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Estimated reading time — 9 minutes

“Mom…dad…is it over?”

It was pitch black and silent for a moment after…

“I don’t know, son.”

Then woman’s voiced quivered…

“Henry, how will we know?”

It was then Henry switched on the lantern. He was a blinded momentarily and when his sight came too he saw his wife and son huddled in front of him; tears rolling down their cheeks. He had wiped off his own tears earlier. Having illuminated the lantern, he proceeded to direct the light around the room. The surrounding area was small and lined with metal walls; itself, lined with lead thick enough to block out radiation from the outside. Boxes and shelves of canned food products hugged every corner. At the far end was a large water purifier. There was a single door in the shape of a vault. He wondered how long they had been waiting in the darkness.

“Henry, how will we know?”

Henry pointed the light back at his family with a dumbfounded look on his face and said nothing.



“I don’t know. I didn’t…I mean, I don’t have any way to tell if it’s safe out there. Where’s the radio?”

He found the radio behind him and channeled through the stations, hoping to pick up a signal. At first, there was only static…

“Mom, is it the end of the world?”

“No baby, we’re still alive.”

“I mean outside.”

“That’s what your father is trying to find out.”

“Shh!” Henry held out his hand, he was trying to listen. He thought he had heard something.

“Mom, that earthquake…was that from the bombs?”

“JONATHAN!” Henry hushed his son and held the radio to his ear. He had definitely heard something. Someone was singing. It was faint; hidden in the static. Jonathan opened his mouth, but his mother smothered him.

“There…” Henry jolted, “THERE! You hear it?”

They all drew closer and a faint singing emerged. The tune was familiar, though the words were still obscured.

Catherine made a confused face, “Happy…”

“What is it Catherine? Is that what they’re saying?”

“I think so. I think it’s the Happy Holiday song?”

Henry gave an odd expression, “You mean Bill Crosby ‘Happy Holidays’?”

“Bing Crosby. Yes, definitely.”

The static cleared and the song could be heard much more clearly; Bing Crosby’s “Happy Holiday” was playing.

Their son whimpered, “Does that mean nothing happen?”

“I’m not sure, son”

“but..but what about…what about the shaking earlier? The Earthquake.”

“Calm down, son. We don’t know.” Henry turned to Catherine and motioned to the vault door, “Honey? Should we?”

“I don’t know, Henry. We don’t know what this means. What if the signal was still running in the air before it … happened… and we’re just picking up residue?”

Henry lowered the volume, “That’s true. Also, it’s a strange thing to play after what happened; even if nothing happened. You’d think there’d be a national broadcast signal directing us what to do next.”

There, they waited; hoping for some sign from the outside world; a radio signal with instructions, some knock from the other side of their vault, reassuring them the outside world was okay. Anything. They waited for days, but there was nothing but the same song playing over and over; “Happy Holidays”. In a fit of desperation, they eventually decided to open the door, realizing whatever reality existed outside the room they would have to face it sooner or later. Henry had a shot gun just in case. If it were only radiation, he thought, then the fallout should have settled. He told his family to move to the back of the room behind the water purifier. When they did, he reached for the door. As he began to turn the wheel lock, “Happy Holiday” ended and there was a momentary silence.

“Henry?” Catherine yelped

Henry looked at her, then the door, and opened it. A bright light shot through the entrance and they all covered their eyes. It was too bright. When his eyes adjusted, Jonathan saw his father disappear into the light and began to walk towards it himself. His mother held him back, but he pulled her forward. “Happy Holidays” began to play again. Jonathan slipped out his mother’s hand and continued into the light. She ran for him and before they reached the door, a large shadow overcame them.

“Son, Catherine. Everything is alright.”

They were outside, just having emerged from underground. All around them was green grass, and trees, and their house. Everything looked in place. Up ahead, they could see the town. Nothing had been disturbed.

“Henry, HENRY! Everything is fine!” Catherine cried. She was overjoyed.

They had entered their house and noted the electricity still ran. Henry began to make some phone calls; Catherine turned on the television and Jonathan ran upstairs to his room. Henry held the phone to his ear while examining the interior of his house, checking for damages the eruption or earthquake, or whatever it was that happened earlier, might have caused. There were none that he could see.

Catherine turned to Henry, “Honey, anyone answering?”


“No, no one. They’re probably still hiding in shelter. What does the news say?”

“Nothing, none of the channels are working.” She was flipping through static.

Henry was still waiting on the phone when he said, “Maybe the stations are all down. Check the radio again. See if there’s a national broadcast or something.”

She did as he said and walked off. He had dialed a couple of different numbers, to no avail. He called the police. Called City Hall. Called the hospital. Called neighbors and friends and his boss. Nothing. “Honey, anything on the radio?”

He heard “Happy Holidays” getting closer and closer and his wife stood with a handheld radio. “Henry, this is all they’re playing.”

“What about the radio in our room? All the channels?”

“Yes, all the channels. I tried the other radios; they’re all playing the same thing. There are no other signals. They’re all only playing this. It’s looping over and over.”

Concern swelled in Henry’s throat. “Um…no one is answering. Honey, I think maybe the stations are all down. We might be among the first to emerge. I need to go town and see if anyone else is out and about. Hopefully the National Guard is around. I’m taking the truck, you stay here with Jonathan. Do not. DO NOT. Let anyone you don’t know in here, unless it’s the police or the Army.” He ran to his room and came out with his shotgun and pistol. He gave the shotgun to Catherine and stuck the pistol in his holster. “Baby, no one. I need to make sure it’s safe first. Stay with Jonathan.”

She nodded and locked the door after he left. She looked around and noticed she had not heard from Jonathan for some time.

“Johnny? Johnny?”

No response. She made her way to the stairs, into the second floor hallway. At the end of it her son’s room door was wide open. She walked to it, calling his name one last time. She entered his room. A scream of horror and a shotgun shot reverberated through the house, but Henry had already driven too far to hear it.


Henry was driving slowly through the neighborhood. He was deciding whether to meet his neighbors at their vault (or whatever area of precaution they took) or go straight to town hall, where the police station and Army recruiters’ office could be reached. He decided on the latter. He had to make sure everything was safe before pulling anyone else out. There wasn’t a single soul in sight. It unnerved him, despite understanding the circumstances. He turned on his radio, but it was all static with the exception of the one station looping “Happy Holiday”. He turned it off and he thought to himself, “Those goddamn Soviets”.

The town was empty. Nervous, he drove faster. He began to think about the impeding war. He thought about having to hide in the vault and the massive eruption earlier that surrounded them. What was it, he wondered? What caused that eruption? It felt like an earthquake. The buildings in town are still standing; it must not have been that strong. Maybe it was a natural earthquake. Maybe that’s what scared everybody enough to remain in their vaults. Maybe that’s why everything is so quiet. Was I the only one brave enough to venture out? He let out a nervous laugh. He thought of his family. He thought of the day before the sirens rang; how he had gathered his family in his sons room upstairs, huddled them together and promised them he would take of care. He remembered his shotgun in hand. He remember the tears on his wife fa…

Henry then slammed his brakes. The brakes let out a loud screech as the tires scraped across the pavement, then the truck shot its nose forward and then violently shot back. Henry bounced and swung violently on his seat, but in that whole time, he did not blink. A hundred feet ahead of the truck, Henry saw something beyond comprehension. He could not have uttered a word if he tried. There was no way to describe it. Terror beyond words. He immediately turned his truck around and sped off; hoping whatever they were hadn’t see him.

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There was a single truck on the road, its tires screaming and swerving. It ran straight towards the Mercer’s residence; a small family of modest means. The man of the house, Henry Mercer, worked for the government in a classified capacity, and met his wife, Catherine, at one of the departments New Year’s Eve party, in Wilmington, Delaware. They conceived a child three months later and produced their son, Jonathan, on December 25, 1958. Two years earlier General Secretary of the Soviet Communist Party, Nikita Khrushchev, threatened western sovereignty. The threat of nuclear war cast a shadow across the American landscape and families prepared for the worst. When the sirens rang, everyone ran for shelter; the Mercers where never heard from again.


Henry nearly ran the truck into his house. He shot out the vehicle and slammed through the house entrance door. He began to call his wife and son, screaming their names. The house was filled with Bing Crosby’s “Happy Holiday”, playing on the radio and even through the static of the television. He took out his pistol and negotiated his way through the house; periodically looked out the window, hoping to God he wasn’t followed by whatever it was he saw. Seeing nobody downstairs, he made his way up. He found himself at the end of the second floor hallway where his son’s room door had been shut. A horrible smell emitted from behind.


“Johnny? Catherine?”

The door was locked.


No answer.


Henry stood back and made a start at the door, kicking the wood around the doorknob into a dent. The wood had broken. One more kick should do it. He stood back further this time and charge the door, kicked the same area, and the door busted open.


Earlier that day, Jonathan ran into the house. He could hear his parents discussing what had happened. He was walking up the stairs when he saw his father reach for the phone. He was in the hallway when he heard his mother carrying around a radio playing “Happy Holiday”. He liked that song. Then he froze in his steps. He thought he had seen someone running inside his room. He should of ran back downstairs and told his mother and father, but he continued forward; cautiously.


He approached the door and slowly peaked inside. Then he saw them and they saw him. They were shaped like humans, but that was as far as the similarity went. Everything else was completely inhuman. Jonathan was paralyzed in fear and could barely call for help above a whisper.

Soon afterwards, Catherine made her way inside the room. At first, her mind could not make sense of what she was looking at; then seeing Jonathan’s body lying at their feet, she screamed, aimed the shotgun, and shot.

Sometime later, Henry returned. He could be heard screaming downstairs. Then he made his way up and into the room. The door was initially closed and when he kicked it in, he fell into an empty room; just four walls and a floor and window. He was stunned in disbelief. Where had they gone? What happened to Jonathan’s room? He heard a noise outside and ran to the window. Looking out, he saw those indescribable horrors making their way into the house. They had followed him. He shut the broken door as well as he could and welded his pistol. Panic overtook him and he rushed to the furthest corner from the door. He could hear the doors and windows downstairs crashing open. Those things were inside the house. Their crawling and scratching could be heard between the walls and a horrific scream emitted from them. Henry could hear them making their way upstairs and at that moment, he kicked open the window and tried to escape, but the horrors, these beings beyond description, rushed into the room and smothered his screams. He didn’t even get a single shot out.


Ultimately, nuclear war was dissuaded and both superpowers reached an agreement. The Soviet Union later dissolved. Today, no such looming danger exists on that level. Neither do the Mercers exist anymore. There’s another family there now; The Mores. Frederick More had purchased the house from the government at a reasonably cheap price. It was a single story home, though a shallow alcove near the entrance was evident that a staircase once stood there. The roof was brand new. Outside, a large patch of grass was discolored. The ground sank when you watered it. Frederick asked the neighbors if anything was once buried there. They were hesitant; asking Frederick if his Realtor had explained to them the houses history. He shook his head, so they proceeded to tell him. Story was….and Frederick realized why the house sold for cheap… the previous owner committed a murder/suicide along with his family and they were found buried there with some cans of food and a radio.

Frederick reiterated for clarity sake “So, the previous owner killed his family and then himself. And they were found buried here?”

“That’s what they say.” His neighbor shrugged “It was just a giant hole burying that poor family and a couple of cans and a radio.”

“God, that’s horrible. I’d rather my family not know about this. I’d rather not know about this, but who buried them?”

Nobody knew, but it didn’t bother Frederick. It had happened decades ago; before the much of the town was destroyed in that earthquake and rebuilt. He returned home to his wife and son, poured himself some coffee, and turned on the radio. At first, there was only static…

Credit To – ghostmetalblack

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31 thoughts on “Emerge”

  1. That made not a damned bit of sense. Mystery and twists are one thing but your audience should know what happened. Rewrite and don’t skimp the ending

  2. i’m so lost … i’m not sure what happened and the whole thing was so disjointed and i swear didn’t make much sense… i’m sorry but i really didn’t like this for the reason that it seemed to be overly broken up in weird places.

  3. When the story first said something about the creatures, I instantly thought of something from the fallout game, like ghouls or those human centipede looking type things from fallout 3, but that’s just me since I love the fallout series

  4. There is a movie that this is quite similar to. I cant remember the name but it was a group of young adults that stopped at like a motel type place, and meet up with other people. Well during the movie, they begin dying one by one as they try to leave. They are being killed by these “humanoid” things. In the end of the movie, you find out all the people were involved in a car accident. All the deaths were similar to the killings. But, that’s pretty much what this pasta reminded me of. So I imagine the monsters quite vividly.

  5. This story is in the strange and unknown section, so the creatures aren’t supposed to be known. That’s why they aren’t described good enough for you to know what they are.

  6. Anonymous:
    I’m pretty surprised that no one has said commented this. This pasta is obviously based on the video game series Fallout, particularly Fallout: New Vegas. The “monsters” are called Tunnelers, which are mutated humans that come out of the ground and bury their victims alive along with items they had on them.I’m pretty annoyed that people keep making pastas about a video game. Overall good pasta though

    First thing I thought of when I saw the word nuclear my mind immediately went to fallout.

  7. When I first try to imagine a monster with the form of a human I think of the fallen angel from a random video I’d seen… And I guess the government cover up was fine it would explain the dent of the wood showing stairs USED to exist there. But if the government covered it up you’d think they’d give a better explanation than a man murdering his family and himself then somehow burying them all and himself with a radio and cans of food.

    My first theory to this was that they did die in the earthquake inside their shelter and the last thing they heard was the “Happy Holidays” song playing. Which would explain why nobody was there and the only thing playing was the holiday song.

  8. I thought this was a reasonable pasta. Lots of potential.
    Liked the way it jumped back and forth between the characters and the suspence building up towards the encounters with the creatures.
    Then again; the creatures! Would have liked to have some more detail on them. I thought of zombies or mutated humans, then again, there seems to be no sign of a nuclear attack sooooo yea…
    I also have to agree with the previous comments about the similarities to fallout.

  9. i really enjoyed tye story but to me it made more sense if you took Henry in a hallucinogenic/ schizo mannerisms seeing as a murder suicide. the monsters are his humanity watching himself twist into what he cannot own up to. i think he killed his family then buried them went looking for them in the boys room then went back to the hooe and killed himself. (sorry for the grammatical mistakes cant type well on a phone)

  10. I don’t know if the author meant to base it off Fallout, but I too sensed similarities. My mind went to feral ghouls rather than Tunnelers though, for whatever reason. I rather enjoyed the concept, save the too vague monsters and uncertain ending.

    1. I’m not saying it is the same as Fallout but has many similarities and references. For example, they call the shelter a “vault.” I have already mentioned the tunnelers. It has apparent differences, too, such as the United States’ enemy being the Soviet Union instead of China.

      1. While I can’t speak for the author… nuclear hideouts are usually called vaults or bunkers, it’s not an exclusive term to the Fallout series by any means. Also note that the Fallout series itself is inspired by Cold War hysteria (imagining the aftermath if the tensions had actually borne a Nuclear war), and given that the author used the Soviet Union – which was the ‘big bad’ during the real-life Cold War – I personally suspect he was using actual history as inspiration more than anything else.

        That might be totally obvious to you guys, and if so, I apologize… but considering that I once knew a guy who thought that everyone who used the word ‘miasma’ was ripping off of Final Fantasy series (same with “Sephiroth”), you can’t always be sure! He wasn’t aware that they were real words. So ever since that conversation with him, I always kind of wonder when I see exchanges like this one where people seem to be weighing the influence/originality of a game far more heavily than the real-world events/words the game used as inspiration.

  11. I’m pretty surprised that no one has said commented this. This pasta is obviously based on the video game series Fallout, particularly Fallout: New Vegas. The “monsters” are called Tunnelers, which are mutated humans that come out of the ground and bury their victims alive along with items they had on them.
    I’m pretty annoyed that people keep making pastas about a video game. Overall good pasta though

      1. I thought of Fallout too. But “the fallout” is a pretty common way of referring to the aftermath of a nuclear attack and doesn’t necessarily have ties to the video game. Also, even though New Vegas was left more intact than the DC area, not all of the houses would be perfectly fine. It still suffered a great deal of radiation at the beginning

  12. sounds like they were zombies to me, but then again zombies don’t have the intelligence to bury people so idk. 7/10

  13. This may be a stupid theory but….maybe they were dead? They went underground waiting for a nuclear war that never happened, then an earthquake destroyed the town. Maybe they starved to death or the earthquake buried them alive. Perhaps this story is about their ghosts and the “monsters” are some kind of grim reaper types? Like a “Hey you’re dead and we’re taking you where you belong:the afterlife.” sorta thing?

    Just a suggestion.

  14. I loved the concept; however you really failed with your monster. You did such a great job building up to the monster encounters, but when you only provided a very brief and very non-descriptive analysis of the actual creature, all of that build up was for nothing. Authors can sometimes create terrifying monsters by leaving most of the actual description up to the reader’s imagination, but in this pasta, you only gave the monster one characteristic: humanoid.
    Well… my brain had to chose something to picture the monsters as, but unfortunately for the pasta it chose an enderman from minecraft.

  15. There are parts of this I really like, and parts that I don’t, as with any story. I like the refrain of the song. Since i have been listening to Christmas music pretty consistently since Dec. 1, it was very fitting. I love seasonal stories. I also, for the most part, really enjoyed the way you used dialogue. The only thing that bothered me was the frequent use of “honey” (though it was only four times, to be fair), but that may be my own personal dislike for that term that made it grating to me. I was very disappointed that there was no more explanation about the “monster” than beyond explanation and distinctly not human beyond form. While I do not believe you should have to detail out every single aspect of the monster, from the hair on it’s big toe tot the blood vessels of it’s fifteenth eye, I would have really enjoyed a little something more to spark imagination. Ambiguity is good, but this feels more like you were concerned with creating a cliche or not knowing how to best express it, so you said “indescribable” and left it at that.Just a couple of details would have made it for me. I also found the time skipping hard to follow, and it led to some repetition and redundancy (ba dum tss). I reread it briefly and everything made a bit more sense, but for a while I thought there were like four different explanations for what happened. I think I worked it out now, but the achronological style in some portions (such as inserting how Henry and Catherine met in the middle) broke up the flow for me. The scene breaks were also very sudden, but I assume that was intentional to create a chaotic feel to the story, much like the characters might be feeling in this bizarre situation.

    I did like the outcome, the ambiguity and the improbability of the Realtor’s explanation, but the kind of “speak no evil” approach. I think this had an interesting narrative voice, slightly reminiscent of the Twilight Zone, and I think some simple streamlining would help this shine a bit more brightly. I would have also enjoyed a little more emotion and responses of the characters, beyond just straightforward narration of the events. It would make them seem more relatable, giving the story more impact. Overall, I enjoyed reading it and the story, while a bit confusing in structure, was interesting. Paying around with Cold War fears and isolation is interesting, and I think those themes peeked through this story in interesting ways. I’m still not 100% about what happened in the end, though I would say a solid 90%, but I don’t mind that. Thanks for an interesting story, and happy writing!

  16. An excellent pasta my only a few complaints are against never really giving descriptions of the creatures. Unidentified monsters lack the shock factor and these are really underwhelming an undefined. The other is more of a pet peeve of repeating something that previously happened, Henry kicking in the door. On a complimentary note excellent writing structure very few grammatical errors and and excellent concept delivered aptly.

    1. WhatDoesTheFoxSay

      I agree with you (about the grammar/writing structure), although I personally believe that unidentified creatures are the worst; they let your mind “build” a creature, and when you visit Creepypasta as much as I do, your mind comes up with some purty creepy shit. :)

      1. I know there has to be room for the mind to build but there’s gotr to be something for the mind to build on. Otherwise you just fabricate random entitys that have no rime or reason to their appearance.

        1. I understand what you mean, and lets just agree to disagree. :)
          Oh, and it’s ryhme, not rime…

  17. Not bad. Quite a few problems though…Henry seemed awfully ok with risking radiation (which would be around for years and years if an actual Nuclear Holocaust happened). Not quite clear on the ending. Was Henry a schizophrenic or was their death a government cover up? “Neither do the Mercers exist anymore”….well, technically they would even if they were buried.

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