It’s Halloween today so the perfect time for a scary story. 🙂 That’s what a creepypasta is – basically an online horror story that gets passed around, shared and (hopefully) enjoyed. I entered a competition with this one and unfortunately didn’t win, but you might still enjoy it. Horror isn’t my forte that much but it was fun to write something different.
To Lure a Monster
We bought our house in the summer of 2012. James and I would never have been able to afford it on our own, but my aunt Catherine was dying and wanted to help us out while she was still able to. She passed away in the Autumn of that year, but not before she helped us buy our dream home. For me, who had grown up in a cramped flat, it felt like a mansion… and it was ours. The house was built in the sixties, and it was neither ancient nor draughty, and it had large, beautiful gardens.
We’d settled near a small town, which hugged the border between Maine and New Hampshire. We didn’t have children just yet, but it felt like the sort of environment that would be perfect for raising a family. The problem was two of the local engineering firms had gone belly-up not long after we’d moved in, so it was necessary for James to work away a lot.
We had a beautiful home, but I found myself alone in it more often than not, with friends and family a long drive away. Thank goodness for the internet or I’d have probably gone mad, and I had a job at the local store, which got me out of the house most days.
Tonight was one of the quiet ones. James was off in the South, and not due back for another week and a half. As lovely as our home was, it could be intimidating on nights like this one. I was more sensitive to every creak of the floorboards when he wasn’t here, and the scratching sound the near-skeletal trees made against the side of the house, now that their leaves had fallen.
I was talking to a friend of mine – Louise from Virginia – on web chat, while nineties rock played at a low volume by my bed, when I felt my skin prickle. I was struck with a sudden and inexplicable feeling that something wasn’t right, but I couldn’t have told you what it was at first. I doubted myself and questioned whether it might be paranoia since I was alone, but my instincts were screaming at me to pay attention, and so I did. I felt like someone or something was watching me, and the energy in the room had changed. Before it had felt casual – relaxed, and now, I was tense like a spring and I felt danger around me.
“Calm down, Casey,” I reassured myself. “It’s fine, nothing to worry about–” I promised, but I didn’t quite believe it. I got up from where I’d sat at the computer and padded across the room, my feet bare. I pushed the brass latch across on my bedroom door, locking it. I’d considered going downstairs to check the house was empty, but I felt too unnerved right now. It didn’t occur to me that something might be in the room, and if it was, I might be locking it in with me.
I returned to the computer and my conversation with Louise. She was always there for me, whether a phone call or a chat message away. We’d planned to meet up one of these days, but so far our plans had fallen through. It had been my fault as much as hers.
Louise was back, telling me about her no-good boyfriend.
‘I found out he’s married, the son of a bitch!’ she lamented, her misery punctuated by a sad smiley face.
I started to reply, offering my friend words of comfort, when I heard a sudden, tell-tale sound of paper tearing from somewhere across the room. I froze at the computer, searching for the source of the sound. There was nothing – no one that I could see. I finished what I was typing and hit enter.
I searched around for something I could use as an improvised weapon, and found a pair of scissors in my stationery cup. I picked them up, the metal cold and smooth in my hand as I slid from my office chair and moved toward the bed. I couldn’t see what was beside the bed on the far side of the covers, so I cautiously skirted around the bed. I was expecting someone – or something – but a shock ran through me when I saw no one was there.
I took a step back, tilting my head to try and see under the bed. I knew I’d need to get down low, and it would put me at a disadvantage if something was there. I decided it was better to call out.
“I know you’re there. Come out from under the bed!”
I wondered if I’d regret asking, but I didn’t need to think on it for long.
I heard a puff of breath, like a man’s or even perhaps an animal’s, originating from under the bed. That’s when I knew it was there. I backed away toward the computer, the scissors still clutched in my hand, and I prayed my phone was where I’d left it earlier on the desk. I wasn’t sure I’d reach my husband easily, but Louise was already on the computer: right there, yet so far away.
I saw a prompt from Louise.
‘Honey, are you there?’
My phone was nearby and I stuffed it into my pocket, and then typed a response to Louise as quickly and quietly as I could. “Call 911 and tell them to come to my house. Someone’s got in.”
I heard another ripping sound from under the bed. It seemed like someone was taunting me, trying to mess with my head. It made me wonder if James might be behind a cruel prank, but he wasn’t here and it wasn’t his style.
My bed lifted up off the floor and tipped over sideways. The blankets fell in front of it, but I couldn’t see who was behind it – or what. I wondered how they’d got in without me noticing.
“Oh hell no,” I exclaimed aloud and ran for the door.
I pulled at the handle and it didn’t open! That’s when I realised I’d locked it. I flipped the latch, and pulled the door back, pushing past it out into the hallway. As I did so, I saw it… or something move from the room to the hallway, like a shadow without substance. It was big, shapeless and it felt mean – like dark vibes were rolling off it, even though it never said a word.
As I ran down the hallway – scissors still in hand, I felt it following me, and I saw dark, disturbing flickers out of the corner of my eye, as though it jumped from one shadow to the next in the recesses of every room and corridor I ran through. I didn’t stop to look more closely.
I dashed down the wooden stairs, and felt my bare feet go out from under me before I came crashing down and hit the stairs hard, and then the carpeted floor. It knocked the breath from my lungs and the scissors from my hand, and I lay there panting as I gathered my wits about me. My ankle throbbed and I guessed I’d sprained it. There wasn’t time to let it stop me. I had to keep going. I wasn’t going to die because of a sprained ankle, as long as I had the choice!
Glancing up at the stairs, I saw a tall shadow looming high above me, a piece of paper in its clawed hands. It was larger than a man, but now possessed a vaguely-humanoid shape.
The paper didn’t look familiar – it had intricate markings on it, like simple shapes layered and entwined, hinting at some mystical purpose. The shadow seemed insubstantial, but as I watched, it tore the piece of paper in two. Rrriiiippppp.
I knew that if it could hurt the paper, then it could probably hurt me. That was likely why it was here and there was no one close-by to help me.
Then it struck me that there were more of them – pieces of paper, all with that same design in black ink. It seemed that someone must have photocopied them and strewn them around the house. Why? To attract this shadow beast?
I didn’t know what to do except run, so that’s what I did. I knew the shadow could move faster than me, but I had to try. A heartbeat passed, then two, and then I scrambled to my feet and ran for the front door.
I didn’t know if it could follow me outside, but at least out there I stood more of a chance.
Behind me, as I tried to frantically escape, I heard raspy words.
“I was sent for youuuuuu.”
It caught up with me fast. I felt it grab me, and clawed hands wrap around me as I desperately grasped the door handle and tried to pull it open. Its hands were transparent like shadow, but its claws cut into my skin, and it tried to drag me back as I fought to hold on.
“No,” I screamed, in one last effort to get away. “I’m sending you after the one who did this. I know nothing of this – they’re the guilty one.”
I didn’t know if it would work, but I saw a piece of paper crumpled on a side table nearby. It had the same design as the pages the monster had been tearing. With my free hand, I grabbed the page and pushed it toward the monster that held me.
“Find them!” I beseeched it, and then to my surprise, the shadow-creature took the page from me and promptly disappeared.
I found myself seemingly alone, with the big, empty, paper-strewn house around me. The throbbing of my ankle became more insistent, and so did my fear. Once I got outside, I cried, wondering who would do this to me – if someone had set this dark creature on me. What would happen now? Would it really go after them, or did they have control of it? Would it return seeking my blood, or worse, my soul?
Tears fell as I phoned my husband, and he promised he’d come back as soon as he could. He told me to get in the car and drive. I wouldn’t return to the house for the keys, but I managed to hotwire it. I don’t know how long I drove for – the roads were empty this time of the night, but I eventually found a pub and there I stayed until dawn, surrounded by people I didn’t know, so if the monster returned I wouldn’t be alone.
I didn’t learn more until a week later. I never had the chance to speak with Louise again, and there was no record of her calling 911 to help me. I returned to the chat site where we’d talked, and that was where I found out that she’d died. The authorities in Virginia were considering it an occult murder, as she was found with a crumpled page on her body, torn in two, while her home held the stumps of hundreds of burned candles.
My husband later confessed that they’d known each other – she’d once been his mistress, who wouldn’t take no for an answer. Now she had an answer of her own. That was the day I walked away.
Happy Halloween everyone!