Piercing Darkness - Introduction

This is the introduction to an urban fantasy story I've written, but by itself it's really more of a horror story, possibly qualifying as a creepypasta. 

Warning for gore.

Back when I was fourteen, I had a boyfriend. That doesn’t really sound like the greatest of accomplishments, I knowlots of girls have had boyfriends by then but it was big deal to me at the time. Still is, really. I wasn’t exactly the best looking girl at school, and back then I thought I was worse than I was. Kind of chubby, kind of stocky, puberty was dragging its feet on the chest but double timing it on the oily skin. So when Greg asked me out my first thought was it was some Carrie-type practical joke. Happily I wasn’t stupid enough to take that past the first thought and said yes.

He was in the year above me, good looking in a sort of scruffy way. Our first date could have gone better, we went to see a movie, I think because that’s what he thought you ‘should’ do on a date, and it was terribly, terribly awkward. Even so, I was just thrilled to have been on a date at all – it’s not like I had any basis for comparison – and I guess he must have had a reasonably good time, because he asked out again the next week.

That went a lot better, I think because we didn’t try to structure it the way we thought it ‘should’ go. In fact we didn’t really do much of anything, just wandered around for a while, chatting. When my parents asked afterwards how things had gone, they asked what we’d been talking about, and you know, I had no idea what to say. We didn’t really talk ‘about’ anything, as such, just chatted on and on in one of those endless, looping conversations that never really approach anything you might call a ‘topic’. It sounds boring as hell to describe, but I had a great time and I think he did too.

Our third date was a lot like that one, but at the end, just after we said goodbye, we kissed. It shocked me at first, I was still seeing myself as way uglier than I was, and I think he took it the wrong way because he apologised the next time we met. Explaining things after that was maybe the most embarrassing thing I’ve ever done, but it was worth it. We went on more dates after that, and the kisses came earlier into each one. Mostly we’d just wander around the neighbourhood – we lived quite close together – talking when we thought anyone might be looking and kissing the rest of the time. It was great fun.

One day, a few weeks before my fifteenth birthday, we were walking by a house that had been abandoned for the last few months. I think the family that had lived there had been foreclosed on or something like that. We walked up to it, to see if we could see anything interesting in the windows, and Greg tried the doorknob, I think more on a whim than anything else. To our surprise it turned easily and the door swung open. We went in.

It was strange inside; the windows were half boarded up and half not, so the rooms were randomly bright and gloomy. There was no furniture, which was a bit unsettling for me because it was the same floor plan as my house. It was as if I’d come home to find my family had disappeared. The smell was musty but not really unpleasant, and somehow it seemed unnaturally quiet, as though the bareness of the walls and floor was sucking up all the sound.

We wandered around a bit, trying light switches (dead) and taps (ditto). We stopped for a while in the kitchen, looking out the big window above the sink. The yard was as empty as the house, and the lawn had grown tall, above knee height. The front lawn wasn’t like that, someone must have been taking care of it. Property values, I guess. I leaned up against the sink, closer to the window, Greg standing a little behind me. Then, suddenly, he wasn’t a little behind me but close enough that his chest was brushing my back. I leant back, or maybe I stopped leaning forward, and we were pressed together. He put his arms around me, resting his hands on my belly. That didn’t really thrill me, body issues and all, but I didn’t say anything and after a while he put his hands on my hips and sort of turned me around, or more like gave me a little push to suggest I turn around, which I did.

Then we started kissing, and he moved his hands down to my butt. I think every other time we’d kissed we’d been holding back a bit, worried that someone was going to walk in on us and we’d have to separate. This was different, no one was going to walk in on us here, and that was a slightly scary, slightly sexy thought. We kept kissing for a long time, parting briefly to catch our breaths and smile at each other, and his hands started moving up my body. He did it with a casual sort of rubbing motion: his hands would rub up and down my butt and end up on the small of my back, they’d rub there and end up on my waist, over and over until they were resting on my ribcage, just below my bra. My body issues were completely forgotten by this point, buried under the kisses, and right then I wanted nothing more than for his hands to go up one more time.

Then he pulled away, and the moment was lost. I could have screamed. He looked around, his brow furrowed, as though he was expecting to see something but wasn’t sure where it was. “Did you hear that?” he asked.
“Hear what?” I said. I hadn’t heard anything but our breathing, and the occasional car going by outside.
“I’d swear I heard whispering.”

“I didn’t hear anything.” I told him. I was trying to think of something to say to get him back to the kissing, when he backed off altogether, and looked down at the floor.

“I think it came from the basement.” He said. The basement and the attic were the only two rooms we hadn’t been in. They were creepy enough in actual inhabited houses, thank you very much. He stepped towards the door, but turned back when he realised I wasn’t following. “C’mon,” he said, smiling, “let’s take a look.” I didn’t really want to, but what could it hurt? We’d go down and he see it was just pipes gurgling or something like that, and then we could get out of the creepy abandoned house. Privacy wasn’t sounding so awesome now.

We’d seen the door to the basement before when we were looking around, and had just opened the door and promptly closed it again when we saw nothing but stairs and darkness. This time we turned on the lights on our phones and headed down. There were no windows and of course no working lights in the basement, so we had to look around with our phones. It was completely bare, no pipes on the walls or anything that looked to me like it might have made a noise. Greg, though, homed in on one particular spot on the walls.

“I think it’s coming from here,” he said. I came over to look. It didn’t look any different from any other section of wall to me, except that it had a long nail sticking out of it, which seemed kind of weird, since the walls were concrete. Anyway, even if they were wood, the nail should have had its head sticking out, not its point. Weird nail aside, though, I didn’t see anything that might make a noise, but Greg seemed convinced. “I can almost make it out,” he said, leaning towards it as though listening. I couldn’t hear anything but our breathing.

“Greg, that’s a nail,” I told him, as though he shouldn’t be able to see that for himself. “It’s not making any noise.” He wasn’t paying attention to me though; he was utterly intent on the nail, leaning closer and closer, turning his head to angle his ear at it. “Greg, what are you doing?” I asked him, my voice getting shrill. This was not like him at all; I don’t think it was like anybody. He wasn’t really going to- oh no. “GREG!” I screamed at him, as he pressed his ear against the nail. My own ears ached in sympathy as his head touched the wall; the idea of how far that nail must have gone in was making me nauseous. His eyes closed, and for a moment I thought he was dead. Then they opened again, and focussed on me.

“It’s so beautiful,” he said, as he pulled his head off the nail. I could see blood dripping from it, and trickling down the side of his head. He didn’t seem to notice. “I wish you could hear it too,” he told me.

“Greg, Greg, you’re bleeding,” I told him, “come on, let’s go and get you to a hospital.” He wasn’t paying attention to me again, though, he’d turned back to the nail, he was leaning towards it again, he-. I turned away, struggling to keep my lunch down, before his eye touched the nail. I shut my eyes tightly, as though seeing what happening might make it happen to me too. When he spoke again, though, I couldn’t help myself turning back to look at him.

“So beautiful,” he said again, his eye leaking onto his cheek. It was like a nightmare. His face twisted briefly in anger, and he growled, “But it’s not enough!” He slammed his forehead against the wall, onto the nail, and I screamed. He smashed his head again and again into the wall, and I backed away towards the door. This was way past anything I could cope with. Then he turned to me again, his forehead opened by terrible, gushing wounds. “You need to hear it too,” he said. I ran.

I’m not a good runner, but fear gives you wings, and whatever was letting Greg run after me with all that blood pouring out of him wasn’t doing anything for his eyesight. I was halfway up the stairs before I heard him hit the doorframe. I ran towards the door and found that we had shut it when we came in. I scrabbled at the doorknob as Greg came up the stairs – fear might have made me fast but it was making me clumsy too. I could just see him out of the corner of my eye when I finally got my hands to do what I wanted, and I threw open the door, hearing it hit him as I ran out into the daylight. I didn’t know where to go, it was an easy walking distance to my house but I was sure I couldn’t outdistance him on a straight run, so I went straight ahead, running to the house on the opposite side of the road. I could see a car in the drive, so there had to be someone home, right?

It was a downhill run and I was going too fast to stop myself; I cannoned into the door, pushed the doorbell and frantically tapped the knocker. After only a few seconds a woman opened the door, looking very annoyed. “My boyfriend’s gone crazy. Please let me in,” I begged. Her expression changed very quickly, to shock and then compassion, and she ushered me inside, locking and latching the door behind me.

“Shall I call the police?” she asked me, and I nodded, unable to speak. There was a phone in its cradle on a little hall table and she picked it up, but before she’d started dialling there was a loud, blunt, thumping on the door.
“Madeline! You need to hear! You need to see!” It was Greg’s voice calling between thumps, but not like I’d ever heard it before. There was an edge to it; desperation or rage, and he’d never called me Madeline after the first time, always Maddie. I didn’t answer. I didn’t want to be there, to be anywhere near him like this, for him to know I was there.

“I don’t know who you’re looking for, but there’s no Madeline here,” the woman said, not yelling exactly but loudly and firmly. “Go away before I call the police.”

“They’ve told me where she is!” Greg screamed back, thumping on the door again. I was much too frightened to wonder who ‘they’ might be. The woman called the police and showed me to a seat. We sat and she held me as Greg continued to scream and beat on the door. After a while the thumps became less frequent and the screams grew quieter. By the time the police had arrived they had entirely stopped and the only sound was me sobbing. I think I had been too much in shock before to do anything but run and now the emotions and exhaustion were taking their toll.

I found out later Greg had died. The police had probably said something about it at the time but I wasn’t really in a state to do much listening. I told them what happened, explained everything, and at first they didn’t believe me, which I can’t really blame them for because I could hardly believe it myself. They went into the house themselves, though, and found what I’m just going to call ‘residue’ on the nail. They never came up with an explanation for why he did what he did, although I heard they tested the air in the house for a bunch of things that could have triggered a psychotic break. Whether they found anything, I don’t know. After the police stopped calling me back for questioning I spent most of my time in therapy. After that, we moved; new house, new school, never talking about what had happened when we didn’t need to. I lost contact with most of my old friends; thinking about things from back then was too painful. I made new friends, but so far I’ve never had another boyfriend.


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