Question with 12 notes
Anonymous asked: Do you have a personal blog
These are friggin’ awesome.
nah i didnt want to sleep this week.
second last one nononono
Post with 110 notes
I’ve always been a night person.
Even as a small child, I can still remember my stepmother affectionately referring to me as ‘her little night owl’ when she’d wake up to use the bathroom and find light pouring out from beneath my doorframe. This natural tendency towards the nocturnal wasn’t particularly enjoyable during the school year, especially as I entered high school and was expected to reach my bus stop by 6AM sharp. For somebody who got their second wind at around 11PM, it was incredibly hard to convince my brain to wind down and go to sleep rather than stay up all night going on my favorite internet forums, working on my old-school Geocities-hosted blog, or chatting the night away with internet friends I’d made on the other side of the globe. Many nights, I’d end up netting only one or two hours of sleep – if at all. High school was little more than a blur of drowsy days and nerdy nights, yet somehow I still managed to successfully graduate on time.
After I moved on to college, my devotion to the night became easier. Online courses had just become commonplace, so I managed to take almost my entire courseload via the web. I got a job stocking a nearby grocery store overnight, and daylight became less and less of a familiar sight for me.
When you live your entire life in the dark, it ceases to frighten you. My friends would ask me how I could manage to walk my dog at 4am without any fear, or if I didn’t get a little spooked by how quiet my dorms and apartment buildings always were as I went about my daily business. For me, the answer was always the same: I wasn’t scared at all. This might sound odd, but the best allegory that I can think of is that warm, cozy, yet closed off feeling one gets during a snowstorm. You’re inside, safe and warm, though admittedly cut off from the world. Living almost entirely at night is similar; I find it so familiar and easy, but I’m still aware that my city is almost entirely asleep when I’m awake. I’m somewhat isolated, yes, but it’s a comfortable solitude, not a painful loneliness.
I’m explaining this to you so that you understand just how serious what I’m about to tell you is. I’m not the kind of person who hears bumps in the night or sees monsters in shadows. The nighttime is my natural habitat, and I have always felt secure. So when I tell you that tonight, the darkness has managed to make me experience fear like no other, you should realize how unnatural that is.
It started like any normal day – er, night – for me. I woke up around 10PM and got my coffee perking. Seemingly fitting with my preference for night over day, I also favor incredibly dark coffee. The blend I made today was called Eclipse; both appropriate for its color as well as seeming like a strange portent to what would come later.
As I was frying up some bacon and eggs to go with my coffee, a loud crash from my living room rang through my apartment. It was followed by a strange crunching sound, and then a long, drawn-out creak. I almost dropped the pepper mill that I’d been holding, before coming to my senses and peeking around the corner into the living room.
It was, of course, completely empty. I live alone (well, except for my dog, who was currently perched on his dog bed in the kitchen and cocking his head back and forth at the noise) and keep my doors and windows locked at all times, and furthermore my apartment is what is called “shotgun” style – the front door and back door directly face each other, with the kitchen as the link between them. If anyone had come inside, they would have had to march right past my breakfast preparations. I can be spacey sometimes, sure, but even I would have noticed that!
As I peered around the room, attempting to figure out what could have fallen and broken and caused the mysterious noise, I felt the strangest sensation. It was as if someone had just brushed past me. I’m sure that sounds incredibly by-rote ghost story league, but it wasn’t the cold and clammy touch that most people claim to feel. This was… pleasantly warm, and the touch felt as if someone was gently rubbing the most luxurious, plush velvet across my cheek. It was a strange conflict in emotions; the logical side of my brain was terrified by the combination of inexplicable noises and now a seemingly ghostly presence, yet something about the touch felt so wonderful and safe – it was somehow nostalgic, actually. Like all the good times I’d had staying up way too late and having fun during high school, the pleasure of a nighttime stroll with only my dog and my thoughts as company, the perversely satisfied feeling of seeing my neighbors having to scrape nighttime frost off their cars in the morning while I was winding down my day and only had to worry about which book to curl up with in bed – somehow, this one touch embodied all those emotions at once. I was struck momentarily dumb as my brain tried to work out exactly how to feel, but before I’d fully decided one way or the other, I found myself turning around.
The room behind me – where the presence had seemingly been heading – seemed empty upon first glance, but something was definitely off. It took me a moment of staring to realize it, but when I did, a sharp spike of terror pierced all my previously confused feelings.
My window was open, and the curtains were fluttering gently in the night breeze. This would be unusual in and of itself, but that wasn’t the part that had shocked me.
Not only were my normally robin’s egg blue curtains suddenly some new shade that seemed somehow darker than black, but when I looked past them out the window – the moon was gone.
The sky was a complete and impenetrable inky black. No moonlight, streetlights, or even the light from within my apartment seemed to be reaching the world outside. The hazy moon that had been present when I’d awoken had either somehow disappeared or been completely eclipsed; the security light that tends to go off if you even so much as look in the direction of the apartment building opposite mine wasn’t activating even when I rushed to the window and tried to squint through the darkness. It was so completely black that I couldn’t even make out anything beyond my window.
For the first time in my life, I experienced true terror. What was going on? How could this possibly be explained? Was the world ending? Was this some strange new war weapon, a black fog of chemicals that dulled the senses? I was coming up with mountains of strange scenarios, each just as improbable as the next, yet none managed to be stranger than what I was actually seeing.
That’s when I saw it. The slightest flutter of movement – a ripple in the obsidian blackness outside. If I could see, it would have been right next to the gardens that surround the mailboxes. Those gardens are a bit of a labor of love for the apartment complex’s groundskeeper; not a day goes by that he isn’t out there doing some mulching, pruning, or planting. When he met me and learned about my nocturnal lifestyle, he took it upon himself to add some night-blooming jasmine to the gardens so that I would have something lovely to see when checking my mail in the middle of the night. Actually, now that I was thinking about it, the shimmer of movement was right around the jasmine!
Before I could even understand why, I was out my front door and gliding down the stairs to the ground floor. I felt consumed by a desire – no, a need – to understand what was going on, and I suspected that the disturbance in the force – so to speak – was my quickest avenue to getting answers.
Just as I approached the area where the jasmine should be, I suddenly realized just how foolhardy I’d been, rushing out into the black. I considered turning back, but then decided that as the entity had been in my apartment already, I probably was just as safe out here as I was inside. I heard a faint woof, and looked back to see my dog trotting up to me, tail wagging. That was a comfort, I decided. He was usually quite vigilant; if he was acting normal and unfazed, perhaps there truly wasn’t any danger.
I crouched down, feeling around, trying to find the jasmine. I can’t explain why, but for some reason I just knew that I needed one of the blossoms. After a few failed attempts (and some thorn pricks from a nearby rose bush), my hand came upon one of the in-bloom flowers. I snapped it off its stem and held it up to my face, inhaling the scent.
That’s when it happened.
Starting from the bloom that I was holding in my hand, what I can only describe as a dark light began to glow. Imagine a paper lantern, but with all the paper completely black; or perhaps a black light in an already pitch dark room. The light – for lack of a better term, I’ll just call it a light – engulfed the area, and I could faintly see the outlines and shapes of my surroundings. Gardens, mailboxes, unlit streetlamps –
– and the form of a woman, only a few feet in front of me.
I’d love to be able to describe her in detail to you, you know, “she was incredibly beautiful and had lips like luscious fruit and eyes that glowed like precious gems” or whatever, but… I couldn’t see any features. It was more as if she was simply darkness taking the form of a woman; I could see the faint outline of an evening gown, heels, and long hair in some sort of updo, but that was was it. There seemed to be a slight, hazy, purple-black mist radiating off of her as well – leaving absolutely no question that whatever this woman was, she could not possibly be human.
I didn’t know what to do. I stood, frozen, gaping at this mysterious entity, desperately trying to think of how to react. My stupor came to a quick end as my dog decided to take action before I did – he moved in an instant and bounded over to the smokey shape before I could hold him back. All the horror movies and stories that I’d absorbed over my lifetime flashed through my mind, and I reached out to try and protect my faithful companion from the doom that he had almost certainly earned. While the woman-thing wasn’t displaying any open aggression at the moment, this couldn’t end well.
Then the unthinkable – or rather, the completely unpredictable – happened. The darkness reached out an elegant hand and simply placed it on my dog’s head, just as I would to acknowledge him when he was sitting quietly by as we watched television or something. The form and canine both stayed still for a moment, as if somehow communing, and then my dog gave a happy yip and took off into the darkness. I was stunned but relieved, and this strange event managed to break me out of my shock enough to speak – even if it was nothing more than a strangled “eh?” sound.
The shadow laughed, a deep, throaty chuckle that gave me the same odd feeling of being caressed by velvet as the presence in my apartment. It dawned on me that this woman-shade, then, must have been the one who had passed by me earlier. Was this all just a ruse to get me out here? The noises in my empty apartment, the brief touch, the sheer strangeness outside – it suddenly all seemed very calculated. Rather than being put at ease by the laugh and the seemingly friendly treatment of my dog, I felt myself become even more anxious. What was going on? What was this thing, and what did she – it? – want from me?
I gathered up all my courage and decided to ask, as I was getting the distinct impression that this entity was waiting on me for some reason. If I didn’t say something soon, my heart might give out before we stopped staring at each other. But for all my resolve, I could only manage to stutter out one single word:
The darkness moved like liquid mercury, slipping immediately to my side. Those elegant shadow-hands once again reached out, this time to gently cup my face. When the answer came, I heard it both out loud and deep within my brain, as if the shade was speaking to all of my senses at once. It was an incredibly unsettling feeling, but not more so than the answer I received.
“You don’t understand yet? Small one, we have lived as close as lovers for your entire life. Your companion knew me from the moment I arrived, and greeted me as such. Do you truly not recognize me?”
At that moment, I once again felt that rush of nighttime nostalgia – the constant awareness and acceptance of my solitude, the joy of utter freedom borne of having the night to myself, the warmth and comfort of normal nightly habits, the rush of fondness I felt as I talked to far-flung friends by the glow of a monitor, the quiet companionship as I walked under the stars with my dog… it was just like before. This time, I understood what the velvety touch was trying to convey. I looked at the mist-woman and saw the relationship that I’d been cultivating my entire life; because what did I love more than the night itself?
“Ah. You see now,” the voice echoed. “You are correct. I am night itself; I am the one who you have dedicated your entire life to serving. I have come, dear one, to collect what is mine by right.”
Wait a minute, I found myself thinking at the voice. I don’t understand what you mean by that. Collect what is yours? Serve you? You’re making it sound like I’m some sort of sacrifice in an ancient cult to Nyx or something – I cut myself off and tried to think through the increasingly foggy, sleepy feeling that was encroaching upon my brain. Whether it was from her touch or from that increasingly heavy, sweet smell in the air, I was starting to feel a bit drugged. Everything’s trying to make me feel at ease and safe, but I can’t shake this deep, cold fear at the bottom of my stomach. Something isn’t right, but all I can sense is the thick floral scent and I’m starting to feel that pleasantly drowsy sensation you get from too many antihistamines and when did I get on my bed? But I’m in my pajamas and my dog is curled up next to me and the heater is on and it’s so warm and cozy and I’m just so sleepy and maybe just a nice nap in these dark velvet blankets will help me remember… because I’m trying to remember something… and that jasmine incense sure is nice and everything is so
as I snuggled into the covers, I felt something fall from my outstretched hand.
And suddenly, here I am. I’m wide awake and aware that I’m outside, almost completely enveloped in shadow. The jasmine-lantern is on the ground at my feet, and it seems that dropping it has broken the spell. I scramble backwards, kicking pointlessly at the wisps of black smoke that are still curling around my legs.
“Tch, such a rebellious child,” I hear Nyx’s voice, but this time it’s not in my head, she’s speaking out loud. “I have to admit that I wasn’t expecting you to resist; after all, you worship me with every facet of your life. It’s only natural that you return to me. Why do you fight?”
I sense true puzzlement in her question, not malice.I shake my head.
“I… it’s true that I’ve enjoyed living with you, but that’s just it: I’ve enjoyed living. I don’t understand, why are you trying to take me? What prompted this? I… I don’t want to die!” I shout the last part, trembling as I realize just how truthful my plea just now was. Oh, God, please let me survive this.
Nyx examines my face and, somehow, I get the feeling that she is frowning at me.
“But it’s impossible, dear one. You belong to me. I’ve left too much of a mark on you; can you even remember the last time that you saw daylight?”
I shake my head. It’s true; it’s probably been years since I’ve seen the sunshine and I never found it particularly troubling. That’s what Vitamin D supplements are for, right?
“It has been precisely three years that you’ve lived in complete darkness. Three years that you’ve dedicated yourself completely to me, forsaking Hemera in every way. You’ve reveled in my presence these past three years; I have felt your adoration calling to me. You’ve even presented me with flowers from my own domain as an offering,” she stated as she paused to pluck one of the jasmine blossoms. I watched her raise the flower up to her face and smiled as she inhaled its heady, thick floral scent. After a moment, she lowered the petals and continued:
“Tonight is the night that I am allowed to officially claim you as my child and take you home. You’re saying that you did not intentionally follow this rite? I’m sorry to say, but it cannot be reversed now. As I’ve said, you are mine, and I have come to collect what belongs to me.”
I’m so focused on her words, that I don’t even realize at first that Nyx has, once again, begun to envelop me in her shadows. I let out a small gasp and turn to run, only to have my arm gripped by a wreath of black mist.
“You still do not understand, child. It’s not a matter of some malevolent desire on my part; I simply cannot allow you to remain on this plane for fear of what will become of you. You are mine, and this means that you will cease to exist if you allow Hemera’s Day to catch you. If you want to be saved, you must allow me to take you. There is no alternative.”
I am chilled to the bone by her words. If she’s saying what I think she’s saying… I am in an impossible situation. It’s either allow her to “collect” me – and seemingly let my individual consciousness slip away, if what happened before was any indication – or cease to exist entirely once dawn’s light hits.
“In my embrace, it’s true that you will cease to be an individual entity. You will become the night itself. Is this truly so bad? Is it really worse than the decay that will meet you when Hemera awakens?”
It’s hard to accept. Part of what I loved about being alone at night was the sheer freedom I often felt; total self-reliance and the lack of normal societal demands left me feeling more alive than I can properly explain. And now my choices are to either completely lose my self and become… well, part of Nyx’s shadows, I assume… or to cease existing entirely. Is there even any difference between the two? At least if I die by day, I’ll still be myself at the end… if I let Nyx take me, will I even know if I die? It’s just so unknown, and that scares me.
Nyx speaks her next words softly. “Small one, as a boon for your years of love, I will offer you the choice. Come to me of your own free will, or allow the day to be your end. This is my mercy to you. I warn you, though: Hemera approaches. You have but a few minutes to decide.”
As she says this, I see the faintest glimmer of light on the horizon. Nyx speaks the truth. Dawn is coming, and I have only a few moments left.
I feel the tears begin to fall, and a wisp of satiny smoke whisks them away, then quickly recedes, as if Nyx is a mother trying to decide between consoling her weeping child or letting them handle their sorrow as an adult.
In some form or another, I am about to die.
I raise my eyes and attempt a determined nod. I will face this with all the strength that a human can muster.
My decision has been made. I know that I don’t have to bother vocalizing it. I’m dealing with goddesses, after all. I’m sure they can sense the resolve in my heart.
Nyx smiles, and I reach my end.
Photo with 141 notes
Episode 001: Pilot - Nia awakens to find herself trapped in a ruined city clogged with garbage. Who are the Afterpeople, and what do they want from her?
That was the write-up in the magazine. I’ve never been one to actually check upcoming television slots, not really one for television in general. In a Hospital room, however, you have a lot of time to scour all the details.
This particular listing was for a show called “Afterpeople”. The title sounded vaguely like some sort of X-Men rip-off, and had it not been for the hours of lying in bed and waiting to heal, I never would’ve inadvertently memorized it.
Despite the late hour it aired, the show itself seemed targeted toward children, or at least family viewing. It was nothing I was interested in, but a quick trip through the channels proved to offer nothing of interest.
If I’d been more of a sports fan, I never would have watched this.
The live-action pilot episode was much like you’d expect, with an introduction of characters and setting and the overarching plot of an ongoing series.
"Nia" was a young girl, maybe ten to twelve years old. The premise of the series seemed to be that Nia and her father, a scientist, lived in a world like our own, but scientific research and technology were a bit more advanced.
Nia’s father appeared to be perfecting a time travel device. He explained how this device would work in great detail, spewing forth a great flood of scientific jargon that seemed to serve no real purpose. Children and adults alike could not possibly be educated in any capacity by such high-minded gibberish.
Cutting to the chase, Nia surprises her father in his lab, causing the device to become activated by mistake. There’s a flash of light, and then… nothing. Just a white screen.
The show actually spent a few minutes on this white expanse before degrading to the hiss of static. Then, the picture seemed to come in as if someone was moving the television antenna back and forth, trying to get the signal back.
The setting was nothing short of Hellish. Red-tinged night sky… hulking, abandoned ruins of sky-scrapers… and just garbage and rubble everywhere.
Nia climbs from a huge pile of refuse, soiled and bleeding from what were probably scrap metal jabs. She looked scared. Very, very scared… and disoriented.
She threw up twice, and as the camera zoomed on in the grotesque details, it didn’t look staged.
Then, the “Afterpeople” started to appear.
It wasn’t anything I was prepared for. The Afterpeople were large, insect-like creatures that looked a bit of like roaches. They had flat sort of bodies, long twitching antennae, and faces that looked like they were in the middle of a long, slow millennial drift between bug and human.
Nia froze as these things came out of the garbage… literally climbing out of the heaps…
Despite the fact I knew these were just very tall, very thin actors in convincing rubber suits, I felt scared, too.
The Afterpeople circled Nia and closed in on her. She screamed at them, just this inhuman scream that one makes when there’s nothing to do BUT let out the loudest and more disturbing sound you can manage.
One of the Afterpeople cautiously approached the girl, keeping as much distance as he could while his antennae touched her forehead. She recoiled, seemed unsure of the creature’s true intent.
"App," the roach-thing hummed, “Appa."
Nia looked at it quizzically.
"Apple," it buzzed, “Apple. Bo. Boad. Boat. A pera atta Apple. A person eat a Apple. A person float a Boat."
"You’re learning to talk?" Nia said what I was thinking. It was almost unanimous.
The thing didn’t answer. It turned away from her and busily scuttled among the other Afterpeople, touching antennae with them, after which each one it had touched went about contacting more of them.
The rest of the episode focused on Nia and the Afterpeople roaming the city, looking for her father. I knew right away that they wouldn’t find him. You can’t have a long-lasting adventure if you achieve the goal straight away.
And so, it was over. Nothing special. That night and the following day, I didn’t even give the show another thought.
Episode 002: Settling In - Nia must make her way in the land of the Afterpeople, and they all have special presents for her!
I honestly didn’t intend to watch the show a second time. I don’t really even know why I did. I was flipping through the channels, and when I saw that red-tinged sky, I just put down the remote and that was that.
In the second episode, we saw Nia more accepting of her surroundings. With the help of several Afterpeople, she’d set up a sort of living space in one of the ruined buildings. The Afterpeople brought her things, but they seemed unable to determine what she might want.
A rotting teddy bear, a deflated ball, a tattered shred of trash bag with an interesting stain, a frayed and dirty wig… a section of a mannequin unceremoniously dragged in by its face.
At one point during what seemed like a drawn-out and pointless flood of “gifts”, one of the Afterpeople brought Nia a human femur. At first, she took it in her hands, but as soon as the realization hit her, she shrieked and threw it to the floor.
The thing that brought it to her reacted with panic, circling the floor, the walls, the ceiling as it let out a series of whines.
"Get out!" Nia screamed at it, “Get out and never come back!"
The camera followed the terrified face of the Afterperson as it darted out of the room, then it cut to a bird’s eye view as the creature continued down the street and into the distance.
This really disturbed and annoyed me. I understood why Nia was mad, and that she probably didn’t mean it, but I didn’t know why the writers would put in such a cruel scene.
I switched the show off.
The scene disturbed me so much that I dreampt about it that night. I basically dreampt I was there instead of Nia, and that I consoled the Afterperson as it buzzed and whined. I made everything okay, unlike her.
Episode 003: The Party - The Afterpeople throw a big party for Nia! She can’t eat what they eat. Will she be honest, or just pretend?
The Doctors told me I was having complications. There was a really painful sore on my leg, and Nurses were coming by more and more often to check on me. Nobody would say it, but I knew each time they were relieved to find me conscious.
They’d walk in with a loud and cheery “Heeyyy…”, and their false smiles would grow into real ones when I stirred or answered them.
I had obsessed over how cruel the last episode of that show had been. I couldn’t think of much else, and, maybe because of medication, my thoughts were getting foggy. I was in a strange, hazy place between analytically disliking the scene and feeling like it had actually happened and I was really mourning a sad turn of events.
I don’t even remember turning on the third episode, and if I did (if it wasn’t a Nurse) I can only think I wanted to see if the previous problem had solved itself. Maybe I’d tuned out too early and missed the happy resolution.
The Afterpeople had miraculously cleaned a section of street and erected crude structures from rubble and trash. A stick figure made of bent and half-melted steel beams stood against the crimson landscape, and the Afterpeople proclaimed it to be a beautiful monument to “A Talk Mother”.
Nia sat on a heap of trash, barely formed into a throne. She looked uncomfortable and disgusted, though everything on the show seemed… clean. The trash was free of maggots or ooze because it seemed like that had all come and gone over a long expanse of time.
Still, she was uneasy.
The Afterpeople circled and whizzed about before her, almost as if they were dancing, but their movements seemd random and dizzying.
"You see," called out one of the Afterpeople, “A very good design. A very smart."
I started to see it as the camera pulled back and upward. The insect things moved madly, angular legs sweeping and antenna fluttering. They circled and spun and moved in strange lines, but they never bumped into each other. They never even touched. At the far sides of the group, Afterpeople made identical movements. It was like a large Rorschach test made of excited bugs.
Nia didn’t see it. She leaned her chin in her hand and pouted. Rolled her eyes.
"Look, you jerk!" I spit the words out like an angry drunk, “Look at what they’re doing. They’re doing it for you, and you’re not even looking!!"
After a few more moments, they all slowed to a stop and turned expectantly toward Nia. She slow-clapped at them. Sarcastically. They seemed pleased nonetheless and all began touching antennae with each other.
The scene faded to black.
This was when it occurred to me that “Afterpeople”, what I’d seen of it, had never been interrupted by commercial breaks.
The camera panned across the landscape again, but this time from a very distant location. The entire cityscape was ravaged, and… unlike most movies or shows you’d see… nothing moved, nothing fell, it all genuinely looked like something that had long fallen into ruin and was DONE collapsing.
The scene shifted to Nia once again on the throne. She looked really tired and cranky.
"I’m so hungry…" she groaned.
Of course. I’d never seen her eat anything, and what WAS there to eat? There hadn’t been a plant or animal in sight except for the Afterpeople.
"A very easy to see." responded one of the creatures, clacking its mandibles with worry, “A problem!"
The creatures scattered, and fifteen to twenty minutes of the show focused entirely on Nia sitting there, trying to press her stomach as hard as she could, like she was in pain. She seemed to almost pass out several times, her head nodding sharply.
Finally, the things returned. They carried various objects just like when they’d brought the gifts.
Nia turned her nose up at almost everything, as would anyone. Congealed balls of unidentifiable matter, pieces of insulation, they just picked up anything that could theoretically be chewed and brought it back post-haste.
"I need FOOD, understand?" Nia snapped, “Like APPLE. Remember APPLE? Or MEAT… I need MEAT."
The Afterpeople exchanged looks. Even with their blank, armored faces and lidless eyes, they seemed concerned.
"A meat." they repeated amongst themselves, “When any has seen a meat and what is it?"
"What do YOU eat?" Nia cried out.
One of the Afterpeople slowly approached, once again toting the ball of matter. It was slick, glistening, like some sort of fleshy egg covered in patterns of what looked to be green and black veins.
She took the orb, desperation in her eyes, and she bit into its skin.
The episode abruptly ended.
Episode 004: That’s Just Different - Something different is happening, and the Afterpeople are acting weird! Important safety tips!
I now had a sick fascination with this series. It was like watching a car wreck, where you can see the blood but you can’t see the real carnage… so you crane your neck to look even though you KNOW you don’t want to see.
You know you’ll never be able to forget anything you catch a glimpse of.
I was still feeling like Hell, still in a vague stupor, and even though it made me feel physically sick to my stomach, I wanted to see where this show was going. I had a slight inkling that maybe they’d turn it all around and we’d get some sort of happy payoff… even though I knew that was unlikely.
As the episode description stated, the Afterpeople were acting weird. Very weird.
They scuttled and darted about as Nia tried to follow them, but couldn’t pick out one of the identical creatures to tag along with. She was now a bit stronger but showing a clear look of being in a half-demented sort of shock.
"What’s happening?" She demanded, repeatedly, her voice hoarse and cracking.
She coughed several times as this continued, and at one point her lip started bleeding without her even noticing.
"Be flat!" screamed one of the Afterpeople as it passed her by, “Get flat and BE flat in a while!"
She didn’t understand, and neither did I. It was just insane to begin a television episode with everyone wheeling about in a frenzy, and I assumed the station must have started running the show at the wrong scene.
"Why should I?" Nia screamed, “Why should I get flat? What’s happening?"
All the Afterpeople froze. Except for their antennae. Each of them moved their antennae in separate, opposite spirals.
One of them broke from the group and rushed Nia, headbutting her and knocking her to the cracked and blistered pavement. As she fell, all the others flattened themselves against the ground. They were way too flat to be men in costumes, and it was slowly dawning on me that for a while now I had been accepting these creatures as legitimate, living beings.
The Earth rumbled.
Nia tried to get up, but now the vibrations were what forced her to the ground.
"What’s happening?" she yelled, her voice distorted and nearly drowned out by the rumbling all around her.
There was no reply. The picture began to blur, and the screen’s vertical hold started rolling. I swear I could feel the Hospital bed shaking, though I told myself it was just my pounding pulse.
The show cut to shots of buildings… trash piles… the open sky… all the while the din of moving Earth erupted from the television speakers. I had to turn it down as the sound grew louder, fearing I’d bother other patients in the next room.
When it finally died down, when things returned to “normal”, I turned it back up and just listed to Nia weeping and sniveling as she lay in a fetal position.
The Afterpeople all circled her yet again, moving slowly and sweeping their antennae over her small body.
"That is a flat time." said one.
"A flat time is you get flat," helpfully added another, “Stand and also it is okay."
After she collected herself… as much as she could, now, seeing that she was looking a lot like a husk of a person… Nia once again resolved to look for her Father. She delivered one of the darkest lines I’ve ever heard in what was quickly revealing itself to NOT be family entertainment…
"If I can’t find Daddy," she wiped her nose on her sleeve, “I’ll cut my own lousy throat."
Episode 005: A Look To Find - Many scrappings are undug amid the ruins. Nia can share one of them.
I was in a coma for a short while. Even now, I don’t know how long. All I remember is dreaming about Nia, now I was helping HER, and then my eyes opened to a bright light and a crowd of people standing over me.
My head hurt. Everything hurt. I couldn’t move or speak.
In my dream, I was walking through that red landscape with Nia, and the Afterpeople followed. Together, we made up a strange sort of “search party”, beating on piles of trash, sweeping through buildings, calling out for Nia’s Father.
Since they never gave his name on the show, in my mind we all called out that of my Dad.
Before the dream ended, Nia took my hands in hers. I was dressed in Hospital gown… she in dirty, bloody clothes, her face smeared and her eyes wild.
"If I don’t get home," her eyes locked with mine, “You know what to do."
The last image I saw was a brief flash of the two of us… holding hands… splayed on the ground with our throats slit… shards of rusted, broken metal in our flesh.
The Nurses assured me, all of them assured me, that I’d be able to move again. The Doctor, a world-class asshole, undid all of this when he checked in and absently mumbled “What a shame.” and “Another one we couldn’t save.”.
I guess he thought I couldn’t hear him. But still.
One of the Nurses, my favorite, the only one who really talked to me like I wasn’t a moron, left that damned show on for me. She’d even read me the upcoming episode blurbs while I screamed profanities at her in my head. She thought she was doing me a favor, but given the coma “visions” I’d experienced, I wanted nothing more than to turn it off.
I tried to will my arms to move… even just my fingers… but it was no use. The most I could do would be to close my eyes, and even then the audio would flow uninhibited into my consciousness.
The Afterpeople joined Nia in searching once again for her Father.
I knew it was pointless. SHE probably even knew it was pointless.
I don’t know what the creatures thought. If anything. It was hard to tell if they had genuine ideas and motivations, or if they just fed off of whatever Nia was doing/thinking.
I got to see more of their world… more than I wanted to. Boiling, steaming ponds… vast expanses of bare, black soil… there was a huge chasm just outside the city that seemed to go on forever, and the Afterpeople wouldn’t go anywhere near it.
"Stop to the hole," they urged, “A very bad inside that. A very bad and come up to eat a friend. Eat a friend and screaming and blooding it does for long."
Nia ignored them and looked over the edge, into the abyss. The camera switched between the impossible, dark depths of the chasm and gradually closer shots of Nia’s wide, disbelieving eyes.
"This!" shouted one of the creatures.
Nia turned, as if snapping out of some sort of trance.
"This! This!" insisted an Afterperson as Nia sprinted toward it. She obviously thought it had something to do with her search.
"This and some of it." the creature gleefully opened its jaws and dropped a scrap of paper at Nia’s feet.
It was a magazine cover, and on it was a picture of President Bill Clinton with the words “Commander in-” leading to a torn section.
"This is what, and now we’re done." the creature twiddled its antennae, and others came in close to look at the item.
"What?" Nia shook her head, “No… No, that’s not my Father. God, don’t you even understand?"
A look of horror came over Nia as her face turned even more pale than it had been. She backed away from the creature and whirled around several times, studying the things that were vibrating their antennae toward her.
"You DON’T understand!" she screamed, tears in her eyes, “YOU DON’T EVEN UNDERSTAND WHAT YOU’RE LOOKING FOR!!"
The camera zoomed in on the faded, distressed photo of Clinton, smiling, half his face gone along with the surface it was printed on.
I had no idea who he was, but not because I was only seven years old.
This was the year 1986.
Episode 007: Today Is Happy, Talk Mother - (No description)
It would still be weeks before I moved again, and the embarrassment of being tended to… made to urinate in one tube and eat through another… was still fresh to me. They had no idea, the Nurses, how much they had hurt me though they tried to be gentle… and it was a pain I couldn’t even express, much less do anything to sooth it.
When Afterpeople started again, I actually wept out of fear… which in my state just seemed to mean my eyes were agitated and elicited no more consideration than some fooling with my eyelids and a few eye drops.
Nia was just sitting amongst garbage.
He legs were just haphazardly jutting out at weird angles on the ground.
Her skin, which at the beginning of the series was just milky white, soft-looking, perfect like a little actress would be… her skin was now ruddy, blistered, and peeling like something was slowly roasting her.
She just stared… stared into space…
Stared at ME…
Her hands were folded neatly in her lap, and her bottom lip was black from the old, dried blood that had long since spilled from her face several episodes previous.
The Afterpeople just crossed in front of her… scurried to and fro, circling and climbing walls with no real purpose.
Then, a voice in the distance.
"A HAPPY DAY!"
Nia slowly turned her head, expression still vacant.
"A happy day, Talk Mother," cried out one of the creatures as it approached from a distance, “A happy day is you because of a THIS."
The camera was just above the ground, showing only the top of the Afterperson as it moved in front of Nia, who looked on indifferently. The creature was labored in its stride, moving as if carrying a great weight.
"Here this." it proudly proclaimed.
The camera cut to a full shot.
Lying at Nia’s feet, with the excited Afterperson standing just over it, was the rotting, half-disemboweled corpse of her own Father.
"A thing from a hole looked away," the Afterperson explained, “When it looked, I looked, and then walked. Quickly walked and now to bring this!"
With no response from the girl, it just continued to elaborate.
"Here for you."
"Your thing you wanted."
Nia looked up from the corpse, to the Afterperson. It gleefully pushed the body toward her and backed away.
I closed my eyes. I shut them as tight as I could.
After that episode, there were no more. It didn’t matter, though, even if I never saw that wretched monstrocity again, it would always be with me.
I would forever hear Nia chewing.
And every time that sound comes back, it takes everything I have to keep from slitting my throat.
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This is a true story about me from when I was younger and my experience with “Window Dog” and the grief he exposed to my family.
It started in March of 2012. My neighbor’s dog, Shadow, recently past away from old age. Shadow was a barker, you see and he would chase me often My parents would always complain to his owners but nothing would get done. He was loud when someone got within two feet of him, even if he knew them. My neighbors became very depressed and wouldn’t even come out of their home. I’ve always been a dog person, so even though I was young I still had a good amount of empathy. I would sometimes bring them plates of brownies or cookies my mother made for them. After a few months, I think the healing process started to kick in from their loss of their dear Shadow. And just when the healing process began, so did the encounters. I would walk home from school and I would hear his barking. The hollow echo from the backyard would ring in my ears and I could hear his familiar snarl. I would also see his reflection in windows of houses and doorways. There is even a picture that my mom took of me in front of my front door with a black figure in the reflection. I would walk home backwards sometimes because I felt something following me. After a few weeks of this, I had my first one on one encounter with Shadow.
I was walking home from school one afternoon and it was very sunny and bright and cheery, but that would soon end. I could hear the scratching of claws coming up quickly on the pavement from behind, and I turned around and saw Shadow racing up to me with bloody foam in his mouth. His body was mangled and his dark skin and fur was falling off to expose his tendons and muscles underneath. It was horrifying, I raced the rest of the block up to my house and looked back, and he was gone. My parents were convinced it was just my imagination but I remember the blood in his path and watching his muscles and bones quiver.
After another month, I had also convinced myself that it was just my imagination. I would walk home again instead of getting rides, but I would always be cautious. My next encounter was in my backyard. I had let my dog Casey out, and after a while I didn’t hear him whining to come in. I looked out the screen door and my poor dog Casey was laying on the pavement with a gashes and bite marks all over his chest and legs, laying in a pool of blood. The worst one exposed the muscle and made the skin hang loose. We took him to the vet and they confirmed that it was an attack from another dog, and they also confirmed that a good amount of blood was not Casey’s. I was and am sure that the blood was Shadow’s, much like the blood he left on the sidewalk when he chased me home. Sadly, Casey passed away not too long after that.
After a few months, the encounters would decline. I would stop seeing tracks of animal blood in the grass and stop feeling his presence. My younger sister and cousins even confessed to seeing a black dog every once in a whole lurking around our home. I always wondered why it was us and not his previous owners, and then I learned why.
Shadow had been lurking around and watching us from the windows for one specific reason, Casey. I recently spoke with Shadow’s owners and I learned that Shadow was subject to many dog attacks in his years, leaving him with scars and hearing loss. Shadow targeted us because of Casey, and once Casey died, Shadow left.
I think about Shadow often and I feel sad, that I believe he contributed in the death of my seven year old lab and for the horror he caused me. I wish I could’ve gone back to when Shadow was alive and offer him compassion or try to socialize him with other dogs. It will always haunt me, that day that he chased me home and when I found Casey in a different dog’s blood, but I know Shadow is gone.
Well that’s fucking creepy
When Cliff Barlow was 7 years old, he moved into a new house with his young parents and baby brother. He liked his new house, all except for the basement of course. He thought it was creepy.
He used to always hear a tapping noise. The highlight was when his mother told him to go there to pick up some laundry, and he went and heard voices.
After that day, he never went back in ever again.
One day his life and his parents life, came shattering down. His baby brother went missing. In his crib was a ransom note saying “pay $20,000 or else the baby dies.” His parents contacted the police and they did everything they could but the baby was never found.
Cliff’s happy life came to a halt. He was robbed of an innocent childhood and a younger brother. He became miserable as did his parents.
20 years later, Cliff was driving along the road. He passed by his former house. Angry at all of it, and how that one night changed so much, he went back to the house to give it a visit.
He went to the basement, and furious as ever he punched the wall. To his surprise, the wall came crumbling down.
Skeletons of little children. There must’ve been 20-30 of them. He could even see bite marks of their little hands. And the worst part? They were all missing their skulls.
Police later called and identified one of the skeletons as his little brother.
To this day, the person who did this remains unidentified.
You can read about his story here: X
23 creepiest things kids said about their imaginary friends.
For the full list go here
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