/r/shortscarystories

Photograph via snooOG

We enjoy our horror short and sweet. 500 words or less.

Please read the rules of subreddit before posting stories: Posting Guidelines

Note: All stories submitted to r/ShortScaryStories belong to the original poster. If you fail to ask permission before narrating, translating, producing, or sharing their post to another page/website, the original poster may file a DMCA strike against you. This means that they will be able to have their content removed from your page. If several authors file DMCA strikes against you, most sites will remove your page completely.

Have you found stories shared/narrated without author permission? Report it on /r/SleeplessWatchdogs!


Rules

  1. All stories must be 500 words or less. A story that is 501 words (or two sentences or less, to distinguish us from r/twosentencehorror) will be removed. The go-to source that mods use to check stories is www.wordcounter.net. Be aware that formatting can artificially increase the word count without your knowledge; any discrepancy between what your document says and what the mod sees on wordcounter.net will be resolved in favor of wordcounter.net. In the same vein, all of the story must be in the post itself, and not be carried on in the title of the story or in the comment section.

  2. Stories cannot have links in them. This is meant to reduce distractions. Any story with a link in it will be removed.

  3. Tags are reserved for Contests or Challenges and SSS posts disguised as posts from other subreddits. Otherwise, there is no need to add tags to a post. Stories with tags will be removed and re-submissions will be required. We do not require trigger warnings here as other rules cover subject matters which may be harmful to readers. Additionally, emojis and other non-text items are not allowed in the title.

  4. No Non-Story Text Within the Story. No comments about it being your first post, or repeating the title within the story text, no side mentions of your inspiration. Just the narrative by itself. You have the comment section to host any commentary you have on it.

  5. No multi-part stories, no sequels, prequels, interquels, alternative viewpoint stories, links to previous stories for reference, or anything that builds off of or depends on some other story you’ve written. The story begins and ends within the 500 words or less you are allotted.

  6. Self-Promotion can only be done in the comment section of the story. Authors may only link to personal subreddits, other subreddits, and YouTube narrations of the work currently posted. Links to sales sites such as Amazon or posts with the intent of generating sales are strictly forbidden. We no longer allow links to outsides websites like blogs, author websites, or anything else.

  7. We ask that authors focus on creating stories within horror and thriller stories. You may borrow from other genres, but the main focus of the story MUST be to horrify, scare, or unsettle. Stories with jokey punchline will be removed. We shouldn't be laughing at the end of the story. Stories dealing with depression, suicide, mental illness, medical ailments, and other assorted topics belong over on /r/ShortSadStories. However, this doesn't mean you cannot use these topics in your stories. There's a delicate balance between something horrifying and sad. If we can interpret the story as being scary, we will do so. Please note that badly written stories, don't necessarily fall under this category. The story can be terrible, but still be focused on horror.

  8. All stories must be an original work. Stories must be submitted by the authors who wrote the story. Do not steal other users' stories. This rule also applies to famous or common stories that you’ve merely reworded slightly. This does not apply to famous stories you’ve reworked considerably, such as a fresh take on a fairytale or urban legend. No fan fiction allow. Stories generated via AI are not allowed. Stories based on copyrighted materials will be removed as well. The rule of thumb is that the original your story is, the safer you'll be.

  9. Rape/Pedophilia/Bestiality/Torture Porn/Gore Porn are Off-Limit Topics. The intent of this ban is to prevent bad actors from exploiting this sub as a delivery system for their fantasies, which would bring the tone down, and alienate the reader base who don’t want to be exposed to such material. We acknowledge that this ban throws out the baby with the bath water, as well-made stories that merely happen to have such themes will get removed as well. But if we let in the decent stories with such content, those bad actors can point at them and demand to know why those stories get to stay and not theirs. Better by far to head the issue off entirely with a hard ban and stick to it.

  10. Authors must wait 24 hours between submissions. This is intended to prevent prolific writers from crowding out others from the front page by spamming the sub. It is likely if you mistime it, you’ll be able to copy/paste and resubmit your story once the 24 hours has passed.

  11. We reserve the right to remove any story that fails to use proper grammar, has frequent typos, or is in general just a poorly composed story. This is relative, and we will use that right as sparingly as possible.

  12. This includes, but is not limited to: bigotry/hate speech, personal insults, exceptionally low quality feedback, antagonistic behavior, use of slurs, etc. Use your best judgement. Mod response will take the form of a spectrum ranging from a mild warning to a permaban, depending on the context. Incidentally, the lowest response we have to mod abuse is banning, because we quite literally don’t need to put up with it.

  13. Posts impersonating other subreddit posting styles like /r/AITA, /r/Relationships, /r/Advice, are no longer allowed on SSS. If there's commentary about subreddit confusion in the comment section, your story will be removed.

  14. Links to Author Collectives with Restricted Submissions and/or curated content cannot be advertised on SSS.


A few additional notes:

If you have an issue that you need to address or a question for us, please contact us over modmail. That said, mod decisions are final; badgering or spamming us with messages over and over about the same subject will not change our minds, but it can easily get you banned.

If you see a story or comment that breaks these rules, please hit the report button. This will help us maintain a tightly focused and enjoyable sub for everyone.

We reserve the right to lock any thread that veers off topic into some controversial subject, such as politics or social commentary. This is simply not the venue for it.

Meta commentary and questions about the sub can be made at /r/ShortScaryStoriesOOC


Other Things

/r/shortscarystories

810,367 Subscribers

11

I'm a primary school teacher. The last assignment I gave was to write an essay titled "My Dad's Job". Here's what one kid wrote.

Hey everyone,

I’m a first-grade teacher and I’m facing a situation that’s left me really unsettled. I recently gave my class an assignment to write a short essay about what their parents do for a living. It’s usually a fun exercise with kids talking about their parents being doctors, firefighters, construction workers, etc. But this time, I received an essay from one of my students that has me genuinely worried. Let's call him Timmy.

A bit of context: This boy is somewhat of an enigma. He’s the only student in my class whose parents have never shown up for any school events or parent-teacher conferences. Whenever I’ve asked about his family, he clams up and refuses to give me any details about his father’s name or their address. It’s odd, but I never pressed too hard, thinking there might be personal issues at play.

Anyway, here’s the essay he handed in. Keep in mind, it’s written by a first-grader, so the language is simple and innocent. But the content… well, read for yourself:

My Dad's Job by Timmy

My dad has a really cool job. He helps people sleep! It's super important because everyone needs sleep to feel good and strong. My dad is very good at his job, and he works at night when it’s very quiet. He says that there are people living in his head who tell him what to do, and that they know best. They say that people don't sleep enough, and that somebody should help people fall asleep.

My dad has lots of shiny tools that he uses for his job. Some of them are sharp, like the ones we see in the kitchen, but they are special because they help him do his job perfectly. He has big shiny knives, tiny pointy things, and sometimes he uses ropes. He keeps them all very clean and shiny, and I think they look really cool.

Dad has a special room where he does his job. It has drawers and tables for the tools and a special chair where the people he helps have to sit down. It has special belts that help them keep still. He says that it helps them fall asleep faster.

When my dad helps people sleep, sometimes there is a lot of red juice. He says it's the same kind of red juice as the one that comes out of my knee when I fall from my bike. I don’t know why there is so much red juice, but my dad says it’s normal and that it means he is doing a good job. The red juice can get everywhere, and it’s a little messy, but my dad always cleans up really well. He doesn’t like to leave any mess behind. He even has a special white suit and mask to stop the juice from getting on his clothes.

Sometimes, people don’t want to sleep and they scream and cry. Like my little sister who has an earlier bedtime than me but always wants to stay up later! My dad says they are just scared because they don’t know how much better they will feel after they sleep. He tries to help them calm down, but it can be hard. My dad is very patient and tries his best to help everyone. He told me that he puts them in black bags and puts them underground to help them sleep better. He regularly drives very far to find a quiet place and digs deep holes there to put the people in black bags in. I think that’s very kind of him because it means they can sleep without any noise or disturbances.

My dad also plays games with the police. It sounds like a lot of fun! He calls it hide and seek. The police try to find him, but he is very good at hiding. He hides so well that the police can’t catch him. My dad says the detectives have a lot of fun trying to find him, and he likes to send them funny letters to keep the game going. He even sends letters to the newspapers to make people laugh.

One time, my dad showed me a letter he sent to a newspaper. It had lots of funny pictures and words, and I think it made a lot of people smile. He is very good at drawing and writing, and he always makes his letters very interesting.

My dad says he is not allowed to use his real name for his job. It's part of the game's rules and makes it more fun. He uses a special secret nickname to sign his letters.

My dad’s job is really exciting, and I’m proud of him. He works very hard to help people sleep and makes sure they are comfortable. Even though some people might be scared, my dad always knows what to do. He is the best at playing hide and seek with the police and making everyone laugh with his letters.

Last week, he told me that the police had to make the rules harder because he's so good at the game. The police told people through the newspaper that they aren't allowed to walk alone at night and should call 9-1-1 when they see him. I think it's cheating and really unfair. But he says that it just makes the game more fun.

I love my dad and think he has the best job ever. He is always there to help people when they need to sleep and makes sure everything is just right. I want to be just like him when I grow up and help people too.

Should I contact the authorities or am I overreacting? I’m genuinely at a loss here and could use some advice. I'm seriously worried about the boy and I can't think of any normal job that fits this description. But it could also be just a very vivid imagination.

Thanks for reading and any guidance you can offer.

2 Comments
2024/06/26
12:08 UTC

2

The guy smoking cigarettes

There’s an old story about a shepherd in my village which every time I’m hearing it I’m getting the chills

They say that he had a field for his animals and every time he was watching them he was sitting and smoking under a big tree, this usually happened mid day btw so now think it’s very quiet and has a lot of Sun

Years passed and the shepherd died because he was too old so he had a natural death. So now the animals and the field was his son (let me name him Jerry)

Jerry knew how to do his dad work matter fact he was doing exactly the same things. So one day sitting under the big tree he started smelling the cigars his dad used to do, that was weird for him since he hate to smoke he could even smell it

That smell continued and he told that to his family and friends..one guy said Jerry to take 2 big nails and nail the tree, Jerry was confused but brave enough toso this so he went to the tree again in mid day like when his dad was to go and held the nail in the tree

The moment that he hit the nail a loud scream was heard and he fell on his back, he got scared and left the field running.

From that day nothing happend they say that Jerry helped his dad soul leave to heaven and that it was stuck in a loop of our dimension…

0 Comments
2024/06/26
11:44 UTC

10

Addiction

My father was addicted to cigarettes. It wasn't just a habit, but a hardcore addiction similar to that of heroin or morphine addicts. When he couldn't smoke regularly his whole personality changed. He didn't become irritable or crabby like most smokers but turned quiten and sullen, withdrawn into himself, into obsessing with the idea of having a smoke. His enslavement to nicotine was utterly inescapable, like it was a part of his being.

He absolutely had to smoke at least once every 90 minutes - we discovered this rather precise measurement during one of our many attempts to help him quit. If his lungs were not supplied with smoke after that time it made him visibly anxious and beyond that he could not function.

Due to the ferocity of his need to smoke regularly there was no hope for him of working indoors. Nor could he work around other people - some who observed dad’s smoking habit were even disturbed by it. Consequently, he became a truck driver. It was almost perfect, a solitary job where you could be in your own space most of the time.

Also, Mom, who married dad despite knowing about his addiction, banned him from inside the house after I was born. He ended up building a little annex in the backyard and lived there so he could smoke freeyl. He came over for meals occasionally.

All addictions eventually lead to greater calamities beyond the misfortune of being addicted and this was the case with dad. One night, due to some miscalculation, he ran out of cigarettes while on the road. In panic he dangerously sped up his 18 ton truck to get to a store, eventually crashing into an oncoming bus.

Fortunately - or unfortunately, according to him - he survived the crash with just minor injuries. ‘God decided to toy me some more’ he said once.

He ended up in prison for negligent driving. But the greater punishment for him was having to somehow manage his addiction inside. It was near impossible to keep up his level of addiction there, so he tried every trick in the Book of Prison Life to find a way to smoke whenever he could. He regularly “sold himself” for a smoke, I later learnt.

The risks dad took for cigarettes eventually cost his life when one of the deals he made with an inmate turned sour, and violent. He was bludgeoned to death. When the prison warden returned his possessions to us the box contained only a lighter. He sold everything he ever had inside for cigarettes.

A few years after dad passed, I read a story in a paper about a secret experiment conducted by tobacco marketing companies in the 80s which involved exposing some young people to chemical substances known to elevate addiction-inducing hormones. The article said, the people affected suffered lifelong debilitating addictions to tobacco. I was so overwhelmed by pity and sorrow for my late dad I started crying uncontrollably.

0 Comments
2024/06/26
10:11 UTC

64

My boyfriend started taking brain enhancement pills

My boyfriends Bryan is a real fuck up. He kept getting let go from his jobs, addicted to weed, always feeling sorry for himself. Despite all that, He has a good heart, and I love him for it. 

Things changed when his dealer told him about a new drug, Brain Speed. He told him that it will turn his life for the better, make him a genius. To my surprise, it actually did.

It was really overnight, I could tell from looking into his eyes, there was more life in them. It didn’t take him long to get a job. He also became considerably more positive, no more self pity, I was happy for him.

But of course, like any drug, the high does not last, and there would eventually be a low. But with Brain Speed, he didn’t stop being smart, it actually felt like he kept getting smarter, frighteningly smarter. But he also became aggressive and violent, something Bryan never was.

He hit me for the first time ever. Apparently I brewed his coffee 2 degrees above the optimal temperature. He noticed things like that now. 

He would slap me when we’re being intimate for not orgasming. He said that he knew exactly where my G-spot was. No amount of brain enhancement enabled him to actually make me climax. He could tell when I faked it, and the beatings kept getting more violent in nature.

I reached my breaking point when I wanted to end things. He told me that I was a dumb bitch to leave a god like him. I told him I was going to report him to the police, he said that he was infinitely smarter than me and would make it look like I was the abusive one. With his cunning intellectual ability, I truly believed him. I felt like a hostage.

There was only one thing to do. I had to kill him. Make it look like the drugs did it. I ordered an untraceable fatal drug on the dark web. The next morning I woke him up with a kiss. I told him that I brewed his coffee at the perfect temperature, and that he’ll appreciate the taste. 

We sat in the kitchen, I added the poison when he was asleep, I gave him his cup and I also drank my own to avoid suspicions from his attentive mind. He told me to look behind me for a second. The oven was still on, I turned it off and sat back down. I drank my coffee, and to my pleasure, he drank his. 

“I switched the cups when you weren’t looking, you really think you can kill me bitch?” Bryan said.

“I guess you’re not as smart as you think you are, I poisoned both cups, I couldn’t risk you outwitting me."

I barely finished my sentence when I fell to the ground. I heard him drop and hit his head quite hard. In my dying moments, I finally felt free.

2 Comments
2024/06/26
08:33 UTC

57

The Man in the Trees

“There’s a man in the trees.”

Nora took a silent breath, bracing herself for a wave of disorganized paranoia.

“It’s good to see you again, Michael,” she smiled. “I want to hear about the trees, but let’s do our usual check-in first, okay?”

Offering nothing more than a blank stare and noncommittal nod, Michael waited for his therapist to proceed.

“Thanks,” she smiled. “How have you been sleeping?”

“Horrible. Terrible. Not at all, really. The trees. The man. The man in the trees talks and talks and talks and I don’t sleep.”

“That sounds exhausting. Have you been taking your medication?”

His eyes met her's, briefly, before fixating on the small Buddha statue resting on the coffee table.

“When is the last time you did take your medication? I remember you said it usually makes you sleepy,” Nora prodded, with a mask of concern. All Michael could manage was a silent shrug.

“Do you remember signing that release for me to chat with Dr. Addington? I need to call and let him know it’s time for a med check up. Should we call him together?”

“He talks about you,” Michael responded flatly, ignoring her inquest.

“The trees?”

“THE MAN!” Michael screamed.

Nora knew better than to react. Instead, she apologized calmly. “I’m sorry, Michael. Tell me about the man. What does he say?”

Chewing vigorously at his bottom lip, Michael wrenched his head toward the window, his eyes fixated on an old magnolia in the courtyard.

“Is the man in the trees talking to you now?”

"No, but he’s listening. He listens to me. Listens listens listens."

"What is he listening for, Michael?" Nora leaned forward.

Michael turned from the window slowly before standing to his feet and muttering rapidly. “It's your fault. He talks about you. He’s listening now. It's you. This is your fault.”

Nora eyed the door, nervously considering her exit. She leaned back, cautious of any sudden moves. Michael had been her client for years, yet she’d never seen him so agitated.

“It seems like the voice you hear from the man in the trees is really scaring you,” she validated. “I can’t imagine what he’s saying but I want to help you feel safe. We can call Dr. Addin——“

Michael lunged forward, striking Nora with the Buddha figure. Blood sprayed across the window as she fell back sloppily into her chair.

At least that’s what I could gather as I listened in from the phone in Michael’s pocket. I emerged from behind the courtyard tree, meeting him at the entrance to the office.

“I did it. She’s dead. Can you leave me alone now? Can you finally let me sleep?”

“You did great, Michael. Yes, it’s time to sleep,” I reassured as I sat with him in the sidewalk, sticking him with the lorazepam.

The police arrived not long after he was sedated. I stood, greeting the officers, “Yes, hi, my name is Dr. Kenneth Addington. I believe my patient just killed my wife.”

5 Comments
2024/06/26
03:09 UTC

52

DAM GHOST LADY!

I always knew I was different. Some people would say odd. It never bothered me really , but for the last three months it has been hard on me.

Three months ago, I was at a bar. I asked a girl if I could buy her a drink. She got up and left. Ohh well, maybe I came across as a creep. Ok , check this out. I live by myself but it’s not because I want to. I put a room mate add out last week and only two freaks came to my door and before I opened it, they ran away.

I’m now getting really down on myself. My sister won’t pick up my calls. I guess last time I got really drunk and said if I drink again, she won’t deal with me anymore.

The truth is I think I see dead people. I see people crying and sobbing and then they disappear. I told this to my mom about four months ago. She also won’t take my calls.

Update on my situation. I went to the park yesterday. I sat next to an old lady on the bench . I told her about my drama and shit . Finally , she gave me some good advice. She said “ Stop being a bitch ! You went to the bar three months ago. You got mad when that girl rejected your drink. You got drunk , left the bar and a car hit you. You died instantly. You will see a light soon. Follow it . You don’t want to be that bitchy ghost that people hear screaming whooooooooooooo”

3 Comments
2024/06/26
02:56 UTC

43

I asked my coworker on a date and now I’m afraid I made things awkward…

I started working at a new company a few months ago. It was going okay - it’s a woman owned business so needless to say, most of the employees are younger women who don’t have much in common with me, a 45 year old man. The job itself is pretty boring. I was even thinking of quitting and going back to my old job. But that was before I met Roxanne.

 Roxanne had been vacationing in the Dominican Republic for the past two months so it was her first time in the office since I started there. 

All the women flocked to her desk to greet her and hear the tales of her time away. When my curiosity got the better of me and I joined the crowd, I understood why they were so enamored with her.

Roxanne was beautiful.

Her golden brown skin and the faint tan line around her ring finger told me two things - one, she’d been spending lots of time at the beach, no doubt putting her curves on display - and two, she’d done it alone.

My first suspicion was confirmed when I peered down over the women’s shoulders and saw the photos of Roxanne sunbathing in a teal colored bikini. The second was confirmed when Roxanne and I had a one on one in the break room.

She was divorced.

And available.

I took the opportunity to ask her out. “I know this is soon,” I told her. “But there’s something special between us. I can FEEL it. And I know you can too.” Roxanne looked at me like I had three heads. Had I miscalculated? No, it couldn’t be. Roxanne and I BELONG together.

“It doesn’t have to be anything fancy, like dinner,” I continued, sensing her uneasiness. “We can watch a movie at my place.” I offered her a warm smile to which she did not return.

“No thank you,” she responded in her delicate tone. “I’m not interested.”

Heat rose to my face almost instantly at her rejection. I looked around the break room at the other workers, whispering and giggling amongst themselves. Roxanne continued eating her Turkey sandwich like I didn’t even exist.

But I refuse to be ignored.

I stood up to grab the coffee pot resting on the counter nearby and slammed it on the table, breaking it in half. The break room filled with screams that drew in an even bigger crowd that watched as I swiftly used the glass to slit Roxanne’s throat.

Anyway, the whole office just saw and now I’m afraid I’ve made things awkward.

3 Comments
2024/06/26
02:15 UTC

18

The Devil And The Deep Blue Sea

She stood there, listening to the waves crash against the chalk cliffs below, the seagulls crying like mourning demons, and wondered how it had come to this, standing at a known suicide spot trying to get the courage to take that last step into oblivion.

It was the voices in her head, of course. The ones that she'd failed to silence even through her glittering career - the ones that said she was hated, the ones that said she was worthless. The ones that whispered horrible things to her in the lonely hours before dawn and promised a release from her torment if she'd only embrace the darkness.

She prepared to take the last step. And then she heard, through the wind and waves and noise, a quiet voice.

"I don't think you want to do that".

She turned to face a young man, dressed in black leather, with a piercing gaze. She screamed at him to leave her alone, she'd made her decision, and that nobody would stop her, that the voices were right - death was the only thing she had left.

And so he told her what the voices wouldn't. How the entry into oblivion would not be easy, but would involve horror, fear and regret as she fell like a porcelain doll whipping in the wind to smash on the rocks below. How her pleas for peace might be rejected and she would suffer an eternity of torment, living as a broken shell or as a soul tied to her decomposing mortal remains sleeping on the seabed. She still screamed for him to leave her alone, for that was still better than life with the voices.

And then he told her that the voices lied. As the wind howled and the voices hissed profanities to drown him out, he told her that giving into her voices would torment far more than just her, just as the void she left in the world could never be filled. And that there were other voices. Ones to give her peace, if only she listened.

And then he held out his hand, and said "come take my hand, don't be afraid".

And she wept, and she took his hand and ran with him. Away from the waves and mourning demons. She found herself home, faced by a worried family, as for the first time in years, other voices began to whisper. To drown out the darkness.

Later that night, as she slept in peace in her own bed, the clifftop hosted two young men. One dressed in black, and one in white. The one in white spoke.

"I don't understand, Luke. Why? It'll cause hell with the accounting department upstairs!"

The one in black smiled.

"Because, Gabe, I can. Maybe I didn't want to win this time. Maybe I'm tired. Maybe it's time to let you guys win a few more."

And as the pair laughed and walked into the night, moonlight rippled silver on the water, like a blessing.

4 Comments
2024/06/26
02:06 UTC

9

The Whispering Woods

In the sleepy village of Ravencroft, a dense, ancient forest loomed at its edge, known to the locals as the Whispering Woods. No one dared enter, for it was said that once inside, you could hear voices—ghostly whispers calling out, luring travelers deeper until they were never seen again. The villagers avoided the forest like a plague, sharing tales of those who had disappeared within its shadowy depths.

Late one autumn evening, young Eliza, a curious and adventurous soul, decided to venture into the Whispering Woods. She had grown weary of the ominous stories and sought to uncover the truth. Armed with a lantern and a notebook, she set off along the narrow, winding path that led into the heart of the forest.

The air grew colder and heavier with each step Eliza took. The trees, twisted and gnarled, seemed to close in around her, their branches clawing at the sky like skeletal fingers. The wind whispered through the leaves, carrying with it faint, disembodied voices. Eliza could barely make out what they were saying, but they seemed to be calling her name, drawing her further into the dark embrace of the woods.

As she ventured deeper, the whispers grew louder and more distinct. “Eliza… Eliza… come closer,” they beckoned. Her lantern flickered, casting eerie shadows that danced across the forest floor. Eliza’s heart raced, but her curiosity overpowered her fear. She pressed on, determined to unravel the mystery of the Whispering Woods.

Suddenly, the path split into three, each leading into thicker darkness. The whispers intensified, coming from all directions, each voice trying to pull her toward a different route. Panic began to set in as Eliza realized she was lost. She chose the middle path, hoping it would lead her out of the labyrinthine forest.

The trees grew denser, their branches intertwining to form a canopy that blocked out the moonlight. Eliza’s lantern finally died, plunging her into pitch-black darkness. The whispers now surrounded her, filling her ears with chilling laughter and desperate pleas. “Help us, Eliza,” they cried. “Join us…”

Desperation clawed at Eliza’s mind as she stumbled forward, her hands outstretched to feel her way through the oppressive darkness. The ground beneath her feet became uneven and soft, as if she were walking on a bed of decaying leaves and bones. Her breath came in ragged gasps, and she could feel the cold tendrils of fear wrapping around her heart.

Then, she saw it—a faint, ghostly light ahead, flickering like a will-o’-the-wisp. It called to her, promising safety and an escape from the whispers that gnawed at her sanity. With renewed hope, Eliza stumbled toward the light, her heart pounding in her chest.

But as she reached out to grasp it, the ground beneath her gave way. She fell, tumbling into a deep, dark pit. The whispers grew louder, laughing and jeering as she plummeted into the abyss. The last thing she heard before everything went black was a voice, clear and mocking, whispering in her ear: “Welcome home, Eliza.”

1 Comment
2024/06/26
01:41 UTC

38

Ride Sharing

I never thought being an Uber driver could be this exciting. It’s my first night- new outfit, new car, new attitude. I find myself sitting in the parking lot of the local grocery store, waiting for my phone to go off. It’s raining pretty hard but I don’t mind. I turn on the radio to drown out the sound of the rain pelting down on the closed sunroof- turns out one of my favorite songs has just started- what a great night. Drumming my palms on the steering wheel, I bob my head to the beat while I watch customers run to their cars to escape the downpour. I hear humming come from my cupholder- the phone is finally going off. I fumble it into my lap, I can barely hold on to it in all my excitement.

False alarm- just a weather advisory warning.

I keep the phone on my lap this time to make sure I don’t break it in a panic. I lean over and grab the half-eaten sandwich on the passenger seat. Giving it a quick look-over, I take a giant bite, and continue to bob my head to the music. The phone vibrates again- this time no false alarm. A young woman and her friend have requested a pickup. I throw the sandwich into the glovebox and yell out a cheer to myself- time to go to work.

I sing along with the music on the way to my pickup- excited, and admittedly nervous as I’ve even been. As I get closer to the destination, doubt begins to creep into my mind.

What if they don’t like the car? – After all, it’s not mine.

What if they don’t like my outfit? – After all, it’s not mine.

What if they realize I’m not their driver? – After all, he’s dead in the trunk.

4 Comments
2024/06/26
00:50 UTC

44

PHOTOS OF SYLVIA

Sylvia stared at the photo of herself...

The bedroom walls were the same. Chipped paper. Glue-drooled corners. The photo was taken from outside the window on the first floor.

Sylvia raced to the police station, waved the picture over the front desk——

"And—and someone sent a photo like this last week from a further distance... But this is at my window——my WINDOW!"

"Ma'am take a deep breath."

"It's telling me," Sylvia shuddered, "it's telling me it's getting closer. It's getting closer. Next time it'll be HERE. I know it!"

Her cheeks quaked, and she began to sob. The receptionist stood with pity——

"Ma'am, we'll do everything we can to help, okay? You can count on us. We're here to help."

"Okay..."

"We'll send an officer to patrol the house tonight," she slid a sheet across the desk, "just write your address here and we'll send someone at sundown, alright?"

"Okay," Sylvia continued, "thank you..."

Sylvia plucked the cup's pen and wrote her home address...

—————————————

Sylvia's curtains zapped open. She checked the street, her watch. 8 o'clock... It'd been an hour after dark with no officer in sight.

She dialed the phone thrice——

Beep-beep-beep... boooooooop....click.

"Hello this is Sylvia Arnold. I was at the station earlier and I told one of the receptionists about uh——a stalker who'd taken a photo of me. Is there anyway I could talk to her? I can't remember her name."

"This is her. Has an officer not arrived yet? We sent him an hour ago?"

Syvia plucked the curtains, "no, no. No one's here yet. Can you call him and see where he is?"

"Absolutely——I'll call right back."

"Thanks, thanks so much."

The phone cut quiet and Sylvia routed to her bedroom. Suddenly, she heard a knock at the door.

Knock-knock-knock!

She flipped the peephole then the door handle——

"Oh! Thank God you're here. I was losing my mind... I just called the station asking where you were."

An officer stepped inside. "Pig" was no slur, but a nice description. His chubby cheeks caked in salty sweat, and his beady black eyes galloped the room. "Patterson" gleamed nicely on his silver name tag——

"It's Sylvia right?"

"That's right... You want some coffee or anything to drink?"

"That's alright. I'll just have a look around if that's okay?"

"Sure. Please do."

"Thank you."

Officer Patterson retreated to a room as Sylvia returned to the window.

RIIIIIIINGGGG! The phone. Sylvia snatched it off its hook——

"Hello?"

"Hello, is this Ms. Arnold?"

"Yes."

"Our patrol officer wouldn't pick up so we're sending someone else. He should be there in a few minutes. We're sorry for the inconvenience."

"Oh, no no he showed up. He just got here."

"Who showed up?"

"Uhh—Officer Patterson, I think?"

The line trembled quiet with the echo of distant typing, "hmm... no that can't be right. We don't have an Officer Patterson."

Chick!

Sylvia heard the flutter of a camera.

And the pulse of warm breath behind her...

1 Comment
2024/06/25
23:36 UTC

119

My Neighbor’s Not Human

I had recently moved into my new apartment complex and was introduced to my new neighbor a few hours later. He was an elderly man with a friendly smile and called himself Mr. Ortiz. He invited me to have tea with him, but I declined.

It wasn't really because I didn't like him, I just...had this feeling. Like this bad feeling that the gentle old man who lived across the hall from me wasn't what he seemed to be.

I pushed that feeling away though. It was stressful enough just barely getting away from my childhood home where my father craved alcohol more than me, so I didn't want to have to deal with anything else.

That feeling was still in me though, of distrust between us. I still tried to push it down, thinking it was stupid.

That was until last night.

I was getting ready for bed when I heard Mr Ortiz's voice.

I turned around. I saw him in the doorway to my living room and almost screamed. He looked abnormal, on one side, he was his kind elderly self, but on the other, there was a mixture of animal and body parts. He gave his friendly smile But there was a hint of malicious evil within it.

He made a few steps towards me and I passed out from shock. I woke up, and it was morning. But that didn't matter, because I was right. My neighbor wasn't a human being.

And I couldn't let him live any longer.

So I plotted, the best precautions, a quick and efficient method, and gained Mr Ortiz's trust. Then I planned a way to break in. Luckily there was a fire escape on Mr Ortiz's side, and mine.

Then the night I planned came. I went out of my apartment, then using the fire escape, I broke a window to get inside. I crept into the living room. He was surprised to see me. I didn't waste any longer. I charged at him and muffled his mouth with one gloved hand while stabbing him in the heart with the other. His eyes widened and he crumbled to the ground and I began stabbing him some more.

He begged through his muffled mouth to stop, tears began to escape through his eyes, but I didn't stop until he went limp. I stood up, with some blood on my hoodie, before rushing back to the fire escape, and carefully snuck onto mine, which allowed me to get back through my apartment window.

As I got off my blood-stained clothes, I felt relief flow through me. I managed to kill something that posed a threat to everyone. I was able to kill a wolf in sheep's clothing.

After I showered, I prepared for bed. Before that, I went to my medicine cabinet and got my daily medicine. I noticed something odd though. There were still more pills than last time.

That was strange, I thought I'd taken some before...

3 Comments
2024/06/25
23:16 UTC

503

All want to know is if I'm a missing kid. Why are all the Google search results purple?

I live in a really lucky town, where nobody gets old.

Mom and Dad, my adoptive parents, are 240 years old.

I never knew my real parents. I've looked them up through my name.

Rory Farlan.

Nothing.

All I've known is Old Ridge Boarding House, a safe haven for wayward kids.

During nights, it doubles as a burger place that serves town residents. We have to call the owners Mom and Dad, though they're more akin to an auntie and uncle. Mom and Dad call us Strays.

There are exactly 50 Strays here, aged thirteen to seventeen.

We never get new Strays. It's always just us.

When we turn fifteen, we’re expected to help out with the family business.

I wasn't a fan. I hate meat. But I was offered an allowance if I completed a shift a day. We are all homeschooled, and the only internet we have is the dinosaur computer in the playroom.

Comic books are rare, and when they do magically appear, Ace, one of the older boys, immediately takes it for himself.

I figured buying them online would be better, so I dragged myself to the old computer. Nobody else bothered with it.

The thing was catching dust.

Harry appeared looking bleary eyed. “Have you seen Freddie?”

I shook my head. “Nope.”

Not since yesterday, when he complained all the way through his shift.

Harry groaned. “The asshole better not skip his shift.”

Google took a while to load. I typed “Amazon” into the search bar, only for a box to pop up with older searches.

Comic books.

Strange. This was my first time on the computer.

Clicking onto the search term, I found myself staring at multiple results.

All of which were highlighted purple.

A shiver crept down my spine.

Looking deeper, I found more search history.

Comic books

Comic books amazon.

Children's crisis number.

Littleview

Rory Farlan. Missing boy.

How can I tell if I am losing my memory?”

How to call the police from computer when phone is disconnected.

It was the last one which sent me stumbling back.

I slammed the laptop shut, phantom bugs crawling in my mouth.

Go down to the basement NOW. BEFORE THEY WIPE YOU AGAIN.

I did, passing Dad who offered me a burger patty.

“It's fresh!” He said with a smile. “Just been made!”

I forced a smile. “Can I grab some stock?”

“Sure, kid!”

Inside the basement was what I had been working with for days. Old pieces of meat and ground up bone. Mom and Dad told us to never go through the Yellow door, where the meat was prepared.

I pushed through, my stomach contracting.

Under harsh, clinical white light, I saw human heads sitting on the prep table.

Not just heads. Contorted torsos and limbs; bodies that were half grown.

Strays.

It was a farm.

No…

We were the farm.

Dumped on top of another Harry who had been viciously beheaded, were my own blinking eyes staring back at me.

“Run!”

11 Comments
2024/06/25
21:10 UTC

14

The Halls

It's probably been over a year since I woke up in that lobby. My eyes, squinting at the ambient light, my mumbling voice scattering into the vacuum of its enormous space.

Maybe I should have stayed there. Maybe some kind of adjudicator would have sent me back.

Everywhere looks the same; pristine wooden flooring; terracotta walls as large as skyscrapers; an unending glass ceiling portraying a bright sun that never moves.

The corridors are wider than a dual carriageway and stretch for hundreds of miles. I've lost count of the times I've passed out from exhaustion. But I never die, I just wake up somewhere else.

Some areas are more mazelike than others. They have glass walls or mirror walls, lots of corners and dead ends. Cul-de-sacs.

Those are places I like to camp out. That way I don't have to stare down another corridor, into eternity.

And then there's the podiums.

I found the first one at the end of a spiralling corridor. It took me aeons to travel down it. It was the first splash of colour I'd seen since I arrived.

That was the Red podium.

Then, recently, the Green one, which I miraculously woke up next to.

Now I have a Red and a Green wristband. There's probably a Blue one, and a Yellow one, etc.

Their existence might suggest a way to "complete" this place.

And, I'm not the only one trying.

For a very long time, I thought I was the only one.

Atop the podiums, there are 10 hooks holding wristbands.

The most recent podium I visited, the Green one, had only 5 wristbands.

0 Comments
2024/06/25
17:09 UTC

138

Any Day Now

I am going to die one day.

Big deal. Everyone knows they are. Thing is, now we know how we're gonna go. The Death Oracles showed up three or four generations before I was born. For a while, that information came with an option of ignorance for the newly-born condemned. Who wants to tell little Timmy he was going to drown? However, the insurance companies made sure Congress passed a law requiring public access. It's profitable to put higher premiums on someone who's gonna crash.

The scariest aspect is that you are not given a timetable. It could be when you're 9 or 90. Precaution did nothing. Unplugging didn't save those destined to die by fire nor did abstinence from cigarettes protect the "lung failure" contingent. Dad drew "broken neck" and thus, avoided roller coasters and hiking his entire life. Your hyoid bone can still snap from a small slip when there's a coffee table under the fall. We didn't even celebrate when mom's lymphoma went into remission the first time.

Me? I got "heart attack," one of the sneakier fates. I never ate a Big Mac, I never experienced the hedonistic fun of slurping down a highly-caffeinated soda, I, like my father, never took part in any pulse-pounding excitement. Still, it doesn't matter. The thousands of false alarm twinges in my chest could all have been the deal-sealer. My cardiovascular system will shut down, sooner or later.

You'd be surprised how fast 102 years goes by when you're worrying about your impending doom.

3 Comments
2024/06/25
16:04 UTC

14

Join my hunting party! :)

I am a hunter. I like hunting things. I enjoy the thrill of the hunt, the chase, the kill, and so on, the whole nonsense. Vegans are not my best friends. You get the picture.

And even if I wouldn't enjoy it, I need the meat. There is a reason why we became the dominant species—the hunters of all hunters. If we existed at the same time as the dinosaurs, I bet we would hunt and kill these fuckers, too.

Still, the experience is, for me, a crucial part of it. The taste of a successful chase is that much sweeter than buying the meat and simply consuming it. I want to know what I am eating, how it lived, and that look of pure terror and fear in its eyes. Can't help it. That's just a part of who I am.

And that's why I am writing today: Please, dear humans, share the thrill of the hunt with me. Please finally start jogging like you wanted for years. Please look behind you when you are out late at night. Please run when you sense that uncomfortable feeling in your guts. I know you feel it, deep down. Trust your instincts.

There is no fun in hunting something that does not even know it is being chased or is too fat to run away. I am sick of it.

0 Comments
2024/06/25
15:28 UTC

37

You’re the jerk.

I clearly remember that day. It was September 12, 2022. It was about 9:30 AM. I was doing my usual UBER job and I got a call to go pick up a Rick. I got to the dentist office and there he was. His name was Rick and he was with his son.

They got in the car and he seemed a little agitated. His son just sat there rolling his eyes. Rick proceed to tell me all about his drama with the dentist. Then he said “ I’m glad you speak English. I’ve had other Uber drivers that don’t speak English. I normally don’t take Uber, but my wife can pick me up. She is always doing something with her friends and never taking care of her businesses. My daughter lives in New York or else she would’ve picked me up”

He kept on rambling on about his entire life and his frustrations with his new wife. Apparently, this was not his first marriage. His son didn’t say much. I’m assuming he was embarrassed by his behavior.

Finally, we get to his house. What a beautiful house. They both got off the car, but before the son closed the door, he told him. “ You are such a jerk” I drove away, and I noticed a sunglass case in my backseat. I pulled over, opened it up, and sure enough , there was a pair of sunglasses inside. I decided to go back and return the sunglasses. When I arrived at his house, he opened the door.

I simply told him. “ Hi Rick, you or your son left your sunglasses in my car”. He looked at me, and said “ What son? What are you talking about?” I answered back, “ I’m sorry you or the guy that was with you in the car” He answer back “ There was no one in the car with me. What are you talking about?. I got a little agitated and told him, “ OK sir, there was a guy with you in the car and the sunglasses belong to you or him, that’s all I’m saying.” He got really mad and said ” I don’t know what you’re talking about. I don’t know what game you’re playing, but these are my sunglasses and there was no one in the car with me. I had a stepson , he OD two years ago. I might have said something on the way here and you’re playing a weird game. “

At this point, I was very frustrated. I thought he was playing some kind of stupid game with me. I’ve had many drivers that will do anything not to pay a reward for what they left in the car. I looked at him dead in the eye, and said to him “ Well, I guess I’m imagining what he said on the way out of my car. He said, “ you’re a jerk” .

He looked at me as if he wanted to strike me, but all he told me was “ you’re the jerk”. He slammed the door and I walked away. I still don’t know if it was a ghost or not but I kind of felt that somebody needed to say it to him.

Full disclosure, this is a true story. I also did not mention a lot of the conversation with him due to its politically inappropriate content.

4 Comments
2024/06/25
14:31 UTC

173

This fortune teller was keeping a secret

It was kind of a coincidence. My friend Gwen had mentioned that she wanted to see a psychic, and around the same time my tattoo artist, Angela, recommended that I go see this woman who can see the future.

We went one day that winter, maybe around Valentine’s Day, to see this psychic at her shop.

She greeted us and introduced herself as Madam Sophia. She explained the way her process worked because it was a little unusual.

She did not read palms. Instead, she would hold your hand in her right hand and a pen in her left. Then she would close her eyes and concentrate, allowing her body to become a conduit for future events.

In this state, she would channel knowledge of your future through her body and to her left hand which would then jot the fortune onto a scrap of paper.

Gwen went first, and it all happened as Madam Sophia described. At the end, Gwen eagerly snatched the scrap of paper. I winced. Angela had warned me that Madam Sophia has a temper. Maybe I should have warned Gwen.

But Madam Sophia didn’t seem to mind. Instead, she beckoned for me to come sit.

I rolled up my sleeves and sat down at the table, extending my right hand out. Then I looked up and made eye contact with Madam Sophia, and immediately I knew there was something wrong.

Her face was wrinkled with an expression of disgust. In a sudden outburst, she began yelling. I don’t remember what exactly she said, but she demanded I leave immediately.

Gwen and I left, confused as to what we had done wrong.

Two weeks later, I was coming out of a bookstore in town, and I saw Madam Sophia on a street corner. I wasn’t going to say anything, but then she happened to look right at me, so I waved.

She turned immediately and headed off in the other direction, but I saw that her wallet had fallen out of her bag. Instinctively, picked it up and followed her.

I yelled to her that she had dropped her wallet, but she must have been ignoring me. She glanced over her shoulder at me as she sped along.

I screamed. Madam Sophia walked into the path of an oncoming truck. They say she died instantly.

Shocked by what had happened, I looked down and saw a scrap of paper sticking out of the wallet. I pulled it out. It said:

Beware the mark of the coyote. It will show itself before it hunts you.

There were dozens of scraps of paper inside, with the same message written on them in the same handwriting.

I looked down at my right arm, at my newest tattoo from Angela: a silhouette of a howling coyote. I looked back at that word on the scrap of paper. Then I looked up, and saw that the stopped truck had been sent by a logistics company of the same name.

3 Comments
2024/06/25
14:13 UTC

67

Going to the Gym Has really Improved our Relationship!

We work hunched over computers, and our bodies looked like prawns. Our intimacy was suffering, we both felt unattractive and, worse, found the other unappealing. We hid our mutual disgust as kindly and politely as we could, but it was getting harder to hide involuntary winces at the sight of each other’s body. I found his stick arms and dangly bat-wings a giant turn-off, and I knew he studiously avoided looking at my belly and thighs.

We are mature, intelligent people, and instead of complaining to strangers on the internet, we discussed our unhealthy lifestyle and agreed as a couple join a gym. We would go twice a week, straight after work. In fact we would become one of those douchebags who take their gym bags to work and strut off immediately at end of day with that smug fierce look.

It worked like a charm. Who could have guessed that what everyone said about regular exercise is true? We climbed about on the ellipticals machines, punched the boxing bags while imagining the faces of our colleagues, lifted weights, threw around the medicine ball, checked out the other guys and gals and made silly comments to each other. After a few weeks, we were going almost everyday instead of twice a week, and spending more time there. Our sleeping patterns, our body shapes and best of all our sex lives improved drastically, and we weren’t muttering about wanting to kill each other die all the time. Seriously, I can’t recommend it enough.

If anything, it has made us too feisty!

On Monday, he was so eager to get on his favourite elliptical that he shoved me aside a bit too roughly, I caught my foot on the pedals of the elliptical as I was getting up, my body twisted backwards and I fell down between the machines- lucky I was not hurt apart from a long scrape down my leg. His eyes gleamed at me.

On Tuesday we were lifting weights- he accidentally dropped one and it landed on my toes, luckily from a short height, but my nails are mangled and purple. He was smiling. Later, he was on the bench press, I casually slipped an extra weight- I was very proud of myself for being able to pick it up at all! onto the bar he was lifting, he lost balance and if another guy passing by hadn’t grabbed the bar he might have had his face or windpipe crushed, he told me crossly.

“Sorry sweetie” I said “I was trying to help!”

The next day we were throwing a heavy medicine ball back and forth. He threw it hard and the ball hit me over the temple. I grunted, went down like a log but I got right back up again.

It’s Thursday today and we’re just about to head to the gym. It’s showdown. Another accident with the weights is going to happen. And this time, one of us isn’t going to get up.

1 Comment
2024/06/25
10:58 UTC

48

A Gift Horse

The man ran as fast as his old bones would carry him. 

Through narrow allies of cobblestone, between the legs of vagrants perished due to the siege. Past street hawkers, food vendors and ladies of the night forced to ply their trade in waking hours. 

In the plaza, he arrived croaky and breathless. ‘Stop!’ 

‘Ah, the mad old historian Diamantus,’ the King said. 

Diamantus ambled forward. 

‘Old? Yes... Mad? Perhaps. But I’m the finest historian in these parts and a great evil has breached our walls.’

He was referring to the 25ft wooden horse dragged that morning inside by the King’s men. 

‘You mean the appeasement offer from the barbarians?'  

For months, ‘the horde’ had laid siege to the impenetrable city walls. 

And then overnight, they’d disappeared. 

Where they’d once been was an equine offering. 

‘It is a trick!’ The historian said. 

Diamantus circled the horse, looking for any gaps in its construction. 

‘Your Highness,’ he continued, ‘many centuries ago, a similar ploy was devised by the Greeks to breach the equally as sturdy walls of Troy.’

The plaza was located beside the mighty Melensian walls 50ft high and 10ft thick. 

‘But how?’ The King said. 

‘You see, smuggled inside the horse was a platoon of men who snuck out at nightfall and opened the city gates.' 

The King stepped back from the effigy. 

‘Bring me the igniting fluid… We will have ourselves a barbarian bonfire.’ 

The requisite materials were brought and Diamantus the Mad was congratulated by the high-ranking members of the court. 

The assembled crowd and the archers atop the walls watched closely for movement as the horse was doused. 

Nothing stirred. 

‘No doubt,’ the King said, ‘even fire is an alien concept to them… Light it!' 

The crowd let out a roar of approval, and the wooden beast went up in a vast conflagration. 

As they waited to hear the screams of the concealed combatants secreted in its belly, a terrific explosion ripped through the plaza. 

Diamantus found himself lying face down, bits of his fellow citizens splattered over him. 

He sniffed the blackened air. 

‘Gunpowder? But how?’ 

Yet how did not matter at that moment because as the smoke cleared, he saw the gaping hole in the Melensian walls and, over the horizon, the dust kicked up by an approaching barbarian army. 

1 Comment
2024/06/25
10:20 UTC

404

My husband opened a letter from my ex boyfriend

Last night I got home from work and noticed my husband’s car wasn’t in the driveway, which was weird because he’s usually home hours before me. I called him to see if he was okay and heard his phone ringing in the bedroom. I went up there and found his phone on the bed, next to a ripped envelope. I figured he must’ve just ran to the store and forgot his phone - until I saw what was inside.

It was a letter from my ex boyfriend Trent who I date before meeting my husband.

In the letter, Trent talked about how badly he missed me and even detailed some of our dates and sexual encounters from the past. He said that he thinks of me every time he’s with a new woman and asked if we could meet at the hotel he’s staying in, just to see if the spark is still there. My heart dropped when I read the room number. I know my husband’s jealousy is untamable - he proved that with the last guy who made a pass at me. But damn it, Trent. Why did you have to make it so easy?

I dialed the hotel number hoping it was not too late and I could still get in contact with room 4B to warn Trent not to open the door. I realized it was too late when I heard the car pull into the driveway. I hung the phone up and ran downstairs, still hopeful that by some miracle, my husband simply went to pick up a pizza for dinner. But I knew my gut feeling was right when he dragged his feet into the house, his plaid shirt covered in blood.

He lifted his sunken eyes to meet my gaze and said a phrase I’d heard before, a phrase that sent shivers down my spine. “Grab the shovel and meet me in the car.”

15 Comments
2024/06/25
04:54 UTC

44

Mary

Mary was a little lamb Little lamb, little lamb Mary was a little lamb, with hair bright like gold.

Mary screamed all night long All night long, all night long Mary screamed all night long, until dad cut out her tongue.

Mary went and lost her mind Lost her mind, lost her mind Mary went and lost her mind, she was broken deep inside.

Mary then became no fun Became no fun, became no fun Mary then became no fun, and Daddy said she had to go.

Mary was all torn up All torn up, all torn up Mary was all torn up, no pieces left behind.

My daddy says that if I talk If I talk, if I talk My Daddy says that if I talk, he will take me to see Mary soon.

5 Comments
2024/06/25
04:00 UTC

9

Tall Man

Blue, Green, Red, Entangled with the lights it intensifies, ORANGE, PURPLE, falling deeper down the spiral of these incandescent hues, WHITE. “Boy, 13, Missing Here; Fifth In Last 3 Months” Read the newspaper (1997). “Lights everywhere, Lights that never seemed to end, everywhere” Claimed a local resident, Phil Peters, “The lights came and took that boy, The lights came and that boy just vanished”

Rockport, MA, Population: 6,952 (2010) A man and his wife go out for the night, they have a lovely dinner and enjoy a couple of drinks. They decide to go to Pebble beach because they really wanted to end the night off with a walk on the beach. As they walked down the shoreline a whirl, an orchestra of noisome fluttered into their nostrils. “Ewwww what the fuck is that stench” “Yeah that shit reeks” As they looked around they saw a figure that they described as “an amalgamation of different body parts molded into something that closely resembled a human”, that stood, as they said, “well over 7 feet tall” and with deadly piercing eyes, that the woman said, “They were so horrifying yet beautifully mesmerizing, the whites in the eyes were the most pure thing I’ve ever seen but the iris, they were filled with lights, lights that seemed to never end” They of course ran away at the sight of this human like amalgamation of body parts. They reported the incident to the local police department. A couple of cops were sent down to pebble beach but concluded with nothing to support what the couple claimed happened. A month later another couple were walking down the shoreline at pebble beach enjoying the stars and the night breeze. When suddenly they saw what seemed like a tall man walk from the ocean and onto the shoreline. “Hey, are you okay?” The couple asked the tall man. But the tall man did not reply, he simply kept walking towards them. As the tall man grew near the couple grew uneasy as his movements were jagged and awkward as if it were trying to remember how to walk, but they felt stuck and felt the need to stay and look at this tall man. The tall man stopped about 3 feet away from them, they perfectly saw that this was indeed not a man but what their crazy neighbor’s daughter saw a month ago, an amalgamation of body parts molded into a decrepit monster. “Blue, Green, Red, ORANGE, PURPLE, WHITE!” is all the couple could say when they were found laying naked on the beach by the police.

1 Comment
2024/06/25
03:42 UTC

90

Hangovers and Regrets

The deadbolt clicking open jolted me awake. I sat up too quickly, my head pounding with a hangover and my stomach churning. I couldn’t remember getting home last night.

Shit. Am I being robbed? No, wait—they have a key?

I heard the door creak open and stumbled out of bed, slipping on a pile of clothes as I rushed to the living room. To my shock, my parents stood in the foyer. I froze, our eyes locking, suddenly acutely aware of the state of my apartment.

“What are you doing here?!” Surprise turned my tone sharp, overriding any attempt at pleasantries. They looked around the room. I didn’t even know they were in town.

“How can anyone live like this?” my mom asked. She turned into my dad’s shoulder and began to cry.

Bit dramatic.

“Look, I know it looks bad,” I said. “I had a gig last night and went out with some friends afterward. I just haven’t had a chance to clean.”

My mom continued to cry as I hustled around the room, gathering cans, and picking up half-eaten pizza off the floor. I gestured to the couch and my dad led my mom by the arm to sit. I realized with horror that I had left a big pile of coke, complete with a rolled-up $5 bill, in the middle of the coffee table. Bloated cigarette butts floated in the surrounding unfinished drinks.

I looked to my parents as they stared at the incriminating pile. Shit. My mom began crying anew, and, to my horror, I saw tears forming in my dad’s eyes. They wouldn’t look at me.

As I stood in front of my parents, I was transported back to the performances I used to put on in their living room, for an audience of two. My dad used to call them the Little Time Shows, long before I made it to the Big Time. A fresh wave of shame washed over me as I realized how far I’d come and, at the same time, how far I’d fallen.

“Let me just grab a shower,” I sighed. “We can go get a coffee and talk.” I must look rough given the state of my apartment.

The reflection in the bathroom mirror made me gasp. My face was bruised and dirty. No, not dirty—bloody. Shit. No wonder my parents were so upset.

I felt around for the source of the blood and stopped when I reached the back of my head. Or rather, where the back of my head usually was. Instead, there was a soft, damp puddle, like a rotten plum. This couldn’t be happening. I turned to see where my skull had sunken into a mass of red and brown ooze. How did I even survive this? No one could survive this. Shit.

My parents were still crying on the couch. More than anything, I wanted to comfort them. But the realization had finally sunk in, and I knew they couldn't hear me.

0 Comments
2024/06/24
19:59 UTC

140

Courage

„911, what’s your emergency?“

„Hi, my name is Tommy and the man is yelling.”

“Okay sweetheart. The man that’s yelling, is that your Dad?”

“No. It’s a train person.”

“Oh, so you are on a train?”

(Muffled sounds in the distance)

“Yes, and I’m all on my own! The train is very empty today, but Dad says I’m a big boy now! I can visit Grandma myself! It’s usually easy, but... but now the man is yelling and I’m scared.”

“I think I can hear him! He sure sounds scary. Can you tell me where you got on the train? And where you get off?”

“Well, I get on at Dad’s house, and then I have to wait till it stops five times, and then I see Grandma on the platform.”

(Sounds of fighting)

“The man is hurting her! Come fast! I… I can’t really see all of it, but I…”

“Tommy, it’s okay. Just get an adult. Tell them that something is happening.”

“No! I don’t wanna!”

(The train makes a sound)

“It’s going so fast! I want my Dad!”

“I know that everything is scary now, Tommy. I know adults can be scary.  But you’re a brave boy. You have been very brave calling me today! Now, just tell someone that the man is hurting the woman! They will help you!”

“No! They won’t! “

(The fighting grows louder)

“The adults never help! When I was little and we were riding a train, it was full of people, and there was a man yelling and hitting just like now, and no one wanted to help! No one ever helps!”

(Louder cries in the distance, thudding)

“JUST FIX IT! LAST TIME, DAD CALLED 911 AND FIXED IT! WHY WON’T YOU?”

“Okay, Tommy, listen. Walk up to the driver. It’s their job to help, and…”

(The sounds suddenly stop)

“Tommy?”

“Yes?”

“What’s happening?”

“He's quiet. The woman is not moving and he… I think he’s crying. I’m not sure, I can only see their shadows through the door.”

“What do you mean through the door?”

“I’m scared. The train is going really fast, I don’t think we should do that, there is the curvy thing soon, and then…”

“Tommy. What door?”

“Well, the big door in the front of the train. The one where only the train persons can be in.”

“Tommy. The man, who… was he a train person?”

(The train makes one loud shriek)

“Yes! I told you a train person was yelling! He was so nice when he checked my ticket, and then he went into the cabin, and…”

“The drivers cabin? Honey, the woman, was she…”

(Call ended)

8 Comments
2024/06/24
19:56 UTC

17

The Beginning of the End

"My name is Everett Williams. The time is 21:05, on the 19th day of June, in the year 2075. A faint beeping sounds in the background as I enter this into the memory capsules. We are in the throes of a disease known as the Melting Sickness. The symptoms begin with fatigue, inability to consume nutrients, and the color of the skin, no matter how dark with melanin, turns a milky, white hue. After 24 hours, extreme pain is felt throughout the body. Within 32 hours, the swift onset of the final symptoms occurs. Tears of blood, pour from the eyes, becoming a harbinger of the separation of the flesh from the body.

Skin drops from the muscle, bit by bit, until completely detached and is left to flay loosely around the doomed creature. It soon falls off entirely, in a globule mess of blood and plasma. Patient zero was kept alive for 63 days, under observation, all the while screaming in agony for his mother and for God, as the puss filled meat fell from his bones.

This sickness was preceded by extreme change in the environment and human evolution. Cancer diagnosis has gone up by 85% in the last 20 years. Since the year 2047, we have seen a 99.99% increase of all species being born with severe health deficiencies and deformities. We breathe through filtration masks for oxygen, as our plant life is no longer able to achieve the process of photosynthesis and retains the color of decay. Food is manufactured and water is used, filtered, and reused. The streets are littered with the rotten corpses of vermin.

We exist, but we do not live. Perhaps this circumstance is the best thing that can happen to mankind, the ultimate plague who through sheer ignorance destroyed this world, abused, and depleted its resources, our only legacy being indestructible waste that is now eating this planet and its inhabitants from the inside out.

I will now acknowledge the ever-increasing beeping in the background and conclude my findings. The radiation detector I hid when all were confiscated in the year 2049, is sounding from deep within my underground bunker. Through walls of concrete and titanium, radiation has seeped and settled into the deepest recesses of the Earth. After extensive testing, I have determined this could have only happened over decades of time.

Therefore, my conclusion is they were unsuccessful in the response to the Chernobyl Nuclear Disaster, in the year 1986, and the nuclear meltdown resulted in radioactive matter spilling into the water table underneath the reactors, leaving radiation to spread and slowly poison this world. Generations after have been lied to and left to live a painful life and die an even more painful death. As I speak this, a blood-stained tear has fallen onto my pallid flesh. I fear this is the beginning of the end, of not just I, but of the extinction of mankind. A plea to anyone who may live to hear this...please forgive us."

1 Comment
2024/06/24
19:49 UTC

6

Shear Terror

I was dwelling on a positively dismal summer as I approached the boundary between two wheat fields. Dropping my rucksack to the dusty ground, I took a drink and wiped my slick forehead. Which way? It was a dark metaphor for my state of mind. I chose the more well-trodden path where a light breeze carried birdsong through the sweet air. It was just me and the English countryside. Nettles. Foxgloves. Sporadic oak trees. Others were out too, enjoying the warmth of an unreliable sun. Way back, treading ground I’d already covered, was a figure in green.

I skirted the field’s edge beside a hedgerow, beneath which ran a stream. Dipping under an arch of branches, I found myself in a small hollow and sat. It was quiet. I closed my eyes and found a calm that had been inaccessible to me for months. In there, I felt incubated. Safe, with the smell of earth, the sound of trickling water, and the company of sparrows. I’d scoffed at the suggestion of spending time in nature to counter depression, yet here I was. 

The birds took flight, startling me. Through brambles, I saw a man trampling down crops as he diverged from the path and headed towards my hollow. He wore a green, mud-spattered fleece and carried a pair of shears, long blades catching the light. Was he the farmer? On his way to trim the hedge? Regardless of his intentions, I hopped across the stream, popped out of the other side of the hedgerow, and headed to the canal. A brisk hundred yards later, I climbed over a lichen-spotted stone wall and glanced back. There he was, glaring down the slope, shears in hand. I tried not to panic. The worn path ran in either direction at the exit point of the hollow, so he could well go in the opposite direction and trim hedges over there.

I passed some ammonia-reeking farm sheds and wheelbarrows brimming with stagnant rainwater. Over my shoulder, I saw airborne seeds drifting through the day. There was a tractor, overgrown with weeds, rusted, tyres long rotted away. And there was the man in green. He was cresting the wall as a shed blocked him from my sight. 

Jogging, I reached the canal bridge. My boots danced down muddy steps to the towpath. Bobbing on the brown waterway was a narrowboat moored in the bridge’s shadow. I leapt aboard and climbed to the far side, toes clinging to a thin metal ridge and hands gripping a rail. The vessel swayed gently, then righted.

I heard someone descend to the towpath, breathing like a bulldog. I dangled over the canal like an overripe banana, waiting for the stranger to move off. Over time, I became aware of birdsong again, and the unconcerned chatter of a couple passing by. No ragged respiration or shears slicing in readiness to bite a limb off. I strained my upper body to peek over the top of the boat. I was alone.

1 Comment
2024/06/24
18:29 UTC

20

Gee! Beer!

Andre waddled into the bar at half past 6 in the evening, when the party was just getting started. The thin streaks of dusk painted grim black shadows on the peeling maroon wallpaper. Slow jazz floated around the room. People were still drifting in, but there were already a few couples on the dance floor. With their bodies and arms twisted around each other and wearing crimson smiles, they twirled slowly and steadily around the room like they were living in their own dark fantasy.

Andre brushed dust off his stool. His belly bounced to the beat as he sat down. The bartender came over. “Another glass of beer?”

Andre nodded. “Make it Gee! and make it three.”

“Today was really bad,” he added.

The bartender slid him a glass filled with Gee! Beer! as bright as a field of golden wheat waving in the sunlight. “Rough life still then?”

Andre nodded.

The bartender nodded back, solemnly. “Well, don’t drink this one too much. I heard it isn’t good for you,” he advised.

Andre nodded. His sunken eyes danced around the room, landing especially on a teenage couple laughing as they spun, their cheeks red and rosy. They were skinny, young and fit, like models fresh off a magazine cover. In comparison, he was nothing. Just a shapeless blob melting into his chair, moaning internally about his life.

He asked for another beer. Then another. And another…

The saxophones tooted into his ears and the drums tumbled to the beat of his heart. Andre’s eyes were pounding. He caught a glimpse in the mirror just as the eyeballs gave way and liquid gold poured into his glass. The eye-doors swung from side to side on the edge of its skin. Andre sipped his beer anyway. It somehow tasted sweeter than before.

His stomach, already swelling from swallowing too much Gee! Beer!, finally burst from the pressure, releasing golden sparks. A hand clawed out of the rubble, followed by the other, and then a small distended belly, and finally a head with sunken eyes. Little Andre dunk his head into the Gee! Beer! and drank deep, savoring its sweet and mellow flavour. Then it ran around and squeaked.

The bartender sighed as he looked over. The shell of what was once Big Andre was spread-eagled on the floor, submerged in a pool of Gee! Beer! He smashed Little Andre with the glass and wiped up his crimson remains, before calling the rest of the clean-up crew on his walkie.

“They never listen,” he muttered.

1 Comment
2024/06/24
18:29 UTC

1,804

I don't recognize my boyfriend since he started going to the gym.

My boyfriend, Kyle, is chubby.

I wouldn’t call him fat, but he is definitely “round.”

I love that about him, don’t get me wrong, but I can also see that it makes him unhappy.

When Kyle was in high school he was skinny. The word he used was “fuckable.” Now apparently he’s not, even though we are in fact fucking.

I hated to see him down on himself, so I gently suggested he go to the gym.

That made Kyle mad. He said that I was only suggesting this because I didn’t want to date a whale.

I stayed calm and explained that I would even help him lose weight. He asked if I would go to the gym with him, but I reminded him that I have diabetes. It was too difficult to keep track of my blood sugar when exercising constantly. However, I would worry about meal-planning and cooking so he could focus exclusively on working out.

He agreed, and the results were almost instant. The weight was flying off him!

Yeah, I was excited to see my boyfriend getting hot, but mostly I was happy that he started feeling better about himself.

I was proud to have helped him change for the better, but then he started doubling the amount of time he spent in the gym. Ninety minutes twice a day, six times a week? He was obsessed with gaining muscle.

He stopped being the cheery guy I knew and became moody and violent.

I thought I could love my boyfriend no matter what, but then I stumbled upon his “performance enhancers.”

When I confronted him, explaining how dangerous steroids are, he lost it. Yelling in my face how I’m the one who pushed him down this path in the first place.

I tried to calmly express my feelings, and got slapped in the face.

I didn’t recognize who my boyfriend had become.

I knew it was the steroids. I tried to get rid of them to save my boyfriend. That was a huge mistake. His outburst that time sent me to the hospital.

I wanted to leave him, I really did, but he wouldn’t let me. I was his “dietician,” and he needed me to cook and feed him.

Instead, I tried to embrace the situation.

“Honey, can I help you with your ‘shot’ today?”

Kyle was getting so bulky that it was hard to reach his backside for his “daily shot.” He was thrilled to let me do it. I filled the syringe, stuck it in his backside, and pressed down the plunger.

An hour later, Kyle said he was feeling dizzy. Shortly after he had a seizure and then went into a coma.

I called the paramedics, and when they arrived I told them all about his steroid use. They were certain that the steroids caused this to happen.

I’m glad they didn’t look any closer, because they would have seen that I shot him full of a shit load of my insulin.

30 Comments
2024/06/24
18:00 UTC

279

Someone’s Killing Millennials

At first everyone thought the warnings were a joke. Then the first bombing happened. I was called in to investigate after the bodies were found - two thirty-year-old bakery owners. They’d been in the news for volunteering to bake wedding cakes for LGBTQ couples after another local Tulsa bakery had turned them down and gone to court over it. Their bodies (what was left of them) were found in the exploded wreckage of their bakery, with “BAKE THIS” spelled out in frosting outside the entrance.

We hoped it was a one-time event. It wasn’t. The second time was the office of a local transgender rights activist. They’d made headlines advocating for the rights of trans citizens to have equal access to all public spaces, including the restrooms of their declared identities. Now they were making headlines for a different reason. The Tulsa World had put them on the front page, eager to call it a murder spree after the second bombing and the message of “GOD ONLY MADE TWO SEXES” that was left outside the scene. I wanted to object - that kind of talk would only cause a panic. Hell, we already had the press stoking fear of “The Bakery Butcher” and “The Trans Terror”. But we still had no evidence, no clues, and no way to find the perpetrator or identify when, where, or if they’d strike again.

The third time was at a call center downtown. It turned out to be harboring an operation scamming elderly people out of their retirement funds. Assholes were robbing hardworking people of their entire life savings, leaving them with nothing. Gen Z kids who didn’t give a damn about the lives they ruined. “THEY SHOULD HAVE RESPECTED THEIR ELDERS” was spray-painted on the surviving wall of the building. At least, we thought it was spray paint, until we discovered it was the victims’ blood. By now, The Oklahoman had picked it up - the story of youngsters being targeted by the elderly was huge news.

But finally we got a break. An anonymous call came in about a planned attack that night at a bank headquarters - the bank had recently laid off all of its staff over sixty-five after hiring a bunch of college graduates. My partner and I, SWAT, and the bomb squad were sent to the reported location - our plan was to get there early, stake out the place, and catch the suspect red-handed. But when we got there, we couldn’t find the employees. We searched the entire office, eventually arriving at the basement. We descended the stairs quietly.

Down there we found the entire office staff, bound and gagged, along with a homemade bomb on a 30-second timer. We started untying the employees.

The timer activated.

29…28…27…

We rushed to the basement door.

It was locked.

…18…17…16…

We rammed the door. It wouldn’t budge.

…9…8…7…

We saw a note on the door.

Goodbye.

Sincerely,

The ‘OK Boomer’

…3…2…1….

You’ve gotta be kidding me. Freaking boome—

16 Comments
2024/06/24
17:41 UTC

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