Child of God

October 25, 2014 at 12:00 PM
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August 1st marks the tenth anniversary of the day the hunters came, though none of my family celebrates this anniversary. I’m only telling this story because I owe it to those men who saved us that day.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

My mother then replied,

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

He then replied once more before he left.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

“Please Father, please help us.”

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

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

I could only reply while looking away from his face,

“I’m sorry Father, I’m sorry.”

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

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

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

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

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

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

My mother then replied,

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

Then Father Preston continued,

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

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

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

Father Preston took a deep sigh and relented saying,

“I will call him.”

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

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

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

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

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

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

Father Preston then replied,

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

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

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

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

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

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

“Are you Marcus?”

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

“Yes I am.”

I then asked,

“Where is your brother?”

Marcus gave reply,

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

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

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

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

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

My mother reluctantly looked at me and said,

“You explain to them Marissa.”

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

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

“Okay brother, I am ready.”

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

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

“Do you have a garden?”

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

“Yes?”

Marcus then looked at me and gave me a command,

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

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

“Hey, what are you doing?!”

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

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

“Ah, roses. Even better.”

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

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

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

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

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

“Where do you conduct your rituals, girl?”

I said timidly,

“Outside in the woods.”

Marcus continued asking questions.

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

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

“They are all outside.”

Then his said,

“Lead the way.”

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

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

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

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

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

“Quiet woman!”

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

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

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

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

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

“Thank you for saving us.”

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

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

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

Credit To – Marissa D.

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The Doll

October 22, 2014 at 12:00 PM
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Three years ago I had been asked by my employer’s to retrieve a particular item but that day I walked away with more than just a mere trinket.

I had been employed for several years at an antique store called “A Moment in Time”, and I liked my work. I got to meet many interesting people and encounter rare items of just as much interest.

Often my elderly employers, a married couple known as the Hudson’s, would send me out to pick up items that had been donated to the store. Sometimes the trip was just a few a blocks away and other times I had to leave the city for the outskirts. In the end my final trip out would take me further than I had ever imagined possible.

The item pick up seemed simple enough: Go to the house, pick up the trunk and bring it back to the shop. But when I finally got the house that day it was anything but simple.

As I drove deeper into the forest and onto the large property the birds stopped singing, the insects stopped buzzing and even the wind seemed to come to a halt. The house had clearly been abandoned and had been so for some time. What was once a gorgeous two-story log cabin on the edge of the lake was now a decaying structure overgrown with wild vines and uncut weeds that blocked out the windows on the first floor. The roof was blackened by a fire and a large gaping hold in the roof that surely allowed the elements to decimate the interior just as severely as the exterior.

Moving through the thick weeds, following what was left of the front walk, I knocked on the door but received no response. I knocked again but there was no denying that no one was in the house. I checked the faded numbers of the house’s address to the information that I had been given, it was the correct house.

As I put my hand on the doorknob it fell from the rotten door and landed on the wooden porch with a loud ‘thud’. The door slowly creaked open on its own. I peeked inside and looked around and saw nothing moving. More vines snaked along the floor like a natural carpet. There was no furniture in the whole house, all that was left was a broken grandfather clock and the long dormant fireplace. I could see that the windows in the distant kitchen area were broken and dirty. There was a single bedroom that was also empty.

Small circles on the dirty floor indicated that furniture had once been in the room but removed, and removed recently it seemed. The adjoining bathroom was a mess, the pipes were no longer dripping as rust encrusted the leaks. The medicine cabinet mirror had been broken. Checking the closets I found nothing but a stray wire coat hanger.

On the wall of the kitchen there was a phone. I picked it up and listened to the receiver but I heard nothing, no dial-tone, no busy signal. Only silence. I hung the phone up.

I called out again but the house remained silent, except for my own footsteps against the warped wooden floorboards. The staircase itself was its own story. The vines engulfed the side of the stairs and wrapped up the banister. Most of the steps were cracked and splintered, other steps were missing entirely. An ominous thought entered my mind; who put the trunk up for donation?

As I ascended the stairs I couldn’t help but feel like someone was watching me. My skin began to crawl with building uneasiness. The second floor was a room all its own, extending the entire width and length of the house itself. The hole in the roof shone a single intense beam of sunlight when the wide tree branches over the house would allow the light’s passage. In the center of this beam of light was a single trunk.

I took a step toward the trunk and heard the rapid steps of a small child running behind me. I froze and looked over my should quickly but saw nothing and all fell silent again. I called out but received no reply.

Wanting to get the trunk and get out of that house as fast as I could, I kneeled down in front of the trunk and checked the lock but it was secured. I wiped the sweat from my face and looked around in a feeble attempt to find some sort of tool to pry open the lock. As my eyes left the trunk the lock began to loudly rattle.

I jumped back and stared at the trunk, my heart pounding hard in my chest. With my shaking hand I tested the lock again and this time it was loose. I removed the lock from the trunk and took a deep breath as I slowly opened the lid.

Inside the trunk I found what looked like scraps of newspaper and a single red velvet bag. I opened the bag and pulled out a porcelain doll. I held it in my hands and studied it, the uneasy feeling returning with a vengeance.

The doll itself seemed so otherworldly. It was a doll of a small girl. She was wearing black and white saddle shoes and white stockings, with a snow white circular brimmed hat on her head. Her dress was snow white as well, reaching down to the dolls knees and half way down her arms. A red sash was tied at the doll’s waist with a red barrette clipped in her hair. Her hair was the deepest black, blacker than charcoal. Her hair reached down to her waist and it had bangs cut just over where her eyes should’ve been. The doll’s face was blank. No eyes, no mouth, no nose. Just a blank canvas that was even whiter than her dress.

I carefully slipped the doll back into the bag and set it on the floor beside me. Slipping my hand back into the trunk I checked it for other items but found only more scrap newspapers, at least I thought they were scrap. I caught a glimpse of a strange picture in the scraps and saw that it was an old article clipped from the newspaper.

The article told of a mysterious fire that happened in the house, how there was no explanation ever given and the case was still be investigated. Another article spoke of mysterious animal deaths on the property. A third clip spoke of a little girl drowning. On and on each article I picked up spoke of one tragedy after another, all happening at the house or its property. The dates stretched back as far as seventy years, and in every photo that accompanied the articles I saw the same name of the person who was reportedly responsible for all the tragedies; ‘Caroline’. As well as the same object: The doll.

I felt a chill go up my spine. I reached for the velvet bag with the doll but my hand only found the floor. I looked down at the bag was gone. A thump from behind caught my attention. I turned around and saw the bag in the middle of the floor. Outlined in the bag was the form of the doll sitting up right.

Now my heart was beating so hard I could hear it in my head. I grabbed the doll, tossed it in the trunk, slammed the lid and dragged the entire thing down the stairs. As I dragged the trunk through the front door the itself somehow slammed shut on its own. It was a struggle to lift the trunk into the back of the truck but I managed to do it thanks to the fear-induced adrenaline.

The drive back to the shop seemed to take even longer than before. All the while I kept looking in the rearview mirror at the trunk in the pickup bed. Whenever I looked away I would hear a bizarre scratching noise, like a tree branch dragging against the roof of a house.

As soon as I pulled into the parking lot of the store I ran in to inform my boss’s of the delivery. Mrs. Hudson could see I was upset, she sat me down and asked me to tell her what happened while Mr. Hudson went to check on the trunk. Before I could even begin my story I heard Mr. Hudson’s weak voice call for help as he hit the gravel of the parking lot. With Mrs. Hudson as my side I knelt down next to him and checked his neck for a pulse, but I couldn’t find one. He was dead. Mrs. Hudson began to panic, so I told her to run back inside and call 911 while I hopelessly attempted CPR.

I looked around trying to figure out what caused Mr. Hudson’s collapse when I noticed that the trunk had been opened. The lid was being held open by the lock that had been bent at an odd angle. On the inside of the lid of the trunk were tiny scratches, almost like claw marks as if something or someone, had been locked inside.

The EMT’s and police arrived at the shop but it was too late, Mr. Hudson had died from an apparent massive heart attack. As the ambulance pulled away with Mr. Hudson’s body and the police took Mrs. Hudson aside for questions, I cautiously approached the opened trunk.

Inside the trunk was the bag with the doll, it was again sitting upright. I opened the bag and took out the doll, small abrasions and dirt covered the doll’s small hands and fingers. They matched perfectly with the marks on the lid of the trunk.

The brittle paper that had been clawed began to flake away revealing the ancient wood beneath. Strange markings marred the wood, like a burned engraving. I cleared away the paper and saw a name: ‘Caroline’. I put the doll back in the trunk and tried to slam the lid shut, but it wouldn’t close anymore.

Unable to cope with the loss of her husband Mrs. Hudson closed down the shop. She died of a stroke two weeks later.

As for ‘Caroline’, the name I had given the doll, I couldn’t get her out of my mind. I would dream of a faceless girl every night and I would hear tiny foot steps running through my apartment at all hours of the day. Whenever I drove by the closed down antique shop I would see her standing in the window starting out, staring with her blank eyes.

I put her ebay along with the trunk and newspaper articles. As soon as she was purchased my nightmares stopped and my apartment was quiet. But the most disturbing image that ‘Caroline’ left behind was the picture I had taken of her when I put her up for auction. At first the image seemed normal and it remained as such until she had been shipped away. I went to delete the now unnecessary photo from my laptop when I saw in the thumbnail that the doll’s face was different.

Her eyes were black hollows and she had painted ruby red lips that were twisted slightly upward in a sinister grin. I clicked on the thumbnail to enlarge the image but when I did the face returned to its blank expression of nothingness.

I deleted the image from my computer, but I couldn’t get her eyes or her smile out of my mind.

Credit To – Katie Averill

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Who’s That?

October 21, 2014 at 12:00 PM
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My basement has never exactly been a welcoming place. It’s unfurnished; there’s no carpet and the walls consist of boring, exposed bricks. There’s a set of old wooden stairs on one end that creaks whenever anyone uses them. Behind the stairs is a storage area that begins about four or five feet off the ground and goes maybe fifteen feet further back underneath the garage. The place is a dump, as my brother NEVER cleans it, and toys and tools and random things are sprawled out across the entire basement floor—and that’s an accomplishment considering how huge it is. It’s not very wide but from one end to the other it’s at least eighty feet in length, including the storage space. However it is not easy to see from one end to the other since the water heater, furnace, and other appliances sit conveniently at the bottom of the stairs to make it impossible to carry large objects like the Christmas tree up and down stairs.

Anyways, one night we had some friends over. By “we,” I mean me and my parents. They had a little girl with them, maybe four or five years old, and since my brother was elsewhere—as usual—I wound up sort of babysitting this girl while the parents chatted over desserts or something. Since the basement had so many toys, I thought it was a good idea to take her downstairs to play. Upstairs was kind of boring for a kid her age. The first thing she did when she got down there was find a large box. We had just replaced our washing machine, so its ginormous box was just sitting in the middle of the basement floor.

It was as if I had completely vanished as soon as she crawled into the box. She had entered her own little world, playing house or something. I tuned out for a while to check emails on my iPod while she entertained herself. And then she caught my attention:
“Who’s that?” She asked. I blinked.
“Who’s who?” I responded, confused.
“That man over there—the man in black,” she responded, completely straight-faced.
“There’s no one there,” I told her.
“That’s because he went upstairs,” she told me.
At this point I took the girl upstairs and sat with my parents for the rest of the evening, not saying a word about what she said.

Two years later, I had some friends over in mid-February. In Wisconsin, this means that if you were to go outside at night, you would be frozen solid in under ten minutes. So me and my friends were stuck inside and went downstairs to investigate the “haunted basement” I told them about—the above story, in fact. There were five of us, including me and my cousin. I had a tape recorder to collect audio, my cousin had a digital camera, and the others were armed with flashlights—because they wanted to turn off the lights… reluctantly.

So we pulled the strings to turn off the lights and we sat there in the pitch black basement, but only for a few seconds. A halogen light bulb began to flicker above my head almost immediately. I reach up to find that it was halfway plugged in, but still a coincidence. I hadn’t even turned on the recorder yet. So, I unplug the light and turn on my recorder and tell my cousin to do the same to his camera.

It was past eleven o’clock at night, so it was silent. Absolutely silent. Several minutes passed. We even did that thing they do on TV where you just ask questions to whoever or whatever… there wasn’t a single response. So, it turned into a bit of a joke. We started making fun of the situation and felt pretty stupid; we laughed for a while. Finally, my cousin’s camera gives a low battery warning, so we decide to take the last few minutes seriously.

“Okay, I’m going to count down from three and then let’s have it quiet again,” my cousin says, “three… two… one.” A few silent moments passed. My cousin’s camera beeps and shuts off. I turn off my recorder. We go upstairs to listen to the footage, and that was that.

Of course, the footage was rather uneventful. We listened to the entire tape, and for the longest time we heard nothing but the sounds of our own voices. Until the end:

“Okay, I’m going to count down from three and then let’s have it quiet again,” my cousin says, “three… two… one.” A few silent moments passed. My cousin’s camera beeps and shuts off. But then in the half second between the camera turning off and the end of the footage is a whisper:

“Don’t leave.”

We all stared at each other, petrified.

“Who’s that?” one of my friends asked.
“The man in black,” I told him.

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Iquarus

October 19, 2014 at 12:00 AM
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I don’t know how to start my story but I guess I’ll begin with the basic information and work my way down.

I used to be a computer junkie, so I tended to spend a lot of time surfing the web… reading blogs, articles… Facebook… the whole nine yards.
But my main focus was gaming. I loved to game. World of War Craft. League of Legends… Diablo III. ESO. I could go on. I’d spend most of my time playing games when I wasn’t at work, which was just contracting work that my dad helped me find to get me out of the house. I always caught myself wondering if I’d ever break out of my borderline lethal addiction to do something with my life that actually mattered to other people, mostly because I just wanted everyone to piss off and mind their own business. My sister would say “I don’t understand how you can spend so much time on something with no actual rewarding outcome besides a couple of measly points and theoretical money.” I didn’t let that bother me though.

It was more than that. I like the graphic satisfaction of being something I’m not. Having ultimate power over actual people who are just disguised as creatures, but who are trying just as hard as I am and not getting anywhere near as close to my greatness. It was real to me. And I loved every minute of it.

I never thought that one day I would throw my computer away. And not just throw it away. Throw it so hard into the dumpster, it shattered, sparked, and caused it to catch fire. Just thinking about it brings me anxiety. I trust right now my once very expensive, custom designed computer is sitting somewhere, destroyed in a landfill collecting trash scum. Good.

A few months back, I upgraded my system. I had just downloaded a new MMORPG game and I had to buy an entirely separate processor because I had modified my game so much (plus I have multiple games on my system). I’ll admit right here and now: I had done some dark things to get my computer to where it was then. Nothing evil or inhumane. Just illegal. Okay?

Normally having several games will slow your game system down dramatically but I wasn’t having that. I had spent all my hard earned money modifying my system so I could continue to rein power over all the n00bs and wanna-bes. I was king. I was to have the best system. Slow wasn’t an option. I named my system “Iquarus” because it was my favorite name. It was an older name, and it was ironic to have a modern system with an old name. It was always in my username too for my games. Granted I almost never got just “Iquarus” for my username so it was usually like “Iquarus32049812” or “IquarusKingOfLands” or something like that.

My best friend Joel and I played together all the time. We were both ranked up pretty high, and were competing for a chance to play for actual money in a tournament. And a lot of money too. So naturally, we spent so much playing that eventually people began to worry about us. We were obsessed. Hooked. The computer was our drug. Thank God we weren’t using anything stronger than coffee.

One day I was in the middle of a battle I had been going at for about an hour and a half. I was doing so well, I almost had it beat, when a black spot appeared on the screen. It was like a giant pixel that decided to block the way of my health and points. At first I assumed it was a little glitch. But it wouldn’t go away. I swore heavily at the spot, ignoring it best I could until eventually I lost the battle because it was in the way of site. I heard Joel swearing too. He was on my team, and we’d just lost an important battle that could place us in the finals. “The fuck happened, dude?” He asked with a pissed off tone.
“God damn glitch. I have to get Iquarus looked at.”

I called Geek Squad and had them take a look at Iquarus. “Well,” the tech said, “your system is overheating. When’s the last time you turned it off?”
I looked away with slight shame. “Well… probably 2 or 3 weeks.”
The guy laughed. “Gotta give her a rest kid. You could ruin this beautiful thing if you don’t turn it off once in a while.” He was right. He said sometimes the screen can get damaged if overheating occurs but it should go away in time.

The next day I turned the computer back on. The spot was still there. I felt myself get angry. That geek better be right…. I thought, I paid him $100 to give her a good look.

But the spot never vanished. It stayed there. In fact, the following day, it seemed to get bigger. Only by a few millimeters, but it was noticeable. Fuck it, I thought, and logged into my game. I wasn’t about to let a little pixel ruin my chances of winning a couple thousand bucks.

When I was on team speak, Joel gave a huge sigh. “Dude… we’re never going to make it into the finals. We might as well give it up.” I was offended by his tone. The only reason we’d lost was because of me and this stupid fucking spot. I wanted to win some money for being the best god damn game king to exist. “No,” I said angrily, “we’re going to win this thing. Come on, man.”
We began battle. We were kicking ass. We almost had the fuckers beat again. Then the spot began to flicker. But not like you’re probably thinking. The best way to describe this flicker is a slow every 3 seconds flicker… then once a second… then once a minute. Then switching between dark red…black…white…then almost like a blinding, glowing red.

I thought I was going to lose my mind. My brain was flooded with hate thoughts towards the computer company. That’s when I heard Joel say “Fucking mother fucking screen is messed up!” I guess Joel was experiencing some screen trouble too.
“Your screen’s got issues too, man?” I asked suddenly, glad I was no longer the reason of failure. “You Failed!” Appeared on the screen and I overheard glass break on Joel’s end. My guess was he’d thrown some kind of cup or bowl in a burst rage. I turned away from the computer and put my hands through my hair. Damn it was greasy. It must have been at least a week since I’d showered.

“Fuck this game, dude. My computer can’t handle the graphics and the pace of the programing is just too much.” He said, sounding like he was moments from going mad. “Let’s try a different game.” I grunted in approval then turned and looked at the screen. I leaned in closer because I wasn’t sure if I was seeing it correctly but sure enough I was. The spot had multiplied. Like chicken pox or poison ivy. It was spreading. I decided to ignore it, hoping it was some temporary glitching. I removed some other software games in hopes this would stop.

For the next few days I switched to another game and played with Joel a few hours a day. But Joel was slowly starting to distance himself from the computer. Since we lived a few towns away from each other, it was our only contact until school started up again. So naturally I was missing his presence in the games we played together. I called him one night after shutting Iquarus off and noticed his voice was dreary.
“I can’t sleep dude…” he said with a troubling tone, “I wanted to win that game. It’s haunting me. I can’t get over it.” I sighed.
“I wish the game wasn’t so lame that it was messing with my computer.” Joel stopped breathing.

“The game messed with Iquarus? Are you sure? Isn’t Iquarus like… top of the line hardware? Even…sort of illegally?” I laughed. “Yeah. But sometimes computers just can’t handle everything no matter how fancy or expensive they are.” Joel laughed. “Okay.”

Joel decided to take a bus over to my place the following weekend. He was obsessed with finding a way to play the game and wanted to figure out why my computer specifically was rejecting it. He couldn’t seem to believe that my computer would reject it.

I was worried about him though. Something wasn’t right with him. He’d claimed to be having dreams about being in the game and killing everyone gruesomely in his path so he could just win. His face was pale. His eyes were dilated. He smelled pretty bad. He wasn’t doing well. I was glad he’d decided to come over so we could spend real time together instead of obsess over this stupid game.

I’d mentioned that I hadn’t turned Iquarus on for a few days. He was thrilled about this. He begged me to turn it on since maybe that would make all the difference and maybe we could even get it up and running again. This made his eyes brighten and his face regain some color. I didn’t want to do this but if it would cheer him up, I was more than happy to give it a whirl.
When Iquarus turned on, though, the both of us had the same blood draining reaction to the computer screen. The spots had multiplied into a bizarre shape. It looked like some sort of evil pagan look a-like symbol. It gave me the chills, because the last time I’d seen it, it was only a few dots. Now it almost entirely covered the bottom half of the screen and was too obscure to shake off as a glitch. “The fuck…” I said trying to click around. When I clicked, the computer made an awful, pitchy noise but also sounded like when something electronic is malfunctioning… low pitched and almost like a whine.

My stomach turned so badly I took my hand off the mouse. The moment that sound started, Joel jumped up and fell backwards over his chair. He began to hyper ventilate and sweat profusely. I looked over at him in shock and stood up as well. “Wow…Joel are you okay?” He shook his head and I could see tears in his eyes. “Not you too… not you too…” he said over and over. I stared blankly at him for a moment and started to reach out for him but he stood up and ran out the door. “Joel wait!” I called after him but he didn’t respond. I scampered over to the window and watched him race off towards the bus stop.

When he stopped to wait for the bus, I saw him talking to himself. Occasionally he slapped his head a few times and shook while looking around suspiciously as if there were people watching him. I don’t know if it was Iquarus that had scared him but something suddenly drove him mad. I stood there for a moment and zoned out from the bizarre nature of what I had just witnessed. I wondered if I should call his dad or if maybe he was just having an episode. It was very bizarre and quite disturbing to witness.

I had begun to forget about Iquarus until she started making that terrible sound again. And it wouldn’t stop. It was continuing without reason. I tried to turn the computer off but it didn’t seem to want to shut up. In fact, trying to turn her off made the sound even worse. I even pulled the plug out but it wouldn’t stop. My dad came into the room and asked me if I was smoking cigarettes in my room again. (I had once made the smoke detector make a similar, less creepy sound by trying to unplug it when I was going through my pack-a-day phase my freshman year of high school).
I showed him the computer and he said the sound would probably die after some time, like the smoke detector. So I threw a blanket over Iquarus, put on some sound blocking head phones and fell asleep. Before falling asleep, I had texted Joel, telling him to call me when he had a chance, and that I hoped he was all right.
I woke early morning to a red glow from Iquarus. At first I thought I was dreaming until the sound was faintly resonating throughout the room. The symbol was slowly pixelating from black to red and it was flashing. It could see the shape perfectly from beneath the blanket. It was beginning to really freak me out. I pulled my blankets over my head and tried to think of something else. But I couldn’t fall asleep. It was terrifying.

Not even an hour later, I received a phone call. It was my dad, who was an EMT for the county.

“Hey sport,” he said, there was a really dim tone in his voice, “did I wake you?”

I got out of bed, shielding my eyes from the red glow, and walked out of the room downstairs to grab some milk from the fridge. “No. No I’m awake. What’s going on dad?”

He sighed heavily and cleared his throat. “I received a call this morning… to 55 Lake Drive…” At first I didn’t recognize the address.
“I didn’t realize where I was headed till I got there. It’s Joel’s house.” My stomach turned a knot. I almost hung up on him because I knew what was coming next. “We think… Joel committed suicide..” I dropped the phone and thought maybe I was going to pass out. I had just seen him. Not 24 hours ago. I heard my dad’s voice shouting so I quickly picked it back up. I’ll admit.. I’m a guy, and I have some pride. But I couldn’t refrain from the tears and shouting. “You’re out of your fucking mind, dad! Joel was a happy kid, he’d never do that! He’d never do that!” saliva and mucus drained from my nose and mouth. “I’m sorry kiddo. He was a good kid.” I hung up the phone and sat at the kitchen table for a long time. Crying. Thinking. Wondering. How could he do that? How could he kill himself? He couldn’t have. Then I wondered how he’d done it. When? He would have told me things. We were close. Best friends since first grade. The fuck Joel?

Dad didn’t come home for a few hours. I was still sitting at the table when he walked through the door. My face was swollen with misery. Joel was my only best friend. I had other friends but none like Joel. He was cool. We had so much in common. Dad sat down at the table and looked at me. “I kow you’re probably taking this harder than ever…but… there’s an investigation going. The sheriff is on his way over to speak with you,” he said sternly. I felt myself make a confused gesture with my eyebrows. “The sheriff? Thought it was a suicide?” I said shakily. “Well… they think there could be some other factors that you personally may know about.” I angrily put my hands in the air. “Like fucking what?!” I shouted, assuming they thought maybe I had something to do with it directly. My dad slammed his hand down on the table.

“You listen to me,” he said, eyes so solidly gazing into mine, it made the hairs on my neck stand up, “You just better calm your ass down. I know this is hard. I know. I saw the poor kid’s dead body, you hear? Now when the police are involved, it don’t matter what they’re trying to get outta you, you tell them everything you know, you understand?” I stared blankly at him and looked away. “Yes, Sir.”

Around 12 the police arrived at my house. The Sheriff made quite the entrance, if you know what I mean. Smacking on a piece of gum, keys jangling with every step his clunky boots made. Mustache right out of a Dirty Harry film. He tilted his sun glasses down and nodded his head towards me. “You must be Damon.” I nervously nodded and put my hands together. “Yes, Sir.” He whipped out a file from seemingly nowhere and sat down across the table from me. He opened the file and removed his glasses.
“You were close to Joel, yes?” He asked. I nodded. “He was my best friend.” He grunted.

“When is the last time you saw him?” I looked right at him and leaned forward. “Yesterday, Sir.” He gave me a questionable look. He was going to try to intimidate me, and it was insulting. I tilted my head to the side. I knew he was going to drag this out and quite frankly, I was in no mood to be fucked around with. “You gunna cut to the chase or we gunna pussy foot around all day?” I said with a cold tone, waiting for the interrogation to begin.

“Damon, you watch your fuckin tone young man-“ Dad began but the Sheriff silenced him with a gesture of his hand.
“It’s alright, Dan, if he wants to be treated like an adult, I’ll respect that.” He said tossing a series of photos onto the table. “Your friend brutally murdered himself in his bedroom at what we believe to be around two in the am.” My heart almost stopped at the sight of the photos. Red. Bloody. Terrible. Horrifying.

The Sheriff stabbed a fat finger onto the one of Joel’s bloody face. “He stabbed himself in the eyes, the ears, and finally, the throat. He bled out within the hour.” He said with a strong southern accent. “We understand he was having some anxiety towards his obsessive computer use. Know anything about that?” I held back my tears as long as my manhood would let me, but it was only so long before the lump in my throat became so painful my voice was unbearable.
“He was upset about not being able to win a tournament. But I didn’t know how obsessed he was. Not to this extent.” My tears couldn’t be held back. I felt them fall and then winced when I realized they had fallen onto one of the photos. I looked down at the photo and felt my face go white when I realized I was staring at the same evil black pattern that my computer had displayed this morning. “You done look like you seen a ghost young man, that photo mean anything to you?” I picked it up and stared at the blood spattered computer. The pattern was the same. Half red. Resembling an evil, demonic spiraled symbol of some kind.
“Was there a sound?” I said staring at the photo. The Sheriff uneasily snagged the photo from me. “What do you know of the sound?” My dad and I stared at each other for a moment then parted gazes. I turned to the Sheriff and tried to make logical sense of this. I lied and told them Joel had mentioned it to me. I told them I was convinced it was some sort of potentially untraceable hacker, and that Joel was just obsessed with his game that perhaps he was slowly developing a mental illness. So when the virus spread into the only thing that was making his life worth living to him, he lost his mind.

I’ll never forget that night Joel came over and saw the same image on my screen. I wanted to mention it but instead, I kept it to myself.
Dad suggested I get rid of Iquarus. So I did. I threw her in the dumpster and watched her catch fire, slowly burning in her evil aura from hell. With a sound so awful you’ll want to go deaf. A sight so horrible you’ll want to go blind. A presence so dark, who knows what you’ll do with yourself.
I couldn’t bring myself to post this online, I’m too afraid I will attract whatever it was again, so I forwarded this to a friend to repost. I will end by saying this: Demon. Hacker. Virus. Whatever it was. It may still be out there. Please be careful. Rest in Peace Joel.
-Damon

Credit To – Damon

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The Haaf Netters

October 18, 2014 at 12:00 AM
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Frank closed the door behind him and was alone in the cottage at last.

All dwellings have a smell, an atmosphere. You get used to the smell of your own place so that you never notice it, at least not until you first open the door after a long holiday. The house Frank had shared with his ex-wife, the back door had opened into the laundry room so after returning there was always a smell of clean linen and washing powder. He missed that. He hadn’t lived in his flat long enough to imprint his own scent identity upon it – it smelled impersonal, of polish and plastic like a motel room.

The door he had opened led into the kitchen, which was north-facing and cold. The smell here comprised of dusty old carpets, furniture polish and coalsmoke. The faintest undertone of when this had been someone’s home rather than just a holiday cottage, but almost wiped away by long empty winters and the landlady’s cleaning regime.

After finding and using the toilet in the bathroom upstairs, Frank began to explore. There were two bedroom upstairs. One double, one single, with a Z-bed under one of the singles.
The main bedroom was comfortable enough, though plainly decorated and furnished. Frank unpacked some of his things onto the dressing table.

Coming downstairs and opening the door into the lounge, he noticed a crucifix on the opposite wall. He didn’t like it, but at the same time to actually take it down would be to attach a level of importance to it with which he was not comfortable either. But to Frank it had the effect of adding a chilly austerity to the place, despite the warmth from the clicking radiator and the log fire in the grate. Reminding him that this was not his home.

Disconcerted, he looked around the rest of the room. Ah, that was more like it. A couple of old fishing prints on the wall to his left. One in particular caught his eye and he walked over to examine it more closely. It was a watercolour of three men positioned waist deep in sea water, each standing with outstretched arms holding a rectangular-framed net that protruded above the water chest height and was about four times as wide.

“Haaf Netters – Solway Firth” ran the caption underneath.

The water was skilfully painted, the way the current flowed through the nets and around the fishermen. The figures were not so well executed to Frank’s untrained eye, being somewhat indistinct which had resulted in a surely unintentional, comically sinister expression on one in particular.

Haaf netters – the unusual word intrigued him, sounded Viking or something.

Putting a log on the fire, he decided he would have a quick walk down to the river, just to get a feel of the place and check out any likely spots. No point in taking his tackle until he had the licence sorted.

Frank was glad to be setting out for the river. As he stepped out, he noticed a definite and sudden change in the atmosphere, mist was falling.

He walked downhill to the t-junction and turned left this time, leaving the church and the centre of the village behind him. He narrowly side-stepped a dead mouse and a big pile of dog mess on the pavement.Looking ahead he could see the mist already thickening into a solid bank where the road dipped down towards the river.

Through the light haze he could see a hunched figure walking ahead of him, an old man in a blue car coat, also heading in the direction of the Eden.

The man was walking so slowly that even though Frank was some fifty yards behind, he could already see that he must unavoidably catch up with him.

With any luck he’ll turn off into one of these gardens.

But he didn’t.

Frank considered crossing over to avoid the man entirely, but thought better of it. A moment’s kindness costs nothing – this will be me one day, he reasoned to himself. As he drew level with the stooping figure, he offered a friendly ‘hello’.

The old man turned. A very old man. Deeply wrinkled skin an unhealthy shade of yellow.Dark hollow eyes, hooked nose, bushy grey hair in large nostrils. Roughly shaven.

“How do!” gruffly. Then, in a sharper tone “Where’s tha going. Fishing?”

“Yes – well, just to have a look at the river…” began Frank.

“You’ve forgotten your rod. Gonna catch them with yer bare hands? Hey, yer not one of them haaf netters are you? Nowt in yer pockets? Only, couple of fellers got caught poaching salmon last week with a haaf net.”

Frank’s expression must have suggested puzzlement. In fact he was staring at what appeared to be a large wound on the old man’s neck, sewn up with a rough suture that almost looked like fishing line.

“One o’ them big sea nets they use up on the Solway, about six feet across. Collapsible frame to fit under their coats. You just set them up and the fish swim in and get themselves all caught up. They’d set it up there and was driving fish in.”

Frank was unsure whether the tone was joking or accusatory. Either way he didn’t like it, not least because the volume was embarrassingly loud. He noticed two large hearing aids in each of the man’s large, fleshy ears.

“No, no, I’m just going for a walk. I’m picking a licence up from the pub when it opens later”.

“Gamekeeper’s about you know. Folks is keeping watch.”

“OK, thank you!”

“Whereabouts are you going fishing?”

“Sorry? I – I’m not sure yet!”

“Get yerself onto Setterah Bank. You don’t need a permit there.” The man jabbed a crooked finger to the right, the direction Frank was planning to go anyway.

“OK!” said Frank and crossed the street, agitated and vaguely aware of a couple of onlookers to this awkward, noisy encounter.

The old man continued shouting after him as he went.

“I know all about the permits, ask Johnny Ressick, he’ll tell yer. There’s no permit there!
Setterah Bank’s where you need to go. You’ll need a rod though!”

Frank quickened his pace to get out of earshot, passing in front of the village’s outdoor swimming pool. So much for being friendly, wish I hadn’t bothered, the silly old sod.

The mist was thickening now, but he could already hear the sound of the river. The air was cooler still, damper. Frank pulled his coat around him, but the mist seemed to seep underneath it, as if his very bones were cold and the coat was only warming the surface of his skin.
Here though was the reason he had been drawn to this place.

The river. From the edge of the swimming pool car park he craned to soothe himself with the sight of the water as it surged and hurried along with the friendly, vibrant chatter of old friend who, no matter how long it’s been since you last saw them, instantly and easily picks up a familiar thread of conversation.

Ah the river. This at least was ever new. Every moment, every second changing, not like the stagnant pool of urban life. The heavy mist gave the Eden a Stygian aspect today- grey white smoky clouds lifting from the surface of the torrent and seemed to morph into cloaked figures, raising their arms skywards in a slow, twisting, hallowing, dissipating dance of veneration for the waters of time that rushed away beneath them.

But as a fishing spot, Frank’s current vantage point did not have much to recommend it. The stream was fast flowing here and the bank was sheer and crumbling, too many overhanging bushes and clumps of willowherb to tangle a line in. Besides, it didn’t offer the seclusion he was hoping for with the road and swimming pool just behind.

Through the mist he could just make out sheep grazing on the sandy banks on the other side.
But the Eden itself looked promising. There were sure to be some deeper, more alluring pools upstream.

Frank started to walk along the path. As he did so he saw a sign nailed to a tree, black block type on white board, lightly covered with green mould. No Fishing Without A Permit. North Yorkshire Anglers. What’s it got to do with them, thought Frank. We’re a long way from North Yorkshire here.

The smell of the swimming pool, now closed for the season, pervaded his nostrils. Disinfectant, sweaty summers, a faint hot dog smell. All he could see of it was a rear wall, grey breeze blocks and litter behind a wire mesh fence. Before the pool was here, people would have bathed in the river itself, but it would be considered foolish, even weird to do so now, he supposed.

The gravel track along the riverbank behind the pool led into a field which had been designated as a camp site, complete with standpipes and electric sockets.

Now it was quiet, just one large trailer tent pitched right next to the path in the far corner, next to the stile.

As Frank passed it, he inadvertently caught the eye of of a woman inside through the plastic window, sitting having a drink. He gave an awkward nod and smile, conscious of having his own privacy invaded while unwillingly having invaded someone else’s.

After the camp site the path dipped down and a narrow wooden footbridge crossed a small tributary of the river. Passing over its heavy, rotting planks, Frank felt a renewed sense of freedom, putting the village behind him. Just me and the country, me and the river, me in the mist. Water on one side, land on the other.

But wait. Was that figure crouching up ahead or just a tree stump? A few more paces and it was clearly a figure, hunched over a rod.

“Morning! Any luck?” said Frank cheerily.

Another ancient face turned to meet his.

“Not yet, but any time now…” crackled a well-weathered voice.

Small, dark eyes and hooded eyelids beneath an old, battered black waxed fishing hat with home-tied flies hooked in. The same deep-wrinkled sallow skin as that obstreperous old bugger in the village. And that wasn’t all. Just visible beneath the hat was a long, snaking scar sealed with the same rough stitches Frank had seen on the other man’s neck.

Remind me not to go to the doctors’ round here, thought Frank. But, observing the custom of the riverbank, he paused to take an interest as the man made a few casts.

At the third cast, the rod dipped and there was a satisfied chuckle from its master. In a display of surprising strength and dexterity, a good sized trout was smoothly and firmly ripped out of the brown depths without even a token fight, its furious thrashing on the hook rendered utterly futile.

“Pass me the priest, would you?” said the fisherman.

“Sorry?” Frank was still taken aback at the easy violence of the catch.

“The priest – yon little wooden club, hurry up man!”

Frank picked it up handed it over. A strong smell rose from the man’s open tackle box box. Damp, earthy, maggoty.

The elderly angler now lifted his rod vertically so that the thrashing hooked fish came spinning rapidly towards him, spraying slime, weed and river water. At the first attempt he assuredly grabbed the fish with one hand and in a single swift movement bashed it sharply over the top of the head with the club held in the other.

“They call this a priest, see! Gives ‘em the last rites.”

Frank saw blood trickle from the corner of the trout’s mouth as it shuddered in its death spasms. The fisherman gave a grunt of satisfaction and stuffed it into a grubby carrier bag.
“Folks was down here with a haaf net” said the man as he turned back to the river and cast again. A definite insinuation in the tone of voice.

“Yes, an old chap in the village told me. By the way, you don’t know where Setterah Bank is do you?”

A derisive snort. “Setterah Bank?! You’re miles out! That’s up Gamblesby way – across the river man. I hope you can swim!”

Once again, the volume was embarrassingly loud. To add to his discomfort, a dog walker emerged out of the mist, an old woman, and had evidently overheard. She shared a smile with the angler and shook her head with a scornful tut at Frank. To his shock, he noticed that she also had the same sagging, yellow, wrinkled complexion as the old men. Her dog was some sort of enormous sheepdog on a heavy chain, it growled at him as he shrank out of its path.

“Maybe I misheard him,” said Frank as the woman and her dog merged into the mist.
“No, you don’t want to listen to old Geordie Whitebirk. He’s gone in the head! Everyone can tell you that. They’ll have a right laugh at you in the Midland tonight, listening to old Geordie.”

“He said something about it being somewhere you didn’t need a permit”.

The man shook his head.

“You want to get yourself to Blitterlees Gill! Get across yon bridge there.” A dismissive flap of the arm to the right, further along the bank.

Frank hesitated. “Sorry? Blitter…?”

“Blitterlees Gill!” repeated the fisherman impatiently. “Get yerself along there. No point stopping here. Where’s yer rod anyway? Sure you’re not one of them haaf netters?”

“No, I’m not. I left my rod back at the cottage, I’ll pick it up later once I’ve got my permit.”

“I thought you was looking for somewhere to fish without a permit?”

“No, I am going to get a permit, it’s just that the other chap told me…”

“Well it’s a long way back for it, but suit yourself.”

Frank turned away without saying goodbye. What was wrong with everyone round here, why was every exchange so bloody hostile? And what was the matter with their faces? He’d heard of a medical condition called Derbyshire neck, maybe this livid yellow and deep wrinkling was ‘Cumbrian face’.

He threaded his way further along the path, into the deepening gloom. It was so dense now he could hardly see further than an arms length. The path rose and fell sharply over tree roots, he experienced the peculiar sensation of stepping into space as he underestimated the slope and found his foot falling further than expected. But always there was the comforting chatter of the river to his left to guide and console.

But still smarting from the encounter with the man in the black hat, Frank did not heed the warning of the mis-step and continued at a pace that was inadvisedly hurried. At the top of the next rise in the path, his toe clipped a root at the foot of a large sycamore and he slipped over, pain in his left knee. He heard soil dislodged by his fall cascading down into the water to his left.

Falling was a shock. He couldn’t remember the last time he had fallen right over. He could feel damp from the ground soaking through his trousers, invading his comfort, piercing his fragile shell of wellbeing.

Amid the smell of disturbed earth and crushed thistles, a moment of realisation that the unremitting noise of the river would have continued regardless of whether he fell in and drowned in its depths.

As Frank sat there, trying to assess the state of his knee, a figure loomed out of the mist.

Another ancient voice. “Steady on there lad! You’ll be in’t river! What’s the rush?”
This time it was a rotund man in a fleece and green woolly hat. The same yellow, deeply wrinkled skin, a brown woollen scarf round the neck.

“Not from round here are you? You’re not one of them haaf netters?”

“No, I’m on a fishing break – I’m staying in a holiday cottage.”
“Have you got a permit?”

In spite of himself, Frank suddenly felt ridiculously flustered.

“I was going to get one later.”

“Aye, that’s what them said last week. If the gamekeeper sees you he’ll turn out your pockets”

Frank struggled painfully to his feet. He could put weight on his knee but it had lost power somehow. There was also earth and stones in his shoe.

“Where was you headed, anyway?”

“Blitterlees Gill.”

Harsh, openly mocking laughter. “Ha ha ha! What a daft caper! You’d be lucky to get there by nightfall, that’s way down t’other side of Langwathby! You’d be better off at Lacey’s Slack.”
The man seemed to study Frank for an uncomfortable moment, but then headed off into the mist, back in the direction of the village.

Unsettled, Frank decided it was time he headed back too. After allowing a pause so that he wouldn’t catch up with the rotund man, he began to gingerly retrace his steps towards the village, carefully testing his knee at every footfall, watching the path at his feet closely now for any more hazards.

He had made slow progress in this way for no more than ten yards when he was startled by a violent shout to his left.

“Got lost again have you? You’re going the wrong way! Lacey’s Slack’s back yonder!”

The words seemed to be yelled with real anger. Frank staggered back in alarm, sending more earth tumbling down the bank into the river.

It was the rotund man. Had he stopped and waited deliberately?

The man tutted. “Bloody fool!” and turned away, apparently into a field.

Frank was unsettled now, the mist no longer a protective blanket but a threatening veil.
A noise – from behind? Was someone following him? The dank atmosphere was disorientating, muffling some sounds, magnifying others. His knee prevented any rapid progress in any case.
More anxious yards passed. Now he saw an outline of a figure rising from the riverbank to his right.

It was fisherman in the black hat, priest in his hand, shouting furiously “Turned back have you? Thought I told you to get to Blitterlees Gill?”

Frank put his head down and tried to ignore him. Just focus on the path.

“Damned haaf-netters” yelled the man, manically waving the priest in the air.

Up ahead Frank could hear a dog barking. A big dog. The wrinkled woman – was she still here too?

Panicking now, he could see the outline of a public footpath sign leading back to the village, away from the river, across fields. He stumbled across long wet grass through an open field gate, his trousers soaked below the knee.

He could hear a bell tolling in the mist. The village must be to his right.

The fog blanket wasn’t quite so dense away from the river and he could make out two gnarled old shapes in the centre of the field amid the long, grey, creeping fingers. Bushes – hawthorn bushes. He set his course to the right of them, looking for a gateway that would lead him back to the village.

But now another a figure emerged ahead, blocking his intended path. It was the first old bugger in the blue coat – the deaf one. Frank noticed with alarm that the man was moving much more rapidly across the field towards him then he could have ever given credit for.

“Hey! Where are you sneaking off to? This is private land! You were told to go to Setterah Bank!”
Frank was gasping now, the cold air and the fear catching at his breath.

He looked back across the field to see a silhouette of the rotund man emerging from the left.
Now he heard a metallic clang that reverberated oddly in the clammy air. The gate closing behind him, over his shoulder a glimpse of a group advancing with purposeful menace.

“Hoy! Come back here! The gamekeeper wants a word with you!” – the throaty rasp of the black-hatted man.

Another deeper, aggressive male voice. “Get back here, you bugger!”

A dog whimpering and growling. A coarse, female voice now. “shall I let ‘im loose Johnny?”

“On my signal”.

Frank struggled on in the only direction that lay clear – between the old hawthorns.

Ignoring the pain in his knee he moved as fast as he could, a lolloping, uneven gait born of sheer terror.

They were all old – surely he could outrun them? But the dog.

He could hear its horrible, gutteral growls and whimpers, straining for its handler to release it.
Hostile shouts rang out from all sides, hallooing, harassing, hounding him onwards.

“Get the’sen to Lacey’s Slack!” “Stupid bugger!” “Will you not listen?” “What did I tell thee?” “Lacey’s Slack!” “Blitterlees Gill, man!” “Setterah Bank!”

He reached the bushes, the land between them bare. He ran on, between their twin twisted embrace of mottled lichen and mossy bark.

He ran on, straight into wispy, misty net of something suspended from the trees. Something intangible.

He was stuck fast. Desperately, he tried to turn round, but couldn’t. Every movement he made served to bind him ever more closely, to sap his strength, his vitality. With his ever-weakening struggles, panic turned into peaceful acceptance.

His feet were no longer on the ground. Unsure of the direction of north, south, east, west, earth, sky, life or death he lay suspended between two worlds. Grey, swirling mist floated before his weakening eyes, but whether it was from this realm or another he could no longer be sure. Dark shapes danced and contorted around him, blotting out the last strains of his sunlight.
The residual part of Frank’s consciousness heard a host of footsteps, heavy breathing both animal and human.

Voices. Satisfied, pleased voices.

“He’s a nice one. Good size.”

“Ay, the old haaf net still does the trick!”

“Ready with the priest – hold him still now!”

What remained of Frank felt sharp crack to his temple. A trickle of warm blood down his face.
More voices, distant now, at the mouth of the tunnel he felt himself sliding down.

“We’ll gut him and eat him tonight.”

“Hit him again Johnny, the gills are still blowing.”

“Don’t damage him though, could do with a new skin…”.

Credit To – M.L. Graham

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The Blanket Monster

October 15, 2014 at 12:00 AM
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Everybody at one point has been scared by a younger/older sibling.

I can pinpoint multiple times my younger brother has gave me a good jump. Yet the best scares I have ever received had to come from my older sister. Before we moved away from our childhood home in New Jersey, my sister had to watch my younger brother and I on some nights while our parents were out. My brother being very young at the time fell asleep early-ish. I did not really like to go bed when I was younger so I would cause the most problems. My sister would counter-act this by locking me in my room and turning off the flow of electricity into that room. I, being a 7/8 year old kid afraid of the dark, would bang like a lunatic trying to get out of the darkness. After a couple minutes, she would put a blanket over herself and finally unlock the door. I would come flying out of the room only to be faced with a “monster” of some sort. The thing that creeped me out the most about this monster was that it was concealed under a blanket. There are millions of possibilities of what this creature could look like underneath it. After a couple minutes of her attacking me with this blanket and myself screaming “Bloody Murder”, she would eventually take the blanket off and tell me to go to bed. I would always be emotionally and physically drained so after a few seconds I would pass out.

She did this only about 3-4 times since my parents started to go out less and less as time went on. The scariest time this happened though was on a Saturday evening. My parents had to take my younger brother to the hospital for unknown reasons at the time. I was playing video games so I barely made out what my mom said when she went out the door.

“Be back soon. Stay out of trouble. Laura will be ho-oon”

I heard a noise come from the adjacent room of mine. It was my sister’s room, which was one place in the house I was not allowed to go into. It sounded like a door was opening but I debunked it as her going through the closet because her room door was shut. An hour went by and I was getting really loud and obnoxious with this game I was playing. The door to my sister’s room opened and I knew that she was going to put me to bed.

Suddenly, my heart sank because the room went dark. I let out a cry of anger and fear. All the progress I made on that game was gone and I knew it happened over another stupid joke of my sister. The door slammed shut and I was covered in complete darkness. I started to bang like usual. I really wished I just went to bed or hid. The door flew open and there it stood. The one thing that scared me as a kid, the blanket monster. Something was different about it this time though. It stood in the hallway much taller than how Laura normally was. It let out this weird groaning noise which made me almost piss my pants. The creature inched closer to me as I started to step back. I must have tripped on one of my controllers because I fell backwards and hit my head on something. The final things I remembered in that moment was the front door opening and the blanket falling to reveal nothing was there. Laura approached me and must have thought I passed out because she tucked me in. I thought for the longest years that someone came to the door and my sister stopped the fun to check who it was.

After three years of living in that house, we moved away to the south. I am currently 16 so it has been a while since my sister has tried to scare me with that corny routine. My past self was too stupid to realize it was a façade.

I remember a couple days ago, my sister and I were talking about the whole blanket monster thing.

“I still can’t believe you were afraid of a blanket!”

“It was not the blanket! It was what I pictured under the blanket you ass. You got me really good that one time when Tyler went to the hospital.”

“What are you talking about? I was at a friend’s house when Mom told me to come home and watch you.”

“What? That’s not true. I pissed you off with too much noise so you screwed with me like always. Come on stop fucking with me.

“Jared, I have no idea what you are talking about. You are actually starting to scare me.”

To save both of us from losing our minds over this, I lied and pretended that I was trying to scare her. I have a look of fear and dread every time I look at that blanket. Sometimes I hear the noises at night. Like something is being dragged. I shrug it off and fall asleep. Unfortunately, I have been sick for the past couple of days so I have been losing my mind with cabin fever. The family went to see a movie so I am currently alone.

That’s odd? I just heard a door open. They can’t be home this early. They just left two hours ago.

Shit. The power just went out. It’s not even storming out here.

I have to go get some flashlights. I hate the dark.

Credit To – Fallout.wmv

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