Wednesday, March 30, 2011

"Wet Dreams"

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

It was a Friday. Marilyn had just gotten up, ready to go to work, when she found her twelve-year-old son, Max, lying face-down on the living room floor.

It was a horrible sight, a horrible sensation, but even when she found out he wasn't dead, there was still something terribly wrong. Marilyn was standing by the phone, ready to call for an ambulance.. when she heard Max coughing. She turned around and saw he was getting up. He was coughing up water. Was he choking?

"Everywhere I look, they are there. What is everyone doing?"

"Max, honey? What's wrong? What happened?"

"I just see faces. Faces staring blank as they go on with the routine."

"Max, please, are you alright?"

He stood, staring. After a few seconds, he held his head and nearly collapsed again. ", it hurts to breathe."

Marilyn decided to let Max stay home from school that day. Instead, she let him rest up and promised to take him to a doctor if he's still felt ill on Saturday. He slept most of the day, waking up with a scream several times. It was always the same nightmare that woke him up:

"In my dream, I'm a spaceman. That's what they say I am. Nothing but a spaceman...always pushing it all away. Trying to get to that one place I call home. The journey begins, forcing a new life with the unexplained, a creeping rush that surrounds me.

"And everyone around me, their faces are so scary. Like blank, but...their eyes and mouth are big."

"Shh, it's okay, Max. It was just a dream. Everything's okay."

Marilyn didn't think much of it. She was worried, yes. But she assumed he was speaking purely out of stress. "Kids do that." Right?

Later that day, she heard Max scream even louder. She checked on him, only to find him huddled in the corner. He claimed that someone was tapping on his window. "Honey, we're on the third floor. Nobody was tapping on your window, I promise." Then she gave him his fourth glass of water of the day. He's gotta keep hydrated.

In the night, Max woke up only once. He had a different dream this time:

"Nothing is here. Memories are not clear. They were looking into something much worse than what I thought I was. Looking around, I don't see any faces. Yes, I am lonely. It's to be expected. I'll sleep now."

As she left the room, she saw a string lying on the ground, going out the door and into the darkness. That wasn't there before.

When she checked on him the next day, she found his bed empty, the covers rustled. His mattress was soaking wet. Max was nowhere to be found.

As she stepped outside to look for him, the rain pattering onto her head, she got a sudden idea. "I should go to the pond." On the way to the pond, the people she passed looked peculiar. Their faces stared, blank, as they went on with the routine. Yet their faces were odd. Contorted. Distorted. A ghoulish caricature.

Marilyn paid it no mind. The longer she was in this rain, the more she felt sure that she had to go to the pond as soon as possible.

At the pond, she found her son. "Maxwell Kalan, there you are."

The odd part is, she didn't say that. Odder still, she was shocked to find Max jumping into the pond after hearing his name. She looked into the pond. She couldn't see him.

"Marilyn Kalan, there you are."

Monday, March 28, 2011

"Slip ups"

There was a kid named Noah in my sixth-grade class who was a bit of a strange case.

To begin with, he was really charismatic. He was one of those guys who generated all of the energy in a room - although we were all obviously pretty young, he still managed to earn the respect of the teachers. He quickly became star of the junior basketball team, and if I recall correctly his grades were really good too. I was jealous, obviously, me being one of the weirdos in the corner with his game boy and glasses. I was a bit surprised when he approached me one day at lunch. I don't recall ever having spoken to him before that, but what really weirded me out was the question he asked.

"Have you noticed anyone acting...strange?"


Noah looked shaken - he was pale, and his normally well-kept black hair was in a bit of a shambles. He bit his lip, not at all reassured, and left. I carried on with my lunch, and adjusted my glasses a lot for the next few minutes. Bits of gray kept edging at the corners of my sight. In retrospect, I probably delivered that line a little bluntly. I was surprised, that's all. What was Noah doing talking to me? I was still rolling that question over in my mind when he approached me again.

"Say something."

A bit taken aback, I asked him why. Noah just shook his head.

"People keep saying things. They slip words into their speech, calling me stupid, saying that I'll never amount to anything. Then they insist that they never said it. It's starting to freak me out, and I'm coming to you because you've never done anything like that." I frown in disbelief. "Nobody's saying anything like that, everyone likes you as much as ever."

Noah paled. "Forever?," he almost whimpered, and confusion flitted across my face. I never said forever, I said ever.

"You're hearing things," I added firmly. He backed up slowly, the other kids in the classroom ignoring the whole scene. Then he left the classroom - ran to the office or something, I guess. I notice something weird about his shadow - it's gray, and flickered away the second I caught a glimpse of it. I guess the lighting was weird. At this point I was concerned, so I filled out one of those anonymous bully slips saying that Noah was starting to act weird. He was called out of class by the school psychologist the next day, and I knew that she'd be able to handle it. She had been one of the few non-useless adults at my school. She stopped bullies that were messing with my best friend, so I was confident that she could help Noah with his...issues.

Everything was okay then for a while, after that. Noah was looking better, smiling more. Getting back to his normal self. It didn't last. A couple of weeks after, I was walking by the office on my way back from the washroom only to hear Noah screaming at the top of his lungs. The psychologist looked flustered, and I hovered by the door, captured by morbid curiosity. Not ten seconds later Noah opened the door.

"Stop it! You're not helping, STOP IT!"

Then he turned and quite nearly stepped back into the office, and shrieked in my direction.


I opened my mouth, and tried to tell him to calm down.

I told him he was a worthless little shit and that nobody had ever liked him, they'd just liked the sports games he had won and the influence he had. Now that he didn't have either of those, he was nothing.

Noah looked at me - no, beyond me, rather. He yelled something else incomprehensible before running down the hall, the school psychologist and another teacher in pursuit. I stood and watched as the realization of what I had just done crawled over me. Nobody noticed, nobody talked to me about it. It was between me and Noah, and the gray thing I knew was behind me. The last time I heard about him was on the radio - he'd been institutionalized. Noah had killed his mother by stabbing her in the throat with a pen when, according to his father, she'd been telling him that she loved him and that she would always be there, no matter what anyone said.


<MegAttack95> has entered the chatroom.

<JenerationEx> meg, hey!
<MegAttack95> hey jen.
<JenerationEx> i didn't know if you were chatting today. you haven't logged in in the past week.
<MegAttack95> i know, things have just been really hectic with the move and all.
<JenerationEx> it must suck.
<MegAttack95> yeah. all my friends are a hundred miles away and the only company i have is my stupid parents. we haven't even set up the tv yet, so all i've been doing is reading in my room.
<MegAttack95> fml.
<JenerationEx> don't be like that. we can still chat online and text each other. i mean, they haven't taken away your phone.
<MegAttack95> no, but they want me to get out of the house. they said i should explore our new town or whatever. i ended up doing that just so they'd quit bugging me.
<JenerationEx> so how is it?
<MegAttack95> boring. and it was cold and windy, too.
<JenerationEx> sorry.
<MegAttack95> and this weirdest thing happened on my way back. i was passing the elementary school and there was a kid in the playground. i thought it would be deserted and stuff because it was sunday, but there he was, swinging on the swingset. and he was singing this weird nursery rhyme.
<MegAttack95> like it went: it will take the young, it will take the old,
<MegAttack95> it will take the brave, it will take the bold,
<MegAttack95> each and every one taken by the cold.
<JenerationEx> creeeepy.
<MegAttack95> yeah. he must have been in some sort of sunday daycare or something, but i didn't see any other kids.
<MegAttack95> hold on, brb, someone's at the door.
<MegAttack95> WE
<JenerationEx> meg?
<MegAttack95> WE ARE
<JenerationEx> megan, you okay?
<MegAttack95> WE ARE COLD

<MegAttack95> has logged off.

Sunday, March 27, 2011

"The Package"

Jonathan was in his bedroom. The sun was shining in through the window, casting a shadow as the light hit the cardboard box on the floor in the center of the room. This box had just arrived in the mail; a label on it stated it was intended for him. No address. Just his full name, Jonathan Lauder.

He opened it up and found, inside, a pistol. Next to the pistol, he found a photograph. Under the photograph, there lay a videocassette. Throughout the box, there were many little 'bits' of something. The bottom of the box held a piece of paper, soaked with blood.

First, he read the note:

"Dear Jonathan Lauder,

You no longer have any reason to live. In the photograph provided, you will see Rhonda Lauder (maidenname DeFang) just before she died of asphyxiation. In the videocassette provided, you will see Michael Lauder as he dies of pneumonia. In the box, you will find what is left of Rhonda's stomach. This paper, you will find, is soaked with what is left of Michael's left eye. You will get to see them again."

He couldn't believe it. He grabbed the photograph and looked at it.

The photograph showed a naked woman in the local pond. The photographer seemed to have been watching from nearby. The woman, who Jonathan refused to accept was his wife, was quite deep underwater, and seemed to have her feet snagged in what looked like vines...or tentacles.

He took the videocassette to the nearest video player and watched it.

The videocassette was a still feed from nearby. The same pond. A little boy, naked, was screaming for help, complaining of the water being "really cold." The recorder of the video just breathed heavily and stood there, filming. Towards the end, the boy stopped screaming. The video was exactly three minutes long.

Jonathan didn't believe it was really his son. He couldn't.

He looked around. He had to do something. Call the police? Upon trying the door, he was shocked to find it was locked from the outside. He felt a shadow passing over him, from the window. The room went dark. He turned. Someone had moved something in front of the window. From the looks of it, something large and strong. Beginning to get a little desperate, Jonathan turned his light on and took a deep breath.

He thought things through. He looked through the box again, trying to ignore the little 'bits' that were supposedly from his wife's stomach. There was nothing else.

He scanned the letter over again. He discovered there is something written on the back, just noticable past all the blood:

"Pull the trigger and the nightmare stops."

Jonathan Lauder stands outside, in front of the local pond. It is the middle of the night. He is in a daze. Unconscious while still standing. A large splash is heard, the sound of something very large rising out of the water.

Jonathan put the letter down. He took the pistol in one hand and placed it to the side of his head. As tears came to his eyes, he slowly muttered, "Pull the trigger and the nightmare stops." Then he pulled the trigger...

In front of the pond, Jonathan suddenly wakes up. He's not in his bedroom anymore, it's not light outside anymore. His eyes then focus on the tentacle, as wide as an elephant and stretching still higher into the air, coming out of the pond in front of him. He does not even notice the mass of string-like tentacles coming out and grabbing his feet...

...and the nightmare starts.