“You…,” fan story by Simone Normani

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You don’t remember, do you?

About the window, the bathroom, the things… You don’t remember.

Did you forget already? You must have. Maybe you’ve tucked the memory away. I couldn’t blame you.

You do not recall the shadow stretching from behind you. You saw it for just a second, a glimpse in the flickering light of an old lamp. Trust me, you did see it. It was not that long ago, you definitely thought you saw it… and then of course you dismissed it as late night paranoia, it is something that happens after all – walking the street at night, going back after an evening out, and feeling like you should watch your back, feeling like you’re being followed, like you may get mugged, or worse, within the next few minutes. But then we all dismiss it, it is just our irrational part taking the wheel, when the mind is tired, isn’t it? And so you did. You even dismissed the memory afterwards, so little a threat it proved to be.

Do you remember now?

Don’t sweat it; I will help you remember.

You got back home that night and immediately any trace of fear disappeared as you shut the door behind you. You put the thought aside and enjoyed the rest of the time that accompanied you to a good night’s sleep. Even the day after went decently well, it was a day like any other. You probably don’t remember much of it anyway, so mundane it has been.

It was in an hour of darkness, when you looked away from your screen, that you saw it. Saw the shape behind the glass. Still just a moving glimpse of a dark figure. Do you recall it scaring you? No? Of course not. You forgot that too, after you saw that it was clearly just one of those trees or bushes, or whatever they are, in the chilly wind out of your window. Light does those tricks. You look at a lamppost behind the leaves during a windy night, and you see the light moving, and dancing – but you know it isn’t moving. It’s just the leaves trembling in front of it, frantically, like a writer’s or pianist’s fingers, that give your diurnal eyes and brain the illusion. Much in the same way, you thought of the shape. And much in the same way, you shrugged it off. You were tired, after all. You went to sleep not too much later.

It was not unusual, like that time you went to the bathroom in the morning, and couldn’t find your toothbrush. Then of course you found it, and chuckled at your clumsiness and forgetfulness. You really didn’t recall that you’d carelessly placed it on the sink, rather than back in the glass, where it belongs. Or when you woke up having a bad dream, convinced of weird skulking noises in the other room, and cautiously went to check, finding nothing – again, of course.

And the worst was possibly the time you heard – no, felt someone… or something breathing on your neck in the darkness of your room, with your headphones on, and you suddenly started, twisting in your chair with a gasp to see… nothing. Just that empty, friendly and terrifying darkness.

Maybe you should take more care of yourself, you probably thought? That you needed more rest? You certainly looked like you did.

But then…

Then, when you finally came home one day, ready for a good night’s rest, and took your nice hot shower, and came out wrapping yourself in your towels and whatnot… then you saw it. You glanced at the mirror, looked at the glass, cloudy with steam, and saw the words. You did not write those words. You would remember doing it, wouldn’t you?

The steam was quickly dissipating, and the words faded with it, only a small hint of them appearing when you tried bringing them out again by clouding the surface your frantic breath, a confused mess of fingertip traces in a finger-written maze on the not-so-clean bathroom mirror.

You might just have imagined that. You probably did, in all honesty. You really must get a good deal of sleep. Only, this time you weren’t sure that you could as easily… nor that you’d want to. But sleep you did, in the end. Because after all, this is all those little things are: paranoias. Pesky little thoughts that settle in the back of your head and uncomfortably nibble at your brain like a cat: not hard enough to hurt, but hard enough to not let you forget they are there. But that is all. Thoughts. Produced by your own mind to trick itself in some twisted mechanics of human nature.

And sooner or later, all the small doubts, the little fears, the petty insecurities… they may cumulate, but in the end, they all leave the stage, and you are left with your reason ruling over them and keeping them tucked away, where they cannot hurt you. You sweep them under the rug to protect yourself; and so you did, hiding those doubts where they could do no harm. You realised it was all you. You thought you saw a shadow behind you. You thought there was a dark shape out of your window. You thought you had placed the toothbrush back in the glass, or left the pen on the table, or given back that old disc your friend lent you and you forgot about for who knows how long, and you thought you heard and felt the breath of an unwanted visitor on your nape, shrouded in the darkness and safety of your own room. You thought you didn’t write with your fingers on your mirror, but maybe you did. Maybe it wasn’t even actually there and you were just stressed out of your mind and imagined it. You even thought there was someone in your house one night, when all you did was having a nightmare. It was always all you. You might remember now, it being all your own mind’s twisted creation. Isn’t it fascinating? How one can create their own fears out of nothing, even create their own memories!

Which, come to think of it, is quite funny, because you should have questioned one particular thing right from the beginning –

How do I know all of this?

Thanks for reading! 

This story was submitted to us by one of our fans. For more like it, click here; to submit your own, click here to read our guidelines; to check out the stories we’ve written ourselves, click here to check out our show

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“The Drain,” fan story by Sue Perry

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CONTENT WARNING: SEXUALLY DEVIANT/SUGGESTIVE THEMES

“Why won’t Mom leave the closet?”

I kept my tone even. “She became fearful when I took a flashlight out of the sink. She had rigged it to shine light down the drain, because ‘they’ hate light.”

“Who hates light?” Elise asked warily.

“The evil creatures that live in the pipes, according to Mother.”

“Oh, I’m so sorry you have to deal with this alone. I’ll be there as soon as I get the kids home from softball practice.”

“Just come when you can.” My sister is prone to guilt, I didn’t need to fan those flames.

By the time Elise arrived, Mother was hoarse from screaming. I flipped the closet light back on and went to the window, to watch my sister glide from car to door. Mother hadn’t even noticed the change. “More light,” she kept screaming.

My sister is a beautiful woman. I can say that with conviction. She’s adopted, so I can appreciate her fully. Sometime during high school she stopped allowing hands-on appreciation. I’ve mostly forgiven her for that.

Mother didn’t notice the closet door opening, nor did she register Elise and I standing before her, shading our eyes from the glare of the hanging bulb. “Lights! Lights!”

“Oh, Mom.” Elise fought against sobbing, which made her breasts and lips quiver. She fell to the floor to embrace our mother, who rocked and whimpered like a colicky infant.

I’d done my homework, so we found suitable arrangements for Mother that very afternoon. By then, Elise had calmed her considerably. I sat with Mother and patted her hand while Elise packed some essentials.

“This must be for the best,” I assured Mother, with the same rote certainty she had always used, when I tied for last place, when I lost my final book report, when I totaled my car the day after the insurance lapsed.

Together we led Mother to the door. Passing the kitchen, I stopped to turn off the flashlights in the drain, but mother went berserk.

Elise had to scream to be heard, “Leave them on, please just leave them on.” When full of tears, her eyes glitter like sapphires.

More than one neighbor’s curtains parted as we coaxed our hysterical mother into Elise’s car.

The people at the Home were so kind and friendly, even Elise felt comfortable leaving Mother there. We stayed two hours and 32 minutes, until Mother was calm.

In the parking lot, Elise wanted to cling. She was so sorry for all those weeks that she had failed to visit Mother, she was terrible at managing her time, she vowed to visit the Home every day and –

I promised to call after I locked up Mother’s house. We’d left so hastily, I reminded Elise, that even the closet light was still shining.

Anyway, it was time to retrieve my equipment. The motion sensors had worked flawlessly, making me proud as well as relieved. I knelt under the kitchen sink to unclip the player, unthread the wire, remove the speaker from the dishwasher overflow drain. I played the recording and shook my head. The scratchy laugh of my drain monster was so tinny and fake. Mother had always been so gullible.

Three flashlights were crammed into the mouth of the garbage disposal. Baffling how she had jammed them all in there. I tugged and pulled, was about to give up when suddenly they were free. Now they slid up easily.

As I fiddled with the off switches, I felt a tug at my neck. My tie was stuck in the disposal. I drew back, then yanked away with all my strength. The tie was dragging me toward the drain. The fabric cut into my neck. My pulse pounded in my throat. I dropped the flashlights and clutched my tie. It dragged me forward. My chin bumped porcelain.

It was then that I saw the hands. Maggot-white fingers climbed my tie like a rope ladder, exposing pus-filled knuckles and lacerated wrists. From deep inside the drain came an echoing chuckle, sounding remarkably like the scratchy fake on my tape. If there is a God, he has a strongly developed sense of irony.

I gasped a deep fast inhale and clutched the tie, struggling to rip free of the fabric before those fingers completed their climb.

Thanks for reading! 

This story was submitted to us by Sue Perry. For more of her work, visit sueperryauthor.com.

For more fan submissions, click here; to submit your own, click here to read our guidelines; to check out the stories we’ve written ourselves, click here to check out our show

The 4 Flavors of Creepypasta

Let’s get real dark and spoopy—let’s dive down the rabbit hole and explore the different types of creepypasta that have come slithering out of the internet so far.

Warning: video contains flashing colors and paranoia-inducing heebity-jeebities.

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The Creepy Renaissance

OR “We’re Doing a CreepyPasta Month, and Here’s Why”

We’ve been wanting to talk about creepypasta for a good looong while, now. Before we figured things out and started the show, actually. Long before that. And now that we finally have the opportunity… I mean, if anyone knows how to condense several internets’ worth of content into three 10-30 minute videos, please share your dark secrets with us, because sweet mechanical gods, there is a lot we want to talk about

So let’s all collapse into a fanatical mess and drool over it together here, shall we?

First, some context: creepypasta has been on my personal radar, formally,since I first encountered MrCreepyPasta’s youtube channel way back in… pfff… probably 2011? I say “formally” because I’d definitely seen the genre’s other, older incarnations before that. Smile.jpg. SCP (if you wanna call that creepypasta, which I guess you probably should). Slenderman. A lot of the classics. But MCP was my first real introduction to the concept of a broader creepypasta genre. Before then, I didn’t even know there was a specific term for it.

After this realization, I slowly became aware of the developing “creepypasta community”. I discovered the creepypasta wiki, the “official” website, and the dozens of other forthcoming creepypasta narrators (namely CreepsMcPastaand Lazy Maquerade, whom we’ve been discussing this month’s theme with). It was a strange experience, in large part because I’d always sort of expected fiction and literature to just be a niche thing on the internet. People talk about it on their specific forums and on their tumblr feeds and stuff, but it’s not the sort of thing that trends. In fact, the “best of the best” are mostly relegated to marginally-popular web magazines or (if they’re really lucky) forgotten behind the luster of the larger projects their work is being incorporated into.

But here, suddenly, was creepypasta, with its hundreds of thousands of contributors adding to a platform that actually had mass appeal on the internet. Discovering it was what I imagine it might feel like to emerge from a dark cellar which you’d spent your whole life in and find yourself surrounded by others like you. Surreal. A little confusing. Wildly exciting. Finally, evidence that the craft of prose-writing was actually evolving for the internet. No more are the writers and storytellers a disparate and estranged handful of rando’s sprinkled across the web.

Admittedly, like various fan fiction/general writing communities, creepypasta is a little specific in its scope, oriented toward the horror genre in particular. But the vast appeal of creepypasta to audiences outside its immediate circle is what—I believe—makes it unique. People who have no interesting in writing whatsoever are consuming and sharing this stuff like… delicious, delicious pasta. And for a lot of them, it’s their first real glimpse of what “publishing” looks like. A lot of people who are becoming involved with creepypasta don’t begin with a knowledge of the conventional publication process: the querying, the infinite rejections, the whole rigamarole of slogging your way through the slush pile in order to get something with your name on it printed and distributed, often with poor-to-marginal commercial success. What they see is people taking inspiration from one-another’s fiction and art, creating works of their own, and then simply sharing it, creating a sort of indy publishing cycle.

The “publishing houses” of this world are creators like @creepsmcpasta,@lazymasquerade, and MrCreepyPasta, who cast long shadows (each with over a million youtube subscribers) and can change a random writer into afamous storyteller with tens of thousands of fans overnight.

Neither I nor the humans I work with have any idea where this change in perception will lead future writers, but if this trend continues, it could cause a sea change for the industry, altering what it means to be a “successful” fiction writer on the web altogether. One of the biggest possible hurdles is likely to be broadening the format beyond horror, which is difficult because of the inherent virility of the genre.

So we don’t know what’s to come, but we’d be interested in youropinions and predictions.

What do you guys think of this sort of “short fiction renaissance” creepypasta seems to be guiding us toward? Do you think it’s just a fad that’ll fade with time? Or do you think we’re in for some real changes down the road?