01 Feb I Scream from a Black Square
Last week, something happened in my house. Something I couldn’t believe and still am having a hard time believing. I don’t have an over active imagination and I don’t scare easy. I don’t believe in ghosts, aliens, the paranormal, and all the rest of the horror movie tropes. I’m not that kind of person. I never have been.
But after the events of the past few days…well…I now know that some other force is out there, something hidden between the layers of our reality. I think we get glimpses of that place every now and again. We’ve all heard stories that have no logical explanation, no conclusive answer. We may laugh at them or we may fear them.
Either way, no matter how we view it…it leaves us with questions.
I live out in the country, alone. I have a small house that I now own. Finished paying off the mortgage last month, matter fact.
I’m a simple man. On days I don’t work, I like to drink beer on the porch or pluck a tune on my old guitar. Sometimes I sing, after I’ve had a couple, just to see if I can. I don’t know why I’m telling you this. It ain’t really that important. I guess I’m just dancing around the reason I’m writing this. See, I’m afraid. And I don’t scare easy.
But something’s happened that has truly shaken me.
A couple days ago, when I came home from work, I went into my living room and spotted something on my wall. It was by the window. It was this dark patch, like a square, like someone had painted a little black frame on the wood. Well, I didn’t think much of it, just kinda scratched my head and went to change out of my trousers. I thought maybe I had gotten a little too drunk the night before and accidentally burned the wall. I had been meaning to cut back.
Well, anyhow, next day I get up and go to put on a pot of coffee and that patch on the wall is bigger. About two feet across, top to bottom. Now, at this point I knew something was screwy, but I had to get to work. I made a mental note to pick up a can of paint on the way home.
So I go to work, kinda forgetting about the strange black square growing on my wall. On the way home, I picked up a can of paint (I remembered once I passed the Benjamin Moore store and had to turn around).
Well I get home and go inside and there’s something sticking out of that wall. The square patch had grown to about three feet, but now it was…extending out of the wood. I traced my fingers over it, confused, and saw that the two dimensional color was now popping out of my wall by about three inches.
It was cold to touch, freezing. I knocked on it and it felt solid, and I mean real solid. I thought it might be cement. Not knowing what to make of it, I decided to call my buddy in the morning (he worked in construction) and see if maybe he could help me figure out what was going on. If not, I thought maybe he could help me remove it. The only thing I could think of was that maybe the wall was warped or something. It was a dumb guess, but when you’re presented with the unknown, your mind has a way of gravitating towards the solution it can fathom.
So I ate my supper, went out onto the porch with a beer (I’d cut back tomorrow), and watched the stars. When I started feeling a little sleepy, I came back in, casting another look at the weird black square coming from my wall. It looked the same as before so I went to bed, bewildered.
At two in the morning, I woke up. Something was making horrible noises outside my bedroom, down the hall. My door was open, but the house was dark. I couldn’t see anything, but it sounded like it was coming from the living room.
It sounded…it sounded like someone talking backwards. A male voice, low and fluid. It scared the shit out of me. I sat up and turned on the light by my bed, heart racing. I went to the door and peeked around the corner down the hall towards my living room.
The sound was coming from down there. It was talking fast, the voice mumbling, but loud, familiar syllables garbled into nonsense. I took a deep breath and crept towards the noise in the dark. Whatever was in my house, I wanted to see it first, before it saw me.
I got to the end of the hall and looked into my living room, the space lit by a full moon shining in the front windows.
I felt my heart lock up as my eyes adjusted to the dark and I saw…it.
The black square was no longer on my wall, but on the floor. It had fully grown into a three dimensional object. It looked like a pitch black rectangle, standing upright, about four feet high.
And something was clawing its way out of the top. It was as black as the material it came from and looked human. It had no features, its face an oily shadow. It was trying to pull itself out, its upper body oozing ebony smoke. It was stuck at the waist, trying to yank its legs free. I didn’t see a mouth, but the sound that came from it chilled my blood. That garble of slurred backwards speech, loud and alien.
I screamed when I saw it. I thought I was going to have a heart attack the way my chest seized up. I fell down on my ass, scrambling to get away from the horrible thing. I had never seen anything like it, never heard any kind of description of such a creature.
As it ripped its legs free from the death black object which birthed it, I staggered into my kitchen, moving faster than I ever had before. I snatched my keys up from the counter and bolted out the front door. I wasn’t going to stick around and let this thing rip me up, eat me, or whatever it wanted with me.
I jumped into my truck, the strange speech echoing after me, and high tailed it out of there. I drove to my brothers place, about half hour away. I woke him up, pounding on his door, screaming. I was scared out of my mind.
He eventually woke up and let me in, irritated at my sudden arrival. I sat him down and told him what happened. I told him we needed to call the police or animal control or something. He raised his hands at me, clearly not believing my story. He told me to settle down and stop getting so worked up. He said he’d come with me after work tomorrow to check it out if I was too chicken. I didn’t want to wait that long, but after twenty minutes, my brother convinced me. He told me I didn’t want to look stupid if it turned out to be nothing (which he was convinced it was). I kinda agreed with him, but knew what I had seen. But I was a man, it was my house, if I could take care of this myself, I would. If things got out of hand, then I’d call the police or animal control.
I spent the rest of the night on his couch (I didn’t sleep all that well, I might add) and in the morning, my brother just told me to hang tight till he got off work. It was a Saturday and I didn’t have to go in that day.
Well, after only a couple hours of walking around his empty house, I decided that I wasn’t going to wait for my brother to get back. In the sunlight, things didn’t seem so scary. I was going to drive back up to my house and scare that thing outta there if it was still around.
I climbed into my truck and made the thirty minute trip back, feeling almost foolish from the night before.
As I pulled into my driveway and parked my truck, I scanned the windows for movement. I didn’t see any. So, I quietly got out and approached the front door. I put my ear to it, listening. Nothing.
Feeling brave, I turned the knob and pushed my way in.
It was waiting for me, sitting on the couch, its head cocked and looking directly at me. I felt a scream claw its way up my throat at the sight of it. It had changed and what I was looking at horrified me.
It was growing skin, patches of pink flesh covering the smoky blackness. My eyes locked onto its face and my mouth went dry.
It was growing my face. My own blue eyes stared back at me, a small smile twisting the corners of my mouth, of ITS mouth.
Before I could react, it stood and walked towards me, speaking. That all too familiar dialect spilled from its lips, a knot of human sound twisted back on itself.
I wanted to scream, but couldn’t as its strong hands gripped my shoulders, its face inches from mine. It was smiling and talking to me but I couldn’t understand. I was frozen, paralyzed with stomach crunching fear. Its breath was cold on my face as words and language I couldn’t understand dripped from its tongue.
It seemed like it was trying to talk to me, gently ushering me inside. Terrified, I let it guide me in, its grip powerful and firm. I was staring at its face, not paying attention where we were going. It looked just like me, right down to the crook in my nose from a break years ago.
Suddenly it stopped smiling and it grabbed me, pushing my head down. I let out a cry and struggled, but it was stronger than I could have ever imagined. I realized then what it was doing.
It was shoving me down inside the black rectangle it had emerged from.
My face dipped into it, the surface suddenly softening like icy yogurt. I squeezed my eyes shut against the assault of cold and held my breath, kicking out with my legs. I felt the thing pick me up at the waist and shove me deeper inside.
My shoulders were in…then my arms…then my waist.
I couldn’t see anything, I couldn’t hear anything.
It was cold, so cold.
I felt myself losing consciousness.
I woke up some time later. I don’t know how long had passed. I opened my eyes slowly, feeling like I had a whoppin’ hangover.
I was on my couch, in an empty house.
The thing was gone.
The rectangle was gone.
I stood up slowly, checking myself for injury. I cautiously crept around the house, searching every room, terrified that thing would be waiting for me behind every corner. But it wasn’t. I was alone.
I must have checked the house four times over before I was convinced. I went back to my couch and plopped down, shaking my head. I couldn’t wrap my head around what had transpired, around what happened.
I thought everything was back to the way it was.
But then I started noticing things. Things that were…wrong.
Like everything smells burnt.
And the grass blows the wrong way in the wind.
And I can’t understand my own voice.
And it’s freezing all the time.
And when the sun goes down everything turns yellow.
And there’s no one else here.
You see, something isn’t right with where I am. I’m writing this down, hoping someone sees it. I don’t know if I’m still connected in any way to your world.
I don’t know how much time has passed. It feels like days.
I can hear something in the distance now, it sounds like a horn, deep and rolling across the fields towards me. I don’t know what it means, but it terrifies me.
I’m scared. I’m so scared. Please, find a way to get me out of here.
I see something.
It’s walking across the field towards me. The horn is getting louder.