Thursday, January 3, 2013

Post 5: The notebook.

January 3. The envelope contained a notebook, a student ID card, and a cell phone. The phone has no numbers in it and no recent history. A note came with it saying, "If you see anything important, show me," followed by a number. It's the only number the phone will allow me to connect to.

The ID has had all relevant information blacked out. All I can tell is that it is from a university.

The notebook is odd, to say the least. It is filled with pages of the symbol I posted on a previous post. There are a few notes in between ranging from journal-like entries to psychotic ramblings.

He talks about memory loss and hallucinations. He also mentions some kind of sickness.

Of note, whoever wrote it talks about the Rake, but mentions that there is more than one. He also said that there is something else that it answers to. He says that the Rakes acts as HIS eyes.

It also talks about agents who work for HIM, but the notebook had no information on these agents except for that they are HIS spies.

There wasn't much information on their leader in the notebook, but these are the excerpts from which I managed to get some information.

I don't know who this is. This man.....or Thing.....But I know I have to keep running.

Here are some other things that may be important. Once they are up I'm going to run.

Whoever is in charge of these agents and the Rakes must be responsible for whatever happened to my sister. I fear that she may have shared the girl's fate. The writer says he managed to kill one of the Rakes, but even so, I fear there is no hope for me. The last page says "He will always hunt you."

I've started feeling sick. I don't know if it is from the stress or if it has anything to do with the sickness the writer mentioned. I think I should try to find this city. Maybe there will be answers there. The notebook mentions a church just outside the city. If I can find that church I should be able to find the city, but from what I read, I must not enter. The writer said that church calls to HIM. I'll have to try to contact the person who gave me the envelope. Maybe he'll know something.

Monday, December 31, 2012

Post 4

December 31. I’ve been awake ever since I watched the video, and I’m starting to feel sick from the lack of sleep I’ve gotten since coming to the motel. After getting directions, I walked to Woodburrow Park, which took about fifteen minutes, and found a bench to sit on while I waited for noon to come.

The place was huge. Two baseball diamonds, a blacktop basketball court, playground, and huge fields all encompassed and connected by an even larger array of pathways. There was also about half a foot of snow on the ground, and in the distance I could see a group of kids having a snowball fight. Though, oddly enough, not a parent in sight.

I kept a close eye on my watch as the designated time drew closer and closer, and I could feel myself tensing up. I don't know why, to be honest. I’ve never really been an anxious sort of person, but I guess what’s been happening lately is enough to throw anyone off their game.

Even worse, I felt like I was being watched. I just had this uneasy feeling in my stomach, like someone had their eyes on me. And that’s when he approached me. He was wearing a black coat and his face was covered by a black ski mask. “Take this,” he said as he tossed a heavy manila envelope into my lap, and before I could start asking questions he said, “Don't go out at night. And stay away from the woods.” And with that he ran off. I tried to chase after him, but he was too fast.

Cold and annoyed I started making my way back to the motel when I noticed that all of the children were staring into the distance. I didn't bother trying to figure out what it was they were all looking at, so I quickly continued on my way back to the motel.

I’m going to open the envelope once this is posted online. I’ll detail the contents once I’ve gone through them all.

Also, now that I think about it, it’s awfully strange that he managed to find me right at noon in that huge park. We never discussed where we would meet once I got there. Can I trust him?

Sunday, December 30, 2012

The Note and the Symbol

Post 3

December 31, 2012. It’s just after 2 in the morning. I managed to get a couple hours of sleep before being awoken by someone knocking on the door. By the time I made it to the door and looked through the peephole, he had already gone, but a manila envelope had been slipped beneath the door.

The envelope was marked with a black circle with an X running through it. Inside there was a cd and a letter saying, “When finished, break the cd. Show it to no one. Meet me in Woodburrow Park at noon.” The letter was signed with the circle with the X.

I put the cd into my computer and opened the video. It was short, only about 30 seconds long. And most of it seemed to be damaged. All I could tell was that it was night and the man who was filming it was running away from something. However, every time the camera pointed back, the video would cut out, making it impossible to see what was chasing him. However, near the end of the video I could see it: The Rake, crouched down, its dark eyes and metallic claws reflecting the light from the camera. The man stopped in his tracks and his already panting breath quickened. It was just staring at him. The man slowly started to back away, then the video went fuzzy for a second, and once the picture came back, the Rake was gone. The man looked around for a few seconds before once again taking off.

The video ended there. But what was chasing the man? Was it the Rake? If so, why didn't it attack him?

I don't know if I’ll be able to fall back asleep. I’ll try to upload a picture of the symbol on the envelope. It seems to be important.

Post 2: Restless

It's been about 12 hours since my last post. 

I couldn’t fall asleep again last night. Even after checking to make sure the closet was empty and that nothing was under the bed, I did not feel safe. I even pushed the dresser in front of the already-locked door and downed half a bottle of Nyquil, but still nothing.

That man in the lobby wasn't him, by the way. I still haven’t heard from the guy that sent me the pictures. I don't expect to hear from him, to be honest. Why would he make me wait like this?

I emailed my parents, saying I was staying with some friends. I don't know when I’m going to see them again.

I asked the receptionist to call me if anyone comes asking for me. Now I have to try to sleep. My mind can’t take much more of this.

Post 1: The Nightmare Begins

            I was ten when it all began. Well, to be honest, I can’t be sure. For all I know the events of this story could have been set in motion the day I was born. To be honest it would explain a lot, but at the moment I cannot focus on such things.
            I grew up in a normal family in a small town in New Jersey. For sake of keeping the thrill seekers and paranormal investigators from suffering my fate, I’ll call it Basking Hill. Growing up in Basking Hill was normal, painfully normal. We had a school, a couple of Mom-and-Pop stores, and a small medical clinic; you know, the kind of town where you didn't have to travel too far to get what you needed, but where you always felt like you were trapped in a bubble.
No one ever really left Basking Hill for too long, and outside of the occasional sidetracked traveler, no one ever really came. With a community like this, it really didn't take long to know everyone. Everything that happened in this town, no matter how small an incident, would be public knowledge by the end of the week, so people made a point in keeping a proper, clean image. And that’s where my normal life came to an abrupt halt.
You see, my sister, Sarah, was born three years before me, and even as an infant my parents knew she was…different. As a baby she would never cry; even when she was born. She was silent, never making a sound other than the occasional whimper. The doctors thought she might have been mute until one day, shortly after I was born, she said her first word, “Rake.” Apparently my mother was so surprised by my sister’s first word that she nearly dropped me right then and there. She laid me down in my crib and called my father, who left work early in the hopes of hearing his daughter speak for the first time, “rake,” she said, and my father was filled with happiness.
And for the next decade our lives were normal. Sarah and I both went to the same school. We teased each other, we picked on each other, but we loved each other. She would help me with my homework when I was having trouble, I would sit there, pretending to understand what she was talking about when she had a crush on some boy at school. We were inseparable, and we never let anything come between us. But then, when Sarah turned thirteen, that’s when everything changed.
You see, our school has a tradition that when you turn thirteen you write a paper about the first twelve years of your life. It’s supposed to be a reflection on your past as you take another leap in life. Most of us bullshitted our way through the paper. But not my sister. No, she, being the overachiever that she was, felt obligated to put her best effort into that paper. She decided to write about firsts: first day at school, first award in a competition, first kiss, you get the picture. But, feeling the paper was missing something, she wanted to add a little insight from our parents, so she asked our mother, “What was my first word?”
My mother’s mouth turned into that nostalgic smile that you see the elderly give when their grandchildren are in their care, and she said, “Rake.” My sister wrote it down, and set out to finish her paper. I remember this moment, I remember it very well, because of all the memories I have of the time before our lives were turned on their heads, this one memory is the clearest of them all.
When she got her paper back about a week later she was overjoyed. The paper never receives a grade, but our principal commended her for her fabulous work. My mom, I guess in the hopes of setting a good example for writing, made me read that paper. So I, being the nice, well-mannered son of a loving mom and dad, pretended to read her flawless paper, devoid of the markings of the red pen of death so common on everything I had ever turned in. That is, until I read the one comment on the entire paper, written in neat little cursive on the last page, “Rake,” it said, “that’s an odd first word.”
I was confused. What about that was so strange? It’s not like she was spewing pagan chants or speaking in tongues or anything. So that night, when we all sat down for dinner, I asked my sister, “Why does Principal Warren think that ‘rake’ is a weird first word?”
My mother swallowed a bite of food and said, “It’s just not something you would expect,” She swallowed another bite of food and continued, “After all, how often does someone say the word “rake” in front of a baby?” She chuckled, “We never were sure which one of us it was either.”
My father nodded as he cleared his plate, and I was ready to accept my mother’s explanation. But then I turned to my sister, who stared silently at a fork full of food, lost in thought until my mom asked if she was finished.
I don't know if I was concerned or curious, a distinction I’ve had a lot of trouble making over the course of my life, but for whatever reason, that night I snuck out of bed and quietly made my way into my sister’s room. “Devin,” she said in an exhausted voice, almost as if she had been crying, “is that you?”
I didn't know if I had woken her up, or if she had already been sitting in the dark, wide awake before I came in, but I closed the door and turned on the light. I noticed a photo album on the bedside table labeled “Sarah: 1989-1994”--The first five years of her life. Ignoring it, I walked over and sat at the foot of her bed. Noticing her puffy eyes I asked her, “What’s wrong?”
She sniffed and rubbed her nose, “Devin, have you ever noticed anything strange. Like, something that, for no reason, made you scared?” I shook my head, “I’ve been having bad dreams,” she hugged her knees to her chest, “In them I see something… shadows. And they chase me. But no matter how hard I try, I can’t run…I can never get away.” With a trembling hand she picked up the photo album and opened it on her lap, “And in these photos of me, I can see shadows, look.”
She pointed to a spot on one of the photos, but I saw nothing. But, not wanting to make her feel any worse, I lied, and told her that I thought I saw something. She wiped her eyes and smiled before pulling me in and hugging me. “Thank you,” she said, “I love you.” She let go of me and lied down in her bed. I turned off her light and quietly left to go back to bed.
I couldn't have been asleep for more than a few minutes when a bloodcurdling scream woke me up. “Sarah!” I shouted, as I kicked off my sheets and ran into the hallway, where my mother and father had already stumbled in.
“Sarah,” my dad shouted as he opened my sister’s door. I could see him reach in and throw on the light, and his and my mom’s eyes widened in horror. They stood in that doorway, trembling, and my dad said, “Sarah?” as if he couldn't believe what he saw. So I slowly stepped forward until I could peer into the room.
            Before that moment, I had never known fear. Sure, I had been scared before. When I was six I was almost hit by a car when I crossed the street. But that brush with death was nothing compared to what I saw.
            My sister, shaking, covered in blood. Her pajamas ripped all over. Her face, her body, everything was covered in these cuts, as if someone had started cutting her up with a knife. “Mommy….Daddy?” she said weakly as she looked toward the doorway, “he came back.”
            “Who did this to you,” my dad said as he entered the room. He got on his knees and held my sister’s bloody hands in his own, “is he still here?” he whispered.
            “He’s always here,” my sister said in a chilling voice, too young for her age, “always watching. Always watching for Him.”
            My father let her go and hugged her, telling her that she was safe now, and that she would be okay. And that’s when I noticed it, her nails. The most terrifying thing was the state of her nails. Chipped, and some even torn clean off, she looked like she was trying to fight someone…..something off.
            The next day she was committed to a psychiatric hospital. The doctor told us that she must have had a hallucination that somehow manipulated her into somehow doing….that to herself. I was too young to understand what schizophrenia was, but when they told me that she was seeing things it all just seemed so strange to me. And it made me think back to that photo album in my sister’s room. And the nightmares she was having. I wanted to believe the doctors. Believe that this was something they could fix with medicine. But it wasn't long before she managed to escape….
Well, they say she escaped, but I knew better. About a week after she had been committed my sister vanished from a room locked from the outside. Even ten year old me couldn't be convinced that she had found her own way out. And now that I think back on it, my sister seemed almost happy to hear that everything she was seeing was only in her mind. She probably was relieved to hear that the nightmares she lived every day could be dealt with once and for all, so why would she have run away? It bothered me to no end, but at some point I accepted it. I was young; on some level I must have felt obligated to believe what the doctors told me.
There was no trail to follow so the search for my sister was called off after a couple of months. It was hard, but my family managed to move on. And so, for nearly a decade we went about our lives without incident. I don't know why I was able to do that, to be honest. My sister and I had been so close; I would have expected it to take much longer for me to come to terms with her disappearance. But I was only a child at the time, so maybe it was just my way of coping. Regardless, Sarah Shaw was all but forgotten by everyone in Basking Hill…….
Have you ever had that creeping sensation down the back of your neck? That totally irrational fear of some un-seeable horror, whispering your darkest fears into your ear while you lay there completely helpless?
Late one night shortly after my eighteenth birthday I saw something at the foot of my bed. The moonlight reflected off its smooth, pale head and each and every one of its claws, which shone as if they were made of steel. And the creature was crouched, not as if it was about to attack, but as if it were trying to make itself as small as possible while it observed me. A feat, I feel I must add, did not seem so easy to accomplish given that this creature must have been about six feet tall. But despite its curious posture, one look at it told me that, at that moment, I was completely at this creature’s mercy, and if it wanted to, it could kill me in a heartbeat.
I was utterly terrified. I don't think I could have moved if I tried, and I could feel my heart pounding in my chest harder and harder. I dared not break my gaze from its dark, empty eyes, and as the first sign of sun appeared through my bedroom window, it leaned started to slowly crawl closer toward me. I could feel the tips of its razor-sharp claws pricking my skin as he leaned into my ear and whispered, “Found you, Devin Shaw” in a soft voice that sent a chill down my spine and made the hairs on my neck stand on end, before it swiftly crawled to my window and pushed it open with its vicious hands. The creature took on last look at me before it silently crawled out the window. I immediately leapt out of bed and tried to spot the creature, but it had already disappeared.
I graduated from high school later that day. I still don't know if that creature came to me that night for that reason, or if it was just a coincidence. But regardless, like so many others who have dealt with this thing before me, I pushed it out of my mind, convinced that whatever happened was just my imagination.

A mistake that would cost me dearly….

            But why now, why would I wait almost six months since that incident before I posted anything about it? I was contacted. This September (2012) I started my first year at a small liberal arts college about an hour away from home. Saying that something strange was going on would be putting it far too mildly.
After two weeks my roommate has a nervous breakdown and had to drop out. He said he was having nightmares and that he was hearing voices late at night.
I often came back to my room to find it unlocked—now would be a good time to mention that I have a bit of a compulsion about making sure my doors are always locked behind me—and my room would be rearranged. But nothing would ever be missing.
But a little over a week ago, as I was packing to go home for the winter holidays, a manila envelope was slipped under my door. What I found inside scared me more than anything in my life. Three time-stamped images from the security tape of my sister’s room at the hospital. And in each of them, the same creature that had haunted me the night before my graduation sat at the foot of my sister’s bed. My hands started shaking, and I started sweating profusely. The hospital had gotten in a lot of trouble because the security tape from that night contained nothing but ruined video, yet there she was, sleeping, with that terrifying creature staring at her. My fear quickly turned to anger: right now I don't know if it was at that thing, or at the person who brought such terrible memories back into my life. I had decided that it must be some form of prank, so I stuffed the pictures back into the envelope, threw it in my backpack, and went to bed.
That night I awoke to the sound of my door opening and closing. Considering I always slept with a locked door, I was scared, and had to fight the urge to get up in case whoever had broken into my room was dangerous. So I lay there, taking care not to move an inch whilst keeping my eyes tightly shut. I could hear the sound of metal tapping against the metal frame of my bed. Right then, thoughts of that night months prior rushed into my head, and it took every ounce of strength I had to keep myself from screaming, although now I’m sure it knew I was awake, because it leaned in and whispered, “He always knows.” It then started walking away and I heard my door open and close once more.
I knew that I was in danger. So I grabbed my backpack and ran. I ran all the way to the train station and boarded the first train to New Jersey. Once on the train I pulled out the envelope and once again looked at the pictures. Seeing that creature brought tears to my eyes. My nightmares… sister’s nightmares, they were all real. And as I opened the envelope to put the photos away I noticed a piece of paper folded up at the bottom. I pulled it out and opened it:
“Devin,” it read, “for help come to <name removed> Motel at <address removed>, NJ. Tell no one.” There was no signature. Just a circle with an X through it. I folded up the note and took a deep breath.
My parents had no idea what I was up to. I still haven’t told them anything. I destroyed the phone they gave me about a week after I started running. I have since started using disposables.
It’s been a week since I ran away from school and I am writing this in my motel room. I am sorry that I left out the name of some of the places, but I can’t risk being found by anyone, or anything. I saw a man sitting alone in the lobby. I think he may be the guy I am looking for. I am going back down now to see if it is him. If not, I’ll give him until the New Year to show up, otherwise I have to run. I don't feel safe here. It may already be too late.

Mom, Dad. I love you.