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Echoes.

By FaelanGrimm All Rights Reserved ©

Thriller / Horror

Untitled Chapter

I had to do it. This was the only way. The police weren’t going to do anything about Mae’s disappearance. Everyone else was just as aloof and annoyingly uninformative. It had been a month since she walked into thin air and there was nothing being done about it. Okay, so I might have lost my mind. Wouldn’t you? It wasn’t like she took her own life, or she walked out in front of a bus or some natural occurrence like that. She was abducted by darkness, and smothered by anonymous hands. I’m not being irrational. I know her. I knew her…she isn’t alive I’m not that stupid. But I do know that her death was no accident. It was murder.
“We have to give up,” they said.
“It’s been too long; this is a cold case.” They told me. All of them. I’m not crazy, they’re crazy! How could they just stand there and talk about her like that? How could people just shake their heads with no more than a tired nod of sympathy? How do they think putting their cold, flat hand on my shoulder will take away an ounce of this pain?
“It will be okay…” they promise. Their words whisper to me in the autumn wind. Their meaning seems heartfelt but the second I turn to them, the chill tousles my hair and races down my back kicking me while I’m down.
“I’m sure you are just having a hard time…” they coax, they coo. They do everything they can to wipe her existence away. They think that sweeping the memory away will clear the wounds. That’s probably what they have been taught to do. They think that two years’ time can just be clotted, and then amputated from me. I’m not like them.
“Just get over her…” they scolded me. Evidently I was searching too hard, trying for too long. So they found me under a tree once or twice having fallen asleep in the park where it all happened. That doesn’t mean I should give up now.
“She would want you to move on…”they say with their faces stripped of all patience, pity in its stead. Yes, I do believe that she would want me to move on too. But I can’t. Not until her killer is put to justice. If I have to do that, then so be it.

That was my frame of mind when I trespassed…there. Had I been in any form that would be considered of sound mind I probably would not have jumped the front gate, let alone proceeded across the lawn and up to the decrepit debris.

I saw her! She was there! I could see her, feel her hell I could smell the light scent of her hair. It was her. I was finishing my usual lap around her park and she appeared beside my car. It was tough to keep up, but I followed her cues, I obeyed her call. And she had stopped here, at this broken down hospital. No other buildings were in this forgotten place just a dense woods blocking a wide open country sky. I tried asking her why she led me to this godforsaken place. She sighed my name, bowed her head and walked through the gate into the breeze. She wanted me to be here. Right here. At this hospital. It was nowhere near where she was taken, nor was it anywhere near…well, anywhere. There was a bit of construction being done to liven up the place. The evidence of that was lying everywhere. Along with whatever happened to cause them to leave so abruptly that all of the equipment and doors were left unattended and bloodied.

She led me here…no, her spirit did. I was sure of it. I was sure that she was leading me to a clue that would end my sleepless search for justice. This place fit the description of seedy evil hideout, and I thought perhaps her killer was there. He was not, however, with whom I had the displeasure of meeting. No. I think I will see him in another hell entirely.

 I didn’t think. All there was time to think of was how I was not to get caught entering and that I had to be sure to catch all of this on tape. I barely was aware that I darted through the fence across the property and up the scaffolding until I came face to face with my way in: the window

As would be expected, there was no light. The dark was consuming; so much so that it was dizzying to peer into at first. There was no source of light to create fragmented shadows so all of the silhouettes and vague shapes in the room blended together in morbid blobs. I had stuck a flashlight in my back pocket, thank God. Still as I fished it out and flipped the tiny spotlight on…that was when a true feeling of discomfort settled on me. The beam of light seeped into the thick walls of dark. It illuminated the faint outline of the inside window pane and what looked like the corner of an old desk. Dust flew in and out of vision as well as in and out of my lungs which only emphasized how dilapidated and run down the interior was. I even tried sticking my head further into the half sized entrance. My senses were assaulted with wood shavings textures and smells of rotted moldy basement, but otherwise within lay concealed and just out of the light’s reach. Gagging, I switched off the flashlight and pocketed it. Instead, I raised my camcorder and peered through the lens. Though the screen flickered and twitched, and the backdrop was set to nightvision greenish blurs at least I did have some vague understanding of what each room would consist of. My glimpse promised me a spacious office complete with writing desk, two chairs and a bed. Simple enough.

I shimmied in face first so I was capturing every moment. I was met with a deep penetrating silence and a mouthful of the stench of decaying flesh. The smell didn’t make me gag. What threw me back was the realization that the sentient darkness was hiding the remains of…what could only be described as a massacre. The white washed walls were spattered with blood and other gore. Up to the ceiling’s corners and across to the open door the wood and plaster was ensanguined with some unknown victim, and the papers and scratches along the panel told the story of a life and death struggle. I saw it, felt it, smelled it…I recorded every bit of it…and I can scarcely believe it myself. Riding on pure curiosity I rose to my feet and walked the length of the streaks of crimson deeper into the yawning doorway.

The silence was crushing. It was almost as obnoxious as it was unnerving to only be able to hear the sounds of my own haggard panting. I struggled to hold the camera upright and still to capture perfect frames. The overwhelming discomfort of the looming pitch ahead was enough to send any sane man home to recover his wits…I’m not sure how I was able to take those first shaky baby steps into the crime scene but I do recall all too well the halls.

Gaping portals of shadow spilled from the epitome of seclusion and it grinned at me through the shutter of my only security. A darkness within a darkness…like the solitary cement hole in the deepest circle of hell…and as it stretched on and on it created a nauseating abyss. Shaking now, I raised my camcorder back up to my eyes. To my relief the greens and greys painted a better picture with structure and shape. This hall branched off into similar halls, all monochromatically painted, all reflective tiles reflecting the smears of sanguine splotches and burnt traces of human faces and hands. These halls I could see, used to be littered with fluorescent panels of light but with the empty corridors echoing back my footsteps it only added to how absent any and all light truly was. I trudged past, carefully analyzing each door I came across; each door leading into a room with a more grisly devastation than the last. As much as I wanted to swear out loud at the ungodly amount of gore something told me to not stir these sleepy dark tunnels. I kept my mouth shut and eyes unblinking and alert.

All this time, I had a feeling I was not alone in this sad, unfinished story setting. At some point or another I could have sworn I heard another set of footsteps making their way across the blood almost as cautiously as I had been. It was just a feeling, a passing worry I had hoped. Then I was certain I heard it.

It wasn’t a recognizable foot pattern. It was a dragging, scraping sound. A shuffling thud maneuvering clumsily and without pace or constant direction. It was headed straight for me. 

 I froze. Really, what was I supposed to do? There were places to hide, there was a long hallway to run but fear locked my knees and forced my eyes to open wide. Shaking, I held my camcorder up. The image was blurry but I could clearly see the outline of a human…or what could have been part of a human. I’m not entirely sure what I expected to see. I suppose I merely wanted to have some reassurance that this queasy upstart going on in the pit of my stomach was nothing but a child’s fear of the closet monster. I wanted to believe that there was no boogey man hidden in the grinning blackness. I wanted to know that there was no danger lurking just outside of my vision. Most unfortunate for me, but there was. There was most definitely something hidden just beyond the dim reaches of light; something crouching in the pools of this darkest night. The tiny hairs on my arms and neck began to rise and I felt my eyes dilate to full. I struggled to comprehend what I was seeing. The simplest way of saying it was that it had no face, and that it was not a human being. But that would not be completely truthful if I leave it at that. What I saw…what I was seeing moving towards me used to be a human. Though one of her breasts was punctured and missing several flecks of skin, it was apparent to me that she was a young woman. More than half of her left arm was missing and the rest of it was hanging limply at her side. Her left leg was pigeon toed, to the point of broken, and her right was twisted the other way dragging along uselessly for pitifully slow movement. Her one good arm was blood stained and reaching outwards groping at the empty spaces of air in front of her. As she neared ten feet of me I stifled my need to gag audibly. There was a hideous odor about her. I cannot possibly find words that would correctly depict the stench. It was calcium, iron and carcass with a lingering dusty mildew that stung at the eyes and nose with such a force my eyelids watered and twitched. Yet it was not the smell, nor her odd shuffling that greyed the tips of my hairs. My screen blinked and whirred trying almost as hard as I to focus on the broken figure ambling along. When it came into focus I did actually let slip a cry of horror. This woman…whatever she used to be…no longer had any distinguishing traits. Her entire face was gone. From the frontal lobe of her skull to the pointed mandible, her flesh and bone fragmented along the edges of a hollow hole. Not a single trace of flesh nor cartilage remained where her facial features should have been. All that was present was the back of her skull and scalp freshly carved out like a pumpkin or hollowed face mask. Over her missing face and fingernails was cobwebbing and dirty flecks of dust. Her body, still intact torso, abdomen and below gave off a bone chilling intake of air…that never seemed to end. Like the lungs were attempting to desperately fill, and the act was futilely never ending, she choked dryly and softly as her hand still reached ever outwards.

The sound of her desperate pleas broke the spell on my legs. I took to my heels and hauled ass in the opposite direction of her moaning. Using the thermo lighting on my camera I made my way through room after room. Dizzyingly, all of them looked remotely the same; Blood spattered beds thrown roughly against crumbling walls. Disturbing symbols and words were scrawled along the walls but I could not get a good look at them as the black lines ran and bled as much as the crimson streaks beside them. Running across the floors proved to be difficult especially since I was sprinting on my toes. There was almost no visibility and the knocked over cabinets, shelves and overturned observation carts were nearly impossible to avoid. I leapt over the helter skelter metal, scraping my legs in the process and skid across the splintering wood and slippery tiles until I had at last come to a restroom, indicated by the sign and the lack of doors. Colliding into the separation of cement I stepped into a pool of fresh blood. I strained to get ahold of myself, tried to stand upright but dark spots danced before my eyes, the smell of mold and iron assaulted my nostrils, my head throbbed and I bent over retching. 
WHAT was that? I’m not sure I will ever know. The more I wrapped my head around how it moved, how it walked, how it made that sound…the more the need to vomit rose again. I tried not to dwell on the fact I was standing in gore, either.

Depleated, I wiped my mouth and breathed to clear my conscious. Between breaths and heartbeats I heard another sound. Someone was coming around the cement divider. The pool of blood squelched, dripped and splashed. I turned round too late. Another dusty carcass approached me from behind. This corpse was destroyed in a similar torment as the girl only this one had both arms and he had some of his face. His one green eye had a foggy film over it and whatever flesh he had was flecking off into the bottom of his chin. Some of his teeth jutted out from behind his torn lips but there was no tongue. The other eye had been gouged out and most of the bridge of his nose was missing. Blood no longer streamed from his open sores but I had a clear view of the muscle tissue still twitching and jerking from the loss of the innards. I had turned into his outstretched hand and it grasped my coat collar tightly. Constricting around the fabric of my jacket it lifted upwards, making a louder heaving sound than before. The jaw dropped and hung loosely ajar; the last traces of breath fogging my camera lens. I pulled back freeing one of the coat lapels. The hand fisted my other collar and yanked me closer to its rotting hole. I scrambled back tearing at my clothes and screaming hoarsely aiming my camcorder at the assailant and my flailing arm. Off, off I wanted this thing off of me! I bolted in reverse, thrashing while throwing my fist foreward to push on the side of his head. My hand’s pressure was enough to collapse the right side of his skull, my palm broke through as easy as ancient drywall. The skull cracked, the skin peeled and it all felt ashen and grainy on my sleeve. I recoiled in shock and wailed on the crook of his elbow forcing him to walk backwards with me. The elbow bent the opposite way like paper skin over glass bone. Still, he clung on making that same desperate choking sound. His one green eye rolled round in its socket. Panic stricken I cranked back my arm and repeatedly punched the parts of his face still there. His face fractured and crumpled, imploding in on itself but the hand still clutched me. My scream became a roar of determination and I ran him out of the lavatory across the hall and into an office door adjacent where we stood. In this new room, I sized the attacker with the doorway and rammed him thrice with the wood door. Each hit was precise and some of his face and teeth chipped off but still he held firm. Dropping my cam I grasped the door with both hands and slammed it even harder, hard as I could into his temple. Over and over I beat him savagely until his hold let me loose. Still full of adrenaline I shoved him back and slammed the door crease right onto his arm. His moans became a shriek and his arm lopped off crunching like dried noodles and straw. On the opposite  side of the door he pummeled the wood cursing at me in his otherworldly gasping. My heart raced as he burst through the door sending its solid frame into shattered bits. More slowly than before he walked to me. He reached out at me with both his grasping hand and his rolling puke green eye. Not knowing what else to do, I grabbed the nearest object- a shelf filled with medical compendiums- and threw it over. It toppled, raining textbooks and sharpened pencils down on him. For a moment I celebrated. My attacker was buried beneath the rubble unable to move. I snatched up my cam and hastily recorded the sideways shelf.

My screen faltered buzzing and snowy for a moment before settling on the debris. It hadn’t even been a moment since I had collapsed him, yet the pile of rubble stirred. The papers flapped announcing the scuffle of him trying to dig his way back out and back to me. Quickly I made a mad dash further back into the room hoping he could not see me as I ducked behind an overturned desk and hid. Sizeable enough it covered me head to foot without too much discomfort and I was even lucky enough to have a small crevice just enough that I could see the office door and hall before me. I perched my camcorder beside the hole and watched. The figure managed to free himself most of the way from the wreckage. Moaning louder his uncovered arm whipped about searching the room for my coat collar. Within seconds he was completely uncovered and pulling his body across the carpet floor to my desk. Behind my fortress I grabbed my knees and clamped a hand over my mouth to still my breathing. He was coming closer. Closer… His moaning was at its loudest now, dry and raspy as his hands raked at nothing. Closer. Closer still.

I was afraid that his encounter with me had alerted all of the other sentient faceless corpses, but the truth was far more severe. The truth was his ruckus had alerted something. But this something was not another faceless dragging carcass.

From around the corner alongside the doorframe the sound of a clicking chattering like when teeth clack together could distinctly be heard. Flattening myself against the side of the inner desk I pushed my cam as far into the crack as it could go and zoomed the lens on the doorway. Into the light of the recording stepped a nightmare too horrible to imagine; too horrific to simply invent. I saw its face first. It had the face of a lifeless doll, with wide, large rounded eyes and a flat horizontal line for an implied mouth. The nose was sharp and tinier than possible and the cheeks were carved and hollow. Woodenly, the puppet like face fixated on the one expression unmoving though the clicking creaking sound was coming assuredly from the marble white features. In perfect contrast to the leering dolls’ face the body beneath it contorted and convulsed for movement. Each appendage snapped and cracked as it fidgeted. Two arms and two legs, both arthritic and disjointed at the fingers and toes scraped at the flooring as the rest of the seven foot stature of the creature slid in. At the end of the double elbowed hands sat three much too long fingers at the ends of much too skinny palms that were curved like the arches of a foot. He was not clothed but had no anatomically correct genitals or definitive shape for that matter. He walked with a hunch and his flesh was one large piece of cartilage like plasma that stretched against the rubbing of his bones whenever he moved his neck. His head rotated to and fro looking about, almost like a bird yet his balance on two legs was more like crawling on four. His rib cage pressed through his transparent abdomen and his legs were thinner than thin; spindly and crooked like an insect. He scuttled, but interestingly enough he never moved his body in any direction but forward. Face first the creature clicked and croaked tapping the walls and scratching at the broken door. The corpse seeming to have recognized the foul thing hobbled helplessly to the right, but it had already been spotted. Aggressively, the newcomer swiveled its neck in the direction of the fleeing body and charged. The cracking, creaking joints came together like a great well-oiled machine. Churning every which way the creature dashed at the retreat, its three fingered hands opening and spreading wide. The mouth of the face never moved, not once but it screamed. It screamed so high in pitch and reverberation that the noise ended in a screech that stabbed at my eardrums and chest. It caught up to its prey within five long strides and snatched it by its scalp. In one hand it held the squirming body by the back of its skull. It looked away at its other hand which was forming a cupping motion. It hovered there, analyzing its hand; sculpting it into the proper, perfect shape. I took a wide shot and expanded the view best I could, but it was difficult to get it all at once. In the millisecond it took for me to reposition the camera the creature struck at the corpse’s shrieking face. Using its three fingernails as scalpels the creature dug into the rest of its prey’s eye and nose pulling it free of the fragments of bone and tissue. Pulling in a downwards direction the monster scraped the flesh from the marrow and then plucked the marrow from the sides. With precision as a surgeon this creature burrowed his nails into the forehead and temples of the human and removed the features, bones, muscles, hair follicles, glands, enamel, epidermis and all. After one or two strokes against the eye the corpse ceased its struggling and lay limply. After five or six strokes the monster had a handful of human face, leaving a hollow half of a skull behind.

It growled with a croak like old door hinges as it examined its trophy. I wondered if it was going to feed on it? Throw it aside and devour the leftover bits of brain matter? The possibilities were endless.

My camcorder suddenly gave a series technical beeps* informing me that the battery was almost low. I slapped the siding of the case, smothered it in the folds of my coat, anything to shut it up and shut it off…but it was too late. The creature, still holding the man’s flesh stared right at me through the crack in the desk with those dead doll like eyes.

  Not even daring to breathe I locked eyes with the monster. I hoped, I prayed that this horror could not gaze back as I was. The predator made that clicking sound again. It stalked raptor like across the room, ambling right next to my desk. Tapping the desk with its taloned fingers it stood still but impatiently flexing all of its creaky appendages. My heart beat against my chest and in my throat. I dare not cry out, not breathe. Astonishingly it could not see me. At least, I do not think it able to see as with eyes. It followed movement, followed sound. I assumed that the clicking it made was some form of echolocation. It had to be…it must have been. Still, I was not going to gamble my life on it just yet. Smashing myself as far down to the floor as I could go I recorded in absolute silence.

Seemingly frustrated, the monster twisted and turned until its neck spun at a one hundred and eighty degrees. From there its head slithered, as if the collar bones and throat were one long slimy snake. It wound down and around its own chest and extended, advancing the head at least a foot in front of it without taking a single step. The head clicked but did not find what it was searching for. It swiveled, tossing its head the other direction and clicked. Again, it had not caught what ailed it. It took another step forward and this time, sent its head and snake neck out and around the bend of the desk without moving the torso. Slinking around the corner so that its face was directly next to me, it sniffed and snuffled the air. Something it smelled occurred to it because its face began to change. Rapidly, the doll face fell and melted downwards into a black jawless blur. In the camera lens I could see its new appearance reflected. Its eyes were gone, replaced with soulless, abyssal blackness and its mouth continued to stretch down, down, further down as another scream erupted from it.

Trembling, I shifted off my coat, one agonizingly slow move at a time. In my head, I counted to three. One for each tapping, creaking step it took closer to me. So close, I could smell the decay on its fingers and the transparent ooze from its hands. Two, for its scream that I would hear in the silence of the night for rest of existence…three.

I whipped my coat over the desk and out the office door as hard as I could. It took the bait.

Screeching in attack, the creature ambled out of the door still clutching the face in its arthritic hand.

I took the chance and ran the other way, praying it couldn’t hear my footsteps. As lightly as I could manage I darted from doorway to doorway, hall to hall. It was a miracle. It did not pursue and I did not come across another corpse. I ran until my lungs burned and my heart ached as it jumped in my stomach. I ran until my legs were rubbery and my face was drenched in a cold sweat. I ran as if Hell itself were fast on my heels, and it was. I could still hear the crunch of breaking skin that crumbled like sawdust. I could still smell the rotted groping victims and I could have sworn that the long necked monstrosity was there! Right there…just out of sight, just out of the reaches of light….Unable to go on anymore, I took a burning gulp of sulfuric air and turned into a nearby elevator. My mind kept trying to replay and explain what the slice of face meat was all about while my stomach threatened to empty again. My knees quaked, foretelling my imminent collapse. I needed water. I needed real air….I needed out.

This was all too much, far too fast. I wasn’t sure how I was to make my escape but I knew I had to make it. I was even in an elevator. I analyzed the assortment of buttons along the wall. They were still functional. The doors would pose as a problem. I couldn’t be sure if they would close just right. That shouldn’t be too much of an issue. How high up was I?

I tapped the control panel and tested the controls. The tiny coloured lights indicated I was only on the third or fourth floor. I didn’t recall ever climbing stairs but I had to admit it was certainly possible. At least I could tell that this elevator would work. Getting down from up here would be relatively easy. All I would have to do to get back to the ground level is to press the button for “first floor” or “basement”. Then the lift would take me down and I would have to find my way from there. I reached out and pushed the tiny glowing button labeled: “First floor.”

The lift registered the order. There was a terrible whimpering grinding sound coming from the gears, and it roared to life. I could feel the carpeted interior press against the soles of my feet as I was picked up and brought higher, and higher…Then the elevator pitched and whirred. The interior lights flashed and the lift dropped, plummeting down to the ground below.

*

I saw her again. She was walking towards me as if floating on air. Her delicate feet never touched the ground. Effortlessly she glided over to where I was. I stood confused and bewildered. I let her name fall from my lips and took a step to her. I reached for her, I wanted to touch her again, feel her again, I needed her. She was so magnetic to me, so hypnotizing. The pull to touch her was so alluring…almost infuriating. Almost. Yet she was just out of reach, always so tantalizingly in view but never tangible. This time, I was so close, I could feel it. Just a little more…my hand brushed a lock of her hair aside. Could it be? Could I really touch her this time? Could she touch me…I used the back of my hand to caress her cheek. The bone was soft as I remembered. The skin so light it’s hard to say if it was really her. but my heart knew what my head refused to believe. Her perfect lips parted then, to say some loving comment. I heard my name distinctly. Oh, how I wanted to embrace her so close and tight she couldn’t vanish! Not ever again! But still, there was this nagging in the back of my mind. Something I had to remember but couldn’t quite recall…something….something important. But what?

She said my name again. I was lost to her. I closed my eyes and sighed letting the strong smell of her wash over me. a tear slid down my face. I lifted my hand to wipe it away, but it was odd how much it hurt to do so. I flinched from the sudden pain and glanced at my hand. Was that blood?

My head began to swim. Blurring thoughts suddenly sharpened into startling focus. Where was I again? I could see the monster in my head again. There it was. Just out of the view crouching in the night but it was right behind her. It could have been! I pleaded with her, implored her to not be so reckless, that those things might attack her. That we needed to leave this place….fast. All my memory came back…all of it. And all I wanted then was to retreat. To run get out! Why wasn’t she understanding the severity here?! I pulled away, I yanked her arm to follow. Why was she so rooted to the spot? Then I looked at her….really looked. I really saw her face this time, the rotting corpse face with the falling jaw…always stretching ever down…her hand reached for me again, the hand made of the material that wasn’t skin and that would crumble and crack and crunch like dried noodles…

I tried to yank away in terror, my eyes flying back to her face that was screeching and screaming. Her hand shot up to my face, and dug her fingers deep into my ear. Digging, scraping she tore at my ear. I fought against her, I struggled, I strained but my efforts only pushed her further down my ear canal….a thick warm liquid filled my ears and my hearing was reduced to a loud humming that stung at me…it was so loud…

I forced my eyes open. There was blood coming from my ear. It was pouring, even. Frantically I sat up and scratched at my head. The humming in my ears was god awful. Sitting bolt upright I screamed, slashing and tearing at my inner ear, wiggling my pinkie and index finger as deep as I could to rid myself of the sound. More blood oozed from my wounds, until eventually a hard crusty piece fell from me with a tiny thud on the floor between my legs. I couldn’t contain my screams. A large spider with an endoskeleton as hard as a beetle plopped down and scuttled about the floor. It was covered in ear wax and blood. At my screams it skittered as far and as fast away from me as it could. Instinctively I slapped at it but missed as it slipped between the walls of the metallic siding.

I was lying on the floor of the elevator. The lights were flickering off and on spasmodically and I could smell faint wisps of smoke. How long had I been here? I tried to move my arm. The rush of stabbing pain from my wrist to stomach was jarring, almost as much as it hurt to move my face. That’s right. The lift collapsed. I must have fallen on my side and gotten knocked out. My camera? Where was my camera? I searched the floor with my outstretched arm patting around the area. At least here I was alone. Aside from the spider intrusion I didn’t see any other corpses or monstrosities. I did however, find my camera. The screen was cracked and the lens was out of alignment but otherwise it was intact. I observed it a little more closely, hoping I caught some of this nightmare on film at the very least. To my surprise, I could distinctly see initials carved lightly on the bottom of the camera base. P.A.

P.A. were not my initials. In fact I never carved my initials onto my camera. I checked it a little closer. Though the footage last made on this camcorder was most assuredly from this place the camera itself was not mine.

I think it was curiosity winning over my need for flight that decided my next moves. Part of me wanted to know who was here…why…and the rest of me demanded to know what they knew so I had some vague idea of what the hell was going on!

I got my answers, but I did not get any form of solace from them.

The video was choppy, poorly shot and most of the scenes were cut and hastily scrambled together like a technological collage. Still, the message was clear enough.

There was this guy, apparently his name was Percy. Percy A. Percy or Perry A. He was here with his extreme close ups and shaky hands along with three others. One was a woman, obviously infatuated with him. The other two were another couple, looking bored and apathetic to the ravings of Percy A. My hearing was obstructed by a loud screeing sound from the machine in my hands, but I strained enough and I caught a few words here and there. I definitely heard: “Proof of their existence” and “legend says that they will be stuck”. That part sounded important so I rewound it. I gathered a bit more from that. “not of this world” “immense power” some form of gibberish, and then thankfully he held up some kind of book. I pressed the pause button and analyzed it. It was a page with an archaic absurd type of hieroglyphs. Beneath that, P.A had translated in his hand written notes: “fae power could have the fabric of reality in terms of space and time completely to be altered. That is, to bend it purely by will.” “dangerous but we have the ancient notes to decipher from for taking extreme measures and extraordinary precautions.” From the looks he was getting over his shoulders, he was the only one who seemed to find merit in any of this. Hard to see how his ritual actually was set up but I was able to tell that it was a summoning type of bullshit. No Ouija board but just as ridiculous. Or was it? From the second they started his performance, something was stirring. Not even the two skeptics could deny that. 

The scenes were unclear as to where they shot all of this. My head ached from my ear throbbing. I couldn’t hear much. But I could see. I saw him with this shit eating grin sitting with two of the others with a black book and a circle of candles. I could see the looks on their cocky sophomoric faces go from a mocking skepticism to disbelieving horror as the dollish form of the face peeler slithered out of the wall behind them. The camera view flicked from that as it padded up to them to pages from an old book. Candle lit the orangey hue of the pages shown a vague sketch of the creature and several words were underlined. Always searching. Flesh. Identity thief. The great deceiver. Faerie evil. None of it made any sense.

I watched on, the silent helpless voyeur to their bodies being mangled, decimated and in some cases- vanish completely. I watched the friends all one by one lose their face to the same creature I had faced. It was…smaller in this frame, though that might have been the jostling of the camcorder in the hands of Percy A. Their blood easily coated the walls as it exploded from them, gushing onto the floors and spraying the walls to the ceiling. I believe now! My god save me! I don’t know how! Their lips were mouthing… The faerie thing pulled all of their faces off sure, but there was something it had already been doing. Its touch was…toxic. Their skin began to harden and lose its colour while dripping dust like old nicknacks. Their screams became more…complacent. No matter the blood loss, their lungs intestines and gust strewn along behind them and they remained stoic to the pain. As the colour left their skins, so had their will to care about it. With them so obedient and still the faerie ripped into them. Eventhe main character, even P.A. would soon fall prey to the beast… In the ending shots he had dropped this camera that which he used to cradle so fondly recording everything. From an angled view where he dropped it trying to hide in here in this very elevator I witnessed his death. Oddly enough, he seemed…happy to see it. He walked stiffly but longingly to the fae, his arm outstretched reaching with cheery watery eyes as his fingers dried and disintegrated into ashes. Half his arm gone, and he smiled, laughing even as he stumbled right up to the fae and gave himself up to the three waiting fingers gladly…then the camera went snowy and ended.

I’m not sure what I had been expecting. A better ending? With all of this blood, all of this pain, chaos and terror I was hoping I could have an answer, some kind of meaning to this that was remotely human. Something I could fight, kill maybe even escape with my life to tell about. But that is the scariest thing isn’t it…that was the scariest thing. I chucked the camera aside, smashing it into the wall from my fury, my frustration. I knew then, as I know now that I can never leave. I don’t think that it will let me. even if it had, and I did leave here…I don’t think I could ever again face the night alone. Not without hearing its screams and smelling its rancid face stealing three fingered hands…not without envisioning the blood warning me, the echoing shadows of naive Percy A. cautioning me to go away…

*
  The man on the camera sighed, fisting his hands in his hair. A thin line of blood trickled down his face from the top of his head suggesting a severe fracture to his skull. He grit his teeth but all the fire was lost from his eyes. It was as if, his retelling of his story had literally drained the last of him, like he was talking about the others had in the camera he had found. James cocked his head tipping the camcorder sideways in deep thought. Perhaps this camera is the one he was referring to? Curiosity outweighed his evidence collecting and he turned up the volume as high as it would go. It was a good thing too. Jase was lowering his voice into a gravelly undertone, lined with a combination of exhaustion and acceptance.

“…I know now what the black markings were, in the blood.” He continued, biting his lip.
“They said, “Go away” “Leave us to die in our mistakes” “I deserve this” “Beware” “Get out”…I ignored them. I thought they were human rantings, human ravings and human problems. I thought them as ordinary crimes, nothing but vandalization, or mass homicide/suicide. I chose not to see it, caught up in finding my answers. I needed to solve this unnecessary mystery…drawn with my own ethereal questions as P.A was. supernatural, cult or not I wanted justice, sought something mundane I could hold in my hands and crush…but this is an evil, I cannot hope to contain. A power too great for P.A to wield, an adversary much less corporeal than my own refusal to accept her death.” There was a loud banging off camera but Jase took no notice to it. James figured he couldn’t hear it. Still, Jase closed his eyes for what seemed like it was inevitable.  
“Even now as it melds together I wonder if she was truly ever real. I always knew I had been chasing a ghost. But perhaps she never was. Perhaps none of this ever was. Perhaps I have been here for all time, perished here in living so long ago that I am nothing but a self perpetuating memory only tied here from my need to prolong my own guilt and suffering. And maybe I was. Maybe I am, at this moment as I am. Perhaps not. I do have a voice, and I know that my voice has only a moment to convey this all.” Another banging was accompanied with a loud moan and the sound of cracking limbs. Jase opened his eyes and stared James directly in the eyes. He felt a ghostly shiver as he watched Jase’s final words. The camera flicked from snowy to out of signal to nightvision and back again but Jase’s last statements were louder than the rest of the tape, even though they were warped by the tape malfunctioning from a disturbance of electrical interference around it.  

“Though I cannot hear anything now, as you can see it has been severely ruptured.” He indicated his bloodied ear.
“I have a sense that he will be coming for me, next. Soon. He must have. Why else would he goad me on like this? Hanging her in front of me like a steak in front of a starving wolfish man?” he wiped a tear away showing his watch and exposed ripped, blood drenched hand. He ended up wiping his face and smearing it with blood.

“So, if these are my final moments, at least I am to remember that I died with her. I will wait, and she will come for me. Real or not…she will be real to me.” off camera, something caught his eyes. There was nothing there that James could see, though backing it frame by frame it looked like the shadow on the wall was a long neck stretching out far further than any neck ever should be able to do. Like a black slinky or a silhouetted tube it moved slowly but effortlessly up to his shadow.

“Oh, I thought you would never come. Here I am.” Jase said to no one. He placed the camera down and James watched him approach the stretched neck before the screen went fuzzy and the camera died.

“What are you staring at? Was it some kind of bloodbath?” the always too nosy reporter sneered, attempting to steal a glance at his find. He shielded it from the press’ ever present tape recorder and shrugged off his wonder.

“Ah, I’m not sure. Jase’s last testament. Perhaps it will reveal the killer. We don’t really know yet. Confidentiality and all. I’ll just…” he gave the camera an edgy look before pocketing it into his trench. “I’ll just get this over to evidence. Could be used as important intel.”

“You are so full of shit, Yzache’.” The nameless reporter snorted storming off.

“Good, or I’d never be doing this job right.” He took a long drag on his cigarette. This was the strangest thing he had ever come across. Atheist as he was, these kinds of things got to him. if that was the killer, then he went to some pretty extreme lengths…if it wasn’t then…what was that anyway?

Even in broad daylight this place was over the top scary as hell, ghost story or not. He decided it would be best to call it and have a lunch break.

“I’m sure Steve can cover me…” he hoped so. This was by far, too far. He was in a daze so deep he barely was conscious on his trip past the flashing cameras and blaring police lights to his car. He couldn’t get the sight of seeing Jase’s mangled faceless corpse lying facedown out of his mind. What was even more chilling than watching the footage he took just last night (if the forensics and criminalists teams were right) was the comment he couldn’t block out from the coroner.

“It’s just odd. With all of this blood there was some kind of genocide in here! But there was only one body. Come to think of it…he was showing no signs of physical trauma and no scars of defense which means he was just trying to get out…but why?”

A body of a kid dying to get out of a place he broke into, one body in place of tens worth in blood, cryptic messages? The kid’s convincing documentary about evil faeries was starting to add up a little too much. That was why he needed a break. Come on, faeries? He needed to get his head screwed back on before Genseon did it for his ass. He jammed the key into the ignition and sped off.

Before he could make a turn to leave, he had to slam on the breaks. Some poor little girl had waundered into traffic crossing the road. Her eyes were fixed on the crime scene of the old hospital. Try as he might, James couldn’t deny what he heard from his open window.

“But mommy! Can’t you see it? There’s someone in that window. He is saying hi. Can’t I go over and see?”

The mother didn’t give a single glance in the direction of the child’s pointing. Merely urged her along and out of the street as she signaled apologies to the other drivers.

James, overcome in all of this nonsense…took a chance. He turned, but saw nothing there.

No man in the window of the closed crime scene.

 No one waving back at the child, but still there she was as her mother pulled her along. She was yanking in the opposite direction, desperately waving at the window.

End.


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