There are certain rules in this world that we must abide by. We don't always agree with them, and they rarely agree with us, but if we are to survive to see tomorrow, we need to place our personal feelings aside and just accept things...

I went camping about 3 weekends ago in the Huntsville national forest in Texas. Me and 3 friends that came home for the weekend, they are all in college and usually we all get together at least once a year, old friends from high school. For the camping trip we planned to go backpacking deep in the forest, live off of fish that we catch and animals that we can trap. We have been doing this for awhile in Texas and in numerous places, Arizona, Colorado (if anyone is familiar with the Spanish peaks there), New Mexico, so we‘re pretty much used to anything you‘d encounter out there. It was my turn to pick where we went camping, so I chose Huntsville (more accurately it’s Huntsville/New Waverly). So we drive up there park our car in a camping park spot and start walking off into the forest. We had some laughs along the way, everyone catching up with each other's lives. We walked until it started to get dark and set up camp where we stopped. Everyone gathered wood to make a fire and we set our tent up. And we do what we always do: try and scare each other with weird stories. Around this time we started to smell something very faint. It was noticeable, but not overbearing. We couldn't put our finger on what it was, so we just carried on. Mike had to go piss and he walked off in the forest. A second later he come running back, piss all down his jeans like he’d missed really bad. Immediately we all crack up and throw some jokes at him. Then we noticed that he was white as snow and trying to catch his breath. He starts screaming for us to follow him, and runs off. We all get serious and go follow him, not knowing what the problem was. We start to hear a faint scream and crying in the distance, in the direction we were running. It was pitch black away from the camp and Mike had the only flash light (we left ours at the camp, he had his from his trip taking a piss), so at this stage we didn’t have much choice but to follow the light, which was frantically pointing here and there in front of him. The scream gets closer and Mike starts to slow down. We then notice a ratty old cabin that looked like it was abandoned, except for a faint light that we could see from one of the old mildew covered windows. The crying was intense: whoever it was couldn't breathe enough to let out a full yell. We all followed Mike up to the front door and we could all hear the crying from inside. As soon as he knocked on the door it stopped. We all waited and heard really heavy footsteps walking fast to the door. There was a giant slam against the door and the sound of a bolt unlocking. Then nothing. We waited for a bit, knocked a few more times, but still nothing happened. We walked around the house (there was no fucking way any of us were leaving each other’s side) and noticed a window, which was a good way up. Alex took a deep breath and said asked us to give him a boost so he could see inside. Me and Mike lifted him up to the window. We watched him brush away dirt and webs from the window and place his face close to the window to try and see something.

I live in a small town in Upstate New York. No more than 600 people sleep here, and less call it home. I moved up from Brooklyn about five years ago and immediately fell in love with its charm, its closeness, and as is the subject of this tale, its mystery. One day not long ago as I was walking down the town’s only avenue past a used book shop that only sells books you’ve never heard of, and across from the building that doesn’t seem to know what it wants to be; sandwich shop, art gallery, grocery all in recent memory, I tripped on one of many uneven sidewalk slabs. As I picked my possessions and myself up off the biting fall cement, I noticed a large sign above an abandoned building I must pass daily; a building that was not out of the ordinary to me at all. The sign was what gave me that start of unfamiliarity, as it declared the building a “Masonic Lodge” in its old, carefully flowering print. It was the first time I had seen the sign on this building in my then-four-years of inhabitance. “It’s probably just an old sign someone found and hung up there,” I thought to myself. But even as that thought resounded around my head I could tell that it wasn’t quite right. No, there was another motive behind the appearance of that sign, and now I was determined to find it. I went about asking locals (those who had lived there longer than my years, that is) if they had ever seen the sign before, who owned the building, had they ever seen anyone go into it, that sort of thing. To my surprise, not one of the questioned had noticed the sign, and when I pointed it out to them they were visibly startled at its unannounced appearance. You see, in this town, no one does anything without someone else hearing about it. Something as large as a building-wide sign going up would have been remembered by at least one person, but no one could recall it. As for my inquiries of ownership and use of the building, no one knew who held the deed, and no one had ever seen anyone go into or out of it. I decided that I would have to investigate myself. Obviously the best way of doing this would be to break into the building at night, armed with only a flashlight and a tape recorder, to document my findings. In hindsight I’m not exactly sure why I chose the night to explore this old, abandoned would-be Masonic Lodge… perhaps the writing of a story was sneaking into my subconscious.

My Grandfather's brother lived most of his life in Paris, France. On the few occasions I've met him, it was very clear that he was a disturbed individual with some sort of something bothering him all day and night. I figured he'd had a stroke...

We've all felt it. You're up late. Working, studying, watching a movie, reading on the computer. Doesn't matter what you're doing, it's the feeling you get. You're tired, your eyes burn and have the gritty feeling you get after not sleeping for a while. Ok you can't...

I used to go diving a lot. Not so much anymore, but a couple years ago I was really into it, had my license and everything. It's really beautiful down there: the pale patterned sand, the water washing away the distance like a blue mist, and flashes of the brightest colors you've ever seen as some fish darts into view. I've done my share of exploring wrecks and grottoes, but my favorite thing to do is hover right where the shelf plunges into the deep. You get the greatest dynamics there as deep-sea creatures come up to feed. Anyway, one time I was drifting along near Antigua about 40 feet down. I had two tanks with me so I could stay down for several hours. The shelf sloped off to my left and rocks and coral broke the monotony of the sand to my right. I hadn't seen much that day and was getting a bit bored, but then I noticed a large octopus. It was a deep-sea type, probably washed up accidentally (they don't usually come up to hunt). It seemed sluggish and didn't react much when I drifted over to it. Now, octopuses aren't very friendly creatures; if you manage to get near one they usually flee within seconds. I'm sure you've seen videos of them changing colors to match their environment. Not all species can do that, but they're all very good at hiding. So seeing a deep-sea octopus up close was quite an opportunity. It was about a foot from crown to beak and dark mottled green. Its tentacles curled around it, perhaps four feet long when extended and pale on the underside. Its eyes looked like golden rings around narrowed black pupils. It was having trouble moving and looked half dead. I decided to try to get near it. There were some yellowtail jacks nearby and I speared one with my knife. Sorry if that offends you, I'm not one of those "touch nothing" divers. Cautiously I approached the octopus and offered it my fish, shoving it out ahead of me and letting it drift toward the creature. Success! It didn't run, but lazily reached an arm out to capture the morsel. It brought it under its beak and began to devour it. I drifted closer, trying to acclimate it to my presence. Over maybe half an hour or so it became more lively and used to my presence. Apparently I had bought its tolerance with my offering, and it even began to play a little bit, darting away from me and then back. I had a stick with me that I used to test holes and mud and such, and it occurred to me that maybe I could teach it to play fetch. I brought the stick out and waved it until it seemed like I had its attention, and then threw the stick out sideways. It didn't go very far underwater, of course, but the octopus went after it and grabbed hold with its tentacles. It didn't seem inclined to return to me, though, so I swam closer. It was waving the stick at me, and then it tossed it out to the side. It was copying me!

There is a doorway, one that can be any door, at any time. This door leads nowhere, yet there lies a realm of twisted reality to the opener. This door exists for everyone - some never encounter it in their lives, others unknowingly open it...

Last night, I was derailed from seeing a movie by a pal of mine 'J,' who needed a ride to a barbeque, with an invite as barter. Damn right I could see the movie another time! We arrive at Lindsey's house, where her roommates were all running about, organizing the contents of 11 empty grocery bags; meat here, condiments there, booze here, etc... I'd noted to Lindsey that I liked her new home, it's much bigger, roomier, and safer than her previous one, to which she looked a little puzzled. "You... you must be referring to the house on 'Nashville St,' because you never saw..." "...the other one," Lindsey's roommate Emily finished. "So... you don't know the story of the place in between the place you knew us to live in and this one, right?" Lindsey asked. I just stood there, curious of all of the wide-eyed, uneasy looks, making myself wordlessly obvious that I'd not a clue. They called in the third roommate, Brianne, followed by J. They took turns adding in their 'two-cents,' confirming little details, adding others, to which they all agreed upon as the story progressed. Rather than make this a back-and-forth story of four people interjecting, I'll tell it to you third-person. On Carrollton Avenue in New Orleans, Lindsey had parted with her previous roommate, and got together with two girls from school she didn't know so well, Brianne and Emily, and got a decent place. The place in question was rather roomy, in a good location, and, above all, a hell of a bargain. This house, like most in the neighborhood, is nearly one hundred years old. When Emily and Lindsey arrived to move their belongings in, they saw a note on the door of the furthest room from the front door, there was a note by Brianne, saying that she'd already claimed it, which annoyed the other two girls. A blessing in disguise.

You wake up today, going through your daily routines without a second thought. At one point, you decided to spend your time coming here, to read along with some arbitrary journal written by some escribitionist some of you may be familiar with but none of you really, truly know. Have you realized what day it is? The concept you believe to be real, what you might call 'time', exists in a circuit, with mornings and nights, days and weeks, months and years repeating themselves, stuck on loop within an infinite cycle. The reason for this is that time is nothing more than a border, serving to shield their decrepit, malformed dimension from ours. The good are those who have built this wall. The bad are those who are being kept out. Once every so often during this continuum, there is a scheduled lapse; a small space existent within this ring of time, an anomaly which would not exist if time were, in fact, a straight line. Those who idle upon the other side are your Doppelgangers, your alternate selves, wearing your clothes, working your jobs, speaking your words, yet they suffer more than you do. They are the epitome of the wrongs you have committed, the proof of your corruption, the spiritual manifestation of your immorality. Lest you turn into demons yourselves, time itself allows your karmic state to affect their spirits instead of your own, forcing them to watch you from behind a one-way mirror to assume the blame for all you as humans have done wrong. The eleventh day of the eleventh month is when this mirror becomes a window, and they are given a chance to trade places.

I slept fine last night. Didn't sleep so well Sunday though. It was my own fault, really. I did tell him he was welcome in if he pleased. My dream began like one of those horror games you might see, like Silent Hill or Alone in...

My father was a military man. Retired back in '95 from the Navy after 20 years of proud service to our country. But before that, we moved often... every 3-4 years or thereabouts we'd pack up and get shipped somewhere new. Early 1989, a wonderful opportunity arose and dad took it. A 16 hour flight later, and we were stationed at N.A.S Sigonella, Sicily. I guess I was about, ohhh 10 or 11 at the time. Those years were blurred save those pinpricks of memory that still haunt me. That still plague my dreams from time to time. Our first home there was an apartment in a complex called "Bellavista" far from the Naval base. There was a waiting list to move into Base Housing that generally ran for about a year and a half's wait. Until your time to move, you had to live amongst the locals wherever you could. Bellavista was a beautiful place... we lived on the upper floor of the complex and had a wonderful view of the countryside off our back balcony. At night, one could look up at the night sky and see a thin trail of fiery red lava slowly ebbing from still active Mt. Etna. And in the morning, everything left out in the open was often found to be blanketed ever so slightly in volcanic ash, almost like a light dusting of snow. But naturally, as perfectly nice as Bellavista was, it wasn't meant for us for long. The lnadlord's daughter was pregnant, engaged... and homeless. Guess who got the boot? So we moved, with the landlord's assistance, into another home. Motta S. Anastasia, a little cobblestone-streeted town near Catania, and much closer to the Navy base. The day we drove up to the new place, I felt ill. Of course, nothing was thought of this at the time, but I'd swear in retrospect I was being told something. The place was a 3 story house with an apartment on each floor. I really don't remember the neighbors, but both were similarly Navy families. And I can imagine I pissed them off a lot with the screaming. Dad unlocked the door and proceeded into the small entryway. The cobblestone street gave way to a marbled floor entrance and a matching set of marble stairs up to the second floor, which was our new home. The place was stunningly beautiful. Marble floors... glass french doors into the living room area... balconies attached to nearly every room, save the one that was to be mine. Claw foot bathtub...bidet... all the modern conveniences expected of a home in Europe.

In any city, in any country, go to any mental institution you can get yourself to. When you reach the front desk, close your eyes and ask to visit someone who calls himself "The Holder of Light”. You will be guided to a single door...

You awaken with a high pitched ringing in your ears. Gradually, the sound becomes softer, like the humming from your refrigerator, and eventually, it stops completely. Even after a peaceful night's rest, your eyes are not ready to open. Your instincts urge you to KEEP...

As I crossed the threshold of the library, I noticed that all sounds of the street stopped. I shrugged it off as being well soundproofed. I slowly weaved my way through the aisles, finding nothing that drew my attention. As I drew deeper into the...

Hello. I am Mr. Welldone. I watched the copulation which conceived you and I screamed in horror. I saw you birthed like a hatched parasite, hairless and gagging, and I grit my teeth in hatred, sliding them over each other again and again and again and again...

You volunteer at the mental health clinic. Given the dangerous nature of the residents, they assigned you the rooms of the less violent patients. The suicidal. Those who hear voices. Those that don't say anything at all. You become close to a mute man named Arthur....

A young girl suffered from insomnia, and throughout the night she'd often wake up for no reason. One night she awoke, and in the daze of half-sleep, she blinked in the darkness. Just for a second, she thought she saw a pair of reptilian eyes, gazing at her and glowing red. She sat up and stared at them, quickly realizing that it was only her clock. It was 11:11. She sighed and tried to go back to sleep. The next night, she awoke and instantly looked at the clock. It was exactly 11:11. This began to repeat itself night after night. Sometimes even during the day, for no reason whatsoever, she would stop whatever she happened to be doing, and spin around to look at the nearest clock; always at 11 minutes past 11 o'clock. As her insomnia got worse, she thought she'd try some white noise to help her sleep. She turned on her clock radio to play music softly. It worked well, so she kept doing it for the next few nights. One night, she awoke with a terrible start, covered in cold sweat. Rather than being in a sleepy daze, she was completely awake now. The radio was still on, but instead of music she heard static, and a lot of erratic clicking noises. Breathing heavily, she stared at the glowing numbers. You know what time it was.

Try this. Turn off the music. Turn off the TV. If you have to, turn off the computer. Then go to another room, and sit. In total silence. Do you hear that? That ringing? People say it is your brain making up a sound to...

Hi, I’m Seth. I’m writing this note, bottling it, and tossing it in the brook by my house. Writing helps me keep my sanity. Hopefully somebody who still reads will pick it up and come help me. It started a month ago. I was down in my basement office on my computer watching old Mystery Science Theater 3000 reruns. The phone rang next to me, but I didn’t pay any attention to it. It was never for me; on the off occasion it was, it was usually my brother, and half the time we were on the phone my nephew would be trying to grab it and talk to me himself. Mom yelled down the stairs that the phone was for me. Yeah, I lived at home with my folks. Sue me. Anyway, I picked up. “Hello?” I said, paying more attention to the antics of the robots on the screen. “It’s begun.” The voice was little more than a whimper, a plea. I didn’t even recognize the voice. “Excuse me?” I asked, wondering who on earth was calling. “They’ve come, I don’t have much time, Jeff; you told me to call if what we did caused trouble.” Now a little worried, I said, “I think you’ve got the wrong number, this is Seth, not Jeff.” “DON’T GO OUTDOORS!” The person shrieked. Completely freaked out, I disconnected the call. Must’ve been some prank caller, but I wasn’t amused. Rattled, I put the matter behind me. Much later, I finished watching videos and shut the lights off to head upstairs. It was pitch black, but I knew the way. The dark seemed a little more oppressive this time, though. I shrugged off the feeling and went upstairs. As I passed through the living room, I chanced a look out the window. There were people outside, on a walk or something; I checked my watch and it said 3:00 am. “That’s weird,” I muttered. I stumbled up to my upstairs room and drifted off to sleep. I was a fool that first night. If I’d recognized what I’d seen, I would have saved myself the terror and just stepped outside.

I don't even know why I'm writing this. I can post this in a million different places, it won't matter. There's still nobody there to read it. Nobody left to hear my story. Yet this might be my last chance to do this, so I will. The feeling won't go away. They're watching. They're watching and getting closer every second. They can feel my terror. And I know they're enjoying it. It has been about four months since everyone disappeared. And I mean everyone. I woke up one morning for school. I immediately noticed the time. School started three hours ago. Must have just hit the alarm clock still half-asleep, and fallen right back to sleep. It happens to me sometimes. Why hadn't my parents woken me up? Probably just went to work early. The first time I started to notice was at the station. I usually take a train to school, since it's the fastest way to get there. I hadn't seen anyone on my way to the station, but I lived in a rather quiet area of the town, so going was slow at this time of the day. It happened, so I didn't think much of it. When I arrived at the station, I noticed there was nobody there. It was odd. There should have been at least a few people waiting for the train, even at this time of the day. I shrugged it off as an exceptionally slow day. It happened sometimes, too. I waited for a good while, but the train didn't come. I don't remember how long I stood there, but I grew increasingly frustrated. I decided to walk to school. After all, it was only a twenty-minute walk if I did it fast enough, and I was late for the next lesson anyways. I didn't see anyone on my way to school. Nor was there anyone in school. The school building was open, and lit. I still didn't think much of it, the lessons were on anyways. But the classrooms were empty. Every single classroom in the whole building. Some doors were open, some closed. But there was nobody there. I tried the teacher's lounge, and it was empty. I even recall the smell of fresh coffee in the room. I tried calling one of my friends to ask what was going on. No answer. The phone rang, but there just wasn't any answer. I tried another. Same thing. I ended up going through every single person I know from school. No answer. I rushed to the shopping mall nearby. It was empty. The entire building, normally bustling with life, totally empty. The shops were open, the lights were on, the music was playing, the info screens were on. There just wasn't anyone strolling around the mall, searching through the stores, manning the counters. It was like everyone had vanished entirely.

You could kick yourself. Its the middle of the night--or early in the morning, depending on how you look at it--and freezing cold because you, like an idiot, kicked off your blanket in the night. Nearly entirely off the bed, in fact, with only one...