The Monster in Me Is the Monster in You

📅 Published on October 13, 2021

“The Monster in Me Is the Monster in You”

Written by Raz T. Slasher
Edited by Craig Groshek and N.M. Brown
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 — 18 minutes

Rating: 10.00/10. From 1 vote.
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I sat alone on the rocking chair I set up on the front porch of my new cabin the other day, just reflecting on life for a while. Ever do that? Just sit by yourself somewhere and think about all those little moments? It’s a truly cathartic experience. In all honesty, I’ve had a hell of a time this past year. The only thing I had to feel proud of was renting this place, or so I thought.

I’d only been back from the army for maybe a year after three straight tours, and I was having a hell of a time adjusting to civilian life. So much time in hot zones of foreign lands had a way of changing a guy. They called it an honorable discharge and sent me home, but the way they looked at me when they said I had PTSD…I got the feeling there was nothing honorable about it.

I put the time into trying to reach out to family and old friends. What else was there to do? I wasn’t into bars anymore or honestly places with too many people. I would find a corner to sit in where I could see every entrance and exit and spend the whole time making these weird contingency plans just in case something happened. Nothing ever did…

It didn’t take long for them to notice how much I’d changed or for me to hear them whisper about it behind my back. Even my mother asked me one day what happened to her son and mourned for her loss. Whatever good was left inside me died that day, I think, assuming anything had been left at all.

Only one friend was truly there for me, accepting me as I was for all my faults. We’d grown up next to each other and had been best friends since we were two. Her name is Riley, and she’s probably the kindest person I’ve ever known. Ever try to date someone and just feel weird the whole time? We’d tried a time or two through the years. We’d just felt like family for so long. I guess that it never quite worked out for us.

I spent most of my time, between trying to get back on my feet, at her apartment smoking weed and playing video games. Call of Duty was a favorite for obvious reasons. I still slept at mom’s house, but I moved all my things to the basement, so I never had to look her in the eye. I think she wanted me to leave even then and just didn’t know how to tell me.

The worst thing about life after the military was the fucked up dreams I had every single night. As a devout catholic, it didn’t take me long to realize that most of them were fueled by some deep-seated guilt. I’d watch, helpless, as I lost my buddies in different situations all over again, or the lives I took, whether those deaths were earned or not. I won’t waste your time with details. We both know you don’t want to read them…

My shrink over at the VA suggested I do something about the guilt at one point. I wasn’t sure what to do until I sat down and just started handwriting letters one day. One to the family of each person I lost. They didn’t know who I was, but I couldn’t help but feel I owed them more than the folded flag and pine box the service gave them. I always received a letter back thanking me for writing to them, but that didn’t take away the guilt. If anything, it was getting worse.

One night I woke up with sweat pouring off of me and my muscles all tight and aching. I was screaming something, but I’ll be damned if I know what. The next thing I knew, I was getting hit in the head with something heavy. I looked down to see my fingers wrapped around my stepfather’s throat. I was so confused at that point. I liked Ron a lot. He’d always been kind and understanding since I got back. I had no reason to do anything like that to him. I’d never been a violent person outside of the orders I was given.

I turned around with tears in my eyes to see my mom standing there with a table lamp in her hands and flashing red and blue lights pulling into the driveway that I could just barely see through the basement window behind her. I was cuffed and went along quietly as they stuffed me into their squad car. Instead of going to jail, Ron was kind enough not to press charges. Instead, they had the police stick around as I packed my things and left.

It didn’t take long for the whole family and pretty much everyone else in our small town to find out what had happened. It went from whispers behind my back to glares and cold shoulders by morning. I didn’t want to burden Riley no matter how much she insisted, but I did park my car in front of her place and sleep there for a few nights. I was terrified something would happen if I stayed there with her, but I was too ashamed to say it aloud.

I got a security job at an aging, mental hospital just outside of town a few days later. It was an easy job, and the people there were great. The doctors were glad to have me there, and the nurses always had a kind smile and a cup of coffee waiting. They let me stay in one of the old suites as part of my pay. They used to offer the ones to family members of patients back when the place used to double as an overflow intensive care unit for a larger hospital in the next town. I still hung out with Riley a lot, and things were finally looking up.

One night I worked a little later than usual due to a misunderstanding between a few patients that didn’t end well. I hopped on my ps4 (a present from Riley) and joined up with her to play some COD. I had a few drinks, and before I knew it, I was beyond exhausted. I passed out on my couch right after I ditched the headset. When I woke up the next morning, I was in my bathtub for some reason. In confusion, I took a look around and saw blood everywhere.

Solid knocks thundered from my front door in the other room all of a sudden, barely knocking me out of my stupor. I focused on the sound the best I could and haphazardly managed to pull myself out of the tub and onto my feet. Taking full stock of the sheer amount of blood I was seeing, I switched to some fucked up autopilot, courtesy of Uncle Sam, instilled within me. I stripped my clothes off and shouted, “I’ll be right there,” to whoever was on the other side of that door.

I pulled on some fresh clothes in record time somehow, although the shakes as the shock of my situation fought my autopilot for attention. I hurried to the source of the knocking, nudging the bathroom door closed with my foot on my way as my heart pounded out a machine-gun staccato. I could hear the sirens and see those red and blues before I made it all the way to my door. I had no idea what I did, but whatever it was, I was damn sure I deserved whatever happened next.

I was tackled the second I opened it by the same cops that had come out to mom’s house before. This time when I got cuffed and stuffed, there wasn’t a get-out-of-jail-free card. They put the pedal to the floor on the way to the little jail at the sheriff’s office. The whole way there, they were spitting in my face through the cage and telling me I was a disgrace to their country…

It wasn’t until they made me sit in the cell for nearly four hours that they finally booked me and read my charges. I had forced my way into the housing unit next to mine and brutally attacked an elderly janitor, an ex-marine with whom I’d had more than a few drinks. Just like with Ron, I had no reason to attack this guy. Jimmy always had a spare cigarette and a flask to share every time I had seen him.

I felt like I wasn’t in control of myself. All I remember about that night was having another nightmare about a close friend of mine being beaten to death overseas. It’s not how he died, but I guess that’s how the subconscious works. Also, like Ron, Jimmy decided not to press charges, and I was released. I was told that if one more incident happened, the town would press charges and go away for a while.

Riley was nice enough to give me a ride back to my place. She tried to console me and help figure things out, but I just wasn’t in the mood. I mostly sat there and just nodded or agreed at all the appropriate times. She dropped me off, making me promise I’d come by the next night for some gaming and dinner. When I made it to my housing unit, I found a note on the front door. It was a notice that I’d been terminated and had 48 hours to vacate the premises. I didn’t own that much, so I packed the car that night and drove to the Wal-Mart, and slept in the car.

I woke up the next morning at oh-six hundred hours to a call from my former CO. He’d heard about my struggles and wanted to lend a hand. I told him I wasn’t interested in a handout and almost hung up on him right then and there. Something he said stopped me. Apparently, he had an old friend that he’d served with not too far from my area who was looking to rent out a cabin. It was fairly isolated and was empty at the moment. He said that this was only rented to vets in need and that it would be therapeutic for me. I took down the number and thanked him, and that I hoped to repay the favor someday before he ended the call.

I immediately gave the guy a call. He’d apparently been expecting to hear from me. He let me know that rent would be free for the first two months while I got back on my feet. The place was well stocked, but if I needed something, it was about a fifty-mile drive to any store, so I should try and plan ahead. I didn’t bother asking any other questions, which, in retrospect, was definitely a mistake. He told me I could move in that day if I wanted to, which, of course, I did, because sleeping in a cabin sounded a hell of a lot better than sleeping in my car again. He gave me directions and said he’d meet me there, hanging up before I could say anything else. I gave Riley a quick call to let her know there was a change in plans, but I would make it up to her. She was so thrilled that I found a place to go that she didn’t mind much.

In honor of my new lifestyle, Riley and I decided to start a podcast. I didn’t know much about them, to be honest, but Riley made up for that in spades. The concept was to make sort of a living audio document about cabin life. We started each episode with any updates around the cabin and the surrounding woods. Of course, we talked about many other things we enjoyed during the process, like gaming and movies, to keep things interesting. Sometimes she came over, and we did a live episode to keep things fresh, but usually, we just did it through discord from our own homes.

A lot of my updates were about repairs I had to make, what I had to go through to get supplies, and the different animals I spotted throughout the day. Some of them were certainly more interesting, though. After a few weeks of being there, I started hearing strange noises at night that I couldn’t identify. Despite being a horror fan and knowing better, I often went out to investigate just to see if I could find the source of the noise. So far, I’d had no luck with my late-night jaunts.

One day Riley had an idea for a special event for the show. The woods throughout Ohio have a lot of myths and legends surrounding them. I won’t bore you by detailing all of them, but the basic highlights are a lot of old Native American burial grounds, hauntings, and cryptids galore. Riley thought that it would be interesting to set up some equipment during the early afternoon and do a 24-hour stream as we investigated the property together. I was resistant at first, but she won me over in the end.

The morning of the big event came, and Riley was excited. She brought over a bunch of audio and video gear I didn’t even know she owned. When I questioned her about it, she said she’d borrowed it from a friend who was interested in the property. Before I could ask any more questions, she put me to work, helping her set things up. We put some wireless security cameras with night vision upon various trees along with a couple more basic trail cams. A wireless microphone also accompanied each camera. She also had me add a few tripwires and basic alarm traps with some motion-activated lights just to make sure nothing could sneak up on us. She also planned to carry a tablet around with her to read her that would control the live feed and let her read out viewer comments as they happened in real-time.

The last thing we had to do was set up a base camp of sorts in the cabin. We put up a folding table with a few monitors and some other gear I didn’t recognize. She also installed some sort of signal booster that piggybacked off my satellite dish. That worried me because that dish was the only way to get TV and internet this far out in the woods, but she assured me everything would be fine. She’d always been the smart one between us, so I went along with it. When it was all set up and ready to go, she slid her laptop on the table and got everything connected.

Before we could go live on YouTube, she strapped some go pros to each of us. Then we tested every mic, camera, and motion sensor to ensure we were good to go. We celebrated with a couple of beers and a blunt, a long-standing tradition for us since high school. Riley had promoted the hell out of this thing, so it helped with those last-minute jitters I was experiencing.

We talked for a while, opening up the show like we always did with a quick greeting to our listeners and a few jokes. It was our first time doing a live event, and being able to read the comments as they were happening was encouraging. We spent hours just wandering around the cabin and the woods during the early part of the event, cracking jokes and answering questions from viewers. It wasn’t until an hour after the sunset that things took an interesting turn.

“What the fuck was that?” Riley jumped, looking deeply into the woods to the right of us.

Before I could reply, the sound came again, and this time it was thunderous. We stood there for a couple of minutes in silence, too afraid to move. When nothing else happened, I piped up.

“I’m not sure what the hell that was, but it was coming from the direction of an old deer stand I saw out here the other day. Let’s head in that direction and see if we can find out what it was.”

Riley rolled her eyes with a small smile on her face despite the slight tremors I noticed on her shoulders. “Rule number one of horror films, man: don’t investigate strange noises. It’s like you want to be a victim or something.”

I laughed it off and ribbed her as we walked. “Just because you’re afraid doesn’t mean I am. Besides, isn’t the whole point of tonight to investigate?”

Riley acquiesced and read off some of the comments while as we moved. “JUNGnCaptivity143 just said they thought it sounded like a woman screaming.”

I scoffed at that. “That’s not what I heard at all. It was a little high-pitched, but definitely not a woman screaming.”

Riley read the next comment. “Wycked76 says that they heard a similar sound on a Bigfoot documentary the other day.”

I outright laughed at that. “Didn’t we already discuss the fact that I don’t believe in Bigfoot in a previous episode? Come on, people, get serious for a second.”

Eventually, we arrived at the old deer stand. A strong smell of copper permeated the air. I filled people in on what we were experiencing. “We’ve finally made it to the deer stand, and all I can smell is blood. I’m trying to see if I can locate the source now.”

Riley balked at that. “Blood? Seriously? This seems kind of sketchy, man, don’t you think?”

I continued to talk as we moved. “It’s probably just an animal; this shit happens around here all the time. Nothing to freak out about.”

When we reached the source of all the blood, the sight gave me a moment’s pause. Years of training sent me into this strange sort of autopilot as I assessed the immediate situation. I described what I saw aloud to Riley, not caring that the audience could hear it just as clearly.

“There are two deer here. They look like a doe and her fawn. They’ve been ripped open from ass to throat and bled out.”

If Riley seemed nervous before, it was nothing compared to the tone in her voice now. “What the fuck, man? You think it was like a wolf or a bear or something, maybe?”

I shook my head and gestured for her to have a look of her own as I spoke. She declined my offer with a quick shake of her head.

“Never seen a wolf around here, and bears are pretty rare. It’s one big jagged wound. The teeth marks alone are larger than anything I’ve seen in the woods around here. Whatever did this is probably still close by. There’s still a little steam radiating from the entrails.”

Still shaking, Riley read off a comment from a viewer. “AceInMyHole19 says we should get the fuck out of there and go home.”

I chuckled nervously at that. “Wouldn’t be much of a show then, would it?”

Riley read the next one. “TryHard73 says you should hold the camera up so everyone can see the damage.”

Just as I started to position the camera in my hands to give them a better view of the carnage, a new noise could easily be heard by everyone listening. There was a loud rustling in the trees nearby and the sound of solid wood snapping. I quickly pivoted the camera in the direction it was coming from and caught some large bushes moving wildly on film. From its confines came an enormous clawed hand covered in blood and thick black hair. It snatched the tablet out of Riley’s hand and crushed it in one motion. The last thing the viewers heard before the live feed died was Riley screaming.

I watched in sheer horror as the rest of the figure slid out before us. It stood seven feet tall and was as thick as the oaks that surrounded us. It was humanoid in shape and had a huge mouth of jagged broken teeth that stretched into a menacing sneer. The most frightening thing about it was its eyes. Their azure hue seemed so human that for just a moment, I forgot what stood before us. The intelligence they radiated was unlike anything I’d ever witnessed in the wild. Its chest rose and fell in a primal circadian rhythm that matched its slow and calculated movements ever closer to us. It knew it could overtake us any time it wanted and clearly realized that I knew it too.

They teach you a lot about fighting in the military from any distance. What people don’t realize, what they often get wrong from years of war movies and propaganda about the military, is that they also teach us how to run. A well-trained and disciplined soldier can make a weapon out of nearly anything close enough to them in a tough situation, but we also know when it’s time to get the fuck out of dodge and live to fight another day. With that in mind, I dropped everything in my hands as I scooped Riley up over my shoulder and high-tailed it towards the cabin.

I didn’t know if we would be any safer there or if we would even make it, but it seemed like a better plan than standing there with a thumb up our asses waiting to get eaten or torn apart like those deer. I darted around trees and through bushes; all the while, the ground shook, and branches snapped behind me. Riley made herself as small as she could over my shoulder and held on tighter than gorilla glue. I got the sense this thing could have overtaken us had it wanted to. As well as I knew these woods, this thing clearly knew it better. I heard it stop moments after I launched through the foliage that marked the edge of the forest near the clearing around the cabin.

My heart was pounding so hard by the time we got inside the cabin that it felt like a fire was burning somewhere inside me. I barked some quick orders at Riley as I tossed her onto the couch and went about locking and barricading every possible egress. She rushed to the den where she had set up our command center, hoping to spot the thing on some of the equipment so we could track its movements.

“I just saw it move past trail camera one, but it didn’t trigger the motion sensor.”

I sighed from the living room as I finished sliding the couch in front of the door. This was worse than I thought. “That means it knew the motion sensor was there. I hid it well enough that anyone or anything lumbering by would have hit it without even noticing.”

“How the hell could it have known?” Her voice was quaking with fear now.

I opened my gun safe and grabbed my father’s rifle, the only thing I had to remember him by. On his deathbed, he told me it had saved our lives more than a few times, and maybe someday it would save mine too. Hopefully, today will be that day.

“Whatever that is out there, it’s not an animal, Riley. At least no animal I’ve ever heard of. It’s been watching us for who knows how long. The sounds, the deer, it was a setup. It could have killed us any time it wanted. Now it has us trapped in here.”

A small explosion shook the windows as the power went out. A moment later, we could hear something scraping along the walls of the cabin, getting closer and closer to our position within it. Riley pressed a hand over her mouth to keep from screaming as I finished loading my hunting rifle. I had taken that thing apart and put it back together so often that the lack of light didn’t affect my precise movements. Just as I slipped off the safety and shifted onto my shoulder, everything stopped and grew eerily silent.

Five minutes had gone by in silence, but we held our position in silence. The five turned to fifteen, then to thirty. There was no sign of movement from the outside world. Part of me hoped the creature had simply left, but the hunter in me knew better. I carefully crept around the cabin with Riley in tow, peeking through the windows in each room as we went. I didn’t see anything until we made it to those sliding glass doors that led to the backyard.

The second we saw each other, the creature slammed its enormous fist right through the glass. My autopilot kicked back in, and I quickly fell into a shoot, retreat, shoot pattern, keeping Riley as far behind me as I could manage. I’d tagged it damn near a dozen times before it retreated. I hadn’t killed it, but I sure as hell gave it something to think about. With a roar that reminded me just how inhuman this thing was, the beast bounded off into the night, leaving a trail of thick, dark blood.

In a flurry of movement, I ran all around the dining room, looking for something to blockade the broken sliding glass doors. Running on pure adrenaline, I managed to shift over the fridge from the nearby kitchen into place, along with the stove and anything heavy enough to give us time if it came back through that way. Riley was barely responsive, so I gave her the easy job.

“Can you grab more ammo for the rifle out of the safe?”

She blinked at me a few times in confusion before my request finally made sense to her. Just as she made it to the safe, I pushed her inside and locked the door. The rifle had been the only gun I owned at the moment, and I’d pulled all the ammo earlier. The safe had come with the cabin and was one of the largest I’d ever seen in a home. I’d always thought it would make a decent panic room the way it was boxed in. Looking back on it, I’m pretty sure I could have gotten inside of that thing with her, but at the time, that didn’t even register.

I sat on my chair in the living room, waiting for it to come back. Deep down inside, I knew it as a matter of when not if. My rifle was in my hands and ready to go. I’d even slipped a hunting knife Crocodile Dundee would be jealous of into my boot before I sat down for good measure. Occasionally, I heard it outside snapping branches, roaring, and even scraping its claws against the outside of the cabin again. Despite the active combat I’d experienced in my lifetime, I’d never been as terrified as I was at that moment.

I sat there ready to piss myself for the better part of an hour before I saw it again. One of those enormous haunting azure eyes stared in at me through the small glass window at the top of the front door. The second it spotted me, it began slamming its gigantic fists into the wood over and over again. I knew how sturdy that door was and felt confident it would hold up against the onslaught…until the hinges began to creak.

I jumped up and shifted over to add my own two hundred and fifty pounds to the door to brace it, but I was too late. Chunks of the door broke away and flew through the air, narrowly missing my face. I quickly placed the barrel of dad’s rifle to the little window in the top of the door and fired, catching it in the eye that was still pressed to the other side. I’d wounded it badly, but it had cost me. Just as the bullet made contact with its eye, it was forcing its claws through the door again. In my desperation to go on the offensive, I’d let my guard down and felt a claw filet me to the ribs in one sweeping motion. It screeched in pain, tearing it back out of me at an awkward angle, and lumbered back into the woods.

Blood rushed out over my hands despite the pressure I was applying as the sun slowly began its ascent through the heavens. I could see that thing at the edge of the forest now, glaring at me with its one good eye. Despite the damage we’d inflicted upon one another, we’d both managed to survive, for now. It gave one last roar before slowly disappearing back into the woods from whence it came. I lost consciousness shortly after.

I woke up in the hospital a few days later and saw Riley sitting there, staring at me with a mix of anger and concern. Before she could say a word, a nurse made his way into the room to check on me. He told me the wound had been so large and jagged that they’d barely been able to stitch me back together. They’d gone through a few bags of blood during the procedure, and I was lucky to be alive. When he left the room, Riley slapped me right across the face.

“That’s for locking me in the gun safe.”

She burst into tears and damn near crawled into the hospital bed as she wrapped her arms around me, her chest heaving from the sobs. When she calmed down, she asked me what happened after I’d locked her away. I gave her the rundown as best as I could, and a few days later, I did it again on the podcast.

The landlord has been kind through all of this. He’s letting me stay on as long as I get the place fixed back up. Riley moved in with me and is giving me a hand till I’m back in fighting shape, so it shouldn’t be a problem. She’s decided we’re getting married in the Spring, and I know better than to argue.

I was worried about that decision, though, considering my recent history living around others, but I’ve noticed something strange over the last couple of months. I’ve not had the slightest panic attack since that night, let alone a PTSD episode. It’s like every ounce of anger that was bottled up within me flowed out with all the blood.

That’s not the only strange thing, though. This morning I finally finished going through the footage from the cameras we’d put up in the surrounding woods that night. Riley and I were the only things out there. When I asked Riley to go through what she remembered, something I’d never thought to do, all things considered, I was flabbergasted. She never saw whatever it was like I did. During the first encounter, she remembered hearing some odd noises and seeing the bushes shake before I knocked the tablet out of her hands. She was cowering behind me during the second encounter when I shot at it through the sliding glass doors. She couldn’t hear much of anything but the faint echo of gunshots inside the gun safe, either…

Rating: 10.00/10. From 1 vote.
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🎧 Available Audio Adaptations: None Available


Written by Raz T. Slasher
Edited by Craig Groshek and N.M. Brown
Thumbnail Art by Craig Groshek
Narrated by N/A

🔔 More stories from author: Raz T. Slasher


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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