's 2013 Horror Write-off:


Submitted by Charming Devil

I used to have this weird dream all the time.

I'm not a vivid dreamer, most of my dreams I barely remember as anything more than a sensation. This one always stuck out in my mind, even though much of the imagery is fuzzy.

I would be hanging over a pit, hanging on to a ledge with one hand and my girlfriend with another. I can't really tell you exactly what the pit looked like. All I remember are my vague sensations of it – gleaming metal, blood. I want to say maybe that it was a giant blender of some kind, but I know that's not quite it. It was one of those dream things, where you can't exactly picture it, but it evoked a very strong sensation of violence. You knew that if you fell into it you were going to a gory, horrific death.

So I would be hanging on to a ledge with one hand and my girlfriend with the other, trying to pull us out – and out of the corner of my eye would appear an extremely long, pale hand, equipped with oversized shears. The hand I can remember vividly. Thin, emaciated looking, bone clearly standing out from it – pale – sweaty – knotted veins. This hand would come out with a pair of shears and effortlessly slice through my girlfriend's wrist. I'd watch her plummet, and – again, it's one of those dream things – I'd never exactly see how she'd die, I'd just have the vague impression of a horrifying explosion of violence.

Next, the hand would cut me off at the armpit, letting me watch my body plummet into the pit while my arm hung on to the ledge. And this – this was always the part that freaked me out the most – because after my body plummeted into the pit, my mind was in my arm. I remember that very clearly. My mind, or spirit, or whatever, was not disembodied – it was just left inside my severed arm. I could still see – I don't know how – and I would look up at what was holding the shears.

I never saw a body, only the face – a drooping, fatty, pale face, on the end of an impossibly long neck, skin sagging off it – eyes with large, fat, dark bags under them that seemed etched into the face – and the eyes themselves mere slits, would have been better had some malevolent intelligence animated those eyes. They were glazed over, a blank stare of ignorance, as if whatever this thing was, it was simply made for cruelty – no true thought animated it, it was simply fulfilling some sort of primal instinct by its actions, performed with little more thought than you or I would give to eating something. Its nose was bulbous, long, rubbery, its lips two purple worms curled in a half-open, stupid smile. It was mostly bald, save for a ring of greasy, dirty hair, our of which two oversized ears protruded.

It made a sort of low, gurgling, groaning noise as it grabbed me – that is, the severed arm that was all that was left of me. Instead of the shears now, it used a serrated knife – one that I didn't see, but I could feel. I could feel it cutting through skin like cloth, chipping away at bone – but the most horrifying part was that it was cutting up me, it was carving up my mind, not just my mind but my identity. It was as if my mind was now evenly distributed throughout the meat of my arm; every chunk that it cut away from me took memories, thoughts, intelligence, sense of self, until I was little more than a barely-aware, half-sentient piece of meat.

And then, it wouldn't even let me die – instead of throwing this last, remaining, miserable chunk into the pit, it leaves me there – barely alive – not even moving – unable to do anything. This was always the most horrifying part of the dream. I was left – unable to think, unable to perceive time, only vaguely aware of my miserable existence – less than human, less than animal.

I didn't think of this dream that much. At first, I'd have it maybe once or twice a month. It was a recurring dream, and I hated it, but it did not happen so often that it disturbed me.

But then I began to have it more often. Once a week. Twice a week. It began to have an effect on my sleep schedule, because I would dread going to bed. My girlfriend noticed the change, but I was reluctant to tell her about what was bothering me. She was into new-agey “magick” type stuff, constantly looking up shit on the internet and looking for supernatural explanations for everything. I was convinced if I told her that she'd say I was haunted or something.

But then, I saw it.

One night, sitting up in my bedroom, staying awake by the glow of the computer, I happened to glance out my window, catching some sort of movement out of the corner of my eye. In the very edge of the orange circle of light from the streetlamp, there it was. Only its face was visible, the rest being cloaked in darkness, extending into the light on its long, impossible long neck, that stupid grin, that flat, dumb, violent stare, there was no denying it, it was looking at me -

And then it was gone, in a flash, like it had never been there.

A few days later, in a moment of weakness, I broke down and told my girlfriend about it. I immediately wished I hadn't – she spent the next two hours on the internet before telling me that I had a demon spirit following me. Over the next couple of weeks, she began giving me recipes that she got over the internet for some sort of incantation. It was some sort of ridiculous potion thing that you were supposed to splash on someone, and the spirit would move on to them. I was obviously not going to do something that ridiculous, but she began bugging me to do it.

I remember, the last time I ever talked to her, she told me that because she was in the dream, the spirit was a threat to her, too. That I should do it for her.

One day later she fell off a platform into the path of an oncoming train.

I was on her emergency contact list in her phone, along with her parents – I arrived at the police station before they did. They told me that I didn't have to view the body, that they had a positive identification, but that I could if I wanted to. They warned me that it was in pretty bad shape, but that I could see it if I thought it might give me some closure.

I don't know why I asked to see it.

She was literally in pieces. They were tasteful – they kept most of her body beneath a medical blanket, only uncovering her head. I think they had made some effort to close her eyes, but because of the....deformity....of the head, one had come back open halfway, one open all the way. It gave her a look of dumb, idiot confusion. I can never, never get those eyes out of my head. She was nothing but meat.

I left the police station before her parents arrived.

The police initially called it a homicide, because witnesses on the scene said she had been pushed, but an entire platform full of people had, for some reason, not thought to stop or, it seems, even get a good look at the man who pushed her. Unfortunately, in the area of the platform she was in, the camera had gone out a few hours prior. Finally, several witnesses recanted their stories, saying they weren't sure of what they remembered – that maybe they had just assumed she had been pushed. In the end, they called it a suicide.

She had never talked to anyone about suicide – not even mentioned it – and she had always seemed happy – as I told her parents many, many times when they questioned me. She had a closed-casket funeral. I don't think I'll ever get her mother's screams out of my head, either, as they lowered her into the ground.

After her death, she no longer appeared in my dream. It was just me and the creature, now.

I stopped sleeping, except for hour-long intervals, not enough time for me to fall into a deep enough sleep for the dream. I began keeping the lights on in the house – turning even the flood lights installed abover our garage at night, after my parents fell asleep, so that our entire yard was lit up and there were no shadows for the thing to hide in. But even so, it found me.

I have a relatively deep closet, with no lightbulb in it; and one day, as I put away my clothes, I heard it. That low, gurgling groan. Trembling, I peered deep into the closet, and there, just at the edge of the shadow, right before it faded into complete darkness, was the brutal, stupid face of the creature, with its mindless grin.

I screamed, and jumped back out of the closet. When I looked inside again, it was gone.

I began to get truly desperate. What I thought I needed was some kind of therapy or something, a drug, something to help hallucinations. At least, part of me believed they were hallucinations. But I knew my parents would never pay for that sort of thing. So, in my despair, I turned to the potion recipes my girlfriend gave me before she had died.

It was a long, ridiculous list of items that was required for the potion. Ingredients I had to gather from the wild, household spices, body fluids. I don't know where she got this from. But the basic idea of it was that you would make this potion, then splash it on the person you wanted it to pass on to. But it had to be a family member.

I honestly can't tell you why I made it. It took significant effort on my part, for something I didn't really believe in. Maybe I did it to feel like I was doing something – like I wasn't powerless.

When I was done – and it took me about two weeks to make – I wasn't sure what I was going to do with it. I wasn't going to splash it on anyone in my family. Instead, I decided to splash it around my doorframe that night. Who knows, right? I thought it was all bullshit anyway, might as well do one thing as the other.

To my surprise, it seemed to work – as long as I splashed my doorframe with this potion before I went to sleep at night, the creature didn't seem to appear. I was elated – for the first time in months, I could get good, solid sleep.

This lasted for about a week. Until the incident with my brother.

One night, at about 2 AM, there was a knock on my door. This wasn't something that unnerved me too terribly. My brother, fourteen years old, slept on the same floor as me and sleptwalk occasionally. For him to knock on doors during his spells was not unheard of. I got out of bed and opened my door.

There, at the top of the stairs, stood my brother, head slumped over, clearly sleepwalking.

And there behind him, only face and hands visible in the darkness, loomed the creature, eyes full of dumb joy. Long pale fingers stretched out from the darkness, holding a pair of shears, seeking me.

I stumbled backwards into my room, thinking quickly, grabbed the potion. If it had kept it out of my room before, I figured, then maybe it would have some harmful effect on it.

I think now that the potion never had any effect at all. At least, that's what I tell myself. It's what I hope and pray is true. Because as I splashed the creature with the liquid, nothing seemed to happen. But as I did so, some splashed on to my brother, standing at the edge of the stairs.

The creature immediately turned its attention to him. Before I could move, those long, pale hands had pushed him, sending him hurtling down the stairs, to land with a sickening crunch at the bottom. All the while, the creature's expression of dull, dumb happiness never changed.

I screamed when I heard the crunch, and just like that, the monster was gone. I rushed down the stairs to my brother's prone from, reaching it just as my parents turned on the lights. His neck was at an odd angle. The rest of the night is a foggy blur. My mother's screams, my frantic explanations of his sleepwalking, the flashing lights of the ambulance.

My brother's neck was broken, and he was in a coma. I don't know the details, but after two months, the doctors said he was in a vegetative state, and there was little hope for recovery.

My parents refuse to pull the plug. I've been to the hospital with them to visit him, to pray for him. But I know he's not coming back. He's a dumb, barely-aware piece of meat, now. My parents look into his face and swear they see life. When I look into it, I know what's there can barely be called life. He's been separated from all memory, thought, personality or function. It's hell.

I still see the creature, too. I see it lingering around the hospital when we leave. Grinning at me from the lights beneath the parking lot. It never follows me, anymore. I can only wonder what it's doing with my brother when I'm not there.

I can't let him live like this. It's not even living. What if that thing is still carving him up, bit by bit, slicing away his memories, personality and self, while I'm not there? I can't let it go on. I can't let my parent's selfish hope put him through this torture. I have to finish him. I have to kill my brother.

I'm leaving this behind as my confession, and as my will. If something should happen to me – if I should, for whatever reason, be placed into a coma from which I cannot recover – don't keep me alive. Kill me. Kill me.

I don't want to be meat.