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Pretend



Estimated reading time — 7 minutes

Luke stepped out of the warm comfort of his best friend’s house into the cold winter air. The sun was quickly slipping beneath the horizon and the trees of the forest cast long twisted shadows across the yard. Luke said goodbye to his friend and thanked his mother for having him over, as their goodbyes drew to a close the front door swung shut, and a silence fell over Luke. He stared out across the lawn into the twilight forest that awaited him. It was only a fifteen-minute walk from his friend’s house to his own, and he had made that walk countless times before, but as he watched the night descend upon the world, something sinister began to fill the shadows.

Luke knew what was coming next. It didn’t happen often, but he knew tonight it would be coming for him. There was an acute sense of dread in the air, and he could almost feel its gaze watching him from the ever-lengthening shadows. Luke stepped off his friend’s porch and into the night.

Luke crossed the thirty yards from the porch to the beginning of the forest path with little incident, but as he entered the woods, he entered another realm. No longer did he live in the world of modern conveniences where a warm, bright home was only a short walk away. In its stead was a primeval existence where danger lurked in every shadow, and his only salvation was a night’s march away.

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Luke had been walking for little over a minute when it began. Far in the distance standing between two trees, it was there standing motionless watching him. Its twisted figure lit by the dying rays of the sun. No sooner had Luke seen it, than it was gone, and with it vanished the last vestiges of daylight. The hunt was on.

Luke began to move faster but he had to hold himself back, knowing if he broke into a run, it would soon chase him down. This was not Luke’s first time seeing the thing, and after enough encounters he had learned the rules. He was not to run or scream or it would be angry. If it was angry, Luke received a deep gash on his arm or leg. Luke had been fortunate to never anger it further. Luke knew if he kept calm and walked home; the thing would not punish him. It would be terrifying but he would arrive home alive.

The first time he saw it, he had run home with his heart ready to rip itself out of his chest. He received a nasty cut down his leg for his troubles and he arrived home dirty, bloody, and trembling. He had stumbled into the house and sunk to the floor, shaking and crying. When he told his mother what had happened, she dismissed the whole thing as a product of his overactive imagination. She promised to get rid of the thorn bush that had scratched him and told him to calm down. Since then he had stopped telling his mom when he saw it, and when the thing cut him he hid it from her. Not only did his mother blame his imagination, but so did everyone else he tried to tell: His father, his brother, even his best friend blamed his overactive imagination. His father and brother had told him to stop playing pretend and act his age. Luke was alone with his twisted companion.

Luke continued onward, trying to contain his fear. Every second he fought the urge to scream and run for his life. Luke knew that it could appear at any moment. He might turn a corner and it would be in the middle of the path. He might glance to the side and see it behind the nearest tree, but no matter what he never saw it for long. Luke was not even sure what it looked like, as it never stayed in sight long enough for him to set its appearance into his memory, but although he rarely saw it, its presence never left. Whether it was noxious smells of filth and blood, ragged panting, or drooling Luke knew the thing was always close by.

The walk was stretching into an eternity for Luke. He felt as though he had left his friend’s house hours ago, and yet it seemed there were miles and miles left to walk until he was home. Luke began to pick up the pace a little, and as his step quickened, he heard a shuffling gait behind him begin to rustle the leaves. This was incredibly odd as he had never heard its footsteps before. They were close, but not so close that Luke was considering bolting. Oddly, these heavy footfalls made Luke feel better. He knew he couldn’t possibly be imagining them. He could hear leaves rustle and crunch beneath his pursuers’ feet. He could hear it physically impacting the world. Surely that couldn’t be his imagination.

Time dragged on, and Luke could hear the footsteps growing closer and closer. His already strained heart began to beat even faster. After a while, Luke could hear the footsteps directly behind him. The thing was just waiting for Luke to turn around and look at it, but he would not succumb. He knew as soon as he stopped or looked behind him, the thing would devour him. Just as Luke was ready to give in and run for it, the footsteps stopped. Luke was so surprised he faltered, and as he slowed, he felt the thing’s breath brush along his neck. As the acrid fumes swept around him, he almost fainted, but by some miracle he was able to keep his feet. Luke gathered his senses and kept on walking. Behind him, the thing let out a murderous shriek; as though it were angered Luke had not succumbed to its taunts.

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Luke was more frightened than ever but he refused to give into the thing. Luke shoved his hands into his pockets, stared at his shoes, and picked up the pace. Luke kept on this way for several minutes, and for several minutes, all was quiet. Luke began to hope that tonight’s nightmare was over. As he raised his head to check his surroundings his eyes fell upon the feet of his pursuer. It was standing there in the middle of the path, waiting for him. Luke refused to look. He stared at its vile feet refusing to meet its demonic gaze. Its feet were sick and disfigured, with yellow cracked talons protruding from them. The largest one was curved like a raptor’s, and stained with blood. The skin was a sickly pale yellow, and covered in pockmarks and warts. The arch of the foot was inhuman and twisted almost like a coiled spring. Luke was almost sick but again he found a way to keep himself under control.

Almost as soon as Luke had taken in the thing’s sick feet, they were gone. Luke could take no more; he broke into a run. He knew the thing would be furious, but he longer cared. He just wanted the terror to end. As he ran, he heard the thing stomping behind him. Its footfalls were thunderous and it let out a bloody shriek. Luke could hear the fury in its cry, and it drove him to run ever faster. Luke could tell he was close to home. If he could hold out for thirty more seconds, he could make it out of the woods. The thing’s footfalls drew ever closer, and Luke was almost ready to give up. His legs were moving slower and slower by the second, his lungs were burning with each breath, and his face was growing cold, as though his blood were seeping out of it. Luke caught sight of the edge of the woods, and with one maniacal last burst of energy, kept going. He heard the thing closing in, its screams grew frenzied as it prepared to kill, but just as Luke began to feel the thing’s claws sink into his shoulders, he burst beyond the tree line, and onto his own lawn.

Luke stumbled to his porch, wheezing the whole way. He dragged himself on to the steps, and collapsed, trembling as adrenaline coursed through his exhausted body. Luke lay there in silence trying to recover from his horrid experience when, from the woods, Luke heard a rabid snuffling. He raised his head, dreading what he might see. From out of the woods emerged the thing. Luke had no idea what to do. The thing always disappeared when he left the woods. The thing had broken its own rules, and Luke was too exhausted to do anything but watch it draw closer to him.

As it came closer he began to see it in ever greater detail as it stepped into his porch light. The thing was hideous beyond belief. It was disgusting and unnatural. It had one huge red eye in the middle of its face. Below it was a crooked gash of a mouth that hung open, revealing a veritable hacksaw of black and bloody teeth. It had no nose or ears and its head was covered in limp spikes. Its shoulders were uneven as one arm was gimpy and the shoulder twisted. The arm was withered and hung by the creature’s side. Its other arm was massive and had claws matching those on its feet. The claws extended down to the ground and dragged as it marched forward. Its spine was twisted, and it seemed a miracle that the thing could even walk.

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Luke stared in horror as it approached. He knew he was facing his death. He was too physically and mentally exhausted to do anything but stare into the disfigured face of death, but extraordinarily as the thing drew within five feet of him it stopped. It stopped and stared at him. Luke did not know for how long they made eye contact but after a while, the thing simply turned and ran off into the woods far faster than Luke ever thought its twisted frame could move.

Luke lay there for some time until he could muster the energy to stumble into his home. When he returned his mother’s only remark was that he was late, and he should know better than to make her worry like that. Luke numbly stumbled into his room and collapsed. He did not sleep soundly that night, nor would he for many nights to come, but he thanked God he had survived. He didn’t know what had made the thing turn back. Maybe it had some sort of twisted sense of honor that stopped it from killing a defenseless boy, or maybe it just wanted to preserve him for another night of sport. Luke didn’t know and Luke didn’t care. He was just thankful to be alive.

That same night, another young boy returned home late. He scrabbled through the dirt with his cracked and yellowed claws into the entrance of his home. As he lumbered into the dank cavern that was his home the boy’s mother demanded to know where he had been. The boy was out of breath and sweating from his earlier exertions. He could barely get out a response to his mother. He told her that he had seen the thing again. His mother told him to stop playing pretend and go to bed. He protested that he had gotten close to it this time, looked at it, and even touched it. He told her how hideous it was with its smooth pink skin, and its squashed face with its two beady eyes, but it didn’t seem dangerous. He didn’t know why it always ignored him when he tried to be friendly, and tonight, it had run away again. He felt bad because it often cut itself on all the thorns along the path when it ran. His mother told him to shut down his overactive imagination and stop telling her such ridiculous stories. He grumbled as he shuffled into his room and lay down in his bed of worms to go to sleep. He would get the thing to talk to him one day. He just had to keep on trying. The thing often walked through his yard at night. He would just say hi to it again in a week.

CREDIT: RedBullReptar

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81 thoughts on “Pretend”

  1. I know these types of stories don’t tend to have follow ups, but this one feels like it should for some reason.. just sayin’. Love it, though, it’s a very fun concept!

  2. Love the story, but calm down on mentioning his name, there’s 59 “Lukes” in your story and we know his name with the first paragraph.

  3. An insightful and imaginative story. Some of the descriptions are quite nice, I have to admit. Yet, the writing itself is terrible. Missing commas, repetitiveness (especially “Luke” – for God’s sake, use your brain), etc. The pasta is also a little short, meaning it could be expanded and explained better, so it does not deserve more than 6/10.

  4. AnimeAndCreepypastaLover

    Lol. If he wanted to make friends, he should step out of the shadows (cause its freaking luke out) and tell him he means no harm and wanted to be friends. Although luke will probably scream and run. :)

  5. This was really enjoyable. The fact that Luke could hear something following him but refused to look back made me think it’d be revealed that it was an escaped mental patient (or something along those lines) who was stalking him. Love the twist you went with.

  6. This concept reminded me very much of a book my dad read to me as a child, The Monster Bed, although that story wasn’t designed to scare the hell out of you.
    I liked this, it took me back.

  7. The story was written too pointedly and boring for me to completely enjoy, on top of employing the monster cliche. There were quite a few times where words were extraneous – rather than saying “the thing was horrifying,” why not go into depth as to why?

    There are also a few instances that make little sense – Luke is walking home through the woods. Being a modern tale (at least, the exposition gives no indication otherwise) you’d think there would be a street he could walk home on rather than the woods he fears so terribly. The author also mentions that it is a surprise the monster could even walk; if it were so twisted, how could it have run and kept pace with Luke?

    Great idea but the execution was a bit poor. 6/10

  8. This was great! As I was reading I was like “ugh typical” but the ending completely caught me by surprise. One thing I noticed though is the writer used “Luke” a bit too much for my liking, I suggest using “he” or similar but other than that great story :D

  9. A refreshing story. Too many times I’ve seen monsters that are supposed to be dangerous but actually act as if they are playful or friendly and severely misunderstood. For once the monster really is friendly and misunderstood. Good one.

  10. Let’s play a drinking game: take a shot everytime Luke is mentioned by name.

    Other than that, good story, great ending!

  11. Very nice, not only are the monsters being portrayed to be similar to us they are also possibly not all evil. I think we need more monster pov stories be they good or evil.

  12. *clap… clap… clap… clap. clap. clap. clap. clap clap clap clap clap clap clapclapclapclapclapclapclapclap*
    MARVELOUS FRICKING ENDING.

  13. At first, your description made me wonder if you were depicting the Chupacabra. I have heard it described the way you have described it. I absolutely loved the way this ended. I was frightened for the boy at first, and then when I heard that the “monster” also has feelings and just wants to get to know him better, it made me feel a little sad.

  14. It seems like you used Luke instead of he too much. But that could just seem like that because ny name is Luke.

  15. Not bad, not bad.

    Certainly describes the feeling of fear well and the last paragraph was certainly unexpected. I kind of feel sorry for the monster. He just wants a friend. :(

  16. A really delicious pasta, the ending was quite heartwarming.

    Hope they would become best friends someday !

  17. Thanks for all the positivity and feedback! Sorry I used his name so much I never even noticed it, but when I read back over the story it was painful to see how many times I used his name. I’m glad you all enjoyed it, and I plan to submit another piece during this submission period. If you enjoyed this one you may enjoy my other story titled Redo. Thanks again for taking the time to read my work and appreciate it!

  18. Ah, I see one of you humans have finally written a story about my retarded cousin! He always tries to be friends with you disgusting animals and fails…

  19. Nice story – I wasn’t expecting the ending at all. However, please use the character’s name less. Reading “Luke” every other sentence, and at one point, four sentences in a row is very jarring to the reader and makes for an annoying writing style.

    1. That was the exact same thing I was thinking. The overall story was phenomenal. I absolutely loved it. The twist was perfect and this is definitely one of the better pastas I’ve read. The only thing I could’t get past was how almost every new paragraph began with “Luke.” Drove me nuts almost to the point of stopping my reading.

  20. Quite enjoyable! The one recommendation I would make is to use the protagonist’s name less, and just stick to “he” when you can do so without causing confusion. When you use a character’s name it kind of pulls the reader back from the story.
    Other than that, this was quite well written, and I liked the ending. 8/10

  21. Lol at first I thought it was just a failed attempt to be scary – the end made me laugh. Good pasta, not very creepy :)

  22. The twist is reminiscent of an R.L. Stein book and the author wrote “he longer cared” instead of “no longer cared,” otherwise it’s a great creepypasta. Would definitely feed it to my friends.

  23. THEN WHO WAS....nevermind...

    Different and well written…maybe there will be a sequel where they get better acquainted?.*hint*

    1. What did you think was cliche about it? I really try to avoid cliches in my writing so I’m interested as to what exactly dissatisfied you. I admit the being followed by something in the woods isn’t to terribly creative, but I didn’t think of my story as a cliche.

      1. It’s not cliche for me. I read one other story quite similar but the setting was in a house and the pov the whole time was from a monster.

        It started with these kids scared of that monster in the attic. Then in the end, they saw the monster and it had only two hands, 2 eyes bla. I think RL stine was the author haha.

        Loved the story though. GOOD JOB!

  24. Writing style was genius. I wasn’t sure why the monster would think a human has “pink” skin though. I guess his face is flushed from the terror?

    1. I always hear humans being “Pink” in a lot of things that have aliens, monsters or those obscure shows that I have no idea how to explain or describe. But a lot of people have pink undertones in their skin, and by a lot I mean I have seen 2 people who had pink undertones in their skin. Maybe that’s why they say call people “Pink”?

    2. Yea I gotta be honest I only used pink to describe his skin because I’ve read it in so many other places. It’s just sort of a generic way of describing human skin color. It’s kinda lazy to just use the same old description. Thanks for pointing that out. When I write I really try to avoid using tired conventional expressions.

  25. I found this quite historical. Being chased by a horrifying creature the entire time then at the end he was just as much of a creature to it.
    9/10

  26. Nice story, although the one thing I don’t get is why the creatures mother thinks the humans her son talks about are just imaginary. Apparently they live on earth, I’m sure she would have at least seen one human by now.

    1. It’s the slim idea that the monster do exist that makes these pastas good. This one is even better b/c it has us thinking that maybe they feel the same about us or even better…that they’re Completely misunderstood. Bravo to the writer!

    2. It says early on in the story that “as he entered the woods, he entered another realm.” Maybe the forest is a gateway to another dimension?

    3. You know I never actually thought about that. I never really specified what kind of life these monsters live so it’s not too unreasonable to imagine that this monster has never stumbled across a human before. I mean they could be entirely subterranean, and her son just has a weird habit of going above ground, but you raise a very good point. Thanks for pointing out such a big hole.

      1. Or maybe both species are usually incapable of seeing each other, but for some reason, Luke and the young monster are visible to one another.

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