July 2014 Creepypasta Book Club: Cults, Conspiracies & Secret Societies – PLUS “The Secret World” Giveaway [Winner Chosen, Congrats to Kristela!]

July 1, 2014 at 12:00 AM

Welcome to possibly the longest-named post on the entire site! It fits, because this is going to be a long post – I’ve got a lot of ground to cover about the whole book club idea before we begin. Exposition, go!

Today we’re going to start the “creepypasta book club” that was discussed in previous announcement posts. If you’re not familiar, the idea is to read some books together that will help cultivate inspiration and nurture more original ideas in our writers. I don’t believe that I’m overestimating when I say that lately, a solid 75% of the incoming submissions are simply retreading the same few topics – I suppose that, for whatever reason, serial killers, haunted games, and fanfics of previously-created Creepypasta “characters” are extremely trendy right now.

The problem is, though, that after the 5000th rip-off of Jeff the Killer or the latest attempt to copy-and-replace Ben Drowned with the writer’s favorite game franchise, these stories get mind-numbingly boring. New ideas and inspiration are CLEARLY necessary now, because I for one am absolutely sick of reading about serial killers. I’m not sure if it’s just because they’ve been so in lately in pop culture (what a strange thing to say, but it seems to be true – Hannibal, Dexter, Jeff the Killer, so on and so forth), but we’ve gone way past the point of oversaturation.

You guys need to find something new to write about.

So that’s where this book club idea comes into play. Every month, I’ll select a general theme and give you guys one or two books to read. Now, to avoid confusion, this won’t be about reading already established “creepy” fiction like King or Chambers. Though we may do that another time, the book choices for the inspiration club will be, primarily, nonfiction (though some selections will definitely be “nonfiction” – we’re going to indulge in some pseudoscience and conspiracy books because, after all, we’re trying to get ideas for fiction anyhow). This will hopefully allow you guys to expand your comfort zone of creepy into realms like secret societies, cryptozoology, high-risk exploring like mountaineering, ancient cultures and pseudeoarchealogy, aliens, mysterious disappearances, and more.

The other added benefit of using nonfiction is that spoilers won’t be a concern. Since this post’s comments will act as the discussion forum for our book club, we need books that people can easily discuss at all sorts of different points of progress without ruining each other’s experience.

So, yes, to alleviate some of the confusion and concerns that initially came up when I presented this idea:

THIS POST is your book club. The comments here are where you should air out all your thoughts and ideas that spawn from reading the suggested books. There’s no requirement for how fast you progress through the book(s), whether you read both books or only one, or even if you finish the book(s) or not, so please feel free to jump in and discuss the books whenever you’d like.

If this takes off and you guys want it, perhaps in the future we can try and organize some sort of chat at the end of the month, but for now please don’t worry about that and just post here whenever you have things to talk about regarding this month’s books.

Okay, all that said – here are the two books I’ve selected for July 2014. As stated in the title, this month we’re going to explore the world of cults, conspiracies and the theorists who love them, and secret societies.

It should be said that these books were chosen with mature readers in mind. If you are under 18, please do check with your parent/legal guardian before reading these books. I’d really prefer to avoid a pitchfork-mob of angry parents who find this topic inappropriate for their kids. I’d also like to say that the opinions expressed in the books are, of course, the opinions of their authors and the people profiled only – I’m not advocating or co-signing any of the groups covered in these books. I’m not telling you to believe in the Illuminati or anything, I just think such topics are a cool and fun thing to learn about and will probably inspire some people to write better pastas.

The first book is by Jon Ronson, a British author/humourist that I personally really enjoy. Them: Adventures with Extremists is exactly what it says on the tin – Ronson meets and spends time with a lot of famous faces in the world of conspiracy theories and extremist beliefs. David Icke, Alex Jones, Omar Bakri Mohammed, and more – as Ronson says, the only criteria was that the people/organizations he features have been called ‘extremists’ at some point in their careers. Each episode gives you a look into the beliefs, day to day lives, personalities, and habits of the the various extremists that he profiles. If you’re interested in writing a character-driven story about conspiracies, cults, or societies, this book will be helpful. It also tends to be rather irreverently funny, which is a plus.

As a bonus, Jon Ronson was recently on WTF with Marc Maron, where he gave some behind-the-scenes details on this book (they also delve into The Psychopath Test, another book I’m considering for future months if this book club turns into a long-term thing) as well as more personal opinions and anecdotes. You can stream/download the episode here for now (it will eventually become a premium-only episode, so keep that in mind – based on the pattern, I’m guessing it will go premium-only sometime in August).

If you want to go more in depth, the second suggestion is Arthur Goldwag’s Cults, Conspiracies, and Secret Societies: The Straight Scoop on Freemasons, the Illuminati, Skull & Bones, Black Helicopters, the New World Order, and Many, Many More.

Unlike THEM, this book isn’t really a narrative – rather, the author has researched many of the world’s more infamous and interesting cults, conspiracy theories, and secret societies, and he’s done nice write-ups on each. The entries are organized thematically and can easily be read out of order if you’re so inclined. Beyond the organizations in the title, he also covers the origins of the Assassins (it’s not just a random word), Area 51 and all it encompasses, the Yakuza, the Kennedy assasinations, etc etc and so on. This book is really useful and interesting if you’d like to get a sort of crash course in this month’s topic.

Lastly, to celebrate the first book club post, I’m giving away ONE online game code for Funcom’s online game The Secret World.

Since the raffle is over (congratulations to Kristela A. for winning!), I’m putting the rest of this entry under a cut. The main page has so many stickied posts at the moment that I think it’s necessary to de-clutter wherever I can.

How to Write a Vidya Gaem Pasta

April 1, 2014 at 2:00 PM
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(A last hurrah to the Haunted Game ‘genre’, as it were.)

So, you’re wanting to write a video game crappy – erm, creepypasta? Think you have what it takes? To be honest, you probably don’t. But fear not! With just the submission form (who needs proofreading? Or drafts? Hell, who needs edits? Not you, that’s for sure!) and this handy guide, you’ll be writing terrible pastas in no time!
Wait, did I say ‘terrible’? Like, out loud?
I meant ‘beautiful’.
Yep.
Totally.
————–
First of all, you’re going to have to pick a topic! Maybe you should go for something well known? Maybe try your hand at more obscure games? It’s your choice! Let’s get creative!
(And by ‘get creative’, I mean ‘write the same shitty pasta that’s already been written a thousand times before’. But that doesn’t matter. Whatever.)
>Try a Pokemon pasta! They were the most popular video game pasta subject for a reason, you know. Don’t know anything about Pokemon? Doesn’t matter – just as people who have never played Pokemon can pick it up easily, you don’t need to know anything about it to write a pokepasta! Just throw in some peekachoos and charozords and you’re all set!
>Maybe a Minecraft pasta? Just like how you can do so much in Minecraft, you can write so much about it too! ..Or you can just write about Herobrine! ‘Who’s a hero brown,’ you ask? Why, only a slightly original monster that was mutated into a cliched horror monster by thousands of bad fan misinterpretation!
>Try your hand at a Legend of Zelda pasta! Hey, you remember that one ‘ben drowned’ pasta you read about a year ago? Well, let’s write that again, but with all grammar or decent writing absent! I’m sure it’ll get thousands of upvotes! (read: downvotes)
>Something a bit more obscure? Why not? You could be contributing to the large amount of stories that only make sense to a small, unknown group of people! A scary story… about lawyers? Farming? Why? Why the hell not?

Wow, that took a while! Time for deciding the name of the pasta! This is nice and simple!

[GAME NAME]: [DESCRIPTIVE WORD] [WORD RELATING TO THE PASTA]

Sounds relatively simple! Let’s try it out a bit!
Pokemon: Bloodied Diamond
Minecraft: Curse of Herobrine
Ace Attorney: The Demonic Testimony

Do you like those names? I like those names. Let’s move on!

Of course, your main character has to get their game in some way. What’s that? Introducing the character? No, no, no, no, no. You’re doing it all wrong.
>”I got it from a garage sale/market sale/yard sale” – The oldest and best one in the book. If 99% of people write it this way, then it can’t possibly be bad, can it?
>”Some shady guy/girl/being of unidentifiable gender gave it to me” – Sometimes, we just want to skip the boring introduction and get straight to the action, and there’s no better way to do it than this.
>”I downloaded it online” – Who goes to garage sales anymore? Keep up with the times with this new, hip trend!

Moving on to step number three – of course, because this is a creepypasta, the game has to be haunted, right? But what’s it going to do?
>Absolutely nothing out of the ordinary – because hey, if you put in no effort here, you can use that effort later, right? That’s how it works, isn’t it? Right? Right?!
>A couple of graphical glitches – because nothing makes your viewers tremble more than the screen flickering a little or some colours changed. This is a true fact.
>Noises. – More specifically, weird noises. Glitchy sounds. Muffled screaming. The usual.
Okay, those are some basic ones, but why not step it up? Add some blood! Lots of blood! Also, make sure to use some of these words at least three times in the story…
>Hyper-realistic
>Bloody
>Demonic
>Ghostly
>Scary
Alright, we’ve got some scary shit going on, but if the main character ran away now, the pasta would stop half-way, right? Let’s choose an excuse for them to stay around.
>”I thought it was just a glitch”
>”I thought it was just a glitch”
>”I thought it was just a glitch”
Just kidding. You get no choice on this one. Trust me, this is for the better.
Alright, now just fill in the rest of the story using more glitches (as always, consider adding more blood and hyper-realism to your story), until WHAM! Something really scary happens! This can be anything – hell, it doesn’t have to be scary. Just as long as your main character responds fittingly. Or, alternatively, not-so-fittingly.
How will your protagonist respond to the sheer creepiness? How will this story meet its conclusion?
>Throw their console out – Destroy their DS! Pulverise their Playstation! Erm, throw a TV out the window? Whatever. It works.
>AND THEN THE PROTAG DIED – Dead things are creepy. People dying are creepy. Why not kill off the protagonist? I’m sure that, with the large amount of characterization we gave them earlier, it will really shock the readers. Honest.
>YOU’RE NEXT – Did you know that all creepypasta readers have a constant fear that there’s a monster behind them? Use this to your advantage? Everyone’s terrified of walls!

Alright, now we have the main story and –
Oh?
Did you think that was finished?
Oh no, this is the fun part. Now we add some… er… personality to your story. And by ‘personality’, I mean ‘bad writing skills’. I mean, let’s face it, nobody really misses punctuation. I sure don’t.
Choose one of the following typing quirks – I mean, writing styles.
>capital letters. get rid of all your capital letters. no-one likes them at all. too old fashioned.
>WHY NOT HAVE LOTS OF CAPITAL LETTERS? BE NEW AND DANGEROUS. MAKE YOUR ENTIR STORY CAPITAL LETTERS. (Obviously, don’t use this one with the previous one.)
>Make Every Capital Letter Refined And Pronounced. This Makes You Seem Posh And Smart.
And at least one of these. You can have more, if you want to be EXTREME.
>Motherfucker, let’s get some fucking swears up in here. Swears are bitchin’ as shit. It makes you sound fuckin’ hip and cool. Fuck yeah.
>No punctuation ever at all because seriously having things just constantly flow is so much easier and better in every way wow
>Waht if you where unabel to spel things right? Sonds fun!
———————
Congratulations! If you’re reading this, you’ve most likely just finished writing your first video game pasta! Now just publish your beautiful (read: horrendous) story (read: crap heap), and watch it get thousands of upvotes (read: downvotes) like it deserves! Good luck!

Credit To – Yu “The Operator” Meigns

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Succession Of Nightmares

August 8, 2012 at 12:00 AM
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Nightmares.

We all have them, one time or another.

Everything has a dark side, our dreams were meant to be a place of jubilation, and contain our most wonderful fantasies.

This is kinda like an award. Some of us work our asses off all day long, and then come home to a nice cozy bed. Sleep by itself is a nice gift for our turmoils, but dreams make sleeping hard for us to want to wake up sometimes.

But there is of course a darkside…there is always a darkside.

Nightmares have a certain way of creeping up on us when we don’t want them to…its almost like they know…

Some may say that nightmares are our own fault. Watching scary movies, or reading scary stories can fuel our nightmares.

But….what if there are things out there…that can control our dreams?

What if there are beings who can purposely give us nightmares.

What if these things are there to drive us insane…to the point where we want to sleep forever.

Now is when I tell you about my nightmares…

A couple weeks ago I started to get really into reading creepy stories. All humans have this certain want of excitement…but sometimes we take it way to far. You know what I’m talking about. Surfing videos on the internet late at night, reading creepy stories, or making our own stories.

You know how it works. You sit there, tired in front of your computer. The room is dark, the voices in your head are telling you to shut off the computer and finally get some fucking sleep. But then it happens. You find a video that has a creepy description. Perhaps a video about a ghost encounter, or a video of aliens.

This is how my nightmares started.

My friend Zack has a youtube account where he plays video games and gives them commentary. You know, a “Let’s Play.”

But one day he decided to do something different. He narrated a story off of a website called “creepypasta.com.”

I have heard of this somewhere, I know I have. Its hard to surf the interent for so many years and not hear about something so popular.

He told a story of a man called “Slender Man.” Now I had obviously heard of this character. I’ve seen the MarbleHornets videos, and I’ve seen the fan art, and the so called “pictures.”

The story was interesting, and it made me want to read more, so I did.

Within a few days, I had read all the populare stories that this website had to offer. “Squidward Suicide” “Ben Drowned” “Dead Bart” “Jeff: The Killer” “The Tails Doll” “Smile Dog” And all the Pokemon hacks.

These stories…they give you a feeling of terror. You start to notice all the small things around you, all the creaks and moans. You look over your shoulder and think you see a shadow of some sort. Nothing…huh…silly you.

You finally get the courage to go to sleep, and then you start to understand the position you just put yourself in.

I understood what I was doing to myself…but I didn’t stop.

I saw them all…I saw all the creatures from those stories in my dreams.

I saw the Smile Dog try to make me spread the word…I saw Jeff telling me to go to sleep…Squidward staring at me with his bloodshot eyes…

Jerking myself awake everytime I encountered one of these freaks got old real fast.

But then, the nightmares begin to get so much more real.

No longer was I imagining the characters from the stories…but now…my nightmares were taking their own shape. Contorting themselves to make me even more uncomfortable.

One night, I was laying soundly in my bed. It was almost like an out of body experience. You see, I had a bird’s-eye view of myself. It was as if I was laying on the ceiling. I was laying on top of the covers, and my eyes were closed. I must note that I was not breathing. No snoring, no indication of my stomach rising and lowering. In fact, I was utterly motionless.

My room was pitch black as it usually is when I fall asleep, but I could see myself perfectly. Its as if I had some type of night vision, but it wasn’t all green and shit like it usually is.

Then my eyes shot wide open. It startled me a bit. I just stared up at the ceiling. It seemed as if he was looking at me, like I really was on the ceiling.

A drop fell…a ruby colored drop of blood fell onto my face. Then another…and another…and another…
The drops began to fall slow, but then they picked up speed, similiar to when rain begins to fall.

The version of myself laying on my bed then begins to smile. The blood soaks his teeth, and started to drip into his eyes. But he did not blink or close his mouth. Just let the blood fall on him.

Suddenly, the view switched to me being on the ceiling. Now I was the one laying on the bed.

On the ceiling…was a bloody, mangled, wounded version of me. My eyes were missing, and my teeth were missing as well. But I had the same smile as the version of myself on the bed.

My hands and legs were pinned to the ceiling…almost…as if I was being crucified.

Then the view began to slowly zoom in on my face. Blood still fell, and my view was being distorted. I wanted to see what was going to happen, so I tried my best to see. The view then zoomed in on my face at an alarming rate, and then I spoke.

“I am your God now.”

I woke up. Breathing fast and hard. I felt paralyzed, like I was stuck.

I felt liquid around me. Did I really just piss the bed from this nightmare? Or….or was it blood? I quickly jumped up and found out that I had knocked over a cup of tea in my sleep, and I was laying in it.

Sometimes when I have dreams I feel as if the interactions of objects in the real world affect my dream. In one dream I was being stabbed repeatedly in the arm, and I could actually kinda feel it. I awoke to my friend obnoxiously poking me in the arm with a pen. I thought that him poking me in the arm made the stabbing from the nightmare be all the more real.

Since dreams and nightmares are derived from our brains, we can experience things in our dreams that seem real. When you eat something, you can taste it. This is because you remember how the object tasted.

This dream made me not want to sleep anymore that night, so I didn’t.

But that wasn’t the end.

I had this same nightmare over and over again for a few days. Happening the same way everytime. There wasn’t anything I could do. I couldn’t change the dream even if I wanted to.

This nightmare scared me everytime. You think I would have got use to it…but I didn’t.

I began to think about ways I could avoid this nightmare. This was my first thought.

I can’t remember ever having a nightmare while I was napping during the day. So my frist plan was to sleep during the day, and stay up during the night. Hopefully this would work.

First day, no nightmare. I was relieved. I thought that I had found the solution. I had no problem sleeping during the day, I didn’t sleep much as it was already.

Second day, my plan failed. The same nightmare happened again, but this time. There was no smiling from the body on the ceiling…actually…there were no emotions at all. My head was missing…more blood fell quickly this time making the dream end faster. My body laying on the bed looked down, and my decapitated head was laying in my lap. And it was smiling.

I’m pissed now. What, I just can’t fucking sleep anymore? Fine, I won’t. I’ll stay awake! Yes, that will work. I’ll stay awake until I pass out from exhaustion. I won’t encounter the nightmare unless I absolutely have to!

I wrote this…quite a while ago…back when the nightmares first started. It’s been about a week since I decided I wasn’t going to sleep.

I’m so tired…I don’t think I can stay awake anymore. My bed…sounds so heavenly right now. I guess my plan didn’t work how I thought it would…

I’m going to go to bed now…I think I could stay up for a few more hours but…I don’t want to.

I want to see my smile…I want to see my bloody body hang from the ceiling…It sounds so interesting to me now…Oh how that blood felt so refreshing cascading on my face.

I have a bottle of pills…extra strength…I’m going to take them all with some alcohol…

I don’t want to be awake anymore. I’ve been awake for a couple days…and I now realize how horrifying it is.

I’m seeing all those creepypasta characters in real life now…I’ve gone completely fucking insane.

I know they won’t be there in my dream…they were never there before.

I’ll sleep forever…so I can look and smile at my God for the rest of days.

I just swallowed the pills…I’m going to have a quick drink, then I’m going to bed.

Why not join me?

It will be your God soon enough.

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Synthetic Skies

September 2, 2015 at 12:00 PM
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Synthetic Skies
By Pyrous Red

We’ve lived in a mountain for… I don’t know anymore. It’s not like there was a nuclear war or ozone collapse or whatever crap people used to write stories about. No fallout, no radiation. Just… blood… so much blood.

There are 379 of us. There were, at least. The first time it happened it was tragic, yes, but we all thought it was a freak accident. Looking back on it there was so obviously something sinister about it but –

Damn it! Damn those things and damn this god forsaken mountain! How could I have been so blind!

I’m… I’m sorry. It’s just… I can’t do this anymore. The only reason we didn’t think it was anything more than a freak accident was because deep down we didn’t want it to be any other way. We didn’t want to believe we were in so much danger and maybe it’s for the best. Maybe the ones who are… gone… who are… maybe they… maybe… I mean… it might have been quick… Oh no. No. No no no. All my friends! Everyone I knew! Everyone I loved! Everyone I didn’t know or love and all the people that they knew and loved! They’re all dead!

I’ve got to – I’ve got to keep this together. I’m dead. There’s no way I’m going to survive so for all intents and purposes I’m a ghost. And I have one last warning for anybody who might know about this. I’m losing blood. Fast. I don’t have time to whine about this. You need to know.

My name is Morgan. Morgan Elliot. I came to this mountain when I was six. You know looking back, I’ve realized what happened. The people who raised us, from our teachers to our own parents, withheld so much and we never questioned it. We never thought about just how little we knew. They never told us what happened outside the mountain. All that they said was that there was fire, blood. They said that we should never be subjected to the outside world, that simply knowing what was out there would be half the pain of having lived through the event itself. The mysterious and almost taboo-like event that drove us “indoors” as we call it nowadays.

“Indoors.” That’s so funny now. So funny now that I know what the “outdoors” really is. It’s a euphemism. A euphemism made for a bunch of frightened kids in a big scary concrete building with no windows and six doors layered over each other made of only the heaviest and strongest materials. It was a euphemism for being so utterly undeniably fucked that they had to burrow into a giant rock, barricade the hole, and try to wait out eternity! That’s what this is. It’s just a giant rock. And under the rock there are cockroaches. Thousands of them.

I remember the day this first started. It was a perfect 70 degrees, perfect weather, perfect humidity, and a synthetic bright blue sky. Just like every day since I was six. Everything – everything – in this building is just so fake. So utterly fake. It wasn’t how it looked, but how it felt. Everybody knew this. The administrator tasked the engineers with making things seem more natural. They were just as disturbed by their environment so they started without hesitation. They made simulated weather, simulated animal sounds, they grew an orchard and gave it park benches and a fountain. They did everything they could to make it more natural. All it did was remind us about how unnatural it really was. They went back to normal. Removed the animal sounds, the weather. Square one didn’t look so bad all of a sudden.

So there I was. Bright sunny just as usual. But it was different. People were lining up at a door with gifts. None of us have many material possessions, so a gift is more symbolic than anything. It’s just a cardboard box with some wrapping paper. Usually just drawn on. They became more of a sign of comfort or gratitude. These were for comfort. Maybe pity too. The door opened and somebody peeked outside. They’d been crying. A lot. I watched as the people with presents tried to give them to her. They talked for a minute. I didn’t know what it was about. It ended with some unintelligible word being yelled and the door slamming. The people with gifts stood there for a bit, unsure of what to do or say. Nobody had ever died of anything but old age or age-related medical complications since we got here. Nobody knew how to cope with something so morbid. Let alone how to help others to do so.

The gift carriers dispersed, some taking the gifts back, others leaving them at the doorstep. One of them looked at me and came over. It was a friend of mine. His name was Lawrence. With so few people and in such a small space everybody’s usually friends with each other, so the term “best friend” mostly meant what “friend” by itself used to mean. I had no “best friends,” just “friends,” while “friends” could mean anything from actual friend to person I know and talk to sometimes. Lawrence was my friend. At least he was. God, Lawrence what happened to you? Why were you so weak?

“Hey, Morgan,” Lawrence said.

“Hey,” I responded blankly. Not much emotion to be had right now. Not by me at least.

“That was depressing,” Lawrence started to say, “Judas’ family doesn’t even know what to do.”

Judas was a coworker of mine, but I didn’t know him incredibly well. We had started to get to know each other when we first entered our job as Integrity Officers together. We would talk sometimes during lunch break or in between our roles. He usually took care of the military wing, while I usually took care of the scientific wing. It wasn’t in our job descriptions, but our roles had a lot of effect on us. He became very familiar with guns and military gear. I always laughed at Judas, saying that gun knowledge was obsolete. Nobody broke the law anymore and if whatever’s outside came in then guns wouldn’t be all too useful, now would they? Once as a rebuttal he poked fun at me for reading so much about places no human will ever see again or foods no human will ever eat again.

After that conversation we kind of just stopped talking for the day. Nobody wants to think about what we’re all missing out on. All we once were. He was right, why would I do that to myself? Why would I tantalize my fantasies with false hope? We lost our sky, and now we have to settle for a false sky. Maybe it’s the same with hope. We’ve lost all hope, and now all we have to live for is false hope. After that our work grew more separate. I never really got to know him as much more than a source of occasional smalltalk.

A few days ago he was found slumped over a munitions crate in the armory. There was so much blood. Like what our parents and teachers had told us was outside of the mountain. His stomach lay smeared across the floor as though having exploded from him a good ten feet away from his lifeless body. There were streaks of blood across the floor leading from his body. It was the most disgusting sight I had ever seen in my life. In fact it was the most disgusting sight anybody had seen with the exception of the last generation; the generation that had to see whatever it was that drove us indoors.

“It was brutal,” I said, “nobody should have to go like that.”

“I know,” Lawrence said faintly, both his memory and gag reflex beginning to remember the sight. He had vomited as soon as he saw it. It was just a picture and he saw it by accident in the crusty and rarely used investigations department.

I don’t want to get graphic, but it was really bad. Poor Lawrence was retching so hard his eyes welled up with tears from the pain. He wouldn’t admit it, but he was audibly sobbing in the bathroom after I left, doubled over and resting against the cold side of a toilet bowl, his neckline covered in his own vomit. He must have felt like he was going mad. There was something just so utterly disturbing about seeing such a violent scene after living a lifetime without incident.

Nobody knew what to do, so we convinced ourselves it was over. The investigations department declared it a freak accident relating to a grenade, ignoring the fact that it was just his stomach, it came from inside of him, there was no signs of even a firecracker let alone an explosion in the room, and lastly, all grenades were accounted for by Judas himself that very day and then again by a replacement the day after. That’s right, a department made up of people who hadn’t had to so much as come to the office let alone do their job in almost a decade had decided that somebody’s stomach being torn out and thrown across the room was an accident.

I didn’t want Lawrence to have to think about that experience so I changed the subject. “How’s work?”

Lawrence sighed a little. Did I mention Lawrence was a soldier? How ironic. For all we know this is the kind of thing they were supposed to be prepared for. In the mountain soldiers are supposed to be the guys with the guns and the death wish. They’re the guys who are supposed to protect this mountain from whatever’s outside, and here’s Lawrence, living proof that there is no way to prepare for whatever’s outside. Not when we’re this ill equipped to do anything.

“It’s okay,” he said. “Training for something that may or may not ever happen.”

“You enjoy it, though, right?” I asked.

He took a second before answering. “I get the exercise I need, three meals a day, top level health care. Doesn’t matter though. I joined because I wanted to keep the last safe place on Earth safe. But it’s never been safe, has it?”

“That’s why we need you so badly,” I said.

The next day I woke up really sick. My intestines were screaming at me. I tried eating but I couldn’t stomach it. I decided to take a sick day. Sick days are way more tolerable when you have such a small job in such a small place. I walked around my quarters for a while. Every hour or so I would have to take a trip to the bathroom. I felt like my digestive system was just melting away. ’Like Judas…’ I thought offhandedly before realizing how terrible of a comparison that was. This couldn’t be anything like what happened to Judas, that’s ridiculous. I’ve felt worse after all. I think.

I decided to try watching TV. All of the things on it are reruns of the same six-month television program over and over, so not many people watched it since they’d likely seen everything twice or more as a kid. I switched to cartoons out of nostalgia. Living in a pineapple under the sea actually doesn’t sound that bad right now. As I sat there I began to feel more and more sick. The inside of my throat was dry and filled with mucus. The talking cheese or whatever he is made a good distraction, though. I laughed hysterically at it. I didn’t find it all that funny, it was just nice to see a character, fictional or not, who was so happy with his life. It made me a bit jealous. The clock ticked slower and slower until I collapsed into the couch and fell asleep to the sound of fry cooking, bubbles, and an incredibly annoying laugh that somehow managed to light up the moment with its carefree blissfulness.

This time when I woke up everything was dark except for my TV. It was playing a different show now. Some kind of sadistic comedy show I loved as a tween hosted by this funny guy… Bergeron I think… about people getting kicked in the crotch and stuff. I sat up and looked around. I heard a faint humming. Then I saw a warm glow coming from the kitchen. It was my microwave. I quietly got up from the couch and creeped over to the kitchen to see if anybody was there. Nobody. It was completely silent. I was about to go over and see what it was when I stepped on something pointy that broke my skin a little. I looked down, my foot in pain, and saw all my silverware had been taken out of my dishwasher. In fact my entire counter had been torn out by something and left on the floor as rubble. What did I sleep through? I looked up again and all of a sudden I saw what was inside. Most of my silverware, a good pound of metal objects, had been crammed into my microwave.

I vaulted away from it, opened my door and ran down the hallway as fast as I could. When I knew it was about to happen I got on the ground and covered the back of my neck just in time to hear the explosion erupt through the doorway of my quarters, ripping through the walls around it and sending chunks of granite mixed with plaster, wallpaper, carpet, hardwood, the various elements that made that room my house, out into the hallway and against the adjacent wall. The room blazed with the light of the fire and began to turn blood red from the light of the alarms. I blacked out.

I woke up again. I was lying where I had fallen. I could feel dried blood stick to my forehead in a trickling pattern. There was an alarm blaring. The one that had blared throughout my dreamless unconsciousness all last night. I must have been unconscious for a while because the synthetic sky was set to about midday. There was rubble everywhere and some of the fire was still burning. I was about to slip back into blood-deprived unconsciousness when two gloved hands firmly went under my arms and pulled me up. It was a soldier. I’d seen him before somewhere probably passing through the hallway on my way to work or something. He looked like he was in his late twenties. He was very dark skinned with piercing blue eyes that resided behind the dark lenses on his gas mask.

“We need to go!” he yelled. He was armed. Standard issue suppressed P90 submachine gun with a green laser pointer and holographic sight. Just like the one sitting next to me right now. Who knows, it could even be the same gun. The ID number is covered in blood, but I’ve been around too much blood today, human or otherwise, and I’m not touching it yet again just to see a stupid number. I gestured at the weapon questioningly, but he ignored me. “Come on, we have to go now!”

I was still in a haze from the explosion. My words slurred together a little. “Where… what are we… what happened?”

“We don’t have time, we’ll explain later!” the soldier said, “Just follow us!”

I followed him and the other soldiers alongside a group of other civilians. I had no idea what was going on. On the way we picked up other frightened civilians. We all started to run a little. Everything was incredibly confusing. I even started seeing other areas that seemed to have exploded similarly to my quarters. I heard the soldiers yelling at each other about the “scream protocol” and a security breach. What the hell was the scream protocol?

Finally we made it to a giant metal door. One of the soldiers swiped a key card. The soldiers looked anxiously and impatiently at the door as it went through a long unlocking process. It slowly opened, revealing itself to be somewhere around ten feet thick with electromagnetic locking devices on the inside. I could feel it in my fillings a little. We continued inside and they securely shut the door behind us.

Everybody was panicking. Other civilians entered alongside soldiers. Soon the administrator and council all entered. In only a matter of hours all 378 of us had been taken from our various areas to this place. They did a head count to make sure, too. People still didn’t stop panicking until the administrator spoke up. He was a tall man with short silver hair and a goatee accompanied by a nearly matching white suit and tie. He was a calming figure. In fact that was probably why he was made administrator. We needed calm. We needed peace. Even if that calm had no previous qualifications to become a politician.

“I know you’re all scared. Quite frankly I don’t blame you,” he began, “and the last thing I’d want to do is make it worse. I know this but I also know that I can’t keep this from you. You all deserve to know.”

Everybody was quiet.

“The mountain has been breached. We know what did it and we’re sure you know too. The last time we ran into them not all of us were strong enough to handle it. This place… this small section… this is our last stand. We either win screaming or die screaming. It’s our choice.” He cringed as though he were bracing himself to get hit or something. Nothing. There was no outcry. There was nothing. Even false hope had abandoned us.

We stayed there for ten days. Hardly a single thing happened worth talking about for those first ten days. People sat around, frightened and depressed with an occasional crying fit or breakdown. There was a massive food and medical supply in this panic section of sorts, but nothing more. I’d actually been taken elsewhere. Everybody relating to the government, a total of about 60 counting the soldiers, had been called to join the administrator in a reserved panic room. My job was technically related to the government, so I went in. We weren’t sure why he’d had us all stay there, but it was obvious that he was very afraid. In fact it worried me just how afraid he was.

We all were, of course, but he seemed… apprehensive… he knew what was going to happen. Only knowledge can make somebody that afraid, so one day I confronted him about it. I walked into his panic room office. I was scared. I was angry. I needed to know. I got really mad at the man. I feel so bad for it. He was such a good person in such a hard time. “What’s really going on?” I snapped.

“We’ve told you all we know, Mr. Elliot,” he said, “please don’t look for somebody to blame for this. We’re withholding the identity of the person who was responsible for guarding the gate the night before the breach. It probably wasn’t his fault anyway.”

“Don’t play dumb with me! You know exactly what I mean! What’s been going on? What happened outside? Why has an entire generation of people lived their lives inside of a rock?” I was getting angry and my voice was displaying it well. I realized this abruptly, preparing to be dismissed or kicked out or something.

“Elliot…” the administrator replied with unforeseen calm. He pursed his lips trying to think of what to say next. “Elliot we refused to tell this generation what was outside because…” he trailed off. “Half of the fear – half of the danger – is simply knowing that what’s out there in our once secure hallways even exists. Knowledge is one of its biggest weapons. So many of us broke. So many went absolutely insane.” His expression grew more upset and his voice began to croak slightly. “We had to leave them, you know. 704 people. All left to die a horrible death. Without even the comfort of a sane mind.”

I was speechless. This isn’t something that we’d ever been told about. “704 people?” I asked incredulously.

“Yes. I counted myself. There was nothing we could do. There was only room for 400 people in this base and 704 were too insane to even speak intelligibly anymore let alone make it safely into the entrance. Some people cannot take what is outside. Even if you can, there’s no surviving it. It was undoubtedly the hardest choice I’ve ever had to make, but it looks like that’s not the last one.”

I didn’t care anymore. If I was going to die I’d rather die knowing what was killing me than die at the hands of something I didn’t understand.

“Administrator,” I said, struggling to remain calm, “What did we keep locked out for so many years? What’s inside this building?”

There was a long silence. The administrator was holding back tears. Tears! He was likely the most emotionally strong human alive in this base right now. He’d endured so many things with so little experience beforehand. That’s how he gained his experience in the first place.

“Not what,” the administrator finally said, “who.”

At that moment the power went off. It was dark. The synthetic sky flickered and deactivated. I heard people murmuring in the large part of the panic room, the place where almost 328 people were supposed to be safe. The murmur evolved into frantic whispering, which soon exploded into blood-curdling screams. Amongst the pitch-blackness I could see the green glow of the soldiers’ night vision goggles as they made their way to the door. They were about to run out there when all of a sudden the screaming stopped. It was silent. I heard something slowly slide across strong metal. The electric charge to the iron filling in the door had ceased and the electromagnet deactivated. The door was not only unlocked, but something… no… someone… was opening it.

The green discs from the soldiers’ goggles hovered mid air. They looked at each other confusedly. So quiet. So so quiet. The sound of footsteps grew audible amidst the silence. Strange inhuman footsteps like a bird’s talons uneasily caressing the floor like a blade gently pressed against skin.

A sharp unfitting sound materialized. It took a moment for me to understand what I was hearing. After a few seconds my brain accepted what my ears were telling it. Somebody laughing. It started out normal. Just a random person laughing. But it was so strange. Why? Why would you laugh? It started to change. It became hysterical, mad even. I heard people begin to whimper in fear. Another laugh came from the dark room. And then another. All sounds of fear – of humanity – were drowned out by the insane mass of primal madness. The laughter multiplied until we could hear the disturbing sound of all 328 people laughing. It was loud. People in the government panic room were terrified. I even heard somebody sobbing in terror.

Finally one of the soldiers closed the door without command. It was a selfish manifestation of basic survival instinct but one that prolonged all our lives by a few days. As the door closed one of the soldiers fell to the ground. There was a disturbing screech. It was too human to be an animal and too maddeningly angry to be an animal. No… not angry. Animals can be angry. It was hate. So much hate. A soldier screamed in pain and snarls and the sound of snapping bone emanated from that area.

“Get it off of me! Please god, get it off! Please! Please!”

The room flickered between blinding brightness and blinding darkness as the soldiers’ muzzle flashes lit up the room. I caught a glimpse of some… shape… clawing at the soldier on the ground. Red mist flew into the air around the black shape. When the gunshots stopped the sky turned back on. The door was closed, it’s magnetic lock active once again. The laughing resigned to silence once again. The entity, whatever it was, was nowhere to be seen. The unlucky soldier lay on the floor. The bullets fired by his teammates had gone through whatever was attacking him and struck him repeatedly. People screamed at the sight, but I was worried about something else. Where was the entity hiding?

My thoughts were answered almost immediately. The entity fell from the ceiling and landed on me. I looked into its eyes, and whatever hate I could hear in its screech I could see multiplied by a hundred in its eyes. Like its screech, its eyes were too animal to be human, and too human to be animal. It’s mouth was that of a human skull with teeth dripping blood from its recent kill. Its skin was black and hugged its face in the cheek and eye socket areas. It was a twisted ungodly form, mocking the human face as though some sort of sick caricature. It’s jaw opened like a snake’s until its chin touched the base of its neck. From inside its mouth came an array of mandibles and feelers. Some sort of substance drooled from its moldy broken teeth onto my shoulder. The soldiers immediately started shooting at it. Unlike the last soldier, they shot it from the side despite their panic, and so I didn’t get turned into bullet-induced swiss cheese. I wasn’t unhurt for the most part. I removed my shirt and tried to get the substance it had drooled off of me. Whatever it was, it was burning into my skin like acid. I could see a light rash form. When I finally got it off my skin in that area was raw and thin. We looked around and the entity was nowhere to be seen.

For the next three days we were uneasy. Only around 60 of us were left in this tiny room the size of a slightly large house. People were so quiet. It was worse than during the first ten days. Once in a while people would get in fights with each other for no apparent reason and the soldiers would have to break it up. The soldiers started to lose it too, though. At one point a soldier pistol-whipped a civilian unconscious for no apparent reason and the others had to restrain him. Nobody ate. Nobody spoke. Nobody slept. Nobody was safe. Not anymore.

I didn’t notice it at first, but my condition was getting worse. Ever since I was attacked it seemed to amplify. My sickness I was feeling on the day before all of this was getting more and more intense until one day the pain was unbearable. I felt it in my stomach. It felt like it was going to explode. Just like Judas. Oh god please. Please god protect me. Please god don’t let me end up like Judas. Please god kill me before that can happen. Please god, please. I went to the restroom again. I was going more frequently. The doctors didn’t have any of their equipment so they couldn’t help me. Not that it would matter much. So I sat down. I could feel something inside my abdomen.

Something peaked outside of my rectum. Oh no. No. No please no. It was the most disgusting thing I’d ever felt. It was graphically disgusting. If I went into just how unpleasant this next experience was, you wouldn’t be able to listen any further. That said I have to tell you somehow. There’s no way that what happened isn’t related somehow to that… thing… or one of them at least, which means it could happen to you too. Maybe it already has.

I could feel it squirming. Immediately I was pretty sure I knew what I had to do. Against my mind’s fervent protesting, I grabbed it and tried to pull it out. It moved. This was wrong. This was so wrong. Please let this be over. I prayed. I prayed so much. I didn’t know who I was praying to but I prayed that whoever it was would kill me so I wouldn’t have to endure this any longer. As I pulled I screamed in pain and disgust. I had to keep going, though. Whatever this was it needed to get it out of me. I continued pulling. I could feel it struggling to escape my grip but I wrapped it around my hand and wrist like one would a rope or leash. I could feel a pinch somewhere deep inside roughly two inches above my navel. There was no way it was that far in. I kept pulling. I was in so much pain. The most pain I’ve ever been in my whole life and the most I will probably ever feel. I continued to pull. Sheer will to live is what kept me holding on. I knew I needed to get it out, but the disgust and the pain were powerful. One foot. Two feet. I continued to pull it. Three feet. Four feet. It felt connected like some kind of root in the ground. Five feet. Six feet. How long was it? Seven feet. Eight feet. I screamed the loudest I’d ever screamed before in my life. Nine feet. Ten feet. It felt like I was trying to pull my own intestines out. Eleven feet. Twelve feet. SNAP! The thing came out with a sickening tearing sound like fabric being pulled apart by a grinder.

I held it at arms length. I wanted to toss it as far away from me as possible. I wanted to burn it, to kill it. Maybe if I killed it enough I could erase it from having ever happened. I wanted to but I couldn’t move. It squirmed around, constricting my arm a little and trying to snap at me with its faceless alien head. My level of fear surpassed any level I’d ever experienced and paralyzed me. I was physically incapable of moving no matter how much I wanted to.

My mind raced. I began to put together what was going on. Judas must have had one of these. It must have gotten to him somehow and exited through his abdomen. It must have had to do with those… things getting into here.

My thoughts were interrupted when a doctor walked in, presumably to check on me. She froze. I could hardly even speak. Neither could she.

“Help me… please…”

Then they locked me inside. Fear makes you do awful things. Those bastards locked me in with the worm that just came out of me. They said they were going to come back but they never did. I waited there, standing still. I felt the worm die around my arm. It wasn’t until a good twenty minutes after the worm died that I built up the willpower to move. I’d been standing still for almost an hour. I threw the worm into the toilet and flushed. I had no idea what that would do but I didn’t care anymore.

I sat curled up in the corner for what must have been a few days. My mind tuned out of the sound outside. I recall hearing commotion for a few days at times involving the familiar screech of the entity, then absolute silence for days. I finished the water bottle I’d had with me and I knew I was going to start dying of thirst. In fact I was surprised I hadn’t already died of sleep deprivation. My thoughts were interrupted when somebody opened the door. He looked surprised to see me. And that pissed me off.

“Why did you do this to me?”

The man was silent.

I pushed past him and went to the main atrium. When I’d gone into the bathroom there were the expected 60 people. I looked around. There could have only been 10 at most.

“What happened here?”

Lawrence saw me. He got up and walked over to me, a grim expression on his face.

“Morgan you have to understand…”

“Where’s the administrator?”

“Morgan, please!”

“What the hell did you monsters do?”

“We’re dying Morgan!”

“And so was I but you didn’t seem to care about that!”

“Morgan we ran out of food! The entity, it killed most of us and took most of the bodies! It destroyed our food!”

“You… did you… oh no… you didn’t… you didn’t… Lawrence you didn’t…”

“I’m sorry Morgan… we had to survive…”

“SURVIVE? You fucking idiots still think you’re going to SURVIVE this? We’re already dead! All of us! And you had a choice! Go out like a human being and accept your death or become cannibals and die without any of your humanity left!”

“Morgan…”

“Shut up! Shut the hell up! You monsters! That’s why you sent a guy to open my door, right? You wanted to eat my dead body? You fucking monster!”

Lawrence lost it entirely. He knew what he’d done the whole time and he finally couldn’t justify it any more. He crumpled to the ground and wept. He sobbed. He went on until it died down to a whimper. That coward! He was supposed to protect us! That pussy was on the ground crying! I’d just pulled a worm out of my ass and nearly starved to death! I wasn’t crying! I kicked him in the side and looked up from him to face the others.

And I blacked out.

I woke up. I wasn’t in the panic room anymore. I was in a giant room lit by a single flickering light. Everyone was hanging from rope-like structures made out of some black and red substance. I myself was on the ground alongside a few skeletons surrounded by vegetation from the outside world. It smelled awful. Worse than rotting flesh.

A light appeared. It grew into a square, getting taller and taller. My eyes readjusted to see that it was a garage-like door opening. I caught my first glimpse of the outside world. And I wish I could take it back.

If you’re reading this you know exactly what I saw all too well. And I won’t molest my final moments with having to describe the monstrous place we thought was Earth. Nothing is evil enough to warp Earth into this… place. Wherever we are, it’s far away from our real home. Wherever we are it’s not Earth. I think we’re in hell. I don’t know what we did but I think this really is hell. In fact it would comfort me to think that this is hell, that this kind of place can’t exist terrestrially. It would comfort me to know that it can’t get any worse than this, because this is pretty damn bad.

By the time my eyes adjusted entities like the one that had attacked me poured in. I found one of the soldier’s P90s on the ground. I waved it at them, but they weren’t afraid. They didn’t even flinch when I aimed at them. One leapt at me. I grabbed it by the shoulder and shoved the barrel into its face, unloading the entire 32-round mag into its mouth until I was just standing there dry firing into the black pulp that used to be its throat. More came in. I was out of ammo and all I could do was run.

I still don’t know very well what they look like, just their terrible inhuman faces and their horrible inhuman silhouettes. One must have punched a hole in my side. A big one. About the size of a hockey puck, actually. It doesn’t hurt too much but I’m bleeding out. All I have with me is a P90 with an empty clip I unloaded into the entity’s ugly face and this recording device. Use this information well. Don’t let this happen to you.

And never ever let them get in.

I’m going to turn this thing off while my limbs still work. My skin’s turning white. I’m almost out of blood. If you make it back to Earth, whatever the hell that even is anymore, buy yourself a drink will you? I don’t care what. Anything. Hell, buy me a whole steak dinner. Buy it in my name. I could really use one right now…

[END OF PLAYBACK]

You pick up the recording device. Such a sad story. These mountain bases don’t turn out well when they’re isolated like this. Half the time the people inside still think they’re on Earth. You feel the bloodless body. It’s still warm. What if you could have done something? What if you could have saved him? Your thoughts are interrupted by a footstep that sounds behind you. Ever so soft. The sound of three long toes ending in claws treading on broken glass and charred rubble. It’s another one. You quietly pump your SPAS-12 shotgun. All you have left is some birdshot. It’ll have to do. When will this hell end? When will you find a way to go back home?

Maybe you won’t. Maybe this man Morgan was right. Maybe you did something in a previous life and you’re cursed to wander this hellish world forever. Or maybe you can escape this world and leave the shadow of its countless synthetic skies. You promise yourself that you will not die until you can die under a real sky. Earth’s sky.

Credit To – Pyrous Red

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The Fishing Trip

September 1, 2015 at 12:00 AM
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“Hold the head steady, Mr. Walker, I don’t want to cock this up.”

Swelling waves cause the ship to roll beneath my feet as I do my best to follow Professor Olik’s order. Unfortunately, the ox is not cooperating, and pulls jerkingly against the rope securely fastened to the ring through its nose while emitting low panicked bellows, its eyes rolling wildly in their sockets. Penned in the makeshift stable below deck there’s nowhere for it to run, even if it wasn’t currently on a vessel somewhere in the middle of the Pacific Ocean and several hundred miles from the nearest thing resembling land. Something has the beast terrified, although it could be it simply senses the striking woman standing in front of it with an air gun has less than peaceful intentions.

“For fuck’s sake, Charlie, I know you can pull a rope tighter than that…I’ve got the burns on my wrists to prove it.”

I flash Helen a glare as I struggle with the rope, my cheeks flushing bright red from equal parts anger and embarrassment. She responds with a wicked grin. It’s no secret we’re sleeping together, that’s how I was conned into going on this little cruise after all, but I still don’t feel the need to blatantly parade the fact around in front of her father.

Dr. Reynard Olik is a visiting professor out of Oslo whose expertise is in cryptozoology. I hadn’t realized such a degree even existed but apparently I’m not as informed as I thought. The Loch Ness Monster, the Wendigo, the Tatzelworm…Olik has dedicated years of his life to studying and cataloging the stories and legends of these and dozens of other fantastic creatures, going so far as to conduct extensive field research into claims of their existence. Due to his lean, sharp features, surprisingly cunning intellect and, most probably, his parents’ choice of names, Olik has been dubbed “The Fox” in pretty much every circle he inhabits.

His daughter Helen serves as his primary research assistant and as such is accompanying him for the duration of his stay at Miskatonic University where I’m studying for my doctorate in engineering. Her raven black hair and oddly shaded eyes, steel grey flecked with purple, give her an exotic if decidedly un-Nordic appearance. Still, she has the muscle tone of an Olympic gymnast, and at five foot ten could easily be imagined falling into the ranks of the fabled Valkyrie. I first saw her at a social mixer last fall and was immediately taken. Imagine my shock when my lame attempts to talk to her were accepted and even encouraged; two weeks later we were fucking like it was going out of style.

Our relationship stayed on that course for about six months when she informed me she would be going with her father for an extended trip during the summer as part of his research. Would I like to accompany them? The fact that she’d been naked when she asked probably helped guide my decision. That’s how I came to be wrangling a terrified ox on a Korean manned fishing boat six hundred miles off the Japanese coast.

Wrapping the rope more firmly around my hands I brace my foot against the bulkhead and pull as hard as I can, momentarily arresting the panicked animal’s movement.

“Hit it! Jesus, hit it now!” Helen professionally places the air gun between the ox’s eyes and smoothly depresses the trigger, punching the tiny metal rod through skin and bone and into the creature’s brain. Its eyes roll back in its skull and its slack tongue lolls out of its mouth before the ox collapses to its knees and finally slumps to the floor on its side.

I disentangle myself from the rope, angry red depressions crisscrossing my hands and up my arms, and wipe the sweat from my forehead. “Christ! I’ve never done this before, but, I mean, don’t they usually use a cattle prod or something to stun these guys first?”

The Fox gives me a pinched look. “In your typical slaughterhouse, yes, Mr. Walker, but I’ve found it best to avoid using electricity whenever possible in these matters. There can be…unforeseen complications. Besides, certain research suggests the chemicals released in the brain due to intense fear serve as something of an intoxicating marinade for more predatory creatures…all the better for our purposes here. Stunning the beast beforehand could rob us of a potential advantage. Helen, if you would, please.”

Exchanging her air gun for an enormous bone saw, Helen enters the pen and begins working on the dead ox’s neck. The metal teeth slide through muscle and tissue as Helen manipulates the saw as smoothly as a lumberjack. It catches briefly when it hits vertebrae, but she pulls the blade free with a sickening cracking noise of snapping bone before repositioning and continuing her grisly work. I feel my gorge rise to the base of my throat and glance down at the floor only to leap away from the slowly growing pool of blood that has spread from the pen and now threatens to soak my boots.

I hastily move away from the danger zone and turn my eyes from the butchery, desperately wishing I could turn off the squelching sounds as easily.

“So, doc, tell me again exactly what we’re doing here?”

Olik sighs, “As I’ve explained, Mr. Walker, we are in search of Jormungandr, the World Serpent. Most likely it and the creature known as Leviathan in Christian tradition are one and the same. Legend has it the beast was so large it could encircle the world, to the point of holding its own tail in its mouth, although that is likely an exaggeration. According to Norse mythology when Jormungandr releases its tail it will initiate Ragnorak, the twilight of the gods.

During the final battle, the serpent will confront its father Loki’s hated enemy Thor, resulting in their mutual destruction. All of my research indicates the creature’s head will be located somewhere in this vicinity, near the Mariana Trench. As the lowest point on the planet and one of the few environments not fully explored by humans, it is the most likely location a creature that large could remain relatively undetected.”

“And it’s a fan of ox roast, huh?”

Olik glares at me, “Yes. In one of the most commonly artistically rendered stories, Thor managed to accidentally catch Jormungandr on his hook which he baited with an ox head. He attempted to kill the serpent with his hammer Mjolnir but, oaf that he was, managed to let Jormungandr escape. We are attempting to recreate this event.”

“But, professor, what exactly are you planning to do if you actually manage to catch this thing?”

“Finished!” Beaming, Helen hefts the severed ox head to her shoulder. Her hands and face are spattered with crimson and a slow trickle of blood continues to seep from the stump of the creature’s neck and drip to the floor. Her strange speckled eyes are alight with excitement and anticipation.

“Excellent, my dear, let’s get our bait up to the main deck.” Ignoring my question, the Fox turns and leads the way up the stairs, Helen following closely carrying her macabre prize. I stay a little behind and glance back at the pen. The ox’s body remains slumped where it fell, the muscles of the legs twitching and jerking ever so slightly as the onset of rigor mortis slowly takes hold. I involuntarily shudder and turn after the professor and his daughter.

When I reach the deck I notice that the sky has turned dark. Storm clouds above seethe angrily and the waves beneath respond in kind, rocking the boat more and more violently beneath my feet. The crew has gathered in a tight crowd off to the side surrounding their captain. I don’t speak Korean, but it’s obvious they’re arguing with him about what we’re doing and he is attempting to talk them down. Abruptly one of the crew steps forward and throws a haymaker catching the captain in the jaw. He crumples to the deck as a general melee breaks out around his fallen body.

It takes me a few moments to locate Olik and Helen at the fore of the ship near the large crane Olik had installed for this excursion. Seemingly oblivious to the weather and the battling seamen, the professor is guiding the baited hook over the side while his daughter works the controls of the crane. I shove my way through knots of fighting sailors and struggle to make my way to them as the ship continues to heave to and fro, causing me to stumble like a drunk. The wind has picked up and howls like a banshee, so that I have to shout to be heard when I finally reach Olik.

“Professor! It’s not safe here! We have to get back below deck! The storm is coming!”

Freezing rain suddenly erupts from the heavens, the screaming winds whipping the drops against my face so hard it stings. Lightning bolts the size of houses flash down from the sky accompanied by peals of thunder so loud they make my head ring. “Professor!” I grab the man by the shoulder and spin him around only to fall back in shock.

The man facing me bears a certain resemblance to Olik certainly, but only just. He’s younger, his face holding a certain agelessness that makes him seem paradoxically youthful and ancient in equal amounts. His eyes are alight with the glow of madness, his mouth open in a wolfish grin, “Too late! He’s too late to stop me now!” He giggles like a lunatic. Shrieking peals of laughter accompany him and I turn to see where Helen was operating the controls. Gone is my stunning Valkyrie, replaced by a hideous creature. Half of her body is covered in pale, perfect skin, the other rotting lumps of flesh the same purplish hue as the flecks in her eyes. Her cackles are lost as the wind whips itself into even greater fury, the ship rocking so hard I’m terrified we will capsize at any moment.

The ship is thrashing too hard for me to even contemplate trying to make it back to the hold. Just as I have this thought, an enormous wave washes over the deck, sweeping several sailors over the side. Their screams are quickly drowned by the raging storm. I spy a tumbling coil of rope. Desperately grabbing it, I manage to lash myself between two cargo brackets. Helen was right; I pull the ropes very tight. Temporarily secure, I look around. Astonishingly, the man who was Olik has jumped upon the bow, deftly riding the ship like an enraged bronco. Raising his arms towards the screaming heavens he howls into the storm, “Come, brother! Meet your doom!”

With that, the largest wave yet slowly tilts the ship so that it is riding almost completely to its side. From where I’m lashed to the deck, I am now practically vertical so that I have a perfect view of the roiling seas disappearing far off into the horizon. In that moment, my mind breaks.

From out of the sea protrude miles and miles of glistening serpentine coils. The scales are the dull color of seaweed, encrusted with barnacles and all matter of ocean life, for that is where they have remained for a very long time. An enormous head the size of a mountain erupts from the depths, blind white eyes fixed above a cavernous mouth glistening with dozens of rows of fangs. Opening its great maw wide, Leviathan lets loose its battle cry, its roar so loud I feel my eardrums shatter in my skull. High above in the clouds my eyes can barely make out the tiny figure of a man at the heart of the storm. Bolts of lightning seem to coalesce around him, filling him with their impossible power. Shining like the sun, the figure streaks out of the sky like a comet, flying directly at the head of the serpent.

The beast rears up to meet its foe and on impact, the world is enveloped in an incredible blast of white light brighter than the core of an atomic bomb. The stress of the heaving seas is finally too much and I feel the ship shatter beneath me. Slowly, the two broken halves descend into the seething waves, my only thought as the raging waters roll over me is that I may be one of the lucky ones. Soon, even that thought is lost as I sink deeper into the depths, my mind as black as the sea embracing me.

Credit To – Shadowswimmer77

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I’ve Plumbed This Whole City

August 12, 2015 at 12:00 AM
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It’s so easy to forget about what lies beneath the streets of the modern world. Towers that scrape the sky and estates that stretch on for miles, the urban sprawl we know so well. But a man who has seen what lies beneath the concrete can’t ever forget.

Sewers. The catacombs that snake through the underground. For every avenue there is a black tunnel that runs beneath it and for every house there is an allocated network of hidden pipes. Streets that bear no names. Only someone who has been there can truly appreciate the absolute and final darkness that inhabits this world below the world. Where the only sound one can be sure of is the flowing streams of waste where all manner of creatures not touched by the light fester and grow. This is the place where every footstep haunts the cavernous and silent halls and where every person subconsciously dreads to be, yet lives unknowingly above.

This is the place where I have worked for most of my life. The sewers of London were built in Victorian times, and the tunnels I spent my time in were well over one hundred and fifty years old. Built from a dull red brick and completely devoid of all modern comforts such as ceiling light bulbs. This was a subterranean world like no other, weaving shafts of stone built in arches, supporting pillars of the same brick dotted along the channels like sentinels guarding the ancient paths. The sewer was a network of smaller tunnels that all led off from the long and straight main shaft running underneath the centre of the city. This resulted in a labyrinth-like situation where one only had to make a wrong turn to be lost amongst the alleys and streets of the system. There were vertical pipes cut into the ceiling that led to the grates you see on the side of roads, put there to drain excess rainwater, but any light that attempted to enter through these was soon dispersed and beat back out of the sewers. This resulted, of course, in an almost pitch black environment as the only light present was the frightened white beam that struggled from the lamp on our hard-hats.

One of the company rules was that nobody could enter the sewers alone so I always did my rounds with a friend and colleague of mine, Oscar, or ‘Oz’ for short. For nine years me and Oz traversed the maze together, fixing leaks, directing waste flow and we became pretty good friends over this period. We drank together on weekends and regularly watched football games since we both had the same team. But the heaviness of the sewers made it hard to crack jokes or make decent conversation so most of our work was done in silence.

Silence was what predominantly made the sewers so unnerving. If you dropped a tool you would hold your breath as the metallic clang charged through the tunnels. You would look into the dark and half expect to see some unearthly fiend come crawling towards you, curious as to what had disturbed its quiet. But worse than this was hearing a sound you didn’t make. Over my time in the sewers, I always thought I could hear some kind of scuffling just behind the walls. Not like something was trying to claw its way out, but like it was moving around, just living. I always put these occurrences down to the silence playing tricks on me,but I could never shake the thought that there was more to the sewers than just an eerie feeling.
But how could I forget the smell. It never frightened me in the same way the darkness or silence did, but it was always there, the unmistakable stench of human waste clinging to you always. It made the air heavy and clogged your nostrils and throat.

However, the reason I write this is to document the occurrences of the fourteenth of June, year two thousand and fourteen.
Me and Oz were heading down into the sewers for the daily inspection. We had been down there for around three hours when we came across a damaged wall, a few turns off the main tunnel, along a minor shaft. The section of the wall had fallen in, almost as if it had been pushed from the outside, not a particularly strange occurrence since sections of the walls were always crumbling apart. The bricks had fallen but remained intact so I thought it would be an easy fix. I sent Oz away to the closest store room to return with some cement filler to reseal the wall with. I began to stack the bricks back into the hole, staring at the void behind. There seemed to be quite a large space there, which was unexpected since I had always believed that it was solid earth behind these walls, but I disregarded it as a small enclave in the rock and continued piling the bricks. But I could not disregard what happened next. I heard the scuffling again. Just a small scraping sound resonating from inside the void. I put down the bricks and listened. It lasted for about thirty seconds and then stopped. I was motionless and the air seemed to press down on me. Slowly, I built back my confidence and began once again to carefully stack the bricks, the knocking of the stones was a whimper that cut the atmosphere.

At this point in time, two things happened. Firstly I saw something. It was undeniably a face, it lifted its head from behind the wall and stared through the hole face to face with me, it made a sound, shuddering noises that sounded like a foreign language, but spoken in a way completely unlike any voice I’d heard. Next, my light cut out. I jerked backwards, fumbling for my spare batteries in utter darkness. Images of the creature raced through my mind. It was not a face unlike a human, the same size and shape. But it was bald and lacked any sort of eyebrows. Its skin was pulled taunt on its cheekbones and it was pale. Not pale as in the snowy white pale but as in monochrome grey, bordering on a sickly purple, almost translucent in its lack of colour, laced with dark veins. But its eyes were what caused me to panic. Small and pale they were, lacking any distinguishable pupils and filled with an empty and frightening aura.

The scuffling was back, but now, it was more like a heavy thumping. It came from all around me like a thousand of the creatures were beating their spindly hands against the brick. I abandoned my search for the batteries and instead ran backs though the shaft, sticking close to the damp wall. I turned the first corner and was blinded by the light atop Oscar’s helmet. He had come back from his journey to the storeroom when he had heard the pounding, which was now resonating from behind me, smashing the silence like a hammer against the anvil. I knew well that the exit we always took was down past the hole yet the thought of going back that way was too much to bear with only one lamp. I checked my pack only to find it gone, loosened from my belt when I had fallen at the hole most probably. Oz was staring wide eyed at the passage behind me and when I turned I could see why.

The creature must have attracted attention because the passage was filled with them, crawling and shambling towards us. By the light of Oz’s torch we could see them clearly. They were human sized and all looked very much the same, Lanky limbs and pale skin with those small eyes piercing the gloom.

I felt sick at the sight of them, but there was no hesitation. We both turned and went quickly towards the main tunnel, which we knew would eventually lead us towards an exit if we followed the waste flow upstream. In the glances he stole backwards I could see that Oz had wide eyes, his shallow breathing drowned out by our footsteps. On we went, pursued by the beings now whaling and screaming their protest at our presence. I was now breathing rapidly too as I followed Oz, leading the way with his torch, rambling under his breath as he went, swearing and trying to think about what sort of animal these things could be.

But we both know these were no animals.

We continued down the passage, blackness behind me and a feeble, dying light ahead. We dare not run, not wanting to provoke the creatures into a full speed chase. By this point, we had been working down in the tunnels for what must have been just under four hours. The life of a cell powering a high wattage headlamp was only about three and a half. The torch began dimming rapidly as we quickened our pace. It finally guttered out and all light was gone from our world. The blackness seemed to amplify the sounds coming from behind us, the ensemble in our pursuit was still there. With no time for a battery change Oz decided to take out his ‘Zippo’ lighter. Open flames were not permitted in the sewers due to volatile gases such as methane being potentially present. But a gas explosion would be a welcome relief from our current situation. With a flickering lighter to guide us we continued to move along the arched tunnel. A stolen glance behind me revealed the direness of our predicament as I was met with an army of small, white eyes, still steadily pacing after us.

Oz stopped. I ground to a halt and was met with a horrifying sight. Red bricks barred our way as a dead end presented itself. We had taken a wrong turn somewhere down the line, veered off into one of the many shafts on the left or right from the main tunnel. I turned, my back to the wall. The eyes came closer, but slowed and eventually stopped. Just outside of the lighters glow they stood, both of us staring each other down. I shuddered, ragged breaths escaping me as I wondered what would come next.

One came forward. It shambled toward us and stopped about three feet away, the firelight illuminating its features. It looked almost extraterrestrial in this view, a taller version of the classic little green man, with smaller eyes. A horror cliché in hindsight, but trust me when I say it isn’t any less terrifying in reality.

It looked me up and down. Deliberately perusing my white hard-hat, down to my steel capped boots. Searching me. It continued for what seemed an eternity as I pressed close to the wall my breathing shallow and ragged. It stopped and turned. Slowly walking back into the darkness from where it came. The others followed it back into the gloom. Leaving the lighter’s aura and entering the unknown blackness before us.

Me and Oz just stood for a while, not knowing whether to believe what we had seen or not. Eventually we came to and mutually decided it would be best for a fast battery change in Oz’s headlamp. We both agreed that getting out of the sewers was our next move, fleeing this place as quick as we could back toward the daylight and clean air. But leaving the tunnels would mean walking past the hole, towards the exit steps.

My chest tightens at the thought of encountering the fiends again. Obviously these were not malicious or violent beings, if they had wanted to harm us they could of done so already. So what made them so frightening? And what caused them to chase us as they did? I could not tell you, nor could Oz. Simply knowing that these things exist was what scared me. Were they some sort of undiscovered primates who lurked underground? Maybe some evolutionary offshoot of humans, adapted to dwell in the subterranean gloom, or perhaps, most disturbing of all, they were humans. Men or women somehow drawn into the dark, hundreds, maybe thousands of years ago. Breeding and mutating until they lost all recollection of the outside. We didn’t know what they were or whether they would hurt us or not, but we certainly did not want to encounter them again.

I searched my mind, trying to think of another exit, but we had only ever used this one, if there was an emergency exit of sorts, it was lost to both of our memories and neither of us was risking getting lost. The only way out was the way we came.

Oz goes ahead, he has the light. I brandish a wrench in my right hand whilst he grips tightly to some piping, feeble weapons if the creatures decide to attack, but better than our fists. The walk back reveals how far the things had chased us, and both of us become weary at where we are exactly. We keep walking back through the tunnels, trying our best to retrace our steps. The air around us seems to stink worse than usual and every footstep seems to reveal our new position to all throughout the caverns. I swear that I can hear the scuffling not only in the walls, but behind and in front of us, little scratches that sound like nails being scraped against the brick wall and soft padding sounds that could only be the footfalls of someone bare footed. I look down at the cement floor, it is the usual dull grey although now it is spotted with dark marks in the shape of footsteps, abnormally long toes stretched out and bent as they ran. We picked up the pace.

We eventually arrive at the hole, gaping out into beyond, the bricks I had stacked had fallen back down, presumably due to the creatures all climbing out and spilling out into the tunnels. I shudder at the imagery. Were they back in there? Could they be staring back right now? I drop my gaze and turn back to Oz. He is not there. Oz hadn’t noticed me stop and kept walking, he was now around fifteen metres down the shaft, a small flickering orb of light. And I was in the darkness. This is when it happened, if I had just kept walking, suppressed curiosity and not stared into the void perhaps it wouldn’t have.

I feel a rush of air from the hole and a spindly pale shape bolts out of the black, the outstretched nails raking my arm, fingernails rip though my overalls and pierce my skin. I jerk away and swivel my head toward the hole, surely enough the same haunting eyes as before meet my gaze. I bolt down the tunnel after Oz, hearing the creatures dive and crawl through the wall after me, screaming louder now, angered that I dare disturb them again. I do not look backwards, the sounds of slapping feet fuelling me towards the light in front. When I come up on Oz I shout to him telling him to run, he turns to look backwards but is met with my force as I shove him on. We both sprint for the exit doors and Oz barges through them.
Up now, dim electric lights illuminate the stairs casting a grey film across the scene. My legs begin to ache as we round yet another flight but the noises below have not ceased so I cannot either. Finally we reach the summit, and we know to turn left immediately, through more doors and up a final flight of stairs.

We stand in the street now, a narrow alleyway joining two larger roads. The sun is just rising which creates an eerie not quite night yet not day either feeling, as if we were in some sort of limbo. I glance behind. The creatures burst through the doors and charge up the stairs. I stumble backwards and fall as they reach the top.

Oz is trying to get me up again and I watch like a spectator in a theater. As the creatures come out of the darkness they squeal at the now emerging sun. They disperse immediately, some fly back down towards the gloom whilst other dash for the shadows on the street. Some climb up the metal staircase and shelter amongst the gloom at the top whilst others disappear across the buildings roof, but they all melt away, slipping into darkness wherever they find it. This is where I black out, my arm bleeding profoundly and my head spinning.

I awoke in a hospital bed. They tell me I have flu like symptoms but they can’t say what is causing them. My arm is in a bandage and I’m told the wound is bad, congealed and black like someone had burnt me whilst slicing it open. I type this now from my hospital bed, I grow sicker everyday and my arm is coated in searing pain day and night. I am sure the creature did this to me, positive but I dare not tell the doctors, I’ll make up some story when the time comes.

I have not seen Oz since the event.

But what haunts me most is that the creatures are now on top as well as below. Sure, they can only come out on the darkest of nights but this is still a disconcerting thought. Believe me or don’t believe me I do not care, but I’ve plumbed this whole city and I know what I saw.

Credit To – D Jones

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