous for doing.

As soon as we entered our home, Jezebel began to slam doors and run in front of us through the hallway. Neither Marcus nor “Child of God” were bothered in the slightest by her outrage and their calm demeanors only seemed to frighten my mother more for some reason. To ease her fear, Marcus began to ask my mother questions.

“How did this demon get here and why has it possessed your son?”

My mother reluctantly looked at me and said,

“You explain to them Marissa.”

So I had the attention of both Marcus and his brother and I told them the story of Jezebel and Matthew. As I neared the end of my story, Marcus began flipping through his tome and when he found the page he was seeking, he reached into his satchel and retrieved a vial of powder and a flask of liquid of which I didn’t ask the names or purposes. Then I heard “Child of God” speak for the first time. His voice was soft and barely audible behind his metal mask and even then I couldn’t understand what he had said because he was speaking in Latin. He said something to Marcus and then he retreated in front of the fire place where he opened his book and began to pray.

All the while Marcus and “Child of God” were preparing themselves, Jezebel, began to taunt the brothers using Matthew’s voice, her female voice, and her demonic voice. Neither of them were fazed in any way by the taunts and they kept praying and preparing in silence. Their silence was broken when Marcus finally stood up with some blue powdery mixture in his hands and called to “Child of God”.

“Okay brother, I am ready.”

As he said this, “Child of God” stood up from in front of the fire place with his book and staff in hand and turned in our direction. The gauze wrapped around the eye holes of his mask were spotted red with blood and some began to drip onto the mask itself. At that point, I’m not sure who frightened me more, “Child of God” or Jezebel. But as he stood up, he began speaking to Jezebel in Latin and apparently said things which irked her immensely. They continued conversing with each other in their dead language until the demon finally charged toward the man in front of the fireplace. As she did this, Marcus stood in front and pushed his hands onto Matthew’s chest. A blast of powder filled the air and my brother was laying supine on the ground after having had the wind knocked out of him. Then “Child of God” took a chair and together they sat my brother’s body on it and Marcus then used some kind of white twine to bind his hands around the backrest and his feet around the chair legs. When he was able to breathe again, Matthew started to flail about, trying to break free, but the thin twine seemed to hold him in place as if they were metal handcuffs.

After they had contained Jezebel by chaining my brother to the chair, “Child of God” spoke again to Marcus in his hauntingly soft voice and Marcus translated for us.

“Do you have a garden?”

My mother looked at him curiously and with a feeble voice answered,


Marcus then looked at me and gave me a command,

“You, girl, take my brother to the garden.”

I was too afraid to ask why, so I looked at “Child of God” staring at me through the bloody gauze and I just started to walk to the garden. He followed close behind me and when we reached the garden outside, he immediately walked to the rose bushes. I stood behind him as he set down his book and staff and I watched him pull out a massive hunting knife. He started to cut some of the stems off the bush and when I saw him destroy my mother’s garden, I called him out.

“Hey, what are you doing?!”

The instant I said that, he turned around and glared at me through the now bloodier gauze tape. He then pointed his finger at the door as if to tell me to go back inside. I was upset that he was killing our rose bushes, but I was too intimidated to argue with him.

A short while later he came back in the house with a tiara made from our best roses. It was actually very beautiful and well put together, it looked like something I would have liked to wear if not for the thorns in the stems. When Marcus saw this floral fillet, he just mysteriously stated his approval,

“Ah, roses. Even better.”

My mother, just as confounded as me, asked why he spent precious time making a crown of roses and Marcus told us why.

“This demon, though strong enough to possess your son, does not exude an aura that defiles all life in this house. Your roses are proof that goodness still exists midst this darkness that now has whelmed your home.”

He then took the crown from “Child of God” and then looked at me and said,

“Because this demon is spiritually linked to you, it is you who will help us destroy this demon. With your blood was this abomination released, and with your blood shall it be soon contained.”

He then quickly grasped my right hand and before I could react, punctured my palm with a thorn from the stem of the tiara. I recoiled in pain and my mother pulled me close to her to protect me from any more harm. Then Marcus took the crown of roses and gently put it on my brother’s head. My mother tried to stop him saying that the rose thorns would cut his skin, but as she said that, I think just to spite her, he jammed the fillet with great force onto Matthew’s head and then caused Jezebel in her girl voice to scream in pain. My mother was too afraid to do anything after this cruel display of disregard for my brother’s life. Then again, “Child of God” spoke to his brother and Marcus translated by asking me,

“Where do you conduct your rituals, girl?”

I said timidly,

“Outside in the woods.”

Marcus continued asking questions.

“Where are your books and tools of this devilish trade?”

So I answered again with my mother looking highly disappointed in me.

“They are all outside.”

Then his said,

“Lead the way.”

As I started to walk outside, Marcus held his brother’s book while “Child of God” dragged the chair Matthew was tied to as everyone started to follow me. All the while, Jezebel was trying to manipulate us by using Matthew’s voice to plea for help, then using her girl voice to shame me, and finally using the demonic voice to frighten us. My mother was nervous but “Child of God” tried to reassure her by saying something in Latin. Needless to say, his soft spoken words didn’t do much to calm my mother. Finally we reached the woods and my ritual site. When my mother saw the chalked pentagram, she nearly swooned and sighed,

“O goodness Marissa, how could you do this?”

I didn’t answer but instead retrieved my treasure chest that had all my candles, my chalk, my knife, and my books in it. Marcus looked inside, moved things around, and then closed the lid. Then he motioned to his brother and “Child of God” lifted Matthew and the chair and placed him in the center of the pentagram. The demon inside of him was furious and again began to flail to no avail. Now standing just on the outside of the circle, “Child of God” had his book again and began to recite prayers in Latin. As he was doing this, Marcus took a large jar of green powder and started to carefully pour it over the chalk pentagram. My mother was startled and quickly asked,

“What are you doing? What is that? It smells like gun powder!”

Marcus, without turning to look at my mother, in an annoyed voice, commanded her,

“Quiet woman!”

As each of these men were preparing for whatever rite they had planned, I noticed the gauze wrap of “Child of God” was soaking wet with blood and it seemed as he prayed longer and longer, more tears of blood dripped onto the mask. Finally Marcus had covered the entire circle and star with a thin layer of green powder and then he set my box of necromancy supplies underneath Matthew’s chair. He then took a lighter out of his satchel and lit the edge of the ring on fire. I don’t really know if that was green colored gun powder, but it smelled and burned like it. At the instant he kindled the flames, my mother tried to rush toward Matthew, but Marcus pushed his hands into her chest and knocked her flat on her back. She was heaving for air as her wind had been knocked out and I stooped beside her holding her in my arms.

Soon enough the entire pentagram shape went ablaze and then the box underneath my brother caught on fire. As this happened, my mother finally fainted from what I assume was pure panic and a lack of oxygen. I tried to turn away but I couldn’t help but look. Now in a frighteningly deep and loud voice, “Child of God” began to chant even more and it seemed like his words were some kind of acid being poured on Jezebel. Now using only her demonic voice, I couldn’t tell what she was saying to him, but it sounded like she was trying to reason with him, almost like someone tries to reason with their murderer before they are slain.

Then I watched as Marcus pulled out a small box from his satchel and walked behind the pentagram, facing his brother on the other side. “Child of God” slowly lifted his hands while still holding his staff and book, and as he did this, the fire rose higher as if he was a puppeteer pulling on the strings of the flames. Then I remember blinking because he shut the book which made a loud thud and then he held his staff over his head while walking through the fire to my brother. As “Child of God” walked toward the center of the circle, Marcus did the same from the other end. He continued to pray a little more until finally he drove the uplift staff straight into Matthew’s chest where his heart would be. Then I saw the shadowy Jezebel leave through my brother’s gaping mouth and as she finally left his body, Marcus held the small box over his face and captured her essence.

He quickly left the circle and wrapped the box in the white twine and he poured a vial of liquid over it once it was tied shut. After he doused the box in the liquid, the fire was extinguished and I saw only a circle and star of ashes where the pentagram was, a pile of ashes underneath Matthew where my box was, and ashes covering his face and head where the rose crown was. All the noise and fervor had ceased and Matthew was fast asleep. My mother was still unconscious as the hunters prepared their belongings and cleaned up the mess. Both Marcus and “Child of God” gave me their books and staff to carry for them while Marcus dragged Matthew in his chair and “Child of God” carried my mother in his arms like a dead body.

When we got back inside the house, “Child of God” laid my mother on her bed while Marcus untied Matthew and laid him on his bed. They then took their books and staff from me and without a word, began to walk outside. I followed them close behind and as I realized they had no intention of saying goodbye, I decided to give a farewell.

“Thank you for saving us.”

Marcus continued walking, just completely ignoring me while his brother, “Child of God” turned around one last time and stared at me. Through the blood stained gauze over his iron mask, I could feel him looking into my soul, and he said to me,

“I pray that I may never see you again.”

That was the first time I heard him speak English and the last. I will always remember those words he said to me because at first it stung, it felt like he hated me, but when I think about it now, when I look at my two year old daughter, I realize the sentiment is mutual. I also pray that my daughter doesn’t make the same mistake I made growing up and I pray that I may never have a reason see those men again.

Credit To – Marissa D.

VN:F [1.9.22_1171]
Rate This Pasta
Rating: 8.3/10 (1290 votes cast)
LineWhatsAppTumblrFacebookTwitterRedditPinterestGoogle GmailGoogle+StumbleUponShare


October 25, 2014 at 12:00 AM
VN:F [1.9.22_1171]
Rate This Pasta
Rating: 7.2/10 (183 votes cast)

I’ve heard there are two kinds of people: those who have vivid dreams, dreams of things and events, some impossible some mundane, some joyous some horrible — and those who have the same kinds of dreams but don’t remember them. I’d give anything if I could fit into either category.

I remember my dreams, but “dreams” is a misnomer; it’s the same dream every night. And it’s not even a dream of a series of events. It’s just a snapshot, a moment, a flash photo. But it’s a snapshot I can’t look away from, an eternal moment in which I experience indescribable horror. I can’t remember not having this dream. It’s been my companion my whole life.

I’m in some room I don’t recognize, and in the middle there’s a kind of hole or vortex, but it’s not a physical hole. And out of it is arising some horrific monstrosity. It doesn’t see me yet, but it’s about to turn its attention to me. And I know that when it perceives me, it will take me to hell with it to experience unbearable torment for eternity. It’s the moment before the demon sees me. And I’m filled with an absolute terror, the terror of someone who knows he is damned forever.

Every … single … night.

Ironically, as a teenager, I started getting very interested in the occult. You’d think my dream would have had an adverse affect on that, but, for whatever reason, I just never connected the two until much later (and when I did, it wasn’t in the way you’d expect). It certainly didn’t spark my interest. But as I grew older, I pursued my occultic activities more and more. By my early thirties, I was already one of the more advanced students in the craft.

By my late thirties, however, I noticed something disturbing about my dream. It wasn’t exactly the same. I remember as a child the demon was facing away from me — not that it had a face, but its attention was on the opposite side of the room from where I was standing. But now, it had turned. Its attention was on the side of the room to my right. It was still just a snapshot, but I could tell it was in the process of turning to face me and be aware of me, and I knew the moment it did what would happen.

I started thinking that my dream was a premonition. This was my destiny, my doom. Yet I didn’t have the power in me to move off of the path I was on, to avoid such a confrontation. It was almost as if the dream and my life had no connection. I was barely able to bring my dream to mind during my day-to-day activities. When I turned fifty, I realized the demon had almost completed the turn. Its attention was almost upon me.

But then my conception of the dream started changing. I had been thinking that my life was the reality and the dream was a foreshadow or a message from another time in my life. But the opposite was the case. The dream was the reality and my life was just a message. I don’t mean that my life was just a shadow of some deeper reality, although I suspect that’s true. I mean something even weirder.

You know how some people say that when you die your life flashes before your eyes? That’s what my life was. I was living, reliving, my life in the moment before the demon saw me. I was experiencing my life flashing before my eyes. The dream that I’d been having all my life wasn’t a dream. It was the present moment. I had been playing with religion and had summoned a demon that would take me to hell. And in my final moment, my life was replaying itself.

Except there was a difference. If you keep choosing to be angry, or hateful, you’ll eventually reach the point where you can no longer choose not to be angry or hateful. Slowly, as we live our lives, we are taking away our own freedoms, and eventually becoming the people we will be forever. I had spent nearly all my life making particular choices and selecting certain courses of action. I realize now that my choices were not just a turning towards the occult, but a running away from — I don’t even want to say the word — God. I had been rejecting him with every conscious thought for so long that I was no longer able to accept him. I had taken away my ability to choose him.

And yet, somehow, I realize now as I approach my doom, that I am being given the power to choose God. I don’t want to choose him. But I know that I can. I am being buoyed up so that the effects of a lifetime spent rejecting him no longer force me to continue to do so. I can choose. I can actually choose.

And a still, small voice inside me asks: What do you choose?

Credit To – Jim S.

VN:F [1.9.22_1171]
Rate This Pasta
Rating: 7.2/10 (183 votes cast)
LineWhatsAppTumblrFacebookTwitterRedditPinterestGoogle GmailGoogle+StumbleUponShare

Invoking Aziuth

October 24, 2014 at 12:00 PM
VN:F [1.9.22_1171]
Rate This Pasta
Rating: 8.1/10 (157 votes cast)

I lifted my eyes for only a moment. His form was unspeakable. An insidious darkness, a void opened to reality. My body lost all its strength, I fell to the floor, loosing my bladder.

“Speak, slave.” The demon’s voice was sharp, metallic.
I strained to lift my head again, to behold the horrifying shape of Aziuth. My flesh wanted flee the utter awfulness of the moment. My voice failed me.

The demon made a deep, almost purring noise. Like a satisfied lion about to eviscerate his prey.

“O great Aziuth, dread prince of spoiled flesh and broken slaves. Favor me now. Favor me with one request.”

I’ve always admired the Devil. Not so much for all the genocide and misery he’s instigated, but because Satan is the original freethinker. It says somewhere in the Bible that Lucifer was once one of God’s highest and most beautiful of angels, but one day he decided he’d had enough of serving God and was ready to start taking care of himself. I like that.

I’ve tried to live out that attitude in my own life. I’ve blazed my own path and searched out my own knowledge. It’s led to some unexpected turns…

Children with No Hearts

In the summer of 2013 I ran across a curious news story out Rosenberg, Ohio, a small town in the southeast end of the state. In the course of 3 days, four teenage boys were found dead in two separate incidents. The first pair was found dead in a cemetery. The second in the sanctuary of a Methodist church. Both times there was no sign of struggle, distress, or cause of death. Later autopsies, however, revealed missing hearts in each victim. The story ran for about a day before disappearing. As a connoisseur of the bizarre and grotesque stories, I was intrigued, but with so little to go on, I thought little of it.

When later that October, three new cases were reported, my interest was peaked. The stories were from across the country: Raleigh, North Carolina; Davenport, Arizona; and New Salem, California, totaling seven victims that Fall. In each incident, the victims were teenagers, found in cemeteries or churches, no signs of foul play, but each was missing their heart. Again, the stories ran for about a day or two before being removed.

A little extra digging into the cases (side note: you’d be surprised at how little cyber security most police departments utilize), added some details to cases: First, peculiar items were found at each crime scene. At the first two candles and a broken mirror were found. The third, about a pint of spilled feline blood and rose petals. The final two: a broken mirror, five smooth black stones, and broken bird and hamster cages (respectively). Second, the teenagers had reputation for being “weird” and/or “into witchcraft.” Third, there was no sign of cutting or removal of the hearts. It was as though they simply had never been there. Fourth, police were utterly baffled as to the identity of the assailant, means, or motive. Authorities, of course, deduced the victims were doing something occult-related but were stumped otherwise.

After my research, the situation became plain to me. These imbeciles had tried to invoke a spirit—and failed.

Infernal Conversation

They weren’t the first to have the notion. Honestly, any half-wit with a Ouija board, or even Scrabble tiles, can make contact with spirits. I’m pretty sure there’s a Wikipedia article about it. It’s not that hard.
What these morons were attempting was something much more daring and perilous: they were attempting to summon a demon for conversation.

In all my years of exploring the occult, I’ve never intentionally tried to contact a demon. Why? Demons are prickly by nature (to say the least). They are pitiless, deceptive, and unwaveringly sadistic. They are almost unendingly brilliant and unfathomably powerful. They also hate being bothered or bored.

As the kids with missing hearts found out, pissing off a demon can have dire consequences.

That’s not to say demons don’t like to talk. That’s their weakness. Like their Father Below, dark spirits have enormous egos and they love to show off. A well-performed invocation ritual can stir a demon’s pride enough to share all sorts of chthonian secrets.

Can you imagine what could be learned by speaking with a being who has existed for eons? Who watched while the Almighty Himself wove time and matter into existence with a word? What puzzles of Reality could be solved for the first time! Or the honor of standing with the great occultic masters who themselves had personal demonic encounters and lived to tell of it?

As I considered these things, my chest ached. I wondered if I could succeed where others had failed. Could I stand with the masters? Could I learn the ancient and marvelous secrets others have longed for? I’ve always had an insatiable hunger for knowledge and I felt that appetite whetted.

Exploring the Sulphurous Order

Initiating a tête-à-tête with one of the Fallen requires intense planning, skill, and not a little luck. If I didn’t want to end up like those lackwits with the missing hearts, I’d first need to see where they’d gone wrong. It didn’t take long.

The fact that seven people from across the country suddenly decided to attempt an invoking ritual with disastrous results indicated to me that they didn’t get this out of a book. They’d been on the internet.

I found the link with relative ease. The ritual described was meant to call Aziuth, a demon who allegedly specialized in riddles. The ritual itself was a little awkward but essentially right, I knew. All the elements were there: an act of service to get the spirit’s attention, a gift to honor it, proper words of invitation to speak to it. The description of the encounter itself though was something else though.

According to the guide, if successfully performed, the mortal interlocutor could ask one question to which the demon was bound to answer honestly. In return, the malevolent spirit was allowed to ask one riddle which must be solved. Failure to correctly solve the riddle would have devastating consequences, but these could be warded off by using a mirror to trick the demon.

No wonder those kids died.

For the next two weeks, I spent each night after work feverishly reading and studying late into the night. My own research into Aziuth revealed he was worshipped for a short while by the early Hittites and Chaldeans as a minor deity. He was known for exchanging knowledge and solving riddles in exchange for the hearts of slaves sacrificed to him. He remains one of the only dark spirits thought to tell the truth 100% of the time, apparently seeing lying to a human as debasing himself. Aziuth worship continued throughout history but only among obscure cults with fetishes for knowledge of the Other.

According to die dunkel Metaphysik, Aziuth’s primary motivation is gaining slaves for himself in the spiritual realm, “Unlike others in the Sulphurous Order who exchange favors with mortals for the sake of influence and power in the human realm, Aziuth only wants souls.”

Maleficent beings often attempt to collect followers, but in the case of Aziuth, he has no desire to gain living, human followers. Instead, he collects slaves for the spiritual realm. To what specific end, I don’t care to speculate. À travers le voile d’or confirms the same, observing, “Aziuth appears to condescend to answer human questions only in hopes of ensnaring souls. Above all, Aziuth craves more servants to absorb.”

Practically, this meant that Aziuth would be one of the most dangerous spirits to try to invoke. Unlike other devils, he likely wouldn’t be looking to write a contract, answer questions for the sake of showing off, or try to convince me to assist him to more nefarious ends. Aziuth would be hungry to add me immediately to his menagerie of eternally anguished slaves.

The key to escape would be the question. I needed something that would allow me to glimpse the Other without forfeiting my soul.

Filling the Bucket

At this point either cowardice or sanity should have broken in to give me pause. What was I doing? Risking my eternal soul to what end? What question could be worth such danger?

But it never happened. In my feverish state of mind, I could only see the glory of triumphing over the demon. I set to work on my preparations which I knew would require at least another month. To begin I would need an empty paint bucket.

As I mentioned before, contacting spirits is truly not difficult. Ghosts and other lesser spectral beings tend to be accessible – even chatty. This is why some have glimpsed the other side by just casually experimenting with even mere playing cards.

Demons, on the other hand, have a much higher opinion of themselves, and are thus much harder to provoke to conversation. This is where the Invoking Ritual comes into play.

(Granted, occasionally a person will speak with an infernal spirit through a Ouija board, but I don’t recommend it. Such spirits have a tendency to be even more unpredictably violent and compulsively cruel than even your average Fallen. These are the kinds of spirits who won’t hesitate to take that first contact as an invitation to enter your home/life and start tearing things apart just for kicks. Even Satan’s army has a few thrill-seeking psychotics.)

At its heart, the Invoking Ritual is an invitation to a spirit to appear to you. Depending on the level of or specific demon you’re calling, the ritual itself can be long, complex, and costly (in more than one way). A poorly done Invocation will usually mean that nothing happens. Sometimes though, a ham-fisted attempt will be interpreted as an insult to the demon. In Aziuth’s case, he might collect my heart before I could even ask my question.

First, an act of service must be performed. Usually the act of service is meant to be a sign or foretaste of later favors to be offered. Almost inevitably, the act of service involves the desecration of a holy or sacred place. This is why all of the 2013 deaths took place in graveyards and churches. The older or more significant the location, the better.

Sometimes the act of desecration is not only about swimming naked in your local baptistery or Holy Font or turning all the crosses upside down. For those higher up in the Sulphurous Order, they require an act of personal desecration. I won’t get into what that means other than to say, they want to see you mar the imago Dei found in your own soul…or another person’s.

For my own act of service, I chose Philip Road Baptist Church. A small, countrified house of worship with no security system beyond the deadbolt on the front door. The church has stood for almost 70 years, and if the attendance board at the front of the sanctuary is right, they boast almost 120 on Sunday morning. It took me almost two weeks to find it.

I’d really have rather performed the ritual in a Catholic church, if for no other reason than the sense of tradition and ritual is stronger (have you ever been to a Catholic wedding? How about spill some of the communion wine?!) Unfortunately, Our Lady of Fatima is much more distrustful and had invested in ADT security.

For the act of service itself, I was able to buy a liter of fresh pig blood from a local butcher. I told him I was making blood sausage and pudding.

“You don’t look the chef-type,” said the coarse old man.
“Yeah, I’m branching out a bit. Would fifty do?”
I had to pay him a hundred bucks for it and he made me wait a week and half for it. He eyeballed me the entire time like he was memorizing my face for later, probably “just in case.”

After the act of service, a gift is usually expected. This was the part I dreaded most. For my gift, I found a hyper Lab-mix awaiting execution at the pound. His name was Edgar. The worker warned me it was considered a “problem dog.” Not sure what to say, I mumbled a response and left to shop for kibble.

Having all of this in place, I spent the next three days putting the final touches on my preparations. I planned my route, purchased my extra candles, and other odds and ends.

I scoured the old texts for the right words of invocation. Again, invocations are more like an invitation than a summons. Summoning a spirit suggests you have a measure of control over it. When it comes to infernal powers, you have zero ability to compel or coerce. Thus, the words of the invocation are a special plea for their favor; an appeal for them to demonstrate their power. Demons aren’t looking for the poetry of Milton or Tennyson, but they do respond to a well-turned phrase.

Toward the end of my preparation, I began a six day fast. Spirits are attuned to our physical states (probably as a means of better manipulating us). By fasting before the ritual, I hoped that Aziuth would see how committed and desperate to speak with him.

As a further step to prove my utter meekness, I filled the paint bucket during my days of fasting, just in case Aziuth demanded a final proof my humility.

A Rusted Edge

The month of preparation had passed in a blur. My hunger to know had turned into an obsessive quest, especially toward the end. I stopped returning missed calls and answering emails. Unpaid bills piled up by front door. I exhausted all my sick time and started using vacation days at work. The concerned calls from friends and odd looks from neighbors didn’t faze me. When the utility company turned off the power, I simply started working by candlelight.

Wednesday, the night before I planned to perform the Invoking, I had a terrifying moment of clarity. I was standing in my tool shed, looking at the various garden tools searching for my metal grinder so I could sharpen my hunting knife. Eddie was in the yard chasing his own tail. An old garden spade caught my eye for some reason. In particular the dull, rusted edge.

Between all the obsessive reading and planning and thinking and the endless damn fasting, I’d forgotten to sleep. At that point, I think I’d been awake for almost 40 hours. I stood staring at that rusted edge for nearly five minutes, completely blank.

That’s when finally, my moment of clear-thinking arrived to my great horror. In all the obsessive reading and planning and thinking and the damn endless fasting, I’d forgotten to come up with a question. THE QUESTION!

I began to tremble. The shed blurred and spun. I heard myself laughing—or maybe sobbing.

A voice spoke from the darkness of my backyard.

“Paige County PD,” the voice announced, “Sir, are you all right?”
The world swam back into focus. My hand was throbbing. I cleared my throat, trying to gain composure.
“What? No. What, what’s going on?” I heard myself whine. I couldn’t control my voice. My hand throbbed insistently.
“Neighbors reported—” a beam of light, “Hey, what’s that in your hand?”
“Oh,” I looked down, saw the rusted spade fall from my hand with a gout of livid blood. The world faded again.

I lay devastated in the hospital bed. My injured left hand felt heavy and numb. Gripped by both rage and despair, I couldn’t decide if I wanted to scream or throw up. My fantasies of glory lay ruined in my tool shed. How could I have been so stupid! So short-sighted! Now I waited to hear what fresh humiliation was awaiting me.

Apparently in my terrible moment of lucidity, I started laughing (or crying, there are conflicting reports) so loudly I woke the neighbors and scared their kids. I had carried on like this in my dimly lit tool shed for about fifteen minutes before the responding officer arrived. During that intervening fifteen minutes I also apparently had grabbed hold of the rusty and surprisingly sharp edge of the hand spade I had earlier been studying and sliced open my hand. That’s how the officer found me, laughing (or sobbing) uncontrollably in my backyard, holding the bloody garden spade.

Two hours and ten stitches later, I came around. I spent the next two hours trying to convince the cop, the ER doc, and the attending physician from the psych floor that no, I wasn’t suicidal or having psychotic thoughts, I was just overworked, over-stressed, and sleep-deprived. They each listened with a mixture of polite indulgence and skepticism; their antennae specially attuned to detect BS.

While I knew I didn’t have any fear from a legal standpoint, I was afraid they would try to keep me on a 72-hour psych hold as a safety precaution. I wasn’t sure if I could suffer the indignity.

I lay quietly on the bed, replaying my answers to the doctor from the psych floor over and over again, preparing myself when a pretty, auburn-haired nurse came in.

“Hey there, how’re we feeling?”
“Not bad. Pride hurts a bit,” I tried to chuckle, but came up dry.
“Hm. Well, Dr. Francisco is writing your discharge papers, so you’re about go home.” She pulled the IV as she spoke. I tried not to wince as the sting as she withdrew the needle.
“Great. I’m ready to get home.”
“I bet. You need to rest. The doctor is writing you a prescription for some medicine to help you sleep. I hear you were awake for almost 40 hours? What is it that’s kept you up so long?” She asked as she busied herself preparing my departure.
“Oh, uh, I’ve just been trying to work on a problem. Kind of untangling a riddle.” I said, sitting up and swinging my legs over the bed.
“I’ve never really cared for riddles. I prefer things to just be straightforward. Be as they are,” she observed, “Well, here’s your bag of clothes if you want to change out of that gown. Someone will be back to walk you out once the papers are signed.”

I stumbled into my house exhausted, aching, and defeated. The idiot dog met me at the door, wagging his tail, happy to see me. Ignoring Edgar and shedding clothes along the way, I willed myself down the hallway and to my bedroom. I fell into the crumpled sheets expecting to sleep a few hours.

Edgar urged me awake Saturday morning: his cold wet nose pressing into my bare chest, his rough tongue dragging across my face. I shooed him away, but my aching bladder coaxed me out of bed. It would be another hour before I realized I had slept two whole days.
As I relieved myself I heard the pretty nurse’s voice echo in my mind. I almost pitied her.

I never really cared for puzzles.
Just another person who doesn’t like to think.
I prefer things to be just straightforward.
Just another sheep.
Be as they are.
I knew the solution to my problem.

Calling the Unspeakable

I felt like a man resurrected. Lazarus himself probably didn’t feel as alive as I. Feeling fresh and rested, I attacked the final preparations with a near-giddiness. By the afternoon, everything was organized and ready. Each step of the ritual meticulously planned and prepared. No more delays. No mistakes.

Edgar and I set out a little after midnight. I regretted losing the two previous days but hoped the demon would take special pleasure in seeing the desecrating ritual on the Sabbath.

Driving the church, I remembered a passage from the Dürr-i Meknûn, a 15th century Turkish text, which warns that when mortals encounter the Other, there is inevitable metamorphosis. I wondered what my own change would be like.

The dark sanctuary felt preternaturally still. A thunderous quiet. Dappled moonlight splashed across the wooden pews and glinted off the gold-leafed pages of the open Bible on the pulpit. There were no statues of saints or portraits of biblical figures in the church, but I felt the heavy gaze of many disapproving eyes.

I stripped my clothes, leaving them at the threshold between the sanctuary and the foyer of the small church. Aziuth would not suffer such pride.

After tying Edgar to a pew a few rows back from the front, I walked the aisle alone with my duffel bag of supplies. I hoped that I wouldn’t have to offer Edgar. My stitched hand throbbed.

To begin, I used the liter of pig’s blood to christen the two symbols of renewal: the baptistery and the pulpit, smearing them both with the dark and sticky liquid. Using my finger, I drew pagan symbols in the blood. The remainder I used to draw a large pentagram on the floor in front of the altar. Next I drew out five tall, black candles and placing them on the perimeter of the pentagram. Moving counter-clockwise, I lit each candle while muttering a blasphemy. My act of desecration.
I set back on my knees, naked and smeared in gore. I whispered the words of invitation to the unhallowed silence.
The quiet persisted.

I repeated the invitation, louder, begging the honor of putrid and awful presence of Aziuth.
The quiet persisted.

Stretching prone on the floor, I strained my voice repeating the invocation.
The quiet persisted.

Drawing myself up again, I reached for the hunting knife and let it glide in an arc across my chest. The wound wept scarlet. I screamed the words again.

In desperation, I reached for the paint bucket of excrement that I had filled during my week of fasting. Picking up the sloshing pail, about to pour it over myself as a final demonstration of humility, I heard a soft whine.

I turned my head slightly, I saw Edgar at the end of his leash, backing away, whining softly. I lowered the pail carefully and scanned the darkness. Nothing. Was it –

It was the odor that announced his arrival. The most awful, putrescent stink I’ve ever known. It smelled like the church was filled with thousands of bloated, sun-baked corpses. I dry-heaved at the stench, my stomach roiling and violently twisting in revolt.
The stitches of my injured hand burst.

I lifted my eyes for only a moment. His form was unspeakable. An insidious darkness, a void opened to reality.
Aziuth had come!

My body lost all its strength, I fell to the floor loosing my bladder.
“Speak, slave.” The demon’s voice was sharp, metallic.
I strained to lift my head again, to behold the horrifying shape of Aziuth. My flesh wanted flee the utter awfulness of the moment. My voice failed me.

The demon made a deep, almost purring noise. Like a satisfied lion about to eviscerate his prey.

“O great Aziuth, dread prince of spoiled flesh and broken slaves. Favor me now. Favor me with one request.”
“Speak.” He commanded, impatient.
“Show me your true form,” I managed before my forehead hit the ground again.

The awful purring stopped. The air grew hot and dense. I could feel the floor vibrating beneath me.

I heard a wet, choking noise. I lifted my head, my limbs suddenly feeling weightless. In front of me, I saw what looked like the moldering corpse of a malformed fetus. The torso was frightful: pale and rubbery, with a twisted and exposed spine. The limbs were shrunken, useless. The head was enormous and misshapen with an open cavity for a nose and long, jagged teeth. The Thing seemed to struggle to breathe and wallowed uselessly on the floor.

I got to my feet and looked in utter shock at the creature.
“Aziuth?” I said in dumbstruck.
It coughed in response.
I stood a moment. Was this a trap? Some deception? No, I realized, Aziuth does not deceive. He only gives naked truth.
“You’re pathetic,” I approached slowly, “I crapped more frightening things than you in that bucket over there.”

The monster’s pale body turned rosy, it tried to kick a withered leg.

“I could crush you right now, couldn’t I?” I put my foot on its enormous and nauseating head, “That’s what a worm like you deserves, isn’t it?”

Edgar suddenly appeared. Having chewed through his leash, he approached the monster, curious. He sniffed it, licked the rubbery form, and then lifted his leg.

A laugh burst from my lips. The great and terrible Aziuth had just been pissed on by a dog who was going to be his sacrifice.

“Are you really so pitiful, Aziuth?”
The tiny demon’s body shook with rage.

The Metamorphosis

I don’t remember what happened next beyond a deafening clap of thunder. When I woke, I was back in the hospital. The same pretty, auburn-haired nurse tending to me though I don’t know if she recognizes me. Aziuth aided my metamorphosis.

Two things to know about demons: First, before their Fall, demons were magnificently beautiful creatures. If we could see angels in their pure form, we’d probably mistake them for gods or goddesses. Demons, however, lost that when they lost Heaven. Thus, they often change their form when appearing to humans (all the better to deceive or overwhelm us). Second, like I said before, demons have huge egos. Martin Luther once said if you can’t drive the devil away with scripture, jeer him. Satan can’t stand to be made fun of.

That’s how I figured out how to defeat Aziuth. There would be no way I could outwit him on his own terms, asking and answering riddles. The only means of defeating him would be to force him to show me his true form and then humiliate him. The only thing I hadn’t taken into account was what Aziuth would do in retaliation.

My once slender frame is now bloated to about four-hundred pounds. My legs and right arm have shrunken to useless appendages. My mouth is stretched into a permanent and frightening half-grin and my right eye-socket has drifted down next to my nose.

Thankfully, despite all of this, I can still speak and my left hand can still write.

The doctors and police are baffled. No one knows how I could have ended up in this condition, or how I ended up in a small Baptist church, covered in blood with a dog.

Knowing comes with a cost. It’s steeper than I would have imagined, but I don’t regret it. I always admired the Devil, so it’s fitting that I probably look a bit like him.

Credit To – Anselm

VN:F [1.9.22_1171]
Rate This Pasta
Rating: 8.1/10 (157 votes cast)
LineWhatsAppTumblrFacebookTwitterRedditPinterestGoogle GmailGoogle+StumbleUponShare

The Brimstone Conspiracy

October 24, 2014 at 12:00 AM
VN:F [1.9.22_1171]
Rate This Pasta
Rating: 7.2/10 (171 votes cast)

“Through me you go into a city of weeping;
Through me you go into eternal pain;
Through me you go amongst the lost people.”

– Dante’s Inferno

“Okay, you’re not driving if you keep that shit up.”

Mark snatched the keys from Scott’s hand, who couldn’t even bother to protest while shot gunning down his second twenty ounce can of beer. He belched loudly, wiping foam from his lips with the sleeve of his black trench coat.
“Yeah, why do you think I’m doing this? It’s been your turn to drive for at least thirty miles now.” He said, washing down the malt liquor with a sip from his flask, as an extra assurance that he was well past the legal limit. “Now if you don’t mind, I’m going to stock up on cheap vodka and poptarts. Back in a minute.”
From the gas pump, Josh checked his phone for the time. “Make it quick Scott, I’d like to get to Ashville before noon.” The fourth member of the group, Chloe, was tuned out of the conversation by her headphones. To her, this trip was about padding her portfolio with black and white photographs of crumbling buildings. The sort of thing that would make her look well rounded without requiring any real effort. They all had their reasoning for traveling to Ashville, Kentucky.

Mark wanted to have a kind of fun, kind of spooky adventure, and maybe get a little closer to Chloe. Josh wanted to show people how coal mining destroys homes, ecosystems, and natural beauty. And Scott, well he wanted to check up on his childhood home. And drink, heavily of course. Together, they were legend tripping, the age old practice of visiting strange locations of urban myths. Places such as the Baird chair monument, the Screaming Beaches, or the Spider Gates Cemetery. Popular sites frequently visited by tour groups or rowdy teenagers, locations with a history of the tragic, the horrific, or just plain old supernatural acclaim. Anyone with an authentic sense of skepticism who has visited those places knows that a haunting is nothing more than psychological priming. Stories that are just that; scary words that mean nothing but still manage to trick the lizard brain into pricking up neck hairs. And for the most part this was the working assumption of Ashville. The only discernable difference was the scale, Ashville being an entire town rather than a bridge or farmhouse.

“Let’s a go-go!” Scott shouted as he tossed his alcohol into the backseat of his 2003 piece of shit Saturn. Josh hung the gas pump and Mark turned the ignition, and they were off to the hills. Approximately nine minutes later, Mark had a thought.
“You didn’t pay for those, did you?” He asked Scott, now irritated with his increasingly erratic behavior.
“Of course not idiot,” he replied, beginning to open his toaster pastry with his teeth. “You guys didn’t want to cover an even split of the gas. Now I gotta steal stuff. Really it’s more your fault than mine.” Scott took a bite of the crumbling frosted deliciousness without concern.
“You’re a goddamn asshole, you know that right?” Scott just chuckled to himself. At this point in the journey, there wasn’t anything any of them could realistically do to get back at him. It was Scott’s car, and he was the only one of the four who knew how to get into Ashville. In the fifteen years since it was abandoned, no new road maps had any of the town printed within a ten mile radius. GPS wouldn’t register the place, and the two bridges that lead into the town had been demolished and marked up with roadblocks just in case someone ended up going in the wrong direction. Plus, the county sheriff patrol was under the orders to arrest anyone trespassing within the city limits. Scott knew how to get around these barriers, having lived in the town until the age of ten, committing large portions of the geography to his long term memory.

After a few minutes of silence, Josh decided to start working on his environmental project, asking Scott to talk about what he remembered about his family’s forced removal from their property. He held up a digital audio recorder close to Scott.

“It was October 2nd, 1999, at approximately 8:13 a.m. on a Thursday, when the National Guard banged on our front door. There was overcast, a slight rain with a temperature of 74 degrees Fahrenheit. The school had been closed the previous day due to its close proximity to the fires.” Scott narrated as coherently as he could. It helped that his memory was better than most, even while drunk. It didn’t hurt either that he had practiced his speech earlier with Josh at the motel. “They told us that the sulfur that had been ignited by the anthracite coal was oxidizing in the clouds to produce sulfurous and sulfuric acid rain. The governor had declared eminent domain over everyone’s properties while the EPA tried to clean up the mess. We were given twenty four hours to vacate before the rising carbon monoxide levels reached lethal concentration, but suggested we leave as soon as possible. My dad threw a fit, swearing at the soldiers about a conspiracy to steal his land and mineral rights. They tried to assure him that he would be compensated and given a new home in Frankfort. He and my mom had been fighting all night about leaving. She wanted to go, he wanted to stay, but there was no convincing him. He had always been a delusional man, always ranting about chemtrails, black helicopters, the illuminati and whatever else managed to catch his attention. I doubt he ever met a conspiracy theory he didn’t like, but he never acted as irrational as he did that day. I think he just snapped when he saw those jeeps pull into his driveway. I mean, it wasn’t even close to being debatable that there was legitimate emergency. Just the day before a coal vein caught fire beneath Chucks Gas N’ Go. We all heard the explosion, saw the smoke. But he wouldn’t listen. My mom left right then and there, threw me and our luggage into one of the guardsman’s armored jeeps. The last I saw of my dad was him loading a shotgun on our porch, face red and sweaty with rage as the soldiers just shrugged and left him.”

Scott paused, cracking open another beer and lighting a cigarette before continuing.

“On our way out of town, I got a firsthand look at the chaos. Somebody’s house had been partially collapsed into a flaming sinkhole. I saw families throwing trash bags full of cloths into their cars, police and National Guard directing traffic towards the southern bridge out of town while hazard trucks and ambulance rushed in the other direction. Smoke rose in thick black streaks into the gray sky, emergency sirens blared loud enough to almost mask the sounds of scarce gunfire. Apparently my dad wasn’t the only paranoid libertarian in Chesterton. Oh yeah, this was all of course before the town got its nickname. Before Ashville it was just Chesterton. You can guess why it changed.”

“What do you think happened to your father?” Josh asked, already knowing the answer but wanting to get something recorded.
“He’s dead.” Replied Scott without any hesitation. The next half hour was mostly quiet aside from the stereo, until at last Scott spoke up with the directions to get off of the interstate onto a smaller highway, and then again onto a county road. From there it was a straight shot until they crossed the Levisa Fork and from there it was east until they were on the western side of the Blue Ridge Forrest.

“Damn, this forest is beautiful.” Said Mark, commenting on the temperate deciduous topography.
“Yeah it’s a real land of mirth and merriment.” Said Scott sarcastically. “See that dirt trail coming up ahead to the right? Turn there and follow it up the mountain. When you see the cabin just park somewhere.” After fifteen minutes of a zigzagged ascent, they had reached a moss covered cabin in the middle of the woods. Everyone exited the vehicle, stretching their backs and taking a look around.

“What is this place?” Asked Chloe, speaking up for the first time that day.
“My dad’s old hunting shack. He took me up here a few times.” Scott threw an empty beer can at the cabin, startling a bobcat that had been sleeping under the porch.
“We could probably camp out here if we spend too much time hiking to and from Ashville. If we try leaving after dark the cops might see our headlights and give us shit.” He continued. Chloe took a picture of the cabin.
“How far until Ashville?” Asked Josh, not very pleased at the idea of having to spend the night in such a place.
“This is literally as close as we can get to it by driving. It’s about a fourteen mile hike down the other side of this mountain-hill thing, so we should probably start like, right now. Actually, wait a minute.” Scott walked towards the cabin, kicking in the door with a hard stomp from his boot.

While he was rummaging around in the hunting shack, Chloe changed into her hiking boots while Mark and Josh unloaded the rest of their gear from the trunk. The items they needed of course were canteens, a compass, a pair of binoculars, Josh’s digital camera, and the rest of Chloe’s stuff. Also included was four sets of full-faced air-purifying respirators, with clear eyepieces that reduced the restriction to peripheral vision. Once they reached Ashville proper it would likely be necessary to protect their lungs from soot and other lingering contaminates. Scott returned from the cabin with a large hunting rifle slung across his shoulder.

“For bobcats.” He said before anyone questioned him. “Also feral dogs, if we run into any. Not everyone managed to evacuate their pets. So uh, right. Follow me.” Scott stumbled himself into some bushes, having trouble using his legs after consuming such ridiculous quantities of booze. The others looked at each other with uncertain grimaces. It wasn’t much of a secret that Scott was an alcoholic, but until now he refrained from becoming completely intoxicated before noon. Mark wanted to say something, but Josh shot down the idea before anything could be spoken. He didn’t think it was a good idea to piss off the only guide they had, especially when said guide was carrying a loaded gun. So they marched on, following Scott across the small mountain.
Besides the random yelling of Scott, the path was quite peaceful for the first leg of the journey. Chloe got some decent pictures of trees being trees, as so did Josh in his attempt to show the slow decaying health of the local flora as they approached the ash cloud that hung permanently over the town. After perhaps two hours of walking, the four managed to find a rock that ejected itself horizontally from the now descending mountain side, granting their first clear view of the valley below: A red haze that seemed almost a lake maybe a half mile down the slope. Peaking from the top of this cloud was the upper portion of a water tower and the tip of a church. Besides that, a few lines of smoke snaked from the sea of red. Everything else laid beneath the thick smog. From this vantage it was possible to see the transition of trees going from perfectly fine, to sickly to finally dead husks of skeletal wood. Josh and Chloe both captured images of the vista, while Mark sniffed the air.

“It smells like fireworks and rotten eggs.” He said with an unpleasant look on his face. Scott lit another cigarette for himself.
“The shape of the valley makes its own weather. Most of those heavier fumes just stay in that one place, while the rest hang around until a breeze from between the hills manage to carry away the excess. Some of it of course wafts all the way up here, hence the smell of sulfur and coal. By the way, those fires burning beneath the town have enough fuel to keep going for another three hundred years, so that cloud isn’t going anywhere for a while.” Scott stated all of these facts nonchalantly, hopping down from the angular rock and proceeding with the path ahead. The other followed, partially excited, partially nervous. After fifty or so meters of walking, the air began to smell foul enough that the group thought it best to put on the masks. It was at this point the trees looked diseased enough to warrant the precaution. Scott had rigged his mask with a small, one-way hose that led from a funnel directly to his mouth. He tested his contraption with a long pour from a bottle of vodka.

“I’m thirsty!” He yelled just before the decent into the cloud.
“Well you shouldn’t be so damn drunk this early in the day!” Mark yelled back to him through his respirator. Chloe rolled her eyes and poured some water into Scotts funnel.
“Thank you sweet pea.” Said Scott in gratitude. “Now everyone listen the fuck *belch* up. We’re gonna go down into that cloud. You guys are gonna take some fancy-done pictures, and I’m going to throw up in my old house. Then we leave ‘n shit. Got it?” The group nodded in agreement. “Okay, let’s do it.”

The four walked into the cloud.

The first thing they noticed was the road. They had managed to reach Main Street, and the sight of the road set an example for the state the rest of the town. A deep, winding fissure ran the length of the road, with what looked to be steam rising periodically from the crack. Josh recorded everything he saw. Scott pulled out a single match.

“Watch this.” He said, tossing it to the pavement. A few seconds later the head burst into flames. “The ground is hot enough to ignite match heads. Careful standing here. A few more minutes and those boots of yours are going to be a puddle of melted rubber.”
“Yeah let’s not do that.” Said Mark, moving to the sidewalk. He touched the concrete and found it cool enough to stand on safely. Looking up, he saw the sign. “Warning!” It read. “Ground may suddenly collapse.”
“What the hell? How dangerous is this place really?” He asked in an angered tone. Josh and Scott both laughed.
“Dude, did you seriously do no research on this place? Why the hell do you think we’re wearing gas masks and trying to avoid the police? Of course it’s dangerous.” Said Josh, filming Mark’s reaction to the sign. “Come on. Scott said the first sinkhole appeared near the cemetery. Let’s check that out first.”

The four walked side by side down the main road into Ashville. They passed cars with melted tires and burnt frames, and piles of ash that collected like snow along the road. One car in particular had an odd symbol scratched into the passenger door. It was a double cross with a figure eight at the base.

“Brimstone.” Said Scott, eyeing the etching suspiciously. “As it was sulfur once called by the alchemists. Later it was adopted as the satanic cross by that guy from the sixties. Here, check it out.” Scott rolled the sleeve of his trench coat to show his tattoo of the same symbol on his forearm.
“Why the hell do you have that?” Asked Mark. Being the only religious member of the group he was somewhat alarmed at the sight. He also thought it was weird that he had known Scott for three years without until now seeing his arm. Scott didn’t answer though, and kept walking.

They walked past a playground where the paint from the recreational structures had been stripped by acid, the metal beneath partially warped into disfigured hunks of steel. Chloe of course had to get a picture of a clown’s head that had been almost melted to an unrecognizable, borderline demonic state. Eventually, they found themselves walking through the “downtown” portion, where taller buildings stood parallel to one another: some collapsed under their own weight, other managing to stand upright after all these years. In both cases, the red-orange haze gave the structures an appearance of being ghostly monoliths instead of pie shops and dollar stores. The first sense of creepiness began to set in with the understanding of how truly abandoned the town was. Mark looked around at some of dark rectangles that used to be windows.

“Anyone else get the feeling they’re being watched?” He asked, sincerely.
“Boo!” Yelled the other three in unison.
“Don’t try and ruin this for us Mark.” Shouted Chloe.
“Yeah fuck you douchebag!” Yelled Scott. He followed his insult by throwing a rock at Marks head. It bounced from his skull with an audible clunk. Looking up after sheltering his face, Mark saw Scott and Chloe share a high five. Anger started to swell within him, and the next thing he knew, he was throwing a swift punch into Scott’s gut. A second later, Mark was on the ground, having been rammed in the ribcage by the butt of Scott’s rifle.
“Knock it off both of you!” Shouted Josh, forcing himself between the two. “You’ve been getting on each other’s nerves since first thing in the god damn morning. Scott, quit being a dick, you could have broken his mask, it wasn’t funny. And Mark, get your shit together.”

Mark was just about to say something, when a faraway noise stopped him. Everyone was silent for a moment, listening intently to what sounded like a vicious animal attacking a smaller one. Snarling, screeching sounds, not unlike a dog shaking a rabbit between its clenched jaws. The sounds echoed along the length of the abandoned street between buildings, amplifying to an ominous frequency. And then, as fast as it appeared, it was gone. All four stood motionless and quiet until the sound faded into the dead weather.

“Okay, that was actually kind of spooky.” Said Chloe, being the first to speak up.
“I told you there might be a few dogs scampering around.” Responded Scott, loading a shell into the rifle’s chamber.
“Yeah but how could anything even live in this place?” Asked Josh. Scott pointed at a patch of weeds sprouting from a crack in the pavement.
“Life finds a way. Come on, let’s cut through this alley. My old neighborhood should be just on the other side.” The other three followed him.

Houses with broken windows and collapsing roofs littered the former residencies, paint streaked down the outer walls from years of corrosion. Chloe stopped for a couple of shots, while Josh filmed video of a sinkhole with small flames rising from the inner edges, a sinkhole that once somebody’s front yard. Ash fell like snowflakes onto his camera. Suddenly, Scott started shouting and dancing a drunken dance.
“Look, there it is! 156 Peachtree Lane!” Scott pointed a particularly aged house with a rusting pickup truck in the warped driveway. He took another victory shot through his mask. “After all these years that piece of shit still stands. Can’t believe it.”
“Wanna look inside?” Chloe asked, starting to match Scott’s energy. Mark made an expression of concern under his gas mask.
“That thing looks about ready to collapse. You really want to add extra weight to those floorboards?” Mark didn’t want to look like a coward again in front of Chloe, but he couldn’t help but be the rational one. While Scott was charismatic, reckless, and amoral, Mark was the opposite in all ways.
“Tell you what Mark.” Said Scott in a condescending tone, “Why don’t you wait out here and be the lookout for ghouls and goblins?” He laughed, tossing the rifle to Mark. “It’ll just be a minute.” With that, Josh, Chloe and Scott entered the house, leaving Mark to stand alone on the weeded lawn.

Josh held his flashlight at shoulder level, scanning the interior of the living room from left to right. Surprisingly little of the smog had managed to make its way into the house, and for the most part the air was clear. Scott took the chance to lift his mask for a cigarette.
“Ah gross, it’s like sucking on a sack of burnt hair.” He said, tasting the air. He lit a cigarette, inhaling deeply. “That’s better. So, what do you guys think?”
Chloe took a picture of Scott’s former living room with a flash, angling it to capture as much of it as possible. “I’d say I’ll be getting my B.A. this year for sure.” She said, taking another of a cracked television.
The three scattered about the house, checking every room they found. From the looks of it, it appeared as though Scott’s father had continued to rampage for a while after the evacuation, judging by holes punched into the plaster and flipped over furniture. The master bedroom was in a state of rather severe trauma. Scott took a sip from his flask, handing it to Chloe and Josh, each partaking. After a few more minutes of rummaging through closets, draws and whatnot, Chloe found a family photo. A pleasant looking woman, a ten year old Scott with that same angry look on his face, and a tall, barrel chested man with a thick beard. Chloe handed the framed picture to Josh before Scott noticed what they were looking at.
“Damn dude.” Called Josh to Scott. “Your dad looks like a lumberjack.” Scott walked across the bedroom to inspect the picture. He slipped it from the glass that had protected it for all these years. “Wonder what happened to him.” He continued, as Scott folded the photo into his jacket.
“Like I said before, he died.” Replied Scott. “Probably somewhere in this very house. It’s not like he drove anywhere. Pickup’s still in the driveway.” Josh and Chloe looked at each other with the same idea on their minds.
“Want to find the body?” They both asked, knowing the one place in the house that they haven’t searched.
“Absolutely.” Said Scott, swallowing another shot from his flask before re-sealing his mask. “The basement’s this way.”


Outside, Mark paced back and forth across the lawn in anger. His expectations for this trip were basically the exact opposite of what he had hoped for. Scott was probably going to fuck Chloe in a motel on the way back home, while Josh, his best friend, was more concerned with his stupid project than defending him. On top of all this, he was left outside in the creepy haze of a condemned town that sat on top a burning chasm. He made up his mind: when the others were done screwing around in the house, he was leaving. He would walk back to the car all by himself if he had to, but he wasn’t going to spend another minute in this hellhole. He leaned against the back bumper of the paint stripped pickup, letting out a sigh that briefly fogged his eye plate. As he leaned there, just staring off into the middle distance, something across the street caught his attention.

A light wind had blown into the valley, just enough to make vaguely clear objects at thirty feet or less. In this case, it was the house across the street. A sound, like someone dropping a metal hammer onto hollow wood, resonated from within the building. Mark looked up from his thoughts, and a second latter, tightened his grip around the rifle. The breeze that had rolled in a moment previous caused the drapes of the house’s front smashed windows to softly move, revealing some of what hide behind them. Following the origins of the noise, what he saw, if only for a split second, was a pale figure standing in the window frame, blurred by the returning haze, and staring a straight line towards were Mark stood. He blinked, and it was gone.

“The fuck?” He said to himself, now incredibly tense with a lingering fear of what he had just witnessed. He looked around his immediate surroundings, unsure of what to do and so backing slowly towards Scott’s house. Another beat passed, when he heard the growling. A vicious growl that echoed through the fog.

“Guys?” He yelled, as loud as he could through his mask. He broke into a run.


“What’s with the scratches? Did you guys have a dog or something?” Chloe asked while looking at the door to the basement. Large chucks of paint and wood seemed to have been violently ripped out of it.
“Nope.” Said Scott, trying the doorknob. It wouldn’t budge. Taking a step back, he proceeded to break open the door with one forceful kick. Part of the frame splintered as three separate deadbolts tore through the wood. “Light please.” Josh illuminated the darkness with his flashlight, showing the descending steps.

The staircase creaked with each step, but still it held the weight of all three as they continued downwards. At the base, plastic tarps hung from the ceiling, sectioning off the staircase from the rest of the basement. Scott cut a slit in it with his pocket knife, and noticed the dry heat wafting in.
“The lower we go, the closer we are to those underground fires. Watch your shoes.” The three wandered into the basement proper, Chloe and Josh lighting the place with the new addition of Scott’s lantern. The ground was indeed warm to the touch, but not as much as was expected. Looking around, it was a normal basement, with stores of expired canned food, cardboard boxes filled with Christmas ornaments, and a couple of gun cabinets. The first thing to be genuinely noticed however, was the fissure that ran across the bare concrete floor up the length of the western wall. The other was a skeleton wrapped in dried hair and tissue propped up in the corner.

“Oh shit!” Cried Josh, almost dropping his flashlight. Scott patted him on the shoulder.
“Yup. There’s dad. Stupid bastard just wouldn’t let go.” Scott walked up to the carcass, inspecting it from every angle. A shotgun was held between its arms, slumped casually to one side. Scott noticed the spent shell on the floor to its side, and traced the angle of the hole in its skull to the dark stain on the wall behind it. “Or maybe he did.” Scott shrugged to himself before attempting to pry the gun from the dead hands. Josh raised his flashlight to the right side of remains, noticing the alchemical symbol for brimstone drawn onto the wall with motor oil. Beneath it, words were written.

“Demons are everywhere.” It spelled out.

“Uh, Scott, um, what the hell?” Josh asked. At this point, he was justifiably disturbed, having witnessed both the dried leathery remains of a human corpse and a cryptic message of alluding to something clearly sinister.

Scott walked over to the sigil. He looked at it almost without any concern whatsoever, being far more preoccupied with picking fingers from the shotgun’s hilt. “Yeah, that’s weird or whatever. You guys wanna grab anything? It’s not looting if it’s technically my stuff.”
“How the hell are you this calm?” Even Chloe was nervous, more so by Scott’s drunken attitude than anything else. Scott was about to say something when a muffled yell managed to penetrate through to the basement. All three heard it.

“I guess Mark wants us to finish up.” Scott said while looking back towards the stairs. “Come on, he’s been out there long enough.”

The sense of true fear arose after the three made their way back into the haze. Mark was nowhere to been found. Josh slide his mask just enough to get out a few good calls, but nothing was heard in reply.
“Oh god damn it!” Scott growled. “That dickhole still has my keys! If he pussied out and ran back to the car I swear I’ll murder him.” Scott proceeded to curse to himself incoherently while Chloe and Josh tried their best to figure out what to do next.
“He probably just got spooked or something and left without saying anything. He’s passive aggressive like that and I don’t think wanted to confront anyone.” Chloe rationalized.
“True, but he doesn’t know this place at all. He’s dumb, but not that dumb to wander around all by himself.” Josh grew apprehensive by the second. Scott kicked the side of the rusting pickup hard enough to knock off the passenger door just as more animal noises were heard in the distance.
“Okay fine!” He yelled at no one in particular. “The creepy noises scared Mark, and like a bitch he ran back to the shack without telling us. That’s about a three hour walk, so if we hurry and provided he doesn’t get lost and fall into a sinkhole, then we should be able catch up to him just in time to kick his ass. Good plan? Great fucking plan!” Scott took an exceptionally long drink from his flask, running it dry in the process. “Kay let’s go!”
Chloe and Josh followed him into the carmine mist.


“There, just keep it like that.” Josh said as he tied part of the torn dress into a proper sling. He was shaking, but still managed to make the knot tight. Chloe thanked him with her eyes, but was still having trouble finding her words. Scott peeked through the drapes of the wedding boutique, scanning what little he could of the street outside.
“That… was the scariest fucking thing I have ever seen in my entire god damn life…” He spoke quietly, backing away from the window slowly. He poured some water into his funnel, feeling the dehydrating effects of alcohol yet expressing absolutely no desire to become sober anytime soon. He rolled one of his unopened vodka bottles over to Josh and Chloe, who were hiding behind the cashiers counter. The three would have moved further back into the building, except that the posterior half of the storage room had fallen into a fissure, with the rest of it being too hot to dwell in for very long. Even here, in the showroom, some of the mannequins were partially melted figures stuck in their bridesmaid dresses, faces deformed, arms raised at wrong angles.

Josh splashed some vodka onto his leg where the cut had been made, tying some frilly thing around his thigh to help with the bleeding. Chloe took a drink with her good hand. They had run into this shop just after the attack, giving that… thing the slip as they turned a few corners. Scott was the only one left uninjured, but then again, he was the only one who fought back. Of course, in the chaos of the moment, it didn’t work out as well as intended.

“I’m sorry I broke your arm.” Scott apologized for the missed kick.
“Better than blowing off my head.” Chloe replied. No one was really mad at each other, not anymore. It was probably their bickering that lured the thing to them in the first place. A rotting, putrid thing. A wadded mass of skin and flies that lurked in the crimson haze, waiting, stalking, and angry.
“Listen,” Scott began to think clearly of the situation. “We have about three hours left before our filters will need to be changed. Around that time the sun will be setting behind those mountains. If that happens while we’re still under the cloud then there won’t be any getting out of it.” The other two nodded in agreement. What was also left out was the fact that any wet, exposed skin was beginning to inflame and sting from the myriad pollutants. Scott loaded a few more shells into his gun, Josh checked that his camcorder still worked, and Chloe slung her pack across her back.

“Ready?” He asked rhetorically, standing to the side of the front door. Once again, the others nodded. Scott threw open the door, and they burst into a sprint.


Mark climbed the hill as fast as he could. His legs were weak, barely able to hold him upright against the slope, but he pushed on, knowing that if he stopped he would rest too long, and whatever it was that was following him would catch up. He couldn’t see it, but he could hear it, maybe twenty meters behind, maybe closer. He had been running for so long that he had hardly any time to address the guilt of abandoning his friend. Perspiration and tears mixed on their path down his face. Prayers were muttered under the effort of his breath.

At last, after hours of panicked scampering, hiding, yells of terror and running for his life, Mark had made his way to the other side of the mountain. It would only be a short descent until he would reach the car, and a few minutes later, he could even see it. Except that something caused Mark to hesitate, the sight of two county police cars waiting patiently next to the Saturn. It took a moment to collect himself, brought on by the continued noise of snapping twigs and footsteps coming over the peak, reminding him that the police were the best possible people to run into. He threw the hunting rifle and his mask to the ground, and found enough inner strength to sprint the rest of the way to the hunting shack.

“Hey!” He yelled, waving his hands as he stumbled closer to the officers. Both looked up to see him, motioning for him to approach them.
“Is this your car?” One of them asked in an authoritative tone.
“N-no. It’s my friend’s.” He responded, trying to catch his breath.
“There are others with you? How many? And where?” Asked the second. Mark looked over his shoulder, checking to see if he was still being followed, while letting the officers implicitly know where the others were. “Did you know that you’ve been trespassing on federal property? Do you think it’s some kind of joke?” Mark paused briefly.
“No. No joke. Listen, there’s st…” Mark tried to explain, but was interrupted.
“On your knees now!” Barked the officer. “Hands behind you head.” Mark complied, still sure that this was better than the alternative, and still hoping that someone would send help for the other three still in Ashville. He was sure, that was, until both officers raised their side arms.
“Do you have any idea how dangerous it is out here?” Said the first.


Scott watched the specks of blood exit the back of Mark’s head through the scope of the hunting rifle. A half second later the sound of the shots reached his ears. He was on his stomach, using the ground to steady his aim. His lip curled in anger, almost reaching his nostrils. He centered one officer’s face under the sights.

One round fired, another chambered, then a second. Both bodies fell like rag dolls. He waited a beat, just be sure that there weren’t any others, and stood up, walking quickly the rest of the way to the hunting shack.

Chloe was the first to go, some flaming thing leaped through the cloud tackled her into a sinkhole. Josh was dragged off by long arms reaching through the haze, attached to a body Scott couldn’t see. He tried to chase him down, firing shot after shot at where he thought the beast to be. A half block down the street, all he found was Josh’s camcorder, and part of his jaw. He made the rest of the on his own.

When he reached the hunting shack, he took a moment to remove his keys from Mark’s corpse, smash the in-car police computers, shred apart their notebooks, and stomp their radios before entering the hunting shack. Looking around for the second time that day, he unfolded the family portrait tucked into his breast pocket. On the back were a few words. “Found it in the mines. Hid it beneath the floorboards. I know they’re working for devils, but they won’t scare me.” Under the writing was another drawing of that sign of brimstone. Scott kicked the dear skin rug, revealing a few loose boards, one marked with the symbol. Scott lifted the wood, his face shifting from fatigue and rage to a smile.

“So that’s where you put it.” He said to himself. He tucked the skull under his arm, mindful of the horns.

The Brimstone Conspiracy

Credit To – Stephan D. Harris

VN:F [1.9.22_1171]
Rate This Pasta
Rating: 7.2/10 (171 votes cast)
LineWhatsAppTumblrFacebookTwitterRedditPinterestGoogle GmailGoogle+StumbleUponShare

Never Answer the Door at Night

October 23, 2014 at 12:00 PM
VN:F [1.9.22_1171]
Rate This Pasta
Rating: 8.7/10 (766 votes cast)

My father grew up on an Indian reservation in South Dakota. It is a place with few trees and even fewer people, and there has been little development since the place was settled many, many years ago. The people live in clusters of nearly uniform houses that were built by the government, and the only place to go shopping or see a movie is nearly two hours away. It’s hot in the summer, cold in the winter, and sometimes the wind blows for days without letting up. Even now, the people there have to be tough to survive. You look out for your friends, you help your neighbors, and you don’t forget your family.

His grandmother died when he was very young, but he’s told me that he retains one particularly vivid memory of her. It was winter and they were at the house together in the early evening, and she was cooking in the kitchen while he played with a deck of cards in the front room. He can’t quite recall what she looked like, but he can still remember the smell of the food that she was making that night. It’s funny how memory works that way. His parents, grandfather, and two older sisters had caught a ride into Rapid City to buy supplies before the first big storms came through, so it was just the two of them. She went on cooking and he went on playing with those cards until he’d lost track of time and it was pitch black outside.

There was a knock at the door. Not a loud knock like the police, or the friendly kind of knock that a neighbor uses when he’s stopping by to borrow something. Just a slow, quiet tapping on the door. Tap, tap, tap, just like that. Naturally, he figured his family had made it back from the city, so he went right over to let them inside. Before he had a chance to reach the door, his frail, elderly grandmother grabbed him by the arm and pulled him away, like he was a rag doll. “Never answer the door at night,” she told him, covering his mouth so he couldn’t say anything. He could feel her arm trembling. There was no more knocking, but my father couldn’t shake the sense that there was someone familiar standing on the other side of that door, waiting to be let inside. When she finally let go of him, he asked her why she had stopped him. “Sometimes the dead try to come home,” she said. There were tears in her eyes.

His family didn’t return that night, and there was no phone service so they couldn’t call. When they made it back the following day, he learned that his grandfather had died from a heart attack during the trip. My father never said anything about the knocking, and neither did his grandmother. It was like it had never happened. His grandmother wasn’t the same after that and followed her husband to the grave just a few months later. My father was six years old.

It was much later when my father found himself alone at night during a particularly bad winter storm, the wind howling outside and the rest of his family stranded miles away. They had gone into the city that morning, and wouldn’t be able to come back until the storm let up and the roads were cleared. Eventually the electricity went out and the only light came from the stove they used for heating. The worst part of the storm lasted a few hours, but finally it got quiet outside as the wind slowed and the windows stopped rattling. Then the knock came again. That same tapping at the door from years before, like fingers just barely brushing against it. My father couldn’t bring himself to look out the window to see if anyone was standing outside, but for some reason, he found himself drawn to the door, like he had to open it. It was only when he felt the cold from beneath the door on his bare feet that he stopped. He called outside, asking who was there. “It’s me,” came the voice from the other side of the door. “Let me inside. It’s cold.” He recognized the voice, since it belonged to his eldest sister. He had his hand on the doorknob when his grandmother’s words came back to him, and the feel of her hand gripping his arm. Never answer the door at night. There were many things he could have asked his sister at that moment. He could have asked where his parents were, or why he hadn’t heard the car pull up when they were dropped off. He could have even asked why she needed to knock at all – they didn’t lock their doors on the reservation. He didn’t ask her any of those things. Instead, he told her to go around to the back and he would let her inside. Before he could say anything else, or even think anything else, he heard the knocking start at the back door, like she had been there the entire time. Instantly. Tap, tap, tap. He didn’t open the door, and spent the rest of the night curled up on the floor. His family had tried to return home earlier that evening and got into a car accident in the snow. His father had broken his leg in two places. His eldest sister had died, mangled in the wreck. He didn’t tell anyone what had happened, but he knew in his heart that sometimes the dead do try to come home.

My father was not afraid of what might have happened that night. When he told me the story, he was sorrowful. He always regretted that he lost his opportunity to see his sister one last time. I know that’s why he went home by himself and waited when my mother died. You don’t forget your family. I know he heard that knocking on the door, tap, tap, tap, like he remembered from his youth. I also know that he forgot something, very, very important. The fear in his grandmother’s voice on that cold winter night, and the way she held him with all her strength. Never answer the door at night. When we found him the next day, the front door was wide open and he had been torn limb from limb. There were no footprints in the snow.

Credit To – R. Holmes

VN:F [1.9.22_1171]
Rate This Pasta
Rating: 8.7/10 (766 votes cast)
LineWhatsAppTumblrFacebookTwitterRedditPinterestGoogle GmailGoogle+StumbleUponShare