Monthly Archives: June 2015

Sisters

Okay, for starters: our stepdad was a dick. He’s the kind of guy who would have an “I want to believe” bumper sticker on his car as he cut through four lanes without signaling. That kind of dick. He only married our mom because he wanted “special” kids. He’d married his first wife for the same reasons, had a son who didn’t quite pan out so he ditched them. I don’t think our mom ever knew. To her, we were just playing dolls up in our room. It was cute when her husband started poking his camcorder in our faces, we were “bonding.” She couldn’t pick up on all the signs, but he zeroed in on them like blood in the water. Four months of dates and then a wedding. She never knew what hit her.

Me and Sarah were seven and eight, respectively. And the things that happened to us only happened when we were together. It’s not like in the movies. Ghosts are different. They don’t look like gauzy, pale people. One of our friends was “Mr. Sal,” he came the most. He was black—not pigment black, but ash-black, like he’d been charred, and crusty— and his eyes were clusters of nails. It didn’t look like he had proper sockets, just that these bunches of nails were his eyes. He would stand behind us and whisper things that weren’t words but we could understand anyway and left black smears on the pictures we drew.

I know. Salad days, right? They were all like that. Dora no-face, Willy Pete, Dr. Splitfoot.

Like I said, we were seven and eight and we never really knew our father, but Riley was never ‘dad’ to us. He was always “Mr. Swanson” or “doofus” (when he wasn’t around) and we were onto him from the start. He tried to disguise it, he would always say, “oh, Sarah and Megan are having one of their little games, can poppa play?” or, “you girls have quite an imagination. Who’s that?” and he would steal our pictures, even the ones we took from coloring books. And he would always be hiding behind things, watching us. Our mom was too swept away from the honeymoon(she hadn’t been flooded with attention like that since her last marriage) to notice anything. Besides, she started this habit of having a glass of wine in the middle of the day and passing out. So, no help on that front.

We had to start playing outside more. Neither of us liked it, because the ghosts in our house were bad enough. But we couldn’t stand him anymore. He started trying to corner one of us at a time and try to sweet talk us(“you know, you’ve always been my favorite”) or pit us against each other(“your sister told me she only pretends to make you feel better”) but like I said, the juju didn’t work when there was just one of us.

He didn’t give a hint of what he was going to do, didn’t attempt to pass it off as something else, which is why it blindsided us. This was craftier than we’d been led to believe he was capable of being. I still wonder to this day if he wasn’t just playing dumb the whole time, or if he just on a whim decided to chalk a pentagram in our den rug and invite all his friends over.

We were coming down the stairs to kiss mom goodnight. We were in our nighties. Suddenly there were all these strange dudes in our living room and our stepdad in the middle of all of it.

“Megaton! Sahara desert!” he called to us with his phony pet-names. It didn’t work. We bolted. He was a good sprinter.

He dug his fingertips into my shoulder as he steered us back into the living room.

His friends were here for a demonstration. We didn’t want to let our ol’ dad down, did we? Because if we did, he was going to kill our mom. He showed us a pistol to let us know he wasn’t joking.

He re-introduced us to the dudes in the living room as the next Fox sisters. I wonder if the asshole even cared that they had been outed as frauds

He told us to do what we do. We, not really sure of what we do, sat cross-legged on the floor, facing each other. Sarah looked pissed. I have to say I was in agreement. The tricky thing about this, though, was that we had to be relaxed for it to happen. Both Sarah and I had developed a high fear threshold early on. You can’t call a ghost if you’re rigid. So I sat there and wondered what the hell we were going to do. Sarah was moving her mouth really fast like she was muttering. I thought she was just really mad, but then she turned to Riley.

“The Bone Man is behind you,” she said in a perfectly flat voice. Even I couldn’t tell if she was shitting with us or not. Riley actually got a little nervous, but tried to laugh it off.

“Oh really?” he asked, “and what’s it doing, kiddo?”

“He’s going to slap that shelf down on you,” Sarah said, “he’s going to bring it down on you for calling him back. He was asleep and you woke him up.”

Sarah went on to describe him, using lots of gory adjectives. Riley’s face drew, his cocky self-assurance slowly dissipated. Maybe he’d always believed in our gift, but he’d never believed it could affect him.

“Now he’s reaching up,” Sarah said, “now he’s touching the shelf. He’s going to bring it down on you, any second now, any second now…”

Riley set his beer down wrong. It flipped the coaster and crashed to the floor. Everyone jumped. Riley started laughing.

“You little liars,” he said.

And then a friend of his who was wearing this grody leather jacket said, “Swanson, we didn’t come here so you could jerk us around.”

They started leaving.

Riley panicked and ran after him, screaming that it was just a fluke, he’d make us behave. He forgot his gun. We locked the door behind him and told the cops he was touching us. The fact that he’d drugged our mother’s wine that evening and his habit of filming only us worked against him. He couldn’t even work his magic on our mother, who was aghast when she got up. He went away, mom went back to long island ice teas. Somehow we made it to adulthood, and Sarah and I went our separate ways.

I know, I know. But here’s the thing: it only worked like it did when we were together. So it was the smartest thing to do. It wasn’t that we didn’t love each other, quite the opposite, it was just that we knew we had to be like other people if we didn’t want a repeat performance. Not like stuff didn’t happen when we were on our own, it just became easier to laugh off. We got jobs, made friends, and formed bad habits like any people our age.

I went out with Michael because he reminded me of this actor on this sitcom I watched when I was young. Shallow enough, but there wasn’t that much to him. It was a short relationship, I think we both knew that going in. He never asked me to meet his mom, and I never told him I had a sister.

That night he told me we were going to the movies. He didn’t say anywhere special, just the local theater for a crappy supernatural horror flick starring that actress with the really big gums. He told me to fasten my seat belt. When I turned around, he hit me on the head.

I woke up in his trunk. He didn’t talk to me for the ride, I guess he wasn’t that kind of madman, just drove and drove. It took hours. When he popped open the trunk, I could see an old, rotten house. My house, from when I was young. My pretending to still be unconscious lasted up until he picked me up by my hair. He dragged me up the driveway, and threw me on the porch. Through the porch. I fell past rotten boards to the little space beneath the front step.

“You know,” he said, breezily like we were talking about the weather, “I don’t know what my dad saw in you bitches. I dated you for months, and you’re just like any airhead your age. You’re not special. Neither was my dad, but I guess he really wanted to be. Asshole.”

I realized that he’d been trimming a few years from his age, and he’d lied about his last name.

“You’re Riley’s son?” I asked. He shot me a finger-gun.

“I grew up having to listen to what you did to my dad. He was a shit, but he wasn’t a kiddy fiddler. Then I got a hold of some of his old papers and well…” he shrugged.

I could play this to my advantage, I thought. “Look, whether you believe it or not, your dad was ultimately his own undoing. Why live in the past?”

He laughed.

“Nice sentiment, coming from you. When he left us, my mom couldn’t make ends meet. Dad was a loser, but at least he paid bills. You don’t even appreciate what you had, do you?”

“Had? We didn’t have anything,” I said, forcing outrage into my voice.

Michael clicked on a flashlight and pointed it beside me.

“Funny, that’s just what she said.”

I screamed as Sarah’s body was illuminated beside me. She was wearing her waitress uniform, and he’d gagged her with her underwear. One eyelid was scrunched up, one hung open to display her cloudy blue eyes. I screamed in rage and loss and sorrow and Michael danced the light over our heads.

“You know, you’re both a lot alike,” He said. Fucker sounded amused. “Women think they’re this big mystery, but you two are just little girls who never got a daddy.” He squatted. “well, you’re both here now. How ’bout a séance?”

Fuck you,” I screamed. He laughed.

“Well, I suppose I should…” he trailed off. I don’t blame him. The look on my face was probably a sight to behold.

Because I saw a ghost. Me, all by myself. I did. And it was behind him. And it was the worst one I had ever seen.

All logic centers shut down. I kicked and writhed until was upright. I wormed my torso up over the broken boards, then rolled in an undignified manner down the steps.

Michael was screaming and I couldn’t look at him. Had to relax.

I managed to shuffle forward onto my feet. I don’t know how I didn’t fall.

Michael was screaming next to me. That thing was next to me.

I made myself start hopping for the car.

Michael had a switchblade on the seat, presumably for backup. Sawing through the synthetic rope was hard, but I got through one line and the rest slid off like snakes. The ones on my feet were easier.

The asshole had even left his keys in the ignition. I drove away as he screamed into the dark.

I was smart talking to the cops. Nothing about seances or ghosts or even my stepdad. Just that he had dated my sister and I and was planning on killing the both of us. The rest could come out on its own.

It was good that I kept it simple, I was in too many pieces afterwards. I couldn’t make something connect, somehow. Even when we’d been apart, Sarah and I had never really been alone. Now I felt lost, rudderless, and I was afraid. Because I had seen a ghost, all by myself, and it had been wearing a waitresses’ uniform.

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Sleep Paralysis Chat

bondage_faery
posted 12:34
9/12/07

OMG okay so my worst dream was totally silent hill!! i woke up on this guerney and this guy who had two pairs of elgs coming out his head was walking towards me and one of the nurses was strapping me down and my mom said i screamed when i wok!! sorry, i guess i wasn’t awake for this, so it’s not really sleep paralysis, lol.

 

Moxyfruvious
posted 12:45
9/12/07

okay so 3 pages in that makes 30 examples of just bad dreams, 9 stories ‘I heard a guy say…’ and like, five actual examples of sleep paralysis.

GREAT.

 

xXsrirachaXx
posted 13:02
9/12/07

hey, didn’t dweezil or keynote have a story?

 

keynote_sneaker
posted 13:20
9/12/07

yea that was me.

not much to tell really.

 

syd_delicious
posted 13:24
9/12/07

tell us tell us

 

moxyfruvious
posted 13:30
9/12/07

yes PLEASE I am so 5uck1ng bored.

 

keynote_sneaker
posted 13:40
9/12/07

lol OK

well, it’s happened a couple of times but it wasn’t a shadow-person like moxy, and it wasn’t an old hag like syd’s. kind of boring, actually.

 

moxyfruvious
posted 13:42
9/12/07

hey at least it’s not some made up silent hill bullsh1t.

 

bondage_faery
posted 12:44
9/12/07

HEY

 

keynote_sneaker
posted 13:46
9/12/07

lol. anyway. it’s not some horrible monster or something that comes into my room at night, it’s just my dad.

 

Dweezil
posted 13:47
9/12/07

he hot?

 

keynote_sneaker
posted 13:48
9/12/07

lolno.

actually, he’s always been kind of strict, so it makes sense that he shows up in my dreams.

so like the first time it happened was around the 4th two years ago. it was a pretty normal day so i don’t know what set it off. all I know is i woke up in my room, except it was all dark and my dad was like, sneaking in.

 

xXsrirachaXx
posted 13:53
9/12/07

ffffffuuuuuck.

 

keynote_sneaker
posted 13:54
9/12/07

he had this really angry look on his face and he was walking up to me in pitch dark. i’m not scared when i talk about it now, but it scared me sh1tless at the time. i couldn’t move, felt like i weighed 10 tones.

did anyone else get a smell when they were paralyzed?

 

syd_delicious
posted 13:55
9/12/07

what? no. did it smell like cigars and farts, cause maybe that was my dad.

 

keynote_sneaker
posted 13:58
9/12/07

HAHAHA no it smelled all sharp and wrong and it made me sick to my stomac and the closer he got the stronger it was.

 

bondage_faery
posted 14:00
9/12/07

omg OMFG

 

moxyfruvious
posted 14:01
9/12/07

what?

 

bondage_faery
posted 14:05
9/12/07

did it smell kind of sweet?

 

keynote_sneaker
posted 14:07
9/12/07

yeah, actually.

 

bondage_faery
posted 14:10
9/12/07

okay i dont want to scare you but that mightve been ether.

 

xXsrirachaXx
posted 14:13
9/12/07

no friggin’ way

 

bondage_faery
posted 14:15
9/12/07

OP, my moms a nurse, and she taught me how to recognize the smell of ether just in case someone came after me with it. did you drool a lot, like more than you ever have?

 

Dweezil
posted 14:16
9/12/07

f5ing like a champ

 

keynote_sneaker
posted 14:18
9/12/07

yeah

hey, something else i also noticed. usually this would happen when dad wanted me to do something, and i didn’t want to. like the time i didn’t want to go to this dinner with his boring friends.

 

moxyfruvious
posted 14:20
9/12/07

okay, OP? realtalk now. when you say your dad is “strict” what exactly does that mean to you?

 

keynote_sneaker
posted 14:22
9/12/07

he doesn’t like me talking about my family like, at all. he doesn’t let me have friends in the neighborhood, you guys are porbably the only people i’ve talked to in three years. and he insists we do a lot of things together. not father/son bonding things, like, if he goes to the store for some stupid little thing I HAVE to come along. he even answers for me if someone in public asks me a question.

 

xXsrirachaXx
posted 14:24
9/12/07

legit scared right now.

 

Dweezil
posted 14:25
9/12/07

OP, so sorry for all the times i called you a shut-in.

 

keynote_sneaker
posted 14:26
9/12/07

there’s other stuff too. hard to talk about. I had a dog once. had.

 

bondage_faery
posted 14:27
9/12/07

omg no, not a dog i cant take it

 

keynote_sneaker
posted 14:29
9/12/07

and the way i lost him was really weird, too. i just came home one day and he wasn’t there. Dad said he’d gotten out, but he didn’t say how and he didn’t say anything about chasing him. also, he had this bandage on his arm…

 

xXsrirachaXx
posted 14:31
9/12/07

5uck5uck5uck

 

moxyfruvious
posted 14:34
9/12/07

okay, josh? i know this is kind of invasive, but i have to know: where’s your mom in all this?

 

Dweezil
posted 14:35
9/12/07

josh?

 

keynote_sneaker
posted 14:48
9/12/07

holy [expletive removed by swearbot]

 

bondage_faery
posted 14:50
9/12/07

josh? josh are you there? my names kaitlyn if it helps. kaitlyn is worried.

 

xXsrirachaXx
posted 14:52
9/12/07

sh1t, maybe something happened

 

keynote_sneaker
posted 14:56
9/12/07

okay okay so this is going to be kind of long but about four years ago my dad made me go on a hunting trip with him. i really didn’t want to go and mom didn’t want me to go but dad got angry so i went cause i was scared of what he’d do and when i came back i had no mom. it wasnt like she had packed up her stuff and left SHE WAS JUST GONE  and the note she left was printed like why wouldn’t she write it out and you know what else? the trip was only supposed to be over the weekend but we got back like five days later. 5uckn help me guys im so scared right now.

 

moxyfruvious
posted 14: 59
9/12/07

okay, josh? i need you to stay with me on this. i ned you to get out of the house any way you can. don’t let him see you. is there a relative’s house you can stay at? scratch that, they might be in on it. go to the cops. don’t say stupid [expletive deleted by swearbot] about night terrors and stuff, tell them your dad’s been dealing drugs or something. it’s only a temporary solution, but that should keep you out of his clutches long enough that you can tell your real story. and jesus christ, stay safe.

 

moxyfruvious
posted 15:10
9/12/07

josh? Oh [expletive deleted by swearbot]

 

dweezil
posted 15:15
9/12/07

josh if you don’t answer i’m gonna die of a heart attack, you want that on your conscience?

 

bondage_faery
posted 15:18
9/12/07

josh, please answer. i know i’m in another state, but my mom’s a nurse and she would be more than willing to take you in. forget the cops. just run.

 

syd_delicious
posted 15: 30
9/12/07

josh jesus christ

 

moxyfruvious
posted 15: 48
9/12/07

pm me man. don’t worry about bugging me, just let me know you’re okay.

 

keynote_sneaker
posted 22:17
9/12/07

haha you losers actually believed me. Sleep paralysis? What a crock. I bet you peed your pants reading all that. My dad and me are best friends, and my mom left because she’s a slut.

 

dweezil
posted 22:30
9/12/07

ASSWHOLE

 

sid_delicious
posted 22:31
9/12/07

you really had me goin there man hahaKILL URSELF

 

bondage_faery
posted 22:31
9/12/07

why would you do this? We’re your friends!

 

moxyfruvious
posted 22:34
9/12/07

hey “josh”

answer me one thing:

what color is jesus’s car?

that conversation was over pm, and this forum doesn’t have a sent folder, but you should be able to answer it from memory, right?

 

moxyfruvious
posted 22:35
9/12/07

josh?

 

[keynote_sneaker has signed off]

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Mermaids

Mia toweled off.

Behind her, Linda cajoled the lead grip. She gripped her towel to her chest. The straps were undone on the halter top of her swimsuit. As Mia watched, the sun-brown boy spread oil on his hands and massaged her shoulders.

Carmen sat down beside Mia, her knee just barely grazing Mia’s thigh. The two women didn’t have to look at each other. The DP held up a light meter and told them to smile. They did so with practiced ease, displaying twin porcelain crowns. He moved on. Linda’s laughter stabbed at their backs.

Amy sat down. She’d been having waterproof makeup airbrushed over a cesaerian scar. Her mermaid tail hung like a dead fish on the bench beside her. It had been Linda’s until Linda complained that it was too big for her hips.

Now the three women looked at each other. One held a scalpel. One a steak knife swiped from the buffet table. One an exacto knife.

Firing squad rules.

When they finished, they grabbed up their own equipment and hit the water. Linda, as always, was last in.

The others didn’t need to look up as she joined them with a splash. It was not a sight worth note.

After all, air hoses broke all the time, didn’t they?

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Lon Chaney Said It Best

There’s nothing funny about a clown in the moonlight.

Even before you arrive at the obvious ponderances, such as what a clown is doing parked somewhere below your bedroom window, the uncanniness of the scene will be impressed upon you. The moonlight eliminates the warm tones of the circus slap, leaving an eerily bloodless visage. Skull contours, benign in daylight, are thrown into sharp relief. The clown’s head is not a smooth, painted egg, as you may have unwittingly believed, but a strange elliptoid that has more in common with the angles of an exoskeleton than anything mammalian.

You cannot see the eyes. You strain to see the eyes, and there is a glint where you think they might be, but they lie adrift in two dark spaces you’re sure are far too deep to be sockets. Why is the mouth so big? The real article is lost in a lopsided frown, like the disruptive coloring on an owlmoth. Once you think of it, no other purpose makes as much sense. This was not a being designed to delight. This was not a being designed. You refuse to believe that anyone would willingly paint their faces in such an alarming fashion. Maybe it’s not even make-up.

Christ, even the suit is wrong. Yes, it is funny when you don clothes far too big to be your own. But no one would put on a pair of polka-dotted, quintuple-X oxford bags by accident. Nor match it with a screaming pink blouse and puffball buttons. It’s as if the outfit is mocking the concept of clothing itself. “Why do you bother?” it rasps, “it will never work. Nothing will.” An attempt was made to bolster the pants with bright red suspenders, as if falling down is the worst thing that could happen to this outfit. And what is so terrible that no one would want to see? Doesn’t it wear clown-underwear?

And now the big question: why the hell is there a clown outside your window? At this hour? Is someone pranking you? What manner of social sin would warrant this punishment? It hasn’t moved once since you just so happened to glance out the window. The phone sits just beyond your reach. You will call the cops. Maybe.

It’s silly.

It’s not silly. The absurdity makes you want to dismiss it, but perhaps that’s just what it wants. Isn’t laughter just a way to disarm your enemies? Perhaps that’s what all clowns had ever been, a front for something inexplicable, just waiting to get your guard down and…

Did it move?

What would you tell the cops, “there’s someone dressed like a clown outside my window?” They’d laugh at you. You’d laugh, but the laughter is drying up in your throat, along with the speech and scream and any other sound you could make as it starts to move.

There’s nothing funny about a clown in the moonlight.

So why is it laughing?

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