's 2019 Horror Write-off:

Don't feel

Submitted by Tomáš Cyprián (email)

Empty street. A row of cars neatly parked by the sidewalk. And a lone man walking. That’s me. No past and no future. Empty man for the empty world. Don’t feel.

A convenience store. I am walking inside. Don’t feel anything. The store is empty too. No people anywhere in sight. Of course. Well. Not living people, anyway. 

There are dead people. A few dead bodies in the shop. There does not seem to be anything wrong with them, really. Apart from being dead. There are no injuries. There never are. They are just dead. And most of them have twisted facial expressions, like they are eternally staring at something horrific beyond any believe. Don’t feel. 

Stepping over a dead man, I grab a can of soda from a freezer. The freezer still works. It’s been only a day. Since the world ended. And my life began. Don’t feel. 

Cracking the soda can open, I take a few gulps. I haven’t met anyone who was alive and… sane… yet. Don’t feel. I haven’t slept yet. I don’t know if I can. When you sleep, you dream. And when you dream… you feel. Don’t feel. It’s like a mantra at this point. It’s how I kept being sane the whole day. Not feeling. Don’t feel. 

I take a few more things from the shelves and walk outside. The dead cashier stares at me with the look of eternal pain and fear. I avoid looking him in the eyes. Don’t feel.  

Outside of the convenient store, I finish my drink and throw the can on the sidewalk. It bounces and clunks loudly, the noise echoing in the empty street. I know I have to keep on going. Never stop. Don’t let it get to you. Keep going. Don’t think about it. Just do things.

Walking a few more blocks, I suddenly hear a noise. Like a weeping. I try to ignore it. Nothing good can come up from following noises. There are people who are alive, but they are not sane. They did not do the right thing. They did not fight against their feelings. Don’t feel.

I continue walking. I could just turn around and go the other way, but… I need to just keep walking. Keep walking straight until I get away… from myself. 

The weeping is coming from one of the gaps between the buildings. And although I do my best, I can’t help it. I take a look. Stupid. It’s... not a pretty sight. It never is.

A kneeling man. His clothes are in tatters. He’s scratching at his face with his nails. He’s obviously been doing that for a while. It is already covered in many bloody gashes. And behind him is…. a thing. It’s looming over him like a slimy angel of doom. It’s touching the back of his head with its extremely long fingers.It envelops his body in its tenta-

No. I close my eyes, turn around and bolt away before I can see any more. I don’t know where I am running, but I am doing just that. Running. Don’t think. Don’t feel. Don’t think. Don’t feel. Just don’t feel. Run. Run far away. Don’t feel. Don’t feel! I can’t stop it. I can’t stop it. Tears are running down my face. No. Don’t-

A massive block falls on my mind, my own emotions ensnare my brain, tearing down the mental blocks I’ve built against this exact thing happening. The loneliness. The extreme sadness. So many… dead. And my almost blank memory before this nightmare of a day.

Why can’t I remember anything from before.

Why can’t I remember what happened.

Who am I?

I feel.



Spinning around, I come to face my mistake. My feels. 

My feels have a human face. Most of them do, I found. Creepy white face with no pupils. This one has scars running under its eyes like cracks. It has slimy wet body, like a white slug. With a human face. And it has many long skinny human arms sticking out at odd angles. Before I can react, they grab me. They are strong, but they are not what hurts.

I am trying. I am trying not to feel. But the onslaught of emotions is too strong. The face of the thing hovers right in front of mine. Eyes. Unblinking, empty eyes. Starring. 

I am afraid. I am feeling. My emotions are pouring out of me. A bunch of smaller things pop up into existence all around me and skitter away. I barely have time noticing what they looked like, but they had tentacles. Not that it matters. Some sort of mental pull makes me focus on the one thing right in front of me again.

There is nothing but the face now. I don’t feel its arms or even my own body. It’s like I am in an empty void. Nothing but me and that thing. And my feelings. I don’t even feel them individually anymore. I don’t feel sadness or fear. The only thing I feel is the tremendous weight of them all. Crushing my soul. 

I am torn apart. My soul shatters into many pieces. Who am I? What is I? 

And then I don’t feel my own existence. All I feel are the emotions crushing what little is left of me.

I know that this is the end.

Game over. You loose.

Because you felt.


Suddenly, a light. The weight on my mind disappears completely. I gasp for air. Alive. I am… alive? 

The thing disappeared. 

And in front of me is a small girl. 



“Hello, mister. Are you ok?”

“Huh… wha- bu- what happened to-”

“To your emotion? I sent it away.”

“You what?

I look at the girl again. She has to be like ten years old at most. Pretty much your typical cute small girl, straight out of a Back to school commercial. She even has a small red bow in her blond hair. 

“What the hell are you talking about?”

“I just used my own feelings. See?” she points behind me. I look and almost get e heart attack. There is another of those things. This one is just a head… with bird wings? And the same creepy unmoving face like the rest of them. Of course.

“Don’t worry!” yells that strange girl. “ This one is mine! I hoped I could… save you.” 

There is a sort of pop sound and the flying head disappears into thin air. 

I am officially completely lost. I look back at the girl. She now has some more feelings flying around her. These ones are tiny, fluttering around on butterfly wings. 

“You… you control them?” 

“No. Of course not, mister. How could I control my feelings?”

“But… you just… you said...”

“I… just… have them. As they are. And y’know… sometimes I am scared. Of all the dead people... and everything… and then some bad things come…” 

Out of nowhere, another human face manifests itself right above her head. It flaps its big bat-like wings and reaches for the girl’s head with its single arm. It has two elbows...

I open my mouth to warn her or… anything, but she just continues speaking.

“But then… I remind myself that I have mommy and daddy. And friends. I… I don’t remember them… and I dunno why… but I know I have them...  and I can try finding them… you know? And that gives me… hope.” 

Just as quickly as it appeared, the dark thing above her pops out of existence and is replaced with more butterly-like emotions.

That’s it? Just… hope? There is no hope left in this world…   

“I don’t know why these things are happening. But now I found somebody else! And I could help him! I found somebody who’s not dead!” 

She runs to me and hugs me. I am caught off guard but I pat her on the head awkwardly. “So… I still don’t really get it. I have problems keeping my own emotions shut and to fight them, but you just… do whatever with them?”

She looks up to me and chuckles. “Why would you try to keep them away?”


“I mean… how can you fight your feelings… if you don’t know them?”