20 Oct The Sneak
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"The Sneak"Written by
Estimated reading time — 19 minutes
I don’t know why, but for whatever reason, I’ve always been naturally sneaky. Without putting any effort into the endeavor, I was always scaring people, or at the very least making them jump. Sometimes even when I approached from the front, people wouldn’t notice me until I was right upon them. Then they would gasp and flinch, and ask me why I snuck up on them. I guess I’m just naturally quiet and unobtrusive.
As I got into my teen years, I got “better” at it. I would be there one moment, and after looking away for a mere second or two, I would be gone. Or of course, vice versa, appearing seemingly from out of nowhere. A joke even began to manifest itself around my high school, that I was related to, (usually the son of), Michael Myers, because of my seemingly preternatural ability to know the precise moment when someone was going to look away from where I was. (Also, being named Michael didn’t help any.)
I remember walking into anatomy class one day 20 minutes late, and the teacher never even noticed. Neither did most of the students. And I didn’t even try. I was late. Oh well. Wasn’t the first time and wouldn’t be the last. I just walked in the door, set my books down and sat in my seat. Having a last name near the front of the alphabet, I even had a seat in the front row. When the teacher finally noticed, she said something to the effect of, “Oh, I’m sorry Michael, I had you marked as absent.” She corrected her “mistake” in the attendance book and went on with class.
It was around then that I began to actually practice this peculiar ability.
We all know what they say; practice makes perfect. And boy did I ever get good at sneaking. In fact, I think I actually added new verbs into my repertoire. I excelled at sneaking, and also creeping, sidling, slinking, and skulking. I actually bought and read a book on ninja techniques for hiding, diversion, and silent movement. I even went as far as to rent and watch all the old Halloween movies so I could study how Michael Myers actually did his silent creeping, despite him being a fictitious character from a movie, with all the benefits of special effects and camera trickery. Every October I volunteered to work in the local haunted house, and whatever room they placed me in was routinely noted by customers to be the scariest in the entire place. At some point I acquired a certain pride over my ability, happy that I was able to do something that few, if any others, could not. To say the least, I had gotten pretty proficient at this odd, god-given talent.
I know what you’re all probably thinking. At some point I’m going to begin using my stealth abilities to go on some sort of rampage, stalking and dispatching my enemies in terrifying, horror movie worthy murders. However, I am a peaceful and nonviolent young man, and had no designs with my ability for anything more than occasional benefits, and harmless practical jokery.
This preface concerning my ability is essential if one is to believe the veracity of my story, which happened a few years ago.
I don’t recall the exact day or date. I believe it was either Tuesday or Wednesday. I was still living with my father as a poor, but working 20 year old, on the corner of our street, in literally the corner of our exurb, bordered on three sides by a nice forest that went for a few miles before running into the lake. It’s not like we lived rurally or anything, but our section of town was pretty secluded and out of the way.
I returned home after work on the night in question, exasperated, and ready to relax. My pops wasn’t around, which wasn’t odd; he often spent long nights down at the bar with some of his old union pals. I unwound for a while, enjoying the freedom the empty house presented, playing my tunes as loud as I desired, and smoking like a chimney. After I deemed I had enjoyed a sufficient amount of recreation, I settled down and prepared to actually get some things done. Seeing as how there was a full load in the laundry basket, I grabbed it and headed for the basement where the washer and dryer were located.
When I was younger, I hated going into my basement. Like any other unfinished basement, it’s dark, it’s musty, it’s stone cold and hard, and there are innumerable shadows and places for all nature of dark beings to hide. Plus, when going down the steps into my basement, you’re walled in on both sides until you reach the very bottom, so there’s no way to see what manner of ghosts or monsters may be lurking down there, waiting to jump on you and rend you to pieces. As time went on however, that irrational fear began to fade, until it might as well have been a ghost itself.
So, basket in hands, I had decided to make the trip to the basement as stealthily as possible, always proud to use and practice my ability, especially when hindered in some way, (carrying something, noisy clothes, creaky floorboards etc.). Quick, deliberate steps, careful to distribute as much of my weight across as much surface area of my foot as possible, always planting toe first when going down stairs, I was successful in descending the basement steps silent as the grave, even skipping the third to the last step because there was simply no way to put weight on said stair without it making a creak of some kind. A diversion or additional ambient noise would be needed to use that stair without spoiling the effect. No need to turn on any lights. Although it was well after 8 pm, the summer sun was only starting to dip below the tree line, filling the basement with streams of auburn light falling in from the few windows. Besides, this was a stealth mission, no lights allowed.
When I got to the bottom step though, I froze. Since I had made absolutely no noise on the way down, it was easy for me to recognize odd sounds coming from the basement, just around the corner, to the right, (the left was just more wall). Nothing loud and over powering, just a low, gruff sort of grunting. There were other noises as well, accompanying the grunting; a soft kind of scraping maybe. The noises conjured visions of one of those gremlins from the movies of the same name trying to push a huge, heavy trunk across the floor, little by little. I wondered if perhaps my dad was the source of these sounds, but that didn’t make any sense. He certainly would have heard me jamming earlier, and he absolutely hates it when I crank up my tunes. It’s not like him to refrain from coming upstairs and telling me to knock off the racket. And what would he be doing down there for hours anyway? So if it wasn’t my father, it had to be some critter from the woods that found its way in and was probably trying to make off with some food it had found.
Many animals are known for their ability to hear and smell far better than us humans. I wondered if perhaps I were good enough in my stealth abilities to sneak up on an animal that was probably very aware of its surroundings, seeing as how they can be eaten, or any number of horrible things if they are not observant and alert at all times. It presented an interesting challenge to my strange skill.
So, I clenched my jaw, tensed my muscles, and prepared to make the attempt.
And once again, I froze.
The weird sort of grunting became a vocalization of a different sort, and louder. It sounded like actual words being spoken, albeit in a language I couldn’t comprehend. However, it still sounded as if it were a gremlin making the noise, or at the very least, some old crone who smoked 3 packs a day.
The language itself was intriguing. It sounded a lot like Latin, or something similar, but definitely was not. After a few moments of genuine interest, the hair on the back of my neck stood up. I was too preoccupied with my musings to realize something.
This was no animal.
There was a person in my basement. A person who was doing god knows what, other than…..speaking in tongues? What the hell was going on down there? My heart rate instantly doubled, but being a strapping, macho young man, even with no one around I wasn’t about to let myself be scared by some strange old foreign woman, or whoever the hell had broken into my basement. It was then that I got a little angry. How dare someone break into my house. This was where I lived. What kind of dirtbag would just break into someone’s house? Right about the time my nape hairs and goose bumps had retreated to their normal positions, a new sound began emanating from the basement, this one louder, but completely alien to me. I had never heard anything like this before in my life, (or since) and describing it proves difficult. It was something between a powerful gust of air, and a high pitched, metal scraping on metal sound, both occurring simultaneously. That’s the best I can do, and trust me, whatever sound you’ve conjured in your head to imitate it, most likely doesn’t come close. Seeing as this was the only time in my life that I’ve ever heard the noise, I may not even remember it correctly. All I know is this: this sound scared the bejesus out of me. Strapping young man or not, this unnatural sound went right through my ears, bypassed my brain, and cut straight to my spine, unleashing a cold rush within me and freezing my limbs in place. My eyes gaped wide, and I’m pretty sure my eyelids were nonexistent at this point, because I could not bring myself to shut them, or even squint a little bit. The sound happened, and quickly faded, but still here I stood, on the bottom landing of the basement steps. Still unable to see around the corner into the rest of the basement. Thankfully, whatever was on the other side of the wall couldn’t see me either. I hoped.
Standing there doing my very best statue imitation was not easy at this point; sweaty palmed, breath firmly imprisoned in chest, eyes as dinner plates. I think it was about then that I began to actually fear for my safety, and I wished I hadn’t been holding that gah-damned clothes basket. It was also about then that that weird language began again; deliberate, but incomprehensible words.
After a few more moments of listening to this infernal monologue, my curiosity simply got the better of me. All fear aside, I simply had to see what was happening in my basement on the other side of the wall. And so, I exhaled as quietly as I could, drew in another deep breath, and noiselessly, slowly began to lean forward.
Little by little, more and more of the basement was slowly revealed to my personal panorama. First, the old 8 million pound tube tv that should’ve been thrown out decades ago. No mysterious guests so far. Next, the work bench further back, tools in place and undisturbed. No monsters, ghosts, or creatures there. Then, towards the back corner, the washer and dryer, undisturbed and silently standing sentinel in their normal place. And next……….HOLY SHIT!
As quickly and silently as a ninja’s ghost, I re-straightened my spine, standing upright and stock still. If my eyes were like dinner plates before, they were as satellite dishes now.
I had seen it. I had seen what was speaking in that unnerving voice, in my basement. But what exactly had I seen? It was humanoid, bipedal, and crouched down near the ground. I didn’t get too good of a look at it since I shot straight back out of sight before IT saw ME. What in the hell was that???
If that was human, that was one hell of a costume. All my initial espying had yielded was a purplish-reddish ball of fur covering a vaguely human body, crouched low near the ground, and speaking in that horrid tone and cadence. Whatever it was, I had never seen anything like it before. I wasn’t sure if anyone had. Seems my odd skill did come in handy, because if it heard me, or detected my presence in any way, it did not display it. Although I couldn’t see it, the monstrous chanting never slowed, stopped, or even broke cadence, leading me to believe it hadn’t noticed my sweating, shaking presence.
Listening closer to what it was saying, it was clear these were definitely words, and not just some strange guttural groans, or random atypical vocalizations. This thing was speaking with purpose; with a defined goal on its mind that it was seeking to accomplish. But of course that inspired the questions: Who was it speaking to, (if anyone), and what did it want?
Almost instinctively, I began to slowly lean forward again. I was pretty positive this thing wasn’t ordering a pizza or lilting one of its favorite tunes. If I wanted any hope of determining what this thing wanted, I needed to know more about just what the fuck it was. The thing had had its back to me when I peaked the first time so that I couldn’t see the face, or any details about its front. I hadn’t leaned out far enough the first time to even see its head anyway. Slowly, inch by inch, and silent as the grave, I again leaned out past the wall.
Here we go again.
The old tube tv. The sun was steadily finding its way below the horizon, ceding space to the lengthening shadows.
Then the work bench. Every inch I leaned seemed to add decibels to the wild incantations the thing was spitting out.
Now, the washer and dryer. Muscles strained, adrenaline pumping. And then..…purple-red fur, including a blood red tail.
Fuck me! A tail!
Again, on instinct, I straightened back out. Fuckballs. OK. So it clearly wasn’t human. I needed to stop ducking back behind the wall and just person-up, (unisex version of man-up), so I could get a look at the intruder in my basement. Damnit. I wished again that I hadn’t been holding that fucking laundry basket. My spine had seemingly just reformed itself into solid matter again when the chanting stopped, and that horrid metallic, wind noise began again, re-melting my spine and causing my heart to beat so hard I was afraid the thing on the other side of the wall might hear it. After what seemed like hours, (but surely was only a minute or two), the wind/metal noise stopped, and predictably, the vicious chanting and dreadful scraping resumed. I should have went back up the stairs when I had a chance, but was compelled to get a firm look at this being. I mean, how often does one discover a previously unheard of creature making noise in their basement? Was it aggressive, or amicable? Benign, or dangerous? And what the fuck was it doing? In my basement. Was it a demon? An animal? A mythical creature of some kind, like a little violet and red sasquatch? I had to know.
And so, with courageous curiosity beating out debilitating fear, I began to lean out once again. You know the drill.
Old tv. Should’ve been thrown out years ago. Work bench. Looks like dad could use a new crescent wrench. Washer and dryer. Would I ever get to do the load of laundry, sweatily clutched in my arms?
And finally, it came into view.
Wispy red fur, leading to a slender, slightly curved and motionless tail. The blood red crimson of its tail darkened into various hues of violet and purple, deepening in color as it got closer to the torso. It was crouched on its two legs, indeed bipedal, and had a wild mane of shocked, wispy red and purple hair coming off its head in an Einstein-ian sort of afro, only with longer strands than the deceased German physicist. The hair was clumped in places in dread-like protrusions that ran down the back of the body, giving the appearance of spikes running down its spine and the back of the arms. Its body was slender, but wiry, and all of it that I could see was covered in that same blood red fur that descended into a deep violet as it got closer to the center of the body. The feet were furred, up unto the very tips, and kind of resembled a cat’s paws. It was completely still except for movements it was making with its hands, (or forepaws, or claws, or whatever the hell it had), and small undulations with its head, coinciding with its wicked sounding cadence. It was impossible to say for sure, but it looked like if it stood up, it would be about my height, (6’2), give or take a few inches.
I watched it for a little while, my fright induced adrenaline enabling me to hold stone still, whilst this being went on about its surely nefarious business. The oration and scraping were simple enough to figure out, but even through my fear, I was very curious about what that metallic whooshing was about. I leaned out just a bit farther, (as far as I would dare), in hopes of getting a look at what, if anything, this creature was crouched over.
Whatever it was, it had to be pretty small, because the slender being greatly obscured what it was crouched over. All I could obtain during this time were quick glances of an indistinguishable black object. The chanting itself became more haunting and sinister on this side of the wall, sounding as if there were two or three beings speaking in unison. My heart was pounding so hard I thought it might literally leave a bruise on my chest, and I noticed for the first time that I had such an absolute death grip on the laundry basket, that the plastic edges were digging painfully into my hands. My breath was shallow and silent, and I was pretty sure my eyes hadn’t shut even once in the past 3 to 5 minutes.
I watched in graveyard silence, undetected, while this being went on about its work. Before much longer, it stopped all movement, the scraping and vocalizing again ceasing. Without warning or preamble the creature raised both arms above its head. In that time, I could see that its hands and fingers were furred as well, except the palms, and colored in that same dark crimson as the tail and feet. Its fingers were human-like, with opposable thumbs, but there was one very defining characteristic. The index, or pointer fingers on each hand were extraordinarily long. They were at least twice as long as the other fingers, and furred only about halfway up, with long black protrusions jutting out of the red fur. At first I thought they were finger nails, but they were pliable and appeared jointed like a normal finger, (a normal human finger anyway). They were very fine and slender, ever so slightly curved, pointed at the tip, and looked like they were probably very sharp.
The appearance of the sinister looking claws did not do well to reconcile my mania. In addition to its size, this creature also came equipped with features that would enable it to seriously injure or kill me, and all I had was this fucking laundry basket. I didn’t even have my pocket knife on me. I suppose I could have used a pair of knee socks like nunchuks, but I doubt a parodied ninja weapon would be much use against those claws.
It was all a moot point anyway, because almost immediately after raising its arms, (I forgot to mention that it raised its arms in a crisscross fashion, because those claws kinda took precedence at that moment), it brought them down again, uncrossing them as it did, and producing that whooshing noise, (a process which it repeated over and over again.) It also abraded its claws together as it swept its arms downward, which produced the high pitched, metallic scraping noise. Being able to see the thing also added a new phenomenon to the mix. As it brought its hands downward, the abrasion of its two claws appeared to create some kind of energy, evidenced by a reddish glow emanating from the hands. The glow grew more and more intense with each x-shaped swipe of its talons. After a dozen or more repetitions, its hands were barely visible, with dark red auras, resembling crackling clouds of crimson smoke, surrounding its hands.
When it finally stopped, I could perceptively feel the energy coming from its hands, like it was creating a soft wind, or gently pushing against me. Not enough to move me, but enough to be perceived. You’d have to experience it to truly understand, but it felt nasty somehow, almost viscous, or slimy. It placed its hands on the small black object in front of it, (I still couldn’t tell what it was), and resumed its perturbing incantations.
At this point, I was completely lost. Mentally, I had nothing, (which isn’t far removed from normal), and all I could do was stare, wide eyed and gaping. Shock, fear, and amazement all amalgamated into a single, thousand pound medicine ball being bounced around my head, replacing my normally functioning brain. With no activity going on up top, my eyes and muscles decided I was to keep standing there like a lump, and see what happens. I found out later that my fight or flight instincts didn’t fail, but simply didn’t activate because the creature didn’t know I was there, and choosing one of those options would have alerted it to my presence. (Thank you instincts.)
The incantations were really creeping me out. I desperately wanted to see what it was crouched over, feeling that this bit of information was immediately valuable to my well being. I would swear that the creature was saying the words louder than before, and as it went on this time, its voice definitively began to rise. The increase in noise gave me the little fortitudinal boost I needed to attempt stepping out and peaking at what the creature was crouched over.
With great care, I took a single noiseless step out onto the concrete floor, still gripping the ridiculous basket of clothes. With wide, probing eyes, I slowly leaned further. Just a tad bit more and………and a sock fell out of the tilted basket in my hands, crashing softly to the floor, mere centimeters from colliding with the creature’s foot.
My muscles, every last one of them, tensed and froze. I quietly cursed myself in my head, and when I say quietly, I mean even my inner monologue whispered, out of fear of being heard by the mysterious monster in my basement. I was now so close to it that I could detect an animalistic scent, somewhere between a lush, sweet forest breeze, and the slight stink of a rotting carcass. The creature seemed oblivious though, and after insuring nothing else would jeopardize my stealth, I prepared to take the final step that would afford me a view of what the creature was crouched over. I was successful, and it afforded me a view of what the creature had in front of it………
Twas a kitten. That’s right. It was a little black kitten, lying motionless on the floor. It looked dead to my eyes, and its fur was matted with blood, more blood than this little kitty could have possibly contained. Its entire coat was absolutely smattered with it.
I knew this kitten. It had belonged to a family a few houses down. It was part of a litter their full grown tabby had just had. It was the only black one of the bunch, and it had died a week or so after being born, the family knew not how. By what manner this goblinous being had come to possess it, I knew not how. Or why. The absurdity of the situation I found myself in seemed to know no bounds.
The creature’s hands were still illuminated with those snapping clouds of crimson energy, and it was moving them all about the dead kitten, almost like a magician would before doing a sleight-of-hand trick. The light and energy given off by its aura-enclosed hands was sickly and felt dangerous, but at the same time, was beautiful and mesmerizing. It was a strange juxtaposition to experience. I wasn’t sure, but I felt like the energy that this being was manipulating could greatly harm me, or possibly be amazingly beneficial. Kind of like fire. Applied correctly, its uses are virtually endless, and remarkably beneficial. But it can also be exploited for very dire, and horrid purposes. In retrospect, I feel like the power this being was utilizing could be employed in a similar fashion. This monstrous, demonic-looking, creature looked apparently ready to use such energy.
At this point I began to wonder; should I try to stop this thing? It didn’t seem to be up to anything cataclysmic, like the destruction of the Earth, or the enslavement of all mankind. I’d like to think such things cannot be accomplished with some energy (albeit of an unknown origin) and a dead kitten. But all I had was my feeble human musculature, and a fucking laundry basket full of clothes. This thing probably had all the agility and ferocity of a mountain lion, as movies and comics have taught me all creatures of this manner do. Not to mention it had either stayed hidden for…..however long it had been alive. Or had killed anyone who had ever seen it before. Not promising prospects for my future.
This had been foolish of me. There was no way to know there would be a frightening monster doing god-knows-what to a dead kitten in my basement, but it had been my decision to investigate further. That was just stupid. I should have tried to creep back up the steps to call the cops, or grab a weapon, or anything other than sneaking up on an unknown monster that could surely do horrible things to me.
So there I was, standing there sweating, heart pounding, mouth agape, eyes opened wide, less than two feet from a previously unseen creature, holding a full laundry basket. Fear, (and common sense) finally won out over curiosity, and I made the decision to try to sneak back upstairs.
As I just started to slowly creep my way back to the landing, the creature’s steadily louder orations began to crescendo, freezing me in place again. It flung its arms wide, hands still surrounded by the reddish purple auras of energy it had conjured, (and almost giving me a charley horse). As it spoke its final indecipherable word, (its voice now channeling Mumm Ra from the Thundercats cartoon), it thrust both hands, grabbing onto the kitten, transferring the red auras from its hands to the deceased catling. It seemed to be exerting itself, the bloody corona engulfing the kitten swirling and billowing, and almost seeming to crackle with actual miniature lightning as the creature gently held its hands to it.
I began to question my own sanity at this point. This situation I was in was getting more and more bizarre, almost as if I were dreaming. Just when I thought nothing stranger could occur, it would, pushing my heart rate and my sanity closer to the brink. I really have no idea how I didn’t go running for the hills screaming bloody murder at this point. I guess I was literally too scared to run for my life.
After a couple centuries passed, (mere seconds I’m sure), the glow from the aura faded and eventually winked out. The creature removed its hands from the kitten slowly, and to my surprise, did not resume the chanting. This entire situation had blown all of my assumptions out of the water at every turn, so I decided not to make any, and just watch.
My brain must have secretly made assumptions without my approval, because I was stunned once again when the demonic looking being began to speak again, only this time softly, and directly to the kitten. It was practically cooing to the little creature. And even more amazing, the kitten answered back! It began to mewl softly, its tail lightly thumping the concrete. A moment later it stood up, and unless my eyes deceived me, it was no longer covered in blood. It took a few shaky steps, then proceeded to meow lovingly at the strange monster that had just resurrected it.
Well. That was a relief. I half expected it to eat the kitten, or rip it apart, or turn it into some giant dire monstercat, or something. It was such a relief in fact, that I let out a loud and exasperated sigh.
Fully alerting the creature to my presence.
The creature whirled immediately, and I finally got a look at its front and face. Especially the face, for when it turned around, it was right in my face, and it shrieked an unholy roar at me. Its face was leonine, especially with its wild red and purple mane of dreads, and the mouth and snout were protruded, further resembling a mutant jungle cat. It had fangs at the front of its jaw, top and bottom, with smaller fangs behind it forming a row that dove far into its mouth, which was spread wide as it roared at me, its hot breath like wind blown over a fire. I was close enough to notice horrid looking bits of who-knows-what amidst the teeth and strands of saliva.
It didn’t roar for long. It wasn’t a drawn out, I’m a t-rex and I own the world roar, but more of a primal scream. It took a wild swipe at my torso with a hand and one of those massive claws, but luckily, on pure instinct (read: I flinched), I raised the basket full of clothes, effectively parrying the strike. Which was lucky because the basket received one hell of a gash. Also lucky was what happened next: it left. After the wild swipe, the creature made another noise; a more confused sounding noise. In a flash, it turned, and on a combination of bipedal and quadripedal movements, it almost instantly galloped/ran/leaped its way to the back wall by the washer and dryer. And amazingly, it didn’t stop there, for as it made its way, its hands began glowing red again, and it jumped at and into the wall, red aura-ed hands out stretched towards said wall. A moderate dark red explosion occurred, leaving a large cloud of crimson fumes, and when the scarlet smoke had cleared enough to see, there was no trace of the wild creature.
I stood there, dumbfounded. No. More than dumbfounded. Flabbergasted. There was the possibility that the thing would return, try to claim the life of possibly the only eye witness to its existence, but I just stood there. I eventually turned the clothes basket in my hands to see the long gash the creature had left in its side. The basket had a long wound ripped through one side. Some of the clothes were even ribboned, too. The kitten was exploring the basement, mewling along oblivious, as if it hadn’t just been brought back from the dead by an unknown monster who just jumped through some kind of teleportational vortex, or whatever it had just utilized to leave my basement. I scooped the little feller up, threw em in the basket, and went back upstairs, mouth still agape.
When I told my dad what had happened, he asked me for the number to my dealer. He also said we couldn’t keep the cat. It worked out. I ended up giving it to my sister, (there was no way I was just gonna drop off a kitten, that had just been resurrected by a strange being, at the humane society. If the thing grows up to be a monster demon cat, it’s MY monster demon cat). She agreed to take care of the little guy. I tried to tell her the story of how I came to possess it, and my sister reacted in much the same way as my father. I figured she ought to know, considering the cat could turn out to be something sinister, and although she wasn’t as skeptical as my father, I could tell she didn’t believe me either. I didn’t really expect her to.
After that day I spent considerable time searching online for any sort of link or connection to what I had just gone through. Everything I found was scant and vague. No pics, no stories, no nothing that even scarcely fit the description of what I had experienced, (while researching the creature online is how I came across creepypasta actually).
All I know is this: my sister still has the cat, he hasn’t turned into any monstrous beings or exhibited a strange reddish glow, and I am stealthier than a silent ninja fart, for I snuck up on something that comes from the dark, hides in the shadows, and goes bump in the night. And I scared IT.
Credit To – Shape Shafter