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Unknown Number



Estimated reading time — 3 minutes

“JESUS!!” I cried.
Being jolted from a half dose at a quarter to midnight by my new ‘Halloween theme’ ringtone didn’t do wonders for my heart-rate, especially since I’d momentarily forgot I’d changed the tone at all that day.
Took me a while to find my phone stuck down the side of the armchair I was sitting in, not helped by the fact that the only light in the sitting room was the static on the widescreen TV.

“Unknown Number.”

I answered it, there was no-one there.
To be honest I was expecting heavy breathing on the other end as I was still a little freaked out, but there was no noise at all.
I hung up, took a deep breath and frowned- Maybe I just pocket dialed myself.
My old iPhone could make a fake ‘self call’ designed to create a diversion, so if I was having a boring conversation with someone I could pretend mom was ringing or something , although I wasn’t familiar at all with this ‘new’ piece of crap.
Dad bought it from a gas station for twenty bucks a few days ago, as I’d lost my iPhone on a trip to the city last week.
I flicked through the features on the menu screen trying to find the fake call option, but didn’t have much luck, for one thing the screen was about half the size of a credit card.

I cursed and decided to watch T.V. instead to take my mind off things.
I tried using the light of my cell to find the remote with little success.
Groaning out of laziness, I hauled myself out of the chair to get to the light switch.
Stopping halfway, I registered the fact that I had the T.V. on the satellite channels when I fell asleep yet now: static from the analogue Ariel.
I ran the rest of the way to the switch and basically punched it.
Light flooded the room and my darting eyes saw nothing.
After another deep breath, my moment of fear passed, guess I was a little unused to having the whole house to myself.

Mom and Dad were only gone for the night, but it was quite a treat for me since they rarely went anywhere, even during the day.
Nowhere to go but fields around this part of the country, so them going to a friend’s wedding meant I finally had some solitude.
I still couldn’t see the remote so I decided to recheck the sides of the armchair.
I threw my phone on the seat and reached deep down either side.
The Phone rang again at full creepy blast with my ear pressed right up against it.
I angrily grabbed it- “Dammit WHAT!??”
Again, there was dead silence.
Cursing, I threw the phone back on the seat hard.

POP!!
At that moment the lightbulb blew out violently and the power went out, thrusting me into total darkness.
With a shriek, I scrambled to grab the phone again and found it after an instant of blind terror.
Using the tiny screen light to see, I panicked and bolted down to my room as fast as I could, jumped into bed and pulled the covers. I curled into a fetal position.
I was panting hard, from both the run and the fear. I couldn’t form any thought for about 5 breaths, until I decided to call dad.
Looking at the screen, I saw I forgot to hang up the last call.
My breath caught in my throat as I saw that this time, it wasn’t an “unknown number”- It was mine.

My old number from the phone I’d lost.

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As I hit the red button my terrified mind began to race through a thousand horrible implications until I realised something else.

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My bed was already warm.

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BEEP BEEP. The message tone nearly gave me a heart attack.

“It’s under your pillow”

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Ever so slowly, my trembling hand slid underneath the pillow- and found the T.V. remote.

From under the covers I heard my bedroom door close, then lock.

Credit To: Beefnuts

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65 thoughts on “Unknown Number”

  1. Honestly, the beginning of this story gave me low-hopes for the ending. My suspicion was false, as this is probably one of the more well-written short-stories on the entire website. Very very VERY well done. Took me off guard, and the ending gave such a spooky-satisfaction that i just HAD to give it an 8/10. (only reason i decided against a 9/10 or 10/10 was due to the poor beginning, and lack of an interesting intro.)

  2. I usually hate and will not even read a short pasta but this one gave me chills good job its kinda reminded me of the urban ledgen of the baby sitter where she calls the police they trace the call and its coming from inside the house very nicely done!

  3. Bill The Stripper

    Although this pasta was incredibly delicious and creepy, I would have liked a bigger serving size still 10/10 ( phone rings) Uh-oh…

  4. Niiice. I’m in the house on my own reading this and there’s a storm so the lights are flickering. THANK YOU FOR SCARING ME!

  5. It’s “analogue aerial” not “analogue Ariel”, damn it. I had no idea what the hell you were talking about, because you replaced a kind of TV antenna with a girl’s name.

    1. That and dose instead of doze threw me out of the story briefly but overall it was really well done. A little proofing and polishing would help but I enjoyed this one a great deal.

  6. Beefnuts:
    Could you be more specific?

    Some sentences could have been phrased a bit better, you could have written, for example:
    “Letting out a drowned-out groan, I hauled my lazy self out of the chair to flip the light switch on.”
    You also gotta check your punctuation in some places, as well as (like I mentioned before) overall sentence/paragraph structure.
    For example, you could have written this part a little differently…
    “I stopped halfway, registering the fact that I’d left the TV set to the satellite channels before I fell asleep. Yet now, there was only static from the analogue Ariel. So, I darted through the remaining distance and basically punched the switch. Light filled the room, [but] my eyes saw nothing.”
    Dunno who taught you grade 5 English, but they must have been a horrible teacher! :P You must get those “ifs, ands and buts” correct! It’s very important. Another thing I should add is that you really don’t need to press the return key so many times. Doing so causes a lot of disruption to the reader.

    PS: “No-one” is incorrect. You should write it as “no one” or “nobody”. You wouldn’t write “Nowhere” as “no-where”, right? ^^

    1. I feel you are picking on stylistic choice rather than genuine mistakes. That’s fine if you can come up with something better, but “Letting out a drowned-out groan”? A much poorer phrasing with the double ‘out’- kills the flow.
      The rest of that example is just an arbitrary rephrasing.
      As for everything else, I assure you it was deliberate- I am fan of “show don’t tell” in horror. One of the ways to achieve this is to leave out all the “If’s, but’s & so’s” where possible so as to avoid bland exposition (a la your rewrite).
      Then, almost as a consequence, the more ‘painterly’ sentencing must be given more prominence to be easily absorbed by the reader, i.e. line by line (Not to mention I’m also a fan of that ‘flat’ style in horror anyways).
      All of this is subjective however, There is no definite algorithm for creative writing- Therefore YOU CAN’T PICK APART THE SYNTAX as long as it’s legible (& sometimes not even then, see “Finnigan’s Wake”).
      And as for my 5th grade teacher, I admit that English class didn’t help me very much- mainly because it was so constrictive.
      I might hazard a guess that you maybe are still in an English class and enjoy it, but it doesn’t make you an infallible authority I’m afraid- just because something might be marked down by a teacher in a classroom doesn’t necessarily mean it’s wrong in the real world, just different.

  7. Lol good pasta also was it a parodypasta?
    Because bed was warm because he pissed himself evil monster hid the remote which is truly evil and locked the door so the protagonist can’t watch tv and that is the ultimate evil

  8. This was a really good read. The ending made my heart skip a beat. I could not even imagine that amount of horror.

  9. Wow. Amazing story beefnuts. My heart was beating out of my chest to the very end. Probably because this is very similar to my life,just without the creepy stalker in my room. Keep on the great work!

  10. I liked how it added so much suspense but it’s got a couple split ends like how the lights pop out right then it doesn’t really have much realism at that point if that’s a good way to put it. It’s length is perfect for the type of story and it reminds me of an old story I heard as a kid about an old man and his dog. I’ll definatly be checking out more of your stories

  11. The character is so relatable, which is what made me really love this pasta. I could definitely see myself reacting to all of those prompts in the same way, though knowledge of horror films kind of left me yelling “Get out of the house!” when they ran into the bedroom.

  12. I thought it could have been a little bit longer as I was really enjoying it and starting to get into it when you suddenly changed it and bam ending. I wish there was more intent in the ending, because it was just a tad too vague for me. But otherwise I thought the writing was fairly well written and overall a decent concept :)

  13. reminds me of one Halloween morning i woke up to the sound of heavy metal blasting through my stereo system. i blamed my cat. but i know it wasn’t the cat. she only listened to classical music

  14. I did enjoy the end of the story- it gave me a heart attack. But, to put it bluntly, it was very poorly written. I’m not trying to insult your writing, I’m just suggesting that you put more thought and EFFORT into your writing. At least edit it once or twice…

  15. I hate to say it but I liked the draft on crappypasta more. The added bit about the “if i was having a boring conversation” was an unnecessary addition that felt like it pulled me out of the story.

    Also the ending doesn’t quite feel right; “the bed was warm” in the draft worked a weird way because the horror was implied to be the unknown. It gave the idea that something was indeed out amiss but not what. In this version, however, it feels like a third act that abruptly ends.

    Also I’m sorry for being so critical, I liked this on crappypasta and I still do.

    1. haha, you can be as critical as you like! The “boring conversation” bit was a tad forced, but a comment said it was “fuzzy” before-im not so sure what that meant so it was over elaborated slightly. The ending was to create a sence of abrupt doom rather than an open ended ‘shiver’ moment. “My bed was already warm” was the initial motivation for writing in the first place, but I suppose I had to tip the scales over from abiguity to very real danger, I hope it didnt detract from that image(Tho it probly did!). Thank you for the interest by the by!!

  16. that’s stupid, it gave no closure I feel like it’s missing something very important, maybe…. oh I don’t know….. A GOOD ENDING?!?!?!

  17. I felt the character panicked rather quickly, but it wasn’t too badly written. I would’ve liked it to have been spaced out more, as he went from waking up, to full blown terror in about 2.3. The caller-is-in-your-house is a tried and true scare tactic, which also worked relatively well here.

    1. Swirly Head Man

      I’m not sure about that, when my mum’s out at work on night shift I tend to get spooked pretty easily. Then again, I spend a lot of time on this godforsaken website.

  18. Wow. That was really quite creepy, since I could actually see myself in a similar scenario o_o Hm, I think I might even have a second helping of this pasta.

  19. This was nice. I wish it could have been longer but I guess that would’ve ruined it. Keep up the good work my friend!

  20. This was really well written. Had me in suspense until u pulled the remote out from under the pillow! I gave a little chuckle and I appreciated the comedy.

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