Follow by Mauro
I woke up to my daughter crying at 4
a horror story in itself, right?
it gets worse.
me start from the beginning. My husband, Michael, and I live in the rural town
of H____, Michigan. We have a 5-week-old daughter named Riley. She’s doing
well, but wakes up several times a night. Every. Single. Night.
on weekend nights, Michael takes baby duty. He’s amazing – he gives her a bath,
reads her a story, rocks her, and puts her to sleep. And he sleeps right in the
nursery with her. The only thing he’s bad at? Singing lullabies to her – he’s
completely tone-deaf. (I usually shut the door when he gets to that part.)
last night – when I heard her crying at the ungodly hour of 4 AM – I assumed
Michael was on it. I rolled over, and tried to fall back asleep.
she continued wailing.
pulled the covers over my head.
turned up my white noise to full blast.
Waaa – aaaaaa – aaaaahhhh!
I jolted up. Dammit, Michael, are
you even trying to calm her down?! I heaved myself out of bed,
threw on my robe, and opened the door.
froze in the doorway.
cries weren’t coming from her room.
were coming from downstairs.
peered down; dim, golden light shone across the floor, coming from the living
room. “Michael?” I called.
No response, other than a
everything okay?” I shouted, louder this time. The shadows shifted across the
floor, but no answer. I took a step down –
coming from her room.
doorknob turned –
walked out of the bedroom, rubbing his eyes, his mouth wide with a yawn.
left Riley downstairs alone?! What’s wrong with you?!” I began running down the
stairs, my robe flying behind me –
grabbed my arm.
are you talking about?!”
He pushed his door open. I turned, and my heart began to pound. In the dim
light, I could see a little pink bundle, rising and falling with each breath.
held my breath. Slowly, I backed up the stairs – careful to not make even the
He pulled me into the bedroom. Click –
he shut the door. Click – he locked it, and dragged a chair in
it’s just the baby next door,” I said, trying to calm myself.
Johnsons live a quarter mile away.”
looked at him, my eyes wild. “Maybe it’s –”
was coming from downstairs, Catie. You and I both heard it.” He began pushing
the dresser; it didn’t budge. “There’s someone down there.”
Michael held a finger to his lips.
that?” he whispered.
I hear the screaming baby.”
There’s a pattern. Two short cries, then a long cry, then a raspy cry.”
turned to me, his eyes wide, and said: “It’s a recording.”
felt the breath catch in my throat.
down there, playing a recording of a baby crying?” I said, incredulously.
it obvious?” With a grunt, he pushed the dresser; it wobbled, and shifted maybe
half an inch across the carpet. “To lure us out there.”
jumped. But it was only Riley crying, woken by our loud whispers. Michael
swooped her up, singing a terribly off-key rendition of Brahm’s lullaby in her
need to call 911,” I said, feeling my pocket. “My phone. Where’s my phone?! I
must have left it in the other bedroom –”
the soft moonlight, Michael was pale as a ghost. “And mine’s out of battery…”
we can get out the window,” I said. Shaking, I wrenched it open. The cool
breeze blew in, and the forest was black as ever. Our only neighbors – the
Johnsons – were too far away, and the drop… just looking down made my stomach
turn. The lawn bench looked like it belonged to dolls; the barren garden beds
were like tiles on a checkerboard. “What do we do?”
get your phone.”
You just said yourself – someone is out there!”
door is five feet across the hallway. I’ll make it across before they can get
– no –”
dresser’s too heavy to move across the door. The chair isn’t good enough.
Sooner or later, they’re going to come upstairs, kick down the door, and who
knows what. I’m going.” He handed Riley to me. “Wish me luck.”
I could stop him, he opened the door.
as soon as he did –
I froze, clinging to the crib. They
know you’re out there! I screamed, internally. I rushed to the door
and clicked the lock shut, ready for Michael to rush back inside –
footstep, at the base of the stairs.
heavy footsteps, growing louder and faster – the unmistakable sound of someone
running up the stairs –
dashed back in. I slammed the door shut.
was Michael’s voice.
Leave us alone!” Michael shouted, holding me close.
“Catie! It’s me!” Thump,
thump. “Let me in!”
looked at Michael. “That sicko must’ve recorded my voice,” he whispered back,
fear in his eyes.
that is – it’s not me!” His voice cracked with desperation.
out of our house!”
– please – it’s me!”
Michael grabbed the dresser.
Groaning, he dragged it across the door. The cries became muffled, faint,
barely understandable. I could only make out my name, yelled every so often,
and the dulled thumps against the door.
the sirens sounded faintly through the window, the voice stopped.
the time the police arrived, he was gone. The evidence remained, though: a
broken window, muddy footprints. “We’ll dust for fingerprints and run it
through our database,” one of the officers told us. “But most people are smart
enough to wear gloves, these days.” They gave us paperwork, phone numbers, and
checking the locks for the hundredth time, we sat down on the bed. Riley,
severely overtired like both of us, began to wail.
you put her to sleep? I’m exhausted,” I said, rubbing my eyes.
course.” He lay Riley across his chest, rocking her slowly. I stumbled across
the hallway to my bedroom. The sun was just peaking over the pine trees; bright
golden rays shone through the window, lighting up the room. Sighing in relief,
I collapsed onto the bed, and closed my eyes.
the hall, I could hear Michael’s soft voice singing.
and good night… go to sleep now, little Riley…”
“It’s people, ‘aint it?”
turned around to see who’d spoken. That late at night, there were just a few
customers left, and only one was staring me down unblinking. He was a heavyset
gruff looking fella with a salt-and-pepper goatee and an old trucker hat with
the name ‘Craig’ on it.
your pardon?” I asked.
gestured to a decade-old promotional poster on the wall. ‘Guess our secret
ingredient and win all-you-can-eat tacos for a year’ I’d forgotten it was even
there. Funny how when you look at something for too long, it disappears.
voice was like sandpaper. It was so over the top in how deep and rough it
sounded, if he were a WWE wrestler, his agent would tell him to reel it in
laughed and wiped down the table next to his. “If it was, I’d have the FDA
breathing down my neck right now.”
I take that for ya?” I asked, motioning to his empty plate.
crumpled his napkin, tossed it on the plate, and then shoved it closer to me
without a word. I picked it up and gave his table a quick wipe.
know it’s people,” he said, “I ‘aint gonna tell no one. It’s our secret.”
laughed and shrugged as I walked behind the counter and put his plate in my
lukewarm dish water. The suds had congealed into some kind of moss clinging to the
sides of the sink. It was probably time to change the water, but I figured I’d
be closing up soon anyways. Just three more cups of coffee and two plates left.
I could make it.
trucker tossed some coins on the table and stood up. It’d be rude to count, but
I did give a quick glance to make sure there was enough.
change?” I asked.
walked over to the counter and grabbed one of my take-out menus, folded it in
half, then stuffed it into his dirty jeans. I saw him turn on his heels to
leave, but he stopped suddenly and looked me dead in the eye.
have some fresh produce for ya soon,” he said, patting the pocket where he’d
shoved the menu. “We can figure out payment later.”
chuckled and waved. He walked out of my little diner without another word. The
beams of his truck lit up the parking lot as he pulled back onto the highway. I
was just one stop on the road for him, and he was just one of the many faces my
diner attracted late at night for being one of the only places open past
midnight around here. I would have forgotten all about him, if I hadn’t come in
one morning and found a note on the door.
ya fresh produce. Let myself in. It’s in the freezer.”
was perplexed. I didn’t recognize the handwriting, but I knew exactly how
they’d gotten in: the freaking key under the welcome mat. It was missing. I
walked into the diner, expecting to find it ransacked, but everything was fine.
Totally normal. Until I checked the freezer.
H Christ God Almighty,” I muttered beneath my breath.
were three poor souls hanging from the meat hooks. It’s weird, you know? I know
I saw them there, I remember calling the cops in a panicked frenzy, but thank
God I can’t actually remember any specifics. I couldn’t tell you what they
looked like. Not their genders, not their skin color, not their sizes. It’s all
was weeks ago, and I’ve been racking my brain trying to remember what Craig
looked like ever since. It’s hard for the police to find him, because ‘fat
trucker with a goatee’ describes about 70% of my customer base.
was told not to worry about it. Lightning never strikes twice. They said Craig
would never come back. It was too risky, but… there was a message from an
unknown caller on my answering machine this morning. There was no mistaking
that deep, gruff voice.
“Your next delivery’s ready. Don’t
worry about the diner. I’ll leave it at your place.”
Length: Super long
TRIGGER WARNING: CHILD SEXUAL ABUSE
finished rereading what I wrote just now and admittedly I’m a little hesitant
to press submit. For the record, the one and only person I’ve spoken to about
this (aside from my best friend, as mentioned in the story) was a college
counselor who helped me a great deal in processing everything. He was the one
who recommended I write all this stuff down—of course that was already a few
years ago and I’ve only now finally typed it out. To that counselor’s credit,
the act of writing has been therapeutic. I guess I could sit on this story for the rest
of my life and never share it with anyone else, but I don’t want to do that. I
think that relating this experience, semi-anonymously at least, in a public
forum would benefit me somehow. Maybe grant me a sense of “ownership” over the
whole thing, if that makes any sense. Also I know a lot of people visit this
sub so maybe my experience could serve as an effective warning to someone out
there, I don’t know. In any case it makes for a halfway-decent creepy read so.
Here you go.
for the record, the dialogue obviously isn’t 100% verbatim—it’s been more than
ten years since this happened. But, as memory permits, I’ve tried to
reconstruct everything as accurately as possible.
a male, currently in my late twenties, and this all took place back in the
early 2000s over the course of about two weeks.
grew up on Long Island in an affluent suburb. Typical American creature
comforts, iron wrought fences, Disney channel, you know. I didn’t come from a
wealthy family (my mom and I lived on the one street in town considered “the
slums”) but most of my friends at that time were filthy fucking rich, and
luckily I was able to enjoy all the fringe benefits of spending my afterschool
hours at any one of their absurdly large mansions—most of them complete with
swimming pools and tennis courts and deluxe basements full of arcade and
pinball machines. You get the idea.
My main point being: as a consequence of
all the money flying around, crime was virtually nonexistent in our area.
Regional cops were paid $200K+ a year (seriously) but they didn’t have to do
much besides mete out traffic tickets and occasionally bust spoiled teenagers
for weed and coke. There’d be rare incidents of streetside harassment here and
there, sometimes even a half-assed attempt at burglary in one of the “poorer”
zones, but that was it. The community was largely saturated in this sense of
safety and untouchability, despite all of this occurring not too long after
9/11. Oftentimes people didn’t even bother to lock their doors at night. Shit
like that just didn’t happen in my hometown.
first “incident” took place during midsummer, shortly before my 14th birthday.
getting lunch at the deli, my best buddy “Luke” and I were cutting through the
village green (a highly manicured local park) toward his house to play video
games. The sky was overcast and there were only a few people scattered around.
As I remember it in my mind’s eye, a boy and girl couple were holding hands in
front of us and a younger girl was playing on a jungle gym nearby.
we passed by the basketball hoops, I asked Luke if he wanted to play a quick
game before continuing on. He said OK, so I grabbed the basketball sitting idly
in the middle of the court and we began to play.
to this day, I really wish we hadn’t stayed for that game. I still fantasize
that maybe nothing would’ve happened if we’d just continued on our way in
stupid, blissful ignorance. I also sometimes wonder if that single basketball
hadn’t been left there purposefully, like some kind of lure or bait.)
and I were shooting hoops for maybe five minutes when someone tapped me on the
back. I spun around and it was the younger girl, maybe 7-8 years old, who I’d
seen playing on the jungle gym. She looked me in the eye and said, “you have a
very pretty smile for a boy.”
I don’t mean to be a cocky douchebag or anything but I was a handsome kid and
was used to this sort of thing. Girls fawned over me a lot and those kinds of
bashful compliments weren’t uncommon. I say this only because it’s relevant to
and I both laughed. I said thank you to the girl and quipped that she was a bit
young for me, but maybe in a few years.
“Not me. She wanted
me to tell you,” she said.
I asked, confused.
tall lady next to the tree.” She pointed across the basketball court to a large
tree about a hundred feet away. There was no one there, but I felt my stomach
drop just a little bit. I looked over at Luke and he was already looking at me
with a concerned expression.
that’s not funny,” I told the girl.
where she was. And she told me to tell you, you have a very pretty smile for a
boy.” She pointed again to the tree. Then she shrugged her shoulders and said, “bye!” and walked away.
looked over at Luke again. He was staring in the direction of the tree. After a
couple seconds he turned to me and said, “let’s go, man.” I nodded in agreement
and we instinctively hightailed it out of there—not quite running, but walking
pretty briskly. When we finally got back to his house several minutes later, we
headed immediately to his basement and spent a few minutes together in
was weird,” he said after a little while.
you see anyone?” I asked.
shook his head.
Truthfully I was a
little weirded out, but not overly so. I decided that it was probably best to
just forget about it and move on with our afternoon. I remember that we played
Warcraft III (which had been released a few days earlier) for the rest of the
day, and it proved to be an effective remedy for any lingering discomfort we
might’ve had. By the time I got home that night I’d pretty much forgotten about
what’d happened on the green.
next couple of days passed by uneventfully. Then, one afternoon, Luke called my
house, and the instant my mom handed me the receiver and I put it to my ear I
could sense something was wrong.
man, what’s up?” I asked.
didn’t say anything.
you want to hang out?” he whispered.
still remember, in an awful sort of way, how small his voice had sounded. Luke
was, and still is to this day, one of the bravest and most fucking awesome guys
I know—it’s an honor to be his best friend (and, just last month, his best
man). We’ve known each other since Pre-K and he’s always presented himself with
a certain air of coolness and confidence, even when we were little kids. And
because Luke and I have always been attached at the head, so to speak, it’s
particularly noticeable to me whenever his “alpha” facade falls away, however
he didn’t say anything.
are you… is everything okay?”
He paused. “I need to show you something.”
felt that upside-down sensation in my stomach again.
walk over in like 20 minutes—”
he interrupted, fiercely. “My dad and me can come get you.”
honk when we’re outside.”
you soon,” he said, and hung up.
slowly put the phone back on the charging station. What was the conversation I
just had…? My mind flashed through a few possible reasons for Luke’s weird
intonation, but I pushed them out of my head and proceeded to quickly gather my
electronics. When I heard the horn a few minutes later I wondered if it was
going to be tense or uncomfortable when I got into the car.
opened the door of their SUV and slid into the backseat. Luke flashed me a warm
smile from the front and said, “hey.” His dad greeted me cheerfully. Nothing
appeared to be out of the ordinary. We chitchatted all the way to their house,
but I noticed that Luke was quieter than he usually was, as if the air around
him was heavier or something. When we arrived at their place I thanked his dad
for the ride. Then Luke and I quickly descended into our usual hangout spot,
soon as Luke closed the basement door behind him, I blurted out: “What the
hell’s going on with you?”
led me to the computer desk across the room and he clumsily fished around
behind it with his hand, presumably for something he’d hidden. Once he
successfully grabbed it, he forcefully shoved it into my palm, as if it burned
him to touch it.
was a crumpled blue envelope with jagged letters written on the front. The same
sort of handwriting as when you try to write using your non dominant hand.
Scratchy and uncontrolled.
BEAUTIFUL BROWN HAIRED BOY
is blond. I have brown hair.
think it’s for you,” he said quietly.
flipped the envelope over. Luke had already ripped it open. I looked inside for
its contents and I pulled out an index card, which said:
YOU STILL HAVE THE PRETTIEST SMILE I
HAVE EVER SEEN
looked up at Luke and we held eye contact for a few moments without saying a
fuck with me,” I said.
fuck you,” he spat. “I wouldn’t joke like this.”
jammed the card back inside the envelope and threw it on the desk. I didn’t
want to touch it.
you get that?” I asked.
it, in the spokes of my bike.”
I didn’t bring my bike in last night.”
we were silent.
probably some asshole from school,” I reasoned. I rattled off the names of some
of our classmates.
looked down at the floor.
if it isn’t?” he asked quietly.
knot in my stomach tightened as the string of logic unfurled in my brain.
think… someone watched us come back here? The other day… from the green?”
didn’t reply and I could tell that he was struggling a little bit to keep his
you shown that to anyone?” I asked. "Your dad, or—?”
he said. “No one, not yet.”
don’t know. I wanted to show you first, see what you thought.”
I thought…? I didn’t know what to think, at all.
wanted to convince Luke that this was bullshit, that we were just overthinking
some asshole’s dumb prank. I wanted to convince myself, too.
if this note was connected with what’d happened the other day, if the
worst-case scenario was true…? What, we were going to let some random girl, or
some “tall lady” who we never even saw, frighten us? No fucking way.
do dumb shit sometimes to protect our manhood. Especially boys who are just on
the cusp of it.
it away,” I said decisively. “It’s just a lame fucking joke.”
didn’t move, so I reached over to pick it up myself.
do it,” I said.
grabbed the envelope and walked across the room. I made a comically exaggerated
gesture of crumpling it up and tossing it into the trash bin, hoping to get a
smile out of Luke. He smirked and shrugged his shoulders in a resigned sort of
what do you want to do today?” I asked nonchalantly.
don’t remember exactly what we did for the next several hours. Probably played
video games, kicked around the soccer ball for a while, roughhoused, that sort
of thing. I do remember that when it started to get late and I went to put my
shoes on, Luke stopped me.
can sleep here tonight, man.”
we’ll take turns on event matches in Smash.”
appreciated that he was still clearly a bit concerned about the whole “stranger
danger” thing, but deep down I felt a twinge of irritation. I could handle
myself. I didn’t need to be protected. Not by him, or anyone.
good. I got chores in the morning anyway,” I said. (That wasn’t true, but it
seemed like an innocent enough lie.) “Thanks though, maybe tomorrow. I’ll call
let me get my dad and we’ll drive you back.”
I said flatly.
finished tying my laces, stood up and put my hand on his shoulder.
get it. But I’m good, dude,” I stated. “Don’t worry.”
he could offer any more words of protest, I bolted up the basement stairs and
turned the sharp right toward his front door. I twisted the knob and turned
back in time to see Luke emerging from the basement stairwell. I smiled at him
and did an intentionally stupid “jazz hands” gesture. “It’s showtime!” I said.
Then I quickly stepped outside, closing the front door behind me.
was dark. Pleasant and warm, but dark. It must’ve been around 11pm or so.
Luke’s neighborhood didn’t have many streetlights and it’d never really
bothered me before, but at that moment the absence of ambient light felt a
little bit oppressive. Despite myself, I felt a twang of fear in my gut. I
walked off Luke’s property and nervously glanced around at the darkened houses
and cars and trees, looking for any suspicious shapes or figures. Nothing.
laughed at myself. Where had my confidence gone? Not two minutes ago I was
scowling at Luke for acting like some mother hen. I shoved my hands in my
pockets (as I still do to this day—old habits die hard) and began to walk. The
whole trip, which I’d timed over and over in the past, would take almost
exactly fifteen minutes. It was a route I knew all too well, and I quickly
berated myself for getting worked up, for letting myself think that tonight
wouldn’t be exactly like every other time I had walked home from Luke’s house.
But a few minutes into the walk,
somewhere along the long deserted stretch of road that covered most of the
distance between Luke’s house and mine, I got the distinct, sinking feeling of
being watched. You know the sensation… it’s hard to describe. (Is it some sort
of esoteric sensory perception thing? A kind of intuition? It’s like you don’t
really “know” but you just fucking know.) It was as if someone’s
line of sight had materialized into spidery threads that tickled the back of my
head and neck. Sharp and fluttery, hot and cold, all at once. I became
hyperaware of the space around me, and the air itself was no longer just
“empty” but charged and full of potential, like lightning was about to strike.
shuddered and spun around. The road behind me was barren and incredibly quiet.
I couldn’t see anyone, but then again it was difficult to see much of anything
beyond the scope of those scant few streetlights.
turned back toward the direction of my house and increased my pace. I was in
that liminal headspace between “unnerved” and “panicked”—my composure was still
there, but barely. I focused my eyes on a lone streetlight directly ahead and
pictured myself getting closer and closer to it.
when I heard the sound of pebbles crunching about twenty feet behind me. It was
a low grinding sound that stopped unnaturally quickly, like there was an
immediate attempt to muffle it. Then just dead silence.
stopped moving for a split second, and I was about to turn my head to look at
the source of the sound when suddenly it was as if my body made the decision,
without any input from my brain, to just fucking book it. I broke into a
full-blown sprint and I’ve probably never run faster in my life than I did that
night. I didn’t look back once. I ran all the way home (in record time) and
burst through the front door and slammed it closed, locking both locks. My mom
was working another nightshift so I knew I was alone until around 2am. (And
though I wished she was there with me, to assure me that everything was going to
be okay, I was actually glad she wasn’t around to catch me in my unhinged
state—I didn’t need to give her a reason to be suspicious or to start asking
turned on all the lights on the first floor, grabbed a knife and a phone from
the kitchen, and stationed myself near the front windows to survey the street.
At that point, my wild panic was beginning to mellow into a slow, simmering
rage. Who the fuck pulls this sort of shit? Or was I just fooling myself this
whole time? My anger couldn’t find its target, and that in turn made me even
angrier. But I did know one thing: if anyone came even remotely close to the
house from the direction I’d come, then they’d be illuminated by the front-yard
and patio lights and I would see. And then I’d call the cops or stab a
motherfucker, or ideally both.
no one approached. I stayed rooted to that same spot for hours. I only moved
when my mom pulled into the driveway around 2:30am. When I saw her headlights I
hid the knife in the back pocket of my jeans—I figured I’d sleep with it for
the night, just in case. And though my mom was surprised to see me downstairs
when she walked through the front door, I made sure that there were no
indications anything had been amiss. I wasn’t planning on filling her in with the
details of the last few days. She already had enough stressors as a single
parent; I didn’t need her worrying unnecessarily about something that was
probably the result of my hyperactive imagination. But I made absolutely sure
all the doors and windows were locked before going to bed that night. And I
slept with the knife under my pillow.
called Luke the following afternoon to tell him about what’d happened after I
left his house.
didn’t you just fucking call me last night, dumbass?!” he screamed into the
don’t want or need people worrying about me,” I said, as calmly as possible.
you. If something happened…” he trailed off.
but it didn’t. And it won’t.”
didn’t say anything but I could hear him breathing in a ragged way, which he
always did when he was pissed off.
want to hang today?” I asked.
yeah.” I heard him trying to rein in his irritation. "Is your mom working
your place or mine?”
do your place. I’ll bring Sonic and Smash and stuff. And maybe we’ll booby trap
your house, Home Alone style.”
laughed. “Sounds good,” I said.
arrived about an hour later, his backpack full of video games and—true to his
word—several mouse traps, a spool of steel wire, and (Jesus Christ…) an
unopened bag of marbles, all of which he must’ve swiped from his dad’s toolshed
be crafty,” he said, smirking.
sighed dramatically and picked up the marbles.
my secret admirer has a weakness for shtick,” I said.
the circumstances, our hangout proceeded like normal—though I remember Luke was
somewhat subdued. He usually possessed the energy of a live wire, but he seemed
a little more restrained that day, more cautious, like he was constantly
scanning the house for anything out of the ordinary.
mom had to leave for work around 6pm and she called me into the kitchen shortly
before she left for the night.
been spending a lot of time with Luke,” she said.
been working on some projects,” I answered.
always makes me happy to hear you two. You laugh a lot together.”
my bro and stuff, yeah.”
you need me to order food for you?”
call me if you need anything?”
will. Love you.”
you. G’bye, sweetheart.” She kissed me on the forehead, grabbed her keys, and
waved through the window as she pulled out of the driveway and then I made sure
to double lock the door.
such a good boy.” Luke was watching from the top of the stairs.
up,” I said, racing upstairs to tackle him.
played video games until soda and tortilla chips were no longer enough to
satisfy our growing hunger pangs. At that point it was around 9pm and, after
some back-and-forth, we agreed on having sushi delivered. We put the order on Luke’s
debit card and the guy on the phone said that the food would arrive within the
the delivery guy know he should knock when he gets here,” I told him.
30 minutes later there was a faint knock on the front door—so faint that I had
to pause the game we were playing in order to make sure I’d heard correctly. (I
should add that my house was laid out in such a way that if you craned your
neck at the right angle, the staircase and front door were both visible from my
room on the second floor.)
hear that?” I asked Luke.
perked up our ears.
few seconds later there was another knock, only slightly louder this time—but
it sounded less like someone had purposefully knocked on the door and more like
a semi-soft object had thumped against it.
food got here fast,” I said. The words came out of my mouth but I didn’t quite
grabbed my arm and we looked each other in the eye. He didn’t say anything but
I knew what he was thinking.
stayed quiet for a few moments, straining to hear any further noise.
locked it, right?” he asked.
My mouth felt dry.
it’s the food and no one answers, they’ll call the house,” he whispered.
stayed silent and continued to listen. The minute that followed stretched out
like an eternity. There was one more soft “thump” and then, nothing.
stood up and walked over to my bed, grabbing the knife that was still hidden
under my pillow. I put it in my back pocket.
nodded approvingly. “Nice.”
insurance, you know.”
are not opening that door for anyone unless we’re 100% fucking sure it’s the
food,” he stated.
ten minutes later there was a series of sharp knocks at the door. Luke and I
didn’t move. After a minute or so the phone started ringing—it was the same guy
whom I’d spoken to earlier, asking if anyone was home because no one was coming
to meet the delivery man outside.
and I went downstairs. I brushed my thumb along the knife in my pocket and I
took a deep breath. We opened the front door together.
nondescript man was standing on the stoop with a large paper bag.
he said. “Sign here, please.”
gave his signature, took the food and thanked the man. We watched him walk back
to his car and drive off, and then we closed the door and doubly locked it.
accomplished,” Luke said.
didn’t bother with plates or glasses and took the food directly to my room.
I was walking over to my nightstand (where I kept a stash of takeout utensils
and chopsticks) and I passed by my bedroom window, which overlooked the
backyard… that’s when I saw it.
black silhouette was standing next to the back fence, about thirty feet away.
Our backyard didn’t have any lights so I couldn’t make out any details, but it
was towering over the fence. It must have been at least six feet. It was on our
side of the property.
stared at it, dumbfounded, for a second. Then suddenly the figure seemed to
move its arms and wave rapidly at me. That, or the ends of its arms were
vibrating—it was sort of similar to the “jazz hands” gesture I had made to Luke
the day before, only much more frenetic.
I said softly.
stood up and walked over to where I was standing. He looked out the window and
when he saw it, his face dropped.
slammed his fist against the pane and shoved the window open.
CAN SEE YOU, MOTHERFUCKER!” He screamed into the dark. “WE ALREADY CALLED THE
it,” he said under his breath.
jumped over my bed and grabbed the phone that was lying on the floor. I dialed
911 and frantically told the operator that there was someone in the backyard
trying to break into my house. I remember Luke was shouting threats in the
background so loudly that at one point I was having trouble hearing the
operator. I gave my address and they said the police would be there shortly.
few seconds later Luke turned to me. “They jumped the fence,” he said. He was
went back to the window. The yard was empty. The figure was nowhere to be seen.
the cops arrived several minutes later we told them everything. They asked us
if we’d be able to retrieve the envelope we had found in Luke’s bike and we
replied that it was probably still in his basement. They made us call our
parents (of course) and said that they’d do patrols of my area and generally
keep a close eye on the neighborhood. They also recommended that we look into
getting surveillance equipment installed around the property.
really wish I could say that the story ended there. But it didn’t.
the course of the following week, Luke basically became a permanent fixture at
my house. The police hadn’t found anyone or anything connected to what’d
happened and I think Luke somehow felt it was his duty to stick around. He
slept over every night (much to his parents’ chagrin, I’m sure) and though he’d
go home for a few hours here and there, for the most part he was wherever I
he was a little different than the Luke I was used to. We were constantly in each
other’s presence but we didn’t talk or interact all that much. He was usually
the chattiest and most easy-going guy I’d ever met, but in those following days
he was much more irritable and uncommunicative with me—even prone to small
bursts of anger. I didn’t quite grasp it at the time (now that I’m older it
seems more obvious to me) but at that point I think Luke must’ve hated me, just
a little bit. It reminds me of the concept of daemons from the “His Dark
Materials” series. Luke and I have always seen each other as extensions of
ourselves. We were, and are, brothers—not by blood, but in spirit. And I think
that kind of connection (when you attach some portion of your wellbeing to
someone else) can feel both empowering and incredibly disturbing at the same
time. It’s like realizing that you let loose a significant part of yourself to
freely roam the world beyond your control. If it gets fucked up, so do you.
you have little (if any) influence over how that piece of you should protect
itself from harm. So unless you were a masochist, how could you not feel even
the tiniest twinge of hatred in that situation? You’re just waiting to get
hurt, basically. And I think that, in some upside-down way, the idea that I
might actually be in mortal danger… I think it probably made Luke resent me in
some small way.
particularly hot, humid afternoon his dad called and demanded that Luke stay at
home for the night. Luke was reluctant, but I assured him I’d be okay and joked
that he deserved the night off. Truthfully, I was looking forward to the alone
time—I needed some space to decompress. His dad came to pick him up shortly
after my mom left for work.
gave me a brief pat on the back before leaving. “Be good, man,” he said.
was around 6pm at that point and I finally had the house to myself. I played
games, ate some leftovers out of the fridge, watched a movie or two. Around
10pm or so I decided to go to bed. I was pretty exhausted—I hadn’t been getting
much sleep that week and I figured I’d turn in early.
when I made the worst mistake of my life. I opened the window a bit before
climbing into bed. It was so hot that night and I needed some air. I was still
regularly sleeping with the knife under my pillow and I figured it wouldn’t be
a big deal.
midnight I woke up to something warm and wet sliding along the bottom of my
right foot (which had been uncovered by the blanket, and was dangling off the
side of the bed). The pressure of the warmth seemed to shift back and forth,
soft to firm to soft.
the first few seconds, in my semi-unconscious state, I had no thoughts—just the
experience of the warmth and a vague sense of confusion in my head. I’m pretty
certain that the first cognition I was able to string together was the
question, am I dreaming?
the warmth started getting stronger and narrower and it began running up and
down the middle of my foot. I crashed back to reality and I instantly realized
it was a tongue.
sounds stupid, but my next thought was that my mom must’ve brought home a dog
to surprise me, something I’d been pestering her about for months. Yeah. Even
to this day I’m not sure why, during those first few critical seconds, my brain
had been so slow to react to what was happening or why it first reached for
every conclusion but the actual one. I still beat myself up about it.
to get this out of the way: for those of you who are probably already
wondering, no, I can’t get through the “humans can lick too” urban legend
without dry heaving.
looked down and saw an adult-sized figure kneeling at the foot of my bed. The
figure was wearing a plain white sheet with two eyeholes cut out and a hole for
the mouth. It was basically what little kids wear on Halloween but so much
taller. Next to my foot there was a tongue and it was darting in and out of the
slit in the sheet. When we made eye contact it grunted. It sounded raspy and
older and vaguely female.
inhaled sharply but the moment I began to pull away two hands suddenly gripped
both of my ankles and held them firmly in place. I would have screamed but the
tongue started flicking and darting along the arch of my foot so rapidly that
I—and this still feels shameful to say—started laughing.
couldn’t help it. I was terrified and confused. I wanted to kick and scream and
fight back but my body wouldn’t listen. There was a physical stimulus and a
physical response, it was as simple as that. I couldn’t mentally override my
body’s reaction and I couldn’t outmuscle the laws of cause and effect. For what
it’s worth, I wasn’t a weak kid by any means. I played sports and was fairly
athletic. Had I been given a fair shot, or had I found myself in a different
context, I could have defended myself. But I wasn’t given a fair shot. And in
that particular context, my whole body was already convulsing beyond my
control. Before I knew it I was already crumpling up, buckling into myself,
maybe fifteen or twenty seconds or so the licking stopped and I finally had the
chance to breathe, and then suddenly I was being held down and all I could see
was white and it smelled like copper or metal, I felt a human body on the bed
crouching over me and a voice saying “I don’t want to hurt you” over and over
and fingers were crawling under my shirt across my stomach and my chest in my
armpits and I was laughing and laughing and a voice saying I don’t want to hurt
you I don’t want laughing and body saying pleasure laughing everywhere and
fingers on my neck laughing and mind screaming pain want to hurt you please I
can’t and tears running down my can’t breathe oh god please laughing I can’t
sobbing please I please it hurts it hurts it weeping oh god please help me
some point I passed out from lack of oxygen. Everything just went dark. I don’t
don’t know how long I was out. It might’ve been less than a minute or much
longer, I still really have no idea. But when I came to, I was on the floor a
few feet away from my bed. I was alone and naked. The T-shirt and boxers I had
been wearing were gone. (I never found them, nor the knife that was under the
pillow.) I remember that the window on the far wall of my room was wide open
and a breeze was coming through. I thought about getting up and locking it but
I didn’t or couldn’t move. I stayed in that same position on the floor until
morning. I don’t think I ever fell back asleep. I honestly don’t recall much
about the rest of that night. I do remember hearing crickets chirping outside
at some point and thinking that they’d never be aware of what’d happened to me.
10am the next morning, I redressed (though in retrospect I don’t think I even
showered) and went downstairs for breakfast. My mom was already bent over the
stove and there were three places set at the kitchen table.
Luke go home already?” she asked.
got back early last night. I heard you laughing—you two must’ve been having
alright, love? Did you have a fight or something?”
Yeah, I’m fine.”
wasn’t. But I didn’t say anything about what had happened the night before.
this is getting long and I should probably wrap things up.
night in my room was the last “incident.” I wasn’t targeted again after that. I
guess what had been needed was finally taken from me, so I was left alone. Of
course I still locked my door and window every night and I often slept with a
knife under my pillow. I still do sometimes.
I became deeply depressed in the months that followed. I began spending more
and more time alone, locking myself in my room to play video games for days on
end. And when school started up again in the fall I mostly avoided the other
kids. My grades began to slip and I stopped playing sports. I felt estranged
from everyone, including myself. I was an alien in my own body. Most days I
found myself thinking of suicide. It all just seemed so fucking empty, like
some kind of sick charade or puppet show. And the only feeling I was ever able
to actually connect to was anger. I wasn’t all that sad, really. Just gray and
numb, and sometimes angry.
back, though, what I regret most during that time was how I pushed Luke away.
He was such an incredible friend throughout everything I’d been through. But,
despite everything, I just doorslammed him. I stopped hanging out with him or
taking his calls. I never even gave him a reason why. He kept trying to get
through to me, of course, the guy that he was.
was sometime around New Years, about six months after everything had happened,
that he unexpectedly showed up at my house and stormed into my room and forced
me to confront him.
a fucking coward,” he hissed. “If you have a problem with me or if you don’t
want to be my friend anymore then that’s fine, but you can at least fucking
tell me to my face.” I remember how tightly his fists were clenched while he
made me so angry (something that was an all-too-common occurrence at that
point), so incredibly angry that I shoved him—not too forcefully, but not
gently, either. He shoved me back and suddenly I realized it was the first time
I’d had any real human contact since that night in my room. I had pretty much
stopped hugging my mom and, as I mentioned before, I largely avoided everyone
that moment something in me just, broke.
started sobbing. I couldn’t stop. I collapsed on the floor and actually curled
into the fetal position. And I think that Luke somehow instinctively knew what
was wrong because he dropped down next to me and quietly rubbed my back and
just let it all happen.
hardcore sobbed for what must’ve been at least five or ten minutes. But, in the
midst of all that pain, I was finally able to feel the glimmer of things I
hadn’t been able to feel in so long: sadness, fear, relief… paradoxically, even
the waterworks eased up a bit and I was able to talk, I told Luke about what
had happened six months ago on the night he couldn’t sleep over. Actually
forcing those words out of my mouth was, to this day, one of the most fucking
difficult things I’ve ever had to do. Luke and I sat on the floor of my room,
both of us crying on and off, for probably about an hour.
When I eventually told him that I
thought I was ready to get up and move again, he hugged me so tightly that he
didn’t let go until I assured him I’d be okay. I don’t know if he was
consciously aware of the point he was making, but that hug—long and solid and
protective—was the exact opposite of the way I’d been tortured that night in my
room… and somehow he proved to me then that it truly was possible
to be touched in a loving way again.
That’s pretty much the end of my
story. But one more thing, and I’m not going to mince words here so forgive me
if this last bit sounds overly direct or preachy. There’s a ton of shame
involved with admitting that you were abused, particularly if it was sexual in
nature—but even more particularly if you’re male, and then even more particularly
if your abuser was female. Sometimes people don’t believe you, or they don’t
want to believe you. But it happens more often (and is usually more complex)
than some people realize. It’s just that no one really talks about it and as
men we’re generally taught to suffer in silence. So this goes for everyone, but
especially for any guys who’re reading: if you’ve ever been taken advantage
of—by someone of any gender—don’t suppress the “fallout” and bottle it up. It
eats away at you from the inside and dissolves you slowly, makes you hollow. I
know. Please open up to someone about it. Someone who will listen to you and
won’t judge you.
Lastly, I know Luke visits this site every once in a while, and at some point he’s probably going to read this. So I
just want to end this with—Luke, you are the best goddamn friend and brother
that a guy could ever ask for. Thank you, for everything. I love you. You’ve
saved me more times than you know.
Submitted by: http://breezyfoot.tumblr.com/
Length: Super long
My name is Becca Rhines, and some kids have gone missing near my hometown where I grew up, and I know how it happened. I’ve tried telling my friends, my family, the community, and even the local cops about what I know, and they all laugh in my face and dismiss me as a crazy lunatic. But I’m not crazy, and I need someone to listen. But I need to explain, and to do that, I must take you back to the disappearance of my old History teacher, Ms. Goldstein, AKA Ms. Goldie.
Ms. Goldie was everyone’s favorite teacher in high school. She was tall, a bit lanky, and had the most beautiful long, blonde hair. She taught English for the middle schoolers and History for us high schoolers. Ms. Goldie was always nice, considerate of the students feelings, especially if they were going through a rough time. You know, puberty can take a toll on some of us. No one ever had anything bad to say about her even if she was a bit tough at times. She always made sure to help people that were below an average grade in the class, and in over 23 years of her teaching, no student has ever failed her class. Ms. Goldie holds 8 teacher awards- awards my small city hand out to teachers who excel at their jobs. She loved her job and she loved her kids, and rumor had it that she lost her husband and only son some years ago and took up teaching to ‘fill the void.’
We all adored her so much throughout the years, it was heartbreaking to hear that she had been attacked during my Senior year, back in 2012. It’s now 2018, and what I encountered, and what I saw with my own two eyes will haunt me for the rest of my life. I never came forward with my story because I didn’t believe anyone would think I was telling the truth… that I was just some dumb 17 year old kid making shit up. But since kids had started going missing, I felt the need to come forward. Bare with me readers as I take you back to my Senior year in 2012.
We started school in the fall of 2011. We were on the last few days of summer at the end of August in a small town in North Eastern Ohio. It was a small town and everyone knew everyone here. The classrooms were small, fitting about 18-22 students max. But it was comfortable because we all grew up with one another, and by the time our last year rolled around, we just couldn’t wait to get out.
I didn’t do any sports through high school, but I was on the Flagline, or Color Guard, in Marching Band. All of my friends were in Marching Band as well, so it’s pretty obvious where I laid on the popularity train. But I always felt welcomed in Ms. Goldie’s class, no matter what. She had a way of making you feel like you mattered, even when you felt the lowest. Like I said, it was heartbreaking when we heard she was in the hospital.
It was almost surreal – someone ATTACKED Ms Goldie?! The sweetest teacher anyone could ask for?! We were all in shock. No one was sure how long she’d be gone, or if she actually made it through. But two weeks later in the beginning of December, she was back in the classroom. It was a pleasant surprise to all of us, but I know everyone had the same gut feeling when they saw Ms Goldie’s face.
She had cuts and scars on her face, especially a large scratch-like wound across her cheek- from the bottom of her eyelid, across her cheek and across her bottom lip. It was a deep, irritated wound. Most of us couldn’t look at her in the face without feeling pity or sympathy for her. Her skin was paler than usual and she looked sickly. Whenever she would stand, she was wobbly in the legs and got dizzy a lot. I assumed it was from adjusting back to regular life from being in a hospital for two weeks, or even being attacked out in the cold and surviving maybe hypothermia… but I know now how wrong and naive I was.
Near the end of December 2011, Ms Goldie began getting violently ill during lectures. She would puke up straight bile and stomach acid. But as it got closer to January, she began breaking out into cold sweats and taking it out on the students. She never yelled, but she actually screamed at this kid Todd who was clicking his pen throughout the lecture, in the back of the class. She screamed at one of my friends for folding a piece of paper “too loud.” Eventually, she just stayed home for about a week, returning back on Monday the 16th. Our jaws dropped when she walked into the classroom.
Ms Goldie was smiling from ear to ear, greeting everyone with such joy and excitement in her voice. I knew the rest of them had to of been confused… because she no longer had any mark on her face or body. She wasn’t sickly looking, and she honestly looked like she put a bit of weight on – in a week. We were just glad to have our regular ole Ms Goldie back, even though I became a bit suspicious.
My friends chalked it off as she went to some three-day spa and got her skin healed up.
“Stem cells can do wonders, Becca!” One of my friends had told me. I couldn’t help but roll my eyes because there’s no way she could’ve gotten rid of that giant wound on her face that quickly. But I gave up looking for an answer to whatever ridiculous theory I had been hanging onto – until her behavior repeated itself near the end of the month.
It became clockwork for the rest of the year. She’d get crabby and somewhat violent, then take a week off school . When she’d returned, she’d almost be like.. a brand new person. In like… a brand new body it seemed. It only became a problem when Prom season rolled around the end of April. Prom was Saturday, May 5th and everyone was pumped. I, on the other hand, was not.
Ms. Goldie didn’t take her week off school this month in April and was lashing out at everyone. Failing students left and right and forbidding them to attend Prom. A few of them actually listened to her, but most of the jocks were on Prom Court and basically said “fuck you,” to Ms Goldie, which had pissed her off even more. Enough that she began throwing pens, books, and eventually chairs at the students in my class. She even got up on her desk and started to hiss at the students, almost like she was about to leap onto one of them, but a male teacher busted in and yanked Ms Goldie off her desk. It took THREE male teachers, including our ripped gym teacher, to hold Goldie down. And in that moment, I swear I saw something dark come alive in my teacher. Our principal suspended her without pay and she was no longer chaperoning Prom. But..like I said I had a strange feeling, and this is from years of watching way too many movies as a child. It gets your mind thinking, sometimes for the right reasons, and sometimes for the wrong ones.
So, it was May 3rd- two days before Prom, and I decided to tail my History teacher that night. I didn’t have her address, so I pulled a slight creeper move and looked it up online. I know, but trust me I’m glad I did. So I told my parents I was studying at a friends house, hopped into my old beater car, and drove over to the other side of town, parking a couple blocks down from Goldie’s house around 8pm. It was a bit chilly for May, so I had brought a jacket with me.
I sat outside in my car watching her damn house before I saw someone coming down from the small hill to my right, and just over that hill had been our town park. This person was bundled up in a long, almost winter coat and was wearing sunglasses with a large beanie. They had been carrying a large tote bag as well which made my stomach twist in knots.
“What the fuck…?” I whispered to myself, leaning up against my window some, trying to not illuminate myself underneath the streetlight. I watched as the person approached Goldie’s door and struggled to get inside. When they got the door open, they looked both directions and slipped inside the house. Every instinct in me told me to call the cops, but what if it had just been Ms Goldie? I debated back and forth for a few moments before looking around.
I debated for another five minutes and took a deep breath, quickly sneaking out of my car. I shut the door quietly and shoved my phone into my pocket before doing a quick jog across the street. I walked slowly up the sidewalk and stopped right before Goldie’s driveway, taking a quick look around as well before I ducked into the shadows against her house. Taking another deep breath, I walked around the left side of her house quietly, listening for any noises inside her house. Hearing some shuffling around and grunting, I decided to walk a bit further into her backyard.
I peeked my head around the corner of her house and saw she had a small deck leading to her backdoor. Thinking that walking up the stairs might stir up noises, I opted out of looking through the backdoor. I pressed my back against the side of her house and took another deep breath, feeling knots in my stomach and my hands begin to sweat. I quietly took my phone out to see the time and my screen lit up “12:32 am.” Just as I was about to pass underneath a window to go home thinking this was just a bust, the inside illuminated slightly. I froze in fear and stood perfectly still, hearing more grunting and shuffling. All of a sudden, I heard glasses breaking and screaming. I panicked, and looked toward her neighbors house that was a bit of ways from Goldie’s home, slightly cursing that she didn’t have closer neighbors. Getting a bit of bravery in me, I said ‘fuck it’ and peered my head inside the window into her kitchen it seemed, only to feel my heart drop to my stomach.
Ms Goldie’s kitchen was lit up by the light of her refrigerator, but the door was ripped clean off and laid on the kitchen floor. There was blood all over her floor and the figure was there in the long, winter coat. It took me only a few seconds to realize that figure had to have been Ms Goldie. But… it couldn’t have been. I could see the side of Ms Goldie’s face, her blonde hair was a rats nest, going in different directions. Her nose looked longer… and wider… almost like…
“A snout..?” I whispered, my breath hitching in my throat. Squinting my eyes, I saw her put her face inside the tote bag and let out a growl. Yes, a growl. I let my eyes focus on her hands that were covered and blood. She had claw-like nails..as she reached in the bag and pulled something out of the bag. She held it up slightly and brought it to her snout-like nose before opening her mouth. The moment I saw fangs, she closed her mouth around the animal and I could her bones snapping through the window. I whipped myself back against the wall and put my hands to my mouth. Tears stung my eyes as I couldn’t believe what I had just saw.
“This can’t be real… this can’t be real…,” I kept saying in my head, shaking it back and forth. I took another deep breath and slowly peered back into the window…only to see the carcass of a small, dead animal lying on the floor and Goldie no where to be found.
“What…?” I whispered, looking down at the floor at the blood streaks. Most of the streaks were in a circle, but there were footprints that lead out of the kitchen. I clenched my jaw and looked in that direction, only to be met with yellow eyes peering back at me through her window. Screaming at the top of my lungs, I took off down the sidewalk and across the street toward my car. As I approached it, the panic rose in me as I struggled to get my keys out of my pocket. I looked back over my shoulder and my eyes widened in fear.
Ms Goldie stood outside of her door standing taller than her door frame, with a snout and sharp claws to match, and her eyes were a painful shade of yellow as they stared down at me. The moment she took a step off her front porch was the moment I screamed and unlocked my car. I shoved the key into the ignition, peeled out of the parking spot, and sped off down the street. I watched in my rear-view mirror as she ran out into the street, so I hit the gas even harder.
I’m not sure how long I drove, I ended up in two cities over from my hometown that night. I couldn’t stop shaking and crying that night, and I spent the rest of the night driving until the sun came up. That morning, I went to school only because the Seniors got a half day- due to prom the following day. My last class before my day was over was Ms Goldie’s, but I was thankful there had been a substitute that morning.
I didn’t go to Prom my Senior year. Our theme was “A Night to Remember,” but it was a night everyone would want to forget. 7 people went missing on Prom night: A group of 6 teenagers between the ages of 16-18, and Ms. Goldie. Her disappearance was never brought into question with the group of Juniors and Seniors that went missing, so she was never a suspect. I didn’t know what she was, or how she came to be, but I know she had something to do with those kids disappearances back in 2012.
I’m 24 now, living a few states away. I had came back to my hometown because my father had passed away. A lot of the school faculty adored my father since he had been a member of the Board of Education, so a lot of my old teachers had came for the funeral to pay their condolences- including Ms. Goldie. The moment she walked in, my eyes never left hers and I know she caught me staring more than once.
After the burial, Goldie came up to me and my family. “I’m sorry for your loss, he was a wonderful man.” My mother was touched by Ms Goldie’s words, but I offered a half ass smile before I walked away from the two. I had walked a few feet away for a smoke before Ms Goldie came up to me.
“He was a lovely man, Rebecca,” I felt my lip twitch when she said my name. Taking a long drag off the cigarette, I purposefully blew it in Goldie’s face. I didn’t dare look at her in the eyes because all I could picture were the yellow eyes staring back at me through her window, accompanied by an animal’s snout.
“I know. You’ve said that already.” There was a bit of silence between us before Goldie looked around at the empty graveyard as my family began to clear out.
“Becca.” I interrupted her.
“Becca… How… I mean…” Goldie took a breath and took a step toward me. “Back in 2012… do you recall seeing anything… out of the ordinary per say?” She gave a half chuckle and held the strap of her purse with both hands. I side glanced her and flicked my cigarette butt toward a tombstone, watching the embers bounce off of it.
“Could say that.” Another moment of silence before she cleared her throat and whispered toward me.
“And um… how much did you see…? Or if you remember…”
“I saw enough.” I turned my head toward her, finally looking at her in the eyes. “Enough to move three states away in fear. Enough to spend the next six years researching what I saw. Enough to know your ‘lunar cycle.’ Enough to know if move a finger out of line while I’m here for the next two days, you’ll be sorry.” I turned on my heel away from Goldie and watched out of the corner of my eyes as she looked down at the tombstone the embers bounced off. It was Thomas Needy, one of the students who had gone missing and declared dead.
Our confrontation was three nights ago. My mom had asked me to stay an extra few nights, for her sanity since it was the first few nights without my father around her. I agreed, and boy am I glad I did.
Today on the local news, a teenager from a few cities over was found dead in the woods due to animal attack. Clenching my jaw, I shut off my moms TV and looked over at her asleep on the couch. I took a deep breath and headed out toward my car trunk. Inside a small bag was a pistol, already loaded with ammo. I popped the barrel out and emptied the bullets in my hand, looking at them with nothing but hate in my eyes.
Like I said, I did my research.
I told Ms Goldie she’d be sorry.
Because everyone knows silver bullets kill werewolves.
Submitted by: http://breezyfoot.tumblr.com/
A scary ritual story about befriending monsters, blood finger-painting, and betrayal. This story of ritualistically counting steps is sure to have you by the heart as much as it will have you by the throat.
Story credit: Teddy Silva
Submitted by: Luke Miller
am an atheist. I place no stock in religion, ghosts, demons, spirits, souls,
anything of the sort. I find it to be bunk, the epitome of human stupidity. I
have seen strange things happen on occasion… we all have. Most are petty,
easily explained, and just amusing. This was anything but. This was the first
time I have ever actually experienced something that I simply cannot explain.
happened last night. As I sit here (It’s 10am the morning after the situation),
I find it hard to focus on typing. All I can focus on is trying to figure out
how and why this happened as it did.
a little general info. I work at a hotel. It’s a part of a global chain. The
hotel is not beautiful, but nor is it a slum… We are a 3 star hotel. I work
overnight 4 to 5 nights a week, from 11pm till 7am. During this time, I am the
only employee on the property. My nights are pretty dull. In a given night,
there is usually only about two hours’ worth of actual work. I spend most of
the night binge-watching Rick and Morty or South Park, or whatever. I walk all
three floors a couple of times a night, and I make breakfast in the morning at
5, which is most of my actual work. Other than that, I’m just there in case
someone checks in late or has a problem.
night was a very quiet night. Only 15 of our 85 rooms were occupied, so I was
planning for an easy, relaxing night. Until about 12:30, it was just that. I
hardly saw a person.
12:30am, the phone rang at the desk. I paused my show (South Park) and
answered, glancing at the phone first to see if it was a guest room, or an
outside line. Which one it was would dictate what I say. The display read RM
209, so I said, “front desk, this is Sean.” The conversation went as
Hi, I’m sorry to bother you, but I’m in room 209, and the woman next door to me
is being very loud. I cant sleep and I have to get up in 4 hours.
I apologize, miss. I’ll give the room a call, and if they don’t answer, I’ll
come upstairs and knock on their door and ask them to quiet down. Which side of
you is she on?
I heard her set the phone down, then I heard a door open. A few seconds later
the door shut. Then she picked up the phone again.
Yes, I’m still here.
If I look out the door, it is the room on my left, which is 211.
Ok, I’m sorry. I’ll get it sorted out.
Thank you. Good night.
hung up the phone, picked it back up, and dialed 211. There was no answer. I
looked on the computer to see who was in 211, so I could address her by name
when I knocked. I pulled up the “in house” list and scrolled down, to
discover that Room 211 is supposed to be vacant.
I was annoyed. This was not the first time this has happened. Some people will
switch a guest to a different room, and forget to change it in the system. This
is a problem for obvious reasons… You may send a guest to a room that is
already occupied… Big no no. So it pisses me off when people do this. This
meant that not only did I have to go upstairs and tell her to pipe down, but
now I had to ask her what her last name is so I could find her in the system
and switch her room. Sigh.
I switched the phone line to the cordless phone, put
the phone in my pocket, put the sign up on the desk that says “front desk
will return shortly” and headed upstairs. I approached the room and
knocked on the door. Nothing. I knocked a little louder.
desk!” I called through the door. Nothing. Nor could I hear any noise from
inside. Suddenly, the door to 209 opened. The woman who called me poked her
head out, having heard me in the hall knocking and calling. “She stopped
about 2 minutes ago,” she said, “but thank you for coming up.”
she seems to have quieted down now,” I said, “so I guess call me
again if she starts being noisy.”
will.” With that, she shut the door. Her problem was over, for now. Mine,
however, was not. I still had to figure out who was in 211 and correct the
error. I knocked one more time, got no answer, and decided to make a judgement
call and take a chance. I was going to use my master key and open the door. We
would normally not do this, but the facts were that the room was supposed to be
empty, and I myself hadn’t heard anything from the room. So officially, I
decided that the room was to be considered empty. I slipped my keycard into the
slot and watched the light flash green. I turned the knob, half expecting the
door to be deadbolted from the inside, as most guests do this when they are in
for the night. It was not deadbolted, and I swung the door open.
Then I stood
there for a moment, perplexed. the room was empty. And not in the sense that
the guest had stepped out to go to the vending machine… this room was
untouched, left exactly as the housekeepers left it. I looked around in the
bathroom and closet and was satisfied that the room was vacant. I was weirded
out, but also relieved. The woman had been mistaken and the sound was coming
from somewhere else. No rooms were wrong in the system like I’d thought. I made
a mental note to check room 207, the room on the other side of 209, in the
computer when I got downstairs. It probably came from that room and they had
just finally gone to sleep.
I did not have a chance to check the system. I did not even get a chance to get
down to the first floor. A few seconds after calling the elevator, before it
arrived, the cordless phone rang in my pocket. I took it out, looked at the
little LCD display, and froze.
display said RM 211.
looked back down the hall toward the room, pushing irrational thoughts out of
my head. It was silent in the hotel, save for the ringing phone in my hand.
Nobody had gone in or out of the room, as far as I could tell. ‘Well,’ I
thought, ignoring the uncontrollable sense of dread that was welling up in me,
‘now I can finally get to the bottom of this.’ I answered the phone.
Front desk, this is Sean.
(sounding angry): Did somebody just come into my room?
Uh… Ma’am… What room are you in?
I’m in 211. Somebody opened the door a moment ago walked through the room, and
left. I’m trying to sleep in here! Who was in my room?
is where I really started freaking out. Was somebody messing with me? No… How
could they change the room number as it appears on our phone system? But if
that wasn’t the case, then how was i talking to this woman? I literally could
not think of a reply. I could not think of what to do. Call the police? No…
What would I tell them? That we have a unauthorized guest in the hotel who
called me from a vacant room? And that nobody has actually seen this woman?
Then it hit me. I was still on the second floor. I had this woman on the phone.
All I had to do was keep her on the phone while I walked back to 211. I
couldn’t think of what to say to her, so I just decided to be honest. I slowly
started back toward 209.
Ma’am, we had a complaint about noise from your room, but it looks like an
error was made in the system and your room is listed as vacant. Could you tell
me your last name?
My last name is ______, I’ve been here for 3 nights so far. Why the hell are
people coming into my room?
was sounding more upset now. I was typing her last name on my cellphone so as
not to forget it.)
Well, ma’am, as I said, the room was listed as empty, and we got a complaint
about noise, so I knocked and then went in to investigate, but the room looked
this point, I was only a few steps from 211. I approached the door as the woman
got more upset.
NOISE!? I’ve been asleep for hours, until someone barged int-
point, right there, halfway into what I am sure was going to be “barged
into my room,” was when I knocked on the door. I was listening to her on
the phone, and I reached up and knocked. The moment my hand made contact with
the door, the line got cut off. Immediately, I took out my master key and burst
into the room to find… Nothing. Just an empty room, left in order by the
housekeepers, exactly as it was before. I slammed the door behind me and
frantically searched every corner of the room… Nothing. I searched every
place that a human being could hide, even in the fridge. Nothing. Now I was
very freaked out. I ran out and ran down to the front desk, my heart beating so
hard I could literally HEAR it. The first thing I did was search the system for
the name she gave me. We had no record of anyone ever making a reservation
under that name.
the next couple hours, I was on edge. Just sitting at the desk, glancing around
like a nervous lizard, darting my eyes this way and that. Everything seemed to
move in my peripherals, a symptom of my fear. I guess I wouldn’t call it fear,
more of a sense of… disturbance. Like reality had suddenly hit a bump or had
a glitch, with the inescapable feeling that it was not over, and more was going
to happen any second. But it never did.
Eventually, I had to make breakfast.
That helped distract me and then, to my relief, a couple of my regular guests
came down for breakfast. It was comforting to talk with a familiar face… It
helped calm my nerves. Of course, I mentioned nothing of this to them, or to my
manager when he relieved me. I haven’t heard from the mystery woman again, but
I did see the woman who initially complained. I thought about pulling her aside
and talking to her about it, but I thought better of the idea. After all, she
hadn’t seen the room. She hadn’t seen it all in order, empty.
All she knew is
that there was noise in the next room, she called me and complained, and the
noise stopped and nobody would answer the door. If I started telling her about
my “phantom woman” she would think I was crazy… I couldn’t blame
her, I myself have been battling with my mind trying to figure out if I maybe I
some some sort of mental break that caused hallucinations, or if what I saw and
heard really is what happened. I’m not at the point of actually talking to a
psychiatrist, but I am concerned… The only comfort I have is the knowledge
that most people who are “crazy” (loose term) don’t usually suspect
it. The old saying “crazy people don’t know they’re crazy” often
In a way, I did the world a favor.
Let me tell you a story about something that happened twenty years ago. When I
attended a private school up north in the state of Maine. Situated between two
large pine forests, it gave the school a run-down, eerie feeling to it. There
were no buildings located within eyesight of the campus.
house was located a few miles away from the school. I was lucky enough to have
both my parents, but we were poor. I told my classmates that both my parents’
measly salaries were not enough to afford a car.
walked to school every day. And, just like that, every morning I began my three
mile trek across the frigid northern air, across the complex maze of gravel
paths that connected the entire rural area. Unlike most of the 11 year old
children attending my school, I knew the entire map like the inside of our parent’s
car. That is to say, the only path I knew was to school and back.
proved detrimental when winter came.
schooldays ends at 6:00 pm. I know, it’s downright outrageous for a child to
attend school for 10 hours. But this school was my only option.
school was let out, nightfall had already engulfed the pine forests.
darkness. That was the worst part of it. It swallowed reality as the tree
trunks were enveloped with a thick layer of tar-black nothingness. The
occasional sound emanated from somewhere deep within the darkness as the
northern winds let out a guttural moan as it blew across the barren branches of
was still forced to walk home.
gravel paths were next to invisible. Strange shadows cast across the paths,
plastered on the gravel from moonlight. The subzero temperatures and
overwhelming darkness made navigation next to impossible.
winter night, I made a wrong turn. I had been walking for at least 30 minutes
now, and at this point I could not see any recognizable features of the
familiar path I had walked hundreds of times before. Panic had not yet set in,
as I aimlessly wandered the dim, moonlit path, hoping to run into someone who
could take me home.
had not been another 20 minutes until I saw it. A van, parked almost inside the
woods, with a man dressed in a suit as dark as the surrounding woods standing
next to it, almost creating the illusion that he was but a floating head. My
parents had always told me that strange people lived in these woods. I’ve rarely
ever had contact with any of them, so I wouldn’t know about strange.
was waving at me, gesturing for me to come closer. I thought about how he would
be able to drive home with me, so I walked towards him.
I approached him, I saw through the darkness that he was a man, aged around
forty. His van was colored a shaded white, as if it had been used for decades.
He had a smile on his face, but even at the mere age of eleven I could almost
tell that the smile was dishonest. His facial features were rough, with a
trimmed beard and greased hair.
pupils were dilated. There were dilated to the point where I could easily see
them underneath the dim moonlight. A sign of pure lust.
began to talk. His voice was quiet and soothing, and eleven year old me listened
little boy. Where are your parents? Someone like you shouldn’t be wandering
around when it is this dark outside.”
responded, “I think I might’ve taken a wrong turn thirty minutes back. I want
to go home.”
why don’t you call your parents?” he said. “Are your parents home? If not I can
give you a ride in my van”.
they aren’t home. I think they said they are busy doing work stuff at the
office”, I said. “It’s just my brother at home alone. He’s 6, so he can’t
soon as he heard that my brother was home alone, I saw his right arm flex,
making a fist. He exhaled deeply, and I saw the cloud of misty air puff out of
his mouth in the freezing Maine air. As soon as he did this, I saw the shining
gleam of a knife blade in his sleeve.
did not run away. I didn’t even call for help. I gave him my address and got in
his van. When I looked into the back trunk, I saw deep scratch marks and rope,
as if he intentionally tries to ruin his van. A small blood stain located on
one of the corners of the van gleamed in the light of the van’s inside glow.
this point, even the most naïve of children would have taken a hint. But I
didn’t. I sat calmly in the back of his van as he drove towards my house.
thought about how big and strong the man was. His flexing arm in frigid woods
back where I found him. I saw his face in the rear-view mirror, and I caught a
glimpse of a sneer. Such a nice man. So much muscle and fat, matured to the age
of forty. He could have easily killed me. I saw how tightly he grasped the
steering wheel, as he pulled up to the front of my house.
stepped out, and I saw how thick his thigh was. Rippling flesh tethered to
immensely strong bones. I saw that my parents had parked inside their garage
today, both of their cars hidden from sight. Thank god. Being an only child
meant my parents rarely ever left the house, which made it even easier for me.
parents did not have a job. They’ve taught me that the only necessary thing
that people earn money for is food. Everything else is unnecessary. Cars and
bikes can be stolen. Houses can be displaced of their previous owners.
food? My parents didn’t need money for that either. Food was walking up to my
front porch, getting ready to kick the door down with his meaty leg, where my
parents waited inside with a rifle.
So I guess strange people really did
live in those woods.