Lullaby

Now you lay you down to sleep
Insomnia begins to creep
Darkened thoughts enter your head
And serve to raise your sense of dread

An effort to calm your mind in haste
The demons in your room, erase
You begin to think your nightly chant
And hope the monsters will recant

“Nothing will harm me, nothing is real
I’m simply experiencing irrational fears
Tonight is not the night I pass
Tomorrow morning I will laugh

At how stupid I’m being now
At how my fear seems so endowed
I’ll go to sleep and end the night
Another day I’ll live to fight!”

You feel calm as words take hold
You feel less scared and much more bold
The chant will stop when it’s sleeping time
But it’s the cold, dead hand that stops this rhyme

Sewers

A laptop computer was found in the city sewers on Monday, April 22nd of 2013, after screams were heard echoing from below. As far as authorities could tell, there was no owner. All picture files on the hard drive were corrupted, and forensics failed to reconstruct all but one of them. The reconstructed photo partially revealed a terrified man in his late teens or early twenties, and some sort of face behind him.

Analysts have disputed whether or not that actually is another face, or simply image noise created as a result of the reconstruction of the photo. Apart from the single image, all that remained on the laptop was a cryptic word file left open, unsaved. Some see this as the suicide note of a deranged lunatic. Others see it as a prank. All that is known for sure is that over the past three months, there have been over twenty disappearances, all leaving no trace.

**********

I just hope I can finish this. I need to tell it. I can’t NOT tell it. But I don’t have time to finish it. And that’s what’s horrifying. Because, if I don’t tell, then it might get the rest. I HAVE to. I’m on very limited time, but I’m gonna be as detailed as possible. So it doesn’t get the rest. Please bear with me, please listen to me.

I guess it all started three months ago, when we found that secret room. The room in the sewers with the little trap door under the rug. When that happened, everything went wrong. But I’m getting ahead of myself, I have to tell the full truth. Or else it will get the rest.

I’m nineteen years old. Me and my three best friends have always been fond of the sewers. We would go down there and explore, at first using rope, then chalk signs, then nothing at all as we learned every twist, turn, and passage to the point where we could find our way around in pitch darkness, something we’ve had to do on at least three occasions when our flashlights died.

Now, what’s strange, is that we never found the room. It was when James asked to join us that the room was discovered. James was more of an acquaintance than a friend, but we often found him hanging out with us. We never told him about our excursions to the sewers; most people thought of that as strange. We had known James for probably six months before he overheard us speaking about the sewers.

Of course, he wanted to know what we were talking about. So we told him, about how we went down into the sewers every now and again to explore. He, of course, wanted to join our next expedition. We said it was fine, and we went early the next Saturday.

James wasn’t very good with darkness. We found that out the hard way. Or maybe it was the darkness coupled with claustrophobia. I don’t know. But, once we got into the deeper levels of darkness, where the daylight ceased to exist, and the tunnels became black, he began to hyperventilate.

At first, it was almost unnoticeable. His breathing got quicker, and he moved closer to me. Then, without warning, he began to breathe wildly, and he dropped his flashlight. It hit the ground and went out, and just like that, he was sprinting, sprinting and screaming for help, down the dark tunnels.

We chased after him. Following his screams, we started to lose all of our sense of direction. We went deeper than we thought possible. We thought we knew these tunnels. But there was one small niche, that we had never noticed before, that led into an even older series of tunnels. We had to crawl on our stomachs to get through it, and it opened into a tunnel not much bigger than that. We had to crouch down to the point of being on our hands and knees to traverse it.

It’s in those same sewers that I’m sitting now, with hundreds of white Christmas lights strung up around me, and stretching down the tunnel. These won’t last forever. The battery I’m running them off of can only keep them lit for a few hours. But they keep me comfortable, and serve as a warning. The thing can’t stand to be in light. It’s coming for me, I know it. But the lights will go out before it can get to me, so I’ll know.

I’m hiding here because this is the last place it will expect me to go. It’s looking for me. But it wouldn’t think that I would go into its sewers, its very back yard. I know that it will find me, and soon. But I just hope that this will prolong the inevitable. Long enough for me to get my story out. I’ve got my phone programmed to dial 911 in two hours. And I’ve got a camera, with night vision, ready to record when it shows up. So the cops will know, to stop it.

I just hope they can.

We eventually tracked down James, and he was sitting outside a big rusty door. It looked like it hadn’t been touched in years. Somehow we convinced ourselves to open it and oh my god I just wish we hadnt this crap would have never hapened if not for that stupid door oh my god im gonna die and

I have to stop. Panicking won’t do anything to help me. I’m past help. Have I told you our names? There was me- Curt, and then James, Alan, Josh and Chris.

Writing down facts help me calm down. Just bear with me. I’m almost there.

We went in the door. That was a mistake. In the room, was an ancient chair, and a threadbare rug. Not much else, except a table full of disturbing instruments. And a calendar. The calendar was old and faded, and a dark yellow, but I could just barely make out dates in the faded ink.

The calendar was dated for 1903. Over a hundred years prior.

The table had what looked like torture tools set on it. I recognized a thumbscrew. Josh cut himself on some kind of twisted knife-hook-thing. Hammers and nails. I shudder thinking of what some of the other instruments were used for. There was what looked like the remains of a skeleton on another table in the corner of the room.

A rectangular table with Metal rings at each corner, and decayed ropes through those metal rings. I felt sick.

We decided then that we needed to get out, but Alan tripped over the rug and kicked it to the side. There was a trap door under it. Again, curiosity got the best of us, and we opened it, against James’s protests. It was pitch black down there. An old ladder led down, but that was it. We shined our lights in, and there were several things that might have once been human remains, but were now nearly dust.

At this point, something came over James. He climbed down the ladder into the hole, against our protests. After a moment, his light flickered and then died. Nothing but silence from down below. We were just beginning to panic when he casually walked into view.

He smiled up at us.

His eyes were just empty bleeding sockets.

We all just stood there in stunned silence, and then our lights wavered and flickered out. Mine flickered back on for a split second, and we saw some THING standing behind him. I don’t know what it was. Yes I do.

It was IT. The thing that’s been hunting me and my friends.

It looked very angry. It looked horrifying. It was dead blue skin and decomposing face. I could see its skull through its cheeks. It looked female. It had long decayed hair, and a bony frame. What looked like slashes in its dead cheeks, and gashes around its empty sockets. It was the most terrifying thing I’ve ever seen in my life. I think, that if I would have seen it for more than a split nanosecond, I would have gone insane. Gone insane or dropped dead.

The light lasted for a fraction of a second, a fraction of a second that has haunted me every minute of every day since then, and then everything was dark and James was screaming. I ran. Everyone else ran too, but I was the first. We scattered. Floundering in the dark, in the unknown. I don’t know how long I was down there. It felt like centuries.

Eventually, I made it to the surface. It was pitch dark in the dead of night. I remembered that we had gone in during the early morning hours.

I went home. It was four o’clock in the morning. All I remember is turning every light in the house on, blasting Looney Tunes on the TV, and then passing out.

The next day, I found out that only Alan and Chris had made it out the previous night. We went to the police and they organized a manhunt. Twenty people went into the sewers that night. Me, Alan, and Chris were not among them. We vowed to never step foot in those tunnels again. The manhunt never found that room.

We never told them about it. We agreed to tell them that we had found a section of sewer that we hadn’t explored before, and gotten separated and lost.

The search was unsuccessful. After a week, the police were forced to call it off. And the rest is history. Over the next several months, everyone who went into those sewers has disappeared, without a trace. Alan, Chris, gone. I’m the only one le

Oh fuck I think a light just went out. The darkness is coming, and I think I can see her or it whatever the fuck it is shit

Im the only one left you cant go into the sewers. They need to find the room and SHUT THE TRAPDOOR and SHUT THE OTHER DOOR so it cant get out

oh god the lights are going out oh shit oh fuck fuck look for my camera and shut the doors PLEASE YOU HAVE TO

**********

Police found a dropped camera deep within the sewage tunnels. No one has spoken about what footage is on the camera, and all to see the footage have committed suicide soon thereafter. Police are currently working with city records to conduct a coordinated search of the sewer system to find the location spoken of in the file….

**********

Detective Alexander Sherridan sits down in front of the television. He had requested a copy of the tape that has so disturbed anyone who has watched it, and now he has it. He feels apprehension building. Should he watch this? Some think it is cursed. However, Sherridan is not a superstitions man. He puts the tape in and presses play. A young man comes on the screen, the same from the picture. He is screaming, while behind him the lights are rapidly going out, moving in sequence towards him. What he is screaming is mostly incoherent, and what Sherridan is able to make out is simply more of the same of what he said in the word document– “close the doors.”

Suddenly the last lights flash out spectacularly, and there is a small glimpse of the laptop before the camera goes dark. What ensues are some of the most horrifying screams that Sherridan has ever heard, but he only barely registers these. He refuses to believe what he thinks he saw. To be sure, he rewinds the video, and plays it again. And again. And again.

Finally, he pauses it and goes forward frame by frame, until he sees the image he feared. Just as the lights flash for the final time, there is a woman grabbing the young man. Except he is not sure that she is a woman. It has no eyes. They look like they were gouged out at some point. There are slashes in her face, or what is left of its face. It is mostly decayed bone, with some skin stretching over it. The teeth are worn nubs. Sherridan averts his eyes. He can’t look at this thing anymore.

He notices at that moment, in the background, stand other things. People that have disappeared. All decaying. All with no eyes. They seem to be looking directly at him, accusingly almost. He tells himself that that is impossible, as they have no eyes. Then he notices motion.

The woman holding the young man pulls her face in some caricature of a smile. Then, she begins digging her fingers into his face. He begins screaming, as she literally rips his eyes out of his head. Sherridan runs forward and presses the power button on the TV. Nothing happens. The woman/thing continues to rip the eyes out of the man’s head, and Sherridan begins screaming with him, as he feels his sanity begin to slip. He rips the plug to the TV out of the wall.

Nothing happens. He retches as the thing pulls the remains of the eyes out, and begins pressing them into her own sockets. He turns and runs full force towards the wooden baseball bat mounted on the wall. He grabs it. He intends to destroy the TV. As he runs back towards the television, the he raises the bat. Just as he’s about to swing and destroy the screen, the thing winks at him with its new eyes.

Whatever vestiges of sanity that are left in Alexander Sherridan shatter at that moment. He drops the bat and stumbles backward into the next room. All he knows is that that thing knows where he is and how to get to him. And he knows that he doesn’t want that to happen.

As he presses the barrel of his police issue Glock into his temple, he vaguely recalls some urban legend or quote or something he’d heard somewhere about how if someone dies a violent death, their spirit stays there, angry, forever. “Fuck that,” he says out loud, before squeezing the trigger.

On the television screen, all that is seen is a terrified young man in a bright flash of light. Nothing more.