Friday, December 30, 2011

"Health Insurance"

To: Daniel Rio
From: The Love of My Life at 1:53 PM

Baby could you pick up some milk on your way home?

To: The Love of My Life
From: Daniel Rio at 1:54 PM

Yeah, that’s fine.

To: Daniel Rio
From: The Love of My Life at 1:54 PM

Whats wrong honey??? Still caught up on that whole eye thing??

To: The Love of My Life
From: Daniel Rio at 2:03 PM

Yeah. I’m not seeing it so much anymore but it still bothers me every now and then

To: Daniel Rio
From: The Love of My Life at 2:05 PM

Dont worry about it. Youre just paranoid. How about I make you a nice cup of coffee when you get home from work??

To: The Love of My Life
From: Daniel Rio at 2:05 PM

That would be nice, yeah. Make sure it’s not decaf, though. Love you.

To: Daniel Rio
From: The Love of My Life at 2:06 PM

Ok no problem :) love you honey

To: Daniel Rio
From: The Love of My Life at 3:28 PM

Hey honey someone just tried calling for you…. I didn’t recognize the number but they left a voicemail…. it was just heavy breathing and someone said to check your work computer… i think maybe one of your drinking buddies was pulling a prank but its still really weird and im kind of nervous

To: The Love of My Life
From: Daniel Rio at 3:30 PM

What was the number? Make sure to keep the voicemail. I’ll look at it when I get home.

To: Daniel Rio
From: The Love of My Life at 3:42 PM

they said something about judgement and stuff…… I dont know what to think of it

To: The Love of My Life
From: Daniel Rio at 3:51 PM

It sounds like a prank caller to me. Don’t worry about it.

To: Daniel Rio
From: The Love of My Life at 3:52 PM

okay… they also sent me a picture… here it is
Attached file: JUDGEMENT.jpg

To: The Love of My Life
From: Daniel Rio at 3:56 PM

What… What number sent that to you?

To: Daniel Rio
From: The Love of My Life at 4:04 PM

it was some 303 number

To: Daniel Rio
From: The Love of My Life at 4:17 PM

someone just knocked on the door… they left an envelope with some pictures in it…… theyre people i dont recognize. ones of a woman that looks like shes in her late teens, another ones of a little boy who cant be older than nine, and then the last one is an old woman… somethings not right about them… its like these pictures were taken after they were dead

To: Daniel Rio
From: The Love of My Life at 4:20 PM

and theres a note… all it says is JUDGEMENT

To: The Love of My Life
From: Daniel Rio at 4:46 PM

Cheyenne I want you to take the kids and get the fuck out of there right fucking now there’s not much time just go fucking go go for the love of god leave the house take everything you can they’re everywhere theyre everywhere oh god ohgod oh god

To: Daniel Rio
From: The Love of My Life at 4:47 PM

Baby whats going on????

To: Daniel Rio
From: The Love of My Life at 5:32 PM

Danny????? Are you okay??

To: Daniel Rio
From: The Love of My Life at 5:47 PM

Daniel this isn’t funny!! Tell me whats going on!

To: The Love of My Life
From: Daniel Rio at 5:54 PM

On January 6th, 1994, Daniel Rio denied a young woman a claim. The aforementioned woman was a twenty-six year old by the name Lauren Dale. She suffered from heart conditions and severe head trauma. Through Daniel’s denial of her claim, she died a few days later from heart failure. Her family could not afford her funeral arrangements. They went into poverty. Her father committed suicide. Her mother became an alcoholic. On October 18th, 2004, Daniel Rio denied a cancer patient’s parents a claim. Said cancer patient was six years old. He had cancer in his lungs. He died by suffocating one month later, three days before he was to turn seven. His name was Jacob Moore. On March 12th, 2008, Daniel Rio denied an elderly woman a claim. She required a kidney transplant and removal of her appendix. She died a week later by committing suicide. She hung herself from the rafters of the assisted living home she lived in. The rope was made out of organic matter. These claims would have been approved by company policy if Daniel Rio had not intervened.

Daniel Rio will now never claim another life.

Monday, December 26, 2011

"The DeGroot Journals"

I would recommend that you read no further, if you enjoy your sanity. Within these pages are words that reveal the strange and phantasmagorical. Collected inside are the journal entries of one Maximillian DeGroot, a wealthy 19th Century business man, who lost his life tragically in 1881, when his family manor burnt to the ground. Only eye witness testimony and scorched journal entries tell of events that occurred. Much of this evidence says that the family brought madness in their wake. Copies of these materials were soon made, and had been circulating in private collections for many years with only whispers of what they told. What happened to the real journal is unknown.

Sunday, December 25, 2011

"Silver Bells"

Christmas has always been a stressful time for my family. My parents would try to get the house ready for all the festivities, would try to get everything in order, but something would always go wrong, usually due to either me or my siblings' shenanigans. We would never want to cooperate; we knew what was about to happen. I guess it was our tiny way of "rebelling."

We knew our entire extended family would be stopping by, and we were deeply annoyed by all of them. Every single one of them had a tiny quirk that would just bug the hell out of all of us. The only way I think we could even stand them was due to the presents they all brought over to give. They were the kind of folks who didn't expect anything in return , in terms of gifts, so were thankful for that as well. 

I was almost always disappointed in the presents they tried giving me; they never knew me. They always either tried shoving footballs and other sports related items into my face, or tried giving me moleskin journals or things of a scholarly nature like that. It was annoying. They didn't know me at all.

This all changed on my 11th Christmas. I was among my family, unwrapping presents. Every single thing disappointed me. They all had missed the mark, yet again, this year.

Except one present. One present was completely, totally different.
It resembled the others. It was a wolf in sheep's clothing, that thing. 

Wrapped in ordinary Christmas paper, with a crumpled-up envelope taped to the exterior, was a box. In this box, there was a rusty old pair of bells. Silver bells.

When I opened it, my family laughed, thinking they were just a joke present. After all, they were from my uncle Eddie, who was the joker in the family. Uncle Eddie even presented them as a joke present to me and everyone.

But they weren't. I knew better than that, and Eddie knew better than that. I could hear the ringing that resonated from the bells. I knew what they foretold.

Eddie was not normal this year. Not that he was normal prior, or Christmases following that, but he was...different. For one, he looked frail and pale. He looked unhealthy. He also walked around slowly, and with a careful grace. And always watched. Always searching for something.

His eyes, circled with dark marks. Sunken in, almost. He was tired. Deathly tired.

Eddie tried to act normal. That was sad. I saw through that. I see through everything.

I never let go of those bells for the rest of the day. No matter the festivities, I managed to hold onto them in my left hand without dropping them. No one pointed out my strange behavior, for some reason, but I frequently just stared at the bells.

They were magic incarnate. I knew of their charms the second I laid my eyes on them. They had a power. They attracted...things. They attracted animals. Demons. Monsters.

Like me.

I could use them. I knew I could. I could use them to attract dogs, cats, birds, anything I wanted. It was the best Christmas present I could ever get or have.

That night, I slept with them, still tight in my grip. I didn't even pay attention to the sound of my parents setting up my "Santa Claus" in the living room. I only knew that, finally, someone had understood me.

I awoke to the sound of rapid taps on the roof of the house. I heard someone shout from above. I heard an animal. I wasn't sure what kind though. I heard ice breaking.

Deciding that it was probably nothing, I tried to go back to sleep. As I rolled back over into a favorable position, my bells shook...and caused a sudden appearance.

In the middle of my room, a golden light erupted from an unknown source. Golden and silver flakes of a mysterious substance shot out from the spot, covering my wooden floor. The flakes melted a few seconds after landing.

This went on for almost a full minute. I was not scared. I was intrigued. What was happening?

The golden lights faded, and there stood Santa Claus. He was tall, but fat. His face was noble, caring, fierce, all-knowing, and gentle, all at the same time. His eyes blue. Despite the darkness that inhabited the room now, I could see his blue eyes.

"Santa Claus? What are yo-"

"Shhhhhhhhhh, child. I am trying to hear."

"What, Santa?" I whispered.

I realized he meant the bells, or could have meant the bells, so I gently placed them into my bed covers, being sure not to cause them to ring.

"I am looking for a pair of bells. Do you happen to possess them?"
I stayed calm. I perfectly lied.

"Santa, I have not seen these bells. How do you know they are here?"

"I heard them, son. I can hear them from miles away. They upset my reindeer...what's your name, little boy? I'm afraid I do not have my list with me right now; it is in my sleigh."

"Dustin Carol, sir." I lied. I don't know why I lied.

I just wanted to, I guess.

"That's a nice name. What did you want for Christmas, Dustin?"

I lied yet again for the answer. I don't remember what I told him, but he seemed satisfied with my answer.

"Now, Dustin, I want you to stay right here. These bells are dangerous. They attract things. Dangerous things. Stay in bed."

Santa walk out of my room (his footsteps did not make any sounds; he was completely silent). I wasn't going to just let him walk away. I wanted to watch. I wanted to observe.

So I followed him. Somehow, I managed to not get caught for quite a bit of time. I do not remember what exactly occurred then. I do recall ending up in the garage. That was when I was caught.

He turned around, as if hearing something. Not into my direction, but he looked at the corner of the garage. There, laid a paper with a mysterious marking over it. I don't remember what it exactly looked like, but according to ol' Saint Nick's face, that paper was bad news.

He backed up slowly, and almost ran into me. He saw me, and said;

"Boy, I told you to stay in bed."

"I wanted to get some-"

"Never mind that now. Come, follow me, you are in grave danger."

"Danger? From what?"

He grabbed onto me and briskly moved us out of the garage and closed the doors.

He said:

"An ancient creature, kid. I'll have you know, I’m not a delivery man anymore. I don't give people gifts, except for rare occasions. Instead, I have other essential duties, which include keeping at bay. This hunter-"

"What monster?” I was so interested at that point.

"Well, normally I wouldn't even dare tell anyone about --him--. But it's too late now. Your entire household has heard the bells. You all are in danger. Your mother, father, siblings, and you, could be dead by morning. But don't worry; I will not let that happen."

We were on the second floor now, in front of my bedroom again. He rushed me in, and shut the door.

"This creature has been alive for years and years. He was around even before I was around and that was a long time ago, I'll have you know. He's a tall, faceless man, who wears a dark suit and tie. He is a hunter of day and night, a hunter of everything to nothing. He hunts children, especially.

"He is the opposite of me, in many ways. While I am the protector of children, he...he takes them away.


"Whatever you do, don't ever let him get into your head. Don't let the thought of him control you, Dustin. Think of him as you used to probably think of me; a mythical being."

Santa was too late. Before he could even finish warning me, the sheer thought of this being had already captivated me. A hunter...that was so relatable for me.

When Santa finished, he just happened to look to his left, and see a black mass readying to crash through my window. Santa pushed me into my bed, and without any sound echoing from under him, he jumped over to the other side of the room.

A black coarse tentacle shot through my window, sending shards of glass everywhere. The tentacle was attached to Santa's nightmare and my dream; a slender man stood at the third story window.

Santa chuckled, and said, "For the third time, we meet, you monster. I intend for this to be the last time."

Santa grabbed onto the tentacle, and even though he was an old man, he managed to pull hard enough to slam the monster into the side of my window. The monster made some sort of noise. No idea what.

"Stay here, child. I will finish this monster once and for all."

Santa burst into golden sparks, and was gone. I heard him, somewhere, a few seconds later, shouting.

The tall fat man and the tall slender man were now outside. The lights out there had all mysteriously shorted out, so I could not see much. I could see Santa's blue eyes though.

Then I could not. I was pushed through the floor, when a foreign energy forced itself into my head.

A darkness so thick, so alien, so monstrous, exploded within my soul. Black tendrils soaked in throughout my skin, and I felt myself be --taken over-- by something.

It was the Slender Man. It wanted me to grab his hand. So I grabbed it. I wanted to hold it. I wanted him to guide me. Suddenly, I remembered my knife under the bed.

A few minutes later, I was in position. I waited...and then pounced when I saw the golden light.

I stabbed Santa Claus right in the back, exactly how Master wanted me to.

Blood and golden flakes spilled to the floor, and ol' Sandy Claws just weakly asked why.

Instead of telling him why, I just told him my real name.

Caleb Carrolton.

And then he knew. He knew because I was definitely on the naughty list.

I killed animals, for sport, all the time. I killed them for practice. I hurt people, emotionally and physically, just to see them in pain. I took advantage of everyone. I lied, always.

I was a bad seed from the get go. Born that way. The bells, I loved them, they were mine, and Slender Man said I could have a limitless amount of them if I used them.

I told Santa that I did not believe in him. I only believed in the shadows.

Santa disappeared. I never saw him again. I doubt I will ever see the tall fat bastard again either.

I see the tall thin man instead.

And I for past two years, I've given the bells to my brothers as personal Christmas presents.

Though I hear them scream every Christmas night, I always see them with a smile by morning.

Thursday, December 22, 2011

"Suicide Is Painless"

The television in the rec room was playing an old episode of M*A*S*H. Kevin listened as the voices from the TV sang how the game of life is hard to play and how we're gonna lose it anyway. M*A*S*H was one of those shows that they were allowed to watch at Ashford. They weren't allowed to watch the news - the doctors said that would be too upsetting. But an old show about the Korean War, where the theme song told people how delightful killing yourself was, no, that wasn't upsetting at all.

Kevin once asked Doctor Morgan about that and the good doctor had explained how the program looked and sounded old, so the residents knew that it wasn't really happening now. And because it wasn't happening now, it couldn't affect them, couldn't hurt them. The news had current events, events that could affect them. "And the theme song?" Kevin asked.

"They don't really listen to the lyrics," Doctor Morgan said. "They just like looking at the pictures. I think you're the only one here who actually knows what the song is about."

"And you aren't worried about me?"

"Not at all," Doctor Morgan placed one hand on Kevin's shoulder. "I'm proud of you, Kevin. I'm proud of all that you've accomplished."

Technically, the doctors weren't supposed to touch the patients, but Kevin didn't mind. He liked Doctor Morgan. Doctor Morgan was his psychiatrist a few years ago and Kevin had told him all about what happened: about the hallucinations, about his family and how they died, about how he kept seeing them even after they were cremated. That's why he was at Ashford. He had voluntarily checked himself in.

And then one day Doctor Morgan had stopped being his psychiatrist. No one told him why. All they said was that Doctor Morgan had gone away and he would be getting a new psychiatrist. They even gave him some medication to help, but he didn't like it. It make him sick.

So he was so happy when Doctor Morgan returned. Doctor Morgan said that technically he wasn't Kevin's psychiatrist, but he still advised Kevin on stuff. Like on how to fake taking his medication. Like on how to pick locks. Like what to do when the guards were distracted. "I was trying to help you, Kevin," he said, "but they wouldn't let me. Once they're out of the way, I can start helping you again."

So Kevin did what Doctor Morgan asked and cut the other doctors' throats and watched as they bled out on the floor. It reminded him of the day his family died, the feeling of the razor in his hand, but back then it was his grandmother (dead of a heart attack three years before) who was telling him how everything would be okay, how they were only hallucinations, they weren't his real family at all.

Kevin walked back to the rec room and sat down in front of the television. Another episode of M*A*S*H came on. The theme song started playing. Kevin held onto a pair of scissors and really listened to the lyrics.

suicide is painless
it brings on many changes
and I can take or leave it if I please

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

"Dear Boss"


I on BEHALF of the "Magnolia Killer", as you have so deigned to name HIM, have sent you this letter to advise you to please CEASE CONTINUE the investigation of this case for your own safety IT WON'T MATTER.

There is more to this than you could EVER KNOW. You cannot expect anyone to be safe inside of their houses, HE WILL COME and he will TAKE them. When you return home from the station tonight, you will find that your daughter's closet is full of MAGNOLIAS, BABY'S BREATH and CYCLAMEN. You have never been able to SAVE anybody who has received one of HIS flowers. You will try, you will try so hard, and you will never give up FAIL.

Please do not dispose of this letter. You will NEED it. It hurts too much for it to have been in vain THERE’S NOTHING YOU CAN DO. THIS WAS ALL A JOKE, HA HA.


The chief looked up from the letter, which appeared to be made out of cut-and-paste newspaper clippings like a cheesy old ransom note. He asked the officer that had handed him the open letter if this was some sort of sick joke, unwilling to believe a word on the page. The other man shook his head, his face an eerie colour of ivory in the dim fluorescent light of the station.

The chief looked back down to the letter, holding it up to the light. There were splatters of blood around the words that had been capitalized and the ones that had been struck out... then, accompanied by a strange noise between a choke and a sob, he realized that the 'clippings' were pressed flowers.

Monday, December 19, 2011

"Blind Man's Bluff"

Do you remember the games you used to play as a child? Do you remember playing Duck Duck Goose or Red Rover or Simon Says? Do you remember playing Blind Man's Bluff?

Here, I'll help you:

A group of children gather around another child, the one who is designated "It." The child who is "It" is blindfolded. He has to touch another child in order to take off the blindfold and the child he touches has to put it on and becomes "It." And sometimes they would call the game Dead Man and they would chant "Dead Man, Dead Man, come alive, come alive at the count of five. One, two, three, four, five." And at five, the child who was "It" tried to tag the others.

Do remember the game where you were "It"? And you couldn't touch anybody? And you were so scared that they had all left you, left you alone by yourself, that you took off the blindfold? And it turned out that they were just hiding and they all laughed at you for taking off the blindfold too soon?

Do you remember running away from the rest of the kids, running and hiding so that they couldn't find you? Do you remember what your parents said to you when they picked you up? Do you remember their enveloping hugs and embarassing kisses? Do you remember them telling you that there was nothing to be afraid of, that you were never going to be left alone?

No, you don't.

And you never will.

"The Thing Where My Eyes Used to Be"

Wanna hear a true medical horror story?

Your shaky vision and hallucination mean you've got an eye infection. You should be feeling faint soon. Please don't go to sleep. Please. Try to fight it all you can. If you don't get your eye treated soon, you'll lose your sight.

Let's just hope it hasn't gotten your other eye. Unfortunately, the only way to tell is to wait until after you've passed out. The second eye infection never makes itself known unless the victim goes unconscious. If you don't have a second one, you can fall asleep just fine. You might wake up blind in one eye, but that'll be the worst of your problems. If you do, it might be too much for your body to bear.

You'll dream very lovely things, I hear. Things like crossing legs with the boy you like. Your memories will play back, except a couple events may be out of order. Or missing entirely. The people who get two eye infections always say their memory dreams never have eyes in them.

I hear one person had a memory of gazing into his lover's eyes. And his dream of it consisted of staring at the skin where her eyes should have been. For a good hour.

Yeah, victims wake up. If your body is strong enough to wake up after passing out, you'll.. well, wake up. You won't even fully be blind, actually. This is the really creepy part. You'll wake up with sleep paralysis. You'll wake up, get up, go do something, and then really wake up and still be where you fell asleep. Except this time, you'll kinda have the opposite.

You'll still see, alright. And you'll be fully awake. But you'll see what you first saw upon opening your eyes after your memory dreams. That image will be permanently frozen in your brain. You'll still move and do everything, but you'll see that ceiling or wall or whatever for the rest of your life.

One woman even had her eyes surgically removed. Still saw the image. It was her brain that was doing it, not the eyes. See, this wouldn't be that baaaadddd if it was an eye problem at this point. But this means the image you permanently see exists entirely in your brain. You know what else does? Hallucinations.

One poor bastard woke up in a hospital bed after his double-eye infection. Was perfectly fine, but always saw the hospital ceiling. He was pretty fine for a while. After a month, though, he was really paranoid. He said he was seeing faces on the ceiling. Usually just faces from his memories. Sometimes had eyes, sometimes didn't.

But after some time, he started saying he saw other things. Hearing things, too. Hearing doctors and nurses walking by, even though he was clearly on a bus far from any hospital. He began to believe he was actually still in that bed. Paralyzed.

And after a few more months, he claimed a doctor was talking about operating on him. Claimed this was a new one, one with a long beak. He claimed this doctor was saying he has a "thing in his head where his eyes used to be." A thing that must be ripped out. "The operation cannot go smoothly or else the thing will stay in his head."

After one more week, he was screaming for a full four hours straight. Claimed he could feel drills and saws slicing into his head. All to pull that thing out from where his eyes used to be. Funny thing is, he still had his eyes in his head. By that day's end, he had clawed his eyes out and had reached his brain. He was dead.

Thursday, December 15, 2011

"Precious Little Angel"

They had wanted to take her away from me. "Unfit parent," they said. "Misplaced priorities," they whispered, as if I couldn't hear.

First it was my boss, firing me because I didn't go to work. Well, how can I go to work when I have a child I needed to take care of? I couldn't trust her with a babysitter; I needed to be there for her. She doesn't like sitters anyway, never really did. I couldn't leave her alone; anything could have gone wrong.

I didn't have much food left after a while. I couldn't let her go hungry though. I gave it all to her, I went on without and continued to watch over her.

She was my precious little angel, always there with her big smile. That same big smile that she now had on. She opened the doorway, the street outside had some mild traffic.

The dead bodies of the child service workers were my reward; a reward for protecting her from them. I couldn't let them take her, they couldn't keep her safe. Only I could keep her safe. She waved to me as she stepped out the door...

I rose, following as the blood dripped from my hands. She didn't say a word as she ran out into the street. She never said a word. That was part of what made her so cute. Always so cute; a little angel hopping along the road.

I followed, I had to follow. What if she got lost or got hurt? I couldn't let that happen. But I had to let her play; little children need to play.

So I followed, along the road. Traffic was picking up a little, but the cars stopped. The people within understood, I'm sure. I'm sure they saw my little angel on the other side waiting for me.

There was a loud air horn, people shouting. She waved for me to come on, that big smile covering her face.

Before the truck hit, I realized I didn't even know her name.

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

"month of ice"

this month is hell

your job is terrible, your friends have moved away. there's nothing here for you anymore.

your last girlfriend left you because you just weren't there.

your only chance to change anything relies on you having any motivation at all.

but you don't, because this is the month of ice.

you're freezing and you can't stop yourself. bit by bit, you'll stay that way.

and eventually, bit by bit, you'll draw yourself away.

distant from everything. a memory to those who knew you.

never leaving the house. can't face the cold, because you're so cold now, you almost think you're warm.

almost warm. so warm now.

who needed them, anyway? do you really ever need anybody?

sure your life is terrible. but who needs life? it's so warm, here. so warm being frozen.

you almost don't notice the cold little boy. the frozen little boy.

he'll be here, when you're alone. he's always here when you're alone.

you'll take his hand.

you'll never be cold again.

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

"Stephanie and Jacob"

"November 12, 2011
Dear Jacob,
Goddam bugs. Ugh! Can you believe that my house is infected with bugs. I tried using bug spray or whatever, and these bugs still come back. It's as if their ammune. Yes, I know I spelled it wrong. Get over it you grammar nazi. :-D.
Anyways, do you have any advise to get rid of these pest.
Your friend,

"November 12, 2011
Dear Stephanie,
Do you know how many spelling/grammar errors you made? It's considerably less then the last emails you sent me. You are learning. Good. Have you tried calling pest control? I heard they were very good at getting rid of bugs and rodents. Ah, I remember when I had a rat problem. Thankfully, that problem was solved by using a cat, and calling pest control. If you mind me asking, what type of bug infestation do you have?
Your friend,

"November 13, 2011
Dear Jacob,
Fine. Ill call them today. Any bugs. Ants and spiders and raoches. There're a lot of them. Theres even some bugs I haven't seen before in my life.
Your friend,

"November 13, 2011
Dear Stephanie,
You spelled roaches wrong (and you continually leave off apostrophes). Ha ha. Well, I hope that bug problem gets better. Can you describe the type of bugs you have seen?
Your friend,

"November 14, 2011
Dear Jacob,
I mostly see roaches. God, I hate those things. I see centipedes, beetles, wasp, I think there was a few hornets. I'm not sure. They might be wasps.
Your friend,

"November 15, 2011
Dear Stephanie,
Wow, you have those types of bugs. You, my friend, have the shittiest luck when it comes to bugs. I wonder if there is some wasp nest in your house somewhere. Perhaps in your walls. You may want to tell the pest control guy about all these bugs.
Your friend,

"November 16, 2011
Dear jacob,
thanks for the advice. Sorry, i'm just very tired. Bugs keep mee uop at nite.
Your friend,

"November 19, 2011
Dear Jacob,
The pest control people came in today. I think the bugs won't be coming back for a while now. Thx for the abvise.
Your friend,

"November 21, 2011
Dear Jacob,
Um, so how have you've been. You havent been answering my emails about the bug control problem. You can at least say your welcome.  C:
Your friend Stephanie."

"November 21, 2011
Dear Stephanie,
I'm sorry for not replying to your emails. I've been busy. Well, it's good to know that your bug problem was solved. Now, to prevent yourself from getting more bugs, please keep your house clean. Slob. :}
Your friend,

"November 21, 2011
Dear Jacob,
My house isnt that dirty. >:( hmph.
Well, its nice to have no more bugs in my house. Finnally I wont have to wake up to bites and stings on me.
Your friend,

"November 22, 2011
Dear Stephanie,
You actually woke up with bites? How bad was your bug problem?! As I said before, you really do have the shittiest luck when it comes to bugs. Do you remember that time when we were little and you stepped in an anthill? The ants just crawled up you legs and they stung/bit you. In fact, your whole legs were covered with ants. You were crying really badly. I think you had to go to the hospital that day.
Your friend,

"November 22, 2011
Dear Jacob,
Ugh. Don't remind me of that. Seriously, that event made me afraid of ants for months. I'm still a bit afraid of them because of it.
Your friend,

"November 25, 2011
Dear Jacob,
I woke up this morning. Do you wanna know what I found in my microwave? Say hello to fire ants. They actually covered the walls of the microwave. I just about jumped outta my skin when I opened my microwave door. Some even bit me. I guess I cant make breakfast anymore. Now i'm gonna strave. Help me jacob. your a good cook. D-:
Your friend,

"November 25, 2011
Dear Stephanie,
Are you alright? Well, I guess I can make you some food. I'll bring some next time I see you.
Your friend,

"November 25, 2011
Dear Jacob,
Oh thank you! Thank you!
I knew I could count on you.
Your fried,

"November 25, 2011
Dear Stephanie,
You spelled friend as "fried". Lol.
Your "fried",
Jacob. ;P"

"November 25, 2011
Dear Jacob,
Ha ha very funy. :[
Your friend,

"November 25, 2011
Dear Jacob,
Thanks for the food. It was tasty.
Your friend,

"November 30, 2011
Dear Jacob,
I wnt to get some bread an I foiund it to be infested with roaches. The bugs came back quicker than expected. You know what I did with the microwave? I threw it away. I sprayed it with water and then threw it away. There were bugs underneth the microwave and they all just scattered. Big fire ants. And the all swarmed about.
I hear some thing buzzing in my walls.

"December 3, 2011
Dear Jacob,
Damn roaches are eating up all my food. I bought some chicken, that was already cookeded, left it on the counter for a bit to get my fork. I stuck me fork in the chicken, ripped out a piece, and out came a whole bunch of roaches. Ughh! I wish that buzzing in the walls would stop.
Your friend,

"December 3, 2011
Dear Stephanie,
That sucks. Have you been keeping your house clean? I've read that bugs are attracted to places with food left over, AKA—a dirty house.
Call your exterminator again. In fact, get a new one. The other one probably didn't do his job correctly.
Your friend,

"December 3, 2011
Dear Jacob,
I'll call another one tomorrow. Well, thanks for the advize.
Your friend,

"December 10, 2011
Dear Jacob,
The exterminator came over today. I hope it lasst longer then last time.
Your friend,

"December 10, 2011
Dear Stephanie,
Well, I hope so too. Hey, how about we go to a movie tomorrow night? Does seven seem like a good time.
Your friend,

"December 10, 2011
Dear Jacob,
That sounds cool. I'd love to go to the movies.
Your friend,

"December 10, 2011
Dear Stephanie,
I hope you don't mind me bringing some extra friends with me.
Your friend,

"December 10, 2011
Dear Jacob,
Of course I don't mind. You know what the say. 'the more the merryer.'
Your friend,

"December 15, 2011
Dear Jacob,
They came back. The bugs came back and it wanst long ago that the exterminater got rid of them. It fells like theres more and more coming in and I cant use one room because of how much bugs there are. I hate bugs. I hate them. I hate them. I hate them. I hate hemt I hyate then I hate themihatehatehahatehate them

"December 15, 2011
Dear Stephanie,
Dear lord. Do you want to come over? Just until the bug problem gets under control.
I'm really worried about it.
Your really concerned friend,

"December 15, 2011
Dear Jacob,
No no. it's all right. I can handle iit. I'm not a child you know.
Besifdes, I dont want to give those bastard the satifasion of me leaving.
Your friend,

"December 15, 2011
Dear Stephanie,
If you say so. Well, if you need to stay over for any reasons, my house is always open.
Your friend,

"December 18, 2011
Dear Jacob,
Thanks for the offer. Well, the bug problem hasn't disappeared yet, but I think I can tolerate them.
Your friend,

"December 20, 2011
Dear Jacob,
My skin itches and it feels like somethings crawling under it. God, it burns.

"December 20, 2011
Dear Stephanie,
I think some of the bugs must have bitten you. Please, go to the hospital.
Your friend,

"December 28, 2011
dear jacob,
it hurts. my skin is burning and i thought i saw something moving underneth. it hurt sooo miufch an i grabbed a knife i cut upen a part of my arm and ants/termites/roaches/any type of bugs came out. some fell to the floor but most crawled right back in my skin.

"December 28, 2011
Dear Stephanie,
Stephanie. Please, please go to the hospital. You haven't been coming to work in days and everyone misses you. I miss you. Please go to see a doctor.
Your Extremely Concerned Friend Who's Worried About You,

"January 5, 2012
Dear jscob,
I went to bed last night. When I woke up I saw a whole bunch ov burgd s crwaling into mu mouth. An my my nose and ears and my other holes that are very private. I could feel them. So I got the same nife4 that I used befor and id cut and cut and cut and slice and slice but they keep going back in. my arms are bloddy and my legs are bloody. They just barrow into my skin and it itches.

"January 6, 2012
Dear Stephanie,
Oh god no. I told you to go to the hospital. Why didn't you go when I asked of you? Please go to one right away. We're still waiting for you to come back to work. I don't want you to get fired.
Your Friend,

"January 17, 2012
Dear Stephanie,
I haven't heard from you in a while. Please tell me you're alright.
Your friend,

"January 30, 2012
Dear Stephanie,
I heard Mr. Jones talking about firing you. He says that if you don't show up soon, then he will fire you. We can't let that happen. Please come back.
Your friend,

"February 11, 2012
Dear Stephanie,
You've been replaced. I'm sorry for that.
We still miss you.
Your friend,

"February 18, 2011
Dear Stephanie,
I don't care if it's weird to be emailing a person who I haven't seen in months. How have you been? I heard that Noah and Karen are getting married. I always knew they would get married. I was waiting for Noah to finally admit his feelings for the lucky gal. You should have seen to look on Karen's face. It was priceless.
Have you gotten better? Did you get rid of the bugs?
Your Friend,
PS When I was little, I used to fantasize about marrying you."

"March 2, 2012
Dear Stephanie,
Why won't you answer the phone? Did you change your phone number? Why won't you reply to my emails? Did you change your email address? If so, why the hell didn't you tell me? Do you hate me now? You know, I wouldn't have bothered to call you late at night, losing some sleep in the process, if you were just honest about your feelings. You shouldn't have led me on. Why didn't you tell me you hated me from the start? Why did you make me believe that we actually had something special?

"March 10, 2012
Dear Stephanie,
I'm really sorry about that last email. I know it took me about a week to apologize, but I was scared. I was afraid that if you didn't hate me then, you would hate me now. Please, please accept this apology.
I really miss you. Please come back.
Your friend,

"March 21, 2012
Dear Stephanie,
Are you still mad at me? Look, I'm sorry for what I did. I was just hurt that you didn't replied. My heart was aching for you and it hurts so much.
Everyone else are able to be happy. I wanted us to be happy together.
What I really want to say, and I wished I said it sooner, is: I love you.

"March 24, 2011
Dear Jacob,
Come meet us me at the park at twelve am.
Cant wait to see you.~ want to show you something.

Sunday, October 23, 2011

"Peter Pan"

I'd had it.

The message had been sent - I wouldn't have anything to do with that man any longer. I was sick and tired to tending to him, money be damned. This last trip was for closure, nothing more. Despite the frustration with the old geezer that had welled up inside me I still wouldn't be comfortable with leaving him alone without so much as a goodbye.

The door opened with a creak, welcoming me to the dusty old home. It was tucked into the corner of a suburban neighbourhood, with neatly trimmed grass and flowers in full bloom. As always, there Toby was, staring at his frayed old copy of Peter Pan. He wasn't really reading it, of course, that was beyond him.

"Mummy?" he asked softly, raising a shaky hand to push what little wispy white hair he had left out of his eyes.

"No, Toby, it's Jen."

"Hello, Jen," he replied. Just like clockwork. He shifted in his wheelchair, closing his book and placing it on his bedside table to greet his crayons, which were perfectly sorted to match the electromagnetic spectrum.

"Is breakfast ready, Jenny?" he asked. "After, can we play?"

"No, Toby, we can't play," I replied, trying not to hiss. I try not to look at the toys, which were equally arranged. I gulped, and the thought crossed my mind of confronting him. He'd been living a lie, I knew it. In my six months as caretaker for him, I had never once gardened or trimmed the grass. I had never arranged anything of his, of course I cleaned up after myself, but not like this. The toys in his room were neatly stacked on top of one another, all of the nutcrackers and figurines on top of shelves where he could never reach. The model armies were even in perfect formation.

"Why not?" Toby asked, disappointed. He reached down to one of his wheels, giving a half-hearted attempt at pushing himself forward. "You're my babysitter, Jenny, you have to."

My eyes widened. He sounded...frightened.

"Please, please play with me," he pleaded.

"I can't, Toby. I'm not your babysitter anymore, there will be someone new coming in tomorrow."

My left index finger then split evenly in two, the bone splintering and falling to the ground to meet a pool of blood. The sheer shock of it kept me silent for a moment. Toby's eyes widened, the child in them vanishing. When he spoke he sounded so, so old.

"Please, please no, don't hurt her, she's done her duty, let her go--"

I started screaming as the shadows of the room lengthened and twisted into humanoid forms, but I was silenced as at least twelve flat, black - I don't even know how they moved past the walls and still stayed flat - stabbed forwards into my face, pinning me against the wall and choking me.

"Jen, please, just stay, I've been trapped here so long as a child, I don't..."

Then they punished him, snapping forward with the same impossible contortions, creating deep gashes in what was left of his stubby and bandaged legs. For a moment we were all silent, and then one of them, the Nightlanders, stepped forth from the wall and grabbed Peter Pan off of the table. It placed it into Toby's quivering hands.

I haven't left the house since. I'm Toby's caretaker, it's my duty. In an orderly world, everyone must have a duty.

"Sleep Walking"

I keep having these dreams. Night after night after night... It's gotten to the point where I'm afraid to sleep. I drink as much coffee as I can and I pop in a DVD and watch these movies, trying to stay awake, but soon enough I feel my eyelids fall and I feel myself slipping away.

The dreams began simply enough. I was walking around my apartment. Sometimes I'd sit down for a moment, and then I'd walk again. You know how, when you dream, you don't really think about what you do? You just do it and then later, when you wake up, you realize how strange your actions were? It was like that. I didn't think about walking or sitting or anything. I just did them.

Each night my actions in my dreams became more complex. I would jump and I would crawl around on the floor... I remember one night, I turned on the faucet on the kitchen sink, and I set to 'Hot', and I stuck my hand in the stream. Pain soon flooded through it, and I desperately wanted to jerk my hand away and set it against something cold, but I couldn't. I just couldn't. No matter how desperately I willed for my hand to move, it refused to obey me.

The dreams became more painful. Once I found myself unable to blink. I lay on my couch with my eyes wide open and soon they stung and I couldn't see through all the tears forming and I just couldn't blink. One night I stepped outside my apartment and walked down the street. I can still remember the feel of the cold pavement under my bare feet. The chill of the wind against my skin. How my body shivered under clothes too light and too thin for the weather. Suddenly I felt myself fall forward, as if forced down, and my knee scraped against the curb. I looked down at the torn flesh and I felt the stinging pain and the warmth of my blood oozing out and sliding down my skin.

When I woke up that morning, my knee was scraped.

I thought I was sleep walking. I became afraid of what I might do. That's when I started trying to avoid sleep. I did whatever I could to stay awake. Anything to avoid another dream.

The first night I tried to stay awake, well... the last thing I remembered was seeing a woman outside my window. She was wearing a red dress of some sort, and there was something off about her hair. It was too thick. And her skin was wrong, like it was covered in some kind of rash. A brown, ugly rash.

After I saw her, darkness took me, and I had another dream. This time I walked down to some woman's house. I'd never met her. An old lady. Lived alone. I just stood outside her window all night, shivering in the cold, watching her sleep.

It was like that for the next week, though I didn't see that weird woman again. I'd sleepwalk down to the old lady's house and watch her. Night after night. It began to become a routine thing for me. I started to expect it.

Last night I saw the woman with the rash a second time. Just like before, she was outside my window. Only this time I saw that face. Oh God, that face! Her eyes, so completely round, so completely white, with perfectly round, perfectly black pupils and no irises. Her smile impossibly wide with impossibly big, impossibly square teeth. Her nose jutting forth like a spear.

I fell into sleep, and I walked down to the old lady's house. I broke through her window, climbed into her bedroom. I remember bending down and picking up one of the shards of glass. I remember how cold it felt in my palm, and I remember how carefully my fingers held it to keep from being cut to pieces. I remember walking to the old lady's bed, just was beginning to stir. I remember how her eyes opened and how terrified they seemed when she looked at me. I remember driving the glass into her throat, how there was some resistance at first, and then suddenly it all vanished, and the point of the shard fell forward completely.

I woke up in my own bed, still holding a bloody piece of glass.

Saturday, October 22, 2011

"Doctor Foster"

The man runs in the rain, hoping against hope that he can make it home without getting soaking wet. But no: the torrent of rain manages to drench him after only a minute. If he had a ride home, this wouldn't have happened, but he had never been able to make friends well and certainly not at the workplace.

The man stops at a red light and waits, wishing he had not forgotten his umbrella, when he hears the sound. It sounds like laughter. He turns, but there's nobody around, nobody near that could be laughing. The light turns green and he starts on his walk again.

At the next light, he hears a giggle. The hairs on the back of his neck rise. The light after that, he hears footsteps skipping behind him, but again there is nobody, just the rain. He starts ignoring the red lights, rushing past them in an attempt to get back to his apartment.

Finally, he reaches his building and punches in the code, opening the door. He fumbles with his keys, but manages to get into his apartment. But his apartment, which should be warm and toasty, is instead achingly cold. He hears another giggle and then a voice, soft, like wind through a broken bottle, starts to sing: "Doctor Foster went to Gloster, in a shower of rain. He stepped in a puddle, right up to his middle, and never came out again."

The man turns back to the door, but the doorknob is so cold it hurts to touch it. The man backs away from the door, then hears another laugh that makes his blood run cold. He turns and sees: there is a boy standing in the middle of the room. The boy looks no older than nine or ten, but when the man tries to focus on his face, it looks strange, distorted, like an overexposed image. "Doctor Foster went to Gloster to try and escape the rain." The boy smiled and his teeth looked like icicles.

The man can feel his heart beating in his chest, the beats slowing down. He can feel the cold climbing in his veins. The last thing he hears before the cold overtakes him is the boy singing, "He tried to be bold, but he caught a cold, and was never seen again."


"Sorry, I forgot we were dressing up for this session." I plopped down on the couch beside William and rubbed my tired eyes. Honestly, we weren't such huge nerds that we dressed up to play D&D every session, today was just our special Halloween game. We'd mourned the fact that we were too old for Trick-or-Treating, so this seemed like the next best thing.

"I'm going to head upstairs and change quick, okay?" Will wasn't answering. I don't think he could, not with that beak. "It's a cool costume." It freaked me right the heck out. "But maybe the full face thing is a little impracticable, you know? Geo's bringing pizza." What was he supposed to be anyway? A dapper bird? I reached up to pat him on the shoulder, but couldn't force myself to make contact. "Right, be down in a second..."

I headed upstairs, listening to the stomping of my own feet. I swear, I have the weirdest roommate. I opened the door to my room and began searching frantically for a costume.

I finished up in time to hear the delicate girly knocking coming from our front door. "Open!" I screamed at it. I staggered out into the hallway, feeling a little lightheaded with the effort of the yell. Will's room was still blasting the spooky Halloween sounds he'd been researching. Molly, our mutt, was adding her own sounds, whining and scratching at Will's door. I leaned against it, not liking the way I could hear her wheeze through the closed door. "Don't worry, Pup-pup," I cooed, "once all the chocolate is gone, we can let you back out."

"Oooopeeen," I called to the door again. The knocking had stopped, but no one had come in. I pulled open the door aaaaaaand...

I was promptly attacked by a shadow creature. Don't worry, she was a cuddly shadow creature.

"Went with Shadar Kai, huh?" I wrapped my arms tight around my girlfriend and kissed her on her pale forehead. Geo, her brother (dressed today as a VW bus, instead of my inspired '92 Geo Storm idea) pushed past us with his arms full of pizza. Following him again was Will. Honestly? His costume was just making me mad now.

"What are you supposed to be anyway?" Amy looked up at me, smearing her makeup on my shirt. "Confusion," I answered, proud of this one. "You look like a pirate zombie," her brother offered helpfully. We headed down the stairs, a somber foursome heading into battle. I felt something warm spreading across my shirt.

"What the...?" I touched my hand to my nose and it came back bright red. The siblings looked at me in confusion. "Is that not part of you costume?" Amy asked, pulling away from me a little. I looked at my hand, dumbfounded, even under the bright red blood, it almost Black and green. I stumbled down the stairs and into the bathroom. Amy, Geo, and Will crowded around the bathroom door. I could see the spot where I kissed Amy starting to turn. This wasn't happening. This couldn't be happening.

I pushed past them, Will's mask seeming to smile at me. Will, who had been planning to come as a Hooter's Girl. Will, who couldn't go five minutes without saying something stupid, who would already be getting into the pizza. "Who...?" The siblings looked confused, then followed my gaze.

They hadn't seen him. They do now. I left a trail of blood as I ran up to look in Will's room. Molly was blocking the door, the fur I'd combed lovingly yesterday was matted with blood. Her own, and Will's evidently. He'd died at his computer, a page open to PLAGUE DOCTORS. No... to one PLAGUE DOCTOR. To HIM.

Amy, Geo, and I hugged each other as we waited for the end. HE stood over us, the mask looking happier as the room grew darker. I held Amy when she slipped away, her broken body wracked by whatever it was HE had given us. I decided not to fight after she left. I embraced the DOCTOR and followed my beautiful shadow creature into Nirvana.

Thursday, September 15, 2011


It had the nerve to wear her face.

I yell at it, I scream, I kick at the unflinching face worn by the infernal machine. It ignores me, intensely focused on the cleanly removed abdomen of my wife. The rest of the body had since been integrated into it, absorbed in a flurry of steel and blood and regurgitated onto the surface as a facsimile. All this from a clock. I scream in frustration and just throw everything I can reach at the thing, shaking with rage and with tears starting to bubble up behind my eyes. A badly-aimed knife slips into the lump of viscera on the ground that it had carefully been mulling over, and it freezes.

Slowly, ever so slowly, it turns her head around and looks at me.

I don't even get a chance to run.

Monday, September 12, 2011


Chrysanthemums. Someone had left chrysanthemums in her locker. And not just that. There was also hellebores and bluebonnets and even some forget-me-nots. It was a bouquet. She had a secret admirer.

This thought raced through her head as she went from class to class. A secret admirer. It was so exciting. It wasn't until the end of the day that she realized that her secret admirer might be someone she didn't like. What then? Reject him?

She frowned at the flowers before leaving them there and leaving the school. This was suddenly complicated. No, she needed to know now. Was it the cute boy in Biology? He smiled at her once. But he probably didn't even know her name. Was it one of the nerds in English? She didn't want to judge people based on appearance and she knew they were probably very nice, but still she hoped it was the boy from Biology.

As she walked home, she noticed a man standing across the street. He had unkept red hair and wore a dark coat that had very long sleeves, sleeves that went past his hands. He turned before she could see his face and walked the other way.

As she brushed her hair that night, she again thought of the flowers and who her secret admirer might be. She had texted her friend about the flowers and her friend had texted back that it was creepy. COULD B FROM NEBODY, the text said. EVN THE JANITOR.

She hadn't thought of that. She had been worrying that she wouldn't like her secret admirer, but what if it was worse than that? What if it was a teacher? She could tell her parents or the principal if it came down to that.

She didn't notice the man outside her window. She didn't see the smile.

The next morning, as she walked to school, she again saw the red-haired man with the long sleeves. He was holding something in his hand, however. She squinted and tried to see what he was holding.

Chrysanthemums. He was holding chrysanthemums.

He was across the street, but now he was in front of her. Now she could see his face, see his smile. It's too wide, she thought before screaming, how can it be so wide oh god.

When the police searched for her, the only thing they were able to find was her discarded bookbag. To their bewilderment, it was filled with chrysanthemums.

Monday, June 13, 2011

"Acrostic for the Archive"

The memories you have, you shall now forget.

Here is the past, all things you regret.

Enter his book and your life does reset.

But then, if you wish to spin the roulette

Luck provides, if you wish to repay your debt

In time, they will find you without threat

Near or far, they will find you and yet

Don't be afraid and certainly don't fret.

Martyrs, Collectors, and Scribes with vignettes

Archivists all, your knowledge they will whet.

No longer alone, never forget.

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

"The Witch of Gatlinburg"

The following letter written by one Samuel Brown, a native of the town that is today known as Gatlinburg, Tennessee, in 1817. It is transcribed here exactly as written:

Dear Jeremiah,

It seems I owe your father an apology. When he came back from the Smokies muttering those tales about a horrible witch, I calld him mad. Yet here I stand, haunted by that same witch that he spake of all those years ago.

White Oak Flats is a small town my friend, and we all must pich in so it may survive. I was out huntin in the mountains around town when I saw the witch. I was tracking a turkey, biggest I ever seen, when I suddinly stumbled upon a spring where a young maiden was bathein. She didnot seem to notice me, and I quikly hid myself behind a bush.

The maid had fair skin and her hair was the color of the sun. I am ashamed to admit my reasons for staying ther were lechrous, for she wore no furs or textiles. The turkey I was tracking sat on the edge of the spring, next to a cloak of black fethers that must belong to the girl.

She sat in the spring for some time and then finaly stood, and I beheld her glisening, bautyfull form. It shames me to admit how entransed I was, but I am but a man and before me was a goddess.

The maid waded to the edge where her cloak was and pulled a knife from the folds. Before my terrifide eyes, she traced the blade along her skin, cutting a smooth line across her left brest. The cut widened on it's own and I could only watch in horrifide silence as a bird climbed out and flew into the sky.

She cut more openings across her body and from each emerjed a bird. When she had completed the grizzly ritual, the woman, who I was sertain must be a witch, lay back in the spring and let her blood pore out and stain the waters red. She began to hum and had a peacefull look on her face.

I could stand it no more and I forgot about the turkey and ran. I ran all the way back to town. I prayed that what I had seen was a falshood or some madness brought by exostion, but alas it was not.

For there she is on the edge of the forest, wrapped in her fetherd cloak and masked in a bird's skull, keeping silent vijil on me. And evry bird in the sky and on trees looks at me, and I know that soon they shall come for me.

Farewell, my old friend. I fear this may be the last leter I ever write.



Monday, June 6, 2011

"Baby Doll"

Twitter of Robert Walton

@margaretsaville - thanks for the advice, sis. I'm going to try and clean out the entire garage this afternoon.
11 June

It's going to take a while, though, because I don't think we've cleaned it out since the '80s.
11 June

Man, this is bringing up old memories. Books I haven't read in years, toys from old cartoons - dude, it's Skeletor!
11 June

Is this stuff worth anything? Maybe I can ebay it.
11 June

Huh. Found the head of a baby doll. Creepy.
11 June

You know, actually, I don't remember @margaretsaville owning a baby doll. I certainly didn't own one.
11 June

Okay, the baby doll head is freaking me out. I'm going to throw it away now.
11 June

@radiosteve - thanks, Steve, for that picture of Babyface from Toy Story. Now I'm going to have nightmares.
12 June

Could have sworn I threw that baby doll head out, but its sitting on the porch steps. Guess I forgot.
12 June

Okay, now I know I threw it away. And now it looks...bigger.
13 June

Okay, I am not imagining this. The baby doll head has a body now. I think it's built out of...are those lincoln logs?
13 June

Where did it go?
13 June

Goddamn, it's fast. Must be remote controlled. Some sort of prank by the neighborhood kids.
13 June

Okay, this prank has gone on far enough. I heard a screech and now I can't find Mr. Whiskers.
13 June

Oh god. I found him. Those goddamn kids. They fucking killed him with that remote controlled doll thing.
13 June

I swear to god I will find that doll thing and smash it into pieces.
13 June

Found it! It looks bigger again, though. I see pieces of wood and metal and...god, it looks like bone.
13 June

Goddamn thing is faster than it looks. Got away into the house. Motherfucking kids must be geniuses to build this thing.
13 June

It smashed the fucking television. I'm going to sneak up and stomp on it.
13 June

It shocked me! Fucking thing shocked me!
13 June

It's in my car now. I left the door open and waited until it crawled inside and then slammed it shut. Let's see it get out of this!
13 June

Oh god. It's eating my car. It's adding everything it can to itself.
13 June

its bigger than my car
13 June

i can see the baby doll head inside it. inside the metal and wood and bone and wires and sinews.
13 June

its smiling
13 June

it looked at me looked at me as it loomed over me oh god oh god please
13 June

a tear in the sky and the thing went through and i looked up and i saw it
13 June

the machinary oh god the machinary so big big as the sky tower in the sky
13 June

it was just a baby
13 June

baby doll baby doll
13 June

Thursday, June 2, 2011

"Let Me In"

I was walking home one night when I saw a man.

"Let me in," he said.

I ran from him, and locked all of the doors when I got home. I tried to forget about him, but the next morning when I left for work I saw him again.

"Let me in," he said.

I backed into my car and started driving. I was ringing in a customer's purchase later that day when I spotted him near the back of the store.

"Let me in," he said.

I paled, and told one of my coworkers to get mall security.

"Let me in," he said.

I told him to shut up. His dark eyes stared dully at me out of a skeletal thin face for a few moments.

He lunged.

I scrambled over the counter, feeling his long and grubby fingers trace over my arm. It was at that point my co-worker arrived with a security officer. My sense of victory was quickly overwhelmed by what felt like a cold clamp closing over my skull and my co-worker's terrified expression.

"What happened to your face?" She asked quietly.

"Let me in," I replied.

I heard the man collapse behind me.

Tuesday, May 31, 2011

"Fever Ship"

The Ticonderogo was a clipper that became famous for being a "fever ship" in its voyage from Liverpool to Port Phillip in 1852.

It carried 795 passengers. One hundred of those passengers died of typhus during the voyage. The ship was overcrowded, mostly with small children. Sanitary conditions were almost non-existent. Passengers ignored symptoms: red rashes, dysentery, and a strong delirium bordering on madness. The doctors soon became overwhelmed and caught typhus themselves. Bodies were bundled into mattresses and thrown overboard.

When it finally moored, a space of land was converted to a quarantine station (called a lazaretto). Many more people died there, buried in shallow graves.

One child, who had managed to survive the voyage but not the quarantine, was recorded by one of the doctors in his delirius state talking about a man with a beak aboard the Ticonderogo. "He had a funny beak face," the child said. "I asked him. I asked him why he was wearing such a funny mask. He told me that he wasn't wearing no mask."

The child died hours later.

Thursday, May 26, 2011

"The Eye"

VIEWING TOPIC: Guess who's back!

Spockinator at 10:08:23 am 12 May 2011
Hey, 'yall, I'm back. Sorry for my little absence. I was having some personal problems. I kept hallucinating that a bigass eye was following me around and watching me. Kind of stupid now that I think about it.

Arstan at 10:13:46 am 12 May 2011
Oh hai Spock! Yeah I was wondering where you went. Are yuo all better now?

KirksGirl at 10:34:03 am 12 May 2011
SPOCKINATOR! You're back! *glomp*

Spockinator at 11:02:31 am 12 May 2011
Ah! *is glomped*

And Arstan: yeah, I'm fine now. Well, mostly. I've been taking some antipsychotics or something and I haven't seen the eye since. I still freak out about it sometimes though. Like the other day I had to shut my blinds because this guy was jogging down my street and I kept thinking the eye was hiding inside him.

Falcon at 01:06:54 pm 12 May 2011
Welcome back Spockinator!

Arstan at 01:35:26 pm 12 May 2011
Oh man thats weird. Try not to do anything crazy. I hope you get better.

Spockinator at 01:43:56 pm 12 May 2011
lol Don't worry man. I know the eye isn't real. I'm not gonna hurt anyone.

And yeah, I hope I get better too! :-)

judgment at 02:04:17 pm 12 May 2011

Her name is Jacqueline Banks. She was born in Jacksonville, Florida on August 13, 1986. She was an unremarkable student, mostly making C's. She collected bobbleheads. Her first date was with a boy named Mark Reed. She was 15 at the time. They kissed on their second date. She left him after the fifth date. She moved to Connecticut three years ago. There her neighbor one day held a knife to her throat and raped her. He told her that he'd kill her if she ever told anyone. She moved away a month later. She still has nightmares. She still sees her old neighbor's face every time she closes her eyes. A man asked her out at work the other day and she had a panic attack.

The neighbor's name was Fred Hudson, also known by the internet handle of "Spockinator."

I'll be seeing you very soon.

"A Brother's Gift"

Yesterday I saw my brother kill a man. There was little fanfare to it. He just walked up to the man and shoved a screwdriver through his neck. The man had come to sell me something, and was standing on my front porch, and my brother killed him.

Then he looked at me, and he raised his bloody finger to his lip and smiled. Without a word, he walked away, and down the street, and was gone.

The police think I killed that man. I told them what happened, but they didn't believe. And why should they?

My brother has been dead for six years.

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

"The Confession"

Maybe if I confess, even like this, it'll leave me alone.

I didn't mean too. Not really. Once it began I knew where it would end, but I really didn't mean too. I am really truly sorry. I need to explain. 

My name is Micheal Sanderson. I am forty-three years old with no children and one ex-wife. She is eighteen years younger than I am. Don't think of me like that, she is the only woman I have ever been with that was that much younger than me. Ok, I can't lie in this, or it will find me faster. It's my scent you know? It can smell my secrets. I need to make them not secrets so it can't find me anymore. She was the only one who would be with me that was that young, but it wasn't for lack of trying on my part. There is something beautiful about young women. Never would I resort to unsavory tactics though. I was always honest about who I was and my intentions. I didn't just proposition them, I courted them. 

Her name was Sandy. She had black hair, truly black hair. So many women say they have black hair just have really dark brown hair. Not her. Black hair, with hazel eyes. That vitality! It just makes women so much more beautiful when they are young. Oh my god I think it's outside the building. 

We married quickly, and her family did not approve of me. A young woman cut off from her family, that is traumatic. She couldn't handle it. I tried to be everything to her, but as it went on, her vitality seemed to leave her. She just wasn't beautiful anymore. Others were though. Her bounce, her glow was fading and so many others had it. She noticed me looking, and she told me her family was right. I loved her, she is a fantastic person and I would have spent my life with her. I just can't help but look! Many men do that, why was it so special that I did too? I was always faithful. She left me, and went back to her family. I was so angry. I missed her so much. I tried calling her, writing her, everything. Finally her brother called me and told me to stop. "Let me explain it to you in person", I said, "and if I can convince you then help me win her back. If I don't, then I walk away forever."

He came. We fought. I drove a railroad spike through his head. He was younger than her. It was easy. They found him, and he told no one where he was going. They never pinned it on me. He lived, but his brain was never the same. She came to me after it happened, weeping. She was mine again. 

One day I got attacked by a creature from the depths of my nightmare that had taken the form of a large black dog. It was larger than I was. Solid black, it's fur felt greasy to the touch. It's eyes were black orbs surrounded by whites so bloodshot they looked red. It bit my face, scoring two lines under my eyes. That was it's mark on me.

I would see it around, and then it started bringing me things. First a railroad spike. Then a flyer for a Miss Teen pageant. It knew. I tried hiding what it brought me. Sandy would take me with her to visit her brother, and he never recognized me, or anyone for that matter. Her family accepted me, for comforting her in her time of need. They didn't know! I had everything but the dog knew. Every time I would look at a young woman I would see the dog and it was watching. It was coming for me. It knew! The more I hid the things it brought, the more it would bring, and the more it would come after me. Always the marks on the face! They were my tears of shame! 

She was beginning to suspect. I left her, what could I do? She would have found out! How can I explain this to her? That a dog has just broken down the door and it's coming for me oh my god forgive me I'm confessing right now it's outside the room please save me i'm sorry Sandy I lo 

Sunday, May 15, 2011

"The Man Who Was Set Free"

The old man sat down at the table. It was a large table made of solid wood. The light overhead was bright, but not blinding. Around him, there was darkness. He put his hands, old and wrinkled, on the table in front of him.

"My name is Silvester Plahke," he said to the darkness. "I was...I was a guard at Auschwitz-Birkenau from 1942 to 1944. I wasn't high up, I wasn't part of the command. I was just a guard. That doesn't excuse it though. There are no excuses. No excuses, no reasons, no answers. There is nothing I can say or do to make what was done undone." He looked upward into the light and then down again at his fingers, each wrinkle time had made laid bare.

"I was there when they were carting them in. The trains that came up each day filled to the brim with people. Was I one of the ones who divided them up, separated them into lines of who will live and who will die? I think so. I think I did that. I'm not memory isn't as good as it used to be.

"Anyway, I was lucky. I was transferred to away before the end came. I wasn't there for the marches. And then the war ended. And I decided I couldn't be myself anymore. I decided to go away. Away from Germany, away from everything. I moved to America.

"It was different. I had trouble adjusting. But eventually I did. I found a wife, I had children. I have grandchildren now.

"Then...last week, I saw a man. He was tall and thin and wore a black suit and tie. I remembered him. I remembered him from the camp. I remembered sometimes prisoners would talk of a tall man in a suit that walked outside the gates. I remembered how my commandant had told me to stop such talk. It couldn't be the same man, but in my heart and in my soul, I knew it was.

"I decided to go back. If I could go back, I could meet him, tell him I was just a guard. I flew on a plane and went back to Poland, back to the hard and cold ground that I had left behind so many years ago. As I walked back through those gates, so many memories rushed into my head, I thought I would collapse.

"I walked through the first camp and then the second, passing through each building. But I didn't see him. He wasn't there.

"I thought of myself as silly. Of course he wasn't there. It wasn't the same man. In fact, there probably was no man back then. Something the prisoners just made up so they could hope.

"I went back to America, back to my home. The woman on the plane next to me was coughing all throughout the trip. At home, I greeted each of my children and grandchildren with a visit. They each looked so thin. I asked them if they were eating much and even took out a few for large lunches, but it didn't seem to help. They ate so little, even with so much food piled on their plates.

"When I visited my eldest daughter, I could hear her cough and it shook me. It wasn't the cough of a person with a cold. It was the cough of a dying person. I had heard many coughs like that back in Auschwitz. I tried to take her to the doctor, but she refused. She said she was fine, it was just a small cough.

"More and more, I noticed the people around me were sick. They coughed harshly into their hands. They were thin and weak. Some of them had black splotches on their hands or arms. When I visited my family again, they were sicker. Some of the children had their ribs showing, their skin stretched tightly over their bones.

"I dragged them to the doctor, despite protests. He found nothing wrong with them. I noticed him coughing, too, and there was a long black and yellow spot on his arm. I knew what it was: gangrene.

"As I continued visiting my family, they got sicker and sicker. I came to my oldest daughter's house one day to find her dead body, a crowd of flies surrounding it, lying in her bed. I wept at her bedside.

"My grandchildren died of starvation the next week. They had simply refused to eat. The people on the bus, the people in the market, they looked like stick figures. They looked like they had given up on life and were simply going through the motions, buying food they would never eat.

"I woke up one morning to find that my neighbors were all dead. The smell was overpowering and unbearable. I walked outside to find empty streets and silent houses. There were no more buses running, no more boys on bicycles, no more people. As I walked the soundless streets, I saw men and women dead in their houses, their bodies emaciated, looking so much like skeletons with thin coverings of skin. Some had their whole arms turned black and yellow.

"Everyone was dead. The whole city, the whole country, the whole world. So now the question was: why was I unaffected? Why was I alive? I thought this as I dug plots for my family. I could not bury everyone, but I could bury them.

"The work was hard, but I needed to feel alive. I laid them to rest, each one, and said a prayer. I didn't believe anyone was listening, but I said it anyway. Then I walked back to my home and I saw it. Three words, just three words, written above my door. I knew then.

"I was still in Auschwitz. I had never left.

"I walked through the door and I was back in the camp. I was back where I had been before all those years ago. And there was the man in the black suit.

"He had seen me, all those years ago, executing the prisoners. Executing the ones who had seen him. He had seen me push them on their knees and put my gun to their heads.

"He didn't speak. When I looked into his face, a saw a thousand faces. A saw the faces of the men I killed. I saw the faces of people I had led into the gas line. I saw the faces of men and women and children. And finally, I saw my own face. It was young and smooth and I just wanted so much to make it go away. I yelled and pleaded and cried for him to go away.

"He held out both arms and there was a moment where his arms grew thin and long, like the branches of a tree, and I let myself be entwined in them.

"And then I found myself here. In this place." There was a sound outside and the old man stood up, revealing his striped fatigues. "That was the reveille. It's time to work."

Then the old man walked outside and through the camp gates and went to work.

Sunday, April 24, 2011

"The Odd Patient"

Welcome back, my friends, to the show that never ends...

"Hey, doc. What'll ya have?"

"Hey, Moe. I'll take a whiskey."

"Here you go, one whiskey. Say, you don't look too good."

"Yeah, it''s a long story."

"Lookit me, I'm a barkeep. You think I got places to be?"

[He sighs.] "Okay. It's a patient of mine. A Phillip Williams."

"What's wrong with him?"

"Someone found him six months ago. He was drowning in a pond near his house."

"Crap, is he okay?"

"That's the thing...he's in a coma. Completely brain-dead. At least, he was, for the past six months."

"He recovered?"

"You could say that. See, during his coma, he'd just lay there, eyes open, staring into space. Every few weeks, we'd get reports from nurses or janitors, reports of Phil looking at them. From across the room. Then when we'd check, he was back to being brain-dead."

"So he did recover?"

"Hang on. A week ago, when I stepped into the ward, he was looking at me. This time, he continued looking at me, following my movement with his head. As I spoke, he repeated my words. He did this with everyone nearby. We asked him questions, but he would only repeat them, not answer."

"Damn. Must be annoying."

"It was a little, but then a few days later, he spent an entire day just...moving his limbs, saying random words. The next day, he acted like a toddler. He tried walking. He sounded words out, specific words. He asked for water."

"This is almost heartwarming, Jake."

"I'm still not done. The next day, he was saying 'Doctor Morgan.' Again and again. All day long."

"Who's that?"

"...that's me, Moe."

"Oh!" [He shivers.] "I...sorry, I didn't, uh...hoo. You got more to this story? I'm gettin' goosebumps."

"A little more. The day after that, I stepped into the ward and asked him how he was feeling. He replied... 'As you are, I was. As I am, you will be.' I remember it still to this day, every word."

"I don't blame you..."

"I spoke no further with him that day. He stayed quiet."

"How many more days did this stuff happen?"

"Four more. The day after the aforementioned, he asked for a pencil. We gave him a pad and pen. He scribbled all day, not saying a word to anyone. After a few hours, he drew shapes, and as the day went on, he moved on to words, proper pictures, and eventually.. he drew a man. He labelled it 'Jacob Morgan.'"

"M..maybe he was growing attached to the guy who's been keeping him alive?"

"The next day, he started asking questions. He asked what the building was called, what a hospital is for, what people do in their days, if I had a much I loved them..."

"'s your whiskey."

[Takes a long drink.] "Thanks. So the next day...yesterday...when I came in, he was sleeping. He eventually woke up and asked what was going on. I told him he's been recovering from an accident six months ago. He asked a few more innocent questions before saying he was going to try to stand. He did so successfully. Then he asked for a check-up. He was fine. Finally, he asked if he could check out."

"Ah, see, he was just recovering all this time!" [He sighs with relief.] "Did you let him go?"

"We had to. We saw no reason to keep him any longer; he seemed to have recovered completely."

"So what's wrong today?"

"You read the newspaper, Moe?"

"Yeah, as a matter o' fact. I remember today's, too; it was talkin' about some serial killer who's drowned at least seven people today."

"Do you remember the name it gave?"

"Nah, can't say I do. ....are you gonna say it's—"

"Phillip Williams."

"...damn. Well, I hope they catch the guy. Oh, I'll talk with ya later, I got a customer. Hey, what'll ya have?"

"Hello, Jacob Morgan. This is a nice conversation. Your words amuse me."

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

"Newspaper Clipping"



Thursday, November 7, 1998

XXXXX, OH - Victor Higgins (age 35), after a lengthy trial on the kidnapping of two young girls, was found Not Guilty by reason of Insanity. Higgins, who had been charged with abducting his daughter, XXXXX Higgins (age 9) and her friend XXXXX Smith (age 8) will institutionalized at XXXXXXX Sanitarium.

On May 20, Smith went to Higgins' house on 417 XXXXX St for a playdate with his daughter, and neither of the two girls has been seen since. Higgins was accused of kidnapping by Smith's mother, and when brought into questioning, he told the police a story of a door that appeared in his house and, in his words, "ate" the two girls. Higgins was arrested on June 3.

According to Dr. XXXXXX, Criminal Psychologist, Higgins' story is little more than a delusion he suffers from, to assuage his guilt of his crimes.

Higgins claimed that soon after Smith arrived at his house, a doorway appeared in his upstairs hallway that was not there before. The two girls, curious, opened the door, and on the other side was a large sprawling city. "They wanted to walk inside," Higgins stated during his trial. "I told them no, but they disobeyed. They just stepped out onto the street. I ran after them, but a gust of wind knocked me back, away from the City. The girls turned to look at me, and for an instant I thought they would come back into the hallway, but the door slammed shut before they could move. When I opened the door again, there was nothing but a wall on the other side, and the next time I looked down the hallway, I couldn't find it anywhere."

Saturday, April 2, 2011

"The Scarecrow"

The first time Hank Harding saw them was the day of his wife's funeral. He had lowered her into the ground, wiped the dirt from his hands, and drove back to their farm with an incomparable sadness. But when he stopped the car in front of the small house, he saw a figure, tall and dark, amid the rows of wheat.

He turned off the car and quickly got out. Someone was in his field! The field him and his wife had labored over season after season! He was beyond mad. He walked into the wheat field, his fists clenched tightly.

The man stood arms outstretched in the middle of a clearing. Hank looked at him. Something was wrong. The man wasn't a man. His body seemed to be made feathers.

Hank stepped closer and suddenly the man exploded outward in a storm of birds. He ducked as the birds flew overhead and when they finally vanished behind him, Hank looked back and saw that the birds had completely covered the one lonely scarecrow his wife had planted years before.

The unusual bird behavior didn't worry Hank. When his rage subsided, he was left only with sorrow.

The days passed and every so often, Hank would look outside his window and see the scarecrow covered in the mass of birds, looking more like a man than the scarecrow ever did.

One day, after drinking himself to sleep, he awoke to the sound of clattering. Specifically, the clattering of typewriter keys. He rushed into their study, where his wife had kept their old Remington typewriter and there it was. Sitting on the desk. And one bird, what looked like a rook, pecking at the keys.

"Shoo!" he said and waved his arms. The rook seemed to look at him and then flapped its wings and flew through the window (though Hank could have sworn he shut that window).

He stepped over to the typewriter and saw that there was one sheet of paper in it. And typed on that paper were these words:
we are the convocation
we are many

He wondered if the bird had typed that for a moment, then dismissed it as nonsense. It must have been something his wife had typed, some story she was working on. She had always been telling him crazy stories, maybe she had decided to write one of them down. He would never know now.

He put the typewriter away and got out another bottle of scotch.

The next time he woke up, he heard the clattering of the typewriter again. He rushed into the study and observed three birds, instead of the previous one. Two of them were pecking at the keys, while one was turned to look at him. The one looking at his squawked and the other two stopped their pecking, then all three flew out the window.

Hank stepped forward gingerly. How had they brought the typewriter out? He knew he put it away, but here it was, another piece of paper inside. More words:

out talons can tear through bone
our beaks can wear down mountains
our wings can cover the skies

He looked at it for a long time, then crumpled it and threw it away.

The next day, there was another note:

we are the roc we are the ziz
we are the angha we are the anzu

And the next day, another note:

we are the relentless motion of wind
we are the fury of air
we are many

Hank took another drink as he crumpled this latest note up and threw it on the floor. He looked at the typewriter with unease. He should destroy it. Smash it up. Tear out all the keys and melt them down. But he just couldn't bring himself to do it.

He wondered why the birds were doing this to him. Why were tormenting him like this? He had never gone out of his way to hunt ducks or shoot pheasants.

He stumbled into the bathroom and took another drink of whiskey. Then he looked into the mirror and saw himself. His eyes were sunken and his skin looked leathery. His clothes were dirty and old and he had slept in them for days. He was so thin now, too. It was his wife that had reminded him to eat.

He knew why now. He looked like a scarecrow.

He walked outside, dropping the bottle on the ground. He walked through the field of wheat. As he came to the clearing, he spread out his arms and he waited. He waited to be covered by the birds.

A swath of blackness spread across the sky and Hank smiled.