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A Change in Seasons

Estimated reading time — 7 minutes

It had started in the farthest corner of my apartment; first as only the slightest hint of coppery red, before oozing from the ceiling and down the wall. I stumbled towards it, tripping over a laundry hamper and knocking it to the floor. It was funny looking, really. Against the yellowing wallpaper, it looked almost like a rookie’s graffiti, still fresh and drying. I lifted a hand to touch it, but thought better of it. Up this close, the stench was overwhelming like when the sink clogs and you pull out the stopper to find an enormous glob of hair. A smell mixed between bile and ammonia, a nauseous wave swept over me attempting to pull up last week’s dinner. In a panic, I ran to the window and was alarmed when it wouldn’t open. Furiously, I scrambled to unlatch the lock and rattled it up for the first time in years. As I swallowed the tastiest air I’ve ever had, I could only think, At least I know where the smell is coming from now.

One month ago had been a party for me. I’d gotten home early from my job mopping floors at a hospital and had even had time to pick up a pizza on the way back. Now, I don’t live in the best of areas, I’ll admit; and whenever I pull into the unpainted parking space of my building, I always get that feeling that something bad might happen that day. The apartment’s at least two hundred years old and it shows. From the chipped red bricks to the way it tilts slightly towards the top, “The Queen”, gives a sense of both unreliability and experience. And I’m sure it’s experienced a lot.

I push through the front glass door, complete with a head-sized hole, and begin the solemn march to the eighth floor and my room – number 48. I say solemn march because that’s what it is; I don’t want to see or talk to anyone here and that’s best done by staring at the floor as I walk, my face suitable blank. The first person I come across seems to have the same idea. He’s wearing cheap plaid over a greasy t-shirt and doesn’t even look my way as he slips into number 9: The Queen’s nightly brothel, if I’m not mistaken. The Queen’s a classy place.


I cross up the stairs past a room that has smelled heavily of curry since I moved here, the same screaming rock music playing like a theme song. The door is open and I see a huddle of kids shooting up heroin or cocaine or maybe even bleach mixed with water. Who cares? I certainly don’t. The walls up here are covered with what could either be mud or human excrement and I try my best to guide the bulky pizza box up the stairs without touching anything.

I see old man Taylor wobbling up the steps ahead of me. He’s got his veteran’s cap on again and he’s humming some sort of oldie under his breath. I feel bad for him, I really do. It’s hard to watch as his arms shake each time he releases the railing to climb up another step; his legs moving slowly with arthritis. Luckily, I’m on my floor now so I won’t have to wait thirty minutes before getting to my room.

“You having a pardy t’night, boy?” His voice is raspy from smoking and muddled from time. I turn to have a look at him, hooking the box under my arm.

“Every night’s a party,” I remark, failing to come up with anything better, “Why, what are you doing tonight?”

“Not’ing, I just want to say hello. No one says hello an’more.”

I smile to him and nod, thinking about how cold the pizza must be getting. He smiles back, a toothless thing before returning to his journey upward as I jingle the keys into my door’s lock. Inside, I smile when I see the pile of DVDs on the coffee table, the humming fridge with various appointments and magnets stuck to it and the window overlooking the sleeping town. I’d survived another day.


I throw the pizza down on the side of my mildew-streaked couch and turn on the TV. The television is older than Christ and doesn’t have cable, but none of that matters. I put in my favorite television series, “That 70’s Show”, and begin the party with my best and only friends.

* * * * * *

My parents came for a visit three weeks later. The first thing they said when they walked in wasn’t about how messy the room was; it wasn’t about how I hadn’t called them since last Christmas or how they thought I could do better than this dump. They complained about the smell.

I blushed and pointed at the sink full to the brim with soapy water and old dishes, but they were sure that wasn’t it. “It smells like something died in here,” they said. I fought back the urge to reply, “Ya, my hopes and dreams.” Honestly, I couldn’t smell anything. Needless to say, they didn’t stay long and I was alone again.

That night, lying in bed, I began yearning for the past. I vividly lived through my childhood for what must have been the eighth time. I saw all the mistakes I had made and all the chances I never took. I saw her again. Standing by the pool, waiting for me; but I’d never show up. I had told myself it was because I hadn’t wanted to get my hair wet at the time. Now, it felt like self-sabotage and I investigated every what-if scenario that could have happened if I’d gone.

There was a sudden crash above my bed as if a television or even a small bookcase had been kicked over. I was jolted out of my self-pity and back into reality. The crash was followed by a much smaller thump that was somehow more rattling than the first. That old man lived above me of course; he might have fallen over for all I knew. And yet, I did nothing. It all went downhill from there.

* * * * * *


The next night I was haunted by what was the unmistakable sound of dripping. It was hard to hear, impossible during the day, but at night, when everything was quiet, that excruciating sound would begin. Like the ticking of a clock, getting louder and louder, never missing a beat. I envisioned a puddle of blackness being filled by an unnatural cloud; within, my loved ones were drowning. I would turn to my static-strewn friends, but still the dripping continued, taking bits of sanity with every drop.

And the smell; that horrible yellow smell, like a portal into Hell had been opened. I was reminded of when I found my parakeet trapped behind the couch as a child; its rotting flesh and fecal fumes leaping off its carcass. I had cried for my parents then as I did now. But what could they do? I was enveloped in this travesty and I had shut them out of my life.

Desperately, I searched my prison for the source of this evil. I pushed through all the toxins under the sink, scattered the mothballs under my bed, and checked the vents for dead creatures. That’s when I found something odd. It seemed as if the source was coming through the vents themselves and not from my room at all. Immediately I bought a roll of duct tape and sealed off every vent I could find with three layers of tape. Gradually, the air began to clear and I could finally begin to think rationally again. To finish the job, I sprayed air freshener into every corner of every room, and that’s when I noticed the spot.

A single, crimson red drip was gathering in the very corner by the window. Growing in size like a blister, I watched as the bubble popped and streaked five inches down the wall. Several other red stalactites appeared and grew in size before following their comrade down towards the floor. It was bizarre; they began to take the shape of an upside-down tree, its branches a glaring sea of blood. I felt dinner begin to rise up my throat and I hurriedly shoved the window open, gasping for breath.

I was even more shocked by what I saw below. There was a group of at least ten men in bulky, yellow hazmat clothing exiting two white vans and running into the apartment. I couldn’t believe what was happening. I pulled my head back inside to look at the growing red mark as it began to reach and soak into the carpet floor. I jumped back in surprise before the spot could reach my toes and headed for the door. Already I could hear the men as they charged up the stairs past my door, towards – my heart skipped a beat – old man Taylor’s apartment.

I slammed open the door and waived down an approaching hazmat man. I could tell he was out of breath without even seeing his face.

“Please exit the building, sir,” he gasped.


He didn’t wait for me to reply and so I did the only thing I could: I walked down the stairs with everyone else into the cold night air, on the eve of winter.

* * * * * *

Old man Taylor had been found dead, I was told later. It turned out he’d hung himself over a month ago, and there he had stayed, like clothes in a closet or beef on a meat hook. No one had even noticed he was gone. His family never called him, nor he them. He didn’t have any friends to speak of because he’d never spoken a word to anyone. By all accounts of the few who knew him, he was a lonely man because he never took the time to be anything else. Ether he felt he was too busy or he just didn’t care. And he died that way.

After a month of hanging there, his head had separated from his body. The crash was the body hitting the ground, and the following thump the rest of him. Everything inside him had flooded out and dyed the white carpet around him red before soaking through the floor to repeat the pattern in my room. The only reason he was noticed missing was from the smell and a missing payment for his rent.

I look back on this and realize with horror that we really weren’t so different. I had shut myself off from the world into a cold loneliness I’m sure Taylor was very familiar with up until the bitter end. I’ve started going out more as a result. I’ve shut off the television and sold all my DVDs. I even called her again. I almost didn’t, at first. But during the past month, I’ve learned that life is too short and sanity too fragile to lock myself in my room anymore. In the search for change, I’ve put away my noose for good.

Credit: A.R. Scroggins

This story was submitted to by a fellow reader. To submit your own creepypasta tale for consideration and publication to this site, visit our submissions page today.

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52 thoughts on “A Change in Seasons”

    1. Hey, sorry…I haven’t checked this site in a long time and just saw this now.

      I’d be honored if you made a reading! Good luck!

  1. Woah, that’s so sad…poor man.At the same time, he saved someone else from that same fate.I’m happy that he turned his life around.

  2. this pasta called attention to some habits i’ve been forming. i haven’t talked to my mom in a few weeks, my friends in months just wanting people to leave me alone and avoiding them like the plauge, looks like i got some changing to do myself

  3. The head part was such a creepy detail, it genuinely unnerved me. A terrifying real and tragic horror story. I loved how at first this felt paranormal with the growing stain on the wall or about a maniac – I agree with the commenter who said that his friends felt like they would be corpses – but this turned out to be even creepier. Such a detailed and believable tale even without you saying it was a true story!

  4. Okay, but one thing that bothered me was that his room should have been 8-48 or 848 because he was on the eighth floor. Otherwise it was an okay story, except I can’t understand why the narrator says Taylor never attempted to talk to anyone hwen he made an attempt at conversation with the narrator at the beginning of the story. Had the narrator cared more about his fellow human beings to talk to the lonely old man, maybe Taylor wouldn’t have committed suicide. Dunno if that was intentional or not. 7/10

    1. Excellent points, I didn’t catch the room number problem haha. Taylor finally tried to reach out and the last night of his life, and you’re right. If the narrator had talked to him, the ending may have been very different.

  5. intricate. i liked the part about the body seperating from the head. I’ve never quite heard of a suicide victim’s corpse doing that. it was something new and fresh as far as gruesome and gore goes. original is the word i’m looking for.

    1. I believe if one hangs oneself by tying a noose around one’s neck and jumping from a height, and they are particularly heavy, the body will detach from the head, also.

  6. Fantastic writing! I used to work at an apartment complex as an assistant property manager, and one of our residents called the office one day during the summer to report a vile odor in her apartment. I had witnessed an autopsy several years ago when I was considering going into forensic science, and from that experience, I am familiar with the smell of human decomposition. As soon as I walked into her apartment,I knew something was dead somewhere nearby. The resident who lived above her was a schizophrenic woman who frequently had episodes and needed to be hospitalized. she was a loner, so it wasn’t abnormal to not see her often. I went down to the office to try to call her, but there was no answer.I called her sister, her emergency contact, and she said she hasn’t heard from her for 3 weeks. The next call was the police, for a courtesy check. When they arrived, I brought them to the apartment and unlocked the door. the second the cop opened the door, the smell hit like a freight train. We walked in, and upon entering the bedroom, she was there, dead in bed. From the hot weather, the rate of decomposition was accelerated. Decomp fluids had soaked through the bed, through the carpet and, as we found out later through the clean up crew, the flooring itself. It was literally only a matter of days before the lady downstairs would have had a stain forming on her ceiling, had the body not been discovered when it was. I have a strong stomach for things like this, but that definitely pushed me to the limit. I was also 3 months pregnant at the time… But this kind of stuff happens much more often than people think in apartments. And generally, once the hazmat crew is finished, the maintenance men turn the apartment over as usual, and it gets re-rented. Kinda makes you want to ask a lot more questions when looking at apartments…

    1. Jesus. Ya there’s a lot better left unknown about where we choose to live.

      I recently moved into a new apartment in Japan and got a discount because a man had died of old age in it the week before. It didn’t bother me because for every natural death there’s bound to be a dozen more, some likely violent.

  7. Definitely my favorite pasta. Loved the writing, loved the story, and I definitely loved the chills I got from reading it! Props!

  8. From now on I will smile a lot and say hello to everyone I see. Loneliness is really depressing :( sad pasta. Made an impact on me at least.

    1. Thanks, glad you liked it! Yes, I’ll never forget when I stopped by a friend’s apartment and he pulled out his cellphone to show me a pic of something red seeping down the side of his wall. I didn’t know what it was at first, to be honest, but he related to me how a bunch of hazmat guys had been called to the floor above him because of a body being found much like I described.

      It left enough of an impression on me that I decided to put myself in his place and write a short story about it. I was in a pretty shitty place at the time and so this reads as half journal/half fiction in a sense.

      Wish I could get a copy of the picture, but this was years ago.

  9. wooow bro… that was dark. LOVED IT! It was really good! Wait so does that mean when he talked to the man in the hall it was the mans spirit? Watevs, but that was great! Well written

  10. It’s not that scary, but it’s nice :)
    Well written. Only one, tiny grammatical error ( I’m a bit of a grammar Nazi) : “it’s” is short for “it is” or “it has”. What you meant to say was “its”, which indicates that something belonged to someone.
    “…before following ITS comrade down towards the floor.”
    So, sorry to annoy you about that.
    Any, story is great :))

    1. Bah, you’re totally right on that one! Wish I had caught it, these things drive me crazy too. Thanks for the heads up and glad you liked the story ;)

  11. Beautiful piece of satire, creepypasta, and moral behind this story, first of its kind I believe. Both well-written and strong in its message and imagery.

    At first, I thought his “best of friends” were some corpses he kept in his closet, and I related his parents coming over commenting on the smell as a tribute to American Psycho 2. I guess I was wrong in the end.

    This kind of writing is the special kind: It relates to the reader the sort of loner lifestyle many who would be browsing would have. This story illustrates the inevitable fate of all who seclude themselves and turns it back on the reader: Will this be your end?

    1. This is the best comment I’ve had on my writing. I really appreciate your praise! This is the stuff that keeps me wanting to write more.

      I think a lot of us have read so many creepy pastas that we start to jump ahead, reaching for what’s impossible in our world (but all to common in pastas) and so I wanted to do something based completely in reality so it would (hopefully) have a bigger impact.

      Thanks again, to you and the others. I’ll try giving another story a go after this response.

      1. Haha, you’re welcome.

        Definitely focus on that aspect. You seem adept at writing in this setting, which may be in fact hard to do for some creepypasta writers.

        I’ve noticed other comments indicating a somewhat rushed ending, and I can sympathize actually. Where did the main protagonist find his newfound courage exactly? As Anonymous said above me, perhaps you can elaborate on how the protagonist felt his situation was akin to Old Man Taylor lonely life.

        Definitely try to re-write the ending! There is room for improvement.

  12. This was different from most creepypasta, to the point I almost felt like it wasn’t creepypasta. But then, you managed to create an atmosphere of dread and foreboding like the best pastas, and you did it all without anything supernatural. They say horror works best when it’s relateable and the reader can feel like the horrible things in the story might happen to them, and that’s definitely the case here.

    Still, I feel like there are a couple of missed tricks. This wants to be longer, especially the disappointingly straightforward ending. The impact would be greater and the message imparted better if you had the narrator tell us about when he realised how similar he was to the old man. Maybe if he had an epiphany while watch “That 70s Show” and you described his reaction to the realisation.

    I liked this on the whole though. Good job.

    1. I do like your idea about having a realization after the fact. That might be a cool thing to explore if I ever rewrite this!

      Glad you enjoyed it.

    2. I don’t think it needs more explanation at all. As he was talking about how the man never talked to his family, I related it back to the narrator before he did it directly. Sometimes less is more. More explanation would be overkill and sacrifice the eeriness of it.

  13. Very well written. Not exactly ‘creepy’ but a good story that I think everyone (at least I can) related to. I really love how the ‘noose’ that the narrator has is how he has cut himself off from the world and lived in self-pity. It is a nice reminder for us that we need to not shut ourselves away but to get out and enjoy life.

    1. That’s exactly what I had thought! Most people who tend to visit and spend time in sites like this are usually locked up in their room in front of their pc…Powerful!

  14. And now I’m sad. Poor Old Man Taylor, I’d be your friend. And listen to your crazy stories of debauchery and fucking all the bitche- er, broads.

  15. I would’ve given it an 8 – possibly a 9- if not for two things:

    i) The writing seemed confusing at times

    ii) The whole repenting thing at the end felt forced and unnecessary. The sheer creepiness of the blood dripping through the walls – and perhaps an implied sense that the man had wasted away his life – would have been more than enough. Still, well written, and I didn’t see the ending coming. 7/10

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