Estimated reading time — 8 minutes
Skype is a pretty useful tool to me. I’m an artist, so I tend to use my hands a lot and skype lets me talk without having to hold a phone. Guess I’m just too much of a multitasker for my own good. But, whether or not it was a good quality I sure valued it.
Tonight was really no different. My friend Kylie got on, she was telling me about the potential new, boyfriend. Apparently, he had all of the important qualities: a six pack and blue eyes. Personally, I value having a good conversation with whoever I decide to pursue in that way. So for me, intellegence just trumped the six pack. I needed someone who was on my level. Kylie was just not that way.
I digress though. Kylie was just getting done with a paper she had been writing, both of us were college students at the University of NC Pembroke. It probably makes no sense that we didn’t just get together and do our homework if we were going to talk on skype anyway, but it did to me. The physical separation prevented the distraction of a party or social activity which would distract me. Kylie was a lot of fun to be around but education always comes first.
“Did you hear about the crazy things going on?” My focus on the woodcut I was working on caused a lag in my response. The woodcut for Intro to Printmaking, the one form of art I absolutely loathed. Not in the way you’d think, Printmaking is a beautiful art form and all, it’s just tedious. I am a digital artist and so I just don’t want to spend so much time on one line that has to be made right the first time.
“What crazy things?” I asked at last. Kylie was a theatre major, and her arm expressions tended to showcase that. At this particular moment she was holding them up to signify the importance of what she was saying.
“Apparently, there’s been students that have been going missing.”
“Missing? Are you sure it’s not just people trying to get an early spring break?” My question was a logical one, Midterms were next week.
“Lys this sounds serious. All of them have been seen going back to the dorm right before they disappear. You remember Summer?” I struggled to remember. A pale girl with blue eyes and dark hair with a slightly plump stomach crossed my mind’s vision.
“The girl who thinks that copying Vera Bradley patterns is art?” That was a little mean, but Summer had made it very clear she was not fond of me in our drawing class.
“I guess… you know more about that than I do. She’s on the floor right below mine. Apparently she left her boyfriend Rody at his room. He said he saw her go in and that’s the last anyone has seen of her.” I shrugged as my wood carving tool pulled up a wood chunk.
“Maybe she’s sick.” I blurted.
“For a whole week?” Kylie retorted.
“Well everyone’s been sick because of the glorious North Carolina weather,” I joked.
“Heh, I guess you could be right. They said 5 students went missing in Oak Hall, and now two in Cypress,” she continued.
“Eh sounds like the flu to me.” I shrugged off.
“Ya know if we were in a horror movie you’d be that logical dad that gets everyone killed,” Kylie teased.
“Well seeing as I’m very much a girl that dad thing would be pretty miraculous.” I joked back.
“I’ll be right back I gotta grab my RA real quick.” she blurted, voices in the background.
“Ah at last you’re going to do something about the furniture movers in the upstairs floor.” I replied.
“Yeah, I’m gonna need the noise to stop after 12.” she laughed. She glided off the screen, leaving behind the pink bedsheets and pillows to keep me company. I noted that I heard something like her opening the door and then a muffled “HEY!” I laughed to myself, taking a moment to rest my hands. I examined them, feeling my fingers cramp at the intense work they’d been doing. I looked at the foot I’d been carving up and felt discouraged knowing it just wasn’t the best of my work.
The sounds of shuffling caused me to look up. I was certain I was gonna see Kylie sitting in front of me, but there still was the pink sheets and pillows. Then the lights went out. I can’t really explain the discomfort I felt. For all I knew Kylie was just changing into pajamas or whatever. Call it intuition, but I just felt like something was not right.
It was then I heard the breathing. It was deep and dry, it sounded like whoever it was had been going on without water. I felt as though the breathing had forced me to sync up my own breathing. I was paralyzed, my body betraying me. I literally felt heavier, like I was carrying a 40 pounds that was hindering any movement. I felt cold chills clutch my spine and yank relentless as the breathing grew louder like a terrifying game of Marco Polo.
I know what you’re thinking: You weren’t in the room. It didn’t matter, whatever was in Kylie’s room had a presence that invaded all occupying space, even the floor between us. It was then I realized the bedsheets were beginning to move, the breathing turning into a series of low growls. I decided for some unknown reason to mute my microphone. I don’t know why I did this, some hope that I could separate myself from the powerful unseen entity in Kylie’s room. The springs began to squeak. But the breath was louder than before. Fear overtook me as I become certain I was going to see a face which would suck life from me.
“I caught you!” I screamed realizing the voice was beside me which caused Kylie to jump back from me. She gave me a confused look as she stood over my shoulder. I had fallen from my desk chair, tumbled over and tangled in extension cords and various chargers. She helped me up apologizing. I felt a small relief as I got back in my chair, a relief that left as quick as it came.
Both of us were staring at the screen in terror. On the other side, brightened by the glow of the laptop was a man. His eyes were unnatural black brought on by the black circles painted around them. The mouth was painted over white, with black lines drawn across. As my terror overwhelmed me I began to realize why the white and black pattern on his face seemed so familiar. It was a skull painted across his face. He was watching us, fully aware of our presence, His head resting on his palm as he relaxed into her bed. He blinked, hiding his already dark eyes as if they were holes in his face.
The sound of jingling keys was suddenly adamant, a female voice on the other end. Kylie’s hand gripped my shoulder causing my body to jerk in terror.
“It’s Lydia,” Kylie said, “She’s back from the party. She doesn’t know.” I unmuted the microphone in a panic frenzy.
“LYDIA GET OUT OF THERE!” I yelled. The man turned back to me, throwing the laptop on the ground. The screen was suddenly fuzzy, but I could see flip flop adorned feet enter the room and the light from the outside hall disappear as she closed the door behind her.
“Ugh, hold on Don. Kylie why is your laptop on the floor? Are you insane?” Lydia bent down and suddenly I could see her blue eyes and now washed out complexion.
“Lydia I’m here! Get out of the room right now!” Kylie screeched from beside me. Lydia’s eyes widened as she registered what she was seeing.
The man’s face appeared behind her causing us to scream. We watched in absolute terror as he pulled out a knife, covering her mouth and a struggle ensued. The laptop was dropped the sounds of the struggle continued and muffling whimpers. The sound of the knife contacting flesh and bone was heard. Then we saw her flip flopped feet. They wiggled uncontrollably for several moments before they stopped suddenly. Blood dripped onto her painted toes, and I felt my voice leave me. I looked to Kylie, tears were pouring down her face. She crouched beside me, when suddenly the feet disappeared from the shot. We heard shuffling for moments. Why we didn’t call the cops then I’ll never know. Like I said, it was like we were frozen by the presence of that evil.
The sounds stopped. It felt like we sat in hours in silence, but it couldn’t have been more than minutes. Kylie’s crying became vocal beside me, she began balling loudly as terror seeped into our beings. I grabbed her hand hoping it would be some comfort. How wrong I was.
In a swift movement the laptop was moved and all we saw was blur. It rested on the opposite bed looking back at Kylie’s bed. The light of the laptop faded off where we couldn’t see anything on the opposite side. The sounds of the footfall leaving the room caught our attention, before the light was switched on.
That loud click was all I heard even though I’m sure both me and Kylie were screaming. The light which should’ve been inviting and welcomed revealed a horrific site. On the once perfectly pink bedsheets was now blood, and on the white walls now read words in blood. The wall read in it’s insidious graffiti: The Beast Shall Devour All. What was the worst part though, the part I cannot forget even as I try with all my might, is seeing Lydia’s head without a body resting on the pillow staring terrified back at us.
Our screaming had alarmed the entire floor and led to the arrival of the cops. They had arrived to tell us to keep things down, but as soon as they saw the computer things changed. They found Lydia and no sign of the man who had been there. After finding one dead student and hearing about the others who had been missing classes, the police opted to check on the rooms of the missing students. Every one of them was found without a body and resting on the pillow. Every room had the same phrase etched onto the wall.
An investigation ensued, and eventually they did find something out of place. They were examining the heads and in Summer’s teeth they found DNA of someone else. They ran it through the system to find out it belonged to a man named Caleb Davidson. Davidson came from a neighboring town: Saint Pauls. He had prior assault charges on file and they caught him easily. He was said to be wearing skull face painting when they found him.
They further investigated his home and found bones of the people he’d murdered. Lydia and Summer’s bodies were identified. There were all the missing students and also many travelers from out of town. I read up on a couple of the victims. The most interesting one was Neil Anthony, he’d been taking a road trip investigating urban legends when he stumbled upon “the hill beast” in Saint Pauls. I quickly realized as I read through his blog that there was something absolutely strange about it all.
The police charged Davidson with the murders of the victims and he plead guilty. When they questioned him they discovered more strange oddities around the case. Davidson had managed somehow to get past the security of each of the dorm rooms and got the remains of the students out without notice. Davidson claimed he had been protected by the beast. The cops wrote it off as insane ramblings.
But what bothers me to this day is what was discovered about the bodies. All that was left were bones, all the meat was gone. But found on the bones, on everybody, were teeth marks of an animal. Even worse, the teeth marks on each body matched. The animal was believed to be canine but it was never found.
I had left the campus after that. I still keep in contact with Kylie, she’s switched schools too. We both got out of that mess. Just last week we met up for coffee for the first time in months. It started off as catching up, we both are graduated now and eagerly looking for good jobs. It was then that she brought up that night.
“Ya know it terrifies when I think about it,” Kylie sighed.
“I don’t think we’ll ever forget it Kylie,” I replied.
“I can’t even begin to imagine how you felt watching for all that time,” she said thinking.
“Yeah,” I continued, “Ya know I couldn’t believe it because it started out as something moving off screen and then he shut off the lights.”
“Oh my God,” she gasped, tears daring to fall.
“What’s wrong?” I asked concerned.
“He didn’t turn off the lights, I did.”
Credit To – Elysia Bloom