There was girl in my town who claimed she coul…

That damn Sarah Hatley is dangerous. She’s been “dowsing” for dead animals ever since the last of the winter snow melted. The Hatley girl is always carrying that same crooked bit of a willow branch. Sarah holds it out in front of herself with her eyes closed, and then makes faces like she’s detecting something invisible in the air. She calls it her “sensing stick.”

I’ve seen her digging things up, too. She’s telling everyone who asks that she can make the little corpses “feel better” again. I will admit that I’ve noticed a strange abundance of squirrels and blue jays in the parklands this year. Maybe that’s just an eerie coincidence, though. The recent winter’s snowfall in Ashland was also irregularly heavy. Sometimes things are related and sometimes they aren’t.

Speaking of things that might (or might not) be connected, almost a dozen people went missing this winter. Not a single one of them has returned to Ashland or otherwise been found. The police are starting to think these incidences might all be related. In the papers, it’s been theorized that “a single unknown assailant” might living here in town. They’ve started calling this unknown person the “Ashland Flayer.” No official leads on a suspect yet, though. That’s even despite all the odd body parts that started turning up around town. It’s ugly business, to be sure.

Sarah’s nineteen with the mind of an eleven-year-old. Physically, she’s more like a young man. The girl is nearly six feet tall and broad in the shoulders. She not just big; she’s got muscles all over her body. I’ve caught Sarah on my property a few times now, and each time I’m afraid to have her anywhere near me. She climbs the chain link to let herself into my backyard without my permission. I’ve had to chase her off every time that she’s done it. Her dowsing rod keeps bringing her back. I don’t keep pets and I never did. I’ve told her that several times now, but she doesn’t seem to believe me.

Neighborhood kids have started saving up their lunch money and allowances to “hire” Sarah. They want her to bring back their dead pets. She’s more than happy to accept all the pocket change and crumpled-up bills they manage to bring her. Parents have started to worry, and I’ve decided to start being more vocal about my own concerns. It’s felt good to share my anxiety with others in the community. There’s no question that Sarah Hatley will keep stirring up trouble in Ashland. If she hasn’t done so already, she’ll soon go way too far.

The kids have started sneaking out after night. Even stranger, there’s stories about pets coming back. Parents shrug it off, mostly. Mundane explanations are quickly found, because the only alternative is to believe Sarah’s claims. “It’s not the same dog,” they say. “It’s just that an oddly similar animal has wandered into town.” Coincidences like that seem harmless enough at first. I’ve seen a few families chasing animals away, though, too. The father shouts and brandishes some makeshift weapon while standing in the driveway, and the mother waits nearby until the animal is out of sight. Usually, she’s trying to convince her crying children that “it wasn’t their dog” that’s being chased off.

It’s hard to tell how much Sarah understands because she’s developmentally delayed. She could be a killer. That’s certainly true. It wouldn’t take a wild stretch of imagination to think of her bludgeoning or stabbing a man to death. She’s a remarkably strong girl. Sarah might easily fill the role of the Ashland Flayer. The only missing piece is a demon in her heart. In my opinion, that’s what makes someone lash out to kill a stranger. When you look at a person from the outside, here’s no way to tell whether that demon is there.

I heard rustling outside my window last night, and retrieved my gun before heading to investigate. I clicked on the porchlight as I stepped outside. At the periphery of the illuminated area, I found Sarah Hatley creeping near the side of the house. She looked dazedly in my direction as I leveled my rifle at her. “You damn girl,” I hissed loudly. “You’re trespassing!” Maybe it took her eyes a moment to adjust to the flood of light that I had brought outside with me. When she recognized the firearm that I carried, Sarah’s face changed briefly into an expression of obvious anxiety.

“There’s dead animals buried here,” she stuttered out. Her face returned to tranquil blankness as I lowered my gun, but a trace of fear remained. That damn, stupid dowsing rod of hers was still pointed in the direction of my house. The tip of the branch wavered gently in the air as Sarah’s hands began to tremble. I could tell that she was still thinking about how she had risked getting shot.

“I don’t keep any pets,” I told her yet again. “I never have.” I shouldered my rifle as though I was ready to drive Sarah off my property by force. She made the same anxious face as before. “I don’t want to see you here ever again,” I growled.

“Awful sorry, mister,” she responded. “But there’s dead critters here that want healing.” Looking crestfallen, she turned and started walking in the direction of her own house. I kept my gun at hand and the porchlight on as I watched her leave. Sarah lifted herself over the chain link fencing at the border of my property and continued walking into the darkness until I could no longer see her.

Maybe I overreacted, but could you really blame me? The local newspapers published another story about the Ashland Flayer this morning. The Flayer’s been connected to another disappearance that happened in the late hours of New Year’s Eve. The police claim that they are narrowing their list of suspects, but they haven’t arrested anyone yet. That’s got me feeling scared. The last thing I need now are random townsfolk skulking around on my property. If I let my guard down, then I’m risking my own neck. I suppose that’s true for anyone – isn’t it?

One of the strange dogs that’s supposed to have been “healed” by Sarah caused some serious trouble today. It went berserk and started biting the kid that paid Sarah to bring his old dog back. By the sound of it, the kid took some really nasty bites. He was basically mauled. Finally, the people of Ashland are starting to organize against that weirdo clan of Hatleys. The mother and father are just as odd as Sarah is. Maybe they’re afraid of their own daughter. Could that be why they never speak up about her behavior?

The boy that was mauled returned from the hospital today. He wore some fresh stitches in his neck, down near the collarbone where the teeth had gone in. He’s claiming that it’s his fault that the dog bit him. He says that Sarah didn’t do anything wrong. Apparently, he did something that used to bother his dog before it died. He did it to test whether his new dog was really the same one he buried last summer. He says that he’s certain now that the creature that bit his throat open can only be the revivified body of his old pet. That irrational fool of a boy says that he still loves his childhood pet.

Some people from the town went out to confront the Hatleys last night. I was among them. Sarah’s parents were shy and did not seem to take our anger seriously. They meekly defended their daughter. They proclaimed that their family was innocent on all counts. The father claimed instead that the evil happenings around Ashland must be coming from somewhere else. The Hatley mother even dared to whisper that there was something particularly strange about my own property. I spat in anger to hear it, and then I loudly called the whole family devil worshippers. I said it right into their faces, and did not grant any of them a single batted eye of doubt or sympathy while the family denied it. The town was mostly on my side by the end of it. We had decided by now that the Hatleys were no good.

The police continue to provide no real answers about the disappearances that occurred over this past winter. It’s become something of a nightly routine for many people in Ashland to carefully check their surroundings before bed. Some from the community like to watch their yards from behind the barely-parted blinds that obscure their upstairs windows. Other people are brave enough to step out onto the sidewalks near their homes to talk with neighbors. Eventually, we all go inside and lock up extra securely as the dusk wanes to night. I’ve started to complain more openly about that damn Sarah Hatley. “I think she’s the sole source of all this trouble.” That’s what I tell the parents of those children who have asked for five or ten dollars to give the Hatley girl. “They want their dead pets back, and she’s playing along with a perverted sort of glee in order to keep pocketing their money.”

“She’s just a girl,” some of them respond.

“Sarah’s a grown woman and stronger than some men,” I tell them. My correction of this detail is stern enough to make most people’s eyes flit nervously away from me. No one wants to look me in the eye because I’m saying things that disturb them. “She’s strong and strange enough to drive a knife into someone who doesn’t suspect it,” I’ve declared aloud more than once. “And she’s sneaky enough to find people who would make good targets.”

It was a Sunday morning when Sarah Hatley finally went too far. She found something in the town square that Ashland police had completely failed to notice. I was one of the first people to gather around her as Sarah started prying up the cement pavers that were there in the public promenade. She looked to be keen on revealing a section of soil that was hidden underneath. Reaching down into the dirt with her bare hands, Sarah quickly uncovered the rigor-stiffened arm of a corpse. It had been buried only inches beneath the surface of the ground. The killer had covered the body with little more than a dusting of dirt, and then simply crunched the heavy cement pavers back on top of the shallow grave that had been made there. Now, Sarah was gripping the corpse by its exposed wrist. She was heaving with all her strength to bring more of the body up and out of the ground.

Those of us who were standing there with Sarah begged her to stop. “The police will be here soon,” we told her. “You don’t need to touch the body anymore.” Sarah kept digging, though. She was prying at the caked-on dirt with her fingertips to reveal more of the corpse. It soon escalated and became even worse than that, though. Repeatedly, she drew her nose and mouth disgustingly close to the putrefied flesh. Was she smelling it? No, it was even worse than that. Each time that Sarah’s face went near the arm, I could see that she was leaving toothmarks behind. “That damn girl is biting the body!” I screamed in pure revulsion. “She’s tasting it!”

My accusation was enough to draw Sarah out of her reverie. She looked up to all of us who were gathered there around her. With a look of fear on her face, she glowered toothily at us and revealed that there were indeed gritty bits of rotten coagulate stuck in and around her mouth. Solidified blood stained the crooked angles between most of her teeth. The saliva from her tongue rehydrated some of the congealed mess, returning it to something like fresh blood flow. The liquified red trickled down in rivulets from the pouting corners of Sarah’s mouth.

“It’s a misunderstanding!” Sarah wailed. “I found this fella down here, but I didn’t do nothing to him!” She let out of a scream of frustration. “He just needs waking up! I have to wake him up now, or he won’t get another chance! He wants to get up here, along with the rest of us! He’s begging me to help him wake up!”

Sarah brought her voice down into something like unintelligible sobbing, and remained sitting by the corpse she had unearthed. She sat like that until the police arrived. They put Sarah in a holding cell down at the county jail, and they brought the remains of that corpse to the morgue. It’ll take a few days for the body to be identified properly. I reckon that we’ll learn a lot more in the coming days, but it’s already gotten to the point where the community of Ashland seems to have come to a final consensus. The Hatleys are going to be forced out of town. We’ll drive them out with weapons and actual bloodshed, if it has to come to that. Even local the police and churches seem ready to stand aside and let us take matters into our own hands. I suspect the newspapers won’t breathe a word if we’re all ultimately forced to kill them. We’d all be criminally complicit, just for defending ourselves and our homes. What sense is there in airing an honest town’s dirty laundry like that?

Sarah’s back out of jail on a pathetically small bail amount. It was made clear to her that we mainly just never want to see her face again. The Hatleys are packing up everything in their house, and they’ll be on the road soon enough. I don’t know exactly how much of a direct role I’ve had in purging that clan from my beloved Ashland, but I’m glad at least to see that they’re finally almost gone. It’s an undeniable relief, but I wonder whether this could really be the end of my restless nights. Am I finally safe?

You and I are strangers, dear reader, and I am confident that we will never meet. For this reason, I can at least admit this to you. I’m the one they call the Ashland Flayer. The remains of no fewer than thirty victims are buried in the cellar beneath my house. I work in the winter to stifle the smell. By springtime I’ve cleaned and preserved all the trophies that I care to keep.

I hope for their own sake that the Hatley family never tries to come back to Ashland. If Sarah Hatley “dowses” her way back onto my property, she’s going to find a lot more than she ever bargained for.

(source) story by (/u/DHF_Dissociations)

everyone has fallen asleep and i’m beginning t…

I was alone when it happened.

I awoke from my sleep in my apartment at roughly 6:30 AM on a tuesday when my alarm went off for work.

That day started off perfectly normal, nothing at all amiss. I got dressed, put some music on, then when I was done I headed out of my apartment and took the elevator down to the first floor. When I left the building I saw a homeless man asleep against the sidewalk. Poor guy. I thought to myself. I would have given him some money but I didn’t want to disturb him from his sleep. At least, that was the excuse I gave myself. I always make some excuse for why I don’t help people. It’s just what I do. It makes me comfortable.

The road leading out of my apartment building was completely empty. This was particularly peculiar but I was in a hurry so I didn’t really care much. I turned left out of my street and in front of me I saw a man in a suit. Unconscious, lying on the floor. I ran to him. Checked his pulse. All good, his breathing, fine. I tried to shake him awake but he was out cold. I looked around to see if I could get someone to help. It was around then that I realised that this usually busy street was devoid of cars, but was in fact scattered with unconscious bodies just like this man, hundreds of them at least. I was in a strange daze. I had no idea what was going on.

I rose to my feet and tried to get a bearing on my surroundings. I felt dizzy. I felt…sleepy. Yes…I thought to myself yes maybe i should just rest a little and gather myself… My Thoughts were interrupted by a shrill voice next to me “NO!” it shreaked.

I turned my head to see the source of this complaint and saw a woman. Completely pale, she had what looked like a stab wound in her abdomen and she was sat upright against a wall. “What?” I asked. “Are you ok? What happened to you-“NO!” She said again, with less energy this time. “No…” she said again in almost a whisper. “Who-who are you? What’s happening?” i asked

“Listen to me” She said, barely any energy in her voice. “You can’t sleep. It compels you to sleep but as soon as you give in, as soon as you rest, that’s it. You’re done for.” I stared at her blankly “It?” I asked “what is ‘it’?” Tears were begin to well up in my eyes. This was all too overwhelming for me. “It came…last night…anyone that acknowledged it died…Those that didn’t…they slept and soon, well…Sleeping men can’t eat and sleeping men can’t drink. Let’s put it that way” She said.

I still had no idea what was going on, I was terrified. As far as the eye could see the ground was covered in sleeping bodies, assumedly the rest of the city was like this too, judging on what the woman said.

Ignorantly trying to continue to make sense of the situation I got closer to her and asked more questions “How…how did you get that?” I asked beckoning to her stomach wound. She chuckled and then quickly grabbed her abdomen in pain from the laughter, wincing, she said “I acknowledged it…Listen to me, i’ll be going soon but whatever you do just…just pretend it isn’t there and it can’t hurt you…I heard a car radio earlier, the world is still alive. Get out of-” She was cut of by a dreadful clicking sound behind me. The woman looked over my shoulder and I turned to look too but she grabbed me by the hair “No” she said “…You can’t…acknowledge it…”she continued to look over my shoulder at the strange clicking sound whilst holding my head in a vice grip towards her. Her eyes began to well up with blood and she started convulsing. “No!” I cried “Please don’t leave me…please!”

Her seizing stopped and all at once I felt alone. The clicking noise drew closer but I didn’t turn around. I felt greatly sleepy but I didn’t give in and after what felt like forever it disappeared.

I rose to my feet, wiped tears from my eyes. What now? I thought. Then suddenly a thought snapped into my mind. I have to find my parents! They only lived about two blocks away. I began to run past the countless sleeping people on the floor. Not for one second did fear subside from my mind. I was alone in this huge city. My fellow humans all asleep or dead. Some unknown threat lurking behind me. I felt as if I could die at any moment. The utter terror of the situation was not lost on me. You know when you fall down a few stairs and your mind erupts into unrest and fear? Or when something scary or out of order happens to you that gives you that same feeling? It felt like that. But constantly, The most pure form of terror.

After awhile of running I reached the familiar apartment building of my parents house. I dared not look back where I had come for fear that I would see this terrible creature that brought death on those who observed it.

I ran into the building and Ran up 14 flights of stairs, terribly out of breath I kicked open the door to my parents apartment. Into the Bedroom.

There they lay together, asleep in their bed as if all was normal. But of course they were already asleep for good at this point. I began to cry again. This time with intense sobbing as I hugged their sleeping bodies knowing what fate would befall them having had it described to me by the woman I had met earlier.

I still was at a loss for cause. Where to go, what do to. I figured I should leave the city soon but for now. I just wanted to be with my parents…say goodbye…in a way.

I was just sat with them for what must have been hours. It felt like longer. It felt like forever. I felt at that time some form of comfort but at no point did I forget the grotesque sight I had seen earlier.

I began to feel sleepy.

I fought it off.

There was a knock on the window.

I felt like a child, terrified of what might lie in the dark as my eyes darted to the curtained window. A human silhouette stood upright behind those curtains. On the 14 floor of an apartment complex there was a Man, outside the window to the room that I was in…knocking.

Knock knock knock.

Knock knock knock.

“Hey… would ya let me in buddy? I really am in a tight spot.” Came the voice from what was outside the window. How does he know i’m in here? I thought. A chuckle came from outside the window which was quickly stifled. “C’mon bud, just open the window and help a guy out…” HOW…does he know i’m in here? I consulted myself again. I chose to remain silent. “You know actually I think i’m alright out here, but isn’t it getting a little dark?” It was broad daylight outside. “Yeah it’s time for bed don’t you think?” Again, I did not answer, despite an overwhelming urge to sleep that suddenly came over me I rose to my feet. And slowly crept out the room. I Heard the window open behind me and I ran. Tears swelling up yet again. Why is this happening to me? I lamented to myself with no real answer in sight. I ran to the flight of stares. Slow footsteps distant behind me.

I was running down the stairs adrenaline pumping through my veins when, behind me, about two flights up I heard a sound like tearing flesh and that dreadful clicking sound returned. Echoing off of every wall thousands of times. At that moment the woman’s words returned to me. “Don’t acknowledge it” She had said.

I had a crazy idea.

I stopped running. I huddled up into a ball and closed my eyes and covered my ears.

I tried desperately to think of something else.

My thoughts were invaded with laughter and an overwhelming urge to sleep. I had a choice of duality fighting in my head. Close my eyes and not acknowledge the thing, but fall asleep and die, or open my eyes and run…and die.

I kept my eyes shut.

I felt a presence stand still before me.

I felt an overwhelming urge to sleep but fought it.

I felt the presence stroke my arm.

I felt an overwhelming urge to sleep but fought it.

Then the presence disappeared. I opened my eyes and surveyed my surroundings.

Nothing.

I’m sorry if you were wondering where this is going but i’m afraid I do not have any answers. I know just as much as you, and all that I have described so far is all that has really happened.

The events described happened yesterday, i’ve just been holed up in this apartment I broke into. Not a peep from that thing that killed the woman and chased me since then. But fear refuses to leave my mind.

Although…I am starting to feel a little bit sleepy and…you know…maybe it wouldn’t be so bad if I slept for just a little bit. It wouldn’t be long, only a quick nap to regain some energy then i’ll be on my way. I’m sure it couldn’t hurt, right? Yeah. That’s what i’ll do I think. I’ll sleep for a little bit.

(source) story by (/u/dirtman77-8)

My dad’s perfect recipe.

My dad was the best chef that I had ever known and up until a certain point in my life, he was also the best dad. He would always dedicate the time outside of his culinary profession to spending time with me and making sure that I was loved. When I went through my phases of what I wanted to be when I grew up , as every child did, he made sure to support me fully. When I wanted to be just like Steve Irwin , he would buy me the best books on animals and would take me to the zoo frequently. When I wanted to be just like Neil Armstrong, he bought a telescope so that during the night we could look at the stars and point out to each other the funny little shapes that they made. When I wanted to be just like Michael Jordan, we got a basketball hoop and played basketball every single day. It wasn’t until around my 13th birthday that I decided that I wanted to be just like him, and that we were really able to bond and grow closer than ever.

I remember from my childhood to my teenage years he would always talk about how it was his calling to be a chef and that to be one simply wasn’t enough, he wanted to be the best. Seeing his ambition and dedication to his work , along with how great of a dad he was, made me think of him as a hero. He was Batman and now I was his Robin. Taking me under his wing, he began to teach me everything he knew.

With his specialty being a rotisseur , a chef that deals with meat, he instructed me on how to season, cook, and serve the world’s finest meat. Whether it was Japanese Kobe Beef, American Wagyu Beef, or the Filet Mignon, he wanted to make me as good as him. There was nothing that he wouldn’t teach me, well… anything except for his perfect recipe.

As I mentioned earlier, my dad never wanted to be just a chef, he wanted to be the best, and to achieve that status he sought to create the perfect recipe.

“Ruben, this will be the world’s greatest dish. Mouths will water at the sight of it, and I will be known as the greatest chef to ever live. This family’s name will go down in history.”

Now don’t be mistaken, it’s not as if his recipe was really a secret. He would constantly talk about it and it was obvious whenever he was working on it, however he refused to teach me it.

“Not yet, it hasn’t been perfected. Once there are no flaws, I promise kiddo, I will teach you all about it.”

This dish was something that outside of his work and teaching me, he would constantly work on. In fact, I’d say that at a certain point he even became obsessive over it.

When I was around fifteen, my dad decided to renovate the basement and create a professional kitchen so that he could have his own little environment to test out the recipe. The only thing that struck me odd at the time was that nobody for any reason whatsoever was allowed down there and to make sure of that, he installed four deadbolts , with one requiring a passcode, and two reinforced steel doors. To say that I became a little worried, would be an understatement.

Soon he started to spend more and more time down there in his kitchen so much that it became normal for him to go at around nighttime and come back up well into the morning. My mentoring time got shorter and shorter until it just stopped altogether, but at least he still went to work.

And poor mom. I haven’t really mentioned her yet, I guess I still can’t get over what my dad did. He used to be my idol, you know. Anyway, my mom was one of the best ones. Although my dad and I were closer, we still had a great bond. She would always notice if something was up and made the effort to make everything alright again. She read me bedtime stories when I was a kid, healed my bruises and scrapes, and as I got older gave me advice on my dating problems. Like how my dad used to be, she was always there for me. I could tell that my dad’s obsession began to take a toll on her. He barely paid attention to her anymore. It came to the point where days would go by before she would even be able to see him, yet when those happened he still didn’t seem to notice her.

As my dad became absent in my life, she was there to fill in the empty space, and became my rock. Unfortunately it got to the point where she couldn’t handle it anymore and she snapped.

I was sleeping over at a friends house when it happened. According to my dad at the time, she got into his kitchen and yelled at him saying how he was a horrible husband and how he became a shitty father then went upstairs to pack her bags and left.

My mom was missing for a week. I tried to call her and any family that she could’ve went to, but there was no news of her. So I went to the police, and they began to start an investigation.

During all of this, it was like mom’s outburst really got through to my dad. It was strange seeing him spend time outside of his personal kitchen. Hell, he actually even started to cook dinner again for the first time in years. Yeah tell me about it, I was shocked too when I walked into the kitchen and saw him being his old self again. Unfortunately, that didn’t last.

About three days into the investigation, they arrested my father on murder charges- I was eighteen at the time. I couldn’t believe that he murdered mom. I wouldn’t believe it, but then the police told me of a tape they acquired that was definite proof and I demanded to see it. I wish I hadn’t.

At the beginning of the video, there was just pitch darkness, but then suddenly the lights came on and it looked like a kitchen.

My dad walked into frame and up to the camera, filling in the space until all I could see was him.

“ For years, I have been trying to perfect the best meat dish. I’ve practiced on different animals over the years, but this whole time it was right in front of me and I didn’t even know it.”

There was something off about him. His eyes looked like he was holding on to the brink of sanity. A look I never thought I’d see on him.

Muffling was heard offscreen.

“SHUT IT YOU DAMN IDIOT.”

He got a plate, threw it to the left and it shattered. At this point my stomach started to churn and I could feel the anxiety rising.

“This will go down in history as the greatest dish ever, mark my words.”

He went off frame and wheeled in a person tied down to a dolly, with a hood over their head. I couldn’t believe it. All this time, while my dad worked on his secret recipe, he was torturing animals right under my feet and I didn’t even realize it.

“You’re in for a real treat.”

He plucked off the hood and I felt my heart plummet into my stomach. My mom… the one person who was still there for me was tied up on that dolly. Her eyes showed how frightened she was and her face was scrunched up as tears ran down them. He took the tape off of her legs and torso that kept her bound to the dolly, yet she wasn’t really free because there was still rope that had trapped her.

He carried her wriggling body to the center island and cuffed her to it.

Now ladies and gentleman, or whoever will watch this, get ready to learn how to make the perfect recipe. And watch closely, I wouldn’t want you to mess up.”

He got out the biggest knife I’d ever seen and brang it down swiftly onto her neck, separating her head from her body, and carried it to the garbage. He used the knife to sharply separate each limb from the torso and cut off all of the hands and feet which he threw away. He got what looked like a huge potato peeler and excruciatingly peeled off all of the skin from what was left of my mom. He then used the knife to cut all of the meat into thin slices, separating it from the bones.

As I watched with tears running down my face, bile rising in my throat with each second, and the feelings of shock and despair in my body, I realized that I could point out in my head what he’d do next. Everything he taught me about preparing dishes, he was doing right there on that video. I couldn’t take it anymore and I began to empty out my stomach while violently sobbing in between.

He got out a meat tenderizer and pounded the meat. He seasoned it with his special blend of spices, yet oddly enough he didn’t cook it. He just put it in a container, cleaned everything up and carried it off frame.

The video cuts to him cooking in the actual kitchen upstairs. I recognized this as about a week ago. I see myself walk into the kitchen, stunned that my dad was cooking for the first time in years.

We have a little conversation as he finishes serving the food and sets a plate down in front of me.

How does it taste, kiddo?” He asked me.

“Perfect.” I chirped back.

Slowly he lifted up his head and stared at the camera for the longest of time… then grinned shooting a quick wink.

(source) story by (/u/MADDAM_)

I have been banned from calling 911. I don’t k…

I’m really at the end of my rope here. No, check that. I was at the end of my rope weeks ago. Now I’m sort of clinging to the side of the cliff by one bloody fingernail.

I didn’t even know that you could get banned from calling 911. 31 calls over 36 nights later, and now I know the truth. They told me that unless they find an actual emergency situation the next time they respond, they’ll arrest me on the spot and haul me off to jail.

And you know what? Honestly? That doesn’t sound like a bad idea right now. Except for the part where I’d probably lose my children.

Like I said, this started 36 nights ago.

My ex-husband had the kids for the weekend, and I was looking forward to just relaxing by myself with some red wine and something dumb on Netflix. I was in the kitchen pouring out the wine when I looked out the window and thought I saw something there in my yard. A person.

It was dark out, so I rushed over to the light switch and flipped it up. The outside light turned on and flooded the yard. Nothing there.

I shrugged it off and sat down on my couch, scrolling through my Netflix options. Then the front door started rattling. That got my attention.

After a while, the rattling stopped, but I sat there frozen for several minutes. Then the doorbell rang, the sound like a dagger into the silence. I spilled some wine.

It’s probably Alan. Probably just forgot something for the kids and forgot that I changed the lock.

I sighed and got up to check the door through the peephole. Somebody was there alright, but it wasn’t Alan. At least I didn’t think so. It was a man dressed all in black, including a black ski mask.

As I was watching him, he reached down and grabbed the doorknob and started rattling the door again.

That was when I made my first 911 call.

*

I have seen that man every night since. The only reason I’ve made 31 911 calls instead of 36 is that for 4 of those nights, the cops were parked right outside of where I was staying. When I saw him, I only needed to flick the lights four times, and that would signal the cops.

And while I saw that man for 36 nights in a row, the cops saw him zero times.

Not after I installed a camera pointing at my backyard. Not after I installed cameras all around the outside of the house. Not after I installed the cameras inside the house.

They never saw him. But I did. Every night, sometimes hiding in the shadows, sometimes standing inches away from me, breathing heavily.

*

I will tell you about one night, so you can understand how terrified I am.

This was definitely the worst night, in isolation. But the longer this goes on, the more every night becomes worse than the last.

This was a bit over a week into it. Maybe 10 days. I started off feeling some guarded relief. The cameras were all installed around the house, and the cops were parked outside. If and when this creep showed up, they’d get him… or if not, then at least the cameras would prove that he existed, and maybe offer up some clues to his identity.

I put the kids to bed, and let myself have a bit of wine… to help relieve that lingering terror. By the time I was ready for bed, I felt fairly relaxed and confident that I was safe for the first time since this thing started.

I was ready for a good night’s sleep, and I passed out pretty much as soon as I settled into bed.

Sometime in the night, I was awakened by the creak of the floorboards by the foot of my bed. For half a second, I was confused with half a hangover haze. Then I understood. Somebody was in the room with me.

I had a gun in the room, but I kept it in a lock box at the top of my closet where the kids couldn’t reach it. It was useless to me just then.

How the hell did he get past the cops?! I wondered, as another foot landed on the floor with a soft thud.

“Mommy?”

My heart almost exploded with relief. It was my 4-year-old kid, Alex.

“Come on,” I said, sitting up and patting the bed. On most nights, he still ended up in there with me.

“Mommy, there’s a man in my room and he wants to see you.”

I bolted out of bed. “Stay here,” I said, running to the closet for the gun.

“He’s nice,” said Alex. “He gave us candy.”

Oh God… Shane is still in there.

My hand gripped the gun in the box, wavering. Did I want to bring a loaded gun into a room with my 6-year-old kid? I didn’t know the answer, but I pulled the gun out anway and ran down the hall, after closing Alex in my room.

When I got there, the man was sitting on the bed with Shane. Shane was eating a candy bar, smiling.

“Mom!” he said. “Mr. Night is awesome! How come you never told us about him?”

The man was holding a knife up behind Shane’s back. I kept the gun behind my own back.

“What do you want?” I asked.

Then I heard the man speak for the first time. He kept changing his voice, modulating it in an exaggerated way so that it was really high-pitched, then really low, now fast and smooth, now slow and stuttering.

“I want what any man wants,” he said. “I want your devotion. And your gun. Hand it over, or, you know, the boy goes night night for a long long time.”

The hand holding the gun was slick with sweat, and my stomach was in knots as my heart pounded away in primal terror.

“You have a gun, Mom?” asked Shane.

“And if I do give it to you, then what?” I asked the man.

“Then I’ll leave. For now. No sense causing a ruckus with those officers down there if I don’t have to.” He lifted the knife an inch higher. “And no sense you causing a ruckus either, is there?”

I handed him the gun.

“Good call,” he said. He lowered the knife then turned to Shane. “Hey bud, Mr. Night has to get going now. Lots of other kids to give candy to. You be a good boy and we’ll meet again soon, yeah?”

“I’ll be good!” said Shane.

The man stood up and walked over to the open window. I know that I locked that. He stepped out onto the garage roof as I grabbed Shane and yanked him back into my room.

I flicked my lights on and off four times.

By the time the cops got inside and upstairs, the man was long gone.

*

That was the last night that I spent with my kids. I see them during the day, but never at night. The man does not seem interested in them. Only in me.

I can’t for the life of me think of who the man might be. Somebody I know? I’ll admit, I did turn my thoughts towards Alan, my ex-husband. We had had some nasty fights before and after the divorce… but would he really hold a knife above his own child’s back?

I didn’t think so, but I tested it one night. The kids stayed with my mother, and Alan stayed with me, in the kids’ room. I knew it wasn’t him, because at 1 AM, I woke up to the man throwing acorns at my window. He was there in the driveway, somehow always just out of the camera’s view.

Alan was snoring away in Shane’s bed.

I’ve racked my brain trying to think of who it could be. It just doesn’t make sense. None of it does. It’s just a nightmare without reason.

How is he there every night and always gone without a trace by the time the cops get there? How is it possible?

It doesn’t matter where I am. At my house, at my mother’s house… at this hotel. He always finds me, he always lets me see him, and he always disappears back into the night.

Sometimes, I wonder if I really am imagining it. Shane and Alex both say they remember “Mr. Night,” but maybe I put that thought in their head?

That’s what the cops think. That’s why they’ve issued a written warning to me, about calling 911 again.

And it’s what Alan thinks. He’s starting to talk about taking full custody, at least until I “get better.”

Sometimes, the man leaves me notes. But they are always printed out, and the cops think that I’m the one who prints them out. They even found a word doc on my computer with one of the notes.

And now… now I’m holding the latest note, which he slipped under my hotel door as I was writing this. It says:

“Tonight’s the night.”

I don’t know what to do. If I call the cops and he’s not there, I’ll get arrested, and probably lose custody of my kids. And if I don’t call the cops and he is going to do something tonight….

He’s here.

(source) story by (/u/nslewis)

Today there were two sunrises, and I think the…

I hope this gets out to someone, because I don’t know how well the internet will work from down here.

It’s been four days since we sealed the doors, but remember the events from that day like it was this morning.

It was senior sunrise, that day. A group of my friends and I got up at 5:30, so we could see the sunrise. It’s a tradition. So, at 5:45, we were all on a hill, just as the sun began to rise. It was beautiful, filling the sky with red and orange as the ball of light rose above the horizon.

After the sunrise, we went out for breakfast at iHop. We stayed for several hours, talking about how crazy it was that high school was over, and what our plans were for college.

One of my friends, Lily, got a full ride to Princeton. She was easily the smartest person in the whole state, and she was going to go to Princeton and become an astrophysicist. I wish I could go back and see her again.

While we were talking, all of the TVs switched to an emergency broadcast channel. “International emergency,” they called it, telling us to take shelter as far underground as possible. That’s all they told us. Seek immediate shelter underground, or in fallout shelters.

We quickly drove to another friend, Sam’s house. All of us except for Lily. She had driven separately, and decided that she would go home. We parted ways, and sped over to Sam’s.

Sam’s house had been in his family for generations. It was a large house, built around the 1800s. During the Cold War, Sam’s grandfather was overtaken by fear of nuclear warfare, and he had constructed a rather large fallout shelter underneath the estate. That’s where we were headed; Sam’s fallout shelter.

When we got there, Sam’s father let us in, telling us to help him gather as many non-perishable foods as we could find. Canned food, jugs of water, bottles of wine and whiskey, among other things. He herded us out of the house and across the yard, towards the entrance of the shelter.

It had been a particularly cloudless day, the sky shining brilliant blue since sunrise. Despite it being the middle of the day; the sun shining as bright as it could, the world around us started to get brighter, almost glowing. We turned around to search for the source of the light to be met with a second sunrise.

A glowing sphere of light shone over the horizon, at first appearing to rise higher into the sky. However, it soon became apparent that the second sun wasn’t rising. It was growing. That light was growing and growing, getting brighter and brighter as it grew.

At this point, the ground began to shake, almost throwing us off our feet. The rumbling of the earth filled the air, drowning out the other sounds. We ran into the shelter, then, and the door slammed shut behind us.

The blinding light filling the air was cut off, throwing us into complete darkness. As our eyes adjusted, we found the light switch, and illuminated the shelter. The shelves were lined with more canned goods and jugs of water, and the walls were lined with anti-communist propaganda and guns. It looked exactly like those old photos of post-WWII bunkers depicted them as.

All of that happened four days ago. Since then, we’ve made the best of the situation by playing games and doing random things to distract ourselves from the possible apocalypse outside. All of our radios are dead, or at least, no radio stations are broadcasting. We even tried the 60-year-old HAM radio we found on one of the dusty desks. Nothing. All we can hear is static and endless, deafening silence.

I finally decided that I can’t handle this anymore. I have to at least try to let someone know that we’re here, that we survived. Hopefully, this will reach someone who knows what to do, someone who can save us.

I don’t know how long the five of us can last in here.

(source) story by (/u/CaesiumFluoride)

I am a lifeguard at an indoor waterpark, and s…

I am a lifeguard at an indoor waterpark, and something terrible happened last night.

Now, lifeguard is a loose term. Really that’s what they call everyone who works in the waterpark area, because we are also connected to a resort. During the day, I watch over the two biggest slides in the park, which are elevated three stories high by an exhausting number of stairs. At night, everyone comes down from their posts and searches the rental cabanas, tables, chairs and pools for anything left behind or damaged. Everything we find we place into a bin, and bring it to lost and found in the morning. After the general search is over, those assigned to watching the slides during the day and some of our maintenance crew are sent to check the sensors on each slide.

The sensors are just the standard red/green lights on the mouth of each slide, signalling to patrons whether or not its safe to go. Now, usually, this isn’t necessary. I guess it’s to check if they are working properly (it would be a disaster if they weren’t) or to check if something somehow got stuck in the slide after hours. Now, if something IS stuck in the slide, the red light would be blinking. So, after climbing the gigantic stairs, I check the blue slide. Its called the Typhoon, and has a giant drop right in the middle of the slide. Sensors are working, green light signalling it is ready for the morning. Right next to it is the red slide, the Rushing Rapids. This is our fastest and most intense slide, especially with its maximum capacity of six people. What immediately stood out to me was that the red light was blinking, but I couldn’t really see why. Our slides don’t have internal cameras, so it is hard to check if something is there or if it is a false alarm. I call up one of the maintenance folks working below, and he opens up the panel that controls the sensors. After a few minutes, he told me everything was working properly, so either the sensor was partially covered by a piece of the slide, or some sort of raft must have slipped off it’s track and went down the slide. It was certainly a possibility, because we turn the water off at night, and rafts have a tendency to get stuck in dry spots. But, lacking the proper equipment to check, we hung a rope across the mouth of the slide and put a small sign reading “OUT OF ORDER” on said rope. Everything else was in working order, and we all headed home until we brought more staff up in the morning to check the slide thoroughly.

I happened to be working that morning as well, so I could see what was causing the blockage. We brought in two maintenance guys and a few lifeguards, and turned on the emergency lights within the slide. The slide itself was nearly pitch black inside, with only a few dimly lit areas, but we put lights outside the slide pressed against the plastic in case something like this happens. We made sure the water was shut off, and carefully sent two of our lifeguards down the slide to see what was up. A few minutes after they began their descent, they radioed in sounding horrified.

“Get a manager down here… NOW!”

We called the waterpark supervisor up to the slide, and the rest of us went down to see what the problem was. What we found was absolutely terrifying.

It was a child. And when I say child, I don’t mean some random kid that was camping out down there, or some kid who passed out and just happened to block the sensor. It was a child, very small, merged with the slide. When we say merged, we assume they were merged, as we only saw the mangled torso and the head. The head was blocking the ride’s sensor, and the torso had multiple lacerations by the heart and towards the neck. The right sector of it’s head was crushed and bleeding, and it’s jaw was dislocated. By dislocated, I mean nearly falling off what was left of it’s head. We didn’t know who to call, or what to do. Two of our guys threw up down the slide, another passed out, and the rest of us just stood there. We immediately shut down every ride and asked our guests to kindly leave the park due to ‘unforeseen circumstances’. We were all told to leave as the firefighters were about to descend down the slide, and the mess of police was insanity.

We had a security camera facing directly towards the entrance and exit of the slide, so before investigators checked the staff huddled around the monitors and we rewound the footage to the night before. Nothing. We checked the day before, and guess what, still no mystery child. We checked up to a week back, wasting hours on it. We saw a child with a similar size going down the slide on the day the sensor was blocked, but the body we found was so mangled we couldn’t match it with anyone who rid down that slide. There was no explanation as to why that happened, or even what happened, and I don’t think there ever will be. We weren’t given any further information, but most of us quit after that day. The park was a mess, and ended up getting closed for multiple weeks before it re-opened. We don’t know how it happened, and we never will. Just, do me a favor from now on.

Don’t ride the red slide.

(source) story by (/u/redbrody7)

Every man in my family drowns on his 33rd birt…

I know, it’s crazy right? The first time I heard that every man in my family drowns on his 33rd birthday, I was 5 years old and my grandmother was trying to scare me back to bed. She said the mermaid’s would come for me early if I didn’t do as I was told. Complete nonsense. At least, I thought it was. My dad was in the Navy, and drowned during a military training exercise that went tragically wrong, I never even knew him, my mum was was 6 months pregnant at the time. It’s not easy raising a kid alone, I’m sure. But my grandmother and aunt Jane, both on my father’s side, were always there to help us. I never really knew anyone else on my father’s side of the family, grandad had died long before I was born and Jane never married or had kids.

After the first time Gran told me about the mermaids she’d use the trick for years to keep me in line. Telling me about their slimy tails, fangs and talon fingers. How my ancestor long ago had killed one of their kind only for a blood curse to be placed upon the men of each generation. The sins of the father and all that crap. I still can’t believe I’m writing this, that any of this is happening. I hadn’t thought about mermaids or the curse in decades. When I was nine mum caught Gran telling me about how I was going to die and forbade her from ever talking about that nonsense again. I remember that night perfectly, they’d screamed at each other by the end of it all. Gran insisted the curse was real and that it had taken her father-in-law, her husband and her son. That’s when mum broke down into tears and Gran finally relented, she never spoke of it again, but I always felt like I could see it in her eyes, a grim certainty and sympathy of sorts.

Gran died in a car-crash a few years later and naturally I barely ever thought about her strange stories again. Except on every birthday. I try not to but damn it, when your own grandmother keeps insisting you’re going to die on your 33rd birthday I dare you to not try thinking about it as the years tick closer. I mean I always brushed the thoughts off or I did until last year. My 32nd birthday, I couldn’t help myself. I did one of those genealogy surveys and started digging into my family on dad’s side. That’s when shit got scary.

My dad’s death checked out as expected, dying on his 33rd birthday. Then I looked at my grandfather’s date of death. December 2nd, 1954, cause of death – drowning. I remember breathing in sharply at the cause of death. I shook it off and checked the date of birth: December 2nd, 1921; thirty-three years. That’s when I jumped out of my chair in a panic. It’s also about the last thing I remember from my 32nd birthday. I hit the liquor pretty hard after that. About a week later I hired a professional genealogist to dig through the family history. He came back to me a week later, incredulous. Every single paternal son in my family had died on their 33rd birthday, every single death he could account for was listed as drowning. He’d even traced the start of the phenomena back to a navy frigate that sank somewhere off the northern coast of Spain during the Napolenonic Wars in 1812, a ship called ‘The Charon’.

I gotta be honest with you, my life’s gone done the shitcan since I found all this crazy shit out. I’ve been drinking A LOT. Hell I got fired from my job after things went too far, that barely slowed me down. I mean I’ve never even been in the fucking sea, the idea always freaked me out given the way my dad died. I’ve been thinking about him a lot this past year. Did he know about all this too? How did he handle it? I hate the answers my mind gives back. Maybe I’m just weak. He carried on doing what he loved, right till the last moment. Me I’ve spent the ‘supposed’ final year of my life sinking into financial and emotional ruin.

I’d avoided telling Mum about any of this for the past year, in fact I hadn’t seen her in nine months when I finally showed up on her front door drunk as a skunk, one night. She took me in, cleaned me up and listened to all of my craziness. At the end of it all she told me it was in my head. How could it possibly be true? Maybe we need to go see the doctors, there must be something wrong with me. We argued just like she and Gran had, then I left, angry. I never even said goodbye.

Three days ago I started having the same dream over and over again. Strobes of light as this oily mass of wet flesh and bone crawls towards me, climbing over my legs, my body lying there paralyzed immersed in dark, fetid waters. I can hear myself screaming in the dream, trying to make my arms fight it off but nothing happens. I can feel it’s sharp fingers, talons even, ripping my skin as it grips harder and harder, crushing the bones buried beneath. Then it’s above me and all I can see is a black void of horror staring back. I can’t stop screaming.

That’s how I wake up, pissing myself screaming. I just stripped my bed again and started writing this. I’m looking at the clock now. It’s eleven forty-two. I turn thirty-three in eighteen minutes.

I don’t want to die…

(source) story by (/u/wolfbeaumont)

Everybody is Lying

My phone vibrated in my pocket, startling me, and I almost dropped the blood-stained hacksaw. I cursed under my breath as I set the tool down carefully on the chest of my victim. I stepped away from my ‘operating’ table, pulled the rubber glove off my right hand, slid it under my smock and delved into the pocket of my jeans to retrieve my phone.

It was my boyfriend. I closed my eyes and sighed, disappointed with myself for forgetting. I hesitated for a few moments before answering, letting the bright LED lights in my basement glow through my eyelids. I accepted the call. “Hey cutie,” I cooed.

“Ugh,” Lucas grunted. “I hate it when you call me ‘cutie’.” I could tell from his tone that he was smiling. I was pretty sure he didn’t hate it. “You almost ready?”

“Uuhhh… I’m a little bit behind on that… sorry I lost track of time,” I told him. Technically, that wasn’t a lie.

Lucas snickered. “You watching that zombie show again?”

My eyes came to rest on the pool of blood forming around the dead man’s head, spilling from the gap in his neck I’d made with the hack saw. I turned around and faced the wall. Despite my best efforts, my voice wavered slightly. “Uhh… yeah.” Definitely a lie.

“It’s all right. I’ll go pick up stuff for dinner first then and come get you after. That alright?” he offered.

“Yeah, that’s perfect. That’ll give me plenty of time to get ready,” I agreed, hoping he couldn’t hear me swallow harshly.

“… Nyhm, is everything okay? Are you nervous?”

Ice went up my spine. “Nervous!? No! Why would I be nervous?”

“… Because you’re meeting my folks for the first time?” Lucas reminded me.

“… Right,” I sighed. “Right… I suppose I am.” I leaned backwards until my butt hit the edge of my operating table, the plastic cover crinkling softly. I went to rub my eyes with my still gloved left hand, but stopped before I smeared blood on my face. “Honestly Lucas, I’m really not that worried about meeting your parents. I-” A loud clang cut me off, and I leapt away from the table and spun. The hacksaw had slid off the body and clanged to the cold hard floor of my basement. Luckily the plastic sheet kept any crimson from staining the concrete. My heart beat slowly returned to normal.

“You okay? What was that?” came Lucas’ voice, concerned.

“Nothing, just being clumsy as usual. Anyways, your parents seem like really kind people from what you’ve told me. I’m looking forwards to it.” This was not a lie; I smiled.

“Alright. It’s okay if you’re nervous though, it’s only natural… but I should probably let you go. I’ll see you in a little bit.”

“Mhm! Love you!” I told him.

“Love you too, Nyhm,” he said back. The call ended.

I lowered the phone from my ear, staring at the dead body on my table. The middle aged man reminded me of a beached whale; not because he was fat (he wasn’t), but because he looked out of place, his colorful button down shirt and blue jeans a bright contrast to the whites and greys of my basement workshop. The dark blood that spilled from his body to the table and the brown rope that bound his arms and legs where a chromatic bridge between the land of vibrance and the land of shade; between life and death.

“Sorry,” I spoke to the work of art on my table. “I’ll have to leave you like this for a little while. Got dinner plans with my boyfriend. I’ll spend more time with you later.” I smirked at the irony of talking to a dead man, and then left to wash up.


I tugged at a lock of golden blonde hair that curled down in front of my face, feeling unsettled as I watched streetlights pass by my passenger side window. If Lucas had shown up without calling he might have discovered my… hobby.

I felt his hand set against my leg just above my knee. I turned to him, the seatbelt sliding against my bright red dress, and smiled, setting my hand on top of his. Lucas continued watching the road ahead. “You can talk about it if you want to,” he said. He glanced at me briefly, as much as he could while driving. “What’s bothering you, I mean.”

I would probably be on edge all night after earlier. It would be easier to admit I was apprehensive of my first dinner with his family. I exhaled. “It’s hard not be nervous about it, but I know it’ll be fine. I’m glad you’re here for me, but there’s not a whole lot to talk about.” I smiled warmly and squeezed his hand. He nodded understandingly and pet my knee comfortingly.

“I’m sure I’ll be nervous when I meet your parents, too,” Lucas commented.

I coughed, and then forced a slight laugh that turned it into more of a scoff. “Ha, yeah… they’re always off travelling the world for business or pleasure, so I have no idea when that will be,” I said, unable keep the antipathy out of my voice. It was more complicated than that, of course.

“Sorry, I shouldn’t have brought that up,” said Lucas, his mouth drooping into a frown. His fingers started to lift away from my leg, but I tugged him back and held his hand there, a sort of physical way to say ‘no apology necessary.’ His smile returned. Then Lucas flicked his blinker on and began to slow down. “Here we are…” he announced.

The house was bigger than I had expected. Not a mansion per-say but if you had the money for a place like this… a mansion probably wasn’t too far off. They had a large, beautiful yard, and behind the house I could see an in-ground pool, and further on their property faded into a thick bushy tree line. “You never told me you were rich!?” I exclaimed, half joke-half question.

Lucas rolled his eyes. “The property’s been in the family for a long time. We could never afford a place like this if we hadn’t inherited it…” He shrugged. “I don’t like bringing people here ‘cause it always gives them the wrong idea.”

“I know, you’ve told me… it’s just more than I expected. You’re pretty lucky.” I relinquished his hand back to him as we pulled through a gate into his driveway, stopping behind a sedan. As he put the car in park, Lucas looked to me, our eyes meeting.

“I am lucky… but not because of the house.”

I felt a welcome warmth spread through me, coloring my face, and I leaned towards him. He met me in a kiss, and I basked in the moment, forgetting all my troubles for a few seconds before he pulled away and unhooked his seatbelt.

As we moved from the car to the front door, I saw him look over at the sedan with a furrow in his brow, and his eyes scanned up and down the rest of the driveway. I almost asked him about it, but my heartbeat distracted me; it was starting to pound again. I gulped, realizing I might actually be a little nervous about meeting his parents… or it really could have just been the dead body sitting untended in my basement like a half-cooked meal.

Lucas pulled a long skeleton key out of his pocket and fit it into the heavy door. He twisted it rigidly, unlocking the barrier with a loud clack and a groan of grinding metal. I managed a smirk. “Jeez. You must feel like you’re unhinging the gates of Hell every time you come home.”

My boyfriend’s shoulders tensed for a moment, but then he relaxed. “It is kind of ominous, isn’t it,” Lucas agreed with an uneasy laugh.

He often complained about how much he hated his old creaky home; it was my turn to apologize. “Sorry, I uh… shouldn’t joke like that.”

Lucas pushed the door open. “Come on, don’t feel bad about that. It’s just a stupid house. I joke about it all the time.” It was a true statement, but the smile he gave felt fake; not that I can judge. “Hello! Mom?” Lucas called.

“Come on in dear! Is she with you?” I heard a sweet voice answer from inside the house. Lucas’ smile became genuine, and he beckoned for me to follow him in.

Inside the house was a little more modern than I had expected, but just as extravagant as the exterior advertised. Smooth wood floors that almost sparkled in the foyer, and in the dining room to the right. I gawked at the pristine kitchen, like something you’d see on a television show, as we walked through it to the living room, which boasted a huge LED flat screen, a big sectional couch, a love seat, and an extravagant wine rack against the back wall. Flickering on a coffee table between the couches was a fat red candle. Colorful paintings with ornate frames and some priceless looking decorative artifacts adorned the walls. Even if Lucas and his family wasn’t rich, someone in their lineage definitely had been. Lucas’ Mom was sitting in the living room, and she stood as we entered, a grand smile spreading across her face. Her long black dress twisted gracefully as she turned to greet us, its deep abyssal color matching her dark hair perfectly.

“Mom, this is my Nyhm. Nyhm, this is my Mother,” Lucas introduced us, gesturing accordingly.

The woman approached, setting a half-full wine glass down on an end table as she swayed towards me. “It’s so nice to finally meet you, Nyhm. I’m Mrs. Addington. You can call me Lily.”

Her voice was sweet like amber, and immediately made her feel warm and familiar. I held my hand out for her to shake, but rather than take it right away, the woman regarded it curiously. She smirked and then shook hands as if she was humoring a child. I squeezed her hand tighter than I normally would have, and felt confused on how to interpret my first impression of her. “It’s nice to meet you, too, Mrs. Addington.” I released her hand.

“Dad’s car wasn’t in the driveway. Is he here?” Lucas inquired.

In response, Lily pulled a smartphone out of her pocket and waved it slightly while she stepped back towards the couch. “He texted a minute ago; said he got caught at work but he’d be here soon.” Lucas nodded, and moved further into the room, sitting on the love seat across from the sectional. He motioned for me to follow, but I hesitated. I was pretty sure my dress was long enough to conceal the knife I kept sheathed in my right boot, but, just in case, I didn’t want to sit directly across from his Mother. I grasped at straws for a reason to stay standing, or to move somewhere else.

“… Uhm… oh, don’t we have groceries to bring in? You stopped at the store, right?” I asked, addressing Lucas.

He turned pale, and stared at me, his jaw flexing like he was looking for something to say. I furrowed my brow at him, utterly confused by his demeanor, but then saw Mrs. Addington cross her arms out of the corner of my eye. “Lucas,” she began sternly. “I thought I told you not to worry about bringing anything. I don’t want you spending your money on food while you live here. That’s our responsibility.”

Lucas went from pale to red, blushing, his mouth twisting at being chastised. “I know, I know, fine! I just thought I would help in case we needed anything,” he explained.

Now I really wanted to leave the room, as an odd tension filled the space like a fog. “… Why don’t I just go bring those in anyways. Don’t want anything to go bad sitting out there,” I offered.

Lucas waved his hand. “None of it was perishable. It can sit in the trunk. I’ll take care of it later. Come sit,” Lucas bid me with a smile, the tension fleeing from his face.

“Yes! And, oh!” his mother exclaimed. She stood up and started walking towards the far side of the room. I took the opportunity to sit beside Lucas and check the bottom of my dress while Lily’s back was turned. The hilt of my knife was perfectly concealed; I let out a breath I didn’t’ realize I’d been holding. When I breathed in again, I noticed the burning candle was giving off a subtle scent of cinnamon. It was pleasant.

“You okay?” Lucas asked as I sat up.

“Yup,” I reported happily. I scooched closer to him and took his hand.

“Nyhm, do you have a wine preference?” Lily asked as she turned from the wine rack with a bottle in her hands.

I laughed uneasily. “I think I’d have to try wine first.”

“Splendid! I’ve got quite the selection here… perhaps a sangria?” Lily suggested expectantly.

“I appreciate the offer, but I think I’ll wait until I’m 21,” I said, trying to turn her down as politely as possible.

“Very well. I’m surprised, though,” Lily remarked as she replaced the bottle of wine. “Most kids jump at the offer.”

My eyes narrowed; I couldn’t help it. “… How many kids have you offered alcohol to?” I asked, hoping the hint of edge to my voice wasn’t discernable. Lucas’ grip tightened.

Mrs. Addington spent a moment making sure the wine bottle was secure in the rack, and then turned back towards us. “Oh, I didn’t mean it like that… I was just thinking of myself at your age. I wasn’t very well behaved as a child. Hm hm hm,” she giggled, remembering her youth fondly. She returned to her seat, retrieved her wine glass off the end table and settled into the cushions. “So…” she began, but she didn’t get a chance to finish. The room was illuminated brightly by headlights shining through the window, and the rumble of a car engine became audible for a moment before it abruptly stopped.

“Oh, Dad’s home,” Lucas observed. He squeezed my hand twice quickly, and then let go as he stood and began moving towards the front door. He passed through the kitchen and moved out of sight into the foyer. The lights outside shut off, and I heard a car door open and close. Moments later the front door grinded open, the sound echoing through the house as if it truly was the gate to Hell.

“Evening Lucas!” a voice greeted my boyfriend. It was a voice I’d heard before, one that sent ice through my veins. I didn’t place it at first, so I turned my head and strained my ears. “Is the lovely lady here?”

“… You mean Mom or my girlfriend?” Lucas asked awkwardly.

The man laughed as he began walking further into the house. “Both I suppose.”

I’d encountered that voice only once, in a dream; one of the dreams that told me who I had to kill. One of the dreams that chose my victims for me. My eyes widened in horror as he rounded the corner in his colorful button down shirt and blue jeans, the man who had been dead on the operating table in my basement. The man I had attacked, subdued, and murdered with a hacksaw. My eyes traveled up his body: no rope burn on his wrists, no blood on his shirt, no marks on his neck. And his eyes stared straight at mine. He grinned.

“Welcome home, Dear,” Lily greeted him.

“Sorry I’m late Honey. Just got a little tied up…”

r/TheCornerStories

(source) story by (/u/jpeezey)

Has anyone else come across the ASMR channel ‘…

I’ve always struggled getting to sleep in silence. Even as a kid I can remember lying awake in the fading light, wriggling about under the sheets in a desperate attempt to find a position comfortable enough to make me drop off. Nothing really changed as I grew up – until my roommate told me about ASMR.

For those who don’t know, ASMR (which stands for ‘autonomous sensory meridian response’) is basically a pleasant tingling some people experience when exposed to certain stimuli – most commonly things like soft whispering, pages turning and gentle tapping, but there are endless videos on YouTube with various ‘triggers’. There are even channels that quietly read out creepypasta or nosleep stories – ironic, as most people use the videos to get them to sleep.

I cannot even begin to explain how much of an impact ASMR has had on my sleep schedule. I used to dread coming to bed, knowing I would spend at least a couple of hours rolling around and becoming more and more frustrated that I couldn’t sleep. Now, I know that I just have to stick in my headphones, hit play on YouTube and I can be fast asleep within ten or fifteen minutes – sometimes even sooner, if it’s a particularly good video.

I do understand why some people find it… well, creepy. Strangers whispering things into your ears in the dark? The tap, tap, tap of nails on various objects as you’re trying to get off to sleep? It definitely sounds odd. Some people just don’t get the ‘tingly’ feeling, and I get that. But I absolutely love ASMR.

Or I did, until last night.

My bed time routine wasn’t any different. I got into bed, messed around on Twitter and reddit for a while on my phone, then switched over to YouTube. I popped in my headphones, clicked on one of my favourite ASMR artists, and settled down to go to sleep. As usual, I fell asleep quickly with the soothing sound of soft whispers in my ears.

Now, every now and then I’ll wake up in the night and a video will still be going, especially if it’s a long one or if I’ve put on a playlist. I barely register when this happens, as I’m in such a sleepy state I tend to drop off again mere minutes later. Last night though, as soon as consciousness started to seep back into my brain, I felt a weird, prickly itch all over my body that pulled me further out of sleep. It was like the echo of bugs crawling over my skin, not strong enough for it to be real but enough to make me scratch and swat at my arms and legs and torso to get rid of the sensation.

As I wriggled around under the sheets, I noticed that the sounds I was hearing were… off, somehow. The whispers were no longer soft but urgent, and in a language I didn’t recognise. I picked up my phone, figuring I’d accidentally left on auto-play and had shuffled on to a different channel. At first I thought the video was just a black square – as the main lure of ASMR is the audio, some channels don’t bother with video or even a static image. But as my eyes adjusted to the glare of the screen in the dark of my room, I realised that there was something… someone… moving in the shadows that filled the square of video.

The intensity of the whispers increased. It was as though they were screaming into the microphone… but somehow maintaining a whisper. I don’t really know how else to describe it. As I stared at the screen and my mind continued to wake up properly, I recognised that the camera was angled from what must have been the ceiling of a dark room, or at least a very tall tripod. The room appeared to be empty apart from whatever it was that was moving just out of full sight. Whatever it was moved in a jerky, almost frenzied manner, always staying just at the edge of where the weak light from a single dingy bulb fell.

I tore my eyes from the video to look at the title of the video, and the username below it.

Don’t Go to Sleep

3.7M views

QuietChild1742

0 Subscribers

Over three million views?! I thought. I suppose I couldn’t really judge – I’d been through a phase of watching ASMR videos of people slurping down chunks of honeycomb before. Frenzied whisper-screaming seemed like a weird trigger, but each to their own. It seemed even more bizarre that a channel with so many video views had no subscribers. But at this point, I was suitably creeped out by this particular trend, and went to swipe the video off my screen.

As soon as my thumb touched the screen, the sound changed from whisper-screaming to actual screaming with a heart-jolting shriek. The thing in the shadow shot forward into the light and I dropped my phone in shock and terror, but not before I got a good look at… it.

QuietChild1742’s face was like melted wax clinging to a poorly constructed frame. Its mouth stretched into an unnaturally wide grin, its crumbling teeth gnashing together as it screamed in its brutal language. It crawled on limbs bent at stomach-churning angles, scuttling towards the camera at such a speed I was convinced for a split second that it would leap from my phone and into my bedroom. Eye sockets sagged around wide, white eyes with merely a pinprick of a pupil, and oily blank hair hung in thin strands around its horrifying face.

I know it was just a video, and I know it’s irrational… but it felt like it was looking right at me. Not at the camera. At me.

My phone dropped to the carpet and tore my headphones from my ears as it went. The second it hit the floor the screen went blank and the screaming from the headphones cut off. I was left in dark silence, my skin still prickling with the faint but unbearable itch.

I tried searching for QuietChild1742’s channel this morning, when I finally summoned the courage to reach down the side of my bed to plug my phone in to charge. It doesn’t seem to exist on YouTube, or anywhere else on the internet. I still don’t even know how I found it in the first place, which worries me even more.

I’m so tired, I can barely keep my eyes open to type this out. But I need to know if anyone else has come across this channel, and if they can tell me anything about QuietChild1742.

I really don’t want to go to sleep tonight.

(source) story by (/u/uncannypeach)

I live in Area 51

I was born and raised in Area 51

Before I elaborate I should mention that I, as a resident of Area 51 am not allowed to tell people about the goings on in my town. Knowing that my life is no doubt in danger. I will continue to document and release my journals about my day to day living on the site of the most elaborate government experiment in US history. From what I can understand from teachers, coaches and other authority figures. A51 (what us locals call it) is like an ant farm the size of a town. Approximately 10,000 people in population, give or take 5 to 6 thousand disappearing in and out of reality every month or so. The purpose of my home town is debated among its people. Some believe its not an experiment at all, but that we are more or less squatters on government property. And after turning the Native Americans into a statistic for colonial genocide the Air Force decided not to kill us all. But the general consensus is that we’re part of a big experiment, what questions the researchers are trying to answer? Beats me man, your guess is as good as mine. Who knows? Maybe the scientists staring at us thru the metaphorical microscope want to see all the crazy shit in this place kill us.

Whatever the reason for the municipality of which I was born is currently maintained, is beyond my pay grade. All I know is that my parents were born and died here and so will I most likely; I guess I should talk a little about myself, that is my least favorite thing to do so here I go. I graduated highschool about two years ago. Nothing special C average across the board and with a small but close group of friends I still keep in touch with today. One of them I have no choice but to maintain my friendship with, seeing how he is currently halfway inside the wall in my apartments hallway. His front end he hangs out where his ribcage meets his torso. I don’t know how he manages it. But he said all he needs is the mini fridge that used to be in my bedroom, an old hotplate, and an office water cooler. All these hooked to a powerstrip in the hallway wall socket. Awesome guy, but he tends to float through my bedroom staring at me with blood coming out of his black, shiny eyes with crimson tears as he floats chest only above my bed as I’m trying to go to sleep. Whose friends aren’t a little weird.

At my job at the local Subway. I make sandwiches for Airforce Brass, Researchers and people who call this place home . We grow stuff all on our own in the back outside of the store in a fenced off yard. Not sure if its the soil that makes the tomatoes talk? someone is going to have to clarify me on that. the worst part about working here is a normal complaint as far as jobs go is the hours. One week youll have a normal forty hour shit with breaks every day and weekends off. But then one week the occasional demonic incursion will break out and the manager just gives us all the weirdest hours imaginable. One time I had to work the entire year in one four hour shift with only a thirty minute break to keep my sanity. Then again, after the legions of Hell invaded the mortal plane I think that time itself ceased to exist. But work is work I guess. All I have to do is make sandwiches for some of the smartest, most powerful men and women in the country and sometimes the shapeless mass that lives in the bathroom. He usually demand the blood of infants, but in my time working here since graduating I have found that he’s satisfied by a chicken parm instead.

I should get a raise, I think I am the first subway employee who figured out how to make a chicken parm without using chicken, or its thousands of well known substitutes or by products. It’s currently four AM where I am but the Moon and the Sun are in the sky simultaneously. Who knows what’s going on. I could talk about the talking crows, the five minute zombie apocalypse or the blonde girl that licks her fingers way too much to be normal. But I have to get some sleep like everyone else. Or maybe I turn into one of the anomalies that plagues my day to day life.

Next time I write I think I’ll talk about my manager that keeps on showing up with different human body parts in his Gym bag. Or maybe you just want me to talk about the neighborhood cat with constantly forming and reforming eyes of different size and quantity. But I think that’s life on Area 51. For now I’m signing off. And as we say here: “Don’t brush your teeth unless you want to lose your eyes.”

(source) story by (/u/untoldsewage)

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