In scrolling boxes for your reading pleasure. The following creepypasta falls more into the "spooky short story" category than traditional creepypasta, which is generally under 150 words, however they are often good stories, and deserve their place here:
Guts, by Chuck Palahnuik
Please See: Guts.
The Gallery of Henri Beauchamp
If you go into this one tiny, dingy one-story bar in Paris, and the right bartender is behind the counter that night, you might be able to see a very exclusive gallery show of the lost works of one Henri Beauchamp. But, to get in, you have to prove you're a devotee of the artist to get in.
You'll be asked, in clear and perfect English, "What would like to partake of this glorious night?" Answer "absinthe", no matter what. Any other drink, from whiskey to water, will kill you as you sleep.
The next question will regard the type, and you MUST answer one of two things: "The stuff that Man himself could not bear to take," or, "The good stuff. The best stuff." If you ask for any other absinthe, in any other way, you will be plagued by nightmares for 13 days. Each night's dream will be more horrible than the last, until, upon the thirteenth dream, your nightmare will follow you, every moment of your waking and sleeping life.
Don't try and cheat the barkeep: the door locked behind you. You have to drink what he gives you, doom or not. That such a powerful man granted you audience should be enough. Besides, I've heard that the dying complimented his drinks in their death throes.
If you make it that far before sealing your fate, the bartender will say, "Be sure you handle this with care; this is the finest I have." From here, you may do one of two things: Say, word for word, "I overestimated my fortitude, and I bid you good eve." If the barkeep nods, you may leave the door you entered, unharmed and with nothing gained and nothing lost (except the time spent inside).
Or you can go on.
You will be given a glass with a seven-sided rim, with each side twisting ever so delicately around the basin until forming a sleek and simple handle. You will also receive a very, very, very special absinthe spoon, in the shape of a key; the holes at the key's top serve as the draining point for the alcohol to pour over the sugar cube. And, of course, an unmarked bottle, stripped long ago of its label, scraps of paper sticking to its sides, covered in the rot of the decades past.
The spoon is completely flat, but has two distinct sides: one with a groove along the shaft of the key, and one without. Turn the shaft down, so its groove will be face down. If you attempt this face up, your absinthe will taste foul, your nose will burn, and your eyes will shrivel in their sockets with unspeakable horrors not of this world.
Now, if your spoon is the right way up, begin preparing the absinthe as one would (put the sugar on the spoon, and pour the alcohol over so it gains its color and "special qualities").
Say "cheers" to your friend, the barkeep, and bottoms up. If you don't, the absinthe will burn every innard it touches with the power and pain of sulfuric acid.
If you've done it right, the already dim lights will go off, and darkness will consume the bar. Don't be afraid; the darkness is the cue that you've been approved for the exhibit. Wait out the darkness, and keep silent as the dead, lest the bartender decide to make you so.
Eventually (not too long, two to three minutes), a green floodlight will shine brightly on a door on the far wall of the bar. The bar will be bathed in green, and not just from the floodlight. Little luminescent spheres will gently drift through the room, and the barkeep will no longer be there...nor any other unassuming patron inside before.
There's no danger by this point...consider it a safe point. If you didn't finish the absinthe, you don't have to, but you might need the alcohol. Either way, take the spoon and put it in the keyhole of the green-lit portal's doorknob. It will fit perfectly, and reach the end of the keyhole with a resounding click.
Inside is a small elevator, with the most beautiful woman any mortal eyes can imagine, bathed in the green glow in just such an angle that the light refracts beyond her into the shape of wings.
The Green Fairy herself will ask you, "Going up?”, and considering all the trouble you went through, it would only make sense to say yes.
Now, you have one more hurdle to clear. She will ask you, as you cross the line from the bar to the compartment, "How would you compare Beauchamp's surrealism to that of, say, René Magritte?" For your reply, you must say, "I've come to see more than art tonight."
If you don't, the green floodlight will blow out, the doors will slam shut, and the elevator will plummet through a seemingly infinite blackness before a red light grows brighter as the elevator nears the very depths of Hell.
Now, if your elevator begins to go up, the green light will also fade, but in its place will be the cool glow of the moon. But, before you even recognize it, the elevator will reach the top of its...well, let's call it a shaft to not get too intricate.
Now, I'm not as sure about this as the rest, but I've heard that, if the Green Fairy kisses you on the cheek as she leaves the elevator, you will always be blessed with a creative inspiration: a permanent, ever-changing muse. You can't ask her, you can't kiss her; she has to do it of her own volition. If not...well, nothing, but no reason to do it anyway and anger the woman who is responsible for keeping the Beauchamp paintings safe for so many years.
You will enter, from the elevator, a turn-of-the-century parlor, with a large poster of Henri Beauchamp on the left side of the opposite wall; on the right is a door.
Taking the time to read the poster is a fairly good idea, as it explains the very significance of Monsieur Beauchamp. You see, he was a struggling surrealist in the 1920's, always making art to try to be free of all premeditation, and managed to do so. You see, after one night in a tiny, dingy one-story bar in Paris, he began to paint...patterns.
First it was geometric patterns. Then complete fractals. Then images that would be in the newspaper the next day. Then next week. Then from fifty years ago. One hundred years in the future, two hundred years in the past...
Then, on his last night of life, he kidnapped three young girls from their homes at night, murdered them, and painted his finest masterpieces in reds and yellows with the blood and bile of virgins.
He committed suicide immediately after painting exactly 13 of these.
These are behind the door.
The first six, from the left, show, from left to right: the genesis of the universe, the only true visage of God as viewable to the eyes of man, the true image of Jesus Christ, the sprawling clouds of Heaven, every Pope from the first to faces not yet recognizable, and a portrait of Jesus' appearance in his Second Coming.
The other six, on the right, show, from right to left: the cataclysm of the universe, the only true visage of Satan as viewable to the eyes of man, the true image of Judas, the sprawling flames of Hell, every human-embodied demon from the first to faces not yet recognizable, and a portrait of the Antichrist in his Second Coming.
Now, six and six makes twelve. But what of the thirteenth?
This thirteenth painting is turned around on its wall pin, the image facing the wall. The space around it is roped up at a very wide diameter, and under the flipped image is a sign, in three languages. The top is in the scriptures of the Seraphim, the bottom in the runes of the highest demonic orders, and in the middle, in Roman letters.
Now, like the kiss, I can't say this part with as much certainty, but all the same...I heard that, somehow, as he died, Beauchamp flayed his skin, his organs, his very soul, into some sort of collage. How he took his dead body and created such a horrific masterpiece, I could never say, nor would I ever dare to.
So...if you make it, maybe you can flip the canvas over and tell me sometime? You can tell me about it over a drink.
The Cabin and the Dolls
I don't know what to do anymore. I’m so scared and I can't trust anyone. I went camping about 3 weekends ago in the Huntsville national forest in Texas. Me and 3 friends that came home for the weekend, they are all in college and usually we all get together at least once a year, old friends from high school. For the camping trip we planned to go backpacking deep in the forest, live off of fish that we catch and animals that we can trap. We have been doing this for awhile in Texas and in numerous places, Arizona, Colorado (if anyone is familiar with the Spanish peaks there), New Mexico, so we‘re pretty much used to anything you‘d encounter out there. It was my turn to pick where we went camping, so I chose Huntsville (more accurately it’s Huntsville/New Waverly). So we drive up there park our car in a camping park spot and start walking off into the forest. We had some laughs along the way, everyone catching up with each other's lives. We walked until it started to get dark and set up camp where we stopped. Everyone gathered wood to make a fire and we set our tent up. And we do what we always do: try and scare each other with weird stories.
Around this time we started to smell something very faint. It was noticeable, but not overbearing. We couldn't put our finger on what it was, so we just carried on. Mike had to go piss and he walked off in the forest. A second later he come running back, piss all down his jeans like he’d missed really bad. Immediately we all crack up and throw some jokes at him. Then we noticed that he was white as snow and trying to catch his breath. He starts screaming for us to follow him, and runs off.
We all get serious and go follow him, not knowing what the problem was. We start to hear a faint scream and crying in the distance, in the direction we were running. It was pitch black away from the camp and Mike had the only flash light (we left ours at the camp, he had his from his trip taking a piss), so at this stage we didn’t have much choice but to follow the light, which was frantically pointing here and there in front of him.
The scream gets closer and Mike starts to slow down. We then notice a ratty old cabin that looked like it was abandoned, except for a faint light that we could see from one of the old mildew covered windows. The crying was intense: whoever it was couldn't breathe enough to let out a full yell. We all followed Mike up to the front door and we could all hear the crying from inside. As soon as he knocked on the door it stopped. We all waited and heard really heavy footsteps walking fast to the door. There was a giant slam against the door and the sound of a bolt unlocking. Then nothing. We waited for a bit, knocked a few more times, but still nothing happened. We walked around the house (there was no fucking way any of us were leaving each other’s side) and noticed a window, which was a good way up. Alex took a deep breath and said asked us to give him a boost so he could see inside. Me and Mike lifted him up to the window. We watched him brush away dirt and webs from the window and place his face close to the window to try and see something.
There was a quick beat. Then suddenly he breathed in fast and let out a loud scream. Then he fell back from the window, screaming bloody murder the whole way. We all tried to calm him down but he was hysterical. We went to him but he started to shake, punch, kick, you name it, and then took off towards the camp.
None of us wanted to be separated so we all ran close behind him. We caught up to him and grabbed him and set him down. The fire was dying out so I grabbed some nearby wood that we collected added it to the fire. My hands were shaking and I had to do something. I went back to Alex and we all tried to calm him down. He wouldn't he kept screaming and was breathing so hard that he eventually fainted.
All of us are terrified now, and we all kept the fire high until sunrise. Periodically Alex kept waking up, screaming just like before. By sunrise he was up and looked catatonic, just mumbling to himself and whimpering. Me and Mike decide to go look at the cabin now it was daylight. We searched where we thought it was, except there was nothing there. Nothing at all. The indistinct smell from last night had now grown into a very strong smell of something dead, something stale. We headed back to the camping site. When we got there we found Alex had chewed into the sides of his face and swallowed so much blood that he was throwing up. John was at his back, and he looked like he was about to die from exhaustion. I guess we all looked that way, I just didn't notice until I saw his face. Alex said quietly that we need to leave. Now.
We all started to pack up the tent. It started to rain really heavily (it was about noon) and the sky started to grow really dark. Alex started to go into a panic. He went and grabbed a big stick and yelled at us to leave it and leave, now, or he‘d knock us out and drag us out of there himself. Mike started to yell at him, and they started to fight. We broke it up and finished packing, and then started to make our way back. After a little while we arrived at a creek we had crossed the previous day, only it was flooded over, and the water was moving to fast for us to cross it. Alex started to scream again, yelling at Mike for taking his time packing up the tent when we could have gotten out of here. This went on for a while until we finally convinced Alex to calm down and tell us what happened. He said as soon as he put his face to the glass, a face on the other side did the same thing, and started to smile really big. It had dark eyes and a dark mouth which was much bigger then Alex's, as the smile got as large as it could. A giant shadow behind it swung something down and sliced it‘s face off. The face was stuck to the window, and he said it started to laugh quietly as it slid down. Mike, still pissed off (and though he wouldn‘t admit it, beginning to get freaked out), started to argue with him again. We eventually started to follow the creek for a way to cross.
We then started to see toys floating in the creek. Really old toys, old Barbie dolls and baby dolls. This wasn't like any old trash floating in the creek, though… this was a lot of barbies, a lot of baby dolls. One washed towards the side and Mike picked it up. It had some kind of voice chip that was dying and started to say some gurgling words we couldn't understand, followed by it’s sad excuse for laughter. Then it sounded like it was whispering. We thought the batteries must be dying, he threw it down.
We kept going, and the sun was starting to set. Alex was freaking out more now, and was whimpering and breathing heavily. We all started to see shadows move behind trees, something we all called BS on until we all were seeing it. It was barely light out and we stop as we see the cabin right in front of us. None of us knows what to think. Mike says “This is bull, I’m going in there.” Alex tries to stop him. We all do, all of us just wanted to go home. Mike says to all of us to fuck off, do our own thing, he doesn't care anymore, this is all bull. We start to hear hundreds of the same sort baby doll as before, laughing, whispering and trying to sing. We start to move forward past the cabin, all of us, and kept pushing forward. We smelled something dead in the air, something stale. The same something as before. We started to hear something crying, and something screaming. We kept on going. We eventually crossed the creek and left the woods. We get back to our vehicle and got in. Its pitch black, and we drive. We are about to get on the 45 to Houston but the road is under construction and can't be accessed. It points to a detour. As we head towards the detour it seems to be small, bumpy dirt road going into the woods.
We then see a young girl come up to us. She looks like she was in trouble, young and pretty. She approaches the passenger side door and she looks like she‘s really drugged up, or beaten up. Alex doesn't roll down the windows, nor does he open the door. She reaches for the handle and he immediately locks it. She puts her face on the window and starts to smile really big. We floor it, Alex starts to cry and scream and we are all breathing heavy. We finally cut on a street that takes us to the 45 and we take it the whole way. When we get back to my apartment everyone doesn't know what to say and we all break apart and go our separate ways. Mike messages me later and says he is going to go back. I try to convince him not to and all he does is say it was our own minds that were screwing with us. I think he just went to prove to himself he wasn’t scared. I can smell that stench everywhere now. I don't go out anymore, I just stay in and don't answer the door. Last week everyone I met was acting really strange, people that I knew for a long time and total strangers. My own dad, when I went to his place to eat supper with him he just watched me, strangely, when I was sitting down. He didn't say a word the whole time. I kept asking him “What’s wrong?” He just slowly shook his head.
When I was leaving to go home I turned to wave. He had black eyes and an open mouth like he was in pain. When I started to walk back he shut the door and bolted it. I stayed there knocking and knocking. Nothing. I called him, his phone was disconnected. I even called the police. Halfway through the questions they were asking me the connection started to fade into static. I could hear a faint mumbling, singing and laughing.
Mike has completely vanished. There is not even a record of him being alive. When I call Alex’s house they talk to me like I’m some salesman. They say they don't know any Alex and to please stop calling. The person who tells me that is Alex‘s mother. I can’t get ahold of John. Someone knocked on my door and when I went to look I saw a face completely covering the peephole and a giant smile started to form. I called the cops again and instead of it turning into static they got really strange. “Sir, are you affected by any drugs at the moment?” “No.” “Are you coming home anytime soon?” “Excuse me?” “Come home.” and the phone call ended. My mail slot swings every now and then. Someone is sliding pieces of baby dolls through it. I try to call people now and all I can hear is static and bad baby doll noises and this crying and screaming. My TV is busted but when I go to piss I can hear it on. I might be going insane.
My brother moved out of the house back in 2002 once he got his job as a Computer technician, and he recently went missing. When I went to his house, it was locked, with 3 sheets of printer paper taped to the front door.
"While coming home from work one day, I noticed someone had left their damaged grey laptop laying in the middle of my driveway one day. I got out of my car to examine it more carefully.
The LCD definitely showed signs of user related damage, as there was a large hole on the left side of the screen that fit a standard Phillips Head screwdriver perfectly. There was a webcam above the display as well, and it was also destroyed with the same screwdriver. Other than those, however, everything else on the computer showed minor signs of wear, like almost all of the keyboards keys were faded, but nothing to the extent that it could be considered unusable. I looked at the back of the display to find out what brand it is, and yet, I couldn't find anything. I looked at the entire laptop's shell and there was no text or logo stating what brand it is. In fact, there was no warranty sticker, no "Proof of licence" sticker on the bottom, no text whatsoever. What's even more odd was the fact that the only ports on the laptop was a VGA port for connecting an external display and a USB port. How long could this laptop have possibly run without a charging port to recharge the battery? It must have been a very low end laptop where you had to remove the battery pack and put it into it's own charging dock. Why did it exactly have a web cam, though?
Curious as to what exactly is on the laptop, I ran inside to my basement where my old desktop was currently being stored. The only reason it was down there was because I forgot to bring that behemoth to the local SarCan to recycle it. I would have been currently using it as my regular computer, but it takes 5 or 6 hours to fully boot because the system always goes through recovery mode every time you start it, and the processor is way to slow to "recover" everything on the 500 gb hard drive I had installed on it (A 120mhz Pentium processor doesn't get you far). Well, anyways, I removed the old LG CRT monitor from the desktop and plugged it into the laptop. I went to push the power button when...
... I stopped. There's no way this is going to work, the battery has to be dead by now.
I rummaged around the basement to find my battery voltage tester and immediately withdrew the battery from the laptop and checked the voltage. Low and behold, it had no charge. Well, might as well just leave it down here, I'll bring all of this computer junk to SarCan tomorrow morning. With that, I unplugged the display from the laptop, put it back into the desktop and simply left everything downstairs. After leaving the basement I went to go watch TV for about 3 hours or so before going to bed.
I was suddenly awakened from my deep slumber by the sound of the Windows 2000 start up jingle and fell out of my bed. It was so deafeningly loud I swore someone was holding a pair of speakers right next to my ears. After I fell out of the bed, I stood up in a groggy daze, and for a minute or so trying to figure out what that sound was. The desktop! I must have accidentally hit the power switch while trying to switch monitors! I simply walked to the basement, but froze in the middle of the steps. I just remembered there was no way my computer could have started up, because I have Windows 95 installed on my desktop. I was reluctant to go down the steps after that, but my common sense started kicking in and I thought I must be getting my OS's mixed up. When I walked down, I was shocked to see that my desktop wasn't on; in fact, I remembered it wasn't even plugged in. I had to make sure of it though. I checked behind the desktop and everything else was plugged in except for the tower. There's absolutely no chance of that laptop turning on, that's impossible. I removed the battery from the laptop again and re-checked the voltage.
This time, I couldn't get a direct number. The voltage tester was just going insane.
I re-inserted the battery pressed the power button on the laptop. Some indicator lights flashed, meaning the computer definitely started, except this time the start up jingle wasn't played at all. I need to see what's going on here. I connected the CRT monitor back into the laptop. And what I saw...
... Was a bare desktop with 3 icons in the corner. The task bar was empty, and there was no Start menu button.
The wallpaper was black. Why would anyone do this to their desktop? Anyone could remove all the icons, but they must be pretty skilled hackers to remove the Start Menu button. Of all the 3 icons, 1 was a Games folder, 1 was a Videos folder, and the last was the DOS Command Prompt program. Maybe this was a kids laptop. Clicking on the Games folder confirmed my suspicions; it was a little girl who must have owned this laptop. I felt some remorse for the poor girl because there was only 1 game in the folder, and I have no idea what the hell it was. The program name was "princess.exe". I clicked on it just to see what the game was like. A fully animated title screen came up, with various generic fairytale princesses twirling across the screen and the logo flew down with a bunch of sparkly doves holding it. The game was called "Princess Creator: Make yourself Beautiful!" Ah, so it must have been one of those low budget "put .jpgs of various clothing items onto a photo of yourself" games. Well, I was right, as the menu popped up I was given the option to "Dress up" or to "View pretty pictures". I wanted to see what the girl looked like, so I clicked on the 2nd option. She had to have been no more than 5, and on top of that she looked very cute. She was of either Mexican or Spanish origin. She wore a somewhat tattered white dress with small red frills around the sleeves and collar. It had small roses on it. I smiled, as she looked like she had a lot of fun putting a virtual tiara on her head. However, browsing through the photos, about halfway through, there are pictures of a room with nothing else but a bed inside. She must've been dodging the camera for the hell of it, I guess. After that I felt I've seen enough with that program, might as well go see the other 2 files on the laptop. I decided to go into the Command Prompt and see if I could locate any other files on the hard drive.
I simply got a ":\>_" line with no drive letter. Ok, this is really strange, I thought. I typed into the command box "start C:\" to see if I could open the directory I wanted to explore. I pressed enter, and DOS simply gave me the "'start' is not recognized as an internal or external command, operable program or batch file." After a few seconds, the program crashed, bringing me back to the desktop. So I guess the last thing to look at is the videos. As I double clicked the folder...
... The screen faded to black. I thought it had crashed, but I noticed that there was a small "_" flashing in the top left corner.
Suddenly, the text "start :\>videos\001.wmv" flashed briefly, then a video appeared in full screen. It was the girl again. This time, she was smiling, bouncing slightly in excitement. Her happiness made my heart feel warm. My guess was that she must've been recording herself play the dress up game with the webcam. At first she was simply moving her finger across the track pad, clicking, then giggling excitedly for a bit. She must've been laughing at the things she put on herself in the game. After about 2 minutes or so the screen would cut to black for a fraction of a second and it would return to the girl playing the game. This time, however, she was dressed differently, in a simple pink t-shirt with the words "Go Go Girl!" stitched in glitter. I guess the game would simply record her every time she started it, without her knowing. That made me sort of uneasy, I mean, why would anyone program a game to do that? Whatever, I think it's going to be the same sort of thing over and over with this video, I might as well turn off the computer. I reached over and pressed the power button, and...
... It didn't shut off this time. The video continued to play, and I saw the girl this time was wearing an orange tank top with nothing on it. She was smiling and giggling as usual, so I thought maybe I can turn off the computer after the video is done. It couldn't be that long. The video seemed to drag on, with more cuts of her playing the game in a different outfit, and I started to doze off. However, the next cut in the video...
The girl was just staring at the camera with an expressionless look on her face. Wondering what the hell is going on, I become interested in the video again. This one didn't made me smile. It made me extremely uneasy, watching her without her usual smiley face put on. It was dark in the room, and there was 1 desk light on at the side. She was in some sort of night wear. What is she going to do? She sat there for a minute with that blank expression, like she wasn't thinking at all. I started to get really tense, as if something awful was about to happen.
She bent over and picked up a hand saw from the left side of where she was sitting. She held it in front of her, showing it to the camera. Then, she placed the jagged blade on the side of her cheek. I cringed at what I was seeing. What the fuck is going on? Slowly, she began slicing into her right cheek. Blood drizzled down her neck as she did it. Slowly, the side of her teeth began to show after about 10 seconds, as the saw went lower down her face more of her teeth began to show on the side. Blood almost covered everything on the right side of her face. She eventually got to the bottom of her jaw bone, and sawed a tiny piece off of it too. Her cheek fell to the ground with a small thud, and she put the saw in her lap and continued to stare at the camera, emotionless. I couldn't take much more of this and tore the battery out of the laptop, but, the video continued to play.
Then, the next cut began. The girl screamed in extreme pain. I almost fell out of my seat it was so loud. She screamed and put her hands over her now absent cheek. She continued to scream in agony for about 10 seconds, then a knocking was heard from the side. It was a woman, yelling in a language I couldn't understand. She was pounding the door, but not opening it. The girl must have locked it. I tried to unplug the monitor from the laptop but it was stuck in. I didn't want to see what happens next! The screaming continued and the yelling continued up until the next cut.
She was back into her emotionless state again, but her cheek was still missing. The woman was pounding at the door and yelling still. That woman must be her mother. The girl then raised the saw up to her right shoulder, and began cutting just as slowly as last time. I gagged at the sight of this. It was a holocaust of wrong. The blood began to stream out in all directions. The yelling behind the door fell silent. I bet she's trying to get someone to help her, either the father or brother or what not. When she hit the bone, an awful grinding noise could be heard. I covered my ears, but I could still hear it vividly through my hands. I noticed that a piece of her muscle got stuck on one of the steel teeth of the saw. This cut ended a lot faster than before, and the next cut was the same thing. Except the color from her face began to drain, and her pain ridden screams became quickly weaker. Her clothing was completely red with blood on the right side.
Then, she became emotionless again. Oh god, what is she going to cut off next? The mother returned back with what seemed to be 2 other people, and they were all yelling in the same language as before. She raised the saw, and began cutting the right side of her head off. Loud thuds appeared in beat at the door. They were trying to knock it down. She slowly worked her way down, with blood going in all sorts of directions. The thuds still repeated themselves on the door. I was mostly confused as to how she keeps going even after she went through her brain with the saw. Her right eye rolled into the back of her head. Blood began leaking out of it. She eventually made it to the top of her mouth, where she hacked her way through bones and teeth. It was the single worst sound I have ever heard in my entire life. I still hear it in the back of my head some days. The thuds continued, and deep in the back of my mind I hoped they wouldn't be able to break the door down so they didn't have to see such an awful sight. She finally made it through, and with that, the right side of her head fell to the side of her neck, held on only by a piece of skin on her neck. I remember the chilling sound of her jaw being unhinged from her head when it was tugged violently by the force of her half head. She put the saw down to her side.
The cut ended, and the next cut, she simply fell face down onto the desk. Half her brain fell out onto the desk from the impact, and her eye was removed from it's socket. Blood pooled on the desk. The people trying to break down the door finally made it in, and they almost blacked out from what they saw. Their daughter was in pieces. The mother vomited and ran out of the room. The father ran to her daughter, put her head back together and cried, holding her head at the side of his. The other man, presumably the daughter's older brother, simply stared in horror at what he saw.
The horrifying self mutilation finished with that cut, and the screen cut to the empty room with the bed. With a sigh of relief that it was over, I just sat there, breathing heavily and sweating. I didn't realize that the room was so hot until now. I have so many questions to ask. How was it possible? It frightened me, and I spent a good 30 minutes sitting in the chair, and finally, I got the courage to get up out of the seat. I looked at the laptop for what I hoped was the last time. The room with the bed glared on the screen. Then, it cut to something else unexpectedly.
It was a cut of my face, in the basement, using the laptop.
I’m what you could call a collector of bootleg Pokémon games. Pokémon Diamond & Jade, Chaos Black, etc. It’s amazing the frequency with which you can find them at pawnshops, Goodwill, flea markets, and such. They’re generally fun; even if they are unplayable (which they often are), the mistranslations and poor quality make them unintentionally humorous.
I’ve been able to find most of the ones that I’ve played online, but there’s one that I haven’t seen any mention of. I bought it at a flea market about five years ago. Here’s a picture of the cartridge, in case anyone recognizes it. Unfortunately, when I moved two years ago, I lost the game, so I can’t provide you with screencaps. Sorry.
The game started with the familiar Nidorino and Gengar intro of Red and Blue version. However, the “press start” screen had been altered. Red was there, but the Pokémon did not cycle through. It also said “Black Version” under the Pokémon logo.
Upon selecting “New Game”, the game started the Professor Oak speech, and it quickly became evident that the game was essentially Pokémon Red Version.
After selecting your starter, if you looked at your Pokémon, you had in addition to Bulbasaur, Charmander, or Squirtle another Pokémon — “GHOST”.
The Pokémon was level 1. It had the sprite of the Ghosts that are encountered in Lavender Tower before obtaining the Sliph Scope. It had one attack — “Curse”. I know that there is a real move named Curse, but the attack did not exist in Generation 1, so it appears it was hacked in.
Defending Pokémon were unable to attack Ghost — it would only say they were too scared to move. When the move “Curse” was used in battle, the screen would cut to black. The cry of the defending Pokémon would be heard, but it was distorted, played at a much lower pitch than normal. The battle screen would then reappear, and the defending Pokémon would be gone. If used in a battle against a trainer, when the Pokéballs representing their Pokemon would appear in the corner, they would have one fewer Pokéball.
The implication was that the Pokémon died.
What’s even stranger is that after defeating a trainer and seeing “Red received $200 for winning!”, the battle commands would appear again. If you selected “Run”, the battle would end as it normally does. You could also select Curse. If you did, upon returning to the overworld, the trainer’s sprite would be gone. After leaving and reentering the area, the spot [where] the trainer had been would be replaced with a tombstone like the ones at Lavender Tower.
The move “Curse” was not usable in all instances. It would fail against Ghost Pokémon. It would also fail if it was used against trainers that you would have to face again, such as your Rival or Giovanni. It was usable in your final battle against them, however.
I figured this was the gimmick of the game, allowing you to use the previously uncapturable Ghosts. And because Curse made the game so easy, I essentially used it throughout the whole adventure.
The game changed quite a bit after defeating the Elite Four. After viewing the Hall of Fame, which consisted of Ghost and a couple of very under leveled Pokémon, the screen cut to black. A box appeared with the words “Many years later…” It then cut to Lavender Tower. An old man was standing, looking at tombstones. You then realized this man was your character.
The man moved at only half of your normal walking speed. You no longer had any Pokémon with you, not even Ghost, who up to this point had been impossible to remove from your party through depositing in the PC. The overworld was entirely empty — there were no people at all. There were still the tombstones of the trainers that you used Curse on, however. You could go pretty much anywhere in the overworld at this point, though your movement was limited by the fact that you had no Pokémon to use HMs. And regardless of where you went, the music of Lavender Town continued on an infinite loop. After wandering for a while, I found that if you go through Diglett’s Cave, one of the cuttable bushes that normally blocks the path on the other side is no longer there, allowing you to advance and return to Pallet Town.
Upon entering your house and going to the exact tile where you start the game, the screen would cut to black.
Then a sprite of a Caterpie appeared. It was the replaced by a Weedle, and then a Pidgey. I soon realized, as the Pokémon progressed from Rattata to Blastoise, that these were all of the Pokémon that I had used Curse on.
After the end of my Rival’s team, a Youngster appeared, and then a Bug Catcher. These were the trainers I had Cursed.
Throughout the sequence, the Lavender Town music was playing, but it was slowly decreasing in pitch. By the time your Rival appeared on screen, it was little more than a demonic rumble.
Another cut to black. A few moments later, the battle screen suddenly appeared — your trainer sprite was now that of an old man, the same one as the one who teaches you how to catch Pokémon in Viridian City.
Ghost appeared on the other side, along with the words “GHOST wants to fight!”.
You couldn’t use items, and you had no Pokémon. If you tried to run, you couldn’t escape. The only option was “FIGHT”.
Using fight would immediately cause you to use Struggle, which didn’t affect Ghost but did chip off a bit of your own HP. When it was Ghost’s turn to attack, it would simply say “…” Eventually, when your HP reached a critical point, Ghost would finally use Curse.
The screen cut to black a final time.
Regardless of the buttons you pressed, you were permanently stuck in this black screen. At this point, the only thing you could do was turn the Game Boy off. When you played again, “NEW GAME” was the only option — the game had erased the file.
I played through this hacked game many, many times, and every time the game ended with this sequence. Several times I didn’t use Ghost at all, though he was impossible to remove from the party. In these cases, it did not show any Pokémon or trainers and simply cut to the climactic battle with Ghost.
I’m not sure what the motives were behind the creator of this hack. It wasn’t widely distributed, so it was presumably not for monetary gain. It was very well done for a bootleg.
It seems he was trying to convey a message; though it seems I am the sole receiver of this message. I’m not entirely sure what it was — the inevitability of death? The pointlessness of it? Perhaps he was simply trying to morbidly inject death and darkness into a children’s game. Regardless, this children’s game has made me think, and it has made me cry.
Die Before You Sleep
You ever wonder what happens to you when you die? Well, I have a little idea of it. People die at all ages, and of all types of causes. Sometimes it's by injury, sometimes it's by disease.
But sometimes, old men and women just die in their sleep.
Sometimes, old people just die without warning in their sleep. They were perfectly healthy, just old. There really is no explanation for why they die, but they just die. There was a little test done in the 1950's, to see if they could explain this. They took 10 test subjects who were at least 80 years old, and asked them if they would stay here, in this facility, until they died. These people were particularly aged; you could tell they didn't have long left.
As each one died, something peculiar happened. Just before their heart stopped, their brain readings became incredibly erratic. But, they still matched a certain pattern. They matched the pattern of a person having a nightmare. But, this was like nothing they've ever seen. These readings were like the readings of someone having the worst nightmare anyone had ever seen. Their faces stayed so perfectly calm, along with their bodies...but they were not calm.
But, one of the test subjects survived. He seemed like a very resilient man. He had the brain readings, same as the others, but his heart did not stop. Instead, he woke up with a scream, and jerked up violently. The scientists rushed to him, and asked what had happened in his mind. He said it was the most terrifying thing anyone could ever see. He said that it was the reason people die in their sleep. He said that dying in your sleep was not peaceful. He said it was the worst experience you could ever have. And as he was about to tell them...his eyes rolled back in his head, and he collapsed onto the bed. He had died from exhaustion. His heart collapsed completely.
The scientists were baffled. The project was stopped there. They refused to put any more people through this experience. The results were locked away, and the project was hidden away from the eyes of the world. It was lost in the government machine, for the public never to see. But, one of the scientists was not satisfied with this. Many years later, that same scientist was of the age where he could die in his sleep. He remembered the project years ago, and decided to find out what the old man was about to tell them. He spent quite some time preparing his old heart for anything that could come at it. He wanted to make sure he stayed alive through this. One night he went to sleep, same as always. But this dream was different. He was in the dark. But there was a small light emanating from what seemed to be a bathroom.
He seemed to be drawn towards it. He couldn't stop himself from walking towards it. He opened the door. There was one small flickering light, a dirty looking mirror, a broken down toilet and a shower, which seemed to be in the same condition. The floor was cold concrete. There was a sink. He felt himself forced to wash his face with the water. It seemed perfectly normal. He looked up from the sink into the mirror, and saw himself. He looked perfectly normal as well. He wiped his face off, and reopened his eyes, and saw his reflection again. But it was much, much different this time.
The person in the reflection seemed to be him...but it was different. It was as if someone had taken him out of the grave around 6 months later. The figure was decayed, but still retained some resemblance to him. The scientist was paralyzed with fear. But not paralyzed enough to stop from fulfilling an incredible urge to reach out towards it. He slowly moved his hand towards the mirror. But, instead of having his hand stopped by cold glass, it kept going towards the figure. He whipped his hand back with incredible shock and fear. The figure slowly started to speak. He said in a raspy, degraded version of the scientist's voice "E-everyone h-h-has their time. Y-y-you were lucky enough to last this long. B-but your time has come....prepare y-yourself" the figure moved towards him. He looked for any escape whatsoever. But the door had disappeared. He was trapped in that room. His fear completely froze him from any movement. It suddenly rushed at him, screaming with a more terrifying scream than you could have ever imagined in your entire lifetime. As soon as it made contact with him, he woke up. He sat up violently, heaving massive breaths.
The scientist realized immediately what he has just experienced. He quickly grabbed a piece of blank paper that was sitting on the desk next to him. He had prepared this beforehand, just in case. He scribbled out these words as quickly as he could, for he knew that his heart was about to collapse. The paper said "DIE BEFORE YOU SLEEP". He then threw the paper and pencil down, and expected to die right then. But he didn't. But he looked over to the exit from his room. Standing in that exit was the figure from his nightmare.
The figure whispered "y-you didn't think you c-could get away that e-e-easily did you?" The scientist's eyes widened with terrible fear. He managed to whisper "what...what are you?" The figure rushed towards the side of his bed, and whispered in his ear "I am god". And with those words, the scientist died.
The scientist was a lonely man. All of his family was dead, and he had but one friend. Nobody found the body for months. But, one day, his friend came to visit. He went to his house, and knocked on the door. No answer. After a few seconds, he smelled an incredibly horrid stench coming from the house. He walked around to the back, and looked in the bedroom window. Inside, it was dark. But he could make out the decaying figure of his friend, who had been in there, dead for months. The figure almost exactly matched the one that had caused him to die. He called the cops, and they picked up his body. The cause of death was simply labeled "Old Age". But they found the paper next to his bed. It was filed away in evidence, and there were a few local newspaper stories about it. And so everyone kept on believing that dying of old age was natural, and dying in your sleep was the most painless method to go by. Well, good for them
The Russian Sleep Experiment
Russian researchers in the late 1940s kept five people awake for fifteen days using an experimental gas based stimulant. They were kept in a sealed environment to carefully monitor their oxygen intake so the gas didn't kill them, since it was toxic in high concentrations. This was before closed circuit cameras so they had only microphones and 5 inch thick glass porthole sized windows into the chamber to monitor them. The chamber was stocked with books, cots to sleep on but no bedding, running water and toilet, and enough dried food to last all five for over a month. The test subjects were political prisoners deemed enemies of the state during World War II.
Everything was fine for the first five days; the subjects hardly complained having been promised (falsely) that they would be freed if they submitted to the test and did not sleep for 30 days. Their conversations and activities were monitored and it was noted that they continued to talk about increasingly traumatic incidents in their past, and the general tone of their conversations took on a darker aspect after the 4 day mark.
After five days they started to complain about the circumstances and events that lead them to where they were and started to demonstrate severe paranoia. They stopped talking to each other and began alternately whispering to the microphones and one way mirrored portholes. Oddly they all seemed to think they could win the trust of the experimenters by turning over their comrades, the other subjects in captivity with them. At first the researchers suspected this was an effect of the gas itself...
After nine days the first of them started screaming. He ran the length of the chamber repeatedly yelling at the top of his lungs for 3 hours straight, he continued attempting to scream but was only able to produce occasional squeaks. The researchers postulated that he had physically torn his vocal cords. The most surprising thing about this behavior is how the other captives reacted to it... or rather didn't react to it. They continued whispering to the microphones until the second of the captives started to scream. The 2 non-screaming captives took the books apart, smeared page after page with their own feces and pasted them calmly over the glass portholes. The screaming promptly stopped.
So did the whispering to the microphones.
After 3 more days passed. The researchers checked the microphones hourly to make sure they were working, since they thought it impossible that no sound could be coming with 5 people inside. The oxygen consumption in the chamber indicated that all 5 must still be alive. In fact it was the amount of oxygen 5 people would consume at a very heavy level of strenuous exercise. On the morning of the 14th day the researchers did something they said they would not do to get a reaction from the captives, they used the intercom inside the chamber, hoping to provoke any response from the captives they were afraid were either dead or vegetables.
They announced: "We are opening the chamber to test the microphones step away from the door and lie flat on the floor or you will be shot. Compliance will earn one of you your immediate freedom."
To their surprise they heard a single phrase in a calm voice response: "We no longer want to be freed."
Debate broke out among the researchers and the military forces funding the research. Unable to provoke any more response using the intercom it was finally decided to open the chamber at midnight on the fifteenth day.
The chamber was flushed of the stimulant gas and filled with fresh air and immediately voices from the microphones began to object. 3 different voices began begging, as if pleading for the life of loved ones to turn the gas back on. The chamber was opened and soldiers sent in to retrieve the test subjects. They began to scream louder than ever, and so did the soldiers when they saw what was inside. Four of the five subjects were still alive, although no one could rightly call the state that any of them in 'life.'
The food rations past day 5 had not been so much as touched. There were chunks of meat from the dead test subject's thighs and chest stuffed into the drain in the center of the chamber, blocking the drain and allowing 4 inches of water to accumulate on the floor. Precisely how much of the water on the floor was actually blood was never determined. All four 'surviving' test subjects also had large portions of muscle and skin torn away from their bodies. The destruction of flesh and exposed bone on their finger tips indicated that the wounds were inflicted by hand, not with teeth as the researchers initially thought. Closer examination of the position and angles of the wounds indicated that most if not all of them were self-inflicted.
The abdominal organs below the ribcage of all four test subjects had been removed. While the heart, lungs and diaphragm remained in place, the skin and most of the muscles attached to the ribs had been ripped off, exposing the lungs through the ribcage. All the blood vessels and organs remained intact, they had just been taken out and laid on the floor, fanning out around the eviscerated but still living bodies of the subjects. The digestive tract of all four could be seen to be working, digesting food. It quickly became apparent that what they were digesting was their own flesh that they had ripped off and eaten over the course of days.
Most of the soldiers were Russian special operatives at the facility, but still many refused to return to the chamber to remove the test subjects. They continued to scream to be left in the chamber and alternately begged and demanded that the gas be turned back on, lest they fall asleep...
To everyone's surprise the test subjects put up a fierce fight in the process of being removed from the chamber. One of the Russian soldiers died from having his throat ripped out, another was gravely injured by having his testicles ripped off and an artery in his leg severed by one of the subject's teeth. Another 5 of the soldiers lost their lives if you count ones that committed suicide in the weeks following the incident.
In the struggle one of the four living subjects had his spleen ruptured and he bled out almost immediately. The medical researchers attempted to sedate him but this proved impossible. He was injected with more than ten times the human dose of a morphine derivative and still fought like a cornered animal, breaking the ribs and arm of one doctor. When heart was seen to beat for a full two minutes after he had bled out to the point there was more air in his vascular system than blood. Even after it stopped he continued to scream and flail for another 3 minutes, struggling to attack anyone in reach and just repeating the word "MORE" over and over, weaker and weaker, until he finally fell silent.
The surviving three test subjects were heavily restrained and moved to a medical facility, the two with intact vocal cords continuously begging for the gas demanding to be kept awake...
The most injured of the three was taken to the only surgical operating room that the facility had. In the process of preparing the subject to have his organs placed back within his body it was found that he was effectively immune to the sedative they had given him to prepare him for the surgery. He fought furiously against his restraints when the anesthetic gas was brought out to put him under. He managed to tear most of the way through a 4 inch wide leather strap on one wrist, even through the weight of a 200 pound soldier holding that wrist as well. It took only a little more anesthetic than normal to put him under, and the instant his eyelids fluttered and closed, his heart stopped. In the autopsy of the test subject that died on the operating table it was found that his blood had triple the normal level of oxygen. His muscles that were still attached to his skeleton were badly torn and he had broken 9 bones in his struggle to not be subdued. Most of them were from the force his own muscles had exerted on them.
The second survivor had been the first of the group of five to start screaming. His vocal cords destroyed he was unable to beg or object to surgery, and he only reacted by shaking his head violently in disapproval when the anesthetic gas was brought near him. He shook his head yes when someone suggested, reluctantly, they try the surgery without anesthetic, and did not react for the entire 6 hour procedure of replacing his abdominal organs and attempting to cover them with what remained of his skin. The surgeon presiding stated repeatedly that it should be medically possible for the patient to still be alive. One terrified nurse assisting the surgery stated that she had seen the patients mouth curl into a smile several times, whenever his eyes met hers.
When the surgery ended the subject looked at the surgeon and began to wheeze loudly, attempting to talk while struggling. Assuming this must be something of drastic importance the surgeon had a pen and pad fetched so the patient could write his message. It was simple. "Keep cutting."
The other two test subjects were given the same surgery, both without anesthetic as well. Although they had to be injected with a paralytic for the duration of the operation. The surgeon found it impossible to perform the operation while the patients laughed continuously. Once paralyzed the subjects could only follow the attending researchers with their eyes. The paralytic cleared their system in an abnormally short period of time and they were soon trying to escape their bonds. The moment they could speak they were again asking for the stimulant gas. The researchers tried asking why they had injured themselves, why they had ripped out their own guts and why they wanted to be given the gas again.
Only one response was given: "I must remain awake."
All three subject's restraints were reinforced and they were placed back into the chamber awaiting determination as to what should be done with them. The researchers, facing the wrath of their military 'benefactors' for having failed the stated goals of their project considered euthanizing the surviving subjects. The commanding officer, an ex-KGB instead saw potential, and wanted to see what would happen if they were put back on the gas. The researchers strongly objected, but were overruled.
In preparation for being sealed in the chamber again the subjects were connected to an EEG monitor and had their restraints padded for long term confinement. To everyone's surprise all three stopped struggling the moment it was let slip that they were going back on the gas. It was obvious that at this point all three were putting up a great struggle to stay awake. One of subjects that could speak was humming loudly and continuously; the mute subject was straining his legs against the leather bonds with all his might, first left, then right, then left again for something to focus on. The remaining subject was holding his head off his pillow and blinking rapidly. Having been the first to be wired for EEG most of the researchers were monitoring his brain waves in surprise. They were normal most of the time but sometimes flat lined inexplicably. It looked as if he were repeatedly suffering brain death, before returning to normal. As they focused on paper scrolling out of the brainwave monitor only one nurse saw his eyes slip shut at the same moment his head hit the pillow. His brainwaves immediately changed to that of deep sleep, then flatlined for the last time as his heart simultaneously stopped.
The only remaining subject that could speak started screaming to be sealed in now. His brainwaves showed the same flatlines as one who had just died from falling asleep. The commander gave the order to seal the chamber with both subjects inside, as well as 3 researchers. One of the named three immediately drew his gun and shot the commander point blank between the eyes, then turned the gun on the mute subject and blew his brains out as well.
He pointed his gun at the remaining subject, still restrained to a bed as the remaining members of the medical and research team fled the room. "I won't be locked in here with these things! Not with you!" he screamed at the man strapped to the table. "WHAT ARE YOU?" he demanded. "I must know!"
The subject smiled.
"Have you forgotten so easily?" The subject asked. "We are you. We are the madness that lurks within you all, begging to be free at every moment in your deepest animal mind. We are what you hide from in your beds every night. We are what you sedate into silence and paralysis when you go to the nocturnal haven where we cannot tread."
The researcher paused. Then aimed at the subject's heart and fired. The EEG flatlined as the subject weakly choked out, "So... nearly... free..."