October 14th

📅 Published on October 4, 2020

“October 14th”

Written by Erik Peabody
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 — 14 minutes

Rating: 8.33/10. From 3 votes.
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Monday, September 9

I can’t go back to the shop anymore.  I had thought it was safe, but I was wrong.  It caught me by surprise.  It was… it was too much.  I probably shouldn’t have blown up the way that I did.  That was stupid.  I should have known that they could have been watching.  It was the number.  That same number again, and I couldn’t hold myself back.  I stood there at the counter, refusing to touch the bills and the coins that he was trying to hand me, and I told him that I knew what he was doing.  That son of a bitch didn’t even flinch.  He just looked at me, holding his hand out, waiting for me to take the money.  I told him, I said, “I know what this is about.  I don’t know who you’re working for or why you’re doing this but I DON’T LIKE ANY OF IT.”  I stared him dead in the eye as I said it, and even though he didn’t react, I could see that I had him scared.  I knew that he was terrified, on the inside.

The bastard played it cool, though.  I have to give him that.  He slowly lowered his hand and put the money on the counter.  I wanted to keep looking into his eyes, wanted to show him that I wasn’t afraid of him, but I ended up glancing down at the cash.  $10.14 was what he had said, just like he was remarking on the weather, as if he didn’t know what that number meant.  What it did to me.  I could see the money in a loose pile, and below that, through the glass top, the scratch cards and lighters.  I looked back up and could see that he was smiling through his mustache.   “Look, buddy,” he said to me, and even though he was smiling, I could still see that fear in his eyes.  “I’m not doing anything to you.  You can take your change or not, but you’ve gotta leave,” he says.  And then he turned around and started fussing over the rack of cigarettes.  Like nothing had happened.  Like he didn’t know what he was really telling me.

I couldn’t believe it.  I couldn’t even move for a minute.  I just stood there, watching the fluorescent light reflect off the sweat on his bald head and the cheap polyester of his Hawaiian shirt.  I was convinced that I could break him.  I had one of them now, right in front of me after months of this stupid game they were playing, and I knew that I could push him over the edge.  Get him to admit it.  Get him to tell me who they were, why they were doing this.  Everything.  I leaned forward over the counter and was about to grab the back of his shirt when the cash caught my eye again.  I froze.

There was a message written on the topmost bill, right across Hamilton’s forehead.  Blue ballpoint, large print.  Each letter gone over several times, so the words stood out against the bill.  I could see the light reflecting on the ink, on the grooves that the pen had made on the paper.  It said, “STOP. NOT YET.”

I looked up at the man again, my arm still outstretched.  Was he sweatier than he had been?  I think he was.  I knew he was scared, but now I was too.  What the hell was going on?  I knew the message was directed at me, but how?  Who had sent it?  How had it slipped past all of their machinations without them noticing it?  Or did they know?  Was this all part of the game?

I didn’t know what to do.  This might be my best chance to get a straight answer from him (from THEM,) but then I started thinking.  Who else was in the store?  I had looked around when I came in, like I always do, and hadn’t seen anyone, but my head had been hurting so bad that I might have missed someone.  I couldn’t be sure.  And then I heard the bell over the front door ding, and I knew that this wasn’t the time.  The message had been a warning.  It was telling me that someone was on the way, and that this wasn’t the time to push the issue.  I grabbed the cash off the counter and my bag of groceries and hurried out and back upstairs, pushing past the guy that had entered.  Some asshole in a wrinkled gray suit with a paper under his arm.  Was he in on it?  Who fucking knew anymore.

I got upstairs, back to good old Apartment 12, closed and locked the door behind me and then… well, I guess I just kinda lost it.  I slumped down against the door.  Started crying.  I dropped the groceries and the change and just curled up, my fists pressing into my eyes.  Bawling.  It was all too much, and it had been going on for too long.  Months.  It wasn’t fair, just WASN’T DAMN FAIR.  First they took her and now they were trying to… to what?  To drive me crazy?  That was the most likely answer.  Make me lose my mind so that I couldn’t expose them.

I don’t know how long I laid there.  The room was darker when I finally got the strength to stand up.  I put the groceries (now warm) in the fridge, bag and all.  I put the change in an envelope, sealed it, wrote the date on it.  Put it with the others.  And then I started writing.  Susan wouldn’t want me to give up.  She’d want me to fight.  To keep going, to drag everything into the light so everyone else could see what they were doing.  What they had done.  To her.  And if I’m going to do that, I have to keep everything straight.  Write it all down.  Make sure I don’t miss anything.

Ten fourteen.  October 14th.  The day she died.  The day that they took her from me.  I didn’t know at the time.  The investigation said that it was faulty brakes.  I had stayed home.  People said that I was lucky.  I didn’t feel lucky.

Things… changed after that.  I didn’t want to see anyone.  Not my family, not hers.  Friends called for a while, but I couldn’t talk to them.  It all just hurt too much.  I lost my job after a few months.  They were understanding at first, but you can only miss so much time before they just cut you loose.  Tell you to get lost.

There was some life insurance, but not enough to keep the house.  I didn’t want to stay there anyway.  It was too empty without her.  Without Susan.  I had started hearing things.  Footsteps in other rooms.  Shuffling.  Scratching.  At the time I thought I was going crazy, but now I wonder if it wasn’t them.  Even way back then.  Starting their campaign against me.

It was only after I had moved here, to this apartment, that I really started becoming aware of what was happening.  I’d see people when I got down to the street.  People watching me, only to turn and round a corner as soon as I made eye contact.  People pretending to talk on the phone, but their eyes kept moving away right as I’d notice them.  And the number.  Everywhere.  Order number 1014 at the fast food place down the road.  Savings of $10.14 when I use my club card at the big grocery store a few blocks over.  Commercials on TV for cheap bullshit products, call 1-800-blah-blah-blah, with 1014 snuck in there.  Or 1410.  Or some combination thereof.  Sometimes together.  Sometimes apart.  Sometimes just hinted at.  I bought a pair of shoes and the total was $37.77.  It wasn’t until I was walking home that it clicked into place.  Three plus seven equals ten.  Seven plus seven equals fourteen.  $37.77 is ten fourteen.

The suspicious figures were more plentiful by that point.  I started seeing shadows in the apartment, caused by something moving across the window, blocking the light.  I never caught a direct glimpse, but I’d always see the motion right as I was turning.  I don’t have a window ledge.  People watching me everywhere.  I stopped going out for food.  Stopped going to the big grocery store.  That small shop under my apartment, for a while, that seemed safe.  I could get what I needed there.  Bread.  Milk.  Liquor.  It seemed safe.  For a while.  Not anymore.

Getting hungry now.  It’s dark out and I can’t see the notepad too well.  Don’t dare turn on the light.  I think I see that cigarette glow again.  The one in the window of the building across the street.

Thursday, September 26

Things have gotten worse.  I haven’t been down to the shop for a bit.  Haven’t been anywhere, really.  I’ve just felt… listless.  Ate what I had at home, and then started on the canned food.  Couldn’t really get up the gumption to go out.  I’m scared, to be honest.  Scared, and I can’t stop thinking about her.

I don’t have much food left.  I’ve slowed down.  Only ate two cans of kidney beans yesterday.  One can of black beans today.  Need to make the rest of it last for as long as I can.  I don’t want to have to go outside until I have to.

I can tell that the season is changing.  The sun is setting earlier.  It’s getting closer to October.

I still can’t turn on my lights at night.  I haven’t seen the cigarette in the window for a while, but I think he (or she, or they) have just gotten wise.  Maybe the guy I caught smoking was taken off the job by his superiors.  Maybe they had him killed.  Killed like they killed Susan.

They know that I’m getting wise to their bullshit.  I haven’t gone out, so they’ve started increasing their pressure on me at home here.  Phone ringing, only to have a dead line when I answer it.  Footsteps in the hallway outside at odd hours.  I always hear them.  I haven’t been sleeping unless I have to.  I don’t want to miss anything.  There’s some pattern here, some reason, and I know that if I just pay attention, I can figure it out.  Why they’re taunting me.  Why they did what they did.

The faucet in my tub has started dripping again.  It was doing it when I moved in, before I knew that any of this was going on, but the building super fixed it.  I haven’t called him this time.  There’s a sequence to it.  One drip.  Then silence.  Then one more, and then four more.  The timing is so precise that it almost just sounds like slow, consistent water drops.  Almost like it’s not a message.  A clue, or a threat?  They’re being clever, I have to give them that.

I’ll need to go out for food soon.  If I really stretch what I have here, I think I can last another week.  Besides, I don’t know how safe the apartment is anymore.  Someone’s been in here.  I opened the envelope from the other day.  The one with the ten-dollar bill that had the message on it.  The envelope still looked sealed, but the bill must have been swapped for a clean one.  There was no message on this one.  They must have waited until I fell asleep and then crept in.  I’ve since put a tall glass on the linoleum in front of the door, with a plate balanced on it.  I put a bunch of marbles on there, watching as they rolled around and slowly came to rest.  Was there some message in the pattern they formed?  No.  That’s crazy.  Still, if anyone opens that door, all those marbles are going to fall on the floor, and that’ll be sure to wake me up.  I can’t risk having anyone come in when I’m asleep.

Friday, September 27

They got in last night.  I don’t know how, but they did.  I didn’t realize for hours, after I woke up, and knowing that they could have still been in here is enough to make my skin crawl.  After I searched the apartment, I wanted to take a shower, but I can’t.  The faucet is still dripping, and if I turn on the water, I might miss some essential part of the message.  Some slight change to a new sequence.

I finished writing last night around 7:30.  It was getting too dark to keep going.  Still, I didn’t dare go to sleep that early.  I sat in the chair in the living room, drinking to pass the time.  The lights were off, the TV was off.  I didn’t want them to have any way to see in.  I’m beginning to suspect that they’re using infrared as well, but there’s only so much I can do.  I stayed there for hours, the window open so I could hear what was going on outside.  I must have drifted off at some point.  When I woke up, it was still dark.  The small clock on the counter said 2:30.  I made a cup of coffee and sat back in the chair.

The sky started lightening up around 6:00.  I was making my third cup of coffee by that point, and I noticed it as I was walking back to my chair.  The dish with the marbles.  I had watched them last night when I set them up, and they had been randomly situated across the dish, wherever they happened to come to rest.  But now they were different.  They still looked random, but they were different.  And the glass and plate itself weren’t in the same place.  It was close.  So close that they probably didn’t think I would notice, but they were definitely further away from the door.  Far enough away from someone to slip in?  Maybe, if they were thin.  How did they move the plate?  I don’t know.

I took stock of my food again today.  It’s worse than I thought.  I had started drinking a bit earlier than usual yesterday and must have miscounted the cans.  I have enough for a few days, and that’s it.  I’ll deal with that when it comes to it.

I had gone into the bathroom at one point to try to have a bowel movement.  There was, of course, nothing in my stomach, but it was aching horribly.  As I was sitting down on the toilet, I noticed an itch on my skin, right under my navel.  I pulled my shirt up and saw red there.  Some irritation.  I’ll have to keep an eye on that.  I can’t get sick.  Can’t go to a doctor.  Can’t go anywhere.

I have to stop writing now.  Head is hurting too bad to focus on the page.  There’s noise outside in the hall.  I think someone’s moving in next door.  I hear a kid running around.  I need to check the house again, make sure that those bastards didn’t do anything else while they were in here last night.  After that, I can have a drink and try to calm my nerves.  I need to stay focused.

Saturday, October 5

Finally had to go get food today.  Haven’t eaten since Thursday, and ran out of vodka.  I needed to get out of the apartment anyway.  I don’t feel safe here anymore.  They’ve been back in here, at least once since my last journal entry.  I’ve started wedging a chair against the front door, but I think they came in through the open window.  I don’t know how.  It’s a brick building, sheer face, no ledge.  I can’t stop thinking about one of them climbing down the side from the roof on all fours, like Dracula did to Jonathan Harker.

The shop was empty when I came in.  No one at the register, no one in the aisles.  As I was grabbing what I needed, I heard running water from the back room.  Someone had turned on a faucet.  I took the chance to rush out the front door.  I didn’t want to deal with whatever confrontation would ensue.  I was too hungry.

I got back upstairs and was unlocking the door when the new neighbor came out of her apartment.  She must have heard me walk past as I was going to my front door.  Pretty woman, maybe thirty years old.  She startled me and I dropped my keys.  She tried to talk to me, but I picked up my keys and got inside before she could say much.  I didn’t hear what she said.  Maybe she was just going to introduce herself.  Maybe she was going to speak some code.  It doesn’t matter.  They’re out in the world, they’re in the grocery store, they’ve even been in my damn apartment.  What’s one more of them living next door?

Besides, I had other things on my mind.  The vodka was the only thing I’d put in my stomach in two days and I could feel myself coming apart at the seams.  It wasn’t just hunger.  It was a sort of… unraveling.  I felt floaty, but also strangely open.  Exposed.  Vulnerable.  The daylight coming in the window felt like it wasn’t just hitting my skin, but was somehow permeating me.

Before I could eat anything, my stomach was still itching violently, so I went into the bathroom to look at it.  The walls seemed to slide past me as I went, almost smearing.  I had intended on looking in the mirror, but when I got into the bathroom I sat down hard on the edge of the tub.  The room was swimming.  I managed to pull my shirt up and look down.  There was nothing there.  The red mark was gone, but good god did it itch.

As I sat there, I realized that the faucet had stopped dripping.  I froze.  I hadn’t used it in over a week.  When had it stopped?  Five days ago?  Yesterday?  Just now?  What did it mean?

Then I felt something, right under my navel.  Something… moving.  I looked down, but nothing revealed itself on my skin.  The sensation of movement stopped.  I am convinced now that they have implanted something in me.  Maybe to track me, maybe to listen.  Maybe they can monitor what I see, and are reading the words I write in this journal, even as I am writing them.  It almost doesn’t matter.  I have come to terms with the fact that they are everywhere.  I cannot escape them, but I need to know what it is that they want.  Why they are tormenting me.  Why they killed Susan.

I need to eat now.  I know that I am vulnerable.  Maybe that is why they are doing this.  Forcing me to close myself off and stay out of the world.  If I don’t eat, I’ll be weak.  They can get in.  They can control me.

I just need to know what to do to make it end.  I can’t take this much longer.

Thursday, October 9

They’re taking her away from me again.  I don’t know why, but they’re stealing her, just like they stole her last time.

I first noticed it happening a couple of days ago.  Monday, maybe Tuesday.  One of the pictures I have of her, a small 3×5 that’s framed in the living room, was gone.  It had slowly gotten covered in mail as I tossed it onto the end table, but I had gotten an urge to look at it.  Susan is standing in front of a guardrail, with a forested valley in the background.  She’s smiling.  We were in Yosemite.  Eighteen months back.  Six months before the accident.

The back half of our car can be seen right at the edge of the image, and I had realized that there might be some clue there.  Something with the car.  Some evidence that they had tampered with it, or were preparing to.  I shoved the mail aside and tried to find the photo, but it was gone.  The frame was there, but it was empty.

I tore through the apartment, but couldn’t find it.  Well, I’m actually not sure of that.  I found some ashes at the bottom of the kitchen garbage.  Under other trash.  Days old.  I can’t be sure when.  I know they’ve been coming in here regularly.  I haven’t even tried to stop them.  I almost want them to get comfortable.  Get relaxed.  Get careless.  I’m keeping a butcher knife taped to the side of my chest, just under my left armpit.  When I wear a shirt, you can’t even notice it.  If I can get them to slip up, I can catch one of them when they’re in here, and I can make them talk.

The photo must have had some evidence.  They knew that I would find something there, and they couldn’t let that happen.

Yesterday, I realized that I had never made an accurate timeline of everything.  I sense that things are coming to a head soon, and I want everything at my disposal.  All of the information.  I grabbed a sheet of paper, and retrieved all of the envelopes from the shoebox in the closet.  Every receipt.  Every collection of bills and coins.  Notes I had written about phone calls, and television commercials.  Everything.

Except now, it’s nothing.  As I unsealed the envelopes, I realized that something was wrong.  My notes were still there, but everything else was different.  One envelope had “June 25, McDonald’s, Order 1410” written on it.  Inside was a receipt from June 25, but the order number was 1310.  Another had “July 16, gas station on 10th and Main, $10.14 change” written on it, but there was only $6.42 in the envelope.  I forced myself to stay calm and keep going.  If I lost control now, I’d end up with a senseless pile of papers and money in front of me, and that wouldn’t do any good.

In the end, it was all of it.  All of the objective evidence.  Every note I had written was still there, but what are notes, really?  All of the hard proof of their meddling, of their messages, of their persecution… all gone.  They had come in and taken all of it.  Swapped it for lies.

I had started drinking as I was going through everything and don’t remember much of the day after that.  I woke up this morning to the smoke alarm going off.  I stumbled out of the chair and somehow made it into the kitchen.  There was a fire in the sink.  I turned on the water and managed to stifle the flames.  When the smoke cleared, I could see what had been burning.  My wallet photo of Susan.  And the one that was hanging in the bedroom.  And the photo album from the closet.  All of it.  Every memory I had of her.  They had snuck in while I was asleep and taken her from me.  Every.  Last.  Scrap.

I can feel that something is going to happen soon.  Some… final interaction.  I have nothing left.  They know that.

On Tuesday it’ll be one year since she died.

Monday, October 13

Not much to write anymore.  I know what comes next.  Tomorrow’s the day.  They have been emptying out my life so that I am ready.  I don’t know what their full purpose is, but they have left me a final message, and it’s now up to me.

I went outside earlier.  No more food.  Not for days.  Had to get something.  Anything.  Walked past the new neighbor’s apartment towards the stairs.  I’m in Apartment 12.  She’s in Apartment 14.  Something on her door caught my eye.  A drawing.  A kid’s drawing.  The new neighbor’s kid.  The drawing was in crayon, of a woman, standing by a car.  Trees in the background.  So similar to the photo that they took from me.

There was writing.  Red crayon, at the top of the page, the letters standing out bright in the dim light of the hallway.

“Susan.  Age 10.”

Rating: 8.33/10. From 3 votes.
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🎧 Available Audio Adaptations: None Available


Written by Erik Peabody
Edited by Craig Groshek
Thumbnail Art by Craig Groshek
Narrated by N/A

🔔 More stories from author: Erik Peabody


Publisher's Notes: N/A

Author's Notes: N/A

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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).

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