These Halls

nFKjLkO “Aw mom! Do we really have to go to bed?” the small innocent voice of my daughter whined. Even at 5 years of age she loved to stay up late.

“Can you tell us just one more ghost story? Halloween is tomorrow!” older brother, age 10 chimed in. 

“Haven’t you two heard enough scary stories tonight?” I said in a playful, yet somewhat serious tone. “I don’t want you to have nightmares tonight.”

“But mom, we love your stories.” youngin’ from the middle, age 8 spoke up. “Your stories are the best stories in the whole entire world!” 

All three chimed in and said,”Pleeeeaaasssseeee???” Goodness gracious… it was hard for me to say no. I love my children to death, and I would do anything for them.

“Okay, how about I make a deal with you guys. Since tomorrow is Halloween, after you are done with trick or treating and carving pumpkins, how about we have a special scary story night?”

The eldest tilted his head and asked,”Special scary story night?” 

“Yes! I have one whopper of a story to share, and the best part is, it’s a TRUE story!”

All jaws dropped, followed with Ooos and Ahhs. “Really mom?? A TRUE story??” my littlest one asked.

“YUP! That’s right. It’s my scariest story yet. We can make popcorn, bake pumpkin seeds, eat trick or treat candy, and get set up in the living room! And… we can stay up as late.”

“Later than 8?” Middle child asked.

“Yes, later than 8 and later than 9.” As soon as I said that, they all started to giggle and jump up and down on the bed in me and my husband’s room. It looks like the staying up late part did the trick. I rarely ever let my kids stay up, nor do I let them sleep in unless if it’s on the weekends; even then its no later than 9 am.

“Ok, ok, alright guys. But, here’s the catch. If you go to bed asap, then we will make this a priority! Do we have a deal?” I stuck my hand out in a handshake gesture.

They hesitated at first, but then all three of them grabbed my hand at once and shook it as hard as their little arms could. “Deal!” 

“Group hug!!” All of us squished together in one big group hug. Dad comes waltzing in and taps the open bedroom door lightly. “Hey Daddy! Wanna join the group hug?” 

“Hey why not! Grrrrraaawwwrrrrrggggg!!” We plopped onto the bed and joined in on the hug. We were a very tight knit family, and my husband, John was a wonderful husband and an even better Dad. “Alright guys, you heard Mom, time for bed.”

“Okkkaaayyyy.” They all chimed in once again and ran back to their colorfully lit rooms. “Good night Mom! Good night Dad!” and just like that, lights were out, and they were out. 

“Ahh so I take it you could hear my latest proposition I made to them.” John crawled towards me, sat right next to me, kissed me, and put his arm around me. 

“Indeed I did.” I kissed his cheek as we cuddled with one another. “You weren’t going to tell the kids about THAT story, were you?” John’s serious tone concerned me just a bit.

“Yes, I was. I think it’s time that they knew.” I looked up at John, giving him an assuring look. I felt a knot developing in the pit of my stomach. 

“I’m not sure if it’s the best idea, but if it feels right to you honey, then go ahead and tell them.” John kissed me on the forehead. “How deep into detail are you going to go?”

“Not too much detail. Just the ‘juicy’ stuff I suppose. Like for example, how I got some of the scars on my face and hands.” I smiled. John laughed at this response. “I promise that it won’t go any farther than that.”

“Okay honey. I just want to make sure that you’re comfortable with this.” 

“I am! What could possibly go wrong by telling the kids a good ghost story from the past?” As soon as I said that, the knot in my stomach continued to grow tighter. I felt a sense of regret and terror trickling up my spine. They need to know the truth eventually. I can save the more gruesome details for another time… yes, perhaps when they are older… tomorrow is going to be interesting.

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The Grove pt. ……

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June 16th 2016- ….

I hear and see the same things every day. Dark gray sky. Gray lake next to a large gray window. Everything is black, white, and gray. I have become permanently colorblind. 

I’m all alone here. I hate this place. I want to go home.

I miss my husband. I miss my family. They tell me that I don’t have a family. The white coats tell me that my family died a long time ago. The white coats tell me that I never had a husband. They tell me that I never went to college, never graduated from high school, never left home. 

They do terrible things to me. They told me that I killed my family. They tell me that I’m evil. They tell me I have killed more than 10 people. They keep me seated at all times, sometimes strapped down. They give me tasteless food…. I fall asleep every time I eat. I’m given three shots a day, loads of pills everyday… I’ve lost track of how many. Sometimes they hit me or force me to sit down in a corner on the floor if I don’t do exactly what they say. Sometimes they strap me down for hours and have me watch weird videos or listen to weird things… screaming and the sound of nails on metal…

scrape. scrape. scrape. shriek…. more scraping… shreik… T-they aren’t human.

They scare me. Their eyes glow unnaturally. They are pale and have long, black stringy hair. They all look the same to me. They aren’t human. They aren’t huummmmm-…..

I’m going to die here alone. I can’t tt-akke it. I…. ne.. ed to fin… a. way… out- (the rest is intelligible scribbles)

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Who decided that this was a good idea: Call Joey Immediately

3ab7c99ce1a32b4c5c78a2e62eb9cea3 It felt amazing to feel the autumn sun on my skin as I got out of bed and stretched. But, I really needed answers. Why am I so sore? How did I end up here the way I am? Why am I bandaged up? I had a list of questions that went on and on in my head….

I immediately picked up my phone and dialed for Joey. He picked up immediately, thank god. “Hey Mikey! How are you feeling man?”

“I feel like I got hit by a bus.”

“Oh yeah… I bet you do!” Joey nervously laughed.

“Errmm- I mean I’m really really hurting man. What the fuck happened last night?” I said impatiently.

We got into a car accident last night, man. There was a raccoon or coyote or something that ran straight across in front of the car and I swerved and hit a tree. It was really, really bad. Jen, Nick, and Jeff got a little bit of a beating, but you got the brunt of it. You We all had to go to the hospital last night. Even I got some scratches and what not.” I could tell that Joey was trying his best to sound calm, even though I could just barely hear how anxious he was by the tone of his voice. “I’m so so so sorry Mikey! I never ever meant for any of this to happen.” He said in a strangled whisper that turned into gentle sobs. 

“Joey, hey hey, don’t worry about it! We can talk more about this after school if you want. Maybe grab some dinner or have a cup of coffee?” 

“Are you sure you’re going to feel up to meeting up?” still gently sobbing.

“I’m pretty sore man, but I’m not dead!” I exclaimed, feeling a hint of worry rise up in my voice. My whole body felt as stiff as a board, heavy as lead, and throbbing like tiny pins and needles pulsating through my whole body. 

“Okay,” He sniffled. “One of my classes was cancelled today, I can grab some stuff and bring it home, is that okay? Jeff, Sandra, Nick, and Jen were going to meet up at Nick’s place later on. We were going to order pizza and play some games on his Xbox. Did you want to come along then too? Only if you feel up to it. The doctor left behind some specific instructions on what you can and cannot do. I left it on your dresser before I headed out for class.” I paused for a second and looked around my room to find the papers.

“Ah, okay I see them.” I glanced over them for a bit, some of the instructions seemed a little off… At first my vision blurred for a bit before I could see the list: Michael A. Johnson, age 21, height 6′ 1”, weight 176 lbs, diagnosis minor concussion with bruising of the ribs, spine, and collar-bone. Care instructions 8-9 weeks of bedrest, laying flat on stomach with little to no lighting. Keep all windows shut at all time and take 4 vicodin in the morning, evening, afternoon, and mid-twilight, never leave the house alone ever again, keep note that they are always watching you Mikey…. My heart began to race. “How come I don’t remember going to the hospital?”

“You were knocked out when we took you in. The doctor said that you had a slight concussion, a couple bruised ribs, and you sprained some of the tendons, shit I can’t remember what they were called, in your knees and elbows. Thankfully it wasn’t anything worse than that. We all thought you were a goner…” He sniffled once again. 

Everything began to turn black and white… I felt like I was going to be sick. My head started to become fuzzy and I began to lose balance. “Mike, are you okay? Hello?” 

The voices began to speak to me… gentle whispers turned into demonic screams and laughter. Random words were screamed out like “Run!”, “Die!”, “Fuck!”, “Blood!” “Disembowel!”, “Jennifer!”, “asphyxiation!”, “Nick” , “Jarring”, “Joey!” “Devil!” “Demon!” 

“Mike?” His voice started to sound deeper with each word he spoke. “Mikey? Hello? Are you there? Are you okay?” I felt a cold chill touch my left cheek as a voice quickly whispered, “I’ll kill you.” Into my ear… I vomited black and dark red putrid liquid then fell into static… silence came after the screams…

Move onto part 2…

or

Start at the beginning…

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Who Decided that this was a good idea: Stay in the Car and Wait for the Authorities

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I really don’t know what else to do but stay in the car, especially with everything that I had just been through. I’d be putting myself in more danger if I were to venture out with that THING being out there… I just hope the authorities come fast enough so we can get the hell out of this damn fog. Dear god… did I really see that thing? Was that even real?

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15 minutes later a see a set of red and blue lights… thank god. Not one, but two cop cars appeared. I felt a great sense of relief flow through my body. A couple of the cops walked up to the car and came right along the driver’s side. Both of them seemed to be relatively young, one had short black hair with a fohawk, basic ribands sunglasses (god only knows why he was wearing sunglasses when its foggy outside), and a basic tan and black uniform. He was pretty thin and gangly, and white washed, but hell I didn’t challenge his capabilities. The other officer was much larger in stature than the other officer, he was slightly tanned, had a gold and silver sheriff badge on, slightly longer hair than the other officer, and he too was wearing sunglasses.

The officer knocked on my window and I rolled down my window and the offer slightly leaned in. “My name is sheriff Shirley, now what’s going on here?”

I took a deep breath and a rush of pure dread and panic shot through me; I couldn’t breathe! I tried to speak but the words wouldn’t come out! “Hey, unlock the door! Come on son, stay with me, stay with me…” Everything around me tingled and burned. I felt a sharp pain on my right hand side towards my lower waist. My vision started to go blurry, with my peripheral vision going black and everything else going fuzzy. I felt myself going limp as I fought to hang on to consciousness. “No, no, no, no! Hey, come on stay with me!”

The officer reached his hand through the window, unlocked the car, and held me upright. “Stan w- n–d back- imm–! Call an ambu–! His pulse i- weak. We’re lo– -im!”

After that, everything went to grey static. I felt someone or something putting me in a headlock… it felt so slimy… clammy… bony too… and I… couldn’t…. breathe.

Move on to part 2

or

Start at the very beginning

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Who decided that this was a good idea: Go after Joey- DEAD END

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Alright, enough is enough! I decided to go after Joey, I’m his closest friend. I knew deep in my gut that something was wrong and I had to make things right regardless of how tired I was.

“Joey! Where are you bro?! Joey!!” I yelled as I ran down the concrete path that went past the parking lot. I didn’t care how much of a racket I was making, I needed to find Joey. I paused for a moment and tried to call his parents, but all I could hear was static and a busy signal. I tried calling two or three times where the last time I called I heard a “Ha” on the line. The childlike voice spooked me and caused me to almost drop my phone. I hastily put my phone away and I made a left and ran down an arched pathway which lead to the library. The shadows that the ivy covered gave off in the moonlight looked like long gangly hands with serrated claws. I saw a person walk straight into the large wooden and stained glass library doors. “Joey?” I ran after the figure that stepped in.

Thankfully our library was open 24/7 which was excellent for anyone who needed to pull an all nighter. It was deserted when I came in. Not a single student or late night staff member in sight. “How am I going to find Joey in this massive five-story library?” I thought to myself. Each floor held rows upon rows of books, study areas, computers and copiers, small sound proof conference rooms, and some floors had a cafe area where coffee and food was sold 24/7. Everything was oddly neat. The light tan carpet was oddly clean, everything smelled like pine and lemon sceneted disinfectant. All of the tables and computer areas were spotless, and it was unnaturally quiet. The lights were slightly dimmed and lightly flickered which made it feel even weirder. “PSSTTT!! I’m over here Mike!” I heard a voice that sounded just like Joey’s and I started to feel a sense of relief.

“Joey, where are you?” I turned around and saw him standing by an elevator that sat to my right side. He seemed so off; his cheeks and eyes looked wet and puffy, like as if he was crying, but he still tried to force a smile upon his face. However, his eyes were dialated and the color on his skin other than his face seemed to be flushed. “Hey man, I’ve been worried! Are you alright?”

“Come with me Mike.” He gestured me to follow him into the elevator. For whatever reason, I felt a sinking feeling within my stomach and chest. It wasn’t over…

“Now, you’re my best friend, you know this right?” Joey asked as he put his right hand on my shoulder.

“Joey, what’s going on? Where are we going?” He looked at the button selection on the elevator as the doors slowly closed. He selected the basement option, which I thought was strange because noone was allowed to go into the basement with the exception of staff members.

“Dude, why are we going to the basement? We’re not supp-”

“I just have to show something to you real quick, trust me!”

“I do trust you but I-” The elevator door squeaked and gently slid open. It was absolutely pitch black and the only source of light was from the elevator. Joey pulled me into the dark room and held me by the neck. He had what felt like superhuman strength! I couldn’t move a single muscle; I felt paralyzed in his grasp. “Joey please, let me go.”

“No. Why should I anyway?” He said calmly and quietly, almost in a whispered tone. “We’ve literally been friends forever man. I’ve been meaning to show this to you for so long now! I haven’t showed this to anyone else because I don’t trust this with anyone else. Unfortunately, my little surprise managed to get out and I had to go get it back here. I love you Mikey, you are my bestest friend! A long lost brother I’ve never had!” He began to laugh maniacally and his grasp tightened on my neck. I felt myself being lifted off the ground as his laugh grew louder and louder.

A pair of glowing red eyes opened up in the darkness and before I could scream, everything went numb.

BAD ENDING

Start from the very beginning

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Confession #4

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“I have had many days where I don’t want to do anything but to eat and sleep. These days of not wanting to get out of bed only occurs in patterns. It wasn’t always like this though, I used to feel like I couldn’t get out of bed nearly 24/7. I am proud to say that this conundrum has improved greatly over time. However, the thing is I STILL have days where I can’t get out of bed. What happens is I end up having so many ideas on all of these things I want and need to do. I pep-talk myself to get up and go do stuff… but there are some days where it just does not work no matter what I do. I’m not ashamed to admit it that I have those days and I know deep down in my heart and soul that I’m not the only one who is struggling with this. I give much love and light to those who are struggling to this very day.”


Please don’t try to do this alone; you don’t have to. You are loved, you are needed, and there is always something to live for. ❤

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Confession #3

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“I am a major, major, major chocolate addict. I know that might not be an out of the ordinary confession for many, many people have sweet teeth and chocolate addictions. However… I decided to take it into my own hands to turn the OCD stigma into something positive in my eyes. OCD in reality means Obviously Chocolate is Delicious!!! So, remember that OCD has it’s own definition! (P.S. I am munching on some chocolate while writing this lovely post!”

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I’m on Patreon and Paypal! Any kind of support that is offered is greatly appreciated. 

If you have any questions, comments, or concerns, feel free to contact me at ASnowpasta@gmail.com.