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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The League of Creepypasta Supervillains

April 1, 2015 at 4:00 AM
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Introduction:

In every major city in the world there is an old abandoned warehouse that is home to the local League of Creepypasta Supervillains. This league varies depending on the location, but today we going to focus on a very special league that makes its home in Burlington, Vermont. This supervillain group is composed of some of the very well-known villains on the internet including Jeff the Killer, Slenderman, Jane The Killer, Black Eyes Kids, and the organization leader, Ben (Drowned).

Today we join our antiheroes as they attend the annual League evaluation. You see, to stay in the LOCS, each member has to prove that they are scary enough to be part of the organization. If they can’t prove their worth, they are moved to the League’s sister organization, the Alliance of Trollpasta Supervillains. Once there they must undergo thorough training in the scary arts until they are creepy enough to be accepted back into the League again.

As the head of the Burlington League, Ben (Drowned) is issuing all of the tests on this fine Halloween Eve. And so another year of evaluations is set to take place.

The Evaluation:

Ben (Drowned) Looked over his recruits with an obvious look of distain. He always hated evaluation day because his group of supervillains always barely made the cut. He shook his head as he paced back and forth in front of them.

“Well it’s that time of year again when I have to put you maggots to the test. Of all the supervillains I could have received from headquarters I got you sorry pathetic excuses for creepypasta terrors. Did you know that the London branch has Jack the Ripper? As in the real guy? And what do I get stuck with? You rejects! You better have improved since the last evaluation or being transferred to the AOTS will be the least of your worries. Do you understand?”

All of the members said, “Sir, yes sir!” in unison except for Slendy who held up a sign that said the same thing as he didn’t have a mouth to speak with. Ben (Drowned) sighed and put a clipboard he was holding to eye-level so he could read the names of the members he had to evaluate first. When he read it he grumbled something to himself and then said louder, “Black Eyed Kids, I need you to step forward now!”

There were many BEKs in the world as they were the unfulfilled souls of children and teenager so naturally each organization had a few. In this particular branch there were four: Blinky, Pinky, Inky, and Clyde each named after the Pac Man ghosts by headquarters as they had long forgotten their original names. Ben (Drowned) felt this was a mockery of his organization by headquarters as his branch held the bottom of the barrel supervillains. But since it was an order from above, there wasn’t much he could do about it. This added to his annoyance over his position in the organization. He was part of the Zelda franchise for God’s sake. Couldn’t they cut him some slack?

At the moment Ben (Drowned) was thinking of renegotiating his contract with Headquarters the BEKS stepped forward, each staring at him with their soulless black eyes. Ben (Drowned) was unfazed. Their eyes might have been soulless but the way they were placed on the children made them look more like oversized Precious Moments dolls than anything else. He tapped his fingers against the clipboard and gave each one a glance up and down.

“You BEKS are as lame as ever I see,” he began, noting that they had updated their clothing to reflect the latest trends among adolescents, preteens, and teens.

“But I won’t hold your apparent lack of ghost apparel against you as you have other assets to work with like, oh I don’t know, THE THING YOU WERE NAMED AFTER.”

At this he got in the face of each one and yelled, “What the heck is with those cute eyes, huh? You are supposed to be terrors of the night, not some anime Chibi rejects!”

The BEKS immediately changed their eyes to something more fitting their description and then they each said in unison, “Sir, yes sir!”

Ben (Drowned) grunted.

“That’s more like it. Now, each one of you will give me a report of your best scare of the year. I will start with…Inky.”

Inky, a BEK with long black hair and a blue baseball cap gave a salute and stepped forward.

“Sir, yes sir. I will now tell you about my best scare, sir!”

Ben (Drowned) rubbed his temples, mentally preparing himself for what he was about to hear.

“Just get on with it.”

Inky nervously shuffled in place.

“Eh…Yes sir. Well last Tuesday I think I really scared this kid who was at the supermarket with his mom. But then I felt kind of bad so I invited him over to my place to play a game of hide and seek with the other BEKS. His mom was kind of getting worried though so I brought him back without his memories and put him somewhere the mom could find him. But you could tell she was really worried when he was gone. I must have given her the scare of the century! I did good this time boss, didn’t I?”

Inky’s look of enthusiasm was met with a deadpan expression from Ben (Drowned).

“That has to be THE LAMEST excuse for a ghost story I have heard since…well the last time you gave me a report. Get back in formation before I get angry.”

Inky gave a quick salute and scrambled back to the lineup.

Ben (Drowned) let out a heavy sigh and called the next recruit forward.

“Blinky, it’s your turn to report. I hope your story will be more thrilling than the last.”

The BEK wearing a red baseball cap with short, wavy black hair stepped forward.

“Yes sir! I think you will be pleased with my report. A few weeks ago I morphed my body into the shape of a professor and taught a class about parasites! You should have seen how scared the students were when they left. Even I was a bit grossed out by the topic. I think this is my best scare yet!”

Ben (Drowned) glared at the recruit for a few moments in silence, letting his disapproval of Blinky’s antics sink in.

Then he barked, “I am not sure how you managed to beat the complete and utter lack terror present in the last story, but somehow you did. In fact that story was so bad, that I am almost inclined to say it is good out of sheer irony. Now get back in the lineup and reflect on being a better ghost will you?”

Blinky nodded furiously and then got back in formation.

Ben (Drowned) sat looking at the next name on the list for a few moments before continuing on. He considered not calling her name at all as he was certain she had nothing valuable to report but he knew that would be against the rules of headquarter so he called her forward anyway.

“Pinky, get out here and tell me about your progress. I say progress because I know for a fact you haven’t been terrorizing anyone. Well, give a report anyway.”

Pinky, a BEK with shoulder length black hair parted into two braids which sat on each side of her face and wearing a pink baseball cap stepped forward.

“Yay, I love story time!”

Ben (Drowned) rolled his eyes.

“Unfortunately, I know this all too well. Get on with it.”

Pinky grinned.

“A few days ago, I went to the arcade and played DDR with a group of teenagers. It was so much fun! I managed to hide my eyes pretty good too. One guy even said I was pretty. I might have a boyfriend! Of course he will need to get over the whole me being a ghost thing. But anything is possible with true love, wouldn’t you agree? I am so excited to introduce him to the other BEKs. I’m inviting him over for a gaming day at my place next week.”

Ben (Drowned) let out a heavy sigh.

“I would tell you to stop dating the people you are supposed to scare, but I’ve given up on trying to teach you any kind of common sense. It’s not worth the effort. Just…just get back in line before I say things I don’t mean.”

Pinky said, “Okay!” And then giggled as she skipped back into formation.

Ben (Drowned) look down at his clipboard trying to ignore the pinching sensation beginning to form at the sides of his temples which he feared might be another stress induced headache coming on.

“Alright, I saved the best for last. And I use that word in the context of the rest of you of course who have somehow managed to do worse than when you reported to me last year. This is a feat I thought was impossible. But oh how I was proved wrong. Clyde, please tell me that you have at least one thing noteworthy to report. Just one thing.”

The BEK in question, who had short spiky black hair and wore an orange baseball cap, stepped forward.

“I’ve got a good one for you sir!”

Ben (Drowned) remained expressionless.

“Oh how the word ‘good’ has lost its meaning to me over the years of working with you people. In case, do carry on.”

Clyde gave a sideways grin.

“This one is a killer. You see, a few weeks ago, I made myself look like an obese plumber and I stormed into the girl’s dressing room of a high school. To add to the effect I told them that I needed to fix a leaky faucet. I think some plumbers crack was visible in the back of my getup too which added to the overall creepiness. They all screamed upon seeing my fat, harry, sweaty plumber form. Of course I think a lot of it was due to the fact that I was a guy in the girl’s locker room. But let me tell you, they all were running and screaming within minutes of me going in. It was great!”

Ben (Drowned) had to physically keep himself from tossing the clipboard on the floor in front of him and storming away from the group of rejects in defeat.

After taking a few deep healing breaths he thought long and hard about what he was going to tell the BEKs.

Then he leaned in close to each one and shouted, “Somehow each of you has managed to get the lowest scare rankings in the history of our organization. The ONLY reason this surprises me is because I really didn’t think you could do worse than the last time, but your latest adventures have really taken the cake. You’ve all earned yourselves one way passes to the Alliance of Trollpasta Supervillains unless you can think of one good reason why I should torture myself by keeping you here!”

Pinky giggled and twirled the end of one of her braids around her fingers.

“Oh, I know. We recruited more members. Doesn’t that give us an automatic pass no matter what?”

Ben (Drowned) nodded.

“Unfortunately…yes. That is how you sorry excuses for creatures of the night end up passing your test every year and continuing to annoy me with your presences in this organization. As a formality I am going to tell you how to improve, although I doubt any amount of advice I give will be of any help to you.”

“Sir, yes sir!” They said in unison, eager to receive their evaluations.

Ben (Drowned) mumbled some words under his breath and then pointed at Inky.

“I’ll start with You! When you haunt kids and take them away, DON’T BRING THEM BACK. I don’t care how sad or lonely they are. That is ghost lesson number one.”

“Yes sir!” Said Inky, happy to receive her orders from the boss.

Ben (Drowned) put a checkmark next to her name and then pointed at Blinky.

“As for you, giving educational lessons to the youth is NOT IN YOUR JOB DESCRIPTION! Next time, turn into your ghost form and scare kids the way you are supposed to. Do you understand?”

Blinky gave an earnest salute.

“Sir, yes sir!” He said and then wrote down the advice on how he could improve on a small notepad he had brought to the meeting.

Ben (Drowned) put a checkmark next to his name and then pointed to Pinky.

“And as for you…I don’t even know where to begin. There is so much wrong with your approach to scarring people that I wouldn’t have enough time to list everything. But you can start by scaring kids and STOP TRYING TO DATE THEM. Are we clear on this?”

Pinky let out an exasperated sigh.

“Fine. I’ll cancel my date with Travis. He probably wouldn’t understand that I’m a ghost anyway.”

Ben (Drowned) put a mark next to Pinky’s name and then pointed to Clyde.

“Last but certainly not least, is you. Out of this entire group of BEK idiots you have the most potential. But your approach is always wrong. Let me just inform you, that walking into the girl’s locker room disguised as a fat plumber is NOT SCARY IN THE LEAST. Next time, appear in the locker room in your ghost form and I don’t know, add in some wailing sounds or something for effect. Do I need to spell it out for you?”

“No sir! I’ll do better next time sir!” He said, after giving a quick salute.

Ben (Drowned) checked his notes to make sure they would meet the organization’s approval and then turned back to face the members of his branch with a large frown on his face.

“Although I would like to believe that you idiots will follow my advice, I have my doubts. Now I will move onto the next evaluation before my headache gets any worse.”

He looked at the next name on the list and then said, “Jeff The Killer, please step forward and tell me your best scare of the year. Hurry up. I don’t have all day.”

Jeff stepped forward and stared at Ben (Drowned) with his yellow, lidless eyes.

“Sir, yes sir! Jeffy The Killer is reporting in.”

Ben (Drowned) took a good look at Jeff from top to bottom and then rubbed his forehead with his thumb and index finger. His headache was getting worse by the second and he still had a long way to go.

“I have told you this multiple times, Jeff. Stop wearing clown makeup. And stop making your body appear white to add to the effect. If you look like a clown, you character will be too similar to the joker and the organization doesn’t want another lawsuit on their hands.”

Jeff stuck out his lower lip in a pouting motion.

“Aww, why so serious?”

Ben (Drowned) promptly smacked Jeff over the head with his clipboard.

“And that’s another thing; stop using the Joker’s catchphrases. It is going to get us in trouble with DC comics. Do you understand?”

Jeff shrugged and snapped his fingers. No sooner had he done so, all of the clown pain melted away. However, the white ghostly complexion still remained. Ben (Drowned) tapped his foot impatiently.

“You’ve gotten rid of the clown makeup. Now the pasty, white completion has got to go. Come on. Stop wasting all of our time.”

Jeff let out a sigh and snapped his fingers again. His skin turned into a pale blue color with darkened edges.

“I like my white skin though, Benny. I would only do this for you.”

Ben (Drowned) shot Jeff a look.

“Do NOT call me Benny. You know that I hate that. Now, get on with telling me about your best scare of the year.”

Jeff laughed manically and then said, “Oh this is a good one. It will put all of the other reports to shame, I can guarantee that!”

Ben (Drowned) huffed.

“Yes, well I’ll be the judge of that. Go on.”

Jeff rubbed his hands together as if he was plotting something wicked and then said, “Three months ago I snuck into a man’s house and starting making ghostly noises. You know, the door slamming. The floorboards creaking. All of the standard stuff. I did this every night for a month. Then I started letting him hear the unsettling noises during the day, everywhere he went. The guy thought he had lost his mind! Then at the last minute I appeared and told him to Go To Sleep. Unfortunately, he was completely crazy by then so for some reason he thought I was funny. I ended up being his personal jester for a few weeks until they carted him off to the loony bin. But before that, he really was scared. You should have seen the look on his face hearing the same creepy noises night after night. It was classic!”

Ben (Drowned)’s expression remained unchanged.

“So you mean to tell me that your biggest accomplishment this year is helping to push an already mentally disturbed person off the deep end? Oh but it doesn’t end there. Your victim thought you were funny. They even sounded like they enjoyed getting carted away to the funny farm. It isn’t our job to entertain crazy people! Get back in formation right now so I can give you your full evaluation.”

Jeff cocked his head to one side.

He muttered, “Hmm…I thought it was a good one for sure,” before floating back to his space in line next to the other organization members.

Ben (Drowned) stared Jeff down and roared, “You barely passed this year’s evaluation on account of the fact that your approach was creative. But like usual, your execution was WAY OFF. You are a mascot pasta. Your job is to scare your victims; not drive them to the loony bin. And you certainly don’t entertain them for laughs. Do you understand?”

Jeff brought his head up from its sideways pose and gave a lazy salute.

“Whatever you say Benny.”

Ben (Drowned) Smacked Jeff with his clipboard again and then checked Jeff’s name off of the list.

“I told you not to call me that. Anyway, off to the next member. Let’s see here…”

Jeff glanced at the next name and turned pale. It was the first time since the meeting started that he genuinely felt intimidated. He tried not to let his discomfort show as he called the next name.

“Jane The Killer, please step forward.”

Jane slinked forward from the lineup of organization members, giggling insanely as she went.

“I like it when it’s my turn to play.” She said between crazed chuckles.

Ben (Drowned) cleared his throat.

“Well, you aren’t really here to play, are you? Just give me a summary of the best scary thing you’ve done this year so we can get this meeting over with.”

Jane giggled some more and then said, “Before I came to the meeting, I set all of your houses on fire. I liked watching them slowly burn to ash one by one. I felt that it went well with that old kid’s song, so I sung along as the houses burned. Ring around the rosie, Pockets full of poesies, ashes, ashes, we all fall down. See, see how well it goes? It was ever so delightful. Judging by the way all of you are looking at me right now, I think I did a good job of scarring people. That should give me an automatic pass for sure.”

Ben (Drowned) remained silent as he immediately took out his cellphone to dial in a 5-8 emergency. Two men in suits showed up in front of him a few minutes later and waited for further instruction.

Ben pointed toward where the company houses were located with a grim look on his face.

“Jane set the organization housing units on fire. Get all of the personnel gathered and fix the problem as quickly as possible. Use supernatural building techniques if necessary. I expect a complete rebuild by the end of the meeting.”

The two men saluted and ran off to gather more men to complete the task. With the immediate problem solved, Ben (Drowned) instructed Jane to get back in line and await her evaluation. Jane complied, laughing insanely as she went.

Ben (Drowned) shot Jane a look and yelled, “You crazy little pop tart. You are full aware that it is against organization policy to scare or harm fellow LOCS members. That little stunt of yours has surely earned you a one way ticket to the Alliance of Trollpasta Supervillains. That is unless by some miracle you can think of way to redeem yourself.”

Jane was silent for a few minutes, enjoying the extreme fear she had driven into the hearts of her fellow teammates.

Ben (Drowned) impatiently tapped his fingers against the main face of his clipboard.

“I’m waiting.”

Jane gave a creepy smile and said, “I recruited a new member a few days ago. She is my new special friend. According to organization rules, that means I get an automatic pass. Here she is!”

Jane held up the famous haunted Ragedy Anne doll Annabell. Annabell gave a salute with one of her patchwork arms.

Ben (Drowned) shook his head.

“I don’t even want to know how you managed to get your hands on that…thing. Very well. As Annabell will probably up the scary level of our organization, you get a pass by recommendation. But don’t you ever pull a crazy stunt like that on fellow organization members again. Have I made myself clear?”

Jane giggled.

“Oh I won’t cause any more trouble for the organization. Annabell and I will be too busy making new friends.”

The thought of Annabell and Jane causing trouble together sent a chill up Ben’s spine. He shook off the feeling as he placed a check next to Jane’s name and moved on to evaluate the last member on the list.

“Slenderman, it is your turn.”

Slenderman came floating forward from the lineup, his back tentacles moving in all directions as he went.

Ben (Drowned) gave him a look up and down and rolled his eyes.

“You are still wearing that suit, I see. How many times do I have to tell you that dressing like that does not make you look intimidating?”

Slendy held up a sign that read, “It makes me look stylish.”

Ben (Drowned) let out a heavy sigh.

“Well headquarters doesn’t really impose a dress code, so I can’t fault you on wanting to keep up with the latest fashion trends.”

Upon mentioning fashion, the BEKs all giggled in the line.

“Anyways,” Ben (Drowned) continued, “Get on with telling me about your best scare of the year so we can end this meeting and all go home. Well that is provided the organization cleanup team has fixed the company houses by then.”

He shot Jane a look after saying that, who simply chuckled and started to brush Annabell’s hair.

Slendy nodded and held up various signs which together spelled out his story.

All together the signs read, “You are going to love my story. Four months ago, I snuck into the theater four times and watched all the latest releases for free. Last week I double parked my bike on the way back from giving candy to children at the park. On many different occasions I jay walked right in front of the cops. Of course they couldn’t see me as I was in invisible at the time, but I still did it. I even…”

Slendy paused for dramatic effect and then held up some other signs that read, “Didn’t show up for work! You know because I took that office job as a hobby. Isn’t my social disobedience scary?”

Ben (Drowned) pinched the bridge of his nose, deep in thought about what he should say next. His headache was almost reaching a nuclear level at this point. After taking a few calming breaths, he walked up to Slenderman and shouted, “You are a creepypasta mascot like Jeff. Your job isn’t to be a rebel on your days off. It is to scare people. I don’t care how you do it…I don’t even want to know what you are doing until next year’s evaluation. My heart wouldn’t be able to take any more bad scary stories until that time. But however you figure out how to scare people…do it! Now get back in line so I can give you your full report.”

Slenderman held up a sign that said, “K den,” and floated back into line next to his other teammates.

Ben (Drowned) towered over Slendy and barked, “The next time you are at the theater, scare the people watching the movies while you are there! While you are double parking your bike or jaywalking scare any police officer you come across! When you are at the park, strike terror into the hearts of children; DO NOT GIVE THEM CANDY. While you are working at your office job, take some time to intimidate your office mates. It isn’t that hard to figure out but I’ve spelled it out for you. Do you think you can do those simple tasks at the very least? Huh?”

Slenderman nodded furiously and held up a sign that said, “I’ll do my best.”

Ben (Drowned) rubbed his temples and put a check next to Slenderman’s name before continuing on.
“Once again, you barely passed your evaluation. The only reason you passed is on the promise of improvement. You better work hard to scare some people or I am shipping you off to the Alliance of Trollpasta Supervillains for extra training. Do you understand me?”

Slendy held up a sign that said, “Sir, yes sir!”

Ben (Drowned) took out some headache suppressant medication he kept in his pocket and downed a few pills before continuing on.

Once he started the pills to take effect he said, “Your evaluations are over. You are free to take the rest of the day off or oh, I don’t know, actually go out and scare some people.”

Ben (Drowned)’s cell phone vibrated. He answered the call, made some confirmation noises, and then flipped it close, ending the call before turning to face the recruits again.

“It looks like all of the company houses have been rebuilt. You are now also free to return home if you like. So all that being said, this seventh annual evaluation meeting of the League of Creepy Supervillains is officially closed.”

The organization members all gave a final salute and then wandered off to either take the rest of the day off, head home, or work on their various scaring techniques.

Ben (Drowned) watched them all leave, the headache starting to fade if only a little bit. The only highlight of that entire ordeal was that the organization had gained a somewhat credible member in Annabell. He would call her into the office and take care of her paperwork later.

For now he just wanted to forget everything that had just taken place. He returned to his company home, popped in the Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time, and used it to connect with another Zelda player somewhere in the world. As the player made their way to the Happy Mask Salesman, Ben popped up behind him in his ghost form and said, “help me. I…am Ben.” Ben watched as the player dropped his controller and screamed. He smiled. It was the perfect end to any meeting.

Credit To – Emma Lee Downs

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The Remover

March 28, 2015 at 12:00 AM
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Author Note: Written by Kenneth Kohl (kowale). This is a long read that began as a single short story (Part 1). More parts of the series were provided and it was eventually combined into one large work. The Remover has gathered a considerable fan base since its original posting, and has since been incorporated into a full-length novel of the same name. What follows are the original posts that appeared on Creepypasta Wiki.

Admin Note: As this is a longer-than-usual story, I’ll be creating an index to aid those of you who may want to read this story in smaller portions.

Also, if you are reading this from an index page, please click the ‘read more’ button. For the sake of not stretching out the archives, main page, category pages, etc, this story will display only until the end of chapter one. Beyond that, you’ll need to visit the individual pasta page, which can be found here, or by simply clicking ‘read more’.

INDEX

Part One
Part Two
Part Three
Part Four
Part Five
Part Six
Part Seven
Part Eight
Comment Section

Part 1

When I left my office, I already had a premonition that something awful was going to happen that evening. I’m not psychic. I am quite perceptive, though, and the signs were easy to read. I had worked late – nine o’clock and already dark – and my ordinarily enjoyable walk to the parking lot struck me as a little bit menacing. I parked in a lot that was about a ten minute walk from my office. In the early evening on a crisp autumn day it’s a pleasure to stroll there and take in the sights of downtown Indianapolis. Occasionally I’d take a detour and walk along the canal, checking out the street art. This was past nightfall, though, and right in the middle of a hot and humid August. There were only two sorts of people in downtown Indy that night – those who had to be, and those who had no place else to go.

My walks always took me past the Wheeler Mission. There was a flashing neon sign reminding me that “Jesus Saves” every ten seconds. The mission was a magnet for the homeless. A lot of my sort of people ended up there, but some others as well. Addicts, mentals, criminals on the run and looking for a meal and a place to stay. According to the mission’s rules felons were usually turned in, so the police visited regularly. None of the city’s finest sitting outside that night; just a collection of bums waiting to scam some loose change off of whoever happened to be out on this humid night.

One of the panhandlers called out to me. “Hey! Can I talk to you sir? Can I ask you a question? Are you afraid of homeless people?” He was young, maybe pushing thirty. He was clean-shaven and had a number of tattoos running up his arms and neck and ending just shy of the bottom of his dirty red baseball hat. The design hinted at a former stay in prison.

Every one of them always has a story. It’s typically well practiced and smooth. A bum tells his story so many times that he begins to believe it himself. He gets into his character and will debate at length on the subject of why he needs money. The stories can get quite elaborate and sometimes amusing, if you have the time. But unless you want to be followed all the way back to your car or to the door of your office it’s best to just say “No” or “Sorry.” That night, I was feeling antsy and just wanted the conversation to end quickly, so I opted for “Fuck you.”

Red Hat responded in kind. At first he stopped in his tracks, looking sort of stunned. Then he started following me. “You think you’re better than me? Don’t you walk away from me.” Then he grabbed at the back of my shirt. That’s when I knew for sure that things were going to end badly.

I shrugged him off. I could have easily outrun him at that point, but I didn’t. I don’t know if it was pride or arrogance; or if it was due to the fact that I was tired, irritable and in an excessively bad mood. I did start walking faster, though. I hoped that he would tire of the game and go back to his roost outside the mission. I hoped that the situation wouldn’t go any further.

Then I saw a chance to end the game. There were two routes to my car – one being along a well lit, albeit virtually deserted street and the other a slightly shorter route through a small alley behind the Robertson Parks church. I aimed myself toward the alley. I could still hear Red Hat shouting behind me, but I was doing my best to ignore him. “Where you going man? Stop! I want to talk to you,” he said. I had a pretty good idea that when he saw me heading towards the alley, he thought that he had me beat. How stupid did he think I was? I knew that once we were alone, I’d have the upper hand. I could either disappear into the shadows or, if necessary, kick his ass. What I didn’t know, however, was that he had a couple of friends waiting for him.

They must have seen us head off and circled around the block. It’s like they were expecting me to walk through that alley. For them, it was the perfect place for an ambush. I’ll have to admit that I was startled when I first saw them. I had allowed myself to get too distracted. Not only by Red Hat, but by the anxiety that I’d been experiencing since leaving my office. The two buddies, dressed similarly and tattooed like Red Hat, stood at the far end of the alley. In addition to seeing their silhouettes I could smell them from where I stood. I stopped dead in my tracks when I saw them. Red Hat closed the distance behind me and pushed me further into the alley. Then the other two approached and boxed me in.

One of them pushed me and laughed. “What now, Chris?”

“Now we teach this little shit how to respect people,” Red Hat replied.

I had backed up against the wall of the church. “Trust me guys. Bad idea,” I said.

The one who had previously been quiet came forward and shoved me – hard – back into the wall. I remember feeling the back of my head bounce off the brick. Then he punched me in the stomach. As he drew back his arm to get ready for another swing, my arm flew out and I grabbed his head, palming his face like a basketball. I pushed backward and twisted his head as he fell. That’s when I saw Red Hat’s knife.

Red Hat had drawn his arm back as if he were going to pitch a softball underhand. He had the point of the knife aimed at me. He lunged, but I managed to grab his wrist and deflect his thrust. At this point I could no longer see the first of his two buddies – the first to punch me – but the other one landed another blow directly to my nose. That diverted my attention long enough for Red Hat to bring his knife around for another attempt. A thousand thoughts were racing through my mind. How could I have let myself get drawn into that situation? Why did they pick me? Why that night? How was it going to end? How was I going to handle the cleanup after it was over?

Between all of the distractions and the surprise punch to the face, I must have missed seeing the knife until the last moment. It sunk deep into me. Low, directly below my ribs and angled upward into the place where a normal man would keep his liver. The guy had been in fights before. He was a pro. I felt pressure, but not any actual pain.

Then I felt myself becoming very hot and my vision faded to white.

When the numbness went away, I surveyed the scene in the alley. One of the guys – the one who managed to land a punch on my face – was running around the corner of the church screaming. Around me, there was blood all over the ground and even sprayed up onto the wall of the church. The guy whose face I had grabbed was lying prone nearby, his head cocked at an unnatural angle. His neck was clearly broken. It was Red Hat who surprised me most. He was lying at my feet eyes open, mouth frozen in a perverse smile, and throat ripped open. He looked like he’d had a date gone bad with a table saw.

And all I could think of was how long it had been since I’d last eaten.

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Lure

February 28, 2015 at 12:00 AM
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It was almost three o’clock in the morning when something woke Leah up. She stayed in bed for a few groggy minutes, warm beneath the familiar blankets. For the last three days, an enormous rain storm had been falling on the island of Kauai, bringing an unusual chill along with it. The rain smacked against the windowpanes relentlessly. Leah had grown used to its noise. So it was something else that had disturbed her, and she knew she’d never get back to sleep until she figured out exactly what it was. With a reluctant sigh, she sat up in bed and looked around.

The light.

Her bedroom was filled with strange shadows and a stark light she hadn’t recognized right away. The new security light Aidan, her brother-in-law, had put in for her just before the storm. Nobody had come by, and Leah had done a thorough job of making sure she had enough supplies to last out the bad weather. She’d never seen it switch on at night before. It was probably the wind pushing something into the garden that had triggered it. The system was supposed to shut itself off after three minutes. She wondered how long she’d been awake, and watched the clock tick one minute after another.

Four, then five.

The light stayed on.

Aidan wasn’t known for his amazing skills at electrical installation. Under normal circumstances, Leah would have insisted on hiring a professional, but she didn’t really see the point of having the security to begin with. She’d only agreed to it to make her sister happy. There weren’t many dangers in rural parts of the island, unless you were afraid of having to listen to hippies talk about carving gourds. Leah’s nearest neighbours were a fifteen minute drive away, and that’s how she liked it. She didn’t even have a paved driveway. Who, she wondered, would bother to go all the way out to her place to commit a crime? It was smarter to head to the coast and wreck up the big town.

She cursed and grumbled as she got out of bed, shivering in her shorts and long-sleeved tee. It was even colder than she thought it would be. The floor was like ice beneath her bare feet. She stepped quick and lightly to the window, hugging herself for warmth, and tried to crane her head to see where the security light was mounted. The rain was making a mess of her view, coming down in thick streaks that made the outside world look like it was twisting around in a crystal decanter.

A shape moved at the corner of her eye. Her heart pounded for a second or two, then calmed as she looked into her driveway. Standing a little ways to the side of her car was a figure. It looked like a girl with bright red hair, pinned up in the style of a surf bunny from the days of Frankie and Annette. She was wearing a long, floral print dress and standing right in the middle of the pouring rain. She was too far away and the weather was too bad for Leah to make out her features. As she watched, the girl in the driveway looked right up at the bedroom window and waved. A slow, robotic hello.

The tiny hairs on Leah’s arms stood up, and she ducked away from the window.
She took a few deep breaths.

Fine. The girl was there because her car had broken down, or she had some other kind of trouble. And she knew that somebody was home because Leah’s car was right there beside her, or maybe she assumed that somebody had manually turned the outside light on. But how could she have known exactly where Leah was? The room was dark, the security light was too bright and distracting, and there were other windows on the second floor. How had she known exactly which one Leah was standing at?

Calming herself, telling herself there was probably an innocent explanation for it all, Leah glanced out the window again. The girl was still there. Waiting. She looked young and delicate, like a teenager. There were all kinds of warnings and emergency procedures being declared because of the storm, and two of the nearby roads were flooded. Leah knew she’d never forgive herself if that girl was in need of help and she left her stranded. Shaking the doubts from her mind, Leah decided to make her way downstairs.

She tried not to think of the girl’s eerie wave. She tried to rationalize the strangeness of the shadows. Both the car and the small palm tree had cast long, deep shadows from the stark white light on top of the lanai. The girl didn’t have any shadow at all. But that could have been something to do with the angle, or a trick of the rain. The weather had blurred so many details, it was hard for Leah to be sure of anything she saw.

Just as her foot touched the bottom stair, the sound of the knock filled the house. A rhythmic slamming against the front door, in no way gentle or persuasive. It was loud, startlingly so, and strangely hollow. An angry demand very unlike the way Leah would have expected the girl she saw to knock. She tried to tell herself that her nerves were skewing things, making her edgy when there was no need to be. Maybe it had been a loud knock because the girl was feeling desperate, wanted to be sure that the people inside heard her. But then, why hadn’t she used the doorbell instead? Maybe there was someone else with her, and Leah simply hadn’t been able to see them from the window.

That changed things. That was a rational concern. What if there was a boyfriend? Someone big, strong and threatening.

Leah hurried into the kitchen and got herself a knife. Nothing big or menacing like one of the butcher’s knives on the posters for horror movies, just a small paring knife. Very sharp. The kind of thing that was guaranteed to hurt a man if you wanted him hurt, or stop him if he needed stopping. For the first time since moving out of the city, she regretted the seclusion she’d chosen. She’d take all the airplane flyovers, traffic noise and petty crime in the world to feel less vulnerable. The knock sounded again, with such urgency that Leah could feel the vibrations of it inside her bones.

She made herself think of flooded roads, stranded people, medical emergencies. With the knife at her side, she went to her front door and stood with her hand resting on the knob. Part of her was screaming to forget it, to go back upstairs and lock herself in her room until morning, but she couldn’t. In a quick, defiant motion, she swung the front door open and looked out into the pouring rain.
No one was there.

“Hello?” Leah called, stepping carefully onto the lanai. “Is somebody out here? Do you need help?”

She made her way forward very carefully, adjusting her grip on the knife handle. The rain was fierce and deafening, cold splashes of it coiling around her naked ankles like ocean spray. Everything smelled drowned and muddy. There was no sign of anyone, not even a set of footprints in the softened earth of the driveway. Leah stepped to the very edge of the outside steps and took one last look around.

“I’m going back inside.” She called, her voice quivering more than she would have liked.

As she turned, the front door slammed shut and shook the floor of the lanai. The security light snapped off so quickly, it was as if the bulb had suddenly burnt out. Leah sprang towards the closed door and twisted frantically at the knob, but it wouldn’t turn. Impossible. The only way to lock the door was from the outside. She hadn’t even had a deadbolt put in.

Finally, the door relented and swung open as though there hadn’t been any resistance at all. Leah dashed inside and slammed it shut behind her.

The house felt empty and full at the same time. The greyness of the rainy night settled on the familiar rooms in front of her like a layer of dust. She knew that the house had to be searched. Somebody could have been hiding close to the wall and ducked in when she was looking at the driveway. It took her a few moments, standing in the empty front room with the soft drumbeat of the rain mingling with the pounding of her heart, before she felt bold enough to do it.

When she found no one, she began to relax. She ended the search in the kitchen, and decided to pour herself a glass of water and check her phone. Just to be safe, she’d send a message to her sister. Nothing to worry her, just something to let her know about the girl in the driveway. She put the paring knife down on the counter and picked up her phone. No bars and no wifi. The storm had been upsetting service on and off for the last few days. Leah tried not think of it as isolation. It was just a nuisance. Her imagination was playing tricks on her. When morning came, she would laugh at herself and spend another cozy day curled up and watching whatever was saved on the DVR.

A razor-thin breeze whistled by her ear when she went to get a glass from the cupboard. There was a sound like nothing she’d heard before. A sharp, reverberating thud. Something had hit the cupboard door while she held it open. Slowly, nervously, she closed it to see what it had been. The paring knife was sticking out of the door, as though it had been thrown.

Leah turned. The kitchen was bright, well-lit, and empty.
She grabbed the phone off the counter, and hurried upstairs to the bedroom. She would throw on some flip-flops and proper clothes, grab her keys, and get the hell out. The goat ranch up the road was owned by two very friendly retirees, she was certain that they would help her. There was no guarantee that the roads would be clear, probably covered in water and debris, maybe even a fallen tree, some parts too muddy to drive on, but she had to try.

Her feet almost slipped on the hardwood stairs as she hurried to change. Nothing dramatic, just enough to feel like she wasn’t driving through a rain storm in her underwear. She grabbed a pair of jeans off the closet floor and pulled them on, her back to the window. As she did, the room filled with the pale white light that had woken her up less than an hour before. The security light, coming to life once more. She didn’t want to turn around and look out the window, but she made her body move to where she could look out and see.

There was no redheaded girl, but the light stayed on.

Calmly, Leah slipped on her flip-flops and headed into the hall. She breathed steadily, stepped carefully. The house was colder than it should have been at the top of the stairs. The smell of rain and boggy, wet earth was pungent and overwhelming. Leah swallowed hard, steadied herself. It would be a difficult drive to the neighbour’s – she wouldn’t make it if she was in a panic. But when she got to the middle of the staircase, she couldn’t control the surge of dread that overtook her.
The front door was wide open.

The security light caught the falling rain, casting patterned shadows on the floor. Leah braced herself and headed straight for the door. She would run right for the car and jump in, without any kind of hesitation. She made for the lanai, but something at the corner of her eye, in the dust grey shadows of the living room, moved.
Leah froze. She couldn’t help herself. She turned to look.

The redheaded girl was standing there, her head tilted to one side. This close, Leah could notice things she hadn’t been able to see from the upstairs window. Like the black dirt under the girl’s fingernails, the disarray of the orderly hairstyle, the rips and stains on the long floral dress.

“I’m sorry,” The girl looked over her shoulder, as though she were expecting someone else to step out of the shadows behind her.

The security light switched off.

Credit To – Susan Eckland

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