Dark Shadows Rising

📅 Published on January 27, 2021

“Dark Shadows Rising”

Written by Irving Crane
Edited by Craig Groshek
Thumbnail Art by Craig Groshek
Narrated by N/A

Copyright Statement: Unless explicitly stated, all stories published on CreepypastaStories.com are the property of (and under copyright to) their respective authors, and may not be narrated or performed, adapted to film, television or audio mediums, republished in a print or electronic book, reposted on any other website, blog, or online platform, or otherwise monetized without the express written consent of its author(s).

🎧 Available Audio Adaptations: None Available

ESTIMATED READING TIME — 21 minutes

Rating: 10.00/10. From 2 votes.
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Paul nearly jumped out of his skin when he realized that his little sister was standing right next to him. He was focused like a laser, writing the next horror short that the Dark Shadows Rising podcast was demanding. The closer the deadline loomed, the more focused he became. Dark Shadows wasn’t known for generous allotments of time for their writers.

And there was Cassie, with her oversized pink headphones, staring at her brother who nearly messed himself.

“Jesus, Cass. What’s wrong? This story has to be done tonight!”

“They ruined your story again,” the seven-year-old said.

“Oh, God… again? Sorry… I’m sorry for getting mad. Thank you for letting me know.”

She nodded and walked off. Paul tore his phone off the charger and was about to dial out when he stopped. Better make sure he knew what was going on. He hit up YouTube and found the Dark Shadows Rising channel. Okay, there was the video of his story being narrated. And… his name was missing from the credentials. Again.

He listened. The voice of the narrator, who pronounced the R’s as badly as his little sister, droned over the prose with the vibrancy of a gerbil turd. It took Paul a minute to recognize the story as his own. Not just because of the awful performance, but also because of how heavily-edited and altered it was.

He made a mental note to make it up to Cassie by buying her some candy or something. He dialed out on his phone.

The nasal voice he expected picked up on the other end. “Hello?”

“What the actual fuck, Tyler? I just listened to the first seven minutes of The Grisly Grotto and you can’t even tell that it’s my story! This is the fourth time you’ve gone back on your promise that you’d stop fucking with my writing!”

A flatulent sigh filled his ear.

“If you’d write better stories, they wouldn’t need to be fixed.”

“What?” Paul spat.

“I said–”

What?

“I fucking said–”

“No-no-no, I don’t know who you think you are, but you don’t go putting your hands all up in my stories’ panties like you’re a fat kid in a cake shop run by a blind man! I don’t bust my ass to give you three stories a day just so you can butcher them and put your name on them!”

“You’d have zero exposure if it weren’t for my podcast! Get back to work and I better have some fresh stories to read by the time I have my bedtime Yoo-hoo!”

“I have a better idea, you narcissistic lardass! I’m taking every last story I have in the works and I’m taking them all to Chilling Tales and Dark Frights!”

Paul could hear the jaw drop on the other end of the line.

“That’s a breach of contract! I specifically had you agree that you would never–”

“Yeah, well you broke every last agreement you made with me by fucking with my stories! Eat tampons and wipe your balls with sandpaper, you shit-snorting slug! I hope you end up producing your smegcast in hell!”

The call ended before Tyler could retort. His brain was ringing like a gong that had been thumped with a cannonball.

Paul could have just called his mom a whore or something, but no. He took it all the way to submitting his stories to that… show. Stories that were meant for Tyler. Deserved by Tyler. A red rage seized him and he tried to ring Paul up twelve times in a row. The last eight attempts had gone straight to voicemail.

Tyler found Paul on Facebook, took a screenshot of the scrawny, chinless teenager’s profile, and prepared a grievance-laden social media post in the form of a meme. It would be plastered across all the Dark Shadows Rising social media accounts and also be part of the announcements in the next show.

The nerve of these kids that don’t appreciate what he does for them. Not only were they getting free exposure through his stellar horror podcast, he was taking the extra step of saving their stories from themselves. Those weren’t stories that they handed him. Those were wishes. Hopes of getting on Tyler’s level that never stood a snowball’s chance in Grenada. Not without his help. As much help as those stories needed, it only made sense that Tyler would get the byline for them.

He checked the stats on the contested video. In twenty-four hours, it had been viewed by just two people: Paul and Cassie.

And the view count would stay that way for weeks.

The only counts that ticked up were the shots that Tyler started knocking back each night.

When he got inebriated enough, he could look at The Chilling Tales channel without getting nauseated.

The view counts were astronomical.

The comments were all attaboy’s, awesome’s, and keep making more’s.

He might not be so bitter about it if Chilling Tales hadn’t turned down his own submissions to their channel. Tyler thought it would be a good way to get some more exposure. Surely that was all that Dark Shadows Rising needed: a beacon bright enough to let the world know he was there.

Well…

Every story he submitted flopped. The rejections were polite but firm, sending the clear message of Hey, this writing isn’t good enough.

Yes, it is! He would fire back. But there was no answer. That was more or less when he started hitting the bottle harder than usual. It led him down a rabbit hole of scoping out the people being Chilling Tales. Especially the CEO.

People called the guy by his first name on the Chilling Tales’ social media outlets. Gary.

He searched Gary, Chilling Tales and Dark Frights and viola! Just like that, there was his personal Facebook profile. Too easy. So from then on, when Tyler drank, he looked up whatever Gary had visible to the public.

In the aftermath with Paul Matthews, tonight would be one of those nights.

He eyed the view count on Chilling Tales’ most recent video just to make his intestines burn. And – Oh, what in the name of almond-studded shit was this – the story that was grossing stats the fastest was written by Gary’s son.

So Gary cleared a story written by a nine-year-old, but he wouldn’t clear any of Tyler’s.

Gary was looking at the same stats at the exact same time and having quite the opposite reaction.

“Wowzers!” he chuckled to himself before calling to his son.

“Hey, Conan… your story is blowing up!”

A nine-year-old boy with eyes as dark as his hair raced into his dad’s office and gaped at the PC screen as if he understood what the graphs and numbers meant.

“I think we have an up and coming star author in the family,” Gary said as he put his arms around his son’s chest.

“Can we celebrate?” Conan asked.

“We’re already celebrating your birthday in a few days, you little opportunist.”

“I didn’t have to be good at anything to be born,” Conan said.

“Okay, you got me. Dad’ll drum up something for tonight.” Gary patted his son on the back. He was either going to be an author or a car salesman.

As soon as he had ruffled Conan’s hair and let him run off, his email alert dinged. Nothing new. Eighty emails a day was typical. He opened it right away.

From: Dark Shadow Looming
To: Gary Kosher

Subject: Conan

Where is Conan!?

Be careful who you wake up, some people don’t play by the rules and now that little fag Conan is going to get what has been coming to you and your devil-worshiping tribe of misfits.

Satan will not prosper, neither will you.

RIP Conan

Gary blinked, adjusted his glasses. He had only put his son in the spotlight a month ago when the boy was writing his story. He made – what – one announcement? Hey, my son is writing a story, I’m proud, blah, blah, blah. And then it got produced with the full cast treatment and a soundtrack and sound effects.

Now this.

Gary was used to nut jobs. This missive carried a little extra weight since it threatened someone he loved instead of just him.

Still, he knew better.

Maybe he’d turn it in to the police later, maybe he wouldn’t. He went downstairs to have lunch with his family. His wife was off work that day and they didn’t miss a chance to eat together. They had BLTs. Conan’s sandwich was more B than anything else.

“Would you like some bread with your bacon?” Nina said to her son as he chewed an enormous wad of the meat.

Gary’s phone dinged. He checked it just to keep it from sitting in the back of his head. His chewing slowed when he saw the message.

From: Dark Shadow Looming
To: Gary Kosher

Subject: Untitled

Let’s start playing games with your family, starting with Conan. We are really going to fuck your shit up. Nina will be next. Fuck you and your Satan-worshipping family. This will never be over and you will regret ever getting involved in this twisted community.

“What’s wrong?” Nina said, reading her husband’s face.

“Well, uh… here, take a look.”

He handed his phone to his wife, the lines between her eyebrows clenching as she read.

“Are you going to call the police?”

“I’ve gotten threats before and it’s always dumb kids being trolls.”

“Okay, sure. But, are you going to call the police?”

Gary gnawed his bottom lip.

* * * * * *

Tyler woke up after he had passed out on the sofa. A hangover kissed him good afternoon by pounding nails into his skull. He sat up and mentally reviewed all the emotions he had cycled through while under the influence.

And then he remembered something that he hoped had just been a dream. But when he checked his email, it hadn’t been a dream.

He really did create an alternate email account. He really did change the name of his primary email only slightly for said new account.

He really did fire off two threatening emails to the CEO of Chilling Tales and Dark Frights. He really did take it to the point that Gary was on notice that his wife and his son were both targets. He was proud of himself in a way. But he also knew that, if caught, he wouldn’t find the food he likes in prison.

He spent most of the afternoon and early evening rocking back and forth, contemplating his next move. He decided that he was going to have to go through with it. The threats were made, the cat was out of the bag. So you know what? He was going to do it.

He was going to find a way to make good on his word. It was only a matter of time before some very gifted member of law enforcement made a connection between ‘Dark Shadow Looming’ and Dark Shadows Rising.

He had a few guns. But these days you could pull a fingerprint from a bullet.

He would have to do the job with something hands-free.

His coffee table was stacked with papers of varying states of decay. A corner of one paper poked out, showing the hint of a crayon drawing. He knew what it was. It was a drawing he did of his D&D character. A necromancer that raised the dead and had them do his bidding.

He pulled the character drawing from the pile and stared at it. An inspired smirk twisted his lips.

* * * * * *

It was rather terrifying just how easy it was to get on the dark web. It was even more terrifying how easy it was to find dealers in the sort of field that Tyler was interested in. It was like following signs downtown to a particular eatery.  Tyler was looking for something that would let him see what his foe was up to. Maybe he would be happy to just shake him up a bit. Or, maybe, you never know, with a little help from the bottle, he might work up the nerve for something more serious.

But first things first. He needed something that gave him better eyes than any mini camera. Something that he wouldn’t have to install in Gary’s house himself.

He found someone that was offering an assortment of mystical goodies and there was only one of each kind. Including only one crystal ball. It was advertised as the real thing and it was selling for an astronomical sum. He wondered if even Gary saw that kind of money. He tried to haggle. The seller would make do with an offering of some kind of offering of Tyler’s person. An eyeball. A kidney. A toe or a finger.

He talked the teller down to two liters of semen. Important stuff in certain obscure circles of witchcraft.

Tyler had a harder time meeting the quota than he thought. But meet it he did. He just wouldn’t be walking for a while.

The crystal ball eventually arrived and Tyler took it out for a test drive. The mere act of holding the item in his hand sent a strange tingle through his fingers down to his palm.

He focused his intention and his malice into the heart of the sphere like he was trying to birth a new star in the coldest depth of space. First there was a twinkling light like a blue ember. Then there was movement as if being viewed through a peephole. Then there were faces…

* * * * * *

Gary walked down the frozen aisle looking for the ice cream that he knew his son would eat. It was a delicate task. Conan was a picky eater when it came to sweets and his wife was the same. Pleasing both of them at once was often a lost cause.

His phone dinged twice. Both of them were email alerts. Both were from that ‘Dark Shadows’ clown.

They were pictures.  The first one was a picture of Gary. He was in the grocery store. Looking down at his phone. Just like he was at that moment. He looked up and all around him. He didn’t see anyone.

The second picture was the signal that set off the fire alarm. It was a picture of Conan. The part that especially made Gary’s blood run cold was that Conan was wearing his red power rangers shirt. He was dressed the same way that he was the last time that Gary had seen him at home.

All caution and rationale left him and he yelled out, drawing the attention of everyone around him.

“Security! Hey! Someone alert security!”

His eyes whipped around in all directions. The bastard had to be nearby. He looked for anyone that was in too big of a hurry to leave the store. But he got nothing but confused faces looking at him, waiting for the next move.

He felt like he was the one that looked suspicious, running up and down the aisles with a wild look in his eyes. He was going to be good goddamned if whoever was doing this got out of the store. He waited by the front exits. Surely the guy would come past here. Or would he? Were there other exits? Would he know about them? Did the creep pull this little stunt because he knew the layout of the store so well that he knew he could give Gary the slip, no matter what?

Gary’s mind raced in circles that led nowhere faster and faster.

Someone that looked like a manager was starting to give him a cold stare.

“Is there a problem, sir?” he said as he approached.

“I just got sent some crazy pictures, I… I think I’m being stalked. My son is being stalked.”

The manager clearly wasn’t in the mood. He made sure that Gary wasn’t carrying any merchandise that might try to make a sneaky exit out the door and then escorted him to the service desk to make some phone calls.

The police were on their way.

While he waited, Gary rang up his wife.

“Hey, honey, what’s the matter?”

“Make sure you know where Conan is. Right now.”

“He’s on the Xbox right behind me.”

“Okay, lock every single lock in the house and don’t open the door to anyone that knocks, not even me. I’ll call you to let me in on your phone, okay?”

“Gary, you’re scaring me.”

“The guy that sent those emails knows where we live. I’m about to talk to the police. Just lock down the house, please. I love you and I’ll be home soon.”

Gary eventually saw the broad rectangular headlights of a cop car pull into the parking lot.

The officer was a stereotype, down to the sculpted and symmetrical handlebar mustache. He took off his hat and nodded at the manager and to Gary.

“I’m officer Colton Phelps. Did I hear something about a stalker?”

Gary unloaded, burying the officer in everything that had happened. The close of the conversation and the trip home went by like a black and white movie.

* * * * * *

The vodka bottle was empty before Gary knew it. The bags under his eyes were turning darker and about to droop low enough to tickle his knuckles as they rested on his keyboard and he just wasn’t sure what to do.

How many friends did he really have? He had followers, but exactly how many true friends? The kind of people that you could confess a murder or an infidelity or a theft to and they would listen to you without judging?

He thought of all the authors he signed to contracts for licensing, for content creation, for ghostwriting, for narrating. He was probably on the phone with them more often than he was with his family. Purely out of necessity, of course. But there was still that huge time commitment he made to all these people, sometimes at the expense of sleep. And were any of them his friends?

After closing each and every social media post with “Thank you and I love all of you,” how many of them were actual friends?

All he knew was that he felt lonelier than he had ever felt before. He felt isolated from his wife and kids since this dark shadow clown seemed to have the power to know where any of them were and do whatever he wanted. All Gary had to do was shut his eyes too long, or be gone from the room for too long. He could be holding them in his arms one second and turn around and find them gone.

God.

And who would be able to help him with any of that?

He felt even more isolated. More alone.

Still.

What he learned in business still applied: You can’t just sit there.

So he posted it across social media. He displayed the hostile emails and added a polite plea for help in whatever form the reader could afford. Especially legal help.

The outpouring of support was instantaneous. It was mostly words. Thoughts and prayers. Well, I hope this happens. I hope that happens. That’s horrible! I can’t believe people are like that! And so on.

There were a few people that were in some tier of legal work and offered to do some work on Gary’s behalf for free.

Gary read all of it, but didn’t feel any better.

“Daddy?” Conan said. The sound of his voice made Gary jump.

“Conan, buddy. You okay?”

“Mommy says you’re really worried about what could happen to us.”

“I am, buddy. I am. I’m trying to see if I can find anyone that can help us so that I don’t have to worry.”

“Are the police on the job?”

Gary chuckled, but tried not to blow fumes in the kid’s face. “Yes, the police are on the job for sure.”

Conan hugged his father, burying his head in his chest. Gary fought back the sting of tears. He could feel his son breathing, and yet he felt so far away and vulnerable. The walls around them felt thin and transparent.

The soft alert sounds of several social media accounts were dinging at a steady rate.

“Run along to bed, okay? Daddy is going to be up a while working on making us safe.”

Conan nodded and left the room. Gary peeked around the corner to make sure his son made it safely to his room. What he was afraid of happening in the hallway, he didn’t know.

He collapsed into his swivel chair and heaved a sigh, readying himself for looking through more comments and reactions that wouldn’t change things one bit.

Or would they?

One comment stood out. It was on Twitter. The username was nothing but special characters.

It was a simple comment, somehow pregnant with import.

“Would you like the problem taken care of?”

Gary smirked to himself and replied through his sagging filter: “Law enforcement is all over it. What can you bring to the table? A hitman?”

The response was in seconds.

“More like a little black magic.”

Gary pinched the bridge of his eyebrows and shook his head.

“Sure, LOL” was all he replied.

The other replied with a thumbs-up emoji. Gary checked the thread later and noticed that the strange comments had disappeared, but he didn’t think much of it at the time.

* * * * * *

Tyler cackled to himself. This was, by far, the greatest story he had ever written. The characters were bowing to his will, events were on his timetable, and just like switching scenes, his eyes were everywhere. A stroke of the pen of his will and everything went his way. He could kill the characters anytime, in any way that he chose. If that was why people turned to a life of crime, he fully understood and he loved it.

He rolled the crystal ball around in the palm of his hand, as if it were an oversized diamond. It was fun to have his eyes everywhere like a supernatural Big Brother, but it wasn’t enough. He had to have his hands everywhere, too. He wanted to do it all from his armchair, so that all he had to do with his hands was lift the cheesy puffs to his mouth. The first transaction on the dark web went great. The next one would certainly be even better.

He again navigated into the dark alleys of the internet with eager fat fingers on his keyboard. The digital swarm of cannibals, drug dealers, and child molesters was starting to feel more like home.

He found the same dealer as before.

“Hey buddy, I’ve got another business proposition for you.”

“Hello, brother. What do you need?”

“That crystal ball is a fucking gem. I need to do more than see shit from a distance. I need something that will let me do shit. Stuff as serious as like, choking this guy while he’s recording his podcast or doing interviews.”

“Podcast? Someone famous?”

The mere suggestion of Gary being famous sent a ripple of animosity through Tyler. He tried to choke it back, prevent himself from directing it at the wrong person. Remember. This guy was here to help him.

“I guess he’s famous in a way, but I don’t see why that matters.”

“It matters a lot, brother. Famous types usually have wards in place. I’ll need to know who this one is if I’m going to serve up something powerful enough to get past their defenses. You think nothing ever stands in my way in this line of work?”

“Okay, but he’s not really that famous.”

“Tell me who it is. Assassinating the President and assassinating a bum in the gutter call for two entirely different approaches.”

“He pretty much is a bum in the gutter. He just has a following, is all.”

“TELL ME.”

“His name is Gary Kosher and he runs the Chilling Tales and Dark Frights Podcast.”

The answer was delayed for so long that Tyler thought that his contact had left the keyboard.

“I have just the thing that’ll wipe this problem from the board.”

“I want it to be fucking painful.”

“Oh, don’t worry. This will push all the limits of pain that a living human mind can process.”

“Yes, please. LOL. So what do you need from me? Like, a personal possession of the target?”

“I need a symbol of the intensity of your hatred for him.”

“Really? It’s that easy? What kind of symbol?”

“You need to cut off a finger or a toe and you need to do it while thinking of how much you hate the target. Then send it to me.”

Ooh. Tyler licked his lips.

“Is there anything easier?”

“Tear off all of your toenails while carrying out the same meditation.”

Tyler felt his junk retreat up next to his pancreas.

“I’m not sure if I can do that. How about just the toenails from one foot?”

“Ten is a number of completion in magic so five won’t cut it.”

“How much will this one cost me in money?”

“We’ll talk remuneration later. For now, let’s just get me the toenails.”

Tyler went to the junk drawer and got out the only pair of pliers he had. He noticed for the first time just how rusty they were and stiff, and just totally unsuited to the job of anything surgical.

He looked at his fingers and his toes. Which one could he do without? No. The thought of the singing nerves and the deep-down crunch of his own bone as connective tissue was being cut… Just fucking No. He couldn’t do it.

A toe or a finger would never grow back. Toenails wouldn’t either, but you know…

He took off his shoes which yawned plumes of stench up into his face. His socks were tossed aside in a damp heap. And there they were, like stale potato chips embedded in his hobbit toes. Ten hurdles of his willpower that would truly test the purity of his hate.

Three blinding hours later, he had accomplished what he set out to do. The way his hate was still burning amazed him. Each tear of a toenail was like a jet of lighter fluid on the coals of his animosity for Gary and his podcast and his precious family. He’d never admit it, but it almost felt good, the hate/pain dynamic.

He had just enough medical tape and gauze leftover from an old teenage injury to wrap his toes. He had just enough postage to mail the package from home.

He sat down in front of his PC and decided that that’s where he would stay for the rest of the week until his toes stopped smarting.

He hit the Tequila with the force of a head-on collision and began looking up what good ol’ Gary had been up to.

He found the plaintive posts with the screenshots of his emails. Oh, that made his night. Made his aching toes feel better.

That must have been how cats felt while approaching a cornered mouse.

The alcohol guided Tyler’s fingers across the keyboard once more:

From: Dark Shadow Looming
To: Gary Kosher

Subject: Pity Party for Gary ‘The Victim’ Kosher!

Ha, ha. We knew you would go to social media and play the victim card. Are you the victim? Or is this karma?

Do you remember how it felt at school, when you were constantly bullied? Welcome to your new life. This isn’t going away. You crying to your ‘fans’ will just make the outcome even worse than it was already going to be.

See you and the family soon,

We live in your nightmares.

DSL

He tapped the ‘send’ button with the weight of a judge’s gavel.

* * * * * *

Gary had been sitting at his PC for so long that his eyes began to look much like the cameras he had mounted all over the property: mechanical and empty.

He had been cycling through the feeds for hours, but it felt like minutes. Deep down there was a part of him that wondered why he was letting this Dark Shadow character get the better of him. What had he actually done besides some saber-rattling?

Anyone can get close to you to take pictures of you and your family. Had this guy actually done anything? There wasn’t a scratch on Gary, his son, or his wife.

But that’s exactly how he wanted to keep it.

The part of him that was still processing conscious thought reflected on the prison of fear that is occupied by a man married with children. At any given moment there were parts of him that he would eventually have to allow out of his sight. And if anything ever happened to those parts he would never be the same. He would tear the world apart with his bare hands and then jump off a cliff.

The PC screen continued cycling through video feeds, each one as still as a photo.

* * * * * *

Officer Colton Phelps was at a detective’s desk looking over the material in the recent Kosher Family case. There wasn’t much.

A couple of photos and a handful of emails and the testimony of a father in distress. Colton didn’t like the way things like this couldn’t reach him anymore. Oh sure, he felt bad for Mr. Kosher. But nothing struck deep down anymore. He’d been struck too many times and the scar tissue in that region of his soul was thickening. And thickening. And thickening.

He sighed and phoned the detective that owned the desk, Joseph Galloway.

“Everything’s a dead end,” Joe lamented. “That email address is just a few weeks old and everything connected to it traces to Cambodia.”

The two men grunted about other details that didn’t relate to the case and then each were returned to their thoughts, forced to wait for something to happen, like Gary.

And something was going to happen.

Tyler’s package arrived well after regular mailing hours. There was a knock at his door but there was no one there. Just the package. It was showtime.

His toes were still throbbing, but they felt like the steady beat of a war drum. They felt warm. They felt good.

He had prepared for this by clearing a space in his living room. All of his furniture was shoved up against the walls so that he would have plenty of room to operate. He had a pretty good idea of what he was getting and when he opened the box, he wasn’t disappointed.

There was a note. There was a small red velvet bag held shut with a drawstring. There was a grimoire of two or three leaves. There was a small quartz crystal dish, almost like an ashtray. There was also a chill in the air as soon as he opened the bag and peered inside.

Tyler read the note several times:

Hello, Brother.

Good job on the toenails. Your dedication to your hate deserves a little reward. Here’s something that will get you some hired help. Don’t you worry about a thing. Just put what’s in the baggie in the dish and recite the incantation in the booklet until something special happens. Candles will help. You don’t want to be in total darkness when shit starts to happen. When you notice that you have company, tell him what you want to be done, and I promise you that, when he’s done, it’ll make Manson’s work look like a cocktail party.

Be good.

Candles were placed and lit. His mouth went dry. No, he couldn’t get cold feet now. Not this close to getting what he wanted, what he pulled out all his toenails for.

He started chanting. Soft at first, but gaining clarity and volume as his determination grew. Just when he thought that he had been snookered into doing something ridiculous, he felt it. The room felt electric. The hairs on his skin vibrated to some silent sonic assault, a high-decibel hum that couldn’t be heard, only felt.

The flames of the candles bent towards the chanter and the quartz dish.

The clear crystal of the dish turned gray. Then it turned black. Then it glowed red like a vial of blood held up to sunlight.

It burst into a fountain of embers that traced out the shapes of invisible eyes in the air before swirling into the shape of something very tall, very dark, and very evil. Luminous green eyes blinked in and out of existence all over its form. Caustic vapors puffed from its nostrils with each breath.

Each short-lived eyeball stared into Tyler as a voice proclaimed, “Prophesy the doom to be visited upon thy foes.”

Tyler salivated.

“I want all of them eaten alive slowly. I want worms with… with teeth in their mouths and hooks on their bodies to gyrate their way into each of them… through their assholes. Yeah, that’s it! Through their assholes! I want the inside of his urethra chewed and reamed! I want the pain to be amplified for all of them! I especially want that fucking Gary to have to watch it happen to his family! Eat off his eyelids so he can’t close them as his precious family is eaten alive..”

Tyler’s wishes became fevered and impassioned to the point that he was spewing globs of saliva with each consonant.

The motionless demon listened.

Its body writhed as all the eyes closed and the ebony skin began to wrap and warp and take on a ropy appearance like a twisted mop.

The desired worms were forming out of its body. They moved with a corkscrew motion around each other. Oh yes, they were beautiful, Tyler thought. The most beautiful animals he had ever seen. They each emitted tiny, whistling hisses.

They spun down the demon’s legs and across the floor towards the door. Tyler was debating on taking a video when he felt something wrap around his ankle. He instinctively cried out as the hooks on the worm’s body dug into his skin. His movements helped nothing as the black, segmented body of the creature bored into his calf and began an agonizing mining expedition around the bone and up his leg.

That’s when he noticed that it wasn’t just one errant hellworm. The entire host was turning from the door and converging on him. His last sane perception was the rumbling chuckle of the demon as the assault on Tyler’s lower aperture began.

His muscles puckered against a pain worse than rusty razors. His anus was the diameter of a golf ball within seconds as flesh and muscle tissue were raked away by the hunger of the swarm.

One of the little darlings explosively punctured up through his pelvis, his lungs and his esophagus, and into his mouth to share the flavors being had at the party in the basement.

Then his tongue was next. Then the bone and cartilage just behind his nasal cavity.

The slow demolition of his urethra was the point where his sanity was sandblasted and his shattered ego sputtered on the floor of his consciousness, waiting to go back to the womb, waiting for someone to tell him that everything would be okay and that everything would hurt for only a little while. Just a little while. Go to sleep, baby. Be good.

Be good…

* * * * * *

Weeks passed. Gary was as vigilant as ever, but the tension started leaving his shoulders. He began falling asleep at the PC while watching the video feeds.

There were no more emails from the Dark Shadow.

The static of survival instinct fell to a dull roar and the lives of the Kosher family more or less returned to normal.

A box arrived one day, addressed to Gary. It was wrapped in a very feminine floral print wrapping. It contained a note along with a smaller box.

Hello, Brother.

Don’t worry. I’m not who you think I am. We interacted briefly online during your time of crisis, when you were troubled with a certain pretentious dark shadow. I offered you my services, free of obligation, and you gave me the green light. So allow me the singular joy of telling you that your antagonist won’t be bothering you ever again.

I’m a huge fan of what you do. I too am a storyteller. I just prefer to show rather than tell. You’ll see what I mean when you open the box. You have a little more freedom with your style of storytelling, so by all means… keep up the good work and I’ll help out however I can.

If you feel the need to share any of this with the police, don’t hesitate. No sense in keeping them up on a case that’s as good as closed.

Be good.

P.S. Keep the dark on for me.

Gary eyed the small box warily. It was made of ivory and it had an antique air about it. The lid opened with a soft click. As soon as recognition hit Gary, he dropped the box on the floor and made a dash for his phone to call the police.

Inside the box were ten bloody toenails, glazed in rancid semen.

Rating: 10.00/10. From 2 votes.
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🎧 Available Audio Adaptations: None Available


Written by Irving Crane
Edited by Craig Groshek
Thumbnail Art by Craig Groshek
Narrated by N/A

🔔 More stories from author: Irving Crane


Publisher's Notes: N/A

Author's Notes: N/A

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