Road Kill

“Oh shit! What the fuck?!”

Tom stands there startled and though he would never admit it out loud he was downright scared shitless. No one expects to see a stranger sitting in the passenger seat of their car as they walk out of their house at night. And to see an elderly, white haired woman sitting and staring at you, motionless, with a face that probably reflected Tom’s, one of utter shock and fear, can spook a fucker out.

He gawks at this exceptionally creepy woman, until he gains the will to look around hoping to find someone, anyone to make sense of what the hell he was looking at. Tom asks himself quick, random questions: Was someone punking him? How did this spooky hag get in his car? Wasn’t his alarm set? Or did his airhead wife forget to set it like she always does when she comes home from work? Is she the one fucking with him? These were just a few of the questions for which he found no suitable, immediate answer.

Tom slowly backs up toward his front door, stumbling over a bricked garden that tripped him on an unexpected curve. As he balances himself, he opens the front door and calls out to his wife, “Lill! Lillian! Get your ass out here! Lillian, hurry up!”

“I am on the toilet! What the hell?” Lillian responds, concerned yet annoyed.

“There is an old lady sitting in the fucking car! You know about this?” Tom asks as he moves further into the house to get in better range to hear her answer.

“What are you talking about Tom?”

“Wipe your ass and come see this!”

Lillian rushes out of the hallway restroom, buttoning her pants on the way out. “An old lady is in our car?”

“Yes! Come see…”

Tom follows Lillian out of the front door. “Tom, you rushed me off the toilet for nothing! You scared me half to death! Quit being a dick and just go get dinner.” Lillian storms back inside and up the stairs as Tom comes outside, looking confused that the old woman was gone from his car. He closes the front door behind him and approaches his car to take a closer look. The doors are locked and all of the seats were empty other than the smelly junk he had thrown on them during the past few weeks. As he unlocks the car and takes a seat in the driver seat he notices that there are tree leaves and sticks on the front passenger seat. He didn’t remember putting anything on the seat yesterday that would have left this particular mess but he also didn’t know what his wife was up to earlier in the day when she used the car for work and errands. “It is dark outside, I’m trippin’,” Tom mumbles, convincing himself, “Fuck it stinks like taint in here! I gotta clean this shit out tomorrow.”

He pulls out of the driveway in route to pick up a couple burgers. This was a 15 minute trip to the middle of a small, affluent town, just outside of the city. Tom figures he can make it there in 10 minutes if he speeds. He doesn’t want his wife, Lillian, to give him any shit about the food being cold either so he will have to speed back. Thinking about how she is “rich daddy’s little princess” and a certified bitch, he questions if he would have ever married her a year ago if she wasn’t rich and smoking hot. These thoughts keep him from focusing on the nasty, vanishing hag.

Tom drives down several winding and wooded roads until he makes it to the center of town to stop at the burger joint. He notices the drive thru is out of order and reverse parks so he can go into the restaurant to pick up his food. As he exits, he sneaks a couple fries out the bag and walks up to his car. He notices that the passenger side bumper had a large dent in it along with a cracked headlight and a dent on edge of the hood of the car. Tom squats down to inspect the damage further and notices some blood, flesh and hair in the grill of the car. He did not notice the damage while at his house or on the way there since it was too dark. Starting to get really pissed off, he questions why Lillian did not tell him that she hit something while using the car today.

As he stands up he once again gets terrified, so much so that he tosses his food and drinks up in the air and stumbles backward onto the ground. He scoots backwards, trying to gain distance from the same old woman that was once again sitting in the passenger seat of his car. She is staring out of the side window as she was at his house but this time she is not looking at him, but rather just staring out into the distance, with the same fucked up, twisted look.

Tom composes himself and apprehensively walks to the driver’s side of the car and veers into the open window. “Hey, what the fuck are you doing in my car?” he sternly asks. He has a better look at the woman now; she looks like she is in her 90’s, dirty and skinny with white, balding, frizzy hair that looks to have been fried from years of dyeing her hair. She’s wearing a cream colored house dress with a delicate lace neckline, tattered and ripped in places, with dried blood decorating the slits in her gown. Her dress reaches further than her knee with only her vein and spot-riddled, sickly white skin exposed at her calves and chins. No thanks to an extremely well lit parking lot, Tom notices her bare feet. They were a special type of hideous; mangled nails of yellow and gray, arthritic toe knuckles, and dried cracks of ash and wrinkles wrapping around mind numbingly grotesque bunions.

Looking as though she is injured, Tom feels the need to assist her. “Old lady, do you need me to take you to the hospital or something?” The hag, still looking opposite of Tom, nods her head once. He notices her ears were incredibly large, but remembers his own grandparents and how a friend told him that the nose and ears are the only two parts of the body that continue growing your entire life. His grandparents face verified this fact, as did this woman’s ears, double-fold. He jogs back to grab the still closed bag of food and as he sits onto the driver’s seat he is hit with a pungent odor that could only be described as death meets mothballs meets rubbing alcohol. It permeates the vehicle and he could practically feel it being absorbed into his skin. It took all of his restraint and several rolled down windows to keep from gagging more than twice. “Ugh, I’m going to need a bath after this,” he whispers to himself.

Tom pulls out of the parking lot and makes his way toward the hospital that was 3 miles away. He tries striking a conversation with the woman, “How did you get in my car at the restaurant? Were you hiding on the floor in the backseat or something? Are you a ninja or something because I did not see you there at all?” The hag offers no response. “Did someone hurt you? You look like you are bleeding.” He still receives no response from the woman. He decides to focus on the road, thankful that the woman decided to keep to herself.

As Tom approaches an especially winding part of the tree-hugged road leading to the hospital, he starts to slow down like he always did taking this road due to the high level of accidents in the area. It was always difficult to navigate the bends of the road while keeping enough room for oncoming cars on the other side of the road. He passes a secluded ranch style house, the only home on this road. He suddenly gets startled by a high pitched screech coming from the woman. “HERE!” the hag shouts with drawn out, ear piercing intent. Tom swerves accidentally due to the violent scream of the woman and slams his brakes as he swerves toward the shoulder of the road.

He turns his head to push on the dome light and finds the old woman staring at him again with the same fear-inducing expression. Her eyes are blue and cataract and her nose is bulbous, overgrown and oddly pointy all the same. Skin tags and age spots line the neck of her chest bone. Small, hairy brown moles litter her defined cheekbones and her eyebrows were as non-existent as her thin lips and her flat, minimal chin. Tom sits paralyzed at the sight of this hideous woman staring at him with alarmed, blink-less eyes. She raises her right hand and her startled expression turns into a thin grin as she reaches her arm out to smoothly stroke Tom’s left cheek with her swollen, arthritic knuckles.

***

Tom returns home and places the bag of food on the oven. He proceeds upstairs into the master bedroom and closes the door. Lillian is on the living room couch watching some reality talent show. She jumps up and heads to the kitchen. “Damn Tom what took so fucking long? I’m starving! Where are the drinks? Hey, can you hear me?” Lillian asks. “Yeah well look, a fucked up thing happened today. I hit something on my way to my gyno appointment. I think it was a deer or something. It messed up the front of the car a bit. I spoke with Daddy and he said he will fix it for me so don’t be pissed at me. Serves that dumb thing right walking on the side of the fucking street like that. I didn’t even stop to see if it was ok, I was so pissed. I was late enough as it was.”

Tom did not respond and Lillian assumes he was angry about it and just stormed up to the room like he always did when he was pissed with her. She eats her food alone, finishes her show and takes in some Facebook time then goes up to the bedroom to go to bed. As she changes into her nightgown she notices Tom isn’t in bed but the light in the master bathroom was on. Lillian sits at the edge of the bed looking at her phone while waiting for Tom to come out of the bathroom, “Are you almost done in there? It fucking stinks in here. Flush!”

Tom emerges with an angry expression on his face and approaches Lillian. She knew he was angry about the car and decides to try to sweet talk him to bed, “Come on baby, don’t be mad at me about the car. I told you Daddy will fix it. He always fixes my problems, you know that. I love my Daddy. I love you too baby,” Lillian explains as she stands up to coax Tom to bed. “Don’t be so pissed Tom. Come on, if I take a picture with my phone to post on Facebook will you smile for me? I’ll kiss your dick to make up for it.” Tom gives an uninspired smirk as Lillian takes the photo. He steps forward and reaches out his right hand to gently caress the left side of Lillian’s flirtatious face.

***

“This is a helluva scene here boys. Three of these in one week? I couldn’t tell you the last time I was on one of these cases. First that old lady was found on the side of the road on her weekly walk to the hospital to pick up her meds. And now these poor souls? Brian, be sure to bag up those leaves and sticks on the floor and that girls cell phone for evidence. And what the hell am I looking at here doc? Is that their spine I see poking out? How in the fuck do you think they broke their necks like that?”

“Sarg, come see this! You have GOT to take a look at this fucking photo.”

https://docs.google.com/drawings/d/1QZH85SVdG5mybqLomlZQNLlK3Cjju2jUCq9zRosXtH0/edit

by StupidDialUp

The Ameriken Neck

Myths and legends are always born from some sort of truth. Whether it be an interpretation of the power of water and fire or dreams or an old animal that is now extinct in modern times that grew a reputation of being a “dragon” or “unicorn” based on some curious old bones found centuries ago. Many of these mythos came during times of great change, whether it be during great famine, war, climate change or other powerful weather phenomenon.

Our mind has a way of matrixing out patterns to give the violent, chaotic world some clarity and sense. It’s why the mind created the coping mechanisms we call “belief” and “faith.” Our mind is so powerful that it can give us the feeling and experience of a reality that may be completely false or even half-true, so long as we can make sense of the world around us and allow us to survive within it. Survival and coping…It is how and why our mind creates psychosis or even physical inflictions like the stigmata. These are all mechanisms and they are as powerful if not more powerful than the real world.

These instincts of our mind are what also helps create elements in our world made from nightmares. Part of coping and surviving skills of the mind is when it tells us when to fight or take flight. To warn us of unforeseen dangers, whether real, possibly real or even imagined, the mind makes all of this reality when stressed hard enough. It is this basic understanding of the mind that makes those in positions of power in religion, politics, military and media powerful and dangerous.

It is also what makes the occult equally as powerful and dangerous. Hoodoo and Wicca, Voodoo and Santeria, etc. all have the ability to use the power of the mind to create alternate realities for those who believe and share faith. It is also why superstitions, incantations, spells, urban myths and curses are often proved to be real, if not to the many then to the select few who are impacted by it.

And it is why I became so enthralled with the legend of the “Neck.”

The “Neck” is also known as a “Nixie/Nix” in English folklore or the “Kappa” in Japanese lore, or Rusalka/Vodyanoy in Slavic mythology. It is where beings like Sirens, Mermaids, Nymphs, Selkies and Kelpies were derived. What first interested me about the “Neck” was how it crossed so many cultural lines at different times in history. In many instances, one culture would not know of the existence of the other and yet their descriptions matched in unison. What made me obsessed was when I found an incantation at scarcely known voodoo “shop” in New Orleans for what was described as the “Ameriken Neck.” One thing I’ve come to learn about Voodoo is that they normally do not catalog it down unless they believe it has worked on several people.

Having lived in New Orleans all my life, Catholicism, Voodoo, and Hoodoo is built into our local culture. It is what drove me to my passion to study myths, legends and the occult. The Voodoo institution here in New Orleans has accepted me as a scholar of their beliefs and has allowed me certain accesses normal folks would never imagine was real. Voodoo isn’t about the tourist traps you find in the French Quarter with scented candles and weird masks. No, this is a firm belief/religion based on a mesh of European Catholic, African, and Haitian beliefs and faiths. It is also a derivative of the some of the oldest recorded religions, dating back 10,000 years, from the earliest human civilizations in Africa.

It did not surprise me that I found a reference to the Neck here in New Orleans or in Voodoo in general. What did surprise me was that those who practice Voodoo believed that they could conjure up the spirit of a Neck and that they believed they could control it. What further surprised me was that I found it in a book that was over 300 years old in that old shop. Things this old normally are reserved for museums, but this book was lounging about wanting to be read. When I asked the shop owner where it came from he said it was found in the coffin of who he assumed was an old priestess. Her coffin was found washed out of her grave after Hurricane Camille in 1969. The owner recently found the old book stashed in his attic and decided to sell it.

Funny thing about New Orleans is that it is 10 feet below sea level so many of our dead are “buried” above ground. So when the water rose, so did the dead. This is surprisingly a common occurrence here. Amazingly, this book, leather bound and written on pages goat skin (a common practice in Africa and the Caribbean at the time) and palm leaves, was found so well preserved that I questioned the story. But that was before I noticed the water marks.

Water has always been the common denominator for the Neck. History has documented this fact. It also makes sense as to why the Neck would be sought out in Voodoo considering the geographic nature of the religion’s base (Caribbean, New Orleans). How the old priests and priestess came about the incantation and knowledge of the Neck I have never been able to find. I have looked for years. Like I mentioned before, this thing has been an obsession and those who practice voodoo love their catalogs, especially when their practices work.

And it has. It has worked on at least one person, Ann V. Lakedeaux, 25 years ago. She worked as a theology professor at a liberal arts college in New Orleans. 43, once divorced, with no children and a fantastic sense of humor matched only by her skepticism of all things occult, Ann would become my balance and my life. I would only repay her gifts to me with the responsibility of her death by the beak of the Neck.

Ann and I had been dating for a little over a year. I was just starting to translate the entry of the “Ameriken Neck” found in the old book of incantations I found earlier in the month. We were both in Baton Rouge for the weekend and over dinner one night I shared with Ann what I had found and being curious and skeptical she forced me share with her what I had found so far. This is all I had at the time:

The incantation as written in Haitian Creole:

“Lespri Bondye nan Neck a, tanpri naje avè m ‘. Naje ansanm avè m ‘jodi a, anba dlo, nan gwo twou san fon an, naje ansanm avè m’, jouk tan mwen dòmi.”

The incantation as translated from Haitian Creole to English:

“Spirit of the Neck, please swim with me. Swim with me today, under water, into the deep, swim with me until I sleep.”

Writer’s Note: To hear the incantation in English and Haitian Creole, go here: http://translate.google.com/?tl=ht#auto/ht/%E2%80%9CSpirit%20of%20the%20Neck%2C%20please%20swim%20with%20me.%20Swim%20with%20me%20today%2C%20under%20water%2C%20into%20the%20deep%2C%20swim%20with%20me%20until%20I%20sleep.%E2%80%9D

The “Ameriken Neck,” as I translated from Haitian Creole to English is described as a “ghostly spirit whose body is that of a color-morphing, shape shifting giant squid with the ability to reflect a man’s face on its crown. Upon the completion of the second incantation, as prayer or spoken, the Neck will appear and show the reflection of the Asker’s face on its crown…”

This was as far as I had translated at the time and Ann was fascinated by it and eager to put it to the test, as she always was when she stumbled upon studies and theories of the occult. She insisted we go to our favorite lake for a late night swim. Ignoring my protests, she made an offer men my age usually never refuse, and so we went to False River, an oxbow river that is 25 miles northwest from Baton Rouge. Both of us being academics and drunk, we figured we needed goggles, an underwater flashlight, and waterproof camera so we could document the experiment and, of course, a couple floatation devices with drink holders, for safety.

So after strenuously blowing up our rafts, we floated out about 25 yards from the shore. Having explained to Ann that I have more respect for Voodoo than she apparently did, I regretfully told her that she would need to be the “bait” in the experiment. So she rolled off her raft and into the water, waterproof camera in hand. And then she recited the incantation, “Spirit of the Neck, please swim with me. Swim with me today, under water, into the deep, swim with me until I sleep,” Ann sung out in a mockingly dramatic tone. “See, I told you it was crap. I don’t see anything.”

I explained, “It says here you have to say it twice dear. You sure you want to do this. I mean what happens if it is real. You really want some giant squid swimming with you?”

“Don’t be an idiot. A squid, in these waters? A snake or an alligator, then yeah, you’d have me spooked. Actually, shit, aren’t there snakes and alligators around here?”

“Don’t change the subject now Ann! It is ok if you do not want to do this.”

With a wily smile, Ann finished her incantation, “Spirit of the Neck, please swim with me. Swim with me today, under water, into the deep, swim with me until I sleep.”

Ann suddenly felt like something swam by her feet and then felt little glances on her feet and ankles. Startled, she immediately grabbed her flashlight, goggles and camera. “Damn minnows! Scared me half to death!” she boisterously exclaimed. “Wait, I see something else.”

Ann was really quiet at first and then started to get visibly more nervous. I kept asking her what was wrong and what was she seeing, waiting on her answer to be another one of her famous belly laughs, enjoying the panic expression I know I had on my face. But she did not laugh. She kept describing a glowing in the water, a pulsating light, and took some pictures of it.

She then described how she thought whatever it was enjoyed the shine of her light and was playing with her. She started to take a few more pictures until it started to get closer to her. She called out both terrified and giddy, “It’s a big squid! Holy shit, it worked! I can even see my reflection!”

I was in disbelief, I just knew she was mocking me and then I started to get angry with her. But she was insistent on what she was seeing and told me to get in the water and look for myself. I do not know why it popped in my thoughts, but I sang the incantation back in my head, in a silly way like Ann did, “Spirit of the Neck, please swim with me. Swim with me today, under water, into the deep, swim with me until I sleep.”

“Bill, wait,” Ann’s tone dropped as she spoke, dunking her head in and out of the water every few words, “Bill, my reflection on its body…it is upside down…why is my reflection upside down?” I saw Ann snap a few more pictures then suddenly I saw two large tentacles rise up out of the water behind Ann. She was not aware of them but right after they emerge she starts screaming and kicking as though something was rising up to attack her from under of the water.

With great force, I saw Ann flip backwards. The feeding tentacles pounced down and ripped her from breast to back, leaving two bloody suspender marks where her bathing suit top once covered. She was being dragged under. I then saw a dozen or so more tentacles begin to grip around her body as she is flailing for me to pull her out of the water. I could not reach her from my raft and before I knew it, she was gone, pulled under. But not until I saw her reflection look at me, still superimposed, upside down on the crown of the squid.

I was petrified. I couldn’t move. I sat on the raft, calling out for her for 2 hours, hoping I would hear her cry out from the shore. I picked up the flashlight that floated near the raft, but only after building up the courage to do so 30 minutes after the attack. Avoiding the water became my priority. By the time the sun started to rise I had drifted to shore where I eventually found her camera. I went to the nearest phone and called the police to explain to them what happened, but I could not. They would never believe me. So I told them that she got dragged under by something, maybe an alligator, and I did not see her again. The search parties combed the shores and dredged the lake but found no signs of her. And only I found the camera.

After a week or so and after the funeral, the pictures from the underwater camera were finally developed. She took pictures of the Neck. Even though she did not get pictures of her reflections, she still snapped pictures of the demon playing with her. And she took pictures of it attacking her.

Writer’s Note: To view the last photos taken by the underwater camera used by Ann V. Lakedeaux before her disappearance, click the link below. These are the only known photo of the “Ameriken Neck” aka the “American Nix” or “American Nixie.”

https://docs.google.com/file/d/0B1Z1E_xOAU4wSzQ0WFBqYW5RS28/edit?usp=sharing

The Neck became compulsion and psychosis for me soon after. I completed the translation of the incantation in the Voodoo spell book I found. The old book went on to say, “Upon completion of the third incantation (using the words “I sleep” for self sacrifice or “they sleep” if sending a curse), the reflection of the Asker or Cursed will be turned upside down revealing the true nature of the Neck and they will be pulled by the Neck’s serrated tentacles, drowned, and eaten by the beak of the Neck. The Neck will appear in any body of water at drowning depth and it can only be seen while it is in the water. It is important not to look upon it when its face is upside down as this will welcome death upon you, whether you are the Asker or the Cursed. The Neck is playful when not gazed upon, often giving you a floating sensation as you lay on your back looking up at the sky; or the sensation of fish nibbles on your feet; or the arrival of jellyfish dancing near you while you swim. But the Neck is always hungry, as it has always been, so do not gaze upon it when its smile is upside down.” To this day I regret not waiting on finishing the translation before sharing it with Ann. Deep down I knew it was dangerous to play around with such things without fully understanding them. It has been a great burden on me.

It has also destroyed my life. I’ve lived with this curse for more than 25 years and I have been living in perpetual fear of the silliest of things that I perceive to have too much water in or near them: toilets, large puddles, bathtubs, sinks, even large bowls of soup that I see on television cause my heart to skip a beat these days. I’ve sponge bathed only for over 20 years now and can only relieve myself in the woods behind my trailer. I have not been able to go near any large body of water; I’m petrified of going over bridges and will not step foot near a dock nevertheless a boat. This is no way to live for a boy who group up among the bayous.

I wish I can say that my Bathophobia (fear of depth) and Aquaphobia (fear of water) are just something I’ve created to make sense of my friend’s death in that lake so many years ago. I wish I can say that my phobias and my now reclusive life is my way of dealing with some guilt or remorse from that day. But I cannot…because the Neck has tried to kill me on many occasions. And I have the scars to prove it.

Writer’s Note: You can find my injuries from the Ameriken Neck at this link: https://docs.google.com/file/d/0B1Z1E_xOAU4wZWYxWmIxMVJhZzQ/edit

The last time I was visited by the Neck was 12 years ago to this day. It had tried to claim me several times up into this last visit long ago; but it was the last visit that left the worst scars and of all places it were to attack, it had to be the shower. That day it had been raining hard, off and on, for four hours straight. At the time I was still in my house in New Orleans (the last time I was physically there as well) and every time it rained hard the plumbing in the house would become congested and slow and on a few occasions backed up on me. I needed a shower. For several years, the shower was the only place I felt safe around water because it would never get to drowning depth. But on this day, the tub I was standing in did and I was not paying attention.

It happened so quickly. The water had reached past my calves and the Neck’s feeding tentacles reached behind and ripped through my back with its toothy suckers. As it pulled down on my skin, I slipped back and knocked my head against the wall and edge of the tub. Fighting against the wrapping of its tentacles and bleeding profusely from the back of my head, I fought to climb out of the tub, breaking my nose on the toilet nearby as I pulled myself out of the tub. I blacked out for a moment, only to be awaken by the searing pain generated from the heal of my foot being pecked off. When I awoke I found the Neck halfway out of the water, my foot in its grasp, its black beak pulling muscle and flesh from me, its extraordinarily large, human-like eyes staring at me and my face, upside-down, reflecting through on the crown of its pulsating and iridescent mantle that was two feet above its eyes. As I kicked and freed my foot, my flipped reflection spoke to me with an anger and frustration in its voice that rivaled that of a spoiled toddler being told no.

“Come swim with me! COME SWIM WITH ME!” I apparently said to myself, my face slanted downward like a cheap trick at a funhouse. After I dragged myself out of the bathroom, it slinked back into the water and disappeared.

Twelve years later, after exhaustive studying on how I could possibly trap or kill the Neck or run from it, I’ve come to the realization that this is indeed a “spirit” that travels multi-dimensionally. It is the only explanation as to why it could attack me in a tub or from my neighbor’s baby pool or from street draining grate. It’s the only explanation for the scars and why I have been unable to catch it. At the end I could only find one answer to the most important question to surviving the Neck, “How do you catch and kill a spirit?”

The answer is, “You don’t.”

And now I must apologize to the readers of this paper. Another thing I’ve learned about voodoo incantations and curses is that often they are transferable. But this is a very difficult task as it normally requires the curse to be taken on willingly by another by either hearing the incantation or by personally verbalizing or internalizing the incantation with the help of the cursed. If you have read this paper so far or listened to the incantation link, you have accepted my burden. Please forgive me for this treacherous act. I am old and can no longer live like this.

While there is no escape from the Neck, this was a solution; the only solution. I know that by giving this offering of readers to the Neck that it will lift me of my curse and allow me to live free again. I have paid my debt for Ann’s death and my soul longs for peace and the water. Please understand that this was my last resort. I am Catholic so suicide was never an option for me and even after this awful deed, my cursing of you, I can still be forgiven by our God through confession. And so hopefully the “Neck” will finally be off mine. Thank you for your sacrifice my friend.

I am deeply sorry.

Note: Want more information on the “Neck,” please visit: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Neck_(water_spirit)

by StupidDialUp

*Click*

-*The following recordings are those by Mark Lewis, a man found dead in his apartment located in Los Angeles, California. All of the following audio has been transcribed directly (including background noises). Some may find the following disturbing.*

• Recording. 1# September 17th, 2009: 4:39 p.m PST
-Sharp static- -click- Hello, this is Mark Lewis. I live in the 66th room of the Villa Brasil Motel located in Los Angeles, California. I couldn’t of chose a crappier motel. I’m still paying off my student loans so this is sadly the only thing I could afford. I recently found these empty cassette tapes in the back of my closet. I think my mom might’ve given ‘em to me last Christmas. –Chuckles- She was always a cheap woman…. I can’t believe she is gone…sorry, I’m getting off-track. I have decided to start recording everything I do from this point forward. Some…things have been happening lately that I just can’t explain. I just have recently felt as if something was…watching me. I’m not sure how to explain it. I just feel like whenever I turn my back there are eyes burrowing into the back of my head. That’s not the only thing, though. I’ve been having these nightmares. Not just your average sort of nightmare where you fall off a cliff or something. They are all really disturbing, screwed up nightmares. I haven’t slept in days, the nightmares are just…-Sighing is heard- -click-

• Recording. 2# September 19th, 2009: 10:00 a.m PST
-click- I tried to sleep last night, just to see if the nightmares were gone considering I haven’t slept in a few days. Once again I had a nightmare…but this one was different than the others. There was this creature…or a man. I’m not really sure. Anyways, this thing was maybe eight or nine feet tall. It had bleach-white skin, arms way too long for its body, and these pitch black eyes. The worst part though was his mouth, or what was left of his mouth. It looked as if some of the flesh around his mouth had fused together to form a sort of muzzle. The whole dream was just it standing there over me…and I couldn’t move. It was as if I was tied down to something. I don’t know why the dream was so terrifying to me. It was just those eyes…those black empty eyes. It all seemed so real to me. I don’t think I’m going to sleep anymore. -Click-

• Recording. 3# September 23rd, 2009: 9:00 p.m PST
-Click- I…I saw something, well I think I might’ve. I’m really confused right now. So…I was just randomly flipping through the channels on the crappy little TV in my apartment. I think we only get seventeen channels so there isn’t much to choose from. -Coughing- Anyways, while I was watching TV, I felt that “someone’s watching me” feeling. I cautiously looked behind me, once again seeing nothing. About an hour later, I felt the feeling again. I turned around faster this time, to see if I could catch whatever might’ve been there. –Silent for a few moments- I saw it…. The thing from my dreams. It was just…standing there. Then…it just turned and walked away. I jumped up from my couch and quickly ran into my room. Not entirely sure why I ran…never was the smartest guy. Anyways, when I got in my room…it was gone. It didn’t even look like anyone was there. The window wasn’t even opened so it couldn’t have climbed in. I checked my entire room but still nothing. I…I’m really scared right now. –Ruffling is heard- god…. I need more pills. -Click-

• Recording. 4# September 25th, 2009: 7:39 p.m PST
-Click- I saw it again today…the damned thing. I was at work. I work at the local supermarket. I really hate my job; I barely get paid minimum wage. But I still have to pay back those loans and this was the only job I could get. So I was helping a customer bag her groceries, just a normal day, when I felt this sudden urge to look out the window. In fact, the whole day I had felt like something was watching me. I glanced out and it right there…right at the damn window. From what I can remember I dropped all of her groceries out of pure terror. No one else saw it, though…I’m not crazy. I know it’s real…I know it. -Click-

• Recording. 5# September 27th, 3:27 p.m PST
-Click- I didn’t go to work yesterday, I was too scared to leave my home. I was afraid I was going to see that…that “thing” again. I always feel like I’m being watched now, all the time. -Breathing-… I think it’s behind me.

• Recording. 6# October 1st, 10:37 p.m PST
-Click- I’ve been fired from my job. I haven’t left my house in days…I have been too scared to leave. I see it all the time now; everywhere I look…just standing there. Staring at me with those damn, empty eyes…. LEAVE ME ALONE YOU PIECE OF SHIT! -Bottle cracking from far away- -Click-

• Recording. 7# October 3rd, 3:28 p.m PST
-Click- I left my house today…I don’t know why. I only needed to go to the pharmacy for my pills…it followed me the whole damn time. I asked everyone if they saw it…-slight sobbing is heard- no one else saw it…it is there. I know it’s real…I’m not crazy…I’m NOT! -Sobbing is heard- -Click-

• Recording. 8# October 4th, 1:49 a.m PST
-Click- JUST LEAVE ME ALONE! –Sobbing is heard- GO AWAY! -Glass breaking is heard- -click-

• Recording. 9# October 6th, 3:37 p.m PST
-Click- I…I bought a gun today. Just a simple shotgun…nothing major. If that thing shows it face again…-cocking is heard- -click-

• Recording. 10# October 7th, 3:29 a.m PST
-Click- I’m not crazy…I’m not crazy…. –something solid is heard being poured-drinking is heard- -click-

• Recording. 11# October 8th, 12:01 p.m PST
-Click- I…I can’t handle this anymore. It won’t leave me alone…. -sobbing is heard- -cocking- It can’t kill me if I’m already dead…. I’m not going to let it get me. -Gunshot is heard- -a thud is heard- -sharp static-

*An autopsy done on the body of Mark Lewis found heavy doses of Amitriptyline in his blood. This is a antidepressant drug used for moderate to severe depression. Side effects include psychosis, increased depression, thoughts of suicide, and hallucinations.*

by phillybro10

The Beach House

I guess I won’t escape the water on this spring evening. The rain pounds on me with the rhythm of an icy waterfall. It has gotten to the point now that the pain of the cold is warming me more than my nightgown ever could. The warmth of my breath fights through the bitter darkness of the evening only to be beaten back by the unrelenting frigidity of the wind at my face. Perhaps the warmness of the gulf would radiate just enough to find some comfort in this depressing storm.

The waves quickly roll in, one after another, bashing my stomach and chest. I turn my head to avoid the violent aggression of the water as it pummels me and attempts to intrude my body through my nose and mouth. The gulf’s hospitality sure is lacking tonight, a drastic change from the filled beaches of the morning past; children building sand castles, couples floating and drinking and cuddling in the water, snowbirds out to roost under umbrella tents and the shadow of books. No, tonight is so much different, so much bleaker. The kindness of the gulf seems to have set with the sun.

It is such a small beach community for so many people to litter this little slice of heaven. The beach house, light
tan with soft pastel and white colored accents with a large sun bathing balcony, only rents four beds and yet this beautiful beach had several dozens of visitors on its little stretch of land. They could have spread out to the shores on either sides of this lot but they did not. They did not because they knew what I knew, that this section of beach was perfect. The sun stretched over us and was offered no invitation for quarter by monstrous condos, gray clouds, or tall trees. The gulf breeze swayed against our bodies as though it were dancing to its own serenade while the sugary white sands warmed our feet and massaged our heals. The saltwater offered refreshing retreat as it frolicked on our lips like the rim of a frozen margarita. Gentle waves offered both play and coddling as the seabirds flying above glided almost still, resting on the wings of the wind. Even the small fish and baby crabs could be seen sashaying in the translucent emerald green water. Of course these people did not spread out past the boundaries. Who would ever abandon this glimpse of heaven bathed in sunshine?

Maybe it was just a test. Now that I am deep enough to float and not stand the waves seem to have let up a bit on its attack. As I bob up and down, four feet up and four feet down, I am thankful my stomach is empty tonight. The gulf is starting to show some compassion by lending me its warmth, something it was lacking on the shore and on my walk in. It’s becoming difficult to keep above water however as the crest always bows to the trough; and my body must follow like a knight kneeling before its king. As I rise to the peak of each wave, I glance ashore to see if they are all still standing there. They are.

Looking back, their touch was warmer than I would have expected. I am surprised they were even able to wake me since I am such a heavy sleeper. I was gently awakened by a soft grab on my ankle and the grasp was strangely lukewarm and damp. There was an old comfort to it much like how my father used to wake me for school when I was a child. It made waking up to a room full of a dozen shadows a bit less petrifying…A tiny bit less horrifying.

As I sat up and buried myself as far into the headboard of the bed as I physically could, I took survey of my surroundings. There were exactly twelve of them, these shadow people with their onyx liquescent bodies; gray smoke dancing off and through their bodies like black liquid ice. They stood there standing motionless with various displays of body language and height. The shadow that touched me to wake me sat there at the foot of the bed, legs crossed with its hands rested gracefully. It was looking at me, or I think it was looking at me, I could not tell since there were no facial features. But I could feel them all looking at me. I could also hear them.

They all seemed to speak in unison with the same consciousness but with different, muffled sounds. It was whisper-like voices, some tones dragging behind others as they spoke like rapid and soft little echoes. It was haunting yet beautiful, spiritual. They told me that things were going to be okay and asked me to follow them out of the room. And so I did, into the hallway where several other smoky figures lined each side of the hallway, some leaning up against the dimly lit blue walls, others squatting casually, and some more like soldiers on guard, all staring at me as though I were walking the red carpet. As I passed the other bedroom I remembered my two daughters and husband fell asleep in the bunk bed room after an evening of board games and ghost stories. I asked if my daughters and husband were safe and they ensured that they were. I cannot explain why I trusted them. Maybe it was the thought of risking waking my girls to this strange and frightening spectacle. They did not need to experience whatever this was and if they did then I wanted my husband to be there to protect them.

As I entered the kitchen I noticed several other shadows, all standing throughout the space and living room, watching me as the first group guided me toward the backdoor that was facing the gulf. As I opened the door a winter-type chill smacked my body. It was abnormally cold for this time of year this far south and the rain was twice as frigid. I noticed on the sunbather’s porch, down the wooden-decked pathway and on the tall dunes there were several dozens more shadow people standing and watching me. I asked the group of shadows ahead of me who all of these people, these things, were. I asked where they were taking me and why were they all staring at me. With each question my voice began to tremble and fear started to overwhelm me like the cold did once I opened that door. They said that I would be alright and that they were the same as me. They were watching me because they wanted to welcome one of their own.

Soon I was ushered past the berm and toward the shore of the gulf. I stumbled through the thick and wet sand as they pointed me toward the violent blackness of the gulf. I understood that they wanted me to go in but I paused and asked what if I did not want to go into the deep. They stoically answered that I must trust them, “for there is no other choice.” And so I have.

I am losing my ability to keep my head above the waterline. Now the saltwater is burning my eyes and throat and panic is starting to sink in. On the horizon I begin to see a few shapes emerge from the audience of shadows and approach the water’s edge. One by one they enter the water; their smoky bodies illuminate the water with a stunning silver brightness radiating from their bodies. They are swimming toward me. I can no longer resist the urge to purge myself under the unyielding juggernaut of waves.

I sink and have released the last of my breath. I gasp in the sea. My lungs drink in the saltwater with the pressure of a water balloon at the end of a hose. I flail out to grab anything and nothing in a final attempt to pull myself toward life. Unexpectedly, I feel a familiar touch on my face, the same touch that woke me and put me toward this journey; my final dip in the gulf. He is face to faceless face with me now.

Two other silver shadows glide to each of my arms and hold my hand in a loving embrace, one hand to the shadow’s cheek, the other to its chest as a child would hold a teddy bear. I notice the shape of her glowing pigtails, the same pigtails she was wearing as she jumped up and down on the bed during her playtime with her father. I notice the other wearing a silhouette of a nightgown just like mine, one of a mother/daughter matching set I chose as a Christmas gift this past year. I gaze back forward and think to myself and to him, “I knew it was your touch that woke me, my love.” As my consciousness begins to fade, they lovingly guide me into the tender abyss, to our Elysium, making me another welcomed guest at the beach house.

by StupidDialUp

The Water Farmer

The Waterfarmer
 
Tonight he had purpose. The number was to be twenty…twenty of the best. Or at least the best he could find. The twenty were to be found in the water; in their place of rest. They will be part of the offering; an offering that must be made.

Out to sea he realizes he must go and in the horizon an aged wooden boat, similar to a small, rotting schooner appears to him as a specter of the sea. His Dark Captain greets him at the peer and waves him aboard as a servant would greet an expected guest.  It is known that the Dark Captain, shaped as a shadow of a large pirate, will guide him through to the soon to be chosen, with his oar in hand, steering through the salty, dense, and suffocating fog.

There were others fishing. He could sense it though he could not see them, these competing fishermen. Their presence weighed down the air as though a final plea, a plea for life, was soon to be heard. The pressure mounted as the urgency was palpable. And soon his lottery would be chosen.

And there they were, floating like underwater rows of corn. Souls, the ghost of weathered men and women made of oily liquid and illuminated smoke, familiar yet not. Vast fields of past experiences sprinkled the sea mirroring the starry night above in darkness, silence and spectacle. The harvest was to be made both quickly and with utmost certainty. He, the Waterfarmer, the fishermen, must choose his bait wisely and throw back the unworthy catch, for there would be only one offering.  

The selections were to be made through the senses, not just of those senses of the physical world, but of the metaphysical as well. He must feel their energy, their being and emotion, their wisdom and sin, what made them who they were and what will make him part of them, part of one. But how would he know? Understanding the task at hand but not the how, he fished, reaching his hand as far as he could toward the water touching soul after soul, each time rejecting yet taking a part of them with him as though he were collecting letters to home from lonely soldiers. Catch after catch is made and thrown back…until he finds one and another…each choice made filled a hole in his spirit, like a mathematically perfected piece of a whole. He now knows that these chosen few represent his past, his present and most importantly, his future.

As each undeniable link is made with these lonely souls, each one manifests itself onto the Dark Captains schooner, slowly floating upside the boat, over the edges and into their place in the pews much like mercury finds itself. Only these souls start taking shape into ghostly men and women with cloudy and hollow eyes, skin of liquefied pearl, and strikingly faceless. They begin to slug into a pool at the bow of the ship. As the souls gather they begin an entangled embrace, one after another, taking a liquescent shape.

At the base of the creation, broad backs and strong chests stack in rows and depth to solidify the structure above six stacks of feet, hands and knees. A backrest of sturdy shoulders begins to form. Armrests made of thighs melt together with the smooth curve of breasts at grips. The heads and bones gather at the top of the nine-foot design creating a complex helixed catacomb revealing the shape of an incomplete but great throne of pearly iridescence. This beautiful architecture will be his offering.

The boat is almost filled with the remaining faceless twenty, each one sitting at the inside edge of the pews when the Dark Captain points to a massive foggy wall slowly approaching. Time is running out to finish the harvest. The Doctor will soon have his gift and his future may be granted.
  
…The Patient…
 
He is lost in a nauseous stare. His fever has peaked now and his energy is seeping through his pours as if it is an August afternoon in the swamps. As they prophesied, the pounds melted away, thirty-seven of them in fact. Food would no longer be a pleasure but a chore. The shivers, fevers and cramps were undersold however. And he still has his flowing silver hair; a miracle by its own standards. Their poison was effective in its side effects but the results are an invasive surgery away. The visitation to his bladder tends to take an unkind path; as though the cancer and its’ treatment were not penance enough. Now he finds himself struggling to make the simplest of movements as he rushes toward the emergency room for time feels as though it is slipping away.

The hospital is unusually quiet today. He notices there are no ambulances under the canopies and the parking lot seems empty. The entrance way is exceptionally bright as well as it leads down a narrow hallway walled with frosted glass. There is a nurse at the end of the path waiting patiently for her patient in front of the triage desk. Strangely there are only three people sitting idly in the large and bright waiting room, each with an expression of angst, uncertainty and desperation. The nurse, dressed in white scrubs and red lipstick simply points toward the waiting room with a smile and a nod. He knows the Doctor must be coming out soon.

Walking with an ethereal gait, the extraordinarily tall and slender Doctor approaches the room wearing a long white and buttoned doctor’s coat and pressed white pants. He greets his patients with a smile and clinched hands.

“We all know why we are here don’t we?” the Doctor asks. “Which ever one of you four brings me the best offering will be healed. Those who fail, do so, for as you know, I only have the time and inclination for one. Tomorrow your presentations will be made here. Go now to the water’s edge, the captains await.”

He, the patient, did not understand. Had he not given enough to the Doctor? His tortured body, broken spirit, and dignity were only the obvious tokens he had bequeathed to this Doctor. Yet the price has not been paid? The other patients did not seem to bother with such tawdry questions. None of it mattered, all that mattered was the prize at hand and that the competition had begun.
 
…The Offering…
 
The elderly schooner breaks through the dense fog and a shore emerges. It is dusk now. To his left and right he can see the other three patients on their boats, each distinctly different from the next. He shares glances of guilt, pity, sadness and hopefulness with each of them; the emotions showing on his face as one would if they locked eyes with someone who had just lost someone. Three will fail. Three must fail.

Having drifted ashore over large rocks and steps, the bow of the boat flattened out making a ramp leading to newly paved asphalt roads. Each boat had its own empty road leading in the same direction. In the distance up the large and wavy hill was no longer the hospital but the Doctor’s office surrounded by a magnificent cityscape sculpted by mismatched sized skyscrapers and crafted as though it could fit in a gigantic snow globe. This is where the offering would be delivered.

In unison, the remaining souls gathered behind the throne and lifted it up onto their shoulders and began to march in a two row procession off the schooner. He quickly noticed that there was a soul missing from the middle of the procession that he now was forced to fill. Had he made a horrible miscalculation?  Would the Doctor notice the error? His color, while sickly, was more vibrant than the faint oyster shell iridescence of the ghosts. Surely the Doctor would notice but what other choice did he have? The other patients were marching as well, each carrying something in the front of their procession, yet invisible to him. The scene was that of a New Orleans jazz funeral; intensely sad and heavy though awkwardly festive and beautiful. Yet he was the only patient to not be standing alone at the end of their marching party. He was confident his offering would still be enough, regardless of ritual.

They soon reach the top of the hill and each march meets at the foot of the steps of the Doctor’s office with their invisible offerings. The office resembles the exterior grandeur of a city museum. While there were no parade goers on the street, the vast buildings were littered with strange figures cramming out of open windows for as tall as the eye could see. Their faces expressionless, yet body language showed a childlike wonder, grappling for a better look at an execution. The Doctor stands at the top of the elevation with a welcoming smile while taking in the spectacle of the event, pleased.

The Doctor motions each patient forward with their offering and gestures them into his office. A shared expression of panic and qualm waxes over the other patients as they climb up the steps, each behind their procession and the last to enter the large arched double doorway entrance. After a few moments, each patient returns outside to the landing and each with an evacuated gaze. The Doctor finally locks eyes with him and calls for him to present his offering sending unease and hope shivering down his spine.

The procession of souls begins to march up the stairs with the incomplete throne at the lead. The throne was not brought inside like the other gifts were. It was placed in the middle of the landing at the top of the steps directly in front of the Doctor and out in the open for his guests to admire. One by one the remaining souls morphed into the throne, each adding a different element and final touches to the masterpiece of his subconscious imagination. Towering over the Doctor, the throne shined with what appeared as glowing and pulsating white marble. It fluttered iridescence with every heartbeat for it was living architecture. At the top of the backrest, the helix hummed with the wisdom of the collective souls as though they would forever be guidance for its owner. It was complete, immaculate and divinely sublime. This throne was him, his shared soul with those chosen, his life experiences and combined energy from the life-forces webbed throughout his life. It was his purpose, revealed and stunning.

The Doctor leaned over and whispered to him, “It’s beautiful.” Taking a lap around the glimmering throne, the Doctor sensually caresses it as thought it were water at his finger tips. He steps forward, arms thrown to the sky to his guests and yells with rebellious and incredulous tone, “IS THIS NOT BEAUTIFUL?!” All of the guests shrilled in excitement and quickly floated out of the windows, twisting up into the overcast sky, into the raised fog still lingering from the morning. The Doctor, clearly pleased, turned back at the patient and gave a wide smile full of large white and perfectly capped teeth.

Drunk from the intoxicating vision of the moment, unease somehow penetrated him at the sight of it all. Then sobriety hit him as he thought to himself, “Why were twenty needed but only nineteen used? Why am I in the procession and the other patients were not? Am I part of my throne or is the throne made for me? What am I truly offering here?” As the last question rolled off his tongue he began to melt away, turning into a puddle much like his collection had done before creating his masterpiece.

“You prayed to be healed did you not? Healed of pain, suffering, embarrassment, burden and uselessness? I am granting you answered prayer. You have brought me the finest of offerings and I warmly accept!”

His head now nearing the floor to top off the puddle of self he has created, angst and dread fill his soul. His thoughts spoke to the Doctor one final time, “Who am I to question Your judgment, Your will? And yet, at my end, I still have questions…” The patients’ puddle flowed purposefully and split toward all six legs of the throne with his final piece, his head, solidifying the base of the left leg; his skull poking out just enough for the Doctor to rest his heel, in comfort. 

by StupidDialUp

Moment of Eternity: A Psychopomp’s Tale

She’s whispering in my ear now, my lovely Harvester. It must be close to that time.

My entire life has lead up to this one moment and a moment like this makes you relive everything you have done up until now. And as I listen to Her, I know why I’ve been chosen. I am one of the few who understands. The meaning of life, the meaning of creation and death…these things were always obvious to me.

It is why I became a psychiatrist so many years ago. I’ve always been able to shepherd people through the toughest of times and my understanding began early as an adolescent girl. Watching your younger sibling die in front of you tends to create more difficult questions than it offers answers. And I’ve never been one to not seek answers. I wanted to know why God wanted me to watch my little sister die in front of me without giving me the tools to be able to help her. What was it that I saw in her eyes as she floated away into the dark? What was the pain I felt billowing from my mother when I watched her pull my sister’s body from the pool? I needed to know why God would allow, if not will, the innocent to die. Why are we all mortal? What was it about human beings that allowed the greatest kindnesses only to be matched by unimaginable horrors? My curiosity would prove insatiable. I always needed to know.

Through my search for answers I came to realize what separates us from other living things; what makes us important to the universe is our perception-if not understanding-of the metaphysical. It’s from this understanding that I realized that there is one crucial thing that both connects everyone we come in contact with but also gives us our own individuality and soul: emotion. Emotion is the energy that is created and shared between souls. It’s what molds us. Eventually, it’s what defines us as it helps create our character. The concept of evil and good, while necessary means to an end, are ultimately irrelevant since they are both interconnected through emotion. And it is emotion, I learned early on, that is the meaning of life…

And death. Death…her death…I could not escape it. Her face and that last flicker in her eyes gave me nightmares for years. I researched the moment of death extensively: life flashing before your eyes; out of body experiences; bright light; the sense of an invisible presence. It all seemed obviously interconnected but I had to test it. The couch in my office would eventually become my laboratory.

After years of research on the moment of death and more importantly emotion, I came to believe that all emotions fit into one of 6 categories and if I were to test my theories I needed to find people within these emotional throws at their precise moment of death…their moment of eternity. With this in mind, I decided to specialize in serving the terminally ill. As I helped guide them through their final days, finding peace where it could be sought, I was able to extensively study my theories.

I started my research as an “exit guide” for an assisted suicide underground network. It is here where I learned the emotional reasons that lead many to choose their own death, their “plan” as it was often referred. Dignity, escape (both physical and mental), and the refusal to burden loved ones were the most popular reasons given. After being around dozens of these finished “plans,” you could start to sense when Death was near. At first I just thought it was a general eeriness to the situation at hand. It’s hard for your mind to not get invested when finality is near. You tend to empathize with these individuals and the coming sadness for their friends and loved ones. I thought the eeriness could also be attributed to the tools that were used: the box the candy apple red helium tanks came in, depicting happy children running around a yard with balloons in their hands; the fish tank air bubble tubes used to administer the gas; the Thanksgiving turkey bag turned executioners hood that would seal in gas that was always 100% effective. The helium…the same gas we would swallow when we grew up as kids to make funny voices…tricks the brain into thinking it is oxygen like a clowns’ gag at a birthday party. I thought the innocence of the death method was what caused the eeriness every time. But I now realize it wasn’t.

After serving as an “exit guide” on 18 cases I realized that this turkey bag was an inconvenience for testing my theories. We would always remove the bags from the individuals head and remove all of the evidence of the assisted suicide. The coroners would have no choice but to categorize it as “natural causes” since the helium is hard to detect and, of course, being that most of our clients were elderly, no one would really question otherwise. Every time I would pull off the bag (usually after 10-12 minutes), I would miss out on the moment of actual death, because of the wrinkling and bodily fluids that would drape the plastic, I could not clearly see through the bag in order to watch the eyes…I must always see the eyes…when the time came.

So the decision was made to move to Oregon, where assisted suicide is legal and it wound up being a large part of the reason why I was so successful in my studies. One of my theories, I felt, was proven right away when I noticed the flicker. There is always a flicker in the eyes. The moment when you know it is over and the face contorts as though the air has been let out of the balloon, the eyes lose focus, and you can sense the denseness in the room. If you are in the room, you cannot only see it but feel it. It is why your body aches and weeps when it recognizes it. But the flicker was always different and the intensity of that moment seemed to be determined by the strength of the emotion at the time of death.

The first time I noticed the intensity difference was during my 12th assisted suicide in Oregon. He was a 65-year-old father of two sons; divorced, lymphoma and alone.  During one of our sessions, this one in particular being hypnosis, he shared how he molested his youngest boy and how this was the reason he lost his wife and children. After convincing his sons to be there to witness his death and shortly after he took the correct pill combinations, he made his final apologies and confessions and said, “This is not my escape but rather my gift to you for all I have done.” You can sense that his moment was not one of sadness or anger, but rather one of sacrifice and intense love and peace that only comes with giving and forgiveness…or at least in his mind, repaying a great debt. While his sons had a different take on the matter after the deed was done, this father’s moment of eternity had been decided, and more importantly was chosen by him.

Which meant the moment could be manipulated. And so with each patient in which I felt I could garner their unyielding trust, I expressed my theories. Theories on how when your life flashes before your eyes it’s your minds way of condensing all of your emotional experiences into one file, your soul, and how that is what carries on to God, the Source, the Creator, the Universe, whatever you may believe. How the bright light you see is your soul as it moves on; how out of body experiences are your body’s way of rejecting death; how the presence that those in the room feel may be an unknown physical or metaphysical psychopomp of some sort.

And then I gave them a choice: will your gift for eternity be random in nature or do you want it to be the most powerful emotion you had in your life? When they made the choice what they did not realize is that this emotion could be anything. We would not know until it revealed itself through our therapy and hypnosis sessions. To ensure their commitment to my project, they could not know what it was either. And so we constantly trained when we could. I had to teach their body and mind, through hypnosis, to recognize a pattern of sounds and words that would instantly bring them back to their most intense emotional experience quick enough to be there at their dying moment. This had to be done, not only to ensure no outside influences would interrupt, but to protect against the legal ramifications of such actions. Thankfully, we were always successful.

I understood that this was my duty…my compassion and understanding to those in the greatest of need for both…to shepherd them out of this world. They were always thankful and there was always emotion…and it always one of my 6 emotional triggers. There was the love of the delusional pedophile. There was the joy that Joan felt when her pregnancy test came back positive after 8 years of trying to conceive with her husband. There was the rage that Bill felt in that courtroom as the drunken driver, who killed his wife and 2 children, asked the prosecutor, “What was that stupid bitch doing on the road at 2am anyway?” There was the surprise and astonishment Ellen felt when, 6 years after declared killed in action, her son calls to say hello as a former prisoner of war. There was the fear…that fear in my sisters’ eyes as I watched her drown many years ago, looking up at me without understanding and even worse, without hope.
And now here I am with my great contribution to the Universe…my eternal sadness. The sorrow I felt for my mother as I watched a part of her die as she lovingly stroke the hair of my cold, pale sister. The suffering and anguish I felt for my parents as they dealt with the effects of the tragedy which I am sure ended their life sooner than was expected. But most of all, my 43 years of unquenchable and unburdened guilt and remorse for nudging her into that pool; a jealous reaction to the affection my mother gave to her that was unprovoked and unshared. Yes, this shall be my contribution.

I hear my Reaper’s whispers louder now, my lovely Shepherd, explaining to me that I am Her and always have been and how I have been preparing for this moment for years. I hear the throaty screams of my train’s whistle. A train…how befitting…the vehicle I’ve chosen to move on from this life…more dramatic of course but equally as effective as a turkey bag but without the fanfare of sniffling loved ones.  It is a vessel that brings souls onto future destinations with a conductor who is responsible to get them there…steadfast, true and always punctual. This choice of mine could not have been coincidence.

As the cold and rusty tracks begin to rumble under my ear, the force of Her continued words strike me harder than this train ever could. Before my contribution can be given to the Source, my usher explains, I must continue my life’s work until the next one like me, one who understands the meaning of life and death as eloquently as I have, comes to pass.

At what would be my moment of eternity, She explains, “The answers you have sought are here, my dear, and with them come your prize. As you have done impeccably well for all these years you must withstand your misery for much longer. You see, my beautiful replacement, there is no escape with death. For you now must become…Death.”

By StupidDialUp

First Date

We met on OkCupid. I don’t like admitting this, but unfortunately there is no time left for shame or reputation.

I had just been through a pretty rough break-up and I didn’t feel like the whole bar-pickup-routine yet. But browsing around for potential rebounds on the internet meant I could just continue sitting at home in my boxershort living on Jack Daniels and frozen pizza. We’ve all been there.

So, there she was. Brunette. Great figure, fierce eyes and a snarling smile.
Her screen name was ‘Araneae’ and she was a beacon of attractiveness in a sea of otherwise rather mediocre women at best. Her written profile was a bit awkward though. It seemed filled out in a rush, hardly giving any info. The only thing she did elaborate on was sex. She made it really clear that this was a big priority, making me think that this was either a fake profile or that of somebody with nymphomaniac tendencies. But those pictures. God. I clearly remember her sitting straight up with her legs crossed, naked but obscured by her long hair and shadows. Mockingly looking straight at the camera, as if to say ‘good luck, you bunch of socially awkward nerds’.

Writing this is the only way I can get my mind off of what’s to come. So forgive me if I digress, but escaping in this writing is all I’ve got left.

Actually, I didn’t even feel like messaging her. If it wasn’t a fake profile she probably got hundreds of messages from desperate guys anyway. Now, I’m not a bad looking guy, and this whole internet dating thing was just a convenient way to get back on the saddle, but still she seemed a bit out of my league. I was really wondering why the fuck she needed to be on a site like this.

Then she messaged me.

‘So yeah, I saw you checked out my profile. You seem different than the other guys. Wanna meet up?’ – Nea.’

Really? This easy? A small pinch of distrust gnawed at me. Then I took a look at the overflowing ashtrays and whisky bottles littering my room. I scratched my two week old beard. Ahw hell.

We met up in a bar. It would’ve been much better for this story if it was a seedy place, but it wasn’t. Neither was it swanky. It was just one of those regular bars, one that was convenient for both of us. It didn’t matter though, even if we had met in a sewage processing plant I’d still have been completely smitten with her.
As soon as she stepped in, all the guys in the bar turned their heads. And I am not exaggerating here. ALL the guys turned to look at her. And followed her with their heads as she walked up to me and kissed me on the cheek. I felt like the coolest dude in the world at that moment.

I hear sirens. Could it be that finally…no, they passed. I don’t know exactly how much time has passed, but I’m sure I’ve been reported missing by now.

So there she was. Tall. Low cut black dress. Eyeliner around almond eyes that made her face even more feral. That snarling smile baring perfectly straight teeth. And her smell, God, that smell. It was overwhelming. Musky. Animal. But I never met anyone that smelled that good. Every time she moved her arm to emphasize a word or raise her glass of wine I caught it, and it drove me wild. Each little whiff of that mesmerizing scent got me closer to a primal state of pure sexual lust.

We talked for maybe an hour. She was a good conversationalist, but there was still something awkward about our talks. It seemed she had no interest at all in regular topics such as music, art or movies. She was very quick in steering the conversation away from that. Back to me. She seemed extremely curious about my last relationship and history with women. I told her some funny stories about awkward moments I’ve had with women, at which she laughed before pressing on with the questions. I’ve never talked that much about sex on a first date ever, and she greedily ate up every one of my stories.

We went to her place that same night. I offered to take her to dinner but she said we could ‘order in’. Knowing perfectly well what that meant, I hastily paid the tab and basically hijacked the first taxi available.
As soon as we got in, she was all over me. If she hadn’t had her hand down my pants I might’ve taken notice of the address she gave the cab driver. If she hadn’t been smothering me with aggressive kisses the entire trip I might’ve known where the hell I am right now. But she’s smart like that.

As soon as we were inside (passionately making out the whole way from the cab to the front door) she offered me a drink. Her apartment was bare, all the blinds were closed and she had hardly any furniture. No pictures on the walls either. I didn’t think much of it then, thought she was probably one of those minimalists.
The cocktail she brought me was refreshing. Kind of like a Sidecar, really sour and tangy. But delicious at the same time.

Then she jumped me again. She threw me on the couch, one of the few pieces of furniture she owned, and before I knew it we were ravaging each other. I’m not writing this for you to get your kicks, so I won’t go into details. But it was hard. It was mean. Her scent unleashed all my primal desires. It was heaven.

Until the room started spinning. Until our movements got me into a trance and I started tripping out. I couldn’t move. And then the flashes started. Her perfect body distorting for milliseconds. There were too many black eyes. There were spindly, chitinous legs. Sometimes her body seemed to exist of too many sections. And her smell, so mesmerising at first, became rotten and dusty. Like flies that have been drying for too long in a windowsill. Her nails in my chest started to hurt, but she was still riding me with grim determination.
The flashes became quicker, like a stroboscope. She kept changing before me. Legs. Eyes. Mandibles. Chitin. Flesh. Teeth. I was horrified. I wanted to cry, to gag, to get out, but she had me pinned.

And I came.

As soon as I did, she started laughing. A horrible, triumphant laugh, while I lay sobbing beneath her. But suddenly the laughing made place for a snarl. A disgusted, disappointed grunt. She screamed. That scream. That horrible, animal, otherworldly scream. I still shudder when I think of it. She looked down at me with fierce hatred in her eyes, and started to maul me.

She beat me black and blue. I think she even broke my nose. I was covered in a flurry of punches, bites and scratches until I passed out.

And woke up in this room. This room filled with human bones. This windowless room with those strange, dried up leathery egg shaped things. Egg shaped things with holes in them, like something had crawled out some time ago.
I can hear her scuttling outside. Once or twice a day she comes in to bring me a sandwich and some water. Sometimes she sits with me and strokes my hair.

I think I know what she wants from me. I think I know why she´s keeping me alive. I must´ve been here for nearly a month now. It´ll be that time again soon.

I wonder how long it takes for her to find out I´m infertile.

by TeawithCrowley