creature short

Hello?

I awoke at 4 AM to a rather unsettling nightmare and found myself drenched in sweat, even though I had kicked the blankets off of my bed, and my ceiling fan was twirling on its highest setting. I was so shaken by the dream that the adrenaline pulsing through my body had me on high alert, unable to fall back asleep, at least for a little while.

   I turned the bedside table lamp on and looked at the clock to confirm the time before surveying my room to make sure nothing was out of place, and that no boogeymen were hiding away. Everything seemed just as I remembered when falling asleep. Nothing that I could notice, at least.

   I recounted what had happened in my nightmare, hoping that it would relieve my mind knowing that it was only a dream, and allow me to fall back asleep without any trouble.

   I was in a cornfield, which wasn’t unusual considering that where I live there were hundreds of those fields all across the town. It was nighttime, and unusually dark compared to the actual nights out in the country where the light from the stars themselves provided enough to see where one was going. I had a flashlight on me, but I never saw it in my hand; just a beam of light everywhere I looked, like something out of a video game.

   As I pushed through the thick, tall stalks of corn that were a chore to maneuver through, even in a dream, I came upon an old farmhouse. I had recognized it immediately, because as a kid the school bus would always drive past it to and from school. The place had always been poorly maintained by some old geezer who all of the kids told urban legends about. The man was a murderer, demonic cults were performed there, some creature roamed the cornfield, the scarecrows walked at midnight; if you could think of a story about the place, it had already been concocted by the young kids who were bored, as living in the middle of nowhere would do that to someone.

   The house was a block of nighttime shadow. I shined my flashlight along the rotting front porch, the dusty, old windows, and even the familiar blue pickup truck I’d seen parked at the side, its paint faded by countless sunny afternoons.

   The front door was open. My dream voice in my head prompted me to enter the house, like it was some invitation. As any nightmare goes, my gut told me otherwise and continuously attempted to force me to leave, but instead I walked up the squeaky, wooden steps and across the porch floorboards that sagged beneath my weight.

   I walked inside of the dark, empty farmhouse. I looked to my left. The furniture was askew. An old television, still adorned with the wiry antlers of cable antennae, had laid lopsided along the living room floor. A blizzard of static fizzed from its screen.

   In front of me down a short hallway, I was only able to have a glimpse of the kitchen through the open doorway. I saw a freshly made meal for two, barely even touched, and glistening in the beam of my flashlight were shards of broken glass from cups of water carelessly knocked off the edge of the table. Or, swiped? Thrown? The house was obviously in disarray, as if a fit of rage was unleashed upon the home.

   The wooden stairs that lead to the second floor were smeared with blood, along the steps and descending the wall. Something injured had been dragged mercilessly down the staircase, and a handprint on the wall, starting at the top, became a streak of red paint the further down it went.

   At this point, I had started to realize that I was in a nightmare. I think. It all had seemed so real, but everything felt…off. Different. As if it almost wanted to be real, but it couldn’t quite get it right.

   My subconscious managed to tell me that the upstairs was not worthy of investigating. I instead directed my attention to the basement entrance in the hallway ahead of me, just before the kitchen and beneath the staircase. Something was in there, I just knew it.

   I had found myself opening the basement door. My flashlight beam slowly directed itself down the basement steps and into the pitch black, empty, dirty basement. I could feel another presence down there, but I remained planted at the top of the staircase.

   It was a wet sound, like water dripping but with more of a defined impact with the basement floor. Thicker than water. Sticky. Something grumbled within the dark depths, in another language that I had never heard before, but even if I had, the way that it groggily mumbled the words in a deep, beastly voice was incoherent within itself.

   “Hello?” I stupidly called out, my dream-self forgetting every horror movie that I’d ever seen.

   Whatever was in the basement ceased its mumbling, and I heard a hiss of sudden alertness, presumably the being redirecting its attention to my intrusion. Hello? it mimicked back, over and over again in a different inflection and pitch with each repetition of the word. It sounded like multiple people were down in the basement, each responding back with ‘hello?’ of varying sexes and ages. A middle-aged man with a gruff voice; an old woman with a soft, welcoming voice; a little boy who sounded scared; a young woman whose voice seemed a few pitches too deep, as if it were coming through a voice-altering program. The creature continued to find the right voice, repeating the same word, and it paused before finally returning with a flawless, “Hello?” in my voice.

   And then I remember seeing a mass of bright red, bleeding arms scratching at the floor of the basement, and the steps of the stairwell, stripped of skin to expose the pulsing veins and muscle of a dozen thrashing limbs. Faces frozen in agony and terror crept into the beam of my flashlight. Missing eyes and contorted screams. Everything was fused together as an undulating lump of meat. And they all continued to hiss, Hello?

   There was a break in the nightmare, but I was suddenly back in the cornfield running away from the farmhouse. The creature was behind me, releasing a shrill, monstrous cry of a hundred terrorized voices. The cornstalks were thickening, and the ground had become soft and swampy. The faster I tried to run, the harder it became as each desperate footstep became stuck in the goopy ground.

   I knew it was behind me, but I didn’t want to look back. I was growing tired, like I’d just run a marathon.

   The hundreds of distorted, almost demonic voices repeating Hello? grew louder as whatever was chasing me drew nearer and nearer. I was sure that I was just at the property line of the cornfield, my exhausted breath becoming taxing on my ability to run any further.

   I peeked over my shoulder. I had barely even made it a few feet from the farmhouse.

   A dozen meaty, burnt, and decaying hands exploded in screams from the dark, thick cornstalks surrounding me, all connected to one another and fused to a thing that wore a hundred deformed faces.

   The last thing I saw was the night, starless sky before I woke up.

   The dream had disturbed me to the point where I wasn’t sure if I was going to be able to fall back asleep. Comfortably, at least.

   It was nearing 4:30 and I knew that I still had a few more hours before sunrise, but I wasn’t sure if I would be able to get any rest until then. I unhooked my phone from its charger and decided to distract myself with anything I could. After getting bored with the same news feed as usual, I opened up my photos app to look at the fun recent photos and videos that would help finally put my mind at ease.

   It was then that I noticed that there was a video on my phone I had no recollection of recording.

   The video started off as a black screen, much like the starless sky in my nightmare. I could hear the sound of crickets and cicadas in the night environment. Then, whoever was holding the phone, stirred. I couldn’t see, but it sounded like the phone was being picked up off of the ground. Crunching foliage indicated the camera operator moving, and it sounded as if they lazily dragged their heavy feet across the ground. A painful groan wheezed from whoever was holding the phone. The crickets stopped chirping shortly after.

   A light in the distances squeezed through…I looked closer at my phone screen and held it away from the glare of my bedside table lamp…what looked like plants? Stalks? The light in the distance was a streetlight attached to a telephone pole. A road.

   The camera pushed through the curtain of plant life and reached the edge where the foliage ended suddenly, and a ditch along an empty stretch of road appeared on screen. Whoever was holding the camera was at a height that matched someone crawling on their hands and knees. Slowly, they stood up, their joints emitting relieved, sticky cracks and pops.

   The camera operator hobbled slowly across the ditch and breathed deeply and heavily. They seemed injured. They stopped at the edge of the road and pointed the camera down one direction, and then turned and pointed it in the opposite direction. I listened closely, and it sounded as if the camera operator was sniffing the air, like an animal on the hunt. Light sniffing turned into deep snorts, and a little bit of grumbling that followed shortly after.

   My heart skipped a beat when the camera operator twisted the camera around and revealed the darkened, abandoned farmhouse from my nightmare. It was only for a couple of seconds before the camera pointed back at the road, but I knew immediately.

   For the next ten minutes, the operator lumbered down the dark road that had cornfields occupying both sides. Not once did I ever see who was behind the camera, and I only assumed that it was someone else, for I would’ve remembered recording a video as strange as this.

   The thick cornfields trickled away as the camera entered a small, residential area. My blood ran cold as I recognized the familiar area.

   More deep, heavy sniffing fizzed from my phone’s speakers, as if whoever held the camera had it right next to their face. They entered the small neighborhood, sniffing lightly along each property as they passed the dark, quiet houses of sleeping families. Then the camera stopped at one particular house.

   My house.

   The camera was fixed on the home for what seemed like an eternity, or at least my paranoia made it feel that way. I started to feel sick, and I wondered if I was still stuck in my nightmare and hadn’t actually woken up yet.

   The camera operator started to run to the house. Or, they limped? Hobbled? The person holding the camera couldn’t run properly, and with each sprint, it grunted and snorted like a pig searching for its meal in a puddle of mud.

   It reached the front door of my house, the porch light still bright and burning as I would keep it every night.

   The camera pointed downward as the operator walked up the steps. A thick leg covered in baggy pants and a heavy, black boot took the first step. And then the saggy-skinned leg of an elderly woman carried the camera operator…thing? up the second step, decorated with black-blue bruises and varicose veins.

   The camera fell downward and became level with the floor of the front porch. A woman’s hand crawled into view, her fingernails painted a blood red. Then another hand. A massive, hairy hand—that of a large man—clawed toward the front door and pulled the camera operator forward. A husky grunt wheezed from whatever was holding the camera. If it was even holding it, which by this point, I wasn’t even sure.

   This thing inched toward the front door, and the womanly hand grabbed the doorknob. It twisted it. The door cracked open.

   The hand of a small girl, or at least I think it was, vacated of skin, slowly pushed the door open, and it crawled into my home.

   This creature pulled itself across the floor with its three arms. Four. Seven. It grabbed the corners of the walls and the frames of the doorways, inching its way through the dark living area and into the hallway where my bedroom resided at the end. It quietly moaned a gurgling, wet cry as it pulled itself to its many legs and feet once it reached the open doorway to my room.

   I saw myself in my bed. The covers had been kicked off.

   The clock by my lamp glowed in the darkness of my room. 3:58 AM.

   The monster quietly stepped closer to where I slept. Closer. It sniffed and snorted and breathed heavily and deeply. Hands crept from the borders of the camera…no, the point of view of this monster. Dozens of hands. Dripping. Sticky. Coagulated. Missing skin; frilled muscle; fingers clawed and ready to snatch. The monster grumbled a garbled laugh.

   I stirred in my sleep, and the hands retreated cautiously. The creature whimpered impatiently as it slowly shuffled away from the bed and toward the back of my room where it engulfed itself in the darkness of my closet. Three blackened, charred arms gripped the closet door and gently pulled it shut, leaving only a sliver of an opening as it watched me through the crack.

   I saw myself wake up from what was probably a nightmare. I turned on the bedside table lamp, and the light made my skin glisten as I was drenched in sweat. By the time I looked at the clock, it had just changed to 4 AM.

   I watched myself sit up in bed, and then I started looking around the room. The moment my gaze met the crack of the open closet, the thing in the video hunkered out of sight and into the dark depths of my closet.

   That’s when the recording ended.

   I looked up from my phone to see my closet door ajar by only a couple of inches. Was I still in the nightmare I had woken up from only moments earlier? I started to pull myself out of bed to investigate the closet, or to shut the door and convince myself that nothing was in there but only a bad dream. I stopped myself instead.

   Impulsively, I called out, “Hello?”

   Silence.

   I sighed in relief.

   Hello? My voice called back.



Stay spooked!

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As you ready yourselves for the day we celebrate little leaping men in green, we thought you might like to see the other creatures that you might happen upon in traditional Celtic folklore. Some of them might even make a reappearance in our upcoming video on Irish Mythology!

Here’s a challenge for you: use one of the creatures in the video in a short work of fiction and tag it with #keep making stuff up. We can’t wait to see what you come up with!

Enjoy,

Chloe, Happy Human Helper

I think one of my low-key favorite things about the mythos of Watership Down is that their myths don’t take place in some kind of idealized time before the humans came and ruined everything–which is how a lot of animal-POV stories do it.

No, El-ahrairah and Rabscuttle–both mythic figures from time immemorial–encounter humans and their machines and their farms. They talk to domesticated animals. And it’s treated like it’s 100% normal for them.

It just makes so much sense to me because rabbits are such short-lived creatures, why would they think anything could ever be different from what they’re experiencing right now?

anonymous asked:

ALL COMPANIONS+Krem, Dagna and Harding! Hogwarts AU. Which houses they would be? Which patronus do they have? Best subjects? Who likes quiddich? And simple backstory would be nice (are they pure-blood wizards? Muggleborn?) Thanks! I love your blog.

For the sake of this post, Defense Against the Dark Arts and Care of Magical Creatures will be shorted to DADA and CMC, respectively.

Cassandra: Gryffindor. Her patronus is a cat, and her best subject is DADA. Cassandra is pure-blooded, coming from a long wizarding line, though she hardly cares. She just wants to be an auror.

Blackwall: Hufflepuff. His patronus is a bear, and his best subject is Charms. He’s also a big follower of Quiddich. He is half-blooded.

Iron Bull: He’s a hatstall between Slytherin and Gryffindor, but the hat eventually decides on Gryffindor by a narrow margin. His patronus is a bull, and his best subject is Muggle Studies. He is an obnoxious fan of quiddich, and is muggle-born.

Sera: Hufflepuff. Her patronus is a bee, and her best subject is Flying. Sera likes quiddich, but doesn’t particularly care if she wins or loses, and finds herself on Hufflepuff’s team. Sera was orphaned and doesn’t know her blood relations, but was raised by a pure-blood. She disdains any sort of care over blood “purity.”

Cole: Hufflepuff, for sure. His patronus is a dik-dik, and his best subject is CMC. Some of the other students think he’s a ghost or part ghost and find him creepy. His blood relations are unknown.

Varric: Ravenclaw. His patronus is a fox, and his best subject is History of Magic. He’s pure-blooded and an active author of wizarding books.

Dorian: Ravenclaw. His patronus is a peacock, and his best subject is Arithmancy. He’s pure-blooded and was raised by a family who prides themselves on this, but he distances himself from them.

Solas: Hatstall between Slytherin and Ravenclaw; the hat eventually decides on Ravenclaw. His patronus is a wolf, and his best subject is Transfiguration. He is pure-blooded.

Vivienne: Slytherin. Her patronus is an owl, and her best subject is Potions. She is muggle-born, and lays the smack-down on anyone who gives her shit for it; she’s aiming to be the Minister of Magic.

Cullen: Gryffindor. His patronus is a lion, and his best subject is DADA. He is half-blooded, and like Cassandra, wants to be an auror.

Josephine: Almost a hatstall between Hufflepuff and Ravenclaw, and the hat eventually decides on Hufflepuff. Her patronus is a rabbit, and her best subject is Muggle Studies. Josephine is pure-blooded.

Leliana: Oddly enough, she’s a hatstall between Slytherin and Hufflepuff, and the hat picks Slytherin. Her patronus is a raven, and her best subject is Frog Choir. She is muggle-born.

Krem: Gryffindor. His patronus is a horse, and his best subject is DADA. Krem is muggle-born– something his family didn’t take well to.

Dagna: Ravenclaw. Her patronus is an otter, and her best subject is Charms. Dagna is muggle-born, and wants to learn everything there is to know about magic.

Harding: Gryffindor. Her patronus is a meerkat, and her best subject is DADA. Harding is half-blooded, and she’s a big quiddich fan.

Aveline: Gryffindor. Her patronus is a German Shepherd, and her best subject is DADA. Aveline is muggle-born, and is interested in being an auror.

Merrill: Ravenclaw. Her patronus is a cockatiel, and her best subject is the Dark Arts. She is half-blooded, and sometimes ostracized for her interest in the dark arts.

Fenris: Gryffindor. His patronus is a coyote, and his best subject is DADA. He is muggleborn, and doesn’t care much for his own magic.

Anders: Hufflepuff. His patronus is a honey badger, and his best subject is Herbology; he is a muggle-born, and was ostracized by his muggle parents. He’s studying to become a healer.

Carver: Gryffindor. His patronus is a stag, and his best subject is DADA. He is half-blooded, and really wants to be an auror.

Bethany: Hufflepuff. Her patronus is a doe, and her best subject is Charms. She is half-blooded, and wants to be a healer.

Isabela: Slytherin. Her patronus is a dolphin, and her best subject is Transfiguration. She is half-blooded, and uses her magic for piracy.

Velanna: Gryffindor. Her patronus is a goose, and her best subject is Herbology. She is pure-blooded, and looks down upon muggle-borns.

Sigrun: Ravenclaw. Her patronus is a raccoon, and her best subject is Study of Ancient Runes. She’s muggle-born.

Nathaniel: Gryffindor. His patronus is a falcon, and his best subject is Astronomy. He is pure-blooded, though his family has recently been in hot water for siding with Voldemort.

Justice: Gryffindor. His patronus is a honeyguide, and his best subject is Divination. He doesn’t divulge his blood status, and it doesn’t seem to matter to him. Like Cole, the others suspect him of being a ghost.

Oghren: Gryffindor. His patronus is a druffalo, and his best subject is drinking butterbeer DADA. He is half-blooded.

Alistair: Gryffindor. His patronus is a mabari, and his best subject is DADA. He is half-blooded, coming from (what he was told and what he believes) to be a long pure-blooded line and a muggle mother.

Morrigan: Slytherin. Her patronus is a spider, and her best subject is Transfiguration. She does not know her blood purity, and she was raised by an old hag.

Zevran: Gryffindor. His patronus is a crow, and his best subject is Charms. He is muggle-born, and has interest in stealth-related spells.

Wynne: Ravenclaw. Her patronus is a dove, and her best subject is History of Magic. She is muggle-born, and a professor.

Shale: Slytherin. Her patronus is a crab, and her best subject is Alchemy. She does not know her blood purity.

Loghain: Hatstall between Slytherin and Gryffindor, ultimately Gryffindor. His patronus is a tortoise, and his best subject is History of Magic. He is muggleborn.

Your Ultimate Camp Counselor Guide

Having worked as a camp counselor for 2 going on 3 years now, i figured id make a guide to not only what you need as a counselor, but the types of counselors and campers. Here u go, nerds,

First off, what you NEED.

-sunscreen (spf 30 or above)
-bandaids
-tampons and/or pads (even if ur a boy)
-hair ties (again, even the guys)
-bug spray
-deodorant
-a hat with a brim (baseball cap, snapback, or bucket hat)
-ziplock baggies (useful for keeping your phone dry and keeping wet clothes in)
-sunglasses
-water bottle
-a backpack (drawstrings are my personal fav) to keep this shit in
-tissues/napkins
-a snack (beef jerky, nuts, dried fruit, or trail mix are best to keep ya energy up)
-hand sanitizer (bc kids are disgusting, germy little creatures)
-extra shorts/shirt/socks (in case someone pukes on u)


Things that you dont NEED but can come in handy:

-a deck of cards
-friendship bracelet string
-rubber bands
-coloring book/crayons
-safety pins
-bobby pins
-a sharpie
-wet napkins


Okay kids now the fun part:
Types of Counselors-

-the Boss: the one person who acts like they control everyone, kids and staff alike. Usually a junior counselor or CIT.

-the Stoner: literally how are they functioning?? How does their boss not notice?? Whatever, the kids love them and theyre really good at braiding hair.

-the Becky: super peppy, always smiling born-to-work-at-camp counselor, always making friendship bracelets and eats a salad every day for lunch. Can be male or female but usually a chick.

-the Dead Inside: took this job thinking it was easy, the children have stepped all over their soul. You could kill a man in front of them and theyd just sigh and fill out an accident report.

-the Gossip: talks shit, never wants to help clean up.

-the Un Athletic One: they can never seem to keep up with the kids, cant play kickball for shit, doesnt know how to keep the kids under control.

-the Lifer: theyre nearly 30, but theyve worked here every summer since they were 15, so its sort of their home.

-the Slacker: literally the worst. Doesnt do shit, lets the kids run wild, hates to clean, hates to move around.

-the Vet: different than the Lifer. Theyve been here a few years and They. Have. Seen. Some. Shit. Been puked on? Sure. Bled on? Yup. At this point, nothing will shock this counselor, and honestly dont piss them off, they could kill a man with their eyes.

-the Git ‘er Done: smokes half a pack, downs two red bulls, and pulls through the day like a well oiled machine. Doesnt take shit from anyone.

-the Joe: basic. Newbie, or hasnt been there too long. Knows the drill but isnt anything special. Pretty good at cleaning tables.

-the Germaphobe: literally why are you working with small children. Hates dirt. Bathes in hand sanitizer.

-the Jock: kids and counselors love em. Super athletic, hot, and nice. Usually a little older.

Types of Campers:

-the Cling: wont leave you alone, never does anything without asking their fav counselor for help.

-the Mudpie: why, child, must you bathe in dirt?

-the Magpie: steals anything they can get their grubby little paws on.

-the Diva: too good for summer camp, “my old camp was better.”

-the Blabber Mouth: you cuss ONE time when you cut your finger and the little bitch tattles.

-the Reader: doesnt play sports. Doesnt make friends. Reads all day. Weird. wears sweats year round.

-the Pube: any boy between age 10-12. Likes worms. Hits people. Ugh.

-the Gossip: same as their counselor counterpart, talks shit and never participates in group activities.

-the Tom Boy: we get it. You like sports. Hush child.

-Snot: NEVER BLOWS NOSE. ALWAYS COVERED IN BOOGERS.

-the Albino: we lathered you in 20 layers of sunscreen how are you still burnt??

-the Shark: beats all the counselors at cards.


Feel free to add anything i missed fam and enjoy the summer!

      —– @maquiavillain.

         he had felt the shove against his back as he drifted to sleep but had elected to ignore it, he would not lower himself to such childishness, claiming space in this manner was beneath him. perhaps this had been a valuable warning to heed. though he felt justified in his indignation, he had acted on presumed insults, injuries to his pride that were quite muddled in the details. 

        “you boor—-” there was a quiet throbbing in his hip, hardwood unkind to the weight that had most unceremoniously collapsed upon it, waking him from his drowsiness. if the fall hadn’t adequately roused him, his outrage most certainly did. it was but a moment before a finger accusingly pressed into the man’s shoulder, “what is the meaning of this?” though sousoke may have feigned sleep, byakuya was not so foolish as to believe it. he hardly believed anything this man presented to him as it were, particularly with the growing tension between them. a sharp nail into flesh was hardly equivalent to his jarring wake up call but it would be most inappropriate to allow his anger to get the best of him.