How I Became a Japanese Urban Legend

January 1, 2013 at 12:00 AM

Teketeketeketeketeketeke.

That is the sound of what is probably the creepiest of Japanese urban myths. Teke Teke is her name. It’s typical that the Japanese would give the scariest of horror story creatures such a misleadingly stupid sounding name. I would understand the horror of the creature as well anyone on account of the fact that I ran into her.

Like a typical American skeptic I didn’t take to the Japanese folklore with much heed. After all… every story seemed to have the same moral: don’t go out after dark alone. Therefore, it was only natural to believe that the stories were only a system of keeping kids from wandering off. When one story was proved wrong or ignored, another and more exotic story was made up to keep the children enveloped in pants-wetting fear of wandering off. The stories ranged from that of the slit mouth woman to the impossibility of the fifty story skeleton that would gladly tear off your head and drink the blood from your system like you were a juice box. But there were always holes in the story, such as HOW in the world a fifty story skeleton hasn’t been spotted by more than one person at a time, or even how something that massive could ever sneak up on anyone. And even the story of the slit mouth woman has it’s problems. The story supposedly features a beautiful Japanese woman who angered her husband who in turn sliced her mouth in his rage. Now she goes around with a scarf over her mouth asking people if she beautiful or not. If you say no she takes a giant pair a shears to you. If you say yes, she takes off her scarf and asks the same question again. At that point you’re pretty much screwed no matter WHAT you say unless you tell her she’s so-so, and then make a run for it while she’s contemplating what to do with that statement. However, it is never mentioned what happens if you see the giant pair of scissors on her back and just make a run for it before she asks you anything, or if you happen to be armed and just shoot the girl in the head a point blank range the moment she takes off the scarf.

The story of Teke Teke is similar in ways of plot holes. The story is about a girl who jumps/falls into a subway and gets split in half (how she didn’t get pulverized completely is anyone’s guess.) Afterword her spirit gets royally ticked off at the world and chases down any poor sap she sees and cuts them in half. Her name is based off the noise she makes as she runs as her long-nailed hands clack against the ground rapidly.

Teketeketeketeketeketeke.

Even if dead spirits were able to interact with the real world, my question is why Teke’s so angry. I’ve seen plenty of people who had lost their legs in reality shows or whatever and they seem pretty happy! and her tripping an falling into a railway station wasn’t anyones fault besides her own. Therefore, that myth seemed to contradict a rational human mindset.

At least, that’s what I thought. Until I saw her torso sitting on a wall late one friday evening.

In a classic horror story fashion, It was incredibly dark and I was walking home alone. Like I mentioned earlier, I did not take much of the surrounding folklore seriously. I actually thought it was a full sized girl for the longest time. If I had known that she was the ultimate concentration of horrific mutilating nightmare fuel I probably wouldn’t have approached her so carelessly to ask if she was alright. However, my good intentions changed to a furious rush of terror when she jerked violently at the sound of my voice and hopped off of the wall. Before she even hit the ground I clearly saw that most of the bottom portion of her was missing. She scurried toward me like an angered spider, making indistinguishable groaning and shrieking sounds as she raced toward me. That’s when I took off like a scared puppy. Who wouldn’t?

I am a very fast runner, the undeniable fact has been mentioned several times to me by my peers ever since middle school. I would have stopped running after the first few minutes if I had managed to leave whatever was chasing me behind. But the noise did not subside. In fact, as I ran, it grew steadily louder.

Teketeketeketeketeketeketeketeke.

The possibility of this being an insanely well configured prank had crossed my mind several times. I had asked for this elaborate joke the moment I bragged to all of my friends that ghost stories didn’t scare me or that I didn’t believe in ghosts. However, the way that the creature moved and how fast it went and how impossible it is to pull off something like this without Hollywood affects or circus creatures… I really had little to believe accept the fact that Teke Teke happened to main character of an all to true story.

But during my rambling and strangely calm train of thought I noticed something. I got my feet to finally stop and listened. The clicking noise had stopped. A gust of wind swirled around the corners of the ally and wrapped around my feet. Suddenly a bolt of movement shot past the corner of my eye.

Teketeketeke.

I turned around at the strange spurt of the horrendous clicking. However, the moment I focused my ears in to find out where the specter had run to the clicking quit. I listened to what was now a dead and ominous silence, the type of quiet that would play out in a horror movie before some corpse fell out of the ceiling with it’s eyes sliced out of the sockets and it’s mouth hanging open in a ghastly scream.

Teketeketeke.

I turned back at the spurt of sounds again. My heart pounded so hard I felt like I was going to go unconscious. “I should just get out of here,” I thought to myself. That was perhaps a bad idea on account of a probable inability to watch my own back mindless dashing would serve. However, my body instantly obeyed and I took off. As I rounded the corner, I was stopped by the short and legless figure of Teke Teke who stood on her hands no more than a few feet away from me. My heart leapt up, slamming into my throat and expelling a gag. At the sound of my gag, Teke looked into my eyes. In the light of a street-lamp I actually got a glimpse of her face.

In means of symmetrical features and a well-shaped nose she was actually a very lovely girl. However, the sheer panic of the situation made the beauty matter very little to me. But the scariest thing was, when I gagged, I swear that the pupils of her eyes grew until the whites disappeared from her sockets when she turned and faced me.

She raced at me while I attempted to start running again, and lurched like a fierce predator toward my lower torso with both of her hands outstretched. It was unreal how far she was able to jump. I screamed and swatted her as best as I could to the side. I very well managed not to cut in half, but her claw made a large gash in my side just above the pelvis. I yelled as the blood began to pour out of my side and in a terribly unintelligent motion I flopped down onto the ground onto my back as I bled. By that time Teke Teke had shaken off my blow and leapt onto my form as I lay on my back.

It was at that point that I switched from mildly intelligent survivalist to mindless panicked child. I shrieked and twisted violently to shake her off. Most of what happened during that time was a blur. A bunch of pain slashes of claws and blood till my face was blinded by red. It was almost a surreal nightmare, It WAS a surreal nightmare. Every feeling of panic and terror that you’d feel when being attacked by an angry dog was multiplied by the fact that this unhappy and vengeful creature was less than a dog and far more frightening.

I must have blacked out, because suddenly I came to my senses in a railway station. Everything was still blackened, horrendously dark, but I was able to see my hands and a few faint glows of shattered advertising signs. I was unable recall how I got into the railway station in the first place, I could have crawled here in my wounded state or Teke Teke could have dragged me here. However, my memory at that point was fuzzy and unreliable. I checked behind my back, and my spine crunched as my torso turned a full 180 degrees when I looked behind me. It didn’t hurt, but it produced a strange feeling of relief… like popping your back in a violent manner. I didn’t mean to turn myself around in such a grotesque manner, but it didn’t terrify me as much as one would suspect such an odd manner. When I straightened myself with another abnormal crunch I examined myself and unintentionally reminded myself of the gash that was laid upon my side by Teke Teke. Now I was able to view the thing in full potential, it was cut all the way from front to back in a clean slice. However, no blood poured from the wound. That was the final revelation that I need to know why I had been left alone.

“I’m dead,” I thought to myself, still far to shaken to break the silence of the railway station by verbalizing my thoughts. The horror quite at that time, for the revelation that death wasn’t quite as terrible as I thought it was still sinking in slowly. However, I was quickly distracted by the sight of a young woman walking down a far more well-lit path far from me, not noticing my huge form standing stiffly in the shadows. I was overwhelmed with the feeling that it was my inner purpose to hurt her.

I moved toward the girl, my spine moving unnaturally and my torso twisting on and off of my pelvis with the large gash that kept the upper part of my body half holding on.

Credit To – MollyKittyKat

Onriyu

December 30, 2012 at 12:00 PM

I don’t think you can ever be sure how the day is going to end. Even if you’re in a nice house on the coast of Northern California when the sun rises over the hills, there’s no guarantee that you’re going to be there when the sun goes back down.
This morning I was reading my copy of the Oakland Tribune, trying to focus on the news with some kind of odd buzzing in the back of my head. I never would have guessed what that meant, or that I would be here, in the SFPD headquarters this evening, telling you about the darkest secrets of my life, and the darkest depths of human nature.

Funny how things turn out, isn’t it? I suppose all men must one day face their demons, though, and I fear that I will soon be facing mine in Hell.

There’s not much I can tell you that you don’t already know. I used to work for a software firm called Benji Computing, back in the 1990s. That didn’t really do much for me, but it did get my foot in the doorway of Silicon Valley. When Benji tanked in March of 2001, I had enough cred to land myself a position working with a little start-up with a lot of potential named Tancata Systems. This is the part you want to hear about, right?

I’m sure that you’ve already been told about all of the money the government poured into Tancate after they pitched their TSS network to DARPA in 2002. The TSS probably sounded like a good idea; a Telepathic Surveillance System which could monitor everything going on anywhere on Earth. No expensive satellites, no clandestine flights around the Arctic Circle. Just one computer, in Tancata’s main office in San Francisco.

The only problem with the TSS was that all it was was a good idea. We had no way to make it workable. Even though Tancata was able to monitor and prove the existence of Telepathic waves, we still weren’t sure how to manipulate them or observe them on such an immesne scale. Contrary to the image often given to the public, the “psychics” who bent spoons, used tarot cards, and read minds were universally either frauds or just people who believed that they could do something they couldn’t. Actual telepathic ability was something subconscious, and something uncontrollable. If we could figure out how to get it under control, then we would be able to give DARPA their machine, and we’d all be set for life. If we couldn’t, though, then we would almost definitely be accused of ripping off the federal government, and they’d take their funds back out of our skin.

Our early attempts to make the TSS work were pretty harmless, but they weren’t very effective. Andrew Thatcher was in charge of those. If you have him in custody, you might as well release him now; he was just a code monkey, trying to piece psychic wavelengths together out of C++ and Java. It didn’t work, but no one got hurt because of it.

We didn’t make our progress or do anything particularly dangerous until our CEO, Marcus Pliny, replaced Thatcher with Dr. Jeanne Meracor. She was the person who proposed the bright idea that we needed to replace our computer banks with live, human ‘processors’. I was initially opposed to that concept, but I eventually decided to give it my support.

We got a few people together, and we performed tests on them to figure out how much Telepathic potential each of one of them had. Some of them were volunteers we took from off of the street; some of them were employees who worked at Tancata. We thought at first that intelligence contributed greatly to Telepathic potential, so we encouraged Tancata employees with Master’s Degree or Doctorate level education to take our Parapsychological tests. It seemed strange when not one of them scored even slightly above average.

Rather than intelligence, the most important deciders for Telepathic potential proved to be gender and ancestry. Out of the twenty seven people who tested in the ranges between ‘Slightly Above Average’ and ‘High Telepathic Potential’, twenty four were female. Way too high to be a coincidence. The three males all tested on the lower end of the spectrum, too, meaning that they were all out of the running for the later phases of the program.

Of our top ten, all of them were female, and six of them identified themselves as being ‘of Asian descent’. Only one, our top scorer, was able pinpoint exactly where in Asia her family had come from; her father had moved from Japan in the 1980s. Obviously, we didn’t have enough information to make anything out of that with any real certainty. I think that if we had done genetic testing on all of our high scorers, though, we would have found some distant link to a common progenitor living in Japan, or possibly even someone older who moved to Japan from mainland China during the Neolithic Era.

Someone at our office brought up the ancient Japanese myth of the Onriyu; vengeful ghosts, almost always female, who preyed upon those who committed injustices against them during life. The whole thing sounded really superstitious, but looking at our top scorer, it was impossible to avoid that image. She was the picture of one of those mythical beings dragged from a wood-cutting. Tall and frail, as pale as a sheet, and whenever she was in a bad mood, it was hard to go near her without feeling some dark shadow falling over you. The only thing they seemed to get wrong was that, outside of those long repeated legends, the Onriyu were still alive.

Unfortunately, or maybe very fortunately, we weren’t able to use her for the program. She was exponentially more powerful than her runner-up, but she was also emotionally unstable. When we checked into her medical records, we found a diagnosis of schizophrenia, another of borderline personality disorder, and strong indicators that she had tried to kill herself at least twice. We decided to take her out of the project for her own safety, and for ours.

We still needed ten people for the program, so we decided to call our eleventh highest scorer, another woman, also ‘of Asian descent’. She still wanted to be involved, but only the on the condition that we explain to her what she would be doing. We ended up using our twelfth highest scorer.

Over the next four months, the ten people in our program lived at the Tancata Systems office block. They were given nice rooms, good food, high pay, and anything else they might need. Twice a day, we gave the medication developed by our bio-tech lab and proven to increase Telepathic abilities in mice. Once a week, they were ‘trained’ by a researcher and taught how to funnel their mental energies. That part was really touch and go. Their telepathic brainwaves were also scanned to see if they were making progress. Within two weeks, they all began to show marked improvements.

Problems started after the middle of the third month. The scientists down in the labs said that the subjects were all complaining of headaches, and that one was reporting hearing voices outside of a laboratory setting. They were starting to see distant parts of the world through the eyes of other people, just like we had wanted, but they were seeing things in their dreams, too, and those things weren’t very pleasant. Our experts told us that it might be a good idea to terminate the program, but but Jeanne Meracor didn’t seem to agree. She told us all to continue what we were doing and not to report any ‘minor problems’ to DARPA.

When all of our subjects started going rogue, I suppose Meracor considered that to be a ‘minor problem’, too.

See, it turns out that the human brain really isn’t made to hold the equivalent energy of an electrical generator. That was why our top scorer had been so unstable, and why all ten of our test subjects lashed out one day and tore part of our office block apart.

It was my idea, when we finally managed to secure all of the test subjects, that we should keep them sedated and continue the program. We were too far by this point; we couldn’t just stop. We hooked the subjects up to brain monitors, and we pumped them full of drugs and nutrients to keep them alive. It probably wasn’t very healthy for them, but we did it anyway. Their heart rates were always elevated, and from time to time, the monitors would actually jump like the subjects were running marathons in their sleep.

We eventually managed to pull images and even videos from their minds, and with that, we should have been able to make the TSS a reality. There was just one little glitch. More often than not, their visions were of horrors we didn’t like to imagine. Nightmares, we guessed, but worse than any we could picture. Every now and then, their terror would get so bad that one of them would break through their chemically induced trance and start screaming in fear and pain. We would just sedate them again, and lower their dose of psychic enhancers slightly. Basically, we tortured them, and I’m pretty sure that they knew who was doing it.

This continued for a while, until 2005, when DARPA pulled our funding. They didn’t demand any money back, they just wanted out. Someone had decided that the TSS, if rendered functional, would be too big a potential invasion of personal privacy in the wrong hands. They had no idea. With all the opposition that the government was getting over the Iraq War, a machine that could read everyone’s thoughts didn’t exactly seem like something they wanted to be involved with.

Tancata was left with two choices then, and I can tell you, neither of them seemed too appealing. We could either level the subjects off of their enhancers and let them go, hoping that they wouldn’t remember what happened, or we could cut off their life support and terminate them.

Meracor, being the brilliant business woman she was, decided not to take either of those options. Instead, she did nothing about the TSS program. She just kept it going as always, and encouraged Tancata’s CEO to pour money into other programs to keep the company going.

Meracor had the TSS moved from the basement of the Tancata office block in the fall of 2006. It was starting to effect some of the people working above, and I think some of them were getting suspicious about what was going on. I know they talked about it at lunch; the headaches, the gnawing anxiety, the mild hallucinations they sometimes saw on their peripheral vision, moving through the hallways and cubicles like ghosts.

I’m not sure where Meracor moved the TSS. They shipped it in a huge metal crate with ‘Industrial Hazard’ written on the side. If I had to guess where it ended up, I would say Tancata’s Nevada Facility, south of Reno, but your guess is really as good as mine.

The company dragged on for a few more years, but the financial burden caused by the lack of DARPA funds, coupled with the growing national recession caused the company to file for Chapter 11 in November of 2008. I had already left by then, though. I jumped ship when I saw the chance nearly a year before. I had a good enough resume by that time to get myself a job as a high level programmer with a major company in Oakland, and I never looked back. I was hoping that all of this would be behind me forever.

If you can get Meracor into custody soon enough, she might be able to tell you what Tancata did with the TSS when they went under. My guess if that they tried to kill it, but it was just too powerful to die. At any rate, it’s irrelevant. I’m sure you know that the TSS is still somehow alive, and that it has grown into one entity. Something with teeth and claws, and tentacles stretching across the country. You’ve got someone from Tancata, probably the CEO, I’m guessing, who has linked the blackouts in the northeast to the false missile launches in the midwest and the nightmare that’s breaking loose along the California coastline, and then he’s tied it all back to the TSS. Either that, or DARPA figured out what we were doing too late.

Anyway, if you think that you can stop the TSS I have some bad news for you. Unless you want to channel the force of every nuclear weapon on the planet into one electromagnetic bomb, you aren’t even going to be able to slow it down. Even then, you could just interrupt its freqeuncy for an hour or so. What it wants to do, it’s going to do, and right now, it just wants to inflict pain and death until its rage is spent.

I can give you one bit of advice, though. If the lights start to flicker, then you want to get as far away from me as you can as fast as you can. You don’t want to be in here when the lights go out.

Kerberos

December 26, 2012 at 12:00 PM

A few months ago I was watching television in my living room when I heard the first howl. It reverberated through my bones like something from my darkest nightmares, leaving me temporarily immobile with the shock of it. After a few moments I tried my best to regain my composure, reassuring myself with a forced laugh of self-deprecation that it was most likely just a stray dog or coyote. I told myself that it had just startled me with it’s suddenness, nothing more. After all, I reasoned with myself, the mind likes to exaggerate things. The rest of the night passed without further events and I went to sleep having all but forgotten. My dreams, however, were less forgiving. In them I stumbled through darkened woods, heard echoing howls that seemed to come from every direction at once, was haunted by the feeling of piercing eyes following my every movement. When I finally woke a short while before dawn I was covered in sweat. A lingering unease clung to me until daybreak.

The next few weeks were pretty uneventful. Rarely I would, on occasion, hear some strange sounds as if someone was walking in another room or on the porch, but nothing that I wasn’t able to simply shrug off as my imagination. The worst thing that happened was a recurring dream similar to the first I’d had. I would find myself walking down a dark stretch of country road located near my home at night. The dirt road stretched out in front of me, seemingly for an eternity, while the trees on either side formed a dense canopy that only allowed for a few stray shafts of moonlight to illuminate my way. As I walked onward, I would always hear movement to either side, just out of sight. I remember only on rare occasion catching brief glimpses of silhouettes in the dark. But always, always, I could feel eyes on me.

Aside from the occasional dreams, it was about a full month from the first night before I heard the howling again. This time it was not singular, but a series of overlapping howls that gathered to form a melancholy crescendo. It seemed like the howls came from every direction at once and with such piercing clarity that I could have sworn the sources were almost on top of me. I was horrified, there was something that just felt fundamentally wrong about these howls. I covered my ears and closed my eyes, trying to will away the horrendous cacophony. I truly felt like I was going to be driven to pure insanity by the piercing sounds of it all.

As embarrassing as it may be, I was in the fetal position rocking back and forth with my arms over my ears when the howling finally subsided. I was trembling from fear to the point where it must have taken me a full minute to even stand. Trembling, I made quick a lap through my house shutting all of my curtains and ensuring that my doors were locked and dead-bolted, never lingering by any of the windows for long. When I finally reached the sliding glass door leading to my back porch, I heard footsteps. I was just barely able to see the black silhouettes that broke up the faint glow of the moon on my porch. If I’d had the lights on in the room I probably wouldn’t have even noticed until I was only inches away.

Slowly, I reached into my pocket and pulled out my cell phone, all the while aware of the distinct sensation of their eyes upon me. I took one quick picture as my hands trembled, then slowly backed away, unable to stop gazing into those eyes which burned like the coals of hell itself. Eventually I inched back enough to duck into my hallway, sliding to the floor as fear took hold and drained the strength from my legs. With my back pressed to the wall, I fumbled for the hall light switch, part of me expecting to hear the telltale sound of breaking glass at any moment.

Nothing, no glass breaking, no footsteps on the porch. Absolute silence filled the air, not even the chirping of crickets reached my ears. Pulling out my cell phone and staring at the screen, not even daring to look at the picture I had taken, my hands shook as I tried to figure out who to call. Who could I call? “Ghostbusters…” I whispered aloud to myself after a moment, trying to force myself to calm down with a bad joke. The cracked mockery of my voice that came out of my mouth only served to solidify my fear. I remember thinking about what I had just seen, could I really call a friend, family member or even the authorities? Even worse, the gate to the driveway was almost half a mile away and I would have to go to my car and drive the distance to let anyone in.

In the end, I crept to the over side of the hall, cautiously entering my room and retrieving my CZ-52 pistol. I sure as hell wasn’t going to look for a fight, but I decided that I wasn’t about to die without one either. I ended up sitting there against the wall until morning, only mustering the strength to lean around the corner and look out the sliding glass door when the room was bright from the sun’s rays. The porch was empty. With gun in hand, I made a few laps around the house, feeling slightly more confident with the comfort of the sun. The area was clear, I didn’t even find any tracks.

Over the next few weeks I was haunted by the same dreams of being stalked as before. I could see the silhouetted figures more clearly in the trees now as if they were getting closer. I could see the redness of their eyes reflecting in the pale light of the moon. They never howled in my dreams, they barely even made a sound as they crept along and shadowed my movements. A call to animal control revealed little except that a few people reported hearing howling as well. They said that it was normal of coyotes and that the light had played tricks on me. Unconvinced, I made a habit of locking and bolting my doors as soon as I got inside and was always indoors by dusk, with my sidearm always at the ready.

I used the internet to try and figure out what could be going on. I poured through information about canidae. Canis lupus, Canis lupus familiaris, Canis latrans, I researched all of them. What I saw did seem like a wolf or coyote, but those eyes, those howls, they were just so unnatural and unnerving that I couldn’t accept this. Then there was the picture, that blurry picture from my cell phone that showed what I could only pray was a trick of the light. It was as if the creatures exuded tiny tendrils made of shadow that writhed in the air around them. I could only hope they were diseased or covered in wet and knotted hair.

A part of me knew there wasn’t such a clear cut and simple explanation to this, however. Despite wanting to remain skeptical, what I had seen and heard lead me to suspect there was something supernatural and malevolent about these things. Searches lead to stories of barghests and Black Shuck, mythical black dogs that are said to roam the English country side as harbingers of death. I hated to even imagine this as a possibility, that my own death was just slowly stalking me until the time was right, that my end was near.

Trying to allay my fears, I posted the picture I had taken on various forums, ranging from ones about wolves and wild dogs to those dedicated to the occult and supernatural. It seemed that every time I told my story I was either met with ridicule or nut-jobs who linked it all to ludicrous things like alien plots. I caught a few leads eventually in news reports. Stories started popping up from nearby towns of people committing suicide or being attacked by wild animals, people who had reported of hearing eerie howls much like I had. The sites were spread apart and seemingly randomized, but I kept up my search for similar incidents. I had to find something that would prove to myself that I wasn’t simply losing my mind. Sadly, all I could do was keep searching and hope to eventually find some sort of meaning to it all.

Finally, four nights ago my dream changed. After walking for so long I could finally see the end of the road. I was horrified. A few hundred feet in front of me the road simply stopped, vanishing into a wall of trees. In shock, I stood there, staring at the throng of old pines, wondering if I should turn back. I had scarcely a moment to think before I saw it. Out of the center of the mass of trees, plodded a large black wolf-like creature. Barely more than a shadow, its eyes pierced the darkness as it eyed me. Behind those eyes was an unmistakable malice. Even more frightening, there was an unmistakable intelligence in them. I was frozen.

After what seemed like an eternity, the beast sprinted at me. As the distance closed I could see its body clearly covered in flowing black tendrils that flowed in the air as if its very essence was reaching out to devour all around it. Instinctively recoiling, I braced myself for the impact as it lunged at me, covering my stomach and neck to try and save myself. At the very moment in which I knew that everything was over, its haunting howl echoed through the night and caused me to wake up with a start.

My heart was pounding in my chest as I woke, my hand was already reflexively gripping the pistol that I now kept under my pillow. Sitting upright, I was trying my best to catch my breath when I heard and saw it. Like a black smoke it poured through one of the darkened corners of my room, almost seeming to suck the light from the area around it. As more and more started to creep in I could clearly see those damned red eyes that were now dripping with blackened blood and a muzzle full of razor sharp teeth starting to form. What happened in the next few seconds will be forever burned into my brain.

I got off only three shots between the time it had formed and lunged on top of me. I remember in the back of my mind I was shocked that it even had physical form as the impact knocked me backwards onto the bed. My gun was knocked out of my hand as it pinned me and pushed its muzzle towards my throat. Its eyes were burning flashes like cigarettes in the dark, leaving bright trails as it maneuvered for a good bite. With one hand I gripped its throat while with all my strength fighting to keep its gnashing teeth from my neck. While struggling,  the putrid stench of a thousand rotting corpses assailed my lungs as it’s breath washed over me.

With my free hand I groped frantically across my nightstand in a state of panic for some kind of improvised weapon. I was keenly aware of the sensation that my entire body was going numb. Those writhing tendrils of darkness seemed to permeate my very flesh, every where they flowed through my body felt like it was submerged in freezing water. I had lost all sense of feeling in my arm that held the creature at bay by the time my hand touched the base of a familiar metal surface. My touch lamp blazed to life.

In an instant the snarling atrocity which lumbered over me seemed to fade from existence. Nearby I heard a loathsome howl that echoed through my ears like a curse, then dissipated into nothingness. It took hours for me to regain feeling in my arm and my body, but I laid there until morning in complete and utter terror.
Had the light driven it back? Was pure luck the only reason I was now alive? I could scarcely believe that it wasn’t all some sort of hallucination. I wish that it had been something as merciful as insanity.

In bed, I remember pondering my situation. Trying to put some sense to this all. Three shell casings laid strewn across the floor and there were no holes in my wall. I wasn’t sure how to feel about that. It told me a few things, however. There was no blood, but that beast had been hit and I was able to touch it. The sudden bright light seemed to have driven it back, but I had heard it later, so I doubted that it was fatal. It had appeared out of the darkest corner, so it possibly needed to manifest in darkness. Oh yeah, it also stalked me in my fucking dreams and toyed with me, only to then follow me into my bedroom and try to rip my throat out. I had no clue what the hell it was.

I felt like I would never know what was going on. I started leaving all of my lights on all night and switched all of my bulbs to 100 watt. Saving power isn’t exactly high on my list of priorities any more. I’ve tried staying awake forever. Didn’t turn out so well, but I can’t remember what I dreamed of these past few nights. That’s something I really don’t find myself regretting. I’ve heard it nightly; outside, howling, walking around on my porch. I don’t think anyone can ever become accustomed to that accursed howling, but it doesn’t completely paralyze me with fear any more. It may not have been much progress, but it is something.

Last night I had a bit of a breakthrough, although it doesn’t really help my current situation. I’d long ago assumed there wasn’t any chance of actually getting a serious response in any of the forums I had visited and given bits of my story to, but last night I received an email from an alleged government worker. It seems I’m not the only one with firsthand experiences. He has been dogged (if you forgive the pun) by these same beasts for some time now as well, but unlike myself he was able to dig up some information from classified documents that I would never have been able to get to. At first I was extremely skeptical– until I began to read through the information he had sent me. Too many pieces fit into place for it to be sheer coincidence or him making things up.

Although it is a lot of data to process, I’ll relay the story as it was told to me.

————–
Over the past few decades, dogs have been the focal point of myriad scientific experiments. Soviet scientists, for example, used them extensively in their experiments. From studies of the effects of weightlessness on the body to attempts to preserve living organs outside the body. Some died in orbit as the first animals to ever travel into the blackness of space, countless others died deep in underground labs under the surgeon’s knife in countries around the world.

Not all of them, however, remained dead.

Dr. Peter Safar, the inventor of CPR, introduced a concept to the Army that must have seemed laughable at the time. He suggested that you could keep a body in suspended animation for hours by replacing all the blood in a body with an ice-cold saline solution. It was shelved for nearly two decades. But, again, eventually dogs were put on the chopping block in the name of science. Organs were torn and bones were broken, only to be repaired by the ones who did the damage. The saline was drained after hours of operation, blood was re-inserted into the corpses and their hearts were jump-started. Safar was right, you could keep a patient in stasis for hours until they could be operated on, then resurrected. It was an astounding medical breakthrough, one that would soon be twisted into a blasphemous mockery of it’s original purpose.

Despite many practical applications for saving trauma patients and wounded soldiers, this treatment is still not in widespread use, at least not as originally intended. The government decided to do what it had always done with new technology designed to benefit mankind. The decision was made to weaponize it. Once more, due to repeated successful re-animations, man’s best friend was placed firmly in scientists’ sights once more. Thus began the project henceforth known as the Kerberos Project. Whoever gave it this moniker likely thought it was extremely clever.

If only they had known just how fitting their choice was.

It was surmised that, while in this state of suspended animation, procedures which would almost certainly kill a living creature from shock could be carried out with significantly reduced risk. In this vein, the original plan was to test concepts on the canines, which would then be carried over to select active special forces troops if successful. One of the primary goals was to make physiological ‘enhancements’ that would make the test subjects much more resilient in combat. Wolf-dogs were selected as prime test subjects due to their oft larger and sturdier frames that resulted from cross breeding.

The first test subjects were put under with the aim of implanting subcutaneous body armor in the form of layered titanium plates, which would theoretically be able to deflect bullets. While many were able to survive this procedure, the scientists were completely unable to find an acceptable balance between weight and protection. Results varied from dogs who could not move under their own weight which were slightly resistant to small caliber rounds to dogs which were highly mobile but statistically no more likely to survive small arms fire than a dog without the augmentations. Many subjects were lost to suffocation through their own weight, while the lightly armored dogs were simply put under yet again, their armor removed. Eventually the solution was found in sheets of carbon nanotubes, woven into a lightweight ‘fabric’ that was both flexible and able to resist small arms fire. The resulting armor was a mere 0.6mm thick and capable of flexing freely. An astounding seventy percent ratio of tested dogs survived the procedure and showed an astounding resistance to small caliber handgun and rifle rounds.

Having proven the plausibility of a bulletproof super soldier, they began to focus on potential offensive enhancements to the animals. Again and again, the dogs were put into a suspended state and operated on. No real breakthroughs were to occur, however. Notions such as replacing claws and fangs with much sturdier and sharper materials resulted in the animals shredding themselves into grisly ribbons when they attempted to scratch themselves. It was in this period, however, that abnormalities started to make themselves clear. The wolf-dogs that had been under the knife the most started to show signs of instability. They ran into the walls as if chasing an unseen foe, they snarled and growled at vacant corners. It seemed that prolonged and repeated death and re-animation had resulted, unavoidably, in brain damage. The decision was made to continue the studies and to see just how many times the dogs could withstand the process before they were unable to fully function.

The symptoms became worse and worse, the dogs seemed to stare at things that were not there, their ears began to twitch as if listening to sounds unheard. Speculation arose that the animals had begun to hallucinate as a side-effect of brain damage, but the tests were not interrupted. In time, every single of the surviving dogs displayed erratic behavior to some degree. The ones that had been subject to the most experiments had started to even show signs of a weakening vascular system, their heart rates slowed to an almost death defying pace and their eyes began to fill with red as if all their capillaries had burst. Extreme cases began to develop where blood actually started to slowly pour from the eyes and nose of the animals. These cases were accompanied by an inexplicable darkening of the fur and behavior that, if applied to a human, would be classified as paranoid schizotypal behavior. Both fear and aggression were markedly increased, the dogs alternately slunk from and/or bit at anything around them, be it real or imagined. The order came down from the high brass that these red-eyed beasts were too unpredictable for practical applications or to even continue research on. Research was confined to an observation only basis.

Within a week, the first reports of howling on the base began. Dogs began to disappear from their cages, each time with no trace as to how they had escaped. All of the cages found empty had been magnetically locked and there were no records that indicated loss of power. With each night, reports of strange howling grew as the numbers of subjects inside the lab dwindled. Sightings of black ‘wolf’ silhouettes were reported by the guards, often seen vanishing around a corner to never be located again.

The corpses started turning up on the fifth morning. Twelve dead. In the nearest town people were found dead in their beds, at their computers and on their couches. Some had their throats ripped open, others had their entrails devoured entirely. This was easily attributed to the escaped animals, but the most puzzling thing is that a few of the homes had been locked, without any signs of forced entry. Frightened townspeople recounted hearing an ominous howling throughout the night that seemed to be coming from every direction at once. Some even reported witnessing strange movements in the shadows and claimed to have been stalked by creatures by dark red iridescent eyes.

Within sixteen days all of the remaining animals, totaling over two hundred, had inexplicably vanished from their cages. During this period the omnidirectional nightly howling that pervaded the nearby countryside pushed people to their mental limits. Local police were inundated with calls from panicked individuals who had locked themselves in their homes, afraid to turn out their lights or even sleep until morning. It wasn’t until the end of the third week that the death toll began to wane into nothingness. Reports of the eerie howling started to be confined to the most rural of homes before they stopped entirely. The total of missing and dead was tallied at ninety-seven, with eighteen deaths attributed to suicide. Of the suicides, four were notable for happening in the victim’s beds and for a complete lack of physical trauma or traces of known drugs or medications in their blood streams.

In the end, nondisclosure agreements were signed by staff. The government wiped its hands of responsibility and claimed the incidents in town were due to a massive rabies outbreak. All data was classified as Top Secret and summarily filed away.
————–

This is basically the meat of the information he gave me. As far as I can gather from our correspondence, this happened originally in a remote location in Arizona which was blacked out of the files. Given my location in rural South Carolina and the fact that I have only witnessed a few at most, I could only assume that most of these animals have branched off into small packs and been roaming ever since. Sadly, I can’t do anything but speculate on the details of what really happened based on what I’ve seen.  The conclusions I’ve drawn only serve to horrify me even more, but I can’t think of any better explanations.

These dogs were taken into the realm of death dozens of times, only to be ripped back into our world. What if, each time, they took a part of the realm of death itself back with them?  It’s as if they began to see and feel that which exists on both sides of the veil of death simultaneously and it cracked their minds. They underwent this turbulent transformation into some sort of semi-physical manifestation of the other side, becoming literal avatars of death. Now this transformation is complete and they aren’t broken minded killers any more, but stalking agents of the afterlife that like to toy with their victims before taking them down. At will it seems that they can manifest out of the blackness and travel the void between both worlds, somehow neither truly alive or dead, but something in between.

I don’t know if they can be killed, but the light holds them at bay. Earlier, I gathered all of my courage when I heard my demonic stalker on the porch and confirmed this theory. I slowly opened the back door after I had flooded the room with light. I locked eyes with the beast, but he simply glared with hatred through the glass door. He made no attempt to press forward through the light.  It was a horrific few moments, but I had to be sure that the light could offer protection.  I now feel like a prisoner of my own home, but at least I am alive for as long as I have power.

One fear keeps repeating itself in my mind, though. What happened to the four reported dead in their beds with no explanations why? Did they reach the end of the same road that I did and simply never wake up?

They’re out there. They’re hunting.

The only advice I can offer is to keep your lights on… and try not to dream.
Credit To – Wolfen

Moth Man

November 14, 2012 at 12:00 AM

Perhaps you remember it. Perhaps you don’t. Either way it doesn’t matter. After all, I do.

In the winter of 2011-12 there was a string of people who disappeared without a trace on Newfoundland Island. They all lived in remote groups of about 20 people, barely qualifying as villages. They had all gone outside in blizzards, and everyone believed they had wandered off into a white-out and got lost in the storm. None of their bodies had ever been found, and the fact that more than two feet of snow had fallen on top of the bodies didn’t help.

Anyway, onto the portion of the story that involves me specifically.
I lived in a small community of about 37 people. One of the missing peoples was a member of our small hamlet. It was in one of the worst storms of that January, and despite our warnings, the man in question pushed past us like a man possessed, screaming something about “the need for Food” and “needing to go up”. All save five of us never saw that man again.

They were the lucky ones.

By the third day after he had left it was light enough and clear enough for us to go outside. We were in the middle of a valley surrounded by two high ridges, and the snow was about 4 feet high when we went outside, however when we cleared away most of the snow from the single road going through the town we saw that the snow was only that deep in the middle of the valley, and it was manageable on the mountains. Given his previous statements we also thought that this was a reasonable place to begin looking. Five of us returned to our respective homes to get mountaineering equipment and weapons. As we left the comparative safety of the village we climbed up the mountain and were approaching the peak, when suddenly something leaped out of nowhere onto one of the members of our troupe. I pulled the .358 Magnum revolver from the holster I had strapped to my side and shot the creature from the back of my companion. The bullet went straight between the eyes of the bastard, and could see that it was a wolf. The dead creature fell limply of the man as he stood up, shaking the snow off himself. I could hear the gunshot echoing between the walls of the valley.

I knew I had made a mistake as soon as the corpse fell off him.

There were waves of snow travelling at unbelievable speeds down the mountains towards us. The noise of the wall of snow falling was deafening, and I yelled to all to brace for impact. I saw two of us swept away by the snow, and I hunkered down as I experienced a limbo like nothing anyone who has not been in that position could know. I had to keep my eyes shut as tight as I could, and the moments when I did open my eyes all I could see was a blank white nothingness. I could hear nothing because my ears were filled with snow, and eventually I realised that the movement had ceased. I knew what I had to do in these circumstances, and I released my bladder and felt it move towards my feet. I breathed a silent thank you that it hadn’t been the other way around. I heaved my hands around to my head, and started to slowly dig upwards.

Progress was slow, but I eventually clambered out of a small hole as the thick snow caved in behind me.

“Hello?” I yelled, despairing.

Suddenly I noticed a flash of bright orange down the mountain about 500 yards away. It was Teller, a man from New York who had come and lived in the village for about two months. I didn’t know much about him, but I liked him nonetheless. He was wearing a high visibility coat, and I was glad of it. He was waving and yelling, and I saw the avalanche rumbling on behind him. I put on the snow shoes and walked briskly towards him. I pulled him out of the snow and helped him put his snow shoes on. We decided to walk together on the same kind of level, looking for the other members of the group.

Firstly we found the body of one of the group. His airways were full of snow, and we decided he had suffocated.

“Nasty way to go”, commented Teller, “but I’ve seen worse”.

“How so?” I asked him.

“I served in Vietnam, a medic, you understand”.

I was about to tell him I did, when I saw something that caught my eye. There was a person lying on his side about 300 meters above us. I started up the mountain, Teller following me. It was Jackson, the fourth member of the group, he was unconscious but alive, and we sat there wasting precious time as we waited for Jackson to wake up. Suddenly he started coughing, and lumps of snow came up along with a small amount of blood.

We trekked on for about another half an hour looking for the two missing people we were looking for. It was getting dark and there was the sound of wolves baying for blood, so we started down the mountain. It was discouraging to say the least, having lost two members of our party and not having found the first missing person.

That last point was about to change.

The sun was setting behind the crest of the ridge, when suddenly I saw a red tinge on the surface of the snow. I pointed it out to Jackson and Teller, and we started digging down through the snow. We only had to dig about 2 inches before we saw the lifeless, frozen face of Farmer, the original missing person. He was almost as white as the snow he lay on. It wasn’t as if he was just cold, it was more as if he had had the colour sucked out of him. We excavated the rest of him from the icy robes that surrounded him, and discovered the gruesome fact of his death.

His chest had been ripped open with inhuman strength, and his heart, which was clearly visible, was intact save for a single hole punched straight into the middle of the organ. When we inspected the other wounds such as the ones on his hands- defence wounds, Teller said- they appeared to have been made with claws, and they were absolutely devoid of liquid blood. We knew that this couldn’t have been done by any non-intelligent being. The wound on the heart, and the fact that when the chest was ripped open there was no damage made to the heart confirmed this. But the wounds on the arms, and the act of the sucking of blood from the heart seemed to deny that this was human.

We were right.

We knew that we couldn’t take a body with us, and it was approaching complete darkness. We all had Maglites with us and we also had weapons with us- a 1216 shotgun, an M15 rifle, and my .358 Magnum. But we could see that whatever had killed Farmer we had to take the flight option.

We left Farmer’s body, skiing (we had chosen to change from snow shoes to skis after the light started to go). We were now in the shadow of the opposing mountain wall, and we had to switch from our heavy, hand-held Maglites to smaller, less powerful LED headlamps. It was a horrific experience, and we could all feel the eyes of some all-seeing, malignant presence watching over us.

Jackson wasn’t looking where he was skiing, and he suddenly went over, tripping on a rock that was on the top of the snow somehow, almost as if it had been placed there.

As the light of his headlamp swung round I caught sight of a creature. It leapt on Jackson, clawing at the arms he had put in front of himself. It reached towards his chest and caught hold of both of Jackson’s shoulders, and, using a dextrous claw on its foot, not unlike that of a Velociraptor. We watched in palpable horror as the beast used this to slit open the flesh in the middle of the chest and the sternum. With immense bestial strength and a roar of animal rage he thrust his hand inside the wound, and pulled them away from each other, creating an explosion of blood, and leant forward towards Jackson’s still beating heart.

I should probably back up for a moment and describe the creature. It was about 7 foot tall, and had light grey skin stretched taught over its bones and muscles. Its eyes reflected red in the light, and it had claws on its hands and feet. The claws on its hands were of a significantly smaller size than the talons of its feet, presumably to help manouverability. But there are two things that made it even more frightening. Its mouth was like a rotting hole on his face, ragged at the edges, with a needle-sharp proboscis which was revealed when one flap of ragged flesh was raised up. I have left, however, the most extraordinary feature until last. On his back he had two large wings, each bigger than me. They were like butterfly wings, but more drab, like a moths.

Anyway, back to the story. Jackson was still screaming, and the proboscis of that wretched bastard was still approaching the heart. Time seemed to slow down as I thought back about the missing peoples.

I realised that the creature was responsible for the disappearance and death of them all. They had disappeared every three days, which had to be how often he had to feed. And that was when I knew what I had to do if we were to have any chance of success against it.

I reached for the holster strapped to my leg, and lined up the sights on the .358 Magnum. I pulled the trigger on the revolver.

I shot Jackson in the heart.

It screamed out and leaped at me. I shot off the remaining 4 rounds of the Magnum. One of them must have hit his stomach or something, as gallons of human blood spilt forth from the wound. The other three wounds oozed a translucent blue liquid. It tried to take off, but Teller shredded one of its wings with a couple of slugs from the 1216. I ran to Jackson, tossing away my Magnum and instead picking up the M15 rifle from beside Jackson. The beast, though injured screamed with a last roar and rushed Teller. I shot the beast in the back and a fountain of blue spattered Tellers face. It fell over and Teller stood up, looked down the barrel of the 1216, and shattered the skull of the beast.

We looked at each other, shook our heads and, in silence, walked back down the hill towards the village.

The next day we went back to where the bodies of all four people had been. We found them all, but the body of the Moth Man (I had searched the web for similar creatures) had disappeared. His blood was still there and we sent samples of that to labs.

After the burials of the dead I moved. Teller had had a job offer as a surgeon in Point Pleasant, and I decided to move with him. After all, I had no family there and I wanted a fresh start. Besides, Teller was my only real friend, and the only one who would believe my story.
But this was not the end. I figure that it has a level of telepathic power which it used to make the victims come to him, and he had a family. I think as he was dying he sent an image of me and Teller to his family. And I think they want revenge. But for now they are happy just watching and waiting for the opportune moment.

Credit To: Mophead

Queen Mab

September 27, 2012 at 4:00 PM

I’m sure that it must happen to everybody.

If you’re lucky, it only occurs in dreams; that moment where some part of your brain decides that whatever horrible thing that’s currently happening is just too awful, that things will never be the same and that this cannot actually be real – and of course, it isn’t, so you wake up with a rush of relief.

That overwhelming feeling of – would you call it dissonance? I’m not sure if I actually know the word, if there is one, to convey a feeling that combines a sort of incredulous and removed sudden acknowledgement that whatever you’re experiencing is terrible and life-changing as well as an utter disbelief that it’s actually real simply because it is so horrible and shocking.

I’m still feeling like I’m totally sucking at explaining this, so here’s an example. A few months ago, I was woken from a dead, deep sleep by some seriously booming and cracking chain lightning – I had the window open, to air out some of the cigarette smoke that constantly seeped through the walls from our upstairs neighbor, and that made the noise even more intense, of course. The sound was so unlike any other lightning storm that I’d ever heard that, when combined with my sleep-addled state, my brain somehow parsed it as “holy shit we are being bombed” – even if it’s not exactly likely that our mysterious enemy would start their offensive against the USA in central Ohio, of all places. But in that moment, I felt sheer, absolute terror – then a feeling of complete helplessness (because really, if we were being bombed, what exactly could I do?) and an absolute sense of total surrealism and denial. The fact that, of course, it was actually not happening is irrelevant – that particular chain of emotions was so intense, so severe, that it branded itself into my brain to the point that I can still recall the feeling as vividly as if it had been last night, not upwards of three months ago!

Yet, if I’m being completely honest with myself, there’s something almost pleasurable about such experiences. The moment after you realize that you were just dreaming, or that the bombs were just lightning – there’s almost a bit of disappointment and yearning wrapped up along with the more sensible feeling of relief. Now why on earth would that be?

My theory is that it’s because most of us live incredibly mundane lives, and those few minutes of sheer uncertainty are the most thrilling moments we’ve ever experienced. I mentioned before that feeling of “things will never be the same” – and deep down, that is secretly appealing. Those moments of emotional freefall give us both the terror of losing everything we know as well as the hope that our future will finally be as interesting as our dreams. If I had to choose one word to describe it, it’d be “potential”. We experience in those times a vision of our life’s potential, both good and bad, and for a generation as used to living in comfort and ease as mine, that is deeply exciting. Why else would so many people yearn so desperately for something as terrible as a Zombie Apocalypse or The Robot Uprising and countless other terrible-yet-interesting scenarios?

It’s because we, as a generation, are all so mind-numbingly bored. Even if we’d all most likely die if the dead actually started to walk – knockoff anime swords and internet trolling techniques aren’t quite as effective on zombies as one might think, surprise! – there’s still that portion of our brains that still wants it to happen, just to break up the monotony.

Now, moving on. Have you ever heard of Queen Mab?

If you paid attention in English classes, you may be aware that she’s somehow related to Shakespeare and fairies. Mercutio makes a speech about her in Romeo and Juliet, and since then she’s become a figure that most people have heard of only in passing and vaguely associate with dreams.

Putting aside the part of her mythology that says she climbs into your brain through your nose (what) on a tiny carriage (no really, what), what’s most interesting is this: she apparently takes her nightly nasal voyages in order to give you dreams of your deepest, most secret desires – and then help the dreamer to ‘birth their dreams into reality’. The midwife of wish-fulfillment, basically. Doesn’t she sound lovely?

Now here’s the part where my ramblings will start to come together. If you’re at all familiar with the Fae, you should know that they tend to be more than a little mischievous. Things are not always what they seem when you’re dealing with fairies, and one of the most-repeated and probably cardinal rules of dealing with the Fae is this:

Do not accept their gifts, because there are always strings attached. Even the sweetest fairy present will have a bitter aftertaste.

So what happens when we combine a generation who secretly dreams of tragedy to free them from their boredom with a being who makes it her business to turn dreams into reality?

I think that the perverse, trickster side of our little fairy queen would be quite tickled by the idea of passing over such simple wishes like true love or superpowers or a money tree in favor of the more complicated, darker desires that we all possess. Fairies love their double-edged deals; delivering us to our collective dooms while still being able to honestly say they were just granting our deepest wishes is just so perfectly Fae it almost hurts.

It’s funny, isn’t it? Growing up, so many of us have been told to follow our dreams.

With Queen Mab’s help, we may end up following them right to humanity’s end.

Credit: Emilie Magnus

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