shards-and-ashes

Creepypasta #1019: I Buy Antlers - All Kinds!

Length: Super long

CASH FOR ANTLERS! screamed the homemade cardboard sign at the side of the winding mountain road.

I slowed my car down to stare at it, immediately drawn in by the curious sight and enthusiastic words.

As a freelance photojournalist hoping to make it big with my portraits of the still-wild western United States, I was always on the lookout for all things strange, quirky and quaint. I’d soon discovered the remote mountain villages of New Mexico to be a goldmine for off-the-wall and unexpected gems.

In search of the perfect stories, I’d wandered among the blood-colored bluffs and cliffs, gathered sweet-scented sagebrush alongside wild horses, and scrambled across craggy lava flows that had buried the bones of ancient dinosaurs. I’d been blessed by medicine women and slept in haunted hotels. I’d even crawled into the dark hollows of allegedly haunted mine shafts in search of long-lost Spanish gold.

Even still, it was never good enough. After returning home, I’d often feel restless and unfulfilled, my blood hemorrhaging from some unseen cavern in my body. I’d dream of being taller than a mountain, burying my enormous hands into every cranny and every canyon, trailing my fingertips through the pallid white sand dunes, dipping my toes in the cold snowmelt streams. From above, my eyes would survey the landscape, its hills and arroyos as textured as the back of a horned lizard, and my dreamer’s heart would thrum and throb with love for my homeland, strange as it was.

But I’d never seen anything like this sign, a sudden flicker of civilization in the remote and untamed Jemez Mountains.

Such a fervent prayer for the severed, bony protrusions of hoofed mammals. I heard the prayer repeating, repeating, in the hidden folds of my mind.

What in the world would anyone want with antlers?

I parked my car in the gravel turnout, and slung my camera over my shoulder. I got out of the car and walked closer.

“Hey there,” came a voice from behind a parked pickup truck I hadn’t noticed until that moment. A man stood up from his canvas lawn chair he’d placed in the truck’s shade. “Have you got something to sell?”

“Ah,” I said. “No. I was just curious about the sign.”

“Curious?” the man said, slowly plucking pistachios and pinyons from a plastic bag. He cracked the nuts with his thumb, their dry shells plinking in the gravel like clipped fingernails.

“Why do you buy antlers?” I asked. “What sorts of antlers?”

“All kinds,” he said, simply, breezily, with the casual grace of an experienced salesman.

“I’m sorry to be rude or nosy,” I apologized. “I’m a journalist and photographer, and I’ve never seen anything like this. If I may ask, what do you do after you buy them?”

“I resell them, mostly,” he answered. “Tourists and locals like them for decoration. Some of them I carve into knife handles. I’ll take anything you’ve got. Deer, elk, bighorn sheep, pronghorn, chamacorn. You know. Anything.”

“Wait. What?” I said. “What was that last one?”

“What?” he said. “Anything. I said I’ll take anything.”

“You said-“

He stared at me.

I looked back towards my car, and considered just walking away. But oh! I desperately wanted that photograph. Or at least, I wanted some sort of souvenir. Something to plug the hole in the bleeding depths of my secret heart.

The man beckoned to me.

“Come on up to the shed,” he said. “I’m sure I’ve got what you’re looking for.”

Keep reading

astrological signs as trash
  • aries: a lightly used pad casually covered in toilet paper and the wrapping
  • taurus: a toothbrush with all the tonsils bent backwards
  • gemini: a negative pregnancy test next to a positive pregnancy test
  • cancer: empty floss can
  • leo: a pair or scissors that were rusted shut
  • libra: a dead body hidden inconspicuously in a dumpster
  • virgo: toilet paper roll with the end of the tp still on it
  • scorpio: tumblr dot com
  • sagittarius: a napkin covered in a questionable tomato(?) substance
  • capricorn: the shards and ashes of an old urn they knocked over
  • aquarius: tube sock with a hole in the heel
  • pisces: anime