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The Leather Cape



Estimated reading time — 11 minutes

Early in the summer a few years ago, I started dating this girl whose mother worked at the local flea market. The girl – let’s call her Tiffany – and I had been dating for a few months when she asked me if I would like to come help her work with her mom. I certainly didn’t want to sacrifice one of my precious Saturday mornings to go work all day at a dusty flea market, but I really liked this girl and, to be perfectly honest, wanted to get into her pants, so I decided to go.

That’s how I found myself on my way to the craphole flea market at seven thirty in the morning on a Saturday morning that I really wish I had slept in on. We opened her mom’s store at eight, waited around for customers for a while, but when it got close to ten and only one woman had shown a passing interest in the handmade ashtrays her mom was trying to sell, she told Tiffany and I we could go take a look around the rest of the place.

Tiffany and I walked around for a while, but we didn’t find anything of interest. There was a movie store that had pretty much every movie you could think of, but so did I at home, so no help there. Both of the book stores were a bust, finding nothing interesting but some old Stephen King novels that I already owned and a crotchety old man who watched us like a hawk – probably because we were some “damn teenagers” who, of course, would go out of our way to steal an old dusty book barely held together with spit and glue. We had meandered our way through most of the building when we happened upon a small shop that was selling EXCLUSIVE! RARE! HARD-TO-FIND TV PROPS! according to the very loud banner stretched across the top. “Want to go in?” I asked Tiffany.

“Nah, I have to go use the bathroom. You can go in though.”

“Oh, fine, make me go into the shady store by myself!” I joked.

“You’ll be fine. Go!”

“Do I have to?”

“Yes. You have to go inside. I’ll be right back.” She gave me a playful slap and walked away.

As I walked into the dingy booth, the owner gave me a grim nod without a smile. I didn’t really see anything of interest at first. They really did have some obscure stuff, such as old plush dolls from Rocko’s Modern Life and Ren & Stimpy. There were also some old Pokémon playing cards – not sure if that counted as “rare TV props” but it was still cool – and even some of the old Nickelodeon themed board games. I had several nice hits of nostalgia, but nothing really stuck out at me enough to make me want to buy it. I was about to walk out when the owner said “got some more stuff here behind the counter.”

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He pulled out a box of assorted dolls and junk and dropped it carelessly on the counter. “Ain’t had a chance to put them away yet, but you can look.”
I half heartedly picked through the box out of politeness, but I really just wanted to get out of there. I pulled out a couple of old Rugrats dolls and a Squidward doll that had an odd red stain on its head, and was about to just say “no thanks” and put them back and get out of there when I saw something that hit me with such an intense blast of nostalgia that I almost fell over.
A dirty white skull stared at me from the bottom of the box, his huge, black glass eyes that were entirely too large for his head – just as I remembered. I reached down and picked him up, almost forgetting the entire world around me as I looked over the thing I had completely forgotten about until this moment. The tan top hat and cape, made of some of the roughest leather I’ve ever felt, was sewn up in the same crazy patterns I remembered so vividly from my childhood. As I rubbed some of the dirt off of his body, noting the feeling of a rough little bump on his hat and the leathery stitches holding together his clothing, I noticed that his jaw didn’t open all the way. Instead, it barely opened just a bit and slid sideways, from left to right, making an almost unpleasant grinding noise. Every detail was exactly as I remembered.

“Well?”

I jerked out of my stupor with a start. Looking stupidly at the owner, I used every ounce of intelligence I possess to come up with a brilliant reply. “Uh. What?”

“I said, are you gonna buy it or just stand there all day molesting it? Come on kid, I wanna go on lunch.”

“Uh… yeah. I’ll take it.” There was no way I was letting this go. “Would you happen to know if this is… like, actually from the show?”

“Kid,” (I really wished he would stop calling me kid. Just because he was probably in his late fifties doesn’t mean he can address me, at 26 years of age, as a kid) “I don’t even know what show that’s from. All this crap is my brother’s. He would tell you that it’s all the real deal. But I just wanna get rid of it.”

“Well, I hate to be a bother, but is there anyway I could get in contact with him? This show doesn’t even… well, I just need to know if this is actually from the show.”

“Can’t. Dead. Three months now. And the doll is ten bucks. Take it or leave it.”

I handed the rude owner the cash and left the shop with the doll, deep in thought. There was no way this doll should even exist. That show didn’t exist. There was no way it did. I had dreamt it all, hadn’t I? All that screaming…

I was so lost in my thoughts that I didn’t even see Tiffany until she was almost right in my face. “Oh, hi.”

“Hi! Did you actually find something in the shady store?”

“Uh… yeah.” I told her about the doll. She didn’t recognize it, but I didn’t really expect her to. Our conversation quickly turned to other things, such as the creepy old lady she had encountered in the bathroom who had taken up fifteen minutes of her time asking too many personal questions.

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We finished out the day, her mom thanked us for our help, and we spent the day together. For those who are curious, I did not succeed in getting in her pants, but that’s inconsequential to the story.

Anyway, that night when I got back to my apartment, I pulled out the doll, something I’d been dying to do all day but had avoided so I didn’t seem like a freak, and gave it a closer look. I couldn’t get over how genuine the cape felt. I loved the feeling of running my fingers over it, enjoying the smooth, yet rough, texture of the stitches. The top hat was removable, and the glass eyes were indeed made of really thick glass. It was all as I had remembered. I was in utter shock, even still. How did this exist?

I sat on my couch and began thinking about the show. Candle Cove. God, I hadn’t thought about that show in easily fifteen, maybe even twenty years. I couldn’t have been older than six or seven when it ran. I only remember it being on for a couple of months before it got cancelled. I remember greatly enjoying it at the time. I would come home from school, always so excited and always making my mom turn the TV channel 58 to watch it. I remembered sitting on the floor, way too close to the TV, watching her turn the dial with the finger that had a mole on it, always the same way every time. Yeah, I’m old enough that the TVs of my childhood still had manual dials instead of a remote, so sue me. I chuckled to myself. I hadn’t thought about any of that for so long. I missed my mom, thinking back on it now. She had passed away about five years ago from skin cancer, and it had hit me hard. She had always been such a big influence in my life. She would always tell me about what an imagination I had, and how she just knew it would take me far. I wish she had lived long enough to see me graduate college and land a job at a small, independent film company where I edited movies. It certainly didn’t make me famous or anything, but it paid very well and I was responsible for some of the better editing in many different films. Some of which I knew she would have loved to watch. I missed her terribly. I missed how when I was sad she would pretend to draw on my face, and I would always watch the mole on her finger as it traced my face because I thought her “freckle mountain,” as I called it, was pretty cool. I missed the way she would chuckle and shake her head at me as I watched the show, remarking on what a big imagination I had “with my little pirate show.” I had always wondered exactly what she meant, but the older I got, the more I realized it must have all been my imagination. The whole thing. The entire show must have been me just thinking too much or something because there was no way that they could have aired that episode. The one with all the screaming… All the characters, screaming bloody murder and jumping and flailing. I remembered vividly the horrible feelings I got from that episode, and even as a child I thought it was strange. Things like that don’t even get aired today, much less all the way back in ‘71.

I must have been rubbing my finger over the doll’s face again, and hadn’t noticed what I was doing until I felt a strong pinch. I gasped and looked down, and quickly pulled my finger out of the doll’s mouth. What the fuck? Why did that hurt so bad? The teeth weren’t sharp or anything. I hadn’t even realized I had put my finger in there. I must have bumped his jaw or something and pinched myself. I sighed and shook my head at my own foolishness, and went back to looking at the doll that was responsible for so many of my childhood nightmares.

As I examined the doll’s mouth, I found myself wondering why it only moved side to side. In fact, the more I thought about it, the more the memories came flooding back. The Laughingstock… Jesus. That old piece of shit pirate ship that was always so close to falling apart. The Ed Wynn voice it had, telling the pirates they had to go inside some place and face the danger – usually the Skin-Taker, whose image I held in my very hand. I remember Janice, the little girl from the show, asking the Skin-Taker why his mouth moved like that. God… What was it he had said? I strained the muscles of my memory until I suddenly got goosebumps when the phrase drifted through my mind, leaving icy trails of fear running down my back.

“To grind your skin…”

It was such a cheesy thing to say, but there was nothing cheesy about the way he had glared so silently into the camera with his evil, black eyes, almost challenging someone to defy him.

Shaking off my childish fears, I tossed the doll on my coffee table and went to go take a shower. I needed to clear my head, but the entire time in the shower my thoughts only wandered more and more. I started remembering more about the final episode that had aired, and the way all the puppets and Janice had screamed and thrashed and shook so violently… there hadn’t even been a plot or anything. The entire episode had consisted of nothing but all the characters screaming and crying and it was all so chaotic and traumatic. I remembered how I had started to cry and my mom had run in from the other room, asking me what was wrong, and I had told her through my tears how Janice was crying and no one was helping her and my mom had turned off the TV and picked me up and made me feel better. Then she went and put me to bed, tracing my face with the finger until I fell asleep and had terrible nightmares all night long about the Skin-Taker chasing me and screaming incessantly… all these thoughts ran through my mind and even though my shower water was pretty hot, I still had chills all over my body.

It didn’t help that when I turned off the water, I could hear my TV was on.

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I froze. I knew I hadn’t left my TV on. I hadn’t even turned it on since I got home. I had simply walked through the door and sat on my couch and looked at the doll, and I knew I had never even touched the remote to the TV. I slowly got out of the shower and dried off, listening carefully to the sounds coming from my living room. I couldn’t believe my ears.

Calliope music.

The last set of memories came with a refreshing course of nostalgia. My mother’s finger, the one with the mole that had always comforted me so, turning the dial to the station with all the static. The station always had static, I remembered that. Until 4:00, when Candle Cove came on, there was never anything but static, but when Candle Cove came on the calliope music, ridiculously happy, would start to bleed through the static, slow and distorted at first but speeding up and being more bouncy as the picture cleared and Pirate Percy and his friends greeted Janice to a new day full of adventures. Now I suspected that it had always been static even when the show was on… maybe that was why my mother had shaken her head and laughed at me. But, if it had always been static, where did the doll come from? How did it even exist if the show did not? I was so confused, and the stupid, catchy music coming from my living room was not only making me more confused but was creeping me out a bit too. Shaking off my thoughts, I opened the door and heard the tail end of a sentence spoken in a voice that sounded remarkably like Ed Wynn…

“…GO INSIDE!” it was saying.

I stepped out and slowly walked into the living room. My hallway was ridiculously long and it only served to increase my tension, but just as I rounded the corner, the TV turned to static.

As the only light in the room was the whiteness from the static on the TV, I got really creeped out. I rushed to the lamp and flicked it on, and saw that the doll was exactly where I had left it – right on top of the remote.

I sighed in relief and shook my head in embarrassment. It all made sense now. I had simply thrown the doll on the remote and the force of his impact had turned on the TV. I simply hadn’t noticed because my TV takes forever to turn on and by the time it had, I was in the bathroom. It had been static-y the entire time, and it was simply my confused, slightly disturbed thoughts and emotions that had projected the noises I heard into my brain. I really needed to get some sleep. I knew it wasn’t a good idea to wake up at the crack of dawn to go to the flea market. I could have slept in all day and avoided this whole mess. There would be no questions about where the doll came from or if the stupid fucking show even existed or what all my disjointed, confused memories were trying to tell me… everything would have been alright if I had just slept in. Sound advice for life. Always sleep in.
This is all stuff I tried to tell myself to relieve the creepy feelings I had. And it almost worked. It had almost worked, and my heartbeat had finally slowed, and my blood pressure was normal, and the goosebumpbs had finally gone away, and all the things I told myself had made me feel better. My justifications and explanations had almost… ALMOST made me feel better. Until I picked up the doll and started absentmindedly started running my fingers over it again. I started playing with the funny little bump that was on the top hat again and I remember being extremely comforted. All the bad feelings suddenly went away and I felt so much better. All was well. The show probably had simply existed in another format, and since I was so young my confused mind had simply combined my memories with something else and projected them over the show, giving me all theses confused feelings. I would simply get dressed, get on my computer, look up the show, and put all this crap to rest. Maybe I would even throw away the doll. It would be for the best. I shouldn’t have even bought it, but now that I had, $10 was not too much of a price to pay for some peace of mind. I got up to put the doll in the trash, but the towel wrapped around my waist started to unravel so I reached to grab it and dropped the doll. Tonight was just not my night.

I bent down to pick up the doll and his top hat, which had fallen off. It was then that I got a good look at the hat, when it was separate from the menacing black eyes that demanded all my attention before. I had been playing with the funny little bump on the hat, and I had felt an intense sense of comfort as I did so. When I looked at the top hat, I realized, with a sudden blast of recognition and fear, what my memories had been trying to tell me. I realized what it was about the funny little bump that had given me comfort. It was the same bump that I had stared at for endless hours as a child, in times of happiness, sadness, pain and fear.

The funny little bump… was my mother’s mole.

Credit To – saqua23

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31 thoughts on “The Leather Cape”

  1. wow. this gave me the creeps. I actually love the ending. it opens up a new set of questions and possibilities. like, how did the mole end up on the doll ? did the things that happen in the last episode of his childhood show actually take place in real life ??? his mom died of skin cancer right ? omg. did he take some of her skin and put it on the doll so he can keep her with him ? like i said, endless possibilities. yummy pasta!

  2. An interesting connection I didn’t make before and no one seems to have mentioned, is that his mother passed away from skin cancer. I saw that and thought ‘hmm, skin cancer specifically… I bet that’ll be related to the skin taker’ so I think there must be some connection between his mother dying of skin cancer and her mole, as in part of her skin, ending up on the skin taker’s hat. Maybe she didn’t actually die of skin cancer and was actually killed and had her skin ground? I’m not sure but just a thought.

  3. Wow that was really good but i love how it expresses so many feelings like wow but the ending kinda through me off a bit.

  4. Wait if he’s 26 then and he watched candle cove in ’71 and he knows spongebob exists that means that’s a minor error in the story.

  5. Nicola Marie Jackson

    This had a weird ending but I did like the writing and the suspense. Creeped me out and not just a bit either 7.8/10 xx

  6. This was a stupid addition to the candle cove series. This is what happens when multiple authors write on the series. There are only three or four good candle cove stories out there, the rest are garbage that steer away from the canon.
    The ending to this story left me saying “What?”. His mother’s mole?

  7. Umm I don’t think this is a story that copied the ideas of another. It’s a candle cove story, and all the stories of candle cove link together. Theyre like puzzle pieces, and they all connect together to complete it. In the end, we will hopefully find out the complete story. Although, I do have to agree that this wasn’t the best pasta of the Candle Cove series.

  8. wouldn't you like to know

    I thought the writer was great at the description really going to a load of detail,
    but I found the ending disappointing
    No explanation on how the mole got there or what happens from there,
    maybe if you continued the story and give a really surprising ending ( even tho that’s hard to do now a days) but I’m sure you could pull it off just continue the story and this could be a pretty saucy pasta

  9. I didn’t find this creepy at all. In fact, I laughed at the ending. It makes absolutely no sense for a creepy doll to have a dead woman’s mole on its hat. I was left with the nagging question of: “But…WHY?!” If anyone can please explain why this is creepy, please explain.

  10. This topic is a little over done, eve for a creepy pasta. The writing was mediocre at best and the ending made no sense. How is Candle Cove still a thing after so long/so much fanfic?

  11. I enjoyed the story even with the odd timeline.
    But I’m confused about the ending. Was the ‘mole’ he remembers actually from the skeleton instead of the mom? Or was the hat made from his mom’s skin(ie. death from skin cancer)?
    Although I suppose the point is that we’ll never really know.
    Either way, good pasta!

  12. shoppingandfucking

    There is nothing wrong with writing in the Candle Cove mythos, just as there is nothing wrong with the vacillation between sickly sweet nostalgia and the incipient realization of the dark, horrific center buried under that nostalgia. That said, this particular piece falls flat. A good mythos piece should both advance the cycle of stories it belongs to in some way (this piece does not) and should also stand up on its own (this piece falls woefully flat if the reader is somehow unaware of the Candle Cove tradition). I appreciate the effort, but this just didn’t work.

  13. I was reading this mainly to know how much time the narrator would take to get into her pants. Concerning the idea of the story, I wouldn’t call this a bad spin-off. Neither is it impressive. If we look back, not much has happened throughout the story. To a greater extent, it consists of the protagonist’s reminiscence and I believe that the narrator’s speculation about existence or inexistence of the show itself pretty much ruins the fundamental of the original story, thus, somewhat ruining the creepiness potential that could have been exploited. I like the ending though, something as bizarre as this case seems like good food for thought. Yet, the character being ganged by dolls creeping from under his bed would have worked better, in my opinion.

  14. I made the Candle Cove connection as soon as the girl told him he had to go inside the store. Not bad pasta.

  15. I was confused about the time. In the beginning he was a teenager, (the old man in the bookstore scofeed at teenagers) but he hasn’t seen candle cove in 20 years (when he was 6, so that would make him 26 not a teen. Also the show was set in the 7th and if it’s 20 years later, he found the doll on 91…correct me if I’m wrong, but he mentioned using the Internet to look up the show…was Google around in 91? Maybe I misread it all..but one thing for sure..I totally did not understand the mom mole on the skeleton. 5/10….
    *glad to have my daily dose of creepy pasta back!!

  16. I love the candle cove stories, but this was a disappointing pasta to return to. The show and his mother had nothing to do with each other. Maybe if he talked about his mom being against the show or something. The ending really just ruined it for me.

  17. I’m such a fan of Candle Cover spin-off stories that I just love seeing anything decent written about it! Personally, I really enjoyed it and felt it really played on the original dichotomy between nostalgia and fear that has always accompanied these. It’s almost as if the show lures people in with nostalgic memories of a silly kid’s show, and then reveals the final episode to them so that they are terrified. I also think the twist with the mole was devious and sent a little chill down my spine. I agree the mentions of the mole were a bit heavy throughout, and were really jarring up until the very end. Then it felt like it was trying too hard to reinforce that point throughout. The timeline is a bit off as well, since he was watching TV in 1971, but claims to be 26 only a few years ago. Bare minimum he is 43. I might just clarify how long ago in the past this happened. Otherwise, I really enjoyed this. I think it did a good job staying true to the feeling of traditional Candle Cove stories, and created its own creepiness. Bravo! Great story to come back to after the hiatus! Happy writing!

    1. Oh jeez, that time difference bothered me so much. Even if the “few years ago” is off, there’s no way someone could be 26, know about Spongebob (aired first in ’99) and be 6-7 in ’71. It took me out of the immersion. But agreed, otherwise good.

  18. Lots of ppl use the idea someone else came up with….especially on this website.Don’t be so hard on this author, I’ve read a lot worse.I liked the surprise of what this story was about.I was thinking “Hmm, it must be a murderer story…” which aren’t usually very interesting to me.When he finds the doll and I realized what it was, I was excited.Candle Cove is one of my favorites.I didn’t think this story was terrible, but when he thinks of the mole I had figured that part out.Maybe mention the mole once, and in a very sneaky way, so the reader doesn’t fig it out till the end.
    But I liked the story anyway.Keep writing, and don’t mind the harsh critiques TOO much.Your writing style does have potential, imo.Just need a little practice on making it flow a little bit better.
    :)

  19. Oh, how I’ve missed daily creepypastas!
    Candlecove has always been a story that has made me a bit creeped out, but this one, not so much.
    The story itself isn’t that bad, but I wish it would have added to the story, instead of using a doll to up the creep factor.

  20. I enjoyed this, I don’t care that it’s a spinoff. How did the mole get there in the hat? Is the mother the skeleton? Did the skeleton grind her skin, provided that she’s passed away? Delicious possibilities. Saucy pasta. :)

  21. Yeah, I agree with randomguy. This pasta is a TOTAL re-make of another pasta. The author just used someone else’s work and expanded on it. Also, the ending was LAME!

  22. Lol what? Does anyone else realize how the ending made no sense at all? This whole story was redundant. He also went from the loving memories of nostalgia for the show, to the living nightmares from hell for the show. Flip flop much? Also, what’s with all the crappy stories, (including this one) having the stupid main character justify these absolutely bizarre happenings? If you know you put the doll down, how exactly did you throw it on the remote to turn the TV on? There’s so many problems with this story, I don’t have the time to single them all out. I also hate stories like this, that basically copy a main idea from another creepypasta, then make there own story from it. Lame. Awful pasta, 3/10 stars. Would not even consider eating again.

    1. First off, your pun of “eating it again” is lame so you can stop right there. Second, the ending DID make sense if you have an ounce of competency. Did you even read the entire story? Third, the whole part about how the narrator thought he threw the doll onto the remote instead of setting it down is logical. The human brain plays tricks like that on people all the time, especially if one is scared or paranoid. If you experienced something like this as a child I am pretty sure that you would flip-flop from nostalgia to horror as well. Anyone in their right mind would. You don’t just accept that these things are happening. So, yes, the narrator is going to try to justify these occurrences. And finally, spin-offs are a VERY popular type of creepypasta. There are all kinds of spin-offs of all kinds of different stories. Just because you don’t prefer that kind of story doesn’t mean that they automatically suck. That’s like someone saying a new action movie coming out automatically sucks just because it is an action movie. The author didn’t “steal someone else’s idea and expand on it,” he was inspired by a popular story and wanted to add his own interpretation to it. What’s wrong with that? There are certainly flaws with this story, I won’t deny that. It’s not perfect and it by no means the best story I’ve ever read. But almost all of your critiques seem aimed at trashing the story instead of helping the author get better at writing and that’s just extremely unfair. The comments section should be a place to say what you liked and disliked about the story, with advice aimed at the author to help them become a better author, not a place to tear down something that someone used as a creative outlet for their artistic vision.

      1. Well when I said will not eat again, I was done typing my comment, so I guess I did stop right there lol. Also I did read the entire pasta, and yes the ending was crap, it doesn’t take competency to figure that out. Also I do try to critique and give constructive criticism, if the pasta calls for it. Unfortunately this pasta was really poor to me, so I didn’t know what to say to make it better. I’m just getting tired of how the pastas recently have been utter crap. I’m blunt and honest. Also I don’t care what you say about the minds playing tricks, it just doesn’t seem likely the normal human would rationalize all that stuff. Also, just because you took all my criticisms and said they are bashing doesn’t mean it’s true. The switching back and forth from horror to nostalgia was something I was pointing out as constructive criticism. I also never said they automatically suck if a pasta is derived from another, I just don’t usually care for them. Thanks for calling me out though. Stay classy.

        1. Did some1 have bytchflakes for breakfeast or what? if you dont like the pasta or any of the recent pastas that were made than simply dont read any more pastas and stay away from the site. that simple

        2. It’s not constructive when you call something crap, even if you follow with specific critique. You sounded like a little kid calling food gross, not caring enough that someone made the food/story to be enjoyed for free. No need to make the writer feel like crap because you think a story is crappy.

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