We enjoy our horror short and sweet. 500 words or less.
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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.
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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.
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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.
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Malcolm's room was certainly no environment in which one remained healthy for too long. In the far corner was an aromatic pile of faecal matter, which was almost as tall as the ceiling. Quite literally a mountain of shit.
It was his offering to the Lord Of Flies, who's divine presence graced him with thousands of his legion buzzing around the room, and his head.
There were voices in the buzzing of those flies, whispering little secrets into his ear…
"Mummy's going to send you back to the funny farm!"
Of course he had expected as much, the voices only served to confirm his suspicions. The old cunt was gonna send him back to that horrible hospital.
Three flies danced beside his ear…
"What are you gonna do about it?"
Malcolm paused in thought for a long while, before the flies helped his slow mind along…
Malcolm again paused in long thought, as he pondered the decision as best he could. His main concern was whether he would be able to overpower his mother.
"She's seventy two Malcolm! Are you telling me you can't smother that old bag?"
They were right. Malcolm had eaten his vegetables, he was a strong boy, the biggest in his class back in 1983, though it never stopped him being bullied.
"Yeah, yeah, you're a strong boy! Now go and kill that bitch!"
Filled with newfound confidence, he was absolutely ready to go…
But first he needed to take a shit, a nice big, fat steamy one.
He opened his bowels for the Lord Of Flies, and shat out his offering.
The flies buzzed around excitedly…
"That one is your best masterpiece yet!"
And it was, it truly was. It flowed from his anus like the most perfect chocolate whippy. He almost wanted to put a little cherry on top.
Malcolm walked out of his room with a pillow in his hand feeling emboldened. This time he was going to do it. He could feel it in his bones.
He approached his sleeping mother as she snored loudly in her bed, then hovered the pillow over her head.
A fly buzzed near his ear…
He pressed the pillow down onto her face with all his strength. Pushing so hard that he felt like he was going to crush her.
But unfortunately this wasn't actually the case…
With one solid movement, his mother threw him onto the floor, then proceeded to grab her belt to deliver the most almighty beating Malcolm had ever received.
"What have I told you Malcolm?" She wailed on him with the buckle end of the belt. "You're gonna learn one of these days boy!" Two more lashings connected with Malcolm's head. "Now get back to your room, I'm calling the doctor!"
Malcolm limped back all bloody and bruised to his room in defeat.
The flies buzzed around his head…
But he ignored their mocking jokes.
There it is again…
It can only be the bathroom tap. No way the kitchen tap can be heard upstairs. But the second you get out of bed, the second you show it you hear, it stops.
You go to check anyway, like you do every night. No drips. The sink is dry. Nothing.
But as soon as you start to drift back to sleep…
Fine. You go by the DIY store, grab some stuff, and change the washer. The old one looks pretty pristine still, but you change it anyway.
And still, in the dead of night, you hear it…
Sleep deprived and irritable, you buy some earplugs and put them in, relaxing with a sigh into the softness of bed and duvet. This should do it.
Your eyes fly open, anger boiling through your veins, and you slam yourself upright.
And finally you see.
At the foot of the bed.
A figure. Swaying softly. Soaked to the bone. From its fingers and hair comes the sound, as water forms into teardrop shapes before giving way to gravity…
You stare the drowned thing in its face.
It lifts its head to stare back, with muddy green eyes, its skin sloughing off, weeds tangled in its hair.
It stares at you until your lungs feel full.
Water foams from your mouth and falls around you, the bed soaking it up until there's more than it can handle.
It drops off the bed and onto the floor as you try desperately to draw a breath.
Soon the figure is gone.
The room is silent.
Around the bed is a pool of water, and a single sound as the mattress continues to expel what it cannot hold…
INT. LIVING ROOM - NIGHT
A dimly lit living room. MARY, a middle-aged woman, sits on the couch, flipping through an old photo album. Winds howl outside, creating an eerie atmosphere.
MARY pauses on a page with a photo of her as a child, standing with her family. She looks at it intently.
INT. OLD HOUSE - DAY (FLASHBACK)
A young MARY, around 8 years old, sits at the dinner table with her parents, JOHN and LUCY.
JOHN (whispering) Did you see her face, Lucy?
LUCY (whispering) Yes, it gave me chills. Who could forget that face?
Young MARY looks puzzled.
INT. LIVING ROOM - NIGHT
The sound of CHILDREN LAUGHING echoes through the house. MARY looks around, startled.
MARY (whispering to herself) What was that?
She continues flipping through the album when another photo catches her eye. It's a family portrait that showcases a YOUNG GIRL standing on the far left. The face is scratched out.
INT. HALLWAY - NIGHT
MARY walks cautiously down the hallway, the laughter growing louder. She reaches a room at the end, the door slightly ajar.
INT. GIRL'S ROOM - NIGHT
MARY pushes the room's door further open. The room is poorly lit, filled with old toys and dusty furniture. The laughter stops abruptly.
Suddenly, the scratched-out face from the photo materializes, looking unsettlingly real. Its EYES GLOW eerily.
FACE (repeating) Why did you forget me, Mary?
MARY gasps, frozen in fear.
FACE (aggressively) Why did you forget me?
Terrified, MARY turns and runs back into the hallway, the face still audible.
FACE (angrily) I won't be forgotten!
INT. LIVING ROOM - NIGHT
MARY races back into the living room, panting heavily. She slams the photo album shut. The winds outside intensify, rattling the windows.
The scratched-out face suddenly appears on the TV screen, flickering on and off. MARY gasps in horror.
FACE (V.O.) I won't be forgotten!
INT. LIVING ROOM - NIGHT - CONTINUOUS
MARY desperately unplugs the TV as the face continues to taunt her. Silence finally falls.
MARY tries to calm herself, but her eyes widen in terror as she sees the face reflected in the TV itself. It's now behind her. She frantically turns around.
MARY discovers herself standing face to face with the YOUNG GIRL from the photo. The girl's eyes are empty and hollow.
YOUNG GIRL (whispering) Don't forget me, Mary.
MARY screams, stumbling backward. The girl vanishes into thin air.
The winds cease, and eerie silence fills the room.
Women were vile, his heart knew. Cheating. Dishonest. Secretive. Above all: all too curious.
His father argued this well to him, his mother the evidence—though she had died too early to deny such charges.
How many had it been? He recalled five. Perhaps, sixth.
His test was true, never faltering. And in a way he saw it as his charge—the jewels, estates, social status… these were mere bait to reveal the cruelty of the fair skinned sex. His tool but a gold key: a scarlet letter for his purposes.
Deciding the charade over, he told the coachman to turn back home where his new wife wandered about. In previous years he had given them more time, a few weeks to earn their demise; he found they only needed a day or two.
When he arrived home, his wife flitted down the stairs and gave him a kiss. He returned and, releasing her, asked for the keys which he left. She paused for a moment and then produced them all.
They were clean as well, as immaculate as their designs.
He pondered the testing key for a moment, noting its pristine shine, no blemishes to obscure its minted form. A strange feeling churned within.
"And you did not enter the chamber?"
"No, dear husband. Not at all."
Several days had passed since his return and still she had not made any inquiries of the chamber. He found himself staring at the masterworked key, alone, not understanding. He even began to leave the chamber meagerly ajar, letting the glints of sunline from the hall windows in to reveal the pallid forms within. Yet still she paid it no mind.
Surely she knew. Had she found a way to clean it? Was it a replica? Or some other perturbing explanation?
His being did not allow for her to be pure. But it demanded evidence as the souls of judges do.
He determined damnation lay in the chamber itself and so one night, as she slept, traversed his own corridors to the sepulcher of his own design and slithered through the open door. The grimaces of his old lovers flickered with candle flame at his intrusion as they hung from blood-crusted hooks. He scrounged about for any footprint, any stray hair, anything. As he reached the end of the blood soaked stone he heard the door swing closed. And then lock.
How little the candle revealed now as he staggered, shaken, to the door. He fumbled with his keychain and found the gold key he desperately sought was gone.
From behind the door was a soft voice, but he could not make out what it said over the sound of chains shifting.
He felt a hand on his shoulder, and then his ankle.
He turned to see only darkness, for the little light was snuffed out.
You decided to do something out of your routine, you decided to get away from the usual same things you do, you decided to go hiking. It's something new, it's an adventure waiting to happen and you're excited to explore and even more so to try something new. So you pack your bag and buy the gear you need making sure to be prepared. You opt to go alone seeing as no one you know was available for your spur of the moment adventure but no matter you get in your car and drive out to the nearest trailhead. The feeling of butterflies fills your stomach as you turn off your car and get out, it creeps up your limbs and shakes your legs as you grab your bag and walk to the beginning of the trail. You're unsure but that's a part of trying new things. You shake away the nervousness that overcame you and press forward crossing the boundary from the parking lot onto the dirt path that leads Into the wilderness and with each step you feel the calm silence cover your body and hug you tight as your eyes bathe in the peaceful scenery untouched by civilization, you feel yourself sinking into it, knowing this was exactly what you needed to get out of your routine. When you come back from your daze realize you've been walking the entire time as you stared off into the wilderness and somehow got off the dirt path and as you look around you realize your in the middle of a forest of pine and maple trees as far as your eyes can see, the path you were in is nowhere to be seen and as you reach down to pull out your phone the signal you would have within your every day routine wasn't there to aid your phone access to the world, pulling out your compass it spins wildly with no clear direction, the last saving grace being your map you pull it out as quickly as you can and as you do it catches wind and rips from your hand. The nervous feeling creeps up your legs, squeezes your chest, and tightens your arms to your body..your lost and have no clue where you are, you want to scream but your throat is so tight as your face becomes warm with tears and the idea that you should of never tried something new begins to beat into your head and as your feelings begin to consume you soon will the woods as well.
Maya's walk home was peaceful. The danger only started when she got home.
When she got home, the door would be unlocked.
When she got home, she wouldn't remember locking the door that morning.
When she got home, the closet door would be ever so slightly open.
When she got home, she wouldn't be alone.
But while she was walking home, she was safe.
While she was walking home, crickets chirped.
While she was walking home, she stopped to pet the neighbors' cat.
While she was walking home, she realized the cat wasn't moving.
The door was unlocked.
She didn't remember locking the door that morning.
The closet door was ever so slightly open.
She wasn't alone.
Maya never got home.
Writing on the cat's side dripped red.
TRICKED YOU, DIDN'T I?
I no longer knew how long we had been on the road. It couldn't have been more than 10 hours or so, given the continued lack of sun, but to my seven year old brain it seemed as though the night was infinite.
I had slept on and off for most of it, as had my baby brother in the back left seat. We were supposed to be sleeping forever ago, before Dad quietly woke us up and explained we were going on a trip and couldn't tell Mom.
He had made it sound like such an exciting thing until the moment the truck was moving away from the house and into the woods.
Early on we passed through forests and mountains, over a couple passes that felt like flying an out of control plane in the stars, and then down into the wheat fields. As the following hours passed almost nothing changed, though eventually the predominant crop was corn and I remember only because they seemed so alien in the headlights.
I don't know where we were that night. I can theorize based on the terrain and remoteness, but the whole night was a blur of dosing in and out, begging Dad to tell us the plan, listening to Cody cry, and slowly being overcome by a dread I didn't understand.
There were a couple gas stops, and I remember one of them was filled with intrusive thoughts begging me to run out into the fields and never look back. At the final one I almost did.
Music was never allowed, and for those last hours I felt more connected to the empty night outside than to myself. Dad had essentially shut down since starting the truck, and the few times he did speak it was his usual growling. Once or twice I thought I saw tears in his eyes but I could never tell for sure.
Then we entered the tunnel. It was one lane and unbearably claustrophobic, and I expected it to last only seconds at first, maybe minutes, but it went for hours.
There were no lights save for those of the truck, and somehow it only got darker over time. I remember finally falling asleep for real, only to wake up somehow a full night's sleep later, to pitch black and engine noise. Even Cody had resigned to our fate, when at last a blinding light appeared far in front, seemingly closing in on us.
It was followed by rapid crashing from behind, glass shattering, and Dad's blood painting the windshield. Gunshots. The truck swerved and slammed violently into the side of the tunnel. Silence.
I woke up in Mom's arms, back home and thinking it was all a dream, only to be told Dad and Cody were gone forever.
As a child my mother would never tell me the truth about that night, and as an adult I was always too afraid to ask. Now it's too late and I wish I had.
I watched as he sat there, bloodied in the chair, awaiting my next move. So innocent, so fragile. Well, not innocent enough to realize that shooting up my wife’s place of work was the wrong move. Now, because of him, she’s laying in a hospital bed, on life support, completely unresponsive. The doctors say that if she doesn’t show signs of improvement in the next few weeks, then they’ll have to pull the plug. So I’m just waiting, waiting for the day I’ll have to sign those papers and lose her forever. My love, my whole heart. This man took her away from me, and he will pay.
I spent weeks searching for this guy, scouring social media and news footage for days straight without much luck. But then, the news got a hold of bystander footage. He could hide from the security cameras, but he didn’t account for the fact that people carry cell phones everywhere they go, and someone got a video of him, face in all. I got to him just hours before the police did, he probably wishes that the police actually could arrest him, but they can’t. I’m keeping him locked up in a warehouse, where he will stay, continuing to pay for his crimes.
“Please, have mercy, just turn me into the police or something, please,” he begged
“Ohhh, no, I don’t think so. If you wanted mercy, then you should’ve had mercy when you pointed a gun at all those innocent people, including my wife.” I sneered.
In that moment, I saw it, I saw the regret in his eyes.
“Aww what’s the matter? Regretting our decisions are we? Well, it’s too late for that I’m afraid, because I’m not done with you yet.”
I had been planning a surprise for this bastard since the moment I brought him here, and I wasn’t about to spoil it, so I knocked him out with some sedatives.
A few hours later, he woke up, with a makeshift red curtain in front of him, and I was standing beside it, with a pistol in my hand.
“Good morning sleepy head, did you have a nice nap?” I asked. I was met with cold silence. “Hmm not in the mood for conversation are we? Well, I’m sure you'll have a few words to say about my little surprise.”
I pulled back the curtain, only for him to see his wife sitting knocked out in a chair. I could tell he wanted to say something but seemed to be unable to find the words.
“Hey, no need to get all worked up. She’s not dead, just sedated.”
“You’re a monster,” were the only words he managed to say.
“Oh… don’t you worry, I won’t take your wife from you. Unlike you, I’m not the monster you think I am.
Oh wait,” I chuckled, “ yes I am. An eye for an eye, right?”
You heard it on cold nights. A gentle chattering, enamel on enamel. You live alone of course, there is nobody else in the house who could be making the noise. At first you assumed it must be squirrels, you'd often heard their cries described as chattering, but when you checked online to see how squirrels sound, the noise you heard was nothing like this. It nagged at the back of your tired mind as you lay in the dark of your bedroom, desperately trying to fall asleep, the distant chatter of teeth so close yet without any immediate indication of where it was coming from.
You thought you must be hallucinating, the stress of your classes getting the better of you, after all you were under quite a lot of pressure. Besides, you'd been isolated for so long, hadn't you? You'd been living alone in this old, empty house for months and months, without so much as a roommate for company. A hallucination then, it was the most logical explanation.
But she heard it too, didn't she?
The woman you brought home, the one you met in your psychology class, she asked if you were feeling cold, and you told her no. She asked why you were chattering your teeth, and you said you weren't. Things got rather awkward after that, didn't they? You didn't want the chattering to be real, you didn't want to be sane. There was an argument, and the woman left. You cried long after she slammed the door behind her, and the chattering didn't stop.
It took you an embarrassingly long time to figure out where the noise was coming from. After all, it suffused the entirety of the house except for the attic, and there was clearly nothing outside that was causing it. It was only logical that it must be coming from from beneath the floor itself.
You didn't even bother to ask the landlord, you knew he would say no, or insist on doing it himself, and that would have taken far too long for you, wouldn't it? You needed to know, and you had no more patience for waiting and listening. You purchased a prybar and got to work, working to pull off the board from a section of floor that you figured would be easy to repair afterwards. Grunting with the effort, you finally managed to wrench off the wooden board and peered down with your flashlight, staring down with abject terror at what you saw.
Dozens, perhaps hundreds of us, emaciated, naked, shivering, curled up close against one another for warmth, our thousands of teeth chattering from the chill beneath the floorboards. I looked up at you, blinking from the harsh light.
"Could you put the floorboard back please?", I asked, "You're letting in a draft."
TAP TAP TAP. There is something tapping on my window.I think it’s the thing that killed my family. The walls are so bloody. Everyone’s heads are missing. I can see it. It’s big and spiked my FAMILIES HEADES are on the spikes and it’s, Looking at me. WHY IS IT LOOKING AT ME. I don’t think it knows I’m awake. Oh GOD IT JUST SAID SOMETHING. I can’t here it. I don’t know what it said. It stopped tapping. It sounds like my Dad is calling me it’s using his voice. I don’t get it. Why is it doing this. It started screaming. Why is it so loud. My ears are wet. Why are my ears wet. There Bleeding. It’s still screeching. Why is it so loud. It stopped. It just walked away. I’m going to get out of bed to look out the window… It’s gone I don’t see it I think I’m safe. Someone is tapping on my door it sounds like my mom. I’m so tired and scared. She is asking me to come out of my room I’m so glad this is all over. I want to give my my a hug I going to open the door now.
"But Dad, I want to go back to our old home!"
I closed my eyes and took a deep breath. The move had been hard for everyone, especially my son who missed his friends back home. He had always struggled with change.
I forced a smile. "I know son, but you'll make new friends here. We'll settle right in, I promise!"
"I miss mommy too, why didn't she come with us?"
He was a stereotypical mommy's boy, and I could tell the separation was hitting him hard. I didn't know how to tell him I had no say in the separation so I just gave him a weak smile. I hoped these difficult questions would stop soon.
"You'll see her soon, I promise".
I could tell he was getting tired. There was a lot of travelling and the train was very overcrowded to say the least. I picked up my little boy, eager for him to get some rest. I hoped our new home would be kind to him.
As we approached our destination, my ever inquisitive son pointed at the gate of our new home.
"Daddy, what does that say?"
I held him tight, and read the words on the gate. I tried to hide the shakiness in my voice.
"Arbeit Macht Frei"
Work will set you free.
The Edwardson Estate loomed over Joshua like a specter as the last traces of sunlight began to dim behind the oaks which choked the grounds. It was an old manor, possibly Victorian, and its sense of being removed from time gave it a foreboding look. Although, it might not had been age at all, but the true nature of its former owner. Just then, the wind picked up, and Matt hopped out of the car.
"Home sweet home I guess... for a psychopath." he said, hugging himself against the cold breeze. "Please tell me you got that key Josh?"
Loose strips of police tape still clung to the front door. Joshua tried the key- a perfect fit. Why his uncle would have wanted him of all people to have this house was beyond him. He'd found the bodies. Went to the police. The suicide was soon after. Yet he and Matt now stood in the foyer of the mansion which was as dark as a mountain cave.
"Cops said the power would be switched off." said Joshua as he activated the flashlight on his phone and let the heavy door slam shut. "I think the breaker's in the basement..." he trailed off.
"Dude, are you okay?" asked Matt as he turned on his own light.
"Well hey I mean, like, Jess'll be here soon, and we can all be gettin' shit-faced and thinking about what you're gonna buy when you sell this heap, right?" This caused Joshua to crack a little smile.
"Right." Joshua had walked into the next room, and just then, his light caught the face and claws of a decayed-looked, stuffed, bear, and he let out a start. "Fuck..."
"Damn!" exclaimed Matt as he scanned the bear with his light, which stood petrified in a ferocious pose by the main staircase. Joshua noticed other animals lining the surrounding walls, all dead and glossy-eyed. A macabre menagerie. "Heh... guess he didn't stop with animals. Sorry. I'll tell ya what- you go for the deed, and I'll flip the breaker and meet you there. Sound good?" Joshua nodded.
The upstairs study was a mess. Papers littered the floor and drawers were turned out. Joshua searched in the dark, and figured that Matt must have been having trouble finding the breaker. As he looked for the deed, he came across a book with a tattered, black, cover. Out of curiosity, he peeled it open, and saw drawings of mutilated animals, strange symbols, and something about a soul transfer ritual... that was enough. He shut it. Sick fuck, Joshua thought. At that moment, he got a text:
"I'm here where r u?" Jessica's text read.
"Room over, take stairs by stuffed bear, then down right hall, left, then first door on left." Joshua responded. A moment went by. Another came:
"Whatever silly. Found stairs. No bear though. Coming to u." Just then, Joshua heard the slow approach of thudding, heavy footsteps from down the hallway.
Finally Julia entered deep sleep.
Sindy moved her limbs, stiff from hours of inactivity, and picked up the small razor blade she kept hidden.
Not that they needed to be so careful, Julia barely looked her way anymore.
Doctor looked at Sindy, crawling silently towards the bed where the sleeping Julia lay motionless.
Sindy held the razor between her perfect white teeth, her curved scarlet lips barely touching.
“Careful Sindy- you almost woke her last time- her mom noticed the cuts” whispered Doctor.
Sindy looked back over shoulder. One of her large green eyes was deformed and her face was covered in colourful scratches. Several push pins had been driven deep into her scalp, the kind with brightly-coloured tops. It had been years since Julia had inflicted those wounds on Sindy, but Sindy’s thirst for revenge was ripe. And now that Julia had lost interest in her toys, her strong emotions no longer held them in bondage, so they could come alive while she slept and act as they pleased.
Out of all her toys, Julia had had a particular hatred for Sindy. She used to push a pin in Sindy’s scalp every time she raged out of control. She had had to stop pushing in new pins, and content herself with removing the old ones and pushing them in again when she needed to. The others had escaped relatively unscathed, and it was Sindy who had borne the brunt of her childhood rages.
Now they watched Sindy silently as she climbed up the bed post. She had already cut Julia’s right arm, so she went to the other side and started cutting her left, out of sight of the watching toys.
Small deep brutal cuts, barely visible. Julia whimpered, turned and groaned.
“Sindy- enough!” commanded Doctor.
Sindy raised her head, the filtered streetlight barely picking it out her deformed face and body. She hesitated, but then moved away, Julia’s blood glinting on the tiny razor. She could always return tomorrow night.
Julia woke soon after, her arm sore and stinging. The fresh cuts, almost as thin as paper cuts were not visible in the dark. She had taken a pill before she passed out last night, and she wondered groggily if she had cut herself in her altered state of consciousness. She often thought she had cut herself, and of course she had seen the cuts appearing on various spots on her body. She knew her mom had noticed them too, she had heard her talking about it on the phone. That had been immensely satisfying to Julia, and worth the pain of the cuts, a hundred times. Her mom had been talking about a therapist- but Julia was not sure how not boring that would be.
Regardless, she liked the way the cuts stung and hurt. She decided to get her hands on more pills that afternoon after school, Garth gave her as many as she needed. Maybe soon she would have better cuts that were more visible.
September 28th, 2023, a Wednesday Night.
Hello Youtube! I’ve got a huge problem! Somebody keeps eating my leftovers!
Let me backup a bit…
I live alone in a small, rented house.
I love to cook all my own meals because it’s cheaper than eating out. Plus, I can have leftovers to eat for breakfast or lunch the next day.
Recently, something really weird has started to happen. I wake up, go to check my refrigerator, and my leftovers are gone.
The tupperware is still inside my fridge, but all the food in it is gone.
Somebody, I don’t know who, is coming into my house and eating the food out of my fridge.
Is it the landlord I’m renting the house from? Is someone breaking into my house in the middle of the night to feed?
I intend to find out!
That’s why I started this video diary. I intend to catch the bastard who's eating my leftovers red-handed!
September 29th, a Thursday morning.
Okay, guys, things are getting even weirder than I thought.
I set up a hidden camera to watch my fridge. Yesterday night I made a huge batch of enchiladas. I ate as many as I could, and put the rest of them into a tupperware. I put them in my fridge confident I would catch the perpetrator.
This morning when I opened the fridge the enchiladas were gone. I checked the footage, but nobody had opened the fridge while I was sleeping.
I’m confused, but determined. Something strange is happening, but I will find out who the hell is eating my damn leftovers.
September 30th, a Friday.
Tonight I’m going to leave the camera on with no leftovers in the fridge. Just to see what happens. Wish me luck!
October 1st, late Saturday night.
Hello Youtube! Nothing happened yesterday! So, tonight’s video is going to be different! I’m going to live stream.
Tonight, I’m going to be the bait!
I took all the shelves out of my fridge, and I’ve adorned my winter coat to hide in the fridge myself. It’s very late, but I pray I’ll catch the culprit.
Damn, haha, it’s cold in here! I’m sure I won’t have to wait long.
Okay, okay, I’m starting to cramp… let me try to stretch a little in here.
What the fuck… okay, so it appears that the back of my fridge disconnects. Uh, huh, yup, it can push completely to the side. There seems to be an opening behind my fridge.
There’s a small room that leads right to a dark staircase. I didn’t bring a flashlight, all I have is the flash from my phone.
Don’t worry, I’ll keep live streaming!
Hello down there!
Holy shit! I think I just saw something move! Fuck! It’s hard to look at my phone screen and down the stairs at the same time.
Hey! Anyone down there! Are you eating my leftovers?
Oh god… holy shit! What the fuck are you? Don't touch me! Someone HELP—
I've been noticing some odd occurrences lately. The weather has been a bit off with one day being rain and another being snow with a literal -12 degree temperature. It's July right now, none of this should be happening. These events are happening all over the world with different natural disasters. A lot of people are calling them biblical events, the end times are near they say. It all started back in January when the new year began. There was a solar eclipse that could be seen all over the world, this wouldn't be too weird if it weren't for the fact that anyone could see it. It didn't matter where you were, every square inch of this floating rock was somehow able to cover the sky for a day. Nobody can even explain it all of these months later.
Outside of this astronomical oddity these unnatural events and temperatures are also hard to explain. In the past 2 months, there are now these creatures coming in and out of reality. There's no consistency with their appearances as they come and go taking on many forms. Just search up common urban legends or demons and you'll get the idea. I'm not sure if the government has been putting something in the drinking water or if there is gas in the air. To wrap it all up, there have been UFOs, that's what I'd call them though. They could be aliens or futuristic aircraft that are somehow floating around.
I don't leave the house much outside of work. These weird creatures have been reported to kill people every now and then, a higher chance if you're alone. I am always around people. I take the public bus to work, stay around co-workers, and then take the bus home. I've even gotten a roommate. I believe I may have an answer soon according to the news. Hold on, there's a knock at my door, odd since nobody ever visits.
"What years is it?", a man asked me in a nervous voice as if he were in a hurry
"July 27th, 2026. Why, are you drugged out? Do you need an ambulance?", I reply with a question of my own. Either this is some guy whacked out of his mind or some kind of time traveler.
"Shit, the time paradox has begun now and is only going to get worse from here. I knew I should've gone back a few more months. I suppose it's too late, perhaps I can find the source of the issue." This guy seemed to be having a full-on meeting with himself for a few minutes.
"There was an odd eclipse at the beginning of the year." I play along, I don't want to spook him.
"That's it, an eclipse. It seems like that was the dark portal that released the natural purge for this timeline!" He seemed like he struck gold with this information.
"The what now?" I have a feeling that we're boned.
Cillian single father had him literally trapped in a cell all his life, to protect him from women. His single father hated women and he thought that he was doing good by keeping him in a cell where no woman would see him and vice versa. He cillian was home schooled and his single father kept up with his other duties like feeding him. One day his single fathers neighbours came over for a chat, and when the neighbour went into a room he shouldn't have, he saw cillian in a cell. Police was called and when the single father talked with the police, he urged them that only the male cops go get his son.
Cillian had never seen a woman or a girl before and seeing one might startle him. So at first only the male cops took cillian and the single father was thrown in prison. When news broke out about a teenage boy who had never seen a woman before, social media went crazy. People couldn't believe it. Then an event was made for cillian to go into a room and see the varieties of women of all nationalities. Even politicians were praising this event and everyone was gunning for cillian.
The days leading up to the event everyone couldn't wait for cillian to see women for the first time. It was all going viral and even the celebrities were talking about this. Cillian was still talking to men at this point and they were trying to prepare him for when he sees a woman. They were teaching him how to tall and act around a woman. Cillian was really intrigued by this information and he couldn't wait to see a woman for the first time in his life. The event was going to be a big one and will be remembered by everyone.
Then on the day of the event, the single father had to confess something. The reason his son was trapped in a cell wasn't because of keeping him hidden from women, but to protect women from cillian. Cillian murdered his mother and the father buried her. He told everyone that she had ran away and had gone missing. To protect cillian from going to prison, he made up a lie to the cops saying that he didn't want cillian to know that women existed because they were evil.
A load of cops rushed to the event where it was just going to be a load of women and cillian, alone together. Screams could be heard and cillian was shot in the head.
Tires squealed ahead of me, drawing my attention to the black sedan barreling toward me.
I narrowly avoided the collision, meeting the damp pavement with my ribs first. I laid there, gasping, paralyzed- the metallic taste of blood on my tongue. And before I knew it I was being hoisted, effortlessly lifted by two powerful pairs of arms in black suits.
"Help!" I managed to choke out, "Somebody he-!"
The blow to my head left stars from the impact and ringing in my ears. A hand was placed over my mouth to muffle the cries I was no longer capable of making. Dazed, defeated, I tried my best to make out the occupants of the vehicle as we peeled away.
The two men on either side of me were silent, stoic, holding me firmly in place. The driver stared straight ahead, moving at well above the speed limit, his eyes never wavering from the road. Only the man in the passenger seat spoke to me.
"You stupid fucking motherfucker..." he shook his head, glancing back. My streaming eyes kept his features blurry, "When are we going to end this?"
"Please," I wheezed, noticing a strand of bloody saliva making its way down my shirt, "I... I don't understand."
We took another turn at high speeds, the men on either side of me kept my body from moving an inch even as my neck rolled from side to side.
"Of course you don't... But I'll show you."
I fought hard to keep conscious as we made our way through the night, but eventually exhaustion overtook me.
"Wake the fuck up."
I blinked my eyes as the two men yanked me from the sedan, barely able to keep my feet under myself.
"Recognize it?" the passenger asked as the window rolled down. I looked up at the house, my lip quivering, before feverishly shaking my head.
"No? Then bring him in, I suppose."
As I was hoisted up again I struggled to catch a glimpse of the stranger before his tinted window rose up.
"You'll never be able to outrun this..." he called out coldly.
I recognize this house...
I recognize the people in the picture frames leading up the stairs-
and the hand prints on the walls
that lead back down to
where my palms
drip furious crimson on the carpet beneath me.
I would never...
I would never...
"Here we go again..." I murmur over the idling engine, "How many more times you think we have until this fucker finally cracks?"
Tires squeal as we approach.
A brief struggle before he is detained.
"You stupid fucking motherfucker," I shake my head in disbelief, glancing back at myself.
"...When are we going to end this?"
My best friend Tom and I used to speak on the phone every night, but the last couple of weeks have been quite taxing.
He'd been telling me about the strange scratching and ripping noises he'd been hearing coming from his living-room, but, whenever he'd investigate, there was never anything to be found out of the ordinary. To be honest though, after hearing him moan for so long, I was starting to feel quite deflated with the whole thing.
"If you don't want to believe me on this then, fine," He said. He didn't sound angry as such, more disappointed and disregarding. "But there is something in my house, dude...And I'm gonna prove it." And he hung up on me.
A few days passed and, I'll be honest, I was grateful for the absence of his constant paranoid calls. Then, my phone rings. It's 9:20pm.
"Tom? What's up?"
"I told you...I told you I was gonna prove it...I bought a camera."
"What? You got a camera? C'mon man--"
"Listen! I really wanna know what's going on in my home, okay! I think someone else is here with me! It's-Its kinda, getting to me..." His voice faded at the end.
I silently soaked up all the empathy I could for my friend and humoured the rest of the conversation.
"So what's your plan, Tom?"
"Well, I set up the camera to run whilst I was at work, you know, as a kind of test run for tonight, but you never know, I might've caught something already. Soo, we're going to watch it. Now. Together. Okay?"
"Okay...So, there's me turning on the camera...checking the angle...okay...okay, okay, I'm leaving for work, so, let's just, fast-forward..."
"Anything?" I asked.
"No. No, nothing yet...three hours have gone past though...four...five...still nothing...seven...wait--" I could hear him pressing buttons.
"What? What's going on?"
He didn't answer me for a good ten seconds though, and then;
"Oh my god..." His voice was almost unemotional. Flat with slight fear, maybe.
"Oh my god, what?! What is it?!"
"There's...a woman...in my living-room, dude...black hair...no clothes, no shoes, no nothing...her face looks really strange..."
"What? What the actual fuck?! We, we gotta call the police or something, we gotta--...Wait...Where did she come from?"
"Hang on, I'm still watching." I could hear him playing with the buttons again, pausing and looking for all the details. "Erm, she appeared from behind the sofa, but I told you, didn't I?! Didn't I tell you?!"
"Dude you need to leave, like, right now!"
"She's just...standing there."
"Please listen to me Tom, get out of the fucking house!"
"Hang on a minute, hang on, I think she's leaving..." I could hear his breath and a scratching sound as I pressed my phone firmly against my ear, desperate to hear what he was seeing. "Huh? She er, she went back behind the sofa...Hang on, my front door's opening!...Oh, ha! Okay, nevermind, it's just me coming back from work--"
The line went dead.
Lisa walked along the sidewalk, the sound of her steps meshing with the music from her earbud. She walked alone, but she walked at ease. The October moon illuminated the familiar path ahead and the breeze brought her sounds of distant life; cars revving in the distance, dogs barking at the sound of each other, and some plane overheard that she didn’t care enough about to look for. The occasional passing car contributed muffled music to the night’s hymn, and occasionally a wave. Many in her position would complain to themselves about the intrusive sounds that unceasingly interrupted what would otherwise be a peaceful autumn night, but not Lisa. The sounds were nostalgic; they had always provided a background for late-night conversations on the porch or the closing theme for countless nights gone by.
Many in her position would also feel nervous walking alone at night, but not Lisa. The sounds of the small town around her also meant that there was never someone too far away, and ultimately, routine was her greatest comfort. Despite any shadows or potential hiding spots that may have made her walk quicker when she was younger, they had never actually produced anyone. Any fear she may have once held had long since withered away. But people can get far too comfortable in their routine, and others will take note.
The revving of a distant engine distracted from the scuffling steps behind her, and barking dogs covered the sound of her struggle.
A passing car came to a stop alongside them and left with an empty street behind it
Mr. Harris was a man of great ambition and little thought. When he set his mind to a goal, he would act as though reality itself would naturally bend to his will. And so when Mr. Harris got bored of Texas and decided he wanted to climb every 14er in Colorado, he didn't take long to find a small house waiting for him in the seemingly even smaller town of Huntington, high up in the Sawatch Range.
When he first came knocking at the door, his new friends were puzzled, but before you knew it they were sharing meals together and even sleeping in the same bed. He settled into the rhythm of Huntington life faster than you'd expect. It was a change of pace for sure, but the taste of the crisp Autumn air (his favorite season), and the beauty waiting around every corner more than made up for the slightly off-putting attitudes of his neighbors.
The first thing Mr. Harris needed was a job. He decided the local bookshop seemed like a good fit, and when its old owner Ms. Martin passed and the place went up for sale, Mr. Harris was there to save the day. Business wasn't quite what it used to be, but he'd accomplish his goal soon enough.
Next he decided he needed a good truck; the roads to some of those mountains were rough and his SUV just wasn't gonna cut it. When young Jim came to drop off the mail one day, Mr. Harris decided his truck was perfect. Jim was hesitant at first, but no one haggles better than Mr. Harris, and soon Jim was the one paying for the honor of his truck going to a man like that.
It was a good thing too, because the SUV's brakes failed a week later and Jim's family was never quite the same.
Now that everything was in order, Mr. Harris got straight to work on his mountain climbing dreams. Twice a week he'd leave at three in the morning, drive off to a new objective, and be back triumphantly before lunch time. Things went on like this for a long while, and the previously skeptical neighbors seemingly began to warm up to Mr. Harris, never expressing anything but love.
As the season went on, two mountains down a week, the bookshop chugged along and the mail got delivered later and frankly less frequently than usual, old Chet having double the workload and all that. There was an air of anxiety about Huntington those days, as it was no longer getting the kind of tourism it was used to, and businesses struggled. The Johnson family couldn't afford essential medical care, and shrunk.
Weeks later, on another gorgeous Autumn day, when all this seemed to be reaching its boiling point, Mr. Harris returned from summiting his 58th peak and was ready to head off for some business in Saudi Arabia. With Mr. Harris gone at last, Winter was finally allowed to begin.
“Alright, Kaira— how about… Arjun, Michael, and…” Jade skimmed her mental roster for the perfect boy to finish their list of candidates.
“Kevin!” Sara giggled, playfully punching Kaira on the shoulder. Kevin sat behind Kaira in class, and his antics to get her attention made him a recurring character in the girls’ lunchtime gossip. Kaira rolled her eyes.
“Marry Arjun, duh. And killing Kevin would finally give me one peaceful Spanish lecture,” she chuckled. “I guess one time with Michael wouldn’t be so bad. Oooh, or maybe switch him and Arjun— I heard Michael’s parents are lawyers.”
Sara beamed, hoping she concealed her relief that Kaira didn’t reciprocate Kevin’s affection. She never had a chance at any boy that her prettiest friend fancied. But her smile dissolved as she noticed Kevin, a few tables away, hastily shoving loose papers into his bag and scowling. He met Sara’s eyes, refusing to return her sympathetic frown and instead slinging his bag over his hefty frame and stalking away; it was just silly game, Sara rationalized, but Kevin was the sensitive type.
The morning bus was usually as reliable as Seattle was for its drizzly autumns, but today there only the roar of extra-ferocious thunder— eighteen minutes past schedule and still no sound of the bus’ arrival. Standing all alone, Kaira pulled her sleeves over her hands and tugged at the hem of her pink miniskirt, hopping from one foot to the other in an attempt to keep warm. At twenty minutes past, she called Arjun, hoping for a lift. But after six rings, the line offered a shrill beep; Kaira hung up, mockingly mouthing his voicemail message. Arjun had been slow to answer her calls in the past month, and she was overcome with anxiety, afraid to ring his number again.
As Kaira fumbled through her contacts list, fingers red and trembling, the headlights of a shabby Prius peered through the fog. The unfamiliar vehicle made her heart race, until it came close enough for her to see Kevin’s face peeking out of the driver’s seat. “Can I give you a ride?” he smiled widely. She hesitated, imagining Sara’s impending jealous fit. But the refuge of any car was welcome to the shivering girl, and she gingerly opened Kevin’s passenger door, buckling in as he pressed the lock.
After some awkward small talk, Kaira’s phone buzzed— Please pick up!!!!!!!!!!!, read a text from Jade. Jade wasn’t the dramatic type, so Kaira apologized to Kevin and immediately called her back, panicked. Kevin couldn’t hear much of the conversation, but by the horror in Kaira’s eyes and her beginning to hyperventilate, he could guess what she had found out.
Kaira turned and faced Kevin, tears streaming down her face. “Arjun… he was… found… bloody…” she hiccupped, unable to fully relay her crush’s tragic fate.
Kevin nonchalantly grabbed Kaira’s shoulder and smirked. “Ah, that. So what’s it gonna be now, gorgeous, fuck me or marry me?”
I am walking step after step. Its dark and cold here, I cant feel my legs anymore, my fingers have fallen off, my skin is getting flaky and is slowly peeling off as I take another step. When is this going to end? For how long have I been walking? I cant remember anything, the darkness consumed my mind. What is my name? Where am I? Who am I? What am i? I dont know all that I know is that I must continue, I have to continue walking. But why? Where am I going? After some time passes I no longer have skin, my eyes feel Like bursting and I cant take another step. Is this it? Is this where it ends? What was the reason, purpose behind this. Suddenly I see something bright in front of me, it is far away, slowly getting closer. I see now, a tunnel and light. It makes sense now so this is how it truly is. I wait as the light is slowly getting closer the shine is getting brighter and I feel, I can feel after all this never ending nightmare I feel warmth. I can't move but I feel warmth coming. Ohhh my light in darkness, consume me and save me from this torment. The light is close and I feel joy, im happy and warm. This is it, this is why I have been walking i see. The light consumes me and all of a sudden I am small, so small I cannot do anything but cry.
When I was a boy, about eight or so; my dad would take me up to this spot near the Appalachian’s, right in the heart of West Virginia.
We’d camp all night, and lay down in our cots till the stars came shining, the only thing clearing up all the dark around us. My dad always said nothings out here, not even a firefly, not even a car headlight.
I had never felt darkness like that till right now. A wood beam must’ve snapped, and like a domino effect the rest of them came hailing down, thousands of pounds of Earth falling in an instant. Maybe it was the strike of Gannon’s pickaxe in the wrong area, or if God willed it; the rocks shifted and we barred no chance.
The rocks kept me pinned. I think my leg is stuck. I looked down through the darkness, and yes; my leg was stuck. Crumpled under the weight of debris. I mustered everything to move just an inch, but there was nothing. My leg was nothing, just splintered and bleeding.
“G-g…” I tried to yell, my throat was blocked by blood.
“Gannon!” I shouted
I heard light shifting in the dark, then a groan and a cry.
“Gannon, we’re gonna get outta here” I said reassuringly
He only groaned more.
I peered at Gannon through the dark, I could only see the outline of his condition. Mangled, to sum it up shortly.
A light prayer was heard coming from the rocks. Maybe it was Gannon. It didn’t matter. No one but us and God we’re going to hear it.
In the thick dark, I stared up at the glistening minerals, glowing like little stars.
I thought back solemnly on what my dad used to say.
There was nothing out here.
Not even a firefly.
Not even a car headlight.
Listen, I'm not normally into supernatural stuff, but I was drinking with my buddies when we stumbled into a psychic offering readings for half off. Why the hell not?
The old lady laid her cards carefully in front of her. Her eyes widened.
"There will be significant change in your life. It will impact you financially."
I walked out, disappointed that I didn't find her as amusing as I wished.
Three days later I was laid off. I had to get a temporary position at the local deli, much different than my well-paying job. My wife had to take on more hours just to keep up with the bills.
Two weeks later I was walking around town. I didn't even realize I had made my way over to the psychic, but soon enough I was sitting across from her again as she shuffled.
She looked at me, this time her eyes stretched even wider.
"There will be loss in your life, there will be great sadness."
A week later my mom died, and I took it hard. I couldn't get out of bed for weeks. Eventually the deli had to let me go. My wife tried to be patient, but I could tell resentment brewed inside her.
It was all becoming too coincidental. I headed back over to the psychic.
Last time, I promised myself.
"You will make a mistake that will cost you a great deal."
24 hours later I backed into our neighbor's Mercedes. My wife blew up at me.
"How could you be so careless?"
I caved, and the next day I was back at her table. My heart raced as the expression quickly changed on her face.
"You cannot trust those closest to you. Your well-being is at risk."
That evening I came home, surprised to see my wife sitting at the table with a glass of wine.
"We never drink on weekdays.” I cocked my head.
"I know, but it's been tough lately. Here, take it."
I grabbed the glass from her hand, but paused as it touched my lips. A voice echoed in my head.
You cannot trust those closest to you. Your well-being is at risk.
My eyes narrowed.
"Why don't you try it first?” I said, handing the glass back to her.
"No, that's yours, I got it for you. C’mon, try it!'
She was a little too eager. My heart sank. I grabbed the bottle from the table and swung, hitting my wife square on the cheek.
I followed her as she crumbled onto the floor, striking her again and again, pulverizing her face until it was unrecognizable.
I gathered myself and rushed back to the psychic.
“My wife tried to kill me! I had to end her life. Please tell me what happens next!”
She stared at me blankly, a look of shock on her face.
She looked sheepish.
“I… I don't know what to say. The… the readings. They are all made up”
I have been in this sinister place for months now. A cold, dark place. I am lonely. However, never alone. Someone, or something is here. Lurking in the darkness. Waiting for its opportunity. I can feel its warm, moist breath in my neck. Its greedy gaze piercing through my back. It wants me. All I can do is keep moving. I am exhausted. However, if I rest or sleep too long it is going to get me.
Right now, I am running down a foliage-covered hill, slipping every other step. The dark forrest around me engulfs everything in its gloom. I can hear the thing behind me. Rustling leaves, crackling twigs. It is close to me. Hasty I turn around. And finally, I catch a glimpse of it. Words cannot describe the horrors I am seeing at the moment. The thing looks like taken out of the worst possible nightmare. While being in this place, I had often imagined how my predator might look like. However, never could I have imagined what I am seeing right now.
A scream escapes my lips as I am continuing to run. Suddenly, there is not ground under my feet anymore. I had not seen the gorge. After a long fall, my body hits the ground, making a bizarre, dull sound. Pain shoots through my body. Unbearable pain. However, I am not dead. Screaming in frustration I crawl towards a stone and lean myself against its cold surface. I wish I were dead. Every second in this place feels like torture. I do not even know how I ended up here, or where I was before. All I wish is for it to end. Now I hear them again. The mumbling voices I mean. They seem distant. Almost like they come from another world. I can never understand what they are saying.
"Unfortunately, we can't do much for him right now," the doctor looked at Lisa with a serious expression. "All we can do is to keep him in that coma. He is not braindead. However, we can't wake him up as well..." she elaborated.
Lisa sniffed and wiped her tears away. Saddened, she looked at her beloved husband James, whose lifeless body laid in the hospital bed in front of her. Helpless and alone. He had been hit by a car yesterday and since then was being kept in an artificial coma.
"We can either keep him like this, or we can pull the plug. Legally, it is your decision to make. Medically, I can't promise you that he will ever wake up again. However, the chances are not zero. It is up to you Mrs. Müller," the doctor looked at Lisa full with empathy. "I can't imagine how hard making this decision must be..."
Lisa sighed. "Keep him in the coma," she finally decided.
I am blind and my guide dog protects me from all sorts of problems. I must live in a horrible area because the things I hear are terrifying. I her screams of torture and death but my guide dog takes me through it all. I hold onto to the rope around my dog with all my might and my guide dog leads me to safety all the time. I can trust my guide dog with my life and I am so grateful that he is my guide dog. I feel safe with my guide dog and he is just such a great dog.
I remember my guide dog was guiding me through a street, until a little boys scream can be heard. It was right in front of me and the monster was tearing the boy apart. My graceful guide dog had guided me out of the way, and he had essentially made me dodge whatever monster was eating the boy. It was so scary but I managed to get out of there. You know that feeling you get when you over came adversity and it's a brilliant feeling. Dogs really are a man's best friend. The boys screams were gone as my guide dog had saved me once again.
Whatever this monster was it was clearly following me. When I was walking on some other pavement, I heard a woman screaming in front of me. The monster had gotten another person and I held onto my guide dog. I just stood there completely trusting my guide dog, when my dog moves then that will be the moment that i move. The woman was screaming for help but all I could do was wait till my guide dog guides me out of this situation. Then as usually my brilliant guide dog guides me safely away from the monster that had killed the woman. The silence comes afterwards when the screams stops.
Sometimes when in silence, it must be because there were screams that day. My guide dog ha saved me twice in one day, usually it's once a week. The monster must be catching up to me now and it really wants me. When I get to my flat, my neighbour starts to scream in front of me, his screams were hurting my ears. My brave guide dog once again for the third time in a row, guides me out of it and takes me to my flat. I cried out of joy.
Then the next day police arrive at my house to put my dog down and even though I'm blind, I throw punches. They tell me that my dog needs to be put down immediately and that I will get a normal guide dog.
I don't understand my guide dog saved me? They only put down dogs that hurt people.
Since the debut of his 1987 bestseller “The Hook: Demystifying American Urban Legends,” Professor Lucius Pyle has been the foremost authority on American folklore. Throughout a long career, Pyle has written about every urban legend out there. Has, in fact, exhausted the subject. Which is why he’s decided to create his own.
With the aid of William, his T.A., Pyle has, over the last year, made covert appearances in a green, worm-like costume throughout campus, in hopes to jumpstart a new American myth, the Worm-Man. The plan has, however, been difficult to implement, due to the restrictive nature of the costume, which limits Pyle to a small area during each of his excursions, severely curtailing potential exposure.
Months pass without a single sighting. Then, the few students who do pass by the Worm-Man ignore him completely, too distracted by some chanting or whatever performance art piece they are putting on so late at night in the middle of the woods…
“That’s the liberal arts for you!” Pyle mutters, squirming on the ground, watching those robed figures pass by one by one…
“Where the hell is William?”
But all is not for naught, it appears. Because two days later, Pyle, sipping coffee in the cafeteria, overhears two students discussing a strange creature...
“Ah, so they did see me!”
Later, at their headquarters in Pyle’s garage, William confirms that a few students had seen something. Excited, Pyle ignores the fact that one student disappeared that night, and that the strange creature didn’t look anything like the Worm-Man at all, but instead bore resemblance to a hairy man with horns and hooves…
“Now that Worm-Man has been seen,” Pyle says, raising a professorial finger to William, “the next step is for his existence to be corroborated. Not by too many witnesses. After all, a crpytid must remain elusive!”
William, nodding, asks how he can remain elusive but still seen. To which Pyle responds: “Quite simple. We allow the Worm-Man to be captured on film. Only then does he truly enter the global consciousness. And if he’s called a hoax, only the better. There’s nothing people believe more than hoaxes! The only questions is, when?”
Williams mentions a party that Saturday out in the forest when the moon is full, and the barrrier between His world and ours the thinnest…
“Saturday?” Pyle says, not hearing Williams whispers about the barrier between worlds… “Yes, I’m free then.”
Saturday, near midnight, Pyle and William set up camp.
“The sooner we finish this the sooner I can destroy this damned costume!” Pyle says. “Now, help zip me up, William.”
William rolls Pyle onto his back, zips him up. Facing the night sky, Pyle sees the moon, full and bright.
“Ah yes, William, a full moon. It was on nights such as these when the pagans would pray to the Great God Pan, and offer to him a human sacrifice. Ah, silly superstition. Now, where is this party, William? I’d like to start the show.”
“JESUS fucking Christ, would you just shut up already. You have been complaining nonstop since I got home. Can’t I shower in peace? Holy shit!”
Gerry finished drying and pushed his way out of the bathroom.
He was exhausted and wanted nothing more than to sleep alone, but it only took two minutes after laying down for his door to creak open. “No, you don’t, Thom. Get out right now!”
“Meeeoooooowwwww,” he responded with a wink, trying to pull at his owner’s heartstrings.
“That won’t work tonight, so quit while you’re ahead.”
Thom expressed his disappointment but acquiesced when Gerry tossed his slipper at him. He hurried out of the room to the sound of a door slamming behind him.
With no other choice but to nap on the couch, the floor, the computer chair, the kitchen counter, or the entertainment center, Thom finally settled on the windowsill. It would have to do for now.
After a few minutes, Thom closed his eyes and drifted off to sleep, where dreams of playing catch and release with his food caused his legs to move excitedly.
A disturbance in the air caused Thom to stir. He slowly opened his eyes, licked his paws, and stretched. He hopped off his perch and began to investigate.
Thom spotted two unfamiliar figures and approached them cautiously. He meowed loudly, hissed, and bared his fangs when figure #1 approached him.
“Shut the hell up,” the intruder demanded before punting Thom into the wall. He hit it with a sickening crunch and collapsed to the floor.
“Why’d you do that for,” questioned intruder #2.
“Because it’ll wake whoever lives here.”
“And a death cry won’t?”
“Whatever, man, just keep searching for any valuables.”
They continued their plunder but stopped abruptly when they heard a door open.
“Goddammit, Thom, you better had not knocked over my plant again.”
Gerry froze as he turned the corner and came face to face with a pistol. He only managed to get out a “who” before being stuck. His knees buckled and he collapsed to the floor. As he lay there, blood pooling from his head, he whimpered, “Please, Thom, you can sleep in the bed tonight.”
“Hey, what the hell did he say?” asked thug #2.
“Who cares,” responded the other. “He’s out cold. Let’s check the bedroom.”
As they went through the drawers, the stench of urine filled the bedroom, followed by the tell-tale sounds of a cat scratching a litter box.
“I guess he got a second wind.”
They chuckled but gasped when they realized the cat was now sitting on top of the chest of drawers. Before anyone could react, Thom swiped at thug #1’s face, inexplicably leaving a gash so deep that brain matter seeped through the fissures.
Thug #2 screamed, but that was cut short when another swipe of Thom’s paw took his head clean off.
Thom was about jump into bed when Gerry yelled, “Not without a fucking bath.”
"Ow!" Once again, my husband had inadvertently scraped me with his unkempt toenails while lying in bed.
He muttered something and turned over, his back facing me. I looked at him in disgust, wanting to say something, but I decided that I didn't want a fight. It was 12:30 AM and I was too damn tired.
"Alexa, turn off bedroom," I said authoritatively into the speaker.
The lights clicked off and the darkness welcomed me. I turned away from him and fumbled for my phone on the bedside table. As luck would have it, it was one of those nights I knocked it onto the floor while trying to get it. I heard a thud, and then a squeal a bit like laughter.
I turned back to look at him. "Don't you laugh at me!" I said. He lay there still. Too still.
Normally, this was where he'd interject with some witty retort, calling me clumsy without spelling it out to my face. Sometimes it drove me nuts. Tonight, he said nothing. I began to worry about him.
"Todd?" I said his name.
"Todd, I know you're awake. Don't play with me."
A squeamish wheezing noise hinted into the quiet of the room. I wondered if my husband was having trouble breathing.
"Alexa, turn on bedroom," I barked.
There was that bing sound she made when she heard me, then there was a click, but the lights didn't come on. Those smart lights often failed. "Dammit", I muttered under my breath.
I reached for my phone on the bedside table before abruptly remembering that I'd dropped it. So I threw the covers off and got down onto the floor. When I picked up my phone I noticed it was sticky. Not just a little sticky, like you'd rubbed a piece of gum on it. No, it was dripping with some kind of sloppy ooze.
"Ew!" I shrieked and dropped it. What the hell had my husband left on the floor? And why hadn't I seen it just a few minutes ago when I got in bed?
Afraid and very confused, I stood up and ran for the wall switch. Thankfully it worked, flooding the room with light from the overhead lamp.
My husband was just a mound under the blankets, I couldn't see his head. I found my phone on the floor, looking as if hadn't been covered in some sticky substance.
What. The. Fuck.
That's when the worm emerged from underneath the covers, right where my feet had been. Pink and fleshy, drooping slobber as it oozed down the side of the bed, baring a set of razor-sharp teeth. Those same teeth that had been rubbing against my legs just minutes earlier.
Then more emerged, slobbering out from where my husband had been. In their mouths, I could see pieces of human flesh.
It looked like Dave O'Donnell was trying to conceal a smile. He was pleased with his next question. Maybe even proud of it.
"How many ping-pong balls, do you think, would fit inside a 747?"
Rachel shook her head. "No."
Dave's smile evaporated. "No?"
"It's nonsense. Unrealistic. It's just multiplication, division, a whole lot of estimation, and agreeing on conditions. How about we skip all this, and you can put in your feedback 'cuts through bullshit to get to the important issues.'"
Dave looked unhappy now. Rachel remembered an article claiming that most interviewers made up their minds within the first 90 seconds. If that were true, the decision was already locked in.
"I thought that since you're psychic, you could intuit an answer."
"I'm not psychic," Rachel said. "That's all stagecraft, mostly listening and actually paying attention." Men could learn it, if they cared to. "Decent money, helping people feel understood; but I can do more. I'm just very good at figuring things out."
"Very well." Dave's smile was back. "Let's turn our attention to a problem of more… import." He keyed his intercom. "Diana? Can you bring in Mr. Flaubert?"
"Right away, sir."
As Rachel was not psychic, she did not expect Diana to wheel in Mr. Flaubert on a gurney. He was supine, around retirement age, covered in a sheet from the waist down, and quite dead.
"Your opinions on the cause of death?" Dave asked.
Rachel stood up. Mr. Flaubert stared at the ceiling. She pointed at his right hand. "May I?"
She cradled his cold, limp hand and waited. Dave looked skeptical. Diana remained standing beside the gurney.
Mr. Flaubert nodded once, almost imperceptibly, then drew a labored breath.
"Wherrrrrrre…." he whispered. His eyes were unfocused.
"You're safe," said Rachel. "You're with the police."
Dave nodded; that was close enough. She had his undivided attention now.
"Yes." She gently squeezed his hand. "You can rest again soon. We think someone murdered you. Do you remember?"
"Stella… brought tea… she left…" His raspy voice grew fainter. Speaking was always difficult. Rachel had to balance compassion and patience with getting what she needed.
"Stella Corbin," said Diana. "His neighbor."
"We interviewed her, did we not?" Dave said.
"She did not mention visiting him the day of."
"Complained… about my dog…" Mr. Flaubert was waning.
Diana checked her notes. "She didn't speak of his dog either."
"Let's have another visit with Mrs. Corbin," Dave said.
Rachel asked a few more questions, around the circumstances of the visit, and Stella's appearance; then she let him go back to sleep.
The hunger in Dave's eyes was a look Rachel had seen only a few times in her life, always from men, and usually directed at her cute friend. This situation was different.
"No more talk of ping-pong balls." Dave extended a hand. "We'd love to have you join us."
She smiled, unworried about Dave. Her talents were not limited to the dead.