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 pt 2

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A sudden flash of light overwhelmed my senses as my eyes shot open. I was on the floor and I could see everyone in my room, standing over me, staring at me.

“Hey, easy there man. I really think we need to get you to the hospital.” Nick said as he nealt down next to me.

“Wait, wh- a happ-” I tried to speak but words would not come out.

“We had a minor accident, thank you to mister fucktard over here and you took a really big hit to the head.” Sandra said impatiently.

“I’m not a fuck-“

“Look Joey, you got so caught up in your story to the point where you weren’t even paying attention to where the fuck you were going!” Sandra yelled.

“It was just an accident! I didn’t mean it! It wasn’t my-” Joey yelled and waved his arms in the air for a brief moment. The arguing between Joey, Sandra, Jeff, and everyone else was starting to get to my head. I started to feel myself nodd off again.

“Look! It doesn’t matter who’s fault it was or why it happened. It happened and its obvious that we need to take Mikey to a doctor. Hey… stay with me buddy. Stay with me.”

My eyes shot open again. This time I was at the hospital with Joey and my parents. I guess everyone else was in the waiting room.

“Where am I?” I groaned as I stretched my arms and legs out. I was in a twin size hospital bed.

“You’re in the hospital sweetie.” My mom said as she was holding my arm tightly. “The doctor said that you sustained a mild concussion during the accident. But you should be okay within a matter of a few months.”

“You took quite a big hit to your head Mike! From what your friends told me is when Joey ran into the tree, you bonked your head on the dashboard. But, I think you should be okay. It might take up to 6-8 weeks, maybe up to a few months before this goes away. Concussions take a while to recover from so please be patient with your body. I would avoid doing any rigorous activities for a little while and rest. I have prescribed some pain medications for pain. Don’t hesitate to come back in if symptoms worsen or if you have any new symptoms.” The lovely five foot, blonde haired, and blue eyed doctor in lavender scrubs started to walk away, but then I thought of something.

“Wait doctor! Before you go, I have one question.”

She turned back around and said, “Yes! Go ahead Mike.”

“What about weird dreams or hallucinations?”

“Those really depend on the kind of the concussion you have as well as location and severity. I don’t expect you to have any hallucinations while recovering from this. If you start to get hallucinations, then please feel free to come back in.”

“I just had to ask because I know I saw some weird stuff, but I don’t quite remember what it was.”

The doctor walked up to me and gently put her had on my shoulder and said, “You know what Mikey, I wouldn’t worry too much about it! You took a hard hit to the head, but you are perfectly healthy otherwise. I think you’ll be just fine.”

I smiled and nodded. I laid back in the bed and sighed. I felt relieved to know that this whole nightmare was finally over. I was discharged the next day. Joey paid for the damage done to my car, and all is well! We still go to the same bar, drink the same drinks, and share the same laughs. We never took the side roads again, no matter how busy the main streets were. Everything pretty much turned back to normal. Until yesterday that is. I decided that I needed to go back to the doctor because I’ve been having the same nightmare for the past five nights, and every night is worse than the last one. I really don’t think much of it since it’s only been about a month since the accident. But sometimes I still wonder if I’m in reality, or if I’m asleep, or maybe even dead… I know, I know… I should let it go, but every time I try to bring up the accident to any of my friends or family, they just stare at me blankly until I change the subject. I swear I sometimes see things out of the corner of my eye as well…

GOOD ENDING =)

Back to the beginning

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The Spirit in Blue- Transition and Transformation

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A colossal wave of cosmic light engulfed my whole being. The world that I barely even knew transformed into something that not even my wildest of dreams could manifest.

I don’t know begin to describe how I felt as the light swallowed me whole… thousands of words kept popping up in my mind, and neither one remotely matched this sensation.

Where in the world was this fiery ball of blue taking me? The wave of light dissolved the ground, trees, and sky into dust. The dust swirled around me and within an instant, a new plane of existence was formed. Everything shined of white, silver, and indigo. Chunks of levitating, moons, and smaller planets rotated around one another.

“Hey, spirit orb thingy! Where are we goi-” I pause for a moment as something small caught my eye. “Spirit in blue, where are you taking me?” The small object that appeared in front of me grew in size as we got closer. It was a… tree! A very large one at that. 

The gentle whisper that I heard earlier spoke softly into my ear once again. “The Tree of Transition and Transformation.” 

“The Tree of Transition and Transformation?” I asked intently, but got no answer in return. “Hello?” Still no response.

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The spirit in blue plopped me right between the sporadic roots of this colossal tree. I was in absolute awe when I gazed upon its beauty. It stood several stories high and was bigger than any structure known to man. It’s indigo colored bark fascinated me, I had to get closer up just to see if it was even remotely real. Indeed it was. It felt like the softest fabric I have ever put my hands on. Suddenly, several white and gold colored orbs appeared around me from nowhere. I looked towards the inside of the branches and dozens of multi colored orbs danced around the leaves and twisted vines. I never thought that anything like this could ever exist! Nothing short of a dream or a fairytale; except this isn’t a dream nor a fairytale.

I took a few steps back and sat upon one of the massive roots that were imbedded in the violet colored grass. The spirit in blue swirled around me and hovered a few inches from my right shoulder. I sighed deeply and looked at the spirit in blue who hovered by my side. 

“Is this the answer to my prayers spirit in blue? I feel like the whole world is against me, and I don’t know what to do.” I looked down for a moment, feeling a knot form in my stomach. “Can you understand me.” 

“Yes” said the gentle whisper. I felt a warm presence surround me; it felt like a person who had their arm around my shoulder… but it didn’t entirely feel human. Was it a ghost? An Angel? God? What was it? Nothing? What I DID know was that I could trust this being who was with me.

“I feel so lost man. I don’t know what to do anymore…” The knot in my stomach clenched and my whole body started to shake. I felt a hot coal form in my throat, it burned so much. Warm tears began to ran down my cheeks and I felt myself losing all control. 

The warm presence hugged my shoulders tighter as my emotions broke through the barriers I had held up for so long. In a way, I felt a sense of relief come upon me as I released these emotions. I knew that I was here for a reason, I knew I have purpose in this world. But, what in the world does all of this mean? What is the spirit in blue trying to tell me? Does this blue orb have all the answers to my prayers, better yet my problems?

To Be Continued 

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Who Decided That This was a Good Idea: Stay in the Car and Wait for Authorities Pt 2

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A fuzzy vision of me sitting in the passenger seat of the car heading into a tree briefly flashed within my sight and smacked me right back into reality. My whole body sprung upwards like a heavily wound up Jack-In-The-Box. I shot up from the bed I found myself in, drenched in sweat with my heart was pounding outside of my chest. I was greeted by the officers as well as a nurse and a doctor in royal blue scrubs. “Joey! Jen! Nick! Guys! Where am I? GOD!!-” I screamed out at the top of my lungs. Both officers gently shushed me and gestured me to lay back. They caressed me and rubbed my back and shoulders until I calmed down.

“Shhhhh… Michael it’s okay. It’s okay. It’s over now. I need you to lay back and relax.” The nurse gently pushed against my chest and gestured me to lay back. Both the young officer and sheriff slowly backed away from me and moved to the front of the bed where I could both see them. 

“Why am I in the hospital? What happened? Where are my friends? Were you able to find them?” I couldn’t control myself. Part of my mind told me to stay calm while the other told me that I needed answers. “What happened to me? Where are my friends? Are they alive? Are they…” the solemn looks from everyone described it all.

“Only one of your friends survived the crash, Joseph I bel-” 

“Joey?? Where is he? Can I see him now??? What happened to the rest of my friends? Where are they??” The impact from my injuries forced me to lay back down. Any movement I made the excruciating pain that much worse.

“They died on impact son. Two of your friends were launched quite a distance away from the car due to the mere force of the accident. Th-” 

“Please… I don’t want to hear any more about it. I…” I completely lost myself within my own tears and cried harder than I have ever cried in my entire life. All I could remember was sitting up in the hospital bed, head between knees. The officers stayed by my side the whole entire time, and I am so grateful that they did. 

A few hours later, my mom and dad came. They burst through the doorway of my room. “Michael! Thank god you’re alright… oh my baby!” I could remember my mom crying out as she held me close to her chest. My Dad held me and my mom close together in a massive bear hug. We held each other for what felt like an eternity. The officers stayed sitting in the chairs right in front of the windows. 

“Mom, Dad I’m sorry I-“

“Shhhhhhh it’s alright. It’s alright. There is nothing for you to be sorry for.” My mom interrupted me as she gently stroked my hair. “We’re all just glad that you’re okay.”

“If there anything we can get for you son?” My Dad said as he gently leaned closer to me. My Dad looked solemn, tired. I’ve never seen my Dad like this before, not even when Grandpa died. His hair was disheveled, his gray eyes were bloodshot, and his skin almost colorless.

“No, I’m okay Dad, thanks though.” I nodded, assuring him I was okay. He walked out the door and joined the officers who were sitting in the cafe, which was thankfully down a couple doors from where I was. 

I was in the hospital for a few weeks before I was allowed to go home. Joey was in critical condition for a few days, then slowly started to decline. He died not too long after. His back was broken in four different places, had a punctured lung, eternal bleeding, and had severe brain injury from the impact of his head ramming into the steering wheel. 

I attended all of my friend’s funerals. Each one was back to back to back. It rained for what seemed to be like an eternity. A small monument in the shape of a heart was engraved into a sheet of bedrock that was put on a hill in the cemetery. Like the rain, our tears dropped endlessly. I dropped out of school and moved back home. I just needed time to recover before I could face reality again. What is reality now? I’m starting to question myself. In fact, I’m starting to question if I ever truly made it out of that accident, or if I’m still alive, stuck in some sort of flux in time or space. 

I think I’m still stuck in this nightmare. I really don’t think this is over. I see my dead friends everywhere I go. They stand around and they just stare at me with empty eyes. Out of the corner of my eye, I always see this black thing. It’s kind of like a dog or a rat… Another thing is… I haven’t been able to sleep since the accident. The accident was over four months ago, and I still haven’t slept. That’s not humanly possible. I also can’t feel my toes and feet as I walk, and when I do walk I feel like I’m not entirely touching the ground… what’s going on?

Bad Ending… ?

Start at the very beginning

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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…

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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.

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