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From Encyclopedia Dramatica
In scrolling boxes for your reading pleasure. The following creepypasta falls more into the "spooky short story" category than traditional creepypasta, which is generally under 150 words, however they are often good stories, and deserve their place here:
Guts, by Chuck Palahnuik
Please see: Guts.
I’m not sure why I’m writing this down on paper and not on my computer. I guess I’ve just noticed some odd things. It’s not that I don’t trust the computer… I just… need to organize my thoughts. I need to get down all the details somewhere objective, somewhere I know that what I write can’t be deleted or… changed… not that that’s happened. It’s just… everything blurs together here, and the fog of memory lends a strange cast to things…
I’m starting to feel cramped in this small apartment. Maybe that’s the problem. I just had to go and choose the cheapest apartment, the only one in the basement. The lack of windows down here makes day and night seem to slip by seamlessly. I haven’t been out in a few days because I’ve been working on this programming project so intensively. I suppose I just wanted to get it done. Hours of sitting and staring at a monitor can make anyone feel strange, I know, but I don’t think that’s it.
I’m not sure when I first started to feel like something was odd. I can’t even define what it is. Maybe I just haven’t talked to anyone in awhile. That’s the first thing that crept up on me. Everyone I normally talk to online while I program has been idle, or they’ve simply not logged on at all. My instant messages go unanswered. The last e-mail I got from anybody was a friend saying he’d talk to me when he got back from the store, and that was yesterday. I’d call with my cell phone, but reception’s terrible down here. Yeah, that’s it. I just need to call someone. I’m going to go outside.
Well, that didn’t work so well. As the tingle of fear fades, I’m feeling a little ridiculous for being scared at all. I looked in the mirror before I went out, but I didn’t shave the two-day stubble I’ve grown. I figured I was just going out for a quick cell phone call. I did change my shirt, though, because it was lunchtime, and I guessed that I’d run into at least one person I knew. That didn’t end up happening. I wish it did.
When I went out, I opened the door to my small apartment slowly. A small feeling of apprehension had somehow already lodged itself in me, for some indefinable reason. I chalked it up to having not spoken to anyone but myself for a day or two. I peered down the dingy grey hallway, made dingier by the fact that it was a basement hallway. On one end, a large metal door led to the building’s furnace room. It was locked, of course. Two dreary soda machines stood by it; I bought a soda from one the first day I moved in, but it had a two year old expiration date. I’m fairly sure nobody knows those machines are even down here, or my cheap landlady just doesn’t care to get them restocked.
I closed my door softly, and walked the other direction, taking care not to make a sound. I have no idea why I chose to do that, but it was fun giving in to the strange impulse not to break the droning hum of the soda machines, at least for the moment. I got to the stairwell, and took the stairs up to the building’s front door. I looked through the heavy door’s small square window, and received quite the shock: it was definitely not lunchtime. City-gloom hung over the dark street outside, and the traffic lights at the intersection in the distance blinked yellow. Dim clouds, purple and black from the glow of the city, hung overhead. Nothing moved, save the few sidewalk trees that shifted in the wind. I remember shivering, though I wasn’t cold. Maybe it was the wind outside. I could vaguely hear it through the heavy metal door, and I knew it was that unique kind of late-night wind, the kind that was constant, cold, and quiet, save for the rhythmic music it made as it passed through countless unseen tree leaves.
I decided not to go outside.
Instead, I lifted my cell phone to the door’s little window, and checked the signal meter. The bars filled up the meter, and I smiled. Time to hear someone else’s voice, I remember thinking, relieved. It was such a strange thing, to be afraid of nothing. I shook my head, laughing at myself silently. I hit speed-dial for my best friend Amy’s number, and held the phone up to my ear. It rang once… but then it stopped. Nothing happened. I listened to silence for a good twenty seconds, then hung up. I frowned, and looked at the signal meter again – still full. I went to dial her number again, but then my phone rang in my hand, startling me. I put it up to my ear.
“Hello?” I asked, immediately fighting down a small shock at hearing the first spoken voice in days, even if it was my own. I had gotten used to the droning hum of the building’s inner workings, my computer, and the soda machines in the hallway. There was no response to my greeting at first, but then, finally, a voice came.
“Hey,” said a clear male voice, obviously of college age, like me. “Who’s this?”
“John,” I replied, confused.
“Oh, sorry, wrong number,” he replied, then hung up.
I lowered the phone slowly and leaned against the thick brick wall of the stairwell. That was strange. I looked at my received calls list, but the number was unfamiliar. Before I could think on it further, the phone rang loudly, shocking me yet again. This time, I looked at the caller before I answered. It was another unfamiliar number. This time, I held the phone up to my ear, but said nothing. I heard nothing but the general background noise of a phone. Then, a familiar voice broke my tension.
“John?” was the single word, in Amy’s voice.
I breathed a sigh of relief.
“Hey, it’s you,” I replied.
“Who else would it be?” she responded. “Oh, the number. I’m at a party on Seventh Street, and my phone died just as you called me. This is someone else’s phone, obviously.”
“Oh, ok,” I said.
“Where are you?” she asked.
My eyes glanced over the drab white-washed cylinder block walls and the heavy metal door with its small window.
“At my building,” I sighed. “Just feeling cooped up. I didn’t realize it was so late.”
“You should come here,” she said, laughing.
“Nah, I don’t feel like looking for some strange place by myself in the middle of the night,” I said, looking out the window at the silent windy street that secretly scared me just a tiny bit. “I think I’m just going to keep working or go to bed.”
“Nonsense!” she replied. “I can come get you! Your building is close to Seventh Street, right?”
“How drunk are you?” I asked lightheartedly. “You know where I live.”
“Oh, of course,” she said abruptly. “I guess I can’t get there by walking, huh?”
“You could if you wanted to waste half an hour,” I told her.
“Right,” she said. “Ok, have to go, good luck with your work!”
I lowered the phone once more, looking at the numbers flash as the call ended. Then, the droning silence suddenly reasserted itself in my ears. The two strange calls and the eerie street outside just drove home my aloneness in this empty stairwell. Perhaps from having seen too many scary movies, I had the sudden inexplicable idea that something could look in the door’s window and see me, some sort of horrible entity that hovered at the edge of aloneness, just waiting to creep up on unsuspecting people that strayed too far from other human beings. I knew the fear was irrational, but nobody else was around, so… I jumped down the stairs, ran down the hallway into my room, and closed the door as swiftly as I could while still staying silent. Like I said, I feel a little ridiculous for being scared of nothing, and the fear has already faded. Writing this down helps a lot – it makes me realize that nothing is wrong. It filters out half-formed thoughts and fears and leaves only cold, hard facts. It’s late, I got a call from a wrong number, and Amy’s phone died, so she called me back from another number. Nothing strange is happening.
Still, there was something a little off about that conversation. I know it could have just been the alcohol she’d had… or was it even her that seemed off to me? Or was it… yes, that was it! I didn’t realize it until this moment, writing these things down. I knew writing things down would help. She said she was at a party, but I only heard silence in the background! Of course, that doesn’t mean anything in particular, as she could have just gone outside to make the call. No… that couldn’t be it either. I didn’t hear the wind! I need to see if the wind is still blowing!
I forgot to finish writing last night. I’m not sure what I expected to see when I ran up the stairwell and looked out the heavy metal door’s window. I’m feeling ridiculous. Last night’s fear seems hazy and unreasonable to me now. I can’t wait to go out into the sunlight. I’m going to check my email, shave, shower, and finally get out of here! Wait… I think I heard something.
It was thunder. That whole sunlight and fresh air thing didn’t happen. I went out into the stairwell and up the stairs, only to find disappointment. The heavy metal door’s little window showed only flowing water, as torrential rain slammed against it. Only a very dim, gloomy light filtered in through the rain, but at least I knew it was daytime, even if it was a grey, sickly, wet day. I tried looking out the window and waiting for lightning to illuminate the gloom, but the rain was too heavy and I couldn’t make out anything more than vague weird shapes moving at odd angles in the waves washing down the window. Disappointed, I turned around, but I didn’t want to go back to my room. Instead, I wandered further up the stairs, past the first floor, and the second. The stairs ended at the third floor, the highest floor in the building. I looked through the glass that ran up the outer wall of the stairwell, but it was that warped, thick kind that scatters the light, not that there was much to see through the rain to begin with.
I opened the stairwell door and wandered down the hallway. The ten or so thick wooden doors, painted blue a long time ago, were all closed. I listened as I walked, but it was the middle of the day, so I wasn’t surprised that I heard nothing but the rain outside. As I stood there in the dim hallway, listening to the rain, I had the strange fleeting impression that the doors were standing like silent granite monoliths erected by some ancient forgotten civilization for some unfathomable guardian purpose. Lightning flashed, and I could have sworn that, for just a moment, the old grainy blue wood looked just like rough stone. I laughed at myself for letting my imagination get the best of me, but then it occurred to me that the dim gloom and lightning must mean there was a window somewhere in the hallway. A vague memory surfaced, and I suddenly recalled that the third floor had an alcove and an inset window halfway down the floor’s hallway.
Excited to look out into the rain and possibly see another human being, I quickly walked over to the alcove, finding the large thin glass window. Rain washed down it, as with the front door’s window, but I could open this one. I reached a hand out to slide it open, but hesitated. I had the strangest feeling that if I opened that window, I would see something absolutely horrifying on the other side. Everything’s been so odd lately… so I came up with a plan, and I came back here to get what I needed. I don’t seriously think anything will come of it, but I’m bored, it’s raining, and I’m going stir crazy. I came back to get my webcam. The cord isn’t long enough to reach the third floor by any means, so instead I’m going to hide it between the two soda machines in the dark end of my basement hallway, run the wire along the wall and under my door, and put black duct tape over the wire to blend it in with the black plastic strip that runs along the base of the hallway’s walls. I know this is silly, but I don’t have anything better to do…
Well, nothing happened. I propped open the hallway-to-stairwell door, steeled myself, then flung the heavy front door wide open and ran like hell down the stairs to my room and slammed the door. I watched the webcam on my computer intently, seeing the hallway outside my door and most of the stairwell. I’m watching it right now, and I don’t see anything interesting. I just wish the camera’s position was different, so that I could see out the front door. Hey! Somebody’s online!
I got out an older, less functional webcam that I had in my closet to video chat with my friend online. I couldn’t really explain to him why I wanted to video chat, but it felt good to see another person’s face. He couldn’t talk very long, and we didn’t talk about anything meaningful, but I feel much better. My strange fear has almost passed. I would feel completely better, but there was something… odd… about our conversation. I know that I’ve said that everything has seemed odd, but… still, he was very vague in his responses. I can’t recall one specific thing that he said… no particular name, or place, or event… but he did ask for my email address to keep in touch. Wait, I just got an email.
I’m about to go out. I just got an email from Amy that asked me to meet her for dinner at ‘the place we usually go to.’ I do love pizza, and I’ve just been eating random food from my poorly stocked fridge for days, so I can’t wait. Again, I feel ridiculous about the odd couple of days I’ve been having. I should destroy this journal when I get back. Oh, another email.
Oh my god. I almost left the email and opened the door. I almost opened the door. I almost opened the door, but I read the email first! It was from a friend I hadn’t heard from in a long time, and it was sent to a huge number of emails that must have been every person he had saved in his address list. It had no subject, and it said, simply:
seen with your own eyes don’t trust them they
What the hell is that supposed to mean? The words shock me, and I keep going over and over them. Is it a desperate email sent just as… something happened? The words are obviously cut off without finishing! On any other day I would have dismissed this as spam from a computer virus or something, but the words… seen with your own eyes! I can’t help but read over this journal and think back on the last few days and realize that I have not seen another person with my own eyes or talked to another person face to face. The webcam conversation with my friend was so strange, so vague, so… eerie, now that I think about it. Was it eerie? Or is the fear clouding my memory? My mind toys with the progression of events I’ve written here, pointing out that I have not been presented with one single fact that I did not specifically give out unsuspectingly. The random ‘wrong number’ that got my name and the subsequent strange return call from Amy, the friend that asked for my email address… I messaged him first when I saw him online! And then I got my first email a few minutes after that conversation! Oh my god! That phone call with Amy! I said over the phone – I said that I was within half an hour’s walk of Seventh Street! They know I’m near there! What if they’re trying to find me?! Where is everyone else? Why haven’t I seen or heard anyone else in days?
No, no, this is crazy. This is absolutely crazy. I need to calm down. This madness needs to end.
I don’t know what to think. I ran about my apartment furiously, holding my cell phone up to every corner to see if it got a signal through the heavy walls. Finally, in the tiny bathroom, near one ceiling corner, I got a single bar. Holding my phone there, I sent a text message to every number in my list. Not wanting to betray anything about my unfounded fears, I simply sent:
You seen anyone face to face lately?
At that point, I just wanted any reply back. I didn’t care what the reply was, or if I embarrassed myself. I tried to call someone a few times, but I couldn’t get my head up high enough, and if I brought my cell phone down even an inch, it lost signal. Then I remembered the computer, and rushed over to it, instant messaging everyone online. Most were idle or away from their computer. Nobody responded. My messages grew more frantic, and I started telling people where I was and to stop by in person for a host of barely passable reasons. I didn’t care about anything by that point. I just needed to see another person!
I also tore apart my apartment looking for something that I might have missed; some way to contact another human being without opening the door. I know it’s crazy, I know it’s unfounded, but what if? WHAT IF? I just need to be sure! I taped the phone to the ceiling in case
THE PHONE RANG! Exhausted from last night’s rampage, I must have fallen asleep. I woke up to the phone ringing, and ran into the bathroom, stood on the toilet, and flipped open the phone taped to the ceiling. It was Amy, and I feel so much better. She was really worried about me, and apparently had been trying to contact me since the last time I talked to her. She’s coming over now, and, yes, she knows where I am without me telling her. I feel so embarrassed. I am definitely throwing this journal away before anyone sees it. I don’t even know why I’m writing in it now. Maybe it’s just because it’s the only communication I’ve had at all since… god knows when. I look like hell, too. I looked in the mirror before I came back in here. My eyes are sunken, my stubble is thicker, and I just look generally unhealthy.
My apartment is trashed, but I’m not going to clean it up. I think I need someone else to see what I’ve been through. These past few days have NOT been normal. I am not one to imagine things. I know I have been the victim of extreme probability. I probably missed seeing another person a dozen times. I just happened to go out when it was late at night, or the middle of the day when everyone was gone. Everything’s perfectly fine, I know this now. Plus, I found something in the closet last night that has helped me tremendously: a television! I set it up just before I wrote this, and it’s on in the background. Television has always been an escape for me, and it reminds me that there’s a world beyond these dingy brick walls.
I’m glad Amy’s the only one that responded to me after last night’s frantic pestering of everyone I could contact. She’s been my best friend for years. She doesn’t know it, but I count the day that I met her among one of the few moments of true happiness in my life. I remember that warm summer day fondly. It seems a different reality from this dark, rainy, lonely place. I feel like I spent days sitting in that playground, much too old to play, just talking with her and hanging around doing nothing at all. I still feel like I can go back to that moment sometimes, and it reminds me that this damn place is not all that there is… finally, a knock on the door!
I thought it was odd that I couldn’t see her through the camera I hid between the two soda machines. I figured that it was bad positioning, like when I couldn’t see out the front door. I should have known. I should have known! After the knock, I yelled through the door jokingly that I had a camera between the soda machines, because I was embarrassed myself that I had taken this paranoia so far. After I did that, I saw her image walk over to the camera and look down at it. She smiled and waved.
“Hey!” she said to the camera brightly, giving it a wry look.
“It’s weird, I know,” I said into the mic attached to my computer. “I’ve had a weird few days.”
“Must have,” she replied. “Open the door, John.”
I hesitated. How could I be sure?
“Hey, humor me a second here,” I told her through the mic. “Tell me one thing about us. Just prove to me you’re you.”
She gave the camera a weird look.
“Um, alright,” she said slowly, thinking. “We met randomly at a playground when we were both way too old to be there?”
I sighed deeply as reality returned and fear faded. God, I’d been so ridiculous. Of course it was Amy! That day wasn’t anywhere in the world except in my memory. I’d never even mentioned it to anyone, not out of embarrassment, but out of a strange secret nostalgia and a longing for those days to return. If there was some unknown force at work trying to trick me, as I feared, there was no way they could know about that day.
“Haha, alright, I’ll explain everything,” I told her. “Be right there.”
I ran to my small bathroom and fixed my hair as best I could. I looked like hell, but she would understand. Snickering at my own unbelievable behavior and the mess I’d made of the place, I walked to the door. I put my hand on the doorknob and gave the mess one last look. So ridiculous, I thought. My eyes traced over the half-eaten food lying on the ground, the overflowing trash bin, and the bed I’d tipped to the side looking for… God knows what. I almost turned to the door and opened it, but my eyes fell on one last thing: the old webcam, the one I used for that eerily vacant chat with my friend.
Its silent black sphere lay haphazardly tossed to the side, its lens pointed at the table where this journal lay. An overwhelming terror took me as I realized that if something could see through that camera, it would have seen what I just wrote about that day. I asked her for any one thing about us, and she chose the only thing in the world that I thought they or it did not know… but IT DID! IT DID KNOW! IT COULD HAVE BEEN WATCHING ME THE WHOLE TIME!
I didn’t open the door. I screamed. I screamed in uncontrollable terror. I stomped on the old webcam on the floor. The door shook, and the doorknob tried to turn, but I didn’t hear Amy’s voice through the door. Was the basement door, made to keep out drafts, too thick? Or was Amy not outside? What could have been trying to get in, if not her? What the hell is out there?! I saw her on my computer through the camera outside, I heard her on the speakers through the camera outside, but was it real?! How can I know?! She’s gone now – I screamed, and shouted for help! I piled up everything in my apartment against the front door –
At least I think that it’s Friday. I broke everything electronic. I smashed my computer to pieces. Every single thing on there could have been accessed by network access, or worse, altered. I’m a programmer, I know. Every little piece of information I gave out since this started – my name, my email, my location – none of it came back from outside until I gave it out. I’ve been going over and over what I wrote. I’ve been pacing back and forth, alternating between stark terror and overpowering disbelief. Sometimes I’m absolutely certain some phantom entity is dead set on the simple goal of getting me to go outside. Back to the beginning, with the phone call from Amy, she was effectively asking me to open the door and go outside.
I keep running through it in my head. One point of view says I’ve acted like a madman, and all of this is the extreme convergence of probability – never going outside at the right times by pure luck, never seeing another person by pure chance, getting a random nonsense email from some computer virus at just the right time. The other point of view says that extreme convergence of probability is the reason that whatever’s out there hasn’t gotten me already. I keep thinking: I never opened the window on the third floor. I never opened the front door, until that incredibly stupid stunt with the hidden camera after which I ran straight to my room and slammed the door. I haven’t opened my own solid door since I flung open the front door of the building. Whatever’s out there – if anything’s out there – never made an ‘appearance’ in the building before I opened the front door. Maybe the reason it wasn’t in the building already was that it was elsewhere getting everyone else… and then it waited, until I betrayed my existence by trying to call Amy… a call which didn’t work, until it called me and asked me my name…
Terror literally overwhelms me every time I try to fit the pieces of this nightmare together. That email – short, cut off – was it from someone trying to get word out? Some friendly voice desperately trying to warn me before it came? Seen with my own eyes, don’t trust them – exactly what I’ve been so suspicious of. It could have masterful control of all things electronic, practicing its insidious deception to trick me into coming outside. Why can’t it get in? It knocked on the door – it must have some solid presence… the door… the image of those doors in the upper hallway as guardian monoliths flashes back in my mind every time I trace this path of thoughts. If there is some phantom entity trying to get me to go outside, maybe it can’t get through doors. I keep thinking back over all the books I’ve read or movies I’ve seen, trying to generate some explanation for this. Doors have always been such intense foci of human imagination, always seen as wards or portals of special importance. Or perhaps the door is just too thick? I know that I couldn’t bash through any of the doors in this building, let alone the heavy basement ones. Aside from that, the real question is, why does it even want me? If it just wanted to kill me, it could do it any number of ways, including just waiting until I starve to death. What if it doesn’t want to kill me? What if it has some far more horrific fate in store for me? God, what can I do to escape this nightmare?!
A knock on the door…
I told the people on the other side of the door I need a minute to think and I’ll come out. I’m really just writing this down so I can figure out what to do. At least this time I heard their voices. My paranoia – and yes, I recognize I’m being paranoid – has me thinking of all sorts of ways that their voices could be faked electronically. There could be nothing but speakers outside, simulating human voices. Did it really take them three days to come talk to me? Amy is supposedly out there, along with two policemen and a psychiatrist. Maybe it took them three days to think of what to say to me – the psychiatrist’s claim could be pretty convincing, if I decided to think this has all been a crazy misunderstanding, and not some entity trying to trick me into opening the door.
The psychiatrist had an older voice, authoritarian but still caring. I liked it. I’m desperate just to see someone with my own eyes! He said I have something called cyber-psychosis, and I’m just one of a nationwide epidemic of thousands of people having breakdowns triggered by a suggestive email that ‘got through somehow.’ I swear he said ‘got through somehow.’ I think he means spread throughout the country inexplicably, but I’m incredibly suspicious that the entity slipped up and revealed something. He said I am part of a wave of ‘emergent behavior’, that a lot of other people are having the same problem with the same fears, even though we’ve never communicated.
That neatly explains the strange email about eyes that I got. I didn’t get the original triggering email. I got a descendant of it – my friend could have broken down too, and tried to warn everyone he knew against his paranoid fears. That’s how the problem spreads, the psychiatrist claims. I could have spread it, too, with my texts and instant messages online to everybody I know. One of those people might be melting down right now, after being triggered by something I sent them, something they might interpret any way that they want, something like a text saying seen anyone face to face lately? The psychiatrist told me that he didn’t want to ‘lose another one’, that people like me are intelligent, and that’s our downfall. We draw connections so well that we draw them even when they shouldn’t be there. He said it’s easy to get caught up in paranoia in our fast paced world, a constantly changing place where more and more of our interaction is simulated…
I have to give him one thing. It’s a great explanation. It neatly explains everything. It perfectly explains everything, in fact. I have every reason to shake off this nightmarish fear that some thing or consciousness or being out there wants me to open the door so it can capture me for some horrible fate worse than death. It would be foolish, after hearing that explanation, to stay in here until I starve to death just to spite the entity that might have got everyone else. It would be foolish to think that, after hearing that explanation, I might be one of the last people left alive on an empty world, hiding in my secure basement room, spiting some unthinkable deceptive entity just by refusing to be captured. It’s a perfect explanation for every single strange thing I’ve seen or heard, and I have every reason in the world to let all of my fears go, and open the door.
That’s exactly why I’m not going to.
How can I be sure?! How can I know what’s real and what’s deception? All of these damn things with their wires and their signals that originate from some unseen origin! They’re not real, I can’t be sure! Signals through a camera, faked video, deceptive phone calls, emails! Even the television, lying broken on the floor – how can I possibly know it’s real? It’s just signals, waves, light… the door! It’s bashing on the door! It’s trying to get in! What insane mechanical contrivance could it be using to simulate the sound of men attacking the heavy wood so well?! At least I’ll finally see it with my own eyes… there’s nothing left in here for it to deceive me with, I’ve ripped apart everything else! It can’t deceive my eyes, can it? Seen with your own eyes don’t trust them they… wait… was that desperate message telling me to trust my eyes, or warning me about my eyes too?! Oh my god, what’s the difference between a camera and my eyes? They both turn light into electrical signals – they’re the same! I can’t be deceived! I have to be sure! I have to be sure!
I calmly asked for paper and a pen, day in and day out, until it finally gave them to me. Not that it matters. What am I going to do? Poke my eyes out? The bandages feel like part of me now. The pain is gone. I figure this will be one of my last chances to write legibly, as, without my sight to correct mistakes, my hands will slowly forget the motions involved. This is a sort of self-indulgence, this writing… it’s a relic of another time, because I’m certain everyone left in the world is dead… or something far worse.
I sit against the padded wall day in and day out. The entity brings me food and water. It masks itself as a kind nurse, as an unsympathetic doctor. I think it knows that my hearing has sharpened considerably now that I live in darkness. It fakes conversations in the hallways, on the off chance that I might overhear. One of the nurses talks about having a baby soon. One of the doctors lost his wife in a car accident. None of it matters, none of it is real. None of it gets to me, not like she does.
That’s the worst part, the part I almost can’t handle. The thing comes to me, masquerading as Amy. Its recreation is perfect. It sounds exactly like Amy, feels exactly like her. It even produces a reasonable facsimile of tears that it makes me feel on its lifelike cheeks. When it first dragged me here, it told me all the things I wanted to hear. It told me that she loved me, that she had always loved me, that it didn’t understand why I did this, that we could still have a life together, if only I would stop insisting that I was being deceived. It wanted me to believe… no, it needed me to believe that she was real.
I almost fell for it. I really did. I doubted myself for the longest time. In the end, though, it was all too perfect, too flawless, and too real. The false Amy used to come every day, and then every week, and finally stopped coming altogether… but I don’t think the entity will give up. I think the waiting game is just another one of its gambits. I will resist it for the rest of my life, if I have to. I don’t know what happened to the rest of the world, but I do know that this thing needs me to fall for its deceptions. If it needs that, then maybe, just maybe, I am a thorn in its agenda. Maybe Amy is still alive out there somewhere, kept alive only by my will to resist the deceiver. I hold on to that hope, rocking back and forth in my cell to pass the time. I will never give in. I will never break. I am… a hero!
The doctor read the paper the patient had scribbled on. It was barely readable, written in the shaky script of one who could not see. He wanted to smile at the man’s steadfast resolve, a reminder of the human will to survive, but he knew that the patient was completely delusional.
After all, a sane man would have fallen for the deception long ago.
The doctor wanted to smile. He wanted to whisper words of encouragement to the delusional man. He wanted to scream, but the nerve filaments wrapped around his head and into his eyes made him do otherwise. His body walked into the cell like a puppet, and told the patient, once more, that he was wrong, and that there was nobody trying to deceive him.
The Gallery of Henri Beauchamp
If you go into this one tiny, dingy one-story bar in Paris, and the right bartender is behind the counter that night, you might be able to see a very exclusive gallery show of the lost works of one Henri Beauchamp. But, to get in, you have to prove you're a devotee of the artist to get in.
You'll be asked, in clear and perfect English, "What would like to partake of this glorious night?" Answer "absinthe", no matter what. Any other drink, from whiskey to water, will kill you as you sleep.
The next question will regard the type, and you MUST answer one of two things: "The stuff that Man himself could not bear to take," or, "The good stuff. The best stuff." If you ask for any other absinthe, in any other way, you will be plagued by nightmares for 13 days. Each night's dream will be more horrible than the last, until, upon the thirteenth dream, your nightmare will follow you, every moment of your waking and sleeping life.
Don't try and cheat the barkeep: the door locked behind you. You have to drink what he gives you, doom or not. That such a powerful man granted you audience should be enough. Besides, I've heard that the dying complimented his drinks in their death throes.
If you make it that far before sealing your fate, the bartender will say, "Be sure you handle this with care; this is the finest I have." From here, you may do one of two things: Say, word for word, "I overestimated my fortitude, and I bid you good eve." If the barkeep nods, you may leave the door you entered, unharmed and with nothing gained and nothing lost (except the time spent inside).
Or you can go on.
You will be given a glass with a seven-sided rim, with each side twisting ever so delicately around the basin until forming a sleek and simple handle. You will also receive a very, very, very special absinthe spoon, in the shape of a key; the holes at the key's top serve as the draining point for the alcohol to pour over the sugar cube. And, of course, an unmarked bottle, stripped long ago of its label, scraps of paper sticking to its sides, covered in the rot of the decades past.
The spoon is completely flat, but has two distinct sides: one with a groove along the shaft of the key, and one without. Turn the shaft down, so its groove will be face down. If you attempt this face up, your absinthe will taste foul, your nose will burn, and your eyes will shrivel in their sockets with unspeakable horrors not of this world.
Now, if your spoon is the right way up, begin preparing the absinthe as one would (put the sugar on the spoon, and pour the alcohol over so it gains its color and "special qualities").
Say "cheers" to your friend, the barkeep, and bottoms up. If you don't, the absinthe will burn every innard it touches with the power and pain of sulfuric acid.
If you've done it right, the already dim lights will go off, and darkness will consume the bar. Don't be afraid; the darkness is the cue that you've been approved for the exhibit. Wait out the darkness, and keep silent as the dead, lest the bartender decide to make you so.
Eventually (not too long, two to three minutes), a green floodlight will shine brightly on a door on the far wall of the bar. The bar will be bathed in green, and not just from the floodlight. Little luminescent spheres will gently drift through the room, and the barkeep will no longer be there...nor any other unassuming patron inside before.
There's no danger by this point...consider it a safe point. If you didn't finish the absinthe, you don't have to, but you might need the alcohol. Either way, take the spoon and put it in the keyhole of the green-lit portal's doorknob. It will fit perfectly, and reach the end of the keyhole with a resounding click.
Inside is a small elevator, with the most beautiful woman any mortal eyes can imagine, bathed in the green glow in just such an angle that the light refracts beyond her into the shape of wings.
The Green Fairy herself will ask you, "Going up?”, and considering all the trouble you went through, it would only make sense to say yes.
Now, you have one more hurdle to clear. She will ask you, as you cross the line from the bar to the compartment, "How would you compare Beauchamp's surrealism to that of, say, René Magritte?" For your reply, you must say, "I've come to see more than art tonight."
If you don't, the green floodlight will blow out, the doors will slam shut, and the elevator will plummet through a seemingly infinite blackness before a red light grows brighter as the elevator nears the very depths of Hell.
Now, if your elevator begins to go up, the green light will also fade, but in its place will be the cool glow of the moon. But, before you even recognize it, the elevator will reach the top of its...well, let's call it a shaft to not get too intricate.
Now, I'm not as sure about this as the rest, but I've heard that, if the Green Fairy kisses you on the cheek as she leaves the elevator, you will always be blessed with a creative inspiration: a permanent, ever-changing muse. You can't ask her, you can't kiss her; she has to do it of her own volition. If not...well, nothing, but no reason to do it anyway and anger the woman who is responsible for keeping the Beauchamp paintings safe for so many years.
You will enter, from the elevator, a turn-of-the-century parlor, with a large poster of Henri Beauchamp on the left side of the opposite wall; on the right is a door.
Taking the time to read the poster is a fairly good idea, as it explains the very significance of Monsieur Beauchamp. You see, he was a struggling surrealist in the 1920's, always making art to try to be free of all premeditation, and managed to do so. You see, after one night in a tiny, dingy one-story bar in Paris, he began to paint...patterns.
First it was geometric patterns. Then complete fractals. Then images that would be in the newspaper the next day. Then next week. Then from fifty years ago. One hundred years in the future, two hundred years in the past...
Then, on his last night of life, he kidnapped three young girls from their homes at night, murdered them, and painted his finest masterpieces in reds and yellows with the blood and bile of virgins.
He committed suicide immediately after painting exactly 13 of these.
These are behind the door.
The first six, from the left, show, from left to right: the genesis of the universe, the only true visage of God as viewable to the eyes of man, the true image of Jesus Christ, the sprawling clouds of Heaven, every Pope from the first to faces not yet recognizable, and a portrait of Jesus' appearance in his Second Coming.
The other six, on the right, show, from right to left: the cataclysm of the universe, the only true visage of Satan as viewable to the eyes of man, the true image of Judas, the sprawling flames of Hell, every human-embodied demon from the first to faces not yet recognizable, and a portrait of the Antichrist in his Second Coming.
Now, six and six makes twelve. But what of the thirteenth?
This thirteenth painting is turned around on its wall pin, the image facing the wall. The space around it is roped up at a very wide diameter, and under the flipped image is a sign, in three languages. The top is in the scriptures of the Seraphim, the bottom in the runes of the highest demonic orders, and in the middle, in Roman letters.
Now, like the kiss, I can't say this part with as much certainty, but all the same...I heard that, somehow, as he died, Beauchamp flayed his skin, his organs, his very soul, into some sort of collage. How he took his dead body and created such a horrific masterpiece, I could never say, nor would I ever dare to.
So...if you make it, maybe you can flip the canvas over and tell me sometime? You can tell me about it over a drink.
The Cabin and the Dolls
I don't know what to do anymore. I’m so scared and I can't trust anyone. I went camping about 3 weekends ago in the Huntsville national forest in Texas. Me and 3 friends that came home for the weekend, they are all in college and usually we all get together at least once a year, old friends from high school. For the camping trip we planned to go backpacking deep in the forest, live off of fish that we catch and animals that we can trap. We have been doing this for awhile in Texas and in numerous places, Arizona, Colorado (if anyone is familiar with the Spanish peaks there), New Mexico, so we‘re pretty much used to anything you‘d encounter out there. It was my turn to pick where we went camping, so I chose Huntsville (more accurately it’s Huntsville/New Waverly). So we drive up there park our car in a camping park spot and start walking off into the forest. We had some laughs along the way, everyone catching up with each other's lives. We walked until it started to get dark and set up camp where we stopped. Everyone gathered wood to make a fire and we set our tent up. And we do what we always do: try and scare each other with weird stories.
Around this time we started to smell something very faint. It was noticeable, but not overbearing. We couldn't put our finger on what it was, so we just carried on. Mike had to go piss and he walked off in the forest. A second later he come running back, piss all down his jeans like he’d missed really bad. Immediately we all crack up and throw some jokes at him. Then we noticed that he was white as snow and trying to catch his breath. He starts screaming for us to follow him, and runs off.
We all get serious and go follow him, not knowing what the problem was. We start to hear a faint scream and crying in the distance, in the direction we were running. It was pitch black away from the camp and Mike had the only flash light (we left ours at the camp, he had his from his trip taking a piss), so at this stage we didn’t have much choice but to follow the light, which was frantically pointing here and there in front of him.
The scream gets closer and Mike starts to slow down. We then notice a ratty old cabin that looked like it was abandoned, except for a faint light that we could see from one of the old mildew covered windows. The crying was intense: whoever it was couldn't breathe enough to let out a full yell. We all followed Mike up to the front door and we could all hear the crying from inside. As soon as he knocked on the door it stopped. We all waited and heard really heavy footsteps walking fast to the door. There was a giant slam against the door and the sound of a bolt unlocking. Then nothing. We waited for a bit, knocked a few more times, but still nothing happened. We walked around the house (there was no fucking way any of us were leaving each other’s side) and noticed a window, which was a good way up. Alex took a deep breath and said asked us to give him a boost so he could see inside. Me and Mike lifted him up to the window. We watched him brush away dirt and webs from the window and place his face close to the window to try and see something.
There was a quick beat. Then suddenly he breathed in fast and let out a loud scream. Then he fell back from the window, screaming bloody murder the whole way. We all tried to calm him down but he was hysterical. We went to him but he started to shake, punch, kick, you name it, and then took off towards the camp.
None of us wanted to be separated so we all ran close behind him. We caught up to him and grabbed him and set him down. The fire was dying out so I grabbed some nearby wood that we collected added it to the fire. My hands were shaking and I had to do something. I went back to Alex and we all tried to calm him down. He wouldn't he kept screaming and was breathing so hard that he eventually fainted.
All of us are terrified now, and we all kept the fire high until sunrise. Periodically Alex kept waking up, screaming just like before. By sunrise he was up and looked catatonic, just mumbling to himself and whimpering. Me and Mike decide to go look at the cabin now it was daylight. We searched where we thought it was, except there was nothing there. Nothing at all. The indistinct smell from last night had now grown into a very strong smell of something dead, something stale. We headed back to the camping site. When we got there we found Alex had chewed into the sides of his face and swallowed so much blood that he was throwing up. John was at his back, and he looked like he was about to die from exhaustion. I guess we all looked that way, I just didn't notice until I saw his face. Alex said quietly that we need to leave. Now.
We all started to pack up the tent. It started to rain really heavily (it was about noon) and the sky started to grow really dark. Alex started to go into a panic. He went and grabbed a big stick and yelled at us to leave it and leave, now, or he‘d knock us out and drag us out of there himself. Mike started to yell at him, and they started to fight. We broke it up and finished packing, and then started to make our way back. After a little while we arrived at a creek we had crossed the previous day, only it was flooded over, and the water was moving to fast for us to cross it. Alex started to scream again, yelling at Mike for taking his time packing up the tent when we could have gotten out of here. This went on for a while until we finally convinced Alex to calm down and tell us what happened. He said as soon as he put his face to the glass, a face on the other side did the same thing, and started to smile really big. It had dark eyes and a dark mouth which was much bigger then Alex's, as the smile got as large as it could. A giant shadow behind it swung something down and sliced it‘s face off. The face was stuck to the window, and he said it started to laugh quietly as it slid down. Mike, still pissed off (and though he wouldn‘t admit it, beginning to get freaked out), started to argue with him again. We eventually started to follow the creek for a way to cross.
We then started to see toys floating in the creek. Really old toys, old Barbie dolls and baby dolls. This wasn't like any old trash floating in the creek, though… this was a lot of barbies, a lot of baby dolls. One washed towards the side and Mike picked it up. It had some kind of voice chip that was dying and started to say some gurgling words we couldn't understand, followed by it’s sad excuse for laughter. Then it sounded like it was whispering. We thought the batteries must be dying, he threw it down.
We kept going, and the sun was starting to set. Alex was freaking out more now, and was whimpering and breathing heavily. We all started to see shadows move behind trees, something we all called BS on until we all were seeing it. It was barely light out and we stop as we see the cabin right in front of us. None of us knows what to think. Mike says “This is bull, I’m going in there.” Alex tries to stop him. We all do, all of us just wanted to go home. Mike says to all of us to fuck off, do our own thing, he doesn't care anymore, this is all bull. We start to hear hundreds of the same sort baby doll as before, laughing, whispering and trying to sing. We start to move forward past the cabin, all of us, and kept pushing forward. We smelled something dead in the air, something stale. The same something as before. We started to hear something crying, and something screaming. We kept on going. We eventually crossed the creek and left the woods. We get back to our vehicle and got in. Its pitch black, and we drive. We are about to get on the 45 to Houston but the road is under construction and can't be accessed. It points to a detour. As we head towards the detour it seems to be small, bumpy dirt road going into the woods.
We then see a young girl come up to us. She looks like she was in trouble, young and pretty. She approaches the passenger side door and she looks like she‘s really drugged up, or beaten up. Alex doesn't roll down the windows, nor does he open the door. She reaches for the handle and he immediately locks it. She puts her face on the window and starts to smile really big. We floor it, Alex starts to cry and scream and we are all breathing heavy. We finally cut on a street that takes us to the 45 and we take it the whole way. When we get back to my apartment everyone doesn't know what to say and we all break apart and go our separate ways. Mike messages me later and says he is going to go back. I try to convince him not to and all he does is say it was our own minds that were screwing with us. I think he just went to prove to himself he wasn’t scared. I can smell that stench everywhere now. I don't go out anymore, I just stay in and don't answer the door. Last week everyone I met was acting really strange, people that I knew for a long time and total strangers. My own dad, when I went to his place to eat supper with him he just watched me, strangely, when I was sitting down. He didn't say a word the whole time. I kept asking him “What’s wrong?” He just slowly shook his head.
When I was leaving to go home I turned to wave. He had black eyes and an open mouth like he was in pain. When I started to walk back he shut the door and bolted it. I stayed there knocking and knocking. Nothing. I called him, his phone was disconnected. I even called the police. Halfway through the questions they were asking me the connection started to fade into static. I could hear a faint mumbling, singing and laughing.
Mike has completely vanished. There is not even a record of him being alive. When I call Alex’s house they talk to me like I’m some salesman. They say they don't know any Alex and to please stop calling. The person who tells me that is Alex‘s mother. I can’t get ahold of John. Someone knocked on my door and when I went to look I saw a face completely covering the peephole and a giant smile started to form. I called the cops again and instead of it turning into static they got really strange. “Sir, are you affected by any drugs at the moment?” “No.” “Are you coming home anytime soon?” “Excuse me?” “Come home.” and the phone call ended. My mail slot swings every now and then. Someone is sliding pieces of baby dolls through it. I try to call people now and all I can hear is static and bad baby doll noises and this crying and screaming. My TV is busted but when I go to piss I can hear it on. I might be going insane.
During my childhood my family was like a drop of water in a vast river, never remaining in one location for long. We settled in Rhode Island when I was eight, and there we remained until I went to college in Colorado Springs. Most of my memories are rooted in Rhode Island, but there are fragments in the attic of my brain which belong to the various homes we had lived in when I was much younger.
Most of these memories are unclear and pointless– chasing after another boy in the back yard of a house in North Carolina, trying to build a raft to float on the creek behind the apartment we rented in Pennsylvania, and so on. But there is one set of memories which remains as clear as glass, as though they were just made yesterday. I often wonder whether these memories are simply lucid dreams produced by the long sickness I experienced that Spring, but in my heart, I know they are real.
We were living in a house just outside the bustling metropolis of New Vineyard, Maine, population 643. It was a large structure, especially for a family of three. There were a number of rooms that I didn’t see in the five months we resided there. In some ways it was a waste of space, but it was the only house on the market at the time, at least within an hour’s commute to my father’s place of work.
The day after my fifth birthday (attended by my parents alone), I came down with a fever. The doctor said I had mononucleosis, which meant no rough play and more fever for at least another three weeks. It was horrible timing to be bed-ridden– we were in the process of packing our things to move to Pennsylvania, and most of my things were already packed away in boxes, leaving my room barren. My mother brought me ginger ale and books several times a day, and these served the function of being my primary from of entertainment for the next few weeks. Boredom always loomed just around the corner, waiting to rear its ugly head and compound my misery.
I don’t exactly recall how I met Mr. Widemouth. I think it was about a week after I was diagnosed with mono. My first memory of the small creature was asking him if he had a name. He told me to call him Mr. Widemouth, because his mouth was large. In fact, everything about him was large in comparison to his body– his head, his eyes, his crooked ears– but his mouth was by far the largest.
“You look kind of like a Furby,” I said as he flipped through one of my books.
Mr. Widemouth stopped and gave me a puzzled look. “Furby? What’s a Furby?” he asked.
I shrugged. “You know… the toy. The little robot with the big ears. You can pet and feed them, almost like a real pet.”
“Oh.” Mr. Widemouth resumed his activity. “You don’t need one of those. They aren’t the same as having a real friend.”
I remember Mr. Widemouth disappearing every time my mother stopped by to check in on me. “I lay under your bed,” he later explained. “I don’t want your parents to see me because I’m afraid they won’t let us play anymore.”
We didn’t do much during those first few days. Mr. Widemouth just looked at my books, fascinated by the stories and pictures they contained. The third or fourth morning after I met him, he greeted me with a large smile on his face. “I have a new game we can play,” he said. “We have to wait until after your mother comes to check on you, because she can’t see us play it. It’s a secret game.”
After my mother delivered more books and soda at the usual time, Mr. Widemouth slipped out from under the bed and tugged my hand. “We have to go the the room at the end of this hallway,” he said. I objected at first, as my parents had forbidden me to leave my bed without their permission, but Mr. Widemouth persisted until I gave in.
The room in question had no furniture or wallpaper. Its only distinguishing feature was a window opposite the doorway. Mr. Widemouth darted across the room and gave the window a firm push, flinging it open. He then beckoned me to look out at the ground below.
We were on the second story of the house, but it was on a hill, and from this angle the drop was farther than two stories due to the incline. “I like to play pretend up here,” Mr. Widemouth explained. “I pretend that there is a big, soft trampoline below this window, and I jump. If you pretend hard enough you bounce back up like a feather. I want you to try.”
I was a five-year-old with a fever, so only a hint of skepticism darted through my thoughts as I looked down and considered the possibility. “It’s a long drop,” I said.
“But that’s all a part of the fun. It wouldn’t be fun if it was only a short drop. If it were that way you may as well just bounce on a real trampoline.”
I toyed with the idea, picturing myself falling through thin air only to bounce back to the window on something unseen by human eyes. But the realist in me prevailed. “Maybe some other time,” I said. “I don’t know if I have enough imagination. I could get hurt.”
Mr. Widemouth’s face contorted into a snarl, but only for a moment. Anger gave way to disappointment. “If you say so,” he said. He spent the rest of the day under my bed, quiet as a mouse.
The following morning Mr. Widemouth arrived holding a small box. “I want to teach you how to juggle,” he said. “Here are some things you can use to practice, before I start giving you lessons.”
I looked in the box. It was full of knives. “My parents will kill me!” I shouted, horrified that Mr. Widemouth had brought knives into my room– objects that my parents would never allow me to touch. “I’ll be spanked and grounded for a year!”
Mr. Widemouth frowned. “It’s fun to juggle with these. I want you to try it.”
I pushed the box away. “I can’t. I’ll get in trouble. Knives aren’t safe to just throw in the air.”
Mr. Widemouth’s frown deepend into a scowl. He took the box of knives and slid under my bed, remaining there the rest of the day. I began to wonder how often he was under me.
I started having trouble sleeping after that. Mr. Widemouth often woke me up at night, saying he put a real trampoline under the window, a big one, one that I couldn’t see in the dark. I always declined and tried to go back to sleep, but Mr. Widemouth persisted. Sometimes he stayed by my side until early in the morning, encouraging me to jump.
He wasn’t so fun to play with anymore.
My mother came to me one morning and told me I had her permission to walk around outside. She thought the fresh air would be good for me, especially after being confined to my room for so long. Exstatic, I put on my sneakers and trotted out to the back porch, yearning for the feeling of sun on my face.
Mr. Widemouth was waiting for me. “I have something I want you to see,” he said. I must have given him a weird look, because he then said, “It’s safe, I promise.”
I followed him to the beginning of a deer trail which ran through the woods behind the house. “This is an important path,” he explained. “I’ve had a lot of friends about your age. When they were ready, I took them down this path, to a special place. You aren’t ready yet, but one day, I hope to take you there.”
I returned to the house, wondering what kind of place lay beyond that trail.
Two weeks after I met Mr. Widemouth, the last load of our things had been packed into a moving truck. I would be in the cab of that truck, sitting next to my father for the long drive to Pennsylvania. I considered telling Mr. Widemouth that I would be leaving, but even at five years old, I was beginning to suspect that perhaps the creature’s intentions were not to my benefit, despite what he said otherwise. For this reason, I decided to keep my departure a secret.
My father and I were in the truck at 4 a.m. He was hoping to make it to Pennyslvania by lunch time tomorrow with the help of an endless supply of coffee and a six-pack of energy drinks. He seemed more like a man who was about to run a marathon rather than one who was about to spend two days sitting still.
“Early enough for you?” he asked.
I nodded and placed my head against the window, hoping for some sleep before the sun came up. I felt my father’s hand on my shoulder. “This is the last move, son, I promise. I know it’s hard for you, as sick as you’ve been. Once daddy gets promoted we can settle down and you can make friends.”
I opened my eyes as we backed out of the driveway. I saw Mr. Widemouth’s silouhette in my bedroom window. He stood motionless until the truck was about to turn onto the main road. He gave a pitiful little wave good-bye, steak knife in hand. I didn’t wave back.
Years later, I returned to New Vineyard. The piece of land our house stood upon was empty except for the foundation, as the house burned down a few years after my family left. Out of curiosity, I followed the deer trail that Mr. Widemouth had shown me. Part of me expected him to jump out from behind a tree and scare the living bejeesus out of me, but I felt that Mr. Widemouth was gone, somehow tied to the house that no longer existed.
The trail ended at the New Vineyard Memorial Cemetery.
I noticed that many of the tombstones belonged to children.
My brother moved out of the house back in 2002 once he got his job as a Computer technician, and he recently went missing. When I went to his house, it was locked, with 3 sheets of printer paper taped to the front door.
"While coming home from work one day, I noticed someone had left their damaged grey laptop laying in the middle of my driveway one day. I got out of my car to examine it more carefully.
The LCD definitely showed signs of user related damage, as there was a large hole on the left side of the screen that fit a standard Phillips Head screwdriver perfectly. There was a webcam above the display as well, and it was also destroyed with the same screwdriver. Other than those, however, everything else on the computer showed minor signs of wear, like almost all of the keyboards keys were faded, but nothing to the extent that it could be considered unusable. I looked at the back of the display to find out what brand it is, and yet, I couldn't find anything. I looked at the entire laptop's shell and there was no text or logo stating what brand it is. In fact, there was no warranty sticker, no "Proof of licence" sticker on the bottom, no text whatsoever. What's even more odd was the fact that the only ports on the laptop was a VGA port for connecting an external display and a USB port. How long could this laptop have possibly run without a charging port to recharge the battery? It must have been a very low end laptop where you had to remove the battery pack and put it into it's own charging dock. Why did it exactly have a web cam, though?
Curious as to what exactly is on the laptop, I ran inside to my basement where my old desktop was currently being stored. The only reason it was down there was because I forgot to bring that behemoth to the local SarCan to recycle it. I would have been currently using it as my regular computer, but it takes 5 or 6 hours to fully boot because the system always goes through recovery mode every time you start it, and the processor is way to slow to "recover" everything on the 500 gb hard drive I had installed on it (A 120mhz Pentium processor doesn't get you far). Well, anyways, I removed the old LG CRT monitor from the desktop and plugged it into the laptop. I went to push the power button when...
... I stopped. There's no way this is going to work, the battery has to be dead by now.
I rummaged around the basement to find my battery voltage tester and immediately withdrew the battery from the laptop and checked the voltage. Low and behold, it had no charge. Well, might as well just leave it down here, I'll bring all of this computer junk to SarCan tomorrow morning. With that, I unplugged the display from the laptop, put it back into the desktop and simply left everything downstairs. After leaving the basement I went to go watch TV for about 3 hours or so before going to bed.
I was suddenly awakened from my deep slumber by the sound of the Windows 2000 start up jingle and fell out of my bed. It was so deafeningly loud I swore someone was holding a pair of speakers right next to my ears. After I fell out of the bed, I stood up in a groggy daze, and for a minute or so trying to figure out what that sound was. The desktop! I must have accidentally hit the power switch while trying to switch monitors! I simply walked to the basement, but froze in the middle of the steps. I just remembered there was no way my computer could have started up, because I have Windows 95 installed on my desktop. I was reluctant to go down the steps after that, but my common sense started kicking in and I thought I must be getting my OS's mixed up. When I walked down, I was shocked to see that my desktop wasn't on; in fact, I remembered it wasn't even plugged in. I had to make sure of it though. I checked behind the desktop and everything else was plugged in except for the tower. There's absolutely no chance of that laptop turning on, that's impossible. I removed the battery from the laptop again and re-checked the voltage.
This time, I couldn't get a direct number. The voltage tester was just going insane.
I re-inserted the battery pressed the power button on the laptop. Some indicator lights flashed, meaning the computer definitely started, except this time the start up jingle wasn't played at all. I need to see what's going on here. I connected the CRT monitor back into the laptop. And what I saw...
... Was a bare desktop with 3 icons in the corner. The task bar was empty, and there was no Start menu button.
The wallpaper was black. Why would anyone do this to their desktop? Anyone could remove all the icons, but they must be pretty skilled hackers to remove the Start Menu button. Of all the 3 icons, 1 was a Games folder, 1 was a Videos folder, and the last was the DOS Command Prompt program. Maybe this was a kids laptop. Clicking on the Games folder confirmed my suspicions; it was a little girl who must have owned this laptop. I felt some remorse for the poor girl because there was only 1 game in the folder, and I have no idea what the hell it was. The program name was "princess.exe". I clicked on it just to see what the game was like. A fully animated title screen came up, with various generic fairytale princesses twirling across the screen and the logo flew down with a bunch of sparkly doves holding it. The game was called "Princess Creator: Make yourself Beautiful!" Ah, so it must have been one of those low budget "put .jpgs of various clothing items onto a photo of yourself" games. Well, I was right, as the menu popped up I was given the option to "Dress up" or to "View pretty pictures". I wanted to see what the girl looked like, so I clicked on the 2nd option. She had to have been no more than 5, and on top of that she looked very cute. She was of either Mexican or Spanish origin. She wore a somewhat tattered white dress with small red frills around the sleeves and collar. It had small roses on it. I smiled, as she looked like she had a lot of fun putting a virtual tiara on her head. However, browsing through the photos, about halfway through, there are pictures of a room with nothing else but a bed inside. She must've been dodging the camera for the hell of it, I guess. After that I felt I've seen enough with that program, might as well go see the other 2 files on the laptop. I decided to go into the Command Prompt and see if I could locate any other files on the hard drive.
I simply got a ":\>_" line with no drive letter. Ok, this is really strange, I thought. I typed into the command box "start C:\" to see if I could open the directory I wanted to explore. I pressed enter, and DOS simply gave me the "'start' is not recognized as an internal or external command, operable program or batch file." After a few seconds, the program crashed, bringing me back to the desktop. So I guess the last thing to look at is the videos. As I double clicked the folder...
... The screen faded to black. I thought it had crashed, but I noticed that there was a small "_" flashing in the top left corner.
Suddenly, the text "start :\>videos\001.wmv" flashed briefly, then a video appeared in full screen. It was the girl again. This time, she was smiling, bouncing slightly in excitement. Her happiness made my heart feel warm. My guess was that she must've been recording herself play the dress up game with the webcam. At first she was simply moving her finger across the track pad, clicking, then giggling excitedly for a bit. She must've been laughing at the things she put on herself in the game. After about 2 minutes or so the screen would cut to black for a fraction of a second and it would return to the girl playing the game. This time, however, she was dressed differently, in a simple pink t-shirt with the words "Go Go Girl!" stitched in glitter. I guess the game would simply record her every time she started it, without her knowing. That made me sort of uneasy, I mean, why would anyone program a game to do that? Whatever, I think it's going to be the same sort of thing over and over with this video, I might as well turn off the computer. I reached over and pressed the power button, and...
... It didn't shut off this time. The video continued to play, and I saw the girl this time was wearing an orange tank top with nothing on it. She was smiling and giggling as usual, so I thought maybe I can turn off the computer after the video is done. It couldn't be that long. The video seemed to drag on, with more cuts of her playing the game in a different outfit, and I started to doze off. However, the next cut in the video...
The girl was just staring at the camera with an expressionless look on her face. Wondering what the hell is going on, I become interested in the video again. This one didn't made me smile. It made me extremely uneasy, watching her without her usual smiley face put on. It was dark in the room, and there was 1 desk light on at the side. She was in some sort of night wear. What is she going to do? She sat there for a minute with that blank expression, like she wasn't thinking at all. I started to get really tense, as if something awful was about to happen.
She bent over and picked up a hand saw from the left side of where she was sitting. She held it in front of her, showing it to the camera. Then, she placed the jagged blade on the side of her cheek. I cringed at what I was seeing. What the fuck is going on? Slowly, she began slicing into her right cheek. Blood drizzled down her neck as she did it. Slowly, the side of her teeth began to show after about 10 seconds, as the saw went lower down her face more of her teeth began to show on the side. Blood almost covered everything on the right side of her face. She eventually got to the bottom of her jaw bone, and sawed a tiny piece off of it too. Her cheek fell to the ground with a small thud, and she put the saw in her lap and continued to stare at the camera, emotionless. I couldn't take much more of this and tore the battery out of the laptop, but, the video continued to play.
Then, the next cut began. The girl screamed in extreme pain. I almost fell out of my seat it was so loud. She screamed and put her hands over her now absent cheek. She continued to scream in agony for about 10 seconds, then a knocking was heard from the side. It was a woman, yelling in a language I couldn't understand. She was pounding the door, but not opening it. The girl must have locked it. I tried to unplug the monitor from the laptop but it was stuck in. I didn't want to see what happens next! The screaming continued and the yelling continued up until the next cut.
She was back into her emotionless state again, but her cheek was still missing. The woman was pounding at the door and yelling still. That woman must be her mother. The girl then raised the saw up to her right shoulder, and began cutting just as slowly as last time. I gagged at the sight of this. It was a holocaust of wrong. The blood began to stream out in all directions. The yelling behind the door fell silent. I bet she's trying to get someone to help her, either the father or brother or what not. When she hit the bone, an awful grinding noise could be heard. I covered my ears, but I could still hear it vividly through my hands. I noticed that a piece of her muscle got stuck on one of the steel teeth of the saw. This cut ended a lot faster than before, and the next cut was the same thing. Except the color from her face began to drain, and her pain ridden screams became quickly weaker. Her clothing was completely red with blood on the right side.
Then, she became emotionless again. Oh god, what is she going to cut off next? The mother returned back with what seemed to be 2 other people, and they were all yelling in the same language as before. She raised the saw, and began cutting the right side of her head off. Loud thuds appeared in beat at the door. They were trying to knock it down. She slowly worked her way down, with blood going in all sorts of directions. The thuds still repeated themselves on the door. I was mostly confused as to how she keeps going even after she went through her brain with the saw. Her right eye rolled into the back of her head. Blood began leaking out of it. She eventually made it to the top of her mouth, where she hacked her way through bones and teeth. It was the single worst sound I have ever heard in my entire life. I still hear it in the back of my head some days. The thuds continued, and deep in the back of my mind I hoped they wouldn't be able to break the door down so they didn't have to see such an awful sight. She finally made it through, and with that, the right side of her head fell to the side of her neck, held on only by a piece of skin on her neck. I remember the chilling sound of her jaw being unhinged from her head when it was tugged violently by the force of her half head. She put the saw down to her side.
The cut ended, and the next cut, she simply fell face down onto the desk. Half her brain fell out onto the desk from the impact, and her eye was removed from it's socket. Blood pooled on the desk. The people trying to break down the door finally made it in, and they almost blacked out from what they saw. Their daughter was in pieces. The mother vomited and ran out of the room. The father ran to her daughter, put her head back together and cried, holding her head at the side of his. The other man, presumably the daughter's older brother, simply stared in horror at what he saw.
The horrifying self mutilation finished with that cut, and the screen cut to the empty room with the bed. With a sigh of relief that it was over, I just sat there, breathing heavily and sweating. I didn't realize that the room was so hot until now. I have so many questions to ask. How was it possible? It frightened me, and I spent a good 30 minutes sitting in the chair, and finally, I got the courage to get up out of the seat. I looked at the laptop for what I hoped was the last time. The room with the bed glared on the screen. Then, it cut to something else unexpectedly.
It was a cut of my face, in the basement, using the laptop.
Die Before You Sleep
You ever wonder what happens to you when you die? Well, I have a little idea of it. People die at all ages, and of all types of causes. Sometimes it's by injury, sometimes it's by disease.
But sometimes, old men and women just die in their sleep.
Sometimes, old people just die without warning in their sleep. They were perfectly healthy, just old. There really is no explanation for why they die, but they just die. There was a little test done in the 1950's, to see if they could explain this. They took 10 test subjects who were at least 80 years old, and asked them if they would stay here, in this facility, until they died. These people were particularly aged; you could tell they didn't have long left.
As each one died, something peculiar happened. Just before their heart stopped, their brain readings became incredibly erratic. But, they still matched a certain pattern. They matched the pattern of a person having a nightmare. But, this was like nothing they've ever seen. These readings were like the readings of someone having the worst nightmare anyone had ever seen. Their faces stayed so perfectly calm, along with their bodies...but they were not calm.
But, one of the test subjects survived. He seemed like a very resilient man. He had the brain readings, same as the others, but his heart did not stop. Instead, he woke up with a scream, and jerked up violently. The scientists rushed to him, and asked what had happened in his mind. He said it was the most terrifying thing anyone could ever see. He said that it was the reason people die in their sleep. He said that dying in your sleep was not peaceful. He said it was the worst experience you could ever have. And as he was about to tell them...his eyes rolled back in his head, and he collapsed onto the bed. He had died from exhaustion. His heart collapsed completely.
The scientists were baffled. The project was stopped there. They refused to put any more people through this experience. The results were locked away, and the project was hidden away from the eyes of the world. It was lost in the government machine, for the public never to see. But, one of the scientists was not satisfied with this. Many years later, that same scientist was of the age where he could die in his sleep. He remembered the project years ago, and decided to find out what the old man was about to tell them. He spent quite some time preparing his old heart for anything that could come at it. He wanted to make sure he stayed alive through this. One night he went to sleep, same as always. But this dream was different. He was in the dark. But there was a small light emanating from what seemed to be a bathroom.
He seemed to be drawn towards it. He couldn't stop himself from walking towards it. He opened the door. There was one small flickering light, a dirty looking mirror, a broken down toilet and a shower, which seemed to be in the same condition. The floor was cold concrete. There was a sink. He felt himself forced to wash his face with the water. It seemed perfectly normal. He looked up from the sink into the mirror, and saw himself. He looked perfectly normal as well. He wiped his face off, and reopened his eyes, and saw his reflection again. But it was much, much different this time.
The person in the reflection seemed to be him...but it was different. It was as if someone had taken him out of the grave around 6 months later. The figure was decayed, but still retained some resemblance to him. The scientist was paralyzed with fear. But not paralyzed enough to stop from fufilling an incredible urge to reach out towards it. He slowly moved his hand towards the mirror. But, instead of having his hand stopped by cold glass, it kept going towards the figure. He whipped his hand back with incredible shock and fear. The figure slowly started to speak. He said in a raspy, degraded version of the scientist's voice "E-everyone h-h-has their time. Y-y-you were lucky enough to last this long. B-but your time has come....prepare y-yourself" the figure moved towards him. He looked for any escape whatsoever. But the door had disappeared. He was trapped in that room. His fear completely froze him from any movement. It suddenly rushed at him, screaming with a more terrifying scream than you could have ever imagined in your entire lifetime. As soon as it made contact with him, he woke up. He sat up violently, heaving massive breaths.
The scientist realized immediately what he has just experienced. He quickly grabbed a piece of blank paper that was sitting on the desk next to him. He had prepared this beforehand, just in case. He scribbled out these words as quickly as he could, for he knew that his heart was about to collapse. The paper said "DIE BEFORE YOU SLEEP". He then threw the paper and pencil down, and expected to die right then. But he didn't. But he looked over to the exit from his room. Standing in that exit was the figure from his nightmare.
The figure whispered "y-you didn't think you c-could get away that e-e-easily did you?" The scientist's eyes widened with terrible fear. He managed to whisper "what...what are you?" The figure rushed towards the side of his bed, and whispered in his ear "I am god". And with those words, the scientist died.
The scientist was a lonely man. All of his family was dead, and he had but one friend. Nobody found the body for months. But, one day, his friend came to visit. He went to his house, and knocked on the door. No answer. After a few seconds, he smelled an incredibly horrid stench coming from the house. He walked around to the back, and looked in the bedroom window. Inside, it was dark. But he could make out the decaying figure of his friend, who had been in there, dead for months. The figure almost exactly matched the one that had caused him to die. He called the cops, and they picked up his body. The cause of death was simply labeled "Old Age". But they found the paper next to his bed. It was filed away in evidence, and there were a few local newspaper stories about it. And so everyone kept on believing that dying of old age was natural, and dying in your sleep was the most painless method to go by. Well, good for them.
The Russian Sleep Experiment
Russian researchers in the late 1940s kkept five people awake for 15 days using experimental gas based stimulant. They were kept in a sealed environment to carefully monitor their oxygen intake so the gas didn't kill them, since it was toxic in high concentrations. This was before close circuit cameras so they had only microphones and five inch-thick glass porthole size windows into the chamber to monitor them. The chamber was stocked with books, cost sleep no betting, running water and toilet, and enough dried food to last for all five for over a month.
The test subjects were political prisoners deemed enemies of the state during World War II.
Everything was fine for the first five days, the subjects hardly complained having been promised (falsely) that they would be freed up they submitted to the test and did not sleep for 30 days. Their conversations and activities were monitored and it was noted that they continue to talk about increasingly traumatic incidents in their past, and the general tone of their conversations took on a darker aspect after the four-day mark.
After five days they started to complain about the circumstances and events that led them to where they started to demonstrate severe paranoia. They stopped talking to each other and began alternately whispering to the microphones and the one way mirrored portholes. Oddly they also think they could win the trust of the experimenters by turning over their comrades, the other subjects in captivity with them. At first the researchers suspected this was an effect of the gas itself...
After nine days the person started screaming. He ran the length of the chamber repeatedly yelling at the top of his lungs for three hours straight, he continued attempting to scream but was only able to produce occasional squeaks. The researchers postulated that he physically torn his vocal cords. The most surprising thing about this behavior is how the other captives reacted to this... or rather didn't react to it. They continued whispering to the microphones until the second of the captives started to scream. The two non-screaming captives took the books apart, smeared page after page with their own feces and pace of them calmly are the glass portholes. The screaming promptly stopped.
So did the whispering to the microphones.
After three more days past. The researchers checked the microphones hourly to make sure they were working, since they found impossible that no sound to becoming with five people inside. The oxygen consumption in the chamber indicated that all five must still be alive. In fact it was the amount of oxygen people consume it in very heavy level of strenuous exercise. On the morning of the 14th day the researchers did something they said they would never do to get a reaction from the captives, they use an intercom inside the chamber, hoping to provoke any response from the Is they were afraid either dead or vegetables.
They announced: "We are opening the chamber to test the microphones step away from the doors and lie flat on the floor you will be shot. Compliance will earn one of you your immediate freedom."
To their surprise they heard a single phrase in a calm voice response: "We no longer want to be freed."
Debate broke out among researchers in the military forces funding the research. Unable to provoke anymore response using the intercom it was finally decided to open the chamber at midnight on the 15th day.
The chambers flushed of the stimulant gas and filled with fresh air and immediately voices from the microphones beginning to object. Three different voices begin baking, as if pleading further life of love ones to turn the gas back on. The chamber was opened and soldiers were sent in to retrieve the test subjects. They began to scream louder than ever, and so did the soldiers when they saw what was inside. Four of the five subjects were still alive although no one rightly call the state of an event in 'life.'
The food rations past day five had not been so much as touched. There were chunks of meat from dead test subjects thighs and chest stuck in the drain of center the chamber, blocking the drain allowing four inches of water to accumulate on the floor. Precisely how much of the water in the floor was actually blood was never determined. All four 'surviving' test subjects also had large portions of muscle and skin torn away from their bodies the destruction of flesh and exposed bone on their fingertips indicated that the wounds were inflicted by hand, not with teeth as the researchers initially thought. Closer examination of the position and angles of the wounds indicated that most if not all of them were self-inflicted.
The abdominal organs below the rib cage of all four test subjects had been removed. While the heart, lungs and diaphragm remained in place, the skin and most of muscles attached to the ribs have been ripped off, exposing the lungs through the rib cage. All the blood vessels and organs remained intact, they had just been taken out and laid on the floor, panning around the eviscerated the still living bodies of the subjects. The digestive tract of all four could be seen to be working, digesting food. They quickly became apparent that what they were digesting was their own flesh they'd ripped off and eaten over the course of days.
Most of the soldiers were Russian special operatives at the facility, but still many refused to return the chamber term of the test subjects. They continued to scream to be left in the chamber and alternately beg and demanded that the gas be turned back on, lest they fall asleep...
To everyone's surprise the test subjects but about beer spine in the process of being removed from the chamber. One of the Russian soldiers died from having his throat ripped out, another was gravely injured by having his testicles ripped off and had an artery in his leg severed by one of the subjects teeth. Another five of the soldiers lost their lives that you count the ones that committed suicide in the weeks following the incident.
In the struggle one of the four living subjects had its spleen ruptured and bled out almost immediately. The medical research is attended to sedate him but this provide impossible. He was injected with more than 10 times the human dose of morphine derivative and still fought like a cornered animal, raising the risen arm of one doctor. When his heart was seen to be for a full 2 min. after he had bled out to the point that there was more air in his vascular system than blood. Even after the stop he continued to scream and flail for another 3 min., struggling to attack anyone in reach and just kept repeating the word "MORE” over and over, weaker and weaker, until he finally fell silent.
The surviving three test subjects are heavily restrained and moved to a medical facility the two with intact vocal cords continuously begging for the gas demand to be kept awake…
The most injured and three was taking to the only surgical operating room in the facility. In the process for pairing the subject to have his organs place back within his body it was found that he was effectively immune to the sedated had given them to prepare for surgery. He fought fiercely against his restraints with the anesthetic gas was brought out to put them under. He managed care most of the way through four-inch wide leather strap on one wrist, even though the weight of the 200 pound soldier holding that wrist as well. It took only a little more anesthetic than normal to put them under, and that instant his eyelids fluttered in close, his heart stopped. In the autopsy of the test subject that died on the operating table was found that his blood had three times the normal amount of oxygen. His muscles were still attached to the skeleton were badly torn and he broken nine bones in the struggled not to be subdued. Most of them were from the force of his own muscles that had exerted on them.
The second survivor had been the first of the group to start screaming. His vocal cords destroyed he was unable to bagger objective surgery, and you only reacted by shaking violently in disapproval when anesthetic gas was brought. He shook his head yes when someone suggested, reluctantly, they try the surgery without anesthetic, and did not react for the entire six-hour procedure of replacing the abdominal organs and attempting to cover them with what remained of his skin the circle presided stated repeatedly that it should be medically possible for the patient to still be alive. One terrified nurse assisting surgery stated that she had seen the patient's mouth curl into a smile several times, when his eyes met hers.
When the surgery ended the subject look at the surgeon began to wheeze loudly, attempting to talk while struggling. Assuming this must be something of a drastic importance the surgeon had a pen and pad attached to the patient could write his message. It was simple "Keep cutting."
The other juice test subjects were given the same surgery, both without anesthetic as well. Although they had been injected with that paralytic for the duration of the operation. The surgeon found it impossible to perform the operation while the patient's last continuously. Once paralyzed the subjects could only follow the attending researchers with their eyes. The paralytic cleared their system and in an abnormally short period of time and they were soon trying to escape their bonds. The moment they can speak were asking for the stimulant gas. The researchers tried asking why they injure themselves, widely ripped up their own guts and why they wanted to be given the gas again.
Only one response is given: "I must remain awake."
All three subject’s restraints were reinforced in their place back into the chamber awaiting determination as to what should be done with them. The researchers, facing the wrath of their military "benefactors" for having failed the stated goals of their project considered euthanizing the surviving subjects. The commanding officer, an ex-KGB instead saw potential, and wanted to see what would happen if they're put back on the gas. The researcher strongly objected, but they were overruled.
In preparation for being sealed in the chamber again the subject are connected to an EEG monitor and had the restraints padded for long-term confinement. To everyone's surprise all three stocks struggling the moment it was let slip that they were going back on the gas. It was obvious that at this point all three were putting up a great struggle to stay awake. One of the subject could speak was humming loudly and continuously, the mute subject was straining his legs against the leather bonds with all his might, first left, then right, then left again or something focus on. The remaining subject was holding his head off his pillow and blinking rapidly. Having been the first to be wired to the EEG most of the researchers for monitoring his brain waves in surprise. They were normal most of the time but sometimes flat line inexplicably. It looked as if he were repeatedly suffering brain death, before returning to normal. And it focused on paper scrolling out of the brainwave monitor only one nurse saw his eyes slip shut in the same moment his head hit the pillow. His brain waves immediately changed that a deep sleep, then flat line for the last time his heart simultaneously stopped.
The only remaining subject they could speak started screaming to be sealed and now. His brainwave showed the same flatlined as one who had just died from falling asleep. The commander gave the order to seal the chamber would go subject inside, as well as three researchers. One of the named three immediately drew his gun and shot the commander point blank between the eyes, then turned the gun on the need subject and blew his brains out as well.
He pointed his gun of the remaining subject, still restrained to a bed as the remaining members of the medical research team fled the room. "I won't be locked in here with these things! Not with you!" he screamed at the man strap to the table. "WHAT ARE YOU?” he demanded. "I must know!"
The subject smiled.
"Have you forgotten so easily?" The subject asked. "We are you" "we are the madness that lurks within you all, begging to be freed every moment in your deepest animal mind." "We are what you hide from in your bed every night. We're what you sedate in the sounds and process when you go to the normal haven where we cannot tread."
The researcher paused. Then aimed at the subject’s heart and fired.
The EEG flatlined in the subject weakly choked out "so… nearly… free…"
NetNostalgia Forum - Television (local)
Skyshale033 Subject: Candle Cove local kid’s show? Does anyone remember this kid’s show? It was called Candle Cove and I must have been 6 or 7. I never found reference to it anywhere so I think it was on a local station around 1971 or 1972. I lived in Ironton at the time. I don’t remember which station, but I do remember it was on at a weird time, like 4:00 PM.
mike_painter65 Subject: Re: Candle Cove local kid’s show? it seems really familiar to me…..i grew up outside of ashland and was 9 yrs old in 72. candle cove…was it about pirates? i remember a pirate marionete at the mouth of a cave talking to a little girl
Skyshale033 Subject: Re: Candle Cove local kid’s show? YES! Okay I’m not crazy! I remember Pirate Percy. I was always kind of scared of him. He looked like he was built from parts of other dolls, real low-budget. His head was an old porcelain baby doll, looked like an antique that didn’t belong on the body. I don’t remember what station this was! I don’t think it was WTSF though.
Jaren_2005 Subject: Re: Candle Cove local kid’s show? Sorry to ressurect this old thread but I know exactly what show you mean, Skyshale. I think Candle Cove ran for only a couple months in ‘71, not ‘72. I was 12 and I watched it a few times with my brother. It was channel 58, whatever station that was. My mom would let me switch to it after the news. Let me see what I remember.
It took place in Candle cove, and it was about a little girl who imagined herself to be friends with pirates. The pirate ship was called the Laughingstock, and Pirate Percy wasn’t a very good pirate because he got scared too easily. And there was calliope music constantly playing. Don’t remember the girl’s name. Janice or Jade or something. Think it was Janice.
Skyshale033 Subject: Re: Candle Cove local kid’s show? Thank you Jaren!!! Memories flooded back when you mentioned the Laughingstock and channel 58. I remember the bow of the ship was a wooden smiling face, with the lower jaw submerged. It looked like it was swallowing the sea and it had that awful Ed Wynn voice and laugh. I especially remember how jarring it was when they switched from the wooden/plastic model, to the foam puppet version of the head that talked.
mike_painter65 Subject: Re: Candle Cove local kid’s show? ha ha i remember now too. ;) do you remember this part skyshale: “you have…to go…INSIDE.”
Skyshale033 Subject: Re: Candle Cove local kid’s show? Ugh mike, I got a chill reading that. Yes I remember. That’s what the ship always told Percy when there was a spooky place he had to go in, like a cave or a dark room where the treasure was. And the camera would push in on Laughingstock’s face with each pause. YOU HAVE… TO GO… INSIDE. With his two eyes askew and that flopping foam jaw and the fishing line that opened and closed it. Ugh. It just looked so cheap and awful.
You guys remember the villain? He had a face that was just a handlebar mustache above really tall, narrow teeth.
kevin_hart Subject: Re: Candle Cove local kid’s show? i honestly, honestly thought the villain was pirate percy. i was about 5 when this show was on. nightmare fuel.
Jaren_2005 Subject: Re: Candle Cove local kid’s show? That wasn’t the villain, the puppet with the mustache. That was the villain’s sidekick, Horace Horrible. He had a monocle too, but it was on top of the mustache. I used to think that meant he had only one eye.
But yeah, the villain was another marionette. The Skin-Taker. I can’t believe what they let us watch back then.
kevin_hart Subject: Re: Candle Cove local kid’s show? jesus h. christ, the skin taker. what kind of a kids show were we watching? i seriously could not look at the screen when the skin taker showed up. he just descended out of nowhere on his strings, just a dirty skeleton wearing that brown top hat and cape. and his glass eyes that were too big for his skull. christ almighty.
Skyshale033 Subject: Re: Candle Cove local kid’s show? Wasn’t his top hat and cloak all sewn up crazily? Was that supposed to be children’s skin??
mike_painter65 Subject: Re: Candle Cove local kid’s show? yeah i think so. rememer his mouth didn’t open and close, his jaw just slid back and foth. i remember the little girl said “why does your mouth move like that” and the skin-taker didn’t look at the girl but at the camera and said “TO GRIND YOUR SKIN”
Skyshale033 Subject: Re: Candle Cove local kid’s show? I’m so relieved that other people remember this terrible show!
I used to have this awful memory, a bad dream I had where the opening jingle ended, the show faded in from black, and all the characters were there, but the camera was just cutting to each of their faces, and they were just screaming, and the puppets and marionettes were flailing spastically, and just all screaming, screaming. The girl was just moaning and crying like she had been through hours of this. I woke up many times from that nightmare. I used to wet the bed when I had it.
kevin_hart Subject: Re: Candle Cove local kid’s show? i don’t think that was a dream. i remember that. i remember that was an episode.
Skyshale033 Subject: Re: Candle Cove local kid’s show? No no no, not possible. There was no plot or anything, I mean literally just standing in place crying and screaming for the whole show.
kevin_hart Subject: Re: Candle Cove local kid’s show? maybe i’m manufacturing the memory because you said that, but i swear to god i remember seeing what you described. they just screamed.
Jaren_2005 Subject: Re: Candle Cove local kid’s show? Oh God. Yes. The little girl, Janice, I remember seeing her shake. And the Skin-Taker screaming through his gnashing teeth, his jaw careening so wildly I thought it would come off its wire hinges. I turned it off and it was the last time I watched. I ran to tell my brother and we didn’t have the courage to turn it back on.
mike_painter65 Subject: Re: Candle Cove local kid’s show? i visited my mom today at the nursing home. i asked her about when i was littel in the early 70s, when i was 8 or 9 and if she remebered a kid’s show, candle cove. she said she was suprised i could remember that and i asked why, and she said “because i used to think it was so strange that you said ‘i’m gona go watch candle cove now mom’ and then you would tune the tv to static and juts watch dead air for 30 minutes. you had a big imagination with your little pirate show.”
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