Overpass

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When I was young I suffered from Depression. Well, I suppose I should say I still suffer from Depression. Over the years I have learned to manage the symptoms, to live a seemingly normal life. Saying that, I understand why some people commit suicide. I can’t condone it, but I understand that they have become blinded to any other course of action. To them, there is no reasonable option and anything that waits for them after death is better than the life they have been living. They can’t see that their actions may hurt people around, or even the action itself scaring someone.

I am a truck driver for a living. I ship packages overnight to many surrounding states and make it home for the weekend. As such I spend long hours by myself but it has never bothered me. However, I wish to tell the tale of when one such late night nearly cost me my life and my mind.

Suicide by Truck is not unheard of in my business. I doubt the victim ever considered they might even hurt the driver, but as I said before they are near unable to. There is one overpass that had become notorious for suicide. I’ll have to refuse to tell you where it is, but if you live nearby you likely heard of it. A large fence was put in to keep people away from the ledge. I’ve passed it a number of times before. Sometimes flowers can be seen hanging on the fence to pay respect to poor kids who ended their lives. I always have given it a glance as I passed, knowing how easily I could have done something similar in my past.

It was early on a Tuesday that it happened. The sun still had a few hours to go before it would give any light. The road was empty. I was haveing a typical night before the engine on my rig turned off on its own. I carefully slowed to a stop and pulled over to the side of the road. My Headlights were the first to go after that then the lights in the cab. I was nearly surrounded by darkness before I even realized where I was. I could see the lights on the street start to go out when I realized I was only a few feet away from the overpass.

A living darkness surrounded my truck and everything around me. It filled the cabin and it seemed to force its way down my mouth and nose suffocating me. I couldn’t see anything and I could not breathe. A great wave of despair had washed over me as I struggled. I know I was going to die and felt things I had not faced since I was young. Part of me fought for life, while another simply wanted the suffering to end.

Only seconds passed before a small light entered my world. A blueish light outlining a person. Then another appeared and another. They moved painfully slowly towards the truck. As they moved closer they showed their shapes to be disfigured. They looked broken and twisted, it did not seem possible they could move at all. All while I struggled to breathe they moved closer. I was afraid they were coming to finish me off. A part of me was ready and waiting for them, begging them to end this suffering.

My head was screaming in pain as my body was about to give into the darkness. Just then the first of the blueish figures reached the truck. It’s hand touched the side window and its head looked in at me. He must have been impossibly tall or floating to even reach such a height. It did not have a face, but a dark void where one should be. Then I saw the others touch my truck surrounding it. Suddenly the headlights turned on, cutting through the darkness like a sword. I gasped for air as I could breathe again.

The blue lights were gone, and the darkness had left with them.I turned the keys to my engine and my truck started without a problem. The lights on the streets seemed to shine like they had never turned off in the first place. I drove away and pulled into the nearest motel I could find, leaving a message with my boss that the delivery would be late. I could not sleep, so I watched the sun rise wondering what happened to me. The darkness had nearly killed me, and the creepy figures in blue. They scared me, but it felt like they saved me from the dark. I thought of my own past and thought of me back then. I never wanted to hurt anyone, and I wondered if what I saw were the spirits of those who had hurt themselves but did not wish to drag anyone else down with them.

A Haunted House Story

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I do not have a name, but I’ve been called many things. I have been called a demon, a ghost, a poltergeist, a spirit and even the boogeyman. However, I have no memory from before this incorporeal existence to confirm or deny any such names. I have no eyes yet I can see, I have no ears yet I can hear. I do not have a body, I have no shape. If I strain my will I can mimic a human’s. If I will it I can move objects with my thoughts. However, both take a great toll on me and grow more and more difficult as the number of witnesses increases. I do not know what I am, but I know am very old.

I can not escape the property of the house I was born in. An old 1937 American Foursquare. A very square looking home sitting in a rather average American suburb. My cage reaches as far as the sidewalk where I can watch people pass by but never follow. I do not believe I was born with the house as my memories only reach as far back as near the end of World War II. I lived with the Stockley family at the time. William Stockley was the master of the house and was married to his wife Ann. They had three children, two boys and a young girl named Ashley. Both boys joined the war and never returned. Like any young thing I craved attention and tortured the family with mischief. If the Stockleys could not find something, it was because I hid it. If they heard sounds at night, it was me banging on the walls.

My youthful antics never scared the Stockleys away. Time, however, made much faster work. Ashley had grown up, married and moved away. William and Ann stubbornly stayed in the home till they both grow old. One night, not long after the 70’s had started, William sat in his study reading while Ann slept. William suffered a heart attack and died on the floor. He did not join me as a spirit of any kind, he just simply ceased being alive and I could do nothing to aid him. It was the first time I truly realized how helpless my existence was. Ann moved in with her daughter and I never saw any of the Stockleys again.

I was left abandoned for a while after that. I felt loneliness for the first time. However, soon a new family moved into the home. I remember it was around the time a nuclear scare happened not far from the home. Protests were a topic of conversation as the Grahams had moved in. Donald and Maria Graham and their two children Mark and Robert. I was much more reclusive with the Grahams. I was much more brooding and withdrawn. Always watching, but no longer trying to be heard. I had long since stopped trying to test my limits.

The Grahams lived a rather uneventful life. I watched them for years go about their dull lives. I kept my distance, stayed unattached. They grow older and eventually left. They moved out west for a better job. This lead to the Youngs moving in. A modern family for a more modern age. Jane and Hank were the parents, both worked for a living. Elizabeth was their daughter, the kind of girl that would put posters of then-popular boy bands on her room walls. James was the youngest and most fascinating in the family.

James was broken and everyone else in the family ignored it. He was thirteen when I first met him. As I observed him, he observed others much the same way. He would spend hours alone and the rest of his family seemed happy to be away from him. His room was his sanctuary; a place he could be his true self. He changed when he left his room, he faked normalcy. Any breach of his sanctuary caused him to turn violent. The first time I saw this was when he nearly broke his older sister’s arm slamming it in the door. So his family avoided trying to break into his world.

As he grew older, James grew worse. He had a terrible fascination with death. What started with books and pictures grew into him sneaking corpses of small animals into his room. When he was fourteen he started to sneak out of the house at night. Going where I could not follow and coming back hours later. He had a habit of writing when he was upset. Often words or phrases in repeat like a mantra. Most often he would call his family and anyone else around him a liar. He seemed to think that everyone around him lied to him when they spoke of things like love and wanting the best of him. He hated them for it. He then started to collect knives.

It all came to a conclusion when he was fifteen. After one of his night trips out he came home with a handgun wrapped in a towel. The kind with a clip and sliding barrel, I had never seen one outside of what books and newspapers I could read around the house. He calmly grabbed a nasty looking knife with at least a 7-inch blade, out of a table drawer. He stuck the handgun in the back of his pants and calmly and carefully snuck into his sister’s room. He looked at her sleeping in her bed for a moment before grabbing a pillow and violently holding it over her face with one hand. He took his knife with the other hand and started stabbing the knife into the blankets his sister occupied. She screamed for a moment into the pillow but repeated stabs to her chest and lungs prevented her from giving much resistance.

When Elizabeth stopped moving James looked down at his work. After he was content he slowly started walking to his parents’ room. No longer comfortable just observing I tried to warn them. After a bit of effort, I managed to knock a lamp by their bedside off a table causing it to smash on the floor. They both awoke, but were completely unaware of the danger heading towards them. James walked into their room and saw that they were no longer sleeping. In a single motion, he dropped his bloody knife and pulled out his gun. It was still dark and his parents did not have time to figure out what their son was holding before he pulled back the slide on the pistol and fired several shots into each of them.

James looked at each of what used to be his parents and simply walked away. He went back to his room, pulled out another clip for his gun, collected his knife and started walking towards the front door. I realized he was not going to stop. He was going to keep killing till the police killed him. I was horrified and furious as he walked toward the end of my cage. I focused all of my will power on him, trying to stop him from moving. In a flash, my point of view had changed. I was now holding a gun and stopped several feet from the door. I had possessed him. I was in control of his body, but I did not know for how long. I pulled the slide back on the gun like James had done not long before and put the gun to his head and pulled the trigger. With a thud, I was once again watching a boy bleeding on the floor, lifeless.

The police arrived not long after. The house was closed off, the bodies collected. It all seemed to go by in a blur. It was not long till I was alone again. I could hear people talk as they passed the house. Another version of what happened emerged from the murder-suicide the police had reported. They said that this house is haunted. That a spirit had possessed the boy to kill his family and then himself. Perhaps it was because they could not comprehend anyone doing what James had done. However, I never felt more alone.

Gorge

Hole in cement

It had been days since he saw the sky. Gravity pushing him deeper and deeper into the hole. Every moment the walls would get tighter. He could hear voices above him, people walking along the street. Something had caused sound to echo down into the abyss, but never out.

It had been a cold winter. Pot holes on worn out city streets were a common sight. He was walking home from work on a late and chilly night. His name was Connor and he worked late waiting tables. He walked the same path hundreds of times, every time never stopping to look at the little alleyway dark with shadow, where the street lights shine did not reach. But this time, this last time, he stopped when he heard a sound. It was a whimpering like a hurt animal. Connor followed the sound expecting to find a hurt dog in need of help. The sound came from a crack in the cement, a dark chasm just big enough to fit a person.

Connor tried to light the hole with his phone’s flashlight. Still expecting to find a trapped or hurt animal. However the world turned black as something forced him forward into the abyss. His arms were pinned to his sides. His phone provided the only light but he could only look further down the hole and there was nothing but more earth and darkness awaiting him. His struggles only pushed him further and further down. His screams did not reach any ears.

His phone’s light did not last till morning. He struggled to get some kind of call out, but even if he could see the phone no signal would find its way out of this hell. Hours passed and Connor know day had to have come, but he saw no sign of the sun. The lack of light was so great he could not trust that his eyes still worked. However the worst part was the sounds he heard. People passed the little alleyway going about their day. He could hear them, soft words echoed down to him. He screamed for help every time he heard one, but no would ever come. His throat was on fire but still he screamed on.

Time had become a blur for Connor. The voices from the surfaces faded the further he slowly fell deeper into the darkness. He first cursed the voices that moved on without helping him, but now he missed them. Isolation fed on his sanity. Hunger and thirst fed on his body. Hope of rescue faded and the realization he was going to die set in. His mood had shifted between anger and grief. He no longer had the energy to struggle. He drifted in and out of consciousness. His mind would drift to dreams of freedom. He dreamed of the sun and it’s warmth and of people helping him out of his hole. However this only added to his frustration as he awoke, fall asleep and have to start the dream over once again.

Some part of him had accepted death. He hoped for the time he start to dream and it would never end. He feared the waken world. In the darkness he started to see things. He thought he saw red eyes watching him further in the dark, despite the fact his own eye have been deprived of light for so long. He just wanted to sleep. However sleep was soon taken from him. His numbed and stiff body soon awoke with searing pain. Something damp oozed from the rocks around him and stuck to his clothes like tar. It burned his skin and he was unable to move his arms to even attempt to wipe it away. Connor’s body felt on fire. He tried to scream but the ooze made its way into his mouth with each attempt. He only hoped shock would take him soon, so he could die in peace.

Testimony

The following testimony was released along with a number of leaked documents from a government server. It was found without context, names and places redacted. It appears to be the statement of a man or woman at some sort of medical facility. The documents leaked alongside it appear to be unrelated and offer no further clues to its authenticity.bandaged hand

My name is [Redacted]I have been here for I don’t know how many days. You tell me am supposed to tell my story. Am too tired to fight you, the drugs you give me mess with my head.. Frankly i’m scared and I don’t know what will become of me.

It already feels like ages ago. I lived in [Redacted]a rural area with cool quiet nights. I miss being able to see the stars at night. They always filled the sky, and in that time of year fireflies blinked along with them. I was what would be considered a night owl and often walked along the train tracks on such nights to clear my head. The cool air and quiet darkness helped to relax me. It was dark, trees lined the sides of the tracks before buffering between the road proper. I tripped, on what I don’t know, but I fell and landed on my palms. They stung with pain and blood started to drip down my right palm. The pain was small and sharp, but I cut myself deep enough that blood oozed down my arm as I raised my hand for closer inspection. It felt warm and sticky. I rushed home leaving a trail of blood droplets along the way.

I washed the blood away in my bathroom sink, bearing the sting of rubbing alcohol on the cut. It was deeper than I thought. If I could not stop the bleeding I would have to go to the emergency room for stitches. The thought of going to the hospital was something I dreaded greatly. Not just for the fees, but the thought of the crowded, sickly place. The sanitized surfaces and needles entering and exiting flesh all played on my fears. I wrapped my hand tightly in towels and waited till finally the bleeding stopped. I bandaged the cut with some wraps out of my own small first aid kit and called it a night.

In the morning the wound throbbed and swelled. Ignoring the pain I cleaned and rewrapped it before going to work. I worked the day ignoring the pain, after all I still needed the money. The day was tough, but uneventful. I cleaned the wound again when I got home and rewrapped it once more. It was not till that night the situation changed. About four hours into a deep sleep I awoke with a sharp pain in my hand. The pain was excruciating. I rushed to my bathroom to see my hand was bleeding once again. I unwrapped it and held it under the running faucet. I could see something red and stringy sticking out of the cut. I pulled on it, sending a shockwave of pain up my arm. It was vine like object with fishhook like thrones.

The more I tried to pull the red vine out of my wound the more the thrones dug itself into my flesh. I never saw such a thing in my life. Blood gushed out in greater quantities. I felt myself getting woozy. I managed to call 911 before I passed out. My irrational fear of hospitals no longer seemed to matter when I felt like I was going to die. I only came in and out a couple times after that. I remember bright lights, and lots of people in white looking over me. Needles taking blood samples, and someone pulling at and clipping away samples of the vine in my hand.

When I awoke again I was here. In this white room. At first I thought it was just a private room in the hospital but that’s not true is it? After all, what kind of hospital room has no windows and feels the need to keep their patient strapped down. You have me on an IV but I have no idea what’s inside it, if I make too much noise you inject something else into it that puts me asleep. You won’t tell me anything. You sit there and copy down everything i’m saying on your little laptop, and I imagine that the only reason you have not put me back to sleep is because you wanted to hear my story. Am afraid if I stop talking you will be done with needing me conscious.

You have been poking and prodding at it. This thing in my hand. It’s growing, I can feel it moving down into my arm. I don’t know how far it will go and am scared. I know what you are doing. Am just a host to you. You don’t know what this thing is either and you want to study it for some reason. You are harvesting it for study, and am just the soil it happens to grow in.

Stargate Diner

diner-336499_640.jpgThere exist a diner not found on any map. It will not show up on any GPS. It appears on long roads to those hungry and in need of rest. Open 24/7 and always occupied by strange regulars and a cheerful staff. A bell would ring if you entered and a smiling waiter would show you to one of the many wooden booths. Wood panelling lines the walls and classic rock plays softly on a radio. The coffee is heavenly, just don’t mind the stares from the regulars.

Tell your troubles to the waiter, she won’t mind in fact she is counting on it. She would listen with an open mind and a kind heart, and when you finish she would tell you “Don’t worry dear, all will be well.” Words that seem to lift a weight off your soul. Just like that you know, all will be well indeed.

Take Mrs Emmie Barnet for example. A businesswoman, traveling the long road home. She complained about her old Pontiac to a smiling waiter over a cup of coffee. “Don’t worry dear, all will be well” she was told, and with renewed confidence she traveled onwards towards home. Only a few hours later she was hit by a drunk driver. She survived with a number of injuries but her hated car was totalled. Her wish granted, but such things have a price and Mrs Barnet’s injuries were not enough. When her children visited her in the hospital she found herself unable to feel any warmth towards them. A part of her soul was taken.

So things go, over and over again. Such faustian packs are made every night. The diner never seems to be in the same place twice for those wise enough to put together the pieces. Most however simply never notice. There memories of the diner fade like a dream.

Now you may wonder what does Stargate want with bits a pieces of human souls. Well you see Stargate serves more then just mortal clientele. The strange regulars all have a specific taste and the diners cook knows just how to please each one useing the special ingredient gathered for him. So next time you unload your troubles to a stranger be weary, for that stranger may take from you more then just your burdens.

Eye of Madness

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Is insanity contagious? In school, I learned of many diseases that can affect the mind but I never understood the horror someone must face when their very thoughts could be affected by something so out of their control. My name is Jacob Mason and before it all started I was an ER nurse just outside Boston. I was used to hectic days, the sight of blood and even death but nothing could compare to what I’ve seen since that one dire night. It was what passes for a normal weekday in the ER, chaotic. A line of people needed to be seen. All the staff did their best to see to everyone while sorting them between the time of arrival and seriousness of the injury. My eyes had long gotten used to the fluorescent lights and smell of sanitizer that filled every inch of the hospital. The waiting room was filled with the sounds of low muttering, and coughs contrasted by the loud yelling and rushing of staff that filled the rooms behind.

A homeless man was rushed in on an ambulance. He was young, unwashed, unshaven and covered in self-inflicted knife wounds. The blade had been recovered by the police and he was already bleeding profusely before he reached the hospital. Still, the doctors worked all their magic to try and save his life. I was called over to assist. Holding the struggling man still as the doctors tried to stop the bleeding in each wound. Another nurse rushing towards us with donated blood. I looked into my patient’s eyes, he looked terrified. It was then that he started to violently cough blood, it splattered into the air and into my right eye. Another nurse wordlessly took my place as I rushed to an eyewash station to clean out the biohazard. I was at risk for a number of blood transferable diseases, but that was always a risk and the hospital was prepared for it.

I was not there when the man they brought in died. A John Doe, we could find no trace of his identity. That was all the information I was privileged to hear. The rest was up to the police. I was used to the coming and going of many of patients, but he was someone I now truly wish I know more about. I took an HIV test and had blood work done to check for other diseases. The news seemed positive I seemed to have had little worry that I had any infections. However, within twenty-four hours I was experiencing symptoms to something I am still unable to fully explain.

I awoke ready to face another long day when I noticed it. A blot of something in my right eye. Like a single drop of black Ink in the corner of my eye. It moved when I tried to focus on it and when I looked I could not see it in the mirror. Trying to wash it out failed to yield results. Before my shift started I had a doctor who was a friend take a look at it but he failed to see anything wrong. Soon I was wrapped up in another busy day and failed to follow up on it. It did not obstruct my vision so I let the issue wait. It wasn’t until that night that I started to worry something was truly wrong. It was after another busy day I waited in my bed for sleep to take me. My eyes were closed, half asleep I could feel it. Like worms crawling across my eye stretching. Contracting and elongating to reach further and further across. I awoke in a panic, fumbling around to turn on a light. It was then I could see it. Reaching out of the black little dot in the corner of my eye, tentacle-like growths now obstructed my sight. They streaked across my pupil making my view look like peeking through a fence.

This time, I did not hesitate. I rushed back to the same ER I worked at. This time, a patient myself I was granted no special favors. Sitting in an uncomfortable chair under fluorescent lights with the familiar mumbling and coughing around me I waited. My discomfort soon turned to sharp pain. My eye felt like it was attacked by a red hot needle. All I could do was cry out in pain as I covered it with my hand. It was then I saw something in my eye. Something moving in the hazy darkness. It looked like faces in pain shifting in a mass of flesh. Each face trying to escape before being swallowed by the flesh and replaced with another.

By the time the visions had stopped I was being rushed into the back to be looked at. My eye forced open and carefully examined by a doctor. The pain was gone, replaced with the tedium of awkward questions and paperwork. I was in shock, unsure what to even tell the doctors. They looked at my eye, took more blood but only ended up shaking their heads. I saw the familiar eyes of pity and annoyance, the kind reserved to the hypochondriacs and the mentally ill. I know what they were thinking. Hours passed as I waited for a specialist and an ultrasound, meanwhile, I started to grow hopeless and anxious. I did not like being so out of control, to be the patient. After hours of waiting, a doctor sat me down and looked me in the eyes. He told me my initial tests looked good and that some other tests may take some time to process, that I should go home and rest. Before I could leave he handed me a piece of paper with the name of a psychiatrist that could help me.

I left the hospital feeling hopeless and drained. I called out of work and decided to rest as the doctor ordered. After drifting to sleep I dreamed. I dreamed of masses of flesh as dark as oil. They looked almost human but wrong. Misshapen as if they were made of melting wax. The almost humans all looked at me as if just noticing my presence. The crept slowly towards me. I awoke in pain, sharp pain. My eye felt like fire and nothing I did could ease it. Painkillers were useless. The pain would occasionally subside just long enough for me to start to fall asleep once more then start again just as I was about to pass out. I did not sleep at all that night.

I did not sleep the next night as well. Or the one after. My days turned into a blur of pain and sights that become harder to explain. As the blackness spread across my right eye it looked as if a painting was ripped in half to reveal another painting underneath. The two paintings contrasting against each other but at the same time creating a whole. I was losing my mind. I stopped even attempting to go to work. My tests came back negative. The doctors seemed more certain that this was a mental problem. Mental or not the pain was real to me.

Hopeless and wrapped in despair I did something reckless, auto-enucleation. Before I started I called an ambulance. I know the dangers involved and would need aid as soon as possible. Taking a scalpel I carefully cut into the orbit of the eye. I started like a surgeon careful and precise before pain and adrenaline turned my efforts violent. Cutting muscle and flesh without regard to which. Before I know it, what was left of my eye was a thick soup dripping out of its socket while leftover muscle tried in vain to hold the mess in. I passed out before the paramedics made it to my home.

I awoke in a dark hospital late in the night, drifting in and out of consciousness. My hands bound to rails so I could no longer harm myself. I had succeeded, my right eye was black. I could live with one eye, the pain was gone replaced by working pain killing drugs. For the first time, I could sleep. I had won. However, I could feel something move…it pushed against the bandages that covered my eye. Finding an opening. Something warm and slimy pushed out of the bandage like a popped pimple. It slid down my cheek. I tried to grab it but my hands were still chained. It wormed its way down my shoulder then my arm and dropped onto the floor with a splat. I could not see it in the dark as it vanished. My ordeal was over, my pain was gone as was my visions but I fear I let something out.