Thursday, January 13, 2011

Dreadful Thoughts (working title)

Ok so I decided to start writing a short story a few days back. I just wanted to write the intro and make it a page or so long. It turned out to be about ten pages. I hope you enjoy it, let me know what you thought. Obviously the story is not over so stay tuned.

I once sat in my recliner, within the warmth of my own home, and thought "What makes a monster real? What is it about the Chupacabra that makes people think they have seen it? What makes your uncles ghost any more real than the Amityville horror? If those are real then why can Slenderman or Zalgo be real, and how would they become just as real? Would it be possible for an apparition, a poltergeist, or a demon even to take the form of what scares you the most?" And now I only wonder, why did I even come up with these questions, most people are thinking about dinner and I am thinking about the shadows? My big comfy chair seemed to grow warmer by the second and these thoughts slowly faded into the ether. I wish that I had taken more time to enjoy that warm chair, because it would be the last time I sat in it.

Let me take a step back for a moment. My name is Joshua Peykins and I live in the middle of nowhere with my wife Lillith and our newborn son Ryan. When I say the middle of nowhere I do mean it, there are about eight people, including my family, in a five mile radius. There is no gas station, no hospital, no police force, and no civilization within sixty miles. It is in Colorado, a little dusty town whose name I will not mention for my own sake. The town was actually once quite a thriving mining community in the early 1900 but as soon as the mines dried up so did peoples interest. It soon turned into a ghost town and a constant source of joy for hikers and the like. It also has become a place of many ghost stories and legends. Stories of haunted saloons and screaming cabins, all scary but if you are here for more than a year you're able to debunk them all.

The true eeriness from a place like this is the sheer amount of desolation and isolation from the real world. Things are simply different here, you always carry a gun everywhere and not everyone has electricity. You could start walking in one direction and not see someone for fifty miles or more. That is why people carry guns around here, if an animal were to spot you then you are as good as lunch without some protection. And while with such a small community you would think people might stick together to help each other it actually is the complete opposite. Most people who come out here turn into hermits very quickly, if they were not before, and as such I do not even know my closest neighbors name.

So I guess I can blame boredom for starting me on my quest into the paranormal. I had always been fascinated and now that I lived here I had plenty of time to research anything that I wanted to. SO I began to search for an answer to my question of making monsters real. I browsed many websites that claimed to be haunted and watched countless "curse" videos all with the hope that I could make my fears come to life. I would not perform any rituals and I did not want to invite anything into myself directly, I wanted to be haunted not possessed. Looking back I am not sure if I wanted to be "haunted" really, I just wanted to see if a created fiend could become just as real as any other myths. I wanted to know if some of the creatures of my nightmares could come to life.

It only took about two weeks of searching before I found my first lead. I had stumbled across a message board that was littered with peculiar images and people talking about things I did not fully understand. I stayed lurking on this website, which I will not provide, for another week before I decided to post anything. During that time I had seen numerous videos and pictures of peoples own encounters and in all of them I saw absolutely nothing. It was strange because many people that posted would all talk about seeing the same things in the videos but myself and others would see just a dark porch, or a shaky graveyard recording. That is why my first posted question was "I do not see anything, I don't know what everyone is talking about, its just a tree!" Within a minute about fifty responses came to me, some on the thread some in private messages and a few directly to my e-mail. They all said something different but all said the same thing as well. Leave and never come back. Perplexed I posted again asking what had I done wrong and that I just did not see anything. The messages doubled in number and intensity. My family was threatened, my sexuality was brought into question, and some of them had already found out my real name even though none was required for signing into this website. I figured that it was best not to play with fire and so rather that post anything else I logged off and shut down my computer for the night.

I opened my sliding doors into my room and woke up my wife in the process. She immediately saw that I was a little perturbed and questioned me with " Babe, are you OK?"
"Yeah" I said as I took off my shirt " I was just on the... yeah..."
She sighed as she rolled over away from me " I told you to cut it out with those sites, you're just gonna scare yourself."
"Yeah... but..." I trailed off while sliding into bed beside her.
She rolled back over and snuggled against me " No buts, I really want you to stop babe. You might just start something you don't really want."
"OK Lilly, whatever you say...Still love me?" I asked
"No." she said starkly. Then she clung tighter to me and kissed my chest " But you're warm and I would hate to loose a good heater"
That made us both laugh and she was out within minutes. I stayed up just looking around my room and thinking about the day. The constant stream of disturbing pictures and jumpies that I had endured has made me a bit paranoid and so sleep was a bit harder to attain. My mind raced at what had happened just before bed I shut my computer down. What had I said that so severely pissed several people off? Why would someone go out of their way to trace my personal info just to make me go away? And then like a flash my thoughts switched to work the next day and I realized that I had spent way to much time on the internet and needed to get some sleep. As I slowly faded off I listened to all the clicks and pops my house normally makes, the heater, the humidifier, the windy creaks... yes everything was safe in my land and then the sleep battle was lost.

The next thing I remember was waking with a start to a screeching sound. I quickly shot up and covered my ears as the screeching continued and seemed to penetrate my skull. I searched for the source of the noise but in the fog of my mind I could only react by blindly looking at the general direction of where the noise was coming from. As my eyes focused I saw that whatever was making the sound was right beside me and was violently shaking. I jumped back and knocked into my wife who pushed me back to my side before asking " Are you going to get that phone?" Everything flashed back into place and my mind recognized the screech and an annoying ring tone I used for my alarm. I hated to hear some wailing guitar ass early in the morning but nothing else seemed to wake me from my slumber. I shut off the alarm with a good smack and then apologized to my wife, luckily the baby did not wake up or I would have gotten a smack of my own.

I have always felt showers to be a quite strange place. The relaxation that comes from the water and steam lulls you into a sense of security while being completely naked makes you feel more venerable than ever. So as I stood there stark naked I became more jittery every second that I was in there, maybe it would not be so bad if I could see through the curtains but as it is someone could be standing right outside it and I would never know. Something about last night had really upset me and put me on edge. I had been able to control myself thus far but suddenly I got the feeling that I was being watched. I attempted to shrug it off but the feeling was still there, no it was not just a feeling, I was definitely being watched. I did not know from where and I did not know who but someone was watching me. I quickly closed up my shower and decided that I would forgo using the mirror and just wear a hat today.

Wearing that hat seemed like a wise decision as it was about zero outside. The cold really bites at you here, as well as makes things quite a bit more difficult. Case in point would be my tiny lettuce keeper car which I had to start four times before it stayed on. I went back inside to the warmth of my own home and gathered my things to go. Lilly told me that the weather was calling for more snow and to be careful. We embraced and then I was back out to the cold. The weather here is not so bad once you get used to it, plus having four layers of clothing doesn't hurt either. As I started to drive off I noticed that the weather man was once again correct as the snow lazily fell from the sky and shrouded everything in a white haze.

My "job" only takes about twenty minutes to get to even though I live so far away from everything. My "boss" is actually a family friend and he lives even deeper in the mountains. I pretty much go and bullshit all day and get paid for it and the little real work we do, shipping a few packages, is greatly offset by being around real people. I never thought I would miss people when I moved to this remote location but I was surprised at how lonely it became after just a few months of solitude. My thoughts of loneliness were quickly dissipated when I drove up and saw my buddy Midi smoking the first joint of the day. Midi's real name is David but because he fancies himself a musical genius he demands that everyone call him Midi. I have heard quite a few or his riffs and rhymes and that is why I turn down his offers for weed everyday. My brain is already fucked as is and I don't need one more thing.

The day started normally enough with me attempting to work as usual while Midi sat on a table and talked about his "new generation of song" that he claims to have made. Eventually my workload was whittled down and I joined him on the table top. The discussion slowly changed from lame ass music to something I could care about, like food, I was starving. Midi shared my starvation and we both dug into his back of Cheese Poofies. Because the warehouse we work in is also located in a desolate are we usually spend a lot of time outside when we eat. Sitting on our favorite reclining rock, its a rock slightly resembling a couch we chowed down on what food actually made it outside. "So" he asked " are you still trying to see crazy shit with magic?"
I sighed and respond " You know I do not believe in magic."
"Yeah, just ghosts" he responded sarcastically.
"Whatever man, I just think that anything is possible. Like that time you saw Big Foot up here" I said with a little grump in my voice.
" Dude I was baked as hell, I think that might have been just a tree."
The quiet that you experience in places far removed from civilization is astounding. When the wind is quiet and the snow is just barely falling you can hear the slightest variation in your own breath. For a time it is very nice, relaxing almost, but after a time it becomes unnerving. So I was relieved when Midi broke the silence.
"So..." he trailed fro a bit and glanced from side to side " have you found anything?"
I looked at him sarcastically " Oh so now we're interested?"
"Stop being a smart ass, have you seen anything or not?"
"The only thing I have seen is your moms ass, every night, all night" I retorted
"Whatever man" he stood up " Lets get back to work"
"Oh you mean let get back in there so you can lounge around and I can do every-" I stopped mid sentence as something moved in my peripheral vision.
"You OK man?" Midi asked.
"Did... did you see that?" I asked as I pointed to a building that we kept tools and extra boxes in.
"See what man?" He moved up beside me a squinted.
"Over there man, right beside the building" I was starting to get a bit freaked " It looked like something moved behind it just as we were getting up"
"Man cut the shit, if anything it was a stray coyote or something."
" No this was way to big to be a coyote" I pondered for a second and then looked directly into his eyes and in my most serious voice asked "Do you think it was your friend?"
" Man I told you I was super baked. You know I think crazy things when I get too high. Did I tell you that I once thought my teacher was a bear? I ran through the parking lot screaming about bears, I think somebody put something else in my shit that time though"
I chuckled and walked past him "Come on you nut ball, let get some more work done" As I walked I cautiously eyed that shed. I know that I had seen something move.

The rest of the day was very uneventful, just more smack between myself and Midi. At about five the sun starts to go down here and that means its time to go home because you do not want to be caught out here at night, the animals will eat you. It seems like the drive home is harder and more difficult than the drive to work. I try to beat the sun home and hopefully beat my colon to the bathroom. All the way home I could not help be feel eerie about what I had seen today. I realized that if I tried to describe it to anyone they would just say that my eyes were playing tricks on me but it just felt so vivid. I had the same feeling of being watched that I had when I was in the shower that morning. The darkness outside seemed eager to overtake the light and I did not want to be far away from home when the sun finally crested the mountain so I hit the gas a little harder and got home a little sooner.

My wife was there at the door standing with the baby just waving to me. With all the shit she gives me I find it hard to believe that she really want to be with me sometimes. But when I see her face like that I can't help but believe her when she says she loves me. I was greeted at the door with a hug and a spicy kiss. I do not mean a kiss of passion but a literally spicy kiss. My wife was an excellent cook but had a habit of eating her fill before she ever sat down. I licked my lips and she just told me to go sit down at the table. Waiting for me was a plate filled with tacos, all heavily seasoned and sprinkled with a but of lime. My wife liked to spoil me now and again and I had no problem with that.

"How was your day Josh?" She asked while serving me a plate.
"It was... OK I guess" I said eyeballing those delicious tacos.
"Uh huh... what happened? Did Midi insult your mom again?" she asked.
I picked up the tasty morsel and looked it over "No actually I got him this time."
"OK so what is it babe?" She looked blankly at me.
I was salivating " I don't know, I thought I saw something today but it was probably nothing. I have just felt weird all day but again it is probably nothing. Now can we eat?" I asked with a taco headed for my mouth.
"Damn it Josh I told you to cut that ghost hunt crap out!" she exclaimed
"I di-" you have been spared for now taco.
"No you did not, I found your paranormal file today on your computer. You do not need to mess with things you don't understand."
"But I-"
"No buts I want you to delete that file and stop this crap... please. I love you and you know what might happen. You know what your-"
I cut her off there "OK, OK babe, I will go through and get rid of stuff tonight. Now please can we eat dinner, I am starving" Taco again at the ready.
"You promise?" she asked.
"Yes Lillith, I promise. But now it is taco time."
She giggled and picked out one for herself.

I did not want to cut her off or seem rude but that conversation was going into territory that I was not particularly comfortable remembering. She was talking about my brother Till, and what he went through. I was only fifteen at the time and scared out of mind so I do not remember much but what I remember was scarred into my brain. My brother was into the occult and had done several rituals trying to see the other side to gain ultimate power or something. I am not quite sure what he was really after but I know that he is the reason I will not try any rituals or magic. One night he just lost it, his head kinda flipped I guess and he came after the rest of the family with the intention of something dreadful I am sure. Somehow we managed to get him outside and called both the police and a priest. My parents sent my sister and I to lock all the doors and windows, I still remember the pounding coming from all around the house. Our house was built on an incline and as such started out as one floor and eventually turned into three. As I was heading through the house locking windows he would occasionally beat on the window I was locking and just scream at me when he could not get in. I heard the preacher pull up just as I went into the last room, it going through a remodel and it was a bit hard to get through. By the time I reached the window he was there, only about fifteen or so feet below. I looked at the window down to someone I had trusted greatly and was suddenly frozen. Something did not look right with him, something was very very wrong. It was not the screaming, it was not the demented smile, he was floating. I stared completely fixated , thinking that my eyes had to be playing tricks on me. Before I was even able to scream he shot to the third story window I was about to lock and threw it open in one brute movement. His body moved like a snake through the small window, no longer floating but clutching at the window sill as though he could climb walls. He almost slid onto the floor and then he was on me, his hand wrapped around my throat. I heard a yell and then the ex-quarterback preacher tackled my brother. I gasped for air and scrambled out of the room as my parents rushed in. I woke up at a friends house the next day as they tried to convince me that he was faking it. I never told them about the floating and I doubt they would believe me. The next time I saw my brother he had his own apartment and was looking well. Some people said he was possessed and I would agree but even though he might have gotten rid of the demons he was never the same. He always seems to be on edge and just a tad depressed. I have heard that even that has gotten better because his now job offers free counseling. I can understand my wifes concern because I do not want to end up like him.

With dinner behind me and the rest of the night ahead of me I decided to get to the task my wife had assigned me of deleting my paranormal file. She did not know the amount of work I had put into getting what small information I had. Of course the majority of the file was just screwy pictures so I had less trouble deleting all that. Deleting everything took me longer than expected because I had not taken the time to place everything in the proper folders. After my computer had been wiped clean I thought it best to go on the internet and delete my profiles from anything I had signed up for. This was probably the most arduous part that had to be endured because not only was getting your information wiped difficult, seeing new and interesting things kept me there longer than I should be. But I persevered until I got to the last website which was the one I got all the strange messages from. I logged in and noticed that I had around thirty new private messages in my box. Skimming them over they all said the same thing, go away and all that jazz. Well my wife had seen to that and I guess they were getting their way. The confirmation screen came up and just like that everything was gone.

Just then a message popped up in the corner of my screen letting me know that I had lots more e-mail in my in box. "Well shit..." I said, guess it is not all done. I logged into my e-mail to discover over one hundred new emails. Some of them had no subject line, some of them had no actual message, and all of them seemed to either have a strange sender name comprised of random numbers and letters or no sender at all. I did not need to read them, the ones that had subjects said it all. Go away. So I just went down the list deleting every e-mail with a strange name but I soon found something out of place. In the middle of all the messages with strange names was a message from a person calling them self "SpookyJoe" with a subject saying "Per your request." I was a little wary as I was pretty sure this came from the same group of people who threatened to kill me if I didn't go away. But seeing as how this person seemed to have a normal name and all that maybe they could shine some light on my situation. I opened the mail hoping to see a long winded message about what the big deal was. Instead it was simply a link with the words "Look with eyes that see. Password is lifted."

Perplexed I clicked on the link and was taken to a mostly blank page that had just a text box in the center. I found nothing else on the page, no hidden links and the URL did not even follow any sort of format. Across the address bar was an unlimited number of # signs and nothing else. I stared at this screen for along time thinking about what I was supposed to do next, the I remembered the password. I typed it into the one box and as soon as I put in the last letter the text box vanished. Now it was just a blank white screen and nothing else. This screen I stared at for even longer, I saw nothing, was I missing the joke here. I was starting to get frustrated when I saw something flash across the screen. It was too quick for me to see and I scanned the entire screen again and saw nothing. This game was really starting to piss me off and I again retracted from my screen to turn the computer off when the black flashed again. It was somewhere in the middle of the screen as seemed to be text of some sort. My face was now locked on the screen, I was not going to miss it again. I stared, and waited, and nothing, my eyes were starting to sting and I blinked against my will. The image flashed again, and I was sure this time that it was text. What caused that, was it the blink? I blinked again and the text flashed, that had to be it. How the creator of this website made the text flash only pop up when I blink I had no idea but that seemed to be the key. I blinked several times in rapid succession and was able to make out what it said. "Do you wish to see?"

The options yes and no could be seen below the other text if I blinked fast enough. I scrolled my mouse over to the yes option and clicked it. I was taken to another screen, this one a bright green that hurt my eyes to look at. I saw nothing else on the screen and so I started to blink again. The words came in as a yellow that was even harsher than the screen. It was hard to make out but the text said "Are you certain?" with the yes and no now above and below the text respectively. I again moved my mouse to the yes area and clicked. My screen went black and stayed there. It took me several minutes to realizes that I had just been taken to another screen in whatever this was. I blinked and blinked before I was able to make out the faint grey letters against a gray background. It was so difficult to read that I ended up saying the words out loud.
"You..." frustration was setting in.
"Will..." I sighed " Damn this is annoying"
With great difficulty I barely made out the next word with my face almost against the screen"Oda...obes...observe!" I finally exclaimed.

I searched all over the screen for a yes area, but none was there. The no area was in the same place as the first screen but the yes simply did not exist. I stared closely at the computer before deciding that maybe this was not the best idea. I withdrew my face from the screen and sat looking at it blankly. I was about to just shut everything down when I found myself instinctively hit the enter button. Instantly my screen flashed a series of colors en masse, some so bright that it lit up the whole room. When it was done my eyes stung and it sat at the last screen I was at. I still could not find the yes area but now I could plainly read "You will be observed" sitting on my computer screen. It had been so hard to read before, had the screen just changed to a new one? I could have sworn it did not say that before. My mind reeling and my eyes burning I just stared at my laptop, wondering what I should do now when the screen changed again.

This time instead of just a blank color the melted face of a man appeared on screen. It was like his face had turned into goo and had solidified about half way. His eyes and mouth were bound together by the skin that had bonded. Without hesitation he reared his head back and screamed in a raspy screeching voice. His mouth and eyes widened and as his mouth grew ever bigger the skin holding it together became stretched. His cry continues without a breath and the bonded skin began to snap as his mouth became free. I thought it might stop, to stunned by the spurts of blood and the screech to turn of the computer I could only hope that it would stop. He screeched for what seemed like an eternity before the noise stopped, he appeared to still be trying to scream but either he had blown his vocal chord or my speakers. He quickly snapped his face to stare at the screen and I saw for an instant every vein and every piece of ripped flesh on his face and then it was all gone. My screen went dark and I blinked frantically before I realized that the computer had shut down. For the third time tonight I just stared blankly at the screen wondering what had just happened.

"Babe..." the sudden voice mad me jump a little. "Are you coming to bed?"
"Um yeah..." I set my computer down and walked into my bedroom
"Is everything OK?" she asked
"You didn't hear that?" I retorted
" Hear what?"
I thought for a moment. If she didn't hear that awful noise then that was for the best. "Um... nothing babe..."
" Are you sure you're OK? Your eyes were all dark there for a second, do you need to see a doctor?"
"You were watching me?" I asked surprised
" I am always watching you Josh" she said with a giggle
"I love you" I said as I kissed her head while I slipped into the warmth of the sheets
She snuggled p beside me " I love you too."
And then sleep was upon us both.