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5143 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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2017-10-24 7:51:31 PM  
94 votes:
Donovan is four.  Well, four and a half. He'd want me to make that distinction.  When the 'big kids' are six years old, that distinction is important.  When he was just four, he came to live with me for a couple of months.  He also brought his father, who is my brother, his mother and his sister as well, but they don't factor into the story.  They were moving from California back to the east coast and were staying with me while their old house sold and their new house was vacated.  That doesn't factor into the story either.
Donovan is smart.  Precocious is the normal word for it.  He has been reading for a year and doing math for almost as long.  He's not a savant or anything, but he's well ahead of the normal curve.  Most people don't realize he's only four, as he's not only very well spoken for his age, he's larger than normal.  He is the physical size of most of those 'big kids' who are six.  He's also smarter than most of them.  He is, however, emotionally just a four year old.  That tends to cause problems.  He's too immature to get on well with the 'big kids' and to advanced to have any patience with his peers.  He tends to get frustrated and 'act out'.

Thus, he tends to look inward for company.  His imagination is probably his best friend.

We were playing together, a few weeks after he'd moved in.  Long enough time that he was comfortable with the new sights, surroundings and people.  He'd become acclimated enough to me to be able to request that we play, rather than wait for my invitation.

Like many four year old boys, he loves cars - especially trucks.  We were playing with his cars one evening, racing across the floor, when I 'crashed' and rolled my car.
"Oh no!" he cried with playful severity, "You crashed!"
I nodded, "Can you help me, sir?"  
He thought for a moment, "Yes sir, I can.  I have a mechanic truck that can fix you."
"Whew!  Good!  Thanks!"
He looked up a me, suddenly serious.
"The mechanic truck is downstairs."
I needed to get something to drink anyway, so I took advantage of the situation.
"You go get the truck and I'll get us some juice!"
He nodded and stood. He looked solemn.  I didn't understand.  I wondered if maybe he was taking my car crash a little more seriously than the play warranted.
"It'll be OK," I said, referring to my crashed car.
He nodded again and began walking toward the basement door.  I followed along behind and walked into the kitchen, which was next to the basement door.  I heard Donovan muttering something as he went down the stairs, so I went over and poked my head into the opening.

As he went down each step he kept whispering.
"No spooky stuff."
"No spooky stuff."
"No spooky stuff."
He reached the bottom of the stairway and made his way toward the area of the basement where his mechanic's truck waited.
"No spooky stuff."
"No spooky stuff."
I realized that he was afraid.  It reminded me of being his age, being afraid of the dark corner and the dark windows made opaque from the interior lights; possibly hiding anything just on the other side of the glass.  I remembered being that afraid at night.

I remembered having to use the bathroom in the middle of the night.  Staying underneath my covers, trying in vain to hold my pee all night long.  I could picture making my way down the dark hallway between my bedroom and the bathroom; trying to be as quiet as possible.  Trying to avoid the attention of - whatever.  I peed as quickly as possible, the closeness of the bathroom window hovering above me drawing my complete attention.  Having finished, more or less, I sprinted, breath held, back down the hallway to leap into my bed and dive underneath the covers.

I remembered my toy farm set, specifically the cardboard silo.  It was a simple cardboard tube, maybe five inches in diameter, with a metallic plate at the base and a plastic, removable dome top. I came to use that as my night-time toilet. I can still remember worrying that my mother would discover the urine filled silo as I emptied it each morning after the demon banishing light had returned for the day.
Like Donovan, I had to look to myself for companionship.  In my case, it was because my family - at that time, just myself, my mother and my father - lived on a farm deep in the Virginia mountains.  It was remote, but the price was right.  My father was attending college at the time and the farm belonged to my uncle, my father's brother in law.  We stayed there for no cost.  I'm sure that was a huge help to my parents, but for me, at four years old, it was lonely.

That was about the time that lifelong memories began to form for myself, and I remember much about being at the farm.  I remember 'my' pony.  I remember learning how to feed it carrots, making sure my fingers were stretched as far as possible when I had the carrot on my palm so I wouldn't get bit.  I remember riding it, with my Irish setter, Penny, running along side.  I recalled how the field past the horse pasture had a large tree, underneath which lived an old bull.  I remembered how much fun it was to run to tag the tree and try to run back and roll underneath the fence before the bull could charge me.  I remember Penny nipping the bull's flank if it got too close to me.

I remember Timmy.

Timmy was my best friend.  He and I played together every day.  Timmy lived at 1606 Buddingbrook lane. Timmy was four years old too.  He liked my toys.  He told me he was afraid of the dark, too, and didn't like it when he had to get up in the night to pee either.  Timmy and I spent a lot of time talking to each other.
I couldn't tell you, however, what Timmy looked like.  Timmy was my imaginary friend.  He wasn't secretive or anything like that.  Mom would dutifully set a place for Timmy at dinner and remind me to say goodnight to him before bed..  She always made a point to remind me to include Timmy in my prayers, every night.

Being a lonely four year old, Timmy was a big part of my life.

A few years back, I asked my parents about that time.  About Penny. We had to give her away after dad graduated and we moved to the city in an apartment too small to keep a large dog.  I still remember looking at her and her adoptive owners as we drove away.  I wasn't crying, just waving.  I didn't understand that was the last time I'd see her.

It turned out that Mom knew about the silo.  She laughed, recalling the rusted metal bottom and the repeatedly wet cardboard that started to fall apart.  She never worried too much about it since I was pretty good about emptying it most mornings.

Mom told me about Timmy.

Timmy was four years old.  Timmy lived at 1606 Buddingbrook lane.  Timmy died in a fire.
She'd been concerned when I first told her about Timmy.  That he was my friend. That I talked to him and that he talked to me.

She worried that I'd seen the news reports about Timmy when he had died in that fire.  He died in his sleep, his parents unable to save him when 1606 Buddingbrook lane caught fire in the middle of the night.  She made sure that I didn't pay too much attention to the news when that kind of story came on.  You never know what kids will pick up.

All of that came back to me as I listened to Donovan run to get his truck.
"No spooky stuff."
"No spooky stuff."
I was overcome with pride.   My memories had brought back just how overwhelmingly terrifying the unknown terrors of the lonely basement or midnight bathroom were.  But Donovan was pushing through it, scared though he was.  I wouldn't have had the guts to do that when I was four.
"No spooky stuff."
"No spooky stuff."
Donovan got to the top of the stairs, mechanic's truck clutched in his little hands.  He looked up and me and started, unaware that I had been at the top of the stairs.
I looked down at the little brave guy, unsure of what to say.
"I'm sorry," I began, "I should have gone down there with you.  It must have been scary."
"That's ok," he smiled.  "I wasn't really alone."
I smiled back, "No.  I was here the whole time."
"I didn't mean you," he shook his head, "I meant my friend.  Timmy.  He's four years old.  He lives at 1606 Buddingbrook lane."
 
2017-10-24 9:08:55 PM  
56 votes:
President Trump and a GOP-controlled House and Senate. Boo.
 
2017-10-25 7:39:53 AM  
44 votes:
Here's mine. It's true, but, yeah, it's probably nothing. "Small child does not like cold water, gets scared." But the thing is, I don't know, and there's no way to find out. My mother and grandmother are both dead now (died within a month of each other), but even when they were alive, it's not like I could've asked. Maybe that's the scary part. Or maybe it's not scary, just dumb. (Typos probably included, free of charge!)

---

The ocean fronting Oxnard, California is cold. Not New-England-cold. Not Alaska-cold. The sort of cold that is neither majestic nor threatening. Just cold enough to encourage one to dip in without taking any preparation or care. The sort of cold it is just possible to put your head down and take. Sissy-cold? Maybe. It never snows in Oxnard, but the fog rolls over the blue sky like heavy cotton batting every evening at six, sometimes earlier, and it stays until the sun burns through as a pale, white circle, at ten o'clock the next morning, or sometimes not at all. Clouds do not signify rain in Oxnard, merely morning, evening, or nothing at all. Every morning the grass is wet, and the cars are covered with dew like shining, glass beads.

A friend once told me, on visiting, that there is a river of cold current running through the Pacific ocean that breaks directly on the shores of Oxnard, California. It is why the ocean in San Diego, or even Santa Barbara, is so much milder. I know this now, but I didn't used to know it. When I grew up the ocean was cold, and that was all.

I never swam. I used to wear swimsuits, or perhaps I should say that when I was quite small my parents would put me in swimsuits. When I was older and could shift for myself I did not bother. I knew I would not swim. I wore shorts, and often rolled and cuffed them to make them even shorter, because, though I did not swim, I dearly loved to chase the waves. The cold ocean was uncomfortable, then painful, then numbing. I suppose it made me a masochist, because if you got through the pain you could wade with impunity, feel the sand shift under your feet and the draw of the tide. Squish into the wet muck way down deep and when a wave washed over your ankles, your toe and heel, beneath the sand, were obliterated, nothing but two soft, elongated V's, etched in the sand by the water rushing around your legs. You could twist and wiggle and dig the mud into chunks, finally revealing cold toes and numb feet like strange pink pearls, and then, at the next wave, make them disappear again.

Daring the cold brought access to the best rocks for collecting, and the best shells. The smooth ones, the wet ones that still shimmered like jewels. And they were clean, the ocean made them so. From a young age I knew that anything past the scope of the tide was filthy. There was a line, a literal line of piled, brown seaweed and driftwood, that marked the clean places, the wet places. Beyond that there were cigarette filters, broken glass, pop tabs, bottle caps, and sharp, coarse sand that prickled. But the ocean, where it touched, made everything smooth and clean.

The ocean eats. The ocean obliterates. The ocean destroys.

So I learned, I guess. But I only remember thinking that it was cold, and it was nice that it was cold, but it would be nice to be warm again, too. At home there would be a shower, and a change of clothes, a shedding of sand and salt. Even before going into the car, you brushed off your legs and feet as best you could, and put on your shoes. And then, driving home, a delicious blossom of warmth when the heater kicked in. Perhaps we would purchase a drive-thru dinner, and a drive-thu dinner meant a meal and a toy.

I have good memories of the beach.

I have another memory, too. A confusing one, hazy and full of holes, like many of my earliest memories. More dream than memory. I have read and learned about the making of memories, and I know they are a distorted glass. Perhaps, by my age, the dream has eaten the memory, like the ocean eats the sand. But I do remember, and I was not dreaming then.

My mother and my grandmother (my mother's mother) took me by the hands, one on the left side, one on the right. They began to walk into the sea. The water was cold, and I was very small. I felt very small, and I do not remember them looking down at me, if they looked down at me, or speaking to me, if they spoke to me, and I do not remember any expression of intent. But I was small, and the world of adults was large and mysterious, and I'm sure many things explained went forgotten or misunderstood.

The water came over my feet, then to my waist. I do not remember if it ever came over my waist, because I became very afraid. I wanted to go back and they did not want to go back. I was afraid, I do not know of what, and I cried. They spoke to me, but I do not remember what they said. Perhaps they scolded, perhaps they only tried to reassure me, but I would not stop crying and we did not go any farther into the sea. I don't remember turning around, getting out and coming home, but we must have done, for I am here.

I thought, for a long time, that I was only afraid, like a little kid gets afraid, because I didn't understand what was happening or why. I thought I was probably stupid, for being afraid.

Now I am older, and I know more things. I know that my mother and grandmother both battled with depression. I know that at different times within my childhood, both of them became very sick. I know now that when my grandmother came to stay for a time and slept on the couch was because she was very sick, and would not eat, and my grandfather could not handle it alone. I know now that when my mother went away for a few days and I made a paper replica of her to kiss goodnight, that she had gone to a psychiatric facility to receive electro-convulsive therapy. I don't know if it helped any. There is much I don't know and will never know, but now I do know more.

I know that when people become suicidal, they sometimes decide to take others out with them. Maybe they are afraid to die alone, maybe they wish to spare their loved ones the pain of their death, or the pain of life itself. I cannot fathom the thoughts one must think, to make that decision and then to go through with it.

I know my mother and my grandmother held me by the hands and walked into the sea. The sea was cold, I was afraid, and I cried. This is all I know. I do not know what they intended. I do not know what would have happened if I hadn't cried.

Sometimes it is very hard to sleep.
 
2017-10-25 9:31:02 AM  
36 votes:
I posted the story ofmy friend Steve and the radioactive liquid speed before in these threads, and I think the time has come to add a bit to that story.Not about Steve, but about something odd that happened to me during my time serving Uncle Sugar as a submariner back in the Cold War.  I'm sure that I won't be able to do it justice.

I left INEL (Idaho National Engineering Laboratory) in August of 1980, and headed to the east coast to meet my boat, the USS Finback (SSN-670), where I was assigned to Reactor Controls division.I spent four years on the ol' Finlips (long story, basically due to the command's enthusiastic embracing of the BOHICA principle: Bend Over, Here It Comes Again.As nukes, we got screwed. A lot.After all, our shaft never stops), and we did a bunch of interesting stuff that I can't talk about, even now.There's a reason they call the submarine force the Silent Service: they have the mother of all non-disclosure agreements which never expires.

Sometimes boats will come back to port damaged in some way. Sometimes one of ours and one of theirs turned out to have been in the same operational area, and in the enthusiasm of the hunt and evasion, they bumped into each other. Hell, I remember a time when one of our boats came home with an exercise torpedo sticking out of its sail. The term "Crazy Ivan" (a sudden reversal of course) exists for a reason; Russian sonar wasn't as good as ours back then, and it was a way for them to say "back off, Yank" in no uncertain terms.We learned to maintain both horizontal and vertical separation, just to be on the safe side. (I highly recommend the book "Blind Man's Bluff," by Sherry Sontag, Christopher Drew and Annette Lawrence Drew for more on these shenanigans).Sometimes though, there were no other submarines operating in the area and boats came back banged up anyway.

It turns out that we and the Russians (Soviets back then) have lost some nuclear submarines at sea with no declared hostilities. The Russians lost seven (five during the soviet era). We lost two, the Thresher (SSN-593) and the Scorpion (SSN-589). There are official explanations, at least on our side; the Scorpion was lost in 1968, and there are as many explanations as there are submariners; officially it was due to charge reversal and resultant explosion of the ship's battery. Just what might have caused that to happen is left unexplained. The Thresher was lost in 1963 off the Atlantic coast due to an unexpected loss of electrical power and subsequent reactor shutdown, loss of propulsion and depth control. Now, just what in the world could cause an "unexpected loss of electrical power?" I wish I knew, because the thought of such a thing keeps me up nights-mainly because it happened to us, too.

This was sometime during the early 1980's, somewhere in the North Atlantic. Watch conditions were "shiat in the tanks, air in the banks, ahead 2/3rds going THAT way," and there were no sonar contacts to speak of when I was headed back to take the watch; I used to like to drop by the control room to see what was up on the "spook board" before heading back to my watch station in the maneuvering room in engineering. I was standing watch as RO (Reactor Operator) in front of the Reactor Plant Control Panel (RPCP); to my left was the Throttleman at the Steam Plant Control Panel (the SPCP, the Navy is REALLY into acronyms), to my right the Electrical Operator (at the EPCP, of course), and behind him was the Engineering Officer of the Watch (the EOOW), the officer nominally in charge of the aft half of the ship.

Since we were in the North Atlantic, the sea water was pretty cold.No big deal, mainly it just meant that the steam plant was more efficient than usual, and the AC plant didn't have to work as hard. The bunk spaces got a little chilly, but that's why they issued us blankets, right? Wear your socks to bed if you must, you lightweight non-qual dink puke. We were due for a field day (all hands turn-to and clean the ship), and the CO had arranged with higher for a Norwegian diesel boat to take our station while we pulled farther out to sea where the bad guys were less likely to hear us if we made some noise, and no sooner had we started in earnest when all hell broke loose.

Understand, we were in international waters but we were also right in Ivan's back yard, and when Ivan gets angry he doesn't hold much back. This time, it looked like he was angry enough to be starting WWIII; EVERYTHING came out of the ports we were hanging outside of; there were whole squadrons of aircraft dropping active sonobouys ahead of literally everything that could float charging out of the harbors with active sonars pinging away like mad.They had that poor Norwegian boat surrounded before he had a chance to get away.He was in a box of Krivak ASW ships continuously pinging at him; it had to have been awful. And all the rest of that stuff was coming our way.

I'm not an expert in submarine warfare, but I've read a lot of Tom Clancy, so I kind of figured out some of what had to have happened later on; at the time I was stuck in Maneuvering and only had data from the power plant, the depth gauge repeater and the seat of my pants. I know we did a lot of fancy twisting and turning, porpoising up and down in depth; basically trying to stay ahead of them in the places where they weren't listening. I don't think anybody knows whether the reds knew we were out there and intentionally herded us where they did, or if they just knew about whatever it was and inadvertently herded us into it in their effort to stay away from it; I just know what happened, and what happened to us was absolutely terrifying.

We train for just about every possible casualty in the Navy, and the scariest ones are not necessarily what you might think. You might think that flooding would be the worst, and "water in the people tank" is up there; but we train for that until our fingers are pruny in a damage control trainer in Groton Connecticut.Fire is MUCH worse underway, and will generally kill you in a more painful fashion. But the absolute worst is the loss of all AC power.

Imagine that you are trapped in a steel tube thirty feet in diameter and about 300 feet long, travelling at nearly 20 miles an hour more than 400 feet underwater (maybe quite a lot more than 400 feet underwater) in which literally everything is dependent upon electricity, and suddenly everything goes picth black.All the fans that supply breathable air, whose hum you edit out of conscious hearing, suddenly quit. Everything just goes dead, but no alarms are ringing because there is no power to set them off; silence. There's no air conditioning and no circulation, so suddenly it's stifling hot, and if you're even a little claustrophobic (and who isn't?) the walls suddenly seem a LOT closer than they were a moment ago. As Reactor Operator, you KNOW that the plant is not in a safe condition because the pumps that cool the reactor have stopped.The control rods have dropped shutting the reactor down (loss of power will do that), but that thing is HOT and always needs cooling water or really bad things will start to happen soonish. There was total silence for a few seconds as we were all stunned, then there was a lot of yelling, maybe even some screaming.Hell, some of it might have come from me.

Submarines are designed with multiple redundancies so that this sort of thing is not possible underway; nevertheless, there are systems that will kick in and save your ass. We have what are called "battle lanterns," battery powered lights we switch on if we lose power; the ships battery and motor/generator sets which supply power to the main electrical system likewise.We are NOT supposed to be able to lose AC power while underway.

But we did.

Not only did we lose AC, we lost the battery too.How the hell does a battery that weighs several tons not push out electrons? Batteries in ALL the battle lanterns died too, the instant we tried to turn them on. That, my friends, is the definition of terror. You're in the dark, an eighth of a mile underwater with an overheating nuclear reactor a few yards away, and half the laws of physics seem to have been suspended... and then you hit something.

There was nothing on the navigation charts, we checked them later.The ocean where we were was more than a mile deep.No other subs around; we would have heard them (the Russians were LOUD back then).We were too far south for icebergs at that time of year (this was before global warming was really hitting its stride, remember)... but the boat shuddered and rang as something large and very hard scraped down our starboard side.

We still had hydraulics for a bit coontil the pressure dropped and the pumps failed to kick in), and we still had steam from the residual heat in the reactor plant. Thank god the Navy had changed safety procedures after the Thresher, and our Main Steam Stops stayed open; that meant the turbines kept turning, and the screw kept spinning, and we coasted out the other side. We spent two and a half minutes in the dark before the lights came back on; the turbine generators had been spinning all along at full load, they just weren't supplying any power. The batteries all stayed dead, though.

Once we had power back, our training kicked in and we were able to recover from the multiple casualties and save the ship. Nobody ever talked much about it, but I assume that the captain put it in the logbook; something like, "unknown underwater phenomenon nearly a mile in diameter with hard central area suppressed all non-biological electrical activity near coordinates..."
 
2017-10-25 6:18:02 PM  
34 votes:
Sometimes people lose their way.

That was something my grandmother said, years and years ago.  I don't remember the context.  It's a thought that's stuck with me, something that comes back whenever I hear about tragedy or misfortune or someone's carefully built life crashing down around them.  It came back to me a few years ago, when I watched a good friend of mine lose his mind.

We had graduated high school and college together in a circle of friends; we'd spent Beach Week down at Nags Head year after year, all eight or nine of us, or whoever of us could get out of work and responsibilities for a week of debauchery.  As the years went by, fewer and fewer of us could make the trip, but we still stayed in touch.  We went to each other's weddings, we celebrated everyone's promotions.  Friends to the end, we said.

When Dan got married to a woman none of us liked or trusted, we still went to the wedding.  Dan was always the guy who did stupid things and got out of them unscathed by sheer luck; any of us could tell you a story about him and a drunken bet involving a bottle of rum and a roman candle that should, by all rights, have ended with him in the emergency room.  She probably wasn't completely bad; no one really is, but Dan had just landed a high-dollar job as a program manager for an aerospace firm, making more money than anyone we knew, and we all assumed she was a gold digger.  Well, Dan would stumble through it one way or another, we thought; what we didn't realize, I guess, was how much he actually loved her.  When I looked at her, I could only see trouble.

In the deep winter of the next year they had a daughter.  There were complications; I don't really know the details.  They named the poor girl Laura after Dan's grandmother.  At least Dan's high-dollar insurance paid for the transplants needed to give his daughter a coin's toss chance at surviving until puberty.

It was four years later that I got the call.  Anne, one of our circle of friends, gave me the news; little Laura was in the hospital again, this time with an opportunistic infection in her lungs.  Some wandering pathogen, seeing the weakened state of her immune system, had settled in with a vengeance.  The anti-rejection drugs that had kept her alive this long had simply left the door open for another monster to steal in.

We met at the hospital; Dan was composed, but brittle.  His wife was nowhere to be seen.  I didn't want to bring it up; maybe she was at home, sedated; maybe the tragedy had overcome her.  I can't imagine what could have lent Dan, poor dumb lucky Dan, the ability to stay strong through this mess; either courage or fatalism, I'm not sure.  Either way, when the ICU surgeon came in to ask to talk to Dan alone, and he had that look, Dan stayed composed.

His wife was not at the funeral, either.

I'm not brave enough to ask some questions, but Anne will never back down from anything.  Before the service started, she asked him directly: "Where's Brandy?  How's she doing?"

"I don't know," he said, staring off into the distance.  "She's gone."

"What?" Anne said.

"She cleaned out the bank account and maxed out the cards and disappeared.  I don't know where she is." He said this with a matter-of-fact expression, as if discussing the time of day.  No, more mechanical than anything, I thought; it was as if something inside of him had died and his shell was being kept alive on life support.

The wake was . . . strained.  Anne had to be physically dragged into a back room to keep her quiet; she was trying to find some clue of where Brandy had gone, so she could track her down and kick her ass.  The pastor from Dan's church was there, seeming befuddled and lost.  Dan himself picked at his food, as if waiting for his luck to change back to normal.  After a few hours, I couldn't take it anymore and left.  I made it to the bar to take my own dose of anti-rejection drugs, in my case hoping to stave off a rejection of the nihilism that's the only rational response to meaningless tragedy.

We kept an eye on Dan in the months that followed.  He seemed to stabilize.  He made it back to work, started putting his life back together.  In the times I caught up with him, he never really seemed his old self; it was as if some part of him had been cut out and left to rot on the floor of the operating room.  His wife, Brandy, never reappeared.  I never heard him mention her again.

Months passed.  I managed to get caught up in a project of my own at work, which devoured my time; development on some system or other was far behind schedule and I had to step in to try to stem the bleeding.  Ten hour days gave way to twelve hour days and somewhere along the line fall turned into winter.  The snow was falling one weekend evening as I staggered home and my phone rang.

"Jesus Christ," Anne said.  "I've been trying to call you for hours.  Where the fark have you been?"

"Meetings," I said.  It was true; I'd had my phone off most of the day.  "Why? What's going on?"

"Dan," she said.  "He's lost his shiat.  You need to talk to him, you're the only one he talks to."

"Where is he?"

"His house.  He's been there for weeks, far as I can tell.  I think he quit his job."

"Oh, Jesus.  Did his wife show back up or something?"

"I don't know.  Get the hell over here, he needs you."

When a friend needs you, you go.  You don't make excuses, you don't worry about how exhausted you are, you go.  Anne had gone; I met her at the door to his house.  She looked pissed off, which wasn't unusual.

Dan was a mess.  The house was a mess; dirty dishes were piled in the sink.  Dirty laundry was everywhere else.  A few small patches of order showed where Anne had been trying to make a difference; they barely stood out against the rest of the trashed house.  Dan himself was disheveled, wearing a dirty bathrobe with a bandage on the side of his neck.  Anne, furious at what had happened to our friend, was no help; I pushed her out the door and told her to come back and check on him in the morning.

"Dan, what's going on?" I asked, once she was gone.

He shrugged lifelessly.  He looked weak and hungry.  I debated washing some dishes to cook something, assuming he even had any food left in the house, and ordered a pizza instead.  He liked those god-awful Hawaiian pizzas with pineapple, so I ordered one of those.  I said he was a friend; I didn't say he had any taste.

When he was distracted with food I checked the house.  I couldn't find any evidence of drugs or alcohol abuse; he had fewer empty bottles in the trash than I did at my place.  I didn't see any prescriptions.  Only . . . only in the baby room, little Laura's old bed room on the second floor, a window had been broken for what must have been some time.  Water had run down the wall from it; the wall was slick and dark with black mold or slime.

A scrapbook was open on Dan's bed.  It was filled with baby pictures of Laura.  I closed it and put it on the dresser.

"Jesus, man, you gotta tell me what's going on," I said.  "It's me.  Remember, you can talk to me about anything.  Anything."

He shook his head, still staring off into the distance.  As he moved, the bandage on his neck slipped slightly.  The skin underneath looked gray and dead.

"What the hell did you do to your neck?"  I asked.  "Have you gone to a doctor?  Wait, don't answer that.  Your ass is getting in my car right now, and we're going to the-"

He shook his head again.  "She . . ." he trailed off.

"She?" I repeated.

"She kissed me." was all he would say.

"Who?" I demanded.  My skin was crawling.  Something about the hollow way he looked at me sent shivers down my spine.  "Who?  Brandy?  Did Brandy-"

"Laura," he whispered.

What do you say to something like that?  Laura was dead.  She had been in the ground for months.  How do you tell someone that their child was dead, and wasn't coming back?  How do you tell your friend that he's losing his mind, that months of the grief he must have been covering or pretending to ignore had piled up, had come crashing down on him as an avalanche that had swept his feet out from under him, leaving him lost and confused and having no idea what was real anymore?

Sometimes people lose their way, I imagined my grandmother saying.

"Look," I said, groping for words.  "Listen.  You're exhausted.  You're not making sense. You need to get some sleep.  I'm gonna get you a sleeping pill.  I want you to take it, and I want you to relax.  We're gonna get all this sorted out, but I need you to be strong for me.  Can you do that?"

He nodded weakly.  "I don't know what's going on," he said.

I found a bottle of sleeping pills in the bathroom and made him take two, washing them down with a glass of water I rinsed out in the sink.  They must have started taking effect almost immediately, as his eyes started to droop.

I dragged enough dirty laundry off of the bed to make a space for him and led him into it.  "Anne's going to be here in the morning," I said.  "She's going to take you to get someone to look at your neck.  Jeez, man, that looks almost as bad as the time Barry got drunk and burned his leg with the hibachi at beach week, remember that?"

For a moment, a ghost of a smile flickered across his face.  Then it was gone.  "Laura, she-"

I didn't want to hear whatever he might say.  At the same time, I couldn't think of any way to stop him.  He breathed deeply for a moment.

"She  . . . she kisses me.  I don't how to say no to her.  All she ever wanted was to be kissed."

I was having a hard time seeing.  "She was a good girl."

He looked at the wall for a moment.  "If something bad happens . . . I want you to . . . I want you to take the scrapbook.  Her pictures," he said. "I want someone to take care of them.  Someone who knows what they mean."

"I'll . . . I'll take care of them.  But you, you're going to get some sleep.  Okay?  Anne's going to be here in the morning."

He nodded, and closed his eyes.

I turned off the light and closed the door.  I felt awful; I don't know if it was a premonition or simple existential despair; either way I poured the bottle of sleeping pills into the toilet and collected every sharp object I could find from the house.  He didn't have any guns that I knew of or could find.  If something bad did happen to him, it wouldn't be by his own hand, whatever his mental state might be.

I pulled his house key from his keyring and hid it under a rock near the front door for Anne on the way out, texting her with its location and a 'get him to dr in am'.  Her 'kk' response was almost immediate.  She must have been waiting for something from me.

 For almost a full minute I simply stood there, watching the snow fall, savoring the cold; and then I remembered the black mold or slime on the wall under the broken window and shivered in a way that the cold couldn't explain.

When Anne called me in the morning she was crying.  I had never heard her cry before.  I couldn't make out any words, but it didn't matter; her voice told me everything I needed to know.

The police wanted to talk to me, of course.  I was the last one who'd seen Dan alive.  They wanted to know why I had taken all of the knives and sharp objects from his house, what we'd talked about.  I told them almost everything, for what it was worth.  I felt guilty, like I should have stayed with him or I should have called someone, or, I dunno, something.  I should have done something more.  I said all of this to the cops, while I wallowed in self-loathing.  They didn't seem to care.  I think their entire involvement was a perfunctory checking-off-all-the-boxes effort; the case had already been ruled a death-by-misadventure.  Sometime in the middle of the night he had crawled through the broken, slime-streaked window in Laura's room and fallen to the concrete sidewalk twenty feet below.  An autopsy would rule if his death had come from trauma or from freezing, they said, a question for which I had no interest in the answer.

The only thing I didn't tell them was Dan's last request for me to take Laura's pictures and take care of them.  I pictured Brandy coming back to the house, and in my mind's eye I saw her throwing them away.  I couldn't make the words form in my mouth.  I said nothing.  When they were done with me, I went back to his house.

The key was under the rock where I'd left it for Anne.  I half expected the place to be strung with police tape like some scene from a drama, but the only change I could see was a sheet of plastic someone had stretched over the broken window.  Inside, the air had a still, heavy quality; a sickly-sweet odor lingered I hadn't noticed the night before.  It smelled like decay.  Probably the garbage, which hadn't been taken out for who knows how long; maybe the black mold in the bedroom above.

I went to the master bedroom and found the scrapbook, on the dresser where I had left it.  For a moment, I debated opening it to see again the pictures of Laura that Dan had apparently valued over anything else, and instead held it firmly shut.  I don't know what I was feeling, or I can't put it into words.  My friend was dead, and in my uselessness I had done nothing to prevent it.  I felt dizzy; maybe I was coming down with the flu.  Maybe I had been spending too much time freezing in the winter air.  Maybe it was what I deserved.

After a moment I opened the scrapbook and looked at all that was left of Laura and Dan.  She had been a beautiful kid, I thought.  At least there was that.

I heard a sound from Laura's room.

Part of me pictured Brandy lurking in the bedroom of the dead child and I was instantly livid.  I pushed the door open, ready to demand answers, and was rooted to the spot when I saw what was inside.

Laura was standing in the black slime below the broken window.  She held her arms out, as if asking for a kiss.

"No," I said, stunned.

She held her arms out to me, again, palpably there and yet . . . my mind refused to work.  She wanted a kiss.  All she ever wanted was to be kissed, Dan had said.  In my stunned state I could see her clearly; warm, full of life.

And covered with thin black strands of the black mold or slime under the window.

"You're not Laura," I said.  It was as if my mouth were working on its own.  "I don't know what you are, but you're not Laura, Laura's dead."

I trailed off and all at once she wasn't there.  All that was left, or had ever been there, was a sickening growth of slime, some kind of opportunistic fungal growth slowly digesting the house itself.  I fled in panic and never looked back.

I don't know what it was that I saw.  Almost certainly it was nothing.  Almost certainly, it was a hallucination brought on by grief and guilt and stress.  The black mold Laura could not have been anything other than a figment of my overworked mind.  I know that much at least.  I never mentioned what I saw to Anne or anyone else; not that anyone ever asked.  When I made it home I poured a stiff drink that turned into three and then turned into more until it was enough that I could pretend to have forgotten the whole sorry hallucination.  It had to be nothing.

It had to be nothing, because if it was something, than it was nothing more than an opportunistic infection of a mind, of a spirit already broken by loss and pretending to be okay in front of his friends so they couldn't see his pain.  If that were true, then we would have failed him badly by not being there for him until it had taken everything from him that was left.  Perhaps Dan hadn't lost his way after all; perhaps he had simply been led astray in the darkness.

Perhaps I had been able to reject it, as my own immune system for madness had not yet been worn down by tragedy and despair.  Or, even worse; perhaps it, as a predator, had simply had its fill for the moment and only toyed with me out of instinct, letting me go when it had no desire to feed.

I still have Dan's scrapbook.  He'd asked me to keep it safe, after all.  Every so often I pull it down from the shelf and look at the cover, but I never open it.
 
2017-10-25 11:52:57 AM  
34 votes:
This is my entry. I wrote this story for the October Ladies of Horror Flash Project. It's a monthly writing exercise using a picture prompt. Below are the link to the original, my picture for October, and the story. If you like it, please go to the site and "like" the post and comment. Thanks! :) Enjoy the story. :D

https://ninadarc.wordpress.com/2017/1​0​/24/ladies-of-horror-flash-project-hor​ror-author-e-a-black-elizabethablack-s​otet_angyal-loh-fiction-5/

img.fark.netView Full Size


The Blind Date
by E.A. Black

'Where are you?' Jeanette texted. It was the third time she asked. She hated it when men kept her waiting.

'Here.' Her phone pinged. It took him over a minute to return her text. What was he, some kind of Luddite?

She climbed the steep stairs past the wrought iron gate towards the abandoned Hasker mansion. The place had been in disrepair for decades. Didn't anyone own it? The brick monstrosity was a real fixer-upper, if you didn't mind lead paint peeling from the walls and poisoned water from bad pipes.

'Where is here? I'm on the stairs. Out of breath, if you may ask.'

'In the ballroom.' he texted after 45 seconds. At this rate, she'd be inside the house before she caught up with him.

The tall wooden door creaked as she used all her strength to push it open. She was surprised it was unlocked but people had been breaking into the Hasker mansion for as long as she knew it existed. The lock to the front door was broken. She walked into the yawning foyer and texted him again.

'You're in the ballroom?'

'The ballroom.' 30 seconds this time. His speed was improving.

Jeanette had been on blind dates several times but never before had she been on a blind date to a mansion haunted by demons. Both she and Steve discovered they had a taste for the macabre and chose the Hasker mansion as their first date. As long as they didn't get caught by the police, all was cool.
She walked to the ballroom but didn't see him anywhere.

'Where are you? I'm in the ballroom but I don't see you.' she texted.

Her phone rang. It was Steve.

"Jeanette, my car won't start. I'm stuck in my driveway. You want to do something else tonight or is it a rain check?"

A chill descended upon her. "You're not at the mansion?"

"No. I'm home. Why? Are you there?"

"Have you been texting me?"

"No."

"If it wasn't you, then who was it?"

Her phone pinged again. She looked at her text message and her blood ran cold.

'Turn around.'
 
2017-10-25 10:21:46 AM  
27 votes:
When me and my husband were about to have our first baby the house hunting began.  We had lived in a small 2 bedroom apartment for a few years, but thought a home with a nice yard was absolutely necessary when raising a kid, also i love to garden and the small potted plants outside the window wasn't cutting it.  The pre-approval process and house hunting with our idiot realtor could have been the scary story, but actually, we didn't end up buying a house at this time.  After a few months of house hunting and not finding anything within our budget we could both agree too we talked through it a little more, realistically an infant is not going to be playing in a yard, we have at least a few more years before it becomes a real concern, and i work full time anyway, so my gardening hobby it's all that important.  So we stuck around the apartment until Camden was 3 and i was pregnant again, this time we were much better prepared for finding a home, and instead of going with a traditional realtor we used RedFin.  After a few weeks we found what looked like the perfect house, it was quaint cottage type house in a good neighbor hood, 3 bedrooms, 2 baths, nice kitchen, good playroom in the basement.  The yard was fenced in, and bare soil neatly bordered the outside of the house, with a matching border bordering the inside of the fence.  Lush green grass sprawled between the two borders, in the spring this would be the perfect place for a garden.  We quickly contacted our agent and made a bid on the house, it was at the high end of the other houses in the neighborhood but still will within our budget. At closing we found out the previous owner had died in his late 50's, and his adult children were selling the house.  They told us their dad was a jack-of-all trades guy who would do all of his own house repairs, but also had a full-time job as an entomologist.  That was interesting, but also kind of boring, we just wanted to close on the house and start getting moved in.  At the end of closing, besides the key, they also gave us their dad's journal, telling us he insisted that whomever buys the house take the journal to get a history of everything he's done on the house.  Again, interesting, but we don't plan on making any major changes, so i throw the journal in my shoulder bag.  We move in early-fall, Halloween in the new neighborhood goes off without a hitch, everyone is very friendly.  During Christmas the whole family is very cheery around a nice fireplace.  As spring approaches my work tells me I will be making an off-site visit across the country in a month.  I look at my schedule, and plan day off before the trip, as those with an infant and toddler know, you don't really have time to do anything, unless you get a day off from everyone.  The day before the trip i drop the kids off at day-care, and begin working on the garden.  I probably won't have another real day to get this done so i go to town on everything, I go to an organic supermarket and ask them what grows best in the area, and then follow up buying all that organic fruit.  I always thought, why use one seed when you can use giant bunch of them.  I cut the fruit into slices and bury them in neat patch all around the border.  I do the same with the vegetables, i'm not exactly a gardening expert, but this seems like it should work.  After a long day the entire garden has been turned and planted.  I shower pick up the kids, and we all go out for dinner before my trip.  In the morning I give my kids a kiss on the forehead as the are still sleeping, and give my husband an affectionate goodbye before driving to the airport.  After the trip, and the meetings, i'm back in the hotel, i've Skyped the family and their having fun, but due to a 3 hr difference i'm still wide awake when they go to bed.  I watch TV for a few hours, then go through my shoulder bag to makes sure I have all my things before my trip back tomorrow.  I find the homeowners journal still in my bag and chuckle, what the heck do we need a journal for?  I toss it towards the garbage bin, but it misses and flops open to near the end of the journal, the top of the page is titled:

DO NOT GARDEN IN THIS YARD

I feel a pit in my stomach as i retrieve the journal, going back to the beginning it's all a boring account of normal housekeep, but towards the end every page is titled "DO NOT GARDEN IN THIS YARD".

I go back to the first page with this claim:

I'm not sure how it happened, but on my last trip to Australia, a Bulldog ant must have somehow came back with me.  I didn't realize this until I was working in the garden and felt an incredible pain in my hand.  I was shocked at what I saw, but what's more concerning is it didn't look exactly like a Bulldog Ant, it also looked a little like Argentine Ant.  I know these are invasive throughout the US, but I've never heard of these two ants mating.  The Argentine ants reproduce incredible quickly, so once i noticed what bit me i did a through search of the house and some had made it inside.  I immediately bought multiple containers of pesticide (sorry bugs), and sprayed the entire garden.  Know these bugs, i'm going to have to rip the gardens out to prevent them from expanding.

Next Page:

I think i've gotten rid of any of the ants that made it into the house, when i sprayed yesterday the fled either into the house or into the lawn.  Luckily, they hadn't expanded enough to make a significant impact on the house.  Knowing how fast they move, and how quickly they can kill, i still didn't sleep through the night, I need to be sure there are none in the house before i attempt to sleep again.

Next Page:

I'm fairly certain the house is clear, i'm spraying the gardens with pesticides every day to be sure they are not expanding, i'm going to rent a hotel room for the night so i can actually get some sleep.

Next Page:

I'm fairly certain the house is clear, i'm spraying the gardens with pesticides every day to be sure they are not expanding, i'm going to rent a hotel room for the night so i can actually get some sleep.

Next Page:

I'm officially saying the house is clear, I haven't seen them for two days, i think i'll leave some food out by the door to see if they come in.  I'm spraying everyday now, so i doubt it, I've also begun spraying the lawn.  I'm pretty sure it's been contained.

Next Page:

The food was completely clear, i'm officially going to sleep back in my house tonight.  Sprayed the yard and borders again, this time i put food out on the borders, and the lawn, hopefully this menace has been handled.

Next Page:

Well the food on the borders were clear, but the food on the lawn was completely devoured.  I'm continuing to spray and set up food, they appear to be in this for the long haul.

Next Page: Lawn food still devoured
Next Page: Lawn food still devoured
Next Page: Lawn food still devoured
Next Page: Lawn food still devoured
Next Page: Lawn food still devoured
Next Page: Lawn food still devoured
Next Page: Lawn food still devoured
Next Page: Lawn food still devoured
Next Page: Lawn food still devoured
Next Page: Lawn food still devoured
Next Page: Lawn food still devoured
Next Page: Lawn food still devoured
Next Page: Lawn food still devoured
Next Page: Lawn food still devoured
Next Page: Lawn food still devoured
Next Page: Lawn food still devoured

I think i'm going to vomit.  I call my husband, pick-up, pick-up, pick-up, pick-up, he answers groggy.  He says hello then "ewe", he tells me something was crawling on his phone.  He turns on the light and then goes into a panic, "they're everywhere", almost on queue i hear the children begin wailing in the background.
 
2017-10-31 5:54:55 PM  
26 votes:
Even as a writer, I have to ask:

Anyone else like these threads better when every story was supposedly real, as opposed to being full of five-page long things that with fictional characters and drafts in the Writers Threads?
 
2017-10-25 7:35:08 AM  
25 votes:
Neither of these are mine, but this thread will soon be replete with creepypasta.

He Stood Against My Window

I don't know why I looked up, but when I did I saw him there. He stood against my window. His forehead rested against the glass, and his eyes were still and light and he smiled a lipstick-red, cartoonish grin. And he just stood there in the window. My wife was upstairs sleeping, my son was in his crib and I couldn't move I froze and watched him looking past me through the glass.

Oh, please no. His smile never moved but he put a hand up and slid it down the glass, watching me. With matted hair and yellow skin and face through the window.

I couldn't do anything. I just stayed there, frozen, feet still in the bushes I was pruning, looking into my home. He stood against my window.

Annoying Neighbour

I used to live in a small building downtown. One of the reasons I moved out was the bad neighbourhood, including this guy in the apartment right over mine. It was a weird looking fella who mostly kept to himself. Around midnight though, there was frequently a strange noise that got on my nerves. It wasn't loud, to be fair, but I sleep really lightly so it was hard to get my eyes shut with those little bumping sounds going on and on. It reminded me of high heels walking about, but not as loud, as if the person causing the noise was actually trying to be silent. After a few days, i realised the pattern was always the same, like a recording played over and over with random intervals in between. And that went on for the best part of an year, always the same sequence of bumps, slowly tattooed into my mind, sometimes for hours straight during the night.

It was only several years later, helping my daughter with her homework, that I learned a little bit of Morse code. She knocked on the table with her knuckles and a shiver immediately went through my spine as I recognised that exact pattern. When I asked her what it meant, she laughed.

"It's the easiest one, Daddy" she said. "It's the one to call for help.".
 
2017-10-31 12:40:27 AM  
24 votes:
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.
 
2017-10-25 9:11:28 AM  
22 votes:
"Family Cries"

Huffert lay in his crib, frozen in abject fear. He saw it move this time, he knew it. He thought he'd seen it out of the corner of his eye before, but now he was absolutely sure. That dangling thing with the things hanging from it suspended above him threateningly, especially the dangling thing with the many arms and the big head that gave him nightmares. He cried himself to sleep every night ever since dad put it there. Really, what sort of thing needed that many limbs? He did just fine with four. All Huffert knew, other than that this thing moved, was that dad must hate him.

Huffert couldn't take his eyes off the many-limbed thing. He saw it move, and he was determined to see it do so again while he was watching it. Watching it like a - well, like a thing which had really sharp eyesight and a propensity for watching things with unwavering intensity. Whatever such a thing could be, that was Huffert. He really had no idea what he was going to do if he did see it move, but he figured he would deal with that if - no, when it happened.

And it did. The excessively belimbed thing slowly started descending toward him, bit by terrifying bit, and Huffert realized that his body had already decided for him what he was going to do next by the sudden expansion and increase in temperature in the seat of his diapers. Unfortunately, this didn't seem to help, and the thing was right above him now, slowly sinking down below his field of view, underneath his chin, sliding around his neck. Huffert figured this would probably be a good time to cry.
Within a few moments, Huffert heard the dull thump of feet tromping their way toward his room. The polypedal demon, now nearly coiled entirely around his neck, suddenly and rapidly recoiled back to its constellation of blackest evil above his crib.

-

Jep padded groggily toward his son's room, cracking a profound yawn and trying to clear his head. Who needed an alarm clock when you had a baby? At least this time he waited until it was almost time to get up for work anyway before he started crying. He opened the door to his son bawling away as infants did for just about any and every reason. Cooing and hushing quietly, he reached down into the crib and gently picked Huffert up in his arms, careful not to hit his head on the ocean-themed mobile. Huffert seemed to cry even louder the closer he got to it; maybe he didn't like fish.

Once he had the baby comfortably over his shoulder he realized the other reason for the tantrum. As a new father, he understood and was prepared for the fact that he would have to change diapers. What nobody did or could prepare him for was the degree of horror this act often involved. It gave him an appreciation for sewer workers.

Jep changed Huffert's diaper as quickly and efficiently as one is able to when one is dealing with it like the disposal of a roadkill skunk, and after getting him cleaned up and freshly diapered, brought him into the kitchen for breakfast.

-

So the demon thing was afraid of dad. Good to know. Once Huffert was removed from his crib and had the less effective of his defense mechanisms cleared away and fresh diapers applied, he felt a lot better. For now, anyway. He was hoisted over dad's shoulder, which he hung on to. Mom was up now, too, and as they entered the kichen he was handed over to her. Mom rubbed his back. It felt nice.

As his mother turned around, Huffert was able to see dad, who was bringing out a new chair for him to eat at. His other one had broken somehow, so dad had gotten him a new one, and this was apparently it. Dad set it down near the table where the grown-ups ate. The chair seemed to be grinning at him.

Grinning. It was grinning. Maliciously. He could feel the evil coming off of it. He thought he heard a low, quiet, rumbling sort of demonic chuckle. It wanted to eat him. It was going to eat him, and his parents were going to feed him to it; dad lifted the hinged table - its mouth - for him to sit in. They were going to place him right in its mouth! They were going to place him in its mouth and it was going to eat him! How could they do this to him?

Huffert began to bawl.

-

Jep took Huffert from Marble, his wife, and over to the chair. "Wow, he's really crying. I don't think he likes this chair."
"Oh, don't worry," his wife said. "He'll stop crying once he gets fed."
"I suppose," Jep replied, seating Huffert in the high chair and swinging the table back down over his head. Huffert seemed to be trying to keep him from doing that, but he moved his little hands out of the way and set it down, where it locked in place with a click.

Jep returned to his wife at the counter, who had retrieved a jar of strained peas from the cupboard and a spoon from the drawer, handing them to him. "Your turn," she said, opening the jar.
Jep took the spoon and jar and turned back toward Huffert, whose crying had abruptly stopped.
Huffert wasn't there.
"Huffert?" Jep called.
Marble turned at Jep's call with a sudden look of concern on her face. "Huffert?" she echoed, noticing the empty chair.
"Huffert!" Jep called more loudly.
"He must have slipped out of his chair," Marble offered.
"But where? I only had my back turned for a second!"
"Huffert!" they called in unison, slowly looking around the kitchen for the wayward child, but finding no one.
"Check the guest room," Jep said to his wife. "I'll check the living room."
Jep entered the living room and began searching under the coffee table, behind the couch, and in any area where Huffert might have been hiding, but with no luck.
"He's not in here!" Jep called to Marble. "Any luck?"
There was no response.
"Honey?" Jep called again, but again was met with silence. He made his way to the guest room, but found it empty.
"Marble!" Jep called, now starting to panic. "Huffert!"

He started dashing around the house, checking rooms, overturning things, looking in places that weren't even large enough to contain a human of any size, just in case. He ran upstairs, dashed into the bedroom and flung open the walk-in closet, flipping through pants, blazers, dresses, just in case this was some sort of elaborate hide & seek prank, but nobody was there. He turned to leave.

The door slammed. A rumbling, gutteral chuckle came from behind him. Jep turned. He screamed.

-

Jep suddenly bolted awake with a scream to the sound of a baby crying. He had it again. The same nightmare he had been having for two weeks now. He could never fully remember it when he awoke, but he knew it involved his family disappearing, and it always left him with a profound feeling of dread.
His wife, Marble, stirred beside him. "That dream again?" she said, straining the words around the remnants of sleep.
"Yeah," Jep replied with a heavy sigh.

Jep got up, shoved his feet into his slippers, and padded groggily toward his son's room, cracking a profound yawn and trying to clear his head. Who needed an alarm clock when you had a baby?
 
2017-10-25 8:24:20 AM  
22 votes:
Sorry, not an actuaL story, but this thread is as good a place as any to mention that Harper&Row have finally pulled their heads out of their asses and rereleased the old "Scary stories to tell in the dark" books with all of the original artwork intact. Anyone with younger kids in the family might want to grab a set or two before someone at the publisher pusses out again.
 
2017-10-30 8:41:08 PM  
21 votes:
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 7:55:13 PM  
21 votes:
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.
 
2017-10-31 10:02:06 AM  
20 votes:
Most of my ghost stories aren't really scary, they're kind of nice.  Most recently:

My mom's best friend died of cancer in December of last year.  We grew up with her family, she and my mom have been friends for 35 years.  My mom doesn't make friends very easily so it's been rough.  My dad and I both had the same dream-we were in her house for a holiday meal (we did thanksgiving and xmas with them) and she was busting around. The dreams were exactly the same.  We both asked her what she was doing there, because she was dead.  She kind of waved her hands dismissively at us and said "I was dead, but I went away and now I'm fine.  Don't worry about it."

My dad is a very practical guy, an engineer, and he was completely freaked out that we'd had the same dream.

A month or so after her death I was sitting at a red light near my job.  The light turns green, and I go to hit the gas.  Right then I feel someone's arm hit me across the chest-it's a move my mom pulls all the time when she thinks there's going to be a car accident, she'd hit the brakes and throw an arm over whoever was in the passenger seat.

But I was in the drivers seat, and I was by myself.  I feel this arm hit my chest, and I hit the brakes.  Right then a car screams through the intersection, running the red light at about 60 mph.  If they'd hit me, it would have been on my side, and I'm sure I'd be dead.  Sue's still looking out.
 
2017-10-30 11:50:40 PM  
19 votes:
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
 
2017-10-30 9:38:38 PM  
19 votes:
  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 7:07:21 PM  
19 votes:
I was visiting someone at a nursing home. The lady in the next room was sitting in a wheelchair with her eyes closed. As I was leaving my friend's room, the lady in the next room opened her eyes when I looked at her. I stepped in and said hello. She asked me to kill her. I was shocked. I asked why. She said "You know why". Then shut her eyes again.
As I was leaving, I told the nurse. She said that it was impossible. The patient was near comatose and had been non communicative for a long time.
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2017-10-25 8:45:50 AM  
19 votes:
(Work in progress.  Needs more ghost splaining)

The 1st Iraqi Ghost Tank Battalion

2024 Saudi - Iraq border 2300hrs

The M1A1E glided quietly over the desert.Propelled by hydrogen oxygen fuel cells, it was almost deadly quiet.  Spread out behind it in a wing formation were 8 more tanks and four eBradleys.  Tank Commander looked through the periscope.The BattleNet Operator or Tank Nerd looked at the Tank Commander and spoke up over the intercom."Drones report ISN armor is still 40 clicks away, TC.  You aren't gonna see anything but sand and sky for a while yet.  Apaches and Commanches are inbound.  By the time we get there, it'll be scraps."

Tank Commander looked through the periscope.  Directly ahead was a soft green glow.  "Slow down," TC said."There's something out there."

Tank Nerd: "Drones were over this area 100 times.  Nothing out there but sand.  "TN looked through his site.  "Weird.  Maybe it's bad optics or the reflection of the lights of a nearby city or oilfield.   You see all kinds of weird stuff out here."

TC repeated "Slow down.  I'm not taken us in to an ambush.  Get a drone to do another flyover."

"You're the boss, boss."  TN tapped his screen and sent the request.   "One drone inbound.ETA 7 minutes.  But we'll get a good view when the Apaches flyover.  Their ETA is 3 minutes.  They'll go right over it and you'll see it's nothing."

TC cursed under his breath.  He wanted to warn the flyboys but they'd wouldn't stop to pee on a burning tank.  Maybe it's just the jitters, he thought to himself.  The Apaches will fly over in 3 and in 15 they'll be reducing ISN's armored force to scrap.  They should go back to full speed, TN thought.  Go through this mirage and get the remains of ISN.

Tank Driver spoke up."I see it too, TC.It's not just your drinking problem.  Keep on course?"

"Stay on course, TD.  But keep your eyes open."

"Apaches and Comanches overhead."TN said over the intercom.  He didn't need to.  The noisy gas turbine engines and even the laminated blades still made the helicopters louder than the tanks and APCs.  "They're going to fly right over the green.  We'll have some good video on the BattleNet in no time."

TC watched the helicopters fly ahead in to the darkness.  For a moment, they were nearly overhead and then they were gone.  No running lights.  Just black silhouettes against a starry sky.  They were too high to be backlighted by the low green glow still on the horizon.Maybe the nerd was right.  Just an illusion.

"The helicopters are gone!" yelled TN over the intercom.  He didn't need to use the IC, everyone in the tank heard him.  "They're gone.Off the screens.  Visual, heat, electronic.  Everything!"

"Maybe they went under the radar," TD said nervously."  Just swooped in."

"Naw," TN replied.  We have full sweeps and active satellite.  They flew over the site and just disappeared.  One moment they were.  Next, they weren't"

TC said "Change course.  Take us to the left and give us a wide margin.  Keep everyone behind us behind us.  I don't want the right flank getting close to that.   Whatever it is.  Let 2nd Brigade know that we're swinging their way.  Let's hope the Apaches pop out back up.  We've had glitches on BattleNet before.  If not, we're goin to meet ISN first.  Be ready."

Tank Nerd spoke up "Everyone's been updated.  Drone's got a long look at the place.  It doesn't see anything on heat, EM.   Too far for a good visual but I am seeing green.  This is coming from the east so what I know about optical illusions, they don't work from two different directions.

"This is close to where we went over in '91," TC said.  "My father was near here.   Further south.  He made contact with a lot of Iraqi T-72s.  He said the anti-tank round went right through them.  So fast, they just vaporized the people in the tank.  Little people chucks blown out the tank's exit wound.  Just imagine.  One moment you're doing tank stuff, the next you're ham salad all over the desert.  Do you think it might have registered that you're dead?  That you've ceased to be?  What about the soul of the tank?  We think this old bucket's got a heart and soul.  We've all said that.  Remember how she doesn't like starting on raining mornings back at Knox?  Always takes two tries to get the juice flowing.  Even if she was in the shed all night and bone dry.  Just she just doesn't like getting wet.  Maybe those are ghost tanks and ghost tankers out there."

"You are one creepy drunk, TC" TD replied.  "Could be the ISN just blew up some chemicals this afternoon and those idiot pilots flew through it without their masks.  We're 100 percent protected from Nuclear, Biological and Chemical attacks.  I over pressurized the compartment.  Whatever is out there will stay out there.  You'll see, TC.  Just war crap."

"It's off to our right," TN announced."  Track 7 will come to about two miles of it.  Johnson will be the closest.  He's pressurized and watching.  We're still getting his feed...  Aw... Seven just went dark!  They lost power!  Track 5 is turning around.  What do we do?"

"We don't leave them behind.  Have the Bradleys and the left wing attach themselves to second brigade.  Us and the right wing will swing back for 7.  One and three will move in behind 5.   Do we have a visual from the drone?  Anything.

TN:"I have a distant shot of 7.  It's just sitting there.  No EM.  Regular heat from the crew.  Whatever happened to it affected even the batteries.  I not even getting a blip on the drone's EM wavelength.  Aw geeze, TC.  5 just stopped.  Everything but heat is gone on them too.  Bout 50 yards this side of 7.  This is not good."

"Let everyone know to avoid this area.  Put everything you've got on the BattleNet with a priority flag.  Have three stay back.  We'll catch up to them and get a real visual.  Get a couple of recovery vehicles brought up for 5 and 7.  Most important, let's recover the crews and protect the tanks in case this is an attack."

"What kind of attack could this be?"TD asked nervously.

"Well, if it isn't ghosts, then it has to be some kind of electromagnetic jamming.  Chemical wouldn't stop all the electronics. ISN set up some kind of giant EM pulse weapon?  Dumb place to put it."

"Plus it would show up on our scans and all our vehicles are supposed to be protected against EM pulses.  Also, it wouldn't affect our batteries.  TC, your idea of Iraqi ghost tankers is making more sense.  Sad to say."

"Just a stupid, stupid thought."TC said.  "Anything from the drone?"

TN:"Drone is at 3 thousand meters.  Three times higher than when the Apaches flew over.  I'm keeping it away from the glow zone.  I got a thermal on 7.  Looks like the guys are bailing on it.  Got three separate signatures.  Now two.  They must be bunching up..."

"Have three wave a light at them.  Let them know we're here," TC said.  "But make sure it's directly at 7 and 5's area.  Everyone else stays in their tracks and stays back."

"Now two signatures.  Must be on top of each other...  Track 7 is completely cold.  Only showing up on visual.  Not even the electrical motors...  They're gone."

"Gone!?  What do you mean 'gone', Nerd?"

"They were on heat, moving towards 5.  Now they're gone.  No heat.  If they fell in a hole, it was a mighty deep one.   Now, three's crew is leaving the track.  Three good sigs.  Oh gawd."

"What?"

"All gone.  No heat.  They were nowhere near 7."

TD:"I vote we back up.  Maybe to Kentucky..."

TC:Good idea.  Nerd, tell 3 to reverse it too.  Don't turn around.   Just back it up.  Try and get the drone closer.  There has to be a reason..."

TD:"3 just stopped, TC.  This cannot be good.  They're just 50 feet that way," he said pointing right.

"Driver, back us up, full speed.  Look for the crew from 3."

Then everything went quiet and dark.

Three people cursed the exact same words.  Outside, there were screams.  Horrible screams and then silence.

TC:  "Time to bail.  Meet me 50 yards directly behind the track.  Run now!"

Because there was no power, Tank Nerd had to push the automatic loader out of the way.  Then he was up and out of the turret, his rifle in one hand and a portable satellite phone in the other.  He was standing on the turret when TC came up.  Down in the front, TD was coming out of the driver's port.  He reached in for his rifle and then started to jump off the track's left side.  His boots never hit the sand.  He screamed as something grabbed him and pulled him 10 feet up in the air.  He hovered there struggling and screaming until he just ceased to exist.  It looked like he was blown to bits.

"Drop your rifle, Nerd.  Put your hands up!"  TC yelled.  "Surrender!"

The nerd dropped his rifle and did as TC said.  They both started slowly moving off the turret.  Hands in the air.  Things were swirling around them.  There was a palpable taste of hatred everywhere.  TC jumped off the track with his hands up.  He started moving away from the tank.  Things moved around him.  Nerd was still on the track.  He had come down off the turret and was standing on the back.  Suddenly, there was a sound and Nerd went up.  Nerd's 9 mm pistol flew out of a NOMEX pocket and hovered briefly before his face.  Nerd screamed, went up and Nerd was blown to bits.

TC fell down to his knees in the sand.  Things continued to fly at him from all directions.  TC knew they were trying to get him to lower his hands.  Just for a moment.  But he wouldn't.  He shut his eyes and willed his arms to stay up.  The universal sign for surrender.

The recovery crew showed up at 0900.  Two tankers had gotten their big old toy stuck in the sand.  Made them miss the big battle.  The recovery crew figured they meet a couple of crews and their stuck tanks.  First one they came to was empty and clearly not buried in sand.  And it started right up.   All they had to do was a quick reset.  Well, maybe they wandered over to the second tank.  Nope.  Empty and it, too, started right up.

Further reconnaissance found two more tanks.  There was one tanker but he refused to move or say anything.  He even refused to lower his arms.  Medevac was called and he had to be sedated before his arms would come down.

Staff Sargent Justin Holloran, US Army, decorated Tank Commander has been a patient here for the last 6 months.  Unless he is sedated, he insists on keeping his arms held above his head.  He is non-verbal but will scream if his arms are forced down either by restraints or by two orderlies.  Scans show massive trauma to several parts of his brain and various treatments have not yielded any positive results.  The Army has investigated the site where he was found.  Miniscule tissue, which matches the DNA of several tankers were found after an exhaustive search.  There is no conclusive reason for the probable deaths of four tank crews save for Holloran.  The Army investigators are very interested in getting a statement from Holloran and are to be contacted if we achieve any breakthrough.
 
2017-10-31 1:20:00 PM  
18 votes:
In my family, we tend to get "visits" from people the night before they die.  They come around and talk to us in our dreams, say goodbye, share memories, all that good stuff.

When I was a sophomore in college, my crazy Gramma Ethel came for a visit one night.  It was special, because she wasn't crazy in the dream.  As a matter of fact, that was pretty much the substance of the dream.  We were sitting in my dorm room, and she told me how sorry she was that she hadn't been the kind of Gramma to me that my other Gramma, Mom's mom, had been, but she had just found our world too scary, so she stayed in her own little world.  But she wanted me to know that she'd loved me.  It was a nice dream, which is part of the reason I remember it over 30 years later.

When I woke up, I was frantic.  Gramma was crazy, but as far as I knew, she'd been in good health.  I called my aunt to make sure Gramma was okay, but Aunt Teenie was already at work, and Gramma didn't like talking on the phone, so she didn't answer it.  (Not that I expected her to, she was dead, right?  That was the whole point of the dream.)  I called my father at work, but he wasn't in the office.  I called a few other relatives, but couldn't get hold of them.  I finally got hold of my step-mom, Kay, who promised to find out for me if Gramma had kicked the bucket or not.  

Kay called me back a few hours later. Gramma was fine, the dream had been a false alarm.  (She went on to live another 15 years.)

A few weeks later, I was at my father's visiting, and we went over to visit Gramma.  She leaned over to me and asked, "Did you get my message?"
 
2017-10-31 2:04:35 AM  
18 votes:
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.
 
2017-10-25 7:04:31 PM  
18 votes:
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

Introduction
    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 1

The 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]
img.fark.netView Full Size

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?

DEFENSIVE MEASURES

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.
.

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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.

img.fark.netView Full Size

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 FACT

When 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.

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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.

DEFENSIVE MEASURES

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?
 
2017-10-31 10:50:34 AM  
17 votes:
This thread is one I look forward to every single year, and I was sad to have missed it last year. We were scheduled to welcome our second daughter on October 31 last year so I was unable to carve out some time to read the thread from the delivery room. It's no matter, since that day scared me more than any story ever could.

Like her older sister, she was going to be a C-section baby. The first one was smooth as silk (as far as major surgery goes), so we expected the same for the second. And it was smooth sailing, the doctors and nurses going through the prep work, bringing me into the delivery room to join my wife for the big arrival. The doctors announced she was just about there, when we heard the sound of a scream from under 2 feet of water erupt into the delivery room. We got a quick glimpse of our dark green baby before she was whisked to the other side of the room, the doctors saying it was nothing to worry about.

But the nurses calm voices hid their growing concern, and it was hard not to be alarmed as more doctors and nurses rushed into the room. I lost count at eight people rushing into the room before my head started to spin and the room buckled. Soon I was whisked out of the room, left to wait in the hallway. The door burst open and I was given a far-too-brief chance to say hello to my baby girl (a chance her mom wasn't even given) before she was rushed off down the hall. The next hour felt like a lifetime as I waited for my wife to come out, and then waited for word on our baby. Those minutes were the scariest of my life, and it was only appropriate that it be Halloween, I suppose.

The end of the story comes quick, she was just fine and had a minor lung infection from inhaling meconium, a relatively small problem compared to the other babies I saw in the NICU those next couple days. As scary as it was for us, I cannot imagine how terrifying it was for the other parents up there. But I have a feeling these stories just won't be quite as scary this year, but I'm still going to enjoy them with a slice of "first birthday" cake from my little girl.
 
2017-10-30 8:42:05 PM  
17 votes:
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.
 
2017-10-31 3:32:31 PM  
16 votes:
Many years ago, I went to Florida to help a friend pack up his Mother's house after she passed away.

I didn't realize until I arrived that he'd planned to take the guest room of the house, which left me with the bedroom of the deceased.  Which was still, obviously, full of all of her things.  She'd woken up in that bed a few days ago, and fully and reasonably expected go back to it at day's end.

Hell, for all I knew she'd died in it.  I hadn't actually asked.  Had the sheets even been changed?  Jesus.

But it was my friend, and that was his Mom, and he was going through a hard enough time so Fine.  I'll sleep in the bed of the dead.  For one night.

So anyhow, after travel and the funeral and such, he went off to sleep in the guest room, and I retired to the creepy death room.  Turned off the light, sat down on the bed and...

There was a shape.  Right in front of me, there was a shape.  Maybe four, five feet tall, looked like a person shape.  I'd never met my friend's mother - but I'd seen pictures - and she was a short little woman.  Maybe about the same size as this shape.  As this shape in the room of a woman who'd just died, who's house I was basically invading holy shiat.

Right in front of me.  I mean, it was dark as hell - but there was a shape right in front of me!  I could just make it out because there was the faintest glowing outline around it.  All my 'fear' instincts kicked in and I froze, manfully, in the darkness.

No idea how long I sat there.  My medulla telling me that I needed to hold very very still and maybe the predator wouldn't notice me.

Some amount of time later I slid, infinitely slowly, back from where the shape was just sitting there, and very, very carefully felt along the wall for the light switch.  I mean.  I didn't want to.  I didn't really want to see what that shape was, not really.  But you don't have a choice, right?

So on come the lights - and the shape is still there.

The shape which was the reflection of my torso, sitting on the bed, face to face with the full length mirror attached to the closet door.  The closet door which was shut, but with the closet light still on - thus the 'faint ghostly terrifying outline' around my reflection in the dark.

I was enormously relieved.  At least until I saw my reflection blink, but that's a whole other story.
 
2017-10-25 9:07:06 AM  
16 votes:
A real, 4 word horror story:

"Daddy ate my eyes."

Look it up if you dare.
 
2017-10-31 10:11:58 AM  
15 votes:
My son's grandfather, who died a few months before I got pregnant, has also been around over the years.  We used to hear our son go from crying in his crib to laughing and "talking" to someone, with the pauses like he was listening.  He'd throw stuffed animals and pacifiers out of his crib, and we'd come in and find them back in there with him.  Things we'd thought he'd lost would turn back up in the crib.

One day I'd been home all day with the baby and my then-husband came home from work.  I asked him to take our son so I could shower, and he asked me to let him get something to eat first.  I said fine, and took the baby into the office, where we had a chair that rocked.  I was sitting there, rocking him, as he fell asleep, and I had my eyes closed. I heard my husband walk in, and put his hand on the back of the chair.  I thought "Oh, I bet he's going to think I'm asleep and he's going to leave us here and not take his turn with the baby!" so I pretended to be asleep til I felt him take his hand away, then I opened my eyes and spun around quickly to "catch" him.  But no one was there.  There's no way he'd have had time to get out of the room.  I stand up and walk to the living room, and he's stretched out on the couch eating. I ask him if he'd just been in there, and he said no.  Then I realized the person behind me had smelled like cigarettes.  Neither of us smoke, but my FIL had.

This stuff happened all the time, and one day my son was in his little exersaucer fussing, and he started to look up, laugh, and wave, to someone who would have been adult height, but there's no one there.   I smell cigarette smoke, and hear a cough.  I just said "Wayne, we miss you, and you're welcome to come see Henry anytime, please just don't scare him." I  heard his chuckle (he had a very distinctive laugh) and then the smell was gone.
 
2017-10-31 6:47:52 AM  
15 votes:
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."
 
2017-10-30 11:06:21 PM  
15 votes:
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.
 
2017-10-27 3:57:48 PM  
15 votes:
OK, here's my other submission. The idea for this came to me last night. I finished it three hours ago and finally decided to not any more screw with the language. 1040 words.

Road Work


They're ripping up Red Hill again. Every year, on exactly this date, October 31st, and at exactly this time, six forty-five in the morning, the skip loaders and the bulldozers and the dump trucks arrive with their grim-faced city work crews. They stand around next to their machines for an hour and fifteen minutes, sipping steaming hot Starbucks coffee, telling the stories and the lies that road maintenance men tell each other, and making sick jokes that would qualify anywhere as graveyard humor. They watch other workers, who lay out the yellow warning signs, the flashing lights, the cones, and the lane closure barricades that will safely divert the brutal rush hour traffic that, even now, is building to its morning crescendo of caffeinated madness.

After the signs and barriers and cones are in place, the city workers tear up 255 feet of the outside southbound lane pavement, all the way from just south of Sycamore Avenue, at the bus stop in front of the AG Curry Middle School, to about half way to Service Road, which accesses the Field Services Maintenance offices, Water Services, Tustin Unified School District, and the local Fire Station. Then they cart the off the shattered shards, and also the substrate and the dirt under the pavement for five feet down, to some secret location. Then they bring in new dirt, and pack it down, and lay down new asphalt, smooth and black and perfect, and life (and the endless traffic) goes on.
Let me tell you about that traffic. Red Hill Avenue is the furthest west of only five major north-south streets that feed commuter traffic between the Tustin/Orange/Santa Ana areas of Orange County, and John Wayne Airport, the Irvine Business Complex, Newport Beach, and Costa Mesa. It is the first major artery east of the morning parking lot known as CSR 55, aka the Costa Mesa Freeway. The four big streets that lie to the east feed into, variously, The District (an open-air mall built on part of the corpse of the old MCAS Tustin), Irvine Valley College, Irvine Spectrum, and the huge University of California at Irvine. The streets are therefore at their limits as well, with many accidents to go around. Red Hill has its share of them.

In addition to the omnipresent autos, the traffic full court press includes a huge number of trucks, buses, motorcycles, and bicycles. The bikes are a problem. Their riders, often homeless people on their own morning commutes between the breakfast at Mary's Kitchen in Orange and the lunchtime Someone Cares Soup Kitchen in Costa Mesa, rarely seem to obey any traffic laws. Rather, they tend to ignore traffic lights, and jump between street and sidewalk, whichever at the moment seems convenient.

There are, of course, also pedestrians. I am one of them. Indeed, being retired with time on my hands and a doctor who yells at me to walk everywhere, I have made it my habit to walk along that street every morning for over a decade. And every year now, for seven years, I have made it my personal geas to come to this place on October 31st at six forty-five in the morning, to pray, and to watch the work crews dig up and replace the same 255 feet of outside southbound lane. It is a rite that I feel I must perform.

It was October 31st at eight o'clock in the morning, and I was walking southbound on the sidewalk along Red Hill Avenue. I was on the right hand part of the sidewalk when I noticed a dead bird directly ahead of me. So, not thinking, I switched lanes. Instantly, I was hit in the back by the silent bicyclist who had been powering past me on the left, and who had not been able to react in time to avoid hitting me.

I was injured, but not terribly so. Recovery from the collision consisted of several visits to my chiropractor, assorted sports liniments, and a regime of high-CBD cannabis tincture and topicals. It took me about six months to fully recover.

The cyclist was not so lucky. You see, I am 6 foot four inches tall and weigh in at 280 pounds. The bicyclist was 5 foot two, and weighed 110 pounds. The bicycle weighed 17 pounds. The force of the collision that knocked me to the sidewalk and bruised my back propelled the bicycle, rider still aboard, into the southbound outside lane of Red Hill. They were hit by a fully loaded cement mixer travelling at 50 miles per hour. The bicycle was shredded under the dual tires, and popped out behind the truck as a pile of scrap thirty five feet ahead of the impact. The rider's backpack caught on the front bumper and he was dragged along the street, face down, for 255 feet. He was skinned and eviscerated. Most of his bones, including his skull, were crushed or broken. And he bled out. The street was dotted everywhere along that track with gobbets of unidentifiable flesh and small pools of blood. The paramedics and the coroner staff used squeegees and sponges to get up the worst of it. After the ambulance was gone, what was left was hosed into the gutter and storm drain by the fire department.

The next October 31st at exactly eight am, hysterical motorists called the Tustin police. The cops came, they investigated, and they called in the City Yard. The next October 31st it all repeated. By the third year, a standard proactive response had been put in place.

Every year I come here on October 31st at six forty-five in the morning, to watch Red Hill Avenue bleed. Exactly at eight, red pools of blood start to well up from the asphalt all along that 255 foot stretch of road. It is a lot of blood, far more than could be accounted for by one human body and it never stops. The only way to end it is for the city work crews to come out with their machines and - braving an unnatural chill that manifests on that section of street on that day - rip up and root out the evil they believe lurks below Red Hill Avenue.

***

 
2017-10-30 10:51:34 PM  
14 votes:
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."
 
2017-10-25 3:09:30 AM  
13 votes:
It was a dark and stormy night in November, a Tuesday, and the started to count the votes. ...
 
2017-11-01 9:18:49 AM  
12 votes:

farking_texan: Fireproof: Even as a writer, I have to ask:

Anyone else like these threads better when every story was supposedly real, as opposed to being full of five-page long things that with fictional characters and drafts in the Writers Threads?

YES. At least they used to blend in better.


^THIS.   Sorry aspiring writers, but as a long time FARK'er, what made this thread work were short to  reasonable length, contained tales to chill, amuse or creep out.   Not long extended chapter arcs, and this is the first year that I've notice such a prevalence of such things.

You can, of course, post them if you want.  But, know that I (and I suspect many others), are simply rocking the 'Page Down / Page Down' until the walls of text are passed by.
 
2017-10-31 11:52:42 AM  
12 votes:
After years and years of reading the Annual Scary Story Thread, here's mine.

I was, to borrow a phrase, an excitable child. Terrified of the dark, I saw ghosts and monsters in every corner and under every bed. One night in particular I woke up and swore I saw something lurking in the shadows of my closet and, too terrified to sleep, stayed awake until the morning revealed the monster to be some crumpled up clothes. Heroic, I know. Most of my encounters are almost as easily dismissed as that, but two in particular stand out.

I was probably twelve years old and it was a school day and I needed to, but didn't want to get out of bed. As I'm lying in bed, half asleep, I saw a hand reach out and silently turn on my bedside light. 'Fine, fine,' I thought to myself and after a couple more minutes I got out of bed and stumbled into the kitchen where my parents were. After pouring some cereal I grumpily thanked whichever of them had turned on the light to wake me up. Only for both of them to deny they'd been in my bedroom that morning. So did my mother or father forgot they went in there and turned on my bedside light and the other forgot they had seen the other parent go in there? It's possible. But would both forget it that quickly? And if my parents were waking me up, why wouldn't they say something as well when they turned the light on? How many parents would trust a pre-teen to wake up JUST by turning a light on? Mine never did, before that day or after.

The second incident takes place with some degree of regularity. My dog Simon, a hefty pit bull / retriever mix, defended our home for years. The sole exception to his bravery? The zombie apocalypse. Between The Walking Dead and the Red Dead Redemption add-on, Undead Nightmare, Simon was terrified of zombies. After a couple of seasons of Walking Dead all it took was the theme song and he would leave the room, walk upstairs, and go to bed. Finally it go to the point where all it took was gunfire on TV and he would leave the room, walk upstairs, and go to bed. Sadly, we lost Simon to cancer in 2014. I still miss that big goofy dog. But every once in a while, especially if my wife and I are watching anything action oriented where there's gunfire, we'll hear doggy footsteps go up the stairs and a thump as the dog who left us 3 years ago puts himself to bed.
 
2017-10-30 7:54:02 PM  
12 votes:
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.
 
2017-10-26 5:05:01 AM  
12 votes:
Our nuclear arsenal is commanded by someone who thinks nuclear weapons are no good if you don't use them.  He thinks that a great war will immortalize him.  Our diplomatic relations come from angry tweets.  Acceptable loss in a nuclear war is 50 million people.  Sweet dreams.
 
2017-10-31 6:26:37 PM  
11 votes:

Fireproof: Even as a writer, I have to ask:

Anyone else like these threads better when every story was supposedly real, as opposed to being full of five-page long things that with fictional characters and drafts in the Writers Threads?


Haven't regularly used this site in years, but since it's been my annual tradition since 2004, I always check out this thread. It's really gone downhill and has been heavily filled with creepypasta, jokes, and people's creative writing prompts rather than actual stories for the last four years or so. Granted, it's always had a bit of those things, but the last few years have been particularly egregious.
 
2017-10-31 2:04:55 PM  
11 votes:

Uncle Eazy: President Trump and a GOP-controlled House and Senate. Boo.


I really wish this type of stuff was punted to the politics tab.
 
2017-10-31 10:02:47 AM  
11 votes:
Did you hear that?  Old houses creak.  And groan.  Not like a piece of wood under pressure.  More like a living thing...an old thing...a malevolent thing.  Its just readjusting itself.  Like a troll or ogre rolling over in its sleep.  But a house is not a troll or ogre.

Do you think the house likes to be lived in?  Maybe it does.  Maybe it doesn't.  Maybe like the old people at the rest home it just finds it easier to not get mad about it.  But not all old people are the same.  Some hadn out butterscotch candies.  Some go after kids with their cane.  Others scream all the time.

What if the house is like one of the cranky old people?  What if it is in pain and can't stand it?  What if the house could act on it?  And what if its creaking wasn't it readjusting itself or going back to sleep.  No.  What if the noises you hear are the house getting ready to pounce...to attack.  Maybe even trying to reach you.  It could do it, and shuffle you off underneath the foundation and no one would ever know.

Remember the family that used to live down the street and don't anymore?  Hmmm...

I mean, who would suspect a house?
 
2017-10-31 12:16:22 AM  
11 votes:
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.
 
2017-10-30 10:15:15 PM  
11 votes:
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Source: https://tapas.io/series/Behin​d-You

Bonus: when you see it, you'll crap yourself

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2017-10-30 8:01:09 PM  
11 votes:
These came out of my peener.
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The end.
 
2017-11-01 11:04:54 AM  
10 votes:

ObscureNameHere: farking_texan: Fireproof: Even as a writer, I have to ask:

Anyone else like these threads better when every story was supposedly real, as opposed to being full of five-page long things that with fictional characters and drafts in the Writers Threads?

YES. At least they used to blend in better.

^THIS.   Sorry aspiring writers, but as a long time FARK'er, what made this thread work were short to  reasonable length, contained tales to chill, amuse or creep out.   Not long extended chapter arcs, and this is the first year that I've notice such a prevalence of such things.

You can, of course, post them if you want.  But, know that I (and I suspect many others), are simply rocking the 'Page Down / Page Down' until the walls of text are passed by.


A'yup..

Mayhaps next Halloween, the Admin/Mods could see fit to have both a "Scary (True) Stories" thread and a "Scary Story Writer's" thread (the latter as a new annual tradition)..  Just a thought..
 
2017-10-31 11:57:23 PM  
10 votes:
This is COMPLETELY 100% true and just happened to me not three hours ago.

After dropping my kids off my kids in the area they were going to loot for their annual candy raid, I came home. Satisfied that they and their friends were safe (my 17 year old son was reluctantly voluntold to accompany them) I settled down in front of the TV with some beers to handle my duties of answering the door for trick or treaters and consuming an admittedly unhealthy amount of alcohol for a Tuesday.

Quick description of my street: it's an average suburban neighborhood. The houses at the beginning of my approximately 200 yard street are fairly "halloweeny" but once you get towards my end the lights are perennially dark. On my end, the residents are aging and generally in the "get off my lawn" stage of their lives. We are the lone exception. That being said, even though we decorate, we rarely get more than a handful of kids coming to our door. Probably because on All Hallows Eve our end of the street is pitch dark.

About two beers in and veering towards 8pm we've gotten no hits. Not a single child has graced our home with their adorable countenances masked in something either fiendish or Strawberry Shortcake, almost cloying sweetness. Sigh, such is our lot at the end of Dacono Drive.

I'm about 3 beers in. It's going down quick. I know it's not an official holiday but something about Halloween always brings a joy to my steadily darkening, aging heart. Perhaps a last tendril of my joyous youth desperately grasping at bygone times. Perhaps I'm not the curmudgeon I like to pose as. As Mike Myers pops out from behind a neatly shorn, suburban bush to stare at Jamie Lee Curtis menacingly on my flat screen, I hear a knock! Oh joy, I think to myself, some pioneering group of thrill seekers has decided to brave my end of the street. Happily, I grab the bag of Dum Dums and the bag of Reese's minis, ready to pretty much dump the whole thing into their plastic pumpkin baskets. What follows affected me enough to write this clumsy entry.

As I open the door (I kept the porch lights off and my foyer lights off as well in a futile attempt at seeming "spooky") I encounter a lone teen. A black girl of approximately 15 years of age. She's not wearing a costume and is alone. "Trick or treat" she says in an almost resigned way. Acknowledging the ritual but realizing it's tired cliche as well I suppose. Taken aback I look past her....looking for others. Surely this isn't it right? Where is the cluster of happy, chubby, greedy faces awaiting their tribute. No. Just her. Just me. At the end of Dacono Drive. Darkly.

Instantly I sense a sadness. I don't know if it's no e or hers. Do I care? I don't know. Does it matter? Yes it does. I spatter back, "happy Halloween hon!" Without really seeing her yet. As my eyes adjust, I see an awkward girl. A nerdy girl. Glasses. Wearing what I can see as some sort of semi-uncool track suit. Her face is unremarkable. She's lanky and carries about her the air of someone that is not one of the "in crowd" at school. It hits me immediately. She had no friends to go with. No one that cared to carry on this annual ritual of enjoying a spooktastic time with your friends, laughing and ribbing as you go from house to house pretending you aren't cold. She was alone both figuratively and literally. And polite.....so polite. I struggle to hold back tears as I think of it. In her refusal (strength?) to let her own loneliness ruin the fun of Halloween, she ventured out on her own as if to say "fark you, you my unpopular life, I'm having a halloween!" in a resolute, yet still wounded way. It was written all over her face. I gave her a heaping handful of candy and proclaimed awkwardly "wow! Its dark honey, do you have a flashlight? Be careful!"

"Yes sir, I use my phone, it has a light" in a mellifluous mid-teen voice that was soft and used to being ignored.

"Alright buddy, Happy Halloween"

"Yes sir, thanks, you too". Shyness, neglect, and yet strength in her answer. I watched her walk off into the Halloween oddity that was my half dark, half festive Dacono Drive. On to the next house. Alone but fake enjoying herself as she raged against a life that so far, handed her a life where a costume, friends, looks, coolness, evaded her. But damn it, she came to my door and other's doors for some candy. Because she wasn't going to have that withheld from her as well. She had decided that.
 
2017-10-31 3:25:22 PM  
10 votes:
Yay..!

The best holiday and the best FARK thread o'the year have finally arrived..!!      =)

I won't get a chance to read it until much later t'nite, but wanted to get my story in here early-ish..  Have a Great, Safe, Spooky All Hallow's Eve everyone..!!

===   ===   ===

My annual, obligatory contribution to the thread..

It's not my scariest or strangest experience, believe it or don't..but it has the singular benefit of having been witnessed by multiple, clear-thinking, very respectable (save fer the whole 'home invasion' angle..  =P  ) individuals..

Enjoy..

***   ***   ***

When I was young (9 - 15, roundabouts), my parents would take the family..mom, dad, me, younger brother..camping/cottaging every year at the very end of the season, so as to get better locations at lower rates. Invariably, we'd go with a couple or couples that were friends of the family and it would be a nice group-event weekend or longer.

One particular couple..Dave and Karen..went along every year and my father and Dave were, and are, fast friends.

The year of this story, we were in a cottage on a small lake (about 2 miles in diameter) during a near-perfect autumn in, I think, the Southern Tier/Finger Lakes region of Western New York. It was only my family and Dave and Karen, this year.

One thing that is of importance to relate is that Dave and my father fancy themselves amateur architectural buffs and love looking at vintage/old/historical buildings/houses.

Bear with me here...

Often, camping/cottaging as late in the season as we did, the 'regulars' would already be gone for the season. Summer homes, fishing cottages and the like would be prepped for the winter and locked up for the season..awaiting the return of the owners the following spring.

To my father and his friend, "looking" meant breaking in to fully check the place out. Never did they do damage, or tamper or take anything..they just found the most interesting deserted home, picked the lock or the latch, let themselves in and looked at all the original woodwork or styling or whatever..then lock everything back up, as it was, when they left.

I don't recall how old I was, but this particular year it was apparently decided that my brother and I were old enough to tag along for the house they'd singled out, halfway around the lake.

I remember everything very vividly..from the outside appearance to the door we entered to the whole of the interior. The rear door was locked with a padlock through a bar latch. However, the securing screws for the bar latch were exposed, rather than covered by the bar..three phillips-head screws out and we were in.

We wandered about the ground floor..I recall the place being a bit musty and darkish, but very nice..if cluttered. There were some comic books lying about, which delighted me, so the owner must have had children.

It took a few minutes, but my father noticed something seemed not-quite-right..it took a bit, but it was realized from an almost inaudible background hum that the fridge was still running. Looking inside it revealed about a half-case of unopened Labatt's beer bottles..an indication that the place may *not* be closed for the season, obviously.

Oh, well..the adults think..we're already here, haven't seen any cars or activity the past couple days, and only have the upstairs to look at..may as well finish up..

So we head upstairs..the layout is simple: Stairway goes up one side of the house and tops off at one end of a hallway that traverses the length of the building. It is the only way up or down. Off this hallway, all to the left, are four evenly spaced doors.

We enter the first room. It's empty save for a MASSIVE brass bedframe. No boxspring or mattress, just the frame..and by massive, I mean just that. My father and Dave marveled over the solidity and craftsmanship of the thing. Wide, high head and footboards with corner-posts that only barely fell short of making it a full-blown four-poster bed..and all welded; no screws/nuts/bolts..the thing was either assembled in the room or the room was built around it. There was absolutely no way it was brought, complete, into that room..I doubt it would fit through patio doors iff'n the entire door assembly was taken out in advance to clear more space.

So, they ooh and ahhh over the brasswork a bit more and we move on to the next room..which is totally empty. Move to the third room..which is totally empty. It's becoming clear the family only really uses the ground floor while they stay here.

We're getting ready to move to the last room when there's this sudden, loud crash. First thought in all minds: the owners are back and we're waaaaaay busted.

My father moves to the head of the stairs..looks down..goes down..nothing. Nobody there, nothing obviously out of place (from what was remembered, walking in), nothing. Shrugs all around..head off to room four, with the general feeling of 'let's look at this final room, then get out before we really get caught.'
We enter the final room to find it completely empty..save for a huge, welded brass bedframe.

Father looks at Dave, he looks back, Dave runs out of the room and down the hall. A moment later we hear him cry out and we all run back down the hall to the first room..which is now empty.

I don't actually remember us getting out of the house, but I know it was fast and I know they didn't bother to screw the latch back on. To this day, my father and Dave will both acknowledge the event..but won't talk about it and my brother doesn't recall it at all. As far as best I know, that was the last 'house inspection' that they ever attempted.

Trick or Treat..? For me, I somehow think it ended up being both....
 
2017-10-31 12:35:34 PM  
10 votes:
True story.  Wish I was joking. Not even sure if it's scary, but hey it's Halloween and now is the time for the weird and unusual. Haven't told anyone except my closest friends and my mother. Pretty sure mom thinks I'm loopy and is just humoring me.

Beyond the fact that our house is haunted (but those are other stories for another time), I've always had random hits of 'second sight', I guess you could call it.  More often, it hits while I'm in a conversation, and I'll realize I know what the other person is about to say, inflections and everything, before they say it - because I heard it before.  I won't remember where I heard it, or when. But I'll KNOW the conversation before it even happens, it's already been played out.

Sometimes I'll meet someone I already 'know', too.

But that's beside the point.  The point is: second sight.  ESP.  Visions.  Whatever you want to call it.  And I can't control when it happens.

Cue to a decade or so ago. I'd fallen asleep right after work, exhausted from fighting off the flu.  And I dream while I'm napping.  I'm dreaming I'm on a plane and people are speaking ... well, I know Spanish well enough and it's not Spanish, but it SOUNDS like it.  And whoever I am, I'm speaking this language.  I know what's being said, even if I can't understand the words themselves. The flight is going smoothly, but a little girl near me turns and says 'that plane is coming toward us" and points out a window.  A few people look, but it's far enough away that no one really is paying much attention.  But a minute or so later, the whole plane shudders and bumps and there's a crunching sound.

And then the plane begins to fall.  And fall.  Out of one of the windows, I can see the other plane flying away, a tiny thing but still jet-looking - and it's damaged but fly-able.  We're not.

There's screaming everywhere.  The ground is rushing up, trees getting bigger and bigger.  I can feel the heat as we slam into the ground, the fire.... and I wake up.

I turn on the TV to calm down, and it's the news.  A short while into the news, this crash comes up on 'breaking news' http://www.greatdreams.com/planes/pla​n​e_crash_2006.htm

I'd dreamt the whole thing.  It was Portuguese I'd heard - the language that sounded like Spanish, but wasn't.  I'd been on the plane in my sleep, as it went down.

To this day, I can't shake the memory. It's the strongest vision I've ever had, and I think my subconscious has clamped down on it since, as even the deja vu feelings have gotten far less frequent. Scarred for life, I swear.
 
2017-10-31 11:00:09 AM  
10 votes:
I'm a very level-headed, skeptical person who always seems to be able to come up with an reasonable explanation of whatever weird phenomenon that others, or myself has experienced.  That is why this night really scared the crap out of me.

Now, I have always had sleep issues...and several times I have experienced sleep paralysis and all of the terrifying "symptoms" that accompany it: Paranoia, paralysis, trouble breathing, hallucinations etc...  Those experiences, although I know are not real, have all stayed with me.  It truly can be horrifying.

Rewind to about 4 years ago:

Something startles me awake.  I know something is wrong.  Was it a loud noise?  Is someone breaking in?  Perhaps it's just one of those 'feel like you are falling the moment you fall asleep' things, where you seem to still be bouncing in the bed when you are startled back into consciousness?

I don't think much of it, probably just one of my many sleep issues I think. I'm sleeping well (for once) so I start to drift back to sleep....

WHAM!!

There it was again, I was only half asleep this time....but still unsure what woke me.  Still feels like the falling thing but, no, something is much more tangible here.  My heart is racing, I stay quiet....Someone is breaking in!?!  My girlfriend hasn't reacted so maybe it's nothing.  The dog too....she would normally be going crazy at any abnormal noise at night.  Still, I'm on edge.  Something is wrong and adrenaline is coursing through me.

"This is silly" I tell myself, and close my eyes.

WHAM!

Whoa!  WTF!!??!! I felt it this time.  I fell!  I actually farking fell and was still bouncing on the mattress!  The girlfriend didn't wake...not a peep out of the dog.  "this has got to be another sleep paralysis" I tell myself... so I do a little test; I try to move.

Now, in this moment, the little boy in my head is telling me not to move too much, ya know, so as to not alert the monsters in the room that I'm awake...but I'm a grown @ss man! 30 years old dammit!..."Pshht, I got this...what are you afraid of 2kanzam?" I say to myself.

...I wiggle a finger...

Ok, then...My finger moved.  Wait? so does my head.  I can breath, there is no lurking figure...this is no sleep paralysis I start to realize...

...then it dawns on me: "Wait...if this isn't sleep paralysis, then WTF?  I just fell from the air. This is REAL!?!?!?"

Right then I feel it.  The whole bed moves.  I'm watching it...With me and my girlfriend in it, the whole farking bed is lifting into the air!  I see it, I feel it...holy FARKING shiat I'm in a levitating, bed; totally awake and sober and this IS NOT SUPPOSED TO BE ABLE TO HAPPEN!!!!!

WHAM!!

The bed slams to the ground again.

I'm horrified, shocked...shaking and trying to rationalize what is happening.  Trying to rationalize away the fact that I just saw my bed- with me in it- levitate and then come crashing to the ground.

My GF wakes up..."What was that?" She uttered.  I don't know what to say: "Ummm...so you felt that?  I don't know...but we were just farking floating and....and I dunno!!"  She kinda jumps to attention saying..."What?".  All I can do is basically repeat myself.  "The farking bed lifted in the air and fell down...I saw it..."  "What do you mean??" she says, she can tell I'm serious and that I'm a little freaked.

This is it folks.  I know I have a duty.  I have to investigate, I need to find out what is happening no matter how terrifying the answer might be.  "This will change my life, change everything I know to be real and will cause me to question all absolutes I've known to be true up until this point." I think to myself as I muster up the courage to see what this is....if anything.

I have to man up and face the beast.

I slowly get out of the covers.  I pull myself to the foot of the bed.  I feel like I'm 4 years old again, fretting over the existence of the boogie man my sisters warned me of who lives in the closet. I can hear nothing but the pounding of my heart in my ears as a peek over the edge...

...there it is. Slobbery, Writhing, squirming, hairy and breathing heavy with a huge tongue unrolling from its gaping maw...it is protruding from underneath the end of the bedframe...It goes to stand, lifting the bed over two feet in the air as I watch it!!

WHAM!!

The bed makes one final descent and slams the floor like a judges gavel signaling the final verdict...

...It was.....My Great Dane, Daisy Duke, who was in the early stages of bone cancer had accidentally wedged herself under the edge of the bed and couldn't drag herself out due to her lame right front paw.  She still had the power in her back legs to lift that queen sized bed with wooden frame...me and my girlfriend along for the ride.  But just couldn't quite release herself from it's grip.

I have never been so relieved in my life.  ...and never felt so silly.
 
2017-10-31 10:09:11 PM  
9 votes:
My last job out of nowhere told me that the Adderall prescription that had been keeping me normal for years was "illegal" to take offshore. They even cited that it was from the Coast Guard and while they could never give me the paperwork to back it up, it was clear as day that if I wanted to go out and make money I needed to be off it.
So I started working with my Nurse (she was a PA and able to prescribe) and we came up with Straterra. Straterra is a non stimulant or a stimulant that can't be abused, I forget. What I do remember is that when you start on it you get 6 or 7 small bottles with weekly doses in it that slowly steps you up to therapeutic levels of dosing.
I started taking it while I was at home because I was reluctant to start a new med while on a boat in the middle of nowhere.
About two weeks in it I started hearing screaming from different parts of the house.  Like parts where nobody was, sometimes even from the attic. The screaming was plain as day in my mind and so real that I could pinpoint where the noise came from. My old house has always had a haunted feel (we have both seen a small boy out of the corner of our eyes in the past) but it was largely harmless and so what. The screaming was something only I could hear.
The next week I started seeing things along with hearing things.  I've never taken a hallucinogen in my life, and aside from the small and happy things I've seen on weed I've never put much thought into it. The first one was when my wife was in school and I was alone in the house.  I was walking down the narrow hallway when from around the corner what I can only describe as a "floating bacteria cell" appeared and started moving towards me. Picture a 6' tall e-coli cell with small root-like tentacles and an overall mottled brown and black color, that moves with a purpose. By this time I was already a bit freaked out by the screaming so seeing some kind of hellish demon in my house was a bit wild.  I ran into the bedroom and presumably to get my gun when I realized that chances are I was seeing something.  Remember hallucinations were new to me and I felt like I had been hit with one of those darts in Young Sherlock Holmes. I got my shiat together and went out to face this thing but it was no longer there.
Over the next three days I saw it many more times. Once it was floating over my bed in front of me when I woke up for no reason in the early morning, another time I turned around from using the fridge to find myself face to face with it, literally inches away, while hearing screaming.
Instead of losing my mind I brought it up with my wife (a nursing student at the time and someone super into pharmacology) and she said it may be a side effect from this Straterra garbage.
I stopped taking it right away and have not heard or seen anything since.

While not a ghost story I can assure you that it is truly horrifying to hear screams from inside your house and then see what I saw. I still have nightmares about it today over three years later.

Be careful with the meds you take, and always pay attention to what you see and hear and feel once you start one, you never know if your brain chemistry is gonna fark you.
 
2017-10-31 1:48:07 AM  
9 votes:
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.
 
2017-10-30 7:40:19 PM  
9 votes:
This is an experience I had that I posted in last year's thread.

I've had a number of strange experiences here in Montreal.  One that really freaked me out happened in my prior apartment.  It was an old building built in 1927.
I used to have my computer desk in the dining room.  Next to the computer desk was a small glass-top side table.  Also in the dining room was a large glass-top dining table with a glass flower vase in the center.  At around 9:00 pm the night in question, I was on the computer when "something" smashed down onto the glass top of the small side table next to the computer desk.   The glass top was not heavy and there was nothing sitting on top of it.  The only way I could describe it was as if someone slammed their fist down on top of it.
I freaked out.  I sat there frozen staring at the table for about 10 minutes not knowing what to do.  During that time my eyes starting playing tricks on me.  I have no idea if my panicked state was causing it, but my eyes started to see things moving around the table.
Then it continued.
Just as I think I'm getting brave enough to even stand up from my chair, the flower vase on the dining-room table began to crack from the bottom up along the sides.  As water started to leak out of it, I ran to the kitchen to get a towel to try and stop the water from dripping onto the floor.  About a half-hour later my friend came home to me in my frantic state.
For the next week other strange things kept happening.  We would be in the living room and hear things moving around in the other rooms. I remember once hearing my work door pass being picked up and dropped back down on the computer desk.
It was at that point that my friend suggested I speak out to whatever was doing this and to ask it to leave as it was scaring us.  So I did.
The strange stuff stopped happening from that point forward.
 
2017-10-30 7:30:16 PM  
9 votes:
Got nothin', and I am on call so no booze for inspiration this year.  *sad face*

=====

I was driving in the desert through a region known to be a hotspot for satanic group activity.  Up ahead I see a red Pontiac Fiero stopped sideways across both lanes, a suitcase open with clothes scattered everywhere and two bodies laying face down in the road, a man and a woman.

The hair on the back of my neck is standing up. Something seemed very wrong, it looked too perfect as if it were staged. An ambush? Was I being paranoid? Something was just wrong. Getting out of the car seemed unthinkable, it was the horror movie move.

I swerved around the bodies and the Fiero. I continued forward a couple hundred feet and slowed down so I could breathe and let my heart slow down. As I looked up into the rearview mirror I saw that the two bodies had gotten up to their knees and twenty or so people emerged from the tall grass on either side of the road by the car and bodies.

At that moment my right foot smashed the gas pedal to the floor and did not let up until I had to slowdown for the I-40 east onramp.

"Shee-it man, that was close," I said to the yellow, four-foot tall, bulgy-eyed humanoid standing on the windshield.

"Shoulda stopped," said Fishy, as it shuffled on the ceiling back to the rear seat, where it resumed staring at me in the rearview mirror.
=====

echo5juliet's desert drive:  http://www.fark.com/comments/​3985541/4​5887207#c45887207
BONUS:  follow-up!  http://www.dynamitemonkey​.com/?p=170  (apologies to echo5juliet, if you don't want that off-site content posted here)

Quex's fishy story: http://www.fark.com/comments/2​385211/2​5185959#c25185959
 
2017-10-30 7:08:05 PM  
9 votes:
The last man on Earth sat alone in a room. There was a knock on the door...
 
2017-10-31 1:15:47 PM  
8 votes:
Creepy thing happened to me and Mrs Blue. We have a cabin up in Springville, CA. on the Tule river. The house was built in the early sixties. It's been in her family since the 70's. Anywho, I read an article last week about the best Ghost Hunter from the App Store. I download the thing and read some of the instructions. I then forget about it because we drive up there Friday after work. Mind you my phone on Verizon gets no service up there. Her AT&T phone does. She tells me on Saturday after I cut some fast growing saplings on the bank of the river that she does not sleep well up there. She had said it before, but this time I'm like hey!
I got this app and lets check it out. I turn it on and we start getting pings on the radar looking thing on the dashboard display. Skeptical at best I think. Then it starts vocalizing some things. Says single word things.
I start to right them down, Said a couple of other things. Among them was "cards" , "Judge" and a couple of other things. Fast forward. I turn if off. Neighbors come by to have a beer. We chat for 20 minutes or so to catch up on the happenings. They leave. We turn it back on and more weird answers. We start asking questions and get spooky very relevant info to said questioins. I turn if off and she says lets go out into the small front yard. Neighbors having beer on their porch. We grab beers and walk next door. Small talk and the Mrs. says we got this App and we heard stuff. Dave the neighbor gets quiet and says he saw a boy out of the corner of his eye just an hour before when they were over at our place. Said he was about 6-7 and dressed in period clothing like the 20's. We are going holy shiat at this point. We tell them that we had heard something saying "Judge" and the like. He says there was a man that used to play cards there with friends and his nickname was the Judge. Weird, I know. Fast forward again. We catch a buzz and make dinner and watch the World Series game with nothing odd. We drive home on Sunday. I start the app up thinking it's all Bull Shiat anyway. Not much activity till I ask some questions and get some relevant answers. It says "Cora" and Cemetery etc. The lady who used to own the house across the street and up 2 houses was named Cora. I Never met nor heard of her till then. Turned it off, and was on to football and left us scratching our heads.

Fast forward. Something or Someone keeps turning on the TV in the office. I turned it off when I got up @4:30. Went to the back bathroom and shaved. TV back on within 10 minutes when I went passed the room. I texted the Mrs this morning about the TV and she said she turned it off 4 times last night. Then it went on again, and she unplugged the thing. Just Weird Halloween stuff right??

Definitely tripping out a little bit.
 
2017-10-31 12:19:38 PM  
8 votes:
img.fark.netView Full Size


This is what keeps the grown-ups awake and full of dread at night.
 
2017-10-31 12:15:43 PM  
8 votes:
I have a few scary and weird tales from my own past I have shared before, all of which are true. Guess I can share them again for those who haven't seen them before:


The first one dates back to when I was living in Northern California in 1990-92. I am a navy brat, and so spent most of my childhood shuttling from place to place as my parents got assigned to different bases. Well, my Dad got out but my Mom was still in and got assigned to a little hydrophone base in Ferndale California. We moved there and soon settled in at a place up the eel river, around Carlotta. On weekends my Dad liked to "ramble", basically loading us all into the car to drive through the redwoods or go fishing, or just wander back roads.

Anyway, we wound up traveling up the south fork of the eel river one weekend, and we stopped for lunch at this little diner way back up in the hills. We went in and sat at a booth to order lunch and talk about where we were going to go next, when this dude walks into the diner. He was about 6' tall, had dirty long brown hair, and a bulky motorcycle jacket on that looked like it belonged to someone three sizes bigger than him. He gave everyone a weird smile, weird enough that even I, little kid I was at the time, could tell there was something off about the man. He walked up to the counter and asked for a coffee, then sat in a booth next to ours.

The next thing he did was really weird: He kept smiling nervously and kept reaching inside his partly unzipped jacket and fondling something and staring at us. We wolfed our meals down and the guy kept sitting there, staring at us, then at the people working behind the counter, and in particular, the two people (both women) by the register. My Dad suddenly whispered to us that we needed to leave. He went up to the counter with us and paid for our meal, then warned the lady at the register that he was going to call the cops because he thought that the guy who had been next to us was about to try and rob the place. We went out to the car and dad used a pay phone to call the cops and tell them about the guy. We then left and continued our ramble.

Fast forward to the following Monday. We are listing to the local news on the radio, and a bulletin came on announcing that thanks to an anonymous tip, a wanted murderer had been apprehended in the middle of an attempted robbery at a diner on Saturday- the same diner we had been at that day! Turned out the guy had gone nuts and had killed his brother and his sister in law, and he had been carrying a hatchet under that baggy coat the whole time he was in the diner. We left just before he attacked the people in the diner and demanded the contents of the register. From what the news bulletin said, that was about when the cops my Dad called showed up and took the guy in. We all were a bit shocked that we had been that close to a killer, and even more surprised that it was my Dad's call that saved the folks at the diner.

It wasn't too long after this that my Mom got out of her tour in the Navy, and my Dad decided he wanted to move to Tennessee where my grandparents (his parents) lived. I stayed in the place we moved to until about 9 years ago, when I moved to Nashville. During my time on the small farm we moved to I had the second and third bizarre events happen. I started sleepwalking when I was about 7 years old, and haven't ever really quit. I don't do it as much as I used to, but I still wake up standing in my kitchen or in the living room from time to time. I mention this, because it ties to my second tale directly.

When I was 15, I started sleepwalking a LOT more than before. Usually it was just me walking up and down stairs, or getting out of bed and standing staring blankly at the wall for hours on end (yes, with my eyes wide open). But there was one night I woke up chilled to the bone, drenched in dew, standing in the grass in the middle of a pasture in my tighty whities and bare feet while staring up at the full moon. What woke me up I have no idea, only that based on how cold I was and how soaked I was I had been out there for a while. I remember my eyes burned from staring so long without blinking, and that based on the fact that my night vision was shot I had been staring at the moon for a long while, tracking it across the sky. I walked the nearly half mile back to the house and slipped back inside and went to bed. I never again woke up outside like that, but it certainly was weird.

My next weird tale can only be described as scientifically impossible based on current knowledge, and has more than a hint of the supernatural about it. I had just graduated high school at the age of 18, and was looking for secondary schools I could afford. My parents were quite adamant that their eldest son go to some form of secondary school, but couldn't afford to help me financially and ruined my chances to get good grants by claiming me as a dependent on their taxes when I asked them not to. On paper, my Dad made enough that my expected family contribution was high enough to preclude me from getting any good scholarships or grants. But we had just had a house fire that took everything, and since the house was not insured due to being technically under construction, they lost it all. No money could be spared to assist in college plans I might have had, and I was adamant I was not going to rack up an enormous debt. The compromise that we reached was that I would go to (a significantly cheaper) technical school to learn about networking and computer administration (which is what I wanted to learn anyway).

Around the time all this was going on, I started having a recurring nightmare. In the nightmare, I was in an unfamiliar room with drop ceilings (the white acoustic tile sort) and desks everywhere. You know how you don't ever really see the faces of people in dreams distinctly, and you can't really recall them when you wake up? This was different. I saw all the people except one person clearly, and I heard them talking among themselves clearly, and even learned a few of their names. The dream always sort of intensified, and I would realize I was sitting at one of the desks and I would look up just as the faceless guy would attack the teacher and a couple students. The faceless guy would punch a student and his glasses would fly across the room and hit my computer monitor. Then I would wake up. I had this dream every night for two weeks before it finally went away.

Fast forward two months. I have been accepted at a nearby tech school in a neighboring county, and I am supposed to go in on my first day. I step foot through the door, and immediately get hit with a strange sense of deja vu as I recognize the room and a few of the people, despite having never seen them before in my life. I notice a few empty desks around, and after introducing myself the teacher tells me to pick a desk. I find myself drawn to one and I go to sit down and the deja vu sense hits me hard as soon as my butt hits the seat and I find myself frantically trying to remember what I had forgotten and why everything seemed so familiar.

At the end of the day after the lessons are over, I am gathering up my books and stuff still feeling a bit freaked out over the sense that I had been here before. One of the guys steps over to me and introduces himself :" Hi, I'm Skyler. What's your name again?" Another one stepped over kind of interrupting and said "Yeah, I'm Steven. Skyler and I hang out a lot. What do you like to do?" Before I can say anything, I remember the dream. It all comes rushing back, the room, the people, the names, my desk, everything. I notice the only girl in the class standing up to come over, and I know her. I know her name, what her voice sounds like, what her favorite hobbies are, everything. Before she can say anything, I blurt out: "your name is Sabrina."  It is important to note, I had not heard any of their names up til now, and she hadn't even started talking yet.

She gets this weird expression and looks at Skyler and Steven and says "did you tell him?" but they shake their heads. "No, we didn't." "How did you know my name?" she asked, " I know I haven't seen you before, so how did you know my name?" I told her she wouldn't believe me if I told her. She and the guys are intrigued now, and press me a bit until I admit that I saw it in a dream. They think I am full of shiat, but I point out other students around the room and rattle off their names. I had them all exactly right. I was freaking out and so were they, naturally, I thought I would be ostracized because I was "weird", but the opposite happened. I became part of their little group.

Three semesters later, we get a new student, and the guy is unstable and has a penchant for screwing with other people's computers. It being a computer sciences type class, this is encouraged to a point as it helps teach security concepts and networking. But this guy takes it too far and gets warned not to pick on a certain student again. He screwed up and messed with the student again, and the student caught him red-handed and got the teacher involved. The teacher called the new guy over and as soon as he saw he had been made, he socked the other student in the face. The teacher tried to restrain him, along with other students, but he broke free and socked the student again, and his glasses flew across the room and smacked into my computer monitor.  I knew right then that this is what I had dreamed about, and most importantly, that this was the last thing I saw before the dream ended. I hoped this meant that this was the last of the events the dream was warning me about. The student who had committed assault was expelled and we never saw him again. I finished school with full honors, graduating at the head of the class. I lost touch with half the people I used to know from tech school, but I still keep in touch with some of them and we meet occasionally to talk about the old days. I haven't had any further visions or weird events happen since then, but you can bet I pay attention to my dreams now.
 
2017-10-31 8:56:07 AM  
8 votes:
CORNELISZ HOUSE

Bay Ridge, Brooklyn, is the sort of average urban neighborhood that could be anywhere, or nowhere.

It's old Brooklyn.  It's away from the teeming hipster bars of Williamsburg, the slums of Brownsville and Bed-Stuy, and the Manhattan-light of downtown.   It's residential, with a decent mix of good delis, Lebanese tavernas, bars, and the requisite pizza places claiming to be "New York's best."

Most of the buildings in the area date from the 1920s, with some 19th century holdouts in the older parts of the neighborhood.  Here, where the British landed in 1776 and chased Washington out of the city, next to nothing remains of anything prior to 1865.

On 82nd Street, between 5th and 6th Avenues, there is an exception.  It's a Dutch colonial, in the literal meanings of those words, and not that of modern day real estate agents.  One of three buildings in the entirety of the city, and the only one in the borough of Brooklyn, that dates to the time when the area was called Geel Hoek, Breukelen, Nieu Nederland.

A town house that was once a farm house, the red brick home stands jammed in a row of three story walk-ups and is a blend of Baroque touches capped with a later Victorian mansard roof.  White paint flakes from the window sills and stone curlicues, lending to the sturdy Dutch masonry a strange sense of both solidity and quiet decay.

Should you want to visit the Cornelisz House, you'd take the R Train to Bay Ridge, and get off at either 77th or 86th Street, almost the end of the line. You may ask locals directions to the house, and their responses will range from "what?" to "why?"  Eventually, you'll make your way to 82nd Street, and over to 5th Avenue after having walked a block in the wrong direction.  You'll pass the house once and on the second pass wonder why you didn't see the Baroque pile the first time around.

The façade is impressive enough, what with the combination of crumbling Baroque touches with later Victorian updates, the heaviness of age oozing out onto the street.  You're sure to wonder why someone would build such a fine home in what was, in the days of old New Netherland, the boondocks.  The windows are dark, and make the imagination soar.  Perhaps to a macabre dream or nightmare you'd had recently.  To murder mysteries, cults, and the poetry of Edgar Allan Poe.

Then you'll notice that this stretch of 82nd Street is peculiarly quiet.  There will be few people around, perhaps one or two watching you from across the street.  No children at play.  You'll cross the far side of the street from the Cornelisz House and take out your smart phone or camera to take a picture.  A neighbor will warn you, "Don't take pictures."

It's a common enough warning in museums to not take pictures, as flashes will damage sensitive works of art, but the outside of a house?

"Why?" you'll ask.

If you're lucky, the neighbor will have been around long enough to give you a reasonable framework why.

"It sounds like a lot of haunted house stuff," she'll begin, "but the Old Dutchman, that's what we called the house as kids, we were just warned by our folks.  My grandmother told me it was built by a fella named Cornelisz, and that he was an artist back in Holland.  He was chased out and came to Bay Ridge when the Dutch still owned it.  I think he was in a cult or something.  Like he had real weird ideas about God and stuff.  I was told to never take pictures, and never to stare.  I think the last family to live there was back in the 1940s or something."

You'll ask for more but just she'll shrug.  She'll glance at the house for a brief moment, before saying that anytime she looks at the house for too long, she has nightmares and doesn't sleep well for a week.  Putting away the camera, you might grab some lunch and google Cornelisz over a sandwich.

Jeronimus Cornelisz was an artist of some renown in his day and mostly forgotten today.  His specialty was the still life.   His paintings were so lifelike that they would fool insects.  He once painted a ham that looked so real, that the glistening from the glaze appeared to shimmer as one walked past.  His paintings were unreal.  I say this in the past-tense as many of his paintings were lost or destroyed, through any number of the upheavals that have swept through northern Europe during the last four hundred years.

One verified painting remains and only gives a hint to the legends surrounding the man's works.  It's a silver flagon on a dark field, sitting atop a broadsheet.  The wear and tear on the canvas gives the impression one is looking at the flagon through a screened window and not at a centuries-old painting.

Cornelisz, despite his profound talent, grew to be a pariah and was convicted and fined for blasphemy, a rarity in the religiously tolerant Netherlands, in 1629.  The court papers from Cornelisz's hometown of Haarlem state that he boasted that his works were "divinely inspired" and that he could "make a better flower than God himself."  Subsequent historians hint at Satanism or Paganism and the usage of unorthodox pigments in his oils.  In 1633, the year he fled to New Netherland, Cornelisz was accused of murdering his fourteen-year-old house maid.  The details of the murder are gruesome, but how Cornelisz escaped Holland, and how he escaped the noose are unknown.  Those records have since been lost or destroyed.

So you'll return to 82nd Street and look into the darkened interior of the house.  It won't be open the day you're there, and part of you will be glad.  Not that the local historic society has the home open very often.   You're sure to notice that the hinges and the lock on the front door haven't been opened in quite some time and have been painted shut by an almost unknowable number of coats.  Perhaps they enter through the alley to do maintenance?

The interior, as viewed from the outside, doesn't look sinister, but a knot will form in your stomach as if you're about to walk past a large dog of questionable friendliness

Out with the camera again.  A man walking down the far side of the street might say something to the effect of, "it doesn't like its picture taken."  He's gone before you can ask what he meant.

You might ponder that for a moment.  A house doesn't want its picture taken?  Pretty ironic for a house built by an artist.  "It doesn't like its picture taken"?

You'll think it's silly, but that knot in your stomach urges caution.  But you're adventurous.  You're here to photograph one of the oldest houses in the city, and the home of a man who was convinced that his work was perfect.

You snap your first picture.  Looking down at your phone, you see it's blurry.  No good.  You frame up a second shot.  Again, blurry.  Looking at the result of your third try, this time instead of a blurry picture, you see a still life of a skull and three overturned glasses.  You attempt to frame up another picture but now your phone shows another still life, in near photographic realism, of a skull sitting atop a Persian rug with a vase of spilled tulips beside it, rendered in the glow of a sunset through a window.  Then, bones among discarded books with pages pulled out.  An overturned chair.  Dried blood spattered on a wall.  A candlestick bent out of shape.  Chaos, bones, and dread.

Attempting to turn the phone off, you look up, but the house is no longer there.  There is a deep shaft, lined with brick that descends into the sort of dark void you only hear about in caves.  A hot humid air comes up out of the pit, like a large animal is breathing on you.  You will be overcome by the feelings you only get in nightmares.  The feeling that you can't get away, that it's too late, and the dread will overcome you.  Screams, moans of despair and loathing will invade you, robbing you of your balance.  The frantic cries of a girl mixed with what sounds like a domineering lecture by a man in Dutch.  The repeated smacks of a blunt object against flesh.

Go and visit, if you wish, but take only memories when you leave.
 
2017-10-31 1:57:02 PM  
7 votes:
Sweet jumpin' Jeebus in a one-wheeled rickshaw you Farkers are long-winded today!

Here's my scary story:

I was 6 and wearing my Casper Halloween costume. Without warning, my cat decided to attack the cheap plastic mask....while it was on my face.

Ende.
 
2017-10-31 12:37:06 PM  
7 votes:
Not much, but

One summer when I was 19-ish I was sitting in my friend's car in front of my home.  We were parked on the "wrong" wide of the street, so that the passenger (my) side of the car was toward the road.  We'd been hanging out all night, NOT drunk but still kind of running on high from the night's activities, so I didn't want to go in just yet.

It's maybe 1:00a or so and we're just sitting there talking, laughing, when suddenly I jerk my head to look out my window; I scan up and down the street.

"Ted" asks me what's up, and I tell him.  Out of the corner of my eye, I saw (what I later determined to be) Dodge Charger: shiny, black, all windows tinted so darkly you couldn't see within. It was just sitting there, on the road next to us, silent, no lights.

At least, that's what I saw.

But there wasn't anything there, hence Ted's confusion.  I chalked it up to the need for sleep (I'm a skeptic, through and through) and we laughed it off, continuing our banter and discussion.

Come about 2am I decide finally it's time to end the night.  I begin to open the door and catch the headlights of an approaching vehicle, so I keep the door partially open but don't swing it wide, waiting for it to pass.  It does.

It was that car.

I glanced over at Ted in disbelief.  He was just staring out the windshield, wide eyed.  All I said was, "Yeah, I'm going in now" and we called it a night.

There's probably a dozen reasons to explain it, but it weirded my out big time that night.
 
2017-10-31 12:07:39 AM  
7 votes:
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
///3
 
2017-10-25 8:31:07 AM  
7 votes:
Why the hell is this thread 6 days early?
 
2017-11-01 12:41:58 AM  
6 votes:
So.  I don't know why I'm doing this.  Some of you know me, and know that I'm not much for small talk.  I'm a pretty straightforward guy that doesn't much believe in this sort of thing.  Maybe lately this memory keeps popping up in my conscious, or maybe it's the cat I heard a couple nights ago, yowling about something at 1 in the morning that triggered the memory.  Lord knows I haven't thought about it in years upon years.

I was 13 at the time, and I was lying in bed, half-asleep, eyes closed.  There were cats outside my house, and they were making a LOT of noise.  I didn't move or make a sound because I thought I could actually understand what they were saying, almost kinda like where you hear the sounds they're making but they formulate into words in your head.

It sounded like a council.  Or a trial.  One of the cats was telling the others that another cat (only referred to as "the invader") must die.  The "invader" was claiming that it was innocent, and there were a chorus of other cats agreeing by shouting "kill him" or "no, he can be useful" and weird things like that.  The arguing got louder, and I couldn't track all that was being said.  I just lay there, afraid to move, scared out of my wits.   In a way that's funny to say, that's when things got odd (though it wasn't until years later that my more adult brain put the oddness together into that, "huh" feeling of wtf?).  My mother got up.  I know this because as soon as she turned on the light in her room, and got up out of bed, the cats immediately stopped.  I heard, "she's awake!" and "flee!" (seriously) and I heard her walk to my room.  By that point things were absolutely silent outside.  She asked me if I was okay, and I said yes.  She told me it was just a couple of cats fighting, and it sounded like they were gone, and I should go back to sleep.  She told me she loved me, and that she'd wake me up for school in the morning.  She went back to bed, and that was that.

Only I couldn't sleep right away.  I don't know how long I lay there, but after a while there was a single, loud, long, drawn out unearthly cat... Shriek?  Yowl?  It sounded like it was right outside my window.  Scariest thing in real life I'd heard, and come to think of it, probably have ever heard.  I certainly have never heard anything like it before, nor have I since.  I remember being so much the classic child the next day seeing a cat on a neighbor's lawn, and I walked up to it.  It didn't have a collar so I was surprised it stayed there initially.  I told it I heard last night, and asked what happened.  It stared up at me, and literally SLOWLY looked left and right, then turned and bolted.  For a while after that, I noticed there would be at least one cat following me or in sight of me--even outside the school.  It went on for about 6 months.  The brain has amazing powers of self-delusion, especially at that age, and I told myself it was my imagination/coincidence.  That being said, I haven't looked at cats the same way again.  I get along with them, actually, and they seem to like me, but I just don't quite look at them the same way, even though I told myself it was bullshiat.

The weirder things I didn't put together until later.  For one thing, I never really noticed before then that cats mostly avoided my mother.  I also was like, wait, they said, "she's awake."  What did THAT mean?  The third odd bit was that she got up, and came to my room.  She didn't ask if I was awake (I was initially still lying there with my eyes closed, not having moved at all).  She also didn't walk down the hall to check on my brother.  What was up with that?

I was in my mid 20s when I was thinking about it and put those things together.  I asked her about it, and by that point my mother told me that she didn't remember the night.  She also said cats don't avoid her, she just prefers dogs.

I guess this isn't overly scary, but it's weird and in some ways creepy, and it's Halloween, and as above, it feels good to finally get this out.  I do feel like a lunatic writing it down though.  Not sure I'll hit "Add Comment."
 
2017-10-31 2:53:20 PM  
6 votes:
Remember those old 'CRT' monitors?   Remember how if you filmed them on video, the video would show the scan lines running up the monitor screen in regular sequence?  Think that was due to the monitor running faster than the eye can see, but the video tapes could still catch it.

So, with that out of the way, I was standing on a train platform.  I was tired at the end of yet another day of crushing corporate middle-management crap.   Idly staring at some of the buildings across from the platform,  there was very strange moment.  One of the buildings was a black glass, typical hip post-modern office buildings.  Anyways -- in my peripheral vision first, then full-on vision, I saw a scan line.  Across the whole width of the glassy expanse, for just a moment, I caught a 'ripple'. moving up the glass as an even straight line.    The only way I can explain it is the old 'scan lines' analogy.   It was very quick, then it blipped out.

If we are a simulation, then I may have just 'Truman Show'ed' in that moment.  Of course, there are likely a hundred rationale and mundane explanations for what I saw and I am a strong, strong skeptic of all things mystical - no matter how comforting or appealing.  But, for those few seconds, I was thoroughly freaked out.
 
2017-10-31 2:35:31 PM  
6 votes:
True story, may not be scary, but it still bothers me.
Two years ago, my wife and I were house sitting for my grandma. We slept in her guest bedroom, which is decorated in true old lady fashion. Decorative pillows and matching heavy ceramic lamps on matching nightstands.
When we stay there we put the decorative pillows in front of the nightstands, kinda precariously leaning against them.
One Sunday morning I wake up before my wife and something just isn't right. The room is way more open. It takes me a minute to realize that there is no lamp on my nightstand. I look over and realize it is perfectly standing on the floor in front of the nightstand. The pillow still leaning undisturbed now between the lamp and the nightstand. Some other weird things, the lamp is plugged into an outlet behind the headboard and just moving the lamp on the top of the night stand requires careful fishing of the cord from between the wall and headboard. The lamps are also at least 10 lbs and trying to pick them up from the shade results in the shade ripping off the lamp.
The point of all these details is that if my wife or I happened to do some sleep rearranging, it would have had to have been done so carefully and delicately so as not to knock over the pillow or move the squeaky headboard without waking the other. To this day my wife doesn't like to talk about it because it freaks her out so much.
 
2017-10-31 1:49:42 AM  
6 votes:
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!
 
2017-10-30 8:00:04 PM  
6 votes:
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."
 
2017-10-25 2:20:44 PM  
6 votes:
I tell this one every year.

Beer 'fridge.


img.fark.netView Full Size
 
2017-10-25 9:38:53 AM  
6 votes:
Is this the official halloween thread or practice, either way I know what I am doing all day
 
2017-10-25 8:28:59 AM  
6 votes:

Flt209er: Sorry, not an actuaL story, but this thread is as good a place as any to mention that Harper&Row have finally pulled their heads out of their asses and rereleased the old "Scary stories to tell in the dark" books with all of the original artwork intact. Anyone with younger kids in the family might want to grab a set or two before someone at the publisher pusses out again.


So glad my kids were readers long before discovering the "Goosebumps" series of books, because those endings used to scare me.

/great books, though
 
Xai [TotalFark]
2017-10-25 7:22:55 AM  
6 votes:
He woke up, "It was just a bad dream" he thought; he turned on the TV, the headline scrolled past TRUMP RE-ELECTED!!!!

"NOOOOOOOOOOOOO!"
 
2017-10-25 2:24:11 AM  
6 votes:
When I was 12 the town I grew up in had what were called "near-riots", so that was the last year I got free candy from strangers.

It was awful until I was 13 and had a job mowing lawns.  Then I realized that I could make cash for doing work and exchange that for all the candy I wanted.

Once I realized I could buy my own candy Halloween seemed kind of stupid.

Sorry.  That's my story.
 
2017-10-24 9:53:11 PM  
6 votes:
SEX ZOMBIES ON WHEELS


"That's the stupidest story I've ever read!"

And with that, another door slammed in my face - POW! - so hard, it made the tip of my nose tingle. Despondent, I turned around and trudged back down the hallway. How many publishers had I been to now? Ten? Eleven? It felt like a dozen.

And all of them, no, no, no, no, no, no, no.

I stopped. I counted. How many "no's" was that? I tried to count again, but decided it was no use. I was never going to sell my novel.

I checked my watch. Uh oh! If I didn't hurry, I was going to be late for my date!

I tucked my manuscript under my arm and proceeded to march down the crowded city sidewalk.

An hour later, I arrived at the diner. I immediately grabbed a seat, and the woman turned around and slapped me. I then found my way to a booth and waited for Lucy.

Ah, Lucy. My first date with a lady in over a year. She was cute as a button and twice as smart. Her good looks actually helped earn her a living. She worked in the button store on the east side of town. She fit in well. So well, in fact, it was often hard to find her when she was standing among the merchandise. But, whenever I did happen to spot her, I always asked her out.

And she always told me no, for reasons I didn't quite understand at the time, and still don't quite understand today. But yesterday, for some equally inexplicable reason, she said yes. So, we arranged to meet at the south side diner for lunch.

I slid into the booth and looked out the window expectantly.

I took the manuscript out from under my arm and held it in my hands as I gazed through the foggy, streaked window at the bustling street outside.

Then, it struck me. WHAP!

The manuscript! This was a first date! If she asks me what I do, I might have to tell her! If she sees me with my book, she might want to read it!

Panic filled my chest, and I felt tiny beads of sweat pop out of my pores.

I can't let her read this! That would be too much, too soon! No way, no how! Nuh-uh, buddy!

I squirmed around in the booth, and slid the manuscript down my pants.

Just then, Lucy appeared on the horizon. She looked as radiant as a light bulb on fire, with bright rosy cheeks under sparkling brown eyes. She walked into the diner, just as pretty as you please, and caught my eye.

"Hi, Eddie!" she squealed with delight. I waved at her, and she hurried over.

Sliding into the seat next to me, Lucy looked me right in the mouth.

"How ya doin'?" she said in a voice so low and sultry it sounded like a 45 RPM record being played at 33 1/3 speed then chained to the back of a truck and dragged over a gravel road.

"P-p-pretty good," I stammered. "How has your day been?"

"Oh, you wouldn't believe," she moaned, flipping her hand in the air dismissively. "I could tell you, but you wouldn't believe."

The waitress came over and handed us a pair of menus. "Something to drink?" she asked.

"Wa-wa-water!" I said, raising my finger in the air, and then immediately lowering it as I realized that I should have let the lady order first. It was only polite.

I gestured in Lucy's direction.

"Milkshake," she said.

The waitress nodded.

"Chocolate or vanilla?"

"Chocolate," Lucy replied.

The waitress made a note on her notepad.

"Vanilla," Lucy said.

The waitress looked at her.

"Half and half," Lucy said, as she slowly turned her head toward me and licked her lips.

"That's... the way I like it."

I gulped, looked at the waitress, and let out a nervous laugh.

"Ha ha ha, w-w-water for me! Thanks! Thank you!" I said with a shaky voice.

The waitress nodded and walked away. I let out another nervous laugh. I didn't know what to say.

"My boss at the button store? Get this," Lucy whispered conspiratorially, "He's thinking of expanding into fabric. Fabric! Can you believe that?"

"Well, it seems kind of a natural, don't you think?"

"What do you mean?"

"Fabric... buttons. They kind of go together, you know?"

"Oh, I know," she said. "But do you know how much room fabric takes up? They come in these really big rolls. Huge. They take up a lot of room, let me tell you. More room than we've got, that's for sure. We have ten thousand square feet in the store, and we still have barely enough room to hold all the buttons that we already have in stock. I told him, 'Mr. Lemberer, sir. Fabric is all well and good. I like it. You like it. Everybody likes it. But, don't you think that maybe we should offer things like needles and thread first? Y'know? Before we go jumping straight to fabric?' And, of course, he's all like..."

Lucy bowed up her arms, stuck out her lower lip and grunted several times, mimicking her boss.

"Ruh ruh ruh. Ruh ruh ruh."

The waitress returned to our table with my water and Lucy's half-vanilla, half-chocolate milkshake.

"Ready to order?"

Lucy ordered a hamburger, extra rare with double mustard. I ordered the cod casserole, extra well done with double ketchup.

As the waitress walked away, Lucy finished her story.

"You wanna know what I think?" she asked.

"Yes."

"I think that my boss thinks that if we offer needles and thread in our store, we're going to end up hurting the business of all the needle stores and all of the thread stores on our block, and they might get mad at us."

"Really?" I asked.

"Sure. A small businessman in the button industry doesn't dare go up against Big Needle. Are you kiddin'? Going against Big Needle AND Big Thread? At the same time? Phew!" She shook her head, rolled her eyes, and laughed derisively. "That would be a recipe for economic disaster. Or, so he thinks," Lucy said as she unwrapped her straw and dunked it into the whipped cream that topped her biracial shake.

I took a napkin and used it to dab the moisture off my upper lip. Then, I took a big swig from my water glass. The icy liquid felt absolutely exquisite splashing around the inside of my hot throat.

"Mmmaaannngahhh..." I said, smacking my lips and setting my glass down. Why was I so nervous?

"Look at me, talking about myself, on and on, blah blah blah," Lucy laughed. "Enough about me. I want to know what you've been up to today."

"Oh, you know, the usual thing," I said, exhaling a large breath that I hadn't realized I had been holding up until that moment. "Visiting publishers. Looking for work."

"Publishers?"

"Yeah, I'm a, I'm a..."

I let out another nervous laugh that sounded half-phony and half-crazy. I then thought of my laugh as the verbal equivalent of Lucy's milkshake, and the idea made me blurt out another loud laugh, this one sounding 100% maniacal through and through.

"I'm a writer," I said guiltily, as if I were confessing to defecating into mailboxes. I felt shame and guilt engulf me, surrounding and enveloping me like a big, wet catcher's mitt made of despair. At that moment, I wanted nothing more than to grab my manuscript and beat myself to death with it.

"A writer! That's interesting!"

I looked at her in stunned surprise.

"You, you think that's... that's interesting?"

"Is sure is. What do you write?"

"Well, a book, I suppose you might call it," I said slowly, my quivering hands reaching out toward my water glass again.

"What's it about?"

I sipped my water as I considered my answer. I set the glass back down on the table carefully, tracing the drops of condensation on my fingertip in a slow circle around the edge of the rim as I pondered her question.

I smacked my lips and made a decision. I was going to tell her the truth, damn it!

"Honestly?" I looked her in the eyes. "It's the story of a relationship. A man and a woman who are deeply in love."

Her eyes lit up.

"Oh, yes?"

"They want to be married. But then," I swallowed hard. "Then the man finds out that she's been unfaithful."

"Oh, no! That's terrible."

"Yes. Yes, it is. It starts with him confronting her, and ends with him finally standing up to her and her lover."

My voice trailed off, and I gazed out the window absently.

"What happens then?"

I pulled the manuscript out of my pants.

"You can read it if you want to," I said. "Every publisher that's seen it so far has turned it down." I shrugged. "It's probably not the type of thing that one should bring up on a first date, anyway."

"Why not?" She seemed genuinely curious about what seemed painfully obvious.

"A first date, I suppose, is about the beginning of a relationship, right?"

"I guess," she said, in an uncertain tone.

"This particular story is about a relationship ending. Badly. Wallowing in that negativity on a first date is a bit of a... downer, don't you think?"

Lucy looked at the manuscript.

"Well, it's fiction, isn't it?"

I didn't reply. Luckily, she kept on talking.

"I think it's amazing that you've written a novel at all. That's pretty special."

The food arrived. After the waitress walked away, Lucy asked me if she could read my book.

Now.

I agreed. What the hell?

As she sat and ate and drank and read, I sat and ate and drank, and watched her sit and eat and drink and read.

-


MY SUMMER AT A NEW ENGLAND PREP SCHOOL



A Novel By


Eddie Dartson


Vincent stood in the doorway, his eyes brimming with tears.

"What is it?" cried Rebecca. "What's wrong with you? Why won't you talk to me?"

Vincent threw a rotting penis onto the kitchen table.

The penis squirmed. Rebecca gasped.

"Where - where did you find that?"

"In our bedroom!"

Rebecca clenched her teeth and held her breath. Her eyes were wide as saucers.

"W-w-where?"

Vincent could barely bring himself to say. When he did, it was as if the words were being torn from his very soul.

"In our bed!"

The shockwave of emotion reverberated through the room. With a quick motion, Rebecca slapped Vince across the cheek. Vincent, in a rage, picked up the penis and hit Rebecca on the side of the head with it.

Rebecca collapsed onto the floor, sobbing.

"Tell me the truth!" Vincent shouted, his face red and sweaty. He shook the writhing penis at Rebecca. "Are you sleeping with a zombie?! Yes or no?!"

Rebecca looked up at him, her eyes sparkling with fury.

"Yes! Yes! A thousand times yes!" she screamed.

Vincent couldn't believe it. He was utterly stunned. He dropped the penis to the floor and sank to his knees.

"How... how could you do this to me, Rebecca?" Vincent said through anguished sobs. "I loved you! We were to be married in June!"

In a flash, Rebecca reached out and snatched the penis off the floor. She stood up quickly and brandished it at Vincent.

"Because he's not what you think!" Rebecca hissed. "He's not just a zombie!"

"What is he, then?!" shouted Vincent.

"He's a... he's a..."

"SAY IT!!!"

"He's a sex zombie!!!"

Thunderstruck, Vincent fell over backwards onto the ground. He twitched on the floor, whimpering. He could feel his heart breaking in his chest. Thud, thud, crack. Thud, thud, crack. Thud, thud, crack. He only regained his senses at the sound of the kitchen door slamming shut.

"Rebecca! Wait!"

Vincent scrambled to his feet, tore through the back door, and ran out into the yard. Darting across the lawn, he caught up to Rebecca. Vincent seized her by the shoulders, spun her around quickly, and grabbed her roughly by the wrists.

"You have to tell me! You must! You must!"

Rebecca struggled to pull herself free from Vincent's iron grip. "Let me go!" she cried.

Vincent held firm and shook her wrists harder. The rotten penis clutched in Rebecca's hands flopped back and forth between them as they struggled.

"Do you love him?!" Vincent asked, fresh tears welling in his eyes. "Do you?!"

Rebecca turned her head away, and Vincent shook her harder.

"Do you?!" he yelled. "Tell me!"

"I love his motorcycle, okay? I LOVE HIS MOTORCYCLE!" Rebecca screamed. She finally pulled herself away from Vincent and ran down the road, weeping.


-

A few hours later the waitress brought us dessert and coffee as Lucy neared the end of my manuscript.

She was one hell of a fast reader. Maybe the fastest I'd ever seen.

-

"I want to speak to him," Vincent demanded.

"You can't!" Rebecca replied, fear in her eyes. "What good would it do us now?!"

"I want to see him now! Where is he?"

Before Rebecca could reply, a cold voice came out of the darkness.

"Right here."

Vincent spun around. Out of the shadows stepped Samuel, the sex zombie.

Samuel crossed his arms. There was a long silence. The only sound was the steady drip drip drip of maggots falling out of Samuel's ass.

"I didn't think you'd have the guts to come back, Sam," Vincent said.

Samuel sneered, his green, moldy teeth glinting in the moonlight.

"Is that supposed to be a joke? If so, bravo, old man, bra-vo."

Samuel began clapping his hands sarcastically. It sounded like two wet steaks slapping against each other.

Vincent gestured toward Samuel's crotch.

"I see you have your penis back."

Samuel glanced down.

"Oh. Yeah. That. Sorry I have to leave it out like this. I just had it re-attached, and my zombie doctor told me I shouldn't wear anything below the waist for at least forty-eight hours."

"It wouldn't fit in your pants, anyway," Rebecca spat, her voice filled with vitriol.

Samuel raised his hands up in a supplicating gesture. He looked bewildered and hurt.

"Hey, hey, hey. What is this? Both of you are ganging up on me now? That's fair."

"You're one to talk about fairness!" Vincent cried as he jabbed an angry finger at Samuel. "Why don't you take those maggots, shove them back up your ass, and leave us in peace?!"

Silence filled the air.

Suddenly, Samuel hunched over. His face was hidden from view, but judging by the slight trembling of his shoulders and the gentle wavering of the tip of his penis, it appeared as if he were crying.

He turned around and began to walk away.

The anger inside Vincent subsided like a deflating balloon. What had, moments before, been volcanic feelings of betrayal and jealousy, swiftly morphed into a desolate spiritual desperation.

"Sam... wait!"

Vincent and Rebecca looked at each other in surprise. Both had spoken the very same words at the very same time.

Samuel turned and looked at them sadly.

"I know the both of you think that you want me to stay. But, you really don't."

"We do!" Rebecca sobbed.

"No, you don't. That's not the point."

"Then what IS the point?!" Vincent pleaded.

Samuel shook his head and gave them a woeful smile. "Poor, sweet Vincent. This isn't about the maggots in my ass, or even the penis in your bed," he said softly. "This is really about the maggots and the penises in your hearts."

Vincent and Rebecca began to cry. Soon, Samuel was crying too. But, despite the dusty tears spilling down his hollowed cheeks, Samuel kept on speaking. He spoke faster and faster, his voice rising in intensity.

"If you two can honestly look at me and say that I haven't touched your hearts, or your genitals, and that the time we've spent together wasn't important to you, then... then..." He struggled to speak. "Then, that's it, man. I'll just go out there, I'll get on my chopper, and I'll ride, baby. I'll ride far, far away, and I won't ever come back."

Vincent and Rebecca listened intently as Samuel spoke his final words to them, each syllable that passed his lips a dagger driven deep into their souls.

"But, if you could say, truthfully, that while I was in your lives I made one person laugh, one person think, one person come, then... then I'll know that it wasn't all in vain. I'll know, in my heart of hearts, that somehow, somewhere, in some small way, I helped someone learn how... to love... again!"

With a final, hitching sob, Samuel turned on his heel and walked off into the darkness, never to return.

Vincent and Rebecca clutched to each other and crumpled to their knees, crying silent tears for what might have been. They couldn't live without Samuel, and Samuel couldn't live. The light that had once illuminated their lives had been suddenly and irrevocably extinguished.

And now, nothing would ever be the same.



THE END


-

Lucy folded over the final page of the manuscript. It was clear that it had evoked powerful emotions in her. I sat my empty coffee cup down as the waitress cleared the final dishes from our table.

Lucy wiped the tears from her face. She was silent for a long, long time.

Finally, she spoke.

"That's the stupidest story I've ever read!"
 
2017-11-01 5:37:55 PM  
5 votes:

basicstock: It had nothing to do with the time of the posting


Go the latest Fark NotNewsletter. Check out the top-voted comments. 90% of them are in the first dozen or so comments.

Maybe that's because the best jokes and comments are the most obvious, so they naturally get posted first. I think it has more to do with people not bothering to read every post in a thread, so people read the first few, and then skip to the end after they've seen what they came for.
 
2017-11-01 3:29:51 AM  
5 votes:

omg bbq: farking_texan: Fireproof: Even as a writer, I have to ask:

Anyone else like these threads better when every story was supposedly real, as opposed to being full of five-page long things that with fictional characters and drafts in the Writers Threads?

YES. At least they used to blend in better.

probably not, mine was real and put me on the edge of a breakdown but it appears to not be very popular.

But if I wrote a story about the nightmare I had when a Polish gypsy woman cursed me with a Steamer Trunk full of Haunted Dicks it would probably be a slam dunk.
Fake stuff always goes over better, while the real stuff that has really traumatized us has no actual conclusion or reason (unlike stories or movies) so it leaves the reader unable to find that closure.


I JUST finished reading that when you posted this. YIKES! I enjoyed it and it creeped me out. I don't vote in these threads. I like the real stuff, it is usually compact and told without a lot of embellishment. I don't want to read some aspiring writer's 18 paragraphs.
 
2017-10-31 10:46:14 PM  
5 votes:
My mom once had a very detailed dream one night. There was this guy who made rude comments and acted really creepy, in a stalker kind of way. She dreamed that he hung himself out of shame at what he did and left a note behind. Before he hung himself, he called his minister and told him what he was about to do. She could see him hang himself with a rope. In her dream, the phone rings and she wakes up. It's the creepy man's minister. He's over at creepy guy's house and he's calling her to let her know that creepy guy killed himself by hanging himself in the living room. He left a note behind explaining why and that creepy guy called him before he died.
And at that moment, the phone rings. It's creepy guy's minister. He's calling from creepy guy's house. Creepy guy committed suicide by hanging himself in the living room. He left a note explaining why. And he called the minister right before he hung himself.

I once went to sleep one winter night with a red shirt. I wake up because I feel my legs cramp up. Then I noticed things were all wrong.
My watch is on my right wrist and not on my left wrist. I'm on top of the blankets and not underneath them. My head is at the bottom of the bed and not at the headboard. And my shirt is wet, like I sweated through it, despite it being below freezing outside. I'm the only person in the house.
It's 2 AM according to my watch.
Next thing I know, I'm sitting on my bed and the light is on. My shirt is dry, but it's a blue shirt. And it's on backwards and inside out. The red shirt is handing neatly on the dirty clothes hamper and it's dry as well.
I check the time and it's 2:15 AM. I don't remember turning on the light or changing my shirt.
I still don't know what happened.
 
2017-10-31 9:48:13 PM  
5 votes:
My name is William Matthew Stromberg. Or it was, anyway. To be honest, I'm not sure I really exist anymore. I did exist though. I owned a business. Got married and had three children. But all that changed just after midnight on October 28, 1914. I'm going to do my best to tell just what happened. The facts are real, but I'm not sure if my thoughts and feelings are. After so many years, it's hard to tell what's real and what's not sometimes.

I begin at the beginning, when I was born in 1866. My parents were Swedish immigrants, Mr. and Mrs. Nels O. Stromberg. My father was a cabinetmaker and an early settler in Galesburg. I was one of eight children, and I resided in this town my entire life. My parents died only a month apart from each other, in 1907. They are buried in Linwood Cemetery.

When I was 27 years old, in 1893, I married Marcia Tate. She was the daughter of a Civil War veteran, and long-time Knoxville blacksmith/grocer/politician Thomas Tate. I owned a candy store at 215 E. Main St in Galesburg. I'm told there is now a wine tasting business there. Marcia and I would go on to have three children, a girl and two boys. We had a mostly good marriage, and we were raising our family in our home at 1276 E. Main St., near the East Main Congregational Church, which we attended. Sometimes we fought, but it usually wasn't too major. I was known to have a temper, but I was never violent. At least not until October 28, 1914.

You see, in 1914 I was diagnosed as diabetic and given six months to live. Nowadays there are ways to treat diabetes, but insulin wasn't used until 1922, so there wasn't much that could have been done. I was frustrated and had taken to drinking to help numb the worry and fear. While not the best decision, I didn't know what else to do. In bed on the night of October 27th, I could not fall asleep. I was cold and did not feel I had enough covers. I grew frustrated and argued with Marcia. I stormed out and rode my bicycle to my shop downtown. I liked to hunt, and I kept a Winchester automatic shotgun there. I rode my bicycle home with the gun. Several people saw me with it, but thought nothing of it. They knew I owned a gun and liked to hunt.

I arrived home just after midnight. I went upstairs with my gun. Marcia ViewScan_0005met me at the door to our room, so I pointed the gun to her chest. She grabbed the barrel and jerked it to the side. I pulled the trigger and wounded her hand and blasted the door frame. She ran downstairs and outside, screaming and panicking for help. Our children were in their beds in the sleeping porch on the east side of the house.

Joyce was our oldest. She had just turned 19 that week and was attending Lombard College. She was described as "a beautiful girl, just budding into womanhood and a singer of rare promise." I blew off the top of her head.

Ralph was a month short of turning 14. He went to Weston School. The building is still there on Mulberry Street. He played on the church football team and sometimes he helped me out at the store. I shot him in the face.

Lowell, our 10-year-old, also went to the Weston School. He was bright and popular, and loved going to church. He never missed a Sunday. I put the shell in the base of his skull.

They were are killed without a struggle in quick succession in their beds. I then did the only thing I could do at this point, and turned the gun on myself. I fell facedown dead with the gun beside me.

No one could understand how this could happen. I do not even understand it. All I know is that it happened. Many headlines say I was drunk, but no one was sure if I was or not. The public did not know about my diabetes. How could I go insane like that? Why take my children out? I wish I could remember and say why. They did not deserve it. Marcia did not deserve to have her children taken from her.

A private funeral service was held for me and my children. They were buried in white caskets. We were all put in the family plot on the east side of Linwood Cemetery.

Marcia would go on to recover from her wound, and spent the rest of her life in the same home I murdered her children, which was another 41 years. She died in a nursing home in 1956, and she was cremated and buried beside me, with the children she lost.

I wish I knew why I did this.
 
2017-10-31 4:37:57 PM  
5 votes:
Don't have a hell of a lot in the way of scary stories, but here's one that still creeps the fark out of me because it's true. That's probably why I haven't thought of it in so long.

Growing up there was a family up the street, just a father, son and younger daughter. Families like that weren't uncommon, but it was usually a mother who had the kids, which is why we always assumed the mother had passed away. We never asked for some reason, but things with them always seemed a bit off. Not sure how to explain it beyond that.

The daughter (let's call her Tina) was close in age to my sister, who is about five years older than me. She was probably about fourteen when this happened. Because of her age and (I assume) having lost her mother, she was moody and kind of dark all the time. I found out she was into the occult, something which both fascinated and slightly frightened me and my sister both. That didn't stop us from taking Tina up on her offer of doing a homemade Ouija board.

She made one with a piece of notebook paper with the letters, numbers, etc. written on it and a coin as a planchette. We first made contact with Marvin Gaye. I have no idea why we chose to contact him other than the fact that he had recently died and was in the news. I really don't remember what came of that contact. I do remember the next one.

It was my grandfather, my mother's father who had passed away when my mother was about eight. We asked him a few mundane questions and then asked him about his daughter, our mother. The answer we got creeped us the fark out and we never touched a Ouija board again and really didn't hang around with Tina much after that.

The question: Are you happy with how Betty grew up?

The answer: B-A-D...  G-I-R-L
 
2017-10-31 2:56:59 PM  
5 votes:
Also, don't get me started on my strange relationship to the common streetlight.    No rhyme or reason and it is likely confirmation bias, but, I really wish when I walking down a street if a streetlight would not choose to go out JUST as I walk under it.

No every light (obviously), but it is an odd thing I've had my whole life.   However, it is not recreate-able at will and therefore it will forever remain one of those odd life amusements / terrors that some of us have.
 
2017-10-31 12:11:08 PM  
5 votes:
You see, there is always a "way in."

He knows this way in. He sees you. He sees everything about you.

What you drive. What you eat. How much you make. What you buy.

He knows all your secrets. Because you gave them to him. You placed all your life in a box.

It was convenient that way. Everything moves through everyone. It's his job to make the pipes run smoothly.

Every sewer worker has a special key. No one else is allowed in, but he is. He has to fix the pipes. He has to be underground to do this.

But he doesn't fix sewage. It's your life that flows through these pipes, and drains in reservoirs.

Your blood tests. Your kid's grades. What your wife said about you to the therapist. It's all there.
Everything.

And he covets. He sees your perfect life. You don't think it's perfect, but HE does. He sees you go on vacation. He sees where you go to dinner. He sees your happy children winning the little plastic trophy, and what part of China it comes from.

He knows where you live. That parts was the easiest. It's impossible for him not to know.

He drove by last week. Saw you, just to get a real face to the numbers. He doesn't have a face like that, or a wife like that, or a nice house like yours. He spends all day, working on the pipes, seeing everyone that has it better. He knows how much more everyone is paid.

But he has the keys. He knows the how to disable the alarm. What tumblers go to the lock.

He stopped by yesterday. Gave the door a good look. Contemplated. A dog barked at him and he lost his nerve.

He was there this morning. He knew you were away. His want overcame the noise of the dog.He walked on your front porch. He has a key.

Once he hears that click of the lock it'll be just a matter of walking through.

You know nothing of him. He knows everything about you.

You see, there's a "way in." Someone must have one. Every castle has a door. Every system has a controller.

There's always a guy that can get in. He wears a uniform, everyone trusts him. He look like he belongs.

He convinced himself he has.

He wants your life.

Tomorrow evening he'll get to feel how soft your bed is.

You see, there is always a "way in."
 
2017-10-31 11:31:49 AM  
5 votes:
This is my favorite thread of the year, I always look forward to it.  Hopefully we get plenty more additions!  And here's a classic that hasn't been posted yet.
Ted's Caving Page - http://www.angelfire.com/trek/caver​/
 
2017-10-31 10:51:59 AM  
5 votes:

meg12279: sleep paralysis is the worst.  Thanks for the sponsor, Ween!


So speaking of sleep paralysis...
I was 4 or 5 and sleeping in a real bed, mind you. I had one of those anti-fall mesh rails that sat under the mattress and, because I was 4 or 5, I refused to go to sleep unless my lamp was on. The lamp was within arm's reach on my dresser right next to my bed. It wasn't a very big room but it had all the necessities. My bed was pushed up against the one and only wall where it would fit, which was parallel to the wall with a window that looked into the front yard. One night, I don't know what woke me up, I sat bolt upright in bed. My lamp was off and I remember thinking "Why is my lamp off? Is the power out?"

I noticed a white glow emanating from outside my window, a good distance up off the ground. It was a ways away from the house as well. Without warning, the glow is moving swiftly towards my window. As it gets closer, I can see it is mostly mist but what totally freaks me is the window flies open, the heavy curtains on both sides are blown inwards, flapping as though caught in a terrific gust of wind. The white glowing mist darts in through the window and it's ... large. At least, larger than it first appeared. It is roughly 3' x 2', somewhat elongated and lacking any remarkable details. It hangs there, over the floor, just further in the room than my Fisher-Price orange and yellow play table, which was pushed up against that wall with the window.

My brain just can't even.
My mouth opens to scream and, try as I might, I can't. The sound just isn't coming and I'm frozen in place, sitting upright, staring at this ... mist which is, for all intents and purposes, staring back at me. Without warning, the mist disappears, the window slams shut, the curtains fall limp, my lamp suddenly is on and the scream that I had tried so hard to summon before is now full force, as if I had been screaming the entire time. My dad comes running in, asking me what is wrong and I babbled for a time before telling him the story. I got a hug and a "it was just a dream, go back to sleep."

Years later, I told the story again to my family. My grandmother insisted it was my guardian angel but frankly, after discovering sleep paralysis (thanks, Farkers!), my money is on that.
....... I've never had any sleep paralysis events since then.
 
2017-10-30 11:25:12 PM  
5 votes:
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."
 
2017-10-26 9:05:47 AM  
5 votes:
I found my six year old covered in blood when I went to wake him this morning, it wasn't his.
 
2017-10-25 10:57:53 AM  
5 votes:
This is a prologue to a novella I did a few years back.

          Nee-me-poo is what these people called themselves once. Now they don't have a name. They followed their loved ones up into the mountain. There they saw the great god in the small lake called Kamiah. Blessed with his calling they watched as child, elder, fox, and deer offered themselves to the drowned belly. Certain by the stories of the chiefs that all their people would be saved by Coyote they dug into the sides of the hills. Slowly they carved out their homes in rock. A great sorrow soon overcame them. The great god Kamiah grew hungry. His feast of animals and the people increased every year.
            A young village girl is prepared as a sacrifice. Blessed with lake-water the children of Kamiah grow on her skin. They burrow into her filling the child with the will of the god. She rises out of her bed and begins her dark steps. Her father is a Chief and out of his ignorance he stops her from leaving to the water. The child's eyes grow dark with the hunger of Kamiah. The great god bellows deep beneath the water and all the people cry in fear. Kamiah spits at the people with such a strength they cannot withstand. The water rises out of the ground and washes the people to the lake.
            The Chief is strong and brave. He lifts his beloved daughter up into his arms and carries her past the edge of the lake. The children of Kamiah grow on his skin as well. He cuts at them with his stone blade. He stands on the ground and lets out a terrible cry. His strength falters and his knees bend down into the water. His daughter becomes undone by the children of the god. Her face becomes dark and frayed like worn cloth. The Chief knows then it is his punishment for defying Kamiah. The last thing he sees in his life is his daughter's eyes. They fall away into the water like bubbles in a stream, and leave only a writhing mass of the god's children.
            His grief overcomes him. He takes his knife and cuts out his own eyes. He raises them to the god and blindly asks for his forgiveness. Kamiah growls louder and raises out of the water. The stomach of the god opens and swallows the Chief along with all his people. Before death finds him, the Chief calls out to Coyote and doesn't hear an answer. The god became sated by all he had eaten. He entered sleep beneath the water and waits.
-From Appendix M of Forgotten Stories of the Nez Perce
 
2017-10-25 10:18:21 AM  
5 votes:

Flt209er: Sorry, not an actuaL story, but this thread is as good a place as any to mention that Harper&Row have finally pulled their heads out of their asses and rereleased the old "Scary stories to tell in the dark" books with all of the original artwork intact. Anyone with younger kids in the family might want to grab a set or two before someone at the publisher pusses out again.


I still have my hardback compilation from *before* they changed the artwork :)

This is my favorite thread of the year. You farkers are awesome!
 
2017-10-25 9:44:45 AM  
5 votes:

toejam: A real, 4 word horror story:

"Daddy ate my eyes."

Look it up if you dare.


Fark, I'd just forgotten about that story and now it's back in the old brain.
 
2017-10-25 9:44:36 AM  
5 votes:
One more.  A bit unusual, but fun in a gory sort of way.

"Sin Aesthetic"

Dorpa answered the phone in response to its special ring that indicated someone was calling her from the lobby of her apartment building. "Hello?"
"Uh, hi," said the reverberating, attenuated voice on the other end. "I'm here about the couches?"
"Come on up! Apartment 304."

She pressed 6 on the receiver to unlock the lobby door and waited patiently for the gentleman to come up. She looked around the living room again. The walls were a deceptively flat maroon, but the rainbow legs of her coffee table peeked out from under the tie-died tablecloth, atop which was a crystal vase containing an artful arrangement of crocuses, posies, daisies, orchids, violets, honeysuckle, and baby's breath.

Accompanying them, and bracketing the coffee table on two sides were the couches she had posted for sale online. Their flower pattern wasn't quite as colourful, being predominantly brown and orange with splashes of green and yellow, but they were a symphony all their own -- and she meant that quite literally. Dorpa was a synesthete, which meant that the part of her brain responsible for processing sensory input had a few crossed wires. There are numerous different kinds of synesthesia; some people associated colours with numbers and letters; for others, numbers and letters occupied different positions in space. Dorpa was a colour-sound synesthete, which meant that she associated certain colours with certain musical notes and instruments.

The sensation was quite strong, and as such everything she saw made sound. Much of the time, particularly walking around in public, it was just a jumble of random notes, like an orchestra warming up, all tuning their instruments at the same time. Art galleries were always a mixed bag. She liked the most of the sounds of Renoir, Monet, and da Vinci, but Picasso, Van Gough, Munch, and Dali all evoked various levels of cacophony that she couldn't stand to be around.

It was with this aural aesthetic that she chose her surroundings. It mattered not so much that her paints, furnishings and decorative notions looked good to the average eye, but that it sounded good to the synesthetic ear, and especially that it sounded good with the rest of the room. Her choice of wall paint, for example, provided a nice, constant, low-pitched drone of a cello that served as a foundation for the rest of the things in the room to build their symphony upon.

It was her couches that bothered her, though. They sounded lovely at the thrift store, and their colour scheme and flowery pattern were in a key that matched her wall paint. To most people however, they were hideous, and so they were marked cheaply, which suited Dorpa just fine. She had them delivered to her home, and once they were brought in and put in place, they did sound rather nice, but after a while she realized that they fell flat somewhere, like an orchestra that was missing a crucial section. They unbalanced the room -- like too many strings and not enough piano. Over time, that began to bother her quite seriously. That was why she decided she had to do something with them, hence her post online inviting someone to come and take them.

There was a knock at the door. The man had finally made it up the elevator. She went over, unlatched the chain lock, turned the deadbolt, and opened the door to invite him in.

"Come in, please. The couches are right over there," Dorpa waved a hand toward the living room where the couches awaited.
The man politely removed his shoes and headed into the living room. Dorpa followed behind after closing the door behind him.
"Wow," the man said as he regarded the couches. "That is some serious 70s kitsch. It's great! I have a thing for 60s and 70s styles, you know. Lava lamps, bean bag chairs, disco balls -- you ought to see my place, it's like stepping back in time."
"I'll bet," Dorpa replied. Clearly he was stuck in the past and almost certainly lived alone, but otherwise he seemed perfectly harmless and utterly mesmerized by the couch. That's why he didn't even notice Dorpa's knife slicing his throat open.

She worked quickly. She made sure to cut deep enough to sever the vocal cords so he couldn't scream, but not all the way through. She needed some control. She quickly supported him from behind with one arm under his and around the barrel of his chest, while the other held his head back, allowing her to aim the twin jets of arterial spray.

In as measured a manner as she could, she directed him this way and that until his heart finally stopped beating. She then stepped back to regard her work. Now that was perfect. The swaths of blood red across the couches provided just the right note to complete the symphony. Now the couches sang harmoniously with the rest of the room. Dorpa was rather pleasantly surprised to note that the man's lifeless corpse, now slumped on the floor, added a couple of bass notes and a C-major chord that played a fascinating and unexpected counterpoint. She was rather disappointed now that she'd have to get rid of the body.
 
2017-10-25 9:42:07 AM  
5 votes:
This one is a little bit silly, but still in the appropriate vein.

"Murder is Meat"

Apart from the bonfire lapping at the sky a dozen feet in front of him, it was dark. Oppressively so. Paolo stood shivering in the chill night air, made to wear only a pair of skimpy plum smugglers. He was of the age where, per tradition, he was to undergo El Rito de la Carne -- The Rite of Meat. It was a ritual where, upon turning 18, the first-born male of the family must pay his penance to the animals he has eaten as a way to apologize to them and thank them for providing them nourishment and life. Paolo had no idea what the ritual involved and nobody would tell him, which was supposedly part of the ritual.

He felt alone. He could see nothing beyond the ring of light cast by the fire, and he stood just on its edge so he could see nothing beyond his own backside. Above the crackling of wood, a distant, indiscernible sound wafted by on the breeze, too faint to resolve. Probably a coyote off in the hills, or perhaps just the wind through the treetops. Paolo wished they'd just start the ritual already. He was already cold, being just a little too far away from the fire to properly benefit from its warmth, and the mounting tension coupled with his growing sense of unease were making him shiver. Or was that the point? Maybe the nervousness and uncertainty themselves were meant to build to a fever pitch, eating away at him like a guilty conscience in anticipation of something that would never come. Could they be so sneaky?

Another sound came drifting by, louder this time but still indistinct. It was probably nothing -- probably something he heard all the time but which his mind, in its present state, was making hazy, fearful shapes out of. Was he supposed to be scared? Was that it? Or was he supposed to battle the fear like some manly rite of passage? If this was really a psychological game, then he supposed his first test was to figure out how he was supposed to react. As a passage into manhood it made more sense that he fight back the fear to prove his strength of will. But then, if this wasn't a test of his manliness, then he could be wrong and fail the test when he was supposed to let the fear consume him in penance as he was told.

Fortunately -- or unfortunately, given the circumstances -- he was saved from having to puzzle it out by way of a heavy, wet smack against his bare chest which jolted him out of his thoughts. He looked down at his chest. A sizable area was splattered with crimson. At his feet was what looked to be a bloody, raw steak. Paolo looked around, though he could still see nothing but the fire. The sound came again -- louder still, and this time he could just about identify it: It sounded like the lowing of a cow. Not the normal sort of lowing, but a deeper, more angry sound that dropped significantly in pitch at the end, like the punctuation at the end of an assertive statement. He'd never heard a cow make a sound like that before.

Another wet smack, this time on his back. He couldn't see the spot where it hit, but turning around he saw, through the shadow cast by his body, another piece of meat on the ground. It looked like a pork chop, which he then confirmed by the grunt of a pig some distance away. He spun again as he heard the cow lowing again -- very close this time. Slowly, almost menacingly, he saw first the cow's head, then its forequarters step into the dancing firelight. It lowed again as it looked down its snout at him. He'd never seen a cow look like that before, either. It was a cold, murderous glare. Or maybe it was his mind, blooming with panic, that put that look in its eyes, ascribing to an otherwise docile creature a murderous intent that it shouldn't be capable of.

Impossibly, the cow began to stand upright on its hind legs. Paolo's mind recoiled in fear as it stood, and then screeched in white hot panic as he watched it shove a cloven hoof straight into its chest, tear out another hunk of bloody meat, and throw it at him. The flesh hit him square in the chest once again, leaving another splotch of bright red. The squeal of a pig behind him followed by another wet smack on his back told him that the pig was doing the same thing. He didn't even have to look. He couldn't look anyway, as he was paralyzed with abject terror. Another cow stepped into the ring of light, and then another. More grunting pigs appeared behind him, to the side, joining the cows as each one in turn reached inside themselves and tore off more chunks of their flesh to throw at him. He began to stagger from the rapid pelting on all sides, but he couldn't let himself fall.

No. No, this wasn't real. This wasn't happening. It couldn't be real. Animals couldn't do that. His mind was playing tricks. Awful, horrible, terrifying tricks. This was a mind game, the psychological experiment he thought about. His mind began to calm itself as realization dawned. This was the fear. This was his battle. He understood now.

Paolo released a primal scream, a battle cry, an insane howl like the wolf they wanted him to be.

---

"I don't know," Miguel responded. "It was going fine, but then he just..." He couldn't continue as he broke down in tears again.
"Did you know the victims?" the police officer asked.
"No," Miguel said between sobs. "We hired them for the festivities. It was supposed to be a joke! Just a joke!"
"Okay, just wait here and rest," the officer told him. "We may have more questions later."

With that the officer left to speak with a superior. Miguel looked around him. Seven of the eight they had hired were dead, their throats ripped clean out. Only one had survived, and then only because he had managed to run far enough away in the commotion that Paolo hadn't noticed, where he was able to call the authorities. He sat out the back of one of the ambulances now, his cow head removed and lying by his feet. Paolo was detained in another ambulance on the other side of the yard, strapped tightly to a gurney. His face was caked with blood, and he still struggled against his bonds, making vicious growling sounds. The rest in attendance were being separately questioned by police.

This was an unmitigated disaster. Miguel had no idea how this could possibly have gone so wrong, so tragically wrong. He was sure -- as absolutely sure as he was about anything in life -- that Paolo would get all eight.
 
2017-10-25 8:20:49 AM  
5 votes:
I once passed a beat up '79 Ford pickup on the highway with a white refrigerator on the back of it.
A few miles down the highway,  I passed the same beat up truck with the same white fridge on the back of it.
 
2017-11-01 3:10:29 AM  
4 votes:

Fireproof: Even as a writer, I have to ask:

Anyone else like these threads better when every story was supposedly real, as opposed to being full of five-page long things that with fictional characters and drafts in the Writers Threads?


YES. At least they used to blend in better.
 
2017-10-31 8:00:43 PM  
4 votes:
I started this tradition in 03 or 04 i think. I remember the job I was slacking off at the time.

Now i'm a respectable member of society with a giant mortgage, notes on 2 cars, I married a broad with a student loan that is like 4x her annual income, and I have a kid.

You want scary? look at my balance sheet each month.
 
db2
2017-10-31 6:30:32 PM  
4 votes:

Fireproof: Even as a writer, I have to ask:

Anyone else like these threads better when every story was supposedly real, as opposed to being full of five-page long things that with fictional characters and drafts in the Writers Threads?


It definitely peaked around 2007 or 2008.
 
2017-10-31 4:32:45 PM  
4 votes:
One that sort of haunts me from my days in Scouts.

The camp where we'd go was a big chunk of land, some fields but mostly forest, a dense, twisty, swampy cedar forest with limestone cliffs over a shallow, rocky river. There were of course the tales of Clubfoot, the local boogeyman, and the Lonesome Pine (this was real), a huge white pine in the middle of the cedar woods that had been the sole survivor of a forest fire decades ago, after which the cedars had grown in. Kids climbed it and carved their initials on the trunk as high as they could reach. There was a wood and steel-cable suspension bridge over the river to the more remote cabins and campsites on the far side, and you always heard coyotes. There were springs and dark little crannies in the limestone cliffs where you could hide. It was a magical place as a kid, which makes the next part believable.

There were campfires and there were Campfires. Large-C Campfires were highly ritualized in Scouts - there'd be an opening, a series of songs, skits, and cheers presented by the kids, maybe a ghost story, and a closing. The campfire circle was made out of cedar poles shaped in an octagon, if I can recall, with log benches, a big chair for whoever was the master-of-ceremonies for the campfire. Ours had some vaguely First-Nations-looking painted wooden plaques around the edges - thunderbirds, turtles, etc.

The legend was, if you entered the campfire circle when a campfire wasn't in progress, you would get lost in the woods, no matter how well you thought you knew your way, and you would get cut on every tree you passed. In the twilight, among the twisting cedars and looming cliffs, this seemed very possible, and there were always tales of someone from "the troop that was here last month" who it happened to.

I am sorry to say that even though I kind of thought it was ridiculous as I got older, I never tested it out. So I choose to believe it was at least a little bit true. I think, in my mind, part of what resonated with me about Tharkin's turkeyfeathers story of a few years ago was that I felt they could happen in the same sort of world.
 
2017-10-31 4:21:01 PM  
4 votes:

ObscureNameHere: Also, don't get me started on my strange relationship to the common streetlight.    No rhyme or reason and it is likely confirmation bias, but, I really wish when I walking down a street if a streetlight would not choose to go out JUST as I walk under it.

No every light (obviously), but it is an odd thing I've had my whole life.   However, it is not recreate-able at will and therefore it will forever remain one of those odd life amusements / terrors that some of us have.


I have the same thing happen to me with a streetlight less than half a block from where I turn when going home. It blinks off every time I drive or walk past/under it. I have ten people that can vouch for this and I've experimented with it. had my Hubs and other people drive my auto by it thinking it might be something in the car, nothing, never goes out unless I'm in the car.
 
2017-10-31 1:14:35 PM  
4 votes:
I spend a lot of time on a bike in rural/semi-rural areas of central Texas. I have had dozens of very strange interactions with motorists, but one stands out for creepiness.

I was heading back in the direction of home still about 12 miles out. I just passed the Cele store near Pflugerville, TX. It is occupied now as a BBQ restaurant, but it was vacant then. There is a short hill just south of the store that I was climbing as a car went pass really slow. It is a blind hill, so the slow speed didn't get my attention at the time. The car went past and as I crested the climb the slow moving car was stopped in the road about 50 yards ahead. The driver of the car had their arm out and seemed to be motioning me to come up to them. It was a very slow, sweeping wave of the arm.

Like I said, odd encounters with drivers happen. Usually someone lost. It has always baffled me how many people are driving around out in the country without know how to get where they are going. But this one just my attention. I slowed down to just a crawl and creepy arm kept up the slow wave. I decided it was just not worth it. I turned around and rolled back down the hill to the vacant store lot. I got out my phone just in case creepy waver decided to come back that way. If they really needed directions, they can come back. At least I'll get a picture of them before they kill me.

I waited about a minute and the car didn't come back, so I climbed the hill again and the car was gone. When I got home I told my wife the story and she just said "why didn't you go see what they wanted?" I just said "I don't care what they wanted and I have seen Texas Chainsaw Massacre."

The Cele Store:

img.fark.netView Full Size
 
2017-10-31 12:29:48 PM  
4 votes:
After college, I moved into a fairly ratty apartment complex with a friend who had a second bedroom available. He was running short of the rent, and his roommate had moved out unexpectedly.

And so, immediately after bringing in the old futon and stereo system, I set upon hanging up all of the music posters I had collected over the years. Like 100s of them. Every single space on the wall with late 80s, early 90s music.

Anyway, There was one section of the wall that seemed to have trouble with the blue sticky tack or something. For the first 2 or 3 mornings, I'd wake up and find that the Nirvana Nevermind poster had fallen to the floor, leaving a barren space between Sonic Youth and Rage Against the Machine. This was a used poster from a playbill or something, so it was already fairly beat up, so I didn't mind running some push pins to keep it on the wall.

In the middle of the I wake suddenly, being stirred for some reason. It's pretty dark, but there's some amount of glow through the shades of nearby street lights. There's a low noise in the corner of the room, and even though my eyes are still focusing in the dark, I can see that the corner of the old think pile carpet is being curled up somehow, like someone is rolling it up. Then I hear the ripping noise.

I look up, and the Nirvana poster is "waving" down like a flag back to the wall. I quickly turn on the lights. The carpet in the corner is normal. But the bottom two corners are ripped off ( the corner pieces are still attached to the wall by the pushpins ) and a relatively long tear up the middle. Inspecting the corner of the carpet it was obviously loose, but there was nothing to indicate that a wind or anything could push it up.

The next day, I replaced the poster with a different one. Nothing much happened later for the next 4 months I lived there.

A couple of years later, my old roommate called and said that he had just heard a ( rumored ) story about how the apartment was once lived in by a young single mother in the 1950s who had a baby...and being distraught probably due to port-partum depression or something had drowned her baby in the small pool in the common patio area and then killed herself with sleeping pills later that day.
 
2017-10-31 10:24:55 AM  
4 votes:
You ever been scared so much you can't move?  Of course you have.  We all have.  It lasts a second or two then fight or flight kicks in and you are free.  Some people though get stuck in it.  Some people feel it while slepping.  Doctors call it sleep paralysis.  You can't move.  You can't talk.  You can't do anything but see and hear.  Sometimes you imagine things.  That's what the doctors say...you imagine things.  Like a hallucination.

And some people that have this, have seen things.  Maybe a shadow or a scary creature.  But the worst is the "Dark Man" at the foot of the bed.  Imagine those stories of people waking up in surgery.  They can't move, but they can feel, and they can see, and hear.  And then imagine it isn't a mistake.  Imagine that the surgeon is actually the Dark Man.  And the Dark Man feeds off your paralysis...your fear.

I have experienced sleep paralysis.  I have seen the Dark Man.  I have woken up at midnight, with the house all quiet.  Its cold, so cold...even under the covers.  I know something woke me, but I hear nothing.  See nothing.   Then I focus on the shape at the bottom of the bed.  A dark figure staring back at me.  The doctors say it's a hallucination.  My subconscious creating a fearsome apparition.

He seems real.  I can't breathe.  I can't move.  I can feel his malevolence.  I know he wants to...I don't know...absorb me.  Destroy my life.  And live off of my...soul maybe.  Whatever it is, I know I won't survive if I don't move.  And I can't move.  He reaches out...he touches you.  So cold.

This Dark Man has been seen by many people over many years in many places.  He could be a hallucination.  He could be some collective group hallucination.  But I don't think so.  There is more on Earth than is dreamed of in our religion or science.

And so far, I've always defeated him.   I have won the battle of wills and woken up.  It gets harder each time though.  Some day I won't wake up.

How do I know he is real?  I can feel it.  I can never forget him.  I close my eyes and I see him.  I lay down to sleep and my heart races not knowing if I'll wake.  I know he is real because I feel him...there, on my rib cage on the right...where his arm touched me.  It is cold.  Always cold.  And every time I see him, the cold spot gets bigger.  Maybe I'm lucky.  Maybe this is death slowly bleeding my life away and I am lucky enough to know the countdown.  Maybe he does this with everyone...and they never wake up.  Maybe he does it to you.
 
2017-10-31 8:50:27 AM  
4 votes:
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 Anscestry.com 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 ...
 
2017-10-31 1:01:27 AM  
4 votes:
The Hilldabeast was almost elected.
Nanny nanny boo boo libtards.
 
2017-10-31 12:31:57 AM  
4 votes:
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)
 
2017-10-30 11:29:54 PM  
4 votes:

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 8:18:22 PM  
4 votes:
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!"

http://www.hplovecraft.com/writings/t​e​xts/fiction/mm.aspx
 
2017-10-25 5:57:56 PM  
4 votes:
img.fark.netView Full Size
 
2017-10-25 12:50:20 PM  
4 votes:
Back in the mid-nineties I went through a vampire and "vampire poetry" phase, inspired by a vampire poetry reading by The Undead Poet's Society at Ipso Facto in Fullerton, and a weirdo who insisted that he was a real vampire. The leader of the UPS was somewhat of a jerk, and the two of us formed the nucleus of a group, The League of Vampiric Bards, which rapidly swelled to about 12 people, We performed for several years at coffee houses throughout Orange County. My contributions included six poems - Nightrunner, Roberto's Song, The Rebirth of Leah Jean Baxter, The Scrolls of Night and Day, two love sonnets, and a lengthy short story: Take a Second Look. And then I went on to other things.

The poems are not terribly scary. They are more epic origin stories for the Nightrunnertm universe I've been working on a decade or so. The short story is a bit subtle, built around a stream-of-consciousness monologue, but I think qualifies as scary... and a bit erotic. At nearly 7,300 words it is kinda long, but I hope it holds your attention.

I will gladly accept constructive criticisms.

I will also post one of the poems, haven't decided as to which one, yet.

A Selection From The Nightruntm

Take a Second Look


You live too fast. You really do. You movers and shakers and daily drudges, you luminous-eyed high achievers and clock-faced nine-to-fivers, you smugly sedated workhorses and self-righteously frantic thoroughbreds, you harriers and hurriers and driven workaholics, you hamstrung hamsters lurching along in spiraling circles to alpha-numerically marked crypts in a mausoleum wall: you never slow down long enough to take a second look at the world. You should. Move your mind in a straight line for once. If you do, I guarantee that what you learn will fill you with wonder. It will also scare the living hell out of you.

Smell the air. Go ahead, I bathed just last week. Smell that tang? Wood smoke! Wood smoke in the middle of the city! Illegal? Sure it is, illegal as all hell, but it's also easily available! I know you've never taken the time to notice, but lots of smart and desperate people around here are welding old car parts into Franklin stoves and switching to black market wood to keep warm.

I'll bet you've never studied - really looked at! - the gritty gray fingerprints that Jack Frost leaves on a vehicle's windows in the pre-dawn winter air. You're too busy scraping 'em off and cursing the time you've lost in the mad rush to join the tollway traffic jam.

Have you ever listened to the little "popping" sounds that a concrete underpass makes when it cools down in the twilight of a summer day? You'll never hear them if you're busy jogging off those three extra pounds that make your high-fashion exercise suit too snug.

Have you even noticed that the junk they now use to patch the old concrete sidewalks starts to crumble almost as soon as it dries? I think that they still use the good stuff on the more important boondoggles: all those new prisons, repairing the bridges and the dams, things like that. That way, you won't ever know about the payoffs and the bribes and kickbacks, unless you take the time to slow down and compare old and new.

I bet you don't even know that aluminum cans these days are only half the weight of the old ones. Know why? Thinner gauge metal! I observed this fact almost six years ago; that's how long I've been collecting for the recycling centers. Yes, that is a long time, and it doesn't bring in that much, particularly after they withhold income taxes, but it has kept me in beer. But it can also be a royal pain in the butt sometimes, especially in the summer, what with all the damned flies.

Ever noticed that flies take off backwards when you try to swat 'em? Humans have been swatting at flies for three million years, and natural selection has culled the genes that once dictated forward flight. You will never see this if you let an electronic genocide machine do all your killing for you.

Killing. Killing... Huh. Ever wondered where all the missing people go? There are a lot of them: several hundred thousand a year. Most of the missing fall into three broad statistical clumps. The first clump consists of our society's outcasts, the economic losers, the abject poor, the homeless. Like me. The second bunch are society's trash: the junkies, the alkies, the wireheads, the petty crooks, the crazies. And last, are the social predators, the psychos and sickos and child molesters, the sociopaths, the serial killers, and the kill-crazy, two-bit punks. The thing all these people have in common is that no one important gives a damn if they vanish. And when they vanish no one ever seems to see 'em disappear. But I have. Heh heh heh... I know why. Because I'm not too busy to take that second look.

* * *

In fact, I'm not busy at all. I've had a lot of time on my hands for the last few years, since I got laid off from Nuclear Consulting. I was one of those sacrifices to the Public Good. I'd been a big shot Safety Administrator, a top-drawer Suit, but when the San Onofre reactor choked on red tape and went critical, the Washington boys covered their asses by blaming us. After that, it was sort of tough to get work.

I did a lot of scurrying around at first, frantic to find identity and security in a job... any job! But after ten positions and ten layoffs, and twenty-six months of food stamps and government medical coverage; and after coping for two years with the weightless smirks that Human Resource Managers carefully arrange on their faces when they tell you there are no present openings (but always, always omitting that self-righteous Luddite reproach "for your kind"); and after the kids were taken away by Social Services and the wife left; and after losing the house and the mountain cabin and the BMW and the Porshe and the RV and the credit rating and the charge cards and the mortgages; and after living under a highway overpass for six months... Well, I finally realized that I was not going to die from starvation. So I decided to do myself a favor and relax.

That's when I started taking those second looks at the world, when I began seeing, and sorting out, the subtle things that add up to something obvious - when you take the time to observe.

I guess I really don't blame you for not seeing what I do. What with the economy the way it is, it's hard to stop keeping that old nose to the grindstone. I know. I remember how scary it was, wondering if this would be my last week with this, or that, or the next company. I can remember how, just when I thought that the feelings were under control, a new Friday would roll around and my breathing would get jerky and my stomach would tighten up in small bruised knots and I could literally feel that succinct extra squirt of stomach acid bathing and soaking the ulcer that I knew was gradually taking over my belly. I had time for little else than putting in twelve hour days to make myself a little more valuable than the next white collar slave, and working the ever-shrinking online Classifieds with the dregs of energy I had left.

Energy! That's what it's all about! We're running out of energy around here! All the initiative and brilliance have disappeared from the world, and the forward momentum from the past is being fouled by all the slippery political bullshiat being thrown into the gears. The motor of progress has slid into neutral because of all the rules and regulations, orders and edicts, and all the other crap that bureaucrats, in and out of the government, feed on and excrete with such relish. You know what? It's like a damned battery! The human battery's life energy is slowly being siphoned off by all of the anal retentive corporate and government regulators, and it doesn't look like it's going to get recharged any time real soon.

Human batteries. Heh heh heh. That's a good analogy, because that siphoning of life can be literally true. I've seen it! I've experienced it.... Heh heh heh. Do I sound nervous? Never mind, you'd never believe it. You won't take the time to take that second look! What's that? You want me to tell you? Why? So you can go uptown to your glass tower office and joke with your sleek, paper-shuffling associates about the crazy old man in the frayed and greasy three piece suit, the unkempt, homeless has-been, the former fast-track, six-figure executive with a Stanford MBA and PhDs in nuclear and quantum physics, who babbles on about... monsters?

* * *


Monsters.... That does them a dis-service. Aside from what they do, most of them are not monstrous at all. Some are actually pleasant to be around... when they aren't feeding. Indeed, they are often very much like you and I at our best. (But we can also be monsters; certain of the human saints and sinners would put their excesses to shame. Saints? They can be the very worst of fiends; it depends on the extent of their zeal. A True Believer can be monstrous, indeed.)

What's that? You don't know the term? Why am I not surprised? A True Believer is a fanatic, a human robot whose soul is submerged in some kind of mass movement. A True Believer thinks that the End justifies the Means (and what that translates to is that his ends justify the use of your means), and that folks who don't embrace the Holy Purpose, whatever it is, secular or religious, are enemies to be destroyed. Most of the really interesting chunks of history, or at least the reddish raw oozing slices, are due to the various and determined activities of True Believers.

No, I'm not Neoliberal or Neocon or Dominionist-baiting, and I'm not being intolerant about anyone's radical political or religious agendas... though what I'm saying applies to damn near every one of them these days. The so-called crony capitalists, those well-connected business people, are the same; sometimes I think they're the worst of the whole lot - and the most hypocritical! Christ on a crutch! If he were an honest one, I'd take a totalitarian-minded Statist thug over a two-faced trough-feeding tycoon any day! At least you know where you stand (or kneel) with the would-be dictator!

Hell, most of the larger firms (and all of the new megacorps) behave like mass movements these days. They're more like states than companies; some of them even control their own private armies. They've mutated into psychotic group-think organisms that eagerly sacrifice the integrity, the dreams, even the lives of employees (and anyone else in their reach) to the god/whore/demon trinity of cancerous growth, extorted and unearned profit, and endless bureaucratic expansion.

          The psychosis is contagious, and it seems like most people end up being both glutton and main course. I remember attending day-long staff meetings that accomplished absolutely nothing except to decide on that fiscal month's sacrifice to the Profit Gods, and to confirm the opinion of each briefcase-clad spear carrier regarding the essentially, fundamentally reptilian nature of each of the other participants. These people were monstrous: they would ruin careers, lives, and entire industries over a tenth of a percent change in operating profit, a junior executive office next to the corporate alpha male, that little extra bonus package of cocaine or illegal tobacco, or a night with a company whore.

There are other monsters. I've met more than a few at government aid offices. I'm talking about the ghouls with the pursed lips and the prissy frowns, the damp eyes and the greasy souls, the ones with cords attached to their eye-glasses so they always know exactly where they are; the fiends who walk slowly, who speak in impatient staccato tones, who taste the flavor of your fear, and who weigh the worth of permitting you to interview for that temporary minimum wage job for which they have been unable to find just that right person; the ones who get erect or warmly wet when they thoughtfully consider how they control you; the Power Junkies, who mainline on distilled despair, who decide whether you will work today, or eat next week, or live next month; the soul-farkers who, with lazy-eyed anticipation and slight catch of breath, slowly - oh! so carefully and cautiously - examine, stamp, and verify and, perhaps, approve your appeal for just one more extension of medical or food benefits....

          No, the monsters I refer to are quite a different sort. They, for the most part, do monstrous things because they have to, not because they like it. They do not, for the most part, seem to be particularly malevolent fiends. They seek neither to destroy nor to enslave us. They merely hunt us. We are their food.

And sometimes more... I know of one... I'll call her... Jean. She wanted to bed with me, to trade sex for... nourishment. She said I was attractive, but I imagine that her desire was originally based on the generic promise of an erotic midnight snack, rather than any special charms I had. I refused her at first. I had just finished putting together all the clues, had just learned the big secret, and had not yet managed to graduate from fearful revulsion to my present state of wary watchfulness....

* * *

They dwell in darkness, and hunt the night. They forage among us in the hours between sunset and dawn, unseen by all except their prey. They, too, have certain things hidden from them: they can never gaze upon the sun; its harsh light would destroy them in an instant. That is one price they pay for being immortal.

Immortal? In a sense. Barring accident or violence or a drifting, deadly ennui that may overtake them after centuries of survival, they will endure forever. This is curse as well as boon. After mortal lifetimes of repetition, existence can become a mindless habit that requires no cunning, intelligence, or effort. And unconditional immortality is often seen by them as being somehow less vital, less varied, less valid... than mere mortal life. Human mortality, with its incessant cycles of peril and potential and terror and triumph, is often envied by them. And though they may indeed long for it, the Undead cannot truly sleep the centuries away; they merely cease to function for (what is to them) a brief while.

Undead. It is the only word that describes, the only concept that works. Life is change, self-motivated, self-directed change. When change is no longer present, the organism is no longer alive. It becomes a mere lump of organic debris, like ancient driftwood. All the ingredients of life are present... except for that single secret spark that makes itself known by the fact that the organism, its parts, the very cells of the thing, are in a constant state of change.

I've been told that, seen through a microscope, their cells are static, perfect, unchanging: they do not grow, or replicate, or die. If damaged, they revert by some agency I cannot imagine, to a state that is precisely that of the way they were prior to the injury! Yet these petrified, these "frozen" cells somehow continue to perform all their separate and communal functions within the Undead body.

The Undead have no heartbeat; nutrients flow to the cells via a kind of osmosis. When at rest they do not need to breathe; except for conditions of stress or exertion, oxygen seems to be supplied completely by the nutrient. Their bodies do not generate heat; they have no natural energy state, and they assume the ambient temperature of their environment. Unlike reptiles, however, they are not affected by the external temperature, and can function as easily and as effortlessly in the Arctic or Sahara as in Los Angeles or New York.

Their bodies function perfectly, and with enhanced performance. Eyes see, ears hear, nostrils smell, and mouths speak (and do other things) in ways that we cannot equal. Their hands can caress a face like a lover's whisper, or bludgeon a body into trembling submission like a sledge hammer. They move with cat-like speed and robotic precision. Their brains possess an elevated level of electrical activity that is evidenced by, among other things, complex intrigues and masquerades, and at times outright warfare that are much more subtle than the crass plots and posturings that are carried out by mere humans.

The mingling of schemes, games, and gossip deflects their boredom and fulfills a human-like need to meet and interact. The Undead, accordingly, have their places, their hangouts -- coffeehouses and bars mostly. They can ingest limited amounts of coffee, certain herbal teas, and some of the less complex alcohols - vodka, gin, stuff like that - though these things, by themselves, have little effect on them. They often, therefore, mix these refreshments with more... unpleasant liquids.

Blood. They feed on it. It is their only food, and they crave it with a driving need which I find impossible to imagine. They can, and most do, exist mainly on the blood of animals. Now and then, however, they must feed on humans. There is an unknown vital factor, perhaps an RNA segment that less intelligent animals lack. Something that is essential if they are to remain as thinking, rational beings. Without regular access to it, they will not long survive.

Survival. Aside from the endless blood lust, survival is the other primal drive that defines their existence. Even those that hate what they have become find self-destruction impossible; the internal command to continue what they often regard as a damned existence must be obeyed. Yet they must control that imperative, or risk exposure and destruction by humans or by their own kind. Indiscriminate slaughter is frowned upon; a social faux pas. Those who prey on humans in excessive and careless ways are deemed outlaws, and are destroyed as soon as they are discovered. The cardinal rule which all must follow, even at risk of personal survival is: "Leave no sign that men can find that you were ever there."

They cloak their existence and activities with magical ease, but they are not supernatural. They cannot change into mist, or rats, or wolves, and their reflections can be seen in mirrors when you catch them unawares. The legends that you know are wrong, perhaps deliberately so. Our sophisticated rejection of the few golden kernels of truth that are carefully hidden by the absurdities of Hollywood fantasy is one of their best defenses against discovery.

It isn't their own physical form they control, but our minds: they can actually understand and adjust our thoughts and emotions in a variety of subtle ways. They merely need to touch us with a delicate desire, to lightly caress our thoughts in the entangling gossamer webs of mental powers that mere Humans lack, and our senses and judgment become fogged and distorted and what we term objective reality becomes pliable and obscured. Their world is more real than ours; we live in an illusion created by them.

That is how I detected them, by noting disparities between the world as I knew it was and had to be, and the reality that I sometimes perceived. It took weeks of introspective thought to conceptualize the astonishing truth, and then many days longer to accept the appalling reality of it. Then, thinking that they would sense my knowledge and destroy me, I lived in terror, an existential dread which over the next several months abated into a watchful apprehension.

Then, late one night, I blundered into an entire den of them, in one of their bars. Once you know their tricks and traits they are not difficult to spot, but, at first, all I saw was Humans. I learned that night that they have mortal friends, servants, lovers... groupies. These companions, these possessors of deadly knowledge are those who hunger for second-hand power, or risky eroticism, or arcane and ancient wisdom, or craven submission and fealty, and (ultimately) a chance for immortality or total oblivion. I think that, to the recipients of these passions, it appeals to a still-human residue within them to be thusly seen, recognized, acknowledged, made real by those who are still human.

...that is what happened to me...

* * *

I'd had a run-in with the police in my regular neighborhood, so I'd been working one of the nastier parts of the city. It was getting late and I was tired and cold. My nerves were on edge from the contemplative stares I was getting from some of the local Homeboys. I was more presentable than usual (courtesy of a shower and shave from my previous night's stay in the county jail for vagrancy) and I had pan-handled enough money to afford the luxury of a couple of cold beers in a warm room. I took refuge in a nearby backstreet tavern.

I had seated myself with a brew at a back table in a darkened corner, feeling unknown, inconspicuous, and safe. I sat alone, quietly savoring the yeasty bitterness, inhaling the illicit tang of black market tobacco, and listening to the strangely subdued music and slurred hum of conversation. I was being ignored by patrons and servers alike, which suited me fine. It was warm there, and I was having trouble staying awake.

My permanent state of low-grade apprehension had actually been soothed into a superficial calm, when one of the barmaids brought me an unordered drink. Dormant uneasiness transformed into sudden, paralyzing terror, and I stared at the alien beer as if it were about to spring up and pierce my throat with fangs of razor-slivered glass. I felt frozen in time, like some small animal transfixed by the ruthless glare of an on-rushing headlight. My vision became narrowed down to perceiving, with an extraordinary clarity, only the few square inches of tabletop occupied by that terrifying, fascinating mug.

I cannot say how long I was in this state. It could have been seconds or minutes - it seemed like neither or both. My judgment in all things, even to the marking of passing time, was suspended. When I could again see-think-move, I found that I was no longer alone. Seated across from me, quietly observing me, was what seemed to be a rather attractive young woman, but what my lethal knowledge and now-unhindered senses told me was one of them.

She was attractive. She appeared to be in her early twenties. Her face was the color of pale, clear ivory - not totally white like a fine marble, but having a hint of color. Her face was framed by shoulder length chestnut hair, which she wore like an afterthought in a softly shining wash-and-wear style. Her elegant body was a flawless counterfeit of perfectly proportioned womanhood, set within a stylishly snug flat-black jumpsuit that was just the thing to wear on a midnight urban safari. Her demeanor was that of a groomed, resting cat: relaxed, yet attentive. She sat quietly straight, ankles casually crossed. One arm dangled limply across her leg; the other was upright on the table, and terminated in long, aristocratic fingers holding an illegal cigarette which she was smoking with obvious, impish relish. Shockingly light blue eyes gazed coquettishly from beneath quizzically tilted brows, and her full red lips were set in a quiet, closed grin which, even through my fear, I could see was devilish, rather than demonic.

This was Jean. She introduced herself by another name, but I won't tell you what it was, not now. It has been some months since that meeting, you see, and I've developed an attachment to her and feel rather protective. You must understand that, in a very real sense, her kind are actually more vulnerable than are we Humans. We, after all, can fight or flee at any hour of the clock; they (though supreme in the darkness) are utterly helpless during the day, and must rely on human associates, retainers, and friends for protection.

It was soon plain that Jean was aware of my knowledge. She treated it as a joke (indeed, what Human would have believed me?) and yet applauded the astuteness and rigor of my observations. I believe that my singular ability to discern the simple truth amidst the glut of artful superstition was as fascinating to her as the reality of her existence was to me.

We talked. She knew I had been a scientist, and comfortably steered the conversation onto that path. We talked about existence, about quantum physics and string theory (my love), and about computer programming (her latest passion). We talked about the Secret, and the conceivable theories that could explain it. My God, I wanted to die. For the first time in years, I was faced with that most politically incorrect of creatures, that most malevolent of monsters: an intelligent, inquiring, and skeptical mind. She truly wanted to hear new ideas! She actually enjoyed listening to concepts and opinions that she did not already embrace, and she was neither afraid nor resentful of a mind that, at least in certain areas, was fuller and more thoroughly trained than hers.

We talked for hours, until my beer was warm and flat and the bar had long since closed. By then, it was obvious that she was privileged. The hired help left us alone in the quiet and darkened room, our table lit only by the bar's dim green exit signs and the reflected orange flicker of the semi-functional sodium vapor street lamps, seen darkly through the small and sun-shaded windows.

Gradually, in careful tiptoe steps, we found ourselves wandering away from the safely dry abstractions of theory and the more personal yet still "safe" domains of our professional interests. Guardedly, yet almost with gratitude, we began offering up for scrutiny and evaluation the more private things that we loved and despised. There was no question of pretense; we accepted the fact that nothing but our personal realities, the inner truths that each of us held, could satisfy the mutual need of shared loneliness. We exchanged our secrets: the triumphs and the tragedies, the goals won and held, the desires gained and lost, the impossible dreams we had longed for, but had never attained... and the purposes we had considered, but had never dared to desire.

As we had talked, my desperately controlled fear had quietly evaporated into a subdued... watchfulness. Make no mistake: I was very much aware of what she was and that, in the normal course of events, I might simply have been her prey for the night. But I found myself accepting the necessity of those facets of her existence for which I felt dread and repugnance, and I became aware that this supremely capable killing machine was also a lovely and lonely being (no, woman) who - for longer than I had been alive - had despaired of finding an understanding, sympathetic consciousness, someone to whom she could confide the yearnings and secret dreams which she had always thought to be hopeless fantasies. I believe she regarded my informed ability to understand and accept her as an individual person to be a rare prize to be protected and cherished.

I then perceived that the root of all fear is the Unknown; that once one understands the nature of a thing, no matter how terrible or deadly it is, fear vanishes like midnight dew. I felt that I understood Jean, and I found that my dread had been replaced by the same type of respectful (and perhaps more than somewhat deferential) emotional bond that one might feel for a domesticated Bengal tiger.

We talked until, with a shared quiet astonishment, we saw the first glow of dawn begin to compete with man's artificial glare. She paused in the middle of a sentence and (like a climber reluctant to forsake the conquered heights) hesitated..... then plunged back down to the flatland reality of the world, saying that it was now necessary for her, and safe for me, to leave.

We walked out together, not bothering to set any alarm. (I guessed that that particular business would not be invaded or looted by the local barbarians). She asked me to return the next evening. I did not answer, but turned for a moment to consider the luminous east. When I looked back, she had vanished like a darkened dream.

* * *

Insane though it sounds, I did go back - not the next night, or the next, but after three days and two nights, spent in indecisive gloom. The staid, timid part of me was aghast at meeting with a monster; but a more reckless and, it seemed, emerging part of me cherished that midnight tryst. This dangerous part eventually won out: I returned to the bar on the third night.

She wasn't there. And, though I stayed until closing, she did not appear. I could not bear it. My final decision to return had taken all the willpower and courage I had; I felt I could never again summon the strength to repeat it.

Nevertheless, I resolved to, and did, go back to that bar each night for the rest of the week. I began to think, however, that my boldness and purpose were to no avail: it was as though I had imagined the entire experience.

I noticed one interesting fact, though, something that proved to the skeptic in me that the extraordinary meeting had indeed happened: word had apparently been spread, and I no longer received interested inspections from the indigenous toughs. I was, in fact, pointedly ignored. I learned later that Jean had declared me "protected." Though I am uncertain as to what the mechanism of this aegis was, the local gangsters (and others of Jean's kind, I found out) were made to understand that unpleasant things would happen to anyone who molested me.

During that entire week I felt I was going insane. Perhaps I was already mad, or perhaps she had hypnotized me. It became an intolerable obsession. It was as if I was possessed. I haunted that bar, like a willing sacrifice embracing the alter stone of some ghastly yet fascinating religion, impatiently waiting for the arrival of the priestess who would rip out my beating heart.

And when, at last she did appear, seeking me, beguiling me, persuading me with silver tongued entreaties and the perfect movements of her perfect body, I succumbed in a sort of appalling rapture to the coaxing and craving words which flowed from that terrible and attractive mouth.

She took me to her lair. I resignedly took this, at the time, as a sign that I would never be seen alive again. I later realized that it was a demonstration of her trust in me, of her belief in and reliance on my discretion and integrity. (I tell you this: after years of suffering the contempt and indifference of my fellow human beings, that was the one thing that I most desperately needed.)

It was a simple studio apartment, like any other you have ever seen in the projects: one of innumerable assembly-line burrows hidden deep within the heaped mounds of the blandly anonymous warrens that pass for much of human lodging these days. Like most, it was an interior apartment without windows or skylights, and could be approached only by wary passage through decaying and gang-infested halls and stairwells, all painted in standard anesthetized shades of grays and greens. She ignored both the gangsters and the ruined security cameras, which - dangling from their wall perches like throttled birds - gave mute evidence as to who had won control of the corridors.

Like the halls, her triple-locked and dead-bolted apartment was drably modern. She had paid little attention to decoration; this was not her real home, only one of several secure places to bury herself away from the sun's power in daily, death-like trance. The kitchen area was an immaculate stage: it was stocked with enough food and various cooking paraphernalia to sustain an illusion of activity for the benefit of the casually occasional management busybody, but was never used. The adjacent living area did not contain a coffin, only a twin bed covered by a frilly pink comforter. The sole concession to a Gothic mood was that the bed was of the four-poster canopied variety.

There was no coyness, no conversation, no highball-on-the-sofa stage. It seemed that all promises had been made and kept, all decisions agreed to, all purposes achieved, on that first night. As one, our hands fumbled at each other's clothing, seeking freedom, seeking access. She guided me to the shower where we washed each other; next, to the bed. The state of my mind and emotions were such that I serenely obeyed those gentle, irresistible arms. She was shaking with her special need, and as I searched the limitless depths of her eyes I could see something very old, older than her, far older than even the most ancient of her kind: primeval, nakedly eager desire, an all-encompassing hunger to completely consume the beloved prey.

The strain of curbing the acts that instinct and emotion were demanding of her had activated her breathing reflex. Her mouth was half open, as she labored for short, ragged gasps of air. Her eyes closed to narrow slits, and her head fell limply back. I could now see into her mouth, and observed with wonder the two delicate, needle-sharp, inch-long fangs which were slowly and rhythmically sliding out of and into, out of and into, their hiding places in her upper jaw.

Her head moved again, falling forward against my chest, chestnut hair flying up in a tangle into my face. Her hands - which had been like steel straps holding my arms - released me as she lowered her arms under mine. She rubbed fingers arched like delicate diamond talons slowly up and down my back, tracing the outline of my spine, pressing insistently into the meat of my shoulder blades, reaching up to caress the skin of my neck and to lightly linger at the places where - I was sure - she could feel the living tide of my blood.

Her arms tightened, and she abruptly pulled me closer, hands gripping my head and shoulder, keeping them firmly immobile, the expanse of skin between them taut and unprotected. Her head moved forward, and she buried her face there, lips slowly and softly tracing the upward path of the pulsing vein. I felt her lips part ever so slightly, and I knew with a completely unconditional clarity that Death was there. I began to shiver as those astonishing needles emerged and - barely touching my skin - gently retraced the vein's course back down the expanse of my neck. She paused... and then she shuddered and the moment passed. Her hands spasmed once into a vise-like grip and released me, and she pressed her now trembling body against mine. Her head moved again, rolling onto my shoulder, down onto my arm, her legs and body seeming to fold up like those of a crumpled paper doll. Her hair fell back away, and she gazed placidly up at me, defeated yet victorious, waiting, her softly glowing eyes devoid of everything but aching appetite.

She was so beautiful, so perfect, so... complete! I gazed down at this monster cradled in my arms and the clock of reality stopped for what seemed a long while. And while it was stopped, it seemed as if all the certainties and opinions, fact and fancy, gods and de

(blah blah blah)
 
2017-10-25 10:45:55 AM  
4 votes:

Walker: Booooooooooooooooooooo (not the scary boo)
This thread is supposed to occur on Halloween, not 10/25.
I refuse to read any entries until Halloween!


Yes,  this thread will be spent in 2 days.  Can someone from the Fark Management explain this decision?   Sorry,  this thread is a Halloween highlight of my year and y'all dun goofed.
 
2017-10-25 10:21:02 AM  
4 votes:

Uncle Eazy: President Trump and a GOP-controlled House and Senate. Boo.


*sigh*
 
2017-10-25 7:27:51 AM  
4 votes:
Oh shoot, already? On a Wednesday?

But I can't do quality work unless I'm drunk, dammit!

Welp, guess I'll check back later.

i.imgur.comView Full Size
 
2017-11-01 11:07:07 AM  
3 votes:
Top 10 voted Smart or Funny stories get a sponsored month of TotalFark.

I skimmed the "Smartest" and "Funniest" lists to read the cream of the crop of this thread, and I see I have a couple posts in the Top 10 on each list.

I respectfully pass on the month of TotalFark.  My stupid Desert Highway/Fishy mashup is original content, but is recycled from last year, and I don't think I deserve *another* month of TF for a rehash.  My other entries in this thread were creepypasta and gifs borrowed from elsewhere.

The TF sponsorship should go to somebody who created fresh, original content.
 
2017-10-31 10:47:59 PM  
3 votes:
Nothing scary, just sweet.

We had the family dog Sandy since I was 5 years-old.  She was a little 9 pound cocker spaniel- poodle mix that never liked anyone but mom, but she stayed with us for 16 years.  For some odd reason, she loved to sleep on my bed.  For a couple months after we had to put her down, her spot on my bed would be warm when tucked in.  It was very comforting.
 
2017-10-31 10:06:17 PM  
3 votes:

Ima4nic8or: Here's {blah blah blah blah] everywhere.



Well, gee, I was wrong.I do have the capacity for one more scary story, and this one is absolutely and demonstrably true. It is terrifying and disgusting - vomit and pee-inducing for sure - and I am sure that it will be one of the winners.

It will also be short - very short. 35 characters, 10 words, and one sentence shorter, in fact, than the classic "The last man on Earth sat alone in a room. There was a knock on the door."
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Are you ready?
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Are you sure? Seriously, this is a vomit-inducing tale from the darkest Stygian depths of the convoluted, razor-stropped mind of a madman, an intellectual Zombie that lusts for brains, any brains at all, to suck out the precious bodily fluids.
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Last chance! Proceed at your own risk!
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Don't come to me whining that you weren't warned!
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OK, for reals, this is your last warning! Its bad. Its very bad..
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Ima4nic8or posted to a thread on Fark.
 
2017-10-31 4:49:58 PM  
3 votes:

Parthenogenetic: Got nothin', and I am on call so no booze for inspiration this year.  *sad face*

=====I was driving in the desert through a region known to be a hotspot for satanic group activity.  Up ahead I see a red Pontiac Fiero stopped sideways across both lanes, a suitcase open with clothes scattered everywhere and two bodies laying face down in the road, a man and a woman.

The hair on the back of my neck is standing up. Something seemed very wrong, it looked too perfect as if it were staged. An ambush? Was I being paranoid? Something was just wrong. Getting out of the car seemed unthinkable, it was the horror movie move.

I swerved around the bodies and the Fiero. I continued forward a couple hundred feet and slowed down so I could breathe and let my heart slow down. As I looked up into the rearview mirror I saw that the two bodies had gotten up to their knees and twenty or so people emerged from the tall grass on either side of the road by the car and bodies.

At that moment my right foot smashed the gas pedal to the floor and did not let up until I had to slowdown for the I-40 east onramp.

"Shee-it man, that was close," I said to the yellow, four-foot tall, bulgy-eyed humanoid standing on the windshield.

"Shoulda stopped," said Fishy, as it shuffled on the ceiling back to the rear seat, where it resumed staring at me in the rearview mirror.=====echo5juliet's desert drive:  http://www.fark.com/comments/3​985541/45887207#c45887207
BONUS:  follow-up!  http://www.dynamitemonkey.​com/?p=170  (apologies to echo5juliet, if you don't want that off-site content posted here)

Quex's fishy story: http://www.fark.com/comments/23​85211/25185959#c25185959


I've never spoken about this in these threads in the past years but this year I will. I used to dream about Fishy when I was little. I didn't call him that but he was definitely the same creature. I used to dream that he was standing on hot tar and he was melting. He just stood there and stared at me with those big eyes and slowly melted.
 
2017-10-31 4:28:59 PM  
3 votes:
I just popped in here to say that years ago one of these threads introduced me to Ted's Cave. So great!

So in case there's someone who, like me, hadn't encountered it before...here you go!

http://www.angelfire.com/trek/caver/p​a​ge1.html

And thank you to whomever posted it those many years ago!
 
2017-10-31 4:14:09 PM  
3 votes:
I read these threads every year and always want to post something, but I don't really have any good scary stories.  Yeah little things here and there, or stories told to me by others.  But nothing that feels noteworthy.

So what do have to talk about?  Sleep paralysis and night terrors!  Saw quite a few posts in here about those, so here goes........

I love dreams, even nightmares (now that I'm older).  I love having sprawling and weird and random and elaborate dreams, waking up, and thinking 'That was amazing!  How'd my brain think of all that??'.  However, I do NOT like sleep paralysis episodes or night terrors.

In the 1970's I had night terrors, although I don't think people even called it that back then.  Plenty of stories of me walking around the house seemingly awake, but sleep walking with a thousand yard stare.  Once I started slamming my head against the bathtub and screaming bloody murder, once i was frantically trying to claw my way through a knothole in the wood paneling on the living room wall, once i started cleaning up invisible spills on the kitchen floor, etc.  Lots of meltdowns, and then I'd wake up and have no idea what had happened.  When I was around 4 I was even tested to see what the deal was, but I don't think anything was figured out.  But I still remember having things stuck all over my head and having to fall asleep in an office.

Alongside that I had very vivid nightmares and ghostly visions in my room at night.  Nightmares about a serial killer with two crispy burnt fingers on their left hand, visions of an adult hand sticking out from between my mattress and box spring (palm up, like wanting a high five), something I called the 'King of Jawas' that would sit in the chair in the corner and stare at me with pale glowing eyes, sometimes I'd lay awake in my parents' bed in the eeiry half light and watch all the people in the photos on the wall (including pictures of me) move and talk to each other in silence.  Every creak of the old house meant something was coming closer to me.  I hated bedtime and usually fell asleep under the covers sweating like crazy.  I doubt my parents enjoyed my bedtime much either.

I was in 6th grade when I saw Poltergeist.  I swear those scenes with the boy scared to go to sleep (only to be attacked by a tree and than the clown from hell) triggered the hell out of me.  Shudder.  But the night terrors and visions went away.

Then came sleep paralysis!

That began in high school and continues to this day, although we're talking about maybe 1-2 episodes a year.  Maybe.  I can go 5 years with nothing, and then get 2 in a week.  I read accounts of others in regards to sleep paralysis, but mine never involves seeing things.  No ghosts or demons or dark men.  I think to me it boils down to the notion that the bed is evil.  My paralysis gets triggered from typical bland dreams.  When all of a sudden perhaps I get stuck in a pipe, or a wall falls on me, or I'm being buried, or whatever it is I can't move oh my god I can't move oh my god I can't breathe oh my god this will never end oh my god this is madness this is anguish I can't speak I can't scream OH MY GOD I CAN'T MOVE AND I'M TRAPPED IN MY MIND AND THE MADNESS IS CONSUMING ME I AM LOST........and I can see something now what is it oh I'm in a bedroom...........and BOOM I can move and I jump out of bed and quickly get the hell out of my room.  I'm not even fully awake yet when this happens.  At my house now I usually completely come to in the living room.  The evil is in my bedroom.  It's my bed.  I can't go near it because if I do I'll slip back into the madness (I've learned the hard way).  So I stand in the living room and stare into the darkness of my bedroom.

After a few minutes I lay on the sofa and watch TV for 5-10 minutes.  It resets my head, and I can go back to the bedroom and sleep.

I love dreams, even nightmares.  But sleep paralysis takes it all to another level.  It's all fun and games until I'm in the world of never-ending madness, running for my life.

Oh and don't tell Lucas/Disney about the King of Jawas thing.
 
Ant
2017-10-31 1:20:23 PM  
3 votes:

toejam: A real, 4 word horror story:

"Daddy ate my eyes."

Look it up if you dare.


No! fark, man. I had almost erased that from my brain god damnit!
 
2017-10-31 11:11:52 AM  
3 votes:
Not sure if I'd told this last year but here goes anyway. In my last house, in my boys' bedroom there were three doors. One door led to a small hallway. One opened to the dining room. And the other to a bathroom. One night not long after bedtime, my oldest came out (he was 7 or 8 at the time). His mom and I were watching a movie on the couch with the sound down low. He asked if we were trying to get into his bedroom because he had heard the door knob jiggle a few times.

He said it was the door to the dining room, which was in the line of sight of both of us from the couch. But of course there was nothing. We hadn't moved. The cat was asleep on the couch. So I took him back into his room and I explained about how air pressure from one door opening or closing could make the other doors move. I showed him by closing the bathroom door, which forced the dining room door to pop open a bit. He seemed satisfied by this even though no one had even opened or closed a door. About a half hour later, he said he heard light knocking on that door. Again, we were on the couch and didn't hear or see anything. I told him it was just the wind blowing a branch against a wall of our old house. He wasn't scared, but just seemed confused. Although he went back to sleep and that was that.

The next night, same thing with the doorknob jiggling. Except this time he got freaked out. I told him that it was nothing but that just in case, I know all about ghosts and spooky things and knew exactly what to do to keep them away. I had been binge watching "Supernatural", so very authoritatively, I made a big show of pouring salt across the floor at the doorway. Said a few cryptic words to make it seem official, then I told him it was done and that nothing would bother him again.

Until it did. I don't remember if it was that night or a night afterwards, but he heard something at that door again. I remember it was late at night and I didn't want to deal with it right then so I got my cordless drill and a 3" wood screw and I just ran that screw through the door and into the jamb so it couldn't budge. And that seemed to be the end of it.

The next day while straightening up their room, I found, under their toy shelf, a strange flat grey stone or something. It looked like it was once a piece of something round, but it had broken on two sides, and it was heavy. It had two indentations, grooves, running radially to the center of what would have been the circle. The grooves, and the whole thing really, appeared to be machined or molded or otherwise manufactured, but no one had ever seen it before. It seemed strange that this thing turned up right at the time when spooky stuff happened, and wanting to believe, I decided to figure it out.

I laid this stone thing down on a table and traced the curved outline of the unbroken part. Then lining it up with the curve that I'd just drawn, I traced it again, and again, and again, until it was a complete circle.I drew the grooves where they would be, assuming they were equally spaced based on the piece of thing that I had. What I drew was a circle about 14"-16" diameter with seven "spokes" coming from the center.

But this still wasn't helpful in the slightest. So the piece of whatever just sat outside next to a flowerpot for the next year or so until their mom and I split up and I moved to the house I'm living in now. A few months later, she called me and asked if I remembered that thing from the boys' room because she'd figured out what it was.

I was all excited to finally get to the bottom of whatever it was that had been haunting that bedroom. Turns out it was a piece of ballast from the base of a standing fan that was in their room. Apparently a couple of other pieces had broken off and it became obvious once the base was turned over and looked at.

But I had fun for a while imagining that it was something extraordinary.
 
2017-10-31 10:04:48 AM  
3 votes:
A few weird things, the house I grew up in was built in the 1820's. I was found out when I was older that at least two people died in the room I slept in as a child. Knowing that as a kid would have freaked me out.
The other was that the house, as old as it was, was owned by one family until my Great Grandparents bought it. The previous owners started a family crypt. One of their children died early, 15 months, 15 days according to the stone. This top stone on the crypt had just the child's name "Carrie" and the age. Once more people were entombed, the head stone was changed to the family name. This "Carrie" piece was just put in the barn on the property and left there. For me to find.... it was a little unnerving at first

/CSB
 
2017-10-30 11:41:42 PM  
3 votes:
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 8:53:18 PM  
3 votes:
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 7:10:41 PM  
3 votes:
And then President Trump won his reelection and defeated his impeachment, thanks to the actions of Chief Justice Roy Moore...
 
2017-10-30 10:40:22 AM  
3 votes:
Psychopusher:

Ooh, nice. As a new-ish dad, I can relate to this one.

I've said to the Mrs. as we play with the little one in the basement, and hear the crackle of the baby monitor in her room upstairs, wouldn't it be creepy if we heard a baby cry over the monitor? Which one would be the real one?
 
2017-10-25 11:09:53 AM  
3 votes:

hobbes0022: When me and my husband were about to have our first baby the house hunting began.  We had lived in a small 2 bedroom apartment for a few years, but thought a home with a nice yard was absolutely necessary when raising a kid, also i love to garden and the small potted plants outside the window wasn't cutting it.  The pre-approval process and house hunting with our idiot realtor could have been the scary story, but actually, we didn't end up buying a house at this time.  After a few months of house hunting and not finding anything within our budget we could both agree too we talked through it a little more, realistically an infant is not going to be playing in a yard, we have at least a few more years before it becomes a real concern, and i work full time anyway, so my gardening hobby it's all that important.  So we stuck around the apartment until Camden was 3 and i was pregnant again, this time we were much better prepared for finding a home, and instead of going with a traditional realtor we used RedFin.  After a few weeks we found what looked like the perfect house, it was quaint cottage type house in a good neighbor hood, 3 bedrooms, 2 baths, nice kitchen, good playroom in the basement.  The yard was fenced in, and bare soil neatly bordered the outside of the house, with a matching border bordering the inside of the fence.  Lush green grass sprawled between the two borders, in the spring this would be the perfect place for a garden.  We quickly contacted our agent and made a bid on the house, it was at the high end of the other houses in the neighborhood but still will within our budget. At closing we found out the previous owner had died in his late 50's, and his adult children were selling the house.  They told us their dad was a jack-of-all trades guy who would do all of his own house repairs, but also had a full-time job as an entomologist.  That was interesting, but also kind of boring, we just wanted to close on the house and start getting moved in.  At the end of closing, besides the key, they also gave us their dad's journal, telling us he insisted that whomever buys the house take the journal to get a history of everything he's done on the house.  Again, interesting, but we don't plan on making any major changes, so i throw the journal in my shoulder bag.  We move in early-fall, Halloween in the new neighborhood goes off without a hitch, everyone is very friendly.  During Christmas the whole family is very cheery around a nice fireplace.  As spring approaches my work tells me I will be making an off-site visit across the country in a month.  I look at my schedule, and plan day off before the trip, as those with an infant and toddler know, you don't really have time to do anything, unless you get a day off from everyone.  The day before the trip i drop the kids off at day-care, and begin working on the garden.  I probably won't have another real day to get this done so i go to town on everything, I go to an organic supermarket and ask them what grows best in the area, and then follow up buying all that organic fruit.  I always thought, why use one seed when you can use giant bunch of them.  I cut the fruit into slices and bury them in neat patch all around the border.  I do the same with the vegetables, i'm not exactly a gardening expert, but this seems like it should work.  After a long day the entire garden has been turned and planted.  I shower pick up the kids, and we all go out for dinner before my trip.  In the morning I give my kids a kiss on the forehead as the are still sleeping, and give my husband an affectionate goodbye before driving to the airport.  After the trip, and the meetings, i'm back in the hotel, i've Skyped the family and their having fun, but due to a 3 hr difference i'm still wide awake when they go to bed.  I watch TV for a few hours, then go through my shoulder bag to makes sure I have all my things before my trip back tomorrow.  I find the homeowners journal still in my bag and chuckle, what the heck do we need a journal for?  I toss it towards the garbage bin, but it misses and flops open to near the end of the journal, the top of the page is titled:

DO NOT GARDEN IN THIS YARD

I feel a pit in my stomach as i retrieve the journal, going back to the beginning it's all a boring account of normal housekeep, but towards the end every page is titled "DO NOT GARDEN IN THIS YARD".

I go back to the first page with this claim:

I'm not sure how it happened, but on my last trip to Australia, a Bulldog ant must have somehow came back with me.  I didn't realize this until I was working in the garden and felt an incredible pain in my hand.  I was shocked at what I saw, but what's more concerning is it didn't look exactly like a Bulldog Ant, it also looked a little like Argentine Ant.  I know these are invasive throughout the US, but I've never heard of these two ants mating.  The Argentine ants reproduce incredible quickly, so once i noticed what bit me i did a through search of the house and some had made it inside.  I immediately bought multiple containers of pesticide (sorry bugs), and sprayed the entire garden.  Know these bugs, i'm going to have to rip the gardens out to prevent them from expanding.

Next Page:

I think i've gotten rid of any of the ants that made it into the house, when i sprayed yesterday the fled either into the house or into the lawn.  Luckily, they hadn't expanded enough to make a significant impact on the house.  Knowing how fast they move, and how quickly they can kill, i still didn't sleep through the night, I need to be sure there are none in the house before i attempt to sleep again.

Next Page:

I'm fairly certain the house is clear, i'm spraying the gardens with pesticides every day to be sure they are not expanding, i'm going to rent a hotel room for the night so i can actually get some sleep.

Next Page:

I'm fairly certain the house is clear, i'm spraying the gardens with pesticides every day to be sure they are not expanding, i'm going to rent a hotel room for the night so i can actually get some sleep.

Next Page:

I'm officially saying the house is clear, I haven't seen them for two days, i think i'll leave some food out by the door to see if they come in.  I'm spraying everyday now, so i doubt it, I've also begun spraying the lawn.  I'm pretty sure it's been contained.

Next Page:

The food was completely clear, i'm officially going to sleep back in my house tonight.  Sprayed the yard and borders again, this time i put food out on the borders, and the lawn, hopefully this menace has been handled.

Next Page:

Well the food on the borders were clear, but the food on the lawn was completely devoured.  I'm continuing to spray and set up food, they appear to be in this for the long haul.

Next Page: Lawn food still devoured
Next Page: Lawn food still devoured
Next Page: Lawn food still devoured
Next Page: Lawn food still devoured
Next Page: Lawn food still devoured
Next Page: Lawn food still devoured
Next Page: Lawn food still devoured
Next Page: Lawn food still devoured
Next Page: Lawn food still devoured
Next Page: Lawn food still devoured
Next Page: Lawn food still devoured
Next Page: Lawn food still devoured
Next Page: Lawn food still devoured
Next Page: Lawn food still devoured
Next Page: Lawn food still devoured
Next Page: Lawn food still devoured

I think i'm going to vomit.  I call my husband, pick-up, pick-up, pick-up, pick-up, he answers groggy.  He says hello then "ewe", he tells me something was crawling on his phone.  He turns on the light and then goes into a panic, "they're everywhere", almost on queue i hear the children begin wailing in the background.


Just wanted to say, it's damn hard to come up with an original story.  I read a few good ones, and I might repeat them later on.  But I made this one up entirely, I guess it's kind of Arachnophobia-esque, but like I said, it's damn hard to come up with something original.
 
2017-10-25 9:26:11 AM  
3 votes:
The Trump is coming from inside the White House!
 
2017-10-25 4:12:26 AM  
3 votes:

davidphogan: Once I realized I could buy my own candy Halloween seemed kind of stupid.


You can buy candy, but the screams of children and unwary parents from a good Boo! are priceless.
 
2017-11-02 2:46:01 AM  
2 votes:
Also, there are a lot of very talented people here on fark. They deserve their own thread for their original stories. Perhaps a special Halloween night writers thread? I guarantee we'll all love it.
 
2017-11-02 2:41:00 AM  
2 votes:

CAT-LIKE TYPING DETECTED: basicstock: a particular individual: An admin pulled the wrong lever and accidentally posted it a week early. Last year I submitted the headline on 10/30, and it went green that night. It was just a clerical error this year that led to, like, 65 posts before I even saw it. Then it got yanked, so only TFers could see it in the Greenlit queue.

I think participation was really down this year. It had nothing to do with the time of the posting and everything to do with a tab to the right called "Politics" with much greater and more important Horrors.

You made me curious..  (yes, yes..everyone was told there would be no Math..but is there anything more scary..?   BOO..!)..

Just playing with numbers here..not even bar napkin/back of the envelope level..but, lets start with the annual posts fer the Halloween thread, per year, since its inception:

2004   -  196
2005   -  255
2006   -  422
2007   -  529
2008   -  609
2009   -  568
2010   -  380
2011   -  409
2012   -  553
2013   -  358
2014   -  310
2015   -  602
2016   -  338

Dropping 2004-5 as clear outliers (people were just learning the brand new 'tradition'), the average overall Halloween post count stands at ~462..

Now, as of time o'typing this, we're at 339 this year..but..its been 44 posts since the last actual (attempted, I think the post got chopped) post of any type o'scary story..soooo, this year's post count sits ~295 in-topic posts..  It's pretty clear that this year is well below average..barely above 2005 levels..

Now, there's alot not considered here:  how much of the tail end of each year's posts should be discounted for purposes of relevance..?  what was the level of 'true' vs fiction each year..?  what (since the Politics tab was brought up as a reason fer low posting, this year (and, to an extent, I muchly agree)) was going on in the world/on FARK each year that may have affected participation..?

Even so, it's more than clear that 2017 ranks all the way at the bottom of the participation list..cur ...


I agree 100%, I don't post very often but I've lurked forever and the creepy true life stories were always the best. Not always unexplainable, but creepy, which is what's great about Halloween.
 
2017-11-01 11:59:52 AM  
2 votes:

Marcus Aurelius: Harlee: The concept of this came to me last Wednesday, from a casual remark I saw in an online comment, that nobody actually knows what the hell goes on in Heaven

The Methodists say everyone stands around all day singing praises to God.  Which sounds awful.  Which is why, at the age of 10, when I was scammed into thinking I was going to hell by my older brother, it was oddly liberating.  If I had to go to Heaven®, I would no doubt spend every day in Hell regardless, just out of sheer boredom.  That's much more interesting than singing hymns.


I donate to a number of dog-centric charities each year.  When asked why only those and not people ones my reason has been animal charities (at least the ones I donate to) have less Admin expenses so more help goes directly to the intended recipient.

If pressed, I will admit I just prefer animals over people.

If super pressed, kinda drunk, and not on an anonymous forum I will admit that if there is even the slightest chance a person like me can get into heaven, I want a shot at going to the one dogs or ferrets go to.  Running around all day sounds a lot better than hymn singing. *shudder*
 
2017-11-01 9:24:48 AM  
2 votes:

goat012006: This is COMPLETELY 100% true and just happened to me not three hours ago.
..


Damn, that's... both sad an uplifting at the same time.   Sad that her life is that way right now, but uplifting in that that girl has some STEEL in her backbone and will not bend or break to what those around think.

Hope she has a good life.
 
2017-11-01 3:18:01 AM  
2 votes:

farking_texan: Fireproof: Even as a writer, I have to ask:

Anyone else like these threads better when every story was supposedly real, as opposed to being full of five-page long things that with fictional characters and drafts in the Writers Threads?

YES. At least they used to blend in better.


probably not, mine was real and put me on the edge of a breakdown but it appears to not be very popular.

But if I wrote a story about the nightmare I had when a Polish gypsy woman cursed me with a Steamer Trunk full of Haunted Dicks it would probably be a slam dunk.
Fake stuff always goes over better, while the real stuff that has really traumatized us has no actual conclusion or reason (unlike stories or movies) so it leaves the reader unable to find that closure.
 
2017-10-31 8:41:05 PM  
2 votes:

LineNoise: You want scary? look at my balance sheet each month.


Cash flow is king.  I highly recommend more income.
 
2017-10-31 8:29:51 PM  
2 votes:
Don't have much this year, just a dream from last night where I was staring outside with back window of my grandparents' old house when I see four girls, half-faded in the distant fog walking away from the house. I feel excited, like I'm seeing things that I shouldn't be able to normally see. Of course, I've learned from dreams that any time you can see something, they can see you. The girls fade into the mist as the eldest one with dark hair and dressed in blue, appears next to me in the room, sitting in a sturdy wooden chair. I don't feel scared, we just have conversation that I don't fully recall, though she ends it by telling me that death is actually pretty nice, you get to choose what you want to do... that is, if you don't happen to get stuck.
 
2017-10-31 4:47:23 PM  
2 votes:

Psychopusher: ObscureNameHere: Um.
Huh.
Well this creepy and weird. Nice to meet you. :)

I'm almost afraid to Google this to see if this is a 'thing'. At least yours sounds like it is consistent and you have witnesses. Want to split James Randi's $1,000,000 if we can prove something? :)

I used to have that happen a lot.  Only on foot, however.  I haven't had it happen in a long time though, oddly enough.  Some of this may have a lot to do with street lights being switched from incandescent sodium bulbs to super-bright LED over the last couple of years, but it's been longer than that since I've had it happen, so it's not all that.


On foot for me too.   Apparently it is a 'thing' in the paranormal world, my vote is confirmation bias.  Here's the Wikipedia:
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Street_​l​ight_interference_phenomenon
 
2017-10-31 3:34:01 PM  
2 votes:

DoBeDoBeLurk: Here's mine.


That is disturbing.  I'm at the age where I find stories about real people more unsettling than ghosts.  Not to to be insensitive (as the story is supposed to be true) but it would make an excellent sub-theme in a horror movie.  Something the main character has to come to terms with in battling the main evil of the story line.
 
2017-10-31 3:26:00 PM  
2 votes:
Swingrowers - Midnight - ( Halloween promo Video ) - ( Freshly Squeezed )
Youtube JKPD8jChw94

Some mood music

Years ago in high school me and a bunch of friends went to this abandoned home close to the MD/DC boarder, it is now a McMansion development. It was located next door to a retirement home and an old rail line that had a bridge that people always kept setting on fire to. Just looked it up it is now called Flushing Meadow Terrace off of Jones Mill Road in case you want to look it up.
Well we ventured up to the house one October evening and we had heard the stories about the house, murders, suicides, hauntings. The rumors people make up for a good story and the true reasons are probably boring. We get there and the whole area is fenced off and we didn't want to hop the fence in the front and risk getting spotted by police or some busy body so we went over to the nursing home side where the fence was wood and not chain link like the front and back.
Since it was old and wood and we had some high school football players and wrestlers with us they managed to pry it apart pretty easy and we got through with no snag and started up the driveway to the house. It was eerie and you could see the house in the moonlight dark and forbidding. It was also fairly quiet with only animal noises and the occasional car driving by making much noise.
The front door of the house was locked so we had to formulate a way to get in and we went around to the side and went in through the basement. It was easy since the door had been taken off. Down thee we saw the usual stuff, cigarette butts, graffiti, crushed beer cans and a dirty mattress. Everything else that was of any value was stripped from there, pipes, furnace and even the stairs to the first floor were gone. So the basement was a no go.
We ventured back outside and went around to the back and found the kitchen door cracked open, finally some luck! Inside we find the kitchen still mostly intact, cupboards and tile made it look from the 50s or early 60s, decent size kitchen too.
We set about exploring the house, first floor had some nice marble and wood floors and some old destroyed furniture and still the same eerie quiet broken by our whispers, we found a bunch of magazines from the 70s, but no porn damnit!
We went upstairs to the second floor, up the stairs with this wrought iron rail and set about exploring the second floor, bedrooms, bathrooms not much there. The master bedroom was big with its own bathroom done in pink, most of the windows were gone and there was nothing much of anything up there except the tubs and sinks, everything else had been stripped away aside from some blue shag carpet in one of the bedrooms.
In all it took us about 30 minutes to explore the whole house and so here we were all keyed up for a ghost adventure and we saw none, so we went back to the main hall where we spotted an attic entrance. But as was our luck the door to it was gone and we had no ladder to get up there. One of the guys claimed to have seen some movement up there we laughed and figured it was his mind playing tricks or a raccoon so we headed back downstairs to figure out what to do next.
We ended up in the kitchen again around the table talking about what to do, joking and laughing about what we did and then it got silent. I must have missed it but the guys claimed they heard two thumps and I figured they were just trying to scare me since I was the youngest and they did enjoy messing with me. But right as I was about to call them liars I heard it, two loud thumps.
Well that's all it took and the big bad jocks hauled ass for the door with me behind, we fought our way at the door, knocking each other out of the way, since I was the smallest I got out last naturally. Outside we ran but it felt like I was running with cement in my shoes and no matter how hard I ran I was just spinning tires in the mud. Heart pounding I ran and ran but the fence seemed a million miles away from me.
One of the group, Sean, was screaming the whole way down the drive, stopped, picked up a rock and threw it at the house and continued to run and scream.
I was last to the fence, naturally, and when I got there the person holding it back let go and it sprang back like a mouse trap and I caught it right in the face. A bright flash followed and I was flat on my back, in pain and I guess they heard the thud of the fence on my face because my brother and two of the others dragged my dazed body through the fence and carried me back to the car hoping they didn't kill me. I did have a nice nose bleed and a beauty of a headache.
We I got my senses back and walked on my own we did start to laugh as we got back to the car, never did figure out what the noise was and we never went back until we drove by right when they tore the house down before they started to put up the new homes.
 
2017-10-31 2:23:46 PM  
2 votes:
A couple years ago i was in Salzburg, Austria, for business.  I was asleep in the hotel...it was a new hotel in almost the city center, of a very old city...meaning, it had been built on top of something else, probably many times over.  Nights would come and go with nothing to speak of...but one night towards the end of my stay...I was touched on the side two or three times...enough to startle me awake because i knew i was alone in the room..so no one could have touched my side.  My side was touched though...seconds after i could feel the spot on my side where i felt the waking contact...there was...and is no doubt in my mind that something touched me on the side that night.  It didnt scare me, though i feel like i should have been.  It never happened again.  Some may say it was just a dream...but i do know the difference between dream sensations and actual contact.  true story.  Ima go look up that hotel and see what was there previously....
 
2017-10-31 2:06:06 PM  
2 votes:
Here is mine:

img.fark.netView Full Size


Boo.
 
2017-10-31 1:16:58 PM  
2 votes:
img.fark.netView Full Size
 
2017-10-31 12:25:06 PM  
2 votes:
Had a delicious pizza for lunch. Ate the whole thing.
img.fark.netView Full Size
 
2017-10-31 12:20:01 PM  
2 votes:
Went with the wife and a couple friends to see "IT" the weekend it opened. One of the friends was on call and couldn't make it (wife's best friend).

So, they went later in the next week.

I couldn't pass the opportunity up, so i waited 30 minutes after they left, and headed out... hit Party City, and got one red balloon.

took the wife's spare key and headed to the theater. then went home and waited patiently. She's got one of those proximity keys... so when she approached the car, the dome lights came on and this was what she saw. apparently, the scream was startling to quite a few folks exiting the theater.
img.fark.netView Full Size

wife calls "Honey, have you been busy tonight?"
with a tremendous amount of effort, i played innocent... but wound up cracking up on the phone.
 
2017-10-31 11:50:07 AM  
2 votes:

meg12279: what freaks me out about sleep paralysis is that some of what you're seeing is real, and the NOT real stuff is just as real.  Like if the TV is on, I can tell you what episode of what show was playing while I was paralyzed.  The people I see at the same time seem just as real.


When I was in grad school, I began a nightly project to attempt lucid dreaming.  I tried a bunch of different strategies people had tried to "wake themselves up" or create some reminder in a dream to wake themselves up.  None of these worked.

I also suffered from serious sleep paralysis at the time, something I haven't experienced for about a decade now.  It was always frightening no matter how many times it happened, because you can't turn to look around and it's so easy to psyche yourself out about a sound you maybe heard across the apartment.  Then you start listening for closer sounds in case the sound is someone getting closer, and you easily convince yourself that it could be someone creeping in.  That's on top of the hallucinations you can experience on account of being so near to sleep.

One night I woke up paralyzed, and I figured I'd just skip the freaky part and try to go right back to sleep.  Should be easy, right, since I'm already physically down?  So I'm trying to go back to sleep in my already sleeping body and I think, "wait.  This is as close to being asleep, and dreaming, as I ever am while awake.  Maybe I can try to start dreaming while remaining conscious, stepping into it gently."

So I tuned out, tried to be dreaming, and everything was just dark.  I tried to conjure up some kind of dream setting or picture, and nothing happened.  Finally I hit upon the idea of thinking of a road so I could be standing on something:  my brain could easily imagine a road, and there it was.  It was a dream!  I was incredibly stoked that I was able to make this simple scene and be conscious in it.

I didn't, however, go any further with the experiment because I got this really urgent, disturbing feeling that I really wasn't supposed to be there.  Like a sense that something was watching me, and pressing on my mind that I have done something I was not permitted to do, that people like me were not supposed to be in places like this, and that something really terrible was about to happen if I didn't GTFO.  So I woke up.

You can try this yourself if you suffer from paralysis; I'd actually do it again if I could reliably trigger it.  Maybe when it gets hot and humid again I'll put on too many blankets, that seems to make it more likely.
 
2017-10-31 11:18:09 AM  
2 votes:
what freaks me out about sleep paralysis is that some of what you're seeing is real, and the NOT real stuff is just as real.  Like if the TV is on, I can tell you what episode of what show was playing while I was paralyzed.  The people I see at the same time seem just as real.
 
2017-10-31 11:01:32 AM  
2 votes:
Monster Defense


The last thing you do before going to sleep is check under the bed and in the closet, right?  I get it.  I was like you once too.  But I have some news for you.  That isn't good enough.

Monsters exist, okay?  But we never get proof of them because they are multi-dimensional beings.  So, to say they hide in the closet or under the bed is a misstatement.  That might be where you first spot them.  But they actually are entering your room by an inter-dimensional portal.  Think about it.  If monsters were from our world, we'd have found some bodies.  We don't even have Bigfoot bones.  No one says "Hey, I found some monster poop."  We haven't found bodies or poop because they come, they hunt, they go home.

What this means is that your room isn't safe just because you checked under the bed or in the closet.  They aren't there yet.  They will be. But not yet.  So, kids, how do you make sure you are safe if these creatures, these monsters can just pop in through a hole in the fabric of reality?

You could wall off the closet.  Or put out traps on the floor to catch the monsters.   You could maybe keep a night light on...if you want to see them come for you.  No, the best way to handle this is to think outside the box.  Have you ever heard of the bogeyman stealing a dog?  No.  Of course not.  Dogs bark and cause a scene.  And no one ever blames a missing dog on monsters.  We can conclude that the bogeyman is afraid of dogs.

So, if you want to stay safe from the monsters, tell mom and dad you need a puppy.  Trust me.  You will thank me later.
 
2017-10-31 1:14:12 AM  
2 votes:
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.
 
2017-10-30 9:40:26 PM  
2 votes:

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 9:15:38 PM  
2 votes:

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

Introduction
    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][img.fark.net 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?

DEFENSIVE MEASURES

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.
.

[img.fark.net 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.

[img.fark.net 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.

[img.fark.net 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.

DEFENSIVE MEASURES

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 8:25:08 PM  
2 votes:

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!"

http://www.hplovecraft.com/writings/te​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.

Edited.
 
2017-10-30 7:56:43 PM  
2 votes:
Mods: Any chance of pinning this thread to the top of the queue?
 
2017-10-30 7:11:35 PM  
2 votes:
For Sale: Baby Zombie shoes, never worn
 
2017-10-30 7:09:00 PM  
2 votes:
I love this thread every year, but alas, am not an author or creative. I would suggest to anyone who likes this thread that they pick up The Dark Descent a thorough compendium of horror fiction including Poe, Ellison, Oates, Barker, King and a heck of a lot more.

Also a favorite Halloween reading of mine is The Price by Neil Gaiman
Another great one is A Rose for Emily by Faulkner.
 
2017-10-30 10:03:48 AM  
2 votes:
I love this thread so much!!!

Leaving a bookmark for now... will drop in later, maybe with a few stories of my own. For now, let the ghost of Gord Downie keep you company...

The Tragically Hip - Scared
Youtube ieQH6X_XBJo
 
2017-10-29 9:41:29 PM  
2 votes:
To give everyone enough time to find and vote, the tally will be taken at noon the morning after Halloween. Great set of stories so far this year!
 
2017-10-25 12:54:08 PM  
2 votes:
Take a Second Look (continued):

          She was so beautiful, so perfect, so... complete! I gazed down at this monster cradled in my arms and the clock of reality stopped for what seemed a long while. And while it was stopped, it seemed as if all the certainties and opinions, fact and fancy, gods and devils, learning and superstition, and presumed good and evil of the world paraded in front of me and presented themselves in their confused splendor for my inspection and evaluation. I considered their worth, and then, finally, turned my gaze outward. She was very near. I kissed her.

Her lips were not ice cold, like the movies and books would have you believe, but were still somewhat cool to my lips. But it was not like kissing a corpse. I knew, with a pristine shining certainty, that this was, rather, a vibrantly alive woman who was needing and yearning, and who was responding to the growing passions that I - may God help me - was in turn feeling for her.

Somehow, I will never be sure just how or when, we joined together and I lost control. My perception of, and need for the world imploded into a monomaniacal, thrusting, awareness of the joining that we had created. She responded. Her back arched and she cried out. The sounds she made were inarticulate, but the thwarted meaning was clear: she needed something more. I knew what it was.

I gently pulled her head down next to mine, stroking her hair, her cheeks, her lips, and traced with a single finger, each in turn, the deadly ivory outlines of her need. We mouthed mindless and soundless words to each other, neither of us knowing or caring what was said, valuing only that they were said. Then - at last - I turned my head away, bared my neck to her desire, and said goodbye to the world.

          Her fangs slid in easily, almost without sensation, with just a faint whisper, a dim lost echo, of pain. I felt paralyzed; even if I had wanted to, I could not have moved in the least. But I didn't want to: her control over my will and desire was total, and I wished only to lie there, next to this beautiful, wonderful monster, and listen to the gentle sucking sound of life - my life! - filling and renewing her existence.

It was more than just a simple extraction of fluid; it was as if my very essence was being consumed. I could feel her need for the blood, but in the furious swirling of my soul I also felt something else. It almost seemed as though her ultimate thirst was not for the mere material qualities of the blood, but for the metaphysical things that made me human: the joys and sorrows and hopes and fears that defined and made real the vector sum of my existence as a being. It was as though she sought to steal my spirit, my battery's life force, to re-energize her own.

Her feeding stopped. The draining of my soul was suspended and there was a silence in the room, a serene and peaceful hush. I felt her lips and tongue kiss and lick the wound, and - incredibly - felt the punctures itch and move as my flesh and skin healed. She then lifted her head, and looked at my face. Hers was an open, trembling question mark.

I looked at her, and felt her body under my hands. She now had a muted flush to her cheeks, and a hint of warmth to her skin, and I knew, somehow, that I had not really sustained her, that what she had taken was not enough to survive. But I also knew that I had brought a small measure of life, albeit of a temporary sort, to someone who had none of her own to give, and that she was grateful for the fact that it was freely given.

And yet, in a sense, she did have life to give. She had given me back my life. I thought: some humans are Undead, more-so than Jean; their souls and minds are frozen, unchanging, trapped like ancient pine needles embedded in amber. Jean's body may be Undead, but her mind-soul-spirit is very much alive. She gave me some of that vitality, and brought me back, for a time, from the living death that I now endure.

I looked at her, and then pulled her head down again and kissed her red upon red lips. She put her head, once more, into the curve of my neck and snuggled close to me. I closed my eyes and slept.

* * *

I returned to her apartment many times, always just before dusk, to make sure she would be there. From the very first, there was no fear or aversion or doubt. I saw beyond the merely physical aspects of what I came to think of as her medical condition. She saw beyond the fact of my mere humanity, my natural status as prey, to regard me as her lover. The trust and passion was mutual and complete. I was consumed with her, and (in no small part) by her, relying on the strength of her willpower and love to hold instinct in check. And she, in turn, surrendered the safeguarding of her immortality into the hands and judgment of a mortal.

It was she who called an end to the relationship. I would have had it continue until my end. In spite of the blindness that is often caused by passion, she finally saw the weakness of my body and spirit that was being created by her constant tiny attentions. And, after nursing me back to health with orange juice, high protein liquids, and large portions of rare red meat, she insisted that the affair be terminated.

          I begged her to finish it and make me like her. She responded that two such as herself could never feel the same depth of passion as we had felt, that something else - some part of the soul? - seemed to die with the body. Her kind were solitary predators; though they could and did meet socially, there was always a layer of reservation that made each of them sufficient unto themselves. She offered the boon I asked, but insisted that it would mean the death of our love for each other.

She, rather, held out the possibility that one day after I had fully recovered we could again share together in the ways that brought us so much ecstasy. And she promised that, were I on death's doorstep, she would know it and come to me, and - should I still want it - give me the boon I asked.

* * *

That was some time ago. I have not seen Jean in several months. I've returned, many times, to the Nigh... to that bar..., but I think that she, and the others, are avoiding me. No, I haven't tried going back to her apartment. My rationalizations will work only so far and - even now - I still want to live.

Jean really did awaken a new sense of life in me: a fresh ability to seek, to care, a desire to once again reach out and grasp the world by its rumpled collar and shake something new and starched and shiny out of that stained and careworn cloth. But, as with her, I am now one of the world's living dead. The generator has had too much corruption thrown into its rusting windings, and the battery has been drained too many times and now cannot hold a charge.

I cannot seem to find within me the desire to self-perpetuate that sense of passionate living that Jean re-awakened in my soul. And if I go back to her, I'm afraid of what might happen, of what I might ask of her. It's like an addiction, you see. It must be adaptive evolution of a sort, a mutation: her kind must possess a pheromone that functions as a sexual attractant. That's how they feed, as well as create new generations, by attracting addicted humans to be - not only their willing converts - but their willing victims...

But things are coming to a head. This pathetic safety net of mine is going to unravel very soon now. They're banning aluminum cans and glass bottles next month, and there's no decent money any more in plastic. My identification papers were taken by the police last week, and now they can't seem to find them. Without papers, I can't get a work permit. My final emergency unemployment insurance expires next month. The food stamp allotment has already been taken away, and the soup kitchen lost its permit and closed down two days ago. The government medical insurance has been stopped, and the Siberian Flu season is coming soon. Someone stole my bedroll two days ago. I have no idea what I will do...

...Perhaps I will take Jean up on her kind offer...

..........................Yes.

...I'll be seeing you!

* * * * *

 
2017-10-25 11:06:56 AM  
2 votes:

Harry Freakstorm: The 1st Iraqi Ghost Tank Battalion

2024 Saudi - Iraq border 2300hrs


Very, very nice.

The thesis - death so sudden that awareness of it is absent or lags - is one I remember from a movie (Final Fantasy?) where ghosts of alien animals, unaware that they have died in a cataclysmic war that destroyed their world have invaded ours.
 
2017-10-25 9:17:29 AM  
2 votes:
Booooooooooooooooooooo (not the scary boo)
This thread is supposed to occur on Halloween, not 10/25.
I refuse to read any entries until Halloween!
 
2017-10-25 8:52:23 AM  
2 votes:

cman: I once saw my dad and mom doing it


so they have a clown fetish do they?

images-na.ssl-images-amazon.comView Full Size
 
2017-10-25 8:31:47 AM  
2 votes:

ObscureNameHere: Why the hell is this thread 6 days early?


...the better to scare you with?
 
2017-11-02 9:01:20 PM  
1 vote:

CAT-LIKE TYPING DETECTED: Honest Geologist: CAT-LIKE TYPING DETECTED: .

On the one hand, I really agree with this, because I think a lot of us enjoy the tales that are most plausible, "real", or at least believed to be real by those who are telling them.

Ditto..

But on the other, I think it's a real tough call deciding where on the spectrum of fiction to bullshiat to poor memory and embellishment to genuine reporting of the facts to draw the line.

But that's all I'm suggesting..  Are you posting fiction..?  Okay, here's the thread fer that..  Are you posting a personal experience, real event, overactive memory or the like..?  Okay, here's that thread..  Those posting fiction know they're posting fiction..

On the third hand (oooh, spooky!), the CSB threads have really scratched my itch for good storytellin' lately. Maybe if it's framed as such, it'd be more what we're after.

Economics calls that the "Gripping Hand" (more spooky..!)..and, fer what yer sayin', that's exactly what the fiction thread would be for..  I highly doubt it would ever want fer submissions/posts were it to become another annual thing..  (to wit - the weekly-ish "Writer's" threads always seem well attended..this would just be a holiday-themed version o'that..  Hey..  Mebbe that's it..?   The Writer's thread takes on the Halloween fiction, every year..?  Who oversees that thread..?  Hmm..)..

And on the fourth hand, it just wouldn't be the same without the Russian Sleep Experiment, Ted the Caver, the Korean webcomic, some of the "greatest hits" we've come to expect.

..and, of those, I specifically mentioned the 2nd as a "classic"..the 3rd was brought up by another..don't recall a mention o'the first..but it well qualifies, too..  I don't want any of those to go away..in fact, I doubt anyone would have issue with them popping up in the 'real' thread..but living in the 'fiction' thread isn't a bad idea/place fer those looking fer the latest, greatest and all time hits of the genre..   =)

And I should of course say th ...


I agree with this.
 
2017-11-02 7:33:22 AM  
1 vote:

Ima4nic8or: Here's a scary one. There was once a wonderful state.  It had beautiful scenery, low crime and an intelligent,  educated citizenry. Then an evil monster showed its face. The state was called Colorado and the monster was called legalized dope. The monster tricked the less moral and less intelligent with promises of cures for all sorts of ailments and an endless state of euphoria.  But what it ended up bringing was skyrocketing crime, addiction and homelessness.  It slowly started to destroy the formerly great state and nobody was able to stop it since most of the population had been rendered brainless and morally bankrupt.  The End.

Not a very uplifting story I guess but I thought it my duty to share it since I have seen it firsthand.  I have been in Denver the last couple days for a conference and the number of drug dens was shocking. In the poor sections between the airport and downtown there was a "dispensary" every block or so and there were homless drug fiends everywhere.


Please never come back.

And Fark you for bringing this to the Halloween thread you ignorant count.
 
2017-11-01 5:11:09 PM  
1 vote:

a particular individual: An admin pulled the wrong lever and accidentally posted it a week early. Last year I submitted the headline on 10/30, and it went green that night. It was just a clerical error this year that led to, like, 65 posts before I even saw it. Then it got yanked, so only TFers could see it in the Greenlit queue.


I think participation was really down this year. It had nothing to do with the time of the posting and everything to do with a tab to the right called "Politics" with much greater and more important Horrors.
 
2017-11-01 12:39:34 PM  
1 vote:

witzend52: omg bbq: farking_texan: Fireproof: Even as a writer, I have to ask:

Anyone else like these threads better when every story was supposedly real, as opposed to being full of five-page long things that with fictional characters and drafts in the Writers Threads?

YES. At least they used to blend in better.

probably not, mine was real and put me on the edge of a breakdown but it appears to not be very popular.

But if I wrote a story about the nightmare I had when a Polish gypsy woman cursed me with a Steamer Trunk full of Haunted Dicks it would probably be a slam dunk.
Fake stuff always goes over better, while the real stuff that has really traumatized us has no actual conclusion or reason (unlike stories or movies) so it leaves the reader unable to find that closure.

I just want to say my son had the same reaction to strattera that you did. most frightening time of his life. He did not find out about the (less than 2% of the population who have this) reaction for several years. I'm glad you came through OK.


Didn't have the hallucinations, but I tried Strattera for a while and I got...either really tired or depressed. All my friends would be at the house playing in the pool and I just wanted to grumpily lie on the couch inside and try to nap. Probably because of the whole "gradual ramp up the dosage" thing, I didn't even think it could have been related to the drug, because I had been on it for several weeks at this point. Fortunately, I was only 17 at the time and my mom saw this behavior as a red flag and got me off of it.

I haven't heard the thing about Adderall being banned "offshore" before. I worked on a cruise ship and had it cleared by both the ship's doctor and even his supervisor (some kind of chief medical guy not even on board the ship) once I presented a note from my doctor at home. Maybe it varies from one employer to another.
 
2017-11-01 12:37:21 PM  
1 vote:

Turing_Machine: Wow everyone. This was fantastic as always. Thank everyone for being awesome.

Having done this for a few years now, I've noticed that some folks who already have TF will pass their sponsored month down to the highest ranking Liter, so you'll notice I have more than 10 in each list.

If you're a TFer and you'd like me to hold your sponsored month for a few weeks, we can do that as well.

Smartest
GRCooper (TF) with 92 votes (waiting)
Uncle Eazy (TF)(repeat from Funniest) with 55 votes (waiting)
DoBeDoBeLurk with 41 votes (gifted)
ms_lara_croft (TF) with 32 votes (waiting)
TheLastFrontiersman with 32 votes (gifted)
toraque (TF) with 31 votes (waiting)
hobbes0022 with 26 votes (sponsored)
Parthenogenetic (repeat from Funniest) with 24 votes (sponsored)
Fireproof with 23 votes (sponsored)
SomeFarkinFarmgirl with 21 votes (sponsored)
--------------------------------------​-----
Flt209er with 21 votes
Psychopusher (TF) with 20 votes
tenalquot with 19 votes
Free Radical with 18 votes
girlygirlmpls with 18 votes
Harry Freakstorm (BF) with 18 votes

Funniest
mikaloyd with 51 votes (sponsored)
thatguyoverthere70 (TF) with 48 votes (waiting)
Uncle Eazy (TF)(repeat from Smartest) with 43 votes (waiting)
nmrsnr (TF) with 34 votes (waiting)
Parthenogenetic (repeat from Smartest AND Funniest) with 30 votes (already sponsored so waiting)
blatz514 (TF) with 29 votes (waiting)
SlipWilly with 29 votes (sponsored)
cman (TF) with 25 votes (waiting)
Mentat (TF) with 21 votes (waiting)
wademh (TF) with 20 votes (waiting)
----------------------------------
Double_B (TF) with 18 votes
Parthenogenetic (repeat from Smartest AND Funniest) with 16 votes
Clemkadidlefark (BF) with 14 votes
GRCooper (TF) with 14 votes
kdawg7736 (TF) with 14 votes
Gergesa with 14 votes
BullBearMS with 13 votes
dragonchild (TF) with 13 vote
Parthenogenetic (again) with 12 votes
tuffsnake(TF) with 12 votes
Jster422 with 11 votes


Congrats to the winners and welcome to TFD!
 
2017-11-01 12:27:26 PM  
1 vote:
Wow everyone. This was fantastic as always. Thank everyone for being awesome.

Having done this for a few years now, I've noticed that some folks who already have TF will pass their sponsored month down to the highest ranking Liter, so you'll notice I have more than 10 in each list.

If you're a TFer and you'd like me to hold your sponsored month for a few weeks, we can do that as well.

Smartest
GRCooper (TF) with 92 votes (waiting)
Uncle Eazy (TF)(repeat from Funniest) with 55 votes (waiting)
DoBeDoBeLurk with 41 votes (gifted)
ms_lara_croft (TF) with 32 votes (waiting)
TheLastFrontiersman with 32 votes (gifted)
toraque (TF) with 31 votes (waiting)
hobbes0022 with 26 votes (sponsored)
Parthenogenetic (repeat from Funniest) with 24 votes (sponsored)
Fireproof with 23 votes (sponsored)
SomeFarkinFarmgirl with 21 votes (sponsored)
--------------------------------------​-----
Flt209er with 21 votes
Psychopusher (TF) with 20 votes
tenalquot with 19 votes
Free Radical with 18 votes
girlygirlmpls with 18 votes
Harry Freakstorm (BF) with 18 votes

Funniest
mikaloyd with 51 votes (sponsored)
thatguyoverthere70 (TF) with 48 votes (waiting)
Uncle Eazy (TF)(repeat from Smartest) with 43 votes (waiting)
nmrsnr (TF) with 34 votes (waiting)
Parthenogenetic (repeat from Smartest AND Funniest) with 30 votes (already sponsored so waiting)
blatz514 (TF) with 29 votes (waiting)
SlipWilly with 29 votes (sponsored)
cman (TF) with 25 votes (waiting)
Mentat (TF) with 21 votes (waiting)
wademh (TF) with 20 votes (waiting)
----------------------------------
Double_B (TF) with 18 votes
Parthenogenetic (repeat from Smartest AND Funniest) with 16 votes
Clemkadidlefark (BF) with 14 votes
GRCooper (TF) with 14 votes
kdawg7736 (TF) with 14 votes
Gergesa with 14 votes
BullBearMS with 13 votes
dragonchild (TF) with 13 vote
Parthenogenetic (again) with 12 votes
tuffsnake(TF) with 12 votes
Jster422 with 11 votes
 
2017-11-01 12:23:52 PM  
1 vote:

CAT-LIKE TYPING DETECTED: ObscureNameHere: farking_texan: Fireproof: Even as a writer, I have to ask:

Anyone else like these threads better when every story was supposedly real, as opposed to being full of five-page long things that with fictional characters and drafts in the Writers Threads?

YES. At least they used to blend in better.

^THIS.   Sorry aspiring writers, but as a long time FARK'er, what made this thread work were short to  reasonable length, contained tales to chill, amuse or creep out.   Not long extended chapter arcs, and this is the first year that I've notice such a prevalence of such things.

You can, of course, post them if you want.  But, know that I (and I suspect many others), are simply rocking the 'Page Down / Page Down' until the walls of text are passed by.

A'yup..

Mayhaps next Halloween, the Admin/Mods could see fit to have both a "Scary (True) Stories" thread and a "Scary Story Writer's" thread (the latter as a new annual tradition)..  Just a thought..


I like this idea as well.
 
2017-11-01 11:46:29 AM  
1 vote:

Skyd1v: Here is mine:

[img.fark.net image 800x640]

Boo.


I now officially hate you: At 7.15 EST this morning, I saw my first 'holiday' themed Target advert on the television.

My second -also Target but a different one, on a different channel- was at 7.22 AM.

::le sigh::
 
db2
2017-11-01 10:59:24 AM  
1 vote:

Kirzania: Fireproof: Even as a writer, I have to ask:

Anyone else like these threads better when every story was supposedly real, as opposed to being full of five-page long things that with fictional characters and drafts in the Writers Threads?

Mine was real. I'm definitely no writer.

/tried
//sad
///sugar crashing now


The thread's not totally devoid of interesting reading, but there's no arguing that it isn't an awful lot thinner than it was ten years ago.
 
2017-11-01 9:22:58 AM  
1 vote:

Harlee: All righty then! This is my last submission. The idea came to be


Oops. I was rushing so fast on getting this posted and proofing it (when the hell is the deadline?) that I forgot to finish the intro. So here goes:

The concept of this came to me last Wednesday, from a casual remark I saw in an online comment, that nobody actually knows what the hell goes on in Heaven. That seemed like an eminently reasonable concept, so I started thinking about what might be "reasonable" alternatives for doing stuff in Heaven.

I started writing Friday evening. I finished an hour ago. Call it about 30 hours, a good chunk of which was taken up with Internet research for background accuracy. The effort was fueled by copious and constant amounts of coffee and high quality weed. (Various Indicas for the weirdness; Sativas for the focus and powering out the writing.)

I was tempted to re-title it as Drama but my wife said that All Writers Go To Heaven is perfect. But now I've got ideas for at least four more stories and possibly a novel or two set in this "All Writers Go To Heaven" universe, so I feel this story should have both titles, with Drama as the subtitle. What say you, Farkers?

This comes in at 5,337 words, so, sorry, it is a little long. I've tried to pare down wherever possible, but the Art of it sometimes demands less sparse language. What say you, Farkers? Too wordy? What would you cut? Or have I missed something and need to add another 100 or 1,000 words?

Enjoy.
 
2017-11-01 3:30:03 AM  
1 vote:

ObscureNameHere: OK So Amuse Me: ObscureNameHere: Also, don't get me started on my strange relationship to the common streetlight.    No rhyme or reason and it is likely confirmation bias, but, I really wish when I walking down a street if a streetlight would not choose to go out JUST as I walk under it.

No every light (obviously), but it is an odd thing I've had my whole life.   However, it is not recreate-able at will and therefore it will forever remain one of those odd life amusements / terrors that some of us have.

I have the same thing happen to me with a streetlight less than half a block from where I turn when going home. It blinks off every time I drive or walk past/under it. I have ten people that can vouch for this and I've experimented with it. had my Hubs and other people drive my auto by it thinking it might be something in the car, nothing, never goes out unless I'm in the car.

Um.
Huh.
Well this  creepy and weird.   Nice to meet you. :)

I'm almost afraid to Google this to see if this is a 'thing'.   At least yours sounds like it is consistent and you have witnesses.  Want to split James Randi's $1,000,000 if we can prove something? :)


SLIders
 
2017-11-01 3:18:29 AM  
1 vote:
Not done yet..need to sleep soon and wanna finish up, but wanted to note..

I see we got 'Ted the Caver', a 'Fishy' reference (don't recall iff'n it was a link), the 'Desert Accident' story..all classics..     =)      I don't see the story about 'Danny'..don't think there's a link and too long fer copypasta on a Chromebook, not my story t'do so with anyways..or 'The Dionaea House'..  That one I can link and it's one o'my faves..be warned, it's a rabbit-hole t'be sure..

Hope y'all had a great Halloween and thanks fer all the wonderful/scary tales..real and written..  Off to finish the thread..see you all back next year..!!
 
2017-11-01 12:49:02 AM  
1 vote:
For all the sleep paralysis people, I've got an interesting anecdote. I used to have the same problem in high school and college. The waking up frozen and see crazy visions, terrorizing figures, etc. So I was getting stoned with a friend of mine, who happens to be a pretty devout Muslim guy (the weed is, apparently, totally cool with the prophet). Anyway, we started to talk about it. I told him what was going on and how weird it was. He explains to me the concept of "jin" from the Quran. Now my friend is a boxer, far from an intellectual or cleric of any kind, but I took his word for it (i.e., this may not be accurate theology). He said that the jin can taunt you in your sleep and the way to stop it is to fight each time to ball your fist and strike your chest. If you can manage to do this, it will banish the jin.

Now, I don't exactly buy this, being an atheist and skeptical of the whole supernatural thing, but I figure--why not try? So the times I had sleep paralysis, I'd will myself to ball my fist and with every ounce of try to strike my chest. Well, after a few episodes I managed to do it and jumped awake with my whole body, like out of a falling dream. I've never had an issue since.

I don't know if it's true, old-world medicine for sleep problems, age, psychological, or what, but it did work. That was well over ten years ago and it's never happened again.
 
2017-10-31 11:06:12 PM  
1 vote:

Ima4nic8or: I have been in Denver the last couple days for a conference and the number of drug dens was shocking. In the poor sections between the airport and downtown there was a "dispensary" every block or so and there were homless drug fiends everywhere.


*chills*

Why not tell the story you were afraid to tell, though?

You know the one.

Cheesman Park. Or should we say, Prospect Hill Cemetery?

Riverside Cemetary may be the most historic of Denver's burial grounds, but Prospect Hill was the busiest, it's "boot hill", though it enclosed hallowed ground for the region's diverse, intrepid settlers - Catholics, Jews, Chinese, and others laid out their departed in their various plots.

To this day, construction projects in the Denver Botanic Gardens turn up the bones of the forgotten.

Which is nothing to compare to the bones unceremoniously disturbed in the infamous desecration that still haunts Denver:

Land speculators eyed the high ground on which the dead rested, and through political coercion and corruption obtained rights to the cemetery in which thousands had been laid to rest.

They gave only 90 days notice - in the days of handwritten letters delivered by post, in a time without backhoes or trucks - for families to arrange reinterment at some other location.

The land speculators hired a contractor to - ostensibly - relocate the remains of the departed: a contractor who promised a fresh coffin for every corpse for their relocation to the historic Riverside Cemetery.

The contractor of course pocketed the pay and then made his workers cut the corners: tearing up corpses and stacking remains like cordwood, cramming the bones of many adults into cheaper child coffins, strewing remains like wood chips in a lumberyard, stripping the dead of clothing and jewelry.

"The line of desecrated graves at the southern boundary of the cemetery sickened and horrified everybody by the appearance they presented. Around their edges were piled broken coffins, rent and tattered shrouds and fragments of clothing that had been torn from the dead bodies...All were trampled into the ground by the footsteps of the gravediggers like rejected junk."


It is known that the bones of thousands still rest below this popular city park.

Oh - and on moonlit nights, they say, you can still see the outlines of the graves of the desecrated, and the cemetery as it once was and there's a spider on your face Ima4nic8or stab it stab it now!
 
2017-10-31 8:50:56 PM  
1 vote:
Here's a scary one. There was once a wonderful state.  It had beautiful scenery, low crime and an intelligent,  educated citizenry. Then an evil monster showed its face. The state was called Colorado and the monster was called legalized dope. The monster tricked the less moral and less intelligent with promises of cures for all sorts of ailments and an endless state of euphoria.  But what it ended up bringing was skyrocketing crime, addiction and homelessness.  It slowly started to destroy the formerly great state and nobody was able to stop it since most of the population had been rendered brainless and morally bankrupt.  The End.

Not a very uplifting story I guess but I thought it my duty to share it since I have seen it firsthand.  I have been in Denver the last couple days for a conference and the number of drug dens was shocking. In the poor sections between the airport and downtown there was a "dispensary" every block or so and there were homless drug fiends everywhere.
 
2017-10-31 8:44:20 PM  
1 vote:

Harlee: The concept of this came to me last Wednesday, from a casual remark I saw in an online comment, that nobody actually knows what the hell goes on in Heaven


The Methodists say everyone stands around all day singing praises to God.  Which sounds awful.  Which is why, at the age of 10, when I was scammed into thinking I was going to hell by my older brother, it was oddly liberating.  If I had to go to Heaven®, I would no doubt spend every day in Hell regardless, just out of sheer boredom.  That's much more interesting than singing hymns.
 
2017-10-31 8:09:45 PM  
1 vote:
All righty then! This is my last submission. The idea came to be


All Writers Go To Heaven


Have you ever thought about what people do in Heaven? There's lots of talk about Hell

and what goes on there, but (except for the idea that people might just sit around singing

praises to God for all eternity) no one ever mentions Heaven. Regardless, it sounds boring.


Harold Modde saw the exact cause and moment of his death. He saw it unfold in blazing, flaming, indeed exploding color right in front of his eyes. He had a ringside seat to the spectacle of his own obliteration. The view, he just had time to think, was rather magnificent in a horrible sort of way.

It was like a climactic scene, in an overly dramatic chapter, in a bad novel.

The general setting was the 5/22/57 freeway interchange in Orange County, California. This multilevel pile of concrete spaghetti sorted out the movements of a half-million cars a day between three major freeways and 34 collector/distributor roads. Almost a million people cursed it daily. It was known, without any affection whatsoever, as the Orange Crush.

The precise scene was the feeder from the eastbound 22 to the northbound 5/57. This was a two-lane bridge that arched on slender concrete pylons, 100 feet over the two feeder lanes that snaked along, at the bottom of the spaghetti pile, from the northbound 5 to the westbound 22. These lower lanes were now an exhaust-fumed, sweltering parking lot of idling traffic, where a bored Harold, along with 10,000 other commuters, waited for an accident somewhere ahead to be cleared.

The specific actions that led to Harold's death were a confused soccer mom, nearing the end of the bridge, who could not decide whether she wanted to be on the 5 or the 57. She decided to brake hard while she figured it out. This caused traffic on the bridge to come to a screeching halt. The methed-up driver of a semi-trailer gas truck, charging up in the rear, was busy adjusting his radio. His tanker plowed into the rear car of the jam. The rear trailer's front-connector broke from the impact. It speared up into the front trailer, where it knifed a gaping rip in the half-empty tank. Liquid and fumes gushed out. A random spark ignited it all, and the truck was instantly enveloped by a blue corona of flashing flame. An explosion bounced against the concrete of the overpass and launched the truck into the air. It flew over the abutment and flamed down onto the stopped traffic.

Harold was bored. The radio deck in the ancient Porsche convertible he was driving was broken, so he couldn't listen to drive-time radio. He had a horrible case of writer's block, so he was avoiding thinking about his current science fiction novel (Harold subscribed to the theory that not thinking about the book helped his subconscious figure out the problem). So he was looking at the cars that surrounded him. When he got bored with looking at them, he looked up at the vehicles on the overpass, which he could see perfectly, because the Porsche's top had been slashed by some psychopath with a knife a week before, so he had taken it down. From this perfect vantage point, he saw every microsecond of the gripping drama. Sonofabiatch, he thought. It's true. Perception really does go into overdrive when you know you are about to die.

As a child, Harold had been raised in a fundamentalist religious cult. Since escaping, he had been an avowed atheist. He had decided years before that he was at ease with the idea of death simply being cessation. When your body died, your mind just ceased to be. There would, of course, be no regret, since there would be no "him" to feel regret.

Harold had time to think, well, me, I guess it's been a good life. But this is the end. Goodbye. And then 9 tons of burning, exploding tractor crashed directly down onto his head, and there was suddenly nothing at all.

#

And then there wasn't. Without conscious transition, Harold found he was lying naked, under a thick comforter, head propped on a plump pillow, in an antique four-poster canopy bed. The bed was in a room adorned with white walls, two red-draped multi-paned windows, a white, paneled, wooden door, and several high-backed, well-stuffed red chairs. A carpet of dark green and red squares covered the floor. Against the far wall sat an antique armoire. Dominating the room was a marble fireplace, complete with marble mantle and hearthstone, and a quarter-height, antique cast iron fender. The grate was loaded with a small stack of cheerfully burning logs. The room looked like a Federal Era upper class bedroom from the early 1800s.

He became aware of the susurration of the well-behaved fire. All else was silent, a marked contrast from the background of mechanical growls he had just been hearing... No wait, what the...? Without thinking, Harold sat up in bed and craned his head to see out the window. He saw the green, leafy branches of an American chestnut limned against a soft, baby blue sky that was dotted with fluffy white clouds. A red-breasted bird, a robin, he thought, sat on one of the branches, softly chirping. Peaceful. So very peaceful. Harold sat up further. He was on an upper floor and could not see the ground from where he lay. But in the distance, he could see hills covered with lush, green, virginal forest.

And then, belatedly, Harold remembered the mass of burning metal that he was damned sure had instantly crushed him to death. He thought hard. Somewhere in his returning memory, he thought he felt the ghost of a sensation: a flash of heat, a press of weight, a phantom instant of piercing pain that was almost gone before it was felt. He jerked upright, and felt himself all over. His body seemed to be just fine. Perhaps I should get up....

BANG!
Harold was swinging his legs onto the floor when the door slammed open and a fireball of a man strode into the room. He was short, maybe an inch or so taller than five feet, and slender-built. He had sweptback, bright red hair, gray at the temples, receding from the forehead. A scraggly gray-streaked reddish beard unsuccessfully hid a belligerent axe of a chin. Above the mouth, a tobacco-browned reddish gray stubble of a moustache, scribbled below the red-flecked aquiline nose of a chronic drinker, completed a sad display of singularly unfinished personal grooming. Blade-like lips, an unhealthy, pasty complexion, glaring blue eyes, and a pair of metal-rimmed narrow pince-nez spectacles attached to a cord around his neck completed the impression of a thoroughly unpleasant hard-ass fanatic. The apparition wore period clothing that was consistent with the bedroom: a brown wool tailcoat, white cotton twill trousers, a cut-velvet patterned maroon vest, a red bow tie with white polka-dots, and brown leather calf-length leather boots. It spoke, "All right, all right, all right! No more dawdling and lying around sir! There are great things to be accomplished! It is time to get busy!"

The entrance galvanized Harold. He had jerked erect and grabbed the comforter off the bed. He crouched next to the bed, comforter held defensively in front of him, quivering in shock. And then, suddenly, he was flooded with the righteous red anger of the terminally put-upon. He threw the comforter down onto the floor and stood tall, pissed, and naked, fists clenched in fury and desperation, "Who the flying fark are you? And where the Hell am I?"

The apparition stopped in the middle of the bedroom, looked around with what seemed deep satisfaction, and then looked at Harold and grinned unpleasantly. It laughed. It was a thoroughly maniacal laugh, and deeply nasal. It was the kind of supercilious, nasty laugh that Harold had always associated with over-the-top vaudeville villains. "Well, my boy, as far as you're concerned, I am God. And you are in Heaven."

That was a showstopper. Harold thought again of that last instant of time in his Porsche. Yep, there is no way that I am alive, so I must be dead. But there is no way that this is Heaven; I'm an atheist, for Heaven's sake! And then he realized what he had just thought and laughed hysterically. "I'm in Heaven? Really? How the Hell can that be? I don't believe in Heaven!"

God looked at Harold like he was retarded. "You're a writer, right?"

Harold mutely nodded.

"Well, son, you're in luck, because whether you do or don't believe in Heaven, Hell, and Me, it is a singular fact that all writers, regardless of their beliefs or actions, automatically go to Heaven. Those are the rules. I should know; I wrote 'em!"

"Wha...?"

"Ok, I can see that you are confused. Say, my boy, you look truly ridiculous like that, standing around in your birthday suit. In that armoire over them...." God waved His hand in the direction of the furniture. "Clothes. I think I've got your size right. Get something decent on, and then I will explain everything." The double doors of the armoire gently swung open from ghostly hands, and several complete sets of early 1800 American men's high fashion clothing wafted from the depths of the furniture, through the air, and onto the bed.

Harold looked at them as if they were piles of snakes. The levitation act had freaked him out, and he was a sandals, jeans, and short sleeve sports shirt kind of guy anyway. Attire from a bygone age was....

God saw his expression. "Oh yes, I forgot, barbaric twentieth century attire. It is so sad that people don't know how to dress well anymore." He waved his hand again, and the piles of clothes shimmered and suddenly became twill cargo shorts, blue jeans, and several stylish Big Dog Hawaiian shirts.

"I'll leave for a bit and pop over and see another new arrival. I'll be back in ten or fifteen minutes. Hurry up and get dressed, and then we'll talk about what you are going do here." God swiveled smartly on one boot heel and strode back out the door, which slammed shut behind him without being touched.

#

In a state of mind he later analyzed as shock, Harold, dial tone in head, calmly selected an outfit. In the piles of outerwear, he found tees, boxers, and tighty-whiteys. Everything was in his size. He dressed in a tee, comfortable briefs, some no-name but really slick looking jeans, and a lightweight, colorful Hawaiian shirt adorned with large dogs driving antique cars. He also found a pair of white socks and a pair of hook-and-loop sandals. And then he sat on the bed and waited for God to return. And he thought.

The familiar acts of selecting his clothing, and dressing had helped Harold's state of mind. There were legions of questions, in no particular order of importance, which the worrier part of his brain insisted all needed answering immediately. He forced himself to ordered thought and was amazed as something "clicked" inside his head. The speed, focus, and clarity of his thoughts seemed to be somehow augmented, almost as if performance governors had been taken off a race car. And suddenly the science fiction writer in him was having a blast, as his brain logically and dispassionately analyzed the possibilities.

Was this whole sequence since waking in this strange bed just a dream? Had he somehow survived getting crushed and burned by tons of flaming truck? Was he now in a coma in a hospital?

He thought about the strangely sped up perception he had undergone. Were the events since "waking" here just more of the same quickening, except a weird hallucination from inside his brain rather than real life gleaned from his senses? Was the fraction of a second to personal extinction ticking down to zero, and soon everything would... stop?

Or had the hallucinations started earlier? Was the entire set of events since he "woke" this morning in his West LA studio bachelor apartment all just a fantastic dream? Was he still asleep? He pinched himself, and laughed at his idiocy: if he was in a dream with this much realism, then the pain proved nothing.

Maybe he had been abducted by aliens? At just the moment of the crash they had beamed him up? Was the tale that he was dead and in Heaven to protect him from the trauma of knowing he had been kidnapped by little green men? No, that was just stupid....

Or had the accident really happened and truly killed him? If that was the case, well.... He had never thought that the Christian version (or any other version, for that matter) of Heaven was plausible, so trying to compare what he had so far experienced with what irrational fables said was in itself irrational.

He couldn't do anything about any of the other possibilities, and Harold did not even want to think of the only other option: that he was really in Hell, and that the ugly little man was Satan, and messing with him. The best course of action was to assume that what was happening was, indeed, real. If this was Heaven, and the strange little man was God, then Harold should "go with the flow" and see what was going on. That meant, of course, giving Him more than a bit of respect; getting on the bad side of God was probably not a great idea.

So when the door again slammed open, and the ugly little loud asshole who said he was God once again strode into the room like he was, well, God, Harold quickly stood up next to the bed, ready to listen. God strolled up to him, put his hands on his hips, and grinned. The two of them stood looking at each other.

#

"So!" God said, "Are you ready to learn a few things?"

Harold had worked out his approach. "Yes, Sir, I am. There are a couple of things that trouble me a bit, and I would deeply appreciate it if you could explain them. First, however, please accept my sincere apologies for my initial attitude and outburst. I'm sure you know all about adrenaline and such, since you created it... and me...." He petered out, staring warily at the little man.

God gave a sardonic grin, and shrugged his shoulders in a what-fresh-hell-is-this gesture. He clapped his hands together and sat down in one of the chairs, elbows on the arms and fingers comfortably steepled in front of him. "Now don't you worry about that, son. shiat-damn-howdy, what are a few farks and hells between colleagues? And that is exactly what you and I are going to be. With your fresh creativity and my Divine guidance, you and I are going accomplish some great things together! I fully expect that there will be many more curse words flying between us. What we do here is not easy, and cursing helps relieve the pressure!"

This was the last thing that Harold had expected to hear, and he blankly stared, mouth open. God snorted out another nasally laugh. "Close your mouth, son, you look like you've been pole-axed with a rutabaga. Now go ahead and ask those questions. Shoot!"

Rutabaga? Harold shook his head, blinked, and focused. He cleared his throat, "Well, Sir," he said, "First of all, based on what I've heard about religion, none of this makes any sense to me. This is certainly not the Heaven I expected to see when I died. I don't see any angels or harps, and I don't see people floating on clouds anywhere, and this all is..." his arms spread to encompass the room, "...well, it looks like it has all been taken out of some historical novel. And second, how in the world did you do those tricks with the clothes, you know, the levitation and the transformation?"

God grinned. "That thing about angels and harps? Well I have angels here, and some of them are very sweet and desirable girls indeed, but I just don't like the sound of harps and don't allow any here. People floating on clouds?" God tilted his head and the wall of the house puffed into twinkling vapor. He gazed out at the clouds in the distance. He tilted his head back straight and the wall re-formed. "Nope," He laughed, "I don't have any of them, either."

He gazed around the room with evident fondness. "This is a recreation of the room and bed that I died in, in my world-line, in 1820 Massachusetts."

That makes no sense at all, thought Harold.

As if reading his mind, God snorted and added, "Well, that was on my world-line. After I died and became a God, I created your world-line. To speed up the process, I cribbed the creation command set I used for your Universe from the one my God had used when He brought forth my Universe. The only commands I actually changed were ones that made your Universe a whole lot more dramatic.

"Drama! That's where it's at, my boy! In my Universe, I was an author and a crackerjack book and anthology editor. I had a stable of a dozen eager young writers, and I worked my ass off with them to whip their writing up to a fever pitch of drama, pathos, and cliff-hanger endings that kept the reader coming back for more, week after week. The result, in no small way due to my efforts, was that we produced one of the hottest adventure serials in the world! I brought..." God raised his arms, hands forming fiery letters that floated in the air. "...The Quest for the Dramatic to the nation, and the public ate it up!

"Oh, yes, I did it up right! My home Universe was actually very boring, and I never liked it one bit. My God had designed a reality where Creation was a Steady State affair, energy and matter and stars and such being continuously and quietly created in a process that, frankly, was predictable, wearisome, and just plain dull. I decided to go with something much more vibrant and gripping: a Big Bang, where everything started with a tremendous explosion of energy and matter. That one small tweak set the stage for all of the drama and suffering and pathos that is absolutely essential for the creation of great stories. Your Universe is..." Once again, God traced out flaming letters in the air, "...The Greatest Story Ever Told!"

Harold was horrified. "Wait wait wait, you deliberately created all the suffering in the world?"

God's piercing eyes glared up at Harold. Though he remained in the chair, his slight body seemed to fill the room, dominating it. His voice rang with the certainty of a fanatic, "Son, in the long run, the only thing that matters is Story. And Story is crap without drama! Suffering is an essential part of drama. Quod Erat Demonstrandum, suffering is the Story. So I cranked up the drama to epic levels in the Universe I created. The characters come and go, but the story, the drama, the suffering, is eternal!

"That's why religion on your world is so farked up: beliefs that revolve around quiet talk, rational debate, and loving and helping each other are just plain boring! Beliefs that orbit around stupid ideas and pogroms against unbelievers are grist for great stories. So I made sure that all religion in your Universe is the province of grifters, grafters, and psychotics. The results speak for themselves! Your Stories are a glorious mosaic of madness run amuck. Drama!"

Harold collapsed onto the bed. He felt faint. He felt as though he had been popping crazy pills. He felt enraged. He wanted to throttle someone. Visions of fiery pits and laughing demons filled his head. He wanted to scream. He had trouble forming the words, but he managed to croak out, "You've created a reality of horror, and terror, and never-ending suffering, and when people die they go to the eternal torments of Hell, just so you can write a farking story?"

God laughed again. "Oh, there's quite a bit more involved than that. This is getting a bit ahead of the tale, but I made a singular discovery: dramatic universes are important for a whole other reason, which I will get to shortly. As for Hell? Few people end up in Hell. All the souls who don't end up in Heaven get recycled. It's a matter of efficiency, you see. It's much quicker and easier to reincarnate them into new Stories, either in their old world-line, or in brand new ones. Much better than going through the hassle of creating brand new souls. That's what all the Gods do. And eventually, if a soul creates good yarns, it ends up in a Heaven.

"And now to address your second question!" God said. "The world-line you lived and died in has fewer dimensions than Heaven does. That means you are limited to simple cause and effect. You know, physical causes, physical effects. Wishing? Doesn't work there. But here in Heaven, all the extra dimensions mean that physical things respond to Will. Things and forces can be created simply by wishing then into existence.

"How that works I don't know in detail, since I'm an artist, not a physicist. But I'm told that it has to do with the higher dimensional matrix allowing for the flow of thought energy, in addition to the energy forms that exist in your reality. Directed flows of thought energy disturb certain natural structures that underlie the meta-reality. If the thoughts are precise and detailed enough, those structures use them to create the thing that the thoughts imagine. This somehow relieves the stress on them. I've been told that this process is actually quite scientific and that there are logical and rational physical laws that govern every bit of it. But I really don't care about the details, just so long as it works.

"I created and transformed the clothes by wishing them to be. Levitation? Not really. I repeatedly created and destroyed the clothes at each point in space between the armoire and the bed. It's an art, but quite easy to do after you've been doing it for a few thousand years. I can teach you how to do baby steps of the same thing in five minutes."

Harold still sat, huddled, on the bed. He was beyond outrage. He felt as if the marrow of his soul had been sucked out and that passive listening was the only course of action left. Aside from the sheer amorality of it all, God's story actually made a weird kind of sense. Harold was, after all, a science junkie and a fairly "hard science" science fiction writer. Rational extensions of and alternatives to currently known physics were far more acceptable than causeless sorcery. A higher dimension meta-reality with attached 4D spaces? It reminded him of an idea he had heard in a podcast on string theory.

But from what God here was saying, it seemed to Harold that He was neither all-knowing nor all-powerful. God was sounding less like Divine Being and more like Sufficiently Advanced Alien. Perhaps his alien kidnapper option had some merit after all. Harold kept this whole train of thought very close to his chest, his face expressionless, and simply stared at the moral monster who was comfortably sitting in the chair across from him.

There was an extended silence in the bedroom. God sat back in the comfy chair, watching Harold, grinning, exuding confidence and self-satisfaction. "I understand your feelings, my boy, I really do. Right now you're horrified, repelled, disgusted, sickened. You are thinking that this is really Hell and not Heaven, and given your druthers you would just like to be written out of the story and become non-existent. You'll get over it. When you hear and understand what I tell you next, I think that your attitude will go through a sea-change. Let me tell you a story.

#

"Once upon a time there was an Entity. It was a child of Chaos, a creation of the formless Void in which it existed. It lived in the Chaos, but it did not thrive. The Chaos constantly tried to submerge the Entity back into the formless non-identity from which, in a timeless moment out of time, the Entity had been randomly created.

"The Entity conceived a plan. It would fashion a habitation for itself from the Void. It would create a Universe, a meta-reality of many fixed dimensions and predictable rules. Within such a meta-reality it would be safe and thrive.

"It did all this, a Herculean task, And it thrived, safe from dissolution. But the Entity, in the fullness of time, found that the Chaos was eating away at the foundations of the meta-reality it had created.

To protect its Universe, it was necessary to (as it were) shore up those foundations. The Entity discovered it could create limited, "out-lying" versions of its meta-reality, building them each with one dimension less than its own meta-reality. These lesser realities would support its meta-reality in the same manner that the flying buttresses of a medieval cathedral supported the too-massive building core, distributing the forces that wanted to tear it down over a wider area, attenuating them at any given point.

"But the Entity quickly found that those buttressing Universes, in turn, needed support. And so an unending slog began: the constant creation of new, slightly lesser, realities to shore up the old parent ones. It was an exponential task, and the Entity toiled unendingly and it did not thrive.

"At some point it occurred to the Entity that it could create partial copies of itself. It experimented with the energies and particles of its Universes and found a way to organize some of those elements into self-aware entities that were similar to, though lesser than, itself. It found that these lesser entities were not immortal, and that when they ceased to exist in their subsidiary realities, their energizing elements, their souls, could be brought into the parent Heaven of their world-line. The Entity then instructed them in its methods of Universe-building, and put them to work building new realities to support the old ones. Those entities, in turn, became the Gods of their own universes and did the same.

"Now like I told you before, this job is not just wishing shiat up without restrictions. There are immutable laws of nature involved. Understand that there are different kinds of reality. The parent reality is a Heaven. It has, say, X dimensions." God raised one hand and a finger traced a fiery diagram in the air. It was a long oval, and it looked for all the world like an org-chart box. It had an "X Heaven" neatly scribed into it.

"The parent reality's God creates a "scaffold" reality of X-1 dimensions. These are more "Heavens." They exist to be frameworks for the levels of realities just below them." The finger moved again, and three ovals appeared just below the first one, linked to it by threads of golden flame. Each of them had "X-1 Heaven" inscribed inside.

"Now it gets interesting. The God of X makes more realities "below" the X-1 Heavens.There are two types of these realities: Heaven "frameworks" of X-2 dimensions, and as many evolving, inhabited X-3 realities as that God wishes to create and "hang" onto the X-2 framework." The finger flicked back and forth, and a dozen more ovals appeared. Three of them were labeled "X-2 Heaven" and were linked to the X-1 Heavens; nine were labeled "X-3 world-Line" and were linked to their respective X-2 frameworks.

"The natural laws are simple. Any subsidiary universe must have one less dimension than the universe that is a scaffold for it. And subsidiary universes act as buttresses for the universe directly above them."

#

There was again silence in the room. Harold's mind was reeling. The diagram God had drawn in the air, though diminished, still faintly gleamed To Harold, it looked like a demented multi-level marketing scheme.
"And so here we are, kid. I am your God, son, and don't you ever forget it. But I work my ass off for my God, and He works his ass off for His God. And so forth. This is a battle. We are constantly striving to create new realities to stay ahead of the Chaos. Because if we fall behind it all ends. Forever."

Harold just sat and stared.

God continued, "You remember I said that the Entity originally built a meta-reality with many dimensions? I'm told there are more digits to that number than there are grains of sand on all the planets of all the realities that have ever been created. And you remember that I said that each subsidiary universe must have fewer dimensions than the universe for which it serves as buttress? The original Entity and the meta-reality it made are uncounted trillions of years old. I have no idea how many levels there actually are in this grand edifice now, but I know that it is a gigantic number.

"And that is the Problem: your reality, the one where you lived and died, has only nine physical dimensions. And there simply cannot be less than three. Stuff just will not work. So, my boy, we are looking at The End, coming up very shortly. There are only six levels of reality left to create, and then the Chaos wins and everything disappears into the eternal Void.

"But I have discovered a stopgap! This is another reason why there is so much drama in the Universes that I create: dramatic universes are stronger, bigger, and more aggressive. They resist the Chaos better; they last longer, much, much longer.

"And that, son, is your new job." God stood up and began to orate, raising an arm into a balled fist with which he pummeled the air. "Together, you and I (and the other writers stashed away in other parts of this and other Heavens) are going to create another layer of realities, dozens of them, hundreds of them, thousands of them. And we will crank up the drama to fever pitch! I figure that we can build buttresses that will last a hundred trillion years!"

God lowered his fist and grinned again. The braying laugh again echoed off the walls. "I can see that I've given you a few things to think about, my boy. You should probably rest up a bit. Get some sleep. And downstairs you will find a well-equipped kitchen, and a whole bunch of very well-equipped angels, if you catch my meaning. The fringe benefits and perks of this job are not to be despised, my boy! Rest up and have some fun for a century or two, and then we will start in on the training to turn you into a full-fledged God." He turned and strode to the door, which suddenly opened of its own accord.

This was Hell, it had to be. But Harold had to know for sure. "Wait! So what you said before was the truth about Hell? No one goes there, its all religious bullshiat? And you weren't lying when you said that this wasn't Hell, right here?"

"Hell?" God stopped, and turned around to gaze back at Harold. He had a big grin on his face. He laughed heartily, another vaudeville-like cackle. "Absolute truth, Harold. And after you learn the techniques and become a God in your own right, you can check it out for yourself. No, son, there are not that many people in Hell and when they go there it's certainly not for eternity. Those people are much too valuable for that. They're writers, after all. And Hell is where I send you guys to get motivated when you get writer's block!"

# #

 
2017-10-31 6:07:53 PM  
1 vote:
I leave for work one morning saying Gavin a good day to my two children and wife.  After a full day I'm back on my way home.  As I see me exit in the distance I also see smoke rising from roughly the same area. As I exit I see the smoke rising from my neighborhood. I get to my street, but I can go through, my street has been taped off by the police.  I stop the car and get out to ask what's going on.

"I live here, can I get thru? What happened?"

"I'm sorry sir, no one can get through, we are searching for survivors... it was another drone attack by the terrorists"
 
2017-10-31 6:04:42 PM  
1 vote:

Psychopusher: ObscureNameHere: Um.
Huh.
Well this creepy and weird. Nice to meet you. :)

I'm almost afraid to Google this to see if this is a 'thing'. At least yours sounds like it is consistent and you have witnesses. Want to split James Randi's $1,000,000 if we can prove something? :)

I used to have that happen a lot.  Only on foot, however.  I haven't had it happen in a long time though, oddly enough.  Some of this may have a lot to do with street lights being switched from incandescent sodium bulbs to super-bright LED over the last couple of years, but it's been longer than that since I've had it happen, so it's not all that.


Used to happen to me all the time in Seattle on foot; farking ALL the time.  Messed with my head then, still not sure what to make of it.
 
2017-10-31 5:35:52 PM  
1 vote:

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

I bet that nickel hurt like fire


Lmfao.

it started as a quarter

/the original rock was the size of a quarter and after 2 rounds of ESWL and a couple weeks the xray from 3 hours ago shows everything is broken up and I just gotta deal with the "fallout."  Today is a very good day.
 
2017-10-31 5:30:04 PM  
1 vote:

Jster422: Many years ago, I went to Florida to help a friend pack up his Mother's house after she passed away.

I didn't realize until I arrived that he'd planned to take the guest room of the house, which left me with the bedroom of the deceased.  Which was still, obviously, full of all of her things.  She'd woken up in that bed a few days ago, and fully and reasonably expected go back to it at day's end.

Hell, for all I knew she'd died in it.  I hadn't actually asked.  Had the sheets even been changed?  Jesus.

But it was my friend, and that was his Mom, and he was going through a hard enough time so Fine.  I'll sleep in the bed of the dead.  For one night.

So anyhow, after travel and the funeral and such, he went off to sleep in the guest room, and I retired to the creepy death room.  Turned off the light, sat down on the bed and...

There was a shape.  Right in front of me, there was a shape.  Maybe four, five feet tall, looked like a person shape.  I'd never met my friend's mother - but I'd seen pictures - and she was a short little woman.  Maybe about the same size as this shape.  As this shape in the room of a woman who'd just died, who's house I was basically invading holy shiat.

Right in front of me.  I mean, it was dark as hell - but there was a shape right in front of me!  I could just make it out because there was the faintest glowing outline around it.  All my 'fear' instincts kicked in and I froze, manfully, in the darkness.

No idea how long I sat there.  My medulla telling me that I needed to hold very very still and maybe the predator wouldn't notice me.

Some amount of time later I slid, infinitely slowly, back from where the shape was just sitting there, and very, very carefully felt along the wall for the light switch.  I mean.  I didn't want to.  I didn't really want to see what that shape was, not really.  But you don't have a choice, right?

So on come the lights - and the shape is still there.

The shape which was the reflection of my torso, sitting on the bed, face to face with the full length mirror attached to the closet door.  The closet door which was shut, but with the closet light still on - thus the 'faint ghostly terrifying outline' around my reflection in the dark.

I was enormously relieved.  At least until I saw my reflection blink, but that's a whole other story.


...and I froze, manfully, in the darkness.

I like that bit very much. Thanks.
 
2017-10-31 5:26:10 PM  
1 vote:

ecmoRandomNumbers: Delta1212: Scary story? Uh, I can hear a bunch of sirens right now in Lower Manhattan from what is reported to be a shooting/car ramming incident with mass casualties...

Meh. Probably just some jerk from New Jersey got lost.


Oh, hell. I didn't realize this was serious until just now. One of my students just checked in as safe from lower Manhattan on FB. Apparently they're treating this as a terrorist attack.
 
2017-10-31 4:49:45 PM  
1 vote:

chawco: namegoeshere: Baby,
Covered in blood.
Not his.

That's not a haiku
Structure in the form of this:
Five, seven, and five


Not mine to fix, but I can't resist

Non-Maury Povich version:
Horror in the crib
A baby, dripping with gore
That is not my child...

Maury Povich version:
She pushes and pants
Sodden baby emerges
...Does not look like me...

/It's snowing on Mt. Fuji
 
2017-10-31 4:33:27 PM  
1 vote:

OK So Amuse Me: ObscureNameHere: Also, don't get me started on my strange relationship to the common streetlight.    No rhyme or reason and it is likely confirmation bias, but, I really wish when I walking down a street if a streetlight would not choose to go out JUST as I walk under it.

No every light (obviously), but it is an odd thing I've had my whole life.   However, it is not recreate-able at will and therefore it will forever remain one of those odd life amusements / terrors that some of us have.

I have the same thing happen to me with a streetlight less than half a block from where I turn when going home. It blinks off every time I drive or walk past/under it. I have ten people that can vouch for this and I've experimented with it. had my Hubs and other people drive my auto by it thinking it might be something in the car, nothing, never goes out unless I'm in the car.


Um.
Huh.
Well this  creepy and weird.   Nice to meet you. :)

I'm almost afraid to Google this to see if this is a 'thing'.   At least yours sounds like it is consistent and you have witnesses.  Want to split James Randi's $1,000,000 if we can prove something? :)
 
2017-10-31 4:09:09 PM  
1 vote:

Delta1212: Scary story? Uh, I can hear a bunch of sirens right now in Lower Manhattan from what is reported to be a shooting/car ramming incident with mass casualties...


Meh. Probably just some jerk from New Jersey got lost.
 
2017-10-31 3:49:49 PM  
1 vote:

TheLastFrontiersman: I posted the story ofmy friend Steve and the radioactive liquid speed before in these threads, and I think the time has come to add a bit to that story.Not about Steve, but about something odd that happened to me during my time serving Uncle Sugar as a submariner back in the Cold War.  I'm sure that I won't be able to do it justice...


I could seriously spend days reading your stories. That was a great read.
 
2017-10-31 3:42:49 PM  
1 vote:
The art...of good...storytelling....is in...the delivery.  {and the cowbells} Walken reads The Raven
 
2017-10-31 1:55:43 PM  
1 vote:
Just for shiat's 'n giggles, I'm going to make one up here on the spot.  There may be typos or errors, but so be it.

"Flood"

"No, you go first."
Mark stared intently through the grating to the storm drain, imagining that he could resolve murky, shifting, amorphous shapes just beyond the diminishing pool of light that spilled in from the mouth.
Jimmy shook his head vigorously.  He was usually the one that liked to keep to the middle whenever they went anywhere together, preferring neither to take up the rear, nor lead the pack, figuring if any of them were to get attacked, the middle was the safest place to be.  "I'm not going in there first!"
"You pussy," Rob, the self-proclaimed leader of the young urban adventurers, spat.  He was a bit of a bully, but he was also bigger than the both of them.  If they ever needed to fight their way out of something, Rob was good to have around.
"Yeah?" Jimmy retorted.  "Well if I'm the pussy, how come you aren't going in?  You scared?"  He placed emphasis on the last, a sharp point at the end of his verbal stick.
"I'm in charge," Rob shot back.  "I tell you guys what to do!"
"Guys!" Mark interjected.  He was the most level-headed of them.  He was usually the one to try and mediate disputes, and with Rob around, they usually needed that.  "Look, I'll go, okay?"  He didn't want to; if anything, he was the least brave of the trio, but it was pretty clear the other two were just going to bicker until someone got hurt, so the only real solution was to solve the argument for them.

The grating was a vertical series of thick, rusty metal bars welded to a frame at the top and bottom, which itself was bolted to the outer rim of the storm drain's mouth.  A runnel led away from the drain to carry the flow of heavy rains to a nearby overflow pond.  It hadn't rained heavily enough to dump into the storm drain in months, so it was dry save for a narrow rivulet fed by an unseen source well beyond the darkness.  Someone had cut through three of the bars on the grating at the bottom and bent them upwards a ways, providing access to the drain for anyone small and limber enough to fit through.

"Well then what are you waiting for?" Rob goaded.  "Get in there!"
"Wait," Mark said, removing his backpack and fishing a fspool of thin twine from one of its pockets, dropping the backpack on the ground.  He knew what they were planning to do that day, so he wanted to be prepared.  He unwound some of the twine and tied it around his waist.  "Here," Mark handed the remainder of the spool to Jimmy.  "Hold this and just let it unspool when I walk in, but keep it taut.  If someone comes, tug on it and I'll run back.
Jimmy nodded.  "Okay."
Rob sneered.  "Give me that!" he said, snatching the spool from Jimmy's hands.  "I'll hold it."
Mark rolled his eyes, then retrieved a flashlight from his backpack.  "Okay, I'm going in."
"Don't let Pennywise get you!" Rob laughed teasingly.
Mark rolled his eyes again.  It looked scary in there, but he wasn't afraid of a movie.  He was more afraid of rats, or maybe drug addicts passed out further down that might attack him.  Or ... other things.  He left his backpack behind and crawled up through the bars and walked slowly into the inky blackness.

---

Mark was brave, Jimmy thought.  He could never do that.  Who knows what was in there?  Rats.  Bears.  Evil creatures with huge dagger-like teeth, dripping with blood and saliva.  Jimmy shivered.  Maybe even Pennywise.  It could happen.  The twine slowly continued to unspool.
"Bet he gets bitten by a rat," Rob said, laughing.
"It's not funny," Jimmy retorted.
"It's not funny!" Rob imitated in his most nasal of sissy voices, then punched him in the arm.  "You're such a farking pussy!"
The punch hurt, but he wasn't going to give Rob the satisfaction.  "Am not!  You didn't go in!"
Rob drew his brow down.  "I'm the leader, remember?  I tell you what to do!"
Jimmy couldn't help but get drawn into the argument.  "You can't tell me what to do!"
"Can too!  I'm the biggest!"  Rob punched him the arm again.  This time he couldn't stop a small yelp of pain.
"Stop it!"
"Stooooop iiiiiit!"
Jimmy looked at the spool of twine in Rob's hands.  The line had gone slack.  Rob noticed too.
"Mark?" they both called in unison.

---

The light receded behind him.  Ahead was nothing but void.  Mark switched on the flashlight.  It cast what seemed like a meagre pool only a few feet in front of him. The blackness swallowed the rest.  He was comforted by the taut line around his waist, his only tangible connection to his friends.  As long as the line remained taut, he knew his friends were there, and he could run back to safety if any danger presented itself.

He could hear the sound of dripping water in the indeterminate distance, never seeming to get any closer.  The occasional distance splash that seemed like it must have been caused by more than dripping water startled him every time, ramping up his fear level.  Mark walked for what must have been several minutes at least before he came to a sharp bend to the left.  He turned and followed it, seeing what seemed to be a pinpoint of light off in the distance.  Was that all there was to this tunnel?  A simple dog leg?  There must be more junctions ahead, Mark thought.  What good was a storm drain that didn't even run all the way through town?

Mark continue to walk as the pinpoint of light grew to the size of a baseball, then a volleyball.  Silhouetted slivers around which the light bloomed and obscured began to resolve themselves into more distinct shapes as he approached.  Human shapes.  Mark paused.  He knew they weren't supposed to be in there.  Those people could be authority figures, and he'd get in trouble.  Or maybe they were just other kids, thinking about embarking on the same adventure he and his friends were on.  He slowly advanced, making sure the line was still taut.  Someone called his name.  Someone at this end of the drain.  How would anyone but his friends know he was in there?

---

"Mark!" the pair called again, approaching the mouth of the drain, as if getting closer would let them see further into the darkness.

Jimmy was worried.  With the line gone slack, they couldn't warn him if someone was coming.  But more importantly, they couldn't know if he was still okay.  As long as the line was taut and moving, they knew he was fine.  Now they didn't know, and Jimmy worried something had happened to him.  Maybe something got him.  Maybe a monster.

A shape began to appear out of the darkness.  "Mark!" Jimmy called.  "Oh God I was worried there for a second."
Rob made a gibberish sissy noise in imitation again.
"Why?" Mark asked.  "I'm right here.  But ... I don't remember turning back."
"Well you're here," Rob said snidely.  "Obviously you did."
Mark didn't look sure.  "I guess," he said.  "But I only walked straight and then made a left turn, and here I am."
"Maybe the drain curves and you didn't notice," Jimmy offered.
"I guess," Mark said again, looking just as unsure.
"Just get back in there," Rob commanded.
Mark hesitated for a moment.  "Okay. Fine.  Just keep that line taut!"  And with that he disappeared back into the darkness.
Jimmy watched Mark until the darkness ate him.  He looked at the spool.  The line was still slack.  In the flood of relief that Mark was okay, Jimmy's forgot to ask him about that.  "Wait!"

---

Mark approached the bend he had taken the first time, grabbing the line, pulling hand-over-hand, keeping it tight, following it back, and he suddenly realized that odd thing that was nagging at him.  The odd, and now blindingly obvious thing.  He was there, at the mouth of the storm drain, talking to his friends from his side of the grating, yet the line was still taut behind him, and he was now following it back.  He hadn't doubled back.  He followed that storm drain around a single, left-hand turn at a ninety-degree angle.  There was no other way he could have gone.  If he had doubled back, the line would have gone slack and he would be following it back, as he was doing right now.  This was not right.  It wasn't possible.

Mark reached the bend.  It led off to the right at a ninety-degree angle, just as he should if he was making the return trip.  As he made the turn, he knew the point of light in the distance was where he started.  No, this wasn't possible.  This was weird.  Very, very weird.  He decided that when he got back to the opening, he was getting out and going home.  He'd had enough of this.  He continued to pull hand-over-hand when he pulled the line right into his chest.  The line had gone slack.  Mark felt a cold chill flood through every part of him.

"Guys?" he called.  "Jimmy?  Rob?"  Just an echo.  Mark started to run, his flashlight swaying back and forth as he pumped his arms and legs, sprinting for the exit, suddenly feeling like the embodiment of evil itself was chasing him. It drove him on, faster and faster, the point of light growing rapidly until he reached the grating.

His friends weren't there.  Gripping the bars like a prisoner in his cell, he called after them.  "Jimmy!  Rob!"  No answer.  His backpack lay on the ground atop the short bank of the runnel.  Mark crouched down to slip through the opening in the bars.

The opening was gone.  The bars were intact.  There was no exit.  Panic welled up inside him, suffusing every fibre of his being.  His brain kicked into full fight-or-flight mode.  He had to get out of here.  That was his only mission, now.  He had to escape.  But the exit wasn't there any more.  There was only one way to go.  Back into the darkness.  The darkness the chased him, snapped at his heels, threatened to consume him, tear him apart.

He had no choice.  No choice.  Mark ran headlong into the the void.  Surely the exit was there on the other side.  Surely his brain was just playing tricks on him.  The fear must be making him confused.  The exit would be there, at the other end, just around the bend.  His friends would be there.  Of course they would be there, just like the exit.  Just playing tricks.  He ran like he was sure he had never ran before.  Left, around the bend.  The point of light.  A baseball.  A volleyball.  Larger, larger.  There were bars.

But there were no friends.  There were no broken bars.  And now, there was no backpack.  No, that wasn't right.  Wasn't right at all.  He had gotten turned around in his panic.  This was the wrong end again.  The wrong end, surely.  Back again, Mark flew down the tunnel, his failing flashlight bobbing wildly up and down.  Faster, faster, he must go faster!  Just around the bend ahead!  It must be there!

Marks world became stars.  Millions of stars.  They winked in and out of existence in an instant, an entire universe created and destroyed in the span of a heartbeat.  And then blackness. No point of light.  Nothing.  Just black.  And silence.

Mark opened his eyes.  It was pitch black.  His head hurt.  His face hurt.  His chest hurt.  His back was wet.  He realized he was on the ground.  Remarkably, he still has his flashilght in hand.  Groggily, he brought it up.  The light fell weakly against a sheer concrete wall.  He didn't remember there being a concrete wall there.  Slowly, it started coming back to him.  The storm drain.  His friends.  The bars.  His backpack.  Running.  Running so fast.  Mark sat upright, causing a wave of pain to wash over his head and torso.  Getting slowly to his feet, it looked behind him. A point of light, dim in the distance.  The exit. It was getting dark.

Mark limped his way down the tunnel, trying to bring himself to a wobbly jog against the throbbing pain, only reaching the end after what seemed like an eternity.   No friends.  No backpack.  No cut bars.  No exit.  Mark slumped against the bars, gripping them.  "Jimmy!" he called at the top of his lungs.  "Rob!"  Still no answer.  "Jimmy!  Rob!  Anyone!"

Mark started to cry.

---

There was something.  Something there in the infinite void in which he found himself floating.  Light.  Or maybe it was a sound.  He didn't know.  It came from nowhere and everywhere.  Dim, indistinct, ethereal, skittering along the edges of perception like skipping stones on an otherwise glassy pond, but it insisted itself upon him with increasing intensity, rippling outward.  There was definitely light, and there was definitely sound.  He felt something awaken.  A part of him.  And then another.  Mark slowly opened his eyes.

"Mark!" Jimmy exclaimed.  Mark could barely make out his shape silhouetted against the dimming sky as he was.  On his other side was Rob, who seemed to be looking at him, but said nothing.
He found himself lying on his back, on some grass.  He tried to sit upright, and Jimmy helped him.  "We thought you were gone!" Jimmy's words tumbled over themselves.  "You just disappeared!  The line went slack and you just disappeared.  We were so worried!"
Rob gave a brief snort.  "Speak for yourself.  I knew he was fine."
"Why do you have to be such a dick, Rob?" Jimmy spat, angrier than Mark had ever seen him.
Rob took a step toward Jimmy.  "Listen here, you little twerp--"
"Guys!" Mark interjected again.  Jimmy recoiled a little, but Rob took a step back again.
Mark shrugged off Jimmy's arms and, with some difficulty, rose to his feet.  His head and torso still ached something fierce.  "Guys, what the hell happened?  How did I get here?"
"You just came running," Jimmy explained.  "You had this look in your eyes, a crazy look.  You were totally freaked out, screaming and crying, then you crawled out through the bars and just kinda passed out."
Rob snorted derisively again.  "Pussy," he muttered under his breath, but not low enough that Mark didn't hear.
Mark turned to Rob.  He didn't really know why, or what was happening, but he was angry.  Really angry.  So angry.  Before he even realized he had done it, he had pulled his pocket knife out of his pocket and was now pointing it at Rob's throat.  Rob's face sank in sudden fear, not really understanding what was going on and finding himself, perhaps for the first time, in fear of his life.
"You," Mark hissed through clenched teeth.  "Your turn."
Rob's eyes went wide as silver dollars.  "Wh-what?"
The look on Mark's face must have been terrifying, as Rob shrank even further.  "You heard me.  Your.  Turn.  Get in there.  Now."
By this point, Rob was on the ground, crabbing his way backwards, away from the knife.  "Okay!  Okay!"  He spun around and got to his feet, then crawled up through the grating, stopping to look back.
"Well?" Rob said expectantly.  "Go on!  Go!"
Rob jumped, then spun around and made his way into the darkness.  Mark watched until the storm drain swallowed him whole.
"I know he's a dick," Jimmy said quietly.  "But that was kinda mean, don't you think?"
Mark spun round and pressed the knife at Jimmy's throat.  Jimmy suddenly looked like he might soil himself profusely.
"You," Mark started.  "Have no idea."
 
2017-10-31 1:19:58 PM  
1 vote:
No one has posted this yet, another farker ages ago posted it in a halloween thread so now I'm sharing it with all of you: http://www.infinityplus.co.uk/st​ories/​colderwar.htm
 
2017-10-31 1:01:34 PM  
1 vote:

GRCooper: Donovan is four...


I like your writing style and an ample amount of gooseflesh was generated.
 
2017-10-31 12:56:29 PM  
1 vote:

TheWriteGirl: 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?).
"



I first read this one at work. Had my headphones in with the volume up and everything.

While my reaction wasn't quite as severe as yours, I did get a few looks from my coworkers.
 
2017-10-31 12:27:08 PM  
1 vote:
No voting, this is a monologue called Conceptual Art from Chris Morris' Blue Jam

My eyes are watering. There's a lot of dust in the air. I can't see too well anyway, 'cause I pawned my corneas two days ago to buy a pair of shoes. The replacements are cheap and ill-fitting, and the anaesthetic wears off quickly, so fifteen minutes later I'd spent all the money in a chemists on a week's supply of codeine. I ate it outside. I had to lie down on the pavement while the painkillers got round to my eyes. I hung my head over the kerb to make them arrive faster. Before she ran away my wife said this would happen. She even got the date right. I tried to remember the expression on her face when she said it. 

I'd got as far as a large roaring mouth, when a pair of shoes appeared next to my head. I thought they looked familiar. They were familiar, because I'd lost them in a bet to the art dealer Japhet Corncrake. "That's rather good," he said. "Is this a new performance piece, or just a work in progress?" "I sold my eyes," I said. "I can't see." He clapped his hands and jumped up and down, thoroughly impressed. "That's very good. I like it. We must talk about this. Are you very busy this evening, because I've got a new show on at the gallery, if you'd like to come along." I couldn't say no. I couldn't say anything, because I didn't want to, and words don't form in my mouth when that happens. So he hailed a taxi and pushed me into it. 

As we drove through London, he talked fluidly about art. Coincidentally, I felt very sick. When I asked him whether perhaps he could return my shoes, he said "You really will make an excellent installation. Who writes your scripts?" Corncrake's private gallery was full of people. It was also full of water, because it was really a swimming pool with pictures hung round the walls. The guests were swimming round and round and chattering. Corncrake introduced me to a hugely-fitted woman called Hymenoptera, who helped me into the pool and gave me a drink. A man called Howards Znak touched me on the nipple, and asked me what I thought about the Sarajevo school. I was about to say "Please help me," when Helen Collop swam up, popped a cherry in my mouth, kissed my forehead, and asked me how my mother was, and then swam away again without waiting for an answer. Hymenoptera surfaced with a tray of crudités and shot me a greasy wink. It was at this point that the level of codeine in my blood became critical, and the contents of my stomach flew out of my mouth in a surprising yellow jet, which, as my head sank below the surface, acted much like a turbine, propelling me ten feet backwards through the pool. The last thing I heard was Hymenoptera asking timidly, "Was that supposed to happen?"

I'd like to hear some music now. Preferably the Bucharest Symphony Orchestra in chorus, performing Legatti's Requiem, which should be played on a cassette machine with flat batteries. Start the tape now please.

Thanks. Legatti's incorporation of poly-rhythms contrives to produce one of the most difficult and crystalline pieces of music ever written. No piece of music ever summed up death better. No human being ever experienced anything so close to death whilst still being alive. Edward Heath attended the British premier, and asked the conductor whether he had the right music in front of him. That was before inflation. And the three day week. And candles.


More Conceptual Art

Blue Jam Monologue - 03 More Conceptual Art
Youtube e3224lhwbDA
 
2017-10-31 11:32:16 AM  
1 vote:
I swear we watched that stupid red balloon movie several times per year in primary school when I was a kid (late 70s-early 80s). I don't think I ever got the point of that movie. I guess my small town school could only afford one movie for their projector.
 
2017-10-31 11:27:03 AM  
1 vote:
A true story. The house was built in 1880. We'd kept it as original as possible with antiques, even down to an old cast iron stove (then a new one beside it).  One evening, as a child, I had heard the most soulful moan of a 'ghost'... it was a textbook moan, right out of a horror movie; my parents did not believe me, naturally.
One evening as we returned from the store, we walking in with bags and the moaning starts; we all freeze.  I tell them I told you so and they tell me to shut up.
My father thinks the sound it coming from upstairs, my mother believes it is coming from 'the library' (what it was called when we bought it, but we took out the old bookshelves that needed refinished and made it into a TV room), and I honestly had no idea where it was coming from.
When it started in again, I thought the sound was coming from upstairs with my parents each saying it came from a new direction.
I started up the stairs to see if the sound grew louder.
As I climbed the stairs, ever so slowly, the moaning hit again and it was the loudest yet, and it was definitely coming from the kitchen; the doorway was right beside the stairway!
My father went into the kitchen and stood there, waiting...  finally the moaning started in and he headed towards the corner and looked down in amazement.  My mother and I could tell he could see something, but what the hell could it be?!
It was a demonically possessed coffee pot going bad that someone had left on, again, and was trying to pump water when there was no water to be pumped up!
My mother tossed the damned thing in the trash that night and went back out to buy a new one before the stores closed lol

(been 30 years since this happened and it has never happened with another coffee pot.  My mother checks that coffee pots are off like she has OCD and literally has 3 more new ones, in bags, in case one goes bad)
 
2017-10-31 10:42:35 AM  
1 vote:
DoBeDoBeLurk:

Wow, beautifully written. I love it. You should definitely write more.
 
2017-10-31 10:27:48 AM  
1 vote:
sleep paralysis is the worst.  Thanks for the sponsor, Ween!
 
2017-10-31 9:49:31 AM  
1 vote:
toraque:

This is brilliant. Also reminds me how much I've missed the writers' thread... gotta get myself back in there and maybe help with the next anthology...

Particularly scary since I am a Dan with a young daughter...
 
2017-10-31 9:47:44 AM  
1 vote:

Fox10456: This is a prologue to a novella I did a few years back.



Can we get ahold of the novella? I really enjoyed this.
 
2017-10-31 12:35:26 AM  
1 vote:
For FSM's sake, FARK cut off three FARKING words! Whiskey Tango Foxtrot?

Satisfyingly dense sources of power.