Saturday, January 11, 2014

A Box of Rocks

    I’m not quite sure what to make of all this. I’ve been sleeping with my lights on and all my doors and windows locked. I guess I should start from the beginning. My friend Billy was pretty sheltered growing up. Smart guy but not street smart. Just a little bit too naive. That’s why when he called me in an uproar about a stereo system he bought from a van in an electronics store parking lot I genuinely rolled my eyes. One of the oldest cons around and he fell for it. Take a stereo box fill it with something heavy then sell it at a steep discount out of the back of your car in a parking lot to a mark.
    Billy has a really nice car. In fact he’s always tweaking and customizing it. He had wanted to get a better system put in it and he saved for a couple months to get one. Billy was always a tightwad so he chose to go to a big chain electronics store that was going out of business to try and find a deal. He said when he pulled into the store there was this beat up old white minivan sitting in the very back of the store’s parking lot with an older guy leaned up against it smoking a cigarette. And the guy sort of watched him as he parked. Well Billy was fumbling inside his car for awhile because he had dropped his phone between the seat. When he got out and turned around the guy was standing about a foot behind him staring at him. At first Billy thought the guy wanted to bum some change or ask for a cigarette because he started asking Billy questions that seemed to be leading in that direction. When the old guy finally pinned Billy down about why he was at the store the conversation changed. The old guy started talking really clearly and knowledgeably about stereo systems. In fact the old guy claimed to have opened the first electronics store in town back in the 70’s. Well according to the old guy he sold systems to the store wholesale and he was set to make a delivery that day but the store didn’t want any since they were going under. So he had a van full of car stereo systems. This peaked Billy’s interest and he went up to the guys beat up minivan and essentially was conned into buying a huge box filled with rocks. The old guy was clever though he had a whole stack of unopened boxes and one opened box that actually contained a stereo system that he showed Billy. And so when Billy put a big unopened box of rocks in the back of his car he essentially thought he had made an incredible purchase.
    I made it over to Billy’s apartment and he showed me what he had bought. It was a nice box. And inside the box was all the foam but inside the plastic where all the wires and parts were supposed to be was just big rocks covered in dirt. The rocks looked like they had been pulled out of the ground. Like they had actually been dug up. I told Billy there was nothing he could really do. He had already drove back looking for the old guy but by that time the guy was long gone. Furthermore Billy really didn’t have a solid description of the guy and his minivan. He called the police and they took a report but basically told him the chances of them tracking down an old guy in a beat up white minivan were pretty slim. In fact I’m sure the police probably laughed when they hung up. They have worse things to worry about in this town than busting petty scam artists.
    About two weeks passed and I had pretty much forgot about the whole incident when Billy called me and said he had found a receipt at the bottom of the box with some handwritten numbers scrawled on the back. He had become sort hackneyed detective I guess. He laid out his conspiracy theory that the old guy had bought one stereo system inside the store and found the rest of the boxes in the trash at the back of the store. Billy said that if he took the receipt in he might be able to find out who the guy was because the stereo system was bought with a credit card. For as much as I ragged on Billy he kind of had a point. Even if the old guy had bought the stereo with a stolen card, credit card fraud would likely peak the police’s interest more than some petty scam in the back of a parking lot. And if the old guy was dumb enough to use his own car, well you know Billy would easily get his money back.
    Billy had asked me to come with him to the electronics store to ask about the receipt and I only agreed because he said he’d take me to get Mexican food afterwards. Well we pulled into the store parking lot and it was abandoned. The store had completely folded and was starting to be stripped. Billy was back to square one. I told him it was just bad luck and to let it go. But Billy suggested something I wish we had never done. We should have just drove off and got some Mexican food like we had planned too. Billy said we should look on the window of the front door to see if there was a number or something so he could call to ask the corporate office about the receipt. So we got out and walked up to the door. There wasn’t anything on it. No papers or phone numbers. Billy pressed his hands on the door to look inside the store since there were no lights on to see what it looked like inside now. When he did that the door gave way a little and that’s when we realized the front door was unlocked. This huge abandoned electronics store had closed and they left the building’s front door unlocked…. unbelievable. Billy looked at me and I knew what he wanted to do.
    The store was pretty big. Most of the carpet had been ripped up and you could tell where the different displays had been for tv’s and cameras. All the shelves had been stripped bare. There was nothing left. As we made our way to the back of the store it started getting darker and darker. Finally we made it to the back and there was a door marked employees only. We opened it and it was pitch black. We clicked on our cell phones for light and saw it was the stockroom. There was nothing left but a bunch of empty boxes and a small staircase which led to another door next to the loading dock. I wanted to leave but Billy convinced me to go up the staircase. We noticed there was a light flickering under the door. At this point I became really hesitant and whispered that we should leave before we got into trouble. But Billy slowly pushed open the door anyways. It was a small office with a desk and on a moveable cart was an old tv playing static. The tv was a relic. It was one of those old huge box kinds. Underneath the tv was another relic, a vcr. I guess in the rush they left it plugged in and running. Billy joked about taking it, but the thing was completely worthless and out of date. It was garbage which is why it was probably left there. We looked around the office a little but the desk drawers were empty and the carpet was all ripped up. Nothing else really but the tv cart. Billy walked over to the tv and saw the vcr had a tape in it. He pushed it in. What followed gave me chills.
    The tape showed home movie footage of a family shot with an old camera. It was kids playing at a birthday. A cake was brought out and the candles were blown out by the birthday girl. It showed the mom and dad laughing enjoying the party. But it was weird. Every once and awhile you’d catch the hand of the person filming the party. Whoever it was, was wearing black gloves even though it was clearly summer. Then suddenly the tape cut and went to static. Bored with it we started to leave when all of  a sudden a new scene started playing. It was much different. It showed an obscured person with black gloves digging a hole out in a forest. It didn’t make any sense. It was just one long continuous shot. We fast forwarded the tape. The digging went on for like 15 minutes. Finally the obscured black gloved person walked over and picked up the camera. We pressed play to let the tape play at regular speed again. The person took the video camera over and showed the hole he had dug. That’s when Billy noticed something right on the edge of the screen. There was a blue tarp with something rolled up in it. Then the tape cut to static again. We sort of looked at each other freaked out not knowing what we had seen. Then the tape cut to another scene. There was a receipt laying on a table. A black gloved hand reached out and flipped the receipt over and scrawled some numbers on the back of it. Then the tape cut to static again. Billy looked at me horrified in the flickering light of the tv. He pulled out his receipt and rewound the tape. It was the same receipt with the same numbers scrawled on the back. We bolted out of the store.
    I don’t know what we saw or why that hole was being dug but I was seriously creeped out. I think Billy was too. A couple days later Billy called me and said he finally realized what the numbers on the back of the receipt meant. They were coordinates. Latitude and longitude. Billy said he put the numbers in his phone’s map app and it was a spot in some woods not too far away from us. He asked me if we should call the police. I told him we didn’t have anything to tell them except we trespassed and saw a weird video tape. It’s not like anyone was murdered or anything. Then he asked me if we should investigate. I knew he was going to ask me to go with him to the spot. I told him no before he could finish the question and hung up. There was no way I was going to go to those coordinates. I’d already seen enough on the videotape. But Billy hounded me and I finally relented.
    The next Saturday we followed Billy’s phone navigation down the highway about 10 miles out of town until we hit a small road that ended in a cul-de-sac surrounded by trees. The spot on his phone was about a half mile deep into the woods. I had a really bad feeling. We followed his phone navigation into the woods. There was no trail or anything and we had to keep maneuvering through thick patches of briars but we finally reached the spot. It was a small clearing and the leaves had been brushed away and there was a fresh mound of dirt. I looked around and saw a shovel next to a tree. I looked at Billy and said “You don’t think…” while pointing at the dirt mound. He shook his head no. We sort of looked at each other and finally decided to dig up whatever was buried. It took a good amount of time between the both of us till we finally saw the edges of a blue tarp underneath the dirt. We dug around it and lifted it out of the hole. It was heavy. I knew there was something I didn’t want to see wrapped up in the tarp. “We should call the cops” I said looking around nervously. Billy looked at me and slowly pulled open the tarp. I saw part of a shirt and my body went cold. Billy went pale but he quickly jerked the tarp back like a band-aid to see the rest as quickly as possible. It was a fully dressed mannequin. Its head had been smashed in with a rock though. Billy kicked the mannequin and flipped it over. Underneath the mannequin were a stack of photographs. He picked them up and we looked through them  It was overhead photos of us walking through the abandoned store. One of us at the front door. Another inside. One in the back of the store. One next to the loading dock and a final one shot differently and not from overhead. It was a picture of us in the office while we watched the hole being dug on the tv. It had been taken from behind us. I was sick to my stomach. Billy flipped the last photo over and on the back in the same scrawling as the numbers written on the receipt was the word “NEXT“.

~The Red Ghoul

Monday, January 6, 2014


    The leaves crunch underneath our feet as we step off the trail to walk  towards the abandoned factory. I feel bad. I can’t look him directly in the eyes when he speaks to me. My heart is racing but I know I have to go through with it. It’s the only way.
    Brian was an adventurer. He was constantly talking Doug and I into crazy shenanigans. I had met Brian a year earlier at a university sponsored freshmen mixer. Doug lived down the hall in the dorms my freshmen year. We became buddies that year with Brian as the ringleader arranging pranks like throwing frogs over the shower curtains in the girl‘s dorm as they showered, trashing the bottom floor bathroom of the library with fire extinguishers, and of course poorly planned nature trips like rock climbing expeditions without the proper gear. If something made your heart beat fast Brian wanted to do it. Once our freshman year Brian jumped on the handlebars of my bike as I was riding back to the dorms after class and directed me to the biggest hill on campus. And this was a steep hill. The type that would blow your hair back while whizzing your bike thirty plus miles per hour. Well he convinced me to go down the hill as he sat on the handlebars. My hands were so clammy afterwards. I had barely not wrecked thanks to the uneven weight distribution. Totally reckless, but Brian had howled with laughter the whole time. The kid was crazy.
    During the summer after our freshman year Brian, Doug, and I kept in contact through e-mail. Brian concocted a plan to live off campus which would allow us to throw amazing parties without having to worry about getting busted by campus security. We found a house in a neighborhood about a mile away from the school. It took some convincing but my parents finally conceded to me living off campus and my dad lent me the money for the deposit on the promise we wouldn’t trash the house and he would get his money back at the end of the school year.
    The house was in a nice neighborhood. And I always felt a tinge of regret about throwing raging parties late into the night because a few families lived around us. Right across the street was a family and they came to hate us. They were always calling the cops because we’d line the street with cars and their yard would get trashed with beer cans. And occasionally some drunk would urinate on the side of their house. They had a kid named Stephen who was always riding a tricycle or jumping rope out in the driveway. He was an alright kid. Not obnoxious at all. Stephen absolutely adored Brian. And Brian would fist pound Stephen every time he saw him. But Stephen’s mom would always storm over to our house the day after a party and let loose a tirade about how we were keeping Stephen up all night and we had no respect. Eventually it got so bad that we were in threat of being evicted. I remembered the promise I had made to my dad about getting the deposit money back and convinced Brian to stop throwing huge parties. Brian sulked about this but eventually found another way to get the parties he wanted. 

      We’re close now. He won’t stop asking questions. I can feel the knot in my stomach wrenching harder as I furtively look around checking to make sure we haven’t been followed. But I’m mostly looking to make sure I don’t see any shadows moving between the trees.

    Brian had been on one of his solo jogs one day when he found it right off the trail that connected to our neighborhood. The city had built this incredibly long trail and it connected the neighborhoods, college, and the old sections of town. The trail was surrounded by woods but there were old abandoned factories being slowly overtaken by rust and foliage along the trail too. Brian had run into our house yelling and screaming “I know what were going to do! It’s going to be incredible!”. Brian unleashed his plan to Doug and I. He had found an old abandoned factory that was completely gutted on the inside. The factory was sealed off but he had found an entrance in the back. The chain link fence was missing a section and you could slide right through. The factory was a good ways off the main trail and completely isolated. “No cops!” Brian said. I didn’t quite understand. Then he explained how we were going to move our parties into the factory. Doug and I laughed at him. No college kids were going to a party in an abandoned factory in the woods. Especially no girls. But Brian had plans.
    The first party we threw in the factory was small but word spread. And with a lot of promotion by Brian the factory parties soon exploded to around fifty plus people a weekend. They even began to rival the frat parties. It was incredible. One night Brian snuck off with a girl during the party to hook up. They found a spot in the very back and made a small discovery. Behind the weeds growing up on the back of the factory was a small basement door that was locked. After Brian found the small door he wouldn’t let it go. The adventurer in him had to know what was behind it. We would be sitting around watching football or playing video games and he would bring it up over and over again. Eventually he wore me and Doug down. We started wondering what was behind it. So about a week later during one of our factory parties we took a pair of bolt cutters with us.
    Around midnight Brian, Doug, and I snuck out of the party and went to the back of the factory. Doug was pretty drunk laughing like crazy as he clumsily tried to cut the lock off the door. But he managed to get it off. After he got it off we all sort of looked at each other like who’s going in. I instantly held up my hands and went “No way!”. Brian and Doug argued for a second then Brain snatched the flashlight and went in followed by Doug. They remerged a couple seconds later covered in red clay spitting dust out of their mouths. Doug was dancing around yelling “I’ve got spider webs on me! I’ve got spider webs on me!” while Brian laughed hysterically. I asked them what was down there. Brian said it was just a small dirt crawlspace. “Nothing interesting?” I asked. “No” he said “all it was, was dirt and spider webs.“ We left and went back to the party. 

    Close now. I hold the spot in the chain link fence open for him and he slips through. It’s cold and I’m glad I brought my gloves. But it’s getting dark quickly. I hadn’t counted on this. I can see the winter sun setting. I have to be fast.     

    Two days later Doug got sick. Then Brian did. They spent the whole day throwing up. Finally I had to take them to the hospital after a little bit of blood started showing up when they dry heaved. When we got to the hospital Doug couldn’t find his wallet with his insurance card in it. I left them at the hospital and went back to recover Doug’s wallet. Halfway to the house I got a call from Doug and he said he thought he dropped it in the crawlspace at the factory. I said I wasn’t going back to the factory alone and I especially wasn’t going into the crawlspace. He begged me and said his parents would kill him so I relented and said I’d go get it for him. Besides like he said on the phone he’d do the same for me.
    I went back to the factory alone through the woods. Something didn’t feel right. Doug had sounded panicked on the phone. I guess he was really sick. I was really worried about him and Brian. I went through the chain link fence and made it around to the back of the factory where the small basement door was. I suddenly felt a jolt of fear when I thought about climbing into the small crawlspace. The factory looked spooky now that I was alone at it. But I pulled myself together and chuckled a little at the thought of being scared out in broad daylight. I hitched up my pants opened the door and crawled in. Even though it was light outside it was very dark inside the crawlspace. I could feel the damp dirt on my knees . I clicked on my phone so I could see better. The space only went back a few feet. A crawled all the way to the end of it shining my phone’s light on the ground. The wallet wasn’t here. The only thing besides red clay was some lines drawn in black or something on the dirt wall at the end of the crawlspace.. Kind of like an equal sign with lines through it. Almost like a symbol. I got back to my car and my phone rang. It was Doug and he sounded like he was sobbing or something. He asked me if I went into the crawlspace to find his wallet. I told him it wasn’t there. He paused and I could hear him sobbing a little on the other end. Then he whispered “Brian’s dead”.  
       I raced back to the hospital. The nurses tried to stop me from going into Doug’s room but I pushed through. Doug was lying on the bed pale white hooked up to IV’s barely breathing. I rushed over to him. I asked him how he got so sick so fast. He looked at me and said “Don’t let him touch you. I let him touch me before I showed someone else.”
“What are you talking about?” I asked.
“The man in the shadows… he whispered to me in my sleep. He told me I had to show the sign to someone else in 24 hours or he would come for me. I waited too long. I told Brian and he said he had the same dream and said it was probably a side effect of how much we drank the night before. The next day I got out of the shower and saw something through the fogged bathroom window. That night I woke up and it felt like someone was holding a piece of ice to my forehead. I thought it was Brian playing a prank because I saw a shadow run out of the room. I always had my wallet here. I‘m sorry… I thought there was still a chance. You have to show someone else or he‘ll come for you.”
Doug started choking and the nurses rushed in. I waited outside for a hour but he eventually passed away.
    I drove back to our empty house. My mind was racing . Doug must’ve been delusional from being sick and hopped up on painkillers. What he had said didn’t make any sense. But I was still scared. I went to bed still in shock unable to cry even though I had just lost my two best friends. In the middle of the night I woke up covered in sweat and heard a long deep whisper in the dark “Show another in 24 hours and I will release you from your sentence for the crime your eyes have committed by looking upon my soul.” Then I saw the shadows next to my closet shift and then pass through my closed window. I knew what I had to do.

    My heart is racing. I point to the small door. He looks at me quizzically. Then I say “It’s okay Stephen your mom told me to take you here first then we’d go get you some ice cream. Just crawl inside.”  

~The Red Ghoul

Sunday, January 5, 2014

Traffic Jam

I was stuck in 5 o’clock traffic today out on I-70. I mean it was brutal we weren’t even moving. A tractor trailer had smashed into a car and exploded debris all over the highway. So traffic was lurching along stop and go for about half a hour. There was a grey minivan a few car lengths in front of me that I noticed because the muffler seemed to be broke and it was spewing a lot of smoke out its tailpipe. The smoke was going all over the place and the cars behind it were going nuts trying to get away. Well just my luck I somehow end up right behind it and it was just billowing smoke into my car making me nauseous. I managed to get around it and I actually pulled up even with it in the next lane. I was irate. I had rolled down my window in the freezing cold to chew out the driver and tell him to get that hunk of junk off the road. So I look over ready to explode when I see the most beautiful blonde haired woman I’ve ever seen sitting in the passenger seat staring at me. And she’s giving me these doe eyes. It’s obvious she wants something from me. So I start smiling at her and mouthing stuff like “you’re beautiful” as we slowly move through the traffic. And she’s responding back with those eyes and mouthing something back to me. Finally there’s a pause where we come to a complete halt and I get a chance to see her fully. She leans against her window and blows her breath on it fogging it up and draws a heart. Then inside the heart she writes “stop them I’m not dead yet”. Then all of a sudden she lurches straight back into her seat and I see the driver. He’s wearing a black trench coat and his face is covered by a black hoodie. The only part of him I can actually see that's not covered is his hand on the steering wheel and I swear it’s a skeleton hand. Traffic speeds up almost instantaneously and the minivan pulls a way from me. I look over and see I’m passing the accident. They have a couple body bags loading them up and I catch a glimmer of blonde hair hanging out of one as they zip it up. I try to catch up to the minivan but it speeds away with black smoke pouring out of it as I get stuck behind a few cars. I have no idea where it was going but the lady inside of it didn’t seem to want to be in it. I hope she wasn’t kidnapped. 

~The Red Ghoul

Friday, January 3, 2014

The Rainbow Serum

Hi, I know you were emailing me about mental illness in your family history and you were especially worried about your mother‘s side of the family. You know she died right after you were born due to complications from the pregnancy. Well at least that’s what your family told you. I was friends with your mother for many years leading up to the winter before you were born and not many people know she participated in a clinical study before she realized she was pregnant. It was code named The Rainbow. The company that ran the trials went out of business shortly after the study and all of the research was lost. But I have a friend who worked as a secretary there before they closed. She had kept an old file cabinet full of company tax papers for the IRS to look over but the IRS never showed up so she moved it into her basement. Anyways a few years ago she was cleaning out her basement when she rediscovered the file cabinet. She took out all the papers and threw them away but when she was doing this she accidentally ripped out the last drawer and found an old floppy disk underneath it. She sent the floppy disk to me knowing I could recover the data off of it. Most of the files were corrupted but I did manage to pull a few documents off of it. I’ve attached them to this email. They don’t make any sense to me but maybe you can decipher them. I hope they can help you in some way with the trouble you‘ve been having with bright lights.

Love, Lucy

Doc. 234a
It is well known that humans can’t see all the colors that exist on the color spectrum. For example humans are incapable of seeing non-visible light such as  infrared and ultraviolet light. Our chemist have formulated an injectable proprietary blend in the lab named FHC 114 that allows humans to see beyond the visible spectrum by mutating the cone cells in the eyes. Preliminary animal trials of FHC114 have met the safety standards for human trial. The following is the results of a 18 month human clinical trial on 16 subjects…  

(The rest of the document is unreadable due to file corruption)

Doc. 10g

(The document is a pamphlet made to be printed for advertisement in what appears to be doctor offices. It has various pictures of men, women, and children wearing glasses smiling happily)

We here at Lumacorp are committed to the highest quality of glasses and contacts available on the market today. Every year our researchers are hard at work using the latest technology to improve the world’s eyesight.

Doc. 734r

(The document is almost fully corrupted except for a few lines)

…genetic mutation in the monkey test subjects was never confirmed. Cone cell mutation has been passed to the monkey offspring but there seems to be no complications as of this time except for the aversion to bright light. We suspect it is only a minor correlation in the research history to the mice test subjects being agitated briefly by high intensity bright light before the incidents...

Doc. 221j

Clinician Check-Up Report
Human subjects 8 and 9 have reported euphoria for the past month. In fact all subjects have reported an increase in happiness and general well-being. It is my recommendation that we should notify our parent company and perhaps market FHC114 in pill form as an anti-depressant.

Doc. 321y

Internal Memo
Human test subject 8 autopsy reveals no neurological or physical changes. Cause of death is ruled accidental: driver error. All injections for the remaining test subjects will continue on the 3rd day of every month.

Doc. 984t

(The document is corrupted except for a few scattered lines of text)

psych-ward procedures mandate eye bandage changes every day…
no sharp objects allowed…
but the following intravenous feeding schedule since the subjects refuse to eat or drink…
test subject’s family compensation under review by company law firm…
opiate dispensing schedule…

Doc. 786r

Human Test Subject 6 Psychological Evaluation Transcript

P: How would you describe the colors we talked about last time?

6: Well I can’t. There aren’t words to describe what I’m seeing since I’ve begun the injections. How would you describe the number three unless it was by objects that represent the idea of three? What is three by itself though with out the symbol or objects to represent it? That’s how these colors are. The hue of bright daylight is incredible. And night is deep very deep. I can see… see everything. There aren’t words to describe these colors. We haven’t invented the words yet. We will though. The poets will.

P: How have you been feeling these past few weeks?

6: Incredible. Euphoric I feel like the universe is opening up to me. I’m so blessed to be able to see all these colors no other human even realizes are around them. And it’s like I’m starting to be able to see more. Almost like I can see through these new colors to something else inside of them! Like the colors are a shell. 

P: I’ve heard you recently decided to divorce?

6: Yes. How could I stay with someone who doesn’t understand the true beauty of the world around us?

P: Some of your friends and co-workers have described your moods as, and  I’m quoting here, manic.

6: Ha! No! No! They just don’t understand a flower isn’t a flower and a star isn’t a star they are things which are apart of us. All of us. And I believe…

(The rest of the document is corrupted)

Doc. 116t

Internal Memo
Testing of FHC114 in the monkeys has been discontinued. Over night several of the monkeys attacked another one and cannibalized it. Preliminary autopsies reveal no neurological side effects from the serum. The root cause seems to be a strain flu they caught. The remaining test monkeys have been put down and their bodies cremated to prevent the spread of the virus. Although we didn’t reach the full term of the trial we feel that FHC114 is safe for human trials and we will begin next week with 16 human subjects.

Doc. 237h

 (The following document is a photocopy that has a police department seal at the top of it and has a handwritten note reading “shred” on the side of it)

As per your inquiry I was the lead investigator on the scene. Eyewitness reports contradict the official finding of driver error. Several witnesses saw the victim driving slowly on the wrong side of the road with what appeared to be blood running from his eyes before he accelerated and purposely crashed his car into the barrier. The fire that followed the wreck badly damaged the body so it’s impossible to confirm whether the victim’s eyes were damaged or not or if he had visual impairment. It is my personal belief that the driver committed suicide for unknown reasons.
    - Officer Ray Jenkins

Doc. 145p

Internal Memo
Human test subject 9 autopsy reveals no neurological changes but the subject’s eyes were gouged out with her own fingers. Cause of death is ruled suicide: drowning. All injections for the remaining test subjects will continue on the 3rd day of every month.

Doc. 233r

(The document is corrupted except for the final paragraph)

Of the 50 mice FHC114 was administered to only 10 survived to the end of the trial. The final 10 who survived spent the last week screeching and refusing to eat, drink, or sleep. Autopsies on their bodies revealed no neurological changes or physical toxicity but they had all clawed their eyes out rendering themselves blind. The decision to test FHC114 on human subjects may have been presumptuous given these new findings.   

Doc. 345t

(The document is corrupted except for a few lines)

…and it is my recommendation to halt the human trial of FHC114 and bring the three surviving test subjects into quarantine at the psych-ward of our facility. Please notify the law department…

Doc. 666f

(This document is corrupted and the remaining text is running as if the words appear to be crying on the page. A red handwritten note on the side of the document reads “shred“.)

…human test subject 13 was transported to the local hospital to induce birth after her suicide attempt. The psychologist was on hand at her bedside to interview her when she briefly came out of her coma. These are her only intelligible responses before she began screaming again and was sedated. 

Human Test Subject 13 Psychological Evaluation Transcript

P: Can you hear me?

13: Yes… my baby…

P: Everything is going to be okay. We are all here for you. The doctors have assured us your baby will be fine and healthy. Why did you gouge your eyes out? What triggered you to try and kill yourself?

13: inaudible reply

P: Please say that again. I couldn’t understand you.

13: You can’t see but I can see them now

P: Who can you see?

13: No… inaudible reply followed by screaming

~The Red Ghoul

Wednesday, January 1, 2014

Just One Cigarette

   I cut the car engine off. Creep through the front yard and carefully jiggle the front door to make sure it's locked so I have an excuse to come in the back through the patio doors. Then try to sneak around to the back of the house so Christy won’t see or hear me. I’ve got the pack of cigarettes hidden in my coat jacket. I told her I quit a few weeks back. She hated my smoking and it was driving us apart. I’m surprised she’s stayed with me for the past three years with all my idiosyncrasies. Between my tendency to not exercise and my ability to get lost playing video games for hours at a time I imagine I’d come off as less than perfect. But she stayed with me. She didn’t mind me and my habits, just the smoking. That’s the one thing. But I’d told her I’d stopped and we’ve grown closer these past few weeks. That’s why I feel so bad sneaking around behind her back. Telling her I was going up to the store only to get a chance to have a cigarette in the parking lot. Or doing what I’m doing now, sneaking around to the back of the house to have one right after work before I come in.
    I take a cigarette out as I round the corner and put it between my lips flicking the lighter so I can take a drag. And there she is sitting shrouded in the dark on the patio chair staring at me with a wild look in her eyes. My heart immediately drops.
    “I’m sorry Christy you know I didn’t mean to”
She sits staring at me her eyes almost pulsating. I’ve really screwed up. I reach to say something… anything.
    “It was a really long day at work you know my boss was all over me. I was really really stressed and I sort of picked up a pack on the way home.” 
She still doesn’t say anything. Just stares at me. I know I’m in huge trouble. I can feel a fight brewing. I feel sick inside knowing that I let her down.
    “I’m so sorry… I know I’d said I’d quit.”
She doesn’t say anything. She reaches her hand out towards mine. I hand her the cigarette feeling defeated. She takes it and puts it to her mouth and takes a drag. I’m a little taken back. I’ve never seen her smoke in fact she’s always complained about my smoking ragging on it nonstop. It’s like she’s meeting me halfway. This wonderful girl who’s put up with all my idiosyncrasies is doing it again. I feel a rush of adrenaline. It’s like the moment is perfect for me to say what I’ve been wanting to say for the past year.
    “Christy I’ve been thinking about something for a long time. We’ve been together for about three years and you’re my first girlfriend. You sort of drug me out of my mom’s basement where I’d been hiding playing video games. You believed in me. You helped me get my first job. Helped me get my driver’s license. Helped me find friends. And let me move into your house with you. And you know…”
I pause for a second trying to compose myself. And even though her face is shrouded by the night I can still catch half glimpses of it as she slowly takes a drag off the cigarette. Her eyes are wild but I can tell she’s nervous about what I am going to say next because she’s flicking the old dragon head knife she bought for me on my last birthday around in a circle on the patio table.
    “I just want you to know I love you.”
I pause. It’s the first time I’ve said I loved her and I mean it.
    “I want to marry you. I’ve been saving up for this…”
I reach into my pocket and pull out the diamond engagement ring I’ve been saving up for, for the past year. I get down onto one knee and hold the ring out. She sits silently looking at me her eyes growing even wilder. My stomach is turning over.
    “Please I know I haven’t been the best and it’s been a struggle…”
We pause frozen like statues for what seems like an eternity. Finally she silently reaches out takes the ring and puts it on her finger and smiles crookedly through the darkness at me. I stand up exhilarated.
    “Listen I’m going to run inside and get my other jacket. I want to take you out tonight. Just wait here.”
I slide open the glass patio doors and half walk half run to the kitchen. I can’t believe it I’m going to get married. I stop in the kitchen to fill a glass of water before I grab my jacket from upstairs. I begin to take a sip and that’s when I hear Christy call out from upstairs.
    “Who were you talking to downstairs babe?”
My body goes cold and my arm hair stands up. I turn around and see the horror I proposed to in the naked light of the patio doorway holding the dragon head knife with a cigarette shoved in the crooked fixed smile of the mask it's wearing. I hoarsely scream upstairs:
    “Christy you’ve got to get out of here now!”
But I know there won't be enough time. There's only one staircase and the front door is locked...  

~The Red Ghoul