Elegy for Devil’s Lake

November 20, 2014 at 12:00 AM
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Sit tight, my friends, as I weave a tale of magic and night. Let the fire burn low and let the wind howl through the ridges of this lake as the muses sign unto me, and the night speaks with my voice…
There was once a young man, who lived, worked, slept, and ate along the ridge of a great, dark lake; Devil’s Lake, in which he fished and drank. He was a wild man, in harmony with nature, loving all things in nature, alive or otherwise. But nature was not in harmony with him.
The man lived in peace with the world for many years, each day and night the same as the last. But one night was different. The day was normal for the man, and the sun set, just as it had for millennia before. The night settled in, and the wind whispered through the trees. All was at peace, for a time. And the moon rose, a bright eye high above the earth. But the moon, this night, was different. It glowed orange. The young man sat high on the cliff above Devil’s Lake, and watched with trepidation as this new moon rose.
He knew the orange moon was a natural occurrence, but this was not a natural day. This day was Hallow’s Eve, when the veil between this world and the next was thinnest. The ominous moon bearing down on him did not ease his fear. The moon appeared to have as face, and it watched, and waited.
The tall ridge of stone over the lake seemed to glow with the light of the moon, sparkling like a sheet of frosted glass. The ground below the man trembled slightly. Something was coming, he knew. But he did not know what. And for the first time in his life, he was truly afraid of the dark.
The lake below shimmered, still as the sky above, and placidly reflected the trees around it. But there was a ripple in still water, and something below the lake moved. The reflections of the trees and the moon far overhead broke into shards of glass, and the wind stopped humming. Everything was silent as the water broke.
Impossibly slowly, something appeared to be rising out of the water. The lake rippled as this new apparition, slow as ice, stretched its way higher and higher into this world.
What undulated out of the water was, at first, nothing but a single tentacle, sharpened into a spear at its tip. It was red like fire, and spotted with dark blotches of night. It wiggled slowly, quietly, almost unnoticeably as it slid between worlds. It shimmered in the moonlight. But there was some unmistakably off-set quality about it, something not of this world. And it most certainly wasn’t.
The man quaked, watching this monstrosity carefully. He had never seen anything like this before, but this was Hallow’s Eve. He prepared himself for what else might appear above the water, fastening himself in a protective leather suit and wielding a heavy stone axe. But even with his weapon, a feeling of deep dread settled in the pit of his stomach, and he waited…
Eventually, after what felt like weeks, the young man saw something more substantial than a tentacle float out of the water. It was, at first, nothing more than a red lump, as it was the base of the tentacle. The base, too, was covered in patches of nothing. Then the mass grew, and space itself seemed to spread apart to create a void for the beast to pass through. The young man saw that creature rising out of the water had ten thousand eyes.
The eyes were intelligent, large, and a deep yellow. They had slits like those of cats, but these slits were deeper, and showed a way into unimaginable horror. They darted around, watching everything, especially the young man. The ten thousand eyes circled the monster’s great head, and observed all, learning best how it could be destroyed.
Then came the smell, a scent like rotting fruit and decaying flesh that reached down into his throat, causing him to gag and taste something awful, something sulfuric and evil. The appearance of the devilish creature stopped the man cold in his tracks. He could feel a very real pressure in the air, like something building and growing…
And suddenly, there was a cacophony like metal scraping on metal poured from the spot broken in space within the lake, a sound like one hundred billion screams of torment and anguish. It was if Hell itself outpoured the very noise within it.
The beast climbed higher and higher into the air underneath the light of the orange moon, hauling more of its horrendous body out of that other world and into this plane, and now the man could see all of it, not just a tentacle. The rest of its body appeared to be decaying, and rotted flesh fell off its bones, if they could even be called that. But what was on the skin was worse still.
The man thought he could see faces, human faces, shift and form on the beast’s skin, and then disappear into nothing. What appeared to be mouths, mouths ringed with sharp, poisonous teeth, also moved freely on the abomination’s skin. The man also thought he could see other, more horrible things, but he was not sure. The man felt a crushing fear in his chest, the kind of terror that only comes with a brush with death.
Finally, after what the young man felt must have been years, the fiend reached the apex of its flight, and shuddered, and the air, the very fabric of reality seemed to shudder with it. The moon was at the very tip of its climb as well, and now began to descend. And the monster lowered with it, as if tied to the celestial body. The young man watched, and breathed a sigh of relief, seeing that he was not in any danger now. The worst was over, he thought.
The single tentacle of the brute, the one that had first broken the surface like shattered a mirror, felt the man’s change of heart. Taking this last opportunity, for the split second the man let his guard down, the creature struck. It lashed out like a whip, stabbing the man through the chest with the expertise of a master marksman.
The young man choked on blood as his eyes grew wide with horror, looking down to see a lava red tentacle impaled through his chest. The man’s blood splashed carelessly onto the rock cliff, poisoned by the creature’s filthy skin. The tentacle relaxed, and pulled out of the man’s body.
The young man fell to his knees as his life seeped away slowly, saturating the stones he sat upon. His gasped through the blood in his throat, and his eyes watched the demonic atrocity as it slid, silent now, beneath the still waves of the lake. One of its great eyes flicked around one last time, terrible fury reflected within, but also a great mirth. It did not have the opportunity to get fully into this world, but it was able to send… something else in. The man died quietly, his last breaths gurgling in his own blood.
Quietly, quieter than the grave, the beast sunk back into its lair. But, in its last moments in the world above, it watched its handiwork come to life. And it laughed a deep, evil laugh. The blood of its victim slowly began to gather in one spot, like a ghastly bubble. The gory mass of poisoned blood grew and swelled until it finally burst with a single, definitive blast. The forceful pop released hundreds, perhaps thousands, of small droplets of tainted blood into the night.
A droplet landed near the man’s glazed eyes, and began to change. It was no longer blood, but now the same color as the leviathan that had birthed it. It swirled and spun on its axis, until it became solid, and opened, revealing a single, yellow eye. And this happened over and over again, each and every droplet forming an eye.
As the man’s body finally ran cold, drained of blood, the droplets blinked as one, and slunk off into the darkness to find their next prey, and to wait. And nature watched, impassively, as the man’s body slowly decomposed over many days, and the rocks and trees grew around him. He became part of the earth that he loved. But the same cannot be said about his blood. That is a different story.
It is said that, sometimes, on some nights when the moon is full, if one stands in just the right spot on the cliff at Devil’s Lake, one can see a ripple when no wind has blown. The lake quivers, as if something massive beneath its surface is waiting, watching, for an opportunity to surface. And on some Hollow’s Eves, when the orange moon coincides with that dreaded night, it is spoken that one can see a red tentacle rise from the water to this very day, patiently awaiting a new chance to stretch into this world. The times haven’t been right yet. But someday they will. It’s only a matter of waiting.
And it is always a matter of waiting. The blood and the beast are patient. The eyes are growing in number as they find more sources of nourishment. Just how many there are today is impossible to tell. And they’re too small to ever be noticed; the size of a drop of blood, but more dangerous than any weapon. They may be in your house and you will never even know. They are out there, in the darkness.
The young man died alone on the ridge, and the earth reclaimed his body as its own. No one has spoken of him since, but all this has been recorded faithfully by the omnipresent night, the watchers in the darkness. And all this I can tell you, but let it be a warning; the night does you no harm. Do not be afraid of the dark. Be afraid of what lurks within it.

Credit To – Andrew Sova

This story is a Crappypasta Success Story – it was generally well-liked over at Crappypasta, and I feel that the author used the feedback that he received there to successfully rewrite the pasta. You may read the original Crappypasta post and comments here. Congratulations to the author!

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The Pursuit Institute

October 5, 2014 at 12:00 AM
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The Pursuit Institute by Liam Vickers

Two years ago, a bunch of my friends and I went on a school sponsored trip to Alaska set up by the Pursuit Institute. I was placed in a group with nine, no, ten other students, and two adult chaperones. Another group was also made up of similar numbers, and each group would start at one location and then we would switch places halfway through. The trip would consist mostly of hiking and backpacking in Denali where we would camp in tents and then hiking near the Kenai Peninsula where we would stay in a cabin.

We arrived in Anchorage at about 2:00 in the morning, but it was still light out as Alaska never really got dark that time of year. Our groups parted ways after claiming our baggage, and my group began our trip by driving to Denali National Park where we would be spending the next several days. We all had a great time and before we knew it, it was time to meet up with the other group and trade places for the second half of our trip.

We converged in front of a supermarket and the two groups swapped stories and shared some laughs. It was all fun, but I couldn’t shake the feeling that something was . . . wrong with the other group. Their stories would be incredibly vague or they would just stop halfway through as if they caught themselves from mentioning something without even realizing it.

It was all incredibly eerie but no one but me seemed to notice. When I tried to question them further or go into detail about their trip they would simply become dazed and say that it was really all just a blur. Then, getting defensive, they would ask me details about our trip so far. I scoffed and tried to remember a specific event only to find that . . . I really didn’t remember much either. In fact, as I began listening to my groups own stories, we were being just as vague as them! It was all so strange that no one, not even I, immediately noticed that the other group was short one kid.

Suddenly though, it hit me.

“Where’s Josh?” I asked the group. Everyone turned to face me, their eyes seemed glazed and cloudy as their faces reflected my own confusion right back at me. What they said next made my blood run cold.

With such genuine seriousness that it couldn’t have possibly been a joke, one by one, they asked, “Who the hell is Josh?” Even the adults looked puzzled.

Giving a nervous laugh, I turned to my own group for support only to see that they were looking at me with the same expressions. Confusion was plastered across every one of their faces, looking at me with blank eyes. Then, suddenly, confusion turned to laughter as if they realized that I had been joking.

“Haha! Nice man! You had me goin’ for a second there!” Matt said as the mood quickly lightened back up. I laughed with them and pretended that it had been a joke, but all I felt was a horrible sickness rising up inside me.

That’s when a kid from the other group said, “Haha, but seriously, what’s with YOUR group? You guys are acting all weird and . . . where is Sarah?”

“Haha, very funny.”

“Yeah real original.” Members of both groups snapped back at him, almost in unison. No one named Sarah had even been in our group, and even I was pissed that he was making fun of me. That is, until I saw the look on his face.

When no one took him seriously, his appearance was bleached to a deathly pale tone and his eyes widened, shifting from side to side nervously. Then he looked at me. Our eyes met and we both knew that something was horribly wrong. Although we couldn’t really be sure that the other was telling the truth, we both seemingly knew someone who was now forgotten. We simply stood there for what felt like forever, staring at each other.

He looked horrified, I’m sure I did too. Before I got a chance to talk to him however, we were shoved into our separate cars and were on our way to our new destinations, their group to Denali, ours to the Cabin. I doubted talking to him would’ve done any good anyway though. What could either of us have said? He didn’t remember Josh and I sure as hell didn’t know anyone named Sarah.

The more I thought about it, the more I began to convince myself that it must have been a joke by everyone to screw with me. A group joke that everyone was in on except for me. Josh was probably just hiding in the car, laughing his ass off. I felt like such an idiot for believing that that another kid had experienced what I had when he was really just flat out mocking me in front of everyone! I buried my face in my hands. Part of me was angry, but I was mostly relieved. It certainly made more sense to think that it was all just a joke on me. I was actually impressed that they’d got the adults in on it too.

But, overall, I was still pretty pissed and I decided that the next time I saw the kid who mocked me; I would punch him straight in the face! How dare he mess with me by making up someone! Sarah Duffy, yeah right!

My mind froze . . . Duffy? He had never said a last name. Where did I get that from? And why did it sound so familiar?! What startled me was that I even had a face to put with the name! My mind suddenly exploded with pictures and memories.

Sarah! She was my best god damn friend! How the hell did I forget about her?! I was clutching my head and gasping for air as everyone in the car looked at me and began yelling for me to calm the hell down. I couldn’t calm down though, my mind felt like it was being smashed with a sledge hammer and the more my memory cleared, the worse it got. Pain, the likes of which I had never experienced before, racked my body as I curled into a ball shivering and straining to maintain consciousness. The memories continued rushing back into my head, threatening to split my mind in two until, suddenly, it was over.

I sat up, and, bleary eyed, looked around me. Everyone stared right back at me, terrified.

“Guys, Sarah! Sarah Duffy! Please, dear God, tell me you remember her!” I practically screamed.

Their faces once again switched to anger.

“God damnit John!” One of the adult chaperons yelled, “We thought you were having a seizer or something! If you pull one more stunt like that for the sake of a joke, we’ll send you straight home! Are you okay? What the hell was that?”

I began tearing up, “You guys don’t know Sarah? She- . . . she was my friend! She was YOUR friend for Christ’s sake!” I began searching for a specific memory. “Kevin, you made fun of her goofy hair right when we got off of the plane in Anchorage!” I cried, “Please, for the love of god, tell me you remember that!”

No one said a thing. They all just stared at me with judgmental expressions.

“That joke has run its course.” Kevin said coldly.

Not a one of them showed any signs of recognition, but I knew she was real! Or had been anyway. What the hell had happened to her? I strained and tried to remember the last time I had seen her, but any recent memories were still illusive and blurry.

No matter how hard I tried, all thinking about it did was bring back the headaches and pain. Finally, I was forced to stop or everyone would begin to seriously worry about me again.

I just sat in the car for the next several hours of the drive and stared out the window at the bleak, grey surroundings, as rain ran down the glass. It had been raining since we arrived in Alaska, and it showed no signs of letting up for the next couple of days at least.

Finally, we arrived at the entrance to the trail that would take us to the cabin the other group had stayed at. We unloaded our packs, strapped them on, and set out on our 7 mile hike to where the secluded lakeside cabin lay. It was about 2:00 in the morning, but since it never really got dark out, our plan was to hike in immediately and get there by 5:00 so as to have a full day ahead of us.

That being said however, the constant rain and low-set clouds made for poor visibility and the hike in was a struggle to say the least. Through the thick fog, it was near impossible to even make out a tree branch before it struck you in the face, seemingly out of nowhere. Being mindful of possible grizzly bears, we took care to keep our group loud so as to scare them off. About an hour in, we were all singing “Journey” at the top of our lungs when I suddenly fell to my knees, and then collapsed to the muddy ground, clutching my head. I had once again been trying to remember when I had last seen Sarah when it all came flooding back in a horrific wave of grotesque images and unimaginable terrors.

There we were, at the Denali campground. The torrential rain pelted down and the sky was so dark that for the first time since we had been there, it actually seemed like night. Everyone was settling down under the tarp around the campfire, and many people were already asleep in their tents. That’s when Jenna asked if anyone had seen Sarah as she still hadn’t washed her dishes.

“I’m pretty sure she went to bed already,” I said, “I don’t want to be creepy, but I’ll go check to be sure.”

I reluctantly walked away from the warmth of the fire and into the oppressive darkness and driving cold rain. As I approached her tent, I could tell that she wasn’t inside as it was unzipped with the door lying wide open. I immediately ran to close it.

What an idiot! I thought to myself, the tent is completely soaked inside now!

That’s when I heard her muffled, agonizing scream. It came from somewhere in the woods surrounding the campground and I, without thinking, immediately ran off into the forest after her. After shoving my way through thick spruce and willows, I reached a clearing where I could barely see Sarah’s body on the ground as some . . . thing, which was mostly obscured by trees and underbrush, was ripping her open. She was screaming with all of her might but the thing’s bony hooked hand was covering her mouth. Its long fingers curled almost all the way around her head. The sound of her death was horrendous as bones snapped and skin was peeled away. I wanted to help, but couldn’t bring myself to move.

Sarah was long dead by the time I realized that the creature, was beginning to . . . wear her. It had hallowed her out and was now sewing her lifeless corpse onto itself. I was still paralyzed with fear when it suddenly turned towards me.

Sarah’s grotesque, shredded carcass was now horribly reanimated, and it began crawling towards me like some kind of broken marionette as her dead eyes looked straight ahead, yet saw nothing.

I finally broke out of my trance and began frantically sprinting back towards camp. Sarah’s corpse could’ve easily caught me crawling, but the thick underbrush forced it to stand up awkwardly and begin a demented walk in which everything moved all wrong. This fortunately gave me enough time to reach the safety of the campfire, although, when I arrived, I had no idea what I had been running from . . . or really any of what I had just done.

No one asked me if Sarah had really been asleep, because none of us knew a “Sarah.”

And that thing, pretending to be her, cringing at the light of the fire, slowly slunk back into the dark of the forest.

I bolted upright to people yelling, cursing, and struggling to their feet. I had been near the front if the group, so when I feel to ground, many people behind me tripped over my body and then tripped the people behind them.

“Oh God! I’m sorry you guys!” I cried, “The uh, the ground is really slick here!”
Grumbles were heard and several insults flew my way but we all eventually got up and continued moving. My mind was racing. The fact that I could remember Sarah when no one else could must have had something to with seeing the creature before it stole her skin.
For me, it must have just been the initial shock that caused the lapse in memory. It was for this same reason that I could remember Josh while the other kid didn’t.

My blood froze. He didn’t remember Josh because his memory had blocked the horror from him . . . because he had seen Josh being taken in the exact same area in which we were now hiking! And our bear calls were bringing it right to us!

Breathing heavy, I slowly turned my head around to look behind me.

Sure enough, following from quite a distance, and just barely visible in the bleak grey fog, I could see the silhouette of some sort of fucked-up human impersonation; grotesquely stumbling along just behind our group . . . wearing the decaying face of Josh. Its limbs swayed and bent in directions impossible for a human to imitate, and there were seams where the skin split away and was held together with nothing but a few fleshy strands. When the creature saw me looking, it darted away off the path, but I could tell that it was still following us. It was waiting for something.

I doubted it would attack us with such a large group and I was sure that no one would believe me, and so I was forced to simply continue hiking.

Finally, we reached the cabin and everyone tried to get some last minute sleep before we started our day. Everyone but me. I KNEW that thing was sulking around in the darkness of the woods surrounding the cabin, waiting for one of us to go out alone.

Morning came and everyone quickly prepared for our hike of the day. We would be hiking up a mountain which required some intense bush-whacking just to reach the base thus realistically making the trip at least 4 hours both ways. We packed our lunches, consisting of nothing but protein bars and water, and zipped up our raingear as the weather was still nothing short of a downpour. The sky remained a depressing grey and light thunder could be heard rumbling in the distance.

That’s when someone said what I had been dreading. The worst case scenario.

Ashley stepped forward and apologetically said, “Sorry everyone, but I feel . . . just terrible, I think I’ll stay behind on this one, you guys go on ahead, I’ll stay here at the cabin.”

“No!” I cried, “You have to come with us! We have to stay together!” Everyone turned and looked at me.

“Jesus John, if she’s not feeling well, let her stay.” Pam scorned.

“Ah,” I stammered, “That’s not it! I just . . . Uh, fine! I’ll stay too!”

“You don’t have to do that John.” Ashley said, “I’ll be fine here alone.”

“No you won’t!” I wanted to scream, but I had to calm my nerves. “Naw, I didn’t wanna go on this dumb hike anyway.” I laughed, “You guys have fun though!”

Everyone looked at me weirdly, and then glanced at each other, before shrugging and heading off into the woods. I wasn’t sure if we would be any safer with just the two of us, but what else could I have done? We would just have to buckle down inside the cabin and hope for the best. As soon as the others disappeared out of sight I turned to Ashley and said, “Alright, we need to get inside the cabin now.”

“I appreciate you staying with me and all . . . but you’re kinda freakin me out.” She said.

“Haha, sorry,” I awkwardly laughed, “It’s pretty damn wet out here though, we should really inside?”

“Yeah, that’s a good plan,” She stated slowly, “I better lay down for a bit.”

That’s when I saw him, or . . . It . . . standing twenty or so feet behind Ashley. Josh’s decaying corpse; horribly stretched and disfigured in order to cover whatever thing was wearing it. Ashley saw me looking and turned around to let out a strangled squeak. “Wha . . . What the fuck is that?!” She screamed. I said nothing and simply grabbed her arm, taking off running to the cabin, slamming the door behind us. The thing didn’t run after us, rather, it began slowly walking towards the cabin. It knew we had nowhere to go. I locked the door and scrambled to barricade it with anything I could find.

Now there was nothing to do but watch its demented impression of a person as it crawled ever so slowly towards the door. Its hands dragged along to muddy ground and its fleshy skin hide swayed ever so softly as it staggered.

“What the hell is that?” Ashley kept repeating over and over between her ragged breaths.

“I don’t know,” I stammered, “I just don’t know.”

“What does it want?!” She screamed as it reached the door and tried the handle.

“I assume, it wants a new . . . Coat.” I said through clenched teeth.

She drew a breath and fell to the ground before looking up at me, horrified. The thing moved away from the door and now stood a few inches behind one of the windows, staring in at us. Its cold gaze could be felt from behind the dead eyes of Josh’s face and we could hear skin widening as it smiled. It was messing with us.

Ashley broke down and began weeping, “Leave us alone!” She cried, “Get the hell away!”

The thing did nothing and simply stood there motionless. Then, it slowly lifted up one of its hands and began lightly rapping on the window.

Knock, knock, knock. A slow steady rhythm.

It had no intention of breaking the window or anything. It just wanted to let us know that it was there.

Not that we needed the reminder. I couldn’t take my eyes off it. This continued for several hours as the sunlight slowly faded and the rain and wind picked up. Soon the sound of it knocking was almost drowned out and I was having to strain to see it in the dim light. Heavy sheets of water whipped around and obscured its form. At one point I let my eyes wander for too long, and when I looked back, it was gone. The knocking had stopped. I bolted upright just in time to barely catch a glimpse of it disappearing around the side of the cabin.

“This is bad.” I said, “I think it’s tired of waiting.”

Ashley let out a squeal and buried her face in her hands. I wasn’t sure if it could get in from somewhere else but it clearly knew something we didn’t.

“It’s ok,” I said, thinking fast, trying to pep talk myself more than anything, “all we need to do is wait for the others to get back! They should be here any minute now!”

“Who?” Ashley asked.

“The rest of our group!” I said, “Kevin, Lauren, Pam? Those guys! Remember?”

“I- . . . I Don’t know who you’re talking about.” She stated, looking at me puzzled, “It’s always been just the two of us.”

My heart practically stopped, and as I sunk to the ground in despair, I began to hear knocks . . . all around the cabin.

Credit To – Liam Vickers

This story is a Crappypasta Success Story – it got such a positive reception over at Crappypasta that it’s being moved here to the main site. You may read the original Crappypasta post and comments here. Congratulations to the author and thanks to the Crappypasta community for the save!

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A Cold Love Story

September 24, 2014 at 12:00 AM
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A Cold Love Story by Liam Vickers

I sent the text to my friend max, reading, “Dude, are you at school?” The bus was already a good 20 minutes late.

It was late November, and it was cold.

So damn cold.

My eyes burned against the outside air, and each intake of breath was like swallowing razor blades. Everything was dim, tinted a dull blue, and all was eerily still, seemingly frozen in time. Mercury in the thermometers had settled to the bottom, refusing to budge.

I could see my breath as it shimmered against the thin air, warping and climbing upwards in despair before vanishing. Even the trees, long dead, with crooked, empty limbs, appeared to be shaking against the cold. Frost and ice glinted sharply in the faded sunlight, clinging on and threatening to overtake the trees. The occasional glimmer of sunlight was nothing short of an ironic and cruel sight as its warmth could not be felt. It seemed so distant, its hazy blue glow so utterly small and insignificant against the frozen vastness. The crunch of snow could be heard as I walked – a crisp, sharp sound cutting through what was otherwise dead silence before disappearing into the oblivion with nothing to return an echo.

I stopped for a minute.

It seemed as if I was the only one in this world; a world of cold, of stillness, of nothingness. Neither the heat of a friend, nor the joy of their company existed here.

I was taking a note of all this with my eyes closed, so as the keep them from freezing, when I began to hear the crunching of snow. It was Sarah. I always met her at the bus stop, or had been anyway, for the past two weeks. I was glad of it too. I used to hang out with my good friend Jenna, but she hadn’t been showing up for the past week or so and now it was just Sarah to keep me company.

I opened my eyes slowly, wincing at the frosty wind. I could see Sarah walking towards me, pace slow and steady. Her balance wasn’t affected in the slightest by the now increasing gusts of frigid air whipping snowflakes around like small needles. She wore a fuzzy wool purple hat that sat lazily atop of her head. It didn’t obscure her face at all however, and I could still see her eyes of the purest blue you could imagine. They were only highlighted by her flushed red cheeks, no doubt due to the cold. She was absolutely beautiful . . . sweet and funny too, but for some reason, I never really saw her with any friends. I suppose this was because she had just moved in. That and because all the guys I knew were too afraid to even talk to her.

I guess that’s why she was stuck with me all the time. In fact, she actually seemed incredibly lonely when I wasn’t with her.

I suddenly snapped out of my thoughts to realize that I was staring at her. She saw me looking and gave a slight giggle with an exaggerated wave. I quickly blushed and only managed to choke out an awkward “hey” before turning away.

I quickly whirled back around however as I realized that something was wrong. She was wearing nothing but a t-shirt, a pair of short shorts and her backpack. I practically tripped over myself as I ran to her.

“Sarah, what are you doing?!” I cried. She stood in front of me, shivering and taking short staggered breaths. Her attire was certainly strange, but there was something else wrong too. Something was different about her.

“Did you walk all the way here like this?!” I asked, dumbfounded.

She had said earlier that her house was a good 20 minute walk from the bus stop.

“John is worrying about me!” She cried, her face lighting up as her eyes widened and stared straight into mine. She paused for a minute before sheepishly continuing, “I thought . . . maybe I could use your coat.” Her voice trailed off as she looked down at the ground.

I couldn’t believe it! I had on several layers of jackets and I was still freezing! I couldn’t even imagine how cold she must have been!

“Oh my God! Sarah! Of course!” I cried, taking off layer after layer and wrapping her in them. “Did you not have enough time to grab a jacket!?” I asked incredulously, now down to just a t-shirt myself. “You must be freezing, and the bus is already really late, you had plenty of time!”

She shook her head. “I wanted to use yours!” She giggled, wrapping her arms around herself and the jackets she was now wearing, smiling with eyes closed. I was taken completely aback. This wasn’t like her at all.

“You-” I stammered, “you did this on purpose?”

“I’ve never felt so close to you.” She smiled, leaning her head on her shoulder. My mind was racing. I had NO idea what to say to that.

“Sarah, why are you acting so strange all of a sudden?” I asked. She didn’t respond at first, and didn’t seem to have heard my question.

“Awww! Won’t you be cold now!?” She suddenly cried, forcefully grabbing my hands in hers. My mouth moved but words were nowhere to be found.

“It’s . . . It’s ok, haha, I’ll just freeze to death.” I finally joked as I often do when I’m uncomfortable. Her face erupted in horror, her eyes going wider than I’d ever seen.

“No!” She screamed in anguish, beginning to unzip my jackets, meaning to give them back.

“No! Haha, I was joking!” I cried, grabbing her arms to stop her. The instant my hands closed around her, her face flushed bright red and she stopped in her tracks.

“John.” She stammered.

“You need them more than I do.” I laughed awkwardly, sickening concern encroaching on my heart.

Her face changed then . . . Distorting . . . Twisting, and giving the widest smile I had ever seen. I found myself backing up and letting go of her arms. Her smile was misplaced somehow, erroneous and deranged. It crawled across her face like a disease and just kept spreading. Her eyes didn’t blink and stared straight towards me but weren’t really focused on anything.
The areas in which they normally seemed to sparkle now seemed dull and flat. It was incredibly disturbing, so much so that I began to sweat despite the cold.

“So, are you ready for school?” I asked nervously, trying desperately to change the subject or do anything to get rid of that smile.

“School?” She questioned, straight faced, her eyes slowly coming back to focus, “We don’t have school today, silly. It’s a snow day because of the storm that’s coming.” She giggled.

“What?!” I cried, “Gosh dangit! I didn’t get an email or anything!”

She said nothing, but looked at the ground guiltily. Then I saw it. A smile began to slowly carve out her cheeks.

I was dumbfounded.

“Did . . . Did you . . .” I started.

“I wouldn’t have been able to see you if you knew there was no school.” She said, matter-of-factly, as that twisted grin continued to stretch her face further and further, eating away at her pale skin. The wind howled and crystalline needles bit at my exposed skin.

Suddenly, she laughed, grabbing onto my waist.

“You better stay close,” she giggled, “otherwise you’ll catch a cold!” My mind was in full retreat mode now as I began backing up.

I tried to wiggle free of her grasp saying, “Haha, yeah, I guess. I think I’ll go home now and maybe get some more coats, I guess I’ll see you tomorrow then if the weather improves. Ok?”

Seemingly not hearing me, she snuggled in closer and closed her eyes. My hands were in the air, my body rigid and taut as my heart convulsed with unease. I drew several shaky breaths and looked down at her. Her smile now appeared . . . rather peaceful?

“Is this really all that bad?” I thought to myself. “A lot of guys I know would do anything to be in this position. She just wanted to see me was all . . . Yeah! It’s actually really sweet, albeit a little drastic.”

I relaxed a little, almost hugging her back, when I suddenly saw the dark crimson stains on her arms. My muscles tensed.

I choked, my voice faltering as I stammered, “Is that blood?”

Ignoring the question, she pressed herself even closer and looked up at me.

“Let’s go to your house!” She squealed, her face like a child’s on Christmas. “Don’t you need your coats? I’ll take them for you!” She grabbed my hand, looking at me to lead the way. Her big blue eyes glimmered with hope. I felt sick, torn between concern and fear.

But surely she was just having an off day, or messing with me in a cruel drawn out joke. It didn’t really matter though. We can’t stay out here forever, I thought to myself.

Taking a deep breath, I slowly nodded my head and began walking towards my house. She clung to me tightly as we walked and I tried desperately not to shiver and send her on another episode. We were nearly to my driveway when I got the text back from Max. I awkwardly wiggled my phone out of my pocket with my left hand as my right was still in Sarah’s vice grip.

I was still walking as I brought the phone up when I was suddenly jerked back, almost losing my balance on the slick ice.

I turned around to see that Sarah had stopped cold, her hands gripped so tight around my own that I could almost hear the bones breaking. I let out a gasp of pain and tried to pull my hand free, but she wouldn’t allow it. Her expression had gone dark, hair draping over her face.

“Who’s that?” She said, the usual cheer all but gone from her voice.

“It’s- . . . It’s Max! My friend?” I gasped still cringing in pain as I opened the message from him, “He was just telling me about-”

My blood froze. I stared at the screen as my chest tightened.

“Telling you what?” Her voice cut through the crisp air.

“Just about . . . How much he likes snow.” I lied.

Slowly, her cute face reappeared and her grip lightened as she smiled at me. We began walking again.

“You know, I like snow too.” She said coyly.

I didn’t even hear her; I was too busy staring at what was on the screen.

It read, “Yeah, of course I’m at school! Where the hell are you?”

I turned to look at Sarah, my hands beginning to shake, having nothing to do with the cold. I’m sure my face showed my horror and confusion but if she saw, she didn’t let on as she met my gaze with a cutesy smile. Her murky black hair was partially obscuring her left eye, making the right seem all the more piercing as its frozen blue hue searched my face. I could feel its chilling gaze stabbing at my numb skin.

“Who would you rather hang out with?” She said, still a hint of malice in her quiet voice.

“What? I stammered.

“Max. Is he a good friend of yours?” She said, looking away.

“Yeah, I guess?” I replied nervously, “I mean, I’ve known him for a while.”

Her hands slowly balled into tight fists, nearly crushing my own hand as she muttered something under her breath. Then she turned into my driveway and started walking down.

Leading ME.

How did she know when to turn? How did she know this was my driveway?!

I yanked my hand from hers with all of my might and took a few steps back.

“Sarah,” I said trying to keep my voice strong, “Where is the bus?”

She looked devastated, staring at her empty hand, not saying a word. Her irises shook slightly, her face becoming hollow, whatever color she had disintegrating into a grey slag.

“Where the hell is the bus Sarah!?” I yelled. “Why didn’t it ever come?!”

She looked up at me. “No . . . school . . . today.” She muttered to herself, eyes once again distant and dim as she fumbled around and tried to reach for my hands blindly.

“Yes we do Sarah! We do have school!” I cried, further backing up, “The bus should’ve been at the stop, but it never came!”

“It wanted . . . just the two of us.” She mumbled, face blank and emotionless.

“And why do you have your backpack if you weren’t planning on going to school? How do you know where I live?!” I was becoming hysterical now.

She chose to ignore all if this and instead found my hands again, gripping them tightly and smiling crookedly. In the most unnatural way, she didn’t seem to be feeling emotions, and yet carved them into her own face all the same. It was as if she was trying to imitate expressions she had seen others express.

“I’m cold,” She said, “we should go inside.”

I took a few long breaths and tried to calm myself down. It must have just been a misunderstanding. Max was probably just messing with me! It wouldn’t be unlike him to joke around like that and get me all worked up about missing a school day that didn’t exist. He was the one lying, and I had lashed out at Sarah who was just trying to be nice! Right? I’m not even sure if I believed it myself, but it was better than thinking of the alternatives.

“I’m sorry,” I sighed, then, fumbling for words to make her feel better, I choked out, “Thanks . . . Thanks for being with me.”

My heart warmed as I saw her face shift ever so slightly. As if waking from a dream, her eyes glanced around, taking in her surroundings for the first time. Her sunken lifeless features slowly ebbed away as, for the first time today, a believable smile flickered into view. One that didn’t appear forced or fueled by delusions.

When her eyes cleared, focused on me, and realized that I was smiling back, she blushed profusely and turned away. I laughed at that and she started to giggle too.

Her eyes suddenly flicked down to her hands which were still gripping mine. She let out a little squeal and dropped them, burying her face in her palms, apologizing over and over. Her black hair meandered around aimlessly in the wind, doing little to hide her embarrassed face.

This was the Sarah I knew: the girl who had trouble talking to other people, the girl who always had a bewildered look about her as if the world was shifting under her feet, the girl who hadn’t been able to look me in the eye for several days when we first met. She never talked about herself; she didn’t seem to want to. She would always listen though. And when she did, her eyes always seemed less piercing, less haunted, and I was certain that she could sit silently for hours while I spoke. Before the events of today, I had still known something was off about her, about the way she listened so devotedly. I could always see a faint emotion shift her features, but it was now finally clear what I had been looking at: relief. When she listened, she appeared relieved, so incredibly comforted to be free of her own thoughts. It was absolutely heart wrenching, but it also served to make her previous demeanor of a few minutes ago all the more out of place. She hadn’t listened at all; she appeared to be trapped in her own mind.

As we began walking down the driveway to my house, I looked at her and took a heavy breath, calming my nerves. I only hoped that her strange behavior had subsided for good. We trudged through the slowly accumulating snow. I had been too lazy to shovel it with my parents having left for Hawaii a week ago. Ironically, as much as it pissed me off to imagine them on a beach while I was stuck here, I was actually glad that neither of them would be home for a few days so I wouldn’t have to explain Sarah to them. I would just be all too like them to try and make things weird if I brought a girl over.

We reached the door and I fumbled for my key, eventually unlocking the door and jumping inside before too much warm air escaped into the bitter cold. I immediately started up a fire, not really realizing how cold I had been until that moment. I looked over at Sarah taking off the jackets and folding them neatly before placing them down gingerly by the entrance. Her movements were strained, her spindly limbs tired and weak. She appeared to have a normal mental state now, but as she finished up and her eyes glanced at me, I couldn’t help but tense a little.

“Hey . . . Sarah?” I asked slowly, my heart going dark and beginning to pound, distrust and fear suddenly reclaiming me. I had to know.

I nervously continued, “Could you maybe go to my room and get me a hoodie?” My pulse was racing and my breath quickened. If she could . . .

“Anything for John!” She cried with a big smile, turning to go. She took several steps further into the house. Her pale form walked deliberately at first, but her pace gradually devolved into a strained staggering motion before she eventually came to a complete halt. Still facing away from me, her icy voice quietly seeped out, “But, I don’t know where your room is.”

I felt a huge wave of relief. Thank God! I felt bad for ever doubting her, for giving her such a dumb test.

I laughed, “Haha, sorry, that’s right, it’s up the st-“. I suddenly stopped myself. “You know what?” I chuckled, “I’ll just go get it. I need to stop being so lazy anyway.”

What was wrong with me? I apparently still felt like I couldn’t trust her! Stupid. Stupid! But I just couldn’t stop myself. I didn’t believe her. I wanted to know if there was really no school, I wanted to know why she had been acting so strange. The only thing holding me back was the fear of such a question bringing back that other smile. That deranged face.

So I just kept quiet, instead asking if she wanted some hot chocolate.

Her eyes lit up, “is that even a question?” She laughed. Her ghoulish posture slackened slightly as she turned to face me.

I smiled and moved into the kitchen starting a pot of water to boil. “Would you mind watching this for a second?” I asked.

“Don’t you worry,” She joked, “no one watches water better than me!”

I laughed and ran up the stairs to my room. I grabbed my doorknob only to recoil in shock. It was freezing! I could feel a draft of frozen air seeping out from under my door. I gingerly grabbed the handle with my fingertips and slowly opened it, letting lose a blast of frigid air. It felt like a window had been left open, but as I checked, they were all closed. Now that I thought about it, I remembered my room being freezing that morning as well and really quite drafty for the past week or so. I was only really noticing it now that today was so particularly cold. I would probably have to sleep downstairs by the fire until I could figure out the problem. I quickly grabbed my hoodie and closed the door to my room so I wouldn’t let all of the heat out of the house. I walked back down the stairs and into the kitchen, but Sarah was gone. The pot was boiling over, spilling water onto the floor. I quickly ran and shut off the heat, cursing under my breath as some of the scalding liquid splashed onto me. I grabbed some towels and began soaking up the mess. I finally got it all cleaned up when I thought I could hear shuffling on the kitchen floor.

“Oh no! John!” Sarah suddenly cried from directly behind me, making me jump out of my skin. I whirled around to face her. She was holding her backpack, seemingly empty now as she slung it back over her shoulder.

“What were you doing?” I asked, my eyes narrowing.

As soon as I said it, I immediately regretted doing so. I began to see her eyes frost over as she searched for an answer; her face becoming sunken, lifeless, her personality flipping.

“No! It’s alright!” I cried desperately, handing a mug to her, “uh . . . do you want marshmallows? Look! I have cute little bunny shaped ones!”

This snapped her out of it, and she squealed in delight as I showed her the bag. “Look at the little sugary mammals!” She giggled.

I laughed as I started to make the hot chocolate. I was so torn and confused, I really liked her like this . . . but where had that other side of her come from? It scared the shit out of me. I had to watch everything I said and did to keep her as the Sarah I knew. Or, thought I knew anyway.

It was about 12:00 now.

“The school would’ve called by now to report me absent if there had been a school day.” I thought to myself. I let myself relax a little more, looking over at Sarah as she sipped delicately on her hot chocolate. Her hat was still goofily perched on her head. I smiled and reached over the table to her, adjusting it so that it was at least sitting straight.

“There,” I said, sitting back down and grinning, “That’s better.”
She stared wide eyed back at me, her cheeks going red, trying in vain to keep from smiling.

Suddenly, from within her backpack, her phone rang. I couldn’t help but face palm as I heard the ringtone.

“Bruno Mars?!” I laughed as her face broke out in horror. “You’re just as bad as my mom!” I continued, “I can’t believe you two have the same ringtone! Hahaha!” She practically squealed in embarrassment and fished around in her backpack, quickly tearing out the battery.

She sheepishly put the battery in her pocket and looked down at her feet. “Do you want to . . .” She asked nervously, “maybe walk to the bus stop with me tomorrow?”

“Trying to change the subject eh?” I playfully jeered. Her face just grew even redder as her hands fumbled hastily with her shirt. I couldn’t help myself, it was impossible to say no to her like this. Any fears from before were buried deep in the back of my mind.

My giggles slowly died out and I gave a slight nod, saying, “Yeah, sure.”

“Great!” She cried, suddenly bolting out of her chair and running to the door. “I’ve uh- got to do something now!”

“I’ll be here tomorrow at 6:00!” She called back as she disappeared into the frozen wasteland, shutting the door behind her. I sat stunned for a good minute. Where the hell did that come from? She hadn’t even taken a coat with her! Imagining her in just a t-shirt in that brutal cold made me want to run after her, but I knew she was long gone by that point.

I lazed around for a few hours, did some chemistry homework, and even shot Max another text saying, “I’m serious man, we didn’t have school today right?” But he never got back to me. He rarely checked his phone anyway though, so I brushed it off, opting to sit and watch TV rather than simply wait for his lazy ass to reply. I was absent mindedly watching some sort of documentary when my phone finally buzzed. Picking it up, I realized that it had just run out of batteries. Max still hadn’t responded. Groaning, I stood up and picked up my house phone. I would just have to call him at home. I punched in his number and brought the phone to my ear.

Dial tone.

I tried again.

Dial tone.

Frustrated, I looked at the monitor.

“No service.” It read.

What? It was a landline! “How is that even possible?” I grumbled to myself. “Must have something to do with the storm.”

I sighed and tossed the phone, plopping back down onto the couch. I realized that I should have been checking the news to see if they had any insight into the possibility of school tomorrow.

I flipped to the channel, and my heart practically stopped.

I only heard the tail end,

“. . . Not releasing images or further details on the bus incident.”

Then the camera switched and they began talking about the highway conditions. I felt an absolutely horrible sickness gripping me. “It couldn’t be. Could it? Surely that little dialog I heard couldn’t have been talking about that. Not about the bus on my route.”

“That would be ridiculous! I’m not even sure what I heard!” I tried in vain to calm myself down, but I quickly realized that I HAD to know for sure. A strong wind suddenly gusted outside and the house shook, tremors being sent down every dark hallway. I stood up from my couch slowly, glancing at the snow beginning to plaster against the windows. Although grey and dull, the flakes seemed to glow against the oppressive darkness as nighttime fell. The frozen slag piled up as distortive structures slowly spread across the once perfectly clear glass.

I secured every layer I could find and suited up, grabbing my flashlight and taking several deep breaths. The frigid night air seemed to ripple with heat distortion as the door swung open, falling stagnant again as I stepped outside. I locked the door behind me and fumbled the keys into my pocket with shaking hands. I began walking the route the bus would’ve taken, my pace slow, the sickness growing worse with every crunch of snow under my feet.

“The school didn’t report you absent.” That’s because the phone is dead! “Max was just playing a joke.” Then why didn’t he ever text back?! Nothing I said to myself made me feel any better.

The dim light from my house was becoming more and more distant now, disappearing altogether as I turned a corner, now just me and the flurry of snow. The skeletal trees surrounding me groaned against the wind, their twisted black shapes silhouetted against the deep blue hue of the night. I hadn’t seen another house for some time now. The families in my neighborhood were exceedingly spread apart and the empty stretches of road seemed to snake on forever at points. More often than not, the snowplows didn’t even find the time to drive as deep into the community as I was going.

It was snowing quite heavily, but I was still certain I would be able to faintly see the tracks of the bus if it had driven anywhere. Despite this, I hadn’t seen its tracks for over a mile. Ordinary cars never usually drove up the way I was walking, and yet I noticed that the roadway was layered with the tracks of smaller vehicles. They looked fresh. That’s when I saw something up ahead, barely visible in the haze.

Lights. Flashing red and blue just ahead around the next bend. Whatever sanity I had left was quickly draining. I approached the lights and peaked around the corner. I didn’t want to believe it, but the sight that greeted me was something I had known I would find all along.

There, surrounded by ambulances and police cars, a mangled mess of metal and shattered glass, sat the bus I had been taking for nearly four years, jutting sideways out of a ditch. The windows were caked with blood which was still a dark crimson red, preserved perfectly in the cold. The once hot, steaming liquid had frozen solid to the splintered glass, encircling small bullet sized holes. The ambulances were stuffed with body bags as the surrounding street was scattered with a few severed limbs. I swore I could see steam softly rising from the dead white appendages as they were ever so slowly covered in drifting snow. I tried to listen to what the officers were saying, but, not daring to get to close, I could only make out a few words and jumbled phrases:

“Hacksaw.”

“Removed post-mortem.”

And one that made my stomach churn, “A few pieces missing.”

Realizing how downright suspicious I looked, I began sprinting back to my house, trying to keep my stomach down as my heart lurched rapidly. I reached my front door and frantically fumbled for the key with my numb fingers, looking behind me into the inky darkness. I finally got the key in the lock and turned it, but then I heard a sound, a knock on glass. It was coming from above me.

I looked up slowly, heart pounding. There, in the window above me, the window to my room, I couldn’t see much of anything. The light was off.

Which was a problem because I knew I had left it on.

But then I could make out some sort of shadowy smudge on the window. I was straining to see what it was when it suddenly moved, backing away into the darkness and it was only when this happened that I knew what I had been looking at.

Sarah’s pale, ghastly form had been pressed up against the glass, smiling down at me with a grin that splintered her face in half.

The realization made me stumble back, fear negating my ability to breathe for a second. How the hell did she get in?! I creaked the door open slowly, ready to run back to the police at any moment.

“S . . . S-Sarah?” I called into the house, hearing it echo down the dark empty hallways, “What . . . what are you doing in here?” My voice trailed off. What the hell was I doing?! I needed to run! Run now! My mind screamed at me. As a wind gust shrieked outside and blasted me with cold air, I watched the dim moonlight dance through the empty rooms of the house. If Sarah was still inside, she didn’t say anything and her silence continued as the wind howled and the house groaned.

Thump. Thump. Thump.

Something was beginning to roll down the stairs from the top. Something heavy. From my position, I could only see the base of the stairs, so I could only listen as the sound grew closer and louder.

Then it happened. A pale, mangled form came tumbling down the last few steps and smashed onto the ground, its limbs horribly twisted and broken. Crimson globs speckled the soiled ground where it now lay. Its arms and legs seemed to radiate a ghastly white, splayed out like a spider on the shadowy ground. Heavy blood oozed from it silently in the darkness. It had no head.

Then I could make out footsteps. My body was frozen, my heart spasming erratically. I couldn’t take my eyes off the corpse.

I eventually heard Sarah’s voice quietly echoing down the staircase, “You didn’t give me time to prepare this one like the others.”

I tried to say something but nothing came out. Not even a squeak.

“After all, you said he was special to you.” She continued, coming into view; hacksaw in one hand, a ghoulish head in the other. Its expression was so distorted in terror that I didn’t immediately recognize it as Max’s. His mouth was stretched horribly agape, almost as if unhinged, a horrific scream forever imprinted on his face as his eyes stared straight ahead, wide and unblinking.

I couldn’t take the sight of it. I fell to the ground in utter shock. I tried to scream in anguish, but as before, I couldn’t make a sound and simply dry heaved into my hands.

Then I felt a hand on my shoulder.

“There there,” Sarah cooed, “Are you feeling sick? Catch a cold? Sarah will make John all better! And John will love Sarah for it.”

She gently lifted me to my feet, dropping Max’s head and the hacksaw and in turn grabbing my hands. I was in shock no doubt. My limbs felt numb and distant; I couldn’t think or move. I was just standing there, shaking violently. She gave me a big hug, wrapping herself around me and smiling crookedly. Her movements were all wrong, disturbingly inhuman, as if she was a puppet controlling her own strings. Her blue eyes should have been highlighted by the dark crimson blood splattered on her, and yet they appeared just as grey as her skin, sinking into her face, enclosed by darkness.

Her frigid hands slowly grabbed mine again, and she began leading me up the stairs, making sweet noises and whispering, “Sssshhh it’s ok. All you need is me.” I followed in a trance-like state, not really processing anything, stuck on the horrors I had just seen. Max’s disfigured head, his broken body, tumbling down the stairs like a rag doll. The bus, the bodies everywhere.

Next thing I knew, I was on my bed with Sarah sitting close next to me, holding my hands in her lap, her face a contorted grinning mess. “It’s cold in here you know.” She said, blushing as her eyes remained dull and lifeless. “Maybe if you just held me.”

I managed to choke out two words, “My . . . Friends.” My eyes began watering.

“Sshhhh,” She swooned, maneuvering to sit on top of me, “John’s friends are all here.”

I shook my head.

“Mrs. Bus driver lady is over there!” She assured me, pointing to a mangled bloody mess in the dark corner of my room. Through my bleary vision, I could make out a ghastly set of eyes staring lifelessly ahead from within the mound of flesh. The sight was horrendous and I turned my head away, gagging some more.

“You don’t need anyone but me,” she continued, “but I didn’t want John getting lonely either. So I kept your friends here.” She began stroking my hair. “Most of Jenna is in your closet.”

“I cut a hole in your roof so she could stay there for longer.” Sarah giggled, “Room temperature is no good for friends; it must be cold like outside. I’ve let her be with you all week, it’s my turn now.”

I began thrashing around, trying to scream but only letting out strangled squeaks. I couldn’t take any more of this! She giggled and interlaced her fingers with mine, pinning my arms down and bringing her face inches away, grinning from ear to ear. Her head was tilted to one side, her dull grey eyes swirling with darkness.

“Only me to love now.” She whispered, “John loves me now.”

I shook my head violently.

“No.” I croaked out.

“You’re so funny!” She laughed, “John loves me, and I love John! So much!” She leaned her forehead against mine. “Much more than his parents. His parents wanted to leave him, but I made them stay with John. Made them stay . . .”

Her hand moved and gestured to under my bed.

Then she kissed me.

Credit To: Liam Vickers

This story is a Crappypasta Success Story – it was generally well-liked over at Crappypasta, and I feel that the author used the feedback that he received there to successfully rewrite the pasta. You may read the original Crappypasta post and comments here. Congratulations to the author!

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Colorado Fishing Trip

September 12, 2014 at 12:00 AM
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Our trip started in late February as my three friends, John, Steve, Max, and I drove my truck deep into the backwoods of Boxwood Gulch to follow the North Fork of the South Platte River. Steve owned a cabin up in the backcountry, so we left my truck there and began our 57 mile hike into the wooded terrain following the river.

We had all of our camping and fishing gear packed, and enough food to hopefully last us the 3 day journey both ways. The pre-spawn bass wouldn’t be an easy catch once we reached the hole, but if we were going to endure this brutal cold, we wouldn’t go home without a fight. As we first set out in the early morning, a few light snowflakes began to fall. The terrain was heavily wooded and uneven making for slow going, but the cool mountain air rustled through the trees and sunlight streamed through the canopy, making the snowflakes glint and shimmer as birds chirped overhead. It was going to be a near perfect trip.

We stopped for a quick rest a few hours in. The weather had been slowly worsening since we had left, but it was only then that we realized how bad it had really gotten. The snow was whipping around us in a blinding flurry as the wind howled. The crooked, mangled trees creaked and swayed violently, almost threatening to snap in two. The ground had already accumulated a good 6 inches of snow.

It was about midday, but the sky was black.

And I don’t mean dark due to the ever intensifying storm; I mean that in between the gaps in the clouds, there was no blue, just solid black.

None of us really made a note of it at the time as it was hard to notice through the thick cascade of snow and the limited visibility. After continuing our hike for some time however, it became all too apparent that something was wrong.

In addition to the sky, we also realized that there was nothing in the distance.

There should have been some mountains or something like there had been at the start, but no matter which way we turned, the world only seemed to extend fifty or so feet around us, then it disappeared into the blizzard.

It was nighttime now, or at least, it was dark out. My watch however, read 2:00 in the afternoon.

As we walked forward, new things slowly came into view, but everything behind us disappeared, and although we could progress further, we couldn’t seem to double back. Once we left something behind us, we couldn’t reach it again. Steve had forgotten his lighter a little while back when we stopped to eat, but when we tried to turn around and go back, we were greeted by a wall of snow and fog impossible to see through.

Our flashlight’s beams didn’t penetrate the fog; they stopped as they hit it as if it was a physical wall. Tendrils of vapor danced across the indistinct surface, and the grey void behind it seemed to extend into eternity.

Curious, Steve slowly reached out and moved his hand into the fog. First his fingertips disappeared, and then his whole hand vanished into the haze. We all stood in disbelief, looking at the wall which was impossibly tall and extended as far as we could see. There was no real gradient to it. Things didn’t fade into the distance, there was a clear line where the wall began, and nothing was visible beyond that point. We were making a note of all this when Steve muttered something.

“What was that?” I asked.

“I . . .” He stammered, “I can’t feel my hand.”

He said this slowly, as if realizing it as he said it. Puzzled, he retracted his hand slowly, and then screamed.

His glove was shredded, almost disintegrated, and his hand looked like it had been forced through a wood chipper. Deep gashes revealed white bone underneath, and what fingers were left were stripped clean. We all panicked.

“Oh God, Oh God! This is bad!” Max cried.

Steve simply stood clutching what was left of his hand and hyperventilating. We had to get him to a hospital or he would certainly bleed to death, but we were almost a day’s walk from Steve’s cabin which was already remote enough. We were all frantically checking our phones for a signal when the worst happened.

Steve fainted. His eyes closed, his legs buckled, and he fell forward . . . into the fog.

None of us noticed at first, but when we finally did, all we could see were his legs protruding from the mist. We immediately, without thinking, rushed to pull him out. We grabbed his legs and strained to drag him back into view. Before we even saw him however, we immediately regretted doing so. We somehow knew what we would find.

The thing we dragged out was not Steve. Not anymore.

All of his skin was cleaved off, his ribcage ripped open with his entrails spilling out, and his face instantly burned into my vision, becoming an afterimage that haunts me to this day. Not merely because it was horrendously mutilated, not merely because his eyes had been torn out leaving only empty sockets, but because it smiled at me. A big wide smile that started small, but the gashes in his face allowed it to literally stretch . . . from ear . . . to ear.

Max screamed and shoved Steve’s mangled body back into the fog. We ran as fast as we could, the only way we could, deeper into the woods. Just as before, the snow and fog parted before us, but swallowed up everything we left behind. As we ran and ran, the scenery around us began to slowly change, the trees surrounding us were now withered and dead; the grass was flattened and bleached white.

In fact, everything around us was lifeless and dull. Colors had all but disappeared leaving only shades of grey and an intensified feeling of loneliness and death.

“Guys,” I shouted while I ran, not daring to stop for even a minute, “We can’t turn around and go straight back, but maybe we can circle around back to Steve’s cabin. Then we can get the truck and get the hell out of here!”

John and Max nodded their heads and we turned 90 degrees right and continued running. Eventually, we ran through what appeared to be a herd of deer. All of which were laying on the ground. Grey and lifeless, hacked to pieces. Blood soaked the snow covered ground.
As we ran through the heard, dodging corpses, it was hard not to notice that their dead lifeless eyes seemed to follow us.

When we felt confident enough that we wouldn’t be doubling back on ourselves, we turned towards Steve’s Cabin – towards safety.

We ran for at least another hour, eventually however, none of us could run any longer. Our bodies simply wouldn’t allow it, and we were forced to stop. After some time, Max, John and I managed to get a fire going despite the snow and damp tinder. We had hoped that it would bring some sense of warmth and security, but we were wrong.

The flames were a bright orange hue, bleeding some color into the greyscale world. It clearly did not belong, nor did we.

The longer the flames crackled and popped, the more we began to hear something: distant and quite at first, but slowly growing closer, louder, and more numerous. A chorus of bloodcurdling wails and moans soon filled the stagnant air around us.

Focused on the fire and pretending to be safe, mesmerized by its beauty, we didn’t immediately notice a mangled deer carcass slowly dragging itself out of the fog and into view.
Nor did we notice the second . . . nor the third.

Finally, we snapped out of our trance just in time to scramble to our feet in terror as a myriad of different animal carcasses clambered out of the fog, drawn to the strange light of the fire. We were intruders in their world. I was paralyzed by fear, unable to breath. The corpses moved with a surreal and broken haphazard toss of limbs, as if poorly animated puppets.

I turned to my friends to find that they were no longer beside me. They had taken off running, leaving me behind. I turned around to run after them, but something grabbed me by my shoulder. I didn’t need to turn around to know what it was. I could tell by the hand gripping my shoulder. A hand that looked as though it had gone through a wood chipper.

I flailed and managed to free myself before it could get a good grip on me and took off running. I didn’t look back. No way did I want to see that face of what was once my friend.

I could no longer see John or Max, and I assumed that they must have been ahead of me, but I was the one with the keys to the truck and Steve had the keys to the cabin! They wouldn’t be any safer if I couldn’t meet up with them, so I ran and ran faster and for longer than any human could possibly do under normal circumstances.

Finally, after god knows how long, I could faintly make out a structure in the distance. It was the cabin. I felt a twinge of hope. The wails continued to ring out in the night air, but I seemed to have a lead on them at the time.

I reached the truck, unlocked it, and jumped inside. I scanned the area for Max or John, but could see neither. I couldn’t just leave them, but I couldn’t wait forever either! I sat sweating and shaking nervously as the wails grew closer and louder. I had just about made up my mind to leave when I could suddenly make out someone sprinting towards me. It looked like Max! I started up the truck and motioned for him to run faster.

But for some reason . . . I found myself subconsciously pressing the switch to my left, locking all of the doors.

My instinct told me that something was wrong. I looked down at my hands, they were shaking like crazy.

I looked back up and Max’s horribly mutilated face was pressed up against the driver’s window, staring at me, smiling. He was trying to open the door.

I slammed my foot on the gas and drove off, shaking like a madman and holding back the vomit.

As I drove home, the sky slowly brightened back up into a blue hue and I could eventually see the sun breaking through the clouds. It was 9:00 in the morning. I began to see other cars on the road and the people inside waved at me as I waved at them. Nice normal people. I went straight home and asked my girlfriend to marry me.

I’m sorry. That’s just not true.

I’m sitting in my house now, door locked and barricaded, windows boarded up, and I’m writing this story . . . and I felt happy for the first time in a long time writing that ending. I hardly even remember what a blue sky looks like, but I just wanted to picture it in my mind one last time. I just needed to imagine a happier world, because in reality, that’s not how it ended.

The truth is, as I drove, the sky did not brighten up, the sun did not reappear, and the fog still surrounded me as it now surrounds my house. I hear wailing all around and knocks at my door constantly, and when I look through the peephole, all I ever see is some THING smiling at me. The stench of death is everywhere. The phone doesn’t work, the TV and radio broadcast nothing but static. I hear the locks on my door being undone at night and I must constantly keep watch and re-lock them. I’m simply waiting for the night they get into my house when I forget the check the door, or when they break through a window, or when I wake up in the middle of the night to see them next to me. Their smiles . . . inches away from my face.

Credit To: Liam Vickers

This story is a Crappypasta Success Story – it got such a positive reception over at Crappypasta that it’s being moved here to the main site. You may read the original Crappypasta post and comments here. Congratulations to the author and thanks to the Crappypasta community for the save!

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The House Job

June 2, 2014 at 12:00 AM
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I’ll first tell you what I do for a living, as it will bring some understanding to my situation. I run my own business, if you could call it that. I’ve thought of it more as a personal service. I break into the home or building of a client’s choice, destroy or steal whatever they want, provide proof of the action, then I get payed (quite substantially, if I may add). My clients usually take the form of a middle class man angered at their boss, or a recently dumped individual who wants revenge on their ex. Essentially, I do the work that one has the anger and desire to do, but doesn’t have the actual nerve to do it themselves. It payed well, and it gave me some interesting places to explore, so I’ve been quite content with the job.

About a few weeks ago, I received a usual call for what I expected to be a usual job.

The caller requested me to break into an abandoned home not too far from my area. He requested me to retrieve a few recordings of sorts. VHS tapes, cassettes, DVDs, they didn’t matter. All he really cared about was any that looked “interesting”, as he described. Despite the fact that information is important in my work, he didn’t tell me anything that would be useful for the search. He wouldn’t even tell me anything about himself, which almost made me turn the job down, until he offered me an unusually large payment.

When the caller had mentioned “abandoned home” I had expected the location to be shed away from the local population, and generally safe to break into during the day. To my frustrated surprise, the place was in the middle of the damn street, right along a string of other apartments and surrounding buildings, most of which were populated. People on the sidewalk strolled past it, not acknowledging its derelict state, sometimes being taken back by its derelict state.

I came back after dark, and it was just how I wanted it to be. No pedestrians anywhere, and there were no lights on in the surrounding structures. It appeared to be an easy target.

The home stood two stories, with a small attic at the highest point. I didn’t look like the most enjoyable place to live, even before it had aged. The best word I can think of to describe it’s living quality would probably be “confined.” It appeared to have only a single window, which was on the attic level. The front door (what I believed to be the only entrance) had an unnecessary amount of locks on it, all of which were now rusted away. It opened with a mere tap from my foot.

I should probably state here that though I don’t have nyctophobia or anything of the sort, I enjoy completely dark, abandoned buildings as much as the next wandering man. By my first step into the house, I wanted the job done fast. What I’m saying is that I was not paying attention to specific details at the time, of both the home and what may have been there.

When I had turned on my flashlight, the first room appeared entirely vacant of anything, as if it had been completely cleared after the departure of its residents. This was both good and bad, in my situation. This meant that the room was free of obstacles, but also meant that I would need to search more of the home, which I was wasn’t excited fo. There were other homes around, but I would be fine if I at least kept the noise to a decent level. The place hardly had windows, after all.

I had gone up the stairs to find a similar area: an empty room, with nothing that I was looking for. This meant further worse news: I would have to check the attic. Though I said I wasn’t severely frightened by the dark, I would be lying if I said I didn’t have a discomfort with tight spaces.

The attic was accessed by a standard pull-down stairway on the ceiling of the second story room. It took a couple of jerks to budge, but it came down without much resistance. A large cloud of dust covered my view for a few seconds, which made me realize how old th place really was. Each step of the stairway creaked tremendously, to where it became more irritating than unnerving.

The last step brought me inside the attic, which showed the only window in the house. A bit of moonlight shined down into the small room, which helped ease my tension by a near insignificant amount. Scanning the room, I had finally caught eye of a few boxes in the corner.

Three aged cardboard boxes, all packed with a number of old VHS tapes. No DVDs, though the place was so old that I didn’t expect to find any. I was still in a rush to get out of there so I didn’t take much time looking through them. I didn’t even pick out a few, I just grabbed the heaviest box and dragged it to the ladder. I didn’t realize exactly how much was in the box until I had dropped it to the floor, in which it made a rather loud crash that seemed impossible for its size. Some of the tapes were probably broken in this process, but I didn’t stop to chec. I just wanted to be out of there.

When I reached the bottom of the ladder, I didn’t bother putting it back up. This is where I first saw something strange. When picking the box back up, I saw a small red light in the corner of the room, like a sort of…dot. It wasn’t moving, but I still stormed to the stairs. I grew paranoid, so I didn’t care to investigate what it was.

I arrived at the top of the stairs, and I observed something else: that the house had another level, which I assumed to be a basement. There was another stairway leading downwards, that could only be seen if one was actually looking down the stairs at the second level. At the bottom of this stairway was another faint, but noticeable red dot. I was carrying the heavy box of tapes, so I didn’t have a hand to shine my flashlight on it (or on the previous one).

Then I tripped. There’s no other way of saying it. I tripped and tumbled down the entire fucking stairway, all the way back down to the first floor. I should’ve broken a leg or my back in the process, but the box of tapes actually managed to break my fall in some sort of miraculous way. The VHS tapes scattered all across the bottom of the stairs, and I didn’t want to take the time to retrieve them all. I picked up the three tapes that were closest to me. My body hurt like hell, but I was more focused on the fact that I had just made noise similar to a damned police raid.

I made it back to my car, and then my home, without issue. I woke up the next morning with aches all over, but I hadn’t gotten caught, which was what I cared about.

I called my client numerous times, and just as I had almost predicted, he never answered. The number he gave me didn’t even have an answering machine, as if it had been disconnected.

I was quite sure that this client was going to be a no-show, which made me grow quite frustrated. Most of the time, I’m able to steal other items during a raid, so a client not giving payment was never a typical issue. However, there was hardly anything to even look at (let alone steal) in that abandoned home, so I was left empty handed after all the frightful work I had gone through.

All I was left with was the tapes, which I decided to look at, just in case the client actually called back asking what I obtained.

I was surprised to find that I even still had a VHS player in my closet. Because the tapes had no forms of labels on them, I just played the first one on the stack of three

The first tape I played was just static for a few minutes. I was about to stop it when it actually did cut to a picture. There was a date on the lower left corner of the screen, which was August 2nd, 2010 (displayed as 8/2/10). It was footage of a small room, which was vacant of any furniture, and looked to be in degrading condition. The video appeared to be in a form of night vision, so the room must have been dark. It was lifeless footage until a door, close to the camera, opened.

A young woman walked through, and the door shut behind her as she walked in. She started yelling “Michael! Michael it’s me! Where are you?!”. She turned around in circles, searching for someone.There was a frantic, worried look of expression on her face. I would assume that this “Michael” would be her son, or other close person she was looking for. She waved her arms around in the dark before taking her phone out as a source of light. She walked to the end of the room and took a left at what appeared to be a stairway. The footag went to static a few seconds later.

Now, I had an idea of where this footage may have been taken, but I refused to believe it at the moment of watching the tape. I didn’t want to watch another just for that reason. Though, for my own safety, I had to know if my paranoia was correct.

The next tape started similar to the last: Static for a few minutes, then it cut to the footage. It was footage of another empty room, which appeared to be in the same decaying state as the last. This footage also had a date and time, but it was March 14th, 2013, more than a years difference. Someone came in from the small hallway leading into the room. This time, it was an older man. He actually had a flashlight this time, and looked to the roof. He pulled down a staircase that lead to an attic.

This was where I flipped shit. Those red lights, those dots in the corners of the rooms, they were cameras, and they were rolling. The “abandoned” house was rigged with them, more than I probably even saw. I at first believed it must have been some sort of police set-up in which I immediately checked all of my windows to see if my home was surrounded. I thankfully found nothing.

I went back to the tape, and the recording showed the man climbing up the ladder into the attic. He too looked as if he was looking for something (or someone), but he never actually spoke. He also never shined his flashlight around the room, so I doubt he even noticed the camera. A few seconds after he was in the attic, the footage ended, but I did notice something: Just moments before the footage ended, the camera moved, as if was picked up just at the last few seconds.

I went immediately to the third and final tape, as I wanted to know what else may have been looking at me in that house. This tape was viewing the stairway. It appeared zoomed in, like it was down another level but still focusing on the first to second floor. At the top of the stairs was the same man from the previous tape (with the same date of 3/14/13). Since I had dropped the tapes down the stairs when I collected them, I must have been lucky to grab two continuing tapes.

The man in the footage appeared injured this time. He clutched his left arm, which reveled to have blood running from it when I looked closely enough. He stumbled with each step as he progressed down to the first floor. When he was just about at the bottom step, he fell, probably out of exhaustion.

At the top of the stairway stood…something. It looked to be a person, about six feet tal, but I’m not going to make any assumptions that it was human. It walked down to the man, and then began to drag him by his uninjured arm. The man put up little struggle, which led to him being kicked in the head by the being.

It moved the man down the second staircase, the one I believed led to a form of basement. The figure was close enough to the camera to where I could see it’s face, or a least what was covering it. It wore a mask, which looked to be an aged rag, with holes cut for each eye and numerous tears everywhere else. The skin exposed by the tears was a dark, bloodied gray, which lead to me being more content that its face was covered. The thing stared at the camera for a moment, with blurred, yellow eyes that made myself even more uncomfortabl. It then picked up the camera, and turned it around to reveal a door at the bottom of the staircase.

The being picked the man up, opened the door, and kicked the man inside of another room which appeared to be empty. The door was quickly shut once the man went in, and then the camera just viewed the door for the next few minutes. What was disturbing here, however, was the sounds.

Behind the door, there were many rapid scratching noises, as if the walls were being scraped. The injured man inside the room began to scream, and so did other voices. The other screams sounded inhuman, more animal-like than the screams of a person. The injured mans screams were quickly cut off after what sounded like the ripping of flesh and the snapping of ligaments. I thought at first that the man stopped screaming, but then I realized that all sound had then cut off from the footage.

The door to the room then opened, and inside the room were other creatures. They almost appeared human, but appeared very frail and gray, with no hairs on their heads or anywhere on their body. Their spines were painfully visible, and protruded from their bodies in an unnatural and excessive manner The ones near the end of the room began to climb up the walls and onto the ceiling. One of them began to turn around, but the footage ended and cut to static before its face could be revealed.

Naturally, I was terrified by this. I had just been inside that place, and I had been recorded in the same way.

I checked all my windows again, and locked them. I stayed indoors for a few days, keeping constant watch of if I was, well, being watched. I had burned the tapes, and when I was sure that I hadn’t left any sort of trail from my visit to that house, I had began to go out again. I occasionally took another job, but none that involved abandoned homes or structure.

Not much more than two weeks ago, I had received a package on my front door. I assumed this to be a payment from a recent client, as most would pay me by simply dropping off their part.

I opened it to find three VHS tapes, which appeared to be in new condition. They were each marked with a number, going from one to three.

I played the tape marked with “1” first. It was footage of the same abandoned house as before, and it was the camera in the first empty room. A few minutes past, and then somebody entered. It was a younger man, who wore dark clothing as if he wanted to keep hidden.

It took only second to realize that this man was me, and that the tapes were of when I entered the home.

I went straight to tape number two. The second tape was a recording of the staircase, with the camera planted near the door to the basement. It showed me stumbling out the hallway to the stairs, with the box of tapes in both hands. I took a few steps down, then I watched myself trip and fall.

Except I didn’t actually trip. I was pushed.

A figure at the top of the stairs, wearing the same rag on its head as in the previous tapes, had slightly shoved me. It wasn’t enough force to where I could’ve felt him behind me, but enough to where I had lost my balance with the box in my hands.

The footage showed me jump back up to my feet with three tapes in hand, and running off screen, which was when I ran out of the house. The masked being only ran to the bottom of the staircase, and watched me run. It then walked slowly down the second flight of stairs and looked into the camera for a few seconds, and then the footage ended.

I was in more fear than when I had watched the previous tapes, and my paranoia of being followed became more severe.

It took every fiber of courage in my body to keep watching, and I played the final third tape.

This tape wasn’t from inside the abandoned house. It was being held by someone, and it was taken from outside, at a different location. The camera holder walked on a road for a few minutes, until focusing the camera on a single hous.

The house was my house, and whoever/whatever was filming let out a loud, sickening laugh, then the tape ended.

I’ve grown paranoid, and with good reason. I’m not huddled in the center of a room all day, but I don’t go out in public much anymore. Anytime I do, I feel like I see a masked figure out of the corner of my eye. Perhaps it’s just a fabrication of my mind, but I even sense it right next to me in some places.

There will be a few days where I hear a knock on my door, only to find a single tape on the doorstep. Each is very similar to the last. It’s always footage of my own home, usually during the day, but other times at night.

And with each tape, the camera is closer.

Credit To – Emeryy (Richard S.)

This is a Crappypasta Success Story – a story that was rewritten/reviewed and moved to the main site. You can see the original Crappypasta posting here. Admittedly, this is moving based on only a minor rewrite and my own change of heart about the story, as the initial post barely got any views for some reason and thus didn’t even have a chance at meeting the upvote requirement. Sometimes I just have to call ADMIN FAIL on myself!

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Logical Explanations

May 6, 2014 at 12:00 AM
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I awoke that night to Echo, my dog, barking up a storm. He was perched on the edge of my bed, facing the door and yapping away like crazy. I scratched him behind the ear to get him to calm down and guided him to his usual spot on my bed.
In hindsight, him barking was the first warning.
My brain, overactive as it is, was curious as to why he was behaving so oddly. Echo rarely barked at anything, so it was unlikely he was barking at nothing. Perhaps there is a skunk in the yard, I thought to myself. Seeing as how I was half-asleep at the time, that explanation seemed perfectly logical. Had I been more aware, I would have realized that any skunks in the neighborhood would be weeks into their hibernation this time of year. Even if they weren’t, the vicious snowstorm outside would deter them from wandering about.
I attempted to fall asleep after that, and how I wish that I did. Unfortunately, due to my habit of sleeping with my mouth open, I was becoming increasingly aware of how thirsty I was. I tried to stay in the warmth of my bed for as long as possible, but it wasn’t long before my tongue felt like sandpaper. It was clear to me that I wouldn’t be able to sleep without a glass of water.
I told Echo to stay and slipped into my moccasins. The air outside my nest of blankets was freezing so I put on my housecoat as well. When I left my bedroom, I noticed that the basement television was showing static. Mother probably forgot to turn it off after watching her murder mysteries, I thought. The TV’s playing static because of the storm outside. It’s just messing with our cable. Another logical explanation, which would be far less logical if I were fully awake. My mother, no matter how tired she was, would never leave the television on. She’s far too meticulous to do something like that. In my sleepy brain, however, it made perfect sense. I couldn’t find the TV remote, as the room was dark and I didn’t want to accidentally blind myself by turning on the lights, so I left the TV on.
I should’ve turned back, crawled back into bed and waited for morning.
I climbed the stairs to the landing, which was bathed in an orange glow, cast by the streetlights reflecting off of the clouds above. From up here, I could hear the wind battering itself against the house’s walls. I was starting to wake up a little bit. I noticed that the deadbolt on the door was unlocked.
That was my final warning.
My parents felt that it wasn’t necessary, what with the storm and all. The seeds of doubt began to form in my mind. I knew that that wasn’t the case. Some new neighbors have been suspected of breaking into people’s houses and stealing their liquor. My parents, being collectors of fine wines, have made it a habit to lock the deadbolt every night for the past few months, even when the act was completely pointless. My conscious brain was starting to wake up, starting to notice these things. A feeling of uneasiness began to pool in my gut. Still, after locking the deadbolt, I continued to the kitchen.
From the kitchen, I had a clear view of the living room, and while I filled an empty glass with water from the sink, I not only noticed that the television up here was also showing static, but that there was a figure seated on the couch. Don’t worry, I thought nervously, that’s just Dad. He’s been sleepwalking again. This time, I was fully aware of the flaws in the this ‘logical explanation’; the fact that the figure on the couch was bald and plump, while my father is lean and his hair is only beginning to thin. The fact that my father has been taking medications to prevent his sleepwalking. The fact that I could hear him snoring from my parent’s bedroom. I tried to disregard these thoughts, to push them to the back of my mind like I had done before. This time, it didn’t work.
I gently set my glass on the kitchen counter. My hands were cold and clammy, shaking in terror. My heart rate was increasing and my breathing was rapid. Even in the confusion of the moment, I knew that this wasn’t just some regular burglar, I doubted that the thing on the couch was even human. I reached for the phone to call 911, only to find out that I couldn’t get any service due to the storm. Frustrated and confused, I started randomly pushing buttons on the keypad.
That’s when I heard the thing move. The sound wasn’t loud, but it was enough to make my blood run cold and send clammy sweat down my back. It was the sound of bones popping, not just a few either; it sounded like an entire room full of people cracking their necks, backs and knuckles all at once. I turned from the useless phone to look at the creature for the first time.
It was now standing, facing me and illuminated by the orange glow from the living room’s window. It stood at about six feet tall, was completely naked and was rather plump. Its skin was a sallow grayish color and looked almost slimy. The creatures arms dangled as if they were boneless and at the end of each was a gnarled mess of fingers. The worst part about the creature, however, was its face. The thing had no nose, only two slits where its nostrils would be. Its eyes were hollow, white orbs that seemed too large for the rest of its face. As for its mouth, well, it didn’t really have one. It looked as if its entire lower jaw had been knocked clean off the rest of its face, leaving a swollen, pink tongue hanging against its neck.
The creature started walking towards me, making that awful sound with each step. It looked like it was trying to speak to me, but without its jaw, the tongue could only wriggle around helplessly as sinister moans escaped its throat.
I did what anybody else would do in that situation. I ran like hell.
When I got to the landing, I closed the door between the landing and the first floor. I had three options: I could surrender myself to the creature, I could run downstairs, which would eventually lead to a dead end, or I could run outside and face one of the worst blizzards of the decade. None of my choices were desirable, but I knew that I’d be dead anyway if I kept standing there. I didn’t get much time to choose though, as the door between me and the creature swung open, revealing that thing in all its grotesque glory. It began to descend the stairs toward me. I made my decision, and as stupid as it was, I wouldn’t be alive if I hadn’t done it. I unlocked the deadbolt and ran outside.
For the first few seconds, I felt absolutely nothing save for the adrenaline and fear surging through me. Looking back at the house as I ran, I swear I could see the creature looking at me through the kitchen window. It looked almost… happy.
By the time my house faded into the blizzard, the cold was starting to set in. Wearing only pajamas, slippers and a housecoat, it wasn’t hard to see why. I continued running, in fear that the thing would chase me, but I was starting to go numb. By the time I reached the highway, I couldn’t feel my fingers. By the time I noticed the approaching headlights, I couldn’t feel my toes. By the time the vehicle had stopped in front of me, everything was starting to go black.
I awoke several hours later to the sound of a machine beeping. At first, I thought the whole thing was a nightmare, that I was back in my bed and that my alarm clock was telling me to wake up and go to school. I began to regain consciousness and realized that I was no longer wearing my pajamas, rather I was wearing a hospital gown. There was a nurse standing above me, checking my vitals.
Apparently, a tow truck driver had found me on his way to a job. He did what anyone else would do if they found a teenager running like hell in the middle of a snowstorm at midnight and rushed me to the nearby hospital. I was admitted to the ER with severe frostbite and a moderate case of hypothermia. My parents were contacted immediately and at first, it seemed like I was going to go back home again. That is, until the doctors asked why I was outside in my pajamas in the first place. I told them the story as I couldn’t think of any excuse that sounded less crazy.
As one might expect, I was shipped off to the psyche ward. That is where I’m typing this now. See, the doctors can come up with any number of logical explanations. They can tell me that I was hallucinating, that I was having a nightmare, that I was over-stressed. With a medical degree, one can explain any unnatural phenomena with enough pills and prescriptions. But just because an explanation is logical, doesn’t mean that it’s true. At first I believed what they were saying, at first it all made sense. But something that happened later in the day changed that.
I was reading a book in my bed, starting to come to terms with what happened, when the TV in my room flickered to life. It was showing static. Outside the window, I could a gray figure outside the hospital. Even though I was on the fourth floor, I could tell that it was looking directly at me.

This story is a Crappypasta Success Story – it got such a positive reception over at Crappypasta that it’s being moved here to the main site. Congratulations to the author and thanks to the Crappypasta community for the save!

Credit To – InsanityUnderHats

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