Once Was Blind

📅 Published on November 27, 2020

“Once Was Blind”

Written by Ryan Harville
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 — 9 minutes

Rating: 10.00/10. From 2 votes.
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I awoke to a knock on the door.

I’d been out drinking the night before, had a few too many, and was sleeping it off. I turned over to face the clock, and its stark, red numbers read 8:19 AM. I got out of bed slowly, wincing at the creaking in my lower back. The knock came again, and I shuffled down the hall, still wearing the clothes I’d passed out in the night before.

It took a couple of fumbling tries but I finally managed to undo the locks and open the door a few inches. A bright slice of sunlight pierced the gap and I squinted with a groan.

“Yeah?” I said, my tongue sticking to the roof of my mouth.

The delivery guy stood there, smiling, resplendent in his pressed uniform.

“Mr. Parker?” he asked. “Samuel Parker?”

“Yeah?”

“Good morning,” he said, holding out a package. “Sorry to wake you, but a signature is required for the delivery.”

“Delivery?” I took the shoebox-sized box. “What is it?”

He shook his head. “No idea, sir. Just sign here and it’s all yours.”

He held out a pen, and I dutifully signed along the line at the bottom of the page.

“Great,” he said, flashing another smile. “Get into some trouble last night?”

“Maybe, I’m not really sure,” I said, deciding to humor him. “Memory is kind of fuzzy at the moment.”

The delivery man laughed. “I remember those days, prowling around like a tomcat,” he said and winked. “Listen: take a few teaspoons of sugar, one of salt, and mix it in a tall glass of water. Sip it ‘til it’s gone. It’ll make the rest of your day a whole lot better!”

“Uh, thanks,” I said. “I appreciate that.”

“No problem at all!” the delivery man said. “You wouldn’t want your day to be ruined by some mistakes from last night, right?”

I attempted a response, failed, and just waved instead. I closed the door against the hateful sunlight.

Back in the kitchen, I mixed the drink in silence as I stared down at the box on the counter.

It was wrapped in brown paper, held together by duct tape. All the delivery info was written out with a black marker in all capital letters.

“Adrestia’s Road,” I read. “Wherever the hell that is.”

I grabbed a knife from the butcher’s block and slit the tape, then peeled away the paper to find a plain, cardboard box. I lifted the lid.

Inside was a framed photo, cushioned by a pile of shredded newspaper. It showed a couple standing at the altar, their arms around each other, the priest behind them smiling widely. Someone had scratched out each person’s eyes, leaving white lacerations across their faces.

“What the fuck is this?”

I turned the frame around and unclipped the backing, searching for an answer. Written on the back of the photo were two names I didn’t recognize, and a date from fifteen years ago that had as little meaning to me as the names did. There was a message scrawled across the bottom.

I don’t know what it said, and even if I did, I wouldn’t tell you. It’s not that it was in a different language, it was just…I’m not sure. It was in a spiky script, like the readout of a heart monitor, dipping and ascending with each pen stroke.

But I could still read it.

And it hurt.

The pain began building behind my eyes, completely overshadowing the headache from my hangover. The pressure peaked and I staggered back, dropping the frame to the floor where the glass shattered, and the wood splintered. I shoved the heels of my hands against my eyelids and screamed. My head felt like an inflating balloon that had reached its limit. Just when I was sure I was having a stroke, the pressure stopped, and the sensation slid away from my eyes, moving into my sinuses and growing there like a sudden head cold. It began to throb in time with my heartbeat.

I’m not sure how much time passed as I stood there in the kitchen panting, my teeth clenched against the pain. When I lowered my hands, I opened my eyes to darkness.

I was blind. No images, no colors, not even black. There was nothing.

I stumbled but succeeded in grabbing the counter. Feeling my way along, my hand bumped into my keys and sent them clattering to the floor. I knew my cell phone must be close and was more than relieved when my hand fell upon its familiar shape. I used my fingerprint to unlock the phone.

“Call Michael,” I said.

The phone chirped in response. The ringing went on for an eternity.

Finally, my brother answered.

“Sam?” he laughed. “What are you doing up before nine on a Saturday?”

“Mike, listen, something’s happened. I’m hurt. And no, this is not a joke.”

“What happened? Where are you?”

“Still at home.”

“Wait, why are you calling me instead of, you know, a medical professional?”

“It’s not,” I began, but then couldn’t find the right words. “It’s not medical. Maybe it is. Shit, I don’t know, just get over here, okay?”

There was a moment of silence.

“Okay,” he said. “I’m leaving now, but this had better not be some kind of prank, man.”

“It’s not, just–”

“Yeah, yeah,” Michael said and hung up.

I slowly made my way into the living room and managed to find the couch without tripping and breaking my neck. I sat down and waited in my new dark world, trying not to panic but I could feel it rising regardless, pushing its way up my throat like bile.

My brother only lived twenty minutes away, but it was a long twenty minutes of just sitting there listening to myself breathe. Eventually there was a knock at the door.

“Mike?” I called out.

I heard the door creak open. “Yeah, it’s me, what…what are you doing?”

“I’m blind, Mike,” I said. “I can’t–”

“See” was what I meant to say, but that was wrong, because just then my sight started to return. The world started to form around me. No colors, but shapes were becoming clear. I looked to the door, to my brother, and coherent thought left my mind in an instant.

Michael stood in the doorway, the monochromatic sunlight framing him from behind. His face was a ruin, the skin drooping away from his skull like melted wax. Serrated antlers hung from each side of his head, twisting into curls like the horns of a ram.

“Sam, what is wrong with you?” he said, shambling towards me on legs of ripped muscles and hanging veins that fluttered like seaweed in a strong current.

I screamed and backed away to the furthest edge of the couch. “Get back! Get the fuck back!”

He stopped. “Hey, calm down, it’s just me! What the hell is going on?!”

For a wonder, I did stop. I squeezed my eyes shut.

“Mike?”

“Yeah?”

“Say something. Something only the two of us would know.”

“Your middle name is Bryan.”

“No!” I said. “Something more specific.”

“Um,” he said. “Let’s see. When you were twelve, I caught you in the bathroom–”

“Okay, okay, enough!” I said. “It is you, but…you don’t look like you.”

“Sam, I swear to God, if this is some prank–”

“No, no prank,” I said. “Hold on, I need to check something. Move away from the door, off to the side where I can’t see you.”

I heard his shuffling steps, then opened my eyes. The door stood open, showing a scene of gray grass and white sky. Something shambled along the sidewalk. Matted hair trailed down its flayed back, braided with strips of skin. Its left arm hung low, the claws at the tips of its fingers causing sparks as they skipped against the concrete. In its right it held a loop of intestine tied around the throat of some beast, its carapace shining in the morning light.

I struggled to keep my vomit down, but a sour belch escaped my mouth, leaving a greasy taste in its wake.

“Do you see that, Mike?” I said, pointing a shaking finger at the abomination outside. “Please tell me you see that.”

“Yeah,” he said. “One of your neighbors is walking their dog. So?”

“No! It’s…” I said, then trailed off, unable to explain.

I felt Michael grab my arm. “Come on, back to the couch,” he said, leading me away from the door. I heard him close it, then felt his weight settle beside me as he sat down.

“Okay,” I said. “This is going to sound fucked up.”

I explained the events of the morning, keeping my eyes closed the entire time. When I finished, I heard Michael walk into the kitchen, and the sounds of him inspecting the box.

“Who delivered this?”

“I honestly didn’t pay attention. I’m exhausted and hungover.”

“Figures,” he said. “And who are–”

“Don’t look at that!” I cried, remembering the picture.

“I didn’t look at the back. Chill out.”

I slumped against the back of the couch, relieved.

“So,” he said. “Some mystery company delivered a mysterious package containing a mysterious photo that made you go blind.”

“Yes,” I sighed.

“And now you can see, but everything is in black and white and I look like some sort of creature that crawled out of a grave?”

“When you put it that way it sounds crazy.”

I could hear the sudden swish of him turning the box around on the counter.

“What about this web address?” he said.

I blanked. “I don’t know what you’re talking about.”

“On the bottom, after the return address, there’s a URL. Looks like random characters. I’ve seen something like this before.”

“Well, what is it?” I could hear the pleading in my voice and hated it. “Can it help?”

“Hold on,” he said. “I need to check it out.”

There was the unmistakable sound of a zipper being unzipped.

“What are you doing?”

“Getting my laptop out,” he said. “You’re lucky that I’m on-call for work this weekend, otherwise I’d have left it at home.”

“Is there a need for emergency virus protection updates on the weekends?” I quipped.

I didn’t have to see his expression to know what it was.

“There’s a lot more to IT security than viruses, dick.”

The sounds of typing punctuated the silent pauses.

“You could’ve just used my tablet,” I said.

“No, I couldn’t. You need a special kind of browser for staying anonymous.”

“Makes sense,” I said, though it didn’t, but I couldn’t think about it then.

“This isn’t just a regular site that you can pull up on Google,” he said. “It’s on the dark web. A whole network of sites that aren’t indexed by search engines and are only accessible by certain browsers, if you want to remain anonymous, which is kinda the whole point. You can only find what you need if you know what you’re looking for, or in certain situations, by invitation only.”

“What kind of situations?” I asked, uncertain if I even wanted to know.

“The highly illegal kind. Drugs, usually…and worse.”

“Worse? What, hitmen for hire? Government secrets?”

“Worse,” Michael said flatly.

I let that last one slide, certain this time that I didn’t want to know.

“So, you’re going to, what, hack into the site?”

His laugh made me feel stupid immediately.

“Hack? Um, no. This address is probably passed from an individual, giving access to specifically chosen people.”

“Like me?”

“Maybe,” he said. “Let’s find out.”

More clacking and keystrokes.

“Okay, I’m at the site,” she said. “It’s very basic, but I need a PIN to get inside.”

My alcohol addled brain decided to start working. “How many digits?”

“Eight.”

“The picture,” I said. “The date on the back. That’s got to be it.”

“That seems a little too obvious,” he said.

I nodded. “Exactly. You said these things are sometimes invitation only. Someone meant for me to see the address, why not the PIN? Grab the photo.”

I listened as he walked into the kitchen, crunching over the broken glass. A moment later I could feel him pressing the photo into my hand.

“Thanks,” I said. “Now step back. No offense, but I don’t want to risk looking at you again.”

“None taken,” he said.

I opened my eyes, bracing for the worst, but nothing had changed. Everything was as colorless as an old 1950’s sitcom.

“Okay, here,” I read off the numbers.

“We’re in!” he said. “I can’t believe you were right.”

“Thanks a lot.”

“It’s…it’s a video feed,” he said. “Just a room. Some covered furniture, that’s about it.”

“I need to see,” I said. “Come sit beside me. Just let me do the driving so I don’t see you.”

I closed my eyes as he passed me, then felt the weight of the laptop as he positioned it on top of my thighs.

I opened my eyes.

It was as he described it, a nearly featureless room, until the door opened.

A man walked out, dressed in a t-shirt and jeans.

“That’s him!” I cried. “That’s the delivery guy!”

“Hello, Sam,” the man said. “I gotta say, I’m kind of surprised to see you this early. I thought it would take you longer to figure it out. But I see you had some help.”

Michael quickly reached out and covered the webcam embedded in the top of the monitor. I barely suppressed a cry at the sight of his scabbed and twisted fingers.

“It’s okay,” the man said with a laugh. “I don’t need to see you; I just need you to see this.”

He grabbed one of the furniture covers and pulled it away with a flourish, like a stage magician performing a trick.

And there was Sadie, sitting in a chair, gagged and bound.

“Who the hell is that?” Michael whispered.

“Go ahead,” the man said. “Tell him.”

“Her name is Sadie,” I said thickly, my mouth feeling like it was stuffed with cotton. “She’s the woman I’ve been seeing lately.”

“‘Seeing’?” the man said. “Is that what you call it?”

I said nothing.

“Now the way I see it,” the man said, striding over to Sadie. “The only reason you’re not strapped to this chair is that you didn’t know.”

“Know what?!” I cried. “What is this about?”

“That she was married. That we,” he gestured to Sadie. “Are married. Fifteen years next month.”

“I’m sorry,” I said, and I meant it. “Listen, I honestly had no idea–”

“That’s why I’m letting you live,” he said, reaching behind the chair. He raised a knife in front of his face, studying it. “But unfortunately for her, she knew better.”

I shook my head, tears starting to blur my vision. “Please don’t hurt her, okay? People make mistakes. I’m-I’m sure we can talk–”

“I will hurt her,” he said. “And you’re going to watch, or you can keep seeing the world with no color, and everyone you care about will be a monster in your eyes. Like she now is in mine.”

Sadie’s cries were muffled by the gag, a cornered animal, her eyes wild and bright with tears.

“I can’t,” I sobbed. “I can’t watch this.”

“It’s up to you,” he said. “Watch what I do to her, and tomorrow you’ll receive a letter with a special message just for you. Read it, and you’ll be back to normal. Your choice, Sam. A few minutes of murder, or a lifetime of monsters.”

I looked at Michael, at his bulging, yellow eyes.

I nodded to him, and he removed his hand from the webcam.

And I watched.

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


Written by Ryan Harville
Edited by Craig Groshek
Thumbnail Art by Craig Groshek
Narrated by N/A

🔔 More stories from author: Ryan Harville


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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