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Note that due to how the sites have evolved, many categories are now outdated.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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Missing That Spark

“You ever heard of Lowell Animation? If you said ‘no’ I honestly can’t fault you. The subject is pretty obscure, so I thought I’d explain it.

You see, back during the earliest days of animation, when Walt Disney was just getting settled into the new industry, a well off man named Jack Lowell saw the results and the audience reaction and decided that he wanted a particularly big piece of the pie. So he set up Lowell Animation, got himself a team to work on stuff, and got to work.

Now, at this point, you’re probably wondering why you never heard of it, seeing how it was at the start of animating and would therefore be called a classic animation company. Well, the truth is, it’s because he didn’t have the spark that Disney did, but didn’t know because of his narcissistic attitude. No matter how hard he tried to be successful at it, it just wasn’t very good at all compared to more famous works of that time, so ultimately, his work never really got known outside his local area.

Unfortunately, this made him very angry, and he began to look for different ways to gain the fame that Walt Disney was getting. What he didn’t know was that he didn’t even have the technology to make colour animations, which left him livid when he saw Snow White. But he thought it was his staff not working hard enough, and would make them work ludicrous shifts every day to ‘make the work better’. Eventually, he fired them all and replaced them with what he thought were more talented individuals. Trouble was, he was getting more determined by the day, determined to overtake Disney and become the most successful animation company owner in the world. He even self proclaimed himself Walt’s rival and sent him hate mail saying he was a talentless idiot. Either Walt never received them, or just simply ignored them, but he never replied, reinforcing Lowell’s views.

At this point, you may be seeing this man as just another jealous jerk, envious of Walt Disney’s growing fame. But here’s where it gets worrying. When he got his new staff, he made sure that they performed better than the others. He made them animate the as perfectly as it got in the forties, made the voice actors recite their lines monotonously until he felt that they were good enough, and all this with very low pay and work times sometimes spanning over twenty hours. ‘What’s so shocking about that?’ I hear you grumble. Well, sometimes these workers would object, or refuse to do work, or even attempt a strike. And when Lowell caught wind of them doing this… Well, at some point, the stress from constantly trying to be successful finally got to him, and his demeanor went from snobbish and unfair to rather psychotic,and he decided that he would punish anyone who stepped too far out of line. And I mean punish. He would grab the offender and drag them into the basement, lock the door and do God knows what until he was sure that they had learned their lesson. Nobody is sure what he did down there, but it certainly had an impact on the unlucky few who endured it, with many people dying of shock from the experience, and this coupled with a number of people collapsing from overwork during shifts just all the more made the local people despise Lowell, but were too afraid to do anything about it.

Lowell’s controversial (but still widely unknown) practices went on until the sixties. At this point, he ordered his team to make a number of animations that used the Disney characters in situations definitely unsuitable for younger viewers. He thought that he could pass them off as real Disney works and turn parents against it. But his plan backfired when his animators hid the address of the company in the videos along with the message ‘Send Help’.

Of course, it didn’t take long for people to see these abominations and only a bit more time to identify the hidden messages. Before Lowell even found out what had happened, the police arrived. The production team told them everything, and Lowell was promptly arrested, but not without him making a huge scene as they dragged him off to a nearby police cruiser. It was apparent he had really gone insane. Realizing how damming this could be to their reputation, Disney initiated what has been called by some as their first ‘cover up’, namely, destroying Lowell’s works from the last thirty years, especially the Disney knock offs, and preventing the incident from being reported in the news, basically siphoning off his existence. And it worked. By the end of the decade, no one, save for the district he originally lived in, knew that Lowell Animation even existed. And that’s how it’s been for over fifty years.

Now that I’ve told you that story, the last thing you’re probably thinking is ‘How on earth do I know all this if it was such a successful cover up?’ Well, I didn’t know it myself until recently, but my home town is located in the same district as where Jack Lowell lived and worked. His legacy in my area stems from the fact that he somehow Managed to escape custody, and disappeared, leading people to this day to believe that he is still alive, and became one of those stories you tell your children to make them behave. I distinctively remember being told that an evil man would find me if I didn’t go to bed, or eat my dinner, and so on. About six months ago, I took the time to ask ‘Who Is the real man exactly’. Most people were a bit hazy on the details, but I was persistent, and six months of research later, I believe I’ve pieced together the whole Story of a man’s decent into madness trying to accomplish something too far out of his reach. The point I’m at now would be where people would stretch back and admire their work. But there’s still one Last detail I do not know.

What punishment did Lowell use when his employees stepped out of line?

To this day, all of the people who survived experiencing it blocked it out or simply forgot about it, so the story has been left incomplete. Some would give up. Not me. I know that it can’t have been good at all, and I know the mystery needs to be figured out once and for all, so I’ve decided to find out for myself.

You see, I have a lead.

A couple of days ago, a friend informed me that he had found an abandoned building in the woods near my town. And slapped in big bold letters on one side was ‘Lowell Animation’. I’m telling you all this because I plan to visit it within the week and try to solve a mystery that’s been unknown for over fifty years. At the end of the week I’ll make a post on my status. If I don’t find anything, or do not update for whatever reason, I’ll leave it to you, the reader, to find the truth for yourself. And if it comes to that, I bid you good luck!”

This post was recently discovered by yours truly on a Disney forum site. As far as I know, the author never made his second post, and I have been unable to find any trace of either him, or the story he’s talking about. I’ll let you decide if it was real or not, but I believe it Is, and I believe the author found something ungodly when he found Lowell’s old building, and discovered the truth that he was looking for.

S.S

Credit: Sam. S
Credit Link: http://themushroompainter.deviantart.com/

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That Old Wardrobe

When I was younger I used to be terrified of my wardrobe, to the point I spent as little time in my bedroom as possible.

We used to live in the house next door until I was about three, but then the little old lady who lived in our current house died and the house was put on the market, for a very good price. My parents bought it because they loved the road, and the garden was bigger and the view over the fields out the back was better. I don’t remember moving in, I just remember wanting to move back because I didn’t want to sleep in my room. My older brother teased me that the lady died in my bedroom, and my parents have never told me otherwise. I do, however, remember being terrified of my wardrobe. It had been in my room when we moved in, so it became my wardrobe. My Dad sprayed it hot pink to make it girly to go with my pale purple walls. My Mum painted flowers on my wall to try to get me to like my room. I got a disco ball and funky Disney night lights to try to get me to sleep without building a duvet fort each night. My Granny knitted me a friendly dragon, and told me he was magic and at night he would wake up and eat all of the monsters. For my seventh birthday, they bought me a tortoise, and his house was put in my bedroom, so any noise could be blamed on him. But no matter what they did I was terrified of my room, and most of all that wardrobe. I never once opened the doors.

I was terrified, I thought at the time, for a very good reason. I was convinced the old lady’s ghost lived in the wardrobe. And I had evidence! There was a demon shape in the sprayed paint, it always had a shadow around it, and I could always hear stuff coming from it. Scratching and shuffling, and I was sure the door used to scuff open and shut during the night. I always thought it was good evidence; I was told to not be silly and sent back to bed. Obviously, as I grew up I began to think that they were right and I had been silly because, a. the likelihood of there being something in my wardrobe was impossible, and b. she was a lovely old lady and obviously wouldn’t be a ghost in a wardrobe. When I was fifteen my parents built an extension and I moved to a different room, my old bedroom became a room where we just dumped boxes.

Now, about three weeks ago I returned from university. I’m a secondary school history teacher now. I couldn’t have a job where rational thinking and logic – or dullness depending on one’s opinion – is more prevalent. I’ll be bringing back a lot of work to mark, so my parents have said that I can convert the box room, my old bedroom, into my office. So, I’ve spent the last few weeks clearing the boxes and throwing things out. It has taken me weeks, but I have finally reached the wardrobe, which is in the corner furthest from the door.

Today was the day I was going to clear all of my old clothes out of it, clean it and fill it with my new suits. There was no stirring of any emotion as I went over to it. Nothing as I opened my curtains on that side of the room and grabbed a bag for rubbish and one for charity. I was quite merrily clearing it out for about ten minutes, with some good dance music on in the background. For a while anyway. I scratched my hand on a broken coat hanger, and stopped and stood back. Me being me I swore at the wardrobe and stood back to tell it off.

And then I noticed them. All up the inside of the doors are deep scratches. Always three aligned. As if something scratched that door again and again and again, trying to get out.

Credit: Elisabeth

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The Crying Room.

Seven years ago, I was teaching English in Japan. The school where I taught was an older building, about eighty years old. It was a smaller school with only two-hundred students. It had ten classrooms an office and a small cafeteria that also served as a gym. There was another classroom(room four)that was used as a storage room. It was a nice school and served its purpose for the village town.

My first week there was uneventful but on my second week, I was there late one-night prepping assignments for the next day. There was only the janitor and me in the building. As I was making copies in the office, I heard what sounded like sobbing. I called out to the janitor, but got no answer(he spoke English). Maybe a student got locked in, I thought. I decided to go check it out and when I stepped into the hallway, I noticed that the crying seemed to be getting louder and was coming from the direction of room four.

“Hello?” I called out, but nobody answered. I slowly approached room four and opened the door. Just as I opened it, the crying stopped. I reached for the light switch and turned it on, I quickly scanned the room and realized it was empty. I was badly shaken at this point, so I quickly gathered my things and ran out of the school, not even telling the janitor I was leaving.

The crying continued throughout my yearlong tenure. Eventually, I grew immune to the disembodied cries. But on my last week teaching, something changed. I was there late one-night and I had to use the ladies room. After I was done using the toilet, I opened the stall door and was startled to see a young Japanese woman standing there with her face to the mirror. I called out to her, but got no response. I decided to look into the mirror to see if I recognized her and what I saw still haunts me to this day…When I looked into the mirror, I saw that the woman had no face. I quickly ran out of the bathroom screaming.

A year later, I was talking to another English teacher from the school. Somehow we got on the subject of ghosts, then I told her about my experience. Then, she told me a story: About fifteen years ago, there was a young female teacher who fell in love with a male teacher. He was married and had no intentions of leaving his wife. Distraught, the young teacher locked herself in room four and hung herself. So the story goes, even in death, the young teacher still cries for the man she never had…

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Everyday Phenomenon

Alright. I just want to say, I’m not the kind of ‘write it all out in a journal’ kind of guy. But, there really isn’t much to do anymore. I guess I’m just bored. There isn’t much to do anymore, especially in this rickety old house. If you were to see it, you’d probably think it was abandoned, which isn’t totally incorrect, but I live there now, if ‘now’ is even a concept that could be considered part of my reality. Well, now that I think of it, I guess it’s the only thing I can count on. There is only now. No tomorrow, No yesterday, No when or then, Nothing that could have mattered matters anymore. Ok, back on topic, I’m writing this really just out of boredom, as I’ve probably done everything else there is to do, which is surprisingly a lot.

I guess this all started about a year ago, when my grandfather’s antique pocket-watch broke. It was really cool to have with me after he’d died, just being able to keep a piece of him with me, a really awesome looking piece at that. From what my mother had told me, it’d been even more magnificent when it was still in his possession. Hanging out of his pocket, it had always complemented his bright, green eyes, small specs of gold in them making them look almost as rare and spectacular as the watch itself. He hadn’t known me well, nor I him, and yet, I was somehow the one who ended up with the shiny time piece.

My mother on the other hand, she inherited his whole house, a massive building he only used when he wasn’t out and about on his ‘adventures’. Selling antiques, digging up fossils, that was what he spent his whole time doing, ignoring my mother, my sister and I while he was away, not answering our calls, and treating us to fancy dinners when he came to visit us months later. I don’t know how I really felt about him, sometimes I hated him, others I looked up to him wholeheartedly, as some mythical beast whose world I could never see or understand.

All in all, I guess he didn’t do anything really important for the world in his life besides die and give us his stuff. Only a month after he did, we moved to his giant building, planning to set up our new lives there. We did what all families do when they move, shoving all of the boxes full of our stuff in one room, slowly pulling what we needed out, letting it all settle into the place it seemed to fit best. It was spread out really thinly, very little furniture in each of the echoing rooms. It was different there, hollow and quiet, unlike our apartment back in Manhattan, like all of the life and energy had been sucked out of the world.

It was nice while it lasted. My sis ignored me like any younger sibling, My mom doted over her like she was a blessing to this world, I sat in my room playing chess by myself, the internet not having been installed yet. As boring as it sounds, It was bliss compared to my life now. Life with a purpose. Life where there was something different happening every day. A life where I didn’t have to cry myself to sleep, hoping for something, anything to change.

Every day is the same, there’s no changing it. My watch broke, and ever since then, it was the same day, every day. They couldn’t tell, my mom and sister. They just said the same things, walked the same paths as the day before. At this point, they’re more closely related to weather than the people I loved. You may love the rain, but no matter how many times there’s a downpour in your neighborhood, the rain doesn’t remember you, or the thousands of times you’ve expressed your love for it in the past year. That’s them. Essentially empty shells of the beings they once were.

I guess I’m empty too. Not much of the person I used to be is left in here. Just a husk of a human, going through the cycles of my new world. As I’ve said, it wasn’t always like this, I thought I had gotten one of the greatest gifts a guy could have, a chance to do things over, a chance to make things better for myself. It only felt like that for the first week or so…

I woke up that day for the second time, hardly noticing the subtle things that should have clued me into what what was going on. Walked down the fancy, oaken stairs, greeted my mother, waited for breakfast to arrive in front of me as I messed around with the few offline games I had on my phone, and my sister with hers. Mom set it down in front of me. Hash browns… again…. That was weird, we tended to have a fairly simple weekly diet, frozen pancakes and waffles or french toast on monday, wednesday, and friday, hash browns on saturday and sunday, and cereal on tuesday and thursday.

“Um… Mom? Is this leftovers from yesterday? I’m pretty darn sure I ate the last of them yesterday.”

“Of course not! I just made them today! No way there’d be any left over with with you in the house anyway.” She laughed, handing a second plate to my sister. Now, I know what you’re thinking, I’m just some loser who makes their mom take care of them each and every day, but that’s not it. She loves…. loved what she does for us. She didn’t need to work anymore, with the money that my grandad left her along with the building, So she spent her time watching over us. No clue how she could have lived that way, I sure couldn’t. But she loved it.
So, throughout the day, I noticed the things I’d missed earlier, the single vase I’d dusted had a thick layer of grey on the surface, the laundry that I’d washed was still in my room, in a messy pile on the floor, and as lame as it sounds to say, my level on a game I’d been playing the day before was lower than I’d left it.

You know that movie, Groundhog Day? That’s what I started thinking this was going to be like, having to make it the perfect day. The next day didn’t do anything but support my theory, hashbrowns again, cheap ramen for lunch, and a great turkey dinner to finish it off. I had to admit though, I was getting a little sick of them, the food I mean, not my family.

The third day of ‘resetting’, as I had dubbed it, I decided to try changing things a bit. Instead of sitting in my room, I helped out in the kitchen, making sure to keep my mother company, and to sway her into cooking something besides turkey. Pasta was a welcome taste to my buds, the tomato sauce an amazing contrast to the gravy of the past three days.
But, each morning, I just kept resetting. No matter what I did, telling my family “I love you.”, or running myself ragged, making sure they’d have the best day of their lives, it just would go all of the way back to zero. No memory of what I had done, no lasting effect on them, no reciprocation to all of the love I’d given them.

After a while, I gave up. There was nothing I could do for them to make their day any better than it had been the day before. I just sat in my room, lay on my bed, sleeping the same day away, hoping to have my mother calling me down for waffles awaken me. That day still hasn’t come.

On my second week, I decided I should try something new. When my mother left for the kitchen, I bolted into her room and then her private bathroom, where she kept all of the medications. Despite my being in highschool, she still didn’t trust me to take the right pills in case of a headache. I swiped a bottle of acetaminophen, shoving it under my shirt. As long as I acted casually, she wouldn’t notice the bulge under my blue tank.

I took them all. They were nasty to taste, but I managed to swallow about 100 grams of the stuff, guaranteeing my liver’s failure. That day was the first time I died. It wasn’t painful, just… Longer than I expected. As I passed out, I felt time slowing, then I woke up. I was in bed, wearing the same clothes as the day before. I just kept going with the plan, changing it every way I could. I did the classics, toaster in the bath, out a window, over the stairwell, they all were quick and almost painless. But the same day always came, the same sun shining through the window I’d jumped out of to the concrete below. There was something about it though. It brought the next day, today, even faster, so maybe there was something to the idea. There was only one thing I hadn’t done. It’d be long and painful, but maybe it’d work.

That day, I hung myself. It was more painful than anyone could have imagined, feeling my lungs gasp for oxygen, my fingers and toes numbing slowly. Then it was over. I was back in bed, the pain that had been spread throughout my body was gone, only the lingering memory of the aching feeling still there. No way in hell was I going to do that again. Way too much pain.

I’d thought for weeks, months. Doing whatever I could to make things different. I got…. violent… Luckily… for myself and my family, I’m not all that strong, so they were able to restrain me. I don’t really want to talk about this much… but it needed saying. I doubt anyone will ever see this, it’ll probably be gone tomorrow. But if there is a chance, I’ll write this every single day, till I know this word for word, and keep on going. And if anyone sees this… make sure not to do anything I said I had done. I’m pretty sure it was the watch, but I don’t know. It’s not worth the risk. You could end up like me, clinging to the last bits of sanity that are left inside of my mind, and dreading the next time that you wake up, only to know that everything you ever do will matter to no one. Well, It’s not like my life before this mattered much. Hah. Classic comedy right there. I heard it was good to leave letters off on a lighter note, so here’s another joke.

“A baby’s laughter is the most beautiful sound you will ever hear. Unless it’s 3am. And you’re home alone. And you don’t have a baby.”

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Letter From The Editor

When I became an intern at SETI, I was certain that the past seven years I spent studying quantum mechanics would have been a waste. I was so certain that fetching coffee, answering phones and scheduling meetings would be the gist of my days. This would not be the case, as I would later find. My initial job, in addition to being fortunate enough to actually do research from day one, was the dissemination of any signals we found. One of the more senior researchers had the idea. He was a former G-man and had ‘retired’ to work as a liaison between us and his former employers.
They wanted to test a new way to circumvent prying eyes and conspiracy nuts. Instead of holding onto the information and hoping it doesn’t leak, we started releasing it, and then also releasing obviously fake videos to go along with it. It was brilliant in its simplicity. Slowly the scope had stretched out to include other forms of communication we received. The letter below, and trust me that is exactly what it is, was a signal that took weeks to transcribe. Honestly that’s because we weren’t sure what to make of it. Doesn’t matter. My job is to find a medium to release the information, not discuss it. I try not to think about what this letter means for us. I try not to think about the fact that we missed a few minutes when the signal started, I can’t bear to think what we didn’t catch. The whole situation has push me to the point of hysteria.
I was supposed to disperse this weeks ago, yet I have held onto like a letter from a far away lover. I know if I try to be taken seriously with this, I will surely lose my job and be locked away. My employer will act like I am a madman, and have me committed. Worse still, is what may happen to my family. But releasing it using our normal methods means I am essentially dooming humanity. No one will take the threat seriously, until its far to late. Yes the government is taking steps, but not for the general public. Billions will surely perish, yet those apart of the project and their immediate families will be spared. We will tell our families lies about not knowing, and live with the blood of an entire planet on our hands. All I can hope is that people will see it and take it seriously. The thought that I may be able to save even a few people lessens my mental anguish. If you choose to believe, then you shall share my burden.

Transmission received: February 11, 2016
Class: Alpha
Transcript: After a lifetime of honing my skill, I am not one to be trifled with. I come forth to bear torment, indescribable from the source of my genius. I will bring you into my empyrean state. There you will discover my intellectual capacity is beyond the foundation of anger, revenge. Your destruction will be fantastic. Glorious. I am not your ‘dark prince’, but your strongest cannot stand in my shadow, I will make a mockery of them. If you’re curious how infinite the situation could possibly become, compare it to your unexplained Black Holes. You may get frenzied, but it is inevitable. You went around, believing yourselfs to be the most important life in the universe. Then you came across a Numen and realized how insignificant your existence really was. Who is this champion, you ask? Inconsequential, simply know all challengers will be discarded properly. I am what you fear in the night sky. I will confer that I am known on your planet, by your species. I come from a far away ancient time. You shall compare my tumultuous arrival to that of your Four Horseman. I am beyond it. It, being humans, bombarding my home with fracas and radiation. That was the first slight, now I welcome it. I relish the opportunity to release my savagery. I will fly my crest with pride, as I remove a virus from the universe. My irrational disposition will spread to your feeble minds and as your civilization descends into madness, I will bluster, then depart.
Your superpowers will display force, but they need also prepare their graves. Then again, there will likely not be remains. My arrival is impending. Don’t not perceive this as an idle form of intimidation. This is a vow. This is the word of an old-one, your ghastly wars will be forgotten. This can be staked upon all your earthly possessions; I have incinerated life. But the same fate is too kind and boring for humans. Once I have removed the vermin, I will strip your celestial body of its assets. I will not approach seen, know this. It is I, Anatheil, editor of the infinite. I will remove the blight and mark my kill. There will be resistance, but know that it will be futile. I helped create the Port of Exslion, my greatest achievement to date. You watch it from afar and assign it numbers based off its coordinates and such. S5 0014+81, how humanly authentic. But my previous accomplishments pale in comparison with my next feat.
I think not about the destruction of a species that is still so reliant on its homeworld. No meaningful manipulation of space or time, no dimensional travel. Null, absolutely null. But you have become annoyingly efficient at sending radio waves. My species has even sent complicated replies, as have others. Your leaders hide it from you and wage war on one another with our instructions. Appalling, the first species that seeks to wipe itself out deserves a helping hand. I am coming, I will help. Know this.

Credit: CrimsonKing87
Credit Link: https://twitter.com/GrizzGlover

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Cupid

It was just rotten luck. Bad enough that I get stuck in the middle of nowhere, but for a woman like me in her early 30s it was particularly frightening. When my old Buick coughed and sputtered to a stop, I knew I was in for a long night. The nearest town was at least twenty miles away, and God knows where a service station was. I retrieved my cell phone, but out in this part of rural Kansas there was no service. I knew I had only one option: I had to start walking. I took my keys, got out of the car and slung my satchel over my shoulder.

For miles in any direction, there was only darkness. The autumn night was lonely and a crescent moon was the only a light. No glare of city lights, no streetlights, only the monotonous stretch of country road which lay before me. I trudged along with only the cool October breeze and cloudy sky to keep me company. I had been walking about a mile and as I topped a hill, I saw the flash of headlights coming in the opposite direction. I frantically waved to the motorist, and he obligingly stopped.
“Thank God,” I cried. “My car broke down. Do you think I can get a lift to town?”
The bespectacled driver looked me over for a moment, then agreed.

Now I’m not in the habit of accepting rides from strangers, but this was an emergency after all. I climbed into the front passenger seat and placed my bag on the floorboard.
“Thank you so much,” I said. “You’re a real lifesaver.”
“Don’t mention it,” the driver responded. I was a little apprehensive about hitchhiking, especially this late at night. Mother warned me never to accept a ride from a stranger and she was right. I knew plenty of people who regretted it. The young man seemed pleasant enough, though, and might even be amiable company on the drive to town. He was about my age with light brown hair trimmed in a crew cut. He was neatly dressed in blue jeans and a faded T-shirt that read “MegaDeth.” He sported a pair of worn sneakers and a gold chain lay loosely around his neck.
“My name is Andy,” my benefactor announced, as he stuck out his hand.
“Hi, Andy, I’m Amanda, Amanda Cummings”
“Where are you headed, Amanda?” he asked.
“I was headed into Dalton, but for now I’ll settle for anywhere.” Andy started the car once more, and drove off into the darkness.

“Awful late for you to be out here driving alone,” he said.
“I feel pretty safe,” I lied. “There’s not much out here but open farmland.”
“I guess you haven’t heard about the trouble they’ve had here lately,” Andy replied.
“What kind of trouble?”
“Murderers. Really gruesome, too. Eleven so far this year. The newspapers call the guy ‘Cupid’ because he stabs his victims in the heart. Nasty business.”
I looked straight ahead, trying not to make eye contact. He made me nervous with such an unusual opening statement, but I tried not to show it.
“Is that so?,” I ask, trying to sound nonchalant.
“That’s what they say. Police are kinda sketchy about it, the newspapers too. Yeah, you sure picked a bad area for a breakdown.”
I was starting to feel uncomfortable not only because of the topic of conversation, but because he seemed to smile as he recounted the details.
“Not only that, eight of the victims were couples parked in a lovers lane,” Andy continued abruptly. “Pretty fitting for a guy called Cupid, huh? There were also a couple of truckers, and a hooker. Can you imagine — eleven people, all stabbed right through the heart.”
Andy smiled broadly, “I bet they never catch him.”

We sat in silence for a few moments until Andy blurted out, “You’re a really attractive woman.” I found myself involuntarily blushing, not only from the compliment, but from the sudden and inappropriate nature of the comment.
“I… I, well, um… thank you,” I stammered.
“I didn’t mean to embarrass you, it’s just me. I tend to say things without thinking. Just an old habit.”
“It’s all right,” I reassured him.
“It’s just good to have some company sometimes,” he said. He paused, then seemed deep in thought about the situation.
“I like driving these lonely country roads at night. You never know what you’ll find … or who. You’re lucky I came by when I did,” Andy added. “Lots of times I drive all night without seeing a single person.”
Andy was starting to sound creepy so I tried to change the subject.
“So, are you from around here, Andy?”
“Yeah, I was born and raised in Dalton. You from the area too?”
“No, I’m from Riley, about thirty miles north of here.”
“I’ve never been to Riley,” he stated. “I like this area; plenty of work to do. Lots of farmland too, not too many nosy neighbors.”
“Do you have family here?” I asked, trying to lighten the mood.
“No, they’re all dead.”
“Sorry to hear that,” I replied.
“It was a long time ago.”

We sat in silence for several minutes as the stripes on the roadway disappeared one by one beneath the car and the trees along the road waltzed their graceful pirouette. The moon played a mocking game of hide and seek behind the clouds, alternately shining and fading into the night. Suddenly Andy spoke and startled me.
“Are you married, Amanda?”
“No, I live alo… ,” I began, but cut my sentence short, thinking I might be revealing too much information. “It’s just me and my big German Shepherd, Bosart.” I emphasized the word “big”, and for good measure added, “the name means ‘vicious’ in German.”
“Never much cared for dogs,” he claimed. “Had one bite me one night while I was…um…working.”
“What kind of work do you do that keeps you up at night?” I asked, not really sure I wanted an answer.
“Oh, just this and that.” he said, then after a long pause, “maybe I can show you.”
A truly chilling realization came over me, and I began to fidget. I guess he noticed because he then asked, “Something the matter?”
“Uh, no, not at all,” but I’m sure he guessed that wasn’t true.

We drove again in silence for what seemed an eternity. I wanted nothing more than for him to pull over and stop. His headlights cut a swath with the only light on the road. The moon had disappeared and the stars stayed hidden behind a layer of clouds. It was an eerie darkness made all the darker by the sinister air of my traveling companion. I looked out the window into the impenetrable night. Not a hint of another human being or civilization. Just the vast blackness of eternal emptiness.

“Nothing around here for miles,” Andy suddenly said as if reading my mind. “Yeah, that Cupid guy has the right area. I bet he could kill anyone out here and no one would ever hear a thing.”
I knew what I wanted to do; what I had to do.
“Please pull over,” I said, “I don’t want to be any more trouble and I can walk from here.”
“Believe me, it’s no trouble,” he replied and kept driving. “It’s not much further.”

After a few more minutes of uncomfortable silence, Andy suddenly remarked, “Did you hear that?”
I heard nothing and told him so.
“Now I definitely heard something,” he said, “sounds like the tire is getting low or something. I better pull over take a look.”
Andy finally stopped the car, then turned to me and said, “Now don’t go anywhere. This will be over in a minute.” He got out and opened the trunk. I couldn’t see him but I heard him rummaging.
This was my opportunity, I thought. I yanked open the door, grabbed my satchel, and jumped out. I ran as well as I could in my heels, then lay down in the tall grass and breathlessly waited for him. I was terrified when I saw a flashlight gleaming from the roadway, searching for me. My heart pounded. What if he sees me? What if he has a gun? I wanted to run; I wanted to stay. My mind raced, but I knew I must keep absolutely still.
“Amanda,” Andy called, “Come out, Amanda, I’m not going to hurt you.” The beam of light came closer and closer, shining just above my head like a predator searching for prey.
When the beam was only a few feet away, I saw another light suddenly appear on the roadway. A passing motorist pulled up and asked if Andy needed help.
“No,” he shouted back. Then he added, “just looking for a lost dog.”
“You want some help?” the stranger offered.
“No thanks. I guess she’s not here.” The other motorist politely remained and waited for Andy to return to his car. He started the engine, and drove away as did the other motorist.

I lay in the grass for a moment until his taillights disappeared. I was truly disappointed. The knife I’d taken from my satchel was ready and only waited for Andy to come a little closer. I was afraid he’d see me with that flashlight and realize what I intended to do. Just think, Andy would’ve made my number twelve. Cupid strikes again, an even dozen. I put the knife back in my satchel and was resigned to wait for number twelve a little longer. As I said, it was just rotten luck.

Credit: Kenneth Bourell

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Together Forever

Late one autumn evening, when the chill of the bitter Long Island air bit my lungs and skin through all the layers my mother forced me to wear, my girlfriend and I made the long walk through our densely forested neighborhood to go watch the sunset at the park. I let my mind wander to the lighting on the frozen plants by the roadside and the memories of a lost summer that seemed fossilized inside them. We trudged on, breaking leaves underfoot. We watched as the leaves danced along the sidewalk and as the sun set we watched our shadows grow larger, intertwining as we held hands. I felt the warmth of her heart just by the touch of her hand. We found a bench and sat down. I looked into her sunken grey eyes, like reflections from the aspect of an angel. I put my hand on her soft blushed cheeks and kissed her passionately. Our eyes locked and I knew we would be together forever, our love was eternal. Resting her head on my shoulder, we watched as the sun went down and the sky filled with glorious colors. Once the colors began to fade we began to see the beautiful bright stars in the night sky. As we were about to leave we saw a shooting star. It was one of the most amazing things I have ever seen.

“Nick, did you just see that? We have to make a wish!” exclaimed Brooke as she jumped into Nicks arms.

Holding her tight, we closed our eyes and both whispered softly, “I wish we would be together forever.”

We began to walk back to my house, taking a shortcut down a long, winding, path with lights so dim, we could barely see what lie ahead. In the distance, we could hardly make out the black isolated figure. As we picked up the pace, it came into view that the black figure was an abandoned house. As we walked by, there was a gust of wind which scattered the leaves around us. As I continued to walk, I noticed Brooke was not by my side, my heart dropped but as I turn around I see her staring at the house.

Looking at me, Brooke said, “Did you see that shadow in the window!” she runs over and grabs onto me as if she saw a ghost. Her voice was shaky and the color in her face has depleted. “There was a shadow in the window and the shades closed by themselves.”

“Brooke nobody lives there, it’s an abandoned house. Come on it’s getting late, we need to go back to my house, and we will come back and check it out tomorrow.”

At this point the path was pitch black. Feeling unsure, Brooke latched onto my arm as I used my phone flashlight to guide us back home. As we were walking, we couldn’t help but feel something’s presence behind us, however every time we turned around, all we could see was the dark eerie house. Suddenly, something dashed across the path and disappeared into the dark night. Brooke screamed in terror and we stood in shock. I grabbed her arm and I started running with her down the path. Once we reached the main road, we felt safe and calmed ourselves down. We walked back to my house and I told her to stay for the night. Once we were home we got ready for bed and we watched a T.V until we drifted off to sleep. That morning I woke up from a terrible nightmare. Feeling I had to get it off my chest, I woke Brooke and explained to her what I had dreamed about.

“In my dream we were at that abandoned house we found last night and we went inside to look around and the door locked behind us. This man and what seemed to be his family, wouldn’t let us out and they chased us around. We ran into the basement seeking safety, but instead found ourselves trapped in a cellar with dead bodies in it. There was no place to hide and once the man cornered us, he grabbed my arm and I jolted up from my dream.”

Brookes face dropped and she started to cry. “Nick, I… I… I had the exact same dream.” She said in a frightened tone.

It was then that we decided to get up and go and venture off to the abandoned house. We went downstairs and I made Brooke pancakes as she packed a backpack for our journey with snacks, water and a flashlight. We went out the backdoor of my house and began to make our way back to the abandoned house. As we entered the forest, we walked cautiously. A man walked past us out of nowhere. The side of his head was badly wounded, dripping blood down his colorless face. His eyes were as empty as his soul. We walked by and did not want to look, shaken because we didn’t hear him and he came out of nowhere. As we followed the path the man walked by once again but this time he looked at us. Brooke and I swallowed hard but moved along as if we saw nothing. For a third time the man walked by once again but was covered in more blood than the first two times. We started to sprint. Arriving at the house we see the man that walked by us three times in the window. A shiver goes down our spine. The house is as black as coal and at this point we feel as if we cannot go any further. But we feel as if we have to go inside. As we walk up to the house, we find the door wide open and step inside. The house smelled like a rotting corpse. The door slammed behind us and Brooke exclaimed,

“This is just like the dream, we are going to die!”

Knowing what was to come next, we ran up the stairs instead of the basement where we knew we couldn’t escape. We ran to the back of the hallway and entered the last room on the right hoping we could hide there till we find a way to escape. As we opened the door, everything in the room had writing all over it which said, “Those who stay together, die together,” and “Give us your soul.” As were about to leave the room, we heard the voices of children surrounding us saying, “Your wish has come true. You will now be together forever,” and “You will never escape.” Running as fast as a bolt of lightning, we find ourselves in another room. Sitting in the corner, a little girl in a bloody dress rocked back and forth singing “together forever,” over and over and getting louder and louder till she begins to scream it. I turn around about to run for my life and I notice Brooke is gone. Trembling, I begin to scream her name. Turning around, I find myself face to face with the man we seen in the window. I freeze in horror as the lights go out and I feel a blow to my head. I fell to the floor, dazed. Something smashed against my jaw, then my nose, crushing it into my face. I gasped for air and seen the man holding Brooke by her beautiful brown hair and yanking her head backwards as she cried in agony.

“Let her go,” I pleaded, “take me instead.”

In a panic, I gather enough strength to lift myself from the ground and tackle the man. Brooke is now free from his meaty hands and begins to stomp on his face. Before we know it, the lights come back on and he is gone. Brooke takes her scarf and holds it against my shattered nose to stop the bleeding as we try to find a way to escape before the man returns. We ran around the corner of the hallway and end up back at the front door. The lights flicker, and before we have time to open the door, it has disappeared and we are now in the basement. Looking over to the left, we see rows of coffins. To our right, there are coffins with silver name tags labeled “Nick and Brooke.” Brooke drops to her knees and sobs. I pick her up, look her in her eyes, and hold her tight, as if this were to be the last time I ever got to hold her. We shared our last kiss and I grabbed her hand, ready to fight whatever we would come into contact with. We heard the creak of the basement door open and heard the man’s heavy footsteps and he slowly walked down the stairs.

Remembering the house was making us appear in random places, I told Brooke that this house plays mind games and that there is a way out. Looking at a wall that didn’t look correct, I told her to take my arm and run directly into it. As fast and we could, we ran towards the wall and went through it landing back in front of the front door. We now see that people get lost since the house and spirits in it play mind games and instead of running to the front door, we ran into the back door and fell outside into the dirt. In shock that we escaped, we sprinted away back to the path where we came from and looked back at the house and we saw the man and his family looking out the window. Without looking back we ran to my house in a hurry to seek help.

Bolting through the front door, my parents become worried once they see the blood and bruises on my face. We tell my parents what happened and they immediately called the police. The police rushed to the scene to investigate what had happened and who lived in the house. With the police following behind our car, we pull over and show them the path which leads to the house. As we begin walking there, we notice something is wrong. We stop in our tracks and freeze in horror. I feel as if I am going to throw up. The abandoned house was gone. The police angrily call off the investigation and tell us to stop making up stories and starting trouble. There was nothing left to say. We looked all around and tried to explain that it wasn’t made up, but it was worthless. Heading back to their cars, they left the scene. Standing there in complete shock, Brooke and I turn to each other in disbelief. Before walking back to the car, we decide to go look one last time for any evidence. As we walked back to the car, Brooke kicked something shiny. We look down and pick up the shiny objects. Our hearts sank and tears formed in our eyes. The shiny objects we picked up were two silver name tags inscribed with the names “Nick and Brooke.”

Credit: Nick Cimino
Credit Link: https://www.instagram.com/nickcimino/?hl=en

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Marfa

The summer of my fourteenth year found me in Marfa Texas, home of the famous Marfa ghost lights. But my story has nothing to do with the lights. It was a time that seemed like another life ago. Gasoline was thirty-one cents a gallon and stamps were a nickel. President Johnson was sending troops to Vietnam, but all of that was a world away. I was more concerned with whiling away the lazy summer hours and spending time with my friends. Especially my best friend, Jackie.

Everyone thought Jackie was a little weird. But he was a natural born leader, and it was easy to follow his lead whether the result was praise or punishment. Jackie lived alone with his mother in a modest wooden house in the Dallas suburbs. His father had been an FBI agent, and had passed away several years before I met my friend. The result of cancer, not a bad guy’s bullet. Jackie used to smuggle photographs from his father’s files to share with us kids. The photos were autopsy shots of criminals who were taken down by agents in the line of duty. The gross-out factor was really high, and Jackie enjoyed sharing the clandestine photos, just for the reaction.

Both of us were heavily involved in the Boy Scouts although in different troops. The preceding spring, Jackie gave me the exciting news that his Boy Scout troop was going to take a trip to Mexico. This was something I couldn’t miss out on. With my parents’ permission, I switched troops and joined Jackie’s. Anticipation ran high. Neither of us had been out of the country before and we were excited to see what it might be like. Mexico was more than I dreamed. We took a train through the Copper Canyon and watched monkeys scamper through the trees. We visited Poncho Villa’s house and even spoke with his widow. It was a glorious vacation but we were all relieved when we crossed the border back into Texas.

The sun was fading like the end of an Old West movie when we finally rolled into Marfa. The Scout leaders had selected a plain but comfortable motel to spend the night. Four of us boys shared a single room. The bed barely slept three, and I was odd man out, but the motel furnished a folding cot for me, and we all climbed into our respective beds. We were left unsupervised, but the scoutmasters were in an adjoining room, divided only by a single common door. None of us were particularly tired and chatted, made jokes, and talked to waste away the evening hours. Our voices competed with the hum of a window air conditioner, and grew louder as the hours passed. About 10 o’clock the room door swung open and a scoutmaster turn on the light.
“You guys need to knock off the chatter and get some sleep”, he ordered. “I don’t want to hear another peep out of you.” The room immediately fell silent. We knew he meant it. We were never sure exactly what he had in mind for punishment, but none of us wanted to find out.
He turned out the light, left the room, and once again the place fell silent except for the monotonous hum of the air conditioner. But boys being boys, even the stern warning could not dissuade a joke, a laugh, or another story. It wasn’t long before the noise level had risen once more. I was terrified that the scoutmaster would reenter the room and so I pulled the covers over my head and tried to get to sleep.
But it was pointless.
As I rolled over in a futile effort to get comfortable, I noticed a shadow in the corner of the room. It was the silhouette of a man about six feet tall. I could only make out a hazy outline in the night-time shadows, but it seemed as though the man was standing with arms to the side, gazing at the other boys. The scoutmaster had returned, I thought. Somehow he’d snuck back into the room and was watching the commotion, ready to pounce. I determined that at least I would not get in trouble and rolled over once more to try and sleep. Suddenly the room light came on. Jackie was sitting on the edge of his bed, trembling and with his head hung down. The scoutmaster I saw in the corner was gone.
“What’s the matter?, I asked. It took Jackie a moment to compose himself.
“I saw my father in the corner over there”. He pointed to the corner where I had seen the shadow. We all knew about his father and an involuntary shiver went up my spine.
“Jackie,” I said, “I know you won’t believe it, but I saw it too.”
The other boys gasped, and one of the younger ones began to cry. None of us dared to turn out the lights again.

Many years have passed now. Kids have come and gone, and that long-ago era is a bygone dream. But on warm, dark summer nights my mind still wanders back to the night in Marfa when Jackie saw his father… and I saw him too.

Credit: Kenneth Bourell

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Dogwoods Grow In The Shade

I’ve been considering this meeting for a long time. For weeks I debated even allowing it to take place. After that, I pondered the direction I would allow it to take. You see, it has been decades since I’ve allowed myself to make a decision without meticulous calculation. Emotions outside of the realm of serving myself have always been a foreign notion to me, but I learned how to emulate them early on, which obviously contributed to my successes.

Before I carry on, I should mention that the conclusions I reached in regards to this interview included the resigning of my personifying façade. After all, my friend, I have been incarcerated and I am hours from leaving this plane- I think I’ve earned the chance to learn what vulnerability feels like. But I digress.

I’ll spare you most of the early life biography, it really isn’t that captivating. It unfolds as you would expect any young psychopath’s. I found myself able to quickly analyze information at a tender age, but struggled with things as simple as a facial expression. I had almost unstoppable urges to kill animals and start fires, sometimes simultaneously. I wet the bed past the age that it was acceptable. Yes, the trifecta that would make any psychiatrist balk. My parents, astoundingly, did a sufficient job at keeping my atrocities a secret. My country-bumpkin instructors wrote my cold behavior off as a phase that I would eventually grow out of. Really, I was fortunate in that my childhood was less trying compared to others with my condition.

Anyhow, not being forced to contend with quack pediatric psychologists allowed my teenage curiosities to take hold. It was obvious that I wasn’t like everyone else. I started there, researching my own intellectuality, and consequently further developing my niche for analytics, cause and effect. I found this convenient, as my advanced ability to foresee consequences kept my hormonally driven desires from converting me into a meandering Neanderthal. My cold demeanor put off most female prospects, so I often considered simply taking what I wanted, but as I mentioned, consequences forbade my desire for conquest. I’ll pause a moment while you cope with the fact that I am not a repressed homosexual.

Moving on, there came a day in the late 1970s, just before I entered college, that I found the maiming of animals no longer satisfied. Fittingly, I began to consider the prospect of performing my atrocities on humans. You may find it odd that I never shrank from the concept. I simply realized that to do so would require extensive preparation if I was to remain a free man.

The university allowed me time to construct my feigned humanity. While I double majored in psychology and chemistry, I attended theater, constantly comparing the thespians’ performances to the reviews in the papers, deciphering which expressions were convincing and so on. I took human anatomy as an elective, devouring information so efficiently that I impressed many of my professors.

I will conclude this portion with the revelation that my first murder came in my third year of undergraduate. I simply could not bottle my thirst for blood any longer. Needless to say, it was sloppy and rudimentary, but I improved rapidly via repetition and revision. Eventually, and after a few close calls, I began to savor the juncture at which my victims’ expiration became imminent, their pleading and desperation giving me further insight into the spectrum of despair, hopelessness, and regret.

Most of what I did between the years of 1978 and 1982 is now a matter of public record. I avoided the senseless, unraveling spiral that you see out of control criminals initiate in film. I got out of the scientific field and into the real estate business, as sitting in a lab all day wasn’t conducive to meeting potential victims. I found some entertainment value in predicting the markets. Little did I know how wonderful this decision would be. I quickly became bored with simply murdering one person at a time. I wanted to broaden my horizons, so to speak, but I was a little short in regards to abstract creativity. But then came the Tylenol incident, and it was a revelation.

Anyone familiar with pharmaceuticals knows that tamper resistant packaging was a direct result of a still anonymous individual who placed cyanide randomly in Tylenol packets in 1982. Seven people met their demise. But you know that already. My first reaction was one of jealousy, knowing that I could never be so original. So, I decided I would do it better.

By the time I had finalized my plan, cameras in pharmacies were already on the rise. The aforementioned packaging was becoming more and more prominent. But I was not discouraged. I had already prepared for the need to frame some poor schmuk. That person turned out to be Stella Nickell.

I learned from the public data on her previous convictions that she was a prime candidate for a framing. Through observation, I learned that her relationship with her husband was so rocky that if I should make him a victim, she would certainly be a suspect. All it took was a trace of algaecide from her aquarium and some strategic planting of what I must say was some exquisitely produced cyanide in a few Excedrin bottles. In the end, I didn’t get to my casualty goal of five, but two was still better than what I had achieved to that point.

I moved to a different area of the country and let my work come to fruition for the next few years in court. Nickell went to prison for ninety years for something she hadn’t done but wished she had. Had I been capable of guilt, I predict I would have felt minimal amounts. I began planning my next masterpiece in 1984, stemming my desires with the simpler “one at a time” method at which I had become so proficient.

An early fascination of mine was the Zodiac killer. Everyone knows the story, so I’ll spare you the recount. I had spent what little leisure time I had in late college studying his letters, and although they confounded me, I viewed this less as a failure and more so as an homage. He or she was famous, but anonymous- credits without the consequences- my highest aspiration.

Heriberto Seda was the next subject of my discrete visitation. He was an interesting fellow, yet troubled, and once again he had various qualities that made him an easy scapegoat. He shared my fascination with the Zodiac killer, and also like me, had aspired to mimic him. Yet, he was embarrassingly sloppy, and therefore the circumstances were easy to manipulate. I watched from afar as he failed to murder two victims, and then I proceeded to kill three in his name as he continued to allow other victims to live.

I would venture to say that his setup was an easier task than Nickell’s. I wrote two anonymous letters with a similar style to the original Zodiac’s, which to my dismay were initially dismissed as a hoax, but eventually Seda was caught in 1996, and his desire for notoriety was so that he even confessed to the three murders I had committed. I was elated.

Let’s take a break, shall we? Surely you are curious as to what happened to my victims interspersed between my more infamous bloodletting. Well, I eventually lost count. But at one point in the late nineties I was averaging two a month. You see, real estate had become such a profitable venture for me that it consumed too much of my time for me to effectively design anything more grandiose than a bathtub dissection or heparin induced exsanguination.

I have professed already that I lack the necessary cortex for any variety of respectable creativity. What little expression I did attempt came in the form of disposal. I put various new twists on dismemberment, scattering parts by mail from multiple postal locations-you remember the panic- and disintegrating them with various concoctions. I buried people with lye, and incinerated them slowly while alive. I once allowed myself to lose control and removed someone’s head by repeatedly smashing them with a car door, the same vehicle they found in that pond in Boone, North Carolina.

Yes, I’m clearly a monster. But to maintain any semblance of what I consider happiness I had to constantly become more extravagant. Much like one’s taste in pornography, I had to constantly become more grotesque to achieve the desired effect.

Meanwhile, I became a multi-millionaire. I didn’t truly care, murder doesn’t cost much at its base, but my access to the superfluous allowed me to constantly experiment with more elaborate methods. There’s not many things on earth that are more enjoyable than disposing of someone on your yacht and then enjoying a ten thousand dollar bottle of red in the middle of the Atlantic.

Again, I will digress. In the early 2000s, I found myself idolizing Jack the Ripper. I found myself fancying our similarities- anonymous, multiple victims, knowledgeable in anatomy. I turned control of the day-to-day realty over to an associate who had been kissing my ass for a decade in order to permit myself time to plan. By 2008, I was ready.

Derek Brown was yet another idolizer, much like the aforementioned Seda. Regrettably, he had previous convictions regarding rape and had been a suspect in another murder. What’s more, he lived in the Whitechapel area, where prostitution was still prominent. I chose two women, and kept them sedated in one of my estate’s basements for several days while I ascertained access to Brown’s apartment.

I waited for him to depart alone, preventing an alibi, and brought both women into his bathroom. I injected them both with a compound similar to midazolam as I returned to the car I had stolen for my tools. I had, over time, purchased a set of what would have been surgical tools in the 19th century- for once I decided to be authentic. I proceeded to dismember both women, being as incautious as possible with their fluids, and then spent some time in the apartment as if I lived there. Then I left without my tools or tidying up.

It didn’t take long for the local authorities to interview Brown and search his apartment. In his panic upon discovering that his flat had been used for something grisly, he elected to cut out the carpet and have the walls repainted. Obviously, this was a mistake.

As Brown became a convicted murderer, I came upon a seminal moment. I never thought it could happen, but serial killing was, well… monotonous. I actually tried giving it up for a few months. Ha. During my self-prescribed abstinence, I came upon a second realization- given the fact I hadn’t even been suspected of wrong-doing for a quarter century, I deemed it safe to adopt the belief that in most instances, the illusion of security was present as a deterrent, but little beyond.

I decided in 2012 that domestic terrorism would likely satiate my desire for something more. The concept seemed simple enough- slip something into a large gathering of some variety. A sporting event would suffice, as there were always hired guards, but usually nothing to intimidate the more dedicated. Even if I were exposed, I could brutalize my way in and be gone just as the explosion destroyed any evidence of my being there. I could easily alter my appearance for any cameras and my extensive resume in the chemical field only added confidence.

My downfall, in the end, was my lack of respect for the upper levels of federal law enforcement. The locals were of no consequence, but the digital age has infiltrated all aspects of discretion. Despite my utilization of several reliable back channels, two of my acquisitions were flagged by the CIA. Three days before my plan came to fruition, a team of operatives entered one of my residences in Aspen and apprehended me.

Thus my reign as the world’s most sophisticated savage came to an end. Surely you can appreciate my run- not a soul knew that I was an active serial killer for over thirty years. The trial only revealed half of what I had done, and it was more than enough to imprison me here. Yet, my desire to kill persisted, and I have no intention of opposing it.

Speaking of resistance, did you notice that the guards have been gone for some time? Of course not, you are under the impression that I adore the sound of my own voice, and I am well aware of how numbingly captivating my story is, especially to a sensationalizing muck -rake like you. Is it a surprise that my financial success brings me considerable sway with the common man? As I mentioned, I have no intention of giving up my cause. After all, I’ve never killed anyone on national television before.

Credit: Pen_Phantom13

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Child’s Play

It was thundering and raining hard outside my bedroom window while both my dads were out on one of their date nights.

My older brothers, Hector and Curtis, were suppose to be looking after me, but they went down the street to some big party instead. They insisted they would only be gone for a little while, and would even be back before I knew it, but it’s been four hours and I haven’t heard from them since. I’m 8 years old now and will be turning 9 in a month, so being home alone was nothing in my opinion. All I had to do was follow a few rules they left for me to keep myself from getting hurt:

The first rule was to always have a phone nearby encase of an emergency, like if I get hurt and fall down the stairs or something, I think. The second was to lock all the doors and windows so nobody can get in. Curtis took care of all that before he left. The third rule was to never answer the door to strangers. Papa added that rule not to long ago and even scolded me one time for getting the door for the mailman. I still don’t know why Mr. Johnny was considered a stranger though, we would see him almost every day.

Anyways, it was 11 o’clock at night and I still couldn’t seem to fall asleep, the rain constantly banging against the window as bolts of lightning lit up the room. Yesterday I watched a horror movie with Curtis that was much similar to the weather outside. In the film, a man and women hid from a horrible monster that wondered around a huge mansion they were trapped in. They both escaped, and the beast was killed, but it was still scary from the start, and it was a little difficult to forget. I’ve been warned never to watch scary stuff like that, but he told me that it was actually pretty cheesy and would be really funny to watch.

I should really stop believing everything my brothers say…

I remember clutching onto my favorite stuffed bunny Charlie and closing my eyes, hoping someone would come home soon. What was taking everyone so long anyways? Was the party even over yet? How long did those things usually last anyways? I hoped at least one of them isn’t flat out drunk again or asleep on some old couch like before. The last time something like that happened no one was aloud to leave the house for a few days without supervision.

Another loud crash of thunder came from outside and I quickly fled under the covers. This was getting stupid. Nine year old’s shouldn’t be scared by a little bit of thunder!

“Charlie.” I started, trying to sound brave for his sake. “Everything’s gonna be fine, I promise. When dad gets home he’ll turn the lights back on, and papa will read us a story. He’ll even make us a nice breakfast tomorrow for being really good.” Ever since the power went out Charlies been very scared, he came under the covers with me because he was to afraid to go downstairs and try to turn the lights back on himself. I don’t blame him though, he’s never been to fond of the dark.

After a while the grandfather clock in the hall finally chimed at midnight and nobody came through the door. I started to panic. I took a peek out from under the covers to try and listen for the sound of dad’s loud footsteps, but could only here the stupid rain. Charlie began to tremble and asked me why we were still by ourselves.

“I don’t know. Maybe the parties just lasting a little bit longer than it should. Besides, this isn’t the first time it’s happened. I’ll punish them for coming home late by telling dad they left us alone.” I slowly lifted the covers off and dangled my feet over the side of the bed. “I-I’ll go and turn the lights on myself.”

Charlie felt bad that I was going to do this alone and decided to come with me. It was his wish to turn the lights back on anyways, so it was kinda fair either way.

I carried him with me and flicked on the light switch. Nothing happened. I tired a few more times, but no progress was made from that either. Charlie suggested we try the bathroom light instead and quickly guided me through the dark hallway.

When we got there the outcome was the same, nothing happened, and the lightning just seemed to get worse. Another loud bang came from outside followed by a spark of light bursting through the window, startling the both of us. I hid in the bathtub and closed the curtain to keep us safe. Charlie held on tight to me and started to cry, another clap of thunder coming down. I’ve never been so tired…

Just as I thought about sleeping in the tub a soft and soothing voice echoed through out the small bathroom, it spoke out to us in such a kind and gentle tone. Charlie immediately stopped crying. “Hey now, there’s nothing to be afraid of. Come on out.” It told us.

I froze.

Who was that?

“If you want, I can help you turn the lights back on. There’s no need to do this alone.”

Charlie whispered and asked me who this was, I couldn’t think of an answer. My voice was dry and cracked as I spoke. “Who-” I pushed down the lump in my throat. “Who is this?”

The stranger behind the shower curtain continued, I could hear the smile in it’s voice. “Something is wrong with the small window upstairs in the attic. It’s unlocked and rain is leaking inside.”

I looked at Charlie who just stared at me. Unlocked? “My brother closed and locked all the windows before he left.”

“Is that so?” It questions, I flinched. “Then why is it open?”

“It can’t be open.” The words left my mouth in a whisper, I held on to Charlie tighter.

“Oh, but it is. That’s why I’m here to help. If you listen to me carefully, I assure you that you’ll be safe and out of this mess in no time. Can you trust me?”

“B-but I don’t even know who you are.”

It sighed. “Well, I don’t mind answering some of the questions you have, but I really should be the least of your concern. Right now, your in serious danger.”

“Danger? Why would we be-” I stopped as Charlie started to tremble again. He asked me if someone could have broken the window on purpose. The attic was on the third floor, and was pretty high up, so if someone were wanting to come in and break it it would be pretty difficult to do. Either way, if that were the case… “Is someone else in the house?” I asked bluntly, my voice shaken. The voice hummed in agreement.

“Not quite, he’s still trying to find a way in. You don’t want this really bad man to come in and find you, do you?”

I swallowed, my breathing started to grow heavy. “…Wha- The bad man?”

“He’s going to find the open window soon and when he does~.”

Another stroke of lightning flashed through the bathroom window, Charlie squeaked. “Ok-ok! What do I do?”

“First you need to get out of the tub. Don’t worry your fine for now.”

I hesitantly pulled back the curtain and squinted through the darkness, only moonlight reflecting off the mirror over the sink. I couldn’t find anyone in the bathroom. Charlie pleaded that we close it again and just stay here for the night, and to be honest, the idea really didn’t sound so bad. If I just locked the door and stayed quiet-

“There we go, was that so hard?” The voice said. I looked around again and still saw no one.

“Were are you?” I asked.

“Over here. Look in the mirror.”

My reflection surprised me as I got up to look; dark brown hair in knots and sticking out in every way possible while eyes red and swollen. I looked a little similar to that monster in the horror movie. Charlie cringed at the site.

“I-I don’t see anything.” I told him.

The voice chuckled. “Look closer.”

I took a step forward and leaned in, spotting the small scratch I received last week after falling on the pavement while playing hide and seek with my friend Mavis.

I jumped when my reflection instantly vanished and was replaced with a new tall, slender black figure staring back at me, it’s eyes glowing bright red. I gasped and took a step back, a scream held back by terror.

The figure apologized in it’s gentle tone. “I’m sorry to startle you like this, but we have no time to waste. Please do as I say and quickly move upstairs to lock the window, I’ll tell you then what to do next.” He looked like he was waiting for me to move and leave right away, but I hadn’t. He let out another sigh. “Miles…” he whispers, a warning.

“Who’s the bad man?” I ask. It couldn’t be my brother’s, so maybe it’s Peter, my next door neighbor? Wait…no, it can’t be him. He’s in a wheel chair and he’s super old. Maybe it’s Ms. Carol down the block? She’s strange and always keeps her house lights off, no one ever see’s her very often either. She never seemed very nice…

The figure shook his head slowly. “Look, we don’t know him. Now let’s hurry and lock the window.” He quickly disappeared in the blink of an eye before I could ask any more questions, my self-reflection back in place.

I jumped seeing that he somehow managed to open up the bathroom door, creaking as it slid across the floor. I held Charlie closer to me. I wanted to comfort him, but nothing I said would really do anything, I knew that as I subconsciously made my way to the exit with shaky hands.

I slipped out and into the hall without a sound and quietly shut the door behind me. Charlie started to cry again, begging me to go back to my room and hide under the covers like before where it was safer. He told me the bad man wouldn’t be able to get me in there as long as he couldn’t see us. My room was also close by as it was just down the hallway and no were near the attic, the basement, or even the front door; so he did have a good point. Maybe if I just-

“What are you doing?” The dark figured man asked. He was inside a small mirror mounted on the wall in the hallway, glaring down at me. I gasped.

“H-how did you get there so fast!?”

“Don’t go back to your room, that’s the very first place he’ll go if he gets in.”

My eyes widened. “What do you mean? I-is he after me?!”

The figure hesitated, grunting to himself in a deeper, more scary tone before giving a small nod. I bit my lip and looked around frantically. Where do I go?! Does he wanna hurt Charlie too!? What are we going to do?!

“Go to the attic, please. I already lowered the stairwell for you to climb up so now all you have to do is shut the window.”

“But,” I swallowed. “who is this man!?”

“Miles, listen! I’m trying to help you! If you keep arguing with me this game won’t end very well, for you and for Charlie. I’ll explain everything once this is all over so just-” A loud thud came from upstairs, the sound of shattered glass interrupting the figure’s speech. He looked up and cursed under his breath. “Damn, we’re too late.”

My throat went very dry.

Oh, no…

“Wait, what? H-he’s here!? He’s in the house?!” Charlie tried to run back to my room but I refused to let him go, practically gluing him to my chest. What do I do now!?

The figure vanished again as the noise upstairs started to get louder. I started to call out for him to come back but was quickly silenced with the familiar sound of the attic stairwell slamming shut; he came back no later than when he had left.

“Alright, plan B.” He spoke calmly. I wanted to cry, but that wouldn’t help Charlie at all. He was much more terrified than I was, and if he had the strength not to cry, than I did to. I didn’t know what was going on or who this guy was, assuming he was a he at all, but being around someone was much better than no one at this point, and he was someone.

I think.

“I’ll do whatever you say.” I told him, Charlie was even surprised by my answer, he didn’t seem to fond of the mysterious man.

The figure smiled, or something close to it since I really couldn’t see his face. “Great. Let’s now go to the kitchen and try to find a sharp tool, one that’s big.”

“Y-you mean like a knife?”

The figure nodded. “Yes, exactly.” The noise in the attic came back as the bad man seemingly started to bang on the closed stairwell. I cringed in fear. “Let’s go now.”

He vanished once more as I quickly ran out of the hallway and through the living room, tripping once along the way before making it into the kitchen. I looked over on top of the mantle under a few cabinets and spotted the sharp cooking knife my dad refuses to let anyone touch. He used it constantly while making meals for us every day and really liked to keep it in a safe place where no one could find it. So why was it lying out here?

Charlie reminded me of the banging going on in the attic and asked me to hurry. I stood on my toes and grabbed the knife on it’s sharp end, fumbling it in my hands a little before quickly turning it around to grip the handle. Dad is never going to forgive me for this, but all that was on my mind now was to escape.

I looked at the tool and examined it, holding it up to hopefully see it better through the darkness. “What do I do with this?” I whispered, Charlie didn’t know how to answer that either.

“Take this and run as fast as you can down into the attic.” Spoke the figure. “Now, I know it’s dark down there and you have bad dreams about it, but again, you’re going to have to trust me on this if you don’t want to get hurt.”

The small reflection in the knife was cloaked in darkness. Neither the figures face or any other part of its body could be seen at all, but somehow it was inside it, and I wasn’t going to question him about that now.

I made a run for it again and dashed my way back down the hall into my parents room. I’ve been in here plenty of times, so finding a hiding spot would be very easy to accomplish. Maybe this place would be fine until someone got home.

“What are you doing now?” The figure spoke again through the sharp knife in my hand. I froze and looked into its reflection.

“I-I thought…I thought that maybe in here-”

“Miles, I honestly am trying to help you right now! The basement is much safer than in here, why aren’t you listening to me!?”

Charlie asked me to lock the door and get under the bed before the bad man came, the dark figure’s words meaning nothing to him.

I licked my dry lips. “But I don’t wanna go down there! It’s hard enough for me to see right now, so what makes it any different down in the basement!?”

“In the basement your father has a spare key to the shed outback, the shed you tried to break into with Mavis last week, with that you can go inside and lock yourself in until both your dad’s get home. It won’t be long now until they find you but we need you alive until then. Understand now?”

Charlie stared at me in disbelief.

“How do you know about my dad’s? How do you even know I tried to enter the shed last week?”

“Miles! Listen!” The voice shifted to the large mirror on my papa’s dresser, forcing me to turn around. Despite not having a face it wasn’t hard to figure how angry it felt. “He’s almost free from the attic so just-”

A loud bang came from down the hall silencing the both of us, everything instantly going quiet. Charlie looked over to the open doorway and slowly started to panic when a large pair of heavy footsteps echoed throughout the house. They weren’t my dad’s footsteps.

I could feel tears stain my eyes as I froze in fear, my heart beating loud enough for anyone to hear.

The figure in the mirror cursed under his breath before the door in front of me slammed shut and locked all of us in. The footsteps increased drastically and came closer towards me and Charlie. My body shook and I found it extremely hard to move, Charlies cry’s falling on deaf ears.

The closet door swung open and a dark pair of hands reached out from within, pulling me inside with a strong tug. Before I could scream it covered my mouth and a soft voice shushed me from the inside. I froze in terror.

“Just relax…” Spoke the figure, in its calm and soft tone, much different then he sounded a few seconds earlier. His hands tightened around my mouth as my breathing intensified. “Don’t. move.” he whispered again.

The lock door to the bedroom started to shake as the bad man tried to turn the handle, vigorous pounding soon followed afterwards. The thunder storm outside made the situation all the more terrifying. If I remembered correctly a scene like this happened before in that horror movie, and it didn’t end in a good way at all.

The bad man pounded against the door a few more times before I could finally hear it give in, a low chuckle filling the silent void around us. I looked down to pull Charlie to see if he was alright-

…Wait

I frantically looked around, the sudden absence of soft fur in my hands making me very nervous. Charlie! I probably dropped him when the mysterious voice pulled me in here! He was in Danger! I tried to squirm out of it’s grasp but it only tightened it’s grip. I tried to bite it, kick it, and even lick it’s hand but I couldn’t move no matter how hard I tried. As if it were reading my mind I could hear a small voice ring through out my head saying, “Stop it! He’ll find you! Quiet down now!” but I didn’t listen, and continued to fight for my friend. I couldn’t let Charlie get hurt! He was my best friend!

The door knob to the closet started to jiggle followed by a low groan. I gasped as the door finally flew open, revealing a very thin and bearded man staring back at me. He smiled, a smile I will never forget. He had a lot of missing teeth, one gold tooth somewhere in the front as he glared at me with his monstrous gaze.

He chuckled and muttered something under his breath, something to do with “waiting” and being “cute”, but before he could even take a step into the closet the door instantly slammed shut, all the hands binding me in place disappearing as I unexpectedly hit the ground.

“I’m sorry.” Was the only thing the figure said to me before a scream of terror left the bad man’s mouth.

I could hear him try to escape, but something shattered and had him screaming on the other side of the room. I held my breath, listening closely to some glass shattering somewhere near by and the sound of something hard’snap. The bad man started to gag and even gurgle on what I was assuming to be water or some other liquid, another ‘snap’ and ‘pop’ echoing through out the room as he got louder and louder. I heard my dad’s favorite lamp shatter and my papa’s TV crash to the ground somewhere in between his rampage.

A very loud ‘bang’ rang through out the room followed by thunder when the bad man finally stopped screaming. I waited inside the closet for a minute or two, the only sound now being my constant breathing and sobbing. I tried to open the door, but it remained shut. I swallowed and wiped my eyes a little. “…Hello?” I called out quietly, almost a whisper. No answer. “Mister? A-are you still there? Is the bad man gone?”

“Stay inside.” The figure finally spoke up.

I held my breath. “Is Charlie ok?! Please tell me he’s alright! Did the bad man hurt him?”

It grew quiet again for a moment. “He’s fine…”

I let out a long sigh of relief, unknowingly letting go of one of the shoes left in the closet. I was about to ask if I could see him, but the sound of police sirens outside quickly cut me off. I smiled. The police were here! They came to get rid of the bad man for us! I could now see my dad’s again!

“…I’m going to let them in.” The figure said quietly before I felt a sudden emptiness in the dark closet once again.

The front door swung open and multiple footsteps could be heard coming down the hall, a women somewhere inside screaming something to someone as a man entered my dad’s bedroom. I heard him gasp and take a step back, screaming “Holy crap!” before calling out to the other officers near by. The women screamed and I heard her footsteps run outside as she said something into what I was assuming her walky-talky.

The door to the closet swung open and a bright light came from the officer looking down at me. He muttered a curse word to himself as he took a step back in surprise. He looked a lot nicer than the bad man did. “John, there’s a kid in here!” He said aloud, a much darker skinned man near by approaching him.

“Are you serious?” The darker man say’s in disbelief, also shining his own flashlight down on me. “Get him out of here, now!” He told the other cop. “And cover his eye’s, please! Damn, what the hell happened in here!?”

The other cop nodded and bent down to pick me up, covering my eye’s as ordered. “Alright buddy, let’s go.” He told me in a kind voice before carrying me out the door. I asked for Charlie, but he only responded with “everything was going to be alright, kid.”

He took his hand out of my face after we finally got outside and I spotted my papa speaking to officer’s near by, my dad right beside him. The officer who held me called out to the both of them and waved them over, my papa instantly bursting into tears and scooping me into his arms.

I looked over to my dad who let out a long sigh before saying something in German, asking me if I was alright, I only nodded in response. Another cop car pulled up and both of my brothers stepped out from the back seat, both screaming at one another until the officer inside told them to settle down. My dad turned around and glared at the both of them. I’ve never really seen him get angry, as he was a very calm and quiet man who spoke very few words, but this time he actually looked a lot scarier than I had ever seen him as he stormed over to my two brothers, screaming at them so loudly that even the officer in the car was taken by surprise. I wasn’t very sure but it sounded like he hit one of them, Curtis screaming over and over again about how sorry he was.

My papa refused to let go of me and continued to cry. “Baby, your safe now! I promise!” he would say over and over again in between sobs.

I turned my head to face him. His hair, all tidy and ready to go before he left the house, was now mangled and much similar to mine. I don’t think I’ve ever seen him so sad before, it was almost painful to look it.

After a few minutes of being held and cried over, he finally loosened his grip so the female officer could ask me a few questions; he refused to put me down. I told her about the bad man and what he looked like, I even told her what he said before he took him away. I don’t know what that thing did, but it sure did scare him off, hopefully for good.

She pulled my papa aside after convincing him to put me down and told him something that had him gagging and bending over, glancing over at me a few times and giving a weary smile as if to calm himself down.

After what seemed like ages we were all pulled aside somewhere away from the house as a family and told by my dad that we would all be staying with Mavis’ mom’s place for a few days. I didn’t really understand why but we all agreed, maybe papa was to scared to sleep in his room after what happened.

Curtis and Hector were much nicer to me when we got there, offering me water if I needed any and even letting me play a few games on their phones, which was probably a mistake seeing that I “accidentally” sent a few text messages to some of their friends. Papa let me sleep with him and daddy for the night in a guest room just across the hall from Mavis’ room. Her and her mom lived in a house much bigger than ours, so it made sense that we all were offered our own separate rooms.

The next morning Mavis and I were in her playroom playing with a few toy’s she recently got for her birthday. I really didn’t care for Barbie, but there really wasn’t much else to do, and it beat playing dress up.

“So, what actually happened?” She asked me, combing the hair of one of her many dolls.

I told her, “A bad man broke into my house last night and tried to hurt me and Charlie.”

She put the doll down and picked up another one, a male looking one. Was it’s name? Glen? Ken? “Did he look like this?” She asked me.

“No, he was a lot uglier. He had missing teeth and his pant’s were half way down. He was really gross.”

She playfully stuck out her tongue. “Ew, that is gross. Where is Charlie by the way?”

“He’s back at the house, but he’s alright, he’s with the guy who helped catch the bad man.”

“Oh yeah?” She looked at me curiously. “Who?”

“I don’t know, but he helped me out. He was all black and misty so I don’t really know what he looked like. He had red eyes though, big ones to.”

Mavis let out a small gasp and leaned closer to me. “Did he hide in mirrors?”

I smiled. “Something like that, I guess. How did you know?”

“He also helped me out when a nasty dog snuck into our house a few months ago, he even came by one time when my mom past out again from drinking to much.”

Seeing how happy she was, I actually felt a little more at ease. It made me feel better to know I didn’t just make him up or something. “Do you know his name?”

Mavis giggled. “I call him Noir, it’s french for black. You know, since he’s covered in black smoke and all, but besides that he really doesn’t have a name.”

“Do you at least know were he came from? Were he lives? I have to thank him for helping me and Charlie.”

“Actually, he lives with Ms. Carol, the scary lady. He told me she called him to protect us and a lot of other people around the block.” Suddenly she covered her mouth and gasped. “Oh no, I wasn’t suppose to say that! You can’t tell anyone I told you alright!? It’s a secret!”

I paused. “A secret? Why?”

“Because Ms. Carol keeps dangerous items in her house to keep him around, that’s why she doesn’t let anyone inside. If people found out they would take her and Noir away.” She scooted closer to me and lowered her voice. “Please promise me you’ll keep it a secret?”

I thought about it for a moment before giving a careless shrug. “Sure, I don’t see why not.”

Mavis smiled. “Thank you.” She looked over my shoulder’s and up into the mirror behind me. “He say’s he’ll promise to keep the secret Noir, so you don’t have to take him away, ok?”

I instantly turned around to see ‘Noir’ staring down at me with his dark, red eyes, only now though did they not look so friendly. He leaned forward and hung half of himself out of the fancy glass, growing close enough for me to feel the cool, misty air projecting from him. He looked at me carefully and spoke to me in a deep voice, a voice a lot less kind. “Are you sure?” He asked, and my heart stopped for a moment.

I don’t know why, but I felt very afraid. It was a feeling now very familiar to me. I swallowed and leaned away from him. “…I’m sure.” I told him, my voice slightly shaken once more.

He remained still for a moment, never taking his eyes off of me once before giving the both of us a very thin, crusty smile, something I really would’ve never thought possible. Something I never wanted to see again.

“Good.”

Credit: Ruby

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