Behind Closed Elevator Doors
I have a fear of taking elevators alone. Something about being swallowed into a strong metal cage and either lifted or lowered with nothing but empty space beneath, putting all trust in the cables above puts me on edge. I do alright if I have company. Someone to distract me from the fear building up in the back of my head. But when I am the only one, when all I hear is the clang and rumble of unsure lifting equipment muffled poorly by the tunes inside, I can’t stand it.
I was in Korea last week and my roommate wanted me to grab something for her from downstairs before the evening curfew.
“You want what?” I called back uncertainly as I crossed the threshold of our room.
“Just some chromium oxide,” she trilled back, “for my health.”
Suzanne was a weak little thing. Poor dear. Turned up at a street corner in Tokyo claiming to have discovered the key to “marked existence”, whatever that was. Probably just the result of trauma from tabooed childhood experiences. A few days in the psychiatric ward of the city hospital and unworldly doses of complicated medicines brought her back to herself. Yet there was no undoing the mischievous dreamy gleam in her eyes, like she knew far more than she let loose. I shook my head as I shut the door to our hotel room and walked away.
There were no stairs in the building, so I plodded slowly to the elevator. Though every inch of me was screaming to turn around, I walked into the horrible empty box and doors clanged shut. Six floors had never felt so long. I scrambled out as soon as the cage set me free, gulping for fresh open air, at least air that was not stuffed inside that horrifying elevator. I had some trouble finding the chromium oxide Susanne requested. After a fruitless scan of the aisles and a rather awkward conversation with the man behind the counter, I purchased a small vial containing a lime green powder. How could this help with health? Oh well, Suzanne is Suzanne and there is nothing anyone could do about that. I cautiously stepped in the elevator again and focused on an extremely interesting gnat as the doors closed, locking me inside.
My anxiety once more mounted through the roof. But I was only going up six floors.
Elevator music was so stress-relieving! Of course, soap operas were never interesting on TV or the radio, but this particularly boring one soothed my nerves for the first four floors. I closed my eyes and let myself drift back and forth to the sway of the drowsy tune. Then suddenly it clicked off. At the same time, there was a screeching, then a jolt. I lost both my footing and my presence of mind. I had stopped moving.
The doors remained shut. I was trapped. I was alone. Alone. Trapped. Trapped in an elevator. Alone. My breathing quickened. All was silent now but for my anxious breaths and racking heartbeat. I waited for years. Maybe it was only a few seconds. Either way, the suspense rapidly increased my terror. I could not bear this! This waiting! This impending doom! The cable would snap and I would plummet! But the nothing, the waiting, it was just too much! Something, ANYTHING, had to happen and had to happen now!! NOW, before I completely lost my sanity! It could NOT have been worse.
I was wrong.
A slow creaking—I jerked around, searching frantically for the source. It stopped. I felt helpless, like some wild animal caught in a trap, already given in to the fact that it was already dead.
A clang—I gripped the handrail and tried in vain to slow my breathing. I was in fight or flight and neither could work right then, so I was stuck with the unending anxiety for what was to come.
A smashing crash—I lost myself completely. Eyes blacked over with fear, brain swathed in terror, I heard myself screaming from far away. Again, and again, and again I heard my screams. I was completely unaware of anything else that was happening, the single sound of crash imprinted firmly in my mind’s eye.
“Stop,” I heard myself say, and, miraculously, I obeyed. Something about hearing my own voice, calm and unconcerned, brought me slamming back from horror into reality. The silence had returned. The source of the crash became evident immediately: a ceiling panel had fallen in, leaving a cloud of dust around where it had landed.
But that wasn’t the only unwelcome guest.
There was a figure clothed all in shiny black, face covered in a mask of the same color, standing to its feet and brushing the dust off its clothes. A black utility belt, fully stocked, was strung around its hips. But I only had eyes for one thing—the thing that rattled slowly and gleamed in the eerie light: the gun slung in its holster.
It was like living a nightmare. I lost myself again. Never before had anything frightened me to this level. I would not have dreamed it possible that I would lose myself to insanity in the face of such monstrous terror. I was entirely unaware of anything, everything, except the thoughts that vainly chased the visions of my poor mangled bloody body out of my head. From out of the dark fog, I heard my voice again. It brought me back to myself. I gulped and stared. My mind cleared and I saw the elevator button panel in front of me, and my hands were frantically pounding the floor numbers in the vain hope that the shaft would continue moving or the doors would open.
“Quit slamming buttons,” the mask snarled patiently, “You know it’s not going to work.”
Funny enough, I did know. I stopped, still sobbing, still shivering, my eyes rooted to the floor. I was never going to use the elevator again.
“Hand it over,” and I felt the figure extend its arm in my direction.
I looked up past the outstretched hand and stared past it as if into the face through the mask. I was stunned. I felt my fingers fumbling mechanically for the flask of chromium oxide tucked in my jacket pocket. I felt my arm trembling as it reached the figure’s ringent gloved hand and dumped the vial into it. My mind was elsewhere. I knew that voice. But no, it couldn’t be….
“I know what you’re thinking, and yes, it can be—because it is.”
I shut my eyes and turned away with my hands over my ears. I could not bear the presence of this mind-reading psychopath. I must be hallucinating out of sheer terror. This wasn’t real. I could not believe it. Yet a small voice in my head told me there was no denying it.
A big voice outside my head told me too:
“I am not a hallucination, nor am I something to deny. No matter how much you dislike it, this is how it is. I would tell you everything here and now, but time is short. Ready?”
All of a sudden, I knew what was coming. I couldn’t pretend any longer. I desperately wanted to say no, but by then I realized I had no choice. I nodded, eyes still glued shut. I shifted my hands and peered through my fingers as the figure removed its mask. Though I had already known, the shock of seeing it in reality reconfirmed my horror. It also somehow added to it. The figure was me.
A dead me, a demented me, a changed me, a me that did not exist in my memory, but still me.
A horrible me. Her expressionless face shone pale and waxy, dark circles under her baggy eyes. There were minimal lashes and her eyebrows were scant. Her staring eyes shown glassy cold, like a demon’s, but devoid of all fiery zeal. Her lips were the same pale as her skin, but maybe touched with blue—lips like those of a corpse. Her mangy hair ran thick and wild, but grayed and sparse. She looked altogether like a cadaver in a black jumpsuit, dead for years, somehow untouched, and fresh out of the coffin.
“Now I’m really sorry about this,” she said cooly, “but it will all be over soon and you will be on my side of it.”
What did she mean? I asked myself in a frenzy, I mean, what did I mean? I was horrified, shocked, and confused, and desperately wishing that I had refused Suzanne her cursed chromium oxide. But a part of me was curious as to how this had happened.
Almost in response to my thoughts—something told me it was—,“Let me tell you briefly,” she said in icy tones that were probably meant to be kind.
“I know you. I know what it’s like to be you. Heck, I WAS you. Until that fateful day when I met my future self in the elevator. I was on your side of this, and now I’m on mine. You are young, you are afraid. Afraid of what you did, what you became, what you are. I am not a serial killer in the modern sense of the term. I am a creation born of your essence. I have your history, your physical traits, your likes and dislikes, but I do not have your weakness. Instead, I am instilled with invulnerable strength. I am the you you have always dreamed of becoming.”
She raised her head slightly as she said this, as if proud of her dilapidated, lifeless body. A cold shiver tingled down my spine. I broke down and cried tears of pain, horror, and longing. I never dreamed of becoming the monster standing so proudly across from me. I almost felt sorry for her—I mean me…then what particles of color remained in my face disappeared.
“Thanks to a nameless woman you will soon have the pleasure” (she scoffed) “of working with, that dream is now a reality. She will change you to unlock your full potential. She will gift you with her trust and benevolence. Or so you must believe,” the future me spat bitterly. “She is not what she appears to be. She is not a congenial scientist interested in you for your own good. What she is, you will discover for yourself in due time. I cannot explain it here. But it is important that as soon as you ascertain her secret, you flee for your life. You must leave the…place where she has you stay and come straight here. Come here to this elevator. Stop it, break in, then tell this story to the past you standing on the other side. Do you understand me?”
Still shivering, still moaning and heaving, I slowly, slowly lowered my head, then raised it again ever so slightly. I understood nothing of what she said, but I did understand that our engagement was coming to an end. I thought if I just kept nodding in agreement, she would leave.
I had never been so mistaken in my life.
She looked at me intently, expressionless as usual but with a trace of sadness etched in her brow. She continued speaking, slowly this time. Every word fell like a blow. “Then you will arrive at the most difficult part of all,” and she suddenly drew and raised the gleaming gun from her holster. “Shooting yourself.”
And her voice broke.
I screamed. I would have swooned clean away if I had the time. My future self seemed to know that, so she shot me then and there. I felt the pain, felt the blood. It hurt, and I was frightened beyond anything I had ever dreamed. I crumpled to the ground, my own blood pooling around me, trapping me in a sticky red mass. I felt myself dying…slipping away. I looked up at my murderer helplessly, terrified for what was to come. I fell unconscious.
The elevator dinged and the number 7 gleamed brightly in the poorly lit halls. The doors to the shaft opened to admit the horrendous sound of the music, continuing to play its dreamy melody. I stepped out onto the carpeted floor, completely fearless: completely knowing. I proceeded calmly to room 718, where Suzanne lay expecting me to walk in with her chromium oxide. I flicked the key card across the locking monitor, which flashed green and clicked open. My hand closed on the handle. I opened the door silently and strode calmly in.
There she lay, lounging unconcernedly on the closer of the two beds. She had been writing in her “diary” when I entered. Her sparkly little-girl journal rested open on the bed in front of her and she was sucking the end of a pink pen strung with feathers and bits of fluff. She was unaware of my presence.
My deranged dead eyes wandered for only a couple seconds, then fixed upon hers, which were turned downwards at her journal. I shot a message through the sky, just as she had taught me, and “Suzanne” looked up and met my eyes.
They locked for several long moments. For a split second, there was nonchalance. Then uncertainty. Then a look of utmost terror. She knew I knew. She tumbled from her bed, streaked like a demon to the window and was just ready to spring through it, glass and all, when a loud and smoky bang issued from just in front of me. Before she had the chance to slip through my fingers yet again, I pulled my gun, still hot, and shot her.
She collapsed on the sill.
I walked slowly over to where she lay dying, hatred burning from her fiery eyes so quickly losing their vivacity. Killing was my job. I was used to it by now, but I had never dreamed my targets would change direction. I peered down at my victim. Our eyes locked yet again. She attempted to say something but it came only a gargle, for a flood of clotted blood came pouring from her mouth. She was choking, drifting fast. If only I could make her pain last longer…
Her life ebbed away all too quickly, her eyes turned glassy and cold. Quid pro quo. The blood issuing from her mouth lapsed to a trickle. She had a few seconds at most.
“You will ruin no more lives, no more helpless souls,” I said in a cold voice barely above a whisper, “Your selfish cruel career is ended. If only I could change the past.”
Too Much Like Mother
It‘s always unnerving when the elevator stops on the thirteenth floor of the building where my Amy works, but this guy seemed alright, though his bow tie and bowler were comically old fashioned. About 5’7”, he stepped jauntily to the back of the elevator with military precision while affording me neither nod, nor smile. At the back wall he turned on his heel to face the door, his posture perfectly erect, his hands dangling loosely at his sides. This last bit I found exceedingly odd, as there was not even a fidget from his fingers. I am one to notice such things, as I take an interest in hands, and what one does with them. In fact, hands (or rather my obsession with them) were our primary subject today, I having just been to visit my lovely and talented friend Dr. Amy Piersall, Head of Psychology here at the Periwinkle Psychiatric Institute.
Hands are a fascination to me. Never knowing what to do with my own hands, I have developed my interest in them from observing what others do with theirs. Take this gentleman riding the elevator with me for instance, he with the straight hanging, non-fidgeting hands. Now, most people would be doing something with their hands on an elevator. I have watched a billion hands on elevators in my time and rarely have I seen a pair hanging so perfectly still while on one. Elevators are tight, close, nervous places, so a man will often subconsciously slip one hand into a pocket as he steps inside, while a younger boy will stuff both hands into his pockets once the door closes, feeling himself trapped within. A woman will clasp a bag, or check her phone, and a girl will fiddle with her hair, or her mother’s skirt, or her father’s trouser leg, but few will let their hands hang so confidently loose and still as this man did, so I was intrigued.
I leaned what I hoped was casually against the elevator wall before speaking, one hand flapping the end of my unaccustomed tie, the other resting back-handed upon my protruding hip. ”May I ask which branch, sir?” When they looked my way I noticed a cold, flatness to his eyes which very nearly disconcerted me, but I was not so easily put off. “I asked, which branch of the military was it that you were in?”
”No?” I questioned his response, sure that he was wrong, and must certainly have been in one branch or the other. “Policeman, then? Or perhaps Scout Leader?”
”Marching band? Secret Service? Merchant Marine?”
”None of the above. And please mind your own business... Friend.”
The way he said the word “friend” did not sound as if he meant it, but I took it as being just his stiff, stand-offish style that made it sound that way. Surely he was not being purposely unsociable, as we were the only two on the elevator. I was just starting to delve deeper when the elevator took a resounding jolt before lurching to a complete stop. I nearly went down when it did, my leisurely lean against the elevator’s wall leaving me so vulnerable that the reeling of the car pitched me directly into my new friend, whom I found to be much stouter than he first appeared. Standing perfectly balanced with his feet shoulder width apart the shorter man was able, even in the careening elevator, to remain perfectly in position even as I slammed face-first into his shoulder, breaking my nose and sending a shower of blood onto my brand new, 40% off suit and tie bought wholesale. My fidgety hands stopped their fidgeting to grab at my nose even as the stalwart little man shoved me back to my corner, where I stood whimpering with neck craned back and nose lifted high, my fingers tightly compressing either side of it in a futile attempt to staunch the flow of blood.
”I say, Friend!" I stammered into the sudden pitch-blackness of the elevator. "Mightn’t you have moved when I was thrown your way, rather than aiming your shoulder in my direction?”
”I am not your friend.”
I found this rebuff much more painful than the broken nose and sought to settle whatever bitterness he had developed for me. “Well! Didn’t you call me one only a minute ago? Have I done something to create antipathy between us? I was only trying to be cordial, and to compliment your martial bearing.”
”You are annoying.”
“So my father always said, that I was annoying that is, being too much like Mother." My pinching fingers added a nasally texture to my voice. “But Amy is helping me with that.” I paused here, expecting a question from him, such as, “Amy who?” But I received no response from out the darkness, forcing me to continue on myself if conversation was to be kept alive. “The Dr. Amy Piersall, that is. Head of Psychology.” I said this last bit with some smugness. “We are engaged.”
”Hmmm.” I detected disbelief in his hum.
”Do you doubt it?” My back was up now. "She said it herself!"
”There is more than one meaning of "being engaged." Just how long have you been seeing this 'Good' Dr. Piersall?”
I was back on solid “conversational” ground now, as Amy and I were long-time loves. “Three years, now.” With that I removed my fingers from my nose and crossed my arms sanctimoniously across my breast, though it would be impossible for him to see my posture through the blackness inside the elevator.
”Let me guess,” he replied. “One date a week, and always here in her office?”
I could feel the blood trickling again, down my upper lip. I wiped it with my sleeve and re-pinched my nostrils for safety’s sake. “She is a very busy woman.” I squeaked.
”And you are the fool I took you for.”
”Oh yea? Well, your fingernails need trimmed. They are long and dirty.” Take that, I thought!
”It isn’t dirt beneath them.”
”No? Then what is it?”
”It’s blood. It turns black, over time.”
”Oh, are you also prone to nose bleeds?”
”It is not my blood, you idiot.”
”No? Then whose blood is it?”
”Didn’t catch his name. Just some guy who annoyed me.”
”Say, can I borrow a handkerchief, Friend? This nose bleed is getting out of hand.”
”You know… you are annoying.”
”So says my father… too much like Mother.”
All My Work
It was one of those Tuesday afternoons where nothing seems to be going right and you feel convinced that nothing you do will make it a better day, so you just begrudgingly shlog through the rest of the day. Late to wake up, late catching the train, and late coming back at the office after lunch. I was sure that my boss would lecture me jeering, "Alex! Next time, might you have the decency to skip lunch after such a lazy morning? Or better yet, skip showing up at all next time," leering as only a spoiled twenty-something-year-old brat can.
Checking my watch I curse and pick up my pace as I scurry through the main lobby. I pause between the entrance to the stairway and the one elevator in the building, briefly deliberating. Then I heard a ding as the elevator doors opened and there were only two other people waiting. I turned away from the stairs and sprinted the last dozen feet onto the lift.
Wheezing slightly, I smiled a bit at the others to reassure them that I wasn't a weirdo. A young blonde woman returned my smile with a polite nod, and the old lady who held on to her arm smiled warmly. I pressed the button for the 32nd floor and the close button. After what felt like a full minute, I was about to throw my arms up and go back to the stairs when the ugly metal doors finally creaked shut.
I sighed and turned to say, "I really hope they fix this piece of junk soon."
It's funny what you notice about other people on a long elevator ride. I noticed them bickering under their breath and what kind of shoes they were wearing. I was beginning to make up a little story in my head about them when the lights flickered to black. I couldn't help but curse again. The red emergency lights switched on mercifully not long after. The sudden complete darkness had been unsettling, to say the least. Then I heard a thud behind me. Whipping around I saw the old lady crumpled on the ground breathing heavily.
"Gran!" her companion cried out. We both immediately knelt beside her, though it was abundantly clear that neither of us knew what to do in a situation like this.
"Should we call an ambulance?" I asked.
She nodded vigorously but had her eyes concernedly fixed on her grandmother's face. So I pulled out my phone and dialed 911. I told the dispatcher all the relevant information I could think of and hung up. Then I took off my jacket and covered the poor woman as her granddaughter maneuvered her to rest more comfortably in her lap. I explained that help was on the way, but it might take a while. The old woman's breathing slowed down enough for her to speak a minute or so later.
"I knew it would end like this, eventually." She mused.
"What are you talking about, Gran?" her granddaughter responded.
"All my work comes back to haunt me. I knew it would."
"You'll be fine. Don't worry, Gran."
"You don't understand, child." The grandmother blinked in confusion, "They've found me." She pried away from the younger woman whose gentle protests were brushed aside and she sat up against the wall. "I have to tell you," she wheezed., "Have to set the record straight." I shifted uncomfortably. A few minutes ago, I was just late for work. Now I'm about to hear this random lady's last will and testament. I Fucking hate Tuesdays.
"You remember, I told you I worked for the newspaper when I was young. Well, I only got the job because I had to after I killed Earl. And - "
"You what?" I blurted.
"Killed my husband, honey, keep up! Anyway, I only - "
"Gran you killed him? You said Grandad got hit by the mob!"
"Look, I'll die before I finish the story at this rate, so unless you want me to haunt you with this you better let me speak. I killed Earl because he hurt me and he tried to hurt my baby! I told them it was self-defense, but they didn't believe or didn't care. Domestic Abuse didn't count as assault at the time. So I went to prison until I won an appeal two years later. Your mother was living in foster care, already 10 years old. The social worker said that there was a chance I could regain custody if I could find a job that could sustain us both."
"I sent out applications right and left, but no one would give me the time of day. A woman? A convict? No chance! That's when I realized I would never win if I kept playing by their rules. So I made my own. I went to the foster parent's house and took my daughter back and we ran like hell, changed our names and I got a job cleaning at some little publication in Texas. That's where I got the letters."
"You see, the paper had an advice column called Dear Chelsea, and readers wrote in their problems in these letters. There was a team of people who read them deciding what they could use and what was scrap. Some letters were responded to publicly in the column, others were handled privately, but many were just thrown out and sent generic apology letters. I found them in the trash one evening, and once I started reading them. I couldn't stop."
"They were mostly sent from women and children. Some of them were crazy threats and gibberish, but most were cries for help from desperate people... and they just threw them out. It wasn't right, women have the right to live unharassed. I thought about Earl, and how miserable he made our family. After a while, I couldn't contain my anger. So I made a new rule. I would never turn my back on a desperate woman again. So I used the letters to track down their demons and slay them, just like I did with mine."
"I had to move and change our names a few more times, but eventually I figured out a different way to cover my tracks, and I never gave up until your mother had you. I wanted to keep an eye on you, to protect you, that was all that mattered. But they've finally found me. It's over. I'm sorry..."
She drifted off then. I sat in stilted silence in a box bathed in red. Haunted by a stranger's past.
Her eyes peeked into the mouth of the cave. The only thing lighting her path was the light from the moonbeams. With her hands tightly clasped around the vorpal sword, she took a few deep breaths and stepped into the cave.
The sounds of wings beating not too far from her current position made her duck for cover. She quickly ran to cower behind a boulder that was lodged by the side of the cave.
She felt stiff. Every fiber of her being was frozen in place. The sound of the beating wings kept moving…closer, and closer, ‘n’ closer— she could not take it any longer and started to make a ran for it back to the exit.
But she slipped and bumped her head on a rock. Blood oozed from a rupture in her carotid arteries.
The sight of the blood oozing into the cave drove the creature mad. It sunk its extremely sharp canine teeth into her jugular veins.
‘‘Bleugh!—this being deceived me. Coming in here appearing human, but her blood tastes like a mix of turmeric, onions, & garlic. I know this because I can still recall their tastes from when I was still human. I’ll have to wait till the rest of the gang wakes & we can go hunt right before the break of ‘morrow’s first golden sunlight.’’
As the creature began to make its way back into the shadows, the sound of a sharp blade being swung with a swift motion made it turn its head to look back. Its eyes met hers, and for a fraction of a second the creature was ready to make a run for it~ right back into the depths of the cave.
Her vorpal sword dug into the creature’s neck, sliding right through it. It tumbled onto its knees, with its head moving at a slanted angle slipping to the side of the creature’s body.
She dropped her vorpal sword, the metal always left a mark on her skin. Luckily, this time she had remembered to pack a pouch of some medicinal herbs to soothe the burns from the fine silver.
#Happy #New #Year!
4th Jan. 2023
All Rights Reserved.
He had tried to crawl his way out, but the cloaked figure was much faster. It pulled him by the collar, dragging him, placing him on the top of a wooden table. He couldn’t recognize who the executioner was, their face was covered by a long, thick black mask that covered almost the whole face, save for their eyes.
His body began to tremble. Heartbeat faster, faster, and faster with every single, choked breath. Tears flowed— like a stream- across his face~ from the bridge of his nose, all the way to his chin.
The executioner opened up a mahogany armoire filled with weaponry. From it, the masked figure pulled out a pair of brass knuckles…slipped them on..like a pair of mittens for the cold….
Turned to face the bedraggled guy. He tried to beg for mercy. The executioner snarled, ‘‘Sorry. I need to make this quick. I have another appointment to get to real soon, Julius.’’
As soon as he finished he asked, ‘‘Any final words, Julius?’’
‘‘I’m sorry, Ethel!’’
The executioner paused with the brass knuckles only a few inches from Julius’ face. ‘‘It’s too late to say that now, Julius. Time for you to link up with Thanatos.’’
After what seemed to have been hours, there was a knock at the door. The door began to slowly open, and in stepped a little kid.
‘‘Mommy…I can’t sleep, will you come tuck me in?’’
She locked the door behind her, and took her kid into her arms. ‘‘Don’t ever come to this part of the house by yourself. Alright?’’
The kid nodded his head. He stared back at the room, ‘‘I thought I heard someone scream.’’
His Mommy laughed, ‘‘I stubbed my toe while working out~ doing yoga, & some meditation, it’s good for the soul!’’
When they were back in the kid’s room, she tucked him in, and said, ‘‘Good night...love ya!’’
Before he went to sleep, the kid yawned, then asked, ‘‘What time’ll Papa be home?’’
His Mommy clenched her fists, and unclenched them in a nanosecond. ‘‘Uhm..I…I don’t know...well…*sighs*to be honest, kid, your Papa wont be coming back home. He’s moved on, and left us behind. I don’t think well ever see him again. Don’t worry, Mommy will take great care of you.’’
With that said the kid slowly smiled, closed his eyes…and began to dream about a monster that had taken his Papa away from him. He tried to wake up, but he wanted to see the monster’s face. When it turned toward him, he screamed, ‘‘Mommy!’’
(c) 23rd December, 2022. Friyay
'I do believe that when we're in the process of dying, that all these emergency circuits in the brain take over. I base what I'm saying not on any empirical evidence. I think it's very possible that when you're dying, these circuits open up, which would explain this whole white-light phenomena - when people clinically die and they see their relatives and stuff and say, "Hello, it's great to see you."'
Gregor J. M. picked up the small pod. His parents had informed him to keep watch over the plant, and take care of it.
He did not want to play outside with his buddies, instead he focused on caring for not only his parents beans, but also decided to conduct some experiments with the seeds. He planted them in the backyard, and waited.
A couple hours after midnight, Gregor rubbed his eyes, and yawned- stretching his arms toward the ceiling of his room. His sleep had been disturbed by a source of a pulsing green light.
His heart thumped within his chest cavity. He searched the room for his baseball bat, but it was not in his room...not even underneath his bed. Actually, he had not checked there because he was afraid something hiding under the bed might snatch at him with its claws, or tail, pulling him into a swirling portal that would lead him and his captor into the realm of monsters.
Gregor took a deep breath in, and started to sing: '1 little bunny hops funny, 2 little bunnies chewing gummies, 3 billy goats being silly...'
He stopped there once he had made his way downstairs. In the corner of the living room was a giant pod, and in the other corner of the space was another- both glowing with a strange greenish colour, and a soft whir came from the gigantic bean like pods.
Gregor panicked. He had no idea what could possibly be that enormous, and the pods looked like they were going to burst...
The kid ran back up the steps, and shut the door behind him. Then he heard something whispering in the dark:
"Hey, come on, Gregor dear. It's only Mommy, okay, now open the door..."
Gregor shook his head. "No, you're not my Mommy. My Mommy does not sound like you...who are you anyway?"
The stranger banged on his door, "Open the door, son. If you don't open it, I'm afraid I'll have to call your father!"
Gregor yelled back, "I'm not afraid of you, or whoever that may be. You're not my real parents!"
Silence. There was not another sound.
In the sound of silence, Gregor pinched his nose. His room was getting covered in something like a fog, except it had such a pungent smell like someone had mixed: dirty gym socks, plus onions, too.
The stench was quite strong for the kid to take in. Soon he passed out from the terrible smelling fog.
Gregor tried to move his arms, when he slowly opened his eyes from his torpor. That was no use. His arms were bound in a gelatin like substance.
He tried to breathe, and each time that he did, the faster the thing moved into his nostrils. It gradually covered Gregor's entire body, and took over control of his mind as well.
Gregor felt a wave of shock hit his heart. He could not see the green pulsating light anymore coming from within the pod, or smell the combination of: dirty gym socks, plus onions, too.
His mind was in another place. There was a bright light around him, and when he blinked again...he saw two familiar faces.
"Mama, and Papa! What took you both so long? I thought I would never see you again."
#MENDELIAN. (c) 11th December, 2022.
Fairies are not the sweet, magical creatures of our dreams. They are horrible nightmares. From the Tooth Fairy to woodland sprites, each fairy has its own horrors. But the worst of them all is undoubtedly the Fairy Godmother.
While most fairies attempt to avoid direct contact with humans, Fairy Godmothers seek it out. They prey on children and the weak-minded, attaching themselves telepathically like mental parasites. Their form itself is veiled by ether so that they are nearly undetectable and untouchable. But unfortunately, there are ways to draw them out of the void.
Charles was only four years old when he began acting strange. He solved problems with violence and seemed to revel in the sight of blood. Doctors called him psychopathic and mentally unwell, so at the age of six, he was sent to a mental asylum. The final straw was the killing of his baby sister - he drowned her in the bath. When asked why he did it he replied:
“She was taking Mommy and Daddy's attention away from me. She was a threat.”
His outlook on the situation damned him to a life of experimental procedures and straight jackets. He screamed when they came to take him away, and even bit one of the orderlies in the throat. That action made him too dangerous in the eyes of the doctors to be allowed into the general population of the facility. So he spent his life in solitary confinement.
After six long years of loneliness and countless hours of poking and prodding and sedation and drug-induced elation, a man named Doctor Jonathan Hollstadd came along. He was a pioneer in the field of lobotomization, and the board felt that he could be of great benefit to Charles. He began with a series of interviews.
“What do you feel, Charles?” He asked.
“What do you mean?”
“When you hurt people, what do you feel?”
“I feel good.”
“So you like hurting people? You want to hurt people?”
“And what do you think makes you want to hurt people?”
Charles paused a moment and thought.
“The voice,” he said.
“What voice? Who is it, Charles?”
Charles struggled more with this question. His brow furrowed in mental exertion, and Dr. Hollstadd waited patiently for his answer. It took some time, but Charles did speak again.
“It’s my friend. I don’t know what they are, but you can’t see them - no one can. No one but me.”
This was in line with the notes that Dr. Hollstadd had in the file he held. But he wanted more information.
“What does your friend look like?”
“They’re old looking. And they used to be skinny, but now they’re fat. They like it that way.”
“Interesting. Are they a boy or a girl?”
“Neither,” said Charles.
“Very interesting. And when they talk to you, what do they say?”
“They tell me what I want, and they tell me how to get it. They tell me what to do to stay safe and strong.”
“Strong? That’s a unique word you’ve used. Why do you need to be strong?”
“Because it’s just me and them. No one else cares or matters. I’ve got to protect myself.”
“Protect yourself from what?”
“From people like you.”
Dr. Hollstadd was intrigued. He asked more questions and got more strange answers. He felt that Charles was a particularly unique individual in the medical sense, and decided he would make a perfect candidate for lobotomy. So he set a date for the procedure.
When that date came, Charles was in rare form. He’d been mostly sedate for the past few months, but now he was lashing out with an energy that they hadn’t witnessed since they had first taken him from his home. He was scared, and even the orderlies felt bad as they held him down and muzzled him. He was just a child, after all. They dragged him kicking and screaming down the halls and struggled to put him into the chair and strap him down. Once they finally had him restrained he thrashed about until they managed to get a syringe of sedatives into him, only after a few moments of the drugs did he settle down.
He whimpered as he saw Dr. Hollstadd approach. Obviously terrified, tears began streaming down Charles’ face. The good doctor took no notice of this as if it were routine. He simply got ready for the procedure as Charles sobbed softly. The orderlies were replaced by two of Dr. Hollstadd’s assistants, bringing with them torturous-looking devices and contraptions.
They set up their equipment next to the chair, bone saws and scalpels glistening with their sterility in the light. Charles continued to sob as they fitted a helmet-like cage with a drill onto his head. He cried out in pain as they anchored it to his skull with screws, all under the doctor’s supervision. Dr. Hollstadd turned around to prep himself at the sink, Charles screaming behind him once again.
“Sedate him further, I don’t need him moving about.”
Suddenly, one of the assistants let out a piercing shriek. Hollstadd spun around and saw red; blood was everywhere. Charles had managed to break free of the restraints and grab a scalpel, slashing one of the nurses throats with it. The other assistant screamed in terror and fell backward as Charles cut himself the rest of the way free and descended upon her. He shoved the scalpel into her eye, over and over and over until she stopped screaming and fighting back - until she lay limp on the floor.
Charles wasted no time and quickly turned his attention to Hollstadd. With a war cry Charles rushed the doctor, but Hollstadd was ready for him. He sidestepped a wild swing, grabbing the wire helmet on Charles’ head as he passed. He yanked Charles backward and threw him onto his back, eliciting another scream of pain from the boy. He briefly wondered where the orderlies were before he felt a terrible pain in his leg. Charles had stabbed him in the calf, twisting the scalpel around in the muscle. The agony brought Hollstadd to his knees and Charles stabbed him once again, this time in the abdomen. Hollstadd roared with pain and hit the child in the face with all his might, knocking him back to the ground. This time the doctor pounced on Charles, realizing that he was fighting for his life. He knocked the scalpel from Charles’ hand and put his own hands around the boys throat. He squeezed and leaned his entire body into it, determined to be the victor. Charles began thrashing about beneath him, but before long his wild movements slowed and his hits began to weaken.
Suddenly Hollstadd heard something prehistoric. A screech from some sort of ancient beast. Before he could turn around he has hit in the head and knocked off of Charles and onto his back. He was woozy, but he could see a large shape approaching him. When his eyes regained focus he saw something that chilled him to his very core.
Coming toward him was… a monster. It stood some seven feet tall, and its skin was a sickly green. Though the rest of its body was long and thin, it had a protruding stomach, seeming to slosh with its distending contents. Its many eyes were jet black, and it seemed to have some vestigial bat-like wings lining its back. As the creatures canine-esque legs carried it forward Hollstadd scrambled backward. The monster was faster though.
It rushed Hollstadd and picked him up by the throat, its oversized hands engulfing his neck completely. Hollstadd tried to fight back, but the creature was too strong for him. He felt a sharp pain in his back as he began to black out, Charles had found the scalpel again. He felt that pain over and over again until he died, bleeding like a stuck pig.
Charles was found some time later, asleep and covered in blood. The orderlies that had been posted outside were simply gone, and never seen again. Eventually Charles was deemed to be too dangerous to be left alive, and was sent to the chair. But that is another story, for another day.
She haunts me. Ever since I saw her in that alley behind the bar I can’t get her out of my mind. Her song plays over and over. She was so beautiful, even bundled up as she was. She seemed to be comforting a dying homeless man. The way she held his head as he took his final breaths was so delicate. His haggard breathing simply slowed to a halt, his death rattle pairing perfectly with her lyrics. I tried to yell out to her as she left, but I simply couldn’t get any words out. She left me cold and shivering in the alleyway, wondering who she was, an empty longing in my heart.
I went home unsure of what I had seen. Was she even real? Was she an angel, or just some horrifically beautiful imagining of mine. I wanted to tell someone about her. I called up a friend of mine, John. He wasn’t supportive. He didn’t understand what I was on about. Said I sounded like a loon. And it was crazy, I knew that. So I agreed with him, that I was crazy. I must’ve still been pretty drunk, I said. But it all seemed so real. Her pale skin, her blonde hair.
A few weeks later and I saw her again. This time at the aftermath of a robbery. I was on my way home from work. She was singing her song once more. That’s how I found her. I was walking along the outside of the crowd when the angelic chords of her voice struck my ears. I pushed my way through to the front, and there I saw her, the light playing off her hair, her skin. She seemed to glow. She walked behind the stretcher, and if anyone else could see her they weren’t showing it. As she got inside the ambulance I wanted to call out to her once more, but I still had my wits about me enough not to do that. As soon as the ambulance took off I felt the emptiness once again.
I called John again. I told him about her, that I’d seen her again, told him about the empty feeling inside of me. He told me he was worried about me. I told him he shouldn’t be. Then I hung up on him. He didn’t believe me. I knew I wasn’t going to be able to convince him. I was still trying to convince myself. No one else could see her or hear her but she seemed so real, like I would feel her if I touched her. There had to be something wrong with me.
Months went by without another sighting. I almost forgot about her. But her song still haunted my dreams. Played a sinful lullaby as I slept. I rested uneasily.
I was walking down the bridge one humid night. When suddenly I heard it. The Song. I looked around but I couldn’t see her anywhere. Then I saw him. Him, standing on the edge. He looked so desperate, so scared. Then he jumped. I rushed over to him when I saw him lean forwards, and then I saw her in the water. Singing her sirens song. Her arms looked so inviting as he plummeted headlong into them. He took her out when he hit the water. I and several other people gathered around the spot where he had jumped. I asked them if any of them had seen a woman in the water. Those that weren’t dialing emergency services told me they hadn’t seen anything.
As soon as I got home I began panicking. I was the only one that could see her, she couldn’t be real. Yet she seemed as real as you or me. I needed help, that’s what I needed. I needed a doctor. So I went out and got one the next day. They admitted me to an inpatient for a week, told me it was to observe me. They gave me pills, for psychosis they said, and sent me on my way. I didn’t see her anymore.
The warmth turned cold again, and I still hadn’t seen her. Still hadn't heard her deadly lullaby. The pills must have worked. I felt fine aside from the numbing tiredness. John was talking to me again. Everything was going well. And then it happened.
I was watching the news when I saw her. I heard her voice from the kitchen, then I saw her on the screen. It was a clip from the war on terror overseas. She looked just as beautiful as I remembered her to. She was only there for a moment before they cut away from the “disturbing images”, but a moment was all I needed. I’d seen her again. I was losing my shit. I wanted to see her more, I wanted to hold her. The emptiness had returned in full force, even stronger than I had felt it before
And then it hit me.
I scrambled over my couch and made haste into the bathroom. I opened up the medicine cabinet and grabbed my pill bottle. I’d gotten the idea from the jumper. So I opened it up, and poured all my pills into my hand. It was a fresh bottle, plenty of pills. I needed something to take them with, so back in the pills went. Into the kitchen, pour a glass, then back out with the pills. I shoveled them into my mouth, their coatings dissolving and sticking to my tongue and the back of my mouth. I drank the water and felt them all slide down my throat. Then, I waited. Nothing happened. Ten minutes passed, and I began to feel like I’d made a horrible mistake. Then I heard her. Her sweet sweet song touched my ears once more, and I saw her come around the corner. She reached out to me, and I reached out to her. Our fingertips touched. And then:
"Four minutes in and I knew I had made a colossal mistake." But in three minutes he will be dead if I don't get him to the hospital. " Thirteen and counting." that's what I over heard wheeling the gurney into the front door his lifeless body strew over the kitchen table from the fight he put up trying to protect his kittens. "Fucking kittens is what he called them!" The cops cigarette unsteady between his fingers speaking to his lieutenant. Two minutes away from the doors but i cant let him die he has to pay. But why does he deserve another minute? When they had suffered years. She kills the engine in just under four minutes she's had to make the hardest decision save a murderer or give the world one less murderer to spend another second worrying about.
have you heard of vampires? come in thirsty for blood and wander around our beds.
not more different
but to be honest,
I do feel like a prey of a pretty vampire.
sick of fancy bonds that come into life
was hypnotized by their stingy fangs.
dear mr. vampire, aren't we the same?
wandering through dark woods of shameless ties thicker than distilled water.
get easily jinxed by lurking beings,
who come in search of bloody stains.
I still wander and you just watch,
as a knife goes deep into a slashing throat...
you and I, we always fight by
trying our best to kill ourselves.
until next time,