PENUMBRA - An Afterlife Story

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  1. [​IMG]

    It was morning again, or at least as close to morning as it ever came in the city of Potter’s Field. The shadows had withdrawn, but the gloom and desolation remained, not a living soul in sight. Potter’s field wasn’t a place for the living; only for ghosts, and the Umbra.


    In the stairwell of an apartment building near the city’s center, a young girl crept between the flooded beams, dipping her pale toes into the tepid, stale water. She could have gone wading, if she liked; she needn’t worry about ruining her clothes, since all she wore was a white terrycloth towel that fell to just above her knobby knees. It was what she’d been wearing when she’d died, and somehow, anything else she tried to put on unraveled at her touch. So the towel stayed. Her hair, though, hung freely down her back, glossy and full even in death. In life, she’d worn it that way to show off; now, she just wanted to hide the gaping hole that had replaced her left eye.

    It didn’t work very well. And it didn’t hide the bloodstains, the ones that wouldn’t wash away no matter how hard she scrubbed.

    She’d scrubbed hard.

    But she tried not to think about that, or how she’d come to Potter’s Field. Instead, she tried to fill her days with pleasant things, or as pleasant as could be had in the rundown, rotting city. And she tried not to think about the thing she saw moving between the beams in the night, stretching tendrils out toward her and whispering.

    Shaking her head to clear it, she adjusted her towel, tightening it around her thin frame and shivering. It was cold here, lonely. She would brave the streets, for now, if only so that she could have contact with another person for just a little while.


    The bar was defunct and trashed, the seats ripped up and posters littering the floor, the sign outside too faded to be legible, and there wasn’t a single bottle of booze left intact. Shit, who knew if you could even drink when you were a ghost? But it was his bar, and he tried to make it worth stopping in. Someone had to provide a little livelihood in this town, and he was happy to rise to the occasion. Fortunately, the jukebox still worked, though there was a loud static hum in the background when someone managed to make it play, and the selection was no more recent than ’99. But hey, it was music, and that was what counted.

    He was halfheartedly polishing the bar when the door opened, and one of his regulars came in. “Hey Danielle. What can I do for you?”

    She came and flipped over the lone barstool, taking a seat and pulling up the towel that seemed to be perpetually slipping down her chest. She sighed, kicking her bare feet. “Same as usual, Tyson. A little company.”

    Tyson grinned. Well, grinned wider; he was always grinning, thanks to the stitched-up wound that curled upward from one corner of his mouth. This one was genuine, though, and he leaned across the bar to tweak her nose. “Any time, darling. I hate to leave a lady lonely.”

    He meant it. He liked Danielle. She was a sweet girl. But the truth was, Tyson was just as lonely as she was, maybe even lonelier.

    Sometimes he thought that was the real reason that she came.


    It was outside the door again. She could hear it- hear the rat-like scrabbling at the walls and the buzzing of the flies and nasty, horrible dry rattles of its breath. It was trying to get in and she didn’t want it, she wanted to be alone alone alone, she didn’t want to be seen, because if someone saw her they’d see how ugly she’d become. She didn’t want to see it, because it made her think of things and when she thought of things she screamed and screamed and wouldn’t stop. She was screaming now, screaming at it to go away and let her be, let her be in the room she’d hated so much before, before, when she used to be pretty and everyone told her it was wrong.

    Her name was Caitlin then…

    Ten figures slipped from one swatch of darkness to the next, their shapes oozing into the world around them. They were the Umbra, and night was falling.

    Potter’s Field was not at rest.

    The Hooded Man (open)

    The Broken Woman (open)

    The Scarred Lovers (open)

    The Devoured Victim (open)

    The Wailing Crawler (open)

    The Scarecrow (open)

    The Shrouded Gentleman (open)

    The Long-Haired Belle (open)

    The Smiling Girl (open)

    The Hungering Wraith (open)
  2. Silence is rather overrated. Often people are saying how they would enjoy some solitude, some time to themselves. Maybe use these quiet moments to organize their thoughts, pull lives together and cherish each second of absolutely nothing rumbling against the ear drums. The world is a loud place, too much goes on at once. Politics, the media, war, society in general, it is all just corrupt and noisy. To cease it all, escape to a vacation spot, where the wind is keen to a nice cuddle session against the human body, laying in front of a salty water mass that is an ocean, licking at the feet like dogs, it would be nice, people say. Solitude is bliss.

    The inaudible gust whirled around Potter's Field, dancing through broken windows, tattered doors barely hanging on at the hinges. Invisible swirls of air picked up ashes scattered along the tenth floor of an old skyscraper, only to carry said particles out through another opening, dropping them like elephants to the ground. The wind was not afraid of this place, it licked at burnt down brick walls, tasting death all around. Curiously, how it tumbled along to the streets, it didn't stop or disperse in other directions. It was heading in a particular path, creating a trail behind with loose, lost pieces of dust and dirt, trash on the walkways to be swept up and let go like an unloved child. Twisting the zypher tail to the left, it followed along right, and soon found a destination point.

    Locks of copper whipped around restlessly, bobbing around in the free space, as well as a couple smacking against the black leather material covering broad shoulders. Such tressels seemed so worried, anxious as wind slapped them at the ends. A torso leaned forward, back arched, spine curved to a precise angle for maxinum speed and control. Encased by thick, rubber boots, toes crept downwards against a pedal. In reply, Baby gave a loud growl, snarling as the cycle sprinted off, leaving debris to fly up along the sides in its run. The obnoxious whirring engine was a rather soothing audio piece amongst all this noiseless trend. It was time to break the pattern of silence, forever ongoing, without interruption in the 'morning' of Potter's Field. Why sit back and let all be still when you can just get on a bike and rough the quiet air up a bit? The idea of creating noise, well, it was appealing. And, in this disturbing city, distractions were necessary to stay sane.

    Coming to a sudden halt, Baby stopped, pulled back a bit, and turned off slowly. Carefully, a rather dislocated leg was manually lifted up and off from its position with riding the motorcycle. An ungraceful thump was given with the boot of said leg meeting the asphalt, the body to which it linked from trying not to stumble. Catching herself, hands rose up to dust against the jacket adorning a sturdy physique. Adjusting the collar casually, the redhead flipped hair away from her bright, sea filled eyes. The city was a wasteland, it was plain to see. Not quite Heaven, though not at all like what could be imagined as your typical Hell, this was just.. there. There was no reason for this world to be in existance. It was incredibly.. well, fucked up.

    The ends of a soft, white dress flew about behind her as Kimberly began to walk along the middle of the road. Gazing upwards to the building tops, her eyes scanned along to see if she could spot anything out of the ordinary. Well, what wasn't out of the ordinary in this place. Head tilting to the left quickly, the satisfying crack of bone sounded out before the woman shivered and smiled. This smile was not with the lips, though. It was through a sparkle in her eyes. Her hanging tongue did twitch a little, if that could count as well. The cold air was a little irritating against the bare, pink gums that were revealed from her mouth. A sound what might have been a whimper, soft and light, erupted from the back of her throat, flicking the tip of her saliva covered worm-limb before it dangled down near the showing muscles of a lost chin. The slow build up of clear spit formed along her inner cheek. Like on a mission, the droplet rolled down quickly, trickling against such smooth skin from her neck, sticking to the inner collarbone section to dry and shine in a sickly manner.
    If one ever wondered what it'd be like to end up missing half of the face, well, it's not much like an amusement park or a circus. This is a fact.

    With her limping waltz over to a nearby showing of various stores, Kimberly blinked a few times, stopping to listen for a moment. Those gusts of wind were normal to her ears, and nothing seemed too unique that very minute. There was no other footsteps, no crackling of leaves, or throwing of a book on the ground. Silence. Again with the damn dead air. Twirling the TMP up into her grasp, the jawless recently deceased female ran her fingertips along the trigger, gently pawing at it, yet never pulling down enough to set off a blow. Taking in a deep breath, the pink slime curled up, and let go with the exhale. Might as well see if anything good was left for the taking. Having been here for ten days so far, Kim wasn't surprised not to have found anyone other than herself in these parts. She had hoped inside someone else might be in the same situation she was experiencing, this unknown world, so odd and confusing. The mystery shrouding it in darkness at night as well, those noises she would hear, the feeling of someone crawling up into her makeshift bed.. She couldn't just ignore this for much longer. Pulling her oddly bent leg along, the woman motioned her body towards an old book store. It might help to pass the time with a hearty, phylisophical novel. This could be a little treat to herself, a gift. It's not like anyone else would be celebrating her birthday anymore, being kinda dead and all. Minor detail to her, she still wanted a cake and the whole shebang when it was her day again. Yet, time seemed lost in this city. It was hard to tell what day it was, what time, et cetera. One could only tell by the way the skin prickled up, muscles froze in place, limbs held a sensation of being paralyzed, when it was time for the shadows to invade.
  3. Sapphire leaned against the tree that had become her haunt, she looked out at the sun that slowly disappeard. Soon it would be dark, she wouldn't be safe there anymore. She started to walk further in to the city, searching for her father and escaping the umbra.
    The first time she had met the beast she had barely been able to get away, she was afraid to death for meeting that thing again.
    'I wont let that thing get me' she thought determined to find her father.

    She stopped outside a hospital when she got distracted by her reflection in some glass shards, even though she knew she was dead she couldn't believe it. She kept thinking that it was a nightmare she would wake up from, even though she had been there for four days and still hadn't woken up. She took up one of the shards and inspected herself, even though she were much more pale than before and had those marks after she got strangled she didn't think she looked dead. She looked more like a person that hadn't gone out from her room in four years, and had been hit in the head which had given a big bloody wound in the head, but not severe enough to kill a person.
    She noticed that some of her nails had broke, she thought a bit about it and came to the conclussion that it must have been when she tried to get the belt of her throat.

    She shivered a bit when she thought about her death, but got other things to think about fast after. She felt the presence of something bad, could it be the umbra getting closer? She dropped the shard piece and ran further into the wretched city.
  4. "15..... thats how long I've been here, 15 days and i'm still not use to this place." The atmosphere of the city was gray and dull in Richard's eyes. A home for the dead to maon and cry about their losses, about their deaths, and the very last event they'd seen befor the fall. The crumbling buildings to him represented a refuge to relive painfull thoughts and sick feelings of the damned and cursed. In a way, it was Hell to him, cause he can still sense the cries of his wife and kids. Richard stood in the center of the Northern Graveyard, starring deeply into his stone, and gripping the weapon he died with. The dying trees would some how comfort him from his anger, reminding him that his death was going to happen someday, just never when you expect it to take it's toll.

    Price looked towards the road leading up to the entrance of the graveyard, a shocking feel launched throughout his body, making him shake in his blood splattered clothing. He tipped down his shades and pulled back on the stock of his rife, In his time of walking around this hole of a city, he learned to never lower your guard, no matter how adaptive to this place you become. For every waking hour of what seemed like day, he was being hunted, and at every turn he'd think he's safe, it'd always find a way ahead of him. Richard never feared being hunted by the enemy during missions, but this wasn't your average man vs beast, this..thing new how he thinks and how to out smart him when he never expects it. He'd only heard it once, but never saw it, not even a limb of it. If Richard never had fear before...Then soon that will change.

    He walked along the road with is eyes open and trigger finger ready. The gun didn't seem to kill or hurt the Umbra, but it was enough to slow it down for an escape, in case he needed to run, he kept the weapon strapped around his body from his shoulder to his waist. At the end of the path he walks out in to the middle of the street, swaying his horrific eyes from left to right, keeping his eyes open for his shadow. The surrounding area was made of demolished monuments, demolished homes, and what looked like a hospital. Price weazed through the openings of his jawbone, sending a whistling sound from his skull. For some reason he felt he needed to enter the hospital, as if something called to him, not for a favor but help. An evil feeling seeped from the windows of the rotting building, Richard didn't trust this feeling, so he immediately turned and walked the other direction. Almost out of sight, a scream "Go away!!" breached from the hospital's area, after that Richard had no idea how to react. Maybe he was insane, maybe even nuts, but that sounded to real to be fake. Price grabbed his gun by the center and sprinted towards the hospital, he looked up and screamed, "Hold on, I'm coming." If this is some kinda trick , he thought to himself, Price opened the front doors and listened close for the screams, the inside of the hospital was flustered with broken walls and abandoned rooms, he had to search for whoever the screams came from and as they sounded so frightened, he had to move fast.
  5. Joshua wouldn’t go near the water again. He couldn’t stand to look at himself any more. Not when he couldn’t even meet his own gaze.

    No eyes, no nose, no mouth. No nothing. The only distinguishing features he had left were the glasses glued behind his ears and the gashes he’d earned from trying to fight off the tree that helped kill him. On the first day, Josh had spent a long time kneeling at the water’s edge, making faces at himself like he hadn’t since he’d been in primary school. He smiled, frowned, wrinkled his nose, tried baring his teeth despite having no lips to peel back. It didn’t take long for him to notice that the most he could get was a wrinkle in the furrow between where his eyebrows once were. It was fitting; he’d knitted them frequently back when he’d had a pulse.

    When he’d run the fingers of his good hand over the space where his eye sockets should’ve been, he’d expected some kind of clue as to where they’d gone. A hollow, perhaps. He would have welcomed lumps when he never would have as a teenager with an occasional acne issue. But the skin was smooth and seamless, with only a slight dip in the same way there was a slight curve where his nose had been. It was like he’d never had eyes at all.

    Frustrated, and close to hysterical, he’d jammed the heel of his palm into the hollows in his face. They gave dramatically, stretching like they were made of rubber. He’d had enough of experimenting after that.

    Four out of the six times he’d counted the sun rise had been within the safety of the restaurant. The interior wasn’t so different from the original: the beams that had fallen from the rafters were in the same places, all the tables and counters coated with the same thick layer of dust. The moth-eaten sleeping bag that belonged to the homeless man who occasionally spent the night there was still bunched up in the corner. Everything still creaked the way it was supposed to. Only the smell had changed. It was still dusty, gently rotten and wet and familiarly unbearable the closer he got to the kitchen. Now it was a little more… stale.

    Joshua wanted to believe he was alone, but he knew he wasn’t. He’d elected to stay indoors once he’d learned the door was almost impossible to wrench open during whatever counted for daylight. The canal didn’t feel as safe as it used to at night; the slightly claustrophobic feeling he’d welcomed in life worked against him when the light died and the air got chilly and he swore he could hear something crawling around under the bridge. He’d run into the building, and he’d never come out.

    So it came to be that he realized he couldn’t stay where he was forever. The sun had come up a seventh time, and even he, who was so used to doing the same things every day in the same way, brooding all the while, realized he had to make a change. His wandering feet had touched every square inch of the restaurant’s floor a hundred times. He’d kicked tables over, broken chairs over the bar. And he had brooded until the air was so heavy, he started to choke. It was time to go outside again.

    Reluctantly, Josh dragged himself out the door. It was early morning now, and he had plenty of time to walk around before he ducked back inside. Rubbing the elbow of his swollen arm, he climbed the street that sloped up to the bridge, crossing it and leading himself into the lonely streets of Potter’s Field.

    He walked farther than he intended to. The sun was still out, but he was in an expressly urban part of the city that didn’t look remotely familiar, and all the streets around him looked the same. The buildings were even more worn and beaten than he was. Everywhere he turned, something was gray and brown and peeling, so he was caught off guard when he rounded a corner and noticed light streaming into one of the otherwise dark buildings. There must have been holes in the room.

    Cautiously, he got closer. It was a bar- a place he’d never had a chance to visit. He didn’t dwell on that fact; there were more pressing matters to examine. Two of them. He was even less alone than he’d thought just a few hours ago. Joshua stood there mutely, staring at them. He couldn’t see what the woman looked like from the front, but the barman was distracting enough. Those stitches look… unprofessional.
  6. Everything to behold was muted debris. This city was falling apart. Looking up, the sky was overcast to every horizon. Everything was so...gray. Alex noted this lack of color as somewhat boring, marked his distaste and continued along the empty street. He reached into his jumpsuit and gently caressed the handle of the knife, their knife which he had retrieved from the townhouse. Something dripped heavily down his neck. He wiped at it with his hand, suddenly remembering the cause of the viscous fluid running down his neck. Alex wondered if perhaps this was hell, some sort of punishment imparted on him by a pretentiously "righteous" god for his deeds. It would certainly explain why he couldn't remove his jumpsuit. He had tried numerous times and beyond all logic failed to complete the task. He felt marked and was rather indignant about the fact. Alex's cavalier attitude was suddenly brushed away by a cold breeze and a chill ran down his spine. His senses sharpened and his muscled coiled in preparation to respond quickly to an unseen threat. Alex gazed about, his posture was cold and still but internally a predator-like rage stirred.

    Minutes passed and the street remained as empty as before. Alex let out a short breath as the tension in his body relaxed. He took one more long look around but nothing seemed to stir. Satisfied that he was alone he continued through the broken streets. The ambient light seemed to be getting dimmer as he continued to wander, the air seemed to grow heavy and oppressive. Alex gritted his teeth and reached for his knife. His senses widened again and from out of the gloom he heard the fainest sound of footsteps. They were hurried and slowly becoming more clear. Alex withdrew to the side of the street, against the buildings and amongst the debris. Stepping from one cover to the next he closed in on the sound of the footsteps.
  7. It's not fair! It's not fair at all!

    krystaline thought to herself as she sat on the ruined alter of the church. She had been there a while, having prefered staying inside her safe haven, then going out into the city again and risking an unwanted visit by her umbra. She had found that durring the day, she could sleep, or attempt to, without having to worry about being found by her umbra. But at night, she sat high up on the altar, which she covered with barbedwire and other things she thought would keep her umbra away.

    As the light began fading, letting the darkness take over, she turned on the flashlight she had found and used some of the old batteries to use it, only at night. She also had a knife with her. One that her mother had given to her. She was told it would help fight off evil, although it was just a normal knife. She could still feel her husbands hand in hers, stabing her with the blade so she didn't have to die by the flames.

    She sighed, rubbing her scorched bone arm with her still fleshy hand. She didn't die by the blade, she did get burned alive. She sighed, tossing her veil out of her face. She had died in her wedding dress and she hated having to look at the blood stained and soot covered gown. It brought back many memories that she prefered be gone.

    She looked at the locked and baracaded doors. She had spent a lot of time doing it and she hoped it stayed. She looked up, knowing she was close to a wire that she could use to climb out up to the roof and then run. She had always been that way, thinking ahead. She wouldn't end up like the other one.

    When she had woken up, there was another woman here, trapped in a corner and screaming as her own beast like umbra attacked her and disappeared. She wouldnt end up like her.
  8. ‘Wahhhhhhh!’

    Cries….All he could hear where cries….

    Left and right, his eyes blurry with fresh tears. The red was comforting. His ears felt like they were bleeding from the sheer sound of those cries. His dark camouflaged uniform was stained to the brim, but for some reason the new blood would just fade like it wasn’t even there.

    How strange… He should be in heaven. Or hell. But he wasn’t…He was here. He didn’t know why…He was just here, and he didn’t know where here was… He just knew it was a hospital and no matter how much he wanted to leave his feet would not allow it. It felt like he was frozen in place. Those cries….They felt louder now, closer.


    Jacob…..His little boy. He remembered when he was first born. His wife was glowing with birth. Her beautiful rounded face, her silky brown strands swaying in the cold wind of November. She was screaming at him to hurry. Her water had broken and she was doubling over every few minutes. He had been asleep in black boxes next to her constantly turning form. When she woke him, he was drowsy. He didn’t know what was up or what was down but after a moment when he laid his head down to try and go back to sleep because he had work the next day and had to be at the base early, he shot up and fell off the bed. It was comical, even. He almost left the house like that. He hopped around the entire room putting on pants and getting a shirt.

    The emergency bag they prepared was tossed carelessly into the car; his wife had to help herself because he was rushing in and out. She laughed. It was musical and sweet. He loved it.

    The hospital that day was packed. People running to emergencies left and right. Broken arms and legs. Car crashes and shootings. Chaos. When she was situated in a room, she cursed at him for getting her pregnant. Her yelling was loud, piercing, she could almost break glass.


    That sound…His Jacob..He was born November 15, healthy, perfect.


    His wife was happy, smiling. She looked at him and said he gave her the best gift of all. An early Christmas present. He held him, cuddled him until they took him away to let both he and his wife rest. They slept like logs. Her in a bed, him in a chair. It happened again years later with Leila. His little girl. Daddy's little girl....




    STOP IT!!! He yelled in his head, his hands coming to grasp his scalp and pull on the bloody trestles. He couldn’t take it. His son…..His daughter….He would never see them again. They would have a new father. No one would know what happened to him. His ex-best friend would make sure of it. He knew it. His wife would lie for her new lover. They would be happy now. BASTARDS!

    Bringing down his hands, the cries finally stopped. All he could hear was his wheezing breath. His eyes where blurry still and when he whipped at them furiously it helped nothing but they stopped and he could see better than before he started.

    Looking at the empty incubators, his thoughts began to wander. He seemed to be doing that all of today.

    Was he not a good person when he was alive?
    Did he not fight hard enough for his country?
    Did he not love them enough!?

    Sighing, he backed away from the room and found another. The paternity ward was now his home. He slept on the ground in a dark corner or in a bed with still dried up after birth. The light scared him. He could no longer remember how to smile and his eyes felt hollow. Shivering from the cold, he hugged his chilled form, his head leaning back slightly and against the wall.

    Damnit….Now his neck was cold. It creaked back, threatening to fall.

    Looking out towards the window into the destroyed, old and crumbling buildings, the sun’s rays where dimming behind them into a soft orange hue. Night was coming. He was here one day already and he didn't like it. Certainly wasn’t a vacation spot he’d visit. But darkness was safe. Darkness felt like it lightened his heart.


    What was that…. His ears twitched. He thought he was the only one in there. Did he miss something, someone?

    ‘….A….u…g…..hh…..rrr…’ His legs shook. It came from down the halls. That didn’t sound human….Or whatever the fuck he was now. The hair on the back of his neck stood up. Never a good sign. He had nothing on him and he wasn't in the condition to fight. Closing the door quickly he locked it. Tables where grabbed, desk where pushed and anything he could find now pushed against the door, securing it. No weapons….No light.

    Maybe the darkness wasn’t safe after all.
  9. "Stupid fuckin niggers... I ain't 'posed to be down here in this hellhole. AND ITS ALL BECAUSE OF THEM!" Looking at his run down truck he only grew angrier. It was bad enough that he was stuck in this dreary fucking realm, and now they set his truck in front of him, even more run down then it was before. "AND I HAVE NO FUCKING HANDS TO EVEN FIX THE FUCKING THING!" He kicked the wrench which lay at his feet and watched it slide accross the floor and get stuck in the rotted wood of the wall.

    Needless to say, Jethro wasn't too happy about his new home. Lifting the stub of a hand he did have he tried in vain to move the flap of flesh melted over his eye. This nly pissed him off more and threw him into a fit of rage that ended with an even bigger hole in the wall and him standing there on the other side of the hole, panting, his anger in no way sated at all. Looking up to the monotone grey sky he yelled out. "FUCK THIS FUCKING PLACE AND ITS FUCKING BULLSHIT!" Panting he turned around and walked back through the hole and sat next to his truck again. With a depressed sigh he looked out the hole to the rest of the dreary town. He had been here almost a month now. A month ago he was happily living his life about to embark on the greatest story telling adventure of his life, and a couple days later, here he was. Sitting in his garage in this monotonous realm of annoyance and melancholy.

    Turning his head to look out the front of his garage he caught his reflection of himself in the mirror. His skin was black and charred, melted off in most places, he was as black as the people he hated in life... oh the perverse irony of it all. His face was a grotesque image of his former self. Forehead melted down over his eye, bits of his old baseball cap melted into his skin. It only cause his anger to grow once more. Furiously he punched out breaking the rearview mirror off the truck and sending it flying just outside the garage door. "Damn it all.. I hate this place. GIVE ME MY LIFE BACK!"

    Looking to his left he saw his shotgun. The very thing that had been the death of him, brought into the afterlife to haunt him here too. Reaching out he used his stubs to bring it into his lap. Maybe if he had fingers he could shoot himself with it and see if that would carry him back to life where he could go about his life. He sighed again and leaned back to stare at the cieling. "Fuck this place."
  10. [size=+1]
    “A man dies... only a few circles in the water prove that he was ever there. And even they quickly disappear. And when they're gone, he's forgotten, without a trace, as if he'd never even existed. And that's all.”
    - WOLFGANG BORCHERT, 'The Outsider'

    [size=+1]Life's a bitch. Then you die.

    It's just that no-one ever fucking tells you what comes after.

    As I walk these streets, these empty, desolate streets, I can't help but wonder “is this Heaven? Is this Hell, or even some sort of Limbo?” Fuck, maybe it's nothing. Maybe that's what the afterlife is; desperately hanging on to some semblance of what you've lost before finally vanishing for good.

    Somehow I doubt I'll find the answers to such questions.

    So I walk these streets, a gaunt, unnaturally emaciated figure even from a distance and a fucking horror-show up close, trying not to think about it to hard. Trying to ignore that itch, that need, that's followed me even into death. Most of all, trying not to think about her too much.

    If I do that, this feeling of loss will just be too much to bear.

    Further down the road lies my destination, a chance for alleviation from the isolation we all feel in this place. Tyson's bar may not sell drinks (hell, I don't think our kind can drink anyway), but there's a jukebox and a bit of company. The chance to pretend that everything's normal... if you can look past the appearance of your fellow patrons.

    Outside the bar another ghost lurks, some faceless kid with an arm swollen to shit. Nasty stuff, but not the worst I've seen in the near-enough-to-a-week I've been here. Hell, I'll probably freak him the fuck out more than he has me; it's not everyday a guy with a skull for a face walks past you, after all.

    I slide past the ghost, giving him a quick nod by way of hello, and move into the building. Tyson stands behind the dilapidated and empty bar, chatting with one of his regulars. Danielle, I think she was called? Always wears her hair over one side of her face. I've never asked why; figured that sorta question might be a bit too personal. Ghosts come to Tyson's for a chance to forget about their woes for a while, so I don't want to go stirring shit up.

    Danielle currently has the only stool in this place, so I lean against the bar and nod to both her and Tyson.
    “How you doing, Tyson?” I croak out, my voice sounding like worn sand-paper. Another of the wonderful effects of my fateful trip out to the Mojave.[/size]
  11. “Hey, Danielle. Have you seen that kid before?”

    She paused in the midst of doodling with one finger in the dust on the bar, and turned around to peer out into the street. It took her only a minute to determine why Tyson had sounded so unnerved; the boy standing just outside the door had no discernible face. A chill ran down her spine, and she tightened her towel around herself again, shifting on top of the stool. Of all the lost souls she’d met in Potter’s Field, she had never seen that particular feature… but he didn’t seem to be one of them. He looked too human, too relatively normal, and somehow too solid against the grey scenery. No, he wasn’t one of the Umbra. Not hers, nor Tyson’s. In fact, he almost looked lost… forgotten. Lonely.

    She was staring again. She did that sometimes, when she forgot herself.

    “No,” Danielle answered, ducking her head as she looked back around to her friend. “Should we invite him in, do you think?”

    Before Tyson could answer, the creak of a long-rotted door opening interrupted them, followed by footsteps. For a moment, Danielle thought the subject of their discussion had entered of his own volition- but then a pair of stick-thin arms with a texture like old uncured leather folded atop the bar beside her. They were a familiar enough sight, by now; Jules had popped in several times since he’d arrived in Potter’s Field, but seemed to prefer talking to Tyson. Danielle was content with that arrangement, although she returned his nod with one of her own.

    She wasn’t as easy with men as she’d once been.

    “Hey there,” Tyson greeted the skull-faced man with a wry version of his permanent grin. “Settled in yet?”

    Left to her own devices, Danielle slipped from her seat and went to catch the still-open door before it closed, sticking her head out. The boy was still there, and she couldn’t help but feel for him, as disturbing as his appearance might be. She’d seen worse, truth be told.

    “Hello?” she asked him, wetting her lips nervously. “Can I help you?”

    The noises had stopped and she didn’t know why, she didn’t trust it, couldn’t trust it, couldn’t stop screaming her throat raw, raw like blood, raw like her arms and her legs and her ugly ugly face. It made her want to claw at her skin, but that wouldn’t do anything, didn’t feel good, didn’t last. There were new noises now, human noises, or something like it. Footsteps. Why were there footsteps? No one else was here, no one but her and that thing and the other things that she could hear crawling in the walls. This was just a new trick, a new little game for her to lose, so that she could be swallowed up, consumed, gulped down, dissolving away into itty bitty bits.

    But maybe she should play. It had been a long time since she’d played and she was so tired and so angry and she just wanted it all to go away away away.

    She unlocked the door, and for the first time in a long time stepped outside of the room. The door swung shut behind her, the numbers 404 catching the light and shining a little in the shadowed hospital hallway.

    Come and get me, come and get me, come and get me.

    From the sanctuary of the paternity ward, a woman’s screaming could be heard ringing in the hallways, drowning out all other noise.

    The thing that lurked just outside crawled back into the tenebrae, biding its time, still crying softly in a baby’s wail as it rocked back and forth, claws tearing at its own knees and elongated toenails scrabbling at the dirty linoleum. It had only just been born; it could wait for its father to come out and let the hunt begin.

    Oh yes, it could wait.

    The Butchered Child (open)


    The voice of a dead man whispered through the pipes of the defunct organ, echoing hollowly through the ruined chapel. This was the land of the dead, after all; was it possible that he was here?

    There was only one way to find out.

    The shotgun went off.

    Except it wasn’t Jethro’s shotgun; it was another, one outside the sheet metal walls of his garage. Once, twice the shots were fired, sharp cracks in an otherwise silent world. It was difficult to tell how far away they might be, but it seemed close.

    Who was out there? What were they shooting at?

    On the streets of Potter’s Field, an Umbra was born.

    It traced its origin to the source, tasting the scent of the man who had given it such a lovely, lovely shape. He was walking so unsuspectingly, so confidently, the steps of a predator in a concrete jungle, headed toward another little fly. He had no idea that he was no longer the hunter, but the hunted.

    It took to the rooftops, settling in atop a ransacked bookstore, looking down on the man and the girl as they drew closer to their chance encounter. The Umbra wanted to savor these moments.

    The Black Widow (Warning: Disturbing and Sexual) (open)
  12. Price's body felt a cold feel shifting through his blood. The hospital had a strange feeling to it, a feeling ofsadness, pain, and death. As he progreesed toward the noises he heard, they became quieter, this made him suspicious. As richard came to a fork in the halls, he heard a faint sound of scratching. The scratching was to the right hall, but he felt he needed to go left, almost forgetting about who he's searching for, he took a step back and thought it through. "If someone is in danger, then there has to be something wrong first." Price aimed forward and went to the right hall, inching himself closer to the scrapping sounds, they become completely silent.
    View attachment 5954

    "What the fuck?" he mumbled, backing against the walls. Things became to curious, why did the sounds suddenly stop he thought. The halls became ever darker as he creeped into the shadowy hallway. The atmosphere was still, still as a silent grave, still as Richard's nerves. The dark wasn'yt a problem before, he was always the one hunting for the enemy, watching them progress into his murderous plots, this time...It was his turn, his turn to be hunted, he felt eyes glariung at him daring him to find this person and see if he can escape it's grasp with them. As his breathing became heavy, the hall became darker and darker and darker. Soon it was nearly pitch black, til you could barely see your own fingers in front of you.

    The darkness around him started to taint his thoughts, for he believed someone or something was...whispering right next to him. It sounded like his wife, screaming in agny, pleading is name, it was insane. The voices shook him to the bare bone, but was suddenly broken as something next to him screamed, "Come and get me come and get me!" Richard pulled to the side and wrapped his hands around the woman's mouth, he could barely see anything, but wasn't about to be exposed to whatever is watching them. He held both hands around her head at whispered, "Stay quiet and follow me closely, don't let go of my hand."He felt his way around and grabbed what felt like her hand, he knew it was hers cause it was more slender and femanine, with his other hand he aimed his rifle and edged their way from the dark.
  13. Alex was crouched perfectly still, his attentions focused on the approaching sound of scurrying footsteps. Picking out the direction of the noise he coolly slipped from his hunched position around the corner of what appeared to be a rundown bookstore. He kept close to the building as he looked back out into the street intently waiting for the errant source of the noise to reveal itself. The faintest trickle of excitement welled up in him and stopped just beneath the surface as he stood, patiently waiting. Before long a figure emerged into view, briskly pacing down the crumbling sidewalk. It was a girl. A young girl. Her dark hair ran down past her shoulders and she was as white as a sheet. Seeing nothing else moving about in the torpidly encroaching gloom, Alex poised himself to round the corner. As the young girl came close, he stepped out from hiding with a casual gait. Upon doing so he stopped abruptly with a look of complete surprise.

    "Whoa!" he exclaimed, exhaling suddenly after.

    Upon closer inspection this girl couldn't be more than 18, still in high school. "If this is hell, I wonder what she did to get here so early?" he mused. She had a mark around her neck. She'd been strangled with a rope or a chord of some kind, thick too, the abrasions were broad and showed texture. Alex suppressed the urge to smile. Instead he recollected himself with another audibly deep breath.

    "You scared the hell out of me!"
  14. "Aah" Sapphire screamed in surprise when a man, unknown to her, all of a sudden appeared in front of her.
    "You scared the hell out of me" The stranger said.
    "I scared you? If I could die again then you would have given me a heart attack now" Sapphire said still a bit startled but with a playful tone in it. She then noticed his prison jumpsuit and his sickly coloured skin 'what happend to him in life?' She thought to herself. She tried hard to think how old he could be, 'maybe 35 or 45' she thought a bit curious. Then she stopped her thoughts when she remembered why she were there.
    "Excuse me, have you seen a man, about 39 years old, almost bald and with almost the same marks and skin colour as me. I need to find him" Sapphire said so fast so she stumbled on the words.
  15. Alex shrugged.

    "Sorry, you're the only person I've seen." he replied.

    Alex looked about drawing his sight down each stretch of road from the intersection where they stood and wiped the side of his neck with his hand as casually as he could.

    "It's getting dark." he said finally. "We should get out of the open, I don't think it's going to be safe out here for much longer."
  16. Joshua reeled, taking a step back and away from the door as the skeletal figure swept by. This was beyond living in a horror movie or being stuck in a never-ending nightmare. He’d just had a close encounter with Freddy Kruger’s more desiccated cousin, and all the thing had done was nod. The gesture made everything look even more like a gross caricature of what life had once been like. He couldn’t find much joy in the fact that there were others like him- he assumed they were like him- save that he could possibly learn a little more about where he was from them. Josh didn’t feel so ugly anymore, either.

    Even so, he moved to cover the holes in his bad arm when the woman he’d seen approached. Her voice and general demeanor were normal enough, even if her towel didn’t make a lot of sense. It was probably about time to stop expecting the city to make sense, anyway. Still, his throat felt stuck. How was he supposed to reply? Reflexively, he worked his jaw, as if grinding the teeth he didn’t have anymore.

    At first, it felt like he’d split something open. His jaw abruptly unhinged like it was spring-loaded. Worst of all, he still had teeth. They just weren’t his teeth. They were too far apart, too curved. Too needlelike and far too uncomfortably familiar. He could almost feel them biting into his skin.

    Naturally, he snapped his new mouth shut. It took a few seconds before he felt like he could try again. Where was he supposed to start? “Can you tell me where I am? I’m- lost.”
  17. Kyrstaline felt a chill run down her spine. She looked to the organ, and then to the baracaded doors of the church. Of course she was nervous and scarred, but she tried not to show it on her half charred face. Her one eye flited about looking for any other possible exsits. She found none except for the one on the ceiling, that was tiny and easyily over looked.

    She looked to the organ once again, but did not come down from her perch, it took her an hour to get up here without having the whole thing tumble down, she wouldn't have time to fix it up and climb it, in the millasecond it would take for her umbra to attack her.

    So... she waited.... patiently....
  18. "Oh" Sapphire said disappointed when he told her he hadn't seen anyone, an awkward silence spread and she starred down in to the ground.
    "It's getting dark." he said "We should get out of the open, I don't think it's going to be safe out here for much longer."

    "you don't think It's going to be safe? Of course it wont be safe, you're never safe in the dark, thats when they come out" She said, even if she had died just some days ago she had already learned it. 'I wonder when he died' she thought to herself 'must have been really recently'

    "Well your right, we should get out from the open before it's completely dark."
  19. Alex stared at the girl expectantly.

    "Do you know somewhere we can go?" he asked.
  20. "There's no where we can go where we are safe if thats what you mean, I haven't been around that long so I don't now that many places. I know there is a bar around here and there is a lot of apartments, it's also a hospital pretty close but that place scares me so I have never been in there." Sapphire told him while she started to go because she had an uneasy feeling. "It doesn't matter where we go, I'm in different places every night, I don't think anywhere is safer than other places"

    Sapphire looked around with an uncomfortable feeling. "Let's hurry" She said.
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