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(Fark)   Like a floating red balloon, the 2017 "Fark Scary Stories" thread is waiting for you. Top 10 voted Smart or Funny stories get a sponsored month of TotalFark. We all float down here   ( divider line
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5144 clicks; posted to Main » and Discussion » on 31 Oct 2017 at 11:57 PM (3 years ago)   |   Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook

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2017-10-30 7:54:02 PM  
Have you ever had something strange happen when someone you have loved in your life passes on?  There was one time in my prior apartment when I was woken up by a loud scream that I could not explain.  It was right next to the bed.  It startled me so much that I couldn't get back to sleep.
I don't live in the town I grew up in, but one of the things I do on a regular basis is to check out their newspaper online to see if I know anyone listed in the obituaries.  Two days after I had that experience, I was checking out the obituaries and saw that the person who was my first deep love had died the day I heard that scream.  No explanation about cause of death but they were still quite young.  To this day I still equate that scream with their passing.  Nothing like it happened before or since then.
2017-10-30 7:55:13 PM  
When I was around 12 or 13 my best friend at the time was my next door neighbor. We were around the same age and did most everything together. The other house next door to his was occupied by a normal enough family; mother father mother-in-law and single daughter. The daughter was in her early twenties I believe.

To cut a long story short, the daughter had a history of depression. She was on anti-depressants and they seemed to be working for her. When she was a teen she used to babysit me and my neighbor at different times and neither of us ever remember any issues. The only real memory I have of her is since her name was Anna we used to call her 'Anna Banana'. But only behind her back, never to her face. Our little secret.
Real original stuff right?

Anyway, the summer of my 13th birthday she apparently stopped taking her medication (that was what her parents said) and had an episode that ended badly. She went to the local Church and killed herself in the parking lot. Shot herself in the head with her fathers gun. It was a tragedy that affected the entire neighborhood as nothing like this had ever happened before.

Around 6 months later her parents divorced and the husband moved out. Another 6 months passed and my friend and I were asked to help the mother clear out her (Anna's) room. We didn't think much of it and were happy to help.

Here's where it gets rather weird...
We were clearing out items from the closet of her room, putting clothes and other random belongings into boxes. I was clearing out the right side of the closet when I found her phone. It was not connected, the cord was wrapped around the base of the phone or at least that's how I remember it. Anyway, I picked it up and as I was moving it to put into the box the damn starting to ring.

It rang three times and it was all that I could do to just stand there and not run for the door. My friend actually started laughing at me because I must have looked like buckwheat with hair on end and wide-eyed. I snapped out of it and gave the phone to him. It had stopped ringing and we were just about to have a good laugh about when he put the receiver up to his ear.
"Hellooooooo..?" he said in a rather sarcastic tone. I'll never forget how he said it. It was actually pretty funny. He squinted like he heard something but it must have been really faint. I thought he was pulling my chain was about to punch him in the arm when he turned and looked at me. His eyes grew wider and his mouth started to gape, slowly, really slowly like he was hearing something he couldn't turn away from. I'll never forget it. At first I thought he was screwing with me but the look on his face betrayed the thought. He looked terrified. I stood there staring at him for what felt like minutes (was more like a second and a half) and wanted to bolt. I didn't though until I saw a single tear well up and roll down his left cheek. I ran. I left him on the phone and ran like a coward away from that damned house. I didn't look back. I ran to my room dove on the bed pulled up the covers and friggin' shook for at least an hour.

Eventually I snapped out of it and the next day I went to check on him. he was OK but neither of us talked about the incident for weeks. I finally brought it up to him and he wouldn't talk about it. I accused him of pulling my leg over the whole thing and he wouldn't deny or confirm it. He would not say a damned thing about it.

Flash forward 10 years.
I caught up with him at his fathers funeral. We hadn't seen each other in years and had a lot of catching up to do so we decided to go to the local bar and have a few beers. We talked about old girlfriends, our family, yadda, yadda, yadda. Towards the end of the night after more than enough beers I remembered the phone call...
I brought it up to him; "So you remember the time we cleared out Anna's room?" His face went rather blank. He knew what was coming next. "Yeah." he says. "Dude, I gotta know, were you messing with me that day or did you actually hear something?"
He didn't respond but instead stared into space, seemingly remembering the incident.
"C-mon, man, I gotta know. It has freaked me out for years. So fess up, you played the greatest prank ever on me right?" "No." he said in the most serious voice I've ever heard him use. "You wanna know what she said to me? Are you sure because I haven't told anyone this, not my Mom, not my Dad, not even my f*cking wife!" "Holy shiat!" I said, you're serious! "Dude tell me what the hell happened that day! I need to know!"

His voice got deadly serious and he told me. "It was Anna on the line. She said something to me."
"You're late for church Donny but I'll wait for you until you get here..."
He then said that she started screaming over and over at him; "ANNA BANANA! ANNA BANANA! ANNA BANANA!"

To this day I don't know if he really heard that or continues to just pull my leg. All I do know is that the damned phone rang that day. I heard it and I'll never forget Donny's face when he answered it.
2017-10-30 7:56:43 PM  
Mods: Any chance of pinning this thread to the top of the queue?
2017-10-30 8:00:04 PM  
Just after high school I worked as the night cleanup guy in a restaurant. The building was ca1900 and used as a library for about 80 years before becoming a restaurant.

The guy who trained me said he heard stuff at night when he was alone- footsteps, doors opening and closing. I also got to know the bartenders who were often closing up when I came in- they reported similar experiences.

One night after I'd been there a few months, I was cleaning the brass in the dining area. I heard the back door open and close and someone walking through the kitchen toward where I was. I assumed I forgot to lock the door and that it was one of my friends who sometimes stopped in while I was working.

I called out a "hello" and the footsteps stopped. I said hello again, no answer. I got po'd that someone was playing games, so I picked up a pepper mill and went into the kitchen, fearful it was an intruder.

It was empty.

Still I assumed someone was playing games- I looked in large cabinets and the walk-in cooler- nobody. I went to lock the back door- it was locked. Only way to open it or lock it from either side was with a key.

It wasn't until that moment I stopped to consider my situation.  I'm a skeptic and don't believe in the supernatural, but I still wonder about what was going on that night.

Post script:

20 years later I was at a different restaurant in the same town. Coincidently, the bartender was one I worked with at the 1st restaurant years ago and hadn't seen since.  While she was away getting our drinks I told my buddy the above story. She couldn't hear any of what I told him.

When she returned, my buddy asked her with no intro, "so, did you see any ghosts while working at ________?  Without hesitation she said, "no, but I heard a lot of weird stuff while closing up- footsteps, mainly."
2017-10-30 8:01:09 PM  
These came out of my peener.
img.fark.netView Full Size

The end.
2017-10-30 8:18:22 PM  
Now this is a story all about how
My life got flipped turned upside down
And I'd like to take a minute, just sit right there
I'll tell you how I became mad from dismay and despair

To West Antarctica's where we sailed
Found a plateau in mountains that no man had scaled
Chillin' out, explorin', recordin' all cool
Diggin' up relics for Arkham (that's our school)
When a couple of *things* that we thought were interred
Started makin' trouble in our neighborhood
We got in one little fight and were forced to flee
And now I'm haunted by the shoggoth's wail of "Tekeli-li!"​e​xts/fiction/mm.aspx
2017-10-30 8:25:08 PM  

Parthenogenetic: Now this is a story all about how
My life got flipped turned upside down
And I'd like to take a minute, just sit right there
I'll tell you how I became mad from dismay and despair

To West Antarctica's where we sailed
Found a plateau in mountains that no man had scaled
Chillin' out, explorin', recordin' all cool
Diggin' up relics for Miskatonic U.
When a couple of *things* that we thought were interred
Started makin' trouble in our neighborhood
We got in one little fight and were forced to flee
And now I'm haunted by the shoggoth's wail of "Tekeli-li!"​xts/fiction/mm.aspx

Dammit, and now that I've actually gone and re-read the story, the expedition was from Miskatonic University, not Arkham.  I blame too much Batman.

2017-10-30 8:26:16 PM  

NotThatGuyAgain: These came out of my peener.
[ image 422x750]
The end.

I bet that nickel hurt like fire
2017-10-30 8:41:08 PM  
One more, not mine. I'm convinced it happened, though.

A few years ago a good friend stood by with her 90 year-old mom as she faded away toward death.  My friend's father had passed about 10 years before. Her parents were very close- best friends who never fell out of love.

Her father loved birds, especially humming birds. He kept several feeders around the outside of the house. After he died my friend and her mom kept them filled in memory of her dad.

It was August when her mom began to rapidly decline. The days were warm and they kept the windows open to keep the house cool. By her last day her mom was unable to talk. She drifted in and out of consciousness. The hospice nurse said she could go anytime.

Just before sunset, a hummingbird flew in through an open door. It perched on a curtainrod in the room where my friend's mom was. My friend and her sister tried to shoo it out- it just flew around and returned to the curtain rod.

The activity caused my friend's mom to stir. She saw the bird and looked at my friend and her sister and began to cry. They stroked her head to comfort her. After a while she slipped back into unconsciousness.

As the sun set, a second hummingbird flew into the room through the window they opened to let the first escape, and came to rest next to the first one.

My friend and her sister cried as their mom's life ended a short time later. As they were comforting each other the hummingbirds suddenly took flight, buzzed the room, and left together out the open window.

I saw my friend and her sister the day after. They were shaken and exhausted, but told me the whole story. They're convinced their folks are together again.
2017-10-30 8:42:05 PM  
Here's one for you.  It's completely real.

There has been a lot of recent research on "locked-in" patients- people who have brain damage that prevents any amount of motion, but who are fully conscious. This is known due to some work by doctors using fMRI scanners.  The patient is asked to think about playing tennis, and these thoughts can reliably light up the motor sections of the brain, and so the patient can answer questions about their state of mind or if they are in pain.

This sort of state can happen to anyone- an accident, a stroke, something unknown.  It could be you tomorrow, reduced to a motionless but not thoughless lump of meat.  You are totally at the mercy of everyone around you, unable to speak a single word or make a single gesture to indicate that you are happy, sad, in pain, comfortable, or even if you want to live or die.

Then one day a doctor appears and wheels you into a fMRI machine.  Inside it, you can finally "talk" to another person for the first time since your injury.  You can tell them what you feel, what you think about for the first time in years, perhaps decades

You can do that for an hour, before the fMRI is needed by someone else.  And then you have to retreat to mute silence, until the next time that you are wheeled into the machine.

But fMRI time is expensive, and funds are limited.  You're a test subject and someday the funds for this study are going to run out. Someday soon they will wheel you out of the machine.

For the last time.

And you will never be able to talk again, for however long you live.
2017-10-30 8:44:40 PM  
The Haunted Couch
Not my video - but my cousin's dog Buddy climbs *into* his sofa just like this:
Dog Goes Couch Diving
Youtube Z1FVOmTdhUo
And since this story took place on Halloween, you can guess where this is going...
Its Oct 31st 2014 (Friday) and so my cousin invited people to come to his place to watch the game (on his big tv) if/when they were done handing out treats for the night.   After 8pm his neighbors start rolling in.   Thing is, of course the best spot to view the game is on the big couch, not the love seats or chairs.  So just like clockwork each new guy would grab a beer and head for the big couch which was surprisingly empty... Sit down... and then leap up because the couch started to move!   Five new guys... four new leaps off the couch (one pair sat & jumped at the same time)  - hilarious.
And all because Buddy just wanted his cozy place after a night of kids at the door.

/ all the relatives knew it was Buddy's spot (insert evil laugh here)
// I can't even remember the game - I think it was basketball? - spent too much time laughing in the kitchen
/// of course my cousin took video, remind me to ask him if a copy is online :-O
2017-10-30 8:53:18 PM  
During a bout of youthful ignorance I thought of voting for a troupe wearing cheeto for president, in hopes of bucking the status quo.

To this day I sometimes shake myself awake, drenched in sweat having to remind myself the cheeto is real and we are all actually in a bad dream.
2017-10-30 9:11:42 PM  
I can't believe I'm just finding this now.. I'm not ready!!
2017-10-30 9:11:59 PM  
i.imgur.comView Full Size
2017-10-30 9:15:38 PM  

a particular individual: Shiat, I thought I had a few more days to work on this...


The Things In Your Bedroom: A Child's Survival Guide

NOTE: This is an excerpt of a work in progress. One day I might actually finish it.
If I do this right, it will scare the Hell out of children. It will also help them get over their fears. I'm not going to tell kids there's nothing in their closet. I'm going to tell them there probably is something in their closet, but there's something they can do about it.

My target audience is kids aged 8-12, and their parents. I intend it to be educational and entertaining. I want to help kids overcome their fears of Things In Their Rooms At Night, but also encourage them to learn.
Everyone who's read this draft suggests the vocabulary is beyond what kids that age normally read. I agree. That's why there will be a glossary and lots of footnotes. If I do it right, I'll make kids feel smart for learning new words. It will also frighten them.

Every Thing in the book can be defeated by learning about various related subjects: spiders, Latin, biology, history, literature, and so on. In a way, I want to turn kids into little Van Helsings. They should feel well armed against the Things that scare them.

The final product will be amply illustrated. I've included a few sketches here, but the final product will be formatted as a survival guide, with bullet points and diagrams.


The Things In Your Bedroom: A Child's Survival Guide

    As you probably know, your bedroom--especially at night--is infested with malevolent entities. Most kids know this instinctively. You know not to hang your hand or foot over the edge of the bed; you know that if you don't move they can't see you. Your blanket is an effective defense against many threats. You might even know that you should never walk backwards in the dark. These instincts have kept you alive so far, but you also know that one of those Things will get you some dark night if you don't learn to defend yourself.
    This manual was compiled from dozens of interviews with survivors, and the diaries of those who did not survive. It will teach you advanced survival skills. You will learn what attracts Bedroom Things, and you will learn to repel them. You will learn their weaknesses. You will learn to recognize them, how to deceive them, and how to know when they're gone.
    None of these entities can be destroyed, but if you follow these lessons, they will lose interest in you and go bother someone else.

======================Chapter 1The Thing Under Your Bed

    This is by far the most common Bedroom Thing. It is thought to dwell under 95% of children's beds, and also the other 5%. Fortunately, it's the easiest to avoid. It's also one of the easiest to defeat.
Most people are surprised to learn that the Thing Under Your Bed is made almost entirely of Dust Bunnies.1
    Dust Bunnies [fig. i] are harmless little tumbleweeds of dust and hair and lint that accumulate under your bed. They're harmless--that is, until they become haunted by the ghosts of dead spiders. [fig. ii] The spider ghosts think the dust bunnies are their webs, because spider ghosts aren't very smart. They're in kind of a dream state, like most ghosts. (See Ch. 3.) As the spider ghosts haunt the dust bunnies, and as they try to make sense of their dream-webs, they weave themselves together like a web that's made of spider ghosts and dog hair and your hair and lint and bad dreams.

When you have that many ghost spiders together, they can form a neural network. [see][ image 400x358]A schematic of a portion of a neural network made of spider ghosts (dust bunnies not shown)
Much as ant colonies behave as a single super-organism, the spider ghosts behave as a single, shape-shifting brain. The spider ghosts weave themselves and the dust bunnies into whatever shapes cross their nascent web-mind. The most common shape they take is that of a spider. However--and this is important--spiders are psychic. That's how their ghosts make their web-mind: by reading each others' thoughts. That web-mind can read your thoughts, too. And it can take any shape you imagine. If you imagine a giant spider, guess what? A giant spider will be lurking under your bed, waiting for you to let your guard down.POP QUIZ:Q: Why did you imagine a giant spider?A: Because spiders are psychic. They made you imagine the shape they prefer.
If you imagine a misshapen person under your bed, with empty eye sockets and impossibly long fingers, flesh falling from its skeleton; the spider ghosts will take that shape.

If you imagine a giant centipede whose legs are made of big centipedes, and the big centipedes' legs are made of medium-size centipedes... the spider ghosts will take that shape.

If you imagine a brick... they'll take the shape of a spider. You can't make them take the shape of non-living things (except zombies and vampires).

Imagining something cute and cuddly won't work. That adorable hamster you imagine will stuff you into its cheek pouches.

Imagining a plant will just make it turn into a killer plant-thing. Did you know there are killer plant-things?

[Illustration: Venus Flytrap, Sundew, Pitcher Plant, etc.]

So what can you do?


As with any Thing in your bedroom, the best way to defeat it is to make sure it never finds you. Obviously, the best way to keep The Thing Under Your Bed away is to be sure there are no dust bunnies under your bed. One device in particular can ensure you never encounter this particular Thing.

[ image 350x350]pictured above: The best defense against The Thing Under Your Bed
If, for some reason, you let dust bunnies accumulate under your bed, there are other measures you can take to overcome The Thing Under Your Bed.

Here's the trick: You can make them take the shape of imaginary living things.
There is at least one living thing you can imagine that will neutralize the Thing Under Your Bed: an Ouroboros.

[ image 499x332]Ouroboros
An Ouroboros is a snake that's swallowing its own tail. When you imagine an Ouroboros, the Thing Under Your Bed will begin to devour itself. It won't actually swallow itself down to nothing--it will just be a convulsing, clenching knot of dust and spider ghosts, attempting to get inside itself--and it will be confused enough to leave you alone for the rest of the night.

If for some reason your imagination fails, and the Thing Under Your Bed takes its natural spider shape, it will stay away if it thinks you're a spider. If you learn to admire spiders, they'll leave you alone. Learn everything you can about spiders: spider anatomy, how many species there are, spider habitats, and so on. If you know enough about spiders, The Thing Under Your Bed will respect you and stay under there. Therefore, the best long-term solution is to learn everything you can about spiders.

This presents a distinct danger, however: If you think about spiders eating you, that's what the Thing Under Your Bed will do. Do not think about your sheets as a giant web tightening around you, because that is what they will become. Instead, imagine that you're a spider, and the sheets are your web. Anything that trespasses will be trapped. This works every time it's done correctly.

How to detect:
1) You suddenly start thinking about spiders
2) You hear something moving under your bed
3) You were thinking about X, and now X is under the covers with you.UNFUN FACTWhen a light bulb burns out, the ghosts of moths and flies buzz around it.Spiders aren't the only arthropods to have ghosts.
1 Also known as dust kitties, dust kittens, dust chinchillas, dust wombats, etc.

======================================​===Chapter 2:The Thing in Your Closet
If the Thing Under Your Bed is the most common bedroom entity, the Thing in Your Closet is the most dangerous. No one really knows what it is, which makes it that much harder to combat. General consensus is that it is the same Thing as the Bogeyman1, based on similarities in behavior and appearance. One survivor described it as "a man-shaped heap of shadows and old clothes and teeth." Another said it looked like "someone stuck a bunch of roadkill on a hobo with a bear's mouth." Accoding to some survivors, it laughs or chuckles right before it strikes. Others have heard it panting "like it couldn't wait "

A diary recovered from a non-surviving victim gives one of the most detailed descriptions from a single witness:

"It stands in the back of my closet in the shadows. I think it comes out of the shadows. It just stands there and watches me. It is wide. It is tall. It has eyes. I can't tell if it has a head."
"I can barely see it. It hides in the shadows. When it moves, I can see it better. It might have big ears like a wolf or a bat."
"Big hands with long nails. It reached for me and a car drove by and I saw its hands in the headlights. I think it wears a long coat with a high collar pulled up. collar looks like ears. eyes=nostrils? head in chest? I don't know if it has eyes."
"It has eyes and fingernails and teeth. Can't tell if it has a head. I think its clothes are part of its body."
For the full diary entry, see Appendix A.

[ image 400x394]

This much is known: it wants to drag you from your bed into the closet, which is a portal to its lair. Once you're there, it will try to chain you to the floor or wall, torture you, and eat you. Survivors who escaped the lair reported bones strewn about the floor, and skeletons in chains everywhere. One survivor described a filthy medical laboratory with bone saws and rusty scalpels on the floor, and bloody basins where severed hearts still beat hopelessly.
Its lair has thousands of halls lined with doors, each of which leads to a different closet.
The lair is a vast shambles resembling a castle, a factory, and a Victorian house. It surrounds a courtyard filled with the skeletons of old machinery and torture devices.


The Thing In Your Closet cannot tolerate poetry. Reciting poetry will drive it away for awhile. The most consistently effective poem is this classic:

I do not like thee, Doctor Fell,
The reason why - I cannot tell;
But this I know, and know full well,
I do not like thee, Doctor Fell.

Memorize this poem and recite it whenever you detect the Thing in Your Closet. It's an effective repellant for at least two weeks. After that, its efficacy will diminish.
The Thing In Your Closet especially detests poetry in Latin. If the poem above starts to fail, this version will work for awhile longer:

Non amo te, doctore Fell,
nec possum dicere quare;
Hoc tantum possum dicere,
non amo te, doctore Fell.

It will be even more effective if you understand each word. If you just repeat the sounds of the words, it won't work as well as if you actually understand it. To get the most of it, you should get a book about Latin and learn what it really means.
However, any poem will eventually lose its efficacy. If you are to drive away The Thing In Your Closet, you must memorize new poems from time to time. They don't have to be fancy. As long as you like a poem, it will work against The Thing In Your Closet. Just don't use it too often. Always have a new poem on hand.
UNFUN FACT: The word "fell" has two different meanings. One, of course, means "did fall." The other meaning is found only in the phrase "one fell swoop.2" This is a completely different word. It is related to the word "felony." A felony is an especially terrible crime. One "fell" swoop is vicious, cruel, fierce. This leads us to:
THEORY: The Bogeyman is Doctor Fell, whoever that is.

1Or Boogie Man, Boogey Man, Butzemann, etc.

2MacBeth, Act 4, Scene 3: MacDuff: He doesn't have children. All my pretty little children? Did you say all? Oh, that bird from hell! All of them? What, all my children and their mother dead in one fell swoop?

Dude, this is awesome.
2017-10-30 9:17:54 PM  
After about 6 shots of Jack Daniels a man gets little loopy. It was Halloween evening & Frank had no plans except to go on Netflix & thumbs-up his favorite shows & thumbs-down the ones that he thought sucked. He only got a couple trick-or-treaters every year & he was real nice to the kids & parents but really just wanted to be left alone.

As he sat back on his couch after another trick-or-treater walked away with a hand full of candy he thought he'd go on Fark & check the news. He liked to stay informed with what was going on but was too lazy to sift through all the credible news sources & figure out how much truth & accuracy was involved in each article. He could read between the lines.

Looking down he noticed the pile of candy wrappers on the couch & chocolate crumbs mounting up so he swept them into his hand & walked towards the trash. Walking past the mirror he stopped to flex & realize "Yup, still got it." Tossing the trash he felt the urge to pee, so he walked over to the bathroom made most of it in the toilet & pulled a punch directed at the mirror with an intimidating "What b!t€#!?" On his way back to the TV. As boredom set in again, he logged back into his Fark account to see if anyone had deemed his latest posts funny or smart. Not much on smart, but a few funnies. "I'll take it." He thought. He re-read his last post & checked for grammatical errors again. Probably some errors, oh well, f*€k it. After turning his attention back to the TV he saw that the original Halloween was on & thought to himself, "Nothing beats the classics," & got it started.

He cracked another Natty Light & turned out the lights. His mind wandered about the thought of how the go-to X-Mas classic must be A Christmas Story, or maybe Home Alone, or Bad Santa depending on what generation you belonged to. Then he wondered what the Millenials go-to Halloween-horror must be. Maybe a YouTube Vine-person? He didn't know. Frank pulled out his phone & logged in to Fark again to make a comment referencing his new comedic revelation, but first, to find a thread that what slightly relevant... Ahh ha! "Florida man gets appendage shaped like the state, stuck in manhole cover." Close enough.

As he begins reading the comments posted he comes across one stating, "The guy in the mugshot looks like a retarded Michael Myers." Strange coincidence.
Next comment, "I wonder if Corey Feldman & Maculy Culkin ever got their manholes inspected by Kevin Spacey."
Ok, what the fudge is going on here.
Next comment, "Hello Frank, it's me Drew." Frank shakes his head rubs his eyes, hesitates for a minute & types back, "Hello." Refreshes. Drew responds, "Really dude, f@€k!ng Natty Light?"
Frank feels a squishy warm turd slowly crawl out of his butt cheeks & into his pants."

He throws his phone down & runs out the door. Crying & sprinting half a block Frank is winded. He collapses on the lawn of one of his neighbors under a tree. He looks up, petrified, speechless, jaw dropped. On a low hanging branch a squirrel drops his tennis-ball-sized nuts into Frank's mouth & says in a high pitched voice, "Happy Halloween Mother Farker!"
2017-10-30 9:32:12 PM  
img.fark.netView Full Size
2017-10-30 9:32:22 PM  
Once I was young and foolish. My friend had one of those old Broncos with a tire on the back. I used to hold onto the tire while he drove.

Well one day when I was 16 i jumped on to the tire as he was about to drive away down my street. I figured he would stop at my house and I could jump off. Well the jackass kept driving. So bring young and stupid.
 I jumped off. He was only going about 15 or 20 kph (Google the conversion yanks)... But that is a lot faster than my legs can run. So off I went tumbling, knocked the wind out of me and farked my knee but good.

I didn't do a thing about it. I didn't put ice on it, or go see a doc. Suffered for days and it was a few years before I could crouch without pain again.

So why, you may ask, if this is a spooky story?

2017-10-30 9:38:38 PM  
  This story was related to me by my grandfather. It is about something that happened to him when he was a teenager during the Great Depression. Since it concerns his grandfather I'm retelling it in third person to avoid confusion:

  Calvin was a strong young man of fifteen living a hard life. It was the Great Depression. And it seemed to be especially hard in the hills outside of Prescott, Arizona. Calvin and his mother lived with his paternal grandfather, David. Calvin's dad had been a Choctaw code-talker who was killed in the fighting in Europe during The Great War so the old man felt it only right to take care of the family.

  Calvin's mom worked as a waitress at the diner and took in laundry. His grandfather was an accomplished mechanic, but work was sparse. The family was getting by, but just barely.

  One dusty morning Calvin awoke to find that everyone had already left for work and he was alone. Hungry, he went into the kitchen to see what might be available. All he could find was a loaf of bread and some honey. Surely his mom would bring something home from the diner, but that wasn't good enough. He knew his family deserved better and he set out to make that happen.

  Everyone in town knew that there were no jobs to be had, but there were other ways to make money. The old men in town had long told stories of boarded up and abandoned gold mines in the hills to the west. Determined to pull his weight, Calvin gathered up a pick and shovel and his grandfather's old lantern and set out to seek his fortune.

  He began to wonder if the old men's story's had all been made up, because he hadn't been able to find anything resembling the opening to a mine. He stopped to rest for a moment in the shade of a hill and have a swig of water. That's when something odd happened. As he reached for the lantern, he saw that he had set it down beside an seemingly identical lantern. It was rusted and the glass crusted over with dirt, but when he compared it to his, he saw that they were, in fact, identical. That gave him a clue that he might be near the site of an old mine. He poked in and around the scrub at the base of the hill. Soon he found a board sticking out of some rocks, so he investigated further. Pulling back a few bits of scrub, he found himself at the poorly boarded up entrance to an old mine. He quickly pried loose the boards, lit his lantern and was about to enter the opening when he heard a voice behind him.
  "Hey, what do you have there?" the stranger asked. Calvin turned to see three boys about his age and packing digging tools a well.
   "Hi, I'm Calvin, and I just found this old mine. I don't really want to go in there alone. Do you guys wanna check it out?"
  "Sure. By the way, I'm Adam and these are my brothers, Bart and Caleb."
  Splitting up the tools the four boys entered and began to look around. It had been more than an hour when one of the others shouted "Hey! I got somethin'!" They all quickly gathered around to see Adam holding a rock with sparkly bits gleaning off of it. "That's what we're lookin' for boys! Everybody start digging over here." said Adam.
  Then Caleb said "Hey, where's my lantern?"
  "Maybe you left it outside." Said Calvin. "I left my canteen out there, too.I'll go get 'em."
  Calvin was near the entrance when he heard a low rumble.
  "Run!!!" Calvin heard Adam screaming. He turned to see two swaying flames as the three brothers were scrambling for the mine exit. Alvin turned and bolted outside just as the entire mine collapsed. He frantically began to dig but every time he moved any bit of earth more would just drop in to fill the void. He knew he needed help. Town was just two miles away, but it seemed to take hours to run back there.
   "Grandpa! I need your help!" Calvin shouted as he ran into the town's lone auto repair shop.
   "Slow down Boy! What's the matter?" the old man asked.
  "I was diggin' in an old mine with three boys and it collapsed. They're trapped in there!" Calvin panted.
  "We gotta help 'em!"
  "What were you doin' in them old mines?" His grandpa asked.
  "Grandpa!" Calvin shouted.
  "Okay, you're right. Let's go." They headed out to The grandfather's  pick-up but the old man trotted past it and straight into the sheriff's office.
  "Sheriff!" The old man called out. The old man and the sheriff had been friends since they were small children, so when he heard his old friend use his title, he knew it was a serious matter.
  "What's wrong, David?" asked the sheriff.
  "It's Calvin. He said he was diggin' out in the old mines outside of town and there was a cave-in. Three boys are trapped!"
  "Dammit! Run next door and tell the boys at the feed store. They'll help." There was a mad scramble for manpower and they soon had a dozen men following Grandpa David's pick-up out to the mine.
   The men quickly began digging and shoring up the shaft as the made progress. Soon one of them yelled for the sheriff. "Did you find someone alive?" pleaded the sheriff.
   "Not by a long shot." Came the reply. What had been found was a long bone. Most likely human. Most likely an arm The digging continued until almost dark. In total the found the majority of three skeletons. They'd been dead for many years. They also found the boys wallets. Inside those wallets were found tribal I.D. cards.
  The sheriff turned to Calvin and asked if he knew these boys. "Not really. I just met them this morning. Their names were Adam, Bart and Caleb. Why do you ask?"
  Grandpa David broke into a cold sweat as he slipped slowly to the ground. "Jimmy" he said, addressing the sheriff, "Could it be?"

  "According to these I.D.s, it is." Calvin was puzzled. "What are you guys talking about?"

  "Calvin, How is it that you came to be out here when the mine caved in?" asked the sheriff.
  "Well I wasn't, at least not at first. Caleb asked me to get his lantern and just as I was leaving the mine, everything just fell in on us. I would have been in there otherwise."
   "Where's his lantern?" asked the sheriff.
   "I don't know."Said Calvin as he bent to pick up the rusted old one he'd found. "The only one out here is this one and it was here when I first arrived."
  "Let me see that!" shouted Grandpa. He took it and tears formed in the old man's eyes.
  "I guess we found 'em, Jimmy." Grandpa said wistfully. "You see here on this lantern? That's where I scratched my brother's mane forty years ago." He showed them, but refused to let go of the lantern. I scratched their names into their lanterns. They were going to look for gold. I was too young and they wouldn't let me go with them." Calvin could faintly see the name Caleb" scrawled  and rusted over in the metal base of the lantern.
  His Grandpa continued, "Our momma named us after Bible characters, and in alphabetical order, Adam, Bartholomew, Caleb and me." Grandpa's voice trailed off in memories.
 "We'll keep looking, boy" the sheriff told Calvin, "But the way that thing caved in, there's not much chance of anyone surviving." he helped Grandpa David into the passenger seat of the old truck and told Calvin to get him home.
   They continued to look but found nothing more than those three skeletons and one leather glove clutching a rock embedded with iron pyrite: fools gold.
2017-10-30 9:40:26 PM  

GreatGlavinsGhost: Dude, this is awesome.

I'm glad you like it. I think it has a lot of potential. I have about twice this much in the draft, but a lot of blanks need to be filled in. My problem is, maybe I've been overthinking it. I want to do some actual research and have a bibliography in the book. Kids expect a lot of detail these days. (Thanks, JK Rowling.) So I want the book to at least look authoritative.

Anyway, I'm glad you like it so far. If I get enough encouragement, that might be all I need to finish it.
2017-10-30 9:43:04 PM  

Parthenogenetic: [ image 257x1500]

This is a must-see. A few years old, but still hilarious.
The Hitchhiker's Guide To Murder
Youtube pNeToSBKcSA
2017-10-30 10:15:15 PM  
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Bonus: when you see it, you'll crap yourself

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2017-10-30 10:21:03 PM  
Really, you started the thread six days in advance? Couldn't even submit my index to previous years threads, and I see that's already been done as well.

Baby, why you got to play me like that?
2017-10-30 10:45:35 PM  
Covered in blood.
Not his.
2017-10-30 10:51:27 PM  

LawrencePerson: Really, you started the thread six days in advance? Couldn't even submit my index to previous years threads, and I see that's already been done as well.

Baby, why you got to play me like that?

Didn't realize you weren't TFing anymore. Resolved at least for a bit.
2017-10-30 10:51:34 PM  
I suppose it's time I finally posted in one of these Halloween threads. I'm not sure how I missed this 6 days ago though... I have two stories and both really did happen, though I'm sure they can be explained away...

Some background: I spent my elementary school career in Dallas. My folks built our one-story ranch house there, one of the first in what would eventually become THE neighborhood to live in, many eons later. As far as I know, there was nothing of import that happened on that massive plot of land prior to our house (or any others) being built, but I suppose you never really know. As a kid, I rarely slept and I mean that. I would stay up most nights until 3 or 4am, reading any book I could get my hands on, only to be rudely awakened to catch the school bus about 3-4 hours later. (Boy, am I paying for that NOW. Pity the fool that awakens Kirz prior to her full 11 hours of sleep.)

I don't recall when things started precisely. I feel like it was rather soon after we moved in, so I was 6, going on 7. I would be up reading and hear footsteps in the attic.  They would pace back and forth across the length of the house, then come back over my room. They scared the shiate out of me because they were clearly heavy footfalls; sometimes they would be slow and methodical or they would sound as if they were quickly pacing back and forth. I told my parents about it after several nights of hearing it. One night, my dad came in to try to hear the noises for himself. After standing there, having heard nothing, he told me it must be rats, squirrels, or water in the pipes. Strange he would suggest "rats or squirrels" and never call out an exterminator, but more on that later. I eventually just came to grips with the fact it would happen nightly and just ignored it because it was never hurting me.

I could not, however, ignore the shadowy movements out of the corner of my eye. Day or night, but only when I was alone, which was more frequently than you would think. I would be playing with toys in my room, the door to the hallway where my sisters' room and our shared bathroom doors all opened into, was wide open and I would see a shadow dart past my door. I would think it was one of my sisters until I would go into their room and no one was there. There was one time the door to my room just opened. (I tried to disprove this to myself by seeing that it happened when the AC would turn on and the pressure change would force it open but, sometimes, the AC wouldn't be on.)
All this came to a head one Friday or Saturday night when my parents took my sisters over to a neighbor's house for ... reasons. I was older by then, around 10. It was the first time I was deemed "old enough to stay home alone" and I was already prepped for bed. I was even permitted to stay up to watch some TV until they got home a few hours later. Keep in mind, my parents were no more than 2 miles away and, by then, we knew every single neighbor on the street. And not just a "howdy" and a wave type knowing, but honest to goodness friends, would do dinner and watch their kids sort of knowing. If there was a real emergency, I could run out of the house to ANY of the other neighbors for help, though I knew there would never be a reason for this. We didn't live in a rough neighborhood, if anything, HARDLY a neighborhood at that point.

Even for 1993/4, my folks were ahead of the "open concept" thing and so the kitchen was a U-shape where the only barrier was a line of cabinets, so you could stand at the sink and look into the family room. There was an island in the middle, where I was standing so I could keep an eye on the TV (oh, the days prior to DVR) while making my snack. I didn't just see the shadow this time. I HEARD it. To my left, out of the corner of my eye, I saw it blow past the doorway that lead into the formal dining room from the kitchen. As it moved, I could see it was less grey/black than usual. There was a color to it now. It seemed more substantial than it had before and I heard the unmistakable sound of cloth flapping as it darted past. I froze completely. I knew all the doors were locked, the windows closed. I didn't have the TV very loud and I hadn't heard anything that would indicate the house had been broken into. Then, mustering all the bravado I could, you know, being 10, I went around the long way - around the end of the cabinets, through the family room where I would have met up or seen whatever went past the kitchen door. Nothing. I turned the TV off and listened. Nothing. Except for the noise from the fridge, there was silence.

I wish I could tell you how long I stood there, waiting. I knew I heard it in addition to seeing it this time. It's still etched in my mind like it happened last night. I finally moved down the hall, where it had been headed. That hall ended in the powder room, next to the laundry room, which had a door into the garage. I wish I remember more clearly what happened next: I was standing at the end of the hall and saw the shadow slide past again. It's odd I can remember the first part so vividly but then I know I saw it again but I can't even remember where it was moving to/from. I blame fight or flight.
All bets were off at this point so I ran around the long way and into the [formal] living room, grabbed the telephone off the side table and dove underneath the piano, where I had a wall behind me and an unobstructed view/path of the front door and a VERY long phone cord. I started dialing my friends, until one of them finally answered and she talked sense into me until my folks came in a little while later. I was too afraid to tell them what happened or how terrified I was. I knew they would never leave me home alone again even though nothing had *really* happened and my friend managed to convince me it was all in my head and I was just seeing things that weren't there.

Sometime later, I was up early one Saturday. Knowing better than to wake anyone else up at the crack of 7am, I moseyed into the kitchen to make myself some breakfast and turn on what I wanted to watch before my pesky sisters woke up. Keep in mind, I was very much awake (Saturday! Cartoons!) and I have never been prone to sleep-walking. I was passing through the doorway of the living room into the kitchen when the biggest, furriest shadow I've ever witnessed in my life skittered across my feet.  The scream was blood-curdling and I'm surprised it didn't wake the neighbors. I did a Scooby-Doo: I shot up 3' in the air, legs spinning, did a 180, and bolted for the master bedroom. My dad, having heard my scream, met me halfway.
I spluttered, rather breathlessly, that some...THING was in the kitchen. It had run across my feet; I FELT it. From nose to tail, it was roughly 2' long. I was CONVINCED it was a rodent of unusual size, though it could have been a dog with a hairless, whiplike tail. Mom was soon to follow my dad, but when she heard the word "rodent," she grabbed my hand and we raced back to perch on top of their bed, where no rat would fear to climb. My mother has an overwhelming fear of anything vermin and, as such, my father was not permitted back into their room until he cleared the rest of the house. He moved the fridge, dishwasher, checked in every cabinet and the pantry, under every chair, couch and piece of furniture in the house before he could convince my mother that I MUST have been dreaming it or sleep-walking. They continued searching for a solid week after that, mostly because of my mother's fear rather than my having seen it. There were never any sign of any varmint; no droppings, no chewed wires nor any food packages that had been disturbed. Funny, considering the footsteps in the attic hadn't stopped in all this time.

We moved out not long after that happened. Of all the houses I've lived in, that was the only house I ever felt there was something "off."
2017-10-30 11:06:21 PM  
As a child I frequently experienced what I now know were sleep paralysis episodes. Full blown from the muted voices nearby, buzzing sound prelude, inability to move, feeling of impending doom, and visions of the cloaked apparation with nothing but the darkest of dark abyss for a face.

Then, one day, they stopped.

As an adult (and thanks to the internet) I learned what they were and shared it with my best friend. Without a beat and to my shock he said "oh yeah. I've had those, too." He was the only other person I knew who experienced them to the extent that I had.

A few years later my friend is given his death sentence... Inoperable pancreatic cancer. 12 weeks left at best. He was only 41.

At that point in his life he had no family left, except for me, my husband, and his fiancé. We all had dreams of growing old together. Those dreams, obviously, would never come to pass.

One night, and for the first time in decades, I had a sleep paralysis episode. I saw the apparition in the corner of my bedroom watching me from the shadows.

Now that I was prepared and "knew" what it was I "said" to it "a-HA! There you are!" at which point it appeared to get startled, flew out through the wall and looked at me through the window.

Before it disappeared, the one thing I noticed was that, for the first time ever, it was looking at me with glowing green eyes shining from the darkness of its face.

I relayed the tale to my husband the following morning. We both went "humph. Very creepy and interesting," but did not dwell since we had bigger fish to fry and drove up to our friend's house to take care of him some more.

Once we got to his house, we were all sitting around telling nostalgic stories and trying to get him to eat something.

He starts a tale of his own and it went like this... "Last night I had a dream. A sleep paralysis dream. I haven't had one in years, but it was as real as ever. The apparition was looking at me from the foot of my bed. The one weird thing was that this time, in the blackness of its face, it looked at me with glowing green eyes."

If I wasn't already sitting, I would have fainted.

He fell off this mortal coil a few days later.

True story.
2017-10-30 11:15:36 PM  
Once there was a girl who had, not just once, but twice(!) seen behind the curtain. It wasn't her own doing, of course. Complete strangers--one's voice unknown, one's voice only heard distantly over the radio--were to blame. But having seen the totality behind the curtain, the plebian sights of normal life were muted and dim.
One day, the frustration became too much. A dollar saved here, a dollar earned there. One by one, they gathered together in the tight press of a paperclip's grip in her backpack. One became three, and then there was five. Five could purchase another brief glimpse, but she wanted it all. Scrimping, hoarding, abstaining, denial. Surely it would be worth it?
Then with a false suddenness, there were thirty! Thirty dollar bills! That was enough. That would do.
How to make the transaction though? How does a girl make a deal with the devil?  How does she appeal to the Duke? It wasn't enough to have the dollars in her hand, they had to become digital.
In a small town, one doesn't just walk into the grocery to buy an anonymous Visa. One must wait until one can leave town, get to the city, and make the transaction. Alas, winter was settling in, and there was no hope for immediate travel. Yes, winter's chill hit her hard.
I'm farked, she said. Just not Totally Farked.
2017-10-30 11:16:52 PM  
And here's the link to my various Halloween-themed posts.
2017-10-30 11:17:52 PM  
...and when we got home, there was a bloody hook hanging off the car door!!!!
2017-10-30 11:25:12 PM  
A cry from the kitchen down below.  "Dinner", my mother said, "Come get it while it's still warm."  I left my bedroom and went to the stairs.  "Don't go down there", my mother said from the closet.  "I heard it, too."
2017-10-30 11:29:54 PM  

sxacho: I moved into my dumpy old rental house a year ago today. It was built in 1925 and is settling and mostly all original. I fairly often hear the old doorknobs rattle and squeek at night when I'm trying to sleep. It freaked me out at first and I'd turn on all the lights and investigate every room. Now I can just fall  back asleep and ignore it.

After college I moved to Cleveland from the west. I'd only lived in places < 50 years old and found myself moving into an 1800s apartment building. The first night my bedroom door spontaneously flew open around midnight. Fortunately for my underwear and sheets, this had happened earlier during the light of day when I hadn't closed it securely. Turns out if it didn't latch, it was basically a spring ready to fly open.

I liked that place.
2017-10-30 11:41:42 PM  
The last neighborhood we lived in was reputedly haunted. The original owners of the land the neighborhood is on were allegedly involved in the illegal slave trade. I live in Illinois near the Missouri border. After their large home burned down, there were reportedly leg irons found attached to the walls in the basement. A couple neighbors told us of odd occurances in their houses. In our house, Mrs. Element told me of something she called the Shadow Man that would come into our bedroom. I never saw it. I did have an unusual experience one night though. I was in the living room watching tv when the guest bathroom door swung gently shut to the point where I had to turn the door knob to open it. I thought maybe the cat had gotten behind the door and pushed it closed. So I open the door expecting to see our cat come walking out but the bathroom is completely unoccupied and the AC was off.  No idea how that door closed by itself but it did. Told the wife when I went to bed. That was when I learned about the Shadow Man.
2017-10-30 11:50:40 PM  
I've been lurking around Fark for a dozen years or so and I look forward to the Halloween scary story thread all year. I've always meant to post this story, but never took the time to actually sit down and write it out.

I'll start by saying that I'm a big atheist and have no belief whatsoever in ghosts. That said, I really experienced this and have no explanation for what happened.

It was the middle of summer, and it must have been the Fourth of July, since my whole family had gathered at my grandparents' house, which we only usually did for holidays. I was around 8 years old, and the "whole family" consisted of me, my parents, 3 aunts, 2 uncles, my then 3-year-old cousin, and my maternal grandparents.

My grandparents' house was on a farm about 7 miles from the nearest town, and a good 15-minute walk to the nearest house. They didn't have cable, my cousin was too little to play with, and I was bored. All the grownups were sitting on the enclosed porch, talking about things that held no interest for 8-year-old me, so I decided to go upstairs and play by myself. As an only child, I was pretty good at entertaining myself and usually liked playing by myself. I headed to the second floor of the house, where there were 3 guest bedrooms. I grabbed an old suitcase from one of my grandma's closets upstairs and headed into one of the bedrooms. My grandma loved antiques, so the room had a bunch of family heirloom-type stuff in it-a dresser with a built-in mirror, an old wash pitcher and basin, an antique crib, a big wooden bed frame, and some black-and-white photos of various dead family members.

I thought it would be a great place to play hotel, so I shut the door and started pretending to check in guests and whatever else my imaginary hotel did. Then the door swung open. Not hard, and not all the way. Just a few inches. No big deal, I thought; clearly I just didn't latch the door properly. I didn't want my game to be interrupted again, so I went over to the door and closed it a second time. This time, just to be sure, I pushed it closed, then tugged the handle to make sure it was latched, which it was. I went back to playing, and a few minutes later I was sitting on the bed, looking directly at the door. I saw the handle turn and the door swung open again. No one was there. At this point, I lost my shiat and ran screaming down to the porch, where every other human being in the house was still calmly sitting. There was no way any of them could have moved quickly enough to have opened the door as a practical joke, then gotten back to the porch without me seeing them. I told my mom what happened, and everyone laughed at me, assuming I was just making it up.

Years later, when I was in high school and my grandpa was in the grip of Alzheimer's, my grandma got up in the middle of the night to find grandpa standing at the foot of the stairs leading to the second floor of the house. She told him to come back to bed, and asked where he was going, anyway. He told her he just wanted to see who that woman was. My mom often spent the night with them at this point, to help out with caring for grandpa, but she wasn't there that night and my grandma explained this to my grandpa. He said, no, it wasn't her. It was another woman, dressed in white, and he'd seen her go upstairs. My grandma was a tough old gal, but this incident spooked her enough that she told my mom about it. My mom told me about it later, remembering the freaky door incident and starting to believe me for the first time.

I have avoided the house after dark ever since, and gone over and over my memories looking for a logical explanation. I even tried to get the door to behave the same way again, but couldn't come up with any way it could open on its own like that.

/This is nowhere near the scariest story here, but 100% true and still freaks me out to this day, 20+ years later.
//My grandparents are long dead but my family still owns the house
///I'm still scared to go upstairs
2017-10-31 12:07:39 AM  
This is my very favorite thread of the whole year, I've been excited for a month!  The only times I have ever posted in the Scary Story Thread have been to say how much I love it, except for the one time saw the scary Korean webcomic on a laptop rather than a phone (I was not aware that it moved) and described how I fled my house, scaring myself even more as my laptop cord dragged loudly behind me on the floor, and read the rest of the thread on my front porch in a rainstorm (2015?).
This year I have an actual Scary Event to write about, even if it's just a little wee one.  I work as a private chef in a large old home in the Squirrel Hill neighborhood of Pittsburgh.  It's a group of Catholic women who live there while they run local outreach and educational programs, and I've had the same group of ladies for about two years.  After that amount of time, I know them (and the house) fairly well, and I know what everyone sounds like going everywhere and doing everything.  My main workspace is the regular kitchen, but I'm often running up and downstairs to the smaller kitchen (freezers and dry storage) in the basement.  Last week, I was coming up the stairs with a tray full of prep items for the day, kind of quick because I had a lot to do, tap-tap-tapping on the wooden stairs, when I was startled by three loud raps from right behind me.  I scooted up to the top, turned around, and stared back down the stairs with that every-hair-standing-up-eyes-bugged-out sense of hyper-awareness you get when some WTF gets dumped on your day.  Didn't see, feel, or sense anything strange, except for the realization that I'd never had anything like that happen in this house before.  By the time I needed to go back down to the basement for something else later on, I had already forgotten that I had been nervous about it, and nothing else spooky happened.  As someone who enjoys good horror like a good meal, I'm very aware of the ways the mind can play tricks, and how this is enjoyed and even encouraged by the afficionado, but to have such a sudden and out-of-context sense of Wrong/Other was startling.

/Fishy is my favorite
//and The Hands Resist Him
2017-10-31 12:16:22 AM  
My grandfather lost his entire family in the Holocaust, he had managed to move to Israel before the war. So continuation of the family was very important to him. I think that's why he really loved my brother and I. Any picture with the three of us he had a huge smile on his face. While my mom had some real problems with her parents I can't think of any issues I had with him.

My grandmother still lived in their apartment after he died. A few years after he died and I had gotten married there was a feeling of stern impatience in the place. Nothing sinister, a kind of foot tapping "I'm waiting!" emotion. So one day, after my wife and I had our kid, my family was at the apartment. My daughter and I were playing around on my grandmother's bed (everyone else was on the other side the apartment) and that stern feeling started to get really strong and it felt like someone was walking was outside the bedroom but again everyone else was far away.

Suddenly, for no reason, my daughter shouts out "We're in here!" and an odd thought came into my mind as I was looking at her. "Look grandpa, look at your lovely Jewish great-granddaughter" as I thought that I saw what looked like a shadow of something which passed between my head and the light behind me go across her face. And immediately afterwards the whole feeling in the place changed, the mod lightened immediately. I like to think it was my grandfather just making sure the family line continued.
2017-10-31 12:31:57 AM  
The Darkness Between the Stars
Note: This may be too long.

"Commander Xien is here to see you, Director."

Miles Fortin sighed heavily and hit the 'Accept' key. "Three goddamned months I've been begging for some help from the Foundation, and I get a thrice-damned martinet from Fleet instead of the science team I requested," he muttered.

As the door swung open to admit his visitor, the Director of the Polyakov Institute on Tiamat willed his face into bland immobility. "Be polite to the nice officer from Fleet," he admonished himself silently. "They're all the help we're likely to get."

Commander Xien was tall for a spacer, a bit over a meter and a half tall, with the rangy build common to most long-service crews out in the Dark. She stalked into the office like a cat-  gracefully, but with the cautious poise of someone ready to react instantly to changes in thrust. Her hair was cut to a regulation centimeter length, and her uniform was the standard-issue pilot's coveralls in lieu of the dress whites Miles had been expecting.

"Director Fortin," she said, inclining her head slightly. "I've been directed by the Admiralty back on Earth to help you investigate all of the ship and crew losses you've been reporting."

Miles rose and inclined his head to the woman across the desk. "I'll take all the help I can get, Commander," he said carefully. "But I don't think a Fleet Cruiser is going to resolve things."

He waved toward a pair of chairs next to his desk. "Please have a seat and key up any refreshment you wish. May I ask what you were told about the problem?"

Xien gave him a brief grin as she slid into a chair. "Fleet Cruisers can be an effective solution to a wide variety of problems," she said. "We have a fully-equipped Class III AI to augment the seven Institute scientists in our onboard lab."

Miles' eyebrows rose. "Where in Hell did you find room for all that on a Chatham-class Cruiser?"

The Commander punched in a drink request to the console on her chair arm as she replied. "We off-loaded the Marines and all but two LCs." She glanced left at the Director. "It's still a damned tight fit when everyone's out of the boxes. You sound like you're familiar with the Chathams."

Miles nodded. "I was a gunner onboard Maria Teresa during the Hyperion problem."

Xien arched an eyebrow, but said nothing as the wall aperture opened and a trolley wheeled out with her drink. She grabbed the bulb and sipped carefully, then nodded. "Mmmm. Just right. You have a good autobar." The trolley obediently rolled back out of the office. The Commander sat back in the chair and wriggled slightly to allow the cushions to adapt to her form, then said, "Most of the Cruisers got mothballed about twenty years ago, but they held onto Wallaby and a few others and modified them for special purpose missions. Wallaby got a science team, Denarius was converted for hospital/rescue work, and I've heard Thaler and Loonie got converted into long-range scouts. Minimal crews, one lander, and all the rest of the hull full of fuel and supplies." She shuddered. "Hate to serve on one of those."

Miles sat back in his chair. "I have to admit, Commander," he said looking above her head at the wall behind her. "I was pretty sure you and your crew were going to be less than useless when you dropped out of P-Space. Now I'm slightly optimistic."

Xien inclined her head slightly. "Now that we're both convinced ourselves the person across the desk is not a bumbling incompetent, please describe the problem. All I got from Admiralty is you've reported catastrophically high casualties among merchant traffic through your Beacon Zone. How many casualties are we talking about?"

The Director called up a holo map of the Tiamat Beacon Zone from his desk projector. The swirl of stars hovering above the desk quickly condensed as he changed the viewfield, and several stars lit up in green. "Our viewpoint is from the core, looking out toward Earth." One of the green stars on the far side of the image pulsed slightly. "Tiamat is now in red," one of the green stars not far from Earth turned red. "The Beacons in our Zone are now yellow." Eleven white stars and three green ones turned yellow in the image, all clustered near Tiamat. A bright purple caret appeared over six of the yellow stars.

"In the last three years- local years, that is," Miles zoomed in on the area between Tiamat and Earth where most of the purple carets were located. "We've lost at least one crewmember on thirty-five percent of all shipping through the Zone." He looked up and met the Commander's eyes. "And the problem's getting worse. Over the last eight months local, twenty percent of ships transiting the Beacon Zone don't drop out of P-space at all. We've tracked their wakes, and they just keep on zipping off on their original courses."

The Director waved a hand in the general direction of Xien's chair. "Most of those probably ended up with wrecked engines in close to the core, when their courses impinged on a gravity well. The ships headed toward Earth from Tiamat will probably end up in Andromeda a few centuries from now."

Xien nodded soberly. At least one crewmember had to be awakened from stasis to make course change decisions whenever a ship in P-space approached a Beacon. Even the best artificial intelligences couldn't cope with the transition to N-space as quickly as an organic mind, and running too deeply into a gravity well with primary drive running was almost guaranteed to leave the power plant and primary drive as a trail of debris several million kilometers long during the unplanned drop. Trying to get to a habitable planet using only normal-space fusion drives under those circumstances would take centuries.

"What is the total loss of life?" Xien asked.

"Close order of two hundred," Miles said bitterly. "We've been sending message capsules back to Earth for months, recommending an enormous expansion of the Beacon network to provide alternate paths around those careted Beacons where the problems have been occurring."

"A sound suggestion," Xien said, impressed by the concept. "Please don't bother telling me what happened to this suggestion."

"Such a vast expenditure is politically inadvisable at this time," Miles quoted drily. "Damned bureaucrats back on Earth aren't feeling the pinch yet, but those lost ships and cargoes and crews constitute a loss of nearly ten percent of the Gross Product Output of the Beacon worlds."

Xien shrugged and dropped her drink bulb into the waste slot on the wall beside her. "Do you have space in your Research dome for my science team?" she asked. "I want them to get the raw data from your people and duplicate their conclusions."

"Plenty of space and computer access," Miles growled. "Starhopper was one of the ships that zipped right by our Beacon. She had a ten-man team from the Institute on Earth headed for new facilities we'd set up for them here. Space we got." He keyed in several orders on his desk inputs and nodded to the Commander. "My folks will be delighted to get your help."

Senior Researcher Grenski looked up in annoyance as the communicator on his work station chimed three times. He tabbed the circuit live and growled, "I said no interruptions! What is problem?"

Commander Xien's voice shocked the scientist out of his irritation. "We have received fresh data, Dmitri," she said calmly. "You need to see this as soon as possible. File should be arriving on your workscreen now."

"Spaceba," Grenski said absently before keying the circuit closed. He turned away from the task plotter he'd been using to graph the raw data about the problem and picked up his workscreen from the shelf behind him. The screen lit and he scrolled through the summary report quickly. "Yob tvoyu mat," he breathed softly in astonishment. He stabbed his communicator live without looking at it and barked, "Assemble research team in Dome Three. Ten minutes. No excuses."

Ten minutes later, Grenski's entire team was assembled in the loading bay of Dome Three, the only space large enough to handle a group which included the seven-person team from Wallaby and the two dozen researchers from Tiamat, all of whom showed up as well. The Senior Researcher lugged in a public display module and powered it up without speaking. A holographic display of the nearby starfield appeared above the assembled researchers.

"Commander Xien has received transmission from message capsule sent by Admiralty on Earth," Grenski said shortly. "Starship named Amir al-Hazredi missed Beacon 471 and arrived at Epsilon Ophiuchus nine days ago, destroying engines." Beacon 471 was careted, and the Epsilon Ophiuchus system flashed green. "Another ship already there conducted rescue. Crewmember dead, but cargo intact." He paused and added, "Cargo is seventy-one people in stasis."

Ignoring the murmurs from the researchers, Grenski continued. "Is wonderful opportunity. Ship's log shows crewman had time to report what happened before he is dying. Recordings already here via capsule. Wallaby returning to Earth to retrieve physical logs for study."

Grenski raised a hand to quell the excited babble which followed his pronouncement. "Team Leader briefing on workscreen in fifteen minutes. New work assignments after briefing. Everyone suggest questions and lines of inquiry on bulletin board now. Dismissed."

Kamela N'Jedu walked in as Grenski powered down the display unit, eyes locked on her workscreen. "Dmitri," she said as she stepped out of the way of the departing researchers. "Have you read the transcripts?"

Grenski shook his head. "Saw you were in main file, so just read summary."

The Research Director for the Tiamat Research team had an odd note in her voice as she replied. "This is ... strange, Dmitri."

Grenski's eyebrows rose. He'd only known N'Jedu for six local days, but he'd already come to respect her skill and scientific rigor. "Did not expect subjective language from you," he said after a moment.

She met his eyes, and he could see she was troubled. Confused and possibly frightened. "You read it, Dmitri," she said with a subdued tone. "Then try to be objective. I'll be at my station. See you in twelve minutes." She turned and followed the last of the departing researchers out of the loading bay.

Her obvious concern was disconcerting. Grenski carried the display unit back to his office and called up the transcripts from Amir al Hazredi's log on his workscreen. He scrolled past the entries until he reached those concerning Beacon 471, then scrolled back a few to begin reading.

The first entries were automatic recordings made by the ship's AI. "Ninety two hours ship-time from entry to P-Space. All conditions nominal. Two crew and seventy one cargo in stasis. Stasis read-outs within .002% of nominal. Approaching PNT 471. Pilot-Second Khaled ben Mehdi is scheduled for wake-up in ten hours ship time for course correction after departure from P-Space."

"Ninety seven hours ship-time from entry to P-Space. All conditions nominal. Two crew and seventy one cargo in stasis. Stasis read-outs within .002% of nominal. Approaching PNT 471. Pilot-Second Khaled ben Mehdi is scheduled for wake-up in five hours ship time for course correction after departure from P-Space. Navigational error of .003% calculated from bearing to PNT 471."

"One hundred two hours ship-time from entry to P-Space. All conditions nominal. Two crew and seventy one cargo in stasis. Stasis read-outs within .002% of nominal. Approaching PNT 471. Pilot-Second Khaled ben Mehdi is scheduled for wake-up in twelve minutes for course correction after departure from P-Space. Navigational error of .003% calculated from bearing to PNT 471."

The human pilot's reports began normally.

"Pilot-Second ben Mehdi on deck. Fourteen minutes to N-Space transit at PNut 471. Ship conditions nominal. Stasis boxes nominal. Course within parameters. Estimate sub-forty-minute N-Space transit to make course corrections. Arrival at Earth Approach PNut estimated in twenty nine hours ship time from PNut 471."

"ben Mehdi on deck. Ten minutes to N-Space at PNut 471. Suspect something wrong with ship's systems. Lighting on command deck has odd blue tint. Idiot Box says all nominal. Beginning to hear odd musical notes at irregular intervals. Cabin audio playback does not pick up sounds. Damned strange."

"Allah alkhayr walrahim, hirasat khadimuk min alshari." Pilots are renowned for their unflappability at the controls. They always follow procedure, even in the face of imminent death. It's part of their training. The Arabic prayer in the transcript stood out like an emergency flare, even in the laconic text report. "It pulses in and out of view. Allah alkhayr walrahim, hirasat khadimuk min alshari! How does it enter the cabin? The colors! Allah himayatan li! Yuhariq! Nabadat almusiqaa min khilal ruwhiin. Make it stop! Allah, I call on you to make it stop! Ajealh yatawaqaf! Makeitstopmakeitstopmakeitstopmakeitst​op! No! Allah alharis khadimuk min alshar! EEEYAAAAHHHhhhhhhhh ..."

"One hundred three hours from entry to P-Space. All ship systems nominal. One crew and seventy one cargo in stasis. Stasis systems within .002% of nominal. Pilot-Second Khaled ben Mehdi is nonresponsive. Beacon 471 now astern. Next Beacon on this course is 093, due in sixty two hours ship time. Navigation error of 1.4% calculated for Beacon 093. Pilot-First Hussein Asfour scheduled for wake up in sixty two hours ship-time."

Grenski shuddered at the contrast between the AI's clinical report and the panic-stricken cries of the dead pilot, even through the dry reading of a transcript. His communicator chimed, reminding him of the briefing on workscreen, rousing the scientist from his thoughts. He quickly checked the rest of the report. Ben Mehdi's body was intact- unmarked. But his face was so grotesquely frozen in horror the crew who'd rescued the stricken ship had trouble describing it. Shaking his head, he gathered the materials and tabbed open his workscreen.

Four frightened faces on the screen told Grenski the others had read the transcript as well. Shaking off a feeling of dread with an effort of will, he said, "I summarize: Multiple vessels transiting Tiamat Beacon Zone are losing crew. Problem is getting worse. More ships never drop out of P-Space."

Sitting back in his chair, Grenski laced his fingers together and continued. "Vessel Amir al Hazredi transiting to Earth from Al Madinah missed Beacon 471. Vessel encountered gravity well at Epsilon Ophiuchus and was found adrift by Spirit of Tembo passing through system from Beacon 093. Pilot ben Mehdi found dead in command deck. No visible trauma to body. Autopsy report found only high levels of adrenaline in corpse. No cause of death determined. No injry to any humans in stasis. Only conscious humans affected."

Arlen Pitcairn nodded. "I've done a rough pattern-match on the identified losses to date," he said. "They all occurred near the oldest Beacons." He tapped a command on his workscreen, and Grenski's display suddenly showed a graph with an asymptotic curve. "Extrapolating out based on traffic density and referencing Beacon age, we'll probably lose roughly sixty percent of all traffic in the Tiamat Beacon Zone within two hundred days standard. One hundred days after that, Tiamat will be totally impassable."

The graph cleared, and returned the four team leaders. Grenski was impressed, and said so. "Spaceba, Arlen," he said. "Good work. Do we have theory about mechanism for traffic loss?"

"Most of the staff suggestions imply intelligent agency," replied Javier Cardona. "I see no evidence for this, but there is a suggested way to test the implication."

Grenski called up the suggestion page and scanned quickly. "Has real chance to be very dangerous," he said quietly. "What is estimated success probability?"

"Not good," admitted the Tiamat P-Space specialist. "I postulate a forty percent chance of losing the test subject. That said, I also estimate seventy four percent chance of getting actionable data- regardless of test subject status."

The Senior Researcher locked eyes with Kamela N'Jedu. "What have P-Space probes discovered?"

She shook her head. "Not a damned thing. We've run multiple stationary pods in and out of P-Space at ninety six AUs from Primary. No energy detected except for the Beacons." She closed her eyes and looked away from the screen. "I put three live white mice in the last two runs. They're still alive and kicking."

Grenski was surprised. "Was not part of experiment," he admonished.

"Just an idea I had." Kamela said quietly. "I thought maybe sensors and AIs weren't able to find the mechanism killing crews, but living creatures might at least give us a result."

"Mice are unaffected?" Cardona asked curiously.

"Not unaffected," N'Jedu replied softly. "They're alive, but they're not moving around. They just sit in their case and shiver uncontrollably."

Cardona nodded. "So we have another datum to add: living creatures are affected by whatever is killing the crews."

Arlen Pitcairn completed the thought. "But only sentient creatures seem to die outright."

"What is suggested experiment to test theory?" Grenski asked. "Send manned probe into P-Space and return on set schedule to find out if human aboard dies?"

Javier looked thoughtful as he reviewed a file offscreen. "It seems to take considerable time for the effects of the anomaly to become lethal, based on the transcript. Several minutes, at least. What's the minimum duration probe excursion time?"

"Ninety one seconds," Kamela replied. "Who will be foolish enough to volunteer?"

Javier Cardona looked startled. "Thought it would be obvious. I'm the logical choice."

Grenski arched an eyebrow. "Thinking you are immune to danger?"

Javier waved the question aside. "You read the transcript. However well-trained he was, ben Mehdi was obviously a religious fanatic. Such people allow their imaginations to run away with them, and he scared himself to death."

Shaking his head, Grenski called for a vote. N'Jedu and Picairn voted against it. Cardona and Lao, who had remained silent so far, voted in favor. That left the decision up to Grenski. He thought hard for several minutes, then nodded. "Very well. Please to ensure excursion is shortest possible duration." He sighed heavily, then met Kamela's eyes. "Install double-redundant recording devices for any changes in environment."

She shuddered slightly, then nodded. "We give the probes just enough power to create the P-Space bubble, but not enough to maintain it. The probe pops into P-Space and the bubble immediately begins to collapse, returning to N-Space."

Javier Cardona smiled broadly. "How long until we're ready?"

Lao Tsun spoke for the first time during the meeting. "Less than four hours. Probes are already equipped. We can start once you've donned a pressure suit."

"Why would I want a pressure suit?" Cardona asked in surprise.

"Emergency pressure suits have built-in stasis generator keyed to a helmet switch," Lao replied evenly. "The effect only lasts a few minutes, but you'll be back in N-Space before it wears off. Use it if you have to."

While the other team leaders made preparations for the excursion, Grenski sat and concentrated on the experiment. Humans did not do well in P-Space for extended periods. Staring into endless blackness made people uncomfortable to the point of occasional insanity, so ships transiting P-Space had no windows. Al information into the ships was via the navigation instruments. Humans travelled in P-Space safely locked away in stasis boxes. The vessel's AI would awaken one crewmember when the ship approached a Beacon to handle the change-over to N-Space and then make course corrections as needed. AIs had repeatedly proven unable to properly gauge the correct time to drop out of P-Space, frequently crashing into a star's gravity well and destroying the engines.

P-Space, a nickname for the adjacent universe discovered by Vladimir Polyakov three centuries earlier, was vastly older than so-called 'normal space". The laws of physics were slightly different there. Time, for example, ran much faster. The universe of P-Space was so old that all the stars had either died out or had moved so far apart individual photons were rare finds. Even the running lights of ships in P-Space seemed to be swallowed up by the vast emptiness, leading veteran spacers to call P-Space, 'the Dark'.

Stationary probes into P-Space had little practical utility under most circumstances, but the Tiamat team had previously modified several message capsules to jump into P-Space without any motion in either universe. Even so, the probes often re-appeared in N-Space dozens of kilometers from where they'd entered P-Space. Grenski ordered three additional lifeboats into the test area, spread out to cover a wide area of space. If something went wrong, he wanted the intercept time to rescue Javier to be as short as possible.

Just shy of four hours later, Javier Cardona waddled into the Landing craft left behind by Wallaby, being used as it was by far the largest normal-space vessel available. The LC and the three lifeboats powered through Tiamat's whispy atmosphere and sped toward a calculated point nearly one hundred AUs from the star, where the gravity well was insignificant enough to permit entry to P-Space. Watching the little ships depart the dome, Grenski was tempted to call them back. He was getting a powerful feeling that his tie-breaking decision to authorize the mission might lead to disaster. This bothered him, since he had no objective evidence on which to base such a feeling. But he was nonetheless convinced he would never see Javier Cardona again. Shaking his head, Grenski tabbed off the display screen and went to get some sleep.

A shrill beeping woke Grenski from his nap. He cursed vilely in Russian and slapped at the communicator next to his cot. "Grenski," he managed to say as he shook the sleep out of his eyes. "What is problem?"

"Just received a signal from the experiment, sir," the radio room dispatcher replied in controlled tones. "Doctor Cardona is dead, and they're heading back."

Grenski hung his head for a moment in sorrow, then acknowledged the call. "I will be in office in ten minutes. Send signal traffic there."

The next five hours passed with excruciating slowness. No further messages came in, and the entire population of Tiamat's domes seemed to be sitting and waiting for the return of the experiment flotilla. Director Fortin walked into Grenski's office with two bottles of crudely distilled slash liquor he'd doubtless confiscated from the miners in Dome Nine. The two men sat in silence, slowly sipping the awful-tasting but highly alcoholic brew.

When the screen lit for the landing field, they'd finished one bottle and were partway through the second. The LC landed first, as close as possible to the airlock for Dome Three. Four figures in pressure suits carried a fifth through the personnel lock while the LC and its escorts waited for the longer process of opening the main hangar bay doors. Fortin and Grenski stood in unison and hurried out of the office.

The two senior men arrived at the Med Center in Dome Six just before the sailors from the LC with their burden. They stood silently aside as the medical staff opened the emergency lifepod containing a still figure in a pressure suit. Only the suit wasn't sealed. A spray of ice crystals were subliming away from the openings at the suit's neck and wrists.

"What happened?" Fortin demanded.

An ashen-faced sailor sagged against the wall by the door and shook his head. "Probe popped out according to plan," he said in subdued tones. "Popped back outta the Dark right on schedule, and only a few hundred meters away. We immediately hailed Doctor Cardona, but got no reply."

He shook his head again. "We started to maneuver close, when we saw him climb outta the hatch. We couldn't get to him fast enough."

"What do you mean?"

"By the time we reached him, he'd already opened his suit seals. He was gone"

Grenski bowed his head and uttered a quiet, "Bojemoi."

Miles Fortin was aghast. "He opened his suit seals?" You're sure?"

The sailor slumped onto a bench and nodded soberly. "You can check the logs, Director. Audio and video. We were calling on multiple freqs, but we got nothing at all. By the time we'd matched orbits, it was ten minutes too late."

Grenski sighed and asked, "What about mission logs?"

"Still on the probe. Oughta be inside the Dome by now."

Shaking his head, the Senior researcher walked through the clinic door, and the Director followed after a last look at the still body on the table.

Kamela N'Jedu met them at the airlock to the hangar. "I heard about Javier," she said softly. "It's not your fault, Dmitri." She reached out her hand toward Grenski, who recoiled sharply.

"Is my fault," he snarled. "I made final decision. Good man is dead now because I made decision." He closed his eyes for a moment. "Acceptable level of risk," he said, making the words a curse.

Janice Wray, Javier's number two on the P-Space team, walked through the airlock with an array of data log chips on a tray in her hand. Her face was pale. "Sir," she said with a brief hesitation. "The logs have been wiped."

Grenski's features hardened. "Data is lost?" he gasped. "We lost good man for nothing?"

Miles Fortin took the tray from Janice's hand. "Thank you Janice. You and your team get some rest. You all get two extra rations of spirits as of right now. We'll convene in six hours on workscreen."

Janice nodded wearily, her head down and tears beginning to flow. One of the sailors and the rest of the P-Space tam came in quietly and gathered around her as the Director left.

Kamela N'Jedu found him in the electronics lab half an hour later. Looking up from his work, Miles asked, "Where's Grenski?"

"Put him to bed with a sedative," she said quietly. She nodded at the equipment Miles was using. "Trying to recover some of the data?"

Miles shrugged. "I still play around with electronics sometimes. Just to keep my hand in," he said briefly. "Javier was a genius about P-Space, but he was a layman about electronics. I figure he only had time to try a basic over-write, so the data might be salvageable."

"Any luck?"

"We'll find out in about twenty minutes or so," Miles stood up from the stool he'd been sitting on and stretched. "How's Janice and the rest of the team?"

"Subdued and drinking heavily," Kamela replied. "Javier was popular and well-respected. They're all taking it hard."

The Director nodded understandingly. "Once we see what we can get from the logs and put out the findings on workscreen, I'm going to put the lot of them on twenty-hour stand-down. Do we have anyone on staff with counselling experience?"

Kamela shook her head. "No. We'll have to make do with slash. A few of them have started already."

"Just so long as they're coherent for the workscreen meeting." A chime sounded from the analysis table. "Ah, the scans are completed. A little early, which might be a good sign."

Carefully setting the chip he extracted from the analyzer on the tray, Miles called up the data on the analyzer display. He scrolled quickly through the symbols on the screen, then stiffened suddenly in shock. Stepping back, he blanked the display and turned to face N'Jedu.

She started to say something, then hesitated as she took a look at his face. "What is it?"

Director Fortin took a deep breath. "Can't be."

Kamela was confused. She stepped closer to Miles, saying, "What can't be? What did you see?"

Miles took in another deep breath, then shook his head. He turned back to the analyzer and tapped in a complex command, after which he picked up the tray full of chips and walked toward the door. "I've got some thinking to do before the workscreen meeting, Kamela," he said sharply. "You should try to relax for the next couple of hours. I'll screen you and the other team leads shortly before the meeting."

"Dammit, Miles, what is going on?"

He gave her a crooked hint of a smile as he left. "I've just learned ... I really need to think this through. Give me a little time."

Ignoring N'Jedu's questions, Miles strode purposefully up the passageway and into the lift. The doors hissed shut behind him, leaving Kamela to slap the panels with her hand in frustration.

Thirty minutes later, Miles was reviewing some personnel files he'd downloaded from Wallaby before she'd departed. Ten minutes after that, he walked into the transient dormitory in Dome Two to find one of the Wallaby sailors. He and the sailor shook hands, and both left the dorm. Miles returned to his office and the sailor wandered down to the hangar bay in Dome Three.

Freshly awakened with a stimulant injected by a med-tech, Grenski was in a foul mood as he tabbed his workscreen live. He'd needed the rest, but hated the decision getting forced on him. He grunted in surprise as saw a host of icons representing nearly the entire population of Tiamat staring at him from the display. He shook his head, nearly missing the Director's as his voice went out to every screen on the station.

"As you all are aware by now, Doctor Javier Cardona died while conducting an experiment he had proposed and carried out. He was aboard a probe that spent ninety four seconds in P-Space before returning to normal space. On returning from the Dark, he deliberately wiped his mission logs and left the probe, after which he deliberately unsealed his suit to vacuum.

"I spent some time in the Electronics Lab trying to recover some of the mission data. Because Javier hadn't had enough time to do a proper job of it, I was able to recover large fragments of telemetry and a big chunk of his voice recording. Once I'd read a transcript, I took certain actions, the results of which you will learn shortly.

"In summary, the telemetry shows no unusual readings during the brief excursion into P-Space. The real shock came from the voice audio files. Doctor Cardona fell victim to an inimical force located in P-Space, which was able to attack him in the brief interval his probe was in the Dark. The result of this attack drove him to suicide. Based on the recordings, I concur with his decision.

"By now, many of you are doubtless trying to reach me by communicator. It's far too late for that. You're listening to a recording made almost three hours ago, just before I took the Landing Craft and left the planet. By the time you've reached this portion of the recording, I'll be starting my transit to P-Space with a modified probe. You should send one of the lifeboats out to retrieve the LC, but don't bother looking for me. I won't be coming back.

"The reason Javier decided to kill himself is the discovery of life in P-Space. It isn't life as we know it, but there are entities ... creatures inhabiting the Dark. These creatures are extremely hostile to sentient life- consciously and intelligently hostile. We've never noticed them before, because we're always in stasis boxes, and only conscious minds can detect them.

"In my office, you will find a transcript of the voice recorder data and all the telemetry, as well as my conclusions regarding that data. I suggest you make use of this to begin making countermeasures against these inimical beings, before they cut off all interstellar traffic. I am doing just that out here at the limit of gravitic influence by our primary. Assuming Wallaby is able to make it back, please ensure the raw data and my conclusions are given to Commander Xien for delivery to the Admiralty and the Foundation.

"It has been the greatest privilege of my life to have met and worked with all of you. Goodbye, and good luck."

At the edge of the Tiamat system, Miles Fortin completed his final preparations and clambered into the heavily modified probe. The fusion drive units he'd paid the Wallaby engineering crewman to install were all fully powered up, and took up most of the available space. Miles swore as he gingerly positioned himself in the center of the probe and connected the master circuit to his pressure suit's life support module. He grinned sourly. "No sense in complaining about the cramped quarters. I won't have to put up with it for long."

His fingers tapped in the launch command, and the sidereal universe faded away as a pocket of P-Space formed around the probe. He was tense. If he'd guessed right, his plan could only work if there was a conscious mind to attract the inhabitants of the Dark. He idly wondered how long it would take, then heard a faint fragment of a musical note and grinned fiercely. "Come one, you bastards!" he snarled internally. "Come and get it!"

Despite having an idea of what to expect, the onslaught was frighteningly savage and abrupt. First a few faint echoes of what sounded like musical notes, then sudden awareness of a Presence. The metal walls of the probe were no barrier, and Miles started to see roiling masses of what looked like vapor filling the space around him. He closed his eyes and found he could still see them, pulsing and shifting in and around and through supposedly solid objects. The faint music grew clearer, and Miles realized the movements of the chaos surrounding and permeating through him were in time to the disjointed music which seemed incredibly faint and yet perfectly clear. His body contorted in agony as waves of heat suffused through his being, nearly dropping him to his knees. Strange thoughts filled his mind. Impressions of limitless space and pounding rhythms and glowing darkness were drowning his consciousness as his body jerked and twitched in obscene cadence with the eerie piping which sounded from everywhere and nowhere at the same time. A violent shock struck his mind as the vast bulk of a truly alien entity winnowed its pseudopods through his consciousness. Shrieking in horror and pain, he retained just enough will in that last second of life to slam his gloved hand down on the large button jury-rigged on the wall beside him and scream grimly, "LET THERE BE LIGHT".

When the fusion drive units all ruptured simultaneously, Miles Fortin was no longer present to witness the short-duration small star which erupted in the midst of a seething mass of quasimaterial entities feasting on his mind.

An indeterminate time later, the miniature sun evaporated, its brief, fierce surge of illumination revealing clouds of pulsing not-matter roiling and bubbling in rhythm with unheard musical notes, slowly gathering together into a dense, almost solid cloud glowing darkly with the huge quanta of energy Miles Fortin had foolishly granted it. Psuedopods spread widely around the central density of the entity, feeling for the doorway to the universe which was the source of the tasty sentient morsels and their satisfyingly dense

(blah blah blah)
2017-10-31 12:35:26 AM  
For FSM's sake, FARK cut off three FARKING words! Whiskey Tango Foxtrot?

Satisfyingly dense sources of power.
2017-10-31 12:40:12 AM  
It's better to tell me weird story in person than typing it but here goes.

About a year ago, me and this girl i was dating went out to this real nice sushi place.

The food was great, drinks were great and we were having this conversation about reincarnation.

I told her that I had never told anyone this before, but wanted to get her thoughts on it.

All my life, I have always had dreams that in some past life I was this stray dog. A stray dog that got hit by a truck on a farm road somewhere in Texas. It's always the same dream. It's not really scary just strange. I'm "running" down this farm road and an old truck is passing me and clips my "shoulder" and I fall over injured.

And then I always wake up from the dream.

The strange thing is I've always had this pain in my left shoulder since I was child and till this day. It feels like a knotted muscle. I've always been able to physically feel this knot as well. I had it examined a few times in the past but the doctors could never solve the problem.

After telling her this story, I told my girlfriend, "look just rub on my back left shoulder and you can feel the knot. I swear."

So she leans over and starts to rub and feel the spot.

And then all at once, I growled and tried to bite her hand.

She broke up with me that night :(
2017-10-31 12:40:27 AM  
When I was a young teen, I began having dreams where I would relive the final half-hour or so of the lives of young women who were murdered.  To this day, I don't know if these young women truly even exist, let alone if they were actually killed.  All I know for sure is what the killer in msixy dreams actually looks like.

Sometimes he's blond. Sometimes, he has dark hair. the one thing that is always consistent is the bright bottle-green eyes that seem to glow from within with an almost demonic light. I may not know if his "victims" exist, but I know that he is real. I've seen him in the flesh.

About six or seven years ago, I was at the counter of the local Speedway paying for my coffee and shooting the shiat with the manager.  I noticed a guy in a hoodie snaking his arm over the counter to snatch some Marlboros when he thought no one was watching.  I pointed this out to the manager, who said "Sir, can I help you with something?"

The hooded individual said "no" and as he walked out of the store, looked directly into my eyes.  His eyes were the same glowing green from my nightmares.  They were the same eyes of the hooded driver of the beat-up Jeep wrangler that followed me out of the parking lot ten minutes later.  They were the same eyes that glared into my rearview mirror for the forty-five minutes that it took for me to drive in circles until I lost him and felt safe going home to my farm which was only six miles from the local Speedway.

That was the most terrifying forty-five minutes of my life.
2017-10-31 12:44:07 AM  
I only saw her once, in Vegas, on a business trip. We'd had a number of drinks and I remember a night of decent sex. I didn't see her when she left. She, too, was in town for a corporate meeting, same hotel.

You can imagine my shock when she showed up at my house unannounced. I quizzically, but politely said "Hi" and and she put it in my hand.

A plastic stick with a "+" symbol on it.

That's when my wife sweetly said from behind me, "Who is it, dear?
The End

2017-10-31 1:01:27 AM  
The Hilldabeast was almost elected.
Nanny nanny boo boo libtards.
2017-10-31 1:14:12 AM  
If anyone knows of a missing girl who is about 5'5, 165 lbs. with long straight dark-brown hair, bangs, and dark eyes who drives a 1990's dark blue or black Ford splash pick-up with a sliding rear-window, please let me know. I think I "relived" her last moments in the back of a parking lot one autumn night at a Sunoco station by a river somewhere off a state route in the Midwest somewhere.  That one really haunts my dreams.
2017-10-31 1:30:23 AM  
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2017-10-31 1:48:07 AM  
Many, many years ago in a small town in the backwoods in Indiana there was a deep river ravine that ran through the edge of town. The river was full of deep holes filled with catfish. There was also a railroad crossing bridge and beneath the bridge was a cave that a Mountain Lion made home.

This was a branch line and had no set schedule and there was no stop in the town but the trains would blow their whistles long in their approach to and through the town. The train whistle hurt the Mountain Lions ears and caused him to become crazed and he would tear around and attack anything he came across. Deer, livestock, pets and people and these attacks were most always fatal.

The people in town came to a sort of loose community agreement that if you were out and heard the train whistle that everyone quickly go indoors in the nearest house or business. Yours, your neighbors, didn't matter, just get inside. One rather prissy woman did not like 'the common clay' randomly rushing into her home. She felt herself and her family 'above' her neighbors and kept her doors locked all the time and stopped her children from playing outdoors.

Once a local man was walking home near dusk and he heard the train whistle, he was near the prissy womans home so he rushed to the house, the door was locked and he beat on the door calling to be let in. The woman wouldn't answer the door so the man heads out to the next nearest house down the road, he was caught and killed by the Mountain Lion. Well, that's what the whole town believed had happened but the woman denied that he had come to her house.

The men in town had been trying to track the Lion down but because he was so erratic due to the times he was 'whistle mad' it was proving to be difficult. Traps, snares and poisoned baits caught other animals but not the Mountain Lion.

One late afternoon the prissy woman heard the train whistle and pretended she didn't, just like she would pretend to not hear a knock if one came. She moved toward the back of the house, away from the front door, back to the kitchen. While the train whistle screeched she heard the maddened squall, like a woman screaming close by. She also saw the kitchen door ajar and rushed to close and lock it. Then it dawned on her, the children had slipped outside from the kitchen door to play. Or had they? She screamed their names, no answer. Then she heard fists pounding on the locked front door and the children yelling to be let in. As she raced toward the front of the house she heard the Mountain Lion roar in fury as the whistle pierced the air and her children screamed. As she reached the front door a shadow was slipping under the door. Not a shadow, it was her children's blood.
2017-10-31 1:49:42 AM  
I think I've told this one before, but it's the only strange thing that's ever happened to me, so:

My dad was diagnosed with cancer in March 2014, and died about two weeks later. He had wanted to die at home, but by the end, he had reached the point where my family simply wasn't equipped to keep him comfortable. He and my mom decided he should go to a hospice facility, and he died there a few days later.

My mother, sister and I were all with him when he died, and afterwards, we went home and started making funeral arrangements. My sister and I had to go get a cashier's check to finish purchasing the burial plot, so we left my mom sitting on the back porch while we went to the bank. When we came back, she told us something weird had happened: she had been sitting on the porch when she heard the doorbell ring. She went to the door, but no one was there. I didn't think much of it -- I don't believe in supernatural stuff, and my mom is prone to reading signs into ordinary occurrences -- so I agreed it was "weird" and forgot about it.

Later that afternoon, my parents' neighbor dropped by to give his condolences. We were standing there in front hallway (him, my sister, our dog, and I), when the doorbell rang again. Mind you -- we were standing right at the door, and there were windows on either side. No one was there.

We stayed in that house for another week and a half as we held the funeral and then settled my father's estate. The doorbell never malfunctioned again.

/My dad once nonchalantly told me there was a white lady who liked to hang out in that front hallway, so then again, maybe it was her.
//Regardless, maybe not so much spooky as sad.
///Bring on the Fishy and Turkey Feathers!
2017-10-31 2:04:35 AM  
True story:  Also non religious skeptic by nature...

About 12 years ago I was in the upstairs bathroom in my townhouse shaving.  I lived there alone with 2 cats, aged 15 and 17.  They were well in their prime and had not been very active for quite a few years.

As I was standing there shaving, I heard the sound of claws tearing up the carpeted stairway to the landing at top speed.  Then in my office, which was directly behind the bathroom where I was came a huge SLAM sound... like something with claws tore up the stairs into the office and smacked into my bookcase on the far wall of my office at top speed.  The impact rattled the upper floor of the townhouse a bit. This all happened in a matter of seconds.

I immediately  left the bathroom and spun towards the office, worried that one my aged cats had hurt themselves.  The office was small... I scanned around and there was nothing there and there was no sign of any disturbance.

I went back to the landing and looked downstairs, again a matter of just a few more seconds and I saw both my cats down there at the far end of the living room.  Their tails were fully puffed out and every hair on their bodies was standing on end,  Their eyes were fixed on the top of the landing, as wide as saucers.
2017-10-31 6:47:52 AM  
My friend's father died suddenly of a heart attack one year after Thanksgiving. I'll tell this as she told it to me.

"We all got back to the house sometime after two in the morning. We didn't say anything to each other the whole ride back home. We didn't say a word as we all gathered in the living room. We just sat there and listened to the clock tick. After maybe a minute or two, this  new DVD player Dad had been messing with all day turned on by itself. We heard it turn on since it was so quiet. We saw the display light up. So we're all looking at this thing in silence and the display blinks the word GOODBYE three times, then shuts itself off. We just sort of stared at each other. My sister finally broke the silence by saying, "thanks, dad. We love you. Goodbye."
2017-10-31 6:48:27 AM  

farkingismybusiness: The last man on Earth sat alone in a room. There was a knock on the door...

It was his ex-wife and mother-in-law!!!

popkey.coView Full Size
2017-10-31 8:50:27 AM  
Not really a scary story, just an update on my story from last year. (100% true story, unlike this year's which is only "mostly" true).

Dad's big into genealogy.  His database is so big that uses him to beta test all new versions.  Our family tree is wide and deep, but patrilineally, it stopped at my 7th great grandfather (John Cooper, a drummer in the revolutionary war).  Dad couldn't find anything about my 8th or where they came from.

Turns out, John's father was Johann Keifer, from Bavaria.  The family first moved to Pennsylvania around 1700, then left to settle the frontier in Virginia around the time of the French and Indian wars.  They were among the first settlers south of what is now Winchester (Steven's City).  They changed their name from Keifer to Cooper since there was a prevailing anti-German sentiment at the time.

Anyway - that indian fort on the frontier that my friend's family owned?  The fort with the massacre in 1758?  It's just a few miles west of Steven's City Virginia.  I wonder if "He" knew my ancestors ...
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