Recently I’ve been posting short scary stories to the eponymous subreddit – horror stories, no more than 3 paragraphs in length each. Below are the ones I wrote this week. Be warned – they err towards the gruesome.
The face in the mirror is wrong. It’s my face, sure, but it’s not quite right, like a good but not perfect copy. A tooth, slightly more crooked; an ear, a little lower than before; the cleft in my chin just a bit shallower than it should be. It’s not a problem with the mirror – I can feel it with my fingers, my face has changed.
The same has happened to my mum, my dad, my brother and sister. It’s subtle with them too – it seems like they maybe haven’t noticed yet at all. I always was the most observant one in the family. At first I thought they were imposters, that they’d been swapped out for dopplegangers, but I quickly shook that thought aside – it stands to reason that if I’m still me, they’re still them. Whatever has happened to me, it’s happened to them too.
It’s ok though. It’ll give me something to do today. When you see that something’s not right, you fix it; that’s what my father always taught me. I’m no expert in this sort of thing, but I’ve got my scissors and I’ve got my pliers and I’m going to work it out as I go. Once I’m finished with mine, I’ll know what I’m doing, and I’ll be able to help my mum, my dad, my brother and sister fix theirs too.
He says he’s a god, that in ancient times temples were erected in his name and sons offered up by their mothers to feed his endless hunger. He says they will again. In the meantime he has chosen me as his plaything. With his power, he torments me, and in my suffering I entertain him. In his punishments, he is as imaginative as he is powerful.
With a nod of his head, he makes my fingers coil back of their own accord, and giggles as they crack and pop. With a tap of his foot, he makes thick worms roil in my guts, and chattering roaches crawl underneath my skin, until in desperation I try to cut myself open. Eyes open or closed, I see only whatever perverse version of reality he wants me to see. I can’t leave the house, can’t see anyone, for fear of what vile things he’ll make me do, to myself and to others.
He says he’s behind all the evils of man – every murder, every rape, every war – but I’m starting to realise he’s lying. He’s powerful, but I think he can only concentrate on one thing at a time, and for now that one thing is me. I never would have amounted to anything anyway – bad grades, no ambition, no prospects. So I accept my role – every day that I continue to entertain him with my screams, my sobbing, my pleading, is a day that he isn’t doing this to someone else, someone who might actually be trying to do something good in this world. He is my burden to bear.
A dramatic reading of this story, by the haunting DeadJosey, can be found on youtube here.
Her skull cracked like an egg. There was yolk all over my shoes. The lead pipe fell from my shaking fingers and hit the cold concrete floor with a dull clang. I don’t know if she deserved to die; only that I didn’t want her to be alive.
From the moment she walked into my office on those long, beautiful legs, I knew she’d be trouble – like the dog that barks before the hurricane hits, I smelled it in the air around her. With a fat stack moved from her pocket to mine, she had me on the case, looking for what I thought would be a man, but what she told me would be a thing; a thing that crawls down into the guts of men and whispers into their minds. A thing that bestows upon men a terrible need and an overwhelming hunger. When I saw the crime scenes, I believed her – terrible acts done to tiny bodies, made tinier by what had been removed from them. I was in the Great War, I’ve seen what men will do, and no man would do that.
I realise now that I loved her, even from that first meeting. In my love for her, I could not tolerate the thought of the thing doing to her what I had seen it do to so many other lost souls; to lay its crooked fingers upon her and go about its business; or worse, curl up inside her and walk out of here on those long, beautiful legs. As my sight adjusted to the darkness, and I saw at last its shining teeth and its hungry eyes advancing upon me, I knew that I had saved her.