Okay, this is a big occasion for me, I must admit. I hadn't even thought of until now, but It is a gigantic thing for me to say that FOR SCIENCE! has now reached the double digits. For me that is a momentous occasion.
However I'm sure that some of you are quite displeased with this being late, so it's time that I explained. Every Thursday night I go to a seminar in downtown Vancouver, this is quite a distance from my native White Rock and thus I end up getitng home incredibly late, usually around 11:30
Now normally this would be no problem, in fact I find I write best late at night, however, upon realizing that I would be coming home so late I began to write my story on the bus (yes, write, as in using paper and pen) and had about 946 words or so before I got home.
The problem was this, this story creeps me out, like, quite a bit. It's certainly not the most horrific story I've ever written, and it's quite rough in places, but the whole idea is just very creepy to me...and additionally in my minds eye I was seeing this story taking place in my home. So at about 12:55 I called it quits because I actually wanted to sleep last night.
But here you go, the first story of Friday, the second will be updated when the votes are cast.
Speaking of votes, because all of you suck, that means we only have two suggestions for this week (and the week before, and the week before).
bio djinnie: Also, how about a story involving Furbies, Death-rays, and an ancient orginization of ninjas?
Bossman: Write a 4,000 word essay on the topic of your choosing without using a single pronoun.
At this time no new suggestions are accepted. Please vote on one of these two suggestions for my 4,000 page story.
Anyhow, if you're weak of stomach don't read this one. If you're twisted, like me, then please feel free.
I first heard the voice when I was alone in the bathroom and getting ready for bed. I was washing my face and oblivious to the world around me; all I was aware of was the rough feeling of the damp cloth on my skin, and the rushing water pouring from the faucet.
Then there was some sort of shifting, grinding sound—the sort that drags and catches, the sort that has that slight metallic scream that rings inside of your head. I sighed and reached down, gripping the tap handle and feeling the slightly warm metal in my hands. Then, with a sudden motion I twisted the knob and cut the flow of water. We’d been having too many problems with our water supply, things ranging from supply, to temperature, and disgustingly enough…even cleanliness. I wasn’t about to have the water turn putrid on me now.
I replaced the damp face cloth on the ledge of the sink carefully and listened to the remaining water work its way through the pipes…I had always loved to listen to water in its various forms: From a burbling creek to a torrential rain, even just the simple pleasure of hearing the sounds it made as it drained down the porcelain sink and into the labyrinth of pipes below.
With that complete I studied my reflection in the slightly dirty mirror, noting the gentle curve of my jaw and being pleased by my sparkling green eyes. However I also noted with displeasure my disheveled hair, and a single large zit forming directly where my ear met the skin of my face. I sighed and idly poked it with my finger, as if trying to push it back beneath my skin.
Unable to do anything about the unsightly visage of the zit, I instead reached for a comb to remedy my hair; that’s when I heard it, hissing and bubbling but still somehow with a faint metallic tinge. It made my stomach turn just listening to it. I glanced around the enclosed space of the bathroom, attempting in vain to catch sight of whatever was making the horrid noise, but was unable to find anything. Worse yet, though the sound was putrid enough, I found that when I listened carefully enough (in an attempt to find out if yet another thing had gone wrong with our water) I heard what sounded like words… or rather, one single word. Whatever it was it was…speaking…continually repeating one word over and over, slowly dragging out the syllables in a rasping and horrific manner.
“Sarah.” My name.
Unconsciously I dropped the comb, all thoughts of appearance and beauty banished from my mind as the sickening sound continued. Then, after what seemed like an eternity, the comb contacted the white porcelain of the sink with an almost melodic sound, and the terrible illusion was shattered.
I say it was an illusion, because it wasn’t the first time something like this had happened to me. For all of my sixteen years on this earth, thirteen had been plagued with horrific imaginings of life unseen, hallucinations that encroached upon my mind. It wasn’t that I enjoyed frightening myself, but that somehow my subconscious literally craved that feeling…or at least that’s what my therapist had told me. I wasn’t sure I fully understood… something about adrenaline.
I put the incident from my mind and prepared for a restless night—usually when a single hallucination occurred it meant that several more were to follow. Regardless I decided it was best if I took the medicine I had been prescribed. I was supposed to use it just this sort of situation, whenever a strange or frightening hallucination occurred, my doctor said
“When anything happens that you know cannot be real” I was supposed to take it…apparently it would dull my senses and make it easier to sleep…but I doubted anything would be able to stop the nightmares that would be coming.
I sighed wearily, allowing myself to focus on reality, and gingerly picked up the medicine bottle; reading over the instructions as rapidly as possible. I groaned mentally…it needed to be taken with water.
I battled myself for a period of about 30 seconds, fighting with myself as to whether to risk the night terrors that would surely raise me from my sleep, or attempt to use this pacifier, and risk the return of the water…thing. Finally my rational side won over and I popped the lid of the small container, drawing out a single tablet and placing it on the side of the counter. With that done I grabbed my glass and looked tremulously at the empty sink. I could do this.
Finally I reluctantly gripped the now cold metal of the knob, turning it almost violently, and watching warily as the clear water filled my glass. With a shaking hand I held onto the knob and gently eased the pressure down. Then I stared at my glass laying in the sink as though it would burble my name again—though I have to admit, the idea of my glass of water speaking to me brought a grin to my face, instead of a shudder of fear. With that done I took my pill and walked sleepily to my bed, where I quickly fell asleep.
I didn’t know what time it was when I woke up from my dreamless slumber, my head groggy from the hard work of producing nothing. Breathing in deeply I allowed my head to loll to the side placidly, my eyes tiredly scanning over the illuminated numbers on my alarm clock…it was 11:30 PM. Somehow I’d only managed to sleep for an hour and a half.
I grimaced and rolled back over, feeling the comforting warmth of my blankets wrapped all around me. Only and hour and a half? That was unheard of, even without these supposedly calming drugs I had always slept soundly.
“In fact” I thought wryly, “It’s always a pain to get me to wake up”
I felt my mouth turn to a frown, as my mind, gradually recovering its acuity, began to grind into action; pondering the reasons for my strange awakening. All sorts of strange and disjointed thoughts whirled around in my head, but gradually, gradually the chaos ceased and my mind settled only on known facts. A simple base would allow a more precise answer, I thought to myself tiredly.
It was in that space of mental clarity that I finally heard it, before it had been hidden by the electric buzz of my alarm clock, by the rustling of my sheets as I shifted, by my dulled senses. But now I could clearly hear it, the steady rush of water splashing loudly; the echo reverberating repeatedly in the enclosed space of the bathroom. Even in my clear state of mind, however, I was unable to come up with a reason for why the faucet would be running at this hour. After all, I knew well that both my parents had long since retired for the night. I willed my mind into action, attempting to force it to take these disparate pieces of information and somehow make them make sense. Anything, anything except the fact that the drugs had failed, that I was trapped in a horrific hallucination—or that I was still asleep.
Finally my struggling brain seized upon an idea: My father, being occasionally absentminded, must have simply left the tap running by mistake when he went to bed. That made sense.
Unfortunately it didn’t fix the problem, the rapidly rushing water was not only wasteful, but there was no way I’d be able to sleep with the sound—not only was it distractingly loud, but it also summoned disturbing memories from earlier this night. I groaned pitifully and with the slow, ponderous movements of someone woken reluctantly, I raised my tired body from underneath the warm covers and walked haphazardly to the bathroom.
Yawning tiredly I flicked the light switch, and, covering my eyes to protect them from the harsh light that spilled out, reached blindly toward the sink. Grabbing hold of the hard wooden counter, I gently eased my eyes open so that I could stop the water’s relentless stream.
I blinked. Then I blinked again. The faucet wasn’t turned on, there was no water pouring out of it at all…but I had heard it, I was sure of it. I shook my head as if to clear it of any lingering dreams and then walked slowly to the kitchen, checking the faucet there as well. It too lay silent.
I had turned my back on the darkened kitchen when I heard it.
“Saaaaaaaaarrrrrrrrraaaaaaaaahhhhhhh” It made my blood run cold and a violent shiver start at the base of my spine and go through my entire body. I pivoted to face the empty kitchen and could hear that strange grinding sound from earlier…but the voice was gone. Frightened I turned on the light and walked slowly into the kitchen, my entire body now alive with real fear.
I thought I saw something and whirled to face the sink, watching as a small, wriggling tendril disappeared through the drain. I shuddered violently, I’d heard the stories of snakes and other such things coming up through drains or toilets. That must have been all it was, maybe I’d just caught the tail end of a snake wriggling its way through the pipes—a very thin, almost gelatinous snake…
“Ssssssssaaaaaaaaarrrrrrrraaaaaaaaaaaahhhhhhhhh” This time it was coming from the bathroom, somehow sounding even creepier as it echoed down the empty hallway. I caught myself hyperventilating and slumped against the wall, willing this away, willing this horrid hallucination to leave me be. Instead it persisted in calling my name beckoning me.
I thought, in a moment of panic, to go to my parents, to wake them up, beg them to check the pipes for monstrosities…but that thought was fleeting. I knew my parents wouldn’t want that, they’d been dealing with my hallucinations long enough, I couldn’t wake them up just because I was panicking. No, I had to confront this head on, I had to be unafraid. Unfortunately I was terrified.
With trembling legs, I pushed myself forward, willing myself to walk to the bathroom, from where the horrible voice emanated. I walked slowly, as if drugged, dragging my feet as I moved and feeling the rough carpet across my skin. Why couldn’t this just stop? I paused, I had left the light on in the bathroom, I was sure of it…but somehow the light was off again. I reached for it, my arm moving as if reaching through molasses.
“Ssssssssssaaaaaaarrrrrrrraaaaaaaaaaaaahhhhhhh” It sighed again, then, something new “Dddddooooooooonnnnnn’t”
Something clicked in my brain, of course, every time I had turned on a light this thing had disappeared. That was the solution, it might not stop the hallucination, but it would give me an advantage over it. After all, I had no choice but to play the game, I may as well use it to my advantage.
With a quick motion I flicked the light switch, now seeing the little tendril waving around in the sink. Then, without a backward glance I sprinted towards the kitchen to turn on that light as well. The thing, whatever it was, gave out a shriek as it was blocked from entering either drain. Now all I had to do was wait until the morning when I could talk with my therapist, I was triumphant.
I whirled around; my hair moving crazily about my face. Where had it come from? I had turned on the lights in the bathroom and the kitchen…there was no place for it come up.
“Sssssssssssaaaaaaaarrrrraaaaaaaahhhhh” I realized with dawning horror that there was one more sink in the house—my parent’s bathroom. I attempted to resist, attempted to just go back to bed and forget all of this…but something held me, something made me stay. I’d explain to my parent’s the intensity of this hallucination and they’d surely understand, maybe they’d get me a better prescription too. Yes, this would work.
I knocked hesitantly on their door, hearing nothing from within. Then I heard it and a wave of revulsion passed through me, I could almost feel it through the door somehow.
“Sssssssaaaaaaarrrrraaaaaaaahhhhhh” I shuddered and pushed open the door, pausing a moment to allow my eyes to adjust to the darkness. When that had passed I glanced around the warm room…my parent’s weren’t in bed. There was the sound of running water coming from the bathroom, and I caught a glimpse of my dad moving around. I’d just go talk to him, we’d figure this out together.
I’m not sure when I realized something was wrong. Maybe it was when I became aware of the fact that my dad wasn’t washing his hands, or doing anything, really. He was just standing there in the darkened bathroom with the water running.
“Dad…?” I called questioningly, and almost instantaneously he turned to look at me, I expected to see confusion in his eyes, maybe for him to rationalize what was going on, to say.
“Oh, hey sprout, I must have zoned out for a bit there” but instead I saw something that caught my gag reflex. My father’s eyes were rolled up in his head, only the milky whites of them shining in the darkness…his entire body was slouched, as though exhausted, and I now noticed that his skin was pasty white and covered in sweat. He opened his mouth
I screamed, I screamed and screamed and screamed, attempting to lunge from the room when I felt a vice grip around my ankle. My father had fallen on the ground and was gripping my tightly—and that’s when I saw the small tendrils that had attached themselves to his spine, the tendrils that pulsed and spread across his back. I forced myself to keep moving, dragging my body slowly forward—amazingly enough my father—or rather, that thing controlling my father, didn’t make any move to pull me back, instead he…it…just remained with the vice grip on my ankle.
There was a resounding, and sickening snap and my father’s hand went limp, freeing me to move again. I turned, concerned I had broken his hand but instead I saw that the tendrils that had once reached from the sink and into his back had each split in two, with the still waving tendrils retreating into the sink. Had I hurt it?
That’s when I saw it, the tendrils still attached my father’s back began to shudder and pulse violently, burrowing themselves deeper and deeper into his skin until all that could be seen was a series of angry red welts across his back. I realized now that this was no hallucination with the same certainty that I realized my father was dead…and likely my mother as well.
Shaking violently I walked from the room, pausing only when I heard that shifting, grinding sound. Like an enormous stone being moved, slowly scraping across something. I knew it wouldn’t leave me alone.
“Ssssssssssaaaaaaarrrrrrraaaaaaaahhhhh” it called, and this time I could hear it from each sink, that disgusting voice filling my entire house.
And somehow it came to me, somehow I remembered my teacher telling me years and years ago. Somehow in that moment of absolute horror I remembered her voice
“The human body is actually composed of about 80% water, you know?” The thing in the sink was just a feeler, drawing in its victims…until it could use them as incubators. That’s what had become of my parents.
I don’t know what happened next, I truthfully don’t. I simply remembering waking up screaming, a torrential downpour soaking me as I ran down the road. I could still hear it, though, I could still each of those drops whispering my name.
The police caught up with me after it was discovered I was missing. It wasn’t hard for them to, after all, people on the street were quick to report a crazed, disheveled girl who ran through city attempting to flee something unseen. They took me to the mental health ward.
I went through meeting after meeting, test after test. They had come to the conclusion that my parent’s unexplained deaths had simply driven me over the edge. I was given all sorts of different drugs in order to calm me down, in order to float me on that euphoric state of absolute nothingness. None of it worked for long, the numbness would fade and I would come back and the terror would return.
It would return because every night I went to sleep I could hear it. Curled up tight in my blankets with my eyes clamped shut I could still hear it, I could hear the water burbling merrily from my private bathroom, I could hear the pipes creaking as water was forced through them. But most of all I could it whispering my name every night. Whispering
Word Count: 2,834