For those pastas that are smelling less than fresh…

January 13, 2015
by derpbutt

Soft Glow

You’re in a room somewhere, reading something. It’s a book. No- an electronic book, I doubt it’s even a book.

You are probably sitting in the dark, the soft glow of the computer book is hurting your eyes.

You are curled up in a blanket, already snuggled up, almost ready for bed.

You look around briefly, for the slightest feeling of unease tickles your senses. It’s so slight, you do not notice.

The book- the material you are reading is chilling, but not entirely so. It talks of rooms and things, of solitary people, sitting on chairs and feeling overall uneasy.

You look up from the material again, the feeling is stronger now, it doesn’t slip past you. Something is here.

What is it? You wonder dully, what could possibly be here? You aren’t alone in the creepy sense. So, what could be here?

Nothing. That’s what. There is nothing here, you are simply paranoid. you may think you here voices coming from your closet, but you really don’t.

You may think that something is trying to touch you, but there isn’t.

You are just paranoid.

You are also exhausted from reading like this in the dark. It’s unhealthy, it’s best to catch up on your sleep.

So you turn off the device that shows your glowing reading material and you sit in darkness, trying to fight the feeling unease in your stomach.

You put the device away, you lay in bed, awake.

Something is here. You know they’re here.

You hear them, the soft swssh of cloth sweeping on the floor, the barest murmur.

You actually don’t. You’re not hearing anything.

You close your eyes, a relaxed smile is now across your face.

You hear them, they’re voices are so quiet as if not to wake you.

Something is there.

You are not hearing them.

Credit To – UniverseNoodles
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January 13, 2015
by derpbutt

The Ghost in the Tree

Based on a True Story. All names and places have been changed.

I think it was my junior year of high school, back when I lived in rural Salem, Illinois. A girl in my class, Carly Beckett, threw a party on a Saturday night in October of that year. The days were getting shorter and the temperature was getting low, but not too cold, as most of the night was spent outside. Carly lived away from town in the country. I don’t remember seeing many houses nearby.

I remember we had a bonfire. A table was set up near the fire with marsh mellows and chips and drinks etc. Carly had a big house. I wouldn’t consider it a mansion but you could tell that her parents had money. People were scattered everywhere that night. Some were in the house and others were scattered about in her 5+ acres of yard and woods.

I don’t know who, but somebody suggested that we play a game of “sardines.” (In case you aren’t familiar, sardines is like “hide and seek” but instead of one person looking for several people in hiding, one person hides and everyone else looks for them. If they find them, then they would stay and hide with them until the rest found them too.) Me and three other friends, Tom, Kasey and Brit decided to break the rules and go and hide together. We went through the house and made our way to the garage where we laid under the tail end of one of the cars. We were under the car closest to the house. Next to us was another car, followed by a bunch of junk and finally a grand window that looked to the outside. Beyond that was a tree.

Carly’s dog, Badger, somehow found his way into the garage and was getting into some bags of trash by the front of the car. Tom called to the dog, but it wouldn’t come. Tom started to get up off the garage floor to stop the dog from creating a mess when he immediately dropped back to the floor and froze. Kasey asked him what was wrong. Tom answered, “Is it just me, or does that look like a person in that tree looking at us?” Our heads turned in unison toward the grand window. Each of us sees what looks like a man glowing blue, squatting on a tree limb, peering through the window back at us. We tried to grasp on to reality in the moment but we couldn’t find an anchor. We were scared.

Out of complete fear, all four of us scrambled to our feet and jetted toward the door leading back into the house. It was locked. We banged on the glass windows of the door for someone to rescue us from our panic. Finally, Carly’s mom came and unlocked it. I remember her getting mad at us for almost breaking the glass. We then ran up to a second story bedroom and hid under a bed. The conversation turned to, “did we really just see what we thought we saw?”

As we came to our senses, we decided to go outside and see if anyone from the party was in the tree. We were so scared to walk toward it, but we eventually found enough courage to. It was empty. We then interviewed every person who was there. No one had even been at the front of the yard, most people were either inside or in the backyard where the fire was. We would never know.

As the years move forward from that night, I find myself asking simple questions about what happened. What was that being that we saw in the tree outside the garage? If it was just a person at the party, why were they glowing blue? How did they see us through the darkness of the garage? All my answers lead toward something supernatural. But what? I guess we will never know what we saw that autumn night.

Credit To – Keith Laverty
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January 13, 2015
by derpbutt

Three New Year’s Resolutions

Every 4 years, on the New Years Day at the beginning of a leap year, exists a void that only some of the most daring people accept as a challenge.

Here, is what you need to do.

Wait until the next New Years Day that happens to fall on a leap year. Around 3:30am, close yourself inside a darkened room with a mirror or a window. Either will do. Stare directly into the eyes of your own reflection and don’t avert your gaze. At precisely 3:33am, you will notice all color in your eyes darken into a black, and you will feel an intense chill run slowly up your spine. As you feel the chill reach your head, take a deep breath, close your eyes tight and count to three, three times. You may as well count to nine.

As you open your eyes again, the normal color will have returned, but out of the corner of your eyes you will notice a tall, black, shadow figure standing a few feet behind you. Keep staring into your own eyes however, and do NOT look away. Do not look away from the reflection, do not look directly at the figure, and do not turn behind you. This is one of your inner demons, and if you look away from yourself, it will attack you, either taking your life or causing eternal misfortune.

If you succeed in staying put, the figure will ask you 3 questions. It’s voice will sound like a low, flat, emotionless grumble. It will ask you for your full name, the most exciting thing that you did in the past year, and finally, it will ask you 3 things that you would like to happen in the new year.

With each question asked, the figure will come closer and closer to you, but you must not move. By the end of the last question, it will be so close to you that you can feel it’s breath on the back of your neck. It will chant “All is well” in Finnish, trace a pattern down your spine, and you will see your eyes blacken and feel another chill as the demon disappears back into your body.

From the New Year forward, you will have great fortune, powers mysterious to others, and the 3 things you mentioned earlier will fall into place. You will follow a life of glory, and all will be well.

However, a couple tables will turn. You will still have your powers and good fortunes and all, but in three to nine years time, the chill will return but never happen again. Every picture you take, you will see the shadow figure. Every reflection you look at, you will see it too. It will follow you forever, and as you think it through, your eyes will forever blacken…

And you will become one of them too.

Credit To – Lola Turkeli-Bischof

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January 13, 2015
by derpbutt

He Who Heard

The Hum is a phenomenon, or collection of phenomena, involving widespread reports of a persistent and invasive low-frequency humming, rumbling, or droning noise not audible to all people. Hums have been widely reported by national media in the UK and the United States. The Hum is sometimes prefixed with the name of a locality where the problem has been particularly publicized: e.g., the “Bristol Hum” or the “Taos Hum”.
For those who can hear the Hum, it can be a very disturbing phenomenon and it has been linked to at least three suicides in the UK.

It had been three days ago that I had read this on the Internet. I live in London, leading a relatively normal life, except for the fact that I have a condition. It’s called tinnitus. I constantly hear a ringing sound in my head that seemingly never goes away. Occasionally, however, there is a sound that cuts through into the constant noise.
At first, I didn’t notice it. Then it started to happen more often. Now It never goes away. The sound is dark and maddening. I have occasionally thought of killing myself simply to get away from it. Then I realized something. Unlike the sound that rang constantly, this sound was not in my head. So it was then I decided to search for the sound. If only I had realized then what I know now.
In walking along the beach, I heard that the closer I got to the water, the louder it got. I walked straight towards the water and into the surf. I dared not go any farther, for fear of being drowned. Listening closely, I heard something that I dare not think about now. I heard whispering. I looked around me. The beach, aside from myself, was empty. These voices were definitely an effect of this hum that I could hear. I strained hard in an attempt to better hear the voices. Finding I could not, I began to search for a ship.
I found a ferry for rather cheap, and asked the captain whether or not I could navigate. Seeing as no one else happened to want on the ferry at the time, he figured that it wouldn’t be that big of a problem. I listened for the voices and, hearing them whispering far off in the distance, told the captain where to go. As I heard the voices getting louder, I heard one voice, loudly and clearly, say: “Shh! Another one approaches.”
Not too much longer, I could tell that the voices were right around us. The same voice that had spoken earlier said to me, “No! You have brought them here.”
Without thinking I said aloud “Me? Brought who here?”
“Look around you!” the voice hissed with a voice like steam. I looked right at the face of the captain so as to ask him whether or not he could hear this, but what I saw horrified me more than anything.
The captain was looking straight down at the floor of the ship. But it wasn’t him that terrified me. It was where he was looking. His face had seemingly torn itself off his head. Inside where his face had been was a mechanism consisting of a microphone and a speaker. The rest of the crew was much the same. I stepped back in horror as they raised their heads and stared at me. They had no eyes, but I could tell they could “see” me with those microphones of theirs. They stalked towards me, raised their arms, and shoved me off the ferry. As I sank in the water, I felt something tugging me downwards. The second I hit the bottom, I had disappeared. I was no longer on this earth.
“Well, that was a rather amusing story.” said the first voice.
“Yes, yes it was.” said the listeners, all at the same time.

Data from a Taos Hum study suggests that around two percent of the population could detect the Taos Hum. For those who can hear the Hum it can be a very disturbing phenomenon. Among those who cannot hear the hum and some specialists, there has been skepticism about whether it exists.

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January 13, 2015
by derpbutt


To My Dearest Nephew,

I regret to inform you that your planned stay at my manor this month has been put on hold.
You see, recent events have caused Walter and I to enter a state of misfortune. We can reschedule your stay at some time in the future, when things here have settled down. I’m sure your father would like a reasonable excuse to this sudden delay and unfortunately I do not have one. What I do have, however, is a most fascinating, and haunting tale that I told myself to never tell anyone. But for you, Everest, I believe I can bear the fright once more as I retell this unbelievable story. Your father will want to have a word with me for telling you about this incident. Any how, without further distraction, here are the events that happened the past weekend.

March, 19, 1996
I was in my study, lost deep in the world of H.P. Lovecraft. His tales always kept my interest, and I found that my mornings were most marvelous when I read his works alongside a cup of lukewarm tea. As I turned a page, a knock came from the door. “Sir,” came a soft, yet slightly growling voice. “May I enter?” I glanced to the door frame and responded. “You may, Walter.” With a click of the doorknob, Walter entered the room. You remember him, don’t you? An elderly gent, with graying hair and only slightly shorter than myself. He doesn’t need support to stand or walk, although he has a suggested hunch. I looked up from my book, awaiting his announcement. “I’m just reminding you that today is the date that we assigned pick up for your medication. The one you have to be present for.” I nodded, marking my spot in the book and setting it at my desk. “All right. Thank you, Walter. I’ll be ready soon.” He bowed, and retreated from the room. I got dressed as usual, nothing particularly special. It was only my blazer and hat, along with any fitting pants I had to spare.

Walter was waiting for me by the entrance as I descended the staircase, and promptly opened the doors for me. He already had the car pulled up to the gate, per usual, and escorted me to my seat. He took his place in the driver’s seat and started the car. As you know, my home is about a half hour from town. The ride was mostly event less. Walter and I hardly spoke, regarding business and health matters. I occasionally peered out of the door’s window, looking at nothing in particular. Just the English countryside, nothing important of sorts. However, after a lengthy drive, we came to a wood. It looked like any other, except the odd opening it had on the side facing the road. It had an oval like entrance, almost as if it were beckoning passerby in. Past the lining you couldn’t really see too much of the actually wood, as the branches blocked out most of the sun. I sighed and turned my gaze back to the road ahead. Except when I did this, something caught my eye in the nick of time. I placed my eyes again on the wood, and I couldn’t believe what I saw.

I saw a woman, who seemed to see me as well. I couldn’t really tell from the distance but she seemed injured somehow, sporting cuts and bruises on her face. Her hair was a nightmare, in addition. I blinked, and she turned her back to the road and walked down into the trees. My heart started to pick up speed. “Walter,” I stammered. “Walter, stop the car. I think there’s been an accident nearby.” He glanced at me through the mirror and the car started to slow to a stop. He pulled over to the side of the road and got out, intent on letting me out as well. However I was already there myself, quickly stepping out and heading towards the woods. “Master Crest? Is everything all right?” I stopped and took a moment to think about things before making any brash decisions. “I don’t know. I saw a woman in that opening, right there,” I said, as I pointed in the aforementioned direction. “She looked injured. I think there may have been a wreck, and I believe I should investigate.” His eyes widened a bit, and he slowly nodded. “Of course. Shall I accompany you?” I shook my head. “No. Keep the car running, in case we need to rush to a hospital.” He looked at me, then to the woods, then to the car. “With all due respect, you can’t be serious, sir? What if you were to fall, or get lost? With your health you surely-” I raised my hand, silencing him. “Enough, Walter. I’ll be fine. It’s just a quick look.” His eyes momentarily went to the pavement, then back to the woods. He cleared his throat and said, “As you wish, Master Crest. I will await your return.” With that, I started down towards the oval shaped parting in the tree line.

My view was still very uninformed, the darkness being very deep. Why on Earth would that woman go back into the woods? Unless.. she had others? Perhaps family members were trapped inside her car, and she needed assistance! Yes, that must be the reason. This newfound resolve strengthened my will to press onward, and I began my journey into the darkness. It took a minute or two for my eyes to adjust, but once they did it was nothing special. Just tress, moss, and other natural phenomena. After scanning the area, it hit me: I had no idea which direction to walk in. There was no path, and no indication of where that woman might have gone.
I decided to walk straight ahead as it was the direction that was most clear, and the likelihood of a car sliding down this way was more probable. As I walked, I couldn’t help but notice a slight chill. This was rather odd, being as it were the middle of March. I thought nothing of it, observing the tree tops above me. It was astounding how little sun light made it through to the forest floor, I remember thinking to myself. After what seemed a few minutes of stepping over rocks, avoiding mud trenches, and brushing past trees, something felt wrong. It was definitely colder than it were before. I noticed that I was visibly shivering. “What in the world?..” I mumbled, as I took in my surroundings. Nothing. Just the same sight that I’ve seen the past ten minutes. Just when I was about to give up and go back the way I came, I heard it. A soft, chilly breeze swept passed my ear, and it whispered. “Help..” I tensed instantly, unable to move. “Please, help,” Came the voice once more. Just then, my eye caught a glimpse of a figure in the distance. It was only a silhouette, from my position it was impossible to tell if it were male or female. I just assumed it was the woman from before, and I started jogging toward her. The figure fled from me, but went in a rather basic pattern. She must be leading me, I thought.

I chased the retreating figure, my senses growing dull due to the cold. Eventually we reached a vehicle. Dear Lord.. I was right! The car had been totaled, the front being parted by the trunk of a tree. I approached, and even to this day I still feel the unbearable dread that I felt upon my discovery. There were three dead, a man, the driver, a woman, in the passenger seat, and a child, in the back. I.. I couldn’t believe it. I fell to my knees, trying to hold back both tears and my stomach. How did this happen? There’s no way the car could have came through the part of the woods that I entered. It had to have came from a different side, but that wasn’t evident at all. Suddenly remembering the woman, I quickly stood to my feet and walked towards the wreck. I examined, regretfully, the whole of the scene but saw no sign of life. And this, Everest, it where your father would be upset with me for telling you scary stories. Just then, the figure from before appeared in front of me out of thin air. I quiet yell escaped my throat, and I stumbled back. “Please..” The figure spoke, in a pleading manner. It was a man, and If I had to guess it was the one whom I found deceased. It wasn’t particularly easy to determine, the details of this family’s deaths are best left unprovided. “W-what?..” I barely choked out a whimper, my brain had no idea how to comprehend such a thing that was happening right before my eyes! “Please, sir, my family,” it continued. “You have to help them. They could die at any moment!” My mouth was unforgivingly dry, and I found it hard to swallow. “P-pardon?” The chill in the air was at a freezing level by now, as if I were outside in the middle of winter with nothing but my sleep wear. It was unthinkable, it was- “Sir, please, before she comes back!” I looked around, but saw no one. “Who is ‘she?’” I asked. The phantom anxiously swirled his head left and right, searching for any sign of what was causing him fear. “The one who did this.” Just then, an unrelenting gust of frigid wind hit me from the front.

I shielded my face, and heard a scream of pure, unbridled agony. The wind slowed, enough to where I could see. The woman from before floated before me, no sign of the man. “Y-you! What have you done? Why did you lead me here?” I shouted, my sanity wracking with fright. A tempest of freezing air and light snow circulated her form, something that any man in his right mind would deem absolutely impossible. “Give her back.” The voice that crept through the air was a nightmare itself. I can still clearly remember it, as horrifying as it was. It was as if two people were speaking at once, one with a baritone voice and one with a moderately high pitch. At this point I didn’t realize that I was slowly backing away from this.. wraith, and it only maddened it more so. “Give her back!” it wailed, and lept into action. It lunged right for me, and I promptly sprinted in the opposite direction. The whole time it gave chase my hands and feet were already numb. The chill was working its way up my arms and legs, making it very difficult to run. Fortunately for me the ghast wasn’t very fast so I could out run it regardless. My anxiety rose as I realized that I had no idea where I was going, I was just trying to get away from that fiend. I ended up tripping, and when I went to stand I saw something. Another car crash. I scrambled to my feet, turning to face the enraged woman. Her glare was atrocious, and I did not wish to know what she was intent on inflicting upon me. I backed away, which was all I could do in this situation. I bumped into something hard, and unbelievably cold. It was the car. I immediately saw what was inside and my heart skipped a beat. It was a woman and a child, both of which had no color at all. Frost coated their bodies and icicles hung from various points. That was all I can remember before I lost consciousness.

I awoke in a bed with a woman observing me. I instantly sat straight up, and an otherworldly pain seized my whole torso. The woman pushed me back down. “Sir, calm down. You’re in a critical condition.” I frantically looked around, unaware as to what in the Hells were going on. Why it was.. a hospital room. The woman was a nurse, with a mildy worried look on her face. “Where am I? What happened?” I blurted, growing uneasy. She placed her hand on mine, and replied, “Every thing’s fine now, Mister Crest. Both you and Walter are in our most intensive care.” I froze when I heard that name. Walter? “Where is he, what happened?!” The nurse was visibly shaken by my outburst, and rushed to the door. She exited, and I could hear her exchanging words with someone else. Shortly after, an elderly man walked in. This guy seemed almost as old as Walter, except he had more wrinkles and wore thinly framed glasses. “Nathan, I’m sure you have questions as to why you’re here. I’m afraid there’s been an accident.” I swallowed, and carefully attempted to sit up. “Walter Simmons found you collapsed in a forest along a country road. He said that he was accompanying you on your trip into town to retrieve your order of anti psychotics. Is this correct?” I couldn’t even lift my head any more, I was so tired. I merely nodded, and he read over the information on a clipboard he brought. “You’ve been hospitalized due to blunt injuries, internal bleeding, and borderline hypothermia. Walter has been hospitalized for a broken arm, cut wounds, and borderline hypothermia as well.” I scratched his head and looked to me. “I have no idea how you manage that in this season, but that’s how the reports came back. Do you have any questions?” I thought for a moment. Surely your stay would have to be planned some other time, as neither Walter or myself were in suitable positions to be your host. “Do you have the number of my brother, Julius Crest?” The doctor went to the door and spoke to a nurse for a moment before returning to me. “Yes. Would you like to request a call?” I nodded. “Please tell him that his son, Everest Crest, will be unable to stay with me during this time. We’ll have to move his stay to a later date” The doctor’s eyes narrowed a bit, and his brow furrowed. He motioned a nurse over to him, whom gave him a few papers. And dear Lord, Everest, if you could have seen my face when he said that my own brother didn’t have a son!

I’ve been in the hospital since that day, recovering at a steady rate. The doctor and nurses don’t know I’m writing to you, if they did they’d think I were a mad man. In any case, that concludes the events that have happened here recently. We’ll discuss the details of your visit with your father later, yes?

Your Beloved Uncle, Nathan Crest

Credit To – Burning Brit
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January 13, 2015
by derpbutt

Mirror, Mirror

Mirror, mirror on the wall,
what is the most frightening thing of all?

Is it candle’s twitching gaze,
just barely piercing the shroud of night?
Or the pale, rotted face
illuminated by the fire’s light?

What of long ropes of shadow
that lay, coiled like inky snakes upon the floor?
What of demon’s visage lurking
just beyond yon glass door?

Doppelganger’s hateful gaze dwelling deep within,
seeking freedom from your reflective skin.

O pale spectre,
who piercing wail announced they presence
after the third and final call.
And light did all but erase the essence
of the monster lurking just beyond the one-way window on the wall.

Devil’s Door and Dead Man’s Window
-just two of the names given unto you
oh ancient sheet of glass;
an unblinking, watery eye watching me from between you parted hairs of brass.

O Mirror,
become a beacon by moonlight,
and attract every shade to your beckoning siren’s call.
For you, oh mirror upon the wall
are the most frightening thing of all.

Credit To – DarkDreamer3

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January 13, 2015
by derpbutt

Just Like Old Times

The birds are chirping and the wind is blowing softly through leaves and branches, which dance under the wind’s gentle touch. It is truly a beautiful morning. I stretch, the cool morning breeze enveloping my body. I sit down and take a sip from my coffee. Coming back to my village for holidays is turning out to be a magnificent idea. I haven’t been here for more than a year but it is nice being back to the place I used to spend my childhood’s summers, playing my days away with my brother. Just thinking about those times makes me nostalgic.

The house itself feels like a vault of memories. Originally it was a simple shed-like building, with only two rooms to accommodate my grandfather and his 6 brothers. But during his first years of marriage, my grandpa worked hard to renovate the place. The old building was turned into a store room and a large two story house was built for my grandparents and their two children.

A little garden was built too. A series of all sorts of flowers and plants adorned either sides of the stone pavement that circled around the house. From blood-red roses to lush green bushes, the garden had it all. But in my eyes, the crowned jewel was the giant oak tree that stood in front of the house door, like a silent guardian. With its broad trunk and thick branches it hugged the side of the house, casting its vast shadow upon its surrounding.

All that is now gone. For the past years the garden has been abandoned. The flowers haven’t been watered in years, the pavement is dirty and cracked and the once lively garden is now withered and dead. But the saddest part of the garden is the oak. Once it stood proud and tall, but now it is weak and moldered, bare of its leaves and depraved of its beauty. But even in its derelict state, the garden still inspires calmness and warmth in my heart.

I finish my coffee and I get up, taking a deep breath. I start going down the stairs, when I hear a rattling sound coming from inside the house. It is probably the wind and nothing more. I continue descending the staircase.

I set foot on the street passing in front of the house. I used to play football with my brother on this street, back when it was still a soil-filled, narrow horse road. Now asphalt has been laid on top of all the dirt and rocks, and instead of horses and donkeys, cars and old trucks occasionally pass the road.

I walk further up the street. An old man sitting on his balcony notices me and frowns. I am sure he doesn’t know who I am. Nobody does. I have been coming to this small village ever since I can remember, but only a handful of people recognize me. I am, and always have been, an outsider. And for as much as I would like, it is too late to change that.

My little promenade takes me through streets and places I used to walk as a little boy. A feeling of melancholy overcomes me. Those carefree days are long gone. The village seems empty. There is nothing here for me. I am not welcome anymore.

In front of my eyes now stands one of the few friendly houses I have entered in this village. A girl, two years younger than me, spends her vacations here. We used to hang out when we were little. I fondly remember the times we would sit in front of the TV and watch our favourite show, about a girl in the mountains of Holland. I never liked the show. I just wanted to spend time with her. But like all relationships in my life, we lost touch and now we are complete strangers.

There she is now, gracefully coming down the stairs. Her chestnut hair falls gently on her slender shoulders and a rosy red hue covers her cheeks. She turns towards me. For an instant, our eyes meet. Her big brown eyes stare deep into mine. I open my mouth to greet her. But before I can utter a word, she turns away from me. She doesn’t recognize me anymore. I cannot blame her. It has been years since we last spoke to each other.

Lowering my head, I continue onwards. I have this nagging feeling that something is not right. Something is oddly off. Pushing these thoughts away, I up my pace. I am now walking down the main road of the village. On the side of the street, in a run-down brick house, a sun tanned woman is looking casually at me. Two little girls are playing beside her, oblivious to my presence.

The church’s large iron gate now comes in view. With hinges that rusted, it is a wonder that the gate still stands. I approach. The faint red tiles of the church yard are covered in a thick layer of dust and dead leaves and the few benches scattered across the yard are broken. But despite that, the place doesn’t feel abandoned. The old maple and birch wood trees on the perimeter of the church and their thick shading gift the churchyard with a rare tranquility.

The church has been standing here for hundreds of years and it is slowly beginning to show. The beige paint on the outside is starting to peel, revealing the brownish bricks beneath. Cracks are also appearing near the base of the church and a window on the upper floors is broken. Some of the rooftiles have also fallen off, with little bird nests built inside the now hollow parts of the roof.

I walk across the front yard, going around the church. The century-old cemetery greets me morbidly. The stone fence around its perimeter is filled with cracks and mold and the iron bars are corroded and rusty. There is no gate on the fence; it has fallen years ago. I step inside. The dump soil sinks under the weight of my boots. The foul smell of decay hits my nostrils. The atmosphere feels heavier here. It presses on my chest, invoking a feeling of unease deep inside my heart.

Taking a deep breath, I continue forward. I have come here for a reason. I head towards the middle of the cemetery. I can’t help but admire the intricate artwork of the graves. Most are made from white stainless marble, with delicately carved patterns on the sides. The gravestones are cut from white smooth stone, with markings giving information about the deceased. Flowers and candles -many melted- decorate the graves.

I now stand on top of my family’s resting place. My recently deceased grandparents were buried here a few months ago. And before them, my grandpa’s father and mother. My ancestor’s portraits are nailed on the gravestone. Two miniature marble angels are set on the top corners of the grave. A layer of pebbles is covering the soil on top of the coffins. An old cross in the middle has a writing in Greek which translates to: “Rest In Peace”.

Looking at my grandpa’s portrait, I again feel unsettled. The illogical fear that something ominous is awaiting grows on me. But as soon as these thoughts came to me, they quickly fly away. The otherworldly serenity of the graveyard is soothing my senses and calming my nerves. The silence and the stillness of my surroundings inspire a bizarre sense of freedom and calmness within me.

Unfortunately, I can’t linger for much longer. I still have a place to visit before it gets dark. My grandparents’ old farm, located at the northwest outskirts of the village. Back in the day hundreds of sheep and cattle roamed the green pastures while my grandparents labored tirelessly at the crop fields. But after my grandpa retired, the place was neglected. Despite that, it holds many good memories and I would love to see it before I depart again.

I stop for a second and check to see if the church is open. The main door is locked. I wish I could light a candle and marvel at the sophisticated indoors architecture of the little church once more. With a sigh I turn around, entering the main road again.

On my left I see the old, traditional coffee shop of the village. My grandpa used to come here a lot, as were most of the elderly of the village. Now only two old men are sitting on the porch, drinking their coffee and playing cards. I move on, turning left and continuing on a downhill sidestreet.

As I stand on top of the slope, I am taken aback by the beauty laying before my eyes. Green fields stretch for as far as the eye can see. Only a streak of blue -the river that waters this whole area- breaks the vastness of green. I stand still for a few seconds, awestruck, taking in as much of the scenery as I can. Uplifted, I continue down the muddy trek.

I remember how I used to run with my brother down this path, racing towards my grandpa, who would sit on a chair in the middle of the farm. The first who got there was the winner. These times feel like ages ago.

On my left there is an olive tree field with a wired fence keeping away unwanted visitors and on my right a farm with a vegetable garden and an empty pigpen. My grandparents’ farm is just around the corner. I can see the front entrance. Unfortunately, thorny grass has grown thick in front of the old wooden door, making it impossible to pass without scraping my legs.

So I continue, going for the second entrance to the farm. This time I am luckier. Even though the gate has fallen down, I can still pretty easily pass through. I step over the gate and set foot on the dried soil. I walk towards the middle of the field, where a large almond tree stands. Its short and thick trunk is almost split in half and its branches are completely naked. A wooden plank that used to serve as a swing is hanging from two ropes tied on the highest branches.

Next to the old tree is a small brickstone barn. It has two rooms, one for storing wheat and one for sheltering the cattle. The building used to be white, but the paint has been eroded by rain and wind. Opposite the barn there is a vegetable garden. It used to have a wide variety of vegetable, from potatoes to aubergines. My grandma used to take care of every plant in there.

Feeling nostalgic again, I turn around, looking at the wheat field on the far end of the farm. I have never been there. The wheat would always scratch at my shins and knees. So I stayed away from the place. I look up at the sky. The sun will be setting in a few minutes. I better get going. As I am about to leave, I notice -just for a split second- a human figure standing at the other side of the wheat field, near a small forest, staring at me. I freeze. Nobody should be there this time of the day.

I look closer. In the spot I saw the figure, there is a small tree standing. It’s just the dim light and my imagination playing tricks on me. But I still feel uneasy, like I am forgetting something important. I try not to overthink it. I am just a bit agitated, that’s all. I turn around and walk out of the field.

On my way home, I didn’t notice a single soul outside. This is weird because the sun hasn’t set yet, so there should be someone going about their business. I now enter the road that leads to my house. I am being watched, I am now sure of it. A window just closed on my left. My eyes are darting here and there, but I see nothing out of the ordinary. Maybe I am just being paranoid.

Finally I am going up the stairs of my house. I pick up the key under the door mat and insert it in the keyhole. As I am turning the key, I hear a clanking noise coming from the house. I stop. Someone is inside. I slowly open the door. I sneak inside, as silently as I can. But the old floor creaks loudly under my weight. I again hear a clanking sound. I look to my left, at the living room. Nothing. I check the kitchen. Nothing. I dart towards the restroom. Nothing. I notice that the door to my grandparents’ bedroom is closed.

I approach carefully. I push the door open, the old hinges squeaking. And there he is. My brother. My sweet, sweet brother. Everything becomes crystal clear. He wasn’t behaving appropriately so I had to chain him to the wall. But now he learned his lesson. Oh, we will have so much fun. We will play our days away again. Just like old times.

Credit To – Antoine Dupin

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January 13, 2015
by derpbutt

Train Car 66

It’s early,… too early, you know, earlier enough your mind still wants to believe that it’s night. Thoughts of returning to the sanctuary of my warm bed cloud my mind as I continue to drive. “I’ve never been this early” I thought, flipping on the cab light and glancing down at the train schedule, “4:24, that’ll put me up at school with 4 hours to spare” I thought to myself as I smiled, realizing I may in fact be able to pull off this term paper after all, which I had so carelessly neglected in the previous weeks.

As I pulled up to the dreary, faintly lit station I immediately noted how peculiar it looked. I had been coming to this station for the better part of 3 years and yet something seemed, I brushed it off as my sleep deprived brain as I brought my car to a halt, the chilled brakes coming to a squealing stop made me jump slightly in my seat. I laughed at myself and made the pledge to go to bed earlier that night, like I had done so many times before.

I stepped out of the car, the chilly January morning hitting my body that was still sluggish from my warm bed. My arm and neck hairs stood up as I grabbed my bag and clutched at myself to retain any remaining warmth.

The station had an elevated bridge that crossed over both tracks, for both coming and going trains. I climbed the stairs as my body reminded me yet again, it was too early for such things. I reached the top with fatigued, sore calves. I winced with each step crossing the bridge, assuming I had pulled something.

The pain in my leg distracted me for a moment from the fact that all the lights on the bridge were extinguished, the only illumination came from an eerily clouded moon high above me and just to my right, the unnatural light shining onto me. I joked with myself for a moment that this bridge reminded me of a stage, and I was in fact the star, with the ghostly spotlight illuminating my every move. The humor soon subsided to this same feeling I couldn’t shake as I crossed. I felt as if I was being watched from below up on this otherworldly stage. My silent ghostly audience observed from below, and that scared the hell out of me. I quickened my pace and plodded down the stairs to the other side, a feeling of relief washing over me.

I continued up the walkway to the covered waiting area, all the seats were empty but gradually the same feeling returned that I was with someone. But I could not decide if I was feeling like I was welcomed or not. While I waited a dense fog seemed to crowd me, closer and closer, blocking out all the surrounding structures that I had seen so many times.

But the strange thing was, if I concentrated hard enough looking for an area I could see it, just how it looked, the abandoned convenience store, once hidden by the suffocating fog, now shone through. I could see it all, just as it was supposed to be, faded paint, warped wood, broken windows, and graffiti. Just as I knew it was, which gave me the suspicion that my mind was merely telling me what was there and what I wanted to believe. “The lack of rest was messing with my thinking process”, I thought to myself. My mind continued to feel more and more clouded to the point of me almost yelling out in panic. But, right then the faint screech of the train tracks snapped me back into reality. I stood up and grabbed my bag, the lights of the front car cut through the haze like knives, but only the lights, I could make nothing out of the train car even though just like the store I had seen it so many times. Another wave of relief washed over me, as I assured myself I wasn’t insane and my time alone at the station was merely a product of my sleep deprivation.
The large body of the train finally cut through the fog and brought itself to a screeching halt in front of me. But I was shocked and frightened to find this in fact was not the passenger train I would frequently take, no, this was a much older, more derelict, locomotive. I had never seen anything like it, at least not in real life, I had seen trains similar to these in history books, however it was a passenger train and not wanting to stay at the station a second longer I boarded the train.

The interior was as I expected, musty and worn from years of use, as I also expected there were no other passengers on the train this early, and only 1 conductor from what I saw, he looked like a much older man, but because of his large coat I couldn’t make out his face. He was heading the opposite direction from my car, so I dismissed the thought of him and sat down.

I immediately had a disdain for this car, as I sat down and it took motion, I couldn’t explain it, something about this was,….sinister. What made me the most uneasy was the silence, I couldn’t even make out the sound of the engine or the tracks outside, yet upon looking out the window, clouds of fog swirled by, we were definitely moving. It was then that I rested my head and eventually fell asleep. It wasn’t long before I was snapped awake by my mind. No haze of sleep remained, I was completely awake. No fatigue, no energy, nothing at all. I looked around to find that my cabin had become increasingly darker. I looked up to see the window into the next car and was happy to find that the cabin was illuminated. I stood up and walked toward it, for some reason the thought of grabbing my belongings seemed meaningless and I continued toward the door.

With each step closer I felt more warmth and pleasure, noticeably with each step. Grabbing the door handle, I felt more secure and more safe than I had in years. I pulled open the door, the light inside blinded me, it took me several moments to regain vision.

When I regained sight, I was shocked to find my family sitting in the car, which had…”furniture?” “My grandmother used to have this exact sofa” “this is my grandmothers house!” memories of childhood enjoyment and happiness flooded into my mind,…for a moment……..then I realized what this was. I had been here before, no, not just my grandmothers house, yes I had been here, but this moment, this moment playing out before me, I had been here before! Oh god, I felt as if I had just been here, or was, I could just feel what was happening and what was going to happen.

But I hadn’t, this was years ago. At first I wondered why everyone was sitting around what looked like a bed, the mood had changed from sanctuary, to very morose. I looked at the faces of my family members, grief stricken, tired faces stared blankly away from me.

This was the day my grandmother had died, but not just the day and the event, this wasn’t over that soon. I felt the pain, the suffering, the helplessness we had all felt in the months prior, but I could feel each of my family members’ pain as well. Flooding into my mind were thoughts of doubt, anger, and fear. It was as if someone had captured all the negative feelings and thoughts and gave me a front row seat. The crying, the yelling, the sobbing all echoed in my head. I made the way to the bed they surrounded, there lay my grandmother. I tried to let out a cry, some sort of relief, some expression, nothing! I was constricted I could make no noise, no sound, no acknowledgement of anything. I felt as if I would explode.

My vision focused on my grandmother, it looked as if she had already passed but instead of peaceful as most would describe death, instead to my horror she withered and turned to dust before my eyes! The sweet eyes that had looked down at me as a child, rolled back in her frail head and eroded. Her sweet smile was perverted and warped into a grisly, macabre frown of pain and agony. What could I do? I was helpless!

Just as I fell to my knees and grasped my head the scene changed. Completely white the room was now. All white, except for one detail in the corner. Legs and half a torso hung from the ceiling, the rest above blacked out from my vision. “Strange” I thought, not grasping what was happening. It was as I moved closer I noticed, and my memory reminded me. “Those look like your Grandpa’s old work boots.” It hit me all at once, what was this sick nightmare I had fallen into? I screamed now. Unfiltered and all at once, I screamed the most terrible scream that had ever befallen my eardrums. The floor gave way and I plunged into blackness.

I woke to a dim light shining in my face, I couldn’t move, I looked around and realized I was in my parents home, I was confused, the lighting was off, the house was silent, but I was more relieved the nightmare was finally over. Until,..the phone rang. A freezing shiver went down my spine as I heard the tone. I hadn’t had that phone since…..”oh god no!” “not this, not today, anything but this!” My body sat up in the couch I had been laying on, only it wasn’t me moving. I was merely an observer now, I had no control, I could feel everything my body did, but my limbs were locked in their past movements.

The moment played out as it had so many times in my nightmares. I sat up as an empty liquor bottle rolled off my paralyzed body. Hazily and clumsily my hand grabbed the phone, and held it to my ear. “Daniel?” Her voice sent a chill through my body as well as tears to my frozen eyes. “Yeah?” I felt the filthy words escape my liquor coated breath. “I could use a ride, I missed my bus.” she said. “Be riiigghhtt thaarr”, I winced, disgusted at my past self. This was all too real. “Are you ok Daniel?” she asked. I hung up and fumbled my way to the door.

I fought with everything I had to stop this madness, trying impossibly to move my rigid limbs, holding my breath, maybe I’d black out, “Don’t get in the car! Fuck! NO!” I blacked out as my body sat into the seat and fumbled with the keys. But only for a moment, I was snapped back into this nightmare with a loud crack and a piercing light, I was almost there. How had I made it there so drunk? Why is this happening? I grew closer and closer to madness every second. When suddenly the car stopped.

My head turned to see her. There she was, my beautiful little sister Sam. I couldn’t control my tears seeing her. The same young, pretty 12 year old girl waiting in front of the school all those years ago. Smiling at me through the haze of this nightmare. Everything went so fast after that. The red light. The truck. Oh god, I can still hear the screams. “Daniel!” clear as day in my ear. The guilt, Mom leaving. No one to turn to. It’s all my fault and it just keeps playing over in my head, the same scenes. Oh god I deserve it all.

I jolt awake in the aging, felt seat of Train Car 66, a cold sweat drenching me, as I continue to shiver and convulse. Eventually I can sit up, shivering and going mad.

Suddenly I feel a tap on my shoulder, I turn my stiffened neck to see the grisly face of death….The Lone Conductor I had seen earlier wandering the train. “Tickets please….” a dry, but powerful voice echoed from the horrific jaws of the grim reaper. Moving involuntary, my hand reaches into my pocket to pull out a stub of paper etched in blood. I look to see partial photos of my grandma, my dad, my grandpa, and other people I know that had died. The photos are partial because punched through them is the symbol of a skull. My possessed hand continues to hold it, and to my horror, clear as day, my picture is right there at the bottom. As my hand outreaches to the cold clasp of deaths hand. It occurs to me, that I don’t quite remember waking up that morning. Death clasps down on my ticket with a device made out of two skeletal hands intertwined together, and all I see is blackness.
Credit To – Mr. 1086

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January 13, 2015
by derpbutt

The Stones

Only now, that I’ve moved away from home have I begun to understand just how strange our lives were. I was raised on a small New England farm, just sixty five acres. Next to us were my grandparents and miles of state forest. Behind us lay woods, a one acre pond, and swamps. My father would often take my brother and me on walks through this land. As we went he would tell us bits of information about the local nature. That was how I first learned about the stones.

There were about a dozen of these stone piles laying around the property, maybe a foot and a half high, and four feet wide. The stones were pretty small and compact, and I’ll admit they didn’t look like much. At first my father told me to stay away from them. We were not to play on them or touch them. When I asked he answered with silence.

Being children my brother, Eric, and I soon forgot all about the stones. Perhaps a year later we were playing in the woods when he tripped and fell onto one pile, knocking a stone away. I watched his face go white. Eric had cut his knee, and was terribly afraid of blood. I helped him home where our mother bandaged him up and things seemed normal (it was just a small cut after all). But several days later his cut wasn’t healing, it was getting infected. My mother tried keeping it clean, but it kept getting worse. Worried for my brother they took him to the doctor. By this time the small cut was huge, swollen, and full of pus. The doctors bandaged him more professionally and gave him some serious medicine (I don’t remember what). The medicines didn’t seem to help though, and Eric was getting increasingly ill. My grandparents even came to visit from next door. I remember my grandfather asking me exactly what happened. I just told him we were playing on a pile of rocks and he scraped himself. Grandfather asked me to take him to the spot.

Later that afternoon (after a bit of searching and head scratching) I brought my grandfather to the stones. He shook his head. “Hasn’t your father told you not to play here?”

I thought back to a year before. “Yes, but why? They’re just rocks.”

“Not just rocks. These are something special.”

“Look like rocks to me.”

My grandfather knelt down next to me. “When I was a young boy, much like you, I too played with the stones. I was foolish enough to take one home with me. It caused me to get sick, very sick, I almost died.”

“What happened?” I asked.

“My father put back the stone.” I went to go get the stone my brother kicked loose. “No!” Shouted my grandfather, and he grabbed me by the arm. “Permission must be granted!”

Alarmed I moved away. “That sounds dumb….but I’ll ask if it helps.”

“No.” My grandfather looked quite sad. “I will come back alone.” After that he refused to answer any more questions. He just took me home, and after talking to my father I was grounded for a week. Eric began to heal the next day, and quickly. He was running around outside before I was. My grandparents came to visit again. Grandfather still refused my questions. He looked much older than before. When I went to see the stone pile, the rock was back in place.

From then on the stones were always in the back of my mind. I never touched them, because I feared them. I went so far as to never step close to them. Yet, I was drawn and curious about their secrets. Finally, years later, my father admitted that he didn’t know what they were. His best guess were Native burial sites. Our talk came with a warning.

“They will mess with your head, try and pull you in. The best thing to do is ignore them.”

“W-what do you mean?” I was beginning to believe the stones might be supernatural.”

“As you get older, live here longer, you will become more attuned to them. First they are just a fleeting thought, but that grows into obsession. I see it in you, but your brother is worse. He touched them. His dreams have already begun.”

I was baffled. “Dad, what are you talking about?! Are you feeling okay?”
He placed his hand on my shoulder. “The stones son. They pull you in, I know you understand the feeling.” He was right…I did. “But you must resist them, and when you turn eighteen you must leave forever.”

“What? Resist them how? You mean go to college, because I already want to go to college. I might even get a masters, if I can afford it.”

“You must not touch them or you will be bound to this land, as is Eric.” There was so much shame in those eyes. I realized my father was born on this land, that he too must have touched the stones. I began to study the habits of my father and brother. They slept only two or three hours a night. Their eyes stared into a distance place I could not see. They were poorly attempting to keep up healthy appearance for the sake of myself and my mother.

When I was seventeen the dreams started. Crazy dreams so lifelike I often thought I was awake. I would find myself on a dirt road of many colors. The colors were of vivid, blue, green, red, yellow, orange, and a dozen other mixtures. The road was always the same, but with different surroundings. Sometimes I was in a forest, other times a tundra, or a lakeside. Each night I continued down the road towards the secret, the secret of the stones. I wanted to find the end so horribly, but each night I would awake earlier and earlier. It became the main focus of my life. My grades began to slip, girls were of no interest, and I rarely ate. I grew pale, tired, and gaunt. My mother wanted to keep me home from school, claiming I was too sick to attend. My father was staunchly opposed. He claimed that I needed to get away from the house. They fought fiercely for my future.

In the end I graduated high-school and moved away to college. I promised to visit, but the second I left the dreams stopped. I started living again. I called to explain that I couldn’t go back, my mother was in tears. My father never sounded so thrilled.

Credit To – Ryan Kleinschmidt

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December 18, 2014
by derpbutt

The Man in Black

It had been a week since Joshua was attacked on his way back to his plush, top floor bachelor pad in the middle of New York city and still he cannot sleep. He had been having nightmares every night since the incident and tonight was no different.
At 3 AM he shot upright from his supine position, drenched in sweat and cursing his mind for showing him yet more images of the attack and subsequent mugging at the hands of four youths armed with metal bars and knives.
He shuffled into the kitchen and took a beer from his tall, two door silver refrigerator. At one time in his life, this piece of expensive kitchen hardware was his pride and joy, showing it off to anyone who would dare attend one of his “I don’t care about being alone” parties. Now however, he despises the view of this chrome monolith given that he now associates it with 3 in the morning.
Joshua made his way over to the adjacent living room and sat in his leather bound E-Z boy recliner and turned on his 50 inch plasma screen TV. He felt his eyes grow heavier as he rolled into his 4th episode of Breaking Bad on Netflix.
Joshua’s eyes shot open to the sound of his alarm clock coming from his bedside locker. He strolled into his room, yawning as he walked and slapped the OFF button; the force with which he struck the device was born out of a combination of exhaustion and frustration.
He dressed himself in the normal attire expected from a man who works in one of the biggest banks in the city, a flashy suit with only the tie left to show any personality whatsoever. Indeed, Joshua thought of himself as just another corporate stooge, and he was okay with this, as long as it kept him in luxuries that he was accustom to.
Joshua left his apartment and entered the nearby subway platform, as he would always do, and boarded the train that would take him outside his place of work, as he would always do.
However this time, Joshua felt on edge the whole way from his front door to the train door. He had taken a week off work to recuperate from the whole ordeal but he still felt a sense of dread, as if at every turn, somebody was waiting in a corner, ready to pounce. When the train doors closed behind him, he felt at ease. He breathed a sigh of relief, rationalising that nobody would attack him in a train full of people.
He sat down beside the door leading to the conductors quarters, put his head back against the metal panel behind him and began to close his eyes.
He felt his eyes, once again, become heavy, like two weights had been attached to his eyelids. He fought off the exhaustion, fearing that he might end up on the other side of Manhattan. He rubbed his eyes and stared out to the other end of the carriage, that’s when something caught his attention.
Sitting no more than ten metres from him on the left side of the carriage was a man. There was nothing overtly strange about him, except that he was dressed all in black, with a long black coat and a black bowler hat. He was bald and wrinkled, Joshua tried to make out his face but his head was down, looking at the floor beneath him. Every few minutes, the man would raise his left arm to his face to check the time, but his head would never move.
Had Joshua seen this man two weeks ago, he would have laughed it off to another street performer, but after what had happened the week pervious, Joshua was paranoid towards just about everything.

Joshua kept his eyes fixed on the man in black, making note of every movement, his heart pounding at every twitch or small shuffle made by the man in the black bowler hat and coat.
He didn’t know why, but Joshua knew that something about this man seemed wrong, like watching as a storm cloud marches towards you, knowing that it’s bringing trouble.
Suddenly, the man rose from his seat, keeping his face hidden all the while, and scurried with purpose to the centre of the carriage, Joshua felt compelled to see this mans’ face, even if he looks unhinged to the other passengers, he didn’t care, he just wanted to feel at ease and maybe, laugh about it later.
Joshua stood up and made his way towards the mysterious man, he reached his arm to his shoulder, blood rushing to his brain as his fight or flight response kicks in, suddenly, a deafening noise echoes through the carriage and a white flash erupts all around.
Then, Silence.
When Joshua regains consciousness, all he can hear is a pronounced ringing in his ear and the faint sound of footsteps and voices all around him. He struggles to open his eyes, half because of the possible concussion that he has just suffered and the other half because of what he fears he may see.
When he finally does, he is met by a blurry scene of carnage, both metallic and human. The carriage is completely dark save for flash lights from what he can only assume are emergency services. Joshua raises his hand to call out for help, like a drowning sailor in a sea of steel. What he sees terrifies him to his very soul. Joshua’s hand is covered in blood and intestines, too weak to scream and display his true emotion; Joshua instead lets out a quiet sob, believing this to be his final moments on earth. His lamentations are heard by the men searching the cabin and they rush to his aid as Joshua’s world slowly goes black.
When he awoke, Joshua found himself lying in bed, with plastic tubes in his arm and nose, he heard the beep of his heart monitor, in time with his own heartbeat, he heard the bustling footsteps of hospital staff rushing all around him, fearing for the condition of his body, Joshua shot his gaze to the foot of his bed, convinced that there would be two empty spaces where his legs used to be. He let out a sigh of relief when he saw his feet sticking out of the bed sheets, he counted his toes to be absolutely sure and gave them a wiggle to be certain that he had not lost the use of his legs.
Joshua suddenly noticed he was not alone, he turned to his right and saw his best and only friend Matthew, slumped in a chair asleep, resting his head on the armrest.
“Ma…Matt…” Joshua weakly called out for his best friend.
Matthew abruptly awoke from his slumber.
“Josh! Christ man, are you okay?” Matthew rose from his chair and placed his hand on Josh’s.
“What…what the fuck happened?”
“It was a bombing man! Some crazy Right-wing extremist just claimed responsibility. The motherfucker.”
Joshua raises his hand in front of his face, the blood is gone but the wrinkle lines on his palm are still stained dark red, a small reminder of the fear he had felt in that carriage.
“My hand…was covered…in blood and guts man.” Joshua’s eyes begin to tear up. Matthew squeezes Joshua’s hand tightly.
“That wasn’t yours man. You’re okay. You’re battered and bruised but okay. It’s miraculous.
Matthew pauses, looks down to the floor and looks into the eyes of Joshua, with a sad smile.
“You’re the only survivor. How I…I guess somebody was looking out for you. I know you don’t believe any of that shit!” Matthew lets out a small laugh.
“The bomber, was it the man I saw?” Joshua sits up in his bed, his voice stronger than before.
“Jesus Josh, you saw him? Where!?”
“On the train.” Matthew looks at Josh puzzled.
“Josh, that guy was in his apartment the entire time, that’s where he detonated the bomb, according to the news anyway. Why? Who did you see?”
“There…There was a man…he…” Before Joshua could finish his sentence, there was a loud bang from the window at the end of the room, when Matthew went to examine it, he found that the glass had shattered, at the impact zone, there was a tiny dash of blood, and two storeys down, there was a dead bird twitching on a walkway.
“That’s weird, what’s a bird doing flying at this hour?” Matthew turns back to Joshua, looking completely perplexed.
“What were you saying Josh?” He didn’t know exactly why, but somehow Joshua felt that he should not mention the man in black to Matthew.
“Never mind. Just the accident playing tricks with me I guess.”
“Okay buddy. Well it’s pretty late and I better get outta here, I already pissed the nurses off enough by staying after visiting hours. I don’t think they believed me when I said I was your brother! Will you be okay until tomorrow?” Matthew spoke with a genuine look of concern on his face.
“Yeah. I need some sleep anyway.” Joshua smiled for the first time since he was mugged.
Okay man. I love you, you atheist fucker!” As Matthew left, Joshua rested his head back on the pillow, as he began to drift off he felt a presence once more sitting beside him.
“Forget something?” Joshua turned over, expecting to see Matthew once more, instead, he saw a man, dressed completely in black, sitting in the armchair. He head was dropped down, looking at his jet black shoes. Joshua noticed that the air had gotten colder and heavier, like there was an unwelcome force all around the room.
“You…should not be here.” Joshua’s blood froze. The man in black had spoken. His voice was that of an elderly man, but it had a malevolent coldness to it that could darken the sun itself.
“Who are you?” Joshua’s voice quivers as his heart races. Expecting to hear the rapid beat of his heart monitor, instead all he hears is unnerving silence.
“Me? Well my name was taken from me over a century ago, but I like to call myself Mr. Pale Eyes since nobody has been around long enough to give me a proper title, until you of course.” The man in black raised his head to show two completely white eyes illuminated by the moonlight scarcely illuminating the room. His face is hollow and gaunt, his skin white as snow, his teeth putrid and nose flattened to his face, with only two slits giving any indication of a nose at all.
Joshua wanted to run, but the combination of being hooked up to various machines and being paralysed with fear meant that he was trapped in bed. He thought desperately of a way to get this horrifying ghoul away from, the only thing he could think of was to ask as many questions as possible, keeping this thing occupied until a nurse or orderly comes across the two. Joshua had assumed the assistance button had been disabled considering he had been mashing it like a madman since the unholy figure had first made it presence known and nobody had made an appearance. He mustered up all his courage and looked sternly at Mr. Pale eyes.
“I thought I was the only survivor?”
“You were.”
“Then how are you here?” Mr. Pale Eyes gave out a sinister snicker.
“My boy, you must be breathing to be a survivor.” Joshua felt a horrible feeling in his stomach.
“You’re here right now, talking to me, how can you do that if you’re dead? Are you a ghost?”
“Mr. Pale Eyes’ mouth widened into an evil smile.
“Far from it.”
“Then you’re a demon?” Joshua winced when he asked this question. Fearing the answer.
“Not necessarily.”
“Then if you’re none of these things, why is it that I can see you?” Mr. Pale Eyes shifted in his chair. He let out a soft sigh and laughed quietly to himself.
“I underestimated your curiosity Mr. Anders. It is indeed that which saved you. Had you just remained in that chair, you would be another number in this recent disaster. Instead, here you are, alive.”
“What do you mean?”
“There’s that insatiable curiosity Mr. Anders.” Mr. Pale Eyes pauses for a moment and begins again.
“I suppose you deserve an explanation for all of this. I was once like you Mr. Anders. I was human, at least, I breathed like one. I was not a good man Mr. Anders. I had an unholy curiosity for little children. It wasn’t so much the joy of carrying out my actions as it was to watch, I liked to watch. And when I was hung for my crimes, the man downstairs gave me a fitting punishment. You see, the man upstairs is responsible for all the good in the world, happiness, love, forgiveness. But there needs to be balance, and the man downstairs is responsible for that. War, pestilence, terror, death. As I said, I was given a punishment most fitting my crimes, and that punishment was to watch. When a human’s life is forfeit, I appear.
But I only appear where there is a great loss of life, where nobody survives to tell the tale of the man in black standing in the centre of all the chaos. Nobody knows if the captain of the Titanic cried, but I do. Nobody knows what happened in the gas chambers moments before the Nazis extinguished the lives of men, women, young and old, but I do. I was even above the crash sites of towers 1 and 2 moments before they gave way to melted steel. The man downstairs may be evil, but he is smart. The punishment fitted the crime; I am weary of seeing death. He will add on another eternity for my mistake with you. He has taken this case on personally.”
Joshua sat dumbstruck at what he just heard, everything he thought was true had just been demolished, his beliefs, his concept of good and evil, fate, and yet, one thing stood out more than other.
“What do you mean; he has taken this case personally?”
Mr. Pale Eyes rose from his chair, shuffled slowly over to Joshua and places his thin, skeletal-like hand on his head.
“There must be balance Joshua, and we must make sure that you can’t live to tell the tale!”
Mr. Pale Eyes pushes Joshua’s head down against his pillow.
With a thud, Joshua wakes up and realises that he had just hit his head against the steel panel behind him. He looks around to discover that he is back on the train. He immediately looks at where Mr. Pale Eyes was sitting and instead finds a rotund Mexican woman sitting there in his stead. Joshua lets out a sigh of relief and realises that it had just been another nightmare. He begins to laugh and for a moment, is actually grateful for what his mind just conjured up. He pondered that perhaps this dream was a sign that he should not take life for granted, after all, it was so realistic and lucid, and he could not help but be affected by it.
Joshua begin to feel uneasy when it felt as if his legs were getting heavier, it was slow but noticeable, he tried to wiggle his toes but he could not even muster a twitch, he then slowly began to feel his arms draw back towards the panel behind him, as if they were magnetically attracted to it. It was then that Joshua began to panic, he tried to scream, but no sound came out, like in a nightmare when you call out for your mother but, nothing.
Joshua found himself completely stuck to the chair. He could not call out for anybody. He could not warn the conductor of their incoming doom. He knew what was coming; all he could do was watch.

Credit To – Paul W

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