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My Grandfather’s Final Invention



Estimated reading time — 7 minutes

My grandfather was an inventor.

All his life he’s be tinkering with something, either taking something that existed and changing it, making it into something brand new (Or at the very least different) or inventing something entirely from spare parts. And while nothing he invented was ever earth shaking it was always one of my greatest delights, ever since I was a little girl, to see what he’d made.

Childhood visits to his home would always begin or end with me sitting on the couch, a look of absolute fascination on my tiny face as he showed off whatever gadget he’d put together in his workshop this time around. It was like having my own personal Santa who worked all year ‘round to fill my eight year old mind with wonder and glee.

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My older sister was likewise excited, no matter how much she tried to hide the excitement it filled her with, probably in an effort to appear cooler or more mature than myself. And while, because of real life getting in the way, the visits became fewer and fewer the older we got, we would always make time to see him at least a few times a year. And every time he would have something new to show us.

He really was a genius.

I should add that isn’t meant to imply something horrible happened to him. I’m sure some days he wishes it had, that it had been him who had wound up in that hospital instead of my sister but no, he went in his sleep and I hope that his passing was a peaceful one.

Even all these years later I can’t bring myself to be angry about what happened, can’t bring myself to hate him. He had no idea what would happen, no clue how things would pan out.

He knew something was wrong, oh yes. He wasn’t some doddering old fool. He knew the first time he looked through them that something was wrong but he thought it was something only a little odd, something unsettling and curious perhaps but not anything dangerous. Not anything that would HARM anyone.

I think deep down he just wanted to know that he wasn’t crazy. He wanted to be sure that he wasn’t seeing things. And who can blame him?

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There were three of us that year.

Myself and my girlfriend Justine and my sister Joan. We were both used to our grandfather being bursting with energy to show us whatever he’d put together so his oddly subdued mood when he came to the door to greet us came as a bit of a surprise. I was a little disappointed in fact, as I’d been hoping Justine would get to share in the experience of having a new invention demonstrated before our awe struck eyes. We’d only started dating that year so it would be the first chance she got to see the kind of things I’d been telling her about.

The day passed pleasantly enough as we chatted, enjoyed lunch and watched the television together. I think it was
Joan who asked him, finally, if he had anything special to show us today. We knew that he’d been working on something as while this was the first time we’d seen him in person in a while we’d both spoke to him on the phone in the preceding months and he’d eagerly explained to us that he was working on something he thought would be quite extraordinary.

I still couldn’t tell you how he made them, nor would I if I could. Nor could
I tell you what his original idea for those oddly coloured circles of glass had been, before that fateful day he’d looked through them and seen what he’d seen. He never shared details of his work with us beforehand as he wanted it to be a surprise and afterwards I think he was terrified of the thought of anyone replicating what he’d made.

All I know is that when Joan pressed him to reveal his latest invention he looked nervous in a way I’d never seen him before, looked as if he was deeply troubled by something. He hesitated before speaking as if not sure he should say anything at all before explaining to us that the nature of what he was working on had changed after an ‘Unusual event’ and that he wasn’t sure if it would be a good idea to show us the end result.

Now we may have grown since the days when we could perch on his knee but whether someone is two years old or in their twenties the surest way to make them want something all the more is to tell them they can’t have it. So his reluctance (Which at the time I’m sure we BOTH thought was feigned, to heighten the suspense before the unveiling) just made us both want to see his invention more than ever.
With a little persuading he agreed and left to fetch it. He came back a few moments later with what appeared to be a pair of glasses.

With one big difference.

The lenses were like no glass we’d ever seen before. I can’t even describe the colour of it without resorting to words like ‘Red-ish’ or ‘Green-y’ as they didn’t seem to be EXACTLY any colour that we have a name for. In fact they didn’t seem to be exactly any one colour at all, as if you tilted them one way they would look different to if you tilted them another. I know full well that probably sounds more like magic than something a well-meaning old man could put together in his humble little workshop but there you have it.

Joan asked what they did and our grandfather paused for a few moments,
as if not quite certain how to answer.

In the end he told us that we really had to put them on for ourselves as he was certain neither of us would believe him if he told us. Joan wanted to put them on first but as she lifted them off the table he reached out and grabbed her hand.

He cautioned her that it MIGHT be startling at first but that she wasn’t in any danger and that if she got frightened she could just take them off. He warned her that what she was about to see may not make any more sense to her than it did to him but that we were all there and that she was safe. I could tell Joan was a little frightened. She always was lousy at hiding how she felt from people and even I was feeling a bit unsettled by our grandfather being so uncharacteristically ominous about the whole thing.

Joan slipped the glasses on and we waited.

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She gasped and then for the next few moments she looked puzzled more than anything. Her lips moved wordlessly and I thought I caught a ‘No…that’s not right’ under her breath as she seemed to look around at something none of us could see.

And then she began screaming.

I don’t know if you’ve ever heard someone scream in horror in real life. I can promise you this; it is not like in the movies. The movies do not convey the awful sound of someone you love screaming their lungs out, making a noise more like an animal than a human being. They cannot make you feel the things I felt in that moment, watching Joan yank the glasses from her head and hurl them across the room.

And nothing could have prepared us for the sight of Joan beginning to claw at her own eyes, screaming louder than anyone should be able to scream as she did it.

It took all three of us to restrain her at first. When we had her pinned down so she couldn’t hurt herself anymore Justine and my grandfather held her that way while I called for an ambulance. I had to watch as she was strapped down and wheeled into the back of one, thrashing and hissing and shrieking like some mad animal, like something utterly consumed by fear.

I explained what had happened, knowing full well how it made me sound. Justine and I both explained the series of events that lead to this to the sceptical if not totally disbelieving hospital staff and then to the specialists called in when nothing short of being tranquilised proved effective at stopping my sister from trying to hurt herself while screaming like that.

The glasses had supposedly ‘Gone missing’ which made proving what had happened difficult. And it wasn’t until almost a year later, long after my sister had been committed, that my grandfather finally confessed to me that he’d destroyed them. I don’t know if having them could have helped, could have given the doctors some way to make things right. I doubt it somehow and I can’t truly blame him for doing what he did, given that it was an act born out of guilt and an honest desire to make sure this didn’t happen again.

I asked him what my sister had seen that day, when he told me what he’d done. I asked what those glasses had done to her. He hadn’t wanted to talk about it and for the first time in my life I’d raised my voice to him, angrily demanding to know, after all this time, just what had driven my sister to this state. What had affected her so deeply, so profoundly that she was now no longer even recognisable as the person I’d grown up with.

He took me to his workshop and began digging around through the bits and pieces that littered the place, the half-finished and now long discarded inventions still awaiting completion, he produced two pieces of glass rather like the ones that had been fitted into those glasses. He told me that there wasn’t any way to describe it without sounding insane, that if I had to know then I had to see. But he begged me not to do this, that knowing wouldn’t make things any better.

He was right.

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I held the glass up to my eyes and in an instant everything changed. Instead of just my grandfather stood before me now there were dozens more in the room with us. But they weren’t people.

They were pale and emaciated, hunched over and dressed in dark clothing with black lips and wide lidless eyes that seemed to almost bulge from their skulls in a manner both comical and horrifying all at once. Their mouths were full of hundreds of thin teeth, like needles. Their fingers were grotesquely long and ended in dark and viciously pointed nails that scraped along the floor as they walked. And all of them were talking, or rather their lips were moving soundlessly.

Each and every one of them was trying to say something that couldn’t be heard, dozens upon dozens of voices trying to convey something.

I dropped the glasses to the ground in shock. And my grandfather brought his foot down on them hard; grinding them to powder beneath his foot, muttering that he should have done this in the first place. He put an arm on my shoulder asking if I was alright. I was far from alright and he had been correct…what I had seen had made things worse, not better.

It took me a while to work it out of course. Why this had such a horrifying effect on my sister and yet I had survived the experience, frightened but not sporting the mental scars it had given her.

The glasses only let me SEE the creatures. I couldn’t hear what they were trying to say to me, couldn’t understand the message they were trying to impart.

But my sister was deaf.

She could read their lips.


Credit: Alice Thompson

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39 thoughts on “My Grandfather’s Final Invention”

    1. What do you mean?.I wonder If “creatures” even exist oh wait they do not I’m sure It was connected to the demonic devils that she has seen I wouldn’t be scared or afraid but for our own world destroying their Earth.

  1. Utterly fabulous story. The build up was marvelous and that one single line so potent and terrifying. I do have 1 little nitpick though… How could they BOTH talk to him over the phone for the past few months leading up to the visit if the elder sister was deaf?

    1. she had a hearing aid or they talked to him via a video call cause the sister can read what a person says by their lips

  2. *sigh* I’ve read this before, several times actually, but it STILL grabs me and just astounds me with how very simple it is, yet it is so utterly effective.

    Truly marvelous.

    I would like to know what they are saying, but I know that there really isn’t anything they could say that would satisfy how very terrifying they are. So, ignorance would seem best.

  3. This is a really good story, I already read it to my husband on an evening and it was kind of scary. But when I read it again, especially the description of these beings behind the glasses, I got one thought of a creature I now can’t shake off anymore: Ryuk?

  4. Read this for the first time today. And when I had gotten to the point where the glasses are introduced and that there was something frightening to see, I guessed it right away, thinking I had it all figured out. But I didn’t. The twist at the end was a total surprise, and made this go from somewhat predictable to down right amazing stuff. Good job.

  5. Oh my god yes. That was so good I had ABSOLUTLY no idea that that was where it was going if the rating system was working on my phone 10/10 straight up.

  6. Did nobody else notice that the grandfather had SPOKEN to the DEAF sister earlier in the story? If she’s deaf then the grandfather would have known that and wouldn’t have spoken to her. Seems like bad writing to try to explain the whole “can read lips” thing, when really all the author needed to say was that she could read lips.

    1. She reads lips therefore it makes since that he would speak to her, and it doesn’t say how he spoke to her, he may have used sign launguage (which in my book is still a form of speaking to someone) or he may have used his mouth and she read his lips, at that point in the story it wasn’t important to go into those details.

      1. If anything I would say it’s imperative to the story that it doesn’t mention that she’s deaf until the end. If the writer were to mention sign language or lip reading, then it would take away from the impact of the final line, in my opinion.

    2. Why do you think nobody would speak to her, since she is perfectly capable of reading lips? And even though it never specifically states that these characters are also signing to her while talking, it doesn’t mean they weren’t. The author just didn’t want to give too much away. Interpreters use both signs AND moving their mouths when interpreting to the hearing impaired.

  7. This was one of the best pastas I’ve read on this website. Gave me the chills and had a perfect twist at the end. 10/10!

  8. Magda Ramírez Martínez

    First time I comment here and all just to tell you this story was really amazing. Throughout the whole thing, I just had a thriller feel. I read and watch so much horror I can predict most stories or just didn’t think them as scary as they would have been for others. This one had a nice foreboding feel.

    But that simple little line at the end… Gave me goosebumps, chills… I had to put down my phone (where I’m reading this from) to just gape and take the implications in.
    I both want to know and don’t want to know what they were saying. The curiosity for just what could be so traumatic. But at the same time, if I knew, this would lose it’s charm.

    It is also very well written and didn’t notice any mistakes that distracted me from it. I could visualize it all clearly even without extensive and long description. And the slow and nice beginning gave it a good pace. Short, but not rushed nor left wanting.

    I do hope you’ve written more stories because I’m definitely looking them up now!

  9. Ah, one of the best that I’ve read on the site! One thing is nagging at me….what they were trying to say, you totally should have wrote what the sister read from their lips.

  10. Excellent story! I agree with the others that the ending leaves you feeling very creeped out yet satisfied.

  11. Firstmate Creepypasta

    Damn that was awesome… I think it would be great if you made an origin story for the glass. Describing how they had come to be. But either way, amazing pasta, great work.

  12. This story was terrible… hahaha jk it was awesome! i loved it! did not expect that ending, which says alot. i love me a good horror story and have seen and read so many that its hard to surprise me. You did great though! few grammar errors (and pardon my french but, who gives a shit lol) 10/10

  13. Good job! This is one of the few times I’m saying this non-sarcastically. This held me in suspense and hit me in the end!

    Have an ice day!

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