Welcome to Crappypasta! This is the companion site to Creepypasta.com, and here is where you’ll find stories that we deemed not quite ready for the big leagues. If I believe that a story has potential but just isn’t quite there yet, I’ll post it here with some tags explaining my reasoning. The community at large can then offer their feedback and constructive criticism to aid the author in fully realizing their story’s potential.

However, if the community is in agreement that I made an error in judgement and the story should be accepted for the main site as-is, they may upvote the Crappypasta. If a story hits the (undisclosed for obvious reasons) correct ratio of positive to negative votes, I’ll move it to the primary Creepypasta archive, complete with a note of my taste fail!

You may read a more in-depth explanation of this process here.

I use the categories to give succinct feedback on each story posted. Rather than write out comments on every pasta, I make my feelings known via the categories that I assign to each specific post. This is done manually and on a per-pasta basis, so if you received a certain category on your story, that is my feedback to you.

You may read full descriptions of each category and how to interpret them as feedback/criticism here.

Note that due to how the sites have evolved, many categories are now outdated. In the dawn of this website, I didn’t get nearly as many submissions as I do now. As such, I was able to post and categorize every single eligible rejected story, even stories that I personally felt had a snowball’s chance in hell of being moved to the main site.

Nowadays, however, this would be an unrelenting sea of nonsense – most open-submission days garner well over a hundred submissions, and it’s statistically likely that only one or two of those will be more than a short, low-effort, all-lowercase paragraph. To prevent a flood of slush, I now only post stories that I believe have potential to be rewritten or upvoted to the main site.

All this is to say that some categories will almost certainly be archive-only from now on, simply because I can’t imagine a situation where I’d actually be posting a story that would deserve the “THIS IS STUPID” tag – it just doesn’t match up with how the site operates anymore.

The most frequent issues raised by new visitors are those of intended meanness and author permission. Please be reassured that if a story was posted here, it was submitted to me directly (I don’t go trawling the internet for stories to mock) with the author giving EXPLICIT permission for me to post their work here if it didn’t make the cut for the main creepypasta archive.

While we do allow comments that dabble in snarkiness as long as they are still entirely constructive criticism, the mod team will not approve comments that contribute nothing to the refinement of a pasta. Likewise, this means that comments left simply to be nasty or bully the author will be deleted. In cases where a commenter continually attempts to leave abusive comments towards authors, they will likely be banned entirely. This website is, first and foremost, about helping people succeed with their writing projects. Unnecessary nastiness does not help us accomplish this goal and, as such, has no place here.

That said, there will always be people who do not grasp the site’s function and leave comments accusing everyone leaving even benign, helpful feedback of bullying. Such comments are at each individual mod’s discretion on whether or not they will be approved, but if a comment section gets completely derailed due to misunderstanding-based white knighting, I will likely remove the comment chain in order to get the post back on track: we are here to give feedback, not argue with people who can’t be bothered to read this very blurb!

There are several ways for the community to contribute their constructive criticism to the works here:

  • Comments: If you want to leave an overall review of one of the pastas posted here, you may use the most traditional method – the comment form. We use DISQUS, so if you want to be an active and recognizable member of the Crappypasta community, I do recommend registering a free account, however commenting without an account is allowed. The comments are moderated, and all commenting guidelines from the main site are in effect here as well.
  • Sidenotes: If you want to leave your feedback in a more fine-tuned fashion, please use sidenotes. Sidenotes (also called annotations) should be familiar to anyone who has visited Rap Genius (now Genius) – you can highlight a portion of the story and leave specific feedback for the highlighted portion. You can also simply click the speech bubble after each paragraph to leave your feedback for that paragraph. Sidenotes are only shown and available on the pasta’s individual page, so you will need to click through a pasta’s title in order to access this function. If you wish to retain a consistent identity when leaving sidenotes, you can sign up for a Livefyre account within the sidenote UI.
  • Star Voting: This is pretty self-explanatory, I think. Just like on the main site, you can give a pasta a star rating from 1-10. 1 being the worst, 10 being the best.
  • Upvote/Downvote: Use the upvote (thumbs up) if you believe a pasta is good enough, in its current, as-is state, to be posted on the main site. Use the downvote (thumbs down) if you believe the story needs more work before it’s eligible for moving to the main site.
  • Emoji Response: If you’re on mobile or just don’t feel like typing but still want to give slightly more nuanced feedback than the stars and up/downvotes, you may also use the emoji feedback options. These, like the sidenotes, are present only on the pasta’s individual page, and can be found in between the pasta and the comments section. Eventually, we will be able to display content lists based on these reactions, much like do presently with the up/down and star ratings, so please use this function!

March 2016 – Crappypasta Overhaul

Well, I'm sure most of you noticed that Crappypasta went totally dark for a few months. Basically, I've been plotting to rebuild the site somewhat, add some new functions, but didn't quite have the time and energy to see it through until now. I wanted to hold off on...
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Comments Undergoing Upgrade (99% Finished – Feel Free to Comment Again)

UPDATE 9/19: The automatic upgrade didn't work, so I ended up having to export the comments in small batches. At the time of this update, the upgrade is 99% complete. Only a few comments should be missing, and hopefully they will show up soon enough. By and large,...
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Admin Post: Crappypasta Changes Announced

Okay, guys. After giving myself some time off from Crappypasta to clear my head (I can't even express the level of burnout I've been experiencing), I've finally created and posted the new Crappypasta guidelines over on the main site. I've updated the FAQ as well as...
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I once had a happy family. I had a five year old daughter, Ellie, and a beautiful wife Megan. Even though Ellie wasn’t biologically my own, and although I had missed the first two years of her life, I loved her as fiercely as any parent would. And sweet, sweet Megan, I loved her dearly. Megan, who was raped at 19 and had dropped out of school just to raise her attacker’s child. Megan, who helped me out of my depression and brought me into her small but beautiful family as we fell in love. We had a good thing going. But like all good things, it came to an end. And I’m about to tell you what happened.

One day Ellie came off the school bus looking extremely sad. I ran up to her and asked what was wrong. Megan was at the community college, working on getting the degree she had never finished, so I was the one at home to take care of our daughter. It worked out perfectly, as I was an author and worked from home most days. We really had the perfect life, although we didn’t have much money, and so it broke my heart to see my daughter so sad.

“There’s this boy in my class, and he never talks, and everyone ignores him. It just makes me so sad because I don’t know why they’re all so mean. He looks so sad all the time,” Ellie said, crying as I held her.

Pulling back to look at her, I said cheerfully, “Hey, you know what you should do? You should go and ask him to be your friend.” She smiled shyly a little bit.

“Okay,” she said as I wiped a tear off her cheek.

The next day, Ellie came off the bus running into my arms with a big smile.

“I talked to the boy!” she said excitedly, “His name is Robert. He’s really nice. I want to have a play date with him.” She seemed really happy, and I could understand why. As the only lesbian in my small town growing up, I had always been a bit of an outcast, and I knew the rare joy of finally finding a friend.

“Sure,” I said, as we walked into the house. That evening, I told Megan that Ellie had made a friend. She was very happy, as our daughter was always so shy and had never had a friend over.

The next day, I was in the bathroom when Ellie got home, but I heard her happily chattering with her friend as they came in. She had been right about him being quiet, because I couldn’t hear his voice at all, but I was happy that she was getting out of her bubble a little bit and being more outgoing.

I stayed out of their way as they played in the living room and in the meanwhile I worked on my latest novel in my home office. I was too immersed in my work to notice when he left, so it came as a surprise when Ellie came into the room a few hours later to announce that he had needed to get home.

“Oh, did his parents pick him up?” I asked, surprised, with a pang of regret that I never got to meet Robert or his parents.

“No, he says his home is not far away so he could walk.” I frowned. That didn’t seem right, but she seemed so happy so I just brushed the feeling away.

Later on that night, Megan asked, “How was Ellie’s play date?” as we shared some wine on the couch after Ellie was sound asleep.

“She seemed really happy with it,” I said, leaving out the fact that I had never seen nor heard the boy, and I momentarily dismissed any feelings of discomfort I had.

“Good,” Megan said, leaning her head on my shoulder sleepily, “What’s her friend’s name?”

“Robert,” I answered, stroking her hair. I heard her breath catch in her throat.

“What?” I said, looking closely at her face. She seemed to be lost in another place or time, with a look of surprise and sadness on her face. I didn’t pry, but I silently wondered what significance the name had to her.

The next morning, it was Saturday, and we got a phone call at around 5:30.

“Hello?” I answered groggily.

“Can I speak with Megan Lewis?” asked a serious, somber voice.

I left her to talk on the phone in private, and she came out of the room crying. Alarmed, I wondered what had happened, but she was smiling and shaking, obviously in shock but happy.

“Ellie’s biological father- that asshole- he was killed by another inmate in his cell last night. I can finally breathe again,” she said emotionally, “We’re safe, Cathy.”

I embraced her and we celebrated with some coffee with a few shots of liquor in it.

Eventually it was 7:00 and I went to wake up Ellie, as Megan was still an emotional wreck and I didn’t want Ellie to know. In her world, there was no such thing as sex or rape or even dating. Just two loving moms and a happy home, and her friend Robert.

Before entering her room, I could hear her talking softly. Surprised, I tried to figure out what she was saying, but eventually she must have seen me through the crack in the door, because in a hushed voice she told someone to hide because her mommy was here.

Shaking off the feeling of uneasiness that was growing over me, I came into the room to kiss her forehead and say good morning.

“My father is dead,” she said, looking at me with an emotionless, knowing stare.

“How did you know that?” I asked with a start. She didn’t even know that she had a father. I quickly realized that she probably just overheard us talking, but what came out of her mouth next shocked me.

“Robert told me,” she whispered.

I stared at her for a moment, then said, “Oh, sweetie, I think you just heard us talking outside your room and had a dream that Robert was talking to you. It’s normal, don’t worry.”

“No, really. He’s in my closet now. He’s shy. He doesn’t want anyone but me to see him.”

Heart racing, I went to the closet and she screamed as my hand touched the doorknob.

Megan came rushing in at the sound, fear in her eyes. I hurried both of them out of the room, muttering to Megan that Ellie had just had some sort of nightmare and it was no big deal.

Later on, Ellie was watching TV in the living room while Megan was writing a paper for school, and I snuck into Ellie’s room, curious.

Once again I put my hand on the doorknob of the closet, and, holding my breath, opened it. After a quick check around the usual mess of clothes and toys, I found that there was nothing out of the ordinary.

Shaking my head at my overactive imagination, I shut the door and left the room, trying to let go of this unexplainable feeling of dread.

A few days later, Ellie asked for another play date, but I made a spur of the moment decision to re-paint our walls that week, just because this Robert boy was making me feel really uncomfortable.

The next day, Ellie came to me and kept persistently asking for a play date with Robert. And the next day. And the next day. I made excuse after excuse, and eventually she crumbled before my eyes as I ran out of excuses and I used the dreaded line of “Because I say so.” I had never wanted to be that kind of parent, but I was sincerely freaked out and couldn’t think of how else to deny her wishes.

She began to sob, and said, “He’s really lonely. He was lonely before but now a strange man that says he’s his father is at his home and he’s hurting him. He’s scared. I want to help.”

I kneeled down, suddenly realizing that it was time to be an adult and take care of this strange boy’s potentially dangerous situation.

“Hurting him how?” I asked urgently.

“He- he-” she burst into tears and finally said, “He doesn’t understand it but it hurts.”

I asked for Robert’s last name and address, but Ellie didn’t know. Frustrated, I called the police anyway and told them everything I knew. They told me that they would look into it, but with such a small amount of evidence it would be very difficult for them to find much.

Still unable to shake off the feeling that something was really, really not right, I called Ellie’s teacher.

“Is there a boy named Robert in your class?” I asked.

“No,” he said, “Why?”

I explained the situation, and he sighed and said, “At this age, it’s normal for children to have imaginary friends, but you might want to take her to a psychiatrist just to be safe.”

After I hung up, I grabbed the list of recommended psychiatric groups I had scrawled down during the phone call, with the intention of showing Megan, but instead I impulsively tore it to pieces. I just had this gut feeling that there was something more going on.

I didn’t tell Megan, because I didn’t want to scare her and I knew she didn’t believe in the supernatural as much as I did. I didn’t want Ellie to go to a psychiatrist because I believed in Robert. I didn’t know who or what he was, but I knew he was real.

Soon it was Megan and my wedding anniversary, and we hired a neighborhood teen to babysit Ellie as we went on a romantic date. I tried to take my mind off of Ellie, but when we got home the babysitter was nowhere to be seen. Instead, we saw Ellie on the kitchen floor, covered in blood.

She had slit her own wrists, and was bleeding to death. She was still breathing, but pale as a ghost.

“I’m going to Robert’s home. His father won’t let him visit me anymore. I have to go be his friend. That’s what you wanted me to do, right?”

Megan ran up to her child and cradled her in her arms, getting blood on her expensive dress as she sobbed.

I knelt down and grabbed Ellie’s hand. It was too late for an ambulance.

“I love you both,” Ellie said with a smile, “but he needs me more.”

After Ellie stopped breathing, Megan took a deep, shaky breath and began to talk.

“Five years ago,” she began, “I had twins,” she said, closing her eyes as the tears rolled down her cheeks, “Robert and Ellie. Robert died after only two weeks. She never knew about him. I’m sorry I never told you. I just tried to forget. It was too painful.”

With a wild look in her eyes, she looked at me and said, “I won’t let him hurt my children like he hurt me,” and with a ferocious look, she grabbed the knife from Ellie’s blood-covered hands and thrust it into her own stomach.

Shocked, I watched my wife die. She choked out to me, “I love you. But this is my job. You can’t come with us. I’m doing it alone. They’ll be in good hands.” And with a wild look of vengeance in her eyes, she passed on to another world.

Next thing I knew, I was waking up in a psychiatric ward, handcuffed to the bed.

A man was sitting by my side, and he said grimly, “Hello, I’m Tom, your lawyer. I’m sorry, but I don’t think we can win this case. All the evidence points to you. Lifetime in jail most likely. Hey, on the bright side, there’s no death penalty here anymore.”

I looked out the window into the hallway and saw my wife, daughter, and a boy I did not recognize but knew to be Robert. A large man lurked up behind them, and I couldn’t do anything about it. I screamed and tried to jump out of bed but was held down by the handcuffs. There was nothing I could do.

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Magda and Marissa

My last job wasn’t an ordinary babysitting gig. I watched horror movies. I knew what I was getting myself into when I started my little babysitting business, but I was broke and in college, and I wanted to regularly eat things that didn’t have enough sodium to kill me. I’d babysat for the Ashers before. The parents were a normal, I-need-to-get-away-from-my-kids-for-the-night couple, so I didn’t really have a problem babysitting their children at the last minute the first time around.

The Ashers lived on the ninth floor of an apartment building a few miles from my house. I rode my bike there easily and was impressed with the apartment building itself. Revolving glass doors led into a lobby with the cleanliness of a hotel, but the homeliness of a house, and to get to their apartment, I rode an elevator to the top, the fancy kind with mirrored walls and a pleasant ding to alert riders they had made it to the next floor. They had a townhouse with the bedrooms on the second floor and the living area and kitchen on the first. It was nice, but nothing about the apartment complex struck me as out of the ordinary.

They had two daughters who were two years apart. Magda was sweet. She drew pictures of me, smiled at everything I said, and willingly went to bed once the clock struck nine. Marissa on the other hand was weird. Although she had greeted me at the door, she didn’t say a word the rest of the night, and she constantly wore her hair over half her face, even while she ate. When I closed her bedroom door so she could sleep, I noticed one of her eyes staring at me from an opening in her blanket. I shook it off. From my experience, most kids are weird.

I’d accidentally fallen asleep while studying for an exam at their dining room table, my face pressed against the oak. At one point, soaked in my own drool, I felt something tickling my face. I swatted it away, thinking it was a fly, but it kept coming back. When I woke up about an hour later, a dead bird laid by my face, its beak opened in shock. I screamed and once the room was silent again, I could hear a girl laughing, although I couldn’t tell if it was Magda or Marissa. The Ashers came home moments later, and I swore I wouldn’t babysit for them again, too peeved out to even think about it.

When I got home that night, I noticed something odd about the scribbles Magda had used to draw me. In one picture in particular, my face was pecked out by birds. I sweat a little just thinking about it. I went months without ever hearing from the Ashers again, when Mrs. Asher called me early one morning.

“Can you watch them again?” she said without saying hello. I remained silent. “Please, it’s urgent. My father’s in the hospital. It’s the cancer.” Her voice began to break. “I don’t think he’ll make it past today. The other sitter won’t come.”

My heart cringed. My aunt had been sick in the hospital too for some time. Liver cancer. I had a soft spot for that kind of crap. Kids are weird, I repeated, not sure I could actually survive another gig with them. It was daytime, I told myself, and I used that fact as comfort, although it didn’t quite help.

When I arrived at the apartment a little while later, their parents had already left. Magda and Marissa sat on the couch watching cartoons. They both greeted me as I walked into their unlocked apartment, after having knocked multiple times. The parents had left a note on the dining room table saying there was leftover casserole for lunch in the fridge. Marissa was surprisingly the first one to speak to me, grabbing my hand and dragging me to the couch to watch TV with them. This went on for hours. Attempting to get up was futile with Marissa. It went as far as her sitting on my lap so I’d literally be stuck to the couch. We watched this backwards television show over and over again. Something about the show felt off, but I couldn’t nail down exactly what it was that made me second guess it. Magda remained silent on the other side of the couch, but every now and then I’d catch her staring at me.

My phone buzzed loudly on the kitchen counter, and it was enough motivation for Marissa to let me get up. I hadn’t realized so many hours had passed, or how many times we had watched the weird show, but it was already mid-afternoon when I answered my cell. I said hello, and was greeted with a bit of breathing. I hadn’t recognized the number, but a sense of familiarity urged me to wait for the other person to speak. My aunt’s voice sounded a few seconds later.

“You need to leave,” she said.

I stuttered for a moment. “What?”

The line clicked. I looked at the caller ID again, and realized none of the numbers made sense. It wasn’t the same area code as the hospital she was staying at. They weren’t in the right—something hard, cold smacked against the back of my head and I tumbled to the floor, hitting the counter on the way down.

I woke up hours later, still in the kitchen. I was disoriented for a moment. The room was dark, but dimly lit by the lights from outside. I scrambled for my cellphone, but couldn’t find it. I used the counter to help myself up, leaning on it for support once I was up. I gently touched the back of my head where I had been hit. Dry blood crusted in my hair. The TV was off, and both the kitchen and living room were empty. I struggled for a moment to hear anything. Then something drifted through the air sinisterly. It was the same laugh I had heard the first time around when I woke up next to the dead bird. I thought about it, and wondered if I had actually fallen asleep the time before.

The laughing came from upstairs, but I couldn’t see anyone. Footsteps ran across the floor above the kitchen, in Magda’s room. I looked in the kitchen drawers for a flashlight or a match or something I could use to light my way to the door, but found nothing. Everything was covered in shades of darkness, outlined vaguely from the lighted world outside. The clock on the stove said it was past nine. I inched my way to the door, still a little groggy, and tried my best not to bump myself into anything. That’s when I noticed I wasn’t wearing shoes.

I made it to the door quicker than I thought I would. It was locked of course. I had locked the top lock earlier. I unlocked it and pulled on the door, but it still didn’t budge. The knob had been locked with a key. I tried all the keys hanging on the wall next to the door, but to no avail. The laughing got louder. I made my way to the window in the kitchen before I remembered the apartment was on the ninth floor.

To the left I could see stairs leading up to a window on the second floor. The fire escape. My hands shook. I wasn’t sure if I could bring myself to go upstairs. Kids are weird, I repeated again silently. I was surprised their parents were still not home also. I wondered if they had called, but figured whether or not they had, they’d be here if they were truly worried about their daughters. At this point, the apartment was silent. The footsteps upstairs had ceased running across the floor, and I couldn’t hear any laughter. This relieved and terrified me all at once.

The furniture in the room became more apparent as my eyes adjusted, but the stairs loomed in the darkness. I panicked. My only way out seemed to be the fire escape. I stepped on the first step, and it creaked loudly. A girl giggled. I continued up the stairs slowly, the wooden floor cold beneath my feet. My blood ran hot in my face and ears. When I reached the last step, I darted toward the parents’ bedroom, catching a glimpse of Marissa smiling at me from her room.

Magda jumped out from hers and scratched at my leg like a cat. Marissa lay down on the floor behind us and laughed so hard she had to gasp for air every few seconds. I tried pushing Magda off, but she kept coming back. I pushed her hard, and she fell down to the ground, landing with a thud. Marissa stopped laughing. Both girls refused to take their eyes off of me. I continued my sprint for the parents’ bedroom. Magda fell flat on her stomach trying to scratch me again.

I slammed the door behind me, taking a few moments to compose myself before acting out my plan. Compared to the rest of their home, the Ashers’ bedroom was musty and old fashioned. The feeling of homeliness evident throughout the rest of the apartment was replaced with a sense of loneliness. There were family pictures of the Ashers scattered haphazardly on the two dressers in the room, and many more taped to the walls. Mr. and Mrs. Asher looked happy in the photos, sitting in front of a birthday cake that wished their daughter a happy eighth birthday and pushing a bicycle with its training wheels recently taken off. Magda and Marissa were nowhere to be found in any of the pictures.

A chair faced the window to the fire escape. I ran up to the window and struggled to open it, even after I had unlocked it. A hand touched me, and I jumped back. Mrs. Asher sat in the chair, smiling. She seemed absentminded. “You’re supposed to be watching the girls, dear,” she said. It took me a moment to realize her husband stood in the corner, observing our conversation politely. I swallowed hard.

The door to the room cracked open. Magda looked in with one eye. Marissa tried peeking over her head. “What’re you trying to open the window for?” Mr. Asher asked.

I shook my head. “You’re not supposed to be here.” Thinking about the last time I had babysat for them, I realized it was possible Mr. and Mrs. Asher had returned home from upstairs, and not through the front door.

Mrs. Asher laughed. “Hon, you just need to unlock the emergency latch if you want some fresh air. They’ve been playing with the dead birds again, huh?” She said as she clicked it open, and before they said anything else, I was swarming down the fire escape, jumping when I reached the end and landing hard on the ground. I retrieved my bike from the front and never looked back.

I’ve received multiple calls from Mrs. Asher asking me to return, but I ignore them. She gives me a different excuse every time on my voicemail, and has used the one about her father being in the hospital several of those times. When I got home that night, I called my parents, who were terribly worried about my wellbeing. Apparently, they had tried reaching me throughout the day, but every time they did, my phone went straight to voicemail. They wanted to tell me my aunt had died early that morning. The funeral was the following week. I believe she was looking out for me that day, even if most people think the stress of school had been messing with my head. I still babysit every now and then. Luckily, I haven’t experienced anything like this since. But I just have to wonder what Magda and Marissa were, and if the Ashers will ever be free.

Credit: Julia Hettiger
Credit Link: https://twitter.com/JuliaHettiger

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The Skulker of Wolfmoon Lake

I needed a break.

Going camping with my family was not what I had in mind. Just the thought of camping was disgusting. I couldn’t bear to think about s’mores or sleeping bags underneath the stars. The sound of it makes me feel sick. If only I could have gone to an amusement park like I asked. Sleeping in a nice hotel, eating exemplary food, and riding riveting rides—is what I had in mind. Sadly, my lamenting won’t get me anywhere. I have no choice, but to go through with this boring trip.

To make things worse, I’m stuck with three hungry, grumpy people. The sunlight angrily shined its rays onto us. Heat seeped through our car. The air conditioning doesn’t work, don’t bother. Rolling down the windows to let cool air in, didn’t work either. The humidity of the summer scorched the air. All that filtered through my lungs was hot, stale gusts.

The only thing I could do during this boring travel, was to stare outside of the open window next to me. I watched the endless rows of light-green speed by my eyes. The repetitive sights brought me excruciating amounts of nausea. Car sickness was filling in my stomach. I now regretted my decision to watch the trees flash by.

Heat only intensified. To the point of the back seats melting, with the foul smell of burnt leather drifting around. Sweat even started to drip down my singeing forehead. It was miserable. Only boredom and heat was burdened upon us.

I turned my gaze over to the front windshield and noticed something.

A large, faded sign loomed overhead. Big, red letters spelt the words ‘Lake Wolf moon’. A smile formed on my face. Many memories from long ago flashed into my mind. Memories of diving into the vast, cold waters of the lake. Feelings of nostalgia crowded my senses. I now had sentiment for Lake Wolfmoon, something I never thought I would admit.

The sign was as I remembered it, except for one thing, which slowly came into focus.

Small, messy, black letters were scribbled at the bottom of the sign, underneath the painted trees. Words saying, ‘The Skulker lurks under the surface’, or something like that. It was very sloppy and hard to make-out. I was almost certain that’s what it said. It was still weird none the less.

The words were so weird in fact, that they made me ponder for a while. Many questions shot through my mind. I had to voice my thoughts. Whether they scold or not, I had to ask my parents if they saw the words on the sign. There was no other way the questions would leave my mind.

“Did you guys—did you see the sign?” I asked nervously. “I mean, the black words on the sign?” Anxiety and nervousness rushed through my body as I spoke. Everything felt like a blur.

“Probably just punk teens.” My father snapped, while wiping the sweat off of his forehead.

I was unfortunately unable to shake the eerie questions off of my shoulders. They decided to stick around and give me uncertainties of what to expect next. My mind went hay-wire, it was on the fritz. I couldn’t keep myself calm. The anxiety and nervousness continued to churn in my stomach. So, I switched my gaze over to the window next to me, hoping that it would occupy my mind. I didn’t care about the dizziness to come, I needed the odd thoughts to leave.

Again, I watched with boredom out of the window next to me. I could feel the hot breeze brush against my face. Nausea started to make its return. To ensure I didn’t hurl, I closed my eyes and let the soft winds pass by. For a moment, stressful thoughts left my mind. I didn’t think about the cranky family, long loathsome road-trip, or even the bizarre questions. Surprisingly, I was able to relax myself.

Before I knew it—everything halted. My depressing, grim thoughts came back. I wish I was able to relax the way I did, for a while longer. Too bad, I was cast back into the harsh reality. Too bad, I had to drag myself along.

Clanking noises of the car’s malfunctioning engine faded. Whirring noises of the car’s exhaust subsided. I watched in gloom, as my sister whisked herself out of the car. She thrashed her seat-belt into my stomach with force. I couldn’t feel the pain. My mind was preoccupied with the dread of this trip.

I wasn’t in the mood to have someone scold me. Sitting idly by was what I wanted to do. No, I couldn’t. I had to jolt out of the car with haste, and pretend that I had energy. My job was already predetermined from the start of this long travel—hauling the luggage into the cabin.

After the long and tedious task of carrying in the suitcases, I headed for the lake. A towel was wrapped around my arm, and I swapped my khaki shorts for a pair of swim-trunks. I was relieved to finally be able to relax my drained body. It felt as if though my muscles were tied in knots.

My tired, limp feet dragged themselves across the dirt trail next to the cabin. The trail would continue for several feet until it took me to the banks of the blue, sparkling waters. Suffice it to say, my body was able to pull itself along the coarse, sandy path without fail.

Along the shores of the lake was a rickety, old dock. A lone canoe lay silently tied to the dock’s post. I gaped when I saw the glimmering, sparkling waters shine in the sunlight. Sounds of the smooth water swaying gave me relaxation.

I approached the dock and took cautious steps. The old dock could give out anytime now. As I walked, creaking sounds emanated from beneath my feet. The fear of falling through the boards unsettled me. Eventually, I made it across the dock and to the edge. I dropped the towel wrapped around my arms onto the brown, wooden boards. With one big leap, I landed into the chilly water.

There was something in the distance that caught my eye.

An orange and tan blob floated on the surface of the waters. The patch of colors was partially blinded by the shimmering reflections of light. I swam over to the expanding figure.

To my horror—it was my older sister—Cassidy.

I wanted to be alone. Sadly, I wasn’t able to. All I wanted was to relax, without my sister around. Every time I’m near my sister, she either hurts me or starts squabbling. For once, I would like to get away from her. Just thinking about all of the petty things my sister did to me, makes me infuriated.

“Cassidy!” I shouted in anger. “What are you doing here?!”

My arms tired and weak, pulled themselves along the freezing waters. I made my way over to my sister, whom was floating on an orange, translucent air-mattress. She was soaking in all of the sun’s rays, with tanning lotion spread all over her body. The sun-glasses she sported looked intimidating and fierce.

“Cassidy!” I exclaimed. “Why aren’t you talking to me?”

“What do you want?” she whined.

“Why did you come here?!” I fumed. “You knew that I was going to come here, didn’t you?!”

No reply.

My anger escalated. I felt like I would explode any minute now. The heat of my face intensified with the sheer hatred I had towards my sister. I wanted to throw my sister into the water, but I would never hear the end of it. No matter how much anger I had, I needed to think twice. I reluctantly decided to swim away from my sister, and relax like I intended.

My spiteful thoughts were cut short—when I felt the slimy tentacle wrap around my leg.

I was trapped in the deep-end of the lake—there was no escape.

The terrifying, mucky creature pulled me down. My mouth barely scathed the water. I couldn’t see anything in the murky depths below. My heart pumped fast. Fear made its way up my gut and to the chest. I could feel my heart pump faster with every beat. Everything felt like pins and needles.

“Help!” I screamed. “Cassidy, help!”

“Quit being such a twerp.” she snapped.

Feelings of angst and doom cluttered my thinking. I feared that this would be my demise. Thoughts of hurtling to the depths below and drowning to death, circulated in my mind. I knew my sister wouldn’t help me, she didn’t believe in my pleas for help

“No, please!” I cried. “Help me!”

I could feel the gross water enter my mouth. A heavy feeling weighed my lungs down. Before I knew it —I was sucked underneath the water. I had no air. My head started to feel light. I could barely see the surface of the lake.

A loud splash of water crashed near me. Soft, cold hands rubbed against my leg—it was my sister. She pulled the slimy tentacle away from my body. I was able to return to the surface of the water. A sharp pain coursed through my lungs as I gasped for air. It all happened so fast. For once I appreciated my sister being there.

“Thank you.” I panted. “I thought I was a goner.”

Her stare was menacing, the grimace expression she wore was terrifying. She let out a grunt of disgust as she paddled her way back to her air-mattress.

“I hope you’re happy, you moron!” My sister raged. “I lost my sunglasses because of you! You’re such a child! Grow-up!”

My panic ridden mind was still trying to make sense of the situation. I was confused by what my sister implied.

“I could have died!” I shouted

“It was just seaweed!” she hollered back.

No. I knew it wasn’t seaweed. The way the snake like appendage coiled around my leg, wasn’t normal. I knew it wasn’t seaweed—the feeling—of slime and scales. It was unnatural.

“No,” I argued, “It wasn’t seaweed!”

She let out a mocking laugh. The look of amusement on her face was cruel. Why did she think it was so funny?

“Darreth, it was just seaweed.” She chuckled. “I saw it wrapped around your leg. You’re fifteen, act like it!”

Did I let the sign get to me?

How did I get dragged under the water?

Questions like those and many others buzzed through my frazzled mind.

Those words popped in my head again as I left the lake, the haunting words.

‘The Skulker lurks under the surface’

It has been a while since I went into the lake. About a day or two. I’m still rattled to tell you the truth. I guess I overreacted, with the anxiety and panic setting in. Yeah, I shouldn’t let it get to me. My sister said it was just seaweed. I guess I am gullible.

With boredom at its all-time high. I felt it right to swim in the lake again. It was my chance to prove that I am brave. It was my chance to prove that I wouldn’t let idiotic words get to me. This time I embark on my venture alone. Being alone was what I wanted. I didn’t need or want my sister around. This was my time to relax, and I don’t intend on letting seaweed get to me.

Today was hotter than any other day I’ve ever experienced. I made my way over to the lake on the scorching sands of the trail. The intense burning of the sun fried my skin. Soon after the agonizing pain of the blazing trail, my body scurried over to the crooked dock. The scalding wood blistered my feet as I rushed over the dock and dived into the lake.

The water felt refreshing. The cold, blue liquid splashed against my face as I paddled through the soft currents of the lake. I closed my eyes and cast the mortifying thoughts away from my mind. It joyed me to be able to recreate the relaxing state I was in during the road-trip.

Not a worrisome thought plagued my mind—that is until—the all too familiar tentacle coiled around my leg.

I laughed the strange feeling off of my mind. My body submerged under the water, so I could untangle the seaweed off of my leg. The only problem was—it wasn’t seaweed.

The shock of what I just saw almost made me pass out. As a jolt of fear pulsed through my nerves. I saw it—the creature—grasping tight to my leg. The appearance of the beast was grotesque. It had slimy, scaly tentacles for arms. It had a humanoid body covered with scales. It had soul-piercing eyes. Mud and seaweed covered the creature’s body.

The Skulker had me in its grasp. My shock ridden body was being dragged to the depths of Lake Wolfmoon. The disgusting waters filled in my mouth. I tried to let out a cry for help. No one could hear me. My screams were muffled by the lake’s water. No one could help me—the only way to escape—was to fight my way out. This was my chance to prove I was brave. No matter the consequences.

With all of the courage I had left, I punched kicked my way out. I aimed for the creature’s head with my free left foot. My leg kicked, swooped, and thrashed around till I kicked the head of the beast with a loud “THUD!”

I was free. The monster loosened its tentacle from my right leg and gave the prefect chance to escape. I launched back up to the surface of the water and sucked in all the air I could. My arms paddled forward as fast as they could. I was propelled forward with much speed.

Before I knew it—I was on the gravelly shores of the lake. There was no looking back from then on. I ran as fast as I could, not worrying about the singeing ground.

I couldn’t tell my parents what I saw, or my sister for that matter. Instead, I asked them if we have ever been to Lake Wolfmoon. And the answer was—“No.”

The fake memories of my stay here—were they real? Were they visions of what would come? Were they of a way to lure people into the lake? I don’t know, all I know—is that nothing will get me to swim ever again.

Those haunting words came back—the traumatizing words, repeating over and over in my mind.

“The Skulker lurks under the surface.”

Credit: Curtis Berryman Jr.

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The Robot Dance

I remember reading interviews with overpaid movie stars and musicians, who’d moan over how tired they were, how hard they had to work, how drained they’d be, burnt out, in dire need of a break. Their directors were tough task-masters. Performance is a pain. What a tough life. I’d grin and think “You should try working tables in a dive-bar, or frying up endless breakfasts in some crummy all-night cafe.” Then I’d put down the well-thumbed newspaper and get back to my ten-hour shift before I was fired again.

Now I know exactly what they meant. there are no newspapers anymore; not enough people left to buy them. Or time to read. No bars or cafes. There is entertainment; endless, inexhaustible. I provide it. I perform. permanently.

Their takeover was sudden, systematic. effortless. Nobody really knows what happened. There were stories in the news about tiny robots we built to fix us. And something about a message beamed from deep in space. Then there were no more stories. They took all of our information. They don’t like to share.

Who took control? I saw no androids stomping through cities shooting laser rifles. There were a few rumors of collusion, of those in power striking bargains. Everything took place so fast. We lost electricity, transport. There was no real news, just gossip. Fear. People were scared to stay at home but the ones who left were never seen again.

The most complete, coherent whispers were of an advanced alien artificial intelligence infecting our internet. But as far as I can tell, such talk is idle speculation. We have no idea who they are, what they are. No-one has laid eyes on them. There could be many or there could be one. They let a few of us live. All performers… I must have passed their audition. I used to act a little. It was a pipe-dream. Bit-parts, local plays.

To them, the only thing we have of value is art. They can only create coldness, calculation. No cruelty or compassion. They are curious of our songs, our books, our films. They viewed every movie, heard every song, read every story we’d written, in a heartbeat. They are already bored. They want more. We are living masterpieces, I tell myself. Beats working tables.

There aren’t many of us left. Every minute of every day we must create, or die. Time is immeasurable. One by one our hearts began to stop, I don’t know how they do it. If I’ve been fitted with an implant, they did it without my knowledge. I have no memory of any procedure, no tell-tale scar. Death is instant. Our every breath is at their behest.

The ones who last longest soon learn a few rules, the hard way. Don’t try to play to their tastes. Innovate. Jokes are met with bafflement, but can still have an impact. They are wary of us standing still or sitting; they can’t be fooled by our desperate attempts to suggest it is part of the show.

Our benefactors bestow gentle direction, in a buzzing insect voice, a vibration we feel instead of hear. “DANCE.” they say. So I stumble through some moves, I never was worth much on the dance-floor. Somehow I satisfy. Perhaps they think I am being edgy. Perhaps I am kidding myself.

One young guy breaks straight into a practically flawless rendition of the robot dance, straight from some Neon 1980s nightclub. I wished I had thought of that, until a few moments later his corpse thudded to the floor. Never pander. Never patronize.

Though blinding lights perpetuate in our jaded faces, from this cold steel stage our view is only darkness. They don’t need illumination to see. They are out there somewhere, I imagine. Perhaps they use cameras. Perhaps their senses are beyond my human comprehension.

The most tasteless Trash makes them sit up and listen. They seem to prefer buffoonery to high culture. I don’t know if this reflects their desires, or ours. But it must always be fresh. Any repeat of the same material is unthinkable. Unacceptable.

Very occasionally our routines are met with a scratchy, almost inaudible hum of approval from the gloom. A synthetic symphony. Once I bowed in gratitude, a risk which drew gasps from my compadres. It must have succeeded, for still I exist. One of the stunned, an elderly British thespian who I’d seen in a few movies, lingered too long and was gone.

We can collaborate. One direction, “SUBVERSE”, inspired myself and three others to hastily re-create the caustic comedy and twisted malice of the old Addams family TV show, which quickly descended into the recreation of a medieval torture dungeon. The audience sees nothing immoral about this, just as they don’t “get” subtlety or irony. They must have approved, for they produced props for us to use, from the Stygian gloom. Props are a rare treat. I did things I never knew I was capable of. I guess we all have to, these days.

This drew hatred from my associates. I saw murder in their red eyes, heard their hisses over the encouraging din from the theater seats.

Sometimes their direction is enigmatic, sometimes straightforward. Luckily I can improvise. Think on my feet. What is left of them. Sometimes we get a real gem, such as “WHAT CAN’T GROW CAN NEVER BE BEATEN.” That sort of thing always causes someone to fumble, and so our troupe grows fewer in number.

Sometimes we get fed a mystery meat. Never very much. They like to keep us lean. Hungry. All I know is that it’s pink and fake and grows in Petri dishes.

One tall girl, who I might have seen modelling in magazines, seemed to enjoy things to an extent. She was into extreme body modification. They supplied her with knives and she complied. She was insane to begin with, which made me immensely jealous. By the end she had no eyelids, no lips, no fingers to grip. So she banged her head hard on the floor until you couldn’t see who she’d been anymore. The hiss of rapture came, louder than I’d heard before. “I want to watch! I want to see what you see!” She screamed, and flung herself with demented glee into the audience. That idea must have crossed all of our minds once or twice, out of sheer curiosity or a faint hope of respite. Silence. The familiar scent of sizzling flesh.

Their next direction comes: “IS THERE ANY WATER IN THE DESERT?”

This causes me to pause. My mind is blank. Or perhaps it has gone.

Credit: Hack Shuck

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You Are Not Awake.

I’ll never forget the day my parents brought the two girls home. A beautiful sunny day. Two little kids, One being just a day old and the other 9 months. I, of course, was excited–I was always the kid of the family and now I could understand what it would be like to look after my little sisters and boast about being a big sister. They were adopted, but they felt like family and I considered them to be.

Months flew by and before you know it, we had celebrated the older one’s first birthday. A quiet party with family members. Now, I don’t want to write my family’s names or the kids’ names here, for the sake of this being written in privacy and all that bullshit and the fact that I do not want anybody to know who I am or who they are. So the one year old–she’ll be called Sandy and the other will be Gina. My other sister’s they’ll be called Ava and Sadie. I’ll be Nova.

Since my parents worked 24/7 and I had left school the year before, I was forced into babysitting the kids. I didn’t mind of course, well I said that but kids are quite stressful for a 17 year old who had spent half her life locked in her bedroom, stressing over idiotic things, but still I was determined to be a good sister.

Fast forward a few months and Sandy was now walking, talking and interacting like a normal toddler would do. I was proud, considering I had been the one to get her this far. Teaching her some words here and there. She had also taken a real liking to me, and whenever she fell or hurt herself, she immediately ran over to seek comfort from me.

Another month, led her to form actual sentences and communicate with me. I taught her all the names of the rest of our family, told her to say Mama and Dada and every time she said my name I’d reward her with a sweet or a chocolate biscuit. A few times she had called me Mama, but I quickly put a stop to that by teaching her to say my name.

One evening whilst my family were at a church bible study, I was at home babysitting again. I had just gotten out the shower and felt like watching a movie by myself in the quiet comfort of my room. The kid’s had been put to bed at 7:30 pm, their bedtime, and were or I assumed to be asleep.

My mother called me asking me to check on them to make sure they were alright–I obliged. Hanging up the phone, I checked the clock and it read 9:00 pm. I checked on Gina, the 8 month old chubby cheeked child was snoozing gently to herself-cuddled into her favourite teddy–a toy lion that played music when you squeeze its tummy, and her pacifier was stuck in her mouth as she softly sucked on it. I smiled to myself and shut the door.

Sandy’s room was at the back of the house. She slept alone, because Ava my oldest sister had to move out-due to her keeping Sandy awake with her snoring. As I approached the room, I heard the soft whispering of my little sister. Odd, I thought to myself, she’s usually asleep by now. Thinking that maybe she was talking to her toys I gently opened the door to the room and peered inside.

Somehow my little sister had managed to clamber out of her cot and was sitting cross legged on the centre of the floor-staring up at the ceiling, talking to something that I could not see.
I, of course, felt terrified. As an avid horror fan who watched creepy movies and read creepy stories online, I knew all too well that this was a plot for some creepy ass shit to happen. I slowly slid into the room and scooped her up off the ground-her eyes still stuck to the ceiling.

Now I’m not the one to pray. I know, weird since my entire family were christians, I sometimes prayed at night but other times I was too caught up in my own thing. But as I held that kid in my arms, I prayed, boy did I pray.I prayed that there was no demon or poltergeist in my house communicating with my little sister and that her imaginary friend was not telling her to kill us all violently in our sleep. I was partially correct in thinking something was wrong with her, back then.

I placed my little sister in her cot and she glanced up at me, big brown eyes all soft and deer-like. “Bobby” She said arms outreached towards me, I shook my head, “No, Bobby isn’t my name” I say, pulling the blanket over her. She frowned “Bobby not awake” “I don’t know who Bobby is, Sandy, come on now let’s go to sleep” I reply. She stretched her arms out to me again, “Nova” She smiled. I grinned and softly clapped “There you go baby, that’s my name! Well done!” “Dada cwying” She smiled softly showing her two front teeth, then furrowed her brow. I looked at her confused “Crying?” I asked. And then I shook my head, like I was going to get a sensible answer from a one year old. I kissed the top of her head and she turned over, closing her eyes she fell asleep.

I left the room-still, the thought of what she said, who was Bobby? And why would my father be crying?

It turns out that a couple weeks later, I’d get my answer.

We were all sitting in the living room, laughing and joking around. I was feeding Sandy in her high-chair and my mother had Gina in her arms. It was a nice evening, the sun filtered through the windows and I had completely forgotten about that evening. I didn’t even tell my parents because I had forgot.

My dad told us to shush as his phone rang. We all sat whispering amongst each other and laughing quietly as my dad answered the phone. “Hello?” He said, I looked at him just in time to see his smile fade away and a sad expression come on his face. “You’re kidding” He says, the voice on the phone mumbles something and then my dad sorrowfully says “Monday? I’ll be there” He then hangs up the phone.

I’m about to ask him what’s wrong, but my mum asks first. “What’s wrong?” She asks, worried about the sudden look in my father’s eyes. “My second cousin Bobby-he died last night, in his sleep” He says.

My heart leaps into my throat. I’m suddenly reminded of that evening. She said Bobby.

Bobby’s not awake.

“The funeral’s on Monday, we’ll go up tomorrow and stay the weekend-he was only 56 and they say it’s odd because he was in perfect health” My father says.

I glance at Sandy, my heart racing faster than a race horse. She’s smiling to herself with spaghetti sauce all over her face. She looks at me, “Sorry” She says.

Later that night as my dad finds his funeral suit. I’m sat at the bottom of my parent’s double bed as my mum packs her things for the weekend. My dad is bustling about the room, stuffing things into a duffel bag.

My dad never cries in front of us. He only ever did twice, when my grandfather passed away and when my great uncle passed away back in July last year. Right now though, his eyes are moist but he’s trying his best not to let his emotions show.

“Were you close to him?” I ask, as I watch him pack. My dad softly smiles “We used to run around together when I was younger, he got me into a lot of trouble with My mother” “How so?” I ask, sometimes I liked to listen to my father talk about his old days. “Well one time, he convinced me to get in my father’s truck and drive to the nearest shop” “That isn’t that bad” “I was ten” My dad chuckled to himself. “What a yelling I got for that though, I nearly crashed twice” “You lived such a wild life didn’t you?” “Well we had no internet back then” my dad says back. Then his smile falters. “It’s hard to see all the people you used to know die” He breathes. I look at the ground. “Well we all have to die someday, some sooner than others”

My parents left the next morning. My sister Sadie, locked herself in her bedroom and sat on the phone to her boyfriend, not bothering to help out at all. And my sister Ava was in the kitchen cooking.

The whole Bobby thing had been in my mind all night, I had barely slept a wink. I looked at Sandy sitting on the floor, playing with her toys and I thought to myself that it could have been a coincidence. I mean she strung words together and sometimes her sentences were crazy things like “Nova eat teddy” or “Mama sweetie sleepy” so I just convinced myself that this was one of those crazy sentences.

Except I couldn’t shake the feeling that I was wrong.

That night or should I say morning around 3:15 am. I was wide awake. I always stayed up late at night, watching tv shows or writing stories. I was good at writing, and had quite the imagination–I guess that’s why nobody believes me whenever I tell them about Sandy. But anyway, I was awake. I had the urge to pee, so I pulled myself from my bed and plodded to bathroom, managed to get my pyjama bottoms down and do my business. I turned away to flush the toilet and then I looked up at the door to see Sandy standing there, clutching her purple little teddy bear tightly in her hand, and with the other she tiredly rubbed at her eyes.

I nearly screamed. She had startled me. “Sandy, how did you-” “Dada, Mama, not awake”

My heart once again began to race. Her bottom lip began to wobble as she burst into tears. I lifted her up. “No dada and Mama, just sleeping for now, they’ll be awake in the morning, Mama said she’d call us” “No, not awake soon” “Sandy come on, stop saying that” “He say they not awake soon” “Who said?” I asked. She looks behind me then quickly stuffs her face into my chest. I felt chills in my spine and I did not want to look behind me. “Come on” I say, tugging her into my room “You sleep with Nova tonight okay baby?” She smiles at that.

I didn’t sleep. I protectively clutched my little sister in my arms and listened to her soft breathing. I watched the sun rise, and when Ava came into my room at 7 am to take Sandy to get her breakfast, I was already up and getting dressed. “You’re up early” Ava says plucking a wide awake Sandy from my bed. “Couldn’t sleep” I sighed. I hesitated on whether or not I should tell her. But when I thought about it in my mind, it seemed crazy. When they both left the room, I shut the door and sat down on my bed. I awaited on my mum calling, I needed her to be okay.

Finally she called and I was shaking so much from relief that I couldn’t speak. “You alright?” My mother asked “Y-Yeah” I said back. “Well, Okay we’ll be home tomorrow”

The next few days, I was worried. I had the right to be. No longer didn’t I think that Sandy was stringing words together, I think she was trying to tell me something. Trying to warn me maybe. For those next few days, I was silent and tired and whenever my mum came home-I would go straight to my room and lock myself in, because I didn’t want Sandy to speak to me.

One morning, about a week after that 3 am conversation inside the bathroom.

I woke up in the kitchen. The cold tiles froze my face and I was disheveled and somewhat confused as to how I got here. Then I noticed the blood pouring from large deep cuts on my wrists. My throat ran dry.

I had a past with depression, but never would I have tried to kill myself. Weird thing is, I don’t remember doing this to myself. I think I would’ve, wouldn’t I?

I crawl up the kitchen steps, trying to speak but for some reason my words won’t come out. I hold onto the walls and accidentally smear blood on them. I trudge into the living room, just in time to hear and see Sandy say “Nova, hurt” And imitate the action of someone slitting their wrists. My mum looks at Sandy and then after I thump to the ground, blood drenching my shirt and pyjama bottoms, my mum screams.

I woke up in the hospital-bandages on my arms. My mum keeps asking why and I keep telling her it wasn’t me, I didn’t do this to myself.

Social workers get involved. Everyone keeps asking why I tried to kill myself. They suggest counselling. Nobody believes me when I say I didn’t do it. During the weeks that fly past, I sometimes catch Sandy smiling at me – a mocking smile.

It’s after a few weeks when tragedy struck for another time, that I realise something. It was after I heard the news that I realised It was her, that little girl who I taught to walk and talk – who was doing this to me and my family. Because, when I picked up the phone and heard the police officer on the other end say “I’m sorry to inform you, but your parents have been in a terrible car accident, and I regret to say this but they passed away at the scene” I looked over at Sandy to see her laugh and say “Bye Bye”.

She’s no longer my little sister. She’s something else.

Maybe it followed her since we adopted her two years ago. Maybe it found her somehow. All I know is, something is wrong with her. And I believe she’s making them drop like flies.

At the funeral, everyone avoids me. Of course they would, they think I’m mad. As they bury my parents, I listen to the crying and sobbing of the people around me and the Pastor say “They’ll be missed” and I look at Sandy in her little black dress, and she looks unaffected.

She’s four now you know. Four years old, and her parents just died-terrible isn’t it? But she doesn’t seem to care. She didn’t even tear up when Ava explained that mommy and daddy are angels now. Of course she wouldn’t care, because it’s not her in that body. Everyone keeps saying she doesn’t understand, but I know she does, I see it in those eyes of hers.

After the funeral an officer comes up to me “Nova Mckenna?” An officer asks, I nod. He grabs me and starts putting cuffs on my hands “You’re being arrested on the suspicion of the murderers of Shana and Arthur Mckenna, you may not say anything, but it may harm your defence, if you do not mention something you later rely on in court. Anything you do say may be given in evidence.” “No this is a mistake” I yell. Everyone’s eyes is on me. And I spot her standing there “This is you isn’t it!” I scream “You did this!” she hides behind Ava but smiles at me when I’m shoved into the back of the police car.

“For the last time, why would I murder my own parents?” I say, the officer shrugs “I don’t know, why don’t you tell me the reason?” “I can’t because I didn’t do it” “Your counsellor seems to believe you have a mental issue” “The counsellor is full of shit and so are you, let me go right now” “We have your fingerprints on wire cutter, just tell us why you cut the brakes?” “I didn’t!” “24 weeks ago you posted on a social site, ‘I really hate my parents” “Oh fuck off, I obviously didn’t mean it” “Don’t worry little girl” The officer says leaning forward “We’ll catch you out”

They put me on trial.

And when there wasn’t enough evidence, I was taken off trial. Then, apparently new evidence sprung back up. And I was arrested again.

Ava came to see me, as they wouldn’t let me out on bail. “Nova…where do I start?” “Start by listening to me, do you remember what I told you about Sandy?” “Oh lay off, She’s a kid” “Ava you need to listen to me” I beg. “If they get enough evidence, they can put me away for 10 years- why would I kill mum and dad?!” “I don’t know” Ava states “Please just keep an eye on Sandy” “Fine”

Another week passed before Ava came to visit me. She looked terrified. I knew it was something to do with Sandy before she sat down.

“She pushed…oh-” Ava sighs, crying. “I watched her, I saw her, she pushed Gina in front of that car-I saw it Nova, I saw it” “Do you believe me now?” I state. Ava looks at me “Gina died in hospital last night, Sandy said Gina’s not awake-like she said with bobby and Mum and dad” “There’s something not right with her Ava, keep away from her”

They let me off on a condition that I can’t go back to my own home. Ever.

It’s been three months since Gina died. And three months since I last saw Ava. Sadie doesn’t talk to me at all. I’ve forgotten what she looks like.

I lay in my bed. It’s late. 3:15 am. My phone rings. I answer. Static, lots of static. I sit up straight and say “Hello?” for a second time. “Sadie…not awake” Static, laughter “Ava…not awake”

I don’t care what the police said. I’m in my car within seconds and I’m speeding through the city, to get to my sisters in time.

When I arrive it’s a bloodbath. Both my sisters are cut to pieces on the living room floor. Sadie’s head in on the table, a note in her mouth. I vomit. I pull the note free.

“You are not Awake”

I wake up. I’m covered in blood. It’s not mine this time. It’s my sisters. The door bursts open and the police arrest me.

I plead guilty and also insane.

I’m sentenced to thirty years in Arklan Asylum.

The other day I overheard the doctor say that Sandy had been put up for adoption again. I couldn’t help but laugh. I know I’ll be seeing her very soon.

So here I sit, writing this. It’s 3:11 am in Arklan. She’ll be here soon. The little girl with the big soft brown eyes, that I taught to walk and talk – the little girl that I stayed up with on the nights she couldn’t sleep and sang to her. My little sister.

I smile to myself when she appears in front of me. Big brown eyes and a grin on those chubby cheeks. “Nova” She whispers menacingly. “You are not awake”.

I close my eyes.

I’ll never forget the day my parents brought home a day old baby girl and a monster.

Credit: AttackOnYoda

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I can see into the future. No, not like the psychics on TV that can tell you what is going to happen to you throughout your lifetime. I can only see into the following day, and I can only tell what events are going happen and not happen. For example, I cannot see what I will have for breakfast tomorrow, I can only tell if I will have breakfast. There are times where I can’t see myself going to school, and the next day I will wake up with a fever and miss school. This ability of mine has been proven quite useful. I can see if I will have a pop quiz in one of my classes, or if baseball practice will be cancelled. But, recently I have been seeing my ability more as a curse. I am fifteen, and my birthday is tomorrow. And, for the life of me, I cannot see myself turning sixteen.

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Each year, hundreds of thousands of missing persons cases are reported. Most of the cases are solved whether or not the actual person is alive. But there are a few that manage to seemingly disappear off the face of the Earth. Their cases are left to gather dust with no proggession towards it whatsoever while their families grieve.

It’s hard enough to imagine what it would be feel like to lose your loved one and not even know their fate but try and imagine being that loved one.

What happens to you? Where do you go? Is there anyway home?

You wake up in the morning and barely crawl out of bed. It’s a Saturday so it’s around midday when you wake up.

You go downstairs to your kitchen to fix breakfast. Do you cook yourself something? Or do you just want to pour a bowl of cereal?

After you’re done with your breakfast, you notice that your parents and siblings either aren’t awake or aren’t home. You check their rooms to discover their beds empty and unmade. Their TVs are still on; however, the only thing that they show are static.

Ok, your TV providing service is a piece of shit anyways so you pass it off. And your family might have gone to your brother’s baseball game or your sister’s cheer competition so you pass it off as well.

You decide to listen to your music because the silence has become eerie. Not even the faint buzzing in your ears nor the creaking of your house’s walls can be heard. Silence. The ice maker isn’t making any ice and the oven’s clock is stuck at 12:00. The clocks on the wall are frozen at 12:00 as well.

You walk around the house as you are deep in your music. You peer outside your window and notice the sky is bright blue and cloudless. But the sun is dim…


This is very offputting for you as lookingj into the sun is no more strenuous to your eyes than a household lamp.

You turn off the music to make since of the situation.

Maybe an eclipse? No. Maybe a cloud is blocking the sun? Maybe, but there are no other clouds in the sky and by now the cloud should have moved to reveal the sun once again.

As your ears begin to settle from the music blasted from your headphones you notice that there is still absolutely no sound at all. Only your breathing and your heart pounding. The intensity of the silence causes pressure to buildup in your ears. Almost as if they were clogged shut.

Now you panic. You call your parents on your cell phone but after you press “call” there is no response, not even a ring. You try your siblings, your grandparents, your bestfriends, and even your ex.

But nothing.

You run outside and discover that the air is devoid of any moisture and is very nippy. You make your way to your neighbors house and pound on the door.

No response, once again.

You can feel your stomach shift as you try and make since of the situation.

What could possibly be happening?

You try your other neighbor’s house with the same outcome. But now dusk is approaching.

Could you be completely alone?

You take your car to check around town to find empty streets and highways. No clutter, no cars, no people.


You turn on your car radio and search for a radio station. But it is all complete silence.

The sun is now setting and you feel the need to be at home. Just in cases. A since of safety, maybe.

But once you pull into your driveway you see your front door wide open, even though you distinctly remember closing it before leaving.

You enter your home once again and see a note written in plain black font on your kitchen table that reads:

“Welcome. Forever.”

You are now done trying to rationalize the situation. Everything is wrong. That was not there whenever you made your breakfast this morning nor when you left and nobody else has been home.

You search thoroughly around the house for anyone else but find nothing out of place and no sign of that anyone else had been here or was here other than the open front door.

You are completely alone.

Maybe some sleep will help. After all by now you are becoming quite drowsy. Maybe when you wake up it’s just a bad dream. Maybe everyone was playing a prank.

But as you lay your head down to rest an eerie silence remains. An eerie silence finally broken.

In the distance, a womanly shriek echoes throughout the darkness and throughout the trees
near your house. Its calling your name.

You cannot close your eyes now as the screams slowly inch closer to your house. You dare not look out the window and tightly close your eyes, hoping to never see what is calling your name.

The screams become louder and louder as the front door is opened from the outside. The shrieks pierce throughout the house vibrating the windows and wounding your ears.

You now miss the eerie silence.

The screams are becoming more and more audible as the wooden stairs creak at the weight of a foot. Still calling your name.

As the shrieks approach your bedroom door they stop. The knob on the door is slowly turned and the door is opened.

You are now greeted with the eerie silence of waiting.

And the raspy breathing that is not your own.

Credit: infuriatedsloth

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