Stumperโ€™s Secret

๐Ÿ“… Published on July 28, 2022

โ€œStumperโ€™s Secretโ€

Written by Michael Tolman
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).

๐ŸŽง Available Audio Adaptations: None Available

โฐ ESTIMATED READING TIME โ€” 7 minutes

Rating: 10.00/10. From 2 votes.
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The man entered his front door to the melody of groaning hinges and his weary footsteps. He shut the door and set his keys on the kitchen table, the weight of his nine-to-five responsibilities melting away as he did. The front door of his home opened into a small, narrow kitchen. It narrowed further into a hallway that led past the cellar door on the right. At the end of the hallway, just past the cellar, the space turned into an ascending staircase. His home wasn’t small, but its design and use of space was ill-conceived and older than he was by at least a decade or more.

His lower back hurt from being on his feet for hours at a time, and his hands were still dirty from his day job. The noise from the cellar was back again. He exhaled with frustration, irritated that the reminder couldn’t have waited for him to grab a cola from the fridge and sit for a while. It was insistent, pleading for his attention, and despite his other daily duties, he knew it couldn’t wait another night. He’d have to fix the problem now.

The tall man moved down the hallway to the cellar door. He stopped at the mirror he had mounted just on the right side of the door and looked at himself for a moment. He liked having a mirror near the front door, so he could check his appearance before leaving, but at that moment, he hated it for what it showed him. Hooded brown eyes looked back at him, weary and haunted with age and exhaustion. Dark circles and ever more noticeable lines made his face appear ancient in the half-lit corridor. He had salt and pepper whiskers from not shaving that week, and the graying hair at his temples was getting long and unruly again. He had been clipping his hair since he had turned twenty-two rather than trying to hide the male pattern baldness that had begun to take hold so dismally early in his life.

He maintained an air of youth and exuberance despite his aging features, but today he was feeling his years more acutely than ever, and the mirror reflected that truth. He stared for a moment longer at the tired and worn-looking face that stared back at him, and at that moment, he mourned for his lost youth.

The door to the cellar whined in complaint, its creaking hinges aching with age. The top two steps were no better, moaning with the wear and tear of decades as they supported his weight. He sighed again. They needed to be replaced soon before they broke beneath his step, especially the second one. He could drive to the store that minute and buy the single piece of lumber he’d need to fix, and that would be the end. He had the tools, the nails and the know-how to replace it easily, but his back pain flared, and the insistent noise was still demanding his attention downstairs. A third, weary sigh escaped him. He didn’t have the energy to fix both today.

He descended slowly, his steps halted and stiff from the pain. He flipped the light switch at the bottom, and he was greeted with the familiar sight of the cement walls and floor of the basement. The old support beams towards the back of the cellar were musty and cobwebbed, and his tools were everywhere from the project he had been working on. The occasional drip of moisture could be heard, and the cool air was thick with the smell of his labors.

He stretched, arching his back and groaning yet again. He looked where the noise was coming from. He needed his wrench. The noise kept rising and falling as he searched the table where he last remembered seeing it. It was time to replace it. His skills couldn’t keep it running much longer anyway. The wrench he needed was on the floor underneath the table. Spending so much time down here fixing things lately had become tiresome and didn’t quite bring him the joy it used to.

He moved to the opposite table, wiping the sweat away from his brow as he did. This was going to be another exhausting night. Next to the table, his apron hung by a thick nail in the beam overhead, his work gloves tucked neatly in the front chest pocket. He slipped the apron over his head and tied it around his waist. The rubber gloves went on next, thick and smooth against his skin. He laced his fingers and worked the gloves snugly down to the webs. The large wrench was difficult to grasp in the thick gloves, but he could hold it well enough.

He gripped the wrench in his left hand and placed his right hand on the wheezing mechanism. In two quick motions, he raised the wrench and brought it down hard on his victim’s face. The second swing brought the wrench down hard on the eye socket,ย  collapsing it and finally ending the incessant noise. Teeth broke as the wrench connected with sickening force, and blood sprayed his apron.

The man set the wrench aside and took a moment to look over the body. So much to do now. He noticed the utility knife near the body, still within reach, having been used last night to remove the eyelids. That had been quite interesting. Of all the mechanisms he brought home to dismantle, he had as of yet never seen the eye without the skin surrounding it. It gave the head a strange appearance, making the eyes look like they were popping out. That had kept his attention for a while.

It was time. He was done with this one and would get new components in a couple of weeks, or perhaps a month or two, depending on how he felt after some downtime. He’d been considering taking a break for some time. For now, he needed to disassemble this device and dispose of it. He looked at all the work he had put in. Broken joints, seared flesh, and large muscle groups missing sizable portions were all evident as he inspected the results of his methodical destruction. The genitals were first. He severed them and plopped them in a waiting pickling jar placed on the shelf. The scalp came next. He cleaned it and draped it over an old hat rack to dry, looking forward to adding the strawberry blond mop to the long housecoat made of other scalps that he wore when he was alone during cold winter days at home.

He made surgical cuts he learned from watching autopsy videos to help the blood drain a bit better. He knew his clumsy attempts couldn’t compare to those of a surgeon or coroner, but for someone completely untrained in the medical profession, he felt like he had become somewhat of a skilled amateur after all his practice. He picked up his scattered tools as the blood pooled in the bucket at the end of the table. He grabbed his filet knife after organizing the space and began taking his choice strips of skin from the chest and thighs. He was making decent progress on the wall behind him. A few more of this size would have the whole wall covered. Then he could begin on the other walls.

After removing the head and putting it in the preservation jar, he placed it on the shelf next to the others. Soon, he’d need another shelf, or he would just have to stop keeping the heads. He liked the heads. They reminded him of all the hard work he had done over the years. The intestines came next. He cut a length free, emptied it, and threw it around his neck as he performed his best Cruella DeVille impression, swaying and prancing around his workspace while smoking a pretend cigarette and swinging the grotesque boa to and fro. He laughed a little as he took it off and threw it into the large plastic bin with the remaining organs to be incinerated.

He finished up and sealed the last of the bins with their lids. He put the choice cuts of meat he had selected in the deep freezer and began cleaning the rest of the clutter and scraps left over. It took a while, but the man felt triumphant accomplishment as the bone fragments and the last of the solid pieces were finally scooped up and tossed into the old incinerator. He’d burn the rest after dinner once the first batch of solids had been reduced to ash. He walked over to the spigot under the stairs and grabbed the attached hose. He whistled an old sea shanty as he sprayed down his work area. He let the hose fall from his hands, grabbed the Tupperware that held the liver, and headed upstairs.

He flipped the light off and climbed the steps, happy to be done with his work for the night. As he approached the top of the stairs, he tried to remember if he still had onions and garlic for dinner when unexpectedly, a loud crack of splintering wood resounded through the basement, and his leg plunged into the hole left by the broken step. He yelped as he plummeted, caught off guard by the sudden plunge. Pain shot through his leg and groin as the splintered wood stabbed into him, and rusted nails gouged him deep along his inner thigh. He screamed as he tried to lift himself. There was a large splinter of wood embedded deep in his groin just to the left of his genitals. It was deeper than he thought. He could feel it stabbing into the soft innards just inside his pelvic area.

Blood ran freely from his leg. He could hear it splashing on the floor below him. He must have opened an artery. Panic set in. He struggled to lift himself despite his agony, desperate to escape and stem the bleeding. The pain was excruciating. The deep wounds along his thigh sent hot flares of damage signals to his brain. Was he going to die like this? Alone and awkwardly impaled on a piece of splintery, dirty old wood sticking out of the stairs? Was this ignoble end all his hard work had earned him?

His struggling lessened as his strength bled away with his life. He slumped, unable to keep his body up and off the hardened splinter of wood that impaled him. Numb and cold overcame him as the offending piece of stairs stabbed a few more inches from his dead weight. In the last moments of his life, as the blood splashing below grew to a slow drip and the darkness in his vision closed in, he cursed himself bitterly. He should have just fixed the goddamn step.

The darkness enveloped him, and he was gone. Days later, his neighbors reported the smell, and the police came. They found his body on the steps and would eventually make their way down into the basement after extracting him. Bins full of bones, organs, and meat would be discovered, much to the horror of the investigating officers, and the nearly covered wall of skin almost drove them all from the basement en masse. Teeth found in the incinerator and tattoos on the wall would help identify some of those whose heads he had not collected and put on display.

Two senior police sergeants would seek counseling after the initial investigation, and one rookie officer simply left the scene after throwing up and turned in his badge the next day. The officer had only been on the job for about four months. Over time, the house would gain infamy as The Flesh Pit of Pittsburgh and eventually, it would be demolished by request of the bank that owned the deed to Barnabas Stumper’s home. They never even tried to sell it. As for Barnabas Stumper, he would forever be known to the world as “The Beast of Sailor’s Street,” the prolific serial murderer who callously butchered over forty-two people in his basement and made a macabre mural of their skin on the cold cement wall. That was Stumper’s secret, which he had expertly hidden for years. A secret that had only been revealed after a sudden death that he had nearly avoided had he only replaced that fateful step

Rating: 10.00/10. From 2 votes.
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๐ŸŽง Available Audio Adaptations: None Available


Written by Michael Tolman
Edited by Craig Groshek
Thumbnail Art by Craig Groshek
Narrated by N/A

๐Ÿ”” More stories from author: Michael Tolman


Publisher's Notes: N/A

Author's Notes: N/A

More Stories from Author Michael Tolman:

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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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