A Sailor Without Two Coins

October 9, 2014 at 12:00 AM
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Many a sailor, no matter how brave and fearless, knows well how unpredictable and deadly the sea can be. Before every setting of the sails, a prayer goes throughout the crew, praying to God for the safety of their voyage. A wise man knows that prayers are not always answered and many a man has traveled to the briny depths of the sea, never to be seen again. Some men say though, they have managed to cheat death in those moments with a ritual that may not be worth living for later.

The ritual is fairly simple, but not one that one wants to use unless they are in mortal peril and know it. Providing that they are not sinking fast enough in the water to choke their words, a man must repeat the words, “Devil take my soul across the Styx, God has abandoned me,” three times at the top of his lungs. If he truly puts himself and his soul into it, the Ferryman shall come, no matter how much the waves rage and toss. His ship shall not be turned, nor shall he capsize. The man shall feel his wrist grabbed and be pulled into the boat. From there, he will not feel the waves rocking him. He will feel no hunger, no thirst, only the breath in his lungs and the wind blow softly across his wet face.
It is important that the man does not look up into his eyes. This is because calling him out is a trick. You see, the Ferryman will not take a soul across the Styx without payment. He will hear him speak, asking for payment. When he asks, he must proclaim that he is without payment and needs to go get it from home. The Ferryman will then begin to row to the sailor’s home shore.

He cannot look at him at all the entire way. If it takes three days and three nights, it will not matter. This is because if the Ferryman looks into your eyes, he will know you are lying and return you to the waters to drown.

When you finally reach the shore, the sailor must thank him and tell him he will return shortly. The sailor can never return to the sea after this. The Ferryman will never come to the shore to collect, only be there by the water, awaiting his payment. If a sailor ever does set foot on a boat again, he and all the men on it shall perish in a violent and destructive manner.

Be warned though. One cannot outrun the Ferryman forever. I know a man who is in his last years and fears closing his eyes at night, lest he pass from this world and his soul meet the Ferryman once more. He feels the grip around his wrist tighter and tighter at night with each dream when he finally falls into sleep, and sees a monstrous face looking at him enraged.

No one truly cheats the Ferryman. He is simply far more patient than most realize.

Credit To – AMD

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Seaweed

October 4, 2014 at 12:00 PM
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My grandmother grew up in the slums of Prohibition-era Chicago. Her family lived in a small house near the harbor, and one of her earliest memories was of a particularly hot summer when, seeking respite from the heat, she and her sister discovered a seldom-used section of boardwalk near an abandoned warehouse. Every night for several weeks, the two girls would make their way down to the docks and sit together on the edge of the pier as the sun went down. My grandmother vividly, and for a time fondly, recalled the feel of the seaweed between her toes as she and her sister dangled their feet into the murky water.

It wasn’t until years later that she returned to the pier and found that the warehouse had been demolished. Curious, she made an inquiry with the Department of Planning and Development. Apparently, the warehouse had been owned for a time by the Mob, who was using it as a base of operations for a local prostitution racket. It had only been uncovered when an associate began ‘disposing’ of rival hookers by fitting them with concrete shoes and dumping them into the harbor. Investigating officers had recovered nearly two dozen bodies from the waters of a secluded pier nearby.

How had the bodies been discovered? A passing fisherman spotted some of the victims’ hair floating near the surface of the water, like seaweed.

Credit To – September Derleth

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Smile For Me

October 3, 2014 at 12:00 PM
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I have a beautiful smile. Oh, how I miss it. This morning, I wake up and I smile at my bedroom mirror. I am disappointed at what I see. I kiss my husband, I send my two children off to school. I entertain guest friends. I show them all my lovely smile. But I look in the mirror and I do not see it.

“Are you ready?” Harry calls from the parlor.

“Yes, my love.” I reply as I clasp a string of polished pearls around my neck.

“Oh fantastic, the children are with Mrs. Knox, and the dinner reservations are all set for eight o’clock sharp.” Harry beams as he enters our bedroom. He crosses over to me and puts his arms around my waist and tells me how darling I look tonight.

I embrace him warmly. But suddenly I feel his arms stiffen.

“V-Vivian?” Harry stutters.

“Yes, dear?” I answer sweetly.

In horror Harry raises a shaking finger over my shoulder and points at the old full length mirror against the wall.

“Your reflection… it can’t be… is it staring at us?!”

I turn and see her there, gazing intently. She throws herself against the mirror. There is no sound, only deafening silence. Harry, help me! she mouths as she batters the surface with her fists.

I feel my eyes narrow at her. Harry looks back and forth between myself and my abhorrently perverse reflection.

My limbs begin to elongate and dear Harry’s blue eyes widen. He shrieks and struggles as I grasp him. My jaw detaches. My face contorts and splits open at my mouth, my teeth like shined and piercing knives.

Vivian claws at the mirror. She beats against it as I devour her hapless husband.

Perhaps now she will learn to smile for me.

Credit To – Aye Perry

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The Window

October 2, 2014 at 12:00 PM
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I was in my bedroom, doing the typical at-home teenager thing: staying up late, digging around the depths of the internet, and generally not paying attention to anything other than what was on my monitor. It was the early morning, around 2 o’clock, and everyone in my house was asleep but me. The room was nice and warm despite it being the dead of winter, since we had the windows replaced last week. We had been losing heat, especially in my bedroom, through some old storm windows, but the bitter cold was now kept outside.

I don’t remember what I was doing; I think in the terror that consumed me I must have forgotten. I heard a noise at my window. Not the sound of a bug flying into it, or the shrubs brushing against it. No, this was an odd noise, a thumping sound, something I had never heard before. I didn’t think anything of it initially. Whether that was because I genuinely believed it was nothing or because I didn’t want to find out what it was, I can’t say, but I sat there for a moment and just listened to it. It was distinctly rhythmic. Thump, thump, thump. It only lasted fifteen seconds or so, and then stopped. I shuddered, but shrugged it off and, after spending another hour or two browsing and consciously not looking toward the window, turned my computer off and fell into an uneasy but uneventful sleep.

This morning, after the sun had been up for a few hours and the things that go bump in the night were doing whatever they do during the daylight hours, I walked to my window and spent a few minutes trying to replicate the sound I had heard. I tapped the window, bumped it with some soft objects, even locked and unlocked it, but I couldn’t for the life of me figure out what had made the sound. Nothing I did was even close. I figured that the event had been a fluke, and the day was normal until this evening.

My dad arrived home from work at the usual time and decided that the house was too stuffy, so he came into my room and went to open the window (we’re in Texas, so winter evenings are sometimes very comfortable, as was the case today). Never in my life before that moment have I genuinely wished to be deaf.

My dad forgot to unlock the window before trying to open it, and when he pulled up, it produced the same noise I heard last night.

My window only has handles on the inside.

Credit To – Josh H

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The Name of One

September 8, 2014 at 12:00 AM
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Names.

Words assigned to other human beings to identify them to their fellow human beings. We walk around every day, calling out to one another, using words of a specific language to address a chosen person. Even without knowing a person’s name, we still use them to direct our thoughts, like “the blonde woman” or “the man with a beard.” All of these words describe and name the people and world around us. These words direct us. But what if there were no names? What if we walked by someone we knew by looks, but could not call out to them to get their attention? What would life be like then? Would our thoughts hold a coherent structure? Would we even know each other?

Popular talk shows couldn’t exist in this reality, because they couldn’t name who they would talk to. Confusion would follow the presidential elections, as no one would know who they were voting for. School would be harder, since you would be meeting new people that you wouldn’t even recognize. Our brains could not survive without naming people. Our minds would fill with thoughts but no one to direct them to, no one to name. Words like “blonde” or “bearded” would carry no weight, for those are names given to those we do not know. Languages would no longer be functional. If there were no names, nothing to describe a person, would they even exist? Could they exist? Is that why names were invented, to hold the human reality in place? Is that the price to pay for being withheld to a word given to you, one you didn’t even choose? Is being trapped by a word worth your existence? People who change their names can create a whole new reality for themselves. Breaking away from a particular word can open up thousands of possibilities. Also, those people that give you names, do they own you? Are you withheld to their power, their will? We name animals, and by society’s standards, we own the animals we name. If the government named you, would that mean that they owned you? Is being safe inside the confines of reality mean you give up your freedom? That is the conclusion I came to.

Now, you may be wondering why I asked you all these difficult questions. You may have already left, the ravings of a mad woman sent to torture your subconscious is not worth the time it takes to listen. Exactly what your captors want you to think. Who do you think started the naming process? Wouldn’t be the people that owned you as well as the entire human race? Reality is what we believe our world exists in, what we don’t want to break away from, when; in fact, it is the very thing that holds you hostage, holds you back from true freedom. Now that you’ve realized this, I only have one last question for you.

What is your name?

Credit To – Weirdo Reading Manga

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Restraint

September 6, 2014 at 12:00 AM
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I know, little one. I know. You long to hunt, to kill. You hunger for hot blood and torn flesh. I know how long it’s been. But hush just a little longer, my child.

Yes, baby, I can see that he doesn’t know we’re here. But you still need to be quiet for a bit. It’s all about self-control, sweetling. You have to be able to control yourself. You’ve got to learn some restraint.

I know how delicious he smells, dear. I know.

Shhhh, flower, he hears you. Look. See how he turns from his screen? I know he’s not looking at us, baby. But he’s sensing you all the same. Humans can do that, if you don’t move with care. Mostly they’ll ignore the sensation, or dismiss it as paranoia, but you have to be still.

There, look. He’s settled again. So much easier this way.

No, little one, it wouldn’t be more fun to hunt him down. Remember the last time I let you do that? The girl almost got away. I was cleaning up for hours after that one. No, it’s much better to wait for the dark, wait for their guard to drop, and then …

Don’t fret, sweet pea. Your brothers and sisters were just like you, at the start. You’ll get better. More controlled. You just need more practice. That’s why Mother’s here, to help you learn.

See how his eyelids droop? Not long now.

There we go. He’s shut the box down.

Lights off. Always wait for lights off, baby. It’s much more fun in the dark.

Just listen to him breathe …

Oh, little one, I won’t make you wait anymore. Go on. Have your fun.

We’ll try again with the next one.

 

Credit To – Graille

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