Horror Fiction

Stay Tuned… (Pt. 3)

⚠️ATTENTION⚠️

I’m honored to introduce part 3 of the On Nightmare’s Edge series written specially for the exclusive use of my good friend Nightmare’s Edge. He owns it, and it may not be used in any way/shape/form without his express written consent! No exceptions!

Here’s the link to his narration, he does fantastic work - make sure to sub while you’re there!

Photo by Lady Nopeingham

Now…

I hope all my Night Crawlers feel as good as I do this evening! The fact we have 317 people in the chat is mind boggling enough, but if you would’ve told me we’d eventually hit 10k subs – even a year ago – I wouldn’t have believed it! That being said, I wanted to offer a quick thank you to everyone and a big welcome to our newcomers!

It was also great to see a positive response to A Story of Strife; it’s been a long time since I was that nervous about a premiere, but with encouragement from family and friends – I decided to take a chance. Over the next few months I’ll see if we can get another one up.

As for tonight, it’s time for our live Sunday classic! This week, I’ve modernized The Monkey’s Paw; it’s one of my personal favorites and it had hundreds of requests.

Would you make a wish with the paw? Let me know in the comments! 

Since everyone is eager to get started, here we g— [gunshot / shattering glass]

What the fu— [ multiple gunshots / woman’s scream / chair falls]

Amber! [footsteps running away / dirt-bike]

[dead air]


Several weeks later…

[ice clinking] For those of you who don’t use Twitter, I’m sure you’ve been wondering just what the fuck. Me too [huff]! Ohh, Life is such a bitch, ain’t she?

To put it simply, Amber is dead; I’m now a… widower. So. [sips drink]

Yep, those sounds were gunshots; cameras recorded the whole goddamn thing! The shooter was a man… tall… leather motorcycle outfit… huge, black helmet with a visor… [chugs drink]

Still ain’t caught the sum-bitch. I know what you’re thinking, and Turner remains locked away – snug as a poisonous bug – but police are combing through her correspondence to see if she’s involved. Apparently she has a following of sickos who enjoyed her work. Had I known sharing my story would get her famous… I’d never… not for a million subs, not ever!

Fucking bitch… [pours drink] oh, and if you haven’t noticed, I’m off the wagon – the wagon is fucking dead. [chugs] I don’t know when I’ll post what… but since the boys are staying with my sister, I got drunk enough to tell you what happened that night.

You’ll remember the kids were visiting my parents in Florida – thank goodness – and Amber was downstairs with a glass of wine and a movie, waiting for me to finish that stream. The bastard walked his bike down the driveway, opened fire into the front of the house, then drove away. Monsters are real… never doubt that.

Eddie was in the upstairs hallway, waiting outside my door, and judging by the empty wine glass… we think Amber was probably going for a refill when… it happened. The bullet tore through her chest, and she bled out onto our floor… right in front of me.

Everything is a blur after that; I don’t think I could remember if I tried… it’s not like I was sober for any of it. Telling the boys was the worst thing I’ll ever do in my life… that and the funeral. We all must endure planning a loved one’s funeral at some point, but I wouldn’t wish it on my worst enemy… so many tedious details… none of which matter.

I’m on a first name basis with police; Detectives Andy and Juan are running the investigation; they’re good men, but I lost hope of catching the prick early on. The dirt-bike was abandoned in a parking lot across the state line, but yielded no tangible leads. Now, it’s two weeks later, and we still have no fingerprints, DNA, or suspects.

I’d happily spend the rest of my life in jail if I could just get my hands on Turner… but that’ll never happen… bitch isn’t even in the same state anymore. I don’t care what the cops do or don’t find – she is involved! You guys see that, right?… Did I tell you that her lawyer tried to contact me on her behalf?! Said she wanted to apologize! Ha! [sips] [barks]

[spill drink] Damnit, Ed! Ugh, well… that’s it, anyway. [grumble] Now you know. I’m not sure when I’ll be back, but I’ll update on Twitter in a few days…


Three weeks later…

Hello, Night Crawlers. I know it’s early, but there are reasons for that.

  1. Thank you for your unwavering support and patience; your condolences and well-wishes have been an immeasurable comfort.
  2. It’s best to do this during school hours… for now, at least.
  3. I wanted to be sober, and while I’ve been better since the boys came home… I still can’t trust myself.
  4. I have an update on the investigation.

Lady Nopeingham and Lily Livers spoke to a few friends, and now the online sleuthing community is investigating our case! These guys are A-class and each one has solved multiple murders. Their channels are linked in the description; I hope you’ll check them out.

Honestly – at first… I was upset, and the detectives were furious. You know how I feel about strangers poking around in my personal life… plus I was certain they wouldn’t find anything… but then they did! There’s a moment when the asshole tilts his head to reveal a small neck tattoo, but we couldn’t get a decent image; Sleuth-Scope Steve could! After a few days on the internet – someone emailed a valid tip!

Casey Devon and his girlfriend saw the same weird symbol on a busboy down in Kalamazoo. They were in a dive-bar on the way home to Indiana and happened to see Steve’s video the night before. What are the odds? Finally, something went our way!

The detectives thanked Steve for his tip, but still wanted him off the case; I, on the other hand, was sold. I welcome and thank their community from the bottom of my dead, shredded heart. My renewed hope for catching this bastard has given me one more reason to wake up in the morning.

Juan and Andy ran a background check on the man; Davy Richardson is a convicted felon who has worked at the Gorilla Grill for two years. They weren’t eager to share more, but I learned he did ten years for armed robbery and sexual assault. There was no apparent correspondence between him or Page, but that doesn’t mean anything; even if they didn’t exchange letters, he still could have done it because of her – like some kind of psychotic tribute! Since his release, he hasn’t caused trouble; his parole officer considers him rehabilitated, but I really feel like this is the guy; I feel it in my bones!

I think Eddie can sense it, too; he’s been in better spirits the last few days; his depression runs as deep as our own. Each night, he crawls onto her side of the bed… often whimpering softly in his dreams… just like Daddy. We aren’t ashamed of our man-cuddles; the nights are lonely, cold, and endless. Conner is still sleeping on the cot in Aiden’s room… it’s so hard to see them suffer; they’re having terrible nightmares, but nothing seems to help.

Sorry… I have a hard time staying on point these days. The detectives interviewed Davy; he prattled off a worthless alibi, but it only took two hours to tear it apart. At that point, they secured a search warrant; unfortunately, no one was home. Like myself – you probably aren’t surprised… but the plain-clothed officers responsible for watching him were very surprised!

This is not a friendly neighborhood where civilians are eager to help police; the few who spoke only did so to further impede the investigation. That was three days ago, and no one has seen or heard from Davy since. With the help of Steve and his friends, there’s hope he’ll be spotted soon; we’re fairly certain he fled the state, but the internet’s reach is limitless! Eventually, he must show his face somewhere!

Thanks again for taking the time to listen! If you can spare a moment to check out those links – we appreciate every share; you never know when it will reach that one person who can help! Hopefully, I’ll be back to push you again soon!


Two days later…

It feels weird to record this offline… but I can’t risk Turner hearing it, and I’ve come to rely on this outlet. I’m not sure when you’ll really see this, but it’s been two days since my last stream. I hope these don’t become legitimate Lost Tapes, but if someone finds these years later – it’s absolutely because I’m dead. [sigh]

It happened… she’s out; she escaped! How the hell does someone escape a max security psych-ward in real life?! With help, for starters! It was Davy, right? It all lines up; it must be him!…

My first instinct was to ship the boys back to Florida, but what if she went there instead? I would be two-thousand miles away – completely useless!… Why don’t I go too, you ask? Thanks, great question!

What happens when she follows us, and it gets my parents killed as well? When I’m finished here, we’re going to a hotel… though, it’s only a temporary solution. The cheapest place that allows dogs is more than we can afford, but with help from family – we have the funds for a week’s stay. If they don’t find Turner before that… I don’t know.

I’ll be watching the cameras nonstop… and some police officers will be inside – hopefully making it look like we’re home. They even drove us to the hotel so both vehicles would be there… now you see why I couldn’t record live.

Why can’t this be over; why can’t we grieve in peace? Hasn’t she taken enough? What’s the price for not narrating a terrible story? I’d send her my own ear in a box if I thought it would appease her! If two boys weren’t depending on me – I would have broken long ago… sometimes, I dream of disappearing into the forest when Conner graduates from college…


Three days later…

Hopefully, this is my last non-live recording; it’s been three days since the first part. They won’t share specific details – but the detectives say they have reliable information that Turner and Richardson are laying low in San Francisco. FBI agents are in the area investigating further, and they’re confident in deeming it safe for us to return home. Please excuse me while I chuckle at their assurances… but we’re at least going to finish the week here.

I would stay the extra nights regardless, but for the record, Steve and his fellow sleuths are less than convinced of their whereabouts. They haven’t found anything new, but they’ve already done more than I can ever thank them for; I’m just grateful they’re still searching.

One thing I can rest assured of is that I won’t sleep a wink tonight. Each time the police leave – that witch bitch waltzes her Crazy back into my life and she… just fucking fucks it! Oops… I’ll need to edit that one out – geez it’s easy to get carried away when no one’s listening… I’ve never wanted to throat punch a bitch so bad… fuck. Ugh, [muttering] ok – be serious man – you can’t keep pulling this shit and expect to stay over 10k. Shake it off fuck-face; you got mouths to feed, and work-leave only goes so far.

[deep breath] If nothing happens, we’ll go home in two days. Don’t get me wrong; I hope like hell she is in California… but when have I been that lucky? Maybe if I kill myself she’d leave the boys alone… worth considering at least… I think it would cross any parent’s mind – especially after losing a spouse… but I couldn’t do that to them; they would never forgive me. They might not forgive me as it is… and I can’t blame them; it’s my fault their mother is dead.

Anyway, that’s it for now, hopefully you’ll hear this in a few days.


Four nights later…

Good evening, Night Crawlers. Has everyone had a chance to listen to the video I posted last night? On the bright side, they’re officially not Lost Tapes! If you did see it – I’m sorry for forgetting the edits, but you’ll understand why momentarily; if you didn’t see it – we went to a hotel for a week and police believe Page and her goon are in California.

Tonight, I mostly wanted to check-in with everyone to say I recorded The Monkey’s Paw – it’ll be up in a few hours; the wait is over! I also want to share a little surprise we received in the mail yesterday. So many bills and condolence cards are piled up – I was ripping stuff open without looking… then I found an old-fashioned ransom note; the letters spelled “Stay Tuned!” – I got you a picture.

Photo by Nightmare’s Edge

There was nothing else with it, and I called the police right away. They confirmed it was mailed from San Francisco which only further proved their theory… but I can’t help feeling it wouldn’t be that difficult to have a letter sent… Besides, she clearly has no issue with crossing the country on a whim! Even if she is in California, that doesn’t mean she plans to stay there. Sooner or later, she’s gonna come back, and we aren’t capable of hiding indefinitely.

She probably intends to make her little stories into a trilogy, but I guess we’ll have to Stay Tuned to find out, ha! Tell you what, though – if she does send a new story, I’m gonna read every damn word!

That’s all for now, I hope you enjoy tonight’s video; I’ll push you later!


Next week…

It’s really never going to stop is it? I know there should be a new story today, but I… I just couldn’t…

Thank you, Lady. I’m so sorry all… this ruined our collaboration; I was really excited about your story. Hopefully, we’ll have another chance to work together, but your video is amazing and I linked it in the details!

As for tonight’s stream, all I can tell you is what happened since we last spoke. The next night I woke at 3am from a horrifying nightmare and couldn’t fall back asleep. In the dream, I got out of bed to look for Eddie and heard a strange sound upstairs. It was almost like a grandfather clock or a dog running on concrete – but softer, padded taps…

The house was in complete darkness, and when the kitchen light failed to turn on – I realized we lost power. A bright flash of lightning illuminated the room for a split-second, and a torrential downpour ensued as thunder shook the ground. I was only wearing boxers and didn’t have my phone; using the walls as a guide, I stumbled my way to the utility room.

Another lightning flash cast an eerie blue shade onto everything, and I could see a flashlight on the shelf above the dryer. I even remember cursing as I stubbed my toe while trying to reach it…

The beam was weak, but it allowed me to maneuver without the wall. I called for Eddie as I crossed the den and paused at the base of the stairs… that’s when I heard the sound again. Patters… that’s the best word… and it was coming closer! I shone the light in time to see a shadow dart across the opening and into the hallway before stopping. It seemed too short to be a person but too large to be a dog.

I crept to the middle landing, shining the light in every direction, but saw nothing. All remained silent as I carefully continued my ascent, and the moment my foot touched the top step – the brightest flash of lightning yet revealed a brief glimpse of true horror…

Have you ever been on one of those rides that drop you from high up? Or fell from a great height while playing VR? You know that feeling where you lose your stomach? That’s what I felt; I still remember it perfectly. It was Page… but she was bent over in a backwards crab-walk like some kind of Exorcist bullshit! She was even paler than usual and her eyes moved in different directions while saliva dripped from her open mouth…

I tried to scream but no sound came out as she bum-rushed me from the darkness. The pattering was the last thing I heard as a tangle of bony limbs mowed me down, and rotten fingers wormed into my mouth while stepping across my face. When a heel pressed firmly into my manly-bits, I finally awoke.

That dream bothered me enough to start sleeping in Conner’s room while he’s bunking with Aiden… I wanted to be closer to them; the thought of those stairs between us was driving me insane! I wish there was a way to express how real it all felt. This was beyond anything I’ve experienced, and I’m not exactly a rookie when it comes to nightmares. It hasn’t faded like the others, either; now, with what happened last night… it’s like some sort of creepy forewarning.

To avoid confusion, I think it’s best to tell you everything in the order it occurred. At 3:08, the security footage shows one small person walking down the driveway in night vision goggles! Care to guess who? Hmm? Do you have a clue? Yea, fucking Turner!

She had a laptop and did something to our security system! Even ADT can’t figure it out, but they’re so appalled by the footage – we’re getting free service for a year. Honestly, that’s going to be a huge help on our finances; that part is appreciated…

Page busted the basement window, and crawled inside without waking a soul. Once upstairs, she went straight to my bedroom like she’s walked the path a thousand times.

To understand this next part you need to know I have a body pillow in the bed for particularly bad nights… my therapist recommended it. Turner stood over it – surely assuming it was me – and stabbed it! There was no hesitation; she just lifted a huge hunting knife above her head and mercilessly plunged it into my fake wife’s chest!

She immediately pulled the covers back to discover her folly; you can hear a few escaped giggles as she struggles to control her laughter. I find it more difficult to see the humor considering the strike was meant to end my life… I hate to be an Edgy Downer but there it is.

Next she began climbing the stairs, and that’s when Eddie started barking. They were his deep Danger Barks – I was instantly awake and on full alert. The boys did exactly as practiced and hid in the closet before dialing 911. While getting the gun, I saw Page on the monitors – responding to the noise by sheathing her knife and retrieving her own firearm. At first, it was trained on Aiden’s room; she seemed more afraid of the dog than me, but upon hearing my movements – she became indecisive.

Just as I was ready to confront Turner, I noticed she had her laptop open again. This time, she watched it while pointing her weapon at Conner’s door… she was looking at me through our cameras – using them to aim! I dove to the side – fearing the bullet would come any moment, but the only shots fired were to our cameras. I held my breath waiting for the sound of Eddie’s whimper, but the barking continued unimpeded, and I shook with relief.

After sitting up, I noticed several screens were blank; she didn’t want me to see which way she went. Thankfully, ADT also agreed to replace the destroyed cameras. I’ve never been at such a loss for what to do… I wanted to give chase, but if a gun was trained on the door – waiting for me to open it… only a few more shots would remove Eddie from the equation and leave the boys defenseless; it was too risky. On the other hand… she knew help was on the way and couldn’t afford to wait long…

These thoughts battled each other in my mind until the blue flashing lights recalled me to reality. Officer Davis was first on scene again – Juan and Andy close behind… but there was no sign of Turner.

I hate questioning good fortune… but why didn’t she shoot Eddie? Obviously, I’m grateful, but it seemed like the tactical choice from her perspective. When she had the gun pointed low at Aiden’ door, tears instantly streamed down my face because I knew what was coming… but it didn’t happen…

Like I said… I’m not complaining; the police are back, and the FBI has joined them. We finally feel a little safer; hopefully, we can actually get some sleep tonight.

Anyways… I’ll try to get another story ready by Sunday, but it won’t be a classic. Sorry again for the delay. Push ya next time.


That Sunday…

Hello Night Crawlers, it’s good to see our numbers back over 300! I have a long way to go before things can be on a strict schedule again, but for now we can try to make weekly uploads. Magic Mortimer is ready to go live as soon as we’re finished here, and since there’s new information to share – I decided not to premiere it.

Some of you may already know what I’m going to say if you watched the news, but please don’t spoil it for others; having something good to share is such a rare treat!

Whatever Page did to hack our ADT got the government’s attention in a serious way; this time the police didn’t leave. They’re rotating two teams of local and state police on 12-hour shifts, and a team of FBI agents are supervising around the clock. Having so many people in the house would normally make me anxious, but there’s been a few nights where I’ve actually slept!

The police and cyber-sleuth community are officially in agreement that Richardson and Turner never had direct contact before this happened. As far as anyone can tell – Davy learned about her through my channel and became obsessed.

You know how storage buildings put your shit up for auction if you don’t pay the bill? Davy had one under an alias, and it was auctioned off two nights ago. The buyers recognized the fugitive from the news in old photos and called the cops. There were love poems and fan art clearly dedicated to Page, but it didn’t match the handwriting of anything Turner actually received.

I haven’t personally seen any of these items, but from how they’re referred to amongst the officers… they sound as disturbing as you imagine… maybe more so.

The unit was overflowing with random garbage, but one of the most important clues turned out to be an old date-book. It held many useful tidbits; so far, four cold cases have been solved with its help. It also contained the address of a man named Marv… who coincidentally lived not thirty minutes away from me if you could drive straight through the forest; on the road it’s closer to an hour.

Considering the storage facility was located in Ohio – the Feds thought it worth a look. Marvin Daniels died five years ago, and his shack has been rotting away in the middle of the woods ever since. Three Agents drove out there – expecting to find nothing – but a fresh deer carcass hanging in a nearby tree indicated someone was living there.

Shots were fired before they could make it to the door – forcing the men to retreat and call for backup before initiating further contact. Miraculously no one was injured in the clash, and Richardson ceased fire when the SUV was no longer in sight.

After a five-hour standoff, tear-gas was shot into the shack, and Davy emerged – weapons blazing. His official cause of death is suicide-by-cop – and since no agents were injured – I’m not ashamed to feel gleeful at the bastard’s death; I only wish it were slower…

Every inch of the surrounding area was searched, but the best trackers couldn’t find Turner. We know she was there at some point because they found more witchy idols and another voodoo altar made from bones. They’re still trying to identify the human remains, but the severed head was a male’s. A fishing pole stood mounted to the wall with the decomposing skull on its hook, and a severed hand was secured to the reel. There were also two small, hot bombs; experts believe they were designed to be attached to an animal and remotely detonated.

I won’t rest easy until Page is dead, but for tonight, I choose to focus on the fact my wife’s murderer is gone… and that there are two bombs that can no longer harm our family. If you want to see pictures of the evidence, I’ve linked Steve’s newest video below.

Otherwise, I hope you enjoy Magic Mortimer; thanks for listening, I’ll push you later!


Wednesday…

Hey Crawlers, judging by how many are here, you’ve probably figured out that a surprise stream means something big happened. I’ll give Turner one thing – the bitch has infinite patience; she was never going to show herself while the Feds were here. Finding that storage unit was a fluke! She had every intention of laying low until we were alone, and her goon’s death wasn’t going to change that. Finally – the agents agreed with me.

Coordinating a loud, flashy departure of all the personnel and vehicles was more complicated than it sounds. It couldn’t be too obvious… Page might be bat-shit crazy, but she isn’t stupid. Dozens of boxes were carried to the SUV’s, but each one was empty. All the equipment remained in place and a team of special agents watched for any attempts to hack the Wi-Fi. First the Feds cleared out, then the rest trickled away that evening until only Juan and Andy remained.

We took the opportunity to move their car into the garage. While the others lurked nearby – we waited for the cover of darkness to sneak the boys out in Andy’s stead. Aiden is almost seventeen now – and tall for his age; with Conner laying in the back – it would appear as if both detectives left.

I didn’t want to wait for her to come to us; the invasion of our family’s home was vomit inducing, but it was our only option. The hope was to capture Turner before she came close enough to fire a weapon; the curtains were closed, and we stayed away from the windows as an added precaution.

At 2:28am – she made her move. Andy’s phone rang, and we learned something with green and red lights flew over the house and was now hovering above us. It remained still for roughly thirty seconds before shooting straight up and out of sight. We believed she was scouting the location – confirming the coast was clear – it made perfect sense…

We had no idea what was happening as we heard reports of the drone’s collision course. It raced toward us at top speed and crashed into Conner’s window. The glass shattered, and it exploded on impact; had anyone occupied the room at that time – they would have died. Or, had the device flown into the middle of the room instead of being stopped by an entertainment center – the entire house might have burned down.

The smoke detectors wailed into the night while fire and rescue trucks rushed to the scene. Once again, their flashing lights created a false daylight as they surrounded my home. The range for her to operate the drone was limited; search teams scoured the area confident of success, but I knew they wouldn’t find her.

After being cleared by the paramedics, they wanted me to join the boys at the safe-house… but I needed it to be over! She almost burned down our family home; it needs weeks of repairs before we can go upstairs at all! I didn’t even have the gun – just a hunting knife I’ve been keeping on my belt – but I snuck off anyway.

I knew she wouldn’t be too far; she couldn’t miss the show, and I feel like she’s one of those people who must watch her fires burn. First, I crept towards the backside of the house where the trees are most dense – always scanning the area ahead before proceeding. Hesitating at an extremely dark patch where the lights didn’t reach, I hunched even lower and slowly crawled my way across – knife in hand.

Seconds later, the snap of a twig from above froze me in place. Looking up, I saw nothing but an empty tree, and a soft scratching sound baffled me until my eyes began to blur; then, the bark moved! It was only a few seconds, but it felt like an eternity while trying to discern the shape. After finally understanding what I saw, I screamed.

It was Page… upside down, hugging the tree, and wearing the most realistic bark-camo I’ve ever seen. She even had on a face mask and brown-painted eyelids… she looked like a real-life cryptid… it takes the term “Nightmare Fuel” to a new level…

When I started to scream she… she just… dropped. Our heads connected first, and we fell to the ground in a painful tangle of limbs. I continued screaming like a woman while she cackled maniacally. My head ached and spots danced in my vision; I lashed out with the knife, and felt the satisfying rip of flesh before succumbing to unconsciousness. The last thing I heard was her furious screams being drowned in gun-fire.

Upon waking in the back of an ambulance – I learned Turner escaped and tuned the rest out, but a muddy footprint tells me I took a boot to the face as she fled. Her blood was all over me, though we aren’t sure where I stabbed her; the CSI guys said it’s not enough blood loss to kill her, but she’s definitely hurting. She’ll probably see it as one more scar for the collection; I wonder if she even feels pain…

Back at the safe house, I found a note in my pocket when changing clothes. This one said, “I wouldn’t kill a dog for no reason, jackass! I’m not a monster!” Fuck that bitch.

We haven’t decided what to do next, but I’ll try to update you about a new video soon… push ya later.


Thursday…

I know, I know, a next day surprise stream means it’s huge. Well, sort of… this is just going to be a short and sweet update. The Feds got a call from a hospital four hours away; we now have surveillance footage confirming Turner was there. She ducked out before authorities could be contacted, but she did receive treatment for the stab wound. Apparently, my knife went into her mouth and tore through her cheek; she has half of a Joker smile now…

I’m not sure how I feel. Part of me is happy for any suffering I can repay, but another part is extremely disturbed about disfiguring a woman’s face. That probably sounds strange considering I’ve shot her twice now… and yes, I do wish she were dead… but I was trying to protect my family! This was up close… and personal… it feels sadistic… but it was an accident… I only meant to kill her! Ugh, I’m making this sound even worse.

The important thing is – we all know that injury will do nothing to sway her actions… she’ll come after me harder than ever… and all I can do is wait.

While we’re here anyway, there will be a story on Sunday called Periwinkle; I used a blanket fort like the good ole days, but I’m ready to go home. This safe-house is cramped and has a funny smell we can’t get rid of.

[sigh] That’s all for now – see? Short and sweet! Push ya later!


Saturday…

[humbled] Night Crawlers; it’s a new dawn of a new age. No one is here, but I don’t care; this news can’t wait another second. If you haven’t heard – ding-dong motha fuckers; the bitch is dead! Hell, even The Good Boy is celebrating with his own rack of ribs!

[softer] Unfortunately, it’s a somber day as well… good men died while protecting my family, and that is a debt one can never repay. It isn’t much, but I have started a fundraiser for the grieving families; the links can be found below.

I don’t know how she found us, but yesterday morning, a drone flew two circles around our safe-house before disappearing into the sunrise. Snipers were put on alert and reinforcements were called in, but nothing more happened until 2:00pm when a loud, Ford pickup stopped in the middle of the street.

Silently, we watched a small woman hop out of the passenger side and wave goodbye as the driver continued on his way. Page fucking Turner hitched a ride to our safe-house wearing a clumpy winter coat and a bloody patch across half her face. Somehow she looked more terrifying each time I saw her.

Halfway to the door, she was met with two agents yelling for her to get on the ground. Slowly, she raised her hands; the right was curled around a small object; the left revealed a bomb strapped to her torso. The item she held was a deadman’s-switch!

They didn’t know if it was enough explosives to blow up a house or a street, but all attempts to stop her failed. Juan and Andy tried to get us through the back door before she made it inside, but she caught us in the kitchen. She ignored the officers completely and removed her coat; we collectively held our breaths as it slipped over the detonator and onto the ground.

Next she removed her bandage to show us her angry, red smile. I know Joker smiles are overdone and creepy in our community… but shit… I think half of one looks much scarier… especially in real life. If, and only if, you have a strong stomach – you can find a picture from the hospital footage, but I doubt it exists anywhere else; there certainly won’t be any new ones.

Eddie was losing his mind; when we locked him in the bathroom, I thought he would break the door. Page held our full attention but had only one goal. After removing the gun, she threw her bag to me; inside was the story – Stay Tuned. She must have felt invincible at that moment… the only thing she cared about was forcing me to make a video; everyone else was mere distraction.

She wanted us to be left alone to record in peace and didn’t seem to care what would happen after that. I was just happy to see the boys taken away; a heavy weight was lifted at the sight of them driving away with an agent.

The detectives were walking out of the door when she stopped them; a sudden suspicion changed her mind. As if hearing my thoughts – she worried I would try something up if we were left alone. My choices were few at that point, so I began recording.

It’s a little strange though… seriously, think about it; Turner was obviously a very intelligent, capable person… but she wrote like a grade-schooler! [sigh] It didn’t matter… I was on page three when they grabbed her.

Juan had one arm around her neck, and a death-grip on her left arm; Andy threw himself onto her lap and both hands clamped onto her right – securing the detonator. They screamed in unison for me to fetch reinforcements, and that’s exactly what I did.

Page cursed me in a language I didn’t recognize while struggling against the detectives’, but I never spared her a glance. Once outside, the officer-in-charge escorted me past the barricades as a SWAT team prepared to enter. Their lead man was only a few feet away from the door when the house exploded. Andy and Juan were the only fatalities, but there were dozens of injuries.

The only ray of light in this abysmal pit of darkness is the fact Turner is finally dead. I feel like I can finally grieve for Amber properly now. From here on – this will be a new start for our family… and I hope you know that includes my Night Crawlers!

Periwinkle is still ready for tomorrow, but after that I’d like to resume our regular schedule. Also, please don’t forget to take a look at those links. That’s it for now; I can’t wait to push you tomorrow!


6 months later…

Hey Crawlers of Night, I know it’s been a long time since an unscheduled stream – but don’t worry, it’s nothing major. I just wanted to address these ridiculous pictures going around; mainly to assure you all it isn’t me. I’m not sure who is photoshopping pictures of The Bitch into all my stuff, but it’s getting old.

They’re trying to make it look like she’s still alive; the artist clearly wanted her face to appear healed, but the fake scar is a red, jagged mess. I’m a reasonable guy, and there’s a chance you meant well – after all, this is a horror channel – so if you stop now, there’s no hard feelings.

I mean, props on your work and everything. The way you started off with just her face in the background and then brought her closer in each picture is a nice touch! If this wasn’t such a horribly traumatic experience for me – I might even use some. While, yes, the scar was obviously bogus, it’s a perfect score on the Creepy Meter – especially paired with the dark circles beneath her eyes. Basically this is a thanks, but fuck no.

Anyway, that’s all I wanted to say; take care everyone, and don’t forget we have a big announcement this Sunday, stay tuned!

Horror Fiction

Next Time… (Pt. 2)

⚠️ATTENTION⚠️

I’m honored to introduce part 2 of the On Nightmare’s Edge series written specially for the exclusive use of my good friend Nightmare’s Edge. He owns it, and it may not be used in any way/shape/form without his express written consent! No exceptions!

Here’s the link to his narration, he does fantastic work - make sure to sub while you’re there!

Now a CreepyPasta
Photo by Lady Nopeingham

Now…

Gooood evening, Night Crawlers! I still can’t believe we have over a hundred people in our streams now! Lady, Lore, Disco, Q, Livers, all my original crew – can you guys believe this?

While I’m touched you aren’t surprised, you have to admit it happened fast! I hate to think Name-Her-Not had anything to do with it, but the Coming Soon video has over ten thousand views. At least she isn’t alive to see it; that gives me peace.

Besides, it doesn’t matter why we all became friends, only why we stay friends… right?

Right!

The schedule is going to be a little tight now that my promotion is official, but I think we can fit Days of Night into one video if you’re okay with another hour long premiere.

Somehow, I had a feeling you would be. I don’t write often, but I had a weird nightmare the sun stopped coming up, and it definitely felt like a horror story.

Haha, thanks, Lady! I’m glad you’ve enjoyed them, but my plate is overflowing— [barks] Fuck… sorry! …Hope no one’s volume was up…

[talk away from mic] Yea— it’s okay, babe. Can you— yea, can you take him… and shut the— [door closes]

Whew, I’m sorry, seriously! See what I mean? Chaos everywhere. I swear, one of my ancestors pissed off a voodoo queen or some shit.

On the bright side, you officially met Eddie! He’s been dying to say hello… as you heard.

Damn, that’s lots of heart emojis! He returns the sentiments, I assure you, haha.

Looks like it’s about that time anyway – goodnight, Crawlers! I’ll push you next time! Get it? Another Edge/Crawler joke – I’m considering it as my sign-off, do you like it?

Well, the masses have spoken; so sayeth they all!

6 days later…

Hello, my favorite Nocturnal Knee-Walkers! How’s everyone tonight?

Great! I know you’re all surprised to see a stream today, but I need to discuss something important. I’m not angry… we understand you meant well… but someone submitted a sequel to Coming Soon…

I see how some would think it’s a good idea given the amount of attention it received, but the video wasn’t released with that intention. Our family went through an extremely difficult time, and part of my healing process was to share that experience with a few close friends. I never dreamed it would become popular, and while I’m grateful for new friendships – it’s not a story we wish to continue… and titling it Next Time was in poor taste…

It’s okay. As I said, I’m sure no ill-will was intended…

No, Lady, I didn’t recognize the email – and I’m not here to call anyone out – but moving forward, we appreciate if everyone can respect our wishes in this matter.

Oh, and while we’re here, Days of Night will premiere tomorrow at 7:30.

Haha, I’m excited too; I’ll push you later!

The next night…

Alright, let me have it; what’d you think? I know it’ll never be a HBO series, but I honestly kind of like this one.

Aw you guys are making me blush, but no – part two is definitely out of the question! My promotion came with longer hours; there’s barely enough time to record as it is.

Haha, that’s hilarious – but sure, if we can get this channel monetized, I’ll write all the sequels you want. In fact, if I can ever do this full time, we can have random stories on weeknights and series continuations on weekends… not that I’ve been obsessively planning or anything… it was just an off-the-cuff type idea…

Ahh, only the truest of friends feed your delusions. The cold void that is my soul feels warmed and tingly.

While everyone is particularly happy with me, I have a touch of bad news. Next week’s premiere is canceled for work travel.

I know, I hate it too, but they’re sending me to some corporate retreat / teamwork training bullshit. It honestly just sounds like a weekend by the lake, but either way – I won’t have time to record. Maybe I can still get a few Peephole Shorts on TikTok – we’ll see!

I drive down Friday afternoon and come home Sunday evening; at least it’s only two nights away from home. Don’t tell anyone, but I’m gonna miss Eddie so much it already hurts [sigh]… oh, and the rest, of course.

I guess that’s it for now, push ya later!

2 weeks later…

I know you expected to hear from me sooner, and I feel terrible for making you wait. As you’ve probably guessed, there is no story for tonight… I’m sorry about that, too. It doesn’t feel like I’m being overly dramatic, but it will probably sound that way when I explain why.

I never dreamed to find myself sharing another personal experience, but here we are. I thought hard about it, and honestly I’m still not sure if I’ve made the right decision… but I can’t allow one disturbed lurker to take this channel away; if I want to share something with my friends, then dammit, that’s what I’m doing! [fist bang table]

If anyone would like to retrieve their alcohol or smokables, do so now.

Everyone ready? Okay. So, this “retreat” was two hours away at a lake in the middle of nowhere – it doesn’t even show on Google Maps. It has a complicated Ooga-boga-toga kind of name. There was no reception or WiFi; they claimed it was another “bonding” aid, but I’m thinking it has more to do with lack of availability.

We shared six semi-decent cabins between 24 people; it could have been worse space-wise. Splitting a bathroom with three strangers wasn’t ideal, but they said it was somehow also part of the bonding. Let’s pretend that’s less creepy than it sounds because we have a lot to cover.

My bunkmate was a decent guy; I’d seen Gary around the office, but this was the first time we really spoke… huh. Okay… maybe there is something to that bonding jazz, but we don’t have to admit that elsewhere.

The weird shit started when we met our Cheer Leader… not cheerleader… but our Leader of Cheer. It’s exactly what it sounds like. Her name is Karen Newcomb, and she’s easily the most hyper woman I’ve ever encountered. You’d never expect so much pep in a tiny package; I don’t know if she had cocaine in her sugar or just makes the kinda money that buys happiness – either way I wanted some.

I played their game and smiled with social grace like my livelihood depended on it – because it did – but, honestly it wasn’t worth it. Saturday morning, we were gathered by the lake when Karen introduced herself and got right to work.

We paired off with our bunkmates and were forced to do the falling backwards trust exercise, but she added an extra spin. The catcher asked their partner a personal question, which was answered after the faller was caught. Sounds simple enough if you’re okay sharing your personal information with strangers, but I’m not too keen on it these days.

A few jerks thought it was funny to drift towards awkward questions, but when Karen encouraged “secret sharing” some people got downright brutal. My dislike for the Cheer Queen evolved to hate faster than I normally judge character flaws – but I can’t stand cruelty for sport.

I was extremely lucky to have Gary as a partner; we laid low, keeping it simple with birthdays and pet names while tempers were tested around us. That woman thrived on drama… or she’s a master of uniting people under a common enemy – either way, no thanks.

She enjoyed a long day of torturing us with various mind-fucks before we were finally released for dinner and “evening recreation” which supposedly meant we could do whatever we wanted until bed. The only thing I cared about was sleep; the longer I slept – the faster time passed.

It was 8pm when I laid down and fell into a dreamless abyss, but I soon found myself with a bladder screaming for release. I remained in a half-delirious state while trying to estimate the amount of time passed and if I were still alone. After several silent minutes, I felt confident of my solitude, and mentally prepared for a mad, robe-less dash to the restroom.

There’s no way to convey how it felt to be certain I was alone… sleeping, and to… to open my eyes and have a face mere inches from my own! In one instant I took in her hot, peppermint breath and stray lipstick… she was smirking. As she slowly backed away, I felt myself shrinking into the corner, pushing my body against the wall to maximize the small distance between us.

I felt violated – there’s no other word. Then she had the nerve to pretend her actions were completely reasonable! She wanted to know why I wasn’t interacting with the group! So I asked, “Can you please define recreation?!”

I agreed to go purely to make her leave faster. While dressing, I saw it was 10:15 and almost got back in bed. The only thing that stopped me was the fear of Karen’s return, but when I stepped into the dimly lit night, I almost bumped into her. She was kind enough to wait for me in case I had difficulties finding the large bonfire.

We couldn’t just walk in silence either; she asked increasingly private questions focusing on how I spend free time. I tried saying basic things – like sports – but she kept nagging for a specific answer. Finally, I lost her by squeezing onto a log between Gary and a fat guy. You’ll never guess what activity Karen felt the need to drag me out there for – ghost stories!

Yup, I swear before all the gods of light and dark – that bitch forced me out of bed to insist I tell the first tale! Well – I wasn’t having it – no way. If she knew about this channel, she would have to admit it, because I wasn’t.

I told her horror wasn’t really my thing, [snicker] and that even if it were – I wouldn’t feel comfortable playing storyteller; most impressive was my serious demeanor. I think the right amount of pressure can make anyone a good liar. It was clear the others were growing uncomfortable at her relentless insistence, but I’m the only one who understood the flash of fury that crossed her otherwise composed face.

When her dark eyes were locked onto mine, I physically recoiled. Every time I stole a glance in her direction, she was staring at me. By this point, there was little doubt as to her awareness of the channel; the only mystery remaining was that of her intentions. I mean… she’s clearly not a fan, right? We weren’t allowed to retire until midnight; it was ridiculous!

At dawn, a loud trumpet woke us for breakfast. Roughly 100 yards behind the cabins stood a larger house where we gathered for meals. It was also where Karen slept so I didn’t like to be near it on principle.

The day was only the normal kind of terrible; aside from a few stray comments and suspicious looks, Cheer Queen didn’t push me too far until that night’s campfire. I wasn’t dumb enough to believe the recreation lie again – this time I followed the pack like a good little sheep. We went through the scary story dance again until I finally told the shortest possible version of “The Call is Coming from Inside the House”. I swear – I got it done in two minutes, and Karen’s look of angry disappointment was worth every second.

I’ll admit, when we were finally allowed to retire, I was feeling pretty smug. My brain should have been on autopilot – performing the minimum requirements necessary to retain my job – not going into overdrive and participating in head games with likely unstable individuals, but if I had to do the work anyway, I’m pleased with the victory.

How I was ignorant enough to believe it was over – I’ll never understand; maybe I was just relieved to know it was our last night in that hellhole. Fuck, I would have got into my car that very second – job be damned.

I was only asleep for an hour when a soft noise woke me. At first, I tried to ignore it – thinking it was one of the guys in the bathroom – but the more I listened, the more defined it became. Finally, during a brief pause in Gary’s snoring, I recognized the sound of fingernails on glass… tapping.

Obviously my first thought was Karen, but the logical part of me thought “No, that’s too crazy.” I’m disappointed in myself to say the least. Slowly, knowing the window was in my direct line of sight, I peeked open one eye – just enough to reveal a blurry shape across the bottom panes.

To see it clearly, I wiped away fresh eye goop, and my vision focused in time to see a person ducking out of sight. Even without distinguishable features, it was obviously Karen. By then I was furious; I rushed to the window, trying to catch a glimpse of her direction, and saw movement in the next cabin’s hedges.

I was putting on my last boot when I finally came to my senses. What would happen if a large man ran to confront a tiny woman in the middle of the night? How would things look to outside parties? I’ll never know if that was her plan or not, but I don’t care. For twenty minutes I laid staring at the window before drifting back to sleep.

I woke to more tapping shortly after 3am. When does she sleep?! This time, I leapt from bed in one loud, clumsy motion, hoping to give Karen a good scare.

I’m really losing my mind. That bitch got me so wound up that I saw Name-Her-Not’s sorry face – clear as day – for the split second she remained visible. I couldn’t sleep again after that, and I wasn’t okay at all Sunday. Gary thought it was a nightmare since he snored too loud to wake, and Karen kept winking at me; I felt like I would snap any second.

When we were finally released, I raced home like someone was chasing me – constantly checking my mirrors for signs of pursuit. I thought I’d be okay after making it home, but the nightmares and paranoia are back in full swing. I thought I was finally past all that…

Anyway, that’s why it’s been so long… I’ll get something special prepared to push you next week. For now, I’ve kept you too long, thanks for listening, Crawlers!

One week later…

[tired] Hey there, Night Crawlers. Sorry I haven’t been around much this week, but no matter what – you were getting a story. I hope you liked Meeper’s Keepers as much as I did. If nothing else – it’s original.

That’s great to hear; I wouldn’t mind a few more from that author.

I’m sorry, Lady, I know I don’t sound like my usual self, but I really am trying… things haven’t exactly been better since last time we spoke. Aside from increasingly annoying nightmares – we woke to find a gutted hog lying across our driveway yesterday.

You guessed it, Lore… just out of camera shot. I’m sorry, but are there any of you who think a wild animal coincidentally killed it there? Because that’s what police think, and I swear—

Nope, not doing it. I’m not getting worked up again.

Nah, seriously, don’t worry about us; we’re fine… it’s the principle of the matter – like, when is this shit going to end?

You know what, Disco? I think that’s exactly what I’m going to do; go to bed early. My brain needs to stop for a bit, but have no fear, next week’s video will be here. I’ll push you next time!

4 days later…

[ice clinking/glass slams on table, heavy thud/sitting] … are you out there, Bitch? [chug, heavy breathing – disconnect]

The next morning…

[humble] To those of you unfortunate enough to witness the… incident before it was deleted, just know I humbly, sincerely apologize; I’ve never been more ashamed of my actions, and it will never happen again.

To those of you who did not see it – consider yourself lucky. Yesterday was particularly hard for our family – and as a result – I drank a bit too much. Around 1:00, Drunk Edge decided to start a stream; again, I cannot express the depths of my remorse.

I appreciate your patience and understanding more than you know. My little episode cost me four subs, but I expected more. At least I caught one break with this happening on the weekend; there’s no way I could have made it to work feeling this way.

Aiden had a ballgame last night, so we didn’t make it home until late… I immediately knew something was wrong because Eddie ran to greet us as we came down the driveway. He’s never left outside; he’s treated exactly the same as our sons. When he ran through the headlights, I was mortified to see dark, crimson stains on his head and chest.

Amber gasped loudly, and I knew she saw it too. We shared a knowing glance at the boys, relieved to find headphones on and their glazed stares concentrated on glowing screens. I parked without waiting for the garage to open and frantically searched Eddie for injuries.

He didn’t have a scratch; someone else’s blood was caked into his fur – especially around his mouth. I signaled Amber to wait in the car and cautiously crept alongside the house. My legs felt like I was walking underwater, and when I saw the front door swinging in the breeze – I almost Noped out of there.

I looked at Eddie once more and realized he seemed a little too happy. If someone were still here… alive… the dog would be on top of them, but instead, he was kinda… strutting. A closer inspection of the front door left no doubt it was kicked in, but nothing else seemed disturbed. I checked every nook and closet twice before giving the all-clear to Amber and the boys.

I ran to the monitors next – eager to see da fuq – and was surprised to see six blank squares amongst the ten. Until that point, shock was the prevailing emotion, but at the sight of camera fuckery – I lost it. It took only a moment to confirm they were gone; I watched the entire footage on my laptop.

At 11am, when the house was sure to be empty anyway, a dirty homeless man drunkenly stumbled into view from our long driveway. He had greasy, unkempt hair, a red, flannel button-up, and black jeans riddled with holes. In his hand was a scrap of paper he checked often, and from the way he systematically removed each camera – game cams included – it’s safe to bet it listed their locations.

From that point on, we only have one view of the front door from our entry hall. Nothing more happens for eleven minutes, then suddenly there’s a loud crash as the door is kicked in. The homeless man could be seen holding – what looked to be – a handful of raw meat.

Instantly, loud, furious barking erupted, and the intruder shakily held his offering aloft. Well – Eddie was having none of that shit; he didn’t hesitate to latch onto the hobo. You could hear the man’s arm break as his screams filled the air; he lashed out in desperation but couldn’t break the pit’s hold. Finally, after falling to the ground, he grabbed a chunk of splintered wood.

Somehow, he managed to free himself for a split second, but when Eddie lunged for another bite, he found the intruder’s crotch. At that moment, I almost felt bad for the guy. Eventually, he gave up fighting in favor of retreat, using his remaining arm and legs to drag himself away… supposedly to whoever brought him here. Around this time – thanks to enhanced audio – if you listen very carefully, you’ll hear a car peeling out as it leaves him behind.

Twenty-six minutes after Eddie and the intruder exited the camera’s view, The Good Boy returned with the previously mentioned strut. You’ll be glad to hear he has since been treated to a rib-eye of the finest quality for his unwavering loyalty and bravery.

We called the police, and yes, we are as sick of them as they are of us. They were less than polite until the body was discovered tangled in the backyard’s shrubbery – which also happens to be Eddie’s favorite place to hide bones – just FYI. After that they were forced to actually investigate.

Now you know everything we know… officially, anyway… I’m sure I’m not the only one thinking about Karen – I just don’t understand why! Why would she do any of this? Or the stuff from the lake for that matter?! I’ll update when we know more, thanks guys – push you later!

The next night…

This was unexpected, I’m sorry I couldn’t give you more notice – but it’s really good to see my closest friends are here since this is specifically for you. I don’t know what to do anymore; I’m falling apart. We’ve had another incident, and Amber wants me to quit the channel…

I know, trust me, I know! I don’t want this either… but it’s putting my family at risk! Fuck, do you hear how insane that sounds? [ice/glass clink]

[sips drink] The thing with Name-Her— fuck it – the thing with Turner was a one-in-a-billion chance! I’m not famous, probably never will be – but that psycho bitch decided to fixate on me for whatever reason – fine!

Even though it took over six months just to physically recover, it doesn’t matter because she’s dead! Gone! Shat out by a bear and fertilizing these very woods! [ice clink]

My family never blamed me for what we went through, not once… but I could tell they weren’t thrilled when I started recording again. They know how important this is to me, so they kept silent – yet here we are again. [sip]

Hell, I’m not the only one who still has nightmares… we all do… often. Everyone except for Eddie… [sigh] I’d really hate to know where we’d be if it weren’t for him. Honestly, I’d have to be a selfish bastard to keep doing this… especially after last night…

Ha, fuck it, if this is our final stream – let’s go out with a bang! How’s that sound? I don’t throw around the L word often, but I really do love you guys; I’m glad it’s just the few of us here tonight, like the old days. [clink/sip] Well, let’s do this right – go get your vices and settle in.

By time the last official vehicle left it was almost midnight; the boys were in bed – Eddie included – and I wanted nothing more than to follow suit. Unfortunately, I had security measures to enforce; I know you don’t want to think about expenses when it comes to protecting your family – and that’s obvious for people who have money – but we need food, too. When Turner died, there was no reason to expand on what we had…

Anyway, I was already determined to call ADT first-thing, but in the meantime, I decided to move two cameras outside. The gun’s weight was comforting, but Eddie was securely tucked with Conner, and he was my preferred defense.

I didn’t try anything fancy; it was enough to have the driveway and house covered. Though it shames me to admit, it really did seem like Karen would stay away after such a massive failure. She got a man killed for fuck’s sake! [sip/clink]

When placing the last camera… I couldn’t find a flat surface and didn’t feel like dragging out the ladder. There’s a small crevice near the corner – just barely out of reach – where I thought it would balance… [sip] so I used the gutter to pull myself up. As you probably suspect, it fell – all the way to the ground, right along with me.

Initially, I thought the noise came from that, but when another loud bang sounded in unison with shattering glass – I began to understand. Then Amber screamed in a gut wrenching way I’ve never heard before, and I knew a fear not even Page Fucking Turner managed to instill.

I had another one of those episodes where everything seemed slow and clear. As two final shots destroyed another window, I rolled into the bushes, careful to keep my head to the ground. Once there, I heard retreating footsteps and almost pursued, but I couldn’t delay checking on my family.

On the slowest run of my life, I noticed two broken windows – our bedroom and Conner’s. I hope you can understand how literal I’m being when I say it felt like my organs were contracting into a single, fine point.

Inside, I almost felt relief at the sound of Amber’s fresh sobs coming from upstairs; it meant she wasn’t lying dead in our bedroom… then I remembered the look of Conner’s shattered window and began the next leg of an eternal sprint.

The first thing I saw when entering my son’s room was the red-speckled stuffing scattered across his bed. It was like walking through a picture frame – everything was frozen in place, awaiting inspection. Next I spied the hole in his pillow… but there was no blood in that spot… only white fluff. Finally, I felt the hard pulls on my arm, and realized the faint buzzing sound was actually a voice. [pour drink, hiccup]

Aiden was talking… I couldn’t make out his words, but he was pointing… I turned to the indicated direction to see Amber rocking Conner, with Eddie at their feet. Con had his arms wrapped around his mother, and that’s when I saw where the blood came from. I’m at my limit for reliving this nightmare, so let me skip the rest of the tears and explain what we know now. [gulp drink]

Police suspect Karen found herself a new homeless man because there were two shooters; one had a high vantage point – probably climbed a tree – while the other was on the ground. The first shot would have killed me had the gutter not broken, and the third and fourth went through our bedroom window – but Amber was already upstairs by then. The second bullet went through Conner’s pillow – exactly where his head lay moments before… he didn’t know what was happening… he… he woke up to Eddie biting his wrist… dragging him from bed… the blood was from his arm…

Needless to say… yea… I’m sorry, I really need to go now… [spill drink/knock stuff over]

3 months later…

[nervous] Hi there, Night Crawlers; shit, I’ve missed you so much. Thank you for being here, I know I sounded pretty rough last time we spoke, but I’m seven weeks sober today! While I wouldn’t go so far as to say we’re okay, we are better – and after the last few months that’s a welcome improvement. I gave some of you a few details via Twitter when it all happened, but now, with my family’s blessing, I would like to give you the full story.

We need to start four days after our last stream; I knew that Karen chick would be back – it’s just how my luck works – and I got the idea to check around the woods. I left work early without telling Amber and took Eddie for a long walk through the forest. About a mile in – just as I was preparing to turn back, I saw something strange hanging from a branch.

The closer I came, the more I saw; spread through the trees like a bad Blair Witch rip-off were bundles of three sticks tied together. Imagine laying two into an X shape, then putting a third straight down the middle – there were dozens!

At first I thought, “ok, the crazy bitch did this just to freak me out”, and I think that was a reasonable assumption to make – even now. It seemed like a smart way to ensure someone would stick to a certain path… one where a few bear-traps were concealed, maybe? Well, I felt smart for thinking of it… even if we didn’t find any.

Using a long stick for a staff, I continued following the strange idols, although keeping Eddie behind me was a challenge. He instinctively wanted to be in front, but I’d never forgive myself if he got hurt out there. The anger I felt was overwhelming… the audacity someone must possess to go to such lengths!

For half a mile we continued until the path diverged to each side – with the idols becoming larger and more frequent. There had to be hundreds more hanging in the branches to encircle a quarter-acre clearing I’d never noticed. It was well hidden; the surrounding foliage was dense, and the trees bent to form a canopy that concealed it from above.

That’s when I noticed new shapes mixed in among the stick figures; in addition to the triangles – there were small bundles of straw twisted and wrapped in twine. I didn’t touch any of it – in fact, I already planned to pay a teenager to take that shit down.

It’s amazing how smart Eddie is… I squatted low, carefully creeping to the clearing’s edge, and he laid flat next to me. I’m not sure what I expected to see, but never in my wildest dreams did I imagine…

On the opposite side from where we sat, a crude shelter was erected; several tree trunks stood scattered around a fire pit, serving as tables and chairs, but there was no movement in sight. We waited twenty minutes before entering the clearing, just to be sure… and, as we got closer… I started to notice the stumps were covered in red stains…

That’s when I remembered the dead hog… and it made sense, you know… if she was hiding way out here – she’d need to hunt… but then I turned my attention to the shelter. It incorporated trees as walls, and she did an impressive job stacking logs between them. When she was finished, she stuffed the cracks with moss and mud; it looked exactly like what they build on those survival shows.

That thing took serious work and dedication; it was terrifying to think how long she must have spent building it. Eddie wouldn’t go inside; instead, he stood at the entrance, whimpering. I gave him a comfort rub before proceeding alone and saw a pallet of soft leaves in one corner, split logs being used as makeshift shelves, and a horrifying altar at the opposite side. Real talk – it creeped me the fuck out before I even approached.

It was made from antlers and bones… in the end we learned it was a mixture of deer, human, and boar, but a wider assortment of smaller bones hung in various places. In the center of all this, framed for display, was Heather’s severed head! Sorry… you guys remember her as Karen, but I’m getting to that. The takeaway here was – if she was dead, who else was out there?!

I didn’t want to see anymore; we left quickly, not stopping until safely back home. We endured yet another round of emergency vehicles flooding our property as police dissected the new crime scene, but they remained as secretive as ever. The only thing I’ll say in their favor is, they left two squad cars to watch our home that night – one on each side of the house.

Sleep came unexpectedly fast considering my level of anxiety, but eventually, exhaustion conquers all. Everyone was thinking the same thing, but no one dared say it aloud. “What if Turner didn’t die? What if she’s been out there – hiding in the forest like a secret neighbor?” It was hard to imagine any other explanation…

I tossed and turned from a terrible nightmare where Page was pointing a gun at Aiden while I begged her to shoot me instead… and then she fired. I watched, mortified as my oldest son’s body was riddled with bullets; blood sprayed as I ran to him, but it was too late. I saw the instant the life left his eyes. As I held his corpse in my arms, Amber suddenly appeared – screaming – pulling me away.

More bangs brought me to awareness; I was dreaming, but Amber’s screams were real. There was an honest gun fight happening outside! We raced from the room, staying low as possible, to reach the boys. Images of Conner’s ruined pillow flashed through my mind and I vowed to adopt a second pup.

Thankfully we heard the first window shatter after we squeezed everyone in the bathtub. Shots fired intermittently for over five minutes before stopping; it was twenty minutes after that we received the all-clear. One man was dead, his head popped like a balloon, and one was injured – but luckily he’s fully recovered now. The manhunt continued well into the daylight hours, but the shooter wasn’t found.

Over the next few days we learned about the strange setup in the woods, but the more we learned the more terrified we became. They found DNA from two people out there. One belonged to Page Turner – that’s right, it was confirmed – the Bitch lived. The dead woman wasn’t in the system, and she wasn’t Karen Newcomb, but they could tell she was Page’s sister! From there they found the information for Turner.

After interviews with friends and family, we learned Heather came to Michigan to help her poor sister get back on her feet. She was under the impression a con artist scammed her out of her life savings, and I’ll bet you can’t guess who she blamed in that story! Yes! Me! At some point, Heather found Page’s little campground and… I guess she outlived her usefulness.

Oh, but wait, it gets better! Page is an honest to god witch! She believed in the whole Wicca-pagan-voodoo-ritual stuff! I mean, I’m not dissing it or anything – I know it’s a legitimate practice full of really cool beliefs, but this Bitch was obviously not that kind of practitioner. She didn’t hang all those idols to freak me out; she did it because she genuinely believed in their power. What she expected them to do, I have no clue, but they’re long gone now – removed for evidence – I didn’t even need to pay a kid! It probably goes without saying, but she also submitted the Next Time sequel – I should have known that garbage was her doing…

Aside from the news updates, it was a peaceful two weeks… enough so that the police couldn’t continue wasting their manpower. I’m sure that’s exactly what she was waiting for, too. We have the most expensive package ADT offers and moved a cot into Aiden’s room so Eddie could sleep with both boys… I even moved a bureau to block the window… but it didn’t make me feel better.

I had my cell phone dialed to 911, ready to press call at the first sign of trouble. Sleep wasn’t a problem; our protection was gone and I was sure Turner knew that. A bottle of Benadryl couldn’t have put me down!

We were trying to have a semblance of a normal evening and decided to watch a movie before bed. None of us could handle too much action, so we were happy to let Conner choose one of his cartoons. I pretended to laugh at a bunch of fish jumping over a wall for two hours while I studied the camera app intently – watching for any hint of movement.

When the movie ended and the tv was off, a high-pitched voice filled the room; it was coming from a camera! That Bitch hacked into our Wi-Fi! Eddie was immediately alert, looking around nervously while trying to keep us in sight. I’m sure you’ve heard the Nightmare on Elm Street rhyme: “one, two – Freddy’s coming for you…” – well, she was singing that, but substituting her own name.

She had to be close; instead of waiting to see what happened next, Amber called the police, and I released the gun’s safety before heading outside. I mentally prepared myself to shoot on sight; all I cared about was stopping her before she reached my family. I tried to imagine where I would hide and thought of only one place – the treehouse.

It wasn’t used; it was too dangerous to play in when I was a kid, but it was never torn down. Most of the boards were too rotten to step on, and half the roof was missing, but a small person could hide there if they were careful. I tried to peer around the corner without stepping into sight, but couldn’t see inside. Crawling along the hedges didn’t conceal me from view; halfway across – a bullet whipped past, and slammed into the brick behind me. Debris sprayed my head, and I thought that’s what cut me, but doctors say the wound is more conducive with a bullet grazing.

The shot definitely came from the treehouse; I made the scariest dash of my life as I dove through the open yard to take cover behind our above-ground pool. More bullets sped past, but I somehow escaped further injury.

I was close enough to hear her now; she told them I was dead, shot down and killed instantly. I couldn’t stand the thought of my wife and children – so close yet thinking the worst; I acted on reflex without hesitation. “She’s lying! I’m fine!” I screamed, hoping they heard.

Next, she fired two more rounds, and I heard both puncture the pool. As the water leaked out, I shot four into the treehouse and was rewarded with an ear-splitting scream on number three. No more shots were fired, and I stayed right where I was until police arrived.

They found her unconscious, and I was extremely disappointed to watch them load her into an ambulance, but at least she can’t hurt us anymore… plus she has a nice chest scar to match the one on her gut; I was only five inches from the heart! I hate to admit it’s a little impressive she survived in the woods – injured – for so long, but damn. Maybe there’s something to that Wicca shit, who knows.

Now, we have family therapy twice a month, and honestly – it’s really helping. The boys were skeptical in the beginning, but we were desperate; we didn’t know what else to do.

While I would be happier if Turner was dead I’ll have to settle for a max security mental institution; it’s unlikely she’ll ever leave that place alive. Her sister was her only relative still in touch… but with Heather dead, she’ll be completely alone now; I can’t say I’m sorry.

Look, I don’t know what the future holds for this channel, and while I’m not ready to go back to weekly videos – I do hope I can work my way up to it. I’ve had an easier time with this stream than expected – maybe we can get a new story up before the month is over; nothing too long, just something simple to get my feet wet! If you have any suggestions, send them my way. Thanks again Crawlers, I can’t wait to push you next time!

Horror Fiction

Coming Soon (Pt. 1)

⚠️ATTENTION⚠️
I’m honored to introduce part 1 of the On Nightmare’s Edge series written specially for the exclusive use of my good friend Nightmare’s Edge. He owns it, and it may not be used in any way/shape/form without his express written consent! No exceptions!

Here’s the link to his narration, he does fantastic work - make sure to sub while you’re there!



Now a CreepyPasta
Thanks to Lady Nopeingham for the pic!

January 11, 2022

[tap, tap] Hello, um, [clears throat] hey Night Crawlers… if I can still call you that. So, listen, it’s January 11, 2022, and… I know it’s been a while since you heard from me… I’m honestly surprised any of you are here… but if you’ll let me, I’d like a chance to explain.

[deep breath] Those kind enough to be here may suspect the reason, but it goes far beyond what you might imagine. This was a life changing experience for our family, and not for the better… that being said, I truly want you to understand… because we finally feel ready to get our old lives back. For me, that means making things right here.

I transcribed the old live streams and added the events which later transpired. No details are exaggerated; this is not for entertainment. I merely wish to explain my absence and apologize for any resulting inconvenience. So… here we go.

December 13, 2020

Hey guys! It’s 7:30 in Michigan, and I hope you’re doing well this evening! I’m glad so many of you could be here; I know you were hoping for a new story, but I had an unexpected job interview. There’s still a few hours of edits to finish Horror Heyday, then it’s all yours… for sure this time.

Unfortunately, if I want to continue narrating the internet’s most frightening tales, I need to handle these annoying bills. They’re surprisingly vital to producing a quality product for your listening pleasure. Needless to say, if there comes a day when this channel is self-sufficient – the frequency of uploads will increase exponentially.

Since I couldn’t deliver the promised goods, I thought we might try a Q&A. For the next hour, I’ll answer any questions you might have. Most creators can’t say stuff like that – not without inviting a slew of insanely perverted queries – but that’s where we differ. I’ve never thought of you as fans; it’s more like hanging out with friends.

I admit, in the beginning, I was a little terrified of you – but now we have this chill atmosphere that surpassed my highest expectations. Honestly, my appreciation is boundless! Okay, that’s probably enough with the gushy stuff – just know you’ll never be taken for granted… not by me, at least.

Now who has a question?

Ah, Lady Nopeingham wants to know how old I am. Well, Lady, as you can probably tell by my skinless skull, fully matured horns, and melty, red eyes, I’ve been around a hot minute – but best guess… between 950-990…

Sorry, I couldn’t help myself; nah, I’m 43.

It’s probably a good idea to get the basics out of the way, so I have a wife, Amber, and two sons; Aiden is fourteen, and Conner is ten. Oh! And Eddie – our sweet, gently gigantic pit bull is three, and yes, he is very good boy. We rescued him after moving to the country, and he instantly became part of the family.

When Granddad died, we inherited the house, and although we miss him terribly – I’m relieved the boys won’t grow up in a tiny apartment. People always ask if it’s haunted – it has that old/spooky vibe – but it’s definitely not. Pops built this place when he got married, and in all the time since, not one strange thing happened. Even if there was a ghost, it wouldn’t matter; regardless what proof I had, it would look like a cheap publicity stunt.

Seriously though, it’s a great spot! Not only do we have twenty acres situated next to a beautiful, lush forest – there’s also a giant pond in our front yard… welp, I think that qualifies as basics.

Who has another question?

Ooo, CaptainLore wants to know what my recording space is like!

Well, funny you should ask, because it’s a tribute to starving artists everywhere. Currently, my “studio” is a blanket fort inside a closet.

Haha, thanks, Disco Dan! The fact you can’t tell is a huge relief!

What’s next?

Okay Susie Q, I think I can answer that. Actually, several things inspired me to start narrating, but the main factor is my family. I’ve always received compliments about my voice, but I never considered doing anything with it until Aiden and Conner became obsessed with CreepyPastas.

One day, they played Ted the Caver on the living room tv; my wife and I enjoyed it so much, we found ourselves looking for more. After a few days of seeing what YouTube had to offer, Amber suggested I try it for myself. If nothing else, it sounded like fun, and as you guys know – the rest is history!

Oh man, I don’t know if I should answer that, FunDude! There’s multiple authors here, and I don’t think I could choose a favorite anyway. I had a hard time picking which stories to start with because I like them all equally.

Sure, Page! If any of you have something you’d like me to read, email it to NightmaresEdgeBYYP@yahoo.com. I’m happy to consider all submissions!

Alright, who yearns for more? 

Lily Livers, you’re too kind! But no, surprisingly I don’t edit my pitch. Thank goodness, because I’m still learning the finer, technical aspects.

[loud crash] Damn, I bet the next question is— yep, KittyKat is the winner!

The answer to “What the hell was that?” is “I have no idea!”, but Amber is calling so it’s probably safe to guess the boys broke something.

Thanks again for coming, and I’ll see you at the premiere!

December 14, 2020

Hey, hey Night Crawlers! Get it? Like – I’m Nightmare’s Edge – and you have to crawl… because you’re on the edge… what do you think? There’s almost fifty people now, I think that qualifies for our own community nickname!

Hey Livers, Tank, Lady, Lore, Disco, and everyone else – holy crap so many of you now; I can’t keep up! This is a good problem to have, very good! Seriously though, how’s everyone doing?

That’s great to hear! So, how was Horror Heyday? Judging by these comments, it sounds like you enjoyed it! 

As most of you know, our last chat ended with a loud crash. The boys were throwing Eddie’s frisbee around, and – of course – the damn thing ended up on top of the garage.

I know what you’re thinking, and it pleases me to report my kids were raised with enough sense to stay off the roof. Unfortunately, Eddie wasn’t… yes – as in the pit bull. He climbed onto the AC platform and somehow made the jump to the tool shed – but the overhang foiled his final leap. Poor guy bounced all the way to the ground! Amber had to take him inside while I retrieved his love disc.

Haha, oh my! Thine Lady makes me blush! I’m sorry, I did not mean to make that sound sexual!

Woo – now that I can breathe again – I thought you guys might get a kick out of that anecdote…  and fine, maybe I was fishing for story reactions – but I saved the best for last! I got the job! Soon, I’ll be able to upgrade my equipment and really get things kicked off around here!

Thanks guys, I appreciate the encouragement; I’m nervous and excited, but it’s going to be great! I’ll mostly work from home during the holidays, but after New Years, my schedule will be hectic while I get the hang of things.

Wow, it’s getting late so—

No, sorry Page, I haven’t had time, but I’ll be reading submissions later this week. As much as I would love to narrate everything you guys send, there’s more than I can keep up with. Don’t worry though; not using it for the channel doesn’t mean it’s bad – it just means I have more talented friends than I can keep up with.

Alright guys, I’ve got hungry mouths to feed and a wife with only two hands! Take care!

December, 20 2020

Sup Night Crawlers? As you know, it’s that time of year. I have a special holiday Pasta for Christmas, but this will be my last livestream until the day after.

Don’t worry, Q, I won’t be far. Plus, you guys can still catch me on Twitter and TikTok!

Umm… sorry Page. I honestly haven’t read anyone’s submissions. This time of year is always crazy for us – what with the kids being out of school and everything…

Yes, Lady; thanks for the reminder! Some of you expressed wishes to send a gift. Our PO Box is listed below, but listen I seriously don’t want you going through extra trouble. Your support is already the best gift—

Ha-ha, easy, Disco, no need for the Sap Police; I’m simply trying to ensure no one feels pressured, that’s all. Now, I know you have your own families to get back to, so I’ll catch you Crawlers later!

December 26, 2020

Holy shit, Night Crawlers – I almost couldn’t wait, but worried a Christmas summons might be frowned upon so I suffered through it. A lot of you gave donations, and it means the world to us! We’re also overjoyed with your amazing gifts, and I would like to share those with everyone.

Lady, seriously, thank you! I’m wearing the NukesTop5 shirt! “Did you see it?” This is badass, I’m in love!

Disco, you are a true artist! Crawlers! Look what this guy drew! I’ve never looked so dapper!

Now, this last one really blew my mind. Page, I’m telling myself you’re super rich so I don’t feel bad about this drone… because I really love it!

In fact, I have a special surprise! Tomorrow, I’m going to premiere a forest cryptid story with a special video taken by my new toy! I flew this baby all over the property, and the footage came out great!

Oh gosh.. no I haven’t, Page. I’m sorry; tell you what – I’ll read your story tomorrow and shoot you an email as soon as I’m finished!

See you tomorrow, Crawlers; you make a creature’s heart want to beat!

December 28, 2020

I am so sorry I bailed yesterday! We had an intruder, and everything has been hectic. The police were worthless; they didn’t do a goddamn thing!

Wow, I didn’t mean to shout, I’m just… so worked up right now. Everything was going too well; I should’ve known something like this was coming.

I know you’re sick of hearing it, but I really do appreciate the shit out of you; thanks for your concern. I know it’s silly to worry about at a time like that, but I did panic at the thought of you all wondering where the fuck Edge went, haha.

No, seriously though, we’re fine – physically. Amber is a little shaken, Aiden is acting tough, Conner is being a mama’s boy, and Eddie… well… he was pissed but not anymore.

Sorry… I’m all over the place – let me start over, because this is a weird ass story.

After the last stream, I did final edits on the drone footage, checked the doors, peeked in on the kids, and went to bed. It’s the same routine every night; I can’t sleep without knowing it’s done.

Ugh… I shouldn’t have made that stupid joke about a fake haunting – this shit sounds just as bad!

I know you guys believe me, but can we keep this a secret? Because I’m too stressed to deal with trolls.

Man, a slum-dog cryptid like myself doesn’t deserve you. I swear, I’m tempted to pay a writer to put this mind-fuck into fancy words, but we’ll make do.

So picture it – our humble, slightly creepy home in the middle of nowhere, and a family of five soundly asleep. The master bedroom is downstairs, and the boys’ rooms are upstairs. Since they keep their doors closed, Eddie usually sleeps with us.

At 3:18, I woke to a cold, wet face-nudge and heard faint footsteps above us. I would have slept right through if not for our good boy, but one of the kids going into my office puzzled me. It’s not like a movie where Dad’s secret room is off limits;  there’s no locked drawers, nothing! Even more strange was how they seemed to be pacing end to end; like they were searching for something.

Then, there was a loud thud – like something hit the floor – and I lost track of the person as their steps retreated. Eddie showed his displeasure with some out-of-character growling that made me nervous. That’s when we got up to scold whichever genius decided they couldn’t wait for… whatever they were doing – but upstairs, I almost bumped into Conner as he left the bathroom.

I told him, “Get your ass back to bed! You should know better!”

He wore the most pitifully confused face, and I didn’t even wait for a response. Even Ed was ashamed of my behavior; he rudely bumped my leg as he followed Con to bed.

Amber barely grunted when I told her, and didn’t remember anything by morning.

When Eddie followed the boys downstairs for breakfast, I remember thinking he was particularly underfoot – but I had bigger concerns; I asked them outright, “What was so important it couldn’t wait for daylight?”

I know kids lie, but I also know what it looks like when they’re genuinely confused; they had no clue what I was asking! To be sure, I made a joke of it – you know – “We aren’t mad, it’s actually funny in the light of day.” kinda stuff. Nothing!

I’m sorry, I love my sons, but the little bastards are terrible actors. Hell, I was almost ready to entertain the haunted notion, so I took a look around. The front door has three locks, and no one is getting the noisy garage open without waking the whole house. Windows were possible to reach, but impossible to open. When nothing was amiss in the office, I went outside. 

After walking a few pointless circles, I decided to check the mail and call it quits. On the way back, I leaned against a tree to tie my shoe and almost shit myself.

Amber and I quit smoking before we moved here, yet there was a cluster of cigarette butts on the ground – as if someone stood there for a few hours.

I took pictures to show Amber without scaring the kids, but she thought I was overreacting! That pushed me into a deeper investigation mode; those butts weren’t covered in dirt with faded filters – no, those were from this week!

I must have played the previous night in my head a hundred times before it finally clicked. The attic access is in the office… it has one of those trap doors in the ceiling… makes a nice, loud thud when opened. Do you have any idea how many stories I’ve read where a hobo is living in someone’s crawl space?!

Shit, I can’t begin to describe the instant coldness that spread through me; it was bone deep dread. The cigarettes scared me, but when Amber didn’t care… I don’t know… I thought… maybe she snuck them behind my back? There’s a certain level of unreal-ness to the idea of a stranger roaming about as we slept.

Now, remember, this is just the next morning; it was broad daylight. I put the family in the car, took my pistol out of the safe, and gathered my courage under the attic door. With shaking hands, I pulled the rope and watched the small, black abyss open wider and wider. The rickety stairs fell to the floor with the same, hard thud as before, and my stomach dropped to a new low.

Carefully ascending the unsteady ladder, I listened for any noise to indicate another presence. My knees threatened to buckle with each step, but there are no words for the moment you actually see a nightmare brought to life. Thankfully, there isn’t much clutter up there – it was easy to take in the full room with a few turns.

I called the police, and they stayed on the phone as I made my way back to the garage. They didn’t hang up until we were safely parked at the end of our long driveway, waiting for their arrival.

Twenty minutes later, two cruisers joined us; the first stayed with my family, and I rode with the second. After a full search, I escorted police to the… nest… and explained, “Yes, the attic is for decorations and we removed the Christmas ornaments weeks ago.”

I did my best to stay calm; I know they were only doing their job, but I think I’d remember seeing blankets and pillows laid in the middle of our family albums! For the love of— sorry, I know, I’ve kept you too long and I’m getting riled up again… but there’s no way one of the boys pulled all that shit out! No one has touched those damn photos since 2011 when we went digital!

The cops think someone squatted here for a few days before moving on, but I don’t think I’ll ever sleep again. How many nights was some deranged person sharing our house?!

So yea, that’s why there was no video yesterday. I cleaned the attic and stored the Christmas decorations while Amber went to town for cameras and a padlock. We now have motion activated surveillance and a secure attic door that won’t open again until October!

Oh, but one last thing before we go, I want to let you know we appreciate how Eddie stepped up to protect the boys; even after we got in the car he stayed right between them. Needless to say he received a handsome dinner and buried his new bones proudly. I’m not joking, he absolutely has new swagger in his step, he knows he did good boy!

Alright, till next time, Crawlers!

December 29, 2020

Sup, Night Crawlers? What did you think? Was it worth the wait? I was hoping Page would be here to see the special dedication for the footage, but she’s probably at work or something.

Hey Page, when you watch this, thanks again for the amazing drone! I promise you guys are going to see a lot of use from it. Oh! And her story was great! I hope I have time to do it in the future, but I’ve got something special planned for the next two weeks. Stay tuned for a special teaser after the stream!

Haha, oh no, Lady; please don’t say our house looks like Amityville! We’ve had enough real life horror to last a lifetime, thank you very much.

That’s right Disco, you tell her; we’re too old for that shit!

No, seriously guys, please, never send me ‘hobo in attic’ stories ever again, okay?

Exactly, Livers, that’s our fucking creed now. Hell-no, fuck-ho-bo’s!

Haha, this is why you guys are the best! Anyway, see… err, hear you… eh, screw it. Later!

January 3, 2021

Okay, I’m sorry, but I’m skipping the pleasantries tonight; I’m seriously freaking out here. The last few days have been straight from a cliche horror movie. I start going to the office tomorrow, so if I don’t get this out now, who knows when my next chance will be. I don’t even believe this shit anymore; tell me what you make of it.

I also need to add a disclaimer up front… I know this is a horror channel, but tonight we aren’t talking about some fictional story for a fun scare… this is real; my friend is dead.

The only reason I’m sharing it is because I truly feel like we’ve all come to be close friends, and I could honestly use the extra support. That being said, I understand if you don’t want to stay for this.

Thanks, Crawlers… and since we still haven’t seen Page, I’m adding another thank you for the drone as it is now part of our security force. When I feel extra paranoid, I fly it over the forest to reassure myself our house guest didn’t take up residence next door.

Do you remember my nightly routine of checking on the kids and locks? Well, you can add obsessively viewing the monitors to that list; a caveman-like instinct has gone into overdrive, and my family’s protection consumes every waking hour.

We have six cameras outside and four inside… the package came with ten, and someone wouldn’t let me buy an extra for the attic. Technically, with the padlock, I could see her point, but… opinions may yet be swayed.

Thursday, as always, I was last to bed and first to rise… well second if you count a certain hyper-active pup. I scanned through the previous night’s footage from my tablet while making coffee, and felt almost satisfied with the results. After Amber woke, I took Eddie to check the mail as an excuse to poke around outside.

The cigarette butts were long gone, and thus far no more have appeared – but I did find a manila envelope in the mailbox. There was no postage – meaning someone delivered it in person. I mean, maybe if we were in a neighborhood… but driving all this way…

And do you know what it was?! A scary story! [scoff] I assuredly shit you not; there are no shits here! To be more specific – it’s about a psychopath who becomes obsessed with a YouTube narrator and crosses the country to kill his family!

At least that’s what the cover said. I couldn’t read past the second page; it was disgusting. Someone tried to scare me with over-the-top details involving way too many entrails, but I threw that crap away.

I’m fairly certain the actual hobo didn’t go through the trouble; I only mention it to show you guys the extent of crazy we’re dealing with. We think the story was a poor attempt at humor by one of our less-than-supportive friends. A few days ago, we attended a dinner party, and Amber accidentally mentioned my little hobby while discussing the attic incident… 

Yea, it’s too coincidental. 

Don’t worry, we’re completely safe to talk; the channel wasn’t mentioned and they won’t find anything by searching my real name.

No kidding, Lady! There were so many times it felt like I was being over cautious, but now I’m grateful! Not to mention this has become my Safe Place; I’d lose my mind worrying about lurkers in every stream.

I still want to know who did it so I can express my gratitude… but they haven’t returned. When the kids were finished with breakfast, we had a family outing; it gave me a chance to stop for a game cam. If we receive another present, I’ll have a picture to go with it!

Other than that, we had a nice day, and I performed my nightly checks without issue. This time it was 2:26 – so technically Friday, but whatever – when I woke to the heavy weight of Eddie’s paws crushing my boys… you know, my special boys… as he leapt from bed, barking furiously.

It’s amazing how excruciating pain and fear gets the blood flowing. I shot out of bed like… well… like a fully grown pit bull used my sac for a launchpad. The only moment spared was to retrieve the gun, but seconds felt like minutes as I listened for any change in Eddie’s low, warning growls.

Feeling braver with the weapon, I joined our furry protector outside the closed office. Two curious boys watched from their doors, but smartly retreated at my Serious Dad Voice. So many thoughts raced through my mind as I steeled myself for entry – chief among them, “How did they get this far before alerting Ed?”

With a final glance back, I took a deep breath and burst through the door. Unsatisfied with my quick scans of the dark room, I managed to toggle the light switch with my shoulder. My eyes tried to squeeze shut against the blinding brightness, but I held them open via sheer desperation.

Eddie sniffed in loud huffs as he investigated and eventually came to lie under the window. His demeanor indicated a loss of trail, but I was too distracted by a shiny, metallic object to care. In the center of the floor, under the attic access, lay the opened padlock.

I was consumed by a rage so black, all fear evaporated in its wake. I pulled the door open in one, overpowered yank, and leapt aside to avoid the falling steps. Eddie’s unimpressed yawn barely registered as I tried to climb the steep stairs – gun held high.

It was empty and undisturbed; if someone went up there, you wouldn’t know by the looks of it. I still walked around before feeling satisfied enough to leave, but there was nowhere to hide; I made sure of that when reorganizing.

Ed was still lying near the far wall and didn’t come when called. I walked over to talk playful smack, but my eyes habitually sought out the window’s lock. As usual, it was safely flicked closed; I’m not sure what made me put it to the test, but I pushed gently on the glass. My stomach rolled as the window raised, smoothly and quietly.

The lock was broken on the end, so while it appeared secure – it was actually a psycho’s private entrance. There was no camera pointed at it… maybe if we bought that extra one… but there isn’t much on that side of the house. I considered entry there impossible… yet considering the evidence…

Still, it had to be someone fairly light-weight; there’s no trees close enough to use, just flimsy latticework – which is now gone. We called the police, who, again – were useless. Technically, I had no proof of a crime, only a suspicion of trespassing; nothing was missing, and the padlock was opened, not broken. All I know on that front is – they didn’t use keys. It came with two, and both remain locked inside the gun safe.

I was losing my mind, I knew someone was messing with us! I called our old neighbors… our kids are close in age and we became good friends with the Porter’s. I told Rick and Maggie everything, and they immediately wanted to help. We convinced the boys to have a sleepover with their old friends while Rick stayed with us.

I also wanted Amber to stay at the Porter’s, but she refused. Rick was a big game hunter, and I think it made her nervous to see how much fire power he brought to the show. I expected him to sleep on the couch, but he insisted on staying awake in his camper truck; he wanted to surprise any would-be intruders.

It felt like we were being cautious. In addition to removing the lattice, we added a camera and spotlights; we sat together for an hour before I went to bed, leaving my tablet so he could watch the monitors. I was nervous at first, but the sight of a two-hundred-fifty pound man loading a shotgun has a way of soothing the soul… you know, when he’s on your side.

Fifty times, I told him, “don’t walk out of the lights; stay where the camera can see you!” He didn’t call or text, he just ran out there alone! Shit, I didn’t even want him to leave his truck! We should have called the police and kept our distance; I knew we were dealing with a madman!

On the security footage, at 1:49, you see Rick proceed to the back of the house, shotgun in hand. After police enhanced the audio, we could hear the soft rustling that drew his attention.

I woke to Eddie losing his shit and turning circles all over the bed. Already dressed, I ran to the monitors to see my friend sneaking into the tree-line. I hurried downstairs, ignoring Amber’s questions, yelling to call the police. Tragedy loomed thick in the air, leaving a foul taste in my mouth.

I locked my wife and dog inside and headed toward the forest. Every leaf crunch broke the silence like a neon sign revealing my position, and each heartbeat throbbed painfully as I searched for Rick in the dark, quiet woods. Finally, the sound of a single gunshot rang out, and despite the overwhelming instinct to run away, I charged forward.

I found my friend on the cold, hard ground, choking on his blood as he struggled for each breath. He couldn’t say much, and what he did say were last words for his family and therefore private. 

As I sat crying and cradling his corpse, I jumped at every noise, expecting one, final shot to take me. I can still feel his sticky blood between my fingers and matted body hair. When you watch a movie, you never think about how uncomfortable those little things are…  

Detectives finally took our previous claims seriously now that they had a murder, and they requested we make “enemy lists” – even the boys; I doubt anything comes from it. 

They stuck around for a few days to keep me quiet, but we’ve been on our own ever since. We try to wear a good face for the boys, but we aren’t sleeping much. I’m not sure when I’ll be able to post again, but I’ll do my best to keep you updated.

January 11, 2022

So, is everybody still with me? Obviously, I failed miserably with the updates, but I’m sure all doubts as to why have been erased. Clearly, the psycho was not on the run… funny enough, it wasn’t even a “he”, but I’m getting ahead of myself.

Six weeks after that stream, I felt ready to record again, but first, I needed a few things from Walmart. Thankfully, Amber and the boys stayed home since it was supposed to be a quick trip.

I was in line to checkout when a small, thin woman with dark hair approached – claiming I looked familiar. I tried politely explaining she was mistaken, but my words didn’t get through; I’m fairly certain she was high as fuck. The chick kept talking about my handsome bone structure! It got to the point I told her, “Look, I’m flattered you’re so keen with me, but I’m old and married; can’t you find some jerky yet mysterious emo kid or something? I bet you could fix him.”

Fuck, if looks could kill… just like that, the flirty-girl act disappeared and we entered Gone Girl territory! Her eyes darted around like they were vibrating, and her fists clenched and unclenched in spastic motions. I thought she was going to hit me, but after a solid five minutes of silent, death glares, she walked away!

I was shaken up because my first attempt at a normal task resulted in yet another unreal situation – but never did I suspect that tiny girl was a murderer! Although, now, I understand how she managed to beat Rick in a gunfight. We expected a deranged madman… the sight of a young woman undoubtedly caused the hesitation which cost his life… but I’m jumping ahead again, sorry.

My excitement for recording faded, and I decided to postpone; I didn’t want my first video back to reflect the hot, chaotic mess of my nerves. That weekend, I thought it would be a good idea to relax by taking the boys for a sort of “man-day” – just normal bonding stuff – playing ball, maybe pop a tent in the yard, nothing stressful…

We never saw her coming… we were spread out, throwing a stupid ball around because I wanted the boys to have real childhood memories… not just Wii Sports… but I instantly recognized her; I knew it was the bitch from Walmart! Granted, I didn’t know who yet, but obviously, two random, crazy people didn’t coincidentally find my house.

She came out of the forest like a ghost; even before she raised the gun, I became painfully aware of my position between the boys. They were spread far apart, with me in the center. My body acted both in unison and independently from my brain.

No matter how desperately I wanted to protect both – a brutal logic forced my legs into action, and without consent, rushed forward; my youngest was already running to meet me. In the very same instant I found myself securely between the Bitch and Conner, I turned to see the gun holding Aiden in place. I’ve never understood the “ice in my veins” term could be so frighteningly literal. My phone and holster were lying on a blanket fifteen feet away; we were completely defenseless.

I screamed… hard enough for my voice to break… begging this bitch to point the gun at me… but she wouldn’t listen. Fuck, she just wouldn’t listen! I know I don’t talk about religion much, but a frightened parent can believe almost anything. I begged every deity from God to Odin to save my boys; myself be damned, I didn’t care.

I know online horror stories aren’t an All Purpose Guide to Life, but it was hard not to think about a few basic lessons learned over the years; I hoped humoring her fantasy might allow me to get closer.

I asked her name, but she only tightened her grip on the gun. The sight of the barrel pointed at Aiden was traumatizing enough, but fresh vomit rose as her hand trembled – finger still on the trigger. I was one sneeze away from watching my first born die.

With both hands raised – palms out – I took a few cautious steps until she refocused her attention. It’s impossible to accurately describe how my heart pulsated uncomfortably in the back of my throat, choking off every word, but that’s exactly how it felt…

I didn’t understand until she finally spoke… apparently, she could almost let it go when I didn’t read her story… but then she got me the drone… a present which – as it turns out – was much more expensive than anything else I received. 

But when I still didn’t read it… that confirmed I was just like the others… 

All the moments before now, every word I said, every decision I made… they all led to thatverymoment. The culmination of a million minute details equaled Conner, Aiden, and I  standing in a field – held at gun point – by Page fucking Turner. All because I didn’t read her terrible story!

How could I know she actually knew me? I’ve never shown my face here; there’s only sixty of us on the best days… and more than a few of you are in Canada! What were the odds of someone being in my city?!

There’s narrators who have millions of listeners! Why couldn’t she go crazy on one of them?! Why me?! There had to be dozens better suited to her tastes!

I felt like I had no choice but to respond, “You’re absolutely right; I’m scum, but please don’t make them pay for my mistakes – shoot me! I was going to read your story after Cthulhu, but you’re right! I should have narrated yours first! Look, we can go inside right now, and I can record it with a special dedication explaining how sorry I am.” My voice was so desperate I didn’t think she would buy it, but she kinda did.

Her attention was solely on me… she didn’t fully believe my words, but she was considering them seriously enough to forget about Aiden. It filled me with pride to see my boy use the opportunity to quietly retreat toward the tree-line. I too stole the chance to win a few more steps; all I had to do was get in reaching distance and I had her.

Every overprotective Dad instinct told me to rush her, take her down and don’t let up until she’s dead, but I couldn’t trust the distance remaining. Instead, I asked if she thought she could make a series out of the story – something we could premiere weekly – and won several feet more as she laughed maniacally.

That hysterical, evil laugh was the most disturbing sound I’ve ever heard. I now know she was in her thirties, but she was so tiny… I honestly assumed she was early twenties. It’s a strange thing to see so much evil in such a small package; maybe she was possessed…

As soon as she was close enough, I dropped all pretense and focused every ounce of my being into placing my body in front of that barrel. I didn’t care about the stray shot that pierced my shoulder, only that I had time to take her down before I passed out. Even with adrenaline flooding my system, the blinding inferno of agony was almost too much. I reminded myself of the agony it would be to bury a son, and pushed past the numbing sensation coursing through my body. 

With sheer willpower I kept hold of the gun, fighting to turn it back on her. Finally, a loud bang rang through the forest, and for a terrifying moment, I was completely unaware who the bullet struck. I looked at the boys, breathing a heavy sigh of relief to see both on their feet. They were coming towards us, but I screamed for them to run home, knowing Amber could handle the rest. Only when they were safely away did I investigate my own condition or that of Page’s.

I pried the gun from her limp hand, and crawled away when I saw the horrific wound in her midsection. Her blood spread into a huge puddle, and she was so pale I thought she was already dead… even if she weren’t, there’s no way she should have been able to run off! I wanted to be with my family damnit; it’s not my fault she was gone when police arrived.

There was a manhunt over the following weeks, but her body was never found. They think wild animals finished her off, and I’m sure that’s what happened, because she was on death’s door. Had I not seen it for myself, things would probably feel different, but here we are almost a year later and we’ve never seen the bitch again.

I know we’ve been here a long time, but if you’ll indulge me a moment longer, I’d like to share the final police report. It didn’t take long to finish the investigation once they knew who they were dealing with.

Page’s real name was – get this – Paige fucking Turner. Her parents, Phoebe and Colton Turner, thought it sounded cute, but she was deluded into thinking it gave her writing skills! Oh, and they’re from California; she traveled all the way to Michigan just for me.

I’m glad she’s dead and hope she rots wherever she is now! We’ve tried to check on Maggie and the children, but as you can imagine, they’re not eager to speak with us. I would have known it was Page before we lost Rick had my lazy ass actually read her story. If I recognized it when she left it in the mailbox, the police might have responded differently for someone obsessed enough to cross the country.

I can’t believe how far she went just because I didn’t want to narrate a lame story! At first, I was too busy to read it, but after she gave me the drone, I felt kinda obligated. I was determined, if it was even slightly decent – it was happening.

Guys, it fucking sucked. It made zero damn sense! The first few paragraphs tried to describe a woman who was being stalked, but when I didn’t use it – she changed the main character to me and added the names of my family; otherwise, it was exactly the same. Had I paid the least bit of attention, I would have seen it; the police found it quick enough, anyway.

My biggest hang up was how she found me. I watched every video, listening for any hints regarding our address, and the only clue I revealed was our Michigan PO Box which is an hour away. I don’t care how long someone scoured Google Maps with the drone footage – it would take one hella lucky break to find us that way. You guys saw it! Nothing but trees and our house; there’s not a highway, road sign, or car tag in sight! As it turns out, the Bitch was savvy enough to install some kind of GPS tracker into the drone itself; I led her right to us.

Please let my mistake be a lesson – you never truly know who’s behind a username. Hell, you know what the biggest mind-fuck of all was? The title of the story, Coming Soon

Horror Fiction

My Infinity Game (Pt. 2)

Now a CreepyPasta 

Hey everyone! I can’t believe the overwhelming response to my last post. When I started this thread, I didn’t expect anyone to read it – I just thought it would be one of those cool things for if I disappeared. You know, one of those documentaries where the only leads are the victim’s strange blog? But then it’s so strange, most people think it’s a hoax?

When that Danie Dreadful chick wanted to narrate it – I thought she was joking, but considering ninety percent of you think it’s fiction… I suppose that makes more sense. It’s okay, I’m not offended – if it helps spread the word – sure, it’s fiction. Besides, it’s pretty cool to hear your own words done up all fancy, and she has a great voice.

Anyway, the reason I’m back is because I have a… “sequel” for you. I did it; I went to the Mirror World and want to share new information! Thankfully, we can get right to the point this time; if you haven’t read my first post – check it out or you’ll be completely lost.

Since I intended to share this experience – I took a tape recorder, but it wouldn’t even turn on. Yes, I know there’s the whole “no electronics” thing, but there has to be a limit there… well, so I thought, but it’s a theory in progress. The point is – I will endeavor to record this experience in its entirety regardless of that setback.

Beforehand, I tried to think of all that could go wrong; never trust yourself to think clearly in a pinch. As a result, I wrapped red duct-tape around my arm rather than the traditional band. It sounds like any color will work, but for a detail so simple – why risk it?

I almost took a gun but thought better of it when plagued by images of a warped, pistol-toting reflection. I wasn’t positive that’s what would happen, but again – not worth it. Even so, I was hesitant to go defenseless; in the end I settled for leaving a broken taser next to our circle. Filling a pack with basic survival supplies was common sense but also vital; the full inventory is listed at the end.

As for who I played with – I brought along my bestie. We met in kindergarten, and she’s the closest thing I have to a sibling. All my life – I’ve been somewhat of a screw-up, but Jess is the responsible one; she’s been adulting at a pro level since we were sixteen.

Obviously, when I approached her about this whole affair, she thought I was joking… or having one of my episodes… but eventually, she came to understand I wouldn’t settle down until it was out of my system. Ever the loyal friend she played along as we gathered supplies, and only when I informed her of our location did she falter.

I had to explain it several times, but eventually she acquiesced – eager to get it over with. If you understand the game, the logic is simple; Mom started in her quaint little neighborhood which equaled a demolished slum-hole in Mirward.

Side note: The name Mirror World kinda sucks… so I hope you don’t mind, but I’ve taken to calling it Mirward.

Following that logic, doesn’t it seem feasible one might find a better entry point by placing their mirrors in a less homely location? That’s why I booked a room at the motel on 6th street. I had unusual difficulties communicating the desire to rent nightly instead of hourly – but these were the preparations worth extra effort. I couldn’t begin to guess how long my trip would take, but interruptions were unacceptable. Eventually, my credit card ended the discussion.

I’m fairly certain no one saw us lugging the big mirrors inside, but if they did – they’ve probably seen stranger things around there. The setup was easy after that; with the taser in place, I presented a list of rules to Jess. They were typed bullet points – laminated and everything – answering any questions she was liable to have in simple terms. For any who wish to use it, a revised copy is at the end, or a PDF is available upon request.

Ignoring her mockery of my bulky attire, I tried to review the rules aloud once more. After I left, she would be forced to act accordingly, but I wanted her to at least grasp the basics. Bouncing off the mirror three times didn’t help either… but on the fourth try, I was rewarded by the sound of beautifully dying laughter.


I fell to my knees from the sheer shock of it; not only was the cold enough to steal your breath, but the whole experience left a dizzying sensation. Several minutes passed before I felt steady enough to stand, but I couldn’t dawdle. Now that I was in the Lobby – the clock was ticking.

As imagined, Jess wore a shocked expression that filled me with a warming satisfaction. One last time – I warned her, “Please mind the instructions… she really is coming…” before removing my pack to free the skateboard. Every second mattered, and while I hadn’t used it much since high school – a few weeks of practice did wonders. I soared down the infinite corridor in absolute wonder – waiting for the click of an opening door to reveal the exit.

Enough time passed to make me wonder if I missed something, but finally, it happened. Coming to a less than graceful stop, I turned to face my reflection. I feel like I can be real with you guys… it was trippy as fuck. She was me! I know mere words can never accurately convey the emotions instilled by such an encounter, but every base instinct screamed, “This is not ok!”

I almost talked to her… all my mental preparations vanished when the moment of truth came, and it almost ruined me before ever leaving the Lobby. When she was sure I wouldn’t speak – Flection chick broke the silence.

“Welcome! I’m so glad you made it! From the moment you found your Mother’s journal, I knew it was only a matter of time!” She grinned slightly wider than natural, giving her… my… face an unsettling appearance, but she also spoke like an old friend. It really did make me want to talk – I had a thousand questions.

“Oh, come now, we don’t have to worry about all those silly rules! You aren’t here to play the game; you’re here to learn… right?” She was so convincing I wanted to believe her… but I guess that’s the whole point…

“Aww, you think I’m lying… well, I can’t blame you for being cautious. Go ahead then – I certainly won’t try to stop you; we can talk after you’ve poked around.” If nothing else, she was polite, but I couldn’t help noticing she skated towards Jess.

Oh, and for the record, I take the skateboard as proof that bringing a gun would be unfortunate.

Alone again, I took a deep breath before proceeding. The open door held nothing but impenetrable darkness, and I kept a healthy distance while accessing my own on the opposite side. The cold knob turned easily beneath my hand, and light spilled into the dim corridor; as I passed through – both doors could be heard shutting behind me.


The hotel was almost exactly as hoped. Suddenly I was in a lavish, swanky room, and although no evil old guy awaited my arrival – there was a beautiful woman. She wore a black evening gown, and her hairdo looked expensive as hell, but I couldn’t stop looking at her ridiculous shoes; they looked like Dorothy’s ruby red slippers were turned into stilettos.

“Good evening, would you care for a drink?” She asked, leaning against the bar and sipping a cocktail… I know it’s silly to point out, but she had her pinky extended; that says a lot about a person – human or not.

Endlessly I’ve debated if speaking to one of those is allowed, but I couldn’t make myself test the theory; this game doesn’t exactly come with extra lives. For the time being it’ll remain a mystery. Regardless, she couldn’t be trusted; while keeping her in sight, I scanned the room for my taser.

“Looking for this?” She stepped aside to reveal an obviously new taser placed atop the bar, and I stared angrily.

“I’m sure you were proud to think of it, huh? The smart ones are my favorite, but it’ll take a lot more to make waves around here.” She was picking at her nails and sounded bored.

My inner smartass was in complete turmoil – itching, begging to be freed, but I bit my tongue until it bled to keep all witty retorts inside.

“Did you know the clever ones break the hardest? It’s because they’re so sure of themselves…” She sighed happily, as if recalling fond memories, and I began to squirm under her penetrating gaze.

Writing the taser off, I began inching towards the exit – ready to run if she advanced a single step.

“Are you trying to be stealthy in your attempt to reach the door? You needn’t be; violence is beneath my station. Besides, I haven’t finished my cocktail yet…” With that, she turned her back to me and resumed drinking. I kept her in sight while creeping closer to the exit, and only when outside with the door firmly shut did I look away.


At a glance, the parking lot appeared void of life, but I was doubtful of the assessment. Before – several blocked-up cars littered the streets, but now there was an assortment of lovely options!

I hoped to have a weapon before this stage, but there was still no sign of life so I skated to the closest vehicle. It was a mustang, and I was only a few feet away when the shrill barking exclusive to chihuahuas filled my ears. The three-legged beast raced toward me, tongue lolling behind in a stream of foam.

I tried jumping onto the car, but the mutt caught my ankle and pulled me backwards. Luckily, it was small, and a single kick propelled it far, but the creature wanted more. Quickly, I shed my outer layer and held it up like a matador; when the dog leapt, I used the coat to pin it down. Heart hammering, I fought desperately to end the incessant barking – terrified of what attention it might draw.

Once blissful silence was restored, I realized the larger problem – what to do next. Zombified or not; the idea of killing a dog was too unsettling. A car was right there and plenty more to choose from; I scooped the deformed runt into a ball and tossed the bundle inside, but the coat was a lost cause. Thankfully, all my layers had duct-tape – including my skin – and I assure you, the pain of removal was completely worth the reassurance.

The mongrel emerged from its wrapping like an angry hornet and resumed barking. At the sight of its beady, red eyes, I fled to the next vehicle with renewed motivation for locating a weapon. My ankle could wait for attention; it felt sore, but I knew the skin was unbroken. The dogs in Mom’s journal were the main reasons I wore steel-toed combat boots, two layers of socks, and three pairs of pants.

At a BMW, I learned that anything with a computer chip wouldn’t crank; the electronics thing got me again. To be fair, I suspected it was too good to be true when the keys were in the ignition, but I digress, it wasn’t a total loss – I found a tire-iron in the trunk and confirmed my ankle was whole if bruised.

Next, I chose an older model Saturn, but of course, the keys were nowhere in sight. That meant it was time to look for a clue; a hide-a-key box beneath the bumper would be too easy, but I had to check anyway. Finally, I noticed the parking space was labeled, “Reserved for C. Perkins” and sat across from Pierce & Perkins Law Offices.

Gripping my meager weapon tightly, I crossed the street, wary for sounds of pursuit. Opening the door slowly, I hoped to remain silent but cringed with terror when a bell chimed above my head. Seriously though, who the hell uses a physical bell anymore?!

The entrance was a reception area with a hallway on the left and desks on the right. Sounds of movement in the back stirred me to action, and I dove from sight just as footsteps entered the room. The sound of a stifled yawn confused me at first, but then I remembered something else from Mom’s journal! The Mirror Master said his “pets” were nocturnal; most of them were still sleeping!

Side note: The name Mirror Master also sucks; henceforth I will refer to him as the Boss.

I was blind beneath the desk as the footsteps drew closer, and for the first time, I became genuinely frightened. All the smug surety that enveloped me evaporated the instant those shoes stopped next to my hiding place. There was no room to swing, but I positioned the tire-iron for a jab.

Any hope I had for not being discovered was dashed when the thing sniffed the air in deep, grunting breaths – like it smelled me. Willing myself not to scream when the inevitable head appeared, I waited… but decaying, spindly fingers came first; they were covered in dirt with jagged nails and curled around the desktop’s edge.

I almost panicked and struck the hand, but controlled myself a moment longer. A slight whimper escaped my lips when greasy strands of black hair dangled into view, and tiny bugs could be seen crawling through it – nesting. The thing’s breaths were growing heavier, as if excited to find me, and I thought my heart would fail.

When the face was finally before me, I didn’t aim my strike; the fact the tire-iron went through its eye socket was a one-in-a-million lucky hit that would never happen again – but it saved my life. I was frozen in place by shocked awe as the corpse slumped forward and fell heavily to the ground. Fluids leaked from more than its head as I tried to crawl around it, but the stench seeped into my clothing and was there to stay.

Standing up, my knees felt weak but I had to keep moving; too much time was wasted, and I still needed keys. Down the hallway were three doors. One was a bathroom, and the other two were labeled with nameplates. I didn’t dare open Pierce’s office, but Mr. Perkins had a set of keys in his desk drawer. Still fearing his partner, I left quietly without further delay.

Outside, I was dismayed to see the sun had definitely made progress crossing the sky; it was almost at its highest point. Not having a way to track time was the hardest part; I highly recommend learning to use a sundial before making the journey; I’m learning on YouTube.

Hearing the Saturn roar to life instilled me with a proud sense of accomplishment, and the fear from minutes before was forgotten. Now, maybe you’ve been wondering, “Where would your boss fight be if you don’t want a wish?” I wondered that myself during the weeks of preparations, and after considering several possibilities – a school seemed the best bet.

I didn’t want to repeat Mom’s mistake, so instead of making the long drive to the university – I decided to try the much closer community college. Of course, if I guessed wrong, I wasn’t going to risk a second location; I fully intended to be home long before it got dark.


The road conditions were decent for the first few miles if I drove in the center, but then potholes grew as the pavement shrank. I knew what was coming next, but couldn’t let myself panic. Three miles away from the college, I was met with a roadblock; the barricade had a “Road Closed” sign in the center, and a “Detour” sign pointing left.

Now, keeping in mind the directions are reversed in Mirward – the only thing to the left was the river, but I didn’t see any problem with the road ahead; besides, the roads were shit everywhere, but this was the first time any notice was given. Suspicious, right?… Getting past the barricade required driving onto the sidewalk which put me extremely close to a cluster of antique shops.

I was scraping by with barely an inch to spare, when glass suddenly exploded next to my face. I reflexively punched the gas and the car surged forward. At the sight of more creepy fingers clasping the window frame, I slammed onto the breaks, and cried in relief when a severed hand fell limply onto the pavement.

Behind me, two zombies were approaching fast – one clearly the hand’s owner. I dove back into the car, eyes locked forward, and steered around the worsening road conditions while trying not to panic at the loss of my window. Aside from the obvious cuts to my arm, I felt a few more on my face and neck. At the next intersection, I parked in the center and carefully removed the shards from my skin – you never know when another chance will arise. Luckily nothing warranted wasting time with the first-aid kit.

The moment I feared came one block away from the college. The road was destroyed, leaving only one narrow path in the center, and I could already see things moving in the ditch to the right. The sun was officially at its highest point, and the image of an hourglasses was brandished into my mind.

I was torn between speeding across – which… you seem like a smart group, so I’m sure I don’t need to explain the risks there – or continuing my slow and steady pace. Before you condemn my actions, let me remind you my driver’s side window was now shattered, and my only weapon was a tire-iron that I was already pushing my luck with. Do you see why I might feel the extra push toward a final sprint? Just one more left turn and I would meet the Boss! Well, I don’t mind telling you; it was a fucking disaster. Always, always choose slow and steady; but what’s done is done.

While lining up for a straight shot, I envisioned several zombie creatures emerging too late to matter. I didn’t anticipate their movements to be burrowing, but had I gone a little slower, I might have noticed the cracks spreading through the road before it crumbled beneath me. The airbag broke my nose, and the car was totaled, but no bones were broken and I missed the long drop by a few feet.

At the sound of an approaching horde, I clambered out of the window and up the opposite embankment. A car door was ripped open just as I made it to the top, but I dared not look back. Tears blurred my vision as I sprinted between a vape-shop and liquor store, but on the other side lay sweet victory.

Wiping my face, I scanned the area patiently before emerging from my dark corner, but the low growl came from behind me. It wasn’t the sound of a chihuahua this time – it was the sound of a large, undoubtedly zombified dog. Never try to outrun animals; they’ll always win. Instead, I leapt atop a dumpster and screamed when it shook with the animal’s collision.

This time there was room to swing; I really didn’t want to, but I focused on its yellow, third eye, snake-like tongue, and foaming mouth as I did what was necessary. Black blood sprayed with every strike, and I cried apologies with each impact. Killing dead people was one thing, but I hoped to avoid the animals; a cat may very well be the death of me in the next game.

My nose was swollen; I could see it from the corner of my eyes and the visual obstruction bothered me more than pain or mouth breathing. Mom escaped with a few scratches, and here I was – not even at the halfway point and barely standing. I entered the college without further confrontation, but the sun was moving at an uncomfortably rapid pace.


Once inside, I was able to use the skateboard and help myself to a protein bar. I wasn’t completely sure where the Boss would be, but if I didn’t find him after a single pass-through – I would be forced to leave anyway; there wasn’t time for a second location… there wasn’t even time to get home if I didn’t find a vehicle close by…

That’s when my reflection decided to show her face; she waited for me at the bottom of a stairwell, and I felt foolish for not expecting her. “You look like shit! I mean… I know this place can be rough, but I honestly expected better from you!”

I glared angrily as she looked me over, but she was blocking the steps, and I didn’t want to get too close. “You made decent time, but at what cost? Do you understand you’ve ruined our nose? No! Of course you don’t, you never care how we look!”

I’m not sure if that display was part of her act, but of all I experienced in Mirward, Flection Bitch was unquestionably the most terrifying. I don’t pretend to understand the Boss; maybe he’s a demon, or wizard, or something else entirely – but there’s nothing more dangerous than an enemy who knows you.

“You’re more intelligent than most of the livestock – fine, bravo; but you’re missing the bigger picture – I am too! We’re the same! We should be working together!”

I raised an eyebrow at that and scolded myself for letting her see my curiosity. If she thought I would agree to a timeshare she was delusional, but it’s more likely she was simply stalling – a point I communicated via glancing out of a nearby window.

She understood the gesture and replied accordingly. “Ugh, you think I’m stalling now… fine. You’re going upstairs next? Great, I’ll go ahead, just listen while we walk.”

I was hesitant to follow her anywhere, but had to go up regardless. As long as I stayed a few yards back, I could diverge paths when needed.

“I can’t read your mind; I know it seems like it, but it’s only because we are the same. Everyone in your world has a counterpart here, and they’re all the same people living in different realities. Obviously, your world is far more pleasant – which means we tend to grow bitter on this side. We can see everything you do through mirrors. Every time you look into one, I’m staring back, but what you don’t see is how I’m still there after you look away. It’s the same for all of us.”

She knew she had my attention, but I didn’t understand why she removed a flag from the wall; it was one of those shorter kinds that sit in a bracket. I raised my tire-iron defensively as she snapped the pole over her knee, but the makeshift spear wasn’t for me; it was for the zombie exiting a nearby classroom.

“I can’t stand interruptions, and we’re almost there so listen close. You’ll never learn everything in this one visit – not without making a wish – and if you die, I die. Your little friend isn’t easy to fool either – meaning I have a proposition… I will help you get home, but in exchange – I want you to do some research before returning.”

It’s amazing how hard it is to stay silent once you’re in the middle of a conversation, but I managed. As we climbed another flight of stairs, I almost wished she could read my mind – that’s how badly I wished to communicate my offense. If she knew so much, she should be aware of the limited knowledge available on Mirward. My ignorance wasn’t a result of laziness; for months, I interviewed every source I could find!

“I see by your indignant expression that you misunderstand… again. You see the end of the hall? The Boss is inside.”

The door she indicated was labeled “Dean”, and before stepping away – she retrieved a folded piece of paper from her pocket.

“You didn’t know where to look – put this somewhere safe… it’s a list of books you’ll find helpful. I know you don’t believe me yet, but you will. I won’t bother you again for this trip – call it a show of good faith – but when you leave here, use the faculty parking exit. If you take a left at the bottom of the stairs on the first floor – you’ll go straight to it; a blue car will be waiting, but this will still be the hardest part.”

“Shocked” doesn’t begin to describe how I felt at that moment. Don’t get me wrong, it’s not like I trusted her, but even if she was playing a long con – it still meant she had to help me home this time. Besides, I was in bad shape with a long way to go; if she was willing to let me pass unmolested… well I didn’t really have a choice in the matter. When she was well out of sight, I shoved her note into my pocket before opening the Boss’ door.


The room was well lit and the Boss was sitting at a large, oak desk. Since arriving in Mirward, so much had happened that I forgot about his appearance… I couldn’t help but giggle at the sight.

“I honestly could not decide if I liked or loathed you, but now… I’m leaning toward loathe. How can someone who thinks so highly of herself be so immature?” Oh, he was disgusted, but I didn’t care; that was the closest to a real-life Spider-Man I would ever get.

“You guys keep saying that… do I really come across as that conceited?” I always thought myself humble… but it was such a relief to finally speak!

“Absolutely. Now, get on with it – what do you want? Make a wish and get out, I do not relish this form.” He examined his costume, and a careless movement sent web-string flying across the office; I felt like I could die happy.

“Oh, I thought you knew… I don’t want anything… I just came to… umm, you know… check this place out.” I couldn’t help but stare at my feet. Even through the mask his gaze felt like a thousand eyes.

“You are a complete imbecile.” The polite but firm tone vanished, and only malice remained. It frightened me so badly, I almost blurted out a wish for money.

Instead, I inched towards the door while apologizing. “You’re absolutely right, I’m very sorry for wasting your valuable time; I’ll let myself out.” Obviously, that didn’t work.

“I strongly recommend reconsidering your actions, child! To think I respected your mother! How such a… brat… came from her – I shudder at the thought!” He screamed hard enough for spit to fly through the mask, and I froze in place.

“You’ll get no argument from me—” I tried.

“Silence! You want to learn, you say? Fine, let’s try a mental exercise, shall we? You’ve read your mother’s words… were you surprised by my friendly demeanor? Perhaps, due to my reputation, you envisioned a vile creature – but then my charming grace led you to believe… differently. Am I close? A simple nod will suffice.”

Close enough anyway; I nodded affirmation with my mouth slightly agape.

“Excellent! Now, based on how things turned out for your mother – a woman I was amused by – how do you suppose your story might end? You – a disrespectful brat?”

“It’s just.., I’m sure I’m wrong – sorry again – but umm… your endgame seems to be getting a soul… and… I thought since you went to all this trouble of the elaborate setup… that maybe you couldn’t just… take one…? Besides, most legends agree that souls are a free-will thing…”

“It’s been a long time since someone like you has come along. Do you know what your problem is? It’s youth. You young ones have these tiny, insignificant epiphanies – and you’re so pleased with yourselves – you fail to see anything beyond that simple fact! You are correct – to an extent; I cannot take your soul by force, but I can do quite literally anything else.” The mask suddenly conformed to his face beneath, and the terror of it was indescribable.

Mom saw fangs, but she didn’t see the twisted shape of his ears, the long slant to his eyes, or his lack of nose. As he closed the gap between us, the mask began to fade entirely, so that by time our faces were inches apart – the only thing I saw was his pasty, bluish gray skin.

His breath was cold and visible as he spoke. “I’m feeling hungry today, so I’ll give you one, last chance. Do you want to make a wish, or do you want to die?”

I knew without a shred of doubt he was serious. For all my planning, I overlooked the most obvious detail; my intentions never mattered – the game is still the game. Worst of all, he was right about me; I was so proud, so busy patting myself on the back – I missed everything else.

I nodded vigorously without knowing what I would wish for, but the moment I did – Spider-Man stood behind his desk once again.

“Rotten brat – take a look outside, it’s getting dark much faster than usual; you’ll be lucky to make it back alive!… Well, then? Spit it out!” He was screaming again.

Before I tell you what happened next, I want you all to know I fully believed I would die there. No matter how I looked at it – there was no way out. My game was over, and soon Jess would open that horrible note in the sock drawer. It wasn’t a matter of selflessness, but it was now so dark outside – there was no point in wishing anything for myself.

“I want Jess to have a long, happy, normal life and to live as if I never dragged her through this. I want her to follow the instructions I left and move on… peacefully.”

“You saw that movie didn’t you?” He asked blandly.

“What… huh?”

“Don’t play dumb; you thought a selfless wish would negate the deal, didn’t you?” His tone was extremely accusatory, and frankly, offensive.

“Holy shit, does it?”

No!”

“Then give me the contract – as you pointed out – I’m in a hurry!” I’m a sore loser, I admit it, but I thought he was stalling me with false hope. Turns out he was talking about some really old move called Bedazzled, but that’s not important since it had absolutely no bearing on my situation.

A thick scroll appeared in his hands, and with a snap of his fingers it unrolled into a pile at his feet. A quill suddenly manifested in his other hand, and remembering the blood signature, I extended my finger – tensed and waited for the jab. I watched in slow motion as his arm darted forward, and the sharp tip made contact with the soft pad of my finger. Nothing happened.

Once again, the Spider-Man facade vanished, but I struggled to stifle a laugh at the confused expression left in its place. The Boss was no longer towering above me, but hunched over my finger in an utter state of dismay. Three more times he jabbed my finger with increasing strength and speed, yet nothing happened.

“What are you?! Why does your existence plague me?!” His anger returned with the briefest glance at my smile, and all fears of laughing were gone.

“What do you mean, what? I’m obviously human; you—” I was just as confused as he was. It was a shame we didn’t have time to discuss it.

“Get out! Out, you damn, heathen!” He yelled while shooing me away.

I was moving, I assure you; when he said those words my paralysis was over.


There was hardly any light remaining, and I had more questions than when I came, but all that mattered was leaving. I turned left on the first floor, and didn’t have time to wonder if it was a trap. Doors were opening all around me, and nothing good was coming out of them.

I was skating down a long hallway and saw the exit at the end, but there were several more classrooms to pass. My legs began to shake and I almost fell over twice, but only seconds remained before I would be surrounded. Finally, as I burst through the last door standing between me and freedom, a hand grabbed the back of my shirt, and pulled.

The skateboard rolled away and was never seen again, but it served me well. Before I could catch my breath, the hand lifted me high into the air, and my feet dangled above the ground. Pretending to swing the tire-iron, I pulled my arms from the sleeves – which is why you never button-up – and fell back to the ground; I rolled a comical distance before daring to rise, but the blue car was immediately noticeable.

I tried not to let hope carry me away… it was still likely a trap, but it was my only option; there were no others to choose from, and zombies were closing in fast.

This time the keys were in the ignition and it cranked… there was also a gas mask in the passenger seat with a note that said “wear me or die” – so I wore it… then I took it off because I couldn’t see Jack shit, but I kept it handy.

Remembering the road destruction on the way in, I took a longer route back, but along the way I found no more opposition. It was like the zombies were on strike. Several buildings were in flames, and I thought for sure they were ambushes, but I passed each one without incident. Just when my hopes began to rise, I pulled into the motel to see three giant zombie dogs.

I had to run over two before the third fled, but I parked as close as possible to the entrance. Done with the driving portion of the game, I put the strange gift on once more and entered. The whole place was filled with a thick, white smoke; regardless what it was, the mask surely saved me.

No one confronted me on the way to my room, but the beautiful lady was waiting with a mask of her own. It’s interesting she would need one… but she was furious at my appearance. Apparently, violence was no longer beneath her station, and she made one hell of a scary sight in that big mask and elegant gown.

In her anger, she charged at me, and I jumped over the couch to reach my taser. I turned to meet her and heard the satisfying zaps of contact when it connected with her midsection. She fell to the floor with a heavy thud, and immediately, a chorus of doors erupted outside – more were coming. There was no hesitation in my sprint to the exit; I dove into the Lobby and slammed the door behind me, cutting off all sounds of pursuit.

The cold of the infinite corridor hit me like a punch to the gut, but I was so grateful it didn’t matter; struggling with each, painful step, I began my long, wheel-less trudge to the mirror. It felt like an eternity before Jess was finally in view, but once she was, a new burst of energy surged through me. I ran the rest of the way, holding my right arm up to point at the red tape.


You won’t be surprised to hear she’s furious with me; more so since hearing my side of things. It would have been wise to edit out a few details, but she can always tell when I’m lying, and I was too eager to share anyway. I would also like to take this time to thank all of you as well; it is an honor to share this with your community!

As for the note from my reflection – it was a short message followed by a list of reading materials and where to find them. I do not think it wise to reveal the list – some of the texts are dangerous – but I will copy the rest below; I’m sure you will be equally confused by the contents as myself.

‘What you know is incomplete; do not return until you learn the rest. I could not tell you more before your meeting with the Master, but now, you will understand the truth.’

It makes no sense, but I’m going to find these books and keep you updated. I do not recommend anyone playing the Infinity Game for any reason, but if you do – please be safe! Below are the FAQ’s and inventory list I previously mentioned – or comment with your email if you would like the PDF’s. Until next time, friends.



FAQ’s⁉️

  • Where the hell did you go?!
    • I told you, Mirward! Now, grow a pair and stand firm!
  • Why are you back so soon?
    • If tape is on left – it’s not me! Don’t move; she can’t hurt you!
    • If tape is on right – move; I’m in a hurry!
  • Does it really know the future?
    • I don’t know, but it’s irrelevant; it’ll say anything.
  • You suck! Why would you do this to me?
    • Think of my other prospects. That’s why.
  • How do I contact you? It’s an emergency!
    • You seriously can’t. If you leave the circle – I’m dead. If you have to leave anyway – destroy the mirrors first.
  • Why did the mirror suddenly shatter?
    • I’m dead, sorry. Destroy the second mirror immediately; then seek further instructions in my sock drawer.
  • I have to pee…
    • Without leaving the circle or touching the mirror, retrieve the bucket hidden behind the silver one… sorry again.
  • How long is this going to take?
    • No clue, but at least several hours. Don’t try to hold it; just use the bucket.
  • Something else is coming, what do I do?
    • Break the mirrors and save yourself, I’m already doomed.


Full Inventory

🚫Never take something you cannot afford to lose🚫

  • Skateboard (straps easily to outside)
  • Protein bars / water
  • Matches
  • First-aid
  • Paracord bracelet
  • Compass
  • Gorilla glue
  • Screwdriver
  • Pocket knife
  • Gloves
  • Goggles
  • Face mask
  • Eye drops

Horror Fiction

Para-Hunt: Episode 101

⚠️Fair Warning to all ⚠️ 

This is only horror in the loosest sense. It’s a comedic paranormal thing. Super big thanks for guest star appearances by my favorite demon, CREEPYFACE and others ❤️‍🔥


Now a CreepyPasta

CREEPYFACE:

Is it ready?

3… 2… 1…

Welcome back, Creepers! It’s your demon host, CREEPYFACE, and this is Episode 101 of Para-Hunt! Me and the Crypters are coming at you live from Backwoods, Louisiana! Tonight, we have ourselves a lovely trio of Hunters planning to check out a local cemetery. As usual – their mission statement is to “record evidence of the paranormal” so let’s see if they can pay the piper! Can you imagine if they learned half the horror community was actually what we claim to be?!

Their channel is Buster of Ghosts, and a link is in the description if you want to look. They’re doing okay for themselves with 10k subs, but let’s see if that number doesn’t go up after tonight! If this is your first time tuning in – we rank all teams by Class A-D, and like to use this portion of the segment to give you a little background on who we’re following. Overall, we’re ranking these guys as C-Class; when exploring they only use spirit box apps. In the beginning, they stayed around their Texas hometown, but lately they expanded their travel radius.

I’ve skimmed through their top ten videos, but found no legitimate encounters so we have the honor of popping another cherry! I don’t think these guys are pants-wetters, but I’ve been fooled before; let’s just hope they don’t turn out to be cheaters, huh?

Here’s their homepage; the tall ginger in the middle is Eric, the blonde to his right is Chloe, and the thicker guy in the hat is Travis. The girl should be especially fun – she screams every time a door slams. Now, as you can see – they wrote this nice, long bio about growing up in a small town and bonding over a shared love for the supernatural, but here on Para-Hunt we like to go behind the scenes! That’s right, it’s time for our resident Shadow-man to do his thing!

Shade:

And just like that – we’re on location! Our new friends are still at the hotel; let’s see what they talk about when they think the cameras are off…

Chloe:

Did you do any research before suggesting this place?! Please tell me we didn’t drive four hours based on a random YouTube video!

Eric:

What difference does it make? It’s not like we’re ever going to find real ghosts! Besides, did you see how big it is? It’s an easy episode of exploring; all we have to do is mention a few temp drops and strange noises.

Travis:

The man has a point – remember when we explored that abandoned hotel last October? It was full of squatters, but we didn’t learn that until the next day – after gaining 200 subs overnight!

Chloe:

And what do you think will happen if viewers find out we’re cheating? It was one thing to take chances early on, but we have too much to lose now; sponsors are finally beginning to notice us!

Eric:

We aren’t cheating; don’t be so dramatic! It’s not like we’re paying kids to run around slamming doors anymore!

Chloe:

I don’t understand how you can be so ignorant when—

Travis:

Come on, guys, don’t fight; we got a long night ahead. Besides… these big channels must be doing something extra… there’s no way they’re getting all that footage on the up and up.

Shade:

Uh-oh, sounds like there’s trouble in paradise! Before we cut back, do you think we should give them a little taste of what we have in store for later?…

You bet we should! How about the book on that table?…

Chloe:

The shit?!

Shade:

Ooo, that made a nice smack! Told you the girl was a screamer, and did you see how high they jumped?!…

Oh, look, time for the blame game!

Chloe:

I’m sick of you two setting up these stupid pranks! I swear to God if you put this into the video – I’m gonna be pissed; it’s not funny anymore!

Eric:

I had nothing to do with that one!

Shit bruh, please tell me you’re recording because that was amazing! How did you do it?

Travis:

That’s not cool; I’m fine with adding some prank clips to the videos – they play well with the audience, but even I’m tired of you trying to convince us they’re real…

Eric:

Dude, whatever! I—

Shade:

Wow, they got riled up fast! Let’s give them some time to cool down, shall we? I’ll keep an eye on our friends while you guys explore the cemetery.

CREEPYFACE:

And we’re back at… where’d that sign go?… Ah! Cypress Bayou Cemetery. Our Hunters learned of a Weeping Woman; it’s said her cries of anguish are heard throughout the graveyard – even during the day.

While me and Lucy grab some info, Helen will take you around for a Banshee’s eye view so you can see how big this place is.

Helen:

Here we go; hold on tight! Who needs drones when you have a Queen of Troy? Cypress Bayou is aptly named indeed; I guess that’s Louisiana for you, although this is my first time back in some seventy odd years.

Look at those beautiful mausoleums; I love the intricate stonework and marble plaques! This place definitely has some great stories to tell… and the groundskeepers clearly take pride in their work – those rose bushes could win competitions! The paths are all paved, and lined with flowerbeds; a girl could haunt this place for eternity!

I hope our Hunters aren’t too disappointed by the lack of homeless population, hehe… but that just means we should step up to fill the void, right? Whew, this place is huge… okay, final stretch, and the coast is clear; let’s get lower and do a proper flyby!

CREEPYFACE:

Did you enjoy the ride? The pamphlet says the earliest graves date back to the 1600’s, so there must be a few locals willing to help us out. If we take the path on the left, we can head towards the oldest residents and maybe find something interesting along the way.

Haha, Potter Pan wants to know where Quasi is. You must be a first-timer; welcome! Everyone’s favorite mascot is still in the van – the sun has only just set; he needs a few minutes to wake up or he’ll be grumpy all night.

What’s this I spy ahead, ladies? Doth my demonic eyes deceive – or do we see our first potential of the evening? Lucy, it’s your turn; go get us an interview – this is definitely your people.

While she makes the introductions, let’s see if anyone has another question…

Nightmare’s Edge, what up?! Glad to see you back, but no, our Chernobyl vacation was delayed by this detour. Don’t worry though, we’ll be flying most of the way so it won’t take much longer.

Lily Livers, my favorite cannibal! I’m glad you asked; we’re actually on our way to Mississippi to check out a place called the Deadlands, but we saw those Hunters and decided to have some fun.

Oops, I’ll have to tell you the rest later; Lucy is waving us over, we must have a new friend!

Lucy:

Everyone, this is Lady Nopeingham! She’s also passing through, but was kind enough to stop and chat a moment.

Lady Nopeingham:

Do these Hunters seem like the types to give blood donations?

Lucy:

Honestly, no… not really…

Lady Nopeingham:

Hmm… do any of you have the power to override the Free Will clause?

CREEPYFACE:

No, sorry…

Lady Nopeingham:

Shame. Oh well, enjoy your evening; I must be on my way.

CREEPYFACE:

Okay, wow she left fast; moving on, then.

Uh-oh… is that the sound of a certain gargoyle coming in for a landing? Quick, turn your volume down before the [thud]… never mind.

Whoa, whoa, easy there fella; come on, you’re gonna knock me over. Tell you what, let’s cut back to Shade while we get Quasi over to the entrance. I feel like this is a good group to play Moving Statue with!

Shade:

Welcome back! As you can see we’re on our way to the cemetery, and they’ve just gone live. Do… do you think we should give them a quick shadow-man flash and see if they notice?

Chloe:

I hope everyone is as excited as we are! The locals refuse to go there after dark because—

Shade:

I had a feeling we should…

Chloe:

but we’ll take y’all there so we can find out together!

Shade:

Oh my gods! They didn’t see, HA! Oh-oh, look, their viewers are trying to tell them!

Eric:

Hey, wait a second… why are the comments going crazy? I can’t read from back here.

Chloe:

Shut up; y’all are messing with us; hold on let me scroll up, they’re trying to scare us – saying a shadow person just appeared in the back…

Wait, shit… oh my God! Oh my God!

Travis:

What the hell is going on?!

Chloe:

Wait, wait… wait…

Eric:

The fuck, man! You just watch the road before we end up as ghosts!

Travis:

I’m fine!

Chloe:

No way, it’s… they photoshopped… more are sending… oh my God!

Shade:

Ugh, looks like we got another Repeater… this could take a while. Anyway, make sure Quasi is ready to go, we’re about five minutes out!

CREEPYFACE:

Ahh, good fun, good fun. Welcome back, so here we are at the oldest crypts available, and we’ve made some new friends… including, yes, the Weeping Woman herself! Joining us on tonight’s Hunt will be:

  • Jane Tarver: 1605-38, CoD: Childbirth
  • Peter Reed: 1756-79, CoD: Redcoats
  • Duncan Miller: 1798-40, CoD: Outlaw

As usual, we’ll pair each one with a Hunter and see who gets the most ParaPoints! Here’s a quick rundown of how to score for the new folks:

  • Double-takes – 5pp
  • Screams – 10pp
  • Runaways – 15pp
  • Quitters – 20pp

But the most important rule of all is: do not give them anything too tangible! If they really see you – it’s back to zero! Any questions?…

Ah – Runaways flee the place they’re standing but not the location. Quitters say “fuck the team” and go straight to the car alone.

The Hunters should be here by now; let’s get this party started with another Banshee view!

Helen:

The Game is my favorite part, I hope you’re all equally excited!… Ah there’s our little Hunters! Excellent; they noticed Quasi, hehe.

CREEPYFACE:

So, who do you think we should pair? You want to put the ladies together this time?… Cool, then Eric can be with Duncan and Travis with Peter. We’ll follow along to serve as referees and make sure you don’t miss any of the good stuff!

Eric:

I wish we had a drone so y’all could see how huge this place is, but we found these maps at the entrance. See how the paths are everywhere? They’ve been expanding this place for almost 500 years!

Since there’s so much ground to cover, we’re going to split up and meet at this far corner. That’s where the first graves were dug and therefore has the highest chance for activity.

Chloe:

I hate when we split up; the spirit box said my name last time…

Travis:

That’s the whole point, haha; come on, let’s get going!

CREEPYFACE:

Are you guys ready?!

Eric:

These graves up front are all from the last ten years, but I guess that makes sense. I’ll let y’all in on a little secret… I chose this path because it’s the one from that video… the Weeping Woman thing…

Anyway, I know Chloe doesn’t want us to talk about it because she’s still expecting to see prank footage, but at the hotel—

Duncan:

Wait, he missed the gargoyle… oh, I know!

Eric:

Hold on…

CREEPYFACE:

5pp for Duncan!

Eric:

Did y’all hear that? The bushes? Seriously, I’m not even joking – I heard it right where that stupid statue is! Ugh, it’s exactly like the one by the entrance; how many of those things do they have? Shit… that thing is tripping me out…

Damn, I sure did forget the spirit box – thanks, y’all.

Chloe:

This might be the nicest cemetery we’ve seen yet… ugh, except for those ugly gargoyles. There’s another one, look; just like the one by the entrance. I could understand if—

Jane:

[sobs]

Chloe:

[screams]

Lucy:

10pp for Jane!

Chloe:

Oh my God, why me?… I know y’all heard that…

Okay, y’all are right; whew, this is why we’re here. It’s time for the spirit box… hold on, the app is loading.

Jane:

I’ve been looking forward to this; I’ve never seen one, but Ms. Lucy says I can speak to her when she turns it on. I’m very intrigued.

Chloe:

Hello… is… is someone here with me?

Jane:

… Yes…

Chloe:

Hooo kay, umm, are you the one called the Weeping Woman?…

Jane:

… … Yes…

Chloe:

[deep breath] Were you murdered?

Jane:

… … No…

Chloe:

… huh…

Travis:

I wonder how the others are doing; you guys would tell me if one of them was messing with me, right? Because if I find out they’re making these weird noises, I might not be a good sport about it. Especially since that stunt in the hotel room… that shit was all Eric! Just you wait… he’s got a clip and he’s saving for who knows what special little moment.

Damn, look at that – it’s another gargoyle; someone around here bought those things in bulk is all I can figure…

Peter:

Okay, let us give this a try…

Travis:

Holy shit! What was that?! Did you see? It was like an orb shot across the path! Someone tell me— yes! It’s on film; oh my God, I can’t wait to show those assholes!

Shade:

5pp for Peter!

Travis:

Hell yea – know what? I’m actually gonna use the spirit box tonight, holy shit!

Okay, umm, hello… will you talk to me? I can hear you with this… umm device.

Peter:

Help me! Help me! It hurts!

Travis:

Fuuuck, dude! No!…

I dropped everything; I’m sorry, oh my God! [sobs]

Shade:

Haha, oh snap; I thought he was gonna run for sure! 10 more for Peter!

Travis:

Umm, can I do something to help you… like… move on?

Peter:

… … … Die

Travis:

Shit, I really don’t wanna be alone anymore…

Eric:

Okay, I’m not proud of my actions back there… throwing my drink onto that statue – creepy or not – was vandalism; and that’s not cool. That being said, I think we need to get everyone back together now and just get out of here…

I haven’t turned around; we’re clearly going in the same direction… but look at this next gargoyle… it’s wet, and there’s ice cubes on its feet! What the—

Duncan:

This kid is jumpier than horny hare; I think I might breathe into his ear a smidgen.

Eric:

—how? Can anyone tell me— [squeal]

CREEPYFACE:

Damn, son! That sounded like a little girl! 10pp for Duncan, but that might deserve bonus points later.

Eric:

This isn’t possible; it was the wind – nothing else… and maybe the path circled back somehow! I was moving fast…

Here, let’s look at the map again…

Duncan:

How upsetting you suppose he’d be about losing that there map?

I reckon we best find out, then.

[rip]

CREEPYFACE:

We have a runaway; 15pp for Duncan!

Chloe:

[sigh] … was it a plague?

Jane:

… … No…

Chloe:

Geez, what else is there… did you… die in childbirth?

Jane:

… … Yes…

Chloe:

… Oh, seriously? I mean, that’s horrible; I’m sorry to hear that… I just didn’t expect that to be it…

Jane:

[wails]

Chloe:

[screams] Shit! No – wait; please don’t do that! I’m sorry, I didn’t mean to offend you… can I help you somehow?

Lucy:

10pp for Jane!

Jane:

… … No…

Chloe:

[sigh]

Travis:

This place is weird y’all, I don’t like it… and I don’t know what the deal is – because I’m not going any closer to it – but the last couple statues were all vandalized… umm… in the same way… almost like there’s only been one this whole time…

No way – I’m not doing the app again; you can all forget that!

Peter:

See how carelessly he moves? He’s liable to fall any moment… it would be a shame to miss such an opportunity…

Travis:

Oof—

The hell; there’s nothing—

My ankle! Fuck this!

Shade:

Hot Damn; 15pp to Peter!

Travis:

Eric! Chloe! Hurry up; let’s go!

Peter:

Uh-oh, he seems to be in a hurry… maybe we can speed him on his way with a little push…

Travis:

Shit, shit, shit

My shoulder, y’all – what’s back there – something pushed my shoulder! [choke]

Shade:

5pp to Peter

Eric:

Was that Travis? Finally… yo I’m coming!

We’re almost there; they can call me crazy all they want as long as they do it in the car!

Bruh, no!… We came for ghosts; you feel me? Not gargoyles!

Duncan:

Damn, running outta time… let’s see… oh I know! How about a nice pass-through to cool him off?

Eric:

[gasp] guys… oh my God what was that?!

Travis! Chloe! Please!

CREEPYFACE:

I can’t believe I thought the girl would be the crier… either way… this guy sure can run, and that was definitely a double-take so that’s a 20 pointer right there!

Chloe:

Ugh, what are they screaming about? I’ve finally got something and they’re going to ruin it with their bullshit… probably just trying to scare me.

Jane:

Excuse me, Ms. Lucy!?

I don’t wish to frighten my new friend anymore. I believe our meeting was destiny; we are the best of friends now! She wishes me to come live with her so that we may be together forever!

Lucy:

Of course dear, I’m very happy for the two of you; feel free to behave as if the cameras weren’t even here.

Chloe:

Damn! Why does this stupid app have to stop working right when we catch up to the guys?!

Eric:

Thank God, there’s Chloe! Come on, we gotta—

CREEPYFACE:

Looks like the gang’s back together! While we tally the final scores, you guys enjoy one final performance.

Travis:

It doesn’t matter right now, we can tell you in the—

Fuck, what’s that sound?

Chloe:

It almost sounds like… flapping?

Eric:

No! No, no, no, no… look up, look up! Do you see it? It just landed in the tree I swear to God! You see the shape at the very top?!

Quasi:

[roar]

Buster of Ghosts:

[screams]

CREEPYFACE:

Well guys, it looks like our trio is calling it quits. We want to say a big thank you to all our guests tonight and a congratulations to Jane for finding a new home! We wish the new friends all the best!

As for the final scores:

  • The ladies came in 3rd with 20pp
  • Peter came in 2nd with 35pp
  • And tonight’s champion is Duncan with a whopping 50pp!

Great job, everyone, and thanks so much for your participation!

As for next week, we’ll be stopping over in a little town called Cotton Hills. We’ve heard whispers about that spot I mentioned earlier – the Deadlands… and I don’t want to spoil anything, but trust me, it’s worth checking out…

Anyway, that’s it for tonight, Creepers! Until next time, all hail the Dark Lord!

Horror Fiction

The Cursed Settlement (Pt. 5)

Part 1, Part 2, Part 3, Part 4

Now a CreepyPasta

Hullo! Looks like these flurries will be another blizzard soon. Come on, let’s get you to the cabin before you freeze over. When this storm blew in, I knew you must be on the way. We’re thrilled to have you back with us so close to Christmas!

… It’s no trouble at all; the neighbors have been restless the last couple days. Figured I ought to play it safe, so I grabbed an umbrella and hit the trail. I’m glad you made good time; thanks to those thunderheads it’s gonna be full dark out here soon.

———————-

… … … …. Brrr! We’re home, family!

… … Here ya go, Ethan! Good job with the fire, you earned yourself first use of our newfangled portable battery. It’s the dawn of a new day with this long-lasting puppy!

… … Thanks again, friend! You discovered something that actually motivates the boy; we never thought we’d see the day. Here’s the one you left with us last time. So, is the person who invented these things super famous?

… … How can you not even know their name?!

… … … Alright… Trish is right, we better get started. I can’t keep talking through sun-up. Get yourself settled while I set the scene. If you wanna hear the daily drivels of Jamestown life, we can go back when we finish the good stuff. For now, I suspect you’d prefer to hear the juicy bits.

… … What can I say, stories are my sixth… well… seventh sense? Besides, it’s adorable how you breathers are fascinated by death. You got all the time in the world to be dead later – go out there and live! Visit a library, get hot water from a faucet, buy food for weeks at a time; the possibilities are endless!

… … Whoops got excited again, sorry… anyway! We’re going to skip all the way to 1752 tonight. Such a long time passed; our descendants stopped believing in the boogiemen. With each generation, the population increased, and more land was needed. Eventually, the stories came to be known as tales concocted to prevent children from playing near the river.

… … Yep, you guessed it! Our genius legacies decided to expand to Dirge Lake. They built a bridge and everything.

… … No, their bridge was later destroyed. The one there today was built in the early 1900’s by the government. Locals fought it every step of the way, but you know how it is with infrastructure.

… … Ethan, if you don’t want to hear it, put in your headphones.

… Sorry, he’s just touchy because he was one of the geniuses. To be fair, it wasn’t his fault; his father was to blame. The boy is descended from James, but great nephew is a mouthful. He was only eighteen when that mess happened; he didn’t know any better. It’s harder to accept this… lifestyle at that age.

… It’s kind of you to be concerned, but don’t worry; look, he’s already lost in Spider-Man.

… Haha! No, the boy is far too lazy to write. We’ll be reading my own great grandson’s journal. Nicky was a chip off the ole block; that boy done me right proud… you know – once he got over his skepticism. He was only twenty-one himself, but he was lucky enough to make it out alive.

… … The weird part is, me and Trish had a front row seat for the whole ride.

… Believe me, we tried our best to stop them, but there’s only so much we could do. Sometimes, kids gotta learn the hard way.

… … You don’t just die and pop up the next second as we are now! Goodness no, it took almost twenty years just to poke stuff. I don’t think anyone could hear us for nearly a century – even then it was barely above a whisper. Appear in human form? With substance? Converse for extended periods? Psh, you’re talking more than two hundred for this swagger.

… … Well, if we had gotten mixed up with the demon and its blood sacrifices, sure, we probably coulda sped things up a bit – but being dead is no reason to drag other people down.

… … Hmm… maybe you’re right… I think laziness does run in the family!

… … We had the hang of things well enough to help a few, but even now we don’t go near the demon’s nest.

… … We’re drifting to the mumbos and jumbos again; all that will come out in the story natural-like. I’ll fill in some missing blanks as we go, but Nicholas did a fine job, especially for a young-un!

Now, you’d think so much time passed that it would take a minute for things to kick off – but nope! They were being watched from the first tree down to the last person out, you better believe that!

April 12, 1752

After nearly a year, we are finally moved to our new homes. I cannot help but laugh at how this space was avoided for silly superstition! Though, I do wonder if the water was once genuinely clear… it would be fascinating to discover the true cause of such a transformation. Regardless, it is teeming with fish; you can hear them splashing about at all hours.

As for reports of the land’s deterioration – it is honestly not so bad. The soil is more suited to farming across the river, but that hardly means it is uninhabitable. With a little extra care and irrigation, our crops will grow. Since the removal of dead trees and shrubbery, Dirge Lake is uniquely picturesque; very unlike that of traditional scenery.

We are surrounded by a forest of large, twisted trees whose branches reach out in strange curvatures, bending at odd angles. I have never seen their like. Thick, gray moss hangs down in sheets, accenting the greenery in a somehow beautiful, gloomy way.

I cannot express how wonderful it feels to sit in my own home, writing my own memoirs. Silence is a glorious thing I have rarely experienced in such entirety. When I am ready to start a family, I must add additional rooms to retain a private space.

Hopefully, by that time, these strange notions will cease; I believe the old stories have affected me in a small way. The moment I began this entry, an odd sensation overcame me. It is as if someone stands looking over my shoulder. I expected the feeling to fade, but it grows worse. There is a tickle at the back of my neck, and a chill down my spine.

At least I have the comfort of knowing I am not alone in my paranoia; Ethan thought he heard a man call from the forest, and my sister claimed to see a disfigured face in the window. Father would enjoy a hearty laugh if he read these words, but it is worth noting how easily the power of suggestion can manipulate one’s senses. I am sure others follow our example but keep the matters private.

If dangerous wildlife is nearby, it will not take long to dispatch; the farmhouse is no longer secluded from neighbors. In case of attack, help is not far away, but I do not believe such an event will truly take place. Much time was spent in the area during preparations, and nothing was seen to justify such concerns.

Damn! Clumsy oaf! One careless slip, and now there is a strike across the page!

Alas, that is enough foolishness for one night; I am eager to retire. Tomorrow will be a long, hard day. The Hampton’s crop restorations begin at sunrise. I volunteered because farming is vital for the community, and not at all for reason to be near Kenneth’s lovely daughter… although, if I were ready to begin courting, she would make me a lucky man indeed.

April 13, 1752

It was a mistake to indulge such nonsense last night. These wild ideas of monsters and demons have taken root in my brain, and now they blossom into pure madness! I’ll not have it; there are no such things as ghosts or spirits! Do you hear the insanity of those words?

One must take stock and look at the situation as a whole – outside one’s single, small-minded existence. Which is more likely? That a silly wives tale rings true? Or that – being aware of such tales – my mind warps situations to fit the narrative? Any who chooses the former clearly has no respect for science. We are no longer in the dark ages; one must adapt to the modern world, or it will leave them behind.

I digress, I should not become flustered over such trivial mishaps. If nothing else, these anecdotes may amuse my grandchildren some day; I must admit, from the comfort of home, the situation does seem humorous. Even the boys at the lake had a scare when placing the fish traps, but their incident is easily explained; in the process of stealing supper, alligators destroyed their nets. My experience was more confounding.

Alice fetched us from the field when lunch was ready. She and her mother prepared enough food to feed the volunteers, and tables were set outside to accommodate our large number. While preparing my plate, I heard Mrs. Hampton calling for her youngest, Florence. The child was assumed to be in her room, and as a gentleman, I offered my assistance.

After ascending the stairs, I turned right and followed the long hallway to the open door on the left. Florence’s room was brightly decorated with flowers, and the child stood at her window, seeming not to notice my presence. She turned when I spoke and came a few steps closer. When I relayed her mother’s message, she inched forward a little more.

Thinking it a game – I extended my arm, asking if I might escort her as a proper lady, but she did not find the offer charming as envisioned. No matter what I tried, there was no further reaction; she merely stood there, expressionless.

My stomach begged for the delicious smells wafting through the open window. Losing patience in my hunger, I resigned to the knowledge she would soon grow bored and follow. Upon returning, I informed Alice of my less than successful efforts, but she appeared confused and gestured toward the stables. I nearly choked when I saw Florence riding atop her father’s shoulders.

I believe, if nothing else, my fellows would describe me as a sane, reasonable, man; one who is not easily shaken or deceived. Yet… I cannot explain how this happened, and no matter how I replay the scene – I do not understand where I am mistaken. You must picture it precisely as I state, for I wish others to appreciate the magnitude of this riddle.

From leaving the child’s room to seeing her at the stables, few minutes passed. We dined in clear view of the home; never was it out of sight. The barn was at my back, with forty yards of open field between structures. I would have considered it an impossible task to move from one to the other without my seeing – yet it happened.

I am simply baffled. Even more that the child played her part so well; that alone is a worthy feat, but the sheer logistics behind getting her to the stables are on another level entirely. Florence did not act alone! The plotting was Kenneth’s doing – of that, I am sure.

It is not that I am a poor sport. The illusion was artfully done and masterfully executed; there is no denying that; I simply wish to know how – but they will not reveal their methods. In fact, they will not admit to trickery at all! They insist I saw a different child; the notion is absurd! Even if multiple ten-year-olds were roaming about – one could hardly mistake her golden curls and blue eyes!

Damn if this is not my own doing for showing interest in the details. Had I remained aloof, their bragging would be endless; now it is more fun to leave me in ignorance. Perhaps sleep will bring clarity: it is a theory worth testing.

Whew, and I thought I was long winded! I forgot how philosophical that kid used to be. Anyhow, no matter; I just wanted to make a quick notation for the sake of accuracy. Do you know what a doppelgänger is?

… … I had a feeling. There’re quite a few misconceptions about them, but just keep in mind they are not in any way, a ghost. They’re two completely different breeds.

… … Eh, think of them as low-level demons. They used to be human, but when passing to the other side – they landed in the unpleasant place. On rare occasions – one finds its way home but needs a new “identity” to be free. Okay, back to it.

… … Sigh… see Trish, give one little tidbit and now it’s twenty questions. Settle down, friend, we got all night.

April 14, 1752

It was another day of strange occurrences. If tomorrow is not better, we may have to reevaluate our position. While I do not relish the notion, I must admit the necessity. Ken Hampton may be a crafty devil, but I cannot believe he would force the stresses of this night upon his family by choice… honestly, I no longer know what to believe.

At dusk, all others departed, but I dallied in the stables. Florence’s soft voice startled me from thought as she extended her family’s invitation to supper. I accepted gratefully if not suspiciously, but is that surprising after the ruckus of last night?

It was not likely I would fall for the same trick twice! I kept the child in sight, watching for any sign of co-conspirators. As we left the barn, someone hiding in the trees shouted a gargled cry for help, but unwilling to traipse through the forest, I quickened our pace.

While impressed with Florence’s feigned fright, I am almost certain it was Donald’s voice. Even if slurred speech concealed his identity; the girl’s brother was supposedly on a hunting venture and not expected to return for several days. A likely story indeed. If that were not enough, Mrs. Hampton shrieked an ear-splitting scream at the sight of us.

She was descending the steps with Mr. Hampton close at heel when we entered through the foyer. Penelope’s cry shook me, sewing doubts in my previous perceptions. Without speaking, the couple rushed upstairs. When they returned, I could see the loss of color from their pale faces… I cannot conceive how one fakes such emotional response.

Perhaps what began in jest

Blast! How have I ruined yet another page! The damned pen has a mind of its own! No more of this; I have no opinion on the matters! I simply state the facts as they occurred; let others determine what lies in truth! Now, be gone whatever foul force foils my hard work!

The Hampton’s claimed to see Florence in her room only seconds before, but they could not argue with the sight of her before their eyes. The lost, confused looks they wore were admittedly familiar, but it is a hard concept to accept. At Kenneth’s suggestion, we all sat to dine, recounting each event in precise detail.

Mr. Hampton explained they were dressing for supper when Florence appeared in the doorway. She reported my acceptance of the evening invitation, and Penelope instructed her daughter to likewise prepare. She watched as the child ran into her own room. When the parents passed her door moments later, the girl was brushing her hair.

Not wishing her to dally, they paused in the hall. They insist they did not continue down the stairwell until Florence trailed behind; then, seconds later, they saw her in my own company. I have never been so utterly at loss for explanation; I feel as though all I once believed has been called into question.

Ethan continues facing challenges at the lake. Not only have they lost more nets, but a horse was taken. Its cries were heard through the village as it was dragged from shore. When the first men arrived, they saw the beast’s head disappear beneath the choppy waters. It seems as if our next priority will be hunting the alligators before a child is lost.

I grow increasingly wary as I ponder these circumstances. Once again it instills the sense I am not alone. Twice now I have glanced over my shoulder, expecting to find a visitor. It is overwhelming how strong the sensation grows. I believe I am at my limit; it is time to retire in preparation for another early start.

April 15, 1752

It was a somber day; good men have died. Late in the night, the Hampton’s woke to the sound of agonizing screams and frantic banging. Kenneth quickly recognized the familiar voice begging entry and rushed to unbar the door. He gasped at the bloody sight crumpled before him as he struggled to drag Judd Crawley inside.

Once across the threshold, the injured man fought assistance, demanding every entry point be secured. Ken humored Mr. Crawley, latching the door before further examination. A dark, crimson trail marked their passage through the home, but it was already too late.

With aid from Penelope and a newly lit fire, they were able to see the horrifying extent of Judd’s injuries. Had the man survived, it would have been without his left arm or leg, but he soon lapsed into unconsciousness, dying minutes later. His shoulder remained attached by only a few bundled nerves, his knee twisted at a nauseating angle, and puncture wounds bore deep into his thigh, exposing the muscle and tendons beneath.

Mr. Crawley never said what attacked him, and I am beyond speculation (lest another page be marred), but most assume a bear. Mrs. Hampton is terribly distraught Florence witnessed the gruesome sight. The curious child was caught spying from the balcony, poking her head between the bannisters. Alice ran to her sister, but the girl was already gone. My considerate, future wife found the little one pretending to sleep soundly in bed and considered her work finished.

Worried for Donald’s safety after multiple nights alone in the dangerous forest, we have formed a search party which will depart at first light. It is vital I rest soon, but there is more I must write while memory is fresh. Unfortunately, Judd’s was not the only death suffered.

This evening, I was told of the Johnson family’s tragedy. What they have endured these last days is unimaginable… even more so that it was kept secret. Not that I blame them; I myself had much the same instinct. Although, it is doubtful I have the fortitude to remain silent if faced with true adversity. Their tale is so unusual, I wish to record it precisely as told.

Edmund and Grace Johnson are a young couple with a frail six-year-old son. Benjamin has always been sickly and therefore does not play about with other children. As they have since been unable to conceive, the boy is without siblings and prone to loneliness. None were surprised when he developed an imaginary friend; it is a common enough thing. The parents were merely pleased at the sound of their son’s laughter.

The boy developed this “friendship” during the first night in his new home. By the next noonday meal, he was insisting a plate be prepared for Mister Long. At first the parents found it endearing and encouraged the boy’s imagination. They asked questions about his new companion, finding the answers odd but harmless.

Over the course of that day, they learned Mister Long is 842 years-old and wears a black dress which covers his feet. He is bald with stark, white skin, a crooked nose, and uneven, yellow eyes. The imagery is admittedly disturbing, but stranger still is what happened next.

After putting the child to bed, Edmund and Grace sat at the kitchen table, discussing the odd descriptions of Mister Long. During this conversation, Mr. Johnson stated the price of a dog worth distracting the boy from such hideous ideas. The moment those words were spoken, Benjamin’s shrill cry rang through the house.

The parents rushed to his aid, confused and terrified. As they burst through the door, a dark mass seemed to disappear through the wall, and items in the adjoining room could be heard crashing to the floor. Grace held her son as Edmund searched the home, but nothing was found.

They waited until the following morning to question the child. He was incapable of expressing what transpired but understood why. Somehow, Benjamin was aware of the dog jest. He repeated Edmund’s words verbatim, claiming Mister Long perceived it as a threat. I have personally been inside the Johnson home, and I can bear witness the rooms are situated far apart.

Their son relayed progressively sinister messages until the Johnson’s terror came to a climax just before dawn. Once again, they woke to the sound of Benjamin’s desperate screams. As they charged in, a solid, black form could be seen enveloping their son’s body, choking off his agonized wails.

The mortified parents lunged forward, but an invisible force propelled them backwards. They watched, paralyzed, as the malignant mass warped into an almost humanoid shape, and black, wispy tendrils forced Benjamin’s lips apart, opening his mouth far past its human limit. The snap of his jaw echoed in the small room, earning fresh shrieks of agony from the helpless parents.

As the form slowly forced itself into the boy, his throat tripled in size. In a last act of desperation, Edmund screamed into the cold darkness, offering his own body in exchange.

The black mass left the child like that of a snake leaving its den. Faster than human eyes could track, it flew across the room, forcing itself into Mr. Johnson. Grace watched in horror as her husband’s body turned into a purple, bulging nightmare.

With a sudden realization she was no longer held in place, the determined mother acted without hesitation. Returning with Edmund’s rifle, she pulled the trigger before the possessed man could rise to his feet. The stench of sulfur filled the room as Grace carried her son away from the carnage.

Mrs. Johnson has moved back to Jamestown Proper to be with her mother and says the boy has no memory of the tragic events – something she considers a blessing, no doubt. I do not pretend to know what plagued the small family; I only document the facts in hopes of one day reviewing these pages as a true man of science. Perhaps then I will understand what piece this puzzle misses. For now, all I can do is rest in preparation for tomorrow’s search.

It is definitely time for a break.

… … No way, Mister Long is not a doppelgänger or demon; we think he’s a strangely powerful ghost, but it’s hard to be sure. He was here long before the first settlement, and I doubt anyone ever finds a way to get rid of him. Who knows what kinda tricks he’s picked up since this story.

… … Haha, it’s not a dress, it’s a cloak. The kid didn’t know what to call it, and Nicky was a bit too shook up to think anything of the detail.

… … Actually, the advice came from yours truly; we felt really bad for that poor kid. We weren’t very good at communicating yet but putting all our energy into yelling instructions got the job done… sorta.

… … It was honestly the only way to save Benji, and it was still Ed and Grace’s decision. We only gave them ideas, the choice to act was all their own. Trust me, most parents would have done the same; I know we would.

… … … Hell, we also stalked the shit out of every man intent on searching the woods. You know well as us that Donald fella is long dead; there was no point watching more die on a hopeless mission. It’s surprising what you can do to someone’s food if you hover round the kitchen long enough.

… … Those answers will come in due time; you’ll find out more soon enough. So… umm… while we’re on a break anyway, I couldn’t help noticing the bulge in your pack there…

… … … … … Thank the cricket I don’t need to breathe; I think we’re about to find out if ghosts have tears. The Stand, IT, and Needful Things are my favorites! It’s like you knew!

… … … They did?! My family is the best!

… … Hey, that means you too, ya know! I’m speaking for all of us when I say you’re every bit a member! If you’ll have us, that is…

… … No wonder you were so eager to get back before Christmas! You sly thing!

… … Okay, I know, I know; I’m doing it again. Though, in my defense I think you only hindered the process by distracting me. I don’t know how you expect me to sit here reading this drivel while those babies are waiting.

… … That’s not my fault! You shoulda told me to mind my own damn business!

… Fine, at least let me hold them.

… Well, what are you waiting for? Sit your ass down so we can get to it.

April 16, 1752

I want nothing more to do with this vile place. I will need a few days for planning and preparations, but by this time next week I shall be far away from here. I woke an hour before dawn, feeling nauseated but determined to participate in the search for Alice’s brother. If the worst happened, she would need a reliable friend close by to ensure no dishonorable fiends try gaining advantage of her grievous state.

By some strange coincidence, four members of our search party also fell ill. In the end, only five of us entered the woods. To collect more men would only delay us longer, and if Donald lay injured, each passing hour further decreased his chance of survival. With all of us armed, our numbers should have been sufficient, but I never dreamed… in all my wildest imaginings… I could never have conceived such possibilities.

It was a clear, sunny day when we entered the forest, but an hour into our hike – dark, foreboding clouds rolled across the sky. Joe Harper and Travis Miller decided they would pursue a secondary trail to speed the search. I am as sure they are dead as I am of the cowards’ intent to return home, but they were never seen again.

Kenneth, Ethan, and I marched two miles deeper into the foreboding woods. I still do not understand how it could become so dark during the brightest part of day. Had I not known better, I would have believed it the middle of night!

While stopped to prepare our torches, a torrential downpour broke loose from the skies; not even the forest’s thick canopy could protect us from the rain. Finally, after much struggling, we managed to keep one flame lit under the protection of two men’s coats. Stumbling along awkwardly, we became lost, unable to tell which way was home with our limited vision.

We were not fools, we knew it better to stand in place than wander about aimlessly, and that is precisely what we did. For hours we searched our small area until finally, the torch-light reflected off a shiny, metal object tangled in the branches above. Ethan retrieved the item with great difficulty, and we were crestfallen to see it was unmistakably Donald’s pocket watch.

It was impossible not to connect his treasured keepsake’s location with that of the old stories. A tree-hopping demon seemed less of a drunkard’s ramblings as we failed to locate any signs of a climber upon the bark. Even if Donald found need to conceal himself, there were at least three nearby trees with limbs better suited to a man’s reach.

As we followed the new trail, rain continued to fall in sheets of cold, fat droplets, soaking every layer we wore and chilling us to the bone. We huddled together, seeking the warmth of our meager flame, but it felt as if ice formed on our very souls. That is when we heard something enormous barreling through the forest, approaching at inhuman speed.

I do not know how to describe the cacophony of noises as giant limbs snapped beneath a heavy weight, and thousands of leaves crackled in unison as they fell to paint the forest floor; all the while thunder boomed overhead as lightning illuminated our surroundings in brief flashes of eerie blue light. I did not see Kenneth die, but I heard his screams long enough to know it was not a quick death.

We ran blindly through the maze of trees until I tripped, falling hard into a tangle of roots and losing our only meager source of light. Ethan stopped to help me up, and we saw it was Donald’s mutilated corpse over which I fell. My cousin was quick to regain his composure, dragging me by the arm until I resumed independent function. I do not know if I could have stopped were the situation reversed, so complete was my terror; selfish bastard I am, I thought of nothing but survival.

I did not know where we were or if we ran in the right direction, I only thought to flee the sounds of pursuit that gained on us with every step. My brain could not accept when the giant beast sprung forward, blocking our escape entirely. I was frozen, mouth agape, struggling to take in the gruesome sight before me with the blessedly small light of day remaining.

That creature! It is exactly as described down to the last, disturbing detail. Lesser men may remove their own eyes at such a sight, but I cannot let Ethan’s sacrifice be in vain. I only live thanks to the bravery of my dear cousin – who without thought or care for his own life, threw me from the demon’s path as he advanced on the evil beast. Judging by the sickening squelch that sounded with the rifle blast, I can safely assume the brave man’s one shot aimed true.

My heart broke into pieces at the horrible noises to follow, but I could not look back, lest I be next. One moment I was crashing through the forest, drowning in misery, and the next – I was home, standing in bright, warm sunshine. Somehow, I found my way to the other side of Dirge Lake, near Jean Kirby’s home, and not a drop of rain had fallen. If I had not tripped, forcing us to waste precious time… Ethan would be here now.

I reported the horrible experience as we gathered in the Hampton home for the final time. I will never forget the look on Alice’s face as I broke the tragic news. Upon relaying the last, gruesome details, several others came forward with their own unexplained experiences.

Theresa Harper left her home to fetch a pail of water from the lake when a single, sharp cry rang out. Her husband followed her tracks to the water’s edge, but no prints existed to indicate where she next went. In the grand scheme of things, it is not surprising she was never found.

Bonnie McEntire complained her daughter talked to the empty corner of her bedroom on a nightly basis, and she was not the only one.

Simon Clovers, the man who witnessed the horse die at the lake, admitted to seeing tentacles wrapped around the animal’s head as it was pulled under.

As Dan Freeman recounted his experience of seeing a deer walk on its hind legs, Phillip Matthews said he too witnessed such a sight. Panic broke out as several people began talking in unison, but Uncle Nelson quickly remedied the chaos by reminding all that we stood in Mrs. Hampton’s den on the night she lost her husband and son.

Needless to say, we are ready to admit our folly, and will leave this place tomorrow. Personally, I will take great pleasure in watching the bridge burn once the last man is across. Then I shall make very serious considerations into the type of man I wish to be and do whatever necessary to become that vision. If I am lucky, perhaps I will have half Ethan’s bravery and integrity.

Aw, it’s ok, friend. Do you need a tissue? Look, if it makes you feel any better, Trish babies the absolute shit out of that boy. I know we like to joke, but honest, we’re all quite happy here together.

… … … Scout’s honor. I mean come on, just look at him! He’s so lost in whatever he’s watching, he doesn’t give a single fig about how he got here. Now perk up, it’s time for the last entry.

April 19, 1752

I refuse to let that place drive me mad! Now that survivors are safely back in Jamestown, I have decided to go east – to college, where I will become a man of science. When properly educated, I will unravel these mysteries; until then, I can only record the events in preparation of that later date. Perhaps by then, the elders will trust me enough to reveal the demon’s name. If the legends are true, I must admit there is no reason to divulge the information at present.

The day after I returned from the Cursed Woods, all of Jamestown assisted in our move. Our dead were transported so they may be buried with their families, and every wagon was overloaded with the children of desperate parents. Most could not afford to leave all possessions behind, but they could not take chances knowing what happened to the Johnson boy and now poor Florence.

Alice was in her room when she heard her mother’s pained scream. She discovered her sister wielding a kitchen knife with proficiency beyond that of a small child. I know she will likely never forgive herself, but her quick actions saved Penelope’s life. Her mother’s wounded shoulder bled freely but was not lethal.

Somehow, amidst the chaos, Alice noticed her sister had no reflection in a mirror. She describes her actions as help from a guardian angel, for she does not understand how she knew that to mean Florence was beyond saving. Grabbing a nearby fire poker, she put an end to the being posing as her sister, and now her mother will make a full recovery… physically speaking, of course.

I personally escorted the grieving women across the bridge to safety, but it will be a long road to recovery after their heavy losses. Throughout the days ahead, I came to learn more horrific tales of those lost due to our ignorance. Just as my forefathers warned, we slaughtered our own the moment we expressed our plans to escape. Part of me still suspects the events of the last week are a nightmare, but with each passing day, my hopes of waking fade.

Clyde Parker shot his wife and children in their sleep and witnesses report seeing him enter the forest, but he has not been seen since. Jim Williams lost his hand when Mrs. Williams woke him with a hatchet. He killed her as their children screamed, and he has not spoken a word since. If not for his eldest son, we would not know what transpired.

Each family now has a similar tale. All told, twenty-six souls were lost because we believed our intellect superior to those before us. The number would surely be higher had our neighbors not so graciously assisted our retreat. I believe my time away will be good for mind and soul; it is my greatest wish to return as a man who is capable of providing Alice with the life she deserves.

I know Nicky got off to a rough start, but none of us are half as smart as we think at twenty-one. Hell, he wised up faster than most, and he did go on to be quite the man of science.

… … … I’m glad you agree; people tend to forget how hard it is to believe this stuff when you weren’t raised with it.

… … Course he did! The Cooke men always win their lady’s heart! Hmph, as if you had to ask.

… … I tell you what, the hardest part of the whole ordeal was making him mess up the journal. Broke my heart to see those beautiful pages stained with stray ink, but it was for the greater good.

… … Hmm, I guess the info on doppelgängers was a little sparser than I remembered… must have confused it with the next part, my bad. It’s okay, we’ll get there.

… … … One more thing before you go, can I ask you something? I’ve seen it referenced in movies, but don’t quite understand… are you familiar with the YouTube? I think that’s how you say it… one of these phones has a picture—

… Oh, good, so you’ve heard of it!

… … … … … … … Well, that sounds neat as hell! Golly, I wish we could get internet here! Don’t get me wrong, I’m not complaining! Our lives are infinitely more entertaining since you came along… but there’s so much we miss out on.

… … … Sure, we have plenty of extra phones we’ll never use, why? You need one? We have a wide assortment to choose from.

… Yea, most are new, but—

… … … … Ethan! Bring every phone, now! Our best friend is going to fill them with YouTube downloads! Move your ass!

… … … I don’t know… I… think… this is what it feels like to be speechless… what do you recommend?

… … … … … You mean… there’s entire channels dedicated to people reading scary stories?!

… That sounds a little too good to be true…

… … Who’s your favorite? You clearly have excellent taste.

… … Dark Somnium? Okay, he sounds like a winner. Did you know Somnium is Latin for dream? I like the clever ones, yes, load me up with all his best!

… … What do you mean it’s not just stories and sound effects?

… … How can it also be a community?

… … Dark Family? My, that does sound like a dream, doesn’t it?

… … Aww, but I won’t be able to talk with them… ah, well. Maybe someday. I’m just excited to hear new stories.

… … I know I said it last time but spare me one last sappy moment. I truly wish you the happiest of holidays, my own, special Dark Family. As always, we shall eagerly await your next visit.

Horror Fiction

Blewit

Big thanks to Lady Nopeingham for use of her awesome character! Do you guys enjoy your horror narrated? You should check her out on YouTube … if you’re brave enough…

Now a CreepyPasta

This is going to sound weird, I know, but please, bear with me. I wanted to ask the paranormal community for help with my haunted house, but I was afraid of Reddit trolls. I tend to trust too easily and felt I wouldn’t have time to sort out which responses were genuine. I figured there must be a dozen other places to tell my story, preferably one kids didn’t use; and indeed, there are.

Out of several search results, I chose Blewit. The description read, “Want Reddit without the misfit trolls? That’s us!” It seemed like the typical knockoff that always follows a popular brand. Aside from the blue logo and “kool” points instead of “karma”, there was no difference. Just to be safe, I read a few recent posts to gauge the community’s sincerity. I was very pleased with what I saw; everyone was kind, courteous, and several users claimed to receive helpful guidance. I made an account, joined the b/haunted forums, and told my story.

Below is a copy of my original post, but things have escalated drastically since.

———————————————————-

Hi, I am thirty-three, live alone and have always been a die-hard skeptic. I am a very logical person, I believe in science and facts; that is to say, I don’t come to you lightly. I moved to the country to save money, but I’ve always preferred the quiet life. When I found this big house in the forest for such a low price, I knew there had to be a catch.

I didn’t have extra time or money to spend on major repairs if all the electrical needed to be replaced or it didn’t have central air; that’s the kind of deal-breaker I expected. Instead, I learned the previous occupants died horribly last year. Martin Hayes murdered his wife and son before committing suicide. I can’t tell you the relief I felt; I struggled not to show my excitement as I negotiated the price even lower.

Three weeks later, I was settled into my new home and loving everything about it. The first two days were quiet, but Friday night, I was on the couch when soft, persistent knocking sounded at the door. It startled me, because I don’t have neighbors, and I would have seen headlights had someone came down the driveway.

I stole a glance through the peephole, careful not to make my presence known. It was dark, but not pitch black; I could see well enough to know nothing was there. My heart raced, and I thought it would burst. Trying to find the light-switch, I abandoned stealth as my hand fumbled along the wall. Finally, with a soft click, the front steps and driveway were brightly lit.

The knocks stopped instantly, and all was silent. Leaving the light on, I checked the locks, but when nothing else occurred, I returned to Netflix. While preparing for bed, the incident was almost forgotten. It is important you know my bedroom is on the second floor, and that no trees are near the windows, because that is where it next occurred.

After drifting off, the sound of nearby tapping startled me. Unable to remember if the upstairs windows were secured, I leapt to my feet and screamed at the sight of a distorted face, but it was only my reflection. I pressed my phone’s flashlight to the glass, illuminating the ground below. There is nothing that would allow someone to reach the second floor, nor so much as a bush to conceal their location, but the yard was empty.

This afternoon, there was more knocking as I worked at my desk. The office has a perfect view of the front door, but the moment I approached the window, it stopped; once again, no one was there. Feeling braver in the daytime, I looked around, searching for any sign of a visitor. When I still found nothing, I drove a few miles in each direction to confirm there were no neighbors in walking distance.

Upon returning to the driveway, I saw the brief image of a face watching me from an upstairs window. My blood froze; I’ve never experienced such fear. It quickly disappeared behind the curtains, but there is no mistaking what I saw. It simply isn’t possible for someone to be there. After a thorough search of each room, I began writing this. I don’t know anything about the supernatural; please, will someone help me?

—CountryHaunts13, Saturday 3:11pm

———————————————————-

Do you see how simple the matter was in the beginning? I hope you can hear the sincerity in my words. You must understand… I was already terrified my ignorance would be used against me. I could not stand the thought of sifting through dozens of responses knowing ninety percent would be fake. Now that my fears are reality, it is that much more difficult… though I no longer need advice. I simply wish to warn you of the dangers on that shady website.

I finished my work and ate dinner before the next round of knocks began. Immediately checking Blewit, I was delighted to see three comments, one of which was actual advice. The username, Lady Nopeingham, was from the original posts I reviewed. Whoever she is, she seemed to be the most helpful person in the community; I secretly hoped she would respond to me as well.

———————————————————-

Lady Nopeingham 4:07pm:

It sounds like the previous residents decided to stick around. Ghosts are like dogs defending their territory. You must show them you’re the alpha. Next time, open the door, and firmly state your grievances. This will intimidate it, thereby ending inconvenient behavior. Whatever you do, never treat it with respect.

———————————————————-

I breathed a sigh of relief at such a simple solution; I worried it would call for something extreme, like an exorcism, but this was something I actually excel at. Though, obviously, it wasn’t. If it were, I would not be here now, on a completely different site with worse complaints.

Please, if you are kind enough to still be here, do not waste your time correcting this advice. I’m afraid it is a lesson I have already learned, as you will soon see over the course of my following posts.

———————————————————-

Update:

I want to thank you all for your kind words of support, especially Lady Nopeingham, whose advice gave me great comfort. That being said, I worry I may have inadvertently made the situation worse. Within an hour of seeing your message, the knocks returned. I tiptoed to the door, ripped it open, and screamed, “This is my house now, asshole! Get the fu—!”

My words were cut off as a blast of freezing air rushed past, leaving me breathless. I slammed the door and stumbled to the bedroom, feeling safer upstairs. When nothing more happened, I began to relax – somehow convincing myself the experience to be normal… but I now see how foolish that was.

I retired early, feeling confident of a peaceful rest, but soon the frantic cries of a child penetrated my sleep-deprived brain. I shot up, too confused to think, but moved instinctively. The wails intensified as I stepped into the hall, covering my ears in attempt to dull the noise. The sounds were coming from the boy’s old room. Trevor Hayes was only six when his father strangled him, but he watched his mother die first.

Learning details of the tragic event was clearly a mistake, but I can’t erase the knowledge now. Still following your advice, I tried to be firm, but found it difficult to scold the poor child’s restless spirit. Even so, the noise did not stop until I entered his room; after which, I was finally able to return to bed.

Two hours later, loud, violent bangs shook the door on its hinges. Furiously stomping across the hardwood floor, I hesitated at the memory of my previous encounter. Instead of opening it, I unleashed my rage on the closed door, kicking it and screaming obscenities. Was that a good thing to do? Or should I have opened it?

At some point during my tantrum, the knocking stopped. When I finally calmed, all was blessedly silent. Nothing else woke me, but random cold spots are now a common occurrence. It is not a heating issue; it only lasts a few minutes… but it worries me. I’m alone and frightened, please, is there anything else you can tell me?

—CountryHaunts13, Sunday 8:23am

———————————————————-

I didn’t have to wait long for a response. It seems once the Lady finds a new victim, she doesn’t stray far. Unfortunately, I was still imagining a kind, elderly woman; one who was lonely and lived for these conversations. Oh, she lives for them alright! Hardly ten minutes passed before my phone chimed with a new message.

———————————————————-

Lady Nopeingham 8:32am:

The blast of cold air was, in fact, a sign of success. You certainly did not, for example, permit the spirit entry; that would be ridiculous. You are likely experiencing increased activity due to multiple spirits. If that is the case – continue asserting dominance. Don’t worry, you’re doing great! Remember, be harsh; show no mercy! This will help them understand they are not welcome.

Do you have sage in your home? Ghosts are highly attracted to it; in fact, there are some who prey on the unaware by recommending it as a repellent. If anyone suggests burning sage, cease all contact immediately! They mean you harm!

———————————————————-

Are you still with me? Lady’s words filled me with confidence; my own naïveté churns the stomach. Being so grateful for someone to share my experience with, I didn’t think to ask obvious questions… like, why did she feel the need to point out I didn’t “permit the spirit entry” when such a thought was never expressed? Can anyone tell me that?

I bet you can, but don’t bother; the answer is already known. The worst part is someone else did recommend burning sage and I blocked them because of Nopeingham… it’s all so depressingly typical of my luck. Needless to say, a very long, very unpleasant update was close at hand.

———————————————————-

Update:

I must thank you for the warning. I did have sage – which I threw out immediately – but it hasn’t seemed to help. I followed your advice, but conditions continue to worsen. Is there anything to explain the strange reactions I am experiencing?

After removing the unwanted herbs, I tried to continue my work in the office. Soon, the knocking returned, and I screamed in surprise. It sounded like someone was trying to break down the door; I fully expected the wood to splinter, but by some miracle, it held strong. My mind was blank with terror, I struggled to form words, but finally managed, “Eat shit… ghost bitch!” Pathetic, I know.

Instead of being intimidated, it seemed to grow angrier; the door flew open with a loud bang, bouncing off the wall so hard it slammed shut again! After a few minutes of silence, I thought it was over, but no. Loud footsteps clacked down the hall, like a woman in high heels. I almost fainted when the sound matched perfectly with the appearance of a shadow beneath the door!

It stayed there for several minutes – not knocking, just standing – before continuing on its way. At the end of the hall, where I clearly heard it go – there is nothing but a linen closet. When able to force my legs into action, I ran; I wanted out of the house, but most importantly, I needed to purchase a few things.

I definitely couldn’t afford any of it, but if this doesn’t qualify for the emergency savings fund, what does? After installing the cameras and motion sensor flood lights on each side of the house, I felt a little more confident; honestly, they were needed anyway, especially in the country. What surprised me was the lights triggering every five minutes. I reviewed the recorded footage from my tablet but never saw what set them off.

I’m glad the cameras are outside. Last night was the worst night of my life… I couldn’t watch the video even if it were recorded. At least this way I might eventually come to think of it as a nightmare. My exhaustion finally caught up to me; I fell asleep immediately upon trying, but I’m not sure what woke me. Only that I wish it hadn’t.

I was lying flat on my back, covers down to the waist and paralyzed. I panicked at the realization, but I was helpless. Studying the shadows on the ceiling, I tried to discern each shape. In movies, when someone said, “It felt like I wasn’t alone”, I used to call bullshit. I didn’t understand how a mere presence could possibly affect another, but now I do.

I can’t find the words to express how, but I knew I wasn’t alone. No matter what logic I implore, I can’t deny I felt it. I struggled to see in each direction. With great effort, my head moved just enough to bring the room into view. At first, nothing seemed out of place. The doors were still closed, the laundry baskets were nearby, and the tv hung silently in the corner, over the chair full of clothes.

That’s when I remembered I didn’t have time to empty the dryer, and my heart stopped working. Until that moment, it throbbed, painfully, but at the realization I couldn’t identify the strange form, it came to an abrupt halt. My eyes bore into the shadowy corner, willing it to take the shape of something innocent, but what small hopes I possessed were brutally ripped away when the figure moved.

He stopped at the foot of my bed, looking down on me with the most hate-filled eyes I’ve ever seen. I recognized his black hair and pudgy, bearded face from articles I found on the Hayes family. Martin’s ghost bore the same thick glasses and jagged chin scar, but even without those features, I will never forget his dark, brown eyes of pure evil.

The chest pain increased with every second my heart refused to beat; I almost hoped it would kill me before anything else could. The seconds stretched into an endless eternity where time held no meaning as the twisted, dead man’s apparition glared into my very soul. Finally, his thin smile parted, exposing rotted teeth as his tongue licked around his peeling, chapped lips; I watched in horror as one hand slowly came to rest on my foot.

Even through several blankets, it felt like a solid block of ice moving up my leg with his each deliberate step. In the terrible moment his hand reached my waist, transferring from sheet to skin, I blacked out from pure terror. Unfortunately, I regained consciousness almost immediately as the dead fingers crawled up my shoulder, coming to rest on my neck. Hot tears streamed down my cheeks as I silently begged for death. When the hand suddenly clamped around my throat, I thought my wish would be granted. My chest burned with a fire I never imagined possible as the world faded around me.

This morning, my throat feels raw, and it hurts to speak. Somehow, there are no physical marks, but I would almost prefer it. This is making me feel crazy; I don’t know what to do! I don’t have anywhere else to go, and I can’t waste money on a hotel room. Please, Lady Nopeingham! Anyone! I beg you, help me!

—CountryHaunts13, Monday 7:02am

———————————————————-

Do you see what she did to me?! That dark, evil temptress of night— do you?!

Of course you do, forgive me. It’s just… her next response… there’s simply no words. That was my last update on Blewit, though I didn’t yet know it.

———————————————————-

Lady Nopeingham 7:08am:

Oh, you poor, poor dear! How dreadfully terrible! Your tears cause me anguish, and in no way sustain me. Worry no more, my friend, I will be with you every step of the way until we have seen this nightmare through!

Yes, it is obvious now. You first encountered the young boy and his mother, but now you face the murderous fiend himself. We must proceed with caution, but I have complete faith in you. Are you familiar with pentagrams? They are symbols of protection. I will email you a picture; do not waste time with an internet search.

With ink, draw the image in each room as you experience activity, especially the wall above your bed. This will ensure deep, peaceful rest. Best of luck, dear Jamie, I eagerly await the next update.

———————————————————-

It’s worse I believed her after such an obvious mistake, but I was so frightened by the dangers at home, I didn’t see the obvious red flag of my name in her response —that’s how completely she held my trust… that demon banshee of hell!

I wasted no time in opening her email and with a jumbo sharpie, I drew pentagrams in each room. Once again wrapped in a blanket of false security, I ate breakfast and worked in the office for a few hours before deciding to take a nap. I’ve slept so little in the last few nights; I could barely keep my eyes open.

I had such a vivid nightmare; I may never sleep soundly again. In the dream, I was Martin Hayes; I not only saw everything from his perspective, but I also genuinely believed myself to be him. Even though I knew nothing of this family before moving here, I possessed all the dead man’s memories. It is not an exaggeration to say I would have preferred the role of victim.

I never knew such pure, blind, rage existed, and it’s unlikely I will ever feel clean again. My soul has been marred by something black and evil that will never leave me. The longer I am awake, the more finer details fade, but the emotions will haunt me forever.

Martin was forced to work late that fateful night, but it didn’t stop him from opening his flask at the usual time. Unfortunately, he then crushed a coworker’s foot via forklift, costing him the job entirely. He went to a bar, and his foul temper worsened with each drink. By time he arrived home, poor Helen never stood a chance.

Events would have unfolded the same regardless, but the fight started when his dinner was not waiting on the table. Helen recognized the dangerous look in his eyes, and with a sadly sincere, desperate apology, she begged forgiveness. The terror on her face is still vivid enough to make me nauseas, but it is nothing compared to what came next.

Fully aware of the small boy watching from the doorway, Martin grabbed his wife by the hair, pulling her to the ground. I can still feel her brunette locks tangled in my fingers as she was dragged into the kitchen. Trevor screamed for his mother as Martin straddled her crumpled body and began punching.

I’ve never been in a fight before… it’s nothing like tv… you never think of punching someone as painful, but it is. I felt my knuckles splitting wider as Helen’s bones shattered from each impact. It didn’t stop until her face was no longer recognizable. I can’t believe such damage could be caused by fists alone…

The sound of retreating footsteps earned Martin’s undivided attention. His resentment toward Trevor was indescribable; the boy was too expensive, always wanting something new and outgrowing his clothes, but no more! He found his son hiding beneath the bed and pulled him out roughly.

The child’s screams were cut off by two large hands at his throat. Martin stared into Trevor’s wet, brown eyes as he choked the life from him. He felt no remorse after, and did not place his neck in the noose until a week later, when the first police cruiser appeared.

I awoke screaming. Nothing about that experience was dream-like; I don’t pretend to know how it is possible, but I am certain events unfolded exactly as seen.

That is when I decided to do my own research, as I should have from the beginning. It took hours, but with the decision to never sleep again, I had nothing but time. The information was as conflicting as I feared, but enough sites agreed on the basic facts. The knowledge you have not only lived your worst fear, but facilitated it at every step, is a burden I hope none of you ever bear.

I logged into Blewit, ready to give Lady the ass chewing of a lifetime but was surprised to see a new message from her. The time indicated she sent it ten minutes before, but I don’t understand how.

———————————————————-

Lady Nopeingham 5:28pm

I am greatly saddened by your loss of faith. I have done my all to assist you at every turn, yet you doubt my intentions. You speak as if I am some vile creature who only wants to suck out your life essence to prolong my own! While that is not the case, rest assured, if it were – there would be no higher honor! I cannot fathom a more noble cause for one’s soul to be dedicated.

If you wish to proceed without further assistance, I am afraid that is your prerogative. It’s not as if angry, evil spirits allowed me to pinpoint your location – and the pentagrams are certainly not an invitation to retrieve fresh blood donations, don’t be absurd, Jamie! I will expect a heartfelt apology when I see you tonight. Until then, try to get some rest, you look terrible.

———————————————————-

Obviously, after copying each message, I deleted my Blewit account and apps. Lady Nopeingham is clearly a sick, deranged individual, and I am having no further contact. She must be a hacker! That must be it; I bet she gained access to my cameras somehow! I can fix that problem!

… … I went inside only to unplug the Wi-Fi. Once I finish this last part, I’ll disable cellular data as well. I have spent several hours in my car, putting this information together – all the while dreading this very moment. I am not ready to discuss the last incident, but I can delay no longer.

Before going to bed, I scribbled over each pentagram, hoping to negate their effects, but the plan was unsuccessful. I was not roughly roused from sleep as with previous incidents. This time, a faint scratching sound stole its way into my dreams before I understood it to be real. Forcing myself to sit up, I tried to determine its source. I swung my feet to the floor, and a cold hand clamped around my ankle.

The bone felt like it would snap in the steel grip, and nails dug deep into my skin. Warm, sticky blood spilled beneath my feet as I struggled to free myself. I tried to stand but was pulled down, slamming painfully into the floor. I screamed, flailing in desperation as my body was dragged backwards. I didn’t know what would happen if it pulled me all the way under, but surely nothing good.

Finally, I felt a kick connect with something hard. Ignoring the resulting throbs that shot up my leg, I scrambled away from the bed without looking back. After fumbling my way through the door, I raced downstairs to be greeted by the pale, translucent figure of a small boy. The prominent bruises on his neck remained even in death, but my sympathies have been wholly replaced by fear.

Trevor and I stared at each other, unmoving until the sound of pursuing footsteps could be heard descending the stairs. I had no choice but to run past him if I did not want to face Martin again. For some strange reason, I believed the man to be the only one with ill intent. I suppose that confirms my complete ignorance of the subject matter, even now.

At the last moment, the child extended his small hand. I was moving too fast to dodge away when his dead, cold, fingers went into my stomach before solidifying. No word known to humans will ever be strong enough to describe the pain and fear. I was oddly fascinated by the lack of blood, but that was probably from shock.

How I went from standing to lying on my back is fuzzy, but I somehow came to be paralyzed in that state as three ghostly figures stood above me. My bladder voided itself as Helen came to kneel by my head and placed both hands into my mouth. If I had to describe the taste of her fingers as she forced my jaw open – I would guess a mixture of dirt, maggots, and rot.

How my heart continued to beat, I do not understand, but death would have been kinder than what came next. I watched in absolute horror as Martin faded from a solid man to a ghostly image before shifting into a foul, black cloud of smoke. Please understand, I say “smoke” to give you an accurate image, but the substance was completely solid as it forced its way down my throat.

I thought I would suffocate when it cut off all airflow, but I remained conscious for every miserable second. How my jaw was not dislocated is equally puzzling… nor do I know how long I laid there. When the last wisps of smoke were gone, so were Helen and Trevor. I was left alone, laying in a crumpled, soiled heap at the base of the stairs.

It is clear I cannot stay here anymore; I know that. I plan to remain in the car until morning, then I will pack a bag and go to my sister’s. I don’t care how much money I lose in selling this place, but I will never enter that house again. When I find an apartment, I can hire movers or buy new stuff.

I think I will be safe if I stay outside. After I am settled in at Jessie’s house, I will let everyone know I made it out safe. I feel better just knowing this will be the last night I spend here.

—HauntedSoul666, 3:00am

This is Jamie’s sister! I don’t know what you sick people are doing, but whether this is some kind of weird role playing game or just a bunch of delusional psychos, you’ve gone too far! You’ll be hearing from the police soon; I’m showing them every word of this madness!

Do you understand you pushed a real, living human-being to commit suicide?! Was that your intention?! I was the one who found the body! Jamie was in the bathtub, wrists sliced, water still running, and printed copies of this thread strewn all over the place! Are you children capable of comprehending the lives you destroyed? Our parents will never recover! Do you even care?!

I will make sure each and every one of you pay for this if it’s the last thing I do! Especially you, Lady Nopeingham…

—HauntedSoul666, Thursday 5:17pm

———————————————————-

Alert: 1 unread message

Lady Nopeingham 5:23pm

I am heartbroken to hear this tragic news! I fear there has been a terrible misunderstanding, perhaps we should meet in person. I can explain everything, including what really happened to our poor Jamie. I will pay a visit tonight, and show you how very innocent I am. See you soon.

———————————————————-

Horror Fiction

The Settlements Continue (Pt. 4)

Part 1, Part 2, Part 3

Now a CreepyPasta

Ooo weee, come in, come in! I’m glad you’re here early; it’s shaping up to be a bad one out there. The wind has a bite even I can feel. We might have a blizzard on our hands in a few hours. Make yourself comfortable, I’ve had a fire going each night since you left… although, if I had any sense I’d only bother when it stormed.

… I don’t rightly know why, but the weather has been that way ever since the last bunch tried to live here. It’s like… this place’s version of a welcome party.

… Gosh, hard to remember when the last settlement came… What was it, Trish? 1870’s? 80’s? It’s one of those, but I’d have to look to be sure. Don’t worry, we’ll get to them in due time. Tonight, we’re going to skip ahead a couple years so I can tell you about the fifth settlement and what my brother learned in the mountains.

… No, unfortunately he returned after the refugees arrived, but I think you’ll be pleased with the story. It should answer a few more of those technical questions you’re so fond of.

… Absolutely not; you don’t have to worry about Trish’s mom. Gale had a run-in with some campers a few days ago. She’ll be sleeping it off a while longer.

… Not sleep in the way you understand it, but close enough. Oh, before I forget, here’s your battery thing. I can’t thank you enough for the extra phone time.

… You brought us another one? You are the truest of friends! Well, if you’re all settled in, we can get started.

May 10, 1679

There is little I have written in the last two years that does not induce sleep, but now I find myself regretful of complaint. Often, I have resented the dull happenings here, as if new settlers would somehow justify my brother’s absence. Had I not been so consumed by desire to fill this journal with new information, he would be here now. Sometimes, I dream James returns safely, his journey successful; other times, his corpse returns, and the once confined evil spreads across the river to devour us all.

How long does one hold hope in their heart before it is time to move on? Should we risk more lives by sending another group in search of the first? It shames me to admit relief the decision does not rest on my shoulders, but the fact remains, something must be done.

This morning, a small group of weary travelers wandered into our village. They looked defeated; their clothes were torn, they carried no supplies, and had not eaten for days. As chance would have it, I was speaking with Tim when they arrived, and we were first to greet them.

We offered the starving men food to break their fast and heard their tale. Three weeks ago, their village was burned to the ground by a Comanche War Party. The survivors followed the river, searching for a safer location to rebuild. Yesterday, they discovered the abandoned settlement at Dirge Lake and thought it a gift from God. The men we met were searching the surrounding areas when they discovered our town.

My brother and I launched into desperate explanations as to why it unwise to remain there, but I fear we only succeeded in appearing as madmen. With the offering of food to carry to their people, they waited whilst I gathered supplies. As I collected any useful items we could spare, I implored others to greet the newcomers and share their own tales.

Unfortunately, I only worsened the situation, for they were gone upon my return. The moment they saw our darker-skinned residents, they called us fools, and left without further delay. Their parting sentiments expressed the desire we reap what we sow in trusting the devil’s own. I cannot help but appreciate the poetic irony of their words.

We should not blame the travelers for their fear. I cannot fathom what it must be like to watch your home burn as your people die around you… but if they do not heed our warnings, I fear they will be doomed to repeat the same fate.

Tim has ordered a wagon be filled with supplies, and at dawn, we will begin the difficult process of crossing the river. Doctor Gordon and Eric Newman will accompany us. Perhaps if wounds are treated and bellies are filled, they will be more amenable to conversation. With any luck, tomorrow’s entry will document our success.

May 11, 1679

I do not know why I hoped to appeal to desperate men with reason. They readily accepted our gifts but remained reluctant to speak with us. We congregated in the church where we could address the people as Doctor Gordon saw to the injured. The wounds were minor; those with serious injuries perished in the first few days of travel. Even so, the physician worked at a slow pace, providing us more time to explain the peril of their current situation.

The men who appeared to be the leaders remained for the duration of our visit, actively engaging in the debate. Others came and went in a constant rotation, never speaking. It quickly became apparent they wished to hide their true numbers from us. At first, it was argued we were ignorant to the danger from our own people, and we were invited to join them. We continued in that manner until all wounds were treated, but as we prepared to leave, we noticed a frail, young lad hiding in the corner. Several men shouted for the boy to go, but at our continued insistence, they allowed him to be examined.

While all suffered from early signs of starvation, the lad, Daniel, is naught but bones. It is clear he has been in this condition much longer than three weeks. After failing to answer the doctor’s questions, a gray-haired man by the name of Frederick Barnes explained the child to be a mute orphan in his care since the loss of his parents two years ago. He then offered the boy as payment for the wagon of goods, claiming him stronger than he appeared. Thankfully I managed to hold my tongue as Tim accepted this proposal without displaying disgust.

When it became clear neither party would bend to the other’s wish, we returned home, disheartened. Before departing, we made it known they remain welcome should their resolve falter, but our words fell on deaf ears. How long will it be before the killing resumes? How will we know when it does? It is clear they do not relish the idea of our friendship; we can only hope pride does not prevent their seeking help when it is needed. Although… after speaking with Daniel, I do not feel guilty in expressing my own wishes that certain men do not make it to Jamestown.

On the walk home, we shared our lunches with the lad. Aside from hoping to ease his fear, the doctor says it is urgent to increase his weight. Daniel eyed us suspiciously as he ate, but it was clear he understood our words and listened closely. Imagine our surprise when the boy we believed mute showed an aptitude for speech even I envy.

A sickness ravaged their village two years ago, when the boy was only eight, and his parents were among the first to perish. A cruel uncle took him in for a short time, which is where he learned it was better to be thought mute than risk words that incur beatings. Three months later, the uncle was killed by a man to whom he owed a large debt, and that is when the child began living in the woods. When desperate, he performed odd jobs in exchange for food, but he was not treated kindly.

The day the War Party came, Daniel was in a tree, hiding from an angry farmer. He saw the large group coming over the horizon, ignorant to who they were or what their purpose may be. As they drew closer, he became fascinated by their painted faces and how they moved without making a sound. When the men were almost visible to the village, they dropped to their bellies. Suddenly, nothing remained but a field of tall grass.

It wasn’t until they crawled past Daniel’s hiding place that he began to understand their intentions were nefarious. His fascination turned to fear as he watched the strangers disperse through the village, silent as shadows. Flaming arrows were shot into homes, and black smoke filled the air. He described the screams as animalistic, and while men died quickly, he is still too young to understand why the women suffered so much longer… or why the scalps were removed afterwards.

Even after witnessing the War Party’s departure, Daniel was too afraid to leave the tree. It wasn’t until the next morning, when other survivors emerged from the forest, that he descended. Little could be salvaged, and those without living family remained unburied when the villagers set out in search of new land. The boy followed at a distance for the first two days, afraid he would be abandoned if discovered. Instead, they put him to work and resumed his beatings. I did not share my suspicion that he was kept for more sinister intentions, but I am sure my companions thought much the same.

Gordon has adopted the boy, wishing to keep close watch over his health. The doctor’s own son did not survive infancy, and his wife never again conceived. It warms my heart to know they will make a fine family. At our return, many were angry upon learning the results of our failed venture. Some are advocating for drastic measures, arguing we should remove the newcomers by force if necessary; thanks to the lad, we now know they only number forty-six. I, however, believe that would only serve to reinforce their assumptions of our character. Even if it were a morally acceptable response, women and children are present. Tim would never allow such fiendish actions. It seems all we can do is wait.

I do not believe there were any arguments we could have used to change the newcomers’ minds, for they know they do not have the resources to build from scratch. To happen upon an empty village as they have, must truly feel like a blessing. I only hope they have time to recover from their journey before they must battle the evils of their new home. Perhaps when they experience the Cursed Woods firsthand, they will wish to reopen discussions regarding Jamestown.

I should retire for the night. This is the most I have written in years, but I should not press Trish’s patience. I have a feeling I shall soon spend many hours with this journal.

Hope you don’t mind a quick break, but we should tend the fire. I don’t think we’ve had a blizzard like this in fifty years! Good thing I stacked the logs in the kitchen, because that door ain’t opening til the sun is up.

… Yes indeed, we aren’t taking any chances after Gale’s little outburst. Besides, Christmas is just around the corner, and I don’t think I could face eternity knowing I let my best friend’s soul get sucked into a black existence of endless suffering. Talk about ruining the holidays, am-I-right?

… What was that? Hold on, I can’t hear you from the kitchen. I’ll be right back.

… … … One more second, friend. Ethan, get off your lazy ass, and grab some of these logs! Can’t you see my hands are full?! Here we are, centuries later, and he still has no manners. I shake my head in derision at you, boy, but you can’t see it because I’m carrying this damn stack of wood!

… … …. … … … Ah, let’s see, where were we?

…. … Yes, of course, the day we brought Daniel home. I hope you believe me when I say it is a kindness to fast forward a bit. Our time is best served by skipping to the next entry regarding the fifth settlement.

May 29, 1679

It has finally happened. This afternoon, a traumatized young woman stumbled into our village. How she crossed the river with an infant… in her state… I cannot imagine, but they are recovering at the Newman residence until permanent accommodations can be arranged.

It seems we exacerbated her fears in our frenzied welcome. Those present when she arrived rushed to her side, eager to hear news, but it did not appear so innocent from her perspective. The women were quick to remedy our folly, taking her into their inner folds and tending to the child. We men were left to wait out of doors as our wives learned her name and reasons for flight.

Our guest’s name is Rebecca Hughes, and her tale is enough to give me chills. It is one thing to read of events long past, but it is quite another to know these horrible things are happening as you sleep soundly in the neighboring village. Perhaps removing the settlers by force would not be the extreme measure I previously believed… but again, the decision does not rest with me.

Trish, knowing I would wish to record every detail, was kind enough to take notes as the girl recounted her daring escape. Since exhausting their limited provisions, her people have struggled for each meal. Even though the lake is green, it still holds many fish. Yesterday, at dawn, four men swam into the slimy waters with two large nets.

Those who have read these journals will know what came next as surely as I did when hearing those words. Rebecca and the other wives watched from the shore as their husbands divided into pairs and chose their positions. They caught several fish quickly, doing much to raise their spirits. As moods lightened, sounds of laughter filled the air.

It was Rebecca’s husband, Gilbert, who first yelped in pain, but he thought his leg cut by debris. Then his partner, Jameson, shrieked in surprise, dropping the net in his frantic flails. He spun in circles, kicking about wildly as he yelled claims of something slimy wrapping around his ankle.

Gilbert admonished him for the panic, insisting it was only seaweed which entangled him. The other pair began swimming toward the commotion, unsure if their fellows needed assistance. As they hurried across the lake, Jameson calmed his erratic movements. All seemed peaceful once again, and their friends were returning to original positions when Andrew Foster was pulled under.

He was gone instantly, and the resulting ripples disappeared as quickly as Mr. Foster himself. The remaining three stared at the empty space, dumbfounded for several minutes before the wails of Andrew’s wife spurred them to action. The men took turns diving into the murky depths until Jameson also failed to emerge.

Rebecca blames herself for Gilbert’s loss; she begged him to swim ashore when Jameson did not return. Her desperate pleas freed him of his terrified stupor; he lunged forward and screamed as he was roughly yanked beneath the surface. The last man, Terrance Fulton, was able to escape as the lake monster (for we know the truth) devoured Mr. Hughes. The incident compelled some to finally consider our warnings, but most believe a predatory fish at fault.

The information we find truly troubling are the conditions under which Rebecca was forced to flee. The Fultons also wished to depart, but Mr. Barnes forbade any from leaving. He deemed each person vital to their survival, and that to abandon the settlement would be akin to murder. The man’s methods of control are sickening. Rebecca left home in secret just before dawn, and it is a miracle she made it here.

Timothy has called for a meeting to discuss what actions, if any, should be taken in effort to assist those held against their will. We may outnumber them, but they are frightened, desperate people; few things are more dangerous.

My head throbs from weighing the choices in my mind. Perhaps a good night’s rest will lend clarity to the situation. Tomorrow, I will write of what has been decided.

May 30, 1679

We will not cross the river. I thought myself in favor of lending aid, but now I am certain Tim was right to refuse. I considered only the human obstacles we would face, failing to acknowledge the ghoulish deceit I have spent so many hours studying in that first, old journal. There would be no way to ensure we did not fight amongst ourselves as we struggled to free people who may ultimately decide they did not want our help. Would the Fultons still wish to join us if we were forced to harm their friends in the process?

There is simply too much at risk on both sides. All we can do is welcome any who make it this far and defend our homes against those who would seek to do harm. We think it is unlikely men of their nature have the courage to face us in real confrontation, but Tim has arranged night sentries for the foreseeable future. If they serve no other purpose, Trish tells me Rebecca is most comforted by their presence.

Our new friend is opening up to the women more now that she is rested and her grief for Gilbert has set in as reality. The poor girl is in good hands with Mrs. Newman; she can mourn in peace knowing she and her child are safely away from danger.

It is difficult not to dwell on thoughts of James as I write at this desk each night. Perhaps it would be wise to retire early; I desperately require the additional sleep.

May 31, 1679

I am fortunate for taking the extra rest; much has developed during the course of this day. We have new arrivals from the settlement who were able to tell us of events since Rebecca’s departure.

After discovering her missing, Frederick ordered everyone indoors while he and two men scoured the forest. It is unknown if they truly searched, for upon their return they reported discovering Mrs. Hughes body; or more accurately, what remained of it. He spun a tale that strongly implied any others who dare leave would likely meet the same fate.

I do not consider myself a man of violence, but I find myself plotting various ways of preventing Mr. Barnes from reaching Jamestown. If he survives a few more nights – rest assured dear, future reader – he will crawl on his knees before us, pleading for shelter; but for now, I must bide my time and relay what horrors next plagued the settlement.

A farmer moved his family into the old Brown residence, and it seems they fell victim to the same strange creature as the previous tenants. Once again, the elders refused to elaborate on their knowledge of this monster, but they are quick to correct any who refer to it as a demon.

George Miller and his wife, Bethany, moved into the farmhouse with their five children immediately upon arrival. They added additional rooms, and with help from neighbors, put much work into preparing the land for new crops. In that time, nothing thought to be unnatural occurred until last night.

After supper, as Bethany and her three daughters sat knitting, the boys prepared an evening fire. It was the eldest son, Jack, who was tasked with retrieving extra wood. When he did not return, they assumed he found need to chop more. When he still did not return, George sent his other son, Jonathan, to check the cause for delay.

The younger lad was gone mere seconds before he burst through the door, white as a sheet and breathing heavily. He spoke in a rush, reporting Jack to be calling for help from the forest. Mr. Miller leapt from his chair, retrieved two rifles, and thrusting one into Johnathan’s hands, they ran outside. Stopping to light the torches, George called to his other son but did not receive answer.

Bethany stood at the door with her daughters, watching nervously as her husband stalked the tree line, searching for signs to indicate Jack’s passage. Finally, they heard footsteps to their right. Instructing Jonathan to hold position, Mr. Miller cautiously made his way through the brush.

Moments later, the snap of a twig inches to his left made George drop his torch, and the fire extinguished with a loud hiss. In the same instant, he discharged his weapon, and the sound of his retreating footsteps could be heard. Jonathan called to his father, but before he could do more, the burly man emerged from the tree line. Without pause, Mr. Miller grabbed his remaining son and dragged him along in his desperate flight.

Once all were inside, George barred the door, ignoring his family’s frightened questions. He proceeded to latch the shutters while shouting for the others to follow suit. When no more could be done to secure their position, he reached for his pipe with trembling hands. After dropping it for the third time, he broke down into tears.

Unable to cope with another moment’s wait, Bethany slapped her husband’s face. When the man was finally able to communicate, his family crumpled at the news of Jack’s death. In the forest, when the twig snapped, George was able to take in one horrendous sight before the torch extinguished. He saw a creature so tall, its head was lost in the darkness above; its body was that of man, but covered in a thick, deer-like hide. It had two arms and legs as humans, but the arms were so long, its fingertips brushed the ground.

At such a description, I am not sorry to lack its facial features. What stuck clear in the grieving father’s mind, was the image of his son’s severed head. The creature held it aloft, as if offering Mr. Miller a gift. The family hugged as they cried but wails of grief quickly evolved to screams of terror as loud, heavy footsteps were heard outside.

All sounds in the home ceased as the steps seemed to pace across the porch. Bethany held her daughters close as George stood, motioning for Jonathan to follow. Careful to make no noise, they steadied their rifles, training them on the door. When the steps next passed, they halted at the entrance.

Loud bangs shook the door, bending it further inward with each strike. Hearts pounding, the terrified family waited with breaths held, expecting the wood to splinter any second. After several minutes of this, a distorted child-like voice of indistinguishable gender said, “help, dad” before retreating steps could finally be heard leaving the premises.

After two silent hours, Bethany put the girls to bed. She and George remained on guard, and Jonathan dozed near the fire. No one stirred as the creature crept alongside their home, and they were not sure if they truly heard the short but sharp crack of a shutter torn from its hinge; but chaos ensued when the loud shattering of glass and shrill screams pierced the night.

The screaming continued as all rushed to the girls, weapons at the ready. Two children sat huddled in a corner, pointing to the broken window. Bethany was first to notice Elizabeth’s absence. She forced her way past George, screaming for her youngest child. Glass forgotten, Mrs. Miller knelt, peering under the bed, but nothing was there. Bloody streaks trailed across the floor as she continued her desperate search. When she reached the corner where her remaining daughters cowered, she shook them violently, demanding answers.

The eldest, Laura, barely spoke above a whisper when she reported a giant deer-man reached through the window and carried her sister away. George, forced to drop the rifle, restrained his wife when she continued shaking the frightened child. He released her moments later when Bethany ceased struggling, but she knocked him to the ground at first opportunity.

Taking the gun on her way out, Mrs. Miller ran from the home, screaming for her lost children. Her husband gave chase, pleading for her return, but stopped short at the door, too frightened to continue. He thought it was so the children would not be orphans, but now he is unsure if that was his true motive. After a sleepless night, he and his surviving children fled at dawn with all they could carry. They did not tell anyone of their departure, knowing they would not be allowed to leave regardless of the reason.

I am glad those three children have an intelligent father, for there is no doubt they would be orphans… or worse… had he pursued his wife. Even more certain are the actions Mr. Barnes would have employed at the discovery of his intentions.

Goodness, the time! It seems I have fallen effortlessly into my old habits. Perhaps when these endeavors are finished, I will finally come around to writing that poem for my beautiful wife.

That was a mighty hectic three days! Next is the part where James finally comes home, so this is the last good place for a break if you’d like to stretch your legs a bit.

… That sounds mighty fine! Some good old-fashioned popcorn would be lovely. It’s been a coon’s age since I smelled that buttery goodness! Trish, could you be a dear fetch a pot?

… … Mmm mmm, the sound of them kernels popping sure does take me back. Tell you what I’d like to try – popcorn balls! We was watching a movie a few months back where some folks made ‘em. They looked like sweet, gooey balls of pure delight!

… Yes dear, you’re right.

Sorry, friend. Let myself get riled again. Anyway, I guess we should get back to our story; let’s focus on that instead of all that howling outside.

… Psh, nothing to worry about, probably just the wind… almost surely. You just relax and eat your snack; I got this.

June 1st, 1679

My brother has returned, and they lost only two men on the journey. Despite all the hardships we have endured, I am jubilant this night! James is well, and we now have new information that will certainly prove vital. I could hardly believe my eyes at the sight of his thin, bearded face. There was a fine celebration with a feast I will still feel the weight of come morning.

We received no new settlers this day, and I am almost grateful, for I have much to write. It is almost a shame to dampen such high spirits with talk of the wicked things James learned in the Great Mountains, but it is a task that should not be delayed. My brother, ever the wise man, kept a journal, documenting his experiences each night. He claims it was to free himself of my hassling upon his return, but I know he jests. He understood the importance of this journey and would not undertake even the smallest task without his very best efforts.

I must return his journal when I am finished, but I will transcribe his conversation with the Mountain Elders here; it is best if multiple copies of the knowledge exist.

Copied from the journal of James Cooke:

I thought the hardest part of our arduous journey behind us when we reached the Great Mountains, but the last several months spent proving ourselves to these strange people has been more difficult by far. Thankfully, our patience and efforts have finally been rewarded this day. They revealed to us a passage leading deep inside the mountain and showed us their true village.

When their ancestors first came to these parts centuries ago, they were pursued by a superior tribe. Crawling in the brush, desperate to lose their enemies, they stumbled upon a small opening in the mountain. Surprised to find a tunnel which opened into a large cavern, they quickly hid their people inside. As the years passed, they dug new pathways to expand their home. It was there, deep in the heart of the mountain, the Elders gave us the information we sought.

They sat in a round cave with only one entrance. Torches lined the walls, and a dozen people sat solemnly. When I attempted to relay the information given by the Shaman, Kawani, they surprised me further by already knowing his words. The frail woman who spoke sat in the center of the Elder’s circle, staring into space; noticing her strange, white eyes, I realized she was blind.

I only note the fact due to the number of times she claimed to “see” Kawani when they spoke. The Shaman was a descendant of their tribe, and therefore able to commune with them in death. Even with my experience in the unnatural, I found this concept difficult to accept; yet I must believe it true, for there is no other way she could possess such knowledge.

I know it will trouble my brother to learn we cannot express the demon’s name via written word. We are only able to communicate it verbally, and even then, only when absolutely necessary. The reason is still difficult to comprehend, but I will do my best to explain a concept of which I understand little. Even so, I fear it will not do justice to the long, elegantly delivered, account I received.

Normally, when we die, our souls pass on to the Spirit World to be at peace, but there are exceptions. Ghosts are the souls who, for a variety of reasons, cannot pass on to the Spirit World at all. Each individual’s circumstance is unique, making it impossible to fully document each possibility, but I am fairly certain Alexander already has information regarding this topic.

When a truly vile, evil person dies, their soul can never be at peace; instead, it is pulled to a different realm of the Spirit World, one where they remain in a state of pain and terror, always aware of their suffering. It is in this realm, demons are born. They are physical creatures, formed as a byproduct of Hate and Chaos. They devour the tormented souls, becoming more powerful with each consumption. They can never be destroyed, only banished, back from whence they came.

Long ago, a mortal performed a ritual to summon a demon to the Cursed Woods. Man, by nature, is fallible in his greedy desire for wealth and power. Even those with good intentions often fall prey to the belief they hold some unique quality that entitles him to stand above his fellows. It is exactly that trait upon which the beast will prey.

Demons are capable of influencing dreams of the weak minded, employing masterful manipulations to achieve their goals. They promise to fulfill their victim’s greatest desires, yet are somehow able to maintain the illusion of honesty… I do not understand how one can think such a creature would honor an agreement. The easiest way to banish the entity requires the summoner, therefore it will dispose of that person immediately.

Without aid from the one who brought the demon forth, we must use an alternative method. I was gifted with a beautifully carved bow, and three special arrows. The runes carved into the shafts reminded me of the ceremonial dagger our father passed down to Timothy. The Elders confirmed either would harm the demon, but the bow allows for attacking from a distance.

The creature can only be banished in its true form; if it has taken possession of a human, it will be forced from its shell, but not injured. Once it is truly wounded, the weapon must not be removed, and great effort should be made to avoid physical contact with the demon, even in that state. It should then be burned to ashes, which will be scattered into a body of salt water, never fresh.

I think what frightens me most, is knowing the demon does in fact continue to grow stronger with each victim it takes. I pray we can be rid of it before a fifth settlement comes to pass. It is unfortunate I cannot write its name down, for it is a difficult word. Our language does not possess all the sounds necessary to convey it correctly, but the Elders say it is still too risky. There are few things more powerful than a true name, especially when written.

Ink does not fade away as the sound of a voice; it remains, as would the power it infused within the demon. I must make sure to stress this point to my well-meaning brother, that he cannot for any reason, commit the name to paper. I should not even speak it more than once when I return.

My back screams in protest at the thought of the journey home. My desire to travel has been filled; I hope to never leave Jamestown again. What I have seen and learned here was worth the effort, but I miss my family dearly. I pity whoever will be charged with use of this fine bow. I greatly desire to keep it, but the price of ownership is far too high.

——————————

I envy James’ experience with the Elders; I yearn to see their mountains and caves, but I know I could not endure years away from Trish and the children. The demon’s name is indeed difficult, but even if I were allowed to write it, I do not know how I would spell such strange sounds.

My hand throbs from exertion, and I must wake with the sun. With this new information, it would be a monstrous act to abandon the victims at Dirge Lake. When the demon is gone, perhaps it will finally make a good place to settle. I would be remiss to behave as if this will be an easy undertaking, but I feel as if we have come too far to fail.

If I do not return tomorrow, dear family, know I cherished you more than life, and I do this to secure your futures; may our children never experience the horrors of the Cursed Woods.

June 2, 1679

In all my life, I have never experienced such horror as what we saw this day. We arrived at Dirge Lake, but there was not a soul in sight. We felt a dark presence watching as we knocked on several doors and peeked through windows. Finally, when no one came to greet us, we entered the church.

The stench was overwhelming; it penetrated anything we used in attempt to cover our faces, there was no escaping the smell of death. Mutilated bodies were posed all around us. Two young girls sat in the front row, hands severed at the wrists, but clasped together in their laps. Behind them, a man and woman sat together, their heads placed on the wrong bodies. Everywhere we looked was more of the same.

After confirming no survivors remained, we wished to leave quickly. The floor was slick with blood, and in my hurry, I fell to my knees. After seeing my hand rested on someone’s intestine, I proceeded to lose my breakfast. We knew we were too late; they were all dead, but we had to try anyway.

When we had a moment to collect ourselves, we searched every home for survivors, but only found more gruesome murders. The things done to the poor children were beyond horrendous… but knowing we could do no more for the dead, we discussed the larger issue at hand. Most wished to return home, reasoning there was no point facing the demon if none were left to save, but I could not be satisfied until I saw the corpse of Frederick Barnes.

The two men who were always with him were found dead in the church, their… members… removed and inserted into their mouths, but I needed to know their boss was also gone. I do not mind admitting that what little courage I possessed fled from me at the gruesome sights we beheld, and yes, I was willing to abandon plans of fighting the demon for as long as possible; but I would never sleep soundly again without knowing Mr. Barnes was deceased.

We found him outside, dead but animated as the demon’s new husk, watching us from tree line. When we saw him, he emerged with the most hauntingly sinister smile I have ever seen. He told us to get off his land, still pretending to be Frederick, but we stood our ground. We tried to position ourselves to obscure the demon’s view of Timothy, but he saw my brother ready an arrow and understood our intentions.

He moved with inhuman speed, but somehow, Michael Stephenson shielded Tim, buying valuable time. We rushed to aid Michael, but his skull was crushed instantly. As the demon turned to locate my brother once again, Henry Davenport leapt onto his back, securing the last moment we needed. Unfortunately, it came at a great cost, for the creature reached his arms back in a disturbingly unnatural way to break our friend’s neck effortlessly.

Suddenly, an arrow plunged deep into Frederick’s chest, knocking him to the ground. We descended upon him, watching as black ooze gushed from the wound. The creature laughed maniacally until only a hollow shell remained. When the last drop of the tar-like substance was soaked into the ground… or evaporated, I am not sure which, we wasted no time in leaving.

I have had enough adventure in my life. I hope no one enters those Cursed Woods again, but if they do, may it be long after I am gone. Trish made me promise I would not cross the river again, and I eagerly agreed. If it were not out of concern for my brother, I would not have put her through the worry of going today. The only thing I want now is to sleep for a few days.

Good grief, look at the time! The sun has been up for hours! See, this is what happens when you shut the world out. I don’t even remember hearing the storm stop… uh-oh.

… … Whew, thank goodness! Thought we might be snowed in, but you can crawl over that little mound no problem. I was worried we’d have to shoot you out the chimney for a second. Anyway, one day you should remind me to read James’ journal. That tribe in the mountains accidentally opened a cavern that still had something ancient living in there, and all sorts of shenanigans ensued; it sounded like quite a time.

… I’m starting to think you’re never going to be satisfied. No matter how much I read, you want to hear more. Well tough cookies, because we have barely scratched the surface. If you want to know more, we’ll pick up with the sixth settlement later, but we have to skip the rest of my journals to do that.

… Huh? What makes you think I died over here? Nah, the plague got us, but I couldn’t just leave my journals behind, could I?

… … Goodness, no. I didn’t bring them here… no, we can’t get into all that, you’ve stayed too long as it is. That part of the story isn’t even interesting, hell I’m not sure if it qualifies as anecdotal! Just set that brain of yours back to pondering the new stuff you did learn.

… I’m glad you enjoyed it! I hope we see you again before Christmas, but if we don’t, you have just the merriest one, ya hear. Now, go on, scoot.

Horror Fiction

Santa Saved Me

Hey, did you guys check out Lady Nopeingham when I wrote Blewit? If you didn’t here’s your chance because you can find this story on her YouTube channel. 
Spoiler Alert: It’s freaking amazing and has some great guest stars too!! Go check it out here!

Hello, dear member of this marvelous community. You have no idea how relieved I am to find you; I need your help. You don’t know me, but please, hear my story. If you or someone you know can provide any information, I will be most grateful. I’m aware I open myself up as a target to mockery, but it’s worth the risk to find one person with a similar experience. If nothing else – I promise, even if you think I’m crazy – I won’t bore you. I’m too afraid to tell my friends or family the truth; I know they won’t believe me. You, dear friend, are my only hope for peace.

This was the worst Christmas of my life. Either Santa Clause is real, or my mind has finally broken in a way that feels forebodingly permanent. I can live with either, but I must know which. Even if it is the latter, it would hardly be the worst I’ve endured. No, the worst is easily when Mr. Monster Maker tried to kill me. That part is certainly real; the whole town knows about it… but let me start at the beginning so you can understand my sincerity.

I flew home for the holidays to get away from all the overzealous, hormone-raging assholes at college; not find more. Being away from the dorms for two weeks was supposed to be relaxing. Unfortunately, I was only able to enjoy the first two days before things slid down shit-hill. Our house is in the country; we have an alarm and cameras, but none of it helped. My parents are ER surgeons; I used to appreciate their long hours, but not anymore.

Wednesday, the 22nd, I drove Mom’s car to dinner with high-school friends, Sara and Jen. They were the only other non-woo girls in our class, and therefore, the only ones I stayed in touch with. Halfway through the meal, Jen’s cousin arrived with a friend, and joined us. It didn’t thrill me, but it wasn’t the end of the world. Her cousin wasn’t bad, although Dean was annoying from the moment he sat down.

He homed in on me immediately, trying to single me out for conversation and offering to buy my drinks. He looked decent; I might have given him a chance if I had been interested in dating at the time. The more I brushed him off, the harder he tried, as if he couldn’t fathom why I was resisting. It’s like he set out to systematically raise every red flag on my radar.

They decided to hit a few bars after dinner, but I politely declined. I figured I would go home, relax, watch a few Christmas movies and never see Dean again. That’s how life would go for anyone else at least, but no, not me. I wasn’t on the road five minutes before my phone started going crazy. It sounded like my last tweet was going viral, though I knew that was impossible; Id be more likely to grow wings.

Back home, I saw Dean found me on Twitter, then proceeded to like every post and comment on every selfie. They all said various forms of “so beautiful” or “we have so much in common, let’s hang”.

He also sent a DM with his contact info and four paragraphs of creepy compliments that ended with a list of things he thought we had in common. I’ve never been so grateful to not have my address or number listed. I don’t know why I didn’t block him then and there. Instead, I texted Jen to find out what his deal was. I didn’t think he was dangerous so much as lonely and desperate. I’ve included our conversation, beginning with her response to numerous screenshots.

Jen: I was wondering what he was doing. He’s been buried in his phone since we got here. Ryan said their mothers are friends. Dean just moved here from his dad’s house in Nevada, and Ry is supposed to help him make friends.

Me: Weird way to make friends. Think your cousin can get him to ease up?

Jen: I’ll talk to him, no worries.

I turned off notifications to Twitter and started A Christmas Story. He already liked everything; I didn’t think he could do much more. Both parents were back on the night shift, and I was determined no one would ruin my blissful solitude. I almost didn’t look when I heard Jen’s texts thirty minutes later, but I assumed she was saying Dean wouldn’t be an issue anymore. I wanted to send a quick ‘thanks’ and forget I owned a phone for a few hours. Here’s what was actually said.

Jen: Ok, small problem. Maybe just block him and don’t read any more messages.

Me: You’re freaking me out, I have eighteen new messages since we talked!

Jen: There’s something wrong with that guy. Ry distracted him with darts for a few minutes, but he kept asking what kind of guys you like, where you live, and why we thought you weren’t responding to him yet… I’m really sorry… I’m buzzed, and he was SO annoying… I told him “Maybe because you’re going full stalker on her after a twenty-minute conversation.” He got really upset…

Me: The hell is wrong with you?! Tell me he doesn’t know where I live, Jennifer! Tell me that right now!

Jen: Of course, he doesn’t! We wouldn’t do that! But he immediately went back to his phone and started typing with a scary look on his face. Ryan said he had to get home and made Dean go with him, but he genuinely creeped me out; go block him on everything!

You better believe I did just that, but first I took screenshots of the worst messages. I told myself I wanted them for evidence… just in case… but part of me wanted to see how far he went. The answer is “way too far”. I won’t waste your time with the ramblings of a madman; several contain nothing more than the word “fuck” used in various creative ways, but I would like to include a few so you understand I’m not exaggerating.

10:23pm: Weird you still aren’t home; do you live outside the city? I know you aren’t the kind of person who ignores a good guy like me. Haha. Only bitches in ditches do that. Joke. Get it? Anyway, call me when you get home. Drive safe, lotta crazies out there.

10:33pm: Was that you trying to call? I’m having trouble with my phone. It froze when I tried to answer. Call me back before I gotta come find you, haha. Kidding again.

10:38pm: Why is this bitch calling me a stalker just because I’m trying to be friendly? How does she know I’ve even messaged you?! Pretty shitty you can talk smack ABOUT me, but not TO me. You want to explain that? You’re just like all the others. Everyone thinks they’re so much better than me. You have NO idea what I’m capable of!

10:50pm: Look, I’m sorry I got upset. That was really unlike me; I’ve been under a lot of stress with the move. I know we’re perfect for each other. I just need you to give me a chance so you can see it too. What’s your address? I want to apologize in person; I feel terrible. I know you deserve better, and I’m the best there is, you’ll see.

10:57pm: I’m out of patience, bitch! If this is going to work between us, you have to start showing some respect. You got about thirty seconds to start apologizing!

That was the last one, and I didn’t stay to see more. I blocked him with shaking hands before he could finish whatever he was in the process of typing. After sending the screenshots to Jen, I hid my phone under the couch cushion. I didn’t want to see it for a while; I tried to focus on tv instead, but my brain had other ideas. It wanted to dwell upon what a small community we lived in.

If Dean’s mother was in the same social circles as Ryan’s… how long would it take him to learn which house belonged to the well-known doctors? How many grateful patients had tracked us down just to deliver casseroles or cookies? Far too many, that’s for sure. How did I go from “dinner with friends” to “stalker’s obsession” so quickly? That garbage is for Halloween, not Christmas! At some point I fell asleep while contemplating life, the universe, and everything.

It’s important to keep track of the date, too. Remember, this is Thursday, the 23rd, now. When I woke, it was daylight, and a note from my parents was on the coffee table. “Sleeping till noon, pizza in the fridge.”

I had food in the microwave before remembering where my phone was and why. There were a few messages from friends and an apology from Ryan. He saw the screenshots and felt terrible for introducing us to Dean. I know he’s a good guy, but I was still too shaken up to pretend I was okay.

After answering the texts, my heart sank when I saw Twitter. I had several DM’s, which, judging by the new comments, were all from fresh accounts Dean created. Each had a different name and profile picture; how does anyone have that kind of free time? I let my food go cold while changing my settings to private and blocking the new profiles. All the fear I felt when alone the previous night was reborn into pure fury.

There was so much rage bottled inside… I know how stupid it is to engage an unstable person, I really do… but by time I regained control of my actions, the message was sent. I unblocked his real account long enough to inform him I would take my evidence to the police if he made contact again. I should have stopped there, but I went on to say exactly how I felt about him. It’s possible I ended it with a list of animals I would rather be with, but it’s all so fuzzy now.

Only after it was too late did I remember the overwhelming fear of how easily he could find me. I checked the locks on every window and made sure the alarm was on. For the first time, I found myself wishing for a gun. My parents would have a heart attack if they knew; they’ve “seen more dead family members than burglars”, but that argument holds less weight with me these days. Sorry, I don’t mean to get sidetracked, but this has been more difficult to relive than expected.

Anyway, I had an almost peaceful day after that. My parents woke at noon, and we talked for a bit before they went to work. Jen wanted to come over, and I was happy for the company. We drank wine, watched movies, and gossiped like we were back in school. By 9:00, we were past tipsy, and I had forgotten about Dean.

I didn’t even think about him when my phone rang with an unfamiliar number. I won’t answer those anyway; even when it’s not spam it’s never good. If someone has a real emergency, they’ll text before giving up. The only reason to call is if you need to pressure someone into something unpleasant.

I rejected three calls and accidentally opened one text in the process of blocking the number. There was no doubt who sent, “I know you hit the asshole button, you stupid whore. I’m done being treated like a bitch!”

We never did learn how he got my number, but I’ve had the same one since junior high; it wouldn’t have been too hard if he asked the right people. Plus, now that the whole town knows what happened, there’s no way anyone will admit to it. Still… it bothers me. I’m not sure why I’ve fixated on it… not like it’ll change anything… but I wish I knew.

We googled his name, hoping to learn something that may explain his behavior, but there was nothing aside from the normal social media accounts. Jen told Ryan he should let his mom know about her friend’s creepy son. We didn’t expect anything to come of it; I think we wanted to feel like we did something other than let him completely get away with it. Imagine our surprise when he responded with not only more apologies, but several news articles.

It seemed Robert Dean Travers, 20, of Shady Pines, Nevada, was the prime suspect in the deaths of 2 women, and the disfigurement of another: ages 18-22. Mr. Travers was detained by police but later released due to lack of evidence. There were also links to articles about each woman, including their pictures. It made me nauseous to see how similar we looked. It’s true what they say about those guys having a type.

There were no other suspects in the case and no attacks since Dean left the area. Jen told me not to read what he did to them, but I had to know; I needed to know…

Assholes on the internet dubbed him the “Monster Maker” which led to the press calling him Frankenstein. The survivor told police all she could, but obviously, was unable to identify her attacker now that she was blind. Her testimony confirmed what police believed happened but couldn’t prove Dean was the culprit.

He found these women in various places, but once he chose a mark, the rest was routine. He put great effort into making social media accounts with fake names and background to seem more appealing. Police say they were created months in advance and deleted immediately before an attack. Unfortunately, Dean only created and accessed these accounts from public hotspots on disposable phones – meaning it was useless as evidence. No number was ever used to contact more than a single victim.

Next, he learned their address; a task at which he became quite proficient. If a date insisted they meet rather than being picked up, he simply waited for them to leave and followed at a distance. Once he knew where they lived, he returned in the dead of night, parking several blocks away from the victim’s home. After torturing these women for hours, he poured acid on their faces. Badly beaten as they were, it was still a slow, excruciating death.

I read the survivor’s testimonial where she recounted her moments of lying helpless as the acid ate through her flesh. She describes her blindness as a consolation prize, preferring that to seeing the deformity of her face. It was unquestionably the most horrible thing I have ever read. My chest still aches with the memory of her words.

Every night I dream of her. I see her at home, asleep when Dean attacks. I see her terrified face and hear her screams of agony for hours before he uses the acid. He tapes her eyes open, forcing her to meet his gaze as he applies the liquid with a medicine dropper. First to her forehead, but slowly, always slowly, he works his way round her face. The bastard giggles in delight with every fresh tear as he saves her eyes for last. With each drop, a horrible sizzle can be heard as the skin melts away.

I think the dreams are part of why I can’t move on. If I could just have one night’s sleep where I don’t see such awful things… I don’t know, maybe I’ll never recover. Maybe the dreams are my mind’s way of telling me I wasn’t supposed to survive in the first place, but I’m getting ahead of myself again, I’m sorry about that; I’m just so sleepy. I’ve been awake for thirty-one hours and it’s getting harder to concentrate.

Where were we? Oh, right, me and Jen on Friday night. We aren’t stupid, we knew how serious the situation was after learning about Dean’s past. We called my parents, they called the police, and all my hopes were shot to hell less than an hour later when Dad informed me Dean was cleared of all charges and his mother explained the horrible misunderstanding that led to him being suspected in the first place. He’s actually a “very shy young man”. I stopped listening after that.

We tried calling the cops ourselves, but they only repeated the same thing. While they didn’t give me quite the brush off Dad did, legally, their hands were tied. They promised to have a cruiser drive by every few hours, which was more than most people would get; call it a perk of the relationship between doctors and police. Not that it helped. Jen agreed to stay the night so I wouldn’t have to be alone, but aside from jumping at every noise, nothing more happened.

She went home the next morning – which is important to remember was Christmas Eve – and my parents continued to reassure me when they woke that afternoon. It was their last shift before having five days off. I thought I could survive one more night alone… miles away from the closest neighbor. There had been no contact from Dean since I blocked his number. Horrible as it sounds, I hoped he found someone else to… talk to… anything that let me think he wasn’t trying to find me.

I made another round through the house checking the alarm and locks, but it provided little comfort. How is it possible we live in a world where people know a man like that is free, but they do nothing to stop him? It’s madness. They think just because we live in this happy, little community where nothing bad happens – nothing bad can happen – and that is dangerously flawed logic.

At 9:00, it began snowing and the forecast warned it would soon be a blizzard. Even with the porch lights on, I saw little more than a white wall outside. That bastard managed to ruin snow on Christmas; how evil can one man be? I tried to watch tv but jumping at every sound effect got old fast. Listening to a podcast on low volume was going well until I heard something hit the kitchen window shortly after 10:00.

It was almost the dull thud of a bird, but I had a difficult time believing something tried to fly in that weather… or that it hit such a small target. My feet were lead weights as I forced them to carry me forward, but not to the kitchen. Instead, I went to Dad’s office, where the monitors were. My heart skipped more than one beat as my eyes scanned over each screen several times before I could breathe normally again.

A large tree stood a few yards away; technically it was possible a stick was blown into the window… I saw no signs the snow was disturbed on the ground, but the view was becoming more obstructed by the second. Soon, snow would cover the lenses, and the cameras would be worthless. At that moment, I realized the security alarm was nothing more than an assurance police would find my corpse first. As much as I prefer that scenario, it was little comfort in the moment.

After nearly twenty minutes of staring into the white monitors, I returned to the den. Part of me wanted to crawl under my bed, but the idea of hiding in my room while I imagined Dean lurking down the hall seemed infinitely worse than sitting on the couch and imagining he was in the bushes. No matter what I did to feel safe, my mind found a new way to show me why it wouldn’t help. I hate my brain, that bitch is lucky I can’t lay hands on her, that’s all I’ll say about that.

It was roughly ten minutes later when I heard another soft thud, this time from the dining room. I stood before the yellow curtains, trembling, trying to mentally will the curtains aside rather than lift my shaking arms. Somehow, my legs continued to support me as one hand slowly, unsteadily, reached forward. Just as my fingers brushed the fabric, a louder thud shook the window. I screamed, falling backwards and landing hard on my ass.

I remained frozen, listening to the horrifying crunch of snow as heavy footsteps approached. When they finally came to a stop, I heard something different; something like metal dragging lightly across the glass. That’s what erased all doubts of mere paranoia. There was no natural explanation for the deliberate noise I heard. My mind screamed to run, but I only whimpered. It seems I have neither fight nor flight, only freeze.

I managed to slide backwards, across the floor, until I was beneath the dinner table. Making no effort to lower my voice, I dialed 911. When finished relaying the address, I noticed the noise had stopped; all was eerily silent. The operator stayed on the phone until able to confirm it was safe to open the door for police, but there was no further disturbance.

One officer took my statement while another checked the perimeter. There were no signs of anyone else, but they admitted it was snowing heavily enough to cover all but the deepest tracks. I think they were trying to be polite because of my parents, but they clearly didn’t believe I was in danger. I’m sure they didn’t appreciate driving in a blizzard either, but what else could I do? I cried again as they left; it felt like they were leaving me to die.

It was almost midnight as I watched the cruiser leave our driveway, and with it, my last shred of hope. I desperately wanted to sleep, but anytime I felt myself drifting, I remembered the women who were so rudely awakened in the sanctity of their own homes. If my car were there, I would have gone to a hotel.

By 1:00, my eyelids were drooping even while standing. I knew if I sat, it would be the end. At one point, I found myself staring at the pile of presents beneath our tree. I thought of all the years I sat in that very spot, shaking gifts, trying to peek inside without tearing the paper; all while ignorant to the fact I would likely die in the very same room.

A loud crash from the kitchen pulled me from the trance. The sound of shattering glass painted a clear picture of someone breaking a pane on the back door to gain entry. When I thought it impossible to feel more frightened, a series of beeps followed by the silencing of the alarm sent a crippling wave of hopelessness through me. Later, I would learn Dean worked for a security company in Nevada where he learned to bypass the alarms.

As his heavy footsteps approached, my legs finally decided to function. They felt numb as they carried me to the front door, but I hesitated at the staircase. With the blizzard in full force, outside wasn’t an option. Dean was only seconds away from turning the corner, and I was sure my knees would fold the moment I saw him.

I ran upstairs; when almost at the top, Dean shouted. “There she is! Hey, darling, why don’t you come on down so we can have a little chat?” No wonder his last victim couldn’t identify his voice. He sounded like a completely different person. It was husky and sinister, almost inhuman.

Without risking a glance back, I kept running forward, trying to reach the bathroom. It was the only room with a lock – not that I thought that would save me, but what else could I do? The maniac was fast; he collided into the door before it could latch. It slammed into my nose, and warm, sticky blood sprayed as I struggled to push against his body weight.

He overpowered me effortlessly, pushing the door hard enough to smash my head into the wall behind it. My vision went dark and in the last moments before losing consciousness, I remember thinking, ‘I hope I don’t have to wake up after.’

When I woke, there were a few seconds where I forgot my circumstances. I couldn’t understand why I was in a sitting position, or why my head ached so miserably. The moment my memory returned, panic surged through me, and I opened my eyes to see Dean seated across from me, smiling in a deranged way even Pennywise would find disturbing. I was tightly bound to a dining room chair with ropes eating into my wrists, ankles, and torso.

“Look who’s awake! It’s about time, sleepyhead. I was getting so bored I thought I would have to start without you.” Dean smiled, and I did my best not to give him the satisfaction of crying.

I was still a little delirious, but a strange calmness possessed me. It happened; I was caught and soon I would beg for death before being murdered, but there was nothing I could do about it while tied to that chair. I felt dizzy and nauseous, but I was beginning to accept my fate. I decided my only goal was to hurt him badly as possible in the process. I focused my energy on awaiting my chance while he launched into a cliche villain rant.

“Did you think you were playing hard to get? Did you think you were being cute? That I would respect you for it? Well, you sadly miscalculated, and now you’re going to pay dearly. You could have had everything.” He wasn’t manic; in fact, he was the opposite. It was the most composure he displayed yet. He spoke as naturally as if discussing the weather.

My brain whispered to play along, to indulge his delusion by apologizing, begging for another chance, but I couldn’t. The thought of him having the satisfaction – even for a moment – was unbearable. I summoned every ounce of hate in my soul and tried to express it through my icy glare, but Dean only smiled.

“It’s a shame really. Oh well, there will be others. Maybe I’ll go to New York next, who knows; but I can’t very well stay here. I promised Mother I would behave, and she’s going to be livid when she hears about this. It’s probably best I leave town before that happens… don’t you worry though. We can still be together tonight. Your parents won’t leave the hospital for hours yet.”

Dean rose to his feet, and I tried to control my trembling as he approached. He placed both hands on my shoulders and lowered himself until his mouth was at my ear. I could smell the stench of his rotten breath as he whispered, “Are you ready? I think you—”

His words were cut off by a strange sound from the living room. The only way I can think to describe it is as a “jingle/scuffle”. Dean bolted upright, head snapping in its direction. After a slight hesitation, he reached into the small, black bag sitting on the table and pulled out a knife. He winked at me, putting a finger over his lips in a shushing gesture while mimicking the knife across his throat before tiptoeing around the corner.

I didn’t believe for an instant anyone was inside, it just wasn’t possible, but I screamed, “help, he has a knife” anyway. Dean was only gone a moment before he returned. The look on his face told me screaming had been a mistake.

“Why would you do that?! I know you understood what I said! So, tell me! What stupid thought ran through that pretty, little head that convinced you it was ok to disobey?!” He jabbed his finger into my temple with each word and tears spilled from my eyes.

My vision was blurry when I saw a red glob moving behind Dean. I didn’t understand what I was seeing; I thought something in my eye ruptured and was causing me to see red. I didn’t know if that was possible, but I was fairly certain we were alone in the house. What else could it have been? I challenge you to find someone above the age of twelve who would think, “maybe it’s Santa Clause” when in my situation.

“You know what, I think it’s time to take this party upstairs. But first, I’m going to break one of your legs to make sure you can’t run away. I hate to do it, but you clearly can’t be trusted.” The madman said in a way that made it obvious he would not hate it one bit.

When Dean reached for something behind me, his body went rigid and the popping sounds of a taser filled the room. My mind was unable to process what was happening; I stared at his unconscious form for almost a full minute before noticing the ropes which bound me were on the floor.

I lifted my head slowly, in search of my rescuer, but found myself speechless as I locked eyes with a man dressed as Santa Clause. “Are you hurt, child?” He asked in a warm, fatherly voice.

“I… I… how?” Was all I could say at first.

“I know; you’re obviously too old to believe in me, but I was flying by when I heard the commotion. I couldn’t just keep going… not knowing an innocent young lady was in peril, could I?” He asked, extending his hand to help me up.

I took it gratefully; I didn’t believe him yet, but he saved my life. If he wanted to hurt me, he would have left me tied to the chair. “But. But.” I tried and failed to speak once again.

“It’s alright. I imagine you’ve been through quite the ordeal. Please, follow me into the den while we wait on my assistant.” Placing one hand gently on my back, he guided me to the couch.

Once seated, he offered me a mug of coco. I don’t know where it came from, but I drank it gratefully. Everything else aside, it was, without contest, the greatest hot chocolate I have ever tasted. Before I could learn more, I heard the scuffle/jingle sound again. Coco sprayed from my mouth when three elves emerged from the fireplace.

“Excellent, thank you for coming so quickly, I must resume my flight.” Santa told the elves as he floated up the chimney with no more than a wave goodbye in my direction.

The elves looked exactly the same as the ones in the old Rudolph cartoon, clothes and all. I began to hypothesize I was already dead, but I wasn’t sure how to test the theory. I watched, mouth agape, as two elves entered the dining room, and the third came to stand by me.

“Greetings, we are Santa’s Naughty Squad. My name is Gibson, and I am here to prepare the body for police.”

He said it quickly as one does when a phrase is memorized from repeated use.

“The wha—” I didn’t finish the sentence before Gibson launched into explanation.

“The Naughty Squad is responsible for securing any active crime scene where the Big Man was forced to intervene. Over the centuries, there have been numerous occasions where the situation has been deemed necessary.” He still spoke as if reading from a script.

At my confused look, the elf let out a long, exasperated sigh, and rubbed the bridge of his nose as if resisting an oncoming headache. “Look girl, he’s Santa Clause, think about it. Do you really think he could just sit back and let people get butchered if he can help? The man travels the globe every year, of course there’s going to be times like this. We’ve seen it all, there’s nothing that surprises us anymore.” The professional tone was gone, and it somehow felt stranger to hear him talk like a normal person.

It does make a kind of sense… that if Santa is real, he would want to help people when able… if he’s real. Just when I thought nothing could shock me more, the other elves returned from the dining room. I turned to see them give Gibson a confirmation nod before they too exited through the chimney.

“Great, they’re finished. Now here’s what you’re going to do. Call 911, tell them you were attacked, but able to incapacitate your assailant with a taser.” He paused to indicate the taser on the coffee table. “The coroner will determine his heart stopped due to pre-existing medical conditions, but they won’t look too hard; they’ll only be glad he’s dead.”

Gibson did not wait to answer questions; the moment he finished speaking he was gone. I did as I was told; mostly because there was nothing else I could do. Of the information I learned that would have me questioning all I knew to be true, the only item I could focus on in that moment was, “Elves just murdered a man in my house.”

I felt like a third party in my own body. As I called 911 to explain the dead serial killer, it seemed like I was watching someone else in a movie. Seeing the sirens fill our yard was surreal. Cop cars, ambulances, and fire trucks lit up our dirt road. I stayed on the couch, giving my story to the lead detective, as dozens of people marched through the house.

My parents were the worst part when they made it home; they raised such a fuss. It was almost dawn when the last official vehicle left, and I wanted nothing more than to sleep until noon. We did the best we could to have a happy Christmas, but our hearts weren’t in it. I don’t tell them about my nightmares, they wouldn’t understand.

The next day, a profiler with the FBI said the stress of a new environment, especially under the circumstances of Dean’s relocation, is what began his spiral. She believes he felt pressured to establish himself in a new community, and – given he pursued me after I knew his real identity – he had no intentions of harming me at first. It’s far more likely he intended to marry me to further his cover as a normal member of society.

For a man accustomed to instantly winning his target’s affection, my repeated dismissals would have been difficult to tolerate even on a good day. Coupled with the fact he was already on edge guaranteed disaster. Essentially, the more I rejected him, the more he lost his ability to reason.

I’m back at college now, but I still can’t get this out of my head. It’s killing me to stay awake, but the alternative is dreaming of the girl again. I don’t want to see her anymore, it’s unbearable. I feel as if it will never stop until I learn the truth. Please, has anyone else met the Naughty Squad? Or am I crazy?

Horror Fiction

Lost Kevin

Now a CreepyPasta

Brimstone Below did an amazing narration on his YouTube channel which you can see here

Narrated in Czech by Creepy Stalk here

Photo by Brimstone Below

I know it’s wrong to download movies and we shouldn’t do it, but I’m poor and those guys are rich. Either way, it’s not important. I’m only writing this to warn others against it. Is it illegal? Yes. Immoral? Arguable, but technically. Dangerous? Apparently.

I didn’t do it often; I just wanted a few Christmas movies to get into the holiday spirit. I stuck with the classics, and they all played great. It wasn’t until I watched Home Alone 2 that things started getting bad. Everyone has seen that movie, right? Because if you haven’t I don’t know if you can follow this story. My partner was asleep, but I wasn’t tired, so I watched it alone.

The first different thing was the opening credits; the little house was red. I hadn’t watched it in a couple years, but I’ve seen it a thousand times. I was certain it should be blue. Still, it’s a minor detail, forgotten almost immediately after fading to movie.

In the opening scene, it shows family members rushing through the home and remains normal until Kevin walks in on his uncle’s shower. The uncle usually calls him a “nosy, little pervert”, but this time he said “sorry, little shit”. I thought I heard him wrong, but when I tried to skip back, the computer froze. That’s not uncommon, it’s a piece of junk; I didn’t want to waste more time, so I let it keep playing.

I was positive the movie was wrong when the Christmas pageant began. The kids were holding real candles. As the camera zoomed in on the singing children and their small, dancing flames, I thought I downloaded from someone with mad editing skills; changing the candles blew my mind, but I can believe it’s possible. The rest of what I’m about to convey… I can’t.

In the original movie, Buzz holds candles behind Kevin’s ears. In my copy, the sizzle of Kevin’s flesh can be heard as wisps of dark smoke swirl around his head. The audience still laughs the same, but instead of stopping when Buzz is knocked down, they grow louder. The choir robes worn by the children are set ablaze, and they scream over the roaring laughter. When the cardboard tree hits Piano Lady, blood sprays from the impact and a gaping head wound is seen as she tumbles back.

I watched in stunned silence, glued to my seat and unable to look away. I didn’t understand what I was watching, but I had a morbid desire to see more. Back home, Buzz uses the same apology speech, but his face and hands are wrapped in bloody bandages. Kevin’s ears are also badly burned, but his wounds are left untreated. When it shows the family, their faces are red and puffy from crying.

On the kid-tantrum-scale, I would rate Kevin’s actual non-apology scene pretty low. He doesn’t throw anything, his voice doesn’t crack as he screams through his tears, and his face doesn’t exude pure hatred. The one in my version did all those things.

After Kevin’s mom followed him to the attic, he used curse words I’ve never heard before. I think some were in a different language. Kate began crying, screaming, “I wish you would have died last year” before storming out. A baseball was thrown as she exited, slamming into the door as it closed. Kevin fell onto the bed, retrieved a razor from beneath his pillow, and slowly cut into his forearm.

The close-up of the Chicago Sun Times was also different. Instead of “wet bandits”, it read “KILLER BANDITS ESCAPE DURING RIOT” I don’t remember what the smaller headlines really say, but I’m willing to bet it’s not “DOZENS DEAD, MANHUNT CONTINUES” considering it’s a kid’s movie.

Remember the quick scene of the airport taxi knocking over the statue? In my copy, it hits a kid. Aside from the characters being angry and depressed towards one another, the movie plays relatively normal until Kevin leaves the New York airport. Where he once enjoyed a montage of fun, city sights to a happy song, he now walked dark, dangerous alleyways as sinister music played. For the remainder of the movie, Kevin’s family is not seen again. They never go to the police or attempt to locate him.

After the montage, we see Harry and Marv leave the fish truck. The “sticky bandit” jokes were completely removed. Where they normally steal change from a Salvation Army Santa, they now held a man at gunpoint in a dark alley. The terrified man surrenders his wallet without a struggle but is shot anyway. The scene ends as the bandits flee.

What should be the scene where we first see the hotel and Pigeon Lady was now a Holiday Inn and junkie. The woman in my copy was putting a syringe into her arm when Kevin saw her. He enters the Holiday Inn, skipping the short scene where he runs away. Still in possession of Peter’s bag, he immediately approaches the front desk. A dirty, balding man gives him a hard time until he sees the envelope full of cash. There is no bellboy to escort Kevin to his room, but when he turns on the lights, cockroaches scatter across the floor. The room is filthy, has two twin beds, and a small tv with tin foil wrapped around the antenna.

They skipped the pool scene, going directly to the Angels with Even Filthier Souls movie. The only difference here is the hungry look in Kevin’s eyes as he sits on the floor, face inches from the screen, his fingers lightly tracing over the fresh cuts in his arm.

A fade out takes us to a few hours later when he discovers Peter’s address book. At seeing his uncle’s name, he says, “If they’re still in Paris, I can stay there instead!” At the sight of a family photo in his father’s wallet, Kevin begins shaking and sobbing as he rips it to pieces. The following morning, he hails a cab instead of renting a limousine.

Duncan’s Toy Chest was unchanged, but the kid was still angry and depressed as he wandered through the store. He pushed other kids and shoplifted the item he normally purchased. Mr. Duncan watched him leave with a sad, slow shake of the head. Harry and Marv exit immediately after, grabbing Kevin on the street. The boy screamed, kicked Harry in the shin and ran.

The chase scene was short and filled with cursing. Instead of breaking pearl necklaces to trip the bad guys, he told a group of bikers, “two men are chasing me.” Kevin proceeds to escape while Harry and Marv are brutally beaten in the streets. Upon returning to the hotel, the owner claimed the room was never paid for, and tried to make the boy pay again. When Kevin refused, the man grabbed him, taking the money by force. Red faced with fury, the kid fled back into the streets.

He ran until Harry and Marv, limping and beaten to a pulp, found him once again. They pulled him through alleys, describing brutal methods of torture he would endure. I can’t even repeat the words… I don’t think I have ever heard such gruesome ideas before. I didn’t believe a child’s face could be more consumed by hatred, but the way Kevin looked at them gave me chills.

When he saw three homeless men ahead, he began frantically digging through his pockets. The bandits were too busy watching their surroundings to notice, but the kid found a few crumpled twenty’s. As they passed the homeless, he threw the cash into their circle. “Help, kill these guys!” He screamed. After retrieving the cash, the three men descended upon the bandits, and Kevin was able to escape.

In the next scene, Kevin was alone in the dark park. The sulky child walked with his head down, frightened by the shady characters he encountered. More than one tried to sell him drugs, and when the prostitute taunted him, he flipped her off. After running from the taxi driver, he bumped into the ex-pigeon lady again.

They had an almost-normal chat if you can pretend it’s normal to teach a ten-year-old how to shoot heroin. Where she once placed bird seed into his hand, she now rolled his sleeve up with a mother’s tenderness. She injected the drug into his vein, and when finished, he fell backwards into a snowy hill, looking up into a clear, night sky. As the camera pulled away, Kevin could be seen smiling for the first time.

It skipped their touching scene at the orchestra, instead going directly to Kevin entering his uncle’s home. I didn’t notice any difference in the trap-setting montage aside from the same eerie music as before. This is where the movie got truly graphic. I’ve seen a lot of horror, but I’ve never seen anything so incredibly brutal as the derailed special effects to come.

The scene at the toy store began with Kevin, hat off for the first time since the apology scene. His ears were turning green with infection from his still untreated burns. He smiled wickedly as he collected bricks, but he never bothered taking a picture. Actually, I don’t think he had the camera or voice recorder at all. Likewise, he didn’t attach a note to the brick he threw into the window.

Harry ran outside, tripped on the failed seesaw, and face-planted into the sidewalk. He lifted his head to show a bloody nose and murderous eyes. Seeing the trap failed, Kevin began running away. Marv emerged, also tripping on the board, and fell into Harry.

When the boy taunted the bandits from his uncle’s roof, they responded in the usual way. The first brick dropped still hit Marv in the forehead, but left a wide, bloody gash. The next two bricks gave matching lacerations, and blood sprayed the sidewalk on impact.

Both the men’s faces were already in poor condition from previous beatings, but somehow, each new wound was prominent among the rest. I wish I could tell you I watched because some strange power stayed my hand, or that the movie threatened me in some way, but I can’t. The only reason I continued watching was because some twisted part of me wanted to see what else they’d done to it. There was absolutely nothing to give any indication it was edited. If I had never seen it, I would have believed it genuinely filmed that way.

After Harry left to find another entrance, Marv struggled to his feet. At the front door, he pulled the knob off to initiate the same staple-gun trap, albeit without the comically long rope. The string quickly pulled tight, shooting a staple into his nutsack region, not his ass. He then fell to his knees, pulling the trigger once more. I had to look away when the staple penetrated his eye… they just made it so graphic.

Harry tried to go up the slippery ladder and fell on his back, but nothing worse than usual. When he kicked in the side door, most of the falling tools missed him, but the camera didn’t cut away when the last wrench fell. The sound of his skull breaking was nothing compared to the blood that splattered and the way his head caved inward. He should have been dead, but he wasn’t.

Marv kicked open the front door, but fell off the incomplete floor ledge, landing with a sickening thud. Blood stains spread beneath him as he moaned in agony. When finally able to stand, he walked on shaky legs around the green goop he normally slips in. He still tried to use the sink, probably because he was covered in as much blood in my version as he was paint in the real movie.

The electrocution scene was horrible. When he attempted to use the sink, his body went rigid as electricity coursed through him. His hair caught fire, and the screen filled with smoke. I know it was only my imagination, but I swear I could smell him burning. It felt like it lasted longer than normal; he fried for almost a full minute. He, too, should be dead… but wasn’t. Kevin laughed maniacally as he maxed out the voltage before running away. It didn’t stop until the actual device blew sparks and died.

It skipped Harry catching on fire and dipping his head in the toilet. Instead, it stayed with Marv as he somehow recovered. He erected a tower of junk to climb through the hole in the floor and almost made it to the top before it fell, burying him beneath the rubble with more gut-wrenching sound effects.

Back upstairs, Kevin sneaked down a hall, past Harry, and attempted to climb the ladder he previously sawed halfway through. It broke too early and sent him crashing into the ground. Recovering quickly, he almost made it to the top of the stairs before Harry saw him. When Marv caught up, the two undead bandits pretended to run upstairs. This time, they avoided the paint cans thrown by the kid, and there was no giant, metal, beam-like object.

The bandits hurled more threats at Kevin as they tried to enter the attic, but they didn’t conveniently listen as the tool-chest hurtled down the stairs. Instead, they backed away, confused looks on their disfigured faces, as the door exploded with a loud crash.

On the roof, Kevin still climbs down a rope and sets it on fire as the bandits descend. The difference is, Harry and Marv are engulfed in the flames before falling several stories to land on their backs – legs protruding at angles that made my stomach churn. The dozens of paint cans to fall on them after was just overkill.

Kevin calls the police from a pay phone while the bandits recover, but they catch him when he slips on the ice. Harry and Marv hardly look human anymore with their lumpy faces and broken limbs, but they still lifted the boy to his feet. Then they dragged him to the park, putting a gun in his face, and enjoying each new cry of terror they won.

Eventually the beating began, making Kevin suffer before he died. The kid was on the ground, curled in a ball, trying to protect his head with his arms, screaming for help. Finally, when the sharp kicks to his body stopped, he looked up, into the barrel of Harry’s gun. As the hammer pulled back, he squeezed his eyes shut. Then a loud bang echoed through the park, followed closely by a second.

Kevin remained still until he heard a booming voice say, “This is the police, you’re safe now.” As he opened his eyes, red and blue lights flashed all around him. Two paramedics wrapped him in a blanket and carried him to an ambulance. There, he met Mr. Duncan who praised him for saving his store.

Next, we see a few clips of the boy being adopted by Mr. Duncan and going on to live a happy, normal life. When you think the credits are about to roll, it fades to a scene zoomed in on Kevin’s smiling, jubilant face. Very slowly, as beautiful, inspirational music plays in the background, it zooms out to reveal him lying on a snowy hillside in the park; his eyes are glazed over in death, and a needle hangs from his arm.

I went to the website to see what I could find out about the person I got it from, but the torrent was removed. I looked on other sites, but I couldn’t find it anywhere. I tried to show my partner the next morning, but it said “file corrupt” each time I pressed play. Next time I was alone, the movie suddenly worked again. I tried to screen record, but it only showed blackness when I rewatched the video.

I keep trying to add a link below for anyone who wants to see it, but they are being disabled faster than I can post more. Hurry – click the one below before they remove it too.

There’s only one thing you should know first. Since seeing it, no matter what I’m watching or who I watch with… occasionally I’ll see flashes of strange scenes… whatever is on will stray from its usual script and change into something horrible. That’s probably my imagination, but I thought I’d mention it… just in case.

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