Shannon M. Metcalf
The December Featured Writer is Shannon M. Metcalf
Please feel free to email Shannon at firstname.lastname@example.org
The abyss has become my home for as long as I can remember. I always recall those nights where I would be put to bed and there was nothing but the slight orange glow of the streetlamp to attempt to wash away my worries. My fears…the worst part of that word is the idea that no one else can see it. Not like I can anyway; not like I can.
I would lay there in bed, gazing across my room towards my door. Most nights I would try to rationalize my paranoia, and play it off as my enormous imagination trying to get the better of me. But tonight was different. I’m no longer a kid anymore; in fact, I’m twenty-four and still living at my parents’ house.
My fear of the unknown never wavered, yet I know nothing of what rests in that black void known as darkness. But like I said, tonight was different; yes, tonight I heard something far more chaotic than the images I have in my brain.
It started slow and far away; it was a slight creak as if my parents were walking around. I knew this couldn’t be true because they both had left for the casino.
I had to go investigate, naturally so. There I was, standing in the center of my bedroom when the creaking went off again. But this time it sounded so much closer than before.
I could practically hear it just a few feet beyond my doorway. My hands wouldn’t stop sweating and my heart felt like it was beating deep in my throat. Every time I swallowed my saliva, it ached. Each breath I took sounded shaky and labored as if I was recovering from a nasty chest cold. That paranoia I spoke about was coming into full blow at this point. The door was only a foot away; my hand rested on the cold, unforgiving knob.
I could feel it; something was just behind this inch-thick piece of wood.
Part of me screamed to go back to bed and pray for my parents to get back home. Another part—the loud booming voice in my head—told me to investigate. Just like any typical horror cliché, I did just that.
I swung the door open and was met with complete and impenetrable darkness. I could practically feel my eyes straining to adjust to the sudden change of light. A weird sensation took over in my stomach, almost like that feeling you get when plummeting on a roller coaster.
My head rang as adrenaline coursed throughout me. The stairs were just to my right, going down immediately and curving to the left before descending more. Somehow the darkness seemed even more intense than where I was at this very moment.
Creak. My heart stopped. The floor had just been stepped on only inches to my left. I was in shock. I wanted to uproot myself and slam my door shut. I wanted to lay and pray in my bed, begging for whomever or whatever was in my house to go away. But I was unable to remove the invisible concrete that held my feet to the floor.
Please, let this just be my brain getting the best of me. This thought continued to run through my brain like a broken record player. The creaking sounded again, this time a few feet away, down towards my parents’ room. Suddenly my feet were able to shift. I felt a cold sweat drenching the back of my nightshirt and my chest was covered in it as well.
Had I known now what I saw then, my ass would have long but gone from that house. Even though I’m not a runner, I’d jog until my heart felt like it would explode. But I was an idiot back then.
I continued to walk down the hall, past the bathroom on the left. The door was wide open, revealing a semi-lit, orange room. I shuddered a bit as a cool breeze ran through my long black hair. I could practically feel it moving as if a fan were on right behind me. My parents’ bedroom door was always closed, no matter what. They stressed about having privacy and urged me to do the same.
That’s why when I saw that their door was open, and my inner voice began to freak out. Still, I continued forward. The door was only a few feet away; my feet slid across that tacked down carpet. I checked my pulse, unable to believe how fast my heart was really going. Despite all this, I found myself nearly running into the door to my parents’ room. It was this tall, light brown-stained door with what looked like a glistening coat of water protection covering it. I hadn’t even realized that my hand was clenching hard on my shirt, not until this moment. I slowly pushed the door open, and felt around the wall for the light switch.
Please be my imagination. Please be my imagination, I thought as I finally found the switch. It slid perfectly between my middle and ring fingers and flipped up. A blinding light met my eyes, stinging them a bit as they were forced to readjust quickly. When I finally uncovered my face, that voice that always spoke to me couldn’t udder a single word. No…it couldn’t, and I can’t blame it now.
Blood…it was all over the room.
Blood was strewn all across the walls and even up on the ceiling. The light that illuminated a few seconds before had been caked in a thick red crimson. My breathing became sporadic; my hands shook and my legs felt weak as I fell to the carpeted floor. Two bodies were resting across the room from me, one was wearing a suit and the other a long white dress.
“Mom? Dad?” I felt the stinging in my eyes, not knowing if it was sadness or the putrid stench that emanated off of their corpses.
Their dead, decapitated corpses.
I got to my feet, barely able to hold in my vomit when I heard something. Creak. My heart nearly stopped as the loud floorboards mercilessly mocked me from behind. Don’t turn around. If you value your life, then don’t turn around.
It took all of my courage at that moment to not scream, and I clenched my eyes shut. I figured that if I couldn’t see it, I was safe. I felt my way around the hallway, heading back towards my room. As my hands slid across the walls, I felt something warm and slimy.
I knew it was something bad, and refused to entertain whoever wanted to destroy my life. I wouldn’t give them that satisfaction no matter what. So I felt the doorframe to the bathroom seconds later, and stumble over something on the floor. Instantly I reached out to catch myself, and heard a loud snap from my left wrist as I hit the tiled flooring of the bathroom.
I cried out in pain. The bathroom light flicked on. The door slammed shut and I was faced with the most horrifying imagery I had ever seen.
Gazing back at me in the reflective surface were my parents’ heads, resting on the back shelf of the tub.
I knew I shouldn’t look, but my horror and panic forced me up to my feet and made me stare. The tub was absolutely filled with blood. Before I could stop it, I screamed that loud piercing scream you hear in the horror movies. It was so loud that my ears rang seconds following this. Then the door slammed back open; I whipped around, only to be met with a giant mammoth of a man.
“Please don’t kill me. I promise I won’t tell anyone!” I cried.
He towered up to the ceiling and his nose was completely gone, as if it was never formed; the same went for his mouth. It looked like there was a long burn scar where his mouth should’ve been. The only thing he had for eyes were two long, deep gashes. Blood was oozing from those wounds as if they were fresh.
I was paralyzed with fear, wanting to just sprint as fast as I could. The man tilted his head a bit, acting like he was taking in all that he created. His hands were covered in grime and dried blood. I tried to plea with the man, but he just laughed.
It was confusing as to where the laugh came from. As he continued laughing, I heard numerous amounts of hushed voices from every single inch of that bathroom. It was as if these voices were powering this man somehow.
He stood straight back up and tilted his head again. Just then a slit formed where his mouth should be, widening farther and farther, until it ran straight up each side of his face. Jagged, rotting teeth appeared as he began bleeding down his neck. I felt like a deer in the headlights as the man lunged his hands towards my face.
“Please stop!” I yelled, but the man threw me onto my back.
He reached for something in his pocket, and then pulled out a long, rusty knife. The edges were jagged and some parts were dull. He pushed the blade closer and closer, pressing the tip of it into my left cheek. I screamed as I felt the semi-dull blade pierce my skin, and agonizing pain erupted from it. The man pushed harder, and dragged the blade diagonally downward to the bottom left side of my face. He cut through my skin and flesh, just enough to leave a deep wound.
I sobbed with fear and pain. I knew the evil man’s power was coming from all those whispering voices, but I couldn’t fight him.
He mimicked the last attack, but this time on my right cheek. Again he pushed hard and I felt every bit of my skin cut wide open. The blade ran down to the lower right side of my face.
I kept crying and wailing, but the horrifying creature ignored my pleas. He reached down, digging these disgusting fingers into the center part of the x he formed and began to pull with all his might. “Aaahhhhaaaaa!” I felt every single tendon ripping as he pulled harder and harder, exposing the flesh of my face.
He then grasped the other sections in the middle and began ripping those parts off as well. Every single piece of flesh attached to my skin was being torn off bit by bit. Somehow, I hadn’t died yet, and the man knew this, yet he didn’t give me the mercy of killing me. He simply sat there and watched as my body slowly bled out.
The last thing I remember seeing, before everything became blank, was the man’s mouth as it sealed itself back shut. He did that disturbing head tilt again and then everything went dark.
Now, as I sit here, watching over a nineteen-year-old boy sleeping in the place I used to sleep in, I fear for him. I saw that evil man today, pacing out behind this house. I heard the hushed voices whispering heinous things as he became frustrated.
I haunt this house. The young man in the bed knows I am here; he can sense my presence. He thinks he is afraid of me, but I know what he really needs to fear.
It was only now, in the afterlife, that I got a glimpse of the evil man’s story. He is known as Blank Face.
The legend of Blank Face says that he’s the man with no nose; he was born without a nose or nostril holes. He was a man who grew insane in this house after hearing voices whispering throughout the halls. He slaughtered his entire family by carving x’s into their faces and tearing their skin clean off with his bare hands. As the legend goes, he dumped acid on his mouth, permanently sealing it shut, until the spirits allowed him to open it. The last thing this man did was cut his eyes completely out, and create large horizontal gashes, leaving them in their place.
Blank Face is a ghost just like I am. But he has the power to materialize in the modern world whereas I cannot. Still, this sleeping young man senses that I am here.
I haunt this terrible house, hoping that the parents of the nineteen-year-old will listen to their son when he tells them about my presence. I want to scare them enough so that they want to move. I hope they move before Blank Face comes back.
Shannon M. Metcalf was born and raised in Upstate New York. He has been writing for over thirteen years and it started with poetry. He has had his poetry published in both 2003 and 2007 and just this year, he published two novels titled A Wrestler’s Dream and Lycanthropy Blood-Ties.