Tuesday, July 30, 2013

They Found Me

Its all getting worse.  Time doesn't feel like time and my fear has never gone away.  I have never associated the holiday season with strange occurrences let alone anything paranormal in my family but this last year marked the first occasion.  I was on the phone like I am every year constantly talking with family making plans for Thanksgiving and Christmas.  It was while on the phone with my mom that began the whole thing.

It had just started snowing.  A fresh blanket of snow was covering all the roads and sidewalks.  I was talking with her one night about Thanksgiving and she stopped me mid-sentence asking "what was that?" in a concerned way.  It was unsettling to hear because you don't ever want to hear your mom concerned or even slightly worried.  
"What was what?" I replied.
"That noise, what was that?" she said in her mexican accent.  It always made things sound more superstitious than they should be.
"What noise? I didn't hear anything."
"You didn't hear that?  It was ugly.  You weren't making that sound?" she asked more worried than concerned this time.
"No mom.  I was talking and then you stopped me.  I didn't hear anything.  What did you hear?" my curiosity had been piqued but I was starting to get concerned because she did sound a little rattled.
"You better not be trying to scare me mijo," she always called me that.  Every mexican household called their kids 'mijo' or 'mija' especially when they wanted to remind you that they're mom and you need to be truthful with her right now.  I'm 28 but she can still flex her motherly muscle by just calling me 'mijo.'  
"I know how you are," she continued, "you're always trying to scare me."
"No mom, I swear.  What did you hear?"
"It was ugly," she said letting out a small sigh.  "At first it was just you talking normal and then your voice got stuck on a word and you just dragged out the sound.  Tomorrrrrrrrrr," she mimicked.  "Like that, and then it got real low almost like a growl."
"Hmm, weird," I replied trying to think of a reason why that would happen.
"Then it got all digital," she continued, "and it sounded like screams."
"Screams? Come on mom. You start getting scared and then make it worse by making things up in your head.  I don't think you heard screams.  Probably something weird but I doubt screams."
"You didn't hear it.  It sounded like screams mijo except that they were all digitized or whatever you call it."
"I bet it was the phone malfunctioning."
"I hope so because it was ugly.  I hope I don't...."
She stopped mid-sentence and it got quiet on her end.  Just muted silence.  No breathing or even the soft sound of static.  Just nothing.  I thought for a moment the call had been dropped. I kept saying hello, hello, can you hear me, but no response.  Finally after about 15 or 20 seconds she came back on.
"Oh my god mijo, what was that? That was horrible," she said with shivers in her voice.  
"What? What did you hear? I didn't hear anything." I said getting even more curious and slightly worried now.  More for my mom because I knew how she can scare herself sometimes.
"It was like last time again," she said, "only it was screams mijo.  Screams.  I swear it on my grave."  I didn't like hearing my mom swear things on her grave but she does it from time to time like every other mexican.  I just didn't like it when my mom did it but when she did it, she meant it.
"It was like digital screams and crying," she continued, "I could hear crying mijo.  Like pain and sorrow.  Low long screams of pain.  I could hear them mijo.  Aye no."
"Mom, listen, it was probably the cell phone getting really weird reception in its antenna.  Probably causing all sorts of weird sounds," I was trying my best to give her an explanation to calm her down.  I had no idea what she had heard and she's not one to get all worked up for nothing.  She definitely heard something that scared her but I just couldn't really think what it could it have been.
"No mijo," she said a little frightened now, "it was definitely screaming and crying like through a computer or digital or whatever.  I don't want to hear that again."
"Are you sure it was that? I mean, okay, weird noises but screaming and crying?" she stopped me again.
"Okay, I can hear weird static.  Aye no.  I can't.  Here talk to your sister," she gave the phone away.
"Hello?" my sister said.
"Brother!" she always called me brother, never by my name.  "What's mom freaking out about?" she asked.
"I'm not sure, she says she hears screaming and crying in the phone but I don't hear anything."
"I don't hear anything right now."
"No, it comes and goes.  Like in the middle of us talking.  Let me know if you hear anything okay."
"Okay brother.  Are you coming down for Thanksgiving?  Mom's gonna make turkey enchiladas and pie."
"Yeah, I'm gonna try and make it.  Not sure if I'll be there the day before or the day of."
She didn't reply.  Just silence.  That same muted silence from before.  I couldn't hear anything from their end.  Something again had intercepted the call.  That noise most likely.  I waited saying hello over and over again until finally she came back on.
"Whoa, I heard it brother.  I heard it," she said. "I heard it.  It does sound like screaming.  Wow, I don't blame mom for freaking out, that was crazy."
"What does it sound like?" curiosity started taking over my senses.
"Its like all digitized and scrambled but you can definitely hear screaming and some crying.  That was scary brother."
"Hmm, that's what mom said that it was digitized sounding.  Dang, I wish I could hear it."
"Yeah, its scary like out those scary movvvvvvvvvvvvv"
Her voice just dragged on getting lower and lower.  I got surprised by it at first.  Then like my mom had said it became a low growl turning into digitized screaming bent and twisted.  There was something else in the background too, like meat being dropped onto the floor making that slapping sound.  I could faintly hear the crying they were talking about.  Then finally silence.
"Hello? You still there? I heard it."  Nothing, no one replied.  Just silence.  But a different kind of silence.  I could hear the soft static from the other end and a soft breathing.
"Hello?" I said again, "Stop it guys, you ain't gonna scare me."
Then a whisper rolled out, "Hello," it said in a raspy low voice.  Not one I recognized.
"Hello?" I said confused, "who is this?"
"Shhh, they can't hear us right now but you need to keep it down."
"Why? Who is this? Mike? Are you fucking with me?" An eerie chill twitched across the back of my neck.  Something was wrong here.  I wasn't sure who I was talking to.  That worried feeling from earlier began to creep up again.  Slow fear started to grow in the pit of my stomach.
"I don't know Mike but you need to keep it down or they'll find you.  Shhhh."
"Find me? Who? What are you talking about?"
"The demons.  At least I think that's what they are.  Shhh, shhh, they can't hear right now but you need to keep it down," his voice was twitchy and nervous.  I couldn't tell if someone was trying to play a joke on me.  I wanted to hang up but curiosity kept me from disconnecting.
"I don't believe in demons.  Who is this already? It isn't funny, its kinda lame actually."
"I can't remember.  I don't think I have one anymore.  A name.  Yes, yes, its gone now.  No name.  Shh, shh, or they'll find you."
"If I have to keep quiet then why did you call?"
"I didn't, I didn't call, you called, yeah, you called me.  You found me."
"No buddy, you called me.  I was on the phone before you interrupted."
"Interrupted? Interrupted?  Yes, Yes, I was here but they can't hear now.  Something interrupted them.  That's why they can't hear us right now.  They're lookin' though.  Shhhh."
"What are you talking about?"
"They'll find you.  They will. They're already outside."
"Oh yeah, I don't see anyone bud.  You're mistaken.  I'm hanging up, this is stupid."
"Look out your window."
Nervousness was the first thing that washed over me but I couldn't help myself.  I had to look.  It had been snowing that night with fresh snow covering the ground everywhere.  I live on the second floor of my apartment complex so I can see down to the street.  And there I could see what he was talking about.  Terrible horror filled my eyes.  That fear that had been growing in the pit of my stomach from earlier pulsated out to every inch of my body. 
"You see that, they probably already found you," he said in a mocking kind of tone.
Footprints in the snow were forming with no one to form them.  They were just appearing from nothing. I couldn't believe my eyes.  My heart sank as I kept seeing them appear closer and closer to the building I lived in.  Horror filled me when I noticed they stopped right below my window.  I couldn't help but think it was watching me at that moment.  Whatever it was.  
"What is this?" I said shivering with nervous fear.  "Some kind of trick?"
"No trick.  They can't hear right now but you need to keep it down.  They're out looking.  Sniffing.  Tasting the air.  They'll find you.  They're so close now."
"Who are you?"
"I'm no one.  Not anymore.  I only exist now to keep my pain.  Shhhh."
"Just tell me what's happening.  Who are you?  Is this real?  Hello?  Tell me please!"
"Tell you what brother?"  my sister was back on the phone.  Whoever was talking to me was gone now.  I couldn't stop myself from filling with fear.  I looked out the window again and the footsteps were still there but no new ones had appeared.
"Did you hear anyone on the phone Bri?" I asked.
"Like who?"
"A guy.  Talking real low or anything?"
"Did you hear the screams too brother?  I didn't hear no guy talking.  Only the crazy sounds mom heard.  Did you hear something else?"
"No.  Nevermind.  Don't worry about it.  I'll call you guys later."

I stayed at the window for hours after staring intently on the ground looking for any new footprints to appear.  I couldn't quite come to terms if what I saw and experienced was real.  But now every time I'm on the phone I can hear quiet oscillating static in the background.  Very rhythmic like breathing.  My fear has never left.  The things I see keep getting worse.  Its not real I keep saying but that doesn't help.  I just hope I can stop seeing the faces in the darkness.  I can see them sometimes in the corner of my room.  Bodiless faces staring from the corner of my room in complete darkness.  I can't control my mind and its getting harder and harder to remember my name.  I can't believe its real but every night the faces keep whispering to me that they found me.  

Monday, July 29, 2013

Don't Drive in the Woods

I once got stuck near the woods in the middle of nowhere at night.  It's probably still my most terrifying experience to this day. I was driving with a friend down a long straight stretch of road that seemed to go on forever through Montana when my car decided to breakdown on us.  It was around one in the morning.  I pulled over with the hazard lights on and rolled to a stop.  I hadn't seen another car in hours so I knew we were screwed.  My phone was dead and my friend couldn't get a serviceable signal.  It was a piece of crap pay as you go phone.
"What now?" my buddy Brad asked.
"I dunno," I said shrugging my shoulders, "know anything about cars?" I asked.  I knew we were going to be stuck there for a while.
"Umm, I know how to put gas in them," he replied.
"Well, that helps.  I'll take a look I guess."
I got out of the car.  It was eerily silent.  Like we were in a vacuum where no sound could travel.  We were miles away from any town or city.  The sky looked beautiful though.  It had stars peppered throughout but on either side of the road sat tall, haunting looking trees that seemingly ate the light.  Looking up you saw these towering trees stretching skyward like hands, reaching for the impossible heights of the dark sky.  I remember feeling like those trees were hiding something.

Past the first row of trees sat a blackness that sent cold shivers of fear through my skin.  I didn't dare stare into it too long because my mind would begin to race with all kinds of spooky thoughts.  Every shadow that lingered deep always seemed to contain faces or movement.  The trees towered over us all the way up to the starlit sky.  There was no kind of sound from anything, animals or insects.  Just my breathing and the soft clicking of my hazards lights blinking.  Click, click, click.

I finally popped the hood and just looked at it hoping it would somehow magically fix itself.  It all looked foreign to me.  At that moment, I wished I would have spent more time with my dad in the garage learning how to mess with cars instead of playing games on my PC.  There wasn't any smoke which I took as a good sign.

As I was staring at the engine I heard something move in between the trees on the far side of the road.  I looked for a few moments trying to see passed the darkness, looking for any kind of shapes.  I could see nothing but the sound of something rustling was apparent especially inside the eerie silence of that road.  I began to get creeped out and got that feeling like something was watching.  That nervous, anxious feeling like someone was about to pop up from behind you.  The darkness was getting to be too much and I got back into the car.
"Well?" Brad asked.
"Oh...umm...," I replied shaking off the chills, "I dunno whats wrong but man its freakin' creepy as hell out there."
"Oh, don't be a wuss."
"Then you go out there and take a look," I said hoping he would because I didn't want to go back out there.
"Maybe I will."
"Then go."
"But I don't really know anything about cars."
"Fine, I'll look."

Brad stepped out of the car and disappeared in front of the popped hood.  I started messing with my phone trying to get some power and maybe a signal.  After a few minutes of fumbling with my phone I saw Brad slowly moving into the middle of the road trying to see into the tree line on the other side.  I rolled down my window and asked what he was doing.
"I think I see something," he replied still looking intently on the trees.
"What? What's over there?"
"I dunno man, but I heard something."
"I heard something too, like something moving huh."
"Yea man and I heard whispers too."
"Whispers?" I asked getting those eerie shivers of fear in my skin again. I was hoping he was joking but the look on his face said otherwise.
"Yeah man.  At first I thought it was my imagination but then I heard it again more clearly."
"Do you see anything?" I asked.
"Not anymore but I thought I saw something moving behind the tree line.  Oh man, I'm creeped out.  I'm getting back into the car."

We locked the doors and sat silently for a few minutes contemplating our situation.  It had been hours since we had seen anyone else on the road.  Both our phones were useless.  So we just sat there hoping a cop or someone would come along and help.  I kept my hazards on in case someone came along.  We put on a CD and listened to music for a little while.  I tried turning on the car but it was just a dead click.  My lights were on and the radio was playing so I knew my battery charge was good.  We just sat there in the car with towering trees all around us and strange noises from outside.  Every once in a while we thought we would see something moving in the trees around us but we weren't sure.

Then all of a sudden the CD that was playing went to a low static hum.  Small whispers began coming out of the speakers.  We stared silently in disbelief at the radio, trying to make out what the voices were saying.  It was small chatter and we could only make out one word, 'car.' That was enough to send deep spikes of cold fear through our spines.  After a few minutes of listening with no other discernible words the CD came back on.  We turned it off and sat wide eyed in silence trying to comprehend what we just experienced.

"Well that was fuckin' creepy," I finally said.
Brad sat silently staring down into his lap wide eyed.  He looked disturbed.
"I remember a story my aunt used to tell me," he finally said, "about the woods where she lived.  She grew up here in Montana, ya know."
All the color had drained from his face.  He looked worried but continued, "she told me that there are spirits that live in the woods where she used to live as a little girl.  That they try to lure the vulnerable into the woods, sometimes in subtle ways but other times violently if needed.  She said she never knew how far the spirits lived into the woods but that the forests in Montana weren't a place to dabble with at night.  I always thought they were cool scary stories but I'm beginning to believe she wasn't making it up."
"What kind of stories?" I asked beginning to feel the pulsating fear in my ears.  I couldn't get the feeling like something was watching us out of my head.

"I just can't get the stories out of my head right now," he said shaking his head.  "I wish I could not be thinking about them.  But you heard those whispers too.  She used to say how when she was young her and her sisters would all sleep in the same room.  Like five of 'em, all sharing three beds.  Their house used to sit on the edge of the woods and every once in a while, always at night her and her sisters would hear child like whispers coming from the back of the house through their bedroom window.  And sometimes even small crying.  They would tell their parents but of course they never heard anything and didn't really believe them.  But one night, my aunt woke up to something rubbing against their bedroom window.  She woke up her sister sleeping next to her and they both sat up in bed listening silently.  They looked at the window and couldn't really tell what was rubbing against the window but my aunt said she remembers it sounding like how your feet sound when rubbing the bottom of the bath tub.  She got up and went over to the window and that's when she began to hear weeping.  My aunt remembers standing by the window hearing the small crying and then feeling like she was floating.  She said that she remember a certain whisper in some weird language before blacking out.  But according to my other aunt, Elizabeth, who was still watching from the bed, says she remembers seeing her sister stand there next to the window as a long dark hand rubbed across the glass wiping away the moisture on the window.  She began screaming for my grandpa and ran to his room and woke him up.  She kept yelling, 'hurry, hurry, a monster is taking Mary away, hurry!' So my grandpa got up and the other girls started screaming from the room.  He grabbed his shotgun and ran into the room where he saw his little girls screaming and pointing towards the window where Mary was getting pulled out of the window by her hair by a long dark muscular arm. Tugging and yanking as Mary stayed in some kind of trance.  My grandpa slammed the butt of his gun on the arm and it retreated.  He ran outside and nothing was there.  He searched a while in the trees and around the house but nothing. They would live there a few more years and then finally move but my Aunt always told me about those whispers and to be careful of what's in the trees because they can lure you in, violently if they want."

"Oh man, you are seriously creeping me out.  You thought this was the best time to tell me a story like that?  When we're in the middle of nowhere surrounded my creepy ass trees? Jesus."
"Hey man, I'm freaking out too but you heard those whispers right.  Better to be spooked and aware than ignorant, right? I mean, we've seen enough horror movies."
"Well, I would just rather be home," I said before freezing in fear.  I looked out the window behind Brad and I could see someone or something crawling low to the ground toward our car.  I sat there with my mouth open not moving.  Brad looked at me with fear in his eyes before turning around and asking what I saw.
"I don't know man," I finally said.  "It was something crawling on all fours toward our car.  Its out there right now. I saw it."
We both sat there in cold paralyzing fear trying to look out the windows without getting too close.  It was absolutely silent.  Then we saw something on the far side of the road.  Some kind of movement.  We stared out the driver side window to the tree line where we could barely make out a shape.
"Do you see that?" I asked before Brad pulled out his phone and turned on his flashlight.  As soon as the light shined over the distance we both started breathing heavily in fear.  My heart sank to the pit of my stomach.  Maybe ten feet into the woods we could see someone standing there with their backs to us.  Not moving.  Then all our composure fell apart and fear overwhelmed us making us gasp and yell in horror as we heard something rub across the back window of the car.  We turned and saw something that looked like a hand print stretching across the back window.  We turned back toward where we saw the person in the woods and nothing was there anymore.

We were beyond ourselves at this point.  We were breathing wildly and our hearts racing.  Then we heard one of the back doors handles clicking like something was trying to get in.  The doors were locked but we were terrified nonetheless.  We looked out our windows but saw nothing.  Then the car started swaying from side to side.  It must be in the rear I thought.  We both looked toward the back window again and through the hand print we could see a dark figure peering over the trunk looking at us.  It slowly lowered its head and disappeared below our line of sight.  I looked out my window again and saw whatever it was crawl inhumanly fast across the road and disappear into the woods.  We just sat there for a few moments in absolute horror.  Then we finally saw it, a car driving up the road.  At first we didn't want to get out of the car but we couldn't pass this chance.  We both got out and waved the car down.

We didn't want to stay around there anymore so we got a ride to the nearest town which was about twenty miles away and rode with the tow truck back to get the car.  We when in the daytime and when we got back all the doors were open and all our things were scattered out on the ground leading into the woods.  Before we towed the car we gathered all our things but noticed a few things were missing.  I picture of me and my sister I kept on the rearview mirror was missing.  Brad had kept a photo album in his back pack in the trunk, he thought it would have been missing too but it was still there.  It wasn't until we got back home and settled in that he called me.  He told me frantically that there was a picture missing in the album.  It was of him and his aunt Mary.

Tuesday, July 23, 2013

I Don't Go Out Anymore

It was late one night.  I had gone out drinking at the bars, just bar hopping from one place to another.  Didn't ever get trashed or belligerent, always stuck to beer and socialized for the most part.  It was fun but I don't do any of that anymore.  I can't go out, at least not alone and not to places I don't know.  Whatever it was that night, still lingers in my head.  Still have nightmares.

It was a Saturday night around maybe one in the morning.  I had left the bar to catch a bus back home.  I had gone pretty far into the city that I wasn't really sure where I was anymore.  That was never a problem though because I would usually just find a bus stop and take it back home or near home.

It was a nice night with the temperature being warm but still cool.  The moon was out and the sky was clear.  I had decided to wander around a bit before I caught a bus back since I had never been in this part of the city.  I wanted to see if I could find any interesting shops or restaurants but I must have taken a wrong turn somewhere because I was nowhere near anything that resembled any type of business.  I had wandered into a residential area.

It was a creepy area.  Lots of trees and overgrown bushes. The houses here didn't look inviting at all, almost abandoned amityville type houses.  The paint and architecture of them were old and unfamiliar.

As I was looking around at them I got a weird creepy vibe, like when you feel someone is watching you.  It felt like there were faces in the windows in some of the houses.  I kept walking looking for a bus stop and noticed there weren't any lights on anywhere.  No street lamps, no house lights, nothing just the low glow from the moon that reflected off the sidewalk.  I was starting to get that nervous anxious feeling you get when you feel lost.

I kept walking looking for any kind of sign but began to hear footsteps behind me.  I turned and looked but no one was there and the footsteps had stopped.  I stood for a moment looking into the street to see if anyone was there but I couldn't really see too far since it was dark and black.  I turned and began walking and again I heard footsteps behind me.  I whipped around to look and this time I could see a faint figure of a person standing at the far end of the block.  I stood there nervously looking for a second trying to figure out exactly who it was and if he meant me any harm.  He never moved while I looked.

I turned and began walking again and just like before, footsteps.  I turned and when I looked my heart sank.  There he was again only this time he was much closer.  About mid way of the block.  He had closed half the distance in a few steps.  That wasn't possible.  I stood there for a moment to see if he would move.  I shouted at him, "hey buddy, what's your problem?" but no response.  Not even a single movement.  I waved my hand at him and my body filled with dread.  He waved his hand back at me in the exact same way.  He was mimicking my every move.  I put my hand down and he put his down at exactly the same time.  I put my hands up and along with me he put both his up as well.  Fear started crawling on my skin.

I began to walk faster now almost power walking.  And I could still hear the footsteps behind me but they had quickened the pace as well.  I turned around and began to walk backwards and the man was just standing there again much closer than last time but not moving.  I could see some of his facial features now but I couldn't quite get a grasp on them.  He didn't look quite right.  Something about him was off, I could feel it in my gut.  I gestured my arms out in a tough guy way to the sides and he copied my every movement. I titled my head to the side curiously and I could see in the vague darkness he was tilting his head the same way as me.

I continued to walk backwards and yelled at him again, "hey man, stop following me.  You'll regret fucking with me." I tried to say in my toughest voice.  I couldn't really fight and didn't have any weapons on me.  I was hoping I could just find a bus stop and get the hell out of there.  I walked backwards about a block and the whole time he just stood there watching me.

Once I got to the end of the block I turned my gaze to the other streets to see if I could see any lights or anything.  There was nothing.  Not a single light, nor a bus stop, nothing but these creepy old houses and dark roads stretching four ways and every single one felt like I was going deeper into some unknown.  I was getting really scared.  I was far from home and had no idea where I was.

I looked back to where the man was and he wasn't standing there anymore.  Where the hell did he go?  And how did he disappear without me hearing his damn loud footsteps? Now I was really scared.  I didn't feel safe at all.  There were plenty of places to hide in this neighborhood with the large trees and overgrown bushes.

I kept walking hoping I would come across a bus stop or a business or something.  At least something that had its lights on.  Then I heard something.  A weird clicking sound like from an insect but it sounded much larger.  I couldn't quite figure out where it was coming from. The sounds got stranger too.  I began to hear a staticky noise coming from somewhere and weird static clicks.  There was a low bass too, you couldn't hear it so much as you could feel it.  Very low but definitely there.  The dread was starting to mount and I was sweating nervously.  I could barely keep myself calm.  Everything around me felt like it was part of something sinister.

I stood for a moment to catch my breath and then I heard something come out of the bushes in front of me.  I looked hard into the darkness and couldn't see anyone or anything.  Then I noticed it was because whatever it was, was crawling on all fours low to the ground.  It was creeping slowly toward me in no hurry.  I got stuck frozen in fear.  I just stood there and watched as this thing was inching closer to me.

As I was watching in absolute horror the black mass on all fours crawling toward me I heard the footsteps again behind me.  A spike of fear stabbed me in my spine.  Probably what finally let me move and I turned to see the man again only he was standing about six feet away.  I still couldn't quite grasp his features, something about his face was wrong.  He however did tower over me, almost seven feet tall I would say.  His face seemed to be horribly disfigured.  I could barely see his eyes but they were rolled up into his skull looking up into his brow.  He had his face pointed forward but his eyes the whole time were stuck upward.    His eyes never looked at me but I could feel him watching me.  I could feel something horrible looking at me, something evil even with eyes never touching mine.  I took a step back and he took a step forward.

I snapped out of fear for a moment and remembered the black mass crawling on all fours behind me.  I turned to look and it was dragging itself a mere ten feet away.  I couldn't tell what it was.  Whatever it was looked leathery and slithery.  It glistened a little bit in the moonlight.  I screamed at the top of my lungs and ran.  I looked momentarily over at the crawling thing as I ran across the street and I saw it dart just as fast on all fours right across the street.  I kept running but I could feel it running with me.  I ran until the air in my lungs burned.  I ran until my legs couldn't carry me anymore.  Tears were streaming from my eyes in utter fear.

I saw a light and headed toward it.  I could also hear the footsteps behind me still and they were running too.  I was too afraid to look back but it felt like he was right behind me the whole time a mere arms length away.  I got closer to the light and noticed it was a bus stop.

I kept running until I made it to the light.  I got to the bus stop and finally took a moment to look back and nothing was there.  No one.  No man.  No black mass crawling.  Nothing.  The dread built up immediately and I felt like I was still being watched.  It almost felt like I had been lured there.  Maybe this is where they wanted me to be.

Then I heard something that still haunts my dreams.  A voice or what sounded like a voice mimicking the words, "hey buddy what's your problem?"  It didn't sound normal.  It sounded like it was coming from deep in the throat of someone.  But it didn't sound like a person either.  I could hear the words but it wasn't a voice.  It was mimicking them.  Repeating what I had said earlier.  "Hey buddy, what's your problem?"  Then I heard the insect type clicking again.  Whatever it was kept repeating the words in that deep throated way.  It wasn't a person.  Then it said, "hey, over here, help.  hey, over here, help."  To this day, I'm not sure if it was trying to trick me into thinking that someone needed help or it was repeating something it had heard from another person they had done this to before.

I was conflicted.  I wasn't sure if I should stay at the bus stop or keep running.  That feeling of dread ultimately won out and I kept running hoping that I would pop out into a familiar neighborhood.  Finally I did, I started recognizing streets and buildings but was still nowhere near my house.  I did end up catching a bus home and didn't hear the clicking or the footsteps anymore that night.  But I still can't shake that deep throated way they were speaking.  It felt horrible.  I can still hear it in my head.  Still hear it when I'm sitting alone at home.

Monday, July 15, 2013

Ms. Henderson

It was late one night when Nolan showed up at my place.  I didn't feel like hanging out but he was my cousin, and couldn't turn him away at my door.  He was acting a little more arrogant than usual that night.  He had this really weird smirk on his face.
"What's with you?" I said stretching the sleep out of my neck.
"Nuthin'" he replied as he walked passed me into my apartment.
"Why do you got that stupid grin on your face?"  I said as I shut the door.
"I'll tell ya later."  I hated when he said that to me as if I wasn't worth the time.  He always acted like that even when we were kids.
"So what's up? Why you here?"
"Remember Ms. Henderson?" he said as he strolled over to my fridge and grabbed a beer.
"Yeah, wasn't she like our sixth grade teacher or something," I replied.
"Fifth," he said, "that old hag."
"What about her?" I asked curiously.
"Damn dude, don't you have beer that doesn't taste like piss and shit mixed together?"

He always had something smart ass to say even when we were kids and especially to our teachers.  I remember one time in Ms. Henderson's class we were all throwing paper around the room when she came barging in and singled him out.
"Mr. Ackerman!" she said loudly in her high pitched nasally voice.  We all hated her voice especially Nolan. "Care to explain all this?" she continued.
"Well Ms. Henderson.  I figured since you sound like you have a wall of boogers stuck up your nose that I'd help you out with some paper so you can blow all that crap out." The class started laughing.
"That's enough!" she barked and everyone fell silent instantly.  "You might think this is funny but I will warn all of you, every action has a consequence and this buffoonery will not go without consequence.  Now who's going to take responsibility for this," she said looking around the room before stopping at Nolan.  "I am not going to punish everyone for this," she said,  "just you Mr. Ackerman."
"What?! Why just me?!"
"Because you love to be the clown.  Well, be the clown, there are consequence for that as well.  Now, I could tell your parents but that wouldn't do any good now would it," she tapping her chin with her finger.
"Your father left you and your mother, well she isn't around very often now is she," she said as she strolled over to the chalk board, "which leaves just me to set you straight now doesn't it," she continued as she grabbed the yard stick.
"Now Mr. Ackerman, what should we do about this disrespectful attitude of yours? Shall I give you detention?" she said as she made her way back to Nolan's desk.  "Shall I send extra homework? Oh no no no, that won't do either."
She stood silently by Nolan for a moment before continuing, "spread your hands out on the table Mr. Ackerman."
"For what?" Nolan replied looking a little nervous.
"Just do it Ackerman!" she said slapping the yard stick on the desk startling everyone in class.  We were all deathly silent.  None of us made a sound.  Nolan slowly placed his hands on the desk.
"Now spread your fingers out."
He did what he was told.  We were all a little scared.  We didn't question her, we were all too scared to get into trouble too.
"You see," she said raising the yard stick, "this is what happens when you don't respect authority," slamming the yard stick down on Nolan's fingers.  He screamed out in pain and clutched his hands.
"Oh, did that hurt?" she asked looking at his face.  "Now put your head down on your desk."
He looked up at her with nervous fear and tears swelling up in his eyes.
"Do as you're told Mr. Ackerman or the punishment will be more severe."
Nolan put his head down.
"Now you see when you are in my class you will obey me.  No punishment will come your way if you are a good student but as you can see if you are more like Mr. Ackerman here...a bad student," she said pausing a moment before swinging the yard stick across his back.  Nolan screamed out in pain.  The tears had begun to fall from his eyes.  "Then you will be punished like Mr. Ackerman."

We were just kids then, didn't really know what was okay and what wasn't.  All we knew was the teacher was an adult and they knew more than us so we couldn't challenge them.  Nolan, well he never did end up respecting authority.  He held a grudge against her for years.  He dropped out of school in the eighth grade and began selling drugs.  We stayed close though.

"So you were saying something about Ms. Henderson?" I said cracking open a fresh beer.
"Yeah, that old bitch.  She always acted like she knew best."
"I hated her too man."
"You know, she never did single anyone else out like she did me.  You remember when she whacked me with that fuckin' yard stick.  Felt like a goddamn hammer on my hands.  I hated her for that."
"I know man.  We were just kids then.  What the hell did we know."
"Exactly.  We didn't know shit then.  We know better now. How old do you think she is now?"
"Hell, if she's still alive probably 73, 75 maybe."
"77," he said correcting me.  "She didn't age gracefully I can tell you that."
"Why, did you run into her or something?"
"I went over to her house and paid her a visit," he said taking another swig of his beer with that stupid smirk on his face.
"You know where she lives? Why'd you go over there?"
"You know Brian, I always hated that bitch. I mean really hated her.  I blame her for everything."
"What do you mean?"
He looked at me with that dumb smirk again and completely ignored my question.

"She answered the door like she didn't even know me.  'who is it' she said.  I told her it was Nolan.  She looked at me like she had never even heard that name before.
"Remember Ms. Henderson, I was in your class way back when, Mr. Ackerman."  Oh, she recognized that name.
"Oh yes, Ackerman.  Yes yes, come in come in.  I don't get around as fast as I used to but I could get you some tea if you'd like, would you like some nice hot tea?"  Like I wanted some shitty ass tea.  She looked like hell too.  With an old ratty night gown on and furry slippers.  Deep wrinkles all over her face.
"Nah, don't need any tea," I told her.
"So, what brings you here son?"
"Just in town, paying my old teacher a visit."
"Well, that's nice of you.  Not many pay me a visit anymore.  These days I just sit here watching my stories with my tea."
"I bet.  Why would anyone come here?"
"Perhaps you are right.  So, what business were you in did you say?"
"Didn't say."
"Oh, that's right, didn't say.  What is it exactly that you do then?"
"I sell drugs."
"Oh dear me.  Now why would you do something like that son," she asked me with that disappointed look in her eye like I even cared anymore.
"Because of you.  Do you remember back in the day when I was in your class how you would single me out in front of everyone?"
"Single you out? Not sure what you mean?"  Yes she did, she was a dumb old hag but she knew Brian.  She was just acting dumb.  Didn't want to own up to it.
"You remember how you would whack me with your yard stick.  Do you remember that?"
"Ah yes.  I did have a tendency to use physical discipline every now and again.  A little discipline never hurt anyone.  Otherwise, you kids would never listen.  I'm sure whatever I disciplined you for, you deserved it well enough."
"I don't think so Ms. Henderson.  Remember when you caught a note being passed around in class that said Ms. Henderson was an old hag with wooden teeth that sucked dick for money."
"No, I don't think so."
"Yes you do.  Well, you singled me out like you did so many other times.  But you were wrong.  It wasn't me.  It was your little pet Asher.  Your favorite little student.  He did it.  And you pounded my hands till I couldn't hold a damn pencil. You always picked on me.  Always had it out for me.  No one ever wanted to be my friend or talk to me.  You left me to be like this you old bitch."
"Now, don't use that kind of language."
"I can use whatever fuckin' kind of language I want.  I'm not your student anymore."
"Then, I believe I'm gonna have to ask you to leave."
"Oh, I'll leave but before I go Ms. Henderson, spread your hands out on the table."
"I said, spread your hands out on the fuckin' table."
"Oh mercy, now why would I do that.  I'm gonna have to call the police."
"Go ahead.  I ain't scared of no fuckin' police."
She tried to get up but she was slow as all hell.  I pushed her back down into her chair and placed the coffee table in front of her.
"You know, I might have had a chance at being a normal kid," I told her,  "a good kid.  But you always had it out for me and for what?  So you can show everyone how high and mighty you were.  Well you know what, every action has a consequence bitch.  Now spread your hands out on the table."

"And you know what; she wouldn't do it Brian, you believe that.  She was a stubborn old broad I'll give her that."
"Oh thank god," I said as I took a big gulp from my beer.  "I was starting to really think you did something to her."
"Hey, thanks for the beer but I gotta run now," he said as he stood up and gave me that stupid smirk one more time before he left.  The next morning I picked up the paper and read that an elderly woman at the age of 77 died two nights back in what they assume was a robbery.  That's how they explained it, a robbery.  It said she was found hands tied out over a coffee table that were beaten to bloody nubs.  She also had deep contusions on her back.  They also found the weapon at the scene.  A 21oz. framing hammer.  Her name was Barbara Grace Henderson.  I never knew her first name.  They said nothing was taken from the house.

Monday, July 8, 2013

Ghosts of the Internet

It was late one night.  Got a call from a friend to meet him at a bar down on 4th.  Usually I wouldn't even entertain the thought of going out when I had work the next day but James was beyond himself with fear.  He had experienced something and he needed someone to talk to.  He was a friend so I decided to hear him out.  Perhaps I should have just gave into my laziness.  Maybe I should have said no but I didn't and now my fear is slowly eating away my reality.  I'm not even sure if any of it is real but whatever was eating James with fear I think maybe is slowly doing the same to me. 

I was at the bar already when James walked in. 

“I’m sorry I’m late Greg had to um, take a longer way than usual.  I‘m barely holding it together right now.”
“Why whats up? Whats wrong?” I asked noticing the warm sweat beading from his brow. He ordered a double shot of whisky before he began his tale. He looked absolutely horrible. James was a built guy. Muscular and tall. But that night he looked frail, thin and boney. His eyes were sunken and bloodshot with huge dark rings around them.
“I dunno man, I’m really freaking out,” he said wiping the sweat away.
“Well tell me about it, you got me out here. How about you start and I‘ll order a drink,” I said as I waved over the bartender.
“I probably shouldn't be even telling anyone," he said looking back over his shoulder to the door.  "But I don't know what to do anymore."
"Oh come on," I said.
"Okay okay," he replied as he wiped his face.  "So I was browsing Youtube about a few weeks ago right, just searching for random ass videos like I usually do. Then I got in the mood to look up some spooky vids because you know me I love all that paranormal shit. That was a bad idea Greg.”
“Yeah?” I replied grabbing some peanuts and tossing a few in my mouth.
“Well, one link led to another and I found my way to what felt like the abandon parts of the internet you know. Places that felt like no one ever goes anymore or ever did.  It was weird man.  Its like in a city ya know. You got the ghettoes and then you got the abandon parts of the city. Well, I was definitely in the abandoned part of the ghetto. Real low-res websites, no comments, no pics, nothing, just text upon text against ugly backgrounds of repeated patterns. I mean, these sites felt old. Anyway, most of them didn’t hold anything too interesting but I continued to click on links and most only had one link somewhere on their page. Each led to another dumpy website then I start noticing a connection between them right.”
“Here’s your shot of whisky,” the bartender said.
“Thank you,” I replied. “Oh, and open tab. Thanks.” I slammed back the whisky in one gulp and let the burn rise up through my throat. I liked the burn. It woke me up. Reminded me to watch my drinking.  “So the websites had some connection…” I said tossing another peanut into my mouth.
“Oh yeah. Well, like I said they were just text. Oh and bartender, can I get another shot of whisky also,” he said pulling out cash with his left hand. “Thanks. So the sites, yeah, umm, you could just scroll and boring text all the way down and they’re written like journal entries; like a blog. It was just nonsense most of it but something about it was spooky and you know me, I liked that feeling of being creeped out so I continued. But I start noticing a date keep reappearing, June 6th. All those sites had it somewhere on them, every single one of them. Then finally, after about an hour of clicking through links I find a video embedded on a site. Just a video, nothing else. The background was some sort of dark wood finishing with a weird repeated animal shape and a star. The weird part was the video was titled June 6th. I was starting to get that creepy excitement you get when you feel like you’re on to something. Well, I was Greg, just didn’t realize I was going to shit bricks afterwards.”
“Its really got you spooked huh?” I said.
“More than spooked Greg, I don’t feel comfortable in my own skin. I feel like…” he stopped for a moment looking over the bar making sure no one was listening before he continued in a whisper. “I damned my soul.”
“Get the fuck outta here,” I said letting out a small chuckle.
“I’m serious Greg," he said looking over to the front window as if checking if someone was there.
“Yeah, you’re just trying to make your story more dramatic or trying to get me to fall for it. How about you let me see the video?”
“That’s the thing Greg,” he replied turning his head back around and grabbing his newly placed whisky shot, “I can’t find the video anymore,” he said as he threw the shot down his throat. “…or the websites.”
“You can’t find them?”
“No and I’ve looked. Believe me, I looked.”
“Sounds a little convenient. How did you find them in the first place?”
“I told you, browsing Youtube and watching creepy videos and I started clicking links in the comment sections and eventually it led me there. But that‘s not the point.”
“So what did the video show?” I asked with a skeptical eye.
“At first it was just someone walking through empty apartments. I thought maybe it was a video of someone shopping around for apartments, you know, just documenting potential places. It would seem to be uninteresting right but something about it seemed very creepy and unsettling so I kept watching. As they were moving through rooms it always felt like something was going to be behind one of those empty corridors but it was mostly nothing until the end. This is where it got weird.  Whoever was recording entered MY apartment. It was empty but I could still recognize my apartment because they went into the bedroom first and the view out the window was the same one I have. Then they go into the empty living room and in the middle laid a big black garbage bag filled with something," he said looking over at the window again.  He looked really tired and paranoid.  "So," he continued,  "the bag just laid there for a few moments and then it began to move. Writhing around on the ground like a slug or something. Not thrashing, just moving. It didn’t appear to be a person in it because there was no hands or feet pushing out on the plastic. Just some kind of mass of flesh writhing and gyrating around underneath.”
“That is pretty creepy man,” I said taking a sip of my new drink.
“Yeah and it gets worse. Then the video goes black right and I just stare at a black screen for a few seconds and then it comes back on but this time it isn’t of some black bag moving around and slithering on the ground. No, its of me looking at me like through a webcam or something. And it seemed to be in real time. But the freakiest thing, the part that started all this bullshit and unsettled fear in me was that there was someone standing behind me. I couldn’t recognize him but he was standing there smiling with sharp white teeth and huge bulging eyes and black pupils towering at probably seven feet tall looking down at me. I immediately freak and turn around and of course no one is there. I turn back around and he's still there standing behind me. Then my computer shuts itself off.  I left for my bedroom but I couldn't get to sleep that night.  I tried laying down because I didn't even want to touch my computer again or even look at it.  But as I laid there the feeling that someone was watching me was stronger than ever.  It literally felt like that man with the huge eyes and sharp white teeth was standing at the edge of my bed but I couldn't see him,” he said as he looked over shoulder again.
“Damn man, that is some creepy shit. But its not true, right?”
“Its true man, I’m telling you.”
“So did you ever see that weird guy again?”
“I did," he said as he fixed the sleeves to his coat.  "I saw him the next night standing out on my balcony. I had the blinds opened and in the space in between I could see his teeth and huge bulging eyes staring at me and it sure as shit wasn’t my mind playing tricks. If you saw what I saw, you would know it wasn’t my mind. Anyone would know. There was someone there. It was real.  I got up and grabbed something to whack the shit out of it with but it disappeared.”
“Damn dude. I think you’re haunted. Maybe I should stay away from you. Maybe its contagious,” I said trying to joke. I gulped the last sip of my drink.
“Its not funny man. After that I started having overwhelming feelings of fear and dread. Like something bad was going to happen. I couldn’t shake that feeling of those eyes watching me either. I knew they were real, deep down I knew I wasn’t crazy that I saw what I saw. I began seeing other things too Greg. Shadow things everywhere I went and at night I could see faces in the walls and windows. Faces of agony. Like they're howling out in pain.  My grip on reality, my sanity, everything is beginning to be tested Greg and I don’t even know if right now I have a grip.  All I know is that its real but I don't want it to be.”
He stopped for a moment staring at the bar counter with glazed over eyes, lost in thought. I placed my hand on his shoulder and asked if he was alright. He jerked his head toward me with wide eyes and said yes.
“I’m sorry Greg, its really taking a toll on me,” he continued sinking his face in his left hand.
“Its alright James. Its gonna be alright.”
“You know, I spoke with it. Whatever He is.”
“What?” I said with a confused look.
“It came to me again one night. I was laying in bed lost in thought unable to sleep like most every night and I began hearing voices in my head. It wasn’t in English at first so I thought it was just my head. But then it said my name.”
“Now you’re creepy me out man, are you serious?”
“It said James. I know your fears. I know your sins. Your mind is accepting the horrors we want you to see. The horrors you know are real. You are becoming our vessel. One of many. Your world is but one layer. We have only just begun to harvest you. Then I asked it if it was a demon and it told me Demon is such a simple name. We are more than that. Our web that has covered your world is only the beginning. A hive mind we intend to harvest. So easily to hand over your soul. Why are you talking to me? I asked it and it said, because James. You are near your damnation.  My soul, my will, everything is in complete disarray. I can’t find myself anymore. Am I crazy?”
“I don’t think you’re crazy. But I think your mind is in state of illness. Something is happening up there. It’s a disorder or you’re just way too tired. I think you’re in a lucid dream state or something.”
“I’m not though,” he said in a defeated tone. “He told me he liked to eat the flesh of the living and that I was next for him to feast on,” he sunk his head down low letting out tears. Soft whimpers escaped his mouth as he tried to grab his drink. “I’m damned Greg. Damned.”
“No you’re not. You’re fine. You’re here right now.”
He looked over to the window and a look of dread washed over his face, “I gotta go Greg. Im sorry.  Thanks for listening but it is real and I'm not fine,” he said standing up. I’m sure he didn’t mean to reveal it to me or maybe he did. Maybe he wanted to show me his reality, to believe him.  Why would he keep it in his pocket the whole time then? He wanted to show me. Perhaps just so I could understand his pain without having me to invest more. However, I too have slowly become overwhelmed with that feeling of dread. That horrible feeling that something is watching. 

James stood up and his hand fully escaped his pocket for a brief moment and I could see his wrist and arm. The wrist was purple with bruises and what I saw below on his forearm sent shivers of fear through me. Flesh had been eaten away. Pierced holes in bite mark like shapes riddled his arm.  It looked like chewed meat shaded in deep bruises and bite marks.  Dried scabs and open flesh laid over his arm. Only three fingers remained on his hand. No bones from his fingers were present just dried bloody nubs, perhaps just fallen off with no flesh or tendon to hold them on. He placed his hand securely back into his pocket and turned to face the door. With his left hand he grabbed my shoulder and said, “thanks. But I think we’re all damned.” I never saw James again. He disappeared. 

It feels like something is watching now; it always feels like something is watching. Lonely ambient thought can be a person’s greatest enemy at times, especially in those moments of subtle fear that covers every inch of your skin letting you dwell and feel those piercing bodiless eyes that watch from every dark corner you can’t see. They exist. They do whether you admit it or not because that feeling at the edge of your skin, the tingling of fear in your bones and through your spine, are those eyes. He’s been where you are and has seen you. He’s always watching and James had seen him before me.  Now I can’t but help see those faces of agony in the walls that he saw and notice James' face among them.

Tuesday, July 2, 2013

Knocking on my Door

Maybe I'm superstitious or maybe I'm too sensitive to the things I watch on T.V. either way here I am scared out of my mind.

A few months back I was walking through some neighborhood on the far side of the city trying to find a bus stop when I see a garage sale at the end of the block.  I could see a stack of CD's on a table so I decide to check it out.

I didn't notice anyone out front.  No one browsing.  Just a few tables set up in the driveway of some house.  Old clothes on one table.  A few cassettes, a blender, some old appliances and a stack of a hundred Sony CD-R's on another.

The CD's weren't wrapped in plastic.  Just on the spindle with the lid.  I wondered if they were even blank at all.  Then finally from inside the garage someone says in an old raspy voice, "seventy-five cents."  I look over to the back of the garage.  There sitting in a yellow greenish recliner was on old man with deep wrinkles on his face.  He had soft white hair that pointed every which way from his head.  He had on a red and black mothball infested flannel and a walking cane leaning next to him.  He looked like he was in seventies.

"Are they blank?" I asked.
"Blank?" he replied, "oh yes, definitely blank."  I couldn't tell but he was either unsure or apprehensive to tell me.
"Seventy-five cents you say?"
"Yes and they're all yours."
I pondered for a moment doing the math in my head of what I needed for my bus ride home.  "Do you know where the nearest bus stop is?"
"Oh no, the bus doesn't run through here," he said as he coughed to clear his throat.
"It doesn't?" I asked slightly surprised.
"Oh no.  Hasn't for some years now.  Last bus I saw was..." he said as he rubbed his chin and closed his left eye as if thinking real hard, "probably five years back.  Yeah, that sounds about right.  No, I tell ya, no buses coming here.  No one really leaves here anymore.  Some come for visits but never really leave.  At least not the same."
I didn't know what he was talking about.  "Okay, well, I guess I'll take the CD's then."  I reached in my pocket and pulled out three quarters.
"Oh son, can you bring them here.  Not so good at walking these days."
I didn't really want to go into the garage but I didn't feel right making him walk over to me.  I walked in slowly.  There were more tables inside with random stuff laying in boxes.  There were two old fridges lining the wall and old chains wrapped around the wooden ceiling girders.  Old hoses and bikes with no wheels hanging from the walls.

Back behind him were four giant pickle jars with yellowish liquid.  There were things floating in them but I couldn't really tell what they were. I handed him his three quarters and he said, "its ectoplasm."
"What?" I replied.
"The jars.  I saw you looking at them.  Its ectoplasm."
"Ectoplasm?" I said, "isn't that like supposed to be ghost residue or something?"
"Yes, that's right.  They leave it behind when interacting with the physical plane. I noticed you looking at 'em. You want them?  I'll give you a good price.  I'm ready to be rid of them."
"Oh no, its okay.  Not really into that stuff,"  I said as I put the CD's into my backpack.  "How do you know its ectoplasm anyway?"
"We had a few things happen here a few years back.  Probably around the same time the buses stopped running through here.  Things didn't go too well."  His voice sounded frail.
"You had ghosts?" I asked mildly intrigued.
"Oh yes."
"Really?  Did something happen?"
"Oh most definitely."
"Were you scared?" I felt myself getting too excited at the prospect of a ghost story.
"Surely was but it wasn't the ghosts I was afraid of, it was something much more sinister."
"Like what?"
"Well the psychic told us it was a poltergeist."
"My family," he said looking to the ground.
"Do they believe it was a poltergeist too?"
"Well," his voiced got quieter.  "My family didn't fair too well I'm afraid.  My wife, well, she's in an asylum now.  She couldn't get over our son dying."
"Oh no, I'm sorry."
"Oh, its alright."
"How did he die?"
"Well, the doctors tell me that his heart just stopped.  Crushed from the inside they said.  Like it imploded on itself.  Not sure what to make of that but after all the things that happened I know what I want to blame it on."
"I'm sorry."
"Its okay son.  Its gone now.  Went through hell and back but its gone now and I'm at the end of my wits anyway.  These jars are all that's left of what happened."
"Why do you keep them?"
"Good question.  I'm not quite sure anymore but maybe...hopefully so someone would believe me about what happened I guess.  It's taken a toll on my life.  I've aged dramatically.  Looking at me you would say I was in my seventies but I'm only forty seven."
"What? No way you are forty seven," I said in disbelief.  The way he looked showed a frail beaten and battered old man.  I couldn't believe him.
"Oh yes.  I had a moment there where the spirit or whatever it was grabbed hold of my soul and I fought to hold on.  I came away with my soul but as you can see my life is most likely reaching its end."
"How did you get it to leave?"
"I'm sorry son but I don't believe I have the strength to tell the tale," he said coughing again in his raspy voice.
"Oh, of course, I'm sorry.  I didn't mean to be a bother.  I'll just be on my way then.  Have a good rest of your day sir."
"You too son.  Enjoy your CD's."
"Thanks. I will."

A few weeks pass and I have burned through about a quarter of those CDs when I encounter one that wasn't blank.  It had some data on it.  A single folder labeled  {om66145-AB-197-ef}.  Inside was a video file.  It was just labeled '0'.

I was apprehensive at first to open it so I ejected it and left the CD on my desk for a few days without watching the video.  Didn't really think anything of it. Then the knocking on my door began.

At all hours, doesn't matter what time it was but there would be knocking on my door and when I go to answer it no one is there.  I live in an apartment building so at first I'm thinking maybe its a neighbor fooling around or people going to the wrong apartment.  But it doesn't stop.  Over and over at all hours.  Even when I'm sleeping.  Three knocks usually.  Knock, knock, knock.

Annoyed of the knocking, the neighbors or whatever it is, I sit at my computer and notice the CD again.  I pop it in and open the video file.  Its starts playing and its of a teenage kid staring at me.  Its a webcam video.

He grabs the camera and moves it to the edge of his desk. I'm now looking at him from his left.  There seems to be no sound.  After he situates the camera to where he wants it he starts typing and looking at the screen very intently.

About thirty seconds pass and suddenly he turns to look over his shoulder.  I realize there is actually sound in the video just very low because I heard what sounded like a knock.  I turned up my speakers as far as they could.

The kid then gets up from his chair and slowly makes his way out of the room.  As I'm watching the empty room a low bass starts emanating from my speakers.  His monitor starts vibrating very slightly and a dark black mass oozes out of the screen.  Like a gas. It floats out softly and hovers for a moment before attaching itself to the far wall.  Then I hear some knocking again from the video. Three knocks.  As if keeping him away.  Finally, the boy comes back and sits back down at his computer completely oblivious to the black mass hovering above him.  It disappears and then the kid starts clutching his chest in agonizing pain.  He keels over and falls to the ground and doesn't move.  The video plays for another minute before stopping.  Before it ends I could see on the monitor screen a message typing itself.  I've played it back and forth and I'm fairly certain it says.  "You were meant to watch this."

So here I am, scared out of my wits after watching that video.  I can't move.  I keep feeling like someone is watching me.  But the most terrifying thing is that I keep looking over my shoulder because the knocking on my door keeps getting louder but I don't want to move.

Saturday, March 23, 2013


There was a time when I didn't dread the coming of night.  Didn't dread the night life of the city. That was before I met Claudia.  She changed everything for me.
One night around midnight, after having a few drinks at the bar, I stopped in one of my favorite diners for coffee and pancakes. The place wasn't a real looker. It had old neon pepsi and coke signs on the window, yellow and white tiles on the floor and tables that seemed to have time traveled straight from the 70s. Not a beautiful place but it was the smell of breakfast and coffee wafting though the place that was so welcoming and enticing. Reminded me of younger years spent at my grandma's.
There were a couple of other people there sitting alone at their tables, sipping on coffee hunched over their day old newspaper. Insomniacs like me, finding ways to pass the time. I was sitting in a booth facing the door in the furthest corner when she walked in. I heard the bells hanging from the door handle clang together and looked over. She looked so beautiful standing there in a skin tight black dress. I was immediately attracted to her beyond any girl I had ever seen before. We made quick eye contact as she went up to the counter and ordered a coffee and some eggs. I turned my attention back to my coffee and phone.
A few moments passed and as suddenly as she had walked in she sat down in my booth across from me.
"Uhh...hey..." I said surprised.
"You don't mind, do you?" she replied placing her purse on the table. Of course I didn't mind, she was very attractive and smelled amazing. Something about her fragrance made her even that much more beautiful and sexy. I felt intoxicated by her beauty. I had never felt this overwhelmed by someone.
"Do I know you?" I asked. I wouldn't say familiar but something about her felt reminiscent. I wasn't quite sure what it was but I felt some kind of connection.
"I don't think so," she said as she started digging through her purse. She had dark red hair, crimson lipstick on and very pale skin. She had curves in all the right places and I couldn't control how overwhelmingly attracted I was to her.
I looked quickly around at all the other empty booths.
"Don't like the other booths?" I asked.
"Oh, well, I don't like taking a whole booth to myself. Plus I like having company. You don't care right?"
"I guess not," I said as I took another sip of my coffee. "I guess I could use some company too."
"I got some eggs coming, you can have some if you'd like," she said pulling her phone out of her purse.
"Nah, its okay. I got some pancakes coming myself." I grabbed my cup of coffee again and realized I was empty.
"So, what's your name?" she asked as she placed her phone down.
"Jerry," I replied.
I reached my hand over the table and shook her hand.
"Nice to meet you Claudia. So what brings you out these late hours and to this wonderful diner?"
"Oh, I'm definitely a night owl. I'm always up when the sky is dark. I love the night life and I dunno, sometimes I need to change things up and grab some eggs and coffee to you know, remind myself of the day that I missed."
"I understand that. Sometimes I wake up so late after a heavy night of drinking that I missed the whole day. I've slowly realized my body doesn't recover as quickly as it used to."
"Yes, age is brutal to the body. Can't imagine what that feels like."
"Well, don't worry about it, you're young, beautiful and by the looks of things, very far away from those years."
She smirked, "Yes, very far away. You don't look very old."
"30 and thanks."
The waitress came to the table and placed our plates down. She refilled my coffee and set down some fresh cream packets. That lovely smell of buttermilk pancakes quickly snaked up my nostrils. I briefly remembered my grandma's old kitchen with her homely aroma of coffee and sweet pancake batter on the stove. It was quickly replaced by Claudia's intoxicating fragrance. Her perfume, her scent, was so pleasant it over powered everything we had on the table.
After a few minutes of enjoying my pancakes I noticed she wasn't touching her eggs. She was just gazing down looking into nothing, lost in thought. I continued to eat my pancakes with each bite sobering me up and reminding me of my youth. Then she said, "do you wanna go somewhere with me?"
I looked up from my plate, "where to?" I asked curiously.
"Just somewhere. I got a place in mind, it'll be fun."
At first my instincts were telling me finish your pancakes and head home but I felt so comfortable with her, so lost in her beauty. I didn't want leave her side.
"Sure, why not."
"Lets go now."
"Alright, let me pay and we can head out."
"No, lets just leave right now."
"Okay," I couldn't get myself to challenge her.
We walked out and started heading south down 50th. I wasn't quite sure where she was taking me, there was nothing down that way. Just apartment buildings and old alley ways. But I didn't care, as long as I was with her. She grabbed my hand and we walked a few blocks. We finally turned into an alley.
"This is good," she said.
"Good for what?" I asked.
Then she started kissing me and grabbing me. I lost all control inside the powerful lustful feeling of sex and intimacy. Everything seemed like a blur of ecstasy and arousal. I remember the taste of her tongue and the softness of her lips; the last things I remember. I only vaguely remember anything more after that. I wake up in my bed with a sore neck and ripped clothes. There was crusted dry blood on my forearm but no cuts or wounds on me except for two small scabs on my neck. I tried desperately to remember what happened but could not. I get bits and pieces like pain, warm blood on my face, and glowing eyes.
There was a time I didn't dread the coming of night. A time where the taste and smell of coffee and pancakes took me back to my grandma's old kitchen, took me back to younger years. I miss those days of simple times of taste and smell. Before Claudia. These days all I remember is her intoxicating fragrance and the taste of iron and metal on her tongue. She comes and I dread the night. I no longer live in the daylight.  I have been damned and everything of my past life now gone as a distant memory.  I long for the days of sipping on coffee and enjoying a pancake or two, though those times are all but lost now, for I can't remember the smell or taste of pancakes and coffee anymore.

Friday, March 1, 2013

Looking for Friends

Before last week I never had the desire to share this with anyone perhaps because I know what it means if I do.  So much of my life has fallen apart that I have backed myself into a corner and feel this is the best outlet for me.  I'm sorry, I truly am but with the years has come an overbearing pressure to share this maybe so I can give myself some closure.

I'll start from the first one I can remember.  It was back in '01 or '02.  The online chat rooms were all the rage and I was a bit of a loner, still am maybe that's why I got sucked into that whole chat room life so much.  Talking to real people even if it was online was exciting.  They were still strangers but still real.  It was enough of an escape for me.

I got close with another chat room user.  Didn't know where he lived or ever heard his voice for that matter but he was a real friend.  His username was ab107 and we used to host chat room invites for whoever wanted to join us and sometimes we would just chat us two.  It was fun.

Then one night we were in an open chat room for anyone to join and we had been chatting for about an hour.  We didn't think anyone was gonna join since it was so late, about one or two in the morning.  Then someone logged in.  The username was lurker20.  We tried chatting with him saying hi and asking the a/s/l everyone always asked back then.  He didn't say anything.  There were just three names logged in, ab107, me (hatman1) and lurker20.  He said nothing and we even forgot he was in there when he finally said something.

lurker20: new friends...this is fun.
ab107:alright man, dang, almost forgot you were still with us.
hatman1: yeah, where ya from lurker?
lurker20: ...the U.S.
ab107: thats cool.  I'm from california.  That's in the U.S. too.
hatman1: oregon here, also U.S.
ab107: so what are you into lurker? any favorite movies?
lurker20: horror movies
hatman1: oh yeah, a horror lover.  I love me some horror as well.  favorite two have got to be the exorcist and the shining.  How bout you?
lurker20: Rear Window
ab107: ah, a hitchcock fan. awesome.  that one is a classic.  That helpless feeling of not being able to do anything.
hatman1: oh, I love the part where the guy in the wheelchair is looking over at the other guy and the guy looks straight back at him.  Damn, gives me chills just thinking about it.
lurker20: I've been watching you
hatman1: huh? watching who?
lurker20: you keep your curtains open too wide
hatman1: yeah, real creepy man.  oh no, another stalker.  my curtains are closed man.
ab107: I'm shaking in my boots dude, you're real scary
hatman1: can you see my ass? booyah, in yo face. watch that.  Its whiter than milk.
lurker20: no, Im not watching you but I can see the back of Allen's head

I got chills for ab107 because that was his real name.  How did this guy know him?  I thought maybe they knew each other.
ab107: what? whoa dude, okay do I know you? is this ryan from biology, you douchebag
lurker20: this is not ryan.  you will find out soon enough
      lurker20 has left chat
ab107: okay, I gotta admit.  the guy succeeded in giving me the creeps a bit, lol.  dammit, im too sensitive, haha.
hatman1: you probably know him or its that other douche that likes to chat as late as us.  turtle20.  Has the same number.
ab107: yeah dude, im not sweating it.  however, i did close my curtains just now haha.
hatman1: so your curtains were open?
ab107: yeah, which is what gave me the creeps.
     lurker20 has joined chat
hatman1: hey! he's back.
lurker20: why did you close your curtains?
ab107: how did you know I closed my curtains?
lurker20: I told you I'm watching you allen
hatman1: its one of your neighbors man.
lurker20: Im not a neighbor brian but Im near.

That freaked me out.  How the hell did this guy know both our names? I was starting to feel a little suffocated with anxiety.  I kinda just wanted to log off now.
hatman1: how do you know my name?
ab107: yeah, whats going on? who are you? are you in some house? describe what house you're in?
lurker20: Im not in your neighbors house.  Dont worry allen I'll be visiting you soon enough.  keep your curtains closed, its safer.
     lurker20 has left chat
hatman1: whoa man, that was some creepy ass shit
ab107: yeah no kidding.  should I call the cops?
hatman1: I dunno man.  do you think its for real?
ab107: I dunno dude.  but I'm a little freaked out.
hatman1: go tell your parents
ab107: yeah right, they already hate that I chat so much, they would kill me if they knew I was on this late.  Plus, they're always telling me how Im gonna talk to a murderer.  Nah, cant tell 'em.
hatman1: well, im freaked out too.  i kinda just wanna log off now and call it a night.
ab107: alright dude, I'll chat with ya tomorrow.

I never heard from him after that but that wasn't the last time I came across lurker20.

A year later, something similar happened on a message board, its now defunct but it was a group of bloggers that started it up.  It had maybe twenty members.  I became friends with fly on the wall.  She had a blog of satire and humor.

Someone had posted a question on the forums asking what were our favorite horror movies.  And that's where I saw it, a post by lurker20 saying that Rear Window was his favorite horror movie.  I felt an eerie chill crawl up my spine.  There was no way this could be the same guy.  I had to make sure so I messaged him.

hatman84: Hey man, how you doin'? Welcome to the board, where ya from?
lurker20: the U.S.
hatman84: Where in the U.S.?
lurker20: next door, next window, other room, everywhere doesnt matter
hatman84: haha, okay, fair enough. You love Rear Window? You a hitchcock fan?
lurker20: are you trying to figure out if I'm watching you brian?

I got a cold chill.  How did he know my name?  I couldn't let him know that he knew my name correctly.
hatman84: ???that's not even my name?
lurker20: sure it isn't, how come then I know you're from oregon and you still live with your mom.
hatman84: lucky guess man
lurker20: don't worry brian, im not watching you but fly on the wall seems to keep her curtains open too wide.
hatman84: huh? you know her? you dont know where she is creep

I was starting to get that aching feeling of fear in my bones again.  Like I did with ab107.  I felt helpless.  How did this guy so much?  How did he know how to get under my skin? How?
lurker20: sure i do, maybe im in her other room or maybe im just watching her.  melissa will find out soon enough
hatman84: what do you want? this isn't funny man, do i know you? are you someone i know from sometime in the past?
lurker20: everyone knows me brian
hatman84: you arent gonna do anything, you're a fake
lurker20: just like ab107

I knew this wasn't a fake.  It was the same guy.  What happened to ab?  Who was this guy? Whoever he was I was starting to fear him.
hatman84: how do you know...who are you? is this ab? are you fucking with me?
lurker20: allen is with me now brian.  he watches in the darkness now as well.
hatman84: what did you do to him?
lurker20: brian, i dont discuss such things
hatman84: what do you want?
lurker20: nothing brian, ill be around, like a fly on the wall.

I got a hold of fly on the wall. I emailed her just asking her that there was some guy that creeped me out and that maybe someone was trying to mess with her too just to watch out.  I didn't want to freak her out more than I had to.  I didn't mention anything about my crazy thoughts about this guy and what could of happened to ab107.  She got back to me telling me she was fine and that she would be on the look out.  She tried to reassure me. She was so sweet.

Then a week later her blog was down, she had removed herself from the forums and she never replied to any of my emails anymore.  I started to get worried but there was nothing I could do.  All I had was her email address and a blog that was no longer online.  This couldn't happen all over again.  I was freaking out.

About a month passes and I get a call in the middle of the night maybe around 3 in the morning.  The number didn't look real, it was all zeroes.  000-000-0000.  I've seen that before, usually fake bank messages and such.  I just hit ignore.  But in the morning there was a message.  I checked it.

"Hello?" someone said in a very low whisper.  "I don't know where I am," they said. I could tell it was a female voice.  "Its dark.  I can hear screams.  I need to go home."  Then it went silent for a few seconds then a loud thud hit the phone and heavy breathing followed.  Then out of nowhere the speaker filled with thousands of screams of agony and pain.  I dropped the phone.  What was going on?

My life pretty much went to shit after that.  My mom died, she left the house and the mortgage to me.  I lost my job.  Weird things began to happen to me.  Random occurrences, like car accidents happening in front of me and small convenience stores getting robbed while I'm in them.  I remember seeing a coyote tearing open a cat in the alley as I was walking home in the night.

A few years later I was on YouTube watching videos.  the site was still very young.  It was late, after midnight.  I was sitting in the dark because I had forgotten the sun had gone down hours before.  It was just me sitting in front of a computer screen in the dark watching videos.

I had crept into what felt like the corners of youtube.  The lonely videos that have 5 or 6 views.  The random things that people never find.  Then I found a video that showed the corner of a basement.  It was just unmoving for the the first 5 seconds.  I was about to give up on it but then someone walked into frame.  They had a black ski mask on with a sign that read "Hi" I continued to watch and they disappeared off screen again and came back with another sign that read "are you sitting alone in the dark?" I got some chills in my back on that one.  I looked around my room and realized how dark it had become but immediately turned my attention back to the video.  Then the guy took off the ski mask and I couldn't tell if he was wearing a halloween mask but his face was horribly disfigured with one eye bulbous and sticking out from its socket slightly.  Like a fish eye.  The video was grainy enough that I couldn't tell if it was real or not but it creeped me out.  His next sign however scared me.  He went off screen and came back with a sign that said "are you watching me now brian?"  Then the video ended.  I was scared shitless after that one.  I closed the browser and turned off my computer and went to bed but I couldn't go to sleep.

I tried to find that video the next day, but could not find it.  Went through my history but nothing was there.  I know it wasn't a dream.  I stayed awake almost the rest of the night.  I was definitely awake but I just can't explain it.

Then some time passes and I get an email that was sent from my own email.  It read:

"Hi Brian,
How have you been?  Still living in the U.S.?  Hows mommy?  I hope you don't mind but I'm using your email to find some of your friends.  I think they like me.  Thanks for letting me find them.  I like your internet friends, they're all I've ever wanted.  I'm always watching brian, you know that right.  In the thickest of black nights when you think you are alone and darkness has swallowed you leaving just a monitor and a set of eyes, I'm watching.  I'll be sitting in the room with them too brian.  Always right behind because Im always where their eyes never see.  But with you and I its different isnt it, you've seen me.  Does mommy know? Oh thats right, she's dead. You're grew up and mommy still wanted you at home.  Because she knew brian.  She knew.  I'll be making some visits.  Thanks for the new friends.  I love how you message and comment on things, always brings me new friends."

I don't quite understand but I'm here now typing this.  Hoping he finds new friends.  My mom has died with whatever secret she had to say.  The house is mine but I hear footsteps and horrible moans of pain in the night.  There always seems to be someone watching me.  I hear small tapping on the walls and whispers in the corner of my bedroom.  Its all too much.  Oh, how I wish the sounds would go away. He lurks where you don't see him.  Always watching.  Make sure your curtains are closed and your lights are off.   I'm sorry.  I truly am.

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Is It Real Now

Everyone says the same thing, "THIS is real Casey, right now, its reality.  I'm real, you're real."  But how do they know?  How can I be certain?  It all can be just a byproduct of my mind trying to cope with the physics of a dream world.

Am I dreaming right now?  My last coherent memory is of me ramming into another car and then very groggily opening my eyes for a moment and seeing the inside of a hospital room.  I don't remember leaving.  I don't remember waking up or healing.  No one filled me in on the accident.  In fact, no one even knows about the accident.  How can no one know about the accident?

I have the clearest memory of it.  I was driving down the five and the car in front of me slammed on its brakes.  I didn't have time to react and hit the back of the vehicle at full speed.  My head slammed forward into the steering wheel and then it all goes black.

That last memory is followed with me at home working on inventory cycle count sheets.  How can that be?  Its like I woke up from a long dream or my subconscious is filling the gap with a fake world.  Its my only explanation.  I must be dreaming...right?  What happened to that time if I'm not?  What was I doing?  Was I dreaming then?  Why don't I have any recollection of the time?  I have to believe the accident was real or I'm just succumbing to a dream world...right?

In the end, I hope I'm dreaming because its bad if I'm not. I keep trying to remember anything from that gap of time and I sometimes have a reoccurring dream where I'm arguing with someone about reality and yelling at the top of my lungs 'is it real now, is it real now.'

One night, it got really bad.  Reality felt like it was about to fall in around me. I headed to the nearest bar which was the drunken sailor.  I walked in and ordered a pint of Blue Moon.  Took off my cap and gave my face a good rub down with both hands.

"Rough night?" a man asked as he took a sip of his beer.  He was sitting two chairs away.
I looked over at him and replied, "you have no idea."
"Beer should  do the trick," he said.
"I wish it could," I said sliding my coat off my arms.  It had been raining and the cold chill of autumn was starting to creep in.  It was a nice relief to take off my coat and feel the warmth of the bar.  Nice reminders of reality.
"Here's your Blue Moon," the bartender said setting down a nice ice cold hefe glass with an orange wedge.  I squeezed the wedge into my beer and dropped it in.
"Open tab," I said.  "Thanks."
"You know, you should try Shock Top.  That's a good Belgian-white," the man said gulping another drink.  "That's what I'm drinkin'." He said as he lifted his half empty beer glass.
"Hmm, yeah, I'll have to try that one next.  Looks good."
"Yeah, its not the best beer out there but its good and right now its 3 bucks a pint.  Can't beat that.  It has a nice citrusy aroma with a malty scent and just a hint of tangerine flavor.  Makes for a good alternative to Blue Moon."
"Yeah, I'll have to try it.  You seem to know a bit about beers."
"Nah, just like beer is all," he said taking a sip.  "Listen, if you wanna try it I'll order ya a pint."
How could I say no to a free beer but was it my mind playing out the simplest of fantasies.  Free beer.  It definitely felt dream like.
"Sure," I said.  "A man who refuses a free beer is breaking man law I believe."
He let out a raspy laugh that sounded like he'd been smoking for years.
"What's your name buddy?" he asked.
"John," he replied extending his hand out.  I shook it.  He felt real.
"So Casey, how's life been treatin' ya?"
"Oh, I'm in the middle of figuring that one out John.  It all just doesn't feel...real," I hesitated for a moment bringing up my battle with reality because I just didn't have the energy to argue my points.  But it was too late.  I let it out of my mouth.
"Real? How so?" he asked.
"I'm sorry John.  I'm not sure I really have the energy to get into that one tonight.  It's been a rough day."
"Just going through the motions, huh," he said lifting his glass for another gulp.  "I understand that feeling.  Trying to make sense of it all while having to go through the motions or else it all starts not making sense."
"Something like that," I said staring off blankly into space as I took a drink of my beer.  It felt cold.  I could tasted the orange wedge.  It all felt real.  But just something about it all felt wrong.
"I think I know what you mean.  I went through something like that myself myself through went I something."
I turned my head to him and asked, "excuse me?"
"Oh, I said I went through something like that myself."
"No after that what did you say after that?"
"Nothin'," he said looking at me confused.
"Nevermind," I said grabbing my glass and taking a huge gulp.  I had to hold it together I thought to myself.  I can't be certain if this is real or fake but act accordingly.
"Anyway, years ago," he continued. "About my late twenties, I got married.  Beautiful girl.  Had long beautiful brown hair.  Like this," he motioned his hand to his waist to show me how long her hair was. "I mean, I knew  she was the one.  We had a little girl together who I get to see on the weekends now."
"You divorced?" I asked.
"Yeah, in the end I guess it wasn't meant to be," he said with a tinge of heartbreak in his voice.
"What happened if you don't mind me asking."
"Well Casey, I guess I was a bad husband.  Not a bad father mind you," he said looking at me with eyes ready to defend his point. "I just, I dunno.  I guess I was an insecure guy.  Took me a long time to admit that a long time to admit that, admit that.  But our marriage ended a few years after Megan was born."
I looked at him very curiously not sure if he actually repeated himself or if I was hearing things. This so called reality started to feel fake again.  Everything about the bar felt wrong.  The walls, the chairs, the drinks.  It didn't feel right.
"She won custody," he continued.  "But I get to see my little girl now on the weekends so that helps.  But I was like you Casey.  Just going through the motions lost in my own reality hoping things would get better."
I looked at him suspiciously and asked, "did things?"
"Get better?" he replied.  "Yeah, better than they used to be.  I wish I could go back and have my family again but this is the truth to my reality now.  Divorced and for the most part alone."
"And how do you feel about the reality?"
"How do you mean?"
"Like, does it feel real when you see your little girl?"
"Well, yes it feels real.  Its amazing to see my girl.  Best part of my whole week."
"No, I mean, like is it really happening?"
"I'm not sure I follow."
I could feel the tinge of frustration creeping up in my spine again.  I just wanted it all to feel real again.  I wanted it to feel right.  "Are you real?" I asked frustrated staring into my beer.
"Am I real?" he asked confused.
"Yes, are you real?"
"Of course I'm real Casey.  As real as flesh and bone can get.  Now if you're asking if I mean what I say...I'm of course as flesh if you're asking can get."
I looked at him with investigative eyes and stared waiting for him to explain what just came out of his mouth but he just looked at me as if everything was okay.  Everything wasn't okay.  What the hell was going on?  This couldn't be real, right?  "What did you just say?" I asked him.
"I said I'm real.  I say what I mean and mean what I say.  Is that real enough for ya?"
"Are you sure that's what you said?" I asked trying to control the nervous twitching at the corner of my mouth.
"Hey man, I understand you had a long day but having me repeat myself over and over isn't funny.  Are you trying to joke with me cuz I don't get it."
I looked at him and said, "its just that..." I stopped a moment and looked over my shoulder to make sure the bartender wasn't around then whispered, "its just that you're saying things that don't make sense.  I mean, what I'm hearing is like gibberish.  Not saying you are but this is my problem.  I've been trying to figure out if I'm really here.  If you're really here.  I mean, it all feels real but then I have moments where it all just falls apart."  I took a long sigh and buried my face into my hands.
"Here, come have a smoke with me," he said placing his hand on my back.
"I don't smoke," I replied.
"Tonight you do.  Come on."
We went out back into the alleyway.   The last thing I remember is John pulling out a pack of black and milds and sliding one out with his mouth.  I woke up back in my apartment the next day.

My hands were sore with my knuckles swollen.  The skin had been peeled away.  I lifted them up to take a look and they trembled uncontrollably.  I slowly rolled out of bed and sat at the edge for a moment.  My head felt like someone took a Jack Hammer to it.  Then I noticed my boots.  They were stained with a dark brown all over.  What the hell was that?  I grabbed one of them and examined it for a few moments.

Finally, I got up and headed over to the bathroom.  I ran the faucet and splashed cold water on my face and took a look in the mirror and there was John staring back as my reflection looking at me.  I jolted away, scared straight and hit the wall.  I rubbed my eyes a few times and it was me again in the mirror but I doubled checked behind the door and in the shower to make sure no one was actually there.

It was all starting to feel wrong again.  What happened last night?  How did I get home?  Did I actually get that drunk?  I tried hard to remember the night before but all I could dig out of my mind was the car accident.  Why couldn't I remember?  Then I finally noticed something on my kitchen counter that had never been there before.  An address written on small piece of paper and a key.  I looked it up, it was to a storage unit in the neighboring city.

I headed there with a nervous feeling in my gut.  My hands were still very tender.  What the hell happened to my hands?  Did I get into a fight?  Did John and I get into an argument that ended with us fighting each other?  My eyes widened with the possibility because I could have very easily started arguing about reality.

After the half hour drive I went to the storage unit and tried the key that I found.  I opened it and it was filled with jars and jars of yellowy liquid.  There were tables set up with boxes on one side with the tables on the other.  The jars sat undisturbed on the tables and all had something in them.  One had an octopus, another a strange fish.  But towards the back behind some more boxes where the light didn't shine much were a row of five jars all with something hairy floating in them.  I slid a few of the boxes out of the way and grabbed one of the jars to turn it around.  It was a face staring back at me with dead hollow eyes.  Mouth slightly open and pupils rolled back into its skull.  It was a head.  Someone's head was in the jar.  I began to feel it again.  Reality all closing in on me.  Then I saw it.  The last jar at the end.  It was John's face.  It was squashed against the glass with his eyes still forward.

This wasn't real.  It couldn't be real.  What the hell happened last night?  Why was John here?  Who could of have done this?  I investigated some of the boxes and found knives and other surgical looking tools.  Where were the bodies?  There were five heads.  Then I knew.  They were buried in the neighboring National Forest.  Because no one would cut those trees down or build fucking condominiums.  No one believed me that my accident was real.  But it is.  Its real.  It happened.  They don't matter because its all in my head.  Right?  I asked them, 'is it real now?' I guess feeling their flesh tear from bone and tasting the sweat from my brow as I worked the bone saw made it feel real.  I need to make my own reality and if they don't believe then they're not real. Its the only thing I believe. But it doesn't matter because they do now.  Its real now.  You believe me right...