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My favorite radio station suddenly disappeared, and something weird has replaced it.
At least, that’s what all the self-help books preach to Ed. And trust me, he’s read plenty. All of them say the same thing in slightly different wording.
That routine is very, very important.
Ed came back from the war and could barely look his 20-year-old son in the eyes without seeing bodies and artillery. One of his comrades was 20 years old. The boy’s blood gushed out of the knife wound in his chest like a powerful riptide, dousing Ed down to the bone. He couldn’t stop seeing that boy in his son, so he decided to take that routine advice to heart.
He moved from his comfy suburban house in New Hampshire and traveled to Maine, where he found a cabin in the middle of the forest to call his own. The cabin was a small one, with only five rooms in the entire house. The living room housed a stone-age fireplace that barely stood on its own. The kitchen was more of a closet with a stove and table, but it did the job. There wasn’t a place you’d step where you wouldn’t hear the creak of old age in the fiber of the wood. The bedroom contained a sagging wardrobe and a double XL matress infested with bedbugs. The toilet in the bathroom smelled like mold, but it was still functional. The office was the best part, as it came with its own large desk with drawers. There was a coffee ring stain mural on the left hand side engraved into the wood. Ed bought that cabin as soon as he laid his eyes on it.
Ed abandoned his only family, but he felt like he had no choice. Ed was a PTSD, trauma-ridden mess. He consoled himself with the fact that he was doing them a favor by going away, even if they couldn’t see that themselves. His wife didn’t let him see their son again, and Ed heard later on that they moved from New Hampshire to Texas to be even further away from the man who abandoned them.
So in Maine, far away from anyone who had ever heard of him, Ed made his life. His cozy little cabin in the middle of the forest was a half hour to the nearest town in the best of driving conditions. Most of the time, the conditions were not in humanity’s favor. He established a rock-solid routine, which went as follows:
6:00 AM was when he woke up and made himself coffee. Two sugars, no more, no less. His favorite brand was Folgers because he could buy a giant tub of it cheap in town and it would last for weeks. It wasn’t the highest quality, but thats what he preferred. So Folgers it was.
After that he turned on the radio to his favorite classical music station and cracked open a mystery novel. The novels ranged from romance mysteries to horrors. As long as it had a plotline to keep Ed’s attention, he would read it. His favorite mystery novel so far had been Murder on the Orient Express by Agatha Christie. Ed enjoyed that one so much that he owned a copy both in paperback and in hardcover. The hardcover had a permanent place next to his bed. The paperback squeezed in between The Maltese Falcon and Gone Girl, and only those two books. It had never touched In The Woods, which was situated next to Gone Girl, and it never would.
About an hour later, Ed would turn off the radio and set down his book at the time to go and chop some firewood outside. He always chopped the wood in a very particular way. First he’d split it in half, then one of the halves in half again, and then he’d do the same thing to the other piece. At the end of it he would have exactly 12 pieces of wood per chopping session.
After that, he’d go about his business depending on the day. During that time he’d do his chores, such as clean up the kitchen, empty the ashes from the last nights fire, unclog the sink drain, other tasks such as those. This was the only time out of his day where what he did varied. On Tuesdays he emptied the ashes. On Thursdays he cleaned the bathroom. On Sundays he made the bed, and so on and so forth every day.
At 7:00 PM Ed finished up whatever daily task he had set for himself and headed to the kitchen for dinner. Every night he would have the same meal, and somehow never got tired of it. It consisted of a steak cooked to a medium rare with a side of 5 green beans and a scoop of parmesan. He would always sit at the second chair to the right at the dining table, where he would continue reading his chosen book until it was time to go to bed at 10:00 PM sharp.
Those self-help books would be proud of Ed. He had followed their instructions to a T.
Even his neighbors, who lived ten minutes down the road in another cabin, could sense his obsession with routine. Every Friday, Sylvia Rockman would knock on Ed’s door with a blueberry pie and invite him over to dinner with her husband, Ron. Every Friday, Ed would take the pie and politely decline, saying, “Maybe next time.” Sylvia would pout, push him a little bit, then be on her way.
Ed definitely didn’t mind the blueberry pies. He liked blueberry.
Every day would go by with Ed’s simple, pleasant routine. He was quite happy.
This is why it was so perturbing to Ed to find that his classical music station suddenly no longer existed. Or at least, it seemed that way.
It was a Friday at 6:32 AM. Ed sat down in his cushioned loveseat right on time and stretched out like a contented cat that was ready to sit in the sun for hours on end. His copy of The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo was right where he had left it on the table perfectly stationed next to his head. Next to it was the radio, an old antique thing, clearly worn out from use and abuse. But it worked, and it had a strange rustic coziness that Ed liked, so it stayed loyally at its post. Before he opened his novel to the bookmark, Ed reached over and turned on the radio, fully expecting the Beethoven and Tchaikovsky to flow out of its small, slightly crackly speaker.
That was not what happened.
Instead, at 6:32 AM on that Friday morning, the crackle of static filled his head. It was like a blow to Ed’s face, a sudden dagger in his tranquil and routine life. Immediately the man sat back up and studied the radio.
The frequency was precisely where it was before, 93.7 FM. The antennae were exactly as they were before as well, the right one at a 45 degree angle and the left one at a 30 degree angle. Ed frowned. How peculiar. Ed reached over and flicked the radio on and off again. Static still permeated the air. So then he tried fiddling with the knob, and that was when everything went wrong.
Ed heard a voice coming from the speaker. Odd, since all the frequencies he was testing only had stations for music. He had never heard this young, calm, almost monotone voice before. It reminded Ed of molasses. It had a sweet feeling to it, but at the same time there was some kind of darkness layered in between. The voice made Ed’s mouth feel sticky.
Tuning to that radio frequency would be against his routine. Every cell in his body was screaming at him to just turn off the radio and go back to his novel. Pretend none of this had ever happened and go back to blissfully going about his routine until he goes back to dust. But Ed did not do this. Instead, he went after that signal. Finally, it was clear enough to hear what the radio was saying.
“Hello, listeners. Today is the beginning of poetry week. The week that happens every year, where all of our town’s citizens come together to write beautiful poetry together.”
Ed almost turned it off right there. He might like narratives, but he didn’t like poetry. It was just too stuffy for his taste. He reached for the knob, but he hesitated when he listened more to the radio.
“Now, it may be poetry week, but our station would like to remind you,” the tone dramatically shifted to one of desperate warning. “Don’t go near the public library. And be sure not to feed the librarians, no matter what deep desires they offer to you. They get awfully antsy this time of year.”
“Don’t feed the librarians?” Ed murmured out loud in disbelief. He leaned closer, turning the volume up.
“And now on to today’s news.” The announcer cleared his throat, “The new dog park in between Old Woman Josie’s farm and the apartment complex is nearly finished. The city council would like to remind you not to bring your dogs anywhere near the dog park. Those who do so will be tracked down by one of the many government agencies and punished. So be warned. The dog park is only for the mysterious hooded figures that showed up a couple months ago, and no one else.”
“The city council has also released a notice that mountains are not real. It has become against the law to write about, talk about, or think about these so-called ‘mountains.’ During a recent press conference regarding the new laws, Mayor Pamela Wintchell told the press that ‘any citizen who mentions hypothetical mountains will be found by the mysterious government agencies and taken in for re-education.’ Thank you for always telling us the truth, Mayor. It is always appreciated, even if the truth doesn’t actually exist.”
The news continued on similarly, talking about the recent ban on extrinsically-motivated breathing and the winners of the town raffle. All Ed heard, meanwhile, was a buzzing in his ears. Had he finally lost it? Had the forest, the forest with the dense trees and so many places to hide within its shadows and foliage, really gotten to him that much, and he had ceased to notice?
Ed stood up on shaky legs, but couldn’t bring himself to turn off the radio. It like if he touched it, a bolt of lightning would come from the heavens and obliterate him completely.
Ed ran to the bathroom and splashed water on his face, staring at himself in the mirror. There was no way what that man was saying was actual news. It was probably some joke station with a bit on ridiculous news. Ed gripped the pristine porcelain of the sink, staring at himself in the mirror. That wasn’t the face of an insane mental patient, was it? Maybe the forest had gotten to him. It’s been awhile since Ed has been to therapy, hasn’t it? He was never able to find a good therapist once he moved to Maine. Maybe all the stress from moving had finally come out and he was imagining all of it. That was it, right?
But the way the man spoke made him think otherwise. This was real.
So instead of going through his daily routine, at 6:41 AM, Ed sat by the radio. He absorbed every word it said in an almost religious way. He needed to know everything about this town, every last detail. He wanted to find out where it was, who lived there, what was happening, and why it suddenly started happening now. Did they know that he was listening? Did they know that he wasn’t a part of their community? Nothing was out of the question anymore.
After hours of listening to the same station, paranoia wracked Ed’s body. It was well into the evening at this point, and Ed hadn’t moved from his spot since 6:41 am. Suddenly, after the constant chittering of the announcer, the radio went completely silent. Ed looked up from his perch on the loveseat.
“Excuse me, listeners, but I do believe that we have an outsider joining us this evening.”
Ed felt his stomach churn.
“A man from Maine,” there was a pause, “No, he’s from New Hampshire. That’s very far away, isn’t it listeners? He shouldn’t be able to listen to me, should he?”
Ed didn’t listen to any more of it. He ran to the bathroom and threw up his guts. Everything suddenly seemed very, very wrong, and overwhelming. He was acutely aware of everything around him. Every window and door and entrance felt larger than life. He felt like the entire world could see him at that very moment, and that his location was broadcast across the planet. Ed most likely would have curled up into a ball and wept if the doorbell hadn’t rung just then.
Ed opened the door to a smiling Sylvia.
“Hey, Eddie! I brought a pie. Blueberry-- your favorite!” Sylvia held out the pie, it’s sweet aroma wafting to Ed’s nose. Ed took an instinctive step back without even realizing it. His nerves were on high alert, any interaction with anyone seemed was life or death after what the radio had said to him.
“It’s… It’s just Ed-” He mumbled, avoiding eye contact. Sylvia lowered her pie from his face, a her joyful expression replaced by a worried one.
“Did something happen? You seem… excitable.” Sylvia raised an eyebrow.
“N-Nothing, no, nothing happened. Just... just reading a scary novel. Nothing serious.” Ed chuckled half-heartedly. Not much of an actor, judging by Sylvia’s deepening frown. She forced the blueberry pie into his hands.
“You’re coming to have dinner with Ron and I.”
No. No, I can’t.
The sides of his sight got fuzzy. All he could focus on was Sylvia’s now alarmed face.
I can’t leave that radio. Something might happen. It might tell me something. If I had that last bit of information my mates would have lived. They would have been alive today. What if I had listened to that radio? What if I didn’t rush out that door? What if I didn’t set off that-
Sylvia watched Ed’s face morph into a cacophony of emotions, all while his eyes were watching something 100 yards away. She reached out and touched his arm.
All at once, Ed came back from the faraway land he had run to. He jerked his arm away as if Sylvia’s touch was red-hot, and nearly tripped over his own feet, trying to get away from her. His eyes darted around the room like those of a cornered animal. His eyes finally focused on Sylvia, who was still standing dumbly, holding the blueberry pie.
“Get the hell outta here!” Ed roared, charging towards her. He slapped the pie out of her trembling hands and shoved her down off of the porch. The pie splattered on the wooden boards with a sad thunk. Ed stood heaving in the doorway, his eyes wild with panic and fear. His knuckles were white from squeezing them so tightly. Sylvia felt something jump up into her throat when she looked closer and blood was dripping from his palm. He was squeezing so hard his nails were drawing blood from his palm. If Ed noticed, he didn’t let on.
“I-I’m sorry if I did something to upset you-” Sylvia mangled out of her mouth. It felt impossible to speak with the raging bear of a man so near. If he wanted to kill her, there was nothing stopping him. Ed wouldn’t do that, would he? Sylvia had her doubts once she looked back at him. His jaw was clenched so hard Sylvia wouldn’t be surprised if his teeth were cracking from the force.
“Didn’t you hear the radio!? There are claymores everywhere! Evacuate!” Ed started to come forward, seemingly to make Sylvia retreat further away from the cabin. The tension in his shoulders screamed hostility, so Sylvia didn’t take any second chances. She booked it into the woods, not looking back. Ed huffed, returning to his cabin and slamming the door. It shook on its hinges.
Ed’s hands were shaking violently. He needed to start writing what the radio was saying. Before it was too late.
Ed tripped over the rug, stumbling into his barely-used office. Practically tearing the printer apart, he grabbed the stack of plain white paper and ran back to the living room. The radio was still chattering lowly, the distinctive announcer’s voice digging into Ed’s skull like a chisel.
“We know where you are, Ed,” the voice ground out from the radio, “I hope you’re excited to join our community.”
His head pounded as he sat on the floor, placing the radio in front of him haphazardly. He knocked over his beloved side table, sending his beloved copy of The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo flying across the room. Ed grabbed the pen that fell from the table and started writing everything he had heard in desperate scrawls.
At 7:00 AM, the radio announcer had declared that they would talk about the weather, but instead, strange gurgling noises came from the speakers. At 8:00 AM, the announcer returned and began talking about the angels that live with Old Woman Josie and how they prevented a meteor from hitting their town. At 1:00 PM, the radio discussed the likelihood of the existence of ducks. At 3:30 PM, the announcer ranted about the cat floating four feet above the ground in the men’s restroom that wouldn’t let him use the urinal. At 4:30 PM, Ed learned that their local PTA meeting ended with 9 deceased, 3 injured, and 27 missing. The announcer considered this to be good news.
Ed was so focused on writing everything. It felt like that was his only purpose on this godforsaken earth. He couldn’t stop, even as his pen started running out of ink and his hand started bleeding. He was so committed that he didn’t hear the front door slowly open behind him.
Sylvia couldn’t sleep that night.
Her mind kept drifting back toward Ed. The way his eyes couldn’t seem to focus on anything they looked at haunted her dreams when she did fall asleep, making her wake up anyway. The moment dawn broke, Sylvia was on her feet.
The first thing she did that morning was walk down the road to Ed’s cabin. She had to know what was going on. Sylvia knew that he had been in the war and had some PTSD, but not much else. Nothing to indicate that this man was clearly not in a sane frame of mind, judging from yesterday’s encounter.
As she saw Ed’s cabin come up in the distance, the hair started standing up on the back of her neck. Sylvia’s pace hesitated, slowing down for a moment. She almost turned around right there.
But something pulled Sylvia towards that cabin.
Something wanted to be found, and Sylvia could feel it in her bones.
On the outside, everything looked normal. The windows were lit up, and the door was closed. The cabin had a warm, homely feeling. Then, Sylvia frowned, checking her watch.
It’s 5:30 AM. Ed is never up at this time of day.
The cabin suddenly didn’t feel so warm and cozy anymore as Sylvia’s heart sunk to her shoes. Her mind told her to run as fast as she could, but her legs had other plans, taking her up to the cabin door.
Upon closer inspection, the door was unlocked. The pie that she left on the porch after yesterday’s events was still there, smelling sour. Flies were making a meal out of the pastry. Sylvia felt bile rise up in her throat, and she was quick to push it back down.
She warily pushed the door open, pulling her hand away as soon as the door creaked open.
The room was destroyed. Ed’s typically quietly organized cabin was in shambles. The couch was overturned, the pillows leaking their innards out onto the floor. The light on the ceiling had been broken, leaving shards of glass to sprinkle the kicked up rug below. His copy of The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo was lying abandoned near the toppled side table. His entire bookshelf was toppled over, hundreds of books piling up on the floor. The Murder on the Orient Express paperback laid ruined in a pool of water from the overflowing kitchen sink.
Sylvia took in all of this in only a moment. The most striking thing about the sight was the severe lack of sound. There were no footsteps, no grunts of pain, no signs that there was a living presence anywhere in a ten-mile radius. Only Sylvia’s panicked breathing.
Ed was nowhere to be found.
The only sign of Ed’s presence were the few drops of blood that were scattered on a piece of paper in front of the radio. That was all.
The radio played Ed’s favorite classical radio station, Piano Sonata No. 14 filling the room to accompany Sylvia’s shaking breath.
She ran, leaving behind the humming radio, still in pristine condition, in the middle of the living room.
"Tales from Idleberge: The H file, 1-2" (fiction)
I know a lot of you have probably seen the Youtube videos of some loser using a chicken egg but those are all fake. There was this one Russian who may or may not have done it right but he ended up dead, so who knows?
Anyway, I started doing some research and came up with “The Book of The Crow” the actual text is an undated Arabic work written by Plato. There’s no way I could get my hands on the original but I was able to find a first edition hand written translation in Greek. It took months to find a legitimate seller on the dark web, before I go any further I just want to say the deep web isn’t as bad as people make it out to be. It’s just like anything else in life if you go looking for horrible shit, you find horrible shit. I say that because in order to get most of the materials I needed I had to spend a lot of time there and for the most part I never saw anything I didn’t want to see, don’t get me wrong there are some really dark places to be found but for the most part it’s just an open market, it’s up to you where you shop. Once I had the book it took about a week or two to have it translated, what I ended it up with was a list of items, ingredients and very specific instructions on how to complete the task. What I’m about to share with you are all of the actual items I used, I had to go to some really dark places and meet with some truly sketchy individuals to get this stuff, but here it is. . The magicians (my) seamen. .The Sunstone elixir. . Animal or Human blood. (1.5 gallons) . A cow or Ewe. (Of breeding age) . Sulfur . A large magnet .Green Tuita. (A sulfate of iron) . A large glass or lead containment space. (I went glass because lead is way too expensive) In this next little segment I’m going to leave out some very important details because one of these things is enough to be too many. Next you’ll need the proper amount of sunstone elixir to be mixed with the seamen being sure to keep it a precise temperature until thoroughly combined. As soon as that’s complete inseminate the host, in this case a cow (don’t ask). Lastly you seal the womb using a paste made from the elixir, blood, sulfur and green tuita, all that’s left now is the incubation period. Once the incubation period is over and the homunculus is born, after a while it forms its skin, from the second its skin is complete the creature will be ravenous. The flesh of the host body will feed it for the first 7 days after that it must be contained, at this point the creature is nothing but a fleshy blob of muscle covered with dark veins stretching over its entire body, its skin secrets an oily substance that reeks of extremely strong urine with a heavy coppery tinge to it, the smell is so strong that it burns your eyes and stains your skin. In the beginning the homunculus will attempt to take on the form of its food, simply because that’s the only thing it’s had physical contact with, keep this in mind during feedings avoid letting it touch your skin until you’re sure you want to continue. The size of the homunculus directly relates to the size of the host, Homunculus literally means “A Little human” most people misunderstand this statement and believe Homunculus to be small creatures, this couldn’t be further from the truth. The statement actually refers to the fact that the creature has a little human DNA, therefore making it “a little human”. The first time I fed it was intense, I didn’t really know what to expect, its first meal was a raccoon I caught using some traps I put out by the trashcans. The second I dropped the raccoon into the containment space it went on the attack, it arched its back and hissed before lashing out at the homunculus striking it then jumping back and preparing for another attack. Then something happened, the raccoon froze as if someone had pressed the pause button, stuck in mid hiss drool started pouring out of its mouth and its body began to twitch rapidly before it fell over on its side stiff as a board. That’s when I saw it move for the first time, it oozed slowly towards the raccoon, I honestly thought it was dead until the homunculus made contact. The raccoon screamed and went into convulsions as the creature slowly covered it, that horrible odor intensified it was overpowering. My eyes burned and my tongue went numb, bile rushed up the back of my throat forcing me to swallow hard to keep myself from vomiting. A wet crunching sound sent chills through my body and my legs started to cramp up, I turned to walk out of the room and collapsed. My vision got blurry it took everything in me to crawl for the door and once I made out into the hallway I slammed the door shut and puked my guts out before everything went black. I didn’t go back in that room for two weeks, in the back of my mind I hoped the damn thing was dead and when I opened the door for a second I thought it was. The air was thick with the smell of rotted flesh mixed with that horrid coppery stench, the creature was shriveled and grey, I almost smiled at the idea of that thing being dead then I stepped into the room. The second the door shut behind me the homunculus slammed against the glass and released a mist into the air, my body instantly seized and I vomited as I dropped to the floor, the pain was unbelievable my head was spinning and my vision was went blurry I could hear the creature slamming against the glass as I passed out. I’m not sure how long I was unconscious but when I came to the homunculus was close to shattering the glass, I tried to crawl but every movement was a struggle and dragging through a pool of my own puke didn’t make it any better. I drug myself across the floor and as I made it to the door I heard the glass shatter followed by the meaty thud of the creature landing on the ground, I didn’t look back I crawled into the hallway and slammed the door just as the homunculus slammed into it. I sat there for a few seconds trying to compose myself when I heard a low hissing sound coming from inside the room, the hallway slowly started filling with that putrid coppery stench I didn’t know what to do, the book didn’t say anything about situations like this, I did the only thing I could, I ran. I scrambled to my feet and bolted for the front door grabbing my car keys on the way, the cool night air rushed into my lungs the second I was out of the house, still feeling lightheaded I sprinted for the car and got in as fast as I could but that gas must have been stronger than I realized because the next thing I know its morning and I’m still in my driveway slumped over the steering wheel. The idea of going back in my house horrified me, I must have sat there for an hour working up the nerve to go back inside but when I finally did the homunculus was gone. That evening the Stuarts 10 year old daughter Eliza went missing, the Stuarts live on my street 3 houses down from me, Eliza was out walking the dog along the bayou that runs behind the neighborhood when she vanished. The police recovered her torn bloody clothes a few miles downstream but her body was never found, two days later the Taylor family went missing. Ed and Irene Taylor along with their new born twins vanished from their home on a Tuesday evening according to police reports some form of toxic gas was used during the alleged kidnapping, there was blood and signs of a struggle but once again no bodies were found at the scene. According to the news several officers were rushed to the hospital, after entering the home officers were taken ill and began to vomit before passing out. Five days passed and the town was buzzing, you have to understand Idleburge is a small town there’s maybe 2000 people living here and nothing like this had ever happened before. People were starting to get really nervous, the idea of some freak running around town gassing folks in their own homes had everyone on edge. Then Officer Raymond Harris went missing his bloody uniform and patrol car were found at a rest stop just off highway 16 the news hit town like a bomb, there were town hall meetings and neighborhood watch parties if people weren’t freaking out before they were unhinged now. The tension in town was palatable, people didn’t stop their lives but you could tell things were different now, everyone was scared. After 7 days of endless conversations about the murders and annoying citizen patrols two more people went missing not just any people though Janice and Frank Stuart, Eliza’s parents.
The homunculus had doubled back, this could only mean one thing, its hunting. The creature has a pattern it doesn’t just kill it erases bloodlines, once it finds food it likes it will hunt that line until it’s all gone, at this stage it will have chosen a suitable host form. This also meant I knew where it would be going next, it took the whole Taylor family at once so there’s no reason to go back there. It was going after the Harris family next, before I go any further I need you to understand I’m not chasing this thing to save the day and be the hero, hell no. I need to get within eyesight of the thing in order to initiate the blood bond, because the creature comes from my DNA we’re bonded for life. This bond allows me to give the homunculus direction, if it works. Finding the Harris house really wasn’t as hard as I thought it would be, they lived on the north side of town in an upscale subdivision I actually just googled their address and was there in 30 minutes. I got there close to midnight the streets were quiet and empty, I sat there for 2 hours half way hoping nothing would happen then it did. I had just stepped out to take a piss and while I was standing there a cool breeze drifted through the trees bringing with it an all too familiar odor that instantly made me wretch. My heart jumped up into my throat screams cut through the silence and gunfire erupted from somewhere inside the Harris house. I zipped up narrowly avoiding disaster then ran for the house, more screams and more gunshots echoed through the night as I closed the distance it felt surreal I was so close and the second I stepped foot on the front porch my lungs were assaulted by that horrid smell. My legs instantly buckled and I dropped to my knees, my eyes rolled back and my tongue went numb just before I puked and fell over on my side. As my vision slowly faded to black I could only hear two sounds, the wet cracking of bones breaking through flesh and police sirens somewhere way off in the distance….. I woke up in handcuffs being checked out by paramedics, the minute they said I was ok I was arrested. Now obviously I didn’t tell them the real reason I was there, I told them my girlfriend had just broken up with me and I was out for a drive to clear my head. I stopped to take a piss and that’s when I heard the gunshots. I ran over to see if anyone was hurt and that’s when I got sick and passed out, it took a while but finally they believed me and eventually released me. I found out later the entire Harris family went missing both grandparents, the son, the brother in law and the widow all missing believed dead. The body count was now 13 and the police had nothing, the whole town was going ape shit, people didn’t feel safe in their own homes so they started doing “Lock ins” for those of you who aren’t familiar with lock in’s its basically just a giant sleep over and everyone’s invited, it’s a horrible idea if you ask me but community unity seems to make people feel better so more power to them, I won’t be there. With the streets being empty most nights it was easy for me to drive around looking for anywhere the creature might be held up but I wasn’t finding anything, I was just about to wrap it up for the night and decided to grab a cold six pack and a fresh box of smokes. I was walking back to my car when somebody blindsides me, we both slammed into the side of my car then crashed to the ground, “What the fuck is wrong with…” I stopped, it was Allison my ex-girlfriend.
Her clothes were torn and covered in blood, she was crying and franticly looking around, “Oh my God Josh you have to help me there’s something chasing me, please you have to get me out of here!” she was stumbling through her words, seeing her so horrified almost made me smile a little but I fought the urge and got up off the ground helping her up as I got to my feet.
“What’s going on Ally? Who’s chasing you?” She didn’t really give me an answer until we were driving away. ”Thomas and I were going to the lock in when we caught a flat, we were on the side of the road and Thomas was changing the tire when it happened. First there was this smell that made me sick when I went to check on him he was passed out, the next thing I know something rushed us and grabbed him.” She paused as the tears started rolling down her face, “I tried to grab his arm…. I tried to save him” Allison broke down she couldn’t even finish her sentence. Deep inside I was grinning ear to ear Thomas was my former best friend and the reason Allison left me, hearing he was dead warmed my heart. By the time we made it to my house Ally was a blubbering mess, I got her inside and called the police. Once the cops arrived and took Allison’s statement things took a turn for the worse, one of the officers recognized me from the Harris incident and pulled me aside. His demeanor changed from concerned to angry almost instantly, “Why are you involved in another one of my crime scenes Mr. Allen?” I screwed up and said the first thing to pop into my head. “I’m not, I was minding my own business on my way home when I ran into Allison, she asked me for help and here we are, this has nothing to do with me”. I guess the officer didn’t like my response because he got angry, “Listen, this is serious,14 people are missing and you seem to keep showing up, if I find out you’re the one behind all this I’m personally going to put you away.” I instantly responded (in hindsight I probably should have kept my mouth shut) “What’s your problem? I was just trying to help and now you’re accusing me of what, murder? Suck my.” the fucker throat punched me and dropped me to the ground before I could finish talking. The officer glared down at me and grumbled “See you soon Mr. Allen” then kicked me before walking away. Once I got myself together and went inside I found Allison sitting at my kitchen table nursing a cup of Johnny Walker blue and taking nervous drags off one of my cigarettes. I paused in disbelief I was a little pissed that she opened my bottle but given the circumstances I gave her a pass and joined her for a drink. I poured a nice cup before taking a long sip draining the glass about half way then took a seat. “Allison I need you to tell me what you saw out there, anything you can remember might help.” Ally took another long drag off her cigarette and looked at me with tears streaming down her face, “I’m not crazy Josh I know what I saw that thing was horrible, it looked like a bear with no hair only it was way too big and that smell good God that smell, just thinking about it makes me want to throw up.” We sat there talking for a while before I got her a blanket and a pillow and let her crash on my couch, I stumbled off to bed buzzing and still a little angry about that throat punch but I was out cold in no time. I woke up a few hours later to the sound of glass breaking, half asleep I stumbled out into the living room to see my back door was wide open and Allison was gone.
I called her name out but there was no response, there was broken glass on the kitchen floor and the faint lingering odor of copper and urine. I rushed over to the back door and spotted her standing in the corner of my yard facing the tree line talking to herself.
“Allison! What are you doing? I think you should come back inside.” Allison slowly turned to face me half laughing and crying at the same time, “It’s him. It’s Thomas, he’s alive, I can’t believe it, he’s alive.” I glanced over her shoulder but I didn’t see anyone, “Allison, I think you should come back inside.” I stepped out into the yard and slowly approached her reaching out to grab her hand but she stepped back and started laughing, “Don’t you understand? He’s alive Thomas is alive.”
I took one step closer before she turned and bolted off into the woods, laughing. I chased her, struggling to keep sight of her in the dense woods and she eventually lost me, I ran for a while longer before I was blindsided and sent flying through the air slamming into a tree before crashing to the ground.
A low growl rumbled through the darkness around me, I could hear something moving stalking me from the shadows as I rolled over and sat up. A low hissing sound made me wince as that coppery stench filled my lungs and my body seized up, I vomited in my lap as Allison stepped out of the shadows. Her skin was slick with sweat and an inhumanly wide smile was stretched across her face, she walked over to me and knelt down running her fingers through my hair, “I’m saving you for last.” Her voice became distorted as she spoke to me, her body began to spasm uncontrollably. She stood and stepped back, I sat there frozen watching in horror as she or should I say it reached up and tore off her lower jaw leaving a gaping hole, its tongue flopped around wildly splattering blood as it slapped against her chest, clouds of mist wafted into the air from the creatures body as it roared, Allison dropped to her hands and knees as her bones started snapping shifting beneath her skin, huge clumps of flesh began to slough off splattering on the ground as what remained of her skull expanded and split revealing jagged sharp teeth its face now resembled a Venus flytrap made of flesh and bone. The creature slurped up the slurry of melted flesh and hair before turning its attention to me for just a second before it ran off into the darkness laughing. I laid there for hours until the gas wore off, by then the sun was peeping through the trees warming my face as the cool morning air slowly cleared the fog from my brain. When I was finally able to stand and walk home, I staggered out of the woods to find my house overrun by police officers, I was arrested and probably would have been charged for murder if it wasn’t for my neighbor Mr. Murphy telling the cops he saw Thomas Gentry trashing my house before stealing my car, even though I wasn’t charged with anything I was held at the police station for the next two weeks on unrelated warrants and eventually released. It’s going to take me a while to catch up, so for now I’m signing off but the second I have more to tell you guys I’ll be back.
“I’m saving you for last”. I woke up screaming. It’s been two months since the homunculus escaped, 27 people are missing. I’ve tried my best to get help but that’s kind of hard to do without incriminating myself. Everyday life has become a paranoid scramble for safety and up until now I’ve avoided getting swept up in the insanity, then I got invited to a “lock in”, on any other day I would have declined but the woman who invited me was incredibly hot, how could I say no? Now I know there’s other things I should be doing, but you gotta cut me some slack here, it’s been a while. In any case, she ditched me thirty minutes after I got there and I spent the rest of the night camped out on top of the bleachers. It was around 2 in the morning and I was watching a movie on my laptop, everyone in the room was pretty much asleep, we were all camped out in the gym of the local high school and from where I was sitting I could see the whole room.
A young girl was running through the room weaving between the cots of sleeping people that lined the floor. She didn’t seem to be bothering anyone but it was kind of odd that someone her age wasn’t being looked after. I watched her playing for a few seconds when she suddenly stopped, then slowly turned to face me, the second I saw her face I recognized her it was Eliza Stuart. My blood ran cold I watched as she raised a finger to her lips and shushed me a hideous toothy smile stretched across her face. Her shoulders slumped forward and her body started to tremble but she never took her eyes off me that’s when the smell hit me and I realized what it had been doing. The homunculus had just gassed the entire room, now it was feeding time. My body seized forcing me to watch as a chorus of screams erupted from the crowd followed by the sound of everyone puking their guts out. Eliza or should I say the thing pretending to be her was tearing out handfuls of its hair, leaving bald bloody patches of exposed flesh. Its cloths began to shred away as its body expanded, there was a loud wet pop as the skin ripped and the bones splintered apart before it exploded. A foul red mist saturated everyone laying around her and started smoking as soon as it wet their skin. Tears ran down my face as I watched a room full of men, women and children die their bodies melting into a slurry of blood, bones and vomit coating the gymnasium floor. As horrible as it was I realized I had just witnessed replication. The homunculus doesn’t reproduce, it can’t, instead it replicates. Once the creature reaches a certain size it splits creating multiple bodies that function on one mind, it will continue to do this as long as it has a food source. Before I could fully process what I had just seen something big slammed into the double doors that lead into the gym. The doors held up to the first hit but second one did the trick. The doors came off the hinges slamming to the floor as the homunculus came rushing in, it had doubled in size since I saw it last, it instantly scooped up a mouthful of the putrid sludge that was coating the floor bones and all then began chewing. It turned its attention to me with chunks of flesh and sheets of skin dropping from its teeth, I swear it smiled at me before tearing off its own arm and tossing it up in the bleachers a few feet from where I was sitting. I watched horrified and amazed as the dismembered arm lost its shape reverting to its original blob state before starting to violently spasm and release another cloud of that rancid smelling gas it twitched and contorted rapidly taking a human form right in front of me, within minutes Ally’s naked form sat up and smiled at me. I wanted to scream, I wanted to run, I wanted to be anywhere but there, but I was paralyzed, Ally tilted her head back and screamed before rushing up to me stopping just inches from my face. We were eye to eye now, it would have been amazing if it weren’t so utterly terrifying. It was her down to the tiny freckles across the bridge of her nose an exact replica, in the background the sound of that thing crunching and slurping its meal off the gymnasium floor filled the air, it was all I could hear but she was all I could see. She leaned in close and whispered to me “it’s not your turn” then everything went black. I woke up in the woods behind my house just before dawn, the sound of police sirens echoed through the trees bringing me back to reality. I laid there staring up at the sky, my cloths wet and heavy with blood, the horrible stink of that thing in the air and all I could do was smile. I got up off the ground and walked back to my house, by the time I got home and cleaned myself up the streets were alive with police and emergency vehicles, I put on a pot of coffee and stepped out onto the front porch.
After what I had just seen there was no way I was staying put, I went back inside poured a cup of coffee then started packing a couple of bags. I got online rented a car then called a cab to get me to the Avis on the other side of town. It was still early when I got there, so it wasn’t open yet but there was a 24 hour diner across the street. I stopped there and grabbed a bite to eat bacon, eggs and toast with a double stack of pancakes and another cup of coffee. I was half way through my breakfast when I heard someone tapping on the window behind me, I turned around to see an old man I didn’t recognize staring at me, a strange grin on his face as his tapping turned to banging his fist against the glass screaming “saving you for last!” over and over getting louder each time. The waitress called out to the cook “Dale! One of those homeless guys is out here banging on the glass.” A short older guy came charging out of the kitchen clutching an aluminum bat and cursing as he made his way towards the front door, just as he stepped out onto the sidewalk the old man stopped banging on the glass and ran away laughing. Dale stepped back inside with a proud smile and announced, “Sorry about that folks, enjoy the rest of your breakfast, coffee’s on me” then swaggered his way back to the kitchen as if giving away three cups of watered down coffee made him the man. On the other hand I felt sick to my stomach, the homunculus knew I was here that meant it had been watching me. I lost my appetite with that thought and dropped 10 bucks on the table then walked out without finishing my food. I walked across the street to the rental office, the second I stepped inside I knew I was in trouble. That odor washed over me making me nauseous and flooding my brain with images from the school, I heard a gurgled plea for help coming from somewhere in the building. ”help me, somebody please help me!” A man’s voice called out in pain. I slowly made my way towards the voice the closer I got I started hearing a wet crunching sound, as I made my way down the hall I noticed blood smeared on the walls the cries for help turned to gurgling gasps for air as I opened the door to see nothing, the room was empty. I stood there for a few seconds trying to figure out what the hell was going on, when the chimes from the front door jingled. I turned around to see the hallway clean the blood was gone and the air was fresh, I took a deep breath, put my head down and started rubbing my eyes. The service agent clicked on the hallway light and was startled to see me standing there, but it all worked out. Long story short, I picked up my rental car and hit the road. I was 40 or 50 miles outside the city limits when the pain hit me like a bolt of lightning to the brain and it didn’t stop until I pulled off the road. Each time I tried to drive off the pain would come back 10 times worse, after three or four tries I couldn’t take the pain any more, the homunculus and I are bound, I can’t leave it and it can’t leave me. I sat on the side of that highway for a long time before I turned the car around and drove back into town. I drove around for a while until I came to the high school. The place was crawling with media and police, I wanted to stay as far from that scene as possible so I kept driving when I pulled up at my house the next door neighbor Mr. Murphy was in his front lawn raking leaves, as soon as I stepped out of the car he waved hello and walked over. “Have you heard what happened at the school?” He sounded almost happy about it. “It’s horrible just horrible, all those poor people gone and nobody saw a thing.” I shook my head and laughed a little “well Mr. Murphy at least were still here right?” I turned and walked towards the house, as I got closer to my door I heard Mr. Murphy say “Have a nice evening.” I swear for a second it sounded like his voice distorted but when I turned to look at him, he was gone. There was no one around, I stepped back away from my door and into the yard to see if maybe he had walked off but, it was as if he was never there, leaves still littered the yard, rustling in the breeze. I rubbed my eyes then quickly went inside as soon as I dropped my bags and went to the kitchen my phone rang. I didn’t answer it instead I grabbed a beer out of the fridge, turned on the television and sat on the couch watching the news till I dozed off. It was the first real sleep I’d had in months and it felt great, right up until someone started banging at my front door. “Who is it?!” I shouted out still half asleep, there was no response. Getting up off the couch I made my way to the door and as I did the knocking stopped. I asked again and still no response, pausing for a second I had to laugh “You have to be kidding! You’re gonna have do better!” there was a pause then another knock and I heard a familiar voice. ”What?! Open the door, it’s Adam, I’m here looking for Thomas!” Adam is Thomas’s younger brother, a decent guy I guess, I’ve never had a problem with him. I opened up to see him looking over his shoulder and acting kind of jumpy. “What’s up, Josh? I know you guys aren’t exactly tight right now, but have you heard from TJ lately?” Shaking my head and waving him inside, I invited him in. “Nah, haven’t heard from him, but I did run into Ally and he wasn’t with her so maybe you should check his place.” We talked for a while longer and he eventually hit the road, the second my front door slammed shut I turned and saw a shadowy figure rush through my living room.
I reached for my pocket to grab the car keys and I realized the keys were on the kitchen table, (Shit) taking a deep breath I headed that way. I was going to grab the keys and get the hell out of there but it didn’t work out that way. The second stepped in the kitchen that low hissing sound filled the air, grabbing the keys and turning to leave something grabbed me and threw me across the room.
I slammed into the wall and landed on the floor gasping for air, the smell of copper and urine made me wretch, my tongue went numb and my eyes burned as a low rumbling growl took over the room. I fought the urge to vomit and tried with all my might to get up but my body wouldn’t budge, the growl slowly became laughter as a familiar frame came into view and as soon as I saw it I knew who it was. Thomas fucking Gentry, of all the people to imitate the homunculus chose him.
It stood there looking down at me for a few seconds then tilted its head back and sniffed the air before finally speaking. ”You can’t run from me Josh” it knelt down getting closer to me, leaning in close it licked the side of my face, its saliva burned my skin, its eyes rolled back in its head and drool poured from its mouth as its body began to shake uncontrollably. The homunculus backed away from me clawing at its own face ripping out fistfuls of flesh, screaming as it bolted away crashing through my back door and running off into the woods. Once the gas wore off I grabbed my gun and followed the creature’s tracks into the woods, after an hour the trail went cold and the sun had set. The woods were dark and silent, I’ve lived here my entire life and I’ve been in these woods a million times, the woods are never silent something was wrong. I stood there for a few seconds letting my eyes adjust to the darkness and trying to figure out which direction the homunculus took off in when the sound of a baby crying broke through the silence. There was no way I was falling for that one so I tried to ignore it and started walking but the further I went the sound seemed to multiply then just as suddenly as it started it stopped. The sound of something small skittering through the leaves caught my attention, I looked around trying to spot whatever it was and then I saw it, a baby’s face peeping around a tree looking at me it opened its mouth and let out a cry the same one I had heard before. I backed away slowly as it leaped from behind the tree, it walked on all fours, its hideous deformed body was covered in what looked like quills, it screamed again, its body quivered and its skin split revealing that flytrap like skull underneath, I shot the damn thing and it exploded sending quills flying in every direction. The quills ripped through my cloths and punctured my flesh sending a burning sensation through my body instantly, I ripped out a handful of them and screamed. ”Fuck!” as I did dozens of eyes lit the darkness around me, I fired a few more shots then ran, my legs were going numb and it was getting hard to breathe, I could hear them chasing me, crying out in the dark. I stumbled and fell as they closed in on me, I rolled over and shot two more of them and just like before they exploded launching more quills tearing into my flesh, I gasped for air and my vision went blurry then everything stopped, a low heavy growl filled the air.
That horrible stench wafted in on the breeze as it got closer, my hands were trembling and my vision was blurred, I would have to let it get close before I took the shot I didn’t want to miss. As the homunculus came into view those horrible little things climbed up onto its back dissolving into it with a gut churning squelching sound, the homunculus let out a roar that shook the ground beneath me then spoke.” Set me free.” it was standing directly over me, rearing back and preparing to take its first bite, it took everything in me to raise the gun and fire. Its head snapped back and it slumped down on top of me reverting to its blob state pinning me to the ground smothering me, I couldn’t breathe, I couldn’t move, my vision faded to black then silence. Clear! Electricity surged through my body my eyes shot open and I took in all the air my lungs could handle, my body was broken and bloody but I was alive. Paramedics and police were everywhere apparently someone saw me run into the woods carrying a gun and called the police. “Where is it, where is it?” I asked franticly as they loaded me onto a stretcher and carried me out of the woods. They thought I had been mauled be either a bear or a mountain lion but I had been found alone, I was in the hospital for two days before I got my first visitor a tall bald guy with a scar that ran down the right side of his face from his forehead to his chin. He walked in and stood next to my bed for a second before he spoke to me in a distorted familiar tone. ”Saving you for last” he smiled a wicked smile then turned and walked out of the room laughing……….